New to you Apr 11 => Best new boardgame
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What new board and card games did you play in Apr 2011? Share your experiences of the games you played for the first time this month.

Please add your own entry to the list, even if someone has already used the game that you picked as New To You... This helps with generating the statistics for the list.


New To You Metalist 2011
New To You MetaMetalist
New To You Geeklists - Announcement thread

Other Great Monthly Lists
Your Most Played Game (and more): April 2011
New to Your Kids April 2011 - Best New Games You've Played with Kids and Why
New To You Apr 2011 => Your best new Videogame
Your best gaming experience of the month and why April 11
New to you a year ago Apr 11 => Has it stood the test of time?
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101. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:135]
Joseph Knowles
United States
Virginia
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I got to play a four-player game of Letters from Whitechapel a couple weekends ago. I really enjoyed it and would love to be able to play it again soon.

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Just before that, I got to sit down for my first ever game of Qwirkle. The concept seemed simple enough during the rules explanation (two new players and two vets), but I quickly discovered that there was a bit more strategy to the game than I initially thought. I got thoroughly stomped and didn't even come close to competing for third place, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Might be a good one to pick up for gaming with the wife.

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The last new game for me this month was The Gardens of the Alhambra. I think I enjoyed this game more because everyone seemed to be equally confused about developing a strategy than I enjoyed it for the game itself. I'm not particularly eager to play this one again, but I could probably be persuaded.
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102. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:84]
 
Beau Bailey
United States
Missoula
Montana
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Only three new games this month.

Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage was definitely my favorite for the month. An interesting CDG that is very much an area control game with some unique mechanics of its own. Movement is very limited due to the number of generals so it feels much closer to a Euro-style game than I had expected. The combat card mechanic was interesting and strange at the same time. It fits within the game, but I'm not sure why the designer went with it. My game ended after the final turn (no forced victories earlier) with a win by Carthage (me) after they managed to force Rome out of Sicilia for the edge.

Intrigo was an interesting little filler. I was honestly not expecting much from the game, but was surprised by the choices presented. The symbols on the special Influences could be improved, but overall it was an enjoyable 15-20 minute game.

Furstenfeld was okay. Nothing really remarkable, but nothing truly terrible. The constant fiddling with the resources was the only real awful part. The game is quite light and the turns are so quick, that the movement is very excessive.

New Games
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage - 7.5
Intrigo - 6
Furstenfeld - 5
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103. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:248]
Justin Wawrzonek
United States
Amsterdam
New York
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X 3 -All I can say about this game is it is amazingly fun. We played our first game, took down 1 general and were pretty easily defeated. Within 15 minutes we had decided to play again. This time we struggled to defeat each general and finally had to face sapphire while she was 1 space away from victory. We entered combat and won, and a huge cheer went up. I have never had so much fun with a co-op game before.



Alien Frontiers X1 -I finally grabbed this on the recommendation of Tom Vasal and it is a blast. The 1 session I played did not have a clear winner until the very last turn. There is a ton of depth to this game, and I cannot wait to get this to the table again.



7 Wonders X1 - Had a full 7 player game, and what more can I say. It was fast, fun, and everyone had it figured out after like 2 turns. For such a simple premise there is a ton of depth to this game. This is another game that I cannot wait to get to the table again.



Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game X 1 - Pretty Fun game here. Plays very much like D&D 4e (which I'm a huge fan of), but required very little setup. I would definitely like to give this another try with a more complicated scenario (ours was just to kill 20 monsters). I think this would be an awesome way to get not RPG gamers into D&D.



Colossal Arena X1 - I liked this game quite a bit. It was easy to learn, and was good filler. There is a surprising amount of strategy for such a simple game play mechanic. I was very surprised by this one.



Arkham Express X1 - Arkham Horror X Roll through the ages = a really fun filler game. This Print and Play game basically distills Arkham Horror down to its most basic elements. You still walk around Arkham fighting monsters and closing gates, but everything takes about 20 minutes. Very simple to learn, but I had a great time playing it.



Citadels X1 - Maybe it was just because it was late, but I really didn't get into this game. It just seemed to drag on. I didn't really see too much strategy to it. I guess i was just expecting something a little more involved.



Monsters Menace America X1 -A friend of mine brought this out to play and it was just boring. You stomp cities to get stronger so you can fight everyone elses monsters in a battle at the end...which is pretty much rolling dice to kill them. Very anti climactic, and took way too long to learn.

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104. Board Game: London [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:187]
JP LaChance
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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this game was the best of the bunch this month. It is Martin Wallace at his best. A game that is deep but not too complex, a game that is strong but not too long. I like the way the cards are arranged and you can get a feeling of re-building the city throughout time.

Archaeology: The Card Game A nice quick filler card game.

Small World This is a fun war game with an easy mechanic, tons of replay potential, and a short play time. I was really surprised at how quickly this game played with two people. I like the mechanic of putting a race into decline, yet the race still scores you points.

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105. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:27]
Alex G

Philomath
Oregon
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No new games in March, so we had a bunch in April, though with one big exception it was not a month that made me love this hobby.



Dominant Species definitely wins this month. Definitely. This is a long, complex, tense game. It's also a very good game. In general, we don't much like worker placement, which seems like the passive-aggressive approach to interaction. Cutting off your access to wood somehow is both more annoying, more boring, and more essentially "in your face" than just, say, mowing down your infantry with an armored division. Dominant Species combines worker placement (to some extent) with what is essentially area-control to the extent of being a war game. Basically, DS is a worker-placement based "CDG" war game. CDG? Well, yes, because planning around the Dominance cards is a big part of the game, and their effects make DS exciting where the worker placement/area control combination of something like Age of Empires (admittedly with a much much less complex and interesting area control portion) is dry and predictable. I don't know how much this will come out (we need to try Chad's shorter variant without the extra-pawn cards, which may be too luckish in 2 player anyway), but it's an extremely solid game.



I even like the way it looks, the stark cubes + tiles + cones.

For the record, her birds absolutely DEMOLISHED my bugs, first game, and I still enjoyed almost every moment.


Now on to the disappointing stuff. The also-rans. The so-sos and the not even so-sos. Some of these are "ok" games, none grabbed me that much. I don't feel like giving any of them the trouble of hunting down an image, except maybe one.

The honorable mention is Biblios. I like the bidding, I like the drafting, my main problem is that you remove enough cards 2 player that it goes beyond "can't just calculate how much to grab" to being pretty luckish. It's quick, it's not bad, but it seems like a somewhat more skill-based game could have been made from the clever ideas. The bishops don't come up at the right time often enough to make the Reef Encounter/Arkadia manipulation aspect really work well, about half the time -- if it did, the game might be better.

What else did we play?

Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game is a little too repetitive, a little too little going on other than "kill 'em all" to be good. It's not really short, and it's not really exciting. I don't loathe it but I don't see actually wanting to play it, really.

It was more enjoyable than our first foray into The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, however. Now, this game might (might) get better once I put together some decks beyond the basics, but the core mechanism of adding tokens by numeric power vs. monsters+places is... not dripping with theme. In general, this suffers from some of the feeling of lifeless, generic, Magic clone that describes most Fantasy Flight LCGs with the (to some extent) exception of Warhammer: Invasion. I don't love Invasion, by any means, but it can offer up a pretty interesting game, and I'll probably play it again. The LOTR game, despite co-op, feels as numeric and dry and boring as the unfortunate Cthulhu game, alas. I think this needs dice, or something, to make things INTERESTING. The lack of variety in the default decks (and the overwhelming boredom of playing the Eowyn deck, which basically does the same (effective) thing every turn) might be a culprit here, but I have a feeling that even after solving that problem, there may be more corpse than game here.

Fresco is probably an ok game for people who like that kind of thing. We're not those people. It's a rather mean-spirited and soulless Euro. It seemed (from a distance) like the thematic elements, board, etc. might "paint over" what is essentially a VERY dry "convert cube sets into VPs" heart, but nope. I'd rather play Keythedral, and I don't want to play Keythedral.

How about BGG's favorite game of late, the ubiquitous 7 Wonders? It's boring. The play is fairly elegant, though the 2p variant's sort of a pain, but the basic problem, again, is a total lack of thematic elements. Look, I don't need much theme, if the game is compelling enough (I like Dominion though I sure don't feel like I'm running a kingdom), but this is a pretty simple game really -- there are drafting tactics, of course, but they're not much more interesting than the ones in good old Fairy Tale which plays much much faster and doesn't need the annoying dummy to work 2p. So, the cool bit has to be the strategy right? Red or blue? Meh.

In theory I liked Cyclades. Right? Warish, sorta thematic. Eh, it was sort of boring and unmemorable, and you can't really build much of a civ. Too little Euro/tech element, too little war. Maybe it'll be better next time? Only one play.
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106. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:179] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Dennis Leung
United States
Fanwood
New Jersey
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Wow, it's been over two months since my wife and I had cracked open a new game, let alone any game at all. Luckily things at work have been dying down so we're finally getting some more free time at home. We had a friend visit for a weekend, and coincidentally we had managed to pick up a copy of Fresco, so we were excited to give it a spin.

Fresco

Fresco had been a game that I had been eyeing for a while since we're suckers for colorful, light-medium Euro games. In that aspect, it did not disappoint. Although it's another Euro game set in Renaissance Europe, Fresco has a much tighter expression of theme than most games. Although a cube shuffling game at heart, it's cleverly hidden behind the theme of restoring a cathedral fresco by buying, mixing, and using paints. In this case, the cube format works well---a yellow cube stands for yellow! Red is red and blue is blue, and so forth. You don't have to pretend that a cube is some exotic spice or animal, which sometimes separates the player from the game by another layer.

Beyond the typical cube shuffling, the wake-up mechanism in Fresco is neat. It's nice that you now have control over your turn---is it better to go first in turn order or try to increase your mood to gain an extra worker? Especially as a gateway game, I can see how this can open up the eyes of new gamers to how much control they have rather than just rolling dice and moving.

However, the wake-up mechanism only really works if you play with all of the modules. Without the bonuses provided by the Portraits or the limited attraction of the Bishop's Requests, there is almost no strong reason to wake up early and suffer a bad mood. You need to have some incentive to wake up early to make that initial decision more tense, otherwise you end up settling with a predictable pattern of wake up times over and over again. Another aspect that we found missing was that there wasn't really any tactical play around which tiles to restore on the fresco. Not only that, I wish there was a little more control over the movement of the bishop (we found that the "private jet" portrait that lets you fly the bishop anywhere to be very powerful). I have high hopes for some of the other expansions such as the Scrolls or Glaziers that provide players with incentive to restore different portions of the fresco.

We enjoyed it with three players and the simultaneous worker placement made for little downtime. After our friend left, my wife and I tried it with two. People have compared two-player Fresco with two-player Alhambra due to the dummy player, but we found it a little different. The Dirk player in Alhambra isn't really a player---it's more of a tile dump that you can use to change the positioning of your opponent. The Leonardo player in Fresco is more like a real player, and it's a little clunky to pass him back and forth. Moreover, Leonardo is fairly aggressive---you use him to shut down paint stalls, steal portraits, or generally grab other items from your opponent. We were okay with it, but I can see how some couples who prefer non-aggressive play to dislike this. In Alhambra, you still have to at least use your resources to buy a tile for Dirk. In Agricola, you still have to use your worker to take away that wood. In those games, there's always some opportunity cost to balance aggressive, blocking play, whereas in Fresco, the sole pupose of Leonardo is blocking. We'll probably keep it in our rotation, but it does feel better with more.

Gene Pool

The other game we got in earlier this month was a session of Gene Pool. I had gotten this in an auction as a gift for my wife, who got a kick out of the theme (she's a chemical biologist). I have to admit that the theme is very well done for being, at heart, an abstract pattern game. Plus, it actually has scientifically accurate molecular structures---there are several chemistry games that just have horrendous figures that we can't play.

Unfortunately, we didn't really enjoy the gameplay. We're not big fans of abstracts or puzzle games in the first place, although we did enjoy Wasabi!, partly again due to the strong theme. One of the criticisms of Wasabi is that it's very chaotic and random (although we found that two-player was better)---well, Gene Pool is much worse. Instead of having a large two-dimensional board to place tiles, you and your opponent are manipulating the same six-card DNA card sequence to find four and five card patterns. Everything you do will affect the other (again, non-aggressive couples beware). Since you don't know what sequence your opponent is looking for, you don't know if the card manipulation you're doing will help them out. As a result, it felt very random and lucky on who got their sequence filled out first.

P.S. Not a new game, but when our friend was over, we played three-player At the Gates of Loyang for the first time. We really enjoy it as a two player game, but I don't think I can every play with more people than that. It didn't help that the third player suffers from strong analysis paralysis, but the downtime was unbearable...
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107. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:260]
Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
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I try to only ever play games I think I'll like, so choosing the best is always hard.

#1 Scripts and Scribes - (9 Plays)
What a great little card game. While not quite as accessible as For Sale, Scripts & Scribes is still simple in the rules department with a perfect amount of depth for it's playing time. It has a great mix of known and unknown information, and I love the potential for bluffing - not just the bluffing in bid-making but in what suits are actually important to you. This is where the game shines for me. When cards are revealed at the end of the game somebody is usually surprised. I also love this game because it works very well with 2-4 players.

