So there I am driving home from a hard day at work. The Secret Cabal Podcast blasting out of my cars radio. I’m thinking I thought these guys were more cool than they were letting a video game company dictate to them when their reviews can go out. I’m not a fan of these NDA timed release of reviews. But hey if they want to encourage this bad practice in the board game industry who am I to complain? I mean they weren’t the only ones that shamefully participated in this cheap marketing trick, where reviewers get early access and told when they can release the “review”. Oh yeah say something bad about the game, suddenly you are out in the cold, no early access next time, strangely calls don’t get returned etc. Yeah let’s encourage this in the hobby.
Anyway my train of thought was broken by Jonathan calling to invite me to meet him at The White Lion to play games. Naturally having no life, my hectic social calander had a gap, I was able to be there.
Our game of the evening was one Jonathan had just got second hand off the UK trading and selling page I also buy from. That game was The Builders Middle Ages.
I do like the tin the game comes in. It’s colourful, looks great and that nice portable size that means you can chuck it in your page on the spur of the moment. I’d say it’s the same size as the tins used by the Timelines games.
Playing this game was similar to playing Splendor. It had that feel to it. And after my defeat, it was more or less the first thing I said. To which Jonathan replied that was the first thought that struck him too.
This is an average game, not as good as Splendor. But it’s portability is it’s strength. You want that Splendor like experience on the go, this gives you that.
Our next game was Kodama. This was also a first play. Sadly since getting it from backing it on Kickstarter it’s sat on my pile of shame.
One of the things that attracted me to the game initially was the the Ghibli-ish Princess Mononoke tree spirits look. And the whole look, graphic design is beautiful.
We did find initially the rules a little confusing especially on the scoring. But once we got it sorted it made sense and Jonathan sailed ahead to a victory.
There are some nice elements to the game like each of the three seasons have a unique rule chosen at random at the start of the game and revealed at the start of that season. I like how the first player changes at the start of a season, with it going to the lowest score. The Kodama cards are cool, you have a hand of four of these at the start of the game. During the scoring phase at the end of a season you get to play one to hopefully give you a nice points boost.
What you can’t escape is your finished tree does look awesome.
This is a nice game. It worked well with two players (it plays more). I’d play it again. Mainly as a change/break from some of the other two player games I have that I adore.
The final game of the evening was an old friend Tiny Epic Galaxies (TEG). Since the current Kickstarter for its expansion Beyond the Black (yes I’ve backed it) started up I’ve been craving to get this game back to the table.
Our game of TEG was my only victory of the evening. We played with the mini expansion Satellites and Super Weapons that came with my Kickstarter copy.
It was interesting playing the game with the expansion because at first we ignored it. We didn’t make use of the super weapons cababilities or try destroying it for points.
The super weapon we had out allowed you to force opponents ships back two spaces on any planets they were trying to colonise. I like that extra opportunity to mess with others, screwing with their plans, hopefully swinging the momentum your way.
Plus destroying the super weapon gets you two victory points. That’s nice. Like the load bomb card in The Manhattan Project Chain Reaction that two points could be enough to push you over the finishing line, as it was in our game.
I liked this mini expansion. It’s a nice little addition to the game. Well worth the trouble getting from the bgg store if you didn’t get the Kickstarter edition.
To top off our mid week gaming session apparently it was also Debbie’s birthday. So we were celebrating her birthday also by playing games without her!
I needed this nice mid week distraction from the pressures of the working week. Thanks Jonathan for inviting me along.