Steph HodgeUnited States
New HampshireWell, it's no Ginkgopolis...
Busy weeks lead to less game time than I might normally like. This week Ron's sister was having a big party for her recent marriage that no one was invited to back in Feb. That took up my most important day of the week, Saturday. Fortunately I was still able to have a game day in Sunday where I got a bunch of games played. It has been just awesome playing all of the new games. I am just not tired of any of them yet! WANT MORE!
Monday night was at Joes, it was awesome. Geoff was there and I hadn't gotten to play games with him in a while. Dan started off by reading the rules to The Oracle of Delphi. New to me!
Awesome since I was very much looking forward to playing this game. Right off the bat it was clear this was a beast to set up. Set up in 3 phases! Dang! yeah it is a bit of a pain to set up but the game play is actually fairly simple once you get going.
This is a race game. You are looking to complete all of your 12 tasks before the other players and get back to start first. There are 4 types of tasks each you have to complete 3 times. It might be to pick up and delivery a statue to the appropriate location or some goods to the temple. You have to do it in the colors shown too. I am not even a person who really enjoys pick up and deliver, but this is more clever than that simple mechanic. This game offers multiple goals to complete so you are constantly thinking about optimizing your position on the board before other players can get to it first.
Meanwhile, at your player board, you might be getting god pushes on the goad tracks which help with miscellaneous bonus actions once they make it to the top of the track. They are the bomb!
Each player gets 3 dice that are rolled and those actions they will be able to do on their turn. If it is black then they can pick up a black resource, or travel up to 3 spaces to land on a black space, etc. You can spend favor tokens to advance the die to the next spot on the player board in clockwise order. There is usually a way out of a bad situation if you have favor tokens. There are a TON of options and I don't think any roll will be THAT terrible. You roll at the end of your turn so you have a while to think about what you are doing on your next turn while other people are taking their turns.
The game moves along nicely and you can really feel the tension from the other players and how they are doing well.
To be fair we played our game a bit wrong with the players abilities. We all started with different abilities and the one I had was the god track advancement and it was too awesome. Only close to the end was it clear that we were doing it wrong. Going forward we will play correctly.
In our game while a big asterisk game, we got the gist. Poor Geoff was not really enjoying it, but claimed to not hate it at the end. I think we all agreed it is one we will have to play again. I think it went pretty well considering I owned them all with my broken ability. Again, not so broken when playing correctly, but I definitely still it was powerful.
I just love all of the colors, it is a beautiful game and I can't wait to play it again soon!
Next up was Capital. I am just loving this tile laying game. I loved the first time I played and this was just as good!
Played 4 player and Geoff and Ron were learning. All tiles are used in the 4 player game. You only get 4 for the round and the drafting, so you will not see the tiles you hand off again. That kinda makes me like the 3p game a little bit more, in that I can see what I might get for the final tile pass in a given round. Something to consider since you do see more tiles with 4p.
I still can't help but compare this game to Among the Stars, but this is the better game. You can easily see what other players are up to and can draft better because of it.
In our game I was basically forced upon the purple buildings. I was failing at everything else, but purple buildings were my thing. I was getting a bunch of in game points, but of course it was not enough. I didn't have the ending tiles I need to make up for it. I was waiting on something specific but it hadn't come my way and that would have gotten me a bunch more points.
Middle of the game you have to kill tiles in your city and it makes it so hard to keep the tiles you want. It is really interesting to have to do, and I like the tough decisions!
I have no idea who won, I think it was Geoff and his bus route! Awesome game!
Final game of the night lasted a bit longer than I would have liked but we played a game of Honshu.
Geoff's first time playing and Dan explained the game. We played with an extra bonus scoring card for cities in the cross formation.
It was a tricky game for me since I wasn't really getting the resources I would have liked. I couldn't really out bid/trump other players without giving up a bunch of points since I could make deliveries with them instead.
