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.

August 2018 roundup

August saw quite a bit of gaming and I managed to play 47 games of 39 different titles, with 5 of them being new to me. The new games, which were all Reiner Knizia games, were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Forbidden City – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

Knizia does Carcassonne: Forbidden City is a tile-laying game where you try to close off areas where you have the most presence. But the twist is that the area also scores for linked adjacent areas. Solid game where spotting and playing for the linked areas is the key to the game.

Ghosts – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2007

Knizia does Poison again. Rather than 13, the trouble number is 7, and taking the pot to that number or more gets you a penalty, with the chance to get rid of penalties if you don’t take any at the end of each round. Scratches the same itch and plays pretty well. We really enjoyed our four player game.

Drachenhort – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2015

Knizia does Midnight Party with a dragon taking the place of Hugo. Simple game but the passage layout with traps, deviously placed, treasures available to tempt you and secretly backing certain heroes makes this a very fun game.

Kariba – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2010

Knizia does Frank’s Zoo (I know there’s a better analogy but I’m struggling to remember). Play one or more cards of the same animal to the table. If there are three or more of that animal in play, it scares off the next highest valued creatures and they score points but, of course, the mouse still scares off the elephant. A nice light hand management game.

Kartel – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

Knizia does Patchwork: Gangsters from 7 gangster families are placed in a circle; the cop figure moves and arrests a gangster or takes a bribe. Taking a head of family puts him in jail and means the rest of the family will score points. Once five heads are in jail, the other two are declared innocent and any arrests of that family deduct from your points but bribes taken for the “innocent” family get paid out by the free crimelord. Good game that has a bit of group-think attached to it in terms of how quickly the family heads get carted off to jail.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

3x Sylvion
3x After The Virus
2x Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time
2x Cucina Curiosa
2x Flamme Rouge
2x Port Royal
1x Between Two Cities
1x Ticket to Ride: New York
1x Verflucht!
1x 10 Days in the USA
1x Koalition
1x Ra: The Dice Game
1x Rummikub
1x Sagrada
1x Unlock! Escape Adventures
1x Honeybears
1x 20 Express
1x Kreuz & Quer
1x FUSE
1x Maestro
1x Kingdomino
1x Limes
1x Peloponnes
1x Star Realms
1x The Lost Expedition
1x Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
1x The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game
1x Urbion
1x Römisch Pokern
1x Patchwork
1x Herbaceous
1x Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
1x Hostage Negotiator
1x A Fistful of Penguins

Lots of solo games this month, with the newly released Patchwork Automa working really well. A welcome return to the table for Peloponnes, Monster Box 1 from Hogwarts Battle (3 player – lost again), Star Realms and Legendary, which I can’t believe I’ve not played since December 2015. Also, a few “ancient” titles got an outing this month, such as Honeybears, Maestro and a good seven player game of Koalition.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 6 new titles to the collection: Drachenhort, Kariba, Kartel, Ghosts, Blue Lagoon and Donkey Derby. I also reacquired four games and parted company with one, which means my total collection now stands at 592.

My list of unplayed games is up from 4 to 5 and, although there was nothing new that rated above a 7, my Game of the Month deservedly went to Drachenhort.

July 2018 roundup

July turned out to be a better month for gaming and I managed to play 35 games of 25 different titles, with 7 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Roll to the Top! – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Roll and write games are very popular at the moment but this latest addition is excellent with lots of tough choices in what is effectively a race to reach the top of your grid and with lots of different grids to play with, it should see plenty of variation. It can be easy to mess yourself up for later in the game with an ill-chosen number, as I found to my cost the first time we played. Excellent.

Ticket to Ride: New York – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Ticket to Ride condensed to a 10-15 minute game seems like it would be ideal for my shorter game tastes and it is but it does seem to be over a bit too quickly and the absence of long routes decreases a bit of the tactical choices. However, it plays fantastically smoothly and should be easy to get newcomers to play.

