Trickylight Relief

A place for me to post various musings about the games I play and anything else that comes to mind. My personal website, which has been running since 2001, is at http://www.trickylight.co.uk

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April 2019 roundup

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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A relatively quiet April saw me manage to play 14 games of 12 different titles, with 7 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Black Sonata - 3 plays -  8 
First Published 2017


Fantastic solo deduction game, which plays quickly but presents enough uncertainty to keep things tense throughout. I really enjoyed my three plays of this but keeping the rules straight can be challenging when you are learning.

Ohanami - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2019


This is another great addition to NSV's stable of multi-suited number card games. This time, it's card drafting into three columns of cards where you can only add to the top or bottom of a column while maintaining numerical order. But one suit of cards scores every round (of three), another only scores in the latter two rounds and the other two only score at the end. A clever balancing act.

Aquaducts - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2015


This was my print and play solo game of the month and it worked pretty well. I'm not as taken with it as some bloggers (Nick) but it plays fine and sets a nice puzzle. The higher levels of difficulty look pretty tough.

Filler - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2019


This was an impulse Kickstarter I backed about filling pastries. It's a deck-builder, using cards to buy others from a display and trying to collect sets of point-value cards. Only played solo so far and, on the first run-through, it seemed as though you had enough control to keep your opponent behind in the scoring but that might just be that the AI opponent I chose wasn't as strong as others (each has their own ability). I'm keen to try the multi-player version.

Aerion - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2019


Aerion is the latest Oniverse game from Shadi Torbey. This time you are rolling dice to claim cards, representing the blueprints, materials and crew needed to build a fleet of airships. but the cards are limited and you need to discard cards to reroll if you don't roll the combinations you need. A nice race to finish your fleet before you run out of cards.

Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2018


Another roll and write game where the dice show track segments and stations and you are trying to fill in the 6x6 board connecting as many entrance/exit points as possible. Similar idea to Metro and Kreuz & Quer and works pretty well.

mau mau!! Das Brettspiel - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2019


This is Reiner Knizia's take on UNO with a board, adding scoring objectives. Played ok but tiles don't play as easily as cards and I didn't see any reason to pick this over regular UNO. My immediate thought after playing was that this was really UNO - the prototype, before a developer streamlined it and got rid of the unnecessary elements (the board).

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

1x Unlock! Secret Adventures
1x Jump Drive
1x Finito!
1x Mini Mölkky
1x Flickwerk

The nice weather over Easter saw the first outing of the year for Molkky as well as perennial favourite Finito. We also delved into the Tombstone Express scenario of Unlock, which was fun.

== YEAR SO FAR ==

127 games of 78 titles.
25 new to me.
1 x 19 plays; 3 x 3 plays; 15 x 2 plays; 69 x 1 play.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 5 new titles to the collection which were Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition, Mau Mau: Das Brettspiel, Black Sonata, Aerion and Filler. I also sold 17 games and so my total collection now stands at 625.

I have no unplayed games (1 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was an easy choice, the excellent Black Sonata.

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Wed May 1, 2019 6:59 am
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March 2019 roundup

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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In March, I managed to play 42 games of 29 different titles, with 4 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

LAMA - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2019


This is a simple family game by Reiner Knizia where you try to score the fewest points possible. On your turn you play a card or drop out of the round. A round ends when someone gets rid of all their cards or everyone has dropped out. Cards remaining in your hand or on the table count penalty points so you are trying to stay in play to get rid of points or drop out to cut your losses before someone else goes out or everyone else quits the round. Going out allows you to return a penalty token. Lowest score when someone hits 40 pts wins. We all enjoyed this a lot, quick and simple - judging when to stay in or drop out is the key part of the game.

Dizzle - 2 plays -  8 
First Published 2019


Dizzle is this month's obligatory new roll and write game. Here, you're selecting dice from a pool to place on your grid and once the pool is depleted you cross out the grid spaces your dice occupy, with the aim of completing rows and columns, defusing bomb spaces, collecting jewels, and linking jigsaw spaces, among other things. Four different grids gives the game some variability and new expansion grids seem inevitable if the game takes off. This is another really good game with the solo version playing nicely as a maximise your score exercise. You can't complete all the objectives so you need to prioritise and, of course, the dice can go against you due to the placement rules and grid number restrictions. Excellent.

Unlock! Secret Adventures - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


More of the same Unlock experience. We tried "A Noside Story" and it was full of the same types of puzzles in earlier editions with the timer keeping things interesting and tense. Good stuff.

