Tuesday saw another outing for #Istanbul: Big Box and another instance of me teaching it yet trailing in a clear last place :¬). It went down well, despite the players being a little intimidated by the size of the teach (25 location tiles, plus movement rules, plus covering companions, dodgy relatives, assistants and the smuggler, governor, coffee merchant etc. to interact with). Both this and #Rajas of the Ganges seemed destined for me never to be competitive (LOL - that doesn't bother me at all)

The reality is the game is super easy to grasp, and turns are also super-fast. During the game the most problematic element is picking up on the symbology on the bonus cards, which does need the cheat sheet (I laminated one to make it easier to pass around).

This game ended up going to the 2nd tiebreaker (goods stored), and the player who came 3rd would have won had someone not landed on the police station just before them (they didn't have the 2 lira to pay them to also go there). Close games often enhance the good feeling about a game.

I had already played with the Valhalla expansion a couple of years ago (prior to me buying the base game) so I knew that at some point I was going to get Valhalla.  Similar to the Herb Witches expansion for Quacks I don't think I'll ever play without the Valhalla expansion again.  It just adds so much to the game play for such little rules overhead.

haha.  I figure if I need to do my quarterly updates I might as well check in on everyone else.  Glad to hear your doing pretty good on all of your resolutions.  Sounds like you probably have 6 - 8 weeks yet on Frosthaven would be my guess.

Game of the Week (The Castles of Burgundy) [The Castles of Burgundy]Like| 0 comments | [+]

I have been pretty lucky in that the few expensive/hard-to-get games I have acquired have turned out really well.  I usually get burned when buy a game on a whim.


Yeah, I shake my head at some of the prices for collectibles.  But obviously people will pay it...

Added: #The Great Race arrived this week, so I'll probably organise (including building the cardboard card boxes) and do a 3 handed learning game soon.
Removed: None yet, but our local Uni had a big theft, so it's a good opportunity to donate some replacements, and that seems oddly more motivating than putting stuff I'm not playing up for sale!
First time played: None of my own games made their debut this month, but I have played some new games to me, that made a positive impression, with possibly Tiny Towns being the most impressive for clever simplicity, yet thinky.
Wishlist changes: None, still quite slim at #Niagara, #Tumblin' Dice, Furnace interbellum and #Viscounts of the West Kingdom: Keeper of Keys. I like it being slim

Bonus question: Nothing sentimental in itself, so I'll go with the emotional angle of #This War of Mine: The Board Game which absolutely does give an emotional rollercoaster, in a way I never thought a game could do. If I had to go pure monetary/irreplaceability, it would probably be #RoboRally: Grand Prix and #RoboRally: Crash and Burn, one which has been in shrink since I bought it 25 years ago. Silly really that simple board expansions have become so sought after.

I'm in the process of designing 2 games. I've had 1-6 month periods of block on each one. Usually it's because I'm trying to think of a better mechanism to convey what I'm aiming for.

Sometimes, the answer will just randomly come to me. Sometimes, I'll be either playing a different game, or watching something completely different and it'll trigger a moment of inspiration that'll get me through until the next block.

I don't think there's one right answer to getting through it. You simply have to continue on with your life until lightning strikes. Just always keep the thing that's causing the block at the top of your mind and be on the lookout for solutions in your everyday life.

Yeah, this one kind of hurt because it was a "grail game" for me. I'd been pining over it for the past two or three years, so sure that I would love it.

Today's video is Azul Queens Garden. The most complex and different of the Azul series to date. How does it stack up against the other games in the series, and is it worth trying if you didn't care for the original Azul. Find out here.

I took a marker to one of the dice for #Deep Sea Adventure to resemble the $40 expansion dice and it plays slightly better now. I still don't think it's a particularly good game but it's no longer as frustrating.

People are selling Clans of Caledonia for ridiculous amounts on ebay.  A reprint is going to happen at some point and #Gaia Project is a very close cousin to it if you're desperate.  I wouldn't have bought it but when I said I really liked it my buddy said he was interesting in selling it so I grabbed it for a reasonable (in print) price.  Plus he knows I have it if he ever wants to play it. :)  Win Win I say!

Interesting bunch of games!  I haven't heard of many of them which is always interesting to see what else is out there.

 whatsgrip complete bunch for all the android Apks & Mods. Here Apks & Mods are completely free.

Kinda jealous you got to pick up #Clans of Caledonia!

I told Sarah I think on August 25th(?) that my plan was to not buy games until Secret Santa season. I proceeded to buy #Hawaii the next day and restarted my quest lol. I managed to make it almost a whole month..


