Thursday, October 19, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Essen Spiel Post Part I: Top 5 Game Expansions

Time for my yearly look at one of the largest boardgame conventions, Essen Spiel 2017Gen Con 2017 is in the rearview mirror and now we come up to the convention that seems to have the most new releases each year.  This year is no different as there are over 900 entries on W. Eric Martin’s Spiel ’17 Preview at BoardGameGeek.  These entries range from expansions to full-fledged games to demos that aren’t being released yet but have at least prototype level components so Spiel-goers can check them out.  This post will specifically take a look at the game expansions that I’m most interested in (that I haven’t played/tried yet) that have a first-time English release at the convention.  Much of this list could be subject to change depending on what actually makes it to Spiel, but it seems as though at least most of these expansions will make it.  Enjoy the read!

Honorable Mention – The Bloody Inn: The Carnies (Pearl Games)


The Bloody Inn: The Carnies is an expansion to the 2015 Pearl Games game, The Bloody Inn by Nicolas Robert.  The Carnies is designed by Robert as well and is going to see its release at this year’s Essen Spiel.  The Bloody Inn is a macabre card game that has heavy hand-management, card-drafting and tableau-building in the competitive game.  This expansion will add three new modules that add some different experiences to the game.  The first module adds in the carnies that can also add in event cards if you want to do so.  The second module adds in notables which replace the nobles from the original game.  Lastly, the final module adds in tips and tricks from your Aunt Ginette who (for a price of course) will give you things to help with your twisted plan.  This expansion looks to add more variability to a game I’ve been interested in for some time and now am even more interested in.



Fabled Fruit: The Lime Expansion is an expansion to the 2016 2F Spiele/Stronghold Games game, Fabled Fruit by Friedemann Friese.  The Lime Expansion is also designed by Friese and will be released at Spiel 2017.  Fabled Fruit is a worker -placement, hand-management and set-collection game where the action spots consistently change.  This expansion adds in 20 new locations for worker placement, the lime cards and gambling tokens which will add new wrinkles to the current gameplay.  We really enjoyed the original game and are looking forward to adding this new content in and going through it all over again!



Isle of Skye: Journey man is an expansion to the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King released by Lookout Games/Mayfair Games and designed by Alexander Pfister and Andreas Pelikan.  Journeyman is also designed by Pfister and Pelikan and will be released at Spiel 2017.  Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King is an auction, tile-laying and set-collection game where each player is building up their own territory in order to score certain changing goals each round.  This expansion will have new player boards to track strength, popularity and prosperity.  There is also a new pawn which will travel the board and activate the tiles as well as some new scoring tiles.  I can’t wait to try this one out!



Oh My Goods!: Escape to Canyon Brook is an expansion to the 2015 Lookout Games/Mayfair Games game, Oh My Goods! by Alexander Pfister.  Escape to Canyon Brook is also designed by Pfister and will be released at this year’s Essen Spiel.  Oh My Goods! is a fantastic card game which uses hand-management, multi-use cards, resource management and push-your-luck as each player is trying to get the most points while building up their personal tableau.  This expansion will continue on the footsteps of the prior expansion, Longsdale in Revolt, where Pfister added in a campaign and story mode to the already great gameplay.  I can’t wait to pick this up and add it to the base game and first expansion and look forward to what is to come in the story!



Fields of Arle: Tea & Trade is an expansion to the 2014 Z-Man Games hit, Fields of Arle by Uwe Rosenberg.  Tea & Trade is also designed by Rosenberg along with help from fellow designer Tido Lorenz and will be released at Spiel 2017.  Fields of Arle is a worker-placement, resource-management and economic farming game where each player is building up their personal board in the German area of East Frisia.  This expansion will give players even more things to do as they may expand to trading in the north regions along with more buildings, actions and abilities.  Lastly the game also adds in the ability for a third player to join in the funI can’t wait for this expansion as it will be a personal insta-buy!



