Looking for a few recommendations

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Krayden006
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Looking for a few recommendations

I really love SotM.  Really.  Unfortunately my gaming group only likes it, not loves it.  Really.  It's got me hooked on co-op gameplay.  I've been collecting co-op games, almost exclusively, to play with my group.  Since i really love SotM and most people here seem to at least really enjoy it, I thought maybe you fine folks might have some recommendations for other coop games we could try out.  Theme isn't really a big issue.

For a few examples, we enjoy playing Zombicide and Castle Ravenloft.  We also have/play Marvel Legendary, Shadowrift, Defenders of the Realm, Darkest Night, Space Alert, Conquest of Planet Earth and Death Angel.  So far I think the only co-op game I haven't cared for was Space Cadets.  Planning to get Legends of Andor and the Pathfinder card game soon.

 

Thanks.  Really.

Edited by: Rabit on Sep 9 2013 - 12:20pm
Spiff
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Shadows Over Camelot is very good.  Also, Forbidden Island is good, though it's lighter-weight than the others.


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Krayden006
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We do enjoy Shadows over Camelot.  Though without the expansion.  Those travel cards are horrible.  I think the only time we've managed to win, we were playing incorrectly.  We didn't realize the quests on the main board were repeatable.

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Arkham Horror is one of the most enjoyable games I've played.   It's only major downside is a large time investment.    I also love Battlestar Galactica, which is also amazing, particularly with the Exodus expansion.

 

Ghost Stories is much shorter than those two, very well suited for 4 players, and if I had to pick a favorite co-op game, it's probably that one.

 

Shadows Over Camelot I enjoy, but I feel the others I've mentioned here are better.    Atlantis Rises is quite fun,  but I feel it is a little easy, and I have to house-rule it to make it harder (even on the hardest difficulty setting).     If you want more detail on any of these games I'd be happy to provide it.


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I like Flash Point Fire Rescue (has gone down very well with my RPG club), one of our guys has Pandemic and that's fun but can be prone to "alpha player" syndrome. I recently made myself a rethemed version of Hanabi and that's great too - very thinky and frustrating but definitely fun.


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I'll throw out Police Precinct as my choice for a co-op game, much fun if you love tracking down perps and catching murderers, the fact that one of you could be on the take is a good add to the game


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Pandemic is a lot of fun.  Probably one of my favorite games.  I've wanted to play Arkham Horror for a while now.  The thing is, if I buy the base set, I'll have to buy all of it.  And with the time investment, it's one that will probably only get played maybe twice then put away.  I've looked at Ghost Stories some.  Looks interesting, but I'm not sure about it or Flash Point.

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You could also try one-versus-all type semi-co-operative games like Descent or similar, if someone doesn't mind being the GM/Overlord/whatever-you-call-the-guy-who's-trying-to-beat-the-other-players.

I hear good things about Mice and Mystics too.

 


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Flash Point is a bit like Pandemic, but -- in my opinion -- not as varied, difficult, or interesting.


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I definitely prefer Flash Point to Pandemic - the theme is much better IMO and it definitely provokes much more intensity amongst the players. It just feels so much more panicky trying to deal with an unpredictable fire in a small building than it does min-maxing your moves from city to city.

I also like that you have choices of maps, and that bit of extra unpredictable-ness from dice rather than cards is better for me. You're occasionally in situations with Pandemic where you can say, "Oh don't worry about Tokyo right now, it's just come up so it's almost certainly safe this round," and that's a bit anti-thematic to me. In Flash Point the bathroom can flare up three turns in a row because the building's hot so ignition can happen there at any time.

Sure, the basic family easy game is, well, a bit basic and easy. But adding in a few more initial fires and hotspots/hazmats takes it from "Are we going to be able to do this?" to "OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE".

