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My initial impressions on games I recently played for the first time

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Whie!

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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I've made it to 200

More coming when I have time
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Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:14 pm
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The Pursuit of Happiness, Shadow Hunters and Matryoshka

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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The Pursuit of Happiness
tl;dr: nice engine builder

Not many games have the theme of managing one's own life. But hidden under that theme is a pretty standard engine builder. Get some cards to build a bit of an engine to get a number of different resources that you can eventually convert into points in a number of ways. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but it's all put together skillfully and in a nice, attractive package.
The mechanisms in which you have to take care of your stress and happiness add a nice bit of distraction to your main strategy without complicating the game too much.
As I said: it's all put together skillfully.

Initial rating: 7/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Shadow Hunters
tl;dr: Wherewolf with more rules

I'm not a big fan of Wherewolf and similar games. I feel they're too group dependent. This game tries to overcome that by adding cards to bring more structure to the game. And it works quite well. And it's pretty enjoyable. But while I surely didn't dislike playing this game, it's not my favorite genre and will never be. Still, a solid design.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Matryoshka
tl;dr: enjoyable card game

This is one of those abstract card games that are a dime a dozen. In essence it's a numbered-color-cards game but this one has a slapped on theme to grab your attention. I'm not sure it adds anything, but it is a very playable and rather enjoyable game. I'd be glad to play it again, but despite the theme it doesn't really stand out a lot.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:16 pm
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Inhabit the Earth, Hit Z Road and Animals on Board

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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Inhabit the Earth
tl;dr: enjoyable puzzle

I really like the puzzle this game gives you: how can you combine the resources and special actions to gather the most points? Should you migrate to a different continent? Should you just increase the capabilities or change the special action?
There certainly is a significant luck of the draw, but that's part of the challenge: working with what you get. I guess you can get really hosed by drawing the wrong cards for your strategy, but I think in most cases you'll be able to figure out a strategy that works.
The only real issue I have with the game - other than the less than attractive graphic design - is the instant game end. It feels very unfair it you've had one less turn and would also have been able to end the game in the same round. That really blows. I don't see why Richard wouldn't allow the other players to finish the round and score some additional points. The difference can be dramatic.

Initial rating: 6.8/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Hit Z Road
tl;dr: too luck based for me

Turn order in this game is crucial. Turn order is auctioned off every round. So people with more resources, have an advantage. So they're more likely to go first and get the best loot. So they get more resources. It seems to me, and my co-players that there is a tipping point. If you miss the first spot on an auction, and the next rounds don't let you compensate for that, because of the way the cards come out, there is no way to catch up and the rich keep on getting richer.
Maybe one play is not enough to figure out a way around this, but I didn't find this game interesting enough to want to try again. It's just not the type of game that gets my juices flowing in the right way. Bid for turn order, do the best you can with what you have and hope the next round goes well. It's not very deep and strategy is a bit limited. Nope, not for me.

Initial rating: 6/10
BGG scale: 4/10

Animals on Board
tl;dr: fine family game

Split a set of animals, or buy a set of animals. The trick is that you only get money by splitting, so you have to split enough before you can afford to buy, but that might give other players the chance to buy the set you want... or divide it further.
Scoring is done for sets of animals. Bigger sets score more. But sets of 2 don't score at all.
So yeah, simple rules but tricky game play that works great with families but that has enough to keep a gamer's interest.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:41 pm
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Doodle City, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects and Diavolo

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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Doodle City
tl;dr: fun pass time

This is a simple dice game and while there are some strategic choices to be made, it is mostly a luck fest. If people (or you) don't roll what you want/need, then you're screwed.
But it's enjoyable and doesn't last long, so who can fault it for that?

