Games & Llamas

A blog about what we (Llama Dice) play and sometimes design.

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I'm and I'm not back!

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hear hear!

I'm planning a couple of posts with the design diary about our 2 SPIEL releases: 1987 Channel Tunnel and Smoothies. The publishers asked for it so we'll do them!

I'd love to post monthly plays but sometimes you've just to seat down and pull off all the stress the life gives you and get rid of the tasks that started for fun and then continued for duty.

I miss to log all the weeks but I've got the first half of the year full of events and things that consumes my free time!

Gosh, I envy so much Tony Boydell that is capable of post everyday!!

See you in a few days I've got wonderful news of our designs and games we played that I really want to tell about it!
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Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:44 am
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February 2019

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

Every February is the same: Protos y Tipos, the biggest (and better) prototype convention in Spain is coming and we spent the most of the time working on the prototypes rather than playing published games. But this time, despite of burning a hell of hours in prototyping, we still did the 10x3x12 challenge. But it's practically the total amount of the games we played... and there's no only fillers!

Let's see how was our February!


The 10 chosen ones


Unpublished Prototype
We had been working on 2 prototypes that I'm confident enough to show some pictures because I'm very proud of our work. It's not easy to have in a couple of months two fully playable prototypes and so different between them.

The first one is Junkyard, a 2-4 player game in the fancy of Splendor of acquiring car cards from a grid to pile them up into your tableau. When you take a card, you generate a fuel token in every adjacent card where you took it. The player who takes a card with fuel tokens on it, the player got them. You spend that tokens in order to pile the cars: 1 token for the first one, 2 for the second, 3 for the third and so on. You pile the cars of the same color in ascending order. If you don't want to follow that order, you can pay the difference in fuel tokens. When you want to start a new pile of cards, you must move your crane to an empty space in your tableau spending fuel tokens to move it. At the end of every round you'll score every pile of cars: 1 point for the cars in floor 1, 2 points for 2nd floor cards, 3 points for the third and so on. Also you score 1/3/6/10/15 for different car colors and multiply by two the column in which your crane is currently.



The second one is one I've shown here a year ago called Flatiron about the construction of the Flatiron building in NYC. In this 2-player worker placement game you're getting pillars to build them up in the Manhattan board via executing the actions you have assigned to the streets. When you visit a street you can execute all the actions from the first to the last that you have in that street or acquire a new card to add to your company that has more powerful actions. In other words, while you're building the Flatiron, you're upgrading your actions making the best combo engine you can. You score for the pillars and floors placed. Every floor has a temporal effect while it's being built and the players can took that advantage of it. There are 12 different floors and only 5 are used in a game. There's an special location -The Flatiron Plaza- in where they can rest, get some income and do the special action available only in this game (there are 4 different special actions and only 1 is played in every game). The game is over when a player places the roof. All the cards the player gets, has 2 actions: top (weaker but sooner) and bottom (stronger but later) and every action has a "public opinion value" that is added to your street company. At the end of the game, if the balance of every street is positive/zero/negative will grant or subtract you additional points.



We're very happy with the playtests and I hope that it will go well in the prototype convention (I wrote this text before it)

Bellz!
Great acquisition for the collection! Specially to get the 3x10 challenge done every month hahahahah You can play 10 games of Bellz! in 15' so in case any month we see that we're not gonna make it, we have Strike, Kamisado, NMBR9 and this one to complete the challenge


The game is a pure dexterity game based on a magnet and jingle bells that there are attracted to a magnet stick that has two sides: stronger magnet and weaker magnet. The key is not to catch the magnets of other players colors. Sounds silly and it's silly but the moment a player catches your color is hilarious. I bet it will work awesome with our nephews!

-There's no picture since I'm an idiot and I was so distracted with the jingle bells-

Azul
I think that I said it before: We'll all die and this game will live forever. Never get tired of playing it.


Carpe Diem
I really enjoyed this new Feld since Spiel and this month we choose it for the 3x10 but I think that after 8 plays, we need to rest a little of it. Anyway, it's really great.
There are rumors that there will be a new edition regarding a better graphic design so in case this is true, we'll trade it and buy the new one!




Forum Trajanum
The only new game that we played in this month, and we took the advantage of it to put it into the 3x10. This is what we're going to do when we play a game for the first time in a month. This game is super great but after this 4 plays I think that if ANY player moves the bar in the personal board, all players MUST do the same since seems too overpowered. We want to play it more but the overall feel of the game is that: The bar strategy is too overpowered! The 4 plays were decided by far because of that Is there any home rule or something?




Patchwork
We hadn't played this game since summer and I don't why. This is one of my favorites 2-player game. I lost the 3 plays miserably T__T The way the pieces are placed during setup, and knowing when to stop to take buttons is the key. But I don't know why I'm writing strategy advice since I always lost in this one hahaha.



Piepmatz
We liked a lot this little game, and we put it in this challenge only for playing it more. It has a few subtle things you don't take into account in the first plays. I want to play it with more players because I only played it with Shei.



Pueblo
Some of you know how much we love this game and how much effort took us to finally get a copy. Hope someday it gets published again!



Reef
The more I play it, the more I like it. Those cards and in the way they're thought is the thing I love: You cannot place and score the same thing. The rule of "place first, score later" is all love.



Russian Railroads
And yes, probably the heaviest game for this challenge and the game I don't understand WHY I love it so much. It's only moving tracks!!! Only Tracks!! And score TRACKS!! BUT HEY, IS ABSURDBLY AWESOME MOVE AND SCORE THOSE TRACKS!!
We want desperately the German Expansion but everyone is selling it really expensive so will stick to the base game & the American Railroads expansion.