Cat Lady - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


This is a nicely themed (if you like cats) card drafting game where you take a row or column from a 3x3 grid of cards, trying to collect cats, food to stop them getting hungry, toys for them to play with and costumes to dress them up in. Once the card deck is exhausted, you count up your points and lose some for unfed cats. Comparisons with Sushi Go are obvious but this holds up well as its own game and, if you prefer cats to sushi, you might prefer this. We liked it a lot.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

9x Flamme Rouge
2x The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet
2x Karuba
2x Rallyman
2x 20 Express
1x Azul
1x Rummikub
1x Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
1x Animalia
1x The Game
1x Noch mal!
1x Qwantum
1x 7 Wonders Duel
1x Take it Easy!
1x 11 nimmt!
1x The Logo Board Game
1x Straw
1x Double or Nothing
1x Dragon Parade
1x Burgle Bros.
1x Onirim
1x After The Virus
1x Arboretum
1x Tatsu
1x HexRoller

I finished off my Flamme Rouge tour: La Vuelta this month with the final 21st stage being a thriller as my rouleur snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by the slimmest of margins. It was also good to get After the Virus, Little Prince: Make Me a Planet and 11 Nimmt back to the table. Azul re-emerged but, tragically, I discovered I was missing a tile - no idea where it can have disappeared but Plan B Games are hopefully sending a replacement my way.


== YEAR SO FAR ==

113 games of 79 titles.
18 new to me.
1 x 19 plays; 2 x 3 plays; 12 x 2 plays; 64 x 1 play.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 3 new titles to the collection which were Cat Lady, Dizzle and Ohanami. I reacquired one game (Linko) and so my total collection now stands at 637.

April should see me shedding lots of titles from the collection, first on the UK Facebook groups but then maybe some geeklist auctions. Watch out if you're at all interested in older classic German games or more recent Euros.

I have 1 unplayed game (2 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was Dizzle.

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Mon Apr 1, 2019 7:30 am
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February 2019 roundup

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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In February, I managed to play 30 games of 23 different titles, with 8 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Pocket Golf - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2013


Simple dice game with a few tactical decisions. Not the best game in the world but I didn't expect it to be - I just wanted something quick and simple that gave a feel for golf and this does that, as long as you're not expecting it to be an accurate simulation.

Pocket Tennis - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2015


Another simple dice game in the same line as the golf game. Played as a dice chucking game with few decisions, this works quite well but the decisions are pretty obvious so the game virtually plays itself. Jan and I did quite enjoy it, though.

HexRoller - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2019


Yet another roll and write that works quite well. Here, you're trying to fill regions with numbers and also create paths between pairs of the pre-printed numbers, with another couple of objectives to score extra points. I enjoyed this but wasn't sure how replayable it would be as the paths are likely to follow similar routes every game.

Hippo - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


Part press your luck, part prevent your opponents from keeping their tokens in play, this is quite a nice dice-rolling game although we only played with two and I suspect it is better with more players.

NichtLustig: Fäkalini - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2014


A plumber who is also a conjuror sounds a bit like Mario but here you are rolling dice to try and pull rabbits or tigers from the toilets you are repairing and avoid pulling a black hole which normally brings bad news. Quite a fun game, which also has a potential sting in the tail for someone if one of the black holes they collected turns out to be a great turd. Then they automatically lose the game. Enjoyed this three-player.

Songbirds - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2016


Interesting hand management game when played two player or puzzle game when played solo, this was quite a challenge as a solo game. Normally, you ought to beat the other birds if the cards come out right but you can never guarantee that and sometimes you need to choose either to cut your potential losses or gamble.

Pass the Pigs - 1 play -  5 
First Published 1977


This was kindly gifted to me and I'd never played before. Fun but mindless, it seemed like a good party game but I could take it or leave it. Should get a few more plays out of it before I pass it on to someone else.

Arkham Noir: Case #2 – Called Forth By Thunder - 1 play -  5 
First Published 2018


I was intrigued by the sound of this solo card game but, in play it seemed overly convoluted. I disliked it quite a lot and was glad when the game finally ended. I'm sure it would work for some but it didn't for me.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

7x Flamme Rouge
1x On Tour
1x Illusion
1x Hick Hack im Gackelwack
1x Pizza Box Football
1x Bandido
1x Roll for the Galaxy
1x The Game
1x Dungeon Raiders
1x Mmm!
1x NMBR 9
1x The Quacks of Quedlinburg
1x Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
1x Kreuz & Quer
1x Tales of the Arabian Nights

Plenty of Flamme Rouge this month as I continue running through the various stages of La Vuelta. My usual superbowl run-through of pizza box Football failed to predict the winner. It was nice also to get Legendary back to the table and tell some fun stories in Tales of the Arabian Nights.


