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The Red Cathedral of Tuscany and the Dice Charmers had to Decipher the Similo Elements of the Gods

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!

I have an auction going on right now! Steph's Super Awesome Auction! Hundreds of Games for Sale!!!


My 2021 Awesome Gaming Calendar is Now For Sale

It's Friday!! Every Friday you can join me on my Twitch Channel for Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming. Join me at 2pm CST!



Join us SUNDAY at 5pm CST for more fun!!


Here are some videos of games that Michael and I played on Wednesday's Livestream event!! If you enjoy the content, please consider following me on Twitch.

Elements of the Gods


Sovereign Skies


One Key


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Shrey ended up teaching a few games online and I was very much looking forward to learning The Castles of Tuscany. New to me!

So, everyone knows The Castles of Burgundy, so our expectations were high. The games aren't very similar, but they are. You are placing tiles onto locations that match and you are trying to completely fill in the locations.

Tuscany is definitely easier to understand and play than Burgundy, and it feels very different.

We ended up playing 3 players and it was just over an hour to play. There is an interesting drafting system with the tiles from the pool of tiles, but there is almost a tension in it where it is a game of chicken. When you take a tile a new tile is revealed and you hope it isn't what the next person actually needs in order to score a bunch of points.

There is no guarantee the tiles you are looking for will show up or if you will get them.

Timing is critical in this game and I could feel the pressure. I knew I was getting the short end of the stick when things were triggered since it always seemed to be right before my big turns. I somehow managed to have a fantastic final round and made up for MOST of the points I wasn't getting during the first 2 rounds.

In the end, we were all focused on totally different things but had a CRAZY close score. I ended up Tied with Al for 75 points and Shrey was just behind with 73. Dammmmn it was close.

This is a game I would definitely like to play again and see how it holds up. I am not sure it is a keeper for the long haul but I would like to play more in order to find out. Interesting enough, but right now still more interested in playing Burgundy!


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I am very excited that a new Roll & Write game showed up on Yucata.de called Rajas of the Ganges: The Dice Charmers. New to me!

This was a game we learned on the spot, but I have now played it 4 times!! It is safe to say I very much enjoy this.

Like The base Ganges, players are working to race to collect fame and coins and have them meet in the middle so there is no gap between the tracks.

Dice Charmers is a dice-drafting game where you will want to fill in your board with roads and score for temples and the river with helping influence from the people. Lots to do in order to score the points and close the gap.

In the first game, I focused on getting the goods and selling them for a lot of points. I was weary of moving up the river track too fast but learned that I should move up and not worry so much so I could get the better bonuses. Shrey won, lame. but I wasn't too far behind.

In later games, I was generally teaching and performed much better with a focused strategy.

Slowly I am getting better and better and I am still very much enjoying this game. I will definitely have to pick up this game at some point. This is a fantastic new roll n write and would totally recommend it!!

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From gallery of punkin312


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During an online con I got to play The Red Cathedral with 4 players! I was so excited to check out the game with more than 2 players to see how it plays.

Dan was learning but this is a fairly easy game to teach since everything is very streamlined.

All game I was highly focused on getting the majority of two towers so I could get the big points at the end of the game. I was also trying to rush the game and get my flags out.

Seemed to work out for me as I ended up winning with 38 points. In the 2 player game we scored a LOT more points so that was interesting to find out. It makes sense since there was a lot more competition for the towers.

I have to say this game is really awesome, I have very much enjoyed the games I have played so far! It works well with 2 players and 4 players so I would definitely recommend it for any group! Great game!


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During BGG@HOME we played a few games of Similo during the Opening Ceremonies! This game is always so much fun!!

Not only did we play then, but during Derek P's Rock Band LIVE event he managed to play a game of Similo using Rock Band songs! Everyone in the chat could vote by a poll and it all worked really well!!

Super impressed with the app and will definitely be looking into getting that and playing with the Livestream at some point.

We ended up winning every game we played but had a fantastic time playing. Always so much fun. I NEED THIS GAMEEEEEEEEEEEEEe!!

LOVE IT!

From gallery of punkin312


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I had been wanting to learn Decipher for a while and was excited when I was invited to join a game! New to me!

Decipher is a game about trying to make words using different shapes and your powers of deduction!

OH MAN, I am just killer at this game. I love trying to figure out the words and unscrambling the possibilities. I knew Dan would also like this so I was excited to play a game with him as well.

Turns out he is also very good at this game, not surprised.

I think I have played 3 or 4 games at this point and I won most of them.

I have realllllllllllllly liked this one so I will want to pick this up in the future. Dan wasn't sure if it will have a lasting effect or just get boring since the 5 letter words are too easy and figure out. Unsure, but I think it is really cool and would definitely play with a 6th letter to keep it even more interesting.

If you are a fan of word games, this is totally recommended!

From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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New to the Collection:
Gelato Mio
The Grand Carnivale






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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Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:00 pm
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A Humorus Christmas Story to share was when we Claimed the Mountain on the Unknown Planet and name it

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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From gallery of punkin312



Hia Everyone!

My 2021 Awesome Gaming Calendar is Now For Sale


Tonight at 5pm CDT join us while we play through Elements of the Gods, Sovereign Skies, & Capital Lux 2: Generations on my Twitch Channel! Other awesome games too! Be sure to follow and subscribe!


Here are some awesome games we played on Sunday!









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Last week, Aldie suggested we try out Whistle Mountain during BGG@HOME on the Main Stage. New to me!

That morning, Michael and I ended up learning the game and playing it for the first time on stream. We generally don't like to do that, but since this game was requested we made it work.

I was dying to try it out too! In Whistle Mountain, players are using airships to take various actions. There are many ways to score points, and you will want to have the most points at the end of the game to be the winner.

I really like how you gather resources in this game and then build machines to also generate rewards in the caves as you gather resources. Timing is a huge part of this game since you will have to use a turn to take back your airships and then all the spaces you left become available again. If you are going later in turn order it might behoove you to pass early and then you will be out of sync with the rest of the pack.

The first game can be kind of rough since you don't really know what to expect with the common building spaces and how people will use the scaffolding that you created to plop down a machine in an area you were planning on building. You just sort of have to go with the flow and work with what people give you.

Figuring out what machines to grab and the upgrades that will benefit you the most is pretty critical.

At the start of the game, each player is given a unique ability and that will directly relate to the types of machines and upgrades you want to focus on and will help guide a strategy a bit.

Ultimately, you are looking to build Machines for points, promote your workers for points and rewards, gather cool upgrades, and align the scaffolding for lots of points. You do not want your workers to drown in the whirlpool of the flooding cave.

So, our first play was on the Livestream and it went a bit long since we didn't really know what to expect or how to play well at all. I think going in for a second play seems like a good idea and that we would both take a different approach.

I was focusing on getting my guys promoted up high so I could gather more points at the end of the game. I was rushing the scaffolding up high and Michael started out by trying to build low. Lower is good to get more water resources, but I needed to build up high to try and promote people better. There is a bit of a trade-off with how you choose to be productive. Once you start building over the bridge then the water levels rise. Once the water level has fully risen and you can't place more the game will be over.

I felt I was really far in the lead for most of the game, so I wanted to try and end it as quickly as possible, so that was also helping my strategy of building high and fast. Michael was all about getting upgrades and using those bonuses to his advantage. I knew he would be getting a lot more points from upgrades than I was, but I was chugging along at a very good speed. If he could have held out a few extra rounds, I think he would have ended up winning the game.

As it happens it was wicked close195 to 189! I scraped by with a win that time! I was shocked he ended up so close to my score. I thought I blew him out of the water! nope.

The game is easy to understand and figure out but there is a lot of variety in the cards and machines and upgrades and so much to consider each turn which makes it a game I definitely want to play again. I feel like I only just scratched the surface. I like what it is doing and think it is a solid game. Look forward to the next game!

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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312




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Michael and I wanted a bit of a Christmas-y game so we pulled Christmas Story: A MAJOR Card Game off the shelf. New to me!

This is a new deduction card game. Players will seek the cool toys and try to pawn off the bullies onto other players. You will win if you can correctly point to the toys and not be in control of any bullies at the time.

At the start of the game, each player will have 2 cards face-down in front of them which they can't look at. As the game plays out, you will learn more and more information about the cards so you can make an educated guess at some point. If you make a guess and are incorrect then you are eliminated, or you will win if you are correct with no bullies.

This is actually a game for 3+ people, but we added in a dummy player that took the first turn and tried to guess the answer. The dummy player was then out, and we continued playing as a 2 player game.

Okay, this is arguably not great with 2 players, but we were able to try it and see how the mechanics worked etc.

