Saturday, June 24, 2017

Beyond Baker Street Review

*Ages 13+
*2-4 Players
*About 20 Minutes
*Cooperative/Deduction
*Robin Lees & Steve Mackenzie

Beyond Baker Street is a cooperative game where you don't get to see your cards, but get to see every other player's cards. In the game, you are trying to solve the mystery before Sherlock Holmes. On your turn you can Assist, by giving 1 piece of information to someone about what number they have or what type of card they have (The cards are numbered 1-6 and there are 4 types of cards: clues, witnesses, documents, and tracks), and then move the Holmes marker 1 space closer to 0. You can investigate by playing one of the cards from your hand under a lead card you think it matches the type of to get the cards to add up the number you need for that Lead (Motive, Suspect, and Opportunity). You can confirm by putting a blue/green marker on the stack of cards that adds up the Lead and move the Holmes marker back one space. You can eliminate by putting a card from your hand into the impossible deck and then move the investigation marker up the matching number. Last you can pursue, which means discard one of the Lead cards to the impossible deck and then move the investigation marker up the matching number. The game ends in 5 ways; 1) when the investigation marker is at 20 and the last of the three Leads get confirmed, then you win 2) if the Holmes marker reaches 0, you lose 3) if the investigation marker exceeds 20, you lose 4)  if the last card of any Lead deck is discarded into the Impossible deck, you lose or 5) when the third and final Lead is confirmed but the investigation marker is not at the 20 space.


Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I like it with 2-4 players.

Favorite Character And Why:Toby, because he can look at the top evidence deck card, then without revealing anything can leave it on the top or bury it on the bottom. Inspector Barnes, because when he confirms a lead moves the Holmes marker back 2 instead of 1. Mary Morstan, because you can confirm a lead whose evidence is 1 less than the lead value.


Least Favorite Character And Why: When playing with 2 players we don't use the Inspector Martin, because he can not identify evidence numbers, Inspector Bradstreet, because he cannot identify document evidence, Inspector Forrester, because he cannot identify clue evidence, Inspector Hopkins, because he cannot identify witness evidence, and Inspector Jones, because he cannot identify tracks evidence.


Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the feeling of having to trust others at the table to get what you need played. I also like the mechanics that Beyond Baker Street adds compaired to Hanobi, i.e. case files, impossible deck, confirming leads, Sherlock Holms marker, and investigation track.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The art is really simple, I like the box art with the old time cars and lighting.

Strategies: 1) Talk out the plan with people around the table like "Hey everyone we need 10 witness, so we need to get a 4 and 6 or a 5, 3, and 2 or 6, 1, and 3." Or "Hey we need 9 clue and 13 clue, which is not possible, so we need to put one of them in the impossible deck." 2) Before you open your mouth for your turn, look around the table and make sure you aren't over looking anything.

Final Thoughts: I really like this game! And I am SO happy Shannon will play it with, when she won't play Hanobi. I love the theme of Sherlock Homes. I also really like the uneasy/stressful feeling of do I play the card or not, is someone else not telling me something I need to know about my hand. 

7 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I've played this as a two player and a four player and I think it works well as both. I'm not partial to one over the other.

Favorite Character And Why: Lady Hilda Hope (One your turn you may take the assist action twice but only move the Holmes marker once) and Langdale Pike (Once per turn you may switch a card in your hand for a card in another player's hand) are my two favorites, because they are both excellent ways of getting more information out to everyone.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Irene Adler, with her, you can confirm leads, and while I know this is not that big of a deal, it just makes her my least favorite of all the cards.


Mechanics I Like And Dislike: For me, this game adds more strategy to it, that I don't feel it's dependent on the cards in your hand alone. There's enough going on that, I feel like it makes up for what I always felt Hanabi was missing.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The Sherlock Holmes meeple and the backs of the cards!

Strategies: Taking my time to make sure that everyone has the information that they need before just taking my turn quickly with the information that I know.