Ticket to Ride: Map Collection Volume 6: France & Old West is an expansion to the 2004 Spiel des Jahres winner, Ticket to Ride released by Days of Wonder and designed by Alan R. Moon.  Map Collection Volume 6: France & Old West is also designed by Moon and will be released at Essen Spiel 2017.  Ticket to Ride is a classic set-collection, hand-management and route-building game where each player is gaining points by laying down their personal trains in order to connect certain cities to each other.  This expansion will add in a double-sided map, one side of France and the other of the Old West.  The France side of the map will add in double tracks that aren’t yet colored where the players need to place a tile when they draw a card in order to create places to go.  The Old West side of the map gives each player a starting location where they will need to build and continue on in the network they have already built.  This is one of our favorite games and we will absolutely pick up everything that comes out for it.

Well, there you have it!  These are my top 5 expansions (plus 1 honorable mention) that are coming out at this year’s Essen Spiel.  Most of these expansions will be in my collection soon as they are already to games that we adore.  So what are your most anticipated expansions?  Keep an eye out as my next post will be on my top 5 anticipated reimplementations/reprint/new editions that are coming out at Essen Spiel 2017.  Thanks for your time and I hope you enjoyed the read.  Until next time, game on!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XXVII: September 2017

And we’re done with another month!  September flew by quickly and I see October doing the same.  We are actually in the process of buying a house and finishing up and will hopefully close in October which means we’ll be in the new digs soon!  Even with all of that craziness going on this month included our highest amount of plays for the year at 63!  I look forward to seeing all the awesome games we get to play this coming month as well!  Let’s see where I’m at on my 10x10 stats and then we’ll move on to the main part of this post.

10x10 Challenge:
Arkham Horror: The Card Game (4 plays in September, 6 total plays for 2017)
Cottage Garden (0 plays in September, 8 total plays for 2017)
Five Tribes (2 play in September, 6 total plays for 2017)
Gloomhaven (1 play in September, 12 total plays for 2017)
Great Western Trail (0 plays in September, 6 total plays for 2017)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (2 plays in September, 11 total plays for 2017)
Ticket to Ride (2 plays in September, 15 total plays for 2017)
Tokaido (0 plays in September, 5 total plays for 2017)
Too Many Bones (2 plays in September, 13 total plays for 2017)
Unfair (1 play in September, 8 total plays for 2017)

Alright, let’s move on to the games that I’ve played this past month.  As I said, it was another good month of gaming and we were able to get a whole bunch of really good games to the table!  Read on to check out what these games were and I hope you enjoy!

Statistics:
Total plays in September 2017 – 63
Total unique games played in September 2017 – 31
New games played in September 2017 – 3
New games acquired in September 2017 – N/A
New expansions acquired in September 2017 – 1
Most plays of a single game in September 2017 – 7



Designer – Carl Chudyk/Chris Cieslik
Publisher – Asmadi Games
Last play before September 2017 – 3/25/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 7

Em and I pulled this game out a few different times this past month and were able to get in a bunch of plays which actually put us over 100 total plays!  This is pretty cool since it is the first game that we’ve broken 100 plays with since I’ve started keeping track.



Designer – Scott Frisco/Steven Strumpf
Publisher – HABA
Last play before September 2017 – 10/1/16
Total plays in September 2017 – 6

I pulled this game out in the beginning of September and taught it to some buddies of mine from work.  I’m happy to say that they loved the game and can’t wait to play it again!  This will always remain one of our favorite dexterity, filler games!



Designer – Adam Carlson/Josh Carlson
Publisher – Chip Theory Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/27/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 6

Yay!  We pulled out this fantastic little abstract game a few times this month and played it 6 times!  This is such and quick and fun game and is beautiful to boot!  I’d recommend this to anyone who loves great components and fun, quick gameplay.



Designer – Nate French/Matthew Newman
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before September 2017 – 7/29/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 4

Oh man do I love this game!  Em and I finished up the base box playing as a couple characters and I decided to go back through it playing solo.  I picked up the Dunwich Legacy expansion and started using another investigator for my solitaire play.



Designer – Kane Klenko
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
New to me
First play – 9/4/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 3

Josh picked this game up at Gen Con 50 and we pulled it out and tried it out this past month.  I really like this game and think that it may be my current favorite dexterity game.  If you’re looking for Space Invaders the co-op dexterity game then look no further!



