Glass Bead Boardgames

A blog about board Games and life from Allen and Annabelle O'Connor.

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [23]

Recommend
29 
 Thumb up
0.10
 tip
 Hide

I appear to have found the best game ever

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:45 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
47 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

I’m a lucky man: Games night with three generations of my family

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb




Sequence

On Wednesday this week, Annabelle and I were joined by my parents and grandparents for dinner and games. Bangers and mash, which is the favourite meal of both my Grandad and I. After food and a few drinks we whipped out a few games, starting with Sequence. We played boys (me, Step Dad, Grandad) against girls (Wife, Mum, Nan) to encourage a bit of healthy spousal rivalry. This is nice simple game to teach casual players, partly because it uses standard playing cards to drive its central mechanism. Players play a card and place a disk of their teams colour on the board, with the intention of getting five disks in a row on two occasions. Jacks work slightly differently, allowing players to add or take away disks in any position of the board. My nan managed to complete two rows of five on consecutive turns to win the game for team oestrogen, while team male privilege were sat with only one row of five.



Cockroach Poker

Next up is a game that my Grandparents really enjoy. Cockroach Poker is a simple bluffing game made up of a deck of 64 cards; eight copies of eight different animals. The entire deck is divided between the players, and the game starts off with one player trying to give another player a card and telling what it is; that player can either call out whether this is a lie or not, or they can pick the card up, look at it, and try and give the card to somebody else. If you get called out, or if you incorrectly call someone else out then you keep the card face up in front of you; then you start the next round with a card from your own hand. The first person to lose all of the cards in their hand, or to end up with four of the same animal in front of them is the loser. The game was hilarious as always, and everyone ended up losing a few rounds, however my step dad Dave was was unlucky on a few occasions and ran out of cards to play, making him the loser.



Splendor

The Grandparents left at this point, leaving four of us for the next game. Splendor is my wife’s favourite game, and although it has been in my collection for a few years now, I feel like it is only this year that I have learned to absolutely love the game. My parents also have a copy of Splendor so the game needed little explanation before we started to play. I decided to play entirely for noble tiles, focussing almost entirely on lower tier cards. My parents both ended up playing for top tier cards, both managing to score a few. Annabelle played a more balanced game, and as she sat there with 13 points and one move from winning I snatched my third noble to win the game. I thought that my normally tolerant wife was going to force feed me Poker chips after that move, but all players scored at least 11 points, so it ended up being a tight game.



Catch the Moon

The night ended with a simple dexterity game. There’s something about Catch the Moon that I absolutely adore, it has such an elegant look and an uncomplicated set of rules. Players roll a die, then add a ladder to the stack according to the outcome. The ladder will need to be added so that it either ends up touching one other ladder, two other ladders, or becomes the highest point in the stack. Should a player make the stack fall, then they take a teardrop token; when the last token is taken, the player who took it is instantly eliminated and the remaining player with the least amount of teardrops is the winner. My parents and I all found ourself with two tokens each with one token left to get, Annabelle had avoided getting any tokens at all. I ended up taking the last token and my gorgeous wife won the game. She took great pleasure in avenging my win from the game before.

I’m lucky to have such a great family, but luckier still that they enjoy my gaming hobby with me. I’ll leave you with a good gin and tonic combination that my wife and I have discovered recently. Forest Gin with London Essence tonic, garnished with mango and a sprig of rosemary. Thanks for reading.



Twitter Facebook
11 Comments
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:45 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Van00uber Reviews #10 - Telestrations

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Telestrations

Designer: (Uncredited)
Year released: 2009
Players: 4-8
Time: 10-20 minutes
Key Words: Drawing, Guessing, Profanity

Telestrations is a simple party game that sees players drawing and guessing pictures. The basic game comes with eight dry erase pads, each with eight pages; or twelve pads with twelve pages in the larger Telestrations: 12 Player Party Pack. It also comes with a set of black dry erase pens and a set of cards with suggestions for players to use for their secret word.



