Monthly Archives: December 2016

BTN 2016 edition!

Happy New Year!!!! 

Wow so that’s a year gone. We are a day into 2017 so probably the best time to look back at the previous year.

Luckily this post is the last one looking back. I’ve already bored you with my game of 2016, worst and under the radar games of 2016. 

It’s been a year since I started logging my game plays using the BG Stats app on my iPhone. Which then inspired the By The Numbers (BTN) posts here on the blog at the end of each month that have bored you into a coma.

So here is the summary of my year of gaming. Naturally the list of games is pretty long. So I’ve included this at the end as a thumbnail you can click on to view the full list if you are remotely interested.


I have to say I’m amazed at these numbers. Not as high as some I’ve seen being put up on one or two of the Facebook gaming groups. 

The time figure is very very inaccurate because I don’t normally record the duration it took to play a game.

So here is the graphic that shows my overall trend for the year.

December was a big drop off because we stopped the FEG@WL sessions for the month. December is a busy time for our hosts The White Lion with Christmas parties for various employee groups looking to celebrate a year of playing office Game of Thrones. So we didn’t want to give our fantastic hosts a headache and get in their way. But we will be back to normal from this week.

Game of the Month…

For those that missed it (it was sneaked in on my GOTY post) my game for December was Pandemic Iberia. 

One new feature of the BG Stats app in the last update was to be able to set challenges and track them.

It’s a very popular thing to do amongst gamers apparently. Especially ones like 10×10, which is to play ten games ten times each within a year. 

Do these count as new year resolutions for gamers?

So I thought I’d come up with my own for 2017.

I have been getting meatier games to the table recently. Which I really really enjoy. But I still have some sitting in my ‘pile of shame’. So my main aim in this challenge for 2017 is to get some of those to the table. Naturally as any new meaty games get added to my collection they will get added to this challenge. In fact I don’t have Xia yet, but that will be with me in March when the Kickstarter for the expansion gets sent out.

So here is ‘My Big Game Challenge’ for 2017.

Here is the thumbnail I mentioned earlier in the post. How many of these have you played? 

So that was 2016. I had a great year gaming with friends and family, meeting new people, and some great experiences.

2017 has a high bar to beat.

Christmas Meetup #2

Last night saw our second Fenland Gamers Meetup of the holiday season.

Attending this one we had Jonathan’s brother and his wife (or Debbie’s mum and dad as they are also known) who were visiting from Malta, join us. They were “enjoying” our seasonal cold snap of the past week. Jo made a rare guest appearance, while Debbie’s bo Nath joined Debbie in attending. Which meant Jeff and myself were the only none Warren family folks there. 

The lovely large wooden table at The White Lion was easily big enough to accommodate use splitting into two play groups.

So Jonathan, Jo and mum and dad split off to play Imhotep. While the rest of us holed up in our castle to fight off the attacking horde of monsters in Castle Panic.

We were playing just the classic base game of Castle Panic, despite me having the expansions. Debbie and Nath hadn’t played it before, Geoff had (?), whilst this would be my second game. Besides adding in the expansions would require some fiddling around intergrating them.

I like Castle Panic. Well I must do if it’s still in my collection after playing it. Plus I bought the expansions for it. Which I wouldn’t do if I didn’t like the game.

It is a nice co-op game, brutal, but nice! The publisher/designer really thought about the game adding in variants, and ways to adjust the difficulty level up and down.

And although it’s a co-op, like Marvel Legendary if you all win by beating the game there is also a winner! In Castle Panic the number of monsters you kill are totalled up and the highest score is the “Master Slayer”.

We got over run and lost. But I don’t think we did that bad, we had nine monster tiles left in the bag. Granted two of those tiles were boss monsters. But still we were close to success I think. It was visible on the horizon. 

In a break from the rules, we did total up points for everyone, despite losing. Our Master Slayer was Jeff. 

After all that fighting it was time to head off to the nearest inn, and regale each other with stories of our heroic deeds over flagons of mead in Braggart Second Edition.

This was just being received by Kickstarter backers just before Christmas. Well I’m assuming that because John at The Hobbit Hole (my FLGS) had just got his box of the game that made up his store level pledge.

I have to say when John opened the box and saw what was inside, I swear he wet himself in excitement. He’s really a big fan of the game.

Yeah I bit and asked him about the game. Initially I wasn’t sold on it. Wait story telling I thought, I’ve got to make up stories? I have StoryCubes for that. Then John opened a game up, showed me the cards and how the stories are created and I was sold on the game.


This game is good fun. We ended up playing it twice. 

