All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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Like Clockwork, the Key to the City fell in the Assassin's hand and the Invasion Took the King's Life. Reviews for Islebound and Japanese Titles. ***Weekly Update With Photography

Steph Hodge
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Hia Everyone!



Monday night at Joe's. We started the night off with our 3th game of SeaFall. This time we were able to discover and open the 1st box! So many goodies inside but I will not give it away.

In the game it is true, we cheated a bit. We totally forgot about the islands and that they require losing dice when doing a raid check. I won the final mission due to forgetfulness. It granted me 3 points so perhaps I am a cheater. I didn't mean to, but I also tried 3 times before I finally got it. So, I think that is sort of fair. No probably not but we wanted to move on anyway and get the box so no one REALLY cared. And besides, I won the game but everyone still scored a whole bunch of points so it wasn't like I ran away with it.

I found a card in the game that looked like Elias in Person of Interest. Have you seen that show? It is quite an awesome show which is no longer on the air, but I decided to name him Elias.

I could not believe how bad everyone was rolling. I think Ron and I sank our boats twice each and then we finally passed the endeavor. I duno but it was some bad rolling all around. I lost my super explorer and that was so sad. I will have to get him back, I am determined! I also have to figure out a name for him. Ron still has yet to name anything on his board. He really needs to get on that.

I was very happy to win the game even if by cheating methods. Ron was less than thrilled, but I figured I will never win this game again so I have to take what I can get!

You get some sweet bonuses for sinning the round. I am having a good time so far!













I played Seafall with Joe *and Ron* with the condition we played a game of Import / Export after. I had just learned it the weekend before and wanted to give it another try while I had the game in my possession.

I knew it was a game Joe would at least want to try if not enjoy.

We just played 3 players this time and it went a lot smoother and faster than the 5 player game we did the weekend before.

This game Ron and I were both building and loading boats that we knew we could fulfill early for the benefits and early points. Joe got a bit caught up on a boat mid game and wasn't able to find the cards he needed in order to fulfill his shipment.

Playing the game once gives give you enough knowledge to go about the game in a different mind set for the second time. This game I did MUCH better and Ron did as well. Joe was learning the ropes and got focused on the wrong things.

I am happy we were able to use the supply action more efficiently. I was focused mostly on Pirate loads and actions. I was gaining a ton of cards when I initiated a pirate action it was totally awesome. My shipments were red and the benefits I was getting was from my initial red shipments. It allowed me to load any cargo onto pirate shipments and I could also load pirate loads onto any shipment. It gave me a lot of free reign when fulfilling shipments. I didn't feel the need to do bigger shipments when I was getting away with so many smaller loads and gaining a lot of income that way. It was totally working for me. I might have gotten lucky with my card draws but I think Ron was doing something similar on his shipments.

Yah I crushed them this game but I have come to understand the game better and that was cool. I think it works pretty well with 3p, but the sweet spot might be at 4 players where there aren't too many boats and enough cargo to steal and import. cool things going on and I liked it better the second time, as expected.

Glad I got to try it out.













Tuesday night I was feeling like playing some abstracts. I have owned The Rose King for a few months and it was time to punch it out.

I got to play this at GenCon and really enjoyed it. One of the few Kosmos games I like for 2p. I don't mind their other titles but this is a cool abstract. On your turn you can either draw a single card or play a single card. If you play a card from your area you must move the full amount of spaces and if you can not then you forfeit your turn or draw a card, with a max of 5 cards in holding.

It plays fairly quickly too. You are just trying to occupy the most spaces as possible in the biggest area you can. You get the number of discs in your region squared for points. The most you can get clumped together the better you are.

In our game I managed to get a size 10 region and Ron was only looking at an 8 I believe. Yah I hosed him! I got several larger regions and was able to end it with trapping the crown in the corner. It was all very well planned on my part, or just dumb lucky!

Happy to have this game and look forward to more plays against the Ron. I am sure he will catch me next time!




















Since I was on an abstract kick I pulled out Santorini next.

This time we played 2 games and put out 3 gods and each choose one to use. The first game was near impossible for me. I was playing as Hypnos and Ron was building twice each turn. Yeah it was impossible for me to stay above him and for Hynos to work well at all. Doh. Ron totally crushed me that game.

The second game I fared much better with Minotaur when I was forcing Ron into locations he might not want to be. It was a hole lot of back and forth and back and forth. I kept trying to push him back into the corner but he had double movement and just seemed to be everywhere at all times. ugh! It was a real tug of war. Eventually we had built up enough that when I pushed him back he could not scurry back to stop me from winning on the 3rd level. Check mate! I totally got him that game. It was awesome and I felt kinda proud, I know silly but I was happy with that outcome.

