Tag Archive | bgg

My “creative” output – talking about board games in all the places.

So, much of the content I’ve  been creating of late is surrounding board games. Back in the day I used to write a lot more about music & movies, but I feel like those things aren’t hobbies now but just part of life. Board games are a hobby, a passion, and I love to share my thoughts on all aspects of them, even though it’s not my job to do so. I say “creative” output because none of it’s really creative but I don’t know how to describe it? Ha! My nerd sprinklings? Geeky missives? Anyhow, here they are!

I’ve written a few articles here on this blog, where I feel like I can be as divisive as I like and own the responsibility for that – “Why I’m Not Here To Ruin Your Fun” and “Don’t Bring Gender into Board Games“. But I like to have somewhere a little more appropriate for long-form personal stuff like “I Guess Board Games are my Valentine” and personal con write-ups. And let’s not forget the languishing design series, ha!

For the last few years I’ve been a contributor at the Daily Worker Placement blog (as well as running the Twitter and helping a bit with the Facebook account). My writing is a bit all over the place there – some stuff about conventions, a little on apps, and some stuff like the series of survey infographics I published after taking a big survey of gamers. I like the freedom I have there to write about what I really want to, and I really like that we’re having the reach we do. dwp

A little under a year ago, Games on the Rocks started up – I’d been inspired by certain pub meetups (Vegan Drinks, and Drinking About Museums) to try something similar. But instead of in-person, I’d be doing it with my far-away pals Suz, Maggi & Steph via the internet! So each week we have a bit of a chat about what we’ve been playing, and a topic of some sort (game themes, conventions, and the like) – we even had a live play through of an app (Mysterium) on our last episode which was really cool. Every (other-ish) Friday we go live on the Meeples Included Twitch and there’s an archive of broadcasts on YouTube. We even managed to live-Periscope an episode of the show from BGGcon which was one of my highlights of the trip.

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My most recent project is a podcast, Greatway Games. This is my “different” style of content regarding board gaming as a hobby, which is so refreshing! Along with pals Erin & Adrienne, we spend about an hour each episode (1 per month) on a topic that is broadly about the hobby rather than reviewing games & the like. For instance, conventions, teaching games or comfort games! We also approach recording a little differently than most, adding a personal touch with a mood check-in  at the start of each episode, a Pet Corner where we update you on all our lil cutie pies, and a segment we definitely took straight out of Pop Culture Happy Hour – what’s making us happy! Recording these is one of the highlights of my month. We’ve also been doing mini episodes to come out mid-month for Patreon backers too, if you can’t get enough. Almost all include Jake barking in the background at some point *facepalm* OH! And I run the Twitter for us too 🙂

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Spiel ’16 – games I’m looking forward to!

I don’t have preorders or anything right now, but here’s what I’ve got my eye on to play once they’re released after this year’s Spiel board game event in Essen, Germany! And if you don’t feel like reading, here’s my rambles in a video.

What’s on my hot list to try:

Key to the City: London – R&D Games: I love Keyflower, but I think the game could do with a better setting (a not so generic one) so I’m looking forward to seeing what this game does!
Cottage Garden – Spielwiese: Uwe Rosenberg’s riding the tile placement train and so far what I’ve tried of it has been great, so it’s no surprise I’m looking forward to this one. I wonder how it’ll compare to Patchwork, being 2 – 4 players!
Great Western Trail – Stronghold Games: To be honest, not super stoked on the theme of this one, but I love love LOVE the designer Alexander Pfister.
Terraforming Mars – Stronghold Games: I’ve heard many great things about this game, so it’s on my list to try for BGGcon (plus, someone posted a pic of a card that’s got a puppy, so I’m on board!)
Mystic Vale expansion – AEG: I loved Mystic Vale but, like many others, felt it needed more. Can’t wait to see what’s going on in this expansion.
Oh My Goods expansion – Mayfair/Lookout: An expansion for another Alexander Pfister gem. One of my fave releases from the last year, Oh My Goods is a great small Euro in a card game package. Excited to see what the expansion will do.
Clank! – Renegade Games: I always love trying fun dungeon raiding types of games (Welcome to the Dungeon, Dungeon Raiders, Claustrophobia to name a few) and I’ve  heard fun things about this, so now it’s on my list to seek out.
The Last Friday – Ares Games: I am still kicking myself for missing out on this at Gen Con! I have a preorder, and even if the disappointment I’ve heard about the game is warranted, I still can’t wait to see what it’s like!

