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The Buffalo Boardgames Meetup Group Message Board › Recently Played Games

Recently Played Games

Ryan
Twonky
Lancaster, NY
Post #: 770


If you don't mind getting hosed, it's a fun game. (Some of the cards might as well say "go back three spaces", however. They're that random and you just have to accept the pain.)

This made me LOL because it does almost have that old school feel. That being said many of the random events follow typical patterns so you know if you are the mayor, some of the cards are going to punish you and if you are winning certain categories some of the cards are going to reward you.

I pretty much agree with Joe. This is a solid 6 rating for me, I am happy to play at one more time now that I have a better understanding of the game but I don't think its going to be one of my favorites.

The most annoying part for me being constantly calculating the value of each of the 36 blocks, which is necessary to play the game well, think of the mechanic of value of castles in the game "Kingdoms" and you understand most of this game.

Which is my other beef with the game, its such a Kniziaesque mechanic to assign values by rows and columns and made the game feel more abstract then I wanted it to. It wasn't nearly as cool as the match environment to your species mechanic that makes DS so interesting.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,711
Wednesday I got to play Casa Grande, A Fistful of Penguins, Santiago de Cuba, and two back to back games of Yggdrasil. I touched on the first three in previous posts so I won't go into those again. I will however talk a bit about Yggdrasil. 

Yggdrasil is a co-operative game based on Norse mythology where players take in the roles of gods attempting to push back the evil forces in Asgard. There are six enemies in the game and a deck of 42 cards showing each of the enemies 7 times. Each turn the player will draw a card and advance that particular enemy and then carry out three different actions. If the enemies advance to a certain point the players lose the game. The players win if they manage to get through the entire deck without having the enemies reach the points that forces them to lose the game.

This game plays with 1-6 players. The more players the more difficult the game is to win. We played with 3 players and lost the first game and played again right after and won using a different strategy. This is a good and challenging co-operative game that can be made even more difficult with additional challenge cards. 

Gameplay is simple... Pick a card, advance the enemy, execute the action associated with the enemy, and then perform three out of a possible nine actions. Deciding which actions are the best to perform given the current conditions/situations isn't always as simple. 

Our second game went much better than our first game. In fact it almost seemed easy. Although with that being said, I'm not sure how easy things would have been if we played with six players versus only three. I've heard many people talk about how difficult this game is to win. As with any game... repeated plays should make things easier. The replay-ability factor usually concerns me especially in co-operative games. But with the addition of the extra cards which makes the game even more difficult, I think the challenge can and will be there after many repeated plays. 

If you enjoy co-operative games this is one you should try. I think it's one of the better co-ops out there. 
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,713
My wife and I played Witch of Salem for the first time last night. This is a co-operative game with an Arkham theme where the goal is to locate and close portals to prevent the great one from breaking through into our world. 

The board consists of seven locations. Each location also contains three items used for carrying out various actions. Each player is given a deck of location cards to be used for visiting the sites on the board. The game also includes a deck of creature cards and event cards. 

Each round is divided into three phases. Flip a creature card, carry out your actions, draw and resolve an event card. As with many co-op games there are many ways to lose but only one way to win. There are 13 different creatures in the creature deck. Drawing one places it on the board. Drawing an identical card with one already on the board causes bad things to happen. Players have the ability to defeat creatures by collecting items found throughout Arkham. 

Running along the bottom of the board is an Necron track. Slowly the Necron marker will advance along this track, if it reaches the end the players will lose. Defeating creatures is one way to prevent the advancement of the Necron marker. 

On a players turn they will play a location card, move to that location, and possibly trade an item if another player is present. If a creature card is present, you must roll a die and suffer the consequences, and then you can defeat the enemy if you have the proper items. Optionally you can use an item, and then take one if one is present at your location. After all players have taken their actions an event card is drawn and resolved. Event cards can be both good and bad. 

Each location also contains a faced down portal tile. Portal tiles are either open or closed. Players need to find which portals are open and then gather the correct artifact to close them. Only then can you take on the great old one and close the final portal to win the game.

