Week 44!!!

Week 44!!!

Editing Fuel

Well, it was a light game week, but this episode is weighed down with tons of board game goodness. We’ve got everything from a review of the Android Splendor App, to a review of Fantasy Flight’s big epic brawler, Forbidden Stars. In between we’ll talk with board game designer Matt Wolfe about Avalanche at Yeti Mountain and about game design a bit in general and we’ll also talk a couple Spiel games that are coming that interest him, he’s sold me on a couple of them, I’ll also talk a bit about another handful or so games that I am looking forward to learning more about at Spiel, then we’ll round out the podcast with a preview of J. Alex Kevern’s upcoming game, coming to Kickstarter from Foxtrot Games, World’s Fair 1893. It’s a full week folks, so let’s buckle in and see where this takes us.

Let’s kick this week off with Patrick Hillier. He’s back and he’s talking Android gaming apps again, this time he’s covering Splendor from the digital Days of Wonder group, take it away Patrick!

You can hear Patrick’s Splendor App Review at the 2:08 mark of the podcast!!

As I said, this week was pretty light as far as gaming goes, I didn’t get anything physically to the table during the week, but once again I did get another play on Board Game Arena with James and Bill. This time they decided to completely annihilate me in a game of Troyes, and I’m not exaggerating about that. It’s been awhile since I have tackled this wonderful Xavier Georges title and my rust was apparent from the beginning. I struggled to form a plan of attack in my hand and kind of spread myself too thin, doing a couple things okay instead of specializing in one then and then adapting others, at least that’s how it seemed to me. My character was Thibaut III who gave VP for deniers at the end of the game and I managed to max those out, but I was never comfortable with my money during game. Bill and James on the other hand were close the entire game I think and Bill ended up winning with 54 points to James’ 52, I finished way back with 34, see I told you, annihilated. Looking forward to playing again in the near future!!

We didn’t get anything else to the table until Saturday evening when we went over to Brad and Kate’s for some BBQ pork steaks and some board games. We got two games in on Saturday, the first one was a game that Kerensa and I had played ages ago, I think 2013 was the last time we opened it, Divinare. Divinare is a really neat, small box deduction game where all the players are mediums and they are trying to divine, just how many cards of each color will be played each round to prove they are the most powerful medium in the land. In the game, there are four “suits” of cards, each of varying amount, yellow has 12 cards, there are 10 green cards, 8 blue and 6 red. Each player in front of them also has a player board that is associated with one of those colors, around the board is a track that has a number or pair of numbers in each space. In a four player game, you shuffle all the cards and deal out 6 to each player, meaning that there will be 12 cards left out that no one knows. With 4 players, before you start you are going to choose 3 cards and pass them to the player on your right before starting the game, you’ll also pass cards when you have 4 cards and when you have 2 cards. On a player’s turn you play one card from your hand and place it next to the board of corresponding color, then you take your marker from that board and put it on an unoccupied space on the player board, this represents how many cards of that color you think will be played this round. The trick here is, every time you play a card, you have to move your marker on that board, regardless if you want to keep it in the same spot, you have to move it to a new unoccupied space or pull it off the board. Play will continue clockwise with players choosing one card and playing it, until all the mediums have played their cards and then scoring will take place. If a medium divined the correct number of cards played of a suit, they get 3 points. If they are within one space of the correct answer, they get 1 point. If they are further away than 1 spot away, they lose a point. Also on those boards are bonus marks, some allowing 2 extra points to be score, or even 2 extra points to be lost, and some for 1 point bonus or loss. Once all four play areas are scored, the first player is passed the next player clockwise and the cards are shuffled up and dealt out again for another round. You do this 4 times and then add up your points and the person with the most points, is the greatest medium in the land.

All that may sound a bit convoluted, but really, it’s not. This is a wonderful little interactive deduction game, where you are going to end up knowing more as you go, but what you’ve done earlier may really hinder your options. Safe to say, I wasn’t the greatest medium in the contest this weekend. I managed a paltry 7 points when it was all said and done, Brad had 10, Kate had 14 and Kerensa won out with 16 points. I really enjoyed playing Divinare, I don’t remember the last time a short little game like this caused this much angst to be shown between the players. It’s really irritating to be stuck with the one suit that you absolutely don’t want to play, because you don’t want to move your emblem, because you’ve got it correct, but you have to. It really makes knowing what to pass or hold on to even more important than just passing along information. Huge thumbs up from me, this one won’t gather dust for 2 years again, I can promise you that.


After that, we put World’s Fair 1893 on the table for one more play through before I did my preview. First up you’ll get my full on preview and thoughts, then after that, Kerensa joins me to talk a little bit about our game on Saturday and about World’s Fair 1893 in general.

You can hear my preview on the podcast at the 8:28 mark of the podcast. Immediately following that is Kerensa and I talking a bit about the game and how much we’ve enjoyed it and our play with Brad and Kate.

World’s Fair 1893 Written Preview

I had a horrible week with Star Realms, so much so that I’d almost rather forget about it. I’ve started this season losing my first two matchups and I’ve managed to drop my ranking to LVL 9 2/10, it’s getting ugly around here. But as I always say, keep the challenges coming and I’ll keep playing.

So, nothing new backed on Kickstarter, Tabletopia finished it’s funding last week and ended up with over $130 from over 2500 backers, a very successful fundraising campaign I believe and I’m really looking forward to diving in and trying it out more.

As of writing, Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is sitting at $13,500 with three days left to go in the campaign, it officially ends on October 1st at 10 am eastern/9 am Central. It’s looking more and more like it’s going to fund, with Kicktraq projecting it at just around 3% over funding, but let’s hope that’s a low estimate as I’d love to get that $16,000 stretch goal accomplished so we can add the invention cards to the box. Designer Matt Wolfe was kind enough to sit down and talk to me this week. In our conversation we talk a bit about Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, but we also touch on some other things, such as design thought processes, chasing games and his newest endeavor, the podcast Game Designers of North Carolina Podcast, which is up to episode two and is a fantastic podcast if you are interested at all about game design, as a hobby or even as a potential way of life. Oh, and he was also kind enough to give us three titles to watch out for at Spiel, or at least he’s watching out for, and I am now that they’ve been pointed out to me. Without any more rambling, here’s Matt Wolfe.

Matt’s interview can be heard at the 25:39 mark.

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Kickstarter Page

Game Designers of North Carolina

Game Designers of North Carolina on Twitter

Matt Wolfe on Twitter


Two things this week showed up on our doorstep that was gaming related, first I received a preview copy of the Kickstarter game Campaign Trail from Cosmic Wombat Games. I am going to try really hard to get it played this week and then get a preview out for it, it may be on next week’s episode or it may be a special between episodes preview, I’m not sure yet, it just depends on timing. The Kickstarter campaign for this one is already in full swing and only has 11 days to go so be sure to check it out. I’ve read the rules, watched a couple videos and all signs point to me enjoying the heck out of this one, but we’ll hopefully see soon. Oh, and if you get a preview copy of a game, and are asked to send it on to the next reviewer, please be a bit more, how should we say it, respectful of the hard work and money that the publishers put into creating the preview copy. I literally had to sort the game after it arrived for about 45 minutes because the only thing bagged in the box, were the plastic bags. Not to mention the mere dozen peanuts or so that composed the protection inside the shipping box. I’d never ship something that way to anyone, I don’t care who or what it is.

Other thing that arrived on our front porch were the promo cards for La Granja that I ordered from the Board Game Geek store. I have no doubt in my mind that this was a completely frivolous way to spend six bucks, but oh well, now I have more cards.

The Eric Booth is back this week, and he’s back talking something big, something ominous and something very, very, very Ameritrashy. He’s tackling something that I’ll probably never get the chance to play outside of a convention or something like that as this is something that I doubt anyone in my family would play, and it seems far to Warhammer-y and has too many dice. Nah, I know there is a couple folks in my game group that would love this game I’m sure of it. So here with his review of Fantasy Flight Games’ Forbidden Stars is Eric Booth.

Eric’s review of Forbidden Stars can be heard at the 56:51 point in the podcast!

Spiel Wish List
I know I promised a lot more games on the Spiel Preview this week, but I think due to the length of the episode so far, we’re just going to do another handful here and I’ll do a much bigger one next week when I have less content to distract you and it’s closer to Spiel time!

Grand Austria Hotel

Another of the roll dice and assign them to action spaces game, this one is more like La Granja in that you are taking them away from the space and however many are on that action initially is how many times that action can be taken in a round. I love that mechanic. Grand Austria Hotel is listed as an Area Control/Area Influence game with some set collection and it looks like it’s going to fall into that Mid to Mid-Heavy Euro distinction. It’s got artwork from the fantastic Klemenz Franz so it instantly jumps out at you. The 60-120 minute play time worries me a little bit, but if that 60 minutes is at the two player count then it’ll be a-ok by me if it packs enough punch in there. Four player at 120 minutes worries me a little more simply because I don’t get many chances to put a game out on the table that’s going to take two hours to play.

