Games Night 18th January 2021

As we’re still in the Covid apocalypse, it’s another virtual games night via Board Game Arena.

Three of us again this time.

We had a slightly earlier start and so managed 4 games in total.

Rio Grande Games
This is a game I do enjoy a lot, but haven’t gotten around to picking up yet. I think this was the first ‘proper’ board game I ever played at a games night (i.e. not Monopoly, Cludo, etc.). Despite this, I generally play it really badly and stated as much at the beginning of the game.

It took a little while to find our way around the virtual game, instead of the job tiles the jobs were printed in tiny writing on the scroll in the middle. We also bemoaned not being able to place our building and plantations where we wanted to – the program placed them on our behalf.
Despite all that, I stayed true to form and didn’t do very well.
Final scores:
Malcolm: 26
Paul: 44
Phil: 40
Well done Paul!

Next up we played:

from Bombyx
A game I do own and have played quite a bit. Felt a bit more confident this time.

Phil was able to get his cards out pretty quickly, though it did get a bit close at the end of the game as to who would get the coveted green card. Phil did manage it, but Malcolm was able to play his 8th card on his final turn and take the lead.
Final scores:
Malcolm: 41
Paul: 33
Phil: 38
I won one!

Next up Phil introduced us to

from Eagle-Gryphon Games
This was a strightforward bidding game where we bid for properties then attempted to sell them for the best price.
I must say, I didn’t care much for this one. It’s fine as a filler I suppose but games like Powergrid and Five Tribes incorporate the whole game in just a small part of the gameplay.

Final scores:
Malcolm: 52
Paul: 76
Phil: 63
Another victory for Paul!

To finish off the evening we banded together to try to beat the novice level of

from Gamewright
Despite my dislike of cooperative games I did suggest we play this one. After all, I can’t lambast a game I’ve never even played.
We quickly got the hang of the rules and proceeded to watch parts of the island disappear forever below the waves.

However we persevered, and we all managed to get off the island with the treasures.

I must say that I prefer this over Pandemic – a game I’ve played a few times now and have never enjoyed. This is a shorter, which means if it all goes wrong, then it’s over quick but also had a good feeling of suspense when the flood cards were drawn.

I great evening of playing virtual games.

My Favourite Gaming Themes

Another #BlogMas 2019 blog, another list of stuff.
This time it’s my favourite themes in games
Here goes:

5. Zombies

This might be higher if I get to play more zombie games, but they’re a hit with me so far.

4. Fantasy

If nothing else, fantasy games are usually really quite stunning to look at. Good thing they’re great to play too.

3. Cthulhu

The great old ones must be appeased or they’ll come and take all our meeples away.

2. Dinosaurs

Slap a dinosaur on it, I’m game for a game.
1 Space
Cosmic Encounter
This is the clear winner. Actually, it’s almost impossible for me to resist a space game.

My favourite 10 Games

Yesterday for #Blogmas I listed My 10 Least Favourite Games. For today’s Blogmas I thought I’d update my 2017 list of Top Ten Best Board Games as I’ve played a whole load of different games since then.
Again, this is my personal list for the games I enjoy the most. If you personally don’t like any of these games for any reason, you are fully allowed to feel that way. If there’s a game you feel is more deserving that should be on this list, there is a chance I haven’t played it.
Here goes.

10. Splendor by Space Cowboys

A delightful set-collecting game that’s simple and devious at the same time. One of the best filler games out there. The Cities expansion gives some good variety to it too.

9. Carpe Diem by Ravensburger

A game that proves you should never judge a game by its box. Combines the tile-laying strategies of Carcassonne with resource generation and planning to meet two objectives a round. Such a satisfying game.

8. Tiny Epic Galaxies by Gamelyn Games

I enjoy all the Tiny Epic games I’ve picked up (and have picked up most), but I’d still say that Galaxies is the best of the bunch. Careful resource management to build up a galactic empire that’s masterfully developed further with its Beyond the Black expansion.

7. Abyss by Bombyx

Some games are all style and no substance. Abyss looks incredible and plays out so well using push-your-luck mechanics to build a usable hand. The two expansions Leviathan and Behemoth provide so much more interest to the game too.

