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3Mar/150

Melbourne Gaming Sessions – March 2015

Here's the gaming sessions going on this month in Melbourne and surrounds...

03 Mar (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
03 Mar (Tue) Pub Werewolf and boardgames at The Local Taphouse, St Kilda [meetup] from 6:30pm
03 Feb (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
04 Mar (Wed) Stranger Gamers @ Junction Hotel, Newport [meetup] from 6pm
7 Mar (Sat) Cafe Games at The Celtic Club [on meetup here for Party Games (from midday) and here for the everything](from 5pm).
09 Mar (Mon) Eurogames at Hairy Little Sista [meetup] from 6pm
10 Mar (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
10 Mar (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
11 Mar (Wed) Eurogames at the Royal Standard, West Melbourne [meetup] from 6pm
15 Mar (Sun) EGF at Wadham House, Mt Waverley [meetup] from 10am-6pm
17 Mar (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
17 Mar (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
19 Mar (Thu) Modern Parlour Games at Bella Union [website]
23 Mar (Mon) Eurogames at Hairy Little Sista [meetup] from 6pm
24 Mar (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
24 Mar (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
25 Mar (Wed) Eurogames at the Royal Standard, West Melbourne [meetup] from 6pm
28 Mar (Sat) Werbrary Gaming at Werribee Library, Werribee [meetup] from 10am-3pm
31 Mar (Tue)  Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm

Cons and other goings ons

BunnyCon

BunnyCon

On at EGF's usual location at Wadham House in Mt Waverley from April 3-April 6 (Easter weekend).
Why do I tell you about this in the March listing? Because you should go and buy a ticket now at TryBooking now.

As well as open gaming there will be a flea market, an Easter Egg Hunt and much more!

For more details check out the BunnyCon page at iloveboardgames.com

GateKeeper Games

 Gatekeeper Games

I may have forgotten to tell you about GateKeeper Games' opening (a new boardgaming store in Fitzroy). They appear to have many events coming up and you can check out the details of that on their facebook page.

2Feb/150

New and Unplayed – Jan 2015

Unplayed

So it's January and the Unplayed/Aluminium Gamer challenge resets (see this post for details on how it works)

A few card games came in this month...

Received:

  • Friesmatenten
  • One Zero One

Played:

  • Friesmatenten
  • Red7

So with 2 received and 2 played, that's a net zero!

New to me

It's been a month of lying, bluffing and backstabbing...

Red7

Red7 is super quick, super clever and you should super buy it.

Coup: Guatemala 1954

I've spoken about Coup before... I'm not very good at it.

I tend to end up playing Coup at the end of the night and it's usually the worst time for me to do so (because my brain is usually fried and I forget what I'm supposed to be lying about).

So thankfully I played this early in the afternoon and it was quite entertaining.

What 1954 does is it takes the Coup roles and has multiple variations on the same type of role. You can then mix and match the variants so that each game is different to the last... it kind of makes it like Dominion where you sit down, look at what roles are on the table and try and figure out how they can best be used to get you ahead.

It also helps that you can only block a role with the same role, so it takes out that confusing "what blocks what" logic that you have to get the hang of in the original Coup.

It's not terribly available at the moment, but I'd be surprised if Indie Games and Cards don't make a version of it, because it is so much fun.

Escape: Zombie City

Having played Escape: Curse of the Temple (and enjoyed it quite a bit) I was curious to see how Zombie City would play.

And it's good, but it adds complexity without really upping the tension or fun. Am not running out to buy it, think we'll stick with Escape and maybe pick up some more expansions if we ever get bored of it.

Spyfall

Or Spyfaux as we were playing the print and play copy of it.

This is a party traitor game where every player is at the same location but one player is a spy who doesn't know where they are. The game goes for 8 minutes (at most). The spy can guess where they are, but if they're wrong they lose and everyone else wins. If they're right, obviously they win.

If the game lasts eight minutes every player votes on who they think is the spy (or they can do this during the 8 minutes, but it soaks up those precious seconds). If everyone agrees that one person is the spy (except one) and they're right, then they win and the spy looses.

