And to be clear, when I said 8 AM, I meant earlier as there’s shower, coffee, and a salad first. Maybe my memory is failing me, but hot games was packed this morning (I wrote some of this last night, so some of the temporal wording will be off…). Here’s 9 AM crowds in hot games vs. the rest of the main gaming hall.
Queendomino and Riverboat are often empty, but the other titles have been in constant rotation. I’m doing my best to spread the love of Raja of the Ganges and Heaven & Ale. Speaking of which:
I had played a few weeks ago, but taught it 3 times, and played once today. One way path, buying titles for the sunny side (will later produce cash) or the shady side (costs 2x to place; produces goods). Can trigger scorings once each for tile number, good type, and monk type. (There’s a wonky scoring system that you’ll have to wait for our full review or check the rules for.)
Strongly enjoying this one. The decisions are so tight. The whole game feels like it’s about to come off the rails and you finally balance things just at the end.
Speaking of playing things a second time, found my friend Edward reading the rules to Biosphere so I taught and joined in.
This is a hard one to describe, and I think the theme and appearance bely the type of game.
You’re an animal species, with the dice representing your animals, and the pips tracking when they’ll die (consulting a wheel that tracks things). Each game there are 7 objective cards, and you win by achieving 5. They range from having more or less animals on specific tiles than your opponents, to completely occupying certain tiles, to reaching certain stats on your board, etc.
You’ll be able to customize, your animals with income, and move them, and speciate.
I enjoy the puzzle of which 5 will be the most efficient to achieve (including overlap with available upgrades). The die off adds a nice wrench, but the animal part and theme feels a little disjointed from the puzzle aspect.
Have you ever rung yourself up at an empanada restaurant because the cashier had to go also be the chef?
I haven’t either, but I had some friends bring me back some. (@OpinionatedEaters break!)
Tonight was Empa Mundo. Two brisket, one banana nutella, and some sort of apple almond cookie. From what I hear, I missed out on quite the experience of actually visiting, but it was tasty!
I found Smoox in the lobby and we played his My Story.
It was a delightful. A resume/memory building type game. A deckbuilder with some interesting twists.
Here’s my board for partway through the next game we played, Planet Surprise.
This was one of my most anticipated games from Spiel 2016, and I was able to grab some sets this year. It’s a scratch off deduction game. Each player gets a board which is the same underneath; the bottom row shows the available actions, and the planets show various plus or minus values underneath. The actions will let you scratch off planets, look at other players’ boards, etc.
A friend texted that he had met Joe Huber; I had never met Joe, so I went to meet up with them. Joe grabbed Kezuma Master for us to play, and you can read about it in his Top 189 games list.
It’s a trick taking game where you draft poison suits, a scoring structure, and special abilities. Play 4 hands. Strongly enjoyed the game, and also getting to meet and spend some time with Joe.
We also tried Tagiron, a new deduction game from Japon Brand.
Um, not sure it’s a 4 player game. I will definitely be trying it again with 2 or 3. There are some tiles 0-9, and a queue of question cards in the middle; everyone has x tiles behind their screen, and you are guessing some tiles elsewhere. The questions are things like “where are your red tiles”, “what is the sum of your blue tiles”, etc. I messed up providing information on one question which also marred the play, though again, I’m eager to give it another try.
It also has a rule book section for 4 players. It often refers you to the three player section. The three player section refers you to the 2 player section. And all numerals are spelled out. The rule book is a deduction game of its own.
Closed out with Memoarrr! This had been on and off of my Spiel pick up list, but ultimately fell off. In last night’s game, my body physically couldn’t laugh hard enough for the joy I was having.
It’s a chaining memory game. Each tile has two attributes- animal and background color. Someone flips a tile. The next player must flip a tile that matches an attribute. If they miss, they take a volcano tile and are out for the round. If they are successful, the next person takes their turn, trying to match an attribute of the new card. Last person in earns points.
We played an advanced variant where each animal has a special ability, such as if you flip a crab, it remains your turn. Quite a bit of fun trying to preposterously remember each card.
Today, I also found out that my regular group has signed us up for the puzzle hunt. None of us have participated before, so we’ll see how that goes.
Tomorrow, though, will be the Not Hot Games Room. More details tomorrow (now today).