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190,000 People or Games? Yes. Steph's Awesome Europe Trip Overview of Essen Spiel!

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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Hia Everyone!






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SPIEL PART 1: NETHERLANDS


Oh boy, we left Boston around 5pm and arrived in the Netherlands around 5:45am. You are just supposed to stay up all day and sleep at the normal sleeping time that night. It is so hard to do that though. I am almost always dead tired and it takes me a few days to catch up. We like going to the Netherlands to see our many friends and to get in some pre-Essen gaming. We did it last year and it was so much fun, we just had to do it again this year! We arrived and picked up a car rental so we could transport ourselves all over and eventually to Germany.

Gerty and Sylvia have been our friends for several years now since the first Spiel we attended and they live in Holland. I asked, selfishly, if they might want to play games this Saturday morning so we would have somewhere to go and hang out before checking into the hotel later in the afternoon. They welcomed us with open arms even at 7am in the morning. I am well versed with their schedule since I am often awake late at night when they are waking up for their daily breakfast and games.

I want to do a shout out to them since they are so generous and kind for hosting us this morning. Ron, Derek, and I were exhausted but were still up for games even at 7am.

The first game on the table was Flatline. Cool, a co-op to start the day. They had forgotten how to play but we refreshed them and walked them through what we should be doing each round.

It was a disaster waiting to happen because we were just not rolling what we needed. Hey, we managed to save one patient before completely dying. I suppose that is a positive! Yeah, we so lost that game wicked fast. It was a bit of a disgrace, really. We quickly moved on to the next game.

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Derek hadn't had the chance to play Carson City: The Card Game, so we were able to play that next and teach him! This game works incredibly well with 5 and 6 players. I freaking love it. I could play this game every weekend if I found the crowd for it.

This game has simultaneous bidding that I like and the card tableau building that I love. So much goodness going on here. I just can't seem to ever win this game.

Oh, you can tell Sylvia is a shark. She completely owned us. She had all of the houses and scored them like a million times. I mean she was so far above us it was shameful. I clearly have some learning to do with this game. I freaking love it though and want to do the learning. It was a fun game for sure. We probably should have played it a few times. One of the best from the year, for sure.

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Gerty and Syl have 3 rooms filled with board games. They have 3 cats and the rest of their house is lined with games. It was quite impressive. You can tell which games get less love though and I suggested one of them. Next on the table was Through the Desert.

Syl had stored this game with EVERY BIT IN THE SAME BAG. WHAT HORROR IS THIS. Clearly a game they played like once. We had to re-teach since they didn't know and I don't think Derek had played before either. It was no problem. It is always most tricky with the initial set up and drafting of positions, but when you get started the game is a breeze.

I was so sure of myself in winning this game. I always win this game. Well not ALWAYS, but a good percent of the time I do. I am pretty sure I did, but it could have been Ron, as he had a couple big enclosures at the end. Hard to say at this point it was a VERY long time ago, now.

Still love this game, and think it is a great 5 player title. I need to make a GeekList of my favorite 5 player games so I can reference it when I have 5 players.

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We played a fast game of Welcome To... This is a fantastic game that I am always willing to play. I wasn't feeling particularly clever this game and went for the obvious goals first and managed to succeed in ending the game FAR earlier than anticipated and expected. I think I shocked everyone. I think there was even a 3-way tie in the end, but I had the tiebreaker for the win! Boom, it was epic and awesome. I was shocked they were all able to reach the same level of points as me. That's typical. I thought I was far far far in the lead. I guess it was a good thing I was able to end it early.

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We were on a lighter game streak and it was about all my mind could handle anyway, being so early in the morning. We then played another Roll n Write game that I enjoy called Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama. I got to play this one a while back, but it really is just the same as Avenue with different art. You can play with alternative modules or whatever, but I don't really want to change an already fantastic game. I like it the way it is!

It was a rough game too. We drew 4 yellow cards as the first 4 cards. I don't think anyone scored points that round. I was just absolutely terrible at this game. I couldn't get my roads to match up in time. I did have a fantastic last turn, but it was nowhere close to winning. Syl basically schooled us again. She is such a shark. I love it! Great game.

