[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

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Steve Jackson
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by Steve Jackson »

Another board game thread, this time for discussing digital versions of our favourite tabletop games. And they said we didn't warrant a separate forum, huh? ;)

Codito's iOS boardgame ports of A Brief History of the World, Le Havre, Medici, Ra, Tigris & Euphrates, and Tikal are currently on sale for 69p each. I don't know what they are like but they seem well regarded. I only have Le Havre but I have never played it.

Since I finally started playing the real life Dominion a few weeks back I've also been hammering the unofficial iOS Dominion that I thankfully grabbed months ago before it was pulled from the store despite not knowing what it was at the time. It is a little rough around the edges but it plays a decent game. I hope the recently resurfaced rumours of an official, dedicated iOS port prove to be true this time. Instapurchase + goodbye life if so and done properly.
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Torf
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Post by Torf »

Agree on the Dominion front, unfortunately it's been almost two years since its intended launch, so either it's consigned to lawyer battles, or they are polishing it to within an inch of its life. Day 1 purchase plus all the expansions if they get it right.

Others that get regular play on my ipad / iphone;

Tigris and Euphrates - I have the board game, and in that format suffers from complexity for the novice gamer, and quite a slow turnaround. On the ipad/iphone it is fabulous, quick to play and some challenging AI. It can be a bit tricky to understand what's going on, but like most of the Codito's that you mention, comes with a good tutorial.

San Juan - Unbelievably good adaptation - totally nailed it. Wonderful wonderful game, and little brother to Puerto Rico - mentioned below.

Tichu - Really good bridge-a-like game. Never played it in person, but played it a lot on train journeys. Good tutorial (from memory).

Agricola - I love this game, and it's great in board game format, but I wonder how easy it would be to grasp if you only played the ipad version. It does come with an excellent tutorial, but part of the beauty of playing the board game version is you can really analyse what's going on on other players' boards. The issue here is that it's difficult to focus on what the AI is doing, whereas in person it's obvious because they'll talk it through (hope that makes sense). I haven't played it loads, and it does appear that there's a great game in there. Need to get stuck in, but my family will just complain that I'm "working on my strategy" :thumbs:

Ra, Medici, and Ticket to Ride all get plenty of playtime.

Interestingly, I have Le Havre, but could not for the life of me figure out what to do. I imagine it would be great if I'd actually played the board game! If you're thinking that I mentioned this one in the "Harbour" review, I did ... was getting it confused with Medici which is a decent auction game.

Finally, the daddy of ipad conversions, and my favourite board game, Puerto Rico. Spot on conversion, and a perfect place to hone those 3 and 4 player tactics. Also, I would say that people would have a decent chance of figuring it out if you've not played the board game ... If you haven't played the board game, you need to rectify that pronto! Masterpiece.
nutter45
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by nutter45 »

My favourites:

San Juan
Lords of Waterdeep
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
Ticket to Ride
Agricola
Las Vegas!
Take it easy
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Post by Steve Jackson »

I have most of the games mentioned, but have played barely of them. In most cases, if I haven't played the physical version, I find them harder to learn and give up too easily. I really must set some time aside and work through some of these titles, although some of them like Agricola seem completely impenetrable to me.

The best iOS board game port in my opinion is Carcassonne. The Coding Monkeys did an excellent job. I really wish they, or Playdek, had the licence for Dominion.

Forbidden Island is also very well done, and while I nearly always prefer a proper tabletop version of a game, this almost makes my owning the physical version pointless. Hey, That's My Fish! is also well worth picking up as it saves a lot of faffing about setting the game up. Ticket to Ride on the iPad and Ticket To Ride Pocket and Europe on the iPhone are great too, but they aren't compatible with each other for online play and the iPad version annoying doesn't do asynchronous online play.

Also, on the subject of Days Of Wonder board game ports, why haven't they ported Memoir '44 to the iPad?
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Post by MetalGearAl »

This thread has reminded me that I have Settlers on Android. Haven't played it in ages.

The Days Of Wonder games often come with online versions to play, none of which I've tried.

Anyone tried Board Game Arena? - http://en.boardgamearena.com/
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by nutter45 »

Steve Jackson wrote: .... some of them like Agricola seem completely impenetrable to me.



