Boardgaming in 2018!


Do you like Portugal?
Do you like the puzzles?
Do you like laughing at your friends suffering from AP and can you handle when they laugh at your AP?
Do you like the smell of burning rubber?

If so, I present Madeira.
The game has been sitting on my shelf for 7 months untouched. I was intimidated by it based on what I had heard, but more importantly it was finding the right group to try it with. After sitting down with it, I found mechanically it isn’t that difficult to grasp, but the decisions are sheer gut wrenching pleasure.

This may be the best game published by What’s your game. Honestly they’re all pretty good, but man this game makes me question every decision. Even when you think it will be simple move and you have a plan. The game makes you stop and think about the next 3 moves. Cannot recommend this game enough if you like heavy games.


Anyone played The Mind yet? It is a simple real co-op card game. The point of the game is to play cards from 1-100 in ascending order without communicating at all … It is played to a maximum of 12 rounds, round 1 every player gets one card between 1-100 … Now each player has to decide, when to play the card on the table. If you have a card less than 10 you should play fast, if you have a card above 80, you should wait etc…
If your group manages round 1, then for round 2 every player gets 2 cards and so on, for round 3 three cards …

There are tools that help you, extra lifes for making mistakes or shurikens to get rid of your lowest card in hand for everybody …

This game is all about synching with your fellow players and we had a great time playing it, and it was amazing to see that someone played a 43 and the other one 44 without communicating, just through waiting, getting a feel for the rhythm … Highly recommended for causual players

We managed to get to round 5 with 3 players before losing. But we will try to beat it and get to round 10.

What I like about this game is that everybody has a different feeling, timescale for when to play a card like 34 or 12 … synching up your own timescale with others felt fascinating to me …


Picked up Onward to Venus for my birthday last week. Was hoping for some fun, light area control from Martin Wallace…

…which is kind of what we got with the game. I really enjoy games that are light on rules but have deep, engaging gameplay. While this certain was easy enough to pick up and teach, I was a bit disappointed how little strategy there is in it. Thats not to say that there aren’t tough decisions to make, but the decisions are usually more tactical, based strongly on the random card and token draws. This wouldn’t be bad for a 40 minute game, but our play was over 90 minutes, which was about 30 mins too long, IMO.

As much as I enjoy most of Martin Wallace’s games, I think this one is going to collect dust for the time being. There are just so many better area control games out there (like Inis or Blood Rage). Overall, kind of disappointed with it.


How would you say tim fowers/jeff beck’s Hardback compares with paperback, if you played that one? I enjoyed paperback (and its iOS version is a fun way to kill time), but I think the new wildcard mechanics, plus the push-your-luck and genre elements of Hardback, may simply obsolete paperback. Although, I’ve heard the criticism it rewards less clever words in favor of more generic/star realms deckbuilding. (Meaning, it’s easier in hardback to play the same words over and over, and just farm the combo bonuses – rewarding gaming the system, instead of wordplay). I also feel I would miss the common cards in paperback, which are fun to get if quite challenging.

Edit: Paperback is also on Android, and Steam:


Same! Like you, I think it dragged on for too long. I also wasn’t a far of the rules regarding rocket movement. It was a bit of a disappointment, given the theme and how most of the game worked.


I had never heard of either Hardback or Paperback, but I’m intrigued enough to give the Android version of Paperback a try with some leftover Play Store credit.


Still recovering from driving 1,000 miles in the last 2 days but that drive took me past Tom’s place last night on board game night so I got the chance to play Sol with Tom and a bunch of folks, including Shieldwolf. I liked Sol and found it interesting. It’s a Euro-style game about mining a star about to explode for energy, with engine building in the form of building infrastructure (energy nodes and what-not) but the interesting part is that the player’s mothership, where the player initiates worker actions, orbits around the star, and so a player is routinely moving away from his or her infrastructure and into range of other player’s infrastructure. There’s a system of bonuses for players whose infrastructure is used by others and the whole thing both an elegant and complex strategic system. It might be just a bit too many moving parts for my taste but I need to play it a few more times.


It sounds better in theory than in practice, in my opinion. I love the idea of a letter deck builder but Paperback the game dulled quickly for me. Sounds like Hardback might be better for me, if I get around to trying it.


Let me know what you think of it – the mobile version (and steam version) is pretty slick and has both AI and asynch multiplayer.


Looks like we’re getting more interesting board games on digital.

I am not a fan of the idea of legacy games, but I’ve looked at Charterstone a few times.