So how does it work? The first player asks any other player a question. That player answers. They person that answers wants to give enough information to indicate that they're not the spy, but not so much information that it tells the spy where they are. The player that answered can then ask any other player (other than the player that asked them a question) a question.

It's fun and quick and fairly relaxing if you're not the spy. If you're the spy, it's incredibly tense. Not reacting the right way to an answer (or worse still asking a question that exposes themselves) can be the end of you.

Friesematenten

Which is subtitled "We're not here to make friends"...

This is a surprisingly good game and it's rather odd that it's never managed to be translated into English.  It's basically a bidding/engine building game with some bluffing thrown in.

Now, I've only played it twice, once with 2 and once with 4 players... and it's OK with 2 but much better with 4. But here's some quick thoughts on it.

It's basically a game to see who can get to forty points first (or if Step 2 ends, whoever can grab the most points).

The game is divided into two steps, the first step ending when the deck runs out, at which point the discard deck is shuffled and forms the new deck. If this deck runs out before a player gets 40 points, then the game ends and the player with the most points wins.

Each round is split into 4 phases, restocking the market, the action phase (where action and influence cards can be played), the auction phase and the income phase (where players get income based on their factories).

The bidding is interesting and different and can get quite tense. Each round 3+(player count) cards are in the market and put up for auction one at a time starting from the closest to the deck to the furthest. Players can buy as many as they like (if they can afford to do so) and passing on a card only passes on that card. If a card is not bought in that round it gets tagged as such and if it's still not bought it goes into the discard in the first step or out of the game in the second.

Interestingly you can bid more than you have (I assume this is because some of the cards let you pay less than what you bid). If you win the bid but can't pay it, you pay all your money to the bank and the auction for that card restarts without you. Did I mention that money is secret? Which is brilliant if you only have one or two Euros left (or none!) as you can try and push up someone else's bid beyond what they really should be paying.

The cards combo well together (some more easily than others) and both times we played there was at least a contest for first place.

I'm quite eager to get this back to the table again. I can't quite put my finger on what's great about this game... I think it's the bluffing/bidding that really makes it amazing... but it will be interesting to see how many times it can be played with the base set before it gets a bit stale.

I'm getting the expansion :)

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery

Having never seen the show, I wasn't super invested in the theme. I mean gladiators are cool and everything... er, yeah.

So blind bidding  can be quite entertaining as are gladiatorial fights. Being able to setup a battle where the result will be obvious, but then turning it around with smart card play is hugely entertaining.

It's not really the sort of thing I'd want to do every week, but as an occasional Ameritrash, it's pretty good.

Oh and you get to make that Spartacus joke...

The Resistance: Hidden Agenda & Hostile Intent

I liked it, but I wouldn't play it every day.

In fact I'm pretty burnt out on The Resistance at the moment.

We with plot twists (I think that's what they're called). Basically the leader each turn draws 2 cards and gives them to the players the leader thinks they should go to. They mess with the game, allow players to look at other's roles (or show other's roles) or look at the Success/fail card that a player plays. Wasn't a fan.Just got bogged down in "that player knows something about this player, and that player knows something about this player, but they've said that they're a spy... maybe they're lying and they're a spy... or perhaps they're both spy's" and it all just got a bit to complicated.

But did like the variant we played where the leader select the number of people to go on the mission +1 and then they get to look at one of the cards and it doesn't go towards the mission. Was much more interesting and tense for the spies (I did ask the player whose card I was going to look at if they wanted to pay me a bribe... but then I realised I was playing the wrong game).
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2Feb/150

Melbourne Gaming Sessions – Feb 2015

Here's the gaming sessions going on this month in Melbourne and surrounds...

