Friday, 29 September 2017

Large But Possibly Not So Great Haul

Board Games Played This Week:

Celestia - Enjoyed this one a fair bit a month or so ago when we played, so couldn't resist the temptation to pull it out again with some different players.  New group, same result.  Success. Celestia has become my go to push your luck game.  Easy to teach, easy to play, looks great, has an amazing ship component that while not necessary really adds to the game, and it's a lot of fun!  There's a few little decisions and choices to be made, but its a game about luck so even when the dice and cards are stacked against you - nobody cares, it just adds to the fun!  If you like Incan Gold / Diamont then I'd highly suggest Celestia.  Similar games so possibly not worth owning both but even though I always push things too far and end up losing, with the fun I've had with Celestia I don't expect Incan Gold to be played for a little while.

Tales & Games: The Hare & The Tortoise - While this seems like a repeat of a night I had when first trying Celestia and The Hare & The Tortoise, I actually wasn't intending to play both again in the same night.  Like I said it was a new crew than before and I actually had Not Alone or Once Upon  A Time in the selection of games I brought along that I was hoping to give a go.  However this was voted on and so we followed the brilliant Celestia with The Hare & The Tortoise which basically had the same result as last time and fell a bit flat.  There's nothing wrong with the game, but at the same time aside from some good quality production and looking the part, there's not a lot that really stands out?  It's reasonably rated on BGG with a 7.2 and I get that its more of a kids game, but can't help but feel a bit of disappointment with this one.  It's getting close to one that might fade towards the bottom of the pile shortly if a third play through ends with the same results.

Hey, That's My Fish! - It's been in the collection for a little while, but I've only just gotten around to playing Hey, That's My Fish!  Aside from all the punctuation when typing the proper title, there's not really anything bad to say about 'Fish'.  I've read complaints about the set up which to be fair does take a little bit of time, but its an easy monotonous set up that can be done by a few people without thinking and fairly quick.  So personally I'd say while a bit fiddly, the set up isn't an issue at all.  Once the game is set up, your ready to out smart and trap your opponents in an effort to eat the most fish as possible!  Each move you make the ice (game board) shrinks, leaving you less options and less fish to eat.  It was described as 'the most chess-like game' we played that night, and there is a fair bit that goes into out playing your opponent, but it's done in a very simple manner and one that doesn't really matter too much if you make a wrong move.  You just use one of your other penguins and try and do the same back!  It's quick, fun, challenging and easy to play.  All the makes of a good game that can be played both with kids and adults alike.  In a way it's kinda more what I was hoping Tortoise to be..

Welcome To The Dungeon - Sometimes a second play or a different group can make a huge difference on a game.  Of course such was the case with this weeks play of Welcome To The Dungeon!  The first time I played this (maybe three months ago), I gotta admit I wasn't entirely fussed on it.  To be fair it was a two player game and this time was with three of us - but what a difference it was this week.  I really enjoyed this simple but strategic game of bluffing!  There's a delicate balance between sabotaging your opponents by making the dungeon impossible and giving the impression of a sabotage so you can venture into the dungeon and reap its reward.  It works really well and is such a simple but clever concept that I'm surprised I haven't actually played anything too similar before.  A quick game is a good game as it means you can often play another round or move onto another game, especially when that game is just a filler before or after the main event.  This game fills that spot almost perfectly other than the player elimination factor which might leave your opponents a little bored while waiting. What more can I say about Welcome To The Dungeon other than I look forward to playing it again and just hope I don't get eliminated first!

Dominion - Still the only deck builder I've played, although I did acquire a new one this week.  We played one round based on the 'Silver & Gold' set up and even though it seemed to last a lot longer than our other games - everyone was loving it.  For a game with only some basic interaction, there seemed to be a lot happening this time and there was a lot of laughing going on.  I didn't win, I didn't care. Dominion is slowly creeping up my list of favourite games and I haven't even ventured to the Intrigue expansion, which came with the game and I'm expecting will only add more fun and conundrums as I struggle to build the most epic deck!  Okay so in theory it's not that exciting, but in reality it works.  Will definitely be sharing the fun with more new players at any opportunity, and while it might not be the best game ever, Dominion has given me feelings of when I first started to play 7 Wonders.

Board Games Purchased This Week:

So there's a lot this week, but I'm not going to split it into multiple posts.  These were bought off Gumtree as a package.  I offered the seller $60 or 5$ / game for his lot of 12, knowing there would most likely be a fair amount of duds included but hoping for a gem or two.  I won't say much about these games as realistically I think I had only heard of one of them before..

The Witcher: Adventure Game - This is the one game I had definitely heard of, but realistically I don't even know what I heard about it other than the name seemed familiar.  Looks like a fantasy dungeon crawler type but I could be completely off on that. In typical Fantasty Flight fashion there are lots of little pieces, some nice artwork and mini's for the main characters which spice it up a little. Components wise this looks to be the bargain of the bunch and I expect I'll eventually at least give this game a go.

