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It was Awkward when the New Frontiers threw the Shards of Infinity into the Bonfire in Yokohama

Steph Hodge
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Tennessee
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Hia Everyone!


Tonight at 5pm CDT join us as we play awesome games! over on: https://Twitch.tv/boardgamersteph!

From Sunday's Stream!!

Galaxy Trucker


Eminent Domain: Microcosm




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MORE from all the awesome gaming we got to have with Jon and Lainie in Oklahoma last week!

The first thing we actually played was New Frontiers. New to me!

This game has been on my want-to-play list for a LONG time! I recently picked it up so have been asking to play it for a while. Since we were away, I could focus on playing games I just haven't played before and this was first on the list.

Many are familiar with Race and Roll for the galaxy so will easily pick up New Frontiers which is in the same universe with theme and mechanics.

Each turn the active player will select an available action and perform it. Most actions can be followed by the other players, but the one who chose the action will gain a slight bonus.

You will want to explore and grab some colonies to settle, and research some developments. If you have settled some planets then you might be able to produce and trade resources.

Let's just say there are a lot of different paths to take and there isn't one viable strategy to go about gaining points.

During the first play, I didn't focus on the military at all. I was all about developments and trying to settle planets that would gain me the most points at the end of the game. It is hard to focus on both of these things since they all require a lot of money. I needed discounts wherever I could manage and picked up a bunch of developments that gave those discounts.

I was feeling pretty good, but then I looked at what Michael was doing and he was gaining ALLLLL the planets and going heavy for the military. I really wasn't sure what to expect when the game came to an ending.

Well, sure enough, Michael blew us away with a score of 61. Jon, Lainie, and I were all in the mid-40s with our scores so we weren't even close.

For Space Theme Game Night on Twitch, I knew this was a game I wanted to play and show off, especially since we just learned it. It was a perfect fit. So, if you were looking to know more about how it is played or the comparisons we talk about it at length as we play through the game. You can see if I got my revenge.

What is also fantastic is that New Frontiers is on BGA!! You can now play it in Alpha mode!! Woohooo! It is so super fast to play and just amazing. I have played it a few times and love it. Such a great game, I highly suggest checking it out if you haven't tried it yet.


From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312




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During the weekend trip, I had been eyeing Yokohama Duel the whole time. On the final night, Jon and Lainie had to get to sleep early and I convinced Michael to stay up later and check it out since I really wanted to play it. As it is Duel, you can only play it 2-players.

As many of you know, I LOVE Yokohama and have since it was first released from Okazu Brand.

If you haven't played Yokohama, I think trying Yokohama Duel would be a very good place to start. The game is definitely streamlined and easy to understand. You will be doing a lot of the same mechanics found in Yokohama, but just not as much. You are still looking to have the most points at the end of the game, and in Duel, that is after 4 rounds.

In Duel, you will use strength cards to take actions and with that strength value, you will be able to perform the action better the more strength you have. Like in Yokohama, if you have a strength of 4 or 5, you will get to place a store or trading house down to help with strength the next time you visit the action.

Each space can only be visited once in the round, except the location with the tech cards and the location with the order cards which can be visited unlimited times.

A new mechanic this game has is the bonus you will get if you reach or exceed a value of 5 strength. If you do that then you can claim one of the bonus cards from the board and gain the reward right away.

Also, the use of the Mercenaries is essentially an extra turn as a 3 strength one-time worker.

It felt very similar and I actually quite enjoyed our playthrough. I was working on gaining church cards and trying to flip over import goods for a bunch of points. Michael was all about gaining those mercenaries and using them to his benefit. He was getting a bunch of tech cards so he had a bunch of abilities he was using.

I wasn't sure I could pull off a win, but in the final round, I was able to accomplish everything I was aiming to do and gain a slight bonus by grabbing the final Mercenary from the stack before Michael had the chance to. I managed to win that game 88 to Michael's 84 but as you can see it could have been anyone's game!

Yeah, it was very much in line with Yokohama, and I enjoyed playing it quite a bit. It won't ever EVER replace Yokohama. I think part of Yokohama's charm is the placement and use of the assistants and all that is removed from Duel. I will still always choose to play Yokohama over Duel, but it doesn't make Duel a bad game and I would certainly want to play again. I am on the lookout for a copy at this time.

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A while back, Aldie mentioned a game I hadn't heard of called Awkward Guests and how he really enjoyed playing it. Now was my chance to try it so I did! New to me!

Awkward Guests is a clue-type of the game to figure out who was the murdered and which weapon they used and if they had an accomplice.

This is a card-driven game where players are asking each other for information about specific rooms and guests. The cards have a value and if you offer to trade them away, you will gain that much value back from the active player.

