Boardgaming in 2017!


I wasn’t aware of his last one at the time, but coop legacy fantasy adventuring with minis as an optional addon instead of the focus was way more up my alley than…I dunno, smithing Euro…anyway.


I really liked the idea and theme of it but it was a very heavy game.


I read the rules for Gloomhaven, and I was pretty impressed. Anyone know when non-backers will be able to buy this thing?


I would be a lot more curious about Gloomhaven if I hadn’t played Forge Wars, the designers previous game. It had no wars and a pretty lousy forge mechanic.



I want a gloomhaven of my own, but I stupidly didn’t jump when it was up on miniature market and now it’s hopeless :(


So is Chrononauts a good solitaire experience… ? English version is available here on for a reasonable price (20$/€)…





is it a good multiplayer experience? (I already ordered it)…


Well, based on the rules (50 pages!) I can confirm it contains at least some gloom and one haven.


I think it is! It’s pretty simple. Basically Flux, but with a timeline of cards that you mess around with to represent ripples in time. There’s not a lot of strategy to it – like Flux, you just play until someone happens to win – but it’s easy whimsical gameplay that spins out a cute narrative in the form of alternate history.

Believe it or not, hearing that it has a 50 page rules book is the first thing I’ve heard about Gloomhaven that makes me want to play it.



I tried some new (for me) games last night.

Citadels An still in print classic from 2000. I got it as a Christmas present from well meaning family so I wanted to make sure I got it played. Having played it, I saw how it was a popular game for so long, but I don’t really feel the need to play it again. Games about guessing what another player is going to do with his turn tend to turn me off, and this was entirely that. Because while you can make an educated guess, its still just that, a guess. It is a bit annoying to see the game decided by who guessed correctly. Or, somebody lose because they got assassinated 4 out of the first 5 rounds (completely true!). I will keep it around, though, for the samll footprint and ability to play a larger group.

New Bedford Same as the old Bedford, really. I kid. This is a worker placement game about whaling. It plays pretty quickly, even with the full compliment of 4 players. Over 12 rounds, each player gets only 2 workers placement each round. However, the VP’s mostly come from whaling. One of the actions a player can do is launch one of their two boats. While a boat is out, players will pull tiles out of back. Most tiles have whales on them. However, a not small portion have empty water tiles. The whale tiles go into players boats, while the water tiles go back to bag. Meaning, it gets harder to get a whale tile as the game goes on. The other interesting thing about this game is capturing whales isn’t the same as scoring them. When a boat gets back to town, the crew expects to get paid. So, you have to pay for the whales you captured. If you can’t, you can sell them for some money, but the other players can then buy your whales and get the VP. So, there is some luck in the tile draw bag, but really lucky draws means needing a lot of money to score your whales, which often gives other players opportunities. When you aren’t preparing and launching boats, players can build new buildings, which are generally more powerful than starting buildings. Any player can use these, but have to pay the owner some money to do so. I bought this game to fill an hour’s play length, and it does so very well.

Celestia Push your luck, meets a little bit of bluffing. You are aboard a sky ship of some sort, and take turns being captain. There are 9 or there’s about stops, with each stop offering a progressively bigger reward. The captain rolls dice (with later stops rolling more dice), and everyone BUT the captain can hop off the boat if they don’t trust the captain. Because the captain has to play cards to match the symbols on the dice. So, a captain with a large hand of cards merits trust. A captain with few cards gets players worried. Of course, if you are next in line to be captain, you have to consider your own ability to pilot that ship, because the captain is stuck playing the dice. If the captain can’t play cards to match the dice, well, the ship crashes and everyone on board gets nothing. Judgement? Cute, amusing, but lacks enough depth for me to recommend it. Don’t get me wrong, a light game is fine depending on what you are looking to play.

Bottom of the 9th Speaking of light fillers, I finally tried this baseball game I bought second hand. It takes place over a single half inning in a tied game at the, you guessed it, bottom of the ninth. If the home team can score a single run, they win the game. Otherwise, its extra innings and the board game says the defense wins. This two player filler basically has two mechanics. The first is guessing the pitch. Both players have two wood discs, one saying high and low the other saying inside and away. Both players secretely chose a side for each disc. The batter wants to match the pitcher’s selection, while the pitcher wants to fool the batter. Succeeding in 1 disc gives a benefit to both players. Succeeding in both gives a big benefit to that player. The next mechanic is dice based. The pitcher rolls two dice. Depending on how much he fooled the other batter, he can reroll one of them, or adjust one. One die has faces for Strike, Ball, and painting the Corner. The other dice is just a d6. The batter than rolls his one d6, trying to beat the pitcher’s dice in case of a ball, or go below it in case of a strike. A corner pitch? Has to be matched. Adding some variety is mutliple pitcher and hitter cards (modeled after trading cards), each with some special ability or trait. Oh, and pitcher’s can gain fatigue! So, this IS a light filler game I would recommend, though Baseball Highlights 2045 is the better baseball game.


