We just played the intro game so I could get a feeling for it, but Michael knows the system pretty well where he could do a jump start for us.
In this game, you have your adventurer and go off to locations. These locations are stacks of cards where you might find loot or encounter enemies/monsters. Ideally, you take on whatever you encounter and possibly build up your deck to be something awesome for the next game. Your objective is to close each location to corner the villain to win the adventure. As you play through the various adventures you will evolve your character and take on harder quests.
So in our intro game, I chose to be the fighter. I love playing the brute force and just beating up on everything. I tried selecting locations that had closing abilities that matched my character well enough. I learned how to use my cards to gain more dice to roll for specific challenges. Michael was really walking me through it because, man, there is a lot of reading. Very small text and a lot of it. Learning the terminology can be tricky, but by the end of the intro game, I felt better about it.
I mean, we demolished the locations, but I am guessing you are supposed to. It is possible we got lucky with finding the Villian a bunch and it made it easier to close locations.
Pathfinder was more interesting then I thought it would be. I will definitely want to play through some scenarios to see how I like it after more plays. I certainly like the mummy theme better than the other themes out there, though the pirate one could be fun.
Michael and I got to play through a couple of stages of box 0. We played the first 2 chapters, and even after opening the character decks and looking through all of the options, we landed on the same exact characters we started that first intro game with.
We had an easy go of it the first scenario. We got some lucky finds and was able to end the game in just 11 turns. Had I KNOWN better, I might have spent more time looking for weapons. My dude is all about weapons and kicking ass in a ninja style mode. He is pretty badass. Anyway, I really wanted to up my game with some sweet weapons. I didn't manage to get any cool toys for my deck, but I figured there would be more opportunities later.
On to the next scenario, and our obstacles became harder and MUCH fewer weapons were available. Not only did I fail to find an awesome weapon, but I LOST one of my awesome weapons to the cursed box! What the heck!? I still managed to find a torch in its place, but it is so super lame in comparison.
Scenario 2 was a beat down for sure, but we survived by the skin of our teeth. We only had a few turns left before the timer would have devoured us!
I did feel scenario 1 was much different than scenario 2. I was starting to feel the goals of my character and which locations I would be pulled towards. I don't need spells so Michael would hit up the locations that might find spells. That sort of pull. I was in need of weapons and they were scarce. I hope they will show up in the next scenario. And NO MORE CURSED BOXES! grrrrrr
I had been interested in giving Disastles another play since the first time didn't really go well.
In the first play, we had forgotten to shuffle in the treasure cards, and that really messes up the consistency of the deck and possibly points you can have at the end of the game.
Michael and I tried 2 players and played the basic game with all the treasures mixed in.
I spent the whole game just trying to make all the connections happen so I wouldn't get slammed with damage. I got a cool card early on that said I could take one less damage, and it saved me a few times! Michael had taken plenty of damage, but he still managed to get a ton of end game points from the treasure cards. I never lost a card from damage but still didn't have enough points to win the game.
I could start seeing the different links I could make. It was hard to really get the links going well enough for me to benefit from multiple activations, but I did get some cool bonuses.
Michael won with 24 and I had 16. So yeah, treasures are really important to have mixed in. I don't know how we forgot to have them for the first time. Provided we all survive, how else were we supposed to score points? haha, I won't forget that again!
It went a lot better this time around. I am not sure it really holds my interest for that long, but it has some clever card manipulations. I do think the cards should be square since you will be rotating them 90 degrees - the rectangular shape makes for a lot of awkward space shifting. For me, it just works as a game and I could play again.
I don't know if this can qualify as new, but it is! It adds in enough base cards to permanently create all of the characters decks, and it comes with dividers for all the characters. There are also dice! You can use the red dice for health counters for your players or minions. There are also gems you can use in place of some of the cardboard tokens like charges.
So, we played against the Crooked Mask. Michael ended up playing as Xaxos - I mean XAXOS because he is a character to play.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Of course, he was gonna go all evil on me and become corrupt. #typical
We were getting a beating this game. Damage upon more damage. We had pretty weak cards to buy that didn't really ever allow for us to heal. It was a rough go and we saw our demise! Michael was the first to die and I was soon after. Turns out Crooked Mask was a murderer! We will have to take him on again soon!
