All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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The Zoo's Crew had a Project that caused a worldwide Pandemic...

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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I was invited to playtest a new version of Zoo-ography in prototype, but since it had been a while and Shrey hadn't played before, we ended up just playing the basic game on TTS (not yet available in the workshop).

Zoo-ography was a game I test back during the last BGG Spring and since then it has been published and has a few expansions, and even more expansions in the works. I wrote about my experience here: BGG Con Part 2!! All the Games Continues....

What it boiled down to was a horribly play with terrible gamers, but the game was awesome enough for me to still really enjoy it.

Zoo-ography is bright and colorful and has all of the mechanics I love in a game. During the game you will be drafting tiles and placing them in your tableau to form your own small zoo. After you draft a tile on your turn you can choose to hang on to it or place it as one of your 2 actions. Another action would be to collect some animals from the display and place them in your zoo accordingly. Meanwhile, everything you are adding to your zoo should be considered for the end of game scoring goals that are on display for everyone to think about.

You know, John, the designer joined us and he joined in last minute since I invited him. #mistakesweremade.

Hey I was just happy I got the Botanical Gardens, which is clearly the most beautiful tile in the game. So many colors!

I thought I had the game in the bag, but during the final rounds, John managed to grab all of the animals I wanted and totally destroy us all. #rude. Alas, I expect nothing less.

You don't score many points in the game, so when I say John destroyed us, he really didn't at all. He won the game with 9.5 points, yes you can get .5 points. I had 9 points, Shrey 7.5, and Bryn had 7. Because the scores are so low, you really have to focus on getting those 3 point goal cards completed.

I love the variety of goals that are involved in the game. I am SUPER excited to try out the cooperative mode that isn't yet available to demo. It sounds fascinating, and I can't really think of another cooperative tile-placement game like it. There is another Monorail expansion I want to try as well! The new version will be more involved with added choices and things to do. Looks great. I am excited for this line of games and expansions. Definitely worth checking out for sure.

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Since BGG.CONLINE happened, I learned that Kosmos was going to be releasing the expansion in the US for Targi coming up soon. I wanted to give Targi another play since it had been a while.

Michael hadn't played it, so he read the rules and I was able to easily recall the rules. Targi is a fairly simple worker placement game to gather resources and turn them in for different set-collection opportunities.

At first, I thought I would totally get 12 cards infront of me. That will trigger the end of the game. I thought this because I managed to pick up 2 cards during the first round and it seemed really easy. Well it was easy since I started with resources and I had coins.

My thought quickly changed once I was out of resources. I was just trying to collect the different sets of cards so I could get bonus points at the end of the game. Other than that, I worked hard to get the coins for acquiring those cards.

I wasn't sure how well I was really doing, but it seemed to be working out fairly well. Michael was collecting sets of the same cards. Unfortunately all of my cards that gave me bonuses didn't really help me during the game or at the end of the game. I was really bad about syncing up my abilities.

It was a close game for sure and impossible to know who would win. Yeah, it turned out Michael and I tied for 34 points! Dang, he won with the tiebreaker by having an extra coin at the end of the game. Noooooooo.

It is a pretty great 2 player game. I get why people love it! It can be a bit long, but I am happy to play it whenever. I need the GeekUp bits now...

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The time has come to start Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. New to me!

Yah, yah, I am a bit late to the party, oh well. I got here eventually. I have officially been recruited to the fan club. meeple

I surmise everyone has played it by now that has wanted to play it, but I will still use some spoilers for the photos and comments that need it.

Generally speaking, the game is played over 12 months and you will progress in the story each game. Save the cheerleader, save the world. Oh, well, you know what I mean.

Michael and I set this game up Friday night and it hasn't left the table yet, which also means we haven't completely finished the game either.

Currently, we have made it into September, so we are getting there, and maybe by the next blog post, we will have completed the game.

Our first game was a complete disaster. We had a horrible draw of cards and we could not manage ANYTHING. We lost almost immediately. It didn't bode well for use the rest of the games, but we plowed through. At this point we have lost a total of 4 games, so I don't know how well we are doing in comparison, but some major shit goes down.

I can tell you I have really been enjoying it and naming most of the characters after Bones Characters: Temperance, Camille, Angela, Daisy, Booth. We named the medic Perry Cox and another character Winston Z.

I can't wait to see what happens!

WARNING!!! Lot's of pictures! Keep scrolling for MORE games below.

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It was FANTASTIC to get the chance to play Gaia Project on Tabletop Simulator! I played with Shrey, Scott, and Pat, and boy did I need a major review. It had been far too long since I had played before. Thankfully, Shrey reviewed the rules and clued us in.

I pulled out my copy of the game since I wanted to review the rules I was still wondering about.

I did have the upper hand in this game, since I always play as the red color and red faction so I was pretty familiar with my all-around goals to focus on.

It was clear I needed to get my stronghold out in the first round, so I made it happen, and I got the added 5 point bonus for it. It rocked!

I also remember in past games not being focused enough to work on round bonuses, so I made a point to really get on that! I wanted those extra points! It was easy for me to bump on the knowledge track and get a bunch of cool rewards. I pushed up the terraforming track and could easily terraform planets. Even still, I managed to get only two federations in play. I didn't have the distance I needed to get around easily.

Mid game, I was well above everyone with my points and by the end of the game I was over double most people's points. Once we finally did the end scoring, I wasn't so sure. I knew I didn't have any of the end of game goals that Shrey was working hard on.

Final score was Steph 143, Shrey 143, Scott 100, Pat 91. After it all ended Pat said the last time he played he got over 151, so something went awry this time. I hope we get to play again soon!!


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To top off the night we taught Pat how to play The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine.

I think we played 7 games! We started off easy and had a few hic-cups. We jumped several rounds and ended with level 29. We played 4 or 5 games of that before calling it a night. We still haven't beaten it as a group yet, but I am sure we will come back to it in the future.

I am still waiting to get 45-50 played with Derek, Scott, and Shrey... We can do it!

Love this game and I am over 60 plays of it so far! So much fun!


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New to the Collection:
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Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Disclaimer: I am a contract Employee of BGG. I review games that are provided by the publisher. I am not compensated for my blog content.
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The Legendary Green Things Quacked while the Crew circles the Blue Moon

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Michael wanted to check out The Awful Green Things From Outer Space so I obliged. New to me!

Awful Green Things is a game for 2 players, where one player acts as the invaders and the other player is the crew trying to get rid of the invaders. Basically whoever is last man standing will win.

The crew can pick up items and weapons around the ship to use against the aliens but you don't know how the alien will respond to such weapon. There is a push your luck element to using a weapon since the result might backfire and make the alien grow or multiply.

I had to play the aliens, they were just easier to manage and I didn't want to think that much. It seemed easy enough to control them. You first get to grow either egg to baby, fragment to baby, baby to adult. The bigger the alien the more dice you get to roll and movement you get to move. I was able to move everyone and attack accordingly.

I had a pretty strong start, I was able to start the game with a bunch of adult aliens already on the board. I set them up to be able to attack the easy crew members and ended up killing 5 crew during my first turn. Totally worked out well for me since Michael attacked and ended up causing my adult to burst into fragments which was awesome. I rolled really well and got 6 fragments on the board in place of one adult. I was controlling the place in no time.

The crew was toast, but we continued our play. Michael wanted to find a weapon that wouldn't help me. He was definitely drawing very poorly from the bag since he was just making fragments left and right. He also found the token that made me grow!

Within a matter of turns, it was clear I would win the game. With all that poor luck drawing tiles from the bag it allowed me to win. I'm a winner!

The game was pretty cute. I am not really interested in tactical games like this so much, but I didn't mind it. I could just see this game going on for a long long time. As it stood, an hour was enough time for me to be done with it and thankfully we were. I could play this again, but I would never suggest it.



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Derek, Shrey, and I continued our progress in the Maracaibo world. We left our last position with a big task at hand of delivering a bunch of goods to a location.

Starting with military advancements helped to deliver the goods since we needed to provide a military strength of 1.

Within a couple of rounds, we could clear the task up and move along in our story and choose our path.

During this game, we all seemed to focus heavily on France and Spain and we all scored incredibly well for everything. England was left in the dust and not one person advanced on that track at all where the other tracks were completely empty.

I had a tough call towards the end to push France out a bit so I could gain last-minute bucks and I wasn't sure if it would hose me or not, but I needed that final card in play!

A crazy high scoring game this time and I did manage to win with 215, Derek was 206, Shrey was 202.

Awesome game and I was shocked that I ended up winning. I wonder if that is a score I will ever beat! I didn't even complete all my task goals in that game.

I love this game!

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More from the unplayed shelf, Michael and I played Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game. New to me!

Yes, I have seen Alien, no I didn't like it. This is definitely not a theme I enjoy AT ALL. People said it was better than the other Legendary game, so we gave it a shot.

I wasn't much into the Marvel Legendary game, so I was skeptical.

In Encounters, you will be doing the same thing as Marvel, except you will win or lose as a team, so yes, it is automatically better than Marvel IMO. Aliens will strike you and if you die you will leave your teammates with the rest of the tasks at hand, but there is still a chance to win.

There is a new mechanic to coordinate with others to help them with their attacks.

Also, Aliens might try to lay an egg in you, and then you will die if you can't kill that face hugger soon enough.

I can't begin to list off the people or sections from the movie, but I do recall being scared the whole time. I am not into Horror themes at all, I get nightmares. I don't want Aliens in my dreams planting an egg inside me.

I thought Michael and I were doing really well. We started the game and almost immediately found the cards and succeeded at task 1/3. Everything had a smooth flow to it and we were on target for an easy victory.

As soon as the difficult aliens started emerging from the 3rd part of the deck, I wasn't so confident anymore. I picked up a 5 strike and was at a near-death experience. Fortunately Michael was able to heal me and I could discard that 5 strikes from play.

We had the final task at hand and needed to get the mega boss into position but the aliens just kept coming and it was hard to divert them. We were getting bombarded with strikes and then the final hazard hit. We each had to take 3 strikes. I thought for sure it was over. Michael died on the spot. Somehow, I didn't die. I pulled a miss card which otherwise would have killed me... I was then on my own to finish him off.

Turn after turn, I managed to set back the aliens and keep them at bay. I was getting combos in my hand to draw more cards which worked out perfectly for me.

I think I went maybe 5 or 6 more turns before I finally got the hand I needed in order to destroy the alien I needed to. I was shocked I lasted so long. I managed to win the game for the team and it was really quite impressive.

I did like this game more than the Marvel game, but I still won't ever choose to play it over other games like Aeon's End. I will still give the Firefly Legendary a try, that theme is at least appealing to me! Glad to have played it though.


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More off of the unplayed shelf, Michael and I tried Blue Moon Legends. New to me!

I haven't ever played Blue Moon, but I have played Blue Moon City. This is totally different. Now, Blue Moon Legends is actually just Blue Moon with all of the expansion decks inside of it. The content is the same but the production is different. Size of cards, dragon sculptures, etc. Otherwise it is just all of the cards you know from Blue Moon in one HUGE box.

Blue Moon is a duel game to try and gain majorities and win the influence of the dragons. You want to control all 3 dragons and gain one more control, for an imaginary 4th dragon, and then you will win the game. Each player has a hand of 6 cards and the lead player will play a character card and declare a suit, either fire or earth and the value of the card. The next player has to match or exceed the value in the same suit by playing a character card and possibly a support/booster card to help.