Fog of Love

Fog of Love from designer Jacob Jaskov was pointed out to me by a friend over on Twitter, but it wasn’t until I read a bit more about it on the Spiel Geeklist that I really fell for this one, I fell for it enough that I instantly sent a geekmail to Jacob asking for the newest rule book and wondering if I could do him the huge favor of previewing the game for him ahead of their Kickstarter campaign which is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of 2016. Fog of Love is a card game for two players who act out a stormy love affair. You play from the very first sparks of attraction through in-law encounters, awkward situations, arguments, parties, thoughtful gifts, secret affairs, kids and reconciliations to a hopeful happy ending. The variability in the game comes from the fact that each player has a character that can be made up from different personality traits that influence what they desire and what they want to avoid. Oh, and did I mention there is a bluffing aspect to this all? I’m not sure how it works or what it does yet, but I am really interested to find out. Over the past six months since the last rule book was published, he’s been working on streamlining the game and making it a bit easier to play so Jacob is still working on it and fine tuning it. If anyone gets to stop by and try this one out let me know what you think, and tell Jacob I said hello.

As an addendum, the question was raised on how the game would play with two players of the same sex, and this is from Jacob, “There is no problem in playing the game with two people of the same sex. Actually most of our test plays have been with this constellation. Nobody has experienced the least amount of awkwardness (believe me, I’ve asked. Just to be sure). The game simulates a love story / romantic comedy. But you are not yourself – as players – in any way involved in the drama. No more than you for real are evil traitors, cylon, mafiosi, spies, knights of the round table, etc when playing other kinds of socially interactive games.”

Adventure Land

Now we are venturing into the more family gaming area, and this one leads the way if only because it’s from the fantastic Kiesling & Kramer and it is being produced under the new Haba Family Gaming line of games, it doesn’t even have a yellow box! From the box: Rich cities, vast forests, and rugged mountain ranges dominate the country — but dangers lurk in the foggy areas around the river, and only the bravest adventurers dare to face the challenges. When you move your adventurer tactically and bravely fight the fog creatures in Adventure Land, you’ll win the favor of the king! Sounds almost like a more family friendly Legends of Andor possibly? English rules are up and I will mention more about this one as I have a chance to read them. But this along with Spookies really make me happy, I love seeing Haba grow like this, especially if this all comes to us in the United States through Haba USA.


Alright, I have absolutely no business putting this on my list, the heaviest thing I’ve done with a train game is move Railways of the World around a bit and then I set up Steam one time, they just don’t get much interest here. But with GMT Games giving us 1846 through their P500 system and now Mayfair games releasing this pair, I think I want to take the plunge and find a group and learn these Train Game/Stock games.


Last one I’m going to mention tonight is Shakespeare from Ystari Games and designer Herve Rigal. Rahdo has recently done a run through of this one and I was completely sucked into it. It really looks like it will hit on a lot of points that I love in games, the auction/bidding mechanic, action point allowance, some card drafting and even tile placement. All of that within a rich thematic theater theme. It looks beautiful, I love the artwork that was shown on both the video and on board game geek. There is a huge overview of the game over on BGG as well on the game’s page so make sure to check it out. This one probably wouldn’t be enough to make me hop a plan to Spiel to pick it up immediately, but it’s definitely on the short short list of games that I probably would pre-order as soon as I saw it pop up on one of our Online Game Stores.

Alright, there’s five more titles to look for at Spiel this year. I will hit you all with a bunch more next week, I may not cover the entirety of the geeklist that I put together over on board game geek on the podcast, but I will take a big chunk out of it for sure, so look for that!

Geeklist and Thread
You guys knocked it out of the park this week on the geeklist and thread, this morning I went through and re-read everything just to catch up on the stuff that I missed this week and I tell you what, I wanted another page of entries. To tell you how epic the geeklist was, we started the geeklist with Forge War and we ended it with some Eclipse! In between those we had lots of outstanding game plays and some outstanding game reports, so do yourself a favor, if you haven’t been reading the geeklist weekly, hop in there and do so. And while you’re at it, tell us what you’ve been playing. The thread keeps delivering just as well as the Geeklist, we had some fantastic games and write ups in there as well, even a sighting of someone playing Tinner’s Trail that isn’t affiliated with Heavy Cardboard that I know of.

Now, the moment everyone is waiting on, the final clue for the Codenames giveaway. First and foremost let’s just mention that the correct words last week for the clue, Outfit:3 were, Shoe, Pants and Square. Only one person got Square so only one person got the full 4 entries this week, but everyone else got the 3 entries because they correctly guessed Shoe and Pants. For this final week, I wish I could stretch it, but I can’t find a clue that is going to lead us to all four of the words left, so what I’m going to do is this, I’m going to give a clue and associate it with 2 words, but I’m going to tell you that you can stretch it and maybe find a third, that third will just be another bonus if you guess it, how about that. So for this week our clue, brought to us by the awesome Steph Hodge is Fantasy: 2. Send me your responses via email wdyptw@gmail.com and we’ll get you entered in and next week on the podcast we’ll be announcing our winner!!



World’s Fair 1893 Preview!!

World’s Fair 1893
Designed by J. Alex Kevern
Published by Foxtrot Games
Coming to Kickstarter September 29th, 2015

The preview for this game is being done using a review copy provided to us by Foxtrot Games. Please note all game photos are using a prototype or renderings, final product may be different.

World's Fair 1893 cover

On May 1st, 1893 the fair grounds were first opened to the public for the start of the Chicago World’s Fair. Forty six nations participated in the fair, constructing exhibits and pavilions over 630 acres in Chicago. This is the fair that first gave us Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Quaker Oats and Juicy Fruit gum and demonstrated many breakthroughs in science, technology, entertainment and culture. Most may also know that this was the fair that gave us the first Ferris wheel, a creation 264 feet tall brought to the world by George Washington Gale Ferris, in its original form, it could hold 2160 people and took approximately 20 minutes to make a complete rotation. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair provided us many fantastic firsts and fun stories, it continues to do so today with the game World’s Fair 1893.

World’s Fair 1893 is a set collection, area control game that is played over three rounds with two to four players. Players will be sending their supporters to the different areas of the fair to collect cards that will be turned into exhibit cards in that area, given that you have enough influence there.

World's Fair 1893 Proto Board
World’s Fair 1893 in action

To set up the game, you place the Ferris Wheel board on the table and place the Ferris Wheel Car at the bottom of the wheel track, this is the start spot. This Ferris Wheel Car will move around the track clockwise when certain actions happen, when it reaches back to the start spot, this signifies the end of a round and a scoring round takes place. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. After placing the board on the table, randomly place out the five areas of the fair around the board. These areas are Transportation, Fine Arts, Manufacturing, Electricity and Agriculture. (Setup will vary differently in a two player game, but we’re just going to cover the 3-4 player game setup here). Shuffle the deck of cards and then place two cards in each area around the board and put the rest of the cards next to the board as a draw pile. Set the scoring tokens aside, give each player 22 supporters of their color and determine who is going to start the game by whatever means you would like to use. Depending on starting position you’ll get a starting bonus card, perform the action specified on the card and you’re ready to go.

board-transportation board-fine-arts

On each player’s turn they are going to perform 4 actions, first and foremost is your primary action which is to get your supporters in areas that you want them in, you do this by simply placing one of your supporters in one of the five areas of your choosing. Next, if you start your turn with any Influential Figure cards in your hand, you play them now, in any order that you choose however they best serve your needs. These Influential Figures cannot be held onto for multiple turns, they must be used the turn after they were collected. After any cards have been played that need to be played, the player collects all the cards in their chosen area. You place all of your cards face up in front of you in your personal card supply. Some of those cards may be Influential Figures, some may be Exhibit cards and others will be Midway Ticket cards. The Midway ticket cards are what moves the Ferris Wheel Car around the Ferris Wheel track, acting as the game’s timer. For each Midway Ticket card you collect, you move the Ferris Wheel Car forward one space. If the Ferris Wheel Car reaches the starting spot, it stops there and immediately you will have a scoring phase. The fourth and final action on a player’s turn is to put new cards around the board. Draw a card from the top of the draw pile and place the first card in the area that the player has just emptied. Continuing clockwise place one card on each of the next two available areas if there is space for them. Each area has a maximum amount of cards allowed on them either three or four as indicated by arrows on the outside edge of the area. If the area is full, skip it and place a card in the next available area. Once the player has placed three new cards out, the next player clockwise gets to take their actions, continuing this way in a clockwise manner.

Midway Ticket
Midway Ticket

There are three card types in World’s Fair 1893, we’ve already explained what the Midway Tickets do during the game, they advance the Ferris Wheel Car, but they also are scored at the end of each round. The player who has collected the most tickets receives a two point Midway coin. All players, including the majority holder, redeem their collected Midway Tickets for one point each.

Bertha Palmer
Bertha Palmer

The Influential Figure cards represent the favors that you can ask the influential people of the time period for. These are the cards that you have to play the round after you acquire them. They allow the player to perform different actions such as adding a bonus supporter to the area that you chose to send your first supporter to or adding a bonus supporter to one of the areas you sent your supporter to, or even moving one supporter, yours or an opponents from any one area to any other area. There are also Influential Figure cards that let you add a bonus supporter to the area specified on the card.

An Agriculture Exhibit card
An Agriculture Exhibit card

Your Main Exhibit cards represent your proposals for the main section of the fair. When you first get them they are considered “proposed”. During the scoring phase you can have them approved if you are one of the leaders of the corresponding area. You only earn points for these cards by having them approved and the more variety of approvals you have, the more points you will score.
So, how does the scoring work? Well it works a little something like this. When the Ferris Wheel Car hits the starting spot, you have a scoring round. There will be three of these in the game. First you score the Midway Tickets, everyone gets 1 point per Midway Ticket in their hand and the player with the most gets 2 bonus points, if there is a tie for most tickets, all players tied receive 2 bonus points.

