All the Meeples of the Rainbow.

A photographic journey through board games...
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Carson City The Card Game, Trade on the Tigris, Mercado, Yellow & Yangtze, Smith's of Winterforge, Speakeasy Blues, Hippo!, Space Park, Caper, Spirts of the Wild..... I mean I can Continue, but I played 'em all!

Steph Hodge
United States
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Hia Everyone!

Turns out that I just play too many games so this post is Wicked long. I might suggest Ctrl F to find the game you want to learn more about - and hey if you are feeling like I deserve a thumb, it is appreciated! Happy Reading! thumbsup






Another game day has come and gone and I got to continue down the stack of games from GenCon! Still so many left! Super excited for them all! And still so many to revisit and play again and again!

This time we started with Minute Realms. New to me!

Is this supposed to be MINUTE Realms or Minute Realms? I will let you think about that one. I think the table agreed it was going to be Minute Realms. You might have to think about that one for a moment.

Anyway, this is a cute little tableau building kind of game. You are working to get buildings in your realm that will offer up defense and points for the end of the game. There are 2 times the barbarians might attack in the game so you want to make sure your defense is high enough or you might lose a building. You have some money that you can use to help pay for the buildings or you might have to pay another player.

It is only 8 rounds and is quite simple once you get going. I was thinking it reminded me a bit of Majesty for the Realm, but I like Majesty much better. For me, this is a perfectly fine game and one I could play again. I don't think it stands out quite enough from the crowd to be remembered to play. Therefore I don't see it getting played a whole bunch but if it were requested I could easily play.

In our game, I totally failed it. I was just trying for the high point cards and less on the defense. I ended up losing some critical buildings that super lost me the game. Don't let your luck carry you on this one. I was feeling lucky but got burned instead. I would be happy to play again gain revenge.



















Next up we played a 4 player game of Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge. New to me!

I have never seen the show, but I love anime so I can get behind it. It is mostly a 2p game and if you play with more you are on even teams. Players get an ability card but the whole game is essentially the same as an older game called Button Men. You could combine the games and get more abilities but you are generally using a combination of different valued dice. You get to roll the dice on your turn and then try and capture the other player's dice. You get points equal to the size of the die you captured then you re-roll the die you used to capture it. I might use my rolled 6 (on a D8) and capture my opponents 6 or lower on his D20- I will get 20 points at the end of the round for capturing that die.

Play out so many rounds best of 4 or 5. Simple dice game to roll lots of dice and push your luck. This edition of the game is so colorful and the dice are great. Worked well with the new Rainbow dice I acquired for all the different valued dice from D4- D20.

Joe H and I were teamed up and I was just bringing the team down. I never could win a battle! It was a mess and I was just not rolling well. My ability was particularly useless and I couldn't ever even use it. I will choose a better ability next time for sure! We simple alternated the winning and it meant the other team won since they won the first match. Unclear if I think it will go that way each time, but I definitely enjoy rolling dice and it is simple enough where I think it makes for a good filler.





















Next up was another quick game called Short Order Hero. New to me!

Very simple set collection game to find the ingredients to make the dishes requested. You have cards and will get cards each turn. Eventually, someone will get 5 recipes completed and the game will be over. The whole game is just this and there are action cards in the deck you can choose to play on your turn. It can be a bit of take-that.

In our game, we were all very much picking on Dan. I think he had a grand total of 3 turns in the game. It would get to be his turn and either I or someone else (mostly I), would steal his turn with the wooden spoon. He went off to punch out another game and read rules to that while we played out this game. Can be pointed meanness like that. I am not sure he minded, however. We were having fun at the expense of him. We all agreed this game was not much fun and that Dan was likly having more fun than we were.

This was on KS and got funded, so people saw the potential here. I guess this game is targeted at new gamers or people who just don't like rules. It is very simple to play- so much so that gamers like us were just totally bored. Can't foresee playing this one again.
















Hot on the doorsteps was a bunch of new games including Mercado. New to me!

This is a new one from Kosmos and one that looked really interesting. You are trying to push your luck to claim the victory of the tiles on display. Some tiles never go away and you can always work towards them, but most tiles you are fighting to complete the request first to get the reward. You do, however, score a second place token if you come in second place at that location (definitely not as good).

What is interesting about this game is that it is sort of a bag builder, but you really are adding a lot of black discs which are really bad, and a few white discs that are wild and great. Ideally trashing the black discs when possible. Each turn you are going to pull 3 discs from your bag and can choose to spend a favor token (if you have one) to draw 2 additional. If you are looking for that one more disc to complete a region and you want a better shot of getting it you would want to spend it. A very simple game, where you are looking to figure out the best possible solution with the information on hand.

In our game, I was working hard to get the points early, but you want to get exactly the right number of points because depending on where you land on the score track you might gain a black disc or gain more points or LOSE a black disc from your bag (which would be awesome!). Its cool and all of the tiles do different things if you win them. They might give others black discs or give you white ones. Lots to look at and plan for. Just need to draw well! I was drawing well too, but I was just too late at the end to shuffle through my cards and had some terrible final pulls.