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It is weird, with 5 players we often seem to migrate towards the game Habitats. I don't think it is best with 5, but it is okay, and usually, people are down for it. This is a game that I often wonder why I can't do better than I do. I generally do okay and Ron usually wins about 5 points over my score, so I don't do poorly, but I should be able to do better. Of course, it can be totally dependent on the tiles that pop up around you, and you can't plan for anything in general.

I very much enjoy the game and was happy to play. I could handle this game even being so tired. This game was no different than other games and Ron ended up winning. #unimpressed Gerty had the second edition so we didn't get to play with cute animal figures. Bleh, you gotta get the cute animals even if you order them separately or something. Totally worth it!

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Continuing with low-brain-powered games, we took out Meeple Circus, which was great since the new expansion was coming out and I wanted to play again before that! Gerty and Syl didn't know the rules to this one so we explained. It is a wicked easy game and you just have to have good dexterity!

Hey I think I was winning alllll game, but we finally found a game that Syl is just not really good at... waaahahaaha. I feel like I won this game, but I also feel like Ron won this game. So I will have to say he won it. I was a close second though. I did really well for the first round and then from there I didn't get first pick of the pieces and it went downhill. I love the music in this game. It is so clever and adds just the right touch to make this game great.

I can't wait to play with the new expansion!

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The final game of the morning was Deep Sea Adventure. Derek really enjoys this game and often has it on his person so we can play at anytime.

This is not my favorite game but I enjoy it. I simply always drown. Every time. I try and head back early and I still drown. What's up with that.

It was actually quite amazing this game when I didn't actually drown in the final round! I managed to make it back and score over 20 points! I duno how it happened, and of course, I still didn't win the game. I didn't lose though! By this point, I was dead tired to the world and we took off to the hotel so I could rest a while.

Gerty and Syl were awesome for hosting us and being so nice! We had a great time playing early morning games!

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Sunday was GAMEDAY! There was a meetup at Friends and Foes in Amsterdam and tons of publishers showed up and showed off some games. It was not opening until 1pm so we first went to breakfast and found this cute little place called Dragon's Delight. It was quite a delight, and while we waited for the food we got in a game of That's Pretty Clever.

Derek had his hand box of games and we started playing at exactly the right time since the food showed up as we were scoring it! I took a pic, and I don't normally take pictures of food, but oh boy was it yum!! I will have to stop there next time I visit Friends and Foes! It was even better since I managed to WIN the game! I was up over 200 and I don't think the guys made it that high. I rock. I suppose I should quit the game now and declare myself all-time champ. I never win this game so I have to take it when I can get it.

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We showed up to Friends and Foes and I got to meet a bunch of peoples. Gerty was already there and we sat down for a fast game of Counterfeiters! New to me!

A new Quined Game in a small box. You really get a lot of stuff including some AMAZING animal meeples! I kinda feel like I have been seeing a lot of animal mafia type games recently... maybe it is just me. Either way, I appreciate the themes and I like the animals a lot. This is a very simple worker placement game and you are using your meeples to make as much fake money as you can and turn it into real money. You can make more fake money by gathering more printers and you can get better quality cards to potentially make you more money because the quality is better. The cop is after you, moving down the police track, and he acts as a game timer in the game. When he hits the mob boss space, everyone will have to discard half of their real money. You best get that money secure in an offshore account where it can't be touched. As you can imagine, this is a game you can win by gathering the most real money at the end of the game.

I had a pretty successful game though and managed to get a lot of diners that allowed me to turn in 1 fake bill for 1 fifty bill at the end of each round. That was incredibly handy. Ron was doing a similar thing and of course, he was doing it better. He ended up with the most money at the end of the game. I was second though. Derek was right on my tail with 3rd. Poor Gerty was too busy chatting and teaching, so he came in 4th.

This game is super cute and clever. The rules are easy to learn and it is easy to play. Unsure on how much replay value there is here, but I enjoyed the one play and would play again if it showed up on my table, or was requested. I ended up not picking it up though.

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The final game we played at Friends and Foes was Witless Wizards. New to me!

This is a card driven game where you are drawing a card and playing it to your sheet. You then must also draw another card and give it to another adjacent player. You can do that in either order though. This is a very much a take-that game. Your cards are ever-changing and the abilities are ever-changing. After you play your cards, you will attack an adjacent player, trying to get their life down to 0 to eliminate them. A pretty simple game, not sure there is much strategy at all, you just sort of hope for the best.

