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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!


  1. oh I just noticed that you assign Labels with the games names. That's good, so all you need to do is to add a widget to your side bar to show your Labels. This way, readers can click on the labels/games to read about them. This is even better than putting it in the blog title.

    If you wish to increase readership - you can also split up your weekly long post (consisting of many games) into a post a day on one game. This will encourage readers to read your blog everyday, instead of once a week.

  2. hi Pam!
    many thanks for your comments :) Maybe we will get to game someday :D