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QOTD: What’s your favourite abstract game?

With the arrival of a new abstract game to my collection called Onitama, it reminded me of the other abstract games I have in my collection.

It’s certainly a genre I enjoy playing. And you could make a reasonable argument that it’s under represented.

Like every other game in my collection the abstract ones don’t get enough love and table time. Plus it doesn’t help that they are usually two player. I have some great two player games and they are harder to get to the table than you think.

I took the text for the above image from the following BGG link here

So currently my favourite abstract game in my collection has to be Santorini. It can be taught and learnt in under 5 minutes. Games are quick. With the god powers and the Golden Fleece expansion lots of replayability and variety. Plus it looks stunning. Our game group fell in love with it instantly. It even plays well with three players.

So what’s your favourite abstract game?


I hate waiting…

I hate seeing happy people post photos of the Kickstarter that I also backed. I’m like “where the feck is my copy?”

Somehow it’s seems like the last two or three Kickstarters I backed that started shipping I’m the last in the queue.

Paranoia the rpg I backed hasn’t even started posting my pledge level yet. Ok that’s like nearly two years behind schedule . But still I wish they would email out more updates instead of forcing me to visit the Kickstarter comments section to glean any news on shipping. 

Sagrada has started to ship. I’m not holding my breathe on this one. The awful Shipnaked are sending this one out from the US. My recent experience with them hasn’t been good. They were slow, behind schedule. And never sent out any shipping notice (which I hear they are once again repeating, or sending them after the stuff is delivered!)

So despite the comments/email updates and lack of shipping notices I sit hopefully (one of the few times in life I’m an optimist) by my front window waiting for the delivery to my Nan next door. 

Well I’m not having it delivered to mine! Nan is in all day. So I won’t miss the delivery and have to go through that dire process all parcel delivery companies have of rearranging delivery or trying to locate their hidden depot for picking up.

But I wait expectantly, hoping the universe will pleasantly surprise me with my Kickstarter somehow defying the laws of package delivery and turn up mysteriously on Nan’s doorstep.

Would I rather they say nothing about shipping and it just turns up? There would still be those annoying happy photos. So I’d know. And we’d be back to me hating these random people on the internet that I’ve never met and don’t know, and waiting for a delivery.

Maybe the answer lies in the bottom of a good mug of coffee.

What to play? Who goes first?

So I was watching an old Tabletop episode on YouTube and they chose the first player using “who goes first dice”. I thought that’s a thing? So I googled them and found a UK supplier, and somehow they ended up through my letter box this morning.

So “who goes first dice” are designed so that you can’t roll the same number. No ties and rerolls. Sadly they only cater for upto four players. 

This has to be a better way of deciding first player than our usual way. Which tends to be a random player counter dropping from a gap in a closed hand. 

Sometimes we even use the suggested way of selecting the first player by the game designer in the rule book. Although some of these can be rediculous, and I’m sure there just because they are thematic. 

But this got me thinking. I also have a “solution” for the “what shall we play?” problem on game night. A solution that we have never used! That solution being What Game cards. 

Basically everyone selects a game to potentially play, with the last player or host selecting two games. They get put into a separate pile. Then a random what game card is dealt out to each person. Then in ascending order cards are played, when a person plays their card they remove a game from the pile. The game that is left at the end is the game you play. 

But this is usually not too much of an issue. Mainly because before something like FEG@WL we have discussed on the Facebook Event page for it what we will play. Or even discussed it the previous week. Which would explain why we haven’t used these yet.

So how do you decide first player or what game to play?

Gloomhaven Second Printing Kickstarter Hits $1 million on first day

That headline says it all. I’m gobsmacked. According to the first project update yesterday it funded in 5 minutes.

There are no stretch goals for this project, or Kickstarter exclusives. It’s worth looking at the FAQ for the honest and accurate responses from the publisher about them.

However… “It is time for the start of the community-driven mini campaign!” Which supporters can play using a copy of the game (physical or virtual in Table Top Simulator), and then vote on its direction. 

