Thursday, January 12, 2017

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XVIII: December 2016

Alright, let’s do a “What I Played In…” post! This one will focus on the games that we played in December. We got over 40 plays in this past month and a bunch of new plays! On top of the plays we got we obtained a bunch of new stuff for Christmas so there are a bunch of new things to play! Alright, on to the statistics!

Statistics:
Total plays in December 2016 – 45
Total unique games played in December 2016 – 26
New games played in December 2016 – 11
New games acquired in December 2016 – 12
New expansions acquired in December 2016 – 3
Most plays of a single game in December 2016 – 5

Fabled Fruit


Designer – Friedemann Friese
Publisher – Stronghold Games
New to me
First play – 12/26/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 5

This is one of the new games we got for Christmas and we love it! This game starts with six action spaces (cards) that are very simple interactions and starts adding in and subtracting out different cards/actions with every card scored. The game really changes and feels completely different now than it felt on the first play. This is also super simple so would be great to bring in new gamers!

Cottage Garden


Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Edition Spielwiese
New to me
First play – 12/23/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 4

This is another new game that we obtained this past month and was another hit! This takes a similar pattern building mechanism from Patchwork and A Feast for Odin and makes it a very simple, very fun 1-4 player game where you are building a garden using tile drafting. I’d highly recommend this as another game to really show new players that there are some awesome, simple, fun games out there!

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri


Designer – Kuro
Publisher – Osprey Games
Last play before December 2016 – 9/14/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 4

Em and I were really on a roll this past month pulling out this wonderful, two-player, asymmetrical card game. We had passed the beginning level of the game and are really trying to burst our way through the first envelope. We will eventually beat the level we’re on and we love it every time we try!

Five Tribes


Designer – Bruno Cathala
Publisher – Days of Wonder
New to me
First play – 12/25/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 3

This was a huge hit and another of our new games for the month! This reminds me of the fun that we had when we played Ticket to Ride for the first time! I think that this is going to be a contender for our top 10 list when we roll it back around next year. It is a great Mancala-style game that we had a ton of fun with and were able to teach Molly and Dustin on New Year’s Eve.

SeaFall


Designer – Rob Daviau
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
Last play before December 2016 – 11/24/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 3

Another month down and another few plays of SeaFall in the books! Em, Josh and I are really cruising through the campaign and really enjoying every minute of it. I can understand that some people don’t love this game but we really do! We are looking forward to our next plays of this game to see what stuff we’ll unlock and come across!

Bear Valley


Designer – Carl Chudyk
Publisher – Stronghold Games
Last play before December 2016 – 9/18/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 2

Em and I pulled out Bear Valley and got a couple of quick, fun plays in. This push-your-luck game by the card master, Carl Chudyk, is just a fun time every time we pull it out and I really want to teach this to other people to see what they think.

Beyond Baker Street


Designer – Robin Lees/Steve Mackenzie
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before December 2016 – 9/5/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 2

Em suggested that we pull this one off the shelf and get a couple of plays in. I forgot how much I enjoyed this game until we played a couple of rounds of it. If you are a fan of Hanabi, this is a really good next step as it has a similar mechanism but adds some variability. It doesn’t replace Hanabi but is a really good addition with a better theme!

Mysterium


Designer – Oleksandr Nevskiy/Oleg Sidorenko
Publisher – Libellud/Asmodee
Last play before December 2016 – 7/10/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 2

We pulled out Mysterium twice this past month and were able to teach it to Molly and Dustin earlier in the month and our family later in the month. This game is always a great time and I’m glad that everyone really liked it!

Star Realms


Designer – Robert Dougherty/Darwin Kastle
Publisher – White Wizard Games
New to me
First play – 12/9/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 2

Josh and I pulled this out after a game night this past month and played a couple of rounds. This deck-building is fun but I would never crave to play it. That being said, I had ton of fun even though I lost badly both times!

Würfel Bohnanza


Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Amigo Spiele
Last play before December 2016 – 10/27/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 2

Oh yeah, another month in the books and another game of rolling dice and selling beans! This is still one of our favorite dice-chuckers and is just always a good time. I really hope that an American publisher eventually picks this one up so others can enjoy the game as well!

Arkham Horror: The Card Game


Designer – Nate French/Matthew Newman
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
New to me
First play – 12/17/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

Oh wow. We finally picked this game up this past month and played the first scenario and it was incredible! I’m not sure that my wife is sold on the game yet but I hope that more plays of this amazing card game really gets her into the mechanisms and the campaigns!

Bohnanza


Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Rio Grande Games/Amigo Spiele
New to me
First play – 12/30/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

Finally! This game has been on our radar for a long time and Em got it for me for Christmas! We pulled it out and played it with Molly and Dustin and we all really enjoyed it. I love the trading and bartering that can be done during this game, it really makes the game stand out.

