Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...
Saturday I had awesome new games arrive to try out and play so we started with Cabo. New to me!
So, I am counting this game as new because if and when I played it, it was so long ago I couldn't even remember and I didn't log the play. It would have been like 6 years ago or something.
Regardless, Bezier Games is reprinting this game and will be available again soon! It is a light card game, perfect filler for the beginning of a game day.
The goal of the game is to end the round with the fewest total value of cards or to shoot the moon with all of your cards being 12 and/or 13. To start the game each player gets 4 face-down cards and will get to look at 2 of them.
One player begins and takes their turn. They can take the face-up discard and switch it with one of their 4 cards, leaving both cards face-up. Or the player can draw a card from the top of the deck and use the ability, if there is one, or take it and replace one of their 4 cards. Or if they think they have the lowest sum, they can choose to call Cabo as their turn and each other player gets one more turn to see if they can do better or screw up the person who called.
All players then score their 4 cards, and shooting the moon gives you 0 points. If someone called Cabo and didn't get the lowest score, they get an extra 10 points. Then another hand is played until someone reaches 100 points. Lowest score wins.
It is very luck based. I love the updated artwork and cute characters. I think it is a neat idea, I just wish there was more control over what was happening. You just don't have many choices. Some cards don't even have an action to peek or swap with another player.
In our game, we just played until more people showed up and it was long enough. It says play time is 45 minutes, but that seems too long for a filler like this. I honestly would just play a few rounds and the person with the lowest score would win. It certainly makes for a better filler than to play to a particular score.
It is very light though and easy enough for my family to play, so they would probably enjoy it. For my gaming group, it just didn't work so well. My group wants meaningful choices and strategy when playing games. This just didn't have enough of that. I would play it again for sure, but it probably won't be a regular game on the table.
Scott had a new game for me to try out called Eye My Favorite Things. New to me!
This is a party type game. We were playing with 5 or 6 players and it was quick and entertaining.
You play the game over a few rounds and it is over. Each round you get to write a category of your choice down. It can be anything! You pass to the player on your right and they take the category and create a top 5 list for it. They will hide a 1 underneath their favorite thing, they will hide a 2 underneath their second favorite thing, and so on. They will also have to include 1 answer that is not favorable to them and hide a 0 card underneath it.
After the answers have been written out, they get passed to the right and the trick-taking begins. Players will select a answer (and hidden card) from their hand that they hope will win the trick. After everyone selects an answer, the hidden cards are revealed. The lowest card wins, and a 0 wins only if someone has played a 1. Ties are won by the player closest to the start player. If you win then you get a stamp. The start player passes to the left and another trick begins. The last card in the round will remain unplayed.
Then another round is played, writing answers and taking tricks. You want the most stamps after 2 rounds.
It is a wicked cute game. I had a fun time with this. I got to write answers for "Disney rides" and "musicals". Some other good categories that were mentioned in the game were "signs" and "cat breeds". So silly, I loved that. You get to learn things about people!
Wystan ended up crushing us in this game. He had like 4 or 5 stamps. It was pretty great. I was happy just to get one! I did think it was a fun game and I would gladly want to play again. The trick-taking part of the game was not great though. I was pretty spot on with what I thought the proper ranking was for the cards I was given, and I still was only able to win 1 trick out of 10. There was that. Still cool though!
Another game that showed up was Vadoran Gardens. New to me!
I was immediately drawn to this game for the amazingly cute box art. A great box cover gets me every time! Love the little fox critter on the front!
This is a small card game that appealed to me for the card-laying mechanic. There is a drafting mechanic as well that I quite enjoy! In this game, you are laying out a single card on your turn and you have 10 turns. Your goal is to acquire the most points by creating areas on your tableau of at least 3 icons in a given region and delivering relics to a relic space. There are also common goals to race towards before other players can claim more points.
At the start of the game, you will have a hand of 3 cards and there is a display of 2 rows of cards. Each player places a meeple on on a card in the first row and then will take turns in order of their meeples from left to right. On the player's turn, they take the card they selected into their hand and will play a card from their hand to their tableau. In order to play a card, it must meet the round's requirements which will change each round. It might be a specific type of card that can be played or it might say something like rotating the card 180 degrees.
After the first card is played to the tableau, you must continue the line of cards by playing the next card on top of at least one of the 3 rightmost squares. There is a catch that you can't have more than 5 horizontal rows from all of the cards played though.
After placing the card, they will place a meeple on a card in the next row. This will be familiar to those of you who have played Kingdomino. Then the next player takes their turn. After everyone has taken a turn in the row, a new row of cards is revealed along with a new round requirement. This continues for 10 rounds.
