Steph HodgeUnited StatesWell, it's no Ginkgopolis...
Hia Everyone!This week has been absolute crazy! Finally finishing up posting from last week!!! Lots to cover in next week's post. Thanks for tuning in!
Monday night we went to Joe's as normal and I ended up teaching Haspelknecht including the new Haspelknecht: The Ruhr Valley expansion! New to me Expansion!
I picked this up in a recent order from Coolstuff and had been wanting to get this game back to the table anyway. Since I was teaching the game we just used the basic set up and mixed in some new tiles from the expansion.
There are 3 modules in the expansion and I have no idea what the other 2 mods are but the first mod is a whole bunch of new tiles that you can mix into the game for added replay ability. The tile melded with the game so nicely! Joe pointed out he didn't even think anything was weird or off with the tiles in play, and I had to agree. It was a very nice incorporation into the game. Definitely worth getting the expansion just for the tiles if you enjoy the game as I do.
There was a bunch of other stuff inside the box which gets me excited for the next time we play. more coal to mine, even more techs to add, bundle of other stuff to explore. It is very exciting and I will have to get this game played more.
I was teaching Eric and Joe this game because they were both interested in coal. Ron was also playing and helped punch my expansion. so we played 4 players. Not really knowing what to expect from the new tiles it was pretty cool.
I ended up getting the farmers wife which is a new space for one black disc to mine coal or bring up a coal or help drain water. She was handy but I think I ended up only using her once. Ron got on the tech that allowed for him to evaluate his second wheelbarrow instead of the first one so he was essentially going first every round. I was going basically last each round.
It certainly made for an interesting dynamic. I was all about techs this game. I picked up a tech each and every turn so all my discs were in use on the board. I got a load of end game points and in game points from those. There was a new tile which game an extra point when getting points for tech's so I booked it to the bottom tile and then progressed from there.
Joe picked up the house where he could make coins, but was a bit late on that so it didn't pay off as much as he wanted it to.
I ended up winning the game with over double joe's points. I was well over 50 and maybe 60. Ron was just at about 50 and Eric behind him. Not a very close game, but they were learning. They were all okay with the game, but certainly don't enjoy it as much as I do. I really like this game and I simply can't wait to play more with this expansion. it is awesome!
Probably helped that I won.
We finished the night with a game of Tichu. YAY!!! EVEN MORE TICHU.
I am simply loving that I have been playing Tichu weekly for 3 weeks now. It is making my week complete!
This week I got to team up with Geoff and Ron was teamed with Dan.
This worked out because Ron and I are both aggressive players and have wild and crazy bids at times. I challenged Ron to call grand and he did then I countered it with a grand it was a dueling grand round.
I was seriously awesome in this game. I think I called and made 5 tichus where 2 of them were grands. I duno, but I also got hosed at one point with Ron's bomb. He was getting a bunch of bombs but Geoff and I were getting the better hands.
Geoff and I ended up winning this game and I am pretty sure it was basically no contest. Dan called at one point with a run of 11 cards and I played OVER it, but then Ron bombed in. I mean really? it could have been so great!
Definitely so much fun to play this one, I am always down for playing this!
Tuesday Ron and I wanted to play a game and sitting on the table was Whitehall Mystery. This time Ron was going to play as Jack so I could win.
Hahha This game is just super hard!!! It is SO hard. I certainly like being the cops in this version better than the other version. Less cops to work with and cool powers. I definitely felt more in control here.
I was just dumb and searched in a location on the first turn when I should have arrested. There was no chance of searching the other adjacent locations so I should have basically won on the first turn if I wasn't dumb.
It's okay, we got to continue our game. He mad it to one hideout and nearly to the second hideout before I caught him. He was trying to back track and it just didn't work out so well.
It went on a lot longer than I thought it would since I knew where he was in the first turn. I had forgotten that the carriages allow for movement past the coppers. So he was long gone before I figured that out.
It was no worry I was on his scent in no time. It was a great game and of course I won!
Wednesday night Ron and I got to playing a few late night games starting with Whistle Stop.
We hadn't played 2 player in a while since the first play and that play was a learning experience. haha so I have learned and played this game several times since and Ron has not. I completely crushed him! BOOOM!
