Boardgaming in 2019!


Thanks Pod. Seal Team is getting an expansion and reprint.


Wow no kickstarter for Victorian Masterminds? I’m kind of shocked. I know it’s been out on Asia, but still. Looking forward to it.


I actually ordered some of those pincers last week, and they are due tomorrow! I am wary though, since the product page on my local amazon was obviously google translated and the page featured both hooked and non hooked pincers, so I am hoping it is a set I am getting, but it’s very confusing.


This is good to hear. My gaming group is not very aggressive, so I think we were kinder to each other than the game might expect us to be, in terms of arresting each others’ workers. I think started to wish someone would wrangle up our guys by the last few rounds because some of us were slowed way down by having to pick up one guy as our entire turn.

Besides the fact that we play relatively nicey-nicey, I think we were disincentivized from capturing workers because the first worker placed in the town square got to get just one color from one location, and that was typically going to net 3 or 4 coins with two moves (capturing them, then putting them in prison). I guess we were also pretty well spread around the board, not heavily piling on to any resource spaces. Now, one you have a guy in the town square, you can really start to haul 'em in! But no one did that, preferring to spend their dudes elsewhere.


I have also played Seal Team Flix. My godson and i played the campaign on easy and really enjoyed it. When you setup the building/board there is some planning to do before, i thought kinda like Rainbow 6 more than Jagged Alliance but you get the idea. there is some fiddliness with the Patrol reactions that took us a couple games to get down - they react to noise and move towards, which you can use to distract them, but it is a list of things to check to determine where they move exactly that took me time to learn. The flicking was not bad for the most part, and actually fun. We tried the sniper side board once and failed miserably but the defuse bomb and unlock door were the knock things off in a certain amount of time or number of shots. It does a good job being tense but also ‘fun’. During the campaign your characters get to level up and unlock skills and items and weapons.


A reprint is probably worth waiting for, as all the boards in the current version have a pretty big printing omission on them (sentry start locations)…



I hate to say this, but I definitely feel like you guys played the game “wrong”. I know that’s a silly thing to say, as there’s no real “right way” to play the game, but spending an entire go just picking a guy up is a sort of last-resort, “punishment” action. I had to do it once when I miscounted how much money I had, so I couldn’t do the thing I thought I could, which then lead to having too few people etc. If multiple people had to do that simply because no-one in your game went on the lasso space, even to rope in their own guys, feels really “sub-optimal”!

  1. It’s not just the coins you get, but the disadvantage you put your opponents at, and therefore the advantage you put yourself at. Also, there’s the threat of putting them in jail which can result in negative points. Also, most importantly, it stops them getting so many resources! e.g. taking their odd-numbered people from the gold space, which means they have to start accumulating there again :) It seems like as soon as two meeples of the same colours are on a single space everyone I play with starts muttering about how much of a juicy target they are…
  2. On the second, third etc you can capture multiple people, including your own if you need to! And then when you have enough people locked away in your creepy dungeon you can spend a single action to thrown them all in jail. Do that again a second time and you can throw others in jail AND get a second action, e.g. release yours! Was the jail used much, in your game? I guess just from the black market?
  3. Depending on what buildings and apprentices you get some people can profit much more from these actions. Maybe those cards didn’t come up, or if they did no one chose them.

Give the game another go, and, if possible, take some of the cards that might allow you to peruse the lasso? :)

We didn’t find this to be a problem really, as it just adds 1 extra minute to map setup as you have to look in the book a bit.

Given it’s recent release, I think a reprint will be some time off (e.g. 6 months - a year?) but that’s just random guessing. I wouldn’t let that tiny omission hold you back!


Well, we did play wrong in one regard: I didn’t realize you could capture your own dudes. That could end up being a more efficient way of releasing some. (Although, do they have to go through the whole prison cycle? I assume so…) We didn’t WANT to do the move-of-last-resort and take back our single guys, but we didn’t have any choice if no one was sending them to prison!

Anyway, I’m sure we played in an unusually gentle way, but again, I don’t see how a couple of enemies on one space are worth spending one of your super-valuable moves to capture, since you don’t get any positive benefit until you spend ANOTHER move to toss them in prison. Every turn was critical when there were three of us trying to climb the cathedral ladder!