So, I ended up going last for almost the whole game. It is not a good thing to go last each round- it generally means you get last pick and the last picked cards are generally crappy. My large city wasn't really panning out like I wanted and Geoff had an amazing city. I think he probably won the game or Dan with his rivers. It was definitely not me, I never win that game. Ron usually does, so he probably won! I have no idea! I really have to start writing things down so I can remember better.
Still loving this game!
Tuesday night I knew I wanted to play a game but it was already getting late so we decided to go with an expansion to Deus called Deus: Egypt. New to me expansion!
Ron read the rules and I was hunting through all of the Essen stuff I brought back looking for the misplaced tokens in different boxes, whoops! Found everything with no problem and I fortunately had sleeves for the cards since my Deus game is all sleeved. I got busy sleeving the cards.
In this expansion you can use all of the cards in its own game, you can mix it with the base cards, or you can simply replace different colored cards from the base like mix and match. The expansion also offers a market for the material goods. Some of the blue cards offer changing the market value of goods and then selling goods at market pricing or for victory points. It is so cool!! New to the game is the store capacity for the resources. Awesome, you can't just simply hoard all of the resources. I mean you can if you have the storage space, but you really have to optimize what you are doing to make it work efficiently.
All of the new cards have a top action that is activated once and a bottom action that is activated as normal. Some of the costs to the cards are different and say you can only play this card if you are placing the building with at least 1 or 2 other buildings. Very interesting and leading to more build up on the territories.
In our game I was getting a lot of production buildings and going to down. by playing them I was able to get the storage I needed to hold the resources I was gaining, which was a lot. The yellow cards are just awesome and offer a one time bonus for the wooden tokens you have on your players board. Really cool and awesome features. I definitely found the military cards to be less than interesting. I find them better from the base game but everything else was just awesome. I had a lot of awesome combos that I was working.
Some yellow cards activated another card in your tableau on the same rank, so I was getting like 8-10 points a turn by activating the yellow and then orange buildings. Ron really should have ended the game sooner. My temple was worth its full 12 points but you collect the points in game as the text suggests. very interesting to see how it all plays out.
I completely demolished Ron this game. 104 to his 55. He was just not getting the cards he needed it seemed. I was drawing a lot of cards in game but ended up not getting the ones I wanted but made it work really well. He didn't have the storage like I had and he was having a harder time with that. He had a ton of money though he could have bought what he needed.
I have to say I very much enjoyed this expansion and look forward to more plays. I am debating if I should mix all of the cards together. I think I like the new cards better than the older ones, except for the military and I am neutral on the temple cards.
Wednesday night Ron and I went to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children . It was pretty good, visually cool and well done. I enjoyed it and Ron thought it was alright. We are more excited for Dr Strange in a few weeks.
We still managed to get in a game of 7 Wonders Duel including the new expansion 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon. New to me Expansion!
While I like the base game, I still don't think it is as good as 7W and would still rather play 7W anyday. People seem to go crazy for this Duel game and those who do will also go crazy for this expansion. The expansions adds a few tokens and god cards to the mix. Starting in the second era you can buy one of the allocated god cards (previously placed in era 1) and get the benefit from them. This is in place of your pyramid action and NO card is discarded from the pyramid. It is very interesting.
I like that there are 5 god types and 3 of each type. It will provide for some good replay, especially once you start to know the cards better and what might be what. Very cool.
Otherwise, it didn't change the game play very much and as it happens there is a new score pad that went unused. Still the same outcome for Ron and myself. I was able to fend Ron off easier with the new god cards and he was going for military and points and I was going hard on for the science. It worked out fairly easily for me too. I won in the second turn of the 3rd era with Science victory. It seemed to be a walk in the park and there was not much he could do about it.
The new set up is beautiful and the art work continues to impress and shine. I rate the expansion as I rate the base game, but I still don't think it is a game I will be frequently playing. I did enjoy it though and would recommend to anyone who likes the base game. Elegant and fits like a glove.
Thursday night- late night- Ron and I decided to play A Feast for Odin.
