Dit bericht op Instagram bekijken


Een bericht gedeeld door Semi Co-op (@semicoop)

We finally played Tribes of the Wind again last week! I’ve been wanting to play that for a while, but somehow people always picked other games when we offered them a few options. Alas, we played it again with just the two of us, but then again, I do think the game has an excellent solution for the lack of an extra neighbor that is needed for lots of the card abilities. Instead of looking at the card backs of a third player, you use the card backs of the market row which works perfectly as well. I still really enjoy the game and am hoping we get to play it one day with more players. ๐Ÿ™‚

We also got to play the latest in Ticket to Ride’s smaller game versions, Ticket to Ride: Berlin! We thought Venice would be the next in line with little gondolas, but they went with Berlin. This new version did not disappoint and we were surprised how having two different trains really worked well. Players now have only 11 trams and 5 metros. The metro tracks are located at the edge of the board and the trams are in the middle. This leaves an interesting puzzle for players with the limited trains that are available – you really need to watch out that you can actually reach the destinations on your tickets with the trains you have left. We’re calling this one a success!

This weekend we also did our long-planned Magic draft of the Lord of the Rings set. It was postponed a few times due to all kinds of issues but yesterday we did it! We really enjoy this format of getting three draft boosters per person and having a big pile of land cards that people can freely add to their decks. The Lord of the Rings set is a pure delight if you’re a fan of the movies or the books. There are so many fun recognizable cards and the food tokens just really fit the theme with all those hungry Hobbits. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In case you missed it, we published two extra comics last week! A comic about Colossal Cat in the Box and another one in the SheGames series! Many thanks to Bezier Games and Board & Dice for supporting our work. ๐Ÿ™‚

What was your last game solo? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sometimes we like to base a comic on an internet meme and this week is one of them. If you don’t know or recognize this one, it was based on the “It was made for me! This is my hole!” meme. Other memes we covered are the “This is Fine” meme, that “Trojan Horse” one, the “Star Wars” one, and that “One in the bus with different views”. I think those are all the ones we did in the past.

So it was time for us to get back to work which was quite an adjustment again. We played very few games and I feel this is a behavioral pattern we show every year. We play fewer games during Summer and while we’re slowly sliding into Fall, we will find ourselves more and more at the gaming table. The months after SPIEL are always the moments we play the most games and I am looking forward to those again, but I’m also grateful for the slower board game period we have now so I can actually get hyped about playing more board games!

But what did we play last week? We continued our Descent campaign which still surprises us almost every game. We’re still having a lot of fun with it! We are wondering whether we should start increasing the difficulty level but we also fear that will make play time longer and that’s just not handy since all of us have to work the next morning.

On Friday, we played Res Arcana! Friends of ours recently got the game and were raving about it. Since they just got an expansion that would make the game better for 3+ players, we were the perfect test subjects. The game seemed more complex than it actually was and I was surprised that it took us less than two hours to play it (including the rules explanation). Res Arcana is an engine-building game in which players try to be the first to get ten points. It has some ‘take-that’ options on cards, but in our game, nobody ever attacked other players. We both enjoyed the game – it isn’t original or outstanding but it is a very solid game that we would enjoy playing again.

Heinze also played a game of War Chest and won! I wouldn’t really be able to tell you more about the game, if you’d like to know more, let us know in the comments and I’ll poke Heinze to answer your comment. ๐Ÿ˜€

What’s your least favorite part of game night?

We loved this little fact about Beziรฉr Games and thought that most people have no idea why the company is called that! It was also because the games that Ted was producing back in the day exclusively used the vector program Illustrator! Having a graphics background and working with vectors quite regularly, it was super cool to learn about this. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s our “Summer break”! No worries, we still post updates every Monday but we like to experiment with the content a little! This year weโ€™ve decided to team up with Peer Sylvester (game designer of The King is Dead, Village Green, and The Lost Expedition) because he runs the Twitter account Board Game Facts where he shares facts about board games and the industry. Alas, since Twitter is in shambles and due to changes at Tweetdeck, Peer has decided to pull the plug. We want to highlight his cool research by putting some interesting facts in the spotlight instead of normal comics this month.ย 

Which publisher has the coolest name?

The last couple of years we’ve been having fun with some comic experiments during the Summer holiday. Last year, we introduced Lion & Gazelle, who even stuck around because we enjoy the format and how it divers from our normal comics. We also had some fun with euro game covers and before that, we had some excellent guest artists that made guest comics for a few weeks. And our experiment with the cube poster even led to us opening our own store!