All right, now the fun part, scoring the five areas. Starting with the area at the base of the board and proceeding clockwise the player with the most supporters in an area gains ribbons worth either 4 or two points, and matching exhibit cards they have collected for the area being scored may be approved. The number of players determines the number of points gained and how many matching exhibits that can be approved. After every area has been scored and the players have had their exhibit cards approved each player reduces the supporters they have in each area. For every two supporters you have, you remove one of them, always round in your favor though. After the first two scoring phases, play will continue clockwise as normal, after the third the game ends.
End of game scoring each player will score their midway coins, their leader medals and their approved exhibits. The approved exhibits are scored in sets of different non-matching categories with a full set of 5 getting you 15 points, 4 gets you 10, 3 gets you 6, 2 gets 3 points and 1 is just 1 point. The player with the most points wins!

24 points
24 points

If you just read or listened to that rules overview, I am pretty confident that you can now sit down and know how to play the game. It plays as smoothly and easy as it sounds. Yet within those 45 minutes or so you are playing, there are lots of little strategies and tactical moves that can come into play based on what is going on around the board. Sure it sounds easy enough, play one cube, pick up some cards, replenish, move on but if you play it like that, you probably won’t win.

The theme in this one shines through in the wonderful artwork by Beth Sobel and Adam McIver really help implant you in the 1893 World’s Fair. Even in a prototype form with some cards still missing pieces of information, the cards not having finished back design and such we couldn’t keep ourselves from noticing and admiring all the little details.

Weight wise, this one is going to be your go to game if you want to teach others about Area Control, I’m telling you this one has a place on your shelves right next to that tattered well-loved copy of Ticket to Ride that you break out every once in awhile for yourselves, but more often to try to show a friend that there is more to board games than dice and random luck. There is strategy even in the simplest of rule sets and fun to be found in finding out how to sneak into that last spot you need to get that last exhibit approved to complete that full set of exhibit tokens.

If there is one negative to the game, it’s that it can sometimes seem to end just a little too soon. You may find yourself just wishing for one or two more rounds, but you know what, maybe we shouldn’t think of that as a negative. Maybe that’s just the game pulling you back in, making you want to set it up and play it back to back to back, which we have done.

I’ve previewed a handful of games since I first started blogging and podcasting about our gaming experiences here, and my family has enjoyed each and every game we’ve previewed to varying degrees, but there hasn’t been a single one that seemed to grab my game group as soon as we sat down and started playing. Sure, they’ve enjoyed games that I’ve brought in the past, but I don’t remember them asking to play one more than once or twice. World’s Fair 1893 broke that, as soon as we sat down and started playing it, the wheels started turning and the chatter started and didn’t stop for a half hour or so after that first game was over.

World’s Fair 1893 launches on Kickstarter on September 29th. For $29 including shipping in the United States you can pick this one up. Shipping goes up for our Canadian friends and friends all over the world. I really can’t wait to see what Randy Hoyt over at Foxtrot Games has in store for this one during the campaign, I haven’t seen any stretch goals yet, but I trust that they will make the game even nicer to look at and to play.

World’s Fair 1893 Kickstarter Preview Page

I did it, I previewed a game about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair without one mention of H.H. Holmes!!


Week 43!!!

Week 43!!!

Well, we’ve started a new sport, Volleyball and that’s taken up two nights a week so far, so what suffers? Our game playing, it was so bad this week that I had to get out of town for a night in order to get some gaming in. Well, in actuality I had to work out of town on Thursday morning and since setup was so early I had to do an overnight to do the outreach and that meant I got to go to a game night. I’d been to this game meetup once about a year ago and they meet weekly on Wednesday nights so I got to go again this time.

Last year when I went to the game night at The Game Café in Independence Missouri, I also made a point of finding a dining establishment close by, and it just so happens a couple doors down is a fantastic little place called The Court House Exchange. So I stopped there again this time and enjoyed a quiet dinner with some baseball on the TV and some Tank 7 in a glass before gaming. If you are ever near there, give it a try. This time I had the Chicken Fried Steak and man was it good, almost too good, like, felt like I needed a nap after good. But, I persevered and made it a couple doors down and met up with some fun gamers and played some games.

First thing to the table was a six player game of Libertalia. I’ve played this one a couple times before but it had been quite a while between plays so I needed a bit of a refresher and my first round scoring kind of reflected that, I think I may have broken 15, but I’m not completely sure, but after seeing that first round play out and seeing what the others at the table were going to do, I got the feel for it and had a pretty big round. For those not familiar, Libertalia is a card game themed around pirates where you use simultaneous action selection to collect sets and such to score doubloons. In the game everyone starts with the same hand of nine randomly determined cards. Each of these cards will have a number that represents their rank, they have a name, a special power that can trigger at different times during the round and then you have a final rank that is used in case of ties. Everyone plays simultaneously their card to the center and when all cards are there, they are revealed and then put in order from lowest rank to highest rank on the board. Then from lowest to high if the cards have daytime special actions they are resolved. Once those are resolved, in reverse order, the players get to grab loot from the loot piles. Now at the end of the round some of these loot tokens can be work anywhere from 1-5 doubloons, but they can also have special powers, the saber allows you to kill, or rather discard, a card from the den of the player to your left or right, if you pick up the Spanish Officer, you discard your character immediately instead of putting him in your den, this can be a good thing for some cards that have a negative effect in one of the other phases. Map tokens by themselves are worth nothing, unless you have a character card that makes them worth something, but in a group of three they are worth 12 doubloons. And then there are the cursed relics which are worth a -3 doubloons. After the loot is divvied up, the players put their characters that survived into their dens and resolve the night actions, which can bring about more bonuses based on different abilities. You do this a total of 6 times to complete a round, meaning that each player is going to have 3 cards left in their hand. After the sixth round you score all the rest of the day actions and count up doubloons and score that many on the score track, discard any characters left in your den and return all your loot tokens to the bag to be drawn again. Then someone picks 6 more random cards and the rest of the players add those cards to their deck and you play another round. You play a total of 3 rounds and the player with the most doubloons on the score track at the end of the game, is the winner. The neat thing about this game is that even though every player is adding the same cards to their hand at the end of a round, they’ll still have three cards from the previous round that may be different from everyone else, the other players may have used those cards. But anyway, after scoring fairly big after the second round my third round didn’t live up to the pressure and I finished scoring 74 points which was good for second place, just 2 points behind Mike, who I believe is one of the organizers of the weekly Wednesday night meetup.

While we were playing Libertalia on one table, on another was some Cacao, and they finished before we did and headed back for a big game of Cosmic Encounter. So while the other folks played Cosmic, I taught Codenames to about 8. It was a pretty tight game, with my team finding that final agent just in the nick of time thanks to them remembering a couple clues earlier. We had two left on the table so I just did a clue to lead them to one word, hoping that they would remember the extra one and pick it and they did, if they hadn’t the other team would have pulled out the victory I’m pretty sure as they only had one left on the table to find as well. That one once again went over really well and I think we even helped sell a copy that they had on the shelf.

The Game Café is in Independence Missouri in the historical town square on Lexington Boulevard, right across the street from the Jackson County Assessment Department which is easy to see as it takes up an entire block and is a really beautiful building. The area is filled with shopping and dining and is really in a nice quaint area, at least it’s been that way each time I’ve went by there. The store itself is a nice little store, with an area downstairs for Magic players, an area off to one side for miniature gamers and a few tables in the main area for board gaming. They have a nice large selection of games, that maybe could use a little bit of culling. There are some old games in there that really shouldn’t be out and displayed with all the other regular price materials. They might do well to think about a clearance rack to get rid of some of the excess stuff that will just gather dust on the shelves and take up space. The staff, well, the one person I could tell was staff seemed to be knowledgeable about Magic, as that was I mostly heard him talking about, but he did help anyone who needed help and during slow time was chit chatting with the folks playing. If you ever find yourself in Independence Missouri on a Wednesday evening, you could do a lot worse than hanging out in this establishment and playing games, so, be sure to stop by!

Older stock, still listed at MSRP. YIPES!!!

After Codenames we grouped up with 4 of us and we sat down to a game of Five Tribes. I thought I was going to actually get to play the expansion, but it seems that some of the tiles were not put back into the main box so we just played with the base set and had a grand time. I got smoked, I didn’t even break 100 points, but I still enjoyed our play. It does still suffer when people get hit with the Analysis Paralysis bug, and we honestly thought about using a timer to speed up things a bit and making players give up a coin in they exceeded 2 minutes, but we didn’t and the game ended up playing a bit long. I’m going to use that as my excuse for my poor showing, I was trying to speed the game along so I didn’t parse out every option that I had on my turn, instead I typically went pretty quickly. Dee ended up winning this one with 143 points, mostly in tile control and money, I don’t think he spent over 1 coin on turn order until the last round when he spent 18 and it was probably worth it for him.

It was pretty late by the time Five Tribes ended and we decided on playing a round of Fairy Tale instead of Pit. I think three of us were a bit worried about the loudness of the bell in Pit and just kind of wanted to wind down with something a bit quieter. So three of us played Fairy Tale. I ended up winning this one, I got lucky late in the game and got a couple cards flipped and picked up one more on my tableau that worked together with the dragons, I forget the card names, my apologies so I racked up 38 points in my first ever face to face game of Fairy Tale and managed to win by 4 points. I still need to get Gabby and Kerensa to try this one out as I really think they’d enjoy it as a faster option for a drafting game instead of 7 Wonders. It’s just turned down every time I break it out and offer to teach.
That ended the gaming for the evening. I took one more stroll through the store in hopes that I missed some hidden gem on the shelves, but alas, I did not. I said goodbye and packed myself into the car and drove back to the hotel to get some sleep before work in the morning.

