Low Lands

Highly competitive, passive-aggressive, cutthroat dike building. Oh, and some sheep.

So you probably know Agricola or Fields of Arle, or any other Rosenberg’s game. Well, this is not one of those. You do heard sheep, and build buildings and features on your field, and breed the sheep, until everything is covered in wool and wooden fences. You sell sheep, to get money, to do absolutely nothing with it, apart from scoring points at the very end (ok, in a 2 player game they help a bit, but it’s not really a desirable option anyway).

But above (?) all this, there is flood, that’s coming quicker than you think. So you need to buy the dike. Here comes set collection aspect. You need 1/2/3/or 4 cards to build respectively that many ‘parts’ of the dike (in a 2p game). Once the 4th part is built, you add a block. And then you look if the tide is higher or not. If it’s not, you’re fine, and if you are the master builder, you get the money. If it is, you’re screwed and lose sheep – if you are not the master builder, with the lucky hand.

And again, with two players, there is only two of you who build the dike. And you have to ask each other for help, but you don’t have to help each other, because as far as it advances the dike, helping doesn’t give you any points. So here, build a lot of that bloody dike, and then lay back, and build buildings, and let the others suffer and drown.

Again, I understand why people like this game, and non of us is saying that it is a bad one. All we made out of it, it is not an enjoyable two player game for us.

Alicja’s Thoughts

Right, now first put some filters on : it is not a two player game and I do not particularly enjoy passive aggressive games, that punish you for poor hand. If I haven’t got the resources to build the bloody dike, I am not going to score points, therefore when the flood comes, I will lose sheep. Does Matt care? Nope, he built quite a bit, with my help (silly me…), and doesn’t give a sheep’s bum about the flood.  And so I suffered, pretty much the whole game. I think I was expecting something like Uwe, but as much as it is trying to be, it is not Uwe. However, I feel like with 3 or 4 players the game would be totally different, as more people would contribute to building the dike. Or would they?

6/10

Matt’s Thoughts

Had heard good things of this one, but none of the previews I had seen seemed to grab me. There was a lot to take in with the rules at first, but it was not too complicated once we got going. Unfortunately this one did not connect with me. I feel it would work better with more players, but at two players it feels like you both have to be constantly working on the dike otherwise one player gets way ahead on the scoring and it floods. Maybe I didn’t really understand all the nuances of the game, but for this initial playthrough, it was merely ok. Would like to try again with a full player count though.

7/10

*there super duper sheep and dog don’t come with the game, we could use them thanks to Nick at the Ludoquist!

Through the Desert

You are in charge of 5 riders, sitting on 5 different coloured camels. You are scattered through the desert, and you’re trying to form a caravan. Ideally, you want to connect Oases (palm trees), and gather some points (water holes) on the way. The game ends when the supply runs out of one of the coloured camels. You gotta be careful there, that’s what made Matt lose!

Sometimes you may find yourself completely bloked in the middle of the desert, because you focused on different colours – me. And sometimes you may somehow cut off a large bit of the map, and score all the water holes in the area – also me. At the end, the player with the most camels of one colour in the caravan gets 10 points, and that happens for each colour. Add the points from water holes and oases, and there you go, that’s your score.

It is a short review, because it is a short game. But it’s a thinky one, nothing random, if you lose, it’s simply because you didn’t make the right choices. Blame yourself, get on your camel and ride away.

Alicja’s Thoughts

To be honest, I have never heard of this game, before seeing Rahdo’s runthrough of the second edition. At first I thought – well, another camel game. And, yes, it is a camel game, but man it is fun! Quick, clever and not at all random! Everything you do, is because you came up with it. It’s your strategy, your decisions. Well, unless someone cuts you off, or finishes the game just before you were to score extra 10 points. Mean? Not really, you could have seen it coming! I’m not even gonna mention those cute, pastel-coloured camels, and for the sake of the game, I won’t rate the first edition’s board.

