Return of Saturday gaming

Last Saturday was my first all-day Game Day of the year. It was nice to get back into the swing of things, especially since I felt like the new year came and went so quickly because I got sick.

I attended Game Day with my biweekly group, and boy did I get a lot of gaming in! What made it especially fun, too, was that all my favorite gamers were free that day to play along as well. We all started with a light game of Mysterium. I was not the ghost this time, which was a bit of a relief. There’s so much pressure to guide the investigators to the correct item, location or suspect. Sadly, we ended up losing as not all 6 investigators were able to pick the correct items.

My copy of Le Havre so rarely gets played, so it was nice to be able to bust it out on Game Day.
My copy of Le Havre rarely gets played, so it was nice to be able to bust it out on Game Day.

Next up was Le Havre, which is a game I own and love, but so rarely gets to the table. It’s on the longer end, with gaming time up to 210 minutes, according to the box. The game is designed by Uwe Rosenberg, who I think is a board-gaming genius and my favorite game designer of all time. If I ever met him in real life, I’d totally geek out and be all fan girl, and try to pick apart his brain at how he comes up with such amazing heavy, heavy eurogames. A couple of other games under his belt include Caverna, Agricola and Ora et Labora. All super heavy. All of them I love to play. All solid games.

Anyway, in Le Havre, your little boat moves along the board, and with each turn, new resources are placed on the board. On your turn, you can collect resources, or you can spend your resources to build buildings or convert your resources for more precious items. Also, you can collect resources to build boats and ship your items out in order to make money. At the end of each round, you must be able to feed your workers with money or food, or else you take a debt card. The amount of food you need at the end of each round gets larger. The person with the most money at the end in addition to the value of their buildings wins the game. I unfortunately did not win this game. Alas.

Here are some of the icons in Concept to help the group guess the item, person or phrase.
Here are some of the icons in Concept to help the group guess the item, person or phrase.

After that brain burner, I played a light party game called Concept. This game is fairly new, and for a party game, it has some pretty good depth. Much like Mysterium, one person is trying to get the group to guess a phrase, item or thing through word association by playing tokens on icons on a board. It’s easy to grasp if you understand how the person thinks, but can be frustrating if you and them are totally not on the same brainwave. In your head, the clues are totally clear, but sometimes people are just staring at you because your clues aren’t helping!

"Are you a Cylon? I bet you are!" is basically every other line uttered during a game of Battlestar Galactica.
“Are you a Cylon?” is basically every other line uttered during a game of Battlestar Galactica.

Next up was Battlestar Galactica, a game I love, love playing! Also, for those with a good memory, it’s the game I sadly loss during a white elephant in December. BSG is a semi-cooperative game where the players are trying to fight Cylons and conserve their resources in order to get to their destination. But there are hidden Cylons in the game, so you don’t know if your playing partner has the humans’ best interest in mind. The board game perfectly captures the mistrust, intrigue and sense of urgency that is evident in the 2004 reboot of the series.

Players can pick a character from the show to play, which includes various political leaders, military, support or pilots. Cylon Basestars appear on the board and you are trying to mitigate damage to Galactica, all the while the secret Cylons are sabotaging missions and trying to deplete valuable resources. Plus, halfway through the game, sleeper Cylons are activated, so while you may have been human in the first half, now your mission is to destroy the ship. It’s great how the dynamic shifts, and how everybody is always suspicious of everybody else. Accusations are constantly flying!

I was a human until about 85% through the game. At that point, the Cylon decided to reveal himself, and then because he had 2 Cylon cards, he chose to activate another player, which was me, and I was super sad because the humans were totally winning. I quickly changed my strategy to try to rally for the Cylons. It came down to one last battle, and one of the resources landed at 1 instead of zero, which meant the humans won. Fun times were had by all.

Sheriff of Nottingham is all about trying to bribe the sheriff to sneak in contraband.
Sheriff of Nottingham is all about trying to sneak in contraband and not getting caught.

The last game of the night was Sheriff of Nottingham, which I was first introduced to at BGG Con. It’s all about bluffing and bribing your way to sneak illegal items to your market. Each player plays the sheriff twice, and when you’re not the sheriff, you’re drawing cards and putting them into your little baggie. When the sheriff comes by, you declare what goods are in your bag. If the sheriff believes you, he returns your bag without opening it. If he doesn’t believe you, he opens the bag. If he finds legal goods, he pays you for opening your bag. If he finds illegal goods, you pay him for those items and they are taken away.

Now the shenanigans happen when you bribe the sheriff into not opening your bag, or opening somebody else’s bag. Or maybe you offer some money for the sheriff to not open your bag, but really, you want him to open you bag, because you’ll get paid a lot for those legal goods. In the end, whatever makes it to your market, legal or illegal goods, you count them up. The person with the most items in each category gets points, and the person with the most victory points wins.

Well, that wrapped up my Saturday Game Day. I think that post was a little longer than usual, but I wanted to talk about all the games I played that day. How was everybody weekend otherwise?


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