Friday, 22 September 2017


Board Games Played This Week:

Timeline Challenge - While I don't mind playing the odd 'party game', more often than not I'd prefer to play a lighter filler game that involves some strategy or tactics as opposed to random guessing and acting dumb.  They have their purpose though and are more often than not the first board games people play as they can be quite accessible.  In my quest to have a board game for every type and occasion, a few party games have managed their way into the library.  Telestrations, Codenames and Times Up! are the few that come to mind as being some of my favourites - but the few editions of the Timeline series that have been played have all been really enjoyed.  A quick game is a good game.  Epic journeys through an immersive game are also amazing experiences, but its the simple things that seem the easiest to sell to a group and actually get played.  Timeline is one that I've never struggled with getting to the table.  'You got 5 minutes? Try this..'  5 minutes later, 'Can we play that again?'.  Rinse and repeat.  Timeline Challenge is the 'proper' board game version and after two plays in two weeks I'm just about ready to call it the definitive edition.  It's the same thing, only longer and with more variety.  It's an easy concept to grasp - guess the year this random event happened.  Some you may have heard of, a couple you might even know the exact date, however most will fall into the category of 'I've got no clue but with a bit of deduction I can take an educated guess'.  Those same factors are prevalent in Timeline Challenge and possibly even more as the different 'events' normally give you an easy chance to move ahead so you never quite feel out of it.  It plays longer, but with the extra things going on I feel like Challenge will give you some extra mileage on your cards and it appears it will still be easy to get on the table.

Takenoko - A few more plays of this beautifully charming Panda Japanese gardening adventure!  Takenoko is great, and just the way it looks will be enough to allure most gamers.  Not the deepest game and luck plays a factor, but there's enough you can do to try and help mitigate this.  I've still only played this as a 2 player game so am looking forward to trying it with 3 or 4 soon.

Zoomaka - Currently live on Kickstarter and about 50% funded.  If you enjoy card games, Zoomaka breathes some new life into the genre by giving you options, actions and more to think about than simply playing one card every turn. You need to build and complete your Zoo before any of your opponents to win.  To build your Zoo you'll need four exhibits filled with animals which are sorted into different types - animals with hoofs, animals that eat banana's, animals that fly etc.  Each type requires a different amount of cards to complete an exhibit.  Some animals have the advantage of belonging to two categories and there's also a couple rare chameleon cards that can slot into any exhibit.  It's not just animals in your Zoo that you'll be focused on as you'll also need money for your Zoo.  The currency 'Zoomas' is required to pay for action cards your opponents play against you, but to earn money you have to sacrifice one of the cards in your hand as well as an action.  You can always gamble and hope your opponent won't play a card that forces you to pay, but if you have no money in the bank your zoo has to pay with its animals which end up straight into your competitors attractions.  That's a quick summary of Zoomake, and if a card game about animals and a zoo, mixed with planning and strategy sounds enticing to you - then I'd suggest you go and back it now (link on the picture below).  Personally, card games have never really been my thing and as such I've decided to pass on backing Zoomaka.  I enjoyed it a lot more than traditional card games like Uno and Skip-Bo, but even with its stronger mechanics, Zoomaka is still a card game at heart.  That's not a bad thing - especially if you enjoy card games, but it wouldn't see enough time on my table to justify a purchase.

7 Wonders & Cities - First game of the mighty 7 Wonders in nearly a year!  We got our original gaming group back together on a sunday night and at the suggestion of one of the group, we went back to our roots for a game of Wonders.  It took a quick refresh on the set up and about 2 minutes before everyone got back into it like we had never stopped playing.  To make it simpler we voted on one expansion and Cities with its extra card each age, peaceful dove, debt and powerful black cards made the cut.  Oddly enough, there wasn't one vote for the tower of babel expansion (and yes that was sarcasm as no one ever really knew what was going when we used to play it!).  7 Wonders used to feel intense, but this game was just fun and relaxing.  The scores were all within about 5-6 points from 1st to 5th and I barely squeezed out a victory with a strong mix of victory points across all categories.  Not sure when we'll play again.  It could be a long while before our next Wonders session, but I know when we do get around to it, we'll all love and enjoy this classic once again.

