Geek-Craft: What's on my table? January 2018
I've played a variety of games recently, which has been great. I started doing my demos a little differently, which has also helped me enjoy more table time. January had a few new entries and some old favorites.
Charterstone was the big game in January, with eight total plays. We finished it in February, but overall it was a very enjoyable game. However, the experience has its issues. The wording on a number of cards could be improved, the occasional glaring typo is frustrating, and the game balance can really bother some people. That being said, I'm looking forward to playing it again with another group, mainly to see how the game changes as we play. The story is interesting, and the decisions during the games are fun. It's not perfect, but as my first foray into competitive legacy games, it's a great entry.
Imperial Settlers is a personal favorite game. I love the way the game works with multiple players, but I've lately been enjoying the solo mode due to a BoardGameGeek Solo Challenge. Seven plays of it to be exact. I enjoy solo challenges, mainly because it's a way to push me to play a game, and any reason is a good one. Imperial Settlers has a lot of moving pieces and is a game that greatly benefits from repeated plays and familiarity with the cards. I also started a solo campaign, which is a free download from the Portal Games website. I am waiting on my FLGS to get the latest Event Kit in for the game so that I can show it off to other players as well.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 hit the table four times, moving us through the story. We certainly are enjoying the gameplay, but it feels very different from Season 1. The gameplay is vastly different, the story is much more detailed, and the unlocks are keeping us guessing. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's been well worth the cost of admission.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love the Arkham Horror LCG. The Dunwich Legacy campaign that we finished last year was a fun way to see what the game can do with an eight scenario campaign, but The Path to Carcosa is proving what it can do to the players in the same amount of time. We're second guessing decisions, worrying if we're doing what we should be doing story-wise, and wondering where it'll all end up. As much as I want to replay The Dunwich Legacy, I may push to replay The Path to Carcosa first.
While I didn't ever play it back in its heyday, Button Men: Beat People Up is a card based version of a great Cheapass Game. Instead of buttons though, players will use cards to determine their dice for the combat. A simple to learn, but deceptively strategic game. With 48 characters in the box and all the dice you need for them, this set is worth the investment. I ran a demo this month and it went great, with lots of quick games played.
Limes is a game that I picked up last year because of its solo play options, and I've really enjoyed it. The structured order to the cards means that any number of people with the game can play the same setup. It's only 16 cards on the table and seven meeples, which means that it's not a large footprint either. I wonder how I could do better after each game, pushing me to play it more often.
I got to teach a few games at Critical Hit Games, my FLGS. Betrayal at House on the Hill, while not a terribly strategic game, is one of my favorite thematic games. It may not end well, but the experience is worth it. Chronicles of Crime is a playtest copy I received and we played through the intro scenario. It felt a little wonky, but I've been told that with the latest update to the app, the full scenario should be more interesting. Otys hit the table and once the game makes sense, it shines as a worker placement like game with timing to worry about. Power Grid is the last game that got played in January, introducing it to friends and getting it back to the table for my wife and me.
I've changed how I'm doing my demo nights at the store, which has helped a bit. I have set up Teach and Learn as a reach out style of program. Instead of setting up a game and hoping for players, I've now set up the idea of a lesson on a particular game. For example, some folks wanted to learn Ticket to Ride recently, so we set up a date and time when we could meet at the store and I could run them through how the game works. This is much more in touch with the demands of the players and keeps me from getting frustrated with demos without players.
My Gaming Challenge is going slowly, but I didn't expect to be done with it in January. I'm always looking for suggestions for what games should hit the table next, so look through the game collection and the geeklist and see if you find a personal favorite that you feel I need to play.