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Machi Koro 2 was kindly provided by Pandasaurus Games for free. We thank them for giving us this game which led to this comic! For more information on how we deal with gifted games, please see our FAQ!

My dad has been staying our place these past two weeks and one thing we can be sure of during that time: Machi Koro 2 will hit the table!
Since we introduced him to the game last time he was over, he has been enjoying it thoroughly. And we certainly don’t mind that. It’s not a game we ever play with just the two of us but it has the perfect complexity for people that have not a lot of experience with board games and are used to the Ticket to Ride complexity. The game always escalates quickly, so it’s a good thing to keep an eye on the other players and on how much money they are accumulating because it can be over before your know it! But since the game plays quite quickly, we usually play at least two games in a row.

This last week, Machi Koro has actually been the only game we played. In the meanwhile, we’ve received some really cool games these past weeks that we’re really looking forward to playing. Like Sniper Elite and Witch Stone! I’m hoping we get to play those soon and tell you all about them. Last week has mostly been filled with being tired, working, visiting family and some gardening in my spare time, for me, that’s a perfect way to take my mind off things. Also, I wanted everything in the ground so it can start growing these coming months! I could bore you with gardening things, but I’ll spare you all the details. :’D

What is a game you would play with your parent(s)?

Despite knowing a game very well, the one thing I keep confusing with other games is the number of cards a player draws at the start of a game. Two, three, four or five, they are all represented by different board games! Most of the time it’s either three or five?

Last week was tough, I have been taking care of my mother most of the week (she has five broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung) and Heinze and I have hardly seen each other, so I think it’s a first that we actually played ZERO board games! That’s a new low for us, but it’s more than logical between hospital visits, doing everything around the house and trying to get at least some work done, there is no time or mental space for entertainment like that. I feel kind of blessed that we normally do have the energy and time to play loads of board games. <3

And because of the whole ongoing situation, I’m going to keep this week’s blog post a little short. Hopefully, there will be better days soon. Take care y’all! 🙂

Are there rule details you always need to double-check in the rulebook?

Skull Canyon: Ski Fest was kindly provided by Pandasaurus Games for free. We thank them for giving us this game that led to this comic! For more information on how we deal with gifted games, please see our FAQ!

Skull Canyon: Ski Fest has been in our collection for quite a while and we’re happy to say that the game is now available in stores! It’s a fun game that’s rich with theme and also humor. It’s an accessible game with a mix of known mechanics, most notably collecting sets of cards to be able to make runs which reminded us of Ticket To Ride for example. Although Skull Canyon just requires players to have a number of cards of the same color OR symbol, depending on the difficulty of the run.

When we first played the game with just two players, we thought it missed a little bit of confrontation but that might also have been because it was our first game. Now that we have experienced a full four-player game, the game turned out to be quite mean. A lot of sighs and moans at the table when avalanches forced players down a run they really wanted to complete before the day was done. We might have to try the game again with the two of us and see if we would play more “aggressively” this time. The game does come with a special two-player side on the board, so they have definitely tried to balance it out for two.

 

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Let’s take a look at what we played last week. That was a varied bunch of games! Heinze played a solo game of Five Leagues from the Borderlands which he was rather excited about. He did say that he wanted to try playing it on a grid to make combat quicker. On Monday evening we played Escape from Colditz. It’s not a difficult or fantastic game, but we just had a great night with friends. 🙂

The following night we played a game of Galaxy Trucker (new edition) and we’ve noted down for our future selves that next time we’re just going to make three runs with the medium-sized ship and we’ll compose our own hazard decks to increase the difficulty. We think the game is fun, but we’re going to take out the bits we like the less and see how it plays then. Are there games in which you’ve mixed up the rules to make an experience you like better?

On Friday we played a game of Unstable Unicorns and Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest with five players and, to prevent this blog post from getting way too long, you can read on our Instagram what we think of it! To top off this interesting list of played games, we played Lords of Waterdeep (with all the expansions and fancy bits) on Saturday! We forgot how good this game is, especially the corruption track adds so much to this worker placement game!