7,5/10

Matt’s Thoughts

A great fairly quick and tactical game. Really enjoyed trying to plot out the best routes in my head whilst anticipating my opponents’. In the game we played, I failed to see how close to the end of the game we were and so a couple of big set ups I had planned got cut short. However this didn’t feel frustrating, as it was my fault and not just random chance. There is no hidden information in this one, so it’s just a battle of wits, which I like from time to time, but might put off others. Would be interested to try out with higher play counts. We played first edition, which had good moulds for the camels/riders, however, the board and tokens are pretty low quality. The good news is that there is a new edition which has really nice components.

8/10

Founders of Gloomhaven

I’m sorry to break it to you, but this is not a dungeon crawler, and you really don’t need to have previously played Gloomhaven, to enjoy this one – you know, in case you’re looking for excuses not to buy it. Technically, it could be any other theme. But THANK GOD it is what it is.

Founders of Gloomhaven is a competitive co-op, if there is such a thing. You are working together to build the city of Gloomhaven, however, you compete to have the ownership of buildings and resources, because this is what scores you points.

You start with pretty much nothing, and I’m not gonna lie, the game drags a bit in the beginning. There isn’t much you can do, as you lack in money and resources, but after some time you’ll find yourself having to choose the best possible option among quite a few available. Do you build a resource, that will allow you later to build a building, or maybe you build a road, that connects your existing resource to a building, which then is delivered and scores you points? The options are a-plenty.

In a two player game (which we experienced) you get 6 starting cards, and like in Concordia, you play one on your turn, and said card determines your action. Then your opponent gets to do the follow up action, which is I’d say at least half as good as your option. If they can’t afford it, there is always a simple action, like get a coin, influence token, build a road or place a worker.

Worker placement? I would’t go that far. Each player has got 3 available workers (once they build the houses), and they allow them to do their special action (different to every race), or the action on Prestige buildings. But you may not even use them at all.

I’m not gonna go into details of each card (I’ll save that for the video), but you can choose between buildings, getting income (in a 2-player variant), recruiting helpers, trading or getting all your discarded cards back to your hand. There is an element in this game (and Dice Forge) that I really appreciate – you do get to do something even if it’s not your turn. Great stuff!

The card, that gives you back your hand, is an interesting one. That’s the one, that reminds us of Concordia. You get your discarded cards and used workers back, foe each of the remaining cards in your hand you get money/roads/white influence, and your opponents get income, and then you vote. Vote? Yes, well the prestige buildings won’t build themselves. So how does that happen? There are always three of them available, under three symbols, a circle, a square, and a triangle. When you call for a vote, everyone in secret chooses the shape, and add influence tokens if they wish so, to empower their vote, and then you reveal. The building with the most votes gets to get build by the person who had the most influence during the vote. And the vote is necessary, because different buildings are in need of different resources, and you want your ones to be delivered, to score you points. Choices!

Anyway, you are probably half way through building the city, and it looks like nothing. Two random gatherings of resources and buildings, you are running out of space in the area.. oh, didn’t I mention? You can only build one building of each type in one area, and some of the buildings can only be build on a certain terrain type. Here’s where things go wrong. Here is where you can actually get analysis paralysis.

But where is the competitiveness in this co-op? You start with the ownership of three (two in a 3 and 4 player game) resources, and to build tier 2 or tier 3 buildings, you need more resources. And guess what? The other ones are owned by your opponents. So you need to trade to get access to them, which is not going to score you any instant points, but later in the game it is going to be very useful (and will score some points to your opponents). So, again, it doesn’t have to be your go, for you to get points.

And as the city grows, and the prestige buildings’ orders are filled up, the game is nearing the end, and before you know it, someone places that last road connecting required resources to finish the last building, and boom, game over.

There is not much hidden scoring in Founders, if any really. You get extra points for red influence tokens, and money, and that’s about it. It’s awesome!

Alicja’s Thoughts

Man this is a monster of a game! I always feel a bit intimidated by big games, that offer a huge range of actions (like Feast for Odin), but this one was such a pleasant surprise! I was also worried, because the YouTube videos with rules explanation were all just soooo loooooong, and made me lose interest in the game. But Nick at the Ludoquist made it so easy and QUICK, that I just couldn’t wait to start playing. And as soon as we finished, I wanted to play it again. And you know what? We bought it. This is definitely one of the ‘try before you buy’ games, which I strongly recommend to you, seeing how many copies can be found put up for sale online.

