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

Saturday 27 October 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 20th - 26th October

This week I did something very out of character and agreed to meet someone from Twitter at  a board game cafe. I'm pretty proud of myself, I got to meet someone new, check out a new board game cafe in London and check out some new games.

We also has a big gaming weekend last weekend with friends visiting both days. We got the chance to play the latest T.I.M.E. Stories expansion on Saturday and then introduced two friends to Gloomhaven and Terraforming Mars on the Sunday.

So here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions!

  • Glass Road is a game from Uwe Rosenberg that I've been interested to play for some time. It's one of his medium weight games and I was extremely surprised by how fast it played. Four rounds was over in about 30-45 minutes for two-players and only by the end of the game did I have any idea how to do well! It reminds me most of Nusfjord, where you are selectively clearing your board to add buildings that will give you end game points, however your system for tracking resources is the biggest element to understand. Your quantity of resources is all interlinked - you can't have more glass until you get more of the raw materials that make glass - this is pretty thematic and is cleverly represented in the game by rotating dials to track your resources. Because of how overwhelmed I felt, Glass Road isn't an instant hit for me, but I'd like to play it some more and see if I can start to build some strategy earlier in the game - it has the potential to be a really fun light-to-middle weight game.
  • Samurai is a reprint of a Reiner Knizia classic abstract game. Although it's an abstract game the component quality and art in the reprint really make it feel like something with a bit more theme. Using tokens of different symbols and different values, you are competing, in an area control type way, to gain the plastic miniatures on the board. When a miniature is surrounded it is taken by the player who contributed the highest value in the matching token type. The shape of the map, as an abstracted view of Japan, caused lots of different conditions on the board that were fun to weigh up. Although area control isn't really my thing, with two players, the game became quite puzzly and was surprisingly fun for me. It's certainly a game I'd be happy to play again.
  • Welcome To Halloween Promo will be coming as part of the Kickstarter from Deep Water Games on 30th October 2018. I'm excited that the Kickstater should increase distribution of this fantastic game, but also glad to see that there will be pledge levels for people who already have the original game, like us. The Halloween promo adds trick or treating to the game as well as thematic city plan cards. The game mainly plays in the same way, but at some house you'll get to choose a trick or treat when you write a number in the house. Tricks and treats can be collected and cashed in for point bonuses or in game bonuses, such as crossing off more swimming pools. The game isn't changed in a huge way, but we enjoyed the additional push your luck elements and working towards the bonuses did alter your in-game strategy quite a bit. If you play a lot of Welcome To, then this promo definitely adds a bit more variety that you might be looking for.
  • T.I.M.E Stories:- Brotherhood of the Coast is the first T.I.M.E. Stories expansion for quite some time. We've played every expansion so far and it was nice to find that this expansion tried to pull together a few threads of the main story. Without spoilers, this expansion gave us some of the most interesting choices we've had to make so far, where the narrative really factored into the choices we made. The game seemed to have a lot more branching paths than others and the overall puzzle felt well thought out. We found the end-game quite confusing, but it was interesting to see the game doing  something slightly different and giving us more story even after the game could easily have ended. It's one of the longer scenarios we've played, but one of the more enjoyable ones for me.
  • Heaven & Ale is a game I've been looking forward to for a long while and it only recently got a release in the UK. It's an economic euro game, with a pretty simple rule set, but our first game proved that it's certainly more difficult to master. Each round you move around a track collecting elements for your board - the tokens cost different amounts depending if you put them on the sunny side of your player board to gain resources or the shady side to gain money. The tile placement, race for objectives are really tight economy make the game really interesting, but it's also quite quick to play with only a few rounds depending on player count. I'm excited to try and hone my strategy in the game and I'm really happy that we added it to our collection. 
We're currently feeling very envious of those lucky people at Essen right now and hopefully we'll play some games this weekend to make ourselves feel better about the situation. We've also got a game night with friends this Thursday to look forward to, so hopefully there's some chances to try more new games.

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