One to Watch; Kill The King

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My attention was recently brought to Kill The King, a new board game in the making, hailing from Norway (so you know it’s going to be good right?!)  Kill The King is a strategic tabletop for two players. In a game of attack and defence you are either trying to kill the king or you’re defending his honour.

The game comes with two alternate game modes. The  first is a regular battle between the two players armies outside the castle walls; one attacks the castle while the other tries to defend it. The second mode is a larger version, where you combine two game boards and one player defends the  castle, while the other attacks the castle on side each. It sounds intriguing! I’m really looking forward to playing more strategic battle games so this sounds right up my street. I’m excited to be playing the print and play game in the near future! 

It’s coming to Kickstarter in September, if you want to keep up to date follow the links below. This is one to watch.

Facebookofficial website , Instagram, Twitter

Thanks to Petter for the great images of the prototype game, which looks pretty damn cool already.

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To sell or not to sell? Collectors Remorse…

 This was written whilst trying to get my daughter back to sleep tonight. Just a random train of thought and ultimately pointless!

Oh SOS Titanic, how I miss you…

I’m often torn as to whether to sell games I don’t play very much and know deep down I probably won’t again. I’ve sold a few games in the past like Mondo, Coney Island and Survive! as they were perhaps a bit too light for me. I sold Mice and Mystics because as gorgeous as it was I just didn’t enjoy playing it. I kind of regret it because it was such an attractive game, I feel so bad now when I think of those adorable cheese tokens! I definitely regret selling SOS Titanic because it was actually a good solo game but I didn’t like playing solo back then. Now of course I want to play more solo games! 

I think the times I sold games were probably ‘desperate for spare cash’ moments. I look at the collection I share with my partner and know there’s a couple I would probably not choose to play again in a hurry. Or maybe at all. Like The Producer (damn shame, if you’re interested see my review from February). But nowadays I can’t seem to get up the nerve to sell a game. Mainly because of the regret factor. What if I sell it then have an overwhelming urge to play it when it’s gone?! (Like SOS Titanic) I feel torn because there’s lots and lots of games I want and I simply can’t afford them all, and there are games sitting on the shelf going to waste! My partner Jon said it would be nice to simply give games away that you don’t play and let someone else enjoy them? Hmmm. That’s a nice idea. But now I consider myself to be a games collector I can’t bear the thought of parting with any. I like that I don’t buy tons of new games all the time and make the most of the ones I do have, but the ones I don’t play are like thorns in my side when my wishlist is ever growing. 

I guess buying and hoarding games isn’t so bad. People collect everything from stamps to lipsticks to technology, to mugs to old newspapers. I guess one mans trash is another mans treasure as they say. 


Are there any games you’ve had for months that you haven’t played yet? Any you have sold or given away and regret? Or any that you know you won’t play but can’t part with? Please share! It will make me feel less weird. 

Neanderthal, Phil Eklund

I’m taking you way way back, to 43,000 BC Ice Age Europe in fact, to talk about…Neanderthal!

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I acquired Neanderthal well over a month ago and have played it several times since. I didn’t want to post about it until I formed a solid opinion. We had a game this afternoon and I’m afraid to say I’m still struggling. So at this point I thought I’d write about it anyway, because it’s such an interesting game.

It’s a 2015 small box game, which I love. A box hardly bigger than a coaster is crammed full of discs and cubes, an intense little rule book (with a huge amount of notes in the back on the subject matter) and a ton of cards chock full of text, images and symbols. It took a while to get to grips with the rules, it’s not badly written there’s just a hell of a lot to take on board. As with most games, when you start playing it through your objectives become clear, but it’s one of those games that leaves me, much like Cro-Magnon (wo)man, scratching my head at points saying ‘whaaaaaaat?’ or ‘whyyyyy?!’

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You start off with your chosen cave man, hunters and ‘vocabulary’ discs. You have a north row and south row of ‘biomes’, cards depicting various prehistoric creatures and tools, to be hunted, invented or taken as trophies. You spend turns revealing event cards that are also female (or daughter) cards. First they tell you if there’s a blizzard, a catastrophe, if there’s global warming or cooling (which rearranges the biomes) and you roll for your tribes elders to see if any er…die. You then bid to claim the daughter card which will allow you to achieve certain goals. The winner of that card must remove the vocabulary discs bid so that she matures and only then can she use her ability.  You do this by hunting on the biome cards, to give you more family members and free up vocab discs in different areas (on your daughter card or your main character card for example) . This phase is achieved by dice rolling (the required numbers are outlined on the biome cards) so it all gets a bit luck based at this point. Depending on what you roll and which creature you’re hunting, you can end up losing half your hunters to a tusky predator. The last phase is using vocab discs (if you are able, this is where the daughter cards come into play) to place knowledge into your character’s brain. This can unlock various abilities. If and only if you get all 6 discs into the brain then you can flip the card and ‘go tribal’ allowing for even more interesting actions, like the inventing tools and gaining animal trophies. Wow. There’s a lot going on here. I could continue or go into greater detail but I’ve pretty much told you the basics of what to expect.

