The Dyslexic Gamer

A blog about Euro’s with wonderful art and components

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Adding expansions yes or no?

Caroline Black
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I have a large number of expansions in my board game collection but recently I have been a bit more selective.

I have always keep up to date with my Carcassonne collection, adding the mini expansions as they come out. I recently bought the 2021 promo tile and a new mini expansion Carcassonne: The Signposts. Some of the Carcassonne mini expansion are absolute rubbish but I like to keep my collection complete.

Board Game: Carcassonne: 20th Anniversary Edition


I have also ordered the new expansion for Tapestry Tapestry: Arts & Architecture which looks like it has some cool new buildings.

Board Game: Tapestry: Arts & Architecture


I have been toying with the idea of getting the expansion for Underwater Cities as I would like the double sided player boards.

Board Game: Underwater Cities: New Discoveries


In the main I have a mixed result with expansions. They don’t often add that much. But if you really like a game it is temping to try and get all the content. But then you run into problems storing the extra content.

I really like Everdell but so far have only got Everdell: Bellfaire. I quite like this due to the variability of set up and special new event cards. I have backed the last two expansions Everdell: Mistwood and Everdell: Newleaf.

Board Game: Everdell: Bellfaire


We have really enjoyed playing with the new expansion for Fantasy Realms Fantasy Realms: The Cursed Hoard. This adds so many new options. Despite only picking up Fantasy Realms recently we have played this to death with over thirty plays since I acquired it.
Board Game: Fantasy Realms: The Cursed Hoard

I have both the expansion for Wingspan but recently we have gone back to playing just the base game. Each time a new one comes out I say I won’t get it but end up changing my mind. I bought Wingspan: European Expansion as I wanted the British birds. I also liked the end game bonuses and there seemed to be more cards that refreshed the bird display. I do like nectar but not the area majority bonus in Wingspan: Oceania Expansion. I really like the end game yellow cards but actually I am not as sold on the new player boards as other players.

Board Game: Wingspan: Oceania Expansion


Recently I have added the 5 and 6 player expansion The Isle of Cats: Late Arrivals for Isle of Cats. It does make it difficult because you have to remember to take them out when you play at lower player counts. I do however, like the smaller tiles as it gives you more flexibility.

Board Game: The Isle of Cats: Late Arrivals


I have the PARKS: Nightfall Expansion. I really like the new parks and year tiles but am not sold that much on the camping mechanic.

Board Game: PARKS: Nightfall Expansion


It can be quite hard to get expansions if a game has been out for a while. For older games I don’t even bother. It’s more difficult to tell if an expansion is worth getting as there are often no reviews.

My favourite expansion and the one I feel integrates with the base game best is Obsession: Upstairs, Downstairs. Really adds to the game play.

From gallery of CarolineBlack
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Sun Dec 5, 2021 10:09 am
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Room to manoeuvre.

Caroline Black
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I really like games that give you room to manoeuvre. I think it really adds to the decision making if you can amend something rather than it’s just a straight yes or no. The manipulation will normally cost you a turn or resources.

By amending I mean like in The Castles of Burgundy when you can use a worker to amend the dice result. Sure you wouldn’t do this every turn but if you can pull off a nice move it’s great to have the option.

Other dice games have a similar feature. In Grand Austria Hotel you can enhance the dice result by paying a coin but you can also take a six, again paying a coin.

Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel


Same with Rajas of the Ganges which was Karma you can use to flip a dice. But I also really like the bonuses on the river which sometimes allow for some great combos. What makes this game is the bonuses on the score tracks and you home board.

Board Game: Rajas of the Ganges


Probably my favourite game that does this is Lorenzo il Magnifico. I like how you can use workers to increase the power of your family members. You can also use three coins to take an action in a column that another player has used.

If you play the advanced rules then you options are even more flexible because you can burn a leader card to get extra workers or coins. However, the leader can give you vulnerable benefits if you can fulfil them so there is always an opportunity cost.

Board Game: Lorenzo il Magnifico


La Granja has a similar mechanism whereby you can burn a trade commodity to play a card or get resources or money. It’s just gives flexibility. I don’t like to feel too restrained in games.

