RogerBW's Blog

Boxing Day Boardgames 2017 mark 2 28 December 2017

Since some people were free, we got together on actual Boxing Day as well as "Boxing Day" on the 16th.

With just four players we had a wider selection of games, and started with Witching Hour, the other "small" game from IB&C at Essen (along with Pirate 21). It certainly took some getting used to, and may have gone on slightly too long, but it was an interesting twist on the usual hand-management game. Card-counters will do better, though.

Magic Maze next, running the base scenario a couple of times (one win, one loss). I still reckon I like this more than the other players do, and I plan to try out the solo game to see if that works for me too.

We went on to Lovecraft Letter, which provides interesting twists to the standard Love Letter mechanics: all the expected card powers are there, but some "insane" cards drive you mad, which may eliminate you from the round or may give you special extra powers… Also, the presentation is gorgeous, with a magnetic book-style box, and sleeves for all the cards (since they'll necessarily get shuffled a lot).

Though you're still not completely proof against the luck of the draw.

We felt like something a little longer, and gave Among the Stars a try (picked up in the Artipia thanksgiving sale). Base game only, but still interesting; now that I've played 7 Wonders I can see fairly clearly where the DNA for this games card-drafting hand-passing tableau-building comes from, but it does its own thing (most obviously by not having separate card decks for its separate eras) and it's less painful for a new player than that other game can be.

We finished off with Bill and Ted's Excellent Boardgame, a distinct brain-burner of a game: you too can feel as stupid as those guys do. I rather enjoyed it, though there's a little too much randomness to be ideal.

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