Board Gaming, Randomly Awesome

My Game Wishlist: Enough is never enough

Welcome to Hell, kid.
Welcome to Hell, kid.

“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess” – Oscar Wilde

This past weekend was pretty fantastic. I took my daughter to a boardgame event where she played her first game of Settlers of Catan. After establishing her dominance several times at Catan Junior, I felt it was time she graduated to the big leagues. She kept up with it pretty well and is excited to play again. I attended the birthday party of a friend’s daughter where we managed to sneak in a few games of Straw and Dungeon Roll.

As we were leaving, my friend surprised me with a birthday present (it’s next week) in the form of Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery with an expansion to it. He’s been geeking out about this game for a while and gleefully refers to it as “a friendship ender.” After reading about it, I’m very excited to play it.

This unexpected addition to my hoard, my upcoming birthday and the holiday season in general got me thinking about games I want to add to my collection. I’m posting them here not just to start conversation, but to remind myself of what they are because I routinely forget what they are.

I’ve had my eye on Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small for a while. It was advertised as a lighter two player version of the game, and it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the full version. Honestly, I really love Agricola as a two player game. Does this have anything more to offer me? Is it worth me picking up? I do like having a good stable of two player specific games. In addition to any number of other activities, I enjoy playing games with my partner, and eventually, I’m going to get one of those.

Look at how much fun they are having CLEARLY not posed for this picture!
Look at how much fun they are having CLEARLY not posed for this picture!

I saw Click Clack Lumberjack being played at the same event I referenced earlier. I didn’t get to play (as I was too busy Nurgling it up Chaos-style at another table) but watching it being played looked like a lot of fun. And how many dexterity-based games become more fun when drinking? Well, probably all of them, but this one looked extra fantastic.

Two games in, neither one played, both I am chomping at the bit to own. Addiction much?

Make that three. While I was teaching my daughter how not to trade with every offer made to her, I overheard people at another table playing Bang! The Dice Game. I’ve never played Bang! in any variant, but I am a fan of the hidden role/social deduction genre. This one comes in at a pretty reasonable price point too, and talking to the players was very well received.

Speaking of games very well received, let’s discuss the white whale, Terra Mystica. I’ve been (un)fortunate enough to SEE this game played a few times, and every opportunity to play myself has seen cruel fate and circumstance intervene. Well, no worries, I’ll just go get myself a copy and make it happen, right? Oh no, how very very wrong. This game is harder to find than a geek who doesn’t like Firefly. Harder to find than a competitive level Magic player who isn’t a complete douche. Harder to find than the ending credits of Battletoads. You get the point. A resource management/territory building game with heavy fantasy elements, asymmetrical player abilities and multiple paths to gain victory points. Yum. Honestly, this game had me at asymmetrical.

Between a review by one of the slave writers here and hearing people talk about it, I need to get on board with King of Tokyo. I hear it’s light, fun, and “Yahtzee for gamers” which makes it a good call for the kid. I’ve never heard anyone speak badly about this game. Not every game needs to be heavy.

I witnessed Rise of Augustus played at GenCon, which my friend Curt described as light, fun and “Bingo for Gamers”. It’s picked up a number of awards, and while I refrained from playing that night, reading up on it, I wish I would have.

Do I actually want any games that I actually have played? Absolutely.

Scoundrels of Skullport is the expansion to a game I talked about a million years ago, Lords of Waterdeep I’ve gotten to play with this a few times, and I think it added a lot to the game. I enjoyed the game before, and seeing as one of my game groups is not Agricola-friendly but IS Lords of Waterdeep friendly (I guess theme really does matter, I guess, even though Agricola is the superior game in my estimation) I guess I should get it. The risk/reward elements of Corruption are fun, and the super quests of Undermountain cause for some big dramatic swings.

I got off on a bad foot with 7 Wonders, but after a few more games, I really understand the hype surrounding this fantastic game. However, I don’t own the Cities or Leaders expansions, and after playing with them, I have to have them. They are exemplary expansions to an exemplary game. How can you go back to the farm after seeing the lights of the big city?

