"Curiouser and curiouser."

My journey trying to kidnap people to the gaming Wonderland.

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The Terraformers of Mars taste some wine, after which they don't know whether they are Above or Below Tuscany. And a nice surprise!

Miira Auroora
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First, let me just (yet again) apologize for the shamefully long pause in writing. But this time I actually have a good reason.

*drumroll*

I'm happy to tell you all, that I'm pregnant and not so happy to tell you that pregnancy nausea is like the most horrible thing ever. So for the past three months I have basically been vomiting or feeling like I'm going to vomit. Hence very little games have actually gotten out of the shelf. But this is a phase I have to go through, so bear with me.

Our collection has grown a bit, with some excellent titles. None have left so I might have a slight issue with shelf space...
One of the new games is the awesome Terraforming Mars. Yes, I finally haz it! As you all probably know, Terraforming Mars is a game about making the planet Mars habitable for us. I love science, so the theme is fun to me. Plus tableau building as a mechanism is something I enjoy.

Terraforming Mars by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Luckily everybody who I've played Terraforming Mars with also enjoyed it, so it has earned it's place in our collection. I have heard very differing opinions of the game, but the people I play with i.e. the only people whose opinions matter to me like it. I would really like to get those pretty acrylic overlays to the player boards, but they are quite expensive so it'll have to wait.

At the end of May we went to Lautapelit.fi's birthday party sale at their store in Helsinki with my niece Maiju, because they are both 21 years old. As it happens every single time, I never buy any of the discounted products, just the regular priced ones. Either I'm picky or I have expensive taste. Most likely both.

Birthday girl with birthday loot. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

That day I took Viticulture Essential Edition home with me. After I've had our baby I'm going to play Viticulture with my husband and best friend and drink some lovely Shiraz. Until February I'll just have to play the game and drink water. If you have read my blog for awhile you know I'm a sucker for worker placement games, and Viticulture is a fine WP game. After two weeks I had already ordered the Tuscany Essential Edition and now I'm really thinking about getting Viticulture: Moor Visitors Expansion, too.

Wine! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

My husband doesn't really like wine, so that got me thinking about a game about beer, and lo and behold, I had ordered Brew Crafters. It is supposed to be like Agricola but with beer, so I thought why not? And it really does have things in common with the big A. We took Brew crafters with us to our summer cottage at Midsummer, so I actually got to play something!

Brew crafters going on. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

In Brew crafters you own a little brewery and make and sell different kinds of craft beer. You can expand your brewery and hire all kinds of folk to help you with your mission. I find the look of the game to be a bit dull, but since the gameplay reminds me of Agricola, I did enjoy it. And needless to say my husband did really like it. More that Agricola, he said. I've yet to try the game with our gaming friends but once I feel like going to game nights again, I'm sure we'll play Brew crafters with them.

My niece and I co-bought Above and Below as a very late Christmas present for ourselves. Why now? Well, we meant to do that half a year ago when Christmas actually was, but everytime we went to the store they were out of stock. We happened to see a copy, so better late than never I guess. It's been a year since I've played A&B so would be nice to get it on the table again. I have a feeling we might want to try Near and Far too, since it has similarities with A&B. Maybe that's a project for next Christmas

Pretty pretty box. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

That's most of the gaming that happened during these past three months. There were occasional Ticket to ride games with my mother-in-law, a few games of Terra mystica with my niece and some Forbidden desert with friends, but to be honest I don't remember when I would have played so little in my life. The weather has been crappy and Summer hasn't felt like Summer. I have two weeks until my vacation week, which I'm looking forward to more than anything. So what's up with you guys?

Lake Saimaa by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
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Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:45 pm
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Cowboys get lost in the mists of Nebula while the architects of Santorini suffer from an infectious disease.

Miira Auroora
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Hello peeps!

I'm so sorry for the long two month pause in writing. There were pressing life matters that needed my attention, but now I'm back!
From now on people please stop getting into trouble for the rest of the year! I simply do not have any juice left in me for catastrophes for at least a year and a half.

Anyhow. Board games! Yes! That's what I was supposed to write about. Since my last post I have finally gotten my own copy of Great Western Trail by the one and only Alexander Pfister. And I love it. You all knew this was coming so I don't think anyone is actually surprised by that. Unfortunately I have been so sleep deprived and had bad headaches for the last 8 weeks, so this hasn't gotten to the table that much. But I made some cowboy meeples for it. Or cowboyeeples? Here is a picture of the base colors, but I also made two extra colors for me and my niece because we like to play with purple and green.

Great western trailers by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

On the heavy side of games, I got to try Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, which is a magician themed worker-placement game. I did enjoy Trickerion, it has some interesting things wrapped into it, but my gaming buddies were a bit meh on it. It is beautiful and challenging, but they all felt it didn't feel that special beneath the lovely covers. I liked how all your workers were different, but that's just me

My magician working her magic. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I had been waiting for couple of games from the city library for what it feels like a lifetime, and still do in some cases. Looking at you Terraforming Mars...
We did get to loan Pandemic Iberia. As you might know my husband Jani loves loves loves Pandemic, so I had to give Iberia a try. The historical theme pulled me in on it, but damn those card backs nearly gave me a grand mal seizure. I'm not joking, I am really an epileptic. But otherwise it was fun. Like Pandemic but a tiny bit new. Liked how fiendish the historical variant is. We took the game with us at my friend Hanna's place for game night and even cognac didn't help us win. I have no need to own Pandemic Iberia but my husband disagrees.

Game night at Hanna's by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After losing in Pandemic we played a couple games of an oldie but goldie, Blokus Trigon. I love beautiful abstracts but seldom get to play them for various reasons. One reason being that I'm pretty good at them, so my husband doesn't like to play them so very often. Blokus is a lovely exception that he likes to play almost always. Trigon is probably my favorite version of Blokus. All the colors and the shapes are just beautiful and I find the triangular shapes just pure fun. I'm odd, I know. One of these days I'm going to get me a copy of Gemblo, which is almost the same game, but still a little different.

Blokus Trigon by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We finally got to play Santorini, which is all the hotness right now. A beautiful reworking of an older abstract game, which I never even looked at before. But the new Roxley edition is just stunning. In Santorini players try to build houses on the island of Santorini, which is famous for it's white and blue architecture. Your goal is to build a level-3 size building and get your worker on top of it. Easier said than done. With the new edition there are god power cards which give every player a special power no one else has. Absolutely a blast! I highly recommend if you like abstracts, or maybe even if you don't. I find the game to be very satisfying. Do play with the god powers, it is so much more interesting than the vanilla version.

