Impressions August ’18 – Brass: Lancashire & Birmingham, Carson City: The Card game and 9 more!

welcome to Jong it’s games this is my impressions vlog covering the games that I played throughout the month of August 2018 as you can see I have 12 of them that I’ll be talking about here and I’ve sorted them in mostly alphabetical order and so you could feel free to skip ahead to the ones that most interest you or stick around for the whole thing now before we jump in I would like to briefly request that if you enjoyed this video you consider clicking the like button down below as well as the subscribe button also if you would like to directly support the channel and the creation of videos like this in the future then please go to junkets Gamescom slash support to see a variety of ways with which you could do that all right let’s now go ahead and jump into this list and the first game is gonna be brass Lancashire now you may be wondering why we’re covering this one before brass Birmingham and the reason for that is that Lancashire is essentially a beautiful reprinting of the original brass with a couple small rules tweaks whereas brass Birmingham is a significantly altered brass style game so I’ll talk about that one second and let’s start off with Lancashire here now this one has been republished by Roxy games with this gorgeous artwork and production value all over the place and what’s going on in this game is you start the game with a hand of eight cards and you have a board in front of yourself with a bunch of these little industry tiles on them now these tiles might be ports they might be coal making areas they might be iron making areas or cotton and all of these things are tiles that you’re hoping to put down on to this board of England in front of you now every single turn you have this hand of cards and you’re gonna take two actions and every single action involves you taking one of your cards and playing it into a discard pile now right off the bat this is starting to hit the things that I love about many euros which is what I like to call the one card per turn euro style like Concordia and whatnot where you play a card do one action and your turn is over well impress you play two cards that need to do two actions which is somewhat similar and the cards themselves are gonna sometimes dictate where you can do different actions and other times you just get rid of them so you can play something down that’s not specific because what you’re trying to do is you’re getting these tiles down onto the board and let’s say you put an iron tile down then you’re gonna put iron cubes on top of that tile and as soon as all the cubes are gone then you’re gonna flip that tile over and immediately the person who owned that tile is going to generate some income which means they’ll make money every single round they’ll make more money and everything costs money in this game so that’s very important but also you will generate victory points at the end of the errors of the game and victory points is obviously how you win the game so you have this interesting setting where you’re putting these tiles down and then you’re also putting this little Canal tokens down to try and connect some of the tiles to other tiles because iron doesn’t need to be connected but coal does need to get connected to different spots and the minutiae of that doesn’t matter what’s going on here when what matters is that you can use other people’s stuff if I put a coal factory down then all I really care about is clearing all the coal off so I can flip it over and get that income and get those free tree points and somebody else might use the coal that I have on the board to do something that they’re doing now if they do that then odds are good I’ll be like cool I’m gonna flip my tile over faster although there are many situations where you have a whole plan in your head and there’s like two coal left on that tile and when it’s your turn you’re gonna do this which uses a coal and mat which uses another coal to flip over your tile and you’ll be really happy but suddenly other people have used your coal before it gets back to your turn and now you can still do your action but now you’re using coal from somebody else’s coal plant and you don’t really want to help them out you want to help just yourself out so now do you change your plan up and put another coal spot down so that you can use just your coal or do you just suck it up and decide to use the coal from one of your opponents now you can also buy coal and iron from a central market and again I won’t go into the details of that but what this creates is a gameplay experience that is constantly having players reevaluate what is good for me right now because you’re gonna be definitely strategizing how to plan as you’re trying to give these tiles down and flip them in various ways and in particular get a whole bunch of canal tokens down and then railroad tokens in the second half of the game which will get you points and let you ferry stuff around but as your opponents take their turns you’ll realize there’s just an opportunity here like all of the iron is now gone so maybe I should build an iron spot down instead of doing everything else I’d planned on my turn so that my opponents when they try to do things that take iron will be forced to use my iron and another big part of this is that the market once it starts getting used up when you build a spot on the board that creates that resource you immediately refill the market and getting money for those things so you can really do a lot of very satisfying things as you’re playing the game and your cost knocking around with your strategy to try and maximize the benefit of what you’re doing with each turn I love it the fact that the game has you making a long-term strategy and really thinking lots of turns ahead but forcing you to reconsider your plans at every step of the way which is probably why some people think that this game could go a little bit long because downtime is definitely a factor and when you wrap all this stuff up I really enjoyed my play of brass bass Lancashire in particular with this first play I was not expecting to like it at all what I went when I decided to play this my friend said hey you want to play brass and I said sure this is probably a game that I should try at some points that I can talk about it and I can have that in the back of my head for analyzing other games of whatnot but I was not expecting to like this game at all what ended up happening is that I not only liked it but I loved this game and in fact