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We don’t back many games on Kickstarter but we made an exception for Let’s Go To Japan! and we’re glad we did! The box was stacked with small goodies and we really like the ceramic bowls, we’re probably going to use those during a lot of games! The game oozes with theme and that makes it a lovely experience. It turned out Heinze is an excellent holiday planner and I’m a very mediocre one. :’)

In Descent, we picked a side mission, believing it would be a lighter scenario but we were confronted with a complex and hard one. At the end, we mostly got frustrated because the mission’s goal changed suddenly to something that wasn’t tactically viable anymore because of the choices we made (trying to achieve the original goal). There was a way we could maybe still win it, but that felt like a rule edge case and to be very frank; none of us felt like doing that after playing for a few hours. So let’s just say we lost the scenario and we think this one is a game design miss.

On Friday, Heinze played Kill Team instead of normal Warhammer 40K and I believe he enjoyed the quickness of it. Our friend also has very impressive terrain! I don’t know a lot about Warhammer, so I could ask Heinze to maybe write a post about Kill Team in the future and share his opinion. In the evening, we visited another friend who’s really into Agricola again. Even though the game is very cutthroat and unforgiving, we do keep circling back to it and I still find it charming. Since we’ve been playing it a few times this year, our friend finally made a step he was considering for quite a while and he ordered the 15th-anniversary edition. I believe we’ll be playing it a few more times this year! I’m curious if I’ll get more comfortable with that aching feeling of not being able to achieve anything of what I’ve planned in the game… :’)

This weekend, we played our first four-player game of Northgard! We’re still really charmed by this light 4x deckbuilding game and our friends are looking forward to discovering more of the other clans that are in the game. The weather was lovely so I continued working on my garden project and that meant no more energy for board games on Sunday! Awww…! But, it was a good week though. 🙂

How Do you transport games? DO you have a  special bag?

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April 11th is Semi Co-op’s 9th anniversary! Woooh! Honestly, we can’t believe it’s already been that long. Since then… *grabs a calculator* we’ve published around 664 comics! Holy moly! And somehow we still have ideas for new comics and sometimes I wonder how we manage that. Luckily, the board game industry evolves quickly so there is much to joke about.
This is also a moment I’d like to give a shoutout to our patrons for whose support we are really grateful. If you ever think “I need more silly board game comics in my life”, we continued publishing Sketchie comics on our Patreon page as a special thank you.

 

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It’s been an interesting and busy week! We were surprised by a lovely package by Pencil First Games containing Sunset Over Water and Maul Peek. We ended up playing both games this weekend and while they are completely different games, we both really enjoyed them! Sunset Over Water is what we’d call a cozy game in its setting (you make and sell pretty paintings of landscapes) and beautiful art. And while it was a relaxed game with two players, we think the game will change a lot when playing with four players. Player tokens block each other’s movement and available landscapes in the game and with two players, there’s less confrontation. We’ll have to see this in action but getting Sunset Over Water to the table won’t be a problem. 🙂

Maul Peek is an asymmetrical two-player game in which one player controls a band of raging Bears and the other player the colossal creature (guardians) they are fighting. The production quality of this game is stunning. The lovely wooden meeples,  the high-quality art, and all the different playable Guardians and the Bears come in their own little deck box which makes setup very quick. Our first game was really close, the Bears defeated the guardian Saboso but all the Bears (but one) were defeated and one more hit would have been the end of the Bears. The game has a strong end-boss battling vibe because the Bears have to climb the Guardian (on a separate board) and attack different parts of the Guardian. This way, the Bears can eliminate certain actions of the Guardian but the Guardian also has actions that can throw off the Bears. We’re looking forward to exploring this one more and there’s quite a lot to explore with four different Guardians!

Another game we played last week is Ancient Knowledge. Heinze made it more of a racing game this time and that worked out really well for him and really poorly for me, haha! I don’t think my score has ever been this low. If you’d like to learn more about this game, we’ve posted about it on our Instagram a few months ago.

On Thursday, it was co-op night! We played Quirky Circuits and Unmatched Adventures: Tales to Amaze. You can never go wrong with Quirky Circuits and that was, like always, a lot of fun. We never seem to get passed the Roomba levels though because we keep introducing it to new people and start at the beginning every time, haha!
As I said, we also played Unmatched Tales to Amaze and this was the first time we played it with more than two players. While with two players it’s quite a quick game it was a lot longer with four players! That’s good to know for future plays because we’ll need those – we got wiped out hard by the Moth Man and his fellow baddies…

Friday night we played three games of Challengers! and we ended the night with a game of Quibbles. Challengers is an interesting game and we feel the need to try this with eight players now… I personally wouldn’t call it a great game but it’s definitely a fun and silly experience so I’m sure we’ll be playing this more often in the future.