Games i’m interested in but could wait: 

Dragon & Flagon – Stronghold Games: Heard many good things out of Gen Con and want to try it, but I am not sure about picking this one up
Pandemic Iberia – Z-Man Games: I haven’t even finished my Pandemic: Legacy campaign yet, so the other Pandemic flavours have to wait 😦
La Granja the Dice Game – No Siesta! – Stronghold Games: Loved La Granja, but the time investment means it’s hard to get to the table. Intrigued by this, wonder if it could make it more accessible.
Jorvik! – Eggertspiele: I mostly want to see how the new theme’s been implemented over the Speicherstadt! Curious if it’d be a better play than I had of the original.
Inis – Matagot: Having tried Kemet & Cyclades, and hearing this is similar, it makes me a little hesitant (I like Kemet for sure but don’t like it enough to own it) – but it does sound interesting. Plus, the art looks really neat.
Pandemic the Cure: Experimental Meds – Z-Man Games: I got to try a prototype of this a while back, so I’m excited it’s finally coming out! MORE THE CURE! One of the best dice implementations of a board game ever ever ever.

Finally, what I’ve tried and recommend:

7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon – Repos Productions: 7 Wonders Duel is one of the best 2 player games out there, and this adds some cool unique player abilities in the form of God cards players can obtain. Very awesome addition.
Adrenaline – Czech Games Edition: A first person shooter Euro! Truly fantastic fun. Move around a board to attack your opponents, but also try to make the most of those attacks by taking up the most area on their damage tracker. Looking forward to grabbing this one.
Feast for Odin – Z-Man Games: This is a hefty game. The box is almost the size of my 15lb dog. It’s a great Euro worker placement/tile placement game that has so much complex strategy I haven’t scratched the surface in even a few plays. Love it so far though!
Colony – Bezier Games: A lovely twist on a city building game with tableau-building and the use of dice as resources! BONUS: post-apocalyptic setting. Woo!
Cry Havoc – Portal Games: If you hadn’t guessed from my Inis blurb above, i’m not too much of a fan of “dude on map” games, but this invasion/area control combat game has a really fresh approach with the ‘factions’ you play and the unique combat resolution. I actually had fun playing a combat game! Best.
Captain Sonar – Matagot Games: Real-time Battleship with dry-erase sheets. Get in.
Networks – Formal Ferret Games: I love this game – medium strategy card playing and a hell of a fun sense of humour. Make sure to preorder if you’re going to Essen!
Oceanos – Iello Games: Everything about this game is wonderful. It’s pretty, it’s light and fun, and you have a submarine. Just get it.
Vanuatu 2nd ed – Quined Games: We have an older version, and the game’s terrific (role selection, interesting decisions to kinda maximize for yourself and block other players). If they’ve updated the art, that’s great!

If you’re looking for a great tool to help make sense of and sort through all of the releases for Spiel, head to Tabletop Together’s “Spiel Together” tool. (Which couldn’t be useful at all without the amazing work that is put in over at BGG by W. Eric Martin on the BGG Spiel Preview!)

The Gathering of Friends game convention 2014 – part #1!

This is my second year attending the invite-only Gathering, it’s so nice to be back! Familiar faces, lovely people, swathes of games. I can only attend weekends this year due to work & life commitments – but I’ll be damned if I won’t cram in as much in those weekends as humanly possible! The first weekend is always interesting because of the heavy presence of game publishers & designers. There’s lots of prototypes and pitching happening – it’s quite an atmosphere! This meant I got to test out some games either in development or that are soon to be published. I love this part of the convention! All board gaming is great, but trying out super fresh stuff to give my feedback on as a player is awesome.

