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Saturday, October 27, 2012

What i last played 28 Oct 2012

In Singapore its a public holiday on Friday so I had the opportunity to have a lot of gaming in! Got to try 2 new games and a few good oldies and I must say it has been a very satisfying few days.
Lets see what I played:


Played 2 games of 2 player Milestones. Both games I manage to break past 80 points and its a first for me. Milestones is rapidly becoming a top 10 for me in 2012 and somehow the game clicks for me on many levels. It is easy to teach, easy to learn and fast to play. Only when you start to ponder how to score points and what materials you need to exchange and convert will the game bog down somewhat. My friend who played with me is not too fond of it yet. I think he will need several plays before he can form an opinion about it. I would recommend this to gamers that like medium weight euros especially if you enjoy the rondel mechanism.

PLATO 3000

After the disastrous 4 player game I had previously (where I did not read the rule correctly for "extending the job") my next few games (with 2 and 3 players) have been excellent and very fun! I will certainly recommend this game as a 2 / 3 player light game that is again, easy to teach and fun to play. For those that like rummy style games this is a very good game to try. The artwork is fantastic and I love the bold colors. Text on the card is easy to read and comprehend. Now I can understand why many people rave about this card game. Not sure if it will reach my top 10 for 2012 but it is certainly a good contender!


A friend of mine backed the Kickstarter for Fleet and I managed to snag a copy from him as my interest was piped after talking to Joel (Drive Thru Review fame) and I was eager to give it a go. So far I have played 4 or 5 games including in my office during lunch. This is a light weight card game that reminds me of Race for the Galaxy lite. You are trying to manage your hand of cards so as to have enough to bid during auctions, pay to and use to launch ships and to captain these ships. So in summary you are trying to create a card generating engine to help you score points and win the game. Its quite a fun game for now at least and I will look forward to playing with the other kickstarter promos, though it was mentioned to me that the weather and casino license cards are horrible (awww but the casino comes with that large wooden die!). If you have a copy of the game, you got to have the fish-eeples. They are very nicely done and draws the players into the game so much more than just blue cubes. Many players have commented how cute they are! So give this a try if you haven't and especially if you are a race for the galaxy fan (no role choosing though).


4 player Seasons! Manage to have a game of this with 4 players in person. I went with my usual route which is to have as many cards as I can. I haven't mastered the transmutation way though I have been trounced online with that many a times. It is fun and all but I am not sure why its not as fun as I had imagined it to be in my head. I am wondering if the wooden cubes on the too small numbers is irking me even though it is really a very small issue. The art is awesome and I think its the same artist that did Isla Dorada as well as the upcoming Tokaido. Very good components, awesome art, not a bad game (even for 4) as long as people do not suffer from analysis paralysis. I am still not sure if I am going to keep my copy from NYC though, but we'll see when it arrives :)


Another favorite of mine and one that will probably be in my Top 10 for 2012. Its always fun to play this game and I tried a different route than my usual strategy this time. I did not gun for the Village Chronicles this time and was trying alternative strategy (i.e. go via the Travel route). However, halfway through the game, we found ourselves going back to our usual strategy which was quite amusing. We had a tense last round and because we had never found ourselves in such a situation before, the victor narrowly won the game. I came in 3rd and I realized the importance of the Village chronicle in the game. I added the extra customer tiles I have bought from BGG and they don't seem to impact the original game too much. Very fun medium euro worker placement style of game and one I recommend as well!


3 player Marrakech! I haven't tried this game with 3 yet and it was interesting to see how big swaths of the same carpets can appear on the map. It made for a very treacherousness maneuvering of Assam the meeple but luckily for us we did not step into the sea of yellow carpets. Still quite a fun game for me as I love the components and how simple the game is yet holds quite a bit of tactical depth for me.


Had the opportunity to bring this out again and 3 of us have played before with the last player being new to the game. I added the promos from BGG and that event which drew out another red card was painful. Throughout this game, we did not really clear a lot of the events and thus we found them hurting us way too much. The rules for activating cards can sometimes be a bit confusing for me, especially when I start to think about multiple chains. Still this is a rather unique and fun game. You can find it online at I am not too sure what Ladies of Troyes will bring to the game. So far it seems there will be an extra smaller board and a few more cards to add to the base game. Think I will most likely buy it because I do like Troyes quite a bit. Good game, good game.