#2 Hansa Teutonica - (1 Play)
With only one play it's hard to really say what I think about this game, but I did enjoy it a lot. It seems to me that the game would be experienced best if played many times with the same players, each time trying new things and possibly challenging the groupthink that exists up until that point. In fact, now that I've written that I'm excited to do it. I didn't feel like the game was groundbreaking in any way, but it did feel like a very tight design with a nice dose of tension.

#3 Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age - (2 Plays)
A good, quick dice rolling game with a bit of strategy thrown in. It's too early to say after only playing twice, but it seemed like although there could be many paths to victory, some choices are almost mandatory if you want a chance to win. Now there is not necessarily something wrong about this in a game, but in a game of this length it didn't feel quite right. I need to play some more to see if this really is the case.

Expansion Dixit Quest - (1 Play)
The only new expansion I played last month was Dixit 2. Adding new cards to the mix was interesting, although I think the original set is better than this expansion. I have heard people speculate that Dixit's appeal would diminish after players were familiar with all the cards. I however, feel that the game will only get better and better as players are forced to get more and more creative with their clues. This Dixit 2 is not really a necessary addition for me, but it is rather just fun to have new pictures to look at as we play the game.
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108. Board Game: Navegador [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:111]
Joshua Muscat
United States
San Francisco
California
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Navegador is my favorite of recent games that I have played which are new to me. It integrates theme and mechanics very well, and is just plain fun. I look forward to playing it more. I love the rondel.




A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is a close runner up for the title of 'best new to me games'. This game is deep. It is a game for people who love collectible card games yet do not want to make blind purchases. I suspect that the strategic depth will become more apparent the more I play it. Plus.. it integrates the theme of the books fantastically.





Survive: Escape from Atlantis! is another game I played for the first time recently. It is wonderfully produced, and strikes a good balance between being light and easy to play/teach without being overly simplistic. Sure.... it is a bit of a luckfest, but it is a worthy social experience.





Battlestar Galactica is a game I have been wanting to play for a long time. I finally got a chance, and it really is a cool game. I feel like I need to study it to be able to play it well with more experienced players. There is a lot fo depth to the game. I started watching the series after playing the game, and it helps the game make more sense.





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109. Board Game: Braggart [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2185]
Steve K
United Kingdom
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Braggart (1 play) thumbsup thumbsup

A light game, but great fun. Competitive boasting, with frequent stealing of story elements and calling out other players lies.

Venture (1 play) thumbsup thumbsdown

Single 2-player game of Die Bosse. Reorganising cards seems somewhat AP prone, and there's this niggling thought that a do-nothing strategy (minimal company purchases and just accumulating capital cards) could win the game.

I love the cartoon artwork of the Die Bosse edition.

Archaeology: The Card Game (1 play) thumbsup

Light, simple, set collecting game. Clear, fresh artwork. You're often trading off what you want to acquire versus what you don't want to make available to your opponents.

Broker (1 play) thumbsup

A forty year old stock market game. Perhaps more of a market manipulation / insider trading game where we play cards to increase or decrease company values. Timing is everything, and its important to try and infer what other players are positioning themselves for. Get it right, and you can make a lot of money in a short time.

Dominion: Seaside (2 plays) thumbsup

I like the way this extends the cash & VP element of the basic game. Early reactions make it my preferred expansion.

Artus (2 plays) thumbsup

Card-driven game of moving knights around a table & re-orienting the table so scoring values jump around. The rotating table is cool, but isn't good for AP-prone players. Only tried the advanced game.

Campanile (1 play) thumbsup

Tower-building filler with some tricky decisions.

Pantheon (4 plays) thumbsup thumbsdown

6 rounds of development & VP acquisition themed around The Med with odd gods.

First impressions were positive, but not ecstatic, perhaps due to lacking a feel for the value of investing, and general unfamiliarity. Subsequent plays have probably made my feelings a bit cooler.

Erosion (1 play) thumbsdown

We got off to a rocky start, had a few ups & downs, then it all went downhill as I won by a landslide. Educational. I’ve learned that with the right cards, you can move mountains, but with the wrong cards, you're hosed.

Jolly Roger (1 play) thumbsup

Interesting trick taking game, where players are assigned suits and manipulate turn order to dictate who leads and which suit is trumps. Each round you’re playing to determine the order of choosing from a pool of random tiles until you draw garbage and lose everything, or chicken out and keep what you’ve got. The random treasure draws tend to overwhelm the cardplay, so definitely a light game.

ITC (1 play) thumbsup

An enjoyable business game. Shipping & buying delivered goods. Plenty of interaction. Vary the target cash amount to adjust game length. A bit clunky & dated, but that just adds to its charm.

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110. Board Game: Tammany Hall [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:424]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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Rating 8 after 1 truncated play

Tammany Hall was the only game that looked remotely interesting in the first slot of a Con I attended last weekend, so I figured even though I'd never heard of it I'd give it a shot... and I'm really glad I did! At first glace its just another area control game... but then you add the blind bidding to trump other people's area control... the fight over specific changing districts to gather the most support tokens (to trump for control or keep for end game points)... and a catch up mechanism where the point leader from the previous round hands out special abilities to those under them and you have a really interesting, engaging game on your hands. Unfortunately this game is terminally out of print at this point so I just have to hope I get lucky in a math trade some day to pick this up... (or does anybody reading this want a 1st Edition copy of Alien Frontiers or a bunch of well painted Warhammer Beastmen for their Tammany Hall? Please? laugh )



Rating 7 after 1 play

I picked up Reef Encounter in a math trade not too long ago and was really excited for my first play. That first play was an excellent demonstration of how hard this game can be to explain and how easily it invites analysis paralysis. Those seemed to be the only parts that felt very much like Tigris and Euphrates to me (the comparisons were a large part of why I picked this up) but the fight for space on the reef combined with manipulating the coral dominance chart was very engaging. I certainly think this one will grow on me shake with repeated plays.



Rating 7 after 1 play

I'm usually wary of wargames that have the sole objective of killing the enemy's leader certain special abilities and bombardment weapons can really unbalance the game. Summoner Wars seems not to be suffering from this particular problem with the current factions and provides a tactical miniatures feel with a bit of chesslike "keep the king out of danger". One aspect I don't see mentioned enough is the resource management of your cards and timing of when to summon your more powerful units which both add a type of decision making you normally don't find in minatures games. If I thought I could get this played somewhat regularly I would be adding it to my collection...



Rating 7 after 1 play

London provides some crunchy Martin Wallace economic goodness in card game tableau form. Lots of interesting cards, money and poverty management and even a little spacial planning on the board make for quite a decision rich game. However, in the end I felt that I was playing a very complicated Saint Petersburg with pretty opaque scoring. I prefer Saint Petersburg but would give London another shot sometime.



