Atlanta Game Fest 18: Continuing My "What I Played & What I Thought" Series of Lists
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Memorial Day weekend was a time for people to take an extended weekend break, remember those who lost their lives in service to their countries, and play a slew of games over the five days that covered the most recent Atlanta Game Fest. For the first time, the event spanned from Thursday through Monday, and while it wasn't as well-attended as previous events had been, there were still around 100 people participating throughout the long weekend. I had waffled over attending, but decided at the last minute to go, and wasn't disappointed. The games were good, the choices were plenty, and the company was great.

For the first time, I went without taking any games to play with me, and I had the chance to learn some games I wanted to play, and even played games I probably wouldn't have played otherwise. What follows is a summary of all the games I played and some thoughts about each one.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
1. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:68]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
The first game of the fest was a 4-player game of Troyes, which I had played once before. I attempted to play by ignoring the palace all together, and it actually managed to pay off!

I think the game is fairly balanced, but it doesn't actually feel like I'm doing anything beyond following some set of rules and placing things abstractly. That's not bad, necessarily, but it just doesn't have the same kind of fun factor that I find in other dice games. Plus, it seems to take a long time to play, and that's a bit of a detriment, as well. But I own it, so I'm sure I'll play it again.
4 
 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: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:168]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Following Troyes, we jumped right in to another dice-rolling worker-placement game, which feels like it has a little more soul than the first one we played. I have this one, too, and this was my second play of the game; in fact, I taught this one to the other three players in the game.

I still like this one, and I think it gets a slight edge over Troyes at the moment. I'm not sure which one will have more longevity, but both games have the potential for expansions, so who knows? Either way, I'm glad to have both of them in my collection.

I managed to get off to an early lead, but was unable to maintain it. I went from second to last with one final move!
3 
 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: Luna [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:413]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
This fest was the first one I attended without bringing anything to play with me. I didn't even take my Age of Steam tub, which was a bit of a surprise to just about everyone I saw who knew I was a big fan of the game. Instead, I figured I would learn games that I owned and hadn't played, and try out new games that I might not otherwise get to try. Luna fell into the latter category.

I've not been a big fan of Feld's games so far, but Luna surprised me. It's slightly confrontational, but it's mostly a game where you can plan your own thing and more or less get away with it. There's a worker placement aspect to it, as well, so you're interacting with other players, and there's also a positional game going on. You're trying to manage where your people go to give you certain benefits, as well as to end the round with a majority on one tile to get points, with no people on another tile to avoid losing points, and be present on yet another tile so you can build your temples. Since temples are worth endgame points and also give you a discount on performing actions, the temples are popular. Oh, and there's an end-of-round mechanism that keeps players on their toes, since they won't necessarily have all the turns they want to do all they want to do.

I'm not sure if this is a game to buy just yet. I'd like to introduce it to my group, because I think they would like it, but would I want to keep playing it? I don't know. I played it twice at the fest with a full complement of four players (and came in dead last twice), and didn't feel overly impressed, but I've found myself thinking of the game a lot since then. That's possibly a good sign.
 
 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: Mord im Arosa [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1797]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Mord im Arosa was one of those games I bought based on the description alone. It sounded unique, and also sounded like a game I would really dig. I saw a copy at the fest and had the opportunity to learn it from the owner, and after two plays, I confirmed both points!

There's a scoring element to the game that helps determine the winner (or, more specifically, the winner and the loser), but as Ward explained it when teaching, the score isn't really the point to the game. It's more about the experience of listening and guessing whose cubes are located on which floor of the hotel, and besides, there are some potential issues with the scoring anyway, since cubes tend to get stuck within the first 3-4 floors anyway.

Regardless, this is a really fun game that I was glad to learn. Hopefully my local group will like it, 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}}
5. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:582]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
After Mord im Arosa, we were looking for something else to play, and I remembered that I had Perudo in my bag, along with a printed board for keeping track of the bids. We were split about 50/50 with new players and old hats, but it was a raucous game, as usual. I really enjoy this game, but like most games that live in my bag, I forget that I have them when I'm out at my game night. Now that we're getting about six people every week, maybe it will hit the table more often!

