Board Gaming · Gaming Recap · On the Table

On the Table – August 2017

So far I’ve been consistent in having a recap post at the end of the month where I cover the games played, including win/loss tracking, for the month and a tally of Year-to-date. Last month I had the idea to do a second monthly post where I highlight some of what games we’re enjoying right now, what new (to us) games we can’t wait to play for the first time next, games we’ve played but don’t own that we are itching to play again, and one game on our couple’s wish list plus one on my solo wishlist.

Hot Games of August

Mystic Vale

This is an interesting one, a game that I never suspected would become the hit with my wife that is has been. I fell in love with this game from the first play, which was a local gamer teaching me how to play. I talked about it for nearly two weeks afterwards. That friend came over for some games and I kept mentioning we should play Mystic Vale. For the final game of the night, my wife conceded that she could try it even though it was a deckbuilding game (which she’s not a huge fan of). She fell in love with the game. We borrowed it from that friend for four days and played it six times. We played it again this week when the friend came over for another game night. This is one we’ve just started to explore, and we’re both eager to play again and again.

Stellar Leap

I don’t know if you’ve heard about Stellar Leap, but this game is going to be fantastic. Carla at Weird Giraffe Games was kind enough to send me the print and play files so I could help her test out the solo version of the game. And let me tell you, it is going to be great. She’s made a few tweaks already, and I’ve only played against the Easy AI so far. With two more to test out this month, I can’t wait to get it back on the table. Look for this to hit Kickstarter on September 18th, and a review to go up sometime before that.

Next Games on Deck

Unearth

This one from Brotherwise Games looks and sounds so fantastic. I haven’t opened the box yet on this one, but this game is one I’ve been tempted to grab more than once since it arrived. Now that our Mystic Vale marathon has come to a forced conclusion, it might be time to break this one open and get her hooked on this game.

Mage Knight

Who said that a wish list never gained you anything? My loving wife saw this on last month’s post for my solo wish list, she ordered it on Amazon. It was my “Christmas” present, although she insists I don’t need to wait until December to play it. Which is good, since I have no intention of waiting that long to get this one to the table. There are many other games I probably should get to the table before this one, but I hope I can find a free afternoon to sit down and play this one out. Sadly, it will likely eat that entire afternoon.

Games We Can’t Wait to Replay

Incantris

When our friend comes over for a game night, we usually try to make sure that at least one game on our shame list is played. Last week it was this game, and my wife ended up enjoying it a lot. Which is good, since we’ll need to play it a handful of times in order to review it. And maybe a few more times to try out all four possible modes. And after all that, maybe Frostgrave won’t seem to daunting to her!

Albion’s Legacy

I love this game and its theme. Fiddly or not, this game holds so much appeal for me. I’m just sad that it hasn’t hit the table more often, but other games have taken priority when I get time for solo gaming. As soon as I finish up my time playtesting Stellar Leap, this is the next solo game to revisit the table.

A Wishlist Feature

Raiders of the North Sea

This game is nearly here – at least the Renegade Games version of this one. Viking theme + unique Worker Placement mechanic = something that is hopefully going to be a hit for both me and my wife. I’ve been having an eye on Garphill Games’ Viking trilogy of games for a while now, and knowing that it’ll be readily available this fall has my excitement level really high right now.

Between Two Cities

I’ve been loading up on heavier solo games lately, so this time I’d like to look at one of the other Stonemaier Games titles out there. This one plays 3-7, but has an Automa for solo play (just like Scythe and Viticulture) and has rules for a 2-player version of the game. We don’t have many games that can play up to a larger number, and my wife has expressed wanting to get some shorter, easy-to-teach games for when we have non-gamer friends over. I think this one would fit the bill, and I’m looking to get all five Stonemaier Games titles into my collection (this would make the 3rd, with Charterstone this December marking the 4th).

Board Gaming · Gaming Recap · On the Table

July 2017 Gaming Recap

Over on BGG I provide a more detailed list of what games we play each month, who won/lost those games, and a full list of the games played in 2017 under three categories:

Games Played as a Couple

Games Played Solo

Games Played in a Group

 

For this blog, I want to approach my monthly recap posts a little different, and I will link to the BGG post at the bottom in case you want to see the more detailed list of data. I’ll still give the overall records, but my focus here will be to select a game that fits under each of several categories.

