Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

Played a couple of games with @mistercrayon last night. Started with Beyond the Sun. I tried to get a planet conquest thing going and gave up pushing the tech tree. It seemed a fairly even game but my wife ran away with it in the end. Still a good game but comically big on the table.

We finished with a first play of Menara, a cooperative dexterity game where you build floors on top of columns which have to be placed to varyingly specific places. It’s really hard, but good fun and it looks fantastic. We got battered by the game but I’d be keen to play it again.

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Played a couple of games of Kingdomino last night with my wife. She won the first and I won the second. Another game that I’d like to try with four players to see how it goes. We did three once or twice with her brother, but he didn’t care for it that much.

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Res Arcana + 2 expansions - The two expansions added more Res and more Arcana. Still my fave from among the recent card tableaus. Long term planning with the drafting and places of power. Res is also a faster game than Seasons. The added rules are really easy to integrate that I see no reason not to play with both expansions. Still not as good as Lehmann’s best - Race for the Galaxy.

Import/Export - the follow mechanism is fun and the player interaction is very interesting here. But I found the game a bit clumsy in comparison to Chudyk’s Mottainai or Glory to Rome. Bidding has a low ceiling, so there’s little leeway. The limit on how many import and goods you can hold stifles the pace of the game. I have dispatched this game to a buyer today. Been compared as a hybrid of GTR and Container, but felt that it wasn’t as dynamic as Container.

Cyclades - still remember this game? Tense auction, simple but effective mechanisms. Eurotrash at its finest (Eurovision is still the best Eurotrash). Requires players to pay full attention. Anyone sleeping will give the game to someone. But that’s the price I’m willing to pay.

Rummikub - rummy with tiles, but you can manipulate existing sets to create your own set with them. Had fun, but this feels like you need to master the manipulation process to play well.

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It was a good time! I think with menara it’s really interesting how much game there is compared to just being a dexterity. It’s clever.

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I lost some (more) hair this morning after a few rounds of Cuphead Fast Rolling Dice Game, playing solo.

I was barely successful taking down the Root Pack on my first attempt, earning a whopping 5 points and a D rank, all the while constantly knocking on death’s door. That didn’t keep me from feeling emboldened, and I took on Hilda Berg right away. I lost—twice—almost immediately (resets are lightning quick), and then lost again after a pretty good run at her first phase.

This is a really fun, stupid little (big!) dice game and I can’t wait to get some folks with me for a round.

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Thursday was online gamenight with my colleagues again. We started with a few rounds of Fake Artist in New York which was a big hit with everyone and got some laughs. Next up was a round of Dixit which was also well received and we ended with Codenames which they already knew from the previous event. I accidentally wrote “Yashima” into the first game login and drew some questions “who is yashima” … so the next game everyone used their “gamertag”

Today I spent a relaxed afternoon over at friends’ and was asked to bring some games. How could I not? It wasn’t a gaming thing per se but games were played :slight_smile:

  • Art Decko: my worries that book keeping would make the physical game slow and difficult were unfounded it was really fun to play this on the table. The teach was a bit wild as one player had never played a deck builder before and I didn’t know that and so glossed over some central mechanisms that I had assumed everyone knew. On BGA as usual there is the problem that one tends to overlook what others are doing. Here the person sitting behind me in turn order was so keen on me emptying a gallery that I decided not to. I would never have noticed on BGA and I would have given them a big advantage. The last 2 rounds became a game of chicken…

  • Shipwreck Arcana: after losing with my partner last night, I managed to entice my numbers-loving friend into a quick game and we made it, barely, but we made it. I think this can be lost easily and often. As is often the case in such randomized setups it is probably quite possible that you get into an unwinnable game. But that’s okay. It is still great to figure out the best clues and eliminate numbers from contention…

  • So Kleever. It’s just too easy to play a few rounds of word clues. Lovely. I think next time we have to play Just One to change it up though. One thing I noticed today: I feel this is best played in pairs. Multiple people trying to solve the puzzle get in each other’s way a lot and if the clues are good one person usually just solves the puzzle by themselves before anyone else gets in a word (or maybe that is my impatient friends).

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After a few weeks having to postpone for different reasons, I managed to gather at a friend’s place for a games night with three other close friends. We played Architects of the West Kingdom, that they were familiar with.

We did all right and finished it in less than 2 hours including a refresh teach, so they fancied another go. The host won both, even though we were all three against him on the second game, but the second game scores were great at 43, 41, 38 and 37. I finished last on both games, very disappointed with my bad luck with the cards, and a few blunder moves. I have noticed that games that I teach or like a lot, I tend to lose a lot when playing them. Still, we had a great time, the jail mechanism caused a few good laughs, and everybody had a great evening.