Diamonds


Designer – Mike Fitzgerald
Publisher – Stronghold Games
Last play before December 2016 – 12/25/15
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

This is a game that tends to be a mainstay during any family get-together as it is super easy to teach and play. Fitzgerald certainly earns his respect as an amazing card game designer and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next!

FUSE


Designer – Kane Klenko
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
Last play before December 2016 – 9/21/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

Em and I finally taught this game to Josh and we all had a good time playing this amazing dice-drafting, cooperative game. While we had a great time, we got our butts handed to us as we weren’t able to save the ship from destruction!

Hanabi


Designer – Antoine Bauza
Publisher – R&R Games
Last play before December 2016 – 6/30/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

This is another game that we taught Josh this past month and he really loved it! Every time I play this game and another of Bauza’s game, it reminds me how clever of a designer he is and why he is always one to look at when a new release hits the shelves.

Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft


Designer – Diego Ibañez
Publisher – Devir
Last play before December 2016 – 8/5/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

Em and I pulled out this fun hand-management, card-drafting, worker-placement game one night before Josh got over for a game. We really enjoy this small, but very fun, worker-placement game. Also, I really enjoy the Sherlock theme that they’ve added to the experience.

La Granja: No Siesta


Designer – Andreas Odendahl
Publisher – Stronghold Games
New to me
First play – 12/22/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

I pulled this game out just to try it as a solitaire play and it was really fun! I knew that I’d like the roll-and-write game from the run-throughs that I’d seen in the last couple of months leading up to its distribution into retail channels.

Oh My Goods!


Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Lookout Games
Last play before December 2016 – 9/7/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

Em and I pulled out this great card game during a breakfast date this past month. This is another fantastic Pfister game and we absolutely love it. This was actually a win for me even though Em tends to win it more often than not!

Pittsburgh 68


Designer – Larry Wickman
Publisher – GameWick Games
New to me
First play – 12/9/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

Josh pulled this game out at a game night and taught three of us how to play as he took on the role of the game master. It is a pretty fun all-versus-one game where we were facing off against Josh. It was an interesting game which I’d play again if asked but wouldn’t seek out.

Potion Explosion


Designer – Stefano Castelli/Andrea Crespi/Lorenzo Silva
Publisher – Cool Mini or Not/Horrible Games
Last play before December 2016 – 9/11/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

This is another game we pulled out while playing with Molly and Dustin. They really enjoyed this game and I don’t blame them! This super fun game of pattern building is very easy to teach and goes over well with everyone who plays!

Quadropolis


Designer – François Gandon
Publisher – Days of Wonder
Last plays before December 2016 – 7/17/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

We realized that we hadn’t played this one in a little while so decided to give it a go this past month. I tried too hard to get a really good amount of office buildings and failed at getting some other good scoring tiles which caused Em to win the game. We love this quick, fun, city-building game.

Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem


Designer – Aaron Dill/John Kovaleski/Sean Sweigart
Publisher – Gale Force Nine, LLC
New to me
First play – 12/9/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

This game was another that Josh taught us during a game night. It is a simple but somewhat fun worker placement game that finds each player taking on the role of a member of warring bike clubs. You are using fairly standard worker placement moves but they come together in a fairly thematic way. It is a pretty good game although far from my favorite usage of worker placement.

Star Wars: Armada


Designer – James Kniffen/Christian T. Petersen
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
New to me
First play – 12/2/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

A buddy, Tim, let us borrow this game and we tried it out this past month. It is a pretty fun game though it was easily one of the fiddliest games I’ve ever played. While we enjoyed the play, I don’t think we’ll be playing it again anytime soon.

Tokaido (w/ Crossroads & Matsuri)


Designer – Antoine Bauza
Publisher – Funforge
Last play before December 2016 – 1/16/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

We just got the deluxe version of this game and haven’t looked back. It is an absolutely stunning production and I’m glad we were able to pick it up at such a good price. We were able to teach Molly and Dustin the game and they really enjoyed the play. I’m looking forward to more plays on our beautiful new board!

Villages of Valeria


Designer – Isaias Vallejo/Rick Holzgrafe
Publisher – Daily Magic Games
New to me
First play – 12/31/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

This was a Kickstarter that was shipped out just before Christmas and it is definitely a winner! I only got a chance to play a single solo round in December but I loved it. This game is somewhat similar to Race for the Galaxy with some absolutely amazing fantasy art set in the Valeria world. I loved my play and look forward to teaching Em as I think she’ll really like it!

Wizards of the Wild


Designer – Adam West/Dan Schnake/Abe Schnake
Publisher – CrossCut Games
Last play before December 2016 – 6/28/16
Total plays in December 2016 – 1

We finished up a SeaFall game early one night so we decided to pull this out and teach it to our buddy Josh. He really liked it which made us happy as we really like this card and dice game. This is a game that didn’t have a ton of hype around it and thus I don’t hear much about it but if you’re a fan of card combos and dice rolling then this is a game to check out.

