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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Holiday Mhing

Garry Lloyd
United Kingdom
Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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Mhing is a Mah Jongg card game released in 1982 that I've played a couple of times but have no real desire to revisit. That said, the box has always served me well (despite now being a bit battered) to transport several compact games when I've ventured off on holiday.

We're off to Tenerife on Saturday so I've sorted out a few (let's call it 12) games that will fit in the Mhing box. Accompanying us this time are:

Love Letter
Zooloretto Wurfelspiel
Qwixx
Fox in the Forest
Straw
Eggs & Empires
Dice Heist
Potato Man
Blood of an Englishman
Mystery Rummy: Al Capone & the Chicago Underworld
Crazy Chicken
Limes

Who can tell how many we'll actually get to play?

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Thu Jan 4, 2018 9:23 pm
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My 20 game choices from 2007 and earlier

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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Following on from yesterday's post about the latest Gamenight episode, I decided to construct my own list and managed an initial selection of thirty. Unfortunately, that meant I had to cut High Society, Quandary, Die Siedler von Catan, Traumfabrik, Speculation, Basari, Street Soccer, Tumblin' Dice, Medici and Mystery Rummy: Al Capone & the Chicago Underworld. However, that still left me with:

Ave Caesar
El Grande
Liar's Dice / Bluff
Ra
San Juan
Acquire
Bausack
Diamant
Pillars of the Earth
Shadows over Camelot
Kardinal & Konig / Web of Power
6 Nimmt
Around the World in 80 Days
For Sale
Lord of the Rings
Can't Stop
Lost Cities
Pickomino
Ticket to Ride
Coloretto

None of these are ever leaving my collection and I'd be happy to play these any time.
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Wed Jan 3, 2018 9:05 pm
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Pre-2007 games on Gamenight

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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Just listened to one of my favourite episodes of Gamenight where they review the best games of 2007 and earlier. The link is here. Lots of fond memories of some fantastic games and it goes to show what a talented designer Reiner Knizia was (and still is). Not only his gamer games but also lighter stuff like Exxtra and En Garde still stand the test of time.

Mark's and Dave's choices probably align closest to my own tastes although I've not bothered to work out my own top 20. Knowing their tastes, I wasn't surprised to hear Harry's Grand Slam Baseball Game and Entdecker included. However, there were a few omissions that I was disappointed didn't feature. I would definitely have Liar's Dice / Bluff, Ave Caesar and The Pillars of the Earth on my list.
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Tue Jan 2, 2018 10:39 pm
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2017 end of year roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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2017 saw me play 274 games of 175 different titles and 106 of these were new to me during the year. This was up on last year although 2016 suffered due to my house move and general lack of opportunities to play. Here are the totals for the last several years:

Year Total Different
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 2017 is here.



My most played games were Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle with 11 plays (once with the Monster Box of Monsters expansion) and Mmm! with 10 plays. Then came Formula D (8 plays), Herbaceous (7 plays), Limes (6 plays) and Can't Stop (5 plays). 5 games were played four times, 5 games were played three times, 33 were played twice and 126 of them were played just once. My unplayed games list started 2017 at 28 and I'm happy to report it has sunk to zero as of the end of this year.

My six picks for the best games I played for the first time in 2017 were Azul, Flamme Rouge, Majesty: For the Realm, Mmm! The Quest for El Dorado and Terraforming Mars. As with last year, I've also done a six picks of solo / two-player games featuring 4 Seasons, Blood of an Englishman, Codenames: Duet, Fox in the Forest, Klask and Nemo's War (second edition).



As far as the collection is concerned, I sold off another large batch of games in the second half of the year but have been adding a few each month over the course of the year. Nevertheless, the total has come down again from 561 to 523. I'd like to get the total closer to 400 so will be doing some more auctions in 2018.
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Mon Jan 1, 2018 11:35 am
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December 2017 roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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During December, I managed to play 29 games of 25 different titles, with 20 of them being new to me in my quest to clear my unplayed games list by the end of the year. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Legends - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2016


Legends is an excellent,family game using the Thebes time-track turn-order mechanism, with you spending time to travel the map, collect cards, spend cards to lay books of knowledge at the locations, and influence the headquarters deck, which determines which locations are likely to be scored when the scoring phase is triggered. A pleasant surprise for a game that seems to have had very little attention on BGG.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017


More Hogwarts Battle with Creatures being added to the list of Villains you need to defeat and Encounters that you need to overcome. Not too different from the base game so far (only Box 1 opened so far).

