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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.