We also very much enjoy Escape: The Curse of the Temple for a quick waiting-for-latecomers-to-show-up or end-of-the-night filler, since it's easy to teach and the game itself only lasts 10 minutes since that's how long the soundtrack is. It's really quite panicky and prone to raised voices and racing heartbeats and cursing of players who cause problems. Good fun.


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You can look into A Touch of Evil as a light alternative to Arkham's Horror.

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Mansions of Madness is pretty fun, and is (ususally) all against one, if that's ok.


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Silverleaf wrote:

I definitely prefer Flash Point to Pandemic - the theme is much better IMO and it definitely provokes much more intensity amongst the players. It just feels so much more panicky trying to deal with an unpredictable fire in a small building than it does min-maxing your moves from city to city.I also like that you have choices of maps, and that bit of extra unpredictable-ness from dice rather than cards is better for me. You're occasionally in situations with Pandemic where you can say, "Oh don't worry about Tokyo right now, it's just come up so it's almost certainly safe this round," and that's a bit anti-thematic to me. In Flash Point the bathroom can flare up three turns in a row because the building's hot so ignition can happen there at any time.Sure, the basic family easy game is, well, a bit basic and easy. But adding in a few more initial fires and hotspots/hazmats takes it from "Are we going to be able to do this?" to "OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE".We also very much enjoy Escape: The Curse of the Temple for a quick waiting-for-latecomers-to-show-up or end-of-the-night filler, since it's easy to teach and the game itself only lasts 10 minutes since that's how long the soundtrack is. It's really quite panicky and prone to raised voices and racing heartbeats and cursing of players who cause problems. Good fun.

Strongly recommend Flash Point. I sold Pandemic because of it.

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I'll toss in another recommendation for Arkham Horror.  Fantastic design and tons of replay value.  

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"Robinson Crusoe : adventures on the cursed island" is very good -  full of "theme", very strategic and quite difficult.


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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

I'll toss in another recommendation for Arkham Horror.  Fantastic design and tons of replay value.  

I've never played it, but it's important to mention that this game is at the top of my list for new co-op games.  The creator of AH worked on Infernal Relics with the >G guys, after all, and Arkham Horror is in the Sentinels continuity.


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Looks like you have a pretty good list already.  I've been loving Space Alert.  I was really astounded that we survived a game yesterday; I had no clue what was happening with most of the threats, but somehow everyone managed to do their part and defeat all but one of the enemies.  Beautiful chaos.

(Can I suggest this thread be moved to the Off Topic forum?)

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dpt wrote:

(Can I suggest this thread be moved to the Off Topic forum?)

Good call - done!


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I have Space Alert, just haven't had a chance to play it yet.  I read after the fact that it takes a while to play through the tutorial and learn the game.  Just waiting on the opportunity.  Adding Ghost Stories to my list.  I like that it is supposed to be pretty difficult.  I really do want to play Arkham Horror.  I just can't convince myself to buy a game that takes so long to play that no one ever wants to (looking at you World of Warcraft the Boardgame.) 

How long does an average game of Ghost Stories take?  Are the two expansions worth getting immediately?  What about Arkham Horror with no expansions?

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Krayden006 wrote:

I read after the fact that it takes a while to play through the tutorial and learn the game.  Just waiting on the opportunity.

If you don't overdo the tutorials, they're fun by themselves, and you don't necessarily need to get to the full game in one session.  Just don't think you need to play all the tutorial tracks.
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Myth is also going to be awesome, once it comes out.


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Nobody seems to have mentioned the original Lord of the Rings boardgame by Reiner Knizia.  Rather old at this point, but it fits the definition of a well-made coop game.

Reckless wrote:
Arkham Horror is in the Sentinels continuity.

Source?

Krayden006 wrote:
What about Arkham Horror with no expansions?

Probably about 3-4 hours, depending on GOO (Cthulhu is extremely tough, but much of his toughness comes from things that are likely to prolong play, while a game with Yig is over one way or the other pretty fast).  I don't know why it was mentioned in the same breath as the WOW board game; from what I've heard that one's more like 8-10 hours.