Oh, I lost this one, too. I think I was the second one out of the game.
 
 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: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:113]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I still dig Hansa Teutonica, and I really dig the expansion board. We only played one game of it at the fest, but it was quite the experience. I like playing with new players, because I always seem to learn a new tactic that I haven't seen, haven't thought to do, and find to be very effective. I'd tell you what I learned from this game, but folks from my local group will probably read this list, and I don't want to give it away until I get a chance to actually try it....

This was a hard fought game, but in the end, I came in second. The gap was only five points! As always, though, it was an excellent game.
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: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:262]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
It's not just the hot newness that gets played at these events. Some classic games find their way into the rotation, too, as evidenced by my one play of For Sale. And, as usual (and setting the trend for just about the entire weekend), I came in dead last out of five players.

I made a couple of tactical errors in the first half of the game, winding up with some crap properties. By the second half of the game, even my mid-range properties were selling for the lowest price available, and it was just a hopeless mess.
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}}
8. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:332]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
The last game of the first day was another old favorite, and one that I like most with five players. We had the right number, and, more importantly, we had the right people playing the game! I've played the game a few times with people who don't really get into the confrontational aspect of having to hit other players, but we didn't seem to have that issue this time around. I tied for second place, and even that was a hard won battle!
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: Chronicle [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1375]
 
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Speaking of hard-won battles, the first game of day two was a trick-taking game I'd never heard of before. Still, I like trick-taking games, and the latest influx of games from Japan has piqued my interest, so I wanted to see what made this one so special.

When the guy teaching the game explained that each card had a special power that had to be used when the card was played, I expected the game to be a chaotic mess that wouldn't appeal to me in the least. I couldn't have been more wrong. Despite the fact that the cards have the special powers, and the fact that some of the powers could mess with the cards you had already taken, I found the game to be extraordinarily balanced. As near as I could tell, there wasn't such a thing as a bad hand, so long as you knew how to play it. That characteristic is what I like so much about trick-taking games, so I was pleased to discover this game.

The game continues until someone has accumulated the most goal tokens over three, with an additional hand being played whenever players tie at the end of a round. We reached three tokens within about four hands, but kept tying, so we wound up playing about 9-10 hands during the game. It made the game lengthy, but each hand was so much fun, and so satisfying to win, that it didn't matter. I managed to maintain a tie up until the last hand, but wound up losing in the end. It didn't matter, though, because the game worked so well. This was the first game of the fest that I decided to add to my to-buy list after playing.
 
 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: Portobello Market [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1781]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Portobello Market was a game a friend of mine wanted to play, and the one time I had played it before, I had found it to be nicely challenging, if not a game that I wouldn't want to play too often. I didn't remember it well enough to teach it, but I figured it would be good to give it another shot.

I managed to get an entire district claimed in the first few turns, which wound up winning me the game. I leapt out to an early big lead, but my friend made a strong effort to catch up with me before the game finally ended. I did wind up winning, but only by four points.

I haven't really changed my opinion of the game. It's good, and I wouldn't mind playing it again, but I won't be clamoring to buy it any time soon. There are just so many other games that I would prefer to play instead.
 
 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: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2301]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Following Portobello Market, I managed to pull a handful of folks together to try a live playing of a design I had hacked together a few months ago. I'm not quite ready to talk about it, but I was pleased that Richard Launius happened to be available, and was willing to play. He looked a little bored during the game, but when I asked for feedback afterward, he gave me a lot of good ideas. I filed them away (like I said, they were good ideas!), and thought little more about it.

The next day, while I was playing a different game, he came up and asked me if I was going to try "the tossing game" again. Since I hadn't made any modifications to the game, I told him no, and then he offered up even more suggestions. Best of all, he said that he thought it had a lot of potential, and that I might even be able to sell it to a game company!

Needless to say, the whole experience was very exciting. Look for more news soon, hopefully!
3 
 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: Amazonas [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2529]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I used to have this game, after discovering Dorra as a designer of nifty little games. A friend of mine was trying to get some unplayed games played, and this was one of them, so of course I wanted to play it. I wish I could tell you that this one had the cleverness of Marracash or even the fun level of Die Sieben Seigel, but unfortunately it just felt a little dry and meaningless.

