Games new to me December 2015

What a month. Loads of new stuff played again and some of it was very good indeed. There was 3 games that had me going I need to buy this now! It was hard to split them and give one of them game of the month, but it was Far Space Foundry.

FAR SPACE FOUNDRY 9/10

FSF

This is a kickstarter. When I am told this I don’t hold much hope for them as I hear about way too many naff games coming out via KS although it does mean that I miss out on the gems when they appear, this was one of them. It is a resource grabbing and converting while trying to hunt out new pilots for your new ships while at the same time not having too many as at the end of the game you can suffer greatly for having empty ships. There is plenty going on here for a good medium weight euro and with a space theme too excellent stuff. You play a card on your turn, each card having a number and you execute the action of that number while docking/leaving a space dock with a ship at that dock with that number, there are rules about what happens when a dock is occupied and you want to dock that make it a very clever mechanism. I will be looking to buy/trade for this when I see it.

 

La Granja 9/10

granja

I had heard a lot about this but not actually got to play it. It wasn’t that appealing when hearing about it, both the theme and artwork were not inspiring. It hits the table, I’m game. During the explanation I felt like that it was a Feld game *shudder* and sounded to have comparisons to Luna and in the game it did play a lot like Luna, but not quite as point salad-y as a Feld and the theme did not feel tagged on like a Feld either. But I can see Feld fans would like this. It is a farming game with limited actions frustrating you as there are 8 things you want to do and only 3 things you can do!!

 

Mombasa 9/10

mombasa

I have heard lots and lots of good stuff about this since Essen. Possibly the most positively regarded game from the show. I even had a copy in my possession purchased for a certain Mr Dewsbury. He even said that I could crack it open and give it a go while I had it, but I had to prioritise the review games. But I got to try it out a couple months later. Was it worth the wait? It certainly was. Cracking game. Gaining shares in companies while helping their shares to become more valuable while trying to hurt other company shares and involving taking over areas of Africa in the process. Another on my ‘Must have’ list.

Kansas Pacific 8/10

KP

Another Queen adaptation of a Winsome train game. Another excellent game. I picked up a copy on the cheap at Essen in the flash sales that they were having and was certainly worth a put at €20, specially as it is apparently not going into the normal distribution channels, so I have been told anyway. A share game that seems to be a cross between Chicago Express and Paris Connection but with a bit more depth to it. A fairly straightforward game but with plenty of tough decisions to be making along the way.

Manifest 8/10

manifest

I knew very little about this when I first stumbled upon it. It didn’t really grab my attention on geeklists on the run up to Essen. SchilMil Games had a table at the Treefrog stand at Essen and I was checking out the game and it did intrigue me. The game was really pretty and one of the designers, Amanda, was very chatty and telling me about the game and it was getting a positive reaction from people visiting the booth and trying it. When I was chatting to Amanda, on the Friday I think, she mentioned that she only had 1 copy left and was changing the game she was demoing on the table that morning. It was a very reasonable €35, so I thought why not? I am unlikely to see it again. I gave it its first outing in December and I have to say after reading the rules I was ‘Oh, is that it?’ However, I may have been underwhelmed by the rules and how simple the game seemed to be, it certainly was not in game play and there was plenty of game there for a gamer. A decent pick up and deliver with plenty of tough decisions for a gamer to want more. Could be a possible gateway game too as the rules are so straightforward. Big thumbs up for this one.

 

Sleuth 8/10

sleuth

A deduction game. A friend had got a kickstarter of this classic and I am always keen to give deduction games a go. Very good it was too. I don’t know if it is the same as the 1971 original, but it was excellent. One card from the deck is hidden in the box and you have to try to suss out what it is by asking people about cards in their hands, but the questions are on cards in front of the player asking the question. Very clever and amusingly 3 people got the answer on the same go, just one was just that slightly more quicker in shouting they think they had it! Will happily play this gem again.

Welcome to the Dungeon 7/10

welcome

A push your luck game where you can add beasties to the stack of cards that need to be conquered, or discard one and then are able to discard an item from the collection of useful stuff that you can use if you are sent into the dungeon to tackle the said beasties. I only played it as a 2 player, but it was very enjoyable, but would like to play it with 3 or 4 to get a better idea on how it plays with bigger numbers.

504 7/10

504

This was probably the hype game of Essen last year. Did it deserve it? Was it a gimmick? Answer – not sure really. Well I only played 1 out of the 504 different combinations. It was a fairly standard pick up and deliver with a couple of twists as they have but there was not that many meaningful decisions to be made once you had your starting position. It was fun and would like to try a different combination next time I play, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to rush out and buy a copy.

New England 7/10

neweng

A tile placement game that was good fun and apart from the style of the coins, didn’t show its age. Will happily play this again.

Carcassonne : Gold Rush 7/10

goldrush

A stand alone gold mining version of Carcassonne. Similar to the base but with an extra layer on top of having a tent and being able to use that to gather up mining tokens which are worth points at the end of the game as well as the normal scoring methods. I like Carcassonne. I own the base with a handful of expansions. You probably don’t need to own this if you have the base unless you are a big fan, then you would probably want it.

Funemployed 6/10

fun

A party game where you have to apply for a job vacancy in a certain field, using cards to describe the ideal candidate. We played a improvised version where we were actually being interviewed for the position and we had 4 cards randomly selected and had to act them out, like a pyromaniac child minder! Quite funny, but like most of these got pretty boring quite quickly. There are far better party games out there.

Isle of Skye 6/10

isle

I so nearly picked this up at Essen. There was a lot of good things being said about it, but I was a bit disappointed after my one and only play so far. There is a clever tile purchasing phase where you purchase them from other players while trying to price them to attract as much money as possible. After the explanation I did think that this would be good, but something just didn’t do it for me. It just fell flat. I will play it again given the opportunity, but I wasn’t impressed on my first play. But there again, I wasn’t impressed after my first play of Race for the Galaxy and it is still my most played game!

Praetor 6/10

praetor

I knew very little when this hit the table at a friends house. Worker placement, with your workers being D6, although you don’t roll them, the number represents the experience of the worker and when it hits 6, it retires. I liked the sound of this during the explanation and there was clever bits to the game, but there seems only to be one strategy, which is a shame and it felt like that it dragged on a bit.

Taverna 5/10

taverna

What a shame. This had it all going for it, great artwork, lovely theme but the game just fell flat. Played it a couple of times now and both times there was not a positive feeling towards the game and a couple of times there were people saying ‘we have how many turns left? *sigh*’

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