Quick Impressions: Arkwright, Isle of Trains and Viticulture

So far 2015 has brought some incredible games to the table. I’ve had years in the past that has shown me some great games, but this year has been simply amazing. Yes, I’ve played a few stinkers and ok games, but there has been some standout games so far.

This blog post will highlight some games that I want to bring to people’s attention. I feel I haven’t really played them enough to give a thorough review but I’ve seen enough to tell they are pretty solid games. Each game stands out in their own category and while not all of them are super meaty, they bring enough to the table to fully engage the players. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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The Purge: February Edition

Yup, it’s that time again. More games are coming in so I need to make some space for them by getting rid of games that, while they are not horrible or bad, I don’t see myself playing in the future, either short or long. So hence this new installment of my almost monthly game Purge.

Numbers-wise, I’m not that far off from my goal of last year which was to get rid of 100 games by February 2015. So far, including the current batch, I’ve gotten rid of 82 games. I’m still sitting at over 700 games but I figure if I keep on getting rid of stuff that didn’t grab me or stuff that I no longer play, I’ll end up with just the good stuff :)

Expect more next month, with probably 20 going on the trade pile that time.

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My (gaming) year in Review

2014 is behind us and it was a great year of gaming, with many new faces coming to boardgaming or re-discovering a hobby they had left behind. Lots of amazing games were published, along with a bunch of not-so-great one. There seemed to be a lot more Kickstarter campaigns as well, both good and bad with others that we are still waiting for.

So I may be a little late with my gaming year in review, but you know what? Better late than never. So, without more delays, let’s look at how 2014 went.

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Top 10: Games that should really hit the table

Last year I tried to get behind the 10X10 in 2014 Challenge and, somehow, I failed. I managed to get over 50 plays of the 10 chosen games, but there are several of the games that didn’t make it enough to the table which meant I was unable to meet my goal. While some might accuse me of being part of the Cult of the New (which is largely true), the sheer amount of interesting games coming out each month, nay weeks, is truly astounding. So while I was trying to get many games to the table multiple times, I was still getting some new games to the table.

Problem is, there’s a bunch of great games that I really want to play that I haven’t been able to bring to the table. Many of these have gotten great press and buzz but I can’t confirm or deny that they are great because… well because I haven’t had a chance to play them. So without further ado, here’s my list of great games that came out last year that I didn’t get to play yet… Note that I limited myself to games that I’ve had for at least two months, so other great games that I recently got, like Arkwright (played Saturday, actually… Great game, but you need to play the learning game to “get” it), Kohle & Kolonie, Wir Sind Das Volk!Captains of Industry (not received yet but should be coming in soon), Scoville (ditto), Viticulture (same) and more, are not mentioned. It’s going to be a great, but busy winter…

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Review: Tiny Epic Galaxies

There are some designers that seem to come out of nowhere and then dominate the scene, at least for a little while and Scott Almes is one such designer. If you would have asked me 2 years ago who he was, I wouldn’t have been able to name one of his games without looking at BGG. And now I own/am waiting for 4 of his games and he’s one of the designers that I tend to keep an eye on because of his skill in taking very simple mechanics and turning them into great games.

Tiny Epic GalaxiesTiny Epic Galaxies is his latest effort, one which will be on Kickstarter early in the new year (January 8th to be precise) and it is the third game in the Tiny Epic (Kingdoms and Defenders being the other two) series. Like other games in the series, this is an attempt at doing a bigger game in a short playing time using a few components. While a little too big/long to be considered a micro game, it can easily be taught and brought pretty much anywhere. The real question remains, how does it play? Let’s find out!

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The Purge: November edition

It has been quite a while since I’ve updated this blog with reviews or other articles, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped or slowed down on my game playing or, unfortunately, my game acquisition. What with a new project at work (I’m now working on The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot over at Ubisoft Montreal) and some renovations at home, I’ve fallen off the review wagon and I sure need to get back on it! I’ve got a few things lined up but I need to make a bit of space first.

So, you know how this goes: if there’s something you’d like in the list or are just curious to know what I’m getting rid of and why, the list is right below. See something you like? make me an offer and remember, it doesn’t have to be cash. I’m actually looking for someone to paint some Rivet War minis…

Don’t care about the games I’ve gotten rid of so far and just want to see what’s on the purge list this month? Be my guest!

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Review: Eminent Domain: Microcosm

Space, the final frontier, or at least the latest frontier in micro-games. Not too many micro games do space well (there is Pocket Imperium that is quite neat however) and even less do hand/deck management. Granted, there aren’t many hand-management games out there in the first place, with it being similar to deck-building. In hand-management, you grow your hand of card and thus what you can do, but you never shuffle your cards.

Eminent Domain: MicrocosmEminent Domain: Microcosm not only does space and hand-management, but does it in a micro-game kind of way. The latest in the Eminent Domain line (which right now only includes Eminent Domain and expansions, but will soon add Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers), it plays really well while maintaining the main flavor of Eminent Domain. Is it fun? Let’s check it out!

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Quick Impressions: Post GenCon part 4

This is the last of my post GenCon acquisition. There was just so many new games that made their way into my collection around that time frame that what started as being just a series of very quick impressions about them turned into a 4 part series. Either I got too many games during that time or I’m just not fast enough…

Keep in mind that this post is just that: quick impressions. This is often after having read the rules and pushed some pieces around, and in some cases getting one play in. I don’t consider that enough to be able to fairly evaluate a game so please keep this in mind. My opinion about these games is likely to change as I get them to the table a few more time.

Enough small talk, let’s talk about new games!

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Quick Impressions: Post GenCon part 3

I haven’t had a chance to play a lot of new games lately although I’ve been able to get a few solo games to the table since being on vacation. Been playing a lot of RAF: The Battle of Britain, which while it tells an interesting narrative, kind of fails as a game so far. I have only played the Lion set up however, where you take the role of the RAF against the Luftwaffe bombing campaign and it feels very much like a Pachinko machine so far. Once I get a few games of the Eagle scenario (you play as the Luftwaffe this time), I’ll do an in-depth review. I’ll be back doing some reviews soon, with Dead of Winter at the front of the line. In the meantime, enjoy these quick snippets!

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Quick Impressions: Post GenCon part 2

In the first part of the post-GenCon quick impression, I talked about a bunch of games that I had a chance to play a few times, not quite enough to really do an in-depth review of. This time around, I’ll be looking at some more games that I’ve only played once or twice, along with a bunch of games that I’ve only had the chance to read the rules and push a few pieces around solo. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring them to the table soon and give them the proper time they deserve. Hopefully, none of them will be horrible…

It’s always interesting to see how people feel after even just one play, especially since sometimes it’s the only chance players will give a game. Don’t make the first impression because the players didn’t fully get it or errors were made in the rules explanation and, what would have normally been a great game simply isn’t. On the other hand, some games that are horrible still make a decent enough first impression that they are invited again to the table, only to disappoint. Where will the following games fall? I’ll only be able to tell once I get them to the table a few times. For now, let’s just see what kind of first impression they make.

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