There's nothing wrong with the game, mechanically (though I wasn't wild about the deck of event cards), but it just didn't feel like a fun game. Part of what I didn't like was that the moves that you had to take in order to accomplish your goal took money, and that money was hard enough to come by under normal circumstances. That's not bad, but when you draw a card that affects your income that turn, it hurts. It hurts a lot. There are still ways to work around those cards, but it's possible for something to happen at a time when you don't have a choice of which card to play, and that part of the game annoyed me.

This was the first real dud of the fest, but I was glad to get a chance to finally play the game.
 
 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: Pergamon [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1010]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
This was another game I had hoped to learn at the fest, since I had recently purchased it. Four of us found a willing teacher, and we got underway with digging for historic artifacts and putting them on display in museums. Or a rough approximation of it.

I like the way that the bidding works in this game, and how the points track works in relation to the displays that all players create. It forces players to keep working on new displays, but it has all work in relation to how far you can dig, how much money you have, and what you need to get to complete a work. It just didn't feel very fun or compelling, despite having some neat things happening during the game. I also had a hard time figuring out how to put all of it together (I came in dead last), but it's hard to fault the game for my own cluelessness.

I don't think I'm quite ready to give up on the game, but I'm not holding out high hopes for it, either. The last time I said that, it was about Innovation, which is now in my "For Trade" pile.
 
 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: Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
My requisite game of Age of Steam was played on the Ireland map, against a couple of other Age of Steam veterans. It had been a long time since I had played, and my head wasn't completely in the game, so I made a bone-headed move on the first turn that kept me $1 away from bankruptcy, which is to say I ended that turn with 0 income and no money. My attempt at a low shares strategy ended at that time, as did my hopes of winning the game.

Luckily, part of why I like Age of Steam as much as I do is because even when I lose, I still take a lot of satisfaction from ending the game and pulling out the plan I started with. I managed to not come in last, but I'm still not entirely sure how that happened. I was 4-5 shares ahead of everyone else in the game, but I guess those 6-point deliveries I made, versus the 3-point deliveries the other guy made, determined the second place winner. It was a hard-fought game, but fun, as always.
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: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:47]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
The last game of day two was one of Race for the Galaxy, with all the expansions, the goals, and the takeover rules. I've not played with the goals in a long time, and have never played with the takeover rules, so it may as well have been a new game to me. I'll use that defense to explain away my poor showing in the game, with a measly 15 points after all was said and done. I had a planet taken from me using the takeover rules, which was only worth 1 point, but was a production world that might have garnered me a few more points before the end of the game. I still would have taken last, though.

I wasn't bothered by the takeover rules, amazingly enough. I thought the take that element would bother me, but it turned out that you could protect yourself from being taken over simply by avoiding military worlds all together. It actually is a nice balancing effect for the military strategy, especially with all of the higher-valued planets in the expansions. I don't know that I would play with them often, but I'll have to introduce the rules to my normal group to see what they think.
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: Karnaxis [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:8693]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Now, the second game I decided to buy after playing was this one right here, a little-known game of life choices and making money, designed by a guy you're never heard of, published by a company you've never heard of. So there's a good chance that, like me before the fest, you've never played nor even heard of the game. Which is a real shame.

Frank Branham has a knack for discovering obscure games that everyone should be playing, and this year it was Karnaxis. As someone said to me, this game is Life, but it doesn't suck. In fact, for all that it does, it could easily have been published by a German company, though it probably would have been re-themed to be a Medieval European market game of some sort. As it is, though, the game matches its theme perfectly, and just might be my game of the year. At the very least, it's my game of the year so far.

In the game, you select a character who not only grants you a special ability, but also defines a goal that you must meet in order to win the game. Using that character, you decide how you want to proceed through the game, by either advancing your career into better jobs, playing the stock market, or building up your businesses to earn the most money after 12 turns. It's remarkably accurate, in the sense that the way players progress through the game is very close to how people earn money in real life, and I can easily see this being a game that teaches people what to expect in the real world. It also seems to be very well balanced. I played with three different characters in my three games over the course of the weekend, and managed to make about the same amount of money with each one. There were a couple of characters I saw who probably aren't as effective as others, but you always get to choose from three characters at the start of the game, so you don't have to pick the harder character unless you just want to try it out.

