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

Wednesday 2 May 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 28th - 29th April 2018

This Saturday was International Tabletop Day and we celebrated at home on Saturday and with a friend on Sunday. Saturday was a great chance to try new games, whilst Sunday was good for playing some old favourites and introducing them to a new audience. We also made some tough decisions to clear the shelves and realised we have30 unplayed games! We've now got that number down to 28!

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

  • Aeon's End is a cooperative deckbuilding game where together you will try and defeat a monster by eating away at their health points. The game is pretty typical for a deckbuilder, in that you have a currency to buy new cards from a central pool of 9 types available and another currency of hit points to hit the big bad or any of its minions. However, Aeon’s End has two elements I’ve not seen before. The first is that you don’t shuffle your deck, which I felt gave me some good control of when I might get card combos. The second is that player order, including when the big bad takes its turn is randomized by a shuffled deck – this gives players less ability to prepare perfectly for attacks and I quite like that as a different way of bringing randomness into a cooperative game. The artwork and card quality were pretty poor in my opinion, but ultimately, Aeon’s End didn’t jump out as much better or worse than similar games, like the Legendary cooperative deck-building games. It was an enjoyable game and I am intrigued by Aeon’s End Legacy which will be coming soon.
  • IUNU is a small, Egyptian themed, card drafting game from Ludi Creations. Each turn you play a card from your hand into your tableau. Your choice of card could be for its action or because you are looking to score the end-game majority points available for each card type. Over the game you’ll use money to bake bread for points, or to take some end game objectives to work towards for end-game points. The game had some interesting mechanisms, but for me it was undermined by very poor symbology on the cards and, as a result, the constant need to look cards up in the rule book. It would take a few games to get familiar with the symbology and make the game run smoothly and ultimately I think there are better examples of similar games to dedicate our time to.
  • Welcome To... is a roll and write game that seems to have a lot of people excited, especially now that it has picked up an American publisher. In the game you’ll be creating a neighbourhood – filling streets with house numbers, creating parks, giving some houses swimming pools and splitting up your streets into estates – in parcel sizes that you hope to raise the value of. There’s no actual rolling in the game, you’ll instead have choice of three different house number/action combinations each turn to choose from, from shuffled decks. Welcome To… has a lot more going on than most of the roll and write games we’ve played and there’s a lot of satisfaction in filling out the score sheets with their lovely, clear art and graphic design. The choice you make each turn can really start to build your strategy, as well as having the opportunity to destroy some of your future plans if card draws just don’t go your way. It’s a game I can see becoming quite addictive and will probably become a favourite roll and write for us, but I am still looking for a roll and write that does something completely different to blow me away next.
  • Raiders of the North Sea is a worker placement game in the North Sea trilogy from Garphil Games and Renegade Games Studios. It seems to be regarded as the best of the three, especially since it was heavily expanded by a recent Kickstarter fulfilment. We finally played the base game and I think we were a little underwhelmed. The unique mechanism of Raiders of the North Sea is that you get two actions per turn – the action of the worker you place in an empty spot and the action of a second worker you take from another spot on the board. Sometimes you’ll want one action more than the other, or maybe you just want a certain colour of worker because certain workers may only use certain spots. I enjoyed this take on worker placement, as well as selecting Vikings or their special abilities or to send them to Valhalla for points! Don’t get me wrong, Raiders of the North Sea is a strong game, and one I’d be very happy to play again, but I think I just set my expectations too high. It belongs to a friend and we can play it at our local board game cafĂ© and I’m sure we’ll be able to play it and its expansions in the future.

This could be the last first impressions for a while. I travel to Canada for the next two weeks and then we are on holiday in Spain. Of course, we'll be on the lookout for local game stores and board game cafes whilst on our travels and hopefully picking up some souvenir games too!

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