Friday, June 30, 2017

Shannon's Halfway Through 2017 Board Game Challenge Update

2017 is already halfway over! Before we get into the challenge updates, I thought I would let you know a few of my favorite and least favorite games of the year so far.

Best New Game I Played In 2017: Zombicide: Black Plague! This is a game that I had been looking at for a while, but I was hesitant to buy it before I played it. I was given that chance during International Table Top Day and I went home and bought the game a few days later.

Best New Kid's Game I Played In 2017: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters. I saw this game as an Amazon Deal of the Day and I thought it looked fun so I picked it up to play with my kids. They love it and so do I.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet. This looks like another great cooperative game.

Least Favorite New Game I Played In 2017: Jim Henson's The Labyrinth Board Game. I'm not a huge fan of the movie and the board game really was not a whole lot of fun to me.

Top Nine Most Played Games So Far This Year:

Challenge #1 Play Through Your Collection Board Game Challenge

A quarter of the way through I was at 171 games. I have added 9 new games to my collection since then, so now I am at 180 games. I have played 106 of them, and still have 24 games left to learn. I feel this is a good number to be at, since that is over halfway through my game collection. At this rate, I still have a chance on finishing this challenge in a year instead of two.

Challenge #2 10x10 Board Game Challenge

I have now played 65 of the 100 games for this challenge. That gets me over halfway done with this challenge, so I feel good that I can get this one done. I have completely finished 3 of my games and have at least started all the other games.

I am still enjoying these board game challenges. I love how they are making me play all the games on my shelf so I know what I want to keep and what I wouldn't mind getting rid of at the end of the year. Also, it is nice that we are finally getting to all the games on the Shelf of Shame so that it is getting smaller instead of larger. I'm hoping that the second half of the year will be as productive and fun as the first half of the year has been.    

Amber's Halfway Through 2017 Board Game Challenge Update

It is now halfway through 2017, which I feel like it is going TOO FAST! Not because I am behind, because I am head on my challenges, but I feel like each year goes a little faster and it is my summer break! I thought before we get into my challenge update, I want to talk about the 4th giveaway I won and I wanted to answer some random board game questions. 

I won Stratos games wooden tiles and they sent me an extra surprise of an 10 X 8 Limited Edition Print! THANKS! I love the art! And Stratos has been on my want list, so having the wooden tiles makes me want the game ASAP!

Random Question Time
1) New Games I have gotten since January: Stone Age, Mystic Vale, Tides of Madness, CoinQuest, Happy Salmon, Beyond Baker Street, Pursuit of Happiness, Quadropolis, San Juan, Gravwell, Patchwork, Postion Explosion, TransAmerica, Macroscope, Candy Chaser, Bounce Off!, Blend Off, and Cthulu Monster for King of New York/Tokyo. 

2) Favorite New Game I got: Well I almost didn't put this question on here because I really like all of them! But for a 2 player game, I think Patchwork or Tides of Madness, for a 3-4 player game I think Potion Explosion or Beyond Baker Street, and 4+ player game, Happy Salmon. 

3) How many new games have I learned since January: I have learned all of my new games except TranAmerica, so a total of 16 games. I have also learned the the games from International Tabletop Day and the other New Board Game day. So a total 36 new games learned!

4) Favorite New Game I learned of Shannon's: I would probably have to say Above and Below. Which is a game a friend from St. Louis had recommended to me, so she was right!  

5) Kickstarters I am excited to receive later this year: I already got Macroscope in and really like it. But I still have to get Can't Stop Express, King Cat, One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows. Also at the beginning of 2018 I will be getting Zombie Tsunami. 

6) Least Favorite New Game I learned: Labyrinth, we learned it on International Tabletop Day at a local board game store. 

7) What games are still at the top of my wishlist: Well I have gotten 7 out of my 10 that I here are the ones I still want and added some! Burgle Brothers, Ok Play, Scoville, Chameleon, Sagrada, The Great Dinosaur Rush, Stratos game, Triplock, and New York Slice. Hopefully a few of these will be in the July 11th Amazon Deal Day! Fingers Crossed! Is there one of these games you would recommend I get next?

Is there a question you want me to answer? Leave it in the comments and I will answer!

Challenge #1 Play 7 games in a week
This has been kind of easy this quarter. Since I am on Summer Break for work and my stepdaughter is too, and I can go hang out with Shannon during the day...I can easily get like 10 games in a week. I am also excited to say I have played 103 different games since January! :D Which is 36 more than the first quarter! This number may not make another 30+ game jump by September, because I have played a lot of the games we own and like 1/2 of Shannon's, but we will see. 

Challenge #2 10x10 Board Game Challenge
I have now played 63 of the 100 games for this challenge. I have finished 2 rows; Mechs vs Minions and Lost Cities! I think with still having some summer break left I should be able to get a few more in before school starts back. Also I have found a few of these games are a little harder to convince my husband, step daughter, or Shannon to play because we have gotten some new games that they want to play. Which is understandable because we have gotten some new GOOD GAMES! 

What game do you want us to review next? Leave us a comments and remember to follow!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Beyond Baker Street Review

*Ages 13+
*2-4 Players
*About 20 Minutes
*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. 


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 . 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.


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!


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!

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!
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