Games new to Stew Feb 2016

It has been an odd month this month on the gaming front. A number of things have kept me from my regular gaming groups during the week, so I only ended up recording 13 plays all month, however 7 of these plays were new to me. Again I was playing some Essen 2015 games for the first time and there was some good stuff in there. There was a clear winner though.




A very basic production quality to this game, of a similar ilk of Winsome Games releases. However this game come with a block of map sheets, which is what the game is based around. Each player having one and drawing on their copy a railway network, expanding it when available. There is a strong similarity to Steam here, building your own track, shifting goods on a central board to a destination of the same colour as the cube while having the option of upgrading your locomotive so the higher level your locomotive, the more stops you can move the goods, yes, very like steam. The other big difference other than the pad is that dice dictate what you can possibly do. There are 2 different colours of dice too that do dictate things. Plus you can alter the generic map to make shifting goods harder by having impassible parts of the map.





This is the dice version of the excellent Lewis & Clarke. There is a lot of differences here to the original game and there are some new things to suss out with regards the dice drafting/recovering etc of the game. You are racing the other players like L & C, but you are racing to collect cards and the cards have routes on them that you need to complete to collect them. Plus you are also drafting locals to help you out by using your influence. It is an excellent game and if you found L & C too long this is worth checking out, plus if you liked the original and dice games, I expect that you will like this too.





This was a surprise, a big surprise. I had not heard that much about this since its release in 2012. I picked it up mainly due to its price, which was €9.50. So about £7. I can usually get a feel if I will like a game or not from a read of the rulebook and I found myself thinking that I would like this. I did. It is a clever combination of worker management, tile placement, resource management. This could appeal to Fled fans. It has a theme though so may put some off.





I have fancied playing this for a while. “The game that Talisman wants to be” is how one person described it. There are similarities to it, but there felt like that the game was more flowing as Talisman can grind to a halt at times. It did take a while to play, 4 hours with the recommended 3 players for the first play and it did feel like it dragged on slightly, but I have been told a fix how to reduce the playing time without impacting on the game play, so will try that next time. If you have never played Talisman, you should, just once, it is gaming heritage.





I picked this up on a recommendation from a good friend who’s opinion I value (thanks Julian – I may have mentioned him in other articles I have wrote) and I wasn’t disappointed. It is an auction game where you are bidding for ancient artifacts, however some of them are counterfeit and you only know 2 of the counterfeit items and have to suss out the others, plus some of the artifacts have special abilities that alter the rules for that player. Very clever with some similarities to Modern Art and High Society, but not many.





I was given this to review and got the chance to give it a go. A very quick boiled down version of [thing=68448][/thing] with a Princess Bride theme. Does it work? It felt quick and fun, but it was a bit rushed and I think knowledge of the cards is quite important as there is quite a lot of interaction that can happen. Need to play this more to form a more informed opinion of it.





There is a story about this game. I have played many Gen X games in the past and have come to the conclusion that I am not a fan of them. Their best game so far was Target Earth although Xcom blew it out of the water a few years later. So when I saw that they had a new game I didn’t pay it any attention. However through Essen I was hearing good things about Dark Matter. I got 2 strong recommendations as well. It was only €20 so I thought I would give it a punt, but they had sold out when I got there – well it was Saturday so was to be expected. I got it upon my return from Germany and did it live up to expectation? No. There is one word here with this game. Downtime. Or is that two with a hyphen? I am sure someone will correct me. It was horrific. I really don’t like games with downtime and this had it in bucketloads. The game also needed card holders, it was screaming out for them, I used the ones from another game.

You have a hand of 3 cards and you use them to do actions. Each card has 4 actions on it 2 on the back and 2 on the front. However you can use the backs of other peoples cards which also have actions on them. When you use a card it either gets flipped or spins depending on the situation, but remembering which is which is difficult and you can find yourself doing one when you intended to do the other. One more thing, the game length. It says 45 mins on the box, it took 2 sodding hours! People who know me know that I am not a slow player. The guys I was gaming with are not slow players.


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