1 Feb (Sun) NSEG at Bar Nancy, Northcote [meetup] 3pm-11pm
1 Feb (Sun) EGF at Wadham House, Mt Waverley [meetup] from 10am-6pm
03 Feb (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
03 Feb (Tue) Pub Werewolf and boardgames at The Local Taphouse, St Kilda [meetup] from 6:30pm
03 Feb (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
04 Feb (Wed) Stranger Gamers @ Junction Hotel, Newport [meetup] from 6pm
09 Feb (Mon) Eurogames at Hairy Little Sista [meetup] from 6pm
10 Feb (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
10 Feb (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
11 Feb (Wed) Eurogames at the Royal Standard, West Melbourne [meetup] from 6pm
14 Feb (Sat) Cafe Games at Bull and Bear Tavern [on meetup here for Party Games (from midday) and here for the everything](from 5pm).
15 Feb (Sun) NSEG at Bar Nancy, Northcote [meetup] 3pm-11pm
15 Feb (Sun) EGF at Wadham House, Mt Waverley [meetup] from 10am-6pm
17 Feb (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
17 Feb (Tue) Billabong Regular meetup at Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre (Chadstone)  [meetup] from 7pm
19 Feb (Thu) Modern Parlour Games at Bella Union [website]
23 Feb (Mon) Eurogames at Hairy Little Sista [meetup] from 6pm
24 Feb (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup] from 6pm
25 Feb (Wed) Eurogames at the Royal Standard, West Melbourne [meetup] from 6pm
28 Feb (Sat) Werbrary Gaming at Werribee Library, Werribee [meetup] from 10am-3pm
28 Feb (Sat)  Saturday Session @ Games Lab [facebook]

Throughout Feb

1000 Cities
The City of Melbourne and Pop Up Playground are inviting people to take part in a new interactive game that will change the way they see the city – forever!
Using a smartphone, a bike and a helmet, the interactive game 1000 Cities turns the CBD into a mythical adventure where riders will fight monsters, collect treasure and explore the hidden parts of the city.

Feb 2-28, further details here 

27Jan/150

Global Game Jam 2015 Melbourne tabletop games

Global Game Jam was held over the weekend just gone. I've grabbed all of the tabletop ones that I could find from Melbourne's.

I'm tempted to try and print and play each of them and see what they're like. Have you played any of the below (assuming you didn't also create them)? What did you think of them?

Giant Snail Will not Prevail!
A Giant Space Snail is menacing the globe! Players join forces to build the ultimate snail-eating robot and defeat the snail before it destroys all of human civilization.
Link

March of Time
A card game about politics, timelines and temporal sabotage
Link

quality¿control
Quality control is a game about needing to know what to do next and following the instructions. It's also about some other things which I hope you can discover.

This one is a PC/tabletop combo...
Link
Yo Ho Votes
A multiplayer seafaring boardgame with democracy... and PIRATES! As a team, players must try to explore as many islands in eight days as possible in order to acquire treasure, while at the same time pursuing their own secret agendas (on their Agenda cards). The winner is the player with the most Coin at the end of the game.
Link

YouTube Cat Video Creator Simulator 2015
A card game about creating YouTube cat videos.
Link

17Jan/150

New and Unplayed – Dec 2014

December brought forth MeepleCon, so I got to play some great games

Unplayed Challenge

Starting score: 32
Received games: -5
Trade Away: 0
Played +4
End score: 31

So 32... that's a pretty good score! I still think the giving away games gives you too much points, but still... at least I didn't end up with a negative for the year.

Received:

  • Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
  • CV
  • Fresh Fish
  • Castles of Mad King Ludwig
  • Tiny Epic Kingdom

Played:

  • Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America
  • CV
  • Castles of Mad King Ludwig
  • Battle Merchants

New Plays

Remember, these aren't reviews or session reports... just random thoughts about games that are new plays for me.

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

The zombie apocolypse has occurred and you've managed to survive until winter... but can you make it through cold of winter? It'd be a lot easier if you could trust everyone right? Well you can trust me... I'm not the traitor... I'm just taking this food because er...

Dead of Winter is a co-op game with possible traitor and personal additional goals for each player. It combines the best bits of Battlestar Galactica and Shadows over Camelot, with a play time of somewhere between the two (probably tending closer to Shadows). It also adds some nice semi-random events in the form of Crossroads cards that the player to the right of the current player draws and it has some trigger effect (eg if the player goes to a certain location) and then a choice for that player to make.

