The Games of June

Hey all, Austin here.  Yesterday was the last day of June, and today we’re heading into the big July 4th holiday weekend, so I thought I’d share what games we got played in June!

In order of games played:

The Grizzled (click for our review) – one of our favorite games.  A wonderful co-op game less about winning than the experience and teamwork that usually only gets you close to victory.  We are now 1 – 7 vs. the game.  Excited to add “At Your Orders” expansion this weekend!

The Capitals – First play.  We were not able to complete an entire play of this promising looking city builder.  One person had to leave and two people were suffering from analysis paralysis.  It appears to be a long game as is, and it’s quite complicated with rules and intricate iconography.  I seemed to be faring pretty well with a dominance in the Music Notes (Culture?) track that I think would’ve paid dividends eventually.

Last Will – A classic from our early days of “serious” gaming.  A cool twist to it’s theme, you’re required to get rid of your money as fast as possible.  Features one of my favorite mechanics of bidding for turn order.  I seem to have a knack for understanding the importance of turn order and the costs / benefits of tiered positioning / resources.

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures – First play. After avoiding this money pit for some time, I decided to buy The Force Awakens starter set after having so much fun with Star Wars: Rebellion.  I got the box for cheap, and I added the Millennium Falcon, TIE Punisher, A-Wing, and Kihraxz Fighter for some depth and variety.  In our game, I played the Rebel faction with Poe in an X-Wing, the Falcon, and the A-Wing against Andy’s Imperial force with a TIE Fighter, TIE Punisher loaded to the gills, and the Kihraxz fighter.  I was able to cripple the Kihraxz very early by making it’s 9 pilot a 1 via a damage card, but Andy’s armaments eventually winning him the day with the TIE Fighter pinging the Falcon for it’s final point of hull.

Glass Road – First play. I am not a huge fan of Uwe Rosenberg.  His games are brilliant and do what they do very well, I just don’t care for them that much.  But Glass Road is different enough from his most popular works of Agricola and Caverna that it didn’t feel as similar as those two do to each other, and I was pleasantly surprised. I quite enjoyed the Resource Wheel and how your home board play out.

The Ancient World – First play.  From my understanding, Ryan Laukat designs and does the art for all of his games.  Each one a work of love.  We played Above and Below recently and thoroughly enjoyed that, so we’ve been working on knocking out plays of the other Laukat games on our shelves.  The Ancient World

Empires: Age of Discovery – First play.  Really intimidating presentation at first glance, what with a 1,000 miniatures or so per player.  Gameplay is rather straightforward and clicked pretty early.  Our game ended in one of the weirdest ways possible, with me stealing victory from Andy by playing a Building card that let me take 10 points away from my opponent after end game scoring, as long as they were ahead of me.  Before making the play I declared that I thought what was about to happen was pretty lame and was semi-apologetic about it.  After playing the card, I won by 1 point.  Not a bad game but not one I need to play again anytime soon.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island – First play.  Scored this off of CraigsList a few weeks back (before learning a re-print is on the way).  Cripes, this game has a ton going on.  Every little thing you do exposes you to danger.

Seasons – First play.  A proper review is forthcoming, so I won’t spoilt it here.

World’s Fair 1893 (click for our review) – Solid little game for warm up / time killing.  Love the art, the theme, and the gameplay.

Bruxelles 1893 – Another from the way-back machine.  We originally played this before we were heavier gamers, and it’s on the heavier side to me still.  There is a lot going on, and about half of it escapes me.  Great option for hard thinkers.

Fields of Arle – First play.  I’m now all but convinced Mr. Rosenberg accidentally ordered enough sheep meeples for 1,000,000 copies of games instead of 100,000, and now has to shoe-horn them in to every game somehow.  This game feels very similar to most of his other games in that resources are tight, there are steep penalties for screwing up, and you can’t do all the things you want to so you have to do one or two and hope for the best.  They feel like a painters variations on a theme more than new, unique experiences of their own.

Imperial Settlers – One of our all time favorite games, we added the new 3 Is a Magic Number expansion.  This expansion doesn’t add a ton of new mechanics, but it does add more faction cards, which is always welcome.  I played as the Atlanteans, and Andy the Romans, and he managed to squeak out a close victory.

City of Iron – First play.  Another Laukat game to the table!  It took awhile for this one to click with me, early on I was actually hating the game, but by the end I was enjoying it (and no, I didn’t win).  Needs some more plays to see what all is going on, but impressed so far.

Tzolk’in – A rare instance of us playing the same game twice in quick succession.  We had played this about a year ago, and Andy thought we could get the gist of it as we went a long.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  We were placing people wherever we could afford to on the wheels (not on the lowest open spot and then paying), and we were paying placement costs of workers for the total on the board, not what we placed that given round.  I believe I was the player most hamstrung by this, as the second half of the game it was everything I could do to feed my people all of the time, leaving me with 2 points going into end game scoring.  2 points!  I said a few times that I didn’t remember the game being more tight than games like Agricola.  After the game, we soon discovered our folly, throwing that result out and getting a real game of Tzolk’in played a couple days later.

Merchants & Marauders – First play.  Sadly, another partial play.  In a 2 player game, after 2 1/2 hours or so, the score was 3 – 2 in Glory.  In lieu of slogging through the rest of the game, we changed gears (oh man, I’m just realizing the pun now) to get in the aforementioned clean game of Tzolk’in.  M&M looks really engrossing and fun, and now that we have the gist of it, should go faster and smoother the next time we get it out.

These games bring my yearly to-date numbers up to:

Number of Plays: 92

Different Games Played: 52

New Games Played: 34

We would love to hear from you about what games have hit your table, what your favorites were, and what you’re looking forward to in the near future?  We’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Scythe!

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