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!

 

 

Games, Games, Games Pt 3.

Every now and then I write a post about games that I’m hyped about. There are many exciting things happening in board game-land right now, and in this post I’m sharing my excitement with you. There’s a good chance that you may be familiar with some of it, or all of it already, especially if you attended Gen Con or keep an eagle eye on games news. I try to keep my finger on the pulse, but often it’s other people sharing information that keeps me updated, and thank goodness that they do or my world would be a far emptier place.

Below are a few up and coming games that are buzzing me right now. I have provided links, in the past I’ve tended to kind of rehash what the game is about somewhat, which seems kind of silly really. So i’ve kept it pretty light…

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To start with there’s some new titles coming by those whom I would consider to be table top heavy weights. It’s possibly a little dangerous to assume that everything these guys release is automatically going to be five star stuff but I can’t help but to feel it might be very good. Therefore I’m really looking forward to seeing more of A Feast For Odin (Uwe Rosenburg) and The Oracle of Delphi (Stefan Feld) because I really love Eurogames. It’s definitely one of my favourite genres and previous games by these two designers are some of the best i’ve played. I don’t think a new Euro game has been released of late that’s made me say ‘Yes! I am going to need this in my life’ But these two games look like they will blow my Euro socks off just a bit. I love a bit of dice rolling when implemented right, I go mad for hexagonal tiles (the sexiest of all the shapes surely), I’m fond of Greek Mythology themes (Delphi) and anything that involves industry, building, producing (Feast). You can read more about them on the links above.

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Colony by Ted Alspach. Yes! Why am I into it? Because Suburbia is a wonderful game and I also enjoyed Castles of Mad King Ludwig, but Colony is a sci-fi game involving cards/deck building and dice. It seems very different from his usual style and I can’t imagine this guy coming up with anything that’s not fun, smart and playable. I find Ted Alspach games friendly and inviting. There’s something warm about them even if the subject matter isn’t so cute & fuzzy. Take a look!

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I also discovered (and i’m probably the last to know) that one of my favourite games Twilight Struggle is getting a sister (brother? whatever….) Imperial Struggle! Instead of the The Cold War we have the ‘Second’ 100 Years War, the 18th century rivalry between France & Britain. Like TS it’s a two player game, easy to pick up but a mission to master. It looks pretty epic, I will not do is justice by waffling about it here,  so please do go and read all about it on the official page!

Onto my next coveted game. Great Western Trail. This was also brought to my attention on Twitter. Since Doomtown: Reloaded I’ve been longing for a new Western themed game that ticks all the boxes, and this might be The One. It’s by Alexander Pfister who also designed Broom Service (a firm favourite) amongst others. Cattle herding in 19th century West using tile placement, hand management and deck building. On a big beautiful board, with tons of card, tiles and cow meeples. Awesome. I saw on Twitter this week that Alexander Pfister describes it as ‘heavier than Mombasa’ so it’s heavier than a heavy Euro. I’m so ready for this.

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I’ve seen Lotus by Renegade Game Studios getting a lot of positive reviews, and not only does it look gorgeous but also intriguing. Creating flower forms with your cards, growing a garden and using mystical guardians to assist you. I’ve never seen a game like this before, it seems like a really unique spin on area control. I’m really looking forward to it.

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Inis. Another game that I only found out about through a Twitter/Instagram buddy, a super cool lady @maggibot. Inis looked pretty striking with large land tiles, minis and old-school box art. Inis (or Island as I discovered) is a fighting game immersed in Ancient Celtic times. Funnily enough it was just reviewed by my favourites Shut Up And Sit Down and it’s an extra special episode because Paul and Quinn’s are back together (as a one off I am assuming.) So I just travelled back in time to a few years ago when I first saw the series and thought it was brilliant. Anyway, they compare Inis to Kemet and Cyclades (two epic games I missed out on when they were released) and actually have rated it above Cyclades. Gasp! I’m really excited, and you can visit the link to their page to see the game in full.

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Unfortunately all of the games mentioned in the post are not looking likely to hit retailers for some time, at least in the UK anyway, so it’s going to be a bit of a wait. But is also lots to look forward to.

To briefly mention I really fancy Prospectus, Tyrants of the Underdark, Twelve Heroes and Fields of Green, and it’s almost time for Terraforming Mars and Last Friday. Woop!

I’m going to go rob a bank now!

Games, Games, Games!

First off I must apologise for being a bit quiet of late, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, and although i’ve been playing games as much as possible  i’ve been lacking in time for blog posts and game design. Hopefully now I can get back on it a bit.

Something I love to do in my spare time is look up new releases, up and coming games and expanding my already pretty full games wishlist. For fun if nothing else. I guess that’s what a lot of boardgames do! A few weeks ago I posted about games that I’m excited for this year. Well i’ve now found yet more games that look and sound fantastic, and here I am going to share them with you! First up….

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Domek: A lovely family game from Poland. In Domek you build your dream home, where your board is actually a house (complete with cat in the front garden and treehouse) to fill up with furniture and rooms. You achieve this by card drafting, set collection and pattern building. End scores are based on good functionality, quality and design. The artwork is ludicrously cute! Cannot wait for this one, due this year, but no release date as yet.