We didn’t get anything else played this week until Sunday morning when AnnaBeth agreed to play some Jurassattack! against me. Yup, we’re still playing this one and still enjoying the heck out of it. I was up pretty early on this one but AnnaBeth managed to steal my T-Rex and a couple eggs with her Apex and it was all downhill from there, she actually ended up winning this one 28-16. There was no rematch though as our breakfast donuts had arrived and chocolate sprinkles had soon replaced gaming. We are still really looking forward to our copy of this one arriving, but I think we’re getting closer and closer to Best Treehouse Ever first which I think according to the last update are currently on a boat and should be in our Treehouse building hands sometime in October!

Gabby inspecting her Chaos All Stars

After some breakfast and coffee, the girls and I went out and kicked the soccer ball around the soccer park for a couple hours. After that we came back with clear heads and tired bodies so Gabby and I set up a two player game of Blood Bowl Team Manager. Gabby and I hadn’t put this on the table to play since July of last year, so she blew the dust off and I separated out the expansion stuff and we got back to basics and relearned us some BBTM. Good thing we did too, as we found out that we’d always played it incorrectly and had too many highlight reels on the table, which kind of made our games a bit less combative. Even though we played it incorrectly before, we’ve always enjoyed our plays of this head to head deck builder set in the Blood Bowl universe. For this match up I took the Grudgebearers and Gabby took the Chaos All Stars and we bashed it out on the field. It was a see saw matchup the entire time, with Gabby going ahead on fans and then I would hop back in the lead. The second to last week saw me jump out to a pretty big lead only to see Gabby make a valiant comeback in the Blood Bowl round, but she came up just short, with my Grudgebearers winning by a score of 37-33. I really enjoy this game and I know that Gabby does too. Kerensa sat and watched some of our matchup so maybe some three player games are in our future, as it is, I think Gabby and I are the only two to play this one. I think maybe in a month or so, after the Kickstarter reviews are done, I’m going to see if I can get Gabby to sit down and review this one with me, yeah I know, it’s an older game and has several reviews already, but who cares, it kinda deserves a bit more love even if it is currently number 169 on Board Game Geek.

Oh Yeah!
Final Scoring

That’s all she wrote this week other than a couple rounds of Star Realms with Adiliberto and even a game with Punkin. League is getting set to start back up this week, so hopefully I can string some wins together, but judging from the last week, I’m destined to stay right around 500 again.

I managed to not back anything again this week and I’m beginning to question my reasoning for having this little section in every podcast. But hey, what else am I going to talk about right?

Tabletopia continues to fund and open up new titles to check out, this week opening Transylvania Curses & Traitors which I’ve played and really enjoy, should be a fun one to play on the Tabletopia platform. Currently sitting at 85.5k with 3 days left to go in the campaign, I’m still in at the Game Geek tier for a silver subscription for 6 months. Looking forward to trying it out and seeing if it makes me want to pay the subscription fee once that’s up.

TableTopia Kickstarter Page

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain from Green Couch Games keeps inching upwards. This week Jason announced some add on items to help boost funding and it seemed to have worked a little as the campaign is sitting currently at nearly 12k in funding out of 15k asking with right at 10 days left to go in the campaign. You can now add on a nice looking play mat and a couple other games from Green Couch Games, Fidelitas and Best Treehouse Ever. We’ve played this one several times and enjoyed our plays, looking forward to this one funding and landing on our doorstep, hopefully without a Yeti chasing it.

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Kickstarter Page

GemPacked Cards has about 50 hours left as of the time of writing and is sitting just shy of 10k in funding out of the 12k needed, so this one is going to be a bit close. Eduardo added some options to get GemPacked and his other titles as well, The Siblings Trouble and Lift Off! Get Me Off This Planet and it worked as well as they have seen a nice boom in funding this past week or so, but it still needs some help. So if you are looking for a whimsical fun game for the whole family that plays quick but offers some good substance, give this one a look. GemPacked Cards is another title that we’ve enjoyed the heck out of here in our house, even so much that our youngest was horribly disappointed that we didn’t get to keep our review copy.

GemPacked Cards Kickstarter Page

Other than those, I’m keeping my eye on Campaign Trail. Only reason I haven’t backed this one yet is that the cost is over my threshold of rush backing. I need to learn a little more about it before I press that back button, but I think I will end up doing so. Lance, Undead Viking, put together his preview for this one and gave it a pretty glowing review so I don’t imagine that my resolve will be strong for very much longer. Just really hoping that we can get our review copy here to give a try and help you all decide as well. With 16 days left to go in this campaign, Campaign Trail is just short of $12.5k out of the $35k needed to fund. This one is a steady climber with Kicktraq projecting over funding by just about $21k, so we should see a couple stretch goals opened up as well I hope.

Campaign Trail Kickstarter Page

Once again, I was good, and we didn’t have any games show up on our doorstep. Seems we have finally hit that lull, maybe it’s because of the games or maybe it’s because we’ve slowed down on gaming this year with school and such and I’m finally getting a bit smarter about my gaming budget. Nah, that can’t be it, it’s gotta be something else.

Essen Spiel Preview

This should help I think, I’m going to use the next couple weeks and we’ll just highlight a couple or three games from W. Eric Martin’s fantastic Essen Spiel Preview that we are horribly looking forward to, or at least I am. After I give about 10-12 of them we might put them together in a Top 10 list or so, but for now, these are in no order, I’m just looking forward to picking them up as soon as we have the chance.


This one should be obvious, that’s why it’s going to get mentioned first. It’s got the fantastic pedigree with Friedemann Friese behind the wheel and it has, what could possibly be the biggest innovation in gaming in the last, well forever. 504 is a game that creates 504 different games out of one box by using 9 different modules: Pick up and Deliver, Race, Privileges, Military, Exploration, Roads, Majorities, Production and Shares. In a single game you choose 3 of those different modules and put them together in any order you like to create the game. Want to play a Racing, Exploration, Military game? Go for it, you can do that here. The theme here is kind of silly, but who cares if it works. The high price is the only thing keeping me from pre-ordering this one from Stronghold Games. We all know that some of these combinations are not going to work, and some will work okay and a few will stand out and be excellent and I think I am waiting to see what that excellent stuff is. Should I spend $100 on a game to enjoy 2 or 3 tries out of 10? I’m not so sure yet, but it’s a definite possibility.

Porta Nigra

Porta Nigra is the newest offering from the design duo Kramer & Kiesling. In Porta Nigra each player commands a master builder, who moves around a circular track on the game board, enabling you to buy or build only where this master builder is located. Moving the master builder to farther locations along the track is expensive, so players must plan their movements and builds carefully. The number and type of actions that may be performed on your turn comes from cards in your personal draw deck. The buildings that you are building, you are building physically on the board using 3d building pieces. I love city building games and this one looks fantastic, I can’t wait to see this one in the United States, and wouldn’t you know it, the same fine folks that are bringing us 504 are bringing us Porta Nigra. Really, I should just have a direct withdrawal made from my paycheck to Stronghold Games, Stephen and his crew really don’t miss on much when it comes to the gaming world.

7 Wonders Duel

I love 7 Wonders but a lot of our plays here lately have been strictly 2 player games so 7 Wonders just doesn’t get played even though there are a couple variants that make it 2 player compatible. But now, why would we do that when we’ve got a two player version of 7 Wonders on the way in 7 Wonders Duel. What’s different about 7 Wonders: Duel is that, as the title suggests, the game is solely for two players, with the players not drafting card simultaneously from hands of cards, but from a display of face-down and face-up cards arranged at the start of a round. A player can take a card only if it’s not covered by any others, so timing comes into play as well as bonus moves that allow you to take a second card immediately. As in the original game, each card that you acquire can be built, discarded for three coins, or used to construct a wonder. Each player starts with four wonder cards, and the construction of a wonder provides its owner with a special ability. Only seven wonders can be built, though, so one player will end up short. Players can purchase resources at any time from the bank, or they can gain cards during the game that provide them with resources for future building; as you acquire resources, the cost for those particular resources increases for your opponent, representing your dominance in this area. A player can win 7 Wonders: Duel in one of three ways. Each time that you acquire a military card, you advance the military marker toward your opponent’s capital, giving you a bonus at certain positions. If you reach the opponent’s capital, you win the game immediately. Similarly, if you acquire all six different scientific symbols, you achieve scientific dominance and win immediately. If neither of these situations occurs, then the player with the most points at the end of the game wins. If that doesn’t sell most two player groups on this one, I don’t know what will.

The Bloody Inn

France 1831: In a remote corner of Ardèche, the little village of Peyrebeille sees numerous travelers pass through. A family of greedy rural farmers is determined to make its fortune and has devised a diabolical stratagem to achieve this goal: Invest in an inn so they can rob traveling guests, allowing them to get rich without arousing the suspicions of the police! Whether or not their plan will work out, one thing is certain: Not every guest will leave this inn alive….

