Written Reviews

Carcassonne

I’m not going to lie. I only recently played Carcassonne for the first time, and I found it to be remarkably interesting. The only reason I was able to try it was because one of my coworkers lent me their copy. I was both impressed and underwhelmed by Carcassonne. And I know that is not going to be a popular opinion. The game was fun, had interesting core mechanics, and was something I outgrew a while ago. That isn’t saying it’s not a great game. I just was introduced to Carcassonne a little late in my board game journey.

Game, Written Reviews

Key to the Kingdom

Okay, this is a bit of a throwback game for me. Key to the Kingdom was one of my go to games in my childhood. It really shaped some of my tastes growing up. At its heart, Key to the Kingdom is a DM-less RPG disguised as a roll to move board game. I was honestly shocked to come across a copy at the local board game flea market and I couldn’t have been happier to find it!! It takes you through a fantasy world where there are challenges galore leading up to a dungeon where monsters await you. One of the most interesting things about Key to the Kingdom is that it is a competitive game. You are racing against the other players to gather the right treasures and claim the throne of the Kingdom.

Game, Written Reviews

Calico

Calico is a competitive tile laying game about creating your own personalized quilt to attract cats to snuggle into your blanket. Total Game Play: 30 to 45 minutes Designer(s): Kevin Russ Artist(s): Beth Sobel Publisher: Flatout Games As far as themes go, Calico is one that immediately attracted me. Making quilts? Heck yes! Collecting Cats?… Continue reading Calico

Deep Dives, Game

Root Faction Scoring Models

Recently, I started keeping track of the round-by-round points for each factions after Rk9 showed interest. It was a stat that I hadn’t really tracked before and I’m not sure why I didn’t because it’s so fascinating. Looking back of all the tournaments, I found that there were two sets of data: the scoring paths from AdSet and the scoring paths from the Plus One Pool Draft. These get delved into by faction in the sections below. All data on the AdSet faction includes only the first two rounds of the 2021 Winter Tournament.

Deep Dives, Game

Keepers in Iron Guide

The Keepers in Iron (nicknamed badgers through the rest of this guide) are a tough but fun faction to learn and master. This faction is a continuous learning process. The more practice you have, the better you understand the faction and adapt to the board state. Badgers have a lot of flexibility, and this guide will help you learn which options you should consider when making strategic decisions. They are very rewarding when you have gained an understanding of how badgers play.

Written Reviews

Red7: A Palette of Colors and Survival

Red7 is a game about constantly winning, or more accurately, being the slowest to lose. This is all about the last person standing and manipulating the game to keep yourself in a winning position. I love how this game has you manipulate the board state, so you are winning at the end of each of your turns. And if you’re not winning, you’re eliminated. Red7 is all about numbers and colors, where that’s the highest number or the strongest color of the rainbow. This game is a lot of fun and keeps you on your toes.

Written Reviews

Machi Koro

Alright, so I know what you might be thinking. Machi Koro? That doesn't seem like it would be in Lily’s wheelhouse. And you’re right. Machi Koro is not my game of choice. It has been quite some time since I’ve played Machi Koro because it is a game that is very luck driven. And dice and I don’t have the best relationship. That being said, Machi Koro does hold a soft spot in my heart as it was something my brother brought into my life. I have fond memories of sitting around a table with him, his friend, and rolling the dice to see what was going to happen.

Written Reviews

QE – Let’s Bail Out Some Companies!

QE is a game all about bidding. The game is based on nations who are bidding to bail out companies that are “too big to fail” akin to the 2008 economic crisis. Which is why the name of the game is QE or Quantitative Easing. This game is about bidding but how much money are you willing to spend? It’s important to get value and cost doesn’t really matter so long as you’re not the country who has spent the most money. After all, that’s a lot of liability to take on. QE very much reminds me of the phrase “where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter” because the only thing limiting your spending is the other players at the table.

Written Reviews

Dixit

Many games use abstract art as a key component of their design and Dixit leans hard into the world of abstract art and storying telling. Each card in Dixit has its own unique art that can be interpreted in many different ways and that’s just what the game wants! The storyteller will tell a story around one card and the other players have convince the table that their card belongs to the storyteller. But there’s a catch! The storyteller wants to be caught but not by everyone at the table so the story has to be just abstract enough.

Written Reviews

Northern Pacific

Do you like trains? Because I love trains! And, luckily for me, there are tons and tons of games about trains. I have discovered that many people are intimidated by train games (especially those of the 18XX varieties). I feel like one of the big contributors to this intimidation is the sheer number of pieces that these games tend to have. While Northern Pacific does contain several cubes, it couldn’t be simpler. Northern Pacific is a great introduction to route building and the fun of bidding on something that may not be a safe investment!

Video Reviews

Don’t Turn Your Back

Welcome to the Mad City. You were asleep but now, now you’re awake and you have to deal with the horrors and nightmares that surround you. But you were given a glimmer of hope in escaping this hellish world: gaining the favor of the Wax King. Don’t Turn Your Back is a combination worker placement and deck building game with points gained during the game as well as having a point burst at the end of the game. Its dark theme is embodied in the nightmares that comprise of your deck. This game has an utterly unique approach to worker placement and a fun dynamic that draws me in every time. Continue Reading →

Written Reviews

Battle Sheep

After making this game out of cookies, it seems only right to give Battle Sheep a board game spotlight! Battle Sheep is a great abstract game that has a cute theme and can be absolutely brutal in it’s playstyle. Stacks of sheep roam the fields and take over the pasture, spreading out as far as they can while blocking in their opponents. This game is fast paced, easy to learn and play, and great for gamers of any experience! Continue Reading →