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What We’ve Been Playing June 2022

lost cities

What a month it’s been for the board game community, read on to see what some of our bloggers have to say…

Neil Proctor

June has seen me playing two classic older games and one newish game which, coincidentally, two out of the three are from the same prolific designer.

My City from Thames & Kosmos is a legacy game from the mind of Reiner Knizia in the style of a flip and fill polyomino game. I played this exclusively at the two player count and enjoyed every single episode. Going into the last round we had equal points and the final score difference was a scream inducing two. Highly recommended if you like polyomino style games.

Also from the mind of Reiner Knizia is the classic Lost Cities the card game once again from Thames & Kosmos. This two player set collection game has been an instant hit in my house. The games are so quick, there is a push your luck element as the end game can sneak up, and you are always trying to out think your opponent. A brilliant game that should be in everyone’s collection.

Thanks to a restock at Zatu I finally got my hands on For Sale by Stefan Dorra from Eagle-Gryphon Games. So many good things have been written about this game and it is easy to see why. This is a bidding and bluffing game for 3 to 6 players where you first bid for ownership of properties before using the same properties in the second part of the game to sell them for profit. It has very easy rules and I look forward to teaching this game to friends and family.

Next month I hope to finally clear my backlog of unplayed games. I am down to just two (pending any new orders I might make) which are Abyss and Libertalia Winds of Galecrest.

Luke Pickles

June has been and gone and what a month it has been for me and my board games. As the midpoint of the year comes to a close, I’ve found I have played (and recorded) 191 games since the turn of the year, and June was my busiest! 63 games played with 42 wins means it was also my most successful gaming month so yay for me!

But what in those 63 games stood out most to me? Well, Maglev Metro made a huge impression on me just before the Jubilee weekend. Some may be saying “yet another train game” but no! Maglev Metro is a very clever engine builder with a pick-up-and-deliver and tile laying throw into the mix, where you are trying to build the most efficient maglev system.

Tapestry also made its way into my list as the most played game of the month, as I introduced it to a friend who absolutely loved it. But the game which has gotten me most excited about a series of games is Unmatched: Redemption Row!

This is one of the two Marvel influenced sets of Unmatched, the other being Hell’s Kitchen, and features Luke Cage, Ghost Rider and Moon Knight as combatants in an unparalleled card driven skirmish game. I had been very excited to try Unmatched after seeing some of the characters played in the Cobble & Fog and Battle of Legends Vol. 1 sets and having that IP attached gave me a good reason to pick it up and introduce it to my partner. Luke Cage facing off against Ghost Rider… I felt confident in my abilities with the Spirit of Vengeance but it turned out that hellfire is no match for the man with the unbreakable skin. Which really should’ve surprised no-one but hey.

Daniel Hilton

I first came across Glow whilst perusing the offerings on BGA. I was instantly hooked by the game’s visuals. I mean look at it! It is absolutely drool worthy. After learning how to play and testing it for myself, I was so relieved that it was a game worthy of its visuals. Even though I played it plenty online, it was a game that I just had to own for myself. It was a simple case of fate when I noticed Zatu had it for offer during the UKGE.

Glow is a simple game of dice rolling and mitigation. But it is easily my favourite of its ilk. Every character starts with a unique set of dice that will play out slightly differently. And each of the characters also have their own ability to trigger. Every turn you will be recruiting other creatures to join you, each with their own abilities to trigger. And triggering these abilities depend on the symbols you roll on the dice.

The trick to Glow is to try and build a small army whose abilities all work in tandem with each other. After recruiting help, you will then travel on the board, also depending on what symbols you have rolled. The further you get, the more end of game points you will score.

The best part about Glow comes during the creature selection phase. As each turn players will be rolling a handful of smaller dice that will be dispersed across the available creatures -again- depending on the symbols rolled. Then whenever you select a creature to recruit, you will also gain the smaller dice on it for the turn. This can make decisions harder as you often need to choose between taking a creature that compliments the engine you are building, or one with lots of dice to utilise.

Stefano Paravisi

Luck obviously plays a big part in the game, which can be mitigated with re-roll tokens. You can even choose to sacrifice some points, move back on the track and re-roll again. Glow is a simple little game. But it is themed and presented in such an easily consumed package. If you are a fan of dice rolling and stylised aesthetics, then there is much to love with Glow.

June has been a great month, mostly focused on some family favourite games and a couple of new great ones.

I knew the month was off to a great start when my son decided we needed to play more Clash of culture monumental edition. The new edition miniatures are a great improvement to the game and they have a great visual impact on the game.

To make my month even better, I finally got my hands on Dice Theme Park. My family and I loved Dice Hospital and we have been eagerly waiting to play its former successor for a while.

Both titles are great dice manipulation board games and they obviously share some common mechanics. For example, mascots are closely related to the specialists in Dice Hospital.

The big difference between the two lies in the way dice could score. In particular, in Dice Theme Park, dice are not treated individually (pun intended). To win in the new game you need to plan how and where dice will move to ensure to have the right combination to operate your attractions. Moreover, each attraction could be improved to generate for example more victory points or more money. Overall, the new game is a bit more challenging than the other one and this is great!

This month, I also decided to buy Cartographers: A roll Player Tale on time for the term Holidays. I won Cartographer Heroes a while ago and getting both titles of the series was a great idea. These games are very fast and could easily bring friends and family together. Mixing the two titles improve both variability and game play and, ultimately, the fun. Word of experience: make sure you set apart some colour pencils as it is great fun to make the maps in colour.

Rob Wright

What a month it has been! UKGE! Games Events Galore! UKGE! Pre-orders dropping left, right and centre! UKGE! Hardly any time for actual gaming at all…

Joking, of course. There’s been a hod load of gaming and a hod load of games, but there have been a few that have been hitting the table more than others. First up is the ‘where have you been all my life, battle Yahtzee?’ game, Dice Throne. This has been a revelation – lots of variety in the characters, lots of upgrades and a very simple to pick up mechanic: play cards, roll dice, hit stuff, repeat. Do I really need another dice game in my life? Does Boris Johnson not possess a comb?

Next up is the deck-building-worker-placing-army-smashing-back-stabbing fun fest that is Dune Imperium – finally got it to a table with a bunch of like-minded enthusiasts in a church in Ilkley, playing against my mate who luuuuuvs deck-builders and euros (he does not) and the vicar of said church. Result? I won, my friend desperately wants to play it again and I believe I have been excommunicated. Ah well, such is the ragged and tattered state of my immortal soul…

But life isn’t always about the ‘smash your mates, have a laugh’ games. Sometimes we all become better people if we work together to smash your enemies and have a laugh. Heroes of Tenefyr is a co-operative deckbuilding dungeon crawler for one to four players that sees a group of adventurers (Barbarian, Cleric, Thief and… Bard) brave the terrors of the dungeon before facing the fearsome boss of said dungeon. Standard.

The newy newness of this game, though, is that each monster you defeat in the dungeon flips on its head and becomes a card in the deck of the hero who struck the fatal blow. With some cards being better for some heroes than other, sometimes it is better to step out of the fight to let others claim the glory. Yay for co-operation! So good that I went ahead and got the expansion, which makes it even better but also demonstrates that I will never learn…