Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 19

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.


As you will see in the upcoming 10 Great Games article, Targi is by far my favorite two player only game, and it’s one that I am working on a review of, but I am also waiting for the North American release of the expansion which I never have added to the base. Targi is a worker placement game where everyone has three workers. The board is a set of Sixteen cards in a rectangle, with the nine spots in the middle being Caravan and Tribe cards. The Caravan cards grant goods, salt, pepper, dates and the occasional gold. These goods grant you the ability to recruit the Tribe cards to your tableau that you are building to score points. Your tableau will be three rows of four cards, or that’s what you are shooting for. The Tribe cards themselves are worth one to three points at the end of the game, but if you manage to make a row in your tableau of like Tribes, you will also gain four points, or if you have a row of all different Tribes, you’ll gain two points. You can also gain victory point tokens throughout the game by selling goods. The trick to Targi is this, each player will place three workers per round, unless a card tells them otherwise. Players take turns placing a worker on the outside of the board, never placing directly opposite of another player. After the players have placed all three workers, they take their actions in turn order. Where your workers are sitting will be an action, as will where they intersect in the middle of the board. You can do your actions in any order that best suits you, and a game will last twelve of these rounds. Oversimplified, I know, but I do want to do a more thorough review later. Targi is a deceptively simple game, and an outwardly mean game. There is so much joy in placing a worker in a space that makes it nearly impossible for your opponent to get their chosen cards, there are workarounds, but we’ll save that for the full review. The rolled up mat on the shelf is a printed board to play on, with the border cards pre-printed on it. 10 plays since August 2015.


I know I have played Tak a couple times, and I love abstracts, but this one is my wife’s choice, she won it off a play and win table at Moon City Con, which is a good thing, as she absolutely adored it. I really should break it out again and make her re-teach it to me, so I can remember it. I am pretty sure it has to do with getting pieces of your color to go completely across the board and height and direction matter. 2 plays since 2018. 

Ticket to Ride w/Africa and Poland maps, plus the 1910 cards

I am just going to link to this for all of the Opinionated Gamers content on Ticket to Ride, needless to say, it’s a lot. We love Ticket to Ride around here, it has been a game that the family has played since 2012 and our ten year old is just starting to join us when we play. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot to say about Ticket to Ride that hasn’t been said a billion times elsewhere, so I’m not going to try. Just know that it is probably the greatest “Gateway” game around, and probably will never be toppled. Of the expansions, we played predominantly at three player for a long time, so we picked up what is probably the best three player map, Africa. The Poland map is one that was handed down from fellow OG’er, Chris Wray. Who has the complete set of maps and I am pretty sure everything made for Ticket to Ride, even a conductor shirt. So I hope that was a second copy, or I may start to feel guilty. Last year, Chris tried to take me down the tracks and play each and every map and game for Ticket to Ride, but we came up a bit short when we ran out of steam, but still, I played an awful lot and learned an awful lot of new maps. With the Nederlands and Pennsylvania probably being my favorites, with the Swiss map right behind those. 42 plays since 2012, including all expansion plays as individual plays.

Tajemnicze Domostwo aka Mysterium

So, we’re all guilty of it, importing a hard to find game just because some weirdo game reviewer went gaga over it on video. But this time, it wasn’t me, it was my wife. She walked in while I was watching some Youtube one night and ten minutes later I am looking up how to track down a copy. I’m not sure why we hung on to this version though, even after the English version appeared, I think we both partially appreciated the darker feeling of the Polish version, it just felt more natural. Chris had the Tajemnicze Domostwo review on The OG, and apparently the Mysterium review as well. We haven’t played it recently nearly as much as we used to, but each time it comes out, Kerensa has to be the ghost and the family tries to solve the mystery. 17 plays since 2014.


Honestly, what gamer, who is a fan of card games, could hold their head up high if they didn’t own a copy of the veritable, Tichu. We’ve not played it a whole lot, but I recognize the quality and hope to someday have a good group of card playing friends to teach this to and form a Sunday afternoon Tichu group that meets at a coffee shop and talks too loudly, or something like that. Also, I had the older version from Rio Grande and it was perfectly fine, with two deck and colorful cards, but this Abacus Spiele version just takes the cake. It’s gorgeous. 1 lousy play, this has to change.

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4 Responses to Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 19

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  3. huzonfirst says:

    I’m also a fan of Targi, Brandon; I’ve always thought it was very clever. But there are just so many great 2 player games that it’s hard to break into the top 10.

    As for Mysterium, well, the less said about that, the better!

  4. Tucker says:

    we picked up what is probably the best three player map, Africa.
    *skeptical eyebrow* Better than Nordic?

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