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Board games – 3rd Quarter 2019 review

Total plays: 57

A very weak quarter. Summer months usually are a low point but especially this year. Some great video games did not help the situation.

Distinct games: 23

New-to-me games: 9

Root, Aeon’s End: War Eternal, Legend of the Five Rings: TCG, DIG, SHH, LAMA, Unicornus Knights, Santo Domingo, Tiny Towns

Ten+ times: 1 

The Mind

Five+ times: 2

Root, Spirit Island

Collection: 163

I have not looked into this number. Higher than the previous quarter and yet i sold games and not bought any. Need to sit down and go through my BGG collection.

Acquired: 0

Removed: 2

Arkham Horror: LCG, Isle of Skye

Unplayed:

Best New to me:

Root

New 10s: N/A
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Posted by on October 10, 2019 in Board games

 

Top 5 new-to-me of 2019 (so far)

I’ve learned 11 new games in the first half of the year compared to 20 in the same period last year.

This is my top 5 in descending order of plays.

Champions of Hara (8) – I had very high expectations following Tom Chick’s review. It didn’t quite meet them but it’s still a very good adventure game that immerses you into this colourful and strange world.

Kashgar: Merchants of the Silk Road (6) – One of the best light euros I’ve played in the past 1-2 years. Very solitaire gameplay but it’s good and quick enough (with fast turns) that i don’t mind. Unique card play.

Sol: Last Days of a Star (4) – I like the interaction between player’s stations a lot. It’s a very promising game. I say promising because I’ve only played with 3 players so far and i believe it will shine with 4-5 players.

The Quest for El Dorado (3) – Knizia is an incredible designer. Very easy to teach and play but with depth. Excellent with both casual and more experienced gamers.

A Feast for Odin – The Norwegians expansion (2) – The base game of A Feast for Odin is full of content and you will be more than happy with it for a long time. And yet, The Norwegians expansion turns this already great game into an exceptional one.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2019 in Board games

 

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Board games – 2nd Quarter 2019 review

Total plays: 77

Distinct games: 29

New-to-me games: 6

Champions of Hara, Great Western Trail, Way of the Panda, The Quest for El Dorado, Dungeon Petz, Unicornus Knights, A Feast for Odin – The Norwegians Expansion, Flowerfall

Ten+ times: 1

Spirit Island

Five+ times: 2

Champions of Hara, Arkham Horror: LCG

Collection: 159

Acquired: 5
Champions of Hara, Unicornus Knights, New Bedfort, Arctic Scavengers, Tiny Towns

Removed: 6

Mexica. Puzzle Strike, Earth Reborn, 878 Vikings: Invasion of England, Sentient, Zendo

Unplayed: 

Best New to me:

Champions of Hara, Great Western Trail, The Quest for El Dorado, A Feast for Odin – The Norwegians

New 10s: A Feast for Odin – The Norwegians expansion

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2019 in Board games

 

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Board games – May highlights

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Champions of Hara – Enthousiastic

This is a hand management game which can be played competitively and cooperatively. I’m more interested in the coop/solo part. I’ve played it 5 times so far (2*2player, 1*3p and 2 solo)

Liked
– It has a very interesting hand management mechanic where each card has two abilities a character can activate. One is activated when the card is in your hand and the other when it’s in your tableau which then goes back into your hand. Leads to some interesting decisions.
– There are 6 total characters you can choose from. Some are more interesting than others but there’s a lot of material to choose from. Currently my favourites are Persephone and Leaf.
– Great variety of enemies and corrupted
– The art in the game. At first it thought it was fine but it’s constantly growing on me. It’s a colourful and vibrant world.
– Lore/Text – again the quality took it’s time to show itself to me but it refers to characters and monsters in the game creating a wonderful world to be in.
– Each character has 3 scenarios. I’ve only played 2 different ones so far but they were both good and they played differently.

Neutral
– I see myself playing the game solo and possibly 2 player. Game length will be an issue with a higher player number.

Disliked
– I keep making rules mistakes and it’s partly because i’m not as prepared as i should be. But the rulebook could have been done a lot better both in terms of the writing but also its layout.

Conclusion
– The hand management mechanic is a highlight but so are its replayability and its theme. I like what i’ve seen so far and i think it shows promise of being an excellent game. Even a great one.

https://amzn.to/2Ws67U5

The Big Book of Madness – Enthousiastic

A great session of The Big Book of Madness during one of our Game Nights. We were all very involved and immersed in the game. Constantly discussing how each player could help, providing ideas regardless of whose turn it was. Everyone was engaged throughout the game. I love this strong player interaction in TBoBM.

Relatively low rules overhead, does not outstay its welcome with great artwork. The theme is very thin but don’t let that keep you away from this hidden gem.

https://amzn.to/2ERk573

Magic Maze – Suggest

I hadn’t played Magic Maze in a long time and i have to admit it has lost some its appeal. I remember reading a review on ISlaytheDragon which said that the novelty wearing off will be an issue long term.