The cards have different game effects that happen so the other player can't play specific cards, or that might help you increase your value easier. Stuff like that. Maybe you play a higher card and then the play goes to the opposing player again and it is a back and forth battle to try and win. If you can't match or beat the other player you withdraw and they gain a dragon.

It took most of the game for me to fully understand what I was doing. The game isn't hard, but it wasn't all that clear for me. I also didn't understand that the game ended when I ran out of cards, whoops! I wasn't planning correctly at all.

I did manage to win a bunch of battles and had most of the control during the game. I ended when Michael had cards remaining and in his draw deck. I figured I would be toast at that point. But, as soon as I ran out of cards, the game ended and I had still control of two dragons, which declared me the winner.

It was definitely a rough first play, I would want to play again, maybe with a different faction. I like that it is so quick and you go through the deck of cards just once. I am generally a fan of Knizia games and this was better than expected. Is it a keeper? I duno, we will find out. I definitely don't need to keep Legends and Blue Moon as they are the same thing, which I also just learned about. Worth trying for sure!


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More happening in the world of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set with the extra content from Pazio.com.

We have been working through the paths and I FINALLY picked up Tessa, she hasn't been that helpful, unfortunately, but it is nice knowing she is there.

We played a few more games in the past few days, but haven't progressed much. We made it through path 5 so we have just the 6th path left to go. It always goes so quickly!!

If you are into the Pathfinder ACG I would recommend trying out the extra scenarios and content from Pazio. It has been great.


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A few late night games with the gang! Scott, Derek, and I settled on a game of The Quacks of Quedlinburg with The Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Herb Witches.

There is a great module on TTS and it offered the expansion, so why not! I really love the new Herb Witches expansion since it adds a lot more content without many additional rules.

Per usual, my luck for drawing from the token bag is just awful Time and time again, I just bust over and over. I don't know how I can be so bad at the game, and even the computer knows to screw me over too! It is really quite unbelievable.

I used all of the witch's powers pretty early on, so they couldn't save me in the end.

My luck is so bad that when the event card said draw 5 tokens from the bag and if you have the lowest value gain a 2 chip. Great, I thought I would finally win something. Yeah, not so fast. The one time I ended up pulling the 6-chip token that I bought rounds before showed up. Really?! What horrible timing. #typical.

This game always produces so many laughs, and hey I ended up not coming in last place, which isn't saying much since Scott was on the phone with his sister for like half the game. #mistakesweremade.

Derek won with 66 I was second with 55 and Scott pulled up with 53. He actually came a long way since he was very far behind at one point. SMH. Hey I got over 50 that should be good enough.

Always a fun game and I am glad we got to play it.


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We wanted to play something else since Felixcrashed the discord channel and was looking to play a game. I suggested The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine since we all love it and it works so well for an end of night game. It is a situation where everyone wants to go to sleep, but they don't because The Crew is so great so we play longer.

We ended up playing 11 starting where Felix last played from level 13. After the recent plays with Shrey we were up to 45, so level 13 seemed like a crazy step back, but it was a new group so we had to get a feeling for how w worked together. It was for the better.

Once we hit level 18 we were a train wreck. I think people were tired and wanted to sleep. We ended up playing 4 times and losing each game. It was rough. I like a challenge though!

A great night of games and The Crew is always on my to play list! Love it.


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Thanks to everyone who ended up watching BGG.CONLINE the past few days! It was amazing to be a part of that! So many great games coming soon and are available now, I am excited!

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New to the Collection:
none





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


External image
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External image


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Disclaimer: I am a contract Employee of BGG. I review games that are provided by the publisher. I am not compensated for my blog content.
Thank you.
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Fri May 22, 2020 12:00 pm
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Remember that time.... When We Liberated the Planet Unknown? We named it 7th Continent.

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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I have received some new arrivals I was looking to get to the table as soon as possible so Michael and I played The Liberation of Rietburg. New to me!

The Liberation of Reitburg is a cooperative card-driven game set in the world of Andor. I have played legends of Andor and very much enjoyed it, but this is something completely different.

In Reitburg, players are working together to fulfill the hidden task cards. Each of the 6 locations will have a task card and a number of encounter cards on top which is seeded at the beginning of the game.

Each character offers unique abilities and starts the game with 3 cards. On each of the cards are 3 different actions. On your turn, you will choose one card and one action to perform. That card is then spent and in order to get your cards back, you have to reveal a new narrator card which will add more encounter cards to the gameboard.

In the encounter deck, you will find items and a lot of monsters. You have to take an action to move, an action to reveal encounters, an action to fight. All of these things take time and effort. The rewards you get for defeating are okay, but some might gain you an ally which is another card added to your hand and will prevent the narrator deck from running out faster.

The game ends when the narrator deck or encounter deck runs out, or the players are able to unlock and fulfill the requirements for 4 task cards.

The game is pretty easy to get going, I wanted to play the beautiful white mage, but she is suggested for later plays when you are more advanced with the game. I probably could have handled it.

We started with the blue fighter and the green ranger. #sadlynotlegolas I was the ranger so I needed to collect arrows in order to have attack strength, but I was swift and could move more easily. Michael had tons of attack power and he could gain leaf tokens to boost his strength if he needed it.

when we seeded the initial encounter cards, there were a bunch that ended up on one location. We planned out that we should hit the locations with few encounters and reveal the goals on the task cards to start working on them right away. We needed to kill 4 fluggers, which seemed easy enough. The harder one we revealed was having the trophy case equal or exceeding the number of task cards and encounter cards still on the gameboard.

We managed to stall the narrator deck as best we could by finding allies and object cards to use. It all seemed to go pretty well for us. We didn't have any major setbacks. Michael was going through his cards really fast, but in the end, we were 2 narration cards away from losing, but we still managed to fulfill 4 task cards. Good guys for the win!

I love that there are so many encounter cards and task cards, you will always have a different game, not to mention all of the characters you get to try. I enjoyed my play and look forward to playing again soon!


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I placed an order in the BGG store recently and picked up Remember Our Trip. New to me!

I am a big Saashi & Saashi fan and always want to try out their new games. They have such creative artwork and clever mechanisms.

Remember Our Trip is an abstract tile-placement game with drafting. After 12 rounds you will see who has scored the most points to win.

Immediately, I saw some familiar mechanics to Let's Make a Bus Route with the deck of cards to indicate the direction you will place tiles. This deck of memory cards also stands for the game timer and 12 rounds, each of the 6 patterns will be drawn twice in the game.

Each round, the start player draws a card from the deck, and depending on the shape either 2 or 3 tokens will be added to the board per space. Then players will take turns drafting a space of tokens to add to their own board. The boards are oriented in the same direction so they line up with the common map. Once players played their tokens they have a chance to confirm them. At that point, the tokens will be flipped over and scored. If there is room on the common board the buildings will be added directly to that board and the player will gain additional points. If you don't add a building to the common board you look to see if your memory overlaps with a similar building that you remember and will gain partial bonus points.

Maybe Michael already confirmed a monument in place, and then later I confirmed a different monument but it overlaps with the one already on the common board. I will only gain extra points for the parts I was able to overlap on his. Matching the colors basically.

Not only do you want to create these patterns on your board, but you want to have your ticket spaces with the right color tokens in order to gain even more points.

So much to do!

I love drafting and I love abstract placement like this. You are only allowed to place the tokens you get in the shape that is defined by the current round pattern. Once your board starts filling up you will have limited choices on where to place tiles and what to prioritize!

I was all in from the beginning and totally focused. I wanted to do it all and the best I could. Unfortunately for me, the tiles were just not populating the way I needed them to!

Michael was placing monuments and greenery tiles and I was fumbling around hoping for the best. I knew I had to commit to a hotel in an area that I needed to have red tourists, but it was a now or never situation and I was already behind. It had to be done!

I got the hotel down, but it wasn't enough to save my score and gain me the winning title. Michael won that game with 49 to my 43! Dang! it was a lot closer than I thought it would be. Mostly because I was able to confirm the hotel last minute.

I love this game! I am so happy the BGG Store was able to gain access to sell it. It really has everything I love and is a game that will remain in the collection. I can't wait to play it again!



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ALLL DAY SUNDAY! Michael and I played The 7th Continent. I wanted to prepare a little for the Livestream Rob and I will do in the coming weeks.

Michael and I gave up on the Voracious Goddess and jumped ahead to the Icy Maze Curse. I read some forums on which order to do the curses and the Serious Poulp site as well. Ended up skipping the Offering curse since that can be played easily with another curse. Michael and I aren't ready to handle 2 curses yet, but I can see getting to that point.

The Icy Maze is definitely a good stepping stone and I would recommend hitting that curse 2nd as well.

The rest of my story will be in spoiler mode, but I won't give much away. Including my Photos.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We didn't really know what to do other than head north since we knew colder terrain was north. We also figured colder terrain since "Icy Maze" Of course I didn't recall seeing any of the symbols needed to point us in the right direction, but we ventured out anyway.

I was playing as a lady who likes fishing and sailing, and I didn't completely understand her abilities at the start of the game. Once we got pretty deep into it, we found a very good forum explaining the "discard a card" feature so I realized my ability was strong than it seemed. Michael was playing Dr. Frankenstin, and yes we raised the dead to help up do some heavy lifting.

Fortunately, we found the teleportation stone very early on so we could teleport to another location on the island which saved us a LOT of time. We ended up by the jungle. Once we were in the jungle we got sidetracked and searched for some treasure, and we ended up staying a long time in the jungle.

Eventually, we moved out and headed north. Once we hit the heavy snow terrain we figured we were there. We did a lot of exploring and used a lot of resources. We got seriously lucky and found a major relic which would instantly heal 30 cards... It totally saved our ass, as you can imagine.

I was a complete idiot and missed seeing OUR SYMBOL on a card so we had to recon it when we figured out my mistake. It ended up costing us a ton of cards, but we managed to find out way and head through the Icy Maze path.

Long story short, don't screw up. Regardless, we were able to successfully make to where we needed to be because we were well prepared, with a major relic that saved us.

I have to say this curse was way more enjoyable than Voracious Goddess, though it might drive you mad if you aren't careful. I had a great day of gaming and I really love this game.



I will say that this game is still amazing and Icy Maze was amazing fun. I loved that we were able to fully beat the curse in one sitting, the full day, but one sitting.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
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Very cool find of the game - probably super spoiler:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
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One night, we had time for a game of Planet Unknown so Shrey, Derek, and I played a quick game.

This time I got to be the water corp that has a crazy water track spanning all of the other tracks in its path to the top. I was able to move up the water track 1 bump for each of the spaces I covered on the ice spaces with water tiles.

I had amazing tech abilities if I could unlock the tech abilities. I couldn't/ didn't focus on that. I was really focused on getting those water tiles no matter the cost. Not only that but my board was a complete mess. I was all over the place and had TONS of meteors that were just horrible. I was very inefficient in this game.

Shrey completely dominated us with his lifepod corp. He scored very well, but still not a score that has the highest rank yet. He won with 63. But it was FAR better than my score at 40 and Derek was completely lost with biomass and scored 35.

It was a rough game. I would like to try the water corp again and see how I can make it work better. I really needed to gain more tech so I could get more synergy bonuses.

So much to do and try. This game is just great!

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Shrey and Derek were willing to learn Tang Garden and it is available on TTS with all of the expansions! I haven't played any expansion, but they seem really cool.

I taught them. The game isn't hard to teach but there are a lot of little rules for the people and end game scoring.

Even on TTS the game is simply stunning, I just missed playing my music along with it.

