Urbaer.com Temporary Insanity since 1998

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.

Filed under: tabletop No Comments
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.

Filed under: tabletop No Comments
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.

Tagged as: No Comments
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.

Tagged as: No Comments
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.

Tagged as: No Comments
6Jan/140

The unplayed

My unplayed list is getting rather excessive for the number of games I own. So I've decided to make a concerted effort to get it down by either getting rid of the games or by y'know... playing them.

So here's my list ordered into three categories...

  • 'designer' pre essen (games I got before we went to Essen last year that are vaguely considered 'designer' games)
  • Since Essen are ones that I got after Essen (either through purchase or gift)
  • 'non-designer' are basically those ones that would garner weird looks if I took them to NSEG

The third set has a lot of LEGO and DVD games... these may be harder to get to the table. The Heroica stuff I'm tempted to put together for one massive game just to epicly play it. We'll see how we go...

I knocked 3 of the games off yesterday (if you count Robinson Crusoe which we got halfway through before we had to go... I'm calling it a borderline case).

'designer' pre Essen (9)

  • Agricola All creatures Great and Small  (got a game in just before New Year's)
  • Blurble
  • Ex-Libris
  • Famiglia
  • Felix The Cat in the Sack
  • Kill Dr Lucky
  • Megastar
  • Pala
  • Prolix
  • Shadow Rift

Since/at Essen (10)

  • Bremerhaven
  • Card City
  • Coloretto
  • Eight Minute Empire Legends  (played at January 5 NSEG meeting)
  • Fische Fluppen Frikadellen
  • Furstenfeld (got a game in just before New Year's)
  • Futterneid
  • Hanabi (played at January 5 NSEG meeting)
  • Klunker
  • Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island  (played at January 5 NSEG meeting... well we got half way through it... that counts right?)
  • Steam Noir

'non-designer' (21)

  • Cranium Wow
  • Creationary
  • Desperate Housewives Dirty Laundry Game
  • Friends Trivia Game
  • Heroica: Fortaan
  • Heroica: Nathuz
  • Heroica: Waldurk
  • LEGO Lava Dragon
  • LEGO Ramses Pyramid (yes, yes... has a designer name on it... but..)
  • Mini-Tarus
  • Monster 4
  • Picture This
  • Scene It? Friends
  • Scene It? Harry Potter
  • Scrabble
  • Scrabble Dash
  • Smart Ass
  • Splice
  • Thud
  • Tribbles
  • Triple Yahtzee
Tagged as: No Comments
4Jan/140

The New to Me in 2013 list

So... in no real order, these are the games that were new to me in 2013. There are quite a few and I've tried to give a quick summary of what I thought of them. But my word, there seem to be a lot of them. It's also gotten me thinking about a couple of other topics that I really should blog about at some point.

Let's dive in!

Bling Bling Gemstone Sharon and I had a quick go of this at Essen... but there were no rules and we spent more time rebuilding it (as it was on a tiny table and the peices went everywhere). I have no idea how it's different to Click Clack/Toc Toc.... apart from the fact that it sports an interesting colour scheme.

Click Clack Lumberjack It's a dexterity game where someone wins instead of someone loses. It plays quickly and has enough ooohs and ahhs in it to keep everyone involved.

Tokaido I had fun playing it at the time, but I'm not sure how subsequent plays would go. Probably need to play it with more than 2 players. It's very pretty :)

Fürstenfeld An economic Friedmann Friesse game that Sharon will play! Hurrah! Gets points purely for that. Will have to play semi-expert game with Sharon (still random start but with the 2 extra cards). But also want to try the expert mode and with more players.

Friday Played a bunch of times in a short period and then it ended on the shelf. Played it at the end of the year and I sucked at it. Will have to schedule time with myself to play it... if only to beat it on easy.

Council of Verona It's cute, fast. Have played with 2 and 3 players. Poison and Cure aren't too complicated and probably need to be in every play. Not sure how many replays this will get though.

Sushi Go! Love it. It's nearly just pure drafting. Quick, light and fun... nice introduction to drafting. Cute artwork too.

Power Grid: Australia & Indian Subcontinent Have only played the Australian side, but so much fun. Love the new mechanics and it's a lot easier to carve off sections based on player count.

Fearsome Floors A fun game for up to 7 players, but plays better at lower player counts. I enjoy it, it has a nice mix of randomness and some strategy.

Steam Park Such a great game. It looks wonderful, is easy to explain and new players enjoy it. My new gateway game.

