Urbaer.com Temporary Insanity since 1998

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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14Aug/140

Unplayed and new to me – July 2014

Having received no new games and playing the some of the ones that I got last month, I'm up slightly!

Score from June 2014: 4
Trade Away: 0
Recieved: 0
Played: +2
End Total: 6

Played

  • Skyline
  • Deadwood Studios

New to Me

Skyline
Skyline is one of these ones that I've played on yucata a few times. It's a push your luck that has some small amount of strategy to it. It's quick and easyish to teach.

Bang! The Dice Game
Played this a few times. It moves along at a decent click and is fairly simple from a rules point of view. I think we had the highest player counts and it didn't take too long and most of the time everyone has some skin in the game.

Don't know how easy it is for the Outlaws to win though. Unless they use the Gatling gun, then they have to go directly after the sheriff and expose themselves or just lose? And if they do go after the Sheriff then they're clearly an outlaw.

Battlestar Galactica
I was a cylon and so didn't really get a good feel for it. I'd want to play it again. It feels like it took to long and it was quite draining (again that might have just been from the cylon point of view). Have similar issues as with Bang!

 

Deadwood Studios
A fun little economic game from Cheapass Games that has you saying silly lines. Probably need a few more plays of it to get a handle on it. Think I still like Fish Cook more though.

Dungeon Lords
Similar to Galaxy Trucker in as much as it's a game in two parts. The first is a worker (or minion in this case) placement and the second is a defend your dungeon from adventurers game. Has some interesting card play (which determines where your minions go) where each player programs where their minions will be placed simultaneously and you generally want to be the second player to go somewhere. Add to this your second and third placements are unavailable to you in the following round.

The entire game turns into a balancing act where you try and manage your resources while limiting your evilness. Having too much evil will draw the Paladin to your dungeon who is much more deadly than the other adventurers.  It's a balancing act I'm not very good at.... but it's still fun.

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9Jul/140

Unplayed and New to Me – June 2014

Unplayed Challenge

As June is my birthday month and BorderCon... my plays and received games went through the roof.

Traded Away:

  • The Cave (Maths Trade)

Recieved:

  • Power Grid: Factory Manager (Bordercon Raffle)
  • Ascension (Maths Trade)
  • Small World (Birthday Present)
  • Rampage (Birthday Present)
  • Deadwood Studios (Birthday Present)
  • Skyline (Birthday Present)
  • R-Eco (Birthday Present)

Played:

  • Bremerhaven (Bordercon)
  • Fische Fluppen Frickadellen (Bordercon)
  • Alchemist Academy (NSEG)
  • Jaipur (NSEG)
  • Rampage
  • R-Eco

Score from May 2014: 4
Trade Away: +1
Recieved: -7
Played: +6
End Total: 4

New to me

So many this month. I'll try and rip through them.

Alchemist Academy
Played at NSEG. Don't like it. Needs to have some sort of rule change... constantly just felt like "Can I cast a spell? No.... So I either draw from the spell deck or the components deck... ho hum". Maybe some sort of market would improve it.

Jaipur
Played at NSEG. Nice little game. Have played it a fair bit online and it plays just as well on the table.

Attraction
Played at Bordercon.

A good little filler. A bunch of magnets that look like little flat rocks that have different polarities. You spread them out on the table and on your turn you just curl it across the table (if you have none in your hand you pick one up and then curl it). If it ends up sticking to another (or causes another to stick to another) you get them, otherwise you just loose your rock. Once all of the magnets are no longer on the table, player with the most wins.

These things are super charged though... sometimes flicking it across the table will send one that wasn't really that close flying off the table. Crazy stuff. Super light and quick.

Also played another game that used the same (or similar) magnets where the aim was to place them within the playspace (a bunch of matt triangles that you setup before the game). You start with a set number in your hand and on your turn you place one. If it sticks to another you take those back (or if it sends any off the playspace you take those). First to have none left in their hand wins. A bit more strategic and would be interesting to play the two games back to back.

Battle Line
Played at Bordercon.
You play cards out to various flags (seven in total) and try to make three card poker hands out of it (three of a kind, straight flush, straight...). If you have the higher hand on that flag it becomes yours and winning three adjoining flags or any five flags wins. There's also a leaders deck which allows you to break the rules.