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I think the problem I have with Neanderthal (which may not be a problem for someone else) is that it’s so damn hard to get to the tribal stage, I’ve only got that far twice, both times we were only one card away from the end of the game. It’s hard. I think if you played Neanderthal many times, probably over a course of days then you could crack it. As yet I haven’t found a good strategy. It’s not the kind of game you can pick up and play after a few weeks and it all falls into place again. You have to relearn it rather than build on your existing knowledge. Or maybe that’s just us!

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The reason it’s hard to form a good strategy is because so much of it is luck based, due to dice rolling and the random events. Which very much tallies up with the theme itself. It just becomes increasingly frustrating when I’m not getting anywhere fast. But I like it. I look forward to playing it and I want to crack it. It just feels too much like hard work. Hats off to Phil Eklund, it’s a hell of a smart game. It’s the frustration of not achieving the necessary because you made a lousy roll, when you want to do all the cool things that the game has to offer, but rarely get the opportunity to do so. This game can also be integrated with it’s predecessor Greenland (Neanderthal is a prequel) but for now….I think i’ll skip it. More Info

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The Gallerist, Vital Lacerda

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I heard many great things about The Gallerist and after watching a review I agreed that it looked like a lot of fun. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype or to the slightly hefty price tag. I am pleased to confirm that on both accounts it certainly did. It is a great game, and once you see the and feel the quality of the box and components it is definitely worth the money. The box is huge, the board is big, the pawns with their nice little hats are made of vibrantly coloured wood. The tiles and money tokens are thick cardboard and the art work displayed on the tiles is actual art that was submitted for the game. The graphic design is neat and functional. So aesthetically The Gallerist gets a big thumbs up from me!

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The game itself is smooth and fast moving, with plenty of tough decisions to be made. As always I won’t go into the rules, but a quick overview; You move your pawn around the board to the action spaces. Your aim is to discover artists, buy art, sell art and set collect for bonus VP’s. It sounds fairly simple but the reality is bloody tricky. You also have to decide what you want to achieve most; a great selection in your gallery, money for the art you sell, to have  certain sets (as outlined by your objective cards) to discover as many artists as possible to buy at a commissioners rate….there’s a lot of thinking to do here.

So what makes it tough? Without people in your gallery or plaza there is a limited amount to what you can do, you need tickets to get those cute little art lovin’ meeples in the door, you need meeples in your plaza to take actions to generate money, gain influence (which will gain you money at the end of the game) bring out new meeples, take tickets etc. You need money to buy more art, contracts to sell it, assistants to help you achieve this and don’t forget about the international market. This is where you go gain the piece of art on display that will gain you some lovely bonus cash in the end scoring. You need to spend some time getting your assistants in the high value market spaces in order to win the piece. I could continue but I think that you get the idea. So we’ve gone from this sounds simple to ludicrously complicated but fear not! It works. It’s fast paced and enjoyable, it can be head-in-hands frustrating, but it’s such fun! Making these tough choices around what your opponents are doing is one of the hardest parts. The ‘kicked out’ actions allow you take the same action as another player but it means they’ll get a free turn. I didn’t think this seemed that bad but actually you really notice the difference when your opponent starts steaming ahead of you!

All in all The Gallerist is very fun and well worth the money. Jump on the bandwagon and play it! More info here. I was really hoping to make a video this week but i’m still waiting to get a tripod. Hopefully next week!

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Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth Board Game

Well I must have been living under a rock, because my friend sent me a link last night to Jim Henson’s: The Labyrinth Board Game.

I’m a bit wary to have too many ‘movie’ board games on my wish list but I mean this is ridiculous, who doesn’t love Labyrinth? (apart from my boyfriend- typical!) I still remember when my Dad rented it from ‘the video shop’ for me and my siblings and I thought it was the best thing ever. Me and my sister who are both in our 30’s still quote the movie on a regular basis. I just love it.

