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

Monday 12 March 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 9th - 10th March 2018

We've just got back from our first visit to Airecon - a board game convention in Harrogate UK. We've tried lots of interesting prototypes that we'll cover in a blog about the show, but we also got to play some new games with friends, old and new! Of course, it wouldn't be a board game convention for us if we didn't buy and trade a load of games too, so expect some first impressions of our new games coming soon.

So after an exciting weekend, here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

  • Majesty for the Realm is a gateway game that was released towards the end of 2017. The comparison with games like Splendor meant that it didn't really grab our attention, but a string of good reviews means that it's still a game I have been wanting to try. It's a very quick card drafting game where players collect villagers into sets to gain points. Different villagers score different amounts and many create combos. Knights also have the ability to injure villagers that can only be cured by the witch. End game points are available for majority in each villager type. The game is so simple that I think anyone could play it as an introductory game. It probably doesn't have enough interest for us, but is a great alternative entry level game.
  • Spires is a trick taking game that one of our Board Game Exposure colleagues managed to get from the USA. We've heard good things and since it's a trick-taking game that plays 1-4 this game has a lot of potential to be a hit for us. Spires is a mixture of bidding and trick-taking as you try to add only useful cards to your tableau. I found it quite challenging to do well in this game, never quite judging the intentions of others to allow me to get some cards into my tableau. It was interesting and I'm intrigued to see how it works as a 2-player game. 
  • Mombasa is a very highly rated heavy euro game, so I've been interested to play it for some time. It was a pretty painful teach as the owner of the game was unfortunately quite unfamiliar with the rules, but once we started playing it was pretty simple. The difficult decisions come from deciding which cards to play each turn and how to discard them to ensure that you pick up a good combination of cards when your deck runs out. Points are available for investing in shares, moving along your bookeeping track and obtaining diamonds. The game seemed to be over very fast, in only 7 rounds, which made me wonder where the 75-150 minutes on the side of the box comes from. I definitely want to try this one again, not only to check that we played it correctly, but because the deck-building and manipulation were really interesting.
  • Fast Forward: FORTRESS is the second game I've tried in the Fast Forward series from Friedemann Friese. Our first experience with Flee was not a good one, but I still wanted to try the others. Fortress is a tower defence game where you attempt to play groups of attackers onto different fortresses. The game has an element of bluffing, but certainly an element of luck based on the combinations of cards you draw from the deck. As the game progresses, new rules appear, but as far as we saw, it was nothing game changing, simply methods to enable you to start a new round. We struggled to find anything very gripping in this game and there was too much luck of the draw involved for us. I like how these games get you playing straight away but for us they're just not strong enough games in their own right.
  • Schotten Totten is a great looking Iello reprint of a classic Reiner Knizia game. It's a 2-player only game that has you collecting cards to achieve tricks that out-do your opponent on each of the 9 battlegrounds or stones in the centre of the table. In some ways it's quite similar to other 2-player games like Lost Cities, but it will be really portable so I think we'll get a fair few games out of it.
We're at my parent's place now for a couple of days, so Azul will definitely be played. Later in the week, we're also getting our Mechs vs. Minions campaign back on track with friends and Amy will be continuing her role as Dungeon Master in her D&D campaign.

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