EDITORS NOTE: Sorry it's late guys... Anyways, here's what we've been playing for March!
March: in like the Jaws of the Lion, out like someone who should curb his games habit. Come on, it was Airecon AND my birthday, what’s a geek to do?
March has been an interesting month for gaming as I have finally got a game I should have been playing to the table, been gifted a game that has been on my wish list for as long as I’d known it existed and obtained a game which may well endanger my immortal soul, but is a lot of fun.
First off, Undaunted – if you know, you know; if you don’t - wow, what a game! I have been waiting for the right situation to play this and finally have a compadre to replay the North Africa campaign with. Undaunted is a war game, but a deck-builder war game and the combination works really well. I look forward to playing more of this.
On the theme of deck-builders, a dear friend gave me my grail game for my birthday – Paperback. Paperback is a mix of Scrabble and Dominion – a deck-builder word game, if you will. I love deck-builders… really love deck-builders… and I think I’m okay with words. I think (My blogs might be wot proves otherwise). Imagine Scrabble with combos. Yeah, pretty sweet.
Then there is the game that has claimed my soul – Let’s Summon Demons. This game is based on one of Steven Rhodes’ imaginary inappropriate children’s books (including Living Well (is the best revenge) and Cryptozoology for Beginners) – look him up, he’s amusing. Let’s Summon Demons plays like a simplified but portable version of Space Base, complete with one game-breaking card and a host of characters that sail dangerously close to the seas of litigation (who could Rotten Donnie be referring to). I do suspect that it is cursed though, as I put my back out the day after buying it. Probably just a coinci[clunk]…
This year I started two campaign games with friends, Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion and Undaunted: Normandy. This month saw my group finish the last 'tutorial' scenario of Jaws of the Lion and move on to scenario 6, while the three games of Undaunted Normandy I played have taken the campaign to four wins each. Solo, I’ve just finished the Mad Titans Shadow for Marvel Champions and am excited to start the Sinister Six box.
In anticipation for the upcoming expansions I played back to back games of Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition which reminded me of how much I enjoy the slimmed down version of Terraforming Mars, and also how much quicker it is to play. We also had an excellent game of Mysterium after dinner with friends, where I managed to play the ghost well enough to lead us to a shared victory. I’m pleased to have also got some of my regular favourites to the table: Viticulture, The King is Dead 2e, Great Western Trail 2e and Inis.
I played Brian Boru, Oak, Clash of Cultures Monumental Edition, Anno 1800 and 3000 Scoundrels for the first time this month. The highlight of these was Brian Boru which my wife got me for Christmas, it’s an area control-trick taking game and probably the best and only example of this you’ll ever find. Oak was beautiful and a lot to take in during the first play but I would love to play again. Clash of Cultures was long and engaging, although I took a thumping and finished solidly last.
Next month, I hope to keep cracking on with the Jaws of the Lion sessions and also get Village Rails to the table which I just picked up. Now Brass Birmingham has hit the top of the BGG rankings it seems appropriate to pull that off the shelf too! April is also my birthday so hopefully there will be some board game sized boxes for me to open then.
March has seen a huge mix of games played. The variety in games is what keeps me entertained and enjoying this hobby. Over 25 different games were played in March and as much as I want to sing the praises of them all, I will only talk about a few below.
I have played a lot of Frostpunk in March, it is a brutal, cooperative survival game about managing a colony that is cold, starving and just trying to survive. The theme is strong, it is deep and complex and it can make you question your moral choices. You need to do what you must for the greater good and the survival of the colony. I love the stories this game creates and win or lose it is always entertaining. My review of this is coming soon so keep an eye out.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have been playing a lot of Marvel United. I am a Marvel fanboy, so I was more than likely going to like this game. Cooperative card game where you move from location to location, defeating thugs, rescuing civilians and thwarting the villain’s plans and ultimately defeating them. The core box has a fair amount of content in it, but with some of the expansions, the replayability and new mechanisms added is fab. It is very quick to play, very accessible but is not push over. Some of the villains are tough.
Distilled is another game I want to highlight. This is a deck building, push your luck card game about managing your own distillery. You gather ingredient cards & upgrade your distillery to produce various spirits and then sell them in a range of different bottles. Certain spirits need to be aged (such as Whisky) before being sold. This is a fabulous game and another one that I have a review coming for soon.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who read the March Blog “What I’m Wishing For” that this months big bring it to the table game has been Houdini Vs Genie. I was so excited when the postman knocked on the door with my pre-order in this hand I couldn’t help but challenge my husband to an immediate duel to the death!
As suspected I played Houdini and his sidekick Bess to begin with. I do find Melee characters harder when battling against ranged attackers however I found specialities like Vanishing Act and Grand Escape really helpful in retreat. And ‘All Part of the Show’, just wow. It’s like a get out of jail free card. Really powerful for helping to try and defeat that Genie.
So let us move on to the Genie and his powerful ranged attacks. Both of these characters are big boosters… they boost their attack and defence, well, like magic! And if you thought ‘All Part of the Show’ was a good card for Houdini wait until you see ‘Back in the Lamp’! The Genie also has attacking cards such as ‘Careful What you Wish for’ and ‘I Grant You… Death’ which will deal damage, possibly even if you lose!
So in this game of unmatched, how unmatched exactly are these characters. Well Houdini is an escape artist and can move anywhere on the board whilst the Genie has infinite power and can gain extra actions. What these characters both have in common is they can burn through cards, fast! And if you run out of cards… well that’s bad! The Genie has no side kick but with his healing powers does he really need one? Bess can be sacrificed and ‘switched places’ with to take your hero out of final danger.
Was this my favourite Unmatched set, no. But the character figures are simply wonderful! Full of detail I can’t wait to have a go at painting, if you like that sort of thing. Was my anticipated excitement worth the wait, definitely. Whilst there are other Unmatched sets out there with characters in which you may prefer you can’t go wrong giving this set a go. Especially in a two player scenario as this is perfectly designed for one-to-one combat.