Dan ran away with the game and Joe H was far behind since he was working on trying to get rid of the black discs too hard. Less focus on getting the points.

It is a fun game and I would play it again. I don't think it offers any wow moments or new ideas that we hadn't seen before, but it is perfectly fine and I will play again for sure.



















Moving down the stack of games I so wanted to play we had 5 players for a game of Trade on the Tigris. New to me!

New game from TMG! It is a trading game, which doesn't always fill me with happiness, but because I have a love for most TMG titles I really wanted to give it a shot!

The gameplay is actually pretty simple and you are working to collect sets of materials. It is sort of a light civ game where you are getting production cards to play and bonuses to gain in the game. Some are immediate, and you will almost always get a choice of cards to take each round. Then we have an open negotiation among the player to try and trade for things. People are working to get cards for their sets but also to work up the different tracks. There is a politics track and religion track. The higher up that you are the better the cards you can choose at the beginning of the round. You will also get some sweet cards at the topmost spaces. Once the negotiation is done then we have a resolve the income. You can only hold 3 cards do you want to trade in all the other cards you have for points. After 5 rounds the player with the most points win.

There is of course more to it than that, and so much going on but it is all printed very nicely on your player aid. The flow of the game is really nice and there is so much in the game I feel like you won't have the same game twice. Once you start getting to know the cards in the different stacks I think you might find going one path might be more your flavor in hopes of getting that ONE card that you think is really cool.

Our play we were all just learning of course, and it wasn't exactly clear what was worth what and which paths we should take. We were all sort of going what made sense with the hands we were given. The first round was over before we knew it and all agreed this would be a fast game. Of course, with more rounds, you have more production and more things happening so it ended up about being what the box said 90-120 and that was good for a 5 player game. Nice solid gameplay.

The end of the game I really thought I was going to win it. I was doing very well with my barbarians and they never came to attack me. I ended up getting a few culture victories so that was awesome. I definitely needed more points from the trades I was doing and I should be more aggressive with it next time. I think I ended up losing by like 10 points or so. Joe H had us all beat. Boooo and expected, I mean, Joe H, after all.

This game was pretty great and easily one of my favorite trading games since that mechanic has never really worked out for me in the past. I felt more in control this time and there were little things to sweeten the deals to make it worth while for both sides. It was very clever. I liked how it played with 5 and I think 6 would be a perfectly good number for it as well. I would love to try it again. I think there is a lot of potential for this game, and look forward to hearing what others think of it in the coming months/ years whatever. Very cool.























There was a lot of interest to play Woodlands, it was time to pull that out.

This was great by me since it was easily one of my favorites to comes from GenCon! Love this game so much. I can't wait to play it more and more!

I am pretty sure everyone that was playing was also learning it for the first time. Even someone hadn't played Loony Quest so it was a super new concept. I am pretty sure the Ron was playing since I totally was neck and neck with him in the game but I ended up winning since I managed to get an extra gem or something since he screwed up in the final round.

I don't recall if he had played prior or not, but yeah we are pretty evenly matched. Took a few rounds for the others to catch on but Dan was quick to it.

Great game always happy to play this one. I want to play the next chapter! Gotta do that over Labor Day weekend for sure!













Dan was great and read the rules to Smiths of Winterforge. New to me!

I first got the scoop from this game when I was the host for BGG at GenCon! Vid right below! I was not tuned in on this boardgame at all so this was a pleasant surprise for me and I was immediately interested in the game.

It did not look like a euro game from the box or art, but upon further investigation, it is totally a euro game about dwarves and forging weapons and items. You are trying to collect resources and craft your weapons. There are a bunch of mini expansions that can be used for modular games, but we just started with the basic game.

In the game your money is really tight and you need it for most of the materials you will be collecting. The more valuable the resources the better the dice you will get to use when forging the item. Each weapon you try to forget will require certain materials and sometimes will give you a bonus if you use SPECIFIC types of that certain material like you might need a metal material and you get a bonus if it is GOLD- something like that. the items you use will give you access to dice and once you have committed the materials you can't change their location. You can take actions to try and forge it and roll the dice to get the minimum number required to make it happen. You might have bonuses from your player skills or other cards. You can also acquire tavern folk for additional bonuses. You might also need to take a loan in the game so there is a space for that as well. Different things to try and focus on. If you get to a location and the special space is available you can take that and it will give you (only) a special 1-time ability. Getting a loan? Well, get $1 more or one additional purchase from the market- small things that will go a long way.

On your turn, you get 3 actions and 1 action would be to move to an adjacent location so if you wanted to take an action get the bonus and move out and back in you can do that action again for the bonus again.

The gameplay is pretty straightforward, so it was easy to pick up and learn. From my understanding, the rulebook is long though and it might be because of all the extra modules.

I was off and running early in the game and picked up a few more contracts. I was trying to take the actions other players weren't so I could get the bonuses. I started forging early and as often as I could to increase my skill levels and get $$ from the forges. They were all points at the end but the game ends in a few different ways, and you want to forge the royal item to get the big points and bonus 3 points if you do it first. That will trigger the end of the game, or if all of the contracts run out from the pile that would also trigger the end.

