I hope you are all fine and you had a great gaming week
Not much in terms of playing games this week, excepted one great Discovery Topiary !!!
Once again it ws time to translate games even if it was adter Essen. I confirm the fact that Novemebr and December will be really busy
Just two games translated this week : two "big" games, Altiplano and Rescue Polar Bears.
Apart from these translations we managed to have four days when we played (which is not bad):
On Tuesday :
We had 2 2-player games of Splendor with my wife Natacha.
Something unusual I won both games !!
We played with the Cities expansion, the only she really likes
On Friday :
Our son was ill, so we stayed with him in the evening and we decided to play Can't Stop Express. 1 3-player game (Natacha won) and 2 2-player games (Natacha won 1 and I won the other).
Maybe my worst result, I ended with -1080 points during the second game and in the third I managed to score +540 points !!
On Saturday :
Yes, I got it !!!
I received Topiary.
It was one of Essen games I really wanted ti try and play.
We had a first play of it with my younger daughter (Emeline), after explaining the rules, we had a 2-player games with my wife looking at it.
Well, some may think by just at looking at the box that it is a children game (that's what a French publisher told me when he went back from Essen after I had advised him to go and see Emanuele from Fever games because they had a great game !! ).
But that's definitely not a children game !!
You have to think about your strategy, and you have to adapt it quickly after having drawn a tile from the grid. And what is interesting too is that you can annoy your opponent by closing his/her rows/columns/diagonals by placing a bad tile for him/her.
Great game, which ended by my victory 69 to 67 !!
We had then 3 Splendor games : 2 -2player games with my wife (She won 1 and I won the other). and a 4-player game where my son won !!
Once again all these games were played with the Cities expansion
On Sunday :
We had a 5-player game of Century : Spice Road !!
All the family, and it was a bad result for me as I only managed to take 2 goal cards to end with 44 points whereas my older daughter won the game with 58 !! ;-)
Thanks for taking time to read this.
Have a nice gaming week
Fernando Robert Yu
My wargaming buddy Robert just got back from a trip to the US and he was eager to get some gaming in. Enrique was also free so we went to the FLGS.
The Expanse Board Game = 1 Play (NEW)
Robert got a copy of this in the US. The theme is based on the scifi TV show and it is actually an area control game which has a similar card driven mechanics with the highly regarded Twilight Struggle. In each turn a player can select an action card from a row of cards (paying VP in order to grab cards deeper in the row) and either use the action points on the card or use the event or pay another VP in order to reserve the event for play later in the game. If you use the action points then another faction which is allowed to use the event on the card can then decide to trigger the event. The objective of all of these is to move your fleets among orbitals and then place influence on bases where you have a fleet present so as to hopefully control the base when one of the 6 scoring cards are chosen. The player who played a scoring card can then select a zone where controlled bases can score more, except that the final scoring applies to all bases. This game has a similar feel to Twilight Struggle but has a much tighter map besides also having 4 factions with very different special powers.
Robert and Enrique really battled it for Earth and Mars and the Inner Rings while I basically dominated the outer rings. One key point I learned is that activating a scoring card is a big deal since he would select a zone where he had an advantage which would give him the edge in points while the other sectors scored a measly 1 or 2 points only. End game scoring was huge was well and in the end it was a VERY tight game with Robert just edging out Enrique by 2 points!
Robert’s UN faction gets the better of Enrique’s Mars and my Outer Planet Alliance. Robert 112 Enrique 110 Me 102.
Jamaica: The Crew = 1 Play (NEW)
Another reason why I wanted to play at the FLGS was to get my reserved copy of this. This is an example of an expansion which greatly elevates the enjoyment of the base game as landing on a spot where you pay Gold used to be very painful but with the addition of the crewmen you now gain something back as it is these spots where you can hire any revealed crewmen beside the rum bottle. The crewmen give you special powers at the cost of 1 cargo slot and most of them are also worth additional gold, the value of which depends if you managed to finish at Port Royal at the end of the game. The crewmen orthogonally adjacent to the hired crew and then revealed and you may need to spend additional gold to move the rum bottle to be adjacent to the crewman you want to hire. The nice thing with the crew is that now you have the opportunity to combo their powers and now players may actually want to land at these gold payment spaces unlike in the base game where you want to avoid these spaces at all cost. You also replace all the treasure cards with a new deck but do not fret since all the special treasure powers are now represented by specific crewmen. Everyone enjoyed this expansion and even though it was Robert’s first play of the game he easily got it. Enrique managed to use the additional movement from a crewman for an end game burst to cross Port Royal and with him way ahead he had more than enough points to win.
Enrique 43 Me 26 Robert 15 Lyng 14 Marie 11
Zombie Dice = 1 Play
Most of my clan went to the cemetery to visit my dad’s grave and during the dinner afterwards I got to play a quick game of this with my son Shawn and nephew Maki. I kept on getting shot while the school bus helped Maki gain the needed brains for the win. Maki 13 Shawn 9 Me 0.
Mechs vs. Minions = 1 Play
Finally my sons and I get to progress and advance to the 2nd mission after repeated attempts at the first. The School under Siege mission needed us to collect and bring back 3 glass shards back to the school while preventing any minion from entering the school. The fact that the shards are unaffected by the minions and were easy to carry made this an easier mission than the previous one and despite a couple of scary moments where minions were about to enter the school we managed to complete the mission with my mech using a fully upgraded movement to travel 6 spaces and bring the last shard back for the win.
Sherwin’s Ziggs, Shawn’s Tristana, and my Corki complete the mission for the win!
Thursday had myself, my wife, and Shawn travel to Vietnam where we got to spend 5 days and 4 nights. Friday evening had us go to the Trung Nguyen Legends café near the hotel after dinner which had a nice air conditioned area full of fine sand as one of its features. A great place to have coffee and play some games!
Century: Spice Road = 1 Play
Shawn was the first player and took the opportunity to grab the “collect 4 yellow cubes” action card which he later coupled with a “trade 4 yellow for 1 green and 1 brown cube” action which he then milked over and over to absolutely destroy me.
My wife manages to witness my massacre at the hands of Shawn! Shawn 95 me 50.
