Scavenger Hunt #31 – Self-portrait

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

My fist idea was to take a picture of me in front and/or hiding behind board game boxes – and then I got a much funnier idea. Many board games have so-called “meeples” – the pieces that represent people. So I decided that transforming myself into a meeple could be pretty fun!

The original use of the word “meeple” comes from the game Carcassonne, which makes a significant use of them. In Carcassonne, players take turns adding square tiles to a common map and claiming various areas of the map; the final score is computed by considering the size and state of the areas controlled by each player.

It was consequently natural to set things up into a Carcassonne game. That said, my own copy of Carcassonne comes with transparent meeples, which would make the image all the more challenging, so I stole a meeple from another game. And I picked a red one, OBVIOUSLY, because I always play red.

My final image is a composite of a board game picture:

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/9
Exposure time1/13 s
ISO640

and a self-portrait picture:

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/10
Exposure time1/10 s
ISO320

Editing ended up being…. more straightforward than expected. I was afraid I’d have to fight way more than I did with the composition which, granted, took a bit of time, but ended up working out much better than I was expecting. I’m very happy that I thought of wearing a red t-shirt: it made the merging with the red meeple that much easier 🙂

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Self-portrait album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Fluffy

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

Farm themes are pretty common in board games, to the point that I have wooden sheep in a significant amount of them. I also have different models of sheep! The sheep in this picture come from two sources: Caverna (the darker/yellower ones) and Glen More II. Caverna is a worker placement game in which the player controls dwarves that try to earn the most gold by building facilities in their caves and going on adventures. Glen More II is a territory building game where the player controls a clan of Scots trying to gain resources, influence and whisky.

For the picture, I gathered all my sheep in a bowl that I had covered with fluffy material – my latest attempt at knitting, which “will be a scarf this winter” for probably 5 years now – but hey, photo prop! I own more wooden sheep than that, but the models for the other games was close enough from the Caverna style that I didn’t feel like sorting them out again afterwards.

This is the initial picture, for which the edits were straightforward.

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/8
Exposure time1/40s
ISO1250

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Fluffy album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Teal

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

Teal is a common enough player color in board games that I had quite a lot of choice for my Teal picture. I chose the game Crusaders because it seemed like the best option if I wanted to have a sea of teal and not just a few pieces on the board.

In Crusaders, players fight for influence over Europe by traveling, mustering troops, building buildings, and the like. The different actions make the following actions easier or more powerful – which makes Crusaders fairly strong in the “engine building” category. It’s a bit intimidating to explain, but the game flows really well and it’s really enjoyable.

Here’s the initial picture, close enough from the end result that the edits were very straightforward:

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/10
Exposure time1/25s
ISO800

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Teal album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Tiny Creatures

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

For the word “Tiny Creatures”, making a picture around Bunny Kingdom was completely obvious very early. The irony is that, at the scale of the game, these bunnies are actually HUGE – they take over whole fields and castles! But the first time we saw this game, we (okay, probably I) were enchanted by “LOOK AT ALL THE TINY RABBITS AAAWWW”.

Bunny Kingdom is a draft and control territory game. Players draft through a deck of cards that allow them to put a bunny territories, to upgrade these territories (with resources and castles), and to get various bonuses. And it has a lot of bunnies.

For this picture, I chose to not display a remotely valid game state: I felt that the addition of the bonus tiles would crowd the picture… and I wanted the picture to be crowded by bunnies, not by other game pieces. I also usually run through a reasonable-ish simulation of the game to get to a believable-ish state of the game for my pictures. For this one, I setup the castles first, then I put bunnies from each player in the castles, and I completed within what I would consider being reasonable moves within these parameters (but then, I suck at this game, so what do I know).

This yielded the following initial image, which was straightforward enough to edit.