Still working through all these new Mystic Vale expansions and loving it. The more I am playing this game, the better I am getting!
Behold, this expansion adds a ton of new advancement cards and Vale cards. Okay, that is not the most shocking news, as you would expect that. But this expansion adds negative points! You can now collect negative points from both types of cards and from new relic tokens. In the base game, you have boring old blue orbs that will be used for an extra mana point. Well, all of those orbs are now replaced with cool new relic tiles that have super awesome activations, but they are all worth negative points at the end. You could choose to play vanilla, but why would you!?
OMG have I mentioned that I just love the artwork? I am in love with the art on the Leader and Vale cards that are added. Just stunning!
Poor Michael has to deal with all my awesomeness. We played a 2 player game and I just had it going on. I was swimming in the spirit symbols and collected maybe 10 vale cards. It was A LOT! I had all the right synergies and just seemed to make it all work in my favor (an on-going pattern when I play this game). Maybe I should join a league and win lots of tournaments.
Anyway, I took home the win with 75 and Michael had 47. It was wonderful!
I love mixing in all these new and awesome expansions. It changes the game up each and every time. Been really enjoying it. Michael seems to enjoy it too, even though he loses game after game after game.
I went to a local meetup and we played a few games starting with Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia. This was a shiny newer edition then the original KS I backed all those years ago. The game didn't change though. I had forgotten many rules but it all came back to me very easily.
Years ago, when I started gaming, I loved everything I played. I still love a lot of what I play, but it is harder to impress me. Replaying this one cemented my feeling on the game. It is interesting but I feel the only way to win is if you pursue the Icarite resources strategy. That strategy has literally won every game I have played. I never go for that strategy since it seems OP and I want to try and win a different way.
We were playing a 5 player game, and of course, the guy who used the Icarite resources strategy won. And by that, I mean it totally dominated by a lot! Everyone else had 4 or more stars left to place.
Derek ended up with my original KS copy of Euphoria and I am cool with that. I certainly don't mind playing it, and maybe the new expansion helps to add more workable strategies. I would be willing to give it a go. I am not really seeking it out though.
Crystal and Daniel have been bringing around their edition of Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done and I have been meaning to play my copy. New to me!
I was super excited they knew how to play and teach this game since it helps saves me a step when playing new games. They had a nice fancy Deluxified copy. Later in the week, I got to teach Michael in a 2 player game, so I have those pictures also mixed in below. 2 times in 1 week! Woo!
Crusaders is totally a euro game. You are controlling your own little action board and upgrading different actions and moving across the land trying to conquer and build. Fortunately, you don't get to fight other players! You are simply trying to get the most points by the end of the game. The magic happens in about 60 minutes even with teaching.
You will be using a wheel with actions (randomized each game). Those action spots hold tokens that are used in a mancala type manner. I immediately relate this wheel to Trajan, but it works a bit differently. On your turn, you will select the action you wish to take, and count all the tokens on that spot on the wheel to determine the strength value of that action. After you take the action, you will drop each of those tokens one at a time in a clockwise mancala style manner.
An interesting mechanic is that you can choose to skip your turn to upgrade one of those action spaces to have 2 available actions. From then on, if you use that space, you can choose either action OR both if you allocate at least one token to each action. If you choose to upgrade, then you can choose ANY space to distribute the tokens from, following the basic rules.
Oh, there is a bundle of actions you can take. Traveling will let you move your knights around the map. Building allows you to build in an empty area and pay the cost of the building. Crusades allows for you to attack an area with a faction disc on it. Muster allows you to build up your armies. Finally, Influence gains you points. Straight up points!
Every player will get to draft 1 super cool power for the game, often giving them an upgraded tile. This helps form a strategy or at least give some direction as to what to do.
You play until the points run out. Each action will usually give you points along with your action. The pot slowly dwindles down until the end when the points get eaten up quickly from all the high-point actions people are taking.
The game is very simple. I was able to explain it to Michael with little to no reference to the rulebook, basically only to see how the game changes with 2 players vs 4. You do use fewer points and the backside of the game board, which is designed specifically for 2 players.
