Boardgame Babylon Holiday Gaming
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
It's the holidays and I'm always keen on taking the week between Christmas and New Year's Day off to spend time with family and friends. We don't plan much travel time because, frankly, nearly all our family is here in Los Angeles (and even in the Northeast corner of Southern California as it is).

However, we have a nearly endless line of events at the house since we plan a Christmas Party the Saturday before Christmas, have people over for my wife's birthday on Christmas Eve and then have people over again on Christmas. The day after Christmas is also a gathering since it is my nephew's birthday, our friend Devi's birthday is on the 29th (and he always wants games played at his birthday) and then there's New Year's Eve, typically spent with friends who game.

So, in amongst the good times with the kids, the egg nog, the turkey dinner, and all the festivities, we get in a lot of gaming. This year, it's even more since our friend Paul Allwood is visiting us from the UK for the holidays and he's been nice enough to bring along some great games to play.

Not sure this will all go into the podcast so I thought I would make notes while sitting through holiday movies and romantic comedies with Christina in the late evenings (aw, I don't mind it - really). I already have the January podcasts recorded anyway.

Enough background - I'm just jotting down my notes from the plays from the 22nd through the 1st since I bet I'll get in more games than I played at BGG.CON.

I'm posting this early - we still have NYE and NYD events where I hope to play some games.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
1. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:501]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This party game has taken our group by storm. From the stories, it sounds like a huge bunch of our friends are now owners of their own copies or have given them away. Paul commented that he almost bought it after hearing the podcast but balked at one FLGS's price and had hoped the Targets local to us would have it cheaper. I wonder if any of them have any left.

Needless to say, Wits & Wagers was played again at our holiday party by many of those who played it two weeks earlier at a tree trimming party our friends Clark and Lisa Mason hosted. But we had more converts, too, having a blast with fun questions and lack of intimidation that often happens in trivia games for some people.

I managed to get two answers completely correct (and once again the comment came up about getting a chip bonus for the right answer, not just the closest - and, hey, I didn't make the comment!) but still managed to lose on the basis of my conservative betting. Chad and his nearly ten year old daughter Jamie took the prize on the basis of some big bets that paid off nicely.

This picture is of the second edition, which is out now. Your Target may be out but you can order it at www.target.com (of course, they say it won't be available for 2 to 6 weeks...are they out, too?)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:613]
 
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Diamant (also "Incan Gold") is one of those great push-your-luck fillers that works well in a party situation (better than Cloud Nine, I think). We have the cool Diamant version with the cute little carts and diamonds/rubies but you can get all you need from Sunriver Games' nice, reasonably priced domestic version called Incan Gold.

We broke it out with seven people and although there were two abbreviated rounds with nearly immediate disaster, I did reasonably well due to hanging on for two strong rounds (third of seven).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:573]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We also managed to get in a game of 6 Nimmt at the Christmas Party on the 22nd. It was the first time for Jody and Katey but they picked it up pretty quickly. We played with eight and with that many, the game is very chaotic. And yet I managed to fight my way into first place before the final round (held off by one player scoring 65 points but not enough to go over!) On the last round, Mason managed to pull ahead of me and two others people to win a come-from-behind victory.

We had some players interested in buying the game and they were not interested in buying the US version with the hurricane theme.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Just found the new US version called "Slide 5" at Barnes and Noble while Paul and I were out scouting for early signs of their 50% plus off sales. It comes with a 'bonus' game, oddly enough, but I was glad that they mentioned it was a version of 6 Nimmt and that Wolfgang Kramer's name was on it. It wasn't on sale, but you can get it there!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Encore [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:6830]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On Christmas eve, we had more people over and they seemed to want something very light and party-oriented so we broke out this singing party game, which I'd picked up from Toyrus.com for a song (pun intended) while I was building up to get free shipping for a $50 order.

