Random thoughts on board gaming with my family and friends. I'm a recent convert to the board gaming community, and I am trying to introduce my wife, daughters and friends to some great games to get them over to board gaming as well.
I don't know who posted it over on Facebook, but this meme perfectly describes how I feel when I talk about a game or try to explain a game to my family. Not my wife or children, bless their hearts, they get me, they understand what I'm going on about, most of the time at least even if they are busy watching the tv or checking their phones. But my parents or my brothers obviously just see me as this crazy person who has built this crazy land in my head. A place where it's easy to see why you don't have to follow suit when playing a trick taking game and it just seems like a normal acceptable thing to do. A place where you don't need dice to have randomness and a place where sending workers to do all the work for you is fun, not oppressive.
I have sat and played games with my family, don't get me wrong, they do humor me now and then. Over Christmas we usually will try to play at least one case from Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, which surprisingly(not really) ends with my mother saying something to the affect that she knew what was going on in the first 15 minutes and she could have saved us all 2 hours of our evening. I have played Diamonds with my father and my uncles who, after it was all said and done, just wondered why we didn't play Hearts or Spades or Euchre or any other myriad of card games that we've played 100s of times over the years. I've played Ca$h & Gun$ with my Grandmother at Easter and had her walk away with double the money of the next person. But most of the time, they see me walk in with my IKEA bag full of games and just sigh. In fact, my mother usually makes me take the games out of sight so they don't "offend" her sense of decor. I do it each and every holiday when we get together, and I will continue to do it, one of these days they'll understand, right?
I think my brothers are my biggest confusion. We've had a lot of fun playing games like the aforementioned Ca$h & Gun$ and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. So much so that we had to stop due to laughing so much. I got excited once when one of them was going to host a "game night" and invited us over, come to find out the game was Clue. Which is fine, I would have played and had a good time with my brothers and their wives, but still, Clue? I thought I had shown them the way!
But I am thankful for my family. They are, for me at least, the reason for the season. Sorry about that, I had to do it. I will continue to be that crazy family member who will give himself a hernia carrying an overstuffed bag of board games that will not get played to each and every bigger family event, and yes, I will listen to my mother and I move the games off to a side room so they don't mess up the aesthetics of the decorations.
One play down, well actually, one and a half plays down but we won't bicker with semantics here.
So yeah, that's the Okazu box, I am playing the Deluxified version from Tasty Minstrel Games that just delivered to Kickstarter backers.
So, what is Yokohama, well at first glance and during setup, you can say that it's a complete cluster f*^k of a game. There are tiles everywhere and on those tiles you have you have cards with spaces to build things on and all kinds of iconography everywhere and bits and coins and cards and tiles and stuff. Okay, that may be getting a bit carried away, but I think you get the picture.
But what at first glance appears like a cluster f&^k, really isn't isn't that, it's a mirage-y as Bugs would say.
The game is silky smooth and it is ultimately very intuitive once you know what you can do on a turn and what you are ultimately trying to accomplish, POINTS!
So on a your basic turn you have 6 things to possibly do.
1)Placement, this is the step where you place your Assistants out on the board. You may place 1 Assistant into each of 3 different areas or you may place 2 Assistants in one area. 2)Movement, this is where your president piece comes into play. You may remove your President from the Board and back into your hand, move your President from your hand to the board or more than likely, you will move your President around the board. The important thing to follow is that your President may only follow a path that has their own Assistants in the areas passed through(except the Canal) 3)Area Actions are then taken, first you figure the power of the action and this is done by figuring the number of player pieces of your color in that area, be it your President, your Assistants or Buildings and take the corresponding action. You can never exceed 5 power in an area, ignore anything beyond that. 4)POWER BONUS, if you are the first to complete a 5 power bonus in that area, take the Power Bonus Token and receive the goods or money on the token. 5)Construction, this is where you can build your Shops or your Trading Houses. Important to note, each player may only have one Shop in each area, plus there is only one Trading House allowed in an area. 6)Recover, at the end of your MAIN action phase you take all Assistants from the area in which you carried out the area action and return them to your hand.
Easy enough, those are your 6 main actions. But along with those actions on your turn you have 2 Additional Action Phases that you can perform, both before and after your main actions, these additional actions are where you are going to Fulfill Orders or Fulfill Orders or even carry out a Foreign Agent Action, but this is all going to be part of an other post I think as I am rambling with rules and I already want to stop typing and just go play it again already.
See! I told you so, it looks like a Cluster F*(K
Ultimately the points are what really matters, right? You want to score as many points as humanly possible and you do that through many different routes, you can fill orders, you can buy tech cards(which are really, really important in the game, nothing like good old tech cards to tear up the rules), you can send your assistants to the Church, you can send your Imports to the Customs House for points and you can do a bit of set collection with those Foreign Agents I briefly mentioned earlier. All the while you are doing these things you are collecting goods, gaining points for building Shops & Trading Houses and fulfilling the Orders. There are just so many ways to get points, it's almost like, and I know this will upset some folks, a better Feld point salad game than an actual Feld point salad game!
