Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

My partner and I played a half dozen or so games of Hive today, and it was great! The previous time we played things had mostly gone my way (I’d felt badly after a while, but couldn’t even find a way to surreptitiously throw a game); but today it was 50/50 the whole way. I love how each game of Hive can be so very different (and I like to lean into this further by varying my starting moves a lot). We had quick games and long games, some really unusual board states, and of course some classic defeat-by-distraction moments (we find with Hive that it’s easy to be so focused on your plan to win that you fail to notice you are about to lose :‍)

The other day I also got a new Calico high score of 71 points. It might have been 77 – for roughly half of the game I was waiting for a second “purple dots” tile to go in the right-most position of the AAA-BBB requirement, but it never came out, and in the end I had to settle for a different pattern. That’s Calico for you, though (and in fairness I did get a whole lot of other tiles that I wanted :‍)


Guards of Atlantis seemed fabulous from the once I’ve gotten to play it. Unfortunately it really needs to be played at least two characters a side and I think three would be even better. and I’ve got a grand total of three people at the table 90% of the time, nor is it a game that can easily be multi-handed.


Some more games to report. Friday I went to my games buddy and we continued our playthrough of ISS Vanguard. And gods above, did it go bad. We moved to the next system after a successful first few adventures, managed to upgrade a bit our lander, and upgraded our equipment, but the landing in the new planet went belly up.

We had every member of the landing team with two burned wounds right from the start, and ran out of supplies real quick, so we had to abandon the mission and lift off unsuccessfully. At least we brought back a live specimen, so we weren’t empty handed, and none of the two members of the team that went to three injuries died, but the morale took a hit and we will need to upgrade our lander even further to manage such landing again.

Then yesterday the girls felt like playing board games (it was terribly rainy, if not as bad as it has been on Auckland, the flooded images there are shocking). We had a game of Cluedo, that my eldest daughter won, and we repeated the level we had failed on the Legend of Drizzt game, which we won this time.


Played our first ever exit game, the fairground one. A bit late to the party on these but really enjoyed it. Creative puzzles and good use of every aspect of the boxed board game, gave me real metal gear solid vibe (when the comms channel was on the back of the box).


Two games of Sobek 2-player yesterday. My wife won the first, rather short, game by just 2 points, 45 - 43. I won the second by more than 40, 109 - 64! Just a couple of large sets really took my over the top!

I am frustrated that I still have not internalized the rules to this game. First game we were halfway through when we remembered that you get a pierogi token when you sell a set, so retroactively did it, but as they are to be played immediately, which means things may have gone very differently if they had been used when they were supposed to be.

Similarly, we so rarely move the ankh over tiles and take corruption that when a mandatory move is made due to one of the pierogi tokens, we often forget to actually take the intervening tiles as corruption, so had a moment in the second game where we had to rewind a turn to fix that.

I should get there with more plays.


This weekend’s plays:


  • Sentinels of the Multiverse (complete with motivational singing from @Lordof1)
  • Tsuro x 2
  • Kemet: Blood and Sand
  • Crokinole
  • Tindahan
  • Deception: Murder in Hong Kong x 2
  • Keyflower
  • Just One
  • High Society x 2
  • Oceans :octopus:


  • Ginkgopolis
  • Turncoats x 2
  • El Grande

Oceans - definitely an improvement over Evolutions with how it handles carnivore traits. It also has smoother flow. I remember in the latter that you have to do this blind card play on how many food there is in the common pool and all that. @Captbnut 's Invisible Cthulhu Megakraken was absolutely hilarious :octopus::octopus::octopus:

Kemet 2 - man, thanks for reminding me how great this one is with the combo-making stuff. But how many fighty games do I need and can keep in my 4x4 Kallax :weary:

Crokinole - manage to learn how much (or how little!) force needed to exert to put it nicely in the inner circle. Great fun as usual


Deception: Murder in Hong Kong


Just One

High Society

Spirit Island - played Ocean’s Hungry Grasp for the first time (one of Bigney’s faves, just to see what the hype is all about). Ridiculously high on the cool factor! Very strong on the coastal regions, while balances it with its non-existing presence inland. The way that its presence flows and ebbs into and away form the coast is so cool.




Don’t forget that you thrashed us all at El Grande :upside_down_face:


Ah, sign me up as a newbie for the next El Grande. It’s the granddaddy of area control and I’m never going to be able to afford the Big Box (at least not without trying it out first)


Hans im Gluck not so subtly hinted at a new printing of The Big

EDIT: but, they didn’t say what format. So it may not be The Big Caja Grande


It’s on BGA


Finally played Ark Nova. I’m absolutely astonished.

This game is the greatest exercise in gatekeeping I’ve ever seen!

  1. It’s a good game
  2. It’s a game with maybe the most accessible theme ever - building a fricking ZOO!!!
  3. There’s a bloody velociraptor as an icon in the game, which I can only presume was a remnant from when the game had an even more accessible theme - building JURASSIC PARK!!! (Did those other lame games get there first? Are 200 stock photos of animals cheaper than commissioning 200 pictures of dinosaurs? Why did they do this?! There’s absolutely no reason to have a dinosaur icon unless they actually intended the game to have dinosaurs. Why not a tiger paw slash or some teeth or something???)
  4. They give it the most boring title possible that gives no hint of what the game is about (unless someone’s studied Latin or something? I dunno)
  5. They give it that cover art. It looks like a Photoshop tutorial gone wrong.