In our game, we were all attacking everywhere. I thought for sure I would be eliminated first, but hey I survived long enough to be the 3rd eliminated, good enough for 2nd place. Ron, of course, won that time.

In the end, this game just isn't my type of game. I didn't hate it, I see how it can be fun for kids and families with easy rules and bright colorful art. It was cute, but I just don't think I need to play it again. It was just too much take that for me and I didn't like all my cards changing each round.

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There was another game day event happening in Amsterdam called Amsterdice. Since the store was so slammed, we decided to go. This was a great event and I am glad we got to go hang out there. We got to see Wit! Yay for Wit, he is just crazy fun. He introduced us to David who we then played all the games with as well. Unfortunately, Wit only had time for a single game and we got to play Trapwords! New to me!

This was awesome!!! I was so looking forward to trying this game at Spiel and it was super cool that he already had a copy for us to try. Trapwords is a game for two teams. I was teamed up with David and some random guy we pulled in. The other team was Ron, Derek, and Wit. Not fair at all, IMO. I actually didn't know all that much about this game other than "reverse Taboo." This is a pretty accurate description of the game too.

Your team is trying to advance to the end of a dungeon and, of course, beat the boss monster at the end. Each team is given a word that the other team will have to try and guess. But you can create trapwords that will cause the other team to lose if they say one of them. For example, if the word is syrup, you might write "tap" "tree" "pancakes".

There are a series of stages in this game. It starts off "easy" and gets harder (SPOILER: there's a reason "easy" is in quotes). The better your team does, the more trapwords the other team can create. So, the first thing you do is look at where the other team is standing to find out how many trapwords you can create. Once both teams create the trapwords, they hand over their clue word to a member of the other team. A timer is started for the first team to guess. The clue giver has to give clues to their teammates to try and guess the word, but the team only gets a total of 5 guesses. If the clue giver says one of the trapwords, then they auto lose and the next team goes. If the team guesses the word within the time, then they advance to the next level. So on and so forth until someone beats the monster.

There are some traps in the dungeon that you will have to deal with if you are in the lead. The bosses are super difficult. For example, the troll in our game had the added difficulty that we could write 2 trapwords per line, so 14 trapwords instead of 7 trapwords. It was nuts.

I will get back to our game now because it was a bit unfair. The 3 players on the opposing side knew each other and I was with 2 people I didn't know. We never made it past the first dungeon space, we were that bad. It was pretty sad. The other team made it almost every time until the BOSS. They had 14 words to avoid, so they ended up losing a few rounds. Ultimately, they kicked out butts, as expected, and it was a sad day for Team Red.

This game was super fun and I can't wait to play again. It is right in line with a lot of recent clever party games that I have been loving. I think it will be a big hit in my group. Love it!

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We lost Wit at this point but it left us with a great 4 player count so we could play anything. We played one of David's favorites, a game Derek had wanted to play for a while called The Oracle of Delphi.

I was definitely happy to play this since I hadn't played it all year! I quite enjoy this game actually and it is one I wish got played more, but the set up is crazy so it just never gets selected. Derek was learning it and he set up the map. It was a crazy map... we had to rearrange it a bit. Derek also got one of the new promo tiles for his board and it was just insanely good. I think wayyyyyyy too OP. Once per turn he could use a die as ANY color. OMG that was just insanely good. It meant he absolutely crushed us in this game. I would just choose to never play with that tile or figure out an alternative use for it.

I mean, there was no contest and Derek totally ran away with it from the beginning. I was fighting for 2nd, then I was fighting with Ron for 3rd. I don't even know where I ended up but it was probably last. I just could get the final turns together in a decent combo. I think I had to pass my turns like 3 times in the game. It was just a mess and my dice were not cooperating at all. Had a great time, and I think it is one of Derek's new favorites. I am glad we got the chance to play it.


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David had never played Caverna: The Cave Farmers so we opted to play that one next. This game, I went for some farming and picked up a LOT of wheat and pumpkins. It got me a ton of points, but it just wasn't enough. I needed more adventures. Ron was going to town and I think got his 6th dwarf. I mean he was killing it with points.

It was great to play this since we just picked up the expansion at Spiel. I really needed another strategy this game besides farming though. I needed coins, or donkeys, or something else to really help me win. In the end, I got like 80+ points but Ron was over 100... so yeah it was not really a close one. Derek finally went for a different strategy other than collecting rubies and scored a little better, still not great, but he loves the game. David really enjoyed it as well and he scored like 50s, as you would expect from someone just learning the game.