This and HEAP are the only mistake purchases from GENCON. I was "duped" by the graphics and the impulse buy that I bought both of them at GENCON after an initial demo of HEAP at the booth. The game itself is not bad but for the amount of time it took for 3 of us to play this game (almost 2 hours), it does not justify the amount of fun we had. In the end, after I lost all my Parts pile, we stopped the game and played something else. I think perhaps we can reduce the Parts pile per player and thus end the game earlier. That may help the game somewhat. 


Ah, the game where you are a mad scientist and you are trying to perform your evil deeds and you have this village setup above your lair as a distraction. To ensure the secret agents of the world do not disrupt your evil plans and discover your existence, you must ensure the people in the village (who you have conveniently brain washed) perform their daily routines as normal.
Well at least that is the story I tell everyone. Otherwise its hard to explain why you can:
1) control when they work and wake up
2) control whom they marry
3) control which gender the offspring shall be
All jokes aside, this is a very unique game to play because there is marrying involved (which allows you access to another player's house (and product) and making babies (which gives you more work force provided you have a married couple in the same house in your village). There are no goods components per say because any and all goods that you produced will be used up immediately. Thus you only activate your person to get the goods when you can use it. A very good game and I recommend this as well!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

MARRAKECH - That carpet game


Today, I review this game called Marrakech. This game was first released in 2007 (hey the year I got married! :P) and was a 2008 Spiel des Jahres Nominee. The game is a light filler with interesting tactical choices. Its easy to setup, teach and play.
During your turn, you will first decide if you want to orientate the big meeple left, right or leave it as it is. Then you will roll a dice which shows 1-4 slippers and move the meeple that number of spaces in the direction you have chosen. If he reaches the edge of the board, you will just follow the arrows (subtly designed as floor mosaic) and continue moving the meeple. If the meeple ends his move on an opponent's carpet, then you will count the number of that same opponent's carpet that is joined to the carpet that the meeple has landed on. You will pay that opponent an amount of money equals to the number of squares. The last action for your turn will be to place your own carpet adjacent to the meeple (1 side of the carpet must touch the square the meeple is on). Then that is the end of your turn.
Depending on the number of players, the game will end once all players have placed their carpets on the board. Players now count the number of exposed carpets of theirs and combine this with the remaining money and the player with the most points (1 square of carpet = 1 point, 1$ = 1 point) is the winner.
The game has pretty good components. Each carpet is made of felt material, colored differently and has different patterns for the color impaired. The meeple is quite large and will not topple easily even though he is placed on top of multiple stacked carpets. In the games we have played, there can be sometimes 5 or 6 carpets stacked together so the heft of the meeple is quite important. Initially, the board will look rather boring and plain but the end game often presents a very beautiful image with all the carpets in various positions.
So far my gaming groups all enjoy this game and there is even hooting and hollering when we are hoping our opponent's meeple lands on our carpet. This reminds me of monopoly when we are hoping our opponents land on our hotels. I have only played this game with 4 so far but I have heard 2 players is also rather good. There are a 2 colors with more carpets though so playing 2 players I guess will be limited to those colors. Its a minor issue not a big one. The availability and the price point may deter some as this is quite hard to find and can be expensive so take note of that.
While this is considered a light game to me, it does present interesting tactical choices when it comes to laying your carpet. Do you want to cover your opponents but not join to your existing carpets just to protect yourself or prevent them from scoring more points? Do you want to keep moving the meeple to your area so you can grow the number of carpets you have for that big score?

So all in all, this is an oldie but a goodie in my book and I would heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a light family game that can appeal to casual gamers as well. Try to find your copy today!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What I last played....

This covers the week up to today (saturday, 20th Oct).


My friend had a copy of this which I saw got played when I arrived late. I was taken by the simple game play and unique components, the cloth pieces which resemble carpets. This is a Spiel De Jahres nominee and currently quite hard to find. I manage to get that friend's copy and have played it several times since. Price wise its pretty high but for the game play that it delivers which is unique in my collection, I think its worth it. The game is fast to teach and play. During your turn, you first choose a direction for the big meeple to go, then roll a dice (ranges from 1-4) and move him that many spaces. If he stops on an opponent's carpet, you have to pay 1 dollar for every piece of exposed and connected carpet pieces to that carpet. Afterwards, place a piece of your carpet (which covers 2 spaces) adjacent to the spot where the meeple is on. The game ends when all players have placed all their carpets onto the board and the winner is the player who has the most money plus exposed carpet spots combined. I think its fun with the right group of people because of the hooting and hollering when you are hoping your opponent lands on your spot. Reminds me a little of the portion when playing monopoly and you have already your hotels all erected and awaiting victims to land to pay you. Great little game and I recommend it.

