Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

Taught Nidavellir to my girl game night and channeled @lalunaverde’s purple smith train to an easy victory.

Followed up with two games of Codenames. I lost one as spymaster due to my uninspired clues and won the second because the other team went for the assassin.


Coming to report that I still keep getting owned at Splendor by my better half. 4 games, 4 defeats. It is getting to the point where I am afraid of picking cards up because the replacement card is always either a free pick up or easy points for her…:man_facepalming::man_facepalming:


Four colours are possible for specialisation. I need to see an Orange train. :thinking::thinking:


That has to be seriously heard to pull off. The other trains can get to 100+, but to get there with orange… you’d need an orange at 11 or 12 of the 16 auctions and have the luck to get minimal 0s. Heroes make it easier, but orange always seem a bit rarer than the other colours


Gaming day today, we played some games:

Hadrian’s Wall, I played a couple of solo games of this during the week. I haven’t broken out with others yet, but as a roll and write it plays pretty similarly solo as with other humans. It’s terrific, incredibly strong first impression, like competing now with Welcome to… for my favourite roll and write! It’s great - I’m not much of a solo gamer but it may tempt me to give it another crack this week.

Metro X, I did very well this run at this off of the back of scoring over 20 points of transfers. Lots of fun, easy to break out. The puzzle is difficult to see and its a little hard to plan ahead sometimes, but it’s a lot of fun.

Architects of the West Kingdom, first proper game of this - it was really really solid. Gameplay whips around the table and the worker capturing mechanic is a lot of fun. I won by one point on a strategy of building the heck out of the cathedral to another player who didn’t build any of the cathedral but focused on buildings and resources. So it’s well balanced between those two approaches. We didn’t play with virtue very much, a few of us got fairly high, no one ever got very low on the track though - it’d be interesting to see how that functions in future plays. But yeah, between this, Hadrian’s Wall and Raiders of Scythia, I’ve been very impressed with my foray into Garphill Games so far!

No Thanks, a couple of games of this, the second was rough - I think the winning score (the lowest score) was like 40 something.

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland, my wife joined us for a game of this, and smoked us with three country to country tickets. I had to check bgg afterwards, and apparently we have been playing those tickets wrong - you only score the highest connection, not all of them. She insists she would’ve won anyway and she might be right - she’s super good at Ticket to Ride for some reason. I can’t believe we’ve been playing Switzerland wrong all this time though! This is up there with my Modern Art rules snafu (only the most in demand artists each round score, the others are ignored).


More Sprawlopolis (highest score: zero); and Food Chain Island (best result: 2 cards) today.

I then tried out Skulls of Sedlec: Monstrance. Once again it’s a neat little spatial puzzle, and the solo expansion keeps things variable with each game including two randomly-selected elements – one being a particular shape to build (alongside one of the regular pyramids), and the other being an additional scoring rule (such as the “peasants’ revolt” where peasants placed higher than royals score triple, but others score nothing; and the “royal assassins” where any royal adjacent to more than one criminal has its card flipped face-down without scoring).

The rules give score rankings for 60, 65, 70, and 75+ points, so I figured that must be the typical range. I felt that my very first game went really well – I got close to maximum points from the peasants’ revolt, and I think I had every single criminal next to a priest, and all my priests on different levels, so I anticipated a pretty decent score! When I totted everything up, I had 61 points : / I think my next game then scored about 50. First impressions – not so easy! Fun though. I think it fits nicely alongside the other two wallet games I’ve played so far.

The scoring isn’t as fiddly as Sprawlopolis, but it still requires adding up a bunch of different things. However it’s quite trivial to see at a glance what each thing is worth; so it’s just a matter of working through each instance of each type in sequence, and keeping a running count as you go (vs Sprawlopolis where it can take rather more effort to figure out the value of each thing, which I find makes it harder to track the running total). At the other end of the spectrum, I really like that Food Chain Island scores are simply “how many cards are left?” (although that approach doesn’t leave much room for getting a new best score – it’s a more traditional Patience style of win-or-lose). On reflection, I think Skulls provides a good balance here, if you enjoy having a Personal Best to try to better.


Taught myself Ishtar which is an incredibly pretty (no surprise there it’s Cathala after all) light to mid weight tile laying game with a garden theme. Easy to teach and play, I can see this getting to the table on a casual game night.

