Thursday, October 20, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part III: Honorable Mentions

Alright, two posts in my Essen Spiel 2016 series down and four to go.  This particular post will start moving into my most anticipated original games of the convention.  This one will focus on the honorable mentions.  These are the games that just missed my top 10 most anticipated games that are coming out at Spiel this year but still warrant a mention as they look very interesting!  Before I start the list feel free to check out the previous couple of posts which look at my most anticipated expansions and my most anticipated re-prints/re-implementations at the links below.

Well there you have it.  Now that you are all caught up it is time to move on to my honorable mentions of the games I’m most anticipated for.  These are the games that may have just missed my top list but still warrant being mentioned as they all have something that caught my eye, whatever it may be.  After trolling W. Eric Martin’s wonderful Essen Spiel list on BoardGameGeek I’ve completed this and every other list in my posts.  Read on, ponder my choices, but most of all enjoy!

The first game to make its way onto my honorable mentions list for this year is Meduris.  This game is designed by Stefan Dorra and Ralf zur Linde and published by HABA.  It is a worker placement and resource management game where you take on the role of people settling at the base of Mount Meduris in order to earn favor of the gods.  Players will place their workers in order to gain resources that will let them build huts and temples to the gods.  Timing appears to play a large part as you want to build on sites at the correct time and collect rune stones all while appeasing the local druid who may help you along the way.  This makes it onto my honorable mentions for a couple of reasons.  First of all, HABA did a FANTASTIC job of creating their newer line of family-style games last year by releasing two well received games in Karuba and Adventure Land.  They are working with some fabulous designers on this line and getting Dorra and Linde is no exception.  Also, the game just looks beautiful!  These reasons move it up to a place on my honorable mentions and it will probably find a way onto my shelf soon!

The second game to move its way onto my honorable mentions list is Solarius Mission.  This game is designed by Michael Keller and Andreas “ode” Odendahl and is published by Spielworxx.  It is a dice-drafting, dice-manipulation and resource management games where players take on the role of a group under a mission attempting to explore the outer planets to take some pressure off of an overpopulated home planet.  Players will use their ship to explore planets, send settlers into space and develop new and more impressive technologies in order to do these missions.  This game is made by the designers who also created La Granja which was/is a highly regarded Euro-style game which was a mash-up of many great mechanisms.  Because of that and the pulp, sci-fi setting which I find quite interesting, this game makes it onto the list.

The next game to make it into my honorable mentions is Ulm.  This one is designed by Günter Burkhardt and is published by HUCH! & friends and R&R Games.  It is an action selection game where the players will use card play and pawn (river boat) movement in order to gain the most victory points by the end of the game.  The players take on the role of a wealthy family who is attempting to gain prestige in the city of Ulm by influencing different city districts.  The main mechanism of the gain is a 3x3 grid of action tokens.  Each player has a token which they will use to slide into the grid thus moving one of the tokens off of the other side.  The player can then use the actions of the three tokens on the board while the one they slid off will be the basis of their next move.  This is a brilliant idea and is the main reason I have moved this game onto my honorable mentions list.  I love the idea of the action selection grid and am really looking forward to seeing how well it works.

The next game up on my list is Tramways. This is designed by Alban Viard and published by AV Studio Games. This one is deck-building game with tile-placement and auctions where the players take on the role of a recently fired manager of a Clinic who is now taking on a job as the head of a team of engineers who are looking to build the most efficient tram network for Small City. The game is somewhat split into two halves. During the first half of the game the players will build a deck of cards while using an auction mechanic to determine turn order. The second half of the game finds the players using their (hopefully) efficient decks to creating their tram network without stressing the system. This game makes it onto the list simply by the reputation of the designer. Viard has created some amazing sounding games (unfortunately none of which I’ve played yet!) and this one seems to be a culmination of his designing chops. I hope to pick this one up when it is more widely available and that it is as amazing as it seems!

The final game to make my list, and thus the game that just missed my top 10 list is La Granja: No Siesta! This game is designed by Andreas “ode” Odendahl and is published by ADC Blackfire Entertainment and Stronghold Games. This one takes the dice-drafting mechanism of La Granja and creates a full, standalone game around it. The players will roll dice and draft them in order to cross resources off of their scoring sheet to gain the most victory points. They can hire helpers, build a barn in which they can store goods, and take some time off to siesta as needed! Once the siesta track reaches its conclusion the players will score their victory points. I haven’t yet played La Granja (although it’s high on my list to try!) but this one seemed like a really fun dice-rolling/drafting game which will really appeal to my wife especially. Because of this, La Granja: No Siesta! makes it onto my honorable mentions list and just misses my top 10 anticipated games of Essen Spiel 2016.

