New To You August 2012 => Best new boardgame
What new board and card games did you play in August 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 August 2012
New to you a year ago Aug 12 => Has it stood the test of time?
Games only YOU have played in August 2012
Your Most Played Game (and more): August 2012
New to Your Kids August 2012 - best new games you've played with your kids, and why
Your best gaming experience and why August 12
Out of the Dust, August 2012
Board Game: Pueblo
[Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:820]
Zendo fan, Columbus Blue Jackets fan, Dominion Fan. These are 'permanent microbadges' to free up space on my microbadge row
Four new-to-me games in the month. None of them really stood out. Pueblo is similar enough to Rumis/Blokus 3D that I wondered if I'd played it before. It came out before I started logging, so I suppose it's a possibility. Granada is similar enough to Alhambra that I wonder if I shouldn't have disqualified it as "not really new." I guess it's a moot point.
Farmageddon - The person who taught this compared it to Munchkin and called it a take-that game, neither of which I particularly like. Plus, it has a silly theme, and while I like silly themes I find that, unfortunately, games with silly themes usually suck. So really, I was surprised that I didn't hate this. I could see in just the wrong circumstances how it might suck, but it didn't the time I played it.
Granada - Alhambra-like but different. It's okay.
King of Tokyo - Monsters. Dice. Taking over Tokyo. What's not to like? Oh yeah, gang up on the leader. But it wasn't really a problem when we played it.
Pueblo - Reminiscent of Rumis/Blokus3D, but also with the "look at the side" element also seen in Cityscape. Scoring is bad, so you want to place your pieces so the token moving around the board doesn't see you, and you want to place the neutral pieces to block of the worst of your colored pieces. It's an interesting puzzle game which you will enjoy if your head doesn't explode.
A fantastic month! First off, and best of all, I got married! We actually had a game-themed wedding (a picture-heavy GeekList is coming) and our honeymoon included GenCon among other road trip destinations, which gave us both the opportunity to try a lot of new games. In addition, I started a new job, and we got a dog. Eventful month!
Confusion isn't brand new, but this version is at least relatively new, and it's new to us. A fascinating 2-player abstract game, sort of capture-the-flag chess where only your opponent knows the capabilities of your pieces. The rare strategic deduction game, it's been great over my 6 plays so far (despite the occasional lucky rush, for which variants exist to reduce the occurrence rate).
Plenty of other very good games:
Alcatraz: The Scapegoat - This game gets very personal as you're constantly throwing one person at a time under the bus. Not a traditional "one vs. many" game in that the "one" role is constantly shifting, and there's no hidden loyalty or anything like that. Somehow, "all but one can win" gets way more intense than "only one can win".
Seasons - A cool Cards That Do Stuff game with some draft balancing of cards, interesting dice effects, and an all-around fun affair. Too bad they sold out so quickly at GenCon, but now we know one Christmas present to get each other.
Linq - We didn't get this one at GenCon; rather I got it for my now brother-in-law as a gift for being a groomsman. The psychology and strategy are surprisingly exciting and thought-provoking, considering the party game trappings. And this is coming from a party game lover!
Legacy: Gears of Time - So far, the best implementation of time travel I've seen in a game. Some brain-bending backwards thinking and a good design decision with the small number of special action cards in the deck.
Mars vs. Earth - A hidden identity game by a now coworker of mine, described by him as somewhere between BSG and The Resistance. As for me, it's a lot more like fast BSG, and I think it works well. I think I'd like it even better if it's half the length, but I don't know how that'd be accomplished without cutting out a lot of interesting and fun bits.
Some other good but not wow games:
Kingdom Builder - My wife loves it; I like it. It's a solid light strategy game with enjoyable setup variability, well-implemented indirect interaction, and a low enough barrier to entry (although some people can't wrap their head around the adjacency rule).
Eminent Domain - There were some ideas I really liked in here, especially the "deck building" aspect of your chosen role going into the deck, making you better at what you do more so naturally. I just have doubts about replayability and fun.
Dark Moon - While it does keep the themes of the big BSG game, I think the dice and simplifications keep just enough intrigue and accusation away, unfortunately.
TZAAR - The only GIPF game we hadn't played was fun, but it just didn't grab us as much as the other 6.
Some that weren't quite up my alley:
String Railway - I'm glad I've finally played this, but it wasn't especially exciting and replayability is suspect.
Farmageddon - I was happy to get to meet Grant and try the game out, but I've played enough "take that" for now, even if this was better managed than most of the genre.
Scopa - Like a lot of uber-traditional card games, very much up to luck with some slight room for strategy.
Kingdom of Solomon - The game's not bad, but despite the appreciated Biblical theme, our GenCon demo presenter's apathy ("The game's decent.") and annoying son really hampered our enjoyment of our partial play.