It was good fun and we were easy on people even when they sang repeating parts of choruses - hey, it's a party game! Not much to it but we had some laughs over it and I found recalling the lyrics harder than I thought it would be, although Clark and I did take on a team of my wife Christina, Clark's wife Lisa, my sister Isabel AND both my children (and we won...)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Amyitis [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:795]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Paul Allwood finally arrived quite late (he was waiting on his luggage, which was lost on his trip from the UK) and everyone else was leaving. Christina, Paul and I sat down to give Amyitis a go but once Christina saw the game was listed as taking 60-120 AND we were reading the rules, she bowed out.

So, Paul and I tried it two-player. The rules are not very well-written and many individual things were unclear but we managed to soldier on through with difficulty.

The game's pacing is erratic - it speeds up and then slows waaaay down while you build up again. The caravan works a little like a rondel and I like that mechanic. We went back and forth, forgot to score sometimes (the scoring is frequent and kind of fiddly - trying to keep track of all the stuff going on constantly) and even suffered Paul smacking my score marker off the board once (he was generous in replacing it since we didn't know exactly where it was) but we ended up with him winning by one point.

Overall, I like the game fine and love the theme (even if it is thinly placed) but I think it will be more interesting with three or four. I expect there are a couple of ways to tighten up the game and make it shorter, too. Actually, I think it might be faster with four good, non-AP players. Looking forward to trying it again with more.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Quicksand [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:3212]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On Christmas Day, the gang was coming over the afternoon and Mason was the first to arrive. While we waited for others to join us, we played Quicksand, a recent acquisition from the $5 sale at FFG's web site. I picked this one up after Mark Johnson saying it was good fun.

Quicksand is a hidden player game where you all manipulate the movement of characters in a race to the end not knowing who is who. In a two player game like ours, this is kind of boring since it is pretty obvious by 50% in to the game who you both are. I think it would improve with three or four and may play it with my kids. Not bad for $5.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Magdar [Average Rating:5.27 Overall Rank:14912]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The others STILL hadn't come by the time we finished Quicksand so I got out another FFG $5 sale game (in this case, one I bought last year but didn't open).

I primarily wanted to try Magdar after someone posted this hysterical thread:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/229847?sk=magdar

Magdar is not at all a bad game but, again, I think it will play better with three or four than two. Magdar the lava demon smacks down the board as you play, trying to get your wooden dwarf tokens to mine the squares before the said squares are Lava Demon'd. The closer the stones are to destruction, the more they are worth (and thus, you don't have to mine as much). Then, there is a roll to show if Magdar will eat a stone and if your dwarf gets eaten, well, you have to start again with a new dwarf.

We had some good fun with it in the fifteen minutes. With more players, I think it will be more interesting since there will be less options for the stones (which have different kill numbers on them). The only shame is that Magdar is not a mighty demon but standup card. Ah well.

More Kevin Wilson goodness and worth more than the $5 I paid for it. Going to try it with my son Alaric soon.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Felicity: The Cat in the Sack [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1084]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just before Christmas dinner (turkey!), Paul, Mason and I started up a three player game of Felix: The Cat in the Sack.

I like this game and with only three, you have to use a dummy player. The rules are a little odd for the dummy - at least it seems that way to us. The dummy's card is revealed first and the first player card once someone passes. The way the cards were situated on the example seemed peculiar since the dummy card was on the end. It played fine with three, though.

We didn't quite finish the game because the food started coming out but I want to get it in again this weekend.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Who's the Ass? [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:3962]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After dinner, we broke this one out which I know Mason and Paul had expressed an affinity for in the past. I picked it up off the prize table at BGG.CON (it was the winner by the time I got there) and wanted to break it out.

WTA is a bit like so many other Ladder style games but less interesting (you pretty much just play doubles, triples and such). The good thing is that it scales way up in play numbers. However, we were playing with four so I was longing for Tichu or Gang of Four (or Control Nut or Four Dragons - anything!) because I kept getting a bad mix of cards (few pairs, no triples) and Paul and/or Mason would dominate with triples.

The one interesting thing is the Ass card. Sure, you can make jokes but also it's a special round where this 20 point penalty card goes to the person who plays the highest number. However, they can later try to lead it again to get rid of it (well, not right away).

