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

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 29th June - 10th July 2017

We've just got back from our honeymoon where we took a cruise to Norway! We loaded a bag full of smaller board games and hoped to play a few on board and maybe even encourage intrigued passengers to join us! (Note that Feast for Odin and Marvel Legendary were played BEFORE the cruise!) We definitely got the most out of the games we played, playing 18 games in total and managing to try a couple of new ones. Unfortunately no-one seemed interested in what on earth we were doing although we were heartened to see other people playing cards and Rummikub on board.

Excitingly, we also found a chain of geek stores in Norway and bought ourselves two souvenir games - the first is a small expansion for Carcassonne, which only has rules in Scandinavian languages but I'm sure we'll manage and the second is La Granja. We were lucky to find that the shop in Bergen had a big sale - otherwise Norway's prices for board games are just crazy compared to the UK!

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

  • A Feast for Odin is a heavy euro game from Uwe Rosenberg that has been weighing down our shelves for quite some time! The first game was overwhelming with the shear number of locations to place your viking workers, but fortunately we were both happy to play a learning game without overthinking the possibility of every action space on the board. The game starts very slowly with it seeming to be impossible to cover all of the negative points on your player board, but accelerates significantly so that by the end of the game I regretted not investing in islands to place more tiles. It definitely has a different feel to other big box Uwe Rosenberg games (Agricola, Caverna and Fields of Arle) which means it will keep a place in our collection, although I'm not sure how many times it will hit the table.

  • Legendary: Captain America 75th Anniversary is the first expansion we've tried for Marvel Legendary. There was no reasoning behind our choice, it was just on offer, but I'm pretty pleased with the expansion content we received. We seemed to be playing a Nazi Germany theme with our selected scheme and villain, but the inclusion of the enigma code was really interesting and definitely increased the difficulty for us. I particularly found it difficulty to keep hold of a crowd of bystanders, which was a prerequisite for taking on the master villain and although we both lost, Amy definitely had a lot more points based on a strategy around the bystanders. Because we typically play with only two players, we definitely needed an expansion to up the difficulty of Marvel:Legendary and I look forward to seeing if this expansion has enough content to keep up the challenge.

  • EXIT: The Secret Lab is the second EXIT game we've tried. The theme of this game is that we've responded to a newspaper advert offering us money to be experiment test subjects and unfortunately we've arrived and no-one is there to greet us. We really enjoyed the styles of puzzles in this game, I suppose they were less off-the-wall than Pharoah's tomb ie. we could solve them with the information in front of us. It was also a lot more obvious when we had all of the information to complete each puzzle, so there was much less frustration at times. We completed this one in under an hour and I believe we used only one or two clues, so we felt very accomplished!

  • Quests of Valeria is still not the Valeria game I want to play most (it's easy to get mixed up but I'm pretty sure Card Kingdoms is the one I'm most keen on), but, at £10, I was happy to pick it up. It's a hand management game with multi-use cards, which kind of reminds me of San Juan. To obtain cards for your guild you must pay cards from your hand. You are drafting these cards from a central supply with different cost from zero to 3 cards. Cards from your hand can also be placed in your guild at a cost of two cards. To complete quests you need cards of different types as well as collecting the symbols on the cards. The game rewards planning an efficiency and is actually really satisfying, particularly with the different guild master abilities to guide your strategy each game. It probably doesn't have longevity but I'll happy play a few more games of Quests of Valeria.

  • Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep is another expansion for Elder Sign. We initially expanded our own copy of Elder Sign, but stopped after Streets of Arkham as the game wasn't hitting the table as much. Omens of the Deep follows in the vein of Omens of Ice, with a more story driven style and a two-stage game. You first find yourself navigating the dark waters track which you must keep at a high enough level to avoid doom tokens and eventually to successfully complete a 3-part amulet. For me, the story element was a bit lost in this game and the result of completing the amulet wasn't very game changing at all, just offering us a good chunk of elder signs and the opportunity to remove more monsters from the board. I was a little underwhelmed by this expansion which just felt like more of the same when added to the game.

I'm starting a new job this week so the opportunity to play lots of new games during the week is ending. Perhaps I'll find some new opportunities with the new job in Hammersmith - I'm not sure my colleagues will be into the idea but there could be a local group - let's hope so!

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