== YEAR SO FAR ==

71 games of 53 titles.
14 new to me.
1 x 10 plays; 1 x 3 plays; 7 x 2 plays; 44 x 1 play.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 7 new titles to the collection which were On Tour, Pocket Sports Golf, Pocket Sports Tennis, Hex Roller, Songbirds, LAMA and Nichtlustig: Fakalini. I also reacquired one game so my total collection now stands at 633.

I have 2 unplayed games (4 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was On Tour. While I have played this before, it was in prototype form and I previously disallowed it from being a contender for game of the month. Now the official version has arrived, I've played it again and still love it (I rated it an 8) so it gets the nod this month.

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Fri Mar 1, 2019 7:01 am
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Tales of the Arabian Nights

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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Jan, Becky and I were out for lunch today in Knutsford (lovely Paella for me) and we were talking about games they would want me to keep if I cut the game collection to, say, 100 games. There were a few obvious ones but Becky has really liked Tales of the Arabian Nights every time we've played and named this quite early.

Now I'm only luke warm on it but having not played since 2015 we dug it out this afternoon to see what adventures Aladdin, Ali Baba and Scheherezade could get up to. Now, while I'm only luke warm on the structure of the game, it is always a fun experience. It's just hampered by having a win objective to achieve. The storytelling is great with Ali Baba living in fear of siring an ugly baby and Aladdin bathing in a sex-change pool with obvious consequences, for instance. However, it feels the progress towards winning isn't as sharp as it needs to be although, oddly, the time to reach a conclusion seems to race by even though it's actually about two hours (or more). Eventually, I managed to return to Baghdad with the right number of destiny and story points to win but that didn't seem to matter. It's all about the journey not the destination.

Tales looks like it will be staying in the collection even if it only comes out every few years.

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Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:43 pm
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Super Bowl LIII

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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As I always do, I ran a solo play of the Super Bowl this morning in anticipation of the big game. This was using Pizza Box Football.

A very low scoring game saw the Rams intercept Brady on the third play of the game and run it back for a TD. They extended the lead with a FG later in the quarter after Brady threw another interception when the Pats had themselves been in FG range.

New England bagged a FG of their own early in the 2nd quarter while the Rams missed a long attempt with about 5 minutes left. Starting in good field position, Brady started to move the ball at last but it was the running backs who got the job finished, tying the game at 10-10 with a minute left in the half. However, 33, 13 and 19 yard completions enabled the Rams to get another FG as time ran out.

Half Time: Pats 10 Rams 13

In the 3rd quarter, it was the defences that had the upper hand with the Rams getting the only score of the period. The Pats chose not to attempt a long FG to push the Rams back within their 10 yard line.

The Pats managed the first sack of the game at the start of the final quarter and got the ball back in great field position only to find a successful pass fumbled and possession returned to the Rams. Things continued badly for Brady a couple of drives later as he uncharacteristically threw a third interception, allowing the Rams to continue to run down the clock. A 36 yard field goal inside the two minute warning extended the lead to 9 points, leaving the Pats little option but to go for some big plays. However, a fourth interception gave the ball back to the Rams, allowing them to run out the clock and be crowned Super Bowl champions.

Full Time: Pats 10 Rams 19

Here's hoping for a more open game with more touchdowns in the real thing.

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Sat Feb 2, 2019 1:28 pm
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January 2019 roundup

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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In January, I managed to play 41 games of 33 different titles, with 6 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

1st & Roll - 1 play -  N/A 
First Published 2018


I'm not rating this yet because I've only played through it solo and it really needs a second player to get a proper feel, but this was a quicker, dice-only version of 1st & Goal with generic teams. I quite enjoyed it but the time dice seemed very skewed towards turnovers in this first attempt.

Lost Cities: Rivals - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2018


Excellent new twist on the Lost Cities formula, this time adding a Ra-like auction mechanism to the set-collection core. We really enjoyed this.

Bloxx! - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2018


Another roll and write on the Tetris theme but this is a bit simpler than Brikks. Dice determine the shape of block you need to enter on your grid. You gain points for placing circles around the number spaces, completely filling the coloured rows and losing points for any spaces missed. It works quite nicely and I definitely need to try it again but it's a shame there's no solo option.

