Introduced my neighbors to isle of Skye and Cosmic Encounter last night. Boy are these are good games!
I can’t remember if I posted here on Friday, but my lady and I had our first two games of Arboretum. The first did not go well, and the second was only slightly better. Fortunately, she wants to keep trying (scoring is tricky to wrap your head around).
Saturday night we hand another game of it, and it went much better. It really is agonising!
Second game of the night was Viticulture EE. Such a pleasant game. My only issue is (so far) the end game feels somewhat anticlimactic. The end just kind of happens. Maybe as we get better, and can follow and react to eachother, that will be less of an issue.
We ended it with a game of Tides of Madness. Fun little drafting game for 2, with wonderful Lovecraftian artwork.
Played Forsaken Forest at our last board-games meet-up. Interesting spin on the whole Werewolf/hidden roles game, but boy is the manual awful. I don’t want to pin it on it being a Kickstarter, but it’s just not organised in a logical way and once you find a rule it’s explained so vaguely.
Once we got the hang of things I quite enjoyed it. Having the board in the middle of the table to forge paths is nice, but it seems like it might make playing with the maximum player count of 12 a bit tricky. We only played it with 5 and had to be really careful about moving/nudging in the night phases when everyone has their eyes closed.
My brother-in-law’s birthday was yesterday. We had a couple of people over for a 5 player game of Lords of Waterdeep using the Undermountain expansion. I was in the lead for the first half of the game, but a lack of high scoring quests, people taking the spaces I wanted, and some heavy distraction from my kids combined to see me in last place by the end.
Conversely, my wife was in last place for a good chunk of the game and came back to win it with 199 points. I was at 143 and the other three were somewhere between us.
I got Imhotep to the table for the first time in a long while yesterday. Trying to play the games from the collection to decide whether to sell or trade before buying new, shiny stuff. Had a really good time with it. It has a stay of execution****
Last Friday, I had a day off and a few of us got together to play games all day. A great day, if a little tiring to play for 12 hours(ish).
First up was Rum & Bones - my friend went all in the on the Kickstarter and has everything. I quite like the way the ebb and flow of this game - one moment, you look like you’re crushing it and next, your opponent is right back in it. However, I think it can go on too long and ultimately I was quite happy that we’d played a couple of the rules wrong and made the game go quicker!
As a little cleanser (and just to wait until the other two finished their game of Rum and Bones as well), we played The Mind. Had a much better vibe this time and we did well for 2 player. Will definitely keep this as a little filler.
Then we played Who Goes There. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing this was another Kickstarter as I’ve never really seen it reviewed anywhere. It was kind of a mixture of Battlestar Galactica and Betrayal at House on the Hill and is based on the book that inspired The Thing. Quite a good game - I managed to keep it quiet that I was infected until near the end and, while I was not allowed on the helicopter at the end, I had infected another player who was trusted so ultimately I won! Hurrah!
Then we had a couple of games of Welcome to… - this is the first time Ive played this since I bought and I really like it, although I’m not sure if I’ve got the tactics right as I was soundly beaten in the 1st game and, while I thought I had done much better in the 2nd was still beaten comprehensively. Ah well, keep trying!
Pandemic - Reign of Cthulhu was next. I like the theme and the game feels quite atmospheric. I liked that we felt that we were winning quite easily but actually it was only on the very last turn that we managed to close all the gates so it did keep it tense to the end.
Next up was Camel Cup with the SuperCup expansion. We only used Module 1 of the expansion which extends the track and gives the last camel TWO dice every round to really make things close. I made a gamble at the last with my camel being in last place but with two dice stood a good (well, relatively remote actually as several things had to happen in order!) chance of winning - I took ALL the betting cards AND bet on it coming first. Everything paid off and I took the victory! Hurrah!
LAstly, we rounded off the night with a couple of rounds of Nightmarium, a relatively simple game of building up monsters (feet, body and heads) with various mechanics to make it hard. Lost badly both times! Ah well.
A great day, although with a two hour drive each way, it certainly made for a long one!
My friend hosted a housewarming party and we played party games like Decrypto, One Night Ultimate Alien, and Monikers. ONUA feels weird, interesting, and also makes it more complicated. It feels like a game for hardcore ONUW fans, rather than something anyone should pick up. I think ONU Vampire is also the same.
On Sunday, we started with Railroad Ink (Blue). I agree with the gang that it is the best one - simple but stressful - I like Welcome To but I sold it due to the lack of space and the massive front-load information that you have to give to people when introducing the rules.
We also played the Estates and it was hilarious. I think this game is best for people who like to mess with everyone, because the four of us are within that category. I am selling this copy because I was so underwhelmed, and with this crowd, i can see why this game is awesome and end up changing my mind and now I am keeping it.
Startups - I prefer this over Deep Sea Adventures.
Tiny Epic Defenders - after seeing Tom Vasel’s review, I had a very low expectations with this game, and I end up liking it. I love the random turn order where each player turn is a card and it is mixed in with the enemy deck, which determines where the enemy attacks. So, this means that you play first or maybe in the middle after a volley of attacks or right at the end of the round.
