You can read our previous Undaunted comics, here and here! This comic series about the Undaunted games is kinda becoming a running joke, but we can’t help ourselves.

A new Undaunted game? Well no new stand-alone game, but an expansion! Undaunted: Reinforcements adds all sorts of things to Undaunted: Normandy and North: Africa, varying from the modular addition of tanks, scenarios and units to adding a four-player mode and a solo mode designed by none other than Dรกvid Turczi! We’re especially excited about the four-player mode in which you play in teams against each other. Undaunted is a game quite some friends are interested in, but we don’t play that many one-on-one games with other people, so this is an excellent way to play it during game nights.
The expansion comes out on November 25th according to Osprey’s website, so we’ll surely want to add this gem to our collection!

 

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But enough about Undaunted, let’s shed some light on other games! Last week we received an unexpected copy of Klask and that has been such a fun surprise. We mostly know Klask from conventions and their interesting way of marketing their game where people would get a free copy of the game if they allowed the word Klask to be written on their forehead with a permanent marker. ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s one of those games we would not buy ourselves but they are extremely fun to play. It’s quick, sturdy, and hilarious. Definitely, something we can easily play while cooking dinner. The only challenge will be finding the right place to store it since it’s quite a big box.

There were two other new games we’ve played last week, first we played The Key: Sabotage at Lucky Lama Land. HABA was kind enough to send us a copy of the game after we had also depicted the game in the last panel of the comic they commissioned us to make. It’s really something else and an interesting take on detective/deduction games! In the game, you choose one of the colored keys and lay all the cards face-down in the middle of the table and will individually try to solve the same mystery by finding out who sabotaged which attraction with what object. Then, all players will simultaneously start grabbing a card with a color corresponding the chosen key color in the beginning of the game. There are all kinds of different clues on the cards and you keep track of all the information in your shielded player area. After you think you’re ready with the clue, you can continue grabbing more clue cards. All the cards are worth a certain number of points and the player who manages to solve the case with the least amount of points, wins! The solution to a case exists of three numbers which you check on a special board. We think this game is a lot of fun for families, but we do wonder how high the replayability is if you’re playing it with somebody who remembers the unique codes for the different cases (there are nine different colors keys/cases).

And we played another new deduction game this week: Picture Perfect (many thanks to Arcane Wonders for sending us a copy!) and in this game, you’re trying to create the perfect composition for a group of people who all have their own wishes about the picture. All characters have an envelope with three preference cards and these envelopes will pass between players so you will need to remember what the character’s wishes are! Players have their own player screen with a table and cardboard cutouts of the characters where they will try to make the composition that scores the highest number of points. We played the basic game and you can read our thoughts in our Instagram post (also, check out how cool this game looks)! Games are getting so creative!

We have another game night scheduled for tomorrow night, so we’re curious which game will hit the table.

What game should come with a solo mode?

We are slowly creeping towards the end of the year and that means that the festive and gift-giving season is upon us again. We used to make gift guides for CoolStuffInc.com in the past and that always was a lot of fun to do. Making a list that piques curiosity while also having titles on there that appeal to new and seasoned gamers is quite the challenge! … and mostly the following challenge then was to find titles that were available. That won’t be any different this year due to the shipping crisis, but luckily there are loads and loads of amazing board games. ๐Ÿ™‚ Who knows, if we’re feeling up to it, we might still do a gift guide on our Twitter account and if we do, we’ll also link to it in a future blog post here so you won’t miss it.

 

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This week, we haven’t had a lot of time and energy for gaming and so we only played three games. Le gasp! First up, we tried the newest edition of Galaxy Trucker. We played it with a friend who owns the original version of the game and I believe that everyone’s first response always is that the cover is way better than the original. ๐Ÿ˜€ The game itself hasn’t changed that much, this version comes with several shorter variants and also the more old-school variant in which you play three rounds. We did find the rulebook quite… um, lacking if you just quickly want to look up things. It’s formatted for people who haven’t played the game before and it tries to guide new players through the game like a tutorial. If you skip the tutorial and want to dive straight into the game, there’s no structural logic to be found. Luckily, the game itself is not that complicated, so we don’t think we’ll need to look a lot of things up in the future. Or we’ll just download the rulebook and use the search certain keywords up in the PDF. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The game is rather brutal if your ship has an issue at the beginning of the last round, during our game the last player had 27 points, while the other two players got 92 and 105 points. Nonetheless, it was chaotic fun and certainly something that we’ll play more often!