This year we’ve decided to team up with Peer Sylvester (game designer of The King is Dead, Village Green, The Lost Expedition) because he runs the Twitter account Board Game Facts. Peer has a vast knowledge of the games industry and has an enormous collection of fun facts which he shares via Board Game Facts. Alas, since Twitter is in shambles and due to changes at Tweetdeck, Peer has decided to pull the plug. We’d like to honor his cool contributions by highlighting some of the facts in August. We’re kicking off by putting things in perspective with some numbers! ๐Ÿ˜€

(in case you missed it, we published a new SheGames comic last week!)

What’s your favorite board game trivia?


Dit bericht op Instagram bekijken


Een bericht gedeeld door Semi Co-op (@semicoop)

We cannot be the only ones that need to control ourselves saying VROOOOOM while playing Heat. :’D We introduced the game to another one of our gaming groups and it was a hit with most players at the table. Resulting in us now having planned our very first Heat championship in a few weeks! Hurray! We’re really looking forward to experiencing the build-up during the races, and seeing how the sponsorships and upgrades will influence the game. We ended the night with lighter fun games: Yogi and Block Party! You can’t really go wrong with Yogi and Block Party is one of the newest games by Big Potato games. It’s basically Lego Creationary but with cubes and the fun charm of Big Potato Games, we had a great time and it was a really fun closer to the game night.

On Tuesday we played our fourth game of Descent and we really enjoyed this scenario. While the last one we played was a bit “annoying” at times, this one had great storytelling and the effects on the game board were cool and interesting. So far absolutely no regrets about getting this beast of a box. ๐Ÿ™‚

During the rest of the week, Heinze and I played some Hive and Patchwork on Board Game Arena. Being able to just make a turn whenever you want is actually rather convenient… but also kind of distracting, so we’re not making it a habit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We also got another game to our actual table and we finally tried the co-op/solo game of Cosmoctopus and that was a nice puzzle! Not a puzzle that we won, but we had fun with it nonetheless.

We also played our second Button Shy Games game, ever. You might know them from their so-called “wallet games”. They make games that only use eighteen cards! Since we’ll be carrying everything on our backs that we take with us during our holiday, we thought it would be a good idea to look into the smallest games. Their games are not available here and on their site, a lot of titles are sold out, so we were happy to see that they offer all of their games on PnPArcade as print-and-plays. Having the tools to make a decent card game ourselves, we’re looking forward to trying out different games from their catalog!

So far, we’ve only “made” and played Circle the Wagons after reading a lot of positive reviews but we have our eyes on at least another five of their games. We’ll have some time on our hands after hiking during the day, so that’s an excellent moment to play and see what the different games can offer while using only eighteen cards.

What games make you add sound effects?


Dit bericht op Instagram bekijken


Een bericht gedeeld door Semi Co-op (@semicoop)

It’s a shame we don’t actually know somebody that works at Human Resources but we think it’s really interesting to see if they enjoy worker placement games. This immediately reminds me of Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr in which your workers actually received stress if they had to work too many shifts, that’s a real worker placement game! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ironically, we haven’t been playing any worker placement games this week. We played our first game of Books of Time! The lovely people from Board & Dice showed us a prototype copy at Spiel last year and we were surprised that the game is already done and available!

Books of Time takes the book part of the title really seriously. To be precise, it’s a book-building game. All the players have three books (Science, Industry, and Trade) that they will add pages to during the game. These pages will create more available actions for that player with which you can gain resources, advance your civilization or upgrade your books.
We think itโ€™s charming that there are some recognizable Board & Dice elements in the game, like the Science, Industry, and Trade tracks that players can advance on – but itโ€™s a totally different game from their previous titles! The game plays quite fast and turns are short because players can pick only one standard action and can choose one of the two actions that are available in the Chronicle, the book in the center of the table. Every round a page in this Chronicle gets flipped, revealing the new available actions for the next round, and the book also serves as a smart timer for the game itself. Once there are no more pages left to flip, the game ends.
Having played only one game, we feel like we know what the game has to offer a bit but we donโ€™t know how to play it optimally yet. But since the game only takes 45 – 60 minutes, weโ€™re sure this will hit our table again!

On Saturday we continued our Artisans of Splendent Vale campaign. Last time we didn’t finish the scenario we played because it took too long and we’re glad that we stopped because it took us at least two to three hours to finish it.

We didn’t play any other games this weekend except a game of Potion Explosion and Paperback (both the app versions) on the train because we were training for our trekking trip through the Alps! We walked about 25 kilometers (approximately 15,5 miles) with backpacks this weekend and that went better than expected, so hurray for that! The only thing we can’t really train around here is hiking on actual mountains in The Netherlands… we’re even lucky to have a few hills around if we travel a bit. :’D

What is the last worker-placement game you played?