9/10

Matt’s Thoughts 

I was apprehensive of this one at first. After watching a 45min how  to play video on YouTube, I fell asleep 30mins in and couldn’t remember much before we played. However, the Game Guru at the game cafe we went to (Ludoquist, Croydon), was able to teach us the rules in about 10 mins and off we went without too many rule clarifications needed throughout the game. After about 90mins of play, we had built a sprawling city and I had lost horrifically. However, I loved playing this game. You really do feel like you are working together to build a city and creating networks of resources. There is pretty much no luck in the game and only a little hidden information, so this could be quite a competitive game, with certain crowds. Even with more players there shouldn’t be too much down time as you get to do an action everyone’s turn, allowing you to set up things for your turn. This game had little features adapted from other games which come together to create something truly unique. Can’t wait to ply this again!

9/10

Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg

Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, or as we call it, the Quick Quack game.

We found the game in one of the best places, a Facebook group, where people sell and swap games. It cost us only £20, so the German edition issue didn’t matter too much. After all, I had 7 years of German language at school. And you know what? It was enough to translate the cards. We have downloaded the English rules, and after one read through we knew what’s what.


The artwork in this game is stunning and very detailed. It really appeals to me, feels like you’re in the middle of a medieval fairy tale, in a quirky shop, filled with bizarre ingredients. Each player has got their own cauldron, in one of the shades of silver, gold, bronze or copper, and matching markers. You set up the drop one in the middle, and the plain one on the score tracker. Then you put the yellow drop on the round tracker. Take your bag, put starting ingredients in, and you are ready. Draw a Fortune Teller card, and be amazed.

Amaze how simple, quick and fun this game is. It’s a bag building, push your luck type of thing. On your turn you will pull out the ingredients out of your bag, and place them in your cauldron, leaving spaces in between them indicated by their number -1 (number 1 doesn’t leave any spaces, number 2 leaves 1, number 3 leaves 2 ect).White ingredients, let’s just call them Bubbles, are the ones you should avoid. Funny enough, these make the most of your bag for the first couple of rounds (and you only have 9 rounds till the end of the game).  Once your Bubbles exceeded the total number of 7 (ie. 1+1+2+3) you can either stop, and claim points and ‘money’, or push your luck, and either get more of the above, or… explode. Then you only get one, points or money. And you don’t roll the dice.

Dice? Money? Points? Dice is rolled by the player, who filled their cauldron the most this turn, and gives some kind of small bonus. Money, the blue number, is how much you can spend to get more ingredients, for the maximum of 2per go. Points, the number in the square, easy – that’s  how many points you get. Is it not going well? Wait, what about the rats! Count the tails between yours and your opponent’s marker on the round tracker, and that’s how many spaces away from your drop you put the rat – it gives you a bit of a head start for the round. Add any bonuses provided by various ingredients, and maybe spend some rubies. Oh, yes, if the space you’re scoring has a ruby on it, take it. Rubies give you a magic potion, that allows you to re-draw tokens (maybe that white Bubble 3, that would make your cauldron explode?). However, once you used your potion, you need to wait till the end of the round, and spend 2 rubies to flip it back to its active side. Alternatively, two rubies move your drop one space away from the centre of your cauldron, giving you that much more of  chance to fill up quicker.

Ok, I think I made this more complicated than it should be. It is a simple game, after the first round you know what’s what. Even the extra ingredients are easy to memorize, as the iconography in this game is absolutely brilliant. Each of the ingredients, apart from pumpkins, have 4 different powers, and you only use one of them, which makes the replayability value way higher. Also, you will only use 9 cards, and the deck is bigger than that. And I think replayability is important, even for a £20 game.

So, if you fancy some randomness, stress, racing heart, shaky hands, explosions and fun – this is one to get! It’s simple (believe me), it’s gorgeous, it’s quick. It features a very unique mechanism, and has my heart for the rats, that help the player who is not doing so well. I believe we haven’t got a similar game to this one, and I am very happy with the purchase.

Overall rating 7.5/10

 

Photosynthesis – grunt to punkt!

Kiedy zaczęliśmy odpakowywać ostatni prezent ze świątecznego stosu ,naszym oczom niespodziewanie ukazało się Photosynthesis. „Gra o drzewach?!” wykrzyknął ktoś z końca stołu „no tego to jeszcze nie było!”.