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Hit Z Road: Ok, I don’t know if excited is the right word for this one. I’d say more curious. I can categorically say that i’m pretty much over zombies. Which is sad, I used to love zombies. But like a lot of things that are over produced it becomes a bit stale.  But if there’s anything that could get me interested in zombies again it might be this game. I don’t like the title (I preferred Route 666, there’s a whole thread about this on BGG that made me chuckle) but I love the artwork. I had some quibbles with Study In Emerald, but I like Martin Wallace. I’m into the kitschy 50’s take. But is it a good game? To be honest it’s too early to tell, there’s not a huge amount of information or rules available at present, but i’m keeping my eyes and mind open for this one.

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The Last Friday: Ah ha ha. I’m a horror nut, I grew up watching films like Friday the 13th (and have hated every single slasher flick 90’s onwards, i’m much more into supernatural/weird horror) and although i’ve seen a few games that are capturing the essence of a horror movie i’ve not seen one that’s compelled me to play. This looks different. I’ve seen a few forum gripes that it’s a bit similar to Letters To Whitechapel (which I wanted a couple of years ago but never bought) but my feelings are kid of like ‘and? If something is a direct and obvious rip off of another then that pretty much sucks, but I feel that most games (especially those that need to use a certain mechanic) will always seem reminiscent of something else and most games have been inspired by another in some way. Nothing exists in a bubble as I always say! But indeed those that pioneer completely innovative stuff well that’s another story. Anyway, this is a hidden movement game/deduction/hunting game where you are stalked round a campsite by a weapon weilding lunatic. The usual cat and mouse horror movie type scenario ensues, played across four chapters. It just looks good! Due for release in August, i’m going to play this out the garden with marshmallows and a horror movie soundtrack. That should please the neighbours!

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Anachrony: With over 2000 backers and another two weeks to go this already hyped mega-game looks just a little bit mind-blowing. It’s a post apocalyptic/sci fi/time travel themed table hog, played over 7 eras involving a two tiered worker placement system and travelling back and forth in time thus altering the path of the game.  Following on from what I said in the previous paragraph I’m always impressed with designs that are innovative especially with the mechanics. Anarchrony involves worker placement, gaining influence, scoring victory points, playing for dominance, all familiar territory so far. But it gets complex. Very complex. So complex in fact that after burning my brain and testing my (not so great) writing skills this afternoon, I gave up. I think if you want to get the full grasp of this game you should definitely go and visit the BGG summary and the official Kickstarter. Much better than me trying to summarise it here! It looks amazing, really. If it’s super heavy you’re after then this is your game. The pledge levels and stretch goals are all worth going for and if I do get the chance to back (lack of money is the bane of my life right now!) I would personally go for the ‘Leader Box’ for the amazing miniatures alone because I feel that I really need more futuristic robot miniatures in my life.

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Shakespeare Backstage: I absolutely love Shakespeare and have played many good games over the last few months. It works beautifully, is straightforward and fun but still requires much thought and strategy. I posted about this a while back and my only concern was once you’ve cracked it the replayabilty is limited. But hey, fear not, we have an expansion on its way. It’s called Backstage and all we know so far is that we’re getting new characters, costumes and stage set. I’m in!

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Days of Ire: Budapest 1956: This looks fantastic. I’ve been waiting for a new war/political themed game that actually looks like something I would enjoy playing and not leave me feeling a bit icky (if you know what I mean?) This could be the one! It’s a co-op game for 1-4 players where one player is the Soviets, the others are Hungarian revolutionaries, in a historically inspired card game spanning 7 days. I won’t go into all the details- you can read a perfectly good summary on BGG! But it does seem reminiscent of GMT’S Twilight Struggle and Labyrinth (TS being a big favourite of mine) and the art by Sami Laakso (of Dales fame) and the designer Katalin Nimmerfroh looks fantastic. I do like good art in a game. Also I have to add that I am very, very pleased that one of the game designers is a woman. I don’t think it should be made a big deal of, and there are women designers out there, but as far as I’m aware (please correct me if i’m wrong, really!) but they never seem to be attached to any well known games, so I hope that this one blows everyone’s socks off. As a woman designing a game it fills me with confidence (‘I can do it too!’ type confidence). I’m stoked! No rules available yet and it’s still due for a Kickstarter (date still unknown) so could be quite a wait for this one.

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Islebound: Ships! Merchants! Sea monsters! Pirates! All wrapped up in an adorable bundle. I’ve been contemplating various nautical themed games and Islebound definitely looks to fulfil that need in the way that others haven’t quite tempted me. In Islebound you sail around collecting resources, hiring crew, commissioning buildings, recruiting sea monsters and pirates to conquer towns or completing events to befriend other towns. You will win the game by being the wealthiest player with the most impressive capital city! Sounds fun, interesting and a game you can get on the table and play without too much faff. I really like the idea of taking different paths to achieve the end goal, meaning much replayabilty, and I like that it seems like innocent fun in a sophisticated package, in the way that other nautical games haven’t quite captured for me.

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Dale of Merchants 2: The Era of Trade Masters: I was late to the party with Dale of Merchants but I finally got my hands on it last week (at a great discounted price!) and I was expecting a tough little card with some interesting choices to be made and adorable animals to say (or squeal) ‘awwwww!’ over. I can gladly say it definitely lived up to my expectation! So Dale of Merchants 2: The Era of Trade Masters, has a great backstory (see here) and it can be played on its own or combined with the original. It’s now 4 days away from the end of the Kickstarter campaign. I’m pleased to say it’s majorly over exceeded its funding goal, so stretch goals will be unlocked meaning more decks (penguins! Beavers!) better quality components and more amazing artwork.

Wow, I think I’m done for now! Thanks for reading. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

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!