All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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Time to Paint the Roses in the Gartenbau because Kim Joy's Magic Bakery had an Art Robbery!

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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NOW ON KS!! The very luscious Paint the Roses. This is a game that I have been LOVING for 3+ years now in Prototype form. I am so glad to finally see this brought to life on Kickstarter.

Many have already seen me play this game on the blog. Dom had given me an early prototype back in 2018 and I have been enjoying it since. He reached out a few years back asking if I wanted to create my own module for the game! I don't have design credit, but I certainly know games and I instantly had ideas for various variants I could offer for the game.

To my delight, my module turned out to be Alice! If you get the game (an Escape the Castle module). Hey! Now I have designer credit! Crazy.

It has actually been a while since I last played, and Michael and I wanted to refresh on the gameplay a bit so we just played the standard basic game. Only a few things have changed since the earlier prototype that I have, so that was interesting.

If you aren't familiar with Paint the Roses, it is a cooperative deduction game. You are trying to figure out the other players' pattern cards. Green is easiest and will give you fewer points, Blue is medium difficulty and will give you slightly more points, and red is the difficult cards and will give you the most points when completed.

The goal is to fill the garden with tiles before the queen catches you and chops off your head! It is fairly easy to learn, but figuring out the patterns can be quite the challenge!

Michael and I weren't really syncing with our patterns and playing fast and loose with our guessing. Ultimately, our heads were chopped off, but I think we could have done it if we had a bit more time to sort it out. I blame being short on time and rushing us with our decisions.

I seriously love this game and would never turn it down when someone wants to play it.

If you get the chance to check out the Kickstarter it is still up and running for a few more weeks. Michael and I plan to do a Livestream with my Alice Module on the 27th! It will be awesome so I hope you can join us for it.

Love the quality of pre-release production copy so I can only imagine what the final production copy will look like. Love it!

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There is another garden/ flower game coming out called Gartenbau. New to me!

This was on KS but then got pulled and delayed. So Gartenbau willlll be on KS in early November.

Gartenbau is a tile-drafting and placement game. You are looking to grow your garden using the seedlings you collect and turning them into beautiful full-bloom flowers.

Each turn you will either draft the next seedling tile around the circle skipping over spaces with other players, or you can collect resources from those same spaces. The in-between spaces will allow for you to play either the next advancement of a specific color flower by paying its cost, or laying the big full flower from your hand if you meet the requirements.

The seedlings don't cost anything to play into your tableau. When you start laying the bigger flowers over the seedlings you have to make sure the requirements are met and resources are spent. Each of the flowers played this way are worth points, but sometimes you will gain MORE points if you play over them with the big tiles from your hand that you get at the start of the game.

Gartenbau has you thinking from the very beginning on how you want to lay out your board and what seedlings you will want to collect to gain the flowers you want by the end of the game.

The End of the game is triggered when 3 of the seedling stacks have been depleted.

When Michael and I played this, I was optimizing everything I was doing. I had my board laid out perfectly. I was kicking butt and taking names with the patterns I was creating. My biggest downfall was that I couldn't end the game sooner.

I tried to whittle down the stacks faster, but there was only so much I could do, and generally collecting resources was my better option so I could lay more flowers.

Michael, was trying to form holes in his pattern for one or more of his scoring cards. He looked like he was struggling to get those bigger flowers down.

Several turns went by and I couldn't end the game faster. If I had managed to end it once I laid the final big flower I had, I think I would have won the game. As it happened, Michael had a TON of extra turns to get all of his big (high-scoring) tiles down and just crushed me. Michael had 177 and I was at 145.

Besides Gartenbau being absolutely stunning, I think the gameplay is light and easy to learn. I love the challenge of puzzling it all together for what might work best. The use of the rondel is nice. It is all-around a relaxing game with some interesting choices. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter in a few weeks. It will work well for many groups. I would be delighted to play this one again. It is a game that I am drawn to since it reminds me of my grandparents who have always loved flowers and their garden. heart


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Hey! A new Knizia game, you don't say! I was all about trying the new Art Robbery. New to me!

Art Robbery plays 2-5 players. Slightly different rules for 2 players though.

The game is played over 4 rounds. Each round players will use cards to capture the tokens in the middle which represents the value of the piece you just stole. If I play a 4 I can take the 4 token from the middle. Instead, I could grab a 4 token from another player. Here's the catch, if you try to take from another player and if they have the guard dog, they can choose to give you the guard dog only or give you the token.

When you play a card down you will grab the matching token, but there are some special cards like the dog where you can grab the dog pawn or the thief card which takes any card from the center pool of tokens. There is also the art director lady and she is going to be worth 5 points IF you have a token in your possession that is valued at 4 or 5 at the end of the round. Tricky tricky!

So it is great to have the higher valued tokens, but they might not have the alibi you need for the end of the game. That is right, at the end of the game, the person with the fewest alibi markings on their tokens will be eliminated from the game. In the 2-player game, the person with the fewest will just lose 10 points of tokens though.

Then you add up the tokens you stashed away and whoever scored the most will win!

Clever little card game. I can see this working well with more players. Michael and I have played it a few times with 2p (once on stream posted below).

In our play, I made sure to always have enough alibi tokens so I wouldn't be the one losing the 10 value in tokens. It worked one of the games, but not well enough for the other.

I don't think this game will hit the table often, but I would be perfectly happy if someone requested it to play. The mechanics are nice, but nothing new or unique is happening. Definitely worth playing.

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Next on the table was Kim-Joy's Magic Bakery. New to me!

I didn't know who Kim Joy was, but clearly, she is a baker. Included in my press copy of the game was a bunch of sweet extras! I got an apron, a pin, some stickers, a cool recipe (maybe I can learn to bake! yah, unlikely). I knew I wanted to check out this game since it had a bunch of fun cute accessories with it. I dressed up for you all.

Kim Joy's Magic Bakery is a cooperative card game where you are working together to fulfill customers' orders who are coming into your shop. If you can meet the required fulfilled amount of orders you will win the game.

During the game, the active player will take 3 actions on their turn (2-3 player game). The actions are pretty simple, you can draw ingredient cards from the display, create a bakery item using ingredients from your hand, fulfill a customer order, refill the pantry line with new ingredients, or give a card from your hand to another player.

Each new round will pop out a new customer and you can only have 3 active customers at a time. They will end up leaving if you don't fill their order in time. If too many leave then you can't win!

There is actually a campaign mode for this game where you work through different levels of difficulty each with new tasks to overcome and maneuver around during the game you are playing.

Michael and I played the first scenario. There was a lazy cat getting in the way of possible pastries we could make. We had to take an action to move the cat around. If we fulfilled the appropriate customer then the cat could move automatically so we tried to do that to help save our actions when we could manage.

We did fairly well with the ingredients we collected. We passed the first scenario with flying colors! I do anticipate the levels becoming more challenging. We lost a few customers along the way, so it wasn't a slam dunk or anything.

I have to say this is a super cute game. I think fans of Kim Joy will really appreciate the game. It is absolutely perfect artwork and theme for any kid who is into baking. I would have loved this as a kid. The artwork is inviting and the game is simple. It all works since it is a cooperative game. I would definitely recommend this for a fun challenge with the family. Including the campaign mode is all the better too!

Michael and I will definitely do a Livestream of this game in the near future! I look forward to scenario 2!

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New to the Collection:
Boba Mahjong





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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Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:00 pm
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The Tranquility of the Rolling Realms through BarBEARia and Zapotec was wonderful

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Rorschach



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Back in April I got to learn Zapotec and quite enjoyed it. I was given a preview copy of the game to play and show off on my Livestream so I was delighted to get that chance!

Michael hadn't played the game so we first had to play to make sure he knew how to play on the Livestream.

If you aren't familiar, Zapotec is a 'lighter' game than the many 'T' games the B&D publishes. Zapotec is definitely lighter, but still, I wouldn't call it a light game. Sure the game is played over 5 rounds, but those 5 rounds are filled with critical choices which will lead to more choices.

The first round is almost easy since you don't have that many choices with the resources you gain from income, but as you grow your production board and start to gain bonuses and abilities, your choices aren't so clear.

I think a really interesting aspect of the game is the use of cards. Each turn you will play a card and there are 3 distinct features of the card and each of those features will dictate how you play your turn to some extent. You will determine turn order first of all. The resource at the top will determine the income you will get for the round from your production board. The center of the card will allow you to build buildings of that or in that region only.

Everything else will present itself when you get the chance to do something. It is about setting yourself up for those chances the best you can.

There is a lot of clever play that happens during the game, so you have to be on top of the possibilities. With 2 players it isn't as important that you get to play 1st or 2nd, but with 4 players it can make all the difference in how you play your turn.

I generally liked the 2 player game slightly more for the openness, but I also enjoy how the turn order is very important with more players. So with that knowledge, I think it is really great with any player count. I haven't tried solo but only expect the best since B&D is great about including solo mode as an option generally.

During our play, I had a general idea of what I wanted to get done in the game. I wanted to get to the top of the temple track just to see if I could do it. I could not. I was sort of all over the place, and I really just needed to focus better.

Michael did a much better job focusing and he was even able to finish off his pyramid so he scored so many points from just that. I think I need to work on my pyramid game next time. I could have gotten much closer if I just had ONE MORE priest. It would have been a much better fighting chance for me to win if I had that.

Michael ended up destroying me with 79 and I was at 54.

All I can say is that I need to try and focus better for the next game. #dobetter

I am super excited for this game to release later this year. It is currently on pre-order with the BGG store exclusively through BGG for several months and is available at BGG Con I believe. I like that it is a faster game but still so many interesting choices to make. Our Livestream is posted below, I hope you enjoy it!

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Michael and I had time to play a quick game from the stack and settled on playing a game of Tranquility.

