Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Mystic Vale: Mana Storm

Game: Mystic Vale: Mana Storm

Publisher: AEG

Designer: John D. Clair

Year: 2017

Mystic Vale: Mana Storm is the first expansion we've tried for Mystic Vale. Mystic Vale was AEG's first game with the card crafting system where you add to and improve your cards throughout the game, so that you are deck-building, but not actually adding cards to your deck throughout the game. I really enjoyed the system in Mystic Vale, as you can see in my older review, but I've held back from investing in expansions because nothing about them seemed game changing and the price point for a box of cards was very high in comparison to the base game.

Mana Storm makes two or three key changes to the game. Firstly, it adds new cards to all of the decks. Secondly it gives each player a leader card, which becomes one of the ards in your deck and gives you a unique ability which can also be upgraded using mana. Finally, each player has a unique amulet which replaces the double sided mana token, giving you each unique abilities when you spoil and flip the token.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Mana-Mana, Doo-doo do-doo-do:- Mystic Vale: Mana Storm

Game: Mystic Vale: Mana Storm

Publisher: AEG

Designer: John D. Clair

Year: 2017

Mystic Vale is a card crafting game which we previously reviewed in January this year. As a quick refresher, Mystic Vale is a deck building game with a twist, you start with a full deck of sleeved cards. Instead of buying cards for your deck, you buy clear plastic advancements, which slide inside the sleeves adding their powers to the base card. Each card can support up to three advancements, creating an incredibly vast number of unique combinations. I finished my Mystic Vale review by saying that one day the card crafting system would produce a great game, but Mystic Vale wasn't that game.

So, does the Mana Storm expansion change that? Mana Storm brings with it 48 new advancements and 18 new Vale cards for you to play with, but most importantly it introduces leaders and amulets. The new advancements have a strong tendency to be more powerful than the advancements found in the base game, but to balance this out a large number of them have caveats to their function, some require you to collect enough guardian symbols on the card by adding other enhancements before it starts to work, while others simply cost you victory points at the end of the game to balance out their power. It's wonderful to see the guardian symbols being introduced in greater number, making collecting them far more meaningful. The base game didn't really use this mechanic to the fullest, but now you can create a few cards that start neutered, but gain power exponentially as you add more symbols.

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 11th November - 12th November

This first impressions blog covers a whole 2-day period! That's because we had the chance to play new games at two different board game cafe's this weekend. We spent Saturday afternoon at  the Ludoquist in Croydon, who are having an amazing first week - so amazing that it's hard to find some table space! Then we spent Sunday at Draughts in London. Both occassions were with friends, so we did a mixture of sharing some games we already know and learning some new, lighter games at the table.

It was a busy weekend, so here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 5th November - 10th November

Today we're had our second ever Kickstarter delivery. Unlike our first Kickstarter (Gloomhaven) I was really happy to be able to get this one straight to the table! By lunchtime today we had already played Kokoro twice - more than a lot of games on our shelves have ever been played! This week we've also started to look at our small number of Essen games and an old classic to round off the week of new games.

Here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;