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Another game of Treasure Island . Still at 3p, so each of the pirate player had an extra miniature. Another player was Long John Silver, so I got to try being a pirate. And…I made a stupid mistake with a clue card, there was a circle drawn on the map, and I thought the treasure was not within the circle, when it was the opposite. Which confused the other pirate player, since I checked whether the clue was true or not, and then was searching outside the circle. She thought the clue must have been false. And then we were both confused when LJS made another search area within the circle. In spite of me being an idiot, the other pirate was only centimetres away from the treasure, but of course had no way of knowing how close she was. LJS played a pretty helpful (for us) game. Never lied on a clue, and gave us tokens after unsuccessful searches, when he really didn’t need to.

Cthulhu: Death May Die , with Hastur. We started out pretty well, brought Hastur out pretty quickly. Actually too soon, because two of us had barely progressed on the sanity, so we had no bonus dice, and no levelling up. One player died, but we carried on and won, fairly easily. Actually, I died too, but I was Rasputin, so that was ok (he gets extra lives).

Pictures , with the new expansion, which has new cards, and two new sets of materials to use. Pretty close game, two of us tied for first.

Break the Code X 2. We’re enjoying this, it’s very quick and is a fun puzzle.

Noch Mal!

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Played Lost Ruins of Arnak on BGA on Friday. As it was being explained I was thinking “this seems like an overly complicated worker placement game”, but it’s actually pretty good! It was very close at the end with only a few points between all 4 of us.

Yesterday I was on a bit of a winning streak with Age of Steam on the Germany map, Brian Boru, and Ecosystem.

The Germany map for Age of Steam is very crowded, even with three players, which made for a very scrappy game with everyone constantly being in everyone else’s way. It also changes the Engineer bonus from being able to build an extra track on your turn to halving the cost of one of the tiles, which was very interesting.

Brian Boru was good again. I really like the integration of the trick taking with the area control aspect, and the tricky balancing act between all of the various options. I’d probably put it on my wishlist if our friend hadn’t already got it!

Ecosystem is a very quick tile-laying game where you have to arrange your animals and habitats in the optimal way in a 4*5 grid. Nothing especially groundbreaking, but a nice light game.

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Finished up my BGA games of a Feast for Odin and GWT with my friend.
We really enjoy Feast for Odin, this was our third game or so? This time I won. My friend tried to go for two islands and overextended I believe. I drew some good professions early on (Hunter and something that gave me mead for crating) and so my strategy was very much based on crafting. Also Iceland ftw.

GWT–we had started the game just trying to wing it and it turns out glossing over the rules and watching a “How to play” is not enough to begin understanding this game. So many thanks again for the GWT teach @Captbnut. I tried to teach my friend on the go but he said something along the lines it was too complicated and he didn’t want to play again for the moment. I on the other hand really enjoyed the type of puzzle it presents. So I started another game with my partner whom I can teach in person while standing behind him. It is easier than using the BGA chat.

I jokingly called GWT “Pfister’s Last Chance” because I tried so many of his games before and never quite enjoyed them enough to want to play again (Isle of Skye, Oh my goods, Cloud Age, Maracaibo, Broom Service sold unplayed after taking one look inside the box and disliking the quality of components so much I did not even want to try and play). This was better than all those that came before. But I think I am glad I get to play this on BGA because I do not think I need to own it.

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In my one and only game of Affo, it was a difficult decision to take a second island, but it turned out to be the right one in that game - everything was full by the end. I also didn’t use a single occupation, because they were all rubbish for me, despite drawing ten or so.

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Occupations are terribly hit or miss and often so situational they need to come up at the right moment to be worth playing them as a separate action. 4 worker actions aren’t all that common either… so often I have 1 or 2 professions at most and sometimes those only get played in the very last round to grab some points. This may be my biggest criticism of the game. Maybe there is a strategy that relies on having lots of them. I am not sure if I enjoy the card play in Hallertau more (need to play more Hallertau though the more I play Feast the more I think that maybe Hallertau will be the box to leave eventually). In Odin I have not yet played a game where the cards played a big role for me. On the other hand my friend had 5 or 6 occupations out and two of them had a nice synergy and it seemed to work well for him in that regard. So maybe I just don’t grok professions.

I think they are mostly just to make 4-worker actions feel less bad when you are forced to take them at higher player counts and in more competitive games.

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Some games over the last week:

Finca, it’d been awhile for this one. It’s still lots of fun though. I know they’ve updated the setup to remove a bunch of the fruit tiles when playing with less than 4, but I’m never that bothered to look it up - I don’t mind the game being a bit less mean and it still works fine with extra fruit.

