The Good Ol’ Euros

I talked for England in my little Essen Wishlist videos (thank goodness I cut them down to 6.5 mins) and I was toying with writing an epically long blogpost, then decided against it. Because essentially it would just be a long list and re workings of Board Game Geek blurbs and really, who wants that? No one I should think. So moving on swiftly; if you want to see my general and rather insane BGG Wishlist i’m under LindsayJoMiller, I cut such a lonely figure on BGG, so we should be friends!

I thought I would briefly summarise the end of my Wishlist for 2016 in this post. I was tempted to talk about Rising Five: Runes of Asteros which I must say looks to be super fun, and is another app included tabletop game, however it’s currently on Kickstarter and probably will be in retail at the end of 2017. So for those of us who simply cannot afford hefty pledges right now, well that’s a bit of a wait. As excited as I am about all these cool, innovative and exciting games springing up, to be perfectly honest I’m more of a traditional Euro gamer at heart. It’s the warm familiarity; it’s comforting, it’s cosy, it’s often bloody difficult and I love it. I often talk about themes I like, because I love stories and settings and beautiful illustrations and flashy components. But again, when it comes down to it, and I really think about it some of my favourite games are’t heavy on the theme. I’ve also mentioned that I like a bit of fighting in my games, a bit of battle. Which I do! But again, my all time favourites don’t involve super heavy conflict. It’s actually the quiet, slow burning kind that gets my brain working that I enjoy the most. I like gameplay that’s not too random, there’s not much left to chance.

So firstly I wanted to mention Rhodes and this is definitely one I can see myself enjoying. Read all about it on the link above. It sounds medium-heavy, so it would get me thinking, planning and plotting my potential glory, without my brain combusting (which I do like in its place, but I could’t play super heavy strategy games non stop). It’s an ancient city setting, fullfiling objectives by pick-up-and-deliver and developing your land into a fruitful paradise. Place workers, set up buildings and gather up VPs and cash to win the game. It sounds a bit Puerto Rico esque, but having read the rulebook it’s different enough. Which is ok sometimes y’know? I’m not always looking for something monumentally different. So, Rhodes, I shall look forward to a UK release.

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Secondly and finally, I think that Round House deserves a mention. Visit the link to discover what it’s all about! This looks to be a super interesting economic simulation game, pretty medium-heavy, with sturdy and well established mechanics. I love the sound of moving your player token around the modular rondel board, (I am yet to play a game with a rondel, yippee!) to get the most actions out of your family members. And did I mention it looks beautiful? Always a plus, especially when it’s not a case of style over substance.

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Well, for the past month I’ve talked about new releases, up ‘n’ coming games and future frontrunners, and I am all out of wishes. So I’m really looking forward to actually relaxing and playing more games, because sometimes, between everything else i’m up to I often forget that it’s ok to just sit down, breathe, switch game brain on and forget everything else.

Happy Essen week, and happy gaming!

 

 

Rococo: Jewelry Box Expansion Review

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I acquired two new games last week, Broom Service the card game and the Rococo Jewelry Box expansion. I decided to write about Rococo and make a little video on Broom Service (coming later this week). As I mentioned in my post a few weeks back I absolutely love Rococo, its a beautiful Euro and up there in my top ten.

So what does Jewelry Box add to the game and is it worth purchasing? Well you get 28 additional employees, an exam card, jewellery box board and jewellery tokens, and yes I believe it’s worth purchasing (for a vey reasonable £12.50 RRP.)
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So what does it do? Well first off there’s the personal ‘exam’ cards. You take the exam using your apprentice and journeyman cards to meet the three set requirements (same for every player and easily achievable e.g- use an action with your apprentice to buy a yellow or red material) Once you’ve completed the exam you spend an action trading in your standard journeyman/apprentice card and pay the hiring cost to choose one of the special guys. These let you add on a cool free action e.g. – make a dress for free and sell only (instead of placing it in a hall, and hey that extra money is always welcome!) you can take the exams as many times as you like. The jewellery itself is displayed on a separate little board and consists of coloured ring and necklace tokens. You can only purchase these when you make a dress and as the game progresses and they are purchased you can move them along the board and lower their cost. When you buy a piece of jewellery this gives you income every round. If the one that you buy matches the colour of the dress you made then you can pick up a free material. I find this comes in handy because personally I dislike spending too many actions purchasing! Some of the expansion cards are shuffled into the regular deck too so you can snap one of those up as a hiring action.
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In my opinion if you like Rococo you’ll welcome this expansion and probably enjoy it as much as I did. I love that it adds more to an already tough game and makes choosing what to do next even more challenging. I only wish it added on an extra round because this game seems to end so quickly as it is, and you feel like there’s so much more you could achieve if you had just a bit more time. There’s the inevitable ‘check the rule book 500 times to remember what the symbols mean’ but that’s to be expected when you first start playing a language independent game. The jewellery box and the exams seem to give you quite a bit more income to play around with too and can earn you some valuable extra prestige points early on, so it definitely feels like you are gaining more which is always nice.
It’s an all round good review from me, a must have if you own the game and an incentive to give Rococo a try if you haven’t already!
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Empty packet of Revels optional! 