I’m feeling very low lately and this affected on how I enjoyed gaming but El Grande still gives me a lot of joy. A full house 5 player game, and everyone is into it. The simplicity of the game is something I really take for granted. The sneakiness and the mystic of the Castillo still wins me over. The decisions of the action cards are always interesting and easy to explain because everyone can read them and are often straight-forward.
I would sound mean here but El Grande just reminds me on how much junk we have nowadays. Of course, new games are more numerous and way more visible because of how this hobby kept growing and how it matures and it’s bigger than ever. I am aware of Sturgeons Law (90% of anything is crap) and how we filter things from the past and, thus, only remember the classics. But classic games like this remind me to be open-minded on new things, but won’t hesitate on seeing them as mediocre or just bad, if I see them that way.
We love Rum & Bones! Yeah, it can go a little long, but we know what we’re getting into now. I grabbed the base game at retail, and have been hunting down the 3 Second Tide expansions, which have been out of stock for awhile, to the point I’m curious if it’s all out of print. I got lucky and grabbed one of them this weekend at least.
I played Batman Gotham City Chronicles by myself on Saturday. I enjoyed it, and I think it will be exciting once I get a group together. There is definitely some language issues in the rule book, but once things are moving it kind of becomes clear. It is a very open world, and the mechanics give you the freedom to explore it. The heroes failed to disable enough bombs on turn 6 and surrendered, it would have been impossible to win on turn 7.
My buddy is back from overseas deployment, so we played three consecutive games of Revolution! with his wife and eldest yesterday. First time for all of us, and we had a lot of fun with it. I did terribly the first game and finished fourth, second game I was second, and the third game came down to the wire with a final bidding round that saw my rivals bidding the exact same amount for the Spy and Apothecary, thus cancelling each other out and cementing my victory by a mere three points!
So had a bunch of folks over with less experience with games. So we played two rounds of Telestrations which as usual was funny as heck though I think our drawings were a bit too good most of the time for things to go really weird.
Then we played a couple of rounds of Codenames which remains my favorite party game.
Despite buying it largely for the occasion, we didn’t get to A Fake Artist Goes to New York - i think that one might be better with a more moderate sized crowd - five or six probably rather than the 9 we had…
Spyfall (same concept by with conversations about a location, not art) has similar struggles with a huge group. You just can’t get enough information to evaluate many people.
I feel like some of Fake Artist… could do with some Quality of Life improvements. For example something like the word grid in chameleon (where the faker doesn’t get the reference card that tells them the random word on a grid) or even an App with a gianter drawing board.
After a long wait, last night my office gaming crew played Fury of Dracula which was pretty great. Luckily we had someone at the table who’s played it multiple times so he was able to guide us through some of the basics when we got confused.
Finally friggin’ found a few minutes to play Friedman Friese’s Fortress. As I’m sure you’ve probably heard, this card game’s gimmick (besides being green and having a name that starts with F, of course) is that the deck is stacked to keep unveiling rules as you play, so you are supposedly teaching yourself how to play as you go through the deck. Well, it SORTA works. But then about 5 cards in you get a card that is literally stuffed with text. My friends and I pored over this card for about 15 minutes so if the game’s design was supposed to keep things moving along, I would have to say that it was not a success.
However, it IS fun when you keep getting cards and you think “Wow! I didn’t know the numbers went this high!” Or “what! This is weird!” So, as a game it’s pretty cool, but I’m not sure how much of that is novelty. Everyone playing seemed to like it, so I guess we’ll give it another go and see if the magic has remained.
Had the same sort of experience with Fortress. Its kinda cool how it teaches you, and the rules unfold. You feel a bit like you’ll flailing around, since you dont even know how high the cards go. I think its normal to spend a bit of time reading new cards.
And if you want to introduce it to another group, just resort everything properly, and you’re good to go.
Weird one, this. I’ve played Quacks of Quedlinburg four times now, three times with set one and once with set two. I am undefeated! Not that that matters, it’s just very, very odd to have my win ratio so high. It is literal luck of the draw, but with set two there were strategies emerging. Buying the black chips appears not to be good. The boosts you gain with the toadstool can be good but you sacrifice movement. Buying the mandrakes and then green fours appeared to be the synergy for that set (like the toadstool/pumpkin synergy in set one). The purple set is equally interesting, and with bucket loads of coins, up to 6 in your bag gives you an advantage in VP. Nothing too strenuous for the brain, but nothing too light either.
We had a lively table and the last round simultaneous draw makes for a lovely dose of tension. It’s a great way to spend an hour, and if you’re after something lighter if you’ve had a bad day, it’s a go to. The variance with the cards and ingredient books is welcome, and expansions will increase its life.
My unbeaten record has absolutely nothing to do with the absence of board game savant from all games. Yes, that’s it.
My partner has an unbelieveably streak vs me in 2player king of Tokyo. It’s statistically equivalent to two matching finger prints basically.
(that’s a lot of "f"s, well played)
I am playing Waiting for the meds to kick in to ensure my kid’s fever goes down before the doctor will discharge us from the ER. I have played this game before and found it rather dull and frustrating, so I really wish my kids would stop making me play it every now and then.