Less than 3 plays
Abalone
The same thing as Patchwork: We didn’t play this since summer and through the time, it has become more and more brain burner. Our 10’ plays turned out into 40’ ultra-tense plays hahhaha Probably the best pure abstract game we have.


The Castles of Burgundy
We’re trying to play 1 Cob, 1 Five Tribes and 1 Agricola (which is missed in this month ) every month in this year so here’s the game of this month… but no pictures took! So instead of showing an extremely maximized personal board full of tiles here’s a picture of the best add-on ever: The BGG Store bags we bought last spiel


Five Tribes
As I said, one game of Five Tribes every month is mandatory. Nothing more to add. I guess that in the next following months I won't say anything more about CoB and FT since I don't have anything more to say about this two classics.


La Isla
One of the hidden gems of Stefan Feld. This game is awesome! And very overlooked when the reviewers make tops about this designer. This is super great even with 2 players(we have played it mostly with two and always is fun).

It is true that it has a high luck factor regarding the draw of the cards. We mitigate it drawing +2 cards from the maximum and then discarding that excess. Sometimes we made a draft but that way lengthened the game too much. Also the game is ridiculously cheap for what is inside. To me, is perfect.



Newton
We didn't have enough Newton in January (playing 4 times) that we wanted to play it again in February. And if you ask for a Newton right now, I'd say yes!!


Russian Railroads: American Railroads
This expansion for RR is awesome. It adds the enough depth to make it different but without changing the base game. And it's not expensive! Since we cannot afford to buy the German Railroads at the prices sellers set, this is a good alternative.


Twenty One
The last game was a game of Twenty-one. If you like RnW games and if you don't mind to have a high luck factor, this games is really fun (and quick)


Thank you for reading me through this """bad""" month in gaming terms since we had to spend a lot of time with the prototypes.

See you next month!!
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Fri Mar 1, 2019 8:29 am
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January 2019

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

What a January we had! As I said in the "Our 2018" I'll try to summarize what we played every month because I really like to write these posts. Analyzing the number of plays, we had played at least 3 times to at least 10 different games. We're going to try to do a 10x3x12 challenge. We'll see if we make it!


The 10 chosen ones


Azul
I think that we can play this one forever. We have played around 30 plays if it and still liking every time we put it on the table.


Brikks
Surprisingly addictive like RnW Tetris. I can recommend this one very much but I'm afraid we're spending a lot of sheets playing and playing! We should laminate it.


Circle the Wagons
The best 18 card game I've ever played since Love Letter. This game is amazing.


Imhotep: The Duel
One of the highlights from 2018. This is one of the best representations as "2-player version" of a game I already liked. Quite engaging and quick that makes you wanting to play it again and again.


Jenga
Not liked a lot but we played this with our little nephew that loved it so... one game after another ahahaha


Newton
My goodness I want to play it every time I think about it. I should play it now! I want an expansion for this one asap!! It’s really multisolitaire but… this puzzle amazes me every time I play it.


Reef
To be clear: This is not Azul. It is nor best or worse. It's different. And I love it!! This games pushes my brain in the good direction making me planning ahead and "sacrificing" points options in order to score a better card.


Teotihuacan: City of Gods
Traded already. A really good game that didn't clicked for us. I don't really know what happened to us with this game but I have a few complaints but, still, it's a really good game.


Twenty One
Random as a it is, but I pretty enjoy this dice system. If you don’t mind the amount of luck it’s involved, this game will please you. If you want to modify rolls or compensate those numbers, this game is not for you. We’re running out of sheets so probably will have to laminate one of each!.


Underwater Cities
One of the best eurogames of the last year. Despite having flagrant production issues, this game is gold. A little bit AP prone but if you play it relaxed and in a low player count, you won’t notice. This blend of worker placement & Terraforming Mars is just perfect.



Less than 3 plays

Ramen
There’s no family reunion that they ask us to play Ramen. And we cannot say no! We’re very proud of the gameplay of this one


Agricola
We played it the 1st of January because if you want to start properly good the year, you have to do it with a masterpiece. Still on of our favorites. But I have to admit that Caverna is more refined and focus more on playing the game instead of feeding people. BUT, it’s Agricola. It’s perfect. Period.


Agricola: Family Edition
This play of the Family version was the ‘goodbye play’ Don’t you do this thing when you trade a game? We usually play one last time to the game that leaves our shelves. And we could experience the differences with the big brother one more time. It’s not as good as his father and his young brother (ACBA) Since we have the ACAB Big Box and the old version of Agricola with all the decks, we really don’t need this one. Anyway, when we played this with non-core games, it worked smoothly.


Architects of the West Kingdom
Really cool game from the guys of Raiders of the North Sea. And liked it more than the first one! It’s a worker placement game with resource management with a twist (as always do Shem Phillips) We have to play it with the bot for 2p but still, is a great game.


The Castles of Burgundy
Our all-time favorite. It’s perfect. Every time. And in this play I was beaten so hard by Shei with a score 250something-150something. The choice of the board was my dead sentence.


Crypt
Cool dice filler with push your luck and set collection. Didn’t expected so much with this kickstarter and was surprised! It’s quite addictive and it gets played in ~15’ so it’s a perfect deal for playing it having coffee.


Exit: Orient Express
One of the best Exits in the series. But I have to warn you: You MUST pay attention to the clues because at the end you must resolve the mystery. I don’t know if in the rules is stated but we overlooked that and didn’t resolved it But it is one of the best Exit.


Five Tribes
We’re trying to play our 3 favorite games once per month too. The Castles of Burgundy, Agricola and this one. Cannot say anything more about this game that I WANT THE EXPANSION AND IT’S SOLD OUT AND VERY EXPENSIVE IN 2ND HAND AND I COULD HAD IT LONG TIME AGO WITH A DISCOUNT AND I SAYED THAT I WON’T NEED EXPANSIONS ANYMORE AND I WANT IT SO BADLY.