I was out for the royal contract first and everyone was like several turns behind me. I wasn't able to complete the contract on the first go around but I was the last player so everyone was able to try at least one more time. When the end game is triggered the round simply finishes. I think we all agreed once it was over and I won because no one else could manage, that it would be best that once the game end is triggered to finish the round then have one final round for the last chance opportunity. Ron was a bit frustrated with the ending as I might have been. Dan actually tried to forge the royal contract, and was off, but might have been able to get it in another round. It would have been closer for sure. As it stood I pretty much had them all, but it could have been a lot tighter with another go around.

I enjoyed it, though a bit long. I feel like it will speed up next time since we all know now. It is not a hard game to teach and play. There are a few modules I would like to try out as well. I think I can get a few players to give it another whirl. I quite enjoy the art and colors of the game. I think it is beautiful. I look forward to trying again.





























In an effort to not continue to play long thinking games we broke up the mix with Space Park. New to me!

I was super excited to play this one if not only for the vibrant colors for this game and to see how it played. It is actually quite a simple game, but let me just say that I wish ALL games could be this gorgeous! I absolutely am in love with the art and bright colors. LOVE IT!

The game is very easy to play and pull out. Would be a great fit for new games to see how set collection and contract fulfillment type games work. You have 3 ships moving on the board. On your turn, you get to take an action for one of the ships. It might be to collect gems or a specific color, to take a new contract, or fulfill a contract if you have the gems available. This is all pretty basic, then the ship will move to the next opened location moving in a clockwise fashion. There is one space on the board that will give you the controls to the robot, I call Walle. When you claim him you can get a pink gem or fast pass which allows you to move one additional space before taking your turn.

You are trying to complete the contracts and get combos for specific things you plan to do in the game.

I was working on all the purple cards and they were giving me bonuses for the different things I was doing. The game ends when someone hits 20 points and it is a race to do it first!

I totally kicked butt! I was neck and neck with Derek though and he was doing very well, I thought for sure he would luck into a contract he could fulfill before me, but I was on it and getting a few points here and there and I was the one who ended up lucking into the final contract that pushed me over the edge for big points!

This was great fun and I see why Derek withheld it from me to show a bunch of people before returning it to my massive pile of games. He is a big advocate for this game and it is great! I totally support and it apparently plays solo so I think that is pretty great. I look forward to more plays of this one.























Because I haven't had enough of Brothers I totally wanted to team up with Nate and give this one a play. I was not sure Star would enjoy it, but he teamed up with Derek and we played a fast game.

I gave Nate a hard time after round 1 when he failed to do 2 possible good moves, but he learned in the secon round on how to block better and we totally won the game by 1 point.

Haha I didn't mean to be serious if anyone thought I was serious about giving him a hard time. The game is so fast and wonderful and I tease in delight. I want everyone to enjoy this game! I think everyone ended up enjoying it. I know Derek was all about it as well. We had a great time!

Seriously one of my favs from GenCon! LOVE IT!









People were coming and going and I ended up in a game of The Marching Cats. New to me!

Never heard of this one but always willing to give a Japanese game a go! Jess had it and Joe read the rules so I joined in on this super fast memory type game.

You are trying to flip cards without getting duplicates. Ultimately you want duplicates in your collection, but you can't collect 2 black cats at once. If you think you can spot a select number of music notes then you can call that out and possibly win. I was very confused by this fact.

Had I understood that better I would have won the turn before Dan ended up winning so that was totally my win. I declare a recount!

It was a cute game but not one I am in a hurry to play again.













Joe H was out and Dan, Jess and I gave Speakeasy Blues a whirl.

I got to play a rough prototype before Essen last year and was very much looking forward to this release! The art design is one that I just connect with and really appreciate! I do think the pastel dice have something left to be desired and I don't think they are color blind friendly, but I still love the color pallet of the game.

The game didn't change much since I played it in Oct 2017, I don't think anything changed, that I could notice.

It is a tableau building game and a dice drafting game. You have a pool of dice and on your turn, you select a color from the board and roll the 2 dice and add them to the pool for 6 dice. Then you choose a pair of dice from the pool to take actions with. Some things might require money or influence points, but you are working to collect sets of fancy things or people. But, you want to be good with the mob bosses too so you have to make nice with them.

Lots of cool things happening in this game and it was really great playing with 3 players. I do think 3 players is probably the right number of players.

It moves along at a nice pace and you get the same feeling as playing with 4. I think I might have won this game, but I am not sure... hmmmmm Jess had a LOT of sets so she probably ended up winning. I can safely say I don't think Dan won!

This game is very exciting for me! It has a lot of mechanics I really love! I very much look forward to playing again soon!






























Next the 3 of us tried out a 20 questions type game called 3 Secrets. New to me!

Each card in the game is its own game. There is essentially a story on the back and 3 secrets the guessers are trying to figure out. One player will know them and answer yes and no questions and will give out hints as the timer ticks down.