How does it work?

It is important to note that there are official rules to Telestrations, but the game benefits from ignoring a lot of the rules. I’ll first tell you the official rules, then I’ll tell you the best way to play. Each player is given a dry erase pad, a pen to write on, and a double sided card with six words on each side. The group chooses which of the two sides to use, rolls the die and plays with the word that is given to them. Everyone writes the word on their first page, then they flip the page over and attempt to draw the word or phrase on the next page. Once everyone is finished, or when the egg timer runs out if you choose to use it, players pass their pads face down to the next player. Now everyone has a picture in front of them that needs to be identified, they turn the page write their guess and pass the books on again. Now players have a word or phrase that must be drawn on the following page, and this cycle of drawing and guessing continues until everyone has had contact with each pad once. Players each reveal their pads page by page to show the evolution of people's answers and drawing, and hilarity ensues. There are scoring systems for the game, but they are a bit pointless, and I don’t think that I know anyone who has ever used them. When played with an odd number of players there is a slight change to the rules; players do not draw their secret word but instead pass their pad after writing it. This ensures that each game finishes on a guess rather than a drawing. That’s the official rules, then there’s the way that I play the game: get rid of the cards, the die and the egg timer completely; encourage players to select secret words or phrases that are bizarre and interesting, because the crazier it is the more interesting the evolution of answers will be. Also invest in some coloured dry erase markers and the game’s pictures come to life.



My thoughts on the game

Telestrations is my most played party game, and one that I feel that I can play with any group. I would say that the game doesn’t really work with less than 6 because you only end up with two drawings in each pad, but with 6, 7 or 8 the game is always a great choice. The cards that come with the game are quite boring, so I wouldn’t bother using them. If you draw a tree as your secret word, then everyone else will do the same and there will be no evolution of guesses and drawings. Instead I would encourage the people at the table to think of bizarre words or phrases. Some of my favourites have included ‘a t-rex flying a kite,’ ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ and ‘the 1976 race relations act.’ When played with the right group the game can be crude, offensive and hilarious; it is one of the few games that can make me cry with laughter. This fits into the category of games that I would recommend to a tabletop gamer looking to start a board game collection, as a staple party game. When playing with a larger group of players, this is a good icebreaker game to get the session started and to get people laughing. I like to play one round clockwise and one round counterclockwise at the start of the night.



What is the verdict?

This is a timeless classic that almost anyone will play and enjoy. I’ve logged nearly 100 games of telestrations over the last few years, and I’m not tired of the game yet. Ignoring some of the game’s rules and investing in some coloured pens is a must. You can get your gaming group to acquire whiteboard markers from their various jobs and add them to your game. Highly recommended to anyone who can get six or more players to their gaming table.

BGG Score 9/10



Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Thu Nov 2, 2017 11:54 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
38 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Jordan and I played at the Pyramid Arcade

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


On the Saturday before my wedding, Jordan and I met up for coffee and board games. We decided to explore some of the many games found as part of the Pyramid Arcade set, which is basically a big box full of components meant as a game system rather than single game. The box contains the rules for 22 games, but if you look at BGG under the Looney Pyramids family, then you’ll find entries for 221 games at the time of writing. Although the Pyramid Arcade only came out last year, Andrew Looney of Looney Labs has designing games using Looney Pyramids since 1989. Essentially these games are designed around sets of three coloured pyramid shapes of different sizes. When placed next to one and other they are called a Trio, when stacked inside each other they are called a Nest, and when stacked on top of one and other the are referred to as a Tree. Pyramid Arcade contains 30 sets of Looney Pyramids in 10 different colours, and a bunch of different boards, cards and dice. We played five of the games found in the main rulebook of Pyramid Arcade.