So, I was left with a lackluster impression playing with four (Lisa joined the three of us) but I'll try it with more before finally getting rid of it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1543] [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got this for Christmas and wanted to show it off to Clark and Lisa. Paul and Mason joined us.

Bananagrams is a delightful little Scrabble-like game where you get a bunch of letters and build out your own crossword. Once you get it done, you call "peel" (yes, the banana-theme is lame) and everyone has to draw another tile to add to their personal crossword. You can dump a single tile and draw three more if you end up with a Z or a Q (rememver that Qi is a legal Scrabble word, the designer apparently reminds people).

You keep on doing this until the extra tiles are gone and the winner is the one who finishes his/her crossword first. The game plays very quickly - we played three games in less than thirty minutes - and it is a good time. I'm still trying to see if Christina will play this one but since it is a word game, I don't think she will.

Very happy to have gotten this one and look forward to introducing it to my parents, who love Scrabble.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Metromania [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:7783]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I picked this one up secondhand some time ago and hadn't had a chance to break it out yet. Paul mentioned that he knew it so I took the opportunity to learn it rather than read the rules - always a good idea.

Metromania is another one of those efficiency route games (like On the Underground, which I don't like much) where you build your lines and hope that they complete and also connect some items on the board (which are placed by the players). It played pretty quickly (in about forty-five minutes) but I still found it somewhat dull. Furthermore, it has some serious screwage factors (you can easily build over all the building spaces to mess up the other players - which Paul did). It really had little that was new to offer but it was an okay time.

Metromania wasn't so bad that I would never play it again but it doesn't need to be in my collection either - it is now on the latest SoCal Math Trade.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Airships [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1622]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After playing Metromania, I remembered that Paul had brought a ton of games with him all packed into one box and that box was for Giganten der Lufte (Airships, in English).

I knew this one was a die roller and that I had heard it called a lighter version of To Court the King. Since Christina and I played the latter game and she almost liked it, I thought it would be nice to try this new offering from Andreas Seyfarth to see what he followed up Thurn and Taxis with.

Much like TCTK, this game is one that is all about rolling dice to collect things. Handily enough, I got a Dice Boot for Christmas, too, so we broke it out and started rolling. You start with a few dice and some modifiers and then acquire different bonuses that are color coded (so you can only have one of each category). Some cards give you additional dice, some bonuses, and some automatic dice at a certain number. You can also go for bonuses that give you victory points (some of which are 'opened' once the main VP section has one stack of bonus cards claims.

Otherwise, it isn't all that different. In fact, I'm kind of startled that this is what Seyfarth came up with to answer the call for everything to be turned into a dice game. It is middling but fine if you think TCTK is just too slow.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Typo [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:4108]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The next night, I told my wife Christina that I wanted the two of us to play four of the games I got for Christmas (TTR: Switzerland, Bananagrams, 10 Days in Asia, and Typo). We only managed the last one, but we did play with my son, Alaric, so that was a nice time.

We'd planned to go out and see some rather amazing Christmas light displays out in somewhat nearby Rancho Cucamonga and stopped at the Chik-Fil-A in that area to eat (thanks to Stephanie Kelleher getting me hooked on their Sweet Tea) and we brought Typo along.

Typo is essentially like "Alphabetical 6 Nimmt" with player putting up their letters (resolved alphabetically) but here the players can add to the line of their choice. The twist is that the player must then say a word that starts with the letters of the line where they played. If you cannot do so, you take the longest line and add it to your pile of cards that will be a penalty point each at the end.

We liked Typo a lot, especially playing with Alaric since it challenged him to come up with words that he could say for each line. Gwyndolyn was not brave enough to play and so she just watched (until it was clear Christina was going to win and then she declared that she was on 'Mom's team' - must work on that).

Typo is an import from Cwali and Street Soccer/Factory Fun designer Corne van Morsel and despite the similarity to 6 Nimmt, I do like it a lot.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2611]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Earlier in the day, we were over my sister's house for my nephew's twenty-first birthday (boy does that make me feel old) and after the festivities, we pulled this one out - which Paul had brought Mason (my friend and boyfriend to my sister) as a present. This is a new one from Reiver Games and a design from that most excellent blogger, Yehuda Berlinger. Knowing it was Yehuda's game and that it played in twenty minutes was enough to convince me despite the horror theme.