It was already getting late but I wanted to play since I didn't know if I would get another chance in the weekend. I know I am not ready to play this with other players yet and to keep it as a 2 player game for now. Even Ron is AP during this game play.
I wanted to start off by saying I really don't think the starting cards are all that balanced, and I know that is mean of me to say but I could really feel it in this game. Ron was constantly getting material goods for free from the forests every time he visited a specific section on the board while I got a terrible 1 time bonus when I collected 4 sheep for milk and a couple wool tokens. I'm sorry but it really pissed me off. I don't know what I am going to do about the starting cards for future plays, perhaps we will get 2 and keep 1 or just go through and remove the "lesser valued" ones.
All game he seemed to be getting the better cards too! Cards to work with what he was doing. I was getting pretty lousy cards that were not working for me. There is a thread that suggests perhaps discarding a card and drawing a replacement. I like Scott's idea of drawing 2 cards instead of 1 and discarding 1 of the 2. I think that will work nicely when playing in the future.
I was working on getting the sheep since it worked well the first game and my starting card suggested I do that. But, I also wanted to get boats and go pillaging since I didn't get to roll dice in the first game so much. The weapons I was drawing this game were a mix and I wasn't feeling confident in really doing much hunting. I think the one time I tried I had failed. boo.
I got one of the cool island tiles to get some good income, I really like getting the peat income, that stuff is so useful and it is essentially $1 since I wouldn't have to spend $1 to place in its place. I collected a wide range of blue tiles and filled my home board to get not negative points. The island tile I still have 3 points to pay and the bonus house tile I was missing 1 point to cover. It all worked out very well for me considering Ron seemed to be doing 100 times better. He managed to upgrade his boats for helping with the feasting costs and he was raiding and pillaging all over the place.
As it happened he still won with 107 and I was 93. I wasn't far off but it felt like so far off. The starting cards left me a bit sour on the game and it is something to consider for me. It kinda brought my rating down a bit off of its high status. I really have to play this one more to see how it holds up. Right now it isn't as shiny as Arle and Caverna for me.
Friday night after getting back late from a family dinner, Ron and I got to playing Fields of Arle.
Yay!! So happy to have my beautiful beautiful inserts! First time playing with them! Same problem with caverna that they have to be laying down but that is no problem since that is how they are anyway. I am just so happy to have an insert- now I just need one for Odin and Colonist.
This game I was so not focused. I was just focused on getting points here and there. I got the advancement on the tools track so I went hard for tools this game and I think I got a score of 17 points which is crazy good for me, who usually gets like 4. I picked up my 9 point carriage. Ron got a ton of points from animals and buildings and resource track. I did well with about everything but resources.
Everything worked out well for me since I won! I got just enough points in buildings to actually stay ahead. I usually lose Ron in the building war, but this time I was able to get a 15 point building and some flipped forests. Yes!!! Finally a win! More that Ron wanted to go first the next time we played- I only let him go first when I win the game before.
It was a great game, but I feel kinda silly that I didn't seem focused but still won. I guess I was more focused than I originally thought. Hey I will take the win any time I can! Love this game!!!!
Perhaps the most epic of games happened on Saturday! Ron and I busted out and played though The Colonists. this game is just awesome!
Ron and I were running around and had to break several times throughout the game play. I think all in all it clocked in around 4 hours meaning 2 hours per player. I mean that is a HUGE game if you ask me. It definitely feels more solo in a 2 player game than in a 4 player game. To me, that is fine. I really like games where you are planning and best optimizing what you should be doing. It is all about the action and how you can carry them out the best way you can.
It was very exciting playing through the whole game. Ron read some rules towards the end and learned that you only get points for the guys that are working at the end of the game. It was not clear from the last game we played that was how the guys were scored. I think we added that up incorrectly before. I was scrambling in the last couple of rounds to get all the points I could with buildings and being able to make my workers work to get their points. I had realize that the factory would allow for hiring of the red guys who are worth a ton of points. Poor Ron didn't realize this and was mad for not saying saying anything.