We also played another game of Oltrรฉรฉ with two friends. Since they never played the game and we didn’t want to influence their choices too much, the game quickly beat us. In our previous plays, we always went with the “always be closing” approach that we also take with portals in Eldritch Horror, so in Oltrรฉรฉ if there is a problematic region, that’s first priority! During this play, however, the other players wanted to invest in buildings early in the game and leave some risk on the board. Aaaaand, that apparently doesn’t work so well, lesson learned!

Yesterday evening we ended up playing a game of Azul. And it turns out that the last time we had played Azul was April 2020. I honestly can’t believe it had been that long! Time is so weird.

What would be on your Holiday Gift Guide this year?

It’s been a while since you’ve seen Death in our comic, but with the happenings in the comic last week, we thought it would be great to feature Death again in another quite absurdist comic! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Talking about “Death”, we’re loving the TikTok videos that Plumpy Thimble makes with the Death character! We’re almost sorry for not being on TikTok, but luckily, he also posts compilations on his YouTube account for us old people, haha.

 

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Since the unfortunate death of my character was fictional, I have to admit to not having played Glass Road yet either. What we did play last week was Gloomhaven and oh boy – we finished the campaign! It’s done and we didn’t see it coming! We had expected that we would be playing at least three more scenarios, but apparently not? The ending did leave us with mixed feelings: slight confusion and but also with a sense of pride that we actually finished this beast. We’re also sort of relieved that we now have more game nights that we can spend on the pile of fun new releases that are waiting to be played.

We also continued our adventure in Sleeping Gods, in which we all of a sudden had a session that was full of fighting, while the previous two sessions required no fighting at all! We do enjoy the combat system of the game, it’s tense and exciting but can be quite brutal.

And this weekend we visited friends we hadn’t seen for a long time and they have quite the collection of Discworld board games. We’ve played Witches one last time and this time we tackled their unplayed copy of Guards Guards! The rules turned out not to be too complicated but there’s just A LOT going on in the game. We wouldn’t say we thought it was a very good game (except for the Luggage element!), but we had a great time nonetheless.

On Sunday, Heinze played an epic game of Warmaster (I almost typed Warhamster…) and we ended the evening with our second play of Oltrรฉรฉ. Oltrรฉรฉ is a weird little duckling, it almost looks majestic but the complexity is lighter than it looks. We do really enjoy playing it and have already called it a light version of Eldritch Horror X Pandemic. Things on the board are escalating which you’re frantically trying to manage. Besides the smaller story cards, every scenario also has an overlapping bigger story element which influences the game. From blocking parts of the board to actual cool plot twists that change your goals!

And that was it. This week we’ve got two game nights planned with friends and we have no clue yet what we’ll be playing, so that’s going to be a surprise! And in less fun news we have to take Apollo to the vet this week for an echo because there might be something wrong with his kidneys. Fingers crossed that it’s not too bad. ๐Ÿ™

What game would you play against death?

The number of games that have come out these past years with a campaign is enormous! Back when this was a relatively new thing, we were really hyped! But if we’re completely honest, we’re beginning to feel the less pretty side of it: many campaign games are left unfinished because finishing them would mean leaving other games unplayed. Also, it requires a commitment of a gaming group to play through a full campaign and we notice that a lot of our friends aren’t looking forward to playing the same game ten times in a row.

We fully understand this is a luxurious position to be in though and we also see plus sides to campaigns and the way they are implemented in games. For instance, we played Rush Out! last week and this game also has a “campaign”, but in reality, it feels more like a way to slowly increase the difficulty for players to reach the full potential of a game in the end. It’s a smart implementation for a game like Rush Out! since the game is slightly skill-based and doesn’t give players time to think. The game is rather exhausting since it’s hectic! Players are rolling dice as quickly as they can to fulfill their goals, simultaneously. One player is the evil sorcerer and the other (2 to 4) players play co-operatively as the heroes. The concept is pretty simple: fill the slots on the cards with the right dice sides to complete a card.

