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New to Me: CO2

Authorianoble    CategoryBoard Games     Tags

September 19th


CO2 has been on the radar for quite a while. Worried about how heavy the game is and hard it would be to learn/teach, I held off on trying to acquire a copy. In a recent math trade I took a shot at picking up a copy and sure enough the pieces fell into place for that to happen.

Ok, so this is one of the more heavier games I’ve played in a long time. This is one of those games where you have to learn the majority of the rules, enough to know what the actions are and why you would want to do each one, then just jump in a start playing. Because while there is a lot going on, the system is pretty streamlined. each player is trying to build green energy power plants throughout the world. But in order to do that, they have to propose a project, which gives some immediate benefits, then install the project, then they’re able to build the power plant. The trick is that just because you proposed the project that doesn’t mean you are the only one who can install it. Same goes for when you install a project. Another player can use the expertise that your company acquired and swoop in to install the power plant. This leads to a lot of complex, multi-level decision making. Sure, you want to get projects proposed so you can gain the immediate benefits, but you also want to try and convert someone else’s projects into power plants in order to control that region of the world. Oh and then there are very important expertise tracks, one for each type of green energy. You can’t even build a power plant unless you’ve invested time learning about the energy technology. All the while, making sure the pollution level doesn’t hit 500 PPM or else everyone loses! All that to think about, yet you’re only allow 1 action per turn.

There is just so many things going on, but it’s such a wonderful experience from start to finish. This is one of those games where I find myself smiling while I’m taking my turn. Hurts so good, as I like to say.


New to Me: Bruges

Authorianoble    CategoryBoard Games     Tags

September 22nd


As a self proclaimed Stefan Fled fanboy, never has there been a year more exciting than this one! Feld has (or will soon) released 4 new games. The first of those four that I have been able to play is Bruges. Hearing that it’s a good 2 player game, I choose it over the other new Feld game I acquired this year, Rialto, which I hope to get to soon.

Bruges is almost entirely a card driven game. Sure, there is a board to allow players a few other places to get points, but when it comes down to it most of the players’ decisions will be based on the cards in their hands. And man, there are a lot of decisions!

A unique element is how you get cards in the first place. You’ll start each round with 5 cards by usually drawing 4 cards, but you don’t just draw them from a central draw pile, blindly. There are two draw piles and you can actually see the color of the card you are going to draw. Say you need some red workers to activate another card you played earlier, but there are no red backed cards available, which other color do you draw instead? Obviously hoping the next card will be red. Feels somewhat random, but unlike a lot of his games, being diverse is beneficial. It doesn’t seem like you want to specialize in one type of path since you may get stuck from the card draw. All of the cards have a unique character that has some special ability, either immediately, every time you activate it with a worker or an ongoing effect. But these characters don’t do anything unless you put them in a house. And you build houses by placing these cards face down in front of you, thus nullifying the opportunity to use that character’s special ability.

This is definitely a game where sometimes you have to choose from a handful of bad options. Personally, I really enjoy those decisions but I can see how some people wouldn’t. Also, we found that we saw where we could pull off really cool combos, but we either didn’t have enough money, workers or actions (only 4 per round). In a 2 player game there are about 8 rounds and it felt like there should be more.

I’m very pleased with this game. The variety of the cards is outstanding. Every game will be very different. The board is a little overdone and there are a few elements that don’t seem all that interesting (canal building, for instance). But as a whole package, it’s a great game.

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