Recent Boardgames (Your Last Played Game Volume 2)

While you nerds play with your trains, Cthulhu Wars was the game of the night yesterday.

it was a funny experience where we all thought that “it’s not that bad” to set up gates on the pyramid. Haha no. The Watcher NPC rolled 12 dice and obliterated us. While @EnterTheWyvern performed experiments on his cultists and extracted their brains for extra power, which is the main thing that made him runaway with a win.

Tcho Tcho has the reputation among CW fans that it is boring to play as you just turtle for most of the whole game. Indeed, I can see that now. But I still want to play it again now that I know how the faction plays

Res Arcana + Lux et Tenebrae + Perlae Imperii - good fun. As usual, with this group, they are more aggressive players and so I got caught by surprise with the attacks. Good fun


Bohnanza and Sagrada - two very different games, but both resulted in all five players getting very close scores.

The Sagrada game was a weird one: no column or row varieties whatsoever in the public goals, just diagonals and sets of 1-2s and 3-4s. Then the tools were flip the drafted die, adjust the drafted die up or down by 1, and place a die not adjacent to the others on your window (which, of course, didn’t get used). So it was kind of a stress-free game because outside of the private placement goals, not a whole lot mattered! Also resulted in pretty low scores - I won with a 45.


Thirsty Meeples last night.

We started with current hotness Forest Shuffle. Intersting; the card-tucking felt like something of a gimmick, but the set and combo collection seemed to work well (though there’s the standard huge-deck problem of having to commit to collecting a set which may simply never appear). The rules missed out several points which arose from the components (the answer in each case being “ignore this unless a card tells you to do it”) and parts of the iconography were unclear, but I’d like to play again now that I have a better idea of what’s going on. (Alas, published by Asmodée.)

I can picture an automatic scorer for this, like the one for Imperium, that you just feed a photo of your layout and it adds up all the conditional points. As it stands it can get quite involved.

Then on to Trio, which we’ve enjoyed before. My memory isn’t what it was… last weekend. I’m definitely being tempted by this one.

Tiny Epic Galaxies, which we haven’t played here for quite a while (my notes say April 2017). It does what it does reasonably well, but it’s fairly limited; I don’t feel like replaying it much more often than this.

And finally the traditional Timeline, in this case General Interest, with a decent amount of guessing.


Quacks of Quedlinburg, recipe set 5. Interesting set. I blew up maybe 5 times, which is quite the record. (that white three chip was just glued to my fingers). I’m not a “never blow up” kind of guy but I do count chips and play the odds and, if there is a one in four chance of blowing up, I take it. And expect to blow up 25% of the time.

I made up some ground with extra vp from bird skulls, but not enough to overcome the chip swarm my wife got with extra buys (via purple). Very interesting setup. 48-52.

Mandala - played half a game on the table once before. Finally got a full game via BGA. On the heels of Pollen I was surprised by the similar feel to the Samurai lineage. Surrounding a prize to capture. I enjoyed it, but less than I expected to.


Dominant Species: Marine - I tried this one again, because I thought it was just me. But no. Not only it is worse than the original, it can lead to degenerate and boring gameplay too. It leads players to “Evolution, Evolution, repeating >>> Retrieve” action cycle. Incredibly boring. We search through the rulebook because the strategy sounds so dodgy that there has to be a rule or some to stop this from happening. It looks like there’s none. It’s just a shitty game.

Inis - great game! Always happy to play anytime. I don’t seem to miss it - which is good.


Brass: Birmingham

Hegemony - confirmed that the Working Class faction is so linear AF. The State is interesting and I definitely learn a lot from this game. Funny how you don’t need to be loan-free, but you still need to be fiscally responsible. And so I ran into this preference where I prefer either free education and/or healthcare or at full price! The latter helps keep the State solvent while you spend extra money on events, which generate a good amount of points. The half-price healthcare/education doesn’t seem as good where I only get 1 VP regardless of the amount of goods they buy.