Board Game: La Granja


Stone Garden and Maori allows you to store a tile until you want to use it. Again I really like this. It’s such a cool mechanic I wish other games would adopt.

Board Game: Stone Garden


Sure I like to feel somewhat restrained by a game but having a little space to manoeuvre is so nice. It’s a delicate balance. I think that’s one of the reasons I like time track games. In Glen More you can jump ahead to get that tile that really fits in with your strategy. Sure by doing so you will be giving lots of tiles to your opponents but that doesn’t matter too much as there is a penalty for building bigger villages.

Board Game: Glen More


As you play more and more games and begin to hone your taste you learn to work out what you like in games. But it is really hard to identify games from reviews which have these subtle nuances.
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Fri Dec 3, 2021 4:07 am
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Anniversary and deluxe editions

Caroline Black
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It’s so nice when a well loved game has an anniversary edition or deluxe version issued. I think if it’s a game you really like you always have a view of what should be included.

The Castles of Burgundy included all the previously issued expansions and also revamped the art. They did issue a double sided board (why do so many board games not take advantage of both sides?) but the rest of the components were largely unchanged. There was no metal silverlings or wooden workers. I decided to pass as I had most of the expansions anyway.

Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy


I finally got Carcassonne: 20th Anniversary Edition which had been on preorder for over six months. I really like the art work. Its much more detailed than the original and the tiles have high gloss paint which really lift them. The tiles include references to the other Carcassonne spin offs like the gold prospectors from Carcassonne: Gold Rush and the mammoths from Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

I like the double river source tile. It comes with a new expansion and meeple stickers. I would have much preferred screen printed meeples and one of the classic expansions to have been included.

Board Game: Carcassonne: 20th Anniversary Edition


Actually in terms of special editions I prefer the Carcassonne: Winter Edition

Stone Age: Anniversary has a double sided board with a Winter scene on the back. It also comes with nice screen printed meeples and new huts and cards.

Board Game: Stone Age: Anniversary


I also recently acquired Ticket to Ride: Europe – 15th Anniversary which has more detailed trains and a bigger board with slightly different artwork. It also includes the Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912 and Ticket to Ride: Orient Express.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


Often anniversary and deluxe editions are a bit of a money grab. I would suspect that many of them are bought by fans of the game who already own the base edition.

Often although they have some “bling” they are not substantially different to the base edition. I own Everdell: Collector's Edition and whist the extras are nice to have this retails for more than double the base game.

Board Game: Everdell: Collector's Edition


One of the nicer deluxe editions which has nice metal coins and much better artwork.

Board Game: Puerto Rico


Collectors editions often sell out quickly and command a premium on resale. I guess if you want to own a favourite game, you want to own the very best version you can. Often you can acquire the deluxe bits separately. You can for example get the coins and Everdell: Extra! Extra! for Everdell separately.

I really like the premium edition of Cat Lady. The food and other wooden items really add to my playing pleasure. I do not like the premium tin though. I would have preferred a nice strong box.

Board Game: Cat Lady: Premium Edition


I don’t like some deluxe components. I was never enamoured with the deluxe components for Honey Buzz actually preferring the base components for the pollen.

Board Game: Honey Buzz


I find the miniatures in Tokaido (I have the Tokaido: Collector's Accessory Pack) to not be functional without the bigger board. Although actually they are some of my favourite miniatures as they are so detailed.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


I have the new deluxe version of Glen More. But actually whilst I love the thicker tiles and improved art it feels a bit bloated. I don’t like it if the muck about with the original too much.

Board Game: Glen More II: Chronicles


I am really looking forward to La Granja: Deluxe Master Set.
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Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:23 pm
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Just the two of us.

Caroline Black
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I rarely play games two player games. I occasionally play with just my daughter. Sometimes we play Keyflower, The Isle of Cats or Everdell. But mainly I play at higher player counts.

Board Game: Everdell


As I play at a board games club we tend to play at least four, if not five. But there are real advantages of playing a lower player counts. For starters game take much less time to play. Downtime between turns is reduced. It feels more interactive, because you are able to concentrate on the other players strategy.

But on the negative side it can make it feel more personal. I don’t like doing moves that take the other person down. Particularly if the other person is a close friend or family.