The island of Santorini. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

On the same day we got to try Via Nebula which is a light pick-up and deliver game by none other than Martin wallace. Huh, he does light games now? And what a surprise this game was! I didn't expect much from it other than lovely art. In Via Nebula you are building structures and discovering resources on a mist filled land. You have 6 actions available to you and on your turn you get to act twice. Exploiting routes that others have explored and finding resources on your own is fun and I felt the game gave very much for a light family weight game. Would definitely like to own this. I'm not usually the biggest fan of these type of games, but I really liked Via Nebula.

Finding stuff under the mists in Via Nebula by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

A couple of weeks ago we had a game day with family, and my cousin Jonna joined us again. She has really shown an interest in board games, this was her third time playing with us. I do remember us playing all the games they had when I was a child, so I guess this is't a big surprise after all. I had a huge bag of games with me, and we played until 2AM. 7 wonders, Pandemic, Escape, Mysterium, Tokaido and Las Vegas got played at least. Didn't like Tokaido that much, but I hear it needs the Crossroads expansion and we didn't have that. Was fun to play Mysterium with a physical copy. I've been playing the app a lot, and while I find it to be working and all, the actual game is just so much more intense! Mysterium is my sister's favorite game, so it hogs table time like always...

Yoshiyasu likes to meet new people. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Jonna sending visions to us. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Game day bags. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

That's about it, folks! I just got Clank! from the library, so I'll be doing some rules reading tonight. Sadly I had to return Santorini and Via Nebula, because my 14-day loan time was over. Really wanted to play them some more. But maybe Clank! is just as good? See you guys next time!

Sad face because I have to return Via Nebula to the library. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
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Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:46 am
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An epidemic of minions look for peat in the Fields of Arle, afterwards gardening a lovely flowerbed full of African flowers.

Miira Auroora
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Hello friends!

February is finally here and almost over Since my last post a lot of cool gaming has happened. At the end of January I was on an Uwe high, and played nothing but his games for a week I first started with Fields of Arle with my niece Maiju. It had been a very long time since our last game, so we didn't play our best, but who cares? It was Arle day! Arle has grown on me more and more, and I hope to get to play it soon again. Now that I have my own copy it shouldn't be a problem I always want to do everything in Arle and end up doing poorly because of that. I need to learn to prioritize.

My humble farm in Fields of Arle. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

The next day I coaxed my husband to play Agricola (revised edition) with me. He hadn't played Agricola before. What?! you say. I know. Seems odd but that is the case. I did think about teaching the game without cards first but he said cards were fine, so we went with them. I actually often play the family game version without them on my ipad. Needless to say, I whooped his ass. Awesome date night. We are doing our own little 10x10 challenge just for fun, and Agricola is one of our games, so I expect 9 more games of this later.

Date night with my husband. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

The following day we took out Cottage Garden. We both feel that Patchwork is a way better game, but we do enjoy Cottage Garden as a relaxing game to play. It's pretty and easygoing. I even taught it to my mother-in-law and she loved it. We almost lost a piece which was horrifying and terrible, but luckily it was found a couple of days later. Is there anything more terrifying than losing a game piece?

My pretty garden in Cottage garden. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Later that week or the next, don't remember which, I reorganized our gameshelf and we decided to sell some games, to make space for a big game that we wanted to order, Mechs vs. Minions. OK, so I too succumbed to the hype and all, and I just needed to have that game. But the box is so darn big, we had to sell like four games to make space for that. And I just had gotten the Alien Frontiers Big Box that I bought from someone that had pledged it but didn't want it anymore. My husband and I really love Alien frontiers and we we're always bummed out by the fact that we never got the expansions for it. Now we have them! Even though the big box is not ideal, there are misprints and a tile missing.

Selling games can be hard sometimes. We ended up selling one of my husband's favorites, A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game with the expansions, because I really really don't want to play that game ever again and he doesn't want to play with strangers. But, I have sold Summoner Wars: Master Set, which I loved, because he didn't like it, so it's not that we can only have games I like. But we needed the space and money, so AToE had to go. I wish we never had to let any of our games go.

Shelfie. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

But we got Mechs vs. Minions! OMG! It is so much fun. And my husband said he is not sad of AToE because MvsM is such a fun game. I still can't believe the production values. The game is a steal! It cost only 75€ plus 5€ shipping. Amazing. And I don't even generally like programming games that much We are playing the campaign with my niece and towing that box with me will surely grow my muscles

Houston, we have a problem! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Talking about games that my husband loves, we finally started Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. Pandemic is his favorite game, so I bought Legacy for him a year ago, but things happened and we didn't get to it until now. Been having a blast with it, we're in April now and things are heating up. I can now see why people have been raving about it for so long. Destroying game pieces? That I don't like

No spoilers! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

This past weekend we had a relaxing Sunday just Jani and I at home, and we had an African themed game day. I had borrowed Targi from the City library. Targi is always on these "What to play with my spouse?" -lists, so I wanted to give it a go. Honestly, I never found the look of it to be appealing but I wanted to see what it had to offer. It is sort of an area control-ish worker placement game. There really aren't that many games that have the exact same mechanism, I think. We also borrowed Raptor lately and to be honest, I liked that one better as a couple's game. I'm such a Jurassic Park geek, that dinosaurs just do it for me. It's not that I didn't like Targi, it was fine, I just find it to be a bit bland. But, continuing with our Africa theme we pulled out my darling Pfister, Mombasa.
Mombasa just missed out on being in my top-20 list last year and that upsets me now. What an idiot I must have been. I'm appealing to temporary insanity. Because I love that game! And I knew it then, so I don't know what happened there. I need that Cooked books mini expansion! Wish they would sell that on their own. We had a blast with Mombasa and it was a good end to a good week.

Mombasa. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I guess that's it folks! I'm looking forward to more Pandemic Legacy and Minions in upcoming weeks. And a gamenight next Saturday at my friend Hanna's. What should I bring? I have no idea! Have a good week everybody!
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Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:44 pm
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Sailing to Jamaica with a boat full of Camels that were heisted from the Mad King's Castle. And some other stories.

Miira Auroora
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Happy Wednesday everybody!

Since my last post not too much gaming has happened, because of stupid viruses flying around. I haven't been sick but basically everyone that I play with is or has been. We did manage to have our New Year's Game-a-thon that we have each year, albeit this year slightly less extravacant due to changes in the people who usually attend.

