Predicting the SdJ and KedJ Nominees

The nominees for this year’s German boardgame awards, the Spiel des Jahres (SdJ) and Kennerspiel des Jahres (KedJ), are announced tomorrow so I’ve been thinking about who might be nominated. It’s a bit tougher for me this year as I’ve probably played fewer of the potential nominees than I have in previous years. However, I think the jury will do its best as normal to throw up a surprise or two, so these are my predictions:

Spiel des Jahres

Karuba – This is my banker nomination as it seems to me to be the perfect fit for the criteria used by the jury and it would be nice to acknowledge Haba’s move into family games.
Codenames – This is probably the bookies’ favourite as I think everyone was saying it was SdJ material as soon as it was released. It would be nice for a word game to be nominated but it doesn’t look as good on the table, as you’re just staring at a five by five grid of words. That said, I’m pretty confident it will be nominated.
Completto – This is my left-field pick but I think it fits the jury’s criteria well, its got nice components and looks good, while Schmidt Spiele and Heinz Meister are a good pairing.

Kennerspiel des Jahres

Isle of Skye – I always have trouble working out how much of a step up the KedJ is supposed to be from the SdJ but I think lighter rather than heavier, which is why I discount the likes of Mombasa and My Village. Isle of Skye has a bit more going on than the games above and Alexander Pfister is on a roll, so this could be given the nod.
7 Wonders Duel – Two-player may be a knock against it but I think this is superb and has that familiarity of the 7W system and difference in gameplay to set it apart that means it could well get a nomination.
Mysterium – For me, this has the novelty of gameplay and continuing replayability out of the box that TIME Stories and Pandemic Legacy do not and that’s why I pick this ahead of those games.

So there you have it. I’m pretty certain some of my picks will not gel with those who read this so tell me which games you think are more likely to get the nod and why. Not long until we know the jury’s view.

Is it my move yet?

Those of you that subscribe or occasionally dip into this blog will know that I have been significantly trimming my collection over the last year and a bit. Although this was probably necessary anyway, due to the size my collection had reached, I did have an ulterior motive – which is a planned house move from Shrewsbury to somewhere closer to my work in Knutsford.

Well, that plan is a bit closer to fruition now as we’ve accepted an offer on our Shrewsbury home and have started the search for a new place in Cheshire. The strong likelihood is that I’ll no longer have a dedicated games room and the cull of my collection is going to gather pace over the next couple of months.

My current geeklist auction, which runs until Saturday night, has several recent gems such as Isaribi, Euphoria, Lords of Xidit and Russian Railroads, as well as a good number of older, forgotten gems such as Chicago Express, Phoenicia, Maharaja and Nottingham. The full list of games is as follows:

Russian Railroads
Maharaja
Chicago Express
Isaribi
Sapiens
Red November
Flaschenteufel (The Bottle Imp)
Lords of Xidit
Elysium
Euphoria (Deluxe)
Top & Down
Level X
aBRIDGEd
Knock Out
Die Erbraffer
Zum Kuckuck (Turn the Tide)
Endeavor
Phoenicia
An den Ufern des Nils
Il Principe
Bruges
Phoenix
Nottingham
Montego Bay
Einauge sei wachsam
Smash up
Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up
Schnappchen Jagd (Bargain Hunter)
San Francisco
The Broadway Game

2016 Challenge – Third Geeklist Auction

Having challenged myself in 2015 to reduce my collection by 365 games, which was about a third of my total collection and succeeded in selling over 400, this year I’m going to see if I can get my collection down to below 400 games, which means again selling about a third of the games I own.

