Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

Friends and forumers, I want y’all to slap me whenever I look over yet another generic troops-on-a-map game, because there is only one game there is for me. (Okay. Glorantha is the exception to the rule)

We played 2 games of Cthulhu Wars and they give me that “epic gaming” feels in just 2 hours. It minimises the turtling problem that this genre have. Asymmetry is nuts as usual. We have seen the Black Goat fight a few times now and I got the “wait? You can do THAT!?” moment again when the Black Goat player pulled a trick that Ive never seen before. You pull out these massive minis. You roll a lot of dice during fights. Super trashy. Amazing.


Glorantha and Chaos in the Old World for me… but oh hey also I have Lords of Hellas and Ragnarok, whoops.

1 Like

I don’t know I agree with this, however I think it might be more me being pernickety about classifications. The game is subtle and really player driven with tons of strategy as well as tactical responses to what others are doing.

First game I don’t think I played Opener in an exciting way. That being said I did enjoy smashing up Hastur to throw R’s plans into disarray as well as being my strongest defence with low power for the turn.

Second game I still feel there wasn’t enough coordination of aggression on my crawling chaos. Too mobile to be picked at piecemeal. That being said I enjoyed picking on you thoroughly in the early game. Rolling through your exposed gates, gaining stuff for beating up on GOOs and sitting on all that lovely power was exhilarating. Maybe even enough to join some sort of cult dedicated to Nyralhotep…


Gonna need plane tickets, local transportation and probably an interpreter, but I’ll do it. For you.


Frosthaven, another slog (but isn’t it always?). Cannons are always annoying, lots of range, a lot of damage, and you can’t do anything to them (like poison or wound). The first room had six bloody cannons, all elite. 12 health on each, so that’s a lot of damage you have to put out. And you can’t just run to the door and the next room, you had to destroy everything. I made the mistake of opening the door to the next area, and was attacked by three enemies, had to give up a card to survive, which is usually a bad sign.

We really didn’t give outselves much of a chance, it took us ages to even get to the next room. To find enemies with shields of three. We had to split up to give ourselves a chance, there were two cannons in the corner of the room. We were all on our last turn almost, I got lucky and pulled a 2X damage card on one of the shielded enemies. We had three people ready to kill the last cannon, just in case someone pulled a null card. So we made it in the end.

Aliens: Bug Hunt, another bash at this, good light game. Thought were doing ok, but had a bit of a buildup of aliens in one room that killed off one of us. Sometimes you just get too many alien phase cards and don’t get a chance to act before being attacked. Still fun.

Timeline: Science and Discoveries, a light game to finish up.


Some games over the last couple of weeks:

Jaipur, got in a few games with my mum while she was visiting - all games we’ve played before but lots of fun.


Spring Meadow

Sprawlopolis - solo play of this and another clear loss. My loss rate on this is pretty bad, clearly i’m missing something about the puzzle…

Tammany Hall just acquired this recently and it’s excellent! I do love area control though, so maybe a bit biased. I came in with a decent second place, but our winner won mayor a few times and got awarded the immigrant leader bonus several times in a row, so she did very well.

Rum x2, simple little rummy game. Got the rules wrong in the first (it’d been quite awhile since I last played), then we had a rematch. I managed to lose both.

Five Tribes, man I bid way too aggressively compared to the rest of the table so came last - the others ended up with more cash than they started with, whereas I managed to end with half :frowning:. Not my best day but the game was fun and enjoyed by all.


I’ve been playing some Lost Kingdoms: Pangea in Pieces solo, and while my first game was pretty engaging, it’s gone downhill from there. I’ve had about a half dozen games, and I don’t think more than a couple of those felt like I had interesting decisions to make throughout the game, which isn’t a good enough hit rate.

The set-up has a bunch of random elements, and I suspect that one could cherry-pick the most interesting options and get a decent game each time. In particular, it seemed there were only a couple of Cataclysm cards which really required you to slide tiles around and worry about population levels, and if you’re not doing that then there’s just not much to think about. However I’m not sure that even my best game of this was good enough to make me want to put effort into doing that vs playing something I like more.

