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The Buffalo Boardgames Meetup Group Message Board › 1st Time Played

1st Time Played

Elma, NY
Post #: 2,126
I thought I'd start yet another thread. This time strictly for games I've played for the first time. These posts will be shorter and allow me to give my thoughts an opinions on games after just one play. It isn't really a review, its more or a less what I liked or disliked about the game. Perhaps it will give others an idea if it's a game they would like to try or avoid sometime in the future.

Feel free to post your first played opinions as you like.
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,127

Robinson Crusoe

co-operative game for 1-4 players, 120 min.

Played this for the first time last night. An enjoyable co-op that is very challenging to play. The 20 page rule book along with the 20 page FAQ was a bit intimidating to say the least. It's not difficult to play, but is took me awhile to comprehend all the rules.

This is a scenario based game meaning that the goals are different depending on the scenario played and because of that not all the rules or game components are used every play. A lot depends on what cards are drawn and situational events can occur because of it. This means there are a lot of little rules that can be easily forgotten because they may not come up even after several plays. The upside to that, is that even when playing the same scenario, you'll end up with different results forcing players to react differently based on cards drawn.

The game was very thematic and it all made sense. The first scenario had us building shelter to avoid suffering wounds from sleeping outside. A roof on the shelter was necessary to prevent from dealing with nasty weather elements that must be dealt with from round to round. Of course food is also an important commodity as we all must eat, and building useful items helps along the way. Our goal was to gather enough fire wood and light a fire to signal a passing ship in the distance. Needless to say we failed miserably.

This game is already rated in the top 100 on BGG. I think its only going to go up. In fact I predict it ends up being the highest rated co-operative game on BGG when all is said an done. If you enjoy co-ops at all, this is a must try. It'll have yourself questioning yourself afterwords thinking what you could've done differently to succeed the next time you play it. Definitely a thumbs up from me and I want to try again right now. There's a lot of things I would've done differently :)
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,128


Deck Building game for 2-4 players 45 min.

I read and heard a lot of hype about Trains. One video reviewer even called it his game of the year thus far for 2013. It's been called the deck builder with a board. Some call it the future of deck building. I bought into the hype and figured it was a game I had to own :)

My one play was with 3 players. The deck building part of the game plays like your typical deck builder. Draw 5 cards, play them all, discard, draw five more. What makes the game unique is that you use your cards not only to buy more cards, but to also build track and stations on the board connecting to cities to score points. The only interaction between players is the building of track on the board as players race to reach the cities first. I believe this game would play best with 4 players. With two there probably would be very little interaction if any at all.

I thought the game was ok. I did like the idea of the board and deciding what cards would be best to purchase based on what was happening or about to happen on the board. This made the game a bit more interesting than your typical deck builder for me personally. But honestly I expected more. Maybe it was just because I had such high expectations from everything I heard and read.

I'd really like to try again with 4 players. I think if you gave me a choice between Dominion and Trains, I would rather play trains. I see a lot of expansions and potential for growth with this system. They already have multiple maps you can print out, and I can see them stretching this system even further. Can you say deck building utilizing pickup and deliver :)
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,129


Route building game for 2-4 players 60 min.

Wunderland is one of those perfect gateway games that works with well with non-gamers and family yet interesting enough to keep gamers involved. The rules are simple and easy to teach an understand. Five minutes and you'll be up and running. The game will remind you of Ticket to Ride in that you have destinations that you are trying to complete to score points. Bonus points can also be earned by collecting post cards along the way.

This game utilizes a unique movement mechanic to connect locations that I don't recall seeing in any other game. If you or your family enjoys Ticket to Ride your bound to like this title as well.
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,130

Forbidden Desert

co-operative game for 2-5 players 45 min.

Forbidden Desert is from the same designer that brought us Pandemic and Forbidden Island. I actually played this game twice, but found out that I played it wrong the first time so I won't count that play.

