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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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 8th - 15th October 2017


It's proving challenging to try and play new games at home at the moment. We have our regular gmaing night on a Thursday where we play campaign games and now we've started a Pathfinder RPG campaign, which is another day taken out of the time for board gaming. I'm not completely sure how I feel about my first ever RPG, but for now I'm going to persevere since the group of people is making it fun. Nevertheless, we've managed to play a few games, thanks in part to our visit to PLAY Expo Manchester this weekend and are getting plenty of free time in the coming weeks. 

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

  • Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is the third time we've tried to get into a living card game, after failed attempts with Android Netrunner and Lord of the Rings. Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) is a head-to-head two player game where you are either trying to gain prestiage or destroy the other player's buildings to win the game. The game has quite a complex set of rules initially, but actually plays quite simply. In principal you are putting forward fighters with military or political prowess sufficient to take down your opponents defences and attack their buildings. There's many opportunities to manipulate the gama nd create combos with special abilities and your hand of events and modifiers - we managed to string together a fantastic final battle which really showed off how intricate these mechanisms can be. Highly confrontational games normally go down very badly with me, but my first impression of L5R has been good, probably vastly helped by winning the first game we played. In due course we'll give it a full review and if I've lost some games along the way then I'm sure my review won't be as positive!
  • Vikings Gone Wild is a deck-building game where you are building a deck to score points, primarily by successfully attacking your opponent. Your deck also serves to generate the beer and gold resources which you use to buy more cards, either to add to your village, giving you permanent special abilities, or to add to your deck. We are normally big fans of most deck-building games, but Vikings Gone Wild just didn't hit the mark for us. I found it very hard to start building a good deck when there were no opportunities to thin your deck out, meaning that, although Amy and I built very similar decks, she drew more cards at the same time that worked well together and beat me down much more successfully. Otherwise, the game just seems over-produced for a fairly standard deck builder, with a giant board with no real purpose. Unfortunately we'll be trading away or selling Vikings Gone Wild.
  • NMBR 9 is a tile laying game where your tiles are shaped like the numbers 0-9. It has a very simple set of rules but has the ability to really make you think spatially. In NMBR 9, you draw from a deck of cards which dictates the order that all players will take and place tiles. You then place the tiles in your playing area. Tiles on the base layer will not score, tiles on the next layer will score you 1 x their face value. On the layer above they will score you 2 x face value and so on. It's key to build a strong foudnation with few holes as you can never place a tile over a hole. I was really surprised by how much NMBR 9 made me think, especially because the tiles don't tesselate very well and even when you think you've built a reat platform you can easily struggle to fit a tile onto the level above. I hope I get the opportuntiy to play NMBR 9 again because it seems like a nice relaxing filler.
  • Fugitive is a game by Tim Fowers, set in the same story arc as Burgle Bros. Story wise, you have escaped with the loot and are now a fugitive on the run. Fugitive is a two player, bluffing style, card game where one player is the fugitive and the other is the marshal, trying to catch them. As the fugitive, you draw cards to use as hideouts. Your standard pace of movement between hideouts is 3, so you can play a card 6,7 or 8 after previously playing a 5. However you can use your cards as footsteps to boost your speed and go further, or to bluff and confuse the marshal. After each turn the marshal can guess the numerical value of your hideouts and if they ever reveal them all the marshal wins. If the fugitive manages to play all the way up to card 42 without getting caught then the fugitive wins. It's a very clever little card game and after three plays, the marshal finally won, so now we're interested to introduce the events and see how that changes the balance and difficulty of the game.
I'm so excited for the week we have planned. We both have time off work, and we're visiting my parents near Manchester and have decided it'll be a bit of a board game road trip. So far we've been to the Play Expo and are playing lots of games at the house, but we are also going to visit the open gaming space at Fan Boy 3, then take a trip to Liverpool to Sugar and Dice and maybe also Critical Hit. We might go to Bolton to visit Slice and Dice and then on the way hoem we'll be stopping at Thirsty Meeples in Oxford to play just a couple of extra new games! I can't wait to try lots of new games and we'll definitely share our thoughts on all of the venues we visit and the games we play.

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