Here’s my first write-up about games I played this weekend, almost all of which were new to me. I will try to give as much information as I can about if something was a prototype, and when it’ll be available. The rest are hereOnward!

 

Playing Ebbes

Playing Ebbes

 

Ebbes: This is a published game, widely available (published by Palatia Spiele). Ebbes is a trick-taking game that is played over 5 rounds. Each round there’s a number that will be a trigger – if a card of that number (in one of 5 coloures) is played, it’s assigned to one of 5 roles for that round: trump (setting trump colour for this round), positive points (for what’s in your tricks won at the end of the round), ‘ebbes’ (if you don’t have the most or least of this colour, you get bonus points at the end of the round), negative points (for what’s in your tricks won at the end of the round) and nix (no points, but whoever has the most determines start player for next round). It is simple to learn and play, but I feel like it’s a little too random and hard to take control over – it was hard to really work towards points. I had fun, but I’m not sure I’d play it again because of that frustrating aspect.

But Wait, There’s More!: Was once a print and play game, is about to head into a Kickstarter to be printed with a Monty Python theme by Toy Vault. Imagine a party game where you’re pitching a product like you’re selling it on late night TV. With a hand of features like “now 50% more absorbant!” or “voice activated”, everyone chooses a feature to start with and pitches for the same product – a toothbrush, a car, a lawn sprinkler etc. Now the fun part – about halfway through your pitch with the chosen feature you must proclaim “But wait, there’s more!” and pick a random feature card to then incorporate into your pitch. The results are magnificent and hilarious. It’s got a pretty good appeal for most people, and can play with any folks who are interested in having a fun, creative time (if you enjoy Snake Oil, Apples to Apples – this will be for you). One of my favourite party games – I’ll be glad to have a copy in print sometime soon!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf role cards

One Night Ultimate Werewolf role cards

One Night Ultimate Werewolf: This game is in print, and available from Bezier Games. This is one of my favourite social deduction games. There’s no moderator needed (it’s app-assisted), there’s no player elimination, you can switch each game up with different combinations of roles, and it plays in abour 10 minutes. Perfection! I played with Ted & Toni of Bezier games and a lovely large group of folks familiar with the game, so we got to try some new roles too – they are going to be so much fun to incorporate into the base game! I’m not sure when those will be available. (Gen Con?)

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Alchemists – my player area

Alchemists - my player area, plus the main board.

Alchemists – the main board

Alchemists: This is a prototype of an upcoming release from Czech Games Edition – I think most of it is final artwork, but obviously just a basic print/paste version; I’m not sure when this is getting a release – Essen, perhaps? (There’s a video in this post – 2nd one – that details the game to get a better idea of the look of it all.)  The premise of this game is that you’re an apprentice alchemist studying at a University, doing all sorts of wacky experiments with ingredients to see what sorts of potions they make. To do this, you place two ingredient cards next to each other, and use a specially designed app that scans the cards and combines them to show you what type of result you’ll get. The great thing about this is that the app randomly generates combinations for each game, so the replayability factor is really increased by that.
There is a worker placement element, in which you gain some sort of variable benefit from choosing player order, and then distributing your tokens out on the board; you can gather ingredients, sell ingredients, sell potions to adventuring heroes, publish your theories on what properties certain ingredients have, and you can test out unknown ingredient combinations on yourself or a test subject.  There’s a few other elements also, like some scoring bits at the start of each round, and a big game-end display of knowledge. Overall the game’s pretty solid. It’s a struggle to logic stuff out and be sure of your theories / ingredient combinations, but I think that was also a struggle of learning/playing the game for the first time, for me. (Plus Vlaada Chvatil, of CGE, hadn’t taught the game in English until then, so there were a few hitches!). I’ll definitely try it again when I’m looking for a crunchy worker placement/logic game!

Subdivision box cover

Subdivision box cover

Subdivision player mat - I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product!

Subdivision player mat – I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product!

