So, this past week I was a guest on Docking Bay 94-The Board Game Reviewers Podcast. I had a great time recording with Jason Hancock and Jason Washburn. I learned a lot in doing this, hopefully learned things that I can bring forward into our small podcast.
But anyway, in Episode 14 of the DB94 podcast we talked about games we’ve been playing(imagine that), we talked Kickstarter and we talked a bit about our experiences at GenCons past and what’s in store for GenCant 2015! Was a fun episode to record, and I think that comes through in the podcast.
Give it a listen and if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to Docking Bay 94 for more great episodes in the future!
Pretty slow, busy, hot week last week. We did have a Gameday meetup on Monday with our monthly game group and I got Gabby and Kerensa to sit down and play one new game that just arrived for us. This weekend was dominated by sunshine though, so much so that I think I may be medium to medium well by now. My body has become used to its cubicle life, manual labor tends to hurt for a couple days after so I’ll be sitting in my comfy chair as I write this week’s blog post and podcast. Hope everyone had a fantastic week!!
Tonight I’m enjoying another fantastic Saison from the state of Missouri, but this one is from the East side of the state in St. Louis. Saison de Lis from Perennial Artisan Ales is a really well done Saison, really floral in the smell and kind of grassy or earthy? I am definitely not a sommelier as you can tell. But it’s really a nice crisp refreshing Saison with a bit of fruit in the flavor and a bit of hops as well. Not my favorite Saison/Farmhouse Ale, which is probably my favorite style at the moment, but it’s not far off. The bonus of this one is how readily available it is around here so I can get a bottle just about whenever I want.
We had our monthly game night on Monday night and it saw 7 people attending, well, I think the most we had at one time was 6 as one person left after the first couple games and another joined us.
With six people, it is usually a common thing for us to find a six player game to start with to get us all together, so I grabbed Eggs and Empires and explained it and we were off, well we were off and running after a good lengthy conversation about which airports were good and which were bad, I had no idea Lambert was so awful. But anyway, this was the first play for me of Eggs and Empires with more than 2 people, so I was glad to break it out. As per the usual with games like this that I teach, I finished in dead last, way back in last, we won’t even discuss the score, but I am pretty sure everyone enjoyed the game, well everyone except one person who decided that a three card monte was the way to decide which card to play, and yes, I am ashamed to admit that he beat even me, by 12 points. Steven ended up winning this one with 119 points, with Mike and Bern right behind him with 108 points. I dig Eggs and Empires and I’ll continue to bring it with me to meetups and such, not sure I enjoyed it all that much with six though, but that may have been my poor showing talking instead of me actually thinking about the game.
After that, we all decided to stick together for some six player Guillotine. Guillotine is a game that I picked up early on in our gaming lives, but also one that I sold off fairly quickly as well as our one early play of it really didn’t seem all that great and everyone kind of gave up on it. Well subsequent plays have been pretty fun and I’ve really enjoyed them. First round I ended the day really quickly by moving Marie Antoinette to the front of the line and then picking her, jumping out to an early lead, and if memory serves correctly I had the lead the second day as well, but by the third day folks had noticed and a couple well played cards took a noble from me and pretty much sealed my fate to finishing 5 points back of Mike who won with 15 points. It’s always fun to line up the French Nobles to the guillotine and I’m glad this one is around in the group to play now and then, I probably won’t ever pick up another copy for us here though, but I’ll happily play it.
One left and then one joined us and we still had not separated the group so we went ahead and threw King of Tokyo on the table. I’m not a huge fan of King of Tokyo, and I’ve wrestled with whether I enjoy it better than King of New York and I think that I do, mainly because there are far fewer ways for gamers to lengthen out the game in King of Tokyo, as it’s just a basic Yahtzee style dice roller with limited decisions and even the power cards don’t seem to effect the game all that much. This one I went for the slow burn, keep your health up and score some VPs whenever I got the chance, well, the dice didn’t like me well enough for that to work as I really didn’t score all that many VPs, even though I did manage to keep my health maxxed out until I finally decided to knock the person out of Tokyo Bay and try to make a run. It came up short as Jonathan had amassed VPs entirely too quick for me to eliminate him before he got to 20 and ended any hopes that Andy and I could catch him. As it seems to be a running gag, this is another game that I picked up early and sold off early as well as a couple plays in and nobody in the family was having any fun with it. The difference though between this one and Guillotine is that I think I may actually pick this one up and try it again as I think Gabby has gotten a lot more confident in her gaming, especially in games with a lot of in your face combat and I think it may go over a lot better than it did the first couple times, but even if it fails, I can probably pass it on to another gamer around here as just about everyone I know loves big monsters.
Steven left and that left us with five players and only about an hour left in the evening so we brought out the classic For Sale and gave it a quick run. This is only the second time I’ve played and it had been awhile since that first play so I kind of just winged it at first until it clicked as I didn’t want anyone to have to give a 2 minute explanation for some stupid reason. Oh well, I’ll remember next time! I didn’t win, but I didn’t finish in last either, so I’ll chalk that up as a good showing. I dig For Sale, I love the two different sections of the game with one part being an auction and the other being a fun half game of hand management trying to sell the properties. I honestly can’t believe that I’ve never added this one or Incan Gold for that matter to the collection, I may have to remedy that as we’ve got a budding 5 year old gamer coming that may enjoy playing these with us. I’m fairly certain Kerensa would like it as well, Gabby maybe not, but we’ll see!
That was one of our weirder game nights, no one really seemed to want to play much of anything of substance and no one wanted to be the person to break apart the group so we all played games together instead of having two or three different groups, which normally is what happens. But like I said on Monday, I still had great fun playing games with some great friends. Oh, and Spyfall fell flat, but I don’t think that should really surprise me with these guys, we aren’t the most socially deductive group around sometimes.
Thursday evening offered me something different, but still gaming related. I was a guest on the Docking Bay 94 podcast and we sat and chatted about gaming for about 2 hours, I hope Jason has fun editing us down to their normal time. We talked about games we’d been playing, Kickstarter projects that we’ve backed or not backed yet. But the meat of the show is a discussion about GenCon and GenCant, so look for that to land on Friday, July 31st. And maybe go back and listen to some of the older podcasts in Jason Hancock and Jason Washburn’s feed. It really is a fun, informative and well done podcast. It was great to work with them and see how podcasts go when you do the entire thing with remote guests and even hosts in two different cities!
The lone acquisition of the week was the game Johari and we got it to the table on Friday night. It was probably a bit late to start a new game, but I had it set up and was waiting for Kerensa and Gabby to join me for about 45 minutes before they actually sat down to play. 45 minutes is more than enough time to play this one but our play doubled that to an hour and forty minutes due to interruptions and people spacing out. So I am going to reserve any comments on this one until we play it again, it definitely showed promise and I like games with simultaneous action, but this one didn’t seem to hold Gabby’s or Kerensa’s attention like I thought it would so we’ll have to play it again soon and then I’ll give more of a rundown of it.
That’s all the games on the table, Star Realms continues to get plays and I once again got one win away from level 10 and then immediately lost a couple in a row, I’m really beginning to think that the ghost in the machine really has it in for me. I got quite a few plays in this week with the new Gambit cards so thank you to everyone who threw challenges at me with the Gambit expansions, I’m trying to pick up and learn the new cards. The whole expansion just seems so swingy, especially when you throw in those Gambit bases as well. But it’s still fun, if aggravating. Thanks for the games SarahR, thexphiler, steved, phillier, Jacob, mastakate and adiliberto. Keep firing away!
