Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, especially mine and especially to my wife who has been the perfect mother to our children.
Baseball Highlights 2045
I finally bit the bullet and picked up Baseball Highlights 2045 after finding the Deluxe edition for a fair price and in stock at Cardhaus.com. I’ve played this one other time and when we played that time we did a four player round robin tournament where the best record out of the 9 games played would be the winner. Well this time was just Gabby and I so we went ahead and played just a best of 5 series, with me winning three games to two. Hopefully next time we’ll do the 3 games and then a World Series that they recommend in the rule book but this first time I just wanted to get Gabby used to it. Ultimately, Baseball Highlights 2045 is a Deck Builder, but it really only uses my favorite parts of deck building, the buying a culling. You aren’t chaining effects on cards or anything you are just trying to make your deck of 15 players the best that it can be. You buy a new card, you send one to the ‘minors’. As I said, your deck of cards which represent your players starts at 15 players and never gets any larger than that, each mini-game is a very abstracted 6 inning game that basically boils the game down to the highlights. You play each mini game with a 6 player hand and possibly a seventh in the on deck spot, which can be swapped in with special powers on certain cards. It’s fast, it’s lean and most importantly it’s fun. I’ll give a bit more of a review of it as I get to play it a bit more and get to learn some of the intricacies that may be missing at the moment. But for the moment this game is ranking right up with Thunder Alley as a favorite of the year. What’s funny is that both games take longer events and abstract them down and make them really exciting. It helps that both themes appeal to me as well.
Progress: Evolution of Technology
So, I finally got Progress: Evolution of Technology to the table with more than 2 players and I kind of regret that I did. Friday was a state holiday here in Missouri so I took advantage of that and invited a few folks from our game group over to give Progress a try, luckily three were able to join me. Progress is basically a Civ game, without the Civ building, it’s a game about building the best “Tech tree” that you can possibly build. In a few ways it reminds me of 7 Wonders, but it isn’t nearly as streamlined and easy to play as 7 Wonders. I’ll be doing a full review soon, maybe before Geekway, but for sure right after Geekway so I won’t go into too much here except that in our game on Friday, it took 3 ½ hours, with teaching for 4 of us to play this. We did play with all 4 ages and three of the players had never played before, but it definitely started to outstay it’s welcome, to the point that I got frustrated enough that I really didn’t pay a lot of attention to what I was doing late in the game and I paid attention to what everyone else was doing to try to see how they were doing things. I was frustrated from the 1st age on as I didn’t get a whole lot of anything to chain together. I do enjoy this one as a two player game, so the way we all felt after playing it with four kind of disappointed me a bit, but I can still see this one being played more like Castles of Burgundy, mostly as a two player game. But as I said, the review should be hitting Board Game Geek and the blog within a week or so. Who knows, maybe I’ll get another play or two in before that and things will change again.
So, it’s been since November of last year since we have gotten Seasons to the table, and that’s entirely too long for a game that both Gabby and I really enjoy. That’s why it’s on our 3×3 By Memorial Day list. Seasons, is probably best known for being the game with the cool art and the big chunky funky dice and that is true, but unlike a lot of games known for their looks this one actually backs it up. Seasons is a really good Card Drafting, Dice Rolling game where each player is a sorcerer competing in a contest to see who the greatest sorcerer of the land is over a time frame of twelve seasons or three years. The first part of the game is the Card Draft, this is done just like any other card draft is done. Each player is dealt a hand of 9 cards, you chose one card to keep in your hand and pass the rest to the next person, this is done till you have a hand of 9 cards. Once you have your hand of nine cards you choose three cards to start with, and then three cards each for the 2nd and 3rd years, these cards are set aside and will be actively in your hand at the beginning of each respective year. After this, the tournament begins and the first seasons dice are rolled. The dice will have a variety of actions on them including increasing your summoning gauge(you can only have as many cards in your tableau as your summoning gauge allows, you can harvest energy(energy is what you use to play the cost of putting your power cards into play, you could crystallize your energy(crystals serve two purposes, they can be used to pay for some power cards and ultimately they are your victory points at the end of the game) and you could get the ability to draw new cards. Each player only gets to choose one die per turn and the die that is left behind not chosen determines how far along the time track you move after each player’s turn, as you go through the time track, the seasons change and different dice will be used. The different dice will have different energies more prevalent on them, pertaining to the season that they are a part of. As you play your power cards, you are hopefully going to be gaining more and more benefits from them, Seasons is a fantastic card power chaining game where if you play your cards out correctly and synergize them, you can have some outstandingly fun turns, well fun to the active person doing the chaining. Seasons can be fairly confrontational at times, with players actively stealing from their opponents or making them discard power cards from their tableaus, but not so much that you feel like you have to do that to win. If you have power cards that enable you to process energies into crystals far more efficiently, maybe that’s what you concentrate on for most of the game, whereas another player may need to attack and steal crystals from you to try to keep you in check so they hopefully have power cards that help them accomplish that. At the end of the game, the sorcerer with the most crystals combined with the victory points given by the power cards is the best sorcerer in the land and wins the tournament. The base game of Seasons comes with 100 power cards, we’ve added the Enchanted Kingdom expansion to add another 40 cards, so needless to say, there is an awful lot of variety that in this game box, and it lends itself to repeated plays. Not to mention the new abilities that the expansion brought that Gabby and I haven’t even tried out yet. I won the game we played on Saturday over Gabby 163 to 147, I managed to summon a really nice card for free at the end that allowed me to count all my energy in reserve at the end of the game as 3 crystals a piece giving me the 21 points that I needed to win the game. This was my 13th play of Seasons and I’m not tiring of it yet, it’s easily in my Top 10 games at the moment and will probably stay there for a long time, especially if Gabby keeps playing it with me.