Die Säulen von Venedig

A much older game that was won by a friend during a recent boardgame auction. Its not a bad game as it take a unique twist on the role selection as you pass the role you selected to the player on your left after the round has completed. Definitely a unique game and one I did not get a hand on and lost horribly at the end. There is no english version though and if you intend to get it, you will need to have a card sheet next to you or print out  and replace the cards. Not bad, definitely worth a play to see how it is.

A relatively new game I believe and with components and gameplay that reminds me of Paris Connection. Gameplay, during your turn you can choose a share to auction (if there are any remaining) or lay tracks for a train company where you at least own a share. Simple? Sounds so. But not so in practise. Firstly, components wise, its a mixed bag. The shares or of a very thin paper stock and flimsy. There is also not ENOUGH variations of coins provided. You will almost certainly need poker chips as you will either be running out of coins OR spending a LOT of your time changing money to the bigger denominations and this is not very fun. After every laying of a track, there will be payout. FOR EVERY COMPANY.  It would have been ok if it was a simple affair. However the shares payout mechanism is rather convoluted and requires a lot of calculations! I appreciate how they want to differentiate the train companies with their special characteristics but having a player aid or with symbols on the board will definitely make the game much more easier. The end game mechanism is also quite odd as it will take a bit of time before the game can end and thus subjective as well. All in all, perhaps we may have had some rules wrong or the game requires a few more plays to shine. But for me at least it failed.

OMG a party game. Luckily this was the last game of the night but even then for a party like game (come on, you are required to throw dice with at least 1 bounce on the surface before it hits the target area) it did take a bit longer than expected. Party game. I prefer my party games to be really of a lighter fare and more fun. This wasn't really that much fun for me plus its co-op! Though I am glad to have played it once. Never again! never again....

So in Niagara, you will have to, using clever maneuvering, manage your 2 canoes to bring back either 4 of the SAME gems, 5 different gems or 7 gems of any combination. This is easier said then done as your canoe can fall off the falls and require you to use 1 gem to bring it back OR have your gem stolen as you make your way back upstream to deposit the gem. Not a very easy game and can take longer than expected to finish the game. Good components though.

Ah.... this game.... lotsa love-hate on the geek about this. I do like it but with my previous plays, it does seem as if something is not connecting it all for me. This time when I played it (though with 3 new players), it clicked all for me. I knew what I was doing and what i was aiming for and I won handily with 177 points. I had so much money during the game and was able to keep scoring on most events. Long game though, took over 3 hours to play. But it does have that epic game feel and all the players agreed it was a good game. Now if I can get someone to make them buildings into 3D for me :P

This game is quickly becoming my top 10 game of 2012. Easy to each, many ways to score without being overwhelmed by the options. You can plan ahead and take your turn pretty fast unless there are major developments on the board. You need to know when to time it such that you can make the last scoring strike to end the game and bring in the win for you. I was actually 10+ points behind when during my last turn, I manage to score 14 points, end the game at a turn which was disadvantageous for the other players (they had to visit the king as 1 of their actions). In addition, I had majority in 2 of the 5 categories of workers and was tied in 1 which sealed the victory for me. Great great game. I will want to play Village some more to see if they are both equal in my top 10. Very highly recommended!


I played Cuba twice and I managed to grab my own copy for pretty cheap at GENCON2012. This time though it did not feel as fun for me as it did the first 2 times I played it. I was expecting a lot of buildings to be built but I only managed to have 2. Halfway through the game, my engine was pretty much set or decided for me and the rest of the rounds I was just running through my paces. Something seemed to be lacking and I am wondering if the expansions will enhance the game experience for me. Odd.

PLATO 3000
PLATO 3000 the last game of the night. Its a light filler card game with awesome and witty art and colors. Bright and colorful and easy to play. Its essentially like gin rummy. First player who, over several rounds, reaches 100 points will win the game. I think this might work better with 2 or 3 and I will need to try it with that to have a final conclusion. Playing with 4 makes for a very fast game (unless you have 2 sets) and thus the experience seems a bit wanting. My friends have said this game is very fun and I hope to be able to make my judgement after a few more plays.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quick update!

BGG is showing Essen live now! you can view the channel here
In singapore, the connection has been average but still very watchable.