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Focal length50 mm
F-NumberF/6.3
Exposure time1/13 s
ISO320

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Tiny Creatures album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Window

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

One of the words was “Window” and, while it may seem hard to have a board game themed image for that, there are two games that I know of that use the theme “let’s build stained window panels”: Sagrada, and this one, Azul Stained Glass of Sintra. Since I own the second one and not the first one, that’s the one I went for 🙂 Azul Stained Glass of Sintra is the second game of the Azul series (there’s currently, I think, three of them). They are abstract games that have the same core mechanics: tiles are randomly put into groups in the middle of the table. Players take turns taking all the tiles of the same color in a group and placing them on their board. Full lines give points; extra tiles count for the line count negative points. It’s a game we enjoy a lot… probably because it’s exactly our level of “cutthroat” 😉

I ran through a quick simulation between two players before taking a picture around what would be roughly early-mid-game, and this was the original picture, which didn’t require much edit work:

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Focal length50 mm
F-NumberF/8
Exposure time1/30s
ISO800

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Window album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Sparkle

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

One of the word was “Sparkle” – and what’s more sparkling than diamonds? Hence, I had a pretty straightforward theme with the game Diamant. Diamant is a push-your-luck game where players collect gemstones in a dangerous (think Indiana Jones-dangerous) mine. The more they dig, the more they’ll bring home – but if they fall into a trap they don’t bring anything back!

Here’s my original picture:

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Focal length50 mm
F-NumberF/8
Exposure time1/80s
ISO1000

This was most definitely not sparkly enough! Which meant that I need to add some sparkles to my diamonds… which meant that I created my first ever Photoshop brush. I mostly followed this video: Photoshop Tutorial: How to create a Star Brush Set. So I played with that for a while, and then I added a few (okay, a lot) of not-at-all-subtle digital glitter on my gems.

It was a lot of fun, and I’m actually quite happy with the final image!

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Sparkle album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Float

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

For “Float”, I was first playing with the idea of boat/ship themed board games. I could find a few ideas, but nothing necessarily very convincing. Instead, I got out a game that doesn’t see much light these days, namely “Hey, that’s my fish!”, where the ice sheets on which the penguins stand are definitely floating.

In “Hey, that’s my fish”, players control a few penguins that try to feed themselves. They start on an hexagonal grid made of tiles and can move to other tiles in a straight line to arrive on tiles that have 1, 2 or 3 fish. When a penguin leaves a tile, their controlling player picks the tile in their reserve, making the board emptier and emptier… and the penguins’ situation more and more precarious! It’s a fun game, except for two things: 1/ I *always* lose because I suck at it 2/ the setup time is way too long for the game time.

To make the picture, I setup the game and played a few rounds quickly until I got a situation making clear that the penguins are floating on some small pieces of ice. I had setup the game over a sheet of blue gift paper to symbolize some water, and I played around a lot with the different penguins to avoid seeing all the same figures everywhere and whatnot.

This was my original picture:

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Focal length50mm
F-NumberF/8
Exposure time1/25 s
ISO500

I wanted to give more texture to the “blue sea” – so that was my next step after the basic edits. I separated the blue background from the game pieces and played around with Photoshop creative filters until I got what I wanted. I’m somewhat unhappy with the blur because it’s not aligning with the DOF blur of the pieces; I considered fixing it after I noticed it, but I got lazy. Bah, room for improvement for the next ones!

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Float album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Fairy Tales

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

“Fairy Tales” ended up being a surprisingly hard concept to come to: I had a few games that I could make work with a bit of a stretch on the word, but nothing super convincing. There exists also a game called Fairy Tale, but it’s, as far as I know, out of print, and I do not own a copy. I knew where to borrow one, so it was definitely a backup plan. With the “I don’t have anything that obviously fits” out of the way, I looked at the board game shelves and went through the games one by one. That’s when the Dixit concept hit me.

Dixit is a party/social game that contains a lot of very pretty cards. In a round of Dixit, the current player (the “story teller”) gives a word or a story about a card she has in her hand. All other players provide cards from their hands that fit that word; the goal for them is to find the card that the story teller chose in the collected cards. The goal of the story teller is to have at least one player find her card, but not all of them. The challenge then becomes, for the story teller as well as for the guessers, to find the one card that’s “guessable, but not obvious”… or that has a common enough interpretation to be able to play on the luck factor.