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The designer helped with IR and put it in. NM is Joe Diamond's grand-daughter. I can post a link later.


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Theta_Sigma wrote:

Mansions of Madness is pretty fun, and is (ususally) all against one, if that's ok.

If we're willing to consider games that are mostly coop, but sometimes have one player become the bad guy, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Betrayal at the House on the Hill.  It's basically a bad horror movie in board game form, but you don't find out WHICH movie until halfway through, at which point one player either becomes the monster or is eaten by it, and then that player becomes the villain for the rest of the game (usually; a few scenarios have no "traitor", or a "hidden" one).  Sadly, the original edition is IMO noticeably better than the reprint, but virtually impossible to find; copies on Ebay sell for north of $200 when they exist at all.  It *might* be worth it, but the difference is slim enough that a lot of people will settle for the newer edition (which does admittedly have nicer box art and improved components; it just cut out a lot of my favorite scenarios and replaced them with lamer ones).

dpt wrote:

(Can I suggest this thread be moved to the Off Topic forum?)

It looks like it's actually in BOTH forums at once, according to the "new and updated topics" display.


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Envisioner wrote:

Nobody seems to have mentioned the original Lord of the Rings boardgame by Reiner Knizia.  Rather old at this point, but it fits the definition of a well-made coop game.

Completely agree - I love that game.


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Krayden006 wrote:
 How long does an average game of Ghost Stories take?  Are the two expansions worth getting immediately?  What about Arkham Horror with no expansions?

 

Ghost Stories is indeed rather difficult, but it has several levels of difficulty that can help make the game easier or harder to your preference.   We now play on Hell mode (the hardest) after working up from the basic,   we found it very challenging every step of the way.    Very much would reccomend you play on Nightmare mode after the first couple of plays though,  it does make it a lot more fun, you'll see why if you get it.

 

I'd say an average game of Ghost Stories takes about 45 minutes to play.   There's not a whole lot of setup time either.  As for the two Ghost Stories expansions,  The White Moon I believe is out of print.   You can still get a hold of it, but it might cost you a pretty penny.   Honestly I wouldn't say that it's worth it.  Normally we play on the base game without the White Moon expansion anyway.   It does add some fun stuff, but I think on the whole the extras from the White Moon are distractions from the excellent core gameplay, rather than additions to it.   That's my opinion and maybe others will feel differently,  but I would not say it is worth getting immidiately.

 

I do not own Ghost Stories:  The Black Secret and there is  a good reason for that.  The main schick of the Black Secret is to take a beautiful full co-op game and turn it into an All-vs-1.   Maybe it's phenomenal,  but I don't know,  I'm not interested.   If I wanted an All-vs-1 game there are others that will suffice,  I fell in love with Ghost Stories because it's a fantastic full co-op game, and I'm not eager to change that about it.

 

Time on Arkham Horror really depends.  It depends on how familiar you are with the game,  it depends on the Ancient One you are facing.   I'd say around 3-4 hours is not far off for beginners.   However, if playing with a team of players who know what they're doing and are relatively good at planning ahead and taking their turns in a timely fashion,  you can play a game in 2 hours.    I do not feel all expansions are necessary,  or even reccomended.   

 

Must have:   Arkham Horror Base Game,   Innsmouth Horror.

Good:  Miscatonic Horror (esp. with multiple other expansions), Dunwich Horror, Lurker at the Threshhold, King in Yellow

Fair:  Curse of the Dark Pharoah

Dont bother:   Black Goat of the Woods, Kingsport Horror


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Although a lot of people have answered the OP, I've got some experience with some of these and I thought I'd put in my two cents. Plus, I'm trying to avoid studying, so this might go on a bit.

