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 137:- Village Attacks

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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Village Attacks was a successful Kickstarter for Grimlord Games back in April 2017. It's very soon shipping to backers and we're excited to have taken an early look at the game! The campaign was a great success for a second Kickstarter project, but we are typically not drawn into games with lots of miniatures and stretch goals. I'm sure Amy would love to back lots of these projects, but miniature games are one of my least favourite board game genres. With that in mind, let's see how I felt about our games of Village Attacks.

Village Attacks is a cooperative, miniatures game for 1-5 players in which the players take on the roles of some classic fantasy monsters, defending the castle heart for incoming hoards of villagers. In various scenarios you will have different victory conditions, ranging from survival, to being killing machines, or mastering the use of traps to catch the villagers.



Check out the full reviews here;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/thoughts-from-yell...
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/it-feels-good-to-b...

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 Jun 21, 2018 3:00 pm
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Week 136:- Abyss: Leviathan

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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Abyss is a game filled with beautiful artwork that evokes a lot about an underwater world, but doesn't really add theme to this clever card game. The original game has been on our shelves for a couple of years, but has only been played perhaps three times. Every time we've enjoyed it and found that it provides a pretty rewarding experience in a short space of time. There's no real reason that it's not hit the table more often, it's just a victim of our large game collection.

When a game we enjoy has been sitting on the shelf too long, we either sit there feeling guilty, or we get hold of an expansion to give us an excuse to get a classic game back to the table, whilst still serving my addiction to play something new and enjoy a new experience. The first expansion to Abyss passed us by, but the new Leviathan expansion is our excuse for getting Abyss back to our gaming table.



Check out the full reviews here;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/thoughts-from-yell...
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/theres-always-bigg...

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 Jun 15, 2018 11:09 am
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The Game Shelf @ The UK Games Expo

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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This year the UK Games Expo grew once again! There was more floor space, more open gaming and most impressively, a huge increase in attendance up to 21,700 unique ticket sales and turnstiles of 39,000. Maybe this year, UKGE will also surpass Origins which had 17,000 uniques in 2017 - that would make us the 3rd biggest board game convention worldwide!!



We've written a blog for each day of the show, covering games played, games bought and games seen. That's a lot of games to read about over on ou blog!

Friday
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-game-shelf-uk-g...
Saturday
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-game-shelf-uk-g...
Sunday
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-game-shelf-uk-g...

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:45 am
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Week 135:- Imaginarium

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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Imaginarium is a 2-5 player engine building game in which you compete with the other players to become the best dream maker in a steam-punk dream factory. In order to be the best you will have to take the many broken machines from the shop floor and fix them up, then use the resources generated by those machines to recruit allies, complete objectives, or simply to fix more machines. It isn't easy to be number one though, there are strict sets of rules that you must adhere to and only a very limited amount of space in your workshop.



Check out the full reviews here;
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-world-of-pure-ima...
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.com/2018/06/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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Mon Jun 4, 2018 10:44 am
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Week 134:- Pioneer Days

Fiona Dickinson
United Kingdom
Horley
Surrey
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I have a confession - I'm a little bit addicted to Tasty Minstrel Games. In particular I'm addicted to their Kickstarter deluxified editions, but in my experience, all of their games have a high production quality that makes me really want them on my shelf.

In addition to custom printed dice, cow meeples and some odd colour choices for wooden wagon tokens, Pioneer Days drew me in because it is primarily a dice drafting games. Similar games, such as Seasons and Pulsar 2849, earlier this year, have found a place amongst some of our favourite games, so how have I got on with Pioneer Days?



Check out the full reviews here;
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/thoughts-from-yel...
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/you-have-died-of-...

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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Mon May 28, 2018 9:22 pm
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The Game Shelf Previews:- UK Games Expo 2018

Fiona Dickinson
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Horley
Surrey
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This year we are attending the UK Games Expo from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening and we couldn't be more excited to finally get our chance to attend the whole show for the first time! The UK Games Expo takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 1st June to 3rd June 2018.

Last year, attendance surpassed that of the Origins game fair in the USA, and I can only imagine how much busier it might get this year. Thankfully there is additional space for both exhibitors and open gaming which should allow the convention to grow. With over 350 exhibitors, there will be a lot to see, so please check out our blog to see the games and exhibitors we'll be looking out for specifically.

http://thegameshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/the-game-shelf-pr...
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Sun May 27, 2018 5:56 pm
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Week 133:- Sunset Over Water

Fiona Dickinson
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Horley
Surrey
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Sunset Over Water comes from the same team of designers, artist and publisher who released Herbaceous - a small card game which has gained a lot of praise. For us, Herbaceous was pretty but not a super impressive game, but seeing all of the eautiful artwork in Sunset Over Water made us set aside those concerns and give the game a try.

Sunset Over Water is a game about hiking to a perfect spot, painting idyllic landscapes and then either keeping those paintings for you personal collection or selling them on comission to buyer who are looking for that perfect combination of landscape features.



Check out the full reviews here;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com.es/2018/05/thoughts-from-y...
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com.es/2018/05/dont-let-sun-go...

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 May 18, 2018 5:00 pm
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Week 132:- Alien Artifacts

Fiona Dickinson
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Alien Artifacts is a 4X-style card game from Portal Games. 4-X games are not a style of game that appeals to me - they're typically big space epics where you Explore, Expand, Exterminate and Exploit over a tabletop for hours on end. However, a streamlined 4X card game sounded much more like my kind of game.