 

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Both sides are trying to work through their stack of cards as quickly as possible, but the cards of the sorcerer often mean bad stuff for the heroes: like disabling the use of one die or specific icons on dice. In the later scenarios, we also saw more party-like “handicaps” like muting heroes or making them use just a single hand for rolling dice. It’s a hilarious game and certainly one to get the energy up in a group! But if you play it for too long, it will leave most people exhausted. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And because it works so well for just a game or three, we think it’s perfect if you’re at a gaming convention and would like to get an energy boost! Yes, that was a not-so-subtle sidestep to the fact that we’ll be going to SPIEL in Essen this week! We’ll be hanging around the halls on Thursday until Sunday and we’re super excited and curious what this year’s convention will be like. Either way, we have a lot of meetings planned with publishers and are looking forward to meeting many new people and exploring what the board game realm has to offer.

We’ll keep you up to date and would love to share our experiences next week! And if you happen to be at Spiel and see us around, we’d love to meet you! Please say hi! <3

What game(s) should we definitely check out at spiel?

Sometimes it’s easy to justify prices for board games if you look at it from a price-per-player perspective, but we all know that’s just to make yourself feel better about a purchase. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ve often used the “oh, but that’s the same price as going to the cinema!” as an excuse and we can play this many many times! A mega civilization game isn’t high on our list and the idea of playing such a game with eighteen people is daunting – but we did make the calculation that it’s “just” ten euros a player if you can manage to find a group and a place to play such a monster of a game.

 

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A purchase that we could fully get behind was the pink train expansion for Ticket to Ride! It’s the result of a special collaboration between Asmodee Netherlands and Pink Ribbon! Of every set sold (MSRP โ‚ฌ7), โ‚ฌ4 goes to breast cancer research. According to Dicebreaker this special set will also be available in other countries, so keep an eye out if you’re interested!

Having these new trains was also a great reason to play Ticket to Ride: The Netherlands! We’ve played this with our house guest and we could hardly believe it, but we (well, I did) finally beat him in a Ticket to Ride game! That was a first. The scores get insanely high in this expansion though, I ended up being the winner with 295 points, and the other players both had more than 250 points! We did really enjoy the toll mechanic of this expansion, it works well.

Now that we had played Machi Koro 2, Flamme Rouge and two versions of Ticket to Ride with our guest we thought it was time to mix it up a little and play Quacks of Quedlinburg! That was a great success, the game is simple enough to fully grasp the rules within a round or two and it’s always exciting. Definitely a game we’ll play with them again in the future!

After two weeks of playing lighter games, it was time for us to open up the box of Sleeping Gods and dive into the world that Ryan Laukat has created this weekend! We painted our steamboat miniature in a more fitting color and were ready to go! The first few hours did not disappoint, although we quickly realized that playing one “campaign” will not cover everything that’s to explore in the game. We ended up with around ten quest cards and a ton of options and directions to go for our next game! We can’t wait to play it again this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s your usual argument for justifying an expansive board game purchase?

 

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We’ve never had issues with any of the board games we’ve owned, but hearing stories from friends and other people online we’re always amazed by the incredible service that is provided by publishers! ๐Ÿ™‚ Personally, we’re not really picky and don’t mind when game boards don’t lay 100% flat on the table or if tokens and cards have a little printing offset. I can imagine that customer services are confronted with very critical customers and it might be hard to decide where to draw the line?

We haven’t played Rush Out! yet, contrary to what the comic suggests since it’s not really a game fit for our house guest whom we’re playing lighter and more easy games with. Besides Machi Koro 2, we’ve also introduced him to the smaller version of Ticket to Ride that we own, Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam! And even in this version of the game, he managed to beat us. One day… one of us will beat him. We also have a borrowed copy of Ticket to Ride: Nederland laying around which we should probably play and try to beat his winning streak!

Another game we thought would be a success was Flamme Rouge – and we were right. The theme and complexity were just right! As with all of our games, the game was exciting until the very last round. Another game we think might work really well is Quacks of Quedlinburg! It’s surely very different from the games we’ve played so far, it’s exciting and really easy.

