ReviewClank Catacombs Review (https://youtu.be/Y74rCBX71X4) [Clank! Catacombs]Like| 0 comments | [+]

Only 4 new to me games in Jan.  Nothing was amazing but at least 1 is something I'm hoping to get to the table again at some point soon to try again.

  1. #Wicked & Wise - played this with the full 6 new players.  Was a little rough for a learning game.  Really enjoyed some of the things this game did though and excited to try again.  7/10 - I can see this one moving up if additional plays go well.
  2. #Monoyth - A pretty fun spatial puzzle.  Its easy to play and has enough to satisfy advanced games while being easy enough for non-games to pick up and play.  Tiles are of great production value.  Not a game I'm going to play often though  6.5/10
  3. #Take 5 + Take a Number - learned Take a Number from my combined box.  I've had the box for 3 years and never unwrapped the Take a Number set of cards.  Game is an interesting twist on #6 Nimmt! and wouldn't turn down a game but not sure I would suggest over 6 Nimmt.  6/10
  4. #Flamecraft - Played on the recommended first game options and I think that hurt the game as the 3 of us were all relatively experienced gamers and were looking for something more from the experience.  Its cute and light and the rules aren't too bad once you get through them all.  It fills a weird spot in that its cute and easy enough to be a gateway game but the set up and rules overview push it out of the games that I would normally break out for a new gamer.  I'd rather play #Azul, #Downforce or #Carcassonne as my gateway game of choice.   6/10

I've heard good things about First Rat. Nice to see that you liked it too! I'll have to try to play it soon.

And I'm glad to be of service re: Eriantys/Carolus Magnus, haha

#First Rat looks hilarious. :)

You gotta play #Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem some more. There is DEFINITELY king-making - it goes with the theme! You should be making deals, threatening, and talking trash. :)

Not especially challenging I would say. 


Yes the board may be a handwritten paper or cardboard sheet, and indeed the cards likewise, with random pawns used for starters, but often there's some decent components from prior/other games, and in the euro-style game the cards were properly printed / cut, albeit will undoubtedly get some later tweaks.

Whilst the gameplay will have many iterations, the starting point is effectively a complete game with defined gameplay and end point. With the euro-style game (being so early in the process) there was much more design discussion, about balance, decision-space and with more ideas put forward. With the abstract which is further along the development path, it has a more mature design, so the gameplay, board and values are mostly nailed down. Hence we focused on:
- how easy was it for the people who'd previosuly playtested it, but not designed it, to teach to a newcomer (me)
- how did the 4 player game work (they'd only played 2P and 3P before)
- how quickly did a new player grasp the gameplay

Honestly it gives much the same joy of learning and playing a new game, with the chat we often have after playing a publshed game, extended somewhat, including overall feelings about different aspects of the game, some additional ideas or challenges. Probably not too far removed from a normal group of gamers getting a first play of a new retail game.

Playtesting games must be challenging but fun!

A minor change of scene this monday, as I shifted across to the games design group for some playtesting, so that the remaining gamers could do a 4 player and 5 player game. 

Always interesting to see games 'in development', with one mature enough that it's already been presented to publishers, whilst the other had its very first public outing.

I won't go into details, but the new game feels like it has good potential, being a compact euro-style rondel game, with interesting variant on how you move around the rondel. Plenty more work to do to refine it, but I reckon it could be a success.

The other game saw its very first outing at 4 player, which is a recent addition (it started out at 2P, then had 3P added), with the wooden board arriving from the person who made it, just as we were about to start, so we got the added joy of it smelling like a Swedish sauna (LOL). Pure abstracts aren't my thing, but without revealing too much, this one solved the problem of similar games where falling behind can lead to a linear worsening of the situation. Whilst still not 'my genre' I was very impressed / enjoyed it, so I'm hoping that translates to wider appeal for it.

______________

Tuesday was back to the usual fayre of published games, with us starting off with 4 player #Undaunted: Normandy (with #Undaunted: Reinforcements to enable the 3rd and 4th players pretty seamlessly). Whilst I'd played this two handed solo to learn it, it was my first real-life game of it, but teaching was strongly aided by 2 of the other 3 players having experience with #Undaunted: North Africa and #Undaunted: Stalingrad respectively. The game played well, with some good tactical discussions / differences in approach. Highlight of the game was a brave german riflleman (Fritz IIRC) moving swiftly right into the fulcrum of the battle, and evading two separate suppressing volleys from Sherman tanks (against pretty strong odds) and then only just getting suppressed by a similar onslaught next round. He very nearly was the unassuming hero of the day.

We followed this up with a swift game of #Startups which is perhaps an unsung Oink game, but feels like it will continue to play well with repeated plays.

Finally, as so often, we finished with a chilled game of #Just One, with the usual mix of clever, obscure, geeky clues, and in which I learnt the name of the music style played in the cantina on Mos Eisley in Star Wars ep. IV. A word I would most definitely not have associated with 'Canteen'

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Played Turing Machine
Played Turing Machine
Played Turing Machine
Played Turing Machine

Played with 2 players.

Played Coffee Roaster

Played at Digital with 2 players.

Played Coffee Roaster

Played at Digital with 2 players.

Yeah do it! One day I'd like to go to one of the Dice Tower cons as well!

My wife was happy to help me get #Downforce: Wild Ride Expansion to the table for the first time since I bought it last spring. Yes, I know, way too long-I need more game nights!  We played both maps and had a lot of fun.  We both won one game each.

