The Most Beautiful Game

Right, so if you visit my Instargram every now and then, you know what game I will be talking about. But, hey, don’t leave! There’s probably so much I haven’t said about it yet!

Abyss, because that’s what we are talking about, it’s not only gorgeous, but great to play. I haven’t played anything like it. It’s a set collection, but also so much more. Let me run through the basics.

On the board you’ve got three areas. Top one is the exploration area, where you gather allies or encounter monsters to get pearls, points or keys. Second area is the council, where you can get more than one ally a turn. Third area is occupied by the Lords.

On your turn you can do ONE of the THREE actions. If you explore the depths, you get an ally or encounter a monster. Allies have 5 races (colours) and numbers (1-5). You need them to buy Lords. There are also Kraken cards (expansion), which act as wild, but give you black Nebulis (silver pearls).

White and silver Nebulis are used to pay the difference for the Lords, if you couldn’t afford them with your cards only. Keys give you access to locations, that score you extra points for various things. You need 3 keys to unlock a location. You get keys from Lords and from monsters. The first person to get 7 Lords ends (but not necessarily wins) the game. Everyone gets one more turn.

You score for the Locations, the Lords, the Allies and the Monster tokens. You also get minus points for each black Nebuli you have, and minus 8 if you have the Kraken figure (for having the most black Nebulis).

It may sound a bit muddled up, but I can’t get over how great this game is. There is, however, one little thing.  First round is always really frustrating, especially for the first player, who only has one option – explore. And if they get what they want on the first go, second player can then can only explore too.

Anyhow – we love it, and Pickle loves it too!

 

 

It Takes Two…

So, us – being two human beings, we need games for two. We do like Pandemic and we have Patchwork, but we needed more complex games. So the next one we got, as all the reviews were really good, was 7 Wonders Duel.

(this, by the way, is the shameful picture of the one of the two losses I have committed…purposely) 

Better.  We haven’t played 7 Wonders before we got it, but it didn’t matter as we found out later, as they are very different. But we do love this game, different strategies, different ways to win. Although scientific victory is my least favourite, I much prefer the brutal military one (well, at least you see it coming).

After a while, when it became a bit too (I want to say easy), uhm.. again. When it wasn’t challenging enough anymore, we turned to the gods and got the Pantheon expansion – but there is going to be a separate post about expansions.

So, with or without the expansion (although with, is what I’m going for), 7 Wonders Duel is a great 2 player game.

Seeing as we love H.P.Lovecraft universe, and we have Mansions of Madness and Eldritch Horror, it was time to get this one. We may have actually gotten it before 7WD, but hey! That’s not the point!

This game is great. Setup tho could do with some improvement. This is the only thing that keeps us from playing it more often, really. But yeah, this is good. Hard, yeah, and I died last time (right before the end tho, and Matt finished it on his own), but it’s a game we will be coming back to.

I like the idea, but maybe I should buy the playing mat, too? Oh, that remind me, I need to buy a big, clear playing mat, just gonna leave it here, in case I forget again. But anyway!

This one just came out! So, as soon as I find out how to get more money…

Next is Codenames Duet feat. Pickle. We do love the original Codenames (yet to try picture version), but seeing as having more than 4 people around doesn’t happen very often, Duet was the thing to do.

It’s so simple, yet so deep. I do love the moments, when a very vague clue makes sense not only in your head, but in the other persons messed up brain, too. Like this one – how do I connect BEAN and COMPUTER? simple! SCREEN! – so I say, screen 2, and Matt immediately says computer, and then, after moment of silence, he says… Sean Bean appears on the Screen! so…Bean? 
Those are the moments to live for…

Anyway, let’s just have a quick look at games that are not designed only for 2 players, but are great with 2. Magic Maze for example. A quick, brain draining game, which Matt bought only because he wanted me to stop talking (or making some kind of humming-squeaking sounds) for more than 3 minutes.

Although, thanks to this red guy, we can communicate. And I am just waiting for the day we will need a new table, when I hit it so hard that I’ll make a hole in it. Ekhm.

Last but not least, the classic. The old, shit components, classic. Castles of Burgundy, which we only picked up recently, to be fair. Shame.

This game has some features of Kingdom Builder, game I like, and some of Catan, the game I hate. But this weird mix makes me love this one quite a bit. Not only because I win every time (if you know me at all, you know this is an important factor).

So, mechanics are great, it’s got just enough depth and theme but the components. Oh dear Elder. I know the game is old and cheap, but the components are so fragile I am actually afraid to pick them up. But it’s not something that will keep me from playing. Oh, hell no.

