Saturday, 26 August 2017

Going Back In T.I.M.E

Board Games Played This Week:

Time Stories: A Prophecy Of Dragons - This week our group decided to go back to T.I.M.E Stories for another quest.  It wasn't that we didn't enjoy Asylum or the Marcy Case - truthfully we had a really good time with them over the 6-7 weeks we spent playing.  However in the interest of not wearing the game out, we had a break and decided it was a good time to travel through time and discover the dragons or the prophecy of them anyway.  Our first play through started with a quick brush up on the rules and then we were off again right where we left.  Only this scenario felt a lot more like an rpg!  Magic, money, new weapons, armor, spells, potions, stealing and some basic role playing elements largely replaced the traditional things like puzzles and story.  Yes there's a bit of both of those in Dragons, but mostly it felt like an adventure.  Whether that's a good thing or not is crowd dependant - but our group had an excellent first run through and are eagerly awaiting our repeat visit because of course we let Bob down again.

Rhino Hero - Had a few friends with younger kids over (around 10-12 years old) so figured Rhino Hero might be a good place to start.  It's simple and mindless but not only did they enjoy themselves, I found myself having a good time as well building up our tower for our rhino hero to climb.  While they were happy to go back for a third game I decided to mix it up with a new game.

Tales & Games: The Hare & The Tortoise - Bit of a long title on this one but its nicely presented in a book like fashion.  Based on the classic tale, this racing game mimics the story we know so well but includes some other animal friends for what is deemed the 'rematch' between the hare and the tortoise.  All players will hedge their bets at the start of the game and play cards to try hinder the other racers while sneaking theirs across the finish line to glory.  We played twice and  I gotta admit I was a little underwhelmed.  I realize its a kids game, but with Camel Up already in the library as another racing/gambling game I'm not sure both are needed.  Both games score points for style and presentation but I feel Camel Up is the better of the two with just a little bit more going for it in what you can actually do each turn.  As charming as it is, I'm not sure I'll be rushing to get this back to the table in a hurry.

Guillotine - An older classic that I hadn't played in a fair while, Guillotine is a simple, fun and luck based card game that at least makes you feel like you can somewhat control your destiny.  Still on the same night with the younger kids, this one didn't seem to work out as well as the others.  It was okay, but likely better left for a casual crowd of gamers just that little bit older.  Just the one game of this and we were ready to move on.  Oh and I came dead last.

Celestia - Another new game, in hindsight I should have learnt the game before the night rather than learning in a quick 5 minute break.  Luckily it was easy to learn and play while the others built the flying ship - also known as one of the coolest unnecessary components.  The ship is brilliant and somehow adds to the game even though it could easily be played without it. This is just a 'push your luck' but with tight mechanics and a really well presented production.  Celestia looks great and helps create some atmosphere with bright visuals as you fly around looking for floating Islands with treasure.  After only one play, I'm just about ready to take the crown off Incan Gold for best push your luck game to now give that honor to Celestia.  It's nothing amazing, but it ticks all the right boxes and is certain to please any fans of casual board games and fillers.

Timeline: Music & Cinema - One of the lowest reviewed editions of the timeline series, Music & Cinema was a complete impulse buy but one that I was actually happy with.  First it was on special and that always helps, but its actually one where I know or recognize most of the cards.  Sure a lot of the dates are guesses, but it makes the game a little more fun when you see a card and immediately try stretch your brain for the answer rather then using logic like I have on most of the other editions.  The only problem with this edition is that most of the cards are from the last 50 years.  Even still I enjoyed it a lot more than the science edition.

Board Games Purchased This Week:

A few this week so I've decided to split them again.  Post 1 will mostly cover the ones I've already played.

Tales & Games: The Hare & The Tortoise - If you read above you already know that while the Hare and the Tortoise is perfectly playable, It's realistically one that if I had played first I would have skipped.  It's too similar to Camel Up for my personal tastes, but there might still be something here for others.  First the rules and balancing of the racers is done in a clever way.  There's some neat tricks you can do to prevent other racers from advancing but utilizing things like the wolves howl or the fact that if the hare is leading and 4 hare cards are played, the hare doesn't advance.  These little nuances do create a bit of tension and investment, but overall aside from the production values (which in some ways was higher than I was expecting) I did come away a bit disappointed with this purchase after my first two plays.  I bought this as a lighter game that would be suitable when playing with younger kids, but found myself a bit bored while actually playing.  Plenty of other games in the library that I can enjoy while playing with younger ones and with space becoming almost a bigger commodity than funds - at this point I'm not sure the Hare is staying long enough to win the race.

Timeline Challenge - I've been surprised by the Timeline series.  Small, so easy to play and yet rewarding it expounds upon your knowledge of events, dates and important times from our history.  It's been a bit of a treat playing through the different editions, yet somehow I didn't even realize they had made a proper board game in the same vein as the Timeline games.  After reading a couple reviews that praised this as the best way to play Timeline, and of course as with all the editions, the fact that these can be combined with any of the other cards had me sold.  It went straight to the top of my must buy list and as soon as I had decided to make an order, Timeline Challenge was in my online shopping cart.  Haven't played it yet, but even just reading the rules has me convinced it was an excellent buy that should see a bit of table time shortly.

Timeline: Music & Cinema - I bought this just because I knew I was already getting the Challenge version of this game and figured more cards wouldn't hurt.  For some reason this could be the least popular edition of the game, yet it's the one I know the most about.  There's a lot of similar years, leading me to think it might not combine so well with Challenge, but I've had enough fun with it already to warrant it sitting nicely in the library.

Castles Of Burgundy: The Card Game - I have never played Castles of Burgundy. The box, art and theme does nothing to appeal to me.  The masses of board gamers who claim its one of the best games if not their favorite game of all time are the thing that keeps me debating whether to make the plunge and get it.  I'm sure I'd like it as everyone else does, but will I be able to get a basic looking game to the table easily?  That's the challenge that after thinking about often causes me to hit the 'delete' from shopping list button.  Along comes the card game edition of this classic which I found at a FLGS for a bargain price of $25.  I'm comfortable paying that much knowing it may never come out of it's box, but am hoping it eventually not only makes it out, but gains enough interest with our group that I realize I actually have to have the original edition.  That's the theory anyway, watch this space to see if it works out..

More to follow next week (so much for slowing down on the purchasing.. the struggle is real)
 for a hint just look at the picture