Let them eat rock

The Tabletop Effect – Tabletop a popular internet based to show about playing boardgames. Hosted by Wil Wheaton, where each episode he plays a boardgame with a group of celebrity chums. The Tabletop effect describes the phenomenon of a game featured on the show selling out very quickly as fans of the show rush out to purchase the game featured in the just aired episode, making the game hard to find for purchase.

I have in previous posts hinted at this effect when I've talked about when I first purchased Marvel Legendary. To be totally honest I have given in to this effect/hype myself. However I have managed to resist the effect. Yes I know shocking.

After watching the episode where Wil and friends played Stone Age, it looked interesting, and I nearly did buy it. But for whatever reason never did, and it hasn't even made my wish list on bgg.

So I was rather glad to get the chance to at least play the game last night with Jonathan and Mat.

Just before we started to play Stone Age, Jonathon said he wasn't going to take it easy on Mat and myself, and play to win!

During our game, Mat had to resort to feeding his workers with brick/stone to make up his short fall in food. Which kickstarted some capitalist/Tory banter with Mat, that resulted with Mat being renamed Tory Mat for the duration of the evening.

Jonathan walked away with a massive victory, while Mat took a respectable second place, while I dragged the score curve down by not even hitting one hundred points and coming in last.

So what did I think of Stone Age?

I enjoyed playing Stone Age. As a lightweight introduction to the worker placement genre of game, it certainly succeeds.

It did seem that if your first action when it was your turn as first player wasn't to grab the farming spot then you were at a disadvantage. My first time as the first player I didn't do this but went for one of the cards on the river. I didn't struggle to feed my workers, but it always meant I had to allocate two of my five workers to make sure I was bringing in food. So basically I had only three workers instead of four available for collecting resources to collect huts and the cards on the river.

I liked that you could block cards/huts to scupper the plans of the other players. Although this effectively also slows down your plans as well.

Our second and final game of the evening was Istanbul.

During the game the capitalism banter continued with Mat. Who did admit he was starting to like being a capitalist. If only we had recorded that quote.

I really liked Istanbul. We used the “beginners” tile setup. But with a “more advanced” setup and random tile setup there is a lot of variety of setup, which I like. It means the game board looks can be tailored for first time players and “experts”.

Right from your first turn you have several options to choose from. You don't get that “your first move has to be…” that Stone Age had.

The family members are a nice touch. Releasing them from jail to send them off to take an extra action. Or getting a reward for capturing another persons family member. A nice mechanic.

The tiles with abilities, bonus cards and the ability to increase the number of goods you can collect, nice additions that allow you to get an engine going. I had a tile that allowed me to pay two coins to recall an assistants. A useful ability that saved me having to return to the fountain to recall all my assistants.

The governor and smuggler were also a nice mechanic, especially with them being moved randomly around the tiles based on the role of the two dice.

Jonathan also won this game with Mat and myself drawing for last place! I had a nice little route going at the end. My mistake was not paying attention to the jewels that the other players had, especially Jonathan. I think I would have played with a bit more urgency otherwise.

Final thoughts…

Out of the two games played this evening my favourite and one I'd happily add to my game collection is Istanbul. I'm glad I played Stone Age, but it is not a game I'd ask to play, although I would happily play it if it hit the table.

Just in…

T.I.M.E. Stories, I think I already said in my Game of the Year predictions that I would get this game to play with Nath over Christmas. I will be getting the first expansion for the game The Marcy Case before my visit. Tom Vasel said that the Marcy Case is his favourite zombie game! High praise indeed. Nath will like playing that, he enjoys zombie themed games. Plus as the photo shows above they already named and given the genre/theme of two other expansions that will come me out next year.

I finally got fed up with waiting for Amazon to get this Deluxe expansion in. Not even a remote hint from them as to when they could deliver it. In the meantime every podcast going is discussing the cards in detail. It's frustrating to see everyone else with the game, and not hear anything from Amazon.

So after finding a rare online retailer that had it in stock, yes most have sold out. I now have my copy. Just need to play some games now!

 

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