It has a little take that in it. There is hand management, simple drafting. Quick to learn. We learnt from the rules sheet, within a couple of turns had it learnt. 

I thought the game would take ages to play based on the size of the deck. But we got through that deck a lot quicker than I thought we would.

As you can see from the above photo some of the stories you come up with can be funny. And the interaction with the liar cards just adds to this.

Nope this is a fun lightish game, replaces Fluxx for me I think. And that’s despite Jeff winning both games.

Our final game of the evening was King of Tokyo. 

While we were duking it out for control of Tokyo. The other group were on their second game of Pandemic. At one point we over heard them say “go to Tokyo”. We chipped in “no don’t go to Tokyo! It’s a mess.”

Unusually for games I’ve played Jeff won with a points win. Usually the games have ended with a single monster standing on top of the corpses of their defeated opponents. 

We also only had one player eliminated. That player was Nath and it was Debbie that finished him off!

Ok by the time Jeff got his “boring” victory, none of us had lots of health left. It could have been my victory due to a knock out if I’d have gotten another go. But hey that’s the way the dice roll.

A really great evenings gaming. Let’s do it again next year!

The worse game of 2016 is…

Can you guess what it is? This post might give you a clue.

Yep it’s the really dire two player game about whaling Nantucket.

I don’t mind the theme, as I liked New Bedford.

The only saving grace for me about this game was that Jonathan spent his money on it and not me.

I don’t know how it got a rating of 6.5 on bgg. I think those rating it must have confused it with another game or scored it ironically or something.

So there you have it the worse game of 2016 and possibly ever, Nantucket. 

You won’t believe my two under the radar games of 2016

I’m going to apologise for this poor attempt at click bait. Especially using in an ironic way the sort of headlines they use to attract poor unsuspecting readers in.

These type of titles/headlines really do wind me up. “Look what happens when…” or “You won’t believe…” I think I hate these slightly more than I hate those chain images/statuses on social media where you “share to show your support of x”. 

Mind you the click bait of the likes of Geek and Sundry and their poor articles and predictable lists make my blog posts look like indepth well researched articles.

Ok rant over, on with this post.

The first game that I think people should be talking more about and playing  is Bohemian Villages.

Jonathan introduced this game to me earlier in the year at one of our Costa gaming sessions. I think it got six plays that month. And saw me ordering the game for myself.

When Tom Vassel says he hasn’t played the game (see his boring unboxing video for the second part of the Advent calendar), and I’m not seeing video reviews of the game (only one I’ve seen is by To Die For Games). You know the majority of people have missed this game.

I’m not sure there is a US publisher for the game. Which would be a real shame. Stronghold should pick this game up and give it the love it deserves.

I don’t think I’ve given it the Nath test yet. Which I should do. Next visit.

My second game that seems to have gone under the radar is Odin’s Ravens.

I can’t remember why I got this game initially. There was a little buzz at UKGE I seem to remember. But it may have been a video I caught online that got my attention. 

Here is a link to my first play of the game with Jonathan. 

But this nice beautiful two player game also deserves a lot of love. Sadly I have to admit I don’t give it as much love as I should.

I’m going to pretend I care what games you think went under the radar in 2016, and should be getting more love. So leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Dead of Winter Flick Em Up Teaser – A Reaction

The other day, might have been just before that big commercial holiday we’ve just had, Pretzel Games released a teaser video for a game Flick Em Up Dead of Winter!

Naturally it tells us bugger all about the game. They should have released this video at GenCon when the news and photos of the game were released. As an example here is a photo from GenCon by The Dice Tower guys, and their news story here.

See we have a better idea about the game from the August coverage than we do this teaser.

We have no new info about the game, which is what we want. We already know the game is coming! We’ve known that since August when they told us! 

This teaser is a none event. A waste of time. I shouldn’t be wasting your time and mine with it. But I felt like doing a mini rant about it. 

I now hand you back to your regular programming…

Christmas Meetup #1

Friday saw the first of the three Fenland Gamers Christmas meetups.


Having set it up in anticipation of playing it, our first game was Scythe.

Sadly the tables we were playing on were not quite big enough to play using the bigger extended board. 

Jonathan was playing the game for the first time. Keen to find out why this was my game of the year.

Once again, one bloody point! One point! 

I really thought I’d got my first win. For the majority of the game I was the only one placing stars on completed goals. Then Jonathan and Jeff managed to add one or two. I was trying to control as much territory as possible,which included me taking the factory. Although just before I ended the game, Jeff took one of the areas I had control of. This it would turn out cost me the game! 