Abyss - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2014


A game I've had nearly a year before finally playing it and it's very good. Fairly easy to explain and play with Jan and Becky both enjoying it.

Majesty: For the Realm - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017


I hoped this new title by Marc Andre was going to be good, based on how much I like Splendor, but this was truly excellent. One of the best games of the year and easily played within half an hour with four players. Should be just as good with two so it should see more play in 2018.

Word Slam - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2016


Excellent party game with two teams trying to guess the same answer with a clue giver on each side frantically selecting word cards to guide their team to the solution. But the other team's guesses could be just as helpful in narrowing things down. Great fun.

Smile - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017


Michael Schacht does Geschenkt/ No Thanks. I really enjoyed this one and the rule where pairs of the same value get discarded can either help to get rid of negative cards or drive you mad when you're forced to discard a high positive one. Excellent, although pricey for what you get in the box.

Dream On! - 2 plays -  8 
First Published 2017


Another great party game where you spend 2 minutes using cards to create a story and then co-operate to re-tell it as best you can. We were so bad at remembering things (alcohol may have hindered us quite a bit) but we still had a fun time.

Azul - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017


Brilliant game of drafting tiles to then be placed as decorations in your palace. Points are scored depending on how they are placed with bonuses for certain patterns and tile sets. Simple to play but plenty to think about. Excellent.

Vienna - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2015


Dice game a bit like Kingsburg but playable in a much shorter time. A solid design and enjoyable gameplay.

Pyramids - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


Another very good card-drafting game that plays in half an hour. Constructing three structures with your stone cards, you try to connect stones of the same colour in your pyramid, get a certain colour appear on many levels in your obelisk, and try to have colour majorities in your tomb.

The Chameleon - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


Another very good party game where one player tries to hide the fact they are the chameleon during a single round of clue-giving towards a word that everyone but the chameleon knows. Chameleon gets a point if they remain hidden or are discovered but can guess the secret word. We had good fun with this, even though I failed to score a point the whole game.

KLASK - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2014


Great dexterity game which is a bit like Weykick but has magnets that you need your playing piece to avoid as well as not falling into your own goal.

Evolution: Climate - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2016


Very nice hand-management card game where you create animal species with traits to allow them to feed, while also increasing their body size / population and dealing with the changing climate. Nice game of creating effective card combos.

King's Road - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


Very straightforward area majority game that plays simply and is all about second-guessing what everyone else is trying to do. Solid game but probably not got much in the way of replayability.

Yangtze - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2016


A set-collection and commodity trading game by Reiner which works but turned out to be a bit dull. Nothing wrong with it but pretty forgettable.

Exit: The Game – The Pharaoh's Tomb - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2016


Another co-operative escape-room type game with some tricky puzzles. Ok but not great.

Bears vs Babies - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017


The follow-up to Exploding Kittens is about building monsters / bears to be able to defeat the evil babies. Quite good fun with some take that aspects and the monster-part descriptions are pretty funny.

Fast Forward: FEAR - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017


This is a game. It plays ok but, as with the other Fast Forward titles. I have no desire to replay it.

Fast Forward: FORTRESS - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017


See above.

Clash of the Gladiators - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2002


I bought an in-shrink copy of this at UK Games Expo this year and opened it this month to find one of the dice was misprinted. You can still play the game but I doubt there's any chance of obtaining a replacement die. The game is all about chucking dice and hoping for decent rolls. No real strategy after constructing your gladiator teams but it plays ok. You just need the right crowd to make the most of it.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
2x Zombie Dice
1x Flamme Rouge
1x Mmm!
1x Amphipolis

As I was concentrating on clearing my unplayed games, not a lot else got played, although I did play a couple of games of LotR: TCG to refresh myself on the rules, having last played it in 2011.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 9 new titles to the collection which means my total collection now stands at 523. The new games were: Azul, Majesty: For the Realm, Smile, Word Slam, Pyramids, Klask, Bears vs. Babies, Evolution: Climate and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - The Monster Box of Monsters.

