New To You July 2012 => Best new boardgame
Andy
United Kingdom
Stockport
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What new board and card games did you play in July 2012? Please share your experiences of the games you played for the first time this month.

In order to assist with collecting Statistics from these lists, please post an entry with your chosen game of the month, and if possible please use the "insert board game" feature to add other games you mention in your entry.


New To You Metalist 2012
New To You MetaMetalist
New To You Geeklists - Announcement thread

Other Great Monthly Lists
Videogames New To You July 2012
New to you a year ago Jul 12 => Has it stood the test of time?
Games only YOU have played in July 2012
Out of the Dust, July 2012
Your Most Played Game (and more): July 2012
New to Your Kids July 2012 - best new games you've played with your kids and why
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101. Board Game: Thunderbolt Apache Leader [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:481]
Russell Woodland
New Zealand
Tauranga
Bay of Plenty
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Picked this one up in July, in the middle of my first campaign. A fantastic solitaire experience

I own u-boat leader, but not Hornet Leader. Everything from the components of the game through to the game play is fantastic.

This hands down is one of the best gameplay experiences I have had in a long time.

Dan @ DVG games should take a bow as I feel this hands down is his best work to date period!

d10-1d10-0 / d10-1d10-0
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102. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:89]
J. Atkinson
United States
Grant
AL
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Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

Bought this on an auction at the BGG at an incredible price. I've been waiting and waiting for the right time to get this, and the BIN was too hard to pass up.

I got about two solid plays in this month, and my kids really enjoyed it for such a complex and lengthy game. I was surprised at that. The bits are overwhelming, but I searched long and hard for the right plano boxes to organize everything to make set up quicker. Normally, I don't like owning a lot of fiddly games, but I'm too huge of a Civilization fan to pass this up.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Bought this on a whim and out of curiosity as a fan of co-ops. My kids like it a lot, but I cringe at the fire resolution rules and tons of pieces to keep up with in the experienced game. After two plays, I still haven't figure out the hot spots and chemical hazards. I'm really tempted to trade it away, because I prefer my other three co-ops: Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Castle Panic. All three were easy to learn and aren't as painful to setup as FPFR.
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103. Board Game: Feudality [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1888]
Jonathan Er
Singapore
Singapore
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i'm a bit late to the list this month. been busy serving time in the army

not many new games this month either.
of the lot i played, i really liked Feudality
its simple, and fast. sure its not really strategic or anything, but its simple nature struck a chord with me and it brought smiles to everyone playing it. thats what games should be about


other new games include:

- Empires of the Void
after my first play, i thought i liked it quite a bit. but a second play the week after made me change my mind. i found the combat to be clunky and unbalanced. and the overall feel of the game fell flat after the 2nd play. i think if the combat was changed and the map made more accessible (instead of being too stuck in your own zone), the game would turn out to be much more fun. currently not impressed

- Samurai: The Card Game
this game i liked quite a bit. its simple to teach and yet provides enough tactical and strategic options that you never feel like victory is out of reach. bad point is that it takes up too much table space. way too much. bleh

- 1955: The War of Espionage
not much to say about this one. it was fine for what it is. a light two player game. dont see it having much staying power though. seems like it will wear out on its interesting options after about 5 plays or so

- Grimoire
this game took longer than expected, but it was pretty decent. i like the second guessing aspect in games and this had that in spades. i also like the different scoring aspects and the struggle to maintain a balance between immediate scoring and possible end game scoring. will like to play it again

- Nuts!
this was laugh out loud funny. simple, hilarious, and absolutely chaotic. it has no planning required but its one where you want to leave your brains in the box and play away. i might buy this just to kill time before or after a games session

- Shear Panic
this one can bring out a lot of AP. but i thought it was pretty challenging and made me utilize my brain juices more than i was expecting. the bits were great but i think its art and its layout needed some work. especially the player boards. does not explain anything at all. sheesh. likely not to play again, but i appreciated the one play i had of it.

- Village
pretty lukewarm on this one. only one play so far and might need another to confirm if i want to keep it. i dislike the theme. only liked the killing your meeples part.
can read more on my session report here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/828171/first-game-of-vil...

