Thursday, August 27, 2009


Another mini games night this week and the expansion to Kingsburg made an appearance. To Forge a Realm is really 5 mini expansions all of which are pretty good and add to the base game. We played with the soldier tokens expansion and it did add to the game. I was determined to keep the 4 point token to the end to help scoring so went for a military strategy and built as many +battle buildings as I could. I started out well with Gornad in the lead by a couple of points, but the others caught up. At the last round things were very close and even closer at the end when 3 of us tied for first place, what was worse was we had all spent our goods for extra soldiers in the last winter battle. So the game ended with a tie, but it was a good game.

Dominion was also played, this time with no Intrigue cards mainly because carrying two boxes around is a bit painful. I thin I need to invest in a carry box that I can use to transport a couple of decks around. My economic engine stalled and I always seemed to end up with 7 gold, never enough to buy a province.

the night ended with a game of Mow, its French for Moo! Its a clever card game where players build up herds of cows and try to not pickup the cow cards with flies on it. It's similar to 6 Nimt but maybe a little less stressful.

Another mini session is organised for next week, so plenty of gaming is happening at the moment which makes a change.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please sir, can I have some more?

It has been a pretty good few days game wise, Pitchcar was played with the kids on Sunday and the 2 games we played were very close. Each was won by mistakes, or a bad flick on the last lap. Pitchcar is a fun game and its so easy to just setup and get going. I must have a look at the expansions some time, the ramp expansion looks like it could be fun.

Last night I visited Mudnoney's for a few games, we had arranged to give Dominion a go with some of the Intrigue cards. I have had Intrigue for over a month now and not played it. We used one of the suggested setups and it was a very strange game. A bit slow as there were few opportunities to make money. Or we missed them. Some of the new cards are just mean, the Torturer gives the other players a choice of either discarding 2 cards or taking a curse. Used with a throne room it was very nasty. I managed to win the game by just burning through the estate cards and finishing off the remodel pile. I enjoyed it, but did feel it went on a little longer than usual, but there were new cards to read.

Next up was Agricola, playing with the "I" deck. It was a good game and I lost out by 5 points in the end. I made a stupid mistake in the first round and couldn't feed my family so picked up my first ever begging card. things trundled along for a bit but Mudhoney played a summer house card for 8 points at the end securing a big points advantage. It was a good, close game and other than the begging problem I wasn't sure what else I could have done to win.

Lastly we played Cant Stop, something a bit lighter to end the evening. I am usually very bad at luck games and things started out badly. I just couldn't stop and lost everything for the two rounds. My typical fare, but I came back strong going for the 5-6-7-8 columns and just kept on rolling. I managed to score the win but it was a close one with the others each finishing on two columns as well.

No more gaming is planed for the next few days, so it will be back to Stone Age on Yucata. But we were discussing holding a Formula D tournament with the group, that could be fun.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Dice Tower Awards

The 2008 Dice Tower Awards were revealed last week. For those of you that don't know the Dice Tower is a podcast hosted by Tom Vassal and covers board and card games. It's a good listen with some good humour and lots of information on new and old games.

This year I was asked to be on the panel and I jumped at the offering. After the initial selections were made we all had to vote on the different categories. I managed to get plays in on most of the games in the categories which helped out.

Anyway, the categories and winners are
  • Best Game of the Year , Dominion
  • Small Publisher of the Year, Fragor Games for Snow Tails
  • Best New Designer, Donald Vaccarino for Dominion
  • Best Reprint, Formula D
  • Most Innovative, Space Alert
  • Best Expansion, Descent : Road to Legend
  • Best Artwork, Battlestar Gallactica
  • Best Family Game, Formula D
I am pretty happy with the games that won, they are all good games and ones that I enjoy playing. I think Dominion was going to win Best Game hands down, its one of my favorite games of the year and I haven't even used any of my Intrigue cards yet.

Formula D also did very well, its another good game that has benefited from the reprint. I wanted it to win Best Artwork as well but Battlestar is a worthy winner.

Gaming has been a little light at the moment, but a session has been planned for next week so hopefully some new games will hit the table. I am dying to give Dominion: Intrigue a play, so we shall see.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

El Grande

A mini meet was held last night as I wanted to give El Grande a go. I recently picked it up as its in the top ten games on the geek and looked pretty good. After reading the rules earlier in the week I thought it looked like a very basic game and one that I was surprised had such a high rating.

Anyway, four of us sat down and started the game off, after the second round we realised something was wrong. We were playing the power cards wrong so started again. This started off well for me and even better in round 2 when I was able to bid the highest and use an action card to score a whopping 27 points. This put me well in the lead. for the rest of the game it was a race for second place. I think I finished on around 135 points, a very good game. Simple but very well thought out.

My luck turned for the next game, Mow is a card game about flies and cowes. Its all about playing numbered cards in order and not being unable to place a card. Its a fun game that is very easy to pickup and play. I came last after three appalling rounds where I picked up between 30 and 40 flies.

With an hour to go I pulled out a few games to choose and Blokus was picked. Four player Blokus is a very good game and one I enjoy playing. Lost the first game and won the second with only a single 3 point piece left that I was unable to play.

A diverse mix of games, area control abstract and flies. El Grande stood out and I was really impressed with it. Price point is maybe a bit high but it did come with 5 expansions so there is plenty of game play in the box.

Noticed that the Kingsburg expansion has just been released so that on a wish list, also the new Middle Earth Quest game has appeared out of nowhere. That needs a bit of a look to see what its all about. But above all the expansion for Pandemic is slated for this month and that's a must buy.