The Witches: A Discworld Game Played twice and erm... I'm not entirely sure what to think. It's good and certainly you feel like a young witch in Lancre. Pacing feels wrong though... I'm not sure that you can tackle the hard problems fast enough.

Elevenses Played late at night with a player who really didn't want to play it, but it still seemed really good (and I've backed it on Kickstarter)

Founders of the Empire It's a pretty light game with pretty simple mechanics... really bought as something to ease people in at NSEG.

Friese's Landlord Pretty good card game, has some take that, but not so much that it's painful. Fun.

Langfinger A very simple and quick worker placement/set collection. Like it.

Glass Road It's an interesting one. Simple and complicated at the same time. I think it's the best game I played in 2013.

Carcassonne: South Seas It's better than Carcassonne! Scoring is much simpler and it's so colorful!

Gear & Piston A fairly simple worker placement where you're really trying to figure out how shoddy you can make your car (like it)

Hello Sunshine! Played with Harley, she might have been too young. Have to try again when she's in the right mood.

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 4 - Nederland I don't know... is it mean? Seems like you always have a very clear winner. I'd still prefer to play Europe over this one.

Keyflower Everything in this game is interesting but for some reason it didn't grab me by the throat. I'm not sure why.

Fünf Gurken We played with too many players and my group hated it.

Innovation I like it. It's swingy but fun. Tempted to get it, but unsure of which version is better.

Corto I played very poorly... got obsessed by the train. Few things I missed in the bi-lingual rules translation, but even so don't think I really need to run out and get it.

Assault on Doomrock (incomplete) Seems fun. Played until after a battle. Not sure how replaybility will be or if an entire game will stay interesting, but will definetly check it out when it comes out.

Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas Monks trying to get books by rotating and shifting platforms. Disliked it, too much downtime and no real ability to plan during the downtime...

Continental Express An OK set collection game with nice artwork. Quite fillery.

Mount Everest K2 does it better.

Trains and Stations I went into this expecting it to be good, was disappointed. Time seemed to drag during the game.... can't work out why I didn't like it though.

Clacks: A Discworld Game Reallllly like this one. Can't wait for it to come out. Play cards to flip discs in order to make the letters of your message. Sure that sounds boring but between your turns other players are doing the same thing on the same board. It's fun!

Eminent Domain I like it, will need to get it to the table again. An interesting deck builder/role selection game.

Tsuro For a filler, it does what it does well. It's quick and no one really cares about winning too much.

Le Havre: The Inland Port Certainly an interesting 2 player game. Doesn't overstay it's welcome, but probably not something I could get Sharon to play.

Power Grid: The First Sparks Something different. It's good and probably should get it back to the table. Borrows some mechanics from Power Grid, but very much it's own game.

The Great Heartland Hauling Co. Fun quick light pick up and deliver. Good filler.

Saint Petersburg Mixed feelings on this one. It feels crushing, but I feel like I could play it better and so I want to play it again. But then I play it again and again feel like it's crushing me, but still I want to play it again. Ergh.

Love Letter Quick light deduction game. Love it.

Fish Cook It's got dice, it's got weird fish dishes, you can steal recipes off each other... It's just great. And it's cheap!

Biblios Thought I'd like it more than I actually did. It's an OK game.

Sentinels of the Multiverse I like the characters and I like the gameplay, but feels like sometimes it's more complicated than it needs to be. But it's still fun and something that I should try and get to the table more often.

Seasons An interesting in concept game (though there are some cards I wish weren't in the game). Feels very much like you just play out the cards that you draft at the start. Game can bog down when it's somewhat important which dice are used (in a 2 or 3 player game) or when someone has the ability to reroll a dice. Still an enjoyable game.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple This was the most played of 2013... with good reason. It's quick, fun and that good kind of tense. Kind of hard without the soundtrack (which limits it's plays at NSEG) but still doable.

Carcassonne: The Discovery The colour pallette and art style make this game difficult to play and to quote someone else "it doesn't feel like Carcassonne". Isn't as good as standard Carcassonne.

Lords of Waterdeep I'm aware that many many people love this game... but it's just OK for me. It just doesn't tickle me in any way. Maybe if I was more invested in the theme? Not sure...

Tahiti Another small pick up and deliver. Feels like it's over too fast?

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar Melted my brain. Did pretty well though. Interesting concept, wonder if I'll improve with multiple plays.

Fluxx: The Board Game Better than Fluxx. Stupid pegs kept popping out though. Quick. Wonder how it plays with more than 2.