Awesome game and I am happy to play it.


















Wednesday I was feeling like some dice games so I suggested my new Balloon Pop!.

This is such a great go to game for a quick filler. It really is a solo game since no players use the dice you are rolling and have to roll and decide on their own but it plays so quickly it really works.

I finally learned to let Ron roll the dice first and this was game changer. I was able to know when he busted to not push it and I scored a LOT more than my normal. I think I was just rolling better.

I crushed the Ron this time and scored like 160. He was around 140 I think. Boom! I was very happy with that outcome! I have been loving this game and can't wait to play again!












It had been too long since playing Dokmus. I suggested we play that. We were going to play Delphi but I didn't have the brainpower to set that up so we went with this easier to manage title. It is a great game. I think I like it best with 4 players but it works just fine with 2p.

This time I tried to make an effort to get surrounding all of the temples on my starting tile. I managed that but I didn't manage to get the full effect on another tiles.

I got next to a temple on each tile for that bonus but since Ron was able to get around each temple on 2 tiles he was able to beat me by just a few points. I think I have to switch up my strategy for next time I play 2p.

It was a super close game so that was extra awesome but I hate losing by a few points. I am supposed to be better at this game than he is!

Still one of my top favorite games from 2016 and I am so happy I own it! love love love!













Thursday night I was feeling like losing, but I wanted Ron to lose too. I suggested we play the co-op mode of Orléans: Invasion.

I had been wanting to play this since the first time I ever played it co-op. It is SO interesting and SO hard to complete. I mean the events that happen in this game are just so punishing with a COUPLE of them helpful, but you don't always see those ones, unfortunately.

OH MY the first event of the game was each player in Orleans lose 4 coins. There is no way to move off of Orleans in the first round so Ron and I were already in the hole for $4 coins right off the bat. Oh we knew we were hosed. It was insane.

The events were just mean after mean. i am surprised we were able to complete as much as we did! I should have got the building to use the farmer to get wheat. I got that in the second to last round and realized I should have gotten it so much faster. Early int he game all of the wheat was removed from the game board and there was no way to get wheat besides getting farmers. Ugh I needed that building so much sooner! I was just dumb and I will know better next time.

I was happy both Ron and I were able to complete our missions and we completed the defending of the wall with knights and gained all of the yellow dudes. We were just $2 short of the money offerings several wheat short and just one cheese. We needed to get 2 more fortified towers though and we were not gonna get there.

All in all I think we did a pretty good job considering all of the terrible events we had to incur. It was an awesome game and I can't wait to attempt it again. Simply amazing game and I want to win!!!!!!!!




















Saturday found me and Ron heading to Joe H's house for some games. When we got there I was handed a few wonderful games that Joe was able to bring back from a recent con he went to. I was given my long time search for a game called Neos and a newer title called Come To Fishing Village!. New to me!

I am ever so grateful to
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for these magnificent gifts. I am psyched to play Neos, Ron and I decided to learn Fishing Village right then and there.

By Me and Ron I mean Ron learn and I sit there and play on Instagram.

Ron read the rules and this is a co-op game where we are trying to save the population and make it though all of the costs the city incurs by managing the big projects.

In the game you are trying to secure goods to match your goal cards to gain more population. This is pretty necessary if you want to do well. Each round it gets harder and harder to meet the conditions and the land sharks are watching your every move.

The art is amazing and game play is pretty simple. You can play into your tableau of cards or your friends, destroy a landshark with appropriate card in anyone's area, Complete a project if you can meet the requirements, discard 2 pop to get a card. That is pretty much it. each round you have to complete 8 projects between everyone and if you can do this 3 times and still have pop left you will win the game.

Since each round gets harder the game gets really hard very fast. You don't want to go wasting actions here and there. Every action matters and timing matters. Ron and I got one major rule wrong. You can discard other peoples landshark which would have been critical for us since we were wasting so many actions trying to get cards to allow up to discard the landsharks.

Yah since we got that rule incredibly incorrect we lost before finishing the second round. It is a pretty cool game. I love the art and how vibrant it is. Really eye catching. I want to try with people who enjoy co-ops since I know Ron really isn't a fan of them. It is always intriguing when I lose a co-op, I feel like I should try again, really soon so I can then win.

I liked this one. Solid game that I am apparently not good at!












Joe H has a particular collection, lets just call it unique. I am pretty sure he has around 300 games or less and several titles I haven't heard of before and scarce. We were at a 5 player count and I have no idea what to play. I suggested Spyrium.I knew it played well with 5 and Ron and I were teaching 2 others how to play with Ralph having played once before.