Yah I won!! I managed to get just enough points to win this game! Had I SAID something to him he would have won by a landslide. But, I was tricky. I am clever sometimes and I wanted to get credit for it! I am sure he learned his lesson. Next time I will have to get some more factories in game since they can hold different colored workers and it would have been more helpful in game to get them working both yellow and green workers.
Ron was making SO MUCH production and he was able to hold it. I tried to make a lot of money income and it worked for a while. I just didn't have the food to keep up with all of that and had to send my workers home when I most needed them. Somehow I was still able to get the most points from my buildings and generated money. I had got some great colony buildings which allowed me to have a second pawn on the board and it was a lot easier to walk around and get the actions I needed.
This game is just huge and so much fun to play. So many options and so many buildings. The random cards can be difficult but there is a tech that allows for a bit more flexibility. Ron seemed to be generating so much and his bonus actions and colonies. I somehow pulled a fast one on him though.
Super excited for this game. Kinda bummed it takes all day to play but I hope to play it as often as I can. I hope it is a regular in the circulation.Saturday afternoon and evening Ron and I went to his sister Sarah's and Matt's wedding celebration. They got married back in February but had a big gathering on Saturday to celebrate. I was the photographer and had a great time photographing the event. Here is one of my favorite pics from the day. Oh, and Ron and I grabbed a pic too!
Sunday game day! I managed to still get in a game day and it was actually a hit!
We started the day off with a 4 player game of Noch mal!.
This game is turning out to be a hit. Most people have been enjoying it and it has been played a lot. I will have to laminate the sheets soon before I run out of paper!
Simple dice game in the family of Qwixx and Qwinto. I like dice games where everyone gets options for each roll. This does it well and is so colorful! Hard not to love it!
Joe H definitely won and we all lost badly. I beat Dan though, so there is a silver lining.
Next on the table was a small game I picked up called Woof Meow Biscuits. New to me!
Simple card playing game to try and meet the required point value of 14. If you go over or can't follow the rules then you get a warning and the cards are cleared. The round only ends when the deck runs out. You play until all warnings or biscuits have been given out. You only get a biscuit when you exactly meet the 14 requirement.
I can't say this is a great game. We were having fun but at the games expense. The art is adorable and the biscuit tokens are amazing. That is why I bought the game to begin with.
All game I was trying to make Ron get the warnings. He was being a bad dog! I don't think Ron liked me very much... Hahah but we had a good time laughing at that. Of course Joe H won since he was a very good dog and he had 7 POSITIVE points at the end of the game. I think I was positive but I didn't get 7 and Ron was very much negative, I think he had too many warnings.
I was happy to play it and I have to say I am sad it is now on the trade pile. It is just a game that will never get played with my group again. Happy to have tried it though. SO CUTE!
Next on the table was 5 player game of Habitats.
This game is just awesome. I can't say it was a big hit with all of the players but I genuinely really enjoy it. It is a nice abstract tile laying game. When you play with 5 players the board can be a bit tight so you might not get the options you hope for but, there is still decisions to be made.
I might have to get another copy - I just LOVE the figures. I mean it is just so cute.
This game I was doing very well with getting the tiles I needed and getting points for the animals I had. Even the goals I was completing and getting points. I did pretty well and I think I won, but it might have been Joe H. Ron and Dan definitely lost, I know that, since Ron remembered for me.
Happy to play this one any time. Fast and easy and such a delight!
Since we had 5 players I thought it was a good opportunity to play Sweet Nose.
Ron first told the legend so everyone would be familiar with the backstory. It is still the oddest and most interesting legend that I have heard in a while.
Ron explained the rules and then Joe H repeated them back. Dan then read the rules since he was still confused and questions everything Ron and myself do and say.
We got to playing and I managed to secure 11 points in the first round. Of course that made me a target for the next round as it had when it happened to Ron in the first game we played while at Essen.
