It’s the last Monday of the year! It hasn’t been the easiest year for us but we’re confident things are slowly returning to normal, so our hope for 2024 is that we have a little more room to enjoy playing games and making comics about them again. This week certainly gave us ample time to play some games, so let’s share some experiences!

Sitdown Games! showed us Tiwanaku at Spiel 2022 and it seemed like a pretty interesting sodoku-esque abstract game with a very complicated cardboard wheel that showed you the correct answer. Now that we have played it we can say that the cardboard wheel works a lot smoother than we expected and the game itself is very cool combining deduction with a bit of tactical blocking to create a ‘dude-on-a-map deduction game’. So far we’ve played two of the shorter scenarios and one of the big scenarios with two players and it’s a blast! So far, we enjoy the smaller scenarios a bit more but we suspect that with larger player numbers the bigger scenarios are the best choice. The game also comes with a co-op mode which is supposed to be very tricky, so we’ll probably try that one as well.

We also visited our local gaming store Comicasa, which we don’t do often enough (sorry Peter, Robert, and Jasper!) and bought three games and we already played all of them! We played Lovely Leaves, a frantic real-time puzzle game that attracted us mostly because of its environmentally friendly packaging that also functions as its rulebook. It’s a cute game but we found the price point a little high for what it is, although we’re 99% sure we’ll bring it to some holiday gatherings this week as the rules explanation is about thirty seconds long. We also got Quibbles, because we enjoy Michiel de Wit’s designs and what he’s doing with his company Gam’in Biz, plus the art was done by Roland MacDonald who is always fun to hang out with (and a very good artist). This game should be a hit (if it isn’t already)! It is simple but you instantly get very competitive trying to collect the right sets of Quibbles trying to score 21 points to claim victory. Not only is the game great but the Quibbles themselves are a mix between the Raving Rabbits and the Minions, so we expect these fellows to take over everything in the coming years.

Forest Shuffle was the last of the three games we bought and if you like games like Terraforming Mars you should check this one out. It’s one of those complex sprawling tableau builders in which you’re using so much brain power. We noticed that trying to block opponents was a bit too mentally challenging on our first play but there is so much cool scoring potential in the game that you want to play again anyway. This one also doesn’t take so long which we appreciate as well.

Lastly, I played some war games without Rachel. I played two lunch games of General Orders and it’s a delight how many cool details are packed in such a small game. I’ve only played the mountain map so far and feel no need to hop into the island map as there are many many subtle tactics and game-changing moves to explore on the beginner map. It also features some very clever design choices that abstract the game from the grim realities of war and I think that a lot of players who don’t enjoy that sort of thing can enjoy General Orders. Knowing Trevor, David, and Osprey Games, they probably have a sequel in mind already but I’m content playing this one for quite some time.
I also played my first game of Warhammer 40K since I dabbled with it in my teenage years. I played Orks against Death Guard and while we had quite a complicated time figuring out the rules (it turns out that knowing loads of games sometimes makes you overthink how a certain phase might work) we did have a good time. The stratagems you can trigger using command points gave the game an additional level compared to something like the One Page Rules games, and it made me excited to properly get a grip on the game. Luckily, I’m in a group of eleven players, most of whom have all just started building an army, so 2024 might see me pushing around plastic dolls across different tables.

We also played Evergreen, Descent and Mansions of Madness but it’s time for our Christmas lunch with friends, so I’m going to cut this short!

We hope you all have some lovely holidays or days off to enjoy spending time with friends and family, or just enjoy some games. We have some very exciting opportunities in 2024, so we hope you’ll keep reading our comics next year so you don’t miss it!

See you next year?

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