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Your Last Played Game

Played some Underwater Cities today, took a little while to get into it, lots of cards and bits and pieces. You all build up your own network of cities, buildings, and tunnels. You carry out actions by selecting an action space on the board, and using a card. If you match the colour of the slot with the colour of your card, then you can also perform the card action. You block an action space by using it, but only for that round (of three actions).

You cycle thru cards pretty quickly, but always have to discard down to just 3 on your turn. So you need to think carefully about which action and permanent ability cards to keep. I had a lot of cards with permanent abilities (triggered by specific actions), and thought “this is OP with so many”. But, you have a limited number of turns, and taking an action to keep a card, you need to be sure its going to be useful. Half of my cards never went off, so that was a waste. Also, we stuffed up how the end game bonus cards worked, oops.

Just about everything you build (2 types of cities, farms, laboratories, desalination plants, tunnels to connect your cities) gives you something during a production phase. There are 3 eras to the game, with a production phase at the end of each. You produce resources (kelp, steel, biomatter, science, credits, and of course VPs).

Its a pretty engaging game, and a decent brain burner. And not that long a game either. There are 4 rounds in the first era, and 3 rounds in eras 2 and 3. Each round has 3 actions to play. Each era has its own decks of cards to use.

Enjoyed it.

Also played Pandemic – Fall of Rome, which would be mostly familiar to anyone who has played a Pandemic game. This time, the diseases are invading tribes, and you have the ability to recruits troops and battle the invaders. All good fun, although we lost, so its a decent challenge.

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So after spending ages on making an insert we finally got to playing dat Copenhagen game. And you know what? It’s pretty good. This race aspect really flips the trappings that imply tetris - you make some right janky arrangements because points are derived from being fast and making sure certain bits of pieces line up.

The game is super simple and super fast (to the point where where set up feels too long for the game in some ways!) but it has this heart racing pace to it which feels good. Sort of like that mini ticket to ride where you need your go now (or the parts of ttr where your route starts a creeping collision with another).

Really nice game and would recommend it if you see it.

Beautiful day outside, but unfortunately our athletic plans got cut pretty short due to one player’s time crunch, so my friend came back to both sample my first attempt at sweet tea (needs more sugar) and play a couple of quick games.

First up was one of his and my favorites, Mottainai. I had a pretty good combo of Fan (which lets you look at cards before your Tailor action and choose one to put back on top) and Pin (which lets you take a Tailor action every morning), and I was lucky enough to be drawing a lot of metal cards, so I was able to take advantage of the Smith cards he was playing to get out some good works. I even had a ton of cloth backorders when the game ended, but he ended it with a Teapot (get 3 points per card of the most common type in your craft bench), which netted him 9 from his paper. We ended up tying, but since he was the one who ended the game, the tie went to him.

Since it was such a nice spring day I thought it would be lovely to play Patchwork. He grasped it pretty quickly, and actually started with a bunch of pieces building up in the middle, then started a new part in a corner and stretched to join the two. I didn’t play my best, especially near the end, so I overspent on things to fill my board with and didn’t even get the 7-by-7 tile, so it was another win for him after another very fun game.

UK Games Expo today! And mostly I discovered how rubbish it is going to a games convention on your own. I spent most of my morning wandering around, wishing I could try out some stuff that caught my eye, but having no one to play with.

The one I did get to try was Pigasus, which is a silly game of matching mixed up animals (so you have to match the elephant with the giraffe body, to the giraffe with the elephant body). And you have to squeeze a squeaky pig before you make a match.

Fun, but a bit too simple after you’ve warmed up to it. The kind of game that’s best for when you’re drunk or a small child.

Then, after lunch, I met up with some friends and got a chance to actually play some stuff!

Condottiere and Cat Lady are stuff I already knew, but mainly played so we had a chance to sit down for a bit.

Warren Wars: Living on Burrowed Time is a light, take-that card game that’s elevated by a superhuman quantity of rabbit puns. I didn’t think it was possible to make that many rabbit puns.

We finished off with Letter Jam, which is a maddening cooperative word game, where you’re trying to work out each letter of your own secret word, while creating words to give clues to the letters in everyone else’s words.