In other iOS news, Dominant Species for iPad is a very very good port! AIs are not bad as well! My first game I came in 2nd with a score of 147. I heard that Qin is very good. I may just get that as well!

Monday, October 15, 2012

just wondering.....

can anyone actually post comments? I think I set the configurations correct and I do have a fairly healthy number of readers but so far no one has posted any comments..... just wondering if blogger is working here..... test test please? :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week gaming ending 13 Oct

Lets go lets go lets go!

Often the 2 rivers combine...
Dos Rios is a worker placement game where during your turn you are trying to place your people at the best places to capitalize on the upcoming harvest which may activate all tiles that are irrigated by the river or certain tiles only. Whenever harvest is activated and your people are on that particular tile(tiles), you will get $100. The objective of the game is to be the first to build all 5 buildings (you will need $3000) or 4 buildings that are all irrigated (including a Hacienda) which you will need $2500. This is a game where there is a LOT of pushing, shoving, positioning and sabotaging the other players. A game of high interaction and careful planning. The game is rather simple to teach and play, but can be highly tactical and surprisingly deep. Not bad.

So many colors!
I manage to bring out Quebec again. This game is very fun for me as there are so many avenues to win and you need to attract the other players to contribute to your building thus allowing for interaction during the game. I still have yet to grasp the scoring fully as I lost horribly in the game to the rest who are new players. This game could use good player aids though for players to refer as there are a lot of symbols and interesting concepts in the game. A good medium weight game that I recommend.

So I discard your poop, i mean earth..
I have heard of this game but never thought it will fit my group. A colleague of mine placed and order and we brought it out for 8 players during an office lunch session. Its a very light game where you just react to the card that you draw during your turn. Objective is to get 5 different types of elements in front of you (stars count as wild) and you win the game. There is a lot of screwage and its pretty hard to win unless people do not notice you or you happen to pick up the right card during your turn to win. This portion reminds me of Evil Baby Orphanage or Munchkin where there are a lot of things that others can do to stop you from winning but you just need 1 lucky draw/move to win. Party game and not really for me nor my usual groups.

Very low scoring game. I won with 11 points.
Brought out this game again and this time around, it was a pretty low scoring game. I am not sure is it because we were guarding each other very effectively or we both had the same mindset but I won by 4 points only. This game is surprisingly hard to find in Singapore at affordable prices. If you have read my previous post, you will notice that at Essen, they will be releasing an expansion for this with new special buildings and other stuff. I will be looking forward to that as this is a good game with nice bits. Now if they gave a few more of those (4) cardboard tokens then we won't have a leaning tower of Sheepples.

See my super protected remote server? Did not work :(
I was the corporation this time and I must say I have more fun playing the runner. This game requires a very good shuffle of the cards because if you don't happen to draw Ice during your first few rounds you are pretty much screwed as the runners can get their way with your servers. I do wish there was a rules translation to modern terms to allow for better understanding of the rules (i.e. Firewall instead of Ice, Hacking instead of Running) but after a few plays you get the hang of it and its smooth sailing. I was hoping that my very protected remote server can serve as my agenda scoring machine but I neglected my R&D which gave the Runner the final 2 points to win the game. This game lasted longer than usual due to the runner not having many icebreakers and me not having a lot of credits to do much. Still a very good game for me and I do look forward to the expansions that FFG has already announced.

Did not seem as fun anymore! Noooooo
Seasons! My copy is still with my wife in NYC and I managed to get a play with a friend's copy. As mentioned on several other places, the components are really nice. Dice are large and chunky and the art work is really astounding and Hi-resolution. Only complaints are the score board could have been larger and the player card could have been larger as well. This is because to keep track of your score and summoning limit, you use the standard cubes which are a little too big for the numbers they are covering. You also need a surprisingly large amount of space to play due to the number of cards you can summon. In the early stage of the game I was leading as I was getting 3 points at the end of every round for having at least 4 energy and it seemed like a difficult case for my opponent to beat me. Halfway through and near the end, he managed to score 20+ points due to the cards which counts the number of magic items that you have in play. At the end, we had thought we were at a tie until i realised every card in your hand deducts 5 points. So through this, I won by 5 points. Its not a bad game but sometime during the game I found the game has lost its luster and glamour for me. I was really looking forward to my copying reaching here and playing it with my wife but now it seems to have reached a new MEH level. What has happened? I am not too sure..... :(

Its a simpler reimagining of Twilight Struggle
Last game of the night I brought out 1955. This game reminded my opponent a lot about Twilight Struggle in terms of the push and pull mechanism of the game. We were pretty tired at this point so did not really think a lot and put up a lot of struggle. I manage to win by getting my opponent's home country into my area. I do like the game (now that I know the correct rules) and I hope to get more plays in before I decide if it stays or if it goes.