Many games have a slightly different set up at two player. Also often the board is tighter, with less options.

Recently I’ve been playing a lot with just one other person. I try to select games that I think will work well at just two player. I also got to play Canopy which is the one of the few two player games I own.

Board Game: Canopy


I love the artwork in this game and I really enjoyed it, although part of that was the banter with the other person. In this game you peak at a pile of cards and decide whether to take them. If you don’t you move onto the next pile, adding a card to the forgone pile. If you don’t take the final third pile, you can just take one card. Soon you both get to know the piles and what threat cards there are in them. Sometimes you don’t even bother looking at the pile, knowing no matter what card has been added, you still don’t want it.

I like watching the other persons face for their reaction when they look at the pile.

Another two player game I own is Fjords. Recently reimplemented as a four player game on Kickstarter, I have the original edition. I love the simple artwork. This is a sharp little tile laying game. It reminds me a bit of Hey, That's My Fish!.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


The problem with playing games at a board game cafe is that they only have a limited selection. Lets face it, there are quite a few people on BGG that probably have a better library than most board game cafes.

I’ve been struggling to identify which games work well at two player.

I can’t for example think that PARKS plays well at two player and I have been avoiding auction type games like Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

Board Game: PARKS


I recently got Furnace to the table and that has a neat little variant at two player. It introduces a dummy player. As indeed do many games, to tighten them up a lower player counts.

Board Game: Furnace


For example Fresco, which again I have played with my daughter. I like that you take it in turns to control the dummy player. I must take this to board game club.

Board Game: Fresco


I really enjoy Agricola at two player. But my friend less so. Although I don’t know why. He is a terrible wood hogger. I know if I play with him I am not going to be building too many fences. I love the way you can almost get in someone’s head playing two player. One of my all time favourite board game experiences was playing Agricola two player in Birmingham.

Fields of Arle is a wonderful two player game, that has a sort of epic feel to it that’s often missing in two player games. Other games we have explored included Stone Age, Carcassonne and Keyflower.

Abstract strategy games like Sagrada and Tiny Towns work well at two.

Board Game: Tiny Towns


During lockdown I played a lot with a friend on line. We were mainly using Yucata as a way of exploring new games. We would take it in turns to teach each other new games. Some games like Underwater Cities are much quicker a two player. We discovered the wonderful Lorenzo il Magnifico and Grand Austria Hotel. I love both of these although sadly own neither. Hopefully, both being top one hundred games, there will be reprints of both coming soon.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


I really like Istanbul two player and Fantasy Realms.
When I went to visit my daughter at Uni and take her out for lunch she insisted that I bring it.

So what are your favourite two player games? What should we explore next.
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Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:15 am
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Regrets? …I’ve had a few.

Caroline Black
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Are there any games you regret buying or backing on Kickstarter? Games you regret selling?

I backed Prêt-à-Porter on Kickstarter. It was an established game and I like economic games and the theme appealed. I have never played it. I have read the instructions a couple of times and watched a run though. I have even played a few turns but I am just not enthusiastic enough to bother to play it. There has always been something on my shelf of shame that’s more interest. The totally uninspiring artwork doesn’t help. Wish I had backed Rococo: Deluxe Edition instead.

Board Game: Prêt-à-Porter


I did my research on Snowdonia: Deluxe Master Set. I bought a used copy of Snowdonia and played it a couple of times before backing. But really I don’t like the game enough to explore all the different scenarios so it was a waste really. I should have kept my original used copy.

I think nearly always when you make a mistake it’s about not doing enough research. Mercado de Lisboa was a mistake for me. It just seems to have no replay value. I had such high hopes for this, as it seems every reviewer I liked, liked it.

Board Game: Mercado de Lisboa


One thing I have learned is don’t take it for granted that just because you like one game from a designer you will like another.

I’ve made mistakes the other way round as well selling games I later regret. Two stand out. Agricola and Grand Austria Hotel. I have actually re-purchased Agricola and I would re-purchase Grand Austria hotel only it’s not available anywhere. I have resigned myself that I will only play this on line or at board game cafes.

Actually I’ve been surprised that I seem to be able to remember the rules well enough to feel able to still play games I sold a while ago. I recently played Sagrada, a game my daughter has often castigated me for selling and I realised, I did made the right choice selling it.