Two projects funded during this week, Hocus closed out its Kickstarter run with 1639 backers and $31,403 dollars pledged out of a $6000 goal. Well run campaign in every aspect, so congratulations go out to Josh and Grant. JurassAttack! also funded this week and it was a bit slower going. The campaign was well done and Jason and Ryan kept up with questions and information as good as any campaign managers could, but it funded with $9519 and 439 backers which is way lower than I thought it would fund, hopefully folks will see how it goes over once we get copies and they’ll flock to their local retailers to pick up a copy. Congratulations Ryan on your first published game and to Jason for the next Green Couch Games game that I am looking forward to receiving!
But before all of that funding happened, another Kickstarter re-appeared on the horizon, New Bedford. This is the second time around for New Bedford, the first was canceled and Nat Levan and Chris Kirkman over at Dice Hate Me Games took a step back and re-thought the project and re-tooled it a bit and low and behold it is currently sitting at $43173 with a $25000 project goal. So needless to say, I think the re-tooling helped out quite a bit and I am currently backing it. Set in the mid-1800s New Bedford gives 2-4 players(unless that $50000 goal is met and we get a 5th player) the chance to build the Massachusetts town of the same name into a thriving community. It’s a worker placement game, where you are using your workers to do different things around New Bedford. There is a community board with actions that everyone can take, but the players also will be building their own parts of the town that other players can use for their actions, but it will cost them to do so. The components are going to be fantastic, we’ve already unlocked some really nice wooden resources and some awesome two tone ships that remind me a lot of the ships from Expedition Northwest Passage, except with brighter colors. $29 will get you the game, but there is going to be shipping tagged on to that of $9 for folks in the US and EU getting hit hard for $35 shipping. I haven’t looked to hard into this, but I do often wonder why certain companies are able to get affordable shipping for everyone but others cannot or do not. But if you are EU or other, there should be plenty of backers wanting to tie their bids together to get that flat shipping cost. If you are interested be sure to check it out.
I am anxiously awaiting Mistfall here in the U.S., the EU has seen their copies showing up and with that we’ve seen the rules forums be flooded with rules questions and that kind of worries me, but hopefully Ricky Royal’s video series will help alleviate some of the rules questions and maybe by the time it gets over here to me in August they’ll all have been answered, but that’s not a sign I like to see before getting a game.
I do have another Kickstarter preview coming in the next week or two for another card game, this one from Pencil First games and designer Eduardo Baraf, it’s called Gem Packed Cards. I just received the preview copy on Saturday, but I haven’t had a chance to dive in yet other than to look at the cards and chips. I look forward to playing it soon and getting that information to you all as I believe that he is planning on launching this one on Kickstarter towards the middle or end of August, so be on the lookout for that!
As I noted earlier, the only acquisition this week was Johari, but I did pick up something via BGG auction on Saturday evening that I’ve been wanting to pick up for quite a while and someone actually had it for a good price. So hopefully my prompt payment will warrant prompt shipping and we’ll see that here this week and I’ll tell you all about it next week.
So Gen Con starts this week and Board Game Geek, Twitter and all our other social media sites will be filled with all the wonderful stories of what gamers are seeing and doing in the wonderful city of Indianapolis. But what about those gamers who can’t make it, the ones left behind to hold down the fort while everyone else is out gallivanting, yes, I just said they were gallivanting and cavorting with all the games that we want too? Well for us, thanks to the wonderful mind of Suzanne Sheldon we have what has become known as GenCant. GenCant is the convention that we can all attend, no matter where we are and what we’re doing, we can all take part via various forms of social media, but I will say, Twitter will be the place to be for the most part. GenCant starts on July 30th, the same day as GenCon, so I hope everyone is well rested and ready to go on Thursday. So what are we going to do for GenCant? Well, quite possibly whatever we want to do. The guys over at Low Player Count and the 1 Player Podcast are sponsoring a GenCantSoloCon, they have a geeklist set up with directions on what to do and how to participate, I’ll link it here. Jason and Jason of the aforementioned Docking Bay 94 Podcast are also doing a contest where they want folks to photograph board games in their “natural environment” in conjunction with Artem Safarov and his Board Game Habitat project over on the Altema Games page, plus they got Cloud Cap Games to pitch in another 3 games as well to give away, be sure to check out the link below for more information on the giveaway and how to enter. There is a photo contest and raffle set up and if you go to the GenCant website to check it out you’ll see all of the fantastic prizes that have been donated by publishers, podcasters and just folks who want nothing more than to contribute to the fun that is GenCant and make folks feel a bit better about not being at GenCon. So, all those fun contests and fantastic prizes should help ease our pain, but the biggest thing about GenCant is the camaraderie that we all felt last year during this. It really was a lot of fun reading everyone’s tweets and seeing all the fantastic, creative photographs and posts that came about because of this. So, if you aren’t going to GenCon, you should be attending GenCant.
I’ll be tweeting along with everyone else, using the #GenCant tag and hopefully my family participates with me like they did last year. I’m also planning on giving a game to the raffle drawing as well, just waiting for Suzanne to tell me whether or not a certain company was giving away any copies as I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes and I’d love to not duplicate a game on the list.
WDYPTW Thread and Geeklist
I feel as if I have neglected the Geeklist and Thread this week and I apologize. I’ve been super swamped for the most part and while I am pretty sure I kept up with the thread I don’t think I did with the geeklist, so I’m going to make sure to double up this week and make sure I get caught up. It’s been 36 weeks or so since I have started doing this podcast and blog and I figured I’d go ahead and kind of re-hash what prompted me to do all of this for folks who may or may not know and since I kind of talked a little bit about it earlier this week I thought I’d hit on it here as well. Back around February 2013, I took over a weekly geeklist. That Geeklist was then just simply known as What Did You Play This Weekend, we’ve recently expanded it to all week just so folks can feel free to post about everything they played if they want to. I took that over because a certain Jon Gilmour was needing a break to work on some silly zombie apocalypse project or another and he had ran the geeklist since late 2009 I believe and since I absolutely had loved taking part in the conversations on there, basically since I had started posting on Board Game Geek, I agreed to take the reins and keep it all alive. It really is a fantastic geeklist, filled with some of the best people on Board Game Geek. I like to think that a lot of us have really gotten to know each other over the years of posting and chit chatting about the games that we play, we’re really kind of like a more relaxed Geek Chat League, except that we don’t exclude anyone from posting and joining in to the conversation. So if any of you all are listening who have never posted to the WDYPTW thread or geeklist, please do so, we’d love to read about what you’ve been playing. Next week I’ll kind of talk about my weird reasoning that led to me doing the blog and podcast. Here’s a hint, I did it thinking it would be easier.
A week of ups and downs, the laptop was failing, and then it wasn’t. I couldn’t get it to boot up all week, then when I finally take it to a professional, it boots right up with zero errors found, luckily the guy who looked at it didn’t charge me anything and just told me to run the diagnostics on it and let him know if anything popped up after, which nothing did. But I did manage to miss a playtest that I was horribly looking forward to on Friday while my laptop inexplicably decided it needed to run all 52 Windows updates at one time after I logged on to start playing. We’ve since rescheduled and I hope to be ready then, I hate missing something like this, makes me feel a bit unreliable. All in all though it was a good week of gaming, dusted off a couple older games that hadn’t been touched in over calendar year and played a couple of new favorites as well, and Monday brings the promise of a game night, who knows what’ll be here next week!