The game has a worker placement element to it, though you can't get shut out of taking an action if someone else picks it, except in one space. It also has an RPG element to it, since you can increase certain attributes that allow you to take particular jobs and start particular businesses. The game ramps up the turn angst, because you only get two actions per turn, and if you have a job, one of those actions (the first one, in fact) has to be the "Go to Work" action, lest you immediately lose your job. Deciding what to do, when you want to do it, is tougher than it sounds, especially when you have to balance that against your Karnaxis, which is a game goal you have to meet in order to win the game. It's deliciously tense, and the whole thing is a game that's unique, challenging, and incredibly fun.

I played this game three times while I was there, and ordered a copy almost as soon as I finished my first game. It's a tight game of agonizing choices and balancing everything that you want to do, and while it does run a bit longer than one would expect, it never feels like you've been playing a long game by the time it ends. If nothing else, you'll want it to keep going, since you're going to feel like you need more actions and more turns to do everything you want to do.

This game was the game of the fest, for a lot of people. It's the best game you've never heard of that you're not playing.
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}}
17. Board Game: Kreta [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1428]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Kreta was a game I owned years ago, having bought it after it had been compared to Web of Power. I played it, thought it was OK, and then traded/sold it off some months later. I sort of regret that now that I've had the chance to play it again and discovered that it's a much better game than I gave it credit the first time around.

Part of it is the area control aspect of the game. I tend to do poorly at them, so I wind up feeling frustrated, but in this case, the board is compact enough so that I don't feel like I can't get a firm enough foothold in one area of the board. The other part of it is the deck of cards that determines which areas will score each round. It feels a little random, even though it gives players the option of discarding the replacement card for a completely random one. The person who scores the current region gets to pick the next-next region to score, and it seems a little powerful. On the other hand, that player can't immediately play his scoring card again, and it's not the next immediate scoring region anyway.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it's a game that I will try to find again. If I managed to find one at a decent price, I might pick it up, but I'm trying to avoid buying games that I like well enough to buy, but not enough to play often. We'll just have to see how it goes.
 
 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: Agricola [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:20]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
At one point, I had the choice of Luna, Agricola, and ... something else ... and opted for Agricola, since I had just finished a game of Luna. So we pulled out Jim Cobb's FIMO'd pieces and got underway with the Gamers' Deck.

There was nothing extraordinary about the game itself (other than the cool pieces), but the company was a whole heck of a lot of fun. I somehow managed to play a game with three of the loopiest people I've ever met at a game fest, and the laughs were pretty much nonstop. It's a good thing I had a lot of fun, though, because I wound up in dead last again!
 
 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: Royal Palace [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1099]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
My penultimate game for day three (wow, are we that far along already?) was Royal Palace, a game I'd never heard of before. It sounded a little dull based on the description, and when I saw that it was Xavier Georges' game, I was a little apprehensive. What I've heard most about his games is that they're very dry and soulless, and I worried that this game might live up to that expectation. So, did it?

Well, sort of. I think the mechanism of the servants and the rooms is pretty darn clever, enough so that I wouldn't mind trying the game a second time. The problem is that the game as a whole didn't thrill me, and there's little chance of actually buying a copy unless I found it on some deep, deep discount, and I don't know anyone who owns a copy. I'm currently trying to pare down my collection to remove the "I like these games, but never seem to play them" games, and I'm afraid that Royal Palace would just become another shelf-sitter.

Unfortunately, I think this game is doomed because of its mediocrity. Thankfully, I redeemed this experience by playing my second game of Karnaxis as my last game of the day.
 
 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: Manila [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:638]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
For years, I've seen this game here and there, and always written it off because I always thought this was Niagara. It's not that I thought Niagara was a different game, and that I thought the ruleset that made up Manila was actually Niagara; I just always thought they were the same game for some reason. Maybe it's the Zoch thing, and the fact that they came out in the same year. Who knows?