It's Alive is a game of building monsters, not unlike Parts Unknown (one of the better Cheapass games) but this one is a light auction game where you basically pick up a body part out of the boneyard each round, look at the value of it (there are various value ranges depending on the body part) and decide to buy it, sell it for a flat fee or put it up for auction. You have eight basic parts you need - arm, leg, foot, hand (yes, only one each - weird looking monster!), brain, heart, torso, and head.

There are also some wild cards and angry mobs to slow you down but the game ends when one person gets one of each. They get a five point bonus and hope that their complete monster is better than the incomplete ones everyone else has. So, it's a matter of 'do I finish or hold out for the really good stuff'.

The connection to Parts Unknown is a real one. It's Alive feels like the best of the Cheapass line - where some clean mechanics come together with a witty theme for a nice game on the short side. I'm glad Mason owns it as a filler to break out for Halloween or when the mood strikes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Traders of Osaka [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:937]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After It's Alive, we broke out another small footprint game Paul brought with him, The Traders of Carthage. This is another one from Japon Brand and designer Susumu Kawasaki, the designer who gave us R-Eco (yay!), Master of Rules (okay) and Stack Market (nay!). I'm glad to say that Traders belongs with the first of this group, as it is a nice game that is engaging and ends at the perfect time. This is an Essen 2006 release I missed (primarily because Zev has the rights but hasn't published it yet) so I was thrilled to play it.

Traders of Carthage is indeed an enjoyable superfiller with all the trademark elements - a narrow range of choices that strongly affect the other players, simple rules but a nice layer just below the surface, and that forty-five minute playing time.

In TOC, players are trying to gain the most victory points by selecting cards as either money or goods that will move ships along a very short path from Alexandria to Carthage. There are four color ships and they coincide with colored cards with values from 2 to 5. Rows of cards are set out (the current set and the upcoming set), allowing players to draw from the current set to either claim a card as money or to buy it as goods to go on the corresponding ship color (all players use the same ships). When you take the money, you can use it later to buy goods. When you buy goods (buy all the cards in the current market - must be all of them), you advance the ship of the corresponding color. When one ship reaches the end, others in pirate spaces will lose items for the players and victory points are awarded in a very odd 'round up to five' fashion. Cards are also used as VPs and you get one per five points scored. You can also take actions to reserve certain cards and there are a few rules governing that.

Overall, I liked Traders of Carthage. The tight feel made the game get that right kind of tension and I found myself constantly planning for the next round, only to get my hopes dashed quite frequently. I do think it needs a little tweaking on some rules that strike me as feeling inconsistent or unnecessarily confusing (particularly, filling the current market is odd when someone has reserved an item - also, the requirement to buy if you have a reserve item right after someone else buys the market). A good developer can iron out the few kinks and make it a better game. I definitely look forward to obtaining a copy when the Z-man gets it out.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Battleground: Crossbows & Catapults War Chest Starter Set [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:3062]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Santa was nice enough to bring this game for Alaric and me this Xmas so we broke it out on 12/28. It brought back many memories from the old days with those little discs and the rubber band catapults and crossbows (well, ballistas). We set it up on the play room floor perhaps too far away from each other.

Indeed, the action system (two per turn, with most pieces moving 6" per turn) kept the game kind of slow and a faulty tower rubberband didn't help (I must have hit that thing a dozen times before finding out it was just broken). We shot back and forth for what seemed like ages before knocking out most of the other guy's army.

With some modifications, I think it will be more fun. I'd like to find a clean movement system (like Attacktix or even the ruler-built-into-the-card like similarly names but utterly different (and more compelling) Battleground: Fantasy Warfare. But we did have a good time and Alaric even let me play the orcs!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:709]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been playing this online with some friends. I finished a second game in about two weeks, finishing last. I hadn't played this midland Michael Schacht game since it came out (although I acquired one from Tanga at one point) but I've been reminded of its charms.