My #3 game, I can't wait to play the expansion, which will change up the game dramatically! Gonna be awesome!

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We were going to call it quits for the night but Jerry wanted to play another game and it was a quick one called Wat'n dat!? New to me!

We just played a few rounds and it was pretty hilarious. 2 people are clue givers who will alternate turns, each clue-giver placing one stick at a time to try and make a picture or pattern so people can guess what the clue is. You get a point for guessing correctly and both clue givers get a point if someone guesses the picture they are making. You can play any number of rounds and the clue givers rotate each round. It is very simple and we played a few rounds.

David proved to be amazing at this game and I think he got a point every round we played. Haha, it was pretty funny. We were teamed up to try and get everyone to guess mustache and he was just not understanding what I was doing at all... hahah! He was placing sticks in all sorts of directions and I was trying to make a face. He didn't understand it at all. Hey, at least someone was eventually able to guess it correctly. So that worked out!

We had a bunch of laughs and it was a good way to close the night. It was great fun in Amsterdam. I am glad we chose to head over to Amsterdice for some games!

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Monday morning in the Hague and it was Ron's birthday, so Ron, Derek, and I had plans of heading over to Rotterdam to visit the Maritime Museum. We went out for breakfast and played a game of Illusion first though. I am always up for a game of Illusion. Normally Ron doesn't win this game, but this time, Ron's win was inevitable. I barely remember playing this game since it was a while back and I was tired. I don't even think I collected an arrow before it was over.

Thanks to Derek for bringing around the travel games and always having them available.

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Rotterdam



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Paul from Quined Games was awesome and invited us to dinner that night and we got to play a game of Raiatea! New to me!

Fortunately, he already knew the rules (as expected) and it could play 5 players! I was super interested in learning this one, just to see what this game was all about. They are changing the box art for the second printing.

This is a point salad type of game. You are doing a number of different things in order to claim points. There are 6 possible actions each round, and the number of rounds varies by player count. When you select an action for the round, everyone can do the action, but you get a bonus. I am guessing that mechanic sounds familiar to many. That action is no longer available for anyone else to take this round. There is a market to exchange goods, there is a prestige track to advance on, there are statues to construct, forests to explore, and gods to worship. Lots of different things you are working to do.

After so many rounds you will have a ceremony, and this is the part I think is the most interesting in the game. You will have 3 ceremonies in the game. In each ceremony, you can choose to secretly put cards into a bag. These cards have different levels and you have to advance higher on the prestige track in order to start gaining the more advanced ones and to put more cards into the bag. There are a lot of cool powered cards. Most of these cards will need to be marked with a clip of your color to show that it is your card. Then all players simultaneously bid an amount of mana which also gets added to the bag. The cards are revealed and placed in ranking order low to high, and then the mana is spent on the lowest cards first. If your card is activated by mana, you get to perform that card's action. So, here you are with a 12-value card and hope, just HOPE that there is enough mana to fulfill it. Any remaining mana goes back in the bag for the next ceremony - so you have to remember that!

In our game, I was on a slow track. I had plans and they were sort of falling into place. I then got this AMAZING card to play in the second ceremony that totally threw everyone off. I played a brown card, which doesn't require my colored clip to play, and this card adds 10 mana per player to the bag if it is activated! 50 mana got added just like that. It was amazing! Even better, Ron actually chose not to play any cards, and I had thrown in a couple of heavy hitters. This basically saved me and my game. I zoomed to the top of the prestige track and did extremely well in the final ceremony. But, all of the unused mana from the 2nd ceremony was still remaining in the bag, and basically, everyone's final cards were going to be played then too. It was pretty epic.

I have to say I had a great time playing this game. I really like the cards and how they interact with the gameplay. I suppose it can be a bit swingy, but you have to play for that, and maybe take some risks with the cards you are playing.

I ended up winning this game! Woohoo!! If Paul had found one more matching mask, though, he would have been tied with me in the very end, so it could have been a close call. We were good at fending him off with his matching masks though. Yeah, there is a bit of set collecting in this game too. There are a lot of moving pieces, but I think I could actually teach the game. Once you know it, it works pretty well and makes sense. You just have to get a play or two down first. Quite enjoyable! I look forward to the next play!