When I played at the local meetup, I absolutely crushed everyone. I was going heavy with buildings and influence and I got 91 points! The 3 other players were close to one another, all around 60 points. I wonder if the influence strategy is just too strong.
When I played with Michael, I also managed to win using a similar influence strategy. I changed it up a bit and went crusading a bunch. I still spent most of my time collecting lots of points on the action spaces. I got to start the game with 3 upgraded tiles! It was crazy and awesome, but it meant for fewer tokens on my wheel. Didn't seem to much matter - I got 101 points to Michael's 79. I had it down.
This game certainly packs a lot of punch in a small time span, and I like that a lot! Much to think about and try to accomplish. I like the actions you get to decide between and when the perfect time to upgrade might be. There are a lot of clever plays that have to happen in order to get everything accomplished. I look forward to more plays!
I had only just learned this a few weeks before and loved it so much! I was so excited to get it back on the table and teach some new players.
Everything about this game is really straight forward and easy to teach. Everyone caught on for the most part, however, I did most of their scorings each round since it was a challenge figuring out some of the features that were scoring.
I had played before so I obviously had the upper hand and won this time with 97 points. And I can't wait to play again!
Cartographers is a game for me. And I think everyone else really enjoyed it as they asked me to bring it again to the next meet up! I can't seem to get enough of it! Drawing my own little map and trying to make lots of points from common goals is like someone made this game especially for me! #moreplease
Oh Hey! There is a new edition of Lost Cities. New to me - ish!
Of course, I know and love Lost Cities already. This new version comes with a 6th color! MORE COLORS = MORE BETTERER! As with any rainbow, you need to have purple, so they added that lovely color into the game. (Maybe a 7th color will come soon - perhaps orange? One can dream.)
The new version plays out the same as the old version except you add in that 6th color. And to me, it feels exactly the same, except I go for more colors than I really should. There is always that tension mid game as to whether you should start a new color or not, and I almost always do. With high risk comes high reward, right?!
Wrong. Michael ended up winning 2 out of 3 games and I won the middle game. To be fair, we both epically lost the final game since we didn't even get half our score from the other games. It was pretty much a train wreck of a final game. I was still happy we got to play 3 times. I am constantly reminded of the classics and how I wish I played them more (*immediately thinks of Medici and Through the Desert - oh hey, same designer, fancy that*).
I think if you love Lost Cities, this is a chance to love it even more! Totally recommended.
The game is technically new to me, but I have played the first edition of this game. I always felt the first edition just didn't work because it didn't really work as a semi-cooperative game. It is hard to really "work" with people to get your goals met AND to win the game. So I am glad that they changed the game to be fully cooperative in the new edition. I am so pleased they decided to rework the rules to make this happen.
In CO2 Second Chance, the players are working together to meet their personal goals and the common goals of the table. Each round, each player will get a number of turns depending on player count to plan, build infrastructure, or build a power plant. These are the main actions. There are a number of smaller bonus actions to take as well if you have those abilities.
Everyone is trying to build up the world with power plants, but each round there will be a massive pollution wave if we don't build up enough alternative energy sources. The whole game involves managing that control of pollution, keeping it at bay the whole time. It is quite a challenge to keep the pollution level low. As the game continues, it costs more and more points to bring pollution down a notch. It can be a tricky balance.
Michael and I were definitely slow to build, but we were doing everything we could to manage the pollution track. We actually did that fairly well and balanced each other out. Michael focused on his goals a bit too late in the game, and we were already past target with the common goals. It was certainly hard to manage it all.
We weren't able to complete the required 7 of 10 common goals, but we did get 6 of 10! Michael and I both completed our personal goals, so we weren't far off and with a different flop of those cards it could have been a different story.
I thought we worked together especially well at the end of the game and we think we have figured out what we could do better for the next time we go to play it. It is definitely not an impossible feat, but it is quite a challenge, which is super for a cooperative game.
This game is ranking pretty high in my book right now. Easily my favorite Lacerda game. I liked it before, but now I love it. It has the right kick now, and I very much look forward to (losing) my next play!
I wanted to show Michael the customizable dice game Dice Forge. I figured he would enjoy it, and I have to decide if I want to buy the expansion, but obviously, I just want an excuse to get more games.