The highlight was thinking I’d worked out my word as S-H-A-R-E, only to flip my cards one by one to reveal it was actually S-H-A-M-E. And I felt it :open_mouth:

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I played my game Evokers. I use Keyforge Cards to mark the 3 lanes until I get art for the card backs. The game is fairly stable and fun. This is a screenshot of the final round of one of the games. The winning player in the picture 1-turn bursted an enemy demon for the win by using a Enhanced Adramelech in conjunction with Aamon and its Sword of Wrath.

I played Alien Artifacts and Outpost .

I wanted to like Outpost because playing it seemed like less setup and rules than Power Grid. But I am skeptical of the long term play-ability of the game from a first play, it feels likes there’s is a meta-strategy that you would follow that sound care about the randomized elements of the game. Due to the ease of converting excess cash into points / income, it feels that the auctions are much less impactful than Power Grid.

Alien Artifacts is fast paced card based euro. This game should be my jam, but after a play I am unimpressed. There’s not actually so many unique effects in the game as the cards would have you believe. I played with the errata that you can pay 3 money to look at an additional alien artifact, when you would gain an Alien Artifact. Even with that errata the “Alien Artifacts” seemed super unbalanced. I would rather play Race for the Galaxy over Alien Artifacts.

Finally, we come to the game I wanted to talk about the most MARTIAN RAILS !!
MARTIAN RAILS is super interesting to me. I haven’t played a “Crayon Rails” game before. I thought going into the game I was in for a casual experience because Crayons are fun and for children. So obviously, a “Crayon Rails” game would be a fun casual all ages experience. I was wrong. We played for at least 5 hours. I watched the other players (not playing Martian Rails) finish THREE 2-player games of Gaia Project. We didn’t even finish Martian Rails by the end of the night. Martian Rails has a few problems too long, the decisions you make are obscured by the strange user interface of the game and ultimately perhaps a little too random (your rail network could be matter less than the cards you are dealt). But there are also many things interesting about Martian Rails the sense of geography of the map, the base game play feels so old it transcends Ameritrash vs Euro which is refreshing, the weird parasitic nature of using someone else’s train, the weird thematic sci-fi events, the almost rouge-like feel of needing to chain delivery cards together.

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Started my second campaign of Gloomhaven last night.

We are Cragheart, Tinkerer, Scoundrel, and the Brute (me).

it was an amazing day, got full rules explanation in for the 3 newbies, and the first 2 scenarios. as welll as smoking a chunk of lamb and several pork rib racks.

The Minis were all painted by a friend who is in my other Gloomhaven campaign. Only the Scoundrels base has been finished completely, but I like it, it adds a nice little detail to cover up an otherwise boring disc.

We managed to complete the first 2 scenarios with not dying, or exhausting, although it was close to exhausting on the boss fight. Obviously being completely new to the game we bent the rules a little for the first couple of rounds while people got a handle of their characters and the game. but they all picked it up pretty fast, with some minor clarifications when needed.

In all a successful night in all, that allowed a couple of friends who were grieving the loss of their cat.

Edit: yes those are the viticulture metal coins off to the left. one of the better upgrades to the game I’ve bought. Nice and weighty, much nicer than the Scythe metal coins in that regard.

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Now we are talkin’

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Had an epic game of Rum & Bones Second Tide with my son today.

He won (as usual) 8-7, which makes it our closest game yet! We both really enjoy the game, but as our games (usually) run fairly long, it doesn’t hit the table that often.

Tomorrow we’re planning to introduce my mom to Wildlands. It will be our first 3 player game, and were excited. I’m trying to decide if we’ll play the base game, or go right into it with the Undead and Adventurers.

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Crayon rail games are weird - I have a friend who’s nuts for trains - so of course he owns Martian Rails (and the superior, imo, Iron Dragon). They’re long and ponderous but the rules are actually fairly light and luck does indeed play a not insignificant role. Still i do see the appeal - developing a rail network and scooting around the board delivering stuff is rather fun, even with the drawbacks. Iron Dragon is well worth a play if you get the chance - the geography is easier to take in than Martian Rails and the additions are simple and flavorful.