It turns out that “fairy tale” is a fairly common theme in Dixit – I wouldn’t say that it’s a theme that comes at every game, but not far from it. Surprisingly enough, the number of cards that not only evoke, but strongly evoke the word in the whole deck of cards is fairly low. Still, I found a dozen of them, and arranged them around the scoring/guessing board. To represent the scores of the 12 imaginary players, I… threw a die 12 times and put a random bunny on each of the obtained scores 😉

It took me a few attempts to get an angle that I found pleasing, while not displaying too much empty space around the cards, and finding an arrangement of the cards that would make them all at least somewhat visible. This is the original picture (which is significantly messier out of the cropped frame, as you can see 🙂 ), with no particular edits except what was needed to make it presentable 😉

CameraPentax K-1 II
LensPentax D FA 24-70mm F2.8
Focal length27mm
F-NumberF/14
Exposure time1/13 s
ISO800

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Fairy Tales album.

Scavenger Hunt #31 – Ink

For the 31st Scavenger Hunt, I decided to create all my images within an overarching theme of “Board games” – and maybe take the opportunity to talk about said games during this post.

“Ink” would have been a slam dunk word a couple of Hunts ago – I do have a (now somewhat on the side) calligraphy hobby, and I would have gone that way and taken the opportunity to get my nibs wet, or something like that 😉 If not for the desire to go for an overarching theme, I would probably have done that, or experimented with ink-in-water shots. Instead, I do own a game called Railroad Ink, for which, at least, I have the expectation of having the only picture with that interpretation in the album.

Railroad Ink is essentially a “multiplayer solo game”, in that there is absolutely no interaction between the players during the game. It’s a “roll & write”: a set of dice is rolled every round, and players write stuff on their sheet, and repeat until the game is over (in this case for a set number of rounds.) In this instance of roll & write, the dice represent roads and rails (and lakes and volcanoes with the expansions), and the players compete in making whatever the dice throws at them build the best road & rail network.

For this picture, I played the whole game and counted my score. I had initially managed to mess up the sum and given myself 10 extra points, oops… had to retake the shot after that ;). Then I setup things to show the box, to make the relation to the theme crystal clear, and another player mat to fill in the picture and have a bit more interesting stuff than my table.

The major difficulty was to get proper angles and setup so that the image would look good (and avoid unfortunate @#! reflections); but with this initial picture, the edits were completely straightforward.

CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Focal length50 mm
F-NumberF/11
Exposure time1/40s
ISO400

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Ink album.

SPIEL’19

For the fifth year in a row, we went last week to Essen for the SPIEL board game fair. Four days of wandering in the halls, of playing a fair amount of games, of shopping… and a few very nice restaurants and cocktails in the evening, because why not 😉

This year felt somewhat less crowded than the previous years, to the point that I got slightly worried – but they did announce a 10% increase in visitors compared to last year (reaching 209K visitors); I guess the increase in surface compensated for that. But let’s talk games!

Myraclia, Rudy3 – a game where players draft cube ressources from a randomly-chosen pool, and use these cubes to terraform tiles that may give bonuses for the following turns. Very pretty and interesting mechanics; the game is on late pledge/pre-order on Kickstarter, and we ordered it.

Myraclia, Rudy3

Copenhagen, Queen Games – I liked the box art, and that’s probably the main reason why this game ended up on my list of “things I’d like to have a look at”. It’s a game where players gather cards to buy polyomino tiles to build a building facade and gather victory points as they go. It’s not a bad game, but it didn’t really click with any of us.

Imperial Settlers Roll&Write, Portal Games – a common dice roll is used as number of actions and resources to build a civilization over 10 rounds. I quite liked it, and I think I would like the solo/adventure mode, but as it is it’s a bit annoying to remember how many actions you did (and you can probably end up going to do 6 or 7 on one turn, depending on bonuses) and the resources you’ve used. Not convinced enough.

Periodic, Genius Games – I think we both really wanted to like that one, because how cool/nerdy is a game where you move around the periodic table? And where, when you ask if there’s a way to get more energy to move around the periodic table, the person at the demo explains to you that “well, no, because energy is never created or destroyed, duh”? And it is indeed pretty cool to zoom around the periodic table, but the mechanics themselves felt pretty flat. Let’s put it that way – as an educational game, it’s probably a good one; as a themed game, it was a bit disappointing.