I have actually played this before on BGA! I was familiar with the rules, but Michael hadn't played before so we went through them just to be sure we would play correctly.

Tranquility is a cooperative game to try and place cards in a row 1-80 in a grid pattern filling 35 spaces. The challenge is each player has a deck of cards and in order to play a card adjacent to another card, you are forced to discard the difference. So really, you will want a bunch of checkerboard placements and then fill in the gaps with small differences so you don't end up losing more cards than you can manage in the grid.

For 2 players we were able to do it, but it came down to the final card. When we played on the Livestream we had a much better go of it. it almost felt easy.

Good thing there are many variants to try out with different rules and cards to use inside the box. I have actually tried a harder setting on BGA and it was definitely more of a challenge, but I think we managed to win that game. But, I like that they included different ways to play.

For me, this is a pretty good cooperative game. It reminds me of The Game, etc, but it stands on its own since it is almost hand management. I would be happy to play this one again. If it sounds interesting to you then I would definitely recommend checking it out on BGA.

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A new Stonemaier game? Yah, I had to play it ASAP to see what it was all about. Rolling Realms was up next! New to me!

Rolling Realms was actually created during Covid lockdown for people to PnP and enjoy. Since there was so much demand for an actual copy to be produced, here it is!

The game can play 1-6, but with the interactive PDF available on BGG, you can really play with any number of players. All of the realms are tied to the Stonmaier catalog and will have a small mini-game that will have an overlapping theme with that particular game.

The game is played over 3 rounds and in each round three of the realm cards will be randomly determined by one person and everyone else will match those realms to play for the round.

Each turn one player will roll the 2D6 and each player will use each of the results trying to gain resources and stars for that round. After 9 turns, the round will be over and you move on to a new round.

The person who scores the most points by the end of the game will win!

This game is super interesting because each of the realms will work differently and when they are put together as they are, weird interactions start to happen and there is suddenly more depth to the game than it might first appear.

Resources are super important since they give you bonus actions and abilities that will help you gain more stars and resources. So much to do so little time.

There are 11 realm cards so they all won't be used in each game which is cool. As Stonemaier makes more games I expect there will be promo cards to add to the mix as well.

I have now played 2 games with Michael. The one on the Livestream is totally playable if you wanted to play along with us as we play, to see how you compare, let me know how you do!

I have lost both games, so I clearly have some learning to do. The scores have been in the low 40s though, so they were pretty close in the end.

This is a great little roll n write with a lot of interactions and choices to make. I enjoy the mini-games and how they relate to Stonemaier games in general. Great PnP, and I am totally glad that it was created into the real published version. That should be available sometime soon for everyone to grab a hold of. Definitely check it out.

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Michael and I tried out the new BarBEARian Battlegrounds: Tales of BarBEARia. New to me!

I played the first one back in 2018 and it wasn't so much for me. Tales from BarBEARia has a lot of overlapping mechanics but there is an added adventure mechanic.

With the Adventure cards, players can now allocate dice they use each round to try and battle and claim rewards from the cards and ultimately glory points if they can maintain the majority by the end of the season.

If you aren't familiar with the series, BarBEARian Battleground is a dice worker-placement game where each player will roll their dice then allocate them behind their player screen for different actions.

Allocating dice will gain you resources to help you buy from the market upgrades and cards or even more dice. You might allocate dice to go on the adventure, or you might use the dice to fight other players and or defend your keep.

This is a game that is definitely a little bit more interesting with more players or 3+. I like that there is an option for 2 players though. There is basically less interaction on the adventure cards than a 3+ player game would cause, but that works for me.

With 2 players you really have no choice but to defend and gang up on the other person if you want to gain the glory points for defeating.

Of course, the adorable artwork is a major draw for the game, and all the vibrant colors as well.

I like the dice rolling and worker placement. I am less enthusiastic about the attacking and general take-that of the gameplay.

This is a game I certainly enjoy more than the original since it offers the opportunity to shoot for the Adventure cards. I did find that both Michael and I would eat up all the spaces on the Adventure cards and still have a round left in the season, so we would have to attack the other player if the dice allowed for it.

At the end of our game, I knew it was hopeless for me to actually win, but I still gave it my all and did the best I could. It ended up with Michael at 9 and I managed 3 points... haha not my best showing that is for sure.

BarBEARian Battlegrounds will work for the right crowd. The game is easy to learn and has some cool choices. If you enjoy games that have a little bit of take-that interaction then I think this will work for you. The Adventure cards add a lot to the game and make it work better for me. Cute game.

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New to the Collection:
The Adventures of Robin Hood





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.
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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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Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:00 pm
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The Bitmax Room was filled with the Tempo Franky had created

Steph Hodge
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Since Michael and I had a GDM Publisher Night the other day, I have all sorts of videos from that stream (7!) and we played through them alllll. Many of the new releases are kids games and are quite easy to play so I will mention them all in this blog post.

The first one I wanted to talk about is ROOM: Agus and Monsters. New to me!

This game is apparently an IP for a kids cartoon in Spain. I wasn't familiar with the IP, but that is cool.

Room Agus and Monsters is a light card game for kids. The goal is to play through the hand of cards and collect cards with monsters on them. If you have the most monsters at the end of the game you will win.

If you are the active player you will select either clothes, books, or food and play 1-3 cards with that item on it. Whoever played the most of that item will win all of the cards.

There are people cards that have abilities too which might steal a card from another player or swap the scored cards with another player.

Super simple and the game is complete after one hand of cards.

Michael and I played the first game and realized it really isn't for strategy gamers. You are lucky to get a decent hand with some monsters and just try to avoid giving the monsters away. So yeah it will definitely work better for families with kiddos. Besides the Livestream, this is not really a game I will be looking to play again.

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Another kids game we got to check out was Franky. New to me!

Franky is perfect for October since it clearly fits the Halloween themes.

In the game, players are trying to stitch together the arms and legs of the monster they are trying to create. using the string to sew together all the parts in the exact order as pictured on the card with that body part. You are simply racing the other players to get the body completed before the other players.

In our first game, Michael and I mixed together all of the cards... expert mode and all. Yeah, I highly recommend not using the expert mode cards in your first play. The game says 5 minutes, but with the expert cards, it is more like 20 minutes. Hahaha, my string was fraying by the end of the game.

Michael didn't even finish his monster because he did the wrong stitch on the wrong body part and just gave up.

When we played on the Livestream, we played with the easy cards and it was definitely more manageable. We both finished the sewing and Michael beat me by several seconds. I had much harder easy cards BTW, so it wasn't exactly fair, and I should have won.

There was a great suggestion in the chat during the stream. Either burn the tips of the strings or add glue to the ends so they don't fray when playing the game. Great ideas, so if you pick up this game I would highly suggest doing that to the string tips.

Michael said it reminded him of the lace books he had as a kid. I guess there were books with strings. I was unaware of such a thing, but yeah, this game definitely can resemble that. I liked this one. It felt different, but it also felt very much like activity and less like a game. Could be fun for the family and kids. Not sure many strategy gamers will be interested in this one though.


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Next up on the stack was BITMAX PuzzleGame which I think is another IP based game for kids. New to me!

Bitmax Puzzle game can be played in a number of ways as described in the rules, or you can simply make up your own game with the kids playing. If you don't want to play a game, you can just use the tiles to make the puzzle.

There are cooperative ways to play and competitive ways. It is all very easy and generally leading to finding your character's piece from the facedown stack of tiles.

It is pretty cute artwork and I am sure 4-year-olds would totally love this for both the game and the puzzle.

For me, it does what it is intending to do, but there are no real strategic plays to happen during the game, so it is just a luck fest game. I can see it working for the younger crowd though. Would make a cute gift for any young one.

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Next up Michael and I tried Tempo. New to me!

I was really looking forward to this one since I think there should be more games about music!

Tempo is a game that can be played with 2 people, but really will be better with more players.

Since one person has to keep time and play out cards and watch for mistakes, it is more interesting with more people actually singing the notes handed out.

Since Michael is great at knowing music he was the one who took on the role of singing the notes.

We did a quick demonstration in the video below if you wanted to check it out.

We didn't really play the game though. It is just impressive to see Michael keep at the pace. The rules are difficult if you don't actually know musical terms, since there are a lot of uncommon terms used that I didn't know. Michael knew them though and was able to figure out the game flow.

Michael did explain the game in the video if you were curious about how it actually plays though.

This game feels more like a fun activity than a game. I am not sure I could keep up the beat and notes with the words provided on the cards. I am not that great at keeping the beat and reading cards put on display. It is a cool talent to have though. This is probably not the best game to play with musically challenged players, they might feel discouraged. Fun exercise though. I would try it another time.

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Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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So Many New Games!!!! Hanamikoji, Geisha's Road, Marrakesh, Metal Mania, & SenbarZuru

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Tonight on twitch.tv/boardgamersteph we will check out Gartenbau


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It was time to check out Metal Mania. ROCK ON! New to me!

Alright, I am totally not into this type of music AT ALL, so the theme doesn't really do anything for me. However, I am totally impressed with the artwork and the funny names of the band members in the game. It is clear who the artists are and I don't even really know people. Any fan of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, and Extreme might want to check out this game for the theme alone.

Looking past the theme, Metal Mania is a dice game with some push-your-luck and tableau building. You are managing a band and will want to gain prestige in order to win the game. The game will end once one player hits 66 points or more.

Each turn is played out in 3 steps. The first step is to roll for the event. the events might help you or hurt other players. There is definitely a lot of take-that going on in this game, so be aware.

The second step will be to determine how to advance your band's career. Using the members' inspirations, Charisma, Performance ratings you will want to boost those qualities and gain additional points and abilities during the game.

In the third step, you might want to increase revenue, or recruit new band members, or even go out and grab a few beers. You have to look out for the band members' revelry when going out to the pubs.