Yay! Its coming its coming and I cannot wait to look at the online shop to see what goodies i can grab. Though it will take a slow boat to reach me (as in real ship-shipping), its still way cheaper than paying for the air freight from usa to Singapore. Its surprisingly that most online shops in USA do not offer ship-shipping. I bet they will make a lot of money if they do as most people outside of USA can order more freely without the expensive air freight prices!

Yay the BGG's secret santa sign up is now on! I had a lot of fun last year and I will definitely be joining this year again :) I wonder if the podcasters have their own secret santa where they give each other gifts. Hmm.. interesting food for thought.

Monday, October 8, 2012

SPIEL 2012: What strikes my fancy?

Spiel or Essen 2012 is just around the corner (about 2 weeks away?) and Boardgamegeek, the site I frequent, has a preview list of games that will be released at Essen. You can find the list here
There are SO MANY games that will be released that its really quite crazy how many new games are released in a year. I believe this year has a bumper crop of games and my wallet is already protesting! Not to mention my cupboard space! Nevertheless, lets take a look at what games that are coming out that excite me:

I had a demo of this game at GENCON 2012 and its a light-medium worker placement game with a lot of interaction. The components do look nice except for the scoring pieces which are quite small and maybe a bit impractical. But otherwise, seems like a well designed game.

Hmmm city building... well spaceport building that has mechanisms similar to City Tycoon. I am probably going to pass on such games until I try it first. I do still want to have a good city building type game in my collection but I want to be more discerning now.

Another of those city building games which seems to have a same concept as City Tycoon. Place a tile, see what adjacent tiles it activates and score points. Difference is each player has their own area to manage and grow. I will have to give this a try first before I buy.

Space race game with nice cardboard rockets! I have been wanting to try High Frontier (after playing Bios Megafauna and owning it) but I was not too sure if I had the group of people to play it with me several times. I am hoping this is like High Frontier light and will be a new theme for me to try out.

Another game I tried at GENCON 2012 and it is a light game with nice sheep-ples. Should appeal to casual gamers and new gamers alike and its easy to teach and play.

This game has been getting a lot of buzz in the podcast scene due to the presence of connected gears on the board representing calendars. Apparently it is advertised as having a dynamic worker placement mechanism. Should be interesting to see how it all works. I am particularly interested in how it is all kept or if the wheels are installed permanently onto the board the first time.

I have always wanted to play more of Shadows over camelot but I don't have a copy and well, it did not appeal to be enough to warrant me to get a copy. Well Days of Wonder will be releasing the card game version which plays 1-7! I have started to play boardgames solo recently and this will be right up my alley. Hearing the initial reviews and comments, it seems like a must buy for me.

Ever since I played this game at my friend's place I have been hooked. I went to get a copy and have been bringing it out regularly as a starter or an ender to a long day of gaming. It is fun, light, easy to play and I am pretty excited there is an expansion for this that add some interesting new rules! Definitely a must buy for me.

Latest game from the Fragor brothers. The components, as usual, look really good. Gameplay wise probably will not really appeal to me. But I am lucky to have a friend that managed to get onto the order list and I will look forward to playing her copy :)

Saw this at GENCON 2012 and I was itching to have a play. After observing it though I am not too sure if I will enjoy the gameplay. It seems to be a light game and the artwork is so awesome. Light, clean but aesthetically pleasing. I would definitely get it if just for the art alone but when i saw the copy at GENCON, it did not look like they were high quality components. I do hope what I saw was just the pre-production copy. *Cross Fingers*!

Something about farming, rearing animals and cute cute components (hmmm I am sensing a trend here....) I will keep an eye out for this but not sure if I will get it.

This seems like Citadels version 2. I have always been looking for an improved version of Citadels and reading the description makes me want to grab this and see how much better it is. Citadels was one of the few boardgames that I started with and owned and it sure would be nice to see a newer version with new rules to spice things up!

I have been enjoying Agricola:All Creatures Big and Small and this seems to be an expansion for it! Additional special buildings and more things? Must buy for me!

