What We’ve Been Playing (2.04.16)

Fire and Axe – More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Smee

Vikings! – Pillaging! Looting! …Trading? Well, it seems that our horn-helmed ancestors didn’t live entirely by axe and fire alone, but also by fish, pelts, and ivory. I’ve heard quite a few good things about this game from folks I trust, so I was happy to get in a play of it. It’s a good thing that life is cheap in this game, as I ended up spending quite a few hapless vikings attempting to settle various lands, a task that seemed even harder than raiding a built-up and fortified city such as Rome! Dice, of course, are behind that, with no one quite falling behind their vicious bell curve as much as Ben and his useless settlers. Someone needs to teach them how to light a fire to survive through the winter!

Ben

Minus my dice rolls being horrendous, it was fun. Fairly cutthroat for not having much direct player interaction. Be prepared for a game true to its expected game length or more; it is on the longer side.

 

Valeria: Card Kingdoms – More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Smee

Described as a “better Machi Koro”, I was caught between skepticism and hope when this new release hit the table. While I actively loathe the former, Valeria was a pleasant surprise. With three types of currency, one of which was sort of a wild card, and the increased ability to activate your cards from each individual die as well as their combined values, there wasn’t a single turn in which I was stuck actionless. While there are still some cards that will mess with your opponent, nothing I saw matches the sheer ugliness of a theft-based Machi Koro strategy.

Ben

I just received my Kickstarter copy and got a play in right away. As good as I remember from the prototype, with some good improvements to make it a solid, streamlined game that plays quick. I appreciated the box insert with the card dividers for easy game setup and cleanup. There were also some early production issues with severe card curling and the Daily Magic Productions team has already addressed it.

 

Xenon Profiteer – More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Dan

From the bizarre, yet beautiful mind of Mr. T.C. Petty III comes this surprisingly thematic and immersive game about… distilling air. Deemed as a “deck de-constructor”, players will be pumping air through their systems in an attempt to distill out the Xenon in order to fulfill lucrative government contracts. The problem is that the only way to draw out more of that precious Xenon is by first introducing more air into your deck, which includes a number of other elements which must be removed first. To assist with this, you can upgrade your facility (tableau) with special abilities and bonuses that make your deck engine run a little smoother. This element of the game was a nice change of pace, allowing you to develop a strategy around acquired equipment which could be used for a one-time effect or, if installed, permanently. I am not a fan of deck builders in general, but I did enjoy this title. It took me a few rounds to understand the process of distilling effectively but once it clicked it was smooth sailing.


(Note: My cards were warped straight out of the box. I am hoping this will be corrected now that I have introduced air into their system.)

Matt

The more I play this game, the more it rises in my esteem. This is such a clean and efficient deckbuilding game that provides a welcome mix of comboing and strategic gameplay. It reduces the emphasis on random card draw and gives you a nice amount of control over building a well-oiled, Xenon distilling machine.

Kelly

This game is still excellent, even after multiple plays. The nice thing is that the scores in general are really close, even when people are doing all different things. It plays well at two players, it plays well at three players. I haven’t played with four people yet, but I’m sure it’s still excellent, especially with that extra competitive edge.

 

Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge – More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Matt

One of the many Kickstarter games that arrived in late 2015, SJVL is a simple contract fulfillment game with one of the wildest and unique settings around – a hip 50’s nightclub full of monsters, creatures, fine cocktails and voodoo magic. The gameplay was a bit lighter than expected, which didn’t thrill me, but I’ll be happy to place it in the filler+ slot and break out the tiny martini glasses and cocktail monkeys with family and non-gamer friends.

Kelly

This game looks awesome – the art is vibrant and fun and the theme is totally excellent. We had a few hitches getting the hang of things in this one, but we got it together and I loved buying drinks for all the cool cats hanging around the lounges. The components of this game are fantastic and the fact that all of the cards have some really yummy sounding drink recipes is just great! The game is listed with 21+ age recommendation, but that’s just because it’s about boozing it up – definitely check this one out with anybody you know – especially if they are a jazzy jivecat.

 

Best Treehouse Ever – More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Steve

Alicia wasn’t much of a fan of two-player tree house building, but I was able to talk her into trying it again with Mom on our mini game-night and it was much better than the two-player variant. This is a simple card drafting game where players work to build different colored rooms in their ever-expanding treehouse. Each colored room has to touch the same color as you build, so sometimes you may cut yourself off and cut off one of your rooms and will be unable to score them. Alicia seems to always trap herself early in the game so it has left a sour taste in both of our plays. She did agree, however, that it was much better with three. Look forward to trying the expansion cards to see how those fit in.

 

Kahuna – bgg

Kelly

This game is crazy! The first round that Matt and I played I was just like “okay sure, this game is happening.” Then, when I didn’t get any cards in the second round until I passed on turns to draw up and Matt started stealing islands from me, it really kicked into gear. I enjoyed this game a lot. There was a lot of back and forth, but it wasn’t mean-spirited – it’s the only way to play the game. Definitely a great two-player game.

 

Eminent Domain – bgg

Steve

I played my first game of Eminent Domain and I was sort of just thrown into it after a brief rundown of what the objective was. I am familiar with deckbuilders so it wasn’t anything to abstract for me to grasp. I think I had the most problem with just the motions of the game. I was playing a card when I wasn’t supposed to or not picking up cards at the right time. We played using scenarios and I randomly chose a very aggressive warfaring race. For most of the game I neglected my special power which allowed me to conquer planets very quickly and rack up the points. About ¾ of the way through it all clicked for me and realized all the mistakes I was making. Either way it was a cool experience and look forward to a do-over.

 

Steve S. (Steebin)

WEB EDITOR/TECH SUPPORT : I enjoy all types of games from fillers to 3 hour euros. I am the least experienced member of the group but I have pretty quickly learned the whose who of the tabletop world. I am always willing to play any game you put in front of me. I enjoy listening to progressive metal music and I am a die hard Baltimore Orioles and Ravens fan.