Saboteur - The rare hidden traitor game I couldn't get into. Maybe it was just how we played, but the saboteurs seemed to have no hope at all, and I don't know what they/we did wrong. Just didn't hold enough interest.
Wouldn't play again:
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre - Just not our cup of tea. A couple cool things here and there, but the theme and style were real turn-offs for us, and we just couldn't get too into the highly random gameplay.
Smash Up - Doesn't seem to be much there beyond a surface "haha pirates vs. dinosaurs vs. robots".
Pass the Pigs: Pig Party Edition - Pure luck, not even retaining the press-your-luck bit of the Farkle-esque original Pass the Pigs.
Phew, I think that's all of them! 18 new games in August, compared to 9 the first 7 months of the year combined!
Board Game: Hawaii
[Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:390]
Preliminary rating: 8
Tom Vasel proves yet again how out of touch he is with modern eurogames, my wife and I both found Hawaii to be an excellent mid-weight game.
Functionally, there are two currencies in the game, feet and shells. On your turn, you spend feet to move around the board, and then spend shells to buy tiles which you build up in your play area. There are a ton of different tiles providing various benefits, better income in feet or shells, fruits which are wild, end game points and so on.
What I really like about the game is the variability. Each game is totally different than the next, as the tile layouts are done randomly in setup. So, in one game the shell income huts might be close to the beach and easy to acquire, in the next far away and tougher to get to. Also, each game round starts by setting all the tile prices randomly by drawing tokens from a bag. So it's very tactical as you size up the board and where you might want to move this turn, and how much are you willing to spend to get that tile you need.
Also, pretty much everything gives you points in the game, so it's one of those games where you bask in the glory of good moves most of the time. Ultimately the best moves win, but the rest of us feel like we're getting somewhere and doing something too. No painful slogs just scraping by here (although income reduces each round and can get tight near game end).
If there's a negative here, it's that setup can be a bit fiddly for the tiles (having a good storage system makes this a non-issue). Also, you have to draw 20+ price tokens each round, and that takes a minute or too. But that's really nit-picking, I don't find it a problem at all.
Preliminary rating: 7.5
D-Day Dice takes the Yahtzee "roll three times and set aside dice" system and makes it into something special. Roll the dice collecting soldiers and courage which allows you to advance, or get stars or tools for recruiting specialists and items, which provide new skills, dice manipulation or bonuses to use as you progress.
D-Day Dice is the best dice game I've played, I think. It's more involved than most, we had great fun talking about every single roll and what we might do, should we keep this or that, re-roll, go for a Red-White-Blue bonus, keep something I don't need in order to trade it to another player, and so forth.
We found the game ran quite long, because we were doing so much talking and strategizing during each turn. Which is not a bad thing at all, it makes the game soooo much better than a co-op like the dreadful Flash Point: Fire Rescue last month, where there was nothing to discuss because everything was so obvious.
Preliminary rating: 6.5
A fun little "take that" card game, where you build apartment buildings, then populate them with crazy tenants, which provide income. Lots of crazy stuff goes on, musicians drive existing renters away, celebrities increase your revenue, old folks only live on the bottom floor, and squatters drive everyone away.
The "take that" comes in two parts, first of all it's possible to modify your opponent's buildings, and to put tenants in his empty rooms. So, I can put a squatter into your room and drive your high paying customers away. If you're clever enough to not leave an empty room, I can still mess with you by building an addition to your building for you, and then sticking a squatter in. Or, I can play event cards and just Evict your tenants, Murder them, or just Bomb the entire building.
The artwork in this game is truly delicious, which is a big part of the fun. The scientist is experimenting on a lab rat with a buzzsaw. The Celebrities have a coke sniffing tube in their nose. The alibi card is an orgy, the student is watching porn, the police are machine gunning some likely innocent victim.
I was fortunate enough to snag a copy of the Abacus English edition, which has all this great artwork I described above that the European version has, but is still in full English. The Rio Grande US version has been sanitized completely.
Left alibi = funny, right alibi = boring.
What I really liked about August is we got some new games and really dug deep, playing them multiple times with various amounts of players. If only I could get such a solid taste every month! Here are the new-to-me games for the month, in descending order of preference.
Truth be told, I'd played Kingsburg online a few times, which made teaching the rules that much easier when we got the actual boardgame. And it was clear that this is one that's just much more interesting and fun when played face-to-face.
Each round you roll your dice and assign them to various advisors, but if a space is taken, you have to arrange your values differently or you're out of luck. As you progress in the game you'll gain resources to buy buildings which improve your abilities considerably. But once a year there's an invading army to deal with - have you mustered enough defenses?
Outrageously easy to teach considering how complex a game it is. I do understand the cries of balance issues, and we felt when playing it that a consistently poor roller can have a tough time catching up to the other players. But even with those problems, this was a clear winner in our house and will get lots of play.