The game plays out in about 5 minutes. You either know it or you don't You can kinda tell by what other people are doing and ultimately people will start guessing and revealing even more information.

Michael was able to pick up on my signals within a few turns and he guessed it all correctly.

While the theme is fun, and the cool lamp leg is awesome, this is not really a game I want to play again. It will be slightly more interesting with more players, but I am not really into the bluffing games so much so, I would just rather play one of the other Christmas games in the Funko lineup.

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In a recent FB auction, Michael and I picked up a bunch of games and for a buck each we got Claim & Claim 2. New to me (Claim 2)!

I had played Claim before, but Michael hadn't. Claim is a 2 player trick-taking game. This card game is played in 2 phases. There are 5 factions and they each have their own special abilities. In Claim 2 5 new factions are introduced with new powers. You can mix and match if you want, or combine to have one BIG game of all cards. Well, there are rules for it, but I haven't tried it yet.

I remember liking the game when I first played it, and it held up. Michael and I really enjoyed playing each of the games. We turned around and played it on the stream right away.

I have to say I did much better when we were playing the first few games. When we took it to the Livestream I got my ass whipped. He totally crushed me. I had big BIG plans, but everything I wanted to do, didn't work at all. Let's just say #MistakesWereMade.

I like some of the new abilities in Claim 2, but I really like that doppelganger that gives you a lot more flexibility. So if I were choosing which was the better game I still would choose Claim, but it is nice to have both. I definitely like the vibrancy in the artwork for Claim 2 better. Happy to play this one again.


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From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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A new game on Kickstarter called Four Humours was up next! New to me!

In Four Humours, players are secretly placing discs on locations to try and gain control of the lands. There is a simple hierarchy to the tokens that are placed, and if a condition is met then the player(s) who met that requirement gets the reward otherwise the tokens are lost. The reward is getting to place the surviving tokens in the designated region on the map. There are several goal cards to try and complete and you can complete them by placing discs on the map. Once one player has completed a 2nd goal card the game end is triggered.

All in all, the game is very simple to get into and start playing. Michael was very good about knowing how t block me and figure out what I was trying to do. He managed to sneak attack and gain ALL of the bonuses in the first round whereas I only got half of one. ugh, I was just not getting the tokens I needed to gain that success.

He totally had all of the goal cards won by the end of the game. I think I managed to have 1 by the end, but it was really no contest on who was actually going to be the winner this game.

I do like the hidden placement and not knowing. I wonder how different the game would feel if playing with 6 people. The hierarchy would certainly be a bit more sporadic, I would think, and more chaotic. But it might make for some interesting results. I would certainly like to try it with more players to see how it plays out.

The game is super quick, which is nice. I need to get better at planning for the midday and midnight parties, and getting my tokens on the map for some big scoring at the end of the game. Ultimately, it is light and fine. I don't think this is a game I would want to play a whole lot, but it was enjoyable enough.

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I got to be a part of the Online BGG @HOME event for playing Planet Unknown with Adam's Apple Games on a new server called Sovranti.

I was new to using this server, but am always happy to play a game of Planet Unknown. This was actually the first time I had used the event cards in the game, so that was interesting.

The whole game, I was just trying to play as quickly as possible since I didn't want to hold the table up. I made some pretty huge mistakes and my board was full of holes at the end of the game so my end score was absolutely botched. Totally 5th place, and it was a poor showing.

Super embarrassed, but that is okay. I know I can play better. Maybe the events really did throw me through the loop.

Again, this is always a game I am happy to play I think I have played it over 12 times this year already. There is something to be said about that! I do like the asymmetric player boards better though, so Sovranti needs to upgrade to have that feature at some point. Great game!

From gallery of punkin312


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New to the Collection:
Drop Squad





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 Nov 25, 2020 12:00 pm
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The Zombie Teenz threw the Boomerang from Novgorod all the way to the Gods who control the Elements

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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From gallery of punkin312



Hia Everyone!

My 2021 Awesome Gaming Calendar is Now For Sale

Join me Wednesday at 5 pm CST while Michael and I play through three hot games! Be sure to follow & subscribe for notifications! Twitch.tv/boardgamersteph


Cool Vid from Saturday!



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I was looking forward to checking out the new Zombie Teenz Evolution. New to me!

Michael and I have played about halfway through Zombie Kidz Evolution and really enjoyed it so far. It was exciting that there is a new level up in the series with TEENZ!

Since we wanted to show it on the stream, we didn't want to give away any spoilers so we ended up learning and playing our first few games on the stream so everyone could see how it plays out.

We didn't reveal any information from envelopes as we didn't get that far in the advancements.

During our play, we ended up losing the first game. We weren't managing the zombies well enough, but we seemed to have a good flow of the second game. It came down to the wire though so it really could have gone either way.

I have to say, so far the added challenges in Teenz is a really nice addition and I can't wait to see how the envelopes bring us new changes!

Great new game and I would highly recommend this series of games for kids and families. It would be a perfect Christmas Gift!





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Michael wanted to play a small card game called Novgorod. New to me!

In Novgorod, players are creating a network of locations to build up their trading routes. The game ends once one player reaches 30 points or upgrades to the highest ranking.

In order to gain points, players will have to collect goods and drop them to locations that want those goods, or trade several goods to gain a luxury item. There are contracts/order cards that will also be helpful for players to score more points if they can deliver these items in a turn for bonus points.

Now the way the board is laid out, it will always have the same locations in the same spaces each game, but the artisan cards in the locations will change from game to game.

As the game plays out, players will increase their trade routes considerably and have access to more possible card spaces and locations. They will want to upgrade their abilities and ships.

The rules weren't entirely clear on the flow of the game, so we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what an action was and how to activate cards and goods. There weren't enough good examples in the rules that demonstrated how it all worked so we played a lot of guessing games with that and just kind of went with what we thought.

I went with my gut and upgraded my ship as quickly as I could so I could lay down more cards each turn. Then I focused on upgrading my ranking since that eventually got me an income of points that would generate each turn.

Doing all of that put me in a far lead over Michael. He was focused on getting all the locations since there were a few bonus cards, that I wasn't paying attention to.

Didn't seem to matter since he was several turns away from generating the kind of income I was from the upgraded ranks.

I ended it before he was able to catch up and I ended up winning. He wasn't too far off, but I do think my strategy to seem fairly dominant.

Ultimately, I don't see a whole lot of replay value here, but we do have small expansions that go with the game and I am not sure how they change up the gameplay, but they might help it. As it stands, this is not a game I would care to play again, but I would try the small expansions or at least read about them to see if I think they can help the gameplay a bit. It all seems a bit static.

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Even more Boomerang titles to try out so Michael and I played Boomerang: Europe. New to me!

I am going to spoiler you right off the bat and say I think this might be my favorite Boomerang title to date.

While it plays out very much like the other titles in the series, this has very different scoring features which is highlighted well with the map of Europe.

There are several regions you are collecting in Europe but they are all in various sizes and score a range of points upon completion.

The boomerang scores the difference in the first and final card.

The food icons want you eating less than 8 of you will have to vomit up half your points from overeating.

Now the culture scores totally different. You will have to score based on what other people are doing but you will still have to have a matching symbol. In a 2 player game if I wanted to score paintings I would look at Michael's collection of cards and score 4 points per painting he collected as long as I had a painting card of my own.

You have to be very tricky!

I absolutely loved this. Of course, Michael absolutely crushed me. I was always overeating and I wasn't getting enough bonuses. I still like the chase of finding the best cards for my sets and getting everything perfect.

Oh, there is also a rule for how cards that are used get shuffled to the bottom of the deck. That was a great addition that we started implementing.

Anyway, we played a few times and took it to the stream one night so the video is below! Love love love this game and will always play and suggest it.


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A new game that is currently on Kickstarter was next on the stack of games to play! Michael and I tried out Elements of the Gods.

Funny story about this one is that I have actually played this prototype before. As Michael was reading the rules I was instantly reminded of the gameplay and that I had played this back in 2018 when I was working for Renegade Games and testing some prototypes for them.

So strange to see the game again, but was happy to give it go. Really, nothing changed at all from the time I originally played it.

In Elements of the Gods, players are actively trying to place their monuments and score points for the surrounding gardens and meeples.

There are several types of cards but the purple ones will be the ones that score you points during the game and at the end of the game.

Each turn, the active player will select one of the element pawns and place it on the game board. Once it is placed the element will activate its special ability. Most elements will move a specific color meeple in a specific way. Moving the meeples around will help you play your cards easier and score more points.

The game is over once one player has played their 5th purple card down to score. Purple cards in hand will be added to your score the person with the most points will win.