This game plays similarly to Forbidden Island but appears to be more challenging. Like its predecessor your looking for 4 components. Then racing to get out of the desert before you die of thirst, or get buried in sand. Instead of collecting cards your flipping tiles to find the missing components. The tiles are setup in a 5X5 grid with one tile missing in the middle. Each component your looking for are shown on two of the 24 tiles. So finding one component pictured on a single tile only gives you half the information you need before you can discover where in the desert the component is hidden. Only by finding the other tile and seeing where the two matching tiles intersect do you know where the component is hidden.

At the end of your turn a sand storm picks up and moves these tiles in different directions sometimes burying items in sand that you have to dig out before being able to recover the hidden items. On top of that every player is given a role with a special ability that comes with a thirst gauge that you can't let run dry.

While this game shares similarities with Forbidden Island, I think I like this game a little better because of its added challenge. If your a fan of the previously mentioned games, you won't be disappointed with this title.
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,131

Nothing Personal

Negotiation game for 3-5 players 120 min.

This is not a co-operative game. Nothing Personal may contain backstabbing, betrayal, double dealing, trickery, treachery, thuggery and generally nasty behavior. It is not recommended for those who prefer warm and fuzzy, non-confrontational game experiences. Those are the words printed on the box.

Chaotic, luck driven, too long, terrible. Those were the words of a couple players in the game I played in. While I didn't think it was terrible, I do think there was a lot of chaos and luck and too long for what it was. But I think much of that had to do with the gangster cards we were playing with. This was a kickstarter project, and one of the stretch goals were additional gangster cards. We played with all the gangster cards which included three mini expansions. I can't help but wonder how much play testing actually went into these expansions cards.

My guess is that this game will play better if we were to stick with the original deck. The components and artwork is top notch. The goal is to influence gangsters and move them up the ladder to earn respect. This is accomplished by negotiating, blackmailing, and backstabbing other players. Most players either love or hate these styles of games.

I wasn't impressed with my first play of this game. But I would like to give it another chance with only the original gangster deck.
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,137

Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport

Expansion for Lords of Waterdeep 2-6 players 120 min.

This expansion makes the original game a much deeper and longer experience. The expansion comes with two modules (Undermountain & Skullport) that can be played individually or together. Both modules add more intrigue, lord, & quest cards, as well as buildings & placement boards.

The Undermountain module includes some large and valuable quest cards that can net a player with as much as 40 points when completed, but also requires many resources and or money. The Skullport module introduces corruption which can give better choices of resources, but at the cost of potentially losing points if you end up with too much corruption at games end.

I like the expansion and quite frankly I probably wont play the game again without it unless playing with family or non-gamers.

While on the subject of Lords of Waterdeep though, I do have one complaint about the one original Lord card that give you points at games end for owning buildings. This really has nothing to do with the expansion but I really hate this card. It forces you down the road of taking that single building spot each round and focuses all your attention on that single space neglecting many other objectives and quests. So your always spending a worker to make sure you go first to claim that single building space, and another worker must be spent collecting money to pay for the building you want to buy. That card makes things a bit boring as you spend most of your game performing the same actions. Yes you'll probably score more points at games end than any other player, but by that time it's too late because you didn't score enough points during the game to warrant any sort of challenge, especially when playing with more players. When I play with my family I remove this card from the game it makes for a much more competitive score for all players involved.

Ok enough of my complaining <g>. Scoundrels of Skullport expansion definitely a thumbs up from me :)
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,142
Francis Drake

an action selection area influence game for 3-5 players 120 min.

Players take on the roles of captains preparing for three voyages to the Spanish main in search of treasure. Each round has two phases. In the first phase players will collect provisions in order to prepare themselves for the second phase which involves sailing and attacking towns, forts, and galleons for treasures which you will earn you victory points.

The components to this game are top notch. Two plastic boats per player that gets upgraded from a frigate to a galleon when taking a certain action. Each player gets a treasure chest to store collected treasure. These little additions aren't necessary but it helps turn a game from a good game into a great game. And also a great box and insert for holding everything in place.