This weekend we also did some gardening, although, I’d call it a garden renovation since we’ve mostly been digging up and cutting away large tree trunks from a willow that has recently been chopped down, and because that wasn’t heavy enough we also picked up around 500 kilos of rocks. So, with the landscaping now done, we can finally start doing things with plants, hurray!

What’s your favorite game we made fun of? 😉

 

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We talked about Fisheries of Gloucester before and we couldn’t help ourselves and make this joke… I mean, have you seen the logo of Dr. Finn’s Games? 😀 

So last week has been a busy week with four game nights! Tuesday was our Descent night and we continued the campaign, we enjoyed this scenario and we’re impressed at the variety the game has to offer! Thursday we planned to play the unplayed copy of Betrayal at House on the Hill (3rd edition) of a friend. It’s always a bit chaotic in the middle of the game when the players and the betrayer have to ‘learn’ the new ruleset when the Haunt begins but I assume that’s something that’ll go more smoothly after a few plays. The last time we played Betrayal was at least six years ago and the other two players had never played it before but luckily, the game is really simple at its core and it almost feels like a party game from time to time. We ended the night with Hanabi, another game I don’t even remember how long it has been since we played it!

On Friday morning, Heinze tested a prototype of Robin David, the designer of games like Letterpress and Luzon Rails. I can’t say very much about it, except that he said he had a great time! In the evening, it was time to get our brains working. A friend got himself a copy of Threads of Fate, which is quite an impressive puzzle game. We also played the Wilson Wolfe Affair together a few years back which was slightly too complex. Threads of Fate was more doable for our slightly tired minds on a Friday night and solving one puzzle doesn’t take multiple hours. Another big plus of the game is that it’s divided into parts 1 – 4 each taking about three hours to solve. We liked the puzzles and like that they used an existing dataset meaning you have to search for answers online for some puzzles. We’ve already got the next night planned and we’re curious if the difficulty of the puzzles will increase or will stay about the same.

On Saturday, we made pizza and played a game of Artisans of Splendent Vale! We love the game’s concept and how detailed the world is but the thing is that we do not really like the player characters. We’re still having a great time with the game itself and will keep playing but the characters are currently our biggest struggle. And since the scenario that we played was a little shorter, we had some time for some more games. Let’s just say that our mood was kind of ‘derpy’ so we got out the good stuff: Fish & Katz and two games from the Brick Games from Itten Games, Viking See-Saw and Stick Collection. Each of them silly, but a great time.

On Sunday we played two games of Aqua: Biodiversity in the Oceans, a game we’ve played five times now but we’re still unsure what we think about it. The game is trickier than it presents itself to be and that’s mostly because of the way the tiles are designed. We’ll probably play it a few more times to see why the game doesn’t seem to click with us as much as we thought it would or maybe it’ll start to click! We’ll make sure to share our thoughts on Instagram.

This week will be a little less intense than last week, although we do have a game of Battlestar Galactica planned, looking forward to that!

What’s the most cutthroat game you ever played?

 

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We have been culling quite some board games and there are even a few empty spots on our shelves at the moment! Ahem, not taking the pile of games that we’re trying to find new owners for into account, of course.

It had been a while, but we visited our favorite (and local) gaming store Comicasa! Since we’ve regained space, we picked up a copy of the Heat expansion Heavy Rain and we came across the Dutch edition of Sea Salt & Paper! Just kidding, we would have gotten those either way. 😉

Sea Salt & Paper is one of those games everybody has been talking about but we’ve never played it. We somehow expected it to be a trick-taking game but it’s not! Love the art, the simplicity and the fact that a round ends when one of the players announces it (if they have at least 7 points). They can either just end the round by saying “stop” or if they say “last chance”, everybody gets another turn, and scores of that round will be compared to the person that said “last chance”. If that player scores more points than any other player, the other players lose their points and only get a few for the number of cards they have collected. If any other player scored more than her/him/them… OUCH. The player loses their points that round. So far, we’ve only played it with two players and are quite curious if it’s different or better with more players.

We’ve also played other games this week. We started by playing The Fisheries of Gloucester. The game is so tight. It’s easy to block your opponent, forcing them to spend precious hours (action points) just to move further away from the coast to get to the fish. I must say, I do think it’s a great game and worth looking into if you enjoy confrontational two-player games.

