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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bests of 2012 - Supporting post for PULP:Episode 1

Hi everyone, here are some of my additional thoughts that could not be conveyed effectively via the podcast :)

top 5 surprises
Plato 300
I am now wondering if Guildhall will have similar mechanisms as this. once my copy arrives from Canada (yes I have resorted to ordering from overseas so i can get my hands on it sooner! :p) i will do a comparison. I haven't played this with 2 decks but i think the sweet spot for this will be 3 players.

Space Cadets
Seems to be having rave reviews now and I am not surprised. There are elements which make me want to grab a copy and bring to the office to try but I do prefer more competitive games and I doubt I can form 2 teams and have them fight against each other with 2 copies of the game lol. If I was sponsored and I can find 10 people willing to play who knows! But for now I will give it a miss in my collection. Still you should give it a try and feel the tension and fun when you all make it and the pressure and shame when you screw up and cause the ship to explode and lose.

Xwing Miniatures
The hype seemed to have died down with my groups as there are so many new games to play. That and disappointment in the delay of Wave 2 sale date may have killed my initial excitement for this. Still lets see what happens when Wave 2 appears on the market and I grab a copy. Now I am wondering what to do with the unopened expansions that I have :p

OMG i need to get more plays of this and especially the deck building part. I will be getting my expansions soon and I hope to get more plays in. I have recently purchased a few more deck building-type of games (including Star Wars LCG) and I hope to do a comparison between them. Oh and have you seen the FFG playing mat? I WANT ONE! Come on ffg, sell the extras that you have already!

Terra Mystica
Still in a lot of our minds and still itchy to grab more plays on this. I will try to see if I can "infect" more people and get them hooked on the game. It really is a very good game and also widely received by the gaming public on BGG. I think I will be quite contented when I get to played each race once.

Top 5 disappointments
Scripts and Scribes the dice game
OMG its so ugly and while i was playing it i was so hoping that it will end soon so that we can move on. It did not made me feel I need to use a lot of brain cells during the game as I just react to what I have rolled. Pity as I do love Biblios so I would recommend people to try Biblios over Scripts anytime.

I did think that the game was fun when I got it but after a few more plays the busy busy board got to me and secret objectives. One common strategy that I do is to cycle through the objectives right at the beginning rather than renovate any of the buildings. This will allow other players to "help" you to achieve your objectives rather than you do it yourself. At the same time I will try to buy the specialists so that at least I score points every round. So while I wanted to love this game, it did not work out between us lol. I am hoping when I get suburbia it will be way way better. Already Ginkgopolis surpasses Urbania for me in terms of city building. Even Oddville is more fun!

Sigh, I really really wanted to like this game. But the long explanation time for new players as well as the long gaming time (even on the Short objective mode) are real killers for this game. I recently gotten the Solo expansion and I am hoping to get some games in to finally be able to play this to completion. Hopefully there will be other players out there (I just need 1!) to be able to play multiplayer to its rightful conclusion. Looking online it does seem that you need the right group of players to be able to complete the game. Lets see how it goes... *cross fingers*

So many people raved about it but it just fell through for me. I am not adverse to the universe but knowing that this was based on Dune does allow me to see how Dune theme will sit way better than the Rex universe. Perhaps the way the group played did not have a lot of negotiations and banter as required to make this game interesting and exciting. After 2 plays I just don't feel it and thus was disappointing for me.

Merchants of Venus
Another one that many many people raved about. I was caught up in the hype as well because I listen to a lot of Dicetower and Eric loves it so much and well, i do like a lot of games that Eric loves so I had assumed I will too. Unfortunately after my first play I am not feeling it. I cannot get over the roll-and-move part of the game and it seemed a bit too light for me. Setup also seems to be quite tedious to me. Maybe I require a bit more confrontation (pewpew!)? So far I don't think I have many good space themed games in my collection. Hmm i wonder why....

Top 5 Best games
Andean Abyss
I need to get this out some more and play the solo version. It seems a bit daunting to teach but I think my groups can handle it. I love the different faction victory conditons and the forced interactions between players. Meaty enough for me with just the right amount of player interaction.

Enough has been said above so I won't go into too much details again.

Btw if you are setting up the houses, please be careful. It can be a real pain to set it up nicely as the chimminies seems to be quite difficult to setup correctly. I also need to grab a few more plays of this as it was a very enjoyable game for me. Lots of meeples, nice art and intriguing auction/activation mechanism. Timing here is also quite important because you need to know when to use your tiles and other players' tiles to block them. In our games often other players will curse when their tiles get used up and it is quite satisfying when that happens :)

I love this so much that I got this for my secret santa target even though he did not request for it. I really wanted to spread the "love" for this game around and I am glad that he and his family loved the game as well. The most important thing when playing this game is not to set it up for other players. Timing is also very important. If you can time it such that you can dictate the end game round and prevent the other players to make constructive last turn moves, the feeling is awesome.

Terra Mystica
Not much else that I want to add to this. Some games we can sit around and let our mind wander as other players make their moves but Terra Mystica really kept me glued to my seat and focused on the game the whole time and for a game that takes at least 2 hours to play, that is quite an accomplishment to be so engaged and still entertained. Highly recommended and I am really glad I got a copy!

Here is a list of games released in 2012 that I played in 2012 and the number of times I played it.

Plato 3000-9
Android: Netrunner-8
Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game-8
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small-6
Ghost Blitz-4
Lords of Waterdeep-4
Terra Mystica-4
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar-4
Dominant Species: The Card Game-3
The Great Zimbabwe-3
Empires of the Void-2
Rattus Cartus-2
Rex: Final Days of an Empire-2
The Manhattan Project-2
Zooloretto Würfelspiel-2
1812: The Invasion of Canada-1
Andean Abyss-1
Catan: Junior-1
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (second edition)-1
Disaster Looms!-1
Empire Express-1
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre-1
For The Win-1
Level 7 [Escape]-1
Merchant of Venus (second edition)-1
Rocket Jockey-1
Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game-1
Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game-1
Space Cadets-1
Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery-1
Sunrise City-1
VivaJava: The Coffee Game-1
ladies of troyes-1

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