Boardgames: Floating Market & Imhotep

It’s been a while since we’ve played new games on our Thursday nights. So us playing two new games was exciting.

Floating Market

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Floating Market was a recommended game when I was looking around for a game similar to Manila and Camel Up.

The game plays heavily on random chance with a huge roll of various dice at the end of each round. It takes the gambling aspect of both Manila and Camel Up and turns it up to 11. Each round, everyone contributes one of their dice to the big roll and place one of their people on various spots on the board. Spots can either earn them fruits (you need 5 of 7 to win), coins (which you can purchase fruits directly with), give a player special abilities to earn fruit/coin or effect the outcome of the roll. There are 7 boats that can earn fruit, each boat has a range of values which coincide with the roll.

The roll is statistically insane, there are D4, D6, D10 (values 0-9), D12, and negative D6. Players choose which one they want to contribute in a round and do not get back their dice after the round. Potentially, in a 5 player game, there could be 9 dice being rolled at the end of the round.

I like the game, the random chance makes it interesting and the general strategy is to not depend on it to earn fruits.

Imhotep

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Imhotep was one of the runner ups to the Spiel de Jahres 2016, losing out to Codenames.

In this game, you are building structures with your blocks. You have four options during your turn: collect blocks, place block, sail ship, or play an action card. That makes it a bit tricky to plan your moves because you can’t (normally) place a block and sail a ship to the site you want. You’re effectively planning for the worst outcome and possibly a bit of backstabbing.

The 5 sites are:

  • Market – earn cards that could give you points immediately or end of game, add blocks to various other sites, or give you an action card
  • Pyramids – literally build a 14 block pyramid with blocks, with certain block positions which are worth a few more points than others
  • Temple – earn points per round based on which block is visible from the top
  • Burial Chamber – earn points at the end of game based on how well your blocks are grouped
  • Obelisks – earn points at the end of game based on the height of your tower

The game is simple to pick up, there isn’t any information hidden from other players so it takes a little bit of deep thinking to come up with an optimized strategy to maximize point output.

 

Long time no boardgaming

It’s been a whole month since I’ve last attended a boardgames night with the guys at work. I missed one because I was on vacation to State College, and the others were missed because of horrible weather. But I didn’t miss this week’s gaming night and I got to try out 2 new games: Isle of Skye and Evolution.

Isle of Skye

The game has a definite Carcassonne feel to it mixed in with Kingdom Builder. In Isle of Skye, you build your own personal territory stemming off your castle. Tiles get added on in the same way as in Carcassoonne: terrains have to match on the edges, however, roads do not have to.

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You receive 3 tiles at the start of each round, which you reduce down to two by discarding one. You then put a price on the other two. That piece is available to all players at that price or available to you at that price if nobody is interested. After the buying phase is over, money is paid to the bank for whichever remaining pieces you have and you get to place your tiles.

Scoring for this game is based off certain rules chosen at the start of the game. There are 6 rounds with different scoring rules, the rules we were governed by were:

  • Each sheep is worth 1 VP.
  • Completed terrains of at least 3 are worth 3 VP each.
  • Each square of 4 pieces are worth 2 VP (squares can be counted more than once).
  • Each vertical column of at least 3 are worth 3 VP each.

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Knowing this, I optimized my territory to score a lot of points.

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I’d probably recommend playing this game again with friends, it’s not too difficult to explain and didn’t take too long to play.

Evolution

The goal of evolution is to see who can eat the most food. You start off with 1 blank creature and you place trait cards to give the create new abilities. Trait cards can be abilities like climbing (cannot be attacked unless attacking creature has climbing) or burrowing (cannot be attacked if you have enough food to feed your population), traits like carnivore (cannot eat plants), scavenger (gain a food whenever a carnivore attacks), etc.

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You have the option to discard cards to increase your creature’s body size or population. Body size is needed to fend of carnivores while population is needed to increase your food intake per round.

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Plant food is plentiful to start the game but as more and more creatures are around, plants become scarce and carnivores thrive.

The game probably needs another play through another night. We were able to get the gist of the game but didn’t catch onto strategy until it was too late.

Foods….

Foods from the last trip to State College are being eaten and will be posted in some capacity soon.

Board Games (Feb 25)

I still haven’t received my shipment of Oreos so the review will be delayed. I did, however, learn two new boardgames this week. We were also joined by Amanda who works in an adjacent office enclave.

The evening started off with Roll For It, which is turning out to be a very fun intro game and something to play while we wait for the group to arrive. Camel Up and Ca$h ‘n Guns followed after.

