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Too Many Games!!!

My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

Archive for sean johnson

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End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Between Indy Con, going to several game nights, and playing with my wife this was a big month for playing games. In fact the last time I played more games in a month than this was all the way back in August of 2013.

Game Play Statistics
Number of Recorded Plays: 112
Most Played Game: Marvel Dice Masters (13 plays)
Best New to Me Game: A Study in Emerald

New Games to Play
New Games Reviewed in March: 4
New Game Reviews in Progress: 1
Highest Rated Game this Month: Dead Man's Draw (7.5 combined rating)
New Games Left Unplayed: 11

State of the Collection
New Games Added: 10
Games Removed: 6
Total Number of Games: 197
We participated in a math trade which results in games going in and out. We did win some games at Indy Con and we bought a couple.

10x10 Challenge Update
Dice MastersCompleted!
Star Realms Completed!
Among the Stars
Suburbia
Trains
My First Carcassonne
King of Tokyo
Federation Commander
Memoir '44
Ticket to Ride
Race for the Galaxy
We slowed down even more from our initial pace at the beginning of the year. There are a couple games we did not make any progress on, but I did really advance Federation Commander this month.
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Wed Apr 1, 2015 4:26 am
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Qwixx (One Couple's Reviews)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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My wife played this game earlier in the month at IndyCon and she loved it. It is somewhat uncommon for my wife to actively want and seek a game out. We tried to find it all of the local(ish) game stores, and when they did not have it we ordered it. Now that we have both played it, does this game score big points or get locked out?

Game Overview
In this game players compete to win by scoring the most points. Players have a score sheet that has numbers 2 through 12 in four different colors. The first two colors are 2 to 12 and the second two rows are 12 to 2. On a player's turn they will roll two white dice and four colored dice. All players can take what was rolled on the white dice and cross of the appropriate number in one of the rows. So for example if a 3 is rolled on two white dice, then everyone could cross a three off. The rolling player then may add the white dice to one of the numbered dice to cross of another number.

The trick though, is a number can only be crossed of if a number further to the left has not been crossed off. This means that if a number is skipped by a player they can not go back to it. When a player has crossed off five numbers in a row, they may lock it and that die is removed. If a player does not want to cross off any numbers on their turn, they may cross off a skip box which will give negative five points.

When two dice are locked or when a player crosses off all four of their boxes the game ends. Depending how many numbers a player crosses off in a row determines how many points they score.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: Like most themeless dice rolling games I find this a bit boring. I like push your luck games a bit, but this does not have a push your luck aspect. It is really a bit of a gambling game, as there is a risk/reward ratio between skipping multiple numbers in hope of crossing off more boxes and ending the game faster. Really though, that is just hoping on future luck. The game is quick, but it is also not all that exciting.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: This is my kind of game! Rolling dice is just a fun thing to do, and I especially like how this game provides so many options. Every turn I get to compare each die and see what the best decision is. This game is also really fast to play so after it is over, I want to play again.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 6.5
While it is uncommon that my wife wants to buy a game, it is even rarer that she actively wants an expansion for a game. However, that is the case here. If Qwixx gemixxt ever gets a US release, she will be all over getting it. That means that this is a game that is here to stay for us.
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:28 am
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The Purge: Pecking Order

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. Due to that fact there are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

We traded for this game in 2009. At that point we were just getting into games and were slightly overwhelmed by how many games there were. I was not very picky in trading then, so anything that sounded remotely interesting is a game I would trade for. We have played this game a decent amount, but the last time before recently was right at three years ago. So does this game soar to new heights or does it get thrown out of the nest?

Brief Game Overview
In this game players are seeking to get the most points by having their birds get the best perch. There are perches valued 1-10 (with two 8's). All players have 13 cards valued 1-12 and a jaguar which is a bomb of sorts.

Players will go back and forth drawing cards and playing them to a perch. If the opponent already has a card there, then the defender must reveal their card and the attacker tells them if they win or lose. If the attacker has a higher number they win, if not they lose and the card is discarded. The attacking card is never revealed. If there is a tie the attacker wins unless the defender holds the one spot (the tie breaker spot).

After all players have played their cards they add up the points from the perches they hold. This is done four times, and the player with the most points at the end wins.

What We Previously Thought
I really disliked the theme, but I did like the way the game play encourages getting into the head of the opponent. My wife liked that the game was quick to play, but she struggled figuring out the best way to play.