Untold: Adventures Await - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017


This is an interesting story-telling game, setting an episodic framework around Rory's Story Cubes. Needs the right type of players to shine and we had fun with it but I don't see this becoming a regular on the table.

Troika - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017


I quite like some of the Oink games and heard that this worked quite well but we didn't think it was great with two players. It's possible we were tired and didn't quite get it so I'll need to try it again - possibly with more players.

X: Ganz schön knifflig! - 1 play -  5 
First Published 2018


Another roll and write, which tries to do something different in the Can't Stop / Extra space. However, it didn't really work for me and there are plenty of other games that I'd rather play so this won't stick around for very long.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

3x The Mind
3x Flamme Rouge
2x Pickomino
2x Can't Stop
2x KeyForge: Call of the Archons
2x Star Realms
1x Game of Trains
1x Voodoo Prince
1x Kribbeln
1x Love Letter: Batman
1x Hostage Negotiator
1x Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game
1x Friday
1x Hanamikoji
1x Too Many Cinderellas
1x Extra!
1x Cucina Curiosa
1x Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Game
1x Bandido
1x Finito!
1x Kariba
1x Rondo
1x Roll to the Top!
1x Qwixx
1x The Game
1x Jump Drive
1x Urbion

A week's holiday in Fuertaventura allowed Jan and I to play several of our more portable games in the evenings, so it was nice to get Hanamikoji, Roll to the Top and Too Many Cinderellas back to the table. Flamme Rouge is still picking up some plays while solo Star Realms (tempted to pick up Frontiers) and Urbion also made welcome returns.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 6 new titles to the collection which were Arkham Noir: Case #2 - Called Forth by Thunder, Untold: Adventures Await, Hippo, 1st & Roll, Lost Cities: Rivals and (believe it or not, I've never owned a copy of...) Pass the Pigs. My total collection now stands at 625.

I have 4 unplayed games (also 4 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was Lost Cities: Rivals

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Fri Feb 1, 2019 3:18 pm
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2018 end of year roundup

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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2018 saw me play 332 games of 221 different titles and 70 of these were new to me during the year. The total plays was up on last year, mainly due to many more solo games being played, but the number of new titles has dropped off considerably:

Year Total Different
2018 332 221
2017 274 175
2016 133 119
2015 314 205
2014 335 219
2013 234 155
2012 239 154
2011 200 156
2010 208 157
2009 229 157

My full list of games played in 2018 is here.



My most played games were Onirim with 9 plays with Cucina Curiosa and Verflucht receiving 8 plays. Then came Flamme Rouge and The Game with 6 plays each. 6 games were played five times, 7 games were played four times, 18 games were played three times, 28 were played twice and 157 of them were played just once. My unplayed games list started 2018 at zero and I'm happy to report it has stayed close to that level during the year with just 4 games (of 7 received as Christmas gifts) unplayed as of the end of this year.

My six picks for the best multi-player games I played for the first time in 2018 were Blue Lagoon, Menara, The Mind, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War and Voodoo Prince. I've also done a six picks of solo / two-player games featuring After the Virus, Lost Cities: To Go, Nautilion, Orchard: A 9 Card Solitaire Game, Raptor and Verflucht.



As far as the collection is concerned, it has grown a bit this year with a number of games reacquired and very few sold so the total has increased from 523 to 619. I'd like to get the total closer to 400 so will be doing some more Facebook sales or geeklist auctions in 2019.
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Tue Jan 1, 2019 11:59 am
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December 2018 roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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At the start of the month, I challenged myself to play a different solo game every day of the month. While I missed out on playing one day (due to the works Christmas party), I still got 34 different titles to the table. Overall in December, I managed to play 51 games of 47 different titles, with 6 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

The Quacks of Quedlinburg - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2018


Wolfgang Warsch has had an amazing year and Quacks is probably my favourite of them all. This is abag building game about buying and mixing ingredients to make the best potion you can. But, it has a push your luck element because if you add too much to your potion, it boils over and you get less of a reward. Nine rounds in 45 minutes, it definitely hit the sweet spot for me and is one of my favourite games of the year.

Deep Space D-6 - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2015


This was the print-and-play version and is a solo dice-rolling game of space combat and survival. It works nicely but is dependent on the order in which the threats appear and your luck rolling the dice. Good fun though.