Play becomes more difficult as you go along as you tend to box yourself in. Found that I only drew the card I needed once I'd given up waiting for it. Very much felt like I was trying to make do with what I got at the time. I somewhat enjoy that sort of game, but I don't think I'm going to rush out and get it.... There's an element of stress as you hope your opponent doesn't do X in position Y, but it's not really the sort of stress I want from a two player game. Not a bad game though.

Impulse
Played at BorderCon
Glory to Rome in SPACE. 

Based on my rating, didn't really seem to love it, but that could change with more plays... will check it out when it gets released.

Machi Koro
Played at BorderCon

This and Sail to India were the games that I missed out on getting at Essen 2013.

I played it three times and enjoyed it each and every time, though it did include the Harbour expansion which gives the game more (welcome) complexity. Shame that the English game and expansion won't be coming out at the same time. Will still be picking it up when it does though.

Francis Drake
Played at BorderCon
This one seems like it should be in my wheelhouse... but I didn't seem to get on board with it. I do like the way that most of the game resets after each round (and thematically this works as each voyage is years apart). I just felt that I'd enjoy it more with more rounds that are quicker.

Still the components are lovely... the ships are plastic, but wonderfully modelled and the beads reflect light wonderfully...

Koryo
Played at BorderCon

This is a game I skipped over at Essen... an interesting theme, but the gameplay seemed meh.

Cards are numbered 1-9... there's 1 one, 2 twos , 3 threes and so on plus some negative -1s of two different colours.

So on the first turn each player gets 10 cards and they select all the cards of one value... so you might want to  play the 6 and you have 5 of them in your hand... So you play them down and everyone reveals what they played to their tableau .

You then work out who has the majority in each value. So obviously having played 5 sixes you have the majority... so you get the special action associated with that. Each value has different abilities, like score a VP, swap a card with someone, stop someone from taking a card, have an extra card dealt to you, keep an extra card sort of thing.

Once you resolve, you trim your tableau down to the limit as listed on the card (believe for the first round it starts at three). All the other cards are shuffled together again, you reveal the next card in the season deck (which are always in the same order) and deal out cards again (but this time less than before) and pick, reveal, resolve, discard (to more than before).

So there's 8 rounds of the game and there's a lot of shuffling and dealing and shuffling and dealing and it really does just drag. Near the end of the game, you tend to end up with single cards of stuff that isn't already in front of you. So you just play whatever.

It seems like it should be interesting... it's almost like the designer wanted to try to do drafting without having drafting... and it's a bit of bore. Artworks nice... theme is interesting but has no relationship to the mechanics.

Splendor
Played at BorderCon
Splendor is a splendid game. Get tokens in order to buy cards which help you to buy more cards in order to get enough points to win. Quick, clear and to the point. The random nobles which will come to visit you (and give you  if you points) switches things up from game to game.

There's a little bit of long term planning that can be done and a little that happens on the fly.

Can see why it's SdJ nominated, but the price point is a little hefty. The tokens are nice, but the theme doesn't really seem to help explain the game. Can see it being a good game for NSEG.

The Boss
Played at BorderCon
A quick light deduction/bidding game. The artwork is OK,  but the graphic design is so so. Perhaps a little to light? Might be more interesting with playing with various valued workers rather than just the two....

Bremerhaven

It's sort of blind bidding... or worker placement with value. Needs more plays.

I was trying to get away with  ignoring the ships and just trying to use buildings (which I was fairly lucky to nab) to generate goods to dump into buses/trucks.

Near the end worked out that this wasn't going to fly... it generated a lot of money, but little prestige. So near the end grabbed some high prestige ships.

Interesting in a 3 player game where 2 players are using all their cards to try and outbid each other on thing while the other player steals the lead.

Fische Fluppen Frickadellen

Played the 15 player game at Bordercon. This was crazy fun. A really fun special event game. . I tended to rush off each board as fast as I could ... probably a mistake. Ended up arriving at another board without many goods or money. So am looking forward to playing again.

Coup
Played at BorderCon
Now... I've played this at NSEG before, but apparently didn't log it, so eh...

It's a good bluffing game... fairly quick. I enjoyed it at NSEG, but assumed at BorderCon that I remembered it so well that I didn't need an explanation of it again as I walked in halfway through picking up from another player. Clearly I did need a rules refresher (or perhaps I was just too tired) because I screwed up some rules and was utterly to dopey about what I should be doing that I was alternatively too obvious or playing so badly that I feel I kind of messed the game up for the others playing. Hate doing that. But I like the game.... just need to work at it.