And my copy arrived today. I played a game with my kids. Like all Stonemaier games, turns are quick and fluid, the components are gorgeous and crafted to facilitate gameplay, and rulebooks are attractive and perfect…

…and as I suspected, there is very little player interaction. There are a few bird cards that allow messing with another player’s tableau, and during our play session exactly 0 of these showed up. It’s not even really a combo-heavy game like Gizmos is. In Gizmos, one action will activate another which activates another, etc. In Wingspan, it’s just the cards in that row, with no cascading actions. In Gizmos, the bright art and iconography make it easy to see what my opponents need at all times. Stealing from underneath them is part of the game. In Wingspan, the combo actions are all dark print on a brown background with no iconography. No way to see at a glance what the cards do from across the table. No easy way to get in your opponents’ ways. We enjoyed playing it, but it is truly multiplayer solitaire. I’m almost certainly not going to keep it around very long.


I think you get them straight back. I don’t own the game and have the rules to hand, but that’s what I remember happening.

I think this is a case of group-think. e.g. your moves wouldn’t BE super-valuable if someone was capturing your workers, because you wouldn’t be getting 4 wood when you place another dude there :P

Also: You say 3p, and I believe in 3 players the lassoer is allowed to choose that each of his workers ropes from multiple locations. (Whereas in 4p and 5p the roper is must choose a single location). Were you playing that rule?

ps: My local game group is Wednesday, which was last night, some people people were playing Wingspan. I didn’t get to see much of it was we were already playing something when they started, but whenever I wandered over to oggle it made me hungry for the bag of Cadbury’s mini-eggs I’d brought with me.


We were playing 4 player, so we weren’t able to capture extra workers. But we did totally miss that you could capture your own guys! So that’s going to change things next time.


I’ve played Wingspan twice so far and dig it. First time we didn’t clear the tray each round which really screwed things up.

Finally got my Gizmos to the table. I got cruuushed. Still, thanks @Vesper .

And I’m on a roll with space base. The arrow cards and the ones that kill opponents victory points are key.

Finally a unboxed New York Slice. Easy to play. Seats six. Good casual game.


I played Wingspan last night solo. Interesting point @Matt_W that at non-solo it will be hard to see how competitive you are in the end-of-round bonuses without asking a lot which birds have which nests (at least the end-of-round goal for eggs in a row is super readable across the table). I wonder if this was an intentional choice to keep the focus of the game on your tableau? The game did seem to be targeting players who like a more solitaire experience, so it seems like a possibility it was intentional.

I liked my first play. Surprisingly, it reminds me a bit of La Granja. Both have an abundance of special abilities of which you’ll only see a few each game, and in both you get your resources from dice which gives them a more tactical feel. La Granja is much more interactive, though, with the competition over market stalls, roofing, and turn-order. Wingspan sort of feels like a chilled out, quicker version of a similar feeling.

I think I like playing Gizmos more than Wingspan because the engine building is a bit more exciting and marbles are fantastic game components. But I like the theme and art of Wingspan a lot more. I love all the descriptions of what makes the bird’s special on the bottom, and how those relate to each birds special ability. My first impression is it’s more relaxing too, so probably when it hits the table will be different than Gizmos anyways.

I don’t think anyone I play with will particularly like Wingspan, though, so I may just be soloing it for a while. The automa player is really smooth and pretty fun so I don’t mind so much playing this way. It may be the first solo game I enjoy actually.


Yeah, I totally agree with all of this. It’s even possible we’ll play Wingspan (for however long I keep it) more than Gizmos even though I think Gizmos is a better game for pure gameplay.


After a long boardgaming drought, I’ve been lucky enough to reconnect with @Lykurgos’ excellent London group and to find new friends locally who meet to play boardgames.

So I’ve finally managed to play quite a few more games than usual over the past 2 weeks.

Captain Sonar (I’m the one standing, ready to captain the sub to its doom)
I love, love, love how much fun that game is. People are all smiles before the hunt starts. And while things get frantic during the game, the crews are still alternating between laughing and holding their breath when a torpedo is launched; or while trying to repair the sub knowing the other team is racing to sink them. I don’t own any other game quite like it. It’s awesome.