The mechanics used have been used in games before like Egizia and Y's. In the provisions phase a one way path is used to collect resources. Meaning you can jump as far ahead as you wish along the path, but you can never go back. So the dilemma here is do you jump ahead to get that one thing you really want at the cost of giving up a bunch of perhaps lesser needed items? Or do you fill up on those lesser items that others might have passed over. The order in which items become available change each round which keeps this phase interesting. In order to be successful when attacking in phase two, players need to recruit crew, guns, trade goods, and supplies, all of which could result in your success or failure when attacking. Special characters like the queen, admiral, informer, and even Drake himself can all give you a special advantage and or bonuses that can help you succeed.

The second phase involves sort of a blind bidding technique that will easily be recognized if you played the game Y's before. Each player has four numbered discs that get placed face down in areas you plan to attack. However each area can only be successfully attacked twice each round. And only the two lowest numbered discs placed in each area will be successful.

There are a lot of interesting and sometimes tough decisions to be made in this game. I really enjoyed this game. If you've played and enjoy either Egizia or Y's this is a must try. If you played neither of these games, these mechanics will probably be new and unique to you, but still worth trying nonetheless.
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,143

a hand management game for 2-4 players 60 min.

Stefan Feld has become one of, if not my favorite designers. I've yet to play a game of his I did not enjoy. The way he tweaks the simplest of mechanics is refreshing and yet unique enough to keep all of his titles interesting and re-playable for me personally. Bruges is no exception.

At its core this is a card game. The board is really no more than a means for keeping track of scoring in three different areas. Each round has four phases. Draw cards, roll dice, take actions, and check for majorities in three different categories. I think Midge said it best when she said the game flows smoothly and quickly.

Players represent families in 15th century Belgium trying to gain power and prestige. This is accomplished by influencing people, building houses, gaining reputation, achieving majorities and building canals. What makes this game unique is the way in which the cards can be used and how they are drawn. Cards are color coded in 5 different colors which both correspond to the colors of the dice as well as workers. There are two draw piles to choose from and all cards are colored the same on both the front and the back giving you some information which aids in choosing future actions.

Each round players are given the opportunity to carry out 6 possible actions using four different cards they have in hand. All six actions that can be carried out are identical, with the only difference being affected by the color of the card itself. One action allows players to recruit people giving players certain advantages and or benefits. Each card has a different type of character. There are 165 unique character cards giving the game a lot of replayability. And the character artwork on each card is also different and wonderfully done by artist Michael Menzel. The rules are also very well written and organized and very easy to comprehend.

And what would a Stefan Feld game be without having to deal with threat and disasters. Yes these can be brutal if not dealt with at the appropriate time. But in this game disasters only occur when and if certain numbers are rolled. This adds a certain push your luck element when deciding whether or not you want to deal with these disasters.

All and all its yet another solid effort by Stefan Feld. It amazes me that he can keep pumping out so many quality titles in such a short period of time. Four games this year alone with possibly his best effort coming yet before the end of the year in a game called Amerigo.
Elma, NY
Post #: 2,146
Sushi Go

Card drafting, hand management, set collection game for 3-5 players 20 min.

Sushi go is a food themed filler style of card game with easy rules and quick play. Each player is dealt a certain number of cards based on the number of players in the game. All the cards show different types of sushi dishes worth various amounts of points when certain conditions and or sets are completed. On your turn you keep one card and pass the deck to your left, all players then reveal the card they kept. Wash rinse and repeat until all the cards have been played. This is done for three rounds and the player with the most points wins.

Deciding what cards to keep and what sets to go for aren't the only decisions that need to be made each turn. Passing the deck to your neighbor that includes the card he needs to complete the set might force you to hang onto a card you really don't need for yourself. Special cards like wasabi and chopsticks allow you to perform unique actions that could help you score additional points when collecting cards/sets.

All an all a nice family filler that provides players with an quick enjoyable experience that also works well for non gamers.
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