Designer – Jason Harner/Matthew Ransom
Publisher – Brotherwise Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/20/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 3

This small dice game is one that I picked up at Gen Con and I very pleased that I did.  This game is going over very well with people as it is super simple to teach and a lot of fun to play.  I love the dice rolling and placement and the using of different types of dice.  I hope they eventually release an expansion to give it even more variability.



Designer – Masato Uesugi
Publisher – IELLO
Last play before September 2017 – 5/3/16
Total plays in September 2017 – 3

We grabbed this small-box game and took it to the park with us one day when we were taking our daughter out to play.  While she was running around the playground we broke this out and played 3 rounds of it.  This is still a quick, fun and simple game and we enjoy it occasionally.



Designer – Darrell Louder/Mike Mullins
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Dice Hate Me
Last play before September 2017 – 1/18/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

We finally got our copy of the new expansion from a Kickstarter campaign last year and we love it!  This expansion adds a whole bunch of new cards and some interesting new gameplay mechanisms that are tacked onto an already great game.  This is one of our favorite two-player-only fillers and this just makes it even better.



Designer – Emerson Matsuuchi
Publisher – Plan B Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/22/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

This game is awesome!  I was excited to see that they were releasing this version of the game at Gen Con 50 and I’m really happy that I decided to pick it up.  This is one of those games (much like Ticket to Ride for us) that is really easy to teach and play but gives the players different decisions and has a surprising amount of depth.



Designer – Bruno Cathala
Publisher – Days of Wonders
Last play before September 2017 – 8/5/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

Em and I picked up this game twice this past month and they were some amazing rounds!  In both games the winner (Em won once and I won once) ended up getting 241 points and the defeated lost by less than 10 points!  This is just a great game and we love it!



Designer – Bruno Cathala/Charles Chevallier
Publisher – IELLO
Last play before September 2017 – 7/9/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

Em and I grabbed this one off the shelf and played it a couple of times this past month.  This is such a simple and fun card drafting game and it looks absolutely beautiful as well.  This game won’t be leaving our shelf anytime soon.



Designer – Mike Selinker/Chad Brown/Tanis O’Connor/Paul Peterson/Gaby Weidling
Publisher – Paizo Publishing
Last play before September 2017 – 3/16/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

Em and I broke out our characters (Merisiel and Kyra) and played a couple of scenarios in the Spires of Xin-Shalast adventure deck which is the last of this box.  It has been a long run but we are only one scenario away from finishing up the Rise of the Runelords box and moving on the Skull and Shackles box.



Designer – Alan R. Moon
Publisher – Days of Wonder
Last play before September 2017 – 6/23/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

We took a day during the weekend and decided to break out Ticket to Ride with the Switzerland and India maps.  I was able to just barely beat Em on the Switzerland and won pretty heftily on the India map keeping my winning streak on that expansion alive!



Designer – Adam Carlson/Josh Carlson
Publisher – Chip Theory Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/19/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 2

Anytime I get to play Too Many Bones is a win in my book!  Josh and I were able to break it out and play a good two player game on a Friday night and then we played it with four players a week later!  Em, Josh and I taught the game to Dustin and we had an absolute blast.  I love this game and can’t wait for the Undertow expansion to go live on Kickstarter in a couple of weeks!



Designer – Ignacy Trzewiczek
Publisher – Portal Games
Last play before September 2017 – 1/21/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

I taught Josh how to play this great card game this past month and he really enjoyed it.  I would love to get more people into the act and get a good 3-4 player game started sometime in the near future as I think it’d be a blast!



Designer – Tim Fowers
Publisher – Fowers Games
New to me
First play – 9/15/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Josh pulled this one out one Friday game night and we played it with our friend Mary Beth.  This was the first time I’d played this game and it is a really good co-op game.  I like the movement and different powers that the characters have and it makes for quite a fun and interesting puzzle.



