Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

Went to the pub after work with some colleagues and played Camel Up, Welcome to… and Wavelength. I gave the absolute worst clue in Wavelength for a round animal on the scale of round animal to pointy animal… “A hedgehog”. Because hedgehogs roll up into a ball… Right…? :woman_facepalming:


Wait, what about Sonic???

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Race for the Galaxy

Quebec - good game about helping each other construct buildings in said city. Building your own building won’t give you benefits, but building other players’ do. Huh! It was interesting, but found it too dry and not much interesting choices to me. Glad to play it as I can remove it from my wishlist.

Genesis - tile laying Knizia. Much more interesting than the above. You’ll find yourself wanting to build up an area with other players to score bigger points, but you’re also fighting over that same area to gain area-control. One of Knizia’s Tier 2 offers that’s better than most of his stuff tbh


On the bright side, you could have choked 'em up worse:


Played Unmatched again tonight with my wife, this time using Moon Knight against her Medusa on the Raft map, which comes with Redemption Row. It was a close game, and both of us played rather recklessly, probably because neither of us feel very good for higher strategy.

I barely pulled off the win, hitting her for just enough damage to take her out, while I was at 3 health. Got lucky in making her run out of defense cards in hand

Moon Knight hero spoilers (not the show)

Moon Knight is interesting in that he has three ability cards, and he cycles to the next one at the end of his turn. He starts the game as Moon Knight, which lets him move up to 2 spaces at the very beginning of his turn.

He then changes to the Khonshu identity, which gets +2 to attacks, and also can only be hurt by combat damage. So card effects like Gaze of Stone, Medusa’s special ability to ping for a damage at the beginning of her turn, even the 2 damage taken by exhaustion, when you need to draw a card but your deck is empty do not affect him. Very powerful ability, and would be totally broken if it didn’t come up once every three turns (though there is a card that lets MK cycle to the next identity).

Lastly, he becomes Mr. Knight, who gets +1 to his defense values. Then goes back to the Moon Knight identity at the end of the turn.

So you need to work with these abilities, but really you want to be Khonshu as much as possible, because he hits like a truck, and is immune to all card effect damage, which many fighters need in order to win effectively. He also has a number of cards with effects that damage himself or both fighters which, again, Khonshu is immune to, so you can do those effects without worry.

It was a fun matchup, though I think Medusa might have the advantage overall, but not as wide a gulf between them as some other fighters.


[following on from What Should I Play? (Help me decide)]

Next on the list was Empyreal: Spells & Steam w/As Above, So Below expansion. I’ve been enthusiastic to check this out, but I’ve always been put off by the thought of setup – the box is too big. I refreshed my memory of the rules and watched a solo-playthrough from One Stop Co-Op Shop.

Setup wasn’t as bad as I expected; the box is too big, but some of it is dead-air due to me not having the “deluxe upgrade”. Questionable decision by L99, certainly, to put the retail edition in a box big enough for deluxe upgrades and the expansion. But the GameTrayz-style inserts are, mostly, very functional for both storage and gameplay.

Roughly speaking, it took me a bit longer than I would like to setup the game, but future setups will be much faster. I decided that I wanted to use colored wooden cubes instead of the tiny cardboard goods chits; which meant finding my spare wooden cubes, realizing I didn’t have cubes in enough colors and then finding the necessary colors/counts of wooden discs (ostensibly for 18xx print-and-play projects or upgrades).

The game itself took about an hour, and a lot of that was me checking and rechecking the rules, and then checking and re-checking the special powers on the cars and characters. It’s probably about a 30 minute game when playing solo (the box suggests 20 min/player, so not far off).

The AI is a bit clunky, only in the way it requires the player to make judgement calls of what the AI “should do” in any given automa card drawn. A lot of the time, it’s straight-forward, but still it involves scanning a visually-busy board.

I really enjoyed the game; I felt like the decision space was interesting but not overwhelming. The action selection rondel is good and adding spell cars to the player board to enhance the rondel is a great mechanism.

My biggest complaint is about parsing the gamestate on the board. There are so many colors and by the time you get just 2 or 3 items on each hex in a crowded area, it requires a lot of attention to figure out what is what and where.