Subdivision: This will be out at Gen Con – a new game in the Suburbia family from Bezier Games. I am a huge Suburbia fan, so I was itching to try this when I discovered it was a thing upon walking into the gaming hall at the Gathering. Like Surburbia, you’re laying down tiles to maximize their benefits/points; there’s no income/reputation track, all points are scored at the end of the game. Instead of purchasing tiles, each player starts with a hand of 5, picks one to play & drafts the rest on. When you lay down a tile, it activates the tiles next to it, making certain ‘improvements’ happen, but doesn’t do anything itself. There’s some randomized scoring at thee start of the 2nd & 3rd rounds (not unlike the scoring tiles that are added in Suburbia Inc.) which makes things a little interesting, too. You’re looking to have your tiles be accessible from the main road on your mat at the end of the game for excellent points; you’ll also get points for schools, and sidewalk proximity to building/improvements. It’s a great game – accessible, easy to learn, quick to play. Very satisfying! I could see having a place for this as well as Suburbia in my collection.

Box art. So retro. Much space.

Box art. So retro. Much space.

The 'board' of scrolling cards

The ‘board’ of scrolling cards

The Battle At Kemble’s CascadeThis is in final tuning stages, and I assume it’ll be out at Gen Con – the Z-Man prototype I played was almost all finished art/graphics/layout pieces, and it was awesome. Imagine a board game version of a scrolling retro space video game, and you’ve probably thought pretty much what this game is. Each player has a mat in front of them as a player aid (for what you can do in a turn) and also to track resource usage & equipment/missions. The ‘board’ is actually 5 rows of cards that refresh every round – the bottom row disappears and a new top row is generated, in order to simulate the scrolling nature of a retro space video game. You’re moving through space, navigating the cards & what’s on them – either picking up power-ups/energy resources, or fighting enemy ships (or players!) and destroying asteroids/singularities. The last row of cards to turn up signals game end, and it’s a row of Boss cards. They are brutally hard to defeat! Although I might just have sucked at getting power-ups and equipment 🙂 I’d like to try this again now that I know it at least a little, because I feel like there’s a lot going on to learn & strategize. It was fun zooming through all that 8-bit space in my shiny red ship, though!

My Blueprint in progress.

My Blueprint in progress.

BlueprintsThis is a published game available from Z-Man games. So simple in design, but with enough going on to make it interesting and fun to play. You get a ‘blueprint’ for a structure to build with dice. Each round you take a die from a publicly available pool and play it to your structure behind your screen. Each type of die has different scoring benefits that will come into effect once everyone has 6 dice on their blueprint. Really solid, but unfortunately not great with 2 players.

PanicoBloc!

PanicoBloc!

PanicoBloc: This is currently a prototype (from Repos Productions) and doesn’t have an English name (or much of a translation beyond some cards) – they’re working on finalizing art and components and everything else to release in the English speaking market. I was allowed to take a photo of the box & that’s it. The premise of this co-operative game is that the players (in teams of 2) are working together in an emergency room – a patient comes in and they have 12 minutes (real-time, with an accompanying soundtrack) to save them. To do this, they have to successfully perform a series of mini-games – gathering a number of instruments, distributing prescription pills correctly, applying bandages, suturing in a pattern, dosing out injections, posing team members for x-rays etc.. During this time, there will be interruptions – phone calls with instructions from the hospitals director which everyone has to stop and do, and then the patient flatlining which means everyone has to work together to charge up the defibrillator machine (a sequence of cards) and restart the patient’s heart (this is all triggered by the soundtrack). This is an enormously fun game, with the pressure of doing stuff real-time like Escape, the mini-game aspect of Space Cadest and the hilarity of the situation while you’re in it. I’m not sure of the wide appeal of this game due to the way it’s played (you need a big table for all of the stuff, and a reasonable amount of space) and I’m not sure how many people would be into how active the game is. I had a great deal of fun, though! I hope Repos can get it out soon.