- Vinhos
been wanting to try this for awhile and i am glad i got to. it was pretty decent but rather complex to learn. we played some things wrong but well, what to do ? there were so many rules.
i will want to try this again but i know i wont be purchasing it. its not something i ever want to teach. and i think for the duration it takes, its slightly too long for a game that i think is only ok

- Dominant Species: The Card Game
this is probably my candidate for worst game i played so far in 2012.
absolutely terrible. really. seriously. wow. i cant begin to tell you how much i dislike this game. no catch up mechanic. no theme. alot of luck in the card draws. and just too long for what it is. i could finish a game of Feudality before i finish this one. and everyone would have been having fun. even the last placed player. but this game saps out all the fun for me and its not just cos i was last. i dont mind losing. in fact i enjoy getting my behind handed to me through good play. but this one was just too random and unfulfilling in a thousand ways. oh dear.
if anyone gave this game to me as a gift, i would hate them forever. hahahahaha.



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104. Board Game: Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:988]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Six new-to-me games, including one not-really-new that is thus ineligible for new game of the month. Of the other five, it came down to long vs. short, strategic vs. tactical. I went with the long, strategic game because, to the extent that this might be interpreted as a recommendation, it's probably better suited for the average BGG user.

The games, in alphabetical order:

Cthulhu Fluxx - This is the not-really-new game, of course. It's Fluxx. But it has some special elements that add to the theme and make it not unusual that evil will win out over all the players. It's due out August 17th. I've been demoing it, so of course you all should go out and buy it when it comes out. Preorder it, even. If you're a fan of the Cthulhu mythos and/or the Fluxx series, you won't be sorry.

Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth - This was the faction I played. My opponent played Heart of Cormyr. It struck me as a wargame disguised as D&D. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Not a heavy wargame, especially, but the game we played was not short.

Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre - A randomish gang up on the leader kind of game. Build spells to attack the other players. The strategy is "get good cards."

Get Bit! - A friend had been trying to get me to try this for a long time. A different friend succeeded. I wasn't avoiding it, particularly, it's just that the time was never quite right. My decision to try it wasn't really influenced by its recent appearance on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, but it may have influenced my friend's decision to bring it out; I don't know. Anyway, everybody is a robot trying to avoid getting eaten by a shark, by simultaneous selection and reveal of cards. Whoever's closes to the back of the line gets bit by the shark. If you get bitten enough, you're eliminated.

Redshirts - Somebody gave me this game, and an hour later someone else invited me to join them in playing it, with the two events entirely unrelated. We wasted a lot of time trying to figure out the strategy, because there really isn't any. Try to get your redshirts killed, while your opponents try to thwart you while trying to get their own redshirts killed.

Tammany Hall - It's a political game with gang-up-on-the-leader and negotiation potentially inserting themselves into the mix. Therefore, not for me.
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105. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:368]
Rob ZoBell
United States
North Salt Lake
Utah
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I had kind of a sparse month for new games--for all board gaming in general, in fact.

Blokus (1 play) thumbsup
Blokus was the best of the new games to me. It's got a bit more going for it than I thought it would, and should be fun to explore. The biggest downside to it, in my mind, is that it seems to require exactly 4 players to be at its best. I'll enjoy exploring this one. Definitely worth the two dollars that I paid for it.

Paying the Peiper (3 plays) thumbsup
I soloed this a few times and it's actually really good for a postcard wargame. It seems somewhat unbalanced, but there's enough room for exploration of different strategies and enough swings of luck to make soloing it an interesting event. It's been worth all of the time that I've put into it.

Worm Up! (2 plays) thumbsup
A very light, but for children, very tense bidding and racing game. The best part for me is refereeing the games, and watching the giddiness ensue. Kids seem to instantly grasp the strategy, and it's fun to see them outguess and outmaneuver each other.

League of Six (1 play) thumbsup
League of Six is more of a gamer's game than the other games that were new to me this month. The turn selection jockeying seems to be the bulk of the game, but I've never seen it done like this. Kind of a Power Grid with much different emphases. It's fun, and I'd play it again, but I feel no need to own it.
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106. Board Game: Kaigan [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1569]
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
Mol
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Is it august allready ? It has to be because i just saw a belgian spectator use the f-word on BBC live coverage (bronze medal for Belgium's Evi Van Acker) of the olympic games and Australia is about to win what only is their second gold medal . Anyway on to the games. Boardgames that is.