Have you ever had a game with missing, damaged, or badly printed components?

If you’re not paying attention during a rule explanation, you might miss a crucial detail… ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s been a while since we’ve played a game with a hidden traitor element, mostly because it often requires more players at a table. One of the latest games that we’ve added to our collection is Specter Ops and I think that game can get quite interesting with a hidden traitor element. It’s fun without, but I can’t wait to play that game with five players. Oh and I’m also looking forward to a classic game of Dead of Winter with a nice cup of warm chocolate milk.

 

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But let’s get back to what we’ve actually played! Last week we’ve played another game from the BGG top ten list. We finally played Brass: Birmingham! Friends of ours got a copy last year and had only played it with two players so exciting times for all! The game is a tough cookie! There are a lot of little things to keep in mind and understand when playing it for the first time, but it was fun! I had no idea what I was doing at the start of the game and apparently took an unexpected turn by focussing heavily on pottery in the first era. It took me taking on a third loan, but it paid off in the end! The point-heavy pottery combined with some really well-placed rails (I had no idea, honestly – I just needed them for selling my pottery business!) resulted in me winning. Wow! BUT, I was taught by the best and more experienced players, so I’d like to share my win with them. At the beginning of the game, they did point out some very obvious mistakes I was about to make and helped me optimize some turns. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday, we decided to tackle a puzzle that was sent to us by Big Potato Games. Multiple publishers seem to have discovered the world of puzzles as an addition to their popular games, but Big Potato has given their puzzles a twist! They’ve released two different themed puzzles: “Night at the Movies” and “Day at the Festival“. Both puzzles are a delight to the eye with all kinds of funky illustrations and… riddles for you to solve! Depicted on the movie-themed puzzle are 101 “hidden” movie titles, like for example, a ram holding a bow and arrow! I think you get the gist. ๐Ÿ˜‰
We do both get a little fanatic when we start puzzling… originally the idea was that it was a very relaxing activity to do, but we get into this weird puzzle bubble and forget everything around us. Boiled water for tea? …totally forgot about that. We were just going to puzzle for an hour? … Three hours later. Next time we’re going to prepare drinks and snacks in advance and set a timer to pull ourselves out of it in time. :’D

Which games of the BGG top 10 have you played?

 

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It seems like gaming cons are back on the menu with GenCon coming up in a week and SPIEL that has gotten a green light in October. Obviously, we’re not going to GenCon, living in Europe, but we are planning to visit SPIEL. We’ve got mixed feelings, on the one hand, we’re excited about the buzz and craziness of board gaming conventions, but on the other hand, we’re also wary because of… well, the state of the pandemic and the fact that numbers seem to be rising again now that’s summer is over. But we’re really happy that SPIEL has a mandatory mask-rule in combination with other safety measurements. At the moment we’re just trying to stay positive and hoping we get to meet a lot of people and roam the halls to encounter all different kinds of games. Time will tell!

Last week we’ve played two new games and we continued our Gloomhaven campaign. We’re still going strong, all of our current characters are max level and we think we have only a few more scenarios to go. And that’s fine after three and a half years of playing. We’ve enjoyed it, but we very much are looking forward to exploring other games.

And there are a lot of “other games”! Last week we played two new titles that we’ve been really curious about. We’ve played two games of Cascadia, one of the latest titles by Flatout Games. The game is illustrated by Beth Sobel, so no surprise that it looks gorgeous. The game feels like a variation of Calico, it surely is different, but there are overlapping game mechanics with puzzly tile laying and tons of ways to score points! You can either score points through the animal tokens or the landscape tiles. We do think Cascadia is a less tense game due to the fact that you’re not bound to a player board. Calico presents you with a crunchy puzzle with borders, while Cascadia is more forgiving on that front. You can play the game in about 45 – 60 minutes, so it’s an easy one to get to the table. We’d like to thank Alderac Entertainment Group for sending us a copy of the game!