going forward and this is gonna spill I think a little bit into the brass Birmingham when I talk about that as well I’ve sort of had a brass problem for the last month or so where ever since I played that first game of brass every time I sit down to play games with friends whether it be at like fixture point cafe or here at my house all I really want to do is play brass I don’t really know what’s going on here I’ve joked that like inside that boxers are there’s some sort of curse that kind of reached out and got inside my head because suddenly I just want to play every other game less and I keep wanting to play brass and I never thought that I would be that kind of a player like I’ve played lots of Martin Wallace games in the past and they’re fine they’re okay some of them I like more than others but for a game to latch on my brain like this that’s super rare so I think at this point we should probably shift over and now start talking about brass Birmingham because they’re kind of in the same bucket but they are two different games so as I mentioned before I played at Lancashire a few weeks ago and just a couple days later I found myself at a friend’s house there were three of us and we wanted to play a game and I brought Lancashire and Birmingham with me because at this point I am now borrowing these copies from the friend who owns them because he’s out of the country for a little bit and decided not to check these in his bags and so I brought these over and I pushed to play them because a brass was just on my mind and I just really wanted to try it out again and we all decided to play Birmingham now I stumbled through the rules to for this one it was the first time I’d taught a brass game because in that original play of Lancashire it was taught to me by the friend who owns these games but also I kind of stumbled through all of the additional stuff that Birmingham brings into the brass system on a very high level when you look at brass the original you have cotton that you can make and then there are port tiles that you can put out on the board and you flip over those together you essentially deliver cotton to the ports in brass Birmingham there are no more portals instead you only have locations around the perimeter of the map that you can send resources to and now you own you don’t just have cotton you also have a manufactured goods as well as pottery and these locations around the outside of the map want specific things like you might have a spot that could take all three of those things or another spot that only wants pottery and now you have to connect that pottery tile up to the spot that wants pottery so that you can flip the the pottery over and then get all of the benefits for it now I really like this addition because it means that the location of where you’re putting these tiles down really matters because you want the them to be as close as possible to the spot where you can actually deliver them but you don’t always have that option so you’re kind of doing a push and pull with where you can put these down that you didn’t necessarily have with the original brass also the original brass had a mechanism of sending cotton away to foreign exports and I won’t go into the details of it but long story short the earlier you did it the better and the first couple people who do it are gonna get some benefits and then it’ll be just done you can’t use it anymore so it’s a bit of a race to try and ship cotton out early now in brass Birmingham there aren’t there is no market like that instead what you have is an incentive to deliver to all of these exits soon because at the start of every one of the two errors in the game you are gonna put beer down onto the spots and whenever you deliver a resource you have to consume a beer so that means you can use the beer that’s just out there on the board it’s right there and you also get a little bonus for using the board’s beer but later on you can build a breweries that make more beer and then you can use that beer to do more deliveries once the original board beer has been removed if that makes any sense so the beer has a new resource is a thing that you have to pay attention to because it is required for actually making these deliveries especially the deliveries in addition to the kind of basic ones that you can always make at the beginning of each of these eras now at this point I realize I kind of glossed over a major part of brass for both linka sure and Birmingham and that is the fact that you are gonna play two games in one essentially the game is split into two different eras and this is the same for Birmingham and Lancashire so sorry I didn’t talk about it in that section in the first era you’re building canals and then in the second area you are building railroads that connect all of your locations up but the big interesting factor here is that when you get to that middle point at the end of the first era you then remove every single Canal piece from the board and you score points for them based off of the kind of value of the towns that they are connected to and then you start the second arrow with a clean board again there’s just no connections at all and now you have to build railroads to make all these connections and deliver stuff again but the big difference between these two eras is that in the canal era it just costs money to put your canals down and in the railroad era it also requires cold so you’re gonna be using a lot more coal in the second era and again this is the same for both Birmingham as well as Lancashire but the difference for Birmingham is that in that second era if you want to do big double railroad build actions you also need to use beer so beer becomes this really necessary resource to make deliveries as well as put your railroads all over the place so you can score a bunch of points for them now when it comes to the analysis of these two games I’ve played at Lancashire once and I’ve played at Birmingham two times now and I really want to get back and play Lancashire again because I think I suspect that I’m gonna like Lancashire better but after trying Birmingham out a couple times I I feel like most of my memory is now dominated by the things that happen in those games of Birmingham versus that original game of Lancashire now the reason I think I’m probably gonna lead towards Lancashire more is because that added complexity that Birmingham brings in is both nice and not nice at the same time I really like the fact that you have the you send the exports to the perimeter to different spots that like it I honestly