I would be keen on playing all factions except for the Working Class - the Capitalists especially. The CC seems to have a very elusive ROI evaluation. Due to the nature of the game being full-on mutualism, I feel that players need to break that Euro gamer mindset of “more companies is better”. Rather, I think they need to evaluate each company if the money that they give to the W/M Class is worth the benefits that you get from it, minus the tax to the State.


Goonies: Never Say Die, things are getting tougher. We lost, fairly badly. When the GM got his last piece (that ends the game), we were almost dead, which would have finished the game as well. The enemies are getting tougher, and we were realllly rolling badly, so that didn’t help. The game gets tougher, but there isn’t really anything to help us out, we don’t get stronger or get any items from game to game. We were down a player, which doesn’t help. Still fun. I never got to use my grenade item!

Roam, pretty light game of area control. You start with three characters, and when you use one you get to place tokens of your colour on a map made of cards. Each character has it’s own pattern to put down. When a map cards is complete, whoever has majority gets to keep it, and that adds another character to you tableau. Pretty easy to play.

Inflation!, first play. Just got this in the last week from KS. It’s trick taking, but with a bit of a twist. You keep all your played cards in front of you. So you might play a “6” in a trick, and then a “1” in the next trick. Your total is now 61. Whoever has the highest number wins the trick. There are 12 tricks to play, so the numbers get pretty big (but of course you usually only have to compare the first couple of values). The “10” card is a bit weird – you play it as a ten, but then on your next trick you cover the 1, making it worth 0, if that makes sense. You have to predict the number of tricks you will win, and if you do that correctly you’ll get two points per trick. Otherwise it’s one point per trick, but if you win the most tricks AND fail to get your prediction, you get ZERO. Really enjoyed this – it’s trick taking, but with a bit more to think about.

Charms, first play. Came in with Inflation! – same designer (Taiki Shinzawa). Again, it’s a trick taking game, but with it’s own gimmick. Your cards are either suit cards, or number cards. Your first play is two cards, a number and a suit. Usual rules, you have to follow suit if you can. In the next 12 tricks, you can only play one card. The winner of each trick gets to choose to change either the suit card or the number card. If the winner changes the suit, you have to follow that if you can. If you already have the correct suit, you can change the number. It’s pretty crazy, you can use the same number card over and over, just changing the suit. As with Inflation!, you have to predict the number of tricks you will win, which can be tricky (pun not intended). You get points according to how far you were from your prediction – you don’t want points, the player with the least points wins. This was also really good fun, really changing up trick taking.

So Clover, always good fun. I was proud of my clue for the words “french” and “stud”, I wrote “Pepe”, and they got it! We didn’t quite get a perfect game.

American Bookshop, another trick taker, but one we had played before. And yet another game by Shinzawa. For each player count, there is a value limit (for 3p, its 14). So if you play a card and reach the limit, you take all the cards played. You sort your cards by colour, if you have the most of a colour at the end, you’ll get positive points (otherwise, they are negative). So, if you play a high card, maybe you’ll win the trick, or you’ve just made it easier for someone to reach the limit and take the cards.

Big Top, and again it’s by Shinzawa, but it’s an auction game, not trick taking, just for a change. Loving this game (but I do like auctions). It’s pretty cool, you bid on cards, which all have multiple values on them. if you make a bid that matches one of your cards, you put a coin on it. And even better, if you bid an amount that’s on the card being auctioned, you get to place a coin from the bank onto that card. Which is great if you win the card, otherwise you’re just making it easier for whoever wins the card. Its a genius system, you’re incentivised to make higher bids so you can complete your cards and score points. Fairly close game, i think it was 65/61/40. The player in last place was a bit annoyed by the game ending just before he was going to finish off a couple of cards (the game ending card is shuffled into the last four cards of the deck). Probably wouldn’t have won him the game, but would have closed the gap. The winner basically led for the entire game.

So, lots of games from Taiki Shinzawa today, and they were all pretty great.


The 1 Player Guild (UK, south) had its eighth annual-ish get-together yesterday.

