Most of the Essen Games have arrived just waiting on 3 more to come
The week started of on Tuesday with the Home Gaming Session GroupTUESDAY 27/10/2015
We had planned to play Inhabit the Earth but since my copy only arrived on Saturday we were going to play Tiago's copy, but I decided to setup
just because the box said it was a 1 hour game, so I though "if I have the game setup when they arrive and just explain quickly the rules we will finish it fast and then play Inhabit...
Well 1 hour my a#$
The game was longer, with the explanation it was closer to 2 hours but it was a cool game.
We played the standard way, with each type of building in his own deck and drawing 2 cards out of each deck each round...
I think my only beef with the game is the number of buildings it has... I think they aren't many and since they are all twice in the game it makes it feel a bit repetitive to see the same buildings...(The look of the Land!)
I really like the bag building part of the bag and this one is extra cool because of the two different types of shapes in the bag, so you can mitigate the luck of the draw because if you want red, yellow or green cubes you know you have to pull cubes... if you want purple or blue you have to pull the taller hexagon shaped prism.
Nuno won the game with a monstrous last round scoring tons of points! Pretty awesome play he did there!(My Feud!)
Nuno - 199
Me - 191
Duarte - 183
Tiago - 161
Since it was a bit too late to setup and have Tiago teach us the rules for Inhabit we went to the SRCF campaign...
This was our 8th run and since we are over the 10 Karma we decided to ramp up the difficulty to try to get the 6 points we need to reach level 20...
With the regular Mission Success providing 2 Karma Points we decided to go to twice the Danger Zone and start the game with 2 Crossfire cards already on the discard pile for an extra 4 Karma points!
And we had to Abort with 4 rounds played!!! We weren't even able to finish Scene 1... not because of the extra difficulty of the Danger Zone, the obstacles were just to strong for us combined with the Crossfire Events!
8th Run - 2 Danger Zone (to get +4 Karma)
Aborted Mission +1 Karma Points
Me - Human - Street Samurai = 15 Karma Total - Just Tough
Tiago - Dwarf - Decker = 15 Karma Total - In Training
Nuno - Troll - Face = 15 Karma Total - Got Your Backs
Duarte - Ork - Mage = 15 Karma Total - In Training
8 Runs - 4 Success - 3 Abort - 1 Fail
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Since the previous Mission ended so fast we decided to have another go...
This time we Changed the difficulty and we decided to get 1 Danger Zone and 1 Bring it On, to add +2 and +1 to the Karma points making a total of 5 Karma points if we completed the Mission.
Things were not going that bad...
We completed Scene 1 in 3 Rounds...
When we had things plotted to end scene 2 we got a nasty Crossfire that made each runner, at the start of their turn, draw the top card of the Normal Obstacle deck and if it matched his Role Color that Obstacle would be facing him...
I was the only one affected by this but it was enough... I had 4 HP and I still had an Obstacle in front of me that would deal me 2 damage and the one I drew dealt another 2 damage and so I went from having 4 HP to Staggered in one turn!!!
And there was no way for us to kill both of them before I finished my next turn...
We decided that it was best to go critical and then do a Successful Abort... and so we did!
9th Run - 1 Danger Zone and 1 Bring it On (to get +3 Karma)
Aborted Mission +1 Karma Points
Me - Human - Street Samurai = 16 Karma Total - Just Tough
Tiago - Dwarf - Decker = 16 Karma Total - In Training
Nuno - Troll - Face = 16 Karma Total - Got Your Backs
Duarte - Ork - Mage = 16 Karma Total - In Training
9 Runs - 4 Success - 4 Abort - 1 Fail
Our Ratio is declining We are going to change Nuno's ability that we didn't use one time till this time!!!
Time for the Boardgamers of Porto Weekly Gathering and it was also time for:
Inhabit the Earth
And it's a great great game from Mr. Richard Breese.
I got to be honest and say that the cover art of the game has put me off of the game... when I saw it I thought the game would be a simple gateway family/children's game...