Yup, we’re still playing it and still having a fantastic time with it. Gabby had this one out and waiting for me on Tuesday evening after we ate dinner. I then proceeded to decimate her dino pack three games in a row, with each game getting just a little bit closer. I think I frustrated her a little bit this time around but she kept saying let’s go, and that’s a good thing, I love it when games do that to you, make you keep pushing till you play a round that you are comfortable with. AnnaBeth was helping both of us as well, so that may have been a bit of the issue for Gabby, distractions. As of this morning, JurassAttack! was sitting at a bit over $5k in funding with 6 days left to go. I’m not really sure what is slowing this one down, I would have thought with the low funding goal and the positive press that both the game and Green Couch Games has been rightfully receiving this one would have been a breeze. Kicktraq has this one projected as funding, but just barely and that worries me a little bit, I wonder if it’s just the conflux of timing(right before GenCon/Right after some BIG projects), being only a two player game that also happens to be a family weight type of game and just being a kind of niche type of theme(combating dinosaurs). I just don’t know, but if you would, give the project a look at least and see what you think, it’s just $15 with shipping for some fantastic fun.
We picked the gaming back up on Friday evening with another play of Cacao. This one was three player as we got Gabby to join Kerensa and I. This time I rode the water and cacao sales to victory scoring 63 points to 44 for Kerensa in second place. I managed to actually use a Sun Token for good use this time around and scored 12 point selling due to placement of some sales tiles. Our game went a bit long, I think I timed it at about 51 minutes according to the app I am using, I’m trying to time our games a bit more often just to see how slow we really are compared to what the boxes say. I am enjoying our plays of Cacao and while every game is different and the routes can change up, I’m really anxious to get my hands on the expansion tiles that I saw pop up on Twitter this week so we can add a bit more variability to the game, if I remember correctly one new tile was a volcano tile that can affect other players with negative points if they have workers touching it, so it can add a little bit of conflict in the game, which may be a good thing for this one. The expansion looks to be 11 modules to the game for extra variability, looking forward to this when it comes.
Despite my better judgement I asked if Kerensa and Gabby wanted to play a game of Open Sesame, Gabby was getting tired and I knew that Kerensa would excel at this one compared to me. My fears were warranted as Kerensa won this one. Open Sesame really is a fun memory game, there isn’t a lot of weight to it, the game is simply knowing when to push your luck as Ali Baba and remembering all the items when you are one of the other thieves. My problem is that I just get lost, I will forget something right in the middle of the list, but I did better than my sleep deprived child by a good long shot. I just may never beat Kerensa.
So on Saturday morning, Gabby and I decided to break out the feather dusters and play a couple games that haven’t been played in over a year, first up was the fantastic tile placement, jewel capturing game Indigo. In Indigo, from Reiner Knizia, the players are trying to guide jewels to the side of the board that they “control” by placing tiles down that have paths on them, these paths will wind around the board creating longer and longer paths that eventually take the jewel off the board and into a players scoring pile. You set up the board with one central tile in the middle of the board which holds 5 green jewels and 1 blue gem. Around the outside edge there are 6 tiles that start with 1 yellow gem on each of them. Players then in turn order place a tile and move the gem along the path that is created, think Tsuro, only you want the gem to reach the outside edge. In a two player game, each player will control three sides and will try to get the gems to exit in their spaces. Yellow gems are worth 1 point, green gems are worth 2 points and the blue tile is worth 3 points. In three player games, each player will control one exit and then share an exit with each other player, with 4 players each player shares a side with each other player. If a gem happens to go off the board where players share a spot, each player is awarded a gem of that color. The game is played until all of the gems are off the board, the players then count up their points and the highest total wins the game, in ties the tiebreaker goes to the player with the most gems. I really like Indigo and as evidenced by our plays, we reach for it over Tsuro most of the time. It doesn’t play nearly as many people, but I find it a lot more fun to play, the bigger board and seemingly more choices, even though there really may not be. 16 plays so far, and more to come I have a feeling once AnnaBeth figured out what it’s all about, she sat and watched pretty intently while we played.
So, then the duster needed to be used for this one as well, it’s been since December 2013 since we’ve broke out Dominion and I know why that is. Gabby really enjoys Dominion but she doesn’t enjoy the variety, she likes to play with certain cards that she knows and has used before, for me I am exactly the opposite, I like the variety that Dominion offers, I like that if we wanted to we could never have a game with the same cards so thusly it won’t play the same way. So when Gabby suggested it, I made sure to tell her that I would play it, but the first game we were going to randomize every card and she agreed to it. We have the Big Box version of Dominion so we have the Base game, Alchemy and Prosperity in one box, on top of that we have Intrigue and Hinterlands as well so we’ve got a pretty large base grouping of cards to randomize from and we got a really different grouping the first game. Not a single card offered an extra buy and we were kind of limited with extra actions as well, so I made sure to try to focus on the victory cards that we had in the offer. I went heavy into Tunnel due to the fact that I knew Gabby would be aggressive with the Militia and then I picked up every last Silk Road which essentially sealed the win for me, 107-36 with the Silk Road scoring me 60 points due to having 24 victory cards in my hand. After that, Gabby wanted to play again, but she wanted to hand pick 6 of the cards before I got to add in a random 4. She made sure she got her Militia in there, her Market and her Grand Market and some others, we randomly got Ill Gotten Gains, Trading Post, Develop and the Duchess. This one was ugly and it took a long time to build up anything. Gabby ended up with only 18 points, she kept running out of actions on her hand so she would end up wasting cards half the time she played, I wasn’t much better but I kept picking up Duchy’s when I played a Duchess and just tried to get as many Victory cards as I could. 36 points isn’t much of a win, but I’ll take it out of that setup, only thing I can think of that I should have possibly used a bit differently is used the actual Develop card and trashed a bit more out of my hand, but I just wasn’t sure how that was worth it, but who knows. I like Dominion but it’s detractors do have points, it is utterly devoid of theme for the most part, well I shouldn’t say devoid of theme, the theme is there, it just doesn’t really make much sense with game play, but it’s fun, it’s a puzzle every game if you use different setups and I like that in games. I love figuring out that path that is going to serve me the best and get me to the win, or as close as I can get. I’ve had Dominion on the trade pile for a while now, but maybe I should pull it off the trade list and get a few more plays with it. Who knows, maybe Adventures are calling my name.
For dinner we went over to Brad and Kate’s house and I brought along some games to play, but I knew, or rather I hoped, that we’d be playing Rattlebones a bit. Brad got this a couple weeks ago for his birthday. We had played it at Geekway and quite enjoyed it so I was looking forward to playing it again with more than two players. This time we played it with four and I never did quite figure out how to best get my dice manipulated. It didn’t help that we all rolled Rattlebones way too often. Brad ran away with it for most of the game, but Kate made a strong push towards the end, but Brad scored a handful of stars to end it, winning by 17. I finished in dead last, never did even break 20 points, but like I said, I wasn’t seeing a pattern to use and I just kind of randomly stuck new sides on the die and that didn’t work out for me at all. I like this game, and I love the idea of the game with the interchangeable parts to the dice. I wonder if I even need to use a movement die after a little bit, the only reason I should is if I wanted to score stars, which do seem a bit powerful, 1 star gains you 3 points, 2 stars gains you 7 points, 3 stars gain you 11 points and 4 stars gain you 15 points. I almost wonder if you could ride the star train to a victory alone just by building a die of as many star faces as possible. But then that requires you to get that many faces for your dice. Great game that I look forward to playing more as we get more chances, really glad that this one is around and in the family.