In our game, we played 3 players and it moved along pretty fast. I like the ever-changing card placement rules, but it really means you have to diversify your hand of cards to be ready to play anything on a given turn. Kind of makes it difficult to plan since you can only really plan one turn in advance. It can also be a challenge since you have to play on the last column of a given card. I almost feel like you should be able to choose from the middle and rightmost column of the last card played, but I get it. I totally misunderstood a rule about the 7 point cards having to be in a region with more of its own color that is already scoring. Yeah, that would have changed up my game a lot.
In the end, Shrey won by a good deal since I misunderstood the scoring bit. That was cool though. It is easy enough to set up and play. I am sure I will be able to teach anyone this game. I will have to bring it around to other gaming events to show other people. Playing with more players, you get to see more cards on display, which is good, but could also make for a longer game. I quite liked it with 3 players though. I look forward to the next game.
We had a few minutes before the next table was free so we played Dragon's Breath. This has been my go-to 5-minute game recently and I have been loving it every time. I just NEVER seem to pick the right gem and always lose by like 10 points. It is quite impressive how poorly I play this game!
Maybe if I play enough I might win it some time. #goals
Love this game!
We had 5 players and I have been wanting to get Celestia back to the table. We got to incorporate Celestia: A Little Help. New to me Expansion!
I also have the other expansion for the game but we figured it was enough just to add in this first one. The helping expansion adds in a bunch of new cards and characters for each player. It is designed to be more of a team game, even though you are all still competing for the most points. Some cards that are added to the deck allow players to help the active person with some cards to succeed. The player's powers also allow for helping a specific situation. In our game, Ray had the ability on his turn to make all of the black symbols null. That was particularly handy for his turns and making us all at ease with staying in the ship.
It was a fun game. I always enjoy playing this with bigger groups. We were constantly referring to the rulebooks for card clarification though. It kinda drags the game on longer than I like. Eventually, I was able to pass the 50 point mark at the same time Chris did. I happened to have more points though!! Hey, I finally win a game in weeks of trying to win a game! It was super great! I do love push-your-luck games like this. Simple, yet thinking.
I have to say I really enjoyed this expansion and that adding in the 2nd expansion would have been too much. We simply don't play this game enough to remember what all of the cards do. It would be really great to have player aids for all the cards, or even if the cards just had text on them saying what their abilities are.
Still, I am happy we got to play and I very much hope to play again soon!
Perhaps my most anticipated game of the day was Wingspan. New to me!
I am a bit behind to this party since I have been seeing all the awesome posts on Instagram for a few weeks now! This game simply looks amazing and I had to try it out as soon as I could! And before I even received the game, I had already ordered cute little birds from Amazon to replace the action cubes. So cute!
Birds are a great theme and one that is particularly interesting to me. Learning about all the types of birds is a subject I love and one I have always enjoyed since elementary school.
In this game, you are trying to collect the most points. You can get points a number of different ways so it can be a bit of point salad in that way. It is really an engine builder though. The overall gameplay is really simple to learn and play. The game is in the choices you are making and the combos you can create.
There are 4 rounds in the game. You start the game with 8 actions and you get one fewer action each subsequent round. I really like how that works. You need more actions early to get your engine going and in the final round, you should have a lot of cool combos that will help generate more stuff and ultimately you will need fewer actions to accomplish what you want.
On your turn, you will perform one of 4 actions. You can play a bird card to a habitat where it is normally found and pay the bird's specific food cost. The birds you play will help with the other actions you will be taking. Each time you take one of the other 3 types of actions, you will activate the leftmost blank space in that row, then activate each bird that can be activated in that action row from right to left. Each additional bird you add to a row will make that action slightly more powerful, but the more birds you have in that habitat row, the higher the cost to place the bird.
The other actions you can choose to perform are gain food, lay eggs, and draw cards. When you gain food, you will draft food dice and collect the corresponding food tokens. When you lay eggs, you can place a number of eggs on any of your birds that can hold them. Each egg is worth 1 point, so the more eggs you have, the better! When you draw cards, you can draft from the face-up cards or simply draw blind from the top of the deck.
Everyone starts the game with goal cards to help form a strategy for which types of birds they might want to go for. There are also end of round scoring bonuses that will help direct a strategy, but they are common goals so everyone will be on the lookout for gaining points those ways.
The heart of the game lies within the cards and the combos you can create using them. There might be a bird that gives you a one-time bonus egg for each specific type of bird you have that is a certain size or lower. There is so much information on all of the cards and it might be used in various ways. You want to look out for cards that will provide a bonus each time you take those actions. Several birds that live in the forest will provide points for food each time you go collecting food. Playing those types of birds early is much better since you can rack up lots of points.
I just played the game once and I only saw a handful of the cards in the game. I honestly have no idea how many combos can be formed or what the best strategy might be! There is a HUGE amount of replayability here.