I started the game with the hermit which liked to advance on the rock track and gain coins as he did. It was the same guy that Michael had the other day. Derek started with the empress that I had before scoring for the different flowers and Shrey was scoring points for placing bridges and pavilions.

The landscape tokens are placed a bit further out with 3 players since more people are adding to the board. I actually thought we might run out of tiles from a stack to trigger the end of the game. We were in a constant state of "these tiles suck" So we would be placing decorations and flipping up the garden stack which was nearly completed by the end of the game.

Derek ended the game without realizing it. He took a landscape token which triggered it and he was start player so Shrey and I got one turn left. While he might not have meant to end it, it was certainly in his best interest to end it. He was well ahead with tree scoring and card points as well as getting 2 people on the board for scoring.

Derek ended up winning, I knew I needed a few more turns to make it work and get another person. Derek had 59 I was 55 and Shrey had 53. It was fairly close!

Really enjoying this game and everyone else seemed to like it as well. I definitely recommend it. Fun times.

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Takeover Tuesday!




New to the Collection:
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Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Wed May 20, 2020 12:00 pm
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The Hues of Tang Garden are vivid across Emara.

Steph Hodge
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I was super excited to play Tang Garden! New to me!

All I knew about Tang Garden was the amazing art and colors in the game and tile-placement. Everything about this production is top-notch and exquisite, I really love the aesthetics of this game. You might be able to tell by the 20 pictures I posted below...

Also, when you go to play this game, I searched Amazon Music for thematic music and lo and behold... there is a Tang Garden soundtrack available! I have been listening to it non-stop and it is amazing. I reallllllllllllllllllly love that soundtrack. Glad I randomly searched for it!

In Tang Garden, you will want to gain the most points from a variety of set collection and people you can acquire.

Each turn you will choose one action to perform and do free actions if you have them. You will choose to place a tile on the board or draw decoration cards.

There are 4 stacks with tiles to choose from, but they aren't always revealed after a tile has been placed. Only when 1 or fewer tiles are left on the stacks face-up do you reveal the top of each stack. When you place a tile on the board you have to place in a space where all of the sides will match. You will gain nature track pushes depending on the matching elements and you will gain coins if you match the pathways. If you are able to fully enclose an area, you will gain an additional element push of that type.

By advancing your element token you may unlock coins and people. You can only place people on the board when you unlock a new person. Each person will have end game scoring conditions for the way they are placed on the board and what they can see in the distance. Some people give you in-game benefits so you don't necessarily want to place them on the board right away since you won't get their benefits anymore.

When you look at the decoration cards, you will draw 2 cards plus the number of stacks that don't have a face-up tile on top. When you draw your cards you will choose one to keep for set collection and you will have to add that decoration to the board. If there is no valid space for the decoration to go you can not take the card.

If you place a tile onto a location with a token on it, you will immediately choose a landscape tile that you will add to the board. These landscape tiles will feature icons that different people will want to view in the end game scoring. These tokens will trigger the end of the game when 3 or fewer are remaining on the gameboard.

There are several free actions you can do on your turn, but they are situational and often one-time abilities so I won't get into detail about them.

The game is fairly straight forward and easy to learn. I love how there are so many people in the game so there are a lot of different abilities and end game possibilities for trying new strategies. I started the game with the empress and her ability was to gain 2 coins if I decorated the garden with peonies and lotus flowers. If I placed her on the gameboard for scoring at the end, she would gain me 9 points if she wasn't looking in the direction of the emperor or the lady person figure. I think there might be an affair going on...

Most of the game I spent digging for decoration cards to find those flowers to decorate the garden with. The biggest issue I had was not finding enough water tiles to place the lotus flowers in the correct area. There was a turn where I found the Lotus flower I needed but didn't think about the location it had to be placed so I couldn't actually play the card! I ended up with a small collection of trees that actually score fairly well! I ended up finding the lotus cards I needed for a bunch of sets worth 6 points each.

All game I felt terribly behind n points since Michael was placing tiles and gaining elemental bonuses from the player boards. I thought for sure I was going to lose the game. He had unlocked all his people and found bonus coins in a lot of different actions he was taking. I wasn't sure if my sets of decorations would actually be enough to win the game. On the final turn, I ended up using my one-time ability to place 2 tiles on the board and they each had 2 sides that lined up with pathways so it was a 4 point bonus, since there was nothing else I could really do that made sense. I figured I needed to end it soon, or Michael would just gain a whole lot of points from his people in other ways.

It somehow managed to work out in my favor and I won the game! My set collection and empress scoring totally worked! Not really sure how I managed it, but I won with 68 to Michael's 61. Whoop!

I can easily recommend this game. I really enjoyed my experience. I love that I ended up winning when I didn't even think I had a chance. It is nice to win, but it is even better to know there are a lot of different strategies to explore and still have no idea if you will win or not. Beautiful game and one I will be playing more of in the future for sure! I hear it is on TTS so I will have to teach my friends how to play too. It is a keeper for me.



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The family got together over zoom and we all played Hues and Cues.

I wasn't sure how well it would work over zoom, but I sent them all a picture of the board and had the board on the call where they could see the guesses people were making. It was harder to show the cards with colors and locations since the locations were blurry and hard to read, but we managed it.

We had 6 players and we played 2 full rounds. Everyone is fairly competitive in my family, except maybe Christina, who isn't so much into games but will humor us and play a few rounds.

It was definitely a close game, except for my dad who was just playing very poorly.

at one point I had tried to give a clue for a light purple color and ended up saying "puter" and the answers were all over the place. I thought puter was a light grey color, but clearly not in everyone's mind. I still managed to get 3 points from it, but that was super lucky I guess!

I figured I wasn't going to win this game. Mom was in the lead most of the time, but in the final round of the game Christina gave us ballet as a clue and it was all sorts of pink answers coming up.

Fortunately, she got enough people to guess correctly and ended up pulling in the lead since mom didn't guess correctly at all that round. Christina won 23 points, mom 22, Nick 21, Brian and I were tied 20.

this is a great game to play with the family and I think everyone enjoyed it. I can't wait to play it more! Good times!

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Michael and I have been playing SO MUCH Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set! It has been a great adventure with my own personal character.

Michael's character started off mediocre but has turned into a great helping character and is really strong as well as being a good healer. It has been working out fairly well.

Since most of the paths are 4 scenarios long, we have been sailing through them really quickly. We are already mostly through the 4 paths and onto the 5s.

I still haven't found my favorite ally Tessa Yet, but I think I will find her soon.

We really haven't lost a whole lot of missions, so let's knock on wood and keep the good luck rolling.

My gambling ability has really worked out in my favor and has been excellent. I chose the correct role!

Good times.

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Friday night the gang got together to play... The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine!

We had finished all of the level 30 missions so we were onto the final 10 missions starting with 40.

We had a weak start having to play level 40 four times before beating it.

When we played level 41, I have to say I really pulled the team to victory that game. I had to take the 1st and last trick without taking ANY OTHER tricks, and also not winning by means of a rocket. It was a challenge and I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY wanted to communicate more than one card. It was a big chance but I took it and Scott happened to lead into the last trick and he HAD to lead blue in order for me to win, and he had it. Boom! It was awesome!

Continuing through the missions we completed 42-44 pretty easily. When we hit level 45, we were stopped short for a LONG time. 45 proved to ve a very difficult mission for us.

All in all, we ended up beating it, but it took a good 9 or so rounds before doing so.

We played a total of 17 games that night. It was great!


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Shrey had been wanting to learn Crown of Emara for a while so I ended up pulling out my copy of the game and teaching him and Derek how to play on TTS.

It is a fairly straight forward game to teach and play. I didn't feel that screwed over with the cards I was drawing during the game as I have felt in past plays.

I was feeling pretty good having picked up the interchangeable coin and ring assistant. I was rising in the ranks of nobility rather easily and collected my people's points well enough. I needed the houses and I knew it so I focused on getting the easy house points. I never played a craftsman, and probably should have!

Shrey was doing incredibly well with his books. I mean he was the librarian of this game and was getting everything he needed from books.

Shrey ended up winning this game with 76 to my 73 and Derek's 55.

I think everyone agreed they liked it well enough and would easily play again. There are other games that give us a similar feeling that we would almost rather play but still think this game is solid. I like it.


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New to the Collection:
Exchange: A Stock Trading Game of Strategy & Wit
The Alpha






Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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Mon May 18, 2020 12:00 pm
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Tawantinsuyu... Say that 10 times fast... Age of Towers, Master of the Galaxy AND MORE!

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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I have been really enjoying Tekhenu so when I heard about Tawantinsuyu: The Inca Empire I knew I had to try it ASAP! Fortunately, Rainer got it all set up on Tabletopia for me and the gang to have a playthrough. New to me!

When you first look at the board, you are overwhelmed with icons and options, a bit like looking at Yokohama. Once you know what the symbols are, it is easier to see your options, and they are very clear, so don't be scared off.

Tawantinsuyu is a big game with lots of directions for scoring victory points. Ultimately, you will want to have the most points to win the game which happens after the 3rd festival.

Each turn you will choose to either place a worker, or take two secondary actions.

When you place a worker, you will need a god card to play that will indicate the space you can play on. Depending on where your priest is located, you will want to play in the zone where he is located or you will have to food. The further away you want to place the worker, the more food you will have to pay. When you place the worker you look at the adjacent icons and those icons allow you to perform tasks. A task might be as simple as collect 3 potatoes or 2 corn. They might be more involved like build stairs or structures. The number of tasks you are able to do depends on adjacent workers of the same type. If the worker is all alone you get to perform one task, but if you put that blue worker next to another blue worker you will then have two tasks you can perform, which must be different tasks.

On top of all of that, each colored worker gains you additional rewards, for example, placing a blue worker on a blue spaces gains you an additional action by itself, or placing a red worker allows you to collect an adjacent non-red worker to your supply and draw a military card. They are all great!

If you don't have a worker or god card you might not be able to perform the place a worker action so you will have to choose two secondary actions. Then is when you can move your priest 1-2 spaces clockwise. When you do that there are opportunities for any player to perform the action to some extent as well, but it is always better if you are the active player. Other second actions might be to draw god cards, gain a worker, draw military cards.

Always, at the end of the round, you can purchase a worker from the line up of workers for either a potato or corn gaining that worker to your supply. Once the line up of workers is emptied there is a festival where we will score each offering space and the temple tracks and any festival bonuses players have collected through tapestry patterns and structures.

After 3 festivals the game is over.

Explaining all of that was easy, but when you are faced with the endless possibility, it can be a lot to take in. I played with Rainer, Derek, and Shrey, and the game took a long while since we were all just trying to figure it out and what strategies to try. There is a lot of nitty-gritty that can easily be forgotten, but a great player aid to help.

I knew I wanted to forget about the tapestry portion of the game, and just go for stairs and statues. As it happens, I didn't even build any stairs, but I did build a whole lot of statues. In retrospect, I really should have spent my stone on stairs since people would give you points for using the stairs, and you get points and potatoes when you build them. It is a doubly good bonus for the stairs. I got side-tracked though. It is nice that the structures are worth points at the end of the game, I didn't feel so left out when Shrey picked up half a million points from his tapestry, I got a few points for my structures and military.

I was so focused on getting the statues since they give you awesome bonuses when you play a matching god card on your turn. Was it enough, probably not, but I was able to get rid of them near the end of the game to help advance on the temple track. Now, Rainer was completely focused on the offering spaces and moving up that temple track. You gain the temple points each festival scoring, so it is quite important to work on advancing that track is possible, but it is a HIGH cost to do so. I never had enough corn to do anything of note, so I was just focused on stone structures and statues.