After Tiago told me I would like it because of the multiple use cards my interest got peaked and I ended up buying it at Essen and that wasn't one of the games on the To Buy List!
I like the art of the game with spooky creepy eyes and all it had to be an immense work to get all those creatures in the game, there are no repeats and there are a LOT of cards... some cards repeat the powers they have but the art and the animal in them is always unique and that is pretty cool if you ask me!
Regarding game play, it can be a bit AP inducing, I'm an AP prone player and I think I was doing my turns pretty quick up to the point I mixed up one of the creatures with another and I had to rework all my turn on the spot, I just froze, couldn't think for about 2 minutes or so After that turn I got a bit demoralized and I was seeing everyone climbing up the regions and I barely moving!
I was sure I would get last place and by a large margin of points but I kept trying to do my best...
I really like the way movement is done, the way you use a card to trigger the movement of Creatures that have any of the 3 symbols on the card you used, and then, in the order you have introduce them to the world they will move... and the way they move is also pretty awesome... you have to match the icon on the next free spot on the region the creature is... if the creature doesn't have it you can use the Continent symbol that the creature is in as a wild and you keep doing this until there are no more symbols on the creature that you can use or until you want to stop, and then you go to the next creature that can move...
there are also some spots on each region where the first and second creature to pass will get bonus tiles... I got ZERO of those!!!
You can use some of those tile to add more characteristics to a creature or you can keep them for end game bonus points.
It's a very cool game that I'm glad to own and another reminder to not judge a book by it's cover... despite looking "childish" it's very much a gamers game!!(The World!)(All My Creatures!)
Despite think I was doing terribly I didn't finish last and wasn't that far from the winner
Nuno - 29
Tiago - 28
Me - 24
Duarte - 23
This Saturday was the day of the Monthly Gathering of the Boardgamers of Porto and I was sad I didn't attend, but it was for a good cause, I went to Aveiro to pick up most of my Essen games that were sent in the Palette Just waiting for Nippon, Grand Austria Hotel, Three Kingdoms Redux, Evolution Flight (this one is already here but they forgot to put it in the box
And some gaming was done also
We played 2 games, the first one was:
it took us all afternoon to play this one because we had to do the punch, I always do the components check (despite Bruno and Chuva making fun of me), I like to know that everything is there! And my copy was missing 4 coins from what's listed in the rules!
Let's start with the rules... It's not the easiest rulebook to decipher and decipher is the right word... Bruno did 99% of the reading and there were some parts that the English wording wasn't clearly the best and there were some examples that weren't intuitively laid out.
I think it's a shame that this happens, it can put people of games when the reading the rules makes is almost a deciphering game.
But we managed to go through and play it...
We were amazed at how simple and smooth the game played because we didn't get that feel from the rules... again, a good rulebook does wonders, a not so good rulebook can drive people away!!
But since I'm talking about the "issues" that I had with this one I'll continue and then I'll go to the good stuff!
The first thing that I was surprised about was the colors chosen for the game...
There are 4 player colors and they are the Standard Blue, Red, Green, Yellow... so far so good... but in the game you have discs for workers to select actions and one of the discs is of a lighter version of the color because it's a special disc that can give you a benefit if you are the first player to use it in the location you place it in... the thing is that while the Blue and the Green ones are light blue and light green, the one for Yellow is actually Orange and the one for Red is Brown!!! What?!?!?!?!? Why???
The second issue regarding the colors are the ones chosen for the resources, there are 4 Resources in the game and they went with White, Beige, Purple and Black.
To start, White and Beige?!?!?!? they are similar, I can distinguish them but don't know how color blind friendly this is... but that isn't the biggest issue with it... I did say Purple Resources right? Well that's what it says in the rules but the cubes were actually Pink... and they are in the same bag as the Red player cubes... Pink and Red in the same game?!?!?!?!?
You can easily avoid problems during the game if you are the Red player and you remember to keep your Red cubes in one side and the Pink cubes and the other resources in another side of you player mat... you shouldn't have to do it but in this case you are required or you'll find your self confused because the shades of Pink and Red used are pretty hard to differentiate, even for me and I'm not color blind!
