Monday, 29 September 2014


No new games of recent have really caught my eye ...ok, so that's a bit of a lie ~ quite a few have; but none have given me that 'must have urgently' feeling.
I though love to have the courier knocking at my door, so I thought I'd take a peek at the BoardGameGeek store and see if I could find some tasty morsels.
I was in luck. In the Promos area I located some great pieces that would slip right into a handful of my favourite games.

In just over a week there was a rapping on the door ...they had arrived.

A melange of cardboard goodness.

On occasion, when you get a full blown expansion for a game, you can find it changes the game you love into one you are not quite so fond of. The game may still be great ... but the something that made the core game amazing seems to have been lost.

I've found though that with these (new items that were just handed to me by my friendly local courier) and other promos I've acquired in the past, it's generally a case of adding a little more of what already existed in the game ~ but with a twist.

That said ... the promo for Robinson Crusoe: AotCI was something new to the game ... Personality Trait cards (pack #1). I haven't had a chance to play with them yet but I can see they will be interesting. Selected randomly, each adds a pro and a con to your character ... the Kid for example refuses to take part in a Hunt, being scared stiff of wild beasts, but if at some point a beast does break through the camp's palisade he has the ability to hide away safe from harm.

These sort of cards I can see just adding more variation, interest and difficulty (the good kind) to this already fabulous solitaire/co-op survival game ... looking forward ;)

Uh oh... a gimpy Explorer ~ this'll be tricky ;)

Next up were a small palmful of Village Bonus tiles for my newest game, one I absolutely love, Terra Mystica. These just add variation to the already available tiles, giving additional avenues for point scoring and advancement. Great stuff.

After a hard days building it was time for a cruise.

Another promo for the superb Keyflower; I have in the past acquired a few bonus items for this game... Key Celeste ~ the haunted brigantine, Emporium & Monument ...and now the Beekeeper.
Another tile in the mix, another way to gather points.  

Mmmmmm... honey!

Four anthropomorphic Mercenaries for Summoner Wars. A game I really like but just don't get the chance to play enough. I'll certainly be packing it in my bag the next time I head north (nudge nudge wink wink). I only have the Master Set so it'll be fun to discover which race these critters align with.

It's going all Kung Fu Panda. 

Another four cards ... this time for Troyes, an interesting dice based worker placement game.
This promo contained one new card for each faction and a new event.
This is a game I haven't played in some time ~ it is a goodie though... I think these fresh faces will inspire me to drag it off the shelf and onto the table. 

Looks like it's time for dinner... "for what we are about to receive..."

And if that all wasn't enough, a couple of days later a copy of Spielbox magazine appeared in my letterbox. Hey what's this tucked inside the bag... another promo... heaven forbid. Ooh, and it's another for that Terra Mystica. This time a new Round Bonus Tile ~ more power and victory points for shipping. Rubs hands together ;)

A good read with bonus cardboard.

Spielbox is also pretty good as they have a backlog of issues from over the past few years ... each with different boardgame promos within ... well worth a look if you're that way inclined.

For now though, I'm going to have to shelf all these goodies as I've just had another commission for a large bundle of my hand-sculpted Robinson Crusoe components. So it's time to get out my clay and tools, slip on my glasses ~ my ageing eyes just aren't what they used to be ...and get to work.
Luckily I love creating pieces for games as much as I like playing them.

Happy Gaming!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Tasty Tasty Pastries

I'm always glad to be able to wipe the beads of sweat from my brow and breathe again when I hear that a parcel I've sent has reached it's destination.
A cache of Robinson Crusoe pieces for a charming bloke from the land of those delicious baked goods (among other things), Denmark.

The happy client himself.

Included among the pieces was my very first fire, that can be placed atop the camp fireplace when the need arises. Now I just have to make one for myself too. ;)

Relax in front of the blazing fire on the lion-skin rug ...cosy.

The full set ...double the wood, double the fun!

You'd think after making a few of these fur shelters it would get easier ...but you'd be wrong. I'm always up for the challenge though, even if it does involve a bit of hair loss along the way. ;p

When the fire dies down it's time to snuggle up inside the toasty teepee.

This smile is almost payment enough ;p

Feel free to check out some other things I've created for Robinson Crusoe AotCI here.
Happy Gaming!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Digging in the Dirt

A couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to get my paws on a game I'd had my eye on for some time ...the fabulous Terra Mystica from designers Jens Drögemüller and Helge Ostertag. I must say, this game has really struck a chord with me; after my first play I had fallen in love with it. I had read and/or watched several reviews and game-play run-throughs so had a reasonable feeling that it was going to be a game that I'd like ...but you never truly know if a game will be a winner until you've sat down and actually played the thing. I can see why it's ranked #4 (well, it was number #4 when I started writing this but now I see it's crept up to #3! ...Edit: and now 2 days after posting it's hit #2) on the BoardGameGeek.

Witches vs Nomads.

Each player controls a different fantastical race; giants, mermaids, witches and darklings, to name a few ~ there are 14 to choose from and each has it's own unique powers and weaknesses. The game-board shows a land divided into hexes, each hex one of 7 different terrain types ...and each race particularly likes one of these; mountains for the giants, lakes for the mermaids, forest for the witches and swamp for the darklings etcetera etcetera ...this is the only terrain the particular race will build it's structures upon. All races though have the ability to terraform types of land they don't like into their own, the difficulty of the transformation depends on how similar the land-types are.

More camels than you can shake a very dessicated stick at.

Every race has it's own player-board upon which their unbuilt structures reside;  as a race builds new structures on the map they reveal resources that were concealed beneath them on their boards that will be available in following rounds. Some buildings provide an instant benefit upon building them, and others open an extra special race ability.

Classic broom-riding witches ...wheeeeee!

At first glance the races may all seem rather similar, but at a closer look you'll notice small differences ...costs to build structures, what resources the structures provide, special abilities ...and other little differences. If you find you do well with one race, then try the same play style with one of the others, there's a good chance the outcome will be very different.

Priests off working at Cult headquarters.

To prevent players from hiding away in their own little corners of the board the designers have made it beneficial (to all involved) when building adjacent to another race's structures. The builder can get things constructed at a lower cost, while players with neighbouring structures can gain power. This makes for some tactical plays ... especially when there are a larger number of players at the table.

Land, workers, cash and power ...what more do you need.

The other mechanic that really makes this game is the (3) bowls of power. The power is accumulated through various means and can be used to perform certain special actions.
These abilities are once-per-rounders and first in first served. If power is spent from a player's third bowl, they get to keep the power spent ~ it is moved to the lowest bowl. If it is paid from their second bowl, the player permanently loses an additional amount equal to what was paid ~ this is not always a bad thing, but does reduce their overall power pool. Any power gained during the game is not added into their pool, but rather moved from their lowest bowl to the next one up; the power circulating round and round as it is spent and gained. The mechanic is very cool.

The Tri-Pools of POWER!!!

I've mainly played this as a 2-player game and I've enjoyed it each and every time. I can see though that it would certainly get better with more at the table. I can also see that if you played this predominantly as a game with several players'd possibly not be a fan of the 2-player game due to the lower chance of the 'building adjacent' aspect not cropping up as much.

Grinning evilly, my better half takes the win ...again.

Currently this is my go-to game ...and I'm certainly looking forward to the extra tiles I've ordered via the BGG store and the Spielbox shop ;)
Fingers crossed our postie doesn't fold the package, emblazoned with "DO NOT FOLD", in half and force it into the letterbox slot like last time.