Who the hell is going to find this game unless they scour BGG ratings??? This could easily be up there as a gateway to slightly heavier games, but they’re leaving money on the table just to impress boardgame nerds?!

Anyway, really enjoyed it. Kept pulling monkeys off the deck. Kept putting monkeys in my park. Then got a dugong and panda with all that sweet monkey money (thank you Chinese government!). At the end my park pivoted to Australia Land for some reason I’m not really sure about (I’d question whether the animal deck was shuffled properly, but no one else had such a focused set of animals! I’m just lucky). Won the game by a country mile. My detractors said my zoo was “unethical”, but I’d like to point out all the money I donated to conservation projects so… :man_shrugging: Haters gonna hate

I physically struggled to play the game properly. We all kept wanting to share all the cool cards we had just got! A delightful gem.


I think this is my main issue with this and Terraforming Mars… you throw away so many good cards/projects! Plus optimization’s not my thing really. I want to optimize, but everybody I played it with was better at it than me…


Finished the D&D one-shot I was running early last night, so played a few quick games with a friend while her partner was finishing running a game.

Arboretum - First play in quite a while, so I was a bit rusty on the rules. Ended with an easy win thanks to getting all the cassias in a nice order.

Kluster - Magnets are fun.

Ghost Blitz - Not a faultless game like I’ve managed before, but I still ran away with it.


Played A Feast for Odin with my wife tonight, hitting a pretty high score of 155 with a little bit of everything (except occupations), and maybe one more house than I needed.


I clearly haven’t played enough to not try and get the income covered every time …
and I don’t build enough houses…


I (who plays 2P only) basically say “Income, schmincome” - get the first two on the first round in order to get the mead bonus, and then it’s bonus bonus bonus bonus. (The strategy I picked up from Ryan Feathers’s amazing guides and session reports on BGG.)



Cat in the Box


6 Nimmt

Winter Kingdom - I like it. Shares a lot with Kingdom Builder. The personal abilities is a nice substitution to the rush for abilities on the board with KB. End up prefering KB Big Box 2nd ed due to its sheer amount of content

Carnegie - another play of this good Euro. It is starting to become samey now despite the freedom to pursue different strategies. Very good Euro, but not on the same level as those that I like. E.g. the two Lacerdas, Splotters, Keyflower, Agra, and Terra and Gaia

Whistle Mountain - we don’t have much time so we did a speed Whistle Mountain… Yeah. This game works if it’s a merely 1 hour to 1.5 hour game (but then a lot of Euros are like this tbh. Better off as a shorter 1-1.5 hour game).


I have now spent tonight and last night setting up, (more or… rather less) learning and then playing the first of four acts of a Hoplomachus Victorum campaign.

As stated in the Last Bought thread this is my first encounter with a Chip Theory game, I have not had the opportunity to play any of the others.

The story here goes something like “angry god is trying to rain fire upon the world and a hero needs to step up, gather troops and try to stop the destruction” by fighting their way through various arenas, defeating other heroes and finally face the god’s scion… This is all happening in the ancient world which bears NO resemblance to any known continents. Factions include Atlanteans, Amazons, Vesuvians, Argonauts…

The world is represented as a small map at the bottom of the playmat where your hero can move their encampment. On each move of the encampment, they encounter one of 3 types of events: sport, opportunity or blood (depending on the spot they are on). Every 12 weeks (or earlier) they need to enter a capital and fight another primus (the leaders of the 8 factions participating in these shenanigans). The two types of arena (sport & blood) events help the hero improve their stats (health, leadership, attack), gather troops & tactics. Whereas opportunities are something like optional fight modifiers that give especially powerful rewards (Prowess abilities mostly?).

The sport events come in 3 varieties: Capture the Flag, King of the Hill and Sparring. I have so far only tried King of the Hill and Sparring. The blood events are to the death and you “simply” have to defeat all the opposing units. Each arena has some unique specials to interact with. I have tried 3 of the 8 arenas so far and the fights in each had a very distinct feel to it.

I think when one has internalized the rules, this could be quite straight-forward. As it is there are quite a few moving parts to remember and in this first act I made so many mistakes, I might as well start over. Units have a bunch of special abilities which are quite cool and give each unit also a distinct feel and different tactics. I am already getting more “fluent” in the execution of the fights. Targeting and moving is a bit simpler than for example Gloomhaven (but it is a really low bar to have simpler movement rules than GH).

The rewards feel satisfying enough. There are some mitigation options for bad die rolls and I think one can really get much better at this game with some knowledge of what kinds of arenas, units, hero abilities and events exist in the game. These first fights though felt a bit tedious because I spent most of 2 evenings just learning this game.

One thing that bugs me is that I didn’t back the deluxe health chips. The plastic ones feel wrong. I’ll check our poker chips if the size works. It might.

Last but not least the game has dice in different colors that differ simply by how many faces have a little damage sword on them. The red die has six identical sides. I get that it is easier to make a die that always rolls the same thing than make an ability that always does damage… but … it is weird.

PS: this is a solo game only. And I am reasonably sure one will never play all 4 acts of a campaign in one sitting… and I forgot to take more pictures.


Just got out Damask for the first game since the demo last Airecon. I still enjoyed it! Phew! The cube wheel isn’t quite as good as the hand-made prototype was, but it works all right even so (I need to get the central fastener a bit firmer).

May have had some help with the punching-out.