So I didn't think I would get all 5 trains to the end but I mad a fast goal of trying to do this and it ended up working out very very well. The small whistle bonuses you get a the end for getting to the last column is huge and you get the extra coal and whistles needed to keep up your actions each round. It just worked out so well for me. On the final round, I totally had AP serious AP. I knew I could end it but I wanted to end it by getting points and not -4. Of course I took the -4 after like 15 minutes of trying to figure it out. Yah then Ron tells me after calculations that I had the right colored resource to get 15 points. I wasn't even looking at the tile I ENDED on I was looking all around. It was just foolishness. I won the game with the -4 but I reverted back and took the points so I could win by even more. HAHAH
I was so dumb. Even being dumb I managed to win though, so it certainly made me very happy to kick Ron's butt! This game really works well with any number of players 2-5 that is a rare and awesome quality to have.
Since I wasn't done with game we played 2 fames of Codenames: Duet.
Thin these games we started playing the MAP with scenarios. It is SUPER HARD and clever. I don't know how we will be able to complete the map- SO HARD.
It took us 2 games to complete the first stop past the basic game play. The scenarios are super hard! I mean WHAAAAAAAAAT they are so awesome and it makes the game so much more interesting and challenging. I really love that feature of the game. I didn't even know it was there!
Ron and I lost the first game and won the second game. Next time we will move on to an even harder scenario. I don't know how that will work, but I can't wait to find out! Really loving this game. I definitely like it more than the normal Codenames.
Easily the best in the series.
Thursday night was Fun Group! Yay! I managed to play 5 games! That was awesome. We started the night with 3 player Wizards Wanted.
I think this game is great. So easy to teach and the artwork is capturing. I really like it because timing is everything in this game. Where you are and when mushrooms drop- it all matters. There is a bit of luck with that and when cards flip what can be revealed is a bit of luck. I like that in my games though. Stumbling on the exact right mushroom at the right time. It is fun!
This game I was playing with 2 other whom I had to teach. Lou is a bit new to board games so this was a great choice any way since it is on the easier side for learning games. And also playing was Scott. I went over it all and during the game Lou collected SO MUCH Pixie Dust. He went with the first tip I had which was make sure you have pixie dust.
He went with it and it all worked. he got a million spell cards and tons of money. I was always short on money since I had very little of it I was getting a lot fewer pixie than I needed and had to buy more frequently. I managed to get a license early game though. What killed it was Lou went there on the final turn and managed to get a last minute license. I ended it the next turn and it wasn't enough.
He was way on the other side of the board from where I was in second place. There was no contest. Scott was behind me even. It was a fun race though. I have been really enjoying this.
To fill the time we 3 played a game of Kribbeln.
Easily one of my favorite push your luck dice rolling games. I can't seem to get enough! It was great though.
Lou had actually played this game the last time he was here. Scott hadn't so I explained this. We played and I was actually doing pretty well for the first section. I managed to be just behind the leader, Lou. From there it all went downhill. My frist Kribbeln was far too high and I wasn't ever able to beat it. It was only 29! But yeah still, my rolling skills are terrible.
Nope, just terrible. I knew Lou would win this since we were all so very far behind. NOPE! Scott pull ahead in the final round and got both Kribbelns and just totally destroyed us both! Beating Lou by 1 point! It was a pretty epic finish for Scott I must say.
It was a lot of fun and laughs.
Riley left but the 5 of us played Meeple Circus. I love this game so it only makes sense to bring it to the Fun Group! For FUN TIMES!
Joe and Derek joined in and we played 5 player. Everyone was learning but Derek. So I taught this game and we played. Thanks to Derek for loading the music for us each time. Everyone LOVED the music. Joe just wanted the sound tracks for his collection. Apparently this game needs to come with a CD.
The first round was super close and everyone was about 8-12 points. As the rounds progressed it was not so close. It is funny how when the game ramps up from round to round I think people start doing more poorly. Trying to get MORE points by creating these difficult structures and by round 3 it all just falls apart. The pressure is on and everyone is watching you and you have a certain task to complete. The nerves get the better of some performers.
This game I was sure I would win. I was doing very well and had a lot of great tricks. Scott picked up the strong man and went to town, much like Chris had last time. Scott managed to get a bunch of points in his final performance and took the win by just a couple of points ahead of me! It was crazy and so much fun. I think everyone really enjoyed the play. The music is key to this game being as awesome as it is. Such a wonderful game!!!!
Derek had never played The Grizzled, and joe had never won before. 4 of us including Scott try our hand at this game. I have played many times and Scott had played before and Joe always loses.
This game we were teaching Derek and we got pretty darn lucky. Several Knocks were tucked away at the bottom of the deck. This proved to be helpful. We managed to get to the dove in 3 round and then an extra 2 rounds to finish the game. It was genius and we had excellent planning. The only thing I might have done differently was have Joe not play Mute so he could give a speech a round earlier.