I always enjoy playing Dice Forge. There is something nice about the different cards you can acquire and then trying to optimize which dice faces you want. It always seems hard to invest in the gold faces since money becomes useless later in the game unless you are playing with the gold mini-game.
Michael figured that out a bit too late, but he did end up with a complete mini-game for the full 25 points. I was too busy collecting gems and high valued cards. I was rolling pretty well and rolled my points a few times and even a multiplier of the points which I was able to use twice, thanks to the one-time ability I had.
Yah, I won that game and got barely over 100. I think it was enough for me to want the expansion! I guess we will see what happens!
I wanted to get a few games off of the unplayed shelf, so we started with Sheep Dog. New to me!
This is a 2 player game of bluffing. One player gets to play the wolf (me!) and the other gets to play the sheepdog. It is a simple game of just trying to catch or save the sheep. If the wolf ever claims 7 or more sheep in 6 rounds, she will win.
There are 4 quadrants A, B, C, & D where the sheepdog will push around the sheep to try and keep them away from the wolf. There are a few different phases and a guess as to where the wolf is lurking. It is all a mind game in trying to outsmart the wolf and know her location to try to stop an attack.
I thought this game was pretty cute. But I was having terrible luck. I kept going for the big flocks or medium flocks and Michael could guess me nearly every time. Eventually, I went for a smaller herd and it worked in my favor. I ended the game trying to go big or go home, and Michael just sent me home. #jokesonme Michael for the win this time.
Such a cute small box game. Really light and easy to play. Not sure there is much staying power, but I would be happy to play it again.
Oh man, I got this game over a year ago. I had no idea what it was other than that it was advertised as a one-minute game for 2 players. How hard could it be?
Super easy speed game. I already love speed games, so I knew I would be BOSS at this game. I think I lost only 1 round since I was nice to Michael. I let him take cards from me that were clearly mine... yeah, it was generous of me.
I love this game for the small package and the quick gameplay. I think it is worth the price it costs these days. I just don't think people enjoy speed games as much as I do though. I will play this ANYTIME. I will have to play this with Kim the next time I see her - I know she will like it!
It is hard to believe this came out in 2016! Why hasn't this been released in the US? I duno, but it is fantastic. It really puts all of the other Bohnanza games to shame. I ended up selling Bohnanza last year and was feeling a bit sad about it, but now that I have this, I have zero regrets.
This is a fantastic 2-player game with a lot of tough choices and an interesting offering mechanic. On your turn, you must play 1 or 2 cards from your hand, just like any Bohnanza game. When you place a bean, you can plant it in any empty field or to an existing bean field of equal or ONE step higher than the most recent bean played to a field. But if you do, the value of the beans in that field changes to the most recent card you played.
You are trying to create patterns in your fields so you can collect extra points throughout the game. The really interesting dynamic in the game is in the offer phase. In this phase, you will draw 3 cards and the active player must make an offer to the other player. If that player doesn't want the offer, they can make an offer of their own. You can offer from the newly displayed beans or from the beans in your hand to try and "organize" your hand better. This offer can also be a bluff, but you will have to pay a coin if you are caught on the bluff. It really adds a lot of tension to the play.
I ended up winning since I just kept on completing the awesome bonus pattern cards one after another, and those add up! I have to say I loved this game. The Bohnanza line has really come a long way. If you are a fan of 2-player games then I don't think you could go wrong with this one. If anything, it can be a bit long. But this game is going to remain in my collection for sure!
There is always time for a quick 2-player game of Drop It.
This game is just fun. Who doesn't like dropping wooden pieces? Those people are just wrong.
Michael and I played twice since it was already set up and he lost pretty badly the first game. Though, I had some rough luck the second game. My pieces were bouncing and just getting me 0 points after 0 points. There were some close calls as you can see in the pictures below. The yellows were not touching and the circles were not touching.
We both won a game, so that was an unsatisfying ending. We probably should have played best of 3.
I found a buyer for it at BGG.Spring since I hadn't played it in like 3 years. I did want to play it again before passing it on. Man, this game is so pretty. Everything just POPS and is so attractive.
There is a lot to like about Steam Time, and if I am being honest, I will likely pick it back up one day because I am drawn to those colors.