You will gain most of your victory points from the dice when rolling for the step 2 gigs. You will want to roll the dice just under the performer's highest value range to have the best result and most awarded points.

I found it pretty fun to manage a band. I was trying to max every opportunity. If a performer is troubled, you can't gain points but you can still gain successful hits to help boost your stats. You will want to try and stand them but by having them grab some beers, or simply replacing them with a new member of the band.

Figuring all of that out is critical.

Michael and I found that even number of turns is the way to play. It is not in the rules to do that, but it was really the only fair thing to work. There is so much take-that in the game that going first is a HUGE advantage, especially if the other players don't get to finish the round once the end of the game has been triggered.

I was doing a pretty good job managing my points and my band in the first game we played. Michael was basically attacking me on every turn he could. I was feeling a bit defeated, but I stuck with it and managed to have a killer final turn and push Michael back with points so I managed to win it. I was totally shocked.

Now, when we played on the Livestream, I had a similar experience except I couldn't come back from the beat down in the early game. Not only did I have poor rolls, but Michael took whatever good part of the poor rolls I had and turned it to unusable. It was a really rough 3 or 4 rounds to start the game. I just couldn't come back from that disaster.

Definitely, an interesting game that I enjoy playing. You really need to take the player interaction into account when deciding if this game is for you.

Playing with 2 players is a good number since the take-that is back and forth. It could be that playing with 3 players is even better. I am not sure I would want to play with 4 or 5 players since I think the downtime would just be too long for my taste.

There are some neat mechanics in the game and it felt different and very much like managing a band. I had a good time play and would play again for sure. People who are fans of the Heavy Metal scene will appreciate it for the theme, but you don't have to enjoy the genre to enjoy the game. Worth checking out for sure.

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I was looking forward to checking out the beautiful SenbaZuru. New to me!

Senbazuru is a 2 player abstract tile-placement game. The player with the most points at the end of the game will win.

During the game, the active player will play a tile to the board and take control of the cranes in a diagonal that matches the requirement for controlling. Basically, the tile placed must be the opposite light or dark shade of the color on the diagonal. Light green can take over the dark green tiles. As long as the colors keep alternating in the diagonal, or even more tiles can be controlled in this manner. It will only stop when a new color is reached, or one of the cranes is already in control of the player trying to take control.

Every tile that was rotated since it changed control that has a picture of the black and white crane will gain a point and gain a control maker to place under their control. Some will have golden cranes on them as well. Those will score points at the end of the game.

This is a pretty quick game, maybe 20 minutes. You have to try and plan your hand to take over the big line of cranes when you get the chance. There are ways to block your opponent, the downfall is that you might not get anything in return if you choose to take any action to block. You really have to see the situations and what might be the best advantage.

I am TERRIBLE at this game, it seems. Michael always knows what to play and when to play it. I try to block him from taking my cranes away, but he finds a way around it by taking other cranes and gaining the control markers and a ton of in-game points.

I have lost both games that we have played, once on the Livestream. I think I know what I am doing, but really, I just don't really know how to play this game better. It is a straight-up abstract game. Could be good for fans of this genre or even just casual gamers who want a pretty origami game to play. I think it works, but there needs to be a few rules cleared up. I liked the game well enough, but I am not sure this is one that I will return to play all that often.

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A recent delivery from EmperorS4 provided Hanamikoji along with a bunch of mini expansions that are new!

Since Michael had never played Hanamikoji, it was time he did! We ended up playing this before the new Geisha's Road release. It is definitely always best to start with the first before moving on to the spin-offs.

I still haven't tried out the new expansions, but the mini-expansions add 4 new tiles to use during the actual gameplay. Instead of the 4 that are included in Hanamikoji, they will offer up a new way to play the game. All of the tokens have new rules.

Playing just the basic game, Michael ended up winning our first game. It was SO CLOSE though! It actually ended with him at 11 influence and I had 4 Geisha's that I was in control of. UGH, I thought for sure I would have it.

It took 3 rounds to get to the conclusion of that game.

When we played on stream it was only a few rounds before the game was complete. Check out the video below.

This has been in my collection for a long time. I am excited to see the new mini-expansions that offer a new way to play the game. I think they will be totally fun to try out. This is a staple 2-player game in the collection and if you haven't played before, I would highly recommend it. Wonderful game. I am glad for the new content and even a new SERIES of card games. See next entry.

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Hanamikoji was a MUST PLAY before opening the new Hanamikoji: Geisha's Road to play with Michael. New to me!

I actually played this a few months ago, and it is still in the works as far as gameplay and variants.

Geisha's Road is a new game along the lines of Hanamikoji. The mechanics are similar in how you play and select cards, but now there is a circular board where you are moving around the Geisha's from tea house to tea house trying to get them to land exactly on their own tea house for lantern cards.

There are 5 Geisha's that are moving around and 5 item types that each player is trying to gain control over each round. At the end of the round, you will evaluate who has won each of the items with majorities and claim any of the lanterns on the tea houses that the Geisha's have collected.

The player with the most lanterns collected will win the round. The player who can win 2 rounds first will win the game.

The game is pretty interesting. You are trying to control the cards that are being played, but you also need to seriously think about how the Geisha will be moving around the circle.

The cards you play in front of you that are offered to your opponent will automatically move the Geisha's around the board so you need them to land exactly on the houses so you can get those lanterns.

Knowing which cards to offer up and how everything will play out is critical. You don't want them to land on their houses if you know you won't win the majority since those lanterns will end up going to the other player.

I have to admit, I am very good at this game. Maybe I can just anticipate how Michael will select cards, or I can see how it will all play out with the cards I am provided? Somehow, I can gain control over the items that will produce the most lanterns.

In the first game, I thought Michael was going to win a round, but I managed to win by just a single lantern, so it was super close. After that, I was very far in the lead each other round we played including the Livestream. Maybe Geisha's Road is my calling? haha I seem to know how to play this game pretty well. Or maybe I just got a lucky deal of cards where it was easy for me to guess. Not sure!

There are variants to try as well. Jerry told me that he was playing around with more ideas and that the game in the box is not yet set in stone as to what will be officially included in the final game.

I believe this is going to KS really soon. If you enjoy Hanamikoji then this is definitely one to check out and see if you like the new idea and movement of the Geisha.

I think I still enjoy Hanamikoji more than this one, but this was also a solid entry into the newly found series. Worth playing! More beautiful artwork is always appreciated too. Nice game.

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Travis from Queen Games asked if I wanted to take time and learn Marrakesh and I obviously wanted to take that chance! New to me!

Marrakesh is the newest Feld title set to be released early 2022. The Kickstarter is still happening for another week or so.

I love that Queen Games uses the cube tower. Not many publishers use that tower, but I can think of a few games that do and they are part of the Queen catalog. Feld decided to take a chance with the use of a cube tower and it is so awesome.

We were playing this game on TTS, so the true joy of the cube tower is a bit lost in translation, but I can imagine how it will be IRL.

Like in many Feld games, there is a lot going on and many paths to choose from. There are 3 rounds and each round will have 4 turns.

Each turn there are keshi cubes that are dropped in the tower and then drafted by the players. The 3 keshi cubes that are chosen by each player will determine the areas they activate that turn.

Again, so many options for how to activate areas and when, but I won't get into all of that. There is a lot to think about, and you want to hope that the cubes come out of the tower for the areas you hope to active each turn. It isn't an issue if there isn't a cube, but it certainly helps if there is, and that you can draft it to your player board.

During our game, it was pretty clear what I needed to try and do. I was hyper-focused on one thing. Once I completed that one thing I started focusing on another thing. This seemed to be working for me. I was gaining a lot of points from the in-game scoring. Shrey was more focused on the end-of-game scoring tiles that I definitely was not getting.

I felt like I was doing really well, but I really didn't know where everyone else stood against my strategy since we were all doing very different things.

Filling up regions is a huge 10 point bonus so I made a point to try and get as many of those as possible and I managed 3 of them. Shrey and Dan only did 1 or 2 regions. Travis nearly did 4 but ended up with 3 finished and he was getting extra points.

Somehow I won the game with 150 points. Shre was at 134 and Dan at 132. Travis was at 125. So I did pretty well!

I figured out what I needed to do and I figured it out early. I doubt I would beat Shrey or Dan in the next game since they now know what they are doing.

I really enjoyed this game. It is so super cool! So many strategies to try and think about. You can't do it all, but you really need to do a few of the options. Really clever. I am super excited to play this one again. One of the better Feld games to come out recently. I like this a whole lot more than Bonfire, probably because I felt like there were a lot of things going on that everyone could choose to participate in or not. Bonfire had everyone doing everything at the same time, it almost feels linear. This feels much more open. I loved it!

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New to the Collection:






Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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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 Cute Creatures were Dubious and Deadlies in Murano

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Hia Everyone!

I went through my top picks from the Essen Spiel releases.



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One of the Essen releases coming out I actually got to the table recently! Michael and I checked out Murano: Light Masters. New to me!

WOW! This game is gorgeous! From the quality of components to the actual art of the photography and glasswork on the cards.

Murano Light Masters is an abstract, resource management game. You are collecting resources around the wheel and using them to complete the glasswork cards in your hand to gain money. Whoever has the most money at the end of the game will win!

On your turn, three things will happen. The first thing you do is spin the wheel one space to the left and collect the 2 resources pictured. The second step is to take a resource action which might be to exchange resources with the market, or buy resources from a market stall, or finally, sell 1 or more resources for exactly 1 Lira total.

The final thing you can do on your turn is to sell glasswork from your hand by spending the resource cost from your supply. Since your supply can hold up to 8 resources, you may sell up to two glassworks if you have exactly the right combination.

When you sell glasswork, you are only allowed to sell the topmost glasswork from your hand. You are allowed to spend 1 Lira at any time in order to move the top card in your hand to any other position. This will help rearrange the cards to your liking, but you are spending your money to do so. Once you spend the resources for your card, you will evaluate your supply board and will gain 1 Lira for each empty space on the board. If you end up selling 2 glasswork creations, you will get a bonus of 2 Lira for your hard work.