Inserts and stuff

See, all those of you who have money, buy all the inserts from BrokenToken and others, all those component trays and things… Ugh, I wish I could have that. But hey! They are cheaper ways to organize the mess on your table. Although, having a cat is not one of them.

Silly little tray costed me nearly nothing, and can store 10 different components. It had a lid, but who needs that, eh? It’s not too big, and can be used with any game.. no, I do not sell those. Just saying.

Those I found by accident. They carried my arts&crafts wooden letters. And then I realized… hey! Trays! Dice rolling trays? Component trays? TRAYS?

How about a box?! A treasure chest with Scythe coins and some Abyss pearls (no idea why they’re there..) I know it’s not the best, but it was a) cheap, b) useful, an c) cheap. I painted it and made the divider. And it works. And have I mentioned it was cheap?

Let’s just give a little shoutout to Dice Forge, a game with THE BEST built in insert!

See how everything has got it’s own space?

See?

 

For reasons…

I stumbled upon this game, when browsing Kickstarter some time ago. I saw the picture of this hedgehog, and (seeing as we own one) I could not just leave it be. I pledged, before I saw any reviews or read any opinions. Did I have second thoughts? Of course!

I thought ‘well, it doesn’t seem like anything special, the rules are a bit vague, looks a bit complicated, maybe not really clear…’ but then I have been promised to LEARN HOW TO LOSE. This is something that may come handy one day, you know, when Matt starts getting annoyed with me slapping his hand, throwing my cards, swearing never to play the game again… [sorry]

 

I also like the card laying mechanism, although the board looks a little bit crowded, but maybe it all makes sense once you play it? Well, gonna have to wait to find out. Plus the take-that bit, where you just wound everyone. Well, you can’t die, I guess that’s good, right? Oh.. I get it, that’s the learning to lose phase. You can’t die, you have to keep playing until someone wins. You may be picked on, being wounded every round, but hey! – it’s just a game, right? RIGHT?!

So anyway, you have about 7 hours to back it, if you like the looks of it. Just saying. Stay wild!

 

What is it? I want it!

I don’t earn much, let me open with that. So I need to limit myself to two new games a month. Ok, three. Alright, I am not gonna limit myself. It’s just there are months where 10 good games come out, and there are moments where I just sit there thinking ‘do I really need another game?’. Well, let’s be honest. I got caught up in it, and I won’t stop buying. Can’t—stop—buying—

Anyway! I wanted to whine a bit about games that are on my wishlist (and remind everyone that it’s 99 days to Xmas and 170 days to my birthday).

Starting off with a light, but oh-so-pretty Indian Summer. Another tetris-type from Uwe Rosenberg, which I obviously MUST HAVE. Not only because I found Patchwork and Cottage Garden really satisfying (in your face, all who came around and laughed at CG, and then apologized, after one game..), but also because – look at this fox, LOOK.

Ok, next to something heavier, but also with gorgeous artwork. Those two, Cerebria and Spirit Island – something just drew my attention to them, but to be fair, I feel like I could let those two go. Still want to try them, but I won’t die if I don’t have them on my shelf (which, by the way, needs expanding).

Now hold onto something, we’re all aboard a freaking floating island. Noria got me from the first moment I read about it. Disc building? Like, action wheel building? This is a MUST HAVE, surely. Theme – awesome, artwork – gorgeous, mechanisms – holy crap! I do regret I won’t be in Essen to join everyone at Spiel to try this one out, but I am LITERALLY dying to try it. Can someone sneak me a copy before it’s too late?

And now onto something big. We nearly picked up Anachrony at UKGE, but it seemed too heavy. In our defense, it was the fist time when we saw it and heard about it, and to be fair, the guy at the stand didn’t sell it very well (duh, that’s why we haven’t bought it then). But now, after all the reviews and videos, I really want to have it.

And last, but definitely not least – Gloomhaven. This is a definite buy for us, but because of the price we’ll hold back until Xmas (that’s why I’m counting down days). Legacy dungeon crawl? Hell yes please!

-all pictures come from Board Game Geek-

Donuts

“You go through a portal, and you enter a room. You realise, it’s the same room, as before. But something feels different. Nothing, even donuts, tase the same..” 

That’s my favourite. Nothing, even the donuts. Flavour text, because that’e what we’re all about, is something that makes games special. Mansions of Madness and Eldritch Horror, to me, are some great examples. Thou I heard that 7th Continent does it really well – I am still to try it out. 