We have a rule that everyone can choose up to two games for the list of games to play. We might not get to play everything, but we try our best. This year I was feeling very tired, but tried to hide it. My games were Jamaica and Kill Doctor Lucky, which I thought would be easy enough to play even when you're tired, and since my cousin who likes games but hasn't played too many was with us for the first time, I didn't want to overwhelm her. We only got to playing Jamaica though, but that's fine. Jamaica is a fun racing game that sits 6 players, which is good for this type of event. I have occationally thought about selling it, but every time it hits the table we have loads of fun. So it hasn't gotten the boot.

And we're off! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I just love the art of Jamaica. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

My husband had chosen Camel Up with Camel Up: Supercup, and Colt Express with Colt Express: Horses & Stagecoach. Both are great party games for bigger groups. I like Colt express but I'm a bit lukewarm towards Camel Up, but since he likes it, I'm willing to play occationally. We ended up having a crazy fun time with Camel Up, so what do I know. I guess it takes just the right kind of people. The expansion brings more meat to the game, so from now on, I choose to play with it always.

The Cyclops Camel takes the lead. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

As it turned out, the rules to the Colt Express expansion were lenghtier than I thought, so we opted to only use the horses at that point. I was too tired to teach the game with hostages ect. And because some of us hadn't even played the base game, I think this was the right choice. I am not a huge fan of programmable movement games, but Colt express does it in a fun way. I like the train heist theme of it and I think it goes over pretty well when teaching newer players. It has become a family favorite.

Tchoo tchoo! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

My sister had chosen her favorites (once again) Mysterium and Dixit. As if she could pick any other games. But, we got to try the new cards from the first Mysterium expansion, so that was cool. And apparently I have no clue what goes inside her head. I just couldn't understand her clues at all. In Dixit I won both games that we played, because I'm awesome in that game. Modest is my middle name.

What do you mean it's not the man with the moustache?! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

The next day we were supposed to continue with the games that we didn't have time for, but others were too tired and wanted to to just chill, so only my niece Maiju and I played. First we played Castles of Mad King Ludwig which is always fun, and then some 7 Wonders Duel with 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon. I had finally tracked down proper sleeves for the god cards from the expansion, so we could try them for the first time. Pantheon adds so much for the game, it almost doesn't feel like the same game anymore. I like it but there is a possibility that if the simplicity of the game is what you like, then skip the expansion. It takes a lot more table space and there is quite a lot more stuff now. Having said that, you really should get the expansion It is so much fun! After having played with it the base game seems like a children's game.

Thumbs up for the expansion. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After New Year's we had a small game night with a friend couple of ours. We are training them to become gamers, and they are quite willing This time we tought them Castles of Mad King Ludwig, which went over very well. I just love it. Tile laying is generally something I enjoy, and I think it is very well implemented in Castles. I'm thinking about getting the expansion, but since we have been enjoying the base game just fine, I haven't really felt the need for it just yet. I do love the moats, though!

PUI - Playing under the influence. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After that very small game night, I was really looking forward to a game day with Maiju and my husband on the Epiphany weekend but then my mother-in-law who was at our cottage had to be rushed to a hospital in an ambulance, leaving my father-in-law stranded there with their car. My father-in-law is almost blind so he can't drive. So we had to go get him. It's a 3,5 hour drive, so almost 8h drive back and forth. And then we had to drive him to the hospital to see his wife and to get groceries, so no games played that weekend at all. My mother-in-law is fine, if you're wondering. She got home this week. But I've never been at the cottage in winter time, so that's something new.

Lake Saimaa during Winter. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

So that is why my new beautiful copy of Cottage Garden is sitting unplayed on my shelf. Then the worst thing happend. Stomach flu. Just about every person around me got it, so I'm avoiding as much of human contact as I can. I thought about trying to use all this time that I now have to do something useful, like exercise, but felt too lazy for that. I just really hate January. It's dark here in Finland and I'm just gloomy all the time. I did take this pretty picture of my lovely Cottage garden box:

Cottage Garden by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Jani did feel sorry for us missing all the gaming plans we had, so he entertained me with a few games of Morels. It's a beautifully produced two-player card game about mushrooms. Doesn't sound fun but it is pretty good. I have the Pegasus spiele edition which I think is prettier. I tried to get him try our new copy of Parade, but he didn't want to learn anything new at that point. Even a small card game like that. Getting Parade reminded me once again, that there needs to be a cool, medium or heavy weight game that is based on Alice in Wonderland. Why won't anyone design such a thing for us Wonderland lovers?!

Delicious mushrooms. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We're all mad here. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Yesterday I finished a fimo project that I had been doing for a couple of days. I wanted to make custom resource tokens for Scythe, since I don't have the prettier ones that come with the limited edition. These were quite slow to make because they are small, but I got them done fast enough. I'm not sure if they will fit in the box, but if not then inside the expansion box. Now I need a new project and I don't have anything in mind at this moment.

My custom tokens for Scythe. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

All in all, these few weeks have been eventful, but just not in ways I thought they would be. I do hope everyone would stop being sick and we could finally play all the games that were left unplayed. So what have you guys been playing lately?
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Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:13 pm
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Flinging coconuts at mushroom eating cows in Arle, while invaders from afar compete in a bicycle race.

Miira Auroora
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Hello everyone!

December is almost over and I have plenty of things to write about. Didn't see that coming,eh?

I've been doing some more crafting. We got a copy of Power Grid and I wanted to make the game just a little bit more amazing, by adding some Fimo components. I know there is a Delux version of the game with cool upgraded bits, but I prefer the artwork of the original one. It was actually pretty fun doing these bits. They took quite a long time to finish because they are TINY! And I forgot to take a photo with all of them ready, but you'll get the idea.

My Fimo bits for Power Grid by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I also went to a small pre-Christmas gathering in Taverna, the first ever board game café in Finland. It's a long drive but I really needed something out of the ordinary, to get my mind off of basically everything. I got to try some new games that I was interested in.
We tried the bicycle racing game Flamme Rouge which looked like a fun family game. You control two cyclist and try to be the first to cross the finish line. We had some fun with the game, but racing games are not something I particularly enjoy, so it's a no-buy for me.
But, if you like that sort of thing, you should check it out. And play with the advanced rules, they are by far superior.

Flamme rouge by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Next we finally got to try Honshu. It's a card game that combines trick-taking with tile-laying. Sounds weird? It is really cool and a good filler. The artwork is not as good as I had hoped. The cover art is gorgeous but the cards themself are somewhat ugly. But, not so ugly that I wouldn't play the game. Will probably get a copy for myself at some point. And the game is from Finland, yay!