Grand Austria Hotel
To me, the best game of the Italian design team. Yep. Even better than Marco Polo (and Marco Polo is one of my favorites too!) but the draft and the way the cards combines is amazing. It’s a pity that it won’t get an expansion. I’d buy it without looking.


Hanamikoji
One of the best 2-player card game I’ve ever played. It’s elegant, easy to play, but with a big depth that you’ll discover it with plays. And the plays last about 15’ so you can find it soon.


Heaven & Ale
The first time I’ve completed the whole board! But it was useless because Shei won. We’re giving it more playes in order to trade it soon because we think that we enjoyed it already and we need the shelf space!


Hokkaido
The brother of my beloved Honshu didn’t disappointed us! After reading the rules, we thought that it will be Honshu again but it’s not. The feeling of the game play is rather different and we’ll keep both. So now We have to travel to Hokkaido to play Hokkaido in Hokkaido


Ingenious
A classic! I didn’t tried Anxio yet but I don’t know if it will please me as Ingenious does. It was a long time since the last play and I enjoy every time I play it.


Mint Delivery
The ‘sequel’ of Mint Works that didn’t pleased us like Mint Works. Didn’t liked it It’s a bummer because the production of the game is awesome and we waited so long to have it but…


Mint Works
On the other hand we have Mint Works that is awesome. You cannot do more with the components without messing too much the rules. This games is as portable as awesome!


Norenberc
A pleasant surprise! We bought it in Spiel from a guy and after reading the rules we realized that it’s a game for more than two. But it was really good only with two!! At first you start to think that there are obvious decisions but they’re not that obvious. Liked it a lot. Want to play it more.


Piepmatz
This game is as good as weird the blending of the theme & mechanics. I mean. Birds queuing to have seeds politely and seeing squirrels and ravens approaching and not moving at all? Seems legit. (The game is really good!!)


Qwinto
To me, better than Qwixx because is more thinky and quick. If you enjoyed Qwixx, this one will please you as well!


Railroad Ink: Deep Blue
Don’t pay attention to the contrast of the beautiful artwork with the ugly result board. This game is cool. A surprise really! I didn’t wanted to buy it at Spiel but I don’t regret that Shei wanted it.


Samara
Another disappointment and this one hurt a lot. I saw the core mechanic of Samara long time ago and it was in my wishlist for years. Finally got a copy second handed on the Spiel and tried it out. Not liked at all. To me has a lot of ‘design faults’.


San Marco
This game is really cool! I’ve played it at its best player count (3 people) and tried a strategy of getting out too soon but it didn’t worked hahaha Hopefully this game gets a reprint


Taluva
One of the finest (and meanest) abstracts we have. This tridimensional component of the tiles is really cool. We do not play this that often but we should do.


That’s Pretty Clever
Nothing to add. It’s addictive as popping bubble paper. Looking forward to Twice as Clever.


Unpublished Prototype
And here we go again! We started 2 designs this month, hopefully we have something playable for the prototype convention in Zaragoza 1st to 3rd of March. To us, Protos y Tipos is like the Essen Spiel of prototypes in Spain and we always work hard during December, January and February to have something solid to play for.


See you in March with the report of February and thanks for reading!!
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:00 am
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Our 2018

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hello everybody!!

I cannot tell you how crazy was the end of 2018. As I warned in later posts, I was going to change my job and start in a new (and more demanding) workplace that probably will shrink my free time between tasks.

And it was like that. Between the Ramen release in Essen Spiel 2018, all the work for other publishers and getting ready the files for Special 14 (which will be published by Ludonova in Q2), Aalsmeer(will be releases in Essen Spiel 2019 by Ediciones Primigenio), 1988 Dover Calais (that will be on crowdfunding-verkami by Looping Games in the first half of 2019 and released in Spiel 2019). And a signed contract for a major publisher that I cannot reveal yet but, 2020 will be as awesome as 2019 probably.

That was a hell of a work in the "business" part of Llama Dice, letting all the weekly logs on hold because before all the business, we are players. The last year was awesome in business terms but also awesome in gaming terms.

And that's what I'm going to tell you right now: I'm going to summarize the remarkable games we played in the last year. The order of the list is by number of plays and alphabetically (since BGG do it in that way) but is not in preference order (Because -spoiler- Underwater Cities is one of the 2018's best and it's at the bottom hahahah )

Ramen
What can I say about our little baby? This game gave us a lot of joys and we're very proud and happy with it. There are plenty of things that could be done better but everybody I know that played Ramen they liked it.


Diamonsters
This little game is amazing. As amazing its rule book because is quite obscure for a such a simple game. Honestly I don't know if we're playing in correct way but, in the way we play, it's a really cool game.


Ganz Schön Clever
One of the best from 2018. Very addictive and I cannot say anything more that didn't say before. Looking for playing the 2nd part of it this 2019!!


Aalsmeer
Signed with Ediciones Primigenio this will be our BIG eurogame in the market. We cannot wait to see this mid-weight eurogame being played by core gamers.


Carpe Diem
One of the best games in 2018. The game is just amazing. I could play this forever but BUT the graphics are just wrong. There are many flawless faults in the graphic design that if it's not because is one of the 2018's best, It would be traded.


Pikoko
One of the surprises in 2018. This hanabi-trick-taking game generates super fun situations when everyone bid the same amount on one player, and they cooperate, but when the bids aren't the same, the war starts. It's really great.


Circle The Wagons
I hate this kind of games like this one or Love letter because I didn't design it. It's the perfect example of how to design a re-playable deep game with just 18 cards.