This was announced last Summer, I can only put it down to my post pregnancy games hiatus that I missed so much games news in those few months.

It’s due to be released this year, again i’m not too sure if that will pan out, I hope so! It looks gorgeous; dice, miniatures, cards, beautiful board. There’s not too much information on the actual game play yet as far as I know, i’m assuming part dungeon crawler which admittedly isn’t my favourite genre, but hell, for Labyrinth I’ll get involved.

View all available info here.

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Games I’m Excited For, 2016

My wishlist is crazy big, it’s almost as big as my (joint) games collection. My list contains plenty of games I’ve been coveting for some time such as Memoir ’44, Alchemists, Alien Legendary Encounters, Cyclades, Spirits of The Rice Paddy (I could go on but I’ll stop there!) I’ve also been given a ton of recommendations to cool abstract games to play, mostly from Nestrogames whose website I devoured for a good while last week. If I went searching on Kickstarter i’d probably find a few more gems i’d like to back. But (huuuuuuuge sigh) since disposable income is virtually non existent at the moment this will most likely remain an ever-growing wishlist (although we do have Food Chain Magnate floating around in the world somewhere waiting to be delivered and The Gallerist arrived today, so can’t complain too much but I can imagine that might be the last for a while) On this blog post I thought i’d share the new releases and up and coming games I am most excited about this year.

Let’s begin in the present. Thunder & Lightning has just been released in the UK. Another dose of Norse Mythology (I recently enjoyed Odin’s Ravens as per my recent blog post) featuring Thor and Loki in a clever game of hand management. It’s a reimplement of the 2000 game Hera and Zeus, which I had heard of but never played. You lay cards head to head in columns and use a number of actions depending on the number of cards in your columns to challenge your opponent in an epic battle of cards to gain control of the two coveted items and remove your opponents cards. I’m looking forward to discovering more!

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Up and coming we have Histrio by Bombyx Games. Ok, I’ll admit it, I saw beautifully illustrated animals in renaissance clothing, a miniature theatre and Bruno Cathala’s name on it and that’s all it took to get me interested! It looks to be a family game about gathering a troupe of weird and wonderful animal actors and putting on a play for a fickle king, which could earn you pots of money or lose you everything. Intriguing!

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Onitama is released this month, it’s an English first edition brought to us by Arcane Wonders, and I am very excited for this modest but full abstract strategy game. Our boardgame collection is severely lacking in abstract games so it’s hopefully going to be a lot of fun and a nice little brain burner. The new packaging and design look a little bit aesthetically pleasing as well I must say.

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Live on Kickstarter as we speak is The Vampire, The Elf and The Cthulhu by Giochix and it looks very interesting indeed. In this card drafting and auction game you are writing a novel using protagonists, characters, places and items. However this is not a story telling game, it’s more involved with meeting objectives to make the base of a cool horror novel, by matching up cards in colour and sequence and playing encounters, events and enhancing powers of cards you can play. It also has lovely quill components and beautiful artwork. If you want find out more go visit their Kickstarter here!

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Escape From The Aliens In Outer Space from 2010 is getting a re-release in May (original currently on sale for £192!) and this looks brilliant. A pencil and paper (or wipe dry markers in this new edition, oooh-er) allow you to move around a a grid of a derelict space craft avoiding an alien plague that has transformed human crew into alien monsters, in a game of bluff and strategy. I loved the the promo video for this and the artwork is amazing. In the right atmosphere this could play out like a creepy as hell horror sci-fi. I’m sorry to have missed this one the first time round, but so glad to have an opportunity to snap this up. If I had the money i’d be getting my pre-order on right now!

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Worlds Fair 1893, this caught my attention on the Game’s Lore pre-order page. Due to release in May, this is card drafting and set collecting (personal faves for me) where players gain reputation points for pioneering and leading in different areas of the fair such as fine art and science. I love that the cards have factual information on them (like in Neanderthal you can learn lots of interesting facts that you didn’t know before!) and it looks like good friendly fun, which is always welcome in my games collection.