If this box were half the size, it would be a no-brainer to keep in my collection. As that is not the case, I am still mulling over whether to keep it or not. I should note, however, that I broke a cardinal boardgamer behavior and played a game while awaiting a new expansion for said game to arrive. The very smol new expansion is all but ready to ship if it weren’t stuck in a factory in a region of China that is currently shutdown due to COVID.


Did you find you engaged with all the mechanisms? I felt like because of the time cost of investing in powers and the game being so fast you could almost afford to do just basic actions as their crappiness is offset by instant access.

I feel as though that’s part of the "how to be good" aspect of the game. Finding the paths within the game to expand your capabilities while not falling too far behind on track building and deliveries.

I might have been of the mindset, “bleh, I barely got any cool powers” had I not pre-watched the One Stop Co-Op Shop’s playthrough that demonstrated some advanced decision-making that wasn’t obvious to me. For example, looking at the spell cars that are available on the offer and figuring out which four of them you will buy and in what order and at what time.

I felt, perhaps, the more jarring thing for me when it comes to engagement is that the Administrate action felt like an emergency brake on both fun and progress.

That said, I didn’t particularly care for my company/director and I definitely want to check out some of the other options.


I might have to give it another go.

I bought the kickstarter then found it was available locally and so I had the kickstarter updated to the expansion so I’ve got the game without expansion at home waiting to have all the pieces put in before I (realistically) never play it again. But this gives me a feeling I should give it a second chance.


Further to our pub games excursion, one of my colleagues told me that he’d ordered Wavelength as soon as he got home. I warned him about the slippery slope to suddenly realising that you have 200 board games but I fear it may be too late!


Played 7 Wonders: Architects, it’s OK. I won. Then onto Trajan, great fun screwing yourself over with the action mancala/rondel. Like most Feld games I’m pretty meh about it.

Still decent company.


Just finished a 3-game series of Everdell with Pearlbrook. Good thing about COVID, lots of time to play, and that’s a simple enough game to play with the brain fog. On top of being awesome, I mean.

The first was a 77-77 draw, my wife won the second 79-77 and I won the third one 81-77. SO many 7s…


I adore Everdell, but I have no idea how you got those nice scores with the brain fog. I had covid this week as well and my attempt at Cubitos with my partner and one solo base Everdell (I almost always play w/Spirecrest - need to pick up Pearlbrook) resulted in me feeling like the most confused child with scores to match! :grin:


Mini - con yesterday in the Hastings Library, where we were hosting a whole day of games.

Played and taught a few:

-New York Zoo: enjoyed it more than I expected. Nice polyomino, where I was enjoying more the experience and the puzzle than competing with anybody else. I think this could go great at home.

-Coup: taught it to a handful of newcomers, and they enjoyed it. Lost with an assassin against a Contessa.

-Cockroach Poker, another teach, that I lost sort of on purpose to move on to something else. Still fun.

-Fuse: had never played it before, we lost badly. Really horrible rolls.

-Granny Wars: fun “take that + bluffing” game. Harmless, in a way, with the humour of it.

-The Shining: we played it with this guy that owns it and still wants to beat the game. The corrupted won it. I think it needs balancing with the amount of tokens per player. Even though we knew who the corrupted was on the 4th month, I still think that playing slightly conservative leaves the players really bare at the end of the game. At least we were happy the corrupted was discovered, although he killed someone on the very last shining phase. The closer we have ever been for good to win against evil in that game.

-Everdell: played in the lunch time lull with another fellow Geek as we had not played it for ages and we are both waiting for our big box pledges. We were both having dreadful cards (I was just getting critter after critter) and I lost badly 28 to 38.

-Dragonrealm: I narrowly avoided playing Terraforming Mars (a guest that was interested appeared in the nick of time to take my place out of it) and we played this instead with a young family that arrived just after. They enjoyed it, very family friendly, forgiving and simple. Their dad won.

-Things went quiet in the afternoon, and while the Terraforming Mars game kept going on, I played The Mind with a fellow organizer while we waited for new guests. My first ever game, we got only to level 5. Enjoyed it way more than I expected.

