Things of No Interest: What Did I Play, Dec. 2017

Things of No Interest: What Did I Play, Dec. 2017

Time to recap the games that were played during the last month of the last year so we can move onward into the New Year. But first...

Happy New Year!

And now, on with the show!

I love Ticket to Ride and Nordic Countries was a new map that came out for the online game this past year (or at least that's when I finally acquired it - either way...). I fully admit that this got attention last month in an effort to hit the 5 play mark for 2017. That being said, this is a good map and especially good for 2-3 players (much like Switzerland) in fact, it has a number of similarities to the Switzerland  map, so if you enjoy that but want to switch it up a little, this is your best bet.

If it seems like I talk about this a lot, well that's because it has become one of our go to games for "lunch gaming" at work. It is quick and fun and is interesting to play. The first half of the game is a slice the pie and everyone gets their piece and the second half is an auction. The whole games is about trying to have the majority in various "shares" whose values you can manipulate slightly throughout the game. Whomever has claimed the most points at the end wins. Easy peasey lemon squeezy. This is one of those games that isn't overly complex, but has interesting choices and is also fast - it never overstays itself.

Ingenious is one of my favorite Knizia games that is a little older, but still a great abstract for multiple players. The spatial understanding of the game is simple enough, yet offers reasonable chances for cleaver plays. Where I enjoy this the most though is the partnership game. The changes to play with partners are modest at best, so the game is still fundamentally the same - collect as many points as you can in each color, the color that you perform the poorest at is your final score - classic Knizia, just done team style. I really wish they'd fix the iOS app for iOS 11 so that I could go back to having this in my regular rotation of games that I play with my love.

Kingdom Builder is a Top 10 game for me (some days it is easily a Top 5). I finally punch my whole Big Box 2 set (which Queen Games sent to Kickstarter backers late last year in response to their utter failure to properly handle their Kingdom Builder campaign and backers). My buddy Robert was in town and we both like the game a good bit, so we threw together a map and played. Unfortunately, two of the 4 scoring items were based on occupying the edges of the boards, which I was never really in a position to manage. I concentrated on the other points (by creating very long trails of my pieces). I ended up about 8 points short of Robert, which is a lot closer than I thought the game would be at first glance. 

I'm not sure I can explain my secret obsession with Cthulhu themed games. Maybe it has to do with the idea that it is grownup version of Scooby Doo - random gang of friends bands together to solve the mystery! (Which just happens to be about unexplainable horrors, not old man Johnson trying to get away with "it"). At any rate, I enjoyed the app integration that Fantasy Flight games put together for Descent 2nd ed (Road to Legend) and I liked the conceptual idea of this game, so I worked on a trade last year and finally put something together. It wasn't until New Year's Eve that I got to play it though - and only at my friend's suggestion! We really enjoyed our playing. Instead of stacks of cards (ala Eldritch Horror), the app really cleans a lot of that up by simply displaying the Mythos phase text and actions in app. There is a fair bit of event stuff in the app as well (and of course, the monster logic). We really liked that combat with monsters was descriptive and generally different each time - I may have rolled against my agility ability on most of my dagger attack checks, but the flavor text described a different thing each time, which made the combat feel more like part of the horror story instead of just another mechanic. There are also a handful of logic puzzles built into the app, which I know a lot of people won't like, but my group enjoyed their inclusion and felt they weren't out of place. I may just need to play this a couple more times and then just write up a full review (I'm halfway there with this write-up now).

Another one that I made sure to play (online with my love) so that I got in at least 5 plays before the end of 2017. Seems like a legit reason to play a game that is both fun and worthy of play. One of these days I need to track down the expansion for this game. This is one I don't mind physically getting out to play and everyone in my household likes playing it.

This is a game that pulled off my home shelf to put on my work shelf. I've now gotten to play it a couple times this past year because it is in the work rotation. After a game or two more, I'll likely swap it out for a different Mystery Rummy game. That being said, Wyatt Earp is a perfectly good game, maybe just a little fiddly around the rewards and such, but a good part (if not officially) of the Mystery Rummy family. A bit more random/less control available than others in the series, but still fun.


And that wraps up my plays for last year. See you next month for my January wrap-up which is already looking to be slightly long - I'm playing through all the Ticket to Ride maps with my dear Alyson, so while the amount of plays probably isn't going to be wildly different, the list may be a bit long.

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