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I was poking around on the Stronghold Games website and wow have they got some beauties lined up! Bear Valley is coming in June, I don’t know a great deal about it yet but from what i do know it sounds brilliant… Dive into caves, row canoes, cross bridges, climb mountains, and cut through treacherous underbrush as you stop at nothing — except bears — to be the first to reach base camp. Can you survive and escape Bear Valley?’ Sold! I don’t know what it is that appeals to me about escaping bears in the wilderness but something about it does! As i’ve mentioned before I love that table top games can transport you to these different times and places, certainly if you have the imagination as well as the love for the game. The movement mechanic sounds very interesting as well, but I won’t rehash the whole press release as you can read I all the information available here

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Another June release and another sci-fi is Stellar Conflict. After enjoying the likes of Race for the Galaxy and Eclipse, i’ve been hoping for more sci-fi and somehow the Artipia Games ‘Among the Stars Universe’ passed me by thus far, so what better time for me to get involved than now? Stellar Conflict is actually a reimplement of the game Light Speed and involves taking on the fleet of an alien race for some real time space combat. Yippee!

 

pic2846415Again with the sci-fi, yet another Stronghold release that is getting a lot of people excited is Terraforming Mars. It looks heavily inspired by The Martian, though I might be wrong, and which came first I don’t know. Maybe it’s a happy coincidence! It does look pretty damn good though, great theme and many different mechanics to play with. I think i’ll really enjoy melding the sci-fi with the economy and manufacturing elements. This isn’t coming till September though, what a wait! But hey maybe by that time I will actually be able to buy lots of new games with some imaginary new found fortune.

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Lastly…..

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Big Trouble In Little China Legendary Encounters! When I spotted this I didn’t know if it was the real deal. There’s no information yet, but after a little bit of research and having viewed a video from Gencon 2015 I’m happy to say it is the real deal, it is, it is! Big Trouble is one of my favourite childhood movies and i’ve probably seen it about 100 times so to play a game based on this classic would be amaaaaaazing! I’m happy to wait, I still have to play Alien Legendary (Alien is another huge favourite, I do love my sci-fi and I do love my 80’s) and the reason I probably haven’t got it yet is because with limited funds I tend to buy games that may have a short print run or go out of stock quickly and Alien always seems readily available. The day I actually go to buy it it will probably be out of stock knowing my luck! Anyway Big Trouble is aiming for an August release apparently, but i’m not convinced. Watch this space.

2016 looks to be a great year for games, every day i’m discovering different and exciting stuff and regardless or whether I buy them and play them or not, it makes me very happy that the industry is positively booming with productivity and creativity. Long live the table top!

If you want to friend me on BGG and check out my collection and wish list my username is LindsayJoMiller.

 

My Top 9

My Instagram is blowing up today with boardgamers Top 9 games. So I thought I’d join the party and share on here too. Here’s my top 9 and a brief summary of thoughts on each. This was very hard to do!

 

  1. The Castles of Burgundy An oldie but a goody. There’s something so incredibly smooth and enjoyable about COB and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad game even when I’ve lost!
  2. Suburbia One of the first designer games I played and I just love building my own little town, seeing all those lovely hexes joining up and the delight of scoring points and taking income. 
  3. Twilight Struggle I never thought I’d enjoy a war themed game but I have absolutely loved TS. It’s pretty straightforward to grasp but so many tactical desicions to be made and really hard to pull off. I like to make risky moves and hope I don’t annihilate the world.
  4. Race for The Galaxy A beautifully clever card game with so much to do and completely different every time you play depending on what objectives you go for. I usually build up military. Always love the end of game scoring in this. 
  5. Doomtown Reloaded The Weird West setting, the poker, the shootouts, I honestly love this game. I think it’s the only one I played solidly with my partner Jon everyday for about a month. You never know what you’re going to get, you might have a half hour game, it could be a 3 and half hour ding dong battle. Beautifully thematic and genius in my opinion! 
  6. Fury of Dracula It’s nail biting, sneaky and just damn smart. This is a game where you can get totally immersed in the setting and the theme. I liked playing as both Dracula and the hunters equally. But I did enjoy beating up the hunters as Dracula.
  7. Broom Service A witchy theme, kitschy artwork and pick up and deliver, I’m there! But as I mentioned in an earlier review it’s a mean game wrapped up in a cutesy package. I really like that. 
  8. Concordia It’s just so tension filled, gets the adrenalin going, which is pretty weird considering it’s about settling and trading. It really is a nail biter for me, usually tapping my foot with nervous anxiety, hoping I can achieve everything I set out to do and get the Concordid card. Usually glancing at Jon silently praying he doesn’t get there before me!
  9. Eclipse This holds fond memories, played with 5 people on a New Years Eve it spanned about 7 hours and crossed over into a new year. Epic stuff. I must admit my favourite bit is rolling the dice and fighting with the ships for control!

So there we are, my top 9 in a nutshell and all my dorky reasons why!