Adventure Time Card Wars: Lemongrab vs. Gunter = 1 Play (NEW)
I’ve slowly been accumulating the different sets of the game as I am a fan of the cartoon, but it was only last Friday where I had a chance to try it out with Shawn. It is quite an easy 2P battle game with many mechanics similar to Magic: The Gathering except that players just have 4 land and all start played and that damage to creatures are carried over to the next round. Each character has a set deck with a particular theme (which we discovered as we played) as Shawn’s Gunter played around with Frozen land while my Lemongrab was basically a Landkill deck. Shawn made the mistake of freezing his own land instead of mine and coupled with my ability to flip over his land that really restricted his ability to play cards which resulted in me coasting to the win.
My Lemongrab shuts down Shawn’s Gunter’s lands for the 25 to 0 win!
Pandemic Iberia = 1 Play
Our final night in Saigon had us play this at another café. This time I included the Patient influx rules where patients (ie cube) hhave to travel towards built hospitals of its color every turn and if the hospital gets overrun (4 or more cubes) then they scatter outwards again which could be the cause of multiple outbreaks. My Agronomist’s ability to use an action to place purification tokens was a great help in controlling outbreaks but Shawn’s politician had a difficult time passing me cards I needed to cure and we ended up discarding too much blue and black cards so much so that we ran out of time in order to cure them after the Yellow and Red diseases got cured.
The flux of patients travelling to then running away from the hospitals was just a side show to the fact that we could not cure the last 2 diseases in time!
Board Game: Merlin
[Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1151]
Hi, how are you? Last weeks (it's been such a long time!!) we played...
When I first heard about this one,
it sounded like a Dungeon Crawler...
'AZUUUUUUL' (sounds a bit like 'Nazgûl'),
but no, in fact it is a nice, quick, simple abstract tile laying game!
I quite like this 'tile drafter'!
Solid components ...and the bag looks stunning!!
I'm so glad I bought this one!!!
At first, I wasn't sure I would like it, because of all the fantasy
things that looked a bit too girly. (it looks good tho..)
But that first impression was very, very wrong!
Not for players who dislike 'negative points' or any kind of punishment in general!
Clans Of CaledoniaWe had to import some whisky because we spilled the wine all over the place!..
Clans of Caledonia!!!
I adore the 'Scottish' atmosphere a lot in this game..
(together with the 'Terra Mystica'-ish gameplay..)
But,not to worry, you can still have both! (..says the one who refuses to sell any game! ) No, really, it won't kill TM at all.
( discussable? )
It's supafun and streamlined to the max!!
A typical Feld-Game (the man of 6666 actions )!!!
Merlin includes a mix of Feld's earlier work (obvious) and a.... gorgeous looking roundel!!
It's easy to pickup but if you are clumsy,
setup can be (and will be!) fiddly.
The 'Not much room for planning'- issue may put off people,...
this can be a relief as well : when you lose, blame it on the RANDOMNESS
Mr Merlin will definitely hit dee table some more!!
Aaahhh... that awkward moment you realize 'Haspelknecht'
is one of your favorite 2-player games!
For us, this one already is a classic.
We just played without the expansion!
Why? Well, it was getting late and we just wanted to play a very quick game!
Our gateway evergreen!
There's something about this game...
that makes you wanne play it over and over and over and over again.
I would like to thank you
time and patience!
As it is pushing towards busy season in our house it was a little tighter in terms of getting games to the table this week, although we did manage to play something new that we both agreed was very special indeed.
That newcomer was our choice for Halloween, something suitably gruesome and chilling, and it was Letters from Whitechapel, a game that I purchased back in 2014 but which has been sitting on my pile of shame ever since. Rumours of excessive playing time and extreme tension kept it away from the table, but every time I read through the rule book something held me back from putting it onto the trade pile. Enter, stage left, my review copy of Whitehall Mystery, and I felt that we really needed to get Whitechapel played as a comparison.
KT played as Jack and I was the incompetent police force, and I found the first couple of nights to be highly frustrating as I ended up with an almost entirely blank board and very few clues to go on. By the end of the third night I felt I had a much firmer idea of where Jack was hiding, but my last ditch attempt to surround the maniac ended in failure. We both enjoyed it very much, awarding it 9 out of 10, but KT was convinced that it was easier for Jack.
So we played again the following evening, this time swapping sides. I evaded the police on the first night, and then struck on the second night on the other side of town. My cunning plan had been to make my double strike on the third night close enough to my lair to make a decent escape, but I never got that far. On night two I was swiftly blocked on the way back to my hideout, and despite my using two coaches KT arrested me half way through the night. Not really that much easier for Jack, then.
We both agree that this is a really fun and intriguing game of cat and mouse, and I already know that I would play the police very differently second time through. The first night feels like looking for a needle in a haystack, so it is a question of narrowing down the options as much as possible as Jack's escape routes become more obvious. I keep thinking about what I would do next time, and that is always a good sign for a game in our collection. Whitehall is going to be an intriguing comparison.
To finish off the evening we played a best of three round of Jump Drive. At the current rate this is easily going to hit 100 plays in a single year, and KT won this run of games 2-1, although I felt that I gave a decent account of myself in the first game.
That was it for gaming last week as things became rather busy, but it was all really enjoyable, and I think that we might well be trying to get Whitechapel back to the table again this week.
It was quite a good board gaming week!
I'm sorry Father, but I have sinned. I couldn't say no to my girlfriend anymore and have succumbed: I have played three games of Monopoly (won 2/3) the last week.
And even had quite fun! Until I lost, which is where Monopoly shows its real face. The game is horribly random and if you don't manage to complete even one street, you are doomed to lose.
I think I had enough of Monopoly for a while again
But hey, it was fun for however long it lasted, haha!
Just look at all those mortgages my GF had to take, to keep on playing the game!
Also played 3 games of Patchwork, of which two in Table Top Simulator. It worked surprisingly well! But it doesn't beat the physical game, when it comes to ease of rearranging (as in: making the circle smaller) and placing tiles. The only downside of Patchwork, is the space it needs. A problem Cottage Garden also has, but solved it a bit better by not having to place those in a circle. Wondering if there is a "fix" available for the amount of space needed for Patchwork!