Martian Chess

The first game that we tried new to me, and one of the more popular games from the set. In Martian Chess there are two 4x4 grids side by side, each having nine pieces on. There are Pawns which can move one diagonal space, Drones which move one or two orthogonal spaces, and Queens which can move an unlimited number of spaces in any direction. Players start with three of each piece on their side of the board, and as the game goes on they must attempt to take their opponent's pieces in a similar fashion to Chess. The twist is that a player controls every piece that is on their side of the board, so when you take a piece from your opponent you are also handing control of that piece to the other player. In addition, the better pieces are worth more points at the end of the game, so the strategy really revolves around trying to capture the opponent's Queens and Drones. I managed to capture a few Drones, then made an effort to empty my side of the board to force the end of the game; I ended up winning fairly comfortably. The strategy is really unusual in this game, but I liked it a lot.

Allen 14 - 10 Jordan






Twin Win

This game uses a small nine spaced board with arrows on showing which way the pieces can be moved, and adds a small set of cards to the game. Set up involves making five mixed colour Trees using five different coloured Trios. Then two cards for each coloured Trio are collated to form a draw pile, one showing a Nest and one showing a tree for each colour. Players will each have two cards, and must attempt to make one of the patterns to win the game. Players take two actions each turn, either to move the pieces on the board or to swap one of their cards for a new one. If a player makes it obvious what they are going for then their moves will be easily blocked by the other player; so bluffing plays a part in the flow of the game. Jordan and I really enjoyed this game, and ended up playing it three times. Every time Jordan was about to win, I would find a winning move. All three games were close though.






Volcano

Next up is a game that has evolved a little over the years, designed by Kristin Looney. The rulebook states that this is the third iteration of Volcano, and I’m aware that the previous versions required five Trios of the same colour which wouldn’t be possible with Pyramid Arcade, so I’m sure that this updated version might have been made to work with this set. The game uses the 5x5 grid, and starts with three Nests of eight different colours scattered around the board with a space left in the centre. Then six smallest Pyramids from the two remaining colours (in this case Black and White) are placed on top of two sets of Nests, referred to as Caps and the game begins. Players move the caps on their turn, causing everything under the Cap to cascade out in a straight line across the map. If a piece would land on the same size of piece it is captured. The first player to score three matching coloured Trios, or five mixed colour Trios is the winner. This was a real brain burner, but Jordan and I loved it. We both found ourself one move away from winning, but in the end i got a bit lucky and won because Jordan had overlooked my previous move. Definitely one that I would like to play again.






Color Wheel

I sat back for the next game as Jordan played a round of Color Wheel. This can be played solo or as a cooperative game, and it’s probably the one that I’ve played the most from this set. Setup includes taking all of the Pyramids from seven colours and mixing them in a bag, then to randomly place a piece on every section of the circular board until it is full. This will only use a little over half of the pieces so there will be an uneven distribution of colours on the board. The pieces from the three remaining colours are now stacked neatly on the side of the board, these represent the 27 moves that players are limited to in order to beat the game. The aim is to have all of the pieces grouped with their colour, and each move can either be to swap two pieces of different colours but the same size, or two pieces of different size but the same colour. This might sound simple, but it’s really the closest to a Rubik’s Cube that a board game can get. Jordan managed to beat the Color Wheel in 24 moves, and he seemed to enjoy the challenge.






Hijinks

And finally the last game of the afternoon was Hijinks, previously released as Pink Hijinks using only pink Pyramids. I’ve played this one a few times and it’s a nice simple game. This uses a 3x3 grid and starts with three Trees across the central row, the colours don’t matter here but I like to use different colours to match the different sizes. Players control the three spaces closest to them, and must try to either get one matching piece in each of their spaces, or must try to get all nine pieces into the opposing player’s spaces. Each turn a special die is rolled showing the player which sized piece can be used that turn, and a player can move a corresponding piece orthogonally from either their row or the central row. Players can move pieces onto the opponent's row, but can’t take them off it. Jordan and I both had two pieces in position and needed a third to win. We were both getting in the way of each other winning, waiting for the right dice roll to win the game. It was close, and it would have been nice for Jordan to beat me at something that day, but luck was on my side as I rolled what I needed to win. A great afternoon with a great friend, thank you for reading.



Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:01 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
80 
 Thumb up
13.75
 tip
 Hide

We just got married...

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Thank you for all of the love and support that we have received here on BGG. We are now Mr and Mrs O’Connor
Twitter Facebook
18 Comments
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:56 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
79 
 Thumb up
1.10
 tip
 Hide

What to look out for at Essen this year

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While many of you will be galavanting around Germany next week at the world most amazing board game convention, I’ll be marrying my Annabelle and flying to Tuscany for my honeymoon. It’s a great weekend and it’s a shame that I won’t be able to be there. Instead I’ll leave you with the following recommendations for the event. My taste isn’t particularly mainstream at times, so would urge you to take a look at the BGG page for Essen; these are just the games and publishers that I would make an effort to see if I was at the convention next week.



Queendomino. This year, Kingdomino has been one of my most played and most enjoyed games. It’s been very popular here on BGG, and has managed to win the prestigious Spiel des Jahres. Queendomino can be played as a stand alone game, building on the mechanisms of the original title and adding a little more depth; or you can combine it with the original to make a bigger game or accommodate more players.
Blue Orange (EU) - Hall 3: M107

Nusfjord and Indian Summer. Two new big box Uwe Rosenberg games at this year’s Essen. Nusfjord actually looks a lot like Glass Road, which is my favourite Rosenberg game; and Indian Summer is a follow up to Cottage Garden, intended to eventually be his ‘Puzzle Trilogy.’ I’ve never played a big box Rosenberg game that I haven’t liked, so very much looking forward to playing these two.
Lookout Games - Hall 1: F133 / Edition Spielwiese - Hall 1: D122



Gaia Project. I’m a massive fan of Terra Mystica, and I remember seeing a prototype of a space based version of the game back in 2015 at Essen. We were calling it Interstellar Mystica back then which is a far better name I think. I can’t wait to see what they do with the franchise, I like the space theme and I can’t get enough of Terra Mystica so this one seems like a no brainer to me.
Feuerland Spiele - Hall 3: D100

The Expanse Board Game. I love the Expanse book series, at the time of writing I have almost finished book 6: Babylon’s Ashes. It’s an epic space opera that is planned to be nine books long with a cyberpunk dystopian feel to it. I haven’t seen much of the TV series, but the lore and theme of the books would make an excellent setting for a game; plus the game is designed by Geoff Engelstein, so that is a good sign too. The BGG page says that it plays a little bit like Twilight Struggle so I’m interested to see how this one will turn out.
WizKids - Hall 6: G100

nestorgames. This is one of my favourite publishers for abstract games. Néstor Romeral Andrés will be attending the event, and although he will not have a booth, he will be demoing some of his Nestorgames at the following times and locations:

Friday 11:00-12:00 at HenMar games - Hall 8: B120 to demo Ni-Ju
Friday 12:00-13:00 at Clemens Gerhards - Hall 3: G106 to demo LOT
Friday 17:00 and beyond at White Goblin Games - Hall 3: O106 to demo Sugar Gliders and Hong



Wibbell++. I’ve had a lot of fun with the Wibbell++ deck recently. Designed by Behrooz Shahriari, Wibbell++ is a deck of 48 cards each containing two letters, a pattern and a number. You can play a bunch of different games with this deck, with more getting added over time, Read more about it by clicking here. You may also want to try one of her earlier designs, Yogi, previously released as In a Bind, which is another great party game.
Stuff By Bez - Hall 6: I102

Snowdonia: The Siege of Petersburg / The Channel Tunnel 1881. I am always happy to hear about more campaigns for Snowdonia, they add so much to what is already a great game. This new set adds two campaigns from two designers, the first is ‘The Siege of Petersburg’ from Alan Paull and the second is ‘The Channel Tunnel 1881’ from David Brain. Visitors should also be able to see where Tony Boydell is up to with A Nice Cup of Tea.
Surprised Stare Games Ltd - Hall 7: G121



