I did a solo/learning the rules play of Coimbra tonight. Currently trying to figure out which people to attempt a teach of it to.
It adds 3 addition modules (there are several, but you pick 3) to a game. To be honest, the expansion modules feel like a bolt-on on a game about card drafting your own farm. The one that I really like is the market module which allows you to swap a card from the market with your current hand. It does add more cards though, probably 1/4 or 1/3 of the base deck, which is a very nice addition. To be honest, the biggest plus is the box size, which I can fit the entire base + expansion into it!
EDIT: I have always played this game without the expansion. So I dont know what it’s like playing with just the base game!
The main point of the warehouses for me were to get rid of the tiles that were useless and taking up planning spaces.
Inspired by The Lady and the Tiger, I looked at Jellybean Games’ latest game compilation - Jabberwocky - and put together a prototype out of Uno cards and some glass beads. Bandersnatch is a phenomenal abstract solo game, and I have played it a whole ton over the last week or so, prior to writing a review here to tell the world just how great it is.
It gives you a really simple turn that belies the depth of strategy and planning needed to win, and gives you enough rope to hang yourself by your own decisions, rather than losing because of how the cards were dealt. That makes it an excellent game.
Also played a few rounds of Battle Line with my wife, ignoring tactics cards until we feel that it needs some extra spice. Schotten-Totten is so good on it’s own that we’re content without added complexity for the time being.
Also been playing a lot of Cubeo, a luckless dice game inspired by Hive, in a Slack channel while my code compiles at work. It’s a devious little wrestling match that is tense right up to the end, and I highly recommend checking it out, as it only takes a handful of dice in two colors.
Had a pretty good long weekend game-wise, in spite of my Flamme Rouge plans flopping. First my girl and I got through the Shy Pluto small-c campaign (cheating twice to proceed, no spoilers but it was the right move, especially playing 2P). I’m looking forward to having the new cards in the mix as they present a number of new challenges both in terms of scoring pursuits and board manipulation. Space Base is still my second favourite release of 2018 so this was a welcome little add-in. Even if the story was a glorified trickle-in of the new cards, the new [Nope! Not even gonna spoiler tag it!] and I’m looking forward to playing more.
[EDIT] Totally forgot to mention we had a nice (and quick!) play of Gaia Project last night as well. I won with 150-something (153?), with my girl coming in at 99. We’re both still really new to the game, but our scores have been improving consistently and the mechanics aren’t bogging us down anymore. The juicy choices sure are, through. Really loving this one.
We may play something today, pouring rain as it is. I have Architects of the West Kingdom on the table as a tease. She is already significantly better than me with this one, and it plays light enough to spark a rivalry (and sometimes a second game). I’m also super impressed with the packaging which is small, simple and effective. Big hit.
This past Tuesday (man, it’s been a while since then…) my game group met at my house and we set up Notre Dame: 10th Anniversary Edition on my screened-in porch. I absolutely adore the 2 or 3 weeks a year that we get weather suitable for porch gaming here in northeastern Kansas, so I was not going to pass it up.
We selected Notre Dame as a show of tribute to the titular cathederal after the the tragic, real-life events of the day before. This was only my second play of it and I am even more convinced that this is my new favorite Feld game, firmly dethroning Castles of Burgundy. Our new member, R was joining us, myself and my neighbor B. again for the second week in a row. R is familiar enough with other games that nothing in Notre Dame was unapproachable, though it did take a few rounds to really impress upon him what somebody should be doing. As a new player, looking at that first hand of three cards is probably the most difficult thing in the entire game.
By the end of the game, R had certainly caught on and took the victory with 46
points de victoire to my 45 and B’s 41. Very close game and R’s early, straight-forward strategy of “I… I guess I’ll take victory points… and then… more victory points” really paid off. My strategy of going heavy into the Hospital for the first half of the game to mitigate late-game rats (and, thus, let me focus on big point options that come up with ‘C’ deck personalities) almost was enough to take the win.
Throughout the game, I thought about and came to the conclusion that Feld could certainly revisit the Notre Dame (game) design based upon the (on-going, but certainly now more visible) renovation/reconstruction of Notre Dame cathedral.