Susan McKinley Ross strikes again with a game that takes less than 2 minutes to teach, is fun for the whole family, is bright and colorful, and worth many plays.
The concept is simple - skip checkers over other checkers (orthogonal only) and collect what you jump over. Then take the scoring of Ingenious - your lowest total in a color is your final score (technically it's how many full sets you have, but you can see it's the same thing). Ties go to the player with the most overall checkers.
Sounds way too easy to be fun for gamers, but I have to say it's served us well already as a filler and palate cleanser in between heavier games.
NOTE: This is currently a game in playtesting phase with North Star Games. My rating is preliminary based on the current rule set.
Clubs takes the essence of Tichu or Haggis, and pares it down to an even easier to understand ruleset. It's a ladder card game where you can only beat the opening lead by playing a set of the same type and number of cards, but a better set. Club cards are the only ones worth points at the end of a round, and lower cards in that suit are worth more than the higher ones. Bonus points are doled out for playing all your cards before other players.
It's really very simple, and a game is always less than 30 minutes. It's surprising how a concept lacking complexity can be so completely engrossing. Definitely even more fun if you're a little punchy!
This will be a must-have when it comes out if you don't have Tichu/Haggis already, and would make a good gift for card players.
In this solo adventure, you're doing a little deck-building, continually trying to burn bad cards while overcoming hazards to add in some good cards. If you haven't drawn enough good cards to defeat a hazard, you can give up precious life points to draw more.
Most cards have a special ability which is where the real meat of the game takes place. All the while you're balancing two decks which accelerate the game each time you shuffle, leading you towards a very tough confrontation with some pirates.
I want to love this, but so far I just like it. I can see playing this regularly until securing a win - but will the increased difficulty levels be enough to sustain interest in the long-term? I'm not sure.
Board Game: Morels
[Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:448]
It was a good month for new games for me.
By a narrow margin, Morels was my favorite. I'm not sure if it will hold up very well in the long run, but I've played it four times, and it's held up so far.
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is interesting enough that, were it not for the fact that I have too many two player games, I'd already have picked it up.
The Swarm would have a chance to be my favorite, save for the take-that elements. And I also played a couple of prototypes of interest.
Of course, I also played three new-to-me games I didn't at all care for, in 1830 Cardgame, Arriala: Canal de Garonne, and Do Move Say...
Board Game: Egizia
[Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:204]
Four new games for me this month, and only one stands out as a game I'll be keen to play again.
1 Liar's Dice: I knew it wouldn't be my sort of game, but figured I might as well try it to see for sure. (I used to think the same about WereWolf.) Never managed to judge the bluff properly, or determine how likely it was that certain numbers would be in play.
1 Monopoly Deal Card Game: Much better than Monopoly as far as game length is concerned, and a lot easier to transport. Not a lot more fun though. A filler at best.
2 Egizia: A new game to the Uni game club I'm a part of, played once by another before I was taught, and presumably the rules were sorted after something had been misinterpreted. Not particularly complicated but with strategy involved this could be a good choice for the times when Agricola would be too heavy/long, and Carcassonne would be too simple. I'll need to play more to determine whether player count will affect my enjoyment.
1 Queen's Ransom: Given to me after a somewhat impulsive comment in an online game of WereWolf, a game with a slight twist. The player ended up betting me a game that I was a Wolf, and then a couple of rounds later that I wasn't. Played it once at the end of the month after three of us had read the rules, I don't think it's going to be requested by anyone that tried it. Personally because I don't think deduction games should have mechanisms where what you've found out can be completely changed.
One of the heaviest hitters at Gen Con, and though I was not at the con, someone in my gaming group at my FLGS was, and she was one of the lucky few to get a copy of Seasons.
Needless to say, I was shocked to walk in to board game night Aug. 31 and see that she had it. Of course, we had to play.
Every bit of the game bursts with quality. And the massive dice are simply the best looking I've seen. The engraving and paint are as perfect as is possible.
Beautiful artwork, a triumph of graphic design. Wow is this eye candy.
But underneath that gorgeous skin beats the heart of a harridan, as this is one of the most vicious, unforgiving, card-driven games I've ever played. Players routinely spouted interjections, and we all tip-toed around what we REALLY wanted to yell, it being a family store and all, and the four of us all models of decorum.
Did I say four? Yes. Three new players and one who had played twice previously.
I've heard from others that Seasons does not do well with four. I would have to agree. The play was chaotic, I could not keep track of the other player's cards, and it seemed that every play resulted in another knife in my back.
Oh, and it took us 2 hrs., 45 mins. to play due to major AP and managing all the card interactions. I've never had worse AP in a game.
The length and the AP was almost enough to sour me on Seasons—almost. That and the fact it is brutally unforgiving if you make a judgment error, which I did when forced by another player to choose a power card to chuck. Needless to say, two great cards in my tableau and I chose wrongly. I never fully recovered, as it left me energy poor the rest of the game.