Skłamałabym, gdybym powiedziała, że to prawda. Motyw drzew przewija się w planszówkach już od jakiegoś czasu, jednak nie w takim wydaniu. Jedną z pierwszych gier w tej tematyce było Trees and Flowers (1980), a z tych całkiem niedawno wydanych to Arboretum (2015) czy Kodama The Tree Spirits (2016). Zatem dlaczego Photosynthesis się wybiło?

Ta gra nie tylko pięknie prezentuje się na stole, ale również dostarcza solidnej porcji zabawy.  Może zacznijmy od pierwszych wrażeń: pudełko, piękne, dość duże, obiecujące. W środku, jak można się domyślić – drzewa, mnóstwo drzew. Wszystkie trzeba samodzielnie złożyć, i co ważniejsze, po złożeniu wpasowują się one idealnie w wypraskę (którą notabene jest kawałek szaroburej tekturki). Drzewka są w czterech kolorach, żółtym, zielonym, pomarańczowym i niebieskim, co daje piękną tęczę barw, kiedy posadzimy je na planszy. No właśnie, plansza – ta wygląda, jakby wzięta była z zupełnie innej gry. Jest licha, wygina się, nie leży prosto na stole, a ilustracja na niej jest po prostu biedna. Do tego słońce, następny smutny kawałek tektury, który bezlitośnie się wygina. Ma się uczucie, jakby całą pracę włożono w drzewka i projekt pudełka. Może twórcy nigdy nie grali w Realm of Wonder (2014) i nie poznali uroków obracającej się planszy, która w tym wypadku myślę, że byłaby strzałem w dziesiątkę. No ale przecież nie to jest najważniejsze, plansza i jest w większości zakryta.

To może teraz o tym, ja tę planszę zakryć? Na początku każdy ma przed sobą małą planszę gracza, korespondującą z kolorem drzew, którymi gra. Znacznik punktów światła ustawiony jest na zero, drzewa i nasiona na wyznaczonych miejscach i czas start! Ale zaraz, dlaczego mamy drzewka, które nie mieszczą się na planszy? No, bo przecież jakoś trzeba zacząć. W pierwszej turze każdy gracz kładzie na planszy po jednym małym drzewie (na zewnętrznym okręgu), i potem kolejne, aż do momentu, kiedy każdy gracz posadził swoje dwa małe drzewa. Teraz kolej na słońce, każde małe drzewko, które nie jest w cieniu innego, dostaje 1 punkt światła, średnie – 2, a duże – 3. Cień, który rzucają drzewa skaluje się tak samo, małe drzewko rzuca cień na jedno pole, średnie na dwa, a duże na trzy. Zacienione drzewa nie zdobywają żadnych punktów, chyba że są wyższe, niż drzewa które je zacieniają.

Zacieniają? Punkty światła? Po kolei. Dookoła planszy krąży słońce, lub jak kto woli – żółty kawałek tektury, i „oświetla” zasadzone drzewa. Słońce rzuca promienie po linii prostej na dwa boki i jeden kąt heksagonu planszy. Jeśli Twoje drzewo znajduje się w tej linii i nie jest w cieniu – zdobywasz punkt (do maksymalnie 20). Te punkty światła to waluta, za którą kupujesz nasiona, które potem sadzisz, i wyrastają z nich drzewa. Za to wszystko trzeba płacić. Słońce okrąży planszę 3 razy (albo 4 w zaawansowanej rozgrywce), kiedy trzeci obieg dobiegnie końca, gra się kończy.

No dobrze, to wiemy jak grać, a w takim razie, jak wygrać? Punkty zwycięstwa zdobywamy tylko wtedy, kiedy zetniemy nasze najwyższe drzewo, i w zależności od rodzaju gruntu, na jakim drzewo stało, taki dostaniemy żeton punktów. Rodzaj gruntu, to po prostu kolor pola na planszy; środek jest bardzo ciemno zielony i daje najwięcej punktów (22-20), następny okrąg pól jest jaśniejszy, i punktów jest trochę mniej (19-17), kolejny okrąg daje jeszcze mniej (17-13), a ostatni, trawiasty, daje najmniej (14-12) bo jest zawsze najbliżej słońca, i najłatwiej te punkty zdobyć.