Final Thoughts: This game is a better version of Hanabi to me. I like it when I do not like Hanabi.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Monday, June 19, 2017

One Deck Dungeon Review

*Ages 14+
*1-2 Players
*About 30 Minutes
*Dungeon Crawl/Cooperative
*Chris Cieslik

One Deck Dungeon is a simple card version of a dungeon crawl. It can be played as a solitaire game, or as a cooperative two player game. Pick the player you want to be for the game and get the dice shown on the card. Pick a boss monster to fight and get ready to play. Each turn you can either explore (set out up to four card face down on the play area) or open a door. When you open a door, flip over one of the cards on the table and choose to either fight it, roll your dice and fill in the blanks on the card taking all penalties for uncovered blanks,and placing the card on your skills, items, potions, or for leveling up, or you can flee from it. When you come to the stairs at the end of the dungeon deck, you can descend to the next level of the dungeon, shuffle all discarded dungeon cards and make a new dungeon deck and start again. When you get to the last level, you must fight the monster at the end of the dungeon. If you can defeat the monster before it kills you, you win!

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I playing with 1 or 2 players.

Favorite Character And Why: It is hard for me not to pick Rogue or Archer because of their cool  looks...I know shallow, but I like to think I am in Rogue 1 from Star Wars or Katness Everdean from Hunger Games! 


Least Favorite Character And Why: Caliana, it is cool that they give you a free character online and all, but she can't take damage! At least like 2 health in a one player would be nice! 


Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that after you roll you can add 2 dice to equal a black dice. I also like that each encounter you have multiple options of what to use the loot for like an item, potion, skill, or towards leveling up. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The Phoenix Den, but only because I feel like Phoenix's are a pretty cool creature.


Strategies: Try and use cards as items if they have a heart and dice, try and use potion cards to build up your potions for if you take damage, and use the rest to level up or for skills.  I do suggest you read the skills carefully because some of them can be good, even if they have a heart read them to see if the heart or the skill fits better for your Dungeon.

Final Thoughts: The rules aren't always very clear, like there have been a few times they don't answer my question. I.E. on the dodge skill does it just dodge for the character who has the skill or for the team like in the boss battle when it dodges 2 hearts. Also the newest One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows just finished up on Kick Starter and I bought it.

8 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have currently only played this as a two player game. Though I am really excited about trying it as a one player game soon.

Favorite Character And Why: The Warrior or the Paladin. I like how the Warrior starts off with an extra heart which can be useful and, whenever she takes damage, she gains a black die. I like the Paladin's skill of gaining a black die when opening a high door.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Caliana! It's so hard not to take damage and she dies if she takes any damage at all!

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that this can be played solo as well as cooperative with two people. I like how you can build up more cards that will help you out in the game. But, as with all dice rolling games, sometimes you lose simply because you can't get the numbers you need when you roll and that can be frustrating sometimes.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The character cards look really cool. I like how each character is unique and different.

Strategies: See what dice we need for the final battle and pick characters that compliment each other dice wise. Also take items when they have a heart with them instead of just the added die, so you get more life points, and get as many potions as you can, because you are going to need them.

Final Thoughts: This game was described to me as a simple card version of a dungeon crawl and I was sold. Now that I have it and I have played it, I love it. It's a small game so it's easy to pack and take with you and it's a whole lot of fun. I can't wait for more expansions for this game to come out!

8 out of 10 Stars 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Games Weekend #1

We had so much fun learning all kinds of new games during International Table Top Day, that we decided to dedicate a few weekends this year to learning new games. For our first New Games Weekend, we decided to use games that we already own and learn as many of them as we could fit into Friday Night and Saturday.