Taught Beyond the Sun to my partner at last. For me this was game 8 with my friend ready to try again and beat me tomorrow. For the first time ever I had no resource issues… I think it was because out of courtesy I let my partner take the first shot at level 2 research and whatever else I did worked better than my usual approach :slight_smile: I offered multiple times to cut the game short, if he didn’t enjoy it. But we played the full game in the end—it has just such a good arc. I won but he claimed a level 4 tech in the final action that also gave him a fourth colony and thus two achievements to my three. I think this went really well. On the table the teach is easier than on BGA I must say.

I also played a short 5 Fame learning solo of Xia. I do not quite understand how the NPCs work… and I find the rulebook is not quite clear on where I can mine resources in a nebula or debris field. Also I managed to explode my ship on my first turn by repeatedly blind jumping into debris…


You probably do understand them; you’re probably just underwhelmed by the reality of them and, expecting more, feel you are missing something.


You can only mine on the hex(es) with the mining/scavenging information on it, not anywhere in the field.

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That is what I thought (and did) but somehow couldn’t find clearly stated in the rules. Thanks for the clarification. :slight_smile:

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I’d reference the part in the book that states it (assuming it exists), but in this case someone happened to have the same query recently on BGG so it was fresh in the mind. Formally confirmed by Ira Fay. BoardGameGeek

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Saturday board games again yesterday:

Evolution: Climate: mostly to compare with Oceans which we played last week. I think I prefer the cards from Oceans, but the fact that you can do most of the play simultaneously in Evolution means less down time.

Railroad Ink Challenge: our friend’s Kickstarter pledge arrived last week, so we had a go with the green version. In a majestic feat of un-coordination we had both gone all in on the Kickstarter, so we could theoretically host a ridiculously large game if we can find enough people. I regret nothing :laughing:

Among the Stars: seems like a fine, light drafting game. I have Fields of Green so we’ll try that next week to see if the game works better in space or on Earth.

Welcome to Dino World: we just played the basic version, rather than Danger Mode, to get the hang of the rules. Doesn’t seem exceptionally different from other roll and writes like Cartographers or Second Chance, except for the obvious plus point of getting to draw dinosaurs :t_rex:


Ooh how was Railroad Ink Challenge? Does it feel significantly different from the original pair? I’m currently trying to see if I can justify having it and one of the originals in my collection (I’m leaning towards yes).

And then deciding which if any of the expansion dice sets might be worth grabbing…


I have played the green version a few times and it is indeed a little more complex. I only have the green box via retail and I am quite happy with it. There are additional items on the map that if you build there give bonuses like repeating a die or getting an additional crossing but the dice faces have also changed making it more difficult. i hate the double curve street with a passion already. Third are the challenge cards that if you fulfill the conditions first give points. If you like the original you will like this.


I think I prefer Challenge, because I like having the extra constraints and direction that the objectives and special locations add. It’s still very much like the original though.


When I have time to get the dice and board images sorted out I plan to host a massively parallel RRI Challenge game here.


Played three more games of Splendor that I lost. Two one on ones (I start to believe that I am really bad at this, or that I never take first turn as a handicap) and a three player game that my partner swept up with both my daughter and me just below double figures.


Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion , still slogging away on this. This mission had spawning enemies ,and that’s always a lot of fun (no, not really). We destroyed the required objectives, but still needed to kill all of the enemies as well. When I was exhausted I think there was still 7 elite enemies left, and i thought we had no hope. But somehow the others managed to whittle them down, until there was only one left, and only one of us left. Just needed one more hit and…he turned up a curse card. To be so close, and then fail at the end, after 3+ hours. I’m a bit over Gloomhaven, to be honest, but my group likes it, and I’m sure there are games they play because I like them, so it works out.

Durian , first play. New game from Oink Games, which are usually pretty good fun. In this, you are creating orders for four different types of fruit (obviously Durians are represented). At the start, you each get a card, which will have a single fruit on one side, and two or three different fruit on the other. The twist is: you can’t see your own card. The players then draw cards one at a time, and create an order (using only one side of the card). Instead of drawing a card, you can ring the cute little bell and call the manager. Then everyone checks their card, and if the number of orders for a fruit exceed the actual number held by the players, the last player takes an angry manager token (numbered from one to seven). If the orders are ok, then the player who called the manager gets the angry manager token. And to confuse things, there are three gorilla cards, which will monkey around (sorry) with the orders, by swapping them, or removing any orders with bananas. Its a pretty quick game, and lots of fun.