It all worked out very well and we won the game in 5 rounds. I am very pleased. We were playing with the traps and all. Totally nailed it!
I really have to get the expansion played soon!!! Gees, I have owned it over a year and I haven't tried it. #waste Gotta get it to the table soon!
Final game of the night was a few rounds of Word Slam.
I was teamed up with Joe and he was just not understanding me. JOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE come on you should get me better.
The first clue he was giving was for PIE.... They didn't give it to me when I said APPLE PIE. Which was dumb and should have ended like 10 minute earlier than us just giving up. We played 2 rounds and each round was 15 minutes long because no one was figure it out.
I would have given it to anyone who had said APPLE PIE and the clue was PIE. Why would they even doubt it. That was frustrating. My blue giving for the second word was on point and easy. I won't give it away because I would like you to guess it.
We ended in a Tie after everything because the rounds were so long! Silly. But it was a lot of fun. Cool party game.
Friday night had us a bit late night games and we played a few light ones starting with 6 nimmt!.
This game is not really meant to be played 2 player, but since you can I wanted to play since it had been a while.
I used to play this all of the time on Boardgame Arena, but I don't really play there any longer. There are a couple variants for this game and with 2 players we decided just to play through the deck of cards and see where it left us. I think it was 4 rounds total.
After the 3rd round we were both TIED with 31 points and it was pretty crazy since I was really losing but then I had a killer round which he caught up in points. I was shocked. The final round had him drowning in points and I took the win. It wasn't even a competition. It was awesome.
Definitely more interesting with 6 players and a game I wish more people enjoyed. I think there is more skill in this game than first appears. Just saying.
We finished the night with a fast game of Songbirds.
I love this 2 player game. The tensions really gets there in the final cards you choose to play. I definitely like this game more with 2 players than with 4 players because you have a lot more control over what is happening with the cards you have in hand and you have a better sense for what your opponent will be trying to save.
Ron and I were of course going for the same color this game. I worked very hard to secure lots of great points for the white bird. I ended up having to play the 7 white bird, however. This gave Ron the leg up and he had held on firm to his 6 white bird and I only have the 5 left over.
Ugh he ended up winning because of all my hard work to make them score lots.
Still fun to play this one but I gotta try harder to mask my true intentions next time.Saturday the mystery package from Taiwan showed up and I was more than thrilled to open and find these special treasures. I have been anxiously awaiting to play Rescue Polar Bears after seeing how adorable the pieces are!! Amazing bundle of games!!
Saturday night Ron and I got busy reading the rules to several of these new titles. I had to immediately open and read the rules for Rescue Polar Bears: Data & Temperature. New to me!
This game is just amazingly cute and the figures might be the best figures in any game. I mean jump down and look at how freaking cute those polar bears are. I took half a million pictures since I couldn't stop myself. Papa bear, mama bear, baby bear- they are all there!
This is a cooperative game, something Ron and I are very bad at- at times. But, this game was still very much of interest for me. Each player will get their own turns to perform actions of their choosing. You are trying to collect data around the board all while trying to help maintain the temperature and save the polar bears from the ice breaks.
Each player will have a special ability to utilize and probably focus most of their actions on. Ron could move fast but he had little room to hold bears on his ship. He did get a sweet bonus for the special cards so we kept Ron trying to move around collect data when able and get those special bonus cards.
I was more about maintaining the bears since I could hold 2 bears at least on my ship.
On your turn you can move, gather data/special cards/bears, or drop off bears at the rescue site. You get 3 actions on your turn so you can mix and match what you are looking to do. When you gather a card you must perform the action on the card which might be great and say lower the temperature or collect cubs in adjacent locations not limited to size of ship. Different things to help keep the game on par, when you need it most. Once your turn is done you have to roll the temperature dice and increase the temp by that much. This is where is gets dangerous!
If the temp is higher than or equal to the marked location then you have to evaluate the location tile on the map. You will be either making baby cubs, growing up cubs or breaking the ice which might cause bears to retreat or sink! You really don't want them to sink you will have to send in an emergency helicopter and you have very limited supplies for those.
During the game you need to collect 15 (2p) or 20(3/4p) Data points in order to win. You have to finish the round etc. This is the main objective for the game and you want to collect these whenever possible. As you collect the data you will get small tech bonuses and will be able to distribute the bonus tokens to the player we think could use it best. For example in my game I got the first 2 tokens because I got free extra actions on my turn. So I was getting 4 then 5 actions on my turn. It was pretty awesome and definitely the best bonus since I could keep it for the remainder of the game. Some are just one time benefits.