New game acquisitions in December 2016:
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Bios: Genesis
Bohnanza
Cottage Garden
Fabled Fruit
A Feast for Odin
Five Tribes
Games of Trains
Great Western Trail
La Granja: No Siesta
Tokaido Deluxe Edition
Villages of Valeria

New expansion acquisitions in December 2016:
Arkham Horror: The Card Game: Curse of the Rougarou
Tokaido: Crossroads
Tokaido: Matsuri

Well, there we have it, another month of gaming and another post of statistics! Keep an eye out as I'm starting to compile my "End of 2016" posts and should be starting them up pretty soon. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time, game on!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Obligatory Favorite Games 2016 Edition Post Part V: Em’s Top 10 Favorite Games List (Guest Blogger)

Looking back at my top 5 games list from 2015, I can’t believe how many more games I’ve played and loved in just 1 year! While I still enjoy all the games I listed last year, this year’s list is definitely bigger and more diverse.

I got into tabletop gaming a few years ago when my husband I started playing together. While he’s definitely the expert, I’m finding myself enjoying tabletop gaming as much as he does!

Below are my Top 10 Games…I’ve played them all this year and it’s going to be so much fun to see how much this list changes and grows in 2017!



I know, it’s such a typical tabletop n00b game, but we didn’t play it until this year! I’m finding myself completely addicted and we have a TON of maps to choose from now. My favorite maps to play are United Kingdom and Pennsylvania. I have yet to win on the India map…damn you Mandala bonuses! But I have hope I’ll be able to kick Aaron’s butt in the new year somehow.



I. Love. This. Game. Seriously, it was a struggle to put it at #9 but there are so many fantastic games on my list this year! I love the combination of the baseball theme with the futuristic addition of cyborgs and robots. We have a lot of fun playing this one and I see many more gameplays to come.



I’m a huge fantasy/sci-fi nerd so this game was perfect for me. I love the hat-tips to Harry Potter throughout the game and being able to work cooperatively against this super-mean book of spells is a lot of fun. I thought it was a great gateway game for newer players too, so it gets a lot of play in our house!



Yes, another baseball-themed game, can you tell I’m a baseball fan? I love how simple this game is and it’s a 2-player one, which makes it perfect for Aaron and me to get to the table. I have to say that I replace the regular meeples with Totoro ones and it always makes me laugh. We have the Sentinels of the Multiverse expansion deck to use with it too, so that adds even more replay-ability to the game. Definitely a favorite!

#6 – Sushi Go


So simple, so easy to teach, sooooo makes me want sushi every time we play! We got the deluxe version this year and I enjoy it as much as I thought I would. An easy set collection card-based game, it’s perfect for new gamers and older ones who want a break from heavy, longer games. I can’t look at the dumpling cards without salivating though, so be warned!



I’m addicted to dice games, seriously dice love me about 98% of the time. The best part of Roll is that there are SO many ways to manipulate the dice so it isn’t completely luck-based. You always have moves to make and different ways to win.



AMAZING GAME! It’s a struggle not to describe the gameplay experience of this one in all caps, I swear. This was our first Legacy-style game and I’m completely hooked. We’re actually playing Seafall right now with a fellow gaming buddy of ours and the only reason that isn’t in this list is because we’re not done yet! I love the Legacy mechanic and the whole experience playing this game was phenomenal. Can’t wait for “Season 2” to come out and hit our table!

#3 – Tokaido


I adore this game. For some reason it’s the most relaxing gameplay experience for me. I love the artwork and the whole traveling concept. Being able to have so many different ways to win is always a plus with gaming for me and I have yet to get tired of this one. Aaron just got an expansion for Christmas and I’m sure it’ll be back to our table soon!



This was almost my #1 game this year and I’m still back and forth on it! I love this game! I’ve never been into the collectible card game genre and so I came into this game as a complete newbie. I’ve played with so many decks and have had an amazing experience every time. Fantasy storylines, dice rolling and mitigation and cards? Sign me up. I’ll be hard-pressed to ever move this one out of my top 10!



And here we are at my #1 game! 7 Wonders (the original game) was one of my favorites but it did get a little old and honestly not being able to have a great 2-player gameplay option was a bit of a handicap for me and for Aaron. When Duel came out I was so excited but a little skeptical that it would be what we were looking for…boy was I wrong.  It has the flavor of 7 Wonders with so many cooler components and ways to win, I love this game and would happily play it on a weekly basis (and we often do lol).

So there it is – my list for 2016…there are so many other fantastic games we’ve played that didn’t crack the top 10 but are worth mentioning so check out my sub-list below (in no particular order)!