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On Friday, I remember we played a gigantic Tokyo Highways, Unlock, Blood on the Clocktower, Tikal

Saturday: Quantified, High Rise.

Those are what I remember, and most are intro overview of the game, rather than a demo game.

Thanks for the recommendation on Iron Dragon. The sphere-ness of Martian Rails seems both cool and a little gimmicky.

The crayon rail games seem a little awkward but they also feel like more than the some of their parts.

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What was your take on Blood on the Clocktower?

I’ve never heard of crayon rail games? Am I missing out?

I went to pick up a game today from a mate, and we ended up having a quick (ish) 2p game of Roll Player, a game I’d heard of, but never played. And it was quite fun.

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Possibly. You might be missing out on crayon rail games. Apparently “Crayon Rails” are a whole series of train games starting with Empire Builder . You draw track with crayon with the goal of being able to pick up and deliver items efficiently.

In my experience of playing Martian Rails, the crayon rails do have their drawbacks. The drawbacks (mainly game length) are probably significant enough where SUSD will probably never review let alone recommend them.

But there are also significant upsides that can make the downsides worith. These designs also seem to be ancient in a good way. Empire Builder is from 1982. Definitely try before you buy.

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I have written about both Iron Dragon and Eurorails previously in this thread. Spoiler: I’m a big fan!

Iron Dragon: Your Last Played Game
Eurorails: Your Last Played Game

Next on my list to play are British Rails and Martian Rails. British Rails looks like a great 2-player version. Martian Rails, to me, looks really crunchy so I’m eager to try it at 3 or 4 players as soon as my game group gets back to a regular schedule (we’ve been out-of-sorts for the last month or two)

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We got our first game of Wildlands in yesterday, and it was excellent fun. Hoping to play another round or two today. I have the new map coming in along with the Unquiet Dead pack and at this point I feel like I’m prepared to get anything they want to release for it.

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We celebrated International Tabletop Day yesterday by having friends over, enjoying a nice 10 lb prime rib roast, and, of course, playing games.

We started with a six player game of Mysterium. We tend to just play on easy difficulty and without the clairvoyance mechanic, as the game only hits the table once or twice a year. My wife wanted to be the ghost and she did a pretty good job, minus one bit where she mixed up two players when confirming their guesses, but that was easily fixed. For the finale, we had two reasonable possibilities with a 2-2 split. Luckily our fifth player went for the more obvious of the two readings as it was the correct answer, giving us the win.

We followed up with a six player game of 7 Wonders with the Leaders expansion. I had Mannekin Pis so I knew I was in trouble, and I turned out to be correct. I managed to do better than I expected and came in fourth, about three points ahead of two players who tied for last. My wife pulled off the win here, 8 points or so ahead of second place.

One couple had to leave at this point, so the rest of us wrapped up the day with Isle of Skye, which we really need to get to the table more often. The catch up mechanics really work here, making the game a pretty close race going into the final rounds. I thought I had the win here after scoring me and the person closest to me, but then we saw he had one more scroll which gave him enough points to pass me by 2! Really close game overall.

Friends had to head out afterward. I was hoping to get another game in with my wife sometime that evening, or maybe solo something, but it just didn’t happen. Still one of our better days of gaming of late.

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Crayon rails: You spend money to draw rails. You pick up and deliver goods to get more money (you can upgrade your train to make this more efficient). There is competition for the cheap routes through difficult terrain. It’s been about 15 years since I last played one of these games. My feeling is that, like many games from the 80s-90s, for how long it takes, there isn’t much game.

If you can get it to work, there is a computer version of Eurorails, which will give you a good idea of how these games play: https://www.old-games.com/download/3213/rails

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Mother unit visiting so played…

Arraial, sub standard components let down an otherwise excellent Tetris tile layer. Lost 16-14

Metro, not sure where I sit on this one. You are trying take long train routes to score points by laying tiles with 8 connections on them. Perhaps slightly too complex for the pay off. Lost 123-105

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That was exactly what I was going to post here next, bort, you beat me to it.Thanks @Quoc & @jgf1123 for the brief, and @pillbox for the specifics!

I think I know what I’m looking into next.

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