Designer – Ole Steiness
Publisher – Grey Fox Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/5/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

So we picked up the expansions to this game and played them this past month and all I have to say is wow!  These expansions don’t just make the game a little better, they make it leaps and bounds better!  This game had only one thing I didn’t love about it and that was the fact that if you lose a battle and your dice warriors die, then they are gone and serve no purpose.  The Valhalla expansion changes that and makes the game so much more interesting!  This is now, in my opinion, a necessary expansion.



Designer – Paul Dennen
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
New to me
First play – 9/4/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Josh picked this one up at Gen Con 50 so we tried it out.  I’ve been wanting to try out Clank! and when Renegade Game Studios announced this one I wanted to play!  We had a good time although I think I enjoyed it more than Em or Josh.  This is the type of deck builder that I like, something different.



Designer – Holger Lanz
Publisher – Capstone Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/25/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Josh and I went to a local game meet-up and played this game with three other people.  This is an interesting abstract style game where you’re trying to get the highest.  I raced out to the lead but couldn’t hold it in the end.  This game is much better with more people as the options become more interesting



Designer – Alexey Konnov/Alexey Paltsev/Anatoliy Shklyarov
Publisher – Brain Games
Last play before September 2017 – 5/2/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Em and I were able to get away for an afternoon when Fiona went to a get-together at the YMCA.  While we were sitting in a café we pulled out this game and got in a quick play of it before we had to go and pick her back up.  This is a fun, filler game.



Designer – Isaac Childres
Publisher – Cephalofair Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/10/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

September was a busy month so sadly we weren’t able to meet up for our Gloomhaven night as much as usual.  That being said, we were at least able to meet up once and it was a great session!  This particular scenario had us splitting up the group in order to push down pressure plates to continue on and find a disembodied voice.  We still love this game and I don’t see that love ever waning!



Designer – Alexander Pfister/Andeas Pelikan
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before September 3027 – 1/22/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

We decided one night that it had been too long since we’d played this Kennerspiel des Jahres winner.  I absolutely love this game and Em quite enjoys it as well.  While this has become a favorite tile-laying game we still haven’t played it with more than two so that is our next goal.



Designer – Peer Sylvester
Publisher – Osprey Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/22/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

This is another game I pulled out and played with some of my buddies who are just getting into some games.  This is a great (yet highly mean) co-operative experience where players are working together to get the icons they need to move ahead in the jungle and eventually find El Dorado.



Designer – Nikki Valens
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before September 2017 – 10/9/16
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

One night this past week I got an urge to play this incredibly thematic adventure-style game.  Josh came over and played this round with us and it was awesome!  We weren’t able to win the scenario but it didn’t matter as we had a ton of fun!  This play has just made me want to get another play in soon!



Designer – Ryan Laukat
Publisher – Red Raven Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/16/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Em and I continued our character quests in this game and continued on to the next map in the book.  This game is absolutely great and we are having a ton of fun in the plays we’ve had so far.  I’m looking forward to finishing these characters and trying out some of the others.



Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before September 2017 – 1/26/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Em and I pulled this out during a breakfast date and played it along with the first expansion.  I love this game and I think the expansion adds even more coolness to the mix.  Now we have a wonderful Euro-style card game that deals with resource and hand management while also having a story connected to the mechanisms.



Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Pegasus Spiele
Last play before September 2017 – 6/9/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Em and I played this game during a breakfast date this past month and it is awesome.  I love this game as a simple, filler, push-your-luck card game that is both easy and fun to play.  This is just one of those games that cements Pfister as one of my favorite game designers.



Designer – R. Eric Reuss
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus
Last play before September 2017 – 8/29/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

One night this past month Em decided that she wanted to play this fantastic co-op game so we pulled it out and set it up.  We chose some spirits that we hadn’t tried yet and played and were able to win the game!  It is hard for me to explain how very good this game is but I will say that it has a good chance of being in my top 10 and possibly even my top 5!



Designer – Helmut Ohley
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/20/16
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

Wow, it has been quite a while since we had played this game!  We brought it one day when we were dropping baby Knives off at the YMCA and we went out for some lunch.  We just ended up in a café and pulled this out and Em proceeded to just barely edge me out!