Our scores were a bit wonky this game, first place ran away with it, and I mean he smoked us, I'm talking 133 for first and 93 for second, 86 for third and 75 for fourth. I'm not sure of his strategy as I was too busy trying to do a little bit of everything, but that 40 point difference probably came from our lack of attention to the Tech Cards and Foreign Agent collection. But where's the fun in specializing your first run through the game, it's all about exploration and finding something that works or just trying to make something work.
I am anxious to play this one again, it reminds me of Orléans a bit in the collection of goods, or any other myriad of goods collecting and order fulfilling games, but the route and network building in this one sets it apart and give it a seemingly huge advantage in my mind. I heard Le Havre mentioned a bit as we were playing, but I couldn't tell you whether or not that's accurate as I've never touched Le Havre. I want just want to play more, to see if you indeed do have to specialize in one area and fill in for more points or if you can try to do a bit of everything and manage to get a respectable score. I want to see how much the modular board changes how you play from game to game, because surely there are going to be different routes being built based on how everything is laid out. There are a lot of things I want to see, including the Station in action.
It's 11:45 in the evening, I've had 2 gin and tonics and I'm wondering if Kerensa is asleep and if she is, I wonder if she wants to wake up and play.
This is now the Blog here on BGG for my personal posts, not for The What Did You Play This Week Podcast Thing information. I'm not sure why I didn't separate the two before, I will probably cross post these this week and maybe next week so folks can switch subscriptions if they like but will soon only post Podcast stuff over there, and more of my personal blog stuff here.
Welcome to Week 73, we're back below 2 hours for this week, we can't make any promises about next week as I know we have another Meet the Gamer Segment with Jessica Wade on that one and possibly another interview as well if everything goes well, fingers crossed, but that's next week, we're here to find out about this week, here we go!
AnnaBeth's Story Cubes 1:41
Brandon & Kerensa 6:28 Spookies Pi Mal Pflaumen Blood Rage
Derek's Evolving Review 29:19 Red 7 Celestia Voyages of Marco Polo
The Eric Booth Reviews 42:02 The Castles of Burgundy
What's Patrick Been Playing and With Whom? 53:03 En Garde Mottainai Akrotiri Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small Back to the Future Colt Expres
Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games 1:00:21 Bottom of the 9th: The Clubhouse Expansion Bottom of the 9th Vinyl Fate of the Elder Gods Yspahan Viva Java Hero Quest Sammy the White House Mouse
Week 72, man, I couldn't decide if I was going to break these interviews up or not, but ultimately I went with it this way and that makes it just a tad shy of 2 1/2 hrs, but I think it's a fantastic 2 1/2 hours, I honestly do. Next week will be shorter, I promise, no Meet the Gamer Segment and no other interviews, but Week 74 is looking a bit long again. Home Away Boston 2016 fundraiser-Paul Leoncavallo
AnnaBeth's Story Cubes w/ Special Guest Oliver 4:20
And just for those who read all the way to the bottom, I fibbed, there is another Meet the Gamer Segment this coming week, kind of happened on short notice, but it was too good to pass up, so next week we get to meet
Week 69 is a little over an hour of What Did You Play This Week Podcast Thing goodness, we've got all the usual suspects plus a new voice for you all, Mike Risley. Along the way we talk a lot of games in 60ish minutes so buckle up, this one goes by pretty quickly.
Hello and welcome to Week 67 of the What Did You Play This Week Podcast Thing, we’ve got an overfilled episode of Board Gaming fun in store for you so I hope you packed your comfortable headphones as the episode was already approaching an hour and a half before we even recorded my family’s portion of the show so I expect that when this is done we’ll be close to the 2 hour mark, I hope everyone is okay with that. We won’t make it an every week thing, but I think you’ll like this one. So, why is this episode so over extended, well first up, we have all of our normal segments, Eric is going to review Entropy and Derek is back with the Voyages of Marco Polo and the small expansion, plus Patrick went out and landed us an interview with the wonderfully affable Stephen Buonocore which easily could have gone over 2 hours, we had so many things to ask that we left out so I hope that he means it when he says that he’d be happy to come back any time, plus we bring back the Meet the Gamer segment with another fantastic guy, Bill Corey Jr. Whew, I’m out of breath just talking about what we’ve got coming! Along with all that, I hosted a game day at our local library on Saturday so I’ve got a handful of games to jabber about and Kerensa and I will sit down and talk a bit about Letters from Whitechapel which I was inspired to dust off and play thanks to The Tattered Board Podcast. Look for a blog post about that coming in the next week as well as I think it may be a review from us or just a big overview. It’s been nearly 11 days since I have posted something to the blog, something that I need to do more regularly so I apologize to any of you that look forward to reading as well as listening.
Week 63 is here and we're rolling in February already. We've got a preview of the new Green Couch Game game Wok on Fire which is coming to Kickstarter, we've got Patrick talking about gaming online, Eric discusses the jackassery that is game shaming and Derek wraps up the final week of his Evolving Review of Mage Knight.