Coimbra
I think that I'll buy everything these people design. The only thing that I don't like about this game, is that the feeling of the game is really dry. I mean, you make points and stuff like every other eurogame, but in this one you're not aiming for something "thematic". Just move around the map and pushing your discs in the tracks. BUT, it's very addictive and you're thinking all the time.


Twenty One
We bought this game in Spiel despite reading the bad reviews and low rates in BGG and I can admit that this game has a very high luck factor. If you keep this in mind, it's very fun! And a bit more depth than it appears in a first game. This game will be one of the mandatory games for traveling


Brikks
The first reading of the rules was a bit confusing, and we don't know how to play after reading them. But once you know how to play, it's just great! It is probably the best approximation of playing Tetris in a tabletop game. We apply a rule that I actually don't know if it's right: Like Tetris, even if the piece touch the bottom, you can still move fast in one side.


Hokkaido
After reading the rules, we thought that it will be Honshu AGAIN. But it isn't! Yes, it has several similarities but when you're playing, you're getting different feelings. I even think that I like it more!


Pulsar 2849
A beast of optimization. You must do a lot of things in a few turns but you eventually manage to do it. It is dice action activation and I love this mechanism. Vladimir Suchy is becoming one of my favorites designers!


Team Play
A little surprise bought in Frankfurt during the vacations of the last year. It's a teamed set-collection game with hidden and common objectives. The luck factor is high but it's really fun.


Walking in Burano
One of the best family games I've played this year. I bet that if this game gets published in a bigger box and by a big German publisher, it will have more attention.


Chimera Station
This tricky game looks really fun and relaxed by its appearance with the drawings and the aliens and that, but inside, is a really cool worker placement eurogame of optimization. You evolve your workers adding parts and performing more powerful actions. Awesome!


Railroad Ink
When I saw this game in Spiel, I didn't like it. It's because the stuff you draw in the boards is ugly. Yes ugly. These roads and rail tracks looks like cigarettes and tv antennas. BUT inside there is a really cool game that, like twenty-one, will be with us in every one of our travels.


San Marco
We had one designer friend (Diego Ibañez) that always told us that we should buy San Marco one day. In the Spiel mathtrade we bought one for a friend that at the end he didn't want it after playing it, so we kept it. And it's one of the best majorities games I've played. The card distribution mechanism (like Hanakimoji) is a delight. I can recommend this game forever!


1906 San Francisco
I love the 19xx series of Looping games and this one, for me, is the best of the series. This mancala-action selection mechanism drives me crazy. You should try it!!


Broom Service
A nice surprise! I played the card version and I didn't like it at all. We bought this one in Spiel at a bargain price of 10€ and I don't regret it. I liked the 2 player version despite don't thinking that it could be great!


Caverna: Cave vs Cave – Era II: The Iron Age
A really good expansion for the amazing base game. Basically it adds a 4th era that doubles the length of the game but in a good way. The only thing that I dislike it's the fact that the expansion isn't fully integrated with the base game. Only when you finish the base game, you start to play the expansion (but with the things you achieved in the base game) Nevertheless, it's one of the best expansions I have.


Cerberus
A wonderful surprise that works extremely well with non-core and core gamers. In the beginning, you think that you are not to cooperate with others, but when you see the Cerberus heads you better start cooperating. It's a The Island game a-like where your ugliest person shows up


Ceylon
Light Eurogames always have a place for me. This is one of the best examples: Simple, deep and with practically 0 time between turns. It's amazing.


The Colonists
This is something like Christmas for me. My wife and I go to the countryside (a house my parents-in-law have) to play during a full day the 4 full eras. It's possible to play only once this game in a year but still enjoy it like a big event. It's something that every eurogamer should do once at leats. 4 eras. One day.


Imhotep Das Duell
A super cool surprise! I have to thank OsirisGOLAD for translating the rules into English: This a really cool 2p game!! I love it and I'd buy any expansion to make it even more replayable. Very well done Phil!


Kitchen Rush
More or less, the funniest game of the year to me. I mean. I worked in a restaurant for many years while I was studying my career and this is exactly the same feeling (but in a fun way). I love it to the most.


Men at Work
Awesome. Without Doubts. Regretting not getting a copy in Spiel. Will do the next year as we did with Junk Art.


Newton
I hate these people. IT'S AMAZING. We don't have a copy yet but will do in a moth or less (we have passed our monthly budget on games!)


Piepmatz
Super cool with an awkward theme. I mean, who can even imagine that the birds kick themselves to get seeds? This is more or less an abstract game with a theme that could be another thing but... it's a really great game!!


Reef
Will get a copy soon too. We played in our FLGS and loved it. It's not the same as Azul but it's a game that always wins in every situation in our house.


Underwater Cities
With Newton, probably the best game of 2018. Deep, highly strategic, with many combinations, productions TM-like... ah, I played 3 games and I cannot wait to play it more.


Welcome To...

The best card & write I've ever played. Wanted to get a copy, but we hadn't the occasion yet. But will play every time we can. And super awesome artwork!!


The Voyages of Marco Polo: The Secret Paths of Marco Polo
This is a very good example to make a mini expansion that really adds something cool. These secrets paths allows you to cheat the map in Marco Polo. And that's awesome because you can combine it with your travel-objective cards. Worth the money paid.


And that was our 2018. We had played 670 plays in ~280 different games with an H-index of 9. I think that I cannot complaint with this.

I don't know the periodicity of this blog since we must do A LOT of work for the game industry, but, I'll try to report once a month at minimum.

Thank you all for reading this!

PS: Someone came to Ediciones Primigenio Booth at Spiel and said that he recognizes me thought my avatar because he read sometimes the weekly logs. Please say hi if you read this <3!!
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Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:34 am
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Spiel 18: Everyone loves Beni

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

Some of you already know that we do that thing when we go to Essen Spiel: We ask boardgame designers/publishers/stars to take a picture with a tiny toy of an alpaca (or llama, depending on the toy) and all of them agree with a smile in their faces. If this post gets more-or less relevant, will upload our picturesfrom 2015 & 2016 <3

These are all the awesome people of the industry that took 15 seconds of their time to make this couple of designers very happy.