I have to say I very much enjoy this game, but it can be rather harsh at times. I think in 4 instances a card was taken before I had the chance to buy it. Yah, it might have been my fault but, in general I really didn't get the chance.

I went like 3 rounds before collecting a card. I did manage to get all the way to the top of the house track and start scoring mega points for the houses. That was something sweet. It wasn't enough to secure the win though.

No houses in the final round to nab so I was trying to get points from teh mansions available. It didn't work out. They were all taken from me and I had tons of money left over so i was getting pity points from the influence of the people on the board. It was a mess. Too many workers tired for doing nothing.

Ron and I tied for 3rd and just behind Paul but Ralph ended up winning with like 5 point more than him. It was a pretty close game. I was so pissed I wasn't able to buy the 12 point mansion. I was so close!

Great game!









I asked Joe if he had any other new Japanese title we could play and he suggested Clockwork Empire. New to me!

This is a new title from Kuro so i was definitely interested in trying it out. I felt My Fair Princess ran long but I do like Ars Alchimia and The Ravens of Thri Sahashri a lot.

This game uses dice to influence movement on the board in a rondel game. You will be landing on areas and doing actions there. If you land on an area where another player is you have to give them one of your points. The goal is to get the most points and the game end is triggered when one player gets to 50 points.

There is a lot of giving points and small points here and there. You can use any number of dice to move that you rolled but you want to try and influence the location where you landed with dice to get better actions. Once you influence a location you are effectively giving up the die to live there so you are running out of dice rather quickly so you need to recruit more. You need resources to construct helpers for the locations and get additional benefits when visiting those locations as well.

Many things to plan around but it is hard to plan when you simply have one dice and no real way to mess around with your number of movement steps.

In the game Jeroen aka special guest of the weekend (!)
Jeroen Doumen
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was totally dominating us. There was not much we could do to stop him. He was getting a lot of cards played and a ton of bonus actions happening everywhere he went. He was able to end the game before we could really catch up to him and he had about a million end game points. To be fair, I didn't know about all of the bonus points to be had in the end game. I was just trying to focus on getting cards played which was really hard for me since I was only using 1 die the majority of the time. I did manage to pick up a Deus card which was giving me bonus points for visiting the green resource action space. That was great but I seemed to have a hard time getting to the recruit cards space.

I liked this game and I would definitely play again. Might have lasted a bit long but I think now that I know the game I think it will go a lot faster next time. I have to steal more points from Dan next time. I could have easily claimed 3rd place if I just snagged a few more points from Dan in game. yah I was dead last and Jeroen destroyedddddddd us by a million. OK not a million and Ron CLAIMS he was just 10 points behind him. Dan and I were a lot further back but we did pass the 60 mark.
















Dan had another game for us to play and learn. I was convinced when he said there was a ring toss involved. This game is called Minotaurus (2010). New to me!

This game has AMAZING pieces. Really cool- and totally worth playing to see how cool. It is a memory game to try and find like colors and colors with dots to match up. You can take sides of the horns if they are opposite and in the same color even if the dots don't line up. It will just mean a battle later with another player. A battle consists of a ring toss onto the bulls.

Ron and I were dueling over several tiles. Let me put it this way, I don't think I ever got the ring on the bulls horn. Oh it was bad. I am also terrible at memory games and always have been. I was definitely not focused at all. Jeroen could remember everything and I don't think he got all of the high pairs but he got the majority of them and again, he was the one to dominate us this game. Ron was second and I was 3rd. Hey I actually beat Dan this game! yay!

Needless to say I think Dan is going to pass on that game to someone else. I mean the components are just amazing and the bulls horn is awesome. I highly recommend playing this game if you get the chance for the cool factor. it is one I probably don't have to play again, however.















The final game of the night for me and Ron was PaiMiahhh. This is a game that Joe H had been wanting to play for a while and we kept bringing it around in hopes of getting it played.

I was happy we were finally able to play this game again. It has a lot of features as Bridge does but it is simplified and there are some special cards thrown in the mix with more suits to play with. I got to play it last September and only just got around to playing it again this weekend.

Joe was my partner so I actually had a hope in hell of winning. I sat out the first 2 rounds while Joe drove the bus with my helping hand. The first round we didn't make the trick bids but we got several bonus points for sluffing.

it ended up working out for us. I think we let Ron and Dan get the second bid of like value 2 so they were able to catch up to us a fair amount. In the final round (since we only played 4 rounds) it ended with a pretty close game both teams in the 70s and Joe and I managed to stay ahead of them. I didn't do much which is one of my main concerns with Bridge, so I don't feel like I helped the team at all. I just let Joe do what he does and win us the game!