King of Tokyo (2) 7.25/10


Solid beat'em up. Without cards it might be a bit boring but now everytime a new cards show up everybody is interested to see what it does.
Artwork is perfect for what it is. excellent filler.
On buy list.





The Resistance (2) 6/10

A traitor game in which the traitors have a big advantage over the resistance. Because of the limited number of rounds I even have my doubts if a person has a 50% chance of getting to know all the traitors. I would be impressed.It's fun for a couple of games though. and if you are a fan of werewolf you should check it out.
No need to own this one.




7 Wonders (1) 7/10

Normally I would jump on the opportunity to play Civ games. i didn't on this one. It was surprisingly okay but I still don't understand what the fuzz is about.
If one person doesn't prevent one of getting a good building then we'll have a winner. We had a 7 player game?
that's probably why Xander says in his comments he likes it with 4 or less. you loose a lot of control.



Age of Steam (1) 8/10

After playing an expansion last month it was the first time I played the base map. With three the map was too big. I came in second after one of my opponents forgot to seal his network not once, not twice but three times.
I fully understand that some gamers are traingamers. I like those games a lot too. but I like variety as well.
In many months this would be the pick of the month for me.





Ascending Empires (1) 7/10

A fun and clever game is marred by the warping of the board and the note that comes with it.
The high price in Belgium and the warping prevented me from buying it.
If they decide to do an all wood deluxe version I would be seriously tempted to get myself a copy on releasedate.
Having said that, the board I played on was okay. You can't expect space travel to be a breeze in the park.
The warping on the player mats was pretty bad though. I deducted a point


The City (1) 6/10


Quick engine building card game that lasts approximately 7 rounds.
Should be easily playable in 2 minutes a round. 15 minutes for a full game.







Dominant Species: The Card Game (1) 7/10
Quick hand management game that is not comparable to DS.
It's okay. In order to do well you have to win at least round 8,9 or 10.
I had no intrest in winning round 10 and won round 9 easily.
Be aware of the disaster/ event cards in the deck. It's possible that a round ends without having played a card. That's another reason why you shouldn't bet heavily on the last round.


Kaigan (1)8.25/10
When Inotaizu was rereleased as Kaigan I had this high on my shopping list for Essen. When I was at the fair Inotaizu was also selling across the stand were Kaigan was selling.
I had a look at them both and I was amazed how complicated it looked for a game that should be played in 45 minutes to an hour.
So I didn't get it.
Well after the explanation it became clear it wasn't complicated at all and since Lesley worked out all the symbols on the Kaigan board we were looking at almost the entire game explanation on the gameboard
This is a very clever game of blocking and because of how the game works you have to keep a close look at what your opponents want to do.
On must buy list again

Kissenschlacht (1) 6/10


Silly dexteritygame.
Fun






Level X (1) 4/10
This is one of those easy rules , easy to play games. Luck plays a part as well as probabilty calculations. I normally like that sort of stuff but since there is no press your luck build in,(Can't stop) this fell pretty flat. Originally I was kind and rated it a 5. And i had to downgrade it to a 4.


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107. Board Game: Ninety-Nine [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:1955]
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Better late than never. After the austerity of NaNoNeGaMo June, I played a lot of new games this month!

The best
I love traditional card games and have been working my way through David Parlett's excellent enyclopedia and history. Ninety-Nine is the best-known of his own designs and it's a brilliantly simple 3p trick-taking game. I've been playing Oh Hell for years and this is an ingenious twist on it where you bid for tricks by discarding from your hand.

The good
I've played versions of Zendo before but not the official game. It's an enjoyable experience and an excellent demonstration of the scientific method all in one.

Intrigue is a pure and nasty negotiation game. I've come to enjoy those more and more recently.

Ghost Blitz - hilarious speed pattern recognition with very cool components.

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small has been the huge hit with my wife that I hoped it would. She even wrote her first review!

