It’s been a depressing few months, and it’ll be even more depressing come Friday, but, hey, at least we can escape from the harsh reality of real life by playing board games, right? So … let’s all go back in time to 1960 to a very different presidential race that came down to Richard Nixon vs. John F. Kennedy.
So I turned 36 last Sunday. Eeeeks. I can’t even fudge it a bit and say I’m in my early 30s. It’s all good. I’m here to officially embrace my late 30s. And I’d like to think I don’t look like I’m 36. (Don’t answer that). Anywho …. I celebrated with my framily (my Phoenix friends who are my family), and my board-gamer peeps. And what’s the best way to celebrate? With food, desserts and a Takenoko Tournament!
A friend of mine recently let me borrow a few games since he’s been fairly busy recently. One game I now have in my possession is Concordia. I love this game — and it’s been on my wishlist forever — but I have never got around to buying it. Maybe a new gift card to my friendly local game store will soon remedy that?
Anyway, Concordia has a great mix of board-game mechanics: resource management, deck building, set collecting and point-to-point movement along a colorful map. The artwork on the box isn’t too exciting (and doesn’t really convey what the game exactly does), but, believe me, the game is solid. And, the rule book is 2 front-to-back pages, and one setup sheet. That’s seriously just 5 pages for a medium-heavy board game. Mind blown!
I recently played Trajan a couple of times, and I’ll admit it … it’s pretty fantastic. It’s a Stefan Feld game, and, honestly, I don’t have much experience with his games, as my favorite board-game designer is Uwe Rosenberg. I feel like serious board-gamers have their go-to guy who they’re just obsessed with: Rosenberg, Feld and Bruno Cathala, who designed Five Tribes.
Anyway, before we start talking about Trajan, I’ve entered a board-game contest with Passport Game Studios. Please vote for my photo; the contest ends at April 29, 2016, at midnight. Vote here through this link. Thanks, friends!
So I’m a total sucker for all things cute … and giant pandas are no exception. Takenoko itself is a solid medium-heavy game that I’m always down to play, so when I saw an online deal on the Takenoko Collector’s Edition last year, I quickly jumped on that cuddly bad boy. It quite possibly is the largest chunk of change I’ve spent on one. single. board. game. And honestly, I have no regrets …
I purchased Orleans with my game winnings when I was at Strategicon, and I’ve played this game twice already within the past week. It has quickly become a game-night favorite. Orleans plays 2-4 people and lasts about 90 minutes. It’s a medium-heavy worker-placement bag-building game, and, best of all, it isn’t too hard to teach. A friend of mine had said he was initially turned off by what looked like a really busy game board, but once game play was explained, he said it’s actually not that hard to learn. Winning the game, on the other hand, requires planning efficient moves.
It’s been a busy week or so being out of town for my cousin’s wedding in LA, but now I’m back! Well, at least until Christmas vacation. I finally got a chance to get Mombasa on my table during last night’s game night. My two friends came over (we unfortunately couldn’t find a 4th player), but the night went well and my friends enjoyed it! Success! I always get a little nervous being the only person teaching a game as I’m afraid if I don’t teach the game properly, it could affect their judgment against a game that’s otherwise awesome. But I’m lucky I got to do a demo at BGG Con as well as play an entire game (albeit we got a lot of the game rules wrong) so I already had experience playing it. Plus, I read, read and reread the rulesbook so I could quickly answer questions.
The user @theboardgeek started this hashtag #mytop9boardgames a few days ago on Instagram, and I decided to jump on it and create my own photo grid. I hadn’t actually thought to write down my list in a while. There are just so many games out there! And of course, as you get deeper into the hobby, your tastes and preferences change. If you check out the list, I totally love heavy, crunchy games.
I swear I must’ve been a farmer in a previous life because a few of my favorite board games deal with farming. Games such as Agricola, Scoville and Bohnanza. Or maybe I’m just so head over heels over rock-star-game-designer-extraordinaire Uwe Rosenberg that if he loves farming, then so do I! Fun fact: the title of the game is a play on the word bean in German, which is bohne. And all the beans have funny little personalities from the cool artwork.
Bohnanza is Rosenberg’s first game, way back in 1997. That’s pretty ancient in the board-game world. The version I have, published by Rio Grande Games, game out in 2000. In the small print on the rule book, the Rio Grande email address is still an aol account. Hee hee, how times have changed since this was published! Bohnanza plays 2-7 players and lasts about 45 minutes. The goal of the game is for each player to plant beans in 2 or 3 bean fields and try to sell them for the most money. The player with the most money after 3 rounds wins the game.
Kanban is one of my more recent purchases and it’s taken me a while to bring it up here on the blog since it’s such a heavy, heavy game and I want to do it justice when talking about it. When you first open the box, there are a million little pieces, including car meeples! Brace yourself, folks, this is a long write-up.
Kanban: Automotive Revolution is a 2-4 player game that plays about 90 to 120 minutes. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, that totally doesn’t factor into explaining the rules for the first time, which, when I first was introduced to it, the rules explanation took seriously nearly 2 hours. The setting is a car factory assembly line. The game at its core is worker placement. You are placing your one worker on a spot in order to activate an action within one of five rooms. And then there’s Sandra, the factory manager who is represented by the pink meeple, checking up on workers’ progress and keeping the factory running efficiently.