Honshu by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We also got to play a favorite of mine, 7 Wonders, with 6 players. I came dead last and wasn't really thinking at all during the game. I guess I was tired at that point, but who cares? 7 wonders, yay! I still love this game after all the years. So when is Armada coming out?

I have no idea what I'm doing. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Jani and I sold some of our games that we didn't really like, or thought that didn't get enough table time. With that money we bought Scythe. I've been eyeing that game for awhile, but I was a bit hesitant, not knowing if Jani will like it. He has been more into light small games lately, and Scythe is huge. I did cave and suggest we get it, when a friend of ours had few copies at his store. Now I need to figure out how to organize our gameshelf, because that box is huge and heavy.

This box is damn heavy. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We haven't gotten the time to play it yet, with all the Christmas gatherings and stuff going on. I did sleeve the cards and buy a box to keep all the pieces organized. Boy, is the big cards annoying. Why won't companies use standard card sizes. I eventually went with Mayday sleeves, but am not happy about them, since I really dislike Mayday's sleeve quality.

We went to see the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, which was awesome! Way better than Force awakens. But that's not board game related, so that's that and let's keep going on!

Date night by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Christmas time relaxing. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Finally, Christmas time came and I could finally take some time off to spend with my family. In Finland Christmas is mainly celebrated on Christmas Eve, that is when we open all the presents and eat all the yummy food. We spent the Eve at my in-laws and on Christmas Day, we went to my parents'. We usually give a board game as a present for my sister-in-law who is mentally disabled, and this year it was Coconuts which we thought she would enjoy. It's colorful and fun, and not too serious. It was a huge hit with the whole family, even though we're all adults. I had a small concern that she might not want to play, because she has issues with games like Bamboleo or Jenga, where the game ends when one player fails, but since that is not the case in here, I wanted to try it out with her. And it turned out that she is really good at it. I mean way better than I am, for sure!

My coconut swinging monkey. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We also gave a copy of Patchwork for my mother-in-law who totally fell in love with it, but sadly I didn't remember to take any cool pictures of our quilts. We also bought KLASK to play with the family, and it was SO much fun! Only problem being that it's two player only, but we made a tournament out of it, so everyone got to play. Even my sister liked it. I have no idea where I'm going to store it, but I'll figure something out.

KLASK! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I got lots of games as presents, and I'm hoping to get to play them sooner rather than later. Jani got me 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon, which has some really annoying sized cards, but is so cool otherwise. It is not just new cards but new mechanisms too. He also got me the expansion for Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar which reminded me that I really need to play this game more. I just wish next year is better in every possible way, and that I get to play more games.

Christmas haul part 1. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

He also got me Fields of Arle, Morels and Scythe: Invaders from Afar. How awesome is that! I have like the best husband ever. heart
I gave him the expansions to Camel up and Colt express, along with PES 2017 for xbox that I knew he wanted. So many new games that I need to find space for. Luckily we can fit some of the expansions in the base games.

My precious. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I already googly-eyed my Arle, so it's ready go! Just need someone to play with me I'll ask Jani, very nicely. It is so good. Fungi(Morels) also looks like a neat game! So pretty! Will have to check some reviews of it. So much things to do! I'm so happy about it though. For the first time in months I feel like I can do this! Life I mean
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Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:37 pm
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A mystic in a vale finds a galaxy trucker who is haunted by a ghost of a merchant from a dale. Or shortly, I had a birthday and then went to a convention.

Miira Auroora
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Howdy people!

A couple of weeks just rushed by. December is almost just around the corner and I can't wait for Christmas! I'm a huge Christmas fan, as it is a time of year when I get to spend a lot of time with my loved ones. A few weeks ago the snow came, but unfortunately it all melted away yesterday...

Winter wonderland by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

While most of people hate November because it's so darn dark here, I love it because on the 4th of November is my BIRTHDAY! WHEEE! This year we celebrated low key, I just wanted my family around me. With pizza cake, of course. We had a game day, but concentrated on more lighter games, because everyone felt exhausted by all the life changing things that has been going on. But, that's fine. Lighter games are fun, too!

I had recently bought the app for Galaxy Trucker and inspired by that we wanted to play the physical copy. It had been a surprisingly long time since we last played GT. In it you build a spaceship and try to fly it through the space which is full of space pirates, smugglers and meteorites. Galaxy trucker is not a game for everyone, becuse there is a time limit, and most of your ship will probably explode. We tend to have a blast with it always. And this was not an exception in that way. We laughed SO hard.

Trucking through the Galaxy! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After Galaxy Trucker we played Concept. I'm convinced that married couples should not play this game, but this time we didn't get into any arguments I forgot to take pictures but it's not that good looking game anyways.

We also played a family favorite, Mysterium. I very rarely get to play as the Ghost, but since I was the birthday girl, I insisted that this time I would be the Ghost. I was in trouble in the beginning, because my hand cards where really bad. I was having trouble getting people to sync with my brainwaves, but we managed to win. We had zero turns left. Mysterium is such a fun game and I had forgotten how agonizing it is to listen to people talk about your clues and interpreting them TOTALLY wrong.

Being the Ghost in Mysterium by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I got some money to buy games as a gift and used it to get Agricola (revised edition), Mysterium: Hidden Signs and Dale of Merchants 2 with the Dale of Merchants: Systematic Eurasian Beavers.

Birthday haul with bad lighting. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I wanted the Mysterium expansion because the base game really needs new locations and culprits etc. I got some promo cards for it too, depicting a meeple. Killed by a meeple by stepping onto it and falling? We plan on playing Mysterium during the Christmas holidays with the family. Need to get sleeves for the cards before that. My husband's siblings are messy!

Dale of Merchants 2 was a self-evident buy as I really like the first one and wanted to mix them together. I usually play this as a 2-player game, but did try it with 3 and it was fine. Still like it more with 2.

Agricola (Revised edition) I bought as an Uwe fan, but also because they just released it in Finnish and I want to play it with my mother-in-law. I have Caverna which I think I like a bit more, but because of the language issue we cannot play that with her.

A couple from Agricola by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

As you might have guessed already, I just had to do some small fimo pimping with my Agricola. I put some googly eyes to the animeeples, just as I did with Caverna, but I also made the meeples look like families and not just all dudes with amish hats. I'm quite happy how they turned up. A Huge thanks to my niece Maiju who once again helped me.

