On the Table – January 2023
It’s my first On the Table of the year! For new readers to the site this is an ongoing series where I look at every board and card game I played in the month the post refers to (I’m a little behind!). This will not cover computer games or tabletop RPGs. Games are listed alphabetically, with review links where applicable, and BGG links for every game. I will also indicate if I have played it on BGA.
1960: The Making of the President
A card driven wargame with the theme of the 1960 presidential election between Nixon and Kennedy. Players take one side in the battle for votes across the United States. I didn’t quite get all the strategy the first time through playing but I am keen to play again. Like a lot of this style of game, it takes a few plays to get a handle on what you can do, and the best way to do it.
7 Wonders (BGA)
I was playing this for Cult of the Old, though this episode isn’t out quite yet. It was really interesting to revisit a game that I really didn’t like when I first played it. I had a few games on BGA with my fellow hosts and liked it more than I did, but still not enough to really recommend it. Duel is great though.
It turns out that my wife quite likes Backgammon and we played a few games so she could get the hang of it. I’ve enjoyed revisiting this game that I think I last played back in high school. Hope to get it to the table quite a bit over the course of the year, and maybe pick up a nicer set.
Battlecrest: Felwoods Base Game (Review Copy)
I was sent this by Button Shy for review and I really enjoyed my first play of it. An interesting battle game that sees heroes move around a small arena, manipulating their powers in order to get into position to defeat their opponent. Lots to delve into in a svelte package. The kind of thing Button Shy does best.
Break the Code (BGA)
This is like a competitive version of those number/logic puzzles you find at the back of newspapers. It’s quite clever how it creates a new puzzle for each setup, but I don’t feel like there is a huge amount of ‘game’ here.Maybe a bit too clever for its own good.
Ah Eldritch. Played over a couple of nights at a friend’s place where we could leave it setup. It’s such a popcorn muncher of a game and I’ve had a lot of fun with it over the years. Picked up the Dreamlands expansion for it recently and just need to get Cities in Ruin to complete the collection. About time to figure out how to store it all better!
A Feast for Odin
I’ve played this game a lot on BGA but not across a table. I will eventually review it once I have. I really love the experience of satisfyingly slotting the tiles together on BGA but I do wonder if I would find it dull in real life, or if the downtime would be too much.
I really like this light worker placement game with its charming artwork and ramping up complexity over the course of its playtime. Don’t know if it will stay in the collection forever but its a really good intro to what the hobby can be.
I used to own Hanabi, round about the time when it was the new hotness. It’s a co-operative game of making fireworks where the core game is that you can’t see your own cards but can see everyone else’s. You are trying to convey information with limited choices about what you can say, to allow everyone to build ascending sets of fireworks. Really clever design and one to check out if you never have.
King of Tokyo
You should know by now this is going to appear on my list a lot. I love this yahtzee style game of kaiju battling it out for the city of Tokyo. It gets to my table all the time because it takes a good few players and is easy to play.
Jamie backed this as he is a big fan of the Phoenix Wright series and this game has that sort of feel to it. It’s a two player game where you play a case out, one person taking the prosecution and one the defence. You play cards to build evidence, question witnesses, and swing jurors to your way of thinking. It’s an interesting thing for sure, but we didn’t get a full game. Definitely want to give it another shot.
I always go back to this game as one of my favourite two player games. Easy to teach, difficult to win, with a really satisfying tile placement core.
One that I was playing to get a review done, this was the first game I played with Jamie when we met up back in January. It is a really smart piece of co-op design in a small package.
This is one of those weird games that constantly reminded me of something else. In this case it was Libertalia: Winds of Galecrest. You have a random set of the same characters in your hand and each of them does things that allow you to win locations and points. The issue I had was that it was really hard to predict what other people might do because you don’t know what cards they have. Libertallia makes this problem a little more solvable as you start with the same cards. Dan Thurot sums up my thoughts well in his review.
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