Each game there's can be a different scenario with a different main objective.. you could play through campaign style and the game nicely gives you an indication of the game length for that scenario. The scenario also determines the number of rounds and starting moral. Players generally loose if the moral or round tracks get to zero. To win (unless they are the traitor) they need to meet the objective of the scenario and also their personal goals. The traitor generally needs to have the objective loose and to meet the rest of their personal goals.

Anyway, gameplay is pretty simple. Each round there's a crisis which requires a certain amount of items or Bad Thing happens. On their turn a player can throw cards (face down) in. On their turn players can move from location to another, attack zombies (or other players), go scavenging, clean up the trash (having too much trash causes the moral track to go down), build  barricades or provide food to the colony.

I enjoyed it. It has a feel closer to The Walking Dead, where it's less about the zombies and more about the people. It plays fairly quickly and the traitor can tend to hide a bit better as other players personal goals can often seem traitorous. Might be my favourite traitor game.

Kill Doctor Lucky

It's slightly better than I thought it would be. That said it still suffers from the Munchkin problem of "I'll try and stop you from winning... until I can't... and then you win". Pretty board and nice components, but pretty light stuff. The cards are nice and humourous and the theme is well done.

I'm just not sure if you'll hate the people your playing with more than you'll hate that doddering old Doctor Lucky...

Castles of Mad King LudwigCastle of Mad King Ludwig

It's nothing like Suburbia. It feels somewhat lighter... I'm not sure why. When I'm playing Suburbia I'm super focused and want to make sure that the tile I'm buying is going to be really good for me.

But when I'm playing Castle, I'm a bit more cavalier in my approach. I have a vague strategy, but I'll happily switch it out if something more interesting comes along. I'm going to glance at your castle when I'm deciding how to price things, but I'm not going to try and work out exactly how much you want things.

But that's not a bad thing. It's a nice change of pace from Suburbia, but at the end you can still look at your castle and tell a story about it and it' certainly prettier

Dungeon of Mandom

I only managed a brief play of this, just a few turns. It's got some nice push your luck and trying to get other players into a situation that screws them over. I'll admit in the couple of rounds I played I didn't get a great handle on the range of monsters that could be fought (or at least not that I remember a month and a half on), but I recall it was fun!

Five Tribes

Five Tribes

My brain is slowly being fried

Five tribes is simple but complex. The mancala action... super simple. Just pick up some meeples of one colour from one spot and drop them off as you move away from it. Then take the action based on the colour of the meeples and how many there are on the spot you land on. Oh and take the action of the spot. And is the spot empty now... well you can claim it.

Then trying to figure out how to make the mancala action can cause some serious Analysis Paralysis. Add to that you need to choose how much to bid in turn order, using a great little system which makes the game just zip by (where it could have got dragged down in an auction mechanic).

The djinn add another layer of complexity, but all the parts work well together and it's a good game, but oh so heavy for a Days of Wonder game. I'm sure the game went quickly, but I'm also aware that I probably dragged it out by just staring at the board wondering what to do.

And it is a little bit of a problem, that. The last player can't really determine what move they're going to make because the board state might have changed very dramatically from the start of the round. So you try and go "if this happens, then I'll do this, but if this happens, I'll do that, but if..." and you can forget what your original plan for the turn was... but it was good fun, but not the sort of game I'd want to play on a super regular basis.

Firenze

I've played Firenze on Yucata a couple of times and have been very eager to pick up a physical copy. But it's slightly hard to get and slightly on the pricey side.

So I jumped at the chance to play it at MeepleCon when it was suggested. I can't remember who won or how close it was (but it felt close)... I don't think I won though.

Firenze is a game where you build towers using wooden roof peices. You do this by selecting a card from those available in the market. Each card has a certain number of tiles on it and an effect (some are good, others are bad, some are so-so). If you want to skip a card, you have to put one of your tower pieces from your supply on it (so bad cards get better). Then you can build your towers or extend the ones you already have. Each turn you must add to the tower or the authorities come and tear it down. At the end of your turn you can cash in your tower for points, but the people only want towers of certain sizes in certain colours so you have to beat out other players to fufil the contracts first.

