Secret Santa 2012 Revealed

Well, not the identity of my Secret Santa – that is still very much a secret and I have to thank his alter-ego, Sven, for his playful taunts. However, Christmas day has now come and gone and I eagerly tore open the wrapping paper of my three parcels to reveal the following great choices of game.

Thanks ever so much, Secret Santa. I shall really enjoy playing these in the near future.

Le Havre – The Inland Port

Chris and I tried Uwe Rosenberg’s new two-player Le Havre game. The Inland Port combines the purchasing and activating buildings elements of Le Havre with the timing wheel of Ora & Labora and it works very well. It’s a very thinky and dry game and I reckon Guy would enjoy it very much. Our game took us just over an hour and I would expect the time to come down with familiarity but I’m not sure we’d ever get it down to the claimed thirty minutes. Certainly a lot more time to play than Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small. A very good game that has just edged out Equilibrion on my Six Picks for Solo / Two-player games of 2012.

Party Extravaganza

We had a do at our house yesterday with Jan’s sister and family and party games were requested and dutifully delivered by yours truly. We managed to fit in Telestrations, Timeline: Inventions, Pluckin’ Pairs, Say Anything, Tumblin’ Dice, Cash ‘n’ Guns and Riff Raff.

It was the first time I’d tried Pluckin’ Pairs and it worked pretty well. Eleven picture cards are laid out and then everyone has 90 seconds to write down five pairs with one picture left over. You then compare answers and you score a point for every player who gave the same pair as you unless everyone chose that same pair. Very simple with some interesting conversations about why people had chosen the pairs they had.

Six Picks for 2012 – preamble

It’s getting towards the end of the year and my thoughts are turning to my annual six picks for the best games of 2012. It will be interesting to see how this year’s choices compare with previous years as I sense my most enjoyable games have been even more at the lighter end of the scale than usual (accepting that I have always had a preference for tight rules and elegant mechanisms). However, there are one or two more substantial games that have impressed me – can you work out what they are?

Hopefully, some of the Shrewsbury Boardgames Club will also give me their six picks for 2012 so we should get an interesting comparison going: Mark G’s choices of anything involving conflict; Nige’s selections of anything that’s “not fun”; Guy’s quickest games of the year and Andrew’s picks of games in which he manages not to throw away an insurmountable lead, to name just a few.

Any of our players who wants to give me their picks can do so either by email or handing me a scrappy bit of paper next Friday (21st). If you want to give me some narrative backing up your choices, all the better – otherwise I might just pour scorn on your inappropriate choices. I’ll then publish any submissions I get over the festive period.

Game of the Month – November 2012

In November, I only managed 12 plays of 9 different titles, six of which were new to me. The new titles were Tzolk’in, Get Bit, Gauntlet of Fools, Merchant of Venus (2nd Edition), Timeline: Inventions and Morels.

I only added two games to the collection, both brought back during my trip to Toronto, and my unplayed games list is only down to 26. There was no outstanding game I played this month but the one that gets my vote for Game of the Month for November is Morels, a two-player set-collection card game which I can see playing several times as it’s in the same mould as Jaipur.