Other honorable mentions of note:

And there is post number three in my Essen Spiel 2016 series completed!  My next two posts will round out my top anticipated releases with the next one being games 6-10 on my top 10 and the one after being games 1-5 on my top 10.  As always, feel free to comment below, I’d be interested to know what games have people frothing to get them in their hands and on the table ASAP!  Thanks so much for reading.  Until next time, game on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part II: Top 5 Reprints/Re-implementations

I’m back!  I feel a little bad because these posts are much later than I’d want, but that’s because of some pretty huge changes in our lives.  We have been trying to move out of Maryland for quite a few years now but it just hasn’t been a viable option.  Finally, we found jobs for both of us and are currently en route to Indiana where we will now be living!  Because of the whirlwind that has been the past three weeks I’m a little behind on these posts.  That being said, let’s move on to post number two, my top 5 anticipated reprints/re-implementations of 2016 Essen Spiel!  These are games which have either had a prior edition or have been re-themed and changed around a bit from the original.  There are some great ones this year so it wasn’t an easy list to make!  Before we go on to these games feel free to check out the first post, my top 5 anticipated game expansions of this year’s Essen Spiel.

Alright, now that you have made the trip down post memory lane, let’s get back to the main attraction.  These are some great looking (or already great!) games and I am totally stoked to check these out and hopefully add them to my collection.  Enjoy the read!

Honorable Mention – Fields of Green (Artipia Games/Stronghold Games)

Fields of Green is a card-drafting and tile-laying game that is designed by Vangelis Bagiartakis and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Artipia Games in conjunction with Stronghold Games.  This game is a re-implementation of the ideas that were put forth by the game Among the Stars.  All of the mechanisms of the original are present in this game with a few added ideas thrown into the mix.  The players will draft cards that they will add into their tableau expanding their farms over four rounds.  Where this differs is that the players will have to pay costs, water fields, feed livestock, and other agricultural odds and ends at the end of each year.  This gives a little more weight and added decision points that the original didn’t have.  I think this game looks really good and much “prettier” than Among the Stars did.  I would love to try it out and hopefully will eventually get the chance!

Colony is a dice-rolling, pool-building game that is designed by Ted Alspach, Toryo Hojo, and N2 and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Bézier Games, Inc. This game is a re-design/re-implementation of the 2014 release Age of Craft which was designed by Toryo Hojo and published by Chicken Dice Games. This game finds players rolling dice which they then use to construct and upgrade buildings which managing the resources of their colony. It uses a clever dice rolling system where the player starts with a few dice and will over time gain more stable dice which they can save and more unstable which they may only use that round. It seems to fairly accurately simulate a deck-building game without building an actual card deck. I love that the theme is somewhat post-apocalyptic and the art really gives that vibe. There are a whole bunch of building cards that can be added in different ways (a la: Dominion) which will give the game a high level of replayability. I look forward to trying this one out eventually and it may hit my cart sometime in the future.

#4 – Jórvík (Stronghold Games/eggertspiele)

Jórvík is an auction/worker-placement game that is designed by Stefan Feld and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Stronghold Games in partnership with eggertspiele. This game is a re-theme/re-implementation of the 2010 release Die Spiechderstadt which was also designed by Feld and published by eggertspiele and Z-Man Games. This game finds players taking on the roles of Viking jarls who are attempting to gain prestige through different activities in their city. Players will use a worker-placement and auction system in order to gain cards from a display which will allow them to build up their trading empire. Along with some streamlining the game also includes the difficult to find expansion Kaispeicher in the box as an advanced game. This game looks like a pretty cool auction style game and I’ve heard good things about the original. I would like to try it out and see if it actually works with two players or they just threw it on the box to sell a few more copies. Regardless, this looks good and has made it to number four on my list of re-releases/re-implementations.

