The usual Tuesday-night game at our FLGS was Village this time around, one of my favorites from TMG! One of these days, I suppose I’ll get around to setting foot outside the village for the travelling points, but as usual, I went heavy into marketing and selling goods, using a position on the village council to.. ahem.. acquire supplies on the cheap. He was one of my first-generation villagers, though, so I ended up having to be a bit more careful of my time than normal, so as not to let him shuffle off this mortal coil and lose that hard-earned seat!
Stronghold (2nd Edition) –
Stronghold was always a game that appealed to me. It’s two-player and asymmetric, with one player assaulting a castle with orcs, goblins and trolls, and the other player working to hold fast against the attack for seven turns. Gameplay is deterministic and, as Kelly would say, “cubey” but manages to convey a strong theme with unique wooden components and a highly detailed board. The game ran long, really long, but I loved every moment of it. Every turn is tense and time is tight, making every decision important. The second edition streamlines things hugely over the original, making it much easier to jump into. This stands out as one of my favorites of this year; I can’t wait to play it more.
Why are the cubes so small?! I have tiny fingers and they are seriously so small. This game is hard. I seriously worked my butt off to spread Matt out and get my guys all up on his wall and then he’d blind me with a mirror or we’d tie strengths or something. I’d really like to try it again, but it’s so daunting and I’m just not sure I can turn it around next time.
La Isla –
Ah, yes. The big green monster has made an appearance on my table recently. There seems to be a lot of mixed reactions on La Isla, but I enjoy it a lot. ‘Brain burner’ games are always interesting and fun to me. You have to determine how best to place your measly hand of three cards in order to perform specific actions or gain special powers to capture the animal inhabitants. As the game progresses, different animals are worth end-game points depending on where they end up on the pseudo stock-market board; additionally, collecting a full set of animals garners you some extra bonus points. I am always open to any opportunity to play La Isla, but I am a little saddened by the quality of some of the components. My Mom really likes this one, so I can always easily rope her into a game. Alicia always seems to react by saying “ugh this one” but she gets roped in and seems to enjoy it… and also proceeds to stomp us in the end by 20+ points…
Battle Line –
This game is kind of like Piñata but harder. I enjoyed playing it despite it being very frustrating that I couldn’t get rid of crappy cards in my hand that literally screwed up any hope I had of drawing a card to make a good play. I think I need practice on this one.
You can never have enough classic Knizia. While Kel may stare you down at mention of Battle Line, it’s only because I kicked her butt twice in a row. She makes a fair point – in a game about hand management, you’re awfully tied to the card draw randomness – but there is still plenty of room for savvy play and clever tactics. Your goal is simply to outwit your opponent and build five 3-card hands that trump theirs, but, man, that makes it sound way easier than it is. I’m having such a good time digging into these simple and thinky classics.
My hand always seemed to be the opposite of what I needed it to be and Ben got way more candy than me. This is a great two-player game with a wonderful bit of take-that gameplay.
Dark Gothic –
Based off of the Touch of Evil series by Flying Frog Productions, Dark Gothic is a semi co-op deckbuilder where each player takes the role of a specific monster-hunting investigator, attempting to defeat the three main villains. Along the way, you’ll face a collection of foul minions, recruit allies from amongst the townfolk, and maybe stumble across some useful gear in the process. As with most co-op games, it can get pretty damn unfair at times (Oh, what’s this? A random event that adds 5 cards to the game-ending Shadows pile (out of 10 maximum)? And what do we have here, another one that adds 4? Sorry, you all lose!), and with three currencies in your deck to manage, it can be difficult to make headway. Not one of my favorite examples in the genre.
Now officially deemed “Mattruba,” Dan’s first choice for the 2016 SdJ proved to be an excellent experience for the full range of League gamers. Simple tile placement somehow equals tough, but satisfying, choices. There is a lot to like about this smallbox HABA title and I can see it quickly becoming a staple for budding gamers.
@phillier937 I took your awesome idea and ran with it… @LeagueNonsense @SinUhMuhnBuhns pic.twitter.com/eDCnlvT2pw
— steebin (@steebin) February 15, 2016