2 more days to me flying off and this is my 2nd farewell with another group of friends whom I regularly game with. I was late because I had a gathering with my relatives as well and that ran a little too long. Anyway, when I arrived, there was a cake waiting for me! So awesome. After some picture taking we all got down to business again.... that is... playing BOARDGAMES! RAWR :P
First up is Fidelitas which is currently in Kickstarter. I got the Print and Play version and wanted to try it out with 4 players. I had played this earlier with 2 and found it rather interesting so I was wondering how it is with 4. The game is quite simple. During your turn you will play a card. Each card has a Guild symbol on the top left corner and if the card you played has a symbol that corresponds to a location on the play area, then you must play it there (usually there are 2 available spots). Otherwise you can play it anywhere. Perform the action stated on the card you have played unless the card was played to the Tavern. Complete as many mission cards as you can (each player starts with 2) and draw that many new ones. Finally, draw a character card. In this way, game continues until a player reaches a set number of points (Depending on number of players) and at the end of the round, players check to see who has most points for the winner.
|Lovely disney-style art|
Next up is Russian Railroads! Now if you have listened to our podcast you will know that this is my 2013 game of the year. Its been sometime since I last played it LIVE because of the slew of new games but I have been playing quite a few games on yucata.de. Very amazing site with so many games you can play online, do check it out! So I went into the game fairly confident that I should be scoring quite a fair bit since I have been playing online AND having quite a high win-loss ratio. Little did I know what is going to happen....
|My final board. Even though the white rail was so high up, I did not win..|
Now after playing it several times online, I am happy to report there are several ways to victory. I have also managed to play it 2 player which does present several interesting angles because you are allowed to select the same spot for turn order and there are quite a lot of action spaces not accessible. 2 players is tight and often quite intense as any mistake can be costly. I still recommend Russian Railroads and still my best game of 2013! RECOMMENDED!
Next up is Palaces of Carrara. 3 others have not played this before and I have only played it once a really long time ago so after a not-so-quick rules refresher (because we played with the expansion which I mistook for the expert variant) we are off. Palaces is essentially a race-style set collection type of game. Players decide to spin this big wheel (or not) and then choose a section of the wheel to buy blocks from. The reason to spin is because the section of blocks you may want could get cheaper. For example, white block costs a lot in the beginning. As it travels the whole circumference, it will become as cheap as 1 coin. Players can also choose to get buildings by paying the purchase cost in blocks depending on which city they are building it in. Each city accepts different colours of blocks and you can pay in any combination. Players can also choose to score. They do this by placing one of their scoring pawns (each player has 6) into a particular segment and score accordingly. They will usually get money and/or points in return. The game ends when a player can fulfil the 3 objectives and declares it so. Then players will score by the objectives and whoever has the most points will win the game.
|Had to relearn this again but the game itself was rather fast...|
Next up, since I managed to convince Jonathan to try Zombie State! He managed to convince Grace, through force of will, to play it with us as well. Jillian wanted to give it another go to confirm to herself whether she likes this or not. Since there's 4 of us, Asia was not in play (it seems that the zombie plague had wiped out Asia! OH NO!) and we randomly chose our nations. I happen to chose last and got South America again. This time though we played with the free expansion which you can get from Zombie State website. What this does is when you are performing research if you fail, you get some bonuses which makes your next research attempt not so painful. I do recommend this next time anyone plays Zombie state as it is now more playable.
|OMG I am South America again and I won!|
Next up The Builders: Middle Ages. I got my own ding and dent copy for cheap but we played Dion's copy. Hmm now that I think of it, I wonder if there's a future expansion called The Builders: Late Ages or something. Anyway, not much interaction as we mostly just tried to do the best with whatever we have in front of us. I do like the artwork a lot and its ease of play. But wish there was more interaction between us. I do hope there maybe an expansion along the way to make it more heavy weight and increase interaction.
|Argh! Victory snatched from me 1 turn ahead! Grrr..|
Next up, Castles of Burgundy! I have been playing a LOT of this online with Dion, Seng Chin and Jillian and I thought I have a pretty good handle on things. Well little did I know Jonathan would have noticed what I wanted and block me (see that brown building gap that I have? that's Jonathan's doing). I was doing pretty alright too but near to mid game I kinda lost focus and could not grab as many goods as I wanted to. My combination of selling goods to get 2 Silverlings was pretty powerful as it meant I had the flexibility to buy tiles. I just did not utilise it enough.
|Super blocked by 2 players and ended up last. Otherwise I would have been first.|
We played Mai Star again and this time we were all quite competitive as we played cards to remove advertisers and customers so it was not as easy as my first game of this at Dion's place. I think this is a game that is quite dependant on the group to make it fun and interesting. If people are just playing the cards as is without guarding and all, then it can be too simplistic and maybe a boring card game. However if people make sure to guard each other and be wary of the powerful cards like the Monk, then it will be a challenging and fun game.
|If everyone plays this VERY competitively, it can be quite tough to score and win!|
From 1 game with a japanese theme to another, we gave Sushi-go a try. I think this game is beginning to wane on me. While there are some decisions as to what you want to collect and you can try predicting and watching what others have played to know what cards will come back to your hand, ultimately though I find it too light for my taste.
|Quick filler but I am not sure if this is something that I'll want...|
Finally, after the other table has finished their Terra Mystica, we decided to play Diamant or Incan Gold. This seems to be a prettier version because we all had little carts instead of a folded tent to store our gems and the gems look better too! We also used Meeples to indicate whether we are In or Out, which is much clearer than Incan Gold.
|Diamant - Its exactly Incan gold!|
|so awesome surprise.. and my best game of 2013 on the cake!|