September 2020 roundup

In September, I managed to play 58 games of 35 different titles, although only 3 of them were new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Marvel United – 6 plays –  8 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Marvel United

I backed this on Kickstarter and the first instalment (the bulk of the pledge is due to arrive in March 2021) turned up a couple of weeks ago. I was quite impressed with this as a quick, light co-operative/solo superhero battle game. Each of the villains plays differently and the heroes all have slight differences in their decks so it’s going to be fun to mix and match combinations of heroes. The SHIELD solo mode smashes together three hero decks into a single deck but it also works nicely as a solo just playing two (or possibly more) heroes separately. Can’t wait for the rest to turn up and am a bit disappointed I didn’t go in for the Kickstarter expansions as there doesn’t now seem to be any way to add to your pledge.

Abandon All Artichokes – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Abandon All Artichokes

This is a very smart, family-style, deck deconstruction game, where you start with a deck of 10 artichokes and draw a hand of five. Then you acquire other vegetables to help you get rid of artichokes, with the aim of drawing a new hand of five containing no artichokes – which wins you the game. Easy to pick up, if you’ve played any deck building game before, and plays very quickly in about 15 minutes.

Infinity Gauntlet: A Love Letter Game – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Infinity Gauntlet: A Love Letter Game

Using the Love Letter framework, Infinity Gauntlet pits one player as Thanos against everyone else, each trying to reduce the opposing side to zero health. Works pretty well and definitely stands on its own feet as a Marvel-themed variant but we all felt we’d rather stick to the original (or Batman).

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

6x My City
4x Pocket Golf
3x Exxtra
3x Shephy
2x Verflucht!
2x Noch Mal!
2x Kingdomino
2x Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
2x Zero
2x Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America
1x HexRoller
1x Mandala
1x Thunderbirds
1x 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis
1x Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
1x Lux Aeterna
1x Powerships
1x Elder Sign
1x Scrabble
1x Piece o’ Cake
1x On Tour
1x Cartographers
1x Michael Strogoff
1x Freedom: The Underground Railroad
1x Twenty One
1x L.A.M.A.
1x The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
1x Eldritch Horror
1x Star Realms
1x Onirim
1x Finito!
1x Bandido

Jan and I are still working our way through My City and it’s developing nicely while the scores remain pretty close. Nice to get another Knizia, The hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug back to the table as well as a couple of longer games: Eldritch Horror and Freedom: The underground Railroad. I also managed to get in a four-round head-to-head challenge of Pocket Golf with another fan of the game over the weekend of the US Open, which was a lot of fun.

== YEAR SO FAR ==

549 games of 205 titles.
50 new to me.
2 x 27 plays; 1 x 23 plays; 2 x 15 plays; 2 x 14 plays; 1 x 13 plays; 2 x 10 plays; 1 x 9 plays; 6 x 7 plays; 3 x 6 plays, 4 x 5 plays; 8 x 4 plays; 30 x 3 plays; 27 x 2 plays; 116 x 1 play.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 5 new titles to the collection which were Marvel United, Q.E., Marrying Mr Darcy, Infinity Gauntlet: A Love Letter Game and Abandon All Artichokes. I also sold 7 titles so my total collection stands at 699.

I now have 2 unplayed games (zero at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was Marvel United.

External image

November 2018 roundup

During November, I managed to play 27 games of 21 different titles, with 6 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Qwantum – 4 plays –  6 
First Published 2018

Another roll and write game in the Qwixx and Qwinto family but this one doesn’t work as well. Admittedly, I’ve only played solo but there seems very little you can do to mitigate the luck of the dice rolls. Tried a couple of tweaks but I think I’m done with it and I don’t think the ability to leach numbers in the multi-player game will change things enough for me to rather play something else.

Sprawlopolis – 2 plays –  7 
First Published 2018

This solo print and play is pretty good and I like that the cards have the goals on the back of the cards, which changes the distribution of cards to be played when they are drawn as objectives. Very neat puzzle and quite hard on my first couple of plays.

Outback – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

Nice tile laying family game with a bit of push your luck in the dice rolling and cursing towards the end when the tiles don’t fit in your remaining spaces. Not a great game but one that is easy to get the family to play.

3×8 – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2018

Another in Amigo’s line of number card games, where this time you’re in a race to build three columns of eight ascending number cards. This sort of worked but Jan had a few difficulties with how the card manipulation worked (not that it’s difficult; she probably just wasn’t in the mood to work it out in her head). However, the game is still distinctly average. It works but not terribly fun and the blocker cards seemed a bit pointless really.

Lifestyle – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

Another small Amigo card game but this one surprised me as I wasn’t sure it would work. However, it did play pretty well and the combination of pushing your luck in determining how many cards to add to your die row and being able to manipulate the dice rolls with the sports cards made for a nice card management game, while trying to get the right sets of cards to score well. Jan and I both liked this. Not sure if the “Love” cards can skew the game if someone is fortunate that they turn up when only you can grab them but everyone should be watching out for these doublers.

Brikks – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

This is Tetris the roll and write game and is another nice puzzle game from Wolfgang Warsch. Not as good as Ganz Schon Clever but still pretty good. The tension increases towards the end of the game as the available points at the top of the grid is higher but not being able to fit a “tile” is disaster as it’s game over. Better hope you’ve got enough energy points left to manipulate the tile. Very good.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game
2x Whacky Wit
1x Finito!
1x Hostage Negotiator
1x Steam Time
1x The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
1x Onirim
1x Musée
1x Witch of Salem
1x The Game
1x Urbion
1x Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
1x Kreuz & Quer
1x Flash Point: Fire Rescue
1x Khmer

It was nice to get games of Whacky Wit, Flash Point: Fire Rescue and Witch of Salem to the table this month. Also managed my best score in Kreuz & Quer (Connections)this month (5 points), only to discover Laszlo’s wife and daughter regularly score in the range of 2-4 points. Obviously need to keep practicing.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 3 new titles to the collection which were Brikks, Qwantum and Outback. I also reacquired Steam Time for just £10 in The Works’ latest strategy game sale, and this means my total collection now stands at 611.