T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy Of Dragons - The last game for this two week, weekly recap is our third play through of the Dragons scenario for T.I.M.E Stories.  Our first adventure through this episode was a 10/10 and possibly the most I've enjoyed a run through of T.I.M.E Stories, yet with each successive trial through the score has slowly been downgraded.  I absolutely love the new elements and am excited about the creativity and effort that is consistently put into each scenario.  Dragons played out like an RPG with spells, weapons, armor, potions, maps, thieves, warriors, wizards and everything else you'd expect in a fantasy setting.  It also boasts the most non linear experience (of the 3 scenario's we have currently played), with multiple ways to conquer and challenge the quest to discover the Prophecy.  That's what made the first play through so enjoyable, it was different and exciting, we were comparing characters and invested to try make them stronger and debated who's character was best suited for each task.  As I keep saying, I loved the first play through.  So what happened between the first and the third?  Well the biggest problem with T.I.M.E Stories is also its biggest asset in making it unique.  The time factor.  Being constantly on the clock and trying to solve the mystery before time runs out, keeps the tension and pace high.  Having to redo those things a 3rd time almost becomes a chore, especially when you've already made it to the very end only to fail - you've seen everything and know what's coming already.  Your just going through the motions and the only real choices are what do we skip, what's not important and what is a trap.  Thus our journey into fantasy became a game of memory and dice rolling.  This is the same experience we had with Asylum and The Marcy Case, both of which also took us three runs to complete.  The difference with Dragons is the story, or lack thereof.  I can loosely tell you what was going on, but realistically we either somehow avoided it in our three times through or it was severely lacking on this episode.  Both of the aforementioned scenarios, the resolve of the mystery and what was going on is what kept us engaged, but in Dragons we didn't have any sense of what was going on or even care to know.  I love fantasy and all the rpg concepts included in Dragons were an absolute treat, but at the end the only thing I was caring about was making sure my character had the best gear I could, which wasn't enough to see me trek through a whole set of already played out locations.  Maybe the T.I.M.E Stories experience is wearing thin?  I disagree as I can't wait to head to Egypt, the ocean and the Knights Templar on our next few scenario's, but I'm hoping we'll find ourselves more invested in the stories as they unfold in the future.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Quality Over Quantity

Board Games Played This Week:

Scythe - Just the one game this week.  We had a cancelled gamenight where we were intending to try out the soon to be kickstarted Zoomaka as well as try to complete A Prophecy Of Dragons on our latest T.I.M.E Stories quest.  Those will have to wait until next week now, but we did manage to get another game of Scythe in which I'll never have complaints about.  This time I went as the Red Faction (sorry I don't memorize the proper names) and used a strategy of controlling the factory and most of the tunnels to some how sneak out a victory.  It was the first game where our popularity made it to the third tier which is always a nice bonus especially when 3 of the other players didn't.  I do enjoy Scythe - lots to think about and it takes a fair bit for everything to come together well.  Is it my favorite, the most amazing game ever?  Definitely not.  But it does a lot right and has plenty to sink your teeth into for a 2-2.5 hour game.

Board Games Purchased This Week:

Once Upon A Time - Truthfully I have no idea if/when I'll get around to playing this game, so in reality maybe it wasn't such a good buy after all.  Impulse as usual, as I found it on gumtree for $10 and thought I'd add it to the library.  I don't really know much about this game other than that its a card game where you are trying to complete a fairytale and use all your cards before your opponents.  Could be fun for a small diversion or it could fall incredibly flat.  Feels a bit risky to pull out when there's other games I know will work well with whoever I'm playing with - but one day I'm hoping I'll be pleasantly surprised when I decide to give it a go.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Back To Our Normal Programming

Board Games Played This Week:

Dream Home - Invited some currently renovating and fanatics of the block around for a game of Dream Home.  Seemed fitting for them and even though we've played a few board games in the past together, the theme of building a home and the colourful presentation really seemed to win them over.  Unfortunately having played about a dozen games now, I've already noticed a bit of the charm starting to wear thin.  Is a good game for the casual crowd and would be easy to convince most to give it a go - but there isn't enough going on to really hold my interest beyond a simple gateway filler.

T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy Of Dragons - Second play of this one after really enjoying last weeks first trial through of this scenario.  I feel like I get the same feeling everytime we have our second play.  We take our time and get immersed on the first play and the second one we spend so much time before hand coming up with a plan but never seem to enjoy it as much as we've seen all the art work and spend the game rushing around and questioning each others memory.  I still think Prophecy of Dragons is a good break from the usual, but after thinking we had it cracked only to once again anger Bob, our team was a bit deflated that we'll be returning for a third play through.  Fairly confident we got it this time and hoping we don't make the same error we do every time and decide to enjoy it rather than rush through.

