The Hotness
Games|People|Company
Legacy of Dragonholt
Treasure Hunter: Complete Rulebook (1st Edition)
Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Boxed Set (Second Edition)
Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition
Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk
Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game
Mythic Game Master Emulator
Lamentations of the Flame Princess (Grindhouse Edition)
Ryuutama: Natural Fantasy Role Play
Dungeon Masters Screen
Nexus Life
Cat: Revised
The Orc in the Well
Cthulhu and the River of Doubt
Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set
Player's Handbook (D&D 5e)
Knights & Legends
We Used To Be Friends
James Bond 007
Career Compendium
Dead Planet
The Adventure Crafter
Berlin: The Wicked City
Polaris: Chivalric Tragedy at Utmost North
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
Usagi Yojimbo Role-Playing Game
DU2: Streets of Shadow
Mutant Future
The Fall of Myth Drannor
Fiasco
Microscope
The Book of the Smoke
A Song of Ice and Fire Chronicle Starter
Thousand Suns: Five Stars
Monster Manual (D&D 5e)
Cthulhu Abides
The Cthulhu Hack
Volo's Guide to Monsters
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
Mysthea: Legends From the Borderlands
Tiny Gods
Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 4e)
The Quintessential Cleric
carry. a game about war.
B2: The Keep on the Borderlands
7th Sea Game Master's Screen
Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium
RuneQuest Deluxe Edition
The Great Pendragon Campaign

Browsing the Gaming World

A daily journey around board games

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [81]

Recommend
34 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...journey to the red planet...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 803. March 14, 2019. Lagos & Praia da Vieira...

The clunky bakelite sound of domino pieces shuffling drew my attention away from the book. Under the shadow of a tree, three old-timers accompanied their morning coffees with a domino game that had been going for decades. Every single day at a coffee table since their golden ages. The endless and ageless gaming group. The forever convention.

Then my ride and gaming partner arrived. I left the old timers to their millennial domino game, hopped on the car with João and four hours later, we reached our own convention. LeiriaCon19


My favorite beach in March.


Ludoteca and first ludo players.


We go there early. A few minutes before the official opening time at 15h. But nobody seemed to care about that protocol. Several tables were already dressed in the familiar colorful cardboard suits, meeple buttons, and card shoes. A not just by locals. Isaac Childres and Citie Lo fenced with two other women in Lo's upcoming roll and write, Roll for Neko, before diving headfirst into Feld's Carpe Diem. We were sitting right next to them, playing a humble Reykholt. A game that last year was being demoed in secret at this very con!

João speed-read the rule, and both of us trimmed the edges of setup. Player aid card and off we went - once again - to Uwe's farm. After seeding carrots and cabbages for the hundredth time in a dozen different games. After harvesting tomatoes and seeking efficient and comboish worker placement moves, I couldn't help but recall - and agree! - with Vital's comment 2 years ago. At the time, about A Feast for Odin.

"Whenever I play one of his games, I always feel like I'm playing the same game!"


The never ending veggie show.

We moved on. Iceland leaving a good impression. But one I can see myself not craving for a follow-up.


Orlando had arrived by now. Exhausted after a flight from Bruxelles and a car ride from the airport, straight into LeiriaCon. Exhausted, but eager to play.

With so many copies of Wingspan flying in the main hall, what were the chances that we found a copy for ourselves? A copy of the hottest game in present times? Very good as it turns out.

Rules taught in less than 10 minutes, with a few minor details remarked after the first turns. It's an easy game to learn. Dropping bird cards for combo elegant actions cubbing and egg delicious laying. The soft linen paper of the rulebook... the smooth wooden dice more aking to woodpeckers tree trunk's nest than to a board game! The cozy player boards that open like if a leather cover in an old notebook from a diligent birdwatcher.


Plenty of birds and feathery fluff.

Wingspan takes non-Kickstarter, retail game quality to the next level. Once, not so long ago, Days of Wonder ruled with their single big box yearly releases. Five Tribes, Small World, Shadows Over Camelot... Now Stonemaier Games reigns supreme. This convention as hardly began, but this will be the most sought out and played game bar none this year! No questions asked!