The game ends once one player sells all of their creations from their hand of cards. Just because you end it, doesn't mean you win if you still don't have the most money.

This game is super elegant. Simple to learn and play. Michael and I have now played it twice with once on the Livestream (below) so you can check out our gameplay.

Both games have been super close. I wasn't aggressive enough in the first game. I should have been spending money to spin the wheel for better materials and denying Michael the chance to get them. It somehow still worked out for me though. I was better at optimizing my sales. I ended with 41 points to Michael's 40 that first game.

Now, the second game we played on stream went slightly different. I was way too aggressive and ended up spending too much money to get what I needed when I needed it. Michael won that game with 42 and I had 41. Super close both games!

Murano Light Masters is an elegant design full of interesting choices. Resource management is key to your success in crafting the most beautiful glasswork. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants an easy to play a relaxing game. Great choices and simply beautiful. I really liked this one!

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Since we were at TGD, I brought along all the games that require more than 2 players to play. One of them was Dubious. New to me!

Dubious is a fantastic party game that is coming out next year, but I was provided a preview copy.

You really want to have a bunch of players for this game, but you can play with as few as 3.

In the game, players will be given the choice of 2 characters and 2 secrets. The object of the game is to guess everyone's chosen character and secret card. You will want players to guess your character and secret, but not EVERYONE. You need at least a wrong guess so you don't get zero points.

The game is played over 5 rounds. Each round a new question is asked by flipping over a single card. Each player must answer the question asked as if they were the character with their secret. You want to hint at who your character might be and what the secret is, without being obvious about it.

Dubious has the mechanic of "storytelling", but it is much more "role-playing". I am not good at storytelling games and it is honestly a turnoff for me. I don't really like that. Now, this game feels much different. Yes, you are a character and basically crafting this character to help others understand what you are, but, you are prompted with a question. The simple fact that you have to answer a question however you choose, really makes this game more accessible and interesting to a wider range of players.

Because of the questions and nature of the game, it is more of a deduction game than anything else. It works so well since there are so many characters and secrets that have overlapping themes.

For example, in our game, I was the Executioner and Michael was the Guard. We had a lot of similar answers. Working for the king, wearing armor, really daft etc. It is harder for people to guess correctly when there are so many similar answers it could be. But, IMO, that makes the game great!

It is such a challenge to get people on the right path for thinking about what your character is and throwing in a mix of words to give away your secret. It provides such a laugh when the big reveal happens at the end.

I got pretty clever with my answers and perhaps they were too clever since I ended up losing. I was happy when Michael CLEARLY figured out who I was exactly. He burst out laughing since he figured me out! it was great.

Michael ended up winning our game with 11 and James had 10. I was last with 6.

This game is just great! I had a blast playing it. I like trying to answer as if my character were answering the questions. And the questions are easy to answer. I really look forward to playing this a lot more. It is a blast and might end up being one of my favorites from the year. Really cool game. I can't wait until everyone can start playing it!

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More games from TGD! We got to check out another play to win game called The Deadlies! New to me!

I actually remember talking to Curt about this game last year on one of the BGG streams (vid below).

In The Deadlies, you need at least 3 players to play the game. The game is all about getting rid of your cards the fastest. The player who can get rid of all of their cards first will win.

There are 7 deadly sins and those sins are represented by cute artwork and form a deck of cards. They each have their own actions attached to them, written on the cards.

Each player will start the game with 6 cards. Once one player runs out of those 6 cards, they will turn their token to 4 and draw 4 cards immediately. Then once they run out of 4 cards they will turn the token to the 2 and draw 2 cards. Only when they run out of those cards will they win the game.

Many of the actions will make someone draw a card or 2, so you want to try and prepare for those types of attacks with the counter-attacks if you can.

In our game, I was having a hard time getting rid of the 6 cards I started with. I would often have to switch hands with another player or draw cards if I didn't have the counter-attacks. I think Susan made it all the way down to the 2 hand size before I even made it to the 4 hand size. It wasn't going well for me at all! I think I was too greedy and tried to push my luck too often. #typical.

Julia ended up getting the halo and snatching away that win from Susan. It was pretty epic.

I think we all agreed this was a cute filler card game and we would be happy to play it again. Easy to play and understand. It isn't a game I want to play all the time but works on occasion. The game is pretty much take-that, but you really shouldn't take the game too seriously. The artwork is great and totally inviting. This will work for many game groups.

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Since we were playing with 5 players, I got everyone to check out MonsDRAWsity with MonsDRAWsity: Cute Creatures. New to me Expansion!

If you aren't familiar with MonsDRAWsity, it is a super cute party game where one player is giving art directions to everyone else so they can draw the image that they saw. Everyone will get to vote on the monster they think resembles the actual monster best.

I really love drawing games so this is a fun and exciting game for me. I love seeing everyone's creations at the end of each round.

With this new expansion, you can now play with an additional player and you will get a deck of new monster cards! IMO they look basically identical to the other monster cards, but now there are just more of them. They aren't any cuter than the others, but it is in the title, so that might be subjective.

I am honestly just happy for more monster cards!

James was particularly good at drawing monsters it seems. we all seemed to gravitate towards his monsters when selecting the best at the end of the round. By the end, everyone had at least 2 votes, but James was the clear winning with 5 points.

I was so into the game, I actually forgot to take many pictures so I made everyone play an extra round. devil I got to draw a bat creature. He is so cute!

Drawing games are always fun for me, so if you are looking for a good one, I would definitely suggest this one. It is a challenge to try and dictate the image you saw so everyone can draw it properly. A challenge I quite enjoy!

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Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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The Ubongo of Tabannusi was a Lava Land full of Cindr

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

From Wednesday!

Vivid Memories



Join us on Sunday for GDM Games night!! We will check out Metal Mania, Instacrime and all their new games for the kiddos! on twich.tv/boardgamersteph


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I was excited to check out the super cute new game called Lava Land. New to me!

Since we were at TN Game Days we could find enough people to play this game. You do need 3-5 players to play!

This is a game where you are looking to escape the lava and collect food and relics along the escape route.

The active player will roll all the dice (3 per player) and then everyone will grab one die at a time until they have collected 3 dice. It is a real-time free-for-all grab.

Then going in turn order, everyone will resolve their dice. They might get to advance the track with a few footprint icons, or grab some bananas, or find relics. If they collect enough lightning bolts they can get an ongoing ability with a card they take.

Not only will these actions happen, but depending on the color of the dice and the symbols they take, there could be lava advancements and/or traps that are triggered. Yea, traps are a take-that mechanic where a player can target another player and make them move backward or lose a banana or relic. You have to be careful as you escape!

We played with the full 5 player count and we were SUPER nice at the beginning. Once people started getting ahead it turned right around into a cutthroat brawl. People were grabbing dice like their life depended on them and shoving people backward. Hey, I was just glad I made it onto the lifeboat by the end of the game.

Susan actually made it first, but I stumbled in next. Because I had more relics I ended up winning that game somehow. I do know James and Michael were lost to the lava and I think Jeremy was eaten up too.

It was a death match for sure!

All in good fun though. This would be a silly kid's game. Gotta love the dice throwing and chaotic nature of grabbing the dice you want. I had a good time. I don't think this game offers anything new, but it was enjoyable and super cute. This will work for the right group. You can't take it too seriously or you won't have a good time.

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I asked Rainer if he would be willing to teach the newest from B&D called Tabannusi: Builders of Ur. New to me!

This game has a lot going on. As expected from a "T" game.

Tabannusi is a dice drafting game. Each region on the board will have a colored die assigned to it. When you select a die from a region the pip value will determine the region where you will be taking your next die from. The die you collect will be used as a resource for its color as part of an action later in the game.

Each region will have 3 or 4 possible actions to select from when taking your turn and you can choose to take the same action twice.

The general idea of the game is that you will want to build up the regions with buildings and form clusters that will gain you points. You will want others to use your plans to build to gain bonuses. At the docks, you will want to gain techs from the ships and bonuses from the houses you build.

There is certainly a lot of pre-planning involved since you will want to think at least one turn ahead so you don't choose your dice randomly.

Once a region has no more dice there is a scoring for that region. After five scorings happen, the game will end and then all of the regions will score one more time. The player with the most points will win.

Anyway, the game is HUGE and has a lot going on. I actually just got a copy and it weighs A LOT! I haven't opened the box in fear that I won't be able to close it again. I am just teasing. I am sure Michael and I will play it soon!

In the game, I played with Rainer, Shrey, and Dan, I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I wanted to get out of the gardens and go for that goal. I was sidetracked halfway through the game so I could get out some buildings. Since I was derailed, it meant I wasn't focused and I was a bit all over the place. I knew I wouldn't win.

I think the biggest setback was losing my resources when the region scored. That was the worst. I wasn't planning for that to happen, but I couldn't use it prior to that happening. I was really bad at anticipating what everyone would be doing and it ended up hurting me more. I really have to try and focus better and pay attention to what everyone else is doing.

Shrey destroyed us all with 110 points. I managed to come in second with 90. Rainer usually crushes us, so I am not sure what happened there!

Pretty interesting game. I definitely need to play it again to grasp everything going on. It is a bit overwhelming the first time. I think I will do better in the next play though. Seems really cool. I look forward to playing with Michael to see how ti changes up with 2 players.

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I ended up recruiting James to read the rules to Cindr since it was on the Play to Win shelf at TGD. New to me!

Cindr is the dragon dating game, you know like Tindr... but for Dragons.

