Adventure Land –
Adventure Land is one of the new titles in HABA’s family line of games. Branching out from their usual MO, children’s games, they’ve created a series of entry level euro-style games, including this one about adventuring through a fantasy world, fighting monsters and collecting resources. The game is scenario based and my most recent play was of scenario III, where we had to flee the invasion of horrible creatures and take shelter within the city walls. Each game turn was simple, but the decision of what strategy to pursue was a tough one, more so than I think a typical family game would require. Still, I enjoyed the play and hope to try out the other two included scenarios sometime.
The main goal of scenario two is to have the largest group as possible (the magnificent) on the map at the end of the game. The board is setup as a 10×10 grid and adventurers move along the grid collecting items, gaining companions and fighting monsters. Card draws determine where things pop up and also work as a timer to trigger the end of the game. Quickly into this game I had devised a plan but that plan ended up always changing due the board state when my turn came around. I killed a few hefty monsters with some actually decent die rolls for once! It was a tight game in the end but I was able to eek out the win and had the largest Magnificent with a group of 10.
More Adventureland from @HABA_usa #boardgames pic.twitter.com/G1wG7XwHAS
— Nonsensical Gamers (@LeagueNonsense) March 13, 2016
I picked this game up on a whim from one of the vendors at PrezCon. For $10 I couldn’t pass up a Spiel des Jahres recommended game – even if just to try it out. The game was described to me as a more cutthroat and enjoyable Tsuro. After two plays of this game, I can understand this sentiment. Players are trying to connect their subway cars to various stations around the board using tiles with crazy patterns on them. Your subway routes score points based on the number of tiles that line has crossed to get to its final destination. With the ability to place your tiles next to any adjacent tile on the board, confrontation is almost inevitable as you attempt to block your opponents from scoring a complex subway route. While confrontation in games is not always my thing I didn’t mind it at all in this game; quite the opposite actually as I was laughing most of the game at everyone’s bad luck, including mine. I am not sure how long this game will remain in my collection but for now, I am enjoying my plays and for $10 it was a steal!
Android: Netrunner –
I was the proud owner of a core set about two years ago and I had a lot of fun anytime I got to play, unfortunately the timing and money was not the right time and I sold it off to a new home not long after. But baby, I am back! I am jumping back in with both feet and getting back into the swing of things. I am playing over skype with Matt and Craig from Botch games and hope we can expand the interest. I plan to do more in person playing as well any time I can. The highlight of our recent games is beating matt with a scorched earth! But he did the same thing to me next game 🙁 . If you are interested in playing with us, send me or Matt a message on twitter.
New Year’s Resolutions be damned! I have sacrificed my goal of not buying new games in favor of Android Netrunner, my favorite game of all time and the best two-player experience in gaming. Hyperbole aside, I’m happy to be pursuing steady play of this game again, both over Skype and in person. My goal is not to get ahead of myself collecting cards, rather just focus on the enjoyment of the game. If you’re up for a match, you know where to find me!
Panda Head –
A pretty simple little trick taker that requires some interesting decisions with your cards. You need to play all seven cards from your hand while trying to hold onto the lowest card possible for the last trick. The player who has the highest card in the final trick will score points, but points are no bueno. The major issue we have with this game is the very misleading play time. The scoring works out fine but the player elimination will take FOREVER. If you play until someone hits 21 then you have yourself a great filler game.
Risk: Legacy –
After one aborted attempt at running a campaign of this when it first came out, it looks like I’ve been sucked into the abyss of dice-rolling once more. With my glorious faction of ‘Mechs stolen away, I had to settle for the bear cavalry… which is cool enough, as long as you ignore the fact that they’re trying to use spears and such against modern armour. As usual, the Asian borders against Europe and Africa were a hotbed of fighting, leading to the creation of two new countries… ‘Bunkerstan’ in what used to be the Middle East as my Enclave of the Bear attempted to gain a foothold against the Khan Industries, while ‘Noammostan’ replaced Afghanistan as Die Mechaniker went to war with the Imperial Balkania. Expect more updates to come, but this may be a lengthy campaign as this group only tends to meet up at conventions, alas.
Fire and Axe –
Some of the gameplay on this one got clunky and slow, but in general this was a great game in which you get to be a Viking and trade stuff and ransack Europe (more trading than ransacking, which seems very un-Vikingly, but what the hell do I know?).
I’ve yet to have a bad time playing this game, even if some card combinations make you want to tear your hair out in frustration! The clutch play of the night came (from the opposing team!) with a clue of “Superheroes” which was used to match up ‘Torch’ and ‘Angel’. Alas, my team hasn’t played enough 18XX games to get my attempted connection between stock certificates and trains to pull out the save.