All game I was playing for the purple cards I had in play to score me points at the end of the game, so I was a bit backward in what I thought was happening. But, now I know that was completely wrong and will play correctly when we play it on the Livestream. I wasn't planning properly and I was messing up.

Michael was highly focused on what he was doing and scored TONS of end game points with only 2 monuments in play. Oh well, it was not a surprise when he ended the game with over double my score. whoops! #MistakesWereMade

Elements of the Gods is a pretty good abstract thinking type of game. I like the use of cards and how you manipulate your hand to guide you in the decisions you make with the elements available at any given time. This is a game I would definitely play again. Check out the Kickstarter to see if it might be for you. I hope to play this on the Livestream in the coming week sometime.

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In case you missed it, here is Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming from Friday!






New to the Collection:
Winter Queen
Alluvium
couperation
rococo deluxe
Curious Cargo
NY Zoo





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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The Alien visited the Flower Shop in Paris and saw the Windmill in the Aquaretto....

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!


It's Friday!! Every Friday you can join me on my Twitch Channel for Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming. Join me at 2pm CST!


This Saturday I get to participate in an awesome panel hosted by Wil Wheaton and Official Bicycle® Cards
along with other board game friends with the topic of "How to Get More Gamers to the Board Game Table".
The panel starts at 4:00pm EST!
You can watch at twitch.tv/gamesbybicycle or youtube.com/bicyclecards

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Join us SUNDAY at a Special time 2pm CST for all-day fun!!


Here is a video Michael and I played on Wednesday's Livestream event!! If you enjoy the content, please consider following me on Twitch.

Paris



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On a recent Livestream, Michael and I had Shrey as a guest and we played a few games. I was glad we were able to check out Windmill: Cozy Stories. New to me!

Since it is a game that requires 3+ players, we opted to try with Shrey. Now, CrowD Games has a sponsored event scheduled for Dec 9!! This event will be awesome!! We will feature a ton of their games and have a bunch of giveaways so you don't want to miss that game night!

We may or may not choose to play Windmill again since they have so many titles, but it might show up towards the end of the night if we have time.

In Windmill Cozy Stories, Players are trying to gain points by either providing good clues or guessing other players' clues. If you are a storyteller, you can present your clue in the form of a story, and I believe the rules suggest you should connect your story from the previous person's story as well.

In the display, you will see all the possible cards, and the clue-giver will draw a card from the deck of cards that will match one from the display. They will provide a clue and then in clockwise order, the players will guess. If the first player is incorrect the next player can guess and at that time, it is worth 1 more point than before. A player also has a chance to use a windmill and basically wager a point in order to gain the points all for themselves. If they do this and guess incorrectly they will lose points, but if they guess correctly the clue-giver won't receive any points for their clue and the guesser will gain them all.

So, when you are providing a clue you don't want to be obvious or people will know what you are getting at. You will want to use broad concepts and ideas that can work for several cards, but not too broad since you do want SOMEONE to guess it correctly so you gain points.

the artwork is beautiful and the gameplay is nice. I like the fun push-your-luck aspect of the game.

It was clear I was very bad at this game from an early stance since Shrey and Michael seemed to be on a better wavelength. It was fun to play over the Livestream though. I made sure to prep Shrey with photos of the artwork so he could carefully see the images up close by zooming in if he needed to.

Yeah, I think Michael pull ahead into the lead at the end of it, but I will have to go back and watch the tapes.

I am glad we got to play. These cards could easily be mixed with other games that use special artwork like this, so that is cool. It would be harder to mix in Dixit cards etc to use in this game, but I suppose you can always just imagine one card before you tell a story and just play for fun like that.

I like this one and would gladly play again. It would definitely make for a fun family game.

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It was Michael's birthday a while back and his request was to play Alien Frontiers. New to me!

It was Michael's day! He got to pick the games we played and I was fine learning whatever he wanted. He knew the game pretty well so that worked out and we could jump in fairly quickly.

Alien Frontiers is a dice-placement game with some luck of the rolls. You will be building up your dice pool as the game goes on and trying to get out your stations to gain majority and bonuses.

I won't get too deep into the rules, as most people have heard of this game by now.

It started out fairly well on an even level playing field, but it was a rough few turns following in his footsteps. I ended up going for some early cards and then he would end up stealing them away.

There was a lot of theft in this game, and it kind of made me sour on the game a bit. I really didn't care for that. Things I spent my hard-working dice on he could just steal away. Everything else in the game worked fine for me. I built my stations and held my own for VP's I was chugging along. Seemed all good, until the very end where he just slashed me up and took everything away for the win.

So, it was a bit rough for me. I can't say I had much fun. I know Michael loves the game so I would play again, but it wouldn't be the first choice. It was a bit too mean for my liking.

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I was looking forward to checking out The Little Flower Shop. New to me!

The Little Flower Shop (of horrors), is a sweet drafting game where players are drafting cards to collect the best flower arrangments they can manage. After 3 rounds, everyone will evaluate their shops and whoever collects the most flower petals will win the game.

Each player begins the game with 3 vases with special requirements for the types of flowers to place in them. Then everyone is dealt 7 cards.

What is interesting about the draft for 2 players is that when you are finished picking a card you will draw a card from the deck and then discard a card from the hand. Finally, you will pass the hand to the next player. So, you will end up possibly changing the hands throughout the game, but you also don't want to give the other play an advantage so you have to be careful what you are passing. It is really neat.

Among the cards, you will find a variety of flowers either single, double or triple, and you will draft those cards to put in the vases. Some vases have a white flower outlined and that means any type can go in there, but it also usually means they are worth fewer petal points. You want to try and gain some high-scoring vases early so you can scout for the flowers for a longer duration.

Other cards you might see are straight-up cash cards. You need cash to buy the hanging baskets for your shop. You also have the chance to spend $2 at the end of each round to discard the final card and draw blind from the top. Ooooo the choices.

Michael and I played this and really enjoyed it so we ended up playing it on Twitch, and that worked out really well!

During our first play, Michael ended up beating me because he was able to gather just a few more petals than I was. Otherwise, we did exactly the same thing. We had all the same vases filled in and baskets hanging but I had easier to fill in vases it seems. It was super tight.

Now, when we played on the stream, we added in the small variant to also gain points for fillers and that helped me out a bunch. I got him back!

You can check out the stream posted below! Very delightful little game and one I would happily play again. I really love drafting games and this is a solid game. Quite beautiful too. Definitely recommended!


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So, long ago at a con far far away I picked up a used game of Aquaretto and we finally got it off the unplayed shelf! New to me!

Well, I figured that it was very similar to Zooloretto, and it is, but I happen to like Zooloretto!

In Aquaretto there are a few changes that happen, and of course, all the animals are amazing marine animals.

It has been so long since I played Zooloretto but I am pretty sure there were no trainers involved. So in Aquaretto, you can gain trainers that will score for the different types of animals that surround her. So you will want to collect fish from the animals in case you wanted to send a person to handle the fish area and they will score you points at the end of the game.

Small minor changes, but you are still pulling and drafting tiles as you would in Zooloretto.

We could easily play this game and it was a bunch of fun. I honestly can't say which of the games I enjoy more, but I had a good time with this one. I do not think I need to continue to own both games, and I don't think one FIRES the other, so it is really up in the air as to what happens.

Both are games I am happy to play, I might even like the dice game best, but they are all fairly good. Happy to play this more and I am glad we could finally play it!

PS I love all the little baby animals they are the cutest!!


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Board Game Accessory: Carcassonne: GameGuard Organizer


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New to the Collection:
Winter Queen
Alluvium
Couperation





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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Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:00 pm
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The Sovereign Master Raided all the land from Paris to Scythia.

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!


Tonight at 5pm CDT join us while we play through Paris on my Twitch Channel! Other awesome games too! Be sure to follow and subscribe!


Special Event happening this Saturday! I am going to be on a panel hosted by Bicycle Games about growing the hobby. This will be hosted by Wil Wheaton! Gonna be a fun afternoon!


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A recent game on the shelf was a game I KNEW Michael would just adore, and of course, I was itching to try it out. We played Raiders of Scythia. New to me!

I have always enjoyed Raiders of the North Sea and I knew it was a game that Michael had never played before. Raiders of Scythia takes the core mechanics of the North Sea and refines it. Let's just say, if you are familiar with the North Sea game, you will be able to easily jump into a game of Scythia.

There are many minor differences between the game, but I will focus on the big additions.

I first want to do a shout out for the AMAZING ARTWORK. I am in love with the art in this game. It is just fantastic. I definitely want to see more art set in this world so I hope more Scythia games are to come.