Skull is like a stripped down Liars Dice played with beer mats.

Artus - not very well received but I trust Kramer/Kiesling. Has to be taken as the very tactical game it is - play with the scoring cards and no more than 3p for best results.

Played a prototype of Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill and wrote a review. Vicious and quick, it deserves to make a comeback from its failure to Kickstart first time round.

The jury's out
Java completed my plays of the Mask trilogy and I think it may be my least favourite. A bit too much going on and the card-play subgame seems unnecessary.

Only played the introductory scenario of 1812: The Invasion of Canada and it was enough to learn the rules but not get a real feel for the game. The 3 v 2 team play is intriguingly different though.

Meh
I'm not a fan of Stefan Feld, and while Strasbourg isn't his worst, it's not one I'm keen to play again either. Feld seems to do all the things Knizia gets ripped for, and none of the things that make Knizia great.

Get Bit! has fantastic components but apart from that it's really just a Raj variant with elimination.

Bleh
Ubongo 3D - simultaneous solitaire puzzle-solving with the most stupid scoring system I've ever seen.







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108. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:10]
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
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4 new to me games this month, 3 of them courtesy of a rare opportunity to attend the local game night at my FLGS.

1. Eclipse - 3 plays (2x2p,1x4p) -

I was very much predisposed to like this game, as it combines a lot of things I like separately: science fiction (the example of play is Iain v Vernor!), civilization games (a board game version of Master of Orion?) and the well-worked out smooth Euro mechanics. There were some reservations too though - would it be too long to get play? Would the dice (*shudder*) ruin the combat for me? Would it just be too much for my group to get into?

Well, I had but dipped my toe into the play space here but the positives overwhelm the negatives for me so far. The game play is very slick and keeps things moving. The combat is not all and a well designed ship (working on getting better at that!) will triumph - this is not Risk, so a lone defender cannot hold off against surely insurmountable odds. Plus it is a VP game not a combat game, so combat is (semi-)optional. Importantly, my wife liked it too.

Now I did want to get it to the table as a multi-player - maybe even make that a regular occurrence. My wife joked that she would rather not be there when I tried to teach everyone else the game and as it happens she was out of town when I did - 5 hours it took, one player was mostly out of the game for the latter half. It even featured some lopsided Reputation pulls (last turn combat, I pulled a 3 out of 5, one of my opponents pulls 5 1s!). But despite it all, everyone was dissecting the game again after it was done. This was a much bigger game than 2 of them had ever taken on before, but their appetites were whetted for more science fiction goodness.

I am a hopeless optimist when it comes to getting big games regularly played, but I think this one might have some legs.

2. Airlines Europe - 1 play (4p) -

Only one play and I spent most of that not really sure how the game would play out. Playing it is straightforward enough - pay to place planes down of a chosen color or play out shares - but what consituted a 'good move' was opaque to me. The second half I began to see it a bit more but by then I was thinking I was well out of the running. But still, I enjoyed the game and would like to play it again. A nice step up from Ticket to Ride, though to play well, I am not sure how much it takes yet. Does the player chaos overwhelm the decisions you make? Worth a few plays to find out.

3. Hanabi - 1 play (4p) -

This is an odd game in several ways, as you don't know your own hand but do know everyone else's. And a co-op in which the limits on communication are such that no alpha geek can boss everyone around. The person that taught us said he wouldn't play as it hurts his head too much and after playing it I knew exactly what he meant. You so want to tell the guy across to play those 2 1s then the other guy to play his 2s on top, but you can tell them about the 1s but then they aren't sure if they match or not and you have to look for subtle clues, like why did they tell me that piece of information rather than something else. It really did feel like a victory when we completed 3 of the 5 color fireworks, getting 17 out of a possible 25. I'm not much of a co-op fan really, but this one I would definitely play again.