Strike a PoseThis was a final published copy of the game from R&R, although I’m not sure it’s in stores just yet (Spring release, though).  Charades on freeze-frame. One person randomly deals each other player a number – the number corresponds to a list of things within a category. For instance “Terrible Jobs”, “Types of woodworking” etc. Each player looks at their number a “strikes a pose” to best represent it. The judge then takes a look at everyone’s poses to try and determine who corresponds to which item on the list. Very light & fun, I could see this being a fun filler/casual game to have on the shelf.

Okay, the rest will follow tomorrow! 

 

2013 Board Game wrap-up: reviews/highlights and wishlisting!

I feel like more than anything I can do a year-end wrap up of board games (not so many books/movies/etc standing out for me this year). Although there’s a lot of games I’d had a chance to play before this year thanks to advance releases/copies obtained from conventions in Europe, I’m going to go over what’s listed as a 2013 release according to Board Game Geek’s entries. A little about what I thought of games I’ve played, and some about what I missed out on & would love to try! (Of course there’s stuff that was new to me that I tried for the first time this year, but I feel like making it more specific to this year is better!)  I’ve no doubt forgotten some things, because I’m rubbish at logging my plays on BGG to even try and keep track now.

Firefly the game

Spyrium

Games I played, and what I thought about them!

  • Amerigo: We got to try this on xmas day, as Santy Claws was kind enough to bestow it upon Adam. It’s terrific! Although the setup is super fiddly out of the box (lots of cardboard, tokens and pieces) it’s worth it! Perhaps after a more-than-2-player game I will have some better thoughts. But I enjoy the decision-making that the cube tower bestows, much less frustrating than other Feld games like Macao. I found the flow very good, and the little bonuses added a nice layer to how the gameplay changed for each of us throughout. Delightful!
  • Bora Bora: This is a beautiful looking game, and I like the island life theme. Like a lot of heavy euros, it’s not steeped in the theme, but it is interwoven at least a little with the different actions you can take. Many things going on, but when you can realise you don’t have to do them all, and work with what you can do, it’s super fun. A tropical balancing act.
  • Firefly – the game: You can have a look at what I think here! I still haven’t played this remotely enough. Sigh.
  • Dungeon Roll: A fun & light dungeon crawler – rolling dice to smash monsters & loot. The unfortunate nature of this game means it’s basically multiplayer solitaire, as every player takes their own turn and it doesn’t impact on any other player’s turns.
  • Bruges: This is my second favourite Feld game (my first is Castles of Burgundy!). It’s up there with what I played most this year – a mid-level Euro with cards, dice, points and all the good stuff. Not too overwhelming that it is frustrating, just challenging enough to keep you interested and striving for those points. Canals, people, stuff! Whoo!
  • Rialto: I did not, unfortunately, have a great first game of this (played at the Gathering of Friends after half-learning and being game-weary). In retrospect, I think the combination of bidding and cards and strategy is a great one, and probably makes for a good game if you just dive in to enjoy the management of your cards/rounds, etc.. I must give it another whirl.
  • Spyrium: Worker placement and retrieval in an industrial/steampunk themed setting. I think the main draw of the game for me is the decision-making as far as where and when to place/retrieve your workers, that drives the flow of the game and it’s the part where players interact the most. The game overall can be a struggle (for Spyrium, and for money as resources) but it’s finely contained in a few rounds so as to not bloat out. There’s enough variety in what cards come out in the grid each game to try something little different with strategy each time.
  • Augustus: Bingo for gamers. And that’s not a bad thing! Very accessible, a little luck driven with the token-drawing aspect, but there are decisions to be made as far as how you’re using your tokens and working your way through the cards. Goes pretty swiftly, too!
  • Mascarade: Oh holy WOW I get frustrated by this game. It’s not because it’s a bad game, it’s just that I find it difficult personally. There’s a lot of hidden information about each players roles that can switch people very quickly thanks to card exchanging; trying to keep track of it all in my head just doesn’t work. It means that I just can not do well at the game, and it’s not for me.  If you enjoy bluffing and trickery and have a brain for taking in and remembering a lot of information all at once, then it’s for you!
  • Relic Runners: The concept is enormously fun – build up some tracks to collect relics, be the first to collect the most/worthiest. My first and only game was frustrating, as I really had no idea of tactics though. Wht something like Ticket to Ride it’s far more structured – this is your route, you can connect the two by (X) number of combos. I didn’t feel like there was any kind of guidance on the tactic of building my paths in this, so ended up sucking big time. I feel like this would be great after a few goes.