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects
tl;dr: solid euro

This game has been out for 10 years now, and I finally got around to playing it for the first time. Pfew, finally off the list
The basics of this game are pretty standard euro fair: get cards and use the resources on those to build different things. The different things require different combinations of those resources and score you points in different ways.
There are 2 twists in this game: half of the cards in the draw pile are face up, half are face down, which adds some nice tension if you really need something specific. The other twist is of course the corruption you get for doing certain things. And the player with the most corruption loses automatically. Luckily there are ways to get rid of some corruption at end game scoring.
It plays well, there are some nice choices to be made, the production is quite nice (a ton of plastic, I would have preferred wood) and it's playtime is very appropriate. Solid

Initial rating: 6.7/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Diavolo
tl;dr: more a pass time than a game

This game is so light and luck based that it's more of a pass time than a real game. It's not annoying and it is very, very short, so you can't hold that against it, but there are better games that fill the same void.

Initial rating: 6/10
BGG scale: 5/10
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Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:05 am
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Imhotep, Final Touch and Get Bit!

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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Imhotep
tl;dr: it's a medium weight euro!

This is as "German style" as they come: 2-4 players, short rules, a nice mix of strategy and luck, nice artwork, nice components, some strategy but still family friendly. And why not, isn't that the kind of game that made us fall in love with this hobby? If not, you're probably reading the wrong person's opinion
In any case: the choices to make on your turn are limited but not easy. What boat do I load? Or do I land somewhere? Or do I replenish my quarry now so I can set myself up for a good move later? That kind of stuff. it all works very well and the different ways of scoring the different boards adds a nice layer of different strategies to explore.
Not the deepest game but still fulfilling.

Initial rating: 6.7/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Final Touch
tl;dr: luck fest that gives you the impression you should have more control

In this game you're trying to tactically time the playing of your color cards to complete artworks and score points. Too bad the luck factor in what cards you get is so big that you don't nearly have as much control as it feels like you should be having. At least, that's what it felt like to me.
It is quite short, but still, the constant feeling of not archieving what you are trying to just because of the luck of the draw brings this down for me.

Initial rating: 5/10
BGG scale: 3/10

Get Bit!
tl;dr: ultra light luck fest

This game is an ultra light luck fest, with just a whiff of tactics. But it's short and can be funny at times, so as a filler it works pretty well indeed. Not annoying

Initial rating: 6/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:53 am
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Legends, Burano and Castles of Burgundy the Card Game

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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Legends
tl;dr: the same, but a bit different

Have you played Thebes? I have, and this game is VERY similar. Up to the theme even! Both games are about digging for monuments in sand in the late 1800s. Both games have a time track that works the same. Both games are quite family friendly with a nice dose of luck and strategy. The biggest difference? There's no bags with chits to pull from (sad face) and the scoring is different.
I must say I liked this game, but it did feel like a lesser version of Thebes.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Burano
tl;dr: solid, deep, maybe a bit too much AP

This game was getting a lot of buzz at Spiel last year and sold out before I could grab a copy. But I finally got to play it. I was a bit hesitant as the cube stacking mechanism looked like a huge AP source. But it ended up being not nearly as bad as I feared.
This is yet another solid, deep strategic euro. It has a lot of interlocking mechanisms where you need to keep track of a good deal of elements with each move. The stuff I like.
I didn't love it though, and it can be a bit brain-burnery at times, but I'd be happy to play again!

Initial rating: 7/10
BGG scale: 7/10

The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
tl;dr: the same but different

The board game this is based on is one of my all time favorite games. And it does a good of turning that game into a card game without changing it too much yet still giving it a slightly different feel.
It didn't feel as deep or replayable as the board version, but it certainly is a solid adaptation.

Initial rating: 7/10
BGG scale: 7/10
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Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:45 pm
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Broom Service and it's card game and Bohemian Villages

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
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Michelbeke
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Broom Service
tl;dr: enjoyable family game

Broom service takes that card mechanism from Witch's Brew and adds kind of an Elfenland mechanism to it to travel around on a board. It retains the fun trickiness that card mechanism entails and adds an enjoyable, family friendly sauce to it.
I have to say it could be a tad frustrating at time but it was mostly good fun, so a good use of the mechanism.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Broom Service: The Card Game
tl;dr: enjoyable family game

This game takes the board game based on the card game and turns it into a card game again. Kind of like what Knizia did with the Keltis card game I guess.
In any case: again the fun card mechanism is retained and packages it in an enjoyable if somewhat luck driven game that certanly is different enough from both the board game and Elfenland.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Bohemian Villages
tl;dr: one of those games that has nothing wrong with it but doesn't have much going for it either

My rather long tl;dr more or less sums up my thoughts on this game. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this game, I just found it so been-there-done-that and unspectacular that I couldn't get really excited.
But it plays pretty well and doesn't take very long, so playing it is not going to upset many people either.
It's just one of those games that I wouldn't have sunk money into either as a consumer or as a publisher. It's just not special enough.