2-Player Gaming:

July Couples’ Record:
David – 20/37, 54.05%
Nicole – 17/37, 45.95%
16 Unique Games

2017 Couples Record:
David – 81/169 (47.93%)
Nicole – 90/169 (53.25%)
54 Unique Games (+7)

Most Played 2-Player Game: Herbaceous – This was a game my wife really wanted, and the length of this game makes it a perfect one to pull out when we don’t have a ton of time to play a game. It sets up fast and plays almost just as quickly. I have a feeling this one will continue to see a lot of plays going forward.
Favorite 2-Player Experience & Best New-to-Us 2-Player Experience: Haspelknecht – I had a feeling this game would be a hit for us, and it didn’t disappoint. It offers several paths to victory based on development tiles, rewards you for planning ahead for your turns, and punishes you for not hitting certain criteria but it doesn’t cripple you like a certain farming game can. This one will be a staple in our collection for a long time.
Most Surprising 2-Player Experience: Exile Sun – I was so excited to try this game. Its description won me over during a Math Trade. The battle system sounded fantastic, and playing it at 2 would eliminate the common complaint of people sitting idly while battles resolve for other players.  And it turned out that I did really like the battle system. Unfortunately, everything else fell flat and we called it a game after just one round.
Next Unplayed 2-Player Game to be Played: Stamford Bridge: End of the Viking Age – It is time. I’ve been meaning to break her into a wargame for months now, and August needs to be the month when it happens. This game provides a simple entry point that she’ll be able to pick up on quickly and hopefully not get overwhelmed. After all, it only uses one die roll and has one table to reference.

Solo Gaming:

July Solo Record: 4/6, 66.37%
5 Unique Games

2017 Solo Record: 25/52 (48.08%)
20 Unique Games (+4)

Most Played Solo Game: Chrononauts – This one hit the table twice last month after getting a copy from Looney Labs. I am not sure what I expected, but this wasn’t it. What I discovered, upon playing, was that it exceeded every expectation. It provides a fun, fast, challenging solo game that really rewards planning ahead and paying attention to ripple effects. I’m pretty sure this will hit the table a few more times and get reviewed this month.
Favorite Solo Experience:
Viticulture: Essential Edition – I was certain I would lose. Seven years to surpass 20 points. Going into year 7, I had 9 points. I had cards and wines to pull it off, but I needed everything to go right in both seasons. If the Automa blocked me even once, it was game over. I won, 21-20. That is the sort of thing you remember, whether playing solo or against others: the time when everything goes right to lead to an unexpected win that likely wouldn’t happen the same way twice. I’m looking forward to trying out the campaign on this.
Best New-to-Me Solo Experience: Scythe – I knew I’d love it. I played the Viticulture Automa first to understand how they are designed to function. I had an hour or two to play a solo game. I set this up and almost tore it back down without playing. I didn’t understand the Automa’s movement at the start. But it started to click. The turns went fast. The game pushed me and, in a similar style to my Viticulture experience, I pulled off a 1-point win. But only because I got one more turn to get my fourth star, thanks to pulling an Automa card that didn’t add a star right at the end. Without that turn, I would have lost for certain.
Most Surprising Solo Game: Chrononauts – See above. It wasn’t the game I expected, but it certainly is the one I’m enjoying.
Next Unplayed Solo Game to be Played: Night of Man – I failed to get this to the table last month. I intended to one night, but the rule book wasn’t in the box. Everything is in the box and ready to play now. I’m excited to test this one out so that I can turn around and teach it to my wife this month as well!

Group Gaming:

July Group Games:
15 Unique Games

2017 Group games:
51 Unique Games (+7)

Most Played Group Game: Star Wars: Destiny – No shock here, this is likely to be holding this place for a long time. When you play 5-7 games in an evening, and do that once a week, the game racks up plays. And, as you’ll see below, I keep craving more!
Favorite Group Experience:
 Mystic Vale – I was excited to try this one out, so much so that I requested a friend bring his copy of this when he came over to play games. This has such an unique take on the deckbuilding aspect that I immediately fell in love with the game and its system. I’m itching to play it again, and this is another one I need my wife to play to see if she enjoys it.
Best New-to-Me Group Experience: Star Wars: Rebellion – The only thing missing was the soundtrack for the movies playing in the background. There are a lot of Star Wars games out there. I enjoyed Imperial Assault. I’m in love with Destiny. Yet this is the game that feels like Star Wars. This game is to Star Wars what War of the Ring is to the Lord of the Rings. I love the cat-and-mouse aspect of one side trying to discover the hidden Rebel base while the other side is trying to complete objectives to shorten the game’s timer and bring it all to an end.
Most Surprising Group Game: Yamatai – I had expectations that were too large going into the game. I was hoping to find a game that was at least on the same level as Five Tribes. After one play, it fell short of that mark. I enjoyed the game, and now that I understand it a little more I will probably like the second play better. But so far, the game didn’t wow me like I hoped it would.
Group Game I Want to Play Most: Star Wars: Destiny – I could play this game every day and not grow tired of it. I really am enjoying the combination between building a deck, rolling dice, and finding ways to manipulate cards and dice throughout the game. If I had to make a Top 10 list today, this might very well be slotted at #2. Now I just need to convince my wife to give it a play.

Be sure to check out the full slate of games played over at the BGG Blog by following this link: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/67654/games-played-recap-july-2017

Board Gaming · On the Table

On the Table – July 2017

So far I’ve been consistent in having a recap post at the end of the month where I cover the games played, including win/loss tracking, for the month and a tally of Year-to-date. Last month I had the idea to do a second monthly post where I highlight some of what games we’re enjoying right now, what new (to us) games we can’t wait to play for the first time next, games we’ve played but don’t own that we are itching to play again, and one game on our couple’s wish list plus one on my solo wishlist.

Hot Games of July

Haspelknecht

This game is outstanding. We played it three times in a row one morning and it definitely brings the brain burn when done back to back to back. This is a game with a lot of fun and interesting mechanics working together. It provides a really unique entry into the worker placement genre, and it might just be my favorite worker placement game. Easily in my top three for that category. This is one we just haven’t been able to revisit in the past week or so, which is the one thing preventing a review from getting up. I bet we fix that early in the week so that we can give you a bigger, better coverage of a game you should play by a company you should be watching.

Castles of Caladale

This is an unique entry as a hot solo game because it isn’t me playing this one so much solo…she is! Which is something that I really enjoy seeing and hearing about – Herbaceous is the other game that she’s been soloing a fair amount this past week. She is outstanding at games like Caladale, and with her solo feats I don’t know that I will ever be able to win a game of this against her in the future. Fantastic game that is a little more interesting than Carcassonne but not a very heavy game. We love some of the unique things it does with more players, but it also makes a nice solo option.

Next Games on Deck

Exile Sun

We got this one in a math trade back in March and there have been a few times she’s asked about it. Foolish husband that I am, I hadn’t read the rules yet each time she asked. That step has been corrected, but she hasn’t mentioned this one again since that happened. The smart husband would forego one of his own favorite games to pull this one out in the near future. I think this has the makings of being a hit with us, and I really think the battle system will be perfect in a 2-player game.

Sherwood’s Legacy

I love the solo on the first Lynnvander game, and I have no doubt I’ll enjoy this one just as much. I’ve never been quite as big into Robin Hood as I am into King Arthur, but I do enjoy Robin Hood quite a bit. When I punched this game out a few weeks ago, I really had to convince myself that I wanted to play Albion’s Legacy instead of this one. Ever since that night, I’ve had the temptation to pull this back out and play it. There is no way this remains unplayed through the end of this month.

Games We Can’t Wait to Replay

The Castles of Burgundy

She really likes this game. We actually picked it up off a friend for a good price, since his own wife never really enjoyed the game. She always asks for this one and I usually oblige. After listening to Heavy Cardboard talk about this game, I am itching to try it again. I’m yet to win a game of this one, but I almost always have fun while losing in this game. Except when she takes the building I need in the last round, leaving me just short of filling that 8-hex grouping. I’m not bitter at all about that…

Stamford Bridge: The End of the Viking Age

I really enjoy this game, and am curious to test out both maps again in a solo match. While I still need to drag my wife into a game, there is something relaxing about pushing the chits around on the map and trying to maneuver both sides into ideal situations and see where the dice happens to fall. The simple system makes this a really good solo wargame, as I’m not constantly flipping through the rules and there is only one chart to reference.

