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

Archive for Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!

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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!
Belgium
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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
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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
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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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Antarctica, Cornwall and Snowdonia: Trans-Australian Railway

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
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Antarctica
tl;dr: fine but a bit too long

This is a medium weight euro like there are so many on the market. The rules are quite streamlined, it is well produced, it remixes mostly stuff we've seen many times before. So in that regard this game doesn't stand out at all. The theme is slightly original but also unimportant. The artwork is attractive.
So everything is very average (but on this scale, average is good). So the only way to stand out is by doing what the others do but better. Unfortunately that is not the case. It does everything perfectly average. Except that the game goes on for slightly too long.
So yeah, not bad, but it doesn't stand out and there are better alternatives. Man, we are so spoilt with excellent games!

Initial rating: 6.4/10
BGG scale: 6/10

Cornwall
tl;dr: it's a tile laying game!

It must be really hard to make a tile laying game that's not a Carcassonne rip-off. And by that I don't mean it actually rips it off, but that it feels very much like a different take on that game. Place a tile on your turn, use your pieces to score the different features on those tiles in different ways. It's a tried and tested formula and it works well. This game just does more of the same we've seen before. And again it works well, but it doesn't bring anything new or exceptional.

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

Snowdonia: Trans-Australian Railway & The Daffodil Line
tl;dr: a new way to fuck with our minds

Yep, these scenarios for Snowdonia keep on taking the game we know and love and changing it just a bit. But those small changes change the way in which you have to play massively. I felt like this scenario made the game less family friendly (the base game is quite easy to digest I find). It certainly is interesting. I quite liked it!

Initial rating: 7.5/10
BGG scale: 8/10
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Tue May 10, 2016 2:32 pm
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Quadropolis and Signorie

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
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Quadropolis
tl;dr: solid family friendly strategy game

I've only played the 'expert' version, but I was explained the differences. It sounds like the 'family' version mostly takes away options from the players to make the game easier to grasp and shorter.
Without those limitations, the game is on the lighter side of the strategy game spectrum, but I still consider it a strategy game, not a family game.
Anyhow. The rules are easy to understand and the strategies to pursue are plentiful. Some turns choices can be quite hard. Good stuff.
And like most Days of Wonder games, this is very well put together again. And I was glad to see it was printed in Germany.

Score: 7.2/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Signorie
tl;dr: dry as a desert but very good

This is definitely a What's Your Game? game. The graphic design gives it away, but other than that, it is yet an other deep strategy game that is very dry and has dice.
After the explanation of the rules everything was clear, except I had no clue of what to do to be successful in the game. By the second round things started becoming clear though, so it was enjoyable to explore those options.
There is a certain amount of luck. The flags for the male and female members you can send to the board can come out in a very unlucky way, and the dice can screw you over if you're out of a certain gender and really need those, but strategy is certainly what the game is all about.
Very solid, but very, very, very, VERY dry!

Initial rating: 7.2/10
BGG scale: 7/10
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Sun May 8, 2016 7:37 pm
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Dynasties and A Game of Gnomes

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
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Dynasties: Heirate & Herrsche
tl;dr: solid euro

I saw some comments that this game is too random. I'm not sure why they say that. Like any area majority game, things can change rather quickly, but the only real random element is what cubes come on the boats and the dice, which never hurt you, they only give you stuff you want.
In any case, this is a nice game like so many HiG titles. Well designed, good art, good components, plays well, good strategy without being too complex. The only real knock I can think of is that it doesn't feel that original, but it works great, so I'll forgive it for that.

Initial rating: 7.2/10
BGG scale: 7/10

A Game of Gnomes
tl;dr: mediocre, over priced, over produced and not all that pretty

Fragor is know for it's great overproduced bits. They are not known for outstanding game play but most of their games are quite playable. I thought they had outdone themselves with Spellbound with those huge player pieces. This game contains an even bigger piece: the mountain. And there's also some player figures and other bits in resin. Too bad the paint job is low quality and the result is that they don't look all that pretty. On top of that the art work of the other bits isn't great and the graphic design, while functional enough, is god awful to look at.
OK on to game play: it's OK. It works. It's easy enough to understand, not as clunky as some of their other designs and it doesn't outstay it's welcome.
In the end this is a very mediocre game with nice sculpts that I didn't find attractive. And way overpriced.
Oh, and did I mention that that ridiculous mountain blocks the view for different parts of the board and isn't necessary at all.

Initial rating: 6.2/10
BGG scale: 5/10
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Sat May 7, 2016 1:11 pm
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Bretagne, Catacombs and Bezzerwizzer

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
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Bretagne
tl;dr: good strategy game!

This is one of those games that got great responses at Spiel 2015, but it wasn't actually available until a while later. But I finally got to try it. And I must say: this is a very solid game. There are few things you learn on your first play that will improve your score in the next games, but overall rules complexity is average and the icons are quite clear, so there isn't too much of a learning curve.
I quite enjoyed this and look forward to trying it more.

Initial rating: 7.3/10
BGG scale: 7/10

Catacombs (third edition)
tl;dr: fun but too long

I guess the best description is: Crokinole meets Descent. A dungeon crawl where the monsters are flicking disks. Good fun, but I did feel it went on for a bit too long. Also, as someone who sees theme as a method of making rules easier to digest, I don't really see the added value over Crokinole, so I'd rather play that. It is cheaper though, but still not cheap at all.

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

Bezzerwizzer
tl;dr: fine, except for that one thing

I had heard good things about this trivia game. It's not my favorite genre, but I don't mind playing them usually.
I would say: this is like Trivial Pursuit without the board. Also, you can choose what categories you will score more for. And that's a good addition to the genre.
The only real problem I had with the game is the stealing of categories. If someone steals your top category and gives one you suck at, you're screwed and there's little you can do to remedy it.
I would play it again, but not with the stealing.

Initial rating: 6.3/10
BGG scale: 6/10
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Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:09 am
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