November 2016 roundup

In November, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks cruising around the Caribbean with Jan and, although I took several two-player games with me, we tended to do other stuff rather than play games. We did get to try seven titles over the course of the fortnight but I’m not sure if my mind was elsewhere as I had to suffer the indignity of losing all seven. (Call yourself a gamer?)

Over the whole month though, I managed to play just 9 games of 9 different titles, with 7 of them being new to me. The new games were:

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2016

Familiar yet different. This was an excellent revamp of Pandemic, changing a number of elements of play and yet retaining the overall feel of the original. I really enjoyed this and was beaten fairly easily playing it solo with two characters. Looking forward to playing it again.

Tides of Madness – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

This was also familiar yet different, but this is much closer to the original with just the addition of insanity icons to some of the cards to give another factor to weigh up because, as well as trying to score points, you also need to avoid gaining too much insanity as this can cause you to lose. Good stuff and a slight improvement on Tides of Time in my view.

Multiuniversum – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Interesting puzzle game that I’ve only played solo so far. You’re collecting card combinations to use to close portals, which will gain you VPs while also hopefully closing the right mix of portals for bonuses.

Matcha – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2015

Very clever two-player only card game where you’re trying to outwit your opponent to win ingredients for the perfect blend of tea. Some tough choices in picking which cards to play and working out what your opponent is trying to achieve and yet it plays really quickly. Very nice game that should see a fair bit of play.

Dice Heist – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Simple yet fun game of collecting dice and then gambling when to try and grab the loot from four different museums with three different types of loot presenting different scoring opportunities. Light and family friendly. This was Jan’s favourite game we played on holiday.

HMS Dolores – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2016

A prisoner’s dilemma theme mixed with a rock paper scissors mechanism sounds an interesting mix and it sort of works but, with two, it fell a bit flat – and, to be honest, I’m not sure adding more players would make it more engaging. Pity.

The Lord of the Rings: Journey to Mordor – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

Perfectly playable yahtzee type game with a LotR veneer but the decisions were reasonably obvious and the outcome of the race against the nazgul seemed to be purely down to the luck of avoiding rolling nazgul symbols. I’d play again – and I want to see if the advanced variant makes any difference, although I suspect it is marginal – but there are several other dice games I’d pick before this if asked.

I added 7 new games to the collection: Tiny Epic Western, HMS Dolores, Dice Heist, Lord of the rings: Journey to Mordor, Flamme Rouge, Honshu and A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King. My total collection now stands at 542.

My list of unplayed games is unchanged from last month at 15 and my Game of the Month was Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu.

September / October 2016 roundup

In September, I didn’t manage to play any games due to my house move and family stuff. In fact, I didn’t play anything between 12th August and 5th October – which could be a record for me. October wasn’t much better but I did manage to play 10 games of 7 different titles, 3 of which were new to me. The new games were:

Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft – This is a very neat two-player worker placement, set collection game. Your workers visit different Holmesian characters with new characters turning up in each of the 7 rounds and you’re aiming to claim majorities in the various card sets for VPs at the end of the game. Jan and I really liked this.
Codenames: Pictures – Just the same game as regular Codenames but with pictures rather than words. I didn’t think this worked as well because the pictures are Dixit-like and you tended to spend more time working out what was in the pictures than giving clues. I’d much rather stick to the word version.
Fields of Green – This is supposedly a re-implementation of Among the Stars but I’ve never played the earlier incarnation. However, it worked well as a tableau builder where the positioning of your cards to gain synergies with surrounding cards was the key to doing well.

I added 13 new games to the collection: Chariot Race, Codenames: Pictures, Cottage Garden, Eminent Domain: Microcosm, Fabled Fruit, The Game of 49, Kingdomino, La Granja: The Dice Game – No Siesta, Multiuniversum, Oceanos, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, Sola Fide: The Reformation and Tides of Madness. I also got rid of three titles and re-acquired two, which leaves my total collection at 535.

My list of unplayed games has risen from 4 at the end of August to 15 now (due to all the Essen releases, even though I didn’t manage to go this year) and my Game of the Month was Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft.

August 2016 roundup

In August, my gaming was very limited due to preparations for moving house so I only managed to play 9 games of 8 different titles, 3 of which were new to me. The new games were:

The Grizzled: At Your Orders – Only tried the solo rules and they work pretty well.
Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game – First play through tutorial. Thought I was going to win but forgot one of my characters was bleeding and they died the turn before I would have won. Need to explore this more in September.
Mystic Vale – Excellent new “card crafting” system with lots of options for how to construct your deck and a nice push your luck mechanism. Really impressed with this.

I sold 12 games and added 6 new games to the collection: The grizzled; At Your Orders, Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game, Thief’s Market, Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft, Matcha and Musee. My total collection stands at 523.

I have 4 unplayed games in my collection and my Game of the Month is Mystic Vale.

Mama, if that’s movin’ up then I’m movin’ out

Well it seems to have taken a long time but on Wednesday we’ll be moving out of our current house after having lived in it for ten years. The games room is all packed (37 boxes) and they’ll be going into storage for a couple of weeks, as we don’t move into our new place until 13th September.