What game gets really mean with a higher player count?

Since we’ve started playing The King’s Dilemma again this year, we’re also reminded of what an immense work the story writing must have been for this game. And we’re also feeling kinda bad that we’re probably going to miss out on half the content that was written for this game! We’ve even considered getting another copy when we finish this one, just to see what else can happen? We also quickly decided that we should first finish our current campaign and decide about that later. 😉

Anyway, we’re impressed by the story and the dilemmas that are presented to the players. But we’ve been raving a lot about this game on our site, so let’s take a look at the games we’ve played last week!

We can be rather short about that, there were just two of them. 😀 We played Untold: Adventures Await, which is a lovely game version of Rory’s Story Cubes. I’d consider this a must-have for people and families who enjoy making up stories together. We ended up with a slightly weird but funny story of Bobby Daze the ice hockey player and Earnest Confused the mascot, discovering there were dark creatures under the ice that would wake up if their team would win. It was quite the thing…

We also played a game of Lost Ruins of Arnak. We still play the game without the expansion, since we still enjoy the base game as it is and we don’t feel any need to make it more complex. I do wonder when that will change.

And our Marauder Expansion and Hirelings box for Root was delivered!  We really need to plan a game day and explore all the new factions and other things that have been added to the game. 🙂 We’re excited that the Hirelings will add more variety to games with a lower player count. Originally with a three-player game, for example, one of the players was almost always required to play the Marquise the Cat and the other available factions were scarce if you wanted a balanced game.

What game would make for a great RPG?

 

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We don’t mind a good euro game now and then, but some euro games are even a bit too dry for our tastes. 😉 And theme and design can certainly balance the “dryness” out and make actions feel like it’s part of a world or a story, instead of just playing some cards and collecting cubes.

Thinking about euro games, does raise the question of what our favorite euro games are. But first, what defines a euro-game? Let’s look at what the internet has to say about this!

A Eurogame, also called a German-style board game, German game, or Euro-style game, is a class of tabletop games that generally has indirect player interaction and abstract physical components. ( – Wikipedia)

Also,  low randomness (dice rolls e.g.) and nothing like trick-taking mechanics. I have the feeling games have kinda evolved and are becoming more of a hybrid design mixing in more thematic game mechanisms. But some favorite games that come to mind when thinking of euro games are Great Western Trail, Merv, and Crisis which could still be considered a “classic” euro. We’ve also played a game that should be announced at the end of this week, that is a very exciting euro.

Speaking of abstract physical components, this week we played three games of Cryptid Urban Legends this week and it’s a hit for us! We played our first game a month ago and we had a bit of trouble figuring out how to play well but now we’re starting to see how we have to move cubes around in such a way that is beneficiary for us and we’re really starting to get into it. It’s a game that can be quite ruthless, so a wrong move can mean your game is over in five minutes! We also love the excellent art by Kwanchai Moriya in this game which really livens up the game that is pretty much some cards and some cubes.

On the other end of the component spectrum, we also played the beautiful new edition of Libertalia! 999 Games was kind enough to send us a copy and it looks really good. The only problem is that we tried it with two players, which isn’t the ideal player count for this game. On Instagram people seem to really enjoy it with four players, so it’s time to gather some friends and start pirating!

What is the driest game you know? And do you like playing it?

Teaching a new game to a group can be a tricky thing and definitely is something I’m not really good at. With Heinze being an actual teacher, it quickly falls on his shoulders and it is often underestimated that it does take some effort. If we’re all playing a really big new game, we often ask all the players to read the rules in advance or watch a video so everybody at least has a rough idea of the rules of a game. Going through the rules on the game day itself goes a lot quicker after that. 🙂

Speaking of rules, we really did receive a copy of Libertalia today and are very curious about this latest Stonemaier production! Hopefully, we get to play it sometime this week.

