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

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;

  • Priests of Ra is a game we found in a charity shop and then left on the shelf for a long while because the box art just looks boring and uninviting to me. The game is essentially a push-your luck auction game. There is a bag full of tiles and you take turns deciding whether to draw another tile or start the auction. Tiles exist in different types and colours and different types score in different ways eg. the person with the most yellow person tiles scores at the end of each round. Bidding is with fixed numerical tokens so the last person to bid has the power to decide if they will place the highest bid (if they're able to with the tokens they have available) or if the first bidder knows they have the highest bid they can use it to guarantee they win the auction. With two players, we just found the games mechanisms boring and the theme non-existent. We actually quit before the end as we could tell this was not a winner and now Priests of Ra is on the trade pile.
  • Heroscape: Rise of the Valkyries is a game that I never thought I'd enjoy, but couldn't resist owning just because the terrain is awesome and I got a bargain when I bought it. It's a dudes on a map dice chucker, something I hate usually due to the high element of luck and the fact that Amy can also out-think me in terms of tactical positioning. However, Heroscape surprised me - it wasn't especially different from any other similar game I think we just played it quickly with a lot of laughs and afterwards we thought it was just a bit like playing army men with a great toy! I do think I chose my heroes wisely in the draft and used their abilities well to win the game. To be critical, the end game was ridiculous as much dudes had over-powered defence and Amy's character kept hitting them and flying away, but we were just in the right mood to find that funny. I thought I would put Heroscape straight on the trade pile, but a silly part of me wants to keep it to play with one day in the future, even though it doesn't fit on the Kallax shelves.
  • Honshu is a game I've been wanting to try, but that's now really hard to get hold of in the UK. Fortunately I popped into a game group on Monday evening and someone brought a copy alone. Honshu is a clever mixture of bidding, drafting and tile laying that I really enjoyed. Cards have 6 squares of terrain on them, all of which score in different ways when laid out in your town. When you acquire cards you have to overlap or underlap them as much or little as you like to try and work towards the best scoring opportunities. The game doesn't feel completely in your control because you are kind of bidding blind when you throw your cards into the centre each round unless you bid last, but generally there's always a good opportunity to make good use of the card you get to your scoring advantage. Although I wasn't very good at it, it was a really nice filler and if I could acquire it at a filler price point then I'd happily add it to the collection.
That's probably all the new games we'll play this week, even though we have a long weekend. My parents are visiting so hopefully we can play some of the lighter games they like, such as Ticket to Ride and Codenames and maybe introduce something new to them too.

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