Hansa has one big boat that moves around the board at the various players' command. At each location, players can buy, sell, or set up market stalls for points and future sales there. Positioning is HUGE in this game and if the punter before you puts you in a bad spot, you may just lose a turn (or have to pass). There is also a random distribution of different colored commodities which can play havoc with your plans, too.

I'm enjoying the game but I've definitely been a victim of bad positioning (and senselessly positioning others nicely). Still, it's an enjoyable game and I'm glad it can be played on the very cool MABIWeb.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: Battle of the Bands: Encore Edition [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:6814]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Late in the evening, I logged into both BSW and GameTable Online to play some games, after a quick game of 10 Days in Africa (which I've played so much I'm not even listing it here). However, I hadn't tried Dan Smith's Battle of the Bands, which I did not expect to like at all. It is a take-that game and it has the feel of those Eighties games that existing in the BE (Before Euros) days.

But you know what? I had a great time. Is it that I'm a big music fan? Is it that I've been playing way too much Guitar Hero lately? Whatever the case, I picked the game up quickly and even won!

BOTB is just a draw and play kind of game where you build up your band, play instruments on them, get contracts, and play hit singles. There are also special rounds that let you play "Gig" cards and the winner will get a point bonus. It's amusing and quick and I wouldn't mind getting the physical version. I'll certainly play it some more on GameTable.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While attending a local game day, I got my second game of Agricola in. We played it four-handed with one new player. Although the game lasted a rather long time due to some AP, I had another really enjoyable time playing the game.

I won't explain how to play Agricola - hey, I can't type all night - but I can say that I had what looked like a dreadful group of Occupation and Minor Improvement cards. Perhaps that was the key to my victory. I wasn't spending the whole time trying to work out the synergy of my card draw because there wasn't any to be had. One of my improvement cards was a near duplicate (we used a mix of all three card levels).

Still, I managed to use improvements to plow the heck out of my farm, pop up a few little pastures up, add one to the family, upgrade my building to stone, and put out enough cards to get 38 points. It should have been 39 but I made a last minute flub that cost me (plowing a square that should have been turned into pasture) but it was enough to edge Shannon and her mighty animal machine (and Marc and Vince, who were both in the low twenties).

Agricola is a terrific game and I can hardly wait to get a copy from Z-Man when it comes out.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Darjeeling [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1892]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Later the same day after Agricola, we went to another event and broke out Darjeeling for a two player tryout whilst the rest of the gang watched the Marx Brother's "A Night at the Opera". I actually love that movie (have seen it a dozen times) and did watch about half of it before suggesting we slip away to play a game but I listened from the next room as it progressed.

Gunter Burkhardt's new Essen 07 release was new to both Paul and me but I'd read that it is pretty light so we soldiered on through a 'reading of the rules' session. It wasn't too bad, as the rules were shorter than I thought (the book flipped upside down for a French version). We wanted a third but since everyone else looked engaged, we played with two, opting for the Sri Lanka set up (they also have India and China, depending on the number of playing and the style of play you prefer).

Darjeeling is a set collection/pick-up-and-deliver game that is light enough to qualify as a gateway game. It is two interesting mechanics that seem both familiar and new this many years in euros. Players move a meeple tea gatherer around a board with four different types of tea chits (green, red, white, and black - which is slightly annoying since one of the player pieces is also green). The teaple (okay, a stretch) moves orthogonally, although he can pivot 90' free once per turn. Each space you move costs you a victory point so you need to decide if you want to just spend one and take something in front of you or pay more to move further to get a tea box you want (you can also do a 180' for two victory points). The pieces themselves are little puzzle-piece like squares you can use to build up boxes of tea and if you put enough together, you can 'ship' them by turning them in for scoring bonuses.

The challenge of the tea boxes is that they have one to three triangular parts of a tea crate (each triangle is one half) so you need to often get more than enough tiles to get the right number. Also, all tiles with three crate halves come with a bonus tile that will either exempt you from penalties for shipping when you are not adjacent to city spaces (a small number of which are placed on the board) or will double your demand bonus.