I had the good fortune to play Hanabi, a curious little deduction game where you have to build specifically ordered color sets of cards, but you have to do so never seeing the cards in your hand. Fortunately, everyone else can. They can give you somewhat helpful clues as to the contents of your hand, but the availability of these clues are in short supply. It’s engaging, fun, and good for non-gamers, which makes it a total gem to have in your collection. Totally worth the hype.

COME. ON. LOOK AT THAT.
COME. ON. LOOK AT THAT.

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar had me the first time I saw the board. That’s all it took. Yes, there’s a lot going on to keep track of, and while learning to play the game isn’t overly difficult, I think learning to play it well will be. I’ve only played once, which was enough to get me hooked, and I won my first game (with a little help) so maybe I should retire and claim that I have never lost a game of Tzolkin and change the subject as soon as it turns to how many games I have played.

Lastly, my appreciation for game masochism is well documented by my love for Agricola, Robinson Crusoe and most recently Ghost Stories, so it only makes sense that I add the delightful Pandemic to my collection. This is another game that I’ve only played once and got to see how awesome it is and won. From what I read and discuss with other enthusiasts of the game, this is not typical, the winning of the game.

I have not been back to Kickstarter in a while, but the games I have backed are rolling in. I backed a project a while ago, simply as a thank you to Daniel Solis, as a thank you for his insightful design blog. Hopefully his game Belle of the Ball is good times. Compounded showed up last week, and some time in my future comes Euphoria, Machine of Death, Democracy, Coup, Archon, Xia: Legends of a Drift System, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance, Gear & Piston and The Great Fire of London. I managed to curb my lust for Cthulhu Wars, and I’m not even sure how.

Jeez. Maybe I should develop a heroin habit to save money.

What games are on your wishlist? Any recommendations? PLEASE DON’T MAKE THEM I HAVE A PROBLEM.

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12 thoughts on “My Game Wishlist: Enough is never enough

  1. I’m looking forward to adding to my Thunderstone Advanced collection with the newly released Numenera edition. The Thunderstone Advanced group is new to our gamer collective and so far fairly popular.

    And I will second and third the King of Tokyo recommendation. Up next is the Power Up Expansion with permanent monster evolution cards, sounds awesome! It is actually completely easy for the 8 year old to play he enjoys beating us. The two person version is much more brutal than the group game, just FYI.

    And we are also slow to Dominion, so I believe that the Intrigue expansion is up next. That’s all we’ve been craving lately.

    1. I’m in a unique position to say that Thunderstone Advance: Numenera is really fantastic. If you’re a fan of the game, you’ll love that set. I’m going to try to get on King of Tokyo soon. Dominion is still a great game, and Intrigue added a LOT to it. It’s a solid call.

  2. Terra Mystica is by far my favorite game. I could ramble on forever about what a well-balance, strategic, planning ahead, game it is but I feel like I’ll just be rubbing it in that I have played it and you have not.

    I have not played Agricola but from what I’ve read, I have heard that it’s not exactly the same play as All Creatures Big and Small. I’ve been on a kick of 2 player games lately and All Creatures Big and Small is in my top 5 favorite 2 player games.

    Recommendations? You don’t want my recommendations, it’ll just make you want to spend more money. However, I did notice you have not mentioned Keyflower. Worker-placement/Bidding/Tile placement.

    1. Someday I will play it, someday I will own it. Your rambling will go better if I understand what the hell you’re talking about though. Reading about the game is a poor substitute for playing it.

      Agricola is so good. So good. Seriously, break it out at your next game night. I’ve heard ACBaS is less brutal. I enjoy the brutality of Agricola, but I am interested to see how engaging the gameplay is for this version. It comes highly recommended by many though.

      I am still on the fence about Keyflower. It’s neat, but I have only played it once and didn’t get the best feel for it. I enjoyed it, but after one game, I was not like “ZOMG I MUST HAVE THIS.”