I also have the 2000 print. I wish more of my games fit in such a small box, there’s something amazing about being able to grab a whole bunch of great games and put them in a bag before you go somewhere. You never know when an unexpected gaming opportunity will come up!

Here’s a list of other great small games if people of interested in such things:

  • Coup
  • Innovation
  • Death Angel
  • Love Letter
  • The Resistance
  • Omen: Reign of War

Anyone else have some suggestions? I’d like more!


I have Tiny Epic Kingdoms, but there’s really a whole series of Tiny Epic- games, where the tiny refers to the packaging rather than the complexity.


Villages of Valeria

A card game where you’re competing with your fellow players to build the best village possible in order to be the next Capital City of Valeria.

I purchased this as a Kickstarter, so some of the components seen here are part of that Deluxe bundle like the sleeve around the box shown above.

Set-up is actually pretty easy. There is a lot of reading to kind of get the general jist of the game, but thank god every player gets an action card with the icons of the cards also listed on the back:

Once you read the directions and get the idea though they have a quick reference on the back of the manual; every game should have this.

As far as how you get resources, kind of like 7 Wonders,so the game takes a little less real estate because you stack the cards:

But the buildings and resources still cover some of the table.


  1. Portable: It’s a card game with more than just cards, but it’s still pretty compact and easy to move around
  2. True to the game playing time. If everyone mostly knows what they’re doing, you can play in an hour or less.
  3. Solo Play rules, I almost never play these solo but for those who do there are rules specific for it, (1-5) players.
  4. Easy to learn: It really is. It takes a little bit to get used to the mechanics and the icons, wth does the magic icon look like a gum drop or a water droplet, but once that’s done it goes pretty quickly.

  1. Power of the cards: Even though the power of the cards pretty much uses all icons, they’re mostly straight forward and the rulebook has clarifications for some specific cards.
  2. Expansions: We added the Monuments expansion seemlessly. The directions for these expansions are written on one double sided card, and the expansion cards have icons on them making them easy to add and remove.
  3. Wooden components: these were the reason they were late to deliver to the backers. They are actually kind of nice to have.


  1. Quality of the cards. I don’t often sleeve my cards. This “deluxe” box is designed to let you sleeve the cards I believe, which is needed because after one night of play, I see some issues on the corner of some of cards.

  2. This is useless:

and so is this

The top one is to keep track of what action is being performed durong someeone’s turn. The cardboard piece it sits in is Deluxe; it’s just a standard card for non-deluxe. In either case, we stopped using it because it seemed more important to know who was the “lead” rather than which action we’re on since that was easy to remember. We started passing the castle around like an lead player piece instead of what it’s intended for.

The bottom one I believe is a deluxe exclusive which is supposed to help you keep track of the Victory Points needed to win. You can see it won’t lay flat, and that’s because it folds to fit in the box. It’s just cardboard so to much tweaking to fix it is going to break it in half, and no one remembers to move the castles anyway. You’re better off just doing a quick count of buildings and adventurers each turn of yourself and your opponents to see where you are.

  1. Variety of Cards: The same cards kept coming up, and it just feels like there isn’t a huge variety or one that’s stellar or you really want which is different than say when you play 7 wonders. This kind of works since you use the same card as a building or a resource but on the other hand it feels like less. The Adventurers are a bit better in this area.

  2. You can sort of see the tab that separate the cards above (a deluxe component), and they don’t fit right in the plastic insert. This means all the corners of the tabbed separates will curve unless you cut them. I can’t stand cutting or marking game components.

Overall, I think this is a pretty fun game though. It’s shorter than 7 wonders and easier to take around with you. There is slightly less direct competition but the limited number of gold keeps you on your toes trying get what you need, and of course trying to get those buildings and resources is limited to what you can see or gamble on the deck. Since you draw from either the piles or the deck, there is a bit of an unknown to some plays (see note about limited number of builds). You discard to the same piles you draw from so really… how hard this game is can really slant based on how well everyone is paying attention.