Karate Tomate - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2018


Nice Reiner Knizia card game about second-guessing your opponents and playing (or not playing) cards to win trophies (or collect more cards for later rounds). However, it has the High Society twist that means if you've collected the fewest swords, you automatically lose no matter how many trophies you have. Wasn't sure it would work with three players, as it's aimed at larger groups (up to 10 players), but it worked absolutely fine as you'd expect from the good Doctor.

About Time - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2007


A Christmas present from work and it turned out to be quite a good trivia game with everyone estimating the correct dates in history for certain events to gain point tokens. But board spaces can make you sacrifice your hard won points so those behind can easily catch up. Ran a bit long for what it was but a nice alternative to Trivial Pursuit.

Obama Llama 2 - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2018


Another party game and this one is about getting your team mates to guess as many rhyming statements as possible against a 30 second timer. Three different ways of giving clues, determined by a die roll, means you either read out the given clue on the card, make up your own description or act out a charade of the target statement. Good fun.

KeyForge: Call of the Archons - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2018


Got a couple of decks to try this new Richard Garfield game and it works fairly well and is easy to play. I can see there being plenty of back and forth but, unfortunately, the two decks were pretty unbalanced as one seemed able to counteract what the other did whereas the other seemed a bit under-powered. I may not have seen the strategy the under-powered deck was set up but I did compare the power values of the two and one was significantly higher than the other.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War
2x Raptor
2x Flamme Rouge
1x David & Goliath
1x Freedom: The Underground Railroad
1x Dominion
1x Brikks
1x Mosaix
1x Onirim
1x Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
1x Verflucht!
1x Herbaceous
1x Dragon Castle
1x Saint Malo
1x Castellion
1x Extra!
1x Mmm!
1x Café International: Das Kartenspiel
1x Noch mal!
1x Rummikub
1x Amphipolis
1x Morels
1x Limes
1x Jump Drive
1x Snowdonia
1x Patchwork
1x Pandemic: The Cure
1x Start 11! The Board Game
1x Urbion
1x Kingdomino
1x Take it Easy!
1x Sylvion
1x Dice Stars
1x Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game
1x Bandido
1x Medici: The Card Game
1x Bakschisch
1x Nautilion
1x Star Wars: Destiny – Two-Player Game
1x London (first edition)
1x Menara

It was nice to get Bakschisch back to the table after it returned to the collection last month. Also played a couple of games of Flamme Rouge as the start of a grand tour (La Vuelta). Dice Stars got a fresh solo play and I felt it worked better than the last time I played it. With my son, Chris, over for Christmas, we also got in a couple more plays of Thanos Rising which is a nice co-op (and Chris even played a third time solo while I was at work on Christmas Eve). Good fun.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 7 new titles to the collection which were About Time, Unlock: Secret Adventures, Keyforge: Call of the Archons, Bloxx, X: Ganz schon knifflig and The Quacks of Quedlinburg. I also reacquired Jump Drive and this means my total collection now stands at 619.

I have 4 unplayed games (1 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was a pretty simple decision as The Quacks of Quedlinburg is one of the best games I've played all year.

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Tue Jan 1, 2019 11:59 am
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November 2018 roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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During Novemberber, I managed to play 27 games of 21 different titles, with 6 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Qwantum - 4 plays -  6 
First Published 2018


Another roll and write game in the Qwixx and Qwinto family but this one doesn't work as well. Admittedly, I've only played solo but there seems very little you can do to mitigate the luck of the dice rolls. Tried a couple of tweaks but I think I'm done with it and I don't think the ability to leach numbers in the multi-player game will change things enough for me to rather play something else.

Sprawlopolis - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2018


This solo print and play is pretty good and I like that the cards have the goals on the back of the cards, which changes the distribution of cards to be played when they are drawn as objectives. Very neat puzzle and quite hard on my first couple of plays.

Outback - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2018


Nice tile laying family game with a bit of push your luck in the dice rolling and cursing towards the end when the tiles don't fit in your remaining spaces. Not a great game but one that is easy to get the family to play.

3x8 - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2018


Another in Amigo's line of number card games, where this time you're in a race to build three columns of eight ascending number cards. This sort of worked but Jan had a few difficulties with how the card manipulation worked (not that it's difficult; she probably just wasn't in the mood to work it out in her head). However, the game is still distinctly average. It works but not terribly fun and the blocker cards seemed a bit pointless really.

