Games & Llamas

A blog about what we (Llama Dice) play and sometimes design.
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February 2019

Isra C.
Spain
Valdemoro, Madrid
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Hi everybody!

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

Let's see how was our February!


The 10 chosen ones


Unpublished Prototype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

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



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



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

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


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

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

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


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




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




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



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



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



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



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



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


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


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


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

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



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


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


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


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

See you next month!!
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