Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island is a game I have been dying to play, ever since I saw an Essen video on BGG. Unfortunately, the latest print run did not meet expectations, so it was very difficult to find. A friend of mine also wanted a copy, so we decided to have him buy one but I would get to play it.
As excited as we both were, getting the game on a Monday and playing on Tuesday was a risky proposition. I did my best to watch some videos and get through the rulebook, but as I found out, it is not an easy game to grasp right away. We only finished about 6 rounds and had to call it on time. No problem, our next game would be much cleaner and with less rules questions.
That brings me to my first “official” game. 4 players, first scenario. Because there are so many moving pieces, I don’t want to get into the how it plays. I just want to give my thoughts.
First, the theme in this game is stronger than just about any other game I’ve played. That is fantastic, IMO. I don’t need to have theme in my games, but I strongly prefer it. There were so many times when we said, well that’s what we would do in real life. Things just made sense. The cooperative aspect is so much fun, as well. Since there are no turns, this is a highly social game with everyone having input on what we should be doing. For the most part, we were able to agree on things, but there were times when a player really needed to help themselves, so they had to go against the opinions of the group…just like in real life.
I came away very, very pleased with how everything turned out. So happy that someone in our group has a copy, even though I can see the game only being played a handful of times over the year, just because the amount of setup/breakdown involved. Can’t wait to see more copies in the wild so I can obtain one for myself. The solo game should work very well with the theme.
Find a copy, if you can. Then buy it.
The Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game has been in that category of games that I have really wanted to try out, but just never was able to pull the trigger. Well, after a friend of mine told me he could get the core set for $12 at Target, I couldn’t resist. The thing I have going for me is that my wife is is a huge Star Wars fan. To the point where you can ask her about a specific character and she’ll go into the entire back story. Needless to say, getting her into the theme did not take a lot of work. Now, getting her into playing a miniatures game…I was less confident about that.
My tried and true method of introducing new games to my wife came trough for me again. Set the game up on the table well ahead of time and just wait for that right moment to throw out the “hey, do you want to play a game tonight” question.
Ok, ok. Enough about that; what did I think of the game??
We played just the regular setup, where she had Luke and I had “Night Beast” and an Obsidian Pilot. The first game, I pretty much crushed her. One of my ships only took 1 damage. She must have learned a few things, because our second game turned out much differently. Critical hits on “Night Beast” early left me very vulnerable and she was quick to take advantage. After I was down to a single ship, I felt like I had to be on the offensive if I wanted to survive. Some fancy X-Wing navigating put her in perfect position for a crushing first strike, hitting me for all 3 damage on a single roll! That was the end of the Empire.
Love this game and want more ships ASAP! I do have 2 more core sets that are sitting unopened (in case it flopped), but I’m really looking forward to playing with more pilots, upgrade cards and just awesome new miniatures. Time to start getting into squad building, me thinks.
Viticulture is a game that I totally missed when it was on Kickstarter. A friend of mine ordered it online right after it came out and had very good things to say about it. We got a 4p game in and there were a lot of things to like about the game, but also couple issues.
As with many worker placement games, they need to scale with certain player counts. I felt like 4 might be toughest configuration because of the number of spaces that are either unavailable or are taken by the other 3 players. I found myself doing very little on a number of turns, even though I had all of my workers available simply because there was just not a legal place for me to go. Sure, having the game end at 20 points is unique, I would rather have the score track continue on and the end game triggered by something else. Eeking out 1 or 2 points a turn just doesn’t feel very fulfilling, even if it is 5-10% of the total points needed to win. You work so hard to fulfill and order that is…4 points. Psychologically it doesn’t make you all that excited.
All in all the game was very tight. You have to be extremely efficient, which is tough on the first play. This game, more so than many other games, will feel very different the next time I’m able to play. Even with the same player count.
Solid design, looking forward to playing again.
August 1st 2013
Werewolf Inquisition is a boardgameified version of the hugely popular game Werewolf (full disclosure, I’ve never actually played Werewolf). We played with 5, so that meant 2 Werewolf players and 3 Villagers.
A round consists of each player choosing one of the available roles, performing the action. These actions can be to see one of the face down cards that were set out in a grid format at the start of the game. They contain both Villagers and Werewolves. The Werewolf players are trying to kill those Villagers, whereas the Villager players are trying to kill the Werewolves.
After everyone has had a turn, everyone must vote for someone (or something) to be lynched. The card with the most votes is turned face-up and instantly dies. The role associated with that character is removed from the game.
Then the night phase starts. This is where the start player will pick a column of the face down cards and pass it around the table. Werewolves will be able to look at those cards and choose which will be killed.
Ok, so essentially that’s the game. Here’s where it didn’t work for me. A the beginning of a game like this we generally start right off accusing everyone of being either the spy, a Minion of Mordred or a Werewolf. Since it wasn’t all that crucial to know who the Werewolves were we were kind of just left with finding out through the actions of the players. Also, you have zero information to start the game, so voting is really random. Usually someone looked at a card and told everyone to keep it or kill it.
For me, a game like this has to really excel as a social experience. This did not. I’m sure a lot of people will meta game better than we did and with more players there are probably many more opportunities for bluffing but with 5 it seemed almost too balanced. If the right roles stayed in the game, the Villagers just needed to not make any dumb plays to win.
Other games played: Dominant Species ( x 4) and Show Manager ( x 3.5)
- New to Me: CO2
- New to Me: Bruges
- New to Me: Robinson Crusoe
- New to Me: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
- New to Me: Viticulture
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