MicroMacro: Crime City , first play. The game consists of a huge paper map of the city, and a set of 16 cases. Each case has from five to eight cards associated with it, and each card gives you an objective on the map. For example, you may need to locate a particular building, and then find someone, and maybe find out what happened to them. I’m deliberately being spoiler free here. When you think you’ve located the objective, you turn over the card to see if you’re correct. The map isnt just a snapshot of the world, you will find characters moving around, so you can see someone who might start at point A, and then they’ll go to point B, but maybe something has changed about them. Theres obviously not much replayability here once you’ve been thru the 16 cases, although there are a couple of quick missions in the rules, after you’ve solved everything else. And their website has another quick mission. Its pretty good fun, something a bit different. If you’re interested in the game, their website has a demo case to solve (doesnt need the game to play, its just online).

It’s much easier to play on the computer, because you can easily zoom in and out. And you’ll need a good look to pick up some details. The game comes with a plastic magnifier strip, and i actually picked up a couple of magnifying glasses from a $2 shop. They are both a bit awkward, and started giving me a headache. A much better solution was to enable the magnifier on my Ipad (and the others used their Iphones). I think you have to download it on Android devices.

Regicide X 2, first play. This is a game played with a standard deck of cards – but you do get some cool art if you buy it. I couldn’t see any way to buy it, so just used a generic deck. There is a deck of enemies to defeat, represented by the Jacks, Queens, and Kings. Jacks have an attack value of 10, Queens have 15, and Kings have 20. Their health is twice their attack value. The game is fully cooperative, and all you have to do is defeat the 12 cards. You can play a single card, and the value is how much damage you do. Each suit has its own power. Hearts let you add cards to the deck from the discard pile, Diamonds let you draw cards (and this is the only way to get more cards), Spades give you defense against the enemy, and Clubs are double damage. Once you’ve done damage, if you havent killed the enemy, it will attack you for its attack value (ten, fifteen, or twenty, minus any Spades you may have in play. Cards are cumulative, if you play a Spade, it will reduce damage for any other players, until the enemy is defeated.

You can play pairs, three of a kind, even four of a kind, but the total value has to be ten or less. You do the total damage, and then each suit does its own power. For example, if you play the 3 of Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs, then you will draw nine cards, reduce the enemies attack by nine, and deal 18 damage. The other way to play multiple cards is with an Ace (which is apparently an animal companion). You play it with another card. It only adds 1 to the attack value, but you get to use both the suits on the cards.

You can also play a Joker (at 3p, there is one Joker used). Each enemy card has its suit, and the special power of that suit can no longer be used. So if you’re fighting the Jack of Diamonds, you can’t draw any more cards by playing Diamonds. But playing the Joker removes that immunity.

As I said, its fully cooperative, although, as is usual with card games, you can’t tell people what you have in your hand. Its pretty difficult too. Anytime you can’t discard enough cards to resist the enemy attack – you all lose. Simple to learn, but not so easy to play. Really good fun tho, and worth picking up a $2 pack of cards to play.

Control , X2, first play. A fairly simple “take that” style of game. You play cards with values, if you finish your turn with 21 points, you’ve won. Cards have two different types – stable and unstable. Stable card abilities go off when you play the card, unstable abilities trigger when they are discarded. You can also “diffuse” a card in play by playing another card of equal or higher value. Obviously you’re meant to cancel cards as much as possible to stop people from winning. Not really our kind of game. Felt a bit underwhelming.

Durian , again. Still fun!

MicroMacro: Crime City , played the first couple of cases with another group, obviously I wasnt playing, just giving a few hints where needed. Bit awkward on my table too, not wide enough. Although you find yourself getting up out of your seat to examine the city more closely.

Regicide, again.

Signorie , a medium heavy game. This game always gives me AP, usually for no result (I don’t think I’ve ever won it). Its entertaining enough, the dice make it a different game every time. One player said he thought the game went on too long, and I’m not sure he’s wrong. There are only seven rounds, and on each round you only get four actions. But still, there’s a bit to think about, and the last rounds sometimes go on for a bit, as people grab the last remaining positions for their guys and try to maximise their score. Which I know can describe a lot of games. Anyway, I lost as usual, but got closer than I thought. It’s an interesting game, every time you take a die, there are three possible actions, one of which is to add a helper disc under another action. So you forgo doing an action, but later you’ll get more from an action.


