What I Played Last Week (8/24/15 – 8/30/2015)

I didn’t get to do a whole lot of gaming last week, but I had fun.

I changed the format a little bit this time around. Please comment and let me know if you like the change, or if you liked it better how it was before.

Wednesday (8/26/2015):

Regular Wednesday meetup at Cool Stuff Games in Hollywood, FL.

Elysium
pic2203147_lgElysium is a card game, where each turn, players accumulate more cards into their Domain. While cards are in their Domain, they give the player special powers that they can use. While some cards do give the player victory points, the main way to score points is by moving cards from your Domain to your Elysium during the Writing the Legends phase. But when cards are transfered to the Elysium, they lose their power. With only 5 rounds of play, you really have to think about when the best time to transfer cards is.

IMG_20150826_200322806_HDRI really enjoy Elysium. There’s lots of strategy in thinking about which cards to take and when to transfer them.

I want to play this one more.

 

Ra
pic88258This was my first time playing Ra. It’s a very interesting auction game, where players take turns doing one of 3 things. They can either draw a tile from the bag, adding it to the current pool. They can invoke Ra, which forces an auction to start, but if no one else bids, the person who invoked must bid and take it. Or you can use a God (one of the tiles) and discard it to take any tile currently in the pool. The game lasts 3 Epochs, or rounds, and at the end of each round, you score points or lose points based on the tiles you have.

 

 

IMG_20150826_212340247Ra was a very interesting experience. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but it does have the problem that in some cases, once players can no longer bid for the current round, they’re just kind of waiting around for the other players to finish.

 

Saturday (8/29/2015):

Met up with some friends to play games at Cool Stuff.

Biblios
pic759154_lgI still think this game is weird, but we played it because it was a good filler, and we were waiting for another person to show up.

I’d say this one is growing on me. I might end up keeping my copy.

Biblios is a card game with an auction phase. In the first round of the game, on your turn, you go through cards in the deck one at a time, and you must take one card, place one card in the auction pile, and place cards equal to the number of other players in the center. Then in clockwise order, the other players take one of those cards.

IMG_20150829_141920607_HDRThere are 3 types of cards in the game: Color cards, gold cards, and church cards. The color cards have a color that relates to one of the dice on the dice board, and the person with the highest total of that color gets that die at the end of the game. The gold cards are used during the auction phase to bet on color and church cards.

The church cards let you change the value of each die (either up or down).

The Downfall of Pompeii x2
pic1685805This was my first time playing this game. The first game we played ended very quickly and I lost really bad. The second game, I still lost, but it lasted longer.

The game is about the real life event that happened in Pompeii. In terms of gameplay, during the first round, you are playing cards to place your people in buildings within the city of Pompeii. After the first of 2 “A.D. 79” card is drawn, the “Neighbors” mechanic comes into play, which changes the game so that when you place one of your people into a building with other people already in it, you then get to place more people in buildings of the same color equal to the number of other people in the first building.

IMG_20150829_154515796_HDRAfter the second “A.D. 79” card is drawn, you move into the second phase. In this phase, players take turns drawing volcano tiles and placing them on the board. If a tile is placed where there are people, they die. After placing a tile, you get to move 2 of your people, hopefully to safety (by moving out of one of the exits).

I don’t like how this game can end all of a sudden, but overall I had an enjoyable experience with it. I would definitely give it another shot if I had the chance.

After The Downfall of Pompeii, my other friend showed up, so we had 4 players.

Relic Expedition

pic1760905_lgThis was all of our first time playing. I had picked this one up a while back at a ding and dent sale for $7, but never got the chance to play it.

In Relic Expedition, players are rolling dice and taking actions based on the number they rolled. When a player moves their explorer to a space adjacent to empty space, you add tiles to fill in the space. Throughout the game, new tiles will add relics, hazards, and animals that will affect your journey.

 

IMG_20150829_165239017Your goal is to collect 4 relics, all of the same color or the same symbol. The animals attack you unless you have specific items that you need to avoid them.

Overall, the game had a good idea, and a cool theme, but it was just too random. You never knew where you needed to go, or what items you needed, and you could end up with 3 relics you need, and the 4th one you need to win is on the other side of the board with no way to get to it.