Periodic, Genius Games

De Stijl, Quick Simple Fun Games – this one caught my eye because of its Mondrian aesthetics. Players add cards displaying 9 colored squares to the game, covering between 2 and 5 existing squares; at the end of the game, the score is computed both on the number of distinct areas and on the size of the largest area. Quite pretty, and probably takes a few games to master, but not necessarily our type of game.

De Stijl, Quick Simple Fun Games

Welcome to New Las Vegas, Blue Cocker – a roll&write without dice 🙂 Players need to build casinos on their sheet, and to achieve that there is three decks of cards that give a number (that yields constraints on its placement on the sheet) and actions (that allows to eventually win points). Actually quite fun, although we messed up a rule that made our scores explode compared to the typical score 😉 However, it’s not available yet! Buuut it’s a new take on another game, Welcome to Your Perfect Home, where players build houses instead of casinos – so we got that one instead. The “Las Vegas” version is slightly more complex, but Perfect Home has another interesting set of constraints and goals – where most of the player interaction happens, since there’s a race to reach these goals first.

Welcome to New Las Vegas, Blue Cocker

Empire of the North, Portal Games – a close cousin of Imperial Settlers, which I like a lot. Players also get to build their civilization and engine by adding cards to their board, and there’s a few additional mechanics, such as the possibility to go explore distant islands that yield extra bonuses. The food tokens still look like tomatoes (although they’re officially apples), and there’s also get fish as well in this version 😉 Pierre says it’s the game Imperial Settlers should have been; I might agree. We bought it as well as the Japanese Islands expansion.

Paranormal Detectives, Lucky Duck – we didn’t play that one, we only watched the explanation and the beginning of the game. Someone has been killed, and their ghost is haunting the detectives in charge of the case in order to make them understand what/where/how everything happened. And for that, they have a number of means at their disposal, that go from miming to a ouija board or even trying to assemble a hangman rope to give clues. That actually looked pretty fun, but probably not a good fit for us 🙂

Century: A New World, Plan B Games – the third game of the Century set of games, which can all be played individually or combined. The base mechanics is the same for all three: players can gather resources that they can upgrade via different actions. In the first game, the actions are given by cards that can be bought; in the second game, the actions involve moving on a map; in the third game, we get worker placement mechanics. We both like the first game and its simplicity – it has the same feeling as Splendor, and a bit more complexity, and the Golem edition is very pretty; New World is kind of nice, but not necessarily the one we’d buy in this collection.

Century: A New World, Plan B Games

Azul: Summer Pavilion, Next Move Games – we also didn’t play this one, only got a vague idea by watching people play for a few minutes. It’s the third Azul game, with the same mechanics of picking tiles as the first two (except now there’s also wildcard tiles). Here, the tiles are put on stars, where each branch of the star needs a different number of tiles. The mechanics of placement are slightly different from the other two Azul, but not necessarily enough of a different game to justify a buy, considering we already have (and enjoy) the Stained Glass version. It still looks very pretty, though.

Azul: Summer Pavilion, Next Move Games

Deep Blue, Days of Wonder – the Days of Wonder of the year. This time it’s a push-your-luck game, with a diving theme, where players try to get the largest amount of treasures (and hence monies, and hence points) without getting hit by the lack of oxygen or harpoons. They start with a hand of cards that allows different actions and, to help them, they can recruit more people (get more cards) that will get them bonuses or additional actions. I liked it way more than I thought I would (it’s fun!), the production quality is at the usual very high Days of Wonder standards, it plays up to 5, and we ended up grabbing a copy (finding a non-German copy in the Asmodee shops ended up being a fail; we ended up finding a French copy directly at Days of Wonder where they had a few French boxes behind the desk.)

Deep Blue, Days of Wonder

Amul, Lautapelit – we had played a prototype of that one last year under the name Silk Road, and it was a pleasure to see the final version and to play it again (with a group of people coming from Singapore!) At every turn, players get a new card, choose a card to put on the common market, pick a card from said common market, and play a card on their board, trying to gather sets and get actions that will eventually build points for the end of the game. The extra twist is that some cards only score when they are kept them in hand, and some cards only score when they are put on the table, yielding agonizing decision-making about what to do since it IS mandatory to put a card on the table 😀 Really liked it, and it plays up to 8 with mostly simultaneous playing; we grabbed a copy, and I’m looking forward to play it again.