But this is not a first-timers game. This is one a committed player polishes with repeated plays. A first timer is going to die a horrible death those initial few games, especially with a Seasoned foe. Just count on it.
There is a fantastic game here, but it will run your brain through a meat grinder until you memorize the cards and know how to optimize their chains and defend yourself from other players.
Top notch gaming, but not for more than three players. And not for the faint of heart either.
Board Game: DVONN
[Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:273]
I really didn't expect to play anything new this month as Little Fish the Second (a.k.a. "Alexander") arrived on the 23rd. However, in the time we were waiting for him to show up and inbetween all sorts of pre-baby arrival work my gaming chums made sure I got a few plays in - some of them were new to me.
I am not a huge fan of abstracts and will usually choose wargames, Ameritrash or Euros over them (they'll usually pip party games though) – one guy I see at the usual lurks in Canberra has described me as "Oh yes, you're a theme guy, aren't you." So I was really surprised to find myself enjoying Dvonn.
The pieces are very well made and the rules themselves are very easy to learn but, as with all good games, there are all sorts of subelties at work here.
The game plays really quickly and cleanly and really forces challenging choices on both plays from the very beginning. I suspect that chess players would like this as it makes one plan and play several moves in advance.
If I found a cheap-enough copy I’d probably buy one but as it is I am unlikely to knock back a game if it is on offer. Well worth a try even if you're not an abstract nut.
Another abstract and another winner. A simple two player game with a lot of scope for bluffs and double-bluffs. Another quick and clean game with simple to learn rules. The production values are also very good and the Packaging is just about right – no wasted shelf space.
As for the theme, when asking which Triunvirrate this was (I suspect the first, as all sides are equally advantaged and poor old Lepidus really was the original ‘third wheel’) I was told it didn't matter one little bit.
I understand this is out of production at the moment. It's another one I would consider purchasing if the price was right and another ne I am unlikely to refuse playing.
This game is a stock market simulation. The pieces are all very good and there are some clever mechanisms at work here. I can see how some people might find this fiddly with all the little briefcases, but once you’ve got to worked out the game plays fairly smoothly.
I enjoyed my only play of this game, but I wasn't blown away by it. The theme doesn't really grab me and the game can be harsh - the thing is that this game is pretty unforgiving and if you choose poorly it's hard to get back into the game at all. This didn’t happen to me, but I can seehow a few poor decisions early on could turn a player into a bench warmer.
I would probably play again if it was the only thing on offer or if I was pushed, but am unlikely to consider purchasing.
Some really very good productin values in this one and again, clever ideas and mechanics.
I only had the one game which we played this as a two-player game which, I think, is not the best way to showcase what this game is all about. It felt hard to reagin the initative once it was lost and only having one ‘real’ opponent to bid against took away a lot of what the game could potentially be about.
That said, the tomb robber mechanism was quite good and the way that scores can be degraded as better exhibitions are displayed is quite fun.
I'd consider playing again, but only with more than two players. Another one I'm unlikley to purchase.
The lowest number of games played in ages. The new game of the month reflects this as it's a fun children's game that wouldn't have gotten this title in almost any other month. I also include expansions this month as there are so few new games on this list.
Game of the month
Click Clack Lumberjack: (2 plays)
As close to Looping Louie in terms of fun as a game can get. It's only drawback is the comparably long setup time in relation to playtime. There's a bit more skill involved here which might raise the minimum age for children by a year.
Starship Merchants: (1 play)
Starship Merchants is a surprisingly succesful extraction of 18xx's train rush mechanism to a full-blown game. It's a tough game as wrong timing of spaceship purchases will take you out of the game without any chances for recovery. Our first game saw wildly differing final scores. Principally, players have only one decision to take when it's their turn which mostly could be planned for. A fine game if players are prepared and attentive. The game suffers when it's extended by slow players to a duration of 3 hours as in our case. Many turns are just going through the motions of a pre-set-strategy and there's not enough to think about for such a long time when your own moves are done in a few seconds.
7 Wonders: Cities: (1 play)
Nope, the expansions to 7 Wonders don't add up for me. While the perceived strategic dimension added by Leaders turned out to be random generator of unbalanced starting positions, Cities increases randomness by uncalculable interplayer effects while at the same time creating the potential for huge almost game-breaking combo effects especially with regard to bonus points from science cards. Slightly better first impression than Leaders but I doubt as well that my opinion on this expansion will improve much with more plays.
7 Wonders: Leaders: (2 plays)
While I enjoy plain 7 Wonders, this expansion and Cities rubbed me the wrong way on their first outing and I doubt that this will change a lot. Leaders seems to up the luck factor as they can create inequal starting positions that are clearly better for some players. They tend to force players into a certain strategy even before cards are dealt. It's possible to ignore them if for example the military strategy that your chosen leaders support, proves to be fatal because your neighbours go this way as well or one got the leader that transfers loss tokens back. But if you choose to not play your leaders, you're at a loss compared to the players whose leaders complement their strategy. More complexity with no real gain for strategy.