I also got in two solo games:

#Raiders of Scythia I beat the AI 89-72

#Roll Player: Monsters & Minions Only my second game of this. I fought the Dragon and scored 36.

How are you liking both Wingspan expansions added together?  I just played my first two games with the European expansion mixed in, have had the Oceania expansion for over six months, but haven't had the chance to get it to the table-mostly due to having to teach my wife another set of actions/rules/scoring when she's still trying to remember the base game.  She did like the European addition, but her end-of-round bird cards didn't pay out so I think she's going to be a little hesitant on those in the future.

I asked my wife Sunday after church if she'd like to play a game with me later that day.  After she took a much needed nap, she said #Wingspan.  I had just received #Wingspan: European Expansion a few days prior (thanks to a discounted shipping rate on Miniature Market, I had them ship my one item on hold) and I mixed it in.  It has been a few months since she'd played with me, so I had her start with one of the quick-start boards.  She won by 11 points!  She then wanted to play it again, in part to help her better remember the gameplay.  Although she increased her score by one point, I had a card in the first column that cached food on it everytime I gained food.  I ended up with 10 food tokens on it, winning the game by 12 points. (As a side note, I recently bought the Wingspan app and have been playing it solo on my phone a couple of times a week.  It's fun.)

I also played a solo game of #Hadrian's Wall, working through the solo campaign.  I was on Fort 4, but did not do well with the extra brick costs.  Did not even come close to the score goal.

Man, those are some high scores on Castles of Burgundy!

Heat sounds like a very fun game.  I'm hoping I might get a chance to play it in March at Dice Tower West.

Played Aeon Trespass: Odyssey

Played with 2 players.

Played Aeon Trespass: Odyssey

Played with 2 players.

Played Starship Captains

Played with 2 players.

Played Fun Facts

Played with 2 players.

Played Town 66

Played at Kraus Haus with 2 players.

Played Town 66

Played at Kraus Haus with 2 players.

Played Town 66

Played at Kraus Haus with 2 players.

Played Town 66

Played at Kraus Haus with 2 players.

Played at Digital with 2 players.

Played at Digital with 2 players.

Played at Digital with 2 players.

Played Chakra

Played at Digital with 2 players.

Played at Minha Casa with 2 players.

Played at New Zeck Homestead with 2 players.

Played at New Zeck Homestead with 2 players.

Played at New Zeck Homestead with 2 players.

Played at New Zeck Homestead with 2 players.

Played at Board Game Arena with 2 players.

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played at Mulberry Tree with 2 players.

Played Libertalia
Played Concordia
Played Nusfjord

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played with 2 players.

Played at Casa Rossetti with 2 players.

Played at Casa Rossetti with 2 players.

Played Clank!: Catacombs

Played at Casa Rossetti with 2 players.

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played Jaipur

Played at Home with 2 players.

Played Nippon Rails

Played at J. with 2 players.

Really good week:

#Among the Stars @4p - Just got this. First play and teach. Relatively simple with a good amount of complexity and decision making. I can instantly see how more variety in cards would benefit it so I went on a hunt for all the expansions shortly after. I got first place.

#Space Base @4p - After over 3 dozen plays this is still super enjoyable. Couldn't figure out a way to make an efficient engine and ended in 3rd place but it was a very close game.

#Carcassonne @3p - With over 100 points I lost by 1 point. Extremely close game. I never object when this is suggested.

#Gaia Project @3p - Got the Terrans (the one starter faction I hadn't played with yet) and completely obliterated the other 2 players. I made a lot of really aggressive moves which isn't usually normal for me but I really wanted a win.

#Among the Stars @3p - Got a second chance at this mainly because it was still in my bag from the previous game night. It went just as well as the first time but I ended in last place this time.

#For Sale @5p - Had a guys night out with some cousins. While we were drinking I brought this out to teach them. They liked it even though I won by a large margin.

#Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition @5p - FINALLY got a chance to play this. Last time, we found out during setup that the owner of the game was missing a bunch of components. This time, we used someone else's copy. I got the University of Jol-Nar which is the tech faction. I crushed the competition. Kept to my own little "slice" off the galaxy and just completed objectives. Luckily none of them were combat related because my faction was very weak. Managed to finish the game in only about 5 rounds over 8 hours (including about an hour for setup and teach). Fantastic game! If it wasn't so long I'd want to play it more often.

#Love Letter (2019 Edition) @4p - Had a tied game for the last point. Towards the end of the round, I was forced to discard my hand and picked up the princess and handmaid on my next pull. Played the handmaid which protected me from the remaining cards and I won. Always fun.

I am usually good at building up but I fall flat figuring out how to get the most points at the end.

I've played Eclipse twice now and still have yet to even come close to winning, haha. Fun game though!

That's what I thought.  I'll probably stick with the original plus rails to the north but I'm always curious about other flavours of games I like.

 

Unfortunately I can't comment on that, since I haven't played the original, but the teacher of the game said it was about 80% the same.

How different is Great Western Trail Argentina versus the original?  I can't imagine I would want to have both but I'm curious.

Frosthaven is definitely fun!  Isle of Skye is one I enjoy.  I have the #Isle of Skye: Journeyman expansion which is quite good if you want more in the game!

It's a good week this week with a couple of fun in game plays!