My wife and I failed miserably on our first play of this game. Needless to say it was a learning experience and there will be a lot of things done differently the second time around. Despite failing it was still an enjoyable experience and both of us are looking forward to tackling this game again soon. 
Andrew L
user 23699931
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 79
Rodney was kind enough to run Walnut Grove tonight, I've been somewhat interested in checking that out for a while. I was on the fence because it appeared to be pretty light and the quick previews I read made it seem like it just took ideas from other board games (namely Carcasonne and Agricola) and combined 'em together.

The game has you expanding and improving your ranch over fields, quarries, pastures, ponds and then feeding and heating your worker family. It separates this into 4 phases, basically expand -> produce -> action -> upkeep, and has some real interesting rules/mechanics to keep everything in check. What seals Agricola as one of my favorite games is the pacing in it. That is, you need a concise series of short-term plans to successfully complete any long term plan. This game shares that feeling, and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

And so I really think it is fair to call it Agricola-Lite, it offers many of the same ideas without the multitude of rules and options that Agricola requires you to keep track of. On the other side I don't think the tile-placing in this game can be likened to Carcasonne more than any other tile-placing game. It's just a single mechanic out of many. This game has many borrowed mechanics that it webs together wonderfully. Nothing felt out of place and as a whole it worked very well.

My biggest complaint would be that selling off goods for coins isn't a direct ratio, it's a random coin drawn out of a bag with either 0,1, or 2 as a value. I didn't feel like the randomness affected our game much but on future plays I could definitely see that becoming annoying. On BGG Seth Jaffee suggested having the first thing sold go for 0, the second for 1, the third for 1, and the fourth for 2. I think that's a pretty good idea.

Overall I'd give this an 8/10 I think it's a really well made game, and one of the better "light" games I've played. It would be a great segue from your Carcasonnes and Settlers and Ticket to Rides to games that require more resource management and strategic worker placement. I don't really know how to predict what the replay value would be like, though, so I could realistically see myself dropping this a point or so after future plays.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,716
After reading the rules to Walnut Grove I said to myself that's it? I thought this will be one I can easily get my family to play. Simple rules, familiar mechanics, & quick play time.

The game doesn't have a lot of player interaction, but when it does it can hurt your plans for the round when someone claims a building that you had really wanted. What I didn't realize is that there would be that much think involved in the game. I'm not saying its a brain burner by any means, but it's a game that can be enjoyed by both non gamers and gamers alike because easy game play and interesting decisions to be made.

I enjoyed the game and I'm hoping I can get my family to give it a try sometime this weekend.
Doug
SuburbnBubbleBoy
East Amherst, NY
Post #: 2,960
I must try this game now. I am intrigued.

As for Dark Minions, I enjoyed it. As I suspected its about the same length and complexity as Airships or Roll through the Ages - rules took maybe 10 minutes to explain and a 4 player game took a little less than an hour. I had originally thought the theme of the game was pretty pasted on, but I'm happy to say it hold up fairly well, especially when playing the "advanced" game that includes the Overlord cards. I know the rules state to play the game a few times without the Overlord cards, but unless you are playing with non-gamers, I see no reason not to include them on your first playthru. There seem to be multiple paths to victory with the scores being fairly close (well, mostly). Mark won the game, tho I been paying attention to the overlord card I had in front of me I likely could have stalled him for another turn and won on my turn.

A number of people asked me how it compared to Quarriors. I'd say there is no real comparison between the two games other than that they use dice. With Quarriors there is so much luck involved, you pretty much just roll the dice and whatever you roll dictates what you do on your turn - there isn't a lot of decision making. Dark Minions is not at all like that. Regardless of what you roll you are faced with numerous action to take on your turn - the dice don't really dictate what you can do. Now if you roll poorly you may be locked out of some of the choices you would RATHER do, but even that can be mitigated with the use of overlord abilities and reroll tokens.

My only major complaint about the game is the rules are pretty terrible. I guess a lot of the questions have been answered in posts on the Geek and in FAQs, but I don't feel as tho I should have to do an hour of research just to learn how to play the game. Write a damn rule book that answers at least the basic questions and doesn't contradict itself. I don't think that's too much to ask.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,723
I had a good weekend of gaming thanks to family game night on Friday and Bacsim on Saturday. Played skip-bo, yspahan, witch of salem, walnut grove, rattus, and kingdom builder twice. I'll post some comments on games I haven't yet spoke about over the next few days.
Mike S.
camel_gamer
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 646
Feb bacsim wrap-up.