Killer Bunnies

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The first new game was Killer Bunnies, suggested by both Amanda and Chris. The goal of the game is to obtain the carrot card that matches the predetermined carrot card at the bottom of a similar stack that is hidden to all players. It’s effectively a game of mostly chance since you only need 1 carrot to possibly win the game.

The rules weren’t properly explained to me, so I wasn’t exactly sure what was legal for me to do during my turn. It started making more sense toward the end of the game but it was too late. I did, however, manage to be the biggest jerk possible. There was a weapon card which I play that wiped out a lot of bunnies and I immediately played another card I had which was to use the weapon again, which I did. I massacred all of the bunnies on the table during that turn.

Dixit

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The last game of the evening was Dixit. You have to try and find a clever way to describe one of your cards without blatantly giving it away. There’s a straight forward points system based on how the guesses worked out. The game involves a lot of imagination and creativity, both of which I don’t have. I didn’t do too bad, I ended up 1 point away from the eventual winner.

Board Games (Feb 11 + 18)

Been a bit busy with personal things, but here’s a double post about board games. I’ll have another post about a five new sodas I saw at my grocery store.

Lords of Waterdeep

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I’ve played this game (and its expansion) at my friend’s house before and I liked how simple the game seemed. It’s a basic worker placement game where you have to earn points by completing certain quests and various other things like establishing buildings. The buildings are where a worker can be placed, you recruit a fixed number of agents in these buildings (or not, sometimes you can do other things) to complete quests with. That’s the gist of the game without digging into too much detail. I think it’s about a medium on the learning curve, there are a lot of things to set up before you can start the game.

King of New York

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King of New York is a sequel to King of Tokyo and it’s a bit more complex than the original game. The basic rules are still the game, either be the last monster standing or be the first monster with 20 victory points. I can’t remember too much about the game, there are the 5 boroughs of New York, with Manhattan being similar to Tokyo City in the other game. Each borough has buildings for you to destroy for victory points or health, but defeating them will cause tanks or airplanes to attack you. I liked the simplicity of King of Tokyo, but this game was a bit too chaotic for me.

Codenames

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Bonus content, this game wasn’t played at Games on Tap but I’ll make a mention of it here. We played Codenames, a very popular game that came out last year.

There are 2 teams, each with a spymaster, and they have to contact undercover agents on their team. The spymasters have a grid that shows which agents on the 5×5 board belong to which team, including innocent people and the assassin. They take turns giving clues to their team, trying to contact as many agents as possible each turn. Agent names may or may not be directly related to each other or it could possibly be related to an agent on the other team.

I find it hard, conceptually, to play this game with less than 6 people. It’s possible with 4 people but it really benefits with the discussion between 2 people to decipher clues from spymasters. It’s also fun to see how compatible you are with other people, at least on an intellectual level. When I played with my cousins, I was thinking too complex for some of them and was able to find unwanted hidden meanings in some terms — which cost us the game.

Manilla

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A favourite of mine and becoming a favourite for the gaming group. It’s a mix of gambling, worker placement, speculation into one very intense game. You’re essentially trying to get the most coins at the end of the game and you earn them by being risky with your worker placement. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. There are certain safe bets that can sometimes earn decent payouts, but to earn those spots, you pretty much have to win an auction at the beginning of each round which can get costly.

Sheriff of Nottingham

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My cousin mentioned this game to me and I liked the idea behind it. It’s a pure bluffing game. You’re trying to smuggle goods into town but the sheriff stops you. You can choose to bribe the sheriff and hopefully make it into town with contraband. Everyone takes turns being the sheriff twice and it’s fun to see the game evolve. Our game was mostly honest players, everyone trying to get into town with properly declared goods. I was probably the only one trying to stir the pot too often.

Sodas

I just discovered Just Craft Soda, a local brewery that makes sodas with interesting flavours. I have 4/5 of the flavours sampled around work and I have one left to send around before I make a post.

Board Games February 04

We added a 5th member to our board gaming group! Our colleague Daniel finally had time to join us last Thursday and we decided to start off slowly with relatively easy games to teach/play.

Camel Up

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This is one of the games I had purchased over the Winter holiday. The game involves betting on 5 camels over the duration of the race. You can bet on which camel will finish ahead of the others after all 5 dice are rolled, you can also bet on the overall winning/losing camels. Extremely fun game, very simple to explain. I was playing it a bit wrong with my cousins.

King of Tokyo

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My family also owns this game, it’s a dice rolling game which you become a monster and either try to score victory points or try to kill off all the other monsters. You earn points by rolling certain dice, by entering/staying in Tokyo, or other effects from cards. You lose health if monsters attack you while you’re in Tokyo or if the monster currently inside Tokyo attacks you. Another very easy to explain game.