We also received Kim-Joy’s Magic Bakery, a co-op card game for 2 – 5 players that is about… baking and serving customers! We have quite a few friends who love baking so we know this will be a hit. One of our friends with whom we played it last week, even turned out to be a great fan of Kim Joy and they told us that they were considering buying the game a few days prior to us getting it. We’ve played the first scenario that night and although it wasn’t really hard, we did have a fun time. The game has ten scenarios, so we do assume the difficulty will increase in every scenario but that’s something we will find out in the future. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’d like to thank Skybound entertainment for sending us a copy of the game!

Oh in case you missed it, and if you’re quick, you can still participate in our giveaway on Instagram, together with Cephalofair Games we’re giving away amazing prizes like a Frosthaven pledge. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ We’ll contact the winners tomorrow!

Are you attending any board game conventions this year?

 

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Mad respect for everybody that streams board games! We’ve tried it once or twice and we also realized that it might not be something for us. And most problematic is that it takes a lot of time, which is one of the rarest resources in life!

So during our last play of Pandemic Legacy: Season 0, we’ve had the situation happening in the comic… except we didn’t have a chat to help us out. Luckily, we managed to recover everything from memory and checking played cards, but it can certainly mess up your game! We’ll be more careful next time. :’D
So far we feel like we have a good feeling for the game and our tactics seem to be working out even though our last game was quite disastrous with an escalation card at the end of the first turn and two escalation cards in one turn halfway during the game. Those three practice games have prepared us well! That being said, we’re really enjoying this Pandemic Legacy so far and are looking forward to seeing if March will kick our butts.

Last week, we haven’t played a lot of board games, besides a game ofย  Specter Ops and Pandemic Legacy. We did, however, celebrate our wedding anniversary and had an overall relaxing week while adjusting again to the working life after a few weeks off. And a real gaming highlight: Heinze played his first game of 18XX in real life together with Niels, Nele, and Jeroen. They have been playing 18XX for about six months on 18xx.games and finally the time had come to play 18MEX in real life! It took around six hours to play, but everybody had loads of fun. <3

In other news, we’ve two games that we’re really excited about playing soon! First of all, there’s Kim Joy’s Magic Bakery which was send to us by Skybound, which is a cooperative card game about baking. What’s not to love?! We have multiple friends who are going to love this theme. And today we received a copy of Cascadia from Alderac. The game is designed by Flatout Games and illustrated by Beth Sobel, so once again: what’s not to love?! We can’t wait to play this one as well.

Who’s your favorite tabletop/board game streamer?

Not everybody thinks the same about our lovely hobby. Actually, I think a burglar would be quite surprised and disappointed to find mostly board games in a house. ๐Ÿ˜‰ To most people board games are just games and they have no idea of their value, let alone that they are familiar with how board games have evolved.

 

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We’ve played some great games last week, and that did make us realize how incredibly interesting and varied games have become. We played Brew, the latest release of Pandasaurus Games, and this worker dice-placement game is packed with mechanics in such a lovely theme. Players brew potions by collecting ingredients, which they can use in a relentless area control part of the game on the forest cards. And there are adorable creatures that can help you make impressive combos throughout the game.

We also played Fort by Leder Games with the Cats & Dogs expansion (which is available for pre-order if you’re interested) and this really is another super interesting take on deck-building games. The theme is awesomely interwoven with the gameplay, making it a really witty and joyful game. The expansion really just adds to that wittiness by adding cats and dogs. We really like that they are both optional modules with you can add to your game.

And we played Merv by Osprey Games, a real stunner on the table and fun but brain-intensive euro game. Players only have twelve turns during a game and there are a lot of ways to score points, so it’s quite intense to play it. On the other hand, you also know you can’t do it all and if you accept that – it’s probably less intense. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to play it with other players yet so we still have to experience the more “aggressive” version of the game in which a lot of your actions will be blocked by other players. With just two players there is an AI player, which works well, but I can imagine the experience is very different with more players.

This week, we’ve got a game of Gloomhaven planned, we’re finally taking on the “Headless Horseman” scenario which we epically failed with a previous party, but we think we might have a chance of beating him this time. Other than that, we’ve got nothing planned, so we might continue our Lost Ruins of Arnak solo campaign and play whatever game we feel like!

What’s your most prized board game possession?
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