We’ve been playing Tigris & Euphrates a few times now and I think this is the first game we encountered in which your lowest score counts. It’s an interesting game mechanic for sure. It often happened that I had more than 20 points in military, but only 5 points in agriculture for example. It was interesting to compare the game to some other games we’ve played that are designed by Reiner Knizia. The game is a little bigger and more complex than some of the other Knizia games we’ve been playing like Qin and Age of War for example, The game actually feels like a meatier version of Qin, a favorite that often makes it to our table. Tigris has more depth to it though and seems to really shine with a group of veterans than just two beginners.

Tigris & Euphrates is the first in Fantasy Flight Games Euro Classic Line, which is interesting considering they also make big boxes full of miniatures kind of games. For us as new enthousiast to “the hobby” it’s nice that light is being shed on these dusty games, so we can enjoy them as well!

The next game in the Euro Classic Line is another Reiner Knizia game Samurai, with over 250+ games by Reiner, it seems they could be doing this for a while ;-).

What is your favorite game designed by Reiner Knizia?

Disclaimer: We played the Dutch version of Ghost Stories, so it might be that the translation of the rule book is just… not that good.

Ghost Stories! After going through the hassle of understanding the game completely and having the feeling we were really doing it right (thank you Google!), we had quite some fun with the game! It is probably one of the hardest co-op games we ever played though. It never took the game very long before we were completely overrun by all the ghosts and their demon posse and I think we even never got to fight Wu Feng! We played it at our FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store), so I believe we haven’t played more than three times – but it’s certainly one of those games I’d like to play again with more than two players to take revenge on the game. Or… to just fail miserably, again. 😉

So, which games do you think have ‘ghastly’ rule books?

Yes, this week’s comic has quite some geek layers going on (hello Game of Thrones!). But most importantly is of course BattleCON!  It took Heinze quite some effort to make me try this game about a year ago, I didn’t really believe in the concept of a fighting game as a board game and I thought it was quite too expensive to just ‘try it’. It’s not an easy game to get your hands on here in The Netherlands and due to obscurity not a game you will find in the demo section of game stores. But then Heinze showed up with the  print-and-play of BattleCON and I thought it was rather amazing. Even though it’s rather simple, it works really well and does have that fighting game vibe going on.

We’ve had the game for a few months now and we’ve only played with characters from the novice and beginner’s flight. That’s why the characters in this strip are not from the more advanced pools. We have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface of what BattleCON has to offer, and that’s very cool and promising. I can’t wait to try all the different fighters, arenas, game and play modes!

If you’d like to get a taste of the game, check out the  BattleCON Print and Play: http://www.battleconnection.com/uploads/Devastation_Preview.pdf

Do you know any games which are excellent to settle an argument with? 😉

Hive is one of those games I would like to gift to anybody! Except to people who really hate bugs of course… although I think that the bugs on the Hive playing pieces are rather aesthetically pleasing. It’s a simple two player game that can be played in five minutes and it only requires a very small surface to play it on. We often take it with us when traveling, because it can easily be played on the tiny tables in trains or airplanes – and of course because it’s a fun game!

The bug theme of the game reminded us of the creator of Pokémon and an interview with Satoshi Tajiri in which he told about that he was fascinated by collecting bugs when he was a kid. Note that he didn’t let the bugs fight each other!  But I do like to imagine that he did think about which insect would win IF they battled each other. His interest in bugs finally lead him to the idea of Pokémon many years later. That made us wonder from what John Yianni drew his inspiration for Hive…

You can try Hive online or download the app for your Android tablet or mobile device:
Online: http://nl.boardgamearena.com/#!gamepanel?game=hive
Android device: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hive

What do you think of Hive? And is it one of those games you take along when traveling?

I guess most of us board and card game players know this feeling. You can only protect your game up to a certain point, but at least sleeves do help a lot. Playmats are excellent for protecting those pretty art sleeves. 😉

Personally, I’m not a fanatic card sleever, actually I only sleeve the cards with which we play outside of our own house like Netrunner and Star Realms. My biggest problem with sleeving cards of board games, like Pandemic for instance, is that the game doesn’t fit in its box anymore!

I used Magic as an example in this comic because we have thousands of Magic cards laying around in the house (a relic from Heinze’s past!) and the condition of the cards vary from mint to … well, really bad. I’ve played played Magic for a short period and when I bought my first deck, I was basically forced to sleeves for it by a friend of mine. That’s when my younger self discovered that sleeving is serious business.

How serious are you about the protection of your cards?

In Agricola players can hold one animal in their house as a pet, no matter the size. There is quite a difference between sheep and cattle, so I always love to imagine how it would be for your farmers to actually have these ‘pets’ in their tiny little house.

