Monthly Archives: June 2017

FEG@WL: Art school 

Thanks to traffic or some other event (superheroes fighting the latest villain/alien invasion) Chris and his copy of Mansions of Madness Second Edition got held up in Peterborough. Which meant the plans for the evening were thrown in to chaos!

Luckily on my way out of the house I grabbed Kanagawa. I’d grabbed it on the off chance that it might get to the table as a wind down from taking on the horrors of the Mansions of Madness.

I’d only recently bought Kanagawa at this years expo. It wasn’t a planned purchase at  the show. More a “oh Kanagawa, that’s a reasonable price, I’ll get it.”

This game is frickin beautiful. Just look at the box art (above). The little paint pots are cute and help strengthen the theme of the game. Even the simplicity of the Master and apprentice counters are beautiful. And the card art, amazing and in the same style as the box cover. Which I love. 

This game screams theme. 

Super high quality components. I love the bamboo play mat. 

I like the dual use cards. If you are able to select landscapes in your studio that match the ones required to paint the picture you can add it to your painting. Or you can add it your studio instead to improve your skills. 

But you are making choices all the time in this game. When to take the cards in a row. When to take one of the objective tiles. And how you are going to use the cards you drafted. The drafting has an element of push your luck to it. As does the claiming of objective tiles. Decide not to take one hoping to get a higher value one instead, means you can’t go back to claim the one passed up. But you run the risk that some-one else will grab the one you are aiming for before you can claim it. Plus you can only claim one objective from each colour group of objectives.

The only draw back is the sliding of cards under each other. Sometimes they go easily. But most of the time they don’t. 

It’s not a heavy game. But there is enough to keep things interesting. I like this game a lot.

The history books will show Diego and I won a game each and drew a game.

We’ll attempt to get Mansions to the table again next week (hopefully)

More than meets the eye…

well not in a Transformers movie there isn’t. They are as deep as a dry puddle. You don’t go to see a Transformers movie for it’s Oscar winning performances, or plot lines that examine the depths of human emotion or psyche. So yes my expectations last night when I saw the latest installment of the Michael Bay Transformers franchise Transformers: The Last Knight were pretty low.

Why did I go and see this movie if I think so little of them? Well like the Fast and Furious movies I’ve seen all the previous ones, I might as well stay and see the end of these train wrecks. Plus as a brain dead, don’t think too hard about the movie or you will see the gaping big holes in the plot, lots of over the top CGI action, paper thin characters,style movie, it’s a watchable film.

I do like to see which Hollywood stars have hit hard times, and had to swallow their artistic integrity and take that Michael Bay strap on he has made of money in their orifices. This time it would appear that Anthony Hopkins has fallen on hard times and had to prostitute himself, and allow Bay to humiliate him by putting him in front of the camera. Some actors like John Goodman and Steve Buscemi managed to hide behind the camera and provide voices for the CGI characters (but we know their hidden shame). CGI characters that to be fair displayed a wider emotional range on screen than Mark Wahlberg.  Ok I do think that the new love interest Laura Haddock given the fact she is meant to be eye candy to distract the intended male audience from the plot holes, and despite the script, did a good job.

The movie like so many others is filmed at Bourne Woods near Frensham Little Pond. It’s a very popular filming location. I’ve walked my dogs around that area many times over the years when I lived that way. I recognize the trees!!! Yes I’m that sad.

So in conclusion despite this rant, as a switch off, don’t have to think, just enjoy the CGI type experience then this is a watchable film.

Oh I’ve already got my Spider-Man ticket and War for the Planet of the Apes ticket booked. Well that’s how I ended up at Trasnformers really. I was online looking whats out, saw that I could pre-book these two films, and then thought “I have an unlimited ticket”, why not? Ok we know why not? But still…

The bestselling Legendary® Deck Building Game is coming to mobile and desktop devices. Experience Legendary with your friends like never before; same great game, a brand new fantasy. You will never play the same game twice as the game changes each time you play. Team up with other players and fight to the end but make sure you have collected enough victory points along the way to be victorious.