I guessed incorrectly and totally messed up the second round. Seeing as you want fewest point possible, getting 31 points in the round put me right in the mix of the other players. This, however, allowed me to get the best bonus possible going into the last round. because I had the best bonus it allowed me to not have to calculate the center market goods for addition points and that saved me a TON of unwanted points.
Fortunately, with that bonus I was able to secure the win by quite a few actually. It was awesome. I know many didn't enjoy it like I enjoy it, but I think Scott liked it and I still very much enjoy this game. It is a mind game and you have to play with peoples mind. I will bring this to fun group and I think it might get more love there. I still very much like it!
Perhaps the highlight of my day was the game of Russian Railroads with Russian Railroads: American Railroads. New to me expansion!
OMG this expansion is just DYNAMITE! I can't express how much love I have for it. Why don't I play this game more?! WHY!?!?! I LOVE German Railroads and this is its equal. 10/10 easy. It brings new ideas to the already awesome game. You get new player boards and lots of awesome goals to work towards.
There are a number of differences in this expansion. There is a stock market- it is not really stocks like you are thinking but when you uncover a stock space you advance on the track and get the bonus that has been allocated to it already. If there was no bonus allocated then YOU PICK from a wide variety of options. SO POWERFUL! The new board also has some dynamite spaces that you have to get to and blow up the boulders on your industry and bottom track in order to move past those spaces. The industry track has changed dramatically. Now you get both markers on each of the two industry tracks. You don't need a factory in order to move the top industry, but you would still collect the factory bonus if you did have one. Each of the 3 railroad tracks allows you to add multipliers AND they can all hold the white track.
What the heck there are so many options and paths to take it wasn't clear what I should do.
The stocks looked interesting so I made it a point to work towards that first and foremost. That required getting out gray and brown tracks. I was pushing the tracks hard and ended up getting my extra workers and that is always a plus. By getting on the stocks first I was paving the way (American dream) for my personal goals. Everyone following in my path could only collect the bonus I had assigned. I tried to pick bonuses I would mostly benefit from. I wasn't working the industry path very much so I was staying away from the industry push. I put in the advance any 1 track since I knew I was going to get my other colors out. I was so far so good. each advancement gets you the current bonus and EVERY OTHER bonus too. It is such a cool idea and so worth while. I was surprised other people were trying to get the bonuses. Ron was the only other one to advance almost as much as me.
I didn't realize the white track could be played on any track so I might have played a bit differently since I had all of my tokens out and ready to go on the second track. But, in the final round I managed to get the white out and pushed 3 spaces gaining me a bunch of points.
I really thought I had the win this game. I just didn't get my white out fast enough to score the big points. Ron, was just ahead of me! Doh!! Ron managed to score 478 and I was around 461. It was pretty close considering this game you score so many points. I didn't get any Engineers and I was going last for what seemed to be forever. Chris was having a harder time with this game since he hadn't played German Railroads before and wasn't used to and changes. I told him he has to go home and play it!
Scott clearly was loving it! he was dressed as a conductor! It was the perfect fit! He had a very good game and got all his industry markers very quickly to the end of their respective track and was collecting like 60-80 points a round while I was still getting like 20-50. I thought for sure he had it. But, the final round I managed to get 140 points! How crazy is that! I don't know if I took a final pic of my board but you are welcome to count and double check my work. I have been known to F*ck up.
It was awesome to play and I simply can not wait to play again really soon!!!!
Next up was a request to play Lorenzo il Magnifico.
Joe C had played the other weekend with Ron and was willing to teach. I had played once and we had a few incorrect rules. Joe ended up teaching Star and Chris how to play.
I was excited to play this one again since I had only played it the one time. This time with the correct rules was SO MUCH BETTER, amazing what 1 rule change can do. Don't always listen to the teachers at Essen, they don't know the games like you want them to.
This game I went for green harvesting cards. In order to collect them you have to advance on the military. We also played with the advanced rules that give us cards to work towards and bonuses to get. These bonus cards were throwing me all through a loop. I was trying so hard to meet the requirements and managed to focus less on the game play. Half way through the game I decided to try and look at what I was actually doing.