Friday Night

Macroscope- We started off the night with a game that Amber received in the mail just a few hours earlier. It was a Kickstarter game that she was really looking forward to getting and playing.
Amber- I thought it was cool, because I kept thinking I need to make a guess or I set up Shannon to make a guess...but if I am wrong I lose points...but at the same time it could be a major pay off if I am right. I do wish the cards were thicker and not as paper thin.
Shannon- This game reminded me of the old game Concentration that I played as a kid. It was fun trying to figure out what the pictures were. Hopefully they will have expansions for this one eventually, or I can see it having limited replay-ability.

Timeline: Americana- Next we played Timeline, which Amber has played before, but Shannon has not. 
Amber- This is always a short and fun game to me. Americana isn't my favorite of the ones I own (World History, Americana, and Inventions). I normally lean toward World History but Americana is second.
Shannon- I knew going into this game that I would not be a very big fan. I am terrible with dates in history, so I lost this game... three times in a row! Not one that I would choose to pick up myself, but I can see how people would enjoy this game.

Above And Below- Last we learned Above And Below. One of the many games in Shannon's need to learn pile.
Amber- I loved reading the scenarios. I felt like the first 2 rounds I had one extra person and not enough money and then the last 2 rounds I had not enough people.
Shannon- I have been looking forward to this game for a while now. I had seen other games with the same concept of being met with a decision to make and have wanted to get them, but Above and Below was the first game like this that I picked up. It was as much fun as I had hoped it would be, and I would love to pick up more games like it. 

Saturday    

The Lord of the Rings LCG- We started off Saturday learning The Lord of the Rings LCG. This game was a little confusing at first to learn, but by the end of the game we knew what we were doing. 
Shannon- This game has been on my shelf for a few years now, and I'm so glad we finally got around to learning it. I love The Lord of the Rings, and I enjoyed playing this game. I can see myself getting some expansions for this in the future.
Amber- First 45 minutes of watching videos on setup up and the first turn, I thought not a fan. But once we knew the turn sequence, and got about 4 turns under our belt, I was enjoying the game more. I liked the feel of it being co-op and a 2 player game. Also, this is a game I have wanted to learn for a while because SO MANY other bloggers and pod casts and gamers give it really good reviews.

Coin Quest- Next we wanted a game that would be a little easier to learn, so we learned Coin Quest. (One of the games that Amber won in a give-a-way.) 
Shannon- This game was easy to pick up and play. The auction part of the game was fun, but I'm not sure how much I really like this game. It was okay, and I'd like to play it with more than two players before I make my mind up on it.
Amber- This one is the game I won from RnR games. It is a solid game, not one I think is a must have but it is a good game. I kept forgetting the order of bidding, i.e. Gold wins, then silver wins, then copper, NO matter if the total of your silver is 3 and then gold is 1, the gold wins. I want to try this game with more people and I think with a kid(s) it would be more fun too.

Mystic Vale- After that we learned Mystic Vale, currently the last game in Amber's collection to learn.
Shannon- I knew going into this game that I was going to love it, and I'm glad I was right. I love being able to build your cards as you go. It was easy to learn, and a whole lot of fun.
Amber- I liked the game, glad I own it! I think getting the cards that give you victory points for when you harvest, is a great starter strategy and trying to get spirits early to get vale cards early. I enjoyed the card building aspect of the game.

Medieval Academy- Last we picked up Medieval Academy. Another one of Shannon's many games to learn. It was another easy one to learn how to play.
Shannon- This game was fun. I liked that it had card drafting in it, and I can't wait to play it with more than two players to see how that changes the game.
Amber- I liked the game, I think it is a solid drafting game and that the tiles score at different rounds. I also think it would be a step up from Sushi Go! drafting to teach someone before teaching like 7Wonders.

We had a lot of fun this weekend learning a lot of our unplayed games. We hope to do this a few more times over the summer since Shannon still has 23 games in her collection to learn and we both continue to buy more games when we can. We would also like to go to our local game store and learn more of their demo games. Click the links to any game to learn more about them on the BoardGameGeek website.            

