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First review of Junk Art – Plastic Version! | Inspiration to Publication image
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Well if you're looking for a card dueling game, I can't really help. But I do have a few games that are mainly cards that I really enjoy.

  • #Oceans - really cool tableau/combo building game about adapting to a constantly changing ecosystem and eating the most fish. The card interactions are interesting, and the variability is great, mainly due to the "Deep" deck, which is almost 100 completely unique cards that have all kinds of crazy powers, in addition to the "Surface" deck which has duplicate cards. The art is amazing, which is a nice bonus.
  • #Dale of Merchants - this is a series of games that can all be mixed and matched together. It's a deck-building game about building your merchant stalls faster than your opponents. It's anthropomorphic animals and they are really cute. It is made by a small publisher from Finland, though, so it might be difficult to get outside of their Kickstarters.
  • #Shards of Infinity: Deckbuilding Game is probably the closest thing I've got to a card dueling game. It's also a deck-building game, not too distant from something like #Star Realms, if you've played that, but with some interesting twists. There's a co-op expansion as well, which I've not played but heard good things about.
  • #7 Wonders - this is a classic card drafting game that works well at 3-7 players.

Pretty good week for me!

#Barrage - As one of my heaviest picks for our 10 x 5 challenge, it takes a lot to get it to the table. Finally broke it out last Monday and it was an interesting experience to say the least. I fully anticipated more plays would showcase that it is in fact too mean for us, but I don't think I found it to play that way this time. 3/5ths of the way through the game, I felt like I was doing absolutely nothing, but over the last 2 turns, I managed to set myself up for some big power generation at the end. It made me want to play it more which is totally not what I was going for lol. Sarah won 87-81 and still doesn't like it lol. Go figure.

#Kingdom Builder - Finished up yet another game of this on BGA. I did better than I have been but still get crushed. I still have a lot of fun playing though!

#Tapestry - Picked this up in my most recent trade with BoardGameCo (along with #Junk Art which I mentioned in last week's post). Gave it a try solo this past Thursday. I was mildly confused as to how the Automa's income turns worked. It seemed to be totally luck based on whether or not you happened to draw the income symbol in the middle of their 2 cards. They ended up skipping their entire first round based on the luck of the draw, and would have honestly skipped more if not for me rearranging how I oriented their cards a couple of times. I ended up winning 152-86 so it wasn't much of a challenge. I'm looking forward to trying this out again and going down some other tracks to see if it helps me score higher.

#Splendor - Finished up a game of this on BGA that seemed to end rather quickly. was able to swoop in with the win with a big last turn. Lots of fun and would be down for a rematch.

#Lorenzo il Magnifico - and myself have been playing this one for awhile over on Yucata and finally ended our game a couple days ago. It was my first time playing it at 4 and boy was it difficult. All my plans kept getting thwarted by people playing in the columns I wanted to go and simply not having enough resources to pay to go there anyway. I'll have to get in some more practice haha.

#The Castles of Burgundy - Also finished this one with the same group over on Yucata. All of us were really close yet again, all within striking distance of winning. Always expect this one to be among my favorites that I can't see myself parting with.

#Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - Season One - Played the final case of this with Sarah last night. It was probably my least favorite of the cases, and that's saying a lot as I barely remember the first case lol. It seemed a little too cliché to the point where we didn't really get any solid evidence, but were able to sort out what happened fairly easily. We only missed one question, but in retrospect, we probably could have thought about it for a few minutes more and figured it out. Adding this one to the trade/sell pile.

I went with price/deal, as for me that is the final factor, but I won't buy a game just because of that.  (Case in point: my FLGS had several copies of a Stonemaier game at 50% off this week on clearance, but it wasn't a game I'm interested in so I didnt' buy it.)  All the other options increase the likelihood of me eventually purchasing it, though.  Word of mouth and content creator comments/reviews get me initially interested in a game.  The theme, mechanics, art, and gameplay all have to be something I think I'm going to enjoy playing, almost regardless of how often it'll get to the table. A good price on it makes it even more likely that I'll get it.

Welcome! What are some of your favorite games?

Here are some of my favorite lighter games:

  • #Century: Golem Edition - pretty quick engine-builder with a race element. It's easy to teach and has nice art and pieces, so it's a good crowd-pleaser.
  • #Kingdomino - great 15-minute domino game. Also very easy to teach, and has a nice small box. It has a puzzley feel with some tough decisions. It's got some luck in it, but definitely not too much, especially for how quick the game is.
  • #Santorini - one of my absolute favorite games, and one of the best "abstract strategy" games around. It has rules for up to 4 players, but it's essentially a 2 player game.
  • #Tiny Towns - another puzzley feeling game. It plays up to 6 players, and plays fairly quickly. If you like Tetris, you might enjoy this one.
  • #Horrified - very fun cooperative game about defeating Universal Pictures monsters such as Dracula and the Wolfman

A couple of games that we enjoy that I would consider to be a step up from the above games:

  • #Wingspan - huge hit from a couple of years ago. Engine builder about birds. Very pretty and enjoyable game.
  • #7 Wonders - this is a classic card drafting game, and was my intro to modern board games. It plays very quickly once everyone is familiar with the rules, but does take a few minutes to teach. I recommend finding a good rules explanation on youtube. There's a fancy new edition that came out recently with updated art and components.
  • #Dale of Merchants - my personal favorite deck-building game (it's actually a series of games that can be mixed and matched together)

Not sure if he's done any boardgames yet, but Dmitri Burmak has done some great work on #Frostgrave and #Magic: The Gathering. Probably my favorite fantasy artist. His art book for Frostgrave is outstanding.