The three player bird game was over in a flash and we took a coffee break.


Still quiet.

Boydell had arrived by now. And Matthias Cramer... And the Brands (Inka and Markus)... Maddox flew from designer to designer with his diligent microphone. Catching snippets and impressions that we will ear soon in Five Games for Doomsday.


Coffee break done, and not waiting to exhort our brains even further until tonight, we moved on to Emerson's Reef. A bland abstract with toylike plastic colorful reef pattern matching for points. Orlando, after learning that there were small similarities with a future game of his, Calçada, was curious to see that rumor for himself. João and I were more than happy to oblige. Even if I couldn't get his head around the patterns in the cards and was by no means able to chain them together. Orlando, after months of abstract pattern recognition, left us both in the scoring dust.


Underwater toys.


Upcoming Portuguese cobblestones.


Dinner was plentiful and sorely needed. The first real meal of the day for us all! And if there's one thing that LeiriaCon's got it right after dozens of years is that you can't skimp on the food and drinks in a convention.


João and I filled our 30 minutes before the main event with yet another of Emerson's designs. Century: Spice Road. This one was even faster to learn how to play than his latter, and supposedly more gatewayish Reef. And like my distant impressions of the game, two years ago now, this is a mean sleek and very silent filler. Micro-actions going by so fast with no time for chit-chat between them! It was common for one of us to be picking up spice cubes while the other finished his follow-up action, queuing his hand to the spice bowls!


Good spice.

I like this game. A lot. And now I'm even more eager to try the supposedly inferior, albeit different, Easter Wonders. Sadly, no copy made it to the convention's library...


But Vital's On Mars made it! In prototype form mind you.

Neither of us cared about it. Three years playing his soon to be on Kickstarter games at LeiriaCon. We have all grown used to the prototype pieces, and eagerly expect, to have first dibs on the current years hot heavy game!

"You've all played heavy games before right?" Vital said as he taped parts of the main board and tossed Carcmeeples impersonating as astronauts to each of us. "People say this is my heaviest game yet! I'm not so sure..."


The soon to be kicked red planet.

And neither was why. After 3 hours of shuttling back and forth between the red surface and the orbiting space station serving as a supply link to planet earth. Arguably the highlight mechanism running in the game. There were tracks to worry. Sure. This is a Lacerda game after all! What game of his do we know that doesn't have tracks? On Mars has "terraforming" tracks. Water, oxygen, energy/power, and farm/greenhouses. They give you points and bonus and trigger a whole bunch of events when they all reach a certain level. Being aware of them is crucial!

But then again, so is the status of the shuttle that connects the station with the surface. Or the status of your own player board's research tracks.
Or the building cards displayed on top of the board that, if built, will give players even more action spots/executive actions. Where did I saw this executive action before...


Mind the various game life support systems.

Don't forget the scientists too. Or the contracts! Or your building robot roaming the surface competing in a sort of tile laying-area control race. Or the speedy rover, always in search of the next bonus tiles! Don't forget your own space rockets that will give more Carc-astronauts! Or the ridiculously hard to get crystals! Remember to pay extra if you're using an occupied worker placement spot.

Coordinate your robot, with your rover, with the main shuttle, with your research levels, with your available ore, and maybe - just maybe! - you'll be smart enough to earn a few points and fulfill a few secret goals! Yes, I forgot about the secret goals. Those also double as crystals... Some of us knew what was happening. Other's were too half-fried and way past their bedtime to realize that we were On Mars. But we all made it to the end.

A classic Lacerda. A monstrous game machine that's beautiful to watch and even more wonderful to ear purring once you decipher its mysteries. Mysteries that don't give themselves easily after just one play.


Vital's planet.

I don't think On Mars tops Lisboa for complexity/difficulty for me. But then again, I still haven't' played CO2 or Kanban, and people often mention the latter as his heaviest. But who cares which game takes the weight crown! Vital's games are always a joy to learn and play. Their complexity so tightly woven and knitted with the theme as I've never seen before in a game of this caliber! Yet another gateway into heavy games to go down in cardboard history.

