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Your Last Played Game


I went to a *local con - the primary reason was for us antipodeans to get our hands on some Essen titles and give them a crack. Here’s some of the games and my quick take on them.

*Local being in Canberra while I’m in Ballarat, near Melbourrne. Only took me 8.5 hours of driving to get home yesterday :no_mouth:

Gizmos is a really satisfying engine builder. It has appeal for newer gamers and veterans alike. Toy factor is fun and works!

I really enjoyed Wildlands too… (this is high praise because Wildlands is not my kind of game). Also Martin Wallace taught me directly making it a little bit special.

Smartphone Inc! SO VERY GOOD. I hope it gets wider distribution My pick of the games that I played. Kind of like Food Chain Magnate lite - just the supply and demand stuff. An economic game without actual cash!

Piepmatz was interesting but just ok. People can be baffled how the birds move around. I got it and did well but still beaten by a player who had literally no idea, just playing down cards.

Newton is… needlessly complicated. Not terrible

Reykholt = :heart_eyes:

Coimbra doesn’t overstay its welcome but didn’t really gel with me. Pleasant.

Blackout Hong Kong is a hot mess in a bad way

Underwater Cities is amazing if you like Terraforming Mars (I don’t) but I still had a good time but was too long at 4. I can see this being really popular even though the component quality is lacking.

I brought along my own copy of The Estates since KS backers here don’t have it. A joy to teach multiple time and great interactive game. This is right in my wheelhouse and I love it.

Oh, I also enjoyed MetroX which is a flip and write. Kind of like Welcome To… but with Japanese train lines. Deviously smart.

This has been an episode of Hammond’s mini-reviews


Yeah, my first (and only) game seemed a bit ordinary. I’m not giving up on it, needs another game.


All I want to know is why they called it “Metrox” instead of “Metro X”. Are there mecha involved or something? Is it related to Metroid in any way? (I’m kidding) Rocks? What is the X about? It seems weird to have a game about train lines, with “metro” in the title, but to have it pronounced “metrocks”. I wouldn’t even have realised without the Japanese name to refer to (“metorokkusu”).


Wow I didn’t know it was meant to be pronounced that way. I’ve just been calling it Metro X. I guess the x is for the crossing lines?? Not sure


that blackout view is contrary to most I’ve seen!

(Apart from the look, which is universally panned and the lameness of theme in connection with the game)


Had a game night at my place on Saturday, with the guys I started playing Shadespire with last year. Unfortunately, that turned out to be too big a money sink for their liking, so we stopped playing soon. Now they’ve finally found the game for a League in Blitz Bowl.

Here the buy-in is considerably lower, and as a streamlined short version of Blood Bowl the game delivers.

I had played one game before, when they had just bought the core set and a few teams, but after a long hiatus I was thoroughly destroyed when I tried out the Beast Men against the Skaven.

In the second game I avoided the most blatant mistakes, but had really bad luck with dice rolls, leading to another quick defeat.

Then in our third game I finally got a hold of some kind of tactics, snatched up the ball and managed to keep a hold on it. Which is key against the Skaven, the little rat people being so damn fast you can’t really defend against them netting a touchdown once they’ve got the ball.
Just then, the parallel game ended and we decided to call it a day to play something else.

But now I feel I’ve got a hold of the rules and basic tactics, I’m up for joining their league and try to bring glory to the beast men (and whichever Chaos God they’re playing for…).

The game does seem to be dependent on luck even a bit more than Shadespire, but because it doesn’t take long if you’re losing due to bad rolls, it doesn’t feel too frustrating.

Next up: a game of Champions of Midgard.
Second game for me and one other player plus there was one newbie and the owner of the game.
I still am very much enjoying it, and don’t agree with Paul’s verdict that the later rounds are boring.
Personally I very much enjoy worker placement, but imo even people that don’t might like COM, because it does away with much of the usual criticisms of the mechanic, e.g. feeling like an exercise in mathematics and efficient gameplay after seeing the initial setup.
Especially with four players, blocking is a real thing and it’s mandatory to change your tactics in accordance with the available spaces constantly.
I eeked out a win after a slow start, getting my fourth worker and my own ship late in the game (which I didn’t think efficient enough before), and fullfilling two missions.
Really glad I backed the German version, and at the same time I don’t think I’ll get tired of it soon (especially after adding the expansions), so I don’t feel I need Reavers for the time being.


Played Azul: Sintra. A different kind of set collection but it still has the same vibe with original Azul. The penalties here is more punishing though, as the penalties accumulate throughout the entire game, not every round like in orignal Azul. I have no strong feelings either direction, but Im leaning just a tiny bit towards the original Azul.

