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

Sunday 28 January 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 19th - 22nd January 2018

Most of our new game experiences in the last couple of weeks came from a game day last weekend. We had the awkward player count of five people which limited our choices but we were able play Wasteland express Delivery Service - one of our favourites from 2017, as well as trying some new games that I've been looking forward too. We're also trying to work on our unplayed games pile, although that's a bigger challenge!

There's not many this week, but here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

  • Flamme Rouge is a bicycle racing game that we've been meaning to play for quite some time. On this play with five players we also played with the new Peleton expansion. Each player has two cyclists and a deck of cards representing different speeds - you are racing around the track, trying not to get tired in first position, but instead to stay near the front in the slipstream and draft other players where possible to conserve your fast cards for a sprint towards the end of the race. I really appreciate how the mechanisms thematically echo bicycle racing so well. It was quite fascinating to watch the board positions develop and play out like a real race - with the cyclists slitting into packs and jockeying for position. With five players I'm not sure we quite got to make the most of tactical decisions and second guessing since there were so many cyclists that drafting occurred extremely rarely. I'd love to play Flamme Rouge again but maybe with three or four players.
  • Champions of Midgard is a worker placement game I've been waiting a long while to try, but especially since I heard such good things about the two expansions released in 2017. In the game you are placing workers to gain resources, but primarily to gain dice and kill different creatures for points. You need to claim a battle early since each encounter is a worker placement spot, but all combat is resolved at the end of the round. With the expansions, you also lose some dice in battle whether you win or lose, but you gain tokens in return that have another purpose in the game. With five players I found the worker placement far too tight, with not enough dice to keep the game moving and interesting. I really struggled to find a good strategy and was hosed by the randomness of the negative effects that surprise you when entering a fight at sea or in the mountains. I found that this bad luck added to the luck inherent with rolling dice just made Champions of Midgard un-enjoyable for me and I was really disappointed.
  • Nusfjord is a game we had really high expectations for after honeymooning in the Norwegian Fjords last year. Nusfjord is gold to build buildings and gain victory points. The game is pretty simple straight out of the rulebook, but it's not until you are playing that you realise the possibilities and strategies you can pursue. The game was solid and it was quite a meaty experience in a sort space of time (with 2 players). However, it was a little disappointing that the game didn't capture the beauty of the scenery. Some boards had nice art but it was covered with plain, boring cards whilst other board were just a picture of grass. I wasn't blown away by Nusfjord, but I think our second game will be more interesting now that we understand it better.

This week we'll be playing games with friends on Wednesday, where the threat is that we have to try an old Games Workshop game called Calamity. I'm pretty apprehensive, but hopefully we'll also have time to play some tried and tested games too.

Next week I'll be setting off on a trip to North America, so it is likely to be a hiatus from gaming unless I get lucky and manage to find some people to play with at meetups or board game cafes along the way. Next Sunday I'll be visiting Snakes and Lattes in Toronto which I'm super excited about! Then I'll be moving onto Winnipeg and finally San Francisco. If anyone happens to be able to meet up in one of these cities I'd love to see the gaming sites and play a game!

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