On the Table – November & December 2022
I’ve gotten a little behind with these but I do enjoy looking back at the games I was playing in previous months and mulling over what I liked and what I didn’t. December was a very quiet month game wise so I thought it would make sense to do two months in one! Without further ado let’s smash two months together and look at what was On The Table in November and December of 2022.
THE game of the moment, or at least when I played it back in November of 2022. You can see why it captured the imagination. It has simple rules, is easy to teach, but has a compelling stacking = multiplication of points mechanism that makes every choice feel delightfully agonising.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
My journey through Innsmouth continues. Light in the Fog and Horror in High Gear were really enjoyable scenarios. The introduction of vehicles allows for some new design and some great dramatic moments. I just wish the story writing in between scenarios was much better, and massively shorter.
I reach for this more and more as a simple to teach, mean puzzle that can show off what modern games can do. Forgot the expansions, the original is where it is at.
Beyond the Sun
More I play this, the more I like it. Interesting decisions, fast turns, and an emergent narrative from the tech tree that I really like. Expansion coming soon!
Can’t Stop (BGA)
If you are going to play one Sid Sackson game, you should play this. A stone cold classic that seems simple and something you could easily dismiss. Is actually a compelling example of the push your luck genre and I just love it.
If I had the money I would absolutely pick up one of the beautiful boards for this compelling dexterity game. It’s a seemingly simple game with a surprising amount of depth. The folk who are enthusiastic about the game are frequently attendees at conventions so do check the game out if you get a chance.
My favourite engine builder at the moment. You do have to improvise, and you can’t be guaranteed to see all the bits of your desired engine but I am delighted everytime I get to play it.
Feast for Odin (BGA)
I don’t know why I like this game so much but I do. I am really unsure if I would like it in real life. Maybe one to check out at Airecon.
I’d had my eye on this one as a possible addition to the collection. I got the chance to play it at Juniper Green games club and it was as charming to play as it was to look at. I have since picked up a copy and you can read my review above.
Gardens of Babylon
Not sure how available this game is, the copy I played was Kickstarter backed. This is an abstract game of plotting paths round the gardens of the title, throwing seeds into water to displace other peoples and racking up points as you do so. It was ok. I found the paths pretty hard to make out sometimes from the tile placement and the scoring at the end was a bit of a bear.
An abstract game of area control with a fantastic production. Iwari is an odd game. It’s quite hard to parse what the best way to get points is when you first encounter the game. Once you do it is straightforward enough but I am not very good at it! Might get some more plays this year on BGA or IRL like this one.
King is Dead
A superb piece of area control design and one that would be in my collection like a shot if I thought I would ever have occasion to get it to the table. It has just the bare minimum of mechanisms to achieve its aims. The 3 person player count being ideal makes it a bit of a tricky proposition for me to own.
King of Tokyo
Smash each other into pieces in one of my favourite games. Not without some elements of subtlety that are often overlooked.
Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest
A game that has entered rotation on the games I take to Juniper Green games club. Easy to teach, interesting decisions, and a great production. I still want to get some plays in on the stormy side of the board which I am yet to experience.
Lords of Vegas
A new Kickstarter version of this has some really interesting looking new boards. Unfortunately they aren’t available outside of the states. I still maintain the game deserves a new edition that is more widely available.
This is a fun abstract where you are aiming to place tiles in such a way as to get combination of jumps over tokens to collect points. The name refers to the artist whose paintings influenced the design of the game. Definitely a neat one to check out if you get the chance.
Red Flag over Paris
A fascinating game about the Paris Commune uprising in 1871. Feels very much like a shrunk down Twilight Struggle where every decision is an incredibly difficult choice. Eager to play again.
Scrawl is not exactly a new game, it’s not even an original one. Its telephone via pictures. It is also glorious and a great warmup game for an evening of games or as just an addition to a more casual party night.
Skulls of Sedlec (Review Copy)
Button Shy Games were good enough to send me review copies of this, Sprawlopolis, and their 2 player skirmish game, Battlecrest. The company focuses on making 18 card games that fit inside a little wallet.
This one is a game about building piles of skulls in a cemetery and scoring points based on their positions relevant to each other. Odd? Yes. Pretty fun though.
Sprawlopolis (Review Copy)
I’d heard so much about this teeny tiny co-op over the years so I was delighted to receive it amongst my Button Shy review bundle. I had originally written more for this On the Table, but the full review is out so you can read my thoughts on it there.
Ticket to Ride (BGA)
A classic, and I don’t use the word lightly. Easy to teach, seemingly simple, actually quite mean and funny. I can this being a staple of the Giant Brain games nights over the course of 2023.
Top Gun: Strategy Game
For a long time, film tie-in board games were assumed to be terrible (because a lot of them were). Prospero Hall/ Ravensburger have been changing that in the last few years. Jaws was great Back to the Future: Dice through time was fun. This. It’s ridiculous. In all the right ways.
Like Jaws it’s split into two sections. First you play volleyball. Then you have an airplane fight with bonuses based on your volleyball performance. It’s gloriously dumb and loads of fun.
The app is great. The game is deep. The tutorial in the app is really good and gives you a grasp of the basics. If you have any interest in historical set games this would be a great place to start.