My Fimo characters for Agricola. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Last weekend we went to a boardgame convention called Lautapelaamaan 2016 in Helsinki. This was our first year we could attend, because it usually happends on a weekend we have a million other things. Lautapelaamaan is mostly about playing games. There are some tournaments happening, a few sellers selling their games or at least demoing them, but the main point is all about playing games. You can bring your own games, or loan them from the Finnish Boardgame Society's game library. What's amazing is that the whole event was totally free of charge this year.

Lautapelaamaan 2016 at Kaapelitehdas. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

My husband and I went there on Friday evening for a couple of hours. I was very tired after work but still wanted to go see people and play a few games. The high point was meeting people I know from the internet but never met before IRL.

Jani's smug face after he totally decimated me in 7 Wonders : Duel. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We went there again on Saturday and dragged my niece Maiju with us. She was a bit hesitant to go because of so much people going to be there, but she ended up having a really good time. She is a bit shy. I bribed her with Dale of Merchants 2, because she just LOVES that game

Teaching Dale of Merchants 2. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

The free play room was totally packed on Saturday. I think we got the last available table when we got there. I liked how you could hear happy cheers all around the room, with the sporadic boo thrown in there. At one point I almost lost my hearing when these very loud people were enjoying Captain Sonar behind me.

Totally packed room in Lautapelaamaan 2016. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

One of the games I got to try was Walnut Grove. I had wanted to try it for a long time, but never just got around doing so. As we were playing, the designer Touko Tahkokallio happened to walk past us! What a coincidence. Walnut grove feels like A little house on the prairie - the game. You expand your farm, hire people, harvest crops etc. One round of the game is divided into the four seasons which all play differently. I think there are 8 rounds i.e. years in total. I would definitely play this game again. It was like Agricola lite meets Carcassonne.

Maiju and Walnut Grove. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After the convention I have been quite busy, so I've only managed to do
some rules reading for La Granja. I like farming related games and La Granja is highly regarded, so I really look forward to playing it eventually. This and Viticulture Essential are just sitting waiting to be played but I think they will have to wait another week or so.

Reading the rules of La Granja. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We did get to try Mystic Vale that I got from the city library. There are cool ideas in the game, but it just lacks something. I'm sure expansions make the game to have more meat on the bones, but the base game just left me lukewarm. I really like the card mechanism where your deck doesn't get bloated with more and more cards, but the cards themself were a bit boring. But there is something to work with definitely.

Mystic Vale from AEG. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I've also been doing some more crafting. This time a travel version of Patchwork. It's one of my husband's favorites, so I wanted to make one that I can fit in my purse. I haven't finished it yet, but it will be ready soon. But what I would rather do is get my hands on Cottage Garden. Oh, when will you hit the shores here!

Patchwork to Go in the works. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

That's it folks! Have a happy weekend and play more games! I think I'm going to have a glass of wine today and just relax. We're actually going to see Vertigo in the theater today and I'm looking forward to that.

Me and the first snow. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
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Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:32 am
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Is that a spaceship or are you just happy to see me?

Miira Auroora
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Once again I have failed to write here for an abhorrently long time. My sister is going through a (surprise) divorce after 21 years of marriage, and I have spent all my free time comforting her and my whole family. I'm sure you all understand.

I did however manage to get a few games on the table this past month, just to keep me sane. One of them is a game that has been suggested to me by readers of my blog many many times: Roll for the Galaxy

GASP!

I know, it's practically ancient by now. Anyway, in Roll for the Galaxy you are building your galactic empire by rolling dice secretly behind a screen and then deciding what actions to take with the dice. A game you should never ever play with people who cheat. Well, you shouldn't play any game with that sort of people anyway.

Does this spacesuit make me look fat? by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

What makes the game interesting, is that all of the five available actions might not be available every round. You get to choose one of the dice(i.e. actions) you rolled to be certainly active that round, and with the others you just have to wish other players chose them. Cool!
With five players though, you have a better chance that all of them are chosen, so there goes the thrill and excitement!

Candy dice! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

By now you must be wondering what my opinion on the game is? And I don't know. I think I liked it but I really don't have that craving to play again. I find it to be an excellent game, but still I can't really think of anything to say about the game. Maybe it's because of my current state of mind, who knows? I love all the colorful dice and overall the components look great.

Another game I actually really liked was Islebound. I got this from the library and was sad to return it after the two week loan period. In Islebound you are captain of a ship with skillful crew sailing to different ports doing all sorts of shenanigans. You can be diplomatic, or fight, you can hunt for treasure and build houses on islands in this beautiful world. You can go after events all around the board in hopes of gaining influence and renown. That sounds pirate-y doesn't it? I'm not sure there actually is the word pirate mentioned anywhere, but that all sounds a lot like pirates to me. Well, there are those pirate cards you can hire. I just remembered. Ooh, and sea serpents! Who doesn't like sea serpents?

A-hoy mates! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

The art in Islebound is gorgeous, as in all Ryan Laukat's games. There are a ton of pieces which do take some time to set up. And you can even use the characters in Above and Below too! I just really really like this game. It does take a stupendous amount of table space, which might be a con for someone. While the game looks cute and the art has a childish flair to it, it is a medium heavy game, so not really a game for young children, despite the cutesy look. There are a ton of options and many ways to victory. You should really check this game out.

I smell something fishy. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I also tried Pandemic: The Cure recently, but I find it to be way too easy. Or then we just got so lucky in all the games we played, that I don't really have an interest in playing this again, other than maybe when the expansion comes out. The dice are pretty though! I wanted to try it because Pandemic is my husband's favorite game, and he actually liked the dice version, too. But, I do have to say that it got my niece Aino, who has been really upset about her parents getting divorced, to play with us and actually requesting it a couple of times.

Pandemic : The Cure by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I got the game when I was visiting Pitäjänmäki Library where I don't usually go, but it's a 15 minute drive from us and they have a huge board game collection. I also loaned Viticulture Essential Edition from there and I'm SO looking forward to playing that. I have read the rules once, but I'm having some problems sleeping, so my brain isn't really taking all the information in.

My happy library visit face. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Because I'm so tired I haven't really had energy to read all the amazing Essen reports. A ton of great games got published, I know that, but it's going to take a while for me to get on track with everything. At this point I don't have energy for anything more complex than Love Letter: Batman, which makes my niece happy, since she really likes Batman. Funny how the theme makes it for her. For the longest time we have tried to beg her to play Love Letter with us, with no success, until I found the Batman version. Now, it's all we play

You think Aino likes Batman? by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I guess that's it! We did have our 3rd wedding anniversary, so there are positive things in life even when there are tons of stupid and sad stuff happening. I'm lucky to have a loving husband and gaming partner, and I'm going to keep telling him how I feel every day. And you should do the same for your loved ones. You never know what happens. See you next time with a hopefully more positive post!

