All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

A photographic journey through board games...
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gaaaaaame (Second Edition)

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Hia Everyone!

I am playing catch up from a few weeks of gaming.
It was my Birthday on March 12! Yay! I got to have some delicious cake!


Looking for a couple of quick fillers, I ended up teaching Fold-it to a bunch of people.

We ended up playing several rounds but not really keeping score. It was mostly used as an activity. It can be a tough game for people to wrap their brains around.

I am still happy to try and plan everything out. I certainly did the best and then demonstrated how each card was to be solved. So, playing this a bunch, you pick up a few tricks! Gets easier with time.


There was interest in playing Ninja Dice.

OMG what is happening!? I haven't played this game is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo very long! It is as fun as I remember when the KS was first delivered to me.

NINJAS READY ROLL!!! I was going to see how long it would take me to say cute in this blog post, but I mean, this game is just so cute!! I am so happy I got to play this again.

Of course, I lost. My dice would never cooperate with me. People were stealing from me left and right. I couldn't complete a mission. I must push my luck too much or just roll very poorly. I was a very clumsy ninja. ninja


At game day, there were people looking to play Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig. I was able to teach this with ease as we played a 5 player game.

Half of the fun of the game is naming your castle at the end. I have to say, Firestone was pretty good, but not as grand as the Purple Phallus Palace. whistle So funny. The purple tower was named after all the purple rooms inside. We were able to stack them high! Firestone was more of a mixed bag and we had a lot of points from the sleeping chambers.

I had such a high-scoring purple palace, but my lower score of Firestone is what won me the game. It was a very well balanced game for me, for once! I was shocked since I never actually get to win this game. Always happy to give this game a whirl.


I had seen a new game called Haven at BGG.Con in Nov that I was interested in trying out. New to me!

Haven is a 2-player game and was in the play-to-win section so I wanted to give it a try. In this game, you are playing cards from your hand to try to claim lore tiles. Each of the normal cards has a lore value and a combat value. After enough cards have been played on one side of a lore tile, the cards are revealed. Whoever has the higher lore value will claim the lore tile, and whoever has the higher combat value will place a token on the map wherever that lore's elemental is. When one player has a majority of spaces around a region, they claim the region. At the end of the game, points are scored for lore tiles and for regions.

There is a lot of back and forth with the card majorities as most duel games go. This feels somewhat different because the player's decks are slightly different. There are also special cards that you can only use 1 of each turn and they will give you a bonus of some sort like counting a card as a wild type or you get to take 3 actions this turn. Different things that will give you an advantage.

The artwork is pretty great as Red Raven Games has that distinct look and feel. There was one card I had to take a picture of because I am sure the inspiration was from Princess Mononoke. It totally gave me that feeling anyway.

I totally kicked butt with the forest people. I had barely any areas on the map since I kept losing the combats. But I ended up with nearly all of the lore tokens. Even though they are all just worth 1 point, it was enough to put me about double over my opponent.

This is a game I would happily play again. I enjoyed my time trying to figure out the right time to play a card or whether I should trigger a reveal to happen. Definitely things to consider. Though I am not the biggest fan of dueling games, this is one of the better ones as well as one of the prettiest!


Another play-to-win game I had wanted to try for a few years now was King of the Dice. New to me!

I am always up for learning new push-your-luck dice games and this has some adorable art that just sucks me in. I am fairly sure HABA hasn't ever let me down either. I love their games all around.

In King of the Dice, you get 6 dice to roll on your turn Yahtzee-style (up to 3 times), and you are trying to match the cards on display. Each of the cards has a color and a value. If you match a card on display, you can take it, and if the card's color matches the town color, you also get to claim the town card for points. After you claim one the cards in the display, the other cards fill the gap and a new card is revealed. Players take turns until the cards run out, a town stack runs out, or the penalty cards run out.

I had an extremely lucky first roll and I managed to hit a 6 die straight in one roll. Boom, just like that, I collected a 7 point card. I was henceforth the target for the game, so a lot of the special attack cards were aimed at me. Yeah, it didn't end well for me and I was the epic loser, about 20 points from the lead player.

I might have lost the game but I WON the play to win! It is a game I took home! Wooooohoo!


Another play-to-win we tried was a 3 player game of Little Drop of Poison.

