We (Ben, Kel, Steve and myself) have officially started up our weekly Pandemic Legacy campaign, much to the world’s dismay. After two games, we currently sit at 0-2 with several cities on the brink of implosion. Even with our collective Pandemic experience, this game is tough! Impending doom aside, I think we all had a great time with this game and I look forward to diving deeper into this revitalization of the classic co-op. Stay tuned for more reports!
My only Pandemic experience has been with the dice-based version Pandemic: The Cure which, for the most part, is a vanilla Pandemic. However, Pandemic Legacy breathes new life into the series. We spent time at the outset choosing our characters and discussing a bit of strategy. This was proceeded by failing horribly in our first and second games. This forced Matt to excruciatingly tear up a card while I was given the opportunity to open a super secret document. The game has really grabbed me and I am looking forward to playing more. We are planning on blogging about our campaign, so be sure to look out for that.
I think I forgot how hard Pandemic could be. The Legacy game quickly reminded me. Holy. Crap. We did not do well, guys. We played the month of January and I don’t wanna spoil anything for the people so that’s all I’ve got for you. Calliope (the researcher I played) and I will just need to skate better.
Between Two Cities
To Ben’s dismay, we got our first play of Between Two Cities with six rowdy League members on a Friday night. While I basically missed the entire rules overview, the game is simple enough to pick up quickly. The tile-drafting was satisfying, but building the cities with your partners was a largely solitary experience and reports of games consistently ending in a tie have been flowing in. I honestly don’t know what to make of this game and will look to play it a few more times before fully weighing in. Be sure to check out Episode 32 of the Podcast of Nonsensical Gamers for some more discussing on this one.
After a somewhat lengthy rules explanation (mostly caused by us goofing off on Periscope), I was handed oddly designed tiles with a theme that felt disconnected from what was presented on the box cover. After drafting tiles you must decide between which of your two cities to build each tile. Clever title alert! The mechanics are solid and intriguing but presented in a baffling way. Our game ended up in a tie among most players, except Dan and I, who were unsurprisingly goofing off the most during rules explanation (sorry, Ben!). In the future I would rather just play 7 Wonders instead.
The premise of this game was really bizarre to me and we approached it after getting our butts handed to us in Pandemic: Legacy. With that being said, Steve and I built a totally killer city that won me the game. After we actually started playing, the weird initial explanation of the rules quickly made sense to me and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
I finally received my Kickstarter copy of Tiny Epic Galaxies and got it to the table on our last game night. It’s another in the line of stripped down microgames that offer a translated version of the big box titles on today’s shelves. Galaxies is a dice-based “civilization builder,” though I use that term loosely. With lots of luck mitigation and relatively streamlined play, I enjoyed this game for what it was, but it fell a bit flat overall. There is simply too much lost when condensing games into this micro-format and it shows. The game ran too long for what it was and produced a fairly one-note experience. While I’ll continue to try it out a few more times, my first play was lackluster at best.
I do love space games and this was an interesting game to play. In general, I enjoyed it. But, I’m not sure how I feel about how long it took to play. Getting to 21 points seemed like a bit much and it felt like it was taking us a really long time to get through. Part of that could be attributed to the fact that there was some learning involved, as we had to go over the rules and everything, but I think I would like it better if the points threshold for end game was a bit lower.
The Builders: Antiquity
This game is a follow-up to last year’s The Builders: Middle Ages; a light, satisfying drafting and set collection game which utilizes a simple action point allowance system at its core. I won’t go into too much detail about the game now, but keep an eye out for a full review/comparison of the two in the near future! In short, The Builders: Antiquity adds Investments to the game—cards with a one-time payment that can be used to enhance your worker pool. This is important to note because the worker pool has decreased significantly from the Middle Ages version, so you’ll need to invest wisely to augment your workforce and make sure that resources are used effectively. Overall, a solid filler game with some new twists to explore.
I was poised to finish construction on my last structure (which was worth seven points, thank you very much) and end the game when Matt did it just before me. Unfortunately, I went first when we played so that meant I got no more turns and ended up losing miserably.
Ryu (The one with the thingie over the ‘u’)
Ryu has up to five players travelling the nine sacred mountains (well… islands, really, after global warming really screwed up their planet), collecting bits and pieces in an attempt to build their own idiosyncratic representation of the old dragon god, Ryu, before he rises again. This was… a game, and I played it, and I don’t have much to say beyond that.