Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...
As many of you might have noticed, I have been on and off the past month or so. As it happens, Ron and I got a divorce and I moved down to Tennessee. I have been keeping up with the blog and will plan to for the foreseeable future. With the move and the new surroundings, it has been quite an adjustment, but I plan to play as much as I can, like always. I am not up for talking about everything that has happened and I don't need sympathy - it is life and it happens. Ron and I are amicable and I am sure I will see him at different conventions or when I travel home to the Northeast. Going forward, I will start adding names again to the blogs, but now with an all-new cast of players.
Got to spend some more time with my choose-your-own-adventure gamebooks and picked out Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations. New to me!
Ohh this is a longer book! I only managed to get through 3 out of 4 cases in this book. I like that there is so much to do and you can easily stop and pick up from where you left off. What is particularly interesting about this book is that you have the ability to choose to be Holmes or Watson, and you will have different instructions and paths for each case depending on who you choose to be. I think that is super clever.
Once you are done with a case, you don't get a score. Since I haven't finished all 4 cases, I don't really know how I have progressed. I could be screwing it all up, but I have no idea! I still have one more case to go. I think I am doing pretty well. POWERS OF DEDUCTION! haha
Really enjoying these books from Van Ryder Games. Can't wait to see what else might happen!
Got together with some friends for a game night and I was able to bring some of the games that need more than 2 people to play! We started with Tiny Towns. New to me!
I love the look of this game. It is charming, like the art from Beauty and the Beast. The little town meeples are so cute and colorful! I didn't know much about the game except that Lincoln was loving it from when he talked about it on the BGG Show!
In Tiny Towns, you are trying to build up your town with buildings that will score you lots of points. All of the buildings are available to all players and won't change during the game.
There are 4 resource types that help create the buildings on your player board. Each player board is a 4x4 grid and each space can hold exactly one piece of wood, either a resource cube or a building. Each building requires a pattern of resources for it to be built.
On your turn, you will call for any resource. All players have to place that resource on their player board. Then any player can build a building if they can. When a building is built, it must be built on a space that one of its resources was on.
Some buildings provide an ability that you can use for the rest of the game. Most buildings will give points though. Cottages require food to score, so you have to build a farm to feed the cottages.
At the start of the game, each player is given two monuments, and they will choose one that only they will be allowed to build this game. There is some variation with the monuments.
The game will end when nobody can play anymore. You get -1 for each space on your board without a building. #rude. I suppose it is possible to cover your board completely, but it would be very difficult to do so.
In the game I played, James had built his monument, which gave him this amazing ability to put a building ANYWHERE upon completion. We could also build trading houses, which counted as wild resources on your board. He absolutely crushed us with that combination. It was no joke. It definitely seemed a bit OP but we were all learning and maybe there could have been a way to stop the madness, but I am not sure.
So I've got this app that I've been using to keep track of #allthegames I play and who I play them with, and it always tells me when someone scores a "Personal Best". James' personal best happened to be the top score of the game too! How about that!? James always seems to be getting his best score when playing with me!
My major concern for Tiny Towns is that everyone can choose to create the exact same board. There is nothing stopping me from copying the person to my right. The only difference is that each player has a different monument, but they aren't required to build them. Perhaps that is enough difference to make people shoot for different buildings in general. I don't know, I have only played one time so far. It just seems weird that I could have the exact same board as someone else at the end of the game.
I am not sure I won people over with this game. I think it is cute enough. I almost want a larger selection of buildings in one game though. Maybe it would help if the buildings or the patterns changed after someone builds a building. I definitely have to give this a few more plays to see more.
Next up we got to play a push-your-luck card game called Cover Your Assets. New to me!
I love Skull King. The more I play Skull King the more I want to play it. I was interested in trying some of the other card games in the line and Cover Your Assets was one of them. It is very simple to learn and teach.
In Cover you Assets, you are trying to make sets of cards, creating a huge stack of them and gaining lots of money. The game will end after a player reaches a set value, and whoever has the most money will be the winner.