I maintained a solid 2nd place throughout the game, but in the final scoring, Shrey was able to pass me so I ended in 3rd. Of course, Rainer kicked out butts, but not by as many as I was expecting. Rainer 124, Shrey 97, Steph 94, Derek 76.

Definitely a lot to think about. I know there were things I could have done differently to help, but with so many options, it is really hard to see it when it is happening.

Oh man, this is a great game, and one I am very excited to try in person. I really enjoyed this, maybe more than Tekhenu, but I really want to play both games more. I hope to play this again really soon! Such a cool game!


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Michael and I pulled more games off of the unplayed shelf and this time it was Age of Towers. New to me!

Age of Towers is a tower defense game that is competitive. Every player will be controlling their own city, and actually a lot of the game is multi-player solitaire. The game will end once someone has defeated the boss, or someone has lost all of their soldiers/life.

Each round has 4 phases, the dusk phase which triggers an event for the round and reveals the next event for the next day. This is followed by the night phase when the enemies march. they move closer to your city and out of the caves they are traveling from. During the dawn phase, you attack with your towers. Red towers can attack red enemies and each tower has a cool power if it has been upgraded. In the day phase, players will each take 2 actions. Actions are to build towers, expand your road to move further away from the enemies that march, you can draft a card in the display and use it. after all of those 3 actions, you can also play a quest card from your hand which helps gain chrystals or many other possible actions like upgrade a tower. Finally, the other action you can do is draw 2 quest cards, but you can not play a quest card with that action.

Once a player has killed the boss you will add up points for the victory. You will gain points based on how many soldiers you have remaining, the different goals that are in play will gain you points, monsters you have trapped, and how much damage you caused the boss.

Michael and I had a pretty good time playing this one, except ONE thing. Some of the quest cards allow a player to completely destroy another player's tower. It basically ruined the whole game for me. I like a lot of what we were actually doing, but there is just so much take-that in the game, it is almost unplayable.

Michael and I didn't take EVERY opportunity to attack the other player, so we were playing sort of nice. I was often using cards with the option to destroy a tower for another purpose like send a monster from my board to his board, which is also take-that. It is bad, but I feel like losing a whole tower is so much worse.

I knew I wouldn't gain the end goal tokens and I knew I was losing a lot of points for being invaded, so I pushed hard to kill off the boss to end the game sooner than not.

It was the right play, but I still ended up losing this game. Michael won 30 to my 25.

I wish there had been some other take-that mechanic that wasn't so painful as killing other players' towers. This game has a great table presence and a lot of great features. I enjoyed the game other than destroying a tower option. I would play again, but I would likely just play something else.


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I had been curious about Hocus for a while now. Time to get it off the unplayed shelf. New to me!

Hocus is a neat little card game with a spin on poker. You are racing to collect 25 points first in order to win the game.

Each round players are dealt 10 cards. The options are simple, you can play a card to a community, to a community pot, or to your own pocket. There are 2 community piles (2player game) each with a pot associated with it. You are allowed to hold 2 cards each in 2 pockets you control.

The twist comes with the owl suit that provides bonus actions if you have won previous pots that included them, but also with the unique abilities, everyone starts the game with.

For example, one of my additional 3 actions was to play an owl card from hand and return it. followed by drawing one card. Another one of my actions was to draw 2 cards and add one of them to any pot.

Once each community pile has 4 cards in it, players will allocate each of their pockets to one of the communities to try and win the pot. Straight flush beats 4 of a kind... etc. Poker hands. The pot is given to the winner who scores the points on the cards in the pot and keeps the owl cards for use in the next round.

It is a fairly interesting take on poker.

Michael and I had no problem playing 2 players. I am not sure my unique ability was better than his since he seemed to be drawing tons of cards left and right and doing a lot more than me. He seemed to have a lot more control. However, my ability was called "chaos" so perhaps there is something to be said about that. If I found really great owl cards I could have been doing some powerful things, but I never really found owl cards that helped me out much.

We were pretty evenly matched in the first round and I actually won a pot. In the second round, he won both pots and there was just nothing I could do. He ended up winning 25 to my 8.

I would be curious to play this with more players. I think there will be more tension. Definitely one to try again.

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We had a few minutes and the box read 3-5 minutes to play so Michael and I learned Fusion. New to me!

Fusion is a speed game to get rid of all of your cards first.

There are 3 stacks of cards, one stack you have to match the color or symbols to play on, another stack you have to play 1 higher or lower than the card on top, finally, the 3rd stack can't have anything in common or be plus or minus 1 to play on top.

Divide the cards evenly and go!

Michael and I played super quick as it said on the box. Like many speed games, it was a close race. I thought for sure I would have it, but I couldn't play my final cards and he pulled like 6 rabbits in a row and bing bang boom the game was over and I had 2 cards left over.

what the heck! Michael pulled the magic bunny cards at the end of the game. shake

The game is fine, I have played many like it. Nothing about it stands out or anything. It won't be on the keep shelf or anything, but I would play again.


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More off of the unplayed shelf, Michael and I tried Master of the Galaxy. New to me!

This game sort of got press then died down, but I still had my eye on it. I like light civ games and bag builders so I wanted to see what it was about.

Master of the Galaxy is a race to fulfill one of many end game conditions. If you can do one thing first, you will win the game. Maybe you want to get all 9 bases on the board or invade and take over another players' home base. There is also a victory if you can specialize in a specific faction.

I like that there are several ways you can win. That means more strategies to explore and races to try. Each player gets a unique race at the beginning of the game which will also direct you in a particular way.

Each turn you will pull 3 cubes from the bag and allocate them to your player board or cards you have acquired. You can also start building routes to connecting planets. whatever cubes you don't use, or used because you completed a task will go back into your bag. There is no such thing as emptying the bag before refilling the discards.

You take turns until someone wins.

Michael was the human race and all of his actions required a variety of colors. He was more flexible in his strategy. My race, the Roks, was highly directed in collecting cubes of the same color.

Turn after turn I felt hosed. He was easily doing any number of things with the cubes he was pulling from the bag. I kept pulling black cubes that I couldn't do anything with. I don't even know how I managed to get connections to adjacent planets. As soon as I put a military card into play against a neutral area, Michael took over the area with a special card he had and destroyed the contract. It sucked.

I was just getting beat down left and right. I wasn't pulling the right cubes from the bag and was basically doing nothing each and every turn. I was so done with this game about halfway through.

Michael finally won the game and we could put it away. I really hated this game. Everything seems interesting, but the fact you can get screwed over time and time again with the stupid black cubes really damped the game for me. I would ALWAYS choose to play Hyperborea over this. This is an immediate sale pile game for me. Very frustrating.

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Shrey was kind enough to teach Bruxelles 1897. New to me!

I mentioned I was interested in learning it and he had played it last year. It is on TTS so it was my chance to try! the first Bruxelles I wanted to love and even still own it. I still want to love it, but something about it just doesn't seem to work and I can't place my finger on it.

With this card version of that, I was hoping it would speed the game up and be what I was looking for.

First off, Bruxelles 1897 really does simulate the original quite well. Everything you are doing in the game reminded me of that game. You want to move up tracks to gain bonuses, you want to hire dudes to use them for their powers, you will have workers sent to jail, you will score for majorities and the shield values. All of these things are found in 1893 version.

The end result was this. Shrey taught me and Derek how to play. Derek hadn't played the original and was just super bored by the end of the game. While it was a faster experience, it was necessarily better. I felt it was too long and it should have been over in 3 rounds. 4 rounds seemed like too much. I could basically do whatever I wanted to do and be cool.

I won this game handily with 50 points to Shrey at 39 and Derek at 36. I don't even feel like I did anything of note. It was all pretty basic. Maybe I just don't understand the series of games, but I still WANT to love Bruxelles 1893, and it would still be my first choice when choosing between the 2 games.

Glad to have tried it though.

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New to the Collection:
The Liberation of Rietburg
Exit: The Game – The Stormy Flight
Exit: The Game – Theft on the Mississippi





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Pathfinding our way In Space! The Overlords were Unmatched for the Pirates of Grog Isand.

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More from the unplayed shelf! Michael and I tried out Unmatched: Battle of Legends, Volume One. New to me!

Rob (Rob's Tabletop World) painted these awesome minis so I figured I had to at least give the game a fair shot! It is much cooler to play a game with painted minis, I just don't have time for that.

Unmatched is a hand management game where you want to take out our opponents. Everyone has a unique deck of cards and possibly a sidekick to help you out. Cards will be used for attacks and/or defense and also special events. Your goal is to simply be the last legend survivor.

On your turn you will take 2 actions of your choice. Actions are what you would expect them to be: Move, Fight, special. Each time you fight, players will select a card from their hand to use and the attack is mitigated by the defense card played. You can boost your movement by playing an additional card.

I was playing King Arthur, so I was actually able to boost my attack value by playing an extra card. Michael was playing as Alice and he had a bonus to attack and defense depending if he was little or big.

In the early game, I had the upper hand. I was attacking with great force and knocked her down pretty hard. I wasn't able to easily replenish my hand of cards, and then I was stuck running away the best I could. After I died miserably, I looked through my remaining cards in my deck and SO MANY AMAZING CARDS could have saved me. I guess I got the bad luck of the draw.

Michael won that game, but he was down to low life, if only I could have hung on a bit longer...

We both agreed we definitely wanted to play again with the other 2 legends in the box: Sinbad and Medusa. We will see how that goes!



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Michael hadn't ever played Clank! In! Space!: A Deck-Building Adventure and I recently got an expansion for it, so we decided to first play the base game.

He quickly read through the rules so I wouldn't have to explain it. I haven't played this in a few years, so nit-picking rules I needed to remember as well.

Why must I always push my luck so much? Hey, this time I was actually able to make it out alive!

I usually die right before even being able to count my score. This time I made a point not to dilly dally, but I was still buying a ton of cards that caused clank to happen... ughhhhh. I managed to get all of my purple cubes in the bag. I was so nervous I wouldn't be able to use the escape pod. I had some pretty lucky pulls from the bag, but I was even luckier with my hand of cards which got me into the pod safely.

I needed to get in and out super quick while Michael was sneaking the best he could. He was all about not making any clank. I thought for sure he would get caught in the ship and not make it out alive. Sadly for me, my cubes were all inside the bag and were getting pulled once I finally managed to escape, giving him more time to get out. He also picked up the teleport tile so he could just transport himself close to the exit. I was toast.

He kicked my butt this game 114 to my 85. Doh! I am glad I made it out, I would have been dead one turn later. lol

Cool game, I look forward to seeing what the expansion adds.

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More off of the unplayed shelf! We tried out Grog Island. New to me!

I just remember when this game showed up and everyone who played said it was pretty good but missing something to make it shine. Then it sort of died away.

So here was my chance to try it out. Grog Island is a betting game using the dice that were rolled. If you win the bid, you have to pay gold equal to the pips but you gain rewards based on how many dice you used. Everyone else will gain goods and be able to take an action using goods from their collected goods. It is obviously better to win the bid since you will automatically gain a presence on the island associated with the first 2 highest dice in the lineup of dice bid. Having control of the islands is key to winning the game.

Everyone has hidden goals to have their pirates on specific locations and island to gain end of game points.