Takenoko - My first time ever playing Takenoko after constant debate of whether I needed it in the library or not.  It didn't disappoint.  Takenoko is just as good as it looks and I personally (along with most others I'm sure) find this a very good looking game!  It oozes with charm and a bit of culture to go with it in a beautifully presented tile placement / action selection light strategy game.  It's a 30 minute relaxing experience as you grow and water the Palace garden, while a Panda roams around eating the bamboo you've just grown. Even without the Panda, Takenoko would be decent.  Adding the Panda just makes this a winner and one that I'll bring out for a while to come, even if its just to show off this colourful garden world.

Board Games Purchased This Week:

Part Two

Doom - This is one epic game that didn't hang around that long.  It looks amazing, has tonnes of miniatures begging to be painted, and features an all vs one mechanic that I really enjoy.  However, I realized a while ago that you can only have too many of the same type of game as realistically you'll mostly play the one you like best.  Doom almost fills a niche, but I have a few similar type games so I decided to give it to a friend for his birthday who often plays board games with us but has a smaller collection himself.  He was pretty pleased, so I'm happy to see it go to a good home and know I'll be around to play it at his place anyway.  Two birds with one stone - smiles all around.

Sons Of Anarchy Men Of Mayhem - I really enjoyed the first couple seasons of this show, and while I stayed until the end I was less and less interested with what was going on in the far fetched adventures of the Sons Of Anarchy.  Licensed board games are often just good for fans of the content and I wouldn't really put myself in the big SoA fan category, so why did I purchase the SoA board game?  Read a couple of reviews.  For a licensed game, this one seems to have got it right with the game play and mechanics before adding a theme.  It's a worker placement game but with lots of bits of action going on at the same time that make it seem much more involved.  I'm not rushing to get this to the table, but know eventually I'll get around to giving it a go and secretly (or not now that I've just told everyone..) I'm hoping that I'll end up loving this.

Unlock: The Formula - I've done one escape room hand cuffed to two other people and after 60 minutes of puzzles and fun, we just managed to escape as the clock was about to expire.  At the end we still had one key on us that we hadn't managed to figure out what it was for - like the idiots we were, we had to ask only to discover we had been carrying around the key for the handcuffs that had made solving the puzzles awkward for the last hour!  It was a good memory and something that while I wouldn't often I'd definitely recommend.  One of the latest board gaming trends is to replicate that experience through puzzles in a board game.  I'm not convinced on the immersion of being locked in a propped out room will be felt just through reading cards, but I'm curious enough to want to give it a go.  Dunno why I started with this one and it was a tough choice between the Unlock and Exit series, but ultimately I settled on the Unlock one so I can loan it to someone else to have a go after.

Hey, That's My Fish - Small, cheap and a classic for all ages.  Did I need this game? Definitely not, but while I've already paid for the shipping why not add a smaller affordable game or two (Timeline Music & Cinema being the other one).  I know this is just a simple game but aside from the complaint that it takes just as long to set up and it does to play - everyone seems to enjoy it.  Don't imagine I'll see it out often, but its good to have something like this in the library for some of the younger games and that alone was enough for me to click on the 'Add to Cart' button.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Going Back In T.I.M.E

Board Games Played This Week:

Time Stories: A Prophecy Of Dragons - This week our group decided to go back to T.I.M.E Stories for another quest.  It wasn't that we didn't enjoy Asylum or the Marcy Case - truthfully we had a really good time with them over the 6-7 weeks we spent playing.  However in the interest of not wearing the game out, we had a break and decided it was a good time to travel through time and discover the dragons or the prophecy of them anyway.  Our first play through started with a quick brush up on the rules and then we were off again right where we left.  Only this scenario felt a lot more like an rpg!  Magic, money, new weapons, armor, spells, potions, stealing and some basic role playing elements largely replaced the traditional things like puzzles and story.  Yes there's a bit of both of those in Dragons, but mostly it felt like an adventure.  Whether that's a good thing or not is crowd dependant - but our group had an excellent first run through and are eagerly awaiting our repeat visit because of course we let Bob down again.

