Day 23 – Fairy Tale

Day 23 – Fairy Tale

I was on the fence about buying 7 Wonders, but since I had 7 Wonders Duel still unopened on the shelf I started looking for similar games to fill that itch instead. In the 7 Wonders Dice Tower review, they compared it heavily to Fairy Tale. As I began to research this a bit more, Cortnie walked past me on my computer, saw the art and said ‘I like it, buy it’. Fairy Tale is a Drafting game, which I’m a big fan of, however I have yet to win a game of this style against my wife. Will her streak continue?

 

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Day 22 – Space Hulk Death Angel The Card Game

Day 22 – Space Hulk Death Angel The Card Game

After watching Radho Runs Through and Board Game Brawl’s top 10 solo games list, I ordered Space Hulk Death Angel: The Card Game. When it came, I opened the box and started to read the rules. After not getting very far at all, I stopped and looked to the interwebs for answers. Radho had a run through that explains things very well, but since I have three children, I couldn’t pay attention to it as much as I needed to be able to play. After attempting to play four or five times, and ending each play feeling like I did everything wrong, I shelved it. So, months later why am I talking about it now?

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Day 21 – Star Trek Panic

Day 21 – Star Trek Panic

Back in 2012, while I was on leave with my newborn baby, a couple of friends came to visit and brought Arkham Horror. Six hours later, when they left, our gaming group had been born. Needing something that played faster than Arkham Horror does, someone picked up Castle Panic from Fireside games. For the next year and a half, we got together about once a week after work to play Castle Panic, adding in Castle Panic: The Wizards Tower a few week into the binge. I then picked up Dead Panic and we played nothing else for three months. After that we slowly started adding games to each of our collections, and now I have over 75 games to choose from just at my house. With the Panic style games root so deeply in my nostalgia for what started me in this obsession hobby, I was very excited to hear that USAopoly and Fireside Games were releasing Star Trek Panic.

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Day 20 – 7 Wonders Duel

Day 20 – 7 Wonders Duel

This was a game that I had over looked when it came out, because there was already a 2 player variant for 7 Wonders. I heard the name and the premise and didn’t listen to anything else. This is why the elevator speech is so important. If a publisher can’t convince me to be interested in your game in 30 seconds, I might miss out on a great game, while they miss out on a sale. Once the dice tower award nominees were announced, I took another look. I was surprised at how much it had been reworked for a true, two player game. Cortnie has played other drafting games, such as Tides of Time from Portal Games, and she tends to love them. The problem is, as soon as I say the word ‘drafting’ something in her brain tells her to become disinterested (in the game, not me).

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Day 19 Elysium

Day 19 Elysium

I picked up Elysium, from Space Cowboys, in a multi-item order after the Dice Tower Award nominees were announced. After reading the rule book, it looked like a really good game, that scaled well with two, three and four players. As an added bonus, Cortnie was really excited to play it because of the theme. I set up the game and explained the rules and scoring. Through this process of writing the blog, I realize I have been spending much more time explaining rules on how to play the game, but I glaze over how the scoring works, which hasn’t been fair to Cortnie. Continue reading “Day 19 Elysium”

Days 16, 17, 18 – Party Games

This last weekend after my Pandemic Legacy: Season One session, I played the worst named game I’ve run across. It’s called The Game: Are You Ready to Play The Game from IDW Games. I also played Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre and Spyfall, both from Cryptozoic Entertainment. I’m sorry for the late posting, but this will get me back on track, and I’ll try not to get behind again.

The Game:

I had talked about The Game with Cortnie a few times and she wasn’t interested in the slightest. Part of it was the name, for obvious reasons, and the other part was, after hearing what it is, and then looking at the design, she just didn’t understand why someone would make a game with that name that looked like that. I agree with her, and expected to play this as a solo game.

In The Game, players start with four cards in from of them. Two of them have “100” with an arrow pointing down. Two have “1” with an arrow pointing up.

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Players take turns playing a minimum of two cards from their hand to the piles in the middle. Each piles must always be ascending or descending based on where they started. The only exception is that a player may play a card that is exactly ten numbers in the wrong direction. For example, if the ascending pile had a current value of 35, someone could play any number greater than 35, or a 25 to the pile. You play until someone cannot play two or more cards to a pile. Once you reach that condition, could the un-played cards from each hand and the deck, and that is your final score. Players may not reveal what cards are in their hand, but may suggest others do not play on a certain pile, or not change the value by too great a gap.

This game was a BIG surprise to us. We played a two player and didn’t remember to score the cards, but it was probably around 30 cards. Before I had even gotten all the cards together again, Cortnie asked to play solo. I happily shuffled and set up a solo game for her. She finished with 19 cards left. The rule book claims that having 10 or less cards is an excellent result. She played a few times in a row, then went to make dinner. I set up another two player game and my brother and I played two games with 22 and 21 cards. I tried a solo game and after a couple of tries, got a score of 9.

The next day Cortnie played while I was at work, and got a score of 8 and 5. Well Done! I tried to take this with me so I could play on lunch, and was offered threatening looks until I put it back on the shelf and walked away. Cortnie was a HUGE fan.