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Giveaways I Have Won By Amber




I wanted to write a blog post about some exciting things that have been happening for me. I had set a goal for myself to win at least 1 board game giveaway in 2017. I know it's a random goal, and one I have no control over, but I had seen LOTS of giveaways that I thought surely if I enter one or two a week then over the year I could at least win once right? Shannon and my husband don't exactly share this thought process with me, and rarely will enter game giveaways when I send them to them. Well, it is June, and I have won 3 times! OH YEAH! I am super excited and want to give a shout out to the 3 groups for you all to check out.



1. I won a $25 gift card from unboxboardom.com . They offer subscription boxes for monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly game boxes. You pick your subscription and then you get an email showing 3 games, and you pick the one you want them to send you. The 3 games are from 3 genres: party, family, and strategy.
http://unboxboardom.com/

 

2. I won Coin Quest from R&R Games on Facebook. They got the game to me within 7 days, and I am super excited to try it out!
https://www.facebook.com/RnRGames/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf


 

3. I won a King Cats game! This is the One I might be most excited about, because my drawing of a crown will be in the game! Which is a huge honor to be picked and the game is currently on kick starter so PLEASE GO CHECK IT OUT!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laurentc/king-cat?ref=nav_search


Have you ever entered or won a Board Game Giveaway? Please comment and tell us!
Comment if you want me to send you giveaway entries when I find them!
And remember you can Follow the blog!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mechs Vs. Minions Review

*Ages 14+
*2-4 Players
*About 60-90 Minutes
*Coperative
*Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras


Mechs Vs. Minions is a cooperative scenario based game. Each scenario has a different goal for your team to accomplish. (No details as we do not want to spoil anyone.) You accomplish these goals by drafting cards that you put on your command line for controlling your mech. Each player takes their turns doing the actions on the cards in their command line, from left to right. When they are finished, the player to their left does the same with their command line. When everyone has taken their turn, the minions take their turn, and the card drafting begins again. Play continues until you reach your goal for that scenario or you meet the losing requirements for that scenario. 

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I like playing with 4 players, because you have plenty of people to help get everything done and fight off the minions.



Favorite Character And Why: Ziggs! To me, he looks like a crazed cat! And he's riding a bomb! I don't know how you can get any more awesome than that!


Least Favorite Character And Why: Either Heimerdinger or Corki.. No real reason other than I just don't like them as much as the other two.



Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love the fact that you are drafting your cards and then carrying out your command line. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: Obviously Ziggs! I also really like the minute glass timer... and pretty much everything about this game. All the pieces in this game are absolutely amazing! 


Strategies: Talk through what you will be doing and what you need before you start your draft so you have a better idea of what everyone needs before the draft starts. 


Final Thoughts: This game has really blown me away. It's fun, and the way they introduce new modules to the game makes it easy to learn and play. The whole game is just beautiful. It has become a favorite game of mine!

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Thus far 4 players, because I feel like all the charters are good and they work together.

Favorite Character And Why: Tristana, honestly she is the only one I have played, so it is hard to say anyone else. We, as a group, decided to take a character and play through the whole game, so I always play Tristana.  I like some of the other specials people have, but don't know what character has the most that I like. I do like the look of Tristana. She somehow reminds me if myself, ear pierced, smile on her face, and wishing she was in control of what was about to happen! 



Least Favorite Character And Why: Is it fair to say the minions and boss because they are the bad guys? Because I don't like them...

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that all the cards you play to control your mech have a choice of 2 uses, ie slot the card for what it does, or use the scrap ability (switching 2 slots or getting rid of a damage). I like the flow of the game and how even if the dice rolls and cards come out practically perfect, you still have some tough choices to make as a team, you will still take some damage, and it can be a nail biter if you are going to win.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The whole game's miniatures are so intricate and detailed that I don't have a favorite. 

Strategies: It depends on the scenario, because sometimes you need movement right off, sometimes you need fighting power, and sometimes you need both. 