A good start for LeiriaCon19. And we still have 3 more days to go!


One year ago: ...old games and rough seas...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...another roll in Norindaal's road...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 802. March 13, 2019. Lagos...

Well... next week seemed too far away to try again Roll Player's solo challenge. I mean... the game was already ready to go on the table. Why not play it once more before packing it up?

I fared better tonight. Achieving a Clan Leader status with a respectful 34. Still not to the level of the pros (+40), but I'm getting there. You see, tonight the once former mentor and currently free spirit bard picked up a cunning trait. Sure, those dubious pickpocket skills still showed up to taint her reputation over the land. Alongside a pint of intimidation and a dash of opening locks skills.


Repenting from the bard's sins.

Stayed true to her past backstory as Mentor and scoured a full set of leather armor along the way. A free spirit to the bone and a challenge I'll always play for as long as they run it!


Four Against Darkness expansions used to come out as regular as the moon. But I haven't heard of any news about them from BGG's new games feed lately. Neither from the 4AD's forums. So I went ahead to the Gumroad and DrivethruRPG to see if something had slipped through the BGG's fine sieve.

Concise Collection of Classes, by Erick N. Bouchard and Andrea Sfiligoi. Different from the last batch of expansions that brought new scenarios, new settings, or new CYOA style gameplay. Concise Collection of Classes sets itself apart by being one of the first to expansion to fully embrace Norindaal. The game world first created by Andreas in a Song of Blades and Heroes, 12 years ago. Half of the book is a compilation of dwarven lore and their deities. Good stuff. But the entire book presents a host of new characters with which to play 4AD. From ogre mercenaries to lutins. Harlequins and a plethora of new dwarven clans and skills with which to embellish characters, bringing them even more to life!


The more the merrier.

So I dutifully picked up the pdf on the spot. Devoured all the best parts of the book. And set my mind aflame with the possibilities that this game never stops giving. You see, at the end of the book, there was a much-needed index of where to find the various classes that have come out over the years in various expansions. Along with the already released stuff, there were mentions of at least, yet unreleased 18!?! expansions!

Norindaal is getting bigger.


One year ago: ...cooperative island specimens...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

...a bard's tale...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 801. March 12, 2019. Lagos...

It was a weird trait to pick up for a mentor. Reckless...

She'd devoted years to teaching the king's knights about the fine art of storytelling through poetry and music. War can be harsh and brutal. Devoid of life's simple pleasures. Time spent in the barracks, nervously waiting for battle, didn't need to be so excruciating. At least, that was the King's reasoning.

But after years of storytelling teaching, the woman grew tired of her secure life. She understood the perils of accommodating oneself with existence as much as she perceived the benefits of life on the road. Thus she left. A free spirit at last. And a lifetime's savings on her pouch to enjoy it.

Free spirit. Sure. But reckless? Why? not even her closest friends - and she didn't have many - could understand the bard's sudden shift of personality. After taking making the road her home, the bard quickly picked up fame as a quarterstaff master and a pickpocketing nimble thieve!

She tried to disguise her new nature as a steadfast, proud and compassionate character. But villagers slowly learned about her true intentions in every town she passed. She wanted nothing but gold coins. She wanted nothing but to put her pickpocketing skills to good use, every chance she had.

The once noble mentor bard of the King had become, a greedy and petty thieve!



The dubious bard.


A quick take on the current month's solo challenge for Roll Player. Still paying the base game, although that might change after this weekend.

Reckless seemed as good a way as any to earn more reputation from single star attribute goals. The pickpocket skill picked up mid-game solidified that plan. Unfortunately, this idea crippled the rest of the attribute goals... and the backstory... and the gold coin savings for a late greedy trait.

I'll try again next week. Hopefully with the Monsters & Minions expansion then.


One year ago: ...taming the sea monster...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

...it's going to be a good week when...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 800. March 11, 2019. Lagos...