Anyway, I had the chance to play this one, and I'm so glad that I did, because I found my third "It must be mine!" game in Manila. It's a tight, tense, nasty little game of playing the odds against having the right goods delivered into port each round. Going into the game, I knew it was designed by the same guy who did Container, but I think I might have figured it out just from the gameplay. It has some similarities in how the game feels, even if the mechanisms aren't all that similar. I think it might be the temporary alliance thing that happens during the turns.

This was the first game of the fourth day, and it was a hit. I only wish I had done more than tie for the win in it.
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: Dos Rios [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2142]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Following Manila, we played another Delonge game that I had written off, though not because my memory was faulty. I remember when Dos Rios came out, and hearing some negative buzz about it, and I decided it wasn't really my kind of game.

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. I mean, I do remember the negative buzz, and I think the game would be better with fewer players, but overall this is a wonderfully agonizing game of placement and messing with other players in the game. There are no temporary alliances in this game; in fact, the whole point of the game is to put the board in a state where it will help you and no one else. The more you can do that, the better, and while there are a couple of random elements in the game, they're manageable to a point, and completely tolerable. I lost the game one turn before I could have won it, but it was still an awesome game and experience. Afterward, I found myself thinking more about it, and have added it to my to-buy list, as well.

So there are two lessons to learn from playing Dos Rios: first, I should ignore negative buzz until I've had the chance to try the game myself; and second, I need to re-evaluate how I feel about confrontational, all-up-in-your-bidness games, because this one was an absolute blast to play.
 
 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: Acquire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:214]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I played in a six-player game of Acquire under duress (it's not a favorite of mine, and I'm not really thrilled with 6-player games in general), and discovered that my tastes have changed a lot from when I first started getting into the hobby. When I played this, I had played Shark first, and found a game that didn't have the same kind of fun level that I found in Shark. Now, though, I see that Acquire just might be the superior game, since it has cleaner turns and rules. I'm also intrigued with the way that the incentives of the game shift at about the halfway point, where you go from wanting to be in a company that gets absorbed, to wanting to be in that larger company. Knowing when to make that shift, and in which direction to take it, is key.

Even more surprising is thinking about when this game was published. It's hard to imagine that a game that feels like a quintessential Euro came out over 40 years ago.
 
 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: Skull [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:423]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
I pre-ordered Skull & Roses at my FLGS, because I knew it was a game I would like playing. I got a chance to play it twice at the fest, and confirmed what I already knew. I'm not sure if it's necessarily better than Liar's Dice, but the bluffing element of that game has been distilled down to a game that doesn't require all those dice to play it. In fact, it doesn't even require the box of tiles to play, since you can use almost anything to play the game. The second time we played the game, we used a Tichu deck, with the Aces representing the skulls.

I'll admit that this isn't a game for everyone. Anyone who doesn't like bluffing mechanisms will hate it, since that's all there is to the game. I love it, though, and can see playing it whenever we have a larger group of people waiting to start a bigger game. It's almost a perfect game.
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}}
24. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:43]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
There's not a whole lot left to say about 7 Wonders, so I won't rehash anything here. Besides, we didn't even play a full game, because we were just playing to kill time until Karnaxis became available again (there was only one copy, after all). We played through Age I, and I was hoping to win with the Mannekin Pis board, because I wanted a beer. Alas, it was not to be.
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}}
25. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:11]
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
And now we're back to Stefan Feld, with another game that interests me a lot more than his earlier designs. I like the use of the dice as a means to take your actions, and I like that the game has enough stuff going on so that you're not restricted to whatever it is you roll to do a specific action. There are a whole heaping helping of tiles, though, so the learning curve is a little steep, since having a familiarity with the tiles will give a player an advantage over the rest of the players. Still, I managed to pull a close second out of a game that included two players who had played it several times before.

I'm waffling over whether or not I want to add it to my collection. I enjoyed it enough to want to play it again, but it took a long time to finish the game. I think with more familiarity, the game will take less time, but even then, I think it would take about two hours with my regular group. We could still get it finished in one evening, though. At least I have the time to decide, since it's going to be a few months before Rio Grande publishes their edition of the game.
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}}
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.