Days of Ire: Budapest 1956 and Yamatai

The quiz picture this time is a favourite of mine played 2-player, the artwork on the cards is very nice and the game mechanics mesh well together.

Last time the picture was of the box of Planetarium, played at the club this week.

Last week we played the following games at the club.

 Planetarium at game-start. The lines show permitted paths of movement. The iconography can catch people out in their first game, after that it all becomes second nature.

Planetarium at game-start. The lines show permitted paths of movement. The iconography can catch people out in their first game, after that it all becomes second nature.

 End of a game of Battle Sheep Red suffered badly by being double teamed early in the game, you can even see some of the sheep crying.

End of a game of Battle Sheep Red suffered badly by being double teamed early in the game, you can even see some of the sheep crying.

 Some sort of chart in Santo Domingo

Some sort of chart in Santo Domingo

 Die Holde Isolde - looks like a 2-player game

Die Holde Isolde - looks like a 2-player game

Saturday 3rd June 2017 we are holding a special club day at the Style and Winch which gives us a chance to revisit some of our favourites which do not get a look in because of all the new releases. There will also be some of the more fun/party style games available along with some short “gateway” games available if people want to come and try us out, there will no doubt be the odd long game for the hardened gamer too.

The Eurovision Song Contest ate up all my time this week so no actual review just some brief thoughts on Days of Ire: Budapest 1956. This is a historical co-operative game with either a fully co-operative mode or a “conflict” mode where one player represents the Russian side and the others co-operate against them. Playing one of the revolutionaries I found the game a little dull mainly because of the amount of downtime between turns, the Russian player in contrast has quite an exciting time, a round of the game consists of the Russian player playing a number of cards which have effects on the game and gives them action points to then spend on various actions (bringing on more troops, moving, attacking), then the revolutionaries split 4 actions evenly between them, then the Russian player then gets more actions this time with local government forces. So it appeared to me that in a 4 player game the Russian player gets about 8-10 actions whereas the other players get 1 or 2 actions, this was highly disproportionate and I got the impression that it would play a lot better as a 2-player game (I have no idea how the fully co-operative version works).

 The photos on the board are locations in Budapest, the red lines depict routes, the standees are the revolutionary players, green are revolutionist characters and the brown pieces are SPA forces.

The photos on the board are locations in Budapest, the red lines depict routes, the standees are the revolutionary players, green are revolutionist characters and the brown pieces are SPA forces.

On the upside this is a very atmospheric game crammed with information about the actual event, we barely scratched the surface of how the game played, some of the cards interact with one another so knowledge of the cards in the headline deck (which is stacked for various events) would be very useful for both sides. The two sides in the conflict seemed well balanced and I am sure with repeated plays hidden depths would be revealed however it is unlikely I would be willing to play the conflict version 4 player again.

 Yamatai game set up

Yamatai game set up

BQ gives us a brief insight into Yamataï.  I enjoyed "Yamatai" rather a lot - whilst it had a minor echo of some of Bruno Cathala's other designs such as "Abyss" or Five Tribes" - in that you could recruit characters with a special power, similar to the Lords in "Abyss" or the "Djinns" in Five Tribes - the core of the game was pretty different from either of those games, using strategic placement to create chains of boats through the islands shown on the board, in order to open up opportunities to place buildings on the islands, and acquire the aforementioned characters (called "Specialists").

 Yamatai later in the game

Yamatai later in the game

The key mechanism was the use of the "Fleet Tiles", which are chosen by each player at the start of each round, and simultaneously determine player order for the following round, confer a boat or two, and give a unique ability to be used during that round only (such as moving a boat from one spot to another, or giving a discount on building costs). As with Kent's experience of "Days of Ire", I felt like I'd only scratched the surface of the interactions between the various elements, so it's one I'd like to play again soon...  

 Yamatai even later in the game

Yamatai even later in the game