Do rzeczy, bo trochę ich jest. Photosynthesis łączy w sobie elementy kilku gatunków. Po pierwsze, ma w sobie elementy “worker placement” (plant placement?), ponieważ Twoje drzewa, w zależności od tego, gdzie je postawisz, dają Ci punkty światła – walutę/dobra, i jest więcej niż jedna akcja do wyboru. Po drugie, jest tu trochę resource management – punkty światła muszą być podzielone mądrze i wymienione na drzewa lub nasiona, za których posadzenie również trzeba zapłacić. „Mądrze?” – tak, ponieważ jeśli Twoje małe drzewko rośnie (zmienia się w średnie), to do Ciebie wraca, a jeśli nie masz miejsca na planszy gracza żeby je tam postawić, to je tracisz. I po trzecie, i najważniejsze, Photosynthesis to jest gra abstrakcyjna. Trzeba dużo główkować, myśleć naprzód, wyobrażać sobie jak promienie słońca będą padały w następnych kilku turach. Trzeba planować gdzie zasiać nasiona, które drzewa powiększyć żeby dały nam więcej punktów, a może warto skupić się na zacienianiu innych?

Nie sądzę, żeby była jedna dobra strategia. Ile osób, tyle pomysłów. Jeden gracz może zablokować środkowe pole przez całą grę i zdobędzie wszystkie żetony z tego pola (bo inni się zagapią i nie wykorzystają szansy, kiedy środek jest wolny); inny z kolei może sadzić drzewa w sposób dość przypadkowy; jeszcze inny może obrać taką strategię, żeby zacienić jak najwięcej drzew innych graczy. Potrzeba wielu rozgrywek żeby rozpracować drogę do zwycięstwa.

A jak to jest z regrywalnością i skalowaniem? Cóż.. Nie sądzę, żeby Photosynthesis było dobrą grą dla dwóch osób, szczególnie jeśli grają one zawsze tylko ze sobą. Łatwo rozpoznają wtedy oni swoje strategie i gra po prostu stanie się przewidywalna. Dla nas po paru już rozgrywkach stało się jasne, że jesteśmy w stanie przewidzieć końcowy wynik na 3 tury przed końcem gry, i nie ma tego elementu „zaskoczenia” czy napięcia. Na trzy lub cztery osoby gra się trochę inaczej. Jest mniej miejsca na planszy, bo ilość drzew zostaje taka sama; jest więcej myślenia, bo drzew do zacienienia jest więcej. Ale jest to gra, którą warto mieć na półce, jeśli odwiedza nas wielu różnych graczy, a nie ciągle ta sama grupa.

Podsumowując, Photosynthesis nie jest jedną z tych „kochaj lub nienawidź” gier, i nie uważam, żeby wywoływała  ona skrajne emocje. Ładnie się prezentuje, szybko się tłumaczy i daje satysfakcję. Mamy ją dopiero od niedawna, więc jeszcze się okaże, czy się w nas zakorzeni.

Plusy
+ prezentacja, wykonanie drzew i planszy graczy
+ szybka w nauce i tłumaczeniu
+ ciekawa mechanika
+ skalowanie

Minusy
– słabe wykonanie głównej planszy, słońca i insertu
– w dwuosobowej rozgrywce jest bardzo przewidywalna

This War of Ours

Well, it’s hard to talk about a game, that is so immersive and depressing at the same time. I have played the digital version, and liked it a lot, even tho it was so hard. So the board game was kind of a must have, especially that I have a thing for Polish designers.

See, I don’t want to spoil anything, because this game evolves as you play it. It’s another one of those crossroads games, with a whiff of legacy style, where you make a decision, that comes back to you later. It has a feeling of Dead of Winter, it has some elements of Robinson Crusoe (but it’s way harder).  It’s re-playable thanks to mahoosive Book of Scripts. I like games where each of your decisions matters, where you, as a group, have to make decisions. And those in this game are not easy. The characters will get cold, ill, miserable, and maybe, at some point, will end their life. There’s so much to consider.