BSG: A fine game. I (Roslin) and the humans were victorious. We wound up drawing about 7 attack cards in a row in the first half of the game, and it was looking pretty grim. Fortunately we all thought we were human until the halfway point. At game's end we had all resources in the red (fuel at 1!), three damaged sections, and a double boarding party. The jump icons started coming more regularly, so we fell into a defensive shell and kinda coasted to our last jump...

Age of Steam Amazon Rainforest: Andrew wanted to get weird, so we got weird. This map changes a lot of the game's core mechanics, so much so that the narrow-minded among us contend that it's no longer Age of Steam. This opinion, of course, is silly. The most obvious change is trading the 1-link/1-income set up for a supply & demand market economy. I'll be honest; I have no idea what to do with this thing. It feels more chaotic, but it's actually more deterministic, because the dice-rolling production has been eliminated. Shamefully, I finished DFL.
Joe L: 57+22=79
Andrew L: 54+12=66
Zak: 42+13=55
Paul: 30+17=47
Mike: 27+12=39

Puerto Rico: Another of my faves. Zak developed some strong shipping early in the game and kept working it to victory. I sat to his right and didn't do a damn thing about it. I suppose I got what I deserved.
Zak: 54
Joe L: 48
Mike: 18+21+5=44
Jeff: 41
Andrew L:39
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,724
Let's try a different format.


Skip-Bo


ACCESSIBILITY
Light weight family style card game for 2-6 players, ages 7 & up that takes around 20 min.

THEME
None.

COMPONENTS
A deck of 162 cards numbered 1-12 with 18 skip-bo (wild) cards. Cards are of standard size and quality.

ART/GRAPHIC DESIGN
Cards have large oversize numbers that serve their purpose fine.

RULES
Rules are printed on the thinest paper material available. The rules are fine and organized and don't have any real issues besides the undersized font.

MECHANICS
Hand management

GAME PLAY
Each player is dealt face down a stockpile of anywhere from 10-30 cards depending on how long a game you want to play. The goal of the game is to be the first player to get rid of your entire stockpile of cards. Players turn the top card of their stockpile face up. 

On your turn you will draw cards from the draw pile to bring your hand back up to five cards. Then, if possible you will play your face up card on your stockpile to the center of the table. Cards must be played in ascending order beginning with #1 then #2 etc. There can be at most four different face up piles in the center of the table. As soon as a pile reaches 12, it is discarded and a new pile can begin once again with a #1. Along the way you can use cards from your hand to help you reach the number required to rid the top card from your stockpile. Playing your top card from your stockpile allows you to immediately flip the next card. You can play as many cards as possible until you can no longer play or choose not to play.

You'll end your turn by discarding a card from your hand to your play area in front of you. You can have at most 4 different face up piles in your play area. As play progresses, not only can you play cards from your hand, but you can also play cards from your four face up piles to help you rid cards from your stockpile.

UNIQUENESS
There really isn't anything that different or unique here. In a way it's sort of multi player solitaire literally. 

REPLAYABILTY
The variability of the cards makes this game somewhat replayable especially as a filler. But, the numbers on the cards are the only thing that makes any two games different.

GAME EXPERIENCE
This is a beer and pretzels game that plays well with family members both young and old. It's really geared towards non gamers. A lot of luck is involved but there is some strategy involved in managing your discard piles in a way that allows you to play multiple cards to reach your ultimate goal. Since everyone sees each players top card of their stockpile, its important to try not to make it any easier than necessary for your opponents by setting them up. 

Because there is more luck than skill it works well with all ages. Young ones can beat adults and grandma can beat me. Hey, I gotta let her win sometimes.
Mike S.
camel_gamer
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 647
I posted the AoS section to BGG as a session report, trying to get some discussion going. This is what I got back:


We're sorry, but your recent article was not awarded any geekgold, and has not been posted to the forum:
AoS Amazon Rainforest - short sesrep for Age of Steam Expansion: Amazon Rainforest & Sahara Desert
Comments from users that moderated this article:
Too short.
beef it up
not a full-fledged session report; this would be more suitable as a description of a logged play
Not enough information about session


Considering that there are zero forum posts for AoS AR, I would have thought they'd be happy with anything. They can stuff their "geekgold" up their asses.
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