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
Played at BorderCon

I can see the attraction from a role playing point of view, but I really don't like the mechanics of it. We were playing the get the keys and fuel and get to the car scenario and while we had the keys, the fuel was stuck in the great big draw pile (which had cards from expansions). Choices feel like "Move, shoot or go lucky dipping for what you need".

Did not love and would likely need to have had some drinks to play again.

Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice
Played at BorderCon
Love the theme, but I don't think there's enough times that you can make a choice (really the only choices you seem to have are to tag out or whether you go for a big risky hit vs a safe small hit when you get certain die combos).

Being able to roll in such a way that you can knock  your opponents dice out of the ring is a nice touch though.

A Study in Emerald

The theme really shines through on this one. Madness... I really don't get it.

The rules don't really help with understanding why you want to do anything. It's really just a do things for points.

Going, Going, GONE!

This was fun, but I was so bad at it.... but I'm bad at ebay as well... so it's fair enough. As I recall I blew most of my cubes (money) early and then kind of got lost as to wether I should push by country or type and when to sell. There's this moment between the cards coming out and the auction starting that you have these rational thoughts about what you should do. Then the auction starts and that tends to go out the window as everyone else starts throwing cubes at the thing you want.

It's super quick though and would be good to play again.

Rampage
Bit of a beast to setup, but fun to play. Has a good theme and is well integrated. Will be an nice one to hang on to for when Harley gets old enough to start playing.

 R-Eco
Another great little card game that I've been playing online for quite a while and now have a physical copy of (I have the Amigo R-Oko version which has much nicer artwork). Plays just as well as the online version, though slowed down somewhat by having to flip out the cards from the draw pile. Easy to teach and quick and fun to play.

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22Jun/140

Unplayed and new to me – May 2014

Unplayed

Managed to play both games that I bought and got another one in! Winning!

Bought:

  • Fauna
  • Time's Up! Title Recall!

Played:

  • Fauna
  • Pick Picknic
  • Time's Up! Title Recall!

Starting score : 3 (from April)
Played +3
New Games: -2
Ending Score: 4

New to Me

Pick Picknic
A fairly simple simultaneous selection game where your trying to outguess your opponents. Wasn't a heck of a lot of outguessing... but we were playing with the maximum number of players, so perhaps with less would be a little more strategic.

Fauna
A game that I had dismissed as being one of Friedemann Friese's odder games... but it's really quite good. Each round there's an animal card (with a picture) and your told how many areas it exists in and if you have to guess it's weight, height/length and/or tail length. You then place out cubes onto the map or the scales for weight/height/tail length. For exact matches you get such and such points (the more regions the less points) and such and such points for adjacent areas. Any cubes not in exact or adjacent matches you lose. At the end of the round you get one cube back (or back up to three).

And for some reason it's just fun. Even when it turns out your amazing educated guesses (or knowledge of movies like Madagascar and The Jungle Book) were way off the mark, it's still fun to see all your cubes wiped off the table. I'm not sure how educational it is... some of the animals are so rare and specific that I'd be hard pushed to recall anything about them. But if it gets it into schools...

RoboRally
We started off playing this wrong... for some reason whoever was teaching thought priority didn't matter (or that it only determined start player). About halfway through we realised that this was wrong and as a result there was less chaos in the start of the game which had let one player run away with the game. After this there was a lot more shooting at each other with the remaining three.

But would be nice to play again.

SET
I like SET for exactly the same reasons that I hate it.

Each card has 1-3 of the same objects (either ovals, diamonds or waves) that are either shaded, empty or solid. Then you have to match cards based on these three categories where they either are all the same or all different.

For instance a 1 solid diamond, 2 solid diamond and 3 solid diamond would work (the shading and object  remains the same, the numbers vary). A 1 shaded oval, 1 solid diamond and 1 empty wave work (because the number remains the same, but the shape and shading are all different). 1 shaded oval, 1 solid oval and 1 empty wave doesn't work because the first two shapes are the same and the third is different.

So because our brains are so hardwired to see patterns, finding patterns and lack of patterns at the same time is really quite hard. It does often give me a headache. I like it and hate it for this reason... I'm very undecided about it. But it's not a game I'd actively seek out.

The Struggle for Catan
I hate Settlers of Catan. But I was willing to give this one a spin.

