Holiday Mhing

Mhing is a Mah Jongg card game released in 1982 that I’ve played a couple of times but have no real desire to revisit. That said, the box has always served me well (despite now being a bit battered) to transport several compact games when I’ve ventured off on holiday.

We’re off to Tenerife on Saturday so I’ve sorted out a few (let’s call it 12) games that will fit in the Mhing box. Accompanying us this time are:

Love Letter
Zooloretto Wurfelspiel
Fox in the Forest
Eggs & Empires
Dice Heist
Potato Man
Blood of an Englishman
Mystery Rummy: Al Capone & the Chicago Underworld
Crazy Chicken

Who can tell how many we’ll actually get to play?

My 20 game choices from 2007 and earlier

Following on from yesterday’s post about the latest Gamenight episode, I decided to construct my own list and managed an initial selection of thirty. Unfortunately, that meant I had to cut High Society, Quandary, Die Siedler von Catan, Traumfabrik, Speculation, Basari, Street Soccer, Tumblin’ Dice, Medici and Mystery Rummy: Al Capone & the Chicago Underworld. However, that still left me with:

Ave Caesar
El Grande
Liar’s Dice / Bluff
San Juan
Pillars of the Earth
Shadows over Camelot
Kardinal & Konig / Web of Power
6 Nimmt
Around the World in 80 Days
For Sale
Lord of the Rings
Can’t Stop
Lost Cities
Ticket to Ride

None of these are ever leaving my collection and I’d be happy to play these any time.

Pre-2007 games on Gamenight

Just listened to one of my favourite episodes of Gamenight where they review the best games of 2007 and earlier. The link is here. Lots of fond memories of some fantastic games and it goes to show what a talented designer Reiner Knizia was (and still is). Not only his gamer games but also lighter stuff like Exxtra and En Garde still stand the test of time.

Mark’s and Dave’s choices probably align closest to my own tastes although I’ve not bothered to work out my own top 20. Knowing their tastes, I wasn’t surprised to hear Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball Game and Entdecker included. However, there were a few omissions that I was disappointed didn’t feature. I would definitely have Liar’s Dice / BluffAve Caesar and The Pillars of the Earth on my list.

2017 end of year roundup

2017 saw me play 274 games of 175 different titles and 106 of these were new to me during the year. This was up on last year although 2016 suffered due to my house move and general lack of opportunities to play. Here are the totals for the last several years:

Year Total Different
2017 274 175
2016 133 119
2015 314 205
2014 335 219
2013 234 155
2012 239 154
2011 200 156
2010 208 157
2009 229 157

My full list of games played in 2017 is here.


My most played games were Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle with 11 plays (once with the Monster Box of Monsters expansion) and Mmm! with 10 plays. Then came Formula D (8 plays), Herbaceous (7 plays), Limes (6 plays) and Can’t Stop (5 plays). 5 games were played four times, 5 games were played three times, 33 were played twice and 126 of them were played just once. My unplayed games list started 2017 at 28 and I’m happy to report it has sunk to zero as of the end of this year.

My six picks for the best games I played for the first time in 2017 were Azul, Flamme Rouge, Majesty: For the Realm, Mmm! The Quest for El Dorado and Terraforming Mars. As with last year, I’ve also done a six picks of solo / two-player games featuring 4 Seasons, Blood of an Englishman, Codenames: Duet, Fox in the Forest, Klask and Nemo’s War (second edition).


As far as the collection is concerned, I sold off another large batch of games in the second half of the year but have been adding a few each month over the course of the year. Nevertheless, the total has come down again from 561 to 523. I’d like to get the total closer to 400 so will be doing some more auctions in 2018.

December 2017 roundup

During December, I managed to play 29 games of 25 different titles, with 20 of them being new to me in my quest to clear my unplayed games list by the end of the year. The new games were:


Legends – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2016

Legends is an excellent,family game using the Thebes time-track turn-order mechanism, with you spending time to travel the map, collect cards, spend cards to lay books of knowledge at the locations, and influence the headquarters deck, which determines which locations are likely to be scored when the scoring phase is triggered. A pleasant surprise for a game that seems to have had very little attention on BGG.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

More Hogwarts Battle with Creatures being added to the list of Villains you need to defeat and Encounters that you need to overcome. Not too different from the base game so far (only Box 1 opened so far).

