Great week of playing games and I got to play quite a few new games as well as managed to get Mage Knight in. Lets see what I played....
I have seen this game listed several times but from the pictures it doesn't seem to grab me. Lo and behold am I surprised at this game when I played it. Essentially, the game is about psychology and guarding each other. If one of the player falters, then another could potentially get away with a lot of goodies. Every round, there are several tiles in the middle where each player can take any number of. Alternatively, players can take tiles already collected by other players (with a small penalty of returning at least 1 of the "stolen" tiles back into the middle). A turn continues until ALL players have at least 1 tile in front of them. Then the tiles are revealed (there are some tiles that are shown only as question marks) and each scoring category is executed and players' scores are updated. The game continues for a few rounds and tally up the scores and the player with the most points is the winner. The interesting mechanisms of the game are the stealing from each other bit as well as maximizing your scores for each category. As discussed during the game, this looks like a kids game but is definitely a bit too "rough" for kids as you will have direct confrontation when you steal tiles off another player. Not a bad game but can cause players to be overly targeted and requires cooperative moves to bring down the leader should he/she run away. Its kinda expensive as well so try before you buy!
One of the new releases in Essen 2012 and one I did not quite get at first till I played it. It is not an easy game to get into in the beginning because you won't know what your opponents' secret objectives and end game conditions are as well as you are trying to manage your own and the general game end condition (where if the natives outnumber the colonists, they rebel and nobody wins unless one of the player had the Separatist role). Moreover, there are so many actions you can take during your turn and all these needed to be explained before we can start the game. I did not really get the gist of the game till its almost ending then I got a better feel of the game. For some reason, this reminds me a lot of Mage Knight (probably because of the expanding tiles option during exploring) and I can definitely see myself enjoying the solo aspect of the game. Components are really good too with thick tiles and awesome art. There could be more negotiation between the players but as we are all playing this for the first time we were largely quiet and trying to build our own engine by ourselves. The game ended due to rebellion and one of the players had the Separatist card so he won. So while the ending leaves a lot to be desired, we were playing the shorter version of the game and I suspect the longer game might be richer and more involved for us. I cannot wait to try this again as there are so many role cards to purchase and utilize as well as manipulating the market. So far a very good feeling for this game!
SCRIPTS & SCRIBES THE DICE GAME
So this is termed as the dice version of Biblios and well, it does resemble it somewhat. But it is a pale comparison and not a very good game for me and my group. The art work is very meh and components are meh as well. Gameplay wise, during your turn, you roll dice and decide what dice you want from the group. Then each player afterwards get to do the same as long as there are some dice left to choose from.Most of the chosen dice will advance your cube up a particular track.There are gold marked on some rungs of the ladder and if you are the 1st/2nd to reach that rung, you will get that number of gold in cards. Gold is tracked by means of cards (which are very odd sized btw) and at the end of the game, whoever has the most gold win. It fell rather flat for us. It was ok to play this at the end of a rather heavy night but otherwise I don't think this is the game for me and my group. Its rather light and you don't have much control because of the random dice roll. Meh for me.
This is a relatively unknown game on BGG and with the gaming groups. I remembered I bought this after seeing the components and it was to make up a shopping cart so I got my free shipping (:p). I am nevertheless very surprised at the game and how fun it is, especially with 6. I did a review on this previously and in summary, its a very good game for 6 with a LOT of screw your neighbour element. I have never really won in this game because I am trying to keep my houses till the very end but often will get screwed because people realise what I have been doing. If you have not tried this, I heartily recommend you to give it a go and you will be surprised at how tactical this game can be even though it looks very light.
Ahhhhh Trajan. When I first played this game, I wasn't too hot about it because I felt there were so many things to do and I felt they were disconnected and the theme is just pasted on. After a few more plays, my thoughts are still the same BUT I have grown to love the Trajan aspect of the game. The thinky and the main mechanism of the game is the big mandala like diagram on your player mat where you are trying to arrange your cubes in such a way where you can get to execute the action you want AND score the Trajan tiles at the same time. It can be very brain melting but at the same time very rewarding when you manage to chain a few moves ahead and score several Trajans in the process. I am beginning to appreciate the game a bit more and better look at the board and see what I need to do after a few plays. I am still not really paying attention to other players and thus interaction is quite limited for now but I am enjoying the brain melting part of the game a lot. Hope to play this next time! Recommended!