4. Las Vegas - 1play (4p) -

A remarkably simple dice rolling game that seems amazing that no one invented before. Each player has a set of dice, you all roll then assign all of the dice of a particular number to the appropriate tile. Then reroll and repeat until all dice are assigned. Most dice on a tile gets the best money card, with ties (excruciatingly) eliminating both from the winnings (so you could win a tile by playing 1 die and the others tying with 5 each). Four rounds of money collecting and you are done. We were taught and played this in 15 minutes. It was frantic and fun (especially with the time pressure). The roll offs to win a tile were quite thrilling. Though I daresay repeated play will remove some of the thrill as it is clearly not a deep game. As I say, great for that "we have 15 minutes before we go, what do we play?" moments.
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109. Board Game: Micro Mutants: Evolution [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1397]
Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Micro Mutants: Evolution -

Bought this because I had fond memories of Tiddledy Winks from when I was young. Seems like this one will take some time to get proficient with, and frankly, the rules didn't help me playing this. We ended up just playing some home made simple rules to finish it. I would like to try this again, but I doubt I'll get someone to play it with me.

Skull & Roses -

One of few games I've played that I don't own myself, and the two times I tried didn't particularly entice me to buy it. I guess you need to play this with the right crowd, as we didn't really get into the bluffing part of the game. Might try it again, but probably not.
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110. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1139]
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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It's been a clusterf*ck of a week so I am way late to the party... but here they are...

Best New Game:


Twixt (Alex Randolph, 1962) 8.5/10
Bought this at the RapierCon flea market a while back and finally got to try it out. As a fan of abstracts, I really enjoyed this connection game. I love the 3-D plastic components, they create kind of an "elevated-train" look mixed with a thread-like look. I looked up the designer and apparently he was a prolific American designer in the days before designer games, and he co-designed Inkognito as well, cool!

Only thing I don't get are the soldiers in the background of the cover art, completely out of place...ninja


Runner-Up

Takenoko (Antoine Bauza, 2011) 8.2/10
Beautiful and surreal production here, like something out of Japanese animes Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro. A gardener grows pink and yellow and green bamboo while a Panda wanders around eating it all up. It's a medium-light game that gets bonus points from me since I had so much fun with the production and theme.


Great New Games


Tower of Babel (Reiner Knizia, 2005) 8.2/10
And at the opposite end of the spectrum, production-wise this one was a dud for me. And that's even despite the 7 ancient wonders being a particular interest of mine. The board art is just too muted and blah, and the chit colors (which are important since they play into set collection) are too similar to each other. A rare mis-step by Franz Vohwinkel.

The gameplay though is a nice, tight mix of area control, bidding and set collection, with a twist of being able to "bribe" the auctioneer with trading your area control for their set collection. Interesting to play what many consider to be Knizia's last "great game" before he moved his focus to family games, fillers and iOS.



Caylus (William Attia, 2005) 7.8/10
Finally got to try the game that launched the worker placement revolution. I wasn't expecting it to be such a nasty game, that provost can really screw you! I look forward to more plays of this.



Le Havre (Uwe Rosenberg, 2008) 7.8/10
And speaking of worker placement, a game with one-worker worker-placement Very meaty economic game, I enjoyed the setting and art as well. I know those who will never play this in favor of Agricola, and vice versa; me, the two games are different enough and equally interesting that I'd be happy to play either.



Hanabi & Ikebana (Antoine Bauza, 2010) 7.8/10
I got to play this outdoors in the evening on the 4th of July, with fireworks booming around us, perfect setting. A very different-feeling cooperative/deduction game, where your cards are facing the other players so that you can only see their backs. I like it the way we played it: no memory element, so you can write down any notes you want, and you can ask people what they "know" but can't directly correct their errors, and the cards are set up in a stand in front of you.


OK New Game


Cards Against Humanity (Josh Dillon, Daniel Dranove, Eli Halpern, Ben Hantoot, David Munk, David Pinsof, Max Temkin & Eliot Weinstein, 2009) 5.8/10
Kind of a Apples to Apples variant with dirty juvenile humor. If you're in a particular silly mood it's fun, but I think the best is when you haven't seen the cards yet, so replayability will suffer.
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111. Board Game: San Marco [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:333]
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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Very late entry due to just having returned from my vacation in Iceland but better late than never.