Lost Cities: To Go – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Another version in the well known franchise and there are some interesting changes in this version. You have a storage area to bank tiles you want or to hinder your opponent and the 2,3 and 4 tiles allow you to play another tile on the same expedition. Very solid and a nice variant.

Cucina Curiosa – 5 plays –  8 
First Published 2015

This is in the Kreuz & Quer / Take it Easy family of games where you are trying to connect from the entrance to your kitchen to as many lobsters as possible while avoiding the fishbones. The board is a 4×4 grid and you have twenty tiles in your stock, with one player acting as the bingo-caller, drawing a tile at random and everyone placing the same tile in their grid. Once you’ve filled your grid, you score 1 point for each connected lobster but lose 2 points for each connected fishbone. Highest total wins. The game also plays solo where you try to score as high as possible with an adjustment to your total for any lobsters on your unplayed tiles. Very good and deceptively tricky. With five plays this month, it is getting a bit addictive.

Dragon Castle – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

A nicely tactile Mah Jong style game, trying to maximise your points by placing groups of tiles together and in increasing height of blocks. Fairly easy going but I’m not sure it’ll become a favourite of mine, although I need to play again.

Facecards – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Very good party game where everyone selects a pair of cards from their hand, one of which goes in front of them; the other into a face down community pile. The community cards are revealed and players take turns trying to guess a matching pair, with correct guesses yielding points for both players. Simple and fun due to the number of cards that can overlap with others.

Backpacks & Blisters (second edition) – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Picked up a copy of this and was pleased with the nice production of a game I’ve played years ago (although it might have been More Backpacks… actually). As a solo game, it’s a nice puzzle with time getting very tight to get back to Keswick before the search party get mobilised to rescue you.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

4x Pig 10
3x Robot Master
2x Ricochet Robots
1x Can’t Stop
1x Ganz schön clever
1x Take it Easy!
1x The Mind
1x Whacky Wit
1x The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game
1x Azul
1x Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
1x A Fistful of Penguins
1x Jäger und Sammler
1x Nautilion
1x Exxtra
1x Träxx
1x Noch mal!
1x Finito!

Lots of solo games this month with me trying to get some back to the table that I hadn’t played for a while: Roll Through the Ages, Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game and Robot Master to name a few. The latter has had a re-release recently as Dragon Master but I’m not sure the slimmed down 4×4 playing area would be as interesting as the 5×5 in Robot Master. Anyone played Dragon Master yet?

It was also good to get Jager & Sammler and Whacky Wit played again, as well as this year’s Spiel des Jahres, Azul, which I’m really pleased won the award as it is a great game.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 8 new titles to the collection: Roll to the Top, Aladdin’s Dragons, Bacpacks & Blisters: Second Edition, Dragon Castle, Cucina Curiosa, Facecards, Zeus on the Loose and Ticket to Ride: New york. I also reacquired seven games, which means my total collection now stands at 583.

My list of unplayed games is up from 3 to 4 and my Game of the Month was a tough choice between Roll to the Top and Cucina Curiosa but I decided to go for the latter as it’s fairly addictive, with that just one more go element. Doug, you may need to try this.

June 2018 roundup

If May was a slow month of gaming then June turned out to be glacial as the unusually pleasant weather and a two week holiday saw me tied up doing lots of other things. Consequently, I only managed to play 7 games of 7 different titles, with 2 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Icarus – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2015

This was a really great surprise as I wasn’t expecting too much from it but it definitely worked fantastically well for me. I’d describe it as Knizia’s take on Liar’s Dice / Bluff, although with cards rather than dice. Revealing a card gives everyone more information but you have flexibility in upping your bid to any of the seven different suits / colours. Production quality is only so-so – the cards are fine but the box and board detract from the overall appearance. Not sure why this wasn’t picked up by one of the usual German producers.

