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.

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Sunday 23 July 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 18th - 23rd July 2017

This weekend was massive for new games! Amy spent Saturday with some gamers in Croydon and tried 3 or 4 new games, including The Captain is Dead and Nine Worlds, which I'm quite jealous of. Today we had Luke Hector from The Broken Meeple over for games, which we always do when the new T.I.M.E Stories expansion comes out. We managed to get a few extra games to the table too, even spreading the word about one of our new favourite fillers - King Frog.

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

  • T.I.M.E. Stories - Lumen Fidei is the next expansion scenario for T.I.M.E Stories and this time we're going back in time to the time of the Crusaders in Spain. I don't want to spoil the scenario in the blog, but it is my favourite yet. For me the way the game is structured really helped with the story and my motivation to work through what was our longest scenario yet. There weren't many puzzles, but for me it felt like the puzzles were much more interesting and reminded me more of the recent escape room trend in tabletop games. There was still a lot of dice rolling and a heavy dose of combat in this scenario, but it was really quite thematic, introduced a few new mechanisms and had more nods to the time travelling theme, as well as some really critical thematic decisions. Lumen Fidei has definitely re-ignited my interest in T.I.M.E. Stories and I hope more people enjoy it too, because the current reviews and ratings seem very polarised.

  • Trieste is a three player only game, making it perfect for our gaming this afternoon, but not great for many other gaming occasions. Each player has a fixed deck of cards, each of which targets the two other players in different ways. Each player also has a unique victory condition. The merchant to have a certain amount of money, the thief to successfully steal things a certain number of times and the city guard to catch a certain number of thieves. The game is very cleverly designed and appears to be quite well balanced. There are times where you're trying to deduce or guess other people's moved to play aggressively or defensively and judging this correctly and a bit of luck of the draw is likely to secure a win. I'd happily play Trieste again, but the 3-player fixed player count is too restrictive to add this to our collection.

  • Lovecraft Letter is a reimplementation of Love Letter with the Lovecraft/Cthulu theme, but is also a version that currently only comes 'deluxe'. The game retails for about £25 which on first impressions is just too much for Love Letter, even though the components are at a level that might justify it (poker chips, custom card sleeves and tarot sized cards). The game plays like standard Love Letter unit you go insane, at which point your actions are stronger if you choose to play them, but also, you must draw a card from the top of the deck before your turn and if it's an insanity card you just loose. I understand that there is some push your luck associated to this, but for me it was just too easy to get unlucky with the cards. I've never felt the need to own Love Letter and for me, this is a worse game due to the luck, a theme with no appeal and the price point. Unless the theme is definitely for you, I can't recommend Lovecraft Letter.

  • Legendary X-MEN is the expansion Amy has been waiting for for Marvel Legendary - X-Men is definitely one of her favourite Marvel themes. I'm far less bothered but had seen a rave review of the expansion on The Dice Tower, so was keen to try. This is a big expansion with lots of heroes,villains and masterminds, as well as lots of new mechanics that we really needed to make use of in order to beat the mastermind we chose - possibly one of the hardest in the box! I tend to enjoy expansions which make everything bigger, like Prosperity did for Dominion, and X-Men definitely does that for Marvel Legendary. I'm not sure we need more expansion content just now, but X-Men is probably one we'll add in the future.

  • London Dread is a co-operative game with some real-time aspects that is set in crime-ridden Victorian London. We were interested in how the game would work with a real-time and resolution phase, that reminded us of XCOM - probably our number one board game of all time. In the resolution phase, you programme 12 actions each around a clock face, moving to different areas of the board and selecting your encounters, making sure to either co-operate with your team mates where needed or avoid them to concentrate on different tasks. The game is action driven with creepy music and story throughout. For me, the timed phase is interesting, but the resolution would only be interesting if you could invest in the story and I'm just not a story-driven gamer. We'll probably play this one time through each scenario on the app and then move it on. It's a good idea for a game, just not for us.

    Next week we'll definitely be trying Caverna Cave vs. Cave, and hopefully Nine Worlds too. I'm also excited to have some games after work with a friend and we're also aiming to visit the new board game cafe in Bournemouth - Coffee & Dice.

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