Lovely components, not to fiddly, easy to explain, probably a lot of replayability... lots of choices but nothing that's going to cause your brain to implode... a really great game... but urgh... that price tag.

CV

I picked this one up on the basis that I really liked the idea of Funny Friends, but the 'call a friend' stuff was very painful to understand without really much benefit. The theme and artwork was also a bit off putting for some people.

CV remedies both by being quite family friendly in terms of theme and artwork and by having a much simpler mechanic. You roll dice Yahtzee style, then use the symbols that appear to by cards which then contain symbols which mean that you can by better cards and ultimately score Victory points.

The cards are thematic, you get a great job, you get lots of money... you have twins, you get happiness, but have to give up money every turn or the authorities take your kids away (you loose the card). And it's kind of cutesy in the way that you can tell stories about your person.

But you can really get hosed by the dice, especially early on. Each dice has a side which is bad luck which can't be rerolled. Get three and you loose a card (and you really can't buy anything). I get that with a push your luck mechanic you need a method of having something blow up in the players face, but this is somewhat excessive.

In our first play I got the three bad lucks on the first two rounds which really slowed my engine building.

But... it's a little too light. It sort of feels like you're rolling dice and there's very few options as to what to do. And there's not strong enough stories to tell about the person that you're creating the CV for to make it super worthwhile.

I'm not really sure who the game is for... I suspect with two it might play better though.

Battle Merchants

Steve's a jerk

Battle Merchants

In Battle Merchants you're crafting and selling items to various fantasy races that are going to war against each other. You don't really care which race wins, just so long as you make enough money... heck, you can (and should) sell weapons to everyone.

Each player starts the game with the ability to 2 craft to weapons (there are 4 in the game) and on your turn you can buy an upgrade to your weapons (or learn how to craft new weapons), take a kingdom card (which are permenant effects, immediate effects or end of game bonuses), craft a weapon or sell a weapon.

When selling a weapon you get a bonuses depending on how many times you've sold to that race in the past and if both sides of the battle that you've placed in have weapons, then the fighting icon goes up to the season track and the next spot is available to sell to in that war. Once the season track has three fighting  icons the army's go to war... the players determine which weapons will win (based on the levels of craft that the players have for the weapons). Players collect weapons that they've defeated and receive money for any still on the board (maintenance contracts... weapons need to be kept sharp) and a new season begins.

After four seasons the players with the most cash (after working out end of game bonuses and selling remaining weapons off) wins. I've skimmed the rules a bit, but it's not too much more complicated than that.

The pacing feels right... It's a very quick start and each round takes slightly longer and because you only have one action per turn, there's not much downtime. There's not too many ways that players can race ahead to quickly either.

The artwork is nice and cartoony (though there's a blackmail card that might have to be removed for family games) and the theme will likely attract some players who are not often attracted to economic games.

It's always nice to have another good economic game and this is certainly one of them. There's no bidding and so it might be one that I might be able to get my wife to play...

A word of note however, Battle Merchants is a very different game for 2 as it is for 4 (and I presume 3). With 2 players you're looking to see what the dummy player (Steve) is going to do and take advantage of that by selling to the place that will then be fighting Steve's weapons. It's interesting, but it almost feels like you're ignoring the other player in doing so.

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7Jan/150

Melbourne Gaming Sessions – Jan 2015

I think this is everything that's going on in January in Melbourne relating to boardgames... but if I've missed a session, let me know (I threw this up a bit late, hence why the first week is missing).

