The quiz picture this time is of a new game that I found out about just before last years Essen, it was on my wants list for 9 months before I got hold of a copy a few weeks ago.
The last quiz picture was correctly guessed as Duck Duck Go which has similarities to Roborally but with less control and no lasers but you do get to play with a plethora of different rubber ducks and it has a nice fun element which RR lacks, I have about 25 ducks some of which were plain yellow ducks which we painted ourselves.
Due to Summer holidays I have missed the whole of August so I apologise to my regular readers and give you what we have played here together with a couple of mini reviews, First off though a full list of games :-
Round House is a resource management game, based on large clan houses in the Mountains of China players move one of 2 pawns clockwise round the board which consists of 2 circles of rooms with steps in some places linking the two circles. The rooms are placed at random at the beginning of the game so each game can have a different layout. The pawns can move up to 3 spaces and leapfrog other players pawns on the board so can circuit quite quickly in a 4 player game, however as each player has 2 pawns it is possible for a space to be locked out for some time due to another player just sitting on it. With the actions players may collect cards, money, goods, they may be called on to spend money on actions, they may place helpers adjacent to an inner circle room or they may go trading.
The trading action allows players to place a family counter in one of four villages whilst helpers on inner circle spaces allow you to double up on an action when you land there. The importance of occupying villages is realised when one of your pawns completes a circuit at this point you may empty a village of your counters and place them on a grid to collect victory points an in-game bonuses, the game ends when a set number of these scorings has taken place based on the number of players. Having played it twice I have been impressed by how balanced the game is there are many ways to collect points and none seem any more powerful than the others, I was reminded of a Michael Schacht game in that there were many things you could do and there were lots of actions to take to build up to a point gathering action however it is no copy and stands on its own as a lovely game.
Flamme Rouge is a cycling game and according to those who have experience of cycling accurately reflects the sport. The game consists of a number of linked track pieces each 2 spaces wide connected together to form a set course and a race is completed from one end to the other. Each player gets two cyclists and a deck of cards for each of them the two decks differ slightly for the sprinter and the climber.
On a turn you choose one of your cyclists and select a card from a hand of 4, the remaining 3 cards are placed at the bottom of the deck then you do the same for your other cyclist. Once everyone has selected their cards they are revealed and movement completed for each cyclist starting with the race leader.
Pieces can move through other cyclists but not stop on the same space and after movement has been completed slipstreaming occurs starting from the back group/cyclist, provided they are no more than 1 clear space behind the cyclist in front, they catch up then the gap is checked with the next group and so on until all groups have been checked for slipstreaming, the cyclists which are leading each group get a penalty move 2 card which is added to the bottom of their deck (headwind) which effectively become deck cloggers but can be used on hills, added problems are caused by up-hills where no slipstreaming can occur and any points over 5 on a card are lost if any part of the move is on an uphill slope, there is a bonus on down hills in that any card provides a minimum movement of 5.
Overall it is a pleasant game but not one I would choose to play, for me it is too pedestrian and requires minimal thought each turn however I am told by those that love the game that it is a lot deeper planning the race is important, I just do not see it myself but there are games I adore that others do not see the point of, it is all a matter of personal taste.