Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

Holy crap, I thought I could lose BADLY, but that’s something else.

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I’ve finally punched my bohnanza card.

Good times. I can see why it’s such a survivor - it’s not necessarily amazing on any one axis, but I have trouble imagining this falling flat anywhere or ever not delivering.

Except my sister-in-law, who loves games for the “this is all my stuff!” angle and as such tried to play without trading…

Thumbs up from me, though, and I’m very eager for another bout. Maybe I won’t finish last next time, including against my no-trade sister-in-law.

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I actually made it to a meet-up this evening, and played:

  • The Castles of Burgundy – my first time playing (1 vs 1 with a good teacher), and pretty enjoyable. Not crazy complicated, but there’s enough going on that I also wouldn’t want to teach it to certain folks, so I probably won’t buy it. Glad to have finally played it, and would happily play again.
  • Qwirkle – Scrabble with shapes and colours rather than letters. I’d rather play other things, but I enjoyed it more this time than I’d done the other time I played, and it’s fairly quick.
  • Guillotine – a filler to finish the evening, and another game I didn’t think much of the last time I played it, but this time my opinion didn’t change any.

I managed to win the game of TCOB with a score of about 175 give or take (judging from a BGG photo of the scoring track), thanks to some helpful advice at the start and some lucky dice rolls, so that was nice – usually I expect to lose!

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This is a filler I enjoy - there isn’t a huge amount of game to it, but its never failed with the people I’ve played it with.

Maybe I have positive associations with it - I first played it a lot when my dad died and it kept my mind off things.

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Belle of the Ball is very similar to Guillotine with two improvements I appreciate:

  • Slightly gamier – it has a little bit more going on gameplay-wise than Guillotine; which I suppose makes it a bit “chewier”, which one could say makes it… more gamey
  • Better art that is more family friendly
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This is similar to my view. I wouldn’t play with hard bitten gamers buy anyone who’s less inclined to wanting to learn rules it’s a winner. There’s not always no choices but the scope of decisions is really accessible and the cartoon artwork and gristly theme is quite good for making it seem not too childish.

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My wife and I played a quick game of Ethnos last night. We had the Centaurs, Dwarves, Merfolk, Wizards, and Halflings. After the first age, we both were in the high 30’s to low 40’s, with me in the lead by just two or three points. At the end of the game, she flew past me to get 123 to my 101. She’s been brutal in the endgame of Ethnos lately!

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I’ve not played that, but I do enjoy Parade as a “cards in a queue” game design.

It has fewer rules (there are no cards with special effects), but needs more brain (cards are played at the end of the same queue that you take cards from, and which cards(s) – if any – you’ll take depends on both the number/colour of what you play, and the numbers/colours/positions of the cards which were already in the queue, so you’re constantly figuring that stuff out); and it has the strategic/push-your-luck element whereby collecting the most cards of a suit is great, but almost collecting the most cards of a suit is terrible.

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Come to think of it I have trouble working out when I’d want to play Guillotine rather than Parade. Thanks!

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Just finished a game of D&D The Legend of Drizzt with my daughter. It took a bit of time to organise everything to start with, but now that we have everything punched and bagged, it will be way easier next time.

We really enjoyed it, even though we lost one tile away from reaching the end. Man, the Underdark is harsh!

We were being a bit too conservative with our special cards, we were unlucky with some dice rolls, and the monsters we were pulling from the deck were quite something, but despite all that, I think I got her a bit hooked. She has been wanting to play D&D for a while now, which I think she is too young for at 10, so I think this is a nice way in (and a nice source of minis for my D&D sessions, btw).

And that is one of my unplayed games ticked off the list! Yay!

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Akropolis, first time played with 4p. Still a pretty quick game. Being so quick, it’s hard to change your strategy – or even have a strategy, it’s so dependent on how the tiles come out. Have you got a green tile but other people grab the green multiplier? Well, that’s just bad luck for you. It’s still a cool game. I went with a purple strategy, because the purple tiles (and multipliers) just seemed to always drop for me. Only had one purple tile I couldn’t score from, which wouldn’t have won me the game. Scores were 132/115/76/72 (115 was me). 80 points from purple.

The Adventures of Robin Hood, onto the 3rd mission. It was fine, except it felt like one person was doing all the hard (and cool!) work. I think the highlight of my actions was picking some mushrooms. The variable turn order makes it more interesting, and a bit of tension as you make a risky move that could get you captured.

Project ELITE, always a lot of fun. We played an extermination mission on easy, and beat it on round five, probably the easiest game we’ve ever had. Only two bosses came out, neither causing us much trouble – although the first one got close to our spawn point, which would have lost us the game. But once we took care of that, no major hassles. I got an alien gun and forgot to use it.

Witchstone, a solid Knizia game. I guess you would call it a point salad, most things get you points in some way. But definitely an efficiency puzzle. But also you have to make the most of the tiles you have available – you always have to choose from five tiles (the tiles have two action types on them). Fairly quick game, you only have 11 rounds – but you’ll be taking multiples actions each round, and hopefully getting some combos happening. It’s not my favourite Knizia, but it’s good fun still. Maybe with more plays it could become a favourite?

