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Subject: Morels (Foray) and me. rss

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Kevin W
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Morels: Foray a review.

Hello there, you don't know me but write a Click blog (sometimes) in which I mostly write about games I play with my wife and sometimes about what life throws at me/us.

Let me tell you a story about a boy meeting an box of cards and whittled sticks.
I discovered the original Morels way back in 2013, it is to date the only game I bought from the US through Game Salute. When the 29 May 2018 rolls around that means that we will be playing Morels for 5 years. Last year
Brent Povis
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Kickstarted an expansion to the excellent Morels titled Morels: Foray. What follows are my thoughts on what the game means to us and what the expansion has added to the game over the last few months.
Firstly I will mention that Morels: Foray adds the ability for Morels to be played with 3 or 4 players, this I will not cover as we only play 2 player games and we have not tackled the 3 or 4 player game. So this review will focus on the new cards added to the game. I will mention each card in order and give you my thoughts on these. This review will presume that all readers know and have played the base game.
What is different in the set up for Morels: Foray is that each player receives an extra basket (removed from the day deck) bringing their hand limit to 10 for the expansion game. Also the Chanterelle night card is removed and the Lion’s Mane night card is added to the night deck. There are now also new cards to be added to the day deck, is using the new Panther’s Cap then remove 2 Destroying Angels and add these, if also using the Thief cards remove the other 2 Destroying Angels. You also remove a moon card from the day deck and add another Chanterelle day card and 4 Lion’s Mane cards to the day deck, now you are ready to play.

The new cards added to the game which modify how you play the game are as follows:

Rainstorm:
this adds a second forest of 8 cards; this forest does not refill and decays to the same decay as the main forest. We have played with this card in every game so far, the extra forest adds a lot of choice to the game, this second forest can really boost your cooking score. An excellent addition to the game.

Forest Fire:
only taken from the forest, remove the first 4 cards of the forest and add a Morel card to the day deck, you chose to place this on the top or the bottom of the deck. You then take a second turn. We have only used this once, so our exposure is limited out of the added cards we have not found this to be very exciting, I think it’s more we haven’t discovered the strategy of this card more than it doesn’t work or anything to the game.

Panther Cap: discard 2 cards to look at top card of night deck or 1 card to look at last card in the night deck. Another useful card as knowing what is coming out of the night deck is a huge advantage. An excellent addition to the game.

Farm Girl: place this in your area and take all Honey Fungus or Lawyer Wigs from forest and decay to be sold / cooked later. These can be added to the cooking of other Honey Fungus or Lawyer Wigs later in the game. One of my wife’s favorite additions, the art is sweet and she always gets this when she needs it and there are always an abundance of Honey Fungus or Lawyer Wigs 

Chef: cook at least 2 different types of mushrooms with the same cook value. My god this card is good, this card right here can be a game winner, powerful in the right hands, which always seem to be my wife’s. Another excellent addition.

Farmers Market: sell 2 day cards for the double the stick value. A card my wife says is broken, even though that only seems to be when I get it :S. For me it’s a great leveler against the Chef, which means it is another excellent addition.

Thief: give your opponent 3 cards (if played when taken) or 2 cards if played later to steal a cooked mushroom from your opponent. Ah, you see this is what I like it seems great oh here are 3 cards……but it fills your hand limit and they are all carp muhahahahahhahahahahah. My wife does not like it.

Shiitake Log: spore the log with a number of Shiitakes , every time you cook add another Shiitake and rotate the log, when the log hits 0 then you can cook or sell all Shiitakes. Another good addition to the game, we have not played a lot with this as it adds (for us) a little too much to remember. WE usually can play a game of Morels in 30 minutes. I want to use it more and I am sure it will be as intuitive as the rest of the game over time.

Map: reverse the order of the forest. Great, a way to truly mess up your opponents turn 

Eccentric: first person to use a Destroying Angel, Panther Cap or Thief gets this card and can at and stage take a card as it decays. Another interesting addition can really help to grab that last all important Morel as it decays.

Eureka: awarded to each player after their first cook, this can be used to take 2 sequential cards from the forest. Another excellent card, the ability to take 2 cards at once can be bought exciting and soul destroying.