Last week, we’ve mostly played lighter games! With Brew being the most complex of them all. This game is a little gem and always fun to get to the table. We also introduced Picture Perfect to a friend and this was the first time playing it with more than two players. That really made the game a lot harder, which might make it better. It’s just a fine game if you’re looking for some silly deduction fun.

We also played another game of The King’s Dilemma and our game was a mess! … for the Kingdom. The players had a lot of fun with it. The highest and lowest score ever was reached during this game and some interesting turns were made in some of the storylines. Knowing that there will be a sequel, The Queen’s Dilemma this or next year, surely makes us very happy. 😀

We ended the week with a few games of Décorum and the game is now ramping up in difficulty and we need to step up our game. The first three scenarios did feel a little too easy, so we already expected a turn. We’re really curious how hard it’ll get.

What is your favorite game to teach?

 

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My mother actually asked this question last week and we thought it was such an interesting way of determining different genres of games! It just felt like a completely different and fresh look at board games. On Saturday, Heinze had an 18xx game day planned, so it was definitely going to be a flat type of game. 😉

Although I don’t mind playing an economic game, 18xx games take a little too long for my taste, so I didn’t join in. I did ask Heinze to write a little about what he thought of it:

18Chesapeak was a lot of fun! We had two super veteran players, me, with about ten 18xx plays under my belt, and two players who had never played an 18xx game before. Luckily, the new players were pretty swift in grasping the rules and soon realized 18xx games are fun even when you’re not sure what’s going on. Operating rail companies is pretty straightforward even if you don’t want to engage in 4d chess-like strategies and there is something nice about getting money in an operating round just for having stock in a company. In the end, one of the new players even won after feeling he made some big mistakes at the beginning (he didn’t) and we’re excited to play more 18xx games. Mission accomplished!

In the evening people didn’t mind playing another game and since everybody was in an economic mindset, we decided to play Crisis! The game remains underrated and has solid gameplay and the fact that players’ actions determine the state of the economy in the game which could result in making Axia go bankrupt and ending the game early, is just hilarious. I wish I had paid better attention to that though cause I could have won if I had blown up the economy two rounds before the last round… I should’ve sold those goods on the Black Market instead of the regular market. NEXT TIME!

Do you have unusual ways to describe games?

I believe this is the first comic we’ve made about board gaming and being colorblind! We talked about it in the blog posts, but never in the comic itself. It’s a struggle for a big part of our gaming friends and we’re often delighted by the creative workarounds modern board games have implemented in their designs and sometimes we’re rather disappointed if games are unplayable for colorblind people – while a few minor modifications could have made the difference.

Personally, I understand that not all games and designs have to be accessible for somebody who is colorblind. It’s naive to think that games like Colour Brain or Yummy Yummy Monster Tummy, for example, would be fun or playable if your perception of colors is so different from other people. We tried and it was not a success. :’) It’s a difficult one, also for developers and designers, since there are so many forms of colorblindness. In our group of friends alone, we have three very different levels of color blindness. In contrary to a friend, Heinze can still play Rajas of the Ganges if we separate the different colors of dice very strictly, but a game like Coimbra is a real no-go. I remember that we saw a picture of the dice and Heinze thought that there were three different colors of dice, while there were five.

 

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Sometimes, if we like a game enough, we don’t mind making some alterations to make it more readable, as we did with Origins. But often, we make the choice to let a game go if it’s just too difficult to keep colors apart. But overall, I think games are doing a pretty decent job nowadays!

Last week was one of those weeks that we only played new games and very different ones actually! We finally played Tammany Hall! And it feels like a big brother of The King is Dead and although we had fun, we mostly see its potential when playing with four or five players instead of just three. 🙂 We also started our campaign of Décorum (will be released in April) and Floodgate Games really made a fun co-op deduction game here! We’ve written our first impression on Instagram if you’re interested.
Going to the complete opposite side of the spectrum, we also played Tabannusi: Builders of Ur! This is probably one of the most complex games we’ve played in a while, our brains felt fried by the end we were done. We think it’s very good in its genre, but it might be a little too heavy for our tastes. You can read our first impression here!