We also finally got 7 Wonders Duel on the table! I bought it back in February 2016 and it didn't even get unwrapped before we played it this week.
It's a very nice game, but a bit short to my taste. I have recently played Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, which I really loved. When setting up 7 Wonders Duel and reading about "building a city" with "resources and victory points" while going through ages, I expected Through the Ages light, but it was a VERY light version.
Still good and I love the different roads to victory, but if the game took longer, I would have no problem with it Looking into the expansion now, to see if it will extend play-time.
Finally, we played a game of Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 4 – Nederland. Since my girlfriend is a bit ill, there wasn't a lot of energy to play complicated games, so we just played the game in the easiest way: routes and nothing else. Not even train stations! (which really made me lose BIG TIME! 136 points difference...)
But it was still fun, and it reminded me about how great a game this is, even with 2 players!
Hoping to get some Pandemic Legacy going this week, so I can wish for season 2 for Christmas
Gears of War: The Board Game - We played a 4 player game of Gears of War at this week's meetup (2 new players). I had finally finished painting the minis and was eager to play it again. We played the introductory scenario (I've played this game like 9 times and only played the first 2 scenarios). Things were off to a pretty grim start with 2 of us bleeding out before we even got off the starting tile. It was just bad luck that we started on the 2 Boomer tile. We made it through, though, got everyone picked up and continued on the way. We ended up winning the scenario, and everyone had fun with it.
NMBR 9 - Another tale was in the middle of a game, so we played 3 rounds of NMBR 9 while we waited. This is such a great little filler. So far, replayability hasn't been a problem for me. I love it every time. I don't even know how they'd do an expansion, but I would definitely like to see one at some point. The promos look pretty good. I think the extra tiles look better than the starting tiles (I like the fact that everyone's the same, and starting tiles seems to break that).
Clans of Caledonia - On Sunday afternoon, I went over to a friend's house and played a learning game of Clans of Caledonia. This is a good game, for sure. It's an interesting give and take engine builder, where you're moving buildings from your player board to the main board and they give you some income. But then you'll occasionally pull them back off the board to use as a resource. I thought I was leading for shipping connected areas, but actually only came in second there. I tied for second most completed contracts. I did alright for my first game, but I finished about 30 points behind the first place player (15 points out of second). I enjoyed this and would happily play it again.
Signorie - After Clans of Caledonia, we played a 3 player game of Signorie. I love this game, but I'm really pretty awful at it. I came in third place here, which I think is pretty much how I've always done in this game. I think I just don't play it quite often enough to get the hang of the strategy. I was angling for building my engine by putting out as many helper discs as I could. I should have been focusing a bit more on the set collection aspect, though. I definitely should play it more. I need to introduce my wife to it.
[New to Me] On Wednesday I started out by teaching Tony, Richard and Remi The Oracle of Delphi, a pickup and deliver game with the familiar Feld characteristics of dice and penalties. It was my first play and teach and, as I expected, the hardest part of that process was setting up the board. After that things went smoothly. Despite it being our first game we went with all 12 tasks and randomized boat assignments. Tony with his extra movement seemed to have the advantage and he got some bonuses that allowed additional movement. Remi had one less task to complete, Richard had movements of oracle dice cost less and I received one extra favour token each time I received one. Tony got off to a strong start and kept the pedal to the metal. Richard and I got in each other’s way a bit. I took some hero cards after playing temples that helped prevent me from taking my sixth injury card until I used a god power to shed it. Richard had a couple of null turns in which he had to shed injuries. But, he had a great bonus card that gave him all sorts of bonuses. In the end, Tony was just a little too fast for us and he made it back to Zeus before the rest of us. I had 1 task to compete and Richard had two. Really fun game and glad I picked this up at the local con’s garage sale. Thanks Remi, Tony and Richard for playing it.
[New to Me] Next, Tony said he’d like to try Scoville, a game I had in my game bag and that has been residing on my shelf of shame. The only reason it was in my bag is that Wendy wanted to borrow it. I said that we’d all have to learn it together. They were up for that and so we did. It wasn’t that difficult to learn and set up was pretty quick. Tony and Richard jumped out quickly in scoring while I, and to a lesser extent, Remi struggled to get things going. I was hesitant to fulfill market orders because I wasn’t sure how much peppers would be needed later. To start we were all a little unsure of how valuable turn order would be. These are things that we’ll better understand in the future. The game went smoothly. It was a bit bewildering to figure out all those pepper combos and the best path to walk your farmer. Tony and Richard did it best and I thought Richard had the game, especially after taking a market and recipe card out from under me in the last fulfillment phase but Tony’s pile of awards gave him the edge in the end. Thanks Tony for suggesting this one and making me feel a bit less shameful.
Gaming with My Wife
On Monday Sharon and I played 4 games of Codenames Duet. I can't say we had any shining moments. We were just on different wavelengths and only got into the final overtime stage once...drawing the assassin. But, we both like it. Thinky and rules light.
New to Me] On Thursday Sharon and I tried out Escape Room: The Game. It was our first go with this escape room in a box franchise. We played the first scenario, Prison Break. The three codes we had to break each had an interesting puzzle. The "Decoder" seems a bit overwrought but I did like the key mechanism. What I've found most interesting about these escape room games, besides the quality time spent with my wife, is the different mechanisms each use to reveal success or failure. This game also has an interesting "hint" system that, in addition to providing some hints that keep you on track also will eventually give you the solution to the first 2 puzzles so you can experience the third.
On Friday Sharon asked to play 7 Wonders Duel and I happily agreed. I've good success in this game against her and I did jump out to an early lead and she was sure about losing. I got a bit greedy, not building my 4th wonder which would have given me my choice of discarded cards and she went from 0 to 4 wonders in 5 turns. That proved to be the difference as she won 59-54.
Next we played TransAmerica, a game I played once at game group and my wife had tried as a 2 player with a gaming friend. Good thing she like it because I had already purchased it. I won the first round and she lost 2 points. She won the second round and I lost 2 points. In the third round, I let her connect routes and then quickly ended the game with Sharon losing 3 points in that round.