It’s not a stroll in the woods, my friends. It is a marathon, in the mud, in heavy rain.. nope, sleet. At the same time sun is burning your skin, your lungs are howling with wind and your lips are dried out. The only thing to drink is the last drop of water, to share in between the three of you. But who gets it? He got some sleep last night, he had his treat. She is wounded, and sick – should we give it to her? But she may die at night, and that would be a waste.. So much to consider..

Down in the Cave Where Nobody Goes

Sub Terra. I’m just gonna open with the name. Strong, good name. If you’ve seen any of those horror movies where they go down the cave and die – hey, this is a board game now!

You start all together on a tile, and you can chose to stay together and explore as a group – slowly, and probably run out of time and die; OR you can spread out and reveal more tiles in a search for the exit, and likely be eaten by a monster. So, hey, what a choice!

It plays up to 6 players, but if you play with 3 you control 2 characters each. They all have special abilities, and 3 health (apart from the bodyguard, who has 6). On your turn you have two action points, some basic actions like move or reveal a tile, cost one, some – like swimming or putting a rope across a tile, cost two points.

So the cave grows before your very eyes, revealing more and more dangers – nope, there is no good things in there. Apart from the exit, which is in one of the last 6 tiles of the impressive pile. After you all had a go, there is the Cave’s turn – it can flood, gas, tremor, cave-in or release a monster to hunt you down. Then it’s back to you.

And you keep going, until one of the following happens :
1. you find the exit and run the hell out of there
2. the deck runs out = your flashlights go off = every turn you roll to see if you survive (1-3 lose health, 4-6 keep going)

We have died, 6 tiles away from the exit to be discovered. We wasted too much time trying to revive a guy, and that doomed us. Oh, didn’t I mention? You have to get as many people out as you can, not everyone has to survive.

The Crown

Nope, not the Netflix series. The crown of glory, that you wear if you are in King Ludwig’s Favour.

If you liked Castles of Mad King Ludwig, there is a high chance of liking the Palace, however the games are very different. Now you build one palace together, but you still compete. There is no money involved, you pay with swans. and you have to decide if you want favours or special abilities.

There was so much punching before the game, I couldn’t believe. 300 swan tokens, let me start with that. Whoa.

Like in Castles, if you had a card that gives you, say 8 points for having all types of rooms, here if you have one of each you get 10 points, if you have 2 you get 30 and if you have 3 of each type you get 60 points! Scoring then becomes hilarious.

So yeah, a mean game by the way. You block people not only with rooms, but with the moat that grows around the castle. You can also ‘steal’ points from others (I mean share). But it is a good game, lots of good quality components, worth the price.  And here is our Chicken Palace.

A Feast for the Eyes

There is quite a few games, that are just so pretty you can’t resist. Like kittens. Or puppies. And some of them, indeed, are fluffy and adorable, but some of them will scratch the hell out of you and shit on your carpet, and then ask to play again.

We already had a couple of pretty ones in our collection, Dice Forge, Seasons, Sagrqada, Tokaido, Cottage Garden… and now we have even more!

Photosynthesis – or ‘some tree game’ as I heard it being described when we unwrapped it. 

The box is beautiful, no doubt in that. The components quality is good, the trees are pretty and quite big. The board, however, looks like it belongs to a different game. The artwork on it is poor, the quality is poor, and generally it should have a spinning bit for the sun like The Realm of Wonder.  Also, it’s very nice of them that they give you an insert, but to be fair it feels like they just chucked in a spare piece of cardboard and said ‘hey, here you go!’.

But let’s focus on the good stuff eh? The game looks awesome on the table, and quite frankly it’s like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s a neat idea to buy seeds, plant them, grow the trees and then destroy them to get points.

Oh, yeah, points. It is an abstract strategy game, that’s for sure. So you need to find balance between planting, growing and destroying, and you need to make sure sunlight reaches you. But I predicted who will win three sun turns before the end, so there was no point playing till the end. Anticlimactic. Two player game we did wasn’t really a ‘WOW’ one. Maybe a 3 or 4 player will change it, but for now it’s a 6/10 for me.

Moving on – Indian Summer. Oh, Uwe, Uwe, Uwe. I love tile-laying games, and especially ones with hedgehogs on them. I like Patchwork, I liked Cottage Garden even more, and now here comes Indian Summer!