Since Portal Games only release small handful of original English language games each year, I often watch their development intently and enjoyed watching the rapid playtesting and development of Alien Artifacts through Portal's vlogs. Let's find out if it delivers.



Check out the full reviews here;
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com.es/2018/05/thoughts-from-y...
https://thegameshelf.blogspot.com.es/2018/05/roswell-relics-...

@game_shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple.
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Fri May 18, 2018 4:57 pm
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Week 131:- Rising 5: Runes of Asteros

Fiona Dickinson
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Rising 5 is a cooperative deduction game for 1-5 players, developed from the simple concept of the classic game Mastermind. Mastermind is a game many people know from its iconic box cover which would be anything but iconic by modern standards! I used to love playing Mastermind as a child and also enjoyed the later digital incarnations on the PC, so the idea of a board game which elaborated on this with beautiful Vincent Dutrait artwork and an integrated app was an exciting prospect for me.

Rising 5 combines many elements we enjoy. It's cooperative, app-driven and is based on a game I have fond memories of. I have a love hate relationship with deduction games though, typically not enjoying hidden movement games, but, recently I really enjoyed Sonar and we've enjoyed Alchemists in the past, so I was interested to see what we would think of Rising 5. We have had the chance to play the Kickstarter edition, but here we'll be taking a look at the retail edition, released in an English edition by Grey Fox Games.



Check out the full reviews here;
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.ca/2018/05/thoughts-from-yellow...
http://thegameshelf.blogspot.ca/2018/05/puzzle-heroes-unite-...

@game_shelf posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with two different opinions from two halves of a gaming couple.
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Fri May 4, 2018 4:46 pm
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The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 28th - 29th April 2018

Fiona Dickinson
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This Saturday was International Tabletop Day and we celebrated at home on Saturday and with a friend on Sunday. Saturday was a great chance to try new games, whilst Sunday was good for playing some old favourites and introducing them to a new audience. We also made some tough decisions to clear the shelves and realised we have30 unplayed games! We've now got that number down to 28!

So, here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;


Aeon's End is a cooperative deckbuilding game where together you will try and defeat a monster by eating away at their health points. The game is pretty typical for a deckbuilder, in that you have a currency to buy new cards from a central pool of 9 types available and another currency of hit points to hit the big bad or any of its minions. However, Aeon’s End has two elements I’ve not seen before. The first is that you don’t shuffle your deck, which I felt gave me some good control of when I might get card combos. The second is that player order, including when the big bad takes its turn is randomized by a shuffled deck – this gives players less ability to prepare perfectly for attacks and I quite like that as a different way of bringing randomness into a cooperative game. The artwork and card quality were pretty poor in my opinion, but ultimately, Aeon’s End didn’t jump out as much better or worse than similar games, like the Legendary cooperative deck-building games. It was an enjoyable game and I am intrigued by Aeon’s End Legacy which will be coming soon.

IUNU is a small, Egyptian themed, card drafting game from Ludi Creations. Each turn you play a card from your hand into your tableau. Your choice of card could be for its action or because you are looking to score the end-game majority points available for each card type. Over the game you’ll use money to bake bread for points, or to take some end game objectives to work towards for end-game points. The game had some interesting mechanisms, but for me it was undermined by very poor symbology on the cards and, as a result, the constant need to look cards up in the rule book. It would take a few games to get familiar with the symbology and make the game run smoothly and ultimately I think there are better examples of similar games to dedicate our time to.

Welcome To... is a roll and write game that seems to have a lot of people excited, especially now that it has picked up an American publisher. In the game you’ll be creating a neighbourhood – filling streets with house numbers, creating parks, giving some houses swimming pools and splitting up your streets into estates – in parcel sizes that you hope to raise the value of. There’s no actual rolling in the game, you’ll instead have choice of three different house number/action combinations each turn to choose from, from shuffled decks. Welcome To… has a lot more going on than most of the roll and write games we’ve played and there’s a lot of satisfaction in filling out the score sheets with their lovely, clear art and graphic design. The choice you make each turn can really start to build your strategy, as well as having the opportunity to destroy some of your future plans if card draws just don’t go your way. It’s a game I can see becoming quite addictive and will probably become a favourite roll and write for us, but I am still looking for a roll and write that does something completely different to blow me away next.

Raiders of the North Sea is a worker placement game in the North Sea trilogy from Garphil Games and Renegade Games Studios. It seems to be regarded as the best of the three, especially since it was heavily expanded by a recent Kickstarter fulfilment. We finally played the base game and I think we were a little underwhelmed. The unique mechanism of Raiders of the North Sea is that you get two actions per turn – the action of the worker you place in an empty spot and the action of a second worker you take from another spot on the board. Sometimes you’ll want one action more than the other, or maybe you just want a certain colour of worker because certain workers may only use certain spots. I enjoyed this take on worker placement, as well as selecting Vikings or their special abilities or to send them to Valhalla for points! Don’t get me wrong, Raiders of the North Sea is a strong game, and one I’d be very happy to play again, but I think I just set my expectations too high. It belongs to a friend and we can play it at our local board game café and I’m sure we’ll be able to play it and its expansions in the future.

This could be the last first impressions for a while. I travel to Canada for the next two weeks and then we are on holiday in Spain. Of course, we'll be on the lookout for local game stores and board game cafes whilst on our travels and hopefully picking up some souvenir games too!

Please check out thegameshelf.blogspot.co.uk for more weekly reviews from this UK-based board-gaming couple.

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Wed May 2, 2018 7:36 pm
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