Lifestyle - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2018


Another small Amigo card game but this one surprised me as I wasn't sure it would work. However, it did play pretty well and the combination of pushing your luck in determining how many cards to add to your die row and being able to manipulate the dice rolls with the sports cards made for a nice card management game, while trying to get the right sets of cards to score well. Jan and I both liked this. Not sure if the "Love" cards can skew the game if someone is fortunate that they turn up when only you can grab them but everyone should be watching out for these doublers.

Brikks - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2018


This is Tetris the roll and write game and is another nice puzzle game from Wolfgang Warsch. Not as good as Ganz Schon Clever but still pretty good. The tension increases towards the end of the game as the available points at the top of the grid is higher but not being able to fit a "tile" is disaster as it's game over. Better hope you've got enough energy points left to manipulate the tile. Very good.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game
2x Whacky Wit
1x Finito!
1x Hostage Negotiator
1x Steam Time
1x The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
1x Onirim
1x Musée
1x Witch of Salem
1x The Game
1x Urbion
1x Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
1x Kreuz & Quer
1x Flash Point: Fire Rescue
1x Khmer

It was nice to get games of Whacky Wit, Flash Point: Fire Rescue and Witch of Salem to the table this month. Also managed my best score in Kreuz & Quer (Connections)this month (5 points), only to discover Laszlo's wife and daughter regularly score in the range of 2-4 points. Obviously need to keep practicing.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 3 new titles to the collection which were Brikks, Qwantum and Outback. I also reacquired Steam Time for just £10 in The Works' latest strategy game sale, and this means my total collection now stands at 611.

I have 1 unplayed game (3 at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was tough to choose as there wasn't really any game that wowed me. In the end, I was switching between Sprawlopolis, Outback and Brikks but eventually decided that Brikks probably just had the edge.

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Sat Dec 1, 2018 10:33 am
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October 2018 roundup

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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I'm just back from Abu Dhabi and in need of sleep so this is a quick update with no descriptions of the new games at the moment. If I get chance, I'll add them at the weekend. (Edit: Now done.)

During October, I managed to play 17 games of 15 different titles, with 5 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Luxor - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2018


I was expecting to like this and wasn't disappointed. Part race game, part set collection, with a nice light hand management / movement system and it works well with two. We really enjoyed this and I can see why it got a Spiel des Jahres nomination.

Bandido - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016


Bandido is a simple solo puzzle cardgame that can also be played as a multi-player co-op. The cards create a maze of tunnels with a number of dead ends and you are trying to close off all the tunnels to prevent the bandido from escaping. There is obviously some luck in how soon the dead ends appear but my game went the distance (with me losing) and it takes a surprising amount of table space by the end. Good for an occasional play but it might get samey if played lots of times.

Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2018


This is another nice commercial tie-in with a decent game behind it. As it's from USAopoly, it draws comparisons with Hogwarts Battle and it holds up well but doesn't have the same aspect of ramping-up over several games. It is a bit less complex than Harry Potter but still presents a tough challenge. As fans of the film, it worked nicely for us.

Orchard: A 9 card solitaire game - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2018


A print and play solo microgame, this is a clever 5-10 minute puzzle with a beat your high score challenge. This is a game that can go anywhere with you as it's so compact and I'm really enjoying it so far.

Dragon Master - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2004


Dragon Master is the same game as Knizia's Robot Master but using a 4x4 grid rather than 5x5. Perfect for a quick two-player match where your card play is all about helping yourself more than your opponent and hoping not to get screwed at the end of the game.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Flamme Rouge
1x Te-Trix
1x Targi
1x Five Tribes
1x Majesty: For the Realm
1x 20 Express
1x Star Wars: Angriff der Klonkrieger
1x Träxx
1x Cucina Curiosa
1x Dixit: Odyssey

Had a ten player game of Dixit while away in Abu Dhabi with work colleagues and glad they all enjoyed it. Ten players is probably a bit too many but, as I couldn't get hold of a copy of the 12 player version of Telestrations, I settled for this being simple to explain and a way of keeping everyone involved. It was also nice to get Star Wars: Angriff der Klonkrieger on the table again. This is a fine co-op from Inka & Markus Brand and works well as a solo game.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 9 new titles to the collection which were Luxor, Flamme Rouge: Peloton, Dragon Master, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War, Dixit: Odyssey, Karate Tomate, 3x8, Lifestyle and Bandido. I also reacquired the new version of Mosaix, which is now called Te-Trix, and this means my total collection now stands at 607.

I have 3 unplayed games (none at the start of the month) and my Game of the Month was the Spiel-des-Jahres nominated game, Luxor.

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Thu Nov 1, 2018 9:59 pm
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