Note: Win % only appears when a player has played more than 10 games for the year.
Friday 21st June
Latest Snippets from Spiel.co.uk
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2012 Meeples' Choice Awards - The Finalists (15th June 2013 11:05)
Well the Spielfrieks group has managed to whittle 200 games released during 2012 down to 24. From this set of games, voting will take place over the next week to select the three recipients of this year's award. The finalists are:
1812: The Invasi ... more
Latest Ebay listings (13th June 2013 19:17)
I've got 40 (count 'em, 40) games up for sale on ebay at the moment. The auctions end on 19th June and there are some interesting items: Pueblo, 1st & Goal, Perikles, A La Carte, Secret of Monte Cristo, Elasund: The First City and Time's Up to name ... more
App-ricola (11th June 2013 21:48)
Agricola for the ipad is out this Thursday (13th). That is all. ... more
The Little Prince: Make Me A Planet (9th June 2013 21:25)
Played Little Prince for the first time this evening and what a cracking game it is. Slightly different two-player which is how I played (with Rebecca) but I thought it a very nice interactive puzzle game. Each player is constructing a planet of twel ... more
2012 Meeples' Choice Awards - Nomination Stage (8th June 2013 18:38)
It's time again for the Spielfrieks group to vote for the best games from the last 12 months. The first stage is to nominate ten from a list of the 200 most notable titles released in 2012. In my first pass through the list, I didn't even reach ten g ... more
Kickstarter Euphoria (8th June 2013 09:59)
I don't back very much on Kickstarter as I'm not really interested in the "special extras" offered to Kickstarter backers. I did back Escape: Curse of the Temple which I was reasonably pleased with when it eventually turned up but part of that order ... more
Wayback When? - June '93, '98,'03,'08 (7th June 2013 12:51)
Wayback When? is a review of the games I was playing five, ten, fifteen and twenty years ago with me highlighting the most memorable titles of each particular month in the vain hope that I might dig out some of them to play again. This month we’re ... more
Princes, Jackals and Clubs (6th June 2013 20:57)
Two deliveries arrived today. One from Germany brought dice games Jackal & High and Wurfelwurst; mistakenly tipped for the Spiel des Jahres - La Boca; and cute (or evil, depending on your point of view) planet-building game Der Kleine Prinz: Meine Zu ... more
Ragnar's Promised Land: 1250-587 BC (3rd June 2013 22:12)
The Ragnar Brothers have a new game out this year and they are promoting it via Kickstarter. The game is fully funded although the more money pledged, the more stretch goals can be accommodated. You have until 12th June if you are interested. I did s ... more
May 2013 roundup (1st June 2013 11:00)
In May, I managed to play 17 games of 16 different titles, 5 of which were new to me. The new games were 5 vor 12, Dungeon Petz, Monopoly Millionaire Deal Card Game, Just in Time and Forbidden Desert.
I added seven new titles to the collection whi ... more
Counter #61 (30th May 2013 21:51)
The latest issue of Counter, the first under the new management of Greg Schloesser and Ben Baldanza, landed on the doormat today. As you'll see from the picture below, the magazine has trimmed down a bit (not quite as wide as a standard A5 paper size ... more
A new Schacht (29th May 2013 19:32)
Well, after last weekend's little Feld joke, here's another. This, however, is only a slight joke in relation to the word "new". The Works has got some new games in and this includes Michael Schacht's Felinia (a 2010 release) which I've not played be ... more
A new Feld (25th May 2013 20:22)
I went along to the UK Games Expo this morning and, as I was wandering around, I spotted a Feld game that I didn't have and, even better, it was reduced in price from £49.99 to just £10.00. Now before Nige explodes in anticipation, I have to point ... more
UK Games Expo 2013 (23rd May 2013 19:02)
Just a reminder that UK Games Expo is this weekend. It takes place between 24th and 26th May at the NEC Hilton Metropole. The main show days are on the Saturday and Sunday but the Friday is reserved for playing games. All the details are on the Expo ... more
One new and one old game (22nd May 2013 20:18)
Came home to find two parcels had arrived for me today. The first was from Amazon and was a new Reiner Knizia game, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Das Kartenspiel. This is a refinement of King's Gate and ported to Middle Earth to tie in with the ... more
Thoughts on the nominees (21st May 2013 20:28)
As usual, the Spiel des Jahres jury threw up some surprises in the choice of nominees for this year's awards. For the main award, the nominees were Qwixx, Hanabi and Augustus. This is really odd as two of the games are small box card / dice games and ... more
And the nominees are.... (21st May 2013 08:16)
The jury of the Spiel des Jahres have decided the shortlist for this year's award should be Qwixx, Augustus and Hanabi.
Meanwhile the Kennerspiel des Jahres (gamer's games) nominees are Legends of Andor, Palaces of Carrara and Brugge.
The list ... more
Predicting the Spiel des Jahres Nominees (20th May 2013 20:47)
The SdJ jury announces tomorrow the nominees for the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres. I don't have much idea this year as there are several key contenders I've not played but here are my predictions (probably way off the mark):
S ... more
Notre Dame (19th May 2013 18:52)
Played a good two player game of Notre Dame last night. Works really well with two and finished well within an hour even though it was Jan's first play. Sad to say, she beat me 50-40 as she made good use of the VP-generating area (the Residence), whi ... more
Review: Just in Time (16th May 2013 20:29)
Just in Time is a competitive puzzle game designed by Gunther Burkhardt and published by Ravensburger. It is in the same mould as Ubongo and FITS (the latter also a Ravensburger game) but is different enough that fans of this type of game should give ... more
There were eight of us this week and the first four started off with Mark W's suggestion: Kingdom Builder. Not sure if this is one of Mark's banker games as I know he's played it quite a bit but I wasn't overly surprised to find that Mark W won.