  • Maximum Throwdown: This is super fun! Throwing cards out to somewhat strategically place them to benefit you, but not your opponents (hopefully covering up their cards/icons to remove their benefits!). It’s goofy and fun, lighthearted dexterity gaming. Right up there with AEG’s Smash Up.
  • Firefly – Out to the Black: I tried a prototype of this at the Gathering of Friends in April, and adored it. Great player interaction, rich with the theme, easy to learn/play (although the game itself can be quite brutal on the crew – again, nice and thematic!). The problem is that Toy Vault have been fucking around with it (starting a Kickstarter, pulling it; saying something about licensing issues holding it up). Apparently it’s now been printed (hence the 2013 ‘release date’), so I hope I can get my greedy hands on a real final version in 2014.
  • Triassic Terror: I enjoy area control in pretty much all the forms I’ve tried it – El Grande is especially good. I feel like this is maybe a slightly updated version of El Grande, with a way more interesting theme of dinosaurs (no, really) to drive it and a little role selection to boot. Thematic stuff to do with how certain dinos act/attack or how your populations survive and flourish (or not) adds another level to what could’ve been a very basic area control. I would suggest this over Evo, for instance, if you were into the theme and mechanic.
  • Prosperity: This is a very simple game in which you’re playing through a number of decades of your civilization (ie. the player mat in front of you). As you go, you must balance out ecological harm/good to make sure you’re not tipping toward any one end of the scale too badly to make sure you don’t miss out on the benefits of the other. There’s a lot of decisions to be made, but only a little player interaction as it’s only the way that people take tiles before you that can affect your turns. If you like Suburbia, I’d give this one a try as a more grander scale/abstract civ/city builder.
  • La Boca: Doing 3D tetris puzzles with a partner while you don’t know what theirs is supposed to look like! Shouting! Flailing! PRESSURE! And so much fun.
  • The Little Prince: A precious family game. It’s not so easy as to be boring, and just enough player interaction and decision-making to make it a fun time. It’s a turn-based tile laying game, and you’re trying to make sure your end result will net you more positives than negatives for your end score. Tactics of taking tiles you know other people might need is a cornerstone! Beautiful art.
  • Asante: I was surprised how much I enjoyed this new 2-player release (a refresh of an older game called Jambo). It’s some basic set collection, with some special powers/benefits cards and artefacts to keep you on your toes. It’s not 100% interaction all the time, but a good enough mix of managing your own resources and progress at the same time as trying to keep your opponent from progressing. I love the art (Michael Menzel, woo!) and the play time is just right (approx 40 mins) for it to see the table for a good sit down with Adam for just the two of us to play.
  • Mage Tower: I’ve only played this 2 player with Adam; I find it overwhelmingly punishing. Each game has just been a downward spiral of me not being able to get ahead enough, and having the string of monsters crush me. I like that the deck building aspect is so varied that each game will be different – but I never feel like I have enough cards to actually build up an offensive or even meaningful defense. Part of this might just be my lack of knowledge of the content of the larger deck that the game pulls from, or my shite tactics. I don’t want to discount this one, but there’s only so much frustration I can take thanks to poor deck/card combos coming out for me.
  • Carcassone – South Seas: We got a copy of this just before xmas, as Adam did the translating work for the English version (I’m so proud of his hard work!). It’s a great, fresh twist on regular Carcassonne – completing areas gives you resources rather than points, and then you can use those resources each turn to buy end-game scoring tokens of varying values depending on how many/what kind of resources you spend. Terrific stuff!
  • Suburbia Inc: This was a very late in 2013 release, one I’d been looking very much forward to. So much that Adam had me open one of my holiday gifts early because that was it, and he was afraid I’d just go buy it if I didn’t know I was getting it 😉 It’s so great! It makes a great game GREATER! Awesome borders, lots of new tiles to reinvigorate gameplay, and round-specific income/reputation reward goals to aim for in addition to end-game points reward goals. So good. Suburbia is now one of my go-to gateway games, but this elevates and refreshes it for those who might have left it behind.
  • Lords of Waterdeep – Scoundrels of Skullport: Speaking of invigorating expansions! The addition of the Undermountain & Skullport modules in this expansion really bring up the game of Waterdeep (which I already enjoy) to be something really new and fun, yet keeping with the theme & feel of the game. It’s awesome to balance out your corruption accrual throughout the game and make decisions on if it’s worth the benefits or not. Plus, tiny wooden skulls! Yeaaah!