It was good playing with Michael who hadn't played before. He was just exploring and seeing what was fun. I went for contracts and ship upgrades. I am always drawn to the ship upgrades because income is income. Free stuff! There is a nice balance in this game which keeps it attractive.
I ended up winning by 15 points or so. It was a fair amount, but within reason. Michael liked it a good deal since he likes the engine builder games. Again, I am not sad to see it go, since there are so many games and this one kinda just fell away. I would still be happy to play it when requested and I will likely own it again sometime.
There was a new arrival I wanted to check out called Cassiopeia. New to me!
This is a light engine builder game that uses cards and has a worker placement mechanic. This is a straight up race game! You are trying to colonize all of your planets first. If you colonize them all first, you win!
All of the cards in this game are double sided, and will likely be flipped over at some point. There are specialist cards that are lined up, and players will assign their meeples to the specialists to use their actions. The specialists are never reorganized and are totally random each game. What is cool about them is that whenever one gets selected and used, it will be flipped over in the next round and a new action will become available. They will generally have a similar flavor from front to back, but it will be different. Other specialists that were not selected will get bucked up, making them more juicy for the next round.
You are mainly trying to colonize your planets with the resources you acquire from the specialists and other already upgraded planets. The cost to upgrade a planet is on above the planet card directly to the left. As soon as you upgrade any card in your line, the cost at the top of the card will be higher, making the card to its right more difficult to upgrade. Ideally, you will be wise with your upgrading and colonize from right to left in your line. However, the planets have on-going benefits that might cause you to build chaotically, depending on the rewards you are given for different actions.
All in all, it was pretty simple to pick up and learn. Michael and I played a 2-player game and it moved along nice and brisk. I went for the chaotic strategy of just upgrading anything I could when I could. You are allowed only one upgrade a turn, so the game will last a minimum of 7 rounds. I think I missed only one round that I wasn't able to do an upgrade. Michael didn't look for the really good resource bonuses from the upgraded planets, and just didn't really have a plan. This left him a few planets behind me, and pretty early on. I think he failed to see the "race" in the game and was focused more on finding better actions to take. So I easily won this one.
I was kinda sad to see attack cards in the game. Michael never chose to attack me, and he should have. I did attack him once and got some of his resources, which helped me. I think when I play again, it will be without the attack cards since you can randomly not play with them. I just find them to be pretty mean.
It was a fine solid game, nothing wrong with it. I think the most interesting thing about the game is the flippable cards, but I am not sure it is enough to give the game enough legs to stand on and stand out. I would easily play this again, but probably wouldn't request to.
When I saw the title of this game, I had a feeling that it might be a card game with lots of attacking other players. Yeah, I was totally wrong, as this is a puzzly drafting tile placement game. Puzzly tile placement - sign me up!
In Tasty Humans, you are trying to eat up all the humans and get your belly full! There are objectives you will gain along the way to help you focus on eating up all the right people and parts for points.
At the start of the game, players will choose a monster they wish to play and will draft a starting goal. Each round the start player will draft a card from the display of 9 cards. Some weaponized humans will fight back if you attack their neighbors. For example, all of the swordsmen directly adjacent to the human you chose will deal damage to you as you eat up his friend. Any damage done to you must be taken before you eat up any of the tasty human parts. The damage tokens are placed in your belly like everything else and will be a nuisance.
After you take damage, if any, you will collect the parts you get to eat and drop them into your belly in the specified polyomino shape. You can turn the card any which way and the pieces will all fall in from the top. If a column is already full then you just lose out on whatever might have been put there. The way the pieces fall is the important part since you are generally scoring for specific patterns depending on your scoring tiles. At the start, you know only the one tile and can start planning for that. As the rounds go on and on you will get more and more scoring titles to plan for. My first scoring tile was for hands in the same row and column as that tile, so I did pretty well getting lots of hands to score since I had that tile the longest.
After you eat the body parts, you will apply any special effects of the humans you ate. If the human card is green there will be some effect. For example, the cleric will heal you once, allowing you to remove a damage tile from your belly!
Each unique monster will also have their own special scoring bonus. For example, my Legendary Dragon scores 5 extra points for every 2x2 grid of the same body type. Each tile can only be scored once in this way, but I still managed an extra 15 points at the end of the game.