It’s a bit fiddly to prepare the tiles for each game too, while the game duration is very short (~30 tiles to play and you’re done); so even though it only takes a matter of minutes to re/start a game, it feels like a few minutes too many for what’s on offer. The tiles are categorised (identified by the tile back) and must be grouped into the seven categories which are then individually shuffled before blindly removing around half the tiles from each, and then adding an asteroid tile to three of the categories and reshuffling those. A good insert would help to speed things up a bit – the zip-lock bags provided for each category of tile are useful on the one hand, but on the other they add an extra level of fiddly which an insert could largely eliminate. I think if I could just open the box and go then I might be inclined to keep it on hand for a very quick game from time to time, but as it is it’s a slight hassle.

I’d guess that the multi-player game is probably a better proposition (and would divide-and-conquer the set-up as well), but I’ve not played it with others so I can’t comment.

The components and artwork are really attractive, and I think the theme is well integrated, so I’m a bit sad that I didn’t like it better.



Had our monthly game day meetup yesterday. I played so many games!

First up was a quick play of Guillotine. It’s a silly little game but I like it and several others in my group love it.

Then we played Saboteur for three rounds. I was the only one on the winning team all three times (saboteur, saboteur, and good dwarf) so won overall pretty handily. We were very obvious and aggressive saboteurs the first game then a little less so the second and both strategies worked well for the cards we had.

Then a friend had brought the Star Wars Deckbuilding Game and I asked if my husband and I could try it out. I love deckbuiling and Star Wars so I’ve been interested in this since it was announced but I have too many deckbuilders already so have been hesitating. @COMaestro ’s write ups make it sound pretty awesome though. My husband and I played two games of it with me as the rebels both times. I won the first 3 bases to 1 and the second 4 to 2 (played the full galaxy version with all bases as options and play to 4). I enjoyed it quite a bit. My husband kept swinging. First he thought there were some interesting and cool mechanics. Then he thought there were too many times where he felt like he couldn’t do anything on his turn and that was just frustrating. Then he thought it was good again then back to frustration. He ultimately settled on frustrating and said he doesn’t want to get it or play it again. His big problems were I had too many discard cards in both games so he’d end up with half or so of a hand on his turn and there were too many times when he might have a great attack hand and I would have no rebel cards in the row and only need like 2 hits to take out my base so everything else he had generated was wasted.

After that, I played Kingdom Builder. A new woman has been coming to game day lately because she is now dating one of the main guys running it. She had messaged me a couple days before saying we hadn’t had a chance to really interact yet but she’d love it if we could play a game this time to get her away from the bros (her fella and his buddies love train games and I think she was burnt out on that). I tried to setup Kingdom Builder with her, me, and one other lady I play with a lot but a guy so us setting it up and said he loves that game so jumped in. Oh well. I lost terribly! First round I said I was setup well for round two unless I drew a specific card so of course I drew that. By round 3, everyone else had two or three powers and I was just getting my first. I never recovered.

Then us three gals and two guys played Space Base. I love this game in the big picture but it’s a little too fiddly with none of the icons being exactly what they should be and rules interactions that constantly have to be looked up. This play was especially tough as one of the guys just couldn’t wrap his head around it. We all explained the same rules to him every other turn and he just could not get it.

Finally after that we were able to get it to the three women and we played a bunch of small card games while chatting. Point Salad, more Guillotine, and Archaeology. Point Salad was probably the winner. It’s a great little game.

Then we started setting up Kingdomino and one of the meetup organizers who had left for a few hours came back for end of night clean up so we asked him if he wanted to join us. Everyone enjoyed our game so much that we played it it again. I won both times. The first time, I think everyone but me was new so I had nearly double everyone else’s score. The second, I won by only a point or two and scores were generally very close.

Finally, we ended the night with Azul. I was doing great, best game I’d had in terms of during-game scoring. Then everyone managed to stick me with a ton of tiles I couldn’t use and I got max negatives one round. I ended in last while I would have been second probably without those. Such is the game.


We played Die Macher. Short game of 4 elections and with 3 players.

It’s an absolute belter, can’t wait to play again with more players (more jostling and more dynamic) and the full game of 7 elections (having to split resources and head space).

The trade offs are to spend time, resources and money now, or to push them into the future. And then cash in resources and public opinion in the future, or hold fire to try to get things to swing more in your favour (or against your opponents).