My list of unplayed games has sunk from 10 at the start of the month to zero now (Hurray!) and my Game of the Month was Majesty: For the Realm.

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Mon Jan 1, 2018 11:25 am
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November 2017 roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
Cheshire
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During November, I managed to play 22 games of 21 different titles, with 4 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Nemo's War (second edition) - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017

This is an excellent solo exploration game based on Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, with a nice dice gambling mechanism for the various encounters that take place. Really enjoyed this and with four different motives to try, you'll play differently each time. Also, thumbs up to Victory Point Games for quickly sending me a replacement board as my original was badly misaligned.


Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017

I never tried the original Avenue but jumped on the Kickstarter for Kokoro (which I rarely do these days). Kokoro is very good and presents you with a nice puzzle with a gambling element regarding whether or not to forego a turn to peek at the next destination card.


Century: Spice Road - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017

I'm not sure whether I really like Century: Spice Road or whether it's just a bit too bland. Now it doesn't normally bother me but this just seemed like the resource conversion process was too drawn out - one conversion in a process that might take several to achieve what you wanted made the game drag a bit. Turns are quick so it comes round without any downtime but the incremental actions were too small for me. Still, I enjoyed the game and do want to play it again.


Fast Forward: FLEE - 1 play -  6 
First Published 2017

This is the htird in Friedemann Friese's Fast Forward series and is a co-operative card game where you are trying to avoid being captured by the monster. It worked well but I must have been lucky because I won on my first play through. And, having won while know ing what cards are coming up means I'll probably not need ever to play it again.


== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

2x Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
1x NMBR 9
1x The Lost Expedition
1x Coconuts
1x Numeri
1x Raj
1x Würfelwurst
1x Stop it!
1x Schollen Rollen
1x Rumpelstiltskin
1x Take it Easy!
1x Say Anything
1x Loony Quest
1x Snake Oil
1x Super Cluedo Challenge
1x Zombie Dice
1x Tsuro

We finally won game 7 of Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle this month which was a nice achievement and Becky's already reset it so she can play the whole series again with her friends. Looking forward to the Monster Box expansion when I can get hold of a copy for a reasonable price. Super Cluedo Challenge was a nice nostalgic return to the table - not sure but it's probably 15 years at least since I last tried it. And it was also good to get Loony Quest played again as it is really good fun.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 5 new titles to the collection and passed 4 on to the local charity shop, which means my total collection now stands at 514. The new games were: Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama, Dream On and the three Fast Forward games: Fear, Fortress and Flee.

My list of unplayed games rose slightly from 9 to 10 and my Game of the Month was Nemo's War: Second Edition.

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Fri Dec 1, 2017 8:41 am
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October 2017 roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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This month, I managed to play 17 games of 12 different titles, with 3 of them being new to me. The new games (all dice-chuckers) were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Roll For It! - 2 plays -  7 
First Published 2011


Simple game where you try to save dice attempting to match combinations on scoring cards, with the first to collect 40 points of scoring cards being the winner. Very striaghtforward, easy to explain and play.

Schollen Rollen - 1 play -  8 
First Published 2017


Excellent push your luck dice-roller where you try to collect as many fishes on your turn through multiple rolls, without rolling a blank and letting them escape your net. Good fun with the ability to steal from others making this a bit more interactive, especially at the end when you're really praying for a hook symbol to turn up.

Kriss Kross - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


Another roll and write, grid-filling game where you try to get matching symbols in the same rows and columns to maximise your score. Pretty reminiscent of Mosaix but this only utilises two dice with six symbols whereas Mosaix uses 4 dice with 3 symbols. Good fun.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

4x Can't Stop
2x Straw
1x Hostage Negotiator
1x Dice Stars
1x Pickomino
1x Limes
1x Rallyman
1x Bowling Solitaire
1x Onirim


I was really pleased to get Straw back to the table, a great game that we played a couple of times three-player while on holiday.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 3 new titles to the collection and sold 31, which means my total collection is now down to 513. The new games were: King's Road, Roll for It and Century: Spice Road.

My list of unplayed games dropped from 11 to 9 and my Game of the Month was Schollen Rollen.

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Wed Nov 1, 2017 7:38 am
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Get 'em while they're hot!

