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:

== NEW GAMES ==

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.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

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.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

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.

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