There are auctions, area control and hand management and big, crunchy decisions.

Best of all, 3 of us, all new to the game and we were done in 90 minutes.

I’d been expecting a grueling beast of a game to wrestle with and endure for 3 hours but the time flew by and it was easy to pull levers.

If you’re into medium/ heavy and you’ve not tried it then I couldn’t recommend it more.

And the board gets smaller! (*Photos are in reverse time order)


First game of UNLOCK! today. Played on of the mythic decks, thanks @RossM It’s good and the use of the app is clever if a bit metal gear solid in some of the solutions. The system can fall to bits a little if you stumble on the answer but it was fun.


Dorf Romantik

First game done with the clan. Unlocked box 1 already.

Nice bit of emergent strategy, with some villages left awaiting a centre tile.

Most of the trickier rules (flags, railways) taught as we went.

Nice, simple family coop fun.


Just a couple of games today. Ducks in Tow and City of Iron.


Yeah, as with any deck builder, you will get the occasional dead hands that you can’t do anything with. Majority of BGG (from my reading of the forums) is that the Rebels are overpowered, but I think it is more that the Rebels gameplay is a bit more straightforward compared to the Empire. Also, the Empire feels like it needs more ramping up time. Since my wife and I have been having very close games for the most part, I honestly think the two sides are pretty well balanced, with maybe just a hint of advantage on the Rebels side, mostly as they start with full Force and a lot of their cards benefit from having the Force on their side.

I would suggest switching sides for a couple of plays if he is willing to try again, but no game is for everyone and this just might be one that isn’t for him.


Chicago Express - 5 player game with just the Erie Company expansion. Again, I’m still amazed on how Chex’s simple rules allows newbies to get involved very quickly with the game’s intricacies, rather than forcing themselves on internalising the rules. More of the latter will just occupy more brain power from engaging with the former.

Blue reached Chicago. Yellow was sabotage on going there. I manage to rack up a lot of money so I end the game by auctioning off shares until it triggers the end game.

Proper Top 10 Ever™ material.

It’s a Wonderful World first time playing Europe and finally figured out how to play as them. Did some inefficient things so Im 2nd place.

Indonesia - another nutty game of Indo. The merger aictions were super interesting in this game, and I pushed myself to be particularly aggressive with the bids. Although this means this left me with little money that allows some players to low ball on my companies!

I also intentionally avoided upgrading the cities and kept my shipping hull capacity low. More lessens learnt on this front - when to grow the cities? When to stifle them? Which ones to grow?

Glad I manage to get 2nd place even after the rather unorthodox play style!

Amazing game. Top 10 Ever™ as usual


Excellent game of Indonesia! I think my brain was a little fuzzy and that led to some sequencing errors on my part, that being said the mistakes were interesting. I think the winner got an easy ride with maximum return on siap faji without it being contested sufficiently. That’s some element of the fragility of the game but also shows where good play comes in. Getting in a position and using that to slow down the expansion of other player’s positions is what’s so interesting about this game. It also shows up that this game is easy to see swing to one person when the person in the position to counter them doesn’t. I have seen several games won just by someone handing over a monopoly from misunderstanding or stroppiness. That being said it’s a really great game and I want to play more, the depth of variety in the game that completely comes from player choices is so good. Serious legs on this one.


The three of us played Quacks of Quedlinburg yesterday, using the Herb Witches expansion. I set up the game with completely random books, other than the black moth, which I chose to use the normal three player version.

My wife was able to get 10 purchasing points on the first round, netting her a black moth chip, which she then managed to pull out almost every round going forward, so her droplet was far ahead of the rest of us, and usually even further than we got with rat tails. However, her brother invested in purple chips, which got him 1 point if there were one or two in his pot, or 2 points if three were in the pot, which kept him competitive, while I started lagging behind. I tried going heavy on the red mushrooms, as the book we had made it so that any red chip moved as far as the highest value red chip in the pot. So if a 4 got out early, all red chips would move 4, and I managed to do pretty well a couple of rounds due to this.

My downfall was from a couple of explosions, one in the 6th round and then in the final round, which cost me valuable points. My wife also exploded in the last round, which ended up costing her the game. Her brother won with 65 points, she was in second with 63, and I brought up the rear with 58. Good fun!