InBetween. After seeing Board&Dice put out two excellent card games this year in Pocket Mars and the SUPERHOT Card Game, I was interested to see what they were going to put out next. InBetween looks like it has a theme similar to the Netflix series Stranger Things, and some interesting mechanisms. This is a fairly small two player card game, one that I am quite eager to play after Essen.
Board&Dice - Hall 2: B106

Meeple Circus. I’m one of these people who tends to stack their meeple during a game, making little towers and seeing how high I can get them. Now Matagot have made a game out of it, and everytime I see a picture of this game pop up on social media I can’t help but love the presentation of the game. This is another must buy for me this year.
Matagot - Hall 3: E102

Doodle Rush. I’ve enjoyed the last two games that I have played from
Brain Games, called Ice Cool and King Frog. They both fall into the category of children’s games that work just as well with adults. Hopefully this new title of theirs will be fun to play too.
Brain Games - Hall 1: F139



Green Box of Games. This is not a game as such but more of a game system. The box comes with a load of different components, and the rules to play 16 different games. Players are encouraged to go online to find more games, or to make designs of their own. I love stuff like this, and the components look like they are high quality. I’m going to track down a copy after Essen and do a bit of experimenting I think.
(Self-Published) - Hall 7: G115

AXIO. This appears to be an evolution of Reiner Knizia’s masterpiece Ingenious. This game uses squares instead of hexagons and has these unusual pyramid pieces. I don’t know too much about the game’s rules yet but it is a Knizia game, so I have high hopes for it.
Pegasus Spiele - Hall 3: M110



Cubiko Games. Gavin Birnbaum handmakes beautiful wooden games and sells them at Essen and the Uk Games Expo. I would urge you to take a look at his designs, he has some great titles at the moment. This year he will be promoting two of his more recent games, Q.E. and Carreau. The picture above is one of his prototypes from this year’s UK Games Expo.
Cubiko Games - Hall 7: G121

That's a Question!. This is a new party game from Vlaada Chvátil, who has transitioned from making large complex games to smaller party games in his recent designs. I’ve enjoyed the different iterations of Codenames, and I had a chance to see an early edition of That’s a Question at the UK Games Expo this year. I looks like it has a lot of potential.
Czech Games Edition - Hall 1: F145



Twitter Facebook
24 Comments
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:10 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Games night with my parents // Testing my prototype

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



Mississippi Queen

On Sunday evening Annabelle and I were joined by my parents for a beef stew, a bit of gin and a few board games. We started the evening with the 1997 Spiel des Jahres winner, Mississippi Queen, which is a fairly light hearted boat racing game. What makes the game interesting is that you can only change your speed and direction once each turn, and you don’t know what the next part of the Mississippi river will look like until you get close to it. In addition, you have to collect two passengers along the way; and when you collect them, you have to slow the boat right down to the minimum speed. The game gives you six units of coal, which can allow for extra speed changes and turns, but once they’re gone you can’t get them back. I was ahead for much of the game, but I depleted my coal too early and struggled to maneuver the last few sections of the river. Annabelle steamed in from behind to take the win and I ended up finishing last. Well played Annabelle.

1st - Annabelle
2nd - Mum
3rd - Dave
4th - Allen







Beasts of Balance

Next up was a new addition to the collection called Beasts of Balance, which is played alongside an iPad companion app. Essentially pieces are balanced onto a Plinth, which is connected to the iPad using a Bluetooth connection. Player’s scan the piece that they want to play at the base of the Plinth, and the piece will appear on the app; they must then add it to the stack. This creates a kind of environment to interact with, containing animals that will cross-breed, evolve and migrate into new species. The Plinth weighs the pieces, so it knows if the stack collapses and will give players a few seconds to reassemble the stack before they lose the game. Sometimes players will need to interact with the Plinth during their turn to make the game more challenging, such as in the picture above. We weren’t as successful with our score this week as we were in our previous game, managing 55 points before I made the stack collapse. But still we had a lot of fun, and added some new animals to the game’s bestiary.






