Saturday, December 26, 2015

Recent Acquisitions--Or December is a Good Month for Picking Up Board Games

I usually get a couple of games during the month of December; what with Board Game Geek (BGG) Secret Santa, gifts from my gaming friends, and presents from family. But this last month was especially great for getting new board games added to my collection. I added 18 new items--6 expansions and 12 new games. Let's talk about each of them in more detail.

Labyrinth: Charlie and I have really been enjoying playing Twilight Struggle and this war game is in the same vein. It has card play and is America fighting against the terrorist forces. It looks more complicated than Twilight Struggle and might take me a while before I understand it. But then Twilight Struggle was difficult for me too at first. This game also boasts a really great solo experience and I am always looking for games that are good to play solo.

Circus Train: Charlie is my best friend. I don't know that I have ever had a friend like Chuck before in my life. He is super thoughtful and brought this game over this last week on Tuesday for our weekly game night. I have only played this game once, but I really enjoyed it. You are putting on circus shows in different cities in America. It is a mix between a train game and Colosseum. It is from Victory Point Games so it has those chunky laser cut pieces that are nice.

Blood Rage: I heard Tom Vasel and company raving about this game. I had seen the Kickstarter for it, but it just didn't sound that great to me at the time. And sometimes I dislike how Cool Mini or Not does their rule books. But after watching several reviews this just really sounded fun, so I had some extra money and I decided to pick it up as a gift to myself. I've played it once already and really enjoyed it. I lost pretty badly, but I enjoyed that there are many paths to victory. I want to play it more. And it has pretty cool looking miniatures.

Ticket to Ride: United Kingdom/Pennsylvania: This was also part of my present to myself shipment that I got from Miniature Market. Tom Vasel said this was really good too. It sounded like two variations of Ticket to Ride that were a little more complicated, and that appealed to me. We have already played on the Pennsylvania map and enjoyed it. I would really like to try the UK map too with the technologies.

Lords of Waterdeep: This year I signed up for two different BGG Secret Santa. One was just the normal/Euro Secret Santa and the other was the War Game Secret Santa. Lords of Waterdeep came from my normal Secret Santa. I have played this game before and enjoyed it. This is a pretty simple worker placement. A good entry point into that mechanism. I would love to introduce more people to worker placement and I think this will be a good one to have in my collection. I believe that my wife will enjoy it too. Thanks Santa!

Ticket to Ride: Heart of Africa: This also came from my normal Secret Santa. It was on my list because I love Ticket to Ride. I haven't tried it yet and I don't know how often it will hit the table. But I will give it a try eventually.

Colt Express: Horses and Stagecoach: I absolutely love Colt Express. It totally deserved to win the Spiel des Jahres this last year. And when this expansion came out I just went and purchased it right away. I'm glad I did too. It adds some new wrinkles to the game, but I don't think it adds a huge amount of complexity. It keeps the same spirit of Colt Express. Although it did make the game significantly longer the one time I played with this expansion. I'm hoping that that will not always be the case.

Cash and Guns: More Cash and More Guns: This is another expansion that I just had to have. Funagain Games had an awesome Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas sale and I just had to grab some deals. This was one of them. This expansion looks like a lot of fun and I can't wait to give it a try. I really would like to play it with a huge group though. The more the better with this game.

Euphoria: This was another game from the Funagain sale. I have really enjoyed Viticulture by the same company that made this game. I think I will like the theme and it is worker placement. It has great pieces too.

Hellenes: I had never checked out this block war game before, but it was up on the Funagain sale. I did a quick view of a review and it looked pretty cool so I picked it up. Hopefully it will be great.

Blood and Roses: This was also on the Funagain sale. I had this counter and hex on my wish list for a while and I just had to pick it up when it was on sale. It looks pretty complicated, but it also has a high solo rating, so hopefully it will work as a great solo experience. I started clipping counters and this one will keep be busy for a while.

Holdfast: Russa: This beaut came from my war game Secret Santa (Santa Grogs) and he knocked my gifts right out of the park. Such great choices. I am looking to cracking open this block war game.

Churchill: This also came from Santa Grogs and while it looks much more complicated, I have been drooling over it since I learned of its release. It is for three people and you play the three super powers coming out of WWII--Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt. It is more of a political struggle game, but it looks super fun and also has a high solo rating. Can't wait. I am really glad that I did war game Secret Santa this year. It was fun.

Camel Up: Supercup: My mother got me this expansion. I asked for it and it got wrapped up under the tree. I love Camel Up and my family loves Camel Up. Just like with Colt Express, this game totally deserved the Spiel des Jahres last year. I am hoping that this expansion will be fun without adding too much complexity.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: My mother also got me this game. Pirates? Yes, please. Zombies? Sure, I don't mind zombies. Cooperative game play? Hell, yes! I heard a lot of good things about this game and I am hoping that it will provide another great cooperative experience for me and my family. Although I don't know how easy it will be for my son.

Niagara: My brother and sister-in-law got us this game. It looks like a fun family weight game with a little take that built in. I like the look of the pieces and how the box is used to make a waterfall out of the board. Here's to hoping that it will be as much fun as it looks.

Battleship: My son got a newer version of this for Christmas from his Grandmother. I used to like Battleship when I was a kid, so I let the little guy store the game down on in the game room. It is shelf worthy. I guess my mother and wife picked this one up at a thrift store a few weeks back for a song. It is totally complete and was unpunched. I wonder how many copies of games like this there are out in the world that sit in closets unpunched. Punching and organizing game components is one of my favorite things to do.

Tokaido: Collectors Pieces: I Kickstarted this a few years ago and it finally arrived the day before Christmas. All I got were the pieces to upgrade my copy of Tokaido to a Collectors Edition. It looks pretty cool, although we haven't played Tokaido too often. But now it has metal coins and little figurines. I will have to give Tokaido another try.

So, as you can see, I had a great December. I have a ton of games to open and organize, which I love. I am going to try and space them out a little though because I do love organizing components so much.

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