  3. Here is someone saying something bad about King of Toyko.
    The expansion has balance issues.
    The base game all the characters are the same, and it can loser so replay value eventually, so I was excited about the expandtion customizing the monsters. I think all of them have some pretty broke ass monster specific evolutions, but some have more of them than others. Again you lose replay value. I have heard of people drafting evolutions, but that takes a lot of game knowledge. Our currrent working solution, shuffle all those fuckers up in one pile and draw off the top of the deck when you evolve. The jury is still out.

    Current game I’m in love with Zombicide.

    1. How quickly do you encounter burnout with King of Tokyo? Replay value is less of an issue if the game doesn’t always make it to the table. I’ll keep this in mind though and if it gets bad, I’ll try your random evolution method.

      I’ve heard a lot about Zombicide, but haven’t actually researched or played myself. What’s so lovable about it?

      1. We played it a lot for about 2 months. well worth the money. I believe I was one of the people pushing you to buy it, I still am. You said something like nobody has had anything bad to say about it to you, so this is the bad. I play the basic game with my friend and his 5 year old. Pretty sure you can play with your daughter, worth it if just for that.

        Zombicide is a co-op 2-6 player game (hint hint: thats a lie, it’s a 5 or 6 player game as far as I can tell, less people and you are screwed). The playable characters are tropes from horror/adventure/action movies. The basic game comes with a Rickish guy, a Glenish guy, a kurt russel from falling downish guy. Promos so far include ash, machete, die hard. Everyone has a unique ability, There are 100 different scenarios, I have only played a few and I think they keep adding more. The win condition changes with the scenario. Usually it’s survive x turns, sometimes do x and survive x turns. Mostly everyone dies

  4. I will also “up vote” King of Tokyo. I want the explanation just for the giant panda! I have yet to burn out on the base game. With the ability cards random and different players play styles, not to mention the dice rolling, it’s just not the same game every time. Of course, like anything, if you over play it then it could get old.

    Pandemic is one of my faves, I just don’t get to play often. Apparently losing is a turn off for some in my circle. I bought the first expansion for it and have yet to try it out. Castle Panic falls in this category as well, but it’s a little too random for my tastes.

    We’ve just started playing Agricola, and I am deeply in love. I haven’t played the “All Creatures” version, so can’t comment on it. I still need to suck in my friends to the joys of farming in the Dark Ages.

    If you haven’t played Power Grid yet, I recommend it. It’s in my top 5 favorite games.

    1. Since the writing of this post, I added King of Tokyo (as well as both the Power Up and Halloween expansions) to my collection, the Bang! Dice Game, aaaaaand Terra Mystica (!!!) I got to play King of Tokyo for the first time this past weekend, and I have to say, it was pretty fun. I foresee a lot of mileage coming from that one. My daughter’s reaction to the first game of it was “I won King of Tokyo? I can’t even believe it.”

      I haven’t played or researched Castle Panic yet, and I enjoyed Pandemic, but if you haven’t figured it out yet from my taste in other games, I kind of enjoy losing. Which explains my ongoing love affair with Agricola. I’ve won more games of Agricola than I have lost, by no small margin, but it is never ever an easy win. I saw a quote on Reddit that made me giggle and I felt was pretty apt. “I always feel with Agricola that it takes X turns to win. You have X – 3 turns to play”

      I have Power Grid and I enjoy it, though it needs to make it to the table more often.

  5. StarCraft board game is my favorite. It is quite similar to recent game Forbidden Stars, but still I like it more, because of dice absence. I bet it could be also on many players wish list as its quite hard to get nowadays.
    Otherwise I recommend Dominion to play with your daughter, it is quite fun and easy to learn.

    1. I haven’t played Forbidden Stars but my friend and occasional guest Jamey says that he wishes the game were ONLY the combat. He loooooves the combat but finds the rest of the game tedious. I actually gifted my Dominion collection to a friend, but I may cut my daughter’s deck building teeth with Hero Realms, it should be coming in the mail soon. 🙂

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