The gameplay is very straight forward. You can play a pair from your hand to your stack, you can match a card from the discard pile to your hand to play to your stack, you can discard a card and draw a card, OR you can try to steal someone's set on top of their stack. The way you can steal theirs is by handing them a card that matches their top stack, face down. They can respond to your challenge with a matching card from their hand. You can counter that with ANOTHER card from your hand. This continues until one player runs out of matching cards. The last person to play a card will win the challenge along with all of the cards that were just played.
There are 2 types of cards in this game that are wilds: the silvers and golds. These cards are valued higher and can be matched with anything or played as a wild to help defend or attack other players stacks.
At first, the group was skeptical about this game. Once we started playing, it was clear there were a lot of clever choices to be made and that it was not just simple luck of the cards. Yah, sure, it can be helpful to have the right cards at the right time. I certainly had some beginner's luck when I was playing. I ended with some huge stacks of cash. I was letting everyone steal from each other and then I would swoop in after they all dueled and took the stockpile of goodies from them with no contest. (insert evil laugh )
We all had a fun time playing this one, even if I won. Sometimes I can just win! I was particularly consistent in each round. James had a few really weak starting rounds but managed a SUPER strong final round once he figured out the game. He got his #PersonalBest score with 955. Going from very far last place to 2nd in one round is impressive! I am excited to bring this one to the next family gathering as I think my family will very much enjoy it!
There was a game that came out last GenCon that I recalled seeing because it has the most unique packaging! It is a vitamin-type bottle with little acrylic pieces in it called The Potion. New to me!
This is a funny story. When reading the rules, I was thinking, wow this sounds very much like a game I played last BGG.Spring called POK and sure enough, The Potion reimplemented POK! Not only did I play it there, I played it with James and Michael who I was now playing this with. They were as surprised as I was!
Oh man, I was not really favorable on POK, but after finishing the rules, it was clear the parts that were broken in POK were updated and fixed for The Potion.
The Potion is a cute betting game. It plays out super quick in like 5-10 minutes and is wicked easy to teach and play. There are 3 dice. Each is a D6 with 3 blank sides. The other 3 sides will have a red, blue, and green face in 1, 2, 3 values. All players begin the game with 2 red, 2 blue, and 2 green tokens. Your goal is to try and get rid of 2 colors from your hand of tokens (this is a positive change from the original POK rules, in which you had to get rid of 5 of your 6 tokens).
Each round, the dice are rolled. The players will secretly choose one ingredient to place in their hand, then simultaneously reveal. If the ingredients match ONE of the die faces, the players that contributed to the match get to discard their ingredient to the bottle. If no ingredients match a die face, players who chose an ingredient not shown on any die get to discard their ingredient to the bottle. There's one catch - if ALL players qualify to discard ingredients, then NOBODY gets to discard them.
This is easier to explain with an example. Let's say a 1 blue, 2 blue, and a blank die show up. If 2 players end up showing a blue token, the 2 blue die is complete, and those players get to toss their tokens. Other players who chose a red or green token would have to keep theirs. If 3 players had revealed a blue token, then no single die is complete, and players who revealed red or green tokens would be able to toss their tokens away.
You keep playing until one or more players have only 1 color remaining. We had 3 winners this game! Susan, Michael, and I shared the victory. I think a tiebreaker should be that the person with the fewest tokens remaining in one color should be the winner because then Susan would have been the ultimate winner this game. What really matters is that James got his #PersonalBest score for the game.
The Potion was certainly much better with the updated rules. I will gladly play this any time now!
A game that was sitting on my unplayed shelf for a realllllllllly long time was Jagdfieber. New to me!
This is a simultaneous card-selection game where you are trying to predict what other players might do so you can capture their wolves and rabbits and carrots for the most points. Hunter gets the wolf and the wolf gets the rabbit and the rabbit gets the carrot. You get the idea. Food chain ordering - you know!
Really nothing very exciting happening in this game and I didn't make clever choices. I just went with what I was seeing on the table. Most of my stuff got eaten before I could score it, and I didn't catch enough because other players had activations before me. #mistakesweremade. I totally didn't win this game but Michael ended with 23 for the win. Most importantly, James managed his #PersonalBest with -2!