Sakura – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

Sakura is another push-your-luck game from Reiner Knizia where you use cards to move the player pawns and the emperor with a view to getting your pawn closest to the emperor when he reaches a scoring space without bumping into him beforehand. Fun and quick but not one of his top-rier games. Will definitely play from time to time but it’s not likely to be a regular.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

1x Voodoo Prince
1x The Fox in the Forest
1x Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
1x Too Many Cooks
1x Habe fertig

It was nice to get a bunch of card games that haven’t been played for a while back to the table. Al Capone may be my favourite in the Mystery Rummy series but I probably should play all of them again to check. Also, Habe Fertig seems to have been overlooked by many but it is another brilliantly simple card game by Steffen Benndorf.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 4 new titles to the collection: Mondrian: The Dice Game, Icarus, Sakura and Lost Cities: To Go. I also reacquired three games and parted company with four, which means my total collection now stands at 568.

My list of unplayed games is up from 2 to 3 and my Game of the Month was Icarus, which turned out to be a fantastic variant of Liar’s Dice / Bluff.

May 2018 roundup

May turned out to be a slow month of gaming and I only managed to play 23 games of 23 different titles, with 8 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

This is a terrific solo/co-op game with some decent differential abilities for each character and constantly having to choose which of two cards is best to utilise. And Professor Evil moves unpredictably to mess things up (although in my game he was Professor Slow and didn’t hamper me too much). Really enjoyed this.

On Tour – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Now this is on kickstarter for a few more days but I printed out the map and played along with one of the run-through videos. Reminded me of Trans America but as a roll and write game and it was an excellent puzzler with lots of tough choices, which become more critical as the game gets closer to the end. Very good and may well back this. As it’s a pre-release game, I ruled that it couldn’t be considered for game of the month but it has a strong chance when it is finally available.

Welcome To… – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Rather than roll and write, this is draw and write (as in card draw) and this again provides an excellent puzzle in trying to work out which of three of the available options moves you closer to your scoring objectives. Like Ganz Schon Clever, you’re juggling how best to score and it works really well.

Toppo – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2006

This is an older Reiner Knizia game that is a bit different from his normal stuff, in that it is a speed pattern recognition game. Each turn, you try to either match the three cards you draw to three cards in the centre, in which case they cover the matching cards, or match fewer than three and place the remainder to the bottom of your deck. If you’re unlucky, yo can do neither and just put all three to the bottom of your deck. Once a player has fewer than ten cards left, they call Toppo and end the game/round. I’m not a big fan of speed games, but this worked pretty well.

Star Wars: Destiny – Two-Player Game – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Found a cheap copy of this and decided to give it a try. Although I’m sure the full game with deck construction is more satisfying in terms of game variability, this starter game works very well and we had a nice battle that turned out to be quite close. The dual objectives of dealing damage to an opponent while not burning through your deck too quickly means the strategy isn’t immediately obvious.

Café Fatal – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Great dice management game, where you’re looking for area majorities to claim pieces of pizza, cake and cheese to score the most points. The placement restrictions are the thing that make the game interesting but you’re still left to the roll of the dice to determine how successful you’ll be. Surprisingly quick game with two players.

Go Nuts for Donuts – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Is this Sushi Go for those with a sweet tooth? Yes, in terms of the set-collection, but this is a second-guessing simultaneous-reveal mechanism rather than card-drafting. You’re still watching for what others are collecting but there’s more groaning when you pair up with another player going for the same card so both come away empty handed. Good fun.

Amun-Re: The Card Game – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

This is a card game version of the terrific Amun Re board game, which maintains the main feel of the game and the changing epochs in particular but without the board positioning. It incorporates a different but nice constrained auction mechanism as you can only bid with a single card; you can’t add more cards, only replace with a higher card. Not sure it would work as well with two but three definitely works and four or five may well be better.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

1x Verflucht!
1x Mmm!
1x Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama
1x Forbidden Desert
1x Würfel Bingo
1x The Hobbit
1x Mini Mölkky
1x NMBR 9
1x Kribbeln
1x Connections
1x City Square Off
1x Oceania
1x The Game
1x Top & Down
1x Callisto: The Game

I’ve enjoyed revisiting several short and simple games this month. Roll and write/score games have featured prominently with Kokoro, Wurfel Bingo and Kribbeln getting back to the table. Some of my reacquisitions proved to be good decisions with Oceania, Callisto and Forbidden Desert all justifying their place back in the collection, while Kreuz & Quer (Connections) continues to frustrate (in a good way) with my inability to score well.