Dit bericht op Instagram bekijken


Een bericht gedeeld door Semi Co-op (@semicoop)

The original idea on which we based this comic was actually sent to us by a reader two years! Thanks “Captain Cheddarbeard”, sorry it took us a while to turn it into a comic. ๐Ÿ˜€

Luckily, we’ve never personally reached stage three of this comic, although we do have some baggies in one of the kitchen drawers and we have a Netrunner box upstairs containing baggies and card sleeves. Of course, what also helps is that a lot of games come with an insert nowadays although that completely depends on the publisher.

Last week was my birthday! We haven’t really celebrated it, but I’ve had a great week nonetheless! We finally planned our holiday and we have somehow decided that we’re going to go on a hiking tour in the Austrian Alps from mountain hut to mountain hut. Do we have experience? No, but we do like a challenge. We still have ample time to prepare and are super excited.
With that prospect, we’ll spend a lot of time walking these coming weeks and probably have less time for gaming. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Luckily, we still have enough time to think about what games we want to bring since we’ll probably have quite some time for games after our hikes! But weight is of course an issue, so it’s going to be a nice puzzle (feel free to drop tips!).

Last week, we didn’t play any new games and kicked off the week with Take 5 (a.k.a. 5 Nimmt)! On Friday we played another game of HEAT and we finally introduced the game mode with the upgrades and that’s certainly fun. We still can’t wait to try it with a bigger group! This weekend was fully packed with non-gaming appointments and just we ended up playing a game of Paperback on the train and a game of Riverside in the evening.

What this week will bring: we don’t yet! But I’m sure we’ll manage to squeeze in some games. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and in case you missed it, we published another SheGames comic last week!

What stage are you at and would the fourth stage be?

We’re both not really Magic players, Heinze used to play it in his teens but I wasn’t really into board/card games back then. But nowadays Magic comes with all these weird licensed releases that are too much fun to ignore. I mean, there’s even a Doctor Who magic set coming up later this year?! We did a Magic draft with friends when the Forgotten Realms series was released two years and that was fun for two afternoons so then they announced that there will be a Lord of the Rings magic set… we cannot resist! The boosters should be available in a few days so we hope to get our hands on fifteen draft boosters (three a person) and we’re thinking about getting one collector booster as a group just for fun. If we do happen to stumble upon that one One Ring card – we’ll divide any riches that might follow. ๐Ÿ˜€ I mean, there is already a party that is offering two million dollars for the card, madness!


Dit bericht op Instagram bekijken


Een bericht gedeeld door Semi Co-op (@semicoop)

Let’s switch back to board games! Last week we played our second game of Evergreen and one huge advantage of this game is the super quick setup! It’s a matter of putting the box with all the wooden pieces on the table, all the players grab a player board, sun token and score markers and shuffle a few cards and put those on the table. It can literally be done in a minute, which is impressive. That combined with the lowkey puzzle experience, makes it a very accessible game.

On Tuesday we finally continued our Descent campaign, yay! We switched around characters and we had fun with the different approach of the scenario. We also really thought it wasn’t doable, but we did win in the end, so I guess that was a job well done by the game designers! It’s slightly on the long side to play it on a weeknight since this second game took us at least three hours to finish.

On Friday we didn’t know what we were going to play and then our friends pulled a classic from their shelve – Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India. It definitely looked vintage and I can only imagine how great it would look if it would be rereleased today. The game was fun and we had a great time. The fact that you have to program your actions on a dial before executing them in player order makes it extra tense. You might have planned something but if you’re last in line that means you cannot actually take that action and if you can’t: everybody but you then gets two coins from the bank. Ouch!

On Saturday we enjoyed an afternoon with friends and painting some miniatures. It was very laid back and honestly, we were more busy just catching up than really finishing our minis, haha.

Yesterday we played our first game of The Wolves! We really liked the interesting action system that is based on flipping landscape tiles. So if you’d like to end your move in a forest area, you have to flip over a tile showing a forest. On the back of that tile is shown a different landscape which you can use for your next action. We’ve also written a little about it on our Instagram account if you’re interested! Let’s just say that we’d love to try this game with more players to unlock its full potential.

What would you do if you pull that one “One ring” card from a booster?

Sometimes we wonder what will be left of the gaming side of our culture centuries later. Board games have the advantage over digital games: everything you need is in the box (RIP most app-driven games, though) when stored properly. But what’s left of that after thousands of years? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


Dit bericht op Instagram bekijken


Een bericht gedeeld door Semi Co-op (@semicoop)

Away with the old and in with the new. This week we’ve only been playing new games! As we mentioned last week, Lucky Duck Games sent us Cosmoctopus by surprise and gosh, we love the look and feel of the game.