In the end, we played only 1 round. I think the game has potential but there was not enough to keep me invested in multiple rounds. I think the artwork was charming though and I love my wolves. I could play again, but I am in no hurry to.
I was scammed. I turned around and I was suddenly playing Formula Dé Mini. New to me!
I know a few games I definitely don't ever want to play and hope I won't have to. Formula De is one of them. I was told the mini-game would be 45 minutes. #wrong But it wasn't too bad. I was also told it was very much like the bigger game but cut way back.
There are some okay things about the game with the sharp turns and the damage points. I like the rainbow dice that are variable depending on the gear you are in. But there are still really fiddly rules, like if you roll a 20, everyone has to roll the damage die, or when you rub against another car, you both have to roll the damage die. I duno - I just can't get into racing games at all.
I made some big mistakes this game. I tried to make a pit stop when I had 5 damage points left, and that absolutely hosed my game because I didn't roll above the damage points I already had. In order to leave the pit, you have to roll higher than the damage points you have remaining. It cost me a full turn. I should have just taken my chances, but I still managed to come in 2nd place. On the plus side, we did see one car blow up! That was exciting, and the reason people go to watch car races, right? FINAL DESTINATION 5. James had everything under control in the final lap and crossed that finish line first (unimpressed). He managed his #PersonalBest with 1st place.
Not my type of game and not a game I could care to play again unless I had to. I would always choose Snow Tails over this. It is far superior.
Saturday I got to go to a game night at Doris and Chad's and we played a bunch of new games which was exciting. I first tried out Senators. New to me!
Senators is a card game in which you try to gain the influence of the most senators. By the time the 4th war comes around, whoever has the most will win the game.
Each turn, the active player will reveal an event card and carry out the event which might involve everyone. These events might be harmful or helpful. The active player then chooses 1 of 3 actions to do. They can hold an auction for goods, extort other players' cards, or cash in.
During the auction phase, 4 stacks will be revealed, 3 of which have a resource on them and the last stack will be an office card. Players will take a once-around bidding phase. After everyone has bid, the active player will decide if they want to buy each card at the highest bid value or let the highest bidder buy it. All cards purchased this way will end up in an open market in front of that player.
The second action is the extortion action where the active player may choose to offer some cash for one card in front of any given player. The player receiving the offer must accept the purchase or pay that amount of money to keep the card. No matter the exchange, the card that is claimed will go to the hand of the player who paid for the card. Cards in hand are kept hidden.
The final action that can be chosen is the cash-in action. This allows players to give up their resource cards in sets of 3, all with the same type or the same value. Sets are worth cash equal to the combined values on the cards. A bonus $15 is given if they are the same type AND in consecutive order. Afterwards, the players can choose to buy senators for $10 each.
In our play, I had a very difficult time. I was very low on cash and we kept getting hit with a penalty of $5. I didn't have $5, but the game allows you to take a $5 loan by losing one senator. Yah, you can be fully eliminated from the game if you have no senators. I was frightfully close to being eliminated from the game. I did manage to get a big set of resources so I could buy 4 senators at the end of the game.
Of course, I was nowhere near victory at the end. I managed to stay out of last place, so it was a small victory. Chad was ON IT. He was rolling in the senators by the end. There were so many event cards that gave him money for being in the lead. #critical.
I really have to give this one another play, now that I know what I am doing. There is also a variant for advanced play where you can add in some support cards, which I think will change up the play a bit. I am excited to see what those bring to the table. I think there is potential with this game. I just have to get past the initial beat down that happened.
It was too bad James wasn't there to get his #PersonalBest.
I got a new game called Subtext. New to me!
This is a new game from Wolfgang Warsch. He has been knocking it out of the park recently. I mean one hit after another - it is quite impressive.
I already knew from the box cover that I would love this one. It is a brilliant cover with all the line art that looks like a maze and the really nice pink-to-yellow gradient. It is different and I like it!
Subtext is a Dixit meets Pictionary type party game. I love that it plays 4-8 players and will really handle the higher player count well, I am sure. It is played over a number of rounds depending on how many people are playing, and whoever has the most points at the end will be the winner.