We also played Kutná Hora: The City of Silver. It’s one of those games we think we could play in under an hour with just the two of us, but setting it up also takes 15 minutes, so we’re in the market for an insert for that one! 😀 After four plays, we still really enjoy it.

We also played our first game of Unmatched Adventures: Tales to Amaze and I must admit we were amazed. We felt like two-player Unmatched lacked depth but the co-op version of the game really hits the right spot for us! We’re looking forward to playing it again this week and try it with friends.
We ended the week with an old favorite of ours: Kombo Klash! We still think it’s a mystery that the game scores quite low on BGG and that it hasn’t gotten a bigger fanbase or was picked up internationally by other publishers. The mysteries of the board game industry…

In case you missed it, we published an extra comic last week about Lumicora!

board games can also function as…?

 

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Always take a look at what you’re about to eat! 😉

Last week was a super stressful week because of a chaotic project deadline, but despite that, lots of different games got played! Normally, we have board game night with a friend every other Tuesday and although I was working late… that still meant games for Heinze! They played some Tinderblox, Match of the Century, and a game of Unmatched. I can’t tell you how it was, sorry! :’) Since it was at our place I joined them at the end of the night and we played a game of Akropolis. Akropolis was a big hit at Spiel a few years back and I’m quite surprised that I don’t hear about it more often. It’s a solid game!

We also got an exciting package from Deep Print Games, but I won’t tell you anything about that yet. But we’ll definitely have to plan an entire day to tackle one of the two prototypes that were delivered… phew!

After my deadline later that week, Heinze and I finally played our first game of Unmatched! We played the Houdini versus The Genie characters that came together in a box.  The game is not too complicated and has some nice elements but I’m not yet sure if I really like it as a 1 vs 1 game. We’d have to play it a few more times and try some other characters. However, I do think this might be better with four players and I am looking forward to trying the co-op version, Unmatched: Tales to Amaze!

And this weekend, it was finally time for something that was planned a long time ago… a game of Stationfall! The game was even more quirky and silly than I had imagined. It’s a BIG game with so many variables! To be honest, it’s not even that complicated but there’s just a lot that can be done in the game. The fact that there are 15 characters on the board with six players that all come with their own “rules”, says enough. 😉 I won’t explain the entire game but it comes down to this: You’re on a space station together that is crashing down to earth and every player gets assigned two characters in secret, you pick one as your character and the other will be their best friend/enemy. All the characters on the board can be activated and used by all the players during the game (as long as nobody has revealed themselves to be a certain character). All the different characters have their own scoring conditions! Some, like the monkey, will want to escape disaster with as many shiny things, others mostly care about taking down as many human or non-human characters as possible and the Legal robot only cares about getting NDAs signed to cover up everything that went wrong on the space station. It could be anything. Since you don’t know who played who during most of the game, everything seems suspicious and it makes for great stories and silly situations. We’ll definitely be playing the game again now that we know the works a little.

On Sunday we played a quick game of Ticket to Ride: San Francisco before… going to the cinema! I was really looking forward to Dune Part Two but maybe if I had seen a trailer in advance (I didn’t on purpose), I could have known that the scale of this movie was different from the first movie (no, haven’t read the books either). I loved the relatively slow pacing and simplicity of the storytelling of part one. The second movie is quite different and won’t share any spoilers, but this felt rushed and would have been more enjoyable spread over multiple movies. It wasn’t bad and you should watch it if you liked the first movie! But for me, it wasn’t the masterpiece the first one was.

Which game pieces look the most eatable?

 

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Trading card games are there and back again! I speak for both of us that we’re not the biggest fans of TCGs and have a preference for the Living Card Game format. If you’re not familiar, the difference is that TCGs (like Pokémon or Magic) sell packs with random cards called boosters while the LCGs (like Netrunner or Arkham Horror: the Card Game) sell specific sets of cards, there is no random element. That being said, who are we kidding and let’s address our real problem: we just don’t have time to invest in a card game, trading or living, right now – we still have plenty Arkham Horror the Card game and Netrunner packs lying around that we never touched. :’)

As you can also see in our Weekly Recap we did play some games and even some surprising ones!

Heinze finished and won an online game of 18ChesaPeake, as far as I heard it was a really tense and close game until the very end! We played a game of It’s a Wonderful World and Triqueta (with the Wolves expansion) with a friend. I don’t think I ever had a score as high as this one, I ended up scoring the triquetas of all the animals except for the lowest-scoring bunnies. I believe it was around 50 points, huzzah!