Rhino Hero - Had a few friends with younger kids over (around 10-12 years old) so figured Rhino Hero might be a good place to start.  It's simple and mindless but not only did they enjoy themselves, I found myself having a good time as well building up our tower for our rhino hero to climb.  While they were happy to go back for a third game I decided to mix it up with a new game.

Tales & Games: The Hare & The Tortoise - Bit of a long title on this one but its nicely presented in a book like fashion.  Based on the classic tale, this racing game mimics the story we know so well but includes some other animal friends for what is deemed the 'rematch' between the hare and the tortoise.  All players will hedge their bets at the start of the game and play cards to try hinder the other racers while sneaking theirs across the finish line to glory.  We played twice and  I gotta admit I was a little underwhelmed.  I realize its a kids game, but with Camel Up already in the library as another racing/gambling game I'm not sure both are needed.  Both games score points for style and presentation but I feel Camel Up is the better of the two with just a little bit more going for it in what you can actually do each turn.  As charming as it is, I'm not sure I'll be rushing to get this back to the table in a hurry.

Guillotine - An older classic that I hadn't played in a fair while, Guillotine is a simple, fun and luck based card game that at least makes you feel like you can somewhat control your destiny.  Still on the same night with the younger kids, this one didn't seem to work out as well as the others.  It was okay, but likely better left for a casual crowd of gamers just that little bit older.  Just the one game of this and we were ready to move on.  Oh and I came dead last.

Celestia - Another new game, in hindsight I should have learnt the game before the night rather than learning in a quick 5 minute break.  Luckily it was easy to learn and play while the others built the flying ship - also known as one of the coolest unnecessary components.  The ship is brilliant and somehow adds to the game even though it could easily be played without it. This is just a 'push your luck' but with tight mechanics and a really well presented production.  Celestia looks great and helps create some atmosphere with bright visuals as you fly around looking for floating Islands with treasure.  After only one play, I'm just about ready to take the crown off Incan Gold for best push your luck game to now give that honor to Celestia.  It's nothing amazing, but it ticks all the right boxes and is certain to please any fans of casual board games and fillers.

Timeline: Music & Cinema - One of the lowest reviewed editions of the timeline series, Music & Cinema was a complete impulse buy but one that I was actually happy with.  First it was on special and that always helps, but its actually one where I know or recognize most of the cards.  Sure a lot of the dates are guesses, but it makes the game a little more fun when you see a card and immediately try stretch your brain for the answer rather then using logic like I have on most of the other editions.  The only problem with this edition is that most of the cards are from the last 50 years.  Even still I enjoyed it a lot more than the science edition.

Board Games Purchased This Week:

A few this week so I've decided to split them again.  Post 1 will mostly cover the ones I've already played.

Tales & Games: The Hare & The Tortoise - If you read above you already know that while the Hare and the Tortoise is perfectly playable, It's realistically one that if I had played first I would have skipped.  It's too similar to Camel Up for my personal tastes, but there might still be something here for others.  First the rules and balancing of the racers is done in a clever way.  There's some neat tricks you can do to prevent other racers from advancing but utilizing things like the wolves howl or the fact that if the hare is leading and 4 hare cards are played, the hare doesn't advance.  These little nuances do create a bit of tension and investment, but overall aside from the production values (which in some ways was higher than I was expecting) I did come away a bit disappointed with this purchase after my first two plays.  I bought this as a lighter game that would be suitable when playing with younger kids, but found myself a bit bored while actually playing.  Plenty of other games in the library that I can enjoy while playing with younger ones and with space becoming almost a bigger commodity than funds - at this point I'm not sure the Hare is staying long enough to win the race.

Timeline Challenge - I've been surprised by the Timeline series.  Small, so easy to play and yet rewarding it expounds upon your knowledge of events, dates and important times from our history.  It's been a bit of a treat playing through the different editions, yet somehow I didn't even realize they had made a proper board game in the same vein as the Timeline games.  After reading a couple reviews that praised this as the best way to play Timeline, and of course as with all the editions, the fact that these can be combined with any of the other cards had me sold.  It went straight to the top of my must buy list and as soon as I had decided to make an order, Timeline Challenge was in my online shopping cart.  Haven't played it yet, but even just reading the rules has me convinced it was an excellent buy that should see a bit of table time shortly.