Board Game: Sagrada


I am drawn to abstract strategy games, I guess because they often have wonderful art and components, only the tire of them quickly. Other examples include Tiny Towns and Medina.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


I did try a dexterity game Tokyo Highway once. Again it bit the dust pretty quickly, not least because I bought the four player version by mistake. Again I didn’t do my research well enough.

Board Game: Tokyo Highway


It’s important to me that I buy the right version. I bought the wrong edition of Crows buying Tyler Sigman's Crows by mistake which has much darker artwork.

Board Game: Tyler Sigman's Crows


The biggest regrets I often have are around price. Patience is the key to buying games economically and I am not patient enough. I often see games later for substantially less than I payed.

Kickstarters are easy to make mistakes about. It’s so long until you get the game, I’ve often forgotten what it was that attracted me to the game in the first place. This happened with Trekking the World. I know it was partly the theme and obviously the wonderful art but net work building games and point to point movement never really work for me.

Ticket to Ride: Europe was the second game I ever bought, but I sold it pretty quickly. I just don’t see why people live this game so much. My daughter loves it, so I re-bought the Ticket to Ride: Europe – 15th Anniversary edition recently.

From gallery of CarolineBlack
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Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:13 am
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My bid is….

Caroline Black
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I really like auction games and I have quite a few. I am not a great one for highly interactive games but bidding always adds just the right amount of interaction. I also like games where you set a bid like Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King or Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

In Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King as well as having to set a price for your two tiles you also have to burn a tile. This will often be a tile that really helps one of your opponents. But the bit I really like is that if you make your price too high, you have to buy the tile. This is a really neat mechanism and stops players deciding on really high prices.

Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King


Castles of Mad King Ludwig has one turn each round when you are the master builder. It this turn which will earn you money for the rest of the round, so you have to set your prices for each room carefully.

I love the decision making around this, deciding the prices based on the common objectives and what other players are building. One of the first games I bought, it has been consistently in my top ten.

My most recent game Furnace has a really slick bidding system. It uses bidding chips and restricts you from bidding the same value as an opponent or on the same building twice. I like the way there is always at least one building you will get. In fact it’s possible to get buildings you don’t really want. I like the consolation prize of getting the resources or actions on the top of the card.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


Modern Art is so brilliantly simple and clever. It’s a really good game for interaction and banter. I am lucky enough to have the DiceTree Games edition with the gavel and easel which really adds to the immersion in the game. So much fun although I always lose as I am not cut throat enough.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


In Keyflower use your workers to bid on hexes for each season. Once a hex has been bid on by a particular colour of meeple, subsequent bids have to be on the same colour. So you need to take into account what colour meeples you think your opponents have. Whilst their meeples are hidden behind their screen it’s useful to try and remember what colours they picked in subsequent rounds. The bidding can get quite fierce, especially in the last round. In a way it’s similar to Furnace in that you can use the hexes as well before they are sold. But you will lose your meeple if you do this and some one else wins the hex.

Board Game: Keyflower


Stockpile has been a recent find. It has a very good system that provides you with limited information as to what is going to happen to the stocks in each company. You then have to buy stocks and/or sell them. I really like this game and it’s easy to teach and no too long. It makes an excellent board game club game.

Board Game: Stockpile


Tinners' Trail is a recently reimplemented game that also features auctions for mines. It has an added element in that often you do not know how much tin and cooper the mine will produce. There is the opportunity to take a peek before bidding. I always seem to get stuck with the rubbish mines.

Board Game: Tinners' Trail
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Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:18 pm
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Colonialism and board games

Caroline Black
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I grew up in Singapore a former British colony. I had an extremely happy childhood growing up on the lush island. As part of the school curriculum we were taught about the history of Singapore as a trading post and it’s surrender during the Second World war. I have always loved the colonial architecture.

I have therefore always been interesting in the board game Singapore and recently bought it. This was designed by Peer Sylvester and I recently asked him some questions about the game.

Board Game: Singapore


I noticed you have lived in Bangkok. Have you ever been to Singapore?
Yes, twice on holidays. In fact, visiting the museum of Singaporean history in Singapore inspired me to make this game

Where did the inspiration come from on the building tiles? Are any of them real buildings in Singapore?

