Three Valentines?

No, not three messages from secret admirers – rather Jan suggesting we play the three different versions of Love Letter that we have. Maybe I should have been suspicious – having scored some brownie points with the red roses this morning – but winning all three games is inconceivable. I hardly ever win so Jan was probably going easy on me.

It was interesting to play the original, Batman and Hobbit versions back-to-back and each has just enough of a difference to make it worthwhile playing in its own right. Good fun!

love_letter

Six Picks: Felix’s Best Games of 2015

Only a month later than everyone else, which I’m not sure is indicative of a tendency for analysis paralysis or not, Felix has just sent me his picks of his best games of 2015. If you were expecting the list to be filled with 20 minute dice games, you’re likely to be disappointed. Otherwise, you can see his choices here.

Steam time

I got an English copy of Steam Time today by Rudiger Dorn and Kosmos. I tried it this evening with Jan and it was a very good medium weight game – slightly on the heavier side than Jan prefers but she coped with the rules fine. It’s a worker placement game played over five rounds where you are moving through time collecting and using resources (crystals and steam) to power your airships to conduct expeditions and missions that will give you esteem (VPs) during and at the end of the game. Lots of paths to victory and some forward planning required to optimise your turns – which we didn’t really try to do on this learning game.

Scores were close with me winning 63-58 but that  may have been due to Jan misreading a 9 point mission card that she thought she could use more than once – she had the resources to score it a second time so would then have won. Very good and took us marginally over an hour as a two player game. Four player likely to be around 90-120 minutes.

steam_time

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.