It was another great month for “new to me” games in April. I played a total of six new ones, and not a bad one in the bunch.
I always enjoy playing new games, but I’m not in the “Cult of the New,” as I don’t care when they came out. I just want the new experience.
That being said, I did get one from 2017 in right at the buzzer on April 30!
I’ll start with my top game, though, as it’s quickly moved into my Top 10 favourite game.
Designer: Sébastien Dujardin
Artists: Maëva da Silva, Christine Deschamps, Paul Laffond, Maëva Dasilva, Ian Parovel
(Edit – 12/20/19: The review is up!)
I received Deus in a math trade this past March, and I’ve been desperate to get it to the table. I did twice this month, and then I’ve played a few games online at Boiteajeux as well.
Wow, I can’t believe how much I love this game. I love the interplay of cards and area control on the board, how it is helpful to spread out because you do need space, but it’s so helpful to also concentrate multiple buildings in the same regions to get huge amounts of gold and/or points depending on the buildings you’ve built.
What cards do you have? What cards can you draw? Do you have the perfect card to set off a combo but oh no…you don’t have any more of that type of building and you need to somehow get one! Whew! You have Military card that you can discard (along with some other useless cards) to get some more buildings.
I just love this game to death and it’s not getting old no matter how much I play it online. I do hope to keep getting it to the table as well.
Best, though, is that it scales so well. Two-player games just have a smaller board with fewer barbarian villages and fewer temples to build in order to trigger the end-game, but you have all of the same strategies in place.
Designers: Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, Andrew Veen
Artist: N/A (though Steve Ellis did the brilliant cover!)
This one I only got to the table once and I do need to play it again to solidify how I feel about it, but I really like all of the possibilities involved when you combine deck-building with some other mechanic. In this case, it’s area control.
The components are dark and too drab, but the gameplay is phenomenal. It also scales well, with parts of the board being off-limits depending on how many players are in the game.
I love the multiple paths to victory, where you do have to partake in everything but you can concentrate on one aspect and usually do pretty well. You can promote cards for points, kill enemies, or control areas. Or all of the above!
Definitely want to play this again.
You can find my full review here.
Designer: Asher Stuhlman
Artist: Shaz Yong
This is a quick 10-15 minute filler card game where you and your fellow players are raiding a tomb and have to figure out how to split the loot in a minute or less.
Each round (there are 6), cards are place both in the Inner and Outer part of the tomb, and then players secretly decide whether they’re going to the Inner or Outer area. Everyone who picked the same area then has to argue, cajole, badger, or whatever else to figure out how to get the loot that they want while giving some loot to the others. If no final consensus has been made in one minute, then nobody gets anything.
It’s fun, but I’m not big on negotiation games so it’s not something I will be dragging out much. It is fun enough that I won’t turn it down, though.
Designer: Vital Lacerda
Artist: Ian O’Toole
The first of two Vital Lacerda “heavy” games introduced to me this month, I’m still not sure which is my favourite.
I love the art gallery theme, and the decisions that you have to make are agonizing. Like Vinhos mentioned below, it looks *really* complicated and does have a lot of moving parts, but when you get down into playing it, it’s really not that hard. It’s just really hard to play it well.
I did enjoy my play, and definitely want to play it again.
Designer: Loïc Lamy
Artists: Miguel Coimbra, Nicolas Fructus, Édouard Guiton, Goulven Quentel
This was actually a surprisingly fun game, though I’m not sure how much replay value it will have.
The train’s coming to Deadwood, and you are one of a few rival cowboy gangs who want to take over the town and make as much money in doing it as possible.
I liked how you could assign a cowboy to “annex” a building to get the effect, and you can lock it out from your opponents as long as you keep a cowboy there.
Unless another player wants to start a shootout by assigning a cowboy there as well. Sure, they’ll get a wanted poster and that can effect end-game money, but there are a lot of ways to get rid of those posters.
The shootouts are done by dice, but there is a bit of mitigation in that if you send a stronger cowboy there, you will get to roll at least one die (depending on the difference in strength) alone before you both roll at the same time. If you happen to kill the rival cowboy first, then huzzah! You win and annex the building. If you don’t, then you roll at the same time and it’s very possible that both of you will kill each other.
And hilarity will ensue.
Fun game, not that long once you get the hang of it, but not a must-play for me.
Designer: Vital Lacerda
Artist: Ian O’Toole
Just learned this game yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. I’m leaning toward it being my favourite Lacerda game just because of the tightness in the gameplay. It’s not all over the map as The Gallerist is, and it’s easier to build a wine engine that will be at least somewhat successful.
In The Gallerist, you do have to do things in a good order and if you don’t, it’s easy to get left behind.
I enjoyed the elegant simplicity behind Vinhos and that, while again it looks enormously complicated and there is a lot going on, it ultimately boils down to a few actions. There are only 13 turns in the whole game, so you’d better make them count!
Easily my second favourite new game of the month.