Jonathan wasn’t too impressed and couldn’t see why it was my game of the year. There was a little frustration, but it was a learning game for him. I thought Jonathan did really well. Yes there mistakes. And he got into a situation Jeff and I hadn’t seen in our three previous games of a dead turn (not being able to do anything). 

My opinion of the game hasn’t changed. I love the fact among others, that triggering the end game does not guarantee that you have won. As I have proven. 

But what would our world be if we all had exactly the same tastes? Jonathan’s game of the year is The Voyages of Marco Polo. A really good game that I also really like. Jeffs is Mansion of Madness Second Edition, a game I will never buy because of the app, but I want to play it. 

I think if anyone bought one of our three games of the year they’d have a great gaming experience. They are all different style games, all great examples of their genre.

Oh I managed to get everything into one box. But boy is it heavy.

Almost forgot the history books will record the fact Jeff won. Boo!


“Tedious”, “too much like work” (I think I’ve paraphrased that correctly) are just two of the opinions expressed about Robinson Crusoe

Luckily not my opinion. I went in knowing failure was highly likely. For me the interesting bit was just how long would we survive? Just how bad would our beating be? 

Diego had joined us by now. This was a game he had wanted to play with us. It was a game I’d also wanted to play, hence its addition to my collection. We were playing the new English Portal edition.

We played the first scenario where we were tasked with having to build a signal fire to attract the attention of passing ships. 

I felt a sense of achievement that we survived so long before Jeffs character died ending the game. We were five or six turns from failing to signal the passing ship! Yeah we were struggling to build the signal fire.

This was a learning game for Jeff and myself. Jonathan had played before, owned the game in fact, and got rid of the game. It’s fair to say it’s not a favourite of his. Diego had the game back in Italy and enjoys it. 

I liked the game. I think it’s game that is going to take two or three games before I’m fully up and running on the rules. The rule book is very comprehensive! The Watch it Played video is forty minutes long.

This definitely needs an insert. I’ve not decided yet if I’ll make one (relies on me over coming my laziness) or buy one (requires me to redirect money and possibly construct it – see laziness comment).

Our final game of the day was Imhotep. This hasn’t hit the table since late June, early July time. We used the B side of the boards along with the two promo mini expansions  (private ships and Stonemasons wager ) that exist for the game. 

There was a little confusion over the wager element introduced by the promo mini expansion. So not a hit with the majority of the players. Although I didn’t mind it. The one use private ships on the other hand were a bigger hit.

One or two of the B sides weren’t enjoyed as much as their A side equivalents, like the obelisks and the burial chamber. However my preference is for the B sides.

Diego ran away with the win, while Jeff stole second place from me!

So an interesting gaming session with some conflicting opinions and experiences.

Yes I haven’t forgotten you need to feed that addiction to photos of balding middle aged men with beards. So here you go with some official Jonathan photos with me in. That should hold you for a day or two.

Naturally I topped off the afternoon and early evenings gaming with a trip to the local kebab establishment.

There are two more meets planned for the Christmas holidays. They are on the 28th and 30th. Further details can be found on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page.

Merry Christmas 2016!

I’d just like to wish all the long suffering readers of this blog a big heartfelt Merry Christmas.

Thank you for all your suffering, by taking the time to read my hastily thrown together words, that sometimes make sense.

I hope you all have a great day, that you get to play games with loved ones, whilst having great food. Or failing that, that you are the last one standing in any alcohol fueled argument. And that the drink has deadened your senses enough to swallow the over cooked stuff pushed in front of you in the guise of Christmas dinner.

Merry Christmas

From Darren and his wolf pack!

Stuck in the box thinking

This morning on Twitter the UK outpost of Toys R Us tweeted the following question and picture out to their followers. Look don’t ask why I’m following them on twitter, I don’t know either. It might be a Lego thing.

My reply might have been a bit mean! 


Ok definitely elitist. But I’m not really! 

No wait hear me out.

I’m not looking down on those that get pleasure playing these mainstream games. I am looking down on the blinkered limited selection that the likes of Toys R Us offer.

Certainly outlets like Toys R Us should be offering a wider selection of games than those pictured. The “gateway” games of our hobby are definitely ones that should be on their shelves. And I name one or two in my mean tweet above. 

I’m not saying our heavier games such as Twilight Imperium etc should be there. Although it would be amazing to see that. I do think the likes of Splendor, Love Letter and Munchkin, plus others should be.

If the likes of Target and Barnes and Noble in the US can dip their toes into the hobby gaming waters, then surely the likes of Toys R Us could as well.

Mini Christmas rant over.