Last but not least for the weekend was a 4 player game of Scoville. I’m really enjoying our plays of this one and hopefully we can keep getting it to the table more often in the future. This was our biggest game to date and I really think that this gets better as you increase the player count, although with increased player count comes the fact that more people will have peppers and thus you’ll realize that the game really didn’t come with enough peppers, hopefully this gets remedied whenever the upcoming expansion is put out. I’d even possibly be willing to pay extra for some extra peppers. Brad, Gabby and Kerensa joined me and we were off picking peppers. Early on I think it was pretty even all the way across, but one thing we noticed right off the bat was that paths are going to be blocked a lot more than we do in the two and three player games. Due to some late game Ghost Pepper farming and recipe fulfilling, I ran away with this one, winning with 105 points, with Kerensa and Brad coming in second with 78 points apiece. Both of them used a different strategy to get to those points, Brad switched late in the game to just selling brown peppers, he had created a little plot away from everyone else and just kept farming for brown peppers while planting brown peppers just to keep increasing their price. Kerensa was pretty strictly recipe fulfilling as I don’t think she even had one shield trophy either. I did also this game use the auction for turn order a lot more than I did other games, trying to make sure that I got to make the choice of when I got to go in turn order, sometimes I wanted to be last so I could harvest first, other times I wanted to be first so I could plant and fulfill first, that part really opened up a bit more with 4 players, at least for me. Ed Marriott and Tasty Minstrel Games definitely have a winner here with Scoville. It’s light enough rules wise that I’d be comfortable teaching it to almost anyone, regardless of level of gaming experience, yet it is pretty strategic as well.
That’s the face to face gaming for the week, I did get in quite a few games of Star Realms in as well this week. I stumbled a bit, ended the season at 5-6 and had dropped to level 9 4/10, but I managed to rally back to 8/10 as of this afternoon. So thank you Sarah, Jacob, Alex, Steved and others for the matchups. It was good to start slowly adding in the Gambit stuff even though I am still a bit lost when it comes to some of the ships but I’m coming around. Keep the challenges coming to VacaBCK!
Nothing new backed this week, I was tempted to back something that wasn’t even board game related (shocking) but ultimately I forgot about it and didn’t back it before the campaign ended. So all that I am currently backing is Hocus and JurassAttack!. Hocus is motoring right along at over $21k with less than 5 days to go and as mentioned earlier, JurassAttack! is struggling along, hopefully something kicks into gear this week for it and we see some big jumps in funding. That’s it, I know there are a couple games coming along that are going to be tempting, but I am going to try to stay away from Kickstarter for the most part, although I am going to be tempted quite a bit by the fast approaching re-launch of New Bedford and then Consequential. Both of which I believe are running during Gen Con in a couple weeks. So, if you are interested, keep your eyes peeled for information on both of those Kickstarter campaigns.
I really didn’t get to listen to a lot of podcasts this week, they kept me fairly busy at work with things where I needed my ears for other things, but I did listen to a couple standout ones. Heavy Cardboard covered all things Terra Mystica and ended up giving it a middle of the road kind of review. I can kind of see that from them, there really isn’t a lot of conflict or interaction, either direct or indirect with it, it’s really a game where you are trying to be as efficient as you possibly can with every turn you take. I don’t agree that it’s middle of the road though as I absolutely love Terra Mystica for a lot of the reasons they felt it a bit lacking. But I do agree with Tony though on the fact that it’s really a Medium weight game, I don’t think you can really call it heavy. They also touched on String Railway which shocked the heck out of me, glad they found it interesting as I really liked my plays of it so far. Punched & Played touched on RPGs and board gaming with a friend of theirs Anthony, who doesn’t enjoy the competitiveness of board games. Really good episode. Paul over at Gaming Rules! Continues to bring a fantastic short podcast much in the same vein as we do here, had the 2nd part of the interview with Ricky Royal as well which was a lot of fun. The Tattered Board gave what may be the only positive review of Kill Shakespeare that I have heard so far. The Brawling Brothers podcast, which is quickly moving up the queue as a must listen had a great episode discussing the Top 10 games on Board Game Geek and reviewed a game that I desperately need to get to the table soon, Dark Moon. Marty and Tony over at Rolling Dice & Taking Names once again let Rhiannon and Suzanne invade the studio for some talk about marrying one game for the rest of your gaming life. Plus they reviewed a game that is moving up my want list with a bullet, Stockpile, great episode as usual. Once again, lots of fantastic podcast listening, even during a week where I didn’t get listen to nearly as much as I would like to listen to and next week looks even more fantastic. I checked my feed a few minutes ago and I know I had at least 8 new podcasts download.
So last week, we started the GenCon 2015 Top 10 with some honorable mentions and then games 10 through 6 that I would make an effort to run to the booth and check out if I were attending GenCon this year, well this week, it’s time for numbers 5-1 since GenCon is only 11 days away.
Check out the geeklist over on Board Game Geek and let me know what you think!!!
Here’s a quick recap of 10-6
10) Artifact Inc from Red Raven Games
9) Code Names from Czech Games Edition
8) Castles of Mad King Ludwig-Secrets from Bezier Games
7) Great Dinosaur Rush from Ape Games
6) Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot from Portal Games
5) Takenoko Chibis from Antoine Bauza and Bombyx Games Not a whole lot out there yet about this expansion to one of our favorite games here, Takenoko, so that’s partially why I’d be rushing to the booth to check it out. What we do know is that the expansion adds a female panda to the mix and baby pandas to the mix as well, the female Panda will have a model and I believe the baby pandas will be on tiles. The expansion also brings some more cards to the mix, more land tiles and some more bamboo as well. Only question is, will, or is it compatible with the Collector’s Edition box and if it isn’t, will they be releasing the expansion to fit that scale as well. I believe this one is releasing at GenCon so we should know more soon!
4) Odyssey-Wrath of Poseidon from Leo Colovini and Ares Games This one will be a demo only at GenCon, ahead of a September release, and I believe that Ares had it also at Origins this year, but I have heard little to nothing about the game from there. In Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon, one player takes the role of Poseidon, God of the Sea, while the others become navigators in search of the Sacred Island. Gameplay takes place on two copies of the same game board that are separated by the game box so that they are not visible to one another. The Poseidon player throws powerful storms against the Navigators, driving them off-course and confounding them so that they cannot reach the Sacred Island in time. Only Poseidon knows the real position of the ships as indicated on his copy of the game board. The navigators must sail through endless storms, blind to all around them, trying to gather clues to their whereabouts to stay on course. They also track the position of their ships on the game board, but the positions indicated are only a best guess — and they can become increasingly inaccurate as the game progresses. The navigators must use their wits to stay on course and reach the Sacred Island before the end of the game, while Poseidon wins by preventing them from reaching their destination. It sounds to me like sort of a variation of Battleship with some other things going on that may actually provide some really fun gameplay. It’s a game from Ares so we know the production on it is going to be top notch fantastic.