Guatemala Café - A game about coffee.  I don't drink coffee.  Rio Grande Games, a bit older.. could be okay but I'm not entirely convinced.  Lots of pieces and a fair bit of wood for an older game. Components remind me a little of Catan. Not in much of a rush to play this one.

Hellas - A two player game from Kosmos and Rio Grande Games, I do enjoy a good game for two and I've been told this one is actually OK.  Bit of a war theme, components are a mixed bag.  The little soldiers and viking ships look decent but the art work on the lacks is pretty ordinary!  Reckon this one will get played.

Mammut - Queen games, interesting cover featuring a wooly mammoth that immediately makes me think an ice age/cave man theme.  Nothing stands out in the components but they all look sufficient. Comes with a colourful little bag that holds all the animal tiles, but that could be a home made one that I've acquired.  If the game is terrible I'll take the bag and add it to another game.  Mammut looks to be one that I reckon I could easily get others to at least try.  Hopefully its not a failure when we do.

Maharani - Not sure how to pronounce that but the box art is giving me Indian vibes.  Another one from Queen games, this one has a fair few tiles and generic wooden pieces and colors.  Nothing stands out but again it looks like one I'm sure I could convince others to try.  If these all turn out to be average at best my credibility of bringing a game to the table could be ruined.  Like the look of this enough to try it and it seems simpler.  So far in terms of which games I'll most likely play first I'm ranking them: Hellas, Mammut, Maharani, The Witcher (only cause it looks like a long one) and Guatemala Café.

Loch Ness - Bright, colourful and fun artwork might actually put this at the top of the to play list with these new games.  Minimal components which gives the impression of a simpler game, this is another one from Rio Grande Games and features a cool Loch Ness monster meeple.  I'd be surprised if I haven't had a chance to try this one by the end of the year.

Epic Spell Wars Of The Battle Wizards Duel At Mt Skullzfyre - Terrible name so I won't bother typing it again.  Epic Spell Wars appears to be more of a comical game then a serious one and by the looks of it the original owner might have gotten it as a gift.  Its actually completely brand new with the card board not punched and the cards still sealed.  I'll be honest, the cover art doesn't really appear to me.  Most likely way off on this but first impressions are giving me a Munchkin vibe - think I rate this just about Guatemala Café in terms of games I'm looking forward to playing.

Aton - Generic cover art with generic pieces, this older Queen Games release doesn't seem to have anything special going for it.  Hopefully it's really fun because at the moment I'd rather play Guatemala Café making this the game I'm least excited to try.  A few classics age well, this is definitely not one of them.

Bomb Squad Academy - From TMG Bomb Squad Academy is definitely a game I'll try based on a few things.  It's small, quick to play and bomb games often make for good tension.  Fuse and Boom-o come to mind and this looks to be a bit of a mix between the two which could be a bit of fun for a little filler game.  Reckon this might be at the top of the list now.

Cold War CIA vs KGB - Featuring the most worn box out of the games that I purchased - this could mean that it's a good game or so bad it was often neglected with care.  It's a Fantasy Flight game without a huge box, huge rule book and no mini's at all.  I'm going to say this falls into the former and could be a sleeper hit out of the twelve I just bought.  2 player, America vs Russia, stakes are high and hopefully so is the tension and decisions.  Really want to give this one a go but not everyone likes a more modern war theme so I'm not sure how I'll go finding someone to play it with me.  Might investigate this one further on BGG and if the reviews are solid, I'll force it on someone.

Pack Of Heroes - Small box, comic book style art and cards that are mostly black and white.  Looks like a two player game that started with a good idea but wasn't unique enough to make an impact on the board game world.  Not really that fussed on this one even though it falls into some of the categories that should in theory make it easy for me to find a willing opponent.  Still not on the bottom of the to be played pile.

Pixel Glory - My first thought when seeing this was Boss Monster.  A fun and niche game but nothing mind blowing.  What has me more intrigued is that the box says 'A fast-paced deck-building game'.  With how much I've been loving Dominion, I'm pretty hopeful this could be good as well.  Its brand new and never been played which could be a bad sign - but often board gamers can end up with a large pile of shame so it was nice for this owner to pass them on cheaply.  Unfortunately for these games they've been passed onto someone who already has a gigantic pile of unplayed games and some will be relegated there.  Pixel Glory looks to be one that will finally be opened.. but not for a while.  I'm still enjoying Dominion too much to venture into a new deck builder!

And that's a wrap.  12 board games that I basically knew nothing about and wasn't interested in until a 5$ bargain came along.  Time will tell if it was a worthy investment or a waste of money - that mostly depends on whether I actually play this or not.  I'm hoping I get to try some of them, but with so many good unplayed games sitting on the shelf it will remain a mystery for now.