Sunday morning Fields of Arle. It was just not right that I had only played Arle once this year and it was TIME that I played again asap. I can't let this game go unplayed for so long again!

On the plus side, I think the time away has made Ron forget how to play or I just planned my actions better. In the first round I was able to secure the tile that transitions fields to forests x3. I managed to pick up a plow and extra field before I built the building but I was getting 3 wood income in the first summer season. It was awesome. I did end up losing the fields and in retrospect probably should have picked up another plow in the game.

I was busy trying to stay afloat. I wanted to be on par with Ron and shipping so I worked hard to get the carriages and start shipping for advanced goods for the high valued buildings. I got the one to clear all of my marshlands for 2 food each so I didn't have to worry about cutting all of the peat it was great to not have to worry about those. I later got another 15 point building that gave me the carriage.

I thought for sure Ron would win this game but I guess I was doing better than I thought. I managed to secure 71 points in buildings alone and it was a LOT more than Ron was able. My barn was full of vehicles and I ended this game with a pretty impressive 131.5 score. I am impressed anyway. I didn't think I would win with 3 points in tools and 6 points in animals. It worked though and Ron only managed to get 118 points! I was so happy!!!! I still am in fact! LOVE this game!















I wanted to play a few new titles that came to me from the PIFF folks. First us was a title that I found from some geeklist a long while back. Good 2p games. This one sounded interesting and caught my eye. It has been on my wishlist since then and I have been eager to play it. Ron read the rules for King & Assassins. New to me!

This game one player is trying to get the king back home to safety and the other player is playing the assassin to try and kill the king and prevent him from getting home. It is an abstract game and bluffing game. The king has knights to help block him and the assassin chooses 3 people on the game board and this is hidden information until they choose to reveal. Each round a card is revealed and on this card is the movement steps that players can do. Some high number 5-7 for the knights maybe including an arrest if they can. Some small number of steps for the king 1-2, and the assassin can move all of the surrounding villagers about 5 spaces. Depending on the side you are on you get different movement points for certain actions. If the assassin has revealed himself then he gets extra quick movements which is cool.

If you are the assassin you want to stab the king 2 times to win, or simply prevent him from getting home so the cards run out. As the king you want to make several arrests and try to pin point the assassins before it is too late.

Ron and I played this game twice so I could play as both roles. The first game I was the King and I should have gone with my instincts. I could feel Ron choose to have guys on the roof and I should have used my first action to get my knight on the roof and make an arrest. Ugh I kicked myself for not doing that right off the bat. As the Assassin you can choose your 3 characters once the board is set up. I could tell who Ron would pick and I should have went with my gut. I didn't make it half of the game before I was found dead in the city center. I was able to pick out his remaining assassin that wasn't revealed, because I knew who Ron would pick.

When I played the assassin I was not so lucky as he was. I knew I would be an easy read so I decided to pick my 3 characters at random so I didn't really have a choice. Ron was getting a ton of arrest cards and was lucky enough to pick off one of the few assassins I had. I thought I had a clear shot to the kind so I ended up revealing one of my assassins earlier than I should have only to kill of 2 knights which was helpful but not since I was then down 2/3 assassins. my last guy was quick and nimble but not quick enough. Ron won that game since I lost my 3 assassins.

By the end of the 2nd game I could really see the potential in this game. I am already planning my next moves both as the king and as the assassin. I don't think Ron will be able to out smart me next time. Who am I kidding he probably will but I will do better, I am sure. So far I really enjoy this game and look forward to exploring it more. Ron was less than impressed so I suppose that doesn't bode well for a lot of future plays but I was told there is a back side to the board for different building set up, which is cool. Anyway, I guess we will see!

















A game I was very interested in opening up and playing was Islebound. New to me!

I had only heard great things about this game and I was very interested in learning it, so I put Ron to read the rules for this one as well. This was a sweet PiFF from Brandon, the Brawling Bro. I was very happy to get this and try it out.

It is so pretty and it was supposed to be one of Ryan Laukat's best. I still like City of Iron a lot but this has potential to pass that in my favorite stack. I like how quickly this plays out and all of the different focuses.

The game play is actually pretty easy. you are moving around the board and are working to collect different resources and fighters and points. You are really trying to get the most points in this game. Building buildings gets you points and on going benefits during the game play. Since $ is also points you are looking to seize control of the islands to gain $. But, you can also right out buy buildings as a free action if you didn't want to build them using wood and fish requirements. The builds are what triggers game end. If a player gets 8 buildings that will be the final round of the game and then all end game points and in
game points are tallied.