Another Production choice that I don't see any reason it was made is the Round Marker, it's a pretty big black square... it covers all the turn order slot and of course covers the info in it, the round we are, the bonus you get, they are the same each round but you should be able to look at the round tracker and look at the current round and see the info instead of looking to the next round because the current one is covered!!!
I mentioned the Player color cubes, these cubes are used to mark terrain you bought in the main board and to mark the Propellers and buildings you own and there are 14 for each player... not nearly enough!!! In our 3 player game, 2 of us run out of those cubes... I run out of them during the 5th round... there was still a 6th and 7th round to be played!!! I don't understand how this is possible? I don't think that including 10 or 16 more cubes per player would make the game much more expensive!
Another thing that wasn't very intuitive was when to score Prestige Points in the Track or in your Player Board... the game has a pretty cool way of scoring points and one of the ways is to get Prestige Points and every time you pass multiples of 10 in the Main Board you score Population Points equal to the number of the spot your house is in your player board (you advance that house tracker by building buildings and buying propellers). So there are some ways to score Prestige Points directly on the board but there are also a way to advance the Prestige Marker on your player board, and this is an income you get at the end of each round (you get income equal to the tracks in your player board for money, resources and prestige points).
So, sometimes you get Prestige Points that you score immediately and other times you get to advance the Prestige Point Marker on your player board, and those are prestige points you score at the end of each round... They use the same iconography and they should really be different... I'm sure that all the Prestige Icons that are not in the Buildings you get to score immediately in the main board and the ones that are on the Buildings you get to advance the income marker for Prestige on your player board but still, one of the players had trouble with this and was always confusing when he should get points in one place or the other... if the symbols were different that problem wouldn't occur!
I mention these things because they got me a little disappointed because this is not a €30 game, this game is sold at premium price and so you can't blame me for having high expectations regarding what comes in the box.
But I have to be fair and say that putting these issues aside, the component quality is very good... the market tiles and building tiles are thick cardboard... the main board is HUGE!! and also very thick... the box weights more than the average game, so you know the component quality is good, just a shame about those specific choices that were made.(Huge Board at the End of the Game)
I know that some people will also say that the board is bland and lacks color but that is just personal preferences and taste, I happen to like the look of the board and the game but I can perfectly see that some people will find it ugly!
But enough of bashing the production decisions with the game and let's actually talk about the game (there will still be one more "bashing" in here but we will get to it later!)
The gameplay is done in 7 rounds and each round has 3 steps:
1- The Market Phase (this part is done slightly different at the start of the 7th round)
2- The Action Phase
3- The Income Phase (this part is done slightly different at the end of the 7th round)
In the Market Phase you will refill the Market tiles form the previously made Market Tile Stacks, in a 4x4 grid and after that is done starting with the first player each player will select either a row or a column to place his zeppelin (I think that's the name) and that placement will give him access to 4 of the tiles in the grid... you can't place you zeppelin in the same spot where a player has already placed his or in the opposite direction of the same row/column.
then in turn order each player buys all the tiles he wants from the 4 he has access to, the one closest to the Zeppelin will cost 1, the second 2, the 3rd 3 and the 4th 4... so if you want to buy them all you'll be spending 10 money! (it can be more because when you get the grey tiles in the market there are some that cost 5 money no matter is they the closest to the Zeppelin or the farther away).
If when it's your turn to buy there are empty spaces in the row/column you selected because someone else already bought that tile, you get 1 money at the end of the market phase for each empty spot there was when you started buying... it's a bit confusing but it's simple at the start of your turn to buy you see if there are any empty spaces, if there are you just have to put the money you should receive aside and do your shopping and only after that you receive that money.
I really like this part of the game, it's a pretty cool way to get special action powers or resources or end game scoring opportunities...
it's cool because you have to make some hard choices, should I select this row and not get access to that one over there that has some pretty cool tiles too? If I go later in the round should I go for that row to get that specific tile hoping that the player that also has access to it doesn't pick it or should I cut my losses and go for another thing?