I think the major difference in this game is the use of animals. You can now collect horses and eagles. You don't LOSE the animals if they are paired with a crew member that ends up dying, but you can't activate their abilities if they do not have a crew member attached to that space. Some of the eagles score points at the end and have a strength value, other eagles provide a double reward for the crew member. The final type of eagle allows crew members to use their discard ability while it is part of the crew (without being discarded). The horses are more simple creatures. They always provide strength and sometimes provide victory points.

Any of the animals you gain can not take wounds, but they will count towards your raid value.

In Scythia, you will also have a hero card. The Hero will provide each player with a unique ability to use at the Town Center. For example, I had a hero that let me buy a horse for 2 coins, it was certainly easier that way to gain a horse!

Besides the animals, everything else about Raiders of Scythia feels very familiar to Raiders of the North Sea. You can gain Kumis in Scythia which act like Mead found in one of the North Sea expansions that can be used to heal and gain strength for the raid values.

Scythia is all about finding the best combos you can use with your crew members and their eagles as well as the hero card.

Michael and I played and I was right on the nose when I called he would love the game. We played it and we immediately wanted to feature it on the Livestream on Sunday, so we did.

So at this point, we have played twice! I think he just likes causing a crushing blow and absolutely killing me in games.

He is very good at finding the combinations that work really well together and exploiting them! I just like having horses so I focused both games on getting them. I even scored extra for horses so I thought that would be helpful.

I was suckered into going to the pity space towards the end of the game in both games, otherwise, the game would just continue and continue and he would gain more and more points so I had no other choice! It was probably pretty detrimental in both games.

I super lost both games, but I still very much enjoy it. I think Raiders of Scythia FIRES Raiders of the North Sea, though I would still be happy to play either game. Scythia is a definite keeper. I look forward to playing again soon!


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Ooooh and now for tonight's Livestream Main Event! We will be playing Paris, but let me first tell you about it! New to me!

I am ALWAYS looking forward to the next Kramer and Kiesling game and this has such an AMAZING table presence. The Hype to play was REAL!

To be honest, I thought this would be a rondel since it has a lovely round board. Yeah, this is not a rondel so don't get your hopes up. I do love Porta Nigra of their catalog that does have a rondel though.

In Paris, players are actively competing to take over the small districts of Paris. New buildings will be added to the board each round and players will have the chance to place their keys in different district banks to gain money or they move a key from the bank into a building in that region. A key can later be moved from a building to another building as long as the new building is a higher value.

When a key is moved onto a building they must ALWAYS pay the cost of the building, however, if they are moving from another building they only have to pay the difference in values. Eventually, players will want to build landmarks in the various districts and the same rules apply to the landmarks.

As you move to new buildings you will start to gain resources or even gain advancements on the bonus track. Now the bonus track is first come first served and you can move as far forwards as you would like, but anything you pass over will be skipped for good since you can't move backward on that track. These bonus tiles can be saved for later use and the later tiles often give you ways to score lots of points.

You can definitely score a lot of points in-game, but there are some really big scores that happen near the very end of the game and then during the area control at the end of the game.

Michael and I played through this game, and he was all about hoarding money and grabbed the tile that scored him a point for each $1 he had at the end of the game. Sure, that bonus tile was very flexible, but I knew I was going to need allllll the money I could get in order to build those Landmarks. You need a lot of resources and star power in order to get those constructed and it is costly.

Now, I picked up a tile that scored me 7 points for the buildings I occupied that were the value of 8... so I made my best attempt to score as much as I could from that one tile and it actually gained me a HUGE amount of points and I was able to catch up to Michael who was really far ahead of me by that point. I needed that boost badly. It actually was a nail biter after that. I honestly had no idea who would win the game.

Since I also picked up the bonus tile that scored for ownership of landmarks I needed to get out as many landmarks as possible so I could score that tile to the best of my ability as well!

Ugh, I couldn't believe I wasn't able to pull out the win this time. Michael ended up winning 171 to 166! I was sooooooo close and I was a few resources short of getting another achievement and ugh it would have been amazing!!!

I do think I will have a better grasp of this game during the second play which is happening tonight! The timing during this game is super challenging to grasp on the first playthrough. placing the building tiles is like HALF the game and the second half of the game is figuring out majorities and slowing gathering the flag tiles which is the timer on the game. It is very tricky how to plan everything out.

There is a bunch of sniping in the game and trying to edge out the majorities, so you will need to prepare yourself for that. I can honestly say I am not really a big fan of area control and sniping, but it is certainly interesting how everything plays out. It was definitely an unexpected and interesting game. I look forward to playing again and seeing how I do a second time. Solid game!


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Another game Michael and I got to try out was Sovereign Skies. New to me!

This is a box that catches the eye!!! It is all holographic prettiness! This game also has an add-on mat that is simply gorgeous and well made so that was a fun surprise, with some shiny metal coins! Simply beautiful!

Sovereign Skies is a light area control game with an interesting rondel mechanic. Your goal is to collect the most points by the end of the game and there are several ways you can gather points in this game.

The whole game is fairly simple and plays out quicker than you might first imagine. You control a ship and it heads in one direction around the circle map. It will always move up to 1 space for free and a coin per space can move it additional steps or even 2 coins will turn the ship around and head the other direction. Once your ship lands in a space you will get to take 1-3 actions at the location. taking one action will gain you a coin, taking 2 actions will cost and gain you nothing and if you choose to take 3 actions it will cost an additional coin, but it is generally worth taking the 3 actions if you can.

The same 2 actions are found at each location and those actions are to place a ship at the location and the other is to gather the card from the location. You can't have multiple of the same card in hand so you want to plan for that.

Now the 3rd action at each location is totally different from the others and they will help form your strategy a bit and offer up the meat of the game. They help you build and activate bases, gain advisors, move ships around and alliances, and all that jazz.

There are different stacks of rewards and once 2 of those stacks have been depleted the game end will trigger and it is over before you know it.

During our play, I was feeling pretty good! I had tons of alliances and was gaining my activated bases fast enough. Michael was focused on gaining advisors and lots of bonuses.

Toward the end of the game, he decided to regain the alliances he could and steal them from me, doh. So we were all tied up in that department. He was controlling most of the regions and I was just trying to get some quick points doing what I was doing, and I wasn't able to end the game fast enough to secure the win. Michael took over at the last minute and ended up beating me 43 to 41! Oh man, I nearly had it and I thought I was going to have it tooooooo so it was so much worse!

Wow, this is a clever game and there are a bunch of added modules and variants you can play with to switch up the gameplay a bit. I think this game will be a huge hit for the right crowd. I would be happy to play this again and perhaps it will show up on the stream at some point. Easy to learn and easy to play and looks gorgeous, what more can you ask for?

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I was so glad when Shrey agreed to come on the Livestream and test out a few games with us. We got in a few rounds of Master Word. New to me!

Master Word is a new party game about working together to figure out the right clue! It sort of reminds me of Mastermind and 20 questions, but you are more restricted than 20 questions because if you actually guess the clue without using a guess card then you will end up losing.

So, in each game, there is a theme provided like "sports". Every round the players who are guessing will discuss concepts they want to target. and they each have cards they can write their guess on. The player who knows the answer will provide a number of thumbs up for the guesses they got correct though he will not be specific as to which clues are correct. For example, if sports were the category, the players might guess, "team" "outside" "padding" and if any of those apply to the sport in question they would receive a thumbs up.

The guessing side will have 6 rounds to guess concepts and suggestions to try and hone in on the correct answer or they can use one of their 3 guess cards to try and guess the correct answer earlier than the 7th round.

There are 300 words/answers provided in this game so that is 300 possible games you can play and each game ramps up in difficulty! So, ideally, you will want to play with the same group so you get really good at trying to figure out the clues.

I think we ended up playing 3 rounds (you can watch below) I won't give away the answers so you can try to guess the answers before we figure them out.

Shrey and I totally busted our first attempt and it was an EASY guess too. We just went off in a totally random direction. Maybe you can guess before we do!

I had a great time playing this one and it is definitely a game I would like to play more of and see how difficult the levels can get. I think this will be a feature on the stream we can do often since the chat can play along. Very cool game!


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New to the Collection:
Four Humours proto





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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The Magnificent Baron Chiseled a sculpture while in Rome

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!


Awesome Games from LUCKY DUCK NIGHT!!! YAY!!

Chronicles of Crime: 1400


Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time



Join me Wednesday at 5 pm CST while Michael and I play through three hot games! Be sure to follow & subscribe for notifications! Twitch.tv/boardgamersteph


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I was so excited to get to try out the new expansion for The Magnificent called The Magnificent: SNØ. New to me Expansion!