And it seems to take out what I dislike about Catan. Gone are the boring dice rolls, gone is the tactical city placement... gone is the long snorious negotiations for trade. It's a tight little game that plays fairly quickly and I enjoyed it.

Time's Up! Title Recall!

This is one of my only pure party game in my collection. Really quite love it. It's always entertaining, either being amazed that people can get things so easily or laughing at how bizzare some of the clues are. The three rounds of the game where each round limits what you can do to give clues (or how many guesses you get) really does make the game.

Suspect that this will get a lot more plays over the years.

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10Jun/140

Unplayed and new to me Apr 2014

Hey... so I realise that it's no longer May and I forgot to publish this post. Oops...

Unplayed Challenge

Getting a sudden hit of Kickstater in the last two months and a trade from the Aus Card Game Chain has wiped out a fair bit of progress on this.

Played:

  • Ascension Apprentice Deck

New Games

  • Jaipur
  • Pick Picknic (Received in Trade)
  • Words With Friends: Rush
  • Tsuro of the seas  (Received in Trade)
  • Ascension: Revenge of the Fallen  (Received in Trade)
  • Rage  (Received in Trade, not expected)
  • Slapshot  (Received in Trade, not expected)
  • Alchemist Academy (Kickstarter)

Traded away:

  • Fünf Gurken
  • Card City
  • Continental Express

So net result is

 

Starting score : 7 (from March)
Played +1
New Games: -8
Traded Away: +3

Thus I go from a score of 7 to a score of 3...

New to Me

Lost Cities
Have played this on the xbox, so... one of those games I love but really suck at (there does seem to be a lot of those around).

Ascension Apprentice Deck

Loved this... have played Ascension before, but the artwork in Apprentice Deck is much nicer.

Munchkin Bites!

Munchkin is still Munchkin no matter how it dresses up.

28Apr/140

Unplayed and New to Me March 2014

It's almost the end of April and I haven't published my game plays for March! Eep!

What happened to Unplayed Feb I hear you ask? Well for Feb I only got one new game (My Little Pony CCG) and I played it in Feb. So Feb was a net zero.

March was a bit confusing to score. Technically I got two games according to BGG, Fast Flowing Forest Fellers and Ruse. But Ruse comes with a dice game that's not yet in the BGG database. So since I've played the Ruse Dice Game and Fast Flowing Forest Fellers am I still net zero for March or at -1.

Probably -1. At some point I'll attempt to add the Ruse dice game to BGG if it's not already there by the time I can be bothered.

It was a pretty quiet month, only one new to me which was Fast Flowing Forest Fellers. A lot more older games played this month. However, if I was doing the 10x10 Challenge, Sentinels of The Multiverse would have been in it. And on that basis it would be half way to it's target within the first three months.

Fast Flowing Forest Fellers

Friedman Friesse's racing game where you control 2 (or 3 in a 2-3 player game) trying to get from one end of the river to the other before your opponents. You do this by playing movement cards from your hand, which indicate the distance that can be travelled (in hexes) and whether it's the male or female character moving. You can shove other player/s and all logs (though only if there are less than three that you're shoving) and there are currents that if you stop on them might push you forward or fling you backwards.

The boards are modular and vary in difficulty. Some are full of currents that send you right back to the start, others have many logs, some are quite narrow.

The game plays fast (our two player game went for about 20 minutes) and there's very little downtime. The artwork on the cards is lovely, though it's somewhat easy to mix up the male and female cards if you don't pay attention (generally on the five where the character isn't standing up, so it's just their face).

Easy to teach, easy to play... wonder how the downtime will be with 5 players, but seems like a nice fast filler.

Inspector Montgomery's Challenging Dice Game of Intuition and Chance

I'm biased against this dice game. Between this and the novella, it's what caused a Kickstarter that was essentially a 52 deck of cards (with all artwork ready) to take 15 odd months (almost a year after delivery date).

And unless I'm playing it wrong it's not very good. There's not really any options as to what to do (there's only ever 3-4 options which reduce as the game goes on) and winning or losing really is luck based. Probably never play it again.

 Sentinels of the Multiverse: Infernal Relics/Rook City/Shattered Timelines

I don't normally include expansions in my new to me... but thought I'd share.

If you play against an Infernal Relics villan, make sure you have an Infernal Relics hero. Otherwise it all seems to go to poot. Of course sometimes it is lovely to sit there and struggle against things going to poot, but it can be a bit saddening to watch the end of it.