I am still extremely bad at PitchCar, it seems. I’m sure I used not to be.

Tavarua next: you’re trying to be the most impressive surfer on both long and short board. Hand management, a bit of luck pushing, and a little competition as you try not to end up competing for space on the same wave.

Rallyman: DIRT (including one fan of classic Rallyman whom I’ve been trying to get into the same place as this game since it arrived about a year ago).

Lemminge and Tinderblox.

Just One as we wound down towards supper.

Then Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition, two games, because the first one came up very short: Fanatic, Setback and Wraith versus the “La Gloire” event (a modified Ambuscade) in Megapolis. About turn 3, Fanatic used a Wrathful Retribution, followed by a card power to bring her down to 10 HP, followed by an Absolution to do 3-2-2, with each instance of damage getting a +1 nemesis bonus. Ambuscade went from reasonably confident to defeated in one turn.

So we set up again with the same heroes, versus the Fey Court on Wagner Mars Base. That was a bit more of a meaty fight, finally ended by Fanatic’s End of Days—destroying a whole bunch of enemy Courtiers and Advisors, each of which triggered Champion Lugh to add a token to Dagda (before Lugh was destroyed himself).

I’m significantly more impressed with Fanatic now.

After another reshuffle of players, I played Project L with the Finesse tiles (which didn’t make a huge difference, but helped a bit). I still don’t find the iconography terribly helpful.

An excellent day with excellent people.


Seems ages since I posted here.
But after a lot of work and tech stuff I finally got to play a few games.

  • my losing streak of Sprawlopolis (-13 being the worst) ended with a game with a score of 22 this morning
  • We played 3 games of Dorfromantik–borrowed from friends because I refused to believe I would enjoy it for being too light. Turns out my partner likes not being able to lose :slight_smile: And I would have continued with another game if there were not a few preparations to be made for the superbowl snacks (I don’t think I will be awake for the whole game but my partner will… and who says no to late night wings and fries?)
  • Played my first game of Cascadia for the year with a weird animal combo from Landmarks and with some Landmarks. Stil lovely.

We played Lost Cities a couple days ago, and it was a total blowout. I won 248 - 91. Got the 20 points bonus twice throughout the three rounds and just picked into some good runs.

Last night we played Star Wars the Deckbuilding Game, and it was also a blowout, but in the other direction. I was the Empire, and similar to a game we had a couple weeks ago, she got Leia on her second turn, played her on the third turn to get the Falcon and put it on top of her deck, so was able to use it her next turn to get Leia out of the discard pile and use her again. Just a slaughter, and she finally achieved her goal of winning without losing her first base. I had the opportunity to take it out with Dengat, but Chewbacca came out and I wasn’t about to let her get another 5 attack card for free!


This sounds like a bit of a contradiction in terms!


Yes, but there are lots of reasons to play solo games (exclusively, predominantly of just occasionally) and they’re a lovely bunch of people.


First time I’ve played a game with my partner in ages and a new one especially. I was deciding between Temporum and Empires End.

The winner, Temporum, was the one with the fewest amount of base rules and which felt less directly vicious. (temporum does have that trickery where it offloads a lot of the cleverness into funky cards).

It’s a curious mix of worker placement with meeple movement but the spots are always some mix of generic action (draw a card for example) plus some mad extra variation (draw a card but if anyone has less than €8 they get €8) and the game comes with a tonne of cards to vary all the spots each game.

Then in the actual play you have this rhythm of gaining money ( from playing cards for a bunch of cash in combination with some mad action) and scoring (exchange the cash for VPs).

We both had a good time with it. You have this nice and tense race (as the victory condition is a trigger on set score rather than time) and the ability to do clever things is always there but mostly at a tactical level I think (we’ve only played once).


I managed to persuade two of my colleagues to join us for a game of Antiquity today. I described it to them as “dying slowly in the Middle Ages” so they had some idea of what they’d let themselves in for :headstone:

It was not a quick game, but everyone enjoyed it. None of us got knocked out of the game, so I call that a win!