In The Bloody Inn, you are one of the competitive innkeepers, bent on amassing the most wealth. Unfortunately, your morals hinder you from robbing your guests… at least while they’re alive. Fortunately, your scruples have no qualms with murder. Of course, you can’t just have dead bodies piled everywhere: It’s bad for business, and besides, what if the police drop by for a visit? It’s all so much work! Perhaps you could employ some of the guests as accomplices? Everyone has a price, after all!

This is my iffy one for this week, on one hand, we’ve got Pearl Games who just don’t seem to release games that I dislike, they’ve been a hit with everything. You’ve got the theme though which is pretty dark and might not go over all that well in my family, but I think it’s one that I am willing to take a chance on. Plus, this one is listed as 1-4 players, so there is some kind of solo play in the box that may be worth trying out, although everything points to this one being best with 4.

Spiel runs from October 8-11 in the city of Essen in Germany and is probably the biggest gamer destination around, but this is probably as close as I’ll ever get to it. Which is probably a-ok. Since it runs October 8-11 that gives me another 2 weeks to give games that I’m looking forward to, this week I’m stopping with these four, 504, Porta Nigra, 7 Wonders Duel and The Bloody Inn. Give ‘em a look and tell me what you think, yeah or nay? I’ll also put together a Geeklist over on Board Game Geek that I’ll add titles that interest me, be sure to check it out and let me know. I may go ahead and put games on there that I’ll talk about in upcoming weeks, but don’t worry, I’ll keep my thoughts a secret until I post the podcast.

Geeklist and Podcast
We saw a bit of a resurgence this week in the geeklist and thread, more people hopped back in and shared their thoughts, including a sight for sore eyes, Dan Edelen. I’ve always liked reading Dan’s thoughts on games and I’m happy to see him posting back in the Geeklist, even if it won’t be a regular thing, but here’s hoping. Lot’s of Seasons posting it seems, but that may be partially because three of us were playing in the same game. Which leads me to this, if you want to play an online game with me, feel free to shoot me a message or just shoot me an invite, I’m Vacabck across all the online gaming sites that I have found and signed up for and I’m up for just about anything. Mine, James’ and Bill’s game of Troyes has gotten off to a slow start since I was away from a PC for most of the weekend, but I think we’ll pick it up as the week progresses, but I’m down for just about anything turn based and even possibly some live plays on some evenings if things work out. JBMoby and Patrick Hillier gave us some Buckeye Game Fest updates as they were at a convention playing some fine games. Really just lots of fine games all around and some fantastic session reports as well, was happy that I was able to keep up for the most part this week and I look forward to seeing what everyone played this week.

Well, let’s wrap this up this week with the clue for our Codenames contest. Last week we had quite a few entries and a bit over half of you got both words correct, the other half did not. Funny thing is, the folks that got the answers incorrect all basically guessed the same thing and did not get either word correct. Just shows you how tricky giving clues in this game is. The correct answers for week 1 were, Buffalo and Soldier. Don’t worry, you’ve all got a chance to redeem yourself this week as I am going to give a clue that hopefully points you towards three words on the board. Two of the three I hope are easy, the third one may be a bit harder. I’ve covered the correct answers from last week so there are fewer choices to make. Once again, just sending an email gets you entered into the contest and each correct answer is going to get you a bonus entry, so here goes. This week’s clue is Outfit:3 The updated player board will be uploaded into the blog entry for this week. I will also tweet it out about midweek for folks and it will be posted over on the Facebook page as well.


Shoot me your answers to wdyptw@gmail.com

That’s a wrap for Week 43. Have a great week everyone!!

Week 42!!!

Week 42!!!

This week’s Geeklist on BGG

This week’s Forum Thread over on BGG

Fall has fallen, so yardwork and hiking are on the agenda for us as long as the weather stays like this. I just need to find someplace that’s permanently 75 degrees and little to no humidity, it’d be perfect and we’d get so much more accomplished and feel so much better, well, except for the allergies. But hey, you can’t have it all, right? Anyway decent week of gaming going on this week. Got to play some two player games on Tuesday evening with Mike, Friday evening saw an online play with a couple friends and Saturday saw a couple games with AnnaBeth and then a three player game with Gabby and Kerensa, let’s get to it! Oh, and don’t forget, the Codenames contest starts this week, be sure to listen for the rules and the first clue!!

As I said, on Tuesday evening I took a couple games down the road a bit to Mike’s with the intention of just getting some two player games on the table. Well, we only got one game that is truly two player, the other two just play better with two. We started off with a two player matchup of Baseball Highlights 2045. This is one that I really enjoy playing but it doesn’t get brought out very often, but Mike had been reading up on it and was trying to decide whether or not it would be a good one for him and his son to play so we broke it out and gave it a go. I taught it pretty quickly as I think this one really teaches easier as you play it, so I always just play a single matchup to teach everything and then do a buy round after it before starting the three game series. Baseball Highlights 2045 is a deck building game about baseball, but just not modern day baseball, this is the future of baseball, with robots and cyborgs and a few naturals. The game is a pretty abstracted look at a baseball game and it plays quick, with each game being just six or possibly seven cards each player. Five to ten minutes tops from the first play through the buy round that happens after each game. One of the things I really like about this deck builder is that even though you are building your deck and adding new cards, you don’t ever get your deck over fifteen cards. When you add a new card, another card is sent to the “Minors” and out of your hand. Really makes everything streamlined and love not having to worry about culling on the run. Anyway, I won the first game 2-0 and we bought our Free Agents and moved onto the three game series which I won 2-1. After you play the three game series, the players then go against each other in a 7 game World Series, for the World Series I brought out the Managers Expansion for the first time. Each player is going to draft four managers, the managers will give you a “power” so to speak that can be used in one game and then discarded. I took the first two game at home and then once we went on the road the wheels fell off and Mike rallied to win the next four games taking the series 4 games to 2. Hopefully when the next edition comes out more gamers will pick this one up as it really is a fantastic game. I need to open up the other expansion packs and add them in next time we play. All they seem to do is give you more keywords and just change up the game a little bit, nothing major.

We followed Baseball Highlights 2045 up with a game that Mike really enjoys and doesn’t get to play nearly enough, Neuroshima Hex. I’ve only played this one other time and that was against Gabby, I haven’t had the heart to open the box back up after the water spilling accident that took out one army. Well, this was Mike’s copy and it was stocked full of just about every army available but I stuck with the basics and I believe I played the Hegemony, I can’t recall off the top of my head what Mike picked, but whatever it was, he walked all over me. Well not at first, we stayed pretty even through the first battle or two I believe, but after that, I drew twice and drew no troops, only action tiles and man that just basically ended the game right there as Mike just mopped the floor with me after that, beating me by 14 or 15 points. I like Neuroshima Hex, just not a fan of my drawing abilities. As much as I get confused about initiative and such on the board it really didn’t get too bad this time around, so maybe I’m finally coming to grips with it. But it’s for that reason alone that the app will probably always get more plays from me than the actual cardboard will. I’m lazy when it comes to tracking this stuff, so if something else is available to make my life easier with a game, I’ll play it. Doesn’t mean I’m any good at it, I don’t think I’ve won a matchup of this yet, even against the AI. This one will get more plays in the future I have a feeling.

We ended the evening with me teaching Mike the only true two player only game that we played, Akrotiri. Kerensa and I played this one a couple weeks ago and our play took a bit longer than the box advertised, so I kind of warned Mike of this and started teaching, knowing that the end of the night may happen before the end of the game, but that was cool as I just wanted to refresh it all in my head and give him a taste of it. Akrotiri is a tile laying game where you are creating a map filled with islands that have the goods that you need to deliver in order to make money in order to excavate and find temples. This one played a lot quicker than Kerensa and I did and we ended up actually finishing this one with me winning by one point. I’m not sure what Mike thought of it, as we really kind of rushed through the game in order to get it finished, but I enjoyed it and I’m confident the next time Kerensa and I play it’ll go a lot closer to the advertised play time, just hoping I can get her to play it instead of Targi the next time we sit down for a two player only game.

No other gaming throughout the week although I did fall down the GMT Games Rabbit hole and ended up P500ing a couple titles they have coming down the line, 1846 and Mr. President. I even printed off the old 2005 rules for 1846 and started reading thorough them in anticipation of ending up with my first 18xx game on our shelves and hopefully on our table. Mr. President is a solo only game about managing the job as President of the United States. Really sounds like an interesting title and I’m looking forward to learning more as we get closer to this one being produced.

Friday I got an invite to play some Seasons on Board Game Arena with Bill and James. It’s been awhile since I had played Seasons over on BGA, but it’s one of our favorite games around here, at least for Gabby and I, we’ll talk more about that though in a little bit. This one I drafted originally to go heavy Crystal, light power cards, I just wanted to get out on the board what I had and churn through and convert as much energy as I could as quickly as I could. It didn’t work out that way as I ended up being last in turn order and on the first turn I had to draw another card, in fact, the first three times I was last in turn order that’s what I ended up with. I got lucky on those draws as they weren’t really expensive to get out and they ended up helping the Crystal conversion as they eventually came out. Bill ended up having a pretty off game, I think once the bad die luck left me he ended up with it. James made a huge push at the end of the game and ended up getting a little closer than I thought he was going to get. Final scores ended up being 243-198-149 with me hitting a high score for myself by a huge margin. Towards the end of the game I think I pulled out close to a 50 point transmute and that was the difference. Great game guys, I’m looking forward to future challenges. I’ve got the rule book for Troyes sitting on the nightstand, going to start reading it tonight!

