All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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The Dwar7s Level Up by 13 while riding the Mini Express to Tekhenu!

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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Hia Everyone!

No one knows what day it is so my awesome calendars are now on sale with free shipping for $8. (US Only) https://stephsshop.ecwid.com



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I recently received a prototype of Mini Express. New to me!

I found out it was on Tabletop Simulator and now Tabletopia. Since I wanted to get the full experience, Michael and I invited Shrey and Geoff to a game on Tabletop Simulator. The game is 3-5 players, however, there is a 2 player variant in the rules, which I will try out at some point.

The rules are streamlined and simple enough for anyone to follow, it is a lighter game with some clever decisions to make.

In Mini Express, players are looking to gain the most points from the shares they have at the end of the game. Each turn is really simple, you will choose to lay track and gain influence, or gain a share. If you lay track you will continue from a route that is already on the board and end up in a city. The city where you land will gain you influence on the corresponding tracks depicted at the city location. Depending on the empty spaces you laid track you will also increase the influence of the track of the color you just placed on the map. When you gain a share if will cost you the amount of influence equal to the number of available track pieces in the available space above the shares.

The game ends when either 2 piles of tacks are depleted or 2 stacks of shares have been depleted.

I definitely learned a lot in my first play. While Geoff was really behind on the influence tracks, I was letting him pick up some cheap or free shares, since he was following my turn. He figured out how to gain the influence he needed to gain the most points for the shares he had collected.

Michael would never let me gain cheap shares, so I ended up laying a bunch of track and letting Geoff get it. Basically, #mistakesweremade.

I screwed up and Geoff totally dominated us! Michael wasn't too far behind, but I was totally the last place. Not my best moment. Hey, I am not good at train games!

I liked this a lot more than Mini Rails, and I would definitely want to play this again in the near future. Easy to learn and play. Great new game hitting KS at the end of the month.

Oh, while I was playing online, I set it up and tried to mimic the experience IRL, so I could grab some pics.



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More from the online gaming world. I planned to game with Derek, Shrey, and Rainer. I knew I definitely wanted to get in another play of Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun.

Oh man, I didn't really have a strategy except going after a bunch of points from the objective card that I was dealt at the beginning of the game. It meant I was building a lot of workshops which in turn meant I was getting a lot of black and white resources in order to build statues. So my followup goal was to get all of my statues on the board.

Since my viewpoint was upsidedown, I didn't bother reading the cards on the display. I really should have worked harder in gaining population so I could have gotten a few more end game scoring cards. There was a card that scored for statues, and I should have tried really hard to gain that since it was exactly what I needed to boost my score a bunch.

In the end, it didn't matter much since Rainer absolutely crushed us. He had 112 and I was at 90 in second. Shrey was 1 gold away from getting like 20 points but he instead ended with 81 and Derek 76.

So much to learn and explore in this game. Shrey said he likes it more than Teo, and while I enjoy this game I would still rather play Teo. I think I just understand Teo better, this is a puzzle to me. I like the dice drafting and different actions. Everything is clear, yet I still have no idea what to do! Warrants more plays for sure! Interesting game.


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More from the unplayed shelf... Michael and I checked out Dwar7s Winter. New to me!

I haven't played any of the other Dwar7s games so I can't compare them. In this Winter version, you are cooperatively trying to defeat the monsters and manage the disasters that are taking over your land. You will spend actions to place dwarves on the board, and play glorious music and collect resources in order to defend the land.

I say cooperative, but really there is one winner, the player who collected the most points from the recruits they make, the monsters they slay, and the disasters they can stop. There is a lot to do, but, if everyone isn't careful, the monsters could overrun the land and take over and everyone will lose.

Michael and I started out and I was skeptical as usual on Semi-cooperative games. At least in this game, you aren't actively hurting other players, so it feels more like a cooperative game, even if it isn't, well-sorta.

When you open the box you see a thousand minis that are all super cute. The art in the game is super cute and I wanted to love it.

We were off to a pretty good start, but some monsters caused an extra disaster to take place, and it was seriously difficult to manage all of it. We did manage it as well as expected and we didn't die! In the final round, I was nervous since we were going to die if we didn't kill at least one disaster, but there was nothing I could do in order to kill one so I left it up to Michael to handle. He did and then he ended up winning for it. Pretty close game 29 to 25. He couldn't have done it without me, that's for sure.

My biggest gripe is that you have to work together, but there is still only one winner. You can play without the points and just pure cooperative experience, but it is kinda fun to see how well you do with the point system too. I wanted to love it, but it just didn't work so well for me. I would play again or try the other games in the series since I think it is well-produced, but Winter doesn't excite me so much.


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It was time to try out 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis. New to me!

I am definitely not a history buff, or am drawn to games like this. Michael wanted to play it off the unplayed shelf. I had played the "minutes" version, and I can say this one is better. I was really not a fan of the "Minutes" version of this game, though I think they relate.

I won't begin to describe the history of the game, I will mess it up but I ended up playing as the USSR side. The goal is to try and gain the most prestige. You will gain prestige by having different regions score after each round. You will want to have majorities.

13 Days is a big cube pusher. You are adding and subtracting cubes from the board and locations to gain the influence in order to gain prestige.

All of the cards are multi-use and you will often have to play cards to help your opponent.

I was actually doing quite well with my influence and control. I thought I had a fighting chance at winning this game. I was not focused on that prestige track at all, and Michael was just dominating it. He was gaining those points but losing in most other areas. I thought for sure he would nuke himself. He managed to keep away from that.

It was close though, but I didn't pull off that win.

I liked this game well enough. I would certainly play it again. I felt I had more control in this game than in the 13 Minutes game, so I ended up liking this better. It certainly didn't wow me, but it didn't disappoint either. I would play again.

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Michael and I checked out Level 7 [Escape]. New to me!

Ugh, I just hate the theme, but I gave it a shot anyway. Other games like Daedalus Sentence surprised me so this might as well.

I think we spent most of the game in the rulebook looking up rules or on BGG getting clarification. It was horrible. Why isn't there a damn player aid, it would have been so much better with a player aid? Simple shit like that to help us remember everything.

I hated the use of vents, I thought it was terrible. I actually hated most things about this game.

We played as a pure coop either we both win or we both die, not if someone dies they are dead and I made it out so I win (which is the rule). I hate semi-cooperative shit. In the end, that just makes me mad.

Try and explore locations and then have events to ruin your day. Roll dice and yadda yadda. Been there done that. this is clunky and doesn't flow well at all.

We both made it out alive for the win, but we lost since we played. Not a game for me.

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One day I was asked to join Scott and Derek for a game. I had some time so I accepted and we played a game of Russian Railroads: German Railroads.

I made an early mistake and it cost me a bunch of points. I was able to rectify it by quickly gaining the kiev location and scoring 20 points a turn. After that it was smooth sailing. I had my end goal card to work towards and I was just on track to gaining a bunch of points.

It would have been ruined if I didn't get that final engineer since I wouldn't have broken any ties if Derek picked it up. That was a 40 point play for me in the final round.

Let's just say I kicked some butts! It was great! Love playing this game!

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Takeover Tuesday! Top 50 Favorite games 40-31





New to the Collection:
none





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
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