Like mentioned last week, there was going to be something different this week. I’d like to introduce The Golden Standees! Our own (quite random) awards for board games!

I’m not going to explain all the awarded Golden Standees, they are quite self explanatory. Perhaps the first one might be strange if you’ve never played Coup. All the players in this game have hidden identities and can either speak the thruth or lie about which character they are. It’s very handy to be the Duke in this game since you get to take 3 coins and you prevent other players from taking Foreign Aid (2 coins) in a turn. So people often lie about being the Duke in our experience.

The ‘Best Wallet Sucking Game’ – award is not meant as a negative remark or that the game is extremely expensive. We love Netrunner and thus the game forces us to get more amazing cards each time. 😉

There will be more Golden Standees next week! See you then!

This comic is actually a follow-up to the comic of last week! You can click the arrow above, or click here to read it. Our own christmas tree is not made of board game boxes, but is an actual tree with decorations. 😉 Although fun, the board game christmas tree seemed a little impractical in real life.

So, 2015 has almost come to an end and the holidays are upon us! A perfect time to play a lot of board games, but also a period with somehow less free time than expected, mostly due to the many social engagements. We don’t have any great plans this year though. We’ll spend some time with our families and we have a list of games that we’d really like to play. We still need to try the United Kingdom expansion for Ticket To Ride, play more Evolution and Roll for the Galaxy. And maybe some more Alchemists or Lords of Waterdeep. We played Lords of Waterdeep for the first time this weekend, and we were very surprised how much fun it was! We were afraid it was ‘just another’ worker placement game, but it turned out that we were wrong. We had tons of fun playing it with six players.

Another fun thing about this period are the top lists that are popping up, like Shut Up & Sit Down’s Top 50. We were suprised how little games we own or we’ve played that are on their list. Again: there are too many amazing board games!

The last two comics of 2015 will be a little different, but you’ll see that next week. 😀

When we were at Chris’ party, somebody told us that this happened. Sort of. Chris was there while he wanted to buy a gift for him, but I believe he just decided to come back later to try again. It did make us realize that it can be tricky to buy a gift for somebody who hangs out often at the only comic/board game store in town and is totally into board games. Of course you could just order something online, but we like to support our FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store).

Speaking of a pile of games… Last thursday was Heinze’s birthday and that means our board game collection only got bigger! We can now add Evolution, Ticket To Ride: United Kingdom and Eldritch Horror: Mountains of Madness to the list of our collection! We’re now at a point that we might have too many games? But is there such a thing, really? It’s just that we now own so many games that it’s really hard to make a choice which game we should play. Or we might have to decide that we should to give away some games that we never play (anymore). All in time, for now we’ve just decided not to buy even more games the coming months.

How do you choose what game to play when you have (too) many brilliant games in your collection?

I was childishly excited for Mysterium this year, crossing off days on the calender in anticipation for the release. Okay, it was not that bad, but I was really looking forward to this game!  And it lived up to my expectations. The art, cards, game components and even the box inlay are of typical Libellud/Asmodee quality: simply amazing. And most importantly: the game itself is a lot of fun too.

We think Mysterium is at its best with at least 4 players. We haven’t played it with more than 4 players yet and I wonder if the game is still fun for the ghost with the maximum of 6 psychics. That are a lot of cards combinations to keep track of…

Overall it’s a light and social game! For the psychics at least. It’s a totally different experience for the ghost that doesn’t get to talk and has to silently observe how his or her brilliantly chosen vision cards are interpreted wrongly. HOW COULD THEY NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THE WHEEL OF THE BYCICLE HAS THE SAME BIG ROUND SHAPE AS THE MOON?! It can be quite lonely and frustrating behind the screen of the ghost. But also very interesting: people are weird. If your poker face is not as solid as a rock, you might have to hide behind to screen to hide your agony and frustation if the psychics focus on a tiny little detail on a vision card that is completely irrelevant.

What board game release were you most excited about this year and was it as good as you’d hoped it would be?

Now Hive actually is kinda like chess. I always describe it as a light version of chess. Only a lot quicker and more fun in my humble opinion. And I did make the comparison of chess and Netrunner in the past, because Netrunner requires a lot of brain power… just like chess.

There are so many board games nowadays that it is hard to make a comparison to explain a game to somebody! I could say that something is like Mysterium, K2 or Smallworld, but most people that aren’t (very) familiar with board games won’t know any of those games. But everybody seems to know the classics like chess, draughts, Risk, Battleship, Monopoly and (nowadays) Catan. Maybe I should just stop trying to explain a game by comparing it to other games.

Terror in Meeple City (or Rampage) certainly is one of those games I’d love to play with our nephews when they are a little older. It looks like a lot of fun. But it’s certainly nothing like chess. 😉

So do you know any games that are actually kinda like chess? (Hive not included)

Forbidden Stars, one of those games we both really enjoy, but don’t play enough! It’s smart and brilliant, but it does easily take up two to three hours. It looks incredible, the art and game components are top notch. That’s why I somehow feel the urge to take a picture of it every time we play it. To ensure we play it a little more often, we’re thinking of putting it on our 10×10 list* for next year,

The game has a lot going on. Besides moving around your troops and ships, gathering resources, conquering planets and objective tokens, there also is a very interesting battle system that includes a little deck building. I’m not particularly good at the game (yet), but I do like it and I have the feeling that we’ve only just scratched the surface. Which is probably true, since we’ve only played it 3 times so far. 😉 Even though it takes a long time to play, I always think: “But but but… I still wanted to do this AND that!” when the last round starts…

So, if you’re looking for a varied strategic board game with cool miniatures: you should definitely check this one out. Note: You really don’t need to be a fan of the Warhammer 40K setting to enjoy it.