#Santiago - So I've been really into the Hidden Gems podcast and the idea of finding some forgotten or underappreciated games. I'm beginning to realize I jive better with older designs anyway as most have pretty simple rulesets but a ton of strategy and crunchy decisions. I'm sure there are some older games out there with a lot of bloat to them too, but I generally find this to be the case with the new hotness. Rambling aside, I got caught down a rabbit hole on the Hidden Gems BGG Guild looking at threads of games listeners recommend. This one caught my eye and I knew I had to have it lol. It's a shared incentive farming game. There's an auction for crop tiles followed by the placement of canals that bring water to the crops. The catch is the loser of the tile auction gets to decide where the canal is placed. The other players can propose a location for the canal (with an included bribe), but the person placing the canal doesn't have to place there if they don't want. Definitely not a game for Sarah, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

#Psychic Pizza Deliverers Go to the Ghost Town - Didn't technically get this yet - the #Kabuto Sumo: Total Mayhem et al KS just asked me to pay for shipping. The campaign allowed for swapping with other boardgametables.com offerings, so I swapped #On Tour: Paris and New York for this.

#Was sticht? - This is a trick taking game that's been on my wishlist for a bit. All trick takers generally have something that makes them unique and this one has possibly one of the most unique concepts I've seen. The TL;DR is there's a secret trump suit that only the dealer knows along with a drafting of player's hands. Someone was selling a copy on the Board Game Barrage discord.

#Art Robbery - Same person was selling this too and it looked pretty interesting. Knizia auction game with a twist. I think should check this out since you like #High Society.


I sold 8 games to Noble Knight. Ironically, most of them were on my "thinking about removing" section from last month's post. I found I don't enjoy selling to them as much as I liked trading with BoardGameCo, but as far as I'm aware, this is now one of the only outlets to dump a bunch of unwanted games at once. They don't really give a lot of money back which I guess makes sense considering they have to stay in business. I wouldn't dare to sell them anything I actually thought was valuable lol.

#Gunkimono - Been thinking about getting rid of this for awhile and finally pulled the trigger. It's fun but not anything to write home about.

#Snakesss - I enjoyed my one play of this. Sarah didn't for some reason. I'm sure with a bunch of plays it would get pretty old and you might start to actually learn the answers to some of the questions.

#Guild Master - Speaking of BoardGameCo, I traded for this a pretty long time ago now. I had some fun playing it online and thought my friend's would enjoy it. After sitting on my shelf for a few months still in shrink, clearly that wasn't the case.

#I should have known that! - A random trivia game my in laws got me for Christmas last year. They never asked to play it and I had no intentions of actually trying it if they didn't care lol.

#San Francisco - The game I bought on accident from Noble Knight got sent back to them unplayed haha.

#Jamaica - Technically wasn't my game; I got it for free from the guy who runs the Meetup group I'm in. I was going to actually try it, but with too many games that I know I will like, it didn't make sense to keep.

#Babylonia - Likely the most expensive/valuable game in the bunch. I didn't really like it so it was easy to get rid of.

#Good Puppers - Bought mainly with Sarah in mind. Wasn't a very fun game.

Thinking About Removing

This can be seen as somewhat of a spoiler alert for next month as I've already submitted another sale request lol.

#Jaws - I gave up playing the shark. Other people I know own this and I can try it with them if I'm really stuck on the idea.

#Deep Sea Adventure - Never got any better,

#Dead Man's Chest - One of the 6 games that came with my #Route 66: The Mother Road KS. I never planned on playing it; it seems stupid.

#Kombo Klash - Played it twice and it never got any better than just alright. Still think Sarah wouldn't have hated it. Too many better games to play.

#Ticket to Ride: London - I don't even know why I bought this to be perfectly honest lol.

#Luxor - SImilar to #Guild Master, this sits on my shelf unopened after several months. I don't like to part with games I haven't played (unless I was given them or ordered them mistakenly :P). This one I've played on BGA so I could get rid of it. I think Sarah would like it a lot so I'm torn.

#Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - Been trying to convince Sarah to let me get rid of this forever and I finally succeeded. She thinks it's a good game for my in laws because her dad in particular is a big Marvel fan. In reality, he struggled to comprehend deck building and we bought him #Marvel United and #5-Minute Marvel, so he's good lol.

I'm sure there are more I can't think of.

First Time Collection Plays

I already talked about this in my post!