Final Thoughts: First opinions, I loved the way there are practice plays to teach the game as you play. And how simple it was to learn. It has scenarios, which I am a huge fan of and like that your computer board resets between each scenario. This game continues to move up my favorites list. I really enjoy the game and sometimes don't realize how long we have been playing, because I am absorbed into the game. 

8 out of 10 Stars  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Top Ten Camping Games

After playing board games, camping is one of our favorite activities to do together. Every year our families try to get out and go camping together a couple of times, and it is always a load of fun. Here are some of our favorite games to play after long hikes, next to campfires, and just sitting outside enjoying the fresh air.

10.

Amber: Uno: An easy and fun game that the kids can play with us, and is fast. I like that even with young kids it is just matching colors or numbers :)
Shannon: Solitaire: Sometimes when you're camping, you just need a fun game to get out and play by yourself. Since all you need is a regular deck of cards to play, that makes this game the perfect choice.

9.

Amber: Martian DiceThis quick dice game is a fun game to play. It has been a while since we have played it, but it is a small game that is easy to pack and play!
Shannon: Phase 10: This simple card game doesn't get played much anymore since we have so many other games to play now, but it's still a fun game and great to play while camping.

8.

Amber: Bang: The Dice Game: I think this is a good group game if all want to play a game together. Also since it is dice the odds are closer to even for adults and kids.
Shannon: There's A Moose In The House: My kids love this game. The graphics on the cards are funny and cute and it's just plain fun putting a moose in someone else's house.

7.

Amber: War: I like that it only requires 1 deck and it is an easy game that if one or two kids don't want to play what ever the others have chosen, then they can play with each other or I will play with them.
Shannon: Scavenger Hunts: While not an actual board game, I love going on scavenger hunts and helping my kids with scavenger hunts. It's lots of fun and helps the kids look around and enjoy the nature around them while we hike.

6.

Amber: Rummy: This is a game I remember playing a lot as a kid while camping. I always liked sitting around the picnic table with my mom, sister, and aunt to play. Good memories :D Also it is good for learning card game terms like a run, book, set, and order of play.
Shannon: Rook: Another small card game that is easy to pack and lots of fun to play.

5.


Amber: Hide The Rock: We painted 4 rocks a few years ago and we hide them around our camp site. Whoever finds it gets to re-hide it. The rocks are painted like a bird, turtle, ladybug, and bee. Super simple, but fun to see where the kids/adults hide them.
Shannon: S'mores: Last year we found this game at a little supply store at our campground. We just had to pick it up and the kids LOVE playing this cute little card game while camping. 

4.

Amber: Sleeping Queens: I enjoy getting to pick out a queen at random and getting to play wands. It is a fun game to teach easy math problems to kids.
Shannon: Nerts: A lot of my favorite camping games deal with just a deck (or decks) of regular playing cards. They're easy to pack and there are so many options of games to play. A couple of years ago I got this really cool Nerts set for Christmas and it's goes camping with us every time. We use it for all of our games that use a regular deck of cards. Nerts is really fun and quick paced.

3.

Amber: Golf: It is a simple game that is quick and fun to play with the kids.  Also it is works on visual memory.
Shannon: Love Letter: This is probably my favorite small game to pack up and take with me anywhere. It's so small, easy to play, and so much fun.

2.

Amber: Nerts: I have always really liked this game, I remember playing it as a family, then during high school at youth get together, and now during camping! :D It is like solitaire with everyone playing on the same aces as fast as you can.
Shannon: Sushi Go!: I love this card game, and the fact that it is small enough to pack and take with us is fantastic. I really like the card drafting element of the game.

1.

Amber: Hand and Foot: When we camp there is a LOT of hand and foot...like we have to set a limit of how high we going to go before we quit. Also because I don't like to lose, so I keep wanting to push it and then end up digging my hole bigger. The game is about trying to get sets of cards laid down and through your hand and foot deck.
Shannon: Hand and Foot: I can't even tell you how many games of Hand and Foot Amber and I have played while camping. This is our go to camping game. 