...you bike your daughter to kindergarten and need to lose the wind jacket to feel the warmness of an early Spring morning.


Spring road.

..you start another Stephen King book, It, read by the crystal clear voice of Steven Weber. And even after a page worth of introductory quotes you just now, with absolute certainty, that you're going to love it!

...you take a detour to the coastline with your bike, to take in even more of the glorious sunny morning. Stopping at a seaside café for a tasteful latte while reading printed words. This time, set in the wonderful land of Faerûn.


Feeling the warm breeze.


Reinvigorating sights.


Small pleasures.

...you seek a new path that will take you to the seaside cliff's summit. A punishing climb using your bike and a downhill ride all the way to Lagos afterward. Green bushes and yellow flowers on your left and a sheer precipice with blazing blue water down below on your right.


Big climbs.


Bigger sights.


Fenced ocean.


Pretty abyss.


Downhill to Lagos.

...you reprint a good PnP back in the collection. I can't get enough of micro card laying games and Sprawlopolis deserves a secure spot in the backpack.


Welcome back to the sprawling city.

...you juggle your gaming scheduled for the upcoming weekend. On Mars, Yinzi, 1830, Xia... LeiriaCon19 stars in a few days, and four days is not near enough time to play all you want!

It's going to be a good week.


One year ago: ...train buccaneers over the rainbown...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
46 
 Thumb up
10.01
 tip
 Hide

...the future past convention...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 799. March 10, 2019. Lagos...

By the time you're reading this, I'll be home. Home after four days of non-stop gaming in what's fast becoming Europe's best kept secret gaming convention. This secret won't last though. Each year that passes, sees the rise of attendees. From new gamers to old dogs. From anonymous people to borderline celebrities of the gaming world. You only need to come here once and experience the full deal. You'll be hopelessly hooked, with no chance to ever fail another year.


...last year...

Don't believe me? Take a look at what's scheduled and what as already happened:

Costa and Rôla, partnered with family-friendly Pythagoras for 6 Castelos. A 1 to 4 tile laying game set in medieval times.

Dominus, from designer Orlando Sá, will also use tile laying. This time to put players in charge of constructing a medieval monastery. Along with Dominus, Orlando's suitcase also contained: Calçada, Rollmans, and Porto. The latter a MEBO game were players act as city builders of Porto's iconic riverfront, in yet another tile laying game for 1-4 players.

MEBO's brought Eléctricos de Lisboa, from Pedro Silva, which in turn also adds to his portfolio Matéria. Both tagged as family games.

Matthias Cramer brought Glen More II, Weimar, Watergate and Beutelschneider.

Corax Games displayed:
Steamopolis, from Gerhard Hecht. 1-5 players compete in a highly interactive tactical engine building game.
Streets of Chicago from Antoine Noblet, where players compete for control over a city.
The Lemming Game from Jan Kirschner, where lemming families compete to jump off the cliff.
And Franky Rock 'n Vegas from Andreas Schmidt. A fast roll and write, where players compete to finish "Frankensteins Monsters".

Vital Lacerda's On Mars ran all nights of the convention non-stop! And he also brought a shared design, with Julián Pombo, of a more filler type game, Mercato.

Cooper Island from Andreas Odendahl, was somewhere on the tables.


...this year...

Citie Lo's been busy. From Taiwan he brought:
Roll for Neko. A dice version A Pleasant Journey to Neko.
The expansion to the latter, Fish Market.
Crystal Farmers. Collecting crystals, and using them for victory points.
Extreme Rail Travel. A train building-rondel game for 2-4 players.
Fisherman's Bastion. Build your bastion and rebuilt it before the enemy arrives.
Board Game Cafe Frenzy. Manage a board game shop to earn the most money.
And Flying Fish Festival, where you use disks to catch fish.

There must be something about Leiriacon's designer attendees. They all seem very prolific in their creations. Take João Quintela Martins. He brought no less than seven! upcoming family games that should delight our nation's youngsters soon enough. Diana, Maestro, Fruta ou Chocolate, Dock 24, Overlord, Todos a Pintar, and Elevadores.