Star kept taking my spot so I had to make it a point to get there first in the last few rounds. I completely filled up my purple max and green max and got a ton of points. I really needed to get higher on the church status since Joe was up there and Star was up there for big points.
In the end I got some major points but it wasn't enough to beat Joe. He was about 114 and I was just behind at 107. It was SUPER close!!! I was kicking myself since I should have taken a card that Chris ended up taking and it would have gotten me like 12 point. It probably would have won me the game. I really have to pay closer attention to what is on display.
I have to say I enjoyed the advanced rules with the cards to help drive a strategy. I thought it was a cool idea and gives a lot of focus on. I just worry it is too directional. I had half a million resources at the end, but it was too bad since I didn't actually have time to use them! Too much too late. All of those resources wasted.
The game is awesome. Joe compares it to Nations with out the swing and military turn around. I get that, and I see how it could be compared. I definitely don't think it compares to Grand Austria at all.
I really enjoy this title and am happy to have it!
Next up was a 5 player game of Las Vegas: The Card Game. New to me!
This is similar to the dice game many folks know and enjoy. It is all with cards, very small cards. Each player has a deck of cards and from 5 that they draw can choose 2 of them to play each turn, or all of 1 type of value. You are competing to get majority of the location to gain the money cards. Works the same way that if there is a die for number of dice in a location then they cancel out and the next person gets dibs.
I think this game works fine and I don't mind the simultaneous selection of cards. Dan said he likes the dice better since you have more thought and can see the board when it is your turn it isn't simultaneous. Yeah, I get that and I do enjoy the dice game more too. I didn't mind this little card game though. Joe H HATED it.
Joe C was trying really hard to win and we were usually waiting on him to pick his cards. Joe C ended up winning the game with 480,000 and I had 470,000 I was just 10k behind him! Are you kidding me! Doh!
Haha the last round Joe H played totally random and took in 2 cards. Yah yah he hated the game and he hates the dice game too. Once he told me that I didn't want to play this card game but we did anyway. I liked it fine. Might not be one that I keep but I definitely want to try the module that expands the dice game before I trade or sell it.
Some folks left and Dan, Joe C and I played a game of Carcassonne: Star Wars with the Carcassonne: Star Wars – Erweiterung 1 expansion. New to me Expansion!
I was super happy to play this since I really like Carcassonne and I really like the Star Wars edition. This new expansion adds a 6th player (blue) and a few new mechanics. There is a light saber you can allocate to a meeple and it give you a +1 pip to your highest die. There is also a blaster token that you can allocate to a meeple that gains you the yellow die (which replaces one of the other dice you are using) and this die has value 3-8. You can not give a meeple both tokens.
A bunch of new tiles get added to the mix and a new faction symbol too. Otherwise the game just plays the same and it is awesome.
Joe hadn't had the pleasure of playing the base game before and he likes Carcassonne. he was saying how people don't play it anymore. I countered that with I love it and we should play it more. I kinda signed him up for a game of Carcassonne the City next time we get to game together. Meanwhile, during this game he was very much enjoying it. It is so hard not to love this game! I might have to raise my rating.
The combat in this game is clever and makes you want to battle even though there is a perfectly good space to do other things. But, Combatting- so fun! Love rolling the dice and taking our chances. Worst thing that happens is you lose and get some points. Compensated for your loss. it is fast and fun and I really enjoy it.
Joe didn't even know we were playing with an expansion. It works so well and just a few things but fit perfectly. Definitely recommended. I love this one!
Dan and I ended up tied for the win! What the heck! There is no tie breakers so that was a huge loss for me. But I suppose Joe was the extra loser and it kind of made up for him winning Lorenzo earlier.That was it for the week! I was happy I got in so many great games! I expect more games to happen this weekend and I look forward to seeing Dr. Strange, hopefully!
Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing week.
Until next week!