3) Ashes-Rise of the Phoenixborn from Isaac Vega and Plaid Hat Games This one has been all over the airwaves over the last month or so, with Isaac and Colby talking to just about anyone they can about this one and it sounds fantastic. In Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, a two-player expandable card game, players take on the roles of Phoenixborns, demi-gods and protectors of this world. These characters are the great saviors of their civilizations. Before they came into existence, the humans were plagued by monsters like chimeras that took away their lands and forced them to live in walled-off cities. When the Phoenixborns came, they fought off the chimeras and freed the lands for humans to take over once again. Ashes promises to be the next expandable card game system from Plaid Hat Games after the success of Summoner Wars. This one seems to take a lot of it’s heart and soul from Magic: The Gathering, but it cuts out a lot of the bloat. Each player starts with a deck of 30 cards and your biggest spell or attack can go into play immediately, no waiting around for land build up in this one. Get in and get after it. As of today, the 19th of July, it was still available as a pre-order on the Plaid Hat website, but I don’t imagine that will be the case much longer. It will be available for purchase at GenCon 2015, I’ve heard no word on stock.
2) Flick ‘Em Up from Gaëtan Beaujannot and Jean Yves Monpertuis and Pretzel Games This one has been on my radar since it was announce a few months back. A Western themed Flicking game?!?! How could anyone pass this up. This is the inaugural release from Pretzel Games, a company that wants to make it’s mark selling games that look as fantastic as they play, heirloom quality. Their first release, Flick ‘em Up, seems to be getting them off on the right foot, with a fantastic presentation to go along with fun shootout gameplay. The game is ran with scenarios where the Sheriff is trying to stop bank robbers, or escaped prisoners, or just a wild west bandit out for trouble. At $70 msrp, this one may be a bit steep, but the presentation, down to the wooden box makes it look like it’s well worth every penny.
1) Mysterium from Oleksandr Nevskiy, Oleg Sidorenko and Lillebud Yes, yes, I know, we already have a version of Mysterium and that version is perfectly beautiful and fun to play, but Lillebud has upped the presentation a bit and taken a fantastic game and hopefully improved it a bit. They’ve added a ghost screen which looks to help the ghost keep everything a secret all while making it easier on them. The new clock is an awesome graphical addition to the game and everything I’ve seen art wise makes me really happy and confident that they’ve really improved the game. The new rules are online and available to check out, but I haven’t had a chance to read through them yet and find out if much has changed or not, or even figure out which end game they are going with. Lillebud has said they will have a few hundred copies available at GenCon this year ahead of the release scheduled for October, so you might want to hurry up and head to the Asmodee booths to try to get a copy, but you won’t get it if you aren’t there quick.
So there we go, ten games worth sprinting to get through a gaggle of board game fiends all dead set on getting the same thing as you. All 10 on this list are worthy in my mind, and I’m sure there are others that I’ve completely missed and didn’t add to the list that others would have, like La Granja, Stockpile, Lift It, Nevermore, The Village Crone(this one I regret leaving off the list), everything at the Haba booth and many many others. But that’s why there are so many voices out there that will gladly tell you all about what they saw or what they want to see.
But fret not, for those of us who can’t make it to Gen Con this year, never fear, there is something for us to do as well. The wonderful Suzanne Sheldon is putting together another fun #GenCant for everyone. There will be camaraderie and fun and games over Twitter and over on Board Game Geek. Do yourself a favor and head over to the #GenCant website. and see everything that has been put together and above all participate and enjoy our non-con!!
Ahh, week 33 is when our summer decided to hit. Temperatures have moved into the 90s and our activities moved to strictly water related it seems. Only a couple games played this week and each of them were new. This week seemed to be more about me getting all the bad luck out of the way in one fatal swoop, fingers crossed. Found out we had a dead laptop this week, so I am doing this week’s podcast on a borrowed one, so thank you Kate for that. Not sure what’s going on with the laptop, going to keep trying to trouble shooting it and then if I can make no headway, I’ll take it somewhere to see if it’s worth trying to save, once again, fingers crossed. In the meantime I hope that there are no interruptions in the podcast as I would really hate to stop for any length of time as this has become kind of a fun ritual for me. On with the board gaming stuff!!!
So, there were a couple acquisitions this week that showed up at our doorstep and instead of doing a separate section, I’ll just include it all in the plays since two of the games were played this weekend. The first one being a two player game of Eggs and Empires. Eggs and Empires is a card game where each player has an equal hand of 10 cards, in two player things are a bit different but I’m just going to go with more than three here. Each player has a deck of cards numbered 1-10 and each of those cards are a bit different and most have different powers. Each player starts the game with drawing up to 3 cards in their hand. The object of the game, is to collect the most points by collecting eggs, which are laid out in the middle of the table, the number of eggs laid out is based on how many players are in the game. Some eggs are positive points, but some are Exploding eggs and those are worth negative victory points. On a player’s turn they play one card out in front of them face down. When everyone has chosen a card everyone simultaneously reveals their cards. The highest card played gets the first choice of what egg to pick from the center, but be careful, the cards have special powers. While the Blacksmith is an 8, if someone played a Shepherd, the 3 card, they get to go before the Blacksmith due to the 3 beating an 8. After everyone has collected the eggs available the players discard the cards that they have played, unless a power on a card tells them otherwise and new egg cards are revealed and the players draw back up to three cards in hand and the game repeats until all the players are left with one card in hand and that ends the round. The players then count up their points and mark them down. A regular game is played with three of these rounds with the highest score winning. Two players I don’t think that we are giving a fair shake to this, I think there is a lot of fun to be had with the game and even though it may seem like a cop out I think the game will probably play a lot better with more players. As it was, I ran away with this one over Kerensa, so much so that I think it may be a bit of work to convince her to give it another shot, but I think she will. Glad to have it in the collection though, it’s another game that I wanted to back on Kickstarter, but I just didn’t pull the trigger for some weird reason. Along with Eggs and Empires in that delivery we picked up a copy of Spyfall. We haven’t had a chance to play this one yet, as I will wait for a big enough group to get it to the table, but I just wanted to have a copy of this one for those days with big groups as I think it would be a lot of fun.
Saturday evening after a day of lounging around the lake and eating too much food we all came home and Gabby, Emma and I tried out Gabby’s newest acquired game Open Sesame. Open Sesame is a memory game with an Arabian theme from designer Antoine Bauza and Corentin Lebrat. We won this one from Pandasauras Games on a Twitter contest and it should be available shortly here in the U.S. In the game the starting player is Ali Baba and the rest of the players are more thieves. Ali Baba will reveal a card from the top of the draw pile and show it to the thieves, the thief to the left of the starting player then has to tell what they have found in the cavern. If they are correct, Ali Baba reveals another card to the thieves and the next thieve then has to name the two things they have found in the cavern. Meanwhile as the Ali Baba player is revealing these cards, they may have symbols on them and if at any time Ali Baba has 3 of the same symbols, their turn as Ali Baba is over and the other thieves get to split all the loot that was identified that round. Ali Baba does have the opportunity to stop revealing treasure at any time on their turn, if they choose to do that, then all of the thieves get to split the treasure found. The third thing that can end a turn is that one of the thieves fail to correctly name the items in the cavern, then the round ends immediately and all the thieves split the loot, with the exception of the thief that incorrectly named the items that turn. The game ends when the Chief card is revealed and the players finish that current round. Players then score their treasures and get one point for every different treasure in their collection and the highest score wins. Well, not much I can say about this one, we played at around midnight after a long day around the lake and I could not function very well, so Gabby and Emma ran away with this one with Emma winning by one point. It’s a fun memory game, as far as memory games go, not something that I’ll necessarily be begging to play but it’ll be fun in certain instances. Really nice artwork and well put together game. Thank you Pandasauras I know we’ll have a lot of fun with this one over the years.
