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 the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every 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 31 October 2015

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- Week Commencing 24th October 2015

The new games keep coming thick and fast and we are definitely not managing to keep up! Most of the new stuff we’re trying are games we own – we’re not even getting the opportunity to test out other people’s exciting new goodies!

·         Zombicide was really not high on my priority list to play, simply because of the zombie theme, but given how much we love co-ops it was worth a try. In Zombicide you each take on the role of one or multiple characters who are trying to fend off the zombie hoards to complete a given mission (chosen from many in the rule book). Each turn you can use your action points to move around the town, attack zombies using your weapons by rolling dice or search for new equipment. At the end of all the player turns zombies spawn at the edges of the city and zombies on the board move towards people they can see or sources of noise. Zombies also spawn when you break into a building and they spawn in greater numbers if any of the player characters becomes more experienced at killing zombies. Some zombies are slower, some are quicker, some are fatties and take more fire power to kill and they all want to eat your face. I surprised myself and actually enjoyed this game. It certainly feels quite thematic ie. it really feels like zombies are after you and it looks great on the table. I’m not sure I prefer it to any of the co-ops in our collection, but Amy was really taken with it, so maybe we’ll have to seek this one out.

·         Raptor has been hotly anticipated in our household since the prototype was hyped up by the Dice Tower after GenCon 2015. Apparently it’s a pasted on theme, but the dinosaurs are a theme I love. The game is two-player only and plays with two asymmetrical sides – the scientists and the raptors. The victory condition for the raptors is for three babies to escape or to eat all the scientists. The victory condition for the scientists is to capture 3 baby raptors or fully tranquilise the mother. You achieve these goals with tactical card play which will either allow you special actions or generic action points dependent on the cards that you and your opponent simultaneously select. Unfortunately I found our first three plays of the game really frustrating. I simply didn’t seem able to achieve anything playing as either the dinosaurs or the scientists. Maybe this is too much like an abstract strategy game of chess for me to be able to feel competent and enjoy it. I will persevere and hope that practice makes perfect, but on first impressions I’m pretty gutted that I didn’t really enjoy Raptor.
·         Cash ‘n’ Guns is party game for 3-8 players in which you point foam guns at each other to try and eliminate players from the game. In each turn if you do not get shot and you do not run scared from all of the guns pointing in your direction you can claim your share of the face up loot in the centre of the table. The game is often billed as a bluffing game because you have ‘bang’ cards and ‘click cards which mean your gun is firing blanks or is loaded respectively, so on each turn you want to convince the person you’re pointing a gun at that it is loaded to make them run scared and give you a larger share in the loot. I our game at least the bluffing was a bit lost and it was more of a case of random luck or a gung-ho attitude that won the game. I much prefer the style of bluffing in a game like Sheriff of Nottingham which seems to lend itself far better to role playing and bare faced lies!

·         X-Wing Miniatures Game – Millennium Falcon and Lambda Class Shuttle are our first two big ship expansions to our X-Wing collection. For this game I played as the rebels and my selection was dominated by the Millennium Falcon with Hans Solo and 3 upgrades – totalling over 55 points. What I ended up with was a pretty invincible ship with a few shields, 8 hull damage and upgrades which allowed me to duck out of a damage and gain a shield as well as make an opponent re-roll an attack dice. Sadly, because the Lamba class shuttle is far more economical, I faced a swarm of Imperial ships and just could shoot at enough of them, frequently enough to be able to secure myself victory. It was a close game though! The ability to shoot 360 degrees from the Millennium Falcon really allows you to worry less about manoeuvring and making stressful about turns, which is also really fun. We didn’t see a lot of what the Lambda class shuttle could do so I look forward to playing around with that one soon!

We’re really enjoying getting back to playing some of our old favourites at the moment too and have set up a list to make sure that these get to the table. This week XCOM, Dominion and Lost Cities hit the table and we realised just how much we enjoy them. games we’re desperate to keep playing are Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Ghost Stories and Lewis & Clark. Maybe this week?

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