6Mar/140

New to Me: Feb 2014

Super Dungeon Explore

Hmmm... it's an interesting one.It's simple and complicated at the same time.Certainly not the sort of game that you'd want to play every week, but it pretty cute  and I can see that you'd be able to bang out games a lot quicker than we managed to when we played if you played it on a semi-regular basis. I don't think I'd buy it... the minis look like they're a pain to put together for someone as unskilled at that sort of stuff (as I am).

Munchkin Cthulu

My issue with Munchkin is that in almost every game every player will get to Level 9 and then suddenly someone will get to Level 10 just because no one can stop them. While this didn't happen in our game (I went from Level 6 to 10 in one turn)... I'd think this is more of a fluke than something unique to the Cthulu version of Munchkin. Game went for about 45 minutes which is the longest I'd want it to go for.

Gah... I don't know. It's not really funny and I don't like the gameplay. It's a game I really shouldn't play.

Android: Netrunner

This is last year's hotness. Is it worth the hype? It's certainly got a lot of depth and I can see that the more you play the better you would get at it (which is what you want from this sort of game I guess). Netrunner is a two player game where one player plays as an Evil Corporation and the other player plays as an Evil Netrunner (a hacker). A lot of the terminology is very different for each player (the Corportation's Deck is called R&D and the Netrunner's Deck is called a Stack).

The Corporation is trying to fulfil thier agendas, while the runner is trying to steal them from under thier noses by hacking into the Corporation's servers. The Corp tries to protect it's servers with pieces of ICE that tend to harm the runner if they run into it. Or perhaps it's just a bluff. Perhaps the Corp doesn't have enough money to activate it. Or maybe that's what the Corp wants the runner to believe... it's a double bluff!

Our game was quite slow as I was learning to play (and I was playing as the runner, so my timidness probably made the game run long) but am eager to play again when I can.

Oh so is it worth the hype? It's a good game. I'd think there's a fair bit of replaybility just based on the base set. Want to give the runners a few more tries before seeing if I like playing as Corps more.

My Little Pony: TCG

Bit hard to tell how well this one plays. Shar had a bad deck where she couldn't get her off suit ponies up and running. We also played the double face off rule wrong, so I was revving ahead with points.  But still... it's interesting. There's a bit of head to head interaction and a bit of take that... but not overly so. It's an interesting TCG that doesn't ask you to beat your opponent to death. We'll have to crack it back open and give the cards a better shuffle at a later stage (and possibly try different Mane characters).

Each player takes a Mane pony and a deck. The 2 player starter decks have a deck for Pinkie Pie and a different deck for Fluttershy, while the theme Decks have 2 Mane ponies but only one deck. Each player then takes their problems and chooses a starting problem, shuffling the rest. Each player draws five cards into their hand. The cards in the deck are ponies, events (one shots), Resource cards (which can be attached to ponies to help them) and Troublemakers (which stop your opponent from completing problems).

To play ponies from your hand you need to be able to pay the action points required (varies from pony to pony) and have the required power of a certain colour. You can play the ponies to a problem and once you have enough to confront the problem you get points for them. You'll continue to score the problem until your opponent also confronts the problem or you confront both problems. Once that happens you have a face off (where you flip the top card of both decks and combine with the power of the ponies at the problem/s to see who gets the bonus for the face off). Once that happens the problem goes to the bottom of the deck, flip a new problem and the ponies go home. But the Mane pony can only have so many ponies at home, so if you exceed this number you have to discard some to get to that limit.

There's an interesting ebb and flow as you complete problems and face off.

The Power colours are pretty interesting. From what I can tell Pink (Pinkie Pie) is random, Blue (Rainbow Dash) is all about speed and ease of movement, Yellow (Fluttershy)  is about cheap support creatures that have more power when they act together, White (Rarity) is about deck manipulation.  I'm resisting the temptation to buy boosters... but it's not all that available at the moment... if it suddenly turns up everywhere it might be hard to ignore.

I'm hoping that I'll still want to play it in 5 years time... will be nice to play with Harley.

