Games April 2024

April 30, 2024 11:00 pm

Jess and I continued our campaign in Kinfire Chronicles: Night's Fall successfully completing quests 17 and 4 with Feyn and Roland making their way to the great city of Din'Lux.

We played two games of Wyrmspan while in Arkansas for the eclipse (of course we brought a suitcase full of games, do you not when you travel?). I won one (by 1 point!) and lost one.

Also while in Arkansas we played Ex Libris, which I lost.

I also played a few rounds of Cobra Paw (have the fastest paw to collect the tiles) and Exploding Kittens (be the last one standing after all the kittens have exploded) with the girls in Arkansas.

Back at home we introduced friends to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle by playing year 4; we lost. This is a game some friends introduced us to years ago. I was skeptical at first because there are so many money grabs where a crappy idea is skinned over with a popular theme and they sell a million copies just because. But it actually is a solid game at its core and the theming generally only enhances the mechanics.

It's a cooperative deck-building game which increases in complexity and difficulty as you move up the years (representing the years in the books). You must enhance your deck with more powerful cards to defeat a set of villains before they take control of a set of locations. My biggest complaint is that the difficulty can vary wildly depending on the ordering of the villains.

At a board-game meetup I jumped into a game of Millennium Blades--which seems to be as post-modern as you can get in gaming. It's a game in which your characters are collectible-card-game players (e.g., Magic: The Gathering). In the game as your character, you buy/sell/trade cards to form a deck and then you play tournaments of the inner-game card game against the other players.

Points are awarded for how you rank during the inner-game tournaments. The game alternates between these inner-game tournaments and a buy/sell/trade/deck-build phase until you've held three tournaments. We didn't have time to finish the whole thing. We did 2 tournaments and one buy/sell/trade/deck-build phase. I lost. It was a bit of a strange game.

At another board-game meetup I played another game of Mystic Vale. I lost. I still find the core mechanic interesting from a technical perspective, but the game doesn't really speak to me.

After Mystic Vale, we played The Guild of Merchant Explorers which I really enjoyed. It's a quick game with simple mechanics, but I found the core concept and theming to be very engaging and fun. It's the first game in quite a while that I played and then immediately put on my wishlist.

It's a "group solitaire" kind of game played in 4 rounds. In each round you build out trade routes on your map (everyone has their own, identical map--no resource contention with other players). Everyone can play each turn simultaneously which keeps things moving. With your trade routes you score points in various ways (connecting cities, exploring ruins, building villages, etc.). Most points wins.

The game comes with 4 different maps to play and several different objective cards (3 used per game). There's randomization of how you can build your trade routes and players get asymmetric special-building powers that really drive differences in play between players. So there's some decent variety built in. With 3 of us playing for the first time I think we completed a 4-player game in 30-45 minutes.

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