Gaming With Teens
I’ve been spending some time with my friend’s kids (a too smart 8th grader and a too distracted 10th grader) since they are a bit estranged from their dad. One of the things we’ve liked to do is play some games. This time I introduced Black Fleet. It went well, with the older one jumping out to a quick lead that the younger brother and I couldn’t surpass. We played on the floor and the only bad part of the game was when the older one dropped a 10 dumbbell on the board and tore it a bit. Ugh. But they both had fun with a simple enough game and. A bit of take that.
After dinner the younger one, Alex, was bored. So, we cajoled his mom, who’d joined the kids and my wife and me for dinner, into playing a game of Santorini. It’s the perfect game for her since she doesn’t like learning rules. She clearly didn’t understand the strategy though but, we gave her a suggestion on her first move and on her second move she moved and built in a corner away from Alex and me. Alex said that was a “smartish” move. I knew she’d win if neither Alex and I didn’t interfere so I didn’t and Alex learned a bit of a lesson. In the next game it was just Alex (as double move Artemis) and me (as if I move up, you can’t Athena). Alex had the early advantage, jumping on what I’d built but eventually I had the opportunity to move up and start limiting his options. On my penultimate move I moved up in striking range of an isolated 3 level building while leaving a third level for Alex. Triumphantly, thanked me for giving him the win but then I smiled and reminded him, he couldn’t ascend. Another lesson for Alex.
On Monday I played another game of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. This was my first attempt at March after successful first tries in January and February. Three quick epidemics, with the 4th coming just after the 3rd triggered massive outbreaks ending the game one turn away from what would have been a win. There were tons of cards left in the player deck with the 5th epidemic far down the pile. Ouch!
Later on Monday I played Onirim (second edition). I couldn’t get any runs going and had to spend too many cards to draw again and then the nightmares came...oh, those nightmares. The deck ran out with only 6 doors discovered.
On Tuesday I played a couple of games of Viceroy. Neither was particularly remarkable. In game 1 I scored 70 points. I did score 26 points from victory point chips, boosted from using s law card,to double up a 12 point chip. In game 2 I improved to 80 points. In this game I scored 23 points from completed circles and 24 points from 2 sets of magic, tech and shields.
Later on Tuesday I gave Nautilion a play. I used the mage expansion and the Xish shaped C board. I filled up the mages cabin pretty quickly but the bad guys made it to the Happy Isles while I still had 2empty cabins on my submarine.
On Thursday I played a game of Pandemic on the iPad. In this standard mode game I played the Dispatcher and Medic. I quickly cured and eradicated the black disease and then eventually got the blue disease taken care of. But, I didn't have many red cards, having sacrificed them earlier. Two quick epidemics as I was moving toward the yellow region triggered 3 or 4 outbreaks, using up all the yellow cubes...giving me a loss.
You might notice that my write ups in recent weeks have included fewer games in them than previously. About three months ago, my wife and I committed to paying off some credit card debt and making a stronger effort to save for a down payment on a house. Since that time, I have made a commitment to playing the games I love more often and limiting my new purchases to one game per month, maximum. Since mid August I've only bought two new games: High Treason! and Azul. Both games were under $30. Typically, avoiding new purchases hasn't been a huge sacrifice, but occasionally my resolve is put to the test. Yesterday, CSI put Le Havre on sale for $49.99. I love Le Havre and was tempted to buy it, but I realized that I have only played it 1x in the past year, friends of mine own it, and it's length makes it hard to get to the table. Therefore, I passed on buying it. I've had similar temptations recently with the reprints for The Voyages of Marco Polo and Troyes, as well as the release of Ex Libris, all of which I've avoided buying (so far!). However, in the end I don't feel I've missed out on much and if this week is any evidence, I'm pretty happy with the path I've taken.
My buddy Matt and his wife Sara were in town and came to my weekly gaming meetup. They wanted to play Lisboa again after last playing it with me in July. I made the mistake of not building a private store early in the game, ran out of goods early, and couldn't ship for money or wigs. This set me back pretty bad and I came in a distant third. There were a lot of new people at the meetup this week and I swear I was interrupted at least 5x by people who wanted to know more about the game just due to its table presence. That's how stunning this game is on the table. It captivated everyone's attention.
9.5 Arkham Horror: The Card Gamex2
My friends Zack and Lawrence came over Sunday morning to continue our Dunwich Legacy campaign. We replayed Blood on the Alter after we butchered a rule the last time we played it that would have resulted in a much more favorable outcome than we deserved. This time we got stomped on. In fact, Lawrence was eliminated from the scenario 15 min in and neither Zack nor I were well equipped to gather clues in his absence. We ended up having to resign.
In Undimensioned and Unseen, we had a much more favorable outcome. So much so that the scenario felt anticlimactic. Still, I can't understate how great I think this game is. This is now my 16th play this year and I expect many more as I am currently in the midst of a Night of the Zealot campaign with my son. Eagerly anticipating a full campaign of The Path to Carcosa!
9.2 Concordia x2
I brought Concordia to the meetup because it had been four months since I'd last played it. I find Concordia to provide awesome tension as you often have to plan 2-3 moves in advance as you never seem to have enough resources or money to do what you want when you want to do it. But the planning is fun and not overwhelming like it can be in a game like Lignum, for instance. I like how what you are planning to do can be easily thwarted if your opponents decide to build houses in areas where you are also trying to build, which will raise their costs significantly. I also find Concordia to be a game that is very hard to play well, even if you have a few games under your belt. It's a great, elegant, easy to teach classic that I want to play more often.
In fact, to prove how awesome this game is, on Saturday I taught my wife and my seven year old son Hunter how to play. While BGG users don't recommend the game for anyone younger than 10, Hunter picked up the mechanisms very easily. While he was challenged with identifying optimal strategy and finished a distant last to me and my wife, he earned a respectable score. What other top-30 BGG game can you teach to a seven year old that isn't cooperative?
One thing I will say though, games are highly subjective. My son said over and over how much he loved the game after our play. My wife also said she liked it, but I could tell she wasn't over the moon about it. Of the 30+ games I've introduced her to, she seems to have connected most to Orleans, Great Western Trail and Railroad Revolution. I consider the first two games to be in my personal top 10 and all time classics. However, while I think Railroad Revolution is a fine game, I don't think it holds a candle to Concordia.