Having said that it was still fun to play, especially since it was a new group of players so there was a learning curve. I added the 1st guard from the Maximum Security expansion. I have my reservations with regards to the rest of the modules in the expansion but i will keep the Guard in all games, even with new players.

https://amzn.to/2WJDAsm

https://amzn.to/2WfAEz7

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2019 in Board games

 

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Board games – April highlights

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The Quest for El Dorado

A streamlined racing deck builder where you need to pay attention to other players? Designed by Knizia? Yes please! (Played it 4 player twice and with 2 players once)

What i Liked:

– Very easy to explain and understand.
– Equally good and accessible for gamers and non-gamers.
– Wonderful tension and difficult decisions throughout the race
– Fast turns
– The way new cards enter the market is fantastic
– Plays great with 2 and 4 players because all 4 meeples are in play making the board crowded.
– Duration – short and does not outstay its welcome

Neutral:

– Not many cards. In the short/medium term this won’t be a problem. Might even be a good thing as it forces players to learn to use the existing cards better. Might be an issue after many plays.

– Setup takes time compared to the length of the game especially if you want to play back to back games but with different board setups.

What i Disliked:

– The cards are too small. The game takes a lot of table space so maybe that’s why they made them small but i find the size very annoying.

Conclusion- Great game! Enthousiastic

Spirit Island

I hadn’t played it solo for some time and went for the combination of River Surges in Sunlight together with Lightning’s Swift Strike.

– First Adversaries were the French (Difficulty Level 6*3 times):
After i was easily defeated in the 1st game i changed tactics. Game number 2 was still a defeat but the two Spirits start clicking with me and with one another and victory was finally achieved in the 3rd game

– Next, mighty England (Difficulty Level 6*3 times):
I was by now very comfortable with River and Lightning together but i couldn’t keep up with English builds. In the first game i lost during a round where i resolved no fear cards which meant that they build 3 times plus the Flag build. In game number 2 it was much closer where i lost due to Blight. Game 3 was a disaster though. Easily defeated.

After so many plays Spirit Island still finds ways to excite me and makes me eager to bring it back to the table again and again. – Enthousiastic

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2019 in Board games

 

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Board games – March highlights

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Concordia
& Venus expansion

This expansion changes the way the game plays significantly. I rarely felt that i was playing the optimal card for both players because i was usually at a different stage of play than my team mate. At first this frustration made me dislike the game.

Once i accepted this, I started playing cards that seemed to be more beneficial to my partner than to me and vice versa. And when things clicked it felt great and my feelings started to change.

For example i wanted to play an Architect but i knew that would have been a wasted play for my partner. So i played a Prefect to give us both more resources. Then on her turn she played a Diplomat on a card with 2 options. She used a Mercator and left me with the Architect. That was fantastic, as i still got to do what i wanted but not at the expense of my partner.

What i Liked:

– Interaction
You now need to pay more attention to your partner and the game in general. Sometimes Concordia felt a bit too solitairish for my tastes but this changes the game a lot.
– Hellas map.
I don’t know why but i really liked this map. With 4 players it felt like you both had space to manoeuvre but also just crowded enough to make things more tense.
– Shared coins
We forgot to do this for the first few turns but after that we used it a lot and your playing options open up a lot. I could sell my wines getting coins giving my partner enough money to build. Also, the sense of guilt of using the other person’s coins is interesting to experience.

What i Disliked:

– Length.
I think this will be my main issue. Our game went long but i am hoping that it was because players were not experienced with the game. Also i think table talk should be kept to a minimum to keep the game flowing better.

Verdict: It started (30-40mins) with me feeling frustrated but once we got things going there was a great sense of satisfaction when we got things right.  – Mixed but feeling optimistic about this.

A Feast for Odin & The Norwegians expansion

I was feeling quite guilty about purchasing the expansion because there’s already  so much content and replayability in the base game. I only played with the expansion once (solo) but i was impressed. The new board game tightens things a lot because there are fewer spaces now available. Also, the additional column which signals the end of your turn creates additional tension. I also liked the new tiles/shapes and the personal starting building. It’s a really good package – Enthousiastic

Treasure IslandI only played this once. I enjoyed marking the map and it does give you a nice impression of treasure hunting. However, the map is sometimes hard to read (green player colour is basically unplayable) and a couple of components are difficult to use. The downtime is an issue and our session was way too long for this kind of game. Around 2hrs. – Indifferent

Charterstone – We finally finished the campaign. A mediocre worker placement game at best which then becomes an imbalanced one after 12 plays. – Avoid

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2019 in Board games

 

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1Q84, by Haruki Murakami (#1)

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I have mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, i enjoyed the story and will continue with books 2 and 3. On the other hand, with regards to the female characters, it reads like a male fantasy version of these characters.

P.S It’s annoying the way this trilogy has been published. I purchased the Kindle edition which has books 1-2 bundled together but i can’t buy book 3 on its own. That leaves me with the options of either buying the physical version of the book or buying the entire trilogy on Kindle.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2019 in Books

 

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