Would have been nice if it had been the actual Marvel characters. But I’ll take this. Maybe they can sort out the licencing to allow us to play in the Marvel universe, or even the Alien/Predator/Fire Fly/Buffy/Big Trouble in Little China universes.

You can sign up for the early access HERE.

And yes I did sign up.

Verses: Scythe vs Star Wars Destiny

This is a Top 5 clash for me. Both of these games made my Top 5 games for 2017. So this is going to be one epic match up.

Scythe, my game for 2016, my favourite game in my collection, and ranked number 7 on the BGG, verses Star Wars: Destiny, holder of the number 3 spot in my Top 100, and ranked number 255 on the BGG.

This is another other those odd match ups. Two completely different games. How do you chose? How can you even compare them?

Good questions, and anyone more gifted in writing and expressing themselves would be able to answer those questions.

Let’s look at Scythe first. This game is just beautiful. The art by Jakub Rozalski is just stunning. I’m using these words but they do not do justice or even capture how amazing the art is. Production values are just out of this world on this. When all set up Scythe just looks epic. Especially if you are using the extended larger board. Having player boards that are slightly different gives enough variety on the replay-ability side. For a game that plays up to 7 players (although I think I will only ever play it with a maximum of 5) if everyone has played the game before this plays very quickly. It’s a game that can be taught in about 10 minutes, but will take a new player a game or two to get into how to think tactically. Within a couple of turns a new player will get the hang of a turn. The nice thing is there is a card that can be used by new players to give them an idea of stuff to try achieving on their first few turns. The game does have a solo mode that I haven’t played. But it’s good to know it’s there if I want to ever play solo. I like the combat, it’s simple and quick. Very similar to Kemet in a way. I like that each faction has an ability that breaks one of the games core rules!

New game on the block Star Wars: Destiny has just come from nowhere! Naturally I love the theme. The art on the cards is amazing, and really does do a great job of capturing the well loved characters and settings from the movies. I will say the collectible side of the game I’m not a huge fan of, and would have preferred the lcg model. Component quality for the game is up to the  usual FFG high standards. Although the dice look a bit plasticy  and the images on the sides stuck on. They aren’t in real life, and feel very satisfying in the hand when rolling. I love the deck construction side of this game. For me this game gives me the Dice Masters and Ashes hit with the dice, and the deck construction of Ashes, MtG and Netrunner. Games are usually quick and have a nice flow to them. This game is slick.

And the winner is…

Scythe

It had to be. I love Star Wars: Destiny. Which can be seen by how highly I rate the game. It was a hard decision, and very close. Both games I adore. I get so much out of playing them. But in the end the collect-ability of Destiny gave it to Scythe.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 10 – 1

The journey has been long…

I’ve written code (and debugged that code). I’ve done 12029 pairwise comparisons (yes that’s a lot). I’ve bored you ridged with the posts for positions 100 – 11. I’ve dragged this whole saga on for far longer than it should be. But it’s over now (well for this year anyway).

But we are finally here, my top ten games in my collection (that I’ve played) for 2017.
With Scythe and Kemet both being in my Top 10, and Cry Havoc in my Top 25, you can see why I let Inis go. I’d much rather play either of those three before Inis.

Wow two Stonemaier games (Scythe and  Viticulture Essential Edition) in my Top 5! Scythe was my game for 2016.

I would say that Scythe and Santorini are to date two of my biggest regrets that I didn’t back them on Kickstarter. These were definitely two games that lived up to the hype that they generated. The fact Scythe is still clocking up well deserved awards is a testimony to how strong the game is. Plus it’s BGG ranking is about right.

I definitely think that the app versions have helped the high placing of Star Realms and Neuroshima Hex! These are great games to play physically. But the apps for these two games are amazing. I normally have 20 odd games in the Star Realms app on the go at once. I just love playing the game.

I’m surprised by how many of the Top 10 are great two player games (Star Wars: DestinyStar RealmsSantorini,  Neuroshima Hex! and  7 Wonders Duel).

T.I.M.E. Stories I love. It’s the nearest you will get to playing a role playing game without it being a role playing game! It’s a blast to play.

Is the positioning of  Star Wars: Destiny cult of the new? 46 games of it this month. Dale and I are playing an awful lot of it.