Waterdeep: Skullport

Mage Tower

Games from 2013 I didn’t play, but really want to try!

  • Pathfinder Card Game: I’ve heard fantastic things about this as far as hitting a D&D-ish sort of spot for board/card gamers. It’s a pricey purchase for something I’m not sure about though.
  • Nothing Personal: Honestly, I don’t know much about this gameplay-wise, but I’m intrigued to try it because it’s come from one half of the Dice Tower podcast (Tom Vasel).
  • A Study in Emerald: Chaotic Martin Wallace card game based on a Neil Gaiman Lovecraftian short story! Adam is the NICEST and gifted this to me for the holidays, so it’ll wing its way to us early 2014.
  • Forbidden Desert: I played the prototype of this back when Matt Leacock (the designer) visited Toronto with it (and the Pandemic the Dice game prototype!). Forbidden Island is great, but a little too light for regular gameplay – I think this might be a little more challenging, and interesting with the aspects of gameplay including sand movement.
  • Francis Drake: It’s a big ol’ Euro, but it’s gotten great buzz. Would like to try, just because. Can’t believe I missed the multiple demos at the Gathering of Friends.
  • 8 Minute Empire: So much hype about this! I love that people are trying to get somewhat tricky, strategic games out there with accessible gameplay time. Must try.
  • Rampage: While I haven’t heard great things about the quality of gameplay, it still sounds like fun. Smashing up the board as a giant monster by flicking stuff? Yay!
  • Russian Railroads: It’s been a while since I’ve tried a new (to me) train game, and I’m contractually obliged as we received a comp version thanks to Adam’s translating work!
  • Space Cadets – Dice Duel: I need a person who owns this to come play with me. Space Cadets regular was too much of a time/money investment, but this sounds JUST RIGHT. Plus: DICE!!
  • Two Rooms and a Boom: Bluffing/deduction social party game with shenanigans! Lying encouraged! Yes.
  • Patchistory: A lot of what gets me interested in trying certain types of Euros/heavier games is an interesting mechanic, standout theme, etc. This is a civ-building game where the layout of your cards creates a patchwork of history you build up. Seems like a natural progression from something like 7 Wonders, so i’m interested to try.
  • Going, Going, Gone!: A fast-paced auction game where everyone is shouting and chucking cubes into cups to try and win? The only more fun way to describe this would be adding “while drinking” to it.
  • Blueprints: Building structures with dice! This sounds like something truly fun and with a draw in that’s not so gimmicky to not actually work as decent gameplay. Must try this.
  • Card Wars: I know it’s going to be rubbish, but I have to try it because: Adventure Time.

There’s a couple that I feel should be on here – like Targi, Coup, Terra Mystica – but aren’t on BGG’s 2013 list. That’s what happens with Euro release dates VS North American ones I guess – or Kickstarter delays! (PS. I played & LOVED those games). There’s also stuff that was released in 2012, perhaps late enough to count as 2013, or not be widely available until 2013 – I think Morels falls into that category – which I only just tried in September!

What have you played that came out this year? Any favourites? Or is there something you think should be on these lists?

Bruges

Coup