Our wedding picture. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
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Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:45 pm
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Great expectations - How I met new people and didn't run away screaming. True story.

Miira Auroora
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I concider myself to be very lucky. I have plenty of gaming partners in my life, so I don't actively have to scout for new players. I know this is not the case for many people. Finding similar minded people to spend time with is agonizingly hard when you're an adult. When you're a child it's a piece of cake. I have been to a few meet ups, just for trying out something new, but I've had some horrible experiences, so I often settle for what I have. Which is plenty.

Once my husband and I went to a TableTop Day event that smelled liked man sweat. Yes, you read correct. And to make things even worse no one there wanted to play any games we brought, and we ended up playing a 2,5 hour game of some horrible Kickstarter card game about making video games. I'm sure it was supposed to be a filler, but the guy owning the game didn't know the concept of teaching a game. After that he wanted to play Battlerstar Galactica, but we opted to leave. If a 30 min game took 2,5 hours with him, how long would a 3 hour game go? 6 hours?

So we've had some bad luck. But, of course there have been some better ones, but none that really shook the earth. I just have a really low tolerance when it comes to badly behaving people, or people that smell. And usually they are the same ones.

In the end of August a board game café named Taverna opened it's doors as the first ever board game café in Finland. That is such a huge milestone for our hobby. I belong to a facebook group of board game enthusiasts and we talked about organizing a group meet up there. The café is in Tampere which is about 160km drive from where I live, but I really wanted to go. Even if I didn't really know anyone there personally. When the day came last Saturday Jani, my niece Maiju and I headed to Tampere with excitement and hope.

Taverna - Finland's first board game café by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

When we came there it was 12.30pm. The place was already half full, which was amazing since they open at 12. We met Mikko and Tuomo who are what you could call board game celebraties in Finland. Meaning they do a lot of great work for our hobby. We got invited to their table and started playing games with them. Slowly more people started arriving and soon the place was full. We started of with some Rhino Hero which is an awesome Haba dexterity game. In it you're building a tower with cards. You have a hand of cards that you are trying to get rid off. Some let you put more than one card on you turn, some force the next player to move the rhinople up etc. It's a fun game to start the game day. I want to get a copy for our family game nights.

Jani playing Super Rhino. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After that we played some Monikers (which is basically Time's Up!), Mikko's self-made copy of Snake Oil and Maiju and I got in a game of Seasons. It was fun to see people enjoying their time. I ate a chicken salad there which was good and I was happy there were healthy foods available. But it's a café so I had to take some cheese cake too A little cake never hurt anybody.

Maiju is concidering her next move while I eat cake. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We also tried the new Lautapelit.fi release, Dokmus. It's somewhat similar to Kingdom Builder. You are trying to conquer spaces on the board made of squres that keep changing orientation in the course of the game. At the start of each round you choose a guardian that grants you a power to move your pieces or the board, or gives you the first player token. You get points for going to ruins or temples. You also get more points if you get your pieces on a temple on each of the squares that make the board or if you find all the temples on one square board. You have 3 pieces to place each turn. It was light fun, I think it has some nice things in it. We were wondering if all the scoring is balanced but it's hard to say after just one game. I think it could be a hit with families.

Tuomo thinking about his next move, while Maiju looks like she has a plan already. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
Me trying to explain to Jani that he shoudn't invade my area in Dokmus. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We played a game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig which is always so much fun! When I saw that in the café's shelf I knew I had to get people to play and we got the full 4-player game going on. My scoring cards were a bit dull, they were all about medium sized rooms. At the beginning of the game there were none showing up for so many turns. Just my luck! Towards the end of the game some came up, that sured me the second place. My castle was ugly but efficient!

Humble beginnings in Castles of Mad King Ludwig. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

After that we got someone new to our table. A girl named Sini came to the café and sat with us. We took out For Sale which I had actually never played. You know, so many games, sos little time.
Anyways, Tuomo tought us and we played a couple of games. For sale is a bidding card game where you try to buy houses low and sell high. It takes about 15 minutes and is quite fun. And I don't generally like bidding games that much. Because I suck at them

The classic For Sale. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

We ended the night with a game of Concept. It was getting a bit late and we had almost a two hour drive back home. Concept was perfect for ending. I usually don't like it that much but this time it was fun. No marital disagreements accured I'm glad to say I had so much fun, and judging by what others have said, the meet up was a success. Plans have already been started for our next meet up in November.

A game of Concept to end the evening. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I did buy myself a small souvenir while I was there. I got the new Broom Service: The Card Game as an impulse buy when we visited the Lautapelit.fi store in Tampere near the café. I was shocked to see that the cards are miniscule! I mean the box could easily hold normal sized cards. Anyways, I'm looking foward to trying that game out soon-ish.

Next time I'll have something to write about Roll for the Galaxy, Perfect Alibi and Welcome to the Dungeon. See you then and thanks for reading!

Seasons. I lost. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
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Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:02 pm
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My top-20. The 2016 edition.

Miira Auroora
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I'm a little early this year. I usually do this in October but I felt like doing a list now. I'm having a fever and am just lying on the couch with nothing else to do. I'm going to change my rules this year, to allow me to list games that I don't own. We regularly loan games from our public library, so some of these games are readily available to us, even if not on our own shelf. Because of limited space, I just can't buy every single game I want. But, if the game is on this list, I'll probably buy it eventually, if we don't already have it.

So here we go!

20. Dale of Merchants
Dale of Merchants is a small deck building game, where you are trying to make 8 market stalls before other players. They need to be in ascending order from 1-8. With cute art and fast play, this has become a family favorite. There is a standalone sequel coming this year which I'm really excited for. It can be used as an expansion for this one.

A squirrel from Dale of Merchants by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(Year before no.20 was Fortune and Glory, which I haven't played in months)

19. Glass Road
I debated whether I would put Glass road or Fields of Arle here, since they are both excellent Uwe games. I chose Glass road, because it's easier for me to get to the table, since Arle is a 2-player only game. I could have also chosen Le Havre, but this is my choice now. Ask me tomorrow and I might change my answer. That's the way I am I like how I get to build my small Bavarian village and see it change over the course of Glass road. And the role selection mechanism is interesting and something I really like. The resource wheels are also ingenious and very helpful during the game.