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SPIEL PART 2: ESSEN


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On Tuesday we were doing some testing at the BGG booth so Ron and I got to play The Game: Face to Face! We were on the live stream and playing while testing the system and connections and mics. It had been a long while since I last played this game. I suppose we played once or twice when it first came out. It is a game that I still have, and after playing this time, I really want to play again. It was a game we just pulled out and played since it was there.

Since it had been a long time, we were a little fuzzy on the rules but I think we were mostly correct. In the end, it didn't matter since I totally won. I recall all of the past games I have played winning those too. Ron must be terrible at this game or something.

Anyway, it really makes me want to play it again soon, to see if we got any of the rules incorrect and to fix it if we did. Very cool game.

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Dale managed to pick up a few games that day and left one for us to play that night. Joe H kindly read the rules to NEOM. New to me!

I was very much anticipating this game for the city-building and tile-placement mechanics - OH, and there is drafting! Chya, this was on my to-buy list for Spiel. Any chance to play a game before buying is a good idea for anyone! This game was a bit of a beast to learn since I was already tired from the day. However, it is pretty simple to play. You are playing over a number of rounds and each round you get several tiles. Pick one and pass the rest, pick one and pass the rest, etc. You are playing these tiles to your city board, and every tile you place must connect to the city center. There are a number of different types of tiles, and each will have some sort of benefit. You want to try to produce new resources for your city that help get better tiles later. You can always pay a neighboring city for their resources to build the appropriate tile you want though.

There are some major problems that I and everyone else had with the game, namely the icons. Each tile is unique or at least seems like it, and so you end up having to look in the rule book for the definition of all these tiles. When we were playing with 5 players this really dragged the game down a lot. Nothing was obvious or automatic. This will be a big deterrent for a lot of people. The other major issue was the disaster tiles. I just didn't like them. They were mean and I thought unnecessary. I had the option of playing 1 and I just chose to ignore it since I am just not a fan of that. It was super harsh. Oh well.

We had a pretty rough game, to say the least. It is one I would play again. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it as much as I was hoping I would. Playing it saved me some moolas and precious luggage space, so it was definitely worthwhile for me to play it in advance. I certainly liked the mechanics and puzzle aspect. There were a lot of different goals I was aiming for and a lot of things I liked.

I could see picking it up down the line since I want to give it another chance, it is definitely not a must have though.

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Spiel day 0 found me and Ron in the most anticipated 7 Wonders: Armada championship. So, it is really not a thing except we made it a thing. Every time I have seen Stefan B at a con this year, we have played it in all stages of this game's prototype. I LOVE this game so much and this expansion has changed slightly over the time since I first played too.

This game we were FINALLY able to play with the REAL DEAL! WOOHOO! Spoiler: I lost super hard and I demanded a rematch at BGG.CON! I need to play this game each week now until BGG.CON to practice up!

So, they were giving away amazing promos that are transparent ships for the expansion and we got a cool new wonder board too. YES! YES YES YES! I LOVE THIS GAME!!!

It was really early in the morning when we got to play this 4 player championship. It was a mess for me. I was not getting any of the cards I needed and my combos just didn't go accordingly. Everyone started collecting green cards to get the cool new green card bonuses from the green ships. I decided to take a different route and I thought for sure that would win me the game, but man, I really needed something else - like the Cities expansion - I would have done better then. Bleh, not my best play and Stefan totally destroyed us. Everyone has won a game but me, when it is going to be my turn to win!? Better be BGG.CON! Stefan was crowned champion and I pouted! He will be throwing that in my face for a long time. Maybe he will forget.

Love this expansion and I think it will be a huge hit with every fan of this game. So great!

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Wooohoo! Saturday I actually got to play some games because I wasn't crazy tired from working. I even got to stop by the TMG booth during the fair and try out a new Roll n Write game called Big Dig. New to me!

This was on my list of games to pick up, but their shipment never made it. It was supposedly signed for at their hotel, but it got lost or something. I feel so bad when I hear stories like that. Fortunately, they had one copy to demo with, so I still got to try it, and everyone else could too.

The game is actually very simple and in the same sized box as Okey Dokey. Each game there are a collection of 3 goals. The first player to complete them is declared the winner. Each of the boards is dry erase and double sided and all players agree to play one the same side. There are 5 double-sided polyomino cards that players will draft and then flip over once all of the cards have been drafted. When you draft a card you must draw that picture on your map somewhere. You might have goals that want to connect the oil below ground to the oil rig above ground. You could also skip your turn to blow up a rock which will continue your path or be a connection for later.