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13Feb/140

Unplayed update January 2014

Unplayed as at Jan 1, 2014: 40 games

Played in January:

  • Megastar (w Sharon and Buttons)
  • Prolix (w Sharon and Katie)
  • Shadow Rift (w/Ash)
  • Coloretto (Jan 19 NSEG Meeting)
  • Eight Minute Empire Legends  (played at January 5 NSEG meeting)
  • Futterneid (played with Sharon, Ash and June)
  • Hanabi (played at January 5 NSEG meeting)
  • Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island (w/Ash and Ben and @ Jan 19 NSEG Meeting)
  • Kids of Carcassonne (w Sharon and Katie)

Purchased:

  • Kids of Carcassonne
  • Ascension Apprentice Deck

So I start at 0 points, and according to the Aluminium Gamer thread on BGG points are gained as follows:

Play an unplayed item: +1
Trade or sell an item (unplayed or not): +1
Give away an item (unplayed or not): +3
Add an item to your collection: -1

So on this basis I get +9 for playing unplayed items and -2 for adding 2 items to my collection (though one of those is a net zero... so not too bad).

So for January I've gained 7 out of a possible 40 points. Of course I'm also hitting the games in my collection that are either easiest to get to the table or the ones I want to get to the table first and I think it's going to be harder to whittle these down further.

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2Feb/140

New to Me: January 2014

Some very quick recaps (impressions I suppose, rather than reviews) on the games I played in January that were new to me.

Eight Minute Empires: Legends 

With the right group a good game. With the wrong group drags far too much. After a game that took far too long, played it with a timer. Ups the stress and forces you to quickly decide on strategy while the other player has a turn. Want to see how it plays with a variety of groups and with the full range of in game expansions.

Hanabi

I can see why it won the SdJ. It's a game that families could play for years. It's hard to get used to though. A good quick game that seems to have plenty of replayability.

Furstenfeld

Oh! An interesting game from 2F. It's deck building... sort of. But I like it and want to play more of it. It's got a lovely supply/demand market and you need to work out when you can shift out of focussing on producing goods and replace them with your victory cards.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Played the intro scenario 3 times now... it does seem to play longer than I want it to. I wonder how the other scenarios play. Presumably they all take about the same amount of time, but I presume there's enough variety to make each scenario feel different.

Prolix

Was fun. Sharon protested that she's not good at word games, yet won. The interrupts are an interesting mechanic.

Futterneid

A half decent game from 2F. It's made better by using actual Candy. I'd imagine that for many groups it would require varieties of  chocolate though. Should be able to get it back to the table :)

Citrus

This was a purchase for NSEG. It's a tile purchasing and laying game with a shared board. It kept reminding me of Alhambra for some reason. It's got area control and money management. Easy to teach and learn and hopefully has some lasting power.

The Kids of Carcassonne

This one was bought more for Harley than for us. It's Carcassonne where every tile can be joined to any other tile and the aim of the game is to get rid of all of your meeple (or  have the least when the tiles run out). You place your meeple on the kids of your colour when a road is finished. Harley was very interested in the game and kept putting the meeples on the tiles. It didn't really matter whose meeple or which tiles, she just enjoyed placing them. It's rated ages 4 and up, so she's got about 2 more years before she hits the age when she should be able to play it.

Ascenion: Chronicle of the Godslayer

This has been doing great guns at NSEG. I was turned off by the artwork in the past. I backed the Kickstarter for the Steam/Android port and I've been playing the Steam version. And it's quite good. Got a chance to play the physical edition and it was good enough that I picked up the Apprentice Edition (because I still like the new artwork better).

Gameplay wise, it's a deck builder with a market of 6 cards at any one time and two currencies (runes which are used to buy cards and might which is used to fight monsters). There's a certain amount of VP available (which you mostly get for defeating monsters) and once that's gone you tally up how much of the VP you got and add that to your cards VP.

Quite a varied game and could end up taking the place of Dominion

Coloretto

Just played a 2 player game of it, would be interesting to see how it plays with more. I suspect it would play better. But still an interesting quick card game.

Stone Age

Interesting.... it's a worker placement where the amount you get is based on die rolls and you use more workers to increase your chances. I went in with no strategy whatsoever (although I did think "oh, I should try and see how many buildings I can get), but can see that it has depth.

Megastar

Surprisingly good. We played without any variants... I'd like to try the variant listed in the rules where it reverses the way that you determine the list though.

Shadowrift

We tried out this one with the original and updated rules. Went long (with just two players). I think for a co-op I'd lean more towards Sentinels and for a deck builder probably more likely to turn to Ascension or Dominion. I'm willing to give it another try though... maybe it'd play faster when we know what we're doing.

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