Later that week, we had another game night and a friend introduced us to the game Attika which looked rather vintage, haha! But despite it being an older design, the game is simple and fun enough for a light game night. The many many tokens on the tiles make the game a little unclear and we were surprised that there were no tokens in the box to mark on your player board which buildings are already built (you need to know this for unlocking bonuses) – but luckily our friend brought a big bag of cubes that solved that problem.

A few days earlier we also received an exciting package from Iello Games, containing Unmatched: Tales to Amaze game and two other Unmatched sets. This is one of those games that have always looked interesting but we never really looked into. So when Iello asked us if we wanted to try the game, it was a big yes! It’s a shame we didn’t have the time to play them yet, hopefully, we can make that happen this week after a big work deadline of mine on Thursday. :’)

Since I work from home, it was time to really get out of the house this weekend and we took a long hike of 17 kilometers from train station to train station. Despite it raining the first half, we had a great time and the route even featured a foot ferry with a hand crank which you don’t see that often anymore. 

I have no clue how many games we’ll play this week but… one thing’s certain, we’ve got a six-player game of Stationfall planned this weekend and that’s going to be exciting!  

Are you team TCG or LCG?

Another comic in our based-on-a-internet-meme series! Other comics in this series are “This is My Hole!”“This is Fine” meme, that “Trojan Horse” one, the “Star Wars” one, and that “One in the bus with different views”. 

 

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This one is based on “Kombucha Girl” and is an often-used meme found all over the internet used for all sorts of topics. This was my actual expression when Heinze read that there would be a new anniversary edition of 6 Nimmt!/Take5! and my immediate thoughts were “We have a perfectly fine copy so I’m not interested.” but then, the article also said that the game comes with a co-op mode… And that’s when the “Nope, don’t need it”-expression changed into the “Ohh, what now?”-expression. We’ll see if curiosity will get the best of us when the game comes out.

While on the topic of co-op games, we were talking the other day and we have the feeling that there isn’t much movement in the top ranking of co-op games and we couldn’t really name any big new co-op titles (other than story-based/crime/dungeon-crawler type of games) either, besides Sky Team, which was a great hit last year. Luckily, there is always enough to explore that’s already out there. I’ve been really curious about the Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition  – Crisis expansion, which makes the game co-op. On the other hand, I like the game as it is, and would a co-op experience improve it? It’s probably better to first try a co-op experience of a game that we think might improve by playing it co-op: Tiwanaku. At least when we’re playing it with just the two of us. The game comes with five smaller scenarios which are great but it also comes with fifteen bigger scenarios that just… work not as well for us. We do enjoy the game, the deduction and strategic placement elements, and the cool puzzle wheel – honestly, it’s fun! It also comes with a co-op variant and that might solve our issue. We’ll let you know once we’ve played it!

Last week, we didn’t play many games besides Tiwanaku and only got around to playing a game of 5 Towers. 😀 It quickly became clear that this game is probably best at a higher player count, so we’ll take it along with us to a bigger game night but we see the fun shenanigans it has to offer. This week is more promising for board gaming! We’ve got our next Descent game scheduled and a game night with six players on Friday! We haven’t decided on what to play yet. Heinze will be topping that with a game of Warhammer 40K and a game of Feudum this weekend. Curious what he’ll think of the latter.

‘Take 5!’ or ‘6 Nimmt!’?

We were surprised when we saw this article on DiceBreaker that the most created character was a human fighter named Bob. Haha! We shouldn’t be too surprised since we have a friend who had a D&D character called Bob, Holy Bob to be precise as he played a cleric. Roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons should have room for silliness so please everybody feel free to ignore our critique, and on the plus side, it’s way easier to pronounce and remember Bob than names like Alagaësia, Chathanglas, etc!

Talking about silly names, we continued our Descent campaign this week, and our group is called “Eleven Days”. In a previous blog post, we wrote a little about how we came to that name. We’ve now played ten scenarios so we’re still not past those eleven days! 😉

 

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The rest of the week, Heinze and I had separate game days for a change. I spent a night with friends while Heinze was off and we played multiple smaller games. We started off with the classic BANG! Although we were all also quickly reminded that the game is not really at its strongest with just four players since there is one sheriff, two outlaws, and a renegade – so it doesn’t take a mastermind to quickly figure out who has which role. That takes away a bit of a charming element of the game, so we’ll remember that for next time!