This game is likely much better with more players. With 2 players, Michael and I found it very back and forth with each turn. One turn I would win the next he would win, etc. He was more focused on not letting me gain the things I wanted and used fewer dice so I would gain fewer goods. Because we were only 2 players, we had to use a ghost ship to block one of the actions each turn, and also we had to use those pirates as blockers for filling in the land each round. The dummy 3rd player wasn't all that bad, and there is some strategy involved with where you place the ghost pirate.

On the final turn of the game, we both had managed to get all of or pirates onto the map. I wasn't sure what he would be scoring for, but I surmised that I wouldn't hold up.

Turns out I had scored a lot for my hidden goal cards and he wasn't getting nearly as much I was. I won that game 32 to 26. It really could have gone either way. I am surprised I managed to win that!

I liked this well enough, I could see playing it again, but it wasn't that exciting. I am not sure it will stay in the collection.

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Michael and I ended up buying ALL available materials from Drive Thru Cards and ALL available bonus paths from Paizo.com so we could have exciting and new paths to play. We set forth and started our next adventure in Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set. Not new to me, but new to me!

So what is neat about the Pathfinder extras, they are just PDF's that you download and can play through. So the path is different with new goals and objectives but will use the same cards from Skull and Shackles.

Michael's B-day Gift to me was my very own Pathfinder character he created with very cool stats and role card. It will be a hard choice to make once the time has come to choose.

We started and died immediately. The first round was horrible and had terrible luck. Michael was getting used to his character and I felt weak with the cards I had and didn't really know what I needed or wanted.

After that, we fell into a good pace. Picked up my favorite loot from S&S that I remembered from the first time we played through. It was so nice to have my hat back.
We played a total of 9 games. We lost the first game we played and the last which was game 2.2. It ended soooooooo badly for us, I ended up dying. Whoops! Poor Punkin dead in the ditch. I haven't ever DIEEEEEEEEEEED before. Eh, we will assume Hero Point to heal me and bring me back to life and try again in the near future. I don't give up so easily.

It has been pretty exciting. I like having different tasks to complete. My ability has been fantastic as I can automatically defeat or acquire a card with the "Animal" trait. It has been working very well for me. It is a lot of fun to have a customized character, that's for sure!

I doubt it will take us very long to complete this adventure. We sail fast!

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I figured it was time to try out Mini DiverCity. New to me!

This is another game that I had the pleasure of hosting LIVE on the BGG Gen Con Stream 2018. I got to look at it first hand. See vid below.

Mini DiverCity is a cooperative game with a Hanabi style hand management. Our mission is to save the creatures of the ocean before the species die-off from pollution. If 5 species die or all hotels (6) are opened we lose. The players win with 6 or more saved, the more you save the high level of expert you become.

Simple to learn and quick to play so Michael and I had some time to try it out.

I had forgotten about the Hanabi hand management where you hold your cards so everyone else can see them. I do like that mechanic. You have to remember what information people tell you and use it to your benefit.

We had a pretty easy go of it, I can see how it might be a challenge depending on how the event cards flip up you can be hammered all at once with unfortunate events.

We were able to keep it under control and ended up being able to save 7 species before we ran out of cards in the deck. So, we aren't pros yet, but I can see getting better at this and being an advanced player soon enough.

I liked it pretty well. I still think I would rather play Hanabi, but the theme is nice and gameplay was easy. I would definitely play again. Michael had low expectations but came out really enjoying it. keeper for now.

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More online games with my peeps! This time I taught Shrey, Derek, and Scott how to play Enchanters: Overlords.

it has been a while since I got to play this last and I thought it might be something they would enjoy.

We had a pretty rough village that was taking all of our money for buying items from the display, so it was a slow start. Eventually, people started building up the swords and defense and could take on the monsters that appeared.

The game went on a bit long since it was hard to get up and get going. I sort of felt the same way when I played for the first time IRL too. Maybe the downtime with 4 players is just too much, or the deck of cards it just so big.

Scott complained that too many of the same types of cards were showing up. He wanted more variety in the mix of cards.

By the end of the game, everyone was geared up enough to fight any dragon that appeared and everyone wanted the dragon. Scott was $1 short of being able to afford to kill it, but Shrey picked it up and the win with 47 points. Derek 43, Scott 32, and I was LAST with 31... ouch. I was getting beat up on left and right.

So in the end, I am not sure it was a hit. I am glad we played though. I will stick to 2 players going forward.


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Since we had time for another game, we all decided it was time to play Dokmus.

We all really enjoy the game, though on TTS it is super fiddly and the table could be wrecked at any moment. Derek basically had to sit back and let Shrey manipulate the board for him since Derek's mouse is just too sensitive.

Halfway through the game, the board was ruined but TTS has a back up in place so we could essentially rewind. I thought it was going to be oveeeeeeeeeer.

We were able to finish the game, and like so many past games of Dokmus, Scott and I were neck and neck at the finish list. Scott managed to win this time with 52 to my 51! Derek 44 and Shrey 37. What happened Shrey? I think he got blocked mid-game and it held him up.

Great game, which I love so much! Glad we got to play!

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Yesssssssssssssssssssss more Maracaibo.

Derek, Shrey, and I continued the quest with 2 more games. It is getting a bit weird with the different chapters of always lining up with the different games we are playing. At this point, we are somewhat confused about where we are, but we are rolling/sailing with it.

I really like uncovering the different choices we have. It makes me wonder what we might be missing... We might have to play it again after it is all completed!

Game #2 in our quest found Derek and I tightly neck and neck through the whole thing. He was ahead then I was ahead, it was back and forth all game. It came down to the final tally.

I ended up winning that game with 181 to Dereks 179 and SHrey was at 167.

Game #3 was much different. It was Shrey and Derek against me. They were speeding up the Spain track and I was all about France and England. I saved my butt in the final card play of the game by being able to place a white cube on the board to have England and France tie for 2nd place. It was a crazy game since the last round we were all ANTI story and just sped through the round so fast. Shrey ended it so fast. Clearly he knew what he was doing, but I think he would have lost if Derek wasn't helping to push the Spain track so much. It was rough I didn't win that game, but I beat Derek.

Shrey won with 191, I had 180, and Derek 178. Super close and crazy!

I will be looking forward to playing more of the campaign soon!! Gonna be great!


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New to the Collection:
Tang Garden
Wingspan
Remember Our Trip





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Hues and Cues, Welcome To New Las Vegas, The 7th Continent, and so much more, you know how it is!

Steph Hodge
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Once I saw WEM posted about Hues and Cues I knew I had to have it! One of the most colorful games I have ever seen! New to me!

ANYTHING with rainbows like this game definitely falls in the category of games I have to acquire. I love love loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee how beautiful this game is.

The game is fairly simple. There is an active clue giver who will draw a card that shows 4 colors on it and the location on the board. The goal is to have as many guesses on or in the surrounding spaces to the correct answer on the board. So maybe it is a shade of green and you clue in Mint. Then in clockwise order, the players can guess one space. After that, the clue-giver can give another clue that is 2 or fewer words to help nudge in a particular direction. In counter-clockwise order, the guessing players will place another pawn. The guessing players will score 3 points is directly accurate 2 points if in the spaces surrounding the correct answer or one point surrounding the 2s spaces. There is a handy tool to use to easily see what happened. The clue giver gains 1 point for each pawn that guessed inside the tool/9 spaces.

Hues and Cues is a party game and definitely wants a large number of players playing. (I will have to see about playing this online with my family and if it can work). Normally, it is just Michael and I playing 2-player games, but we managed to pull his son Hayden in to test the waters.

As with many party games, you just play until the group decides to stop. This game definitely falls into that category. You can simply play forever, or so many rounds and see who has the most points.

I gave the clue "Blush" and Michael picked it right out of the gate. It was like he knew exactly what I meant. It was amazing. My "Christmas" clue wasn't as great since he went for a shade of red. Hayden was on my trail and at least picked a green shade. I didn't get many points that round.

One other clue Michael picked the exact match on the first guess and that was for "winter". Hey, I was giving pretty good clues it seemed! While Michael picked well enough, Hayden was getting more points from his guesses. He was far in the lead for most of the game. I did manage to have a big come back, but it wasn't enough. Hayden won by 1 point! Michael and I were tied just behind.

I am so glad we got to play. Hayden enjoyed it and Michael seemed to be having a good time as well. I like trying to think of clever clues. I think my family will really enjoy this one. I look forward to playing again!



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I wanted to pull this off the shelf since it was officially released and now everyone can own it, so we played Welcome to New Las Vegas.

We had some difficult goals this time. Having 10 marks on the ribbon track without having used them is super difficult. Essentially it means you have to take 7 turns and do nothing. It really sucks! I would advise not playing with that goal card, it just makes the game unfun. I like using the ribbon track for bonus actions, etc. Not knowing if you will have the most Xs at the end or not.

Anyway, I did the 10 marks and by that time ti had triggered the end of the game. During the game, I focused mostly on the limos and a show. I was not focusing enough at all. I needed more calculators and upgrading my point values. In the end, I was doing okay, but I didn't think I would win. Sure enough, I got super crushed. Michael won 131 to 106. Ouch!

Excellent game so I would definitely recommend it if you enjoyed the original Welcome to! So much fun!

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Wednesday of last week, Michael and I spent about 8+ hours playing The 7th Continent. We had picked up from where we left off before. It was a devastating find the last time, so this game got shelved for a while.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't take notes on what I learned the last game, and forgotten everything I needed to remember. I knew WHERE we had to go, but I didn't know HOW to obtain what we needed. Ugh, the Voracious Goddess is just so horrible. It is hard to navigate and find shit. We made it to one location where I was SURE we needed to be. Searched high and low for what I figured we needed. We ended up picking the wrong option during a puzzle and we weren't able to obtain what we needed. It didn't much matter since we died very shortly after, and I looked it up to see what we needed to do. I still don't understand most of it.

The way I see it, if I pick the wrong option, I should still be able to obtain what I need. I guess I don't understand how am I to know what I did or didn't do, without looking. I think it is definitely a misstep on their part, it shouldn't be all or nothing.

So, we died, again. It wasn't as heartbreaking as that first time we died. It still stings, but I could feel the energy, and Michael and I were totes dun with this curse. We will be trying a new curse going forward and maybe return to this curse one day. It is rough. I recommend not playing the Voracious Goddess first. It might drive you insane.

Still love this game. I just want to succeed!!!


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Since I had Puzzle Strike Shadows on my unplayed shelf, Michael was willing to learn Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) and give it a go. New to me!

We played 2 games. Once the basic game and a second game with Shadows which was the "new to me" game. Shadows is a standalone expansion so you don't need the base to play it.

Puzzle Strike is a bag building game. You want to get cool combos to take out your opponent. You are basically just trying to stay alive.

Michael wasn't too fond of his player tokens. I had a pretty strong character in the first game and it was basically over before it even began. I was crashing 2 chips each time I pulled one of my character tokens out of the bag. I had to take 2 wounds but another one of my abilities was to heal wounds. I was a fighter for sure. He got the hang of the mechanics but by then it was over for him.

We opted to play Shadows to see how it varied. It is essentially the same game with new tokens for purchase and new characters to try out. This game I really didn't like my character very much. He was all about using chips in the display, but I barely had enough actions as it was. I spent most of my time crashing gems to Michael. There was a lot of give and take in this game. So much back and forth, I thought it might last forever. In the end, I managed to keep the gem pile low and defeat Michael. He again didn't like his character but proceeded to buy the digital app and play a few games on there.

I am still unsure if he likes the game, I know he wants to like it. I certainly like it well enough. I am not sure if it has to stay in the collection though. It's fine.