Miguel Ribeiro's upcoming KS game, Confront (strategic wargame) was somewhere in the gaming halls. As was his recent partnership with Ricardo Jorge Gomes, Algarve. A racing game about trying to fill a house's many division with an assortment of objects!

Perdition's Mouth, Timo Multamäki returned. This with Lee Broderick and his Dwarf. A 1 to 3 (or 5?) players game, played on a dynamic board with emergent cooperative elements. All tied together worker placement style.

Giorgos Sarakatsianos brought Qianlong. A mid-heavy euro game set in 18th century China, during the Qianlong Emperor's reign.

Theo K. Mavraganis brought two prototypes. Subito! (pizza making speed game) and Balloons (memory game with various levels of difficulty)

Marcel Kraatz carried the 1v1 Star Renegades. A card-driven Wargame with miniatures, randomized map setup and deckbuilding elements.

La Stanza from dynamic duo Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade was seen in there too.

Isaac Childres showed up in this corner of the world just to play. As did Ella, from Ella Loves Boardgames and Ben Maddox from Five Games for Doomsday interviewing everyone with a tiny microphone.

Tony Boydell carried Attention All Shipping and Fweep!

...and that's just what I stumbled upon in the convention's Drive spreadsheet. A treasure trove of gaming possibilities.


One year ago: ...wineless...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...the bird doctor...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 798. March 09, 2019. Lagos...

Do you have a favorite butcher? Or a seamstress that fixes your old jeans and skirts. Maybe you always verge to the same cashier during your visits to the supermarket. Over the years, you've struck conversations with each of them. Snippets of chit chats about the weather mingled with the price of the rice or a particular piece of meat. Years of these types of micro-encounters turn people into acquaintances. They become familiar faces. Not just at their workplaces but also when crossing the streets in lazy Sunday mornings strolls.

Live long enough in a city and chances are that you have at least a handful of these type of relationships.

So imagine that one day you see one of those persons in the most unlikely of places your imagination could ever conceive. Surprise. Wide-eyed and jaw dropped. That's how I greeted our family physician, going strong for over 4 years now when he entered Até à Lua's door to sit at a table to play... Impulse?


Medicinal 4X.

Mother#!@! Our good doctor is a geek too! And not just any geek mind you. He routinely visits Essen as we visit him for our yearly checkup! He's as comfortable tossing Fireball Island's boulders or auctioning for pilots in Downforce, as he is listening to Alice's breathing with a stethoscope! Man, life sometimes throws you one hell of a curve ball!

I tried to hide my surprise the best I could. But teaching him the inner workings of Chudyk's mind, I couldn't help myself an escape "doctor" instead of his real name!

Uncomfortability aside, after 3 rounds around the table and around the card driven 4x galaxy, our real-world lives dissipated. Such is the power of board games. He caught on pretty quickly the action conveyor belt. Gathering a decent armada of cruisers and transports in his home base in preparation for an invasion! So much for doctor-patient confidentiality when you are stealthily trying to set him up for a trap in Impulse's sector core!

He couldn't stay long though. Only time for that one game. I wonder what we'll talk about on our next visit to his office? Back pains or Root's next expansion?


Once the good doctor left, we resumed our monthly gathering. This month, instead of the usual Sunday 9h to 21h, we scheduled gaming to a more informal Saturday's 15h to whatever.


A bunch of foxy animals.

We had started the day with the "keeps getting better every time we play it", Fox in the Forest. Nuno likes it, even if he hasn't quite got the balance between the number of tricks vs points. Unsure if more people would arrive soon or not, we then visited Feld's point salad La Isla. For what it's worth, I'm learning that I prefer my Felds short and quick. And La Isla fits perfectly in that category.