This is easily the expansion I most highly anticipated this year. Magnificent was my game of the year last year and more content for it is just amazing.

Since I wanted to play this so badly, I ended up learning it and playing a solo game on the Livestream the other day.

In SNØ, there are a few modules you can use to enhance the game a bit. You will definitely want to use the new white + tokens. These are new tiles that you can add to your campsite and they are considered large tiles. You can claim them when using a white/clear die, or if you use a trainer to turn the color of a different tile to be white. There are new poster cards that are added that will help score those tiles.

The new poster cards aren't mixed with the other cards, but they have their own stack and will always have one spot on the face-up display of cards.

In addition to those tiles and cards, there are 2 new player boards and the game can now play up to 5 players. If you play with 5 players, the performance track works a little bit different with each player only using one hat to track their performances.

Another module is using Master Tiles. This new Master board gives players an additional 5th action during the round where they will use one action during the round to take a master tile. Master tiles have a bunch of opportunities. Maybe gives them a few gems, or could get them a whole new trainer tile that gets added to their pool. Lots of options and really gives players a chance to plan for bigger and better things.

I will for sure always use this new master board since it is super helpful and easy to introduce.

So I played on the stream and I was going heavy for the new SNØ tiles taking on as much of the new content that I could manage. It seemed to be working out fairly well for me. In the second round, I wasn't able to perform, but I made up for it in the final round when I had a super big performance.

In the end, I got my best score to date! I want to thank the master board for that though since it was super helpful in getting me a couple of extra things to really give my strategy a boost.

Oh, I just can't wait to play this again soon!! I love it so much! More more more!


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I was looking forward to checking out Rome & Roll but the rulebook was a bit daunting so we wanted to make sure we had enough time to dive in when we started it. New to me!

Turns out the rulebook wasn't too much to take in and everything was explained nicely so there were no questions.

Rome and Roll is a big roll n write game. It is more of a boardgame with roll n write features. Each player will have their own player board with unique starting bonuses and ways to upgrade for different benefits during the game.

Each round, the dice are rolled and a snake draft happens where players will end up taking 2 of the dice to use during the round. Some results just gain you resources which you will write on your player board, other dice might give you resources and an action you can take. There are a bunch of actions to choose from and some need a specific symbol in order to activate them.

For actions, you might build a building and draw it on the board. You will activate the surrounding buildings when you do that. You might boost your advisors for better abilities and possible points. Sometimes you will want to raid and take over the countryside and set up roads, so you need military. There are certainly a lot of paths to try out and take when you play.

There are special spaces on the different tracks you can advance that will gain you a special blue card and when those blue cards have all been claimed, the end of the game will be triggered.


During our game, Michael was headed doing the military path. I was trying to collect goods to bribe the advisors and gain lots of bonuses for the actions I was taking. It wasn't working for me so well since we just weren't rolling the dice needed to bribe people. My strategy was all about gaining and selling jewelry for tons of coins. Sure I did well with that, but Michael hit all the target blue spaces early and got a bunch of bonus points. Gaining lots of coins didn't seem like it would be enough in the long run.

While I had 66 in the end it wasn't enough to beat Michael who had 80. I wasn't as far behind as I expected, but there is still room to improve.

This is certainly a big game, even though it isn't difficult, there are a lot of things going on. There is even an expansion pack with new advisors to try out and more asymmetric abilities, so that is cool. In general, I liked the game well enough where I would want to play it again and see how I would change up my strategies. It did seem a bit long so I am thinking 2 player is best. So we will see where that falls on the list of new games. Somewhere in the middle, I suspect.


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Michael and I were looking for a quick game to play and found Chiseled that fit the bill. New to me!

Chiseled is a deck shredding game. You will take various actions in order to get rid of cards in your deck to try and have the perfect carved statue at the end of the game.

Each turn you will select one of the available face-up actions to take. They have a wide range of abilities that sometimes target other players, that action is then flipped face-down. You do that action and discard any remaining cards in hand. When you draw 3 new cards, you check to see if you have 3 statue pieces and if so you will advance the art critic path. If that path ever hits 0 then the game end is triggered.

Once the game end is triggered, each player will grab all their cards in the discard pile, hand, and deck and reveal them. Scraps are -3 each and you start the game with I believe -36 points. You will have to look at the chart and gain points equal to the results. For example, you will have to have pairs of arms to score any points. If you only have 2 arms you will gain the most points. You want4-5 torso cards to gain the most and you will want as many heads as you can manage for the most points.

Now that is all of the gameplay, but the heart of the game is within the actions you are taking and the critics scoring ability at the end of the game. You will want to focus on gaining a few extra points from the critics when possible.

So far, Michael and I have played this game twice, once of which was on the Livestream (below).

The games we have played have been very different! I love that there are so many action cards that are mixed and matched so every game will feel different. Not only that but a bunch of critics so you will be aiming to do different things! Little things like that really make the game shine.

It is kinda funny since the first game, Michael and I couldn't seem to ever advance the critic and we had TONS of time to widdle down our decks and really focus on what we were doing. It seemed in the second game it was completely opposite, I don't even think I managed to get through my deck on time before it ended! it was just so super fast.

Of course, I did extremely well in the first game since I got rid of all the scraps and could almost sculpt the deck to be perfect. I scored 44 to Michael's 34!

I scored soooo much less during the Livestream, but I still managed to beat Michael so perhaps I am just good at sculpting.

This game really impressed me. I have to say this is definitely a keeper and deserves some much-needed attention. Nice little card game and it is super fun to play since the actions can be a bit of a surprise at times! Fun to see how it plays out. You know I am a risk-taker so those types of actions are always amusing. Can't wait to play again!


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It was time for another quick game, so Michael and I learned the very colorful Baron Voodoo. New to me!

Baron Voodoo is a fairly abstract game to collect dice and create sets with them.

Each turn you will be able to use your bonus ability or pay to use someone else's bonus and you will move one of the dice on your color to jump over another die and claim that. There are limitations to this, but it is your basic move action. The die you claim will have a symbol on it and you will activate it. Some rewards will be to stay protected until your next turn which means people aren't able to steal your colored dice from the board or dice that you have already claimed on your player board. Other actions might be to take another player's die from their player board. There are a bunch of different things you can do. There is a token that is a currency in the game which helps gain you additional actions or you can use it to change the type of bonus action at the start of your turn, things like that.

At the end of your turn, you can form a set to gain points that move the dice down your player board to the spirit realm. These dice also act for a majority at the end of the game. Once a player hits the target points then the game end is triggered.

Michael and I picked out characters and they ended up having the best abilities, or so it seemed. My player ability allowed me to move any die in the row to any other empty space in the row as long as it doesn't cross over any other dice. This power gave me a lot of flexibility to jump the dice I wanted to for the rewards and colors I needed.

I learned pretty quickly that Michael wanted to eat up all my dice on the board, so I started gaining protection each turn, and I should have been focused on doing other things since losing a few dice wasn't going to be the end of me... I needed to get other rewards and do other things.

Michael ended up having the most majorities and scoring tons of points in the game. He totally crushed me! He won 28 to my 18, ouch!

So, as I said, it is a fairly simple abstract game. The colors are great and the production is nice. I am not sure it really stands out among the other games in the genre, so I am not sure how much staying power it has. I would certainly play it again and find it good.




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In case you missed it, here is Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming from Friday!








New to the Collection:
NONE!!! AAAHHH





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:00 pm
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Sherlock investigated the Lost Ruins of Jurassic Parts where the MeepFrogs jumped...

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!


It's Friday!! Every Friday you can join me on my Twitch Channel for Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming. Join me at 2pm CST!


Special Streaming this Saturday!! Join Me and Michael and we have host Lucky Duck Games!! We will have a few giveaways during the stream starting at 2PM! We will give away Chronicles of Crime: 1400 & Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time IT WILL BE EPICCCCCCCCCc!!!

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Join us SUNDAY at 5pm CST for more fun!!


Here is a video Michael and I played on Wednesday's Livestream event!! If you enjoy the content, please consider following me on Twitch.

Meeple Land


Cosmic Colonies



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Back in January.... like forever ago and a day, we used to have conventions. I was lucky enough to check out Tantrum Con and had a blast! When I was there I learned a bunch of games including Jurassic Parts. At the time I learned it as a 2-player game against Chad of 25th Century. I figured I would lose that game since I was so inexperienced, but turns out I had a bit more skill than I thought and beat Chad!

Now was my time to play against Michael and see if I could hold the winner's title.

Since Michael hadn't played before, we went through the rules fully. I hadn't played in months so I also needed a refresher.