Designer – Joel Finch
Publisher – Good Games Publishing/CMON
Last play before September 2017 – 8/6/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

I grabbed this game and brought it over to Josh’s house one night when we had some time to play games.  This was the first time he played it and although it isn’t his favorite he did enjoy the play.  I continue to really like this game and find it to just be fun every time we play.



Designer – Jonathan Gilmour/Ben Pinchback/Matt Riddle
Publisher – Pandasaurus Games
Last play before September 2017 – 8/26/17
Total plays in September 2017 – 1

This past month marks the second play of this absolute gem of a pick-up-and-deliver and resource management game!  I brought it to a game night with Josh and Jeff and taught them the game.  This was an absolute blast and we loved every minute of the game!  I can’t wait to play again and hopefully with even more players!

New game acquisitions in September 2017:
N/A

New expansion acquisitions in September 2017:

Well there you have it, another wonderful month’s worth of gaming!  This past month was great and I can’t wait to see what we get to the table this coming month.  Keep an eye out on the blog as my next series should be my Essen Spiel posts.  I can’t wait to really pour through the games that are coming out at this year’s convention and really see what I’m interested in.  Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed!  Until next time, game on!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XXVI: August 2017

Wow, August was quite a month!  I was able to go to Gen Con 50 this year which was just last month and it was amazing!  This was my very first convention and I’m glad that I chose to go to Gen Con as I had a complete blast there!  Because of Gen Con I was able to get in a bunch of new games and also just a large amount of distinct games.  My one regret is that I didn’t get even more demos in but I plan on remedying that next year.  Well, enough rambling, here are my 10x10 stats before moving onto my plays for the month.

10x10 Challenge:
Arkham Horror: The Card Game (0 plays in August, 2 total plays for 2017)
Cottage Garden (1 play in August, 8 total plays for 2017)
Five Tribes (1 play in August, 4 total plays for 2017)
Gloomhaven (2 plays in August, 11 total plays for 2017)
Great Western Trail (0 plays in August, 6 total plays for 2017)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (0 plays in August, 9 total plays for 2017)
Ticket to Ride (0 plays in August, 13 total plays for 2017)
Tokaido (1 play in August, 5 total plays for 2017)
Too Many Bones (1 play in August, 11 total plays for 2017)
Unfair (2 plays in August, 7 total plays for 2017)

Well now, with the 10x10 stats out of the way we can move on the meat of my post.  August was a great month and it was the very first time I was able to go to a boardgame convention as I went to Gen Con 50.  Keep reading to see what we played this past month!

Statistics:
Total plays in August 2017 – 55
Total unique games played in August 2017 – 34
New games played in August 2017 – 16
New games acquired in August – 11
New expansions acquired in August 2017 – 3
Most plays of a single game in August – 5



Designer – Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher – Tasty Minstrel Games/OKAZU Brand
New to me
First play – 8/19/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 5

This is one of the games that I picked up at Gen Con 50.  I’ve known about this co-op card game for a while but hadn’t had a chance to pick it up.  While walking by the Tasty Minstrel booth I demoed it with another guy and we just barely lost.  That sealed the deal and I bought a copy and have had the chance to play it a fair number of times already.  It is a great little card game!



Designer – Adam Carlson/Josh Carlson
Publisher – Chip Theory Games
New to me
First play – 8/24/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 5

Em and I got this Kickstarter in just after Gen Con and it is great!  This is the first small game by the publisher Chip Theory Games and it is just as high of a quality as their big games.  They are becoming a company that I’ll look at everything they do and probably give them my money as they are fantastic and have super high customer service!



Designer – Emerson Matsuuchi
Publisher – Plan B Games
New to me
First play – 8/18/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 4

This is another game that I picked up at Gen Con and man is this one good!  I love a good game that is simple to teach and deep in decisions and this one definitely has that!  I also love that they decided to go ahead and do this version as I love the art and the production.  This will absolutely be a game that stays on our shelf!