Timeline: Music & Cinema - I bought this just because I knew I was already getting the Challenge version of this game and figured more cards wouldn't hurt.  For some reason this could be the least popular edition of the game, yet it's the one I know the most about.  There's a lot of similar years, leading me to think it might not combine so well with Challenge, but I've had enough fun with it already to warrant it sitting nicely in the library.

Castles Of Burgundy: The Card Game - I have never played Castles of Burgundy. The box, art and theme does nothing to appeal to me.  The masses of board gamers who claim its one of the best games if not their favorite game of all time are the thing that keeps me debating whether to make the plunge and get it.  I'm sure I'd like it as everyone else does, but will I be able to get a basic looking game to the table easily?  That's the challenge that after thinking about often causes me to hit the 'delete' from shopping list button.  Along comes the card game edition of this classic which I found at a FLGS for a bargain price of $25.  I'm comfortable paying that much knowing it may never come out of it's box, but am hoping it eventually not only makes it out, but gains enough interest with our group that I realize I actually have to have the original edition.  That's the theory anyway, watch this space to see if it works out..

More to follow next week (so much for slowing down on the purchasing.. the struggle is real)
 for a hint just look at the picture

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Almost As Good As A New Board Game

Sorry for the lack of an update last week - I was in Melbourne and there wasn't a whole lot of board gaming to report on..

Here's What I've Been Playing This Week:

Dream Home - Dream Home wins on aesthetics alone.  With bright, colourful, charming and endearing art work combined with a theme about building a dream home that everyone can relate to - how could you not love this game? Mix in simple but fun mechanics and most players will easily be able to enjoy a round or two of one of my newest games in my library.  Those looking for depth won't really find it here and I can imagine with multiple plays Dream Home will wear a bit thin, but regardless its an excellent game to have in the collection if you can afford the luxury to have a game just to please the masses.  That's not to say that I don't enjoy it, because I certainly do.  But after four plays I've tried what I've wanted to with Dream Home and will most likely just use this game to lure others into the hobby.  Which of course means it'll see a fair few more plays to come..

Dominion - A few more plays this week of a game that has possibly snuck into my top 10 games.  As I'd mentioned before, this is the first and only deck builder I've ever played but with how much I'm enjoying Dominion, I really don't feel the need to venture to other deck building games.  It's easy to play and teach, but the possibilities seem nearly endless. We've just been playing through all the preset kingdom cards as per the manual and haven't even felt enticed into trying Intrigue yet (which came in the big box).  There's still so much to do and I don't feel like I've really mastered any sort of strategy.  As a matter of fact I'd go as far as to saying I'm pretty ordinary at this game and lose just as much as I win.  But win or lose, its just so fun.  We all start the same, we all have the same cards to add into our decks and yet our decks are all so different by the end of the game.  The design is genius and if I ever feel things are getting stale I know there's a heap more expansions to explore so I can imagine my deck building will comfortably sit with Dominion for the next little while.

Board Games Purchased This Week:
Shelves - Shelves!! Finally!! Since I've been growing the library, all my games have been relegated to the closet, hidden away where no one can see.  This clearly is a problem as whats half of the beauty of a collection is to admire a collection.  When I'm not admiring it, it's nice to have it on display to allow others to admire it.  Sometimes if you have no one to play a game with, just looking at the boxes can be enough! Well almost anyway.. I've gone for a two plus one combo as I couldn't fit a four stack under the tv.  This has already created issues as I'm out of room!  Inside the bottom right box is a bunch of smaller games and for now the rest of the games I couldn't fit have been sent back to the closet.  Oh and this isn't a Kallax - there's no Ikea in Tasmania so I've had to resort to the cheaper Bunnings shelves.  I don't care, just looking at it makes me happy..

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Sometimes Kids Games Are The Best Games

Here's What I've Been Playing This Week:

Rhino Hero - For a simple dexterity kids game, Rhino Hero is actually pretty fun!  It's a bit like a more friendly, better looking version of Jenga, that has you pitting against your opponents as you build a tower for the Rhino Hero.  The goal is to be the first to play all your roof cards, but to play a roof card you must first build the walls in the tower by following the plan laid out on the previous players turn.  Skip a turn, pick up a card, change direction and other cards will feel familiar to Uno players, but with a destructive structure, Rhino Hero towers above other similar games to feel fresh and exciting.  Worth picking up if your after a simple and kid friendly filler.