After the start player drafts a human, the next player drafts. Players draft in turn order until everyone has drafted, then drafting will snake back to the start player, at which time more scoring tiles are drafted based on the humans you ate. You continue playing until a single monster fills up his belly!
I was taking a LOT of damage from the swordsmen. We had an unfortunate flop of starting cards with a lot of swordsmen and archers, and they never clear out until you eat them or you find a Captain card to help you clear a row or column of them. It is hard to place those damage tokens in the belly since you don't want to ruin any potential spaces for good patterns for scoring, but you also can't place damage tokens next to one another or you will get a lot of negative points at the end of the game. I really needed to eat up a wizard, since he allows you to swap 2 tiles in your belly, which would have been very helpful for me!
No matter how many negative points I ended up getting, I still managed to score all my scoring tiles better than Michael managed. I also worked on my dragon's bonus points and did fairly well. I got 61 to his 50. I am sure we will both do much better next time.
I had a great time with this one. It can be a bit abstract and AP prone since you want to select the best card and not get so many damage tokens. There is also a solo mode option which I want to try out. I really like the puzzle aspect to this game and I just learned that the designer also designs puzzles. I really look forward to exploring this one more.
This is perhaps one of the earliest roll n write games. Surprisingly, it's not half bad. There are even 2 modes to play. The first mode is very basic, and you have to build in a certain order. The back of the sheet is the other game mode, which is much more Catan-like, where you can choose which way to build and what to build next. I will hand it to them, it does feel like Catan. Now, I would rather just play Catan, but this wasn't bad.
I am surprised we played both boards, but we did. Michael won the first game and I won the second game. I knew right away I wouldn't want to keep this game. Roll n writes have come a long way since this, and for me, it just wasn't that much fun. Now, had I discovered it years and years ago, it might have been a different story.
While reorganizing my shelf, there was a bugger game that wouldn't stack properly, and fussing with it only made me want to play it again. So, we played Papering Duel.
I played this before Essen last year and found it to be punishing but interesting. Revisiting it now, I found a lot of similar issues. There are a lot of cool concepts in the game, but too many strict rules. For example, in order to draw a card, you have to make a pattern. If you use two cards to make a pattern then you still only get to draw one card. It should simply be that you fill your hand to 3 after your turn.
Too many restrictions, which makes a game less fun to play. I might try to house rule it the next time I play to see if it works a little better.
I ended up winning this game. Michael got screwed with some cards in hand that didn't help him deconstruct what I built and would also build him one of his own. It was pretty harsh. I could play this again, but I am not rushing to.
There is a new game from HABA USA coming out called Snail Sprint!. New to me!
I am always attracted to the bright fun colors that HABA games offer. This is a racing game as you might expect from the title of the game. Each player starts the game with a hidden goal card with 3 of 6 snails pictured. Your goal is to get those three snails to the finish line first! If your snail wins 1st place, you will get 3 points, 2nd place will get you 2 points, and 3rd place will get you 1 point. In the end, you add up your score based on the snails on your card.
Snail Sprint is a clever roll and move game. On your turn, you will roll both dice. You will select one of the colors you rolled as the snail you move, and you will move that snail to the next space with the other color you didn't select. For example, say I rolled yellow and blue. I could choose to move the blue snail to the next yellow space or the yellow snail to the next blue space. The catch is that if there is a blue snail in front of the yellow snail without any intervening blue spaces, the yellow snail will actually land on TOP of the blue snail, locking Blue down until Yellow moves again.
I love that this game uses the TIN BOX as part of the game board and the snails are magnetic. They will be climbing up the game box walls and then coming down the other side.
At the start of the game, you want to be sly about what color snails you prefer. If your opponents figure out that you want Green to win, they are not going to help you move him along.
In our 2 player game, it was clear we both wanted Yellow to finish, and Yellow won the race by a long shot. It all came down to the other colors. Blue was waaaaay in the back at the start for most of the game until someone finally rolled double blue and he had to be moved.
I wish I had games like this growing up. I love it! It is probably one of my most favorite racing games since I don't generally go for that genre. This plays out quickly and I get plenty of choices. It is so stinking cute! I could easily play this anytime!
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