I know it’s been a while (my last post was May 28), but here were finally are with another entry in the COVID-long series of posts about games on Boardgame Geek and whether or not I’ve played them.
Thankfully, it looks like the main issues with the pandemic will be over before I have to go to the Top 300.
In fact, I have my first shot and should be getting my second one sometime in July. Maybe I’ll be back at our Sunday Fun Day in August!
I sincerely hope so.
Seriously, this is me begging you. If you’re reluctant to get your shot for whatever reason, know that it’s worth it. Whatever side effects *might* happen, the risk and the results of getting COVID are far worse.
It’s been almost 2 months since I did the last of this series of postings. My apologies for that. Things have been…not good around here lately and it’s been hard to muster the energy for it.
But I am persevering and I finally got this one done!
Let’s hope this continues.
Just a reminder that this is the list as of February 8, when I downloaded it from BGG. I’ve made note of changes in position since then, of course.
Yes, it’s taken me that long.
So let’s get this party started!
And when I say “party,” I mean a polite social gathering of no more than 10 people (until at least July 1).
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Artist: Dennis Lohausen
This has fallen to #278. Probably something got stuck in the kiln and died.
Glass Road is another Uwe Rosenberg worker-placement game and once again you are doing something rural. In this case, you are glass-makers!
This is a Rosenberg worker-placement game, so I know the first thing you are wondering.
Do you have to feed your people?
The answer is no! You do not have to feed your people.
You are still managing resources, though.
Let’s blurb this since I haven’t played this one before:
“The game Glass Road commemorates the 700-year-old tradition of glass-making in the Bavarian Forest. (Today, the “Glass Road” is a route through the Bavarian forest that takes visitors to many of the old glass houses and museums of that region.) You must skillfully manage your glass and brick production in order to build the right structures that help you keep your business flowing. Cut the forest to keep the fires burning in the ovens, and spread and remove ponds, pits, and groves to supply yourself with the items you need. Fifteen specialists are there at your side to carry out your orders…”
The specialists actually sound pretty cool.
Let me do an additional blurb (and you don’t even have to pay for it!):
“In more detail, the game consists of four building periods. Each player has an identical set of fifteen specialist cards, and each specialist comes with two abilities. At the beginning of each building period, you choose a hand of five specialists. If during this building period, you play a specialist that no other player has in hand, you may use both abilities on that card; if two or more players play the same specialist, each of them may use only one of the two abilities. Exploiting the abilities of these specialists lets you collect resources, lay out new landscape tiles (e.g., ponds and pits), and build a variety of buildings…”
Yes, you are still managing resources, but there is no food so it’s good that your family (or other workers) won’t starve.
That’s very important.
This is now getting a reprint by Capstone Games. The pre-orders for it close on Saturday, May 29. Can I get this post done by then? (Editor – “No, he didn’t”)
If not, then you will eventually be able to get it I’m sure.
It does sound interesting, and I’m always willing to try a game where I don’t have to worry about my family or workers starving, so I’d be up to try this one.
As somebody who finally has their first COVID shot and has also booked my room for OrcaCon in January, can I say it?
Yes, I can.
“Maybe at a convention!”
Designer: Scott Almes
Artist: William Bricker
This is now #273. Maybe it needs to grow a little to become less tiny?
I’ve never played any of the other Tiny Epic games, but Tiny Epic Galaxies has always been a game I’m willing to play.
In fact, I’ve played it 12 times!
That could be because it plays fairly quick but it also has some interesting decisions, even for a dice game.
Each player has their own galaxy (does NASA know about this?) and they are trying to colonize planets and increase the status of their galactic empire to get the most victory points.
On your turn, you will roll all the dice (the better your Empire, the more dice you can roll) and use those dice to help colonize planets, or perhaps improve your Empire. Or maybe even use the Empire action of whatever planets you’ve already colonized!
If you have Influence, you can “follow” a die that the active player has placed in order to do your own thing.
I find that very appealing.
Of course, that means you have to plan ahead and actually keep some Influence handy.
Which I’m never very good at.
The attractive thing about the Influence and “follow” actions is that you are always engaged even when it’s not your turn. There won’t be turns where you can just look at your phone because you don’t care what the active player is doing.
Unless you suck and don’t allow yourself the Influence to actually be able to do this.
But that’s on you. That’s not the game’s fault.
There’s also the Beyond the Black expansion for this game that I’ve only played once but it adds a lot of different nuances to the game. You can have pilots for your various ships that give you special abilities.
You can even venture into the deep space and try to get points by finding various cool dwarf planets and other interesting stuff.
I really want to play this with the expansion again but sadly have only had the one opportunity.
Maybe once we’re actually going to game days again, this will be a thing!