Designer – R. Eric Reuss
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus
New to me
First play – 8/12/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 4

Okay wow…this game is absolutely amazing!  I have been watching production notes on this one for some time and was super excited to see it finally being released.  It did not disappoint me at all!  This game is one of the most amazing co-operative games that I’ve played.  It has a feel of Pandemic but so much more rich and deep in the decisions.  This will end up on my top 10 list when I next update it!



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – AMIGO Spiele
Last play before August 2017 – 6/9/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 4

I pulled this game out and taught it to some friends this past month and they really dug it!  This will always be one of those perfect games to just throw in your bag and bring with you anywhere as it is quick, simple and takes up very little space on a table.  I’d highly recommend this game to anyone.



Designer – Isaac Childres
Publisher – Cephalofair Games
Last play before August 2017 – 7/19/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 2

We got in a couple more plays of our current campaign style game and they were awesome as usual.  This game continues to wow us and we are having a blast playing through the scenarios and upgrading our characters to the point that we feel they are super powerful!  We have played through 11 scenarios at this point and we can honestly say we feel we haven’t even scratched the surface of this game!



Designer – Ryan Laukat
Publisher – Red Raven Games
New to me
First play – 8/14/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 2

Here is another game that we picked up right around Gen Con and were able to get in a couple of plays.  Em and I tend to really like his games and the worlds/art that he creates so this game was a no-brainer.  We have really enjoyed the first couple of plays of this game and I am really looking forward to more as I think it could possibly be my favorite of his games.



Designer – Nigel Pyne
Publisher – maverick muse
Last play before August 2017 – 6/22/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 2

This game has always been one that confuses me.  We really like this game but don’t play it very often at all.  The fact that we played it twice this month is actually pretty impressive.  I still would recommend this one to people because it is pretty easy to teach and takes a small amount of time to play.  Plus, as a bonus, you don’t really need a table as you can play with the deck in your hands.  I hope to break this game out more and would really love to find the expansion which I have had no luck tracking down.



Designer – Joel Finch
Publisher – Good Games Publishing/CMON
Last play before August 2017 – 4/22/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 2

Em and I pulled out this fun and quick card drafting game this past month and played it a couple of times.  This is such a fun card drafting game and we are planning on pulling it out with some of our friends to teach them as we think they’d love it!  We just got our replacement cards as ours were incorrectly sized so I think this may bring it to the table even more as the cards will be much easier to shuffle!



Designer – Ryan Laukat
Publisher – Red Raven Games
Last play before August 2017 – 8/3/16
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

I brought this game along with me one night this past month to teach a couple of friends.  I realized that it had been quite some time since I pulled this one out and wanted to play it again.  This is a really solid dice placement, almost-race game and my buddies really liked it!  I hope to get a few more plays out of this one.



Designer – Isaac Vega
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
Last play before August 2017 – 6/15/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

I pulled this out and taught it to my buddy Dustin (a Magic: The Gathering player) and he really liked it.  I love getting the chance to play this game and we’re looking forward to trying out the drafting rules as we have four people in our group who now know how to play.



Designer – Alexander Pfister/Andreas Pelikan
Publisher – Ravensburger
Last play before August 2017 – 6/12/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Em and I pulled this game out and taught it to Molly and Dustin one night while they were over.  This is such a great game and just one of the reasons that Alexander Pfister is one of my favorite designers.  I will always take notice when he creates a new game and looking forward to more plays of this!



Designer – Frédéric Henry
Publisher – Bombyx/Asmodee
Last play before August 2017 – 2/3/16
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

It had been quite a long time since I’d played this game and so I brought it out with a couple of friends who are just starting to learn modern boardgames.  They really enjoyed this quick and fun game and I’m looking forward to showing them more in the hobby.



Designer – Ole Steiness
Publisher – Grey Fox Games
New to me
First play – 8/5/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Another new pickup this month was this wonderful worker placement and dice rolling game.  We played and really enjoyed it but I did feel something was missing.  That missing thing was the Valhalla expansion which we picked up later on and have since played.  I’ll talk about the expansion more next month but just know that it makes a good game great!