Verdict
My Verdict: Go Either Way
My Rationale: I do think this is a decent game, and I do like this kind of two player game. Back in 2009, we did not have any kind of game like this (other than maybe Stratego). We now have many two player games, including duel games with a "get in your opponent's head" element. I also do not care much for the theme. I will play this game, but I am also OK if we did not have it.

Her Verdict: Purge
Her Rationale: I do not like this game very much. I am not sure if I have ever actually won this game, and I just can not figure it out. I think there is a reason that we have not played this game for three years, and I am fine with not playing it again.

Final Judgement
Purge


This is a two player game, and if my wife is not going to want to play it there is not much reason to keep it. This is especially true since while I think the game is decent I do not love it enough to justify taking up shelf space.
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Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:08 pm
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The Purge: Yamslam

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. Due to that fact there are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

We got this game in 2011. I was gone for a week on a trip, and while I was this gone I saw this game. I knew that this looked like the kind of game my wife would really like. I was right, and we played it several times when we first got it. However, after 2011 we only played the game one other time in 2012. Now that we have played it again, how do we roll on this game?

Brief Game Overview
In this game players roll dice to attempt to get numerical straights, doubles, or triples, or even all of the same color. After the initial roll players get two re-rolls. If the players are able to get one of the scoring categories with their roll they take a corresponding chip. Each scoring category only has four chips associated with it.

Once the last chip has been taken the game is over. There are some bonus points at the end of the game for completing certain objectives like getting one of each type of chip. Whoever gets the most points wins.

What We Previously Thought
We both thought this game was an improvement over Yahtzee. However, I found the game monotonous, and my wife enjoyed rolling dice.

Verdict
My Verdict: Purge
My Rationale: I find this game boring. I like dice, I think games that use dice in interesting ways are great. I just do not find this game terribly interesting.

Her Verict: Purge
Her Rationale: I do like these simple kind of dice rolling games. I find it fun to roll and see if I can get something like a large straight. I am OK getting rid of this because there are better games with a similar concept.

Final Judgement
Purge


We will be getting rid of this game, but really all we are doing is trading it out. My wife recently played Qwixx, another dice rolling game, and she really liked it. We just ordered it, so it s less we are purging Yamslame and more it was fired by Qwixx.
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Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:17 am
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The Purge: Sorry! Sliders

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. Due to that fact there are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

We got this game in the first half of 2009. This was when we first got into gaming and we were buying games at a pretty steady rate. I had read that this was a very good mass market game, so we picked it up when it was on sale. We played this a lot in 2009, but as we got more games the plays of this simple dexterity game started to drop off in plays. The last time we played this game was all the way back in September of 2012. So does this game slide to a spot in our collection or do we say sorry to it?

Brief Game Overview
This is a dexterity game. There are several different boards that have some slight variations, but the basic ideas is the same. By flicking or pushing rolling pawns, players attempt to get as close to the center as possible to move pawns up to the home space on their own board. Each pawn has six spaces to move to get there. The first player to get all of their pawns to the home space wins.

What We Previously Thought
My wife did not like the came because it was a dexterity game, and I was really neutral towards the game.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: There are a couple of reasons why I want to hold onto this game. First, it is unlike anything else that we have. Second, this is a perfect game to play with our son. He is at an age, where he can start playing it, and we both think it is a game he will enjoy.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: I still do not like dexterity games. I get frustrated playing this, because I either push the pawns to hard or not hard enough. Even though I personally do not like this game, I want to keep it because it s a great family game.

Final Judgement
Keep


This is one of the games that we have had for the longest, and it looks like we will continue to keep it until our kids grow out of it or destroy it.
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Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:00 am
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Dead Man's Draw

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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You all know how it is. You place an order to an online game store, at check out the total for what you wanted is in the high $80-mid$90's mark. The free shipping threshold is $100. At that point it just makes sense to get one more game to get free shipping. When we ordered Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn this was our free shipping game. I picked this game for two reasons. First, it was the perfect price to put me right at the free shipping threshold and second it really sounded like a game my wife would enjoy. So is this game a buried treasure or is it just sunk?

Game Overview
This is a push your luck set collection game. The game consist of 10 suits of cards, that have six cards each. With the exception of the mermaids, they are numbered 2-7.

On a player's turn they will flip over the top card of the deck. They can keep doing this until they decide to bank or bust. If they bank, they get all of the cards they revealed. However, if they ever flip over a card that has the same suit as one they previously revealed that turn then it is a bust and all of the cards go to the discard pile.

What really makes the game interesting is that each suit also has an associated ability with it. Some can provide bonus cards, others can take cards from opponents, and not everyone is always beneficial. In addition to that, each player has a special ability given at the beginning of the game, that often makes one of these card abilities stronger.

