In this third part of my look at the Alea games, I’m moving into the small box set which appeared in 2001 and concluding with Alea’s best known release, Puerto Rico (2002). For Ra, Chinatown, and Taj Mahal, see the first article in the series. For Princes of Florence, Adel Verpflichtet, and Traders of Genoa, see the second article. Continue reading
I’ve continued to be largely incommunicado in recent weeks, and that’s been due to illness. Before the 2nd I hadn’t even played any games in a couple of weeks, which will tell you how sick I’ve been. As a result, my newest “new to me” column is about a month later than usual.
This one talks about the games that I played in October, November, and December that I’d never played before.
Timeline (2011). I was surprised to discover that I’d only started playing this in fall because it’s already become a regular part of my game nights. The concept is simple: each player is dealt a handful of discoveries, events, or inventions. One at a time you have to place these in a timeline in their correct order. So it’s a trivia game, which I usually hate, but somehow this one really works. Maybe because the guessing seems simple enough. You just have to figure out where a card goes relative to the others. The result is surprisingly thoughtful and fun and … dare I say it … educational. Its really quick gameplay helps a lot too.
Christmas is just around the corner. If you haven’t already picked up presents for your family and friends … it’s getting down to the wire. To help the process along, I wanted to offer what I hope will be the first in an annual series of board-game gift-giving guides.
I’ve mostly focused on games from the last year or two, with a few references to older releases. Everything’s organized by the type of gamer you’re giving to, with the caveat that most of my suggestions are euro games — which means somewhat more strategic and somewhat more abstract.
If there are any other great games from recent years that belong on this list, please tell me about them in the comments below, along with the type of gamer that you’d give them to. Continue reading
This continues my series of updates and revisions to the Alea game articles that I wrote for my personal blog in 2009, as I played through Alea’s entire series of (then) 22 games. For Ra, Chinatown, and Taj Mahal, see the first article in the series.
Big Box #4: The Princes of Florence (A)
Author: Wolfgang Kramer, Richard Ulrich
Publisher: Rio Grande Games (2010)
Alea Difficulty Scale: 6
Other Articles: Review (11/03), Alea Treasures #4 (10/12)
My Plays: 3+, with more predating my logging games (2+ when I originally wrote this)
An auction and resource-management game where you’re acting as a patron for the arts, collecting various sorts of creators who will produce “works” for you; however, you have to provide your clients with the best conditions possible so that they produce the best works, and that means purchasing the buildings, landscapes, freedoms, and other things that they want.
The game is played out over seven rounds, during which the minimum requirements for the production of a work slowly increase. Each round you’ll get to win one auction (which can get you one of six things you need to produce works) and then you’ll get to take two actions (which allow you to get other things you need to produce works — and to produce the works themselves). At the end of the game, points are based largely on the quantity and quality of works you produced, with some bonuses for buildings, extra landscapes, extra builders, and possibly for cards that you purchased.
Here’s my newest quarterly listing of games I’ve played recently that I’d never played before. As usual, this list tends to focus on brand-new games, but on occasion the odd older game shows up that I just hadn’t tried out before. This time around there was a little glut of games in the 2007-2008 range.
I’m happy to have seen a couple of terrific releases (Village and Small World: Realms) which made the Summer a great time to be gaming. Sadly, there were also two total failures in D-Day Dice and (very belatedly) World War 5.
Everything is arranged in approximate ranking of personal like, from most to least.
Over the course of 2009, I deliberately played through all 22 games then published by Alea, from Reiner Knizia’s Ra to the brand-new Alea Iacta Est. As I played each game, I wrote an analysis of it at my livejournal. If you wish, you can still read the original 22 Alea posts there.
Rather than keep all that material locked up on a non-gaming site, I’ve decided to bring it over here, where I’ll be revising and regularizing the content to make it into a more coherent series. So, here is the first of several articles on Alea, based on my thoughts from a couple of years back. I’ll be publishing more every 2 or 4 weeks, so as not to dominate the blog with this material. Continue reading
Back in my earliest days of writing board game blogs, I opined upon the 70 new games I’d played in 2005 in an article full of mini-reviews.
I’ve decided to revisit this topic here in Mechanics & Meeples. Thus, this is the first of a series of mini-review articles where I’m going to give quick synopses and impressions of games that I played for the first time in the preceding months. This article covers the first half of this year, from January to June.
I was somewhat surprised when writing this to discover that only two of the new-to-me games dated from earlier than 2011 and only one from earlier than 2010. I generally feel like I’ve escaped the cult of the new, but clearly it’s still a major focus in my gameplaying.
I’ve generally listed games in descending order of my interest. That doesn’t mean a game is necessarily good or bad, just that it does or doesn’t fit my gaming tastes.