Le Havre, a game that I was initially apprehensive about playing because it seems a very thinky and super euro game. Well I am glad I took a step and learnt how to play and to my surprise I love the game! I even have the iOS version and play the solo game regularly. This is the 2 player version and if its like Agricola:ACBAS, I am sure it will be a good game. Must buy!

What? There is a board game based on the movie? SERIOUSLY ? Well if you have not watched the movie, go watch it. It is surprisingly funny and not too cheesy with nice special effects. I wonder how the boardgame will be like though. Intriguing....

On a whim I decided to trade for Antiquity and gave it a go. OMG it is so stressful playing the game as I feel so bad destroying every piece of land I harvest resources from. This is the latest release from Splotter and is supposed to be faster version of Antiquity. Indeed I hope so as my first 2 player game of Antiquity took me almost 3 hours to play!

I still haven't played enough of my copy of Mage Knight and there's an expansion coming out? Still this will be a must buy for me seeing how I am enjoying solo play of Mage Knight. I will have to try to bring it out 1 day for a 4 player game at least to see how things go. The expansion increases the player count to 5 now and I am not sure how long that will take! Box says 6 hours though (OMG)

Sigh... I still have not played my copy of Fleet captains. Expansion is only available for demo at ESSEN but this will probably be a must buy for me. I'll probably just play with the miniatures and fly around my room :)

Did anyone else noticed that there seems to be a lot of city building type games being released? Its as if the designers were all given a common theme to create from some secret boardgame consortium else they will no longer be allowed to design or something!

Also there seems to be a few games based on the Aztec/Mayan theme. I wonder if boardgame designers / publishers deliberately implement these themes to capitalize on current trends. Hmmm.. interesting food for thought.

Weekend Gaming 8-9th October

It has been a very rewarding weekend as I played 2 games that I really wanted to table again and I finally understand why one of them is rated so highly. Lets take a look!

A rather compact valley to explore
I brought out Lost Valley again because I wanted to see if it will last in my collection. This time though it did not feel as fun as with the previous group. I think it felt like a chore to the others. So far in my games I have never bought any extra wares or items as it did not feel worthwhile to trek all the way back to get any. Also in both plays, players tend to explore a lot and thus the last piece of the river seems to be placed fairly early which sets up for the end of game. Its kinda average for me right now but I'll give it 1 more go before it is up for trade.

4 hours of struggling and wheeling and dealing!
I enjoyed playing Dominant Species the last 2 times i played it. It had a lot of thinking and brain-gyming (as i call it) that got me all flustered and excited at the same time. Dominant Species the card game was SO disappointing then to me when I got it. So I went out to get myself the latest edition of Dominant Species. Been wanting to break it out and last weekend I got my chance. We played 1 round first to let everyone have a good grasp of mechanics before we reset and went for a full game. With 5 players, it took us almost 4 hours to play the game but it was a very fun 4 hours. A lot of cajoling and misdirection here and at the last round, I chose a lot of Competition which gave me the opportunity to become dominant in several more areas. I won in the end as these dominant areas brought me a whopping 45 points, much to the anguish of several players. Fun game, fun game. I would love to bring it out with the group of librarians I play games with and see how the biological aspect of the game appeals to them. :)

2 games and I won both! I had fun as the runner 
Sunday I managed to snag some 2 player game time. First up is Netrunner. After my first play as the Corporation, I wasn't too sure what all the hype was. Now after 2 games of this on sunday as the runner, I realised why this game is so fun. Granted I may have had victory-biased (I won both games) but I think after these 2 games the whole concept and gameplay clicked for me. I was no longer still comparing it with Magic the gathering but able to appreciate it by itself. Good game and I hope to bring it out to expose more people to the game. Hopefully we can get a deck building aspect going and have at least a regular session going!

I seldom have the roads so far extended in the map
Next, we tried Milestones 2 players. I never tried any of my multiplayer boardgames with just 2 but I brought along Milestones because I had thought the game will be fast. Indeed it went pretty fast (maybe about an hour) and its more vicious because if your opponent makes mistakes and you are in a position to make use of the mistaskes, you can really run away with the points you score. This is also the first time I had roads built all the way to the end of the board. I went with the coins technique again which won my first game for me when I was at GENCON 2012. I will try that again to see if that is a sure-win strategy.