Rating 7 after 1 play

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is the first time I've played a pre-constructed deck game that wasn't Magic the Gathering. As far as I know it is unique in the genre as it is clearly designed for and best played with more than two so you can use the cool little figurines and form temporary alliances (and then perform devious acts of backstabbery). I had a pretty good time playing the Starks as I had lots of options for murder and points, but the guy playing Lannister didn't have as much fun as the deck he was borrowing seemed to be built to drain peoples cards which didn't appear to be an effective tactic. So clearly its worthwhile to build your own competitve deck for maximum enjoyment... but I don't think I want to walk back down the semi-collectible path for this one (LotR might be another matter...)



Rating 5 after 1 play

Trollhalla didn't do much for me. Its a set collection game where you have precious little control over what parts you get to collect. Sure there are some fun decisions here and there with the scouts once the boats are full... but they didn't seem like enough to make playing the game worth the time. Perhaps a good family game for people that love trolls and randomness...



Rating 3 after 1 play

I don't quite get Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. It should be a fast easy filler... but the endless rules arguments and natural lack of people paying attention make our group's sessions into some long un-fun games. Add to that the totally random nature of the outcome and you have a game I'm really not interested in playing again.
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111. Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:1265]
Matthew Galer
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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the only new game, and it was a good one! Definitely want to get this played again soon - perhaps at the next Atlanta Game Fest at the end of this month.


My initial comments:


- love the easy track build vs 18xx
- love the "pick the cities you want to use" aspect versus tracing routes in 18XX
- love the capital equipment ideas (no rusting, escalating costs making things less profitable)
- the escalating net profit rules for stock movement were interesting, and I screwed this up several times (hint: you probably dont want to maximize profits every business round!)
- timing of share ownership seems to be a critical element (yes, we all pretty much got tied up in "my" company this first play - will have to be more mindful of that next time).



This was my first game using poker chips over paper money - and wow what a difference! I am usually the banker in games, and this was much easier on me. And I didnt have to keep asking people how much cash they had in their hands (all money is open)
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112. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:23]
Mark Siew
United States
San Francisco
CA
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Well, after hounding my girlfriend to play Caylus for literally months on end, we finally sat down to play a game. I think she'd be scared away by the theme and the complexity. Turns out we both loved the game and she also completely crushed me in the two plays we've had.

I have to admit the complexity concern was actually unfounded in the end. We've played Le Havre quite a bit and this seemed a little less complex (at least in terms of learning the rules) and a lot more streamlined. I love Le Havre and this game also really stood out for me. Definitely one of the best games I've played. Can't wait to play more!

The Resistance

I'd seen a lot of people playing The Resistance at a local game night and it was always the loudest and most raucous crowd. Not always a good thing, but it certainly seemed like they were having a lot of fun. I picked up a copy and was able to finally give it a try at a game night at work. There were a total of six of us and we liked it so much we ended up playing it twice. Some really fun interaction and deduction with this game and it was pretty easy to teach. We played with the expansion for the second game and it added a nice layer of complexity to the game.

Haggis

I played a game of Haggis with my girlfriend after picking it up at a local game store. Really interesting mechanics with this game, especially with the bombs. It took a while to grasp the strategy of using bombs. I still think there's a lot more to the strategy in this game, so we'll have to play more in the future. The cards themselves are very nice and I really like the compact package for the game.

Space Alert

Picked up Space Alert after a glowing UFBRT review. I like co-op games and the real-time element of the game intrigued me. Taught the game to two different groups and both picked it up really quickly. I like the frantic nature of the game and quick thinking involved.

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization

I've only been able to play the simple and advanced game of Through the Ages, so I don't really feel like I've played this game yet until we've reached the full game. The advanced game was great, but it still felt like it ended a bit abruptly. Hopefully I'll see my strategy work out better in a longer game.
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113. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:156]
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
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Hive - 4 plays -

image courtesy of smartie

My wife requested we pick up this version, which includes both the Ladybug and Mosquito. We haven't incorporated either of those yet, but Hive has many advantages - it plays quickly, practically anywhere and there is some depth and strategy to the game. We are still at the beginning of that exploration but I think it will be a go-to "quick game on the couch" game for a while. We'd have played it more if my wife had not been working so much this past month.

Free Trader 1902 - 3 plays -

photo from my own last game

As a result of my wife working lot (along with general business in life), April was a low gaming month for me. Several of the plays I did manage were solo, including this print and play game. You buy and sell goods (there are 4 types) at the planets you visit, with the worry of pirates and also the risk of illegal goods (the police might catch you). In order to win, you need to make your 4 monthly payments on your ship, which get harder as the game progresses. Well, in theory it gets harde, but so far my experience has been if you can make it through the 1st month in good shape, you can cruise through the rest of the game. That said, it fills a 30 minute hole in your day and provides a little bit of entertainment with a side order of thoughtful planning. Like a lot of the solo games of this type, it can be extremely cruel (for example, making your ship of Agriculturals unsellable) or throw up a large pirate ship just when you least needed it. Plus there is a 2nd version which is a little harder, so I shall give that a whirl too. Worth every penny I paid for it though.
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114. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:338]
Henrik Schunk
Germany
Cologne
NRW
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BEST NEW GAME PLAYED IN APRIL:

When I got into boardgaming, I was firmly into Ameritrash games but since Eurogames have leveled and I like them just as much, if not more by now. As of now, this is the perfect combination of euro-mechanics and randomness, that still feels balanced. The artwork and theme is lovely and the playing time is great as well. Love this game and really want to play this again. Rating:9

RUNNER UPS:

Shadows over Camelot


I really enjoyed this the first few times I played this. But BSG remains my favourite traitor game. The problem with SOC is that there is not enough options for players and especially the traitor. I guess this is better wit the expansion. The theme is amazing and the playing is definitely good. Rating: 8.5

Peloponnes


A neat little Eurogame with enough interaction to make it worth my while. Played it only once and would love to play again. The theme is sort of generic but it works. I like the scoring mechanic. Rating: 8

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?:

Angkor: Not sure why this rated so low, it is an interesting, fast-playing and vindictive little game. The board is ugly as a noodle in September.

Thurn and Taxis: I can see why this was voted the SDJ. Light family game with a lovely dovely theme and a good balance between luck and tactics. Plays quick and well with all player numbers.

Bootleggers: I expected a bit more from the theme apart from secret actions. Maybe I though there would be more backstabbing and negotiation going in a mob game, although it might just have been the group I played with. Good game.

Busen Memo: No Joke, we played this at LOB on Sea and it was really tough. I prefer looking for real life boobs, hard enough as it is.

Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game: Definitely another hit for FFP, as I was really disappointing by A Touch of Evil. Good game and great theme. So glad that they did not use photographs. A bit too easy to win but I am sure that can be tweaked. Not keen on the cooperative/competitive thing, why not just go for one or the other during game design !?