Pyramix

The third game of the evening was a simple set collection game that I really like called Pyramix. Essentially the game starts off with a set of dice stacked up to make a triangular pyramid. Players take turns to remove one die from the pyramid and add it to their collections. They can take any die, so long as at least two of its faces are visible, it doesn’t leave the base uncovered, and isn’t adjacent to a snake die. Players will often take a die from low down in the pyramid, allowing the other dice to cascade down into its place. There are some additional set collection bonuses and point differences between the different symbols and colours. I thought that I had played the game well, but when the scores were added up, Annabelle had won by a single point. I couldn’t help but feel a bit salty.

1st - Annabelle 19
2nd - Allen 18
3rd - Mum 15
4th - Dave 13






King Frog

And finally the last game of the evening was a simple little card game called King Frog. This was the first time that I had played the game, and I really enjoyed its simplicity and mechanisms. Players each have five cards with the numbers one through five printed on them. They each play the card simultaneously to show how many lily pads they want to jump over and the cards resolve from the lowest number to highest. Only empty lily pads are counted, so players need to think about what others are likely to play. If you don’t land on a lily pad of your own colour, then your card is lost. The winner of the game is either the last person to have cards left, or the first person to lap another player’s frog around the circuit. I was careful about landing on the right lily pads and won the game. By this point it felt like a consolation win after Annabelle had kicked my arse at the other games that night. I had a great evening, it’s great that I can share my hobby with my parents and my almost wife.








RGB

On Tuesday, I went into Warrington with my best men (yes you’re allowed more than one), Matt and Chris so that they could have their final suit fittings for the wedding. While we were out I had them try my prototype game. I haven’t spoken about this too much on the blog, but I had the idea for the game around two or three years ago, and I’ve been making little tweaks here and there. I finally feel like I’ve got the rules sorted now so I want to get as many people as possible to play the game. I am aware now that the colours in the game might not be colour-blind friendly (thanks Russ), so I know that the game’s presentation will probably look quite different by the end. I’ll be making a print and play version soon I think, so if anyone is interested in trying it for themselves then please let me know.Thank you for reading!



Twitter Facebook
13 Comments
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:11 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Experimenting with Wibbell++

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Experimenting with Wibbell++

On Saturday night I decided to play around with my Wibbell++ set. For those who don’t know what this is, Wibbell++ is a set of cards each containing two letters, a number and a pattern. It is intended to be used as a game system, so the box contains the rules for five games, but more and more designs have been added to the game’s website. The set was designed by Behrooz Shahriari, aka Bez; you may know one of her earlier designs called In a Bind, which is now being remarketed as Yogi; another great little game that I enjoy playing. I’ve tried some of the games listed within the Wibbell++ core rules, so I decided to try a few games from the extended catalogue online. I ended up thinking of and idea for a game myself after a few gins, here’s a little bit about how the night went:



Coupell


First up was a cooperative game called Couppell, which has some pretty interesting rules. Both players have a row of three cards, and on each turn they add three cards to their row and take two actions. Actions can include moving a card in your partner’s row, taking a card from your hand and putting it in your partner’s row, or claiming a word that is at least four letters long from your own row. All but three of the cards used to make a word are scored, so the game rewards players who make longer words. If a player has nine or more cards in their hand at the end of a turn then the game is over. If players don’t manage to score an identical number of cards from both rows then they both lose, so communication is key. I loved my first game of Couppell, even though we sucked and didn’t manage to score the same number of points, still a very engaging experience. Plus losing made me want to beat the game more.