Designer: Wolfgang Warsch
Artist: Dennis Lohausen
This one has jumped all the way to #247! I guess I am way behind on this.
Another game I’ve played! This is turning out to be a good list.
I’ve only played it once, mind you, but still…
In Taverns of Tiefenthal, we have another dice-rolling and dice placement game that I was really intrigued by in my one play.
One of the interesting things is that it comes with 5 modules that you can add to the game, so you can introduce it to players however you like.
Sadly (or maybe not sadly, as it was still a lot of fun!), I was introduced to the game with all five, so I can’t really say how it plays without them.
In the game, you run a tavern (whoa, really? I would never have thought that!) and you are trying to get victory points by attracting certain types of guests as well as perhaps enhancing the types of alcoholic beverages that you are providing to those guests.
It’s also kind of a deck-building game in that you are dealing out a certain number of cards/guests each round and so you want to add the best cards to your deck as you can.
Each round, you’re going to be dealing out cards from your deck until all of the guest tables are full. In the meantime, some of these cards you’re dealing may be helpers around the tavern that will enhance what you are able to do with your dice this round.
Feeding the most prestigious guests may be lucrative, but also maybe brewing the best beer might do you better.
It’s hard to say!
And the modules help you decide how complex you want the game to get, which makes it a lot easier to teach (though as I said, I was exposed to all five at once, so I may not be the best example).
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve played this one, so I can’t really comment too much about it, but I do remember liking it.
And I did comment more specifically on it in my “New to Me – December 2019” post, so take a look there!
I’d definitely like to try this one again. I remember not really getting it the first time, resulting in a massive point deficit (Editor- “Not that you’re not already used to that”)
I can see why this is rising in the ranks!
Designers: Corey Konieczka, Tony Fanchi
Artists: Way too many to name
This one has hit #257. Maybe Han Solo won another card game.
I’m a big fan of the Firefly board game. When I heard that Fantasy Flight Games was putting out a “pick up and deliver” game set in the Star Wars universe, I was chomping at the bit.
Lo and behold, at OrcaCon 2020 (right before the pandemic hit), I managed to hook up with a guy who owned it and wanted to play it.
I was so there!
We played a 4-player game with me being Lando Calrissian. Basically, there a number of captains that players can be and who you are kind of dictates how you play the game.
One of my opponents was Boba Fett, so you knew he was going after bounties.
In the game, you are a captain and you are going to be flying around the Outer Rim of the Star Wars universe, picking up bounties, doing jobs, and maybe delivering some cargo (some of it may even be illegal!).
I did like the modular board where you could set up the Rim to be however you wanted it to be. The two ends are capped so you can literally make the system be however you want it.
There are story cards that you may hit depending on what you draw, so there is a bit of a narrative to it. A card or job that you get may say to “see Story Card #82,” so you have to dig that card out and do what it says.
Otherwise, you may be randomly drawing characters, bounties, stuff you can buy, the sky’s the limit!
The game does take up a bit of space, but I admit I had a blast playing it the one time.
We actually never finished the game (called it due to it being near Midnight), so I’m not sure how long the game takes.
That could be a minor issue, but then again, can a fan of Firefly really complain about game length?
I don’t think so!
I’d love to give this one a try again.
I haven’t heard if there will ever be any expansions to this one, but I’d definitely be in for another play at OrcaCon next year.
Now if I could only remember the guy’s name who had it…
Oh yeah, I use Boardgame Stats, so I do know his name!
At least his first name…
Designer: Don Eskridge
Artists: Too many to name
This one has fallen to #275. It must be sabotage!
The Resistance is the first social deduction game I ever played, and it was a pretty fun one. Fun enough that I ended up buying it to maybe play at work (but then never did before I traded it away).
I played this one back in 2012, right when I was just getting started in modern gaming.
The game goes 5 rounds and two (or more depending on player count) players are Imperial spies while the others are Resistance members struggling for freedom.
Let’s blurb this since it’s been so long since I played:
“Players are either Resistance Operatives or Imperial Spies. For three to five rounds, they must depend on each other to carry out missions against the Empire. At the same time, they must try to deduce the other players’ identities and gain their trust. Each round begins with discussion. When ready, the Leader entrusts sets of Plans to a certain number of players (possibly including himself/herself). Everyone votes on whether or not to approve the assignment. Once an assignment passes, the chosen players secretly decide to Support or Sabotage the mission. Based on the results, the mission succeeds (Resistance win) or fails (Empire win). When a team wins three missions, they have won the game.”
So you’re basically trying to deduce who are the spies. You then shut them out of the planning and go on to topple the Empire!
If only it were that easy.
I’m not exactly sure why I never got this played at work. We usually had a group of 5-6 people around the table, depending on the week.
But somehow I never did.
