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 18 months and we've been making up for lost time!

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

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 9th-21st January 2017

Today I have a huge smile on my face after an amazing game day yesterday. Sure, organising for a bunch of strangers to come over to our house was a risk, buy it really payed off! We found each other through a Facebook group during December and January and yesterday had a great 6 hour gaming session. Everyone was pretty normal, we played loads of games and I can’t wait to do it again. Between this session and a couple of new games of our own, there’s a lot to talk about.

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

·        Prodigals Club was one of my gifts from Secret Santa this year. I had previously enjoyed Last Will, but with the same concepts and more variability, Prodigals Club seemed like a good choice for the wishlist. In Prodigals Club, the aim of the game is to destroy your own reputation by losing votes, possessions or the respect of your peers. You either play the game with two or three of these challenges and need to try and lose points in all of them evenly since your final score will be your highest and lowest score wins. Really it’s a quite basic worker placement game, but the theme just lifts it to become a fun game with good decision making. I look forward to exploring the different combinations possible in the game.

·        Colosseum from Days of Wonder has been on our shelves for a long time. It’s a Spanish edition and even though it’s language independent, for some reason the language was putting me off learning it. Straight away we realised it wasn’t meant for 2 players, but we found some good variant options on BGG and played with two. Maybe I’d built this game up too much in my head, but it just wasn’t awesome. The game looks lovely on the table, has interesting mechanics, an interesting theme of putting on spectacular shows and we did enjoy it, but it just didn’t blow me away. Maybe it was slightly too long for the depth of decision making, maybe the two player variant wasn’t ideal. It’s a solid game, but I don’t see us being excited to get it to the table again.

·        XCOM: Evolution is our first purchase of 2017 – it expands one of our favourite games and we’ve been eagerly awaiting it since it was announced. Our first experience is that the expansion is really mean! XCOM was always a co-operative game that hated you, but we usually pulled through and won by the skin of our teeth. The expansion appears to add elements which help you out, in the form of the MEC Troopers who are good at every type of alien bashing, but also elements that hate you in the form of EXALT tokens which start to cover the board and make all of your rolls more dangerous. The expansion also adds lots of variety to the different card decks. Overall the Evolution expansion isn’t a game changer but it adds to the game and I can’t see us playing without it, unless of course we never manage to win when playing with it!

·        Three Cheers for Master was brought to our gaming day and billed as a minion cheerleading game...not a theme I was desperate to see a game about. We played as three teams of two and generally blundered our way through. The game is all about placing your cards in a tower so that the adjacencies don’t cause minions to kill each other, eat each other, squash each other or get stressed due to their claustrophobia. The art and card text is quite amusing, but the game just seemed random and a bit confusing. It’s not one I’ll be aiming to play again.

·        Tiny Epic Galaxies is one of the ‘Tiny Epic’ series that appeals to me the most. I didn’t have a great experience with the first one I tried, but Galaxies sounded like it packed a good amount of game into the small box and I wasn’t disappointed. The game is a mix of worker placement, resource management and dice allocation. The game has two currencies – energy and culture which you need to manage to allow you take actions both on your turn, but more importantly to be opportunistic and follow other players’ actions when it’s not your turn. Each turn you roll a hand of dice and use them to perform the different actions of their faces. Over the course of the game you can build yourself up to have more ships, more dice and more opportunities to gain the 21 victory points you need to trigger the end of the game. It definitely leaves me thinking that Tiny Epic Galaxies is a great game for the box size, although not a truly great game. When we need a new smaller game for travelling it will definitely be near the top of my list.

After a great gaming weekend this weekend, I’ve got my work board game group tomorrow and we’re continuing our campaign of Imperial Assault on Thursday. It’s a busy time, but I’m really enjoying board games recently, so I’m happy to make more time for them. Hopefully first impressions of Castles of Burgundy and Mechs vs. Minions are on the horizon soon.


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