After a few weeks just playing Flamecraft here and there with my kids, I had a session with the local Geek Guild in Hastings library this Saturday.

We played Archeos Society first between 6, where even I was not very sure about what I was doing, I started leading the score board and then second after two “years”; but a terrible round of luck with cards and a really unlucky appearance of the monkeys very fast ruined my plans, and I ended 4th overall. Considering how little I had understood the game to start with, it was OK.

We moved onto a quick round of Passt Nicht! which was funny between 6, if a tad too chaotic. I didn’t do terribly, but again I fell sort of third or fourth overall.

Then we went on to play Winds of Strafe, which I managed to win easily. I played a very similar trick taking game (Pocha in the Canaries) back in the day, and that definitely gave me the edge (plus being lucky with cards, it is a trick taking after all).

We ended playing with 5 at Twilight Inscriptions. Or Space Lions: The roll and write game, as we christened (Or “Space Lions with boobs” as somebody else said after seeing the game cover: definitely not me :wink:). It was great on the one side, as it gave me a hint of what Twilight Imperium could be like, but as it tends to happen to me with this big roll and writes, I end up diversifying myself too much and not managing to score very well in the end. So I ended a terrible last with only 39 points, while the owners of the game ran away to high 60s and low 70s.


Quite a lot of gaming this week-end! :grinning:

Yesterday, one of Maryse’s old friends, Yvan, came over to get some gaming in. It was absolutely lovely to see him, he’s a fine gentleman with an adorable dog, a Cavalier King Charles named Spock, who got on famously with Baloney. We played:

  1. Ticket To Ride: Rails And Sails, where Maryse slaughtered us 194-135 (me)-109. Y’know, one of these days I’ll win, or at least make it competitive…

  2. Great Western Trail, just the base game since it was Yvan’s first time (and the heaviest game he’d ever played, to boot). Another slaughter by Maryse, who won 204-150 (me)-145. Yvan did super well with a building-heavy strategy, but it was a very long one. Next time, we’ll START with thr heavier game.

Then today, we babysat Clara and Léa, our nieces, 4 and 9 years old respectively. We played:

  1. Ticket To Ride First Journey. I actually won, reaching six completed tickets first, Clara came in second with five and Maryse and Léa tied with four. This marks only the second time I’ve ever won the first game of a new game, with the previous time being Space Base (that’s also the only time I’ve ever won that one)! Good time was had, though I think Léa was more into it.

  2. Carcassonne, always a favourite with the kids. This time Clara won. I don’t remember the scores, but it was NOT close. I came in second, Léa third and Maryse last.

  3. The Fuzzies, first time with the kids, and oh boy, it won’t be the last. Don’t ask me who won, but there was much laughter, so we all won, I guess!

  4. Click-Clack Lumberjack, see above, though I think it didn’t work quite as well as the fuzzy balls.The noise seemed to bother Clara a bit.

Heck of a week-end!


It’s been a fairly quiet time for boardgaming on my end since like early Jan :frowning: Hoping that’ll change soon (though catching Covid in the middle hasn’t helped…)

Fleet the Dice Game, this is such an excellent game, everytime I get it to the table it’s dynamite. And I’ve actually used the expansion stuff a fair bit (unlike the Three Sisters mini expansion which I’ve touched once…) Lots of fun.


Spots, this is probably one of my favourite dice games. It’s so simple yet has interesting decisions on top of the push your luck. I think it’s probably best with 2 though, with more it becomes less strategic for sure.

Star Wars Armada, last game of this was several years ago (pre covid certainly), so was thrilled to get it to the table with a friend. It’s still great, I won’t be selling it, despite it being a bit tough to get to the table. My opponent won the squadrons game but I won the (more important) capital ship game. Had an MC30c prove best in class by flanking and tearing up his Victory SD! Great drama.