Epic Spell Wars

Epic Spell Wars was a game that Cortnie said no to. She looked at the art and said “absolutely not”. I put it in my car, thinking that if I got a few people interested on lunch I could break it out and play a couple of rounds. The same day it went into my car, I had four of my regular lunchtime game group, including me at the same site when lunch began. One of my crew had played it previously, so he jumped into the teaching of the game.

The very simple version of the rules are these: Players play up to three cards, one of each type to create a spell. There are Source, Quality, and Delivery spell types that are combined for different effects, usually damaging a foe. There are a couple of strategies in this game including making the best combination of effects, matching the glyphs of the spell cards, and, my favorite, making spell with the coolest name. There are also treasures, dead wizard cards, and Wild Magic. Click [here] to watch Wil Weaton play on Table Top.

This is a very high luck game, so wins and loses should not be taken too seriously. In this game, especially if you have four or more players, you could be eliminated before getting to play. We played through a few rounds and had a very good time. There is a sequel to this game, although I would have to play this one quite a few times before I would feel like I needed more content for this. This is a perfect game for sitting around the table making jokes and not actually playing a game.

Spyfall

The last game my lunchtime group has played recently was Spyfall. I had heard really great things about this game from several YouTubers and Podcasters, and loved the premise. Each player gets dealt a card with a location (the same location) except one person only gets a spy card. Players take turns posing one question to one other player. The questions should be designed to let other players with the location card know that you know what the locations is. At the same time not revealing the location to the spy. Answers should also be vague enough to not reveal the location, but give enough info to let people know you’re not the spy. The ultimate goal is to reveal the spy, unless you’re the spy and then you need to identify the location.

I explained the game to the other players, and read through the example round from the rule book. We were all set to play, we drew the first location, shuffled and dealt the cards. Each round is up to eight minutes, however at any time someone can stop the time to accuse a spy, or guess the location.

The first question was asked “um… [silence], uh… [silence], well…” okay, so the first question took a while to get out, but I’m sure things got rolling along soon right? The second question was not much better than the first. I was the spy, and had no idea how to seem like I knew what was going on. It was very uncomfortable, and confusing, because on paper this game looked like so much fun — and it was!

It took about four full rounds before things started to become easier to play for those with the location. The spy was still difficult to play, but by the end of our game it was becoming more understood. This is the first game I’ve played that you cannot be taught. You have to learn. I’ll definitely be playing this one again.

Day 15 – Stone Age

Day 15 – Stone Age

The first worker placement game I ever played was Lords of Waterdeep from Wizards of the Coast. I thought it was a good game, but was not great when playing 5 players, which is the only way I’ve played it. My first encounter with Stone Age was on Tabletop, but what really peaked my interest was when watching an old Dice Tower top ten list for games that murdered other games. Stone Age, according to one of the three lists on the show, murdered Settlers of Catan, also known as Catan.

This game has been on my shelf for a while, and only came off because I had it, so I used it to get to 30 games for July in this event. As you can tell I wasn’t too excited. Why did I buy it if I wasn’t excited? I wanted to play this game very badly. Right up until I read the rules. The two player game, which is how I play most games, cuts off certain spots before someone is placed there. I understand why this is, and I do believe it is needed for the sake of balance, however, I’m never a fan of mechanisms that change the game with no regard to theme. For example I’m not able to place workers in the hut, to increase my population, if there is someone in the agriculture spot, and the technology (tools) spot. Why does one effect the other? I’m not sure… Anyway here’s what happened:

Here’s an explanation and play-through of the game by Richard Ham on Rahdo Runs Through. A quick overview though: players take turns placing one or more workers at a location to either, gain resources, build huts, increase tools/people/agriculture, or gain benefits from culture cards. In a two player game, only one person can go to a place, instead of being able to place up to 7 meeples in certain spots, and only two of three places can be use to increase your agriculture/tools/people. When one of the stacks of 7 huts is completely empty the game is over and scores points. Highest point total is the winner.

As the youngest player, Cortnie started the game, and choose to increase her tribe by one person. I chose to start working on tools. This continued through the rest of the game where the first two moves were almost always tools, agriculture, or breeding. I got tools more often than not, until I was maxed, however Cortnie blocked my out of agriculture almost entirely.

We had completely different play styles. I picked up as much wood as I could first turn, then focused on culture cards and huts, gaining benefits and points keeping as few resources on hand as I could. Cortnie spent the first few turns building up stone and gold, which are the two most challenging resources to gain. She also liked to stockpile food, which is required to feed your tribe at the end of each turn. I would go hunting as little as possible, gaining only the minimum amount that I needed.

By the end of the game, there were only a couple of points between us. We had been leap frogging one another and I had ended up ahead. Then we scored the culture cards. I had many cards that scored me points based on the value of my tools. This is where the separation happened. I ended up WAY ahead of her, and I think that was my fault. I didn’t go over how the game scored at the end until half-way through the game. I learned a lesson about teaching games that I’ll not soon forget. Also unused resources score points, but food does not, and she had been stockpiling food, another detail I glazed over in an effort to get the game over with.

It was a very fun game that I would play again, but if pressed to make room in my collection, I think this would be one of the first to go. I’d like to play it again with four players, and re-evaluate the game.