I’m going to admit that I hate Agricola as much as I love it for its charm and cleverness. This game just really stresses me out because of the limited amount of rounds and the many -many- things you need (and want) to do. I often start out having a game plan, which I then have to diss early on in the game because my family is about to starve or other players have exactly the same game plan.

In the end it’s mostly a game of survival for me and while I’m busy surviving, I’m trying to scramble together as many points as possible along the way. Maybe we just need to play it more regularly or maybe the game and I will never be best buddies. I just experience quite some AP (analysis paralysis) with this game. Speaking of AP, the amazing webcomic TinyWoodenPieces did a comic about that (and Agricola!) this week, check it out!

Agricola was one of the first games we bought at the start of our journey into the wonderful world of board gaming. I’ve never regretted it, Agricola showed us how amazing board games are nowadays.

What’s your opinion of Agricola? Love it or hate it? 

This comic is about the monster cup in Elder Sign from which you have to randomly pick a monster token when a new monster appears in the game. Pulling out a really strong monster at the wrong moment can really determine the ending of the game. Mostly you just hope that you pull out a Cultist and not something like a High Priest. 😉

Elder Sign is our ‘light version’ of Eldritch Horror. We both love the Lovecraftian setting and the storytelling, but Eldritch Horror just takes a little too long to just pick up and play in the evening when you have to get up at 7 the next morning. Elder Sign is the perfect alternative! And yes, they are completely different games, but sometimes you just want to indulge yourself in the mysterious world of Cthulhu and R’lyeh.

Elder Sign is a game purely based on luck. Although you can increase your chances by adding a red or a yellow die, there is always a possibility that you’ll fail miserably. The game is unpredictable: one time it almost seems too easy, the other… you know you’re going to be devoured by some dark evil Ancient One and his monster buddies within five rounds. In our case that mostly happens when the museum is completely overrun by monsters and multiple dice are locked.

The game is not flawless, but it’s just great fun. 🙂 Unless you really dislike luck-based games, you should check out Elder Sign! If you’re curious: Tabletop has an episode about the game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh4nSpV2n4k) or try the app (https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/elder-sign-omens/).

What is your favorite Lovecraftian board game?

We both very much enjoy the reviews of Shut up & Sit Down, but they can be quite harmful for our wallets.
I believe that it was their review of Netrunner that sparked our interest and enthusiasm for the game. Also Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Dead of Winter and Seasons! And probably some other games as well. The game that is mentioned in this comic is the game Last Will . We haven’t played or bought it yet, thanks to excellent wallet-hiding skills, but it is certainly on our list of games we still like to play one day.

If you have never heard of Shut Up & Sit Down (and you’re interested in board games), you should totally check out their website: http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/. But remember to hide your wallet!

For the people that do know Shut Up & Sit Down:

Which games did you almost immediately buy after seeing the Shut Up & Sit Down review?

So, last week I participated in my first Netrunner tournament (actually my first game tournament ever!). I’ve only ever played Netrunner against Heinze in the comforts of our home. So this was quite a big step for me.

I find Netrunner a very, very hard and slightly nerve wrecking game. My brain tries to grasp all the possible aspects of the playing field. If this, then that. If this, then that. If this, then that. Endless calculations and mapping of my (and my opponents) possible moves. I had to train myself in making quicker decisions with a timer.

The actual tournament went really well! It was a small casual tournament organised by our local gaming/comic book store Comicasa and only six people participated. Alas, there were no breaks for me between the first rounds, so I ended up playing Netrunner for three hours straight before starting the finals. I think I now know how a runner feels when getting brain damage. That was intense.

But, hurray! I ended up being the winner! 😀
And no, you don’t get to judge me on my choice of card sleeves!

What are your favorite card sleeves? 

The creators of Seasons use different terms for their ‘ magical’  persons: sorcerers, wizards and magicians – so I don’t want to start a discussion wether a sorcerer is the same as a wizard or not. I just stuck with wizards for this comic. 😉

Seasons is a beautifully illustrated card game that’s playable for 2 to 4 players. The very nice, big and heavy dice which you roll to gain energy tokens, cards, crystals and summoning spots for cards bring a nice variety to the game play. There’s room in the game to get technical and pull off some cool combo’s, but it’s also a game that is easily picked up by beginners thanks to the pre-made card decks.

We like Seasons so much that we swapped it in our 10×10 challenge (play 10 board games for 10 times in one year) after we started it. The game scratches our deeper card game itch, but it doesn’t fully absorb our time … and money. And besides, did I mention the really cool dice and the beautiful artwork? Really, check it out.

Which game do you think is the prettiest of them all?
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