 

Arkham Horror:

One of the first co-op games I bought. I liked it a lot initially, but it doesn't get played much anymore. The base game is great all by itself, at least until you've played enough times to understand some of the mechanisms under the hood - Once you know those, it takes you out of the theme and reverts you to playing odds a bit. The first game you play will take a *long* time, both to set up (lots and lots of different card decks and tokens, etc) and to play. The reason is mainly learning the order of operations for a turn, and making sure you do things correctly. The manual (like almost all fantasy flight games) is pretty terrible for this - it's not well thought out and finding the information you need always takes longer than it should. The single best advice I could give is to find a Summarised rule sheet on the web that fits all the important stuff on to one page, and print a copy for every player. Once everyone knows where to look on that sheet, they've got everything they need to know. The only caveat: if the sheet mentions the frequency of certain cards or locations, cut that part out (part of knowing the underlying mechanics ruining the fun). I've played a couple games with the Innsmouth Horror expansion - the single best part is that it makes all the decks of cards bigger, so you're less likely to see repeats.

 

Space Alert:

Great game. Hugely fun. First time learning takes a while, but you're playing games as you go. If everyone is enthusiastic about listening to you read the tutorial and learning one step at a time, you'll have fun, even in the tutorial missions. If you get some new people in and throw them in the deep end, they might have trouble, but it's still fun. I've only ever played with the full complement of 5 - it's supposed to work with 4 (a more common number for my group), but 5 is so glorious that I don't want to sully it. One word of warning - if you try to introduce this to family, make sure before you start that everyone is a) paying attention and b) at least a little intelligent and c) going to understand the concept of "programming" your guy, rather than playing him directly. I ruined last Christmas by not heeding these rules.

 

Pandemic:

Great the first couple times, dry after that. After a couple of games, it's easy to work out what the optimum course of action is in any situation. Once you know this, the easiest difficulty is a joke, medium difficulty is ok but not exciting, and hard difficulty is boring because whether you win or lose is dependent entirely on the shuffle of the cards, and almost nothing the players do can change that - even playing optimally, the win rate on hardest difficulty might be 10%. Once you lose 5 of those in a row, all desire to play the game evaporates. It's probably a good entry game for someone who isn't that into board games, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

 

Descent:

A One-vs-All game. The guys at Shut Up and Sit Down like this a lot, but I've never really gotten into it - some of my group like it, so we play it every so often, but it's never sat right with me. The second edition is better than the first, and more fun, but I still find it more frustrating than rewarding. The missions aren't particularly well designed - The best plan of action for the players is to do things as quick as they can - if the Keeper can delay them for a couple turns (by, for instance, blocking a corridor with minions so the players can't get past), or the players can juke the Keeper early and be a step ahead, then the scenario is already over, and leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth. The second edition made scenarios smaller, but kept a pretty slow pace. I'd have preferred a much faster pace (hacking through hordes of monsters easily). I had way more fun playing Hero Quest as a kid than I do playing Descent.

 

Mansions of Madness:

A One-vs-all game, rather than a true co-op. This game is a love-or-hate game. My group loves it, but you have to be committed to it, and you have to do everything you can to make it better for yourself and your players. The theme is fantastic, and all the missions are great fun. The expansions (both the single-scenario and bigger box ones) all improve a lot on the base game, particularly the more recent ones. Sometimes it gets a bad rap, and I thought I'd address a few:

Long set-up time: This is true, and is possibly the single biggest failing of the game, but one which is unavoidable. Set up involves: laying out the room tiles appropriately, Pulling the correct item, lock and keeper action cards out of the large deck, which vary depending on the scenario. Pulling out the correct clue cards, which vary depending on which *variation* of the scenario you're playing, and laying all those cards out in the correct room. If you get any of those wrong, the game breaks. You also have to have your players choose characters, and choose which starting items and stats those characters will have, as well as making sure you've got all your monsters, tokens and sundry other bits and pieces in easy reach. All of this is a mammoth task and can take a long time. The player in my group who owns the game always gets as much of this set up before we arrive whenever we play at his place - the tiles are laid out, the right cards are pulled out of the decks, and if he's playing the keeper, he's already placed them all appropriately. He's also super organised and has all the tokens and things in a sewing kit box with lots of little compartments. This makes playing it pretty frictionless. At worst, it's 10 minutes for the keeper player to read what he needs to do and seed the cards correctly. Making sure you do this will improve everyone's experience a lot.

