What I Played Last Week (9/14/2015 – 9/20/2015)

Monday (9/14/2015):

some friends wanted to meet up at Cool Stuff.

★Mystery of the Abbey
Mystery of the Abbey is a deduction style game where monks move through the abbey, asking other monks questions, trying to uncover more information about who killed their fellow monk. It plays 3-6 players and lasts about an hour and a half to 2 hours.

IMG_20150914_182852474This was my first time playing Mystery of the Abbey and I thought it was just a little bit too long, but I did really enjoy the game. The player interaction, asking questions and all, makes it really interesting.

There were times where I didn’t understand how to use the information I gained, or how to apply it to my information paper. I think I might need to play another time to really get it.


No Thanks! x3
pic699036No Thanks! is a bidding game where players attempt to score the lowest number of points by passing on taking cards by placing -1 point tokens on it. The player who takes a card must score points for that card at the end of the game, but also gets all the -1 point chips on it. It plays 3-5 players and lasts about 30 minutes.

IMG_20150902_214324231_HDRI like No Thanks! it’s simple and easy to learn, but there’s unexpected depth to it. This time we played the variant where each player gets one of the removed cards and can play it during the game if they like.

I want to try with the variant where the 10, 20, and 30 card are removed in addition to 6 random cards.




Fairy Tale
pic2024738Fairy Tale is a light card drafting game where players play cards in an attempt to score the most points. It plays 2-5 players and lasts about 30 minutes.

IMG_20150914_231358I like Fairy Tale, but I don’t like the theme/artwork/design on the cards. I would love to see them updated in a future release of the game.

It’s a pretty good game, though. Simple and easy to play.








pic759154_lgBiblios is a card drafting and auction game where players try to collect cards with the highest value in colors that correspond to dice, which give them points at the end of the game.

IMG_20150912_181450948_HDRWe played a variant where instead of all the dice starting at 3, we simply roll them to see what their starting value will be. I like this variant a lot, it makes the strategy and decision making in the game a lot more interesting and important, and it really makes the church cards valuable.








Wednesday (9/16/2015):

Regular Wednesday meetup at Cool Stuff. Only 3 people showed up.

★Rise of Augustus
pic1724653_lgRise of Augustus is a bingo-like game where tiles are drawn from a bag and players place their workers on the corresponding places on their cards. When they complete a card, they gain its effect and score victory points at the end of the game. It plays 2-6 players and lasts about 30 minutes.

IMG_20150916_180816673I played this as a 2 player game, and I think it’s probably better with more players. It wasn’t a bad game, and I can definitely see that there’s strategy to it, but I don’t think I got the full feel of it this time.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, I just need a few more plays to really get the full experience.



pic1912529_lgTakenoko is a tile-laying game where players must grow bamboo, feed the hungry panda, and irrigate plots to complete objective cards, which score victory points at the end of the game. It plays 2-4 players and lasts about 45 minutes.

IMG_20150916_194858484I enjoy most of Antoine Bauza’s designs. Takenoko is a good one with interesting mechanics and a theme I haven’t seen in any other game. It’s a good game, but it’s not my favorite.

There’s an expansion coming out soon for Takenoko, and it looks fantastic, but I do wish it added a 5th player to the game, but it doesn’t.



★Cargo Noir
pic893400Cargo Noir is a bidding game, where players place ships and coins at locations to bid on goods, then sell those goods to buy cards that grant special abilities and/or victory points at the end of the game. It plays 2-5 players and lasts about 45-60 minutes.

IMG_20150916_202715008I really liked Cargo Noir. The bidding mechanic and the way turns are carried out is really interesting and unlike anything I’ve ever played before. I enjoyed it, I’d definitely like to play again.





pic1502119_mdJamaica is a racing game where players take on the roll of pirates trying to collect gold, fight other pirates, find treasure, and make it to Port Royal before anyone else. It plays 2-6 players and lasts 30 to 60 minutes.

IMG_20150916_214506044I like Jamaica, but I definitely think it plays better with more players. It’s a fun game, and there’s an interesting bit of deciding when to play the cards you have and when to save them for future turns in hopes that you can get a better benefit from them.





Game Night at Plantation Community Church. Unfortunately, hardly anyone could come this time. It was mostly non-gamers wanting to play stuff like Uno and Monopoly.

Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a route-building game where players attempt to build routes to connect cities and complete tickets. It plays 2-5 players and lasts about an hour and a half.

IMG_20150918_190416385I ended up having to play with younger kids, which I’m not used to at all. I found them to be impatient. They understood the game well enough, but it just wasn’t a great time playing with them.

The game ended up taking a lot longer than it should have (nearly 2 and a half hours).





Monthly meetup at Cool Stuff. This one went a lot better than Friday, but I didn’t get to play some of the games I was hoping to play, like Tikal and Java. I still had fun, though.

★Legendary Encounters: A Predator Deck Building Game
pic2486937IMG_20150919_152211096Legendary Encounters: Predator is a deck building game where players either play as the Predators or the Humans and try to cooperatively defeat the other team, but the player with the most victory points at the end is the true winner. It plays 1-5 Players and lasts about 45 minutes to and hour.

I liked this game, but there’s a little bit too much going on, and there’s a lot to set up. Something else I’ll say is that, it can’t seem to decide if it’s a co-op game or not. We’re all trying to accomplish the same goal, but we’re also trying to score the most victory points. I wish it was one or the other.

★Cartagena x2
IMG_20150919_161454134_HDRCartagena is a hand management game where players play cards that match symbols on the board to move their pirates to the next instance of that symbol where another pirate isn’t already, ultimately trying to get all their pirates into the boat at the end of the board. It plays 2-5 players and lasts about 45 minutes.

I thought Cartagena was a really interesting game. When I first saw the board I thought it was gonna be too simple, but there really is some depth to it. When to move your guys back to get cards is really important, but playing the right cards at the right time is too.


King of New York
pic2407103_lgKing of New York is a yahtzee-style dice game where giant monsters terrorize the city of New York and each other. It plays 2-6 players and lasts about 45 minutes.

IMG_20150919_182925695_HDRWe don’t like elimination, so we played a variant where instead of being out of the game, you just lose all your cards and victory points and reset your health. But I think we need to tweak this variant, because it made the game take much longer than it should have.





pic1885326Istanbul is a worker-placement game where players move their merchant stack, dropping off assistants at different locations, trying to collect 5 gems before the other players. It plays 2-5 players and lasts about an hour.

IMG_20150919_171617151I like Istanbul. It’s a really interesting take on worker placement and it’s interesting in that, with a lot of worker placement games, you’re amassing a large number of victory points, but in Istanbul, it’s just 5 gems.

I also really like the movement system. It’s somewhat restricting, but that’s where the strategy comes in.






No Thanks! x2
pic699036No Thanks! is a great little filler game. We played once during some down time in between games, and then a second time right before the store closed.

I ended up buying my own copy, cuz I thought it would be a good one to play with my family or non-gamer friends.





Vs. System 2PCG
pic2630832Vs. System is an expandable card game where players build a deck of 60 cards consisting of Locations, Plot Twists, and Supporting Characters, plus a main character. They attempt to bring their opponents main character down to 0 health.

IMG_20150919_225659696_HDRVs. is a great, very simple to learn, but deeply strategic card game and my new go-to strategic card game. I really enjoy it!

My friend played X-Men and I played Villains. I ended up winning because my friend just wasn’t drawing the locations he needed.



★Valley of the Kings: Afterlife
pic2456554_lgValley of the Kings is an Egyptian-themed deck building game where players attempt to gain, and entomb, artifacts from the pyramid. It plays 2-4 players and lasts about 45 minutes.

IMG_20150919_233708091Valley of the Kings was a refreshing take on deck building for me. It’s not just about gaining cards, it’s also about entombing them (removing them from your deck and adding them to your tomb). Something I really like about Valley of the Kings is the flavor text on the cards. Every one of them has some bit of information about ancient Egypt.



My friend and I played a few games before I had to take him back to the train station.

pic2558560_lgEvolution is a strategic card game where players maintain species and try to eat the most food. It plays 2-6 players and lasts about an hour to and hour and a half.

IMG_20150920_103835679_HDRThis was my first time playing the 2-player variant, which restricts a species to having only 2 traits at max, and removes 40 random cards from the deck. I liked this variant, it was more cutthroat in some aspects, and food in the watering hole was a lot more scarce than in a game with more players.





Vs. System 2PCG
This time I played X-Men and my friend played Villains and he just smoked me. I played Storm, and she just didn’t get in there in time.



About The imperial Settler

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