RogerBW's Blog

Thirsty Meeples March 2024 23 March 2024

Back to the boardgame café.

Forest Shuffle again, and even though I came last this is looking like a game I will probably buy (once it's a bit cheaper, and indeed more widely stocked). I got some decent animal bonuses, but scored almost nothing on trees, which didn't help matters at all.

Then on to Artifacts, Inc., a dice-worker-placement game which felt as though it should have been more fun than it was. You roll the dice and place them on cards to collect artifacts, buy or upgrade cards, get more dice, and sell artifacts to museums. Also you can go diving for a separate set of artifacts.

It's very much a traditional view of archaeology in which these things are just lying around with nobody to care if you take them off to a museum on the other side of the world—surprising in a game from 2014, more so in a game from Ryan Laukat. More seriously, there are lots of cards on offer, but you'll only get to play with a few of them in a game, given how tight the money tends to be.

It's all right I suppose, but even though I like the period I didn't feel anything pulling me to play it again, (And I have Steampunk Rally, which is also a dice-worker-placement game and which I've generally enjoyed rather more.)

Lastly, a change from our usual Timeline, Cardline: Animals (published in the same year, by the same designer, in the same physical format, but it doesn't seem to have been as successful, perhaps because one can't combine multiple Cardline sets). The only difference from Timeline, in fact, is that there are three parameters on the card, in this case size, weight, and lifespan, and one chooses one of them for each game.

We were moderately competent at the weight game, but very poor at lifespan. The main thing I took away from this is that if I still had a pack of Top Trumps I could use them to play under these rules (just avoid looking at the bottom half of the card), and have a much more enjoyable game than the official Top Trumps game.

But not enough more enjoyable for me actually to buy a pack of Top Trumps.

  1. Posted by DrBob at 03:51pm on 23 March 2024

    I suspect the lifespan thing cheats and gives you a maximum based on zoo or aquarium data. Like a green turtle CAN live 70 years, but lots of them die within minutes of hatching as predators pick them off on the way across the beach to the sea.

    Someone calculated once that if all the offspring of a single female cod survived, then all their offspring survived, etc, the planet would be buried 1.5 kilometres deep in cod an mere 3 generations later...

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 07:21pm on 23 March 2024

    That was definitely out impression—maybe even longest lifespan ever recorded for this particular sort of animal, as opposed to a typical lifespan in the wild or even in captivity.

    (See also the huge historical divergence in humans between life expectancy at birth and life expectancy at 5 years old. Arithmetic mean will lead you astray when your data are skewed, says Old Roger.)

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