If you want to learn more about any of the board games on our list, click on their names and check them out on BoardGameGeek!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Onirim Review

*Ages 14+
*1-2 Players
*About 15 Minutes
*Strategy/Cooperative
*Shadi Torbey
*Game app available

Onirim is a card game which can be played as a solitary game or as a cooperate 2 player game. In the solitary game, you draw five cards from the deck into your hand. The goal is to get two doors of all four colors down on the table. You do that by 1) playing three continuous cards of the same color (but matching symbols cannot touch) down, or 2) drawing a door card while you have a key card in your hand and discarding the key card to play the door. When drawing back up to 5 cards in your hand, you may sometimes draw a nightmare card. When this happens you have 4 choices of what to do, 1) discard a key card from your hand, 2) discard all cards from your hand and draw 5 new cards, 3) discard the top five cards of the draw deck, and 4) discard a door card you have already earned. When you draw a new set of five cards into your hand, set aside all door cards and nightmare cards and shuffle them back into the draw pile. You can trigger a prophecy by discarding a key card. That let's you look at the next five cards of the deck, discard one, and rearrange the other four in any order, and place them back on top of the deck.
When played as a cooperative 2 player game, each player needs a set of all four door cards, and you have shared resource cards and personal resource cards to use. When you use a card from the resource cards, and you go to replace it, nightmare cards are set to the side and shuffled back in the draw deck. 

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Honestly, this one if fun as a one player game and as a two player game. I play it more as a one player though.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love this game, but the constant shuffling involved can get a little aggravating. I feel like I spend more time shuffling than anything else. I am so happy that they have this as an app now, because I can play much quicker and I don't have to do all that shuffling!

Favorite Art Or Pieces: All of it! I love the cute theme of this game and all it's artwork. I have the edition that comes with this figure that I think is absolutely adorable too!


Strategies: Try to get brown and green doors first since there are not as many of their cards. Also to hold onto keys whenever I can for the nightmares. In a two player game, I like to use cards from the resouce cards on the table so nightmares just get shuffled back in.

Final Thoughts: I love this game! It's quick and fun, the artwork is beautiful, and I can play many times in a row and not get tired of it. It's also very challenging. I win just about as much as I lose, but I still enjoy playing.

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2...not tried 1 player yet. 

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that you can use cards from the middle shared cards or your 3 face up cards to play in your row and if a nightmare comes up it get shuffled back in!

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the modern feel of the doors cards...they kind of remind me of the slanted door in the movie Big Fish.

Strategies: I like the advice an Instagramer gave me about how there are less brown and green Cards compared to red and blue. Also like I said on the mechanics part, there are less of brown and green, so I suggest putting them and a key in the middle in a 2 player game so you both access them if needed.

Final Thoughts: I really like this 2 player game...I think it is an easy one to learn and I like that it comes with 7 Expansions in the box!

7 out of 10 Stars    



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pandemic: Iberia Review

*Ages 8+
*2-5 Players
*About 45 Minutes
*Cooperative
*Matt Leacock and Jesus Torres Castro

Pandemic Iberia is a cooperative game in the Pandemic line of games. In Pandemic Iberia, you take four actions (ex. move, pick up disease cubes, build research station, build railways, etc.) then draw two cards from the player deck and draw cards from the infection deck equal to the current infection rate. You win the game by researching all four diseases, you do that by collecting 5 cards of the infected color and turning them in to a research station. There are several different ways to lose: run out of cubes in any color, have 8 outbreaks, or run out of cards in the player deck. Pandemic Iberia is different from Pandemic in that it has regions that you can place Purification tokens, there are railways that can be built, you can travel from port to port city, and you are researching disease not curing them.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2-4 players. I have not played with 5.


