Samara, Deep Sea Adventure and Game of Thrones

The mystery photo this week is an old one from my collection and shows some of the landscape pieces used.

The mystery photo last time was Thunderbirds  from the Matt Leacock game released last month. An excellent co-operation game I cannot wait for the expansions due out at Christmas.

Apologies but this will be a more succinct report than usual as I am running out of time due to a full (and fun) weekend. The warm-up game was Rhino Hero which has been previously described however we must be getting better because the towers are getting higher as the photo shows.

Table 1 played Compounded  a game about chemical compounds, the idea is to collect compound cards (victory points) by placing elements on them, although described as a trading game I think of it more as a resource management game.

 Some of the compounds in play

Some of the compounds in play

 A player board

A player board

Each round you draw element tokens from a bag which you may trade with others, in my experience (half a dozen games) very little trading goes on and it is more who makes the best from the elements (resources) they obtain. It is a lovely game, well balanced and I feel a little under-rated on the geek. A comment given by one of the players indicates the depth it may have :-

  • I need to play Compounded again. I didn't feel like I explored it enough.

My table played Samara one of my Essen purchases by Corne van Moorsel one of my favourite self-publishers from Holland under the Cwali label, probably best known for Powerboats. The idea of the game is to accumulate victory points by taking building tiles from a board, this is done by moving workers singly or as a group to space on a moving conveyer belt, you can then take anything from that column, the purchase price (in people-power) being the row the tile comes from.

 The time conveyer

The time conveyer

The conveyer belt is a time mechanism which moves so that the pieces at the back become the present, you can obtain more workers by moving a female piece to the end of the time board which at worst is 11 months after conveyer movement and at best 6 months when the conveyer is about to move; there are a few specialist buildings which add the odd twist as well.

 A sample of the buildings in Samara

A sample of the buildings in Samara

The base game plays nicely but lacks a little something however the first expansion which provides game end goals and more specialist buildings makes for a much more interesting game. I enjoyed playing it and hope to replay it at the club soon. One player commented :-

  • Was surprised by how much I enjoyed Samara despite Kevin's regular birthings...a nice light game where the moves can be quite satisfying once you get your head around the shifting board.

Table 3 played BANG! The Dice Game, they played it four player and although it worked I do feel this game plays best with 6 or more players.

My table moved on to Nations: The Dice Game which again was well received and is certainly in my top 20 games from 2014, I have described its play in previous Blogs. Seen by some as a dice collecting game it is only one of the strategies that you can go for, I think a lot depends on what tiles are drawn for each round and even 4 player where the choice is maximised you have to be flexible to what is available and if you spend your turn collecting dice tiles there will be nothing left to buy with all your new dice. The picture below shows the score at the games end, mine is the yellow dobber. Another commented :-

  • Nations dice game was better than my last attempt, but it still feels a bit like a game where if you fail to pick up extra dice in earlier rounds due to turn order, it's very difficult to really challenge for the win. Still fun though, and I find it hard to predict the winner.
  I was yellow before final scoring I was way behind on just 2 points.

 I was yellow before final scoring I was way behind on just 2 points.

Table 3 moved on to A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition), I know nothing about this game but I have seen the TV series. Those playing the game were quite engrossed and it seems a quite in depth game however with a playing time of several hours it was destined never to finish at the club, all seemed to enjoy it even though it was not completed.

 A Game of Thrones Game - board

A Game of Thrones Game - board

Table 1 had moved on to Deep Sea Adventure, this is currently on my Essen “to buy” list but I have not found it available anywhere, even worse I still have not played it. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and the prospect of making me play, something about having to hold my breath which everyone felt would be good for me. Others commented :-

  • Game of the night for me was Deep Sea Adventure. "Push-your-luck" + tiny box + modular/artistic tile/board = fun and interesting night.

There was a bit of amalgamating at this point to play A Fake Artist Goes to New York this is more a party game than a board game and one I highly recommend, probably best with 6 or more players the game will take up to 10 players. One player from a broad subject chooses an item then writes the item on separate pieces of “dry wipe” board, however on one piece he just writes an “X”, these are then handed to different players then in turn a blank sheet passes along the player and each player puts 1 line onto the sheet in their coloured pen.

 Snowman (ish)

Snowman (ish)

 This is NOT an Anteater

This is NOT an Anteater

Jointly the players are all trying to draw the same picture, the player with the “X2 though is working in the dark and tries to guess what they are jointly drawing. After the sheet has done 2 laps everyone tries to guess who they think is the “Fake Artist”. It was very enjoyable and a game that will be making an appearance at family gatherings at Christmas. Comment given :-

  • May have to pick up A Fake Artist has a bit of fun for Christmas gatherings, as I think the drawing element would only be improved by several more drinks than I can have on a Wednesday night....

As Halloween was near I had brought Nacht der Magier this is a play in the dark game and has luminous pieces. The board is a raised platform with a glowing ring in the middle, this is covered by a large cardboard disc upon which a glowing fire is placed, around this piece are placed some cauldrons each with a glowing emblem then around these a large number of wooden discs and trees are placed so that the rest of the board is filled.

 Lights on, lightening has won

Lights on, lightening has won

The lights are turned off and each player in turn moves their playing piece with a glowing symbol against the wooden discs, play is from the edge of the board and the aim is to get one of your cauldrons into the ring, your turn ends when you hear a piece fall from the platform.

 Lights on and the moon symbol has won

Lights on and the moon symbol has won