In Cindr, on your turn, you will pick a dragon to try and date. Once you pick one you will reveal the traits of that dragon and see how compatible you are with him. Green is a perfect match and red isn't. You will collect green, blue, and red dice depending on the compatibility matches. It will always be 4 dice. You will have 3 chances to meet, go on the date and extend the date into something more and possibly make him available in your dating pool for later.

The location of the meet will be revealed and some action/ability will be triggered based on that. Maybe it will be that you get to upgrade a blue die to a green die for a higher success rate.

The catch is you want to roll the hearts on the dice you roll each phase. You can choose to stop and take the number of hearts rolled total for the round, or you can keep pushing your luck. Any flames you roll have to be set aside and if you ever roll 3 flames you automatically bust. You lose the hearts you would have otherwise gotten.

The first player to hit 21 hearts first will win the game!

This is such a cute push-your-luck game. Of course, I am just terrible at push-your-luck since I always go a bit overboard.

Now I had a few good rounds. I think my biggest issue was I just had TERRIBLE final rolls. Where it was looking fantastic and I wouldn't have any flames, then I would roll my dice and get all flames and auto bust! I lost so many rounds because of some poor rolling.

To be fair, Susan had a similar issue. She would sometimes just bust on the first roll. That is the worst!

James was just so great at picking up all the dragons. He had a large circle of possible dates. I couldn't hold on to one!

I think a concern I have is that when you select your character at the beginning of the game you get to choose all the stats that go along with him. You could choose the same stats every game, but I think you are supposed to role-play a bit. There could be a perfect combo that would be the best possible outcome. Shrug, it is hard to say, and it isn't supposed to be that serious.

I thought the game was cute and I could play again. I would keep it to lower player counts since you will get to take your turns faster instead of waiting for everyone to go which could take a while.

This game doesn't do anything great for me but could be cute for the family. Glad to have tried it. the artwork is amazing, there should be some cool posters to go along with the game.


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I was looking forward to checking out the new edition of Ubongo 3D. I am not counting it as new to me since it is basically the same game as the original 2009 version.

There are a few differences. The major difference is the levels. There are levels 1-4 difficulty now. And only a D6 worth of options for each board. There is also a 1x2 red piece which is different than the other edition.

Michael wasn't around to play this, and I figured I would make Susan and James play it since Michael wasn't the biggest fan anyway.

The for the gems are all the same and the game is just easy to teach and play. We decided to use level 2 cards for the game.

I found these level 2 cards to be pretty easy. There were a lot of similar combos I was making over and over so it wasn't all that interesting. I wish we boosted the difficulty halfway through the game.

James was having a similar game to me. He was finishing left and right and just grabbing gems all the time. He ended up winning with 35 points and I was at 29. Susan missed a few rounds and ended up with 19 points.

All in all, I am glad this game is now readily available for everyone to enjoy! It was always a specialty item since you would have to import it if you wanted a copy. Now everyone can enjoy the puzzle of Ubongo 3D! I really like this game and want more people to like it!


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not the new edition, but we played Ubongo 3D on the stream a while back:


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New to the Collection:
Clank Legacy





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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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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Rescuing Robin Hood in the Clash of Cultures at Tentacle Town is just Wild Space.

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

Tonight on twitch.tv/boardgamersteph we will check out Hanamikoji, Hanamikoji: Geisha's Road, Murano: Light Masters, & Vivid Memories


Oh hey, I picked up a new shelf for small games and it is nearly all filled up without even trying. I duno how that even happens.
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I have been super excited to talk about Rescuing Robin Hood! New to me!

Rescuing Robin Hood is a cooperative deck-building game to try and rescue Robin Hood. I believe the game is set to be officially released at the end of the month, so if you think you might enjoy it, please follow Castillo Games for more information.

The game is played over 5 days/rounds where each player will have 2 chances each round to take out as many guards as they can to save the common folk and eventually Robin Hood.

Each leader of the Merry Band will have Villagers in their group to help with each mission. Using Wit, Brawn, or Stealth, each leader will have 2 attempts to remove guards each day.

At the beginning of the day each player will add up all of the Wit, brawn, and Stealth, and luck their group has and collect any bonus tokens.

The catch is that the guard's numbers are not revealed except the one at the end of each group. You are pushing your luck to take on the guards in hopes that your total numbers will be greater than the guard's numbers.

A cool mechanic is that the first player will be allowed to pass on extra Strength and luck that wasn't used in the first round. This is critical at the end of the game since everything really matters.

As you play through the days, you will gather new villagers and customize your troops to have the best stats that you can manage. You will want to specialize in 2 categories that will help in the final battle on day 5.

As you play through the days the guards will become harder to defeat, but you will possibly get better villagers added to your mix and even Robin Hood on the final day. He will definitely help with an extra action and a serious boost to your stats.

Michael and I weren't sure what we should really be focusing on during our first play. Michael didn't think we could free all the villagers, I thought we could. On the first day, we left one behind which only comes back to bite you on the final day. You really need to try and save all of them. On day 2, I managed to convince Michael to push his luck a bit and try to take out the guards even though we weren't sure it would work. We managed it!

We had a few rough plays but ultimately made it to day 5 with no other prisoners. In the final round, I knew I had to go first. Michael was all about the brawn and I wasn't so any extra I had to offer him I had to give it. I made it past the wall and as deep into the guard group as I could. It was up to Michael to take on the rest of the army.

I was SHOCKED we totally managed to win the game. It really could have gone another way easily. It was super awesome.

I had so much fun with this game. Not only is it cooperative, but there are some really tough choices to make. Going into Day 5 you have to choose your final troop and it is SO CHALLENGING!!! I love those tough choices! Clearly, the fact that I can push my luck is something I also love! So many clever mechanics in this game. This is a great Robin Hood game and I would totally recommend it.

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It was time to play the EPIC GAME OF Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition!! New to me! Sort-of.

I am counting it as a new game because there have been some minor and major updates to the game and rules. For the most part, it is still very familiar and basically the exact same as the original game. It is safe to say if you enjoy Clash of Cultures you would also enjoy Clash of Cultures Monumental Edition.

There is a great post: list of all the changes that lists all of the changes. Check it out if you were looking for that information.

My most favorite change is the Draw a Wonder card to your hand and not to the common pool of wonders. And that all of the wonders have abilities.

I have always enjoyed my plays of Clash through the years. The last time I played was many years ago and the game was just so long with 4 people I didn't really have the desire to return to it. Now with the new edition, I have revised the game with 2 players.

Michael hadn't had the chance to play this game before so it was really cool to get him into it. I knew he would just adore it.

In our first game, I had a really strong opening. I was highly focused on what I wanted to accomplish which was to gain metallurgy and start collecting the gold. I wasn't finding any water for my ports so I just didn't focus on getting any of those.

The event cards were just not showing up in my favor at all. I needed to attack a barbarian location with 2+ barbarians so I could complete 2 of my objectives that happened to work really well together. I just never got the chance to do that.

Meanwhile, Michael was all about expanding out and really locking me down to the small location I had. I still managed to kill Barbarians though which was great since I needed those cities in order to grow my other cities.

I ended up building up my armies to meet the objective cards at the end of the game. I should have moved in on Michael's locations and took him down a bit more, but I honestly thought I would win the game.

Nah he was the winner since he just had more city pieces and a lot more going on than I thought he did.

He won. But I had my revenge with the Livestream playthrough (below).

We both love the game. I think there is always an interesting choice to make with every action you take. I DEFINITELY prefer the game with 2 players! I don't think I will ever play with more than 2, because that is just not my jam. Too much downtime otherwise. I still get to do everything I want with 2 players so I will stick to that player count.

I highly recommend checking this game out if you haven't played it before, or if you have played and enjoy it. It is super cool.


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Next on the table was Tentacle Town! New to me!

Tentacle Town is a resource management game where you want to collect points from hunting tentacles and other actions on the board as well as gaining majorities in the different parts of town for additional points. The game will end once there are no more neutral guys to place on the board.

Each turn, a neutral meeple is placed in a region. The active player will either activate an action in that region, or they will place one of their houses in that region. There is an optional action where you can pay money to activate another action in the region, but you can never activate the same action more than once. A lot of the actions will either look to the houses you own or the meeples located in that particular region.

At the end of each turn, the tentacles will attack. For each tentacle in that water region adjacent to that part of town, the active player will roll one die. A meeple might be killed, a house might be destroyed, nothing might happen. If a house or meeple should be removed, there can be a chance to save it if a weapon is used and is successful. It can be really great to fight the tentacles since you will gain points if you win, and they are removed from the board. It keeps the board manageable.

Since the meeples might die, the game could possibly go on forever since the dice might just roll that way. There are cool variant cards you can use to change up some rules in the game, but Michael and I just played the basic game with some extra actions available in the mix of actions.

The board has 2 actions for each region. They are always going to be the same, so adding the extra actions available in all regions is great to change up the possible paths for each play.

I was focused on getting the majority of the regions and getting my houses on the board. I was less focused on gear up with spears to fight the tentacles. Michael was all about those spears. He was going to battle like every other turn. I was just laid back and trying to obtain points in another way.

We were actually moving right along. I thought we would end the game a lot sooner than it turned out to be. It was pretty crazy since we got down to a few meeples left in the supply, but neither Michael nor I wanted the game to end on the other player's turn so we kept trying to kill the meeples on land to keep the game going another round or 2. That actually dragged the game on longer than I might have liked/expected.

Turned out to be a super close call though. Michael won with 31 and I was at 29. He didn't realize all the majority points I would get at the end of the game and that was really the only thing saving me from getting completely destroyed.

I think this game is neat. I like the theme and what it is doing. I am not sure the meeple end game condition is the best, I would figure out another way for the game to end, but I wasn't too bothered by it. This is a game we can easily stream. I think it works and will work for the family as a light push-your-luck type of game. Definitely glad to have tried it.

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Michael and I were looking for a quick game so we settled on Wild Space. New to me!