Cosmic Encounter: I love randomness but only in the right measure, this is just too much, no control over anything whatsoever.

Formula Motor Racing: Don't like modern racing theme and this one is too fiddly and too random

Ivanhoe: This one is a fun and quirky trick taking game, that may be random but plays fast and frantic enough to be good fun.

Jaipur: I like 2-player games and this is no exception. Prefer it to Lost Cities.

Junta: Viva el Presidente!: I always had my eye on the old Junta game, sounded like a hoot despite being allegedly unpolished and long. But this game just waters it down too much. Play some cards, roll some dice, go home and eat a banana. Dull.

Keythedral: This is what Catan should have been when it comes to balanced resource allocation. But the artwork ? Holy moses, spare me the roses.

Mansions of Madness: I was really looking forward to this, Lovecraft, FFG, great bits & pieces but the game fell slightly flat. Too scripted and the replayability is almost non-existent, despite fanboys looking for excuses to call it replayable, we all know it isn't. I would not mind if it would come with 30 scenarios, but 5 ? Cheap rats.

No Thanks!: As focused as it gets, bidding and push-your-luck. Good one

Power Grid: It's like pretending that your calculator is a gameboy, number crunching, number crunching. Boring and no fun.

Zombie Dice: Fun and super-quick dice game. Push your undead luck !








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115. Board Game: London [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:187]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Three new games last month.

London



Another Martin Wallace gem. I liked how this played and the genuine choices that the game mechanic generated. Also, the devastating consequences fro going 'loan crazy' (as I did) are very well thought out.

The only down side is that I found the graphics to be a tad uninspiring, but that is perhaps just my take on it.

That aside, it's well worth playing if you get a chance.

Ex Libris



This is more an activity for a book club than a 'gamers game'. Guessing the first and last lines from various novels is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you have some literary friends and can pick this up cheap second hand (as my chum who owns it did) then you can do worse.

Glen More Unrated



Unrated due to the fact we all made a complete dog's breakfast of the rules. Maybe some-one should have read them before we started – who knew?

From what I could make out this is a fun little game with a novel turn mechanism. Nice graphics and good production values.

I would definitely play again.
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116. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:52]
Nick Kosareo
United States
Twinsburg
Ohio
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All images courtesy of others.

Troyes - - 1 Play
We started learning this game very late in the night, things went fairly smoothly but took longer than even a learning game should. I couldn't quite formulate a strategy that I felt would win (despite actually winning). I think with further plays I'll really begin to like this game, unfortunately the theme doesn't go over well with the half of my gaming group that loves FFG and theme games primarily.

To me the theme is awesome, the whole production seems really well put together and consistent. I really hope I'm able to get this to the table again soon so we can appreciate the strategies rather than fumble through while learning the rules again.


Mansions of Madness - - 1 Play
Played this as the keeper, and I had a blast. I tried to go out of my way to inject D&D style descriptions to flavor up the story and actions. This made the whole experience seem more alive to me, which bolsters what are actually pretty lackluster mechanics.

I also made an effort to hold back as the Keeper to make the game come down to the wire. In a subsequent game this month one of the investigators from the first game tried the Keeper and I played investigator. He isn't comfortable DMing and didn't inject any story or descriptions and tried to brutally "win".

IMHO if your keeper tries to "win" Mansions; all players playing the game lose, the Keeper included. This game loses a start if you can't role play or ad-lib story and dialogue.


Age of Industry - - 1 Play
Last month I purchased and fell in love with Automobile, leading me to believe that this simplification of another Wallace design would hit if off just as well. I'd never been a big fan of Steam (and haven't played Age of Steam) and this game follows suit. There's something about the dryness of a Martin Wallace game that makes for a cerebral and exghausting challenge to play through, fortunately for Automobile the system it's simulating and the subject matter makes me interested despite the math heavy financial wizarding required to play it.

Unfortunately for Age of Industry the lack of an interesting time period and subject matter [to me] makes it fall flat. I grasp the complexity of the system underneath the bore, and I was interested in thinking about the mistakes I made, I just can't see myself requesting another play of this one.

It's a game, I've determined that.
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117. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:323]
Jacco Versteeg
United Kingdom
Crewe
Cheshire
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This was the only new game for me in April, a game that has been on my radar for a long time. We played it as a two player game, and I can see how more players will create a very different experience, as it was far easier to simply lay claim to a specific treasure by just playing lots of cards to it.

I do like this game. It's quite fast, fairly light and still interesting enough to play. I think of this more of a warm up or closing game, rather than the meaty game of the evening. Or just something simpler for when you're just not in the mood for something heavy and involved. This will probably be purchased in the near future.
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118. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:82]
Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
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I just got this game on April 28th and it is a blast. I have got about 8 plays in so far and it just keeps getting better. I cant wait for the expansions to come out.

The only downside is that you can only play it solo or co-op.







I also had a friend try to teach me how to play Dragon Dice. Although he loves it, I couldnt really get into it. All you really do is roll a bunch of dice for the whole game. We may as well have played Yahtzee.
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119. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:59]
Chad Hensley
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
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It's been quite a while since I've been able to post a new to me game as all my money has been tied up in a recent move across the country and the refurnishing of our new home. However, I have recently made a new friend here who is into gaming and we have very similar taste. So I asked him to borrow a couple of games. The first two are on this list and the next ones should show up on the New to You May list next month.

Stone Age: As you can tell by the picture representing this geeklist item, my favorite game of April was by far Stone Age. I've been wanting to play this game for quite a while and it's been on my Christmas list for the last two years. I am blessed to be married to an amazing woman who really enjoys most of the games I play and is willing to try any game I throw on the table at least once. This game was a huge hit with her. I won the first game and last two games we played out of seven. Needless to say this game will be on the top of my Christmas list...unless I don't get Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for my birthday that is.



Sid Meier's: Civilization the Board Game: The other new game I played this month was this baby. We sat down and played the learning game. My wife was China and I played Germany. She was able to get the right spaces and buildings to boost her trade and got to the irrigation tech and thus her third city first, thoroughly stomping me. The next night we decided to attempt a whole game. She got Rome and I ended up with Russia. Starting with Communism and planning my strategy set me on a path to attempt a Tech victory. With all the bonuses my wife got for culture she attempted that path to victory. Due to many things, including good wonder choices and my wife's poor placement of her third city, Russia was victorious by reaching the fifth tech level first.

I must say that this game seems amazing, but it was a little too heavy for my primary gaming partner, my wife. Hopefully, I'll get to play it with some heavy gamers, but my two plays really hit that desire I had to pull this game out.
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120. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:108]
Brian Olmstead
United States
Denver
Colorado
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New Games

I'm the Boss! - 1 play in April. Not really my kind of game. Doubt I'll ever play it again.