Favorite Character And Why: I like the Railway Man and Sailor. I find the Railway Man and Sailor are very valuable because they help you get around the map easily and fast and they can both carry another pawn.



Least Favorite Character And Why: Right off the Politician Character because the special sucked of giving cards from the discard pile when the sailor was in play and could go port to port, but I am sure he will be helpful in other games.


Mechanics I Like And Dislike: There are MANY new things I like compared to the original Pandemic: the ease of moving, the diseases have names, purification tokens, and each disease can have a different effect when in outbreaks. Now to the why: Movement took SO much of your actions or I didn't want to waste a card in the original Pandemic and in Iberia laying down railroad, going port to port, or as normal walking just makes me feel like my turn is better.  The disease have names! And they are historically accurate which is so cool! The purification tokens are awesome because there are many times you don't want to leave an area to go turn in or meet up to get a card due to the fact there might be an outbreak and then trying to move back you can't get there fast enough. BUT now you can lay down a few purification tokens and not worry about it as much. I think the added disease cards are great because they can keep the game fresh and increase the difficulty.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I think the little railroad pieces are cool and the historical feel of the map and character cards is awesome.

Strategies: Not much has changed in this from the original Pandemic. But here is the strategy I like- read everyone's character special first to find out how to best utilize them, then go to where there are 2+ cubes or where you can trade cards with someone, try and get the disease researched/cured as soon as possible, lay down railroads to help move faster, and remember it is a game, the world is NOT really relying on you to save it.

First thoughts: I love the moving from one port city to another and railways, learned the hard way that the strategy of connecting rail ways to the hospitals is not smart because we started getting a lot of people "coming to be treated" and that wasn't good. Overall I love this Pandemic more than the original and I am glad it is the copy my husband and I own.

8 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Cooperative games like these always seem to be easier with 2 people, because there are only 2 people to go through all the cards and collect them instead of 4, and you just get things done quicker.

Favorite Character And Why: The Nurse. I like keeping a region from gaining any cubes when I can. I also like the Politician. Knowing that we can discard colors and still be able to get them back later is nice for set collecting, especially in a two player game.

Least Favorite Character And Why: I have played twice as the Railwayman and I just don't enjoy laying down the railway lines. I hardly ever use them.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like how you can place the purification tokens to keep cubes from being added.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The backs of the cards.

Strategies: Putting your hospitals away from your train tracks, and just collecting your cards as quickly as you can.

Final Thoughts: This is another fun version of Pandemic. Personally, I still enjoy the original games more, but this one is fun to pull out and play sometimes too.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

International Table Top Day!

Yesterday was International Table Top Day. To celebrate, we decided to go to our local small game store's ITTD event. They had a 24 hour event that started at 6 pm Friday and went to 6 pm Saturday, where you could come in and play their demo games for free. There were a couple of board game giveaways and Amber won a copy of Dixit Journey. We got there at 6 Friday night and stayed for 8 hours before running home for a few hours of sleep, then we returned Saturday to play for 8 more hours before heading home to play a few of our own games.These are the games we played during those 24+ hours:

Friday Night


Smash Up- We decided to start off our night with a game we own and know how to play, but do not own any expansions for yet, while waiting for a friend to show up. It was fun getting to play with the expansions and Amber's Mad Scientist Bear Calvary won over Shannon's Vampire Kittens!
Shannon- I like the concept of this game a whole lot. I like the idea of mixing two factions together to form a unique deck. Unfortunately for me, that is my favorite part of the whole game. I do like the game, and I will play it when other people suggest it, but it's not one that I see myself spending more money on.
Amber- I found that when we picked factions based on how cool/funny we think they would be together, is not very practical. Bear Calvary and Mad Scientists do not flow well together. 

Dead of Winter- Next we taught this to a friend who joined us for the rest of the night. This is a game that we both love a lot and really enjoyed getting to play it again. It was also a lot of fun getting to teach this game to a friend... even though we lost to the game. (And it helped us both mark off another box on our 10x10 Challenges!)