Takenoko x2

Barenpark, this was a very close game with mum, but in the end she came out ahead.

Bananagrams x3,

Azul, as usual I had fun with this one and lost by a significant margin. I’m looking forward to getting Summer Pavilion and occasionally winning the game! I imagine I’ll still keep the original though, for awhile at least.

Ohanami x2, I won the first game of this but lost by a decent chunk in our rematch where our heavy sakura scorer won by solid amount.

Architects of the West Kingdom, I forgot how much I enjoyed this game. My only complaint (and it’s not really much of one) is how fast it’s over, 16 builds in a 3 player game happens really fast we found. In the end I was 1 resource off of a win, focusing almost entirely on the cathedral and the actual winner built very little of the cathedral, focusing on a bunch of buildings instead. Definitely want to get it to the table again this week.

Super Big Boggle x2, no crazy long words this time, but yikes - with 5 players scores end up very low due to duplicates!

Schotten Totten, I love the tension in this one where you need to play a card to prove you can win another stone, but in doing so will probably mean giving up the battle you play it to. It came down to the final contest where I just snuck ahead.

Roll for the Galaxy, two very different approaches to this one - my opponent spamming low cost cards, while I tried to spin up a goods production/consumption engine. I believe I ended up winning by a hair but it was a great game.

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I hate to resurrect something from a week ago, especially to be all “umm… actually…” so apologies for that, but…

In Tokyo Highway you only score by crossing roads that haven’t already been crossed. So unless the four roads yours crossed went in a zigzag without crossing each other, some of them would already have been crossed by others.

I have the 4-player version and can only find online rules for the original 2-player box, but I seem to recall that there was a maximum pillar height of 4 pieces, but I can’t find that in the rules I have in front of me.

However, frankly it’s the kind of game where if you can place those cars without knocking everything over then I think you deserve all the points! The last time I played it, the game ended in chaos as one player got the giggles trying to repair something that had fallen over, which then made something else fall over, which caused more fits of giggles, which made something else fall over, and so on until we were all in stitches and there were roads and pillars everywhere!

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Yeah, looks like it’s basically a 2-player game if you want to play it “seriously”.

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Games night had only one game the whole Monday evening for me, we played Dead of Winter. I enjoyed it quite a bit. We managed quite well, three of the five players had played the game very often, so we were brave and went for a medium objective. I believe we were quite lucky with the cards and crossover events, soon we were having a surplus of food (all my starting hand but one card were food), and we managed crisis very well. I was unlucky with my searches, as I was after two tools and one weapon, and never got the second tool card.

By the time we had two rounds left the odds were between two of us to be the traitor, but given that we had plenty of morale (5?), we went for the objective, which was wiping out the zombies on outside locations, and I was desperately looking for that final tool in the police station.

We managed the general objective, and I was the only “good” one not to get the objective, so there’s that. The traitor obviously lost; I wouldn’t mind playing it again soon, I really enjoyed myself.

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My husband and I have now played Dead Reckoning 10 times since we got it in late March. He has won 8 of those 10 games. sigh Oh well.

We’re quite enjoying it. We got it on Kickstarter and backed for the full game play, including two saga expansions. It uses the “card crafting” twist on deck building from Mystic Vale as the crew of each players pirate/merchant ship. You build your crew to sail, explore, attack other ships, gather resources, improve your ship, and all the usual pirate type goodness. It works pretty well here. The rulebook has a few gaps in it, but is reasonably solid and after so many plays, we think we’ve found all the mistakes we made the first few games and have now corrected them.

The expansions have story elements that get unlocked through gameplay. They also come with rules for campaign play. Somewhat oddly, you can play a campaign without using saga story stuff or use saga story stuff without being in a campaign. To my mind, it makes the most sense to unlock new story elements as part of an ongoing campaign so that’s what we’ve been doing. We played a 6-game campaign that unlocked everything in the first expansion and have moved onto the second expansion and a new campaign. Maybe I’ll manage to win two games this campaign bringing me up to 3 total? I can dream.

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Ten games is good going! I think welcome to the moon does a similar you can do this extra content in a story or not. I think it’s a good idea to be honest it doesn’t literally bind fun behind narrative spoilers or whatever. I like how they do it in mind mgmt where you sort of initially feed things in sequentially but then realise you can do what you want and open everything.

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Been a while but the 7th continent was callng…

Started off with a thunderstorm brewing so I headed to the chilly north away from there, built myself an igloo, ate all my food by the fire then carried on to the start of the icy maze. Set sail on my makeshift raft and now I’m adrift, picking my way through the iceberg littered seas

Just a wee short game tonight, but might continue the next chapter over the next few days

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