Players take the cards they bank and put them in piles according to suit in front of them, and the top card is always the highest. When the deck is depleted the game ends. Players then add up the value of their highest card per suit and the highest score wins the game.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: This is a fun and light push your luck game. Most often push your luck games are dice based, so I really appreciate that this one is card based and works so well. This also feels like a good "next step game". The special abilities feel daunting at first, but after one play they begin to click, so this is a game that would be an easy transition after gateway games for new gamers. We do not have many games that fit that transitional step so well. My only real complaint with the game are the player abilities. It really feels like some of them are dramatically better than the others. For instance there is one that allows the player to pick a player and get all of the cards from their turn if they busted. In a 2 player game that is flat out broken. We have experimented playing without special abilities, and I think we like the game better that way.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: This really is my kind of game. I love push your luck games. Every turn is exciting, and offers fun decisions of pushing or stopping. This game is extremely quick, so it often leaves me wanting to play again. I do agree with comments about balance issues with the special powers though.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 7.5
While playing this game, my wife and talked about how we do not play enough filler games. Many of the games we have not played for 2+ years fall in that category. We talked about why that is, and wondered why we do not. This is a solid filler type game, and I think for the foreseeable future when we grab a game to play we will be grabbing this as well to play before or afterwards.
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Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:04 am
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The Purge: Guild of Thieves

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. Due to that fact there are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

We actually got to help with the blind test of this game when it was being created. This is because we are privileged enough to know the designer. We enjoyed the game enough to go ahead and order the game when it was ready. Despite that the last time we played this game was November 20th, 2012. Did this game just get lost on the shelves for a couple of years or are we leaving it behind?

Brief Game Overview
This is a deck building game with a spatial component. The game is played on a grid of cards and each player has three pieces that they put on a card.

On a player's turn they play a card to move one of their pieces. The player will then get the card they move off of. Each card has a specific way it allows pieces to move and a point value. As cards are removed from the grid, gaps will develop and limits a player's options until they can not move their pieces. Once all players are out of valid moves, they count up the points of the cards they have collected and whoever has the most points wins.

What We Previously Thought
We both liked this game. I thought the game was clever and an unique take on deck building. My wife like how quick and easy it was. we both thought it had a "play one more game" quality to it.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: This game really is unlike anything else we have. This is very much in the filler category, and quite honestly we have very few of those (or at least ones that we would consider fillers). I still think this is a very unique take on deck building. Even though this game is now three years old, there is still nothing else out there like it.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: This is a very clever little game. It really does feel like a hidden gem that just gets lost on our shelves. I am not sure why it gets passed up and lost, but it is still a good game.

Final Judgement
Keep


I am fairly confident, even if we did not know the designer this is a game we would be keeping. It is true that this game is a victim of having too many games, and it is regrettable that so much time has passed since we last played it. Despite that, this game earns its spot on our shelf by its own merits.
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Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:21 am
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Expanding on Expansions: Dungeons and Dragons Dice Masters

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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If you have been following along here lately, you have probably grasped that we both (and me especially)really like Dice Masters. Around a year ago, when Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Mencame out we ended up getting two gravity feeds, and we did the same thing with Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men. Our original plan was to stick with superheroes. We completely set out Yu-Gi-Oh! Dice Masters and we were planning to set this set as well. However, I watched the Dice Tower video on this set, and it changed my mind. I really liked the abilities I was seeing on the cards as well as the artwork and design. Even though my wife had some SERIOUS reservations, I went ahead and pre-ordered the starter set and gravity feed. We have opened everything and played a few games with this set. So did this game roll a 20 or fail with a 1?

What This Expansion Adds
I realize that technically this is not an expansion in the traditional sense. It is a stand alone game that just happens to integrate with other stand alone games of the same system. However, for all intents and purposes this is an expansion of a system we are already invested in. Clearly this adds new cards and dice. Since this is a new IP for dice masters everything is unique for this setting. Every unit card in this game is either a monster or an adventurer. Adventurers are cards that have one of the new mechanics introduced in this game. Every time an adventurer knocks out a monster while attacking, they gain an experience and each experience provides +1A/+1D. This a neat and powerful ability, but the set does provide ways to mitigate it. The set also introduces equipment which are dice that can be equipped to other fielded dice to boost stats and abilities. It is kind of a let down that the set comes with only two pieces of equipment. Another new mechanic is the breath weapon that the dragons have. This is a powerful ability that allows for direct damage to players and characters at the expense of damage when attacking. I do not know if the Yugioh set had keywords for abilities, but this set does include those and I know that the upcoming DC Comics Dice Masters: Justice League will as well.

