My stand out favourites #5
A series looking at my perennial favourites. The games I always want to play and won't hesitate in recommending to fellow gamers.
Player Count 2 - 4
Key Mechanics: Hand Management
What do I like about it?
It has a depth of gameplay that I really appreciate. Bruges succeeds for me because it offers complex, strategic options in a clear and engaging way. It makes you think, and it challenges you with (often tough) decisions every turn. 🎲
The game is driven by a shared pool of 5 different coloured dice and a selection of cards taken from a pool of 165, each unique. Each card will share a colour with one of the dice and can be played to complete one of six different actions:
Acquire 2 workers of the same colour (as the card)
• Acquire guilders (money) equal to the value shown on the die of the same colour (as the card)
• Discard a threat marker (of the same colour as the card)
• Build a canal
• Build a house (flip the card and play it face down)
• Recruit a person (play it face up, onto a house)
Hand management is key to success. The challenge is determining which action to use at a given time. If you have a card you desperately want to play as a person you must play another as a house first. But to build a house you need to discard a worker of the same colour, so you need to have played a card to acquire workers. 🎲
You also need to keep an eye on threats (there are five different types). If you receive three of a kind you suffer a penalty, so you need to periodically play cards to remove threat counters. You will also need guilders to build canals and advance your reputation, to stop opponents running away and scoring big via those routes. 🎲
Bruges is challenging and rewarding. If I had to choose one outright favourite, odds are I'd chose Bruges.
2 Woches vor
QUACKS OF QUEDLINBURG!
Whose played this potion brewing push your luck game? I’d forgotten how much fun it is.
Think I need to get some BGG tokens or coin capsules, any recommendations?
IT'S TIME TO ACT!
🗣The Paladin is back for the 4️⃣ time! Protecting your great gamer treasures has never been so easy!
KS page: https://t.co/qHooHVJNkI
6 Stundes vor
Number 16 on my list of board games I’ve discovered this year for my #boardgameadventcalendar2019 is Dixit from designer Jean-Louis Roubira and publisher @libellud with fantastic art from Marie Cardouat.
Dixit makes this list for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s simple yet extremely clever, making you feel rewarded for doing well yet never overwhelming players and secondly it plays quickly and generally games last around 30-40 minutes, so it’s perfect for the start of an evening.
On each turn one player will become the active player and choose a picture card from their hand. Without revealing it they will place it face down on the table and say a word, sentence, or anything really that isn’t too obvious to describe their picture. Then each other player around the table picks a card from their hand they think best matches what the active player said and also places one face down. These are then shuffled and dealt face up.
Each player (except the active player) then chooses a numbered token from their hand and votes on the card they think was the active player’s. The active player is hoping for people to vote on their card, but not every player! Once the tokens are revealed points are scored. If players guessed the active players card correctly they get points for doing so, and the active player gets points for having people guess. But if they don’t, the players get no points but the person whose card they chose scores points instead. If the active player has no one guess their card, or everyone guesses their card, they get no points at all!
This clever balance of giving obscure but not too obscure clues is really where the heart of the game lies. You could pick a card with a rabbit on it and say ‘carrot’ for example, but people will generally read far more into that than you intended. ‘Perhaps they were alluding to the colour/shape/taste/vegetables in general’ etc, and this is where other players can take advantage by playing a card that fits to score more points!
Between the short play time and constant interaction between players this one really shone for me this year. A definite winner!
On this PAXU episode of #ItsAWonderfulWorld from @laboitedejeu, my Federation of Asia faction looms over the horizon with propaganda and dark military vehicles to compete for resources. This 7 card drafting, engine builder has a different take on accumulating resource cubes to build assets and gain VPs. I liked it but opted not to purchase on site (and bring in luggage) since it didn't provide a different streamline experience for me. What do you think? Does it replace another game or stand independently in your collection?
Tapestry game 4. I played the inventors and had a pretty thematic series of Tapestry cards: age of discoveries, Renaissance... unfortunately I drew 3 trap cards and there was nothing thematic for me to play as my 3rd card. The inventors are really fun and I greatly enjoyed their power, the best I have tried so far, if not for the fact that it locks you on a path, I feel like you MUST play technology to score well with them. 278 points in the end, getting closer to that elusive 300!
1 Tag vor
Number 17 of my games I’ve discovered this year for my #boardgameadventcalendar2019 is Nine Tiles Panic from designers Jens Merkl and Jean-Claude Pellin and publisher @oinkgms.
Nine Tiles Panic was a game I managed to get a demo of at the UKGE this year, my first convention experience! I labelled it then as ‘the gem of the con’, but alas they had sold out by the time I got to play it. Everyone around the table instantly fell in love with it, and I needed to find a copy! One of the designers, @merklmachtspiele was kind enough to contact me to put me in touch with a shop in Tokyo that had some copies, so I managed to get one shipped over! Hurrah!
In Nine Tiles Panic you are racing against the sand timer and each other to place your 9 double sided tiles in a 3 by 3 grid to form your town. Sounds simple, right? Well, yes, but no. Each round 3 random condition cards will be drawn, and you must build your town to try to win each one to gain the most points. For example, you might want a town with the most curved roads, most aliens eating burgers, and most agents capturing aliens, for example!
That’s right, you’re building towns with burger loving aliens and agents trying to capture them, each of which has their own conditions (aliens must be on the same road and facing the burgers, for example). The whimsy of the theme only adds to the charm.
Once you’ve finished your town, you grab the lowest numbered tile and wait for your opponents to finish, or the timer to run out! Once done, players score points for each condition card, with first place getting points equal to the number of players and each player after that getting one less in order. So long as you’ve completed your town (legal placement of all 9 tiles, with no roads clashing with blank tiles and so on) you’ll always get 1 point even if you don’t fulfill a condition. But fail to complete your town legally, and you won’t get anything!!
I love Oink Games. They are one of the most interesting publishers to me. They don’t always get it quite right, but when they do, and Nine Tiles Panic certainly does, they really shine!