Two player Scout. I’ve heard not so good at 3, but the two player rules really sing. Well, except for the manual. If you go over to BGG you’ll find a couple of threads of people trying to hash out the two player rules because part of them are only in the French manual, part are clear in the German but vague in the English, and vice versa. They pounded it out and I’m glad I ferreted out the reality. Scout is great at 2.

Two player rules:
  • Each play can only scout three times per round. This is indicated by the three scout chips you start with, you have to turn one in for each scout.
  • Each turn, you MUST beat your opponent’s show. If you can’t, round over. But you are allowed to scout as many times as you can (using those three tokens…) before showing.

So if you want the cards, or if there’s a strong set out, you can scout-scout-show for your turn. But then you only have one scout left for the entire rest of the round, leaving you vulnerable.

Also Air, Land, & Sea. I still love this game, maybe 9/10 rather than 10/10 now. It really requires two players of equal skill. I’m always teaching it to new people. I need to get some repeat opponents or figure out a sensible handicap so the game is better during that “equalizing” period of learning. But I love the turn zero routing, figuring out what to do with your hand, followed by the inevitable derailment as your opponent moves your cheese or plays into the theater you were sure you’d secure, and then the myriad of levers the cards give you to devise a response.

Also Star Wars Deckbuilding. Timely follow on to @Brattyjedi . I’m also torn. The comparison to Star Realms is inevitable, and that game has had three iterations to perfect mechanics, deck balance, and power curve. I really like all the additions - the bases, the split deck and concept of attacking your opponent’s cards out of the market rather than just a big pool of health, etc. They put in a lot of great ideas.

But at the same time, the card design is bad (tiny icons, tiny text, hard to read across the table). The market is swingy - I had a lot of money but my opponent did not. So his capital ships, which you can’t easily purge from the market, piled up and I was just discarding money each round. Access to scrapping and cycling is spotty, so (like Shards of Infinity) it’s hard to actually act on a strategy and instead you just play whatever the market gives you.

I like it. I think a second edition would be a great thing. I don’t want a prequel or sequel trilogy edition, I want these characters just with more readable card design and a polished deck, with more mechanics for cycling a bad market and more consistent access to basic deckbuilding abilities.

So it’s good, but a bit bittersweet insofar as it does some things better and some things worse than it’s granddaddy.


Played a nice 5-player game of Pandemic which ended in perfect victory, which is always nice.

Also played a game of Everdell (with the usual expansions) that lasted a VERY long time (in fairness, it was interrupted by dinner) and I ended up losing 143-113. This was a VERY good game.


Played two games of Unmatched last night against my wife. She was Medusa in both games (naturally). I tried out Yennenga for the first time, and we played on Baskerville Manor, which we have not played on before. Things started out pretty even, but eventually I started falling behind. A weakness of Yennenga is she does not have Feint cards, so you can never cancel the effects of your opponent’s cards, while a couple of my plays got wrecked by Medusa’s Feints. My wife won with 9 health remaining.

We played again, flipping the board to play on the Soho map, and I tried out Elektra for the first time. I did better overall, getting her down to 5 health, but still lost. Medusa’s discard effects really tripped me up on this play, as Elektra only starts with 7 health, but when she is reduced to 0, she and her sidekicks are removed from the board and then she comes back into play with 9 health the next turn along with her sidekicks, the just need to all be placed in separate zones. Additionally, her discards are reshuffled into the main deck and many of her cards gain extra effects. Your hand stays what it was, though, and my wife made me discard a card when my health went to 0, leaving me with just two scheme cards in hand. Good scheme cards, yes, but it really limited what Elektra is capable of when returning to the board.

I’m joining a league that is starting at my FLGS tonight, so my wife was lovely enough to practice with me, and I appreciate it.


Rolling Heights 3-player at Thirsty Meeples.

The inspiration from Suburbia is very clear, but fair enough, I liked that game. Sadly this makes the same error as Alien Frontiers in 2014: you roll at the start of the turn, then try to decide what to do with what you rolled, so we took a long time over it. Much better to roll at the end of your turn while the next player’s starting; unlike AF you aren’t prevented from planning by not knowing which dice spaces will be available.

Also quite small symbols on quite large tiles. I’d like to try again but I’m not sure my fellow players would be up for it.