Agricola is well worth the effort. The trick is learning all the different products, what they cost, what the benefit is and when to choose a particular route. It seems baffling at first glance but play the tutorial once and then a couple of family games (ie the no card variant) and you'll be away.

The actual mechanics of the game couldn't be simpler, it's a wonderfully tight and tense game.
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Post by Steve Jackson »

MetalGearAl wrote:Anyone tried Board Game Arena? - http://en.boardgamearena.com/


Nope. http://www.brettspielwelt.com/Spiele/ is very popular too.
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Post by Steve Jackson »

Any Ascension players here? Disappointed about Playdek losing the licence for the digital version? Not to worry, apparently Stone Blade Entertainment have done a u-turn and will now be working with Playdek and the current Ascension app won't be axed after all.

http://www.pockettactics.com/news/ios-news/conscious-re-coupling-playdek-stone-blade-get-back-together-save-ascension/
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by nutter45 »

Presume that just has implications for future releases, not what is already out there and played daily :dork:
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Post by Steve Jackson »

What is already out and played daily would have been pulled from the app store, not been updated to remain compatible with future iOS releases, and replaced with what would most likely be an inferior version. As it stands now, Playdek continuing to work on the current app is welcome news.
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Post by Steve Jackson »

nutter45 wrote:Agricola is well worth the effort. The trick is learning all the different products, what they cost, what the benefit is and when to choose a particular route. It seems baffling at first glance but play the tutorial once and then a couple of family games (ie the no card variant) and you'll be away.

The actual mechanics of the game couldn't be simpler, it's a wonderfully tight and tense game.

I really must try this again properly. Had you played the tabletop version beforehand?
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by Torf »

Maybe try a YouTube tutorial?
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TIkxqjuQuOE
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by nutter45 »

Steve Jackson wrote:I really must try this again properly. Had you played the tabletop version beforehand?



Nope.

Off the back of the iOS version of the full game I bought Agricola: All creatures big and small, which is a lovely streamlined version, albeit only 2 players.
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Post by Steve Jackson »

I've worked through the Agricola tutorials and all it really has me doing is hovering over the buy button on Amazon for the tabletop version. Then I keep thinking I'd be better getting Caverna seeing as it supposedly tops Agricola, but £65 and I already have too many newish games to work through, dammit.
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Post by Steve Jackson »

I ended up buying Agricola but then I saw sense and remembered that I've only played things like 7 Wonders and Infiltration twice so far, and cancelled it again.

I've worked through the tutorials in the app and have a decent understanding of the family rules now, but no idea strategy-wise. The scoring mechanic practically demands you spread yourself into all areas of farming rather than just concentrating on one or two elements, but there doesn't seem to be enough time to do so properly. I'm impressed and I want the tabletop version more now, although I'll still try and wait and get some more playtime out of my current games first.
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by nutter45 »

It's a very subtle game. You have to be flexible as you can be rest assured that the key resource you need to kick your strategy off will be grabbed by someone just before you. As such you need to have a few different things you're working on at one time and be able to flip between 'projects'. As you say though, there is never enough time to get everything done to build a full working happy farm and you always lose points somewhere. The trick is minimising those losses and spotting where you can score heavily. And always build the well :D
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Post by Steve Jackson »

I've never even looked at the well, but I will do so next time. The only strategy I've been using so far is to try and build an extra room as soon as possible and try and get an extra family member, and hence extra action first. I like to gain as much wood early on too to build fences and stables, followed by an oven, to gain a constant supply of food later on.

The one downside for me with the app is not being able to see at a glance how the other players farms are progressing. Apart from that it seems an excellent implementation.
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Post by Mr M0by »

Not sure what thread to put this in but it's an interesting article about how Firaxis developers (Civ etc) learn from board game creation:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-07-06-the-grand-strategies-of-firaxis
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Post by KeyserSoze »

Torf wrote:Finally, the daddy of ipad conversions, and my favourite board game, Puerto Rico. Spot on conversion, and a perfect place to hone those 3 and 4 player tactics. Also, I would say that people would have a decent chance of figuring it out if you've not played the board game ... If you haven't played the board game, you need to rectify that pronto! Masterpiece.


Its on sale and down to 69p :thumbs:
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[Board Gaming] Digital board games thread

Post by nutter45 »

KeyserSoze wrote:Its on sale and down to 69p :thumbs:



Thanks. Instant buy :thumbs:
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