DE VULGARIE ELOQUENTIA
My group had played this previously and I wanted to try since I heard several good things about the game. This is from the same designer as Sienna which we tried previously and boy was it tough to get into that game. Thematically and strategically this game did not kick off for me right at the beginning and I was not very clear what I was doing other than moving around and activating the various rewards of each region to get the benefits. Only halfway through the game did I realise what I should be doing. Definitely requires a few plays to get the gist of the game. Thematically it does not really make much sense to me other than many areas around the board where you can activate to get cubes, to get money, to get points. For now its still meh for me but I would prefer a few more plays to have a confirmation on my initial impressions of the game.
AGRICOLA: ALL CREATURES BIG AND SMALL
Played 2 games of this and both games I lost horribly! It seems that property is the way to score a lot of points in the game rather than animals. In almost all my games I have always concentrated on animals and have not scored a lot of points. Talking to Joel I realise I have been scoring horribly low in all my games! I need to rethink my strategy for this game next time I play it. I am also looking forward to the expansion which adds more special buildings to choose from thus allowing for better replayability. Looking forward to a rematch!
Played 2 games of this and I lost. Played once each as the Corporation and the Runner. I even flatlined as the runner which was a first for me. Not sure if its the card draw or how I play the game. I am still feeling my way around the different corporations and runners and I will need a few more plays to get a better feel on what I need to do I guess. Looking forward to some deckbuilding and the expansion which is coming soon! Oh btw, FFG is also selling their gamenight Netrunner set where if you are a FLGS and you want to host tourneys in your store, you can purchase such a set which will give you play mats as well as several other goodies. That should enhance the whole playing experience! Still a very good game in my opinion and one I need to master soon :)
Ahhhh mage knight. One of the few big bad boys in my collection. We decided to try 2 player Mage Knight and the introductory mission to get a feel of the game for my friend as well as a refresher for me. I have been wanting to try the solo game but have been lazy in bringing out the game and setting it up. So this gave me an excuse to play the game again. I took about 20-30 minutes to explain the gist of the game and it took us about 2+ hours to finish the game. Victory was tainted though because of some rules that i fudged up but still it was a good game. A rematch has been planned and perhaps this time we will try the full game and see how that goes. I am very excited for the expansion and I want to see what differences it will make to the game. Nevertheless, I do hope to bring it for a full 4 player complete game in the future but I have to ensure there are 4 of us that can play the game well first to speed things along. Great game but will be more recommended for the experienced gamer and not for beginners.
GMT games recently announced a sale for their supporters. All games are 20% off on their site and if you were a P500 supporter, you get to purchase a number of games (number of P500 that you have supported that are released + 1) at 50% discounts! That's really awesome deal and I got myself Andean Abyss (I have heard so much good things about this and it has a nice solo game) and Virgin Queen. Virgin queen is a scary buy mostly because it takes so long to play and only works best with 6. I do hope I can manage to con I mean convince several of my gaming groups to give it a go and see how but at 50% discount its a steal. I am probably also getting 1989 as I am a big fan of Twilight Struggle.
There are several new games that my gaming group has gotten recently and I cannot wait to try that. Also Essen releases, I am very excited for those as well and I cannot wait for my regular German site to have them in stock to ship over. Though it will take at least a month to get to me but at the prices and shipping cost it will be worth the wait.
Secret santa sign ups are here! I have signed up both for BGG secret santa as well as Dicetower secret santa! If you happen to get me as your target do let me know once you have sent them over :) It would be so awesome if you happen to read my blog and I am your target. I will also disclose my targets when they receive my gifts. Lets see just how small this world really is!
Have a great week ahead everyone!