07 Jan (Wed) Surprise Game Session - Stranger Gamers  in Newport from 6pm [meetup]
10 Jan (Sat) Cafe Games at Bull and Bear Tavern [on meetup here for Party Games (from midday) and here for the everything](from 5pm).
12 Jan (Mon) Eurogames at Hairy Little Sista [meetup] from 6pm
14 Jan (Wed) Eurogames at the Royal Standard [meetup] from 6pm
18 Jan (Sun) NSEG [meetup] 3pm-11pm
18 Jan (Sun) EGF [meetup]
20 Jan (Tue) Godzilla Games at Izakaya Chuji Japanese Restaurant [meetup]
24 Jan (Sat) Saturday Sessions @ Games Lab [facebook]
26 Jan (Mon) DB&C 7th Edition, Games Lab [facebook] 10am-6pm
26 Jan (Mon) Eurogames at Hairy Little Sista [meetup] from 6pm
28 Jan (Wed) Eurogames at the Royal Standard [meetup] from 6pm

 Cons
Arcanacon 33 at Melbourne High School [site] on Jan 23-26
More an RPG, minis convention, does have some board and card events
5Jan/150

New and Unplayed November 2014

November was a kind of busy month. It started with PAXAus, followed by a trip to India and then a whole bunch of MeepleCon planning and running about. Still... I managed to pick up a few games and to play a few new ones too.

Unplayed Challenge

Starting score: 33
Received games: -3
Trade Away: 0
Played +2
End score: 32

Received

  •  Battle Merchants
  • Creepy Critters (Cootie)
  • ESSEN

Played:

  • King of New York
  • Creepy Critters (Cootie)

New Plays

Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America

This is Power Grid... but fancy!

I'm still not entirely convinced of the change of artwork in the maps, but  the power plants look a lot nicer and I'm much happier that garbage has been switched out for gas... it seems like a less polouty option. And the resource tokens are lovely, as are replacing generators for houses.

The inclusion of more power plants for the starting plants is nice and the improvements to aid gameplay (such as the market being on the board, the resource refill being on cards, the turn order and so on) are great. It's strange that the player aid for the orginal was ditched. Was always useful for new players to see what happened during each phase of the game (though of course you could just nab that from the original.

North America seems to go quite quickly whereas Europe seemed to take a bit longer. Maybe that's because of the players that I was playing with at the time...

I like it. But should you buy it if you already have Power Grid? Erm... Not sure.

Fresh FishFresh Fish

Played this as a two player game at PAXAus... it being a learning game probably wasn't the best to judge it on the basis of this play.

However the components are lovely and the board end up looking quite nice at the end of the game.

The bidding element of the game is straight forward and the concept of trying to grab land is fun too.

It was good, but really need to play it again. Can't help but feel that it would be even better with 3 or 4 players.

Connect 4: Dunk

A somwhat fun distraction where you're trying to get your tokens into the tower by flicking them with the Connect 4 launchers.

Probably not worth the asking price to be honest.

Those creepy crittersCreepy Critters (Cootie)

Known as Creepy Critters in Australia, this game was published by TolToys in South Melbourne in the late 60s.

I picked this up from an Op Shop, thinking that it'd be a good game for Harley and me to play together. She's gotten quite good at rolling dice and identifying the number that is rolled.

It looked like it'd be an interesting construction game however it was let down by two major problems.

First, the game didn't have all of the components (which is to be expected) and Harls started to get a bit OCD about having her critter being all the same colour.

Second the game is incredibly dull and the only choice you have is what colour item you're going to put on your critter. You roll the dice and then do what it tells you. We threw away the dice and just turned it into a building activity.

Shadowrun: Crossfire

Shadowrun: Crossfire is a game that's enjoyable to come back to even though it has a tendency to kick our butts around the town.

I like the world of Shadowrun (the game comes with a book that explains it if you've never ventured into the world... I assume it's from the RPG resource books)

From wikipedia's Shadowrun entry:

Set in 2077 [...] the end of the Mesoamerican Long Count ushered in the "Sixth World", with once-mythological beings (e.g. dragons) appearing and old forms of magic suddenly re-emerging. Large numbers of humans have "Goblinized" into orks and trolls, while many human children are born as elves, dwarves, and even more exotic creatures.

So you get fantasy, but you also get cyberpunk as it's set in the future when corporations have made advances in cyberware and whatnot. And there are guns and black markets and all that kind of stuff.

You take on a role and a race (orc, human, elf) with your fellow band of merry mischeif makers you are trying to get out of a failed heist (at least in the first scenario). It's a lot of cardplay and helping out your other team members and kind of feels like a deckbuilding Sentinels of the Multiverse.