Glass Road by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(19. Was Legendary encounters: Alien, which I still like, it just didn't make the cut this year)

18. Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King
I like Carcassonne. But, I like Isle of Skye more, because of the varying scoring each round and each game has. Tile laying has always been something I enjoy and I feel Isle of Skye gives it a breath of fresh air. I don't own this as of this moment, but I'm sure I will at some point.

Playing Isle of Skye at the in-laws. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(Last year 18. was Abyss, which I still love love love, but it just didn't fit in the top 20. If I made a top 25 list it would be on it. Maybe once I get my hands on the expansion it will rise again.)

17. Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
If you read my blog, you know I LOVE worker placement games. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Like I'm really doing something. What I like about Tzolk'in, is the sense of time. My workers actually have to spend time while doing their jobs instead of just taking everything from the bank immediately.

Playing Tzolk'in. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(Year ago 17. was Seasons, which you'll find later on this list)

16. Rococo
Rococo is a new game for me, I bought it earlier this year. Both me and my husband Jani like it very much, which is why it is already here on this list. Rococo is basically an area control game with a hint of deck building on the side. The theme of making fancy dresses and coats is different, and I like that. I just got the expansion, and it's interesting to see, if that boosts the game up next year.

Late night Rococo with my mother-in-law. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(16. was Hanabi last year, which is still fun, but not on the list this year. )

15. Dungeon Petz
Another worker placement game. In Dungeon petz you are an imp in the pet business, growing these cute and sometimes a little dangerous little pets for your dungeon lord masters. This is a challenging game with lots going on, especially with the expansion, but it is so worth it. There are a lot of rules, but they all tie in with the theme. This was number 8 last year, but do not be alarmed, I love it just as much, there are just some shiny new games that needed a place on this list. This game is never leaving my collection.

Dungeon Petz with Aino by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(No.15 was Carcassonne South seas last year.)

14. Kingsburg
Kingsburg dropped a little, from number 4. last year. No biggie, it's still a fun game. In it you are building a kingdom with dice as you workers. I prefer to play with the To Forge a Realm expansion, as most people do. This has become a classic in our household, so I suspect it will be on this list next year too. You could just as easily put Alien Frontiers here, which I like just as much I like Kingsburg, and they are rather similar, but a little different at the same time.

Afternoon Kingsburg. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(14. was Imperial settlers last year, but you'll find it later this year.)

13. 7 Wonders Duel
I'm a little surprised to see 7 Wonders duel here. I guess it really has grown on me. I'm often a little wary with games that are for only 2 players, because they are so limiting. Can't bring them to game nights. But for husband and wife game nights they are perfect! 7W: Duel resembles it's big brother in a familiar way yet it still is a very different game at the same time. There is an expansion coming soon, and I'm really looking forward to that.

7 wonders: Duel by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(No. 13 was Dixit last year, which has been replaced by another game later on)

12. Elysium
Oh, Elysium! I fell in love with Elysium instantly, and have been waiting for it to get an expansion. And nothing. I guess it didn't sell that well. It is a set collection game with a neat mechanism where you cards need to go to your Elysium to get points, but once you transfer them to it, they lose their powers. There is some confrontation so that's turning all the Care Bears away, but this is such a beautiful and good game, it deserves some more attention. Please Matthew Dunstan! Bring us some more Elysium!

The beautiness that is Elysium. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(12. was Shadows over Camelot last year, which has fallen of the list because no one ever wants to play it with me )

11. Mysterium
So, Mysterium is the game that dropped Dixit of the list. Why, you ask? I just love the pressure of trying to go into someone's mind, and get the clues in time. I also like to be the ghost, which is sometimes agonizing when people are talking about their interpretations of my clues, and they are SO wrong! I need to get the expansion soon, because I've started to wish for more cards. Maybe I'll use my ten thousand Dixit cards.

My sister as the ghost in Mysterium by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(11. was Coup which is still loads of fun with the right people!)

10. Seasons
Seasons just keeps rising. It was 17. last year, and now 10. I love just about everything in this game. The art, the game play, the dice. You name it. I still haven't gotten the second expansion, but I haven't felt like the game is lacking. My niece and I sometimes play this at BoardGameArena to get a quick game in before going to sleep.

Seasons vith Maiju-Amanda by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(No.10 was Splendor which I still like. I tend to play it more on my iPad, than the physical copy.)

9. Alchemists
Worker placement with a puzzle element? Yes! Alchemists has dropped two spaces but that is normal. Tomorrow it might be two spaces higher, you never know. I really like the puzzle-y nature of Alchemists, coupled with a worker placement game. The theme is something I like, and it fits. There is an expansion coming, which is going to be either awesome or too much the game is not light already. I like how the app really makes the game play easier, but I know there are people who despise that. Luckily, I don't play with that sort of rubbish people

The Bottles from Alchemists by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(9. was Ticket to Ride Nordic which had to give way to newer and shinier games)

8. Small World & Small World Underground
Small world dropped a little due to the fact that the setup is soooo long now with how much stuff there are! Nevertheless, I still love this game but I want someone to set it up for me.
Having said that, HOW AWESOME IS THAT THERE IS A NEW EXPANSION COMING?!
I must have a disease.
I prefer the darker look of the Underground version. And I like the Tales and Legends expansion, which I think many don't like. Any how, Small world is a great game. And don't even start with the "Vinci is so much better game" bullsh*t. That game is an ugly and stupid cousin of Small world.

Untitled by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(A year ago no.8 was Dungeon petz which is still on the list)

7. Deus
I also like tableau building games and Deus is a tableau building game with some conquering elements. The cards are the crux of the game, but you can't ignore the board. There is an Egyptian themed expansion coming out and I'm stoked!

Reading my cards in Deus by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(Number 7 was Alchemist which we just saw a few steps earlier)

6. 7 Wonders
As cool as baby wonders is, I still like the base game more. I love drafting, and this is a fine example of such a game. We have played our copy so much that I have to change the sleeves soon. I own all the expansions and even some promos. Don't have much else to say, you all know this game.

7 wonders by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(Surprisingly 7 wonders was number 6 last year too! Way to go buddy!)

5. The Voyages of Marco Polo
You knew this was coming. From the designers of Tzolk'in comes my new baby boy. I just love this game! Dice worker placement is something I always like, so I knew even before I had played Marco Polo that I would absolutely love it. And I do. Luckily I have many family members who like this game, so it hits the table often. I need to introduce it to few friends who I think would love it. My husband and I sometimes play it online even.