In the game you are using your workers to help gain actions and beat events if you stumble on them. Several spaces allow for you to refresh your workers if you have spent them to hammocks and sleeping den. There are ways to get more workers and potentially more benefits but you are really trying to acquire fighters to help attack and win control over islands and or gain influence and win the islands over with diplomacy. Either why, when you acquire an island you get to gain $ = to its value that you just won. Many buildings give you additional points for various things, which could be that or something like when you gain a book you get a pirate.

Ron didn't like the score track and I get why. I didn't mind it though. #1-6 and the stack of 7s since every 7 points gets you a 7 point VP tile with a benefit like 4 fish or something. Then you have to go back to 1 point and you keep cycling through. I agree there should be a 0 space but there is not, otherwise I didn't mind the scoring.

I like the events to get influence on the cube track. It is funny since the rule book doesn't mention the trumpet symbol until it is explained in the section where it explains the spaces.

In my game I was looking to get lots of influence cubes to take of the islands by diplomacy methods. Ron started near the pirates and I started near the influence cubes, so naturally, we both started focusing on those things. I was getting used to the waters *see what I did there?* and not really knowing the best plan of action I started to collect several books. This really worked in my favor since I was getting a pirate each time I was getting a book. I ended up using the pirates for small events. The books I used at the location to turn books into 2 points each and that was awesome. I secured 14 points and 2 bonus 7 tiles for stuffs. Pretty cool.

I like that we were fighting over locations. Near the end of the game I was like 1 or 2 influences short of taking control of the locations and that was very sad since that could have been 12 points and might have won me the game. As it stood I have NO idea what the scores were going to look like and we probably did a terrible job just learning it and all but Ron won with 99 points and I got a lousy 89 points. It was a close one and I would have definitely played a bit differently if I had known things. You really have to be on point with those buildings when they are revealed. So many good and game changing cards there. I want to explore and get more workers on deck and possibly more benefits from them.

I am very excited to play this again, I really liked it a lot. I think I like it more than City of Iron but it has only been one play. The main reason why is because it plays fast and I think it is more mainstream. I will be able to get more players to play this game than City of Iron which is a hard sell for whatever reason.

Islebound has a lot of features you might see in Above and Below, and that works. The people also act as a mini expansion for that game. I don't recall exactly what because I only played Above and Below once a long while back- it just didn't work for me so great. But I hear that this game goes hand and hand with the other.

I can't wait to play this with more players! I guess I have to look into picking up the expansion since it is supposed to add in a bunch of new buildings and more stuff. Seems cool!









































Since we came back from Essen neither Ron nor myself has played out copy of Key to the City: London. We found it was time to do so.

I didn't think it would be that great with 2p but it worked pretty well. There was not much competition with the locations for auction but Ron knows how to out play me of course.

I was full on river tiles and river bonuses. I did a pretty good job and would have destroyed Ron this game if I was able to secure the yellow guys are 2 points each. yah it was a sad day when I wasn't able to get that.

The fact that I didn't contest Ron for any tiles I think helped him win this game. I was focused and had a path I wanted to follow. I spent too many guys in the first round trying to get tiles and not enough guys in the next rounds getting tiles I may or may not even want. they are still points to be had I should have fought harder for them. As it stood it was a generally close game. We both constructed a building worth 12 points.

It was a super close game. I had to add up my score on my phone and I was 129 points. Ron just informed me that he was only at 137 points so he was JUST out of reach. I can't believe I was that close and yet so far away!

It was a lot of fun. I will have to try it with more players soon. I like this one a lot. Ron was saying how similar to Key Flower it is and I agree. I just had a VERY bad game of Key Flower and never returned to it. I don't think I will ever play 5 or 6 players for this or Key Flower again. But, I would definitely play 4p again. And I should! Fun times! The Roads are super fiddly though.
























Before the football game- ugh- Ron and I managed to get in a game of Crokinole.

I was happy to put this back on the table. It lives in the other room so can be forgotten at times. We were cleaning up that room for footballs and decided to play a game of Crokinole to pass the time before Pizza showed up.

Ron and I are super closely matched. I would have a good round and then he would have a good round then we would both tie. It was a slow game for sure my we were both around 110 points and I managed to break the point and end the game with 2o points more. It was just awesome!

I rarely win this game so I will take it when I can get it. I had some amazing shot and some terrible shots. I really do think we need to wax this board down. I will have to put Ron on that. It is a great game and I really like it. I will have to keep it out for a while! Or until next game day when it has to leave again for the space.











Here is me, getting ready for the weekend... Wish it were friday again!









Yah yah the Pats won and my whole FB feed and everyone I know blew up in excitement. I just wish they both lost.







Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing week.


Until next week!


Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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