Monday, 4 July 2016

In which my eyes are opened by a cosmic encounter

It's boardgame round up time. Hooray!

Champions of Midgard:  A bit like Lords of Waterdeep, but with a more intrusive fantasy theme, which, perhaps inevitably, made no sense at all. I lucked into a win, but I'm not sure how.

Codenames:  The only problem with this otherwise excellent game remains the potential for a lack of shared frame of reference between the two parts of one's team. The young people of today appear to have no knowledge of the names of fielding positions in cricket. Extraordinary.

Cosmic Encounter: The group of people I played with on this occasion, newcomers to the Leeds gaming group, obviously played the game regularly and now I understand how it should be played properly. I'd always enjoyed it previously, but this was much better. Eye-opening.

Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space: I really want to like this more, but it's a great mechanic - albeit that it's just Battleships tweaked a bit - in search of a balanced game. In fact it's almost, but not quite, a hidden identity game worth playing.

Knit Wit: I did not like this at all. Creativity under pressure is really not my thing. For the record it has nothing whatever to do with knitting, a subject with which thanks to the big, bouncy woman I am increasingly familiar.

Marrakech: I love this game. Who would think a game about rug selling could give so many opportunities to stiff one's opponents?

The Networks: I'm not entirely sure about this game about running a TV network. There wasn't a great deal of player interaction and the silly names of the shows and stars were more fun than the gameplay.

No Thanks!: A fun push-your-luck filler, simple to grasp and difficult to win. Recommended.

One Night Revolution: A mixture of One Night Werewolf and Resistance results in rubbish squared.

Puerto Rico: Morally ambiguous worker placement game (who exactly are these workers that I'm recruiting to my plantation and why are they represented by brown pieces?), but a good game nevertheless. It's a close relative of San Juan which I also enjoyed and which is quicker.

The Pursuit of Happiness: A fun game about living a full life, but much of the amusement comes from playing the theme and not the rules. The way to win is surely to become an ascetic and eschew not only relationships, but also a job. Strangely enough hobbies are a quite sensible route to success.

Skull: There is nothing more to be said. A great game which makes you see people in a very different light.

Thebes: A game of competitive archeology, a theme which seems to have inspired quite a few games. This one is spoiled by one seemingly minor mechanic, the drawing of unearthed treasures from a bag. This brings so much luck into things that the only strategic advice I could give is to make sure that you draw good tiles.


  1. A number of interesting games and you certainly play a vast variety. I may look into Marrakech. Your earlier Condottieri pick was a winner.

  2. I'm glad that you liked Condottieri. If you get Marrakech then, unless you are playing with small children, play the optional rule whereby Assam is turned by each player at the end rather than the start of their turn.