May's New Board Games

7 June 2024

BG Stats 5 x 5.
    Play count:
    2: Trio;
    1: My Father's Work;
    1: Voidfall;
    1: Caylus;
    1: Galactic Renaissance;
    1: HUANG;
    1: Lacrimosa;
    1: London (second edition);
    1: Forest Shuffle;
    1: The Great Split;
    1: Portal of Heroes;
    1: Tokaido;
    1: Cascadia;
    1: Harmonies;
    1: Oh My Goods!;
    1: Kingdomino;
    1: SCOUT;

These are my first impressions of the new to me games I played in May. Everything I played this month is listed in the image at the top of the page.

Caylus

Caylus

An older worker placement game that I’ve never come across before. It’s a basic collect resources and build new buildings game with a nice mechanic where the buildings are resolved in order along a road so that you are hoping to get stuff early in a round to use later down the road. You have to decide, for example, whether to snag the spot you really need or collect the resources for it first. There were a couple in our group of five players who had played it before, but not recently, and whilst the basic rules are pretty simple it took us a while to get the hang of the subtleties of what you are and aren’t allowed to do and we found we’d missed one rule about overbuilding near the end of the game. We played an old edition and I hope the iconography has been made a bit clearer in the later editions! Nothing much wrong with the game but I wouldn’t pick it over any number of more recent games that have done similar things.

BoardGameGeek Board Game Arena

My Father’s Work

My Father's Work

This was interesting! You play three generations of the same family trying to gain knowledge to create some kind of scientific masterwork - something like a time machine or immortality. In order to keep knowledge between generations you have to take time to record it; for some reason (a functioning tax system perhaps) you can’t maintain resources or money between generations either. And the map you play on changes a little through the game as the group of players make decisions.

This all makes for a fun story and I love fun stories in games. And here there’s an app to help with all this story. But it all just seemed a bit too clunky. Sometimes the app would read the text to us, sometimes it would leave us to do it ourselves. We were in a pretty quiet venue but it was hard for all of us to hear the somewhat lengthy text. And a lot of it just didn’t matter. There was just too much flavour and not enough space for imagination.

I’d happily play the game again now we’ve got the basic rules sorted but I’d do a lot more skim reading next time.

BoardGameGeek

The Great Split

A card game where you give one of your neighbours a choice between two sets of cards; and another neighbour does the same for you. Then the symbols on the cards you keep are totted on to your score. Simple idea but it quickly gets nicely gnarly. I missed quite how the scoring worked at first, each symbol has a slightly different mechanism, but I’d happily play it again now I know what’s going on.

BoardGameGeek Board Game Arena

Voidfall

Voidfall

This is a massive game that bills itself as a 4X (ex-plore, ex-pand, ex-terminate, ex-something-else) game but the person who persuaded me to try it told me it was basically a massive euro game. I don’t think I’d really disagree with that but it felt more 4X than euro all the same. You have a home base and send ships out into space to build up your empire (oh, ex-ploit is the 4th X!) and score agenda cards. There’s also a completely deterministic combat system if you fight alien ships, or other players, and the details of this system totally refused to make sense in my head which made the game hard to strategise. I couldn’t really persuade myself there was no randomness involved I think. It was a big game and needed a 5th X for the very long ex-planation required before we started playing. If I’d known I was going to play it I think I’d have done some homework first! It’d be a waste of all that learning not to play it again.

BoardGameGeek

Huang

Huang

This is the new name for Reiner Knizier’s Yellow & Yangtze game, I’m not sure if there are other changes. I’d played the original Tigris & Euphrates game a couple of times but years ago. This felt similar but less brutal and in a three player game it felt like the player who mostly just stayed out of things won by not being aggressive.

BoardGameGeek

Galactic Renaissance

Galactic Renaissance

Another space themed game, a swingy kind of a deck builder. It was an enjoyable riot after playing several more strategic games earlier in the day. It’s a nice touch that you need to score the last set of points to win in one big chunk that means everyone is trying to build up to a big final turn. Despite us taking some quite different strategies we all ended up close to winning at the same time, but there can be only one winner.

BoardGameGeek

Harmonies

Harmonies

This was a lovely little game and one I’m really looking forward to playing again. You pick one of the random collections of three tiles from the centre of the table and choose where to place them on your mat in order to make different patterns. There are some patterns that score points at the end of the game and others where you take cards in order to try and make them during the game. Simple but with depth to the game play and you need to watch what your opponents are doing and try and build things in a way that lets you get the most out of each tile placement.

BoardGameGeek

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The Five Book Club

15 May 2024

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BG Stats 5 x 5.
  Play count:
  2: Carnegie;
  2: Kodama: The Tree Spirits;
  2: Nmbr 9;
  2: Sunset Over Water;
  1: The Isle of Cats;
  1: Whistle Mountain;
  1: Clank!: Catacombs;
  1: Moon;
  1: Everdell;
  1: Ra;
  1: Red Rising;
  1: San Francisco;
  1: It's a Wonderful World;
  1: PARKS;
  1: Portal of Heroes;
  1: Quadropolis;
  1: Century: Spice Road;
  1: Skyjo;

April's New Board Games

1 May 2024

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BG Stats 5 x 5.
  Play count:
    3: Game of Trains;
    2: 5211: Azul;
    2: Cahoots;
    2: Criminal Dance;
    2: Ex Libris;
    2: Faraway;
    2: Forest Shuffle;
    2: Nmbr 9;
    1: After Us;
    1: Apiary;
    1: Clank!: Catacombs;
    1: Distilled;
    1: Dominion;
    1: Everdell;
    1: Fish & Katz;
    1: Forbidden Jungle;
    1: Green Team Wins;
    1: Living Forest;
    1: Lost Ruins of Arnak;
    1: Pandemic Iberia;
    1: Raccoon Robbers;
    1: Skull;
    1: Tapestry;
    1: That's Not a Hat;
    1: We're Doomed!.

March's New Board Games

10 April 2024

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BG Stats 4 x 4. Play count: 1: Dinosaur Island; 1: Tapestry; 1: Wyrmspan; 1: Hansa Teutonica; 1: Viticulture Essential Edition; 1: Seas of Havoc; 1: Cottage Garden; 1: Empire's End; 1: Red Rising; 1: PARKS; 1: Cascadia; 1: In the Footsteps of Darwin; 1: Trailblazers; 1: Ecosystem; 1: SCOUT;

February's New Board Games

5 March 2024

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The View From 5000 Miles

3 March 2024

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2023 in Books

6 February 2024

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2023 in Board Games

18 January 2024

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11 January 2024

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2023 in Veloviewer

3 January 2024

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Veloviewer, Huddersfield Final Edition

22 November 2023

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For more posts see the yearly archives (these work), or the category archives (these technically work but are so miscategorised I wouldn't bother trying).