How can it be February already?! It was only 6 weeks ago that we were all frantically shopping for the last minute pressies to give our loved ones on Christmas Day, yet no sooner was that over and packed up for another year, now we are a month into 2012 and what have we done!!!????
And when I say what have we done, what I really mean it what board games have we played and if we contemplate our board game playing, have we played enough/learnt any new games?
I have been thinking about this and I can safely say, I have learnt 5 games so far this year. They include:
Takenoko - Very well designed family game and very simple and easy to play. I have enjoyed every game I have played, maybe this has something to do with the fact I have won every game I have played or it could be the great colours and simple design that is so effective that it enables the game to flow from one person to the next and develop strategies along the way too
Troyes- This was one of them games that I was looking forward to playing as I had watched and read the reviews and it looked exciting but I wasn't looking forward to the learning of the game. Some games are awkward when first learning them especially when noone at the table has a clue what we are doing. Of course, having played lots of board games, this looks like a simple dice rolling, card drawing game but what makes it different is that you can buy dice from other players which enable you to have more choices and progress a lot quicker. I really liked this game and am looking forward to playing it again so I can learn some more and come up with a strategy. I know it's one of them games that once learnt will become loved.
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries- I am a big fan of anything to do with the Ticket to Ride collection, I mentioned it in my last post and it definately won't be the last time. The nordic version of this clever game is definately a little trickier than previous ones as it is designed for 2-3 players and really makes you pay attention and feel the pressure when your friend(s) start getting more and more tickets and you are struggling to make your routes. I love that in this version, you get an extra 10 points for the most routes completed rather than the longest track. One tweak that definately gets the game moving from the get go.
Belfort - What first grabbed me about this game was the design of it. First of all, there's the hexagonal board which comes in 5 separate parts, add to this the playing pieces which comprise of gnomes, dwarves and elves and it is a very nice looking game indeed. The designers have thought of everything and try to give you are many hints as possible in order to help you out along the way. The game play is simple with the game order written on your very own game board in front of you. It is then up to you to choose to place your worker elves or buy skills. I really enjoyed it, the first game took up about 3.5 hours. One piece of advice from me is to plan lots of time to stick the little stickers on the counters. Our first time playing was on our second attempt as on the first attempt, it took us over a hour to stick all the stickers on the pieces and by then, we decided to call it a day.
Mr. Jack Pocket - This is a quick game that takes the idea from the original Mr. Jack, which I love, and puts it into a handy pocket travel version. It is a tactical game of cat and mouse, one person playing the detective and one person playing Jack the Ripper and it is done over 7 turns. There doesn't seem to be any particular advantage for either player and you can play many games and try out the different tactics as each game will only take about 10-15 minutes. I would recommend it especially for travelling.
So, there are the five new games I have learnt so far this year. I am making an effort to learn new games as I find that you can get stuck with the familiar. My gaming group and I are big fans of 7 Wonders and Alien Frontiers so we know that if we are stuck on what to play, we just revert back to the games that we know and love. We are breaking the habit slowly but surely because there are so many new games coming out all the time, it would be a shame to miss out.
And speaking of new games, there is a new 7 Wonders expansion released in March, (7 Wonders: Cities) that counts as a new game right?
So far, so good.....