Last Will: (1 play)
Last Will is as processional and workman-like as all other Suchy titles so far. It's his take on worker placement and players have to go through the motions repeatedly (qed). Here, they build up their little engine to spend money the fastest but there's no reason that would hinder retheming the game exactly the opposite. There's also no single original feature that would at least partly redeem the repetitive and slightly boring gameplay.
20th Century remains the only Suchy game that works for me as I like auction and tile-laying games. Fans of worker placement seem to be more prevalent given the higher rating of Last Will here on BGG.
Jagdfieber: (1 play)
Some call it bluffing, I call it random crapshoot. While I enjoy its central mechanism of simultaneous action/card selection in games like Adel Verpflichtet or Witches' Brew, there's nothing here beyond it to justify this as a game. In best case, it's a passtime with low nutritional value.
I have played a couple of new games in august, but not one of them was really great. I can see myself playing some of these again, but I wouldn't be sad if I had to live my life without them. There are so many other, for me better games out there...
Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth - we played one game with this one set, and I had to realize that one set is not nearly enough for two players. Other than that and the fact that we have spent more time reading through the poorly written rules than playing, this could be an interesting game, I would give it another go sometime, but only with the other sets added.
Badaboom - I really like chaotic games, but this was maybe too much. And it seemed too long for what it's worth.
Coloretto - A real classic that I did not have the chance to play before. It was nice, but nothing more, a little filler, I can be talked into playing this, but it's nothing special for me.
Finito - I have to admit, I love dice, and rolling them pointlessly. The thing I don't understand is why do I need this game for it?
Indigo - It was fun, fast, interesting. I would gladly play this again.
Jäger und Sammler - it was not bad, sometimes reminded me of Hey! That's my fish, a fine little family game. I have a feeling though, that I would like the zombie version more
Quarriors expansions (Quarmageddon, Rise of the Demons) - not much to talk about, I like the base game, and the expansions do not change the feeling.
Kids of Carcassonne - we played a game for fun, adults only, and it was not bad Clearly not intented for us, but the game itself works really well.
Qwirkle - the Spiel des Jahres of 2011. I wanted to try it for a time, in spite of the fact that I am not really into SdJ games. It was okay, not really great for me, but I would play again.
Super Six - another pointless dice game.
Troyes - sometimes seemed a bit overcomplicated and for me unintuitive, but once we stopped thinking about how things work and focused on what to do, enjoyable.
Board Game: 1825 Unit 2
[Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:2439]
[Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
It's cold outside. There's no kind of atmosphere. I'm all alone. More or less. Let me fly. Far away from here. Fun fun fun. In the sun sun sun...
Darn, I'm Dwayne Dibbley again....
2 new games for me this month and both are worthy candidates for best new game for me.
1825 Unit 2
One of my gateway games was 1830: Railways & Robber Barons(along with Talisman (third edition) and Civilization) and I played it a few times in the 90s. When I started to use BGG more active I also rated all games I had played but due to a bad experience on my last play of 1830 (nothing even related to the game) I gave it a 4. The last couple of years a new fascination for 18xx has emerged and I picked up a couple of 1825 Units on a trip to London.
Cue forward to July 2012 and 1825 Unit 2 hits the table for a 3 player game. I tried 1825 Unit 1 earlier this year but with the other 2 being new to 18xx we did stumble around a little not always knowing what to do. This time however it was different, there was lots of selling and buying manipulating your stock portfolio with companies changing hands quite often.
It was probably a better game for me as I seemed to do the right thing every time and all my stocks were in the 3 companies who was furthest up the chart and for me it thus was a great game. Now, I am really looking forward to digging my way through more 18xx titles.
Mage Knight Board Game
Another game from Vlaada, and another hit in my book. Still not all clear on every rule and we did some errors in both games so far but the gaming experience is just great. A deck building game which oozes of theme isn't all that common, but calling this a pure deck building game would also be wrong. The deck building is a part of the game but nothing like Dominion, Thunderstone etc.
After my 2 plays I barely feel like I've touched the surface of Mage Knight. Although your turn will often be dictated by your hand there still are plenty of choices and especially when to attack hidden opponents.
Already looking forward to playing this again.
You want to know something? I don't think Mozart's going to help at all.
3 new games this month.
Riff Raff: One of the best balancing games yet! Slick and simple rules, and a terrific-looking production. Should be fun with kids and adults. Really, more fun than it should be.