Coming Soon! Rococo: Jewellery Box

I recently discovered that there is an expansion on the way for the Euro gamers favourite Rococo. So stoked for this!  Jewellery Box will add 28 cards with new bonuses to change up the game without changing the rules. As the title  suggests it also attaches a jewellery option accompanied with lovely new tiles and you can receive a master craftsman’s diploma. All for the RRP of £12.95 (in the UK) not bad hey?

Despite its release in 2013 I only bought and played Roccoco this year after a bit of umming and ahhhing. I’m glad I did and could immediately see why it’s a firm favourite. Some games you find just work. The Castles of Burgundy, Suburbia, 7 Wonders, Twilight Struggle, Puerto Rico and Concordia to name a few. They seem to play out smoothly, make sense, are challenging without being horrible excruciating and are just…fun. I find that it’s usually games that aren’t overly complicated, that don’t have 10 million rules that you have to check up every five seconds, then go online to double check and triple check. They cultivate healthy competition without you wanting to reach across the table and strangle another player. They make you think, you strategise, but you don’t have steam coming out of your ears in sheer frustration. You definitely care if you win but won’t be too pissed if you don’t, because you had fun in the process. These games allow the player to gain as they go and feel a sense of achievement. Lastly the theme and mechanics in ‘games that just work’ all meld together nicely.

Roccoco is one of those games. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and on the surface I guess that making dresses for a lavish ball may seem a little feminine, although all the characters (except for the queen) are male. But none of that kind of stuff matters when the game itself is one that works. Everyone can get down with a bit of frivolity and 17th century fashion if the game’s a good one!

Roccoco is a clever take on deck building, there are some tough choices to be made, you are constantly in close competition to your opponents for area control, hiring employees first, nabbing the best monument spots on the board and obtaining the correct requirements in time to make your garments. At the end you are able to reap lots of rewards in the form of prestige points which is always nice (aka not an abrupt ‘is that it then?’ ending) Also, let’s face it the game itself is hella pretty and biiiiiig.

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Having said all this I never win it, ever! My partner clearly has more fashion prowess than me.  I am most definitely looking forward to playing it with the Jewellery Box expansion next month! If you have yet to play Roccoco I suggest you do, it’s a real gem. I’m so corny in my posts sometimes *blush*! More info

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Bretagne, Marco Pozzi 

  
I really fancied trying Bretagne because for some reason the idea of building 19th century lighthouses appealed to me. It looked quaint, and didn’t disappoint on that front. It’s an attractive, fairly peaceful game with a slower place. It is classed as an economic/area control game but it has worker placement elements. You can use workers (cubes), engineers and resources (coloured wooden pieces) to complete lighthouses and when you complete all lighthouses in each area then the improved abilities on the nearby harbours are activated.
  
It’s best to work together to get lighthouses completed, but you need more workers on your section of it, so you can use the cards you’ve collected to their best ability. The lovely weather gage cards tell you how the elements will affect your building and how many engineers you’ll need each round. You use your components to trade for others and to get workers on the harbours to gain cards or workers each turn.
  
It’s definitely got some strategy involved but not overly heavy, but it is quite ‘thinky’ which is good! As with a lot of area control/WP games there doesn’t seem to be enough time to achieve everything you want to but with repeated plays it should fall in to place a bit more.
  
The board, though very nice looking is kind of badly laid out in some respects and the lamented pieces are slippery AF and the awkward placing causes bits to fall all over the place which can get really annoying! The only other complaint would be that the cards and symbols are a little counter intuitive and the rule book translation isn’t fantastic, so it’s a bit difficult to get your head around. But all in all Bretagne is a fun game. It isn’t mind blowing but I’d recommend it if you like moderate strategy, a slower pace and lighthouses! I’m glad I bought it and look forward to future plays. More Info
 

Village, Inka & Markus Brand

Post from 2014….

Check out the beautiful art work on Village!

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I really enjoyed this game, I like the fact that there’s no time limit on the game and it can last for half hour on 90 minutes depending on what you choose to do. I thought it was a bit morbid at first that your family have to die every time that you use up too much time (hour glasses) on your score board but it makes sense within the game….the only bad thing is how you invest in your little family members…I was gutted when one of mine went to the paupers grave yard rather than ‘the book’. But to me that’s a mark of a good game because I actually care. It’s really clever, play it. More Info

The Castles of Burgundy, Stefan Feld

Post from Autumn 2014:

I played Castles of Burgundy for the first time and loved it. Just enough time to do everything you want/need without it going on for crazy long. Love the dice rolling element. This is a fairly low priced game and shows in the light weight board and components but it’s nice enough quality to not disappoint. Would recommend, definitely a new favourite. More Info

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Powergrid, Friedemann Friese

Review from Feb 2014…

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Power Grid was a good play and strangely simplistic, akin to a family game and was about two hours of play. You’ve got to keep your wits about you with this one, be eagle eyed and hope you don’t get out bid on the power stations or lose out on any opportunities! The end game is the amount of buildings on your board and once your behind you’re buggered! Jon lost on a technicality and it was a bit of an empty victory me for me. Maybe next time. Gorgeous big board, lovely old school feel, I even didn’t mind the paper money…well not too much but it’s a bit ick to handle and fiddly. But I’ll let it go because it’s such a cool game. More info