The Game Shelf

The Game Shelf Blog can be found at thegameshelf.blogspot.co.uk We post twice a week, with our thoughts on games that we've recently been playing. As a couple who are relatively new into gaming, we post the following content; - Recommendations of games that are either 2-player or work great with 2-players but also for a larger group. - Two contrasting opinions on each of the games we review each week. - Thoughts that are relevant to newer gamers and gamers trying to get their spouse in the hobby. - Photos of games, as our collection expands almost every week. You can also follow us on twitter @game_shelf

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Week 149- Scythe:Rise of Fenris

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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Rise of Fenris is the final expansion for Scythe. Scythe is an extremely highly rated board game in its own right, but the hype for this expansion has been huge! It promises to be an eight episode campaign, not a legacy game, but with legacy-like aspects. Once played, you could play the campaign again or use some of the many new elements as modules in your standard Scythe games – a lofty ambition.



For a spoiler free review check out;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/thoughts-from-yell...
For a review with clearly marked spoilers, check out;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/reap-what-you-sow-...

The Game Shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple. Follow us on Twitter @game_shelf
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Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:01 pm
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The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 3rd - 8th September 2018

Fiona Dickinson
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Horley
Surrey
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I'm trying to be more sociable.

We originally started playing board games so that we could find a shared hobby and get out of the house to make new friends. This worked really well when we lived in a big city like Southampton, but getting out and meeting people has been more difficult since we moved to somewhere a bit less well connected and I took a more demanding job. Board gaming became a hobby that we shared, alone, at home. It's time to put that right and share gaming again, so this week, we went to see some friends on Monday, as well as visiting The Ludoquist board game cafe on Thursday where I played new board games whilst Amy played D&D. As a result, we've played some new games, which is a bonus to being sociable too!

You can check out my first impressions from another week in gaming at:
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-yellow-meeples-...
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Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:45 pm
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Week 148:- Orleans: Invasion

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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Orléans: Invasion is a big box expansion for the 2014 game Orléans. It takes the original game's bag-building worker placement mechanics and further expands upon them, adding a dedicated 2-player mode, a cooperative mode as well as several solo game modes. We will be focusing on the 2 player and cooperative modes for this review, but are they just gimmicks that are tacked onto the game, or fully fleshed out expansions in their own right?



Check out the full reviews here;
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/its-in-bag-orleans-...
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/thoughts-from-yello...


The Game Shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple. Follow us on Twitter @game_shelf
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Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:08 pm
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Week 147:- Spring Meadow

Fiona Dickinson
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Horley
Surrey
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Spring Meadow is the third game in Uwe Rosenberg's puzzle trilogy, which had included Cottage Garden and Indian Summer. All three games use polyominoes - Tetris-style pieces that can be found in the designer's other games, Patchwork and A Feast for Odin. In the trilogy so far, Cottage Garden was certainly our favourite, as a simple solitaire puzzle, with the central board for drafting puzzle pieces and some real benefits from good planning and clever scoring.

From the back of the box, Spring Meadow looked exactly how you would expect the hybrid of the first two games to look. It has the central board of Cottage Garden, the holes in the tiles from Indian Summer and a scoring mechanism that lies somewhere between the race in Indian Summer and the in game scoring of Cottage Garden. Let's see whether they saved the best til last in this trilogy!



Check out the full reviews here;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/thoughts-from-yell...
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/09/life-is-picnic-spr...


The Game Shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple. Follow us on Twitter @game_shelf
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Fri Sep 7, 2018 11:54 am
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The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 25th - 28th August 2018

Fiona Dickinson
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Horley
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Recently we've been finding that our gaming falls into one of two categories; games for review, and old favourites that we are teaching to other people. We've been finding it more difficult to find time to play new games that we have added to our collection - it's no fun to teach a game from the rulebook and our list of upcoming reviews is long! This weekend it was really nice to take a long weekend and go to visit a fellow reviewer (Nick from Board Deck and Dice) and it was great to share some experiences and have the willingness to play and learn some new games.



Check out the blog for first impressions of Calimala, FUSE, Diamonds and CV.

http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-yellow-meeples-...
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Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:20 pm
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Week 146:- Thanos Rising

Fiona Dickinson
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Thanos Rising is a 2-4 player cooperative dice game in which you play as a super-hero team attempting to stop Thanos from collecting all the infinity gems. You will spend your time recruiting more heroes, each with their own abilities and fighting lesser villains. Thanos himself is untouchable, but if you defeat enough of his army before he collects all the infinity stones, or kills too many heroes, then you can claim victory.

