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What we’ve been playing – September 2017

What We've Been Playing - Patchwork

Each month our writers share information about the board games they have been playing, sharing both positive and negative thoughts on those games.

Let's see which games our writers have been playing in September.

Chris - Glory to Rome

This month I finally managed to play a game I've been wanting to try for quite a while: Glory to Rome. It's exactly the type of game I was hoping it would be. On the one hand, it's relatively simple, insofar as it consists in little more than a deck made up of 41 different card-types. Yet on the other hand, each individual card can be used in multiple ways:

  1. As a 'role' which permits the execution of one of six types of action.
  2. As a 'client' which supplements one of the six roles with additional actions.
  3. As a building which can be constructed to gain victory points and activate a unique ability.
  4. As a resource to contribute to the construction of a building; or as a commodity which can be stashed away to score end game points.

This multi-functional aspect of each individual card opens up a surprisingly complex range of interactions and strategic possibilities. It's an amazing example of seriously elegant game design - It's just a shame that the game is out of print and hard to get hold of.

Robert - San Juan

When you’re a big fan of Puerto Rico and Race for the Galaxy, you eventually have to get to the mid-point between the two and play San Juan (then you wonder why you didn’t get there sooner.) Taking the same theme as Puerto, but with many of the mechanisms that make Race so great, this is the two player Puerto I’d wanted for a long time but stupidly never purchased; a great and easy to pick up game based around a deck of specialist cards.

The Game Shelf - Travelling

This month, I’ve has been travelling a lot, meaning that Amy and I are playing less games as a couple and more games with new people. I’ve been to Canada, where the highlight was a game of deluxe, giant Takenoko, but I also bought Escape Room: The Game, which we’ve now determined is our favourite ‘escape room in a box’ style game. My other trip has been to Poland where I found another board game café and taught Patchwork, Jaipur and Pentago to a work colleague with no gaming experience.

Back home, we’ve been really enjoying our first few games of Flatline – a real time game of dice rolling to try and cure hospital patients that has worked great for two players and also with friends. We’ve also returned to The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, which is a really challenging co-operative card game for two players that slowly increases in difficulty. We finally beat it on the second difficulty level this month!

With lots of other new games to play and a work game group with an appetite for trying new games we’ve played 43 unique games this month, that’s just a little bit ridiculous!

Nick - Many, Many Games

This month has been a veritable smorgasbord of gaming for me, so i’ll just give you some highlights! First up Tiny Epic Quest succeeded where other Tiny Epics have failed and impressed me! The zeldaesque adventuring really comes over and works with the mechanics.

I played and then purchased Istanbul as I loved the worker placement meets race gameplay. Having to plan out your optimal routes and then perhaps adjust them is sooo satisfying. I played my first Exit game and although we took ages, much fun was had and I look forward to working through the next ones.

Champions of Midgard hit the table with both expansions and my oh my do they improve an already excellent game. The luck of the dice-based battles is completely turned on it’s head with the addition of Valhalla, as you can now spend your dead warriors like a kid in a candy store. Drafting game Elysium hit the table and I’d forgotten just how good and clever it is, that will be played again soon.

Lastly I wanted to mention Waggle Dance, a dice placement game set in bee hives. It’s relatively straightforward but really enjoyable as you raise with other players to make the most honey. Every action has its pros and cons and sometimes you just have to make do with what the dice give you. Good stuff.