Star Munchkin It's Munchkin with a sci-fi theme. I like sci-fi. I don't seem to like Munchkin. Star Munchkin changes neither of these preferences.

Caylus Interesting. Theme is pasted on (oh... I'm building a castle... sure...), but I like the concept of the action track and the Provost. Would be interested in playing again.

Portobello Market Felt quick, seemed like the game ended just as it was getting interesting.

Sutter's Mill I like the concept of choosing when to teardown, but the game didn't really do it for me. Don't get me wrong, there are other decisions to make in the game but that changing into teardown is so important that it almost feels like it's the decision which will win or lose you  the game.... Not rushing to play it again.

Shadows over Camelot For some reason people think I don't like this game... I like it more than I like Resistance because you have more reasons to accuse people of being a traitor. And I like the theme. But it's not something that I want to play on a regular basis. But this has more to do with the fact that any traitor/bluffing game is somewhat out of my comfort zone and so it to some degree feels really hard for me to do (I probably should think about this some more and discuss in a separate post). Ah... and the turns feel long and there's a fair bit of stress. But of it's type, it's the best I've played.

Rumble in the Dungeon Quick, stupid fun with a bit of strategy thrown in. You probably won't care who wins, but it's fun while it lasts.

Get Bit! Lovely game... just wish that they had have got a licence from LEGO so that the robots were figs too.

Onirim An odd one. It's an enjoyable solo game, a little too easy perhaps? Will have to play with the variants.

Cosmic Encounter A take that game where you can't really be blamed for smacking someone... Suffers a bit from the Munchkin syndrome where all the players catch up to the winner at the end. Not my style of game but really enjoyable.

Pandemic It'd be nice to win this one. Not as accessible as Flash Point Fire Rescue, probably more of a gamers game. Seems to turn on a dime though, feels like you can be going well and then within a turn you've just lost. But perhaps this is more to do with me not being as aware of the game's structure than a fault of the game itself.

Node Area control in 10-15 minutes. Nice.

Morels A good game that is hampered by having to constantly slide the cards down the table. Perhaps sleeving would help.

Copycat What happens when you combine Dominion, Through the Ages and Agricola? Copycat! It shouldn't work but it does. Makes for an interesting change... just feel that the game is a bit too short for the deck building to do what deck building should. We messed up with some of the iconography... Still it's a good game, well worth your attention.

TransAmerica Have only played the once and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Feels less complicated than Ticket To Ride and plays a lot faster. Not sure how samey it would get after multiple play throughs.

Ghost Stories Played through and beat it on easy (the second time we played). It's fun, but you expect to lose and it's interesting to see how long you can hold out. An enjoyable co-op with fun stress.

Antike More enjoyable than Navegador for some reason. I like the concept of the Rondel and the idea that you have to do different things to get enough  of the cultural personalities to win... but the fact that you basically almost have to do all the different things in order to win lets it down somewhat.

Rattus It's an enjoyable play, but I never find myself wondering what I should have done or what I would do next time.... strange...

Ker Plunk A very tense game where you need to figure out which straw to pull in order to avoid having marble(s) fall out. Edge of your seat action.

Unexpected Treasures Another unexpected treasure from 2F. A nice filler that is quick to teach and fun to play.

Power Grid: Factory Manager Nice and streamlined, plays relatively quickly. Provides enough strategy but doesn't become overly mathy (until maybe the last turn where you want to optimise the double revenue)

Small World I appear not to be in love with this game. There's too much downtime and while there's some player interaction, it just didn't hit me in the right spot. Just doesn't feel like there's enough choice... game could almost play itself.

Funny Friends (Incomplete) Seems like an interesting game, but the phone mechanics are just so damn difficult to nut out. Sharon was a bit perplexed as to why you'd want to achieve the life goals (more from a moral perspective than a rules perspective).  Game ended midway through as we just couldn't figure it out. This one is going to be hard to get to the table again.

Zombie Dice It's a push your luck. Quick, but I don't feel overly invested during other people's turns. Prefer King of Tokyo.

LEGO Champion A race game that contains bunch of minigames that are randomly determined. The minigames vary in quality, but it's a LEGO game, so after one game you work out which ones aren't to your taste and replace them with something that you come up with yourself. It's like Cranium: Legacy.

Bananagrams An enjoyable and quick word game where you compete for letters from the center (Galaxy Trucker style).

Forbidden Island played co-op with a 10 year old (I think). He was very firm that what he said were the rules, were the rules and that the rulebook was wrong. We won. Would be interesting to play with the actual rules....