In Jurassic Parts, you will want to collect bones to make up the different dinos. At the start of the game, all of the dino tiles will be laid out with half face-up and half face-down.

Each turn you will want to chisel your way around the rocks and try to break away the different hexes. When you do break away a section you will claim half of the tiles, and the next person who contributed will get half of that and so on. The person who gets the most tiles will be the person who chiseled away most of the section.

Tons of ways to score points from the bones and fossils. You can also sell bones to the market for amber and amber is a currency to help you in your time of need otherwise it is worth one point.

We played our game with the bonus cards to help us along with a strategy. I had a backpack that allowed me to hold an extra chisel from round to round. I didn't find that too helpful since I was using all the chisels like it was my job. I should have been a bit more tactical with that though.

I was collecting all the fossils of the plants and scoring some big points from that set collection. Michael and I both misinterpreted the "wild" bones thinking they were worth 5 points, so Michael ended up going for them early only to realize they weren't worth what he thought. It threw him off his game at the end so I managed to win that game.

It was soooooo super close where I had 48 to his 47 so I mean it was really anyone's game. Pretty crazy!

I think this game is clever and interesting. You don't know what people will be doing since it is hard to even see all the possible options. I like this one and will be happy to play it again soon!

We even played it on the Livestream on Wednesday! Check it out@


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I have loved all the Sherlock games and I knew I wanted to share the experience on the Livestream at least once. With the final Sherlock game that I have that we haven't played, we decided to play Sherlock: Propagation on the stream. New to me!

If you watch the video below, there will be spoilers, but we do explain how to play the game first and then dive into it with all our speculation and theories.

This game was quite a challenge. We were sort of on the right path, but some of our actions getting there weren't helpful. Definitely a lot of red herrings so beware!

So glad we got to play it, but there is still room to grow with regard to our scores. I think we scored 6 points this time. It was definitely a poor showing. It doesn't mean I like the game any less, because it only makes me want to play more cases and try to pick up on subtle clues.

There were a few easter eggs hidden in the artwork which I totally appreciated that referenced the other cases. Love that.

Anyway, they have announced more in the series and I am definitely looking forward to playing them!! Play 'em and love 'em as we do!

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Michael wanted to play something light and fast so we tried out a new game called MeepFrog. New to me!

MeepFrog is a micro abstract game. There are a few meeples in a pouch with a cloth board. On the board, you will find the rules for how to play. So right off the bat, you know it is very portable for those looking for small games to bring around.

Each turn, you will choose to either pull a meeple from the bag and place it, or you can jump you color meeple to score points. The first person to collect 5 meeples in their color will win the game.

If you jump another players' color they will gain the point, so don't do that.

There are placement rules and jumping rules, but it is all fairly straightforward and simple to learn.

Michael and I zipped through this game really fast. There is a strange rule that if you draw your color meeple you get to have another turn, so at one point Michael got like 3 turns in a row. Yeah, he ended up winning this game and I think I captured 2 of my red meeples. It wasn't exactly a close game.

While the game is cute, it just didn't work for me so much. Not enough strategic decisions to make and it felt a bit uninspired. Not a game I would want to play again. It could work with the right people, but not for me.


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I had some time and asked Dan and Shrey to play a game and Shrey wanted to learn Lost Ruins of Arnak.

There is a mod on TTS that we could play and I was more than excited to play this game again. It was my number #1 game from October and could possible make the Number 1 game of the year at this point since I love it so much!

I taught them both how to play and it was an easy teach. Everything in this game is very straight forward and the iconography is great.

It was a much different game with 3 people. Everyone was exploring and basically, all of the sites were taken by the end of the game. Totally different than the 2 player games I have played, so it is very interesting to see how that plays out.

I was focusing on exploring as much as I could in the beginning. As soon as they started exploring the far sites, I knew I had to switch gears and start collecting resources to advance on the research tracks. I ended up getting 2 assistants and a few artifacts to help rotate those assistants out. It seemed to be going pretty well for me.

While I did win, the guys weren't too far behind me. I won with 70 to Shrey's 61 and Dan's 56. I mean I have a few games on them so I excited to win, but I duno if I will beat them next time! (prolly).

I can't wait to get a published copy of the game. I love it so much!

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I got together with Derek, Shrey, and Scott and we checked out a new BETA game on BGA called Yōkai. New to me!

We didn't know much about it, but Shrey read the rules on the spot and it was easy enough to follow.

Yokai is a cooperative memory game where you and your teammates will want to get the 4 colors all grouped together before declaring you're correct.

Each turn you will look at 2 cards and move one of them. So the memory element is knowing what people have moved and what you have seen to piece together all the clues to know if you have them all clumped together properly.

After you move a card, you will either have to reveal a hint card or play one of the hint cards on top of one of the face-down cards to try and give information to the other players.

I am not sure the hint cards are totally needed, but they help give extra points.

Considering all the guys I was playing with hate memory type games, we managed to do quite well. I was remembering all the cards I looked at and felt confident when we chose to end it. Fortunately, we did end it and it got us a few extra points since we won! I think we ended with 13/15 points so it was a fairly high score. Kinda seemed a bit too easy.

I duno, I liked it, but I am not sure anyone else enjoyed it. I would be happy to play it again. Michael doesn't like memory games, so I don't think I will be showing him that game on BGA. I would play again though.


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New to the Collection:
Its a Wonderful World Corruption and Ascension
Its a Wonderful World War and Peace
village green
The king is dead second edition
The Lost expedition + Expansion






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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Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:00 pm
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Beyond the Meeple Land the Snowman follows the Sun to Kokopelli

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!


Tonight at 5pm CDT join us while we play through a bunch of games on my Twitch Channel! Be sure to follow and subscribe!


Special Streaming this Saturday!! Join Me and Michael and we host Lucky Duck Games!! We will have a few giveaways during the stream starting at 2PM! We will give away Chronicles of Crime: 1400 & Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time IT WILL BE EPICCCCCCCCCc!!!

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One day Michael and I had time to sit and learn the new space game that is all the rage called Beyond the Sun. New to me!

I knew Michael was a fan of tech trees and figured this would be a hit for him so suggested we play it.

Beyond the Sun is indeed a game about building up a tech tree that will help you by gaining more powerful actions and hopefully gain you the most points at the end so you can win. The game is played over a number of rounds where players just take 1 action each. The end of the game is triggered when 3 discs are on the goal cards (or 4 discs in 3+ player game).

Beyond the Sun has a wide range of possibilities. Each turn you will have to move your pawn to a different available action space and carry out an action. At the start of the game, you are limited to 4 possible actions, but as you expand your knowledge and research new tech advancements you will have countless possibilities on actions to choose from. You could possibly be blocked by other players, so you have to plan carefully.

Each new tech advancement you research it will provide points at the end of the game, if you get to the final 4th level advancement there are special points awarded depending on the chosen card and what you have accomplished. Levels 1-3 are just awarded points equal to their level, but still, it all adds up.

Not only are you making research advancements in this game, but you will be exploring the wide-open space with your ships. Taking actions to produce ships and making jumps will help land your ships on planets so you can start to colonize which will help produce ore and food and open up your workers for more opportunities. They also provide a bunch of end game points.

After you take your action you will get to produce people/ore/ or pay for a combo of both so you will want to get rid of more discs to generate a better reward when this part of your turn comes around each time. Ore is helpful since you will need it to take many different actions.

So much to do and consider. You don't know the tech advancements that will show up in each game since when you research you will have a choice from 2 cards that are pulled randomly that match the type you are researching in.

The rules were easy to follow and get into, so we had no trouble learning the game. We started with the basic set-up and player boards, but even thouse have asymmetric starting set-ups which is nice. It will casually guide you in a direction from the start. For example, I started with an extra ship in the shipyard so I wanted to focus on exploring and colonizing.

There are also a variety of end game goals to work towards which will trigger the end of the game. 2 of them are always in play and then a bunch of others are mixed up and 2 are chosen. We had first to get to level 4 research and 1ste to get 4 colonized planets. Even more reason to set my sights on getting some colonies.

Michael was focused on getting all the techs and ablities for himself. I was much more targeted for specific advancements and I knew I wanted to try and research at least one level 4 advancement so I worked on doing that and getting as many colonized planets as possible.

The game probably went on longer than anticipated since we weren't exactly playing optimally all things considered. We could have probably ended it a few rounds earlier if we had focused a little more on getting the goals and less on just getting the most points possible.

I ended up winning this game with 75 to Michael's 58. I had a LOT more colonies and I managed to get a bunch of points from the level 4 advancements I got, so it definitely worked out in my favor.