So those are the three games that we got to the table this week, but once again, I got lots of Star Realms in this week. Thank you to all the folks who played me! Sarah, Brad, Kate, Robin, Jim, GoesToXi, Ken and Spencer. I really hope I didn’t miss anyone this week, if I did I apologize. Currently sitting at level 8 8/9, just can’t get that last win to sniff level 9, Kate had a great run of three in a row against me really quick that hurt me this week. Once again, if anyone wants to send challenges, feel free, my id is Vacabck.
So as I mentioned earlier I bit the bullet and picked up a copy of Baseball Highlights 2045 and it was delivered on Wednesday of the past week. Can’t wait to dig into this one a bit more. Also this weekend the Geekway Math Trade was finalized, I am parting with Quarriors and two expansions, Ascension, Relic and Tragedy Looper. Tragedy Looper hurts, but maybe I can find someone running it at Geekway this year and get it played, but as it is, it was a poor choice for my family and I as it never got played nor did it ever really get requested. In return I’m picking up a couple games that I’ve been looking forward to playing, Toledo, Blue Moon Legends, Asgard and Roll Through the Ages The Iron Age. I think these games are more likely to be played around here than the ones leaving the collection, at least I hope so. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t land a copy of Imperial Settlers, I really wanted to get that, but that’s the way the Math Trade crumbles.
Nothing new on Kickstarter for me as I am kind of keeping the wallet closed tight leading up to Geekway. But I do want to mention that The Siblings Trouble has about 48 hours left as of the recording and it’s fully funded at a bit over $21,000 and pushing for some stretch goals, so if anything I said in last week’s episode struck your fancy, be sure to check it out before it closes up!!
Geeklist and Thread
Once again another fantastic week on board game geek in the weekly geeklist and thread, lots of fantastic games played and some really great session reports as well! I love seeing the geeklist and thread continue to grow, it really is a fantastic sight every week. Just remember, if you see a thumb from me on either, that means I read your entry from top to bottom, if I don’t comment it’s just because I’m short on time at the moment, but I do still make time to read and enjoy the work that everyone puts forth each week.
Meet The Gamer
On the podcast I sit down to talk with Travis Hill, a fellow game enthusiast and new podcaster, he can currently be heard speaking of the fantastic smaller player count games on the podcast Low Player Count. Hope everyone enjoys meeting Travis, as I had a fantastic time talking to him for the short time that we had. I’ll link his podcast and various ways to interact with him and his fellow co-hosts.
As I said, this week is Geekway to the West, four fantastic fun filled family gaming days in St. Louis Missouri. This year will be our third year attending Geekway and I’m finding myself trying to get a bit more involved every year, through volunteering, trying to promote the heck out of the convention and also by helping run a couple tournaments this year. I’ll be heading up there on Thursday morning to start gaming as soon as I can with Charles Hasegawa(Tatsu) and his group, hoping our plan holds true and I get to play a lot of games that I really should have played by now. Friday has two volunteer shifts for me and also Gabby will be up there all day. Kerensa and AnnaBeth will be joining us on Friday evening. As our lives are right now, I don’t have the ability to go to a lot of conventions, so I am really happy to have such a fantastic one so close to us here in Missouri.