Really like this part of the game.
The Action Phase it's also pretty cool, in player order you'll select one location to visit and immediately perform the designated action, then the next player goes and so on until everyone has used up all of their workers.
In some spaces you can only pace 1 worker, in others you can place as many workers in a stack as you want... there are some places that each player has a spot to go on and only that specific player can go there... and in all of these locations, the first player to use their special worker at that specific location will get a Bonus.
The actions spots you can choose are:
- Turn Order - you can change turn order here, and turn order is important in this one!
- Bank - you get money here
- Terrain Buying - here you buy Terrain Lots where you will later build Buildings or Gardens... you can only get terrain adjacent to terrain, buildings or Propellers you already own.
- Resource Gathering - There are 3 row«s in this location each for one of the 4 resources and you send your workers here to get the resources you want, you can send as many workers in a stack to one of the rows per action
- Market Buying - in here you can buy one of the tiles that are still present in the market from the market phase, the cost is 3 money
- Exchange the building production - Each Building you build gives you 2 Production options, one is just Prestige Points income and the other normally has a mix of money and resources, money and prestige points, just money, just resources, an extra worker... when you activate this action you can change between the production of up to 2 of your buildings
- Garden Aquisition - Here you can buy Gardens, no one owns the gardens but the person that pays for them and provides a lot of terrain for them will place them and buildings that are orthogonal adjacent to the garden will score points at the end of the game depending on their size
- Build a Building/Buy Propellers - with each worker you send to this location you can build 1 building and/or buy one Propeller... if you want to build 2 buildings or buy 2 propellers you'll have to send 2 workers, and so on...
To build a building you'll need to have bought Terrain Lots and have gathered the necessary resources... there are 3 sizes of buildings and buildings will become progressively available has the turns go by, so in the first turn you can only build level 0 and 1 buildings... in the second round the Level 2 buildings become available and so on... at the start of the 6th round all buildings are available to be built.
The buildings get better with each level and in all levels (except the 0 and the 6) there are 2 different buildings to be built that give 2 different incomes...
To buy the Propellers you only need money and they provide an instant gain of Prestige Points, they also count has a building to advance the Population Income, and they provide a new place where you can acquire terrain lots that are adjacent to.
This part of the game requires you to plan your actions in advance to suit your plans and I like that a lot... you also have to take into consideration what you think the other players will do because the spots in each location are limited, and to later spots will require you to pay money to use them... also because of the benefit of using the special worker.
Really like this part too
The Income Phase is where your buildings will produce...(Player Board with the Income Trackers)
You can see above my player board with my Income at the end of the game in the different tracks, I was generating 4 Resources of my choosing, 9 Population each time the Prestige Marker in the Score Board would pass a multiple of 10, 16 money and 33 Prestige Points, so at this point I could score Population points 3 or 4 times in the income phase depending on how many Prestige points I already had on the board... in this last income I scored 27 points!
I really liked the game, the rulebook makes it look a LOT harder than it really is, after you start playing it's pretty easy to understand and I really liked how all the aspects of the 2 main phases work...
But there's one thing that I think it's really not well balanced in the game to the point that I'm going to house rule it and another that is not so unbalanced as the the other but that I have under consideration to house rule also...
These things are in regards to some Market tiles with the special powers...
Let's start with the one that is not so bad:
- You can have more than one of the same power tile, for example there are tiles that give you a discount when you buy a Terrain lot of 4 or 2 squares... if you have 2 of those tiles you can combine them and get double the discount... while this is not game breaking because it's only a 1 money difference it can make a player have a very good advantage over the others if he has both tiles.
What I'm considering doing here is that house rule that a player can't have 2 of the same market tile that gives special powers... he can buy them to prevent other from getting them but he can use only one... don't know if I'm going to actually do this but it's under consideration...