I think Michael will have a better plan going into the next game, but we both agreed this is a solid game and one we want to definitely play again. We love the mix of cards and not really knowing what we will find when we research a new tech.

There is even an advanced mode with even deeper player abilities and more refined game-play. We have not looked into that at all, but maybe we will do that in the near future.

Very cool game and one that I am excited to play more of! Definitely recommend checking it out if you are fan of building up some tech trees!

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Theme parks are always a fantastic choice for a theme in a board game. I am ALWAYS interested in creating my own little amusement park in a boardgame so when I saw Meeple Land I knew I had to play it!! New to me!

In Meeple Land, players are building up their own park with lots of attractions and rides. After 4 rounds, the player who has the most points will win the game.

Each round will have a number of turns for each player. They will take turns buying and placing new tiles in their parks. It is advantageous to connect your paths so you won't get negative points at the end of the game, but you don't always have to. When adding attractions to your park, you will have to connect at least one path to place it down, however.

The more variety in attractions the more points you will have at the end of the game. There is a catch though. At the end of each round, each player will have to pass and take one of the loaded busses full of new guests. These guests like specific locations in your park and will only visit those spaces so you want to make sure you plan to take a busload of people that will be able to fit into your park!

The people who enter your park will provide you income, and sometimes even additional income if you plan accordingly and provide features they want. People who are left at the gate will generate no extra income for you, and will even lose you points at the end of the game.

Michael and I started off just filling in our boards, I was trying to plan for future buys, but you only have so much money and it is was soon realized that all my plans would be foiled because Michael was going after the same tiles I wanted.

In the first round, Michael took the bus I needed in order to make a substantial income. He was able to generate a whole lot of extra money and these could buy bigger and better tiles. I worked my way into the corner and had a hard time getting out of it. I was so focused on making sure I had room for the meeples I had and that I was potentially going to get, but I wasn't making nearly enough money to buy the extra tiles I needed.

Somehow in the final round, Michael was making $10 more than me, and that is A LOT of extra dough. I roll my eyes at that.

Well, I still managed to get a bunch of variety in my attractions so that helped, but the number of people I had was just not enough to compare with Michael. He ended up winning 45 to my 38 so I wasn't too far behind!

There are some interesting choices to be made since we hit a point in the game where neither of us wanted to buy ANYTHING from the display since it was all duplicates of what we had. If Michael bought something then a new tile would flip and maybe help me. It was an interesting conundrum!

I like those choices and trying to puzzle in the attractions to make them work. All around I think this is a solid game. It is a bit light, I wish there were an advanced version of the game. I am certainly happy to play it again and we will even show it off on the Livestream tonight! Please join us on Twitch! It will be a fun time!



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Since I got a bunch of adorable Christmas games, I figured I would start playing them slowly to spread out the joy! This time Michael and I played Frosty The Snowman: Follow the Leader. New to me!

Who doesn't love this amazing theme of Frosty the Snowman!? No one, because it is awesome.

Funko Games has a whole line of awesome new Christmas-themed games coming out at Target and this is just one of them.

In Frosty the Snowman Follow the Leader, players are working together to try and get the kids in the right line-up order before the deck of cards funs out. There are different levels you can play, but there are 5 different line-ups that can show up. When you play a card from your hand you will move that kid either forward or backward one space. You can work together with another player and swap 2 kids in the line provided you both discard a matching card for the kids you wish to move. If a kid is at the front of the line he may only be swapped or moved backward.

You play through 3/4/5 lines of kids and see if you can make it before the deck runs out!

Michael and I were pros from the beginning. We were hanging on to our wild cards in case we really needed them at one point.

Ultimately, we didn't face many issues! We had the right cards at the right times and was able to sort out the best possible course of action each turn. We ended with a bunch of cards left in the deck so it was a solid play and I am not sure we could have played it better!

For a light card game, I think this will be a lot of fun for families and holiday gaming. I love that it is cooperative too. It is light and quick and enjoyable. I would definitely play again!

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Travis from Queen Games invited me to play a game of Kokopelli and I got Shrey and Derek to play with me! New to me!

I am always interested in learning the new Feld game and this is on Kickstarter for about one more day! It is doing incredibly well, so check it out.

In Kokopelli, players are trying to complete sets to score points and have the most points once the game ends.

Each player has their own board that can hold 4 card types at a time. What is interesting about this game is how you can play the cards and create different combos using the card's abilities.

During the set-up of the game, each player will get the same cards and shuffle them into their own deck of cards. I believe it is 3 of each type of card that is being used in the current game.

On a player's turn, they will get 2 actions. The standard action is to play a card down. You can play to an empty space in your play area, or you can add to an existing stack in your neighbor's area in one of the 2 closest regions to either side of you. If you complete a set you will score points, if you complete another players' set you will gain points but they will get a pity prize of 1 point for their troubles.

SOOOOOOOO many cards and soooo many card combos to try and get, but you can never predict how other players might play on your stack and possibly close you out sooner than you want.

Anyway, we used the suggested set up for your first game, but in the published game there will be even MORE cards to mix and match for what seems like an incredible amount of replay value.

I didn't really have much of a strategy going into this game. I knew I wanted to get some good cards in my tableau that will help generates more points for the actions I take and sets I complete.

Turns out I had a pretty cool combo where I could play ANYWHERE not just limited to part of both Shrey and Derek's boards but on any stack, and I was getting points each time I played on a stack that was my opponents. Soooo those two cards gain me MOST of my points. Eventually, that combo was killed off and I had to pursue other opportunities.

Shrey on the other hand was racking in the points from emptying his hand turn after turn and he had a bonus for it too. Yeahhhhh Shrey absolutely demolished us at the end of the game during the final tally of points. I had sooooo many single point tokens but Shrey had a bunch of 3's sooooo it wasn't much of a close race.

Shrey had 69 I was at 53 and Derek had 47.

Wow! This is an awesome game. It is soooooo very different from any Feld game, and honestly didn't even feel like a FELD game at all. I wouldn't have guessed it if I didn't know. Really elegant and I am super excited for the final production! So many cards for an awesome mix for each game will be exciting.

Oh, I have to also mention I LOVE the look and colors used in this game. So wonderful! Made the top 10 best games I played in Oct 2020, so definitely one to look out for in the future.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312



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New to the Collection:
Kitchen Rush Kickstarter Editon
Fantastic Beasts Perilous Pursuit
Survive Escape from Atlantis + expans
Legends of Andor Part II Journey to the North
Thunderstone Quest





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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10 Comments
Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:00 pm
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The Blind Cat shot the Boomerang all the way to Machi Koro...

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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From gallery of punkin312



Hia Everyone!

Special Streaming this Saturday!! Join Me and Michael and we have host Lucky Duck Games!! We will have a few giveaways during the stream starting at 2PM! We will give away Chronicles of Crime: 1400 & Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time IT WILL BE EPICCCCCCCCCc!!!

Join me Wednesday at 5 pm CDT while Michael and I play through three hot games! Be sure to follow & subscribe for notifications! Twitch.tv/boardgamersteph

For Michael's Birthday we played a bunch of games he wanted to play including The Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Herb Witches & Hadara!!





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Michael and I wanted to start another legacy game and this time we played game 1 of Machi Koro Legacy. New to me!

To be fair, game 1 of Machi Koro Legacy is basically just easy-go-lucky Machi Koro. There isn't much "legacy" involved. Sure you get to name the town, but that's about it.

Michael and I re-played game 1 on the Livestream and talked about what we think will happen and what we want to happen, but it is all just speculation at this point.

There is a lot of cool colored boxes we will eventually get to open up as you would find in Pandemic Legacy, but also an event deck of things that will happen.

So this first game I ended up winning off camera and then Michael won on camera and marked the log with his victory. mmhmmm. We will see how that comes back to bite me in a later game.

Anyway, This is a short post since nothing really exciting has happened yet, but we will continue when we have time and see what happens next! I look forward to the surprises.


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One game off of the 3p shelf I got to try since it was posted on Tabletopia and Shrey read the rules for it was Blindes Huhn (Second Edition). New to me!

So Shrey, Derek, and I played this auction game. You are trying to have the most cards in a specific color to generate points at the end of the game, but you will also get to score 3 of your biggest sets, so you will want to try and focus on 3 colors specifically and if you can win the majority that is even better. In addition, there are golden corn cards worth 2 points and if they are paired with a chicken then that is an additional 3 points. If you have a chicken with no corn you will end up losing points, so don't do that.

Each round the active auctioneer will draw 3 cards and place some face-up and some face-down for the other players judge and bid on. Starting with the auctioneer and going once around, each player will get to bid, but it must be higher than the previous bid.