Saturday saw nice weather and I decided that I should head outside and do some yard work that I put off doing because it had been too hot and miserable. While doing that, I was mowing over some of the tall weeds I found a spray paint bottle, that’s always fun, having it explode and shoot paint out. Luckily it all shot forward instead of back at me, but it got my heart racing a little bit nonetheless. Then after a bit more mowing after slowing the heart rate down I went to the truck to get my gloves so I could do a bit weed pulling. As I was standing there digging the truck, I heard a loud crash and about 25 feet or so in front of me a lady had veered to the right and plowed into the back quarter panel of the car parked there. Smacked the Hyundai hard enough to hop the curb and push it another 20 or so feet downhill. Luckily everyone involved was okay, the lady was coming back from breakfast with her three young children. The kids were a bit shaken up and had some seatbelt bruises, but all in all pretty lucky and hopefully recovering well. With that, I decided it was time for me to just stay inside the rest of the day. Didn’t need my heart racing any more. So Kerensa, AnnaBeth and I sat down to some DrachenStark.

DrachenStark is just a race game that uses a memory mechanic to race your dragons around the volcano and it’s become one of AnnaBeth’s favorite games. She loves finding the right tile to flip, but we’re still working on helping her become okay with finding the wrong thing. She still has a tendency to flip the wrong tile and then quickly flip it back over pretending that she didn’t really pick it. At five we’re struggling with what to let her get away with and what to call her on and make her stick with and I think this one has been a pretty good game to work on that with her. Gabby has kind of gotten to the point where she doesn’t want to play with AnnaBeth because she doesn’t want to follow the rules and Gabby is on a big rules kick. Thing is, without cheating AnnaBeth won one of these matchups, she “won” the second one but we kind of went a bit lenient with her on a couple things. This is another fun little game from Haba, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything but it’s fun with the little ones.

We wrapped up the gaming week with a three player game of Seasons with Gabby, Kerensa and I. After Friday evening’s online play I figured Gabby would want to play this one again as we really do like it here. We invited Kerensa to join us and we were off, well, we were off after a brief rules recap for Kerensa. We did the draft for this game and maybe we shouldn’t have as Kerensa had a bit of trouble remembering what the cards would do and how they should be played out and when, but after about 20 minutes or so we were ready to roll some chunky dice and play some cards. I love the combos that can be chained together and it makes for some really fun turns and this one had a few of those. I really worried about Gabby as she just kept adding card after card to her hand and I knew I hadn’t seen any of the cards that allow free summons or even any that helped bump up your summoning gauge so I kind of worried she had bitten off more than she could chew. Even after the first year she only had 1 card summoned and I think 5 in hand before taking her second year cards. Kerensa on the other hand was methodically working her hand and putting cards out. I went the same route as my game on Friday night, getting cards out that helped give crystal bonuses when summoning power cards and extra energy. Beginning of the third year it was pretty close and Gabby had gotten more cards out but still had a lot in her hand and wasn’t scoring any crystals in the process. In the meantime I had reached 100 points on them and had cheap to summon cards left. Kerensa was getting a bit frustrated with some of my turns as it always seemed I was doing three or four things to her one, but I think in the third year she started to see how things work together. Gabby was a summoning fiend in the third year and slowed the game down quite a bit by using the Temporal boots and then making sure the season marker only moved 1 or 2 spots at the end of rounds. This one ended with me breaking 200 again, I hit 217, Kerensa came in a hard fought second with 157 and Gabby, in spite of having 13 power cards summoned, only managed to get 153 points, she just didn’t have any crystal production going through the game. Even though Kerensa came in second, she was pretty frustrated with the game. Not knowing the cards is huge in this game and the fact that all the expansions were in there further pushed that frustration. Seasons almost feels like one of those lifestyle games where it’s what you play all the time so you can actually know what will work with what and when you should play it, should a card be in your starting hand or save it for the later years. I tried to help out as much as I could at the beginning, but it’s kind of hard to do when you know there are certain cards that you want and also just hard because Kerensa doesn’t want someone to tell her what to do game wise. After the game we talked a bit and kind of talked about it. I get the feeling that Kerensa likes what the game can do and she enjoyed it but if we are going to play it, we both agreed that we need to play it more often, which was A-OK with Gabby and I. So look for more Seasons plays in the future I have a feeling.

Star Realms plays happened again this week, nothing too bad, nothing too good. If memory serves correctly I am right where I left off last week at lvl 9 7 out of 10 but I did have some fun games with Adiliberto and I also finished up our season in Awberman’s BGG league finishing up at 5 and 6 after winning my final round matchup using a really fast, smaller hitting deck and got lucky that our buy row was just outrageously overpriced from the beginning for the most part. I’ll be back next season, hoping to finish over .500 and keep on keeping on in the same division that I’ve been in the entire time I’ve been playing. I’ve only sniffed a promotion once and lost on the play in to get moved up.

No acquisitions this week, so instead of talking about that, we’ve got a review for you. This one comes from Patrick Hillier. You might remember Patrick as our first guest on the Meet the Gamer segment that I need to re-start, or you might know Patrick from the What Did You Play This Week Geeklist over on Board Game Geek, but either way, we’ve got him here and he’s going to tell us a little bit about the new Pandemic app and he’s promised to do this all while not wearing the vest that that other App reviewer made famous.

Patrick’s Review can be heard at the 15:49 spot on the Week 42 Podcast.

Once again, nothing new for me popping up on Kickstarter this week so I’ll just kind of remind everyone about Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, GemPacked Cards and Tabletopia over there. If you are a Kickstarter frequent backer make sure to give these a look. We previewed Avalanche at Yeti Mountain last week, it’s fun, light, quick race game that offers some exciting play. GemPacked Cards we previewed a couple weeks back, it’s a fun little gem swapping, gem trading game with some absolutely adorable artwork. Tabletopia possibly has the ability to change board gaming forever for the better with its digital implications.

This coming week look for Campaign Trail from Cosmic Wombat. We’re supposed to get a preview copy soon so hopefully I can tell you all more eventually, but for right now just know that I’ve read the rule book and it looks like it’s a really fun, easy to learn card driven election game.

Also, watch for our World’s Fair 1893 preview coming up in the next week or so. It’s set to launch on Kickstarter on September 29th.

Just a note about a couple new podcasts that are up and on iTunes as of this week. The first is the Game Designers of North Carolina podcast, this one is hosted by designer Matt Wolfe and the first episode has guests Burke Drew and Mark Mcgee. This week they discuss how to get started in designing board games. Really a great first episode. Also launching this week is the Cardboard Architects. This is actually their second episode this week but it is the first week they’ve been available over on iTunes. This one is hosted by friend Chris Renshall and it’s all about board game design as well. Give both of these podcasts a listen, they both really deserve some ears.

Alright to finish off the podcast Eric Booth joins us to talk a bit about theme in gaming, well, sort of. We’ll just let Eric take over now.

You can hear Eric at the 21:59 spot on the Week 42 Podcast. 

Well that’ll wrap up week 42 of the What Did You Play This Week Podcast Thing. Be sure to let me know if you want to be on the podcast. If you have a review you’d like to do, or something you want to talk about gaming wise. We’d love to have you contribute. Reach out to me via email or find me over on Twitter or Board Game Geek and just let me know what you’ve got in mind and we’ll see if we can get you involved. The more voices the better in my mind.

Thank you all for listening, have a great week!

Wait, I hope you haven’t left yet, I almost forgot about the contest!!
Okay, so, since I was antsy, I ended up getting an extra copy of Codenames and what better way to celebrate my disorders than by giving away the unopened, brand spanking new hotness from Czech Games Editions. So what I’ve done is this, I’ve taken a photo of a game board which I will post on the blog and I am going to give clues this week and the next two weeks. What I want you all to do is email me the words that you believe will match up with the clue to wdyptw@gmail.com. Each correct guess will get you an entry into the contest. After three weeks, I’ll put all the entries into a bowl, or a random number generator, whichever works easier, and we’ll get a winner and they’ll get a brand new copy of Codenames. This contest will be open to everyone who wants to enter and I will cover shipping here in the United States, outside the United States I will cover the first $10 in shipping and if you want the game, you cover the rest and we’ll send it your way. I know, that sucks, but unless I figure out that shipping for it won’t be too bad I’m going to have to ask for a bit of help. This one is going to sell out, and sell out fast, I know that Cool Stuff Inc and Miniature Market both are out of copies so hopefully we can make some listener pretty happy and get them this wonderful game.

The clue is: Bob Marley-2

Codenames Week 1

Now, have a great week everyone! Thanks for listening!!

Week 41!!!

Week 41!!!

What Did You Play This Week Geeklist

What Did You Play This Week Forum Thread on Board Game Geek

Sorry for the delay in this week’s episode, it was a long weekend and Sunday was filled with family, friends and bbq, so much so that there was no way I was going to be able to record on Sunday night, so I hope everyone is okay with a Monday release and sticks with us. I really enjoy doing these but the family comes first so while we’ll try to stick to a Sunday release schedule, sometimes, like this week, it’s just not going to happen due to life. Enough with the excuses, we’re here to talk about games, so let’s do it!

We really had no time to game during the week, I tried a couple times to get games to the table but it just didn’t work out for us, but we did have a game day scheduled at our local library so I knew there would be plenty of games to be played this weekend.