Played the Estates for the first time. It’s a game where you do things to mess around and feel clever when you do it. I really like this game.

We lastly then played Ra - the puns we did in this game were ter-RA-ble!!


Picked up Pit Crew for a more-than-four-people game night scenario. I played with my college-age nephew against my other nephew a few times over the holiday break and got my ass handed to me. It’s fun, albeit a little bit more fiddly than i expected. I’m interested in trying it out in 1v1 and in 3 teams of 3 players each mode, the two extremes of player count possibilities. Also, like many Stronghold games, I’m sorry to say, it feels a bit cheaply made.

Played Ice Cool with my 8-year-old son and some other visiting kids a bunch. I always think dexterity games are going to be easy but they never are. I guess it’s one of my blind spots. Anyway, this is also fun, although it may be a little bit too simple in concept for most adults to sustain interest, and maybe a little too fiddly in terms of score-keeping and role-changing for some kids. if you can find a cheap copy, as I did, it’s worth checking out.

So, my first mid-life crisis was horse-trading electric guitars and basses, a few years back. My second one, obviously, is hobby board gaming. I think I may have reached the culmination of said crisis because of course I am now designing my own game. I’m excited that the prototype deck I ordered should be arriving some time this week. I’m hoping to have all the rough components ready in time to play-test the game with some (hopefully patient and understanding) friends this next weekend.


Thanksgiving morning, my wife and I played a game of Patchwork, which I think was my worst game of it ever. I ended up with -14 points, compared to her 39. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished negative before, with 16 squares uncovered at the end of the game. Admittedly, I only got one of the leather patches and a number of patches that did not give button income, so I felt like I was always scrambling for buttons.

Friday evening we visited a couple of friends. While there we played a three player game of Lords of Waterdeep. I screwed up the setup, however, because I set it up for four players when one of our hosts said she would just watch as she’d have to get their kids ready for bed soon, but I never went back to alter the setup, meaning we each had one less agent than we should have had. Nevertheless, the end result likely would have been similar, as my wife won with 134 to my 114, with our friend trailing at 108, just with everyone having more points.

We followed that up with two games of Crossing, this time with four players. Our new player won the first game, while her husband won the second. I finished last both times, which I guess shows I am not very good at this game. :blush:

Saturday we had the above couple over, along with our usual gaming couple, and everyone brought their kids, for a Thanksgiving 2.0, so things were pretty crazy. Nevertheless, we did manage to get some gaming in. We played our friends’ copy of Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. We ended up with a rather interesting Haunt, where it was the heroes versus the traitor, but then after a certain condition was met, everyone was working together again. We ended up winning the game, though we had three casualties in the process.

After this, the first couple left with their kids, so the rest of us played a game of Nefarious, which we had all played a couple times at SHUX and our friends had liked it enough to buy their own copy. I was within striking distance of victory when our friend managed to build one last invention, giving him the 20 VP needed to win.

We rounded out the day with a game of Ethnos, using the Merfolk, Giants, Elves, Centaurs, Wingfolk, and Skeletons. The first age was interesting as no one made a band (after Skeletons crumbled) of more than two cards, so very few points were generated from that. People did better in the following ages. Though not me. Yet again, I played a lousy game, ending up with only 59 points. My wife won with 85, only two points ahead of our friend at 83, and his wife managed 68 points.


Finished our Arkham LCG campaign. We won!

Finally got Dicetopia to the table. Very nice little filler game. Takes 2-3 minutes to set up (will come down a bit with practise), only 10-15 minutes to play. Still, there’s a lot of depth there to be plumbed.

Got in another game of Keyforge. I’m fairly satisfied with my progress, but my partner is having trouble grokking it. She never played MTG or anything like it, and Arkham LCG is really not even close.


On the weekend I got to play a game of Azul with my 6 year-old daughter and had a lot of fun. She’s still learning how to play board games but by the end, she was starting to make decisions for herself and gleaming that sometimes should couldn’t put tiles in certain locations. I’m hoping that at least we can do this weekly so the concepts can get reinforced.


Carcassonne was the last game I played. It’d been sitting on my shelf for a month or more, but the art style and age minimum (7+) kinda deterred from playing. The box art is kinda fun though. I kept thinking the Prince/King was upset that the maid was airing his boxers out the tower, and the Princess was in on it. But once I played, I actually learned to love the art style. It’s so fun building your own world, filled with bizarrely shaped villages and roads that go off to nowhere. I played three more times that night and now I’m considering an expansion.


I mean, it’s fine, maybe I’m being a bit harsh. It feels like a mashup of parts of Mombasa and Great Western Trail but doesn’t feel connected and satisfying like the previous two do. I’m sure people will like it; I prefer Pfister’s smaller games - to me that’s where he shines.