Now, when you ship, the crates are placed in a bonus chute that gives you points based on how recently the same type of tea was sold. This is one of those interesting mechanics I was talking about - the little chute has two discs of the colors of each type of tea. They are randomly put in there at the beginning but when you sell, the lowest disc matching the color is moved to the top and the number of spaces between that one and the other one in the chute is your bonus (thus, six is the maximum).

Now, the number of crates can also give you a bonus. If you ship less than four, you do not get any bonus for quantities. For four or more, you get one point per crate. The funny thing is that crates do not score directly. They go on a boat next to a multiplier and those boats move down each time someone ships. At the beginning of your next turn, you get points for each crate on a ship next to a multiplier. Thus, you often ship just to bump your opponents out of the highest multiplier spot (and they do the same...)

Darjeeling's box says it plays in sixty minutes but we knocked it out (and the first play, no less) in just over forty-five. Experienced players could probably do it faster than that. I look forward to getting it back to the table with three or four to see how it plays that way but I think it will also play well with just Christina and me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Cuba [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:416]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After Darjeeling, Paul was keen on playing a game of Cuba. He's purchased a German version not realizing that the game is far from language independent. He wanted to play it to see if it was worth getting an English version and so we peeled Matt away from the next movie to play it with us. I'd played Cuba at BGG.CON and enjoyed it enough to buy one when it showed up on Tanga but this was our first time busting open my copy.

Cuba gets accused of being a lot like Puerto Rico and rightly so (not just because the islands are so close). Like PR, Cuba has role selection, buildings to buy, products to ship and sell and combination/engines to develop. There are a couple of flourishes like the opportunity to vote on some changes in the rules (two of four rules will be passed by the player with the most votes), ships that actually take off on schedule rather than when they are full (a common AT'er complaint about PR's artificial theming), production spaces that produce until covered up by buildings and, of course, rum and cigar boxes that are actually sculpted. The components are uniformly nice and the board is gorgeously and highly detailed.

Otherwise, it is very much like PR. You select roles (although each player has a set of their own they do in their own order), produce things and turn them into victory points. I won't explain the whole of Cuba here but suffice it to say that Michael Rieneck and Stefan Stadler (designers of Pillars of the Earth) didn't go for an original idea at all. They went for a game that is like PR with extra chrome and a slightly longer play time (the game ends after six turns or when someone gets to 80 points. It is a good game but not a great one. The laws are a nice option to mess around with the people who will 'solve' the game but it still has that feeling like you can definitively come up with the best possible combinations and completely blow away your opponents.

I pulled out to an early lead with some solid shipping and the building that let me turn products into VPs. However, once the Drought law was passed and I had difficulty getting rid of it, my engine was crippled and Paul pulled ahead. Oddly, I was still being targeted in the laws and Matt actually passed some laws that hurt me and were very advantageous to Paul. After that, it was a game of catch up for Matt and me, with us ending two points apart, but Paul way ahead of us.

I do like Cuba but the play time is a little long if people get thoughtful too often. As they pick it up and the game progresses, the fourth and fifth round should be quicker. However, it may be that the game has too many buildings (giving people options but also making them re-read them a lot) for its own good. I'll keep Cuba and play it when I can but, like Pillars, it does feel very familiar (for better or worse).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Key Harvest [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1310]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Key Harvest is actually pretty light for a 90 minute game and that may be a problem. Although each turn is only two actions of a possible four, it seemed to consistently slow Mason and Paul down as they considered what they could do with those few choices.

Each player gets a game board with an identical series of field spaces marked with a letter and number (A2, B3) which reminded me of Acquire. Like Acquire, you are trying to get connecting tiles from a draw but the spaces are hexes and the means of acquiring them is rarely just a straight random draw. The regular means of drawing them in Key Harvest is a funky sort of drafting. You pick a field tile from the registry and put it into your store with what you are willing to pay for it from your crop money (the currency in the game - there are five types, one for each crop type). The trick is - you cannot buy it unless it comes back to your turn and it is still there. If someone else is willing to pay your price for it, you get the money instead (okay, the crop tokens). Thus, you may set the price hoping people pay you or hoping they don't.