I’ve also forgotten to log but have been playing some missions from Battles of Medieval Britain, which is a solo wargame I borrowed from a friend. It’s been fun. Quite random (I mean it is almost entirely dice driven so you’ll get that) but the system is interesting, I seem to have a knack for getting my horsemen killed early though, which doesn’t feel great…

I did also borrow Under Falling Skies from him, so I’m hoping to get that to the table soon.


Reibach & Co (aka Gloria Picktoria) - we called this Airlines Europe: the Card Game. Simple area majority with cards where you set up suits of cards and try to have the majority with them. Feels better than Spirits of the Forest. I bought GP from a local club member

Musketeers - blind bidding card game and when to play high and play low is pretty fun.

Alhambra - 6 players and it was pretty much a party game at that lack of control. The bantz were hot though.

Gulf Mobile & Ohio - AMAZING Cube Rail that isn’t a Chi-Ex derivative. I can feel that there’s gonna be more depth here with more plays. There’s not much shared incentives here. Indeed, it feels more like an old school German game where all the tools are to screw up other players or open up new avenues for them. Amazing.

Princes of Florence - I am appreciating this game more. We played with the old beige edition

Food Chain Magnate - one club member was keen to try so we tried. Did my usual show of base game with Hard Choices, with me telling what the opening moves are.

I went for Marketing Trainee, while the other two went for Trainer and RG x2. Being the player with 15+ plays against first-timers, I rushed with Marketing and achieved the $20 and $100 milestones. I was worried on how they would received it but they thought it was great with the tough decision making of the game.

I’m glad about that. What’s more important is for people to make an informed decision if they want the game or not, which is what the requester wanted to know.

Tournay - a rather disappointing spin-off of Troyes, which isn’t really my thing either


Had a couple of friends over yesterday, specifically one of my oldest friends and her boyfriend. We all played a couple games then the boyfriend and my husband watched the Super Bowl while my friend and I played a couple more games.

All four of us, played Raccoon Tycoon and Flamecraft. Raccoon Tycoon is a light market manipulation game that none of us had played before. It was solid. Three of us were within a point of each other then my friend was the runaway winner, almost 15 points up on the rest of us. Flamecraft is a solid little resource management that I like showing to people. My friend loved the cute dragons and got another win, though much closer. First to last was only a 5 point difference.

Once the guys abandoned us for football, my friend and I played a couple roll and writes. First was Cartographers, which is probably my favorite roll and write. You are drawing maps to fit scoring criteria. We played on one of the advanced maps (frozen lake of some kind) and enjoyed the extra challenges. I pulled off the win pretty solidly, 20 points up at 111 to 91. Then we played Welcome To…, also on an advanced board. This one was the zombie invasion. I found it a bit too tricky to try to manage all the zombie rules while still building my little neighborhood for normal scoring. My friend won her third of our four games, 66 to 73.


Besides playing some more Sprawlopolis and Insel Express, NPI inspired me today to have yet another game of Daybreak.

No plastic, working organization with some egg cartons for the components.

Final image. I won the game in 3 of the possible 6 rounds. It is entirely possible to win in round 2, I don’t think round 1 is possible but with a lot of luck it just might be.

In any case, as I’ve previously stated here, I am loving this game. I have played 16 games since getting my copy and I have won 13 of those. The ones I lost, I lost badly. But one tries to fight until the last round. I’ve had 1 multiplayer only with my partner which we lost. The solo is probably a little easier (and Efka alludes to what that effectively means in terms of the story the game tells).

I have only played with challenge cards once and lost… I like the game fine on easy mode for now.

So here is how it goes.
1-4 players, play over six rounds that have a bunch of phases.

