All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

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The Alchemists Guild cast a spell to have the Fox Surf's Up to the Cloud City and then played Artbox.

Steph Hodge
United States
Tennessee
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Hia Everyone!

My 2021 Awesome Gaming Calendar is Now For Sale


Join me Wednesday at 5 pm CST for more fun games! https://Twitch.tv/boardgamersteph


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There was a new game that just came out that I was looking forward to trying called Materia Prima: The Alchemists Guild. New to me!

The art really drew me in and was the main reason I wanted to play this one. I wasn't really sure what it was about when I got it though.

In Marteria Prima, players are Alchemists and the goal is to create the philosopher's stone and still have your soul. The players have a myriad of options to try and accomplish this goal. Ultimately everyone will have to travel the map and collect resources. Many times a rare resource will be needed so the alchemists will have to transmute in order to acquire the resources needed.

There are a bunch of different tasks at hand and hidden objectives to try and complete. You might run into the other players and start a fight and steal some resources or kill off a familiar that is doing all their work for them.

The familiars can go out and gather resources or fight, they are good to have but you have to spend time and resources creating them.

When all said and done, this is a pick-up-and-deliver game, which is not my favorite type of game.

During our game, Michael was focused on getting a bunch of familiars and equipment. I was laser-focused on getting my objective done which was to make gold tokens and deliver them to a king. Which I did! Then I was off to find the 3 levels of the stone that I needed to win the game.

Sadly for me, I didn't realize that there were multiple types of level 3 stones in the game we played. I searched and searched for level 3 stones in the deck that I needed and kept coming up with a payment of a soul token. (If I had known there were other types, I would have kept digging). So not only did I needed to give up my soul, but I needed to go find equipment that gave me a soul and craft it so I could gain my soul back. In all of that time, Michael totally did ALL the things and made a ton of points from everything he was doing. He could somehow easily get things done.

He was able to finish the game before I could and I was only a few turns behind him by that point. If I had just kept searching I know I could have beat him in this game. #mistakesweremade

Yeah, I am not really a big fan of the pick-up-and-deliver mechanic. I always feel like it is just a repeat of actions over and over. I gotta get here to get this then go back blah blah. I just get tired of it. It also didn't help that the added combat in this game was always staring me in the face. Michael could come over and knock me down and take my stuff at any time. Not really a mesh of mechanics I enjoy. While I love the art, the gameplay wasn't for me. Glad to have tried it, but probably won't play it again any time soon.

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Hey, I was excited to get to try out the new game called Cloud City. New to me!


I had seen this show up on many different channels and media sources and knew it would be a game I enjoyed. There is tile-placement and some abstract planning to score the most points you can by connecting bridges/walkways. The game is over in a 2-player game when a 4x3 grid of tiles has been completed by all players.

Each turn you will take a tile from your hand of 3 tiles and place it into your grid touching another tile already placed. You will add the buildings that line up with the colored spaces on that tile. The 3 colors are all different heights. You can choose to place walkways between 2 buildings as long as there are no missing tiles between the buildings and that there are no TALLER buildings in between them as well. You can only have 2 walkways coming from a building.

The longer the walkway the more points you can get. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner!

Super easy to learn and play. Michael and I learned it and then played it on the stream the next day. (vid below). Somehow I am just terrible at this game, it seems.

In both games, I was feeling pretty good, but in the end, Michael just knocked it out of the park!

I tried to position the tiles so that I could score the bigger buildings on the outside and not block the smaller buildings from scoring. Even with all my planning I still came in second place both times.

I do find the game enjoyable and will definitely play again. I do wish the colors were vibrant and fun. I think the colors are a bit drab but that is probably the only thing I would change about the game. Clever game and glad we could show it off!


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It was time to play The Fox in the Forest Duet. New to me!

I still own Fox in the Forest as I think it is a very clever 2-player trick-taking game. I was excited to learn about the new DUET game that is cooperative.

Duet is a totally different game while feeling very similar and in-line with the original.