Oh, and we had our first look at the Frosthaven box for real. Unfortunately 2/3rds of my gaming group (the owners of said box) are leaving for a month on holidays, so it will some time before we actually get to play. I’m not all that worried about not playing it, I’m really not a huge fan of Gloomhaven, and I don’t expect this to be too different. Maybe it will be, and I’ll eat my words, but we shall see.

And when I got home I had a delivery of Hamburg and Amsterdam, I am really looking forward to those.

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Yesterday I played another solo game of Heat against all the other cars using the Legends system. Unlike last time, I did not have a bad pull from Stress cards on the second straightaway, so I was able to pull ahead of the pack and mostly stay there the whole game.

In fact, it was the one time I fell into second place that secured my first place finish, as I was able to slipstream around the final corner, burning all of my Heat in the process, but leaving me the only car that actually passed the corner. I flew over the finish line on the next turn as other cars only rounded that corner.

Definitely feels like a game you need to play once or twice to grasp how best to utilize the Heat cards. However, it is also a game that really benefits card counting, as when you get down to the last card or two in your deck, if you remember everything you played, you can use Stress or Boost with no risk. Still really fun though, and I hope to play with other people soon.

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Finished a game of Obsession on BGA. I haven‘t played Obsession multiplayer before. This was a 2 player game. I lost because my friend had this tile that steals reputation (?) points and he stole enough from me to gain just enough points to win and also blocked me from using a couple of tiles. I lost so … maybe I am just sore because of that but I think this specific tile was changed in 2nd printing. I had thrown out a guest and refused to invite them that did something similar because I don‘t feel like there are enough Take That elements in Obsession to use something like that. I think the online implementation was good but something got lost in translation and the game lacked something it has on the table. I don‘t think I want to play it again on BGA.

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anomia.

someone has cried in every game ive played so far.

I got emotional kids, what can I say lol

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Yes, it was! It was judged to be overpowered and Not Fun (although I think a different version of it continues in the Upstairs Downstairs expansion).

Having just picked up the box yesterday to see if it’s worth bringing to an event where other people might play it, I’ve discovered that it’s also one of the heaviest boardgames I own!

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Caylus Magna Carta - Caylus: the Card Game, where you still build buildings on this series of cards rather than a board. There’s the random draw of your personal deck of builder cards, but I really don’t mind. The biggest plus is that it is quicker. Which automatically makes it better than the two Caylus board games. My view of this game have lowered as I play more and more.

Carnegie - One of the better Euros, as you have to anticipate your friends to maximise piggy-backing. It is also fast at around 1.5 hours, without the arc feeling too short.

Turncoats - played it with the Tekelili gang, but I also played it with club members now that I know the rules. It’s more interesting now with the rule @InkyBloc pointed out.

Guards of Atlantis 2 - this is the main game of this week, imo. Played it with @EnterTheWyvern . Brilliant game. It is the first MOBA type board game I have played. I really can’t be bothered getting the big box MOBAs that only accommodate 2 players. Like, seriously? Where’s the inter-player dynamic? And boy. The game is very streamlined. I was slow as it was my first teach and I wanted to be thorough. I can definitely teach this game with 7 players in front of me.

The player progression is interesting and deep. How to upgrade your character is simple but has long-term implications and tasty decision making. Zero-luck, sure, but the game is blurry due to player-driven chaos (the best kind of chaos).

Only one play, but I can see how you can play this game with the same character and get really good at it. Good at play it and also good at combatting against it.

The only downside is how abstract the minions are, but it wasn’t a big deal. Acceptable. The minions in League of Legends (the only MOBA I have played) were pretty much cannon-fodder anyway.

I have looked at my 2023 Watchlist today, and outside of Horseless Carriage, Sol: Last Days of a Star, 18 India (that’s a lot of Indias!), and Triomphe a Marengo, I would be surprised if there’s a new-to-me game that is better than this.

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There’s a guy constantly pushing Guards of Atlantis 2 at my local, and his description of “competitive Gloomhaven” didn’t really sell it to me. If you like it though, maybe I should get over the learning hump and give it a go.

At the moment though, I just want to play more Horseless Carriage (and JoCo2e).

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Wyvern described it as “BattleCon but with more players”. Now, that I have played more GH, I can see where he is coming from. In the grand scheme of things, I would still prefer playing Food Chain Magnate, even with 5 players if there’s a lot of us. But a mid-weight MOBA that I am confident on teaching to 7 players? Or 4 players but we don’t have time for FCM? Hell yeah. Let’s do it.

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Gloomhaven seems odd to me as a comparison point. Maybe they were hopeful the popularity if GH would be the selling point there. Beyond card play as a similar mechanic it didn’t seem a similar headspace to me. I suppose you have shrinking options as the turn goes on quickened by damage so they’re not mad.

Battlecon definitely came to mind for the mental calculation about working out the timing for your opponent, how to counter, when to press hard and the to and fro. It added in the team dynamics and was ultimately simpler in terms of number of cards. Is the game Yomi named so due to a Japanese word that expresses the concept of getting in your opponent’s head to predict moves to inform your choices? If so, this has that.

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Yomi means “read [your opponent]”, yes.

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