Each turn you choose one of 3 areas on the board to deploy your team, this determines which 3, of the 9 available, cards you can interact with this turn. You then roll both the Thanos dice, one simply has a colour of infinity stone, add 1 cube to the counter for that colour, should it reach 5 then he has the stone and any future rolls of that colour give him a unique power. The second dice determines where Thanos faces, should he face your segment then he will attack you, but he will also attack any heroes in that area, non recruited heroes can die too!



Check out the full reviews here;
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/this-game-is-snap-t...
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/thoughts-from-yello...


The Game Shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple. Follow us on Twitter @game_shelf
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:33 pm
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40 Years of the Spiel des Jahres - Our Top 10 Winning Board Games

Fiona Dickinson
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It's been 40 years since the Spiel des Jahres award was first made in 1979 to Hare and Tortoise. 40 great games have received this honour, and we know friends who began a board game collection only based on games that had won this coveted award. Winning the award guarantees a huge boost in sales, but for gamers, the games can often be a bit too simple and more towards the family end of gaming.

As gamers we enjoy both the heavy and lighter end of the spectrum, we've chosen to make a top ten list based on the 40 Spiel Winners, as well the eight games that have won the Kennerspiel (Connoisseurs' game of the year) and the 30 games that have won the Kinderspiel (Children's game of the year). We used Wikipedia as our source of information.

Take a look at our Top Ten list to check out ten great games to introduce your friends or family to gaming!

http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/40-years-of-spiel-d...
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Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:36 pm
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Week 145:- Manhattan

Fiona Dickinson
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Manhattan is an older game that got a recent face-lift and reprint from Foxmind Games. It won the Spiel des Jahres Award in 1994, the year before The Settlers of Catan won the same award! 1994/1995 is really the tipping point between Spiel winners I've heard of and Spiel winners that I've not really heard of or that were only ever printed in German. That makes Manhattan a pretty old game by modern gaming standards and we were keen to see if these skyscrapers have stood the test of time.

The new reprint of Manhattan certainly looks amazing, with its colourful transparent towers that make it an Instagramer's dream. The aesthetics really do try and bring to life the theme in this 3-dimensional abstract game.



Check out the full reviews here;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/thoughts-from-yell...
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/fairytale-of-new-y...

The Game Shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple. Follow us on Twitter @game_shelf
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Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:01 pm
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Week 144:- Spy Club

Fiona Dickinson
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We first came across Spy Club on Kickstarter last year, when it definitely caught our eye, but became a victim of our ‘one Kickstarter per month’ policy. Spy Club comes from the pairing of Foxtrot Games and Renegade games that brought us Lanterns and World’s Fair 1893 – both games we have enjoyed. What caught our eye about Spy Club was that it was a cooperative game and that it appeared to have some campaign or legacy aspects. We were, however, a little worried about ‘who-dunnit’ style games, having had bad experiences with games like Sherlock Homes Consulting Detective. Nevertheless, it was added to our Board Game Geek wishlist and I’m really happy that we’ve now had the opportunity to try it.

Spy Club is a cooperative game for 1-4 players. It is themed with a kids’ detective agency story, but fortunately for us, is quite mechanical in how it treats this theme, rather than the narrative and clue driven games that I am particularly not a fan of. In each game you are trying to identify 5 different aspects of the crime – a motive, a suspect, a location, a crime and an object. This is done by working through a deck of cards and trying to play 5 of a matching colour to the table at any time, against a number of different game timers. By cooperating to swap cards and manipulate the suspect who is running away, your goal is to solve all 5 aspects.



Check out the full reviews here;
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/thoughts-from-yello...
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/i-spy-something-beg...


The Game Shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple. Follow us on Twitter @game_shelf
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Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:57 pm
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The Game Shelf's Top Ten Kickstarter Board Games

Fiona Dickinson
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We backed our first board game Kickstarter project back in January 2017. Since then we've been trying to stick to backing a maximum of one game each month, no matter how enticing some of the games are. This has led to some difficult decisions, some of which we discussed in a blog after our first 6 months as Kickstarter backers.

Currently the number one game on BoardGameGeek was a Kickstarter project, something which would've been unthinkable just a couple of years ago. The success of Gloomhaven and other very highly rated games like Scythe and The 7th Continent, really shows how Kickstarter can launch a small designer or publisher to success through crowdfunding. Sure, some big, successful publishers are now using Kickstarter as a pre-order system, but some of the most successful Kickstarter games are still from small independent sources.

Since we came to Kickstarter late, we were surprised when researching for this list, at how many of the games on our shelves that we bought in retail editions, originally launched on Kickstarter. Check out or blog to discover our top ten favourite games that started out on Kickstarter.

https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-game-shelfs-to...

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Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:56 pm
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