I played Candyland and Tiny Park with my daughter this week. Tiny Park is a pretty nice kids version of Yahtzee with no numbers.
Not a lot this week.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 - Played November - we had to reset the first game due to... reasons. Then we lost. Then we replayed November. And lost again, being just ONE action short of what we needed to do to win, then getting an outbreak in Mexico City that pushed our outbreak meter to max (and also cascaded into 2 other cities which caused cascades into 2 other cities, to add insult to injury).
Some very spoilery extra notes if anyone's interested (Spoilers for November):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
So, the reasons for the reset: We'd JUST managed to find Patient Zero (having decided to go-for-broke finding him, expecting to lose this game just to do that) and were just scratching off the scratch-pad for him/her, when I noticed in our setup haste, we'd forgotten to read the November briefing! And it introduced Team Bravo into the mix, rendering our search completely pointless. And package 7 could then be opened, and... it introduced a ton more stuff, opening every remaining hidden panel. And that completely changed the objectives. So we had no choice but to reset (including removing panic level stickers we'd added to 6 cities by then).
So, reset, started November again. The initial setup state was dreadful - all the 3-cube cities were adjacent to 2-cube cities or other 3-cube cities. It was literally the worst initial setup I've ever seen. If any one outbroke, we'd guarantee chaining at least one more outbreak. GAH! And then we got an Epidemic card come up after our very first turn, thus causing said chaining before we'd had any chance to clear anything up. But we pushed on regardless, being halfway down the outbreak meter before having a single round complete. We did not do well. 2 cities moved into Collapsing state (our first level-4 panic levels!). We did managed to vaccinate 3 cities, but one character, who we'd only just started playing with as he only came out last game, was in the wrong place at the wrong time every turn, and got 2 scars for starting his turn in a city with a Faded figure, and both times it happened even after we removed the faded figure by other means on other players' turns. First time, an outbreak chained into that city from an adjacent city just before his turn; second time that city's card newly came out of the infect draw deck. SO UNLUCKY. We almost lost him a 3rd time too, but managed to wangle a way around it at the last minute by getting him to use his relationship with another character to pull a Hazmat-stickered city card out of the deck so he could avoid being killed by a 3rd scar. We lost fairly quickly after that.
Game 2: It was all going so well: We'd destroyed 2 military bases, we'd cured 3 diseases (and eradicated one of them too!), and all we needed was ONE more vaccinated faded city to get our 3rd objective completed for the win. The last character's turn, they had to go pick up some vaccine before they could place a vaccination sticker, but couldn't quite get to the vaccine station, pick up the vaccines, then get back to the nearest unvaccinated location. They needed just one more move action to get there. But that was fine, I could do the vaccine on MY turn (which was next), as I had plenty of vaccines stocked up on my card. So we drew cards - no epidemic, yay! And then we drew infections. There were a few places on the map we couldn't cope with if an infection hit, but no one had any cards to prevent it... First city: fine, up to 2 on that city by no biggie. Second city: eradicated city, yay! Third city: Mexico City. One of the few we couldn't deal with. It exploded. And chained into 2 other cities which exploded. Which chained into 2 other cities that had just filled up with 3 cubes from the previous explotion, which exploded. AND we ran out of yellow cubes trying to do all that. So a double-whammy of death. Technically, the Mexico City explosion caused game-end there and then, so we only added panic to that city, but theoretically the whole of South America, some of Africa and some of North America should also have had panic increases. But by then, we lost track of the outbreak explosions and just called it. At least we are back up to 4 funding cards next game?...
Then the next morning, upon reflection whilst discussing the games over Facebook Messenger, we realise: We could have had the last character take the Self Sacrifice action to avoid the infection step, and we would have won on the first action of my turn.
Anyway... on to December!
Cacao - 2 players; lost, 67 gold to 58. It was a good match, and I just couldn't get the Temple points I needed as they came out early and were closed off so I couldn't change the scoring on them.
Port Royal - 3 players; came 2nd (13 to 11 to 9). Another great game, and I was 1 card-buy off pushing the end game. Alas one opponent scored an expedition first, which gave them the edge for the win.
Board Game: Chase
[Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3552]
Prp and I played the second and third games of a Summoner Wars match between her Maldaria Titania and my Sanguinary Savor of Saturos. She had won the first. I took the second, in which first summoner blood resulted from a cascading Greater Blood Summon which deposited a Blood Drake next to Maldaria. Malevolence went after Saturos, and might have killed him if she had rolled all hits. A Blood Warrior interposed himself to protect Saturos, while Gargos finished off the Queen.
The third game was also close and exciting. Eventually Saturos and all his units completely penetrated the enemy lines and were attacking Maldaria from the rear. She still won, though, with a newly-summoned Fire Archer getting in the final blow to restore Maldaria's supremacy. (Next time, I'm going after her with angels in Samuel's Celestial Ministers.)
We had another five plays of EinStein würfelt nicht!, all in a single sitting.
I finally got around to trying the solo mode for Runebound (Third Edition) (supplied in Unbreakable Bonds). I started with Headache Wizard Master Thorn against the Uthuk hordes. Despite getting the invaluable Staff of Light early in the game, and repeatedly fighting and stripping units out of the two warbands, the game ended in tragedy midway through Act II, as Master Thorn suffered defeat trying to protect Hunter's Circle against Malaana's Warband.
Later in the week, I tried again, sending Red Scorpion in for a run against the Corpse King. She just ran out of time and went in to fight Vorakesh half-prepared with only two companions on the penultimate turn of the game, so she was defeated. Frustratingly, she had three trophies and ten gold, but no time to redeem either for better battle-worthiness. In this picture, she's out of sight in the southeast corner of a board full of zombies at the top of Act II.
Prp beat me very narrowly in a three-game series of Chase.
In piecepack solitaire play, I had a couple of plays of Cardinal's Guards, each of which set me up for a play of the new-to-me Easy Slider. I think the latter is never unwinnable. So even though it might seem tough at first, perseverence (over fifteen minutes or so) furthers. My third play of Easy Slider was on its own, and still a win.