Really really hard to play this game with some unusual storylines and random thoughts. So you almost have to be abstract and very general until you learn more about the story. Or maybe you just always assume there is a bomb in the story.

We had a great time playing through a few cards and I enjoyed knowing the story better than trying to guess since I am just not as abstract. I can be if I have other people to bounce ideas off of. I think Kim would have enjoyed this game so next time she is around I will have to play some with her.

We, for the most part, figured out the secrets 2/3 for when I was a guesser. And I screwed up when I was storyteller so it was a redo.

I look forward to trying out more cards!









Next up we played a 3 player game of Jungli-La. New to me!

This is a new game that TMG just imported from designer Hisashi Hayashi, one of my favs. So I was definitely interested in trying this one out asap.

You create a line up of cards ABC and they start off easier and get harder. They are cards you are trying to collect with resources. On your turn you have dice you are rolling and you are looking to get combos with these dice to get resources and bonus flags. There is a bunch of different combos to create. If you get to the end of the path you can start collecting treasures on your turn and that will be the game end timer when the stack is nearing the end.

It is a cute push your like dice game since you get to have rerolls for the actual dice faces you want. Of course, I never roll what I was looking for so I was just making the best out of a bad situation all game. Jess had a million combos each turn. I was moving like the speed of light through the pathway.

It actually worked out for me though since I was able to start collecting a lot of valuable treasures and got most of my points that way. It turned out to be enough and Jess was a close second since she was collecting a lot of path tiles along the way. I got some good scoring ones to help me, but yeah it was mostly for all of the treasures.

It was a pretty fun game. I have to say I am not a fan of the artwork style at all, it is off-putting for me. It felt a bit long, also. I am not sure if it will get a lot of additional plays, but I am certainly happy to have tried it and I will definitely play again.
















The final game of the night was 5 player Micropolis. New to me!

I didn't know much about this game other than ANTS! I have played other ant game and I am just not a fan of the creature. Makes me itchy. This game they cartoonize the ants to they are at least less ANT-like so I was okay with the animal in this format. You get little ant pieces which are much better than cubes! Gl to anyone who will paint all of those.

This is a tile drafting game and you will collect 10 tiles in the game. Each tile you get will be added to your ant hill and have a connection of paths. There are several different symbols that you will score points for depending on how they interact with other symbols and tiles. For example, the queen ant will only score points if SHE is the only one in the specific tunnel and she will get points per tile the tunnel travels through. Lots of different roles of ants and scorings. The drafting is done from the leader all away around the table and you can use the ants in your hill to skip tiles much like in Majesty for the Realm. Don't want the first tile in line then drop an ant to take the second one. Next person might take that first tile and collect any ants on it for their hill.

I love pattern building games like this. You are trying to get the best tiles for your hill and hope to not get screwed over!

I had a great time playing this one and I thought it really worked for a late end-of-night game. I quite enjoy this type of game anyway, since I am doing my own thing but people will interact with me and tiles I might be able to take, so knowing what your options art and sort of being able to plan is good, but it might not always be perfect.

In our game I managed to do everything I wanted to. It worked out perfectly, and thankfully, no one decided to screw me over, since they totally could! I had amazing scoring too.

Super looking forward to next time I get to play this one. Really enjoyed it.















Midweek, Ron and I checked out a few 2 player games I have been itching to play since GenCon! First on the table was the very beautiful Spirits of the Wild. New to me!

This game is $15 on Amazon right now and it is so great! I know I could teach this to anyone! It is ONLY 2 players so that will be a limiting factor for some, but the game is gorgeous and the play is light and thinking.

You have a line up of action cards and on your turn, you perform one of the cards and flip it over. The next player goes and so forth until the game has ended. There are gems you are trying to collect and place on your player board for set collection. Each constellation will want a different combination. There are some special constellation cards which will activate when you select the action so you might get a more awesome bonus. There are 6 different colored gems in the bag, and there is a special clear gem in which there are 5 of them. Once the 5th one is revealed the game is over at the end of that turn.

If you claim a clear gem and place it on one of your rows then that row is then locked and will score double the points.

There is also a coyote on the loose and you will get to move him with an action card, or if you reveal both backsides of a couple action cards. Lots of little clever things like that and timing is very important.

In my game with Ron, it was clear he was winning, he would always leave the bowl empty on his turn so I would have to take turns filling in the bowl and it was always a problem. I even had to take a bonus action that got me NO gem but I did get another turn so I could make up for it.

I was smart about the gems I was taking and I ended up getting 3/5 clear gems doubling the scores of the rows they were on. I somehow ended up winning this game! I don't know how he let me win that, but I had a pretty great comeback.

It is a super quick game and I think you make a lot of great choices. Easy for anyone- I can see my mom playing this with me and really enjoying it. I definitely look forward to playing it again soon!


























The next game we took out to play was Caper. New to me!

This was a game I was interested in just for the art, and then I read more about it and grew more interested. It is a tug-of-war type game, but with more euro type scoring! I honestly am not a fan of tug of war type games in the 2p genre. Not many games really call to me from the different small square boxes about the size of patchwork, you might be able to think of a few. This is totally different! Sure you are fighting for control of the middle locations but those are just added bonuses for the end of the game.