Of course, from what I’ve heard, so many other games do this better, but I’d definitely play The Resistance again if anybody offered.
I’m terrible at deduction and at lying, but you never know!
Designer: Kasper Aagaard, Christian Marcussen
Artists: Ben Nelson, Chris Quilliams
This has fallen to #276. Probably a rival pirate or something.
Merchants & Marauders is a game that I have never played, but it does sound really interesting.
Players are the captain of a ship in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of piracy. You can choose to either to be a merchant or you can be an evil pirate, preying on the weak!
Let’s blurb this one since I’ll probably never get to play it.
“In Merchants and Marauders, players take on the role of a captain of a small vessel in the Caribbean. The goal is to be the first to achieve 10 “glory” points through performing daring deeds (through the completion of missions or rumors), crushing your enemies (through defeating opponents and NPCs in combat), amassing gold, performing an epic plunder or pulling off the trade of a lifetime, and buying a grand ship. While some points earned from performing various tasks are permanent, players earn points for amassing gold, which can be stolen or lost (or at least diminished) if their captain is killed. Points due to gold are hidden so there’s some uncertainty about when the game will end.”
Piracy can be dangerous because you have NPCs and other characters coming after you to bring you in. However, if you’re a merchant, non-player pirates can come after you as well! Not to mention your pirate opponents.
Making your living by sea is a risky business!
The cool thing is that, even though other players can come after you, there is no player elimination. If you die, you just choose a new captain (with a penalty) and continue the game.
You can even come back and win!
This does remind me a bit of Western Legends, though only in the sense that you can choose your own path and other players who chose the opposite path can try to stop you.
These both appear to be sandbox games in some sense.
Nothing wrong with that!
I enjoyed Western Legends and this one sounds fun too.
If anybody ever brings it out.
Designer: Mikkel Bertelsen
Artist: Mikkel Bertelsen
This has creeped up to #259! Must be the really strong magnets.
I’ve heard some great things about this game but have never actually seen it in the wild.
It sounds like a very cool, magnetic version of air hockey.
Let’s blurb this because the description sounds way cooler than if I could try and do it:
“The KLASK game board is shaped like a ball field with two deep holes functioning as goals in each end of the field. In the middle of the field, three white magnetic pieces serve as “obstacles” – do NOT attract them to your own gaming piece! Your gaming piece is a black magnet. You control it by holding a large magnet under the board. This magnet is connected to a small magnet placed on the field. The purpose of the game is to push the small, red ball around on the field with your magnet/gaming piece, shoot the ball past the obstacles and your opponent and into the goal hole (Klask). It’s so much fun when your opponent suddenly is covered in white obstacles or you drop your gaming piece into the goal – something which might happen if you get a little too eager!”
Doesn’t that sound fun?
I’m not really big on dexterity games, but this isn’t the same as trying to flip pieces or flick pieces or whatever certain dexterity games want you to do.
The white magnetic obstacles are a neat addition, especially because they can stick to your piece making it even more unwieldy to try and knock the ball around accurately. And your opponent scores a point if you get two or all three obstacles stuck to your piece.
It sounds like zany fun!
I’m not exactly clear on some of the details, but it would be easy to sort them out if it was actually presented to me.
Like, can you go on the attack and storm your opponent’s zone, pushing to get an easy tap-in?
Or do you have to stay on your own side of the board and just try to shoot the ball like you do air hockey?
I’m intrigued, I must admit!
Designers: Michael Kiesling, Andreas Schmidt
Artist: Christian Fiore
This one is now down to #274. Must be a bad batch of ale!
Finally we get to another game that I’ve played, though only once.
Heaven & Ale is a game about monks and beer-making.
It’s a complicated rondel with weird scoring and lots of juicy decisions on how much you want to upgrade your garden and how much to add to your brewing capabilities.
You choose your actions by moving your piece along a rondel, with the caveat being that you can go as far ahead as you want, but you can never go back. So time your actions well!
Your garden has two sides: a light and dark side. Placing tiles on the light side will get you resources while placing it on the dark side will get you money.
You have to do everything evenly because sure, you can upgrade the quality of your brewing, or maybe the production of your resources.
The resource improvement is tricky, because you can’t just concentrate on one or two things.
At the end of the game, you raise your lowest resource and reduce your highest by the same amount until everything meets in the middle.
Which is really inefficient.
It’s a Kiesling game, so of course there’s going to be a bit of a puzzle.
I also have to say that I really love the artwork in this game. It’s very medieval.
I did woefully bad in my one play, but I wouldn’t mind playing it again.
Sadly, the player who brought the game to our game day back in 2018 traded it away and I haven’t seen it again.
But maybe one day!
Designers: Michael Kiesling, Wolfgang Kramer
Artists: Mariusz Gandzel, Paul Mafayon, Christophe Swal, Franz Vohwinkel
This has fallen back to #269. Probably all that jungle overgrowth that you have to cut through.