There are games, that feel like they started off being really bothered with the narrative aspect, but then just went ‘ah feck it’ and went to the very minimum. Which is fine, I guess, hoe much can you actually write about a snake bite? 

Take That!

Backstabbing, frontstabbing, bloodraging. You know what I am talking about. I am not ashamed to admit, that ‘take that’ mechanism is not one of my favourite ones. Only, maybe, if it comes from other players. If the game itself does something to you (us), I’m not too fussed. Because I am a part of a group! Ha! Yes.. it’s being alone that scares me… Anyway!

Triassic Terror. See? Nobody thought I’d say that. This game is the definition of brutality towards one another. You have a lot of dinosaurs? Oh, let me just take this mothafokken T-rex and eat them all. You’re doing too well? Imma just grab those badass raptors and scatter you a bit. Not even gonna mention the pterodactyl. Seriously, pick up this game if you have a chance, and eat your friends. Recommended!

But hey, Blood Rage, right? This is the only game that made me throw my cards and say ‘fuck all y’all’, and walk away from the table. Don’t you just love it when you think carefully during drafting phase how and when you’re gonna screw everyone, and right in the middle of the most important frikkin battle of Yggdrasil, you want to play ‘discard all and draw new’ and then, boom, +6… and someone plays ‘cancel all text’… I cannot emphasise enough how my blood was raging at that point.

But to the point, if the game itself is quite brutal, I can take it. Robinson Crusoe for example. Literally, no card is good. Even if something good happens, shit happens straight after. Or better, Ghost Stories. Have you ever played anything more difficult than that? But hey, we’re a team, we spread the damage, I take one, you take one. Oh, look, we’re dead.

There is, however, one game, in which when players do it to players I can accept it. Descent. My absolute favourite of the genre. First edition that is, when someone had to be the ‘bad guy’. So it simply goes like this – ‘I’m just gonna go this way, and…’ – ‘Ha, ha, no you’re not, you’ve fallen into my trap, you lose 3 health, 2 stamina, random item and a will to live’. Love it!

Betrayal!

So, here’s the thing. I don’t like being betrayed, ok? And I don’t like betraying people. But what I don’t like even more, is being the hidden betrayer (or a hidden bastard as we called it once). So how come Dead of Wi nter is one of my favourites?

Well.. because it’s quite hard to tell, who’s who. It’s not like in Werewolf, or Spyfall, or some other games I hate, that you need to answer questions correctly or you’re exposed. In DoW you never know, sometimes till the very end (if your secret is not obvious). And I have lost many games as the betrayer, but still enjoyed it, but didn’t feel stressed.

Another this is going mad. Ahhh, Mansions of Madness… another favourite. In this case you may go mad and stab your friend as a part of a ritual, or you may not be able to talk for the rest of the gane but still be a part of the team. Or you may get paranoid or cleptomaniac. But everyone knows it’s you. So no stress – again. I don’t like when games stress me out, I don’t enjoy them at all.

So what about Betrayal at the House on the Hill? Hmmm… everyone will know you’re the betrayer, but all this fuss about leaving the room and reading the flavour text… I know, I know, it’s the whole point. But it also all depends on people you play with.

We have the same group every time, so every time we play MoM, and someone goes mad, everyone shouts “don’t let them get a bladed weapon” – because, well, the ritual… but, hey! The expansion is coming! So maybe new madness conditions?

Still, one of my favourite gameplays was when I was mad and had to search through all the tokens, and Chris was also mad and had to agree with everything I say.

Introductory Scenario

I am a sore looser. I actually have flipped the board once, or banged my fists on the table, so all the components got messed up. But GOSHILOVEGAMES.
I haven’t played all my life. I played my first serious board game in 2014 and can’t stop since. By serious I mean it wasn’t Monopoly, but it also wasn’t Battlestar Galactica.
Ticket to Ride was my first game to play. Then Catan, then Escape from Atlantis… and then we bought Castles of Mad King Ludwig and lost count 🙂

Matt on the other hand is a winner. He barely loses a game. Although he managed to plan his little strategy, when he loses the first couple of times we play, and then suddenly starts winning… and he thinks I won’t get angry 😉

We both like co-op, and semi co-op games, like Mansions of Madness, Dead of Winter or Eldritch Horror. Matt is more of a brutal strategy person, like Blood Rage, Scythe or Evolution. I like fast paced games, like Escape the Curse of the Temple, Dice Forge or Steam Park. I roll, he drafts.

Our collection started growing quite recently, and we only JUST reached 50 games on our shelf.

There is, of course, the Pickle. Our cat, who loves games more than us. And Harry the Hedgehog, who doesn’t like anyone.