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?

Last week was the worldwide release of Pandemic Legacy! And there’ s quite a hype for it in the board gaming world. Pandemic was (again) number 1 in the People’s Choice Top 100 of Dice Tower this year. The previous Legacy game, Risk Legacy, was received very well. I’m personally not a big fan of Risk and I didn’t want to dedicate to that many play sessions of Risk, so we skipped that one. I can’t wait to try the concept of Legacy with a game like Pandemic.

The idea of  the Legacy series is that  a ‘storyline’ is added to an excisting game. Unlike the original games, the Legacy games have an ending. After each play something changes and what this is is, depends on the outcome of the played game. You might have to draw things on the board, put stickers on it or add additional cards to the game.

Heinze and I are both quite exited about the game, although we’re not yet sure how we’ re going to organise it. We’d like to play it with a group of friends, but since you need to play the game at least 12 times (I’m not sure, probably more), it will be quite a hassle to organise it with a group without it taking us more than a year to finish it. Or maybe we might just have to play it with the two of us, but we enjoy playing the game with a group a little more.

Of what game would you love to see a Legacy edition?

At our FLGS (friendly local gaming store) we met somebody who is a big fan of Doomtown and has very balanced decks of all the Doomtown outfits (factions). He invited to us to come play Doomtown one day and so we did. I’ll be honest: the first time it reminded me of trying to understand all the different terms in Netrunner. Only instead of runs, stimhacks, ice breakers and agendas I had to get a grip on dudes, posses, deeds, upkeep, booting, shootouts and many more terms. But what a game! We played the game with four players and it was a lot of fun. I love the poker element in the game, it just makes it completely different than other games and it’s smoothly integrated into the game play.

Since we don’t own Doomtown ourselves and we’re pretty deeply invested in Netrunner, this is a game we like to play at a more casual basis. To be exact: we’ve played it only two times now, but I’m already looking forward to grabbing a my leather boots, long coat and cowboy hat to go out and play Doomtown again.  Yeeehaa!

And for the folks in the USA: the base game is less than $20 on Amazon, lucky you!

What collectable living trading card game do you play at a more casual basis?

Introducing Mariecke and Willem in the comic! You might see them more often in the future.

As the comic already implies: we like to dress up the game days we organise a little. We don’t see all of our friends as often as we used to, so we like to make it a little more special when we do. The last time we had a High Tea while playing Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, and that was excellent. And apparently it also makes us better detectives! We scored 75 points and answered all the questions correctly in the fifth case.

A photo posted by Semi Co-op (@semicoop) on

What themed food + games day should we plan next? 😉
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