We’re playing “the bicycle game” (Flamme Rouge) a fair bit recently. My 3, nearly 4, year-old daughter just flips cards and counts spaces, ignoring exhaustion, while I, and sometimes my wife, play normally. I think I might need to take out the lowest card from each of her decks, but otherwise it’s working well.

In a recent game I pulled ahead, and suddenly she wanted to swap sides. I explained that the winner is still not known, and we should just see what cards come up. She reluctantly agreed, played to the end, and lost. She said she was sad she lost, and I said something like, well, maybe tomorrow you’ll win. She then asked for an immediate rematch, switching colours because “black is strong”. We played again, I fudged it just a little, and she won and was all smiles.

Last night the three of us played a game, I won, and she cheered “papa no kachi! (papa wins!)” and gave me a high five.

My daughter is awesome. I know adults who are less mature about losing.

Yes, this is primarily a proud parent boast, and not a game play report. I’m not sorry =P


Jeeze, me too.


It’s because you are good parents. Competition should be fun, and a challenge against your worthy competitor, not a total-sum value of one’s self-worth. Playing games with your family is the best way for kids to learn that, and you are nailing it, IMHO.

I’ve tried to do the same with my kids, and they also don’t get salty or sour when they lose (although not as happy as your girl was if I win :rofl:) . You are right to be proud.

Anyway, my last played games were D&D and Exploding Kittens (again). OH! Catacombs (Crypt expansion) we still need to break out Catacombs & Castles, we’ve been playing the senior edition far too long.


My boy is five in a month, but for the past six months or so we’ve been having a great time with PJ Masks: Team of Heroes, which is a super light co-op strategy title.

Each turn you draw a card, the top half of the card gives a move for the bad guy, then the lower half gives two choices for the player. All players co-operatively control the PJ Masks, so no squabbling over favourite characters. Also, as it is co-op, everyone wins or loses together, which cuts down sulking a little! Pretty easy to ‘fudge’ things a little too to prevent frustration when needed.

I believe it is a re-skin of The Lion Guard: Protect the Pride Lands so you can choose which theme would best match your kids. I talk it up wherever I can, because there are not many games in the venn diagram where the ‘co-op’, ‘strategy’, and ‘suitable for 4 year olds’ circles meet!


Not everyone has such awesome children.

When my son was younger he played competitive chess. His grandfather once asked him “what’s the secret to being a good loser”, and he said (quick as a flash) “make bad moves”.


Well said.

We’re still working on the idea of losing gracefully with my 9 year old son. I blame myself in part, as I was a terrible loser until he was born. I had to really work at it to get better. I would also let him win when he was much younger (as did a lot of people), but I think I kept that up for far too long. He was actually a better loser when he was younger.

Oh well, we’re getting there. We started playing competive games occasionally again, most frequently King of Tokyo, and its a 50/50 which way it will go if he doesn’t win.


Missed my weekly meetup due to the US holiday last week, but still got in some recent gaming with the fams. And of course, PAXU is this week, which will be great.

Fireball Island: the Curse of Vul-kar - My kickstarter copy finally arrived. My wife was not thrilled with the quality of the components, though I thought the boards are fine. The box quality is rubbish, though. The game itself is actually quite fun. It’s still a light family game, but that’s really what it should be IMHO. My wife and daughter left me to die as they flew away on their helicopter.

Deckscape - The Fate of London - So I like the Unlock game we played a great deal. This game…not as much. The first part felt clever and fun, but the latter half had puzzles that frankly felt cheap. One or two we basically felt like they weren’t solvable the first time out and the quality of the puzzles varied from the first half of the game to the latter half. Still had fun, but I’d pick up another unlock in favor of another from this series.

Trash Pandas - Family weight push your luck game. Good silly fun. Very simple set collection game but with some fun back and forth without feeling take-thaty.

Stone Age - Finally taught my wife and daughter how to play this one. Still delightful and since I normally lose when teaching games, I didn’t feel bad that I WHOMPED them.

Cacao - Picked this up because Asmodee was having a big sale and I thought it looked fun. It was/is! A clever tile-laying/worker placement variation that still is quite light and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.

Architects of the West Kingdom - MAN, do I LOVE this game. The worker placement mechanic feels very clever with lots of interesting choices throughout the game. The virtue mechanic is great and like Raiders of the North Sea, your individual turn is simple but strategy plays out in the long term. It’s relatively quick but choosing when and how to pivot around other players is fascinating to me.

Now if I can just convince the wife to play Gloomhaven or 7th Continent again.