Played some Fuji tonight another Wolfgang Warsch: imperfect info joint. It was pretty good fun. A bit of a pain to set up in the pub and explain the rules - they’re kind of unintuitive but in part because it’s quite unusual. It’s a fun little co-op game (we won but the score ranking chart described it in the most sarcastic of terms because we’d done too well) where you race away from an ever increasingly lava’d landscape towards a safehaven. The movement mechanism is the heart of the game. Each space you move to has a certain filtered score requirement (eg only blue faces or ones count or evens). Before you move you make a choice as to whether you’ll go there potentially. You can only move there if your score meeting the requirement is higher than the two adjacent players score with those requirement (so on a yellow requirement space I compare my yellow pips with As Yellows and Bs Yellows). This means everyone’s moves has to mesh so that everyone can move - there’s no point in both A and Me going for a top yellow score as one would lose that fight.
It’s a really bizarre game that combines a clock mechanism with imperfection (I can’t actually say exactly what’s on my dice)which creates nice reveal moments. I’d love to play again but we’ll have to see if I can wheel it out.
Played Han - a light area control game.
We lost another game of Ghost Stories.
Played Lords of Waterdeep for the 1st time with the Skullport expansion. It was alright.
Lowlands feels lighter than the other farming-themed Euro games, except it has fiddly rules more than its own class (e.g. Reykholt), but it seems that the game is way more deeper than I thought. Would need another game of it again.
We did end up playing a round of Architects of the West Kingdom and it ended up really tight. We both beat the “AI” opponent’s 39, but tied with 45 each. She had me on Virtue, though, so that broke the tie. Good match, really fun with the AI in a 2-player game.
We didnt play Gloomhaven, because we decided instead to get stuck into Robinson Crusoe. And we lost. You have to do so much stuff, and random things happen to you. And when you cant give up a resource, or a token, you take a wound instead. Everything seems to end with taking a wound. And as you take wounds your morale goes down (which is understandable I guess). This was actually my second play of the game, but I have no memory of the first play (it was a few years ago, according to bgg).
Santa Maria, second play (but I couldnt remember much, it was way back). Its a tile laying, dice placement game. You get a player board of 6 X 6 spaces. On your turn, you can buy a new piece for your player board, activate a building with a coin, or place a die on a row/column and activate all the buildings in that row/column. Theres also two tracks to move along – the religion track, and the conquistador track. The religion track gives you access to your monks, which can be placed on special abilities, or end game points. The conquistador track gives you gold (wildcard resource) and points at the end of each round (for first and second). Its a pretty quick playing game, with only 3 rounds.
Indulgence, some trick taking fun. The twist is that there is an edict card chosen at the start of each round, which states a condition that you do not want to do (like taking cards of a particular suit). Each player can pass, or choose to “sin”, where they will break the edict. If successful, you get money from the other players.
Crown of Emara, a quick game to finish the night. And it has two roundels!
I’m back from holiday! On holiday I played a game of Crossing, which I lost. My son also discovered a copy of Mastermind in the cottage and played that pretty much to death. It’s fun, but very limited and not for a gamer, but, for a 7yo fertile imagination to try and outwit someone, it’s great. It can sow the seeds for many outwittery style games in the future.
I also got a game of A Feast for Odin with my wife. We didn’t play The Norwegians as my wife doesn’t like expansions (“why mess with a good game in the first place?”). It was a very tight game. She scored 105 through emigration and a bunch of other bits to score 129. I ummed and ahhed for so long over whether I should take Iceland or Faroe Islands that I plumped for Faroe to go with my livestock strategy and fell just short with a score of 128. The game proved that emigration is not the be all and end all, although it is strong. Some good late moves (and better earlier ones - Iceland coughcough) and I maybe could have eked out another 10 points from silver and income and what have you. After a bunch of very low scores, however, it’s reignited my passion for the game. I’ll try and get it to the table wherever I am. So good.
Another Warsch game I have to have (ordered!)
Mum was down for a visit today so I introduced her to Spring Meadow and then we played about 4 games of it in a row at her insistence - I think its a winner! I also quite enjoyed losing Jaipur!