== THE YEAR SO FAR ==

So far this year, I’ve played 141 games of 107 different titles. My most played are:
Verflucht 6
Onirim 5
Exxtra 4
The Game 4
The Mind 4

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 8 new titles to the collection: Amun Re: The Card Game, Welcome To… Go Nuts for Donuts, Toppo, Die Ritter von der Haselnuss, Cafe Fatal, Star Wars: Destiny and Forbidden City. I also reacquired several games and parted company with four, which means my total collection now stands at 565.

My list of unplayed games is up from 1 to 2 and my Game of the Month was Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time, although I very much enjoyed On Tour but that isn’t officially released yet.

April 2018 roundup

In April, I managed to play 42 games of 32 different titles, with 10 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Menara – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Excellent solo /co-op dexterity game where you build a temple over several levels, following the instructions on various order cards. You have to build up to a certain level, depending on how hard you set the game up to be, but you can’t just stop there. The game ends only when all the temple platforms have been used, all the order cards had been attempted or you suffered a collapse. Really enjoyed this.

Déjà Vu – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

Very clever and fun game where you are trying to grab object tiles before anyone else once two of the same have appeared on the cards that get revealed. But there are 36 different objects to keep track of and many of them look similar. If you make a mistake, you score nothing for the round, otherwise you score a point for each correct tile you grabbed. After the first round, you’ll find it difficult to remember if you saw the same object in the current round or a previous one.

Illusion – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Wolfgang Warsch is on a roll this year. As well as The Mind, this is another great estimation game where rather than judging time, you’re estimating how large an area a particular colour appears on a card compared with others previously played. Think Timeline where you have to slot the card into the right place in the line to keep the order in ascending sequence of area covered. Really simple and some tough choices at times.

Gaia Project – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

Billed as Terra Mystica in space, this is an apt description and it plays pretty similarly. The solo game is very well integrated and there appears to be lots of variety to keep the replayability up. Impressed with this.

Raptor – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2015

An asymmetric two player game from the two Brunos with a nice Jurassic Park feel. One person plays the scientists trying to capture the baby raptors; the other plays the raptors trying to get the babies to safety or munch on all the scientists. Some nice second-guessing each round with the lower value card playing first for their special ability while the higher card gets to do multiple standard actions based on the numerical difference between the two cards.

Gold Armada – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Another light dice game from Reiner Knizia that is a yahtzee-like push your luck game to gain the most treasure. Works well as a family game and is very nicely produced.

After The Virus – 2 plays –  7 
First Published 2017

A solo or multi-player deck building game where you are fighting off the zombie hordes while trying to fulfil the objective of the particular mission you have selected for the game (and there are sixteen missions in the box so plenty to get your teeth stuck into). And the missions seem hard (apart from the first which is a gentle introduction). Not seen too much written about his, which is surprising as it’s designed by that guy who produced the fairly popular terrafroming game set on Mars.

Gier – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Alexander Pfister turns his hand to a push your luck game and it works very well. Try stealing cards from your opponent without drawing a duplicate. Stop at the right time to add the cards to your collection and win the game by being the first person to get six cards of the same value in their collection. Simple, some light take-that gameplay and good fun.

Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2014

This is a rethemed version of Pingu Party with Game of Thrones characters instead of the cute penguins. The characters don’t matter at all; it is just their house (colour) that is important in determining whether the card cant be added to the pyramid of penguins (sorry, Westeros royalty). Solid game but I’m sad I don’t still have the penguin version – even though I do like GoT.

