Author Archives: Costas Taliadoros

About Costas Taliadoros

Slighly bored, confused, in pain and desperately need some exercise.

Top 5 new-to-me of 2018 (so far)

So, the first 6 months of the year have gone by and I’ve learned 20 new games. This is my top 5 in descending order of plays.

The Mind (30) – This game is such a breath of fresh air. Whatever i say about this won’t do it justice. You need to play it.

Azul (7) – Very solid, fast and beautiful abstract game. Plays well with 2-3 players, yet to play it with 4.

Gloomhaven (6) – The best dungeon crawler I’ve played. Almost lived up to the hype. Almost.

Quartermaster General: 1914 (4) – This is what i wanted from the original QMG. Each power to be controlled by a different player. A lot easier to do that with 5 players compared to the 6 players of the original. Great game!

Fog of Love (3) – Still trying to wrap my head around what kind of game this is. But i am enjoying the process quite a bit.

What’s your Top 5/10?

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Posted by on July 2, 2018 in Board games


Board games – 2nd Quarter 2018 review

Total plays: 105

Distinct games: 24

New-to-me games: 9

The Mind, Azul, Fog of Love, Shadowrift, Legends of Andor, Schatz-Rabatz, Go Cuckoo, Through the Desert, Two Rooms and a Boom

Ten+ times: 2

The Mind (30), Spirit Island (16)

Five+ times: 4

Shadowrift (8), Azul (7), Too Many Bones (6), Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 (5)

Acquired: 11
Fog of Love, Illusion, Menara, 878: Vikings – Invasions of England, Sentient, Tyrants of the Underdark, QMG:194, Schatz-Rabatz, Go Cuckoo, Dominion, Kashgar

Removed:  16
Gloomhaven, 7 Wonders: Duel, Railways of the World, Homesteaders,  Mangrovia, Pi Mal Pflaufmen, Rolling Freight, Looney Quest, Barenpark, Jeju Island, Dr Microbe, Om Nom, Nom, Oh Schrek der Speck Flieg Weg, Dominion, Palaces of Carrara, Ortus Regni.

Owned: 179

There is something wrong with my data. I need an inventory check this quarter.

Unplayed: 31

Best New to me:

The Mind was a breath of fresh air. Strongly reminds me of Hanabi but this can be played a lot more casually.

Azul and Fog of Love were also excellent.

Legends of Andor and Through the Desert were pleasantly good to play.

New 10s: n/a

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Posted by on July 2, 2018 in Board games


Board games – 1st Quarter 2018 review

Total plays: 97

Fewer total plays but more quality play time. Fewer new games and most of the games i am playing i enjoy quite a bit.

Distinct games: 27

New-to-me games: 11

Ten+ times: 3

Spirit Island (14) , Dragonfire (15) and Pandemic Legacy 2 (12).

Oh yes, two of these are excellent games and i am happy i am playing them so often. Pandemic is a chore but at least i love playing games with this group.

Five+ Times: 2

Charterstone (5), Memoarrr! (5)

Another legacy game i don’t like but the group is great to play with. Memoarrr! is a big hit with the family. The girls always beat me at this game! Very good game.


Acquired: 10
(Sidereal Confluence, Race for the Galaxy, Gloomhaven, Dragonfire, Sakura Wars, Stuffed Fables, Hardback, Sherlock Holmes, Dominion, Quartermaster General: 1914)

Removed: 21

Owned:  188

I have my doubts as to how accurate this number on BGG as i think there are few games i have not marked as previously owned.

Unplayed: 37

Again, i have my doubts as to the accuracy of the number. It has definitely dropped though.

Best New to me:

Quartermaster General: 1914, Gloomhaven, Dragonfire, Phantom Leader Deluxe, Memoarrr!

New 10s: n/a


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Posted by on April 2, 2018 in Board games


Books in 2016

What a glorious year it was. One of the best i can remember in every way. In terms of quality, quantity and variety.

I really have to start with Elena Ferrante’s books which have been added to my all time favourite books. A masterpiece book series.

Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up had a profound effect on me which helped me de-clutter my life significantly. It’s a book i keep going back to and read a chapter here and there.

I also managed to re-read a book which once again met my very high expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Two remarkable books on the Congo, King Leopold’s Ghost and Dancing in the Glory of Monsters.

The Signature of all Things was probably the surprise of the year. I picked it up after reading James Harris’ “review“. Alma Whittaker was a wonderful character.

The complete list of books read below.