Morchella: Remove the Night Tree Card and shuffle Morchella into the top 4 cards of the night deck. When a taking a decay, Morchella can swoop in and take all of the cards, these have to be cooked before game end of they are minus points. Woo boy is this a good one, I once used it to get 2 Morels from the discard as my wife forgot I have Morchella. Another card that we always use in our games, excellent addition.


Now with all of these added cards, I can say that some complexity has been added to the game, if this complexity was needed is up to the individual. However, the complexity that is added is mitigated by the fact that all of the added modules can be added and removed depending on how you want to play. I think the addition of the Lion’s Mane mushroom cards has added a little balance to the mushroom scoring which is always a good thing.

If anyone has read anything I have written in the past with regards to Morels or Foray then you will know that it is our most played game and easily in our top 5 favorite games ever. What we love about Morels is the theme, it’s unique, the art is a gorgeous, rustic (?) style, and the hand management can be both frustrating and highly rewarding. What we love most about this game, is the memories that we have of playing it. I can remember so many days of playing this in all of the places we have lived, we took it on honeymoon and played it pool side in Portugal, and we played it in the hospital after our son was born. It is a game that resonates with us as it has become a part of us. When I see the box on the shelf I get a warm feeling inside, and for us that kind of emotion is not often found in an inanimate object.

Brent and his team at Two Lantern Games have given us some of the happiest gaming moments of our lives. This game will always be with us and I can see it being played with my son and any future children when they are older and more importantly I can see us playing this game until our end of days.

I will never refuse a game of Morels, not with my wife or children or even with you, if we ever meet let’s play a game. For us Morels is more than a game it’s become part of our family.
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Brent Povis
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wi1ky wrote:
What we love most about this game, is the memories that we have of playing it. I can remember so many days of playing this in all of the places we have lived, we took it on honeymoon and played it pool side in Portugal, and we played it in the hospital after our son was born. It is a game that resonates with us as it has become a part of us. When I see the box on the shelf I get a warm feeling inside, and for us that kind of emotion is not often found in an inanimate object.


Very touching, Wi1ky. This was a profound pleasure to read and inspired reflection on what Morels has meant for both of us since its debut in 2012 (which was a nervous time, by the way; there were a lot of naysayers about a mushroom-themed game). Since then, it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience now peppered with our own memories of playing with friends and family, including two little girls who have entered the picture since then. Certainly one of the glowing aspects of a hobby centered on bringing people together.

Also delighted to hear that you've been enjoying Foray! There hasn't been a lot of buzz, but I hope folks are getting a kick out of the new cards and player-counts. The new actions were a challenge to design since I didn't want to go crazy and break the hallmark tension elements of the game. Perhaps folks are even making their own with the included blanks? I feel like your son needs a card
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Kevin W
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bpovis wrote:
wi1ky wrote:
What we love most about this game, is the memories that we have of playing it. I can remember so many days of playing this in all of the places we have lived, we took it on honeymoon and played it pool side in Portugal, and we played it in the hospital after our son was born. It is a game that resonates with us as it has become a part of us. When I see the box on the shelf I get a warm feeling inside, and for us that kind of emotion is not often found in an inanimate object.


Very touching, Wi1ky. This was a profound pleasure to read and inspired reflection on what Morels has meant for both of us since its debut in 2012 (which was a nervous time, by the way; there were a lot of naysayers about a mushroom-themed game). Since then, it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience now peppered with our own memories of playing with friends and family, including two little girls who have entered the picture since then. Certainly one of the glowing aspects of hobby centered on bringing people together.

Also delighted to hear that you've been enjoying Foray! There hasn't been a lot of buzz, but I hope folks are getting a kick out of the new cards and player-counts. The new actions were a challenge to design since I didn't want to go crazy and break the hallmark tension elements of the game. Perhaps folks are even making their own with the included blanks? I feel like your son needs a card


Yes, I have been thinking about this, I just need to figure out what exactly

As for the buzz well, all I can say is that I have at least got one person to play the game thanks to my blog apart from that I can just recommend it to everyone who asks about 2 player card games. At least you can bask in the knowledge that a lot of people love both Morels and Agility and what you guys do at TLG is appreciated.

Now we wait to see what you have coming next......
 
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