There must be 1 or 2 cards face-up as the rule. Which card/s are face-up well that is up to the auctioneer. Maybe there is a bad card face-down or a really good card face-down that they don't want the other players to see.

If the auctioneer wins the bid they have to give up the value using cards they have in their sets. The other players will divide those cards evenly among each other going in clockwise order. If another player wins the auction they will have to pay the auctioneer from their display of cards. All new cards get added to their displays and corn and chickens are kept hidden.

There is an end of the game card that will show up and then the game will end after that.

During the game, I picked up a bunch of golden corns early. This kinda threw me off since I thought I was in the clear to pick up some extra chickens, but at the end of the game it turns out I had one too many chickens. Turned out those few extra points would have given me a solid win. But, I had kinda big crazy on the last round to makeover some majorities and tie with Derek so I stole some of his points. I was sneaky.

As it happened both Derek and I were tied with 77 points. Shrey came in 3rd with 69. Hey, that is not a bad and a pretty close game.

I have to say I was impressed by this game. I am generally an auction fan. I like the auction mechanic and I like that you are using your sets to win new and possibly bad cards. Shrey and Derek seemed to really enjoy it as well. We all agree we want to try with more players and see how it goes. Very cool and glad I got to try it.


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I was super excited to check out the new game called A Game of Cat & Mouth. New to me!

Cat and Mouth is a quick dexterity game from the design team of KLASK. It is quite a different game than Klask but it gives me the same feeling. A quick game to score 5 points before the other player. There are a few balls used as teeth and a ball that is a nose. If you knock the nose ball out then you auto-win the round for a point. If you get all the white balls on the other player's side then you will gain a point.

Fantastic production and simple joy.

Michael and I played through the game super quick. Michael picked up a few early points, but I found a really good rhythm in shooting those balls to the other side. I had a major catch up and ended up winning the game 5 to 4. It was really neck and neck.

I love the little cat paws that you fling the balls with. It is super colorful which is always excellent in my book. This is a game I would totally play with my family and really anytime for a good filler dexterity game. Really cool.


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Heyyyyy more Boomerang: Australia which is awesome!! New to me!

I say it is new to me since there are a few new rules changes and all new updated graphic design/artwork.

This is on Boardgamearena.com if you wanted to check it out for yourself!

Boomerang is a fantastic drafting game where you are collecting different sets each round and scoring as many points as possible.

One of the small changes in this edition is how the boomerang scoring happens. Instead of the final card having to be HIGHER than the first card, you simply score the difference of the 2 cards.

Anyway, it plays out pretty much the same as the original Boomerang.

Michael and I have played the USA version on the Livestream recently. We hope to play Europe soon too.

Durng our play, I was focused on trying to collect the areas and I was doing that pretty well. I was definitely less focused on getting the boomerang bonus.

Turns out I needed to be more focused on getting those boomerang bonuses Michael won this game with 132 to my 123 so I wasn't too far behind, but dannnnnng I wasn't close enough.

Still love this game and can't wait to play it more. I think all of these new editions are just fantastic and worth keeping them all! MOAR!

Be sure to check it out on BGA!


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In case you missed it, here is Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming from Friday!




Also New 10V10!







New to the Collection:
whistle mountain
master word
zombie teenz





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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Mon Nov 9, 2020 12:00 pm
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From Tallinn to Douro the Bear was covered in MUD.

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Hia Everyone!


It's Friday!! Every Friday you can join me on my Twitch Channel for Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming. TODAY I will Review my Top 10 Favorite games learned in October! Join me at 2pm CST!


Join us SUNDAY at 5pm CST for more fun!!


Here is a video Michael and I played on Wednesday's Livestream event!! If you enjoy the content, please consider following me on Twitch.

Duffers



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I am always up for a quick kids game and this time we played Bear Down!.

This was a game I first learned back in November and it was under a different name called Grizzly.

Bear Down is a push-your-luck dice game where you are moving your bear towards the falls to try and catch big stacks of fish. You can never truly predict the current and you might get pushed over the falls if you aren't careful.

The dice are rolled each turn and the current might flow and some fish will populate the stream. Then the active player will move any number of spaces without crossing over another bear or wall or fish token. They land and will bring any already acquired fish along. Maybe they want to head back to the safe rock if they already had their fill of fish or don't want to take any more risks.

Michael and I have played this a few times now including once on the Livestream (posted below).

I have to say I was very good in the first game and I think I actually won. I was playing on the side of caution and taking the fish when I could. Michael was falling over the edge a few times and it allowed me to get ahead.

Now on the Livestream, it was quite an opposite situation. Super fast and super cute. We had a good time making fun of me, so you can give it a laugh when you watch.

Great little family game. Not a whole lot of strategy and could be great for smaller kids. Probably not a game I want to be playing very frequently, but I am glad we could show it off.

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Michael and I checked out a new game that just funded on KS called MUD. New to me!

My copy is just a prototype and is subject to change.

In MUD, players are trying to collect a specific set of cards in order to win the game. It is a political-themed game where you want to have so many people in the different brackets and this and that to get bonuses. I honestly am not into this theme at all so I can't really tell you all of the various sets and shenanigans needed to do well.

There is a high element of take-that and various actions let you steal from other players and reveal scandal cards which might make them lose a turn or something.

Ultimately, Michael and I played through and he kept stealing my cards and I was basically left where I had to switch strategies since he took all my cards. He had tons of round to round bonuses and I was just trying to stay afloat. I somehow managed to get a few bonuses of my own with some scandal cards that revealed to target him a bit and he ended up losing about 3 turns. So, I ALMOST caught him in the end, but I still wasn't successful. Michael won!

Ehhh, this isn't really my type of game. I dislike the theme, and I am not big into take-that. It certainly wasn't the worst prototype I have played, it seemed to work well enough. It just isn't for me. I could play again, but it doesn't excite me. It will work for the casual gamer group and I can see why it did so well on KS.


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Next up, Michael and I played a game of Tallinn. New to me!

I am always up for learning a new card game and this looked easy enough!

Tallinn is a light set collection game with some area control. During the game, you will want to have majorities in the 3 colors Yellow, Blue, and Red. There are opportunities to score points for specific colors and if you can stop the other players from having the majority you willprevent them for getting points.

The real game happens when you play those scoring cards since you will be presented with the opportunity to flip a card over and make it a castle. You will lose some of your influence during the in-game scoring, but you will will laetr qualify for the end of game majority and scoring for the castle cards.

It can be very tricky to know what to do.

I know when I was playing I was aiming for those castle cards, but I wasn't being careful about the colors I was putting face-down and ended up not focusing enough on one specific color. Michael ended up getting a bunch of points in-game and then TAKING all the points from the castle cards as well. I thought for sure I would win the castle cards, but he was more focused on collecting the same color for that and ended up totally crushing me.

I think it is a nice card game and has some interesting decisions. It is super quick which I think will help in the long run since you can easily play it and it won't overstay its welcome. I have a promo I can add for the next time we play, so that will be cool. I would be happy to play this again.


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Michael and I had time for anothe quick card game so we settled on learning Douro 1872. New to me!

This has a player count on the box of 3+ plays but there is a variant in the rules for 2 players. As Fado worked really well with 2, I was hoping for the same type of experience.

Douro is actually nothing like Fado as they have totally opposite mechanics. In Douro, players will simultaneously select a card from their hand of cards to play. They are essentially trying to fulfill the wine orders that are pictured on the card. If all players can collectively make the total then some points might be awarded. Who gets the points is the tricky part. many cards are special and have special rules, but for the most part, the player who had supplied the most will gain the points.

Everyone has the same set of cards, and you will run through your hand of cards twice and the the game will be over. You have to know when to play the high cards and when you think it will b a bust.

So as Michael and I played, we found out fairly quickly that this game doesn't work so well with 2 players since you need to use a dummy hand to act as a 3rd player. You really can't predict what might be a success or failure and everything is a luck-fest.

It is true, we did have a few laughs since there was a ridiculous instance when we needed a value of 3 and I played a 1 thinking the dummy player will play something high and no they played a 0 and Michael played a 0.... so we ended up failing that round. I wasn't penalized thoguh since I supplied the most. hahahahahahahah We laughed. So it definitely provided some entertainment though completely random.

I ended up kicking some butt, which was nice. I guess I just knew how to pick 'em.

This game will definitely be better with at least one more player and probably even more than that to keep it interesting. I would definitely play again. Nice little card game.

From gallery of punkin312


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New to the Collection:
Elements of the Gods (proto)
Raiders of Sythia
Viscounts of the West Kingdom
chisled
Meep Frog
paris
panjun






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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Fri Nov 6, 2020 12:00 pm
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