Tsuro

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Tsuro is a game where you place tiles on the board and your character piece moves along the paths the tiles make. That’s pretty much 90% of the rules. Your piece continues moving if a new tile is placed in front of it even when it’s not your turn. And you die when your character reaches an edge of the playing space or collides with another piece. Another very easy to explain game.

And we ended the night with Fluxx.

Food……..

I should be getting the Cinnamon Bun Oreos soon, as well as the Filled Cupcake ones that just came out today. There’s really not much I have to review but I will have Batman/Superman cereal sometime this week and it should be quite delicious.

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Board Games January 14/21

Been a bit busy at work and home and completely forgot to post about these.

January 14

Kingdom Builder
Kingdom Builder

Our co-op student for the term is very interested in boardgames so we’ve invited him to join us. The night started off with a few games of Kingdom Builder, it’s very similar to Small World but more passive in terms of what you can do to your opponents. You’re placing tiles down onto the board to score points based on a few set game mechanics and 3 randomly chosen rules. Everyone places 3 of their houses down per turn plus any additional houses if they acquired special tokens. There are certain rules to follow when placing down houses so finding a good strategy early is key.

Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan

Ending the night with Catan. I’ve walked through half of the tutorial online and various videos but never really played a game. Mike, our co-op student, hasn’t played it either so we had to play a round. I’m sure there are others who can explain the game better than I can.

January 21

Splendor
Splendor

I had just recently purchased Splendor to continue my theme of gambling/betting and poker chips. I’ve upgraded my copy of Camel Up to use poker chips now. Splendor is a game where you’re acquiring gem mines (cards) for the cost of gems (poker chips). Both the gems and mines can be used to contribute to purchasing future gem mines with the owned mines being permanent resources while you put the gems back to the communal pile. I’ll be playing this game with my cousins/friends in the future so I’ll have more to post.

Dominion
Dominion

We’ve played Dominion at Games on Tap before but we wanted to introduce it to Mike. Dominion is a deck building game where the objective is to collect as many Victory (green) cards as possible. Victory cards have no other value during the game so collecting the cheap 1 Victory cards would hurt a deck during the game play. Other than the 6 static piles there are 10 other decks of cards which have special effects that may aid with collecting more cards or put your opponents at a disadvantage.

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne is another game that I feel that shares with a similar vibe to Small World. You’re building the map each turn with the option to claim the field/city/road you just played if nobody else has claims to a connected area. Scoring is based on how big the city or how long the road gets once it’s completed.

Fluxx
Fluxx

We ended with Fluxx which I have posted about before.

Foods

I’ll be posting about foods soon, a mass amount of the new Kit Kats are acquired and been tasted by many at work now.

January 7 Boardgames

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As promised, I will be doing a boardgame post every week or so starting in 2016. We play at Games On Tap in Waterloo every Thursday night. If you’re interested in joining our group, feel free to bug me personally somewhere on social mediums.

We played a few games last Thursday, Libertalia was the only game I haven’t played before. The game itself is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Each player has the same roster of characters that they will strategically play in order to gain loot. Each character has special effects that will grant them abilities during specific phases of the round. The replay value exists because of the random nature of the character rosters you’ll get. Game can play up to 6 and the more players the better.

I introduced the group to Guillotine, a game published by Wizards of the Coast. I liked the game because of the very simple rules and concept. Guillotine has action cards (hand) and nobles (they form a line up in front of a guillotine). You play an action card to possibly manipulate the line up, and you collection the next noble in the line up. Loop until the line up is done, loop 3 times. Very easy game to explain.

We ended the night with Fluxx, a favourite of ours. The game is also another one of those simple to teach games and starts off with the basic rules of ‘Draw 1, Play 1’. The game doesn’t stay that way though, you’ll add more rules to complement the basic rule and you can end up drawing 5 cards and playing 3, or only allowed to keep 0 cards at the end of your turn. To win the game, one of the rules that will be added determine the conditions to win. Those conditions consist usually of having played keepers and sometimes creeper cards in front of you. The game quickly turns into a very complicated mess with too many rules on the table and someone screwing your winning conditions over.

I’m going to delay the Kit Kat post since I haven’t been able to secure a Mint one yet. However, I did happen to find some Ginger Ale and Root Beer at a grocery store that I don’t frequent in my hunt for the Mint Kit Kat.

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Board Games

Starting in 2016, I plan on doing my take on board games here. It’ll feature games that I am introduced to during our gaming nights after work and won’t necessarily be new games, I haven’t even played Settlers of Catan yet.