Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!
If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.
Majesty For the Realm
How would I categorize Majesty for the Realm? First off this is a lighter weight family style game, where you are going to be drafting cards to place in your tableau in hopes of scoring more points each consecutive turn. So in all honesty, I want to call it a tableau builder, but I’m not sure that works any better than calling it a set collection game. Whatever you want to categorize it as, we’ll just say that it has the third most plays for us as a family since we discovered it back in November of 2017. Thirty seven plays, only bested by Azul & Ganz Schon Clever. For the full review here on The Opinionated Gamers, Simon Neale had the honors. Play is super smooth over twelve rounds, with each round consisting of one choice, which card do I draft into my town from a choice of six. Dead simple and lightning fast. My daughter and I once played a best of three series in about twenty five minutes. Yes, it is one of those games where you are always going forward, and yes there is a bit of an attack-y strategy that can play out (which we don’t mind, we’re an attack-y family), but it’s a wonderfully clean, rules light, perfectly balanced, family weight game. Honestly, if it weren’t for Azul and a bit of a confusing wording or two in the rule book, this could have been and probably should have been the Spiel des Jahres winner in 2018. 37 plays since November 2017
Crown of Emara
One play since we picked this up, and in that one play, I knew that it should stick around and get played more often, but sadly, it got buried underneath the weight of a lot of other games that came around the same time. So once again, we have a game surviving based on one play and some hope. Designed by Bejamin Schwer, the designer who gave us the favorite, Hadara last year, Crown of Emara is a wonderfully designed mid-weigh modern Euro. Made specifically for those who love rondels and some fun card play. Dale has you covered for the full review on the OG. 1 play since March 2019.
Letters from Whitechapel
Darkly thematic, hidden movement. Who would have thought that my wife would have loved playing as Jack the Ripper so much. It has been a long while since we have played Letters from Whitechapel but it’s a game that everytime I ask if I can sell it, I get a resounding no from my wife. Predominantly played at two players here in our house, Letters from Whitechapel lets one player play Jack the Ripper and the other player(s) play as detetives trying to catch him and stop him from killing the prostitutes of Whitechapel. If Jack manages to kill five victims and make it back to his hideout without being caught, he wins the game. But if the detectives hone in on his location and stop him before that, the detectives have saved the day. Jack and the detectives have two different ways of moving throughout the same spaces on the map, and Jack can even take a ride or two on carriages to further throw them off his trail. Wonderfully thematic, and well put together, but just a bit overwhelming to be an every night type of game for us, I’m glad we kept it around, but I do wonder when it will get played again. 4 logged plays since 2013.
Legendary A Marvel Deck Building Game
This is another game that my loving wife has nixxed me culling on more than one occasion. In fairness to her though, only reason I was selling it was because it was going to fetch a good amount of money thanks to the Fantastic Four expansion being out of print and possibly never re-printed at the time, but that is all behind us now as it is readily available. Marvel Legendary was the first in the Legendary line of games from Upper Deck and to me, it’s arguably the best of them. Marvel Legendary is a deck building game where the players are playing against an end boss and trying to defeat him and his henchmen. Ultimately though, if the players win, there is a winner of the game, which is the person who collected the most points from the bad guys. Lose as a team, win as a team, but there is one big winner. I know that drives some folks away from these Legendary games, and that’s fine, you could also not play with the ultimate winner, but that’s up to you. It can be really difficult at times, based on the heroes chosen and the villains, or it can be ultimately really easy. This always bothered me. I wanted to be able to use a randomizer and be able to win if we played the best we could, but some scenarios just didn’t allow that to happen. Still, all in all a really fun game and thematically a hit in our family. I have added Dark City, Fantastic Four and one of the Spiderman expansions to our base box and that box is heavy at this point, there are just so many cards. Deck Building may be my second favorite game mechanism, I love it, and I love when folks try to do different things with it and incorporate it into a bigger game. 21 plays since 2012.
Those last two titles seemed to not have anything really written about them here on The Opinionated Gamers. So I am going to try to work those into the rotation at some point and talk a bit more about them, especially Marvel Legendary as I wrote an old review for it back in 2012, and that review was bad enough that I didn’t think I could even edit it and make it to where I wouldn’t cringe knowing that folks were reading it in 2020.
Stay safe everyone, stay at home if you can, if you have to go out, minimize unnecessary interactions. Oh, and thank the nurses, doctors and those who take care of us any chance you get.