Griddell

Next up was a solitaire game from David Brain that we played together as a kind of cooperative game. The game starts with a 4x4 grid of cards, on each turn the top card is turned over from the deck and added to the grid to cover a card that has not yet been covered. This card must then form a four letter word either vertically or horizontally. If a card cannot be played then it is discarded. Once all 16 card have been covered up, players will score 16 points, minus one for every card that was discarded. If the deck runs out before all of the cards are covered, then players will score 0, minus one for every card that remained uncovered. I thought that I was doing well, but then I clogged up some of the rows by placing cards with no vowels in side by side and ended up with -5 points. I’d like to try this one again now that I know where I went wrong.



Carousell

After a few gins for inspiration I started to think about designing a solitaire game myself, here is what I came up with after some advice from Bez through Facebook:

van00uber wrote:


Carousell

The object of the game is to score in all eight scoring areas, because only your lowest score will matter.

Players: 1
Time: 10-15 minutes

Setup: Place eight cards in a circle like the eight main points of a compass. You may want to consider the orientation of the cards to ensure that you can read the letters. In the centre of the eight cards place the rest of the cards to form a draw pile, leave enough space for a discard pile to be placed next to the draw pile. Each of the eight cards will have an associated scoring area, cards which will be placed on the outside of the playing area stacked to prioritise showing the numbers in the bottom corners.

Gameplay: Turn the top card of the deck over. You now have two options:

1) Take one of the eight cards and place it in the discard pile. Replace it with card that was turned over from the draw pile.

2) Place the revealed card from the draw pile to the discard pile, then swap the positions of two cards from the playing area.

After taking a move, you must be able to make a word either clockwise or anti-clockwise, using one letter from each card sequentially. The word must be at least three letters in length. If a word cannot be found at this point, then the game ends, and the player finishes on zero points. The word does not have to use any of the cards that have been played on that turn.

Once the word has been identified, place any number of the associated cards in their respective scoring areas (this includes choosing not to score any cards at all, or choosing some of them, or all of the cards). Each card has a numerical value between one and five printed on the lower corner, this dictates how many points the cards are worth when placed in the scoring area.

Once cards are moved to the scoring areas, they are replaced by cards from the draw deck and play continues. The game ends when there are no more cards left to draw from the deck. At this point your final score will be equal to the scoring area with the lowest score.



I scored 13 the first time that I played and 14 the following day. I might play around with the rules a little, or change some of the wording, but so far it is quite enjoyable to play. Trying to balance scoring between eight sections, all the while being conscious of the game's inevitable entropy can be quite challanging. If I can put together an idea for a game using this deck when I was half drunk then so can you. Find out more at the following websites. Thank you for reading!

Stuffbybez.com
puzzlebrains.com/wibbell/



Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:34 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
0.50
 tip
 Hide

Van00uber Reviews #9 - Axiom

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Axiom

Designer: Michael Seal
Year released: 1988
Players: 2
Time: 2-120 minutes
Key Words: geometric abstract, minimalist, lazy-Susan

Axiom is a minimal abstract game that is best played on a lazy-Susan, as players need to be able to see the components from every direction. The game originally had an art-deco 80s look in Seventh Seal’s edition, and was later given a more rounded vibrant look in Abstract Planet Ltd. and Lumicube editions of the game.



How does it work?

Axiom is made up of 16 Black and White pieces; two ‘Sceptres’ of each colour, and six ‘Axiom cubes’ of each colour. The cubes are set up according to the game’s standard setup or according to one of the alternative set ups found in the rule book. Most of the sides to the Axiom cubes are inverted, allowing a place for the Sceptres to clip into; this means that Scepters can be placed sideways and not fall off the board. The Axiom cubes also have some sides that are domed, which can not have a Sceptre placed in it. The Axiom cubes essentially replace the need for a board as players move their Sceptre along the inverted sides of the Axiom cubes, or they can instead move the cubes on their turn and transform the shape of the playing area. There are three ways that a player can win the game; either by moving one of their Sceptres onto an Axiom cube occupied by an opponent's Sceptre, by forcing your opponent to move both of their sceptres onto the same cube, or by leaving your opponent with no legal moves. In addition, moving a sceptre form a cube of the opposing colour to a cube of their own colour, the cube is removed from the game and the playing area gets smaller.