Designer – Holger Lanz
Publisher – Capstone Games
New to me
First play – 8/25/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

This is an abstract, block placement game where you are climbing up a series of blocks and trying to get to the highest point and stopping your opponent from doing the same.  This was a quick and fun abstract game that also looks very pretty.



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Edition Spielwiese
Last play before August 2017 – 7/15/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Em wanted to get in a quick game of this 10x10 before we headed to sleep.  This is a one of those games that I like because I can pick it up and teach it in a few minutes and we can be up a rolling along.  I’m looking forward to the second game in this puzzle trilogy, Indian Summer, and how it is different.



Designer – Isaac Vega/Jonathan Gilmour
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
Last play before August 2017 – 4/29/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

On the Saturday of Gen Con we got a group of guys together and played a full game of Dead of Winter.  It was a fun time but I will say that I’m glad we don’t play with a full contingent of people often as it does cause for some large wait times in between turns although this doesn’t really bother me all that much.



Designer – Régis Bonnessée
Publisher – Libellud/Asmodee
Last play before August 2017 – 7/31/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

This has become the game that we’ve played that most that Em and I don’t even own!  This past month Josh pulled it out to play while another guy was there and we quickly taught it to him and played.  This is just a fun game.  There is pretty much nothing else that needs to be said…go get it!



Designer – Corey Konieczka/Nikki Valens
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before August 2017 – 1/7/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

So here is a game that my buddy Josh owns and we play a few times a year.  This is a super fun experience but definitely one where you need to set some time apart as they can go very long.  We played against Hastur in this session and were able to figure out all of the clues and eventually close the gates and defeat him before he woke up and destroyed the world.



Designer – Bruno Cathala
Publisher – Days of Wonder
Last play before August 2017 – 6/5/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Em and I played this game with Josh this past month and it was a great round!  The game ended up being a lower scoring game as I really pushed the endgame by getting my camels on the tiles and winning with less than 10 points difference between first and third place.  It was a great game and I can’t wait to play again!



Designer – Kane Klenko
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
Last play before August 2017 – 7/3/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Em and I pulled out this fantastic, real-time, dice-placement game and it was mean this time!  We had a ton of trouble clearing some of the cards and that really got us behind early in the game.  We made a bit of a comeback but weren’t quite able to finish it off by the time the round counter was complete.  This is a great game and we love every play!



Designer – Antoine Bauza
Publisher – R&R Games
Last play before August 2017 – 12/18/16
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

I brought this game along and taught it to my friends Zach and Stephanie and they loved it!  I love having a few games that I can just toss in a bag and quickly teach to anyone.  Zach and Steph did a great job for their first time and we scored a solid 17 points.  I look forward to playing it with them again and seeing how well we do that time around.



Designer – Peer Sylvester
Publisher – Osprey Games
New to me
First play – 8/22/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

This is one of my Gen Con pickups and it is a pretty sweet co-operative, hand management game that plays up to 5 people and can be super mean.  We quite enjoyed our first play of the game and were able to win even…of course it was on easy which may have skewed the results just slightly!  I’m looking forward to more plays of this game.



Designer – Bob Craig/Ryan Craig
Publisher – One Day West Games
New to me
First play – 8/18/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Josh and I grabbed a spot in the unpub room at Gen Con and sat down to play this game.  It is a tile-laying and dice rolling game where you are trying to escape a monster while he is stomping around a radioactive site.  The game was okay and Josh and I were able to give some things we thought would make the game better…but hey…I’m just a player, not a designer, so I only know so much!



Designer – Matt Leacock
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before August 2017 – 6/12/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Em and I broke out this fabulous dice game this past month and loaded it up.  This was a fantastic play of the game as we came down to the end and were just one roll of the dice away from either winning or losing and Em rolled beautifully and was able to cure the final disease before we were overtaken…it was awesome!



Designer – Larry Wickman
Publisher – GameWick Games
New to me
First play – 8/11/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Josh needed to get a refresher for this game as he was running demos at Gen Con in August so we helped him out by booting it up.  This is an interesting and fairly thematic dice-chucker in the same vein as Larry’s previous release, Pittsburgh 68While I probably wouldn’t own this game I enjoy playing them with a good group and game master.