Prp and I played A Study in Emerald, where we were both Loyalists, and Prp buried herself by assassinating my Loyalist agents left and right. Meanwhile, I did well on cities (as usual), kept alive by Vampirism, and finished the game by giving the Restorationist track a six-point bump. This play finished the eighth game in my 10x10 challenge list.
So, our Kickstarter box full of Sub Terra goodness (base game, expansions, miniatures and so on) arrived last week. We played on Saturday afternoon.
Great game, great execution, spoiled by the printing of the tiles. Some are printed so dark that it is impossible to see if/ where cave exits are. Whilst I'm all for immersive gaming, I don't want to spend half my time trying work out how best to place a tile and leave exits in as many directions as possible.
And heaven help if you are trying to see a route to the exit!! Mrs meomwt (partially sighted) was barely able to discern the paths through the caves. I had to point out where the path was on more than one occasion.
Despite that, it plays well, the miniatures we bought as an add-on are great (and much better than the meeples in the base set) and the Horrors miniatures really are scary. We managed to get three cavers stuck in the system when the batteries on our flashlights died, at which point we moved, rolled a die to survive, failed and were promptly eaten by a Grue. Our brave Leader (Junior meomwt #2) was at the exit and was the only survivor.
The base game has eight characters - we've played four so far - all with different and useful abilities. The three expansions have an additional character each. So we still have a few character combos to test out...
We also fitted in a game of Monty Python Fluxx and Indigo after we'd finished in the caves. Indigo proved most entertaining, with many very twisty paths for gem-stealing (and rerouting) arcing across the board.
It was the week after Essen, meaning a lot of new games to try out!
Most of my gaming was done on Friday with my daughter and on Saturday when a friend came round. Some of the games I played multiple times during the week:
I played the new solo Friedeman Friese game Finished! quite a bit: 12 times, usually 2 before bed. I've won 4 of those, I think I'm getting better, but I should really treat this more as a memory game.
Apart from that, I've played Fast Forward: FEAR with my daughter some more. We like it, it's not great, but we have fun with it - mostly because we're looking out for new rules to shake things up. I still think that without the fable mechanism, this game wouldn't be half as interesting, it's the unknown that draws us in.
I also managed to progress to chapter 2 in Fast Forward: FLEE. Not quite sure what to think of this game, but interested to see how this one continues.
On Friday, we played Rhino Hero: Super Battle. It's enjoyable, but my daughter prefers the original.
Saturday I tried out Habitats, one of the games I picked up at Essen.
It's good! Quite some interesting decisions to be made, and a nice end display of animals and flowers. Happy to have this in my collection.
Later on I played First Class solo, I'm probably going to put this on my 10x10 list for next year, to try out different module combinations. Really enjoyable game so far.
In the evening, my daughter requested quite a lot of games:
Master Fox, a new Iello game that we got as a gift from friends who'd won it at the Iello booth. It was quite fun, grabbing around for stuff blindfolded, confusing cows for pigs, chickens for geese and such. Way better than expected.
After that, Loopin' Louie time! Always good to have the little guy flying around. She beat me through pretty precise plane control
Hexenkompott came to the table twice, me winning both times for a change, usually she wins. I had managed to trick her on what my colour was both times, which (witch?) helped me quite a bit.
Then came the dreaded Bonje in de Stal. This was given away for free at the Spellenspektakel gaming convention in the Netherlands some years ago. I really don't like this game, but I play it because she likes it. When some bad luck meant her losing some precious animals, she even became quite emotional. The things a parent has to do for his child...
Some quick games of Sushizock im Gockelwok, BraveRats and Penguin Trap later, we had just started Villa Paletti when my friend arrived. He joined us for that one, stacking till the crash. Don't remember who won, don't care either
As it wasn't her bedtime yet, we played Leo with three (had only played with 2 before), which made the game a bit harder. Still pretty easy though.
Lastly we played Love Letter. My girl and I have played this hundreds of time on holiday, this was the first time she played with more than 2. She managed to beat both of us and thought it was much better with 3 than 2, and I agree.
When she was in bed, my friend and I picked up where we'd left off on the 7th Continent. We'd stopped at the logical point the last time, explored some more but died pretty soon after due to lack of food. Shame, but at least now I can play it solo again
We had some time after that so decided to try out My Village. I'd played Village before, this one is similar, but different. The dice drafting works great. Death is worse here than in Village. We were both convinced the other was doing better, and ended at 60-60. me winning the tiebreaker by 1 point. I'm not sure yet which I enjoy more, but it definately was a very good game.
Sunday I played Lorenzo il Magnifico two-handed to see how it works and to prepare for playing with my girlfriend. It's quite a heavy and AP prone game, money's really tight. I liked it, but not sure if my gf will. In the evening my daughter and I played some more Master Fox, FEAR and Bonje in de Stal, ending another great week of gaming.
See you next week!
Friday, November 3
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
The friend who cancelled last week hosted this week and so we got to play the first main mission and a side mission in the campaign. It was exceptionally fun and a great deal more difficult than I anticipated. We're winning by the skin of our teeth right now.
Saturday, November 4
But of course! Only one game of Rummy this week, in a 2 player game with my sister. My mom cancelled last minute so it ended up just being me and my sister. Se won. 510 to 340 or something along those lines.
I had a fantastic game day over at the house with nine of us doing the gaming until 10:30 or so - great day, tons of fun!
Rajas of the Ganges X2
Edward (Heavy Cardboard) brought this back from Essen for Robin and I and I had the pleasure of playing it twoice so far (both plays with three players). So far, this is a really fun game! Action selection, a little tableau building, some tough choices - and - something a lot of game miss on: turns/actions that feel good to pull off due to some little combos. I am looking forward to more plays of this game! Racing ahead to get your money and fame markers to cross is cool. The game comes with some optional ways to play too, looking forward to trying those out!
I really wanted to try this little game. A spinner?!!?!?! Yep. It works, its for getting more workers and you can spend corn to manage the result. This is a race game - first player to get all of their towns out there ends the game. It plays very fast and ends before you know it! I'd happily play it again!