Steph Hodge








Jon Purkis (Actualol)


Ashlee Cramb(Boardgamergirl)


André Müller(Häwwi - Spielkult)




Tiffany & Steve Caires (TheOneTAR)






Zee García


Tom Vasel


























Suzanne Sheldon & Mandi Hutchinson


















Edward from HeavyCardboard






I realised that I "can't" tag reviewers/influencers from here so I'll tag them out in Twitter in order to notice them.

Will post a big write up about Spiel 2018 soon, but since Shei & I are working in several projects at the same time, my amount of time to spend in writing things on BGG/LlamaDice is limited.

I hope that I can make this thread every year because this pictures we'll terasure them forever.

See you!
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Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:45 pm
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Games & Llamas: You Will Know What I Played Last Summer Part 4

Isra C.
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And finally, the last part of this series.

It had take me a lot of time but I think that It worths the effort

Rajas of the Ganges
Finally we could play this game from one of our referents to look up! Markus & Inka present here a race of two tracks of victory points that you must balance a little in order to not get out of the game.

I liked it a lot but for reasons I don't know I didn't connect with the design. But if I see at a good price is higly possible that I buy it and give it more plays in order to try to connect.


Rialto
For me, is like a hidden gem of Stefan Feld (but I don't know if the term 'hidden gem' is applicable here because the game is widely known) but it is very underrated.

If you want to play a majorities game but not to play El Grande (which, you should, and then, this one) you can play this one and have a great time. I like it a lot! Even with 2 players.

But this time the Doge track was too overpowered in ties... Will play it again with five players and warn everybody that this track is the key to win (or, at least, that was my feeling in this game)


Roll Player
This is kinde Sagrada on steroids. And I love it. I wish it was a little bit cheaper for a game with this weight, but the game is really great!!

The theme is awesome for me but, yeah, you can forget all the theme part and still have a really decent euro game.


Samurai
I cannot tell more good things about this game. This game is perfect. And it is awesome how enjoyable is for 2-4 players. This one should be a must in every collection


Scythe + Scythe: The Wind Gambit
Scythe for me is something funny. Almost never want to play, but when I do, I enjoy it a lot! That's why is still in our collection. We played with the Wind Gambit expansion and it gives it a really nice touch to the game. We didn't use the zeppelins that much but the change of game ending added a awesome touch.


Sherlock 13
Some of you know that I don't like deduction games like Clue or any kind because I feel stupid among the players, and I don't like to feel stupid. But this one is easy enough for my poor deduction skills and pushes my brain in the good direction. This is a decent deduction game.


Space Race: The Card Game
Got it secon handed and I liked it. But I have to admit that is still in our collection because 3 reasons:

1) The theme. THE theme I love it and how it is implemented.
2) It has a small box
3) The games are really quick!

This is not a bad game at all but having Race for the Galaxy in our collection is probable that the chosen one will be RftG.


Strike
The best family dinner game EVER. Try it! Try to taught it to your family after having a birthday dinner. The y will be ask you for more! It is just a bowl and 31 dice. And that's the awesome thing!


Taluva
One of the best abstract games that we have in oour collection. Played with more players and liked less (I think that I like to have more control of the situation) but is still good with 4.


Terraforming Mars + Terraforming Mars: Venus Next + Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
We didn't played this game in a year! We decided to play for the first time with the Venus expansion and it was really really great!! It was that great that we have left mixed all the cards from the expansion with the core game. From now, we'll play it combined always. The H&E expansion we had played it before and it is something that is good to have. Sometimes you play with one map, other days with another.


Ticket to Ride: New York
Ok, so you have the biggest cup size of Starbucks Coffee but you don't have space in your stomach to drink a gallon of coffee. You still want for it? Just take an expresso.

More or less is this TtR, a TtR in 10 minutes (or 12). Liked it a lot but... but too quick!! It should last, at least, 20/25'!


Tinners' Trail
This game is so good!! We have interest in it because it has A LOT of wood to use in our prototypes, but as we always do, we always play the games we're going to use for prototyping. This one won't be for prototypes I guess! I liked it a lot!


Viticulture Essential Edition + Tuscany Essential Edition
We traded our copy long time ago because we didn't liked it at all. I wanted to give it another try with the copy of our friends but... still a big no for me. But despite a huge no for me, I can credit the success for non-core gamers. It's truly beautiful!


Vinhos Deluxe Edition
After the huge no, comes the incredibly huge yes for me BUT I didn't like so much the new artwork for this edition. The components have a great production but I didn't like how it was drawn the boards. It's more confusing than the original one and for once in this hobby, I'm glad to not own the deluxe copy: More shelf space & worse (quite pretty, but more confusing) artwork.


Welcome To...
One great surprise! I loved the artwork when I see pictures of the game. It's a roll & write but with cards! And works lovely well! If I have to comapre with a similar game, this is way better than Avenue just because of the replayability. Will snag a copy asap!


Wendake
The last game of this series is Wendake. I have Placentia Games in quarantine zone since Bretagne (A game that I loiked but the development of the game and the redaction of the rules were really poor) and didn't jump in in the kickstarter. Glady one of our friends did and could tried! And I loved it! The core mechanism is gold. But, the last 2 rounds of the game didn't liked them. Why? It would be an instabuy for me if the game longed a little bit less was a little bit shorter. Those 2 extra rounds are the dessert after a large meal that makes your stomach hurt for hours (you know, dessert is good, but sometimes you had enough with the meal hahha)

Anyway, if I find it at a reasonable price will get it to give it more tries at home.