#3 – Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island (Fourth Edition) (Portal Games)

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island (Fourth Edition) is a cooperative, worker-placement, adventure game that is designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Portal Games. This is a new edition of the original 2012 release also by Portal Games with English distribution by Z-Man Games. Portal Games gained back the English rights to this game this year and decided to make a new edition and print it in English for themselves. The new edition boasts a “Ticket to Ride-style” sized box along with upgraded components, player boards, and a new, easier-to-understand ruleset! I owned the Z-Man Games version of this gem but sold it off this year in anticipation of this release. I love this game and can’t wait to have it back on my shelf in its new, shinier edition! Oh, on a side note, the cover of the box was redone by the fantastic artist Vincent Dutrait! This just adds more awesomeness in my humble opinion!

#2 – Pandemic Iberia (Z-Man Games)

Pandemic Iberia is a cooperative, action-point, set-collection game designed by Jesús Torres Castro and Matt Leacock and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Z-Man Games. This is a re-implementation of the 2008 cooperative, set-collection game Pandemic by designer Matt Leacock and publisher Z-Man Games. This new version of the classic finds the players doing many of the same things like moving across the board and curing diseases using the cards that you gain during play. Due to the game now being set in the Iberian Peninsula in 1848 you obviously can’t travel by plane across the world. Rather, the players will be taking carriages, boats and trains throughout the peninsula in order to stop the spread of malaria, cholera, typhus and the yellow fever. You will also be attempting to stop the spread of these diseases by cleaning the water supplies of each region. I loved what Chuck Yager did with Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu and am really looking forward to what they do with the classic Pandemic gameplay in this re-design.

#1 – Key to the City: London (HUCH! & friends/Game Salute)

Key to the City: London is a city building/auction/tile-laying/worker-placement game designed by Richard Breese and Sebastian Bleasdale and is being released by HUCH! & friends and Game Salute at Essen Spiel 2016. This game is a re-imagining of Keyflower which was released by R&D Games, HUCH! & friends and Game Salute in 2012 and was also designed by Breese and Bleasdale. This new game finds players taking different actions on their turn in order to build their city. You can bid on tiles, generate resources and upgrade resources. This allows the players to build up their city in order to gain the most points. The isometric views on the tiles just make this game pop on the table and even though I haven’t played Keyflower I can already tell that I’ll love this game! I hope to add this to my collection but will have to wait until the release in North America.

Other reprints/re-implementations of note:

Well there you have it!  So sorry that this post is so very late but I’m hoping to get the next in the series up much more quickly now that we are all moved in to our new house.  The next up are my honorable mentions of this year’s Essen Spiel.  After that will be two successive posts that will take on my top ten.  Lastly I’ll have a post that will be the top 5 games that were shown off at Spiel but not available for purchase.  Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to bringing you more gaming goodness!  Feel free to comment/question below and let me know which re-implementations you’re looking at…or at this point have already purchased!  Until next time, game on!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part I: Top 5 Game Expansions

Yay!  Now we move onto my Essen Spiel 2016 series!  We are trucking through the major boardgaming convention time of year and the next one on the docket is Spiel in Essen, Germany.  This is either the largest or second largest (depending on which numbers you are looking at) boardgaming convention in the world and the largest amount of gaming releases happens there.  This is a gaming convention I would love to go to one of these days as it has a ton of releases that I am interested in.  As with every year I am getting the majority of my information from W. Eric Martin’s yearly Essen Spiel Preview List on BoardGameGeek.  If you are curious feel free to check out the 31 pages and 755 entries (at the time of this posting) at  This post will focus on my top 5 anticipated game expansions that are being released at the convention.  Just as a note, I’m trying to only include the expansions that are being released for the first time at this convention and that have an English rule-set of some sort in the box.  Of course this is all subject to change if they don’t get them in for some reason.  Okay, with all of that out of the way, let’s see what my top 5 anticipated game expansions are!

MIstfall: Heart of Mists is an expansion to the 2015 NSKN Games/Passport Game Studios game, Mistfall by Błażej Kubacki.  Heart of mists is designed by Kubacki as well and is slated to release at this year’s Essen Spiel.  Mistfall is an adventure card game that includes heavy doses of hand management, deck building, and variable player powers all in a co-operative experience.  This game is much like its predecessor where you take a hand of cards and use them in the most efficient way in order to defeat your opponents and continue on whatever quest you have taken on.  The card play is very good and really gives a cool feel to each of the characters.  This expansion adds more characters, quests, locations, and monsters to the mix while streamlining some of the more “fiddly bits” from the original.  I am really looking forward to this expansion and will probably pick it up at some point.  The original is great and I really hope this one amps up the cool factor while lessening the weaknesses of said original.