The biggest hit, or at least the game that saw the most action was the newest acquisition for our shelves, Codenames. Seems most Online Game Stores got their stock in on Friday and I had pre-ordered a copy from Miniature Market but I was anxious to play so I searched locally and found out that Magelings, a store north of us in Columbia, had a couple copies in stock so I raced up there Friday afternoon after work and picked up a copy from them. It was the first game to hit the table on Saturday morning and it was played about six times throughout the day. Codenames is really at its heart a competitive co-op game where two teams are trying to find the special agents of their color on a 5 by 5 board of cards that contain single words. Each team has a team leader, the two team leaders sit on the opposite side of the table as their teammates. In front of them they keep cards of their team color, red or blue, a stack of tan innocent bystanders and a single black assassin card. Also in front of them is a card that only they can see, this card is their map of where their team’s special agents are located on that board of 25 cards, on that cards is also four “lights” around the outside edge, this tells the leaders which team is the first to go. On your turn, the leader gives their team a one word clue and a number. The word should in theory lead their teammates to pick the correct words, the number, it can be anything 0-9 but good luck getting 3 or more, tells the team how many words they should be looking for with this clue. At most your team has to guess one word on the table, if it is correct, they can keep going or they can stop, choosing to let the other team have a turn. The team guessing can keep guessing up to the number given by the leader if they are correct each time, then they can have one more bonus guess if they choose to. But beware, if you end up selecting the word that represents the assassin, you lose the game. There are all sorts of rules for what you can and cannot say as the leader, but we won’t get into that, you can kind of guess that you have to stay within certain parameters in order for the game to be fair and balanced. We played it 5 or 6 times on Saturday, everyone played it at one time or another and I think that everyone really liked it. Sometimes you could tell that the leaders were struggling a little bit to find clues that would allow their team to guess the correct answers, but we kind of soon discovered that even a clue with a one can be really important, especially if your team remembers clues from earlier that did not get completely guessed, so with their bonus they can ultimately guess one more time. You just have to kind of remember those clues through the entire game so as the board gets cleared you can figure things out. I wanted to play this one with my family on Sunday but the opportunity never arose, but that’s okay, I’m pretty sure that the game will see more than its fair share of plays.

The other most played game of the day was Sheriff of Nottingham, I never got to play it but the younger kids that were in attendance did play it 2 or 3 times, always having a great time and laughing. Gabby loves playing this one as well. I just figured I’d mention it even though I didn’t play it since it did get quite a bit of play.

Bern, Mark, Steven and I sat down for a four player game of Castles of Mad King Ludwig which continues to get steady plays. Steven was the only one who had not played before so we gave a quick explanation of the rules and what you do on your turn and we are off. That’s one of the things I really like about this one, it’s really not horribly rules heavy, the game just lets you hop in and get going. Master Builder was used pretty well this game, I think the rest of the table was trying to figure out what everyone was shooting for and price them accordingly, a couple did it better than others, as I never was comfortable with money, but I did always have enough to never have to pass a turn to take money and I doubled up on square rooms both on the public goals and my private goal. Also along the way I managed to pick up 3 more goal cards and kind of ran away with this one, finishing with 107 points, 12 points ahead of Steven who was concentrating on outdoor rooms. Bern finished at 88 points, he managed to score a couple of the public goals but never managed to pick up any extra goal cards for himself, and Mark finished back in fourth with 81 points in his castle filled with hallways, seems he misread one of his goal cards and was just shooting for a lot of corridors, when in fact it was only scoring for stairs, made a pretty big difference in his score as he bought a lot of hallways and even had a couple corridor rooms that he purchased. Every game of Castles turns out differently, it’s always a good time. That master builder mechanic really makes this, every turn folks get to change the rooms around on the sale track to prices that they think will get them the most money all while making it easier on themselves if possible. Can’t wait to check out the expansion that should be landing at Essen Spiel, looks like it adds some moat tiles which seem to me to be like the boarder tiles in Suburbia’s first expansion and some gardens and swans, not sure what all they do yet, but it should be fun.

After that I sat down and played a game of Tokaido with Andy, Sarah and Mark’s youngest son, Gabe. First time I’ve played this in forever and I wasn’t the only one as I don’t think Andy had played it in a long while either. But I remembered the rules and let Andy give those to Gabe and Sarah and we were off on our journey down the Tokaido road. Tokaido is not a race, it’s a relaxing, really beautiful game that sometimes seems more to me like an exercise than a game. Sure there is set collecting and knowing how far to move ahead, but it really doesn’t have too many huge decision points in it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy it, I do, but it doesn’t get played around our house as neither Gabby, nor Kerensa particularly enjoyed their plays of it. This one I was distracted through about half of the game as Bern and Mark were checking out the next game I wanted to play, so I was trying to walk them through the rules and concentrate on playing Tokaido and I failed and I kind of feel bad, I should have sat there and played instead of bouncing back and forth. Andy won this one over Sarah by the narrowest of margins, after a recount, 83-82. I finished back at 76 points with Gabe finishing right behind me at 74. As I said, I enjoy playing this one now and then, I don’t think I’ve ever requested it even though I do own a copy as well. It really is a beautiful game though, the artwork is fantastic, but man those scoring pieces are way too small for my fat fingers.

After that, Andy and Sarah went for a walk to grab a bite for lunch and I sat down with Mark, Bern and Gabe again to play a round of a game that I’m really looking forward to previewing in a couple weeks, World’s Fair 1893. What I will tell you right now is that, at four players, this was really fun. Ultimately this game is an area control game with a bit of set collection going on. I can’t wait to see what Foxtrot Games has in store for this game once it hits Kickstarter later this month, the 29th of September I believe, but I will double check. I played this one another two times after we got home, once at 3 player and once as a 2 player game. Each play felt different and offered some interesting choices, so I look forward to more plays and telling you all more about it in the near future, but for now, just know, we really enjoyed it.

We followed World’s Fair 1893 with another Kickstarter game that we are previewing and this one is live right now, Avalanche at Yeti Mountain.  (8:52 of the Podcast)

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Preview!!!

We finished up our game day at the library with a 4 player game of Cacao, most everyone else had taken off, so there were only four of us left to find a game to play, I was wanting to throw Medina on the table, but as soon as I sat it out, I felt lost, it’s been entirely too long since I have played it and I didn’t want everyone to end the day with me fumbling through a rules explanation, so we went with Cacao which has become a fantastic standby game for us. Really, the rules and tile explanation can be done in about 5 minutes and the game, even at full capacity can be played in about 45 minutes or so. It’s not like those 45 minutes aren’t full of choices to be made either, this isn’t just a lay a tile down and hope for the best, you can kind of find a strategy in here and stick with it, well, you could have if you weren’t me. Once again this was one of those games where I was just lost, I never really got a cacao selling engine going and I couldn’t get a foothold controlling any of the temples. I managed to claw my way to a whopping 36 points, well behind the winner Steven who had 55 and we were the two who had played this one before. Andy finished with a respectable 50 points and Sarah finished up at 42. And that was it for our game day at Missouri River Regional Library. There were other games played that I did not get to play, there was a game of Marvel Legendary, some Love Letter and I believe Perry Rhodan. We won’t have another library meetup until the 5th of December, so if any listeners are local (or will be local that weekend) and want to hang out and play games on a Saturday, please feel free join us and pull up a chair! Thank you to everyone who came out this time: Mark, Gideon, Gabe, Isabella, Allesandra, Bern, Andy, Sarah, Steven, Gabby, Brad, we’ll see you all next time I hope and maybe a few others will join us as well.

Saturday evening after the girls all got home, Kerensa, Gabby and I sat down and played a three player game of World’s Fair 1893, it was like pulling teeth to get Gabby to play and it showed in the first round, but once she got settled in, everything worked perfectly and she even enjoyed it. Not enough to not want to go hide in her room the rest of the evening, but she did say that she liked it. Kerensa and I set up a 2 player game right after that and ran through it with that player count as well. Like I said, look for a preview coming in the next couple weeks, right now, we’ll go ahead and say that we have quite enjoyed our plays so far and look forward to backing the Kickstarter and seeing it in final production.

Sunday was all day lounging around the pool and BBQ, but Sunday morning before we went to do all that, Kerensa and I sat down to play our rematch of Targi. Kerensa won our initial match up of this one by 1 point a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been ready to try it again since then. Targi definitely lived up to the first play, although our last two rounds this time mainly consisted of my blocking Kerensa from taking the Silversmith and her blocking me from taking the Noble action, everything in the middle was kind of inconsequential for her as she had her 12 tribe cards in her tableau already at that point. I was struggling to try to pick up a couple more victory points as I wasn’t sure where we would end up and luckily I did manage to sell a gold to the Silversmith for points and ended up winning this one 33-30 to even up our matchup. This one felt more combative the whole way through, we weren’t afraid of taking a spot just to keep the other player from getting it and that kind of increased the tension with the game, which is a good thing I think. So continued thumbs up for Targi, hope we get it to the table soon again.

Star Realms keeps chugging along, I won a league matchup to bring my record in league to 4-5, hoping I can put together a couple wins to end the season and finish above .500. But we’ll see, there are some pretty good players in our division. I believe I lost 2 of 3 against Adiliberto this week as well, but I may be wrong as I am currently sitting at 7/10 which is a two game improvement over last week, so I may have lost a win or two somewhere in my head. Keep the challenges coming to VacaBCk, I’ll keep playing. Hopefully everyone doesn’t forget about Star Realms when they all get their copies of Epic.