Tikal is an exploration game of a Central American jungle. It’s also a game that I’ve never seen in the wild but I used to love to play the app.
In fact, I think I still have it.
Let’s blurb this one:
“Tikal is a game of exploration within the Central American jungles in search of lost temples and the treasures within. Players send their team of explorers into the jungle, exposing more and more of the terrain. Along the way, you find temples that require further uncovering and treasures. Players attempt to score points for occupying temples and holding onto treasure.”
Yep, that’s all BGG says about the game.
I thought I didn’t like to talk!
The fun in the game seems to be that you’re building the jungle as you go along.
The game starts with the base camp, two temples, and a jungle hex explored.
Each turn, you will draw the top hexagonal tile and then decide where to put it on the map. There are, of course, rules for how you place it. You can’t just place it willy-nilly.
You then will spend action points to move around the explored area.
You have your expedition leader and 18 other workers with you that you can spend these points on. When workers are on a temple, whoever has the most workers on the temple (expedition leaders count as 3) when the temple is scored will get the points for that temple.
When does scoring happen?
When a volcano is drawn from the tile stack. Each player will get to use their 10 action points first to prepare for scoring. Temples and treasures are scored.
Then, whoever drew the volcano takes their normal turn, spending their 10 points as usual.
When the last tile is placed, there is a final scoring round as if a volcano had just been placed.
Whoever has the most points is the winner!
Writing all that up (based on a rules summary I found on BGG) makes me want to break out the app again.
I remember really enjoying this one, but I haven’t played it in ages.
I shall rectify that on the weekend.
I don’t know anything about how the game plays or looks on the table. Pictures make it look pretty cool.
It’s also the first game of the “Masks” trilogy, which I’ve only played one of (Mexica).
I’d definitely be willing to play this at a convention or something.
Designers: Gabriele Mari, Gianluca Santopietro
Artist: Gianluca Santopietro
This is now #272! Jack must be taking his toll…
Letters From Whitechapel is a deduction game (not a social deduction game) where one player plays the infamous Jack the Ripper, who is trying to evade the investigators trying to track him.
The game uses hidden movement, with Jack moving secretly around the city as the police hound him.
Let’s blurb this since I’ve never played it before:
“The board game Letters from Whitechapel, which plays in 90-150 minutes, takes the players right there. One player plays Jack the Ripper, and his goal is to take five victims before being caught. The other players are police detectives who must cooperate to catch Jack the Ripper before the end of the game. The game board represents the Whitechapel area at the time of Jack the Ripper and is marked with 199 numbered circles linked together by dotted lines. During play, Jack the Ripper, the Policemen, and the Wretched are moved along the dotted lines that represent Whitechapel’s streets. Jack the Ripper moves stealthily between numbered circles, while policemen move on their patrols between crossings, and the Wretched wander alone between the numbered circles.”
Again, not a chatty BGG entry, but at least this one gives you an idea of what’s going on!
The fact that Jack is actually trying to do something rather than just escape makes this game sound really good.
This is definitely reminiscent of Scotland Yard, but does sound a bit more intriguing because of that.
I would love to see this in action and get a chance to play it.
Though my deduction skills are…let’s just say I may have trouble deducing you have a cold if you show up sniffling with your nose running.
But I’d give it a try!
Wow, this one took a long time to write. Sorry about that.
But we’re up to #261 now, and moving on toward #201.
Will I finish these before I can actually start going to game days again and get some new material to write about? That’s the main reason I started these, because I wasn’t playing many games anymore.
Somehow I doubt that, but you never know!
Are you familiar with any of these? Any favourites? Any that you hate so much that you’d willingly stab it in the heart?
Let me know in the comments.
Category: Board Games, Top 10Tags: Action Points, Andreas Schmidt, Area Movement, Bag Building, Christian Marcussen, Corey Konieczka, Dice-rolling, Don Eskridge, Eggertspiele, Fantasy Flight Games, Gabriele Mari, Gamelyn Games, Gianluca Santopietro, Glass Road, Heaven & Ale, Indie Boards & Cards, Kasper Aagaard, KLASK, Letters From Whitechapel, Lunch Time Games, Merchants & Marauders, Michael Kiesling, Mikkel Bertelsen, Northstar Games, Pick Up & Deliver, Rondel Games, Scott Almes, Social Deduction Games, Star Wars: Outer Rim, The Resistance, The Taverns of Tiefenthal, Tikal, Tile-Laying Games, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Tony Fanchi, Uwe Rosenberg, Wolfgang Kramer, Wolfgang Warsch, Worker Placement Games, Z-Man Games
This is a blog about board games, with the occasional other post for a bit of spice.