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hoschild

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa, by Jason Stearns


Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides

Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Empire, by Peter B. Doran


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy, by Irvin D. Yalom



To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (this was a re-read)

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Story of The Lost Child, by Elena Ferrante

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena Ferrante

The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante


A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

The Gift of Rain, by Tan Twan Eng

The Big Nowhere, by James Ellroy

The Ace of Skulls, by Chris Wooding


Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome, by Robert Harris


The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai


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Posted by on January 29, 2018 in Books


Books in 2017

This is my first post about books in almost 2.5 years. I never did write a review of books i read for 2016 and for 2015 i wrote something in August detailing the year up until then. My intention was to just cover 2017 but after seeing how great a year 2016 was it would be a shame to not write a post about that year too.

Let’s get back to 2017 though. Now that i’ve written all the books down i can see what has always felt to have been a very poor year. Maybe mediocre is a better word for it. I had a craving for thrillers and unfortunately most of my picks proved to be quite forgettable.

The exceptions (highlighted below in bold) were Luke McCallin’s Gregor Reinhart Trilogy and A Delicate Truth by John Le Carre.

Another thing that catches the eye is that i only read 1 non-fiction book. I am not sure why to be honest.

Finally at the end of this year i wanted to read books that my eldest niece (almost 10 years old) is reading. I started with The Witches by Roald Dahl which was disappointing but followed it up last week with the brilliant Matilda. I feel children books will be a theme for me this year.


Dollars and Sense: How we Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter, by Dan Ariely


The Divided City, by Luke McCallin

The Pale House, by Luke McCallin

The Man from Berlin, by Luke McCallin

Sashenka, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Girl Who Wasn’t There, by Ferdinach von Schirach

Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

Bad Blood, by Brian McGilloway

My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout

A Delicate Truth, by John Le Carre

The Collini Case, by Ferdinach von Schirach

The Witches, by Roald Dahl

Empire State, by Adam Christopher




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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Books


Board games – 4th Quarter 2017 review

Total plays: 111 (155 in 2016, 129 in 2015, 90 in 2014, 70 in 2013)

Distinct games35 (57 in 2016, 52 in 2015, 39 in 2014, 44 in 2013)

New-to-me games14 (31 in 2016, 24 in 2015, 14 in 2014, 26 in 2013)

Ten+ times: 1  (3 in 2016, 2 in 2015, 0 in 2014, 0 in 2013)

Spirit Island

Five+ Times: 2 (5 in 2016, 3 in 2015, 3 in 2014, 2 in 2013)

Strike, Die Fiesen 7


Acquired: 3

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, Winner’s Circle, Mintworks (this was a present)

I bought 1 game that broke my resolution and i am very happy with this. 

Removed: 32

Too many to add. The collection cull will continue in 2018. 

Owned:  182 (211)

I think my target is around 100-125 games at the moment.

Unplayed: 37 (67)

Best New to me: 

Ethnos, Die Fiesen 7 and Defenders of the Last Stand


New 10s:  N/A

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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Uncategorized


Board games – 3rd Quarter 2017 review

Total plays: 86 (131 in 2016, 124 in 2015, 97 in 2014, 71 in 2013)

Distinct games32 (52 in 2016, 43 in 2015, 39 in 2014, 28 in 2013)

New-to-me games12 (15 in 2016, 15 in 2015, 13 in 2014, 9 in 2013)

Strike, Spirit Island, Roll Player, Medici: TCG, Blood Bowl, Dice Forge, Exit series, The Lost Expedition, Barenpark, A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King, Kanagawa, Viticulture: Essential Edition,

Ten+ times: 2  (1 in 2016, 0 in 2015, 1 in 2014, 1 in 2013)

Spirit Island, Strike

Five+ Times: 1 (9 in 2016, 8 in 2015, 6 in 2014, 2 in 2013)

Too Many Bones


Acquired: 12

Trains, Trains: Rising Sun, Ortus Regni, Blue Moon: Legends, Automobiles, Automobiles: Racing Season, Millennium Blades, Roll Player, Defenders of the Last Stand, Spirit Island, Branch & Claw expansion, Tiefe Taschen

Removed: 22

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Dixit, Dixit: Odyssey, Dixi 2, Mare Nostrum: Empires, Mare Nostrum: Atlas expansion, Time Stories, Under The Mask, Expedition Edurance, The Lost Expedition, Bruges, Vikings, The Fall of Pompeii, Marcy Case, Stephenson’s Rocket, The Downfall of Pompeii, Exit Series (The Secret Lab, The Abandoned Cabin, The Pharaoh’s Tomb), Mission: Red Planet, Brewcrafters, Liberte.

I made a public pledge not to buy any more games (apart from Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 and a kickstarter i pledged for) until the end of the year. This will solve the acquisition addiction while i continue to dispose of games.

Owned:  211 (221)

Unplayed: – (67)

Best New to me:

Spirit Island is one of the best games i’ve played in years. Definitely my favourite co-op game of all time.

Also enjoyed Roll Player, Kanagawa.

New 10s:  Spirit Island

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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Uncategorized