After Impulse, Ana and Joana were up for some games. So the four of us deducted our laughs off with the simplistic Sherlock 13 before proceeding to save the world with vanilla Pandemic. The former firmly set my conviction that I suck as much in deduction games - if not more - as in auction games. But I have fun playing them, so what the hell. Sherlock did leave me wanting to play Herbalism. A game that soon enough I'll have a chance to try during game nights.

Pandemic, a thrift store find for the store's gaming library, failed to impress Forbidden Island aficionados, Nuno and Joana. Something that they already expected from the get-go to our great disappointment. How can you not like Pandemic?!? Then again, Ana and I are biased. We entered this gaming world facing the hordes of infection cubes.


A puzzling disease Watson.


With dusk about to fall, the main meal of the day arrived with Pedro and Nuno U. A never played copy of Wingspan... well. Sort of. Pedro crafted a PnP copy of this super hot bird weeks ago. But before the next print run invaded the world, he wanted to try out his thin paper baby. We were all happy to oblige!

In what's fast becoming a hallmark of Stonemaier designs, the simplicity of Wingspan its is greatness strength... and weakness.

Here! You want to be an aviary caretaker! Take a bunch of euro cubes into your hand and toss them, one by one in one of only four action spaces. Do that for four rounds, losing four cubes along the way, and the game ends. Count everything that's on your player board (eggs, food, tucked cards, and birds). Add it to the end of round goals and your own secret goal cards and that's it.

And in case you need more confirmation that the gameplay of Wingspan is rock solid, consider this:

We played with a PnP version for two hours. Plastic discs replacing customized wooden tokens. Regular D6 dice replacing the laser printed originals. Not a bird tower in sight here. Those colorful beautiful eggs that people keep wanting to eat in BGG's forums? Replaced by cheap Made in China micro dice, as ugly as you could imagine. Yet, none of us felt that the game lacked due to do component quality. We were all immersed in the bird engine building. Savoring all the card combo juices of the finest caliber. The two hours flew by without anyone noticing. No yawns. No sad faces. Plain old good board game fun.


A cacophony of birds.

But, the theme... as family friendly and original as it is, did not convince me as I expected. The perfect gameplay brought nothing new. It's a distillation of the best things this hobby has to offer. As pristine and bland as water.

I'll play Wingspan every time people suggest it. But this is a bird I have no intention of owning.


One year ago: ...the penguins and the fish campaign...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...gamer vacation in Istanbul...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 797. March 08, 2019. Lagos...

Who does the heavy lifting behind games in your house?

Travels dutifully throughout the distant lands of the geekland in search of hidden gems and suitable treasures? Who reads the rules? Who picks games? Who does the setup? Who cleans up the table warzone after all the fun?

Chances are, that if you're reading this, you're that person in your house! Right? In this household, it's the person who writes a daily gaming blog, yours truly. Until tonight that is.

We took forever to pick a game for the evening today. So long in fact, that I was starting to think that there would be no consensus and so, no game. I wasn't pulling for games though. I had writing/email/reviewing to do. I sure could use an extra 20 minutes or so, before actually committing to a game. Thus, when the usual suspects popped up (Terraforming, Caledonia, Alchemists, Gallerist, Agricola), I always found excuses not to play any. And the most often spoken reason not to play was "setup takes too long."

"What if I do the setup and we play Agricola," she asked to my jawdropping surprised face. Ana never read a rulebook in her life. She never had to set up a game making sure everything is ready. Not that she couldn't do it. It's just not her thing.

"Ok," I replied. "But we play a lighter game instead. Istanbul?"
"Ok. I'll meet you here in 20 minutes."

20 minutes later, the iconic city of Turkey was displayed on the table. A long overdue two player session was in order. But my eyes, couldn't stop themselves from scouring the table for anything missing or misplaced

"You did a random setup?"
"Yap."
"And you made sure tha-"
"The Black Market and Tea House are 3 spaces apart. The Fountain is in the middle," she said dryly.

The three unused Merchant discs were at their designated starting places, ready to meet us. The right amount of coins given to each of us. A bonus card for each. A bonus card for each player?!?

"What's this?" I asked holding the card. "Are we supposed to start with one?"
"Yes."