like the beer mechanism of consuming the beer to make those deliveries I think that works out really well the the issues come into play for me is that things are a lot less streamlined in Birmingham specifically with some of the other resources like when you’re building manufacturing the cost to put a man in fact in tile down very all over the place and when it comes to putting pottery down the first piece of pottery is super expensive and the next one is crazy cheap and the next one is super expensive and so these are not negatives they’re not flaws in the gamer and in any way they’re just extra things that you need to pay attention to and can trip you up for instance with the manufacturing there’s one spot that doesn’t need beer at all and there’s another one that you deliver that requires two beer and I’ve seen situations where people go to deliver in like oh it’s two beer instead of one beer I didn’t see that little thing on there and now my whole plan is blown up because I didn’t see that tiny little BB icon instead of the single beer icon so it seems like brass lancashire is just more streamlined it doesn’t have as many of these oh wait but moments as you’re trying to play it as you realize that the thing that you’re doing is illegal for one reason or another now I’m not against Birmingham at this point like I said I feel like I need to play Lancashire one more time and then I’ll really have a decent idea between the two but I really enjoyed my plays of Birmingham as well like I said I’ve played it two times at that account and if the game was just really pulled me in for all of the reasons that I already talked about for Lancashire so part of me wonders if maybe this is a situation where I want to play one in certain settings and the other in other settings I’m not super sure I’m not convinced you need to have both copies of this game but I’m again not convinced yet I might actually get there after playing Lancashire again and realizing that there are some things that I dislike about that that I want to play with Birmingham sometime as well so I think that’s gonna pretty much wrap up everything I have to say about grass at this point I’ve played it three times it is dominating all of my desires to play games over this last month I keep wanting to come back to brass and I think this has been a bit of a dish of ‘old overview I apologize for that this is a very complex set of games to kind of go over in a vlog style format but either way I’m very much looking forward to playing these more and I’m getting a bunch of new games coming in and I’m still eyeing brass every time we sit down to play a game and like well is this the kind of situation where I can squeeze brass in again and so I’m pretty confident that I’m gonna get more plays of this woman all right next up we have game number three and that is Carson City the card game now this was sent to me by Quinta Games and it is obviously the card game version of the original Carson City now Carson City in 2009 I believe and I played it in 2010 and I have not played the sense and I don’t remember a whole lot about it I know that there was a central board where you are building out tiles to kind of build the city you put like mountains down in various types of buildings I know there’s also an action selection track that you kind of move down and you could go into duels with each other where you would simultaneously reveal guns and you could kind of shoot people action pawns off different spots I remember thinking it was fine but I never got back around to playing it again and when it comes to Carson City the card game it looks like this is trying to streamline down on specifically the world-building aspect of Carson City because you no longer have duels or really action selection at all at its heart what this game is is a auction style game with tiling in front of yourself so you have all of these cards in the game and they’re all split into four there are square cards with four different spots on them and every single round you’re going to deal out four of these cards plus one character card and then everybody has a hand of auction cards now you start each one of the two phases of the game you’re gonna essentially do an era one in an era two at the start of era one and R two you’ll have nine of these cards in your hand and they go from 1 all the way up to nine and when it’s your turn or I’m sorry when it is everyone’s turn we all simultaneously select one of these cards and then reveal them and then whoever has the highest card gets to draft one of the options the second highest card gets to draft another one and you’ll go all the way through until everybody has picked up either one of these terrain cards or the one character card that is available within that given round and then the card that was bid is put face-up in front of you and then you deal out new cards now you only have 8 cards in your hand and you do this again so it’s a very streamlined system that has everybody always in play because it’s kind of a simultaneous blind bid and in general I’m not crazy about auction games but I do really like it when an auction game uses a depleting resource to a certain extent this kind of reminded me of high society because in that game you have a hand of money cards and you are spending that money to try and pick up cards that are gonna have victory points on them and once you spend a card it’s gone and the same thing is going on here in Carson City the card game because as you get deeper on into a you can look out to see all the face-up cards that everybody’s played so far and you might realize that you have the only eight and everybody’s played all their nines and there’s that one card that you desperately need so is this the moment when you play that eight to guarantee that you’re gonna be the first person to be able to grab that now when it comes to actually building out your town in front of you you essentially have a lot of adjacent c-style scoring you’ll put cards down that have mountains and you put my put a mine next to the mountain and that mine will give you points for being next to a mountain you might put a saloon down next to a building and you’ll get points because that proximity is going to obviously thematically help out but also just the the matching of these different things is really the goal that you are gunning for and when it comes to actually putting these cards down in front of you you’re not just building out a 2 by 2 by 4 by 4 grid you are going to be able to cover over cards that you’ve previously played now I’ve