We were playing 4 players and Chris was teaching since he had played a few times before. He was pleased he was able to teach me the game. Unfortunately, there was a rule that was missed until mid-game and it would have altered several of our early plays. There are types of birds that have stars on them and those are essentially wild-type birds for the nests they create. A pretty major rule, so I will definitely have that correct for the next time I get to play.
I was so focused on trying to get the food I needed to get the birds played that I wanted, I couldn't keep up with what everyone else was doing. I was in my own little world all game completely focused.
It ended up being a bit longer than I thought it would when all was said and done. I think it will be a better 3 player game in the end.
Ray completely had us this game. He was getting a lot of points in the game from his cards and just ran with it. I don't think there was much else I could have done. I was trying to get a lot from the hidden goal cards. It was pretty great though. I had a fun game and I very much look forward to the next play.
I had asked Star ahead of time if he would be up for teaching Lisboa. New to me!
This is a super big game and one I have put off playing a for a while due to people telling me it wasn't my type of game. I knew I would want to play no more than 3 players and so we recruited Joel to play and learn too.
I honestly think all of Vital Lacerda's games are a bit too much for me. I don't mind a good heavy game, but he always seems to be past my level of excitement, which is why I was hesitant to play to being with. This game also has a follow mechanic which I am not fond of.
This game has SO FLIPPIN MUCH going on. I am sure my face showed distress the whole time. I was not hating it though. It is not my favorite Vital game (Vinhos), but it wasn't the least favorite either. I felt bad since Star and Joel both thought I was hating it, which was not true. I mean, for you to get the idea of how everything works... each player gets a pamphlet on what all the possible actions and activations are. I mean it was like a 6-page pamphlet. NO JOKE - so much reading and figuring stuff out. The rules took 45 minutes.
I won't even try to get into the rules because it is massive. The gist of the game is that you are trying to build buildings, gain resources, and ship resources for points.
There are so many paths to gaining points. However, there were just too many mechanics for me to really grasp and put together. Nothing flowed properly for me. It was never clear to me when I should spend influence or treasury money. Doing something might cost either influence or treasury and I still have no idea why that would even be affected when there was no indication of it, you simply had to know the rule.
In the end, I think I managed to understand most of the game. I certainly did very poorly. Joel managed to win his first game. It is always questionable when Joel wins though. Star was too busy focusing on making sure we were understanding the rules, which I can respect!
I am glad to have tried it out. This is a game I can pass on in the future. I could try it again, but not really rushing at a chance. For me, it was just too much. I had a headache in the end. Not many games can claim that - so, for some that can be a good thing, but not for me.
Star took off, so after Joel and I talked for 20 minutes or so, we decided on a 2 player game of (OMG) Krosmaster: Arena.
Oh I think it had been maybe 5 years since this game came off the shelf. It has been SO FREAKING LONG since my last play. I am pretty sure I wasn't even blogging at the time. Wow.
It is funny since I have kept the game forever. I got it at the first GenCon I attended and went to tons of the events they were having and got all the promo figures from the tournaments. I was all in and totally loved it. When I brought it home no one liked it as I did and I simply had no one to play it with.
When I showed Joel the game, he was all in. He even read the rulebook so we could play. I forgot how to play after all these years.
I can't get over the minis in this game. They just totally speak to me and I LOVE them. So freaking cute and totally my style of art. #ankamarules
Once we started playing, it was clear I was screwed. I really needed to kill the puffer character that Joel had, but I couldn't get enough damage on him to KO. It was only a few rounds before I found myself totally screwed and lost super hard. I could not get Gobball to help me or the tofu helpers to actually trap the characters in place. Nothing I was doing proved helpful. I rolled pretty poorly too.
I am just happy I could get this game played after so many years. It is still so super cute and one I hope to play again. Maybe Joel will want to play again sometime. He seemed really into it.
Kim was up for a lighter type game and everyone seemed interested in playing Scarabya.
I am always up for this game. I think it is one of the better games to come out in 2018 so it will be staying in the collection and seeing the light of day more often than others!
I am a big fan of the multiplayer-solitaire games so it is to be expected.
This might have been the all-time lowest scoring game of Scarabya I have been a part of. It was kind of ridiculous how bad we were all playing. I will blame Kim for setting up the board in such a horrible way. I am sure she would blame me for picking the cards in the order I did! haha yeah okay it was probably my fault! Dan ended up winning this time with a score of 43. I was actually close behind with 40... but still I think my best score is like 50s. This just seemed like a low score.
Still a fun challenge and one I am happy to accept anytime.
We only had a short amount of time between games, so I decided it was time to break out a fast push-your-luck game called Tiny Park.
I am not even sure I played it last year, but I made sure to correct that by playing it this year! It is just so much fun. So simple and cute and a race to fill up your park with rides and concessions!