THE REST (most liked first)
Ora et Labora: Heavier than previous year's Mercator, but also a better design. It's got a lot going on, and it's a long game, but it's a little unforgiving. I love the different paths to victory. Too bad the player conflict is so low. I'd definitely play it again, but I probably won't pick up my own copy.
Top Speed Mini: Decent little press-your-luck game, in the vein of Diamant. Good size and should be fun with kids and adults.
With 9 plays in 2 weeks, this game is without a doubt my best new boardgame this month. We've played 4 of the 8 maps so far, so there is still a lot of fun to come!
I've played this game 2 times this month. It's okay, but not a top 10 game.
I like this game a lot, and there is a chance that this will make it to my collection. 2 Plays.
Dominant Species: The Card Game
Not as good as the boardgame, but a much shorter gameplay, and that is a big plus! 2 Plays.
I wanted to play Chocolatl for a long time, but now that I've played it once, I doubt if I will ever play it again. A bit to unbalanced for me.
Nice familygame, which has a chance of being played for a second time.
It has a great resemblance to Alhambra, but it's not a lesser game because of that. 1 Play.
Great game that I would like to play more often!
Modest game. Perhaps it will be played again, perhaps not...
Nice game that needs a least a second play. Too bad about the colours...
This game feels like working very hard, but I do like a lot. Want to play again!
Board Game: Luna
[Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:295]
Hmmmmmmmmmm..... the only new game this month, but I'm not really convinced. Does that count?
Board Game: Indigo
[Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:921]
August was a month of simpler games. Looking back on the games I hadn't played before, I feel more positive about the simpler games, and less excited by the more complex games. Just a phase I'm going through.
Indigo is Tsuro meets Metro (kind of), but at least one person who doesn't like Tsuro or Metro enjoyed Indigo, so best not to take the comparison too far.
Extra! is Can't Stop, with interesting twists. Nicely packaged (with its own dice tower), but the pencil & paper scoring seems a little fiddly compared to Can't Stop.
Nox is a great little cardgame - it reminds me a little of Knizia's Poson in that you're forever adding up numbers, but it plays much more directly confrontational. Every turn you're playing a card to increase your score or reduce another player's score.
Wanzen tanzen is another light, dicey filler. There's a certain art to deciding whether to continue rolling or pass responsibility to the next player. An art I seem to be rubbish at.
City Tycoon is kind of Carcassone meets pickup & deliver. I'd happily play again.
Kupferkessel Co. is a simple 2-player set collecting game. I'd owned a copy for years, but only played it because someone offered to buy it then wanted photos. Nice enough. The wife enjoyed it, so it didn't get sold.
Let's Take a Hike was a disappointment. I loved the artwork, but it was too easy to get into a destructive attack-everyone rut. I can see it being fun if everyone plays positively, but when half your hand is attack cards, it would be churlish not to attack.
The Manhattan Project was worker placement on (nuclear) steroids. I like the timing issues, but there was just too much going on. The 'promise' of so many expansions just makes my reservations more acute.
Walnut Grove was the lighter, shorter, end of the action-selection genre. It seemed slow to get going then ended quite quickly. Another I'd happily play again now that I've got a better sense of the rhythm of the game.
I acquired this for my no 2 son for his birthday, and naturally we played it very soon after it was unwrapped. A very nice game - quite simple in execution (and reminiscent of that old stalwart Sopwith), but clearly capable of differentiating betwen the various planes quite well. I'm pleased to say that both of us really enjoyed the game and had great fun repeatedly flying past each other, guns blazing, before turning round for another attempt. We've played it several times since, so a hit with both of us.
Also played: Katzenjammer Blues - acquired in theEuropean Chain of Generosity, we've played once so far, seems fine (if slightly confusing).
Kevin B. Smith
This was a great gaming month for me, with 54 plays of 24 different games. I played 9 games for the first time, and of those played 3 of them at least 5 times each.
The games are listed roughly in order from favorite to least favorite. For more details about each game, look at the comments in my game collection. I also record mini session reports for most of my plays. My August Gaming Retrospective has the information below, and also summarizes the "not new to me" games I played last month.
GAMES I PLAYED THIS MONTH FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Lady Pirates on Terror Island (1 play solo, 4 co-op) Rating: 8
While not perfect, this co-op game manages to be quite a bit of fun. It is a "group moves together" game like Zombie in my Pocket or The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and sits about halfway between those two in terms of complexity. There is more of a spatial component than LotR, but less than ZimP. The combat system is very nice. I would love to see this further developed to polish off the rough edges, and then published with great components.
Village (3 plays) Rating: 8
I don't love it yet, but I think I really like it. It feels a bit like several abstract mini-games pasted together, and yet the "village" theme and various mechanics do give it a thematic feel. It's definitely not a gateway game, but is a nice medium game. Looking forward to more plays, although we have some concerns that the static board might hamper replayability in the long run. I'm also a bit worried that after everyone knows the game, blocking might become the focus.
