What We’ve Been Playing (7.19.16)

Mare Nostrum: Empires More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Matt

War games in our group always cause tensions to peak, and so we don’t get too many of them to the table. Mare Nostrum manages to introduce a fair bit of resource management and economics to the system, but there’s still plenty of the stabbing that makes the table a bit heated. Things didn’t get too bad, but the balance in Mare Nostrum appears to be such that focusing on your specific civilization isn’t the only way to win, but it helps to keep the ecosystem in check. Steve deviated a bit from his Roman combat strategy, cause the defensively-minded Greeks to begin conquering, only to have both southern nations push back to compensate. The game ended with all four players on the brink of winning, but I know a few of us left the table soured.

Steve

Every now and then the league plays a war game and it is almost always never pretty. I always seem to be the guy running around poking everyone and forgetting my actual goals, while Smee and Dan plot against me and Matt sits in the corner pulling off a victory. Ok this doesn’t happen every war game, just in Mare Nostrum at least. I seemed to grab a bunch of resource rich spots to help build my armies each turn but then I decided to not use them correctly. (Damn it, Steve!)I had fun with it but I def lost sight of my strategy and end goal mid game when I should have been causing more chaos. The abrupt ending is a little jarring but I enjoyed the mechanics. Not my favorite type of game but I had fun with it.


Guildhall Fantasy More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Matt

Guildhall Fantasy is the new setting for AEG’s set collection game, shifting away from the Renaissance backdrop of the original. This version has you collecting various fantasy adventurers, likes Paladins, Clerics, and Barbarians and chaining their various abilities to complete “chapters” (sets) and trade them for points. I’ve primarily played it two-player, but I’ve found the decision making and comboing of the various powers to be satisfying and a lot of fun. The iconography is a bit much at first, but that didn’t stop me or my opponents from getting into the game, though it does make the first play a bit slow to start.

Steve

I was seriously not having fun with this game for the first few rounds. Guildhall has A LOT of player interaction and a very healthy amount of take that. You need to prey on each other to really fulfill any goals in this game. Dan was setting himself up and and I was taking things from him that I needed. He was for sure not having any fun for a good chunk of the game. Knowing that the mechanics are forcing me to do that to a player was not very enjoyable. But it was a mutual thing between the four of us and we all picked on each other pretty equally as the game finished up. I definitely felt this game has a great build up to the end to see who can win (Dan actually ended up winning) but this is just a little too mean spirited for my tastes.

A photo posted by @sinuhmuhnbuhns on


 


Bear Valley More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Kelly

I really enjoy this game. I appreciate the spatial reasoning and problem-solving challenges it presents and I like its options for going about gameplay. We used the character cards this weekend and while their roles were small, they did have an impact in an already ever-changing game. I look forward to more plays of this one.

Matt

We’re still playing Bear Valley as a quick filler during game night and having a lot of fun. I’m a bit bummed at the negative press surrounding this little title. While convoluted in rules, it is not complex, and I think having someone teach it to you can really change first impressions. Don’t be afraid of this tiny Chudyk title, go give Bear Valley a shot!

A photo posted by @sinuhmuhnbuhns on



Vikings on Board More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Kelly

I think I could potentially like this game. With that being said I really didn’t enjoy playing it very much this weekend. I felt like there was a really long time between turns and I struggled to grasp the timing of my actions so that I could actually score off of my ships. Knowing what all the actions are and what to really shoot for from turn to turn, I think that this game could be a lot better for me than it was on our first play and am interested in how it will play out the next time we get it to the table.

Matt

We were fortunate enough to gain access to a pre-production copy of Vikings on Board, the second title in Blue Orange Games’ family-weight line. This simple worker placement game manages to pack a lot into an easily grocked package and I was surprised how much consideration I took with my turns. I had a late start to getting the hang of the scoring, leaving me behind on the score track, but I’m looking forward to trying it some more with the learning game under my belt.


The Downfall of Pompeii More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Steve

I have been able to get my hands on a few older games recently, such as Elfenroads and Johari. Finally I had the chance to get a copy of The Downfall of Pompeii (another Origins acquisition) and played with Alicia, Mom and Step Dad. The game mechanics are very simple but things can get a little cut throat at times when you are laying down the lava tiles and throwing your opponent’s pawns into the 3d volcano. The family enjoyed this a lot and we ended up playing a few in a row so it is a semi quick game. I am pretty happy with having “the volcano game” in my arsenal.

A photo posted by Steve Seebode (@steebin) on



Five Tribes Check out our Five Tribes Review

Matt

I’ve always wanted to add Five Tribes to my collection, but am now content with knowing that Ben has it in his, as I really enjoy this game specifically at the two-player count. It gives you more room to plot and makes the pacing a bit more brisk, all things that suffer at three and four players. We’ve come to know the rules pat, so now it’s become an enjoyable 60-minute euro-style experience that doesn’t tax us with rules hiccups or questions.

 

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.