February 2021 roundup

In February, I managed to play 60 games of 40 different titles with 10 of them being new to me.

== NEW GAMES ==

Quirky Circuits – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2019

Board Game: Quirky Circuits

This is a neat co-operative programming puzzle game somewhat akin to Robo Rally where the players build a row of movement cards without communicating what cards each has played to manoeuvre the robot around a grid to complete a given objective within a set number of rounds. It works really well and it’s fun seeing your programming going to shambles and then having to recover. Good stuff.

Snooker Solitaire – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Board Game: Snooker Solitaire

This is a clever solitaire print and play game from Mark Tuck (the designer of Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game) where you are competing in a snooker tournament against progressively harder AI opponents. Has a nice feel of building a break and is challenging even with the weakest AI.

Pocket Sports Surfing Tour – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Board Game: Pocket Sports Surfing Tour

Roll the dice to try to catch a wave and ride it to gain points with five attempts to score the most points from your three best runs. Has a nice feel of surfing and as the tour progresses you can pick up sponsors to improve your chances of scoring big points. Good fun.

Pocket Football – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2013

Board Game: Pocket Football

Very light dice game depicting the highlights of a football match. Little in the way of decision-making (as is the case with most of the Pocket Sports range) but gives a good feel for the game.

LAMA Dice – 2 plays –  7 
First Published 2021

Board Game: LAMA Dice

Not truly “The Dice Game” as it is both dice and cards but involves a bit more push your luck than the original card game. Not as good but still works reasonably well and we enjoyed it.

Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game – 3 plays –  7 
First Published 2016

Board Game: Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game

This is Zombie Dice re-themed to the Batman universe where players act as different villains who can each manipulate the dice in a different way. You’re still trying to roll the most brains (sorry, loot) and avoid the shotguns (Batman symbols). A nice variant that I’d like to pick up although it’s difficult to find these days.

Pocket Sports Hockey – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2015

Board Game: Pocket Sports Hockey

Another decent dice version of a sport where you face off to gain control of the puck and pass around and shoot, attempting to outscore your opponent, while making the most of your power plays.

Pocket Sports Cycling – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

Board Game: Pocket Sports: Cycling Tour

This attempt to reflect a cycling tour has some interesting ideas but I didn’t find it quite worked for me. You’re trying to progress up the “classification” over the successive stages but often you’re simply swapping places with the other teams and not really getting very far at all. Need to try again but not my favourite in this line

Pocket Boxing – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

Board Game: Pocket Boxing

The boxing dice game works ok and does a decent job of the boxers wearing their opponent down. Cause enough hits in an exchange and you can knock them to the canvas with the chance that they might not beat the count. Pretty good.

Scrabble Duplicate – 1 play –  4 
First Published 2020

Board Game: Scrabble Duplicate

I thought this sounded like a good idea, competing to come up with the best word from the same rack of letters but the execution, with dry wipe boards that don’t really dry wipe because of the pens, didn’t work for me and this will probably be offloaded to the charity shop as soon as they reopen.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

3x High Society
3x Lucky Numbers
3x Arkham Horror: The Card Game
3x Straw
3x Marvel Champions: The Card Game
2x Space Worm
2x Onirim
2x Can’t Stop
2x Zombie Dice
2x Encore!
2x The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac
2x Bowling Dice
1x Würfelwurst
1x Rummikub
1x Jaipur
1x Qwixx
1x Pizza Box Football
1x 6 nimmt!
1x Perudo
1x Pickomino
1x Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
1x Football Highlights 2052
1x The Great Escape
1x Spirit Island
1x Diamant
1x Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
1x Cahoots
1x Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game
1x Mahé
1x Pocket Tennis

My annual play of Pizza box Football was fun as always (and I called the Superbowl winner again) and I also got in my first play of Football Highlights 2052 in a while. I also tried a couple of solo modes for High Society and Zombie Dice that are being submitted to a BGG contest and they both worked pretty well.

== YEAR SO FAR ==

93 games of 53 titles.
13 new to me.
2 x 8 plays; 10 x 3 plays; 6 x 2 plays; 35 x 1 play.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 8 new titles to the collection which were LAMA Dice, Quirky Circuits, Scrabble Duplicate, Pocket Football, Pocket Boxing, Pocket Sports Hockey, Pocket Sports Cycling and Pocket Sports Surfing Tour. I also parted company with 20 games so my total collection now stands at 682.

At the end of February, I still have no unplayed games (0 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was Quirky Circuits

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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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