Saturday was game day! In an effort to boost my New to Me list for the year, we played a couple new games, woo! I still have TotalCon happening this week to help with February numbers. To start the day we played Ab in die Tonne. New to me!
This game is super simple and silly. You are trying to get the least amount of points. On your turn you select a piece of trash and everyone selects the same piece of trash and slides it into their trash can. The higher the trash piles up the more points you get. Having your trash compact will score you fewer points!
You play the game over 3 rounds and each round offers a new challenge. First round you just play. In round 2 you are trying to cover up the gum that is showing on the trash can or else it is +2 points. In the final round you want to SEE the gum and you will get -2 points per showing gum.
Very simple game and can play up to 5 players so we were full up. I knew Riley would want to play so I made him join in before we started. You need a good eye and a little dexterity to slide the shape correctly. It doesn't have as much force as you want it to and will often fall into a place less than ideal.
This game belongs to Joe H. He had knowledge of the game beforehand, so it is literally no one's surprise that he ended up winning the game. Haha I think I actually came in second, so I did pretty well!
I have to say this game was super cute and I would play anytime it is requested. Super fast and fun to try and slide the pieces into place. I liked it a lot.
Next up we had a FULL game of Just One. I played this for the first time back at Dice Tower as a prototype and with only 3 players it was just ok. This time we had the full 7 players and it was far better.
7 players kinda made it pretty easy, it felt. I think in all of the 13 rounds we got only 1 incorrect. That is pretty awesome. There were a few really good rounds. One round, Joe H was given only 2 clues: mine which was "biggest" and Riley's which was "dunes". This is the spoiler if you want to know what the answer is:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Since we had 7 players, I really didn't want to have to try and figure out the clue so I was the last player and had one shot at answering the correct clue. Unfortunately, when it was my turn everyone decided to cancel on each other and I was left with the clues "Sunbeam" and "Orbison". I figured Orbison was a person I didn't know and I was right. I totally disregarded that clue. So, I was really left with one clue and my answer was
Spoiler (click to reveal)
. Hey hey!! I was right! Man, I didn't screw up somehow. I was pleased.
I had a great time playing and I think everyone was having fun. We ended with a score of 11? Not bad!
Next up, Joe H, Scott, and I decided on Emperor's Choice. I hadn't played since this game originally came out, so I forgot basically all the rules. Scott also forgot most of the rules too so it was a total refresher game. Halfway through explaining it, Shrey showed up and he hadn't played at all, so it was a full teach, which was great, because I think I needed it.
This game has a lot going on, but having played this a second time now, I think I can go back to it soon and teach it. It is really not so bad once you get going. The game is a bit longer than I might like, and it kinda seems like one path is just terribly strong. Joe H used the same strategy to win this game and the other game I played. I am sure he has tried other strategies and has found this one to be dominant.
Anyway, I still really enjoyed relearning the game and I look forward to the next play! I still don't like it as much as Yokohama.
I was super pumped to get Obsession to the table! New to me!
All I kept hearing about the game was how much like Downton Abbey it was. I just LOVE Downton and recently finished rewatching the series so I was highly interested in learning this one.
It is a game that was recently played at my house but I didn't get the privilege of getting to play it. Dan was in that game, so he was happy to teach this one! I suppose there are a couple of ways to play this game and one is a short game and another is a longer game. Since he had played the shorter game last time we opted to try the longer game. I believe it is just a matter of rounds you will be playing. This write up will reflect the full-length game.
This is indeed the Downton Abbey board game (no, not really, there is another game called that) in which you get to play a respected family in society. You are looking to gain wealth, guests, and reputation in the game, all of which help you to get prestige.
The heart of the game is really a deck-builder with some tableau building. Each round, players will take turns using an available tile in their manor. Each tile is a room/activity that requires a specific mix of family members and guests and servants in order to gain the tile's reward. For example, the Front Parlor/Whist tile requires 2 ladies and 1 housekeeper to activate. From your hand of cards, you will have to discard 2 ladies, some of which might require a handmaid. All of your servants are meeples that are on your player board. You can only select active servants for these actions. Once used, servants will be Expended and go to the Servant's Quarters in the next round, meaning you can only use a given servant every other round. After you discard the ladies and expend your servants, you will receive +3 Reputation as a reward, then flip the tile over to the upgraded side.
Instead of using a tile, you can just pass and collect all of your discarded cards back into your hand. You also get to either sweep and refresh the building market or collect $200. Regardless of whether you use a tile or pass, you will always be able to purchase a tile from the building market.
This goes on for about 16 rounds in the long game. Every 4 rounds, you will pass the first player marker and proceed with a courtship, which is basically a contest for whoever has the most building points in a given category.
There are a bunch of ways to score victory points. You get points from the guests you recruit and the monuments you construct. There are hidden goal cards that will score you points. Also, each of the tiles you place in your manor will have some points on them, and once you use the tile, the upgraded side appears, which is generally worth more points.
There was a lot to love about this game. I enjoyed having my strategy of collecting lots of guests and prestige tiles for my hidden goals. I actually thought that I would win this game for sure. But Pete just came out of nowhere with amazing KS stretch goal tiles that were totally overpowered, and he managed to win the game by a few points. It was pretty ridic, and I can safely say I won't be playing with those 3 tiles again. Even though Pete won, I know I played the better game and will declare myself the winner.
I had a good time playing this one. I do think with the full 4 players, this game would be better with the short variant. The long variant should be played with 3 or fewer players.