Each card will have a small piece of information that will help narrow in on each element you are trying to figure out.

If you think you know or want to make a guess you can do that at the end of the round. If you are using the app, you will still be able to play the game since it won't reveal the actual answer if you are wrong.

I honestly think this game is pretty ugly. I hate the color tone they chose to use for this game. I wish it was full of color, but I get why they did it, I just don't like it.

During our game, I wasn't really finding the information I was looking for, but I could fully eliminate one possible path. Since you are gaining information about the house and how it is laid out I figured I had about a 50/50 chance of guessing it correctly at the time I ended up guessing, and it paid off. I got to guess before Jon did because of turn order. He would have also guessed it correctly that same round.

Now, I went off of a hunch and not off of hard evidence. Since it was the starting scenario I went with the obvious choices and it paid off.

Once you play through a few more games I am thinking it won't be as easy. What I didn't realize when playing was how much of a memory game it is as well. Sure you can write information down on your sheet and stuff, but if possible you want to pass the other players cards they had previously passed you, so you are providing them less information.

In the end, I did enjoy playing it. I don't think this is a game that I will be playing very frequently because of the set-up and tear-down requirements. You really have to figure out all the cards and sort them at the end and find them all at the beginning. It is not a quick task at all. I like it though and would definitely play again.


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From gallery of punkin312


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I brought along Bonfire so that we could get it played to see if it was a keeper. This was a new game for everyone else, but I had learned it last year on Tabletopia.

When I played online, I found it to be very difficult and frustrating to follow along with what everyone was doing and what a good action might be. I didn't love the experience, but I was hopeful that the game would play out better in person than online.

Well, that didn't really happen. There were still a lot of questions during the game and a lot of mechanics that didn't really flow very well.

I was the only one with experience and I kind of knew what to expect and what to look for. I went hard for bridges and portals so I could start walking my dudes to the outer rims.

As Michael pointed out during the game, the problem is that everyone HAS to do the SAME thing as everyone else. In many Euro games, there are many paths to victory. In Bonfire, this is not the case. We are all working towards the same goals and it is the person who does it best, that will succeed.

So, we played, and not very well, but we did it. Hey, Lainie actually didn't hate it, but I am pretty confident that Michael and Jon were not fans of the game. I did end up winning with 75 points to Michael who had 69, Jon had 51 and Lainie had 46.


I was definitely not convinced to keep my copy after this playthrough. I would basically always choose to play another Feld title besides this one going forward. Still happy that I got to try it in real life to see if the same problems persisted and they did. A very beautiful game that won't be for everyone, but worth trying for sure.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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From gallery of punkin312


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Looking through Jon's massive collection of games I spotted Shards of Infinity which is a game that has been on my want to playlist for a LONG time. New to me!

This is a game that Jon and Lainie have played a bunch, so I figured they would kick our butts!

Shards of Infinity is a deck builder that can be played with several people. You play until one person is standing. I think it gets compared to Star Realms because you are just trying to defeat your opponents by reducing their health, like in Star Realms.

Sure, it is player-elimination, but you have to try and focus your damage equally or you will be sorry.

What makes this deck builder a little bit differently is that you are going to try and collect influence or shards or whatever the term they use. This is another counter you will try to get up to 30 and possible defeat everyone with a card you have in your deck. The influence is also a booster for several cards you will collect during the game.

Another interesting mechanic is the mercenary cards that you can buy from the display as a one-time immediate activation. These cards can also just be purchased as normal for your deck. You will see a lot of cool interactions with these types of cards.

During our play, I was going "blob" strategy. I say Blob as if it were Star Realms. The blob faction is very heavy on damage attacks. I scrapped most of my deck so I was dealing 10-15 damage each turn. Eventually, Michael was eliminated and I was dealing with Jon and Lainie. Jon was a clear threat after Michael was gone. He has some CRAZY combos. Thankfully he had around where he didn't deal much damage at all and I was able to take him out.

I was skirting around 5 life though, making it round after round. I saw Jon get kicked out and it was just me and Lainie. She had a ton of life since I was so focused on knocking the guys out.

She wasn't dealing much damage, but she could deal enough to eliminate me though. He kicked my butt. #mistakesweremade But hey I came in second!

I have to say I was impressed with this game and it is now definitely on the wishlist. I do think I will like it even more at a 2 player game. With 4p it can be a little bit of a take-that fest. It was fast though so I didn't mind it all that much.

Happy to play this one more and glad I finally got to check it out!

From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


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New to the Collection:
Let's Make a Bus Route The Dice Game
Take the A Chord





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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