Game of the Month
San Marco: d10-7 (1 play)

San Marco is the poster child for all games based on the "I split, you choose"-mechanism. It's the core for a game of area majorities, a genre popular around the year 2000 but not very popular anymore with most eurogamers, probably due to its confrontational nature. The split mechanism helps in limiting conflict to a manageable extend while opening up a breadth of tactical choices at the cost of being prone to analysis paralysis. A potential drawback is the susceptibility to being decided prematurely on singular player decision granting too much of an advantage to another player. Should be played accordingly with experienced gamers to realize its potential.

Good games
YINSH: d10-7 (2 plays)

Yinsh feels like a combination of several other abstract games. Five in a row (Pente, Gobang) is the goal, discs are flipped when moved over (akin to Othello), movement rules for the rings (variation on Checkers) add another layer. The whole here is more than the sum of its parts and its rating as abstract #1 testify to its longevity and depth. After two games, I don't grasp what constitutes good play. My impression is that positioning the rings to maximize freedom of movement might be one key. Dominating the middle might be another one. I might be wrong and I don't want to read up on strategy yet.

Artus: d10-7 (1 play)

Advanced game only - the basic game doesn't seem to be worth playing. Artus is highly tactical in figuring out how to best play your given cards each turn. Advance planning is very limited and probably only feasible to some degree with two players. It's also much more thinky in the advanced version than I was expecting and shouldn't be played with more than three. As I'm fond of rules-light games with a tactical focus, Artus was a positive surprise given its mediocre reception on BGG. My biggest gripe with it is its garish design, not with its gameplay.

BITS: d10-7 (1 play)

I haven't played its predecessor FITS which is generally considered to be a bit better and is far more widely available. But BITS gave me that Tetris puzzle fix I expected and I'm happy with playing this occasionally. As known from comparable multiplayer solitaire puzzles where all players have to use the same tile on individual boards (e.g. Take It Easy, Finito), players at some time will be forced to forsake scoring opportunities which will give some a hard time. Recommended if you can cope with that, are nostalgic about Tetris and don't mind zero interaction.

Die Dolmengötter: d10-7 (1 play)

I can understand why this is popular with the guys from the Winsome crowd. As in Chicago Express and quite a few other of their titles, it's important to set yourself up to benefit from other players' actions. Without concurrent moves from the opponents, no player will gain points. Claiming advantages among competitive players is a subtle process of benefitting slightly more than giving others. In the end, it's most likely that a mistake will have more influence on game result than any positive action. Such titles interest me in principle but only shine on rare conditions where the right experienced crowd comes together. Otherwise, there's a non-neglectable potential for disappointing results.

Average games
Paperclip Railways: d10-5 (1 play)

The principle of laying strings, paperclips, noodles or whatever to build track sounds intriguing. But as with String Railway it sounds better than it is in practice. The analogue nature of placement reduces sharpness of gameplay instead of opening up possibilities. While String Railway has the advantage of quickness, Paperclip Railways is beyond the filler range with not enough depth to warrant it. It's a game of combo building with an added less important spatial component but getting the right combos is mostly a question of luck with bland and obvious strategic routes to develop along. The whole gameplay feels unpolished in its build-draw-build cycle. Comment is based on a three player game. It might be better with more players.

String Railway: d10-5 (1 play)

I like train games and I like quick and easy games. Transamerica is my favourite game. So I was really intrigued when I read about String Railways. My expectations were too high. Fiddling with the strings was innovative for one or two turns but not really enjoyable. Beyond the novelty factor, I didn't discover much to keep my interest. I rather play Transamerica instead.

The Gnomes of Zavandor: d10-5 (1 play)

If it weren't for the oversized largest starting player marker ever (a cardboard gnome about 10cm high) there wouldn't be anything remarkable about this game. I can't imagine who needs this game other than a Zavandor completist. The market mechanism isn't that interesting, the engine building is almost broken with one extremely powerful artifact forcing other players to pay the owner for each digged gem, the set building is lacklustre and the art is drab. I rather invest 30-60 minutes more and play either Planet Steam for a similar but better developed market mechanism or Sceptre of Zavandor for a similar-themed economic engine.