It is the quickest one of the ones mentioned above, it takes about 10 min per player, plus about 5 min setup. But it is absolutely loaded with cuteness! And it is very satisfying.

Your aim is to cover the Forest Floor with leaves and squirrels, and maybe top it up with some animals. But there is no points. You get treasures, you trade them, you race. Yup, it’s a race.

It was, indeed, a very beautiful 10 minutes. But once you set it up, you better play a couple of times in a row.

And last but not least – Santorini. A game that was hard to get, but we made the impossible possible. And here it is!

Matt and my dad played it probably 30 times now, I played 5.. They love it, I… like it. I have discovered not long into our second game, that I have no strategic thinking, and that hurts.

Your aim is to build a three storey house and go to the third floor – then you win. However, everyone has different abilities, like double move, double build, turn people into stone.. or alternative winning conditions, like jump down from second floor to the ground. It’s like more beautiful chess.

Mechs vs. Minions

I haven’t been here for a while, because I got caught up in so many things. First, I went broke in November, because of games. No, seriously, I need to stop buying. Or they need to stop releasing. No, I did not say that! Don’t stop. So anyway, we got quite a few games last couple of months, plus Kickstarter was all over the place. I got my pledge manager questionnaire, and added dice and playmat to 7th Continent. Then I backed D-Day Dice. Then, as we realised Gloomhaven is sold out everywhere, and we won’t be able to get Fallout for a long time, and 7th Continent is coming in 3 months… we bought Mechs vs. Minions.

Can’t blame ourselves. Then as Harry Potter the Battle of Hogwarts is not released yet, we ordered Sub Terra, Wind Gambit and… I am sure there was something else. But anyway, it’s an expensive hobby. Fun fact – I said the same thing on a Polish board gaming group, and got laughed at. I am not saying that this is the most expensive one and I know there are ways.. books are expensive, so you go to library, cinema is expensive so you wait for DVD release (you do, right), going out is expensive, so you drink at home (alone). We have resigned from cinema ages ago, when ticket price went over 10 GBP and my work discount was cancelled. We don’t go out, we host. And that’s why gaming is expensive for me, because I don’t really spend money on anything else. Things being said, my wish list is not getting any shorter. I keep buying, they keep announcing. And then we have another trip to IKEA waiting for us, to get another Kallax. All hail Kallax – HAIL!

But this post was supposed to be about the game. THE game, which production had met, exceeded and sent out to space our expectations. Just one thing before I start. I know it’s not a NEW game.

Lemme start with the face that I have never played League of Legends. Never. But it doesn’t matter, it has no impact on the experience whatsoever.

I opened the box. The huge, nearly 6kg box. And I found so much stuff, I felt guilty for paying ‘only that much’. Minions come with wash over it (Matt maybe will have a go at painting at some point). Mechs come fully painted. So does the boss! And he is huge! There’s metal bits, everything looks like a Kickstarter deluxe edition. But it’s not. It’s available to everyone. Look, just look.

But wait. We have tried this game before we bought it. We went to a board game cafe and had a go. We bought it the same evening. I always question my ideas after  I put them into life, in this case – pay. I ask people, I read about it. Opinions, like butts, there are thousands of them. Some say it’s a repetitive one, some say it’s random. Some say you can create own scenarios and it helps, some sell their copies.  I don’t know yet. It is random, for sure, but it’s also so much fun! You can plan, think multidimensional, of course you can, but I am not yet sure if I have that kind of ability. And this is what it comes to. Either I will absolutely hate it after couple of plays, or I will not stop until I finish the campaign.

Anyway, we opened the box, took everything out, and realised we couldn’t put it back in. It’s all a jigsaw puzzle, I’m telling you. It’s easy to set up tho. Everything is just there. And the rulebook? Quite cool, must say. Leads you through the tutorial and missions, tells you what to do and when. Introduces things as you go. Insert is awesome, everything has got its own space. Every. Single. Minion. And there is a lot.

Ok, you’re probably reading it thinking ‘get over it, it’s been released over a year ago, the hype train has long gone’. Not for me. I am just boarding it!