Apocalypse Chaos – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

Solo / co-operative game of fighting off aliens in a series of mission scenarios. Seemed really hard but the dice allocation mechanism for various actions didn’t really grab me. It works but it didn’t get me invested in what I was doing. I’d much rather play Space Hulk: Death Angel.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

3x The Game
3x Cinque Terre
3x The City
2x Onirim
2x Römisch Pokern
2x Cheeky Monkey
1x Kriss Kross
1x SOS Titanic
1x Herbaceous
1x Poison
1x Schollen Rollen
1x Marco Polo Expedition
1x Pig Pile
1x Love Letter
1x Verflucht!
1x Pairs
1x Al Cabohne
1x Balloon Pop!
1x Kreuz & Quer
1x Africa
1x At the Gates of Loyang
1x Matschig

Still enjoying playing lots of older, shortish games and experimenting with solo variants of Cinque Terre, Romisch Pokern and The City. It was also good to get Loyang back to the table, as well as a few more Knizia’s – especially Africa, Marco Polo Expedition, Kreuz & Quer and Cheeky Monkey.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 9 new titles to the collection: Gold Armada, Gier, Deja Vu, Menara, Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue, After the Virus, Raptor, Professor Evil & the Citadel of Time and Illusion. I also reacquired ( 3 ) 4 games (Through the Desert, Loot, Kreuz & Quer and Orongo), which means my total collection now stands at 551.

My list of unplayed games is down from 2 to 1 and my Game of the Month was a new entry in the Zoch wooden block building series, Menara..

March 2018 roundup

In March, I managed to play 32 games of 24 different titles, with 3 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Verflucht! – 4 plays –  8 
First Published 2018

Another nice quick card game where you are trying to match good (green) cards with the equivalent bad (red) cards. As a solo game, it plays very much like a typical game of patience (Solitaire) and has a large element of luck of the draw but, as it only takes 10 minutes, it has a bit of an addictive “let’s try again” quality. I suspect multi-player will be even more challenging but I’ve not tried it this way so far.

Ganz schön clever – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Another roll and write game but this is a bit meatier than most with a Feld-like multiplicity of scoring options. The dice selection/manipulation and choosing when to stop rolling are quite interesting and I very much enjoyed my first solo play. Very good.

The Grimm Forest – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

One of my rare kickstarter acquisitions. Nice family style game with a little bit of nastiness thrown in. As one of the three little pigs, you’re racing to be the first to build three houses. The fable and friend cards add a bit of variability to keep things fresh.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

3x Onirim
2x The Grizzled
2x The Mind
2x Thunderbirds
1x Exxtra
1x Piece o’ Cake
1x Twenty One
1x Burgle Bros.
1x Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
1x Familienbande
1x Tante Tarantel
1x Ingenious
1x Sushizock im Gockelwok
1x Snowdonia
1x Terraforming Mars
1x Numeri
1x Pandemic: The Cure
1x Royal Turf
1x 7 Wonders Duel
1x Risk Express
1x Finca

Lots of games that I haven’t played for ages returned to the table this month. Finca was one that Jan really enjoyed and is such an elegant game, it deserves the reprint it’s getting later this year. A few more Knizias reappeared: Risk Express is ok but not one of my favourites, whereas Ingenious, Royal Turf and Sushizock im Gockelwock were all great fun. And I got back to solo Snowdonia again after a long absence. Train 4, Snowdon, this time and it reminded what a great design Mr Boydell’s masterpiece really is.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 5 new titles to the collection: Verflucht, Ganz Schon Clever, The Grimm Forest, Apocalypse Chaos and Gaia Project, which means my total collection now stands at 538. I think April will see me start to do another batch of collection trimming so watch out for a few geeklist auctions soon.

My list of unplayed games is up from zero to 2 because of two new arrivals at the end of the month and my Game of the Month was Ganz Schon Clever.

February 2018 roundup

In February, I managed to play 24 games of 22 different titles, with 8 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

The Mind – 2 plays –  8 
First Published 2018

This is a really novel game where a shared sense of timing is the crucial mechanism. It can be very tense with lots of groan moments when you misjudge the next card to be played. I see this getting lots of play.

