January 2021 roundup

In January, I managed to play 33 games of 17 different titles with 3 of them being new to me.

== NEW GAMES ==

The Liberation of Rietburg – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2019

Board Game: The Liberation of Rietburg

This is a great co-op/solo game set in the Legends of Andor universe. Each of the six locations in the castle of Rietburg has a task you need to fulfil and you win by completing four of them before the evil dragon awakens and swoops down to destroy the castle. But you first have to uncover and overcome various monsters and collect treasures at the location before the task is revealed. It is a hand management game at its core with each hero having different abilities and the game adding extra obstacles each time a hero empties their very sparse deck of cards. Really enjoyed this and am keen to try all the various (six) heroes.

Under Falling Skies – 3 plays –  8 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Under Falling Skies

This is a brilliant pure solo game of space invaders played with dice and a board. Each turn you use your dice to research the invaders, develop your underground base’s capabilities and shoot alien ships out of the sky but the dice also move the ships down onto the city causing damage and the mothership descends incessantly towards the Earth. Complete your research before the city receives too much damage or the mothership lands. The dice rolling, allocation and re-rolling mechanism is quite clever and there are tough choices on every turn. There is also a campaign mode, which looks very interesting, but even the standalone modules have plenty of variety and difficulty levels to ensure lots of replayability. Very impressed with this.

Space Worm – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Space Worm

This was a surprise arrival as it came out of a kickstarter campaign that went wrong but the creator has eventually delivered. And its a fun roll and write game designed by Reiner Knizia based on the video/phone games Centipede/Snake. You draft dice from a pool to move your worm over sets of fruit and planets while avoiding running off the board or over your existing route (which loses you a life). Lose 4 lives & the game ends immediately. You then score points for complete sets of fruit (and bonuses if you ate a fruit with the matching coloured die); extra points for any lives remaining and lose points for any planets you didn’t visit. Works very well and plays quickly but not sure it’s one you’ll want to play over and over (although I may be wrong).

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

6x Onirim
5x Marvel Champions: The Card Game
3x Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
3x Würfelland
2x The Game
1x Marvel United
1x Snow Tails
1x Keltis: Das Kartenspiel
1x Medici: The Dice Game
1x Zero
1x Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
1x Urbion
1x Noch Mal!
1x Burgen Land

With Robinson Crusoe returning to the collection this month, I managed to get in a few games and actually succeeded in wining one. Marvel Champions is still getting played a fair bit and I had some fun solo’ing Snow Tails and Burgen Land, both of which worked quite well.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 3 new titles to the collection which were the three new games mentioned above. I also reacquired 3 games and parted company with 7 so my total collection now stands at 694.

At the end of January, I still have no unplayed games (0 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was an easy choice and I fully expect it to be in my top few games of the year: the excellent Under Falling Skies

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October 2020 roundup

In October, I managed to play 71 games of 41 different titles and 3 of them were new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Babylonia – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2019

Board Game: Babylonia

I finally managed to play Reiner Knizia’s Babylonia which has reminiscences of Samurai and Through the Desert but it is definitely its own game. I really liked it as it has enough to think about in terms of different turn options and routes towards generating victory points but without being overwhelming and all wrapped up in a 30 minute (with two players) timeframe. Excellent.

Cahoots – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

Board Game: Cahoots

Gamewright have a knack of picking up very good family weight games and this is another one where you are co-operatively trying to play cards onto four stacks to achieve a certain number of goal cards before the draw pile runs out or a player cannot make a valid play. Really easy to teach and has a mild element of restricted communication allowed to give players hints about where you want to play (like The Game). Very good and, with differing levels of difficulty in the number of goal cards you need to complete to win, this should present a challenge for some time.

Clever hoch Drei – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Clever hoch Drei

The third iteration of That’s Pretty Clever! plays very similarly to the other versions and works just as well but there is a greater focus on chaining the bonuses in the latest instalment. I enjoyed it as a solo game but haven’t yet played it multi-player.

Marrying Mr. Darcy – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2014

Board Game: Marrying Mr. Darcy

This is Pride & Prejudice the card game and is a light set-collection type game with your play on a turn determined by an event deck so has limited choices to be made. That said, the theme carries it along and it is as much about the role playing as the result at the end of the day. Fun.

Nytelyfe Solitaire – 8 plays –  7 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Nytelyfe Solitaire

This is a quick solitaire print and play using a standard deck of cards, which is like card patience with a twist. The play area is made up of five columns each with a given rule when cards are played there. You play cards individually to your choice of the five columns and once a row is completed (after five cards have been played) see whether any of the cards breaks a rule. Repeat for 10 rows and if you haven’t broken too many rules by the end, you win. A fun five minute diversion.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

10x My City
4x After The Virus
4x Aquaducts
2x Marvel United
2x Zombie Dice
2x L.L.A.M.A.
2x Dominion
2x Spot it!
2x Horrified
2x Encore!
2x Zero Down
1x Menara
1x That’s Pretty Clever!
1x Coffee Roaster
1x Run Fight or Die: Reloaded
1x Love Letter
1x Spellbound
1x Star Wars: Angriff der Klonkrieger
1x The Game
1x Rummikub
1x Can’t Stop
1x Viticulture
1x Beasty Bar
1x Cucina Curiosa
1x Just One
1x Cosmic Run: Regeneration
1x Cheeky Monkey
1x Pig 10
1x Tales of the Arabian Nights
1x Justice League: Hero Dice – Flash
1x Urbion
1x Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
1x Hit Z Road
1x Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
1x Oh Hell!
1x Metro X

Managed to finish off our My City campaign this month, which was very enjoyable, while we’re still stuck on Monster Box 3 of Hogwarts Battle. Also returned to some solo games not played in a while, especially Aquaducts and After the Virus.

== YEAR SO FAR ==

620 games of 225 titles.
55 new to me.
1 x 29 plays; 1 x 27 plays; 1 x 25 plays; 1 x 23 plays; 1 x 17 plays; 2 x 14 plays; 1 x 13 plays; 1 x 12 plays; 2 x 10 plays; 5 x 8 plays; 4 x 7 plays; 3 x 6 plays, 6 x 5 plays; 10 x 4 plays; 29 x 3 plays; 26 x 2 plays; 131 x 1 play.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 2 new titles to the collection which were Babylonia and Cahoots. I also sold 12 titles so my total collection stands at 689.

I now have 1 unplayed game (2 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was Babylonia.

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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.

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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.