Last week we went on holiday to Valencia, Spain, like the good gamers and safety conscious sun seekers that we are, we made sure we had a list of local gaming highlights to check out when the heat of the day got too much for us. Mainly, we were keen to try “La Base Secreta” game cafe, but holiday openings hours meant our first call was Homoludicus – a very well stocked board game store where we picked up a multilingual copy of Looney Quest. “La Base Secreta” turned out to be a very modest game cafe with a pretty small library compared to those we’ve seen in the UK. There was enough choice to keep us going and City of Iron was a particular highlight, thanks to the kindness of the man running the shop who leant us it out of his personal display games.
Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;
· City of Iron is the first big box game from Ryan Lauket that we’ve managed to try. These games seem to get a lot of buzz and positive feedback, so we jumped into this one and didn’t really know what we were letting ourselves into. City of Iron has you using a hand of cards representing different people with the ability to purchase locations for your city or attack locations to get those into your city also. You also need to save up to add additional people into your two decks, but for me this feels less like deck-building and more like an immediate response to the actions you’re planning to take next turn. I imagine that it could be more like deckbuilding in future games where you might plan your strategy in advance once you’re familiar with the gameplay. Your long term goal is to have the most of different resources in the game, which seems a bit weak when compared to most other euro games where resources are something you use to achieve your goals. There’s nothing that unique about City of Iron, but it does look very good on the table and mixes some mechanics very cleanly. I’d play it again, but it’s not special enough to make me need it.
· Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers is a standalone game in the Carcassonne series. The basic mechanics are the same – draw a tile at random and place it so that it matches the tiles already placed on the table. The original roads become rivers, the original cities become forests and the original fields become plains filled with animals. The rules tweeks definitely make this game quite unique from the original and probably slightly more complex. On the rivers you score based on the fish in the pools at the end of each river, however if you place a hut on the river network, there are end of game points for the total number of fish in the network. For the forests, they are quite simple in terms of scoring, but if you complete a forest with mushrooms you get to draw a bonus tie, which can often have more powerful abilities or scoring opportunities. Finally, at the end of the game, the person with the majority of meeple’s in the plain scores for the number of animals that haven’t been eaten by tigers! I like the added complexity, it makes a change from the original Carcassonne – I’d be happy to play either but don’t think I need to own both.
· Flash Point Fire Resuce: Veteran and Rescue Dog is a mini expansion to Flash Point: Fire Rescue – one of our go-to co-operative games. It only adds two characters, but they’re very unique compared to those you get in the base game. The veteran is very much about buffing other players in close proximity, whereas the god gets loads of action points, but for obvious reasons can’t put out fires or get through closed doors and spends more AP to drag people out of the building. I really like these new characters and their miniatures and a good first impression is always made better by the rescue dog’s first actions being to save the puppy!
The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed a lack of a full board game review this week. Don’t worry, we’ll be back next week, life just got in the way of writing time! We’re still playing and reviews of The Bloody Inn and Mice and Mystics are on the way!