On the other table, Mark K was teaching Nige, Mark G and me Terra Mystica, which is one of the hot games that came out at Essen last year. And it played very well although it was quite long (but not so long that I'd refuse to play it again). It also has lots of variability with fourteen factions that players can use so each game should play out differently. Although I started off pretty well and kept in the hunt (while not knowing which areas were important). Meanwhile Mark K and Nige, who both knew the rules pretty well, were able to use this to their advantage, although Mark K always looked to be favourite due to his domination of the cult tracks. And he did win, although it turned out to be closer than I expected. Good game which I expect us to play again soon.
Having built a kingdom, the other table moved on to excavating Thebes. This looks like it was very tight with Nicky winning by a single point from Guy. Mark W looks like he was digging and coming up with dust, which is my usual result.
Seven of us this week so we split into two groups and my table started with another try at Star Wars: Angriff der Klonkrieger as Nicky had missed out last time we played. We again played with the C3PO and R2D2 extra mission and at one point we could have lost depending on an area replenishment but we survived that and lasted out until Yoda arrived with reinforcements for the win.
On the other table, Steve taught Nige and Mark K Mercante, which is one of four games AEG released last year with a linked back story in the Tempest universe (Love Letter being one of the others). This was very close between Steve and Nige with both getting to 10 victory points but Steve broke the tie.
We moved onto an older game about building a cityscape, Wettstreit der Baumeister, which is mainly an auction game with some potential attacking other players constructions. This didn't quite work although my memory of having played it fifteen years ago was pretty good and, having looked at BGG since, it needs one or two tweaks to iron out the problems we encountered. Anyway, Andrew slaughtered the rest of us with an almost perfect city, whereas I got stuffed bidding on a city piece that actually gave me negative points.
On the other table, they had another go at Legendary, which Mark K had not played before. Their choice of Mastermind and Scheme, Red Skull unleashing the power of the Cosmic Cube, which is the beginners' scenario, meant they were unlikely to be beaten and that was the case with Steve taking the win.
We finished off with some dice rolling, as our zombies attempted to eat brains faster than others'. I was the shotgun king as I tended to roll one or more shotguns on my first roll every round with very few brains rolled. Conversely, Andrew had one round where he rolled seven brains and this enabled him easily to record a third win of the evening.
Half term week meant an extra session for Nige, Mark K and Guy. They started with Bora Bora which Guy had not played before. Although experience obviously counted, because Nige and Mark K were pretty close in the final scores whereas Guy was a fair bit adrift, this didn't stop Guy rating it a 10.
Next up was Martin Wallace's Brass. The first time we played this, we felt the loan system was a bit wonky but, this time, it seemed to work better or we'd previously played something wrong. Anyway, they enjoyed this a lot better with Nige taking the win.
The third game of the day was Singapore, a game I've not played. This was very close between Mark K and Guy with Guy just edging the win by a single point. Not sure if Nige was playing a different game but he might as well have been.
The fourth and final game was a bit of superhero action in the DC Comics Deck-Building Game. Mark K hadn't played this before and it looks like he quite enjoyed it. Nige grabbed a second win of the day to maintain his charge for this year's Hall of Fame.
Another week with eight in attendance so we split into two tables and my group started with Mice and Mystics. This is a story-driven dungeon crawl where the heroes have been turned into mice and, in the first chapter that we played, fight their way through sewers and tunnels and up to a courtyard where they can escape into a gnarly old tree. In each location, you have to defeat the creatures attacking you (rats, cockroaches, centipedes, spiders etc.) before you can move on and, if you take too long, more creatures get added to the room.
The game was ok but, apart from the unusual theme, I didn't think there was much to distinguish it from other similar games. And I don't understand why it's been getting such rave reviews from many people. There wasn't much in the way of tension (although this was just the first scenario so later chapters may be harder) and, apart from Mark K and I both getting captured in one location, once the creatures there had been defeated, we miraculously escaped to rejoin the team. We eventually made it to the courtyard, waited for the centipede to come to us, while the crow defeated the rats for us, beat up the centipede and moved into the tree to end the scenario. A joint win but not the challenge we'd been hoping for.
On the other table, they opted to play Ginkgopolis which, apart from Nicky, they'd all played a couple of weeks ago. This was a two horse race between Mark W and Julia with Julia eventually taking a comfortable win. At least it didn't take them as long to play this time.
After Ginkgopolis, Mark W had to leave so the remaining three turned to Rialto. Julia was the only one not to have played before. And this also turned into a two horse race but this time for second place as Nige dominated the Doge track and ran out an easy winner.
Our group finished off with the excellent Qwixx, recently nominated for this year's Spiel des Jahres and it's not hard to see why. I was the only one to have played before but it's a very easy game to get into but it does have some agonising decisions and, as the end of the game approaches, the likelihood that the dice can ruin your plans. That said, it's a dice game so we could have just handed the win to Mark G at the start and had an early finish. Well, we didn't and guess what? Mark G won.
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