I had played this game years ago. All I remembered was that it was a bluffing game where you want to try to kill the Rat/Weasel king and maybe some other players along the way.

Little Drop of Poison is a 10-minute filler type game. Perhaps not the best with 3 players. We had a good time though. Ganging up on other players instead of the King always makes for a good time full of laughs. You can't take this one too seriously and it is so quick anyway.

I ended up winning this time around but it was a close one. I had some very lucky pulls and managed to cure myself before dying a few times.

I could easily play this game again. I am not sure I would request it though!


I had been wanting to try out Gunkimono for a while and since it was a play-to-win, this was my chance. New to me!

Gunkimono is an older title that was rethemed and reprinted. I never got to play Heartland so it was all new to me.

This game sort of reminds me of a dominoes type of game. In Gunkimono, you are placing tiles to create colored regions on the board that will score you victory points and/or honor. Gaining honor allows you to race to the top of the different honor tracks for big points. As you place tiles, you are also trying to actively destroy other players regions in the process. The thing about the tile placement is that you can never cover a space with the same color on top. You have to carefully craft your regions the best you can.

The game is very abstract, which doesn't bother me. It was more bothersome that I couldn't ever seem to find a tile I needed at the time I needed it. Of course, by the time the tile showed up, I no longer needed it. I ended up really far behind with no real catch-up mechanic, so the rich got richer.

For me, the overall game was mediocre at best. I could play again, but there was nothing exciting about it at all. It looked swanky but the mechanics were dated and bland. I just don't think this was a game for me and I will unlikely return to it in the future.


I got to play another game of Robotech: Ace Pilot.

This time we played with 4 players and it just dragged on and on. It just didn't work for me at all, so I can't recommend playing this with 4 players. For me, this is a much better 2 player game.

During this playthrough, I was not invested in anyone else's turn. When it became my turn, I evaluated which pilots were available and hoped for the best. I just didn't care at the end of this play and I simply have no idea who ended up winning but I am sure it wasn't me.

It is a fine game but I definitely won't be playing with more than 2 players next time.


There was a tournament for Crokinole. I love this game and when I play I am reminded how much I still love it.

There were a bunch of boards, some with various designs. There were a lot of hand-made boards that needed to be finished or waxed better because they had rough surfaces. It certainly made for tough playing.

I won my first 1v1 match and lost the second. In the team rounds, I got to the semi-finals. I think I had a lot more experience than most of the other players. But I am still way out of practice.

For 5 games of Crokinole, it certainly took up a lot of time, and that's one of the major reasons I don't enjoy tournaments so much. There is a lot of waiting around for other games to finish so you can proceed to the next game.

I still had fun participating, but I am not sure I will want to dedicate so much time in the future to do it again.


There was a Skull King event that I wanted to go to.

It was a super late game, and no one except me knew how to play the game, so I was doing a lot of hand-holding this event. Weak. I love this game so much, but I hate hand-holding in games. Explaining what a trick is 4 times is just not cool.

All in all, it was a miserable time and I just was done for the night. I love Skull King, but it is sad when people are just not getting it.


The next day, I played a 3 player game of Majesty: For the Realm.

This is such a great filler game. The artwork is stunning and the gameplay is interesting. I love drafting games in general and you get a set number of cards to try and do your best.

Majesty: For the Realm is a game I could play anytime, and this time I ended up teaching it. I think it went over pretty well too.
The winner won by a lot, so I was really battling for 2nd place.

We found out partway through that the deck wasn't prepared correctly. Everyone was expecting a few more rounds, but after we fixed the setup error, the game ended quickly. It was my mistake for not preparing it myself. I will do better next time.

I am super excited about the expansion I got to play in prototype form last April. I was thinking it was going to be released at Essen, but maybe this year? I hope!


It is always a good time to play a few games of Avenue.

Avenus is a Roll n Write game that I won't ever get tired of. I could play anytime, anywhere. It is easily in my top favorites of the genre so I bring it around when I go to different game days.

I got to play 2p and 3p. I am not even sure if I won. I won because I got to play - how's that? I know I definitely lost the 3p game, though. I was begging for a 3 card for several rounds and it never came up, so yah, all hope was lost at the end of that 3p game. It just makes me want to keep playing.


It is always great to play a game of Teotihuacan: City of Gods. This time was just a 2 player game, but I need to get in my practice because the first expansion is coming. I am so ready for it!