  • Phase 1 where players agree on a global project to pursue–these have positive effects and often need to be activated with cards. There can be a maximum of 4 such projects and their effects range from drawing extra cards, to mitigating consequences of various disasters to enhancing the green transformation. My biggest criticism of the solo is here: about half of these need to be removed for solo because they being global and all rely on player interaction. On the other hand… for multiplayer that is really nice to have so many interactive projects.
  • Phase 2 players get to draw their cards for the round and everyone then works on their own tableau, either
    1. playing cards to 1 of the 5 local project slots they each have as
      a) a new project on top of an old or
      b) beneath an old project to add the cards “tags” to it
    2. activate projects for their effects, these include: generating more energy, reducing emissions from various sectors, drawing more cards, rewilding forests and oceans, building resilience in social/nature/infrastructure spheres and more. It is a fun combotastic system that lends itself to long and exploitative-seeming turns. Here there are also some interactive project cards like Climate Reparations where you help out other powers by taking their communities ins crisis as refugees on your own board or give them cards. A lot of the activations cost cards. So even if someone cannot use a card they might use it to build more green energy
  • Phase 3: once everyone declares they have played and activated all the cards then the global “oopsie” phase begins.
    1. Everyone counts how many emissions they still generate–the player boards make this really easy and then you collect as many brown carbon cubes and place them in the “emission zone”
    2. You then distribute the emissions to the forests and oceans which offset some of them. The number of forests and oceans you start with is player count dependent.
    3. The rest goes to the thermometer.
    4. Every time a temperature band is filled up with carbon cubes (the number needed depends on the players) the temperature rises causing more tipping points to advance and more disasters to strike. Also the strength of the disasters often depends on the number of temperature bands you have accumulated.
    5. The “ouchy” die is then rolled a number of times depending on how badly you already fucked up the global temperature. There are 6 global systems that have tiny tracks they advance on (sea ice, major weather systems, ocean acidification, desertification…). The die rolls randomly to advance these. On each of them there are tipping points that do some bad things to the world when they are reached like killing of forests or oceans, adding emissions or directly full temperature bands…
    6. Disasters happen. One of these is always visible so you can “prepare” for it. The rest are unknowns unless you have card actions to make them known in the previous phase. These usually have you lose resilience, or add communities in crisis, kill off forests or oceans or make you discard cards. There is some variabilitiy here. But there are a lot of cards that can be mititgated by resilience so it’s imperative to build that up if you somehow can’t cut your emissions as fast as you would want to.
  • Phase: Bookkeeping. After the disasters there is a bit of bookkeeping to be done. Everyone’s energy usage rises by a fixed amount per world power.

You win if you ever achieve drawdown–having more emissions absorbed than you generate and survive the “Oopsie” Phase.
You loose if any player has too many “communities in crisis” or if you have reached the end of the thermometer or the end of round 6 without achieving drawdown.

The basic game is pretty easy (in solo at least) but you can adjust the difficulty upwards with challenge cards.

I love the combo-ing and also the hopeful and optimistic feelings the game produces. Yes, it’s telling a story. But not all the tech and projects that are in it are pure fiction. For example today I played “District heating” and our apartment is actually connected to such a system and if you scan the little QR code it has a pretty good explanation of how that works and where it works and why it is good in those circumstances. In the game it’s a card that requires a couple of money tags and alllows you to reduce building emissions once per round.

I highly recommend giving this one a try. It’s completely different from Pandemic (the other game by one of the designers that you have likely played) and it’s a fun combotastic game–with a message. You can’t ignore the message–it’s baked into every pore of the theme.

The BGA implementation is really good but if you want to win, reading the rules at least once is really helpful. (I tried without and… failed badly)

PS: the components are very nice, however my one component criticism–very slight one–is the board. The board is largely decorative and for playing on a smaller table far too big. I am sure that the solo community will have a printable tiny alternative soon enough because all you need is the 6 global systems tracks, a bit of space for forests and oceans and the temperature bands. On the other hand the board looks really nice and it’s great fun to absorb the emissions into the little forest and ocean tokens.


I had a solo game of Firefly, for which I blame @Marx for mentioning it yesterday…

I played the Desperadoes scenario with Marco and the Bonanza, and failed to reach the $15000 in 20 turns, but I had such a great crew with Kaylee and her amazing Hacking Rig, and Inara, Simon Tam and River Tam as well, that I could not stop myself and kept playing, just because.

I love this game.