Amul, Lautapelit

Minecraft: Builders and Biomes, Ravensburger – a board game adaptation of, well, Minecraft. Players can gather resources by mining them in a cube of resources, discover tiles, reconfigure their board, fight monsters, and score points doing all that. It is actually a very good adaptation of the video game, it’s not very deep but I could see that one working well in a family with kids – both simple enough and strategic enough for everyone to have fun. It’s a bit sad that the cardboard bits feel very flimsy (and that the scoring markers are larger than the scoring tracks! Infuriating 😉 ) Not a buy for us, but I’m keeping it in mind as a gift idea for that kind of situation 🙂

Minecraft: Builders and Biomes, Ravensburger

Glenmore Chronicles, Funtalis – a game full of Scotsmen and Scotland places and whisky, where players build their settlements by getting tiles on a track, producing resources, using resources, and trying to optimize the placement of their tiles to be able to activate them at all. One of the twists is that players get negative points at the end depending on the size of their settlements (the more tiles, the less points), so they need to get “as large as necessary, but not larger”. I lost that game SUPER BADLY, but I still enjoyed it a lot, and we came home with a box. On top of that, there’s 8 mini-expansions within the game, that all come with their little box that looks like a book, and that’s completely adorable (and no, I don’t have a picture, but believe me, it’s adorable.)

Project L, Boardcubator – players start with small polyomino pieces that they can upgrade, downgrade or change to other ones, and objective cards for which they need to gather a set of polyominos making the shape of the card (a bit like a tangram). They keep their polyominos and typically get new ones, which allows them to build more and more complex objective cards – and hopefully get more and more victory points. It’s quite pleasant and the material is really nice; I think it might have been a buy if it had been available on the booth (but it’s not out yet).

Project L, Boardcubator

Petrichor, Mighty Boards – a wonderful theme, since players get to play CLOUDS! They need to move around and strategize to rain at the right time on the right crops to get victory points. It’s quite brain-intensive because most of the actions have a delayed effect, but it looks really interesting, although I’ll definitely get an extra game or two to really get the feel for the game. We were on the fence for a while about getting it, but we ended up grabbing a copy at the end of the fair.

Petrichor, Mighty Boards

Dune, Gale Force Nine – yes, THAT Dune. I think this was the largest surprise for me this year. I tend to shy away from that kind of game that has diplomacy and alliances and mind games as a selling point. But we had a short talk with someone at the booth one of the evenings who was actually quite enthusiastic and selling it very well, so we ended up grabbing a demo game when we saw a table was getting free (while we were mulling over the Petrichor decision at the next booth). I was very, VERY lost at the beginning of the game because the explanations were somewhat confusing (to a very unpleasant point), but I finally got somewhat of a feel for the game and I ended up liking it a lot. The theme is strong, I played Harkonnen and I really enjoyed it, and it ended up being a game I reaaaally wanted to play again. They were out of stock on site, but they apparently had a bit of stock in an external warehouse; we ordered a copy, and it will hopefully arrive in our shelves soon.

Dune, Gale Force Nine

On the Underground: London/Berlin, LudiCreations – a transport network construction game where players try to have passengers move to their destinations in an optimal way. We only got the 3-minute explanation, no demo game, and I must admit I phased out for most of it (I probably got tired at that moment), so… I kind of don’t know 🙂

On the Underground: London/Berlin, LudiCreations

Tiny Towns, AEG – a game where players gather resource cubes (via a common card mechanism) to build buildings on their own board using geometric constraints. I liked it a lot – we got a copy, which also unlocked THE GIGANTIC AEG BAG (people who ever went to Essen know what I’m talking about 😉 ). I don’t THINK it had anything to do with the fact that I nuked the rest of the table, score-wise, but it sure didn’t harm 😉

Tiny Towns, AEG

Curios, AEG – we usually don’t spend that much time on the AEG booth, and it may be a good thing, since we ended up buying this year the two games we tested by them! Curios is a game where players are trying to get the most value from artifacts that they can gather; the twist is that they do not know the exact value of said artifacts, they only have a few clues. It ends up being fun on a game theory level, and generally speaking quite enjoyable, short, and playing up to 5. We got a copy.

