As a side note to my post about recent RPG play disappointment, I have been looking more and more at board games recently — and I’ve never been a big board game guy. But the idea that I could maybe get a couple of hours of enjoyable play without a massive up-front investment of time and effort on anyone’s part is becoming appealing to me. E.g., semi-RPG games like Gloomhaven or Dead of WInter are looking pretty compelling right now.

30 thoughts on “As a side note to my post about recent RPG play disappointment, I have been looking more and more at board games…

  1. Hey man — if you have Gloomhaven and are looking for players, I’d totally be in, I’ve heard nothing but great things. Otherwise, how about heading this way for T.I.M.E. Stories? One of the very few cooperative games I enjoy!

  2. Mark Delsing Yep! The base Legendary game is Marvel (you start with a bunch of iconic heroes like Wolverine and Captain America), and there are maybe a dozen expansions (Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Civil War, Secret Wars, et cetera).

    Then there’s Legendary Alien, based on the first 4 movies. And Legendary Predator, Legendary Firefly, Legendary Big Trouble in Little China, and soon Legendary Buffy.

    It doesn’t take much to mix-and-match, so you can have Ripley and Dutch fighting Skrulls and Brood side-by-side, or what-have-you.

    I can talk your ear off about this game, so let me know if you want a more comprehensive breakdown of what to expect.

  3. Yeah, I really enjoy the prepackaged aspect of boardgames. (I’ve hoped that a similar feel could be replicated in RPGs…Viewscream comes very close, in my experience, and I’d love to see an “all in the box” version of Swords Without Master that included stacks of premade Feats Heroic and Named things.)

  4. In a similar vein you may want to check out: Kingdom Death Monster, Silver Tower, Descent, Imperial Assault, Pathfinder Cardgame, Apocrypha, 7th Continent.

    KDM might not be your cup of tea (nevermind expensive and hard to find). Imperial Assault is basically star wars descent, but it’s a little more like a DMed game. Apocrypha just came out a few months ago so might be a bit hard to get ahold of until all the Kickstarters get fulfilled. I haven’t played 7th Continent but am seriously considering the 2nd edtion kickstarter.

    All are games with some level of cooperative nature and some amount of RPG elements that could fit the bill, but you’ll find better indepth reviews on youtube and boardgamegeek (which if you’re not familiar is a fantastic resource)

  5. Mark Delsing I think, though there’s two different issues that happen.

    One is “ease of play because of time expectation” which boardgames win over RPGs in many cases.

    The other, which I think about a lot with the CoC folks I met, was that they want very specific Simulationist play, which means finding other folks who want that exact type of Simulationist play to mesh, which is both hard AND not well guided by the core CoC rules.

    This part I found to be the failure in game design, which, ended up pushing them instead towards the boardgame where they could actually consistently meet in functional play because… well, structural rules that just work and as much color as you want to pour on top of it or not.