Dropped by the boardgaming party over in Minneapolis I used to attend regularly and got to play two games tonight. The first was a cooperative firefighting game I’d not previously heard of, entitled Hotshots. The theme is a bit similar to Flash Point: Fire Rescue but it’s a very different game in practice. It’s about fighting wildfires in a broad area, whereas Flash Point involves specific buildings and similarly limited, mostly urban scenarios. Secondly, the goal in Hotshots is to actually put out all the fire, whereas in Flash Point you are rescuing civilians (and sometimes their pets) and the fire is something you tamp down to keep the building intact and navigable while you traverse. I like Flash Point a lot better, to be perfectly honest.

Hotshots involves navigating a roughly circular map composed of individual hexes, each with their own fire tolerance rating and many with some special property, including the base camp you start out at, a lake that blocks fire travel and aids firefighting efforts in its immediate vicinity, special buildings whose loss deactivates the various player special powers, a vehicle depot that allows access to a handful of one shot vehicle tokens with their own firefighting purposes, a mansion that counts for three hexes of destruction against your loss condition of 8, and more. You then need to roll six special dice and try to match between 3 and 6 symbols on that hex to successfully fight the fire there. With 3, you can install a firebreak that will prevent gentle winds or a hex scorching out from spreading fire across it. With 4, you can remove a fire token. 5 and 6 provide additional fire removal along with access to special one-shot equipment tokens and/or firebreak placement. And then you draw a fire card and see how things spread. You can reroll any dice that aren’t helpful, but any time you roll the dice and don’t get a single relevant symbol, the fire blows out and you fail to fight it as well as actually adding a fire token, so it’s risky. (The lake, other players on your hex, and/or equipment tokens can help with additional safe rerolls, though.)

Here’s the problem: unless your rolls are strong, you’re probably clearing at most one token worth of fire on your turn, two tops. Fire cards will frequently add at least that much and probably more. It is a grueling, sisyphean task. We used a couple of difficulty modifiers to make it easy as a learning game and it still took a couple hours and went absolutely right down to the wire. And while close calls can make a thrilling coop experience, slogging around the map barely holding back the tide while everything crumbles around you due to no visible error of your own does not.

The other game we played was a learning game of Aeon’s End (three of us had played a little, but one had not, so, learning game). The newbie took a fairly standard character, us “vets” got a little more wild, and we took on the Umbra Titan. This also came right down to the wire, but felt way more satisfying turn to turn and everyone agreed they would be happy to play it again in future and check out other characters and more complex bosses. I was particularly fond of my character, Indira, who really subverts the usual structure of play with her single (but +damage) breach and multiple ways to play spells directly out of her hand. I had a couple of deeply satisfying artillery barrage turns with her charge power and was the one to finally finish off the boss.


Charterstone is all about the legacy hook. If that’s not something your group is interested in, I’d recommend a hard pass on Charterstone.



Is Seafall worth $23? I wasn’t going to get it after the tepid reviews, but $23 is very tempting.


I found it an excellent (if frustrating at times) experience. It is a bit spiky, but I think it is a lot better than many of the nay-sayers claim.

When reading about various legacy games I often think that what I really want is a sequel to SeaFall that fixes some of the stuff that it could have done better.


To be honest, I am not sure if my group cares. I just can’t buy things and ruin them. If it’s digital though… that would be different.


I didn’t like Paperback at first, but after a couple of games, I kind of dig it. I think you gain something by allowing asynchronous play and easier bookkeeping, but I think you lose some of the fun bits of word games that are better done in person, like arguing over whether it should be “tranq” or “trank”.

That’s not a hypothetical, either. The AI played “trank” against me, and I just had this primal urge to argue with it.

The theming is on point, though. I love the illustrations and the overall premise.


Urgh, no, Seafall is terrible. Admittedly two of the five players in my group still liked it when we had to stop playing (one of the players moved away), but I don’t know why. It’s maybe a more interesting game than Charterstone (which is a pretty straightforward worker placement game), but the legacy stuff doesn’t work at all. You’ll often come upon situations that aren’t covered; it is possible to accidentally break the game (we narrowly avoided this), terms aren’t well defined. Sometimes unlocking a crate will reveal that everything you’ve done up until now to try to improve your position was wrong. Super frustrating and poorly designed.


I brought a mix of games with us on our cross country road trip for a family reunion. Will see how they go over!

King’s Forge
Tiny Epic Galaxies
One Deck Dungeon
and a couple other small ones


That’s maddening. Yeah the AI will do stuff like that in all word games I’ve played. :( Think you will give hardback a try?


Just buy two copies :)