This game didn't go according to my plan. There was a cool end-of-game scoring tile that got me 9 points if I had workers who were level 4 and 5, so I did my hardest not to ascend my workers. But my opponent wasn't ascending much either, so the game went on for way too many rounds. I was also using a lot of locked abilities and that action doesn't level up your workers either.

I let the game ride on too long and ended up losing because of a final blow in the last turn. It was rough but the scores were 211 to my 193. SADNESS AND DESPAIR!


I have heard so much about Onirim and I recently picked it up. New to me!

Onirim is a solo or 2 player game about managing your dreams to find your way out before the darkness gets to you. So you are managing your cards in your hand to try and unlock the different colored doors. If you can unlock all 8 doors before the deck of cards runs out then you are a winner! Seems easy, but yeah, it's really not.

I ended up playing this game 3 times in a row. The first game I just played solo and ended up finding all the doors I needed and won the game. That was just basic mode though. The second edition game box contains all the mini expansions, so I had to test out some of those.

We lost both 2 player games because it is just that much harder. Instead of just finding the 8 doors as you normally would in a solo game, you each have to find 4 doors in one of each of the colors. When we threw in expansions, we had to do the same thing, but it was harder since we had to not only each find each color door, but find in a specific order. Man, that was super hard.

We came close in both of the games we played, but mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn we have some work to do.

Very good solo game and I would totally recommend it to anyone who plays solo games. Even the 2p coop mode was lots of fun and very difficult. I look forward to seeing what more of the expansions add to the mix. I suppose I should try and win with what I have already tried and failed at...


At a recent game day, folks were waiting on food and my go-to game when you are unsure on time is always Linko!. A round isn't that long so you can always play another or finish up quick.

This time we were playing with 3 players. All my cards were mid-range, so I was eating up what people were laying down, trying for big hands and big plays. It only really paid off in the final round where everyone was playing wicked cut-throat. We nearly got through the entire deck. I think I scored like 23 points that hand. It was not enough to win me the master of the night, but I came in a solid #2 place.

Love Linko so much. It is also super cute! Yay!


I was looking to play History of the World or Vinci, but we settled on Small World with Small World: Realms. New to me Expansion!

I really love this game, but it is not surprising since I love HotW so much. I didn't even know this Realms expansion existed, and it is just awesome!! You get to make your own map! I love that they are like hex tiles with different regions. They really really make the game better. The variety of everything in this game is super. You will never play the same game twice with this expansion.

I had forgotten the river rules from the underground expansions so we just played without the water rules. We were also playing with a bunch of character expansions - I don't even know which ones. Tons of new characters and abilities that I hadn't seen before and most were awesome, of course.

I was doing pretty well all game until I had a two really bad turns that got me 2 points and 0 points. Not even my one 16-point turn could make up for that! I ended up in 2nd place with 100 points, with the 1st place score at 120! Yeah I was pretty far behind. In my score-tracking app, it was my personal best though.


We managed to get in a game of Tichu. This was a teaching/learning game for most players, so I wasn't being crazy. I did manage to call a few times and the first few rounds were just killer. I think we started off with a Tichu and a 1-2, so yeah, it was a solid start for us.

Midgame went a little sideways but we had a strong finish for the win. It was great, and even as a teaching game I love it so much. I hope I get to keep playing it whenever I can. I expect at the Gathering I will get to play it like at least 5 times - but hopefully more.


The final game of the night was Canasta Caliente. New to me!

Now I think the only difference between regular Canasta and Canasta Caliente is a hot pepper card that is worth like -100 points and allows you to draw up to 11 cards.

Its been years and years since I played Canasta online and I couldn't tell you the rules before I played this game if I tried.

Canasta is basically a partnership set-collection game. You have to get so many points in order to place your cards down initially, but then you are just trying to get sets of the same numbers. It is actually quite easy, a lot easier than I remember it being when I played online.

We played the first few rounds incorrectly, so we had to start over. You are supposed to play until 5000 points and we were about halfway through before we called it quits. I am sure we will pick up where we left off since my team was in the lead when we ended. But I am fine leaving it at that.

It is great to play some card games. I love partnership games like this. I hope we get to play some Pinochle soon. #goals


New to the Collection:
King of the Dice
Canasta Caliente

Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!


I made a FB group for the blog if you are on there and want to chat up some games! Check it out!

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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