In Cosmoctopus you play one of several cultists that are trying to unleash the cutest Old One onto our reality by gathering resources and completing constellations. If you are the first to make eight of its tentacles appear in your summoning portal, you win the game! While most games featuring Lovecraftian horrors are pretty dark, this one has a vibrant pulpy comics feel to it. All the components, art and font choices combine into a quirky eldritch engine builder in which you try to position the octopus on the right tiles, gather relics to boost your abilities and suffer hallucinations to get powerful one-time bonuses.
After one game, our first impression is that Cosmoctopus is a bit like Parks, Flamecraft or Chai. Its design feels like a combination of other games but the theme and presentation make it very suitable for a lighter game night or to engage more casual board gamers. It also comes with a solo/co-op mode which has you trying to summon Cosmoctopus before an investigator finds a way to stop your plans, so we’ll try that mode next time.

Dutch publisher 999Games also sent us a copy of Evergreen (by Horrible Guild) and The Wolves (by Pandasaurus Games), two games we missed out on last year on Spiel. We haven’t played Wolves yet but we did play Evergreen! In Evergreen, players all have their own nifty player board that represents a planet with different regions which they will try to develop during four seasons in the game and each season the sun will move to the other side of the board, changing the scoring. Trees that get hit by the light will score you points but trees cast shadows and same-sized or smaller trees will not score points if the sun is blocked for them. It’s a fun puzzle to figure out if it’s best to grow new sprouts or to grow (bigger) trees. In essence, the game feels like a solitaire puzzle game since you’re busy planting shrubs and growing trees in your own ecosystem but an essential part of the game is picking cards from the card row. Every round, there are as many cards as players in the card row +1 and all players take one card. The card that’s leftover, will be added to the fertility zone, and the cards that are in there determine how many points each region is worth at the end of the game. And there’s something to keep in mind… end scoring only takes the big trees into account. You count the number of big trees in an area and multiply that by the number of cards of that area in the fertility zone.

The game has way more layers than we initially thought and it was fun to see that although Heinze scored way better overall during the seasons, I scored very high at the end because I had three large trees in an area that was worth seven points, scoring me 21 points. We ended up with exactly the same score while we had totally different tactics in the game. This game is a bit in the same range as Tiny Towns for us, it’s not too complex but it’s nice and puzzly.

This weekend, we played a game from a totally different genre, uBoot! My lord, the game has a rulebook of 52 pages and there’s also a tactical guide. The purpose of this first game was to know how the different roles worked and what the game entailed and don’t sink immediately. We managed to finish the first part of the training mission but when we encountered an actual enemy that could shoot back, things went downhill… or uhm, to the bottom of the sea for us. Our torpedos kept missing and theirs did not. Ouch! You can read more about our first play on our Instagram! We’re hoping to continue our Descent campaign tomorrow and the rest of the week is quite booked solid. We have another game night on Friday and this weekend we’ll be painting random miniatures again with friends. Surely not a bad week to look forward to. ๐Ÿ˜€

Pick one game that gets found intact (with the rules!) thousands of years from now, which one is it?

Ah, how often has this happened to you? Revisiting an older game and thinking that you still know the rules. How hard can it be? We’ve played it so many times! I’m sure I still know how to play it. And before you know it, you’re still having to read the rulebook because you forgot about all the tiny but not unimportant details. Whoops!

Speaking of things going wrong, we only played one short game together this week because of complicated life things and rearranging a part of our garden! We played a game of Ticket to Ride: San Fransico because of excitement over Ticket to Ride: Berlin being announced (two types of trains?!). It’s on the more complex end of the smaller Ticket to Ride games and it’s hard to rank it over or under the other because they’re so similar but all of them offer an excellent concise version of Ticket to Ride for a relatively low price. We also played a game of Kluster which is a very cool-looking game that uses magnets. Although we didn’t play it right and with way too many players, the idea of the game is simple. Players place their magnets inside the area delimited by the cord and the first player who places all of their magnets wins! Of course, the magnets are rather strong so it’s tricky not to attract the other magnets within the area. It’s silly fun and magnets are cool.

Hopefully, we can fix this lackluster week this week with some more games. We’re having a game night on Tuesday, and Friday, plus Heinze is playing Age of Steam for the first time this weekend. Plus Heat has been released in the Netherlands and we’ve been very interested in it since seeing it at Spiel. So we’ll probably be buying, and hopefully, playing that as well! Exciting!

Are there any games that you know of so well you wouldn’t need a rulebook at all?
© 2015–2023 Semi Co-op