Sushi Go Party
It’s a great version of Sushi Go. Both games are really easy to learn and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. When playing with adults, you can use different menu tile combinations of the Party version to keep the game fresh and figuring out a path to drafting victory engaging.

Treasure Island (here seen from the perspective of Long John silver, who hides the treasure).
Your crew has taken you prisoner and wants to know where you hid the treasure. The whole map is open. They can ride across and search wherever they please, using their completely unfair special actions. Most of your clues have to be true (and pirates can check the veracity of your clues if they are willing to use up an action to do so). Can you keep them guessing until you can escape and get the treasure for yourself?
We played it twice. Once with a casual group where my 12 year old daughter guessed right and dug up the treasure 2 thirds of the way through the game, once with gamers who ran around in circles until I escaped and claimed the treasure for myself. I always enjoy the game, whether I play as a pirate or Long John Silver.

Battlestar Galactica
I can’t believe that game is 10 years old! I loved it the first time I played it and I loved it as much last week-end. It builds up so much tension as the resources dwindle, the Cylon raiders swarm and you suspect your crewmates of trying to undermine your last ditch attempt to save humanity.
I was not a Cylon. Alas, our admiral turned out to be a sleeper agent who, once activated, left us drifting without fuel in deep space; just before we could brig him. Humanity is now only a memory…

Each team can see the 4 code words they are working with and their position. But every turn, an encrypter on each team gets a new secret numerical code corresponding to 3 of the words (say 3.1.4). Can you give word clues to make your team guess the code while not letting the other team guess the underlying words and beat your team to the code when the next set of clues is given? We laughed quite a bit during that game (thanks to @Lykurgos’ painfully salacious stories), but we also pulled our hair trying to find of good yet unrevealing clues. It’s a more gamey Codenames and I liked it a lot.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
I’m playing through the 7 years with my daughter. I generally enjoy deck builders and the campaign / unboxing new cards and game elements every year adds a lot to the enjoyment for us both. We are unbeaten so far, though we’ve come close a couple of times. I didn’t expect much when the game was announced, but it turned out to be very easy to teach and a fun one to work through. We’ll have to get the expansion after we finish.

Year 4 board

I hope the boardgaming continues. Next, our new local friends want to teach us Gloomhaven. That shouldn’t take long at all. :)


Some excellent picks there! I also enjoyed Hogwarts Battles quite a bit. Don’t worry, if you just ended year 4, then years 5, and especially 6, can kick your teeth in.

And don’t get me started on year 7. There’s new mechanics in each that I’ll leave you to discover. I’ll juat say that I think year 6 is my favorite addition to the game.

Also Sonar is great, love it dearly. And BSG? Have you any interest in Play By Forum?


We passed Year 5 without much hassle and first try. One thing about this game is that the year will be very different based on which villains you get together. We were lucky enough to mix harder and easier ones throughout, which always allowed us to bring the dark marks back down.

Can’t wait to see what the next 2 years bring.

As for BSGi haven’t checked any of the threads for the previous games on the forum, so I’m not sure what the time commitment would be like. That game already runs long at the table, I can’t quite imagine the amount of communication it takes to root out the traitorous Cylons (I’m never one, of course!) by forum.

I’ll take a look.


Oh for sure. An opening with, for example, Death Eaters, Fenrir Greyback, and Lucious Malfoy or Dolores Umbrage? Almost auto lose. It’s really that bad. Which… happens. We lost our first Book 4 game because of an unfortunate draw. It’s the nature of the deck randomization, not all villains are equally threatening at the same time. A condition that prevents you from assigning more than one power per villain isn’t a big deal in the opening, and the Basilisk can be ignored early but is killer in the late game.

That’s the reality, once you get a good engine going, most of the villains become far less threatening. Passing around card draws like candy makes it possible to even one shot many. But we’ve also learned that most of the two cost cards are trap cards. Essence of Dittany is bad, unless you are playing as Neville.

But if you are cruising now, I doubt you will for long. Book 6 adds a really fun wrinkle, but book 7 adds something far more tricky.


Just to tell you you were absolutely right: as someone heavily and largely fingered, those tweezers have made all the difference in the world when chits are next to or on top of each others.


Does it make you feel like you need to start playing naval games that involve a divider compass as well? :)