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.
Galaxy Trucker Anniversary Edition
Years back, my family used to ask what I wanted for Christmas, and usually I would give them something like this, where folks could all throw twenty bucks at and everyone would be done shopping for me. Those days are long past, they don’t really ask me any longer. But the Galaxy Trucker Anniversary Edition has stuck around and is a big, BIG, part of the collection. Galaxy Trucker was an early game in my gaming life, the chaos and mayhem were perfect fits for me at that time. All that chaos never really fit in all that well with my family for some reason. Which is why it kind of shocked me that they actually bought this, knowing that I would love for them to play with me, and they did, a couple more times, and they still, aren’t as big of fans of the game as I am. Which hurts, it really does. Deep down among all the real time grabbing of tiles, and the smashing of asteroids into the ships, there is strategy here. It’s all in how you build your ship. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of luck at play here, getting the right tiles at the right time, having the gods in your favor as you travel. But there is nothing better in this world than watching your opponents’ ships fall apart as you coast in with only a couple pieces of cargo left on a ship being powered by a single engine that in reality may end up sending you spinning in circles, but hey, it all works here. This one also has the Missions expansion in the box which I have not had a chance to dive into since picking it up, years ago. No one needs this much Galaxy Trucker, but it was never really a question of need. Dozens of plays prior to logging plays and on the app, only 2 actual logged plays of this Anniversary Edition.
A grail game that made it to the shelves, a recent addition at that. Heartland is the game that became Gunkimono and for more than a couple years, Heartland sat on my wishlist, just taunting me. Where Heartland was about farming, Gunkimono is about land control in feudal Japan. Much is the same between the two, gameplay wise. There are a few differences though, among them, tile distribution, with the large double tiles being removed in Gunkimono, to kind of prevent some huge swings in points. The Barn Track has been updated a bit in Gunkimono as well and three face up tiles have been added to the set up, no need for blind drawing any longer. I don’t know that Heartland was the first to do it, but the three dimensional way that the board grows in this tile placement game has always been a huge draw to me. The covering of other crops/units to better score points for yourself and allowing a bigger game without the sprawl of say a Carcassonne is a genius way to do things. LIke I said, I don’t know if it was the first, but it was the first that I took notice of. It helps that I love tile laying games, I’ll admit I am a huge sucker for that mechanism in games. But I think that over the years, Jeff has proven himself as one of the best, along with Wrede and Caputo, and Heartland, was when I first noticed it, even if I didn’t get to play it until last year. 2 plays of Heartland & 11 plays of Gunkimono.
Vegas Dice Game
This one is on the top shelf because I bought the Target version, which is just a box shaped like a giant D6, appropriate, but awkward to store. So there it rests, on the top shelf in all of it’s awkward glory. I think most folks know about Vegas, it truly is one of the best easily accessible, short games out there. Games that I try to not call “fillers”. It’s a dead simple area majorities game, where the players are rolling dice and vying for control of different casinos. The casinos are numbered one through six so each turn, you roll your remaining dice and then place all of your dice of a chosen number, on the corresponding casino in hopes of winning the money at the end of the round. Some casinos will be more valuable than others, as the money is assigned randomly to them at the beginning of a round. Vegas is played over three rounds, and the player with the most money at the end of that third round is the winner. I think that in the description of the game the word schadenfreude is used, and I think that’s a wonderful descriptor of the game. There is something really wonderful about sneaking in stealing a casino away from a competitor who thought they had something wrapped up. I’ve also played the Royale version of the game, and while I know that some folks like the variety and variability, I’m a fan of the simple, the straight forward, so I am more than happy with the copy I have, and have no need to add anything else to it. Besides, the winner of our game gets to “Roll the Box”. 4 plays of Vegas Dice Game & 1 play of Las Vegas Royale.
Is it a game? That I can’t answer for you, that’s your decision to make. What DropMix is, is a lot of fun. I am not all that musically inclined. In spite of years of guitar and piano lessons, nothing ever really stuck with me. I love music, and I love listening to it, but I have never been very competent at making music. Along comes Dropmix and suddenly I am Deadmau5. It really is an ingenious piece of tech, cards that act as your player pieces, placed on the Dropmix board, making different sounds from different pieces of music. I know that we’ve played the duel numerous times and had a good time playing it, but the fun of it isn’t who wins or loses the duel, it’s the music that is made while doing it. It’s a shame how this has kind of fallen out of the public eye so quickly, prices plummeted after I bought mine and who knows if it’s even still supported. I need more songs, I need more cards, I need more Dropmix. 5 logged plays, but countless hours of pretending I am a jet setting DJ entertaining the world.