And that's all folks, here's the winners of those weeks. This week I'll talk about the Week 39 and Essen Spiel misc.


Cheers!
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Mon Oct 1, 2018 8:40 am
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Games & Llamas: You Will Know What I Played Last Summer Part 3

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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The third part! Only 1 left! Phew!

Kanban: Driver's Edition
What can I say about Vital Lacerda? This is one of his masterpieces and in the first game I didn’t get as much fun as it offers this design. But, with a second game (we had played 4 times already) you dig more and more in its mechanics. We have the old version but as far as I know there aren’t major changes (only esthetics)



Kashgar: Merchants of the Silk Road
We saw this little game in Spiel in 2015 but it was in German and it is unplayable for us. With the Holy Grail version finally I can get my hands on it and it was lovely. I loved a lot the core mechanism and in situations like this, I hate myself for not having the idea before. Very recommended.


Kingdomino
A must. I didn’t tried Queendomino but if Queendomino shades the selection mechanism of this game, it won’t please me. (I’ll try Queendomino this week I guess!!)


Kitchen Rush
The best discovering of the summer so far! I liked THAT much that I’m looking for a copy to play it with all my friends. I worked in a kitchen for 4 years when I was younger and this is the same thing BUT FUNNY. Oh man, I’ll treasure the moment when I played this for the first time forever.


Kraftwagen
A hidden gem from one of my favourites designers, Matthias Cramer. This game has the amazing selection mechanism of Glen More but with a part of the game that drives me crazy: The selection of buyers that could mess with everyone (even yourself). If you have the chance to play it (or buy it, it isn’t expensive) go for it!


Last Will
The point of the game to get rid out of your money it’s the best! In most of the games you have to get as much money as you can but in this one you don’t. I admire Vladimir Suchy because he can make really good eurogames but all different among them!


Lisboa
I talked before about it so it won’t be long. This is not a game for just only 1 play. The first game probably overwhelms you, but the second one will amaze you!


London (Second Edition)
Elegant, absurdly beautiful and addictive. I played a lot of games of Martin Wallace and… and I think that this is my favorite. Well dome Osprey Games!!


Magic: The Gathering
Played a couple of plays with Shei. I liked it a lot because it was my first non-classic card game of my childhood and I didn’t played it in ages but Shei didn’t liked it. Better for our wallets!


Medina (second edition)
It is curious but this game wasn’t designed for 2 players but I like it more with that player count than with more. It is a little bit expensive for an abstract game BUT, it is that pretty and has that many wooden chunks that you don’t think in the price when you’re playing it!


Mombasa
We didn’t play it in about 2 years and I don’t know why! This is an awesome game! We played it with the mini expansion that grants something to the player who has the most counting guys because I think that is mandatory for this game. To me, the best Andreas Pfister game to date.


MONSTArgh!
Little game for a friend of us in flavor of Arboretum bit lighter. Liked it! It will be published soon in Spain.


Nations: The Dice Game
I liked Nations rather than Through the Ages but we traded Nations because it was to punishable to the weakest player (snowballing effect) although I didn’t say no to a game of it. This game is nice but it ‘lacks’ the same thing of its big brother. If you don’t get certain dice or advance in certain track you’ll be punish by the game. Anyway, it was really nice to play!


Nippon
The best game of our friends Nuno & Paulo. This is the second time I play it with 4 players and I can say that is amazing for any player count. To me, it is at the same level than Vinhos in the WyG top list (and they both are Nº1)


Onitama
Really decent abstract game! I liked the fact you won’t move the pieces in the same way always! Even it changes among plays because only 5 cards are used in every play. But to me has two big ‘but’. I hate the neoprene board. It is original, but I dislike it a lot. And the plastic figures are quite ugly to me. To me it would be better with cardboard and wood/bakelite as usual (but these two things are the no-no only for me, because the game is great!)


Prosperity
A not-so-old game (2013) but it feels like it is from 90’ because of the gameplay. I liked it a bit but not so much. We played it because we bought it by 2’5€ and wanted it to try it before using its components (a lot of tiles and black discs) for prototyping purposes.


Pueblo
This is one of the greatest abstract games ever! If youhave read this blog you already know what I think about this game Hopefully in Spiel 18 we will snag a copy from a Dutch fella that will sell it to us!


Pyramid of Pengqueen
This game is really fun! I played as the Mummy and I think that it will be funny as the adventurers for sure! It would be great with our nephews!


Qwinto
To me, better than Qwixx. But Qwixx is better for larger groups and for families (We had lovely memories playing Qwixx with our families)


See you next week!!
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Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:31 am
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Games & Llamas: You Will Know What I Played Last Summer Part 2

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Previously on ‘You Will Know What I Played Last Summer’ …


Belfort
Long time ago, we played this game with 2 and 4 players and we loved it. With the pass of the time, the 2 player version, even being clever, I don’t like it that much. It’s a pity because I like all of the aspects of the game. Will play again with more players or finally will trade it to rest in a shelf that will appreciate it.


Bellz!
Silly toy game with a powerful magnet and metal jingle bells of the color of the players. You have to take all the bells from your color before every player. Silly but really fun.!


Bora Bora
This is one masterpiece of Stefan Feld and I love it. I still prefer CoB or Aquasphere but Bora Bora is one of the greatest. The mechanic of suffering every round to do a lot of things in order to not screw the final scoring is delightful.


Bunny Kingdom
This is Kingdom Builder on steroids. We played it at 2:00 a.m. and probably this affected my opinion but I didn’t like it at all. It is pretty, has a great production and it seems that hasn’t many luck factor due to the drafting. But for me was a little bit boring.



