What We’ve Been Playing (11.2.2015)

bloodrage

Blood Rage

SMEE

Wolf, Snake, Bear, or Raven… which Viking clan shall you lead to death and glory? It is the final days of Ragnarok, and the world tree burns beneath your feet. Drive your enemies before you and pillage Yggdrasil’s branches to strengthen your power, or die gloriously in battle and be rewarded in Valhalla! A Kickstarter project between Eric Lang and Cool Mini or Not, Blood Rage features a hoard of detailed miniatures, with vikings and monsters of lore that are worthy of a place in a skald’s epic.

Amusingly enough, I lost this game by winning a key battle, as I did not have enough slain troops in Valhalla to secure one of the quests.

 

Garden Dice

MATT

On a whim, and to support the new Third Eye Games shop that opened recently, I grabbed Garden Dice for 20% off. With a 2p and 4p game under my belt, I’m happy to report that I’ve been enjoying this title, though I’m still skeptical of it overall. A nice amount of randomness mitigation and the ability to chain together scoring opportunities keeps the game engaging, but the length of play was vastly different between player counts. There was also an issue of having too much board space in the 2p game, which made interaction almost null. I definitely like this game, but will want to play it more to see if experience helps smooth out some of the kinks.

KELLY

I found this to be a neat little game about trying to grow my veggies. As a two-player game, there was very little player interaction until Matt started eating my plants and stuff and then it became a little more eventful. I am interested in the dynamics of this game with more people, as I’m sure limited garden space would be a real incentive to use my bird and rabbit a little bit more.

 

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (2nd Edition)

KELLY

I haven’t built my own deck yet, so I’ve been playing with the pre-made house combos, which is apparently less than ideal. This game is really immersed in the Song of Ice and Fire universe in that sometimes when you’re playing it, you feel just as crazy and frustrated as you might be if you were actually in Westeros trying to figure out what the heck all these families are doing to each other. This game takes some getting used to, and while it can be really difficult and irritating sometimes, I still love it.

MATT

One of my defining flaws as a gamer is that whenever a new card game comes out, I buy into it. The more I engage in the hobby, the more I recognize my absolute love for this genre of games. With the arrival of A Game of Thrones The Card Game (Second Edition), things appear to be no different. Kel and I have had a few plays of this and I think it’s safe to say that it’s an excellent addition to my gaming shelf. Even in a casual capacity, the gameplay is unique and engaging in a way that many of the LCG/CCG mainstays are not. Add in some lovely artwork and an awesome theme drawn from the books (not HBO!) and we have a winner!

 

Mysterium

STEVE

I was able to finally introduce Mysterium to the family this weekend and it was a HUGE hit. We played on Friday (Halloween eve) and it really got us into the spirit of the holiday. If you are not familiar with Mysterium, the gist of the game is a mashup of Clue and Dixit. The recently released U.S. version from Asmodee contains some new gameplay elements and components that are very, very awesome. We ended up playing 3 games and lost only one. The next step is to up the difficulty level now that we have a few plays under our belts. We are also planning to dust off those Dixit decks and shuffle them into the game to give it some more variety.

 

Timeline: Challenge

KELLY

I am not good at history and thus Timeline is not my most favorite game. This game, however, is a really fun and entertaining twist on its predecessor that gives you various challenges related to the history of the cards. We had a really great time playing this game and learning random landmarks in history that we’ll probably only need when we’re playing this game.

 

Robo Rally

SMEE

Always fun, but there’s also always at least one person that keeps forgetting which way their robot turns when going left! Given that I have the old WoTC edition with the pewter miniatures, I really ought to put some thought into getting them painted. This one ended up in a close race for the finish, with myself taking second place only two register phases behind the leader. Twonky forever!

 

 

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.

  • Marc Neidlinger

    I’m not sure where the best place to comment on this topic is, but I’m curious what role the visual language (design, art) plays in selecting games to play each week? I’m a designer/gamer and most of my career has been spent in the branding world, but I’m also a gamer and I have a hard time touching games where this aspect has been overlooked. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Smee

      I’m.. not entirely sure that this is a factor, at least not in my consideration. Design is certainly an influence when it comes to purchasing new games, but once they’re in the collection, what we play is much more focused on mechanics and genre, depending on what we’re in the mood for.

    • Matt H.

      It’s a great question, Marc. We are definitely gamers who appreciate the visuals, though I don’t know how much that impacts the day-to-day play. It certainly makes it easier pull out a game, if it’s easy on the eyes, but it wouldn’t outweigh the gameplay.