Wild Space is a 10 round tableau-builder. You will want to play as many cards as you can to gain combos and ultimately points at the end of the game.

You will collect points for the full set of 6 characters, but you will gain MORE points if you have a TON of the same characters on your ship. Each card is unique and might score points if it has a point value on it, or end of game conditions if you meet those requirements.

Each turn is pretty quick. You will either be placing a ship on a planet board or exploring the planet if you have already landed on the planet. You have 5 ship tokens, so you will land 5 times and explore 5 times. You gain a small bonus for landed and when you explore you will trigger the action of that location of where you landed.

Generally, the actions will be to draw some cards or play a card. A lot of cards when played will give you other sorts of powers such as drawing cards or playing other specific types of cards.

Ideally, you will want to get as many combos in one shot as you can. I think Michael was able to end the game with like 16 cards in play. I was impressed and nowhere near that amount of cards played by the end of the game.

I went in focused on collected a bunch of the same characters. I knew it would score me the most points if I could manage it. Michael was finding all sorts of interesting combos that I just couldn't get.

Even though Michael managed to get so many more cards in play, I had a bunch of points from the cards I was able to play. I still lost with 50 points to his 52, but it was SUPER close! Way closer than I thought it would be.

With completely different strategies, we still managed to end up tight in the end.

Hey for a quick filler game, this wasn't too bad! I made some interesting choices and got to collect a whole lot of cards. The turns move quickly and all in all, it just works. I can see this being a hit for really anyone. I don't think the game offers anything new or exciting, but I wouldn't say no to playing it. The art is fantastic and the fun colors and characters are attractive. Definitely happy to give this one another shot.

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Michael and I run through our TOP 10 games learned in September!





New to the Collection:
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also:
Gartenbau
Now or Never
Dice Miner
Mystery Rummy Bonnie and Clyde
Not Alone Exploration
Civilization New Dawn Expansion





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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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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Wed Oct 6, 2021 12:00 pm
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It was a Dreadful Circus with the Camel Up and the Coatl playing Rorschach

Steph Hodge
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Michael and I wanted to play something we were already familiar with so we decided on playing Cóatl.

We had just learned this game in August and quite enjoyed it!

if you aren't familiar with Coatl, it is a light pattern game with drafting tiles and cards to form Coatls. Once someone has crafted their 3rd Coatl the game will be over.

On your turn, you will select one action to do. You can draft tiles from the center board, draft cards from the display to your hand, or use your pieces to start forming your Coatls.

The tiles that you draft to form the Coatl will have to include a head and a tail and 1+ pieces that make up the body. The cards you draft will help you determine the tiles you will want to draft to form the specific patterns on the cards for points. Each Coatl can have up to 4 cards played with it and one temple card that can be played once the Coatl is finished.

All of those cards will provide a range of points depending on how many patterns you can form in the Coatl that match the cards.

This is a pretty simple game to learn and play, I think people will enjoy this because of that and the toy-like quality of the pieces. it is just the simple joys of linking the body pieces together and forming this bright Coatl. It is all very pleasing to do and almost relaxing.

You get to think about how you want to form the Coatls and how to best use the cards to your advantage.

Everything we do is just enjoyable.

Michael and I have played a few times now and Michael is just SLIGHTLY better than me. He has managed to win each game by just a few points. I played completely different strategies each game too.

One game I played the long game and made some long Coatls for big points. In the other game, I made some quick short Coatls for fast points to hopefully pull the rug out from under Michael. In both cases, he was able to edge out the win though.

I really enjoy this game. This one is really nice. I am not sure it does anything new and exciting but it does what it is designed to do really well. I am happy to play this whenever requested. Obviously, it is a beautiful game. Glad we could showcase it on the Livestream.

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James and Susan came over one night for game night and we got to playing a bunch of cool games! The first on the table was Camel Up: Off Season. New to me!

No, Camel Up: Off Season is NOT an expansion to Camel Up. I was confused too. It is just the same series, but actually totally different types of games.

In Off Season, players are collecting goods to form sets and sell off for money. The player with the most money at the end of the game will win.

Each round, the markets will be filled up with cards some are face-up and others face-down. Each player will blind bid for being the first player. If there is a tie with the most, it will go to the next highest bidder. Now, it isn't ALWAYS the highest bidder, but the back of the goods cards have different symbols and whatever id on top of the goods draw deck will determine how players should bid for the first player.

Once the first player has been decided they will select the market they want goods from and activate the market stall ability and take the cards there. Each of the goods will have to be placed on one of their camels. The camels can hold 3-6 goods. Once a camel is holding a good, it can only hold that TYPE and no other camel can hold that type. If a camel ever needs to hold a good overcapacity, it will collapse and all the goods will be lost to the desert.

At the end of each round, each player can sell one set of items from one camel. The mechanic of being able to sell one thing reminded me a little bit of Bargain Hunter. Since you can sell one set from each camel at the end of the game, you have a little bit of leeway to make the sales you want to though.

At the beginning of the game, I was all about collecting smaller amounts of cards, mostly because I was going last, but I didn't mind. I knew that everyone else would be full-up on goods and will likely lose some due to overdraft items. Sure enough, I think everyone lost goods from collecting too many of a type at some point in the game. Since it struck me as Bargain Hunter early in the game, I knew I should sell at any chance I could, even if it meant puny points. I knew I would need to get them off the camels under any circumstances. I think the first round, both James and Susan chose not to sell anything. I figured that would be a mistake.

Well, perhaps I was wrong. The final round really demonstrated how having a lot more cards through the game really mattered. I learned MY mistake at the end too.

MY mistake in the game was spending far too much money to go first. I was spending my points and no one else was losing money, they just got worse selection at the market. So, yeah, #mistakesweremade.

I ended up dead last with 58. Susan won with 69 so the spread of points wasn't too far off. I know I spent at least 15 in turn order. Ugh, don't do that!

This game was very cool. Totally my type of game. Blind bidding, push-your-luck with card-drafting. I really enjoyed this. The only real downside is that you need 3-5 players. For me this is the better Camel Up game and I will be delighted to play this one anytime.

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We needed 4 players to play Dreadful Circus so it was a perfect time to play when James and Susan were over! New to me!

Dreadful Circus is pretty interesting with 4 players and it will play up to 8 so that will be super cool to try.

Dreadful Circles is an auction type of game. The player with the most points from coins and contracts and cards will win the game.

During the game, the active player will select a card from their hand to put up for auction. Each player will have to bid at least one coin from behind their screen into a circus wagon. There is no change, and tickets can be used in the bidding as well. At least one thing must be placed inside the box. Now, the active player will select which to look at first and decide to keep the bid or hand it back to the player. It is important to know that once they pass on the bid they can't choose it after the fact. This might be the best mechanic in the game. The uncertainty of what might be behind door #2 or #3... is it a better deal?!

Of course, the active player can keep the bid and that winner will gain the card and the effects of the card. If no bid was accepted the card is just discarded, but that active player lost the chance to gain some income.

Everyone will judge a card differently and the abilities on them, so you will want to make sure to take the best deal you can when you can. Knowing what people might want is super important.

Playing with 4 players, you only have one person auctioning a card each round. With more players you will start having different interactions since there will be 2 sellers and knowing what people will want to bid on is critical. Very interesting mechanic going on here.

Once each player has 3 cards remaining in their hand, the game will be over and each player will select one card from hand to play into their tableau and the game ends.

During our game, I was feeling pretty good. I had a final card I wanted to play that gave extra points for the silver coins I was collecting. I hoarded allll of those silver coins. It meant I wasn't spending them. Michael was the GOLD KING. It was clear he was going for the gold coins so I figured he had a similar card that scored for gold coins.

It wasn't clear where I would fall in the end result though. I knew Susan and James had all the ticket collections and points. Susan totally dominated all those tickets though.

Susan won the game with 45 points. I LOST the game with 36 so it was a pretty close score at the end of the game. I think she was able to win since she got to score so many majorities because she was tied with alike all of them or winning them. She rocked it.

This is a super clever game. You don't want to bid too much, but you also really want to gain control of the cards since they provide points and cool bonuses or even attacks that can be critical since you don't want to be attacked!

I LOVE the unknown in this game. Are you getting the best deal or not? I HATE not knowing so it makes the tension even greater. I haven't seen this type of mechanic used in a game before that I can recall, and it is very cool. I look forward to playing this game again and hopefully with a bigger crowd so I can see how the multiple sellers work. Could be really cool. This felt different, and I think it will work for many people.


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Since we had James and Susan over, we played another off the 4+ player shelf called Rorschach. New to me!

This is a huge party game that can be played with up to 10 people! You just need to break into teams!

Rorschach is super easy to learn and play. Many people know the inkblot cards which is Rorschach even if they don't know the name Rorschach. Seeing the images in the cards is a cool concept. It is no wonder there is a new party game with this theme.

In the game, there are several inkblot cards and word cards. 3 words will be on display and 4 inkblot cards. The non-active team will select one of the inkblot cards to remove from the round. The active team will have one player select each word with a matching inkblot image. This information is secret and the partner of the active player will try to guess one of the matches and the opposing team will then select what they think that card represents. There is a whole scoring system based on what happens next. Did everyone get it right? Did the partner get it wrong and did the opposing team gets it wrong?

One team will ultimately win if they can get 5 points before the other team.

During our game, I was on point with knowing how people were thinking and how they were placing the tokens. I wasn't on point with how they were thinking when it came to my turn to place the tokens though. I think my issue was that I was seeing cards from a different perspective and I could see an image they couldn't see since it was "upsidedown" for them.

James and I ended up being the winning team! Kicking butt and taking names.

This is such a great party game. Some things were so very obvious emotions/pictures that just made sense for the words that were on display. I love how everyone might interpret the same image the same way or even completely differently. This is just a fun game to play. I will likely be bringing this one home for some holiday gaming this year. I think it will be fun for the family and it is fun for gamers too.