The other one, and I think this is a MAJOR one, to the point of being a bit broken is that there are 2 tiles in the market that give the owner a discount of 2 resources whenever he builds a Level 2 or 3 Building (this is one tile) or a Level 4 or 5 Building (this is another tile)... so if one player gets one of this tiles it's much much easier for him to build buildings, and if he builds twice in a round those buildings where he has a discount he will get 4 resources discount... considering that level 2 buildings need 5 resources, level 3 and 4 buildings need 6 Resources and Level 5 Buildings need 7 Resources... you can see how important having these tiles is, if you manage to get both of them you might as well stop playing because it's virtually impossible that you won't win!
I know that these tiles were changed because they previously gave a discount of 1 resource and I think that's way more balanced than the 2 resources discount...
So this one I'm going to house rule to one of the following:
- the tile gives a 2 resources discount once per round when the player builds a building of the referred level
- the tile gives a 1 resource discount whenever the player builds a building of the referred level.
This is the only quibble I have with things regarding the actual gameplay of the game and that I think it's easily fixed.
So, despite the early rant regarding the production choices for this one that I really have a hard time understanding, the gameplay and the mechanics are excellent, I really liked the game and I'm glad I own it.
Me - 116
Chuva - 88
Bruno - 54
After dinner we played a game of:
Chuva and Bruno wanted to try this one since it's one of the games they didn't buy from this year so we busted out my copy, made punch and component check and nothing was missing...
Like I said in this blog when I talked about the first time I played this game, Chuva and Bruno were pretty impressed by the quality of the components of the game, specially for the price point! Really good stuff!
I enjoyed the game even more than the first time and I think they also liked the game...
I followed a complete different strategy from my previous win and I won again, and again 1 point more than Bruno that was second, and he followed a complete different strategy than me
This time I went for the Church Game... I was planning to go the contract route but Bruno grabbed the Guild Council Chamber (the one that provides wild goods when it's activated) I changed my plans...
I got the Money Council Chamber because it's good to have some flexibility to change the die and also money is needed for most monks, and since I was going that way, I got the Money Guild and the Church that comes with a Monk for the set collection.
Chuva got the Population Council Chamber and he got 16 points out of it!(My Village)
I thought that Bruno had won the game and when we tallied up the score I was surprised to have won
So, the game has a lot of valid strategies to be follow and that's always a good thing Just check the Score Sheet to see it:
_______________________________________________________________________________________________THE KICKSTARTER CORNERBACKING
- Scythe - KS Link
Tried this at Essen and it only confirmed that it was a project I would back... Jamey does it againCONSIDERING BACKINGBACKED IN 2015
Trickerion: Legends of Illusion (ETA: 10/15)
Tiny Epic Galaxies (ETA: 09/15)
Vault Wars (ETA: 08/15)
Above and Below (ETA: 12/15)
Ancient Terrible Things: The Lost Chapter + 2nd Edition (ETA: ESSEN Pick-up)
Three New Treasure Chests of Realistic Resource Tokens (ETA: 01/16)
Samara (ETA: 09/15) - Arrived on Time
Thrash'n Roll (ETA: 09/15)
Masters of Football (ETA: 02/16)
The Gallerist (ETA: 10/15)
Mare Nostrum: Empires (ETA: 11/15)
101.1 (ETA: 12/15)
IKI (ETA: 12/15)
Soccer City (ETA: 12/15)
Hostage Negotiator Abductor Packs (ETA 11/15)
Gloomhaven (ETA 03/16)
The Networks (ETA 06/16)
Scythe (ETA 08/16)
Entering the Collection:
- 3 Stonemaier Treasure Chests
Left the Collection
- Brew Crafters: Travel Card Game
I've also played a lot of Baseball Highlights: 2045 iOS app that is in playtesting and I've to say it's moving along pretty nicely!
Have fun guys and has always, thank you for reading, commenting and thumbing
My Board Gaming related activities for the world to see... Not that the world has any interest on them but still, here they are :)
02 Nov 2015
- [+] Dice rolls