In July, I managed to play 111 games of 22 different titles with 7 of them being new to me.
== NEW GAMES ==
Three Dice Horse Racing – 4 plays – 7
First Published 2013
This is a dice and charts sports replay game of horse flat racing. Races take place over 4 to 7 rounds depending on the length of the race and, for each horse, the three dice generate a movement factor to which modifiers are applied to take account of the horse’s qualities and whether it favours the early, middle or closing stages. It works pretty well and a race takes between 10 and 20 minutes.
Trails of Tucana – 2 plays – 7
First Published 2019
This is a flip and write game and works very well solo (and I’m sure equally as well with more than one). You have a map made up of different terrain hexes (desert, forest, mountains or water) with ten villages (marked A-E twice over) and five pairs of different features (named ‘sights’ in the game) dotted around the map. You also have a deck of 27 terrain cards. You turn over a pair of cards and draw a line between adjacent hexes that feature those types of terrain. Once the deck runs out (13 turns with one card left over) shuffle the deck and repeat to end the game. You score points after the first round for sights you managed to connect to any village and again at the end of the game plus any connected villages of matching letters. In the multi-player game, you also get a bonus for connecting matching villages before other players (or, in solo, a smaller bonus for all matching villages connected in round 1 and any other connected matches at the end of the game providing the bonus cards weren’t randomly removed after round 1). It’s a neat and simple game of trying to get your best score without knowing how the terrain cards are going to be paired up.
Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game – 6 plays – 7
First Published 2011
This solo print and play game has you trying to get to Mount Doom by progressing through the card deck in up to 25 turns and, once the card deck is exhausted, tossing the ring into the fiery depths to win. The 54 cards each show characters or locations you encounter on your journey as well as three things pertinent to game play: how many cards you draw next turn, how much damage the card does to you and an action that is only activated if it is the last card drawn. Get through the deck without losing all your health or encountering the witch king too often and you win. Games take 5-15 minutes and it has that addictive quality to try again when you fail.
Explorers – 1 play – 7
First Published 2021
This is another flip and write game, nicely produced by Ravensburger. The game is played over four rounds and, in each round, you will reveal 7 landscape tiles (from 8) one at a time and utilise one of the two terrain types shown to fill in 2 or 3 matching terrain spaces on your board. After 7 tiles have been flipped, the round ends and you score for things you have filled in. After four rounds, you tot up your points and see how you performed against a ranking scale (solo) or the other players (multi-player).
Boundary T20 Cricket – 1 play – 7
First Published 2016
This is a print and play cricket replay game using real world statistics. It uses three dice and cards for the batsmen with a chart for everything else, principally bowler economy, how wickets fell, which fielder made any catches etc. Batsmen are graded from 11 to 55 and the card for their grade is used to determine how many runs they score or whether there’s a wicket possibility for each delivery (roll of the dice). It’s a pretty straightforward design and takes under an hour per innings even if you record full batsmen/bowler details throughout.
Motor Sport – 3 plays – 7
First Published 2012
This is another sports replay game from Lambourne which I’d describe as a cut-down version of World of Motor Racing with various modules covering F1, F3000, Indy Car, MotoGP etc. You can re-create any race where you have access to qualifying and finishing positions and these generate a basic racing grade and starting Cumulative Movement Factor. A race is comprised of a start turn, representing the opening break into the first corner, six regular turns and, in the case of MotoGP, a last lap turn. Each regular turn involves every driver rolling a die and, on a roll of 1-4, will move normally; a roll of five will generate a negative effect; and a 6 will generate a positive effect. Additionally for MotoGP, a roll of 1 will eliminate a real-life non-finisher – otherwise you just follow the normal result. It works pretty well and is very much suited to season play as races are completed much quicker than in World of Motor Racing.
Owzat T20 Cricket – 2 plays – 6
First Published 2014
This is another dice and charts sports replay game with batsmen and bowlers rated from A-D to vary how the players perform. It uses a clever grid system with the batsmen moving around the grid, up and down the various columns based on a die roll but the better batsmen start in the better area of the grid so are less likely to get out whereas lower rated batsmen have to navigate through the grid to reach that better area and are more likely to get out before they get there. I like the way this works and there are different grids for different types of wicket (slow, normal, good). The key thing is the likelihood of getting out and I’m not sure whether the numbers properly represent the likely scoring statistics – two matches have not seen any team last 20 overs and the scores seem a little on the low side. Rating may improve if the numbers work out better after more plays.
== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==
40x The Beautiful Game
14x Grand Slam Tennis
9x History Maker Golf
9x Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball Game
4x Metric Mile
4x Formula D
3x Red White & Blue Racin’: Stock Car Action Game
1x Top of the Stretch
1x World of Motor Racing
1x Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
1x The Great Escape
Besides my solo sports replays, I managed to play two games that have not seen table time for a while. I played TurfMaster with Jan and Becky to remind myself how it plays and just to play with the lovely horse pieces. And we also dug out Sherlock Holmes and stumbled around London trying to work out why some lions had been killed in Hyde Park. Good fun.
== YEAR SO FAR ==
631 games of 86 titles.
34 new to me.
1 x 84 plays; 1 x 75 plays; 1 x 63 plays; 1 x 61 plays; 1 x 39 plays; 1 x 32 plays; 1 x 26 plays; 1 x 25 plays; 2 x 19 plays; 1 x 14 plays; 1 x 13 plays; 2 x 10 plays; 1 x 9 plays; 2 x 6 plays; 3 x 5 plays; 3 x 4 plays; 8 x 3 plays; 14 x 2 plays; 41 x 1 play.
== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==
I added 5 new titles to the collection: Motor Sport, LOrd of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game, Explorers, Boundary T20 Cricket and Owzat T20 Cricket so my total collection now stands at 756.
At the end of July, I have no unplayed games (one at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game.