I had never played this game, but it was a pretty cool little card game with a few similarities to Little Devils. I liked it - wouldn't play it too often - but it was fun for break and a lot of players can get it on it (which of course makes it more chaotic).
An all time, hall of fame, classic game that I love. Our five player session was awesome! I really like the strategy in the card play!
Second time with this title, I liked it better this time around. Not a favorite and not long for the collection but it is a fast game. Another race game. Oh, cute meeples. But yeah, not hanging around too long.
Awesome filler! Much enjoyment in the box!
Another all time, hall of fame, classic game that I love. We played with four. Something weird happened in this game, actually two somethings weird happened. First of all, I won and second of all Robin finished fourth. Must have snowed in hell!
Board Game: Arkham Horror
[Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237]
[Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Thinking about my next move.
So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
Hello! A huge amount of plays last week - totally off the charts for me. I enjoyed a lot.
Descent: The Road to Legend x2
Terraforming Mars x1
For Descent we continued our campaign. We are having much more balance in the silver level than I had thought.
In Yggdrasil we had Thor: Ragnarok, as Thor was there. My friend, controlling Frigg, was destroying with the dice, constantly rolling black (3 axes) - even when he didn't want to, as when he lost a whole turn trying to calm Fenrir. Still, in the end, we won.
Terraforming was a little bitter-sweet. For over a year I wanted to play it. The play itself wasn't bad, but I lack direction, and the one I do had - to grab two Milestones - was taken from me, as I forgot the symbol the company gives also counts towards them. I finished in last, but not all that many points behind.
Arkham Horror x8 - huge marathon!
I tried to reach my 200th play of AH. I got one short, but it was totally worth it!
To know more: Arkham - November 2nd, 1926 - AH marathon, a lovecraftian madness
Sanitarium x1 -- out of the dust
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King x1
Forbidden Desert x1 -- out of the dust
Bridge Troll x1 -- out of the dust
Hansa Teutonica x1
Rialto x1 -- new to me
A lot of dust taken off on this Friday.
Sanitarium was solo - I usually don't post solo plays, but this one deserved, as the play was very nice and was my first victory - sure, the game is much easier solo, as there is hidden information between players, and with me controlling two characters, there weren't hidden informations. Still, I almost lost and had to be on my toes.
Isle of Skye was a beating - the winner was almost 30 points ahead of me, and this isn't a 200 points game.
Forbidden Desert was a loss - we were one action short from winning!
Bridge Troll came out of the dust. Play was quick and even, and I made a surprise comeback, as I didn't expected that shutting my bridge would net me more cubes, as I thought others would do it as well, simply because there was just one card left to bid on. But it did work, as the other three players went for the card, and with the extra cubes I was able to raise the value of my people and win by 2 points.
Hansa Teutonica was a the most dusty game, and I basically had to learn all the rules again. The play was just OK - three isn't a great number, even with the map having less connections, as the middle of the map was empaty for almost all of the game. The game feels lacking with just 3. I would have tied for first, if wasn't a big blunder from a player that let the next one have a turn and score 9 points in this turn - exactly the difference he had over me in the end.
Rialto was odd. It is quite an ejoyable game - is quick and smart. I liked. The odd part is that I went for the green buildings, raising my hand limit to 11 (normally is 7) and taking 14 cards (normally is 8) each round after the 3rd. This would put me in a good place to win one or two types of dispute each round. But no. I kept losing - not to the same person - on the main ones I wanted to get. In the end, I had not add a single bridge or gondola to the board, and had no influence over my destiny on the points of majorities. I finished second to last.
Mr. Jack Pocket x9 -- new to me
A good and quick game, that allows for a lot of thinking in its small frame of time (15-20 minutes). Very nice. I won 5 (3 as Jack and 2 as the investigators) and lost 4 (3 as the investigators and 1 as Jack).
And that was it!
I played a lot of Cottage Garden! 5 games solo to learn it and 1 game 3 player.
I love Patchwork and have eyes this game for some time. I finally broke down and got this as well as pre-ordering Indian Summer. I love this game so far. The real crunch for me will be to find out how it plays 2 player since that is still how a lot of my games get played.
Despite having some time off from work, I only got one game to the table that wasn't a solo game, a 2-player game of Sagrada.
I wound up getting a lot of points by having lots of colors on diagonals (one of the three public scoring objectives for this particular game) and I thought I had a runaway win. But the final score was much closer than expected: 57-50. My girlfriend did lose one point for having an empty space on her board, and it was painful to take that little "50" scoring marker on the "1" space and flip it upside down, back to the "50" spot at the bottom of the scoring track!
I also did play two solo games of Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game:
My first game had Bob, Agent of Hydra/Emma Frost/Spider-Man trying to stop the Immortal Emperor Zheng Zhu from Building an Underground Megavault Prison. That game ended in a draw.
The second game was a loss, which I don't think I ever had a chance to win: Slapstick/Dr. Punisher.../Gamora were trying to stop Thanos (with the Infinity Gems and Thor Corps) from Corrupting the Next Generation of Heroes.
When the game ended, my victory pile only had 4 Bystanders in it, since all of the Villain cards I defeated (Thor Corps, Infinity Gems and the Sidekicks who were part of the Villain deck as part of the Scheme) went into my Discard/Draw pile!
We got Massive Darkness after the Renaissance Fair on Sunday. We played Quest 8, Big Game Hunting, with four players. Things started off really rough as two people died so we had no more tokens on the Lifebringer's card. By the end though we were doing fine and ended up completing the quest.
This week I played Incan Gold with the family.
With my son we played Legends of Andor. We had to fight a super troll who just wanted to run away. It has been awhile since we played this game so it felt fresh again.
My solo play this week was XIA. I continued the solo campaign mode. Despite having all these extra bonuses I almost lost this one. I ended up getting the long haul and my slowness almost cost me the game. I started picking up the engine bonuses at the end as I think I may need them.
This was truly a week of the Old and the New.
The week started off with a couple of online games of Carcassonne and 6 nimmt! for Bill Corey Jr's Extra Life marathon, which was a lot of fun until my internet decided to crap out on me at 1 in the morning.
