May turned out to be a pretty barren month for game playing as I only managed to play 11 games of 11 different titles, 7 of which were new to me. The new games were:
Madame Ching – Nice set collection and hand management game that plays well with two. Nothing very innovative but it is easy to pick up and plays fairly quickly.
Arboretum – Tricky card game where you need to balance playing cards into your arboretum with holding them back to ensure you score those trees. Probably better with more than two players but the choice over which card to discard may be more critical with just two.
Sapiens – Puzzle game of fitting domino-like tiles into a grid to score the most points. Unfortunately, I found this rather uninspiring and, although it works, it didn’t work for me and I’ve already sold it on.
Histrio – Good hand management game where you are trying to collect the best entertainers to suit the king’s mood. A nice second-guessing game, using the familiar action card mechanism from Mission: Red Planet, beautifully produced but not going to set the world alight as it doesn’t have anything to make it stand out, gameplay-wise.
13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis – This is a very good streamlined two player card-driven game akin to Twilight Struggle or 1960 but playing much quicker. I really like the need to balance getting the most influence in key areas with not setting off a nuclear holocaust.
Imhotep – Excellent game of trying to move your building blocks onto the right monuments to score you most points. Very easy to pick up but with plenty to think about from the limited action choices you have. And it’s easy to mess with other people’s plans. Not surprised it got a Spiel des Jahres nomination as it meets the SdJ criteria very well.
Bohemian Villages – Uses the Can’t Stop mechanism of splitting four dice into two pairs to claim buildings in villages and collect the most money by the end. Very good light strategy game that plays very quickly with lots of different paths to pursue to get money.
I sold 17 games and added 4 new games to the collection: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, Histrio, Imhotep and Bohemian Villages. My total collection stands at 568.
My unplayed list is down from 3 to zero, (hurray!) and my Game of the Month was Imhotep, although 13 Days was a close second and Bohemian Villages was also in contention.