***Hey everyone, this is Aaron.  I just wanted to provide some links to previous posts if you’re curious about the previous posts and/or lists.  The next four links are from this year’s favorite games’ list.  The follow links are to our posts from 2015.









Well, that’s it.  As always, thanks so much for taking take out of your day to read these posts.  Until next time, game on!

Obligatory Favorite Games 2016 Edition Post Part IV: Games That May Crack My Top 10

We’re back with another post.  This one will differ slightly as it is going to be a list of games that I think could eventually crack into my top 10.  Before moving one with this post feel free to read my previous three posts.  The first post was my honorable mentions, the second was games 6-10 on my top 10 list and the third post was games 1-5 on my top 10 list.  Just click on the links below to check out those previous posts.




This is going to be a speculation post.  This basically means that I’m just looking at some games that I think could very well be on my top 10 list at this point next year.  Before we move on I’ll just explain that some of these games I haven’t played at all while others I don’t feel I’ve played enough to place it on my list yet.  These are all games that I’m extremely interested in due to either some limited plays or because of some interesting online reviews and/or playthroughs.  These games will all be in alphabetical order, not numbered.  Enjoy your read!



This is a hand management, card-drafting, multi-use card game released by Portal Games and designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek.  This game could one day overtake Imperial Settlers as my multi-use card game of choice.  I love the theme, art and gameplay!



This is a co-operative, hand management, adventure game released by Fantasy Flight Games and designed by Nate French and Matthew Newman.  We just got this game and have played the first scenario and it was awesome.  I could see this moving up the list with subsequent plays.



This is a worker placement, set collection, action point allowance system, industry game published by R&R Games and designed by Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer.  This game is the very definition of an elegant Euro-style game and I could see this game moving up with more plays.



This is a worker placement, tile placement, economic, pattern building game released by Z-Man Games and designed by the great Uwe Rosenberg.  My current favorite Uwe game is Fields of Arle but I could see this one moving up with its clever “Tetris” mechanic much like Patchwork.



This is an auction, set collection, area control, Mancala-style game published by Days of Wonder and designed by Bruno Cathala.  We just got this game and have only played it twice but have loved both plays!  I could see this one moving up quickly on my list as we really get into it more.



This is a heavy economic, worker placement, commodity speculation game published by Eagle-Gryphon Games and designed by Vital Lacerda.  This game is awesome.  However, I haven’t played it enough yet to really put it up high on my list.  This game could end up cracking my top 5 if I can get in enough plays of it!



This game is a hand management, tile placement, deck building game released by Stronghold Games and designed by Alexander Pfister.  We just go this game for Christmas and haven’t gotten a chance to play it, but from the playthroughs I’ve seen I know I’m gonna love it!



This is a hand management, area control, multi-use card game released by Tasty Minstrel Games and designed by Tony Boydell.  This game is an amazingly designed game with some of the best uses of multi-use cards that I’ve seen.  I look forward to more plays to see where this one shakes out!



This is a time track, economic, car manufacturing game released by Stronghold Games and designed by Matthias Cramer.  This is another really elegant Euro-style design that my wife and I love.  I still need more plays to see where it ends up but we really love it!



This is a dice rolling, story-telling, co-operative, mystery that is released by Fantasy Flight Games and designed by Nikki Valens.  I was always interested in this game but didn’t like the one versus all play.  With the app and the second edition this is solved and the game is very fun!



This is a co-operative, programming, card-drafting game that is released by Riot Games and designed by the group of Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat and Nathan Tiras.  This game is everything the hype played it up to be.  I would be surprised if this didn’t move up my list and possibly crack the top 10.



This is a card drafting, hand management, commodity speculation game released by Level 99 Games and designed by D. Brad Talton,Jr.  This game is quite an amazing piece of work.  It truly feels like you’re playing a CCG.  This game is very close to working its way on to my top 10 list.



This is a card drafting, tableau building game released by Formal Ferret Games and designed by Gil Hova.  The theme of this game is what originally drew me to it.  I love the idea of building up your television station and Em and I have loved our few plays of the game thus far.



Roll player is a dice drafting, set collection, fantasy game released by Thunderworks Games and designed by Keith Matejka.  We picked this up just before it went out of stock everywhere and have been able to play it a few time.  We really like it and I could see it in the top 10 with enough plays.

Well, there you have it.  These are a bunch of games that I could see possibly cracking into my top 10 list with enough plays.  The only couple that I haven’t gotten any plays of yet are Great Western Trail and A Feast for Odin and those two I think could really move up the list if they are as good as I think they are.  We are almost at the end of this series of posts.  Keep an eye out later today for the final post which will tackle my wife’s top 10 list.  I was excited to see her choice and some actually surprised me!  Thanks again for reading.  Until next time, game on!