The picture this week is fairly simple. The poser has still not been answered so this weeks clue is last weeks picture clue, together with last weeks double clue it should not take you that long to reach the answer.
Last week was Kingsburg, well done to the several gamers who successfully identified that it was a crop of one of the buildings.
The warm up this week was eight player Tsuro a route laying game which I described last week. With eight players it was a lot of fun but I knew I was doomed when the player before me was choosing a tile for both our routes and in all likelihood I was to be sent off the edge of the board.
However luck was with me and I survived only to have my fate once again chosen by another player, cashing in another huge bucket of luck and against all odds the tile he played, no matter what orientation, allowed me to continue and I again survived to win. For a ten minute warm-up game Tsuro is perfect.
Table 1 took on Mysterium, this is not my type of game but it has received a lot of rave reviews and judging by the ghostly noises coming from that table everyone was enjoying the roleplay aspect. In short one player is a ghost whilst the other players act as mediums trying to guess the room, weapon and culprit of the ghosts’ murderer, information which only the ghost is privy to.
The player acting as the ghost assists the mediums by providing clues, the other players not only have a guess at what they believe may be the suspect but can also guess the truth of others players visions. In this way they hope through successful deductions to get to the truth. The players only have seven turns to deduce the truth, failure results in everyone losing the game and the ghost dissipating forever. This time it was not solved, only time will tell if the ghostly apparition making strange “whooo” noises at one end of the room has vanished forever or whether the fates will allow us to draw her forth again.
- “it was fun and compares favourably to the original.”
Table 2 played Jamaica, a race game where actions and movement are decided by cards played from a restricted hand of 3. Each card has 2 symbols on it one on either end which can be movement or collecting goods of various sorts, each round 2 dice are rolled and a player chooses which die will relate to which (left or right) symbol.
The cards are then auctioned in turn, to move to a space you need the right goods on your ship, failure to calculate correctly results in backwards movement, you may also attack other players if you land on their space, combat can be devastating with treasures stolen. It is a good race game but I think a second play is necessary to get to really see the scope of it, getting to grips with the rules is made unnecessarily complicated as the layout of them is in the form of a of a treasure map which thematically is very nice but for actually finding specific rules is an absolute nightmare.
I went for light games on table 3 and we started with Nations: The Dice Game. This simple dice and tile game has a lot of decision making for a light game and usually plays in about 30 minutes, for me it is an excellent game and is in my top 10 games of last year.
I covered this game last week, and from 2 weeks of playing it has received favourable comments.
- “I really enjoyed the Nations Dice Game and would like to play again.”
- “I think it's a neat little game, and am looking forward to the rumoured expansion.”
- “The "I wanna play it again " game for the night for me was Nations the Dice game.”
Next for us was Incan Gold probably the best push your luck game that there is, on a turn a card is turned over from a common deck which either will show a number of gems or a catastrophe. If gems they are shared out equally and the remainder go on the card, after this everyone chooses to either carry on or chicken out, those that flee split any gems left on the path equally then bank their loot, those that go on will get a bigger share of any gem cards revealed however should a second catastrophe card of the same type as already showing be revealed all those that chose to go on lose all they have collected that round. The game ends after 5 rounds.
This was followed by Family Business, this game has been around since 1982 and is still available in its latest edition. Players have a gang and then through the play of an action deck place contracts on other players gang members, the aimbeing to eliminate all the other players gangsters and be the last man standing.
Although an elimination game its mechanism is such that the game tends to finish quite quickly after a player is knocked out so there is not much hanging around and in fact usually results in that player egging the others to destroy the eliminator. This game also received favourable comments from those who played it and in this session we gave it two plays in a row.
- “For me, the best bit of the evening was Family Business - a short, simple, fun game that made me giggle.”
Table 1 had moved onto Tiny Epic Galaxies, a big game in a little box with the theme of space exploration. Although I have my own copy I do not know the rules yet so cannot say much about it here, however everyone seemed to enjoy the game.
- “I also enjoyed Tiny Epic Galaxies, it had a surprising amount depth for such a seemingly simple game.”
- “I really liked Tiny Epic Galaxies - nice streamlined ruleset, quick to learn, but a good amount of interesting decisions and depth, and some fun player interaction.”
Table 2 had moved on to Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King an auction game with tile tessellation. I like the mechanics of the game and especially the scoring system (explained some weeks ago in isle-of-skye-caverna-and-bang) however I do feel the catch-up mechanism of giving cash to the back markers although an equalizer in the early stages unbalances the game in the latter stages.
Those on table 2 all seemed to enjoy it and I heard no complaints, perhaps I need to give it more plays.
Our table had plenty of games left and the next one was Unexpected Treasures, a simple game of out-thinking your opponents. Each turn a number of items are laid on the table and players bid for how many items they want, then starting with the lowest bidder each takes a number of items equal to their bid, however if 2 people bid the same number only one of them can take items the loser gets priority on another turn. After collecting goods players can trade them in for victory point cards, mix in the ability to steal from people and you get a nice little game.
Staying light my table played Kleine Fische a very simple push your luck game where my luck ran out very quickly, my score across three rounds was less than that of the winners score in each of his three rounds.
The last game of the evening was Fluxx, I am never comfortable with games where I have little or no control and Fluxx is the ultimate in lack of control but this does not stop it being a fun game with a high chaos factor, my advice though is play it for the journey and not to win, that particular aspect is in the hands of fates, deities and everyone else.