In Duet, players are working together to move the tracker to positions in the forest and clear the obstacles. If they can clear all the obstacles before 4 of the forest tiles are added to the board then they will win. The cards they play will have some powers and little footieprints. Whoever wins the trick will advance the tracker in their direction the number of spaces on the cards in the trick and clear an obstacle token from the place it lands. sometimes powers allow players to move the tracker in the opposite direction or not count footprints on a card etc.

You can't possibly win the first hand of cards, and after each hand, more obstacle tokens are added to the board, so you really want to do the best you can to clear them whenever possible.

Michael and I played through regular mode and we did the best we could possibly do in the first round. We cleared a token with every card play, but even still, there were tokens remaining so it was inevitable that at the end of the first round we added 5 more tokens to the board.

Pssh it was no problem for us, we were able to complete the clearing in the second round. We didn't do it in the FASTEST possible time, but we did it pretty quickly and scored very well.

Super clever little game. I liked the cooperative variant. I would be interested in playing again with a harder mode and see how it turns out! Probably will check it out on the stream at some point. Beautiful game!

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I got to test out a prototype called Surf's Up! New to me!

Jason is a friend of Michael, and they asked me to play in a game. Surf's Up is a light card game with some card drafting and placement and has a light memory element.

The goal of the game is to catch a wave and score points from the tricks you perform and the combos you can create in the wave. The further out you swim and the longer you ride the wave the more points you can obtain. Of course, there are also common goals and hidden goals to work towards as well.

Each turn you will have 2 actions to do. You can draft wave cards and place them immediately into your lineup or hand. Or you can draft paddle out cards or trick cards. If you paddle out, you won't be able to place wave or trick cards behind the swimmer token on spaces you have already passed by. You can only catch a wave where your swimmer had paddled out to, however.

It is a very interesting card game where your timing is everything. You need to paddle out but you don't want to mess up your wave if you go too far.

The rules are still in working condition as it is a prototype so when Michael and I played with Jason, we gave some feedback. I wanted to play it again and in the second game, I invited Shrey and Derek to join so we had a 4 player game. Some rules were altered and we tried a different way of playing.

So it is really good to know that Jason is so open to the feedback and willing to try out suggestions to see how it might play. I think we all agreed that we like what was happening in the game. With 4 players it seems a bit chaotic since you just can't plan for cards to be there as they will get discarded at the end of each turn. But there is still time to play around and see what works best. Derek compared it to a row in Welcome To... haha I can see the comparison.

This is a super promising game and one I look forward to seeing a final product! Just need a publisher.



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During the CrowD Games publisher night last week Michael and I got to learn ARTBOX. New to me!

The plan was to have Max play along with us, but as it happened we just play with the audience instead.

Artbox is a drawing party game where players will get a choice from a few cards to keep. Then dice are roll and everyone will have to make a drawing using the shapes pictured on the dice. A circle can transform into an oval and a square can transform into a rectangle. You want to use the 4 shapes provided to draw out the object on your card.

Once everyone is done drawing they will add their drawing to the lineup and gather all player's cards, mix in a few other cards and reveal the cards. The players will try to guess all of the drawing based on the words out.

When Michael and I played we sort of made a house rule. We each draw 2 drawings with the dice and then add 3 extra word cards to the lineup of words. It isn't really how the game is meant to be played, but we made it work. We played through 3 rounds! (see video)

I have to say I had a bunch of fun with this one. I love party games with some drawings. You don't have to be good at drawing either! You just need to make some shapes! I really enjoyed this one and will definitely want to play it again. This would have been a game I brought along to Christmas with the family if I were going this year.


From gallery of punkin312




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In case you missed it, here is Steph's Hodgepodge of Gaming from Friday!








New to the Collection:
Trekking the World
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Treasure Chest
9 Dragons?





Thanks for following along!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph


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All images in this post are copyrighted, owned, and controlled by Steph Hodge Photography, unless otherwise noted.
Please contact me if you would like to purchase or use my images in any way.
Disclaimer: I am a contract Employee of BGG. I review games that are provided by the publisher. I am not compensated for my blog content.
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