Replayability: This really depends on how often you play. The base game comes with five scenarios, each of which has usually 3 story points, each with 3 variants. Often, the goal of the Keeper and the Investigators are significantly different between the variants. It's possible (and fun) to play the same map 3 times in the same day, with a different person playing Keeper and choosing different variants. By the third game, the Investigators have a basic idea of what's going on, but can still be surprised (particularly if they didn't read the other variants when they had their turn at Keeper). Doing this minimises downtime between games, as most of the set up is already done. If you played like this every week for 5 weeks, you'd quickly run out of scenarios. But if you're more like my group and play at most 2 variants in a session and only play once a month on average, then the game can last a while. If I went and played base game scenarios now, they'd seem fresh, because it's been a while. If you love it, this isn't an issue that will come up, as you'll religiously buy every expansion, all of which are glorious. The latest big box expansion changes some rules and the scenarios are in a very different style. I wouldn't buy it until you've gone through everything that came before.

Lack of any real "mystery" or "investigation" or meaningful clues: If the investigators are paying close attention, and you completely ignore the theme, it's true that a lot of the scenarios can be summarised as "go here, now go here, now go here, now kill this." Even once you're aware of that though, the theme is still thick like treacle, and there are always carrots dangling just out of reach. Often it's a question of "I know where I should go, and the fastest way to get there, but if I take the long way, I might get some useful weapons or items - Do I have time to take the long way?". Between this and the Keeper player actively hindering you, it can keep you on your toes. For the people who still don't find that satisfying, the latest expansion delivers all that in spades and has genuine mysteries, meaningful player interaction, and best of all - bluffing! This is great, but not recommended straight away, until you've got all the other mechanics well understood. The last time I played Keeper, I had three NPCs I could control - the Investigator's job was to kill a particular one, my job was to protect that one and kill one of the others or a player with a particular monster after certain conditions had been met. When the Investigators had deduced who they needed to kill early on, I was able to change my playstyle and tactic, completely fooling them and changing their mind, until I summoned a monstrosity from another dimension and ate their face.

Overall, I think Mansions of Madness is fantastic, and highly recommended *if* you can get over the above obstacles. The thing which hooked me was playing as an Investigator and walking into the Dining Room in this spooky mansion. The Keeper played a card that described horrible rotten-looking poisonous food on the table, which I felt compelled to eat - I failed my skill check, and was forced to eat the stuff, losing one point of health. This then allowed the keepr to play another card - saying that the damage was enough to break my arm and now I could only carry one item at a time. This was hilarious, but the idea of rotten nega-food being so bad for me that I fell down and broke my arm told a fantastic story. My other most memorable moment was when I was trying to mix ingredients to make an acid to get through the stone slab of a tomb. Three attempts in a row I put my ingredients together but rolled a critical fail on a skill check - which meant that I *drank* the acid. The third try killed me and one of the other players had to pick up and continue my work.

 

Welp, that was pretty long. Guess I should try going back to study now.

phantaskippy
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A touch of Evil is a great game, although pricey.

I think the competetive play is better, but the coop isn't bad.

 

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The White Moon expansion for Ghost Stories just got reprinted, so you can get it for about $35 online. While it is by no means a "must have" addition, it does add some fun elements to gameplay... but it does make it a bit easier for the players. 

I really like Ghost Stories and all the expansions... but I would recommend you just start with the base game. There is plenty there to keep you entertained for a good while. The expansions tend to over complicate things if you try them from the start (I actually just got into Black Secret after having the base game for about two years) 

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If you don't mind a little treachery, the Battlestar Galactica game can be a lot of fun.  My personal suggestion is to act erratically for a few turns so that it's not a mathematically perfect game and you've thrown them off their rhythm.