The harbour. Most of the tiles are just contemporary buildings from that time. When Raffles did not oversee everything, the triads were quite strong, so a lot of the illegal buildings are inspired by real events happening back then (especially the opium trade was a problem)

Do you intend to revisit this game?
To be honest - I dont know. I feel like there is some good stuff in there , but I also feels it could have been developed better and more carefully. The original development was a bit rushed and I think it shows. There are some things I would change and I do have some notes. That being said, Im not sure I still feel comfortable with the theme. I dont really want to design anything related to colonialism, so if I would revisit it, I probably would change the setting. I also think that now there are much more games with similiar mechanics, i.e. using a worker to visit buildings, so Im not sure there would be a huge demand for it. I probably would need to change the focus of the game a bit.

Board Game: Singapore


I was very sad to hear that if the game was ever reimplemented that they would change the location. This also happened with Stefan Feld’s Macao (another game I’ve wanted for a long time) I can understand the concerns players have about colonialism as a theme. Of course, it’s fine for me, my ancestors were not the victims.

Board Game: Macao


I don’t think board games should glamorise or trivialise colonialism. After all it is quite clear that the East India company exploited the natural resources and indigenous people in their trading posts.

It is the role of historians to reinterpret past events and our view of history will change over time. What might have been acceptable ten years ago might not be now.

Board Game: Puerto Rico


But I do think it’s a shame if these kind of themes were cleansed from board games completely. Although to date they may have been too common.

I don’t want all board game themes to be purely made up, like fantasy or set in a more acceptable settings like space. I love games set in real places. Puerto Rico is a really clever game. Yes I definitely think the “colonists” coming on the boats should not be brown. In the most recent edition of John Company it says “is a frank portrait of an institution that was as dysfunctional as it was influential“ so it is not trying sugar soap the East India Company’s role in history.

Board Game: John Company


Obsession it could be argued features the exploitation of servants in British county houses. But I still really enjoy the theme of Obsession.

I do not want incipid themes. Having a proper historical setting guides the artwork and the mechanics of a game. It is no coincidence that the expanded servants have to be rested between turns in Obsession or that rich American heiresses score negative prestige. If a theme is done right it can help educate players.

Board Game: Obsession


I really didn’t think the cartoony artwork of Santa Maria really was appropriate. Even though the designer went to great lengths to explain the setting of the game in the rule book, I was still uncomfortable with the theme even though I really like the gameplay. I even think the theme of my beloved Keyflower is a bit dodgy. Why don’t my workers come back when they work in another village?

Board Game: Santa Maria


While I was in Singapore last time I came across a delightful game, The Singaporean Dream that really captures part of the essence of Singapore. I love how it gently pokes fun at some aspects of the Singapore culture.
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Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:31 pm
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Scoring points

Caroline Black
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I have played my first game of Flourish with comes with handy points meters. You can get quite high scores in this game, so they are useful. But I assembled them wrong, not noticing you had to have the wheels in a certain order. It took me ages to reassemble then and I completely ruined my nails in the process. The things we do for board games!

From gallery of CarolineBlack


Games always feel a bit mathy if you can score loads of points. Fantasy Realms is a nightmare. It takes almost the same amount of time to score than to play. No wonder someone’s invented an app.

It can be quite mathy if you need to convert resources to money or points. Underwater Cities feels like this. It’s a lot of work to work out the scores. Having played this mainly on line I didn’t really appreciate this until recently.

Board Game: Underwater Cities


Sometimes it quite nice to play a game with a simple win condition like Istanbul. First to get five rubies. Simples! But it makes it feel like a race.

Board Game: Istanbul


At the Gates of Loyang is a very tight game which usually comes down to just one point between players. You have to buy victory points and they get more and more expensive the further you travel up your path of prosperity.

Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang


Often resources are not worth anything at the end of the game. Cacao is like this.

The game that annoys me the most is Carcassonne which has a score board that goes up to fifty. But you can get many more points than this, especially if you play with expansions. You end up going round again and again with meeples on their back, then their side and finally on their head.

