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Monday, November 19, 2012

Morels, Milestones, 20th Century, The Great Zimbabwe, Hai Alarm!, Tricks and Treats, Noah, Archipelago, Rattus Cartus

This week was rather short as I spent the weekend at Bintan! First time there and I am RED like a lobster. I still managed to get some gaming in though before I went and here we go!


Ah when I first played this game, I did not realise that the TRASH can only hold up to 4 cards. Once there's a 5th card, the existing 4 cards get discarded. This makes more sense now as you can only pick up cards if they do not exceed your hand limit and well, because of my booboo, in the previous game we did not pay too much attention to the trash after only a few rounds. I was only observing this time but my 2 friends who played really enjoyed the game even though it was simple to teach but had a lot for them to think about. I cannot wait to get this to the table again!


Ah I think this will definitely be my game of the year, provided none of the Essen releases (which I feverishly hope I will get before the year ends!) can budge it off its current rank. I like it so much that I even ordered 1 for my BGG Secret Santa target after taking a look at what his family and him like to play. I sure hope they like it! This was a refresher game for the other 3 and even though I ended the game, victory was snatched from me. The top 3 players were only 1 point in difference. The top 2 drew and won by tie breaker! Very awesome game and I highly recommend it to all! I may just bring it along with me to this weekend's Mensa get together and introduce this to more people.


My friend has been bringing this to our meetups but we have never really managed to play it. So I was glad to take it out and give it a spin. The rules wise are not really very complex but there are several smaller details that requires a few reads to get it. For example, the bridge which you can use to connect rails together did not really shine in its use to us until after a few more reads we got the usage. Technology tiles were slightly confusing as well. The art is VERY HIGH resolution and thus very nice. It reminds me of Alhambra but way more complex. It has an auction mechanism to bid for both city tiles and technology tiles. The auction mechanism is also used to bid for catastrophes (thus if you win, you get the least devastating catastrophes). Players are essentially trying to build up their cities to score a lot of points / money / science while keeping pollution down to a minimal. However it seems that majority of the game was spent fighting for city tiles with recycling centres so that we can man it and get to clear 1 cube of pollution. Granted this is only my 1st play and it may change with more games. Still it is a rather impressive looking game with good components and art. Worth a try in my opinion!


First play of my own set and I lost horribly. Resources are really quite a crunch and most players do not want to spend too much effort creating resources and thus allowing others to possibly use them and win. This session saw at least 4 new gods and not many of the players used the specialists at all. I do think that with more plays and familiarity, players will know just what they need to do with the god they have and the specialists to maximize their points. There is a lot of positioning involved and knowing when to commit your winning move (and thus reaching your victory goal) is VERY important in this game. Definitely going to bring this out more often!


We played quite a few fillers in this game session and this was the first. From the same publishers as Kakerlakenpoker, this game involves only 2 different types of cards. Dolphins and Sharks. During the game, you can do 3 things: Place a card face down, Flip a face down card in front of you OR Flip over a face down card in another player's area provided you have at least 1 face up shark in front of you. Objective of the game: Have 3 more sharks exposed in your area than all other players OR have 7 dolphins exposed in your area. That's it! That's the game. And surprisingly it is rather fun. Similar to Kakerlakenpoker, there is a lot of bluffing and player analysis which makes this a simple game but with some depth. Players do need to know how to guard each other so as not to let any 1 player win easily. We played this once while waiting for our 5th player to come and later on when we were winding up the gaming session.


Another light filler we tried. This involves placing a card from your hand into any of the columns available. Play continues until all the cards are played and then players reveal their secret identity (which means which pot is yours) and then score the treats belonging to the column. This game is enhanced by the inclusion of special pots which provide certain special powers and attributes, making this game more fun than it really seems to be! However, if you are not subtle enough, another player can guess which pot you own and thus forcing you out of the game. This can kill the game for some but since this is a light filler, the game doesn't last very long and you can quickly replay again. Its not bad and the piggy pot is very cute.


Noah, another surprising filler that is fun to play! I definitely recommend the advanced variants to make this game challenging enough and tactical enough for gamers to play and enjoy the game. Game lasts 3 rounds and each round, players are trying to empty their hand by, depending on which boat is currently available, placing a card from their hand. Placement of a card is dependent on the gender of the animal as well as the points limit of the boat. It is light hearted, great art and a lot of fun to play! I will definitely get this and bring it to the office to play. I feel it will make a great lunch time game!


First play with my set. It took me quite a while to explain the game because the game is still quite new to me and there are quite a lot of rules to go through. I also feel that this game requires at least 1 play for players to get familiar with the rules and to understand why its bad to let the events go unmolested and thus making it easy for the game to beat us OR for the separatist to win. And in our game, the separatist won again. That's the 2nd game I played out of 2 that the separatist won. I really hope to get 1 good game in where we actually count the points to see who wins the game. I am also eager to see how the solo play expansion will be like. Definitely a game I want to bring out again to see how it goes. Recommended!


I have not played Rattus the board game before and I was eager to take a look at the card game version. The game is rather abstractly themed and involves committing a number of cards in a bidding style type of mechanism to see if you can win the better power of a particular card or the lesser benefit. In addition, the number of cards you bid will help you to advance your token up one of 6 ladders which contribute to your final scoring depending on whether you place first/second or third in that ladder. The only thing that reminds me of Rattus (after reading about it) is the need to clear rats in your area because at the end of the game, if the number of rats you have exceeds the total determined by a few cards set aside in the beginning of the game, you lose immediately. Not a bad game and I am willing to try again but I doubt I will get myself a copy.

So if you aren't aware, BGG's Secret Santa and Dicetower's Secret Santa targets have been assigned and I have sent my targets their gifts. Both have received them and I am so glad they love their gifts. Especially I am interested in finding out if the BGG target will love Milestones as I do! My gifts are on their way as well and I have especially vocal Secret Santas which I am grateful for :) So I cannot wait to see what they selected for me!

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