Before the game starts, a number from 1 to 5 is chosen. Each turn, the active player will draw a card. Depending on the number that was chosen, the active player will look at that number on the card and remember the word written there. Then the active player will take that card and add it to a mix of other cards equal to the number of players minus 2. The cards are shuffled and handed out to the other players. So a random person will now have the active player's card, and the active player doesn't know who it is.
Every player will then draw a picture relating to the word they have seen on the card they were given. The active player will also do this and put their picture off to the side. Each other player will assign their drawing to a letter. Then each player will try to deduce whose drawing matches the active player's drawing. Even the active player will be guessing who their partner is.
The scoring works much like Dixit. You don't want to be too obvious with your drawings because then it is just too easy and everyone will know right away. You can't be too challenging because your partner won't know that they match you. In order for the active player to score, both they and their partner have to match their guesses AND make sure at least one player doesn't guess correctly.
In my play, we were playing with just 4 players. I was definitely the best one in this game. My drawings were on point! Doris and Brook were just too obvious. There was one time I was teamed up with Doris for the word "mafia" and she drew a gun. I mean that is just toooooo obvious. I drew a cigar and it was clear they were a pair. Maybe cigar was too obvious too, I don't know. One round, Chad was the active player and drew Kermit. It wasn't clear who matched with him. The word turned out to be Rainbow, and it was supposed to be paired with the unicorn someone drew. I suppose that makes sense, but it was hard! Chad is a very talented artist though!
Anyway, I still did wayyy better than the rest. I am SUPER excited to play this game with a lot more players, maybe even 8. It will be amazing.
Subtext is so simple and so clever! I already know it will be near the top of the favorites for me. It is perfect for everything I want in a party game. I can't wait to play it with everyone!
Next up I read the rules for Disastles. New to me!
This is a card drafting game where you are drafting cards into your space castle. Each turn players will select an action, which is usually to draft a card from the display and add it into their castle. There are other choices like to move a card around or swap cards, but you are generally trying to expand your castle as best you can.
The row of cards is swept each round and new cards are revealed. In the stack of cards, there will be disaster cards. When these are revealed, each castle will have to defend using their protective shields or take the hits. You have to take a hit by removing a room tile from your castle. Each connection made in the castle that has matching symbols is a shield against an attack. You definitely want to connect the symbols correctly, but it might not always be possible.
Some of the room cards have a symbol that has a golden border around it. If all the golden borders are matched correctly then the card will get to be activated. Some cards have persistent effects and others require that you use your one precious action to activate. Some cards give you cool combos and more actions on your turn. Ideally, you will build up some sweet combos in the game.
In the rules, it says not everyone will die, but ooof, in my play, it was a close call. Chad and Brook were eliminated rather quickly. A few rounds later, Doris was eliminated. I was the last man standing so I auto won! My castle was down to only my start card, however. Hey, 1 card was still better than no cards! It allowed me to win.
We had a pretty harsh game for sure. I think I figured out why though. After the game was finished it was clear we missed shuffling in the treasure cards. There are a whole bunch of those and it MIGHT have separated the disaster cards a bit more. Revealing so many disaster cards round after round was really harmful to our castle construction.
It was a super quick game to play, and I think it took longer for me to read the rules than to play. I will definitely be giving this another play so I can try and get those combos going. You can also play this game cooperatively. Maybe that could be a cool way to play. There are also a bunch of variants in the rules.
Player elimination isn't a favorite mechanic of mine so I will proceed with caution, but the gameplay is so quick it is hard to really fault a game for that. I don't think it bothered anyone in my game so it was fine. I am happy to play again.
I ended up teaching Twice As Clever to the group. I am getting pretty good at teaching this one now. I have a good approach to the game and which mechanic to explain in what order. Brook and Doris hadn't even played Ganz so I was basically teaching them from scratch.
I tried helping out as much as I could in this game. I wanted to make sure everyone could see their options. It can be hard to see the value in locking out all of your dice for the gray action, but by doing that you can possibly get 6 X's in the gray region. Can be very powerful!
I still totally destroyed them all. I did much better than my last time playing IRL, so that was good. It was interesting playing with 4 players since that is not how I normally play. Still, I love it any which way!