-Getting closer to the interval in the late afternoon, one of the library employees fancied a simple game, so we showed her Splendor, and she liked it. I won it, by sheer luck with the cards coming up that let me monopolize the nobles.

After a trip to a nearby burger joint, we started the evening session with a lot of new people turning in.

-Played Res Arcana for the first time. After having to reset due to a new player joining mid set up, I was very unconvinced with my engine. I managed to get it going towards the end by buying the Dwarves Mine and using my Transmuter and two artifacts that generated enough resources to get some gold in the end. Won at the end by a tie break 10 vs 10, only cause I had more resources.

I left after that as I had to take my daughters to buy mother’s day presents, but it was an enjoyable session from 10.00 to 19.00 after a long spell of no games face to face.


Well, the wonders in Pearlbrook definitely helped us get silly scores, since they give out from 10 to 25 points. I was really scared that they’d break the game, but they’ve never resulted in a whalloping so far. Highly recommend Pearlbrook, it’s super neat. We have yet to try out Spirecrest, looking forward to it! May not be this weekend, though. COVID makes learning games harder.


Prompted by the recent Kickstarter, we played Age of Steam. Once again we failed to prevent one player blocking off one corner of the board, so they won :woman_facepalming:. I think next time we should all try starting in the same corner to at least try and avoid this outcome! The problem with having three players (as with many games) is that if two people get into a scrap then the other person can just run away with it.

We also played War of Whispers which was extremely close, only one point in it at the end.

Finally, I got out Tokyo Highway. This probably has the world’s most boring box, but is a nice dexterity game:


That looks so cool


Treasure Island , first play. This is a one vs all game, where one player is Long John Silver, and the other players are pirates, trying to find his treasure. Eventually LJS will escape, and then he will try to find his treasure, and win the game. Now, LJS seems like the kind of guy to give his fellow pirates a sporting chance, so he continually gives them clues as to the whereabouts of his treasure. All the players will mark the main map as they go along, and also make notes on their mini maps behind a shield. You get some cool stuff to draw with, like search circles, rulers, and a compass.

We played at 3p (so, LJS and two pirates) . I stuffed this up. If you have two or three players, each of the pirates controls two miniatures. But you don’t use the extra player boards and turn tokens. Which probably made it way harder for LJS. But it was a fun romp, definitely playing this again. It seems to be pretty entertaining for everyone. For the pirates it’s almost a semi-coop, they definitely don’t want LJS to win.

Paint the Roses , first play. New KS, just came in last week. It’s a cooperative deduction game. It all looks great, with chunky tiles. It’s themed on Alice in Wonderlands, and you play gardeners, trying not to be killed by the Queen for having the wrong coloured roses. The object of the game is to deduce which whim cards are being held by the players. A whim card shows two elements, either two colours (for the easy cards), or colour and shapes for the medium and hard cards. Each correctly identified card moves you along the track, while the Queen follows. If she catches up with you, it’s game over.

On your turn, you play one of the four tiles available onto the board, and then each player adds tokens if the new tilematches their whim card. The easy cards are, well, easy of course. But only one easy card can be in play. There are notepads for tracking the hard and medium cards, so you can write down combinations, based on what hints a player gives. We found that a little tedious to be honest, but I’m not sure there’s any other way to play efficiently. The Queen moves faster and faster as the game progresses, and if you make an incorrect guess, she moves at twice her normal speed.

I’m sure we’ll try it again.

Sanssouci , hadn’t played this for ages. Still a cool game, almost relaxing as you play garden features and move your nobles along to score points. Very close game too, only a couple of points in it.

Noch Mal!


I like the look of Tokyo Highway but already have Men at Work. Is there any reason to have both or prefer TH over MaW?


Today with Slightly Less Local Game Group (I seem to end up playing with a different subset of it each visit)…

VOLT, definitely one I’ll be taking around with me more now that I’ve got it sensibly bagged. Might even give the minis a quick going-over with a suitable paint. Two games, new players got the hang of it very quickly.

Unfair, one I heard about from Cathy of the much-lamented Our Turn Podcast (which in turn I heard about from SU&SD originally). I think it may be a bit too random for a game that lasts quite a while – you can build up quite a bit of stuff and then have it kicked over by a random event draw. Still had a good time, though.