I did not like this game, so I’m glad I only payed $7 for it.

 

 

 

 

Smash Up
pic1269874_lg
I hadn’t played this one in a long time before today. I still don’t completely know how I feel about it. It’s really chaotic with more than 2 players, and that aspect I don’t like, but I do really like the card play and combos that you can pull off.

The game works where all players choose 2 faction decks (each with 20 cards each) and  mix them together to form their deck.

Then the players take turns playing their cards. A player plays 1 Minion and 1 Action, or just one, or none. Minions are played on bases. When a base has power (from the minions) on it equal to its breaking point, the base is scored, and whichever player had the most power (from their minions) on that base scores the points on the left of the card (usually the most), the 2nd most scores the middle, and third most scores the right side. Once one person gets to 15 points, they win.

Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of our gameplay with this one.

Evolution
pic2558560_lgI eneded up buying a copy of this. It’s just such a great game. You can read my thoughts on it here.

I love Evolution. I think my only complaint is that with a higher player count (5-6), the game goes pretty quickly, so you have less time to really put your plan into action.

I also don’t like, in higher player counts, how you have to constantly pay attention to what everyone is doing, to make sure your strategy will work.
IMG_20150829_202454169

 

 

 

Sunday (8/30/2015):

Met up with some friends again, at Cool Stuff.

Plunder
pic1736895I had only played this one once before, a long time ago. I remember disliking it last time. This time wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t go over well with most of the other players. And one of them brought up a good point that should be changed if we play again.

In Plunder, each player has a set of 3 secret cards: 1 Island, 1 Marker, and 1 Trap card. These cards determine where your treasure is buried.

IMG_20150830_144627538_HDROn your turn, you flip over 3 cards that correspond to all the different trap, marker, and island cards in the game. You ask everyone else if any of their secret treasure cards match the face-up cards. If they do, they must say “yes,” otherwise, they say “no.” And you mark this information on your player board.

IMG_20150830_144631928At any time, you can make a guess by writing your guess on one of your crew cards and dropping it in the treasure chest. At the end of the game, you score points for correct guesses.

I probably won’t keep my copy of Plunder and I’ll probably try to sell/trade it.

Stockpile
pic2258055_lgI love Stockpile, I think it’s a fantastically made game and it plays quite quickly. Unfortunately, it didn’t go over so great with the group I played with.

In Stockpile, each player bids on piles of stocks, which they can then sell or save up to sell later, hopefully for more money. Each player has a secret bit of information related to one of the six companies, which tells them if that stock will go up, down, or will pay out dividends. At the end of the game, the player with the most money wins.

IMG_20150830_154923801Like I said, I love stockpile. I’ll definitely be keeping it. This was the only time I’ve played it and people didn’t like it.

 

 

Istanbul
pic1885326I didn’t think I’d get to play this so soon after the last time, but I’m glad I did. Istanbul is a really good worker-placement game. This game in particular was really close, with almost every player having 4 gems before the final round.

Istanbul is an interesting worker-placement game, where players have a stack of discs that they move around the board and either drop off or pick up one of those discs to take the action associated with that space.

The first player to collect 5 or more gems ends the game, and the player with the most gems at the end wins.

IMG_20150830_175801013I’d love to play Istanbul again in the future, and maybe even own it if I can find it for a decent price.

 

 

 

Alhambra
pic1502118_lgAlhambra is a gateway game that I never had the chance to play when I first got into the hobby, but I did get to play today.

It was okay, not as good as I was hoping, but not bad. It seemed to be a very solitaire game, where everyone was really just concerned about what they were doing and the other players might mess up their plans, but no real interaction.

IMG_20150830_191906809IMG_20150830_182327276In Alhambra, on your turn, you’re either taking money, or spending money to buy buildings to put in your city. Then, during random scoring phases (which happen when the scoring cards are drawn from the deck), you score points if you have the most of one color building in your city.

At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins.

I would probably give the game another shot, but I wouldn’t be dying to play it. If there were no other good options, I’d consider it.

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About The imperial Settler

I love board gaming! I would do it every day if I could.
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