This week I’ve certainly bought more new games than I’ve played – keeping up is proving really difficult and that’s before I’ve decided to open the floodgates and make some Essen purchases (Raptor, Pandemic Legacy and 7 Wonders Duel being top of my list). But nevertheless, we’ve tried three new games this week and for once my first impressions might not be full of positivity. Maybe the Yellow Meeple is becoming more discerning?
· Cargo Noir is one of the Days of Wonder games I never really hear people talk about. Perhaps it’s not a good game, but I picked it up cheap and thought it was worth a try. In Cargo Noir you are a mafia style gang trying to bribe your illicit goods through various ports. You are in competition with other gangs so you must carefully judge how much you need to bribe to ensure other gangs aren’t interested in the good you require. It’s pretty light game which combines a light auction/bidding mechanic with some elements of worker placement and set collection. You have a number of boats which are your workers which can be placed on the board each turn. Each port has a random selection of goods which you want to obtain to make sets that can be traded for gold, which then buys you exciting items like yachts, which are worth victory points. When you place a boat on a port, it must be accompanied by a bid of at least one gold, but you must carefully judge how much gold will secret you the goods, otherwise your opponent can outbid you and you must either increase your bid or return home empty handed. The game works with 2 players, because certain ports are inactive, but I didn’t feel it was at its best. The game worked fine, but was just a bit lack lustre.
· Carcassonne: Traders & Builders Expansion is the second expansion to Carcassonne and the second big box expansion that we’ve tried. This expansion adds a large number of additional tiles to the game, most of which include cities with a goods symbol on them, either Wine, Cloth or Wheat. If a city has one or more symbol in it then the person who finishes the city (not necessarily the person who owns and scores for it) takes these goods tokens. Ten points per good type are available at the end of the game for having the majority of each type. This introduces as great feel to the game as it incentivises players to finish other people’s cities, perhaps reducing their scope to expand but also returning a much needed meeple to its owner. The expansion also adds two special meeple – the pig who helps increase the points value of fields and the builder, who is placed on a road or city with another of your meeple – whenever you extend this feature you get an extra turn. I love playing with this expansion as it adds a lot more tactical play to the simple game of Carcassonne.
· Lost Legacy: Flying Garden is a micro-game from AEG which comes in a little pouch, like Love Letter. The game proceeds in two phases. I would describe the first phase as take that as you try to discard cards onto the table that will eliminate your opponents. A little bit of memory also helps in this phase to try and keep track of the Lost Legacy card, as well as some hand management in trying to retain a low numbered card in your hand. In the second phase, if there is more than one player remaining, then you are using deduction to locate the Lost Legacy. My description probably makes this game sound like it has many levels, which for us it did not, specifically as a 2-player game. In the two-player game the card draw pretty much dictated who got eliminated and we never reached the second phase. I’m willing to try this again with the full player count of 4 – it’s hardly a big time commitment, at approx. 10 minutes, but I don’t hold out much hope of enjoying this one.
Hopefully this weekend will be a weekend for new game experiences. I’m hoping to try a new gaming group on Saturday evening, head to my usual Sunday afternoon club and maybe even head out on Monday evening – I’m pretty excited to see what new gems I can discover!