On the podcast at the 18:46 mark, we get a review of the new game from Blue Orange Games, New York 1901. This is a guest review from THE Eric Booth. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

We’re looking for contributors for the podcast, if you’d like to join in and give a review or just talk about something gaming related, let me know and we’ll get you a spot on the show! The more people we get involved, the more ideas I have of where to go with the show.

Nothing much new on Kickstarter that made me pull the trigger this week, although I have a feeling I will eventually be backing more than a couple that launched this week.

TableTopia keeps on moving along, tripling its funding goal this week and opening up even more trial games for everyone who backs to try out the interface. I swear this week I will hop on and play some! Two more weeks left on this one and it’ll be all finished up and then we just get to wait for the Beta roll out.

Other than the smaller games that we’ve previewed, I am looking quite a bit at a couple other games that sound fantastic. First up is Gloomhaven, if you haven’t seen this one, be sure to check it out. It’s Isaac Childres’ follow up to Forge War and it looks fantastic, my only reason for not backing immediately is that it’s a fantasy dungeon crawl type game, and we all know how many of those get played around here even though I would love to play them. If the price tag was a little lower I think I would have jumped in without thinking though, but as it is at $64 I don’t think I can take the chance of it just gathering dust for years, plus, who wants to back at $64 when you can bump that up to $79 and get some fantastic miniatures for your heroes. This one doesn’t need my help, it’s almost doubled its funding goal of $70k in the week that it has been out on Kickstarter, already opening up 5 stretch goals with more on the horizon.

The other title I am looking at is still The Networks, which just looks like it plays fantastically. I love the idea of running a television network for a game, it seems like a really fun theme. I’m hoping to sell Brad and Kate on this one so I can clear up some money for other projects, but thus far I don’t know if they are biting. I need to get to work on this as it has funded and has 23 days left on the campaign.

Other than that, we’ve got two projects on the horizon that I am looking forward to Campaign Trail and the aforementioned World’s Fair 1893. We’ve also got a copy of Campaign Trail on the way for review as well, so I’m looking forward to learning more about it and seeing how it plays in the near future. Even further into October, you have Scythe from Stonemaier Games ready to make you part with your hard earned money, tentatively it looks like that one is launching on the 13th of October. So there is a lot to look forward to on the Kickstarter horizon, if anyone knows of any projects that I need to pay attention to, please feel free to let me know and we’ll check into them!

Only one game landed on our porch this week but it’s another heavier game that may take a little bit to get to the table, La Granja. It’s been on my radar since Essen Spiel last year, but honestly had kind of faded out until recently when folks started playing their copies from Stronghold Games. Ultimately, Stephanie Straw convinced me that it was a game that would go over well once it got played here so I went ahead and grabbed a copy off of Amazon while they had it marked down about 35% or so. This one is punched, sorted and bagged and ready to roll. I’ve read the rules and watched Rahdo’s run through for it this week. For a game that was kind of advertised as a medium Euro, there seems to be an awful lot going on, we’ll see soon enough!

Geeklist and Thread
Well, it seemed to be a down week on the Geeklist with only about 36 folks participating, I’m going to assume that school starting and summer winding down had a lot to do with that, but everyone that posted over there had some fantastic games played and I actually managed to keep up this week in spite of still being shorthanded at work. We saw Russian Railroads rise from the ashes to see a couple plays, I don’t remember the last time I saw that on someone’s list. Ginkgopolis still gets plays, I seriously think that Xavier Georges should thank the fine folks in our geeklist and thread for continuing to post about the fun we have with that game, I absolutely adore it. Cathoris and his daughter continue to get some plays in of games that I really want to play some time, I still have not played Survive and Tales of the Arabian Nights just doesn’t get requested anymore. Xavier Gueniffey Durin got some love with some folks playing both Seasons and Lords of Xidit, I love his fantastical art style in those games. The thread over on BGG was filled with plays from all over the world as well and more and more people keep hoping over there and letting us know what they’ve been playing. So keep it up folks, I absolutely love reading the reports over the week and you all always help me find a game or two that I may have never found before.

We’ll wrap up Week 41 here, thank you all for listening! I do want to reiterate, if you have something you want to bring to the podcast, be it a short review, a talk about game mechanics or just something from the board gaming community that you want to talk about, be sure to let me know, I’d really love to have more contributors to the podcast from time to time. As I’ve said before, it wouldn’t have to be a regularly scheduled thing, just whenever you felt the inspiration arise. It doesn’t take much to record your voice, heck, I think our first Meet the Gamer interview was half recorded on an iPhone if I am not mistaken, but if you use a computer, Audacity is a completely free recording software with editing features as well. As I’ve said before, I’ll happily edit if I have enough time. I do want to keep this a family friendly show, but I think everyone knows that by now as well, so, no questionable content, alright?

Have a fantastic week!!!

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Preview

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Preview!!!

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Kickstarter Page

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain on Board Game Geek

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is a race game, kind of themed after those ridiculous 1980s skiing movies, at least it seems that way to me. The players are engineering students who have perfected the “rocket-powered skis” and you are now out on the mountain testing them out to see just how well they work by having a race to the bottom of the mountain. But, along with racing down the mountain against your fellow engineering students, you are also trying to avoid the Yeti who is out to keep you all off of the mountain and the oncoming avalanche that is being caused by your constant use of the rocket powered skis.

The entire game of Avalanche at Yeti Mountian is played using a deck of 60 cards and pawns and markers. The cards are dual purpose, they are used at the beginning of the game to create the mountain to race down, and this is done by placing 12 cards side by side on the table. Each player is then dealt 4 cards for their starting hand. Each player is given a Rocket status card which is set to the ready at the start of the game and then each player then chooses the color pawn that best represents them racing down the mountain.

The cards themselves contain all the information for playing the game, in the upper left hand portion of the card there is a number and a symbol, these are used for movement when played from a player’s hand.

When it is on the table as part of the mountain, this is the symbol that is used for rocket jumping, but we’ll get more into that later. Also on the card are two tracks that are followed, one by the racers and the other by the Yeti. The card is also divided into either 2 or 3 sections noting how far the avalanche can move on that card when the avalanche is triggered. So, to start the race, each player selects 1 or 2 cards from their hand. The numbers on the card is the speed that you might move this round. You can only play two cards if the symbols on them match, then your speed is the total of both cards. But beware, there is a safety speed limit on the mountain, and if the players exceed that speed limit then the players that are going the fastest crash, this limits them to only moving one spot on their turn.

After checking the speed of the racers, the racers get to move, taking into consideration any crashes of course. Starting with the player who is moving fastest each player will move their pawn down the mountain the number of spaces that your speed allows, if you were to ever stop on another player, you move forward to the next available spot. Now that all of the racers are on the mountain, they could in theory use their Rocket Jump ability the next round. To do this the players must play a card of a matching symbol to the card that their pawn is currently on. But beware, if others use that same symbol to rocket jump, the player who is furthest behind of the players who used it gets to use the rocket jump. There is one other way to Rocket Jump, you can play from your hand, two cards of matching symbols, the matching symbols act as a wild so to speak and allow you to rocket jump regardless of what everyone else on the mountain does.

When you successfully execute a Rocket Jump, your skier jumps completely over the next card (ignoring any remaining spots on your current card) and then begins their normal movement. Each time a Rocket Jump is used, the avalanche speed increases by 1.

After all the racers have moved, the person who was moving the fastest down the mountain now gets to move the Yeti a number of spaces equal to how fast the fastest player was going. The Yeti has their own path down the mountain, it weaves in and out of the racing path, if while moving the Yeti, you ever cross a spot that contains one of the racers, that racer loses the ability to use their Rocket Jump next round. The Yeti can be moved down the mountain or up the mountain, but you can never change the direction of the Yeti once you have started movement one way.

After the Yeti has wreaked their havoc on the mountain, the avalanche starts moving down the mountain, it moves the number of spaces as indicated by the Avalanche tracker. As was noted earlier, some cards have 2 spots for the avalanche, some have 3, as the game continues and players use their Rockets, the avalanche will increase in speed. If at any time the Avalanche moves through or stops on a space that has a racer, that racer is eliminated from the race due to being buried by the Avalanche. After Avalanche movement, any player who was not hit by the Yeti flips their Rocket status card to the ready side and discard the cards they played this round and draw one more card, even if they played two this round. The game ends as soon as the first player skis off the final card of the mountain.

So there you have it, that’s the quick how to play for Avalanche at Yeti Mountain and it really explains that quickly and easily, if not quicker. This is another fantastic offering from Green Couch Games and designer Matt Wolfe. You may recall that Matt is also the designer of one of our most anticipated games this year, Wombat Rescue. This one is a bit lighter than that and it fits in well with Green Couch Games’ growing stable of fantastic lighter weight filler games. This one, more so than the others, can be a bit random and sometimes that can lead to a bit of frustration, I’ve seen it on a couple occasions, but it moves fast enough that you really don’t care if you are the one caught in the avalanche, well, you might care but the game will be over so quickly you’ll be ready for the next race. There are a couple variants in the back of the rules to add some variety to the game including a nice two player variant where each player is controlling two racers. Also in the box will be solo play, so that should appeal to some as well.

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is currently running on Kickstarter, with 23 days left in the campaign, it is currently sitting at $9.2k of its $15k funding goal(as of 9/9/15). $19 gets you the game and shipping in the United States, only $23 for the game and shipping anywhere else in the world. Get on it, or the Yeti will find you!!

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain Kickstarter Page