What We’ve Been Playing (5.18.16)

Hansa Teutonica More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Matt

This has followed Dan around in his game bag since December and we finally got to try out the epitome of “soulless euros.” After the rules explanation, I was quite confused about how to play and how to score, but a few turns in it all made sense. The game revolves around upgrading your action options, making your strategy more efficient as you progress. This causes the game to ramp up as you go, making the early game an uphill climb and the endgame a sprint to the finish. I enjoyed it, but would like to try again to better optimize my choices. I’m looking forward to it!

Steve

Let’s just be honest here. This is the “grown up gamer” version of Ticket to Ride. It is full on strategy driven and uses action points instead of cards to determine what options you have on your turn. The cover does not look exciting, the board is almost monotone in color, and then just cubes. That said, I had a great time playing this game. The decisions to be made on your times can at times take you a couple seconds to complete or can cause a very mild case of AP to creep in. You need to use your cubes and actions wisely to claim routes and stake claim on cities. Essentially an area control game in the end but with lots of different ways to help you score points. The toughest part is deciding how you want to reach your end game without accelerating the immediate end game to trigger. I want a rematch!

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Sea of Clouds More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Steve

A sky pirate, press your luck, set collection game with some good take that elements that are not too overbearing on your progress. On the surface it looks and feels like just another pirate themed game with pineapple money but this was actually a pleasant surprise. You will find yourself having to go heavy into a specific strategy early on instead of trying to do well in each area. I decided to go the artifact collection route that helped me gain well over 40 points in the end game. The scores were extremely tight in the end with all of us only 1 point apart. I enjoyed this one but I can see it being an easily forgettable title after a few plays.

Matt

We’re fortunate enough to have access to an excellent game library at our FLGS (shout out to Games and Stuff in Glen Burnie, MD!) and were able to play the new IELLO game Sea of Clouds. The most obvious thing about this game is the artwork, which is obviously a huge part of the IELLO business model. It’s wonderful and draws the eye immediately. The gameplay was simple, you push your luck trying to set-collect and fight your opponents “7 Wonders-style,” across 15 quick rounds. There’s not a lot to it, but I had fun and the gameplay justifies the $30 price tag.

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Through the Ages More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Smee

Sat down at the local gaming shop this past week, and thought I might take a second try at getting through this game. Given that we had about five hours, I figured we’d be able to do it. Nope! Fun game, but terrible to play with a slow group. The changes made to the second edition seem reasonable, off hand, and serve to streamline the base rules while also updating the look of the game beyond the old primary-colour style player boards and cards.


Ashes: Rise of the Phoenix Born More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Kelly

Matt’s been checking out Ashes videos recently and the new Phoenixborn decks came out so we busted the game of the shelf last week. I played the new Brennan deck a couple of times against Matt with the new Rin deck. I still need some practice with Brennan’s mechanics, I think – I struggled with the deck, especially against the Frostback Bears Matt kept throwing out. Matt did build me a deck around Jessa with some major killing power, though, and it was awesome! This is still such a totally awesome game.

Matt

I recently picked up the two new constructed decks for Ashes and got a play in a few plays with Kel. They aren’t perfectly balanced against each other, so Kel was a bit frustrated with the matchup, but it did spur me into dabbling with deckbuilding. I was surprised how easy it is to build a custom deck for this game, and it has me excited to try some more. I may need a second core set though, because now Kel’s new deck has all of the cool spells!

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Quadropolis More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Smee

Played this one twice! First with the ‘Classic’ rules, then we kicked it up a notch with the Expert side of the board. While most games that provide two different complexity levels merely add a few extra components or materials to the experience, the Expert-level of Quadropolis almost completely changes the flow of the game in the process. While you do get two new building types and some additional scoring rules, it’s the combined pool of architects that really seemed to throw people for a loop. Not only do you now need to fight for particular tiles, you’ll struggle against your opponents for access to just about everything!

 


Oh My Goods! More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Steve

I kept seeing this all over social media and hearing good things but never really looked into what it was exactly. But that did not stop me from picking this one up on Comic Book Day. It has all the elements of a big box, worker placement game packed into a deck of about 100 cards or so. You are working and competing with your neighbors to create goods and sell those to build more buildings and hire assistants. Each building and assistant you hire scores you end game points. The key is to find synergies among the products you create to chain your actions together. One thing I liked the most about this game was the press your luck aspect in the goods available in the market that helps you create your goods. You can have you worker work orderly and “bet” that all of the goods will show up in the market that you need, or, you can work sloppy and requires only one less good from the market. Deciding how to work will yield you more goods. I bet wrong a few times and could not produce anything and that can really set you back. I am very happy with this purchase and look forward to playing some more.

Matt

This super simple engine-building/hand management game is officially a new favorite. After one play, I ordered my own copy and am excited to play it some more. It’s a small box game, but the gameplay has hefty, giving you a nice mix of euro-style optimization and push-your-luck. Definitely one to check out!


Dungeons & Dragons: Fifth Edition More info about this game at Board Game Geek

Matt

I really enjoy role playing games but they’re often difficult to coordinate and maintain. We’re giving it another go though, and this time a group of six of us are trying out a pre-made campaign for Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition. We’ve only had one session, but I really like the system and find it much more enjoyable than the stat management of Fourth Edition. While the trudge to the mysterious town keep is dragging a bit, and we’re getting our heads kicked in by kobolds right a left, I’m excited to see what’s next.

Kelly

I’ve limited experience with D&D, having only played one campaign before this one. It was, however, the 4th edition so this was fairly new. I like the new system – it felt much simpler when determining what needed to be rolled and when. I look forward to the adventure we’ve started!

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.