One example of strategy I used… I started building up a lot of holy buildings to pick up a bishop adventurer, and then a monk adventurer popped up that could give me a victory point per holy building. Rather than risk the monk going to someone else I paid extra to get him even though gold is scarce… I won the game by two points.

I’m certainly no expert reviewer, but here’s a Kickstarter I bought and paid for and generally enjoy so I thought I would share.

edited: slight corrections


Has anyone played or backed Santorini? It looks like a really fun little game that is still quite simple. I just found out about the kickstarter and it seems like they are going to ship sometime this year

I preordered Tak, the game based on “The Name of The Wind” and it seems quite a bit like that, so I was wondering if anyone had played it / thoughts?


I was almost ready to pull the trigger on Santorini, it is an elegant design. I tried it online (without special powers) against a good AI here

and felt a bit underwhelmed. It is definitely a brain burner with no luck element. I already play chess to scratch that itch, so I skipped it. On the same day I discovered Black Orchestra and was lucky to order a copy instead.

I have Thunderstone Dragonspire sitting in my closet for years, every now and then I pickup the rules book to read through and finally start a game. So this is a Dominion-Style deckbuilding game in a generic fantasy world… hm. Setup is pretty big compared to Ascension… So from the rules Thunderstone will play like this: buy cards from the village, play cards to fight monsters (VP), buy more expensive car, shuffle, shuffle, thin your deck etc…

So is this really that different from Dominion? I put back the rules, back to the closet.


My Kickstarter for Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia showed up. I’m a big fan of Arcadia. I love the look of the minis and the fuck with the other player mechanics.

My only regret with the kickstarter is also getting the Arcadia crossover add-on. With the kickstarter add ons and the adventurer’s kit there are more than enough heroes for me to use.

Masmorra is a dungeon crawl. You flip tiles that form the dungeon as you explore. The goal is to get to the bad guy while trying to get more xp than your fellow players. There’s an epic game thats too long (the final boss is a slog), and the shorter game feels too short. As someone said on BBG, “CMON provides a framework by which you house rule the shit out of it.”

The bad guys aren’t minis but rather dice you roll and place on the board. The stats and stuff are printed on the dice. I’m not a fan of Quantum (which uses dice as minis) but I like how it works with Masmorra. There’s a little scorecard you track the XP with. Each row has a level-up icon. Leveling up unlocks abilities. If you die, you go back to the last level-up icon. This can either be a minimal xp loss, or a pretty big hit.

I’m not sure I’d play the Epic version without some house ruling. The final room we did felt like an MMO boss fight. Lots of adds spawning and it just felt like a slog. Some of that was none of us willing to take one for the team and run in, attack a bunch of shit and die.

The short game seems too short. It’s a race to 16xp. The dungeon has two floors, and I’m not sure how often you’d get to the second floor before the game ends. I think I’d house-rule it to play to 21 and shorten the stack of tiles for floor 1.


I am definitely an Ameritrash gamer AKA come at me bro! AKA stuff on on on the board is actually contested and dies!
Eurogames are too passive, and painfully elegant, and stupidly point craptacky. At the end of the day, no one cares about sheep point generators or whateverfuck!

And yet of course, I love the hybrids from Eric Lang of course.


The biggest difference between Dominion and Thunderstone is that those monsters have various special powers (including ways they can attack the village, sometimes) and also take a certain amount of light (from torch cards or whatever) to fight on an even keel based on their position in the dungeon. It does feel to some extent like you’re equipping adventurers to go fight marauding monsters.

That said, when I played it back in the day you really needed to be careful about which sets of village cards and adventurers you brought to which sets of monster cards, because if you, say, take a set of monsters that generate extra darkness and then don’t have any better light cards in your village, it is going to be a SLOG. Even with good mixes you can easily get a big monster at the start blocking access to anything you can reasonably kill near the beginning of the game. I think Thunderstone Advanced supposedly addresses some of that but I haven’t been interested enough to check it out.


Been playing a lot of Terraforming Mars lately. Just love the massive variety of cards…see new ones every play through.

Comancheria finally showed up … but so did Vitaculture…hmmmm…make some wine, or kill some Texans…going to be a tough decision tonight.