Dice City: By Royal Decree is an expansion to the 2015 Alderac Entertainment Group hit, Dice City by Vangelias Bagiartakis.  By Royal Decree is designed by Bariatakis and will be releasing at Essen Spiel 2016.  Dice City is a dice rolling and placement game where you are able to build up the city by paying resources that you get throughout the turns.  This expansion adds another board to the game along with some more dice.  This just gives more tools/places for you to go with the dice and give more decisions.  More to this game is always a good thing in my opinion.  Looking forward to getting this one and trying it out eventually.

Potion Explosion: The Fifth Ingredient is an expansion to the 2016 Horrible Games/Cool Mini hit, Potion Explosion by Setfano Castelli, Andrea Crespi and Lorenzo Silva.  The Fifth Ingredient is designed by the same group of designers and will be releasing and this year’s Spiel.  Potion Explosion is a simple premise with a fairly high amount of decision points.  You are pulling marbles out of a dispenser and trying to match them up in order to get “explosions” where you are then able to take marbles of a like color.  This expansion will add in a fifth ingredient which will give the game even more diversity as there is another ingredient that is added that plays like a wild card and allows you to create even more potions.  This is an awesome game and more variety is a win in my book!

Oh My Goods!: Longsdale in Aufruhr is an expansion to the 2015 Lookout Games/Mayfair Games release, Oh My Goods! by Alexander Pfister.  Longsdale in Aufruhr is also designed by Alexander Pfister and will be released at Essen Spiel 2016.  Oh My Goods! is a game where you have a hand of cards that can be used in multiple different ways.  They are goods, money, and buildings depending on how you use them.  You will take a worker that you have and decide whether he/she will work well or “lazy.”  If they work well you can get two goods on the building they are on as opposed to only one.  This may not seem like much but it can be a pretty big swing depending on how much each good is worth on said building.  My wife and I love this game and it is probably in her top 10 of all time.  This expansion seems to be bringing a lot to the table and I’m very excited about that!  It apparently consists of five different chapters that will form a cohesive story.  There are character cards, more buildings, chapter cards, and event cards in the expansion and these things together all make it a must buy for us!

Imperial Settlers: Aztecs is a new expansion to the 2014 Portal Games hit, Imperial Settlers by Ignacy Trzewiczek.  Aztecs is also designed by Trzewiczek and will be released at this year’s Spiel.  Imperial Settlers is a game where you are building a civilization with a hand of cards.  These cards may be placed in one of three rows as long as you have the resources to do so.  You are attempting to build your civilization’s engine in order to score the most points at the end of five rounds.  The Aztecs expansion adds a new faction to the game that brings prayer actions and religion into the word of Imperial Settlers.  As Imperial Settlers is one of my favorite games this expansion is a no brainer and an insta-buy.

7 Wonders: Duel: Pantheon is the new expansion to the Repos Production/Asmodee two-player game, 7 Wonders: Duel by Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala.  Pantheon is also designed by Bauza and Cathala and will be coming out at Essen Spiel this year.  7 Wonders: Duel takes the card-drafting of its big brother, 7 Wonders, and distills it into a pure, two-player card game that is just amazing.  This has quickly become a favorite of Em and I and it isn’t ever leaving our collection.  Pantheon adds in god cards and temple cards that will change some of the ways the game is played and it appears to be quite an amazing expansion to the base game.  This is our number one anticipated expansion that is coming out this year and will be bought as soon as we are able to.

And there you have it, my top 5 (plus 1) anticipated expansions that will be coming out at Essen Spiel this year.  I can’t wait for all of these as I have the base game to each one and am looking forward to giving some of my favorite’s new life.  These expansions won’t be needed to make these game good as they are already really good, but I do love when a good expansion adds just a little into an already great experience.  What are your most anticipated expansions of the convention this year?  Let me know in the comments below.  And please feel free to look out for my top 5 reimplementations/reprints in the next of my Essen Spiel series.  Thanks so much for reading.  Until next time, game on!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XV: September 2016

And here we go…time to tackle this past month’s game plays.  September was a good month of plays but we certainly didn’t come close to our record of plays in a month.  That being said, we had a few real gems and we are really enjoying the new Ticket to Ride maps that we picked up.  Keep an eye on the blog as the next series I’ll be doing is the Essen Spiel 2016 posts.  Alright, let’s move on to September’s plays.

