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.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 16th - 26th April

Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have been quite stressful at home and gaming has had to take a back seat. A lot of new games have arrived but our unplayed pile is mounting. Hopefully things will turn around soon! This week we've only had the chance to try two of our new games, and they're not our biggest hits, but at least one has our interest.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Friday, 21 April 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Carcassonne South Seas


GameCarcassonne: South Seas

PublisherZ-Man Games

Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede

Year20
13



I'd like to say that all of my board game purchases are well considered, but lately that would be a lie! I love a bargain, so the odd impulse buy on eBay or on Facebook groups is inevitable and that's where Carcassonne: South Seas came from. We don't need any more Carcassonne, we have the original game with lots of expansions, plus we have played and enjoyed Hunters and Gatherers, but just didn't see the need for it. With that in mind is Carcassonne: South Seas good enough and unique enough to justify a place in our collection?


If you have played Carcassonne before then South Seas is a very pretty version set in a Caribbean setting. Roads become bridges, cities become islands and fields become seas. If you've never played Carcassonne, then perhaps you should, but the game is a tile-laying game where every turn you draw a tile and choose where to place it on the table, adjacent to at least one previously place tile, with matching artwork touching ie. roads must continue, island must touch island as sea must touch sea.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

On an Island in the Sun:- Carcassonne: South Seas


 GameCarcassonne: South Seas

Publisher: Z-Man Games

Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede

Year20
13


Carcassonne: South Seas is a 2-5 player tile-laying game in which you collect bananas, fish and clams by building a map of the islands then sell the goods to trade ships. If you have played Carcassonne then you will find South Seas very familiar, islands play like cities, bridges like roads, trade posts are like cathedrals and seas are a revamp of fields. However while the main gameplay is similar, the method of obtaining points is very different.

Tiles can have a combination of 4 symbols, bananas on islands, clams on bridges, and fish/fishing boats on sea tiles. Each turn you take a random tile and add it to the map, ensuring you match the terrain (Islands can’t suddenly stop and turn into sea). You then can place one of your workers on the tile you played. Workers can collect one the 3 resources or work on the market tiles, regardless of what they are doing they do not score until the area is complete. Though unlike regular Carcasonne you can take them back without scoring, should you need some workers to place in future rounds.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 10-15th April

Over the last two weeks I've definitely had a spending spree on new games for the shelf. We've added Hive, King of New York, Celestia and Terraforming Mars to name just a few and I know that I've got Euphoria and Feast for Odin on the way. So, the collection needs to be thinned a little to fit everything on the shelves and get rid of a few games we never see ourselves playing again. We've dedicated two Kallax squares to games we want to give one last chance, which includes games we've acquired but don't think will actually be a hit with us. These are the games we're trying to focus on playing.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions from Stabcon South: Spring 2017 (Part 2)

Saturday and Sunday at Stabcon South and another bunch on new board games have been tried! Of course we've been playing some favourites too - with our collection now standing at around 250 games there are games that we really enjoy but just don't have space for that it's nice to play when we see them at a convention, plus of course it's nice to share some of your favourite games with people who haven't seen them before.

Here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Amy Previews Farsight from Braincrack Games

Farsight is an upcoming 2-4 player strategic wargame, from Jamie Jolly and Braincrack Games, set in a dystopian future where corporations run the planet. Each player picks a faction to fight for control over the 12 cities that dot the landscape, you can play 1-vs-1, 2-vs-1 or 2-vs-2 games. Farsight is a relatively light wargame which means it’s very accessible, with a rulebook that won’t scare off less hardcore gamers, and for advanced games even includes army building rules. Farsight is fairly quick to play – you should be able to destroy your opponent within 60-90 minutes.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions from Stabcon South: Spring 2017 (Part 1)

This weekend we're at Stabcon South, a small, local convention in Southampton, with a heavy focus on playing games rather than buying, trading or exhibiting. The convention runs from Friday evening to Sunday evening twice each year. I'm writing this blog on Saturday morning, having already played so many new games yesterday that it deserves a full blog - more first impressions will follow if we play a load more new titles!

There are two libraries this year at Stabcon - one supplied by the guys who run convention which has a lot of old classics but no very many new games, and the other supplied by Coffee and Dice, a board game cafe who are soon to open in Bournemouth, UK. There are so many tempting titles in Coffee and Dice's library that I won't even have time to play a mall handful of the games I want to try this weekend!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- My Top 10 Co-operative Board Games

Co-operative games are definitely one of our favourite genres of board games. I have to admit I can be a sore loser at times, especially in two-player games with Amy, so co-operative games definitely have a place in our household when I'm having a bad day! I love that you either win or lose together and in particular I enjoy the puzzly aspects of co-operative games.

After going through Boardgamegeek, I was pretty surprised to find that we've actually tried at least 30 different co-operative games, so it was a lot easier to make a top ten list than I anticipated. I love all of these games and I think it's fair to say I'd happily play or teach any of them at any given moment. So her we go...the Yellow Meeple's Top Ten Co-operative Games.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Mechs vs Minions

GameMechs vs Minions

Publisher: Riot Games

Designer: Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, Nathan Tiras

Year20
16


Initially I ignored all the hype around Mechs vs. Minions in late 2016. It sounded fun, but I'd never spent £80+ on one game, so it just seemed out of my price range. However, when I started to notice in early January that the game was still available in the EU and not in the US, I really wanted to be one of the special people to own the game. I quickly showed Amy some reviews, the game mechanisms seemed to suit us and of course the game looked amazing so we made an order, expecting to wait a long time for it to ship. within just a few days a gigantic box arrived on our doorstep and I took great pleasure in opening it and exploring the contents.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Take one out, pass it around, 99 little minions in the box:- Mechs Vs. Minions


GameMechs vs Minions

Publisher: Riot Games

Designer: Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, Nathan Tiras

Year20
16

Mechs Vs. Minions is a 2-4 player cooperative programming game in which you take the role of one of 4 mech pilots fighting their way through a campaign filled with countless hordes of minions, comically large explosives where nothing goes as planned and everything is all the better for it! Each of the missions is about an hour long and they always unlock something new to the game which keeps things fresh. In fact Mechs Vs. Minions is very good and pulling out surprises (at the least up to mission 6 which is the last one we’ve played so far) however I’ll say no more as I want to keep things spoiler free.

The game is pretty simple to play everyone has a programming board with 6 slots, at the start of each turn you take turns claiming four out of 5 cards which you can either add to your board to get a new action, or discard to repair/change your board order. These cards come in 4 colours, if you stack cards of one colour then you can create more powerful actions, each colour has one card that fulfils 3 basic actions, a movement card, a turning card and an attack card. Once you’ve assigned your cards you then enact them, in order from 1 to 6. You can’t skip out cards even if they don’t help you, which adds a lot of chaos to the game. You may have programmed perfectly for last turn, but now you are being forced to turn the wrong way and run away from your next objective! To add to this your mech can get damaged which can take over your slots and send you spinning around in the wrong direction (though if you are clever and lucky you can use this to your advantage!).