6. Everdell by Starling Games

Another fantastic-looking game with and impressive (if slightly pointless) 3D cardboard tree). However the cutesy theme and delightful components are mere condiments to a solid engine-building game. Need to get the expansion – heard good things about it.

5. Pulsar 2849 by CGE

You either love point salad games or you hate them. I get that. I’m a lover of this style of game. With so many options to choose from each turn even rubbish dice can be used to do great things.

4. Dinosaur Island by Pandasaurus Games

I love Jurassic Park. The book and the film. This is pretty much the game in all but name. Building your own dinosaur park has never been so much fun, even when the dinosaur break out and eat my paying customers. With an expansion that adds four extra aspects to the game, this games just gets bigger and better.

3. Star Realms by White Wizard Games

Deck-builders have been around for a while now, with different themes and styles. I’m a sucker for the deck-builder, me. Star Realms is, hands down, my personal favourite in the genre where players build up their decks of cards in order to annihilate each other. Complete with an attractive space theme, many complimentary expansions and one of the best digital versions of a game on Steam, this one just keeps on giving.

2. StarCraft: The Boardgame by Fantasy Flight Games

For the longest time this was my straight-up favourite game. Partially because I adore the computer game of which it is based, but also it’s a very satisfying combat and area control minutres game. However, with a game time of 30 minutes per player, a six-player game is more time commitment than can readily be given.

1. Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

Thematically, I don’t know of a stronger game than this masterpiece by Stronghold Games. Players play in a semi-cooperative way with the aim of terrforming Mars by increasing the temperature, oxygen content and liquid water levels. Individually, however, each player is trying to score more points than anyone else. With five excellent expansions that provide even more things to do, this engine-building game can be played over and over again.

There are also a host of other games I also really, really enjoy, but these are my current top ten.
Do any of these feature on your top (or bottom) ten?

Games Night 10th July 2018

Three of us again this week.
This time we kicked off with a good ol’ oldie:

by Ravensburger
Not one that has been played for a fair wee while (over three years).
A new one to KV so we brought him up to speed with the rules as well as reacquaint ourselves with them too.
And with that, buildings were build, plantations and quarrys were planted and quarried and colonists were put to work.

The final scores:
KV: 41
MC: 44
PH: 42

A victory for MC!

Next up we played:

by Bombyx
We weren’t brave enough to play with the two new expansions, so we played the vanilla game.
We even had some assistance from the cat, Quinny, (short for Quinlan Vos).

KV managed to acquire quite the number of pearls, while MC seemed to encounter in inordinate about of monsters while diving.

KV acquired the 7 lords, thus bringing the game to a close.
The final scores:

Player KV MC PH
Locations VPs 34 10 19
Lord VPs 38 38 43
Affiliate VPs 10 19 15
Monster VPs 0 12 0
Total score 82 79 77

Well done KV, master of the Abyss.

UK Games Expo 2018

On Friday 1st of June 2018, I returned to the UK Games Expo at the NEC in Birmingham.

I had a very specific list of things to get.

First up, I managed to get ahold of the Terraforming Mars expansion

which provides two alternative boards on which to play to increase game diversity.

Next up, I picked to the two Abyss expansions
making Abyss a 5-player game with more stuff to do.

One particular item I really was hoping for was

thankfully I did find a copy, which I believe was the last one available in the entire Expo! Even one of the guys at the stall I purchased it from thought they’d already sold out of it (they only brought 4 copies). I then spotted it and didn’t let go.

Another expansion was for King Of Tokyo

so that all my monsters now have power cards, not just the ones from the expansions I’ve already picked up.

I then picked up a second expansion for Terraforming Mars:

which also allows the terraforming of Venus by using another terraforming tracker (this one’s not mandatory so shouldn’t extend the game time too much).

At the Dice Tower booth I picked up two promo cards:

Which was very nice. I even saw Tom Vasel in one of his hats.

After a little more wandering we stopped for lunch.

Then made our way to the DogEared Games booth, where I spotted the guy who sold me the StakBots decks last year. This year he got me interested in playing Colour Chess against his colleague.

