Wednesday, 27 September 2017

We're going to need a bigger boat

There wasn't much boardgaming in August, but September proved to be the first month in a yonk during which I played more games than in the same period last year. Here's a catch up:

7 Wonders: I remain no good whatsoever at this game. I do however continue to be a fan of its design, especially the fact that adding more players in (up to the maximum of seven obviously) doesn't add to the time taken.

Abluxxen: It's a baffling game for those new to it, but it's worth persevering with, because it's a nice filler.

Castle of Caladale: When I saw that this involved pattern matching I knew that it wouldn't end well. When I learned that players could constantly rearrange their tableau during the game it was obvious it would be really bad. And so it proved.

Mine did not look like this.

Codenames: I have nothing more to say about this. Even those gamers who claim they don't like it can't help getting sucked in when they think they see the answer to the clue.

Condottiere:I also have nothing more to say about this. If you don't own it, buy it.

Le Havre: The original game from which Harbour was developed as a slimline version. I think I prefer the latter, but only with our house rule scoring system.

Ice Flow:  I really like this game and whenever others are foolish enough to delegate the choice to me this is what they end up with. It's much deeper than it appears to be as the rules are being explained.

Junk Art: A sort of reverse Jenga, but with the components providing a range of different dexterity games, all well beyond your bloggist's capabilities. Good fun.

The King is Dead: I've now tried it with two players and it worked rather well. I am enjoying this, with no element of post-purchase dissonance having appeared yet.

Libertalia: Only the second time that I've played this pirate themed game, but I enjoyed it more than I remember doing the first time. We played with a full complement of six, which may have had something to do with it by increasing the opportunities for second guessing what everyone else will do.

Lords of Waterdeep: A really enjoyable worker placement game that, as I know I have mentioned before, can be played without ever giving any thought to the D&D type theme.

Neue Heimat: A couple of those with whom I played this hated it with a vengeance, which put a bit of a downer on the whole thing. Personally I wouldn't mind giving it another go now I've got my head round the possible strategies. The auction mechanism requires putting in at least some effort to anticipate other people's moves.

QuartermasterGeneral: 1914: Any game of QG is a rare treat. I think I prefer this to the original, but sadly don't play either enough to be absolutely sure.

Red7: A reliable filler.

Skull: Ditto, although I for one am a bit jaded with this at the moment.

Space Alert: A cooperative sci-fi programming game that did nothing to warm me to any of those genres. It made me want to have games of Grizzled and/or Colt Express instead.

Splendor: I like this enough to be seriously thinking of buying the expansion. It's an engaging, easily taught, game that makes you think without lasting too long.

Spyfall: It hasn't been on the table for many months and hasn't improved in the meantime. It does seem to have spawned a number of in jokes, so there is some upside.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!: A most enjoyable 'take that' game which has to be played in a cutthroat manner. On this occasion I thought it was a piece of cake until my boats were all sunk by whales and my men were all eaten by sharks; c'est la vie.

Thebes: The part of the game in which one moves around Europe collecting archaeological expertise and equipment works very well. The bit where one excavates for treasure, and during which one scores, involve far too much luck. It is also possible to quite early on fall behind to such an extent that the remainder of the game becomes pointless. I do like the way the time track works though.


  1. After encouraging me to give Condottiere a try some time back, I now have the guys hooked on the game too. The problem now is that the game is unavailable and no one can get a copy. Do you have a source for this game? There seems to be a Chinese knock-off of this game available from Canada. We would prefer an official version if possible.

    1. I didn't know it was out of print, although it's not an uncommon problem with board games. The print runs do seem to be very low. I've had a quick look at the UK suppliers that I use and none of those have it either.

      You would think that the publishers would work out that if demand is high enough to make it worth someone pirating it then it must also be worth reprinting legally.