This is a drafting game with 2 phases. Each phase the players alternate who starts the placement. You get to pick thieves and then the next phase you are drafting equipment to attach to the thieves. To win the middle locations you need to get the most thieving value there. Lots of cards provide them and a lot of other cards score points for different things in the location.

I like that in the game you can choose to run to Paris for the first mission and then next game you choose a completely different location. You get to mix in different cards and have a different game. Great for replay. Once you start knowing the cards better I think you will have a more strategic approach to the game and I can see holding out for a specific card or draft with some hate towards the other player's goal.

In my game with Ron I was so focused on taking control of the middle cards. I ended up getting 2/3 of them for end game scoring. But, I failed to notice he was getting like 5 points for his blue cards in a region or something crazy! He completely and utterly destroyed me. I really just let him get away! Thief!

Here I was doing well with my nun and photographer girl, but they were not enough to help me win the game. I still think I won since I got the photo girl. She was pretty badass though.

Super excited for this game and look forward to playing the next location and getting my revenge! I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who plays 2 player games on the regular.



























So the Following Saturday- aka this previous Saturday was another game day! ALL THE GAMES!!

We started the day with a full 6 player game of Jungle Race. New to me!

So this is a VERY SIMPLE race game to try and use cards in your hand to boost the racers into a position so that the remaining cards in your hand will score the most points. It was pointed out and I think holds true that it reminded us of Bucket Brigade.

You play out a few rounds of cards and score some points. There is no penalty for being in last place or is there really an incentive to play any cards at all- we were all pretty confused by this.

In the first round, people were playing a lot of cards to try and position the cars perfectly. In the second round players simply passed and hoped for the best. What is logical? I would say passing and hoping for the best since your manipulating the board probably won't mean anything anyway.

It was a weird game, and I might need to revisit the rules and maybe we got something wrong? I don't think so since Dan read them and he is pretty thorough. This was pretty much a miss for everyone at the table. We were all just confused by what was happening. Spending cards means you won't score them. yah they might not be scored anyway, but it is still better than spending them.


















The next game we also played with the full 6 player count and that was Carson City: The Card Game. New to me!

YES YES YES!!! LOVED THIS GAME! I had to get right to my thought and it was LOVE! (perhaps my favorite from GenCon- Look for the New to me review list next week)

Seriously, this is one of my favs I have played in the past several weeks and it is because I love all the mechanics here. In the game, you are playing 9 rounds each in 2 phases. Each phase you will get cards in hand 1-9 that you will use to bid on the available lots. Each round you will flop so many land tiles and 1 character card. There are tiebreakers on the backs of the character card draw deck to determine which player wins the ties of the same valued card. #SOCLEVER

All players will get a card each round, there are exactly enough. I like having more players for this game since you can see more possible items to take. All of the character cards are AWESOME! And they will work really great with specific strategies. Some are ongoing effects and some you can activate one per phase. Some even have points printed on them!

Most of what you are collecting are land tiles which are cards which is 2x2. They might have buildings on them or outlaws. Most of the symbology you will recall from Carson City if you have played that. Most actually score the same way as well. You collect the card you want and add it to your city. Your city can only be 8x8 or 4cards by 4 cards. But, you can overlap cards as long as the same building in beneath it or it is just sand.

This game was getting compared to Honshu, which I sort of understand, but this is so much better in my opinion. Lots of different paths to take and ways to score It all ties in very nicely to the Carson City game, all while being totally different.

Not many games handle 6 players well in a fast time play and this is totally one of the games that can. The tricky part if explaining the scoring to new players who aren't familiar with the board game. It is also tricky figuring out eh character cards each new reveal if you don't know them. I think after a few plays it will become more clear who everyone is and what their powers are.

In our game, it was pretty smooth and I was pretty focused and playing well. I really thought I would win this game. Then one of my Pet Peeve things triggered. Kim was selecting cards first and no cards were particularly GREAT for her and the character card she could have had was worth some points for her, but she was being nice to Joel and let him have it. Husband and wife team up or something. That card was worth like 30+ points for him and was a CLEAR bias play towards her husband. I get it if there is a better play on the table for her to take the better point valued card for herself and leave that for him, but she was just being nice to him and kingmaking the game. I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY dislike that. Anyway, Joel ended up winning 121 to my 109 or something and low score was around 55.

Curious if you all tolerate the relationship situation I mentioned above. Does it bother you? It is funny since I am totally opposite when it comes to Ron, I would so hate draft that card away in a heartbeat. Oh well.

It still ended up being a favorite game of my from the game day and perhaps even the month. I really loved it and want to play again right now!



















It was about time we found 4 players to try out Yellow & Yangtze. New to me!

