Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Board Game Bash a huge success!

This past holiday Monday, the Board Game Bash went down and saw 3 times as many people as were expected (170+!!!).  Despite some minor hiccups like not enough tables and chairs in the building for everyone who actually showed, I thought it was a stellar day brilliantly organized by Daryl.  I got to demo the wonderful Coal Baron to a bunch of people and tried a couple rounds of Uwe Rosenberg's Glass Road which I quite enjoyed with the full complement of 4 players.  And the prizes, oh so many prizes from all the sponsors!

Definitely a good thing for Kitchener-Waterloo and people came from surrounding Ontario cities like Guelph, London, and even the GTA.
Check out the pics at the Facebook page, and please ignore the one really terrible picture of me that Daryl refuses to take down.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

First plays - Pandemic: The Cure and AbluXXen....

A couple nights ago I was able to play the only prototype in North America (says Daryl) of the new Pandemic dice game as well as a couple rounds of the upcoming delightfully vicious Kramer & Kiesling card game.

A special set of dice for each character
P: TC was interesting to say the least.  It felt a bit too busy and game-y for my tastes but the rest of the group seemed to really enjoy it.  Surprisingly, it seems to run longer than a regular game of Pandemic.  We definitely had some real rules questions throughout so I'll be curious to see if there are additions included in the final version of rulebook.
Things started to go sideways for us right about......
Tons of characters to play
I also cobbled together a set of cards and give us an unofficial preview of AbluXXen (or Linko! in English) coming out soon.  If you know Kramer, you'll remember he created the classic card game Take 6 (6 Nimmt!, Slide 5, whatever edition you call it).  I believe this brilliant game will have the same staying power - it's nasty, easy to pick up, and much subtler than at first glance.  Can't wait to get my hands on a real copy.

If you're interested in trying out the new Pandemic dice game and you're in Southern Ontario, Daryl will have the prototype at the Board Game Bash this coming holiday Monday (details are here or here).  Yours truly will be explaining how to play the lovely Coal Baron, amongst other games, so definitely say hello.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hanabi - Mahjong style...

One of the great games of 2013, Hanabi, was also one of the fiddliest.  If you don't own Hanabi, well, firstly, why not?  It's 8 bucks!!!!  Secondly, you might not have played it so you won't know how hard it is to not reveal your cards when holding them or picking them up as you always have to face them away from yourself.  Well, thanks to the immense and well-deserved popularity of the game, Abacus Spiele released a giant edition with card stands and nicer pieces and a deluxe collector's edition with Mahjong-style tiles and wooden box to hold everything.

Up until now, I'd only heard of the rare collector's edition but then I managed to finally find it at one local online retailer, BoardGameBliss (wonderful store by the way with some really obscure European stuff like this and a very friendly, generous owner).  And OF COURSE, I couldn't help myself!

Suffice to say, Hanabi with chunky black tiles is magical.  They're tactile, don't ever fall over, and they make that delightful sound whenever you play them to the table.  It's a simple change to the game but amazing how much more enjoyable it makes the whole experience.  (Just so you know, deluxe edition?  NOT 8 bucks...)

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Walled City: Londonderry

Exciting News! It is official, Daryl Andrews (one of the writers for Death Of Monopoly), with the help of co-designer Stephen Sauer, have announced their upcoming game "The Walled City: Londonderry" to be published by Mercury Games. If you would like to learn more about Mercury Games you can enter their contest (ends Feb 11th). Go to:

Stay tuned for more info about The Walled City. Meanwhile, we have the press release below:

Mercury Games is pleased to officially announce "The Walled City: Londonderry" by designers Daryl Andrews and Stephen Sauer.
"The Walled City: Londonderry" pits rival politicians against one another to become the First Mayor of the city. Founding a medieval walled city is no easy task and you are about to find out just how difficult it can be!
Two rounds with multiple turns are played with a scoring phase after each. Quick play is complimented by tough decisions, and missed opportunities can come back to haunt you.  Providing a safe place to live for the peasants will earn you a large reward, but failing to construct the city wall in time will see the loyal knights abandon the city for safe haven.
Each turn consists of playing cards to build roads that form neighborhoods with citizens that have allegiances to one of the players. Nominate watchmen to the towers, rig districts (called gerrymandering) and raise great walls.  All these play a part in solidifying your power as you attempt to climb to the top of the political heap.
All the while the Guilds that you align yourself with impart special powers that can upset the plans of your rivals. Move a road to form a new neighborhood where the citizens in your camp are in the majority or remove a wall that protects rival citizens from the ravages of the surrounding area. The Guilds will affect the outcome of who runs the city when all the dust settles.
"The Walled City: Londonderry" is a highly thematic and elegant area control/area influence game for 2-4 players that plays in about 60 minutes.  As with all Mercury Games products, players will enjoy the unique mechanics and interesting choices this game has to offer.
Keep an eye on the BGG page for "The Walled City: Londonderry" to watch for further pictures and information as we begin to show off this new game!  When the time is right, you'll also find out how to acquire a copy of the game for yourself this Summer!