All that remains is for me to thank the folks at the Shrewsbury Boardgames Club for putting up with me for the last 15 years and wish them all the best in whatever new home they end up playing in. Unfortunately, my new place isn’t as big and so does not have the massive games room we’ve been thankful for over the last ten years. However, we’re trying to work out where the gaming space is going to be and I still have to see which, if any, of the Cheshire games groups will work for me.

Gaming’s likely to be sparse for the next few weeks so I’ll see you on the other side.

Tip of the hat to Billy Joel for the post title.

Seventh Geeklist Auction

Just a notice for my game group (and anyone else interested) that my seventh geeklist auction is now running until the evening of Thursday 4th August.

The 24 games included this time are:

Carcassonne collection
Broom Service: The Card Game
Say Bye to the Villains
Flip City
Royal Goods
Forbidden Desert
Bang: A Fistful of Cards
Master Thieves: The Robber expansion
Settlers: The Fishermen of Catan
Edel, Stein & Reich
Schoko & Co.
Maloney’s Inheritance
Knock Out
Il Principe
Jolly Roger
Top & Down
Pizarro & Co
Port Royal
Armchair Cricket

July 2016 roundup

In July, I only managed to play 13 games of 12 different titles, 5 of which were new to me. The new games were:

Molkky – Fantastic outdoor dexterity game that I’m amazed I’ve not discovered until now (thanks Messrs. Boydell and Bateson). Our lawn is a bit spongey meaning the pins were prone to falling over by themselves. However, this is a great way to spend a summer evening after a barbecue.
Broom Service: The Card Game – Stripped down to the bare bones of playing a card in either cowardly or brave orientation to collect sets of the same type of card with bonuses for the number of times you are brave and for collecting certain combinations. I thought this played ok but it doesn’t have quite the same appeal as the board game.
FUSE – Ten minute real-time game of rolling dice to get the right combinations to defuse bomb cards. Pretty challenging as a solo game (not tried multi-player yet) and was good fun.
Shakespeare – Very good game of recruiting actors, building stage sets and designing costumes to gain the most points. We played with the Backstage expansion which adds another layer for how you use your workers.
Tatsu – Interesting two player abstract that is a bit reminiscent of Backgammon but, rather than getting all your pieces off the board, you’re trying to either keep your opponents pieces from entering the board or eliminating one set of the three types of pieces. Having played once, keen to play again.

I sold 23 games and added 3 new games to the collection: Fuse, Tatsu and Mystic Vale. My total collection stands at 529.

I have just one unplayed game in my collection and my Game of the Month is Molkky.

Has it really been 15 years?

Yesterday marked the fifteenth anniversary of my first visit to the Shrewsbury Boardgames Club. That session turned out to be an Alan Moon-focussed affair as we tried out both Das Amulett and Capitol.

It also means we now have fifteen years’ worth of session reports on my Trickylight site (apart from a sprinkling of occasions where the “Report coming soon” message never materialised into anything more substantial). There’s some interesting reading contained in those reports (about 1,750 of them). For example, who can forget the time in 2009 when we played Tumblin Dice for the first time and the shoulder injury Nige sustained as a result. Or the ineptness of Mark K in trying to cross a chasm during our first play of Betrayal at House on the Hill in 2004. Good times.

So thanks to all the past and present members of the club for making it such a fun group to play with and the highlight of my gaming week for so long.

Sixth 2016 Geeklist Auction

Having challenged myself in 2015 to reduce my collection by 365 games, which was about a third of my total collection and succeeded in selling over 400, this year I’m going to see if I can get my collection down to below 400 games, which means again selling about a third of the games I own. This is the sixth auction towards this goal and runs until the evening of Thursday 14th July. Here is the link

The 40 games included this time are:

Master Thieves
Baseball Highlights 2045: Deluxe Edition
Cheeky Monkey
Nations: The Dice Game
Pole Position
Speed Circuit
My Village
Holiday AG
Schrille Stille
Power Grid incl. Taxes promo
Power Grid: France/Italy
Schoko & Co.
Yeti Slalom
TIME Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons
Pluckin’ Pairs
Camel Up
Maloney’s Inheritance
The Hobbit
Robo Rally
Age of Assassins
Scharfe Schoten
Flash 10
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Of Mice and Lemmings
Templar Intrigue

Three new games

This week, I got hold of three new games. The Last Spike is one I’ve been interested in for a while due to comments from geek buddies, Doug Adams and Mark Johnson. It looks like an interesting take on Acquire with a railway building theme. Onitama is a two player abstract played on a 5×5 board where you are attempting either to capture the opponent’s king (sorry, master) or get your master onto the opponent’s home space. However, your movement is limited by the cards in play and there are only five in play and once you play a card, it gets passed for your opponent to use. Finally, Broom Service: The Card Game is a simple set collection game using the brave/cowardly mechanism from the parent game. It also comes with a mini expansion for the board game.