Fun first game! Did not cook a lot but won by 2 points.
Last game we played was Morels. I have gotten my copy quite some time ago and I have been yearning to give it a go and I was glad to bring it out yesterday. After going through the rules and some clarifications, we managed to complete a game. We did not really manage the decay pile very well though and it quickly grew too big for any of us to take. We also did not cook a lot of mushrooms (only 2 pans of it each) so our score was rather low. I expect this will get a few more plays with me because its light, easy to teach and play and not a bad little game. Recommended! Getting the extra pieces like walking sticks and pans does spruce up the game a little but its not necessary.

So all in all, a great weekend gaming session! Hope you all had fun as well!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Week of gaming ending 5th Oct

I have been gaming quite a lot lately as I am running through my GENCON goodies hoping to get a good sense of what stays and what has to go to make room for ESSEN goodies! :P So here goes my gaming session reports!


Laying some HURT on them heroes!
So I was pleasantly surprised and very excited when I heard that one amongst the group of lady librarians that I play boardgames with actually bought descent! We had a gaming session over the weekend and we brought it out for a go. All of them (except me) have not played Descent before so it was interesting to see how they interact and play the game. I have only played the 1st edition once when I joined a meetup in New York and it was an ok experience but took 2 or 3 hours to play.. The 2nd Edition was rather fast as it took just a little over an hour to setup and play. I, being the slightly more experienced gamer, took on the role of the overlord. On hindsight, I think I was a little too brazen being the overlord as I marched my boss creature up to the party of heroes to try to lay some hurt on them. I did manage to KO one of the characters though before they collectively brought me down. Components are excellent as usual of an FFG production though unpainted seems to leave something more to be desired. Gameplay is rather straight forward as you move, and if you can, fight. Roll some dice and see the results. Dice are also engraved so its easy to see the results of your role. The first introduction game though may not immediately capture the players in though this could have been bad Overlord-ing from my part. Still, I think this game will shine if there is a group of dedicated gamers that invest in their characters and want to play the campaign mode. I do hope that the gaming group can "level" up and get to like it enough to play campaign but we'll see. Players that do not prefer the co-op element should avoid this as it may get a little boring for them. 

DIXIT Odyssey 
Hoppity hop hop
We broke out Dixit for something light after our Descent experience and we played 2 games of this. One with the Party rules and the other with the normal rules. We much prefer the normal rules as you as the story teller get more incentive during the game. Though I personally felt that the Party rules had a bit more depth as you have to psycho analyse the group. This game involves a lot of creativity among the players as well as a lot of analysis to second guess people. The normal rules though tend to break down a little when the number of players gets larger mainly because even if your clues are obvious, there will be at least 1 or 2 players that will not get it and thus netting you the 3 points. The group had fun playing the game and that's always good! :)

Here's a really its a cockroach!
I love this party game. Its light and fun to teach and play. Good card quality (though I may have to sleeve them soon from the many plays) and interesting art. Though its amusing to me that the different graphics used for the same animal seems to confuse people. There is a little symbol on the top left and right corners of the card but people tend to focus on the main picture and also miss the color tones used. Nevertheless, it requires players to try to out think others and this makes it very fun for me. It will also fit very well as a drinking game (if you lose, you drink) and that should make it more fun as one struggles to out think with a befuddled brain. Highly recommended!

Mix a little here, Dab a little there...
I first played Pastiche at my previous apartment when a gamer visiting from New Zealand popped by. That was the first version and did not have the fancy frames that this newer version had. The whole box is chock full of high quality components which makes it a very visually pleasing game to look at. I would have preferred the board to have an easy to view color chart so that we won't need to keep referring to our small player aid to see what colors we get. Overall I feel that this game is pretty light and the theme a bit dry for my taste. There is not a lot of interaction nor direct prevention of the leader from running away. The game also takes a little too long for my taste. While the game requires trading with each other, there is often not that much incentive to trade unless you are hitting the hand limit at the end of your turn. 

Its like Rat Race advanced!
So one from my usual gaming group bought this and brought it for us to try out. Its a game that reminds me of game of life or even Ratrace (from donkey years ago). Basically you have a character and some stats to start off with and throughout the years, try to earn as much money as you can. You can do so from a variety of ways which is working hard, achieving your Karnaxis (or goal in life), planning for retirement, stocks as well as setting up companies. Even though the theme is overused and not uncommon, I did not feel the game was very bad or boring. Granted there is now errata and new version of the rules to counter some of the complaints and lack of proper play testing, we still had quite a bit of fun. Oh and the art is horrible. It could have been done way better and may have brought up the level of enjoyment up quite a few notches. But nevertheless, it is pretty fun. You can play this solo as well. Not exactly a modern boardgame but still quite playable.