We start with bonus cards in Istanbul? Never in almost 20 plays did I ever noticed that line in the setup! But sure enough, there it was.

"Relax. Everything is right. Can we start now?" she said impatiently


Always a new alley to discover in Istanbul.

And off we went. Two Turkish merchants pushing their wheelbarrows through the narrow alleys of Istanbul. Dropping assistants and picking them up again later. We rarely crossed each other on the board. We were both racing for different goals at different times, so interaction was down to a minimum. But it as fine. I always love a game of Istanbul. Even if we rarely play with our own copy these days. It's always the first word that comes out from my mouth whenever we're five players at game nights. But I've missed playing it at the two-player count. Totally worth its classic status and still going strong despite its age.

Ana won with relative ease. I wasn't focused and had to visit the Fountain twice during the game, wasting valuable time. Ana never visited the fountain. And once we were over, she packed everything in their respective bags and we called it a day. A good day.


One year ago: ...vegetable of youth...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...carpet dreams...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 796. March 07, 2019. Lagos...

I sat on the carpet, leaned against the sofa, and started shuffling. That's how you start a game of Onirim. Shuffling a deck of cards. And that's how you play a game of Onirim. Shuffling an ever decreasing deck of cards. And the smaller it gets, the faster the game becomes. With each labyrinth room explored, your options and your time dwindling. The search for a way out becomes a mad run for the exit before the doors close!


The glyph dream.

With the Glyphs expansion today... So far it seems the least "intrusive" of the ones I've tried (Steps Lost and Found, and Towers). It gives you four more doors to find. And a new icon, the glyph with which to find them. And - at first glance - an innocuous new discard ability. Discard to chance a new door.

I didn't see it as very useful. At least with the Books of Steps Lost and Found. Not being able to control the order of the doors, didn't make much sense. But without that orderly expansion, it proved to be more useful. Not at first, when your deck is still full and ripe for discovery. But near the end, as it becomes thinner and odds of a door being in those five cards increase tenfold! The glyph becomes sort of like a key. But with a luck element added. I loved it as soon as I understood its value. Hold the glyph to add as a third symbol, or discard it to chance a door?

I played for about 20 minutes or so. A curious Alice jumping all around me, using my legs as a springboard to the carpet ocean underneath. Always asking if I had found a door or not, or if monster - the nightmares - had shown up. Came up short by two doors. And got up from the carpet full. Full of another pleasant stroll through the dream labyrinth.


One year ago: ...the toad and vegetable soup...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...trampled...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 795. March 06, 2019. Lagos...

"Ante Portas! Ante Portas! Run for your lives!"

The two citizens got up from their beds in a hurry. They heard people running and screaming on the street below the apartment window.

"What do you think all this ruckus is about?" one asked out loud, more to himself.
"No idea! I have no idea what these people are doing. They did seem a little strange when we arrived. Did you see those crates full of mines and parked catapults behind the two factories?
"Yes! What do you suppose they are for?"
"I don't kn-"

The door to their apartment burst open. Its hinges bent and ripped with such force that pieces of the door frame were still attached to them as the door flew through the living room. At the entrance, stood a man. But he wasn't dressed as a commoner from the empire. The ragged clothes and wooden club in his hand told them that he was not a sympathizer of the Empire.

A raider!



Ready to battle!


I read the rules for Ante Portas. The whole premise feels so detached from the base game euro normality that it's hard to shift gears in your head. Very hard! I didn't understand how to resolve a Battle when both forces meet at on the battleground. I was lost with the mine spreadsheet and the traps schematics. The soldier's free? actions felt like something I should take advantage but could comprehend. I stopped reading after the indirect fire from a howitzer!

But like any good gaming soldier, I pressed forward with the gameplay! I would cross each bridge one at a time and if encountered.

The new steward's slide ability seemed nice and was put to good use in the first summer. More farmers mean more soldiers, so I aimed to build - recruit in this case - a few of those. A second Forester's House should come in handy too since many of the new places and defenses use wood. I built one too. And new storage shed. You can never go wrong with extra storage in The Colonists, right?


