Due to a poor work-life balance we unfortunately haven’t been able to complete Pandemic Legacy this week, although we are coming close to the end (which is both sad and exciting). Instead we have managed to get a couple of new games or expansions to the table.
Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;
· T.I.M.E. Stories – The Marcy Case is of course the first expansion case for T.I.M.E. Stories. I rated the base game as my best gaming experience of 2015 (although not my favourite game), but obviously the novelty factor of the game system is lost when you play your second case. The theming is also less unique than the first so some more novelty factor is lost. However, the game is still solid and a really good gaming experience. It felt a little more dice-roll fight oriented than puzzle oriented compared to the last, with the path to victory seemingly being to explore haphazardly once – discover how you were supposed to win the explore logically a second time to win. I understand that the next case is a fantasy theme which may bring something new beyond fighting, which could be interesting and I’m still looking forward to more.
· Trains & Stations has been sitting on our shelf for a long time. The Dice Tower seemed to rate it, it’s by one of our favourite designers – Eric Lang but it does go for suspiciously low prices on eBay so I wasn’t sure what we’d make of it. In the game you are trying to connect train lines on a (very small) map using dice that you have rolled. Dice potentially roll train faces to place on the board, or they roll symbols which allow you to buy hotels, mines or ranches when you roll a set of 3. These buildings earn you cards when connections are made to the city which earn you bonuses at the end of the game. For me the game was pretty sound and there were different strategic paths to victory – building short routes for instant points and bonuses or waiting to try and connect long routes for objectives. However, there’s nothing great about the game – it is quite unique in our collection so it might stay for a while but I’m not sure we’ll convert anyone to love it and want to play with us multiple times.
· Best Treehouse Ever is a simple card drafting game with a fantastic theme and artwork. In the game you are drafting cards which form rooms in your treehouse – they come in 6 colours which match with different themes like food, adventurous activites, eduction etc. You have to build a balanced treehouse and all rooms on the same theme must connect so you can block yourself out of certain themes. Scoring is based broadly on collecting sets of different colours and you can also include bonus scoring for different specific patterns. What you end up with is a really fun set of choices eg. so I want to build a ball pit or a climbing wall and a really awesome treehouse often with a theme eg. a sushi shop, taco stand, candy store etc. The game is simple, quick and lots of fun as a filler or a game for younger players.
· Ultimate Warriorz is a game with a very cool box. The box itself is your gladiator’s arena. Each player takes on a creature eg. dragon, orc, treant which has differing talents eg. lots of health, very defensive or strong in melee or ranged combat. Each turn you select a card which determines the order of attack and also whether you move, perform a melee attack or a ranged attack. Attacking is a case of rolling the number of dice equal to the attack strength, picking an opponent in range and any dice rolled greater than or equal to the defence of your opponent bit it – the health points you steal from them are your victory points. You can be eliminated if your creature runs out of health, which is a bit of a negative for me, but otherwise Ultimate Warriorz is some dice rolling fun similar to King of Tokyo. The different cards each turn add some elements of tactics which to me makes this one a little more satisfying than King of Tokyo, which most people are comparing this one to, but neither game particular satisfies a need I have in my collection.
In other news I’ve found someone at my new job to play games with, so our lunch hour gaming club for two starts on Tuesday and we’ll be playing Jaipur this week. The guy I’ll be playing with appears to be into his heavy euros and as much as I’d love to try Terra Mystica, we do only have a 45 minute time frame to play with so hopefully he’s happy to try some of our smaller, faster games. If it goes well we’ll have to invite more people too!