A Wishlist Feature

Stronghold (2nd Edition)

This game is one I’ve talked about before, dating as far back as my 10 games I want to play in 2017. This is one I still haven’t gotten a chance to try, and I am still convinced this will be an outstanding 2-player-only game. I love that each side plays very different, and I just want to have The Two Towers playing in the background while we battle over Helm’s Deep the stronghold.

Mage Knight Board Game

I think it is time for me to take the plunge into the quintessential solo game of all solo games. I don’t know how often it will hit the table, but I have a feeling that after one game of this I won’t care. This is the #1 solo game for a reason, and it is a game that sounds like it will hit all the right spots for me as well. Maybe I’ll try to find a day every few months where I can sit down, set up, and play a 3-6 hour game of Mage Knight. My wife can be understanding of my desire to play a game, and sometimes even supportive of my solo gaming decisions. The price tag has been the only thing keeping me from picking it up sooner. Here’s hoping for a Christmas surprise.

Board Gaming · Gaming Recap · On the Table

On the Table – June 2017

So far I’ve been consistent in having a recap post at the end of the month where I cover the games played, including win/loss tracking, for the month and a tally of Year-to-date. Last month I had the idea to do a second monthly post where I highlight some of what games we’re enjoying right now, what new (to us) games we can’t wait to play for the first time next, games we’ve played but don’t own that we are itching to play again, and one game on our couple’s wish list plus one on my solo wishlist.

Hot Games of June

Holmes: Sherlock and Mycroft

I was almost positive this game would be a hit for my wife. She excels at worker placement games, and that is her favorite mechanic in a board game. The fact that a card gets flipped over for a round if both players go there makes for some agonizing choices throughout the game. The theme itself doesn’t really come through very strong because, ultimately, this boils down to collecting sets of cards which will score if you have the majority at the end. But there is enough going on in this one to make it a game that has been a hit for us both and will be played many more times in the future. Look for a review of this game coming in the near future!

Yokohama

It took four games. I was utterly humiliated for three straight games of Yokohama against my wife. Every time the game ended and I was way back on the scoring track, I vocalized how much this game sucked (I think losing had something to do with that opinion). But I was always ready to play it again. And on the fourth game, something finally went right. Maybe she was tired. Or distracted. Or trying a new strategy. Or letting me win so I’d actually like the game. Whatever caused it to happen, the fourth game saw things finally click and I won. I like the movement restrictions in this one, and while the modularness doesn’t provide as unique of a variety as I would have liked to see, this one will remain a fresh worker placement game to pull out time and again. I can see this one being a game we’ll enjoy for quite some time. Look for a review on this one, too, coming soon!

Freedom: The Underground Railroad

This game is one I go back and forth with. My first game I almost won, and could see where playing a little smarter would have changed a lot of the game. My second game I won easily by Round 5. My third game I lost in Round 6, but was also playing on the harder difficulty and with what was definitely the weaker of the three roles I’ve used so far (at least in solo play). The game presents some challenging decisions, and the need to move the slaves towards Canada, while also managing to move enough in the south to make room for the next wave of slaves coming in, provides a tough puzzle at times. Especially when you end up hurting for cash, which was part of the issue in that third game. Look for a review coming in the near future once I try out the other three roles.

Memorable Game Night Quote

“Don’t feel bad about losing, love. You know worker placement games are just my thing!” – Nicole after beating me in her first game of Viticulture: Essential Edition

Next Games on Deck

Haspelknecht

This wouldn’t be my first pick for the next unplayed game to pull out; however, in a marriage it is important to keep the wife happy. And when she saw this game arrive, she declared that it looked like it would be a fun game to play. And thus, I am likely to pore through this rulebook next so that it can make it to the table either at the end of this month or the beginning of the next month. And you know what, I think she’s right on this one. It does look like it will be a really fun and interesting game!

Stamford Bridge: End of the Viking Age

This game is tiny. The rule book is tiny. And the theme of this one is everything I could ask for. It’ll be my first dive into a non-print & play wargame, and I cannot wait to jump in first for some solo plays before attempting to ease my wife into the game. And by playing solo first, I can have a good feel for which of the two battles to play and which side she should play in order to have the most fun (i.e. the highest chance of winning her first wargame experience). We have another wargame on deck after this one, so I am hoping this is a big enough hit that she gets excited to pull out Night of Man after that.