I will be recommending this to everyone who is looking for a cool new party game. It is pretty cool! Definitely check it out if that seems enjoyable to you!


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New to the Collection:
Rolling Realms





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.
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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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Steph's New to Me List for September 2021!

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Welcome to Steph's "New to Me" List 2021!


This year I have made the goal of learning 400 500 games!



Steph's Awesome Spectrum Rating System!

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Steph's Sad Cloud Rating 1-2.5/10
Steph's Bland Rainbow Rating 3-4.5/10
Steph's Primary Rainbow Rating 5-7/10 (Solid Play)
Steph's Super Rainbow Rating 7.5-8.5 (Keepers)
Steph's Double Rainbow Rating 9-10/10 (Top Favorites)



September List
from Worst to Best





Motif:

Still very much in prototype form. For me, it is a pretty standard abstract game. I could give or take it. Worth trying if you enjoy abstract games.


-/10 After 1 play

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Flower Garden:

Another early prototype game. I think this one needs a lot of work to be a bit more interesting. Very much take-that, if you choose to play that way. A lot of things need to tighten up though.


-/10 After 1 play

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Hair of the Dog:

Super cute pups. Not really my type of game and I gave some suggestions on how to improve the gameplay. Still in prototype form so we will see what happens before the final production.


-/10 After 1 play

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Lazer Ryderz:

Maybe I just don't get this game, but the dexterity element really doesn't do anything for me. I didn't like this one.


3/10 After 1 play (Owned)

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Botanical Bedlam:

For a R&W game it is much too open. You can do whatever you want, so I didn't feel like I was really making any meaningful decisions. Not great.


4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

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Dungeon Party:

Cool idea for a game. I am not as big on the semi-coop nature of the game or the coin flicking. The core box doesn't come with everything you might need for the starting adventures, but you can make due. I can see this being great for the right crowd. It feels like a bar type of game with some beers and pretzels.


5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

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Simplicity:

Played on BGA - Drafting tiles like you would in Kingdomino to place on the board. This game really fell short of me. Totally uninspired and uninteresting. It's a game and I played it.


5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

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Tetris:

Everyone has a connection to Tetris and the joys of filling up rows with polyominoes. Even after one play, I felt I had seen what the game has to offer. I could give or take it, but shrug, there are other polyomino games I would rather play.


5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

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INSERT:

Played on BGA - a simple abstract game of flipping tiles over. Sort of reminded me of an Othello spin-off. Was interesting but it was ultimately forgettable.


5.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

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Tentacle Town:

Cool idea and theme. Love the tentacle pieces. I do think it is a bit long for what it offers, but there are some rule cards that you can mix in to help with that a bit.


6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

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Maya:

Pretty interesting abstract tile placement type of game. Trying to form sets and enclosures. Reminded me of a Knizia-type of game. Definitely worth trying.


6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

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Wiz-War (Eighth Edition):

Not really my type of game, but I can see the appeal. So many cards to try and combo and get cool rewards from. I can see it being a bit more fun and chaotic with more players. Doesn't wow me, but could play again.


6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
SHŌBU:

Deep strategy abstract game. Easy to learn rules but you really have to be on top of your game to play well. This will be an abstract fan's delight! I enjoyed my few plays, but like so many abstract games, it just won't get played all that much.


6/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Marvel Battleworld:

Perfect gift for any Marvel fan especially kids. Simple gameplay and fun miniature surprises in each package. I like the fun surprises. Great for the family.


6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
The Artemis Odyssey:

A remake of Ad Astra. This is the better/upgraded version that can support 1-5 players instead of 3-5. Works great for 2 players. It is a bit take-that for my liking but there are still some solid mechanics that I do enjoy like programming and exploration.


6.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Gladius:

I enjoyed this card game. Trying to vote on a winning gladiator and then play cards to make it happen. sort of luck of the draw during the round you need specific things to happen. The game works and I enjoyed it. Cute art.


6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
King of 12:

I enjoy simultaneous card selection in general and this is a bit of bluffing and push-your-luck. This is a neat little game. I do wish it plays more players. Fun for now.


6.5/10 After 2 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Shelfie Stacker:

Fantastic theme of stacking up the board games on shelves. I do wish there were more dice rolling with all of these dice. We tried with the drafting variant and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I enjoyed the puzzles to figure out each turn. Works well.


6.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Wild Space:

Pretty neat card game. Only 10 actions to get combos and cards into play. Deeper than it first appears. I liked it.


6.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
On the Rocks:

Love the production of this one. It is just fun to play with marbles. It is a cool take on a set collection game. Some take that with the cards and can swing a game pretty significantly. A bit long, but in general, happy to play this one more.


7/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Everyone Loves A Parade:

Sure, I love a good parade! This is a pretty interesting push-your-luck dice game. Collect the decorations that will score you the most points. This one probably flew under the radar when it came out, but it is worth playing for sure.


7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Flick of Faith:

I am always up for some dexterity games. flicking discs is always fun. Not as great as Crokinole, but nothing is. Some cool player abilities and events to keep it interesting each play. Enjoyable.


7/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Dreadful Circus:

This game has a blind bidding mechanic. The interesting thing is the person who looks at the bids and claims one can only look at one bid at a time and select it or not. The catch is you can't refuse a bid and go back to it after seeing the other bids. Not knowing the bids is a sense of thrill and excitement. Not a big fan of the attack cards, but still fun to play.


7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Rorschach:

I really enjoy this one. Fun to "see" images in the cards and hope others are on the same vibe. Great party game and one I could play anytime.


7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Camel Up: Off Season:

Blind bidding and some push-your-luck set collection. A couple of things I quite enjoy in games. The downside is that you need 3+ players to play and I often play with 2 players. I really enjoyed this though and will prefer to play this one in the Camel Up series!


7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Tabannusi: Builders of Ur:

The next big "T" game. So much to think about from the dice drafting and the area manipulations and all possible bonuses at any given time. So much to do so little time. Definitely, a game I need to play a few more times to fully grasp. Enjoyed what I have seen so far.


7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Merchants Cove:

Love the asymmetric player powers that aren't too difficult to learn. Really cool game with a lot to explore. I look forward to trying all the different factions. If you are into Euros this is one to try for sure!


7/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Almanac: The Dragon Road:

Really cool book mechanic. It is almost a choose your adventure game. Tons of paths and games to play. I really enjoy this series of games. I might like Crystal Peaks slightly more, but they are basically the same. Unique and definitely a keeper.


7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Travel Over:

Really cool new roll n write game to fill in the grid. Nothing I haven't seen before, but still a lot of fun to do. Totally my type of game. This is one to definitely play again and, if possible, acquire at some point.


7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Verdant:

Another beautiful game from Flatout Games. Falls right in line with Calico and Cascadia because it feels familiar with being its own game. I really enjoy this one and will gladly play it more.


7.5/10 After 3 plays (Not Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
ShipShape:

Fantastic quality game with a bunch of foam tiles. I love the simultaneous bidding and collection of crates. The whole game is just pure fun. I haven't really played anything like this one before so it really stands out. Definitely recommend checking this one out.


7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Vivid Memories:

Another beautiful game from Floodgate Games. So much planning and pattern building to do so you are constantly thinking. it is a nice puzzle to figure out. I really enjoyed my first play!


7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312
Roll Camera!: The Filmmaking Board Game:

Such a cool cooperative game! Dice worker-placement game to create the perfect film. Great theme and just fun. I enjoy all the problems we have to fix and managing the budget and schedule. So much to get done! The pressure is on. Several modes of difficulty to try too. Cool game.


7.5/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition:

The epic new edition of Clash. Includes the expansion inside the box which is why it is monumental. A bunch of changes and updates, but ultimately feels exactly like the original. Some new content like a new wonder and wonder abilities. Many changes to the advances. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy the original. #keeper


7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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From gallery of punkin312
Rescuing Robin Hood:

This was a total surprise. Fantastic new cooperative card game. Players work together to save Robin Hood. Clever manipulation of the cards and some push-your-luck involved. You just don't know what will happen and it keeps the tension through the whole game. Can't wait to play again!


8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312



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From gallery of punkin312
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King:

Quite possibly my favorite Pandemic System game (other than the legacy titles). Sort of reminds me of Reign of Cthulhu in many ways, but overall it feels completely new and refreshed. There are quests you must complete to win the game and not "cure" anything as you would do in the typical games. I really enjoyed this!


8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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Game of the Month!




From gallery of punkin312
Picture Perfect:

Perhaps the most unique game I have played all year and maybe in several years. I love this one so much! All you need to do is arrange everyone so their preferences are met to gain the most points. Simple! Simple and elegant game and the final score reveal is just the best kind of tension! From the theme to the gameplay it works all around. Play it. Love it.


9/10 After 3 plays (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312




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New to me Expansions!




From gallery of punkin312
Scrap Racer: Expansion 1:

Easy to include this expansion with the base game. More characters and a few modules to try. I suppose you can also play with more racers too. Not sure I would want to play with 8 people, but it is possible. Works well, so just play with it! More the better!


7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312



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From gallery of punkin312
Tapestry: Plans and Ploys:

Love this! More cards and secret objectives to use. A bunch of new Civs too. I Think more of a good thing is great. This is a really neat game and I am happy to play it more.


7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

From gallery of punkin312



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The Tally


January: 27
February: 44
March: 35
April: 40
May: 49
June: 54
July: 37
August: 92!
September: 37





Total new-to-me games for the year: 415!



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Follow along this geeklist to see what tv shows and moves I have been watching:





Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Disclaimer: I am a contract Employee of BGG. I often review games that are provided by the publisher. I am not compensated for my blog content.
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Time to Roll Camera and capture the Picture Perfect Vivid Memories of the Wrath of the Lich King

Steph Hodge
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I had a few games from GenCon that I was dying to check out (both in this blog!) and the first one I got to play was Picture Perfect! New to me!