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who bumped this

Rabit
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There was a spammer who posted, and has since been deleted. 

The Mariner didn't know that and just replied on the thread -- don't blame them. :-) 


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And now the zombie thread LIVES!!!

Since it didn't exist in 2013, I'll go ahead and recommend Aeon's End as a great next co-op =)


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I hear that there is also this amazing game called Spiritual Islanders or something that has come out since 2013. I don't think it's that well known though (ho ho ho).

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That explains why no one mentioned those. Might also explain why no one mentioned Elder Sign or Eldritch Horror as lighter Arkham Horror alternatives.

It does not explain why this thread now lives twice.

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There was a spammer who posted, and has since been deleted. 

The Mariner didn't know that and just replied on the thread -- don't blame them. :-) 


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

Until we have an H emoticon:

Rabit
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(Sorry -- I couldn't resist. ;-) 


"See, this is another sign of your tragic space dementia, all paranoid and crotchety. Breaks the heart." - Mal

Until we have an H emoticon:

The Mariner
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Rabit wrote:

There was a spammer who posted, and has since been deleted. 

The Mariner didn't know that and just replied on the thread -- don't blame them. :-) 

I HAVE BEEN SUMM- oh.  Nah, I knew what I was doing.  I just can't resist the opportunity to crack open a cold one (a joke, that is) with the boys.

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Since all this old information has resurfaced, I feel it is prudent to at least mention that a new version of Arkham Horror was recently/ will soon be released. I haven't played it, but given how other FF titles improved with newer editions, I would asume it will be better.

Also have to mention Mysterium as being amazing...

Arkh'm Horror is nice
there is a new edition.
Still, mysterium?

 

fenianb
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Also note second edition Mansions Of Madness is now fully co-op with use of a free app which handles the opposition.

Similarly Star Wars Imperial Assault uses an app for full four player co-op with story campaign modes.

PlatinumWarlock
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Fun fact: I wrote most of the fiction/fluff text in the Arkham Horror 3e deluxe rulebook. 

Blackfang108
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PlatinumWarlock wrote:

Fun fact: I wrote most of the fiction/fluff text in the Arkham Horror 3e deluxe rulebook. 

Dammit.

 

I'nm trying to NOT buy new board games...

I mean, If I get this, I'm totally selling my copy of AH2 + mini-expansions that I never play anyway, but still.  I haven't found a place to put my copy of Fireball Island away, yet.

 

Stupid small condo.

PlatinumWarlock
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Blackfang108 wrote:

Dammit.

I'nm trying to NOT buy new board games...

I mean, If I get this, I'm totally selling my copy of AH2 + mini-expansions that I never play anyway, but still.  I haven't found a place to put my copy of Fireball Island away, yet.

Stupid small condo.

Having played (and owning) both AH2e and 3e, they're *very* different games.  3e has some echoes of Pandemic and the AH card game, and is quite scenario-based.  2e, as you likely know, is much more free-form and develops its own narrative as the game goes along.  There are no true "outer worlds" in 3e, and the action economy differs significantly. 

All told, I'm actually keeping both.  I foresee 3e getting more play in upcoming months, but I can easily see my group getting a hankering for 2e.

MindWanderer
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Yeah, it looks like 3e isn't really a new edition so much as a reinterpretation.  But then I guess that was true for 2e over 1e as well.  And then Eldritch Horror is sort of the same thing again.  If I had time for 2-3 hour games anymore, I'd definitely be interested.


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Blackfang108
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* repeat: trying to have FEWER games, as my wife is already ready to kill me over Fireball Island.  It's more awkward than the Big Black Box of Sentinels goodness.

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I would recommend you all to play DOTA 2. It is actually a game that shows how good you are as in how can you control yourself/ nerves at time of playing and it is not only this but the skillset required for it.


George Young