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  • What are you playing? Board game edition!

    We've have a weekly board game night for years and built up a solid wall of random games because the default Christmas/birthday present became buying people board games. I miss being in person drinking beers and all that but if anything it's been more consistent during covid once we got a humble bundle that had a bunch of the digital versions of the games we regularly played. For whatever reason most of the digital versions of these games are buggy as hell but some are way better than others. Some of the more complicated games are waaaay easier to play in video game form where it is clear what you can or can't do rather than us flipping through the rule book for an hour arguing about how we interpret the way it's written.

    Scythe - This is our classic go to and the version on Steam works pretty well. It feels complicated initially but once you get used to the flow of a turn it's not that hard. Honestly I'm way better at this game when the game is keeping track of everything for me because in person I always miss the fucking recruitment bonuses.

    Terraforming Mars - The last few months we've played this almost exclusively because you can play it on pretty much anything, even your phone if you feel like scrolling around a lot. This one took me a while to understand when we used to play the physical version but like Scythe, it's way easier to learn in video game form. The game ends when there are enough oceans, o2, and temperature to fill up the three meters and you want to have the highest score when that happens. There's no combat but there's a huge variety of ways to approach it. It can swing wildly in the later turns when people who have focused on resource generation finally start spending, or they might get fucked if the people who got a lot of points in the early game decide to rush the end conditions. The main drawback to this game is depending on which rule set you choose they can be loooong. If you play with 5 people, corporate era rules, with the draft on, one game can easily run 2 and a half hours. When starting out I recommend playing the basic rules without the draft because you're not going to know when or why you'd play most of these cards until you play a few games anyway.

    Love Letter - This is a super simple, quick card game we would usually play while waiting for people to arrive. There are eight types of cards representing various types of royalty and each one has a specific effect when played. You want to be the one holding onto the highest card at the end of the game or eliminate the other players. The Steam version for this works great and is a nice change if people have less time or you don't feel like doing a 3 hour Terraforming marathon.

    Small World - This was my favorite game that we played in person. You pick from a rotating selection of races randomly combined with other cards and conquer a map until you go in decline and pick another race. It's another game with wild swings where people will get some wildly overpowered combo and wipe out a big chunk of the map, everyone gangs up on them, and then someone else becomes too powerful and you continue the cycle. It's awesome and the games usually only run a half an hour or so depending on how many people you have. The biggest problem with this game is the Steam version is completely unplayable. It was fine for years but sometime around August they pushed an update that completely broke it where it wont register moves other people are making and I get stuck and have to quit and rejoin the game every turn. It just doesn't work and it makes me really sad, the lobbies used to have like 10 or so randos in it but now its completely empty.

    Mysterium - If you've ever played Dixit this is kind of like a mix between that and Clue. It's a cooperative game where one person is a ghost trying to guide the other players with "visions" represented by cards with random paintings and trippy nonsense on them to point players to the people, weapon, and location they need to figure out. This is a great game to play with people you know really well. It's both hilarious and frustrating being the ghost and then listening to your dumbass players take the absolutely worst possible interpretations of why you gave them each card and what they mean. A lot of lively postgame discussions about what the ghost was actually trying to tell you. The Steam version of this is great and has a nice tutorial and I think it even has a campaign mode.

    Rising Sun - no online version of this but I love this game and it's the first one I want to play again if we ever get out of the pandemic. It also has some incredible miniatures you can paint if you're into that.
  • Expanse Season 5 (Show only spoilers!)

    The finale was an incredible hour of TV. I thought they pulled their punch a little bit with Naomi making it out of that but with what happens with Alex it was still a brutal outcome. The ending with Amos' overly dramatic line of questioning and then bringing out Clarissa got a solid lol from me. 

    Is what happened with Alex the same as what happens in the books? My first thought with him dying in basically a freeze frame type shot with no acting needed was this was how they resolved the whole Cas Anvar situation if they had already finished shooting before that went public.
  • What are you playing?

    I was just listening to the soundtrack yesterday! LOVE that game

    This was bouncing around in my head for like 2 solid months after playing that

  • What are you playing?

    asmallcat said:
    If you have game pass, give Donut County a play. I finished it in one sitting (2 hours maybe) and it's a lot of fun. I won't go any further than that, and I don't think it would be worth more than like $5 if I had to buy it, but it's a great way to spend a couple hours. 

    This game is great for kids/to play with your kids too
  • Proud Boys

    Alkaid13 said:
    Sir, I am a proud MAN, thank you.
    Yeah actually I’ve always wondered why they went with Proud Boys. I mean never let it be said dumbass racist Neo-fascists have the best naming schemes, but Proud Boys is really the thing they settled on?

    They're named after a song from Aladdin I believe. The far right loves to couch extremist rhetoric in soft sounding tones and imagery so at first glance they don't seem dangerous. It's all plausible deniability, like "we're just a fun social and drinking club" which helps both recruitment because it isn't as scary and to obfuscate what they're actually doing. Like you see all the Pepe the frog shit and a lot of the far right including Qanon people refer to each other as "fren" and "frens" as a baby talk way of saying friend. People instinctively know things like "Atomwaffen" or whatever are probably militant and bad. Imagine if the Proud Boys were called some scary Nordic or German sounding name, the national conversation including the president mentioning them specifically would have been very different.

    It's worth remembering the way people get recruited into something like this. It's (mostly) not a bunch of already radicalized people who were just lying around waiting to pick up guns, they get introduced with much softer rhetoric and are slowly introduced to extremist bullshit. It's part of why memes are such an effective tool for them.