notes

New to me, June and July 2015

by james mathias / 2015 / games

Elysium

Elysium

When I first heard about this game, I was absolutely blown away.

I knew I’d love it, and love it I do. I really don’t have much more to say. It’s a set collection game on steroids, and it has the same beautiful art direction, and component quality that Space Cowboys is becoming known for. Stunning to look at, and really solid game play. It’s a winner, and you should try it.


Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

I held off on Mad King Ludwig for a few reasons. 1.) I already own and enjoy Suburbia, 2.) There were some complaints about component, and art quality, 3.) I have plenty of other fabulous games to play.

When my co-worker bestowed it’s virtues, I knew I had to give it a shot. I do not regret the purchase, it’s a solid game, and because it’s lighter than Suburbia, it’s a good fit for family night gaming.


Nations: The Dice Game

Nations: The Dice Game

I’m a sucker for dice, make them custom dice and you just got a sale.

Unfortunately, my love of dice has steered me wrong quite a few times, I’m looking at you Quarriors.

Fortunately this time around, we’ve got a pretty solid, albeit short, and light civilization game. The dice can be cruel, but the game has plenty of mitigation, and the play time is so short, it doesn’t really matter if you get squashed, just play again. Luck is as Luck does.


Neuroshima Hex!

Neuroshima Hex!

Here is a game I played on iOS, and just didn’t understand the appeal. The game sucked. Or so I thought.

I read the rulebook, and then tried it again, it started to click, but still felt a little weird. My sons all said it was a great game, so I bought the cardboard version, and played a few times. I have to say in cardboard I get it. And I really, really like this one. Very glad I took a chance on it after not liking the iOS version.


Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

The last thing in the world that I need is another heavy card game. But, if I’m not a sucker for beautiful art, and did I mention my custom dice predilection? Ashes has both in spades.

This game is both beautifully produced, and designed. The game play is super smooth, and the tempo is incredible. I don’t think it replaces Conquest for me, but it has a place in the collection due to it’s unique mechanics and gorgeous theme.


Kraftwagen

Kraftwagen

I’m a huge fan of Matthias Cramer, and not just because he has a sweet first name. But because he only designs solid, fun, interesting, and deep euro games. I’ve yet to be disappointed with his games, and unlike the games of some of his contemporaries I’ve yet to sell one off.

Kraftwagen is no different, it’s got a home in my collection. It’s got smooth, interesting game play and a really quirky action selection mechanism which I adore.

Bravo! I say sir, you’ve done it again.


Onward to Venus

Onward to Venus

Space. Wood ships, tanks, ray guns, mines, and factories. Planets. This game has all the hallmarks of a game Jimmy would Love™.

And love it I do.

Venus is good fun, takes up a tad too much space on the table, and some rules are a bit ambiguous, but the game is interesting, and not too long. There is likely a bit more luck involved than most folks would like, but I like stretching my adapt-on-the-fly muscles from time to time.


Planes

Planes

I really like Mancala, it’s one of my favorite mechanisms. I just really like it. Planes on the other hand. Meh. Not so much. It’s not terrible, it’s not great, it’s just OK. And I have no room for just OK games in my collection. So for sale it is.


Viceroy

Viceroy

This is one of those games I just new I’d love. Really, really love. And I do, but…

This game was produced in Russia by Hobby World, which is know for their top notch production value and over the top art. I was really excited to learn it would be released in English. But then the news dropped that it was picked up by MayDay.

Now if you’ve backed any number of Kickstarters you’ve likely heard of the trouble MayDay has had in the past, and if you’ve ever purchased their sleeves, you’ll know how poor their quality control is.

Needless to say I was quite worried that the game would be produced poorly by MayDay, but knowing it was the only way to get this game in English, I backed the project.

It arrived four months late, with a host of production issues, misprints, low quality card stock (despite a stretch goal to the contrary), rules errors, partial linen finishes, etc… Really disappointing.

Overall I like the game, but each time I play it, I’m reminded of the poor quality control, and general dismissive attitude of MayDay to the complaints.

dismiss

In the summer months I tend to slow down on gaming, and new games in general. I’ve combined June and July for this post.

My job is to be an artist and a good artist is ridiculed.

Ethan Hawke circa 2016