New to Me – July 2022

July was a good month.

When you have the entire month of July off of work as vacation, it’s a glorious month!

It was sadly not a month for writing, which I apologize for to anybody who’s been anxiously awaiting the chance to read my writing (Hi, Bob!).

Since a lot of my game-playing after the COVID lockdowns has been on lunch at work, that does hamper the game playing though!

Even more so when I had to skip one of our weekly game meetings and another one was just one (long!) game.

But it was still a great month.

The highlight was seeing David Gray in concert.

Man, what a singer, and an even better performer. Probably the best concert I’ve seen.

If you want to see him in action from that concert, check out this video.

Anyway, as I was saying, not many games were played, and only two games that were new to me.

The Cult of the New to Me was kind of indifferent to that, even though they were from 2020 and 2021.

I guess they were feeling mellow too.

August looks to be a lot more active, so hopefully next month’s post will be longer!

So without further ado (all of my ado was eaten by a salmon living in the grasslands anyway), let’s begin!

Read More

Do We Really Care That You’re Not Buying a Game?

I was looking at Boardgame Geek today after coming home from running some errands (I highly recommend taking a month off of work if you have enough vacation days for it).

I saw the news post about the new game coming from Czech Games Edition, Deal With the Devil (from designer Matúš Kotry).

This post isn’t about the game, however, though it does sound kind of cool, but it is for exactly four players…so maybe not as cool for me.

No, this post was prompted by a couple of the comments in the news article about it.

Read More

Storm Above the Reich – After Action Report – Mission #20

Only a few missions into my “Late 43” season of Storm Above the Reich, things seem to be going swimmingly. I’ve been able to use various experience points to make sure the missions are in a positive frame of mind for me, and that’s been good!

But what happens when I decide not to make it a perfect scenario for me?

With Mission #20, I decided to experiment a little bit.

I’m still not going to try some new auxiliary fighters who are even more bullet magnets than the Ju-88s! But I thought I would try to save EPs and just take the mission as it came (though still spending them to make sure no Escorts were hovering around).

Would that help or hinder my victory points?

I’m currently at 28 VP (40 VP to “not lose” and 60 VP to win) and there are still 6 missions after this current one, so let’s see what happens!

It’s been so long since I played this one, we’ll have to see what happens together.

Because I don’t know!

Still no rockets or anything else like that which is new to the Late 43 season (though spoiler alert, Mission #21 has some of that!). Basically I’m just keeping on keeping on, and we’ll see where that lands us.

Let’s see what ends up happening!

Read More

Online Communities and People Passing

Today was a rough day for me, even though I’m on vacation and it’s been a wonderful couple of weeks (and still a couple of weeks left before going back to the Pit of Fun).

As you know, I’m a member of the Combat Commander ladder tournament, the monthly game of Combat Commander where we play monthly online against an opponent via Vassal and we’re all ranked based on our win-loss percentage and all of that.

All of us ladder participants (or many of us, anyway), have formed a community on the ladder Discord channel, where you can post rules questions, just chat about various things, or maybe even look for a game against somebody because you want to experience as much Combat Commander as you can.

A major part of that community died this week. John McLintock, an avid Combat Commander player who had weekly games going against multiple people on the ladder (and probably others as well), died Tuesday night or Wednesday morning (a ladder member played him Tuesday morning and he missed the scheduled Wednesday game with another ladder participant).

He is such a great loss to the community. He was always helping with rules questions, just chatting about the game in general, and always a positive force in the community.

He will be greatly missed.

What’s amazing is how all of this happened and became known.

I didn’t know John that well, so I can’t really do much of a eulogy for him.

I loved watching his videos with Patrick Pence (leader of the Combat Commander ladder group) and my limited interactions with him within the Discord group were always friendly, but I didn’t know him like some other ladder members did. I never played a game with him and I never chatted with him one on one.

He was a force on the ladder as well as a wonderful advocate for Combat Commander in general.

But this brings to mind something that I’ve thought about often.

And that’s about online communities and what happens when death becomes involved.

Read More

Review – Jump Drive

Are you in need of a really cool, super-fast game that can be played almost between ordering your food and it actually arriving?

Have I got the game for you!

Jump Drive is like a combination of designer Tom Lehmann’s Race for the Galaxy and his The City.

How do you get a combination like that?

Well, when two games really like each other…

Whoops, sorry. Childhood flashbacks.

What I meant to say is that Jump Drive is basically The City using some Race for the Galaxy iconography and a couple of the mechanics from that game as well.

It all gels into a fast-playing mix that really satisfies the senses.

Jump Drive was designed by Lehmann with artwork by Martin Hoffmann, Claus Stephan, Mirko Suzuki and Jens Wiese. It was published by Rio Grande Games in 2017.

How does it play?

Let’s take a look.

Read More

My Year in Gaming – So Far

Just a fun little Sunday night post to share with you my year in gaming so far.

Little surprise that Jump Drive is #1 as it’s such a quick game. I even have a review of it posting tomorrow!

The large number of Space Base games is mainly due to the two Saga expansions (Shy Pluto and Terra Proxima) that we’ve been working through at work on lunch breaks.