Designer – Thomas Spitzer
Publisher – Capstone Games
New to me
First play – 8/24/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Josh picked this game up at Gen Con and was excited to try it out so we pulled it out in late August and learned the game.  This is actually a really good economic and pick-up-and-deliver game by the same guy who did Haspelknecht and Kohle & Kolonie (which I’m really looking forward to an English version!) and it is really deep!  This is a brain burner to be sure, but in the best way possible.  I look forward to trying it out with more people.



Designer – Scott Almes
Publisher – Gamelyn Games
New to me
First play – 8/20/17
Total plays in August – 1

This was another of my pick-ups at Gen Con 50.  I almost back this game back when it was on Kickstarter but decided against it at the time.  Even though I didn’t back it I was pretty sure that I was going to pick it up as it looked like a really fun push-your-luck, adventure style game in the vein of the Zelda games.  I was not disappointed!  I love the art and look of the game and it plays really well.  I feel like we aren’t good at it yet but I look forward to playing it more!



Designer – Antoine Bauza
Publisher – Funforge
Last play before August 2017 – 7/15/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

We pulled this game out at a game night in early August and I taught it to Josh, Tyler and Mary Beth.  This is always a fun game and I love being able to teach it to new people as it is just one of those fun and chill games that everyone seems to enjoy.



Designer – Adam Carlson/Josh Carlson
Publisher – Chip Theory Games
Last play before August 2017 – 6/28/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Well, I don’t know how much more I can say about this game.  It has quickly become one of my favorite games and I’m sure that it will continue to rise as I just get more and more plays out of it.  Plus, as an awesome bonus, they are doing a Kickstarter in October that will be the release of the first major expansion to the game, Undertow.  I can’t wait!



Designer – Jason Harner/Matthew Ransom
Publisher – Brotherwise Games
New to me
First play – 8/20/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

Here is another game that I picked up at Gen Con.  This game started to gain some buzz shortly before the convention as a quick dice-rolling game that had more than one way to win.  I decided to try it out and really like it!  It is very quick, easy to teach and quite a lot of fun as well!  This is a game I’d absolutely take along to a gathering with people who don’t play many games as it is easy to learn.



Designer – Seiji Kanai/Kuro
Publisher – Alderac Entertainment Group/Manifest Destiny
New to me
First play – 8/23/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

This was a Gen Con acquisition and I was able to get it to the table to try it out solo one night when Em was out with a friend for the night.  I had been looking at this game for a while as its first edition has been available to tough to get.  Finally AEG announced they were doing it and I knew I’d pick it up.  I really enjoyed my first play and look forward to teaching it to others!



Designer – Alice Carroll/Thomas Cauët/Cyril Demaegd
Publisher – Asmodee
New to me
First play – 8/19/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

This was one of the few demos that I played while at Gen Con and I’m glad I did.  I’ve been somewhat interested in the different escape room style boardgames for some time and this is another of them.  This game was super clever in the way it was created and I think we would enjoy it quite a bit although I don’t know that I love a game that could be played only one time total.  Regardless of my opinion of the amount of plays of a game, the game was very fun!



Designer – Jonathan Gilmour/Ben Pinchback/Matt Riddle
Publisher – Pandasaurus Games
New to me
First play – 8/26/17
Total plays in August 2017 – 1

And the final game on this month’s list was also a new pick-up!  This is a highly and beautifully produced pick-up-and-deliver game released by Pandasaurus and it is awesome!  This game is just such an amazing blend of Euro-style mechanisms and some American-style theme and it hits in all the right spots.  I hope I get to play this game a ton because it is just a fun game!

New game acquisitions in August 2017:

New expansion acquisitions in August 2017:

Wow what a month!  August was such a great time with all of the new pick-ups and mainly because I finally got to go to Gen Con!  I can’t wait for next year as I’ll definitely be going for at least a couple of days.  All of the new games have been played at least once and I’m glad to say that we enjoy them all and love a few of them!  With all the new releases and some extra time next month I am looking forward to seeing what our plays look like then.  Until next time, game on!