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Your Last Played Game


These past 2 weekends I tried a whole mess of games! Here are my highlights.

Keyflower was a great game, but only great in the last third of the game when we finally understood how to play the damn thing. I swear, that rule book was one of the worst I’ve seen in a LONG time, and has made me reconsider how I judge games in the future. Not just on play mechanics, fun, and all that, but also how well are the rules written.

We played Acquire at the fabulous game/restaurant Drinking Dice in south Philadelphia. This was my second time with the game, but this time with 5 players instead of 2. I forgot about the crazy amount of head-math involved with each decision! In the end lots of fun, cut-throat decisions on a board that was difficult to read.

That night we went back to my place and tried Arcade Academy to cap off the night. It was REFRESHING to sit down and read through rules in about 20 minutes, teach my friends how to play in less than 10, and then have fun casting spells and chaining combo tiles for over an hour. Seriously, the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It was great!


The proper way to learn Keyflower is via WatchedItPlayed


I saw that in the instruction booklet after I finished playing and saw the round numbers in the squares, I’ll be recommending that to my group from now on just so we can plot out decisions.
I like this style of puzzle. it really works for me.

I think thats why I liked Gloomhaven so much, each round each turn changed the puzzle and I enjoyed the process of figuring it out on the fly.
Also I work in IT so analysing issues and problem solving are second nature to me.


Played TM, no not that TM - the other one, Terra Mystica.

It’s good. More interaction than I thought, plenty of space blocking and magic leaching. Making the second level buildings cheaper if you build next to someone is a good way to encourage butting up against one another.


Last weekend was rather hellish for us (sick kid, my car died, our furnace stopped working (fixed it the next day), power went out in the bedrooms when putting in space heaters (not fixed until Monday), and my uncle died), but we played a few games last Saturday at our once a month meetup. Azul, followed by 7 Wonders, followed by Azul again. Azul went over well with them, as they had not played it before.

Today we visited with my parents, who are in town for my uncle’s funeral. Showed Azul to them as well. My dad seemed to grok the game pretty well, my mom floundered through. Both agreed at the end that it was fun.


Up until I read that you lost your uncle, I was prepared to make a joke about something, something, Country song… But that would be crass; dead uncles ruin everything.

Seriously though, sorry for your loss.


Also, missed opportunity to play Last Will


Gloomhaven as usual

Auztralia, a cooperative game where you’re still trying to win as a player. You’re in Australia, expanding out across the outback and fighting Old Ones. On your turn, you can build railroads, mine resources, recruit military units, put down a farm, take a personality card, import/export resources, recruit military units, and attack. For each option, you place one of your cubes. To do an action again, you have to pay 1 gold for each cube you already have there. You start with a home port tile on the coast, if this is destroyed, you all lose. At first its only player turns, without any interference from the Old Ones. Each action takes a certain amount of time. After all the players discs on the time track pass the purple disc, the Old Ones start taking turns. A facedown unit is flipped, revealing which Old One it is, and then it starts moving towards the nearest farm to take it over. Old Ones can range from a basic zombie, up to that old rascal, Cthulhu himself (itself?). In attack, you have various units: soldiers, armoured cars, artillery, armoured trains, and airships. Each type of military unit has a degree of effectiveness against an Old One type, from poor to good. Each unit also has a off-track range, which is how far from a railway they can be to attack. Unfortunately when you start an attack you don’t know what you’re fighting, and it costs extra time to take different types of unit. Once you begin an attack, you start drawing cards, which will show which units will do damage against the current enemy (if any), and how much damage they do back to you (if any). You can also lose sanity during battles. Its a bit of push your luck, do you risk having a unit destroyed? If you withdraw, damaged units are healed, and you get all your sanity back. And you could attack again of course.

It took us all afternoon to play, none of us had played before (although the owner of the game had watched a video or two). Its not a difficult game to pick up. Choose an action, move enemies around. I’d play again, now we have a better idea. Most of the enemy cards seemed to be “activate the lowest hex”, so we would probably stay away from those hexes during initial placement. It also seemed a bit easy, I’d play the fully cooperative version next time if I had the choice (you start closer to the Old Ones marker on the time track, so have less time to prepare). Also you get to share railway networks and resources.

Ganz Schon Clever - this is becoming my favourite roll and write game. I even got a work mate playing it on the browser version. Bit more fun with actual people, even tho its pretty much multiplayer solitaire. You do have to be aware of what dice you give to the other players.



Had friends over for some games. Started out with Fleet, which I recently picked up used. It’s an auction game for fishing licenses, where the cards in your hand are your cash AND your fishing boats AND your captains, so it’s got some very tight hand management and worth-evaluation: Should I launch this shrimp boat so it can start catching point-giving fish, or keep it because it’s worth two bucks and there’s a license I really want being auctioned next round? I think it went over fairly well despite some rules confusions. Next time I’m going to take the suggestion I saw multiple times on BGG and mock up some Gone Fishin’ cards from the expansion so people who don’t win a license auction can get a little bit of extra cash for the next round.

We then played Azul which they brought and which my fiancée has been hankering for since her first play a couple weeks ago. It was my first play and I managed to win by a few points, which I was pretty happy about. I definitely liked it, and the tiles felt great, but it didn’t blow me over the way it seems to have done with everyone else I know, and I would choose Sagrada over it any day. Speaking of which…

Sagrada was our last game (the fire was stoked by Azul). The public goals were very synergistic: Row color variety, color variety, and column shade variety. With all those restrictions in place I went with a simple window, and still only managed to get 3 out of 4 color rows (and all five columns), whereas my fiancée got all four. That pushed her ahead of me by a couple points, due to our excellent decision to use the suggested variant of halving personal goal points. I got 13 to her 10 in the private goal, which would have been bumped to 26-19 if we had done the full count, and that’s just too much swing for something that can so easily favor one person over the other.