I’m gobsmacked that the BGG hive mind and I both agree on the positioning of 7 Wonders Duel.

So for the last time this year here are the placings for my Top 10 games 2017 edition…
1 – Scythe (BGG Ranking: 7)
2 – T.I.M.E Stories (BGG Ranking: 33)
3 – Star Wars: Destiny (BGG Ranking: 255)
4 – Star Realms (BGG Ranking: 79)
5 – Viticulture Essential Edition (BGG Ranking: 34)
6 – Kemet (BGG Ranking: 71)
7 – Istanbul (BGG Ranking: 89)
8 – Santorini (BGG Ranking: 61)
9 – 7 Wonders Duel (BGG Ranking: 9)
10 – Neuroshima Hex! (BGG Ranking: 179)

Where next? Well there will be a 2018 edition for sure. I may port the Python code to iOS so I can do all this on my phone. The stats engine will definitely be worked on and new functionality added. I want to be able to look at my collection by game weight, also by best player count. I have to debug my code for the BGG Top 100 comparison, so that is working correctly. It would help if BGG actually gave me a nice api call for that, instead of forcing me to screen scrap the page. Which I might have to do for the game weight and best player count also.

Same time,same place next year? See you then.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 20 – 11

The penultimate part of My Top 100 Games. Yep the end is nigh. Phew what a relief.

As you can see the position of Android: Netrunner really does reflect how much I love the game. I think it may have been higher still and broken into the Top 10 if this exercise had been done before the last Most Wanted update and the decision to break up with the game. It was a hard break up.

Zombicide managed to just pip Run,Fight or Die! into the Top 20. And that is also reflected in the verses post I wrote, where the two went up against each other.

I really must do a verses for Imperial Settlers and  51st State: Master Set. And look at the underlying data to see why  Imperial Settlers ended up 11 positions higher.

So for the penultimate time here are the positions you are interested in…
11 Lords of Waterdeep (BGG Ranking: 47 )
12 Mechs vs. Minions (BGG Ranking: 21 )
13 Android: Netrunner (BGG Ranking: 28 )
14 Glen More (BGG Ranking: 225 )
15 The Manhattan Project (BGG Ranking: 174 )
16 Memoir ’44 (BGG Ranking: 107 )
17 Five Tribes (BGG Ranking: 48 )
18 Imperial Settlers (BGG Ranking: 106 )
19 Castles of Mad King Ludwig (BGG Ranking: 66 )
20 Zombicide (BGG Ranking: 267 )

Wow it’s the home stretch in the next post, the final post in My Top 100 Games 2017 edition.

Pooey McPhooey aka Barenpark

I was in two minds whether to put this post up. But then thought this image needs to be shared with the world. And I really do hate the game that much it’s almost pathological now! I will warn you the words are not inciteful, the picture isn’t great art. Very childish in fact. So here it is for better or worse. 

OMG! Rahdo ran through Barenpark and liked it!!! Well that was a surprise. Apparently Rahdo thinks this is designer Phil Walker-Hardings best game to date. That’s a slap in the face for sure to him. Imhotep, Sushi Go! are miles better than this steaming heap of bear fecal matter. 

With a bit of luck

Thought I would give you a brief respite from the Top 100 posts. It’s not much of a respite because it’s still me wittering on about nothing really.

Recently (I think in the last couple of months) I was given the option of having Xia: Legend of the Drift System and it’s first expansion Embers of a Forsaken Star at the end of August. It was a kind offer by the publisher to allow for those backers of the expansion to be around to receive their Kickstarter backed goodies, and not miss the delivery because they are on holiday. I naturally took the “I want it yesterday” option because I can’t wait, and the situation that inspired the generous offer doesn’t apply to me.
According to the update yesterday the UK distribution company being used are getting 14 pallets today and a further 13 pallets tomorrow. So if I’m exceedingly lucky (which the last few Kickstarters have proven I’m not, as I seem to be on the tail end of the shipping lists) I could have all of the following by the weekend:

FOG 1752: Sellsword V2 edition SKU – Contains same as above plus Sellsword V2 Miniature, playmat, ability card, rules card, npc card and flight stand. (It also contains the Sellsword V1 playmat / ability card).”