Games We Can’t Wait to Replay

Viticulture: Essential Edition

I got two Stonemaier Games this month and we’ve played them both together once. While I might want to replay Scythe more, I also know she’d be eyeing another chance to stomp me in Viticulture so it appears here. This game is really fun, and I love that you need to manage your workers so that you can operate in both action-placement seasons for the year. This presents some really hard decisions, and the use of a Grande worker in the wrong spot or wrong season can be devastating. I love how the early game is so slow with scoring, but then as your “engine” builds up you can churn out the orders. This may become my personal favorite for worker placement games after a few more plays.

Race for the Galaxy

Sometimes you need to revisit your classics, and that is the case here for my solo game nod. Race for the Galaxy is still my #1 Solo Board Game, and even the app hasn’t changed the fact that I enjoy playing against the Robot AI in the physical version. I love the challenge that the Robot provides, with a little bit of luck sometimes being the difference between winning and losing. This one needs to hit the table again soon.

A Wishlist Feature

Herbaceous

We played this game at a game night this past weekend and really enjoyed it. My wife went searching the stores for a copy of the game but they were sold out. We checked another store but they were sold out, too. Amazon has it, but for above MSRP and isn’t available for free Amazon Prime shipping. I hear a new print run should be out by the end of the month, so we’ll be keeping our eyes open to snag a copy of this before it is gone again. A smart husband understands that he should purchase a game when his wife wants to find it. A smarter husband would have done this same thing for Takenoko a few months ago…I’m a work-in-progress still!

One Deck Dungeon

Everything I’ve head about this game tells me this is an experience I don’t want to miss as a solo gamer. It is small, easy to set up, and crushingly difficult to win. I am yet to see a copy at a local FLGS, so I will likely need to break down eventually and purchase online. I love dungeon crawls and I think my love for them is not as enthusiastically matched by my wife, so this would be a great way to explore a dungeon alone without needing a massive table and a large block of time.

Board Gaming · On the Table

On the Table – May 2017

**Before I begin, I want to bring a little attention to a Kickstarter that is ending very, very soon. Battle for Biternia is a great-looking game that has hours left on the campaign. If you are reading this on May 15th or May 16th, check this link out and consider backing this campaign or, at the least, helping to spread the word about this game. I think it looks excellent, and I am really hoping they get that final surge to fund this game.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stonecirclegames/battle…

So far I’ve been consistent in having a recap post at the end of the month where I cover the games played, including win/loss tracking, for the month and a tally of Year-to-date. Last month I had the idea to do a second monthly post where I highlight some of what games we’re enjoying right now, what new (to us) games we can’t wait to play for the first time next, games we’ve played but don’t own that we are itching to play again, and one game on our couple’s wish list plus one on my solo wishlist.

Hot Games of May

Agricola (revised edition) with Farmers of the Moor Expansion

I was never a fan of Agricola. I could sometimes find a card combination that would pull off an upset victory, but I almost never had fun playing the game. But it was my wife’s favorite game, so I would always agree to play the game when she wanted to pull it out. This year we picked up Farmers of the Moor and…well, it transformed this game from one I would play because she liked it into a game that I actually kind of enjoy. It will never be a Top 5 game for me, and time will tell if I like this or Caverna more, but the expansion was a game-changer and now I actually want to play this game from time to time.

Space Hulk: Death Angel

Oh how I love this as a solo game. This is easily in my Top 5 for solo games, even though I have logged just three plays of it so far. I played it twice in February when I got the game and finally pulled it back out the night before our move. And wow, it was a blast. I had a few lucky draws, a few lucky rolls, and some advantageous location cards that all led to my first victory. I lost half my marines, yet each team still had one man standing by the end. This one is likely to see a play or two more this month!

Next Games on Deck

Yokohama

We got our copy of this right before the move, so it went straight into the box. Yet my wife and I are both set to have this be the next game we learn to play, which should occur sometime this month still. I think this will be a game that we’ll both really enjoy. It looks like a table-eater in terms of space for setting it up, but the turns sound really simple. It almost reminds me of Istanbul, which is a game that appears complicated with all the different spaces and their powers yet is quite simple when you realize you do two things on your turn: move and activate the space you land on.