Once upon a time, I played a game called Tigris & Euphrates (sidenote: thing=42 my guess is because it is Aldie's favorite game and favorite number, I just saw that. Tricky he is), and when I played it I played with 3 players. Mistakes were made. This should really be a 4 player only game. I didn't have the best time playing it and I never felt the need to revisit it. Y&Y is a game much like T&E but with several changes. First of all the board and tiles are all hexes which is a big change and I also think they changed some combat rules. You are still trying to collect the different colored victory points and have the most points in your least color than everyone else to win the game.

Each turn you get 2 actions- to place tiles on the board, or to spend tiles to get monuments down or replace tiles. You will mostly be placing tiles and leaders on the board. You might start a conflict. There are 2 types of conflict that might happen. If you were to place a leader of the same position in a region then you will have a battle for control of that region. If there are 2 blue leaders, for example, you will evaluate the surrounding black tiles on the board to the leader and get the chance to boost your strength with more black tiles from behind your board. there will be one winner. If you place a tile that will adjoin 2 regions then you have an immediate battle and you go around the table and players get to add red tiles to boost the strength of the region of their choosing. Red tiles will be removed from both sides once there is a winner.

The whole point of the game is to score different points for each of the 4 colors. There is also yellow which is a wild color and is easier to get those other colors boosted. There is a wild color in T&E but it is much easier to get the wilds in this game. I really like that better.

I was glad we could play with 4 players, I think it really makes the game better so we played with the correct number of players. Dan was wanting to play this one for a while since he quite enjoys T&E I think he enjoyed it enough that he would want to own both games. They are different enough and provide a different feel for the plays.

In our game I was just trying to figure out what I should be doing, it would be very helpful to have a player aid in this game- could have put it on the shields and I am not sure why not!? That was a bit of a disappointment. It worked out though and I eventually understood all my options and how it all came together.

Right off the bat I started an early war with Shrey for control of a blue region and it didn't work in my favor, so that set me back. I wanted a blue monument early on so that was just not happening. Throughout the game, I started a lot of wars. I just wanted to see what would happen. I was actually playing a solid game and had controlled the wild monument so was getting an income of wild resources. It was totally working in my favor and I ended up with a bunch of wilds so that really helped support my end game score.

Turns out Shrey was doing just as well as me and we ended up in a tie but the second tiebreaker had Shrey winning it. He might have actually won by 1 but it was reallllllllllllllllllly close.

Played out pretty fast since you only play through the bag of tiles. It can easily be a game that gets drawn out with the wrong AP players. Don't play with them.

I had a great time and look forward to doing better in the next game. All the cubes!





























Dan was willing to sight read the rules for Xi'an. New to me!

I saw this at Essen and was interested in it since there were really cool figures on the board. I honestly thought it was an abstract game so when we got into it and found out it wasn't really an abstract at all I was a bit surprised. The figured on the board makes it look like a multiplayer abstract game.

It is actually a card management game where you get 4 cards each round and you have to pair them up to take an action and then the other card will be your ranking on turn order for the action. So you get 2 actions per round and there are 6 rounds. Everyone has the same cards in their deck and will start the game by shuffling them and drawing 4. So, everyone will have the same cards but they will come up at different times and it is hard to predict what people will do.

Once you take your action for the turn you get to select another action on the game board to help build or paint the statues or collect weapons or advance the garden tiebreaker track.

There are a few different ways to score points in the game but you will be getting most of your points from the end of game scoring that you have acquired from the statue placement.

In our game, we actually scored it incorrectly and it should have been for directly adjacent statues and not just in the same cluster. I was focused on getting most of my points in the game with building the statues for people to paint and getting the points that way. Other people were focused on getting them painted and collecting the weapon sets.

Once we got through the rules it was pretty easy to get into a groove for the game but the rules were a bit of the mess to sort out. But the second half of the game moved along more quickly. We all agreed the game was pretty good but nothing really standing out for unique or new mechanics. It was very middle of the road, but easily a game I could and want to play again.






























For a silly filler we elected to try out TopSpin. New to me!

There are a few different ways to play this game and it is pretty clear it is a silly dex game, but really mostly luck. I suppose you COULD get really good at this game if you know the right angles and the exact force to spin the top etc. Most people won't know that or care to know that so you just spin the top and throw some balls into the box and see what happens.

Yah, that is the game! The goal is not to lose lives. Well, the version we played, you didn't want to lose your hearts. On your turn, you just get balls into the different scoring holes and meet or exceed the previous score and if you don't then you lose a heart and the play continues to the next player. You keep doing this until all players but 1 is out.

Very simple, and I know there are other ways to play in the box so I will have to check that out as well.

I am always just for some dex games, and this is just simple entertainment. We all had some laughs and wanted to see the balls get bounced around. There were a TON of balls you could play with, but the game we were playing was only 3 balls required.

We had a good time and Riley won with flying colors. It was a bit crazy. He was getting SO LUCKY... Maybe he will call it skill, I duno.

We had a fun time playing and it is an easy filler cleanse type game to refresh into the next burner.
















There were 4 of us for a game of Hippo. New to me!

I was interested in this game since I heard Eric talking about it on BGG Show. The little box is so cute with a hippo! Love him!