Little Town, Iello – players build a common city by adding tiles to a board and activating tiles around their player marker to gather resources (allowing to add more tiles). There’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s even a pretty good game I think, but it just didn’t click for me. I might have enjoyed it more at another moment, or, or, or (we’ll never know!)

Little Town, Iello

Crusaders, TMG – I must admit the theme is not necessarily something that appeals to me, but I really liked that game. Players get to move, build or attack according to a wheel around which they move tokens to get actions that are more or less strong, and the building that they build make these actions stronger. The wheel mechanic is a mix between the one from Finca and the meeple handling of Five Tribes; the whole game does have a bit of a Terra Mystica feel, and we ended up getting a copy. And since they were out of the regular box, we got the Deluxe edition – which has metallic victory points and very cool minis 😉 (And a metal sword as a first player token!)

Wingspan, Stonemaier Games – I had been looking for an English demo of Wingspan to no avail on the fair – but thankfully a friend with whom we had shared a few cocktails in the evening found an English copy and we got to play it at the hotel bar in front of a couple of drinks 🙂 It’s a bird collection and engine building game, it’s gorgeous (THE EGGS!), it’s the Kennerspiel des Jahres for this year, and it’s absolutely deserved. We found another English copy by chance at one of the store booths, and we didn’t hesitate much before buying it.

Wingspan, Stonemaier Games

Ganymede, Sorry We Are French – a racing game where players want to get their meeples from Earth to Mars to Ganymede, so that they can fly to galaxies far far away on their rocket ships. Quite pleasant, cool mechanics, but it apparently didn’t click enough to be a buy.

Ganymede, Sorry We Are French

Bruxelles 1897, Geek Attitude Games – I was intrigued by the Art Nouveau art, so I was happy when we found a table. Players get cards on a grid that give them different advantages; the twist is that the scoring also depends on the placement on said grid, and more specifically on the majority of money spent by players in each scoring track (column of cards). I’m not sure why I didn’t like it more, because it had potential to tick a lot of boxes, and it’s objectively well made, but it really didn’t click for me.

Bruxelles 1897, Geek Attitude Games

Just One, Repos Production – the Spiel des Jahres for this year. As far as we could tell, there was only one English table (and a lot of German ones) – and, definitely, for a word game, English is better for us 🙂 It’s a light cooperative party game, somewhat akin to Concept (by the same publisher) – one player try to find words that the other players are trying to make them guess. All players get to write a clue, but if a clue is given by more than one player, it gets eliminated before the guesser has a chance to look at it! So clues need to be helpful but not obvious, and it’s generally speaking a lot of fun (and sometimes downright impressive). We got a box, because why not – it can be a nice change from Codenames 😉

Paris: New Eden, Matagot – in a post-apocalyptic Paris, players try to re-build settlements by finding a good mix of people to populate them. To do that, they get to choose actions associated to dice that help get said people – so they need to optimize the choice and order of the actions to get what they want. I liked it quite a lot, but Pierre wasn’t convinced, so we didn’t get a copy.

Paris: New Eden, Matagot

And for the other buys…

  • A copy of Prêt-à-Porter, at Portal Games – I had bought the Kickstarter on “theme + strong euro + Portal Games” and I got my copy delivered in Essen
  • Railroad Evolution, the expansion for Railroad Revolution, a game that we quite like – it seems to add a few mechanics, to “fix” what’s generally considered an overpowered track, and to be playable without much hassle on top of the original game.
  • Play Smart, a small book by Ignacy Trzewiczek (of Portal Games) about role-playing – I had enjoyed his previous two books, they’re funny (the guy knows how to tell an entertaining story – we went to see his seminar during the fair and it was both hilarious and touching) and that’s probably worth the read
  • Railroad Rivals – it was an Almost Buy last year, and it was on sale this year, so I didn’t resist 🙂
  • A couple of SPIEL t-shirts, because they had a design contest (based on their logo) and the result is actually quite nice 🙂
The Loot!

And that’s it for this year!