So there will be a new scenario every third day of the Kickstarter, starting today, and then a road event in between each of those, giving you a 10-scenario mini campaign over the course of the Kickstarter.

I don’t plan on ever releasing these scenarios in any printed form. The PDFs will always exist, but taken out of the context of the Kickstarter, it will just be an extremely linear campaign. The charm is that you as the community will get to decide what happens next, so please come on this journey with me, have a great time, and don’t worry about spoiling yourself, because this story is intended to be experienced now.

How cool is that? That sure is a cool way to engage with the supporters during the campaign. A very unique one as well. So none of these CMoN cool extra minis stretch goals, just the original game and a handful of extras.

So with no “stretch goal tricks” fuelling it Gloomhaven has blown through the $1 million barrier in under 24 hours. 

That is incredible. Will it keep this up and smash the amount raised by Man Juice’s Rising Sun of $4 million? How close will it get to Kingdom Death Monsters $12 million? There is still 26 days of this campaign left. It will dip, it will slow down. But will it pickup again in the final week?

If the unmet demand for first printing is anything to go by (I saw the number 20,000 somewhere for pre-order, and 2,000 copies going to stores), there is at least 7,000 more potential backers to come. But also now there is a lot of buzz, word of mouth, the gaming forums were buzzing yesterday about the game, so there may now also be even more who want the game yet to pull the trigger and commit. 

This is going to be fun watching and finding out the answers. It should also be a blast playing along with the campaign during the Kickstarter. 

So if you are curious or want to get in on the Gloomhaven experience you can back the project HERE and pre-order your copy.

On the outside looking in

I’ve kind of spent the weekend doing the gaming equivalent of standing outside the restaurant window looking in, while everyone is inside enjoying themselves.

Or that’s how it feels watching YouTube videos by the likes of Team Covenant for the collectable dice and card game Star Wars Destiny.

Because I’ve come late to the party I’ve missed the first wave of the game. It sold like hot cakes 

All I have at the moment is the Kylo starter. I’ve not played a game yet. Well I can’t play with my friend who would also like to get into the game. He can’t buy a starter. Let alone any boosters. I was extremely lucky that I managed to get the Kylo second hand for the price I did.

But this weekend I’m hoping that the Rey starter I’ve got off eBay is legit. I know the awesome play mat that FFG do, and seen in some of the Team Covenant videos is on its way. But that was optimistic of me. It’s assuming my friend and I can get product to play with. Mind you it’s an awesome mat I can use with other games.

I did via a Facebook group for the game hear that there might be starters and boosters in some lgs in New Zealand! Being on the opposite side of the planet would normally be an obstacle. But luckily I have family down there, and an aunt and uncle on holiday there. So a cunning plan is a foot.

May is meant to be seeing the release of the second set for Destiny, with a one off reprint of the first set hitting June. But expect both to be cleared off the shelves by eager gamers quicker than a plague of locusts hitting a field of crops. Yes FFG have said that these print runs are going to be much larger than the initial one. But… we will see. I’m expecting things to be equally as crazy and hard to get.

I’m so so glad I decided to cave and get into this madness (where is that sarcasm font when you need it?)

Things are going to be EPIC

So excited. The Epic Card Game digital game has gone into Alpha for Kickstarter backers. 

Naturally it was a no brainer for me to back when the campaign was being run.

The emails inviting backers to download the Alpha version for iOS using the TestFlight app have been going out today. So after a 100MB download over Eduroam I’m ready to play Epic.

But I have to say I’m a bit overwhelmed by my options at the moment.

Do I build a deck or two first? Do I jump in and do a draft match? Or maybe try out the campaign mode. Choices, choices.

Anyway if you are also in the Alpha you can challenge me as Whitespider. Hope to battle you soon.

What the fluxx?!

Do you think I have a fluxx problem?

Like Love Letter I seem to have amassed one or two editions of Fluxx.

My current favourite is the Adventure Time one, closely followed by the Batman the Animated Series one.

