RogerBW's Blog

Reading Boardgames Social 22 September 2015 23 September 2015

Back at the Great Expectations. Food's not bad, but pricy; beer is much better. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

Just two games for me tonight. I got started with a couple of rounds of Codenames, a recent and very popular game from Vlaada Chvátil. It's deceptively simple: one player on each team (blue and red) is the caller. 25 cards with words on them are face up. The caller has to tell his team which cards have his own side's markers on them on the map, which he can see and the rest of the team can't; he does this with a two-word clue, a number and a hint-word which should identify the cards. If they get their own side's cards, good; if the other side's cards, the other side's that much closer to winning; if the single "assassin" card, they instantly lose.

This seems rather Hanabi-like, with the same formal and limited information, but the callers really need to change each round or they'll get awfully frustrated. Quite fun, but not one I'll rush to play again.

The same could be said of Brew Crafters, which I finally got a chance to try out. It's a fairly abstract Euro-style game: you're buying ingredients to brew beer, but some of them are harder to find than others, and you have to balance that with expanding your workforce, expanding the brewery with new functions, doing research to get better at various actions, and so on.

I enjoyed the game, though it probably went on about half an hour too long to be ideal, but wasn't surprised to come in last. This is a game for which one really has to plot one's strategy from the beginning, and stick to it – but several appealing-looking ones, such as concentrating on one style of beer, aren't as rewarded as they might be.

[Buy Codenames at Amazon] [Buy Brew Crafters at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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