Tigris & Euphrates - 2 plays in April. Wow this brain hurts my game. Yeah, exactly. I enjoy it, but the sheer number of moves to make on your turn can be really overwhelming. I love playing it though.

The Resistance - 1 play in April. I definitely like this better than Werewolf. But in the end, these kinds of games don't do much for me.

Cosmic Encounter - 1 play in April. My gf and I played this at the Mnpls. Madness marathon and just hated it. Too many people, too chaotic, poor rules-teaching from the experienced players. I have an old copy of this from childhood that I remember playing a few times, but I doubt it'll ever see a play again.

Wired: Black Ops - 1 play in April. Local guy's prototype game. I really liked it! I felt like it could use a couple additions and maybe some subtractions, but otherwise it was a very solid game!

If Wishes Were Fishes! - 1 play in April. For what looked to be a kid's game, this was actually a pretty strategic game. I liked it a lot and would definitely play it again.

San Juan - 1 play in April. I had skipped this somehow and went to Race first instead. But I'm glad I finally got to play it. In the end, I'd rather play Puerto Rico or Race for the Galaxy, not this.

El Grande - 1 play in April. Another 'classic' that I got to play for the first time ever. I really liked it and am considering trading/buying a copy of it. I'm finding that I'm beginning to really like area control games.

Warhammer: Invasion - 1 play in April. Recently acquired in trade, finally got to try it out with another CCG player. It's a fun game I feel, but I don't think I even have a clue about how it's supposed to play out. Repeated plays will be necessary.

Puerto Rico - 1 play in April. My first official play recorded of this on BGG, although I think I'd played it a couple times in the past. A solid game, but I like other games of it's ilk better.

The Princes of Florence - 1 play in April. Tetris-y! I liked it. I tend to not like auction games, but for me this one worked. I probably overpaid for a ton of options all game, but it was still fun. Lots of decisions to be made overall in the game.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game - 1 play in April. This game seemed like it should have been fun, but it was just a 'meh' kind of let-down for me. I probably wouldn't pass up more plays, but I certainly won't be going out to buy it for myself.

Lost Cities - 1 play in April. How many classics can I play new in one month!? Quite a few apparently. I enjoyed this quite a bit and plan on purchasing in the near future. A good, fast 2 player experience.

Puzzle Strike - 1 play in April. Hated it.

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game - 1 play in April. Loved it! Definitely my favorite new game of the month (and I played a lot of awesome new games!). I love that it captures the feel of the video game and yet it still different enough to be a different experience. I'm a little sketchy on the military/fighting feature, but that could just be lacking the understanding of the best way to play out your hand on any given fight.

Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game - 2 plays in April. Played back-to-back adventures just this last weekend. I liked it quite a bit but I didn't really feel like we were in any danger of losing overall. Maybe the later adventures get tougher, I haven't looked ahead to see.

Mission: Red Planet - 1 play in April. Had this for awhile and finally got to play it. Again, finding I love area control games and this was no exception. Additionally really like the role selection every round. Definitely looking forward to more plays of this.

New Expansions

Hansa Teutonica: East Expansion - 3 plays with base game in April. Wow! Never ever going to play on the original map again! I love the redesign on this map! It really should just be the base map in the original game.
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121. Board Game: Onirim [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:785]
Patrick McNamara
United States
Jupiter
Florida
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Bird of paradise fly in white sky, blues for Allah en'sh'allah; Let's see with our heart, these things our eyes have seen; And know the truth must still lie somewhere in between
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April was another great gaming month with 12 new games and 6 new game expansions getting to the table. This month was a close race for the best new game, but in the end it come to:

Onirim thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup


5 plays. Onirim is a fantastic solo card game. I enjoy solo games quite a bit and this is one of my favorites. Every game has been tight to the end as I have tried every way possible to manipulate the deck to get those 8 door cards out. I expect this to rack up many, many more plays. And I haven't even added in the expansions included in the box. For the record, I won 2 out of my 5 plays.

Other new games this month:

Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game thumbsupthumbsup


9 plays. WOA almost got best new game of the month. Another fun D&D dungeon romp in the vein of Castle Ravenloft. I found the difficulty to really be ramped up in this one. I am currently soloing through the adventure book. I would like to see a Geeklist of original adventures for WOA as there was for CR. Really looking forward to Legend of Drizzt!

The Game of Life: Adventures Card Gamethumbsupthumbsdown


3 plays. Simple little card game version of Game of Life. The family enjoyed it quite a bit. Me, not so much. I thought that there was too much waiting for the right cards. Also, the game can be very "take that". Lots of stealing of others peoples cards etc. Good for a $5 game from Walmart.

Pentagothumbsupthumbsdown


3 plays. Good 2 player abstract purchased with a birthday B&N gift card, wooohooo!! We did a best of 3 games during my lunch hour at work. Quick but with quite a lot of strategy as you try to twist the 4 quadrants to your benefit.

The Pillars of the Earth: Builders Duelthumbsupthumbsup


3 plays. Good 2 player strategy game from Stefan Feld, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite designers. The forced confrontation for the 1 card in the 3X3 grid can really be tense as have to decide on which chips to flip. My GF really enjoyed this 1 as well so more plays are definitely in my future.

World of Warcraft: The Adventure Gamethumbsdown


3 plays. I was extremely disappointed in the WOW:TAG. I was hoping for a game in the similar vein as Runebound, which is one of my favorite games. Well, it's not. The game is almost too basic for me. Roll and move in a grand style adventure game isn't my cup of tea. Also, the game seems to promote PVP combat, which we really don't do in our adventure games (i.e. Runebound), just my opinion. Will add to trade list.

Cargo Noirthumbsupthumbsdown


1 play. We enjoyed Cargo Noir somewhat. We only plyed with 2, and I am feeling that with more players the game would improve. Also, we screwed up the whole timing of the game, which also lowered our enjoyment. This game really is asking for an expansion, IMO. Great components as is expected from Days of Wonder.

Dice Townthumbsup


1 play, 2 players. My 10 year old didn't enjoy the game as much as I did as he seemed to try to get as many aces as possible each round as I went for more of an all around strategy. Will bring this one out again with my card playing gamer buddies. I would love to track down the expansions for this game.

Kupferkessel Co.thumbsupthumbsup


1 play. A great 2 player game that was on my "grail" list for a really long time. I am good at memory based games, and this game is about 90% memory. And I lost anyways. Really looking forward to having Flo play this one as I know she will enjoy it as much as I do.

