With it being the first week of November, there is just a bit over 8 weeks remaining in 2014. I currently have 16 remaining games on the list. That means 2 per week for the rest of the year if I am going to make it (look ma, I can do math)! I tried to get a couple of games played this weekend after cleaning the Halloween decorations, but I didn’t get them completed for one reason or another. The first game was Magic Realm and that was due to the fact that I have always played that on the computer and there is a lot of setup/game play that I am going to have to re-learn if I am going to have any chance to play a worthwhile game. The second is Deadzone – I am still trying to muddle through putting all the miniatures from the Kickstarter that was delivered to my house around Christmas 2013 (honestly I believe is more of a miniatures game than a board game, but I put it on the list because I really want to play it – it was a long time joke with a good friend of mine who sadly moved away). The last is Power Grid, I had thought that I was going to play this one with two ‘robot’ players, but in the end, I felt that it would be better to play this one with at least a second human player (that’s what the robot expansion is actually supposed to do – allow two players play a game of Power Grid).
The first game off the list is Evolution. This was a game that I Kickstarted after Origins where I had played a demo of it. The game is easy to learn and play, but there is so much player interaction that it keeps you on your guard for what other players are doing. Each round, all players gain trait cards equal to three plus the number of their active species. Each player must select one card to determine the amount of food that will be present at the watering hole in the upcoming feeding phase (note that this will be where all herbivores will get the food to survive the feeding phase). Then starting with the first player, cards can be played to: add the trait to a species in front of you to a maximum of three traits, increase the population or body size of a species and lastly add a new species. Once that is complete for all players, the cards that each player added to the watering hole are turned over and food added (or subtracted) for the round. Then the first player picks one of their species to feed with a single food token. Play continues until all food is gone or until all species are full (all animals eat up to their population). One of the trait cards is carnivore – a carnivore can never eat food from the watering hole, it must attack one of the other species on the board (even your own if needs be). At the end of the round, all food tokens that your animals consumed are placed into a scoring bag. Once all the trait cards are played through once, the game ends with the winning player the person who has accumulated the most food tokens and the populations of any active species. This game is very fun and I can’t recommend it enough. For every animal that one can create, there is a counter for it. You must constantly shift your animals to get the most food each turn without being eaten by the carnivores. I really am glad that I Kickstarted this one.
Actually, now that I think about it – both games that I played this week were games recently received that I had backed on Kickstarter. The second one was Arcadia Quest. I backed this one as an impulse due to the amount of stretch goals that had been unlocked during the campaign and the miniatures (the minis for this game are in the chibi style that I really liked from Super Dungeon Explore – since both were published at the time by Cool Mini or Not, I was hoping that there would be a crossover for the heroes and monsters in both games – sadly that has yet to happen). The game is played as a series of six missions to retake a conquered city from evil forces. Only the winner of the last mission (the final battle against the evil conqueror – Lord Fang) actually wins the game, the first 5 missions are just to gain loot and titles to ake your characters better for the final showdown. A player controls a guild of three heroes each with a special ability. Once outfitted with basic items, the players pick a mission and play until someone completes three missions. As there are only two PVE quests and up to four PVP (depending on the number of players), you are going to have to kill the other players’ heroes at some point. Once the mission is complete, each guild has a selection of items that they can use their acquired gold to purchase. I thought that it was going to be an okay game with cool miniatures, but what I found out is that the game mechanics make for a very fun and strategic game. This is one game that I’m glad that I jumped on the Kickstarter – I have more heroes and a full three campaigns to play through!
Since I am getting to the end of my mission, I got to thinking about how I would rate all my games. What would I put into my top 25, my top 10? I can safely say that I have played all of them recently (pending I can get those last 16 finished). I imagine that my choices will mirror that of boardgamegeek.com but there might be some that are radically different. Perhaps that might be a fun ending to this year’s mission.
Until next time – Play a Game!