We played the game of rainbows! ALL the bold and awesome colors that create LAMA. New to me!
This game has been brought to my attention more than once because it has so many awesome rainbows in it. LAMA is a small boxed card game that plays in 15-20 minutes. You are trying to get the least amount of points as possible, and the game is over when someone hits 40 points.
LAMA is a super easy game where you are trying to dump cards to the discard pile. On your turn, you can play a card to the discard pile if it is the SAME value or a value of +1 higher. Cards are numbered 1-6 plus LAMA cards. On a 6 you can play a LAMA card, and on the LAMA card you can play a 1. If you don't have a card to play then you can draw a card from the draw stack or you can fold your hand of cards. If you fold, you will get white tokens for the DIFFERENT cards you have in hand. For example, if you have one 6 card and two 5 cards, you will gain 6 white tokens for the 6 card and 5 white tokens for the 5 cards. Each white token is worth 1 point. In addition, you will get one black token per LAMA card, each worth 10 points. The round ends if someone gets rid of all their cards or if all but one player folds.
I ended up winning the first game since I kept going out. When you go out you actually get to discard a token, either a white 1-point token or a black 10-point token. Not bad! The second game we played, I didn't do as well. I kept being dealt a bunch of LAMA cards. It is really hard to get rid of those cards since people try to keep everyone else stuck with LAMA cards. Yah, it was rough going, but it was still cute to have all the LAMAs dancing in my hand with lots of rainbows!
I have to say I liked this game ok. If it didn't have the bright bold colors of the rainbow, I don't think I would like it as much. So, judging only the gameplay, it was decent. I am not excited to play it. BUT I LOVE THE ART SO MUCH! I could easily play this any time, it is harmless. Thanks to Chad for owning it and suggesting it for me to play!
I was interested in giving Miraris another play. It was a very quick game and we ended up playing 2 times.
One game was crazy where people kept canceling each other and there were 4 cards on stacks at one point! Dannnng that is a lot of cards up for the taking. I had some pretty sweet end of game cards, but nothing that really scored me many points.
Brook managed to get a TON of end-game points both games and ended up winning both of them, once with over 70 points and the other with around 40. I did well the first game but not even 40 points well. Super hard when Doris keeps playing the same card as you! This is why we had to play twice though!
A simple fun game that I am happy to play!
There was a request by Chad to play Auf Teufel komm raus. I can't ever pass up the chance to play this game. I love it so much. It might just be the amazing poker chips that are in it though.
No, I really just like the push-your-luck part of it. I realllllllllllly like that.
I rarely win this game, and it is because I am known to pull those devils. This play was no different. The first 3 turns had me pulling up a devil. Really?! I mean it is just crazy. I certainly know how to entertain a room!
Towards the end of the game, I had a major comeback. I had the highest bid 2 rounds in a row, gaining like $500 for one round and $400 for another. I was up close to the finish line when Chad was declared the winner. I am proud of the comeback I had, considering I was in the devil's lair in round 2. Whoops!
Always a good time when playing this game.
We finished the night with a quick game of Brikks.
This game I had my heart set on getting the "complete 4 rows at once" bonus. Yeah, wishful thinking, but I did manage to get 3 completed! I felt it was quite an accomplishment. Not only did I get 3 completed at once, but I managed to complete the top row! Waaaaaaaaaat! Boom, 20 points. I love that 20 point bonus. I have managed to get it only once before.
I have been enjoying this one. I will have to check out the rules to see what other variants are available.
Another lunch, I was able to pull out the next book called Captive. New to me!
Seriously loving these adventure books. This one is a thriller and I only made it about halfway through before pausing. I got to select my Strength, Dex, and Will at the beginning of the game, so that was interesting. I went with a few well-rounded abilities, and so far it hasn't been too rough on me. I lost a bunch of life, but I was able to cure most of it.
This is the first time out of 3 books where I really had to write some things down, so I have a napkin I am writing on. I could write in the book, but man that just seems wrong on so many levels! I don't want to write in a book! And besides, I might want to play it again after I fail.