Fuse - Am sure I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again just in case.  I love real time games! I find them some of the most intense games and its nice going into a game knowing exactly how long it will last.  Escape: Curse of The Temple is still my favourite real time game, but Fuse with a few more plays may be just the game to capture top spot.  If the 10 minute timer isn't pressure enough, the theme of diffusing bombs definitely helps!  We only did the training mission and only once. It was a win - but only just.  As fun as it was, from the start we were only ever going to play once as a quick fill in before moving on.  I'm definitely intrigued to try some more and see how challenging Fuse can become.  We didn't bother scoring as everyone was just happy that we won, but am sure will do things more properly when we actually sit down to actually give Fuse its proper dues.  Watch this space..

Biblios - It was a filler kind of night.  Biblios is one I hadn't played in a good year but randomly decided it was time to give it another go.  I've always liked it, but never loved it and the first 2 groups of players I tried it with didn't rate it too highly.  A third group a year later can often change things, but once again I felt the same.  Biblios seems to be highly rated for a filler but I personally just think its ok.  There's plenty of filler games and while Biblios plays smoothly and easily, its just not that exciting.  Even the dice moving from 3 to a 4 or dropping one from a 3 to a 2, doesn't seem that dramatic or game changing.  Everything about Biblios works fine, but for me it falls a bit flat when there's quite a few other fillers raring to go in the library.  This one is headed back to the shelf to collect a bit more dust but hopefully next time I try it my thoughts change.

Roll For The Galaxy: Ambition - First time trying with the expansion, but it was only really a half hearted attempt as we just played with the new black and orange dice and the new game starting tiles.  I debated using the whole expansion, but as it was a last minute decision to play Roll, I hadn't read the rules since I first got the game and wanted to just get straight into the game before others lost interest.  Having just the new starting worlds and factions made a difference and combining them with the black and orange dice did manage to breath some new life into one of my favourite dice games.  I think the new dice made the game easier - it just felt like I could do what I wanted to do more often as the dice allowed more freedom, which attributed to my highest score ever.  Potentially I built my engine well and played to my strengths better than usual, but I think having the leader dice made that possible.  So if the expansion gives you the creative freedom to focus on what you want from the start, but being more flexible and being easier to recruit workers - isn't that a good thing?  Not sure the others necessarily agreed, but in my opinion that part of Ambition is here to stay.

Scythe - My second game of Scythe.  The first game, while a hit that definitely taught us the basics - was filled with gameplay errors.  Funny how the actual rules often make the game better to play.  This time I borrowed the rule book and read up the night before on everything we did wrong the first game.  It wasn't much, but the little things we did wrong were enough to really alter Scythe in a bad way. After a quick five minute discussion on what the real rules were, we were off without barely a hitch.  I think the rule book was consulted once, possibly twice the whole game and everyone seemed to be a lot more efficient at building their engines and following along with a strategy.  Lucky for me, my strategy paid off with a convincing victory, but it was only because everything just seemed to fall into place.  Yes I had some idea of what I wanted to do, but even the other players seemed to be falling into place with what I wanted so the results were nice.  Not sure when we'll play again, but if its suggested I'm definitely there!

Board Games Purchased This Week:

T.I.M.E. Stories: Lumen Fidei - Our group still has a lot of catching up to do with the T.I.M.E Stories scenarios. We've completed Asylum and Marcy's Case and have mentioned starting A Prophecy Of Dragons a few times, but then obviously have Under The Mask and Endurance still to play through as well.  We meet once a week for a board game session (which sometimes turns into a Movie night too), and take it in turns picking the weeks entertainment and I know eventually someone will pick T.I.M.E. Stories and even if we have more breaks in between the scenarios - one day we'll get around to playing Lumen Fidei and most likely every other forth coming expansion.  So I'll get them all as they are released unless some how we decide we are sick of them.  But for $30-$35 and 2-3 nights of immersion in a narrative story, I'm definitely not complaining.