Carson City with Carson City: Horses & Heroes
We hadn’t play this in a while (like, in 2 years) and it is as great as always. BUT. The last time I played with 4 people and I loved it more. Will trade the first expansion and keep Horses & Heroes because the horses give to the base game a really nice touch.


Cheeky Monkey
If there’s a family reunion, there are nephews. If there are nephews, there is Cheeky Monkey. It’s a winner in this kind of situations.


Clans of Caledonia
This was the first time I played with 4 players. And it was AWESOME. I loved CoC but this time I enjoyed the suffering of being isolated on a corner in the map. This is one of the greatest games in 2017 so far. If there will be an expansion I’m in.


The Colonists
Our 4 full eras of the year. Once a year Shei & I go to her parent’s village and spent a full day playing this masterpiece. We relish this eurogame as a gourmet meal during all day. Taking breaks for lunch or even coffee while discussing things between eras. I mean. I won’t play this more often than a couple of games per year but, this one or two, are like a tradition to spent a full day with my wife playing a thing.


Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia
This was the last game of Stegmaier that I have to try and… didn’t like it that much. The luck factor losing workers all the time gave me a sensation of chaos that I don’t like in a resource management. And this is another race to get rid of something. No, this gameis not for me but at least wasn’t an awful experience.


Familienbande
This is a homemade copy of this game for giving as a present to a friend. His nickname is “Vander” so I remake all the cards and box and stuff to call it “FamilienVander”. And also I improved the scoring track (stacking discs are waaaaay better). Finally I experienced the bad luck of not drawing the cards your trait needs. Anyway, the game is pretty fun and it gets played quickly. Hopefully I’ll find a copy in Essen Spiel.


Five Tribes
I cannot say anything more about one of my top-3? top-5? games. To me is one of the greatest in our collection and never get tired to play it. Yeah, I know that it could be very frustrating with AP-prone players but, the 80% of the games I play with 2 so there’s not so much AP there. (It helps that Shei and I don’t overthink our decisions)


Food Chain Magnate
I can admit that this is not a “only 1 play” board game. I can admit that despite having an ugly artwork is pretty functional. I can admit that not having a back cover the box is irrelevant. But I cannot admit the ultra-hype with this one.
Yes! Is good! But I cannot say (to me) that is one of the greatest of the decade, or, one in a million. I liked it but it went quite down on my wish list. And I won’t pay 75€ for this, obviously.


Glory to Rome
After a couple (or three, I cannot remember) years without playing it, we finally play it again. This was one of our first games and it aged well. Probably will play soon in order to play the expansion or even play with the building actions (yes, we didn’t played with the abilities of the buildings before)


Grand Austria Hotel
As I said about Five Tribes, this is one of my top too. The way this game makes my brain work is awesome. We only have played with two but I think that it could be nice with more players (but with the variant of sequential turn order, not catan-like turn order).


Hab & Gut
Another impossible-to-find game. I loved how the information is shared between players and the aspect of giving too much money or not. I liked overall but, to me, has a horrible design failure. For many people, being eliminated from the final scoring if you have been the greedier player, is a rule that they love but to me, is the worse. The feeling of “whoah! I’ve spent an hour or so for actually doing nothing” doesn’t work for me. It was a different feeling if the player participates in the final scoring but only with the half of the money. Yes, it is ‘practically’ the same but the same feeling. Anyway the game is pretty cool to me despite that annoying rule.


Hanamikoji
Hanamikoji is one of the greatest discovering from 2017 and I love to played it with Shei. It is one of the cleverest games I know. The possibilities of this little gem when you play the cards are amazing. Do you remember the feeling of playing Love Letter for the first time? This is something similar to me.


'Tiger' Jenga
We bought this non-branded version of Jenga in a shop called Tiger (people from Europe will know) because of the wooden blocks for prototyping purposes. But, as always we do when we bought a cheap game for materials, we give it a try and that was fun. It’s a Jenga anyway


This is the second part of You Will Know What I Played Last Summer and there are 2 more to go! I hope to finish them before Essen Spiel because I want to do a Spiel report from there!!
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Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:30 am
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Games & Llamas: You Will Know What I Played Last Summer

Isra C.
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Valdemoro, Madrid
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Whoah… what a summer!

Now, with September started, I think that I should talk about all the games I’ve tried since the end of June, where my last Games & Llamas post didn’t warned that I’ll take a break from writing in English. I didn’t take it from writing in Spanish (since it is waaaay easier for me) and I owe you one (or several) large post.

The total amount of games played between the last post and TODAY is this:

(86)


I don’t know how I’m going to do this so, let’s try! I’m going to try to say something about all of them in number of plays order (just because BGG sorted it this way). So I’m thinking that I’m going to write in rounds of 20ish different games per post since I have 86 different games in that picture (and I’m not counting different prototypes!)

Unpublished Prototype
We had played A LOT of prototypes but certainly more games of Special 14, a That's Pretty Clever like game of roll and write that we have the proud to tell you that will be published by Ludonova in Q1 /Q2 of 2019.



We played several games of Ramen that will be released at Spiel18 and we’re ultra-excited to see if the people will like it or not. It’s frightening but it is awesome every time a game from us is published. You can show some love for the game in the Essen Spiel Preview (We’re still in the first page of hotness) and in its BGG page.


We started more designs but, since Ramen will be on Spiel 18 and we’re finishing the games that are actually signed with publishers, we had to stop creating new ones. That’s a lot of work!

Unusual Suspects
Or as we called it: “The Racists Detector” hahahah It is awesome how the people’s (and your own) prejudges blend with a mechanic of guessing. I enjoyed it but 7 games in a row was too much and I won’t will play it again in a while.


Avenue
We bought this game during our vacation in Lisbon and we’re quite happy with it. It is quick and it gets played smoothly. Probably will trade it because there’s no variation in the sheet and because we tried “Welcome to…” and we loved it with just one game.