Wishlist Changes

I've done a complete overhaul of my wishlist in anticipation of the 3 Secret Santas I participate in. Removed a bunch I'm no longer interested in or would be happy to receive over other games. My "must have" section has 4 games: #Stationfall which I will likely have to pick up myself once it hits retail, #Cat in the Box: Deluxe Edition, #Mille Fiori, and Heading Forward (which doesn't appear to have an entry here?). I also added some older games found in my above mentioned descent down the rabbit hole. Of interest:

#Alchemist - Pretty beige looking set collection game with some fun twists.

#Richard the Lionheart - A team based tug of war style game set in the Robin Hood universe. Described as a "gamer's party game."

#Tutankhamun - A reprint of an older Knizia that I watched the BGG GameNight! crew play through.

Bonus Question

I think I now have a ton of games that are irreplaceable simply due to their rarity. Of course if I'm willing to pay outrageous prices, I think I could find them all again. Problem is, I'm not lol. Also I clearly don't have anything sentimental since I get rid of games like nothing haha. #Telestrations I think was probably the closest to that, but I don't even have that anymore...

I didn't actually set the game up myself but my group did and we play a LOT of different games.  I suspect they went in to the full on setup and skipped the basic mode.

I would play Insider again but I can't see myself buying it.  It is definitely easy to teach and play though so if you like that style of game I would check it out.

The accountability is astounding! 


1.   [I would like to be a bit more purposeful creating content and uploading to my channel(s) and creating time to 

      develop the quality with the tools I have.]               

       This has gone fairly well and I am now two videos away from completing my top 100 games and hope to have those completed by the end of the month.  I believe my top 10 games from 2016 are next up in the historical top 10 series.  Several Magic the Gathering videos posted and a Gloomhaven Solo Scenario.  

2.   [Getting a game day/night established felt haphazard and challenging last year.  I'd like to be more strategic 

      about getting to game events.  BGG Con 2022 in on the radar for this year with a plan to attend the whole

      event this year.  I've started adding game events to the family calendar so they can at least be considered

      amid other activities.  I'd love to get a standard game morning/evening on the schedule, but with variable 

      schedules at our house, this might be challenging to do.]

      The variable schedule continues to rule the day. Nothing consistent beyond taking regular turns on BGA.  It has been nice to play consistent games with ;  @theDL; and others who have made learning new games fantastic.

3.   Games I'd like to get to the table for 2022 at least once if not more include #New Frontiers , #On Mars , #Ark Nova 

    #Black Rose Wars (still an opportunity this year) , #Stroganov , #Great Western Trail (Second Edition) , #The 7th Continent (still an opportunity this year),

  #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (traded), #Mysterium , #Mage Knight (traded), #Furnace , #Spirit Island: Branch & Claw (still an opportunity), 

#Marvel Champions: The Card Game - The Rise of Red Skull Expansion (still an opportunity this year), #Yedo (I would love to get another play of this in in 2022), #The Belgian Beers Race.  

Everything without a note has been played at least once if not more times.


4.  There are a few games I'd like to teach Becky either because they are games I want to play more or because

     I think they are games she would enjoy (and generally a little of both). #Teotihuacan: City of Gods is high on that

     list if not first followed by #Ark Nova and #Great Western Trail (Second Edition).  Missions accomplished, Becky has learned all these!  Woo Hoo!

5.  A few games I want to get to the table with the entire family as I think everyone will enjoy them a little including:

  #Furnace , #Cascadia#Mysterium (traded),  and maybe #Root (still no)

6.  Finish #Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles Expansion before #Frosthaven arrives at my buddy's house. (This hasn't rolled forward but then again Frosthaven isn't here either...so there's time?...lol, we will see)

7.  Play #Frosthaven as much as humanly possible when it finally arrives. (To be determined...)

I've been working on a design for amout a year and a half now and have hit periods of dryness for at least 3-6 months a piece.  I found that exploring and playing new games I'd not played before was helpful.  Part of the dryness was due as much to creative aridness as to life responsibilities and not being able to have time to sit and think.


Played Paperback

Played with 2 players.

Played Inis

Played at Brandon’s with 2 players.

Played Citadels

Played at Board Game Arena with 2 players.

Played at BoardGameArena with 2 players.

Played at BoardGameArena with 2 players.

I'm surprised at the criticism of setup time for #Pulsar 2849, but maybe my folded space insert helps better than I realised. I guess debating the various goal / technology board to have in play would add to that time, but using the basic ones takes that decision away 7 likewise not playing with the individual player boards (I forget their name). 

The teach seems to go ok as well.

I very much do like the game, but will always acknowledge it's a euro point salad with a thinly pasted on theme.

#Insider intrigues me, as it feels like it would be super easy to teach "OK - do you know 20 questions?" ... "Right it's the same game, but secretly someone knows what the answer is, so you have to work out who it is that was asking the too useful questions". 