Carcassonne actually has a couple of mini expansions which use the score board. They really have tried every avenue for expansions except the most obvious; overbuilding. I live in hope. I don’t have the final expansion Carcassonne: The Gifts as I am still hoping to get the Essen tile for this year. I’ve noticed there is one up for sale for €135!

Board Game: Carcassonne


I quite like games that just score money or VP. But they have to have enough. As I tend to play at high player counts we often run out. Indeed things happened recently with a new Kickstarter Streets although the wooden money in this is great.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


If a game is complicated to score I really think they should offer a score pad. It’s surprising how many don’t. There are some great files for scorepads on BGG. I wish an Etsy seller would produce them. One for Draftosaurus would be great.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


Carpe Diem is the only game I own with cards for victory points. The scoring on this game is quite unique. Each game plays completely differently based on the cards that score. Often you can do one card but not the other. You have to be high up on the banderole track to have any control.

Board Game: Carpe Diem
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Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:19 am
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Multiplayer solitaire

Caroline Black
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Some people like games that have lots of interaction, fighting, racing, screwing other players over. But I am more of a multiplayer solitaire player. That’s not to say I don’t mind some positive interaction. I like Lowlands for example, where you co-operatively build a dam and I like worker placement games where you can block other players. I also like some area control games. Indeed most “multiplayer solitaire” games have some interaction.

Board Game: Lowlands


This might be taking control of first player so you get first dibs on the best cards or action spaces or drafting card you know would benefit another player.

I have been looking through my collection trying to identify those games which are truly multiplayer solitaire.

Limes is actually a two player game, although I have a friend with it, so we can play four player. Like most multiplayer solitaire games it has a great solo option.

There is literally no interaction in this game. Each player gets exactly the same tiles, in the same order and has to lay them out in a 4 by 4 grid. They can then place on of seven meeples if they want to or move a previously placed meeple. You then score based on the size of areas and the features in them. It’s a strangely addictive game, that plays really quickly.

Board Game: Limes


Fields of Green is another tableau builder. In this game you do draft cards but in my experience there is very little if any interaction. Again you concentrate on building the highest scoring farm you can, taking advantage of adjacency bonuses and converting resources into victory points. I like the engine building aspect of it.

Board Game: Fields of Green


One of the things I really like about multiplayer solitaire games is that you can plan you turn ahead. Wingspan is like this. I know exactly what I will be doing on my turn. Actually there is some interaction in the pink powers. Sometimes I will deliberately lay eggs on a turn where another player has done it to avoid allowing other players to utilise their pink powers. Also you can snag cards you know other players want or deprive them of the food they need, but this is rare. Interestingly the expansions have tended to add more interaction, with the Wingspan: Oceania Expansion having a sort of area majority mechanic.

Board Game: Wingspan


Kingdomino is another MPS game where the expansion Kingdomino: Age of Giants adds some real interaction and take that.

Board Game: Kingdomino: Age of Giants


I always hear The Castles of Burgundy described as MPS. But actually again I don’t think that’s completely true. It’s easy to spot which animals people are collecting or what colour bonuses they are going for. But again is a tableau builder where you are mainly doing you own thing. You can’t really plan ahead as someone will always snag the hex you want.

That’s where the interaction comes in. Someone else’s messes up your plans and you have to adapt. Lots of games are like this. You are constantly changing your plan based on the changing landscape of the game. Indeed games like Castles of Burgundy that have solo options, the AI will be snagging hexes and changing your plans.

Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy


I think that the low interaction makes for friendlier games. We have players that bear grudges and will come after you if you do something to them. Also you don’t get the sort of “bash the leader” type behaviour.

PARKS is a low interaction game that somehow feels interactive as you are jostling along the trail. However, I think mostly players are doing their own thing, collecting the resources they need to build the parks they want. But again it’s really difficult to plan ahead.

Board Game: PARKS


A lot of MPS games add interaction via auctions or bidding. We see this in Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King or Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I actually like this. It’s just about money. It doesn’t feel personal.

I love games where you get a sense of achievement. Agricola gives this to me in spades. But actually there is plenty of blocking and fighting over first player. I find it more aggressive at lower player counts.