Zombicide: Black Plague- After that, another gamer asked us if we would like to learn to play Zombicide. We really enjoyed learning this game from someone who already knew how to play. We quickly caught on and had a lot of fun, and we won!
Shannon- This game has been on my wish list for a while now, so it was really nice getting to learn this game before I buy it. I love a good cooperative game, and this fits nicely into that category. The miniatures were nice, and I loved how it made me think of a dungeon crawl game like Descent. This was hands down my favorite game that I learned during ITTD.
Amber- Definitely adding to our wish list. I liked the feel of it being cooperative. It slightly reminded me of all the weapons and moving around the board like Mice and Mystics, but with zombies chasing me instead of rats and spiders. 

Jim Henson's Labyrinth- Next our friend wanted to try out this game since he is a fan of the movie. Unfortunately, we lost.
Shannon-I have only seen Labyrinth once, and that was a while ago, so the theme was not that appealing to me. I spent most of the game trying to catch up to everyone else, which I never did, so I felt my character was pretty useless for the whole game. Not one I would buy, but I think fans of the movie would enjoy it.
Amber- Not a game I would buy right off since I have never seen the movie, and the rules were confusing at parts. 

Plague Inc.- The other two people we were playing with at this point both wanted to try out this game. Neither of us won this area control game.
Shannon- This game was only okay for me. I have found that I'm not the biggest fan of area control games, so I didn't like this one as much as the other three I was playing against. I only lost by a couple of points, so I think I would give this game another try at some point.
Amber- I liked the game, but not sure if it is a right off buy for me, because I'm not sure if my husband would like it. It, at first, made me think it would be like the diseases in Pandemic, but it was different in board, events, and ways to outbreak. 

Saturday

Stone Age- We decided to learn some new games to start off our day and started with this worker placement that we had both heard about and thought about buying at some point.
Amber- Awesome game! I decided to buy the game! :D I have really begun to enjoy worker placement games. It played well as a two player game, and I think it would play just as well with more. I really like the theme and the feel of trying to build my village and yet also feed everyone.
Shannon- This game was pretty good. I debated buying it after watching it played on Table Top, but worker placement games are a hit or miss with me, so I did not want to buy this one without playing it first. I liked it, and can't wait to play it with Amber again. 

Just Desserts- We learned this short game before grabbing some lunch. It was an easy to learn set collection/hand management game all about making some desserts!
Amber- I could see this being a fun game to take on a trip like camping or to play sitting at a coffee shop. Plus it was an easy game to pick up and know how to play within 5 minutes.
Shannon- This game is one that my kids want to get, so when I saw that they had it to play, I wanted to try it out. It was cute and fun, and easy enough that I know my kids will catch on how to play quick. I am excited for them to get this one so I can play it with them. 

Mission: Red Planet- This was the last game we learned before heading home thanks to a power outage in the area. This one is a space themed area control game.
Amber- I really liked this game too, and will be adding it to my wish list. I think it would flow better as a 3+ player game, because you would not have neutral players, but it was an okay two player game. I liked how well the planet and launchpad were assembled and all of the little astronaut minis!
Shannon- This game just didn't pull me in and make me enjoy it. I had bad luck with the mission cards that I got, and didn't have any luck playing cards from my hand either. Part of my problem with this one was trying to read cards with the power out and either misreading something or missing something completely. I would give this game another try, with power this time so I could actually read what my cards say, but I still don't think it's a game for me. 

Dragonheart- Back home, we played a quick game of Dragonheart since it is a favorite two player game of ours and it helps Shannon mark off another space on her 10x10.

Dead of Winter: The Long Night- We ended our International Table Top Day by playing a scenario that we had played a few weeks ago and lost in the last round. We beat it this time, and it was a nice way to end our day.

We hope that everyone enjoyed their ITTD as much as we did.
Click the game names to find out more about them at boardgamegeek!