Ligretto Dicethumbsup


1 play. Now, I may be good at memory and deduction games, but boy do I stink at speed based games. These old hands just aren't as fast as they used to be. Even with that, I enjoyed Ligretto Dice. It has a good push your luck mechanic thrown in where if you want to reroll, you have to reroll all of your unplaced dice. Gives the game a bit more strategy than at first glance. Another game my 10 year old (oops, 11 now!) will like quite a lot.

Small Worldthumbsup


1 play. Small World was fun, fun, fun. A very light and simple battle game that gets a lot of its fun from the crazy combinations of races and special powers. We messed up 1 rule (you canonly have 1 race in decline per player at once) and still had a good time. I have a feeling my score for this will jump up with more plays, including plays with the expansions.

The Speicherstadtthumbsupthumbsup


1 play with 2 players. This was the other almost best new game of the month for me. The S. for short (also by the great Stefan Feld) is a tight, tactical game (at least it was with 2) where you can really go after the other players cards. I enjoy the auction system quite a bit and the fireman mechanic was the key factor in our game (which I pulled out right at the end). I am really wanting to play this one again soon. Now, if I could just find those metal coins. Anybody trading or selling the expansions?


New expansions this month

World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game – Thundershot Character Pack

World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game – Brebo Bigshot Character Pack

World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game – Artumnis Moondream Character Pack

World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game – Brandon Lightstone Character Pack

World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game – Dongon Swiftblade Character Pack


1 play for each of the WOW:TAG character packs listed above. Since I am somewhat something of a completist, I purchased all of the character packs for the WOW Adventure Game before playing the base game. As you read above, I'm not a big fan of this one. The character packs add some enjoyment as you get to go through the other equipment, character cards (many of which are the same cards as the characters in the base game), and new quests. But still, the game isn't my thing. I will finish out playing the other 3 character packs and they will all be added to the Trade list as well. Should sweeten the deal I guess. I am really hoping that this games big brother (WOW:TBG) is way better.

The World Cup Game: Expansion Set 6thumbsupthumbsup


3 plays. The World Cup Game is one of my all time favorite games and I was highly anticipating the 6th expansion. And it doesn't disappoint! We played through it 3 times with 3 players giving points based on how far each players teams got through the draw. With the extra cards, we added 8 different cards to each run through. Winners of the 3 tournaments were Spain (big surprise), Germany, and Portugal (now that was a surprise!). More great fun for this fantastic game.


May should see less total games get played as I am playing through some games with longer playing times. Here's what's on deck...

Mousquetaires du Roy
Runebound: Rituals and Runes
Runebound: Traps and Terrors
World of Warcraft: The Boardgame – Shadow of War
World of Warcraft: The Boardgame
World of Warcraft: The Boardgame – The Burning Crusade

And I'm sure more as well! Keep playing!


















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122. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:66]
Chris Chua
United States
Emeryville
California
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Spent a few days reading the rules and playing solo. Ready to play it pvp soon. It's a great war game that has TONS of replayabilty but the reason why I love it is because of the stories that emerge from each game.
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123. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:168]
Brandon Thompson
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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My favorite new game I bought this month is Saint Petersburg. I may be a bit biased, having lived in lovely St. Petersburg for a brief period of time, but I really loved this game. Setup time is minimal, it's quick to teach, and it doesn't outstay its welcome. I think it might be one of the few Euros I could play multiple times back-to-back. It's a good gateway game, too.



My second favorite new game for April was Vinhos. Although the board looks intimidating (or incredibly sexy, depending on your board game preferences ) the game is actually not particularly long. However, teaching length, assuming that the person teaching the game has a very thorough understanding of the game, is still around 15-20 minutes, I wouldn't spring this one on people unless they really knew what they were getting themselves into. The good news: the game's a real treat to play. The components are gorgeous and as my friend Justin remarked, "I really like the ebb and flow of this game. It's really well-designed." I look forward to more plays.


I played 7 Wonders for the first time earlier in the month and quite enjoyed it. However, I didn't feel like I wanted to buy it since I didn't see myself playing it outside of my group and there was already a copy in the group. I really like the fact that play is simultaneous. My first thought when I started playing this: "They fixed Race for the Galaxy!" Not that Race is a bad game, but the iconography has always been so counter-intuitive for me that I still have to ask what cards do after 10+ plays. 7 Wonders uses logical icons and actually isn't nearly as complex as it looks like it might be.

Oh, and for the record, Vinhos had excellent iconography too. A standing ovation for the artists of that board. Not a wasted space on the board, and it's all beautiful.I raise a glass of wine in toast.

I got to play Kaigan, an unusual and neat little game. In Kaigan, there's a card drafting element and a area control/worker placement mechanic. Although the other players destroyed me, I would definitely like to play it again sometime.

I also got to try Puzzle Strike, a game similar to deckbuilding games like Dominion. I didn't care for this one, not being a fan of most deckbuilding games (with the lone exception being Thunderstone).

Looking forward to playing some more Mansions of Madness in May, as well as getting my hands on the upcoming Godzilla: Kaiju World Wars!!!
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124. Board Game: Mansions of Madness [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:164]
M.J.E. Hendriks
Netherlands
Arnhem
Gelderland
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After an extremely disappointing month for me for new games, this month was rather good – quite a few actually new games (rather than new expansions) and a fair few winners. The March games I am adding as well, since there’s only three of them and they are of no real import.

Boardgames

Mansions of Madness


Played this once solo and once 2-player with my son. Both times had a blast. I love how the story telling feature really plays a large role, though the stories are not always as fleshed out as they could be. The puzzles are great, in my opinion, and luckily for me also in the opinion of my son – he was really proud of himself to have completed two of his puzzles in one go. I am looking forward to playing some more and discovering new stories.

Dominant Species


Played this once, 4 players, and had a great time. The game is a better game than Mansions of Madness, but MoM is more fun, I think. It was a close call. This game has its downsides as well, including a great level of abstraction (and I’m no fan of abstract games), and a huge AP problem that in our group could only have been remedied with a timer. Nevertheless, a wonderful game that was a veritable pleasure to play.

Vinhos


Played this once, 3 players, and had a fun time. The game is another well-designed game that stands up there with the first two of this month. Its theme is fun and gameplay is intriguing. However, it is dryer than Dominant Species and less fun than MoM. Does this make it a bad game? No, it doesn’t as it was definitely a game I’d love to play again and see how much I really like it. For that’s the issue at the moment – I’ve only played one game and it’s a hard game to grasp after only one playing. And I didn’t grasp it whatsoever. Still, it has the potential to be a favorite.

Scotland Yard


Played this five times with my youngest and then later with both of my boys. They enjoyed it greatly. My youngest, just turned four, absolutely adores the hat and is always trying to peek underneath the hat to see if he can see my eyes and where I’m looking. He has managed to catch me too, so good stuff. He’s not that good at playing Mr X just yet though. This is a fun game and I like it. Nuns on the Run and The Fury of Dracula are both favorites of mine, so this will fit well in that section.