Elevenses for One

With all the great solo games in my collection seeing play time, I do need to make the time to get back to some of the games I printed out to play through solo. This one is arguably the shortest and simplest in my binder, so I am positive I can still find the time to pull this one out and learn a new solo game this month in addition to 9 Card Siege. Everything I hear about this convinces me that there is a really good game within that small set of cards!

Games We Can’t Wait to Replay

Cry Havoc

This one finally hit the table a few days before our move. It was great fun, even though I was thoroughly defeated by her Human armies. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I am itching to try pulling those Pilgrims out for a rematch against her. This was a game I had really high expectations for and, after just one play, it appears as though it should hit those expectations. Which is the opposite of how things played out for Blood Rage. I really need to get them both back to the table soon, but I have a very strong feeling that I will end up enjoying Cry Havoc more in the end.

Lord of the Rings: LCG

When I was early in my solo journey as a board gamer, this was a game I picked up because so many solo gamers raved about the game. I knew, going in, that my wife wouldn’t want to play because it was a co-op game. I also knew that eventually I would need to either jump in full-force and buy expansions or it would reach its end. I chose to forego expansions, even though I played this probably 25-30 times in the first months owning it. I passed it along to a friend, and he happened to be helping us move this weekend. When I asked how they liked the game, he confessed they hadn’t played it yet and mentioned if I wanted it back, I was welcome to it. Right now, I think I might just take him up on that….

A Wishlist Feature

Stronghold (2nd Edition)

This one has been on my wish list for way, way too long. It is a game I need to finally just go ahead and get into our collection, because I am convinced it will be an excellent experience for the two of us. I can already imagine pretending that I have Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn there helping to defend the swarms of Uruk-hai and Orcs at Helm’s Deep. I don’t know why we don’t already own this game, but it will fit really well into our collection of war-related games that I win 15% of the time but still have a ton of fun losing.

Onirim

Before Shahrazad, I had convinced myself that this was the one highly-rated solo game I didn’t really need in my collection. It didn’t sound like the game would have a long-lasting appeal for me. Yet the experience with Shahrazad has led me to believe this one might just be as good of a game as people claim. It is priced well, and is certainly the first Oniverse game that a person should start with. So now I am prepared to dive right in to this game and see for myself how it plays and see if it becomes a favorite.

Board Game Lists · Board Gaming · On the Table

On the Table – April 2017

So far I’ve been consistent in having a recap post at the end of the month where I cover the games played, including win/loss tracking, for the month and a tally of Year-to-date. Today I had the idea to do a second monthly post, and in future months it will come closer to the 15th than this one, where I highlight some of what games we’re enjoying right now, what new (to us) games we can’t wait to play for the first time next, games we’ve played but don’t own that we are itching to play again, and one game on our couple’s wish list plus one on my solo wishlist.

Hot Games of April

Caverna: The Cave Farmers

My wife’s favorite game of 2016 (and, coincidentally, her favorite game overall) was Agricola. Something about the game really clicked with her, which opened us both into the Worker Placement mechanic. She hates the cards in Agricola, I hate the feeling of hopelessness that hovers over me for 3/4 of the game. This one seemed like it should please us both, and so far I think it delivers. She enjoyed it and we played a game three days in a row before putting it away for the time being. It might not fire Agricola for her, especially once we add in the Farmers of the Moor expansion, but I’d gladly play this over Agricola every time. My dwarves love to go on adventures to bring back furnishings for their cave!

War of the Ring (2nd Edition)

We’re moving in May, and going to a temporary relocation in a 2-bedroom apartment. One of the likely sacrifices is going to be the large, beat-up table that works well for large games like this and Firefly: The Game. So my wife suggested we should play them both before we move. We set this game up this week, played through, and after she destroyed the ring I asked if we should tear it down or reset the board. I’m so happy she said to reset the board. I’ll always welcome a round of my favorite game, and any week where I can play it 2-3 times is a wonderful week! We are trying out the Lords of Middle-Earth expansion, which made Rivendell hard to conquer and allowed her to use the rings to good effect while my Balrog was useless and Gothmog never led an army into conquest due to her lucky timing of getting Aragorn and Boromir in Minas Tirith…

Yeomen: The 9 Card Agincourt Game

This has been my hot solo game this month, and I’ve enjoyed every play of it. I still can’t seem to sneak out a victory, even though my last game I had a full combat area before the end of the second round. Even when I feel like I’m ahead, the game puts me back in my place and brings reality crashing down around me. I love a challenging solo game, which is why I enjoy Race for the Galaxy’s robot and Space Hulk: Death Angel. The review of this one just went up this week, and it is a free print & play game I cannot recommend highly enough.