Garry Lloyd
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I've just posted the fifth and final geeklist auction in my 2017 collection trimming exercise. Thanks to everyone who bid in the first four. This auction has 40 items and a closing date of next Thursday, 26th October 2017. Link below:

[UK/Europe] FIFTH AND FINAL AUCTION IN MY 2017 COLLECTION TRIMMING - CLOsed!

The games included this time are:

Agricola
Unfair
A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King
Cargo Noir
Disc world: Ankh Morpork
Bucket King 3D
Gangster
The Hobbit
Octodice
Caesar & Cleopatra
Hansa Teutonica
Fubi
The Last Spike
The Dwarf King
Traders of Carthage
Mush
8-28
Why First?
Das Vermachtnis des Maharaja
Oceanos
Railway Rivals
Australia
Ali Baba
Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix
Louis XIV
Big Kini
Hispaniola
Tribune: Primus Inter Pares
Egizia
Big Book of Madness
Shahrazad
Andromeda
Auf Heller und Pfennig
Pocket Madness
Cleopatra & the Society of Architects
Industria
Pantheon
The Staufer Dynasty
Broom Service
Tonga Bonga
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Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am
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September 2017 roundup

Garry Lloyd
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Holmes Chapel
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This month, I managed to play just 13 games of 11 different titles, with 3 of them being new to me. The new games were:

== NEW GAMES ==

Unfair - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2017


I finally received the corrected cards for the Kickstarter version of Unfair so took it out for a try. It's a nice design although the balance between the economic aspect and the building part is weighted more towards the former. That said, there looks to be lots of replayability in the box and there are bound to be expansion packs. Pretty good.

Shahrazad - 1 play -  7 
First Published 2015


This is a tableau building, puzzle game with lovely illustrated tiles, trying to connect the same colour tiles while also ensuring the numerical value fits in with the tiles around it. Some luck in the order the tiles come out but, as it only takes 10 minutes to play, if the tiles are unkind early on, you're not stuck with the situation long.

Medici: The Card Game - 3 plays -  7 
First Published 2017


The original Medici is a classic but this new iteration does away with the auction and replaces it with a push-your-luck mechanism. It's a lighter game and there is less interaction and I miss the agony of spending points to meet your bid but the card game is deliberately different and I've really enjoyed my games of it so far.

== OTHER GAMES PLAYED THIS MONTH ==

1x OctoDice
1x Limes
1x Love Letter
1x Formula D
1x Freedom: The Underground Railroad
1x Paperback
1x Rallyman
1x Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game

I was glad to get in plays of Rallyman and Freedom: The Underground Railroad after long absences and both have cemented their places in my collection for now.

== STATE OF THE COLLECTION ==

I added 4 new titles to the collection, reacquired 1 and sold 48, which means my total collection now stands at 540. The new games were: Shahrazad, Nemo's War (second edition), Kriss Kross and Schollen Rollen.

My list of unplayed games dropped from 14 to 11 and my Game of the Month was Medici: The Card Game.

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Sun Oct 1, 2017 3:51 pm
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Nemo's Fishes

Garry Lloyd
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Two new games arrived today and, although both were water themed, they couldn't be more different.

Nemo's War (second edition) is a meaty solitaire game (although it does come with co-op rules) based on Captain Nemo's adventures in the Nautilus. There are lots of bits and a lengthy rule book, although I'm told the length of the rules suggests something heavier than it is. I'm hoping to play this for the first time at the weekend.



And then this evening, Schollen Rollen turned up which is a brand new, very light push your luck dice game from Reiner Knizia. No English rules yet but it's very easy to glean what's going on from the German version. This looks like it could be a ton of fun for 2-8 players, although I'd be wary of the higher player counts, knowing how Pickomino drags when played with more than 4 people.



And I should just mention that my current geeklist auction [UK/Europe] FOURTH AUCTION IN MY 2017 COLLECTION TRIMMING - CLOSED! is in its last 24 hours with a number of items still awaiting their first bids, such as Black Friday, Ascension: Deckbuilding Game, Madame Ching and The Game of 49, to name just a few. It finishes tomorrow night, sometime after 8pm, UK time, so you might be able to grab a bargain.
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Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:36 pm
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