Alma Mater board game

Alma Mater has players serving as a headmaster of one of the independent universities in the 15th century. Players seek to strengthen their school's reputation and standing. To achieve these goals, players need to recruit the best staff and students, exchange knowledge with other schools, and become experts in the school's four disciplines!



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I'm always seeing Coimbra listed on BGG under the "people also like" section of games I like, but it sounded kind of boring to me. Have you played #Alma Mater? I've looked into that as well as it's similar but seems less yawn inducing lol.

I've really enjoyed my two plays of #Alma Mater and it has me thinking of snatching up #Lorenzo il Magnifico but I've really been loving #Maracaibo and instead of being glad I skipped over #Great Western Trail to grab it it just makes me want to go grab GWT as well.

Bought #Patchwork for my mother for her birthday, taught it to her and promptly lost. She likes certain games and really doesn't like others so it's always nerve wracking bringing something to the table. Apart from only playing at 2 I still think it is one of the very best gateway games in existence.

Got in a four player game of #Mariposas. I was very concerned this game would be too light but we ordered it to support Elizabeth Hargrave. I was pleasantly surprised, action selection isn't a mechanism I particularly love, I feel like the only person on earth who thinks #Concordia is just an ok game, but this game surprised me. It is far from a heavy game but it does have a really cool decision space between trying to achieve goals, trying to collect sets for special abilities and trying to set yourself up to be able to make it back to the bottom of the board at the end of the game. It doesn't share much with #Wingspan but I do think it exists in a similar space of a game and theme that is appealing to non gamers and accessible but with interesting enough decisions for a heavier gamer. I was really pleasantly surprised by this one.

Played a two player game of #Everdell which is my wife's favorite, I like tableau builders but the mechanic in this game of going from feeling like you just don't have enough workers/actions to do anything to having a full city and resources and event cards etc is as good as any game, the snowball in this one when cards start comboing each other is great. Still looking for a house rule that better deals with the deck bloat and number of repeat cards but supposedly that will be addressed in the next expansion. It isn't my favorite game but one I always enjoy.

Played another two player game of #Pendulum on the advanced sides of the board. I really appreciate how unique this game is and what a puzzle it can be but, in my opinion, a change of pace from the typical decision making process I go through in a game. I really like this one as something different, still feeling out overall opinion on it. My big suprise has been that instead of the assymetric players giving some type of powerful advantage I find they all do a great job of disadvantaging different engine building methods and make you really puzzle around them. I really enjoyed that but do wonder if with more plays there will become a more prescribed way to play with each one and force a lot more intentional blocking amongst players as part of game strategy. 

Got in a first play of #Alma Mater which my wife was adament we get, she's a writer and wanted the book pieces even if the game didn't live up to its promise. I was concerned this would be a game that just wasn't particularly good at 2. While I still think it will shine at 3 the "dummy" player and deck were about as easy as it could get and made it an enjoyable game. The game worked much harder to be thematic than I expected and I really enjoyed every aspect of it but the research track, though i think that was my fault for not realizing that was something I'd want to mitigate with student pieces (they provide different engine building bonuses in the income phase of the game). The game has a variable market and real scarcity for both money and certain books and having a track that you need to move up to increase the value of your type of book but also being a MAJOR part of end game scoring that uses escalating amounts of already tight resources that allow you to perform the other actions in the game felt like an obstacle for the sake of an obstacle. I do think if you know this going in you can make decisions in the early game that make it less of an issue. 

We were able to see family and so played multiple games of #Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale and #Bang!: The Dice Game at 8 players. I am constantly looking for a game that is both accessible and has a great decision space at 8 players. Suggestions are always welcome!

Finally got in my first two plays of #Paladins of the West Kingdom. I haven't played #Architects of the West Kingdom but have played #Raiders of the North Sea and had heard so many good things about Paladins and was able to get a ding and dent copy and snatched it up. To me the decision space and game dynamics felt like a weird combination between #Orléans (colored worker spaces, workshops acting like tech tiles) and the track synergies of #Tapestry but a game I enjoy, so far, better than both. I had very little doubt this would be a game I would really enjoy but was surprised at how much. 

Haven't been able to play #Alma Mater yet, should get it in this week. I feel pretty confident the 2 player isn't going to be as good as more players since there is a variable market but I'm hoping that's a minor issue, seems like the "dummy" player is low maintenance. Like #Clans of Caledonia has a moving market and I don't think it hurts the two player game. 

My wife wasn't drawn to #Brass: Birmingham but loves it now that we've played it- her favorites are #Underwater Cities #Everdell #Agricola (Revised Edition) #The Castles of Burgundy #Wingspan #Tapestry. The card play and planning for the era change are things she really loves. I think it has a lot of things she likes in games that play more multiplayer solitare but with player interaction that isn't cruel. 

That's a lot of great games right there!

Which games are your wife's favorites? I'm hoping my wife would like Brass too so I'm wondering what sort of preferences she has.

Also, have you had a chance to play #Alma Mater yet?

Played a three player game of #Tapestry with a friend who wanted to try it for the first time. I don't think the game has a ton of variability after playing a few times but I still really enjoy it. 

Played a quick two player game of #Res Arcana which I hadn't played in quite awhile, for how quick it is I really like the decision space. 

 

Played two player #Wingspan with #Wingspan: European Expansion which is always a solid game, another one that is easy to pull off in short time period. 

 

On Saturday played three player games of #Pendulum #Scythe with #Scythe: Invaders from Afar and #Brass: Birmingham all at the choice of a friend who had come over. It was my first time with Pendulum and I really really love what it's trying to do with simultaneous play. I haven't had the chance to play on the advanced side of the board but I do think the added asymmetry will make it a really good game. From the perspective of game design there's so much to think about in terms of choices that were made. I wonder if the simplicity of it will hurt the replayability eventually, but at the same time while you are making decisions and thinking about timing I found myself very thankful that the decision space was simple enough that I didn't have to think too much about what things did. Scythe is always a favorite and I played with Albion live for the first time which was a fun experience. Brass: Birmingham is a game I really love but I really worried that it would be hard to get people to enjoy it, that hasn't proven to be the case. 

Finally on Sunday my wife wanted to play another game of #Brass: Birmingham it definitely seems like it's quickly becoming a favorite of hers which I didn't expect. That and Maracaibo are definitely the recent games we've played she has liked the most. 

We just picked up #Paladins of the West Kingdom #Mariposas and #Alma Mater so those should be on the docket in the coming week or two. 

How's #Coimbra? I looked into it when I was trying to decide between that and #The Voyages of Marco Polo. Ended up going for MP even though the overall presentation is sooooooo much nicer on Coimbra. Also, are you interested in #Alma Mater?

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