Integrating with Other Dice Masters Set
While I really enjoy this game, I am not a super player who can see amazing combos. I am sure over the course of the next couple of months as the meta evolves, there will combos that are discovered and exploited. That being said, here are a few of the neat ways that I noticed that this set can interact with the other sets to create some powerful combos.
1 The Red Dragon has a global ability that for a lightening bolt makes the next die bought cost two less. This can be comboed with the Professor X global ability from Uncanny X-Men (which allows for a quick ramp up) to potentially buy 7 cost dice on turn 2.

2 The Uncommon Elf Wizard can combo with the uncommon Dr. Strange. When the Elf Wizard blocks, she moves an action die from the used pile to the prep area. This keeps Dr. Strange well powered because each time the player uses an action die and he is active two damage is dealt to the opponent.

3 I could be wrong but I think one of the Human Paladin cards will see a lot of tournament play. When he is active all of a player's dice are protected from global abilities. Within the context of this set that is just OK. It feels like there are less global abilities present in this set. However, when mixed with everything there are big ramifications. Direct damage and use of global abilities are huge in OP events, and this one guy shuts down part of that equation.

4 The Stirge uncommon says that he is only blockable by adventurers. This might be a bit of a gamble if the opponent fields and adventurer, but if not this little monster is essentially unblockable by superheroes. When combined with global abilities that can boost attack, the attack can mount up quick.

5 Stink Cloud is a two cost basic action does 1 damage to everything. A few cards from Avengers vs. X-Men had abilities that triggered when they took damage. Nova for instance did direct damage to the opponent and Hulk did damage to every other character.

6 The Dimensional Door is a global action that I am looking forward to using. The Marvel sets have several heavy hitters and ways to pump up attack, but the biggest guy can be blocked by a lowly sidekick. This action makes a target unit unblockable, so now those big hits can not be stopped.

Worth Getting the Expansion
My Answer: Yes (mostly)
I think for the most part this set is absolutely worth getting. For the hardcore dice masters fans, this is new dice, new cards, and even more possibilities. The thematic integration is strong and the cards look good. They made the smart choice of making everything generic. That way when sets are mixed, Spiderman is night fighting an obscure character from a Neverwinter book he is taking down a Blue Dragon or an Owlbear. For those who have held off of Dice Masters because of the collectible nature, this set is for you. I feel like this set is much more self contained than the marvel sets. The Adventurers vs. Monsters dynamic works well. There are cards that play off each other well. The gravity feed distribution is also a lot better. I have read multiple reports and our experience is similar. Out of one box we got 2 super rares, 20 unique rares and everything else. While this is a handful of rares short of a complete set. I do not feel the need to buy a second gravity feed like I did with the previous sets. Also, while I like superheroes the theme in this works well. I do not know why, but this theme really feels to fit the game play and style of the game much better. Using dragons and dwarves to fight each other seems to work better than patchwork of various super heroes and villains going against a different patchwork team. The only person who I would not recommend this set to are people who find the super heroes are the primary draw to the game.

Her Answer: Whatever
Her Thoughts: I am not sure adding this set is worth the cost. I like that it is kind of neat that there are different themes, but I do not care much for fantasy. I do not know a lot about superheroes, but I prefer having a team of heroes I kind of know as opposed to having "Carrion Crawler" and "kobolds". That being said, the cards are nice. I have really enjoyed the games we have played with this set. I was feeling a bit burned out on dice masters, but playing with this set reminded me how much fun this game is.

Final Thoughts
This was a bit of an impulse buy for me, but overall I am satisfied with it. While my wife does like having this set, she also would have been just as happy not having it. I have not messed with it yet, but I am looking forward to crossing sets and having some epic Avengers vs. Mindflayers battles.
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Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:26 am
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The Purge: Pandemic

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. Due to that fact there are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

Pandemic was one of our first games we got it in February of 2009, because it was a hot game on BGG at the time and was highly recommended for gaming couples. We have actually played it a lot. I have over 30 recorded plays of Pandemic. However, before our most recent one the last time we played the game together was nearly three years ago. So have we been re-infected with the Pandemic bug or has the bug burnt itself out?

Brief Game Overview
This is a co-op game where players are attempting to find the cure for four different diseases. They will take actions on their turn to remove disease cubes from the board to keep the infection under control. Once five cards of the same color are collected by a player and they make it to a research center a disease can be cured.