After completely destroying him, we picked up a copy:

Back to awandering we spotted the Catan Sheep

Giant version games, including 7 Wonders, Ticket To Ride, Colt Express and Takenoko

We visited the good people at GeekNSon and picked up a couple of items.

The Wargaming section was most impressive, all those sets are amazing, particularly the Battle Of Hoth

During the wanderings I also picked up


The we once again passed this stand

and bought a copy.

In the Catan section we had a sit down to play

with two chaps called Gavin and Garath.

During the game we used our newly acquired GeekNSon Dice Tower

So many people came over to ask where we got it from.
Gavin won.

We did some more wandering and saw some stuff:
The family zone with games to be played on nearby tables.

The GeekNSon Crew:

And just a few games stalls:

The last game we picked up was

Shortly before it closed, we made our way out.

That was a lot of fun!

For a closer look at the things we picked up check up the video I did on the subject:

Games Night 27th February 2018

It’s been quiet lately, so I’ve changed the day to a Tuesday: 3 players this week…
This did mean PH was able to attend and he brought with him:

by Mindware

After PH explained the rules we played 2 games.

This is the final view of game 1 which MC ended by playing his final tile:

A cat joined us for the second game.


Game 1 Game 2
6 4 3 (Started) 6 2 3 (Started)
12 9 7 16 11 8
18 15 11 20 17 11
21 29 QWIRKLE 18 32 QWIRKLE 22 24
27 35 22 39 27 33
37 40 25 51 QWIRKLE 34 37
41 45 29 56 51 QWIRKLE 40
55 QWIRKLE 49 32 63 56 57 QWIRKLE
64 44 32 70 62 62
71 50 44 QWIRKLE 76 68 72
79 59 49 85 74 87 QWIRKLE
93 QWIRKLE 64 54 93 89 QWIRKLE 104 QWIRKLE
100 78 QWIRKLE 60 103 105 QWIRKLE 113
109 93 QWIRKLE 65 109 119 QWIRKLE 117
116 101 77 QWIRKLE 116 131 QWIRKLE 125
123 111 85 120 136 133
135 QWIRKLE 124 90 127 141 139
145 130 104 QWIRKLE 145 155 QWIRKLE 143
160 (Ended) 136 108 155 (Ended) 160 150
3 Qwirkles 3 Qwirkles 3 Qwirkles 2 Qwirkles 6 Qwirkles 3 Qwirkles

Next up we played:

by Bombyx

In which that long-suffering gardener did his best to grow as much bamboo as he could but was often thwarted by the hungry bamboo guzzling panda.

Final scores:
MC: 30
PH: 25
SC: 28 (Played all cards)

Games Night 22nd February 2018

Three players this week, I’m thinking of changing the day we have this.

First up we played:

as provided by KV and by Czech Games Edition
A new one for all three of us.

KV (Yellow) mainly dominated the green food and wood wheel, HG (Red) enjoyed the brown resource wheel and MC (Green) made much use of the red and yellow wheels (and the blue one too). These were the wheels we sat closest too…

At game end the scores were:
HG: 15
KV: 27
MC: 47
Hurrah for MC!

HG then bowed out leaving MC and KV to play:

by Bombyx
MC quickly explained the rules to KV and dives were…um…dived, Lords were acquired and locations were located.

Final scores:

Player KV MC
Location VPs 10 9
Lord VPs 45 50
Affiliate VPs 19 15
Monster VPs 7 3
Total Score 81 77

Very well done to KV!

An evening where we can’t win at out own games.
Good stuff!

Games Night 25th January 2018

Three of us again this week.
This week we played two games of MC’s Christmas present

By Bombyx
It’s not really a game to be recounted blow-by-blow so here are the two scoreboards:
Game 1:

Player HG MC SC
Location VPs 12 20 13
Lord VPs 41 48 33
Affiliate VPs 17 21 16
Monster VPs 0 0 5
Total Score 70 89 67

Game 2:

Player HG MC SC
Location VPs 12 11 12
Lord VPs 31 44 39
Affiliate VPs 8 14 15
Monster VPs 3 0 2
Total Score 57 69 68