Board Game: Agricola


I can think of many more, mostly tableau builders like Warsaw: City of Ruins, Habitats, Everdell and Castles of Caladale that have little or no interaction. They are some of my favourite games.
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Sat Nov 13, 2021 8:32 am
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Caroline Black
United Kingdom
Braintree
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Tigger playing Agricola. He lost!
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Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about consumerism and the environment. It seems to me that as I am not prepared to give up my beloved Audi TT and I am more or less vegetarian the one thing that I can do is to consume less. I have dramatically cut back on clothes and I have never been a big one for gadgets. In fact I am writing this on my ageing ipad which keeps crashing. My phone is six years old.

The main thing I spend my money on (apart from my children) is games. My mindful spending challenge is not going well with nineteen new games bought against a target of ten. Moreover my cull is going even worse with just four games sold. Selling games is no where near as fun as buying them.

From gallery of CarolineBlack

Furnace my latest acquisition.

I love Kickstarter but I’ve been doing my very best to avoid it. But already I have backed seven games, which is far less than last year but not not a brilliant performance.

Board Game: Verdant

Verdant latest Kickstarter backed

I’ve always had a hard limit of £100 for new games. Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Collector's Edition is my most expensive game for $129 but it will be over my limit if you add VAT.

I am always shocked and surprised by what some people of this site are prepared to pay for a game. $1400 on Kingdom Death: Monster is just amazing. I just can’t imagine myself spending any where near that. I thank my lucky stars I like dry Euros which don’t often have a tonne of miniatures. I much prefer wood than plastic but I am conscious that I have far more games that I can actually hope to play.

I did a thread on the most expensive game you have ever bought and I was surprised at how much gamers are prepared to spend. Whilst I appreciate people on this site are not your average gamers it is still pretty amazing the amount some people are prepared to spend on games.

Most expensive game you have bought on Kickstarter

In general I think board games are good value for money. I have never bought a video game so I can’t compare but it seems to stack up pretty well against other forms of entertainment like going to the Cinema. My best value game is Monopoly Deal Card Game literally played hundreds of times.

Board Game: Monopoly Deal Card Game


Carcassonne has been played hundreds as well but then I started collecting all the expansions and promos, some of which have only been played once. It’s easy to get carried away completing collections. I am a bit of a collector. I think that where it gets silly is all the other stuff I buy, like metal coins, upgraded player pieces and the like. For most games the basic game is sufficient. My most blinged out game is Wingspan for which I have the glittery eggs, upgraded scoreboard and silkscreened birds.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


Anybody that regularly checked out the Works know you can buy board games cheaply. I bought Castles of Caladale from the Works for £7 and a friend bought Planet Defenders for £8. That’s a great game, with nice components and three coloured minis for £8! It doesn’t get better than that.

Board Game: Planet Defenders


The thing I like about board games is that there seems to be a burgeoning second hand market in the U.K. Again I am constantly surprised how much people are prepared to big on hard to find second hand games. I have been bidding on Lorenzo il Magnifico and Grand Austria Hotel and am regularly out bid at around £40. I am a big ebay fan and sell most things on ebay when I have finished with them. Recycling is a big thing for me and I’ve been doing it for years.

Board Game: Grand Austria Hotel


I also like buying second hand and will always try to buy used rather than new. But the problem is I am a bit of a cult of new person. The great thing about board games (unless you play solo) is that you share them. So not only you are benefiting but also the people you play with. There are plenty of people at board game club who don’t buy any games. So I am providing them with free entertainment (isn’t that the best excuse yet?)

I think upgrading components is the environmentally worst and most fun thing I do. It makes no sense to replace perfectly good cardboard coins with metal ones. The cost of some sets is nearly the cost of a whole new game.

From gallery of CarolineBlack


My final OMG moment was when I saw the new buildings for Tapestry: Arts & Architecture. They are just drop dead gorgeous and I like the nod to other games in the Stonemaier Games catalogue.

Board Game: Tapestry: Arts & Architecture


That’s the thing really. Games have push lots of buttons for me. I love the tactile experience. I love the sense of exploring a new game. I like the decision making. I like the visual experience of the art. The sense of achievement. The social side with the trash talk and seeing what other players do. These are all things which are quite hard to put a value on.
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Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:16 pm
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