Periodically, epidemic cards come out and these are always bad. It makes disease spread quicker and more likely to reinfect the same places. If players manage to cure the diseases they win. If too many disease cubes are placed, there are too many outbreaks, or the deck of cards run out then they lose.

What We Previously Thought
We both said that we liked the tension that the game had and we liked working together, but I did mention I do not care for co-ops games that much.

Verdict
My Verdict: Purge
My Rationale: I have written about it before, but I just do not like co-op games. Losing to a game system is always more annoying than losing to a player. Pandemic was one of our first games, so I probably like it a bit more than most co-op games. I am fine with having a co-op game on hand for the times when playing one makes the most sense (usually with groups of skeptical non-gamers), but I only want one game of this type. My preference is probably for Kings of Israel because of the theme. I suppose you could say that in this case we are applying the infamous Jones theory and Pandemic is the one that is out.

Her Verdict: Purge
Her Rationale: I love the idea of co-op games, I just do not have any fun playing them. For me the appeal of this game is all nostalgia. We have played it, we have lost, and we have won on every difficulty and with the Pandemic: On the Brink expansion. I think this game is kind of played out for me, and I am OK not playing it again.

Final Judgement
Purge

It is kind of surprising that we both feel this way about the game. In 2009 when I made my first Favorite game list (At that point I probably had only played 75 games or so), this was #7. My wife also would have counted this as a favorite around five years ago. However, as we have stuck with this hobby we have learned more about the games we like and the game we do not like. Co-ops are not our thing, and we are both OK with passing this game on to someone else.
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Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:31 am
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Kings of Israel (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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We played this game at IndyCon because it was a game that I really wanted to play because of its biblical theme. This just happened to also be a "play to win" game, so because we played it once we got to put our names in to have a chance to win it. As luck would have it, my wife had her name drawn and we won the game. We have played the game a few times now, so is this game a blessing or does it deserve fire and brimstone?

Game Overview
This is a cooperative game where players take the role of prophets in Israel. The goal of the game is to turn the people back to God by building altars. The number of required altars is determined by the number of players.

Each turn follows a certain progression. First, a blessing or sin and punishment card is drawn depending on who the current king is. Then sin cubes are added to the board equal to the number of players plus one. If a third sin cube is ever added to a location, an idol is added. If a sin cube is added to an idol location, it causes sin cubes to spread to all adjacent locations.

Next, players take their turn in player order. On a player's turn they get four actions. A player can move, give cards to another player in the same location, remove a sin cube, and draw a resource card. For two actions a player can remove an idol. There are a couple of more specialized actions as well. A player can spend a gold, stone, and wood resource to build an altar. If at an altar location a player can spend a cattle and grain resource to make a sacrifice. This will clear all of the sin cubes and idols at that location, as well as one cube from each adjacent location.

After all players have taken four actions, the start player moves and the turn track moves to the next king in progression. If the players reach "Israel Destroyed", ever have to place a sin cube and are unable to do so, or place an idol and are unable to do so they lose.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (it's OK)
My Thoughts: So a half a point to a full point of my rating is due strictly to the theme. Game play wise this feels A LOT like Pandemic. It uses some different mechanics, but the similarities in feel between the two games can not be understated. Everyone I have played it with has quickly referred to the game as "bible Pandemic". If you are a fan of co-op games, then this will be familiar territory and you will probably like this game for all of the reasons you like co-op games. If you are like me and not a fan of co-op games, then you will probably not like this game for all of the reasons you do not like co-op games. That being said, the huge appeal to me is the theme because it captures it well. In a lot of ways this is reminiscent of wargame CDG (like Twilight Struggle). Events might not happen in the correct chronological order, but the historical flavor is there. This is a Bible game that captures the theme AND delivers competent game play. So in that regard it is a bit like finding the holy grail.

Her Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: I am not sure what to think about this game. I appreciate the themeing, but at the same time I am really kind of done and over co-op games. For me playing a co-op game like this one is like trying to balancing too many dishes. If I actually succeed in setting them down I just feel lucky, but if I more likely drop them I feel like I messed up. That is how it is with co-ops. If I win, I feel like luck was the deciding factor, but losing feels like I am at fault and that just is not fun for me.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 6
Neither one of us are big co-op fans, but we both feel like it is not a bad idea to have one kind of traditional co-op on hand. With non-gamers especially pulling out a co-op can be a good way to go. I think that this will probably be the token co-op game we hold on to mostly because of the theme.
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Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:03 am
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