The Voyages of Marco Polo. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(last year number 5 was Pandemic which is my husband's favorite game. Dropped of the list, maybe because we haven't played it that much this year?)

4. Imperial Settlers
Did I mention I love tableau building? In any case, Imperial Settlers is a fun civilization themed tableau building game with cute art. It has some card drafting, variable player powers and resource management. So very much a euro game. It does have a bit of confrontation, but I don't mind that. With lot of expansions there is tons and tons of replay value here. And more is on the way.

Atlanteans from Imperial Settlers by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(No.4 was Kingsburg which we already saw on the list)

3. Caverna: The Cave Farmers
As I mentioned before, I love worker placement games, especially when I get to build something of my own. In Caverna you get to build a farm and mine you own caves. Many of it's mechanisms are straight from Agricola, which a lot of people prefer, but to me Caverna is the better game. Don't get me wrong, I actually like Agricola and am planning to buy the new Finnish edition so I can play it with my mother-in-law who doesn't know English that well. I made some Fimo dwarfs for my copy of Caverna with my nieces, that's how much we love the game. It is a huge table space devourer and the box can barely hold all the pieces, but once you get it on the table it's all good!

Caverna with my custom playing pieces. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(No.3 was Small world, which appeared a little earlier this year)

2.Trains: Rising Sun
So Trains was number two last year, and it hasn't changed this year. I like this deckbuilder very much and prefer to play it over any other such game. The look of it is a bit dull, I'll admit, but I just enjoy playing it. The board brings the game more strategy than just buying cards for no reason whatsoever. The train theme isn't even my favorite theme. I like how I can play this game with gamer friends or even with my non-english speaking mother-in-law. There is text on the cards but once we explain all the symbols and the meaning of the cards, she is good to go and has played this many many times.

Trains! by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

(No.2 Hasn't changed)

1. Five Tribes
So we finally hit number one, and it still is Five Tribes. Why? I have no idea. I just love it! I guess the mancala like gameplay is so appealing to me. I like how in each game I can go for different things and still succeed. I like the expansions for it but can play vanilla too. I just played this last week and would play again anytime.

Two-player Five Tribes going on. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

There you have it! My favorite games 2016 edition. It kills me to have to leave some games(especially Mombasa, Abyss and Broom Service) off the list, but there are only 20 spots. Maybe next year I'll do my top25 so I don't feel too sad leaving some of my favorites off the list
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Wed Sep 7, 2016 2:32 pm
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Going mad while trying to catch a thief from above and below Naqala with plenty of goods in his pocket.

Miira Auroora
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Hello people of the BGG!

Things are a bit better than last time, and I'm confident that my family, or The Clan as we call it, will get through anything! Just wanted to tell you I'm feeling a bit better and thanks for all your lovely words! heart

Tree of Love in Puumala. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

You know what is the best kind of therapy?

NEW GAMES!

I made a small order last week. Nothing too fancy. Except oh yeah, Imperial Settlers: 3 Is a Magic Number and Oh My Goods!!
You know I'm a huge fan of Imperial Settlers. I haven't yet had a chance to play the new expansion, though, but just owning it makes me happy. I love these small expansions that don't really change the game that much, but add a little extra to it. Okay, I'll admit I love the big expansions too! The upcoming Imperial Settlers: Aztecs has me basically drooling already.

Oh my goods! was also a must-buy for me, since I'm a Pfister Pfan! I've been meaning to grow my collection of easygoing card games, but always something bigger and shinier comes along. Oh my goods! is despite the stupid name a very fun little game, that I'm happy to have in my Alex P. collection.

Speaking of lighter games, I've been really enjoying Sushi Go!. I even got some of my family members who typically are hard to get to game nights, to play it when we had our women's sushi night. Sushi Go! is a very basic drafting game, with cute art. Not much more, but it doesn't need to be more. A light little game for those occations when big games are a no-no.

Sushi Go! with appropriate snacks. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Then a couple of days went by, and I saw that a (F)LGS had gotten Five Tribes: The Thieves of Naqala and Tides of Madness. Without actually thinking too much about how I really don't want to buy anything from them, I clicked order and gave them my money. I LOVE Five Tribes, and even though Thieves add very little to the game, I mean, it is only 7 cards or so, I needed to have it. They basically are an alternative for djinns that offer a one time action which is often a bit confrontational. So if you are a care bear player, skip this one.

The Thieves of Naqala expansion to five Tribes by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Tides of Madness I wanted because of all the cool kids said it was fun. Peer pressure, I tell you. I had less than zero interest in the first game in that series, Tides of Time. But then they added the madness tokens to the game, and suddenly the game seemed much more interesting. Tides of Madness is a 2-player only drafting game which has only 18 cards. You win by points, or if the other player turns mad before that. Simple. The Cthulhu theme is pasted on but it kinda works. But even if you hate Cthulhu, you might like this game if you like neat little card games. It might not have much staying power because there really are only 18 cards, but I'm having fun at the moment, so that's all that matters.

Tides of Madness by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

On last Saturday we had a game night with my niece Maiju. We had made plans to play Ryan Laukat's Above and Below. I was really anxious to play it, after having heard so much about it. I wasn't sure what to expect because roleplaying is not really my thing, but I love worker placement and building stuff. As you might know, the art in Above and below is ridiculously beatiful and is all done by mister Laukat himself.
You are building a new village after your old one got ransacked by barbarians. Little did you know, that below those pretty meadows is a vast system of caves, that call for explorers. While most of the game is pretty straightforward worker placement, the exploring is done by little pieces of stories read from an encounter book. Then you are given a choice what to do next and you roll dice after which you either succeed or not. Usually you get some kind of reward, but can be punished also, if your intentions are dubious.

Three brave villagers in Above and below. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

I must say, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Above and Below. After playing a few games, the stories will come up again, but I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would. I loved building my village and so what if I met the well-dressed spiders two games in a row. Above and Below is not a very complex game, but what it offers is highly enjoyable. Even my husband loved the game, which is rare. I don't think any game will ever dethrone Pandemic for him

Maiju is reading a story in Above and Below. by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr

Whew, there you have it! Quite a lot in just a week. I'm waiting for my copy of Rococo: Jewelry Box that should come today in the mail! YAY! Looking forward to trying that out. I have no idea what to expect.
Looks like Summer is done and Autumn has arrived. I've had my last swim in my beloved Lake Saimaa, and I think it's time to bring out all the candles and lanterns. I love Autumn!

Untitled by Miira Hartemo, on Flickr
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Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:01 pm
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