So my third 2016 Geeklist auction is now live and runs up until Thursday 28th April. Sorry but this is strictly UK and Europe shipping only. The 35 games included this time are:

Wallenstein
Run Fight or Die
Die Siedler von Catan: Das Buch zum Spielen
Die Siedler von Catan
Palazzo
Ticket to Ride: Team Asia and Legendary Asia
Ticket to Ride: Nederland
Legends of Andor
Ingenious
Octodice
Signorie
Big Kini
Yspahan
Ostia
Santiago de Cuba
Innovation
Gangster
Caylus
Odin’s Ravens
Rattlebones
[microfilms]
Sail to India
Family Business
Kamisado
24/7: The Game
Peloponnes Card Game
Little Devils
Qwinto
Njet!
Die Erbtante
Mit List und Tucke
Al Cabohne
Qwirkle Cubes
Lord of the Rings: The Search
Mr Jack Pocket

Two new card games

 

I arrived home tonight to find a delivery from Philibert had arrived. The overly large box contained two small card games that I’ve been itching to get hold of. Arboretum is a clever puzzle-like card game, the English Z-Man version of which has been sold out over here for ages, so I decided to grab the French Filosofia edition. And The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game is an English / French edition that hasn’t appeared on general UK release yet but looks an interesting card-only version of the board game and has solo rules for playing against Aaron (An Almost Real OppoNent). Looking forward to playing both.

castles_of_burgundy_tcg

March 2016 roundup

In March, I managed to play 15 games of 12 different titles, 8 of which were new to me. The new games were:

TIME Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons – The third scenario was better than the second and adds a second level to the exploration. Pretty good but not sure if there’s enough different going on to keep me wanting to try more.
3 sind eine zu viel – Another 6 Nimmt type of game that worked very well, although I got absolutely thrashed by Jan in our first two-player outing.
Bomb Squad Academy – This is a pleasant enough push your luck / second-guessing game of trying to defuse a bomb without setting it off.
Bottom of the 9th – Only tried this solo and I’m not sure if it quite works. It’s not going to displace Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball as my go-to baseball game.
Karuba – Create paths in the jungle to lead to the different treasures before your opponents do. Excellent puzzle in the Take it Easy style, plays quickly and one I see me playing both with the game club and family.
Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row – Second expansion works very well with the base game, although I wouldn’t want to combine both expansions as it would probably outstay its welcome. Still think Machi Koro is an excellent design.
Quadropolis – New Days of Wonder game that works really well. It is quite a thinky game and it gets more so from round to round but it is fun to try and optimise your layout, although I found it very easy to mess up with the early placements.
Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up – Smash Up is ok in small doses but I didn’t really enjoy these new cards. Jan found the cats really odd and confusing.

I sold 24 games and added 5 new games to the collection: Bottom of the 9th, Karuba, Quadropolis, Sapiens and Tokaido Deluxe Edition. My total collection stands at 601.

My unplayed list is down from 15 to 7, and my Game of the Month was Karuba, a nice treasure hunting puzzle game.

2016 Challenge – Second Geeklist Auction

Having challenged myself in 2015 to reduce my collection by 365 games, which was about a third of my total collection and succeeded in selling over 400, this year I’m going to see if I can get my collection down to below 400 games, which means again selling about a third of the games I own.

So my second 2016 Geeklist auction is now live and runs up until Thursday 31st March. Sorry but this is strictly UK and Europe shipping only. The games included this time are:

Bomb Squad
Ships
A Fake Artist Goes to New York
[microfilms]
Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Tiny Epic Defenders
Die Fursten von Florenz
Sail to India
World Cup Tournament Football
Mykerinos
Flash 10
MauerBauer (Masons)
Deus
Hare & the Tortoise
Moderne Zeiten
Top & Down
Baseball Strategy
California
Blox
Vikings

Start of my 2016 challenge

Having challenged myself in 2015 to reduce my collection by 365 games, which was about a third of my total collection and succeeded in selling over 400, this year I’m going to see if I can get my collection down to below 400 games, which means again selling about a third of the games I own – as of 12th March, my BGG profile shows that I own 625 games.

