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One of Raine's biggest hobbies has always been gaming. It all started with an Atari and spread out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons. As an artist, Raine takes pride in painting models for games as well as making his own terrain. He's also been a writer for many years, working both in the journalism industry and writing pieces of fiction. He decided to create Initiative : Tabletop as a platform to talk about all things gaming that he simply thought were cool, and reviewing games became a part of it!

Guest Post: The Plan – Part 14: An Old and Forgotten Friend

The local game store had a game auction this past weekend and I got to thinking about the game collection. Doing this weekly column on top of trying to play every game I own has many of the games that I own on the radar. Most of the time, it is due to the fact that I am trying to decide what games I am going to attempt to get finished this upcoming week or more likely, what game am I going to press my friends into playing. Thus, I didn’t make it over to the game auction neither to sell any games nor to buy any. In the end, I am sad and glad that I didn’t make it. There was a box of games and books that I would have liked to add to the auction, but since I have been culling my gaming collection every year for a while now, my selection is pretty minimalistic (although you might state that 100+ games is a bit much, I have my own ideas – maybe that’s a discussion for another time). Note to Kickstarter – I have to formally separate from you for a couple of months – I have 15 games (both board and computer) that I am waiting for with the list growing by 4 in the last month (Arcadia Quest, Super Dungeon Explore, Mercs: Recon & Sentinels: Tactics). So, can we have a couple of months that aren’t must have games so I can save some money for Origins – please Kickstarter!

Only two games off the list, but a couple of notable ones played (one of which is one of the waiting Kickstarter games from above so that kinda counts – right?). The first game is Puerto Rico – One of the first role selection games that I played. I’m not sure how much I should explain about game play. If you are reading this and haven’t played this one yet, go play it. I will say that since everyone is able to do the selected action when you choose a role (you do get a benefit of course), the choices are tough throughout the game. There is a reason this is number 4 on top listed games on boardgamegeek.com! Just note that an inexperience player can tip the balance of this one to the person seated on their left (or so I’ve been told).

Puerto Rico Brendan

The second was Bananagrams – this easy to understand tile laying game was played on Easter with my parents. Nothing to write home about, but we didn’t have a lot of time before they had to leave and since my dad really likes Scrabble (that’s Words with Friends for the younger and non-gamer generation), I figured it was a perfect choice. After the fact, I think I will add the following scoring rules. Once complete – you get a point for a 3 or 4 letter word, 2 points for a 4 or 5 letter word and so on. The winner gets an additional point for each un-played tile from the other players. An illegal word (per the Scrabble rules) scores -2 points. Play to 75 or so points.

Bananagrams: In the middle of a game – currently this would be 11 points in the above scoring rules.

Bananagrams: In the middle of a game – currently this would be 11 points in the above scoring rules.

Other non-list gaming:

I had the chance to play Rampage – I must say it is a fun to play. Players take the role of giant monsters trying to destroy a city. On your turn, you have two actions – these include but aren’t limited to: movement (flicking your feet token about the board) and demolish (literally picking up your monster token and dropping it onto a building -made with tiles interlaced with meeples). After your two actions, you get to remove meeples equal to the number of ‘teeth’ your monster has left. Victory points are scored for a complete set of six meeples, floors destroyed and opponent teeth eaten. Nothing is more glorious then dropping your monster on a building and seeing the meeples zip across (and off) the board.

Lastly, I got to play Wok Star – this little gem was first produced in a couple of limited print runs before a game publisher picked up the rights, but decided not to produce it. It finally made its way back to the designer who went with a different publisher. Sadly, it’s a delayed Kickstarter game that I hope to have before the year is out -here’s to hoping. The game itself is a great co-op board game where each player is a cook in a Chinese restaurant. Each game round starts by flipping a customer card with an order on it and a timer! Then dice are rolled which are used to buy ingredients and player scramble to make the needed order (each player is in control of certain recipes). Once complete, you check the timer. If there is time remaining, you will get paid – if not, you keep the customer happy by giving them the order for free. Play continues for the round until all the customers are served or turned away. After five rounds, players check the amount of money they had total to see if they saved their restaurant.

The first game – Puerto Rico, I have had in my collection every since it came out in 2002. After all these years, I still enjoy it and on the way home from playing it, I was glad it was still in my collection. It’s just too bad it doesn’t get to the table more often – it really should. It’s had numerous chances to be sold at an auction, but I always remember the enjoyment of the game and I decide to keep it – I’m glad I have. The second game wasn’t actually on the list – I have had it a while but for some reason, it never got added to my collection on BGG – I’m going to have to go through it again to ensure I’m not missing any additional game. Bananagrams is not going to win any major awards, but on Easter Day with my parents – it was the perfect game.

Until next time – Play a game!

Brendan Mayhugh


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