My thoughts on the game

The game is relatively simple to teach, but the strategy may take a few games to get your head around. Not that this is a criticism of the game, I like the fact that planning ahead in Axiom is challenging and at times can seem quite counterintuitive. Getting used to playing on several different planes on a 3D board that keeps changing shape can make your brain hurt at first but it will start to make sense after a few games. Another thing that I like about this game is that it can go on for over an hour with two evenly matched players, and can be genuinely intense. It can also be over in seconds if you don’t fully understand the rules, so uneven skill levels can be unforgiving. If you are teaching someone how to play the game, it’s best to keep letting them replay moves that would allow you to win so that they can habituate to the games strategy.



What is the verdict?

Axiom is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if players are willing to put the time in to learn the game's intricacies and strategies, they will find it to be a rewarding and engaging experience. Axiom is one of my favourite abstract games, one that I don’t think I will ever tire of. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a strategy heavy abstract game, so long as you have a lazy-Suzanne lying around. I have an old copy, which can be hard to find, but you can pick up a new edition from here:

axiomgame.com/AxiomShopEurope.html

BGG Score 9/10



Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:57 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Van00uber Reviews #8 - Carreau

Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Steph Hodge
United States
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



I just wanted to say a quick thank you to my friend Steph for kindly letting me use some of her photos of the new version of Carreau. I have a slightly older prototype but the design has changed a little. Please click the link below to see Steph’s blog here on the Geek.

All the Meeples of the Rainbow






Carreau

Designer: Gavin Birnbaum
Year released: 2017
Players: 2-4
Time: 10-20 minutes
Key Words: Dexterity, Catapults, Bouncy Ball

Carreau is new newest title from one of my favourite publishers, Cubiko Games. Cubiko make beautiful handmade wooden games with character, originality and charm. I have an older version of Carreau, pictured above, which is slightly different from the new improved edition currently available to crowdfund on Kickstarter, and later this month at Essen 2017.



How does it work?

The rules to Carreau bear some resemblance to Boules, also known as Bocca, in which players attempt to throw or roll a heavy ball as close as possible to a small target ball. Players each have a small wooden catapult and three blank dice if their player colour. They will catapult their dice towards a rubber bouncy ball placed in centre of the board. After three dice of each colour have been used, the player who finished closest to the bouncy ball scores a point for each closest die to the ball. If a player successfully knocks the ball off the board, which is a lot harder than it sounds, they immediately score three points. The board itself is covered in tiny holes, so the central bouncy ball may get knocked around between shots and move erratically to different parts of the board. Since I got one of the early prototypes copies of the game, the design has changed a little. The layout of the holes on the board make it easier to locate the centre, and the amount of points needed to win has been reduced from nine to five.



My thoughts on the game

Dexterity games are usually easy to teach and accessible to most types of gamers, Carreau is no exception. I’ve played this with children, my Grandparents, hardcore gamers, and I’m yet to find someone who dislikes the game; in fact people usually want to play again as soon as the game is over. Carreau has a charming simplicity, and the catapults are well made so they feel particularly satisfying to use. My copy of the game comes with pieces for four players, which I have found to be the best number to play with because there is a bit more competition and players are less likely to score too many points in a single round. I know that the new Kickstarter edition comes with the option to buy more player pieces and play with up to eight players, so I can imagine that this has the potential to be even more fun. The game is chaotic and you can at times feel a little frustrated when your opponent knocks the central ball away from your pieces, but it doesn’t take too much away from Carreau. This is the kind of game that you don’t play to win, you play instead because the game is instantly fun and surprisingly engaging.



What is the verdict?

Carreau lives up to the other Cubiko games in my collection, and has this quirky uniqueness that makes you want to show it to your friends and family. You can teach it to new players and play it in seconds and play it all night. Highly recommended to my readers, thank you again for reading.

BGG Score 8/10



Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:53 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [23]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.