We also played a not-yet-announced game on Tabletopia and we wish we could tell you more about that, but you’ll have to be patient. The only thing we’ll say is that this was one of the best games we’ve played in a long time… so we’re looking forward to its announcement.

Do you have any colorblind people in your gaming group?

Ahh, my head can get into an “if this, then that” loop. I try to avoid it as much as possible and just go with my first gut feeling or just go with the option that’s the most fun, but sometimes analysis paralysis strikes. If this, then that… if this, then that. It’s annoying when it happens although it sometimes also helps with planning multiple turns ahead if that’s an option in the game.

 

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One of the games that can invoke AP is Vivid Memories, although, having it played again yesterday it’s getting better and better. It really is a game you get better at when you play it more often. Our scores also finally ended up being really close to each other. From that same box of games Floodgate Games sent us, we finally played our first game of Sagrada! We understand that this is a popular game, it’s very easy to learn and plays quickly and just looks nice. It’s definitely in the difficulty range of Azul and that makes it great for a broad audience. Having played the base game a couple of times, I’m really curious what the two expansions Passion and Life we also got sent will add to the game

Last week, we got an unexpected game in the mail and it was Cryptid: Urban Legends. We’ve never played the original Cryptid, so we cannot reflect on the similarities between the big game and this two-player version. What we can say is that we didn’t expect it to be such a small box! We’re big fans of games that don’t take up unnecessary space and this is a great example. We’ve only played it once so I’m hoping to give a better idea of the game after playing it some more. Either way, we love the way it looks and our first game made us curious and we definitely want to play the game more. But just when I’m a little less tired, haha.

We also played Air, Land, and Sea: Critters at War which is a wonderfully quick and charming game, but it also quickly dawned on us that the theme of the game is a little inappropriate right now. We wake up with news about the war every morning and we hope there will be a peaceful resolution for all involved innocent parties because it really is a terrible situation. 🙁

Any tips to suppress Analysis Paralysis?

When we played Tapestry a few weeks ago we were reminded that the development of civilization in the game is everything but linear. You could have developed lithium batteries before farming for example. We also enjoy the silly aspect of the game and Stonemaier Games even put developments like “board games” on the board, so it’s clear they’ve had fun with it as well.

 

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Last week we’ve had a lovely game night with friends who don’t play board games very often and we’ve played Savannah Park and Skull Canyon: Ski Fest with them! We’ve learned that they’re bigger fans of games with a little player interaction and less of solving your own personal puzzle on your own player board, so we’ll keep that in mind for next time! It’s fun to figure out which genre of games clicks best with different gaming groups.

We also received a big box of games from Floodgate Games! We have a fun collaboration coming up and they’ve sent us a few of their games. We haven’t had time to play them all, but we did play Vivid Memories twice. That is one lovely illustrated game that has a nice puzzly bite to it. The first time I blew Heinze away and beat him with more than 80 points difference, while during our second game he managed to score 21 more points in his first turn than I did. It’s a game with many ways to score points and that can be quite complex during your first game.

That also means that we see a problem if we’d like to play this game with other people. We’ll be going to beat them, hard – just because we’ve played the game more often. That being said, it works just fine with two players and we think it’s a quick game once you’ve played it a few times so we’re also looking forward to seeing how our games will develop.

Besides this great brain-burning puzzle game, we’ve also played the opposite: The King’s Dilemma! Just lovely discussions and some good snacks. 😉 And a relaxing game of My City! We’re slowly creeping towards the end…

Oh and in case you missed it, we’ve published an extra comic last Thursday!

Have you played any Civilization-themed games?
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