Monday, 1 May 2017

Lateness, Much Mohawk Lateness

OK, you can all stop sending me messages begging for the return of the boardgame roundup, because here it is for March and April combined:

Boom Runaway: Is this game about bombs wishing to explode in order to get to paradise in questionable taste? I don't know, but it's an interesting enough filler and for some reason it seems to be getting easier to explain to new players.

Clank!: A nice combination of deck builder and push your luck dungeon explorer. I've now played it twice and enjoyed the second time so much more than the first that I came to the conclusion that we must have been playing it wrongly previously. I do think that going last in the first turn is quite a handicap.

Codenames: Seemingly endlessly replayable.

Condottiere: Yet another example of a new player winning this on their first try. It's a game that always goes down well.

The Climbers: This is a 3D abstract game involving spatial awareness and colour recognition, despite which I managed to win one of the games I played. I liked it.

El Grande: Precursor to, and heavier big brother of, Rattus, and I liked it just as much as that game. I can see why it's ranked in the top fifty on boardgamegeek.

Evolution: Climate: For the first time that I've ever played it the temperature plummeted and there was a prolonged ice age. My species neither coped nor adapted, choosing extinction as their preferred option; I didn't win.

Hanabi: First play for quite a while; we had a disastrous start, but turned in a solid nineteen.

Isle of Skye: I continue to like this auction based, tile laying game.

Kingdom Builder: When writing this list up I had to go back and look up this game to see what it entailed. That's not usually a good sign and so it's proved here. If you don't choose a good starting position in this game then you're stuffed. If you've never played it before then you can't possibly select a favourable initial set up. Ergo, no one will ever  play this twice.

K2: I played this twice and might be beginning to get the hang of keeping my climbers alive. I recommend this game.

Lancaster: Another good game that I'm always happy to play. It's not a wargame, although loosely themed around the Hundred Years War, but one has to fight in France as part of an overall mix of activities if one is to prosper. Works much better with four players than three.

Love Letter: It had been more than a year since I'd played it last, and I had forgotten just how much of a game there is with so few cards. Japanese minimalism at its best.

Mangrovia: This was new to me. It's a lightish game with a nice action selection mechanism. The theme is something to do with appeasing the gods by building one's hut in the right place, but in reality it's a straightforward area control game. I'd play again.

Memoir '44 Operation Overlord:  I wrote about this earlier in the month. It didn't grab me.

Mush! Mush!:A welcome return for the husky racing game which most, but not all, people really like once they have played it. It plays up to eight and the more there are then the better the game. We had a go with the buildings in one of the plays, but I'm not sure they added much, and they're very heavy to carry.

Panamax: I'm not a fan of business games as such; by and large they don't do a good job of representing real life. This one combines it with a bit of spatial awareness, thereby reducing it even more in my estimation.

Porta Nigra: This game involves riding round on a donkey buying building materials and then undertaking their construction. I rather enjoyed it, despite finding out when we calculated the scores at the end that I hadn't done terribly well. I suspect the winner just got lucky, but maybe that's just sour grapes.

Roll for the Galaxy: Another reliable and enjoyable game, which scales up to more players without greatly lengthening things. The expansions add some complexity and some different coloured dice to keep track of, but don't really do much else.

Room 25: There's a good game hiding in here somewhere, but as implemented the outcome seems far too random.

Sail to India: Another somewhat minimalist Japanese game which packs a lot in to a small box with few components. I like the fact that there are lots of possible paths to victory.

Skull: This is a good game and an ever reliable filler, but our group has played it so often we have become somewhat jaded with it. It will go back on the shelf for the time being.

Steampunk Rally: It being my first game I didn't fully appreciate the importance of avoiding damage  and my vehicle fell apart after one turn, a setback from which I never recovered. Add this to the list of games which I would play very differently a second time.

Uchronia: This is Glory to Rome with some amendments such as the separation of the building cards from the others and taking out the sudden death ending options. I wonder if there isn't some sort of Jon Fogerty songwriting credit issue at work here.

Unlock! Squeek and Sausage: This is one of a raft of escape room in a box games now available. I enjoyed it despite my aversion to cooperative games. It takes a while to understand what is required, and may be best to play on the first occasion with someone who has prior experience of other similar games.

X nimmt!: To be honest the best feature of the original 6 nimmt! was that it could handle a lot of players. The new features in this game do add to the tactical choices, but don't make up for the reduction to only four players.

By the way, for those interested in the monthly painting roundup that I snuck in last month in an attempt to look like a real wargamer, there won't be one because I didn't do any painting at all in April. Events dear boy, events.

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