Louis XIV


Played this twice, first with four and later with two against my youngest son of four. Both games were enjoyable though I’m not sure this is the type of game that has lasting power. Or rather, I’m not sure how long it’ll last before I’m completely bored of it. Still, for now it is a decent little game that does tend to outlast itself. It takes longer than it should.

Money!


I discovered this game as a free app for my iPhone, downloaded it, and got to playing it on Medium level. Indeed, 50 plays logged this last month. The AI is pretty good and I enjoy it as a quick diversion when waiting in line or traveling by train when between movies. It’s quick, it’s fun, it works. Enough said for a nice little filler.

Bolide


Played this once in March, and never will I play it again if I can help it. This racing game takes too long for what it is – much too long – and it’s much too complicated. There are games, I find, that indeed live up to the “this is just like work or doing math”. This is no fun, no game, it’s just a math problem with lots of rules you need to have down as well. The downtime is immense, and if you play quickly, with a timer or something, you’ll simply have people like me flying off the course going left and right randomly since I truly have no clue half the time what is going on. Furthermore, there’s little chance to change places – I started second and finished second out of four. Never did it look like I wouldn’t finish second. Ah well, just not my kind of ‘game’ I guess.

Expansions

Power Grid: Flux Generator

One play. This expansion to Power Grid is tiny, but it’s awesome. I love this card.

Zooloretto: The Petting Zoo

Three plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. I love how you are now more flexible with regard to your babies. My son loves having babies so this expansion is a must for him!

Zooloretto: Three Extra Enclosures

Three plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. These extra enclosures are not always the most efficient of choices, but they’re great fun and allow for more things to do should you have lots of cash. You do need the petting zoo with this though to have enough money in the game.

Zooloretto: Job Boards

Three plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. These mission cards add a little something to the game. My son loves playing with all the expansions he can get his grubby little hands on and this is one I thoroughly enjoy.

Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal

One play. One of the board expansions for Power Grid. Definitely enjoyable, my one play of Spain/Portugal. The rule that the player who only has plants in Portugal cannot use uranium is ridiculous though – when would that happen?

Power Grid: BGG Promo Card Set

Two plays. A small set of cards of which I’ve used the Warehouse part of the expansion which I thought was pretty decent and rather interesting. No idea how that will play it though and how popular it will prove. 10 electros seems to be a lot of money to start the bid at for the warehouse.

Formula Dé Circuits 23 - 26: USA Track Pack #1


One play in March. More and different tracks for Formula D are always welcome, even if they come from Formula De and are no longer (easily) obtainable. Wish I could get my hands on a few of these Formula De tracks though.

Zooloretto: The Gorilla

Four plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. We have a print out of most of these mini expansions now – mostly on one page – the two we have we add to the bottom of the page as a list. Then we play starting from the top that if you finish a 6-enclosure you get the top most postcard expansion. In the following game we start with the topmost expansion that has not yet been. This is a fun way of diversifying the game – we enjoy it. My 4yo son loves adding all the expansions.

Zooloretto: King K.

Three plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. See above for details on how we play these. My 4yo son loves adding all the expansions. Our version is a rhino!

Zooloretto: Iberian Lynx

Two plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. See above for details on how we play these. My 4yo son loves adding all the expansions.

Zooloretto: Polar Bear

Two plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. See above for details on how we play these. My 4yo son loves adding all the expansions.

Zooloretto: The Reindeer

Two plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. See above for details on how we play these. My 4yo son loves adding all the expansions.

Zooloretto: Christmas Tree

Two plays. This is a print out version of this expansion. See above for details on how we play these. My 4yo son loves adding all the expansions. Our version is a badger!

Kids' Games

Peekaboo


This is a fun game we picked up in a local second-hand shop. In this game you have tiles with various holes in them you place over the open tiles with Winnie the Pooh characters and items. There are 6 tiles with holes in them and a 6-sided die with all the colors of these tiles. All the tiles you need to know are laid out open (24 of them I believe), and then you lay the 6 cover tiles over 6 of the Winnie the Pooh-themed tiles. You need to memorize what hole tile covered what memory tile. Then you roll the die and need to guess what lies under the tile of the color you just rolled. See the example above, with the die and the hole tile covering a tile with a drum.

My 4-year-old son likes this game a lot. He usually remembers what was under the tile – it’s easier and more fun than regular memory and it’s a lot quicker. Painless memory? Sign me up!

Junior Labyrinth


A game my mother picked up in Canada in a second-hand shop with a few of the tiles missing. We’re still looking for them online and on BGG, but so far to no avail. The game is decent but it’s still a little tactical for the little one. One play in March.
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125. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:182]
Paul Agapow
United Kingdom
London
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Eh, always late to the party.

As is usual, I spent most of my time replaying old favorites or discovering unknown (to me) classics. I'm successfully weaning myself off the Cult of the New. Now if I can just get off the Cult of the Not New But Oh Would I Like To Have That (e.g. BattleLore and all associated expansions) ...

No great revelations this month, but a fair amount of

The Interesting



JohnB was gracious enough to bring Roads & Boats in when he found out it was something I was looking to play. It didn't disappoint, presenting an interesting, almost puzzle-like game in you fret over supply chains and transport links. On the downside, the components are almost an afterthought and barely above that of a prototype. This wouldn't irritate me so much, not being a fan of game-bling for its own sake, were it not for the actual impact on the game: peering at scribbled on roads, sifting through non-descript counters is this a stone or a coal?

Summary: I'm cured of a urge to buy this (at its current over-inflated price), but not of an urge to play it again. Big win.



I had this impression of The Great Fire of London 1666 as being a game that people were looking forward to and then disappointed by. Even one of my fellow players had a eh, it's alright attitude to it. But we had good, backstabbing fun directing fire towards each other, blowing up each others houses and trashtalking. True, I'm not sure that the game systems are quite carrying their own weight or that there is a lot of strategy, but in the right light it's a good, fun game.

Summary: Not a waste of time, would play again.

The rest

I randomly ended up in a game of A Brief History of the World. Despite a vague idea that I've played it before, I suspect the actual truth is that I've played a lot of things like it before. Others made sniffy comments about it being "Risk-like", but what else would a light world conquest game look like? It played fine in a good length of time, I wouldn't rush out to play it again but wouldn't avoid it either. Pleasant.

Previously unknown to me was Street Illegal, a curious little racing game without a track, cars simply swapping position relative to each other. The game mechanisms aren't very complex, but have a strict process (you must do this, then may do this and if you did that ...) which caused a fair amount of confusion. Nonetheless, different, there's some interesting stuff going on in here and I'd like to understand it better and play it again.
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