It is an area control type game to try and get rid of all of your life preservers first. You have 3 dice and if you make a 7 then you can add to the hippo in the middle and then get an additional turn. But you can only ever get 1 additonal turn each time it comes to you. Place your life preservers wisely and try not to get bumped off!

So it is quite a simple dice rolling and area control type game to try and keep the winning player at bay for as long as possible until you get sneak in the victory!

That is exactly what I did in my game! I was not really winning, and Dan nearly won because I was doing okay and people were trying to bump me, but then they focused on Dan so I had a distraction. It was all about those 7s if you were lucky enough to get that bonus roll, you should always do it!

Simple and fun little game, and easy enough to pull out and play anywhere. Could be good restaurant game when waiting for the food to show up. Would definitely like to play this more.















I was interested in playing a new card game called Catalyst. New to me!

Recruited Dan, Kim, and Riley for this game and we learned it from the rules. It is a pretty easy game to pick up and play. You have a line of cards in the middle so you can buy them and add them to your tableau. On your turn, you simply do one action and move to the next player. You might activate a person in your tableau for their action or you can spend the turn just buying a card, or passing for coins. Once you have purchased a building you can start allocating the new people you buy into these buildings so when you use the person they also activate the building for the bonus as well! It is costly to acquire a building so you want to save up before that. Each time you activate a person in your tableau they are considered used and will get flipped over into your scoring pile.

Each game will have different end game scoring that will happen so it will vary from game to game. This game we were scoring for yellow buildings/ red cards/ blue person symbols on scored cards and the gree was scoring for each of the 2 cards you scored I believe. You will also get points based on teh cards value that they have.

In our game I was focused on getting higher valued cards and using them for their bonuses and then scoring them. It totally won me the game since I was well over everyone elses value for their scored cards. Even if it meant that I wasn't getting a lot of points for the other things.

Dan was trying to be too synergized, but it was only a great combo once or twice in the game and it took him too long to build up and get that great combo going. Had he gotten it going a bit sooner he might have caught me in the points at the end.

The art is gorgeous and the game play was fast and light. I would totally like to play this again and would request it in the future. I think there is some interesting game play here and would recommend it.















We found a group to play the next Deckscape: Heist in Venice. New to me!

We played 4 players and it was Dan, Kim, and Riley joining me in the heist. It is nice because each player is given specific information that they can help out with the gameplay, so you get to feel special and help out with the mission.

I won't go into too much detail since it is an escape room type game where you are trying to complete a heist and get out. You have a number of puzzles to solve.

We had a good group and we managed to escape in just over an hours time so that was pretty good! I have been really enjoying the Deckscape games so I look forward to the last one I have. Very cool series!















Riley took off and the 3 of us played a game of Lost Cities: Rivals.

I got to play this at GenCon so I was already familiar with the game. Dan still reviewed the rules and explained it to Kim.

Hey, we got all the rules correct this time. I know I had played incorrectly the first time. getting the bonus 8 points for 4 cards in a color is huge and will make or break a score!

It was a pretty light game for sure and didn't feel as punishing this time around. I wonder if that was because we were only playing 3 players, but probably.

At one point I was able to take a bunch of cards for the cheap because both Kim and Dan were OUT of money and that was sweet! Still didn't change the fact that I was tied for Kim with the win, but then found out she didn't score her bonuses so she ended up winning by 8 points. Yeah, she totally crushed it that time. C'mon Kim! I suppose I should say "good job".

Super tight game and you really need to be stingy with your money spending habits in the game. Really enjoy this one!















Dinner was about here but I wanted to try out the new game called Demon Worker. New to me!

I recently played and acquired Hell Village and was interested in this one just because I love the artwork so much and the gameplay is simple and interesting.

Demon Worker has a similar feel and play to it with amazingly adorable artwork. In the game, you first set the game by drafting a bunch of cards to your hand which will later be used to add additional workers to your pool. It is a worker placement game to collect resources and gain points and fulfill contracts, etc. You do this over 5 rounds I believe it was.

In our game, we actually played wrong which was sad. You are supposed to pay $2 per worker on a space and we were just paying $2 for the space total, no matter how many people were on the space. So it was wicked off. It also felt off to me and I asked about it a few times, I should have picked the rulebook up and found it sooner.

So, our play was mangled and messed up. I was still happy to play and I definitely got a good feel for the game. It all felt too easy to get all of our workers out early and there was no real penalty for doing that. I had a bunch of cool workers that gave awesome bonuses. There is a cost for playing your workers if you wanted to use them on top of the location costs per player. You will also get points for the workers you can feed at the end of the game. You are mostly working to get the big contracts filled though. I was getting a lot of in-game points from my Old Dragon worker, which was great. It wasn't enough to win me the game though.

I really have to play it again to see how the additional costs will effect the gameplay. But I look forward to playing again soon! I love that it is a small box and so vibrant. I can't get enough of that artwork too.

























Next up I teamed with Kim against Dan and Shrey (I believe), in a game of Word Slam Family. New to me!

Alright, I am counting it as a new to me game but, really, I have played Word Slam and it is essentially the same thing. It is new because it is in a smaller box and there are new categories for the cards that are themed. I really like that and you don't need a die anymore they have numbers on the back of the cards that will tell you which word to choose.