Total plays in September 2016 – 53
Total unique games played in September 2016 – 21
New games played in September 2016 – 5
New games acquired in September 2016 – 5
New expansions acquired in September 2016 – 8
Most plays of a single game in September 2016 – 9

Würfel Bohnanza

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – AMIGO Spiele
Last play before September 2016 – 8/31/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 9

So we got in a bunch more plays of our current favorite filler.  This is just a great dice rolling filler game.  Em and I are able to get multiple plays in of this and they are always good, quick fun games.  This is a game I can teach anyone and everyone loves it!  If you can find this game, buy it up and enjoy every great play of it!

Ticket to Ride (w/ Map Collection Volume 2, Volume 4 & Volume 5)

Designer – Alan R. Moon
Publisher – Days of Wonder
Last play before September 2016 – 8/28/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 7

This game along with all of its multiple and wonderful map packs is really moving up my favorites list.  I just find every play to be enjoyable and it is so quick and easy to teach!  I love heavy games, but this light, gateway game always hits the right note and is great to play with anyone!

Bear Valley

Designer – Carl Chudyk
Publisher – Stronghold Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/31/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 4

We are enjoying this light, push-your-luck card game by the fantastic Carl Chudyk.  This game is super fast and a really good time for how light and easy it is.  We haven’t started playing with the advanced rules yet but we’re looking forward to trying them out.

Beyond Baker Street

Designer – Robin Lees/Steve Mackenzie
Publisher – Z-Man Games
New to me
First play – 9/3/16
Total plays in September 2016 - 4

This is a new game that we obtained this past month and got in four plays of it.  It is a great co-operative card game that has elements of Hanabi while adding on a few more ideas to make it even more thematic.  I have loved the multiple plays of this one so far and can’t wait to get more in and teach others how to play!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords

Designer – Mike Selinker/Chad Brown/Tanis O’Connor/Paul Peterson/Gaby Weidling
Publisher – Paizo Publishing
Last play before September 2016 – 8/20/16
Total plays in September 2016 - 4

Em and I got in more plays of this game as we’ve started moving through the fifth deck, Sins of the Saviors.  We completed the first three scenarios while recording one loss on the first one.  We should be able to finish out this adventure path this year and then we may move on to the Skull and Shackles path as a friend got it at Gen Con 2016 and brought it back for us.

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Designer – Isaac Vega
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/24/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 3

Yay for more of this game!  I am on a bit of a winning street as I’ve won four straight rounds with each of the four newest Phoenixborn.  This game is going to be in my top 10 when I get around to doing it…unless something weird happens between now and then.


Designer – Carl Chudyk/Chris Cieslik
Publisher – Asmadi Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/31/16
Total plays in September 2016 - 3

This game continues to have the most plays in our collection although FUSE is really catching up to it.  This is what I’d call a perfect, portable card game to bring around anywhere.  It is quick, fun, and has some pretty cool decisions for something so simple.  I think this is a staple of Carl Chudyk’s designs.  This is a game I’d suggest any gamer have in their collection.

Sushi Go Party!

Designer – Phil Walker-Harding
Publisher – Gamewright
New to me
First play – 9/3/16
Total plays in September 2016 - 3

This is a game I picked up mostly for Em, but it is a great, simple filler/gateway game.  This is the game that we’ll pull out when we want to teach people card drafting as it is a perfect first step for that particular game mechanism.  This is a great starter and has wonderful artwork to boot!


Designer – Kane Klenko
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
Last play before September 2016 – 8/27/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 2

There isn’t much more to say about this game as it has gained more plays than any other in our collection in a short period of time.  This is (at least in our opinion) a perfect, short, co-operative, dice-rolling experience.

Guilds of London

Designer – Tony Boydell
Publisher – Tasty Minstrel Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/14/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 2

This is an absolutely amazingly designed game with one of my favorite game mechanisms, multi-use cards.  I have only had a chance to play it once with another person (Em) but it has a great solitaire variant created by the designer and Ricky Royal as well.  This just bumps the game up and makes it more likely to get played.  I can’t wait for my next time!

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

Designer – Nikki Valens
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
New to me
First play – 9/7/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 2

Em and I were able to pick this game up for a real steal so we decided to go ahead and get it.  I will say that we weren’t disappointed at all!  This game is an amazing co-operative experience!  I love the tension, the gameplay, and especially the story.  I just look forward to more plays of this gem!


Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
New to me
First play – 9/23/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

My buddy Josh taught me this Rosenberg classic in September and it was very fun.  I don’t really understand the “misery farm” title as I didn’t find it that difficult to feed my meeples.  This isn’t my favorite Uwe game but it is really good and I totally understand the love of it!


Designer – Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Publisher – Rio Grande Games
Last play before September 2016 – 1/30/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

Em and I pulled out this classic and got a play of it in during one of our morning coffee/breakfast dates.  This is a game that I always enjoy.  I love how the board just builds throughout the play and it always looks great by the end.

Dice City (w/ All That Glitters & Crossroads)

Designer – Vangelis Bagiartakis
Publisher – Alderac Entertainment Group
Last play before September 2016 – 7/8/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

We pulled out Dice City along with the new expansions that we obtained and they added even more interesting decisions to the game.  I love the dice rolling and placement as actions.  It is a wonderful dice-chucker with some really cool combos.  As well as being fun, it’s also an inexpensive game.  I’d recommend this one to anyone who likes dice rolling and city building games.

Millennium Blades

Designer – D. Brad Talton, Jr.
Publisher – Level 99 Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/6/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

Em and I taught this incredible game to our buddy Ross and he really liked it!  This game is becoming a favorite of ours.  When we have a decent amount of time and want a longer and more “epic” experience then this is often the game that comes out.  I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good card game with some fun combos.

New Bedford

Designer – Nathaniel Levan
Publisher – Dice Hate Me/Greater Than Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/6/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

I am really enjoying this Kickstarter gem.  It is such a simple worker placement style game with a very interesting theme.  I love how you get to build up the town of New Bedford while sending out your ships in order to catch whales.  It is a fun and beautifully produced game.

Oh My Goods!

Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/5/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

Multi-use card game for the win!  This game is definitely going to be one of Em’s top 10 games when we finally get around to doing our lists!  I love the way these cards represent different things and work in such a perfect way with the game mechanisms.  I love this game and it is one of our favorite small card games.


Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/10/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

Ah yes, our monthly play of one of our favorite two-player games!  This is my favorite abstract strategy game right now.  It always plays just a little bit differently and has a great back-and-forth style of play while being able to do your own thing at the same time.  There is also just enough interaction to make it interesting.  I’d highly recommend this to any fan of two-player games.

Potion Explosion

Designer – Stefano Castelli/Andrea Crespi/Lorenzo Silva
Publisher – Cool Mini Or Not/Horrible Games
Last play before September 2016 – 8/20/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

We got in a single play of this super fun, Bejeweled-style game and I finally picked up a win!  Em is quite good at pattern-recognition type games and she has done very well in our plays of this.  I was able to pick up a couple of potions and get some really good combos going which ended up winning the game for me.  I don’t see this one leaving the collection any time soon as it is just so quick, fun and easy to pick up.

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri

Designer – Kuro
Publisher – Osprey Games/Japon Brand
Last play before September 2016 – 8/14/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

Em and I got this fun, asymmetrical, two-player card game to the table once in September and we unable to win this round.  This game is getting tougher as we are adding in the new rules from the included envelopes.  That being said, this game is awesome!  This is another I’d highly recommend to gamers who love a good two-player game.

Toss Up!

Designer – Garrett J. Donner/Michael S. Steer
Publisher – PlayMonster
New to me
First play – 9/5/16
Total plays in September 2016 – 1

Sam brought this game over for a game night as he picked it up for his girls and wanted to try it out on us.  It is a very quick, push-your-luck dice game where you are trying to hit 100 points.  It reminds me of similar games such as Farkle but with a slightly different twist.  It was a fun filler but I feel no need to add it to the collection as we have similar games that scratch the same itch.

New game acquisitions in September 2016:
Beyond Baker Street
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
Sushi Go Party!

New expansion acquisitions in September 2016:
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn: The Duchess of Deception
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn: The Roaring Rose
Dice City: All That Glitters
Dice City: Crossroads
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords: Sins of the Saviors (Adventure Deck 5)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords: Spires of Xin-Shalast (Adventure Deck 6)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 4: Nederland
Ticket to Ride: USA 1910

Another month, another month of gaming!  I enjoyed this month as we got a good mix of old favorites, new games, and old games with new expansions to the table.  I’d have to say that Ticket to Ride with the new maps really one out the month.  We are just having a great time with the game and also with introducing it to new players.  I will be starting my Essen Spiel series so keep an eye out for that!  If you have any questions or comments feel free to post below!  Until next time, game on!