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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Le Havre: The Inland Port, Clash of Cultures, Mieses Karma, Suburbia, Wiraqocha, Snowdonia, Meuterer, Keyflower, Maya, Quebec, Legendary

Another good week of gaming. Lets see what I have managed to cover:

Le Havre: The Inland Port

Finally got my copy and couldn't wait to bring it out. While I already have Le Havre the base game which can play 2 players, I was intrigued by this meant for 2 player game. I have previously gotten Agricola All Creatures Big and Small and had fun so I wanted to give this a go. This version of Le Havre distills all that is Le Havre into a very neat little 2 player package. It contains all the essence of Le Havre without the need to feed but with a limited set of buildings. I suspect, just like Agricola 2 players, it will soon have its own expansion pack to include new buildings to liven things up. As it is, Inland Port employs a very interesting way to increase resources in the buildings owned by players which is using the dial thing-a-mah-jig that is from his design in Ora Et Labora. The game also has a interesting way to keep track of resources that you have in a form of a chart and how you move the cubes on it. Both of these make it quite different game from Le Havre base game's 2 player version. There is also high interaction as you are often looking out at your buildings and at your opponent's to see when you should be using them and when you should use yours before your opponent snatches it from you. When you play this game, you feel that its elegantly designed and rather efficient in execution. I really liked it a lot and I heartily recommend it to people looking for a good 2 player game and for those who loved Le Havre.

Clash of Cultures

Another hot favourite to arrive on our shores recently, this was a try for me before I decided if I want my own copy. So far I don't really have a good Civ-type game and I have only previously owned Through the Ages but never managed to get it out often enough to hold on to it. I have played FFG's Civilisation but did not like it enough to get my own copy. So I was eager to try this out.
Clash of Cultures is a lighter Civ-type game as compared to FFG's Civilisation and it seems to focus a lot on technology. The other elements which make for a lot of interaction in most other Civ games like war for example seems to have a smaller role to play in Clash of Cultures. Even the element of culture influence seems a little bit tacked on rather than a possible major role in the game. We had a false start due to my fault and the game took us a little over 3 hours to complete. As I seemed to be leading, the other 2 players attacked me in the final round and nearly wiped me out from the board. Surprisingly, I was tied for first place but lost due to tie breaker. Its pretty interesting how close we are in scores but we that tied were heavily invested in the technology tree. All in all, I would say this is a try before you buy and unfortunately a miss with me. And don't get me started about the Elephant on the cover! Oh well.... the hunt is still on for the next ultimate Civ game...

Mieses Karma

Another game of Mieses Karma and this time during my lunch break. We had quite a bit of fun as everyone got into the theme and were laughing at what we have reincarnated into. One thing to note about the game is that if you are lucky and have very good draw of the cards, you could potentially reincarnate pretty fast into a human and then its at most 6 more turns before the game ends (because as a human you get to draw 6 cards and if then no one accepts your help, you play/discard a card every round so by the 6th turn you would have died and trigger the game end condition). Its a light whimsical game now to me and a try before you buy. Unfortunately its gonna be tricky getting your copy if you are in asia as I had to purchase mine from an online shop in Europe.


I brought Suburbia out again to teach 3 new people how to play and it was a blast. While one of the players was quite focused in obtaining instant $, I think increasing your income and reputation track is vital. The strategy so far seems to be knowing when to build up your city (income first) and getting the timing right midway through the game to switch to increasing your reputation and thus eventually winning the game. All through the game though you need to pay attention to your objectives and your opponents' boroughs to gauge what you can do. Its a very awesome game and probably the best city building game I have ever bought.
The game does reward multiple plays though as you will now know what you should be aiming for, how to place your city tiles to maximise current benefits as well as prepare for future benefits. I also tried the Solo Game variant One twice but I think I only ranked average. Even the solo game is fun for me and I will look forward to trying the other Solo variant and trying to beat my own score! I highly recommend this game.


I first heard about this game from looking at European boardgame shops online and was intrigued by the artwork and gameplay. It was said to be similar to Kingsburg and I do love Kingsburg (it was one fo the earliest games I had owned) and was eager to give this a try. This game requires paying careful attention to what your opponents have but at the same time its not that easy to complete as the end game objectives are quite easily stolen by your opponents. There is a lot of to and fro and changing of ownership of tiles because with 3 dice, it seemed quite easy for us to reach most of our neighbouring destinations and thus kick each other out.  It was through me keeping very quiet that I managed to sneak in a win. I can predict that this game may drag on too long for the weight of the strategy it provides. Unfortunately, for me this game did not click well and I was glad to have finished it. I am also glad to have not made the purchase. Try before you buy.


