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Desc:I realize this probably won't clear the hopper, thought it was cool, and you guys might like it too.
Category:Video Games
Tags:board games, the witcher, vidja games, good games
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Comment count is 18
memedumpster - 2014-01-09
Become one of four characters...

30 year old unshaven alcoholic with white wig and SCAAAAAAR...
Date rapist...
Sassy, but date raped in Internet fan fiction...
Randomly named not copyright Peter Jackson...

Five because board games are cool, and I'm surprised they still get made.
Nominal - 2014-01-09
Play as...

Heavy metal fantasy
Heavy metal fantasy's wistful girlfriend
Poneytailed heavy metal poser

baleen - 2014-01-09
Isn't this just Pathfinder with a board?
RocketBlender - 2014-01-10
Probably will be. I'm interested in it because I love the game series it's based off, The Witcher is a fantastic series.

Plus the game itself is published by Fantasy Flight, who have a pretty solid track record with titles like Arkham Horror, the Netrunner reboot, Mansions of Madness, and of course, Descent, one of the best dungeon crawl games out there.

Basically I'm trying to say it's got some decent potential, but it's not hard to see why those that don't know the video games aren't getting excited over this. In all honesty, I'm amazed enough people cared for it to clear the hopper.

Anaxagoras - 2014-01-10
Oooh. This is done by Fantasy Flight? Those guys have a pretty spectular track record. Their game mechanics are usually high quality, and their production values are always top notch. Cool.

Nominal - 2014-01-10
Fantasy Flight games have high production values, but they have a nasty reputation for having some major flaw in gameplay that needs one or two large expansion sets to fix. At that point it gets bloated with feature creep, prompting the need to come out with a new edition that's streamlined, thus starting the cycle anew.

Nominal - 2014-01-10
(Twilight Imperium and Arkham Horror being the biggest offenders)

Anaxagoras - 2014-01-10
I don't know if I'd call the game mechanics flaw thing a trend; for an example of great mechanics first time around consider War of the Rings.

But yeah.... Twilight Imperium is a complete mess. It's a mess that I really really want to like, but in the end, it's just a mess.

The God of Biscuits - 2014-01-10
Twilight Imperium is great and you should feel bad for not liking it

RocketBlender - 2014-01-11
I would really like to hear some opinions on twilight imperium, if you guys would like to give some details. I've been tempted for ages by the copy on my store's shelf, but the long playtime and high price have kept me from taking that plunge.

Anaxagoras - 2014-01-14
This isn't on the front page anymore, so I doubt you'll read this. (Sorry... I didn't see your message until just now, Rocketblender.) But in case you do happen to look here:

Twilight Imperium is a gorgeous game with beautiful production values, (i.e. the pieces are really fun to play with) lots of interesting game mechanics including an actual civ-like tech tree, fully fleshed-out & interesting ship combat, an interesting bidding system for player roles every turn, and a galactic council where players buy & sell votes from each other.

So it should be a great game. The problem is that most of the game's cool systems are peripheral-to-irrelevant for the actual victory conditions. In order to play the game you have spend a lot of time explaining or reading the rules, but once you grok the rules they're mostly irrelevant... except that you need to know them to make the game go forward.

To expand: the game is all about victory points, and one of the roles you can bid for each turn grants you 2 instant victory points. You only need 10 to win. So the game doesn't have that many turns... but each turn is incredibly long & complex due to all the neat game mechanics. And getting victory points by means other than the roles is set up such that you don't actually need to *do* much to get them. There are secret victory conditions which grant them, and I-don't-remember-how-else. But in the end you often only have 1 or 2 major space battles per player, and you usually don't advance too far down the tech tree, and, so on and so forth. There's a lot of investment (in terms of learning, time for each game, and maneuvering) w/out much in-game payoff.

What's more, there isn't an easy way to fix the victory problem. Reducing the value of that victory-granting role is helpful, but that just means the game lasts longer while still occurring at a glacial pace. Instead of a 5-hour game, you end up with a game that takes 8 hours with still relatively little pay-off in-game. And each turn takes 30-50 minutes with experienced players.

They go into the problems in-depth on boardgamegeek.com, if you want to read more.

FABIO - 2015-05-30
Yeah Twilight Imperium isn't worth it. It takes way too long (5 hours is considered short), only the first 2-4 technologies (out of two dozen) are worth getting, the first big box expansion is absolutely mandatory to play (in order to fix the "get free VP" problem, which bumps the price tag up to 0), the races are wildly imbalanced.

But most of all, the secret VP objectives that everyone gets (one per player)are all over the difficulty spectrum. They might be easy given your race or location, or they might be literally impossible ("Capture all wormholes" in a game against a race that automatically locks down wormhole travel). I have never seen someone win who didn't fulfill their secret VP objective. This makes the game a contest between the players who randomly drew a feasible secret objective. Everyone else is shit out of luck and will spend the next 5 hours in a hopeless game. Half of the players are randomly (effectively) disqualified from winning before the first turn.

This is all on top of being knocked out of the race by drawing one of the underpowered races (I have never seen Xxcha come close to winning), being up against one of the massively overpowered races (good luck beating Jol-Nar in a game with lots of technology objectives) or being screwed by the planet placement of the board setup. If you knew everyone's secret objective at the start, you could make a prediction within 80% accuracy who would win before the very first move just by glancing at race, objective, and starting location.

In short, it's a clunky unbalanced mess that you don't even get to go PEW PEW PEW with big space battles in because players want to avoid everything that isn't a victory point objective.

FABIO - 2015-05-30
Also, I tried the Witcher board game off GoG, and it just might be the single worst board game I've ever played. It's a competitive game with zero interaction between players. Everyone just keeps rolling dice until they win, and it's very very easy to get stuck in an endless loop of being wounded by monsters and skipping your turns to recover.

baleen - 2015-05-30
Twilight Imperium is definitely asymmetrical.
There is, however, a lot of metagaming in it.
The "free 2 VP" strategy card is definitely fixed with the first expansion, though, like most VP games involving diplomacy, those who tend to be closest to winning will draw the wrath of other players.

I agree that a lot of the game balance issues are sort of fixed with the options available in the expansions. This is unfortunate, but it's sure fun to play anyway.

The time commitment is the biggest problem. Playing the basic game with the newer strategy cards is highly recommended by most people who play this game, though the "free 2 VP" speeds up the game, acts as a game clock for newer players, and is fought over on the forums as much as any other variant of the game.

baleen - 2015-05-30
Also Game Knight's TI strategy guide is what sold me on buying the game and its expansion.


FABIO - 2015-07-14
Nah, TI is a lost cause. In order to "meta game" it, that requires getting a bunch of people to get together and play a 6 hour board game enough times in order to learn the system enough before it gets any good.

There are much more rewarding games to spend 0 and 20 hours PREP TIME on.

BorrowedSolution - 2014-01-09
Be aggressive.
B-E aggressive.
Jimmy Labatt - 2014-01-10
Wow, Stephen Hawking is really hard-up for cash these days
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