This game plays pretty fast and I was engaged the whole time. I felt we were making meaningful decisions and no one took a leader role. We were definitely working together more than dictating. We had some pretty serious bad die rolling round and I was seriously thinking we were going to lose.
Thanks to Ron's last minute tech bonus to shuffle and draw 2 of the used special cards we got extremely lucky and got to reduce the temp by 6 counts. This was what saved us. Had we needed to break the ice again, I am not sure we could have survived. It was definitely down to the last minute scenario and we made out! Found the data needed and boom we were in the clear!
It was a great time and I can't wait to play it again this weekend. SO CUTE!!!
Next up Ron read the rules to a couple of games and we first played Bard Saga. New to me!
This is a card game to try and collect the most points by using combos and creating sets to recruit more cards and find the legendary figures at the bottom.
The game has a set up with a diamond shape card display in the middle of the table. The legendary cards face down and the standard cards face up. Players are dealt 3 cards each round and then they proceed to take turns playing cards or claiming cards from the center display.
You have to play your cards wisely since each card has an action and it will perform is able to. might say something like flip over a card or swap cards with another player. Something that will directly be affecting other players. For each card you have played in front of you at the end you will get a matching scroll. The scrolls are the cards that allow you to buy the cards from the middle display. The cards you buy go directly into your hand to play this round. If you buy and find a legendary then those cards are put on display and will be a scoring feature for the end of the round it you match the color and picture you get bonus points.
The whole game is about trying to get legendary cards in play, because you get points when you do this, and then finding the matching cards to the legendary cards so you can get more points. There is a lot of luck of the draw and if you get great cards that combo well, I feel like you will do better. But, there is always the other side that will come in and attack you so it might ruin a cool combo, regardless.
I definitely think this will be a better game with 3 or 4 players. There was a lot of take that with 2 players and I am guessing with more players as well. But It meant for a lot of rounds before we were able to build up lots of scrolls and start getting to the legendary cards. I
I like the muted colors and old style art work. I don't really think the box does the game justice.
In my game Ron and I went on for several rounds with it never really seeming to end. We kept drawing all the wrong cards and we weren't able to get the correct scrolls needed to get the final bards into our hand so it went on longer than I think it is meant to. I was shocked I had some really great rounds where I got to play car after card and had some cool combos. Then the next hand was a total dud. Because I had several dud rounds, I thought for sure I was losing the game.
We ended up in a tied game! I was shocked and we looked up tie breaker and most scrolls. I was so bummed because he was able to get one more scroll than me in that final round. DOH! I was so close though. I could really feel the win... but just out of reach.
I do look forward to trying with more people soon!
Final new game for me that day was the GORGEOUS Harvest Island. New to me!
The Box is great the insert is great the cards and standee figures are all just great. Every fruit has a corresponding animal. Totally not needed to add in the animal and it is just so worth it. I think the animals are so cute!!
In the game you are trying to score the most points from fruits and animal control for end of game final scoring. The game is a hand management, set collection and push your luck type game. Each turn you are going to play 2 cards from your hand of 4 cards. Like any harvest game you have to first sow the field and then you can plant. This works in a similar way. Once you sow a field with a type of fruit, you can continue to add the same type to the field each card counts towards the size of the field, however. Like in Tuscany you have a limit to how much you can hold in the field before it has to be harvested. The card used to sow is basically dead to you it will not be scored in anyway besides counting toward your pursuit to acquire the fruit standee. The larger the collection of fruits the better the odds are you get to keep the standee for the whole game. If someone game form a bigger set, they would take the standee away from you. THATS 8 POINTS!
Back to your turn, you play 2 cards either to a field OR to the discard market area. There is a pending line that you discard to and an active line. Once you are done with your turn you can draw up from the current season deck or take from the active line and you refill to 4 cards. If you draw from the current season's deck then you might pull a weather card. Sun cancels rain always but if there is ever a time when you have 3 of the same type you have to lose precious planted fruits! This is where it is push your luck. If you choose not to play cards on your turn you can then instead harvest a single field. The card used for sowing is discarded and the other cards used go into your scoring pile. You don't have to meet any requirements and you can do it at anytime. It is your entire turn so if you can plant you might try and hold out to make your field larger.
When playing a 2 player game the knowledge is not all there. The board clearly shows the number of each type of fruit in each season, but with 2 players you have to take out lots of cards you might be trying to hold out for a card and it might never show up. Or worse, Ron is holding it back from you. With more people there will be more fighting over the fruits and set collection. I think it will actually be a mean game, and I can't wait to try it. There is one more part to the game where on your turn if you discard 2 to the pending line, you get a seed card and that card can be played on any field. This will act as 2 (!!) of a type of fruit when scoring for fruit standees, but score no immediate points.