Abyss – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2014

A game I’ve had nearly a year before finally playing it and it’s very good. Fairly easy to explain and play with Jan and Becky both enjoying it.

Majesty: For the Realm – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

I hoped this new title by Marc Andre was going to be good, based on how much I like Splendor, but this was truly excellent. One of the best games of the year and easily played within half an hour with four players. Should be just as good with two so it should see more play in 2018.

Word Slam – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2016

Excellent party game with two teams trying to guess the same answer with a clue giver on each side frantically selecting word cards to guide their team to the solution. But the other team’s guesses could be just as helpful in narrowing things down. Great fun.

Smile – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

Michael Schacht does Geschenkt/ No Thanks. I really enjoyed this one and the rule where pairs of the same value get discarded can either help to get rid of negative cards or drive you mad when you’re forced to discard a high positive one. Excellent, although pricey for what you get in the box.

Dream On! – 2 plays –  8 
First Published 2017

Another great party game where you spend 2 minutes using cards to create a story and then co-operate to re-tell it as best you can. We were so bad at remembering things (alcohol may have hindered us quite a bit) but we still had a fun time.

Azul – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2017

Brilliant game of drafting tiles to then be placed as decorations in your palace. Points are scored depending on how they are placed with bonuses for certain patterns and tile sets. Simple to play but plenty to think about. Excellent.

Vienna – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2015

Dice game a bit like Kingsburg but playable in a much shorter time. A solid design and enjoyable gameplay.

Pyramids – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Another very good card-drafting game that plays in half an hour. Constructing three structures with your stone cards, you try to connect stones of the same colour in your pyramid, get a certain colour appear on many levels in your obelisk, and try to have colour majorities in your tomb.

The Chameleon – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Another very good party game where one player tries to hide the fact they are the chameleon during a single round of clue-giving towards a word that everyone but the chameleon knows. Chameleon gets a point if they remain hidden or are discovered but can guess the secret word. We had good fun with this, even though I failed to score a point the whole game.

KLASK – 2 plays –  7 
First Published 2014

Great dexterity game which is a bit like Weykick but has magnets that you need your playing piece to avoid as well as not falling into your own goal.

Evolution: Climate – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Very nice hand-management card game where you create animal species with traits to allow them to feed, while also increasing their body size / population and dealing with the changing climate. Nice game of creating effective card combos.

King’s Road – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2017

Very straightforward area majority game that plays simply and is all about second-guessing what everyone else is trying to do. Solid game but probably not got much in the way of replayability.

Yangtze – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2016

A set-collection and commodity trading game by Reiner which works but turned out to be a bit dull. Nothing wrong with it but pretty forgettable.

Exit: The Game – The Pharaoh’s Tomb – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2016

Another co-operative escape-room type game with some tricky puzzles. Ok but not great.

Bears vs Babies – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2017

The follow-up to Exploding Kittens is about building monsters / bears to be able to defeat the evil babies. Quite good fun with some take that aspects and the monster-part descriptions are pretty funny.

Fast Forward: FEAR – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2017

This is a game. It plays ok but, as with the other Fast Forward titles. I have no desire to replay it.

Fast Forward: FORTRESS – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2017

See above.

Clash of the Gladiators – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2002

I bought an in-shrink copy of this at UK Games Expo this year and opened it this month to find one of the dice was misprinted. You can still play the game but I doubt there’s any chance of obtaining a replacement die. The game is all about chucking dice and hoping for decent rolls. No real strategy after constructing your gladiator teams but it plays ok. You just need the right crowd to make the most of it.


2x The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
2x Zombie Dice
1x Flamme Rouge
1x Mmm!
1x Amphipolis

As I was concentrating on clearing my unplayed games, not a lot else got played, although I did play a couple of games of LotR: TCG to refresh myself on the rules, having last played it in 2011.


I added 9 new titles to the collection which means my total collection now stands at 523. The new games were: Azul, Majesty: For the Realm, Smile, Word Slam, Pyramids, Klask, Bears vs. Babies, Evolution: Climate and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters.

My list of unplayed games has sunk from 10 at the start of the month to zero now (Hurray!) and my Game of the Month was Majesty: For the Realm.