Water makes the world goes around!
Played another round of Farmerama before I sold my copy off. I realised that one of the elements of the game that I dislike is when you are performing your own actions, not exactly paying attention to others nor are others able to check on what you are doing. Though we are all honorable people and trust should be fundamental in your gaming group, sometimes, especially after a long game session, people can get tired and make mistakes and no one is usually paying attention to help you correct it. I feel I am beginning to shun games like that as it feels like a multiplayer solitaire. I am finding i like my games with a lot more interaction.

Dig Dig Diggity
I have heard a lot of this game but I did not pull the trigger on it because well, the art was so-so to me. Luckily one of my gaming group friends got a copy and I had a chance to play it. Not a bad game but quite subjective to what you draw out of the bag. Every turn you get to draw 6 chits out of a bag and then you decide where to place them. There are several actions on your card and once an action has 2 chits, you can perform that action. Once you have arranged them, the player turn begins. Each player turn in the chits for that action they wish to perform and then perform that action. Each player plays and action and then the next player takes his/her turn and so on until all players have passed. Most of the actions involve digging up materials and you can dig up as many materials as you have workers on the map at the right locations. Then you sell them and immediately get the money. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins. One of the problems i have with this game is the trust issue i mentioned in Farmerama. Another is that there is not much incentive to spawn more goods on the map. You can spawn when you cannot place the chits on the board. Every such extra chit will translate into a good on the map which you ca choose from the supply on top of the board. But since players will tend to try to dig as much as they can to earn more money to win the game, you may end up not being able to reap what you sowed. Furthermore, its not that easy to create extra chits to cause the resupply. I may need a few more plays to "test the mechanisms".

AGRICOLA: All Creatures Big and Small

Not one of my better plays as I had thought I was doing well but I did not have a lot of high value buildings and lost the game. Its a pretty neat little 2 player game and with very little randomness, its all dependent on the players so in this way, I guess its somewhat like a chess game. The very nice animal-eeples really do help make the game more acceptable by the masses. Good game, Good game.

Hey that's my fish!
Next game we played was Mare Balticum which is essentially a fish game with a unique movement mechanism. Each player has 3 actions per turn which you can either move a ship token (all ships must still be linked), fish (pick up a fish token where you have a ship on) and sell fish (at a port where your ship is there). Easy to teach and play and there is a bit of strategic depth to the game which is surprising given how light the game seems to be. The artwork is gorgeous and it was made known to me that they made the boards in clay and took a picture and printed the pictures out. That to me is awesome though they could probably sell the clay version as a deluxe version of the game. Good game, good game.

what am i exactly doing here?
We had tried to play this game the last time but the rules kinda confused the whole bunch of us. It was rather late though so that may have contributed to the confusion. This round left most of us feeling lost and not being able to have a good grasp on the gameplay and the objectives. I sort of kinda got it halfway through the game but I did not win. This game requires a lot of "guarding" each other so as not to have a runaway victory so there's a lot of screwage involved. Definitely not a first play game and requires a few more plays to have a better understanding on what you need to do. Definitely a Euro game with a pasted on theme. There are some questionable design choices (the cards number from 4-6 which are used for auctioning) and art is dated. Might have potential but for now is a confusing game for me.

Look at all the thieves that got caught
Another game that was won in an auction, this version is the predecessor to Hoiti Toiti. A player's turn consists of choosing a location and then choosing an action that you can do at that location. The winner is the first player that reaches the pink squares at the end. It is easy to teach and play but surprisingly deep because  you are always trying to guess what other players are choosing and trying to 1-up them. Will he be trying to steal my collection (which is used to score movement points on the board)? Should I play my police now to catch the thief? How much should I bid to win the art piece to my collection? Will I be able to play my thief to steal the bid? A very good game and I would like to see what improvements the new version has over the old.

we tried to squeeze as much as we can into a small table
Le Harve. What else do I need to say about the game? Interesting playing 3 players as there are some buildings I have not seen when playing solo. I started aggressively building and was doing well until I struggled with getting loans or feeding. In the end my mid game strategy got screwed up and all I was doing is struggling to pay the food and loans. I lost with a score of 111. We barely broke the 150 score barrier though so either we were very good at blocking/guarding each other or the shuffle of the cards made it difficult game for us. Great game nevertheless and we all enjoyed ourselves!