I was playing Michael M at his own game, and totally crushed him. <insert evil laugh here> I did get to go first which might suggest a first player advantage. I have only played the one game, so it is hard to really say. He would have won the next turn had I not just won before him.

I am always interested in learning new Roll n Writes and this was definitely on the "To Try" list, so I was happy to! Cute little package and I think will sell a bunch of copies. I love that it is dry erase. I would be happy to play this again.

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Later that night at the hotel we finally got to play some games. Marlon, Derek, Ron and I played 3 games! YAYY FINALLY! Some quality game time during Essen. We stuck to some easier titles that I already had the gist of. First up was Planet. New to me!

I was really interested in trying this game out since it has super cool planets that are shaped like 12-sided dice. Each player is creating their own planet by drafting magnetic planet tiles, and you are trying to win animal cards by creating the best habitats for those animals. At the beginning of the game, you deal out all of the animals that will appear so you can plan accordingly... in theory.

Over the first 2 rounds, you don't win animals, but you are starting to create the planet by drafting and placing planet tiles on your planet. Every player has a secret objective that will score a bunch of points if you collect a lot of that specific land type. There are more forest spaces than desert spaces available, so a person with a forest objective would need more spaces than a person with a desert objective to get the same number of points.

In rounds 3 through 12, the animals will look for their best habitats. One animal might want the biggest ice region that is adjacent to water, another might want the biggest desert region NOT adjacent to ice. Whoever has the biggest region of that type will win the animal card. At the end of the game, you will score 1 point per animal with a terrain type that matches your hidden goal card and 2 points for the others.

Our gameplay was void because Marlon was scoring wrong all along. He was counting all of the regions he had when evaluating the animal cards, not just the biggest region. Needless to say, I think I got like 5 points. It was definitely not a high scoring game. I think we declared Derek the winner since he got some easy wins on cards we were unable to complete.

I think this game is really easy to understand and play, and I know my family would enjoy it. Cute animals and clever globes that are wicked cool! Quality of this game is amazing. I could play this game anytime. It takes like 20 minutes and is a super cute drafting game. A game I plan on playing a bunch more.


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Next up was a game I watched during the demo in the BGG booth and I HAD to play it. I was super anxious for this game since it is a Roll n Write and uses bright bold colors. I wish the box was a little different, but the quality of the components inside the Tag City box is top notch. New to me!

I was already super excited for this game since I had read about it. Looked to be in the realm of Noch mal! I was not wrong - this game is actually very much like Noch mal in the scoring, but there are a lot more options and flexibility in Tag City. For those who enjoy Noch mal, I highly recommend this one, because, in my mind, Tag City right-out fires Noch mal.

In Tag City, your goal is to collect points by completing columns, rows, and colored regions on your board. The first player to complete each section gets the large points and everyone else can complete for the smaller points.

At the beginning of the game there are 6 polyomino-shaped "tags" that are placed on the main board, 1 in each section, and those tags never change for the whole game. The start player rolls dice equal to the number of players +1. The start player will then assign the dice to a section of the main board based on the number rolled. Each number is assigned to 2 different regions and the start player gets to decide which to place in. If I know Ron needs a specific tag shape, then I will avoid assigning a die to that region at all costs.

Each player then drafts one die ending with the start player, and the leftover die is then used by every player. So everyone essentially gets to draw two tags a round. You can place your drafted tag by drawing it anywhere on your board. There is no restriction other than you can't go outside the grid and you can't place over another already drawn square.

You can ignore your drafted die to send a drone out, which allows you to draw a small-shaped polyomino, but you will have to get minus points at the end of the game. It is probably going to be necessary to do this at some point. You can skip your turn altogether and take -1 point for a specific platform of social media. There are several ways the game can end, so you want to be prepared for that. Most points wins!

I got to play the pink girl with a cool cat. I made the mistake of setting up the game with all the 5-section tags on the main board so it made our game pretty complicated. There is a suggested set up that we didn't use, and yeah I would say use it. We just made it harder on ourselves. Derek bailed on the end to this game and Ron absolutely destroyed us. I know I can do better! I loved this game and again, it totally fires NochMal for me. It involves much more thinking, and everyone is doing different things and drafting different shapes each round. I think it is very clever. An easy hit for me and I am sure many others in my group.