Played Mysterium 3 times in two weeks. First time with a group who didn’t want the stress of an egg timer, on extremely easy mode. It’s a testament to the greatness of the game that it was still fun. We lost unanimously when the ghost conjured up an entire backstory when choosing their final 3 cards, without any of us having an indication of what they were thinking.
Second time was with my nephew and nieces (and other family). My 12 year old niece perfectly mathced my thoughts, getting all three aspects correct first time. We won, easily.
Third time was with hardened boardgamers. This was a chuffin’ nightmare. Only one other had played before, and everybody else seemed to expect perfect pictures. I had ‘why have you given me a picture of a frog. There aren’t any frogs’ and when the denoument came it was ‘why didn’t you give me a picture of a policeman?’ BECAUSE I DIDN:T HAVE ANY! ahem
Also played Lords of Hellas- alright except the colours chosen for region spaces are terrible and led to an anticlimatic ending, and it feels like two games being played on the same board. I feel heroes shouldn’t just be able to wander through war torn regions with not a care in the world.
Loads of games of Insider (always seem to get the awkard Americanisms). My game Forks. Then Powergrid, Rhino Hero, Exit, Detective, Guilds of London, Agricola, Sushi Go, Castles of Burgundy Card Game, just loads. Loads of games. And more tomorrow!
Nice to know that Mysterium doesn’t lose its appeal after a few plays. I’ve played it twice so far and really enjoyed it, although I’m eyeing up the two expansions in order to keep it fresh. Have you been playing with them or are you still on the base game?
We’ve got the first expansion, but it’s not needed. It would be if I always played with the same people after a while though, even if it is just more cards. We did once play with Dixit cards, but that was almost impossible (the Mysterium cards seem to link to the characters and rooms. Not the weapons though). Played it loads of times. Genuinely a fantastic game, might even be my number 2. I really love it. One of the few games which I will always say yes to.
This is when I’d have the person draw a hand of cards from the ghost deck and tell them to play the one that indicates the policeman. Of course, that would be the time that a card with a policeman would come up
I’m finishing up a week of regimented boredom (long story) and decided to bust out Bottom of the 9th to stave off Insanity. The game comes packed with a very robust solo mode, but I need to be ready for interruptions, so I wanted to simplify things and came up with a (really easy) little solo mode for one-off play.
For those who might actually be familiar with the game, it gets set up as per the usual 2-player rules, with the following changes:
- I shuffle and draw the opposing side randomly (this works for batters and pitchers). Duplicate positions are discarded and drawn until a “correct” team composition is made
- The Situation cards are separated from the Manager’s Challenge deck and shuffled thoroughly. These are ONLY used to determine the opposing side’s Staredown result. Whether batting or pitching, I make my swing/pitch selection and then compare results with the drawn situation card.
- Basepath Variant is used for the run phase.
- AI Pitcher ONLY: If on cleanup the fatigue would only recover to level 2 or 3 on BOTH exhaustion tracks, the reliever is called in.
- Gameplay is entirely the same as a normal 2-player game otherwise.
This actually works really well. It loses the mayhem of the running phase (as is the case any time the Basepath Variant is used), but otherwise it holds up just fine!
On a more general level, Bottom of the 9th is a delightful little filler game that really plays to its theme well and does an excellent job of capturing the specific little slice of baseball it attempts to emulate. I really can’t say enough about how great this tiny game is, though I’m also a lifelong baseball fan.
Was on the Oregon Coast last week and played a game of Embark (from Tasty Minstrel Games) with my wife there.
Then played it again this past Sunday along with learning Conquest of Paradise from GMT Games.
Embark is a review copy, so I need to play it at least one more time before writing the review. But pre-review, I can say that it’s fun.
Conquest of Paradise is interesting. It’s the various Polynesian civilizations around 500 AD expanding their empires in the South Pacific. It’s a bit random in that you draw chits to see if there are islands in an ocean hex or an island group. Somebody could get lucky and have a close group of islands as their empire.
Still a lot of fun, though. I’d like to play it again.
I read your post about Mysterium and enjoyed it, but couldn’t you have summed it up with a picture?
Perhaps of a law enforcement officer of some kind?