Star Fluxx with its sci-fi tropes at one time was my favourite. But new versions arrived and usurped it. So it sits happily in third spot.

Tied for fourth are Zombie and Cthulhu Fluxx. They haven’t been to the table nearly as often as the higher placed versions.

Which currently leaves Firefly Fluxx as my least favourite version at the moment. I had high hopes for this when it was announced. But playing it, it seemed a tad disappointing. Especially with its lack of creepers. 

I’ve not had a chance to play the Math Fluxx. So can’t say where that fits in the rankings.

I’m pretty sure there will be other editions that get added to the Fluxx collection. 

It is a fun little filler, that goes down well with none gamers. My students love it.

What more can I say about this chaotic game?


Where I work we run enrichment sessions for our students.

I’ve recently turned mine into a boardgaming club. So I’m introducing students to modern hobby games.

Due to the length of time of the enrichment session and that the students are new to these types of games, I’m sticking to the lighter, gateway type of games.

So we’ve played Braggart, Age of War, Adventure Time Fluxx, Love Letter Batman, and Star Realms.

Plus the students introduced me to Exploding Kittens yesterday. Which was great that they wanted to bring in their games.

Now I have to admit I quite enjoyed Exploding Kittens. Pleasantly surprised even. I might add it to the collection so there is a copy for use in these enrichment sessions.

Yes I’m using games from my collection. I have no budget. So for the time being until I can show this as a success and has a positive impact, that’s the way it has to be. Oh and I’m also using my own folding 6ft table to play on in the classroom!

And it is having a positive impact. Already students from different courses are mixing and making friendships. In fact I believe when they bump into each other outside of work there is friendly banter about the next session and whose going to win. Then games like Braggart are helping students improve their basic math skills, and their confidence in them.

I do have Zombie Dice, King of Tokyo, Liars Dice and Epic ready to be introduced. The first two have been popular with students in the past.

Next introduce my colleagues to my addiction. 

Don’t wanna buy, but…

So the subject of this post is “games I don’t wanna buy, but I wanna to try”.

Which I think is pretty self descriptive. But for those having a hard time deciding it’s meaning, let me decode it for you. 

Basically there are games out there that I don’t want to buy. Yeah I know that’s a hard one to believe, and get your mind around. And truth be told I’m having a hard time accepting this fact also. But there are.

However for some of those games I do actually want to play/try them. It may be because I’m curious about how the game plays with a mechanic, or may be I would like it but there is something about the game that stops me wanting to buy it.

So here is my list of “games I don’t wanna buy, but I wanna to try”:

  • Mansions of Madness Second Edition – there is not a hope in hell I’m  going to part with just short of a tonne for a game that can only be played with an app (I think I’ve made that pretty obvious in previous posts I’ve written how I feel about games that rely on integral apps to be played). But I’m more than happy to play some-one else’s copy. I want to see how well it works with the app driving the game.
  • Blood Rage – this CMoN and Eric M Langa Langa Ding Dong (ok I couldn’t help myself on that one – sorry) game was getting a lot of buzz last year. I hate CMoN and don’t want to hand them money. I don’t like their Kickstarter exclusives policy. But I also want to try this Lang game. It’s often mentioned in the same breathe as Inis these days. So I want to see how they compare. Also I don’t want to buy it because I know that but inside me that hunts down promos etc would kick in wanting everything for it. 
  • Star Wars Rebellion – my biggest fear with this game is I’ll buy it after playing it. Two player, original Star Wars Trilogy in a box. Too damn right I want to play it. Is this the Star Wars War of the Ring?
  • First Martian – another “the app is so intregal to the game, it can only be played with the app”. So I’m out when it comes to parting with money for the game. But I like Robinson Crusoe, this is being described as that game on Mars. I’m sure with the app it will be a different experience, along with some game play tweaks. Plus how does it compare to Mansions of Madness Second Edition?
  • Star Wars Destiny – this game scares me. It’s a collectable game, my “got to have them all” would kick in. FFG have reinvented crack. Curse them. 

So that’s the current list. What’s on yours?