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I am so thrilled that both Derek and Shrey are excited to play Maracaibo on TTS.

We started playing the campaign game!

Love playing this game so much so I won't turn it down.

I had cards that valued getting cubes on the board, and I wanted to gain token combos with points. I made some critical errors in the early game since I forgot to take most of my income. (so dumb!) But I didn't let it hinder me too much. I still managed to find money in other ways and get to play the cards I wanted to.

Derek was getting a lot of in-game points, but I was trying to gain points from my cards and the influence tracks.

I ended up winning this game with 181. I am sure they will beat me next time when we sail into chapter 2! I can't wait to keep playing!! Love this game so much!



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We also got in 11 games of The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine. It is safe to say we love this game.

One night we played through levels 36-39 with 5 losses and 6 wins. We wanted to play a few of the levels over again since they seemed too easy. For example, we won level 36 in 2 tricks. Maybe we were just super lucky, but we wanted to play that a few more times to have a small challenge.

Other levels we played, like, 39 took us 5 tried before succeeding. 39 was definitely a challenge and we really had to work together to make that work. It was down to the wire and I had to make an educated guess near the end if we were to make it at all. It was risky, but I had to try, and thankfully it paid off and we ended up winning, finally.

Such an amazing game and one I will always be happy to play. So glad we are able to play online since in person is just not an option. Love it!

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New to the Collection:





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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The Big Kini is the Nefarious Royal Founder of the Villiages of Valeria.

Steph Hodge
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Another Friday, another unplayed game. Today I present many games off the unplayed shelf! We started with Nefarious. New to me!

Many of my gaming buddies weren't so fond of this game, so I never really gave it the time of day before, however since it was quick and there, we gave it a shot.

Nefarious is a hand management game where you will be taking actions in order to build inventions and race to victory by claiming the required number of points first.

There are only 4 actions you can choose from on your turn, but what keeps the game different play after play are the 2 events that are drawn randomly at the start of the game. So many event cards and if you mix in the expansion there are even more. You won't ever have the same game twice.

Michael and I started off very similarly by taking the spy action which puts a dude on the board and will gain us money if someone else uses the specific action. It was also an easy way to draw more cards since that is how we got more cards with the event that was up for the game. There is also an action you can take to get more cards, but it wasn't needed. I did need money though, as I was running light. I kept using his spaces so he was getting paid, and he was playing cards that gained him money.

I wasn't so lucky, so I had to spend actions collecting money. Otherwise, every other turn we were both building our inventions. It was definitely a race to the finish, I couldn't find the cards I needed with bigger valued points. He was always just a little bit in the lead, and sure enough, he was able to win the game.

While the game wasn't as horrible as my friends said it was, it is still not a game I am terribly excited about playing again, though I would. It was very back and forth with 2 players, and I bet it is better with more players. Overall it was fine.


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Not really off the unplayed shelf, but the questionable shelf that needed another play before deciding the fate... we played Tumult Royale.

I played this long ago and ended up selling a copy of the game. I found it for super cheap again and decided to give it another whirl.

Tumult is definitely a strange game and unique. There is a weird time element to finding resources you want to use each round, but you don't know how many will be remaining and the people will get angry with you if you are too greedy.

Michael and I played with a variant that made each resource have a unique demand and a demand that was resolved after we already took the resources we "needed" for the round.

I was behind all game. He was often king and gained tons of statues throughout the land. I was often too greedy since I wanted to build more than one statues and my resources would be taken away. There was one time when mercy actually helped me though, so that was almost like a saving grace. I nearly caught up at the end we were neck and neck. But Michael had more support in the end and was named the winner.

Interesting game, and I am happy to play it again. I don't' think it is a keeper in the long run, but happy to play every once in a while.


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I am always up for a tile-placement game so Michael and I tried out Founders of the Empire. New to me!

In founders, you will be drafting tiles to add to your empire. Most tiles have a requirement of the available goods from surrounding tiles in order to add to the empire, but they will also provide a valuable resource of its own.

Everyone has knowledge of the endgame goal tiles and will likely be working towards acquiring those throughout the game.

It is a fairly cutthroat game since there are some attack tiles that will cause other players to lose a tile for its resource, but also spending coins to block their resources so you can use them.

Michael was drafting the helmet tiles and he was then blocking my resources. He knew I needed specific things, so he would just block them. It was a bit harsh, but that is the game. I worked around it and just tried to pick up points wherever I could. The purple tiles give you tokens and if you don't use the tokens they are at least worth 1 point at the end, so I would always try to claim purple tiles.

I barely won that game with 12 points to Michael's 11. Not quite sure how I managed it, but I will take it.

Cute little game, I could easily play this one again. Not sure there is much innovation but was a nice surprise.

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I learned 1st & Roll a couple of years back and enjoyed it well enough. I love chucking dice, even though I don't love football. When I received 1st & Goal as a grab gift this past Dec, I figured I would at least give it a shot. New to me!

The gameplay is essentially the same. I honestly can't really tell you the difference other than GOAL uses cards to help drive the choice of dice the offense will use in the play.

Michael read the rules as I slept cuz I don't understand most football terms and plays so it is just easier to explain when I have to do the play. I will always push my luck when I get the chance. It makes for epic moments if I am lucky enough. I didn't really have epic moments in the game, but I did have one fairly good play where I went well over 50 yards. That was awesome and some lucky rolling, other than that, I didn't have much luck at all.

When I was the offense, the ball would be overturned and overturned. I must have been a broken record of horrible performances. It was no surprise when Michael ended up winning the game. I was just glad to have scored some points. It was closer than expected 23 to 16, but still, I can do better.

As both games feel the same to me, I only need to keep 1st and Roll on my shelf. I don't love football that much, or at all.

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A really horrible name for a game is Big Kini, but we played it anyway. New to me!

Turns out many of my geekbuddies have enjoyed this game, so I was hopeful going in.

Big Kini is an area control and exploration game. Each round there are actions you can take to secure spaces on the islands and expand out. Playing with 2 players allows each action location can only ve visited once.

Since the start player rotates each round, you will have access to what you need/want in the subsequent round, but also that you will gain 2 actions in a row and can plan for that double boost.

You need money to explore and move around the map, so having ownership of factories to help gain you money is a good thing. If you are first to explore an area, you will gain 2 points. Each role on the island also gains you end game points as well.

It was easy to understand and play. The only thing was gaining the role of the Big Kini which has an auction type mechanic that you can use additional shells as currency to gain the position. It was a little weird, but I suppose it works better with more players. With 2 players, it was kind of obvious who would win the space so it wasn't worthwhile to throw in extra shells to try. Those shells are worth points at the end of the game in sets of 3 anyways. There were many places to become the Big Kini dude anyway, and it was a position worth 5 VP at the end of the game so it was worth it.

It was definitely close until the end, and I wasn't sure if my collection of shells would give me the win or not. Michael ended up winning 58 to my 53! Dang! He just had too many Big Kini's it seems.

This game was pretty fun, and I can even see playing it again. The production leaves much to be desired, but ah well. I am not sure it is a keeper in the long run but I would try again.


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Iron Clays we used with the game today!
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I was thinking about placing an order from the GeekMarket and wanted to know if I should order the extra packs for Villages of Valeria. I figured this was a game Michael would enjoy, but we played it first to find out if it was worth adding the extra cards.

I played once when I first got it, but I enjoyed it enough that it remained in the collection. Michael LOVES San Juan and this has similar action selection and tableau building.

The game plays out fairly quickly since you are just playing until someone gets 12 cards down in front of themselves and then points are added up.

I wasn't using my actions wisely and just building when I could. I really needed to focus on what Michael DIDN'T need to do, and then choose that action. He was certainly very good about selecting actions I couldn't follow along with. mmhmm.

Since he was so perceptive, I figured I would lose this game. yep, that's what happened. Michael won with 24 to my 18. doh!

Love the artwork and the quick playtime. I went ahead and ordered the extra add-on cards and we will see what they bring to the table next time. Cool game.


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New to the Collection:
Hues and Cues
U.S. Telegraph
The Pillars of the Earth: Builders Duel





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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At High Noon, the Wise Crew took on the Zombies in Tekhenu!

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Tons of new games to review today and I figured I would start with this: Philosophia: Dare to be Wise. New to me!

In Philosophia, you are a great mind traveling the city states. You will gain knowledge and followers and have great debates. Your mission is to complete 3 labyrinth tokens first by completing goals. If you have collected 3 tokens and have advanced the time along fast enough, you will win the game.

There are 6 possible ways to obtain a single labyrinth token and a hidden goal card, which is much more challenging but will give you 3 Labyrinth tokens if you succeed.

On your turn, you will select any unoccupied area on the map and move there. You will then take one action at the location. There are standard actions that can be taken in the areas on the map and then there is the Acropolis area in which you will perform a specific action depending on the space.

In order to claim a labyrinth token, you will have to obtain 9 followers, build 4 schools, unlock 3 masters, claim all of one colored disc from the map, win 3 debates, and find 3 pieces of the labyrinth through oracle cards.

On the map, each location will have a disc that players can claim once they arrive at the space, if they don't claim it they will gain the reward on the back of the token and leave the token there for the next player to choose. It is a free action to claim it or gain the reward. Red spaces allow players to study and gain masters, green spaces allow players to visit the oracle. The oracle decks have amazing cards with great powers and really help you during the game. It is wise to go there early.

Otherwise, normal actions will be gain followers or building materials to build the schools, build the schools, tax, and collect money.

Since you are only doing one action you have to spend an action to study then spend an action to gain masters and the same with building a school. It costs a lot of time and money.

In the Acropolis, players can advance the timer, collect debate cards, visit Athena and hold a closed fist auction for a very cool benefit, or host a debate.

The game is fairly attractive, but the rulebook was absolutely horrible. Michael said, "This rulebook is in the bottom 3 rulebooks for the grammar alone". A lot of things we were able to figure out, but it took a while. It is also frustrating to visit BGG and see the designers saying they would fix the rules with specific questions from people, and here I have the rules from the finished game, and they did not. WHY?! He was able to explain the answer to the guy in the forum, but not in the rules itself (after promising he would). shake

So, besides that, I knew right away this would not work for 2 players. Since every player has a unique starting position, it was clear whoever went first in turn order would have a huge advantage. In this case, Michael had that advantage. He started the game with $3 and the ability to collect 2 of the strong debate cards (normally 1 of this type is drawn). I started with several debate cards, and a token that converted his followers into my followers (clearly not useful in a 2p game as he won't even bother playing followers). My ability was to gain $1 more when taxing.

Either he would start and go take an Athena tile for free (nowhere in the rules does it say he had to pay at least $1, and he would break all ties by starting the auction). The Athena tile gave him 5 debate cards.... basically making my starting position void. If I started the game, I could go to debate him and gain a free debate token.

So, I knew I needed fast money and visited the oracles early. I wanted to try for the combo Labyrinth set, but I also wanted abilities. I ended up taking a free master unlock which helped build my income when I taxed. Because I drafted that one card that wasn't a labyrinth, I wasn't sure I could obtain the 3rd piece of the labyrinth for the goal. To my luck, another piece showed up with the Athena tiles and I saved enough money to bid and win that auction! Yah, no, Michael had an attack card which he played during the auction to steal all my money (no rules against playing attack cards during the action itself) shake . It was horrible. I knew I would lose the game at that point.

