Board Game Reviews
We play a lot of board games in our house. (Actually, a lot of all sorts of games.) We really enjoy the cooperative ones, as we win or lose together.
Board games have come a long way. I thought I would share some of the games we’ve enjoyed this past year.
From Board Game Geek:
Ghost Stories is a cooperative game in which the players protect the village from incarnations of the lord of hell – Wu-Feng – and his legions of ghosts before they haunt a town and recover the ashes that will allow him to return to life. Each Player represents a Taoist monk working together with the others to fight off waves of ghosts.
I recommend watching a couple YouTube videos first before attempting play. Once you get the hang of it though, this game is a lot of fun and sometimes a bit frustrating.
Each player begins his turn by bringing out a ghost/card. He then decides where he will move and what he will do. Each of the four Taoist pieces has two sets of special abilities and you decide which ones to use for the game. Some can move to any tile, some can fight two ghosts. Each tile is a villager with a special ability – setting Budda bombs, bringing a player back from the dead, etc. The goal is to survive to fight the boss ghost (card always placed tenth from the bottom in the deck) and then beat the boss ghost. Add in dice, tokens, and ghost figures moving in to haunt the town and you have one interesting game.
The frustrating comes from when a ghost card spawns another ghost – and then yet another ghost – or your dice rolls suck. (That’s right, Ray – don’t roll a one.) If you’re not on top of things (or you draw really crappy ghosts from the beginning) the board can become overrun rather quickly.
But beating that boss ghost at the end is so satisfying!
Star Trek the original series Road Trip
Up to four players, you do play against one another. The race is one to get a token that allows you through one of the color-coded passages into deep space. Once you have a federation token, it’s a race to get back to your dorm and secure it. Along the way you can pick up action cards (good) and 50/50 cards (usually not good) and extra phaser tokens.
Everything can be going great – and then you land on detour that sends you to the other side of the board and away from where you were trying to get to. Or you lose the Federation token before reaching your dorm. Those things keep it as anyone’s game until it’s over.
It’s simple, quick to play, and fun.
Pandemic – Reign of Cthulhu
Each player selects an investigator card and each investigator comes with certain bonus qualities – the ability to kill three cultists at once, travel to any town without using a town card, etc. Players start with four sanity tokens, cultists and one shoggoth are randomly placed within the four cities (Arkham, Dunwich, Innsmouth, and Kingsport), and then the race is one to seal the gate in each town.
Players have four actions they can take each turn: move, take a bus, trade a card, kill a cultist, defeat a shoggoth, or seal a gate. They draw cards that correspond to the towns and it takes five of any one color to close a gate. Then there are the summoning cards which places new cultists on the deck. Or worse, evil stirs and a new Old One comes forth.
This cooperative game is a lot of fun. Two to four players work together, using each character’s strength, to wipe out cultists, defeat shoggoths as they appear, and close gates. Working against you are the Old Ones appearing (some of them mess with abilities), losing sanity points, and too many cultists appearing to control.
Even if you’ve never played Pandemic, you’ll have a lot of fun playing. And if you’re into Lovecraft and Cthulhu, you’ll really love it.
Tomb of Annihilation Board Game
From Board Game Geek:
Tomb of Annihilation Board Game is a cooperative adventure design in the same series as Castle Ravenloft that's based on the "Tomb of Annihilation" storyline for Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition.
We just got this game, so I’m still working my way through YouTube videos to figure it out, but it’s highly rated and looks like a ton of fun. I’ll post a review later this year.
The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is Tuesday, January 15!.
If you’re reading this Monday, that’s tomorrow!
Don’t miss it.
New releases!Toi Thomas
Have you ever wondered why it seems authors are often whining about book reviews? What's the big deal anyway? How much of a difference could your one book review really make? In this opinion piece, ten-time self-published author and blogger, Toi Thomas, discusses candidly why book reviewing culture isn't what it should be.
Find it on Amazon
Find it online at these retailers.
Best Progressive Rock Albums of 2018
Continuing my best of 2018 series, I’m diving into music next. And since prog rock is my favorite,it’s the best of prog rock albums.
6 - Joe Satriani – What Happens Next - This is Joe's best album in years. Amazing start to finish.
5 – Ayreon – Universe - Everything about this live performance is stunning. The number of well-known singers is pretty spectacular.
4 – Seventh Wonder – Tiara - Back from a very long hiatus, they continue to create intricate prog that is also catchy and accessible.
3 – Khemmis – Desolation - Continues to be one of the most interesting new band on the scene. This is a great follow-up to Hunted.
2 – Haken – Vector - They continue to re-invent themselves with each album. Vector is complex, heavy, and catchy.
1 – Amorphis – Queen of Time - While I love all of the other albums on this list, this is hands-down the best album of the year. Every song is incredible without a dud in bunch!
Board Game Trivia
Since I reviewed some board games today, the trivia is all about board game pieces. Guess the game from the board pieces:
1 – If you don’t win, you’ll be…
2 – Specialty dice for this popular game.
3 - You will learn about this as you play.
4 – Second game in a series – first one was about islands.
5 – A thinking game.
6 – Variation on an old classic.
7 – Another variation – onward and…
8 – Where it pays to be a slumlord.
Answers in two weeks!
Have you played any of those board games? Participating in #IWSGPit? Fans of any of those bands? (Why not?!) And can you guess the trivia…?
Since January 21 is a holiday (and a three-day weekend), I’ll be offline, but I’ll return with a post on January 28.