A 3 player game of Snowdonia with the correct rules this time. It ran much more smoothly and quickly as well and while I did better than my previous score I still lost by about 20+ points. Getting objective cards and contributing to the track building/station building are definitely key to winning the game. Going by the Surveyor route did not work well for me. Also, the train that gives you 9 points? That seems to be the best train to take. All in all, I think its quite a good game but one I won't get a copy of. The mechanisms and theme are not attractive to me. Still I won't say no to playing a game of this! This is a medium weight game and I would recommend this for Euro gamers.


An interesting little card game where players are on a ship and we are trying to earn as much points as we can through selling of goods and even by means of supporting (or suppressing) possible mutinies on the ship. Its not very complicated game and requires you to anticipate what your opponents will do and react accordingly. When you become the captain (if you did not start as one, you can only acquire it through mutiny), then you have 1 more decision to make and that is how much points to give to your First Mate and IF there is going to be a mutiny or not. So its a light bordering on medium card game and plays pretty fast. I do feel that 8 rounds seems a bit too long and perhaps 5 would have sufficed. Try before you buy. It might be a bit hard to track this copy down though.


Another game that rewards multiple plays as you will kinda know what possible tiles there are and the final objectives and thus a better idea what you want to build and to bid for. I went quite aggressively into the transport tiles and when I had that boat that gave 1 point for each transport value, I was pretty sure I will have won. Unfortunately though I lost by 2 points! My friend had a very small town (only 4 tiles before winter) and was doing quite respectable as well. So this game is very intriguing to me but the limited number of winter tiles + final scoring boats may limit its replayability. Still its a game that I am glad I bought though I wish they had done better with the player shields and that it required no assembly!


Maya, an abstract tactical game that plays 2 to 4. We played 4 players though and that means team play (2 vs 2). You are trying to, by means of exchanging tiles between 2 pyramids), combine colors belonging to secret objectives for your team to score points. The more levels of the same color that are connected together, the more points you score. The game ends if there is no more logical moves to be made or when the centre pyramid is completed and one of their objective cards is also completed. The components are really quite fantastic and SO COLORFUL! I love the combinations as we played the game. Quite nice I feel and I will want to try the 2 player version as it includes ladders and priests into the game. Recommended!


Ah, a very good game which seems to be unnoticed by everyone. I really wish it got more attention because its a fun game with interesting mechanisms. However it seems as if scoring by the zones of power at the end of a round (century) is a must if you want to win the game. Its where a player can score quite a lot of points and if he/she manages it properly can cause his/her workers to cascade multiple times and thus ensure scoring multiple times as well. I do wish the setup could be less of a hassle. Its possible that having a poorly configured board during setup will provide unfair advantage to some but I must say the game that I played, the tiles were arranged very nicely. Recommended!


When this first came out I wasn't too sold on it because, well, its a co-op game. But after hearing many good reviews about the game (even though its co-op) I decided to get my own copy because I wanted to play solo on it. I managed 2 solo tries (first one being my learning game) and fought against Red Skull using Wolverine, Hulk and Deadpool (i know i know, odd combination). The first game the scheme managed to succeed so I lost. I was quite confused by Deadpool's abilities on his cards but in my 2nd run through I won. Though my final score is only 13 points which is pathetic! Not a bad deck builder but it seems a little light. I cannot imagine how light the DC Deck building game must be because they have been compared and majority have agreed that Legendary is more fun and tougher than the DC Deck building game. I will definitely want to give the other villans and schemes a try and see if I can improve my score! Overall, I made the right decision to buy this and I would recommend this game, especially to Marvel universe fans!

So all in all, a good week! I had wanted to try a game of solo Robinson Crusoe (I have been itching to play some of my new games on Solo-mode) but I think I made some initial rule mistakes and since it was getting late I did not want to restart and kept the game. I will want to try it again as it seems to be quite thematic and interesting to play with so many scenarios (even one where you are trying to capture King Kong! How cool is that ?). I am also eager to try the solo expansion for Archipelago  as I hope it will make the game a keeper with me.

Right so that's all folks from me!

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