Pax Pamir 2 - The game started with a British invasion supported by a minority of local lords. Most rallied behind the Emir. An outsider would think it was driven by patriotism or nationalism, but it was mostly about struggling to be the dominant leader once the dust settles. The British were defeated with the Emir in Kabul reigning dominant, buttressed by a duo who decided to share the top of the hill. But, as soon as the celebrations died down, the tribes of Afghanistan turned to each other. While armies did fought, it was mostly fought with spies and courtly intrigue. Some of the leaders sought Russian aid to gain tribal dominance and did. The lords of Afghanistan reunited again against a common foe, but this time, the Ferengi have more local support. The Russians were undefeated but failed to control Afghanistan, and a pro-Kabul warlord end up on top, gaining the loyalty of several tribes by fighting the Russians

It’s been - what? - years since I’ve played it IRL, and I forgot how great it is. TTS doesn’t really give the same experience.

Chartae - a micro game from Knizia which only constitutes 9 tiles. It’s good. Not something that would revolutionise the gaming world. It comes in a small box so I’m happy to keep it.

Whale Riders: the Card Game - A set collecting game of playing cards one by one, once a set is collectively made by the players, those cards of that set are scored facedown on their score pile, but the rest are discarded. So it’s basically a game of bandwagoning, when to start a new set or join a set, or switching to another existing set. It has elements of bash the leader, but the card piles are facedown, so you can only gauge who to bash.

Used to be called Trendy, which felt more thematic as it is about high fashion. But I’m happy with the pretty aesthetics of Whale Riders: the Card Game, even if the theme doesn’t make sense (pearls only sell if there are enough pearls in the market).

Whale Riders: the Board Game - I… like it? Need to play more, but I like how the players are in full control of the game’s pace. A player can, potentially, go fast, finish some high-money contracts, go back to the Sun Port and buy up all the pearls to end the game. Yes. It’s a family game, no meanness. But unlike some Knizia family games (e.g. Lost Cities: the Board Game) I might end up being fond of this (or not).

Modern Art: the Card Game - Whale Riders TCG felt like a simplified remix of this game. They used to be Master’s Gallery and Trendy specifically. This one is a lot more tense than Whale Riders and I love it. One of my Kondo Keepers

Key to the City: London - a streamlined version of Keyflower and is set in London. I gotta play the game, innit? I enjoyed it, but I think I’ll stick with the original Keyflower. My Key series journey continues.

Chocolate Factory aka Throne & Grail - this is the Polish retheme of a 2 player Japanese game. Each player has 5 cards - they either: play 1 card at the end of the middle row OR pick up 5 cards from the middle row from the furthest end of the row, and place it to their tableau.

Each round only consist of 6 turns for each - 5 to play (as they only have 5 cards at hand) and 1 to take cards. So you have to think of which card to play when, and when to pick up a row. Scoring is always at the end of each round with a majority on each of the 4 suits - 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s suits. If you have the majority on the 7’s, then you score 7 pts (and the same on the other suits). Some cards are negative or positive straight up pts. And there are 3 white chocolate cards (grail cards in Throne & Grail) and you win if you acquire all 3 cards.

Stew - A button-shy game and it’s like Welcome to the Dungeon without taking longer than it should. Easy keeper!

Jubako - you can easily tell that it’s a K&K game when you can stack tiles on top. It’s basically Azul but 3D. The owner said that there’s several variant of scoring in the game. Haven’t tried them all. If you don’t mind your tile laying game to be slightly less pretty than Azul, but allows you to stack them, then this one will work for you.

Skull King - I’m now wondering why this game is pretty popular on all of the meetups I have joined in in London for the past few years. (not sure if it is popular elsewhere). It has a lot of rules for a small box trick taking game and it doesn’t really add much depth. I don’t mind playing it, but it can suck when a newbie struggles to internalise the special cards and the rock-paper-scissor system of the mermaid-pirate-skull king.

1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties - More games of 1862. I can see why some people have called it “18xx: the Euro game”. It’s lenient, there’s no stock trashing nor company dumping. You can own 100% and can dump as many shares you want to the market. But the game remained obscure to me, and I like that. I need to choose carefully on which 18xx I will keep, as I don’t intend to keep that many. But this one might be one of them.


We Terraformed Mars. I won! Just on card draw, which is the way our 2 player games go. Drafting would help that, but frankly neither of us can be bothered.

I really enjoy this even after many plays but I think it needs a rest from the 2 player rotation.