This game is so great. I’m so excited to have the production copy and to see what they did with it since the prototype that we played. The quality is excellent and it’s just so exciting to see all of the hard work that they put into the game. I’m excited to try out the new “Master of the Market” and single-player modes and the special potions from the Kickstarter campaign. If you didn’t back this campaign, I highly recommend you keep an eye out for it to release to retail because it is an excellent pick-up.
I am comfortably calling Apotheca one of the best games of 2016 so far. While it hasn’t quite hit the retail market, the Kickstarter fulfillment arrived recently and I’ve played it a half-dozen times since. It is an excellent mix of asymmetry, deduction, and puzzle solving. When coupled with the fantastic production value, this game becomes a must-have.
This game is great and I really regret not backing this on Kickstarter. I’ll probably pick up my own copy soon. It’s a must have for me to add to my collection.
Star Wars: Rebellion –
It’s only April but already one of the year’s biggest titles is here. Star Wars Rebellion is a sprawling two-player game where players enact the epic struggle between the massive Imperial military and the guerilla rebel forces. It took Ben and I around 5 hours to complete, but it was well worth it. The rules are surprisingly simple, leaving the bulk of the gameplay to the wit and guile of the players at the table. It was great, and tense, and horrible, and I was sooo close to winning. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Got in a first play of this beast with Matt. I played as the Imperials and it’s a great mix of deduction and dudes on a map. The first play took about 5 hours, but it absolutely did not feel that long. I was engaged the entire time and can not wait to play again.
T.I.M.E Stories: Asylum –
My wife Alicia has been on sort of a break in her gaming career and has been going on for a few months. I told her about TIME Stories when I acquired it in a trade and she was very intrigued by the premise but it has sat on the shelf for a few months. Out of the blue she asks “Hey can we play that time traveling game?” I’m pretty sure I was just a blur going down to the basement to grab it! After a few stumbles in some rules we got the hang of it and we were off and running. We were both hooked on the premise of the Asylum story and the mechanics of the game. It took us about five runs to complete the game in a span of three sessions. Figuring out the puzzles and acquiring useful items just feels so satisfying. There was some hesitation with playing with the original two player rules but the rulebook has been updated that suggests a new two player variant that plays like a three player game. I found it to work out perfectly. On to the Marcy Case!
Mouse Guard: Storms and Strongholds –
Swords & Strongholds is the board game implementation of a game played by the characters of the Mouseguard RPG universe. It’s a two-player abstract game where the goal is the move one of your wooden mice to the opponent’s end of the board using basic movement and some special cards. While it’s fun and right in my wheelhouse, the games seem to be a bit draw dependent and, for whatever reason, I’ve seen several players stuck with a dead hand of one card type. Still, it’s not a bad offering if you have 20 minutes to kill.
This is an excellent little abstract strategy game with the mice from Mouse Guard. You move them around the little board and try to knock your opponent’s mice off the board or build a stronghold in their territory. It’s great! It reminded me of The Duke, which is a game that I totally love.
Odin’s Ravens –
I loved it. It’s an excellent hand management race around the world in the form of a raven. The cards are beautiful, although I will say that some of the landscapes look very similar and it can be pretty frustrating when you think you have a different card than you actually do. The Loki cards add a nice twist when you’re stuck in a rut so that you can get moving again.
I’ve played this one a couple times now and it’s great filler race game to play real quick after an epic game of Star Wars: Rebellion or while deciding what to play next.
In an attempt to check the boxes of this month’s Top of the Stack, I persuaded Ben, Kel and Dan to give Rune Wars a try. One of FFG’s big box games – think fantasy themed Twilight Imperium – it is a massive endeavor of time, space, and strategic planning. After two hours and only 2 of the 7 total rounds, we decided to call it quits for the sake of playing other things (and going to sleep before 4 a.m.). I liked the gameplay though; it was surprisingly straightforward, there’s just a lot to consider each turn. We’ll hopefully break it back out some day, but with advanced notice and with the intention of finishing the whole game.
I think that, when we started this one, we bit off more than we could chew. This game took a very long time and we weren’t really prepared for the time commitment we needed to make. Rune Wars itself is not super complicated, but there’s quite a bit to learn before you can get into it enough that each turn doesn’t take forever. From the two (of seven) rounds that we played, this game seems like a challenge, but I look forward to giving it a whole shot when we’re better prepared.
This was probably my worst-ever game of Codenames I was totally thrown off by my word combinations and totally struggled to give clues. With that being said, this game is still a ton of fun!