Bad games
Carnival: d10-4 (1 play)

Another superfluous entry to the category of 'take-that' card games and another proof that Kickstarter enables games to get published that should have been given some more professional development. About every two or three turns, you will have to perform actions that are nonsensical or even don't work. As usual in games of this type, this is not about clever play. But unluckily, it even lacks the 'fun' part of usually executing your opponents dudes (Family Business, Munchkin, Guillotine) or creating some ridiculous story (Chez Geek, Munchkin). On the plus side, the take-that effects are not as severe as in other games and game end comes unavoidably as no played cards are eliminated. Plus, the cards are really nice.
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112. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:351] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Jeff Miller
United States
Ogden
Utah
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Long time admirer, first time poster...

New Game of the Month



4 Plays
Got this in an auction after a long while of it hanging in the mid-range of my wantlist. I took it to my regular Sunday game-night (none of who are BGGers or know of a great deal of games in general) and they couldn't wait to give it a go.

The four plays for the month were split between 3,4, and 6 player games. We played a different scenario each time. Every game went over very well as a group. The sense of theme and tension was immediatly apparent, trash-talking was abundant, and there were loads of high-tension dice rolls with groans or cheers to follow. I'm positive I won't be the only one owning the game in this group shortly.

My personnal feelings may be somewhat skewed by the fact that each game I was responsible for teaching, on average, two new players at each session. The hand-holding was getting old and the slower pace was starting to become frustrating (this is an i-phone happy group, if you know what I mean). When things flowed it was an exciting, on your feet experience. I'm anxious to try the game with some other, more attentive, groups. I'm sure it will be an easy sell...

The Rest...



4 Plays
I've carried this game around with me for a while, but everytime I tried to get read the rulebook, all I wanted to do was spit on the awfully formatted pages and put in back in the box. Well I finally committed myself to it and got it to the table for 4 solo plays.

The first game, I messed up a rule that allowed me the smallest margin of advantage for the win. After another read of the rules, I promptly learned how brutal of game this can be. There was a quick ~5 min loss, and another that let me cruise easily to the last location only to wipe me out there unmercifully.

I don't believe I ever made it through a single game without needing to check or double-check a rule, order of events, etc. I found it frustrating that such a small game can be so niggly and unnatural. It really puts a smudge of poo on what otherwise could be a decent game experience. I'd like to try a game or two multi-player before I really make up my mind.



4 Plays
Trying the print-n-play thing. I took me three game to beat it with a very modest score. I seemed content with that and showed my Mom (who watched me play it in passing) how to play and she got sucked into it for a dozen games or so until she beat it with a score that topped mine. I gave it a short rest before sitting down for one last go in which I not only won but smashed all previous scores. It hasn't been played since.

I didn't think it was a bad puzzle like diversion. The amount of unmitigatable, and often back-breaking, luck doesn't appeal to me. If the trap tiles are shuffled in a certain way, there's just plain nothing that can be done about it. I doubt I'd play it again unless someone were to beat my score. Most likely it will be donated to my Mom's third grade class.



2 Plays
I was pretty excited about this game upon recieving it. I busted it out with three other very new game-players. The word "Dungeon" on the box was an immediate hurdle. Fortunatly (and unfortunatly) that fear rapidly deminished upon initiating play. The theme of back-stabbing adventurers (the main draw to me) faded into a simple semi-calculable numbers game.

I believe the game may hold more interest if players simultaniously revealed their cards as it would incorporate more of a mind-read / bluffing element. As is, I was left a bit disappointed. Two of the others seemed to like it ok, saying they would be willing to play again. I just need to work up the desire myself. As it's a fairly quick game, I'm sure it will happen at some point.
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113. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:47]
Wes Baker
United States
Fredericksburg
Virginia
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Commands & Colors: Ancients
/10

I'm a fan of two player games. I'm also a fan of war games. When rules are simple and the game is deep, I'm even more of a fan. I had played both Memoir '44 and BattleLore, but I kept seeing that Ancients was the best in the series. I purchased it in a moment if weakness and stashed it away for a month or two since we'd be moving soon.

Cut forward a month and we're all moved in and I crack open the box and begin to sticker all of the blocks. Three hours and a few days later the game is all setup and I'm ready to play a solo learning game. A few turns in an I see why people say that the system makes more sense with this theme. I enjoyed it quite a bit and now I'm just waiting for a more regular opponent.