Might question the word "family" in the title because I think a lot of the words are VERY hard to clue in and figure out and I don't know if kids or young adults would be able to guess some of the words.

For me, this game is so much better than the original, just for the size alone. There is so much awesome with it being in a smaller box.

Kim and I weren't doing so great but still holding out own. Kim is very good at guessing and nearly had the clues several times in a row. See the pic below and try to figure it out. She was SO CLOSE!

Really love this game and I plan to keep them both in the collection, but I might, actually, end up giving Word Slam to my mom since I will almost always play that at family events in the future. She would really appreciate it, I think. I can keep "family" with me since space is always needed on my ver crowded shelf.

Love this game!










Always up for another round of Cosmic Factory.

This game I just can't seem to get enough of. It is so accessible and one that I just want to play over and over. I am still desperately trying to score a perfect score for the asteroid path. I am finding this a very difficult challenge due to the crazy event cards that are happening each round which prevents me from accomplishing my goals.

This was a great game though and I think we were playing with 4 players and everyone was learning. They all caugh on pretty quickly though.

Pretty sure I still won, but it wasn't a crushing. I think people just needed a few more points from the asteroid paths they were making.

Still loving it and plan to play it again this weekend!















It was a hard sell but I managed to get The Island of Doctor Lucky to the table next. New to me!

It was mostly a hard sell since Dan isn't so much a fan of the Cheapass games. Kim and Shrey were willing to give it a go so we did!

I have to hand it to the puns on the cards and the locations on the board. They are all very witty and Kim was highly entertained by this. The gameplay wasn't that involved though and it was harder to get into for this group.

In the game, you are trying to kill Dr. Lucky. You are trying to get to be alone with him in the location where he is, and distract the other players with the cat. You then want to play an attack card in hopes that other players don't have lucky cards to help the Dr. out. Most of the time players will have the right amount of luck to save him. You don't want them to win so you end up spending your cards to save the Dr. since this is not a co-op game.

All in all the gameplay is very simple and you are just moving around the board and trying to attack him and distract other players with the cards in hand.

Hey, I ended up winning this game! Totally lucky for me since I happened to draw the perfect card for the location I was in and he was in, and BAM bonus attack and they were all very short on cards so they were unable to stop me! I was excited! Everyone else was excited, mostly because it was over.

I didn't mind playing it but it was clearly not a winner among the people playing. Hey at least we tried!


















Kim was like "We are leaving!" I said "how about Werewords Deluxe Edition?" She said "Fine, you win".

Knowing how to get people to stay late at game night is half the fun!

We ended up playing 5 times! I hate being the mayor so I let everyone else be the mayor. We were also playing with the new Deluxe game and the app is all updated! There are new characters that we ended up playing with a few of them. There is even a cool lady werewolf. She is awesome!

Kim and I were both werewolves one round and we ended up totally losing, it was too bad since I had my suspicions. It was sad!

This game is always a riot though and they seem to get played in bunches of 5 round each. I like it and will continue to play it. I do miss the old voice on the app though, I wonder if you can change it back!

Great game!















The final game of the night was a deck builder called Heart of Crown. New to me!

First of all, I love anime style art and this is just so appealing to me. I love deck builders too. This is an interesting deck builder because you need to score the cards, effectively, much like Tanto Cuore, but you need a certain amount of points. The cards you can buy from the middle display are not completely set up like dominion but will have 10 stacks shuffled together and then randomly placed out with max 8 different on the table. I might get a cool card but there might not be one under for someone else to claim, and then it might show up again later to buy. Very different and interesting.

I think if you are a fan of deckbuilding games than this will be an interesting one for you. The cards you can build your deck which are new and interesting, and there are already so many expansions that you can incorporate into the game. I like that the box is designed for the expansions and they give you dividers. Very clever and will be easy to manage going forward.

In my game I am not sure what Joe and Dan were doing, but I was scoring all the points and I was at 20 points in no time. I am nearly sure Joe managed to get a negative score. Dan was also not doing so hot. I completely destroyed the boys. They didn't know what hit them.

I had a fun time doing it too. My only complaint that I can think of is that the cards you can buy are all wicked wordy and long texts to read. It is less than ideal to try and read and figure out each card. I am sure that with time you will get to know the cards but it is not as user-friendly as Dominion in that regard.

Would happily play this game again.




















Thanks for making it this far down the blog post and Hey! A New Episode of the BGG Show!




New to the Collection:
Layers
Fold-it
Touch Down!
Crazy Eggz
TOKYO METRO
TOKYO JIDOHANBAIKI
TOKYO JUTAKU
Magical Treehouse
Trainmaker
Greedy Kingdoms
Junta: Las Cartas
Hippo
TopSpin
GoTown
Forest
Colorfox
Ticket to Ride: New York
Team UP!
Lucky's Misadventures







Thanks for following along! I know it was wicked long and I am sure after Labor Day it will also be another really long post!

Happy Gaming!!!



-Steph




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