And then we jokingly planned how we could throw eggs at a mutual friend who was not present, so a great game night in all!


Ganz Schön Clever 2: AkA Dopplet so Clever has been played a couple of times. It feels far more difficult (in the manual for solo mode the ranking “Ganz Schön Clever” is only half way up!). There’s far more emphasis on hard calls with regards to sacrificing points in exchange for bonus crosses (previously the game felt like it was about unabated combo-ing but here you generally have to make more thoughtful choices). The scope of the game also seems broader and deeper but I’m forgetting perhaps how hard Ganz was at the start.

It’s a really good sequel imo because it does develop ideas in the first but gives something reasonably interesting to Ganz vets. If you see both in the shop I’d definitely say get the original before the newer one because there is a curve in understanding and fun.


Gloomhaven: Really tough scenario, hardest yet. Also one player with a new character. Failed twice early, cracked it on the third try (for those in the know, scenario 38, with the suicidal Orchid).

Twilight Struggle: Really tense, really long game, right down to the wire, with a 1 point win by the USSR in final scoring.

… and that was all 9 hours used up! Heh.


We had a couple of friends over last night for a "Game Night " (but not really), which got started after dinnner at 8 or so.

They aren’t gamers, so we started with two games of Yahtzee.

Followed that up with a game of Century Golem Edition. With them both being new, and nongamers, it was long. Maybe 1.5-2 hrs?! That includes breaks to let the dogs out, and such, but still. Crazy long for the game, though they enjoyed it in the end (especially once they started figuring it out and getting little engines going). One of them won which was cool. He raced to 5 Golems while the rest of us had 2 or 3.

That was the end of “Game Night”, since it was 11:30 by that point. I’m going to try and grab Railroad Ink at some point for nights like that.


Played base game of Isle of Skye. Yep. I prefer this game without the expansions.

What I also found interesting is that having a good income/wealth doesnt make you win the game. Two players are financially struggling against me and another player, but one of them bamboozled us with his end game scoring

I also found that Im still not tired with the Ticket to Ride series. Played New York and had a good time. I probably wont own one myself though.


We played a “half game” of two-player Root yesterday and finished it off today. I can see why the instructions suggest playing two games, swapping factions after the first. I cannot, however, fathom why the manual would suggest Marquise/Eyrie as the ideal for what is clearly not an ideal player count. I struggle to think of a 2P game involving the Marquise that isn’t ultimately a practice round under brutal conditions for the other player.

I say this recognizing I’m totally new to the game (both of us are), that the game is obviously not tuned for this (the manual outright states this variant is better for practice) and that this is all from the base game with no house variants (we’re already brainstorming ways to automate the Alliance and/or Vagabond). But hooo-eeee am I glad I can see the forest for the trees on this one (sorry), because what a grim introduction.

On the other hand, I was really impressed by how quickly things came together. This is a far more streamlined game than Vast, and even though it’s just as bewildering at first, most moderately seasoned gamers should be able to catch on within a few turns. The two-turn walkthrough seems reasonably effective, if a bit dependent on players asking the host player the why of things. The Marquise in particular feel like a very welcoming faction for newer board gamers, with their starting position and familiar mechanics.

Anyway, long story short, I can see a whole lot of potential with this one (like I’m saying anything new here, right?). It plays fast and ruthless, which is something I very much enjoy. It’ll never get stale and I’ll never have to poke holes in any of its flaws… because it’ll still never hit the table enough for that. Kind of a net sadness, really.

But hey, I own Root. Hipster cred!


I remember that scenario. I believe we described it as three hours of “aaaahhhhHHHHHHHaagggg… Ok so we’re good now right? We can rest? No? AAAAHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhooooo good it’s over.”


That unlocks another scenario right?
If I remember correctly we refused to play it for weeks because we didn’t want to deal with the orchid again. The unlocked mission would have retired one of our characters too.


Scenario 38 spoilers


The only reason we were able to win it was because we force-moved the Orchid a total of about 17 hexes backwards over the course of the game. Didn’t need all of that, but it was still a really close run thing, with the crazy levels of damage we had to put out with no piercing (OK, some piercing, but I was selfishly not using equipment because reasons).


If you have Two-Mini, this scenario becomes laughably easy.




I think I know what you are thinking of, and it wasn’t as much help as we thought it would be. We were only able to shunt her back 2 turns’ worth using two-mini, because the time we tried for 3, he took 15 damage in one turn and we failed. Also, shunting him back is far from the only challenge in the scenario. The bear suicides on guards’ retaliate 3, and the golems take a ridiculous amount of punishment and time. You found it “ridiculously easy”, we failed twice and limped through on the 3rd try (albeit getting all the loot and battle goals). There’s a lot more to it than just “having two-mini”.




We have a pretty solid team that could keep up with the Two-Mini, Sun & Cthulhu.
We tanked hard, by staying ahead of the suicidal orchid and I (Cthulhu) put up lots of damage mitigation.

We also used initiative to become the focus of enemies over the Orchid.


Ticket to Ride: New York feels like a knife fight in the backseat of a taxi after playing other TtR games. It’s really interesting; certainly a new favorite in the series next to TtR: Germany