So the 2nd half of the game was me doing actions just to do actions. I got my followers out. I couldn't win any debates so he got his token for that, and we both unlocked the 3 masters. He also was able to steal one colored token from me to complete his red set of tokens for the 3rd labyrinth piece. There was no stopping him.

This game didn't work for me, for many reasons. There is no direction at all. Sure we have a hidden objective goal card, but it is basically impossible to complete them because they are so hard. I would have rathered it been easier to complete and gotten 1 labyrinth token, and then it might have actually given me goals to work toward in the game. Having a debate with 2 players is just dumb, you either will win or you know you can't win depending on the cards the other player has, and you can usually tell by the types. This mechanic is likely a lot more interesting with more players. All of the spaces are available to move to, why isn't there some restriction? It is too easy to do anything you want. Ultimately, in the second half of the game, my best play was probably to tax, Athena, tax, Athena, in hopes of getting more oracle cards, but at that point, it is not a game.

Everything just needed to be tighter, for example, Michael Suggested, one Oracle deck, one Oracle space. Mesh all those cards together and draw 5 cards to choose one. put the others on the bottom. You won't know what other people have taken and it would not be clear if I were going for the Labyrinth cards or not. I might not have been sabotaged in the Athena round if he didn't know.

In the end, it seemed to be a bit too unfinished for me to really enjoy. Perhaps it will be better with more players, but I am not sure I will try it out. If a game doesn't handle 2 players well, it shouldn't list 2 players on the box. I wanted to like this one.

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They were sad they weren't chosen...
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I was asked to preview High Noon since it is on Kickstarter this week! New to me!

High Noon is a thematic and all-out brawl miniatures game. You choose a gang and start the war. The player who is the last one standing, or the one with the most gold after 12 rounds is the winner.

Each turn, you can move your gang members according to their movement range, and then take one action. You might attack an opponent or play a card, or pick up an item. If you attack the other player can defend using cards in hand. At the end of your turn, you will draw 3 cards.

You gain gold when you deal damage and MORE gold if you kill a dude completely.

I started out with the Leroy Gang and Michael was Sheriff and Deputy. I had 5 guys and he had 2. His deck was a lot stronger than mine, so maybe it was balanced out. In order for me to use each guy, they need a matching card, and my deck was full of Quentin cards and a lot fewer Gang cards, so it was hard to do much of anything on my turn. I had to try and find weapons among the items to use.

My range was good, but Michael never left the house he was in, so I had to either shoot through a window or move inside. It was rather difficult to play since no rules were really explained. We had to just use our imagination and create our own rules for "line of sight" type situations and what classified as covered or not.

I was totally dead. he was able to block all of my attacks and I couldn't defend for myself. It was basically a hot mess for me. I did manage to get small points for the damage I did cause, but as I didn't make it the 12 rounds I ended up losing the game. Fine by me.

Since I took the time to learn the game, I gave the designer/publisher 3 pages of feedback and questions he should answer in the rules as they were unclear. I doubt he will take my advice as he said I was overthinking it too much and that this game was designed for non-gamers. My response to that is, it should be designed for anyone, including gamers. If I have questions, hundreds (presuming 100 people back the game) of other people will have the same questions. I was simply trying to help him better the game. He can do with it as he pleases.

This is not a game I would want to play again.

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Oh man, it was time for me to play a zombie game. If you know me, you know I reallllllly don't like the zombie theme and really didn't think I would enjoy this game. I went in with an opened mind and we played Tiny Epic Zombies: Deluxe Edition. New to me!

After Tactics, we had this on the table and figured we would give it a go.

In TEZ, you can choose to play cooperatively or 1 vs many. Obviously I chose that we should play cooperatively, so there are automated rules for how zombies appear in the coop mode.

When you set up, you will have 3 objectives you will have to complete in order to win. You will die if the barricade is destroyed and all humans inside are eaten.

The mall is made up of 8 stores and the central courtyard. Each store has 3 rooms and the zombies will populate on the rooms and head in toward the centralized location.

Each turn, the active player will have 3 movement points. After each space he moves to, he can kill a zombie by a ranged attack, or melee attack if in the same space with a zombie. If the entire store is clear after a movement, you can perform the room's special action, and pick up any items that are to be found in the store, or space. Having a store completely clear, is definitely to your benefit.

At the end of your turn, you reveal a card from the event deck, and perform the event, if applicable. If the card is an item, that item is dropped in the store where you are located to be picked up at another time. Also on the card, if a noise indicator and zombies appear in the stores that match the icons. If it matches the store you are in, you will make double the zombies appear.

Michael and I rarely triggered the double zombie effect, so we got lucky. We did our best to keep the zombies at bay. They only ever reached the barricade twice or maybe three times. It was very few. We were more nervous about losing our ammo and life. If the life tracker or ammo tokens ever met in the middle, that human is eaten alive. We wouldn't die as a team, but it would certainly make it harder.

We picked the objectives to be calling the CDC, Quarantine 5 Zombies, and finding the cure... thematic much? Seemed to fit in with the current times, so we went with it.

I like the quarantine rules since you have to really just push your luck, and hope you roll well. If you don't you could easily be killed/ eaten alive.

Michael and I didn't have an issue with rolling the dice. We were hitting bullseyes left and right. It was almost insane at how well we were rolling. He was only a bit reckless when it came to his ammo and he would use it every move to kill off zombie A, B, & C. It seemed to work well though.

We ended up winning this game with flying colors. I suppose next time we will use fewer survivors and see how we manage.

Michael and I very much enjoyed this game. It has easily been one of the better games in the Tiny Epic series. This is one I could definitely see playing again. I like all of the characters and the colorful artwork. I still don't like zombies, but they were cute enough meeples that they weren't scary. I love the use of the player meeples who old the weapons, I think that is super cool. I would definitely play this again.

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I have owned the super beautiful Tao Long: The Way of the Dragon deluxe set for a while, and NOW I am getting the chance to play it! New to me!

I remember seeing people play it as a 4 player game and having them recommend that I don't play with 4 players. So, it was a good thing we just had 2 players.

Michael is not a big fan of abstract games, so I was skeptical that we would enjoy this game.

There is a really cool mancala mechanic where you pick up stones and drop them one at a time. Where you land, you will take the associated action. It was pretty neat that you have so many options, but only if they are available.

Ultimately, you will be playing a dragon and want to deal damage to the other dragon. Each section has 4 life points, and there are rare chances you can heal, but you will mostly be losing life and trying to combat the other dragon as much as possible.

It was a slow start for me. Since you really are moving 1 space each turn, its hard to get around. We were playing with portals so you can go in one portal and out another. It does make you more vulnerable, however.

I was getting hit left and right. I was sure I would lose the game. I did have one amazing turn with like 8 damage or something and Michael ended up losing 2 pieces because of it. I was thinking, "maybe I have a chance"... yeah not so quick, He was able to kill me on the next attack. Doh!

Clever game and I can see someone playing this more and having different setup and more possible combos and actions with advanced rules. I won't even get to be that advanced, but I can see how an abstract gamer could really appreciate this game. I certainly enjoyed it and think it is gorgeous. I probably won't request it in the future, but I could play again.


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I knew I wanted to play another game of Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun before all the rules dissipated in my mind.

Before the game had started I had a goal plan and a strategy planned out for what I wanted to accomplish. Yeah, that all changed rather quickly when I picked my hidden goal card and starting cards.

So I went for a similar strategy as I had in the past few games. I wanted to get out statues and buildings. I did a pretty good job of it too. Getting points for buildings and fulfilling my goal card by placing statues.

There were a few lost turns when I had to gather resources, so that was wicked lame. I really wanted to get up the population and happiness track to gain really cool end of game cards on display, but that just never happened. Shrey was sort of doing that and Derek was the card master and had tons of cards. He had forgotten that some of his cards had requirements in order to complete them, like needing 2 gold to pay for the opportunity to score an end goal again.

Because of that, I ended up winning the game with 97, Shrey 75, Derek 70.

It was really great to play this again. I am very much looking forward to the final production! It will be so beautiful!


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We pulled Scott in for several games of The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine. Maybe 5 games were played?

We ended up winning 2 of them. One game got totally ruined because of glitches in the app, so we ended up switching tables.

The scenario we enjoyed the most was #34. In that scenario, we all had to take equal amounts of tricks never having claimed more than 2 over another player. Also, the commander had to take the first and last tricks.

It was quite a challenge. I am surprised we even managed to win this level after 3 games. It was so hard!

The round we ended up winning I had an amazing hand of cards and could have taken trick after trick if I wanted to. Thankfully, I played pretty well and I was able to sluff off the higher cards I knew I would have to.

It was great fun and I am so happy we got to play this game more! Seriously love it!

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It was my suggestion to play Yokohama.

I keep staring at my shelves of wonderful Euro's and how I rarely get to play them. Yokohama definitely falls under this category and it is just so much fun not to be played!

Derek and Shrey were on board, Derek had only played once a long long time ago, but he picked it up quickly.

The major issue we had was the room had this horrible saturation for most of the game. Fortunately, Shrey figured out how to fix it - eventually.

It was a fantastic game for me. I had my shops and my strength. Everything seemed to be working out for me. I supplied tons of import goods and made a lot of in-game points. Shrey was kind of all over the place and not focused. He was surprised when I said it was the game-end trigger. Fortunately, I was start player so he and Derek could have 2 more turns.

It didn't much matter, I was pretty far in the lead. I won with 123 and Shrey was 83 and Derek 59.

I think that might have whipped them into shape so if we play again, they will do better. I can't wait!

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shrey suggested we play Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King & Isle of Skye: Journeyman.

It had been far too long since I last played Isle of Skye so I was up for it. Derek said he had never played base Isle of Skye and only with Journeyman... well, he should probably play the base game at some point.

regardless, in this game, we played with Journeyman and the Rock modules from the expansion, which I think is everything. It took a while to get going because of computer issues and figuring out the rules again since it had been so long.

I really like how you move the journeyman around the map and collect bonuses from the tracks. Afterward, Derek suggested we play German Railroads, and Shrey said he directly compared the 2 games for the different tracks. I can see the comparison but do still think of them in different categories.

It wasn't clear how I wanted this game to go, but I knew I needed money. Sure enough, people were buying tiles from me and I would only be collecting 1 tile each turn. It felt like every turn, but I am sure it was not EVERY turn. Thankfully the rocks provided more tiles and helped me expand my city a bit.

I was feeling very good, but in the end, Derek was just so far ahead before the final scoring I didn't think I could keep up. I knew I would get so many points from all my bonuses regarding the money I saved up, but it wasn't enough. Derek won 152 to my 138 and Shrey's 104.

Great game and I am glad we got to play it. A bit long, so I duno if I would want to play again on TTS, but maybe.


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Takeover Tuesday!! Top 10 games of all time!




New to the Collection:
none!





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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The Tiny Quirky Toys Tactically Cover Poseidon's World in Paper Rolls...

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

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Many of you probably saw the snipit review of Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures in my New to me blog from Friday, and already know I adore this game.

It's true, I love and have fond memories of the Toy Story series. This newly released game hits a home run with a theme that sucks you in with the gameplay.

In Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures, players are cooperatively building up their decks of cards to overcome the obstacles and evil characters that show up. If you are familiar with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, you will feel at home with Toy Story. The mechanics are essentially the same with a few alterations.

Each round, you will reveal events that will often affect the player's in a harmful way, then you have to activate all of the villain cards. Once all of that happens, the active player will take a turn using cards from their hand to gain new cards from the display of cards and use cards to possibly help other teammates and provide imagination to defeat the villains.