So easy! I just love those big chunky dice and the fun theme and artwork.
I do think there is a possible first player advantage. I happened to go first and I happened to win. It really just depends on who can roll better. Kim wanted to see if she could have filled her board with one more turn and she did. I think she wanted a shared victory. I didn't win many games - so I declined her! I am so rude!
Cute game to play for a while.
I knew Wystan would be interested in playing Trajan and Shrey and I are always looking for a 3rd person to play this one.
This game is so appealing. There are so many moving parts and it is tricky to do well. I probably pride myself too much on this game though because I typically do pretty well.
Yeah, not this time. Wystan is always so good at games. He can find the mechanics that win him the game nearly every time. He hadn't played this game in years and years and I even retaught the game. Yep, he still managed to come through and kill it.
I was doing pretty well with my shipping of goods and set collection for the workers. It just wasn't nearly good enough. I wasn't able to feed the people each round and was losing points while both Shrey and Wystan were totally fine. Yah, it was a poor showing for me, but I was happy to have played. This is such a great game!
We were now at 5 players, so it was time we broke out the easy going Auf Teufel komm raus. But I usually just call it "Aufel Toffel".
This game is just a joy every time I play it. There are always smiles all around the table and it is just silly fun. I love betting on what will happen. I love the push-your-luck of the discs and I am almost always pulling out the devil token.
It is amazing how awesome this game really is.
In the first round of the first turn, Kim managed to pull 100 and 100, the 2 BEST chips in the game. I mean, it is unreal what kind of luck she had. I have NEVER seen that happen ever. Wow, it was awesome. I only wish I bet something crazy like the 200 chips I started the game with! #mistakesweremade
I was playing it easy all game and made my safe bets. From past games, I have learned that people bet crazy and then lose lots of points and the game goes on and on. This time I was playing conservatively - slow and steady wins the race! Not so much. I did manage to break 1600 but Wystan totally made a crazy bet that was doubled and he managed to beat me! I was so pissed! It was hilarious and awesome at the same time.
The final game of the night was a quick 5 player game of Welcome To... with Welcome To...: Halloween Thematic Neighborhood. New to me Expansion!
This was a PnP expansion board that is used with the basic Welcome To... cards. It all works exactly the same too, except some of the houses on the new board have ghosts and candy corn pictured on them, and there are scoring cards that will give you points for certain amounts of ghosts and candy.
When you write a number in a ghost/candy space you have to choose to circle either the ghost or the candy. There is a bonus the more you circle, but you have to select when you get to that number of candy or ghost, then no other player can gain that reward. For example, if I gain 9 candy I will get 15 points, but only if I claim it first. In our game, we used one of the scoring cards and it was to have 3x ghost and candy circled in a 3-house section.
It was really cool to play this game with a new board. I think it really helps keep the game fresh. More to think about without many complications added. Even new players can pick it up quickly.
Ron ended up destroying us all. Here I thought I was doing well with 97 points but he was well over 115, so yeah it was no contest. Always a great game to end the night with.
Monday night games! First on the table was a game I have been bringing around for weeks called A Feast for Odin with A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians.
Ever since the first game with the expansion we played back in Nov, I have been wanting to play it again so badly! Wow, I love this expansion so much!!!
I am so happy it is finally available in the states for everyone to pick up. It is just awesome. I still feel so lost for what to do and I play ok.
Ron was a machine this game and ended up with like 157 points to my 117 and Geoff doesn't want to talk about it with 79 points. It was a demolishing. I find it very difficult to focus on what other people are doing. One reason I love this game so much is that I am constantly thinking of what will be best, and how to work everything. The time just flies right on by when I play. I reallllllllllllly love it. Even when I lose.
Next up we had 6 agreeable players for a game of 7 Wonders with 7 Wonders: Armada.
Geoff hadn't ever played the expansion!! It was his copy of the game we were playing and we even played with it before but he wasn't in that game. I taught the game to him and we were all ready.
Geoff particularly enjoyed this play since he was the one who won with 85. He BEAT ME! It was rude. I thought I could have done better, but I thought I still had a decent shot at winning since I wasn't playing poorly or anything. I ended with 82.
Seriously love this game so much! Would play it every day if I could!
The final game on Monday was a rematch game of Tichu.
Geoff and me vs Dan and Ron! Geoff and I had a super strong start. I nearly called Grand a few times. I did call once and totally had it. It was like taking candy from a baby. I wish all hands were that easy. We had some strong hands but we later had some duds. When the duds came around, Dan and Ron caught right back up and were able to nearly take the win. With some aggressive playing, Geoff and I totally came back for a crazy win!
I love how this game turns out sometimes. It is just amazing fun. So happy to play anytime it is requested!
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