Plus the base game. Well it would have been silly to have backed the expansion when I didn’t have the base game. And the Kickstarter offered me a chance to get the base game which at the time was not easy to get hold of (it’s gotten easier since).

But in reality knowing my luck I’ll have it by the end of the month. Just in time for the Summer hols.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 30 – 21

That final post in this series is getting closer.

I really am making a rod for my own back with these posts. Next year not only will I have to comment about where they were this year, but also if their BGG ranking also changed! This is starting to sound like hard work. OMG what have I done?

On a more positive note I don’t have much to say about this part of the countdown. Which is good news for you. About all I could think of to say is this…

I’m surprised that The Others is so high. I enjoy the game, but wow! But then it is Mr Lang’s take on Zombicide. And I do enjoy that game.

Ok here are the all important placings…
21 Run, Fight, or Die! (BGG Ranking: 1059 )
22 Simurgh (BGG Ranking: 1915 )
23 A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) (BGG Ranking: 71 )
24 Adrenaline (BGG Ranking: 536 )
25 Cry Havoc (BGG Ranking:  304)
26 The Others (BGG Ranking:  570)
27 Roll for the Galaxy (BGG Ranking: 49 )
28 Hero Realms (BGG Ranking: 288 )
29 51st State: Master Set (BGG Ranking: 284 )
30 Imhotep (BGG Ranking: 358 )

The next post in this series is the penultimate one, it’s getting exciting now (potentially, if I redefine the meaning of exciting to include my boring lists)…

My Top 100 Games ’17: 40 – 31

You really will be glad to see the end of these posts. But the end is near, so let’s push on and get across that finish line.

Three of these games I backed on Kickstarter (Mint WorksTiny Epic Galaxies, and The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction) which is pretty good if you ask me. Mint Works really is the gem out of these. A small independent game publisher, who managed to create a successful Kickstarter, deliver it, and then get it distributed (it was pushed out to stores by the Asmodee Borg Cube member Esdevium here in the UK). That is a real success story. And goes to disprove the image that some naysayers like to put out their about Kickstarter projects. This is what Kickstarter is all about for me. Not the massive pre-order system that CMoN use it for.

Ok lets cut to the chase and look at how things worked out position wise…


31 Mint Works (BGG Ranking: 769 )
32 Tiny Epic Galaxies (BGG Ranking: 246  )
33 Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game (BGG Ranking: 43  )
34 Tokaido (BGG Ranking: 408 )
35 Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (BGG Ranking: 108 )
36 The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction (BGG Ranking: 1698 )
37 Pandemic Iberia (BGG Ranking: 154 )
38 Star Wars: Imperial Assault (BGG Ranking: 18 )
39 Lost Cities (BGG Ranking: 276 )
40 King of Tokyo (BGG Ranking: 187 )

Entering the Top 30 next. Things are getting exciting.

My Top 100 Games ’17: 50 – 41

Here we are. Top 50 games.

Considering how popular Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is on BGG, am I out of sync with the majority of the BGG community with it’s position in my list? Well I certainly enjoy the legacy version more than the “classic”. I think what sways it for the legacy version is the story element, the plot twists, the legacy side with your decisions having an impact that will come back and bite you possibly in future plays. But does it deserve to be the number one game? Obviously not in my opinion. But I would have said that before this exercise.

7 Wonders I don’t think that the BGG hive mind and myself are too out of sink. The rest of the list I seem to like the games more then they do.

Right lets get this party started and look at the games that just made it into the Top 50…
41 Castle Panic (BGG Ranking: 749 )
42 Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (BGG Ranking: 1 )
43 Splendor (BGG Ranking: 96  )
44 StarCraft: The Board Game (BGG Ranking: 307 )
45 7 Wonders (BGG Ranking: 37 )
46 BattleLore (Second Edition) (BGG Ranking: 115 )
47 Guilds of London (BGG Ranking: 1081 )
48 Epic Card Game (BGG Ranking: 1238  )
49 The Great Heartland Hauling Co. (BGG Ranking: 913 )
50 Dice City (BGG Ranking:  812 )

The finish line is getting nearer…