I think the BEST new feature that Toy Story offers is the mechanic of stacking similar cards atop one another. I found in HP that the display of cards wouldn't turn over quickly enough or they would become static at times. This mechanic of stacking similar-type cards is clever and easy it incorporates and keeps it so there are always 6 unique cards available. Love that!

Michael and I opened the box and immediately proceeded to play the first 2 levels. It was clear the first level is supposed to be easy and let you grasp the concepts and gameplay. We were to easily beat that one.

The second level, we still managed to have an easy go of it, but we were caught up with more villains and obstacles to overcome. The track was moving more briskly and we were drawing 2 events fairly quickly. We still managed to win.

I wanted to keep playing, but I always wanted to save the experience since it is a campaign, and you will experience everything for the 1st time only once. I like to savor those moments!

Definitely more Toy Story happening in my near future! Loving it so far!

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The Tiny Epic series has always been appealing to me since they are always a unique experience and have amazing production quality. I had my eye on Tiny Epic Tactics to see what it was about. New to me!

The rulebook is long and there are many variations on how to play the game. Competitively, 2v2, solo mode, cooperatively, and more. Since each variant added more rules, Michael and I opted to just play the capture the flag, 1v1 mode.

Inside the box, you are given a bunch of other boxes and you will create your own terrain. Each game will be played with the same map, however. You can purchase more terrain in the expansion. Something we didn't end up seeing was INSIDE the terrain. I believe in the solo or cooperative game you will enter the caves and buildings to locate gems and fight monsters. It certainly looked interesting, but I am not sure how that works.

In capture the flag, players are trying to control the different areas with flag icons. If they can maintain the control until their next turn the flag will advance a tick. If it was the 3rd time the flag advanced that player would claim the token and it would trigger the end of the game. Each flag claimed is 5 points and each opponent you kill is 2 points.

Each player will start the game with 4 warriors: Fighter, Wizard, Beast, Rogue. Everyone will get a random character for each type. Considering how many characters there are in the box, you won't ever have the same team of warriors. Tons of asymmetric abilities and different stats to work with.

On your turn, you will get 3 actions, and if you use the same warrior to move and fight they will become weakened. As you would expect, some characters have melee attacks and other ranged. There are spots on the board that give you unlimited range otherwise the distance is printed on the character sheets.

At the end of your turn, you will draw an event card. If the requirements are fulfilled then you can play events. Sometimes they happen on your turn and other times they are reactions to other players' actions.

Starting the game I was feeling pretty confident with my werewolf beast as he could move 5 spaces during his movement. I was able to arrive in the center of the board and start controlling the orange flag location. It was quite surprising that Michael had special move action which allowed for him to basically carry his other dude across the map and then that dude could move normally as an action. He was in the center with me!

After that, I tried to attack with my range attack, but it seemed like dealing 2 damage was just super lame since it is very easy to heal. Just by walking through a city, you are able to heal 4 damage and all of your ammo.

Meanwhile, Michael was using his mage to control the forests and cause the vines to deal damage to me. He could do that from anywhere on the board. It was fairly strong and I Rogue was dead fairly quickly, as I wasn't focused on helping to keep her alive. I was more focused on securing the control on 2 areas.

Now, in the beginning, the control doesn't matter at all, and maybe I misfocused my directions. You really only need to control the FINAL push of the flag in order to claim it. If you are tied in a location the control maker never slides, so you don't want to make it too easy for the other players to gain control, but it might not be as important as I thought.

By the end of the game, it was pretty clear I would win the game. I had an event card that just didn't make thematic sense, but secured the win for me. I was able to melee attack and push off my opponent. The card said I could then move ANY other opponent piece, and then I simply move another guy off of a location far away and he wasn't able to gain control there for the final turn. It was super OP, and didn't make sense, but it is what the card said.

So yeah, I totally won that game.

Tiny Epic Tactics doesn't really have a lot of tactical gameplay. You are given random events that will drastically change the course of the game. It doesn't make sense to be weakened if you move and want to combat. It all felt very weird to me. So while the Capture the Flag mode didn't work for me, I am interested in finding out more about the cooperative mode and seeing how that might mix things up and play out. If I were asked to play Capture the Flag again I would choose not to. It didn't really do anything for me.


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Yay a final production of Cover Your Kingdom came in!

I got to play this game as a 4 player game during the Kickstarter. Since you can play it as a 2 player game, Michael and I decided to give it a whirl.

The gameplay changes slightly as you have a "dummy" row of cards that are in stacks. So when you go to challenge the other person, you can also challenge them for the cards in the different "dummy" stacks. Also, each player will have a 3rd terrain to hold the horse creatures which make the pigs the only "wild" creature. More stacks to steal from and things to remember.

We also decided to use the colorful tokens included in the game! The tokens are used for bonus scoring at the end of the game. They give you something to aim for with trying to collect different creatures! They were easy to add and play with, so why not!

In addition to all of that, we decided to use asymmetric abilities. Michael had the ability for the end game scoring to make all of the pigs worth more points. My ability was during the game and I could hold an additional card in my hand.

With 2 players, I felt my ability was just too strong. I could basically overtake anything he was aiming for. He got a few matches for his board, but I was winning all of the battles that truly mattered. Halfway through the game, and it was clear I would win the game. There was no way he would come back from being beaten so much. I made a point to hold onto several pig cards so I could always steal them away from him since I knew they scored him extra at the end of the game.

I kicked some serious ass with 805 points at the end. Michael had 330. surprise

I can't say it worked that well with 2 players. It seemed so one-sided for most of the game. It is definitely more interesting with a bunch of players. I liked the tokens, but it was too easy to collect them all. I am sure it will be more of a challenge with a bunch of players and you don't have a bunch of turns to collect.

In the end, I still enjoy the game and will want to play it again with more players!


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YAY! Another installment of Quirky Circuits.

Michael and I played through 5 games with Rover, the pupper! Man, this game gets so challenging! With Rover, you have to jump over the barriers and pick up polyomino tiles and drop them off in proper places.

We were on the edge of our seats for several rounds. Out of the 5 games, we won them all, but it was down in the low battery zone sometimes even down to the final turn! Definitely a nail biter.

In the 5th game, we had no choice just to take a shot in the dark. There was no way we could possibly win, but a miracle. Michael had a yellow card which he played first, and then I had to hop skip and jump and slide. he had no idea where I could have possibly landed. He played his cards and like a champ, that dog ended up where he needed to be with a drop at the end. I was dumbstruck. Complete luck and awesomeness we won that game. I thought for sure would have to play again!

I am still in shock as I write this blog. I took a picture of all the movements we spent. It really is unreal. I don't think we will ever top it, might as well retire now!

Love this game.

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I was approached by the designer to try out his new Roll n Write games now available for PnP on BGG called PAPER ROLL & Write. New to me!

I played this in April so you might have seen it on my New to Me list.

Paper Roll & Write is a game designed for 2 players that's directly related to the COVID pandemic and how everyone went crazy and bought out all of the toilet paper. One person will take on the roll of the POOH (customer), and the other person will represent the production of Toilet paper and getting it in stock at the local stores.

The mechanic that really grabs me the most is swapping boards each round. While I make progress on one board I am suddenly thrown a different board for the next round and I have to manage THIS board now. So much to do! POOH is trying to run out the clock, while the production is trying to supply. Whoever can succeed at their mission first wins.

I took on the role of the production and Michael was POOH. He had special abilities and I had my own abilities. Each board will have its own abilities so I really can use each of mine twice! I might want to duplicate a roll so I can gain an instant reward. I am trying to fill in my deliveries all while managing my TP production so I can actually deliver the product.

Michael rolled really high on the first turn. He gained some amazing benefits and I decided to keep all of the dice since I could instantly gain a TP roll from the board. It happened the same way in the second roll as well. It definitely would have been better had he been rolling very low numbers, but it was still early and I wasn't doomed, yet.

It was a close game the entire time. I was feeling good since I was being snappy with my production lines and keeping it moving. Michael was being a PIMA and running me low on dice to use and keeping it a challenge.

In the second to last round, I realized too late that I could have ended the game for the win. I had forgotten about my ability to use any 2 dice as 1 die value. I needed a specific value and I didn't have it. I COULD have ended it.

As it happened, we played one more round and I just didn't get what I needed to make the last fulfillment to win. Michael ended it first with running the clock out! Grrrrr POOH for the win!

Fantastic roll n write game and one I would definitely recommend to anyone who plays 2 player games during this COVID quarantine. It was hilarious and so many jokes were made. It was all-around a pleasant surprise and you should try it out. I had a great time.


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A game I knew I wanted to love based on the amazing ocean figures provided in the game was Poseidon's Kingdom. New to me!

OMG, the figures are just amazing! In Poseidon's Kingdom, there are a ton of interesting ideas and mechanics. They just don't mesh very well, especially for 2 player game. I love the idea of the huge wave crashing and when it does, it rolls a whole lot of dice onto the board. That is a cool idea. The rough part is the shark chasing you and you simply can't get away and it will be rough on your reef that you are building up.

Michael and I had a very slow start. You can only build up your actions so fast, and it was fairly quickly before the shark ate us both. Too much to do and too little time to do it before that shark eats you up. I wanted to get dice place quickly, but that means giving up a tile placement, which you need to do in order to boost your actions. Without dice on the wave, you will have a low pip count so you don't get bonuses. Too many painful things happening in this game to make it much fun.

Once I fell behind it was all over. To top it off, the final scoring tiles you get in the last round screwed me over since I never had the chance to look at any of them. Ugh - Michael won with 25 to my 9.

Everything was rough. The ideas seemed to be there, just too many. It could have used a lot more refining, and thus it makes for sloppy gameplay which didn't work for me. Not a game I would choose to play again.

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I have been wanting to play Core Worlds for the longest time! Now, I have! New to me!

Core Worlds is a game I picked this up in the last year and have finally gotten around to playing. I have to admit I was intimidated by the time of the box and the stories I have heard of games lasting 3+ hours.

Once we got through the rules, Michael and I were fairly snappy with our turns and it seemed to move at a decent pace. I can see how reading all of the cards can be a bit of a drag in the first game, but it was manageable.

Core Worlds isn't your typical deck-building game experience. There was a great quote from my comment section on Friday's blog from Sean Franco:
Quote:
It’s an empire-building game that happens to use a deck-building mechanic.
This is so great because you really are building an empire of worlds that generate money so you can recruit and deploy more units. Yes, the recruitment phase will be the deck-building aspect. The game is played over 10 rounds and you will always know the final round will have all of the remaining planets revealed so you can plan for something.

The thing that just didn't work for me, was the order of operations. I would have enjoyed this game a whole lot more if I could see the cards on display before generating my energy, which is the form of currency in the game. as it happens you generate the energy and have to decide to gain 1 more by discarding 2 cards or not. In my opinion, it would totally be dependent on the cards on display, and I made a few huge errors by discarding and not discarding at the wrong times. It was highly frustrating not knowing.

In the end, Michael and I were fairly close in score, and I really had no idea who would win. I was feeling good since I collected a whole lot of infantry units and I was scoring for each of them. Michael was gaining a whole lot of valuable cards during the game but didn't gain as many Core Worlds in the end rounds as I did. It was tight but Michael ended up winning 33 to my 30.

I liked it well enough, but I am not sure I liked it enough to ever request it. I could see playing again though.

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10v10 Family Games!




New to the Collection:
Philosophia: Dare to be Wise
Tiny Epic Tactics
Tiny Epic Zombies





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Mon May 4, 2020 12:00 pm
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