I have 1 unplayed game (3 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was tough to choose as there wasn’t really any game that wowed me. In the end, I was switching between Sprawlopolis, Outback and Brikks but eventually decided that Brikks probably just had the edge.

October 2018 roundup

During October, I managed to play 17 games of 15 different titles, with 5 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Luxor – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

I was expecting to like this and wasn’t disappointed. Part race game, part set collection, with a nice light hand management / movement system and it works well with two. We really enjoyed this and I can see why it got a Spiel des Jahres nomination.

Bandido – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Bandido is a simple solo puzzle cardgame that can also be played as a multi-player co-op. The cards create a maze of tunnels with a number of dead ends and you are trying to close off all the tunnels to prevent the bandido from escaping. There is obviously some luck in how soon the dead ends appear but my game went the distance (with me losing) and it takes a surprising amount of table space by the end. Good for an occasional play but it might get samey if played lots of times.

Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

This is another nice commercial tie-in with a decent game behind it. As it’s from USAopoly, it draws comparisons with Hogwarts Battle and it holds up well but doesn’t have the same aspect of ramping-up over several games. It is a bit less complex than Harry Potter but still presents a tough challenge. As fans of the film, it worked nicely for us.

Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game – 2 plays –  7 
First Published 2018

A print and play solo microgame, this is a clever 5-10 minute puzzle with a beat your high score challenge. This is a game that can go anywhere with you as it’s so compact and I’m really enjoying it so far.

Dragon Master – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2004

Dragon Master is the same game as Knizia’s Robot Master but using a 4×4 grid rather than 5×5. Perfect for a quick two-player match where your card play is all about helping yourself more than your opponent and hoping not to get screwed at the end of the game.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Flamme Rouge
1x Te-Trix
1x Targi
1x Five Tribes
1x Majesty: For the Realm
1x 20 Express
1x Star Wars: Angriff der Klonkrieger
1x Träxx
1x Cucina Curiosa
1x Dixit: Odyssey

Had a ten player game of Dixit while away in Abu Dhabi with work colleagues and glad they all enjoyed it. Ten players is probably a bit too many but, as I couldn’t get hold of a copy of the 12 player version of Telestrations, I settled for this being simple to explain and a way of keeping everyone involved. It was also nice to get Star Wars: Angriff der Klonkrieger on the table again. This is a fine co-op from Inka & Markus Brand and works well as a solo game.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 9 new titles to the collection which were Luxor, Flamme Rouge: Peloton, Dragon Master, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War, Dixit: Odyssey, Karate Tomate, 3×8, Lifestyle and Bandido. I also reacquired the new version of Mosaix, which is now called Te-Trix, and this means my total collection now stands at 607.

I have 3 unplayed games (none at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was the Spiel-des-Jahres nominated game, Luxor.

September 2018 roundup

During September, I managed to play 37 games of 32 different titles, with 9 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Justice League: Hero Dice – Batman – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

Justice League: Hero Dice – Green Lantern – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2016

Justice League: Hero Dice – Superman – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

Justice League: Hero Dice – Flash – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2016

Four different sets of dice to pit against the villains linked to the various DC heroes. Each set plays a bit differently and works reasonably well but I wasn’t feeling enough to persuade me to play any of the sets again.

Blue Lagoon – 1 play –  9 
First Published 2018

Fabulous new token placement game from Reiner Knizia, reminiscent of Through the Desert but with a Feldian multiplicity of scoring methods. Really enjoyed this.

Aladdin’s Dragons – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2000

Having released Keydom from the collection, I managed to grab a reasonably priced copy of the Rio Grande revision to see how it compared. Almost identical and good fun.

Donkey Derby – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Another updated version of an older game, this time Favoriten being turned into a donkey race. Very little different from the earlier version and again good fun. Glad to have got this back in the collection.

Zeus on the Loose – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2006

A simple numbers game like Straw but where only the one person who holds Zeus wins the round and advances towards the four winning-rounds target. Good but, given a choice, I’d much rather play Straw.

Mondrian: The Dice Game – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2016

A dice rolling game where you need to roll and land your dice on the right areas of the grid of cards. But each die needs to be launched onto the play area in a different way: right and left handed rolls, a blind roll, a flick and a drop. Quite good fun but a bit random if you’re not very dexterous.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Fastcard Soccer
2x Onirim
2x Memoir ’44
2x Urbion
2x Pickomino
1x Noch mal!
1x The Game
1x Mmm!
1x Castellion
1x Concordia
1x Pandemic: The Cure
1x For Sale
1x Elevenses for One
1x Hostage Negotiator
1x The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
1x Oceania
1x Vegas
1x Winchester
1x Fireside Football
1x Archaeology: The Card Game
1x Powerships
1x Rolling Japan
1x Straw

== THE YEAR SO FAR ==

So far this year, I’ve played 267 games of 176 different titles. My most played are:
Cucina Curiosa 7
Onirim 7
Verflucht 7
After the Virus 5
Exxtra 5
The Game 5
The Mind 5

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added just 4 new titles to the collection which were the four Justice League: Hero Dice titles. I also reacquired Knizia’s Palazzo which means my total collection now stands at 597.

I am back down to zero unplayed games (5 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was another Reiner knizia game, Blue Lagoon.