Powerships – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2018

Powerships is very similar to Powerboats and that’s great because ‘boats is one of my favourite race games. There is probably a bit more variability in Powerships with the greater number of board pieces to mix up.

Voodoo Prince – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

Another excellent small card game from Reiner Knizia. This is a trick-taking game where you try to delay taking tricks until the best time. The two player game works slightly differently but still plays very well. Another one I hope gets plenty of play.

Würfelland – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2018

The latest roll and write game which is a race to complete one coloured area and cross out 9 treasure fields. Works pretty well but not sure it is different enough from others to stand out. But I like these roll and write games a lot so it’ll probably see more plays.

Die Eisernen Manner – 1 play –  7 
First Published 1993

This is an old 1993 game that came in a tube. It’s a race game depicting a triathlon with different rules for the swimming, cycling and running stages. Not too much in the way of strategy but pleasant enough.

The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

This is CoB – the roll and write variant and feels like Castles of Burgundy, which means it’s good. Only played solo so far but easy to get in a game in less than half an hour.

Carcassonne für 2 – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

This isn’t any different from normal Carcassonne other than it’s more compact with smaller and fewer tiles. If you want a more portable version for two players, it’s worth getting but it doesn’t add anything more to its bigger brother so not a must-buy if you have the original.

Bärenpark – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Is this Patchwork with bears? Well, yes in some ways, in that it’s about efficiently covering your boards but there’s a bit more to it when you add in the achievement tiles. And thecreatures are not all bears. However, it’s a solid, easy to pick up game with a nice theme..

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Exxtra
1x Katzenjammer Blues
1x Forbidden Island
1x Rallyman
1x Potato Man
1x Loony Quest
1x Pizza Box Football
1x FITS
1x Lord of the Rings
1x Finito!
1x Nautilion
1x Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
1x Geister Geister Schatzsuchmeister
1x The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 7 new titles to the collection and discovered one in the garage that I hadn’t previously logged, which means my total collection now stands at 533.

My list of unplayed games is still at zero (Woohoo!) and my Game of the Month, due to its very different gameplay concept, was The Mind.

January 2018 roundup

During January, I managed to play 20 games of 16 different titles, with just 1 of them being new to me. Having cleared my unplayed list at the end of last year, the only new game was:

== NEW GAMES ==

Nautilion – 2 plays –  7 
First Published 2016

I ran out of patience waiting for Z-Man to release this in the UK so ordered a copy from Amazon US and it arrived about a week ago. Really pleased with it so far. It’s a dice management game where you are racing to get your ship to the Abyss with a full crew before the Phantom’s ship reaches the Happy Isles and, presumably, causes bad things to happen. Two games using the base setup and the A (easiest) board have turned on the very last turn so it’s been quite tense and the harder boards and additional rules will clearly make it more challenging so it should get a few more plays yet at least. Rating may rise when the extra elements are added if they make the game more interesting, but it’s still an enjoyable and solid game already.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Can’t Stop
2x 20 Express
2x Pickomino
1x Coloretto
1x Zooloretto: The Dice Game
1x Träxx
1x Elder Sign
1x Straw
1x Rummikub
1x Limes
1x Finito!
1x Star Realms
1x Thurn and Taxis
1x Exxtra
1x Keltis: Das Kartenspiel

Played several games I’ve not played for ages. Thurn & Taxis hasn’t been played for over 10 years but is still great. Coloretto is still one of my favourite Michael Schacht games and it’s criminal that I haven’t played it since 2013 (also need to give Hansa another try before long). Keltis: das Kartenspiel and Exxtra are terrific light and short Reiner Knizia games that should be played more. I need to keep the older Knizia games in circulation, particularly as Doug Adams is embarking on a Knizia challenge for 2018 so I’m bound to be tempted to revisit some when he picks them out (Trendy is already on the list).

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added only 1 new title to the collection (Nautilion) and reacquired one, Keltis: Das Kartenspiel which means my total collection now stands at 525.

My list of unplayed games is still at zero (Hurray!) and my Game of the Month by default (although it’s still worthy of the accolade) was Nautilion.