* 10×10 list: A list of 10 different games which you must try to play 10 times in one year. 

What is that one game in your collection that you’d like to play more often?

Today I’d like to talk a little about box inserts. Some games come with amazing box inserts, and some are basically … just a box. Besides pretty much all the games of Fantasy Flight Games, Agricola also is a perfect example of a game with the complete absence of an insert. I really applaud games like Seasons, Mysterium and Pandemic in the Lab for their box inserts, they’re very practical and look amazing.

We’ve been buying little boxes for some games and I came to the discovery that boxes holding nails, hooks and screws are sometimes ideal for keeping game tokens organised. The boxes are small and have a lot of compartments. As  a result we now have enough nails and hooks to hang everything. For the rest of our lives, probably. I prefer the already empty hobby organiser boxes of course, but with Elder Sign I just spotted this perfect tiny box for all the tokens.

The time it takes to set up a game is reduced nowadays! But most importantly: no more fiddly bags! 😉

You can also buy beautiful and perfectly pre-made inserts for your games. If you’re curious, check out the stores listed below (or check out this list of sellers):
The Broken Token
Daedalus Productions. Inc
Top Shelf Gamer

If you know any other great solutions or stores where you can get inserts: please share in the comments! 🙂

Which game has the best box insert and which game has the worst, according to you?

Note: This post contains no spoilers

Although we already did a comic about the concept of ‘Legacy’ games two weeks ago, this was one of those ideas that just needed to be published. 😉 At first I wanted to be further along in the game before making a comic about Pandemic Legacy, but since the comic shouldn’t contain any spoilers there was no reason to wait.

We’ve only just started playing Pandemic Legacy, but I can already tell that the game is very exiting. There is something very unusual and thrilling about playing a board game of which the rules / situation of the game might change suddenly at any point. In the beginning you try to put stickers on the game with great precision. You feel like a rebel the first time you rip up a card because the game tells you to. You try to write at your prettiest the first time you have to write on cards or on the  board… but you will probably fail at that because most pens don’t write very smoothly on the surface of the cards.

We both greatly recommend this game to everybody who likes Pandemic!

Warning to anybody who is playing the Dutch version of Pandemic Legacy:
There’s a translation error on the ‘Flexible’ upgrade sticker you can put on a character sheet. Translated to English it basically says: “For an action you may discard a card and pick one of your choice from the discard pile.” instead of “For an action, discard a card to draw a card of the same color from the player discard pile”. Click here for picture.

We already thought that this upgrade was very powerful and noticed that its translation was faulty when seeing the spoiler-free review of Shut Up & Sit Down. We’re hoping there aren’t any other translation errors that might throw off the balance of the game!

Hank Green, whom you might know from the VlogBrothers Youtube channel (which he runs with his brother John) has launched a kickstarter project for a card game: Wizard School! It seems like an interesting co-op game with a popular and fun theme. A gameplay video can be found here. There are still three days left to back the project, so you can still reserve yourself a copy of the game if you’re interested!

A little explanation about the comic: Hank and John Green also run a podcast together, Dear Hank & John, in which they answer questions, give advice and tell each other facts about either AFC Wimbledon or the planet Mars, so we’ve been fascinated about the idea of combining those two things in a game.

There are so many kickstarters nowadays! It’s fascinating to see how quickly the tabletop industry is growing. Although I love digital games, I very much enjoy the interaction with other people while playing ‘analog’ games, so I for one welcome this rise of tabletop games. The little free space left in our house, unfortunately, doesn’t. 😉

What do you think is the most interesting tabletop kickstarter project at the moment?

A couple of weeks ago we’ve received our Kickstarter copy of Epic, the card game by White Wizard Games, the creators of Star Realms. And we both think the game is a lot of fun! Basically all the cards give you this ‘Whut?! Wow…’ feeling the first time you see them. They are, as promised, EPIC! Alas, we humans don’t stay impressed too long by awesomeness and get used to things quickly. So nowadays it almost feels normal to summon something like a gigantic dragon, dinosaur, demon or even King Kong and let them fight an army of zombies. Or to just have the entire battlefield be swiped clean by an apocolypse. 😉

Beside its epic contents, the game is also smart. And I like that there are many ways to play it. You can shuffle up all the cards and take 30 random ones and play those as your deck. You can do a drafting session with the other player(s) with thirty random cards per player or you can just play one of the four factions. It just doesn’t matter, the game works fine either way! Our preference slightly leans toward drafting our own decks, but when time is limited – thirty random cards work fine as well.

We’ve played Epic with a third player once now and that totally changes the game, it takes a lot longer and the game requires a lot more brainpower than with two players. And this is not a bad thing, I was suprised by the difference. It’s just yet another side of Epic that seems to work very well.

What’s your favorite drafting game?
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