Shahrazad

I received this game from Osprey Games in exchange for a review, and it sounded like a simple yet enjoyable game for 1-2 players. I’ve played it only solo so far, and while I had fun with the first game it left me thinking it would be a real easy game to “solve” and would wear out its welcome. I’ve played that second game and, much to my surprise, I ended with a score lower than on my first play. That made me really rethink this game and how much depth it could have, and in a good way. I might have a very unexpected gem here with this one, although I am pretty sure the solo play will be better than the 2-player experience (much like I hear about Onirim, which I haven’t played yet)

Next Games on Deck

Lords of Scotland

This game has been sitting on the shelf since Christmas, which I got from my mom as a shot-in-the-dark game because she knew I liked board games but knows nothing about board games. I’ve played every other game that I received around that time, as well as many of the games purchased in February and even one from the Math Trade in March. Every time I think we should play this game, something more “interesting” wins out. And then I ran into a Geeklist the other day covering the top 50 games Caleb Bunch enjoyed playing with his wife. This game was on the list, and not just near the bottom hovering around the fringe of the list. It was a solid #22 on the list, above other games we’ve enjoyed like Lanterns, San Juan, and Agricola. Plus Joel from Drive Thru Review liked the game, and my tastes tend to align with his more often than not. So I think it is finally time to pull this one out.

9 Card Siege

Because Yeomen was such a hit for me, it was an easy choice to print out Chris Hansen’snewest game. I love the idea of sieging a Medieval castle, and that he chose to keep it open to the player’s interpretation about which castle is being sieged rather than choose one historical scenario. Yeomen also convinced me to buy cardstock for my new print & play aspect of the hobby and I have a binder now with another 3 games to try after I give this one a whirl, all designed for solo play.

Games We Can’t Wait to Replay

Takenoko

This was the first game we played at our first board game group game night we attended. It was a delightful 4-player experience with the Chibis expansion. Last month we attended part of the 12-hours of gaming at the same location and there were no open groups when we got there. They happened to have a copy of the base game on the demo shelf, so we snagged it and played through to see how it might hold up at home. We’ve both enjoyed the two plays of this game, and I had this game near the top of both Math Trades I’ve joined since that first play. I still haven’t been lucky enough to land a copy, but it is a game we’re likely to want to play again very soon. Especially my wife, she really enjoyed the game.

Albion’s Legacy

This game was on my wishlist for over a year. Every time I wanted to buy the game, I talked myself out of it because my wife isn’t a big fan of co-op games. But I have come back to this game time and again. I finally got a chance to play this a few weeks ago because someone in the area happened to have a copy and was willing to bring it to a game night. Three of us set forth on an adventure and, well, we didn’t even come close to victory. But I have found myself thinking back to the game often and am itching to give it another try, whether solo or with a group.

A Wishlist Feature

Hanamikoji

I don’t remember how this game came into my awareness, but once I got past the theme I was intrigued. It is funny, sometimes, how hearing the theme can prove a barrier to entry for a game. I had no desire for a Geisha theme, but then I started to hear about the game. When I looked into it, I saw Mina had posted a reviewon the game. iSlaytheDragon posted a review today of the game, bringing it back to my radar. For the number of components in this game, it seems like it has a lot of options to explore. And my wife will love the art on the game, which is an added bonus. For the price, it will be very worth getting. Well, once I’m “allowed” to buy more games, which probably won’t be until we play through at least a few more of the new unplayed games from the math trade.

Albion’s Legacy

Am I cheating by having this appear again? Perhaps, but this is probably the solo game I want more than any other solo game right now. I am a huge Arthurian literature fan, and for that alone this is my Grail Game of the moment. I almost pulled the trigger last week for a $15 copy of the first edition, but convinced myself to hold out and get the 2nd edition instead. The real problem will come when I decide to get the multitude of expansions for this game, but first I need to snag the base game and let my solo (and hopefully a few games with my wife!) adventures begin.