So that’s all the face to face gaming that happened this week, other than this it was only more Star Realms where I am currently sitting at level 9 8/10 still. Was up and down all week and then the Sunday Weekly Casual Tournament rolled around and I lost 2 pretty badly, bad enough that I may stay out of the tournament for a bit till I learn the Gambit cards and such that I decided to go ahead and pick up. Keep the challenges coming to Vacabck, I guess I’ll go ahead and play the expansions now in hopes of learning them. Thank you all for the matchups this week!!
We did have one other game show up this week, Magic Arena of the Planeswalkers, aka the new Heroscape. It hasn’t made it to the table yet, but I am hoping to talk Gabby into playing it pretty soon with me. It looks like a lot of fun, especially if we can get some 2v2 going with it and get more Planeswalkers out and on the map. Hopefully Hasbro and WotC don’t forget about this one as it’s just yelling for more expansion map pieces and some more armies. The game is MSRP at $29.99 and that’s about right for what you get in the box I think, but the variety is what is going to keep this game alive and as it is, I don’t know if that is necessarily in the base box.
Ray, is a local friend from here in Jefferson City, he is a member of our local game group and makes the time to attend meetups whenever he has the time, but being the father of two small kids has kind of limited that time lately. Ray also has a Youtube channel called Instant Game Review, where he reviews games and even is giving us his top 100 games of all times, I believe we are getting ready to jump into the top 40. Ray wanted to talk a little bit about a game he’s played a bit lately so I figured why not, I’m sure people get tired of hearing my voice, so here is Ray, talking about Eminent Domain: MicroCosm.
You can hear Ray’s review at 7:41 in the podcast
Thank you Ray, I look forward to more spots from you as we move forward. If anyone else would like to participate in the podcast in this fashion, I would love to talk to you, just send me an email to email@example.com and we’ll see what we can do to get you on the podcast!
Only one new game being backed by us on Kickstarter and that of course is JurassAttack!. $15 gets you the game delivered to your door hopefully by February of next year. If you listened last week you know that we had a lot of fun playing this one and it continues to get plays as the girls took it with them a couple times this week. It’s a short Kickstarter, only 13 days left to go and we’re just short of halfway funding at the moment, so if it sounded like something that would be fun for you, don’t hesitate to take a look.
Hocus keeps chugging along, currently sitting just shy of $18.5k with 12 days to go on its Kickstarter run. I printed out the game but just haven’t had a chance to play it with anyone yet, hopefully I can do that before the Kickstarter is over to let you all know if it’s just as fun as it sounds.
Carson City is moving along as well, just broke $207k U.S. Dollars, I think we should unlock all the stretch goals before this one ends on July 15th. The creators of the project have posted a reminder that this big box version will not be widely available after this Kickstarter outside of Europe, so the only way you’ll find it in North America at a retail shop would be if the retail shop pledged and picked up copies. So if you’re wanting this big box, and man it’s going to look nice, your best bet is to pledge before time runs out.
Some really good podcast listening last week, starting with the Ministry of Board Games podcast interviewing Paul Mulders. Paul is the person who is in charge of running the Kickstarter program for Quined Games as they get the Carson City Big Box out to everyone. I enjoy listening to Joel and this was the first interview that I have heard him do and it was a really well done interview! The Punched and Played podcast was a really good episode about gaming with children, even had a fantastic special guest in Rich Sommer. Well done and I learned a few things! The Tattered Board podcast did their review of Evolution, a game that is well liked in our house and also they did mention us here on the WDYPTW Podcast, so thank you to them. I really did start thinking more about trying to get our kiddos on the podcast after listening to their daughter on their podcast. Dukes of Dice broke out a bit more Dice Tower Con, but then reviewed one of my favorite games of the year, Deus. On Board Games Crowd Funding Edition talked to Grant and Joshua, the creators of Hocus and also Andrew Federspiel who’s Apotheca just ended on Kickstarter. I think if I weren’t backing Carson City, I would have definitely been backing Apotheca. 20 Minutes of Filler brought us an interview with the seemingly overly talented Ryan Cowler, who along with professional wrestler, can now add board game designer to his resume due to JurassAttack!. Really fun interview. Boards Alive had Colby and Isaac of Plaid Hat Games fame on to talk all things Plaid, but especially Ashes. Hurry up, time is running out to pre-order it on the PHG website. I followed Boards Alive up with the Plaid Hat Podcast which was all about their recent move to Texas and even some more Ashes talk. I finished out the week listening to Docking Bay 94 and their interview with Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games and their newest kickstarter, Tiny Epic Kingdom-Hero’s Call. Sounds like a fantastic expansion to Tiny Epic Kingdoms and it even further cements the fact that I need to play it soon. So, as I hope you can see, I wasn’t lying about it being a really good week of podcast listening, all these fine folks make some really quality content and I just hope everyone is giving these fine content creators a listen.
I don’t know about many of you folks out there who listen, but I am not going to be attending Gen Con this year, but that doesn’t stop me from perusing the fantastic Geeklist put together over on Board Game Geek by W. Eric Martin and doing a bit of “window shopping” so to speak. It seems so far that 2015 is going to be a bit of a slower year at Gen Con, there really isn’t anything jumping out that stands above the rest, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some quality titles debuting or even just being demoed there. The demoes far outnumber the debuts this year. So what I thought I would do is this, I’m going to give my list of games that I would make a point of going to check out this year, the ones that pique my interest so to speak more than the others. I had originally thought that this would be a pretty short list, but after going through the list one time, I was sitting here with 31 titles. I managed to cut that list in half, but I do want to give some mentions of games that won’t make the list, but if I had the time, I would definitely go demo.
First honorable mention would be Consequential from Asmadi Games. I think this game has been at GenCon the past couple years, but Asmadi looks to be a bit more confident about it demoing and getting it out in the hands of players as they say a Kickstarter will be running during GenCon. Evolution Flight from North Star Games should be there and ready to buy, I didn’t back the Kickstarter for this one as it didn’t fall at the correct time for the budget, but I think that this will improve a game that we already really like, so I’d probably end up picking it up if I made it there in time. Broom Service and Dead Drop should be available for purchase so those go on my list as well of things to buy. With Broom Service being a definite at this point, I’m honestly surprised I haven’t picked it up yet. Royals, coming as part of the Dice Tower Essentials line from Arcane Wonders is another on my list to check out, but all signs lead me to thinking that this light weight area control game really wouldn’t get much love around here, so I’d probably be searching out a demo or someone with a copy to play. It’s not available yet from Arcane Wonders and they will only be demoing. The last honorable mention goes to WWE Superstar Showdown coming from the folks at Gale Force Nine. The only game I’ve picked up from them is Firefly which sadly sits unloved, but they seem to know how to do combat games correctly and I think the wrestling theme could be a lot of fun. Looks like this one is debuting there for $50, would definitely have to try it before buying it, but I’m hopeful that it’s good. Oh, and I do have to go get a demo of Vault Wars if I have the time, I owe that to Mr. Gilmour I think, plus it did look like a fun game when I saw it on Kickstarter, just didn’t pull the trigger.
So there are the honorable mentions, let’s get into the good stuff, here’s 10 games that I would definitely make time for, either to demo or to purchase, at GenCon 2015.
10) Artifacts, Inc from Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games
This one is debuting at GenCon this year after a successful Kickstarter last year that I managed to somehow completely miss. This 2-4 player dice game has the players competing to be the most famous archeology company. Based on art alone, any game from Ryan and Red Raven Games should be a must buy, but I’m late coming around to them and it’s only recently that their games have been put on my radar, so I’ll be watching for any further releases with bated breath. As it is, I’d probably be picking this one up at GenCon this year and while I was there, I’d be trying to get a play of Above and Below in as well.
