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. 


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! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Telestrations Review

*Ages 12+
*4-8 Players
*About 30 Minutes

Telestrations is a combination of Pictionary and the old kid's game telephone. Everyone gets a dry erase marker, a notepad, and a card with words on it. One person rolls a die to tell you which word(s) you will be trying to get to go around. You write it on the first page and depending on the number of players, you will either pass it on, or draw the picture. You pass notebooks in a circle and you are either guessing what the person before you drew or drawing what they guessed until everyone's notepad comes back to them. If your word makes it all the way around, you get a point, if not, you award a point to the best guess. You also award points for the best drawing. The person with the most points at the end of three rounds wins.

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: This game plays better with at least 5 or more people. When you play with 4, you always have to award the drawing point to the only other player who drew on your notepad.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like how every other person has to either guess or draw.

Strategies: Honestly, draw simplistically so people get the idea without running out of time or throwing them off with extra detail. 

Final Thoughts: This game is a lot of fun... with the right group of people. It's fun to see how a word can go from one thing to something completely different. Half the fun of this game is people not being able to draw and having things go terrible wrong!

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 5+ It works with 4 people, but I feel like the more people, the more enjoyable it is. With 4 I dislike that if it gets around the table correctly, you only give points to who drew...and only one other person drew so they automatically get the point. Also it makes me want to guess wrong so the person doesn't get a point...but I can't make myself be "that person".

Mechanics I Like: The fill-in-the blank ones that let you be creative. I also like seeing everyone's interpretations of pictures.

Mechanics I Dislike: Other then what I said in the number to play with, I also don't like "that person" that draws or writes something so off that it is annoying or inappropriate, and I think really you couldn't come up with anything!!! This does not apply if you are playing with a kid and they literally don't know the picture or word.

Strategies: Draw your best, but use your time wisely. Think about what you see and make your best guess. If you want brownie points write in cute/fun handwriting or draw a doodle beside.

Final Thoughts: It is a solid party game. Not my favorite as you can see in our top 10 party blogs post, but it is on my list. ;)

6 out of 10 Stars 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Samurai Spirit Review

*Ages 9+
* 1-7 Players
*About 30 Minutes
*Antoine Bauza

Samurai Spirit is a cooperative game where each player is given a Samurai board that has it's own special ability and another when you Kiai. The start player takes a raider card from the top of the stack and decides whether to put in on their combat line or defend against it. Play continues to the left with the next player drawing their own card. When it becomes your turn again, first resolve any consequences on the bottom right of your last card in your combat line. (Burn a barrier, gain a wound, neighbor takes a penalty card, etc. Once you take a second wound, you flip your board to your animal spirit side.) Another action that you can take on your turn is to help another player, you do this by placing the card you would have drawn into the intruder deck and passing your support token to another player. If you reach your Kiai level, then you take your special action and remove the top warrior from your combat line. If it goes past that  level, then you are knocked out and burn a barricade. If your next turn comes and no one has taken a card from your combat line, you are out for the rest of the round. Play continues until all the cards are gone from the raider deck. Then you must resolve the peasants, farmsteads, and lastly the families. If at any time, all warriors have been defeated, all the farmsteads are gone, or all the families are gone, then you have lost the game.

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have played this as a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 player game and I have loved it each time. It's more challenging with fewer players, but they have all been equally fun!

Favorite Character And Why: Either Kanbei or Gorobei where you can ignore certain numbers bad consequences.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Kikuchiyo where you can fight two if you want. It helps at the beginning of the round, but quickly becomes unusable.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: Having the families at the end of each round to help you out is nice if you can keep them.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I really like the samurai meeples.

Strategies: I like to defend against the ones with bad consequences, and try to remember how many of each number come out during the first round.

Final Thoughts: This is another Antoine Bauza game that I love. It can be really challenging, and even when we lose I enjoy playing. It's also pretty easy to teach to other people.

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 4 players. It was ok as a 2 player, but I find that it is harder to flip to the animal spirit side in a 2 player, and it is really easy to get knocked out

Favorite Character And Why: Being able to pass even/odd OR being able to ignore even/odd.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Fighting 2 warrior cards, Kikuchiyo. It can be powerful at the beginning of the game but towards the end it is not as useful and is an easy way to knock yourself out.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that you don't have to fight every Raider card, you can place them with their matching peasants, farmsteads, or families one time each round. I also like how each family gives you a benefit while it is in the game.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The character cards with a Samurai on 1 side and an animal spirit on the other is cool.