Quick Quest (5 solo plays, 2 co-op) Rating: 8 solitaire, 5 co-op
This is a very fun light solo dungeon crawl, but I don't really like it as a cooperative game. The dice and cards provide a fitting amount of randomness, while the clever combat system keeps it interesting. Solo, it takes 20-45 minutes. With 2 (or presumably more) players, it runs too long, and since almost everything is shared, it feels like you are playing joint solitaire.
Escape From Pirate Island (2 plays) Rating: 7 (preliminary)
Another co-op, which I'm having trouble rating after just 2 plays. Our first play, we got some rules wrong; the second went smoothly. The plot is good, with the players as young people fighting pirates, skeletons, and headhunters as they try to escape from a volcanic island. So far it feels a touch too random, yet too easy to win.
Vehicles (5 plays) Rating: 7
This is a clever worker placement game, where each "worker" has several attributes, dictating when it is placed, where it can be placed, how effectively it performs various actions, and in some cases how it can affect other workers. The "Space Race" scenario (3 plays) has too much bash-the-leader for my tastes, but the "Research & Development" scenario was much better (2 plays so far). However, it seems that with any scenario there is more direct player interaction than I prefer, so it has more of the flavor of Carson City than I like. The designer agrees that it could use a bit more refinement to live up to its full potential. As is, I rate the "R&D" scenario a 7, but people who like more interaction would probably rate it higher. With the "Space Race" scenario, I give it a 5.
Zombie Dice (1 play) Rating: 6
Lighter than Martian Dice, but different enough that I could see having both in my collection.
Revolution! (2 plays) Rating: 6
Shockingly, I didn't hate it. It's from Steve Jackson Games, and is based on things I hate in games (blind bidding, all-pay auctions, area control). And yet, it wasn't bad. It plays quickly (if there is no discussion and minimal thinking), and the theme works surprisingly well. Even the all-pay is ok, because you *must* spend everything every round.
Innovation (1 play) Rating: 5
I want to try this again with fewer players, since it's supposedly not at its best with 4. It felt disorienting and chaotic. I didn't like the semi-targeted attacks, nor the leeching. I can't see it going above a 7 for me, with 5 or 6 being more likely.
Carson City (1 play) Rating: 4
It's a well-designed game that I just don't like, because it has too much conflict. The tile-laying is well-done, and is a nice addition to the worker placement aspect.
EDIT: 9am on Sept 1, and I'm #42 in the list. Wow.
Board Game: Battleground
[Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1250]
[Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
I bought the Orc starter about a year or so ago and gave the Dwarf starter to a friend at the same time, but we never came around playing it. Not until last game night that is! We quickly realized that it was a blast to play (satisfying my Warhammer cravings), so we convinced a couple of people in our gaming group to buy a starter each, so now we are waiting for the arrival of the Lizardmen, High Elves, Undead and Umenzi.
I've had my eye on this one for a long time, and when I got a chance to buy it second-hand I pounced. Me and my gf played it and we both liked it. Its tense and often pretty close (even though I'd give the investigators the edge, which they should have). I'm always on the lookout for good 2-player games, so I'm happy I finally got my hands on this one.
Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth and Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr
Finally a truly "new" game! I've got a weakness for miniatures (miniature gaming was what led me to boardgames) so I just had to buy these two starters. We have played a couple of games so far, and the verdict seems to be overall positive though with some reservations. My biggest gripe with it is that due to its deck-building nature you really would like to have at least two copies of each starter to be able to customize your war-band, which is quite expensive.
Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
The Manhattan Project
August has been a very quiet month for gaming in general. Actually I had the fewest logged plays in general then I ever have had. That is a downer but we have been busy with the start of school and preparing for a new baby! So life just gets in the way sometimes.
However, I did play a new game and it is a worker placement game that has an excellent twist. As you place your worker/workers you can actually take as many actions as possible on your boards, but only one on the main center board. However, you don't automatically get them back. Which leads to the other option at the beginning of the turn is to "retrieve" workers basically resetting your supply but opening all spots again. Coupled with the "espionage" action where players can play on other player boards if available makes this simple worker placement game one of continually conflict and of TIMING! You are always having someone take your actions. It is a timing I have not yet mastered due to the fact I not won this game before.
It is a race game as well, rewarding the player who can organize and select actions, build bombs the most efficient because the game ends when the winner can gain a set score. It is quite intriguing and since worker placement games get good table time I'm sure it will get played. My wife was initially unsure about it, but has come to the conclusion that it is quite fun. I recommend!
Until the end of September and when I will be a new daddy!
I learned this at WBC and got a game in with my dad -- really enjoyed this. I like it a little more than TS. No headline, no Defcon, I also like the power struggle aspect.
Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game
I also got to try this at WBC. For a racing game it was fun, although I think I like Formula Motor Racing a little more.
got a couple games and a couple expansions. Talisman (fourth edition): The Blood Moon Expansion my wife and i both felt it helps the game out a lot. something about it same stuff but it seems to play better, we will keep this in every time.
got a Ticket to Ride expansion. my wife and i like it. we only have played India. our first time it was rough learning a new map, but know we have it down and we like it a lot having difficulties with the bonus as it seems kind of hard to get them with as little of track that is on this map. my wife says the map is beautiful. Infiltration i like this game fun short game i enjoy the cards in the game the most wish there was a way to get more of the cards in the game. i would recommend DungeonQuest (third edition) over this one, it is still fun although falls a little flat. i love Android so it makes a nice story to that world.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) being my favorite for last month started a few campaigns. i feel most of the changes are good and it is a smoother game, really enjoy this game and bonus my wife will play this version, she will not play the other.
This was the only "new to me" play for this month.
Farmageddon is a fast, quirky, filler card game. Players must harvest crops for victory points. There is only a small amount of farmland, so players fight over that scarce resource. This is a everybody-messes-with-everybody type game in that you will seldom, if ever, have your planted crop come back around to you to harvest. Other players will steal or destroy it, and you will do the same to them.
Not a game I'd like to play all evening. IF you have the right type of players - those who can take the mess-with-you mechanic and not get mad - the game is good for a quick warm up while waiting for the rest of your players to arrive.
4 new to me games this month.
Eminent Domain is a pretty cool deck-building game that borrows a bit from games like Dominion and Puerto Rico. I played two two-player games in quick succession. The first game was played without research cards, while the second game added all the cards for a fuller experience.
Like some others I do worry about replayability, but for now I will gadly play again.
Animal Upon Animal
A lucky second hand thrift store purchase netted me this stacking game. My 4 year old really likes it even if he is pretty atrocious at it. It certainly plays quickly and is very cute.
Played a single game of Hansa and first impression was rather underwhelming. I don't want to bring out the dreaded 'b' word, but it was rather boring. Not that there isn't a good mechanic behind the game. I'm sure more plays will give me a greater appreciation but getting to a second play will be tough.
Pictureka: Disney Edition
It's ok. Race against other players or the timer to find teacups or pirates or other Disney stuff. My 4 year old isn't clamoring to play again. Part of the problem is rather loose clues like finding 5 scary things. Rather open to interpretation (although I'm probably reading too much into a kid's game).
Board Game: Eclipse
[Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:15]
Eclipse was highly anticipated and it more than delivered!
It's just a very exciting game based on a solid eurogame foundation, but with a healty dose of player combat and randomness.
Granted, this was just a learning experience and we didn't even play the game to its conclusion, but it's been a while I have had such a favorable first impression. My 8 rating is very tentative and it might just go up if the next couple of games are as great and the alien races mix things up even more.
I just had a blast: lots of laughs, lots of excitement, a strong narrative and great gameplay overall.
You wouldn't say if you see this game set-up, but it's not that difficult at all. The graphic design is top notch and the rules are very clear and straightforward.
That's a lot of positives right there. I can definitely see why it's skyrocketed the game rankings. Highly recommended, but you probably already have been a lot.
If you're easily offended or otherwise politically correct, don't click this link: Cards Against Humanity (Just click it, you know you want to!)
This was my other new game and in no position to take the title of best new game from Eclipse, although it was a ton of fun. It's advertised as 'a party game for horrible people' so it immediately had my attention. It's no longer available, but I printed the PDF files at the local copyshop and cut the cards myself. It's similar to Dixit, in that it relies on the creativity of the players whether the game is a success or not. Except there are no cute, surreal pictures, but crazy questions and a ton of potentially rude, abrasive, twisted, socially awkward, blasphemous, etc. answers. These kinds of games are a lot of fun when played with the right group and have the potential to create strong in-group memes when an especially hilarious combination comes up. It's probably less a game and more of an activity, but a great activity every now and then. My birthday party is coming up and this will see play. Can't wait, knowing what my friends are capable of! I rate this a 7.
Dungeon Petz is my favorite new game that I played this August. When we went through the rules together for our first learning game, I found the rules very funny and thematically appropriate. The theme and game mechanics mesh nicely. I am looking forward to playing Dungeon Lords.
Quarriors! is a fun deck building game where you are using dice instead of cards. I really enjoyed this battling game.
After playing Pirate Fluxx, we decided to try out some of the other thematic Fluxx games like Oz Fluxx and Zombie Fluxx. I'm not a fan of zombies but my husband and 7 year old love zombies. I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun this game was.
Oz Fluxx was fun and I love the theme but found that the creepers cards have the potient to make the game drag.
Other games were played this month were: Carcassonne (on the Kindle), VS Systems, Marvel Heroes, Pirate Fluxx, Rory's Story Cubes, and Power Grid.