9) Code Names from Vlaada Chvatil and Czech Games Edition
In Codenames, two teams face a square grid of 25 word cards. Each team has a captain and both captains can see(via a hidden picture) which cards belong to their team, which cards are neutral and which single card is the “assassin”. On a turn, the captain gives their teammates a clue such as “Car 4”. Those teammates then select cards(Up to the number given) which they think the captain might have in mind for the clue. Choosing a word not belonging to your team ends the turn and choosing the “assassin” word makes you lose immediately. Assuming neither team falls to the assassin, the winner is the first team to uncover all of their own words.
I don’t know a lot about this one, but I do know that coming out of the Gathering of Friends, this one was getting a lot of buzz and it has continued to do so even after more and more people have seen it and played it. That alone has put it on my list as these types of games sound fantastic, but rarely get play in my group or in my family. Maybe Vlaada can change all that.
8) Castles of Mad King Ludwig-Secrets from Ted Alspach and Bezier Games
Castles of Mad King Ludwig was a hit with us, a fun tile laying game where you are building a castle for the Mad King, so things don’t have to be perfect design. This expansion looks to add a lot more fun to the base game with some 30 new room tiles, some moats, some swans and some secret passages, you know everything a castle really needs! This one is available for demo only at GenCon ahead of its release at Spiel in October 2015. If you are interested in this one and any of the other upcoming releases from Bezier, check out their website for their really nice pre-order program.
7) Great Dinosaur Rush from Scott Almes and APE Games
It’s a dinosaur summer for us it seems, first it was JurassAttack! and now it’s this one from designer extraordinaire Scott Almes. In the Great Dinosaur Rush players complete to grab the bones from the best dig sites and build new dinosaurs for museums, gaining notoriety in the process by stealing bones, sabotaging dig sites and otherwise slowing down your fellow paleontologists. The theme of this one just grabs me, plus the fact that you probably aren’t going to be able to win this one without at least messing with your opponents a little bit make this a must back once it hits Kickstarter in quarter 3 of 2015, so this one is a demo only at GenCon this year, but I really would love to get a play of this one in as soon as possible, so to APE Games we go! Also while there we may be able to pick up a copy of Spirits of the Rice Paddy which looks fantastic, another Kickstarter I didn’t back sadly.
6) Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot from Ignacy Trzewiczek and Portal Games
This one will be on a lot of people’s lists at the number 1 position, I’m pretty sure of that, for me it’s right in the middle of the top 10, but that’s still pretty good as I’d definitely go take a look at it and if it’s actually good I’d pick up a copy in a heartbeat as I love supporting Portal Games. This one takes rolling of dice into the top of the box and turns that into a sort of miniatures type game with dice. You can upgrade your pirate ships to give you an advantage in combat and in movement. All in all the game looks like a ton of fun, I just don’t know if the gameplay will match up with how much folks have enjoyed it so far. While here, I’d also make the effort to play Tides of Time the initial “micro” game from Portal.
There is 10 – 6 of the games that I would check out if I were going to GenCon this year, next week I’ll cover games 5-1. I think we all know at least a couple that will fall in the final 5.
Happy 4th of July weekend to everyone and welcome to week 32, I hope that everyone enjoyed the weekend. We had one of our really light gaming weeks, instead of gaming we went to a carnival, rode some rides, ate some food that is really bad for us on Friday. We followed that up on Saturday with a family Bar-b-que and lots of pool time. I did bring board games to that, but it rarely happens that I get to play when I go to my parent’s house, but I always bring them, so I re-read the rulebook to Thunder Alley and Baseball Highlights 2045 in hopes of getting them back to the table soon. After all that, it was fireworks, a couple games and then sleep. You all are mostly here to hear about the games, so let’s get to it!
Arboretum continues to see plays, which makes me quite happy, I was kind of worried that after the push to get a review of it out that it would suffer a bit and possibly get lost, but Gabby saved it as we played a couple games this week. First one was kind of our typical two player game, but Gabby kind of fell asleep and wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was doing and that allowed me to score 35 points to win 35-11. 35 is the highest point total we’ve recorded yet and I really don’t foresee us exceeding that unless someone just blanks out like Gabby did this time. Second match was on Saturday evening after the fireworks and my brain had kind of shut down towards the end. I had everything set up and was going to score a huge Dogwood path, but for some reason I just dropped the wrong card into the discard pile and Gabby was awake enough to pick it up and hold me from scoring that path. I still had enough to win 17-14, but it was a lot closer than our scores have been. In two player games, Gabby has a habit of over concentrating on one tree path in hopes of getting all 8 in a path, but most of the time, I am usually lucky enough to draw a card of that suit and just hold it the entire game and that happened again this time. But she is thinking outside the box a bit more and more as we play and stringing together paths a bit more that weave around a bit, using different tree types. She’ll get me soon I think.
Star Realms has slowed down a bit, I think partially because I am frustrated sitting at level 9, anytime I put together a run I get knocked right back down. In the league I am sitting at 2-4, got off to a rough start with a couple games where I just couldn’t buy anything, one game I think I had about 8 bases and only 2 ships, it was the worst game I think I have been a part of, my opponent just had to keep pounding on bases and buying all the ships and eventually had more than enough fire power to knock me out. Since then though things have been fairly even. This is just one of those frustrating things about the game for me, especially playing online, just seems that sometimes the algorithms don’t want you to get the cards that you are looking for. But thank you all for the challenges, once again I will always play and if I lose I will shoot a rematch, if I win, I always leave it up to you.
That’s all we played this week, not a whole lot of variety, but we had a whole lot of fun with what we played, two plays of Arboretum and at least fifteen plays of JurassAttack, not to mention the Star Realms.
Podcasts in my Ears
It’s been a bit since I have talked about the podcasts that I have been listening to, and I really should remedy that, so what better time than right now to do so. Over the past week I listened to a few podcasts, I enjoyed the most recent Dukes of Dice podcast where they wrapped up their time at Dice Tower Con which was a lot of fun to follow along with on Twitter. Tony and Edward over on Heavy Cardboard gave us their first interview episode where they got to quiz the two fine gentlemen who run Splotter Spellen and they also gave us a quick rundown of a game that I really want to try out, Brew Crafters. We had a fantastic episode of the Low Player Count podcast this week where they talked about dummy players in games, I couldn’t help but be a bit offended every time they referred to me as a dummy player. Punching Cardboard got me to try out a jazz album and I was quite surprised that I managed to listen to it most of the way through. Give a listen to The Epic from Kamasi Washington if you want to have something in your ears that is probably a bit different than what you normally listen to, well at least different for me. And I still want to get a copy of Kraftwagen. Other than that, I started a couple oddball podcasts that are new to me and not of the board game variety, I started Welcome to Night Vale, which I kind of describe as Twin Peaks’ public radio station and I also started Coverville, which is just a podcast about musical covers. This one has a HUGE backlog for me to dig through and enjoy. I just opened my podcast app on my phone and I saw that on Sunday evening I now have 21 podcasts in my queue to download, my ears will be begging for mercy by Friday, thank you all for keeping me sane.