All in all this game is definitely good for several more plays. I had a lot of fun figuring it out. There are some rough edges and some house rules that might need to be implemented. Definitely not playing with the KS stretch goal tiles. There were a lot of spelling issues and the rulebook was terrible. With some minor tweaks and development work, this could have been a great game. For now, I am enjoying it, but I need to play a few more times.
I promised Derek that we would play a game of Wingspan. This was great since Wystan wanted to play too and I wanted to try playing with just 3 players.
I was so totally right that this game plays best with 3 players. The pace is perfect and the length is perfect too.
The game is pretty good after repeated plays, and I am happy to play it, but it is not wowing me. It is certainly harmless. I am not sure it feels much different from play to play though. I wonder if some cards are just too good, or some strategies are just better than others. It seems like just pumping out a ton of eggs in the final round is the way to go, but I could be wrong.
This time I did just that and managed to get a ton of points from eggs. I was getting points all over the place though and crushed it with a score of 101. Seems good. I think Wystan has similar opinions about the egg strategy.
Derek was fond of the game, which is great. I love teaching Derek games because he is always so positive! Happy!
People were chatting, and while they were all doing that, Joe H was teaching Wystan how to play Jump Drive. This is a go-to game for the Monday night crowd and it had been a while since I last played so I JUMPED right on in. It was a 3 player game.
Ummmm I can't say I have ever won this game. I never seem to know what is going on. I just totally fail at this game each time I play it. I also never seem to remember how to play.
This time was no different. I started off pretty strong, actually. It turned out to be a disaster though. I was in the lead for most of the game, but I couldn't get the card turnover and the cards I needed to finish strong. I ended up with 60 and Joe had 75. Ouch. Wystan resigned himself to never playing again.
NOW WAS THE TIME! Joe C arrived, so Shrey was amped up to get Ginkgopolis to the table.
There is just something about this game that is so great when playing with Shrey and Joe. Joe is super mean though and always blames poor Shrey on everything! It is rather amusing. No matter where Joe sits, either to my left or right, it is always wrong. No matter what cards get passed to him, they are always terrible. It is always somehow Shrey's fault. Doesn't seem fair.
Joe is just sad since he can never win this game against me. Perhaps I just rigged it all. I wouldn't even know how to do that with so many moving parts.
Anyway, I love this game and am happy to have gotten the chance to play it with them. I ended up winning (unless you combine their scores together, then I wouldn't have won). I got some critical cards that don't look fancy in the tableau, but they worked wonders for the area control on the main board, which scored me a ton of points. #works
I would play this game every week if I could. LUV IT.
Shrey was up for a game of Blackout: Hong Kong, so I recruited Geoff to play with us in a 3 player game. Geoff was skeptical about this game because he didn't know much about it.
I have been wanting to play this game over and over because I know I can do better and better. At least that is what I keep telling myself. This time I didn't do as well as the last time, and here I thought I was doing better.
I managed to unlock my 4th card slot in the 3rd round! I don't even know how I did it! I was shocked and didn't even plan for the 4th card so in the 4th round - I still only played 3 cards. #newuserfail. I hadn't ever gotten that 4th slot opened before. It was a new strategy and I wasn't prepared.
All in all, it was a close game between everyone. I had a few really terrible rounds where I was using points as trucks and it probably cost me the game. So many terrible rolls and just nothing worked as it should have. I think I could have easily won if the rolls were slightly better. As it stood, Geoff managed to take home the victory this time.
It was an awesome game and Geoff liked it quite a bit, even more than he was expecting! That is always a great thing to hear! Love it and plan on bringing and playing this at Totalcon this weekend!
We had a few minutes to spare, so we played a fast 3 player game of No Thanks!.
I forgot I had amazingly awesome No Thanks! cards! So rainbow!! This rainbow set just means I need to play this game more. I think Riley might have gotten me this set long ago. Thanks, Riley!
This game I took a chance. Well, I always take a chance. I take big numbers early so I am flush with coins. So I take a 27 and then a 29 hits... well, I mean a 28 is BOUND to come out in the deck, right? I always take that chance. It almost never pays off.
This game it totally did!! I ended with all of the tokens except 2. It was ridic. Hey I finally won this game! I am not sure I have done that in the past.
Because Geoff was there we had the calling for a game of Tichu.
I was selected to team up with Ron. We dominated the table. Ron called Tichu and Grand a whole bunch and he made all of his calls. I think I made like 50% of my calls. It was a really good game for us. We ended up winning, leaving Geoff and Dan at like 300 points.
I am really loving the new Tichu deck. It is super pretty. I have been totally spoiled by all the Tichu games recently. I just want more and more and more!
The final game of the night was a very rainbowy Reiner Knizia game called Memo Street. New to me!
This is a pretty easy memory/Yahtzee style game. There is a display of face-down tiles, and on your turn, you have to turn 3 of them face up. You must then take all the tiles of one type and place them into a corresponding line on your board. If you are lucky enough, you will find 3 matching tiles so you can take all of them.
Once a line has been used, it can't be used again. There are 10 rounds, one for each of the 10 lines on your board. If you can't score any lines with the tiles you flipped, you have to turn one tile upside down on any line, which will not score at the end of the game.
Ron ended up winning by a long shot. I wasn't having any luck with the tiles. I didn't get a lot of the extra bonus lines that I so needed. I did manage to get 3x 6s - it was hard to figure out whether I should put in the 6s line or the trips line. Tough choice!!
It is a pretty cute game and very colorful, which is nice. I could easily play this again. It is certainly harmless. I always enjoy pushing my luck.
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