There's some permanence. Your character gets to earn new abilities when you get a certain amount of Karma (experience), but you don't get to keep any of your cards from the previous adventure. Managed to get quite a few plays of this, but only managed a single win!

But still very enjoyable.

Cards Against Humanity

As expected. I'm not sure if it's good to have your expectations met when they're so low...

CAH has two major problems for me. First I don't like any game where  there's a judge who decides on the best card. It's rather subjective and eh... I haven't played a game yet where it's worked for me.

Second there's the humour (or intended humour). I'm not a prude and I do tend to make (and enjoy) double entendre and innuendo. But single entendres  just leaves me a bit cold. Maybe it is just me, but forcing this kind of humour doesn't seem like it asks the players really to do anything. Would the game be worse if I just randomly played a card from my hand? Certainly it would save me reading all of them.

Never need to play again.

King of New York

King of New York shifts the focus from point scoring to beating each other up. While there's still opportunity to score points, you're unlikely to win that way (it should require a lot of luck and everyone focussing on it to the exclusion of all else).

I don't think it replaces King of Tokyo, but makes for an interesting change of pace.

 

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3Jan/150

New and Unplayed Oct 2014

October saw us move (just a suburb away). I don't know if you know this, but moving sucks. Especially if you tend to collect things that you probably don't need. So there was a lot of giving away games this month. For some reason, you get three points for a give away... I'm not sure why, but this kind of pushes my Unplayed challenge score up rather to high.

The stack of given away games

The stack of given away games

Starting score: 8
Received games: -2
Gave Away: 9*3=27
Played 0
End score: 33

Received games

  • Sail to India
  • King of New York

Gave Away

  • Friends
  • Outburst
  • Sorry Sliders
  • Media Magnate
  • Tribbles (Star Trek CCG)
  • Hit List
  • Tiddley Winks
  • Ex Libris
  • Desperate Housewives Trivia Game
  • Monopoly xx edition?

New Plays

Dungeon Petz

wpid-wp-1420246595280.jpeg

Keeping my pets happy and well fed

I think I enjoy this more than Dungeon Lords. Each of the pets are nicely different and the mechanics work well with the theme.

Keeping the pets happy seems to be more of a fun challenge than trying to balance your evil levels.

And they're pretty cute too.

There's less of a puzzle here though. The second phase of Dungeon Lords (when the rampaging hordes attack your dungeon) feels like a pure puzzle. You ask yourself "how can I most effectively take down all these hereos with the monsters and traps I have".

Dungeon Petz feel more like a traditional worker placement, but that's no bad thing. I think it plays a little smoother and did I mention that they pets are pretty cute?

 

 

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24Oct/140

Unplayed and New to Me – Sep 2014

Some great new games came into my collection and a few good plays too.

Unplayed

Score from Aug 2014: 6
Trade Away: 0
Received: -4
Played: +2
End Total: 8

Received

  • Splendor
  • Formidable Foes
  • Le Havre
  • The 3 Commandments

Played

  • Splendor
  • Formidable Foes

 

New to Me

Thurn and Taxis

Ticket to Ride, but less elegant.

Richard Scarry's Busytown: Busy Busy Airport

"Play airplane game daddy?" is Harley's (our 2 and a half year old) favourite phrase at the moment. This is also the game in which she slapped me across the face for not letting me play again.

Technically we've played this a few times before, but this was the first time using all of the rules.

It's fairly simple. Each player gets a cardboard plane that has spaces for 3 passengers and a cargo hold. There are four destinations which you put around the room (or in different rooms). You put the for souvenirs on their respective destinations (4 per destination, each with a point value of 1-4). Each stack of souvenirs  is then  shuffled.  You put the airport (the box) in the middle of the room and put the 16 travelers in the airport (4 for each destination). You also set up the control tower (which is a dice tower in disguise).

On a players turn they take the two dice and throw them down the tower. Then they pick one of the dice to use the action of. The actions are load 1 passenger from the airport to your plane, load 2 passengers from the airport to your plane, fly to 1 destination, fly to 2 destinations.