#Lords of Waterdeep with 5 of us, which felt odd having so few meeples. 
#6 nimmt! 25 Jahre which I'd not played before, but had seen it mentioned many times. We played twice, with much better understanding of tactics 2nd time round.
#Cockroach Poker also got played twice, and it always gets lots of laughter
#Codenames Not my favourite word game, and I'm much happier being a guesser than a clue giver. I saw a video for #Words of a Feather recently and reckon that would be much more to my tastes.

I did play once with 5, though not sticking rigidly to the 'leader' thing, instead trying to reach a concensus. I did feel one of them was losing attention span, so yes 5P was probably a little too ambitious. 

So...was I telling the truth when I said Valhalla just rounds the game out perfectly?  :)

Lots of plays this week!

Played at SHUX:

  • #Fantastic Factories: Quite enjoyed this one!  Sweet spot for time vs enjoyment.  
  • #Calico: Quite enjoyed it but I prefer #Cascadia
  • #Ready Set Bet: Betting games aren't really my thing.  This one was fine but definitely not one I would suggest playing.
  • #Insider x2: This was an interesting social deduction game.  It's not my favourite category of game (and I am also terrible at them.) but this one gave people enough guiidance and data to actually make the game work even if they aren't really in to it.  
  • #Pulsar 2849: I quite enjoyed this game!  However, my group indicated that the setup time was horrendous.  (I was lined up to meet and greet the SU&SD gang.)  I had thought they would have just started the game without me but apparently it took quite a long time to get it setup and do a rules review.  The whole pulsar and flipping dynamo thing is interesting and the tech and scoring is fun.  Lots of different way to get points but it didn't blow me away that much.
  • #Trick Shot: This is "#Blood Bowl - hockey edition".  We played through one period of play with quite a bit of back and forth.  I think the base game has a decent level of strategy but I would definitely be curious to play it again with all of the special powers etc.  
  • #Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage "Game": Ok, we only played some of this, we didn't have time for a full game.  I'm not a massive hidden movement fan but this one had some good ideas in it.  As another member of my group bought it I'll be looking forward to a future play!
  • #Ra: I have always been curious about this game and finally got to play it.  I really enjoyed it!  Auctions can be sometimes messy affairs, especially if you are new to the game, but with the limited bidding tiles and open information it gives it parameters around what you are doing which I enjoy.  I'm definitely going to pick this one up if I can find a used copy or if it gets a reprint.
  • #Village Rails: I picked it up and we played through most of a game the next day.  It is what I was hoping it would be.  A reasonably small game that has a good decision space and artwork/components I enjoy.
  • #PitchCar x2: They had some wild and crazy tracks setup and it gave me some awesome ideas for my own set. :)
  • #The Quacks of Quedlinburg: I haven't played this one in ages but I quite enjoyed my play of it at SHUX.  I seemed to "get it" better this time and did quite well winning the game. 

Don't have much time today to write, so here's a quick synopsis:

#Orléans - First time playing. Don't know if it's because it was taught very badly but I was not a fan. Took me a couple rounds before I figured out what I was even supposed to be doing but it was too late to catch up by then. Got last place.

#Blokus - Played with my lady friend and another person since she's not very experienced with board games. Surprisingly, she beat me which not many people have been able to achieve that honor in this game.

#Dixit - More simple games. She really liked this even though she came in last.

#For Sale - Last simple game before calling it a night. I don't think she was as engaged with this but at least she understood the rules. I won pretty easily.

#Scythe - Taught to 2 new players. I got Saxony so I knew I had to be aggressive. However, I was restricted by the fact that my player board had the "move" and "deploy mechs" on the same action so I wasted many turns trying to deploy them all while constantly underpowered during combat. I came in 4th place out of 5.

I'm not really a game designer but I do have a few creative activities I do. 

I'm lucky I don't do them for money because I also hit long dry spells where I just don't feel like doing something.  How to proceed really depends on what I am working on and why I have hit an impasse:

  • If I am just not feeling it right now I'll do a completely different creative activity and come back to it a bit later.  Take your mind off it to allow your subconscious to percolate on it.
  • Or it might just be that your idea is actually just not going to work.  That is also an excellent conclusion to come to.  Finding out what won't work is just as valuable as figuring out what will.  

Either way, don't beat your head against the wall unless you have a proven method to push through.

Ouch.  I have also had it happen a couple of times that I buy a game thinking it would be great and it just falls flat for me.  It's getting less and less but still happens now and then.

R0land's Rambling Reviews - SHUX 22! image
ReviewR0land's Rambling Reviews - SHUX 22!