From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





The final game of the night was one that I was just in awe about the art. I was fortunate enough to demo this game on the BGG live stream and talk about it. It is the stunningly beautiful Architectura. New to me!

I was so happy to pick up this game since it sold out wicked fast. There was this awesome playmat to go with it that I also just had to have. I mean, WOW! I can't imagine playing this game without the mat having only just played it once, now. It is not really needed, but at the same time it is totally needed.

This is a pretty fast card playing game, with a bunch of take-that. Normally I dislike that in a game, but there are a lot of clever plays and combos you can work with to really build a strategy around. We played the basic game with everyone having the same 10 cards in their decks. You shuffle your cards and draw 3. You will always have 3 available to you, except at the end when you play out the remaining 3.

The playing field consists of four rows with eight spaces in each row. Players take turns playing 1 card to the playing field in the first available space in a row.

Then the military check happens. If the card I just played is greater than the card directly to the left by double or more, then the opponents card is destroyed and flipped over, opening up an available space for someone to play on in the future (though they can still play on the end of the row). If your card is not double but still higher, the card to the left goes down in value by rotating the card counterclockwise. If your card is lower, the card to the left goes up in value by rotating the card clockwise. After the military check, any special abilities that appear on your card will trigger.

The game continues until everyone has played out all of their cards or until there are no available spaces left to play in the playing area.
At the end of the game, all face-up cards in the playing field are worth victory points depending on their current value.

Lots of cool possibilities and even after the one play, I am itching to play again, now that I know what the cards can do, and what to look for. Like, you know you have this really powerful card now, but the other players will have the same card later and attack on you, so you might want to save it, but you also want to combo it with another card right now. There are a ton of really tough choices and timing is everything.

The first game was just a learning game for everyone so we all played, pretty poorly, I am sure. I totally lost and I even had the most cards on the board at the end of the game. Everyone just had better scoring cards and more points. I am nearly sure Marlon won that game. It was a pretty sad display for me for sure. Everyone was ganging up on me... It was late and I was wicked tired, and that is my story and sticking to it.

There is an advanced play where you can swap in cards for other cards and mix and match. There is a ton of replay value here and you get a lot in a small box. Now, if only that playmat fit inside the box. Haha it is just soooo much bigger.

I had a great time with great friends so I was really happy to get the chance to play this one. This artwork is just awesome! We need more jaw-dropping art like this box cover. Love it! Fun game inside too and will gladly bring this one back to the table soon.


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312





Con photos!!


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312


From gallery of punkin312




All the games!

From gallery of punkin312


New to the Collection:
Trapwords
Shadows: Amsterdam
Isle of Skye: Druids
Tag City
Adrenaline: Team Play DLC
The Great City of Rome
Fine Sand
Gingerbread House
Forbidden City
Underwater Cities
Fuji
Horticulture Master
Futuropia
Ocean Crisis
Magnastorm
7 Wonders: Armada
Let's Drink
Pandoria
City of Gears
Planet
Solenia
Walls of York
Fertility
Nemeton
Walking in Burano
Henhouse Havoc
Coimbra
Celestia: A Little Help
Celestia: A Little Initiative
Tales of Glory
Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Brettspiel Adventskalender 2018
Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra
Once Upon a Castle
Dice Age: The Hunt
First Contact
Cerberus
Trellis
Orbital
Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition
Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition
Raiatea
Raccoon Tycoon
Railroad Rivals
Key Flow
Santa Maria: American Kingdoms
A Pleasant Journey to Neko
Caverna: The Forgotten Folk
A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians
Cupcake Empire
Newton
Big Bang 13.7
Globe Twister
Kingdom Run
Meeple Circus: The Wild Animal & Aerial Show
CuBirds
Brikks
Architectura
Hokkaido
Ghosts of the Moor
The Golden Sails
Nusfjord: Plaice Deck
Age of Civilization
3x8
Narabi
Rebel Nox
Hasp
Qwantum
Ringo
Tybor the Builder: At the King's Behest
Flamme Rouge: Meteo
Alice
Factory Funner: Expansion 2
Tournament of Towers
Skull King






Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!
https://www.facebook.com/AlltheMeeplesoftheRainbow


All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Thank you.
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