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small Without the stress of feeding your people this becomes a quite relaxing game and quite a pleasent way to spend half an hour. Seems to make sleeping babies restless though (2 different plays, 2 different babies).

Agricola Just played this one twice, going to take a lot more plays to figure out how to get the cards working in tandem with everything else. But... Caverna seems to take out everything I don't like about Agricola.... but I just bought Agricola in 2013...

Citadels Like the idea of the game, but it just runs so much longer than I want it too.

Last Will Love the theme (Brewster's millions) and the artwork. Flipping the standard so that you're trying to use all of your money is delightful. Great game.

The Cave Again an interesting idea for a game, love the theme, but it lacks any real tension. Nowhere near the heights of K2.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! The only Ameritrash game in my collection... I like it but it's hard to contend with the need for conflict and the niceties of gaming (this is vague I agree... but I'll probably post something on the subject of Ameritrash and I).

Heroica: Draida A cute little LEGO dungeon crawl. Base rules don't provide much depth, but could be house ruled to something interesting (maybe trying out the Battle variant on BGG?) Has some nice microfigs though, so always good.

Tagged as: No Comments
5Aug/130

Northern Suburbs Eurogamers 5 Aug 2013

It was a pretty weird day on Sunday... the day was pretty sunny in the morning followed by a blustery blow with some patches of rain. Mulled wine can really help with that though... Rather than have NSEG upstairs at Bar Nancy we had it in Bar Nancy's Salon. The Salon has two fireplaces and due to the renovations, there's a lot more floor space.

We kicked off the day with a short game (Escape: The Curse of the Temple... which clocks in at 10 minutes, real time) on one table while another table had a long game (Suburbia... which clocks in at 90 minutes). Both are great games from 2012.

Escape
Escape plays in real time and is quite stressful. It's really about madly rolling 5 die as fast as you can to achieve the result you need. Once you get it, you keep rolling for the next thing you need. Thematically you're all trying to escape from a temple while avoiding curses. It's a co-op so if someone gets stuck in the temple at the end of the ten minutes everyone looses. We just managed to get everyone out in both games we played.

Suburbia

Suburbia on the other hand is a lot more of a thinky game. In it each player is building a suburb in a city. Each player's suburb is affected and affects each other player's city. Each turn you buy a building from the market and place it in your city. You then adjust your income and reputation based on what it's ability is and if it triggers any of your other buildings abilities (for instance a industrial building placed next to a residential building will decrease your reputation). Then you adjust based on if the building impacts any one else's buildings (and vice versa). You then collect cash based on your income level and move up in population based on your reputation.

The most populous city at the end of the game is the winner (though cash adds to this slightly), but as you cross certain points on the population track your income and reputation will drop... it's an interesting tightrope to walk. A certain amount of tiles are removed from the game, so it can take a few games to see every tile... so it can take a while to get a good engine running.

Saint Petersburg
A new game for me was a much older one... Saint Petersburg (2004). Effectively it's a market game that has 4 phases per round. In the first phase Craftsmen are  placed in the market (who give you income), the second phase Buildings are placed in the market (which provides victory points and/or special abilities). In the third phase Aristocrats (who give you income and/or victory points) and finally the last phase provides upgrades which replace your buildings/aristocrats or Craftsmen.

One of the tricks of the game is that any unbought cards at the end of the phase move down into the second part of the market and cost a rubel less. Add to this the fact that you get a discount for each of the same card you already have. So if you are buying a gold miner (which costs 4) and already have 3, it would only cost 1. But if it's in the second part of the market it would cost you nothing.

The rules are simple, but I think the strategy is not as simple as it first appears. Often you'll end up with no money left and be run over by someone else who has used their money more wisely.

Le Havre: The Inland Port

Another new game was Le Havre: The Inland Port. It's a two player game by Uwe Rosenburg that combines Ora et Labora's rondel and introduces an interesting method to track and alter resources. Each round you can buy buildings which (generally) will alter your amount of resources. The trick in this is that the longer you wait to use the building, the more benifit you get from the building... but wait too long and you might loose the building altogether.

You can also use your opponents buildings, which also deny them the use of the building for that round... to do so will cost you a franc, but sometimes it can be worth it.

Some of the other games played were Alhambra, Cthulu Fluxx, Carcassone: The Discovery and Love Letter.

The next meeting will be on August 18 at Bar Nancy at 61 High St  Northcote VIC 3070 from 3pm.

Tagged as: No Comments