Picture Perfect has perhaps my most favorite theme of all. Taking a picture. It speaks to me, as you might imagine. The game is all about organizing the guests to make the perfect picture so that everyone is happy. The game is played over 6 rounds and after that final round, each player will need to take a picture of their board and proceed to final scoring.

At the start of the game, each of the 14 characters, yes the plant is a character, will have an envelope with 3 randomized conditions placed inside.

Depending on the player count, you will get between 3-5 envelopes to start the game. There is time to look at the envelopes in your possession and arrange the characters to their preference. They might want to be in the 3rd row next to the table and blocking someone. You do your best to please each guest. The more conditions you can meet on a guest the better you will score.

If you have placed a guest and meet no conditions then you will lose 3 points at the end of the game. If you meet 1 you get 1 point, if you meet 2 then you get 3 points and if you meet all 3 conditions you will gain 6 points. Another thing to think about is that each player will have a chance to make one guest VIP and that VIP card will make a character score twice!

After the initial placement of all of the characters and everyone is ready, an event will be drawn. These events will rearrange the characters in play somehow. If you are not in control of a character you can not make them a VIP, so make sure to give them that status before you lose them to a possible event. It might be to pass 2 characters to your left, or swap two from the center of the table. It might be to keep one character and mix everything up and redistribute them all!

So many things will happen and you will want to rearrange your whole board at least once in the game. Can you remember everything you saw and what you learned about each character? It is a puzzle and such a clever challenge.

The first time playing was just me and Michael. I was feeling okay, but I didn't get to see all of the characters. I did get a lot of information and tried to hang on to a character the whole game so he would not get perfect information either.

He ended up winning that game by several points since he was good on both VIP guests and I lost a lot of points for his VIP guest.

During the game night we played with James and Susan. I was not feeling confident AT ALL!!! I didn't know 6 of the guests by the end. That is a significant percentage of people. I did gain a lot of knowledge about the VIP guests though.

I focused on those VIPs! Somehow, I am not sure how, but with that focus, I was able to win the game! I was soooo shocked since I left out so many people from my photo in the end.

We played on the Livestream (below) as well. I can't get enough of this game. Check out the gameplay and full rules overview. I am sure you will enjoy this.

I simply can't get enough of this game. It is pure joy for me. I love the puzzle of figuring out the best placement for everyone and the crazy envelope turnover throughout the game. You might never see a character but should you risk playing them down? The big reveal at the end is so much fun. The tension is great.

This game is easily one of the best games of the year and I highly suggest everyone check it out if they get the chance. There is a 5-6 player expansion coming out as well and you can play with even MORE players!

Please keep in mind that the game has punch-outs included and my photographs have the special deluxe plastic see-through tokens. I love these deluxe bits, but I am not sure how available they will be through the Arcane Wonders site. I recommend them if you can get your hands on them though.

I can't wait to play this with everyone I know!


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Another game I was anxious to check out from GenCon was Vivid Memories. New to me!

Floodgate Games always has the best-looking games!! heart The artwork is always spot on and this is no exception.

At GenCon, I got the quick demo and I learned that there were a few pre-production copies available for reviews. I was SUPER excited Ben selected me for this purpose.

In Vivid Memories, players are collecting memory fragments to use on their player board to make connections and vivid memories. I am not great with a theme in general, but the game is fairly abstract.

The game is played over a few rounds where players will draft the small colorful bits. The bits can be grabbed 1 at a time, 2 at a time if they are the same color, or 3 at a time if they are 3 different colors. They must be collected from the same tile or if that tile clears then further collected from the tile that is directly adjacent to it.

If a tile is cleared, that memory is formed and collected by the player to be used at the end of the round.

When the colorful bits are taken, they will be placed into an empty space on the player board all in the same space.

Once the line of colorful bits has been taken and all the memory tiles are gone as well, the round will end and players will activate any available actions they have. If a connection has been made from one port to 1 or more of the same color then they will get to score. Over the game, you will build up these vivid memories that will get to score multiple times.

Your goal is to create those connections and gain as many points as possible.

Vivid Memories is a game that will make you think and plan. I knew I wanted to make a huge connection as quickly as possible so I could continue to score for it the entire game. I was also striving for purple bits anyway since that was my secret goal color. Everything seemed to be going according to plan and I was able to make a 3 connected line pretty fast. I soon realized there were only 4 exits for each color and I would never get the other purple exit since I made that big connection.

Whoops. That was okay since I ended up working on other paths and collecting the memory tiles. Michael wasn't focused on getting those memory tiles and I was actually getting STUCK with them. They are certainly helpful when you plan to get them. I wasn't planning on getting most of them and they ended up being more of a burden for me, and you have to place them on your player board if you have them. They ended up blocking actions I would have rather been doing. They were a really great source of points at the end of the game though, so I couldn't complain too much.

It was a super close ending and I thought for sure I would have won! Michael scores some HUGE board points at the end of the game where I just didn't complete those sections. He won with 156 to my 152.

Really cool to see totally different strategies end up so close at the end.

I am quite impressed with this game and really enjoyed my play of it. We will definitely be playing this one on the stream sometime soon. I Obviously love the colors and abstract tile placements. It is a fun puzzle to work out and I look forward to many more plays!


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A new cooperative game called Roll Camera!: The Filmmaking Board Game has the coolest box ever! It is a movie clap board! Super cool. New to me!

Roll Camera dice worker-placement game where players work together to create the perfect movie masterpiece. The game will end when either you finish creating the movie, or you run out of either time or money.

Players will take turns rolling the dice and placing them to do a number of different actions. There are always problems that will arise to take care of, building the set or rearranging the set might be a priority. Actually shooting the scene would be fantastic if the dice work out. There is always the possible staff meeting to brainstorm some ideas. Each player is also playing a critical role in creating a movie and will have special player actions they can choose to take on their turn.

Each turn will eat up a day, but you might be able o gain more days from various actions and abilities. The same goes for the budget, building a set will cost money, shooting a scene costs a lot of money. You don't want to run out of money so you need to manage that as you play.

The scenes you shoot will be added to the editing room in the order they are shot and may give you quality boosts depending on the scene. The more quality you can give your movie, the better the movie will be in the end. Ideally, you will be out of the red zone into the great to masterpiece zone to win the game you will need to meet those requirements.

All in all, Michael and I learned this game pretty easily! We didn't have an easy go of it, however.

It was a nail-biter up until the end! I thought for sure we would run out of time. We were able to manage it just till the very end. We made the final scene JUST in time! If we had to tick the final day we would have lost. Everything was in order and we totally managed it all, though close.

I think we took what we learned in the first game and brought that knowledge into the second game on the Livestream. I feel like we had an easier go of it and we even included the production company Pot of Gold to have the scenes in rainbow order.

In both games we played on Normal mode, I can only imagine how hard it will be with the harder difficulty levels!

I really enjoyed this game. It is a cool dice worker-placement game that I would be happy to bring to the table for repeated plays. The artwork is charming and the whole package is a delight. Highly recommend checking this game out if all of that sounds up your alley. Oh, and there are contests on BGG to pitch your final movie the best you can. I love that! I look forward to trying this with more players!


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Hey, a new game in the Pandemic line called World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King! New to me!

I have had this for a few weeks now, but it has been under an embargo! I am super excited to share my take on this game with you now though! It is crazy to me how far I have come in this hobby. When I first learned Pandemic, I wasn't into it at all. I have done a total flip and quite enjoy the variety in the series of games including the Legacy games.

Wrath of the Lich King is of the same blood but is actually quite different with execution. I can tell you right off the bat that if you aren't into World of Warcraft, you don't need to be in order to enjoy this game. I certainly know nothing about WOW, but find this game to be compelling.

In Wrath of the Lich King, players are looking to defeat the Lich King by completing various quests on the board. You no longer have to collect cards to "cure" a disease. You will need cards for your different quests on the board. It actually most reminds me of Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu because there are abominations on the board that will move towards you and small guys to fight off on the different locations.

In order to complete a quest, you have to go to that location and roll successes, and use your cards to help advance the quest to its completion. Once a quest is completed, a reward will be gained that will help in some way.

AS far as everything else is concerned, you are still at a limit of 7 cards and you will take 4 actions on your turn. When your turn ends you will draw 2 cards to add to your hand and possibly cause a scourge to happen. So, the core of Pandemic is still in the bones of this game. It is just different from the process of how to get things done.

Michael and I learned and played it the day we were lifted from the embargo so we could play it on the Livestream THAT NIGHT. It was back-to-back sessions.

I have to say it was pretty epic! In the first game, we played on the normal difficulty and picked some characters that looked interesting. I had a cool ability to help with re-rolling a fight die each time I took the attack action.

I was willing to take risks and Michael was more on the side of caution. Because of my actions, it worked out that we could complete some quests earlier and get the ball rolling. We were managing the board as well as we could and NEARLY ran out of little dudes to use to populate the board. Unlike in regular Pandemic, the little dudes will not immediately cause a loss if you can't populate the board. You will just gain doom. Of course, if you hit the bottom of the doom track you will lose.

We won the first game. We also played on the Livestream, as I said, so you can check out the full rules teach and playthrough below. It was so much fun!

This is such a cool game to add to the Pandemic line. It feels totally fresh and interesting to have the quests and dice rolls. I have to hand it to Zman, I am impressed. This might be my favorite in the line of Pandemic games that I have played. I can't wait to play it on the next level of difficulty! Oh yeah, and there is also a small promo figure you can pick up. More characters! Yay!

If you enjoy the Pandemic games I would highly recommend playing this one as well!

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New to the Collection:
Small Islands
Tranquility
Crime Zoom Bird of Ill Omen
Crime Zoom His Last Card
Art Robbery





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.
Thank you.
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Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:00 pm
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