What We’ve Been Playing (04.05.16)

Chinatown – More info about this game at Board Game Geek


I’m coming to find that I love open negotiation games. I play games for the social element and games like Chinatown, where players are wheeling-and-dealing to open business chains and make a profit, offer a great space to interact above the table. Our first play was a little lackluster at the finish, as we had already solidified our profitable chains, but I had fun nonetheless. The game plays quick and is very simple to learn. While there is luck in what tiles and locations you are randomly dealt, everything is negotiable so if you can’t get ahold of something you need, you’re just not trying hard enough.

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Puerto Rico – More info about this game at Board Game Geek


While helping Matt with his top of the stack, I was able to get my first experience with the classic board game Puerto Rico. Setup was a little bit of a bear but we did pretty well by divvying up the tasks. I enjoyed this game for what it is. A tight little farming game where you can really screw your neighbors over in points. Action/role selections were always interesting and required you to really think out how it would benefit you but also not help out other players too much. This game desperately needs some art. There is nothing very exciting to look at. Tiles were just different colors with text. Bleh… Add some art and symbolism on the tiles, along with some portraits on the role tiles and some small meeplericans instead of little wooden discs and this game would be pushed well over the top.

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T.I.M.E Stories – More info about this game at Board Game Geek


I don’t know if y’all are playing T.I.M.E. Stories, but if you aren’t then you should be. Yeah, I understand it’s a one-shot deal, but it’s a solid few hours of game play and it is just SO. GOOD. It’s clever and engrossing and I love it so much. Honestly, I would be totally fine spending a night just watching someone else play it because I personally find it to be amazing


The Name of the Rose – More info about this game at Board Game Geek


Dan was really excited to get this monk-themed deduction game, based off the Sean Connery classic film (which I’ve never seen). It is fairly straightforward – each turn you will move a monk and advance the time track in a certain way. Which monk you move and where you move them provides a small amount of information to go on, which snowballs into a more substantial puzzle piece as the rounds tick by. We had fun with the play, though an oddly timed random event swung the end game wide left.


Birds of a Feather – More info about this game at Board Game Geek


A simple simultaneously card game about bird watching, I was originally smitten with Birds of a Feather. It’s not very deep, but I enjoyed discovering the subtle strategy as my initial play progressed. Unfortunately, with three more plays under my belt, I’m beginning to think that the simple card game may be a little too dependent on the card deal. I found that scores ended close and the only thing separating first place and last place was whether you were dealt a sufficient diversity of cards in your opening hand. I look forward to playing it some more, but will continue to be skeptical.

Haggis – More info about this game at Board Game Geek


The first time I played this, I struggled a lot with the sequences and kept trying to make big moves, which didn’t really end well. I think that this time, being more familiar with what I could do in the game, it went much better. I enjoy this one a lot. It’s a pretty close second to Chimera.


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


The Kickstarter fulfillment of this Machi Koro killer finally arrived and I’ve played around 5 games of Card Kingdoms since. It’s so darn easy to play and the engaging, though somewhat prescribed, strategic choices make you constantly feel like you’re moving forward, enhancing your engine. Aside from the somewhat chincy cardstock – so much warping on this entirely card based game – the production value is great and the gameplay is well worth the 30 or so minutes it takes to complete. Definitely a true blue Kickstarter success.


This game is a better Machi Koro

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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.