Sunday, 15 October 2017

#ReducingThePile - New (to me) games played in September 2017 - Part 2

Welcome to the latest in a series of blog posts where I talk about my quest to reduce my pile of shame.  You can find the other posts under the hashtag: #ReducingThePile.

This is the second part of my September update. Check out my last post to hear my thoughts on Century Spice Road, Roll Player, Stratos, and GIFP. Today I talk about three more games that were new to me that I got to the table the second half of September. 

Clank!: Sunken Treasure - This is an expansion for the amazing deck builder Clank!. Clank has quickly become my favourite deck builder. It combines the classic Games Workshop game Dungeonquest with Thunderstone Advance. You start off as a pretty unskilled thief trying to go in and raid a dragon's lair. It uses deck building to represent your increase in skill and the treasures you find. It's a fantastic merging of push your luck, gotcha, and deck building.

Sunken Treasure adds a new double-sided board, one new set monster and a bunch of new cards for the adventure deck. the theme is that parts of the dungeon are flooded and there are new mechanics for swimming, splashing and a new piece of equipment: scuba gear (for which they give some fantasy excuse). Overall there isn't a lot new, which is exactly what I want in an expansion. They make the game just a bit more interesting and introduce something new but similar to how other things work.

As an added bonus you don't have to pull out the sunken treasure stuff if you still want to play with the original boards. You just don't use the new fish monster or scuba gear. The adventure deck stays the same. Overall I think this is a great expansion that just makes a great game even better.

Mechs Vs. Minions - I'm sure you've heard the hype on this one already. It's hard not to. I have to say that so far, the game lives up to the hype. Yes, it is one of the most beautiful games ever made. Yes, it has one of best box inserts ever. Yes, the price is crazy low for what you get (not that it's cheap).

So really what's important now is how good the game is. Right now we have played the intro adventure and played the first official mission twice. Twice because we failed badly the first time. We opened up the packet for mission three and read it but have not played it. So far we've had a great time. This is programmed movement, similar to RoboRally but it's much less random. For one you draft your programming cards, and second: once cards are slotted they stay there for the entire game. So this is actually more like an actual program as you add to it each round, unlike other programmed games I've played where each round you start fresh.

The one thing I hate in co-op games is the Alpha Gamer/Quarterback issue that can come up. I didn't see this as a problem in this game. I think each player has enough to worry about with programming their own mech that they don't have time to try to tell the other players what to do. Sure we all discuss general strategy but there definitely wasn't one player saying: Draft this, put it here, then do this, etc.

Troyes - I have heard fantastic things about this game. It's been out of print for a long time and is selling for just silly money on the secondary market. Troyes has been a grail game for me for some time. Then Geektropolis had an auction and I was able to get a sealed copy for an amazing price.

It was worth the wait. I really dig this game. I will fully admit I don't really dig how it looks. I think it's an ugly game. That said it works. The graphic design makes it very easy to see what is going on, on the board at a glace. At least it does once you get used ot the iconography.

Troyes is basically a dice placement game though you never actually put the dice on spots. You use the dice to select actions and then place meeples or cubes to represent that you have done them. What's really fascinating in this game is how you use the dice. You build sets of 1, 2 or 3 dice that all have to be in one colour. The neat bit is you have your own dice (based on where your workers are placed), but you can buy dice off other players. Then you use these dice to do actions. There's some math here as you total your dice, divide them by some number and that's the number of times you get that action. So, for example, one spot on the board may be Get 3 money for 4 yellow. If you play 8-11 pips worth of yellow dice on this spot, you get 6 money. If you put 12 pips worth of yellow dice you would get 9 money

The actions that are available each game change with a bit part of the replayability in the game coming from this. There are 3 different versions of each card and there are 9 cards in play each game. Adding to that there is also an event system that happens each round and has players fighting brigands and dealing with foreign workers.

Really there's far too much going on here to explain in a short review. The important part is that I really dig this game. I've even ordered the expansion for it as I hear it makes the game just a bit more forgiving for everyone (one of the things it adds is a wild die that can be used to make sets with other dice). If you dig medium to heavy Euroes you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

That's it for me for September. So far October has been slow so I may not have much to talk about by the end of the month, but you never know. I did get in two brand new games last night at The CG Realm game event and there's still half a month to go.

What have you recently gotten out of your pile of shame?

On the weekend of November 4th I'm going ot be gaming for at least 24 hours in support of the Children's Miracle Network of Hospitals and I would love your support:

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