I also played the game Papertown for the first time. I see the potential of the game, but playing it with four players made the game very random. Maybe it’s better with a lower player count but with four, it’s hard to plan anything and most of the city will be blocked, making it really hard to fulfill the conditions so you can finish a special structure. What I did like was that when you fulfill a “contract” (always a combination of 3/4 tiles showing a park, lake, residential/industrial/commercial area, or a public building) you put one of your meeples on the tiles that are part of your contract. You also get to flip one of these tiles and the meeple that’s on that tile is locked for the rest of the game and cannot be removed and the tile can’t be used by other players. When another player uses one of the face-up city tiles with another player’s meeple on it – the meeple is returned to its owner. Since the game ends when a player has placed all of their meeples, this makes for a cool tug of war.
We ended the night with a game of Yogi and you can never go wrong with that.

This weekend, Heinze played another 18XX game with five players. 18Mex took them six hours, but… for the very first time in history, Heinze won! Since I wasn’t there and I’ve never played an 18XX game, I can’t elaborate too much on it. He did write about the game on our Instagram account.

Any fun names from Roleplaying games you’d like to share? 😀

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I enjoy a game with a good insert that stores all the loose game tokens, it looks so nice and organized when you open up a game box… IF, it was stored horizontally and not vertically. Since we live in The Netherlands, we like to travel by bicycle the most (stereotypes are there for a reason!). That means bringing board games in cycle bags, which are great but means your game(s) will get shaken a lot while vertically orientated. Any inserts without plastic covers will be useless in these cases. 😀 I guess, in the case of mindlessly storing and transporting games, the plastic baggies win over most inserts!

Speaking about games that just don’t need an insert at all, we played quite a few games of Triqueta last week with the new expansion Hidden Wolves. We already liked the base game, it’s a great push-your-luck game and it gets even more interesting with this expansion! The added two-player variant surprised us and works really well. If you’d like to learn more about the game or the expansion, you can read more in our Instagram post!

Our game of Descent was changed into a game of Robot Quest Arena because we ended up chatting a bit too long before starting a game. Which is totally fine, it’s always fun to play Robot Quest Arena! But having played it with three people,  I do think the game is at its best with at least four players instead of just three.

And this weekend we played another crazy game of Tokyo Highway: Rainbow City. I promised to share some pictures once we put those online, so here they are. The non-slip pads on the road pieces really make that you can build some crazy things in the game, we love it! The Kickstarter for the game launches tomorrow January 23rd if you’re interested in checking it out!

Which other games should you not store vertically?

While we were explaining the rules of Nucleum to friends of ours (who are fans of heavier euro games) they immediately started referencing other games to understand the mechanisms quickly. It’s funny how often you do this with board games if you have played a lot of them and it really does help with grasping the concept of a game quicker. It doesn’t make a game less creative, I actually think it’s important that there are “recognizable” parts for players so they know what to expect beforehand. Learning how to play Nucleum took us two hours and about an hour to explain to our friends and that’s with game mechanisms that we are familiar with, I don’t want to know how complex a game gets if you’re unfamiliar with any. :’D

Last week was a busy week with other things than board games so we ended up only playing one game and it was a new game that was sent to us called Fisheries of Gloucester! When we were asked if we were interested and we saw that it’s a game by Steve Finn, that immediately caught our attention. We’re big fans of one of his other games, Biblios, and that’s also the only game of his that we have played so we wouldn’t mind changing that! It’s a two-player game about fishing and it was a lot ‘meaner’ than we initially thought, haha. The most tricky part of the game is time management. There are six days (rounds) in the game and you only have a limited number of hours to spend during a day. So moving one of your ships forward one square on the sea takes an hour, taking one of the fishes from the board that are adjacent to one of your ships takes an hour, and moving through rough sea or passing another ship takes two hours! The basic variant of the game board also creates some interesting funnels at the start to get to the fish, making it tricky to pass other players and giving options to block your opponent.

During a turn, you can Chart a Course, Sail, Fish, and Preserve Fish. Before a ship can sail into the open ocean, there needs to be a water tile adjacent to it. This costs no time, but it does take up your turn and these explored ocean tiles can also be used by the other player. Sailing is just moving one of your three ships but there’s a small catch. Your ships form a fleet and this means they can never be more than four columns apart from each other on the game board. There’s a handy little cardboard piece that you align with your leftmost ship and that clearly shows how far out your other ships can be. You can collect fish on your player board, but you can only “Preserve Fish” once per day, which means you can only exchange fish tokens for victory points and other handy bonuses (like TIME!) once. It’s details like these that spice up the game.

We really enjoyed our first game and think this is a nice game for people who like two-player games like Raptor, 7 Wonders Duel, Radlands and Cryptid: Urban Legends.

Hopefully, we’ll get more games to the table this week. We do have a game of Descent planned and another game night on Friday so that’s promising. 🙂

What’s your most memorable game teach?
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