This one definitely has the suspense and keeps you guessing. #mistakesweremade, but the story is not over yet!
To Be Continued...
Okay, so I managed to finish this hostage situation in another sitting before this blog was published!
Soon after I resumed playing, I managed to die. So I restarted from the same point and died again. I tried one final time from the same point and... I managed to win that time! Hahahah wow there are a lot of ways to die and I am sure I only found a few of them. I don't know my score since I forgot too many things that I might or might not have found throughout the adventure. Out of a possible 38 points, I probably got half the points. Super tricky!
This has been my favorite of the 3 books I have played so far. I am very much looking forward to the others in the series!
I got to playing Mystic Vale again and this time we included Mystic Vale: Vale of Magic and Mystic Vale: Vale of the Wild. New to me expansion!
Last time we played, I got to include the Vale of Magic expansion, and this week we are learning Vale of the Wild! Since I picked up all the expansions, I want to incorporate them one at a time instead of just throwing them all in together! It would be a total overload!
Vale of the Wild is a smaller boxed expansion but still adds a ton of content to the base game. In this expansion, you will add Vale cards and a whole lot of advancement cards into the appropriate decks. But the key difference is that everyone will be starting with a leader card! Each player will choose 1 of the 2 leaders they are dealt and place it in front of a blank card in their deck. Leaders start with the basic side showing and can be upgraded at a cost. Usually, the upgraded sides will have a sweet addition and will be worth more points at the end of the game. I don't see why you wouldn't upgrade them.
More amazing art on all of the cards - it truly is one of the most beautiful games out there. All of the vale cards and now the beautiful leader cards... just stunning!
Some of the advancement cards are eclipse cards. These cards will upgrade your card to have an ongoing feature along the stripe in the middle. The picture might have points but it will also show a new eclipse symbol. This symbol means you can later cover that picture with another picture. The stripe remains in play but allows for a better image to be placed in that same exact location.
In my play, I thought it was super cool to get the eclipse powers. Of course I never actually found a use for them, but I still got them anyway! I did find tremendous use for my leader card. She allowed me to copy the text of a neighboring player. I managed to use her only a couple of times, but she did provide 8 points at the end of the game. She was just so pretty, I had to take her.
I somehow managed to win this game. I was going for the "most cursed lands" because I had claimed a few cards that were giving me points for having the most. I managed to pick up only 2 during the game and I wasn't sure if that was enough at the end. Thankfully, it was! I had 11 cursed lands to Michael's 10 and because of that, I was able to score a total of 19 extra points. I got extremely lucky! I pulled out the win, 42 to 40. It was a close one!
I really like the leader cards, and I really like the eclipse cards and the other new advancements. It only makes me ramped up more for the next expansion! I don't know which one to play next! So many choices!
Aeon's End: Legacy - ZOMG THIS GAME. So hard to talk about this game when there can be so many spoilers. The short story is that we played through Chapter 7 and kicked some butt!
I will post my thoughts and comments in the spoilers. I will also post my pictures there in case there is information you don't want to see. If you plan on playing, I would really, Really, REALLY not read the comments below. If you have already played, it won't matter!
I can't recommend this game highly enough!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
So in the game, we were plucking off the minions left and right. Michael and I actually had a pretty easy time of it. I had a few really strong turns where I caused majorly epic damage to Maelstrom Rising. Since this was the final chapter, we kept allowing the minion cards to evolve without a care in the world. After all, it couldn't come come back and bite us!
I am so excited. This has been one of the best experiences in gaming that I have had, and it is easily the best Legacy game I have played.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
EPICCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC ending to this chapter really had us going. Totally didn't expect that. Apparently, there will be another chapter to play!
Spoiler (click to reveal)
UNDER THE INSERT #classic I am the type to not look under the insert and it totally was an excellent surprise.
New to the Collection:
Mystic Vale: Conclave
Mystic Vale: Vale of Magic
Mystic Vale: Vale of the Wild
Mystic Vale: Harmony
Mystic Vale: Mana Storm
Mystic Vale: Twilight Garden
Twice As Clever
CO₂: Second Chance
Thanks for following along!
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