Out like a lamb, is what “they” say of March. Well, here at the DWP we’re doing some spring cleaning by tying up some loose ends from earlier in the month.
First, links to two videos by Steve T for those entering the hobby :
Next, much delayed (by me, not the writers), our What We Played in February article; thanks to Alice C for compiling it:
I finally got to try the much-lauded Wingspan, from Elizabeth Hargrave & Stonemier Games. I get the buzz. I’ve only played it once, but I really liked what it does. It’s an engine building game with birds. The components are lovely, and it’s a really peaceful gaming experience.
I also got to revisit Tikal recently, having acquired the newest version in a game trade a few months back. Designed by Michael Kiesling & Wolfgang Kramer, the new version is published by Super Meeple. It’s a beautiful game full of rich greens, and the stone temple pieces that stack together are a delight to play with. And unlike Wingspan, it has plenty of opportunities to be jerks to your opponents. On one scoring round I was able to use 9 of my 10 action points to race my expedition leader to my opponent’s biggest temple, thus outnumbering her men, and stealing nine juicy points from her. Loved it.
February was an excellent gaming month for me, getting notable plays of Dune: Imperium, Hardback, Spirit Island, Kingdom Death: Monster, and Ankh. On top of that I was able to try two newer hotly anticipated titles, one that landed strongly with me and one that missed.
Ark Nova is a new edition to the BGG Top 100, squeaking in this past week. It has you managing a zoo to get adorable animals into enclosures, working to contribute to conservationism, while generating appeal by making your zoo more exciting. As someone who was underwhelmed by Terraforming Mars, Ark Nova takes the systems present in that game, refines them, and creates a title I am eager to try again. And who wouldn’t want to play a card called a Bushbaby?
Brian Boru is an area control game built on a draft and trick taking system, which sounded so intriguing to me when I first heard about it. I had no idea what that would even look like. The short answer is that what it looks like isn’t for me. I’m sure there are lots of people that would love this game, but as not the biggest fan of either trick taking or area control, the sum of this game wasn’t greater than its parts. I’m probably going to give it another whirl to see if I need time to delve into the mechanics to fall in love, but as of right now it is a flop for me.
I have been obsessed with Three Sisters, a roll-and-write farming game from Motor City Gameworks. Obsessed enough that I’ve now laminated enough sheets for a 4-player game. Obsessed enough that I was playing solo the other day and almost accidentally popped the dice into my mouth instead of the tasty snack I had in the other hand. It’s meaty, it’s engine-y, it’s thematic and thematically fun!
Friend Taylor and I got Dreamscape back to the table which is one of my all-time favorites. I do wish the quality of the board stock was a little better as a couple bits are curved, but overall, amazing implementation of a dreamy Euro. Put simply, you wander around a communal board picking up shards of dreams (round wooden bits) and Doing Actions, then build those shards into a landscape on your personal board to score points and glory. My box has all of the expansions which, until I purchased the BGG upgraded bits for Quacks, was my most expensive game purchase to date.
And just yesterday, we finally opened up Inner Compass from AEG that I got for free for having purchased $50 at their booth at GenCon. It’s a game about feelings—another theme that always draws me in—but it’s really an abstract resource-management and area-control game. Sort of. My students and I have played twice and think it’s pretty good, actually!
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