Initial rating: 6/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:03 pm
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Via Nebula and Tragedy Looper

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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Via Nebula
tl;dr: very enjoyable, light strategy game

Yes, one can never get too many Martin Wallance games, so to get a new, nicely produced one is always nice. Especially if the game turns out to be solid and enjoyable.
It is one of his more family friendly games, but it still is a strategic game with some nice tactical opportunities.
So, not a masterpiece (one shouldn't expect that from him every time of course) but certainly worth playing.

Initial rating: 7/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Tragedy Looper
tl;dr: let's just say this is not my bag

I like the idea behind this game, except that you have to work in a team to solve the problem. And as you might know I prefer games that don't involve a co-operative element
Anyhow... People who know this game well and like it probably will disagree with what I'm about to say, but I'm just going to state what this game felt like to me and how I experienced it. For me the game felt like you had to just do a couple of crap shoots and hope you just happen to get the right info you need to eventually solve the case. Once you have some info you can do some guestimations, but since you still don't have enough info to solve the case, you'll also have to just try some stuff and see what sticks. And that doesn't work for me.
So I see why people might like it, but I have no interest in playing this again. Just not my type of game.

Initial rating: 6/10
BGG scale: 4/10
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Sun Jul 3, 2016 8:55 pm
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Among Nobles and Cargotrain

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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Among Nobles
tl;dr: good but slightly repetitive

A couple of years ago games about generations where very novel. These days we see more of them and so far most of them have been quite solid. And so is this one.
The system where certain traits are inherited from parents is quite nifty and leads to interesting choices.
The fact that you can choose the gender and traits (from the available cards) does make the game slightly unthematic, but if it was random, the game would probably be too random as well. It didn't bother me.
My biggest gripe with the game was that towards the end we all had a feeling of 'ok, lets do yet another round'. I guess making the game shorter might make certain strategies harder to pull off, but it did feel like it repeated just too long.

Initial rating: 6.7/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Cargotrain
tl;dr: enjoyable but a bit too long

A very tactical, not a strategic game. It's quite simple and a solid design, but it does go on for a bit too long. And by too long I don't mean the play time is too long, it just gets a bit repetitive after a while.
Oh yeah, and couldn't they find some other colors than brown and orange?
Not bad, but I can't really recommend this.

Initial rating: 6.3/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Fri May 27, 2016 4:05 pm
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My Village, Buttons and Cacao

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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My Village
tl;dr: fun variation

I haven't played Village a lot, but when playing this game I did see a number of shared elements. But this is a nice medium weight strategy game that can stand on it's own. And there are some elements that are quite different from the other game, so it's not a case of 'which of the 2 should I get'. They're different enough.
In any case, I enjoyed playing this game. It's not too complex, it doesn't take too long, but it does offer some fun strategic or tactical choices.

Initial rating: 7/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Buttons
tl;dr: Qwixx but different with buttons

Like Qwixx? Want more of the same but different? You could play this, you'll probably like it as well!
I didn't dislike this at all, but I do feel it's a lesser take on the concept. The amount of luck seems higher, it's harder to control.

Initial rating: 6.3/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Cacao
tl;dr: fine family game

A family friendly tile laying game. I don't personally see the need for more takes on the genre, but that doesn't mean this game isn't worth playing. Like most games in the genre the rules are easy to digest and strategic options don't fly all over the place. But there are a couple of different strategies to explain. Some of them might not be as viable as others, but from this first play I can't say that for certain.
Anyway, it's a solid enough and not boring. In fact, it's rather enjoyable, just very unexceptional.

Initial rating: 6.5/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Fri May 27, 2016 11:27 am
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