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

Friday 23 March 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 17th - 18th March 2018

After coming back from Airecon with a pile of games, we have a shelf overflow yet again. I have no-one to blame but myself. Amy is cracking down and we need to make some tough decisions, so we have a list of games that need to be played 'one last time' so that we can decide what to keep. Add to that the list of games we've never played that sit on our shelves and we have a very long list of games to play. This weekend we were able to focus on playing some new games as well a some old favourites.

Here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

  • Ex Libris finally came back into print in the UK which meant we got our hands on a copy! Ex Libris is a game about stocking your library shelves in alphabetical order and focussing on different book genres, depending on the randomly chosen objectives of the each game. You'll obtain and shelve different stacks of books using a worker placement mechanism. Each round, two new locations will be drawn, but one of the locations from the previous round will become permanent, meaning that your options are ever changing. For me, the main interesting element of the game is the puzzle of getting your library in order and balancing your book genres, as well as avoiding the genre that gives you negative points. The unique player powers were also interesting to play with. Ex Libris was a good game for us, it just didn't feel like the big box game it is - it will stay on the shelves I just wish it didn't take up so much space!
  • Qwixx is one of the early roll and write games and is definitely very basic and themeless compared to some of the more modern roll and writes we've played. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see what kind of game with just a scoresheet and 6 dice was Spiel des Jahres nominated, as well as being highly rated by lovers of the genre. In Qwixx you each take turns as the active player, rolling the dice and selecting two numbers to cross off on your score sheet, with one number being available for all players around the table. You are pushing your luck and plying the odds as you need to cross off numbers in ascending or descending order depending n the colour. It's also a bit of a race so you shouldn't pass on too many opportunities to cross numbers off on your sheet. Qwixx was a quick, fun, push your luck game. There was definitely some luck involved, but also some tactics and for a 5 minute filler that is super portable, I think it will hit the table again.
  • Off The Rails was a Kickstarter campaign that Amy backed, and if I'm honest I wasn't particularly keen for her to do so. That said, I am pretty pleased with the production quality on the finished product and was happy to give it a try. In off the rails you have two mine carts and you are laying track to allow you to collect gems. The board is seeded with some gems to begin with, but then more gems will be revealed randomly at the end of each turn. Eventually chasms will begin to appear as well which will destroy routes, make you change your plans and sometimes result in your mine cart plunging into the abyss. We tried Off the Rails with two players and I'm sure it is more chaotic and possibly more fun with four, but two still worked well. It's probably the most light hearted tile-laying game we own and it has a nice mix of chaos and strategy. I'm actually looking forward to playing again - it's light and it doesn't outstay its welcome at the table. 
I don't think we have many gaming opportunties over the next week, but the one occasion I'm looking forward to is the chance to play our second ever game of Conan. I have been painting the miniatures in Conan for what seems like forever and now I have finished enough so we can play the second scenario in the book. I'm a very slow painter! Having recently backed Monolith's Batman Kickstarter we really need to play some more Conan so we can stop feeling so guilty!

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