Celestia - Another quick simple filler that will be placed above the aforementioned Biblios.  At least that's how I think it will play out.  I enjoy Incan Gold, and Celestia from the surface appears to be a slightly deeper game with the same laugh out loud push your luck mechanic as Incan.  Is there room for both in the library?  Most likely not as proven by the fact Port Royal has barely been looked at since Incan Gold came around.  But if one game is going to replace Incan as my go to push your luck, I have a strong feeling it's going to be Celestia and it's a pretty good looking game to boot too!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Finally Played It

Here's What I've Been Playing This Week:

Timeline: Historical Events - Had a five player game of Timeline and while I still enjoy the game and found it fun with more players, I can see how the replay value just isn't there.  As it's my game, after playing seven times I've got a distinctive edge as you do start to learn roughly when certain events happened.  Its a double sided edge - one of the main appeals to Timeline is that you are learning, but the more you play the less playable the game becomes as you'll remember and memorize when certain events happened.  For the price and ease of play, I'd still recommend Timeline - just don't play it too much too soon!

Timeline: Science and Discoveries - While the aforementioned version of the game is mostly filled with cards you've heard of and your knowledge combined with a bit of deduction of the artwork can lead to some educated guesses, I find Science and Discoveries all guesswork.  Science isn't a particular strong point for me.  It could be coincidence, but having tried this with six different people now each time has gotten the same result.  It's mostly just random guesses and a bit of luck that wins the game.  Mixing the two together just adds a luck of the draw as to who gets the Events cards and who's stuck with Science cards.  This edition will suit certain people more of course but just generalizing, Historical Events will appeal to most and is the better version to buy.

Cardline: Globetrotter - As I mentioned last week, when I purchased a first in the Cardline series I thought it would blend with Timeline.  Same concept, different games - they don't mix.  We gave the population variant a try and found it very similar to Timeline: Science.  Our group was mostly just guessing the population of countries we'd never heard of and even when we did know the country we still found ourselves mostly guessing.  Again, people who know lots about countries populations, land mass, gdp and waste will find a lot of fun here and a bit of a challenge.  For us commoners with limited knowledge outside of a few of the major countries, this was another guessing struggle.  Pretty sure I accidently did guess one card right before the game was won.

Scythe - Finally.  The behemoth that is Scythe, one of the top 10 games on boardgamegeek's infamous board game rankings, a game with mostly critical acclaim and praise over the last year.  After reading reviews, scoping out pictures and looking for sales - I decided I would not be adding Scythe to my library for some time to come.  Why?  Well, nothing at all about Scythe, just more the current state of my library of games which features 15-20% of the games unplayed and another 25-30% of games that have only been tried once. Scythe is a beast and I have a few beasts like Mansions of Madness, Fury of Dracula, Terraforming Mars, Blood Rage, Crisis, Dead of Winter (and the Long Night), Through The Ages, Powergrid, and others that rarely or never have been played.  I came to the conclusion as much as I wanted Scythe it would be pointless to add it to the list of unplayed games that take a while to play at this point in time.  That's where a good friend came in handy.  We've often played board games together but his first modern board game purchase happened a couple of weeks ago and it happened to be Scythe.  Being the only game in his collection, I'm sure any time we are at his place to play a board game it will be Scythe - brilliant for me.  Now that I've explained why I personally don't have Scythe - how was my first play?  It was a struggle to be honest.  Not because of the game, but because it was the first game in ages that I've played without reading the rules first!  I don't know how many rules we played wrong but I have a feeling there was a fair few.  It didn't matter too much as I still got to experience and appreciate the scope and beauty contained in Scythe - and even though rules were realized and discovered throughout the whole game, I still had a lot of fun.  Just wish I had a better understanding of how the game is meant to be played and some of the rules we were initially playing didn't seem to make a lot of sense which made for a bit of a lesser experience for my first Scythe night.  Regardless, I'll be back for more (and can't wait), but am definitely going to read the rule book first!

Board Games Purchased This Week:

Time for the other half of last weeks purchases..

Black Fleet - I bought this for two reasons.  #1 It's pirates.  #2 It's got some good looking components including metal coins.  Will try it eventually!

The Blood Of An Englishman - For me two player games are some of the easiest to actually get to the table and get played.  The obvious reason being you only need to convince one other friend rather than get a whole group together.  Blood of an Englishman was purely bought on a whim.  It was cheap, I know I'll be able to play it and it features asynchronous gameplay which is something I really enjoy in two player games.

Rhino Hero - I saw this in a shop for $20 so I decided after seeing a fair few Instagram posts I may as well see what its all about.  Not in a rush to play it, but am sure the mood will strike me on a non gaming night and this looks like the perfect 'activity' game to turn a night of nothing into a night of board games.