Another one I like - whose work you have almost certainly seen - is Franz Vohwinkel. He's done a ton of games, as well as RPGs and MtG.

Doris Matthaus established the classic look of 90's-00's Euros. It was a crime when they put out the new edition of #Carcassonne without her art.

Ryan Laukat has a distinctive style which ties together his games - and he's the designer, too!

Didn't get a lot of plays in last week until yesterday.

#Kingdom Builder - I keep playing this poorly on BGA against the usual crew. I think the game we're currently in I'll score a little better, but I think that almost every time I play so we'll see lol.

#Lost Ruins of Arnak - Finished up a game with and last Monday. I continue to enjoy this game so I used my MM giftcard that I won in a giveaway I posted about to pick it up. Wade and I played another game on Friday where I tried a different strategy that didn't seem to work out so well. Looking forward to this showing up and if I can't convince Sarah to play, I'll just try it solo for now :P

#Suburbia - Sarah and I continued our 10 x 5 challenge with a play of this Saturday. Life has gotten in the way of our breakneck pace we set getting it done in April, but I think we're still ahead of schedule. As far as the game goes, it's a lot of fun. This play in particular I think was the first time I cracked 100 points. Definitely very luck based as far as what tiles come out, but focusing on getting your income up before your population seems to be the strategy.

Yesterday we went over to my brother's place to celebrate his wife's birthday. Got in quite a few plays there which made this otherwise uninspiring week better for me lol.

#Junk Art - Snagged this in a trade with BoardGameCo sometime after the latest "State of Your Board Game Collection" posted. There were 7 of us so Sarah decided to sit out, but I think she still had a good time watching us struggle to keep things balanced. Everyone had a good time so I think it's a hit!

#Werewords Deluxe Edition - We hadn't played this is a really long time and I think I understand why. For some reason, it seems to be a hard concept for people to play as the werewolf and intentionally try to throw off the other players. It did give us a few laughs when my 7 year old nephew asked as if he didn't peek when he wasn't supposed to "is it a hula hoop?" LOL

#Codenames: Pictures - Another fun one where everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Both games ended when one team picked the assassin card.

Lots of variety for you this week! Suburbia is one I keep waffling on getting.  I like city building and after #Cities: Skylines - The Board Game was such a disappointment I have been looking for something else.  

Junk art is also a ton of fun.  I'd like to pick it up at some point as well.

Great week of gaming! In addition to the online gaming mentioned by , I got to play:

  • #Jinja - an interesting worker placement game with tight resources but a clever combination of area majority scoring at the end with engine building in the middle; 
  • #Whale Riders - my Kickstarter copy of this new Reiner Knizia game came in and it has gorgeous Vincent Dutrait art and simple to teach, but deep, game play. Typical of Knizia's best! My wife really enjoyed this one;
  • #Red Rising - this is my most played game this week, played at 3-4-5 player counts -- I think I like 3p best, because you have time to read the cards, affect your hand, and still keep an eye on what other players are doing. I liked this one a lot more than the rest of the Gumbo Krewe, but my sons really dug it;
  • #It's a Wonderful World - been on my list for a while, cause my nephews adore this 7W style drafting game. I was lost at first, but the second half of the game made a lot of sense. I'd play it again but not sure I need to own it;
  • #Stockpile - another one of my most played games over the years, it has long been a Gumbo fave since we learned it from the designer way back at Gen Con 2016 (maybe?) -- we played with EVERYTHING -- all the expansion goodness, and I am convinced that's the way to play; and
  • #Block Ness - very polarizing little 10-15 minute abstract game with cute Loch Ness monsters for pieces. My family adores it and the Gumbo krewe was bored. What to do! I'll just keep it at the house and introduce it to friends and non-gamers and family alike. It is fun for what it is and looks great on the table! 

Whew -- so nice to be playing in person again instead of just online, although I am thoroughly enjoying playing games with the Board Game Atlas krewe! 

Me and my lovely wife act like idiots as we unbox Direwolf's 'Dune: Imperium' board game -- based on the upcoming movie directed by Quebec's own Denis Villeneuve.  Worker Placement meets Deck Building meets Combat and Hidden Information!!! Count us in!  But that box art, man... It looks like a game of bocce shot through a fish-eye lens...

0:00 Start
0:09 Opening Comments
1:09 Flavor Text - Box
2:06 Unboxing Begins
2:53 Flavor Text - Rulebook
3:45 Rulebook
5:37 Tokens & Stuff
7:27 Character Boards
10:41 Some of the Cards
14:00 Board & Game Overview
17:17 Comments
18:39 See ALL the Cards
23:44 End Comments
24:10 End Gag

I'm also not the biggest fan of using the movie as the basis for the art.  Should have let someone creat original art for this one.  I already wish they had with#Dune: Imperium.

There are three artist that I find well above the rest:

1. Miguel Coimbra: #7 Wonders and #Small World

2. Piero: #Ghost Stories and #Terror In Meeple City

3. David Cochard: #Alchemists and #Dungeon Petz


I've had #In the Hall of the Mountain King standing up on my shelf for a long while now just because the art is so good. It's got a unique painterly style done by Kwanchai Moriya. Definitely worth checking out!

This one looks promising! Looks easy to teach with appealing art and design. Hopefully it plays as good as it looks. I'll be watching this one.

I've always lusted after High Frontier (that board is a work of art!), but I know there is a 0.00% chance of actually getting it played. :)

Have you played any other space exploration games, like #Leaving Earth or #SpaceCorp?