I have a feeling with more players it will get a bit more cut throat!
Ron and I played and I really had no idea how I was doing compared to him. He seemed to be getting a lot more animals, but, I knew I was getting a lot of high valued cards. It is hard to pay attention to him when I could barely pay attention to my own. I think this was because the game moves a brisk pace and you only play 2 cards and draw back up and it is his turn.
When our game ended though all of the seasons, we each had a stack of tons of cards. I ended up with more points in cards but because he had ONE MORE fruit standee than I did that was 8 points. He managed to beat me by like 4 points. It was sadness!! I thought I had him this game.
It is super quick moving and with just 2 people I am sure we can get this down to 15 minute game. With more players you will get a few more moments in between turns to ponder the actions of others.
This game was awesome. I had a fantastic time playing. It is pretty easy to understand and play. This is a great great game. Perhaps this will take the place for new fav light weight game among other favorites like Habitats, World's Fair. It is really nice.
I can't wait to play it again!
Sunday Ron and I got to playing a couple games. It was definitely long past due to get back on the fields and try my hand at Fields of Arle again. Ron is just been beating me down each and every game with this expansion. We are still using the PnP expansion that I have which is coming out at Essen!!!
I CANT WAIT TO GET IT! I have said in the past and I will say it again, it will play up to 3 players but I would highly suggest only playing with people who know the game already and not incorporating this expansion for new players. There is A LOT going on (even for me) and it adds SO MUCH amazingness, but there is still so much to consider in addition to the already large amount of rules for this game. I really want people to LOVE Arle like I do, I am not sure this expansion will win people over if they have never played it, however.
The new expansion adds so much to the mix in this game I can never find a focus and make it work. Everything looks appetizing. I want this and THIS and THAT!!! I am the most greedy in this game and it leaves me unfocused and a mess. While I still score well above my score with no expansion, it is still no where near Ron's final scores. His average went up about 10 points and mine maybe 5. He is now consistently in the 135 range or higher when we play and it is getting a bit discouraging.
Since we were just using the Pnp, we haven't really mixed in the basic game tiles for the green and yellow buildings so I am looking forward to more mixing when we get the expansion at Essen.
This game was no different than the last 5 games. Ron still completely destroyed me. The power of tea is so crazy good, if you don't get tea early and often, you will be already behind. You are able to activate the spaces you occupy better if it is a tool, or even double time if you spend 2 advance tea. That is HUGE for end game. You spend 2 advance tea and get to potential buy 2 buildings in one go. I mean tea opens up the world of possibly that I am only just diving into after like 10 plays with the expansion.
Again I can't stress it enough to play the base game several times before jumping into the expansion. I played it 100+ times before adding tea and trade to the mix and still, I am completely in awe at the amount of addition and it is all so clean and clever. So much more possibility. Truly a wonderful wonderful game.
Finally, We just played a quick game of Seasons.
I always feel like I have a solid shot at winning this game and several times I do. I am probably 50% wins with this game. It is any mans game. We play with both expansions and mix in a dummy 3/4th player when card drafting- to see more cards and not really know what the other player is planning.
More mystery with that drafting technique and we really like it. Much like randomly drawing the correct number of dice from the dice pool each time. This is not what you are supposed to do, but I don't like the rules.
So we played and I got some great cards in the draft. I managed to get out early the fairy card that gives 3 points when you have no cards in hand. She gave me so many points!!! I got BOTH chalices! It was amazing. Ron was over in his own little world collecting energy tokens for his magic stone card, then he got another one as well. he had those filled up and it was a crazy 45 points at the end. Ugh.
I have thieving fairs in play and he was activating a lot of cards and had the dice of malice. I took away SO MANY points from him. I was in the lead by over 50 points for most of the game. I even secured over 200 points for the game. I really thought I was a shoe in for this win. NOPE he ended up 30 points over me. It was INSANE the amount of points we scored this game was dramatic. We had so many points. It was awesome. But I was still sad I ended up losing. I honestly thought there was no way he could win with all of the points I gathered in game and final scoring.
It was fun times! A game still in my top 10. If there weren't so many damn cards to shuffle we would play more.
New to the Collection:
Rescue Polar Bears: Data & Temperature
My Dungeon Boss: Never Lie
Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing week.
Until next week!
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A photographic journey through board games...
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28 Sep 2017
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