Archive for March, 2014

1Q Gaming

March 21, 2014

I’ve played LOTS of new-to-me games in 2014.

The Promised Land – A new Ragnar Brothers game?  Always worth a look.  It reminded me of History of the World, but set in just the middle east.  We did not complete the game, so I can’t fully evaluate it.  It did not especially impress, but I’d give it another try.

Risk: Legacy – We’re four plays in, and still having fun with this one.  The Legacy concept, where you consume the game as you play, is startling and FUN.

18MEX – A nice 18xx game.  Felt a bit basic, which is just fine with me.

Kolejka – A game about standing in line in communist Poland.  I was amused by the theme.  But the game play was utterly random.  I will avoid this game in the future.

A Study in Emerald – A new Martin Wallace game!  It might even be a good one, as some friends are wildly enthusiastic about it.  My initial reaction was primarily confusion, and a bit of irritation at how tough it was to read the board.

Myrmes – A solid euro design where you need to optimize your operations.  The theme wasn’t immersive.  I’d play again, if asked.

Alpen Express – A children’s game.  But one with lots of meaningful decisions.  I have been taken with this game and already played it a bunch of times.

Adlungland – Adlung is famous for making small card games, and for having horrible English rules.  They release large numbers of games, all of them just a special deck of cards.  Adlungland is another one of these games.  But it has an inside joke.  Adlungland is an amusement park-building game, where each attraction is named for one of their prior games.  I’ve played a few of these games over the years.  But not enough to get all of the references.  I think if I had, I might have enjoyed the theme a bit more.  Nice game, but nothing I will track down.

Kohle & Kolonie – Heavy euro about coal mining.  I liked it.  But it is a demanding game, similar to learning how to play Brass, or such.  Since I don’t own it, I doubt I get good at it.  And while I liked it, I’m not sure I need another heavy euro right now.

Lewis & Clark – Clever, clever game.  I like the theme too.  I might need to buy this one.

Ladies & Gentlemen – A party game that revels in the cliche-driven roles of men and women.  The men need to make money, and the women need to spend it.  Of course its not serious, but the theme is a bit stinky.  Good thing the company was good!

Machi Koro – Crazy good game!  It’s like speed Catan, with no trading.

Sail to India – Neat game.  It’s one of the new Japanese “mini games”.  I enjoyed seeing how much game could be built with just a few cubes and 2 dozen cards.  But I’m not convinced I need this game.

Bluff im Zoo – Kind of a card version of Liar’s Dice.  I rather liked this, and may need to find a copy.

Zahlen-Mobile – A speed math game… Pass.

Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar – Good medium weight euro.  I liked it more than I expected to.

Ginkgopolis – I did not react well to this game.  The theme actively annoyed me, and the game play wasn’t enough to pull me in.

The Major Four of Heizei – A friend finally taught me how to play this game.  Great fun!  This is a super easy card game to play.  But it takes at least one play to get what is going on.

Expedition: NW Passage – The theme on this game drew me in.  The theme in the gameplay failed me.  Decent enough game, but the player activities don’t mesh with the theme correctly.

Coal Baron – Another game about mining coal!  This one is much easier to understand.  Fits my tastes a bit better these days.  But the componentry is terribly warped.  Annoying.

Turmbau zu Babel – This is a game from Walter Mueller, from back in the 1980’s.  It is a big wooden game, that feels a bit like reverse “Mole In the Hole”.  I’ve played twice, and think it is great fun.  A bit slower than his Alpen Express, but it is also a bit heavier in game play.

1826 – This is an 18xx game set in France and Belgium.  Wow!  The mergers, hex trains, and a few other wrinkles kept me guessing the whole game.  Seems like a much more advanced 18xx game than the others I have encountered.

That’s 22 new-to-me games so far this year!