Strategies: Count how many 1/2/3/4 and peasants/farmsteads/families are in the game the first round so you know how to plan and play the second and third rounds.

Final Thoughts: It is a solid game by Antoine Bauza. It isn't my favorite by him, but my group uses it as a good end of the night shorter game and it works well for that.

7 out of 10 Stars  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

First Quarter of Amber's Board Game Challenges

Here is an update on my first three months of 2017 Board Game Challenges. Since the start of the challenge, I had a birthday, adding some new games. Also we have all been sick a few days a few different times, been really busy at work, and no snow days to have game days on. But over all I feel pretty good about my Challenges!

Challenge #1 Play at least 7 board games a week!


This has been REALLY easy some weeks, and other weeks it has been REALLY hard. Most weeks if we hang out with Shannon and family it is easy to get multiple games in...but they have been sick some, so there have been a few weeks we haven't gotten to go over there at all. :S So far there has only been one week (Sunday-Saturday) that on Saturday I have had to say, "So I need to play at least 2 games today!!" I have enjoyed this challenge, because if I play a game like Star Realms on 2 different days, I only count the game 1 time on the chart. Yes, this makes it more challenging, but I like the challenge! To increase my challenge, I have also been counting any iPad games on the chart, since I play a few on there weekly. Over all one of my favorite things about this challenge is I can look on the chart and see I have played 67 different games since January...AND there are still so many that I have not played since January in my collection! :) I love board games!

Challenge #2 10x10 Board Game Challenge 

This has been really fun. I like getting to mark down when we play and watching the chart fill up. Also I feel like having 34/100 boxes done is really good for 3 months! I have played each game at least 2 times and almost have Mechs vs Minions done!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

One Night Ultimate Review

*Ages 8+
*3-10 Players
*About 10 Minutes
*Ted Alspach & Akihisa Okui
*One Night Ultimate Narrator App

The One Night Ultimate series currently consists of Werewolf, Werewolf Daybreak, and Vampire. Each player takes a tile to let them know what character they will be for that game. It is placed face down in front of them surrounding three extra tiles in the middle. Everyone then closes their eyes and players take their special actions when it's their turn. (We use the free app that you can download online so no one person has to remember all the roles and when they come into play.) A few examples of special actions are swapping cards, rotating cards, looking at other players cards, etc. When everyone has taken their turn, everyone opens their eyes and you have 5 minutes (or less depending on how much time you want to give yourselves) to figure out who everyone is and which player to kill off. Each character has it's own conditions for winning. Most villagers just need a werewolf of vampire to die, and most werewolfs and vampires just need to survive the end of the game without any of them dying.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 5-7, I have not played with more than 7, and I felt like with 4 we needed more people.

Favorite Character And Why: Alpha Werewolf, Village Idiot, or  Trouble Maker. I like the Alpha Werewolf because it is cool to get to turn someone else into a werewolf. Village Idiot, because it is fun to tell the group you moved them one way and then at the last like 10 seconds reveal that you moved them the other way or you didn't move them :D It is fun to watch panic over the others faces. I like Trouble Maker, because I like getting to switch 2 other peoples cards, which can be fun to say you switched different people then you really did switch.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Villager; I feel like being a villager sucks because you don't have any special role.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like how different each roll is and how you can be the same character in 2 rounds back to back, but play each round differently.  I will say this can also be my dislike, because if you are the same roll for like 1/3 or 1/2 the game it can SUCK, because it is fun to get to be more rolls.

Favorite Art: Mystic Wolf, Doppelganger, and Insomniac

Strategies: Say you did one thing but really do something else. Or say you tell the truth because it is still fun to try to piece a bunch of things together in the time limit.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoy this game! :D It is fun with every group I have played it with. I have found that I enjoy it the most late at night so everyone is tired and struggling to concentrate so it gets really funny and exciting!   

7 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: This game has been fun no matter what number we play with! It is usually more fun with a larger group, but I also enjoy it with only 4 people.

Favorite Character And Why: Cupid! I love getting to switch two people's clarity marks to be in love.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Any villager tile where you have no special actions.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that there are so many different rolls that you can add into the game so that everyone has something to do instead of just sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Strategies: Our group likes to play by giving ourselves less time at the end to figure things out. When you have too much time to talk, you can usually figure out exactly who everyone is and the werewolves or vampires have little chance to win.

Final Thoughts: This is another fun party game involving bluffing and deduction. I really was not sure I would like it at first, but it surprised me with how much fun it can be.

7 out of 10 Stars