Nothing new to back on Kickstarter last week, although I will be backing JurassAttack! when it hits on Friday the 10th of July. While I was writing out the notes to the podcast, The Gallerist finished it’s funding run on Kickstarter. Backers on Kickstarter put it at $83k and according to the update after funding, worldwide it hit $119k, which is pretty fantastic for a game from Vital Lacerda as I imagine it’s quite a bit different than what a lot of folks are used to playing, but it looks fantastic and Eagle Gryphon seems confident that here in the states we should see it around October barring any production or shipping issues. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Carson City keeps chugging along with over $165k in US dollars funded with 9 days left in that one. They had a survey sent out to backers about whether folks were wanting to add metal coins to the game and whether they would be willing to do so at an added cost to the backers and while I think the vote may have been closer than they led us to believe, I think the right choice was made to not add them to the game and risk delays and added cost, I’m planning on picking up some nice poker chips for this one anyway. Hocus continues to chug along to $14k in funding with 18 days to go, I love that the game has no stretch goals, I can just push pledge and sit back and wait for updates without worrying about them, I’m sure Joshua and Grant probably feel the same way. Although it is really cool that we’ll all get a nice wooden first player marker to go with the game due to the support they have received so far. In far more saddening news, after I cleared some money by dropping my pledge for Epic, Monster Truck Mayhem was cancelled. It was really struggling and I’m really kind of at a loss as to why, fantastic looking game production and a horribly fun theme from a proven company should have meant no issues, but I just wonder if the lack of stretch goals and a super busy June/July hurt this one.
Nothing, nada, zilch. Only game that came to my doorstep was JurassAttack! and that’s probably a good thing, this section will definitely see some action next week though as I know of at least two games that are showing up, and one is kind of a surprise to me that I decided to pull the trigger, we’ll see how it goes over.
Geeklist and Forums
Was a lot of fun seeing Arboretum get so much action in the Geeklist last week, I hope that we’ve made you all who haven’t played it feel like you should. It really is a fantastic game. Was also really awesome to read the Dice Tower Convention wrap ups from folks who went, looks like you all had a fantastic time and got to play a lot of fun games with some great people! I’m really itching to get a copy of Royals as soon as it’s available from Dice Tower Essentials. Once again, every time I see Mage Knight on the table I get a pang of jealousy, I really need to just bite the bullet and learn it and play it a couple nights back to back to try to keep it all in my head. Landfall at Storm Con looked like a rousing success to me. I’m so back and forth over Marco Polo and this week’s geeklist didn’t do much to help me decide. Another couple middling reviews of Nations The Dice Game on the geeklist keep pushing it further down my wishlist and that kind of makes me sad, I was really looking forward to this one, but the good thing is, Stockpile keeps moving up! Lots of Spyfall I hope everyone is really enjoying it, I am not so envious that they have the game in as much as I am envious that you have a big enough regular group to play it with. Was awesome to see Keith’s Takenoko Collector’s Edition show up as as his birthday gift, love that game and presentation, wish we got it to the table more often. If you noticed Patrick Hillier missing from the geeklist last week, it’s because he was in the hospital, he’s home now but still recovering so send him some good thoughts and prayers to try to help speed up that recovery. Great week everyone!! Let’s do it again this week.
Next week for the podcast I am thinking about doing a list of games that I am looking forward to learning more about once Gencon comes around. I won’t be attending it this year, but I always love living vicariously through Eric Martin’s geeklist on Board Game Geek and through all the folks over on Twitter that just love to rub it in that they are there and we aren’t. But hey, we can’t be too angry, we’ve got #GenCant again this year. I’m trying to come up with a way that I can help with the festivities but thus far I am drawing a blank, hopefully something comes to mind soon as it’s really approaching rather quickly. Also next week I am hoping to play something with a bit more meat on it’s bones with Kerensa so I can get her back on here to talk a bit about gaming, along with AnnaBeth who I think is going to review something for us. She actually recorded a podcast on an old iPhone we have laying around where she reviewed One Night Ultimate Werewolf so I am hoping to be able to save that and salvage some from it, but also I want to get her on the mic and let her go and see what she has to say.
Without further ramblings, I will say goodnight and I’ll see you all on the Geek, Twitter and Facebook this week!!
This preview is also in audio form on Week 32 of the WDYPTW Podcast at the 3:49 mark.
If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you know that our family has been playing a new two player game from Green Couch Games. A couple weeks ago Jason Kotarski contacted us and asked if we wanted to preview a little two player dinosaur fighting game that was going on Kickstarter on July 10th. If you remember, we enjoyed previewing and ultimately backing Best Treehouse Ever, their previous offering, so I jumped at the chance to preview and let you all know how we felt about their newest game to come to Kickstarter, JurassAttack!.
It arrived in the mail this week on Monday. I sat down and read the rules over lunch and I was kind of curious as to how it would work. The instructions read like it was just a variation of War with variable card powers. So I was wondering if this one would be as fun as I was hoping. In JurassAttack each player has a deck of 27 cards, each card is either one of 7 different dinosaurs or Eggs. Each different dinosaur species card has a special power that they can use, it has their Ferocity in the upper left hand corner and their value in victory points at the end of the game in the bottom right. Eggs are strictly victory points that you or your opponent can win. Each player starts with a hand of 5 cards and on your turn, you pick a dinosaur or a pack of dinosaurs from your hand and place them face down in front of you.
A pack of dinosaurs can consist of the same species of dinosaurs or dinosaurs and eggs. There are also specific rules on some cards that allow for dinosaurs to be packed. After you have placed your cards face down in front of you, your opponent places their choice in front of them and then, if you are like us, on the count of three you both reveal your dinosaurs and your dinosaurs “fight”. When you reveal your dinosaurs you are comparing the ferocity level of your chosen Dinosaurs and the highest total wins. Whomever wins takes their opponents dinosaurs and place them in a victory point pile and then they take the dinosaurs that they played and place them in a discard pile. Any eggs that were played also go into the victory pile. After that, the loser of that round draws their hand back up to five, the winner does not, in fact if the winner has no cards in their hand they only draw one card to play next hand. The next round starts with the winner of the previous round being the first to lay their cards down so their opponent can see how many they have played. That’s it, the game ends when one player has no more cards to play from their hand and has no cards left in their draw pile. Each player then counts the victory points in their victory point pile and the highest total wins the game.
The Card Backs
JursassAttack! looks to be the first published game from Ryan Cowler and I believe he has a nice, light, fun game on his resume with this one. The cards, even in pre-production format, are fantastic. I love the art and design on them, and I also love that they are tarot sized, it is about dinosaur fighting after all, so the cards should be bigger than normal, right? The play is quick, which is kind of important in this as it isn’t meant to be a big full game, it’s a fun directly confrontational filler that plays in about 10-15 minutes or so and there are some good opportunities for bluffing your opponent. There are some choices to be made, do I run out of cards here by playing a big pack, or do I hold back and keep a couple just in case. The fight over eggs kind of seems to take a back seat to the dinosaur fighting sometimes, but we’ve had more than a couple matchups that came down to that one point difference so the Eggs did make a difference. The variety of the dinosaurs is pretty nice and the powers that each have can be useful and fun if played at the right time to get the best advantage. I’ve had a good time playing with my 11 year old who has really shown a liking to it, but she lives for games with direct confrontation and our 5 year old has had fun with it as well even though she can’t read everything on the cards. We kind of taught her beforehand who can pack with whom and what each dinosaur can do and she has had a lot of fun with it, even got the two girls playing together without my wife or I encouraging it, so it’s a winner based on that alone. JurassAttack! will be hitting Kickstarter on July 10th and just know that even though we’ll happily be playing our demo copy for quite a while, we will be backing this one to get a production copy as well, can’t wait to see what Green Couch Games does with the production on this one.