Isis & Osiris
An old abstract game with a memory component that I really like it and it works awesomely well with kids that are learning basic math. It is possible that will be traded in a future but I have to admit that I had some invaluable memories with my nephews.


Azul
No, I’m not going to say anything more about the best game of 2017. We even played our handmade travel version and it gets awesome in every game of it. It is perfect. I don’t know how to think about the new version of Sintra glasses but surely I’ll check it out at Spiel.


Fuji Flush
I like more Abluxxen but Fuji Flush had become one of my favorites when we are more than 4 players playing card games. The first games of it wasn’t good for me but with more plays it gets better more and more.


Lowlands
This is a nice euro-sheep-game with workers with a certainly amount of action points. I liked the part of the dike but I don’t know… there’s something that doesn’t fit in my taste. Nevertheless I enjoy playing it trying to optimize the board to fit more and more sheep on it. And I have to admit that if it this game has the artwork of Klemens Franz it would be nicer to me. BUT, it is pretty anyway.


Pikoko
One of the best trick-taking card games I’ve ever played. And it is absolutely lovely! I don’t know when but surely it will be widely available soon! It is soo good! It is a kind of trick taking game but playing in the way of Hanabi and trying to guess how many tricks a player can win in the round. It is awesome.


Pocket Mars
A really decent filler about Mars (but it could have any other theme, you know) that it gets played superfast with multipurpose cards. I mean, this is not the greatest game of the world but I do like it a lot! I have to try its solitaire mode because sounds good.


Santorini
I’m a beast at this game. I usually win despite the god I have dealt. A lot of replayability and awesome production. I’m glad it gets widely available because it is an abstract game with a theme I’d love to play.


Team Play
A lovely surprise! We bought this hidden gem in Frankfurt last December because it was really cheap. It is a team game about doing collections of cards with no theme but its gameplay is really cool. You can pass cards to your teammate in order to help him/her to complete the general collection target or his/her hidden personal collection. Really nice.


X nimmt!
The advanced version of 6 Nimmt! that it is better for 2 players to 4 players. 6 Nimmt! with two or three players isn’t good but this is. Try it if you can because I love it! I don’t know why it is not so popular than 6 Nimmt!.


Aalsmeer
This two games of Aalsmeer has been the best so far. I was playing and I wasn’t thinking all the time “this game is a game designed by you and Shei, you know the game and you know everything of it”. I enjoyed this two games like it was a game from another designer. I think that is the best feeling in the designing world It will be published by Ediciones Primigenio for their 2019 Spiel Release (At least, that was they told us)


Caverna: Cave vs Cave
A game that I always wanted to play. It is the best 2 player version that Caverna could ever have. The way you took the actions and the way you develop your cave is something that I love. Really looking for the expansion this year!!


That's Pretty Clever
It has become one of my favourites Roll and Write games. I’m really excited for trying the new scoresheet for the next year!


Ginkgopolis
If you take out the theme of it (It could have any other more interesting theme) and get familiarized with the iconography, this is an awesome game. I hope that it gets a reprint because it is impossible to find now. To me, is even better than Carson City.


Heaven & Ale
I played this game again with only 2 players and it gets played really quickly. I prefer to play it with more players (it gets more interesting) but overall I love the mechanism of deciding when to score or when to earn money.


Hive Pocket
The only game we played in our vacation in Portugal. We played it in the apartment while having coffee after breakfast. It is always packed in our suitcase when we travel.


Labyrinth: The Card Game
Awful. We bought it from a sale and it goes directly to the For Trade list.


The Oracle of Delphi
We played this the last year at 4 players and we liked it but it wasn’t an insta-love. But we found a copy at a bargain price and we had to try it again. I liked it more with more plays. I think that the luck factor is really high in this one and if you cannot get the right rolls you could be out of the game pretty soon. We’ll play it a little bit more before decide if it will go to the trade list or not.


Orc-lympics
It is a card drafting-fighting game with some nice ideas in it. We only played it with two players but it seems not to be its best player count. Will try with more players.


Patchwork
A game that is always enjoyable. I understand the new express version (for kids and elder people, not for casual gamers). This game is one of the greatest gateway game to introduce new people into the hobby and it has to be in every collection.


Race for the Galaxy
It is amazing how the years pass and this game remains fresh. It is that good that it doesn’t seem that it is 11 years old. Despite the awful iconography, the gameplay is awesome.


San Juan
This is the Race for the Galaxy for people that are scared to play RftG. It is kinder for non-core gamers but for core gamers could be a little bit soft. I like it anyway and I would play it when I’m in the mood for light games.


Zero!
This was the first game I liked of Knizia and we play it anytime we can. It is super-random because if you don’t have the cards, the only thing you can do is trying to get rid of them but it is a game I love so much. And it was bought in a special store and played once with special people


6 nimmt!
The best game you can play for 5-6 people. If you’re more than 6 I’d choose Fuji Flush but it is one of the greatest games ever.


And with these 30 games, the first part of “You Will Know What I Played Last Summer” is over. There will be 3 more (You now, I trid to make a trilogy for the history is so long and it must to have a 4th part).

See you later!

PS: Anyone of you will attend Essen SPIEL??
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Tue Sep 4, 2018 12:15 pm
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Back from vacation!

Isra C.
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Hi everyone!

I had an awesome summer (that is weird to me saying this since it is currently summer) and I disconnected with my duties of post here the games I played since June. And you don't deserve that!

A lot of things happened to me (practically all good) and I don't know if I should report week by week until catch up or just a big damn report with all the games I played.

What do you say? 6 splitted reports or just a huge one with an absurd long game list?

Picture related:


Cheers!
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Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:00 am
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