I’m particularly proud of getting Clank in Space and Ark Nova to the table 4 times this year, though. Ark Nova is such an amazing game.

Storm Above the Reich is also no surprise given my ongoing campaign. The Mission #20 post should go up this week if everything works out.

So how has your year been so far? I already no Clio’s but what about the rest of you?

I hope your Summer is going well and you’re getting everything you want out of it.

And thanks to the wonderful Boardgame Stats app for letting me share this picture!

Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario #14 – At the Crossroads

After losing my first anniversary Combat Commander ladder game last month, I was really hoping that July’s scenario would go well for me.

I was perilously close to reaching .500 level in my Win-Loss ratio, so that was another consideration for this month!

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the ladder tournament for Combat Commander run by the glorious Patrick Pence of Patrick’s Tactics & Tutorials fame. I joined the Ladder in May 2021 so this is the second July that I’ve played.

This month’s scenario is #14 At the Crossroads from the Combat Commander: Mediterranean expansion. This scenario takes place in 1939 with some surrounded Polish troops trying to break out through the German ring to get back to the Polish lines.

Thus, the Poles are the attackers and the Germans are the defenders.

My opponent was Marc W and he was the Poles (light blue) against my German (grey) defenders.

(Reminder that you can click on all images to make them larger)

Read More

New to Me – June 2022

June 2022 was a weird month.

For the most part, things are going ok, especially compared to last year.

But there are so many bad things going on the world that it’s still really stressful.

Plus, I’m on vacation the entire month of July (Yay!) and things at work have been very hectic (boo!), so it was almost like I was trying to drag myself over the finish line to get to vacation.

But as for games, there were a lot of games played!

And plenty of new to me games. We have a grand total of 5, and there probably could have been more if I had wanted there to be.

Instead, though, I spent the final Sunday of the month playing two games that I love and that I haven’t played for years!

I really love Prodigals Club, so much so that it’s still on my Top 25 even though I haven’t played it in 4 years.

Until this month!

I will have to do a review of that game soon, now that I have a fresh play of it.

That was definitely a fun day.

Another definition of a fun day is that the Cult of the New to Me actually gave me some compliments!

That’s because two of the five new to me games I played this month are from 2016 or earlier.

That’s the exact opposite of the New to Me folks who must play the new hotness instead of revisiting very cool old stuff!

I have a 2016 game and a 2000 game.

They are content.

Of course, that could be because I sprung for a bunch of KFC hot wings for lunch multiple times this month.

Mmmmmm they are so good.

(I know that this picture won’t get me the same amount of hits as chocolate chip cookies, but I’m not that kind of blogger anyway)

Anyway, without further ado (all of my ado was eaten by a sand worm anyway), let’s begin!

Read More

Expansion Review – Architects of the West Kingdom – Works of Wonder

Architects of the West Kingdom has a well-deserved place in my Top 5 games of all time.

It is an amazing worker placement game with cool mechanics that keeps me coming back for more.

It was published back in 2018 by Garphill Games and Renegade Game Studios.

The first expansion, Age of Artisans, just made the game that much better without adding too much rules overhead. While it did add a couple of things (the Artisan worker and Craft cards), it more enhanced the game than added to it.

Now there’s a second (and final) expansion out, called Works of Wonder. This was published in 2022.

In this expansion, players are doing the normal Architecty things (Editor – “Look, Mom! I made up a word!“), but you also have a few other things to consider.

This is another expansion that adds more interesting stuff to the game and more options to consider.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Let’s take a look and see how it works.

Read More

Clank! Catacombs Announced for Fall 2022

Regular readers (Hi, Bob!) know that I’m a huge Clank in Space (sorry, my exclamation mark key is broken) fan.

I haven’t had much chance to play the original fantasy Clank!, but I know that it’s a well-regarded game.

However, yesterday’s news was totally unexpected (Editor – “Maybe that’s because they keep you out of the loop”).

There’s a new standalone Clank game coming out this year!

Clank! Catacombs is a standalone deckbuilding adventure game that has something completely unique to the Clank universe: tile-laying. It will be released in 2022 by Dire Wolf Digital. It’s designed by Paul Dennen (of course) and has art by Clay Brooks, Anika Burrell, Nate Storm, Dan Taylor (II).

There’s not a lot of information about the game, but the tile-laying bit is intriguing.

From the BGG blurb:

“The catacombs of the skeletal dragon Umbrok Vessna are mysterious and dangerous. Portals transport you all around the dungeon depths. Wayshrines offer vast riches to intrepid explorers. Prisoners are counting on you to free them. Ghosts, once disturbed, may haunt you to death. Despite all that, it’s time to leave the board behind with Clank! Catacombs, a standalone deck-building adventure.”

Yes, that’s right.

There is no board!

Or, shall we say, you are creating the board as you play.

While the description says that players will be creating the board through tile-laying, there is no further information on that.

However, you can use the unique new dungeon deck of cards or use cards from previous Clank expansions.

Not the base game?

I will be following this one to see what happens. I might even be intrigued enough to pick it up.

We’ll see!

Here’s the official trailer for it.

Looks cool! The trailer shows a few cards and some of the tiles.

What do you think of all this? Are you excited? Are you bored?

Are you sneezy?

Let me know in the comments.