[Board Game] Shinobi Clans

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Amazon上某天桌游打折的时候看到一个叫Shinobi Clans的游戏画风出众评价也不错就入了,上周末开了一次三人局。

作为一个忍者题材的游戏,目标选择和暗杀的游戏机制营造了不错的氛围。一次游戏共有三轮,每轮大致的进行过程是先随机从五个目标中选三个,然后给选中的三个目标随机附加一些奖励,每个玩家秘密选择两个目标来暗杀或保护;然后通过发牌和轮抽的方式给每个玩家十张牌;然后是所谓的“Ninja Phase”,玩家轮流将牌面向下打出到各个目标上;这一轮的牌打完之后就是”Battle Phase”,把每个目标上的牌逐一翻开解析效果,来看到底这个目标被暗杀掉没有。

Ninja Phase的时候大部分信息是隐藏的,每个玩家不知道别的玩家的目标和自己是一致还是相反,看着牌暗着出到各个目标上的感觉还真有点像很多忍者被派遣过去。这个phase是勾心斗角的主要阶段,有一些牌会暴露信息,有一些牌可以用来窥探信息,但总的来说还是不透明的信息更多,十张牌打下去的节奏也很快。

这游戏很精彩的一个部分在于选目标的博弈。高奖赏低风险的目标看起来诱人,但一旦多个玩家同时选的话报酬就要平分,即使成功,每个人拿到的部分也很可能不如一个原来看起来报酬不高的任务的总额。还有一点就是在Ninja Phase如果意图被别人过早看穿,往往会引来对方的对抗或者利用。隐藏自己的意图和利用他人的出牌,有时候能达到四两拨千斤的效果。

一个缺点是三人局三个目标造成的冲突并不是特别够。有时候打着打着会发现一轮里面三个人冲突的目标只有两个甚至一个,于是大家都轻松得分,得分多少基本取决于每个人选择的目标,这就有点过于凭运气。在这种情况下比较优的策略可能是把强力的牌留到下轮,本轮尽量做free rider。感觉上可能应该能从规则的角度来避免这种冲突过少的情况,但我又细读了一下规则并没有。从概率上讲玩家选出来的目标完全不冲突的可能性倒也不大,所以也还好。

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts

Haven’t played RFTG for years although it is the first strategy board game xw and I ever played and practically led us into the board game world. We played the original version and the 1st expansion a lot, but the 2nd and the 3rd expansions made us lose interests on this game, because it felt like the system became complex and difficult for us to have a good grasp and enjoy.

The last game I bought, Takenoko, wasn’t very successful. So I’ve been looking for a new one for a while and noticed RFTG released its 4th expansion last year, named Alien Artifacts. The 4th expansion started a new “Arc”, or you can understand it as a new trilogy. So it should be played only with the original game, not with the first 3 expansions. Because of the history above, this feature is actually very attractive to me.

The 4th expansion added a bunch of new cards into the original game, and a new sub-system – Alien Orb. The Orb system feels quite weird because it’s not really “integrated” into the game and is completely optional. It’s slightly similar to Carcassonne: players put new tiles to form a map in turn, and move “meeples”.  The mechanism is almost completed separated with the main card game, and the main relationship is you can get a few power tokens from the Orb system to use in the card game, also VPs.

I played 2 games with the Orb system and 2 without it. So far I prefer the latter much more. The Orb phase feels like a distraction so players need to “switch” thoughts between the cards and the map. And it introduces downtime into the fast-pacing original game, but doesn’t seem to bring enough interaction as a good trade-off.

Although the Orb system seems a bad addition to me and also received lots of critics on BBG forums, the 4th expansion is still a good expansion overall. The original game has a few elements “incomplete”, such as Rebel cards and Uplift cards, even the whole Alien branch. It’s obvious the design idea is to complete the missing parts in expansions. The new cards added in Alien Artifacts are quite a lot and balanced the whole game well. When play a card suite with the 4th expansion, it feels much more like a complete system and not over-complicated. I highly recommend to try this expansion if you play the original RFTG, but feel free to leave out the Orb system.

King of Tokyo

在年前的打折消息里面注意到了King of Tokyo这个桌游。画风和背景看起来都很卡通甚至略显幼稚,但设计者Richard Garfield是万智牌的作者,这一点让我觉得这游戏应该不至于太肤浅。加上手里的桌游组合也需要一个party game来补充一下,于是就入了这个。

入了以后玩了两次,一次两人,一次四个人带Power Up扩展。初步印象是很不错。一次掷一把骰子,然后选其中n个重掷这种设定看起来很欢乐很靠运气,但其实策略性也挺强。游戏的核心机制是一个玩家进入东京当“东京之王”然后战其它所有玩家,初看起来像是斗地主,但真玩起来就发现大家普遍会在东京进进出出,几乎没人能在里面连着待上几轮。游戏的两种获胜方式(VP和HP)又让场上的局势变化得很快,中后期可以战得很激烈。

如果打算入这个游戏的话强烈推荐Power Up扩展,很便宜。基本版的怪物之间没有什么区别,这个扩展给它们加入了个性化的技能。另外这游戏本质上还是个party game,人多一点比较好玩。

 

The Castles of Burgundy

上周偶然看见Amazon上的Daily Deal是桌游,然后进去扫了一下发现这个叫The Castles of Burgundy的游戏没听过。查了查发现还挺有名的是2011年新出的游戏现在已经是BGG上的第12名!于是果断拿下。说起来还真是挺久没怎么关心桌游的消息了。。

周六组了四个人开了两局。今天晚上又和xw开了一局二人的。大致有些感觉了。这游戏虽然是六角形的地图还有掷骰,但是跟卡坦岛八竿子打不着。。可以认为比较像农场主,大体上属于工人放置类的游戏。每回合掷的两个骰子就是两个行动,骰子点数会决定你可以用这个骰子做什么。对于这种需要计算的游戏来说,加入一些骰运的成分还是要轻松不少,可以把精确计算的规模限制在比较小的量级,让玩家更注意大局而不用埋头苦算太久。

这游戏的得分方式十分多样,有养动物,运货卖货,修建筑,造科技拿bonus等几个类别。跟农场主不同的是短板并不会扣分,这样玩家挫折感会少一点。不过几盘玩下来的感觉是每种路线多少也都会走一点,因为游戏机制和版图限制使得每种路线走到后来的边际效益越来越低。所以这游戏玩起来不是那种逐渐加速越到后来一个行动能赚的分数越多的类型,前期的行动得分常常就挺多,后期计划不好恐怕还会觉得无事可做。节奏感比较独特。

到现在的感觉是这游戏的平衡性不错,完成度很高。随机性相当强所以也不算太hardcore。排名这么快就升到前列不是偶然。

Cards Against Humanity

As its official site introduces, this is “a party game for horrible people”.

The rules are extremely simple: one player draws a question, the other players pick an answer from their hands (each player has 10 cards). The player who draws the question reads all answers and picks his/her favorite one and give the “awesome point” to that player gives this answer.

This game is awesome because of those hilarious questions and answers. And please be aware that most funniest cards are “inappropriate”. I have to say this card game is full of sexual and racist stuff, but in a good way. So make sure you’re playing it with a group of people who can have fun from it! Then it will be awesome! This game is not for decent people, no.

Note for ESL readers: you probably should have more native English speakers in the game, otherwise “dictionary time” will be too much.