If you fly to a destination you drop off any passengers for that destination and pick up souvenirs equal to the number of passengers you delivered to that destination (they go in the cargo hold) then you fly back to the airport.

The game ends when there are no more passengers to pick up, each player then gets another turn. You then count up the points that each player has on their souviners to determine the winner.

Harley's become quite adept at taking turns. When it's her turn she knows it and in this game she becomes The Rock and does his "Just Bring It" taunt until you hand over the dice. She then throws the dice down the tower and can identify if she's picking up or travelling (though still needs help with the number). Playing Snakes and Ladders with her, I've found that she can by sight identify up to 4 in a pip based dice, but she hasn't got the hang of Arabic numerals yet.

We started playing this about 3 months ago (more as an activity than a game) and she had some difficulty putting passengers in the planes (it requires some degree of motor skills that she hadn't developed at that point).

The real fun of this game for the young ones is that  you get to fly around with the cardboard airplane. The further away the destinations, the better the fun that's had up to a point, depending on age... if the destination is too far away there's a chance that the child will forget where it is... though this is still helpful from a development point of view.

It's still somewhat hard to get her to identify which traveler wants to go to which destination (though with each play this gets easier). She also cares not an iota about who wins or the counting of the points.... which is probably fair enough given that it's fairly random. From a strategy point of view you want to have passengers of the same place to reduce the number of flights you have to perform and to try and reduce the chances of getting 1's for each of your passengers. But this is the opposite of what's fun so...

Clean up is a joy as well as the main task is getting the passengers from their destinations to the airport (and flying between the destinations and airport is the best bit of this game anyway). Very hard for bits to get lost.

The artwork is lovely, it's Richard Scarry after all. There's lots of cute things happening and the inside of the box is the cutest I've seen. Everything that could be happening in an airport is happening in there.

Formidable Foes

We played this incredibly wrong. The market was flooded with power and so the game fell a bit flat... will need to play it with the correct rules

Junta

I really wanted to like this game... the theme feels like the video game Tropico (which I enjoy). But the game feels incredibly clunky and I never knew why I was doing anything. This may have been the way it was taught (there was a lot of "so this has happened, so now this happens" during gameplay which lead to players saying "Well had I known that would cause that, I wouldn't have done that")

But looking at the rules it feels like it is just a rather clunky game that shows it's age. Perhaps the new version is better?

First Orchard

The game pretty much plays itself but Harley enjoyed it (and we beat that little crow)... so it's all good.

14Sep/140

Unplayed and New to Me – Aug 2014

So late for this post! Quick notes are in order.

This month my unplayed count is a net zero!

Score from July 2014: 6
Trade Away: 0
Received: +2
Played: +2
End Total: 6

Received

  • Ticket To Ride 10th Anniversary
  • Elevenses

Played

  • Ticket To Ride 10th Anniversary
  • Elevenses

 

New to Me

Betrayal on House on the Hill

Roll Move Roll... We played through and when the game flipped into traitor mode was the only one I knew of... the one where a bird picks up the house and you need to find a parachute and jump out... but there's only half the number of parachutes as players.

Didn't really enjoy it. Never really felt that I was making decisions or that there was any real story.

Mice and Mystics

We played the first chapter but did so at NSEG, so it was rather too noisy to read all of the story elements. I think this kind of let the game down somewhat... I suspect that the story may make it better. As it is the components are lovely and the gameplay is OK.

Ticket To Ride 10th Anniversary

Hey! It's Ticket To Ride. And it's pretty.

500

I probably played this back in high school... but had forgotten most of it. Trick taking makes sense to me, but my ability to bid well isn't so crash hot. But does seem like one of those games that you get much better at with repeated plays.

Samurai Sword

This is like a rethemed Bang!

It seems like you can figure out who is who in the first (or failing that the second) round. And then you play a lot more rounds trying to kill the people you need to kill. It seems like it's a hidden role game, but doesn't play like one. Do not love.

Animal upon Animal

Another kid's game that is good for adults to play. Attempting to mess up the next player is fun as is watching impossible moves pay off.

Arkham Horror

Won, but far too long (5 hours?). Feel no need to play again.

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