But face to face on Wednesday I played two hot off the press games, first up on our lunch hour was Majesty: For the Realm. This is the newest game from Splendor designer, Marc Andre and it's really, really good. Each player has a tableau of 8 cards and those 8 cards represent the buildings in your realm that you are trying to fill with workers. You buy the workers using the same purchasing mechanism as in Century: Spice Road or Small World where you have to pay something for everything to the left of what you want to pick. When you buy a worker they go in the appropriate building in your tableau and they will go to work, ie they will do the appropriate action as spelled out by the building. You do this to gain money, and after 12 rounds, the player with the most money wins. We played this one twice this week and damn if I didn't fall for it, and even if it is only in German at the moment, I am tempted to pick up my own copy before the Z-Man version gets to us sometime in December, which usually means January or February.
I followed that up with a 3 player game of the brand spanking new Dragon Castle which also saw two plays this week, once at three player and once at two player. I quite enjoyed this one, it's clever and it's relatively light. You can read more about my thoughts and how you play Dragon Castle over HERE.
Thursday saw a game day over at Chris' and we once again broke out another new to us game, this time it was Senators from Rikki Tahta and his father. In Senators, you are in the Republic of Rome and you are trying to manipulate the marketplace to buy, sell and extort goods for money so you can buy the most Senators. I love the auction mechanic in this one where on your turn you flip over 3 goods cards and one other card and then each person in turn order gets to bid on each individually, paying the current auction leader if they want to allow them to buy, if not, the auction leader will pay the bidder the amount they bid to keep the good. You are collecting these goods to make sets and then play those sets to gain money as well on your turn. Third thing you can do on your turn is extort your fellow players, you see, those goods that you have been purchasing are public knowledge and so when a player uses the Extort action they can pick a good from each individual player and make an offer to buy those from them, if the players refuse, they have to pay the extortionist that amount of money. 10 coins allows you to buy a Senator and like I said, whomever has the most Senators at the end of the game wins. I liked Senators except for one thing, every turn a random event from the event deck happens and these seem to be in the vein of the Rich getting Richer which is annoying, plus, they are just random and very hard to plan for. We played with 4 and I'd like to try it one more time at 5 before I write this one off as it does have some really interesting ideas going on.
On Friday, Chris came over and we did an interview for an upcoming written piece, you'll see who it was at the end of this entry. But we also played some games after. He had to run into work for a brief moment, so I started punching and trying to learn Noria but when he returned we both kind of decided that our brains weren't up for that, so we played a game of Dragon Castle and followed that up with a couple hands of Claim which is a little two player trick taking game from Scott Almes. It was interesting and I want to play it a time or two more, and then I'll get a review of it in.
But we followed that up with the stinker of the week, Fast Forward: FEAR. Now, we played it at 2 players, but if I were to give a grade to this one now based on those two attempts, it'd get a 1 here on BGG and I would lobby to take that 2 off the box as I don't think it works at 2 player. We'll probably give this one another try with more players, but right now, the Fast Forward system isn't looking too promising as Chris said that Flee was also just okay, and he's normally very positive on games.
We wrapped up the weekend at home playing a game of Carcassonne on the table using the new German Castle tiles. These just act as large Cloisters, they are two tiles wide, and they also add points to things completed which are connected to them. Kerensa won, which kind of is the norm with Carc.
We also played Fabled Fruit which I would love for us to finally get through the deck as we just keep restarting. AnnaBeth and I closed out the week of gaming with a play of JurassAttack! in which she once again, stomped me.
Be sure to check out the podcast this week as we have a special Essen Spiel episode in which Johannes from Board Gaming Ramblings interviews David Chircop(Petrichor), Charles Amir Pirre(Super Meeple Amun-Re: The Card Game), Uwe Rosenburg(Nusfjord) & Allesandro Pra(Horrible Games Dragon Castle). You can check that out HERE!
That's it for me, have a great week everyone!!
Dragon Castle x2
Majesty: For the Realm x2
Fabled Fruit x1
6 nimmt! x2
Fast Forward: FEAR x2
GIR, quickly, ride the pig!
Yaaaaaay! I don't know what you just said!
Very few different games played this week thanks to Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 showing up! We played 2 games of it on Halloween since our neighbourhood was remarkably quiet. 2 more games on Wednesday, 4 more on Thursday, 3 more on Friday, and a final 4 more on Saturday which brought us to the end. I can't really say much without spoiling anything but I can say that we won in the end though it was insanely close. Some lucky card draws are what really kept it together in the end. It took us 16 plays to go from the prologue to the end of December and while it's sad to see it end, it was an amazing experience. While I really liked Season 1, this one just felt more refined as we were constantly discovering new things and found the end of game improvements to far surpass what Season 1 did.
We got Jungle Party in a recent math trade to help build the small collection of games we're building up for our daughter. She's still got 4 years to go before she's old enough for the age 5+ recommendation on the box so we're a little early. My wife and I thought we'd give it a try anyways as it looks pretty cute. To nobody's surprise, there's not much here apart from being a kids' memory game but with the neat little mechanism of sliding character tiles down the river. It's cute for what it is and will work well when she's old enough to play it. My wife won this one with a lucky roll that landed her on the frog king.
Last up was 3 games of Mystic Vale with the new Mana Storm expansion. The expansion is really another more of the same expansion but does add some replacement mana tokens which give you another unique special ability on top of what the heroes from the previous expansion (and some new ones in this expansion) bring to the game which is nice. I won the first game by a narrow margin, lost the second game by about 15 points, and won the third game by about 20 points.
Gamer group was a packed house, with only one regular member absent and a new member attending. As Jonathan F, our visitor, was familiar with Puerto Rico and it's Trefor Thomas's favorite, that got the nod on my table, with Suburbia in play at the next table. I did pretty badly, as I hadn't played since 2010! It was like learning a new game. Trefor won, with Jonathan second, me third and Willy Hughes 4th. I won't let 7 years go by before the next play, and I'll have an item for November's Out of the Dust geeklist!
Photo credit to user Forty One.
Because of our local Greek Festival, no other games played. Opa!
Rating: out of 10.