Your other three actions are to either draw tiles from your store (or someone else's), place a worker tile (lower value ones that you own or higher value ones that are community items) or harvesting. Now, harvest is easy - you can flip over all tiles in an adjacent group and take crop tokens in the respective colors so you get more 'money'. Worker placement is a little more involved. They are worth points equal the number on them, they give you some special action and they can only be placed when you have field tiles equal to their score surrounding the tile where you place them. Obviously, the community ones are more valuable so you want to grab them when you can.

Play continues under the variable ending - there are event tiles in the bag and if you draw 10 of them, the game ends. Each event tile gives all played in the game a chance to use it to take some advantage although you will often find they are not that useful (or may just not be useful at that the time when they come up. Oddly, the game gives people with a slow start a chance to catch up. If the seventh event comes out and anyone has less than seven tiles out, two are removed and the whole thing backs up two steps. This happened in our game - I was going quite well but Paul and Mason both had less than seven tiles so the game slowed down. This is a reasonable way to ensure people are on even keel but I was not a fan of the game going backwards from where we were (and not just because I was leading). Furthermore, once the tenth event comes up, there are two full turns left. This seemed like a bit much but dems the rules, as they say.

Once the game ends, scores are calculated based on the two largest groups of adjacent tiles on your boards (1st set gives you one point each, 2nd set gives you two points each), workers are scored for their value, and the player with the most remaining crop tokens in each color gets one point.

In our game, I pulled ahead near the beginning but with the game slowed down by the event redo and those final two turns, both Mason and Paul were able to pull up to a little over five points behind me. Mason edged Paul by one point but we were unsure of that since both of Mason's largest two groups were the same size. Paul surmised that he would only get one point each for the fields in both sets (because there is a worker that allows you to remove a tile) but I read the lack of clarification in the rules to mean that he just got one per for one of them and two per for the other one. I also found that the rules were not entirely clean on mixing your crop tokens to set prices either but perhaps both are cases of no clarification because Breese just figured they were 'duh' thoughts.

Regardless, I do like Key Harvest even if there a couple of little bits of it that need clarification and perhaps there are a few things that don't work entirely to the way I would think. I am looking forward to trying it with Christina and seeing if we can get it down to about forty-five minutes for two players. I think I would like it better at that length since there isn't a lot of variation turn to turn.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
23. Board Game: 6 nimmt! Plus [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Then, it was party time again. Matt's wife Heather was willing to play so we pulled this one out, which is a favorite of hers. I joined on the second round, receiving an average of the others' points. I didn't do to well but I did better than I did earlier in the day on BSW, playing with the Profi option (cards go to both sides of the rows).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
24. Board Game: Who's the Ass? [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:3962]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We brought this out again because we were going to play with six or seven. Ended up being six and after an odd moment when Paul wanted to play on his own play, we re-read the rules and realized that Who's the Ass is a once-around ladder game. This made the game much more tactical and I liked it a lot more this play than the previous one where it just seemed to be a dimwitted version of Daihimi or perhaps a less interesting Frank's Zoo.

But with the proper rules (what a revelation!), the game was more distinctive and interesting. It's staying the collection for now and we will give it some more tries but always with five or more.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
25. Board Game: Word Blur [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:4729]
E.R. Burgess
United States
Glendora
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Next, we played Word Blur. This crowd wasn’t going to go for Quelf or Time’s Up so we gave this one a try. We had some fun with it but the rules want you to play with both teams going for the same word at the same time, which made us hear each other.

We could even see what the other team was doing (strictly speaking, not what you are supposed to do). I think the game might work better to let each team do their own word with a time limit but then, they will have downtime. Hard to say – sounds like perhaps we wanted screens? Everyone did have fun with Word Blur but the proximity was an issue and the other team won on my clue.
Word Blur is a fun game and I think we’ll get it back to the table soon. However, we’ll probably bring a screen.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.