Super Dungeon Explore, 1 play
/10

Managed to play a game of this with some co-workers while I was out in Bend, Oregon at a company meeting. I've heard a lot of comments saying this game was a board game with video game sensibilities, and it's pretty obvious that they're right. It's a simple dice-chucking fest and the way things work together (for the players anyways) is pretty fun. I like how equipment works and can't really be house ruled (like the D&D games) since you have equipment slots.

I'd be happy to play this again, especially with a full contingent of players, but because I own a lot of games like this I won't be buying my own.


Haggis, 1 face-to-face play, many more on iOS
/10

I'm not really a fan of trick taking games. I find them to be too abstract—and yes most card games are abstract. However, Haggis is a fun game and my wife is quite good at it. I suspect we'll be playing this a few more times, but I wonder since neither I nor my wife ask for it quite yet.


Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles, 1 solo play
/10

This was a solo learning play so I was hesistant to rate it, keep that in mind reading what follows. I really enjoyed the supression mechanic and how the goal with the first mission isn't necessarily killing troops off, but keeping them supresses as you move the Allies from one end of the board to the other. I'd be happy to play again, and I'd love to find someone else who'd be interested in playing.


Attika, 1 play
/10

At the end of the weekly board game night we were left with around 45 minutes and one of the guys suggested this game. I had never played it before, but I had just barely heard of it. This is an abstract with a thin coat of theme, but the mechanics are fun and I'd be happy to play again, but it's another game I wouldn't buy for my own collection.


Twilight Imperium (Third Edition), 1/2 play
/10

Here is the true disappointment of the month. This is a game that I've been looking forward to for a while. A game of epicness, depth, politics, intrigue, battle, and space. Just looking at it made me giddy, but after having the rules explained to me I began to wonder why it might take so long, they seemed simple enough. Then we began to play. There are several options open to you each turn, and each round also has several options. Sometimes each of those options has more decisions to be made as well.

Alright, so now I see why it takes so long. How about the mechanics? So you have this epic space ship over here, and then this epic space ship over here and they're going to do battle. Alright, roll your d10! Oh, I rolled a 7 and you rolled a 3. Your ship dies and I live. That's it. I understand the desire to abstract out a more lengthy battle here, but it just felt so weak in light of the rest of the game.

The rest of the game we played amounted to us trying to destroy each other's fleets and having as much fun as we could within the game's ruleset. Thinking about it more, I wonder if my opinion wouldn't be very different if I hadn't played Eclipse.

I'd be willing to try it again, but I'd want to talk about what I should expect from the game first to see if this game wasn't just a fluke.
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114. Board Game: Ascension: Storm of Souls [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:312] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
I am on a Journey...
Australia
Lavington
New South Wales
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June means BorderCon and BorderCon means the chance to play new titles!

New To Me Games

d10-1 Ascension: Storm of Souls

I really wanted to like this but to this point it hasn’t clicked yet. I think it may well be the stand alone nature of the game. I was just getting to love some of the combos that came with Return of the Fallen and then I had to go to a new stand alone. Sure you can add Return of the Fallen to this but it just doesn’t seem quite right. The new Events are a novel idea that has some potential but with only 6 of them in a deck of over 100 cards, they don’t have that big an impact most of the time…it’s even worse with Return of the Fallen added to the mix.
I need to play this some more but for now it is good thanks to the variety rather than great.

d10-2 Shazaam!



Mmm Shazaam! The name is more exciting than the game play if I’m going to be fair. Players control wizard’s duelling on a bridge that is slowly crumbling and threatening to see one wizard topple into the lava below. Players use a common deck each and must decide how much of their limited mana they will expend each turn to add power to their selected spell card. Quite ho-hum really and reminiscent of games from yesteryear that had less competition.

Expansions

d10-3 Fits Expansions



This entry covers both the official and unofficial expansions. These are very good offering new scoring rules to adapt to and challenging experienced players to alter classic strategies in order to avoid some big negative points. My favourites are the letter based ones where words have to be made with letters that are built around. With them all there is a total of 20 boards to choose from, which helps keep the game fresh.
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