So my first 2016 Geeklist auction is now live and runs up until Thursday 17th March. Sorry but this is strictly UK and Europe shipping only. The twenty games included this time are:

Seasons
1960: The Making of the President
Indigo
Australia
Big City
[microfilms]
La Isla
Mottainai Deluxe
Coup
The Resistance
Navegador
Tiny Epic Defenders
Tiny Epic Kingdoms
Schoko & Co
Candamir: The First settlers
OWACON
Football Strategy
Baseball Strategy
Saint Petersburg
Those Pesky Garden Gnomes

February 2016 roundup

In February, I managed to play 27 games of 24 different titles, 10 of which were new to me. The new games were:

20 Express – Simple game of drawing number tiles from a bag and marking the numbers on a score sheet so you get strings of ascending numbers, with longer strings scoring more points. Nice puzzle with a Take It Easy feel.
Automobiles – Very clever bag building game crossed with a racing game, where you use cubes drawn from a bag for movement and to improve your car’s capabilities. Lots of variability in the improvement cards that can be used each race means that the game will play differently every time.
Burgle Bros – Co-operative game about a heist where you are robbers trying to explore a building and make off with the contents of a safe while avoiding the guards and various alarms. Very good and plays well solo.
The Grizzled – Another co-operative game but with an unusual theme of simply trying to survive the First World War. Very tough to beat, you try to get cards out of your hand and deplete the draw deck before the morale deck runs out. Very enjoyable.
Isle of Trains – Little card game with lots to think about with multi-use cards. Build up your train, load stuff onto it and fulfil contracts but helping your opponent can also help you.
Octodice – Dice game where you combine pairs of dice to do stuff on your score sheet with a view to scoring the most VPs you can over 6 rounds.
Paperback – Deck building game combined with a word game. Works really nicely and has a strong Dominion-like feel.
Peloponnes: The Card Game – Streamlined version of the board game that is very close to the original but with more less predictable disasters. Still a tough balancing act.
Push It – Very portable dexterity game where gameplay couldn’t be simpler. Flick your wooden discs to get as close to the target disc as you can. Good fun.
Steam Time – Game about travelling through time on steam-powered airships with a view to completing expeditions, upgrading your airship, accomplishing missions in order to amass the most VPs after five rounds. Very good with lots of choices to make on your turn and multiple paths to victory.

I sold 7 games and added 6 new games to the collection: 20 Express, Automobiles, Burgle Bros, Isle of Trains, Paperback and Steam Time. My total collection stands at 620.

My unplayed list is down from 19 to 15, and my Game of the Month was a very tough choice as Automobiles, The Grizzled, Burgle Bros and Steam Time were all very good. However, I have to pick one so let’s go for Automobiles, an excellent blend of deck (bag) building and race game.

January 2016 roundup

During January, gaming was very light and I only managed to play 16 games of 15 different titles, 5 of which were new to me. The new games were:

504 – The hot Essen release about combining modules to create a different game every time is very clever on paper but seemed very dry in the execution. Only played module 123 but looking at the other modules didn’t inspire me to want to explore more. Shame.
Between Two Cities – Nice city building drafting game where you work with your neighbours to create the best shared city and you score the lower-valued of your two cities. Solo game was good.
Scharfe Schoten – Clever trick-taking game. At the start of each round you predict which colours of card you are going to collect both the most and least in. You score points if either of your predictions is correct and a bonus if both are correct. The card backs show the suit colours so you have some knowledge in working out your card play but it is often tricky trying to win enough cards in your off-suits to ensure your predictions pay off.
Qwinto – This is a spin-off from Qwixx where you roll dice and write the total in one of three rows with numbers having to be in ascending order from left to right. Sounds like Qwixx but scoring is different and there is a bit more to think about in where in the grid to mark your total. Really good.
The Big Book of Madness – Co-op deck building game where you are combining elements and casting spells to overcome curses and monsters. Seemed pretty tough on a first play but looks to be a fair bit of variability and left me thinking about strategy well after I’d finished playing.

I added 4 new games to the collection: Push It, The Grizzled, Octodice and TIME Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons.

My unplayed list is down from 20 to 19, and my Game of the Month was the really tough but interesting co-op game, The Big Book of Madness although Qwinto also pushed it quite hard.