...already?

The two raiders that showed up during setup, moved forward. Fast! One, in particular, moved down the column of hexes in a such a hurry, that when I turned a card for him at the end of the first year, he burst through the defensive walls, trampling over the hospital behind them! All within sight of the three grunts nearby and a wide-eyed first-time general.

Game... Over...? So soon?

Did I miss something here?


One year ago: ...new fish on the shelve...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

...end of a journey...

Alexandre Correia
Portugal
Lagos
Algarve
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Day 794. March 05, 2019. Lagos...

The two high-class citizen officials were bored.

They had been sitting in a dubiously stable bouncing carriage for over 17 hours. Their voyage from the Emperor's capital city to the outskirts of the empire had no shortcuts or well-maintained roads. No frequent passengers transport services either. The carriage's driver was the only one willing to offer a service to the borderland. And the price he asked for the trip, told the two citizens that he knew there was no one else willing to do to the same.

"Just a few more hours I would guess," one man said to the other shifting position from the seat for the thousand time. There was no more shifting possible that would change the pain on his buttocks though. The flimsy cushions were he sat, as thin as a Spring picnic blanket. But it was no grass under the blanket here. He might as well been sitting for half the day on bouncing spiked rocks!

"Yes I suppose," the other man replied, unmoving. Trying not to lose focus on the mountainous landscape outside the window. He had long given up on finding a more comfortable position. His body was somewhere else. Outside his mind, taking a walk with his pain. He was trying to concentrate on the surrounding scenery they were crossing. A meditative trance you might say, to stave away the discomfort.

That was it for the conversation between the two. Cocooned for so long in a space as small as servant's bathroom, all topics of discussion had been covered. Twice! Each returned to their own private misery.

"All this way, just to inspect two factories," one man thought. "Two worthless factories at the border to nowhere..."

When the carriage stopped and the driver shouted "We're here!" from the front, the two men later confessed that those were the sweetest words they had ever heard in their lives! They didn't need to hear them a second time! They exited the torturing chamber as fast as their mangled muscles would allow. Outside, they looked around.

"Look! They made it!" one citizen said to the other pointing to...



Two long overdue meeples.


...pointing to the two apartments I had just built with the steward's last action, on the last year of the 1st Era. Game over. Even without doing all the dollar math, I could see a sight rarely seen at the end of a single 1st Era session of The Colonists. Two citizens, working in two factories!

Did I have the necessary 60 dollars worth of community to fulfill the solo challenge?

No. By one. Miserable. Dollar! It was my highest ever score in this challenge, with two working citizens. But still to be so close and yet fail! It's a bittersweet victory, let me tell you. Akin to arrive a second beyond your marathon archnemesis or something like it!

"If only I had not wasted so much food early on," I thought. "I would have been able to sell more in my last visit to the market! But I needed the storage space at the time!"

I was staring at the community intently. Watching, but not really looking. My mind elsewhere. Trying to see where I could have scrounged an extra buck. When I snapped out of it, I saw the lonely clay chit in the storehouses built throughout the game. Clay... I glanced to the market card, where I had just dumped the two food chits for two bucks. Clay was also there...

"Clay is also an option to sell alongside the food. And I have one clay! I have one more buck from that last sale! I have scored 60 after all! I've won my own challenge!"


Success!

It felt great! Something which I've considered to be an unpossible challenge! Heck, it only took...12 sessions spread out over 19 months!

I started to pack all the components in the box, scheming what could be another Colonists' solo challenge worthwhile to explore. I had to remove all the bags from the box and the rest of the community boards to sort everything back onside. When I noticed something underneath the community boards...


The two citizens laid in their apartments' beds. Everything still felt and smelled new. They were about to fall away into blissful regeneratory sleep when someone screaming outside shook them up their beds!

"Ante Portas! Ante Portas! Run for your lives!"



One year ago: ...recoup and regulate...


Photo & Image credits: ZombieBoard
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [81]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.