Please thumb deserving posts 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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
New to the Collection:
Four Humours proto
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