played games like this before a hunter who definitely springs to mind in that game you had a card with six different spots on it and you could cover up old cards or tuck cards underneath but in Carson City you cannot tuck you can only place on top but it has a really neat restriction in that if you cover up a previous card you can only do that if the icons match so that means if I put this card on top of that card I can only do it if the mountain on this card it matches the mountain on that card if that isn’t the case then you cannot place that down so it it really has a expansion vibe to it like that mountain once there is there you’re not gonna remove the mountain to put a brothel down or something like that you’re gonna have to maintain that mountain when you then put down the next card and so you have this growing area in front of yourself and I didn’t mention it before but every single person is building their own area in front of themselves it is a maximum of 8 by 8 in the grid and you will just essentially go through these 18 rounds of bidding you go through nine rounds and then you pick out the second era terrain cards which in general have more interactive style establishment stuff it seems like a narrow one it’s very focused on making farms and making mines and a narrow – it’s very much around making hotels and banks and city halls and all that kind of stuff as your towns are growing and yeah you’re gonna do 18 of these and then you’re gonna score up your area now I kind of skipped over the character cards there’s one of them available every single round to be grabbed and they do all things they might give you endgame victory point modifications they might give you a once Pereyra thing that you could do that kind of modify is how you draft the cards or which cards are gonna be taking and they definitely had a lot of variety to the stuff that you’re doing but also in particular they really add into the strategy of how you’re trying to build in front of yourself like if you get a character who really likes mines and mountains then you’re gonna be much more incentivized to draft those mines and mountains and add them into your area now at this point I should probably talk about another big aspect of the game which is the virtual players so this game plays up to six players and the rules say that if you’re ever playing with less than four players you have to use virtual players to get yourself up to the four player level so in this case I’ve played it once and it was a two-player game and it would not surprise me if this game is not best at two obviously it goes up to six players so it’s probably not necessarily designed for the two-player experience but it was just me and a friend and we decided to give it a shot so that means that it was me my friend Mike and then two virtual players because we again we had to get up to that four player count and the way this game does the virtual players is really well done it’s really smart because you give them a deck of the bidding cards so it’s one two nine if you’re playing against novice virtual players and then when everybody reveal their cards you just shuffle up the stack for the virtual players and flip over their top card and they just compete in line with us and when it’s their turn to pick one of the cards in the middle they simply take the card with the highest appeal value which is a little number that’s on all the terrain cards and the character cards and they just goes right over to the virtual player and they don’t build a tableau they don’t use any of the scoring conditions for the characters they might grab instead they just get victory points for that appeal value if they take a card with an appeal value of 9 and then virtual player gets 9 victory points at the end of the game and so when everything is over and you tally up all of your conditional points based off of the proximity of this to that and that to the other thing you then go over to the virtual players and you just add up all their appeal values and if that’s what they haven’t and they can beat you so in this play we almost we thought that we had actually been beaten by the virtual players it looked like when we added it all up that one virtual player had more than me and then I came in second and then micros in third and the other virtual player came in fourth but then I realized that there was one character that I just missed in all of the scoring and I scored him and I just barely beat that virtual player but I have to tell you that for that like two or three minutes where I thought I had been beaten by the virtual player I really enjoyed the idea that I had been beaten by a virtual player in a game and even though I did end up actually having slightly more points in that virtual player it was cool to see them competing like their scores were definitely in range with the kind of stuff that we were doing and that means that those virtual players I think were designed and bounced and a pretty good way also those were novice virtual players and you can play against intermediate and advanced by increasing their card pools by going up to 11 bids whereas all of the player characters always only go up to nine so I think at this point I’ve talked about this one quite a bit but I will say that after one play experience at the two-player count I’m very impressed by what I saw I think that the virtual players would really work out well the the rules even say that if you’re playing with four players you can continue to play with virtual players you could play with all the way up to six so having four people and then two virtual players going added on the board is a totally legal way to play and it’s honestly something I’m gonna consider doing because I feel like that all worked out so well so in general I enjoy pool drafting style games and I like the depleting resource of you know the cards that you have in your hand trying to jockey around and know when the right moment is to play that big one and the right moment to play that one to just get it out of your hand because you look at the tableau and you say I don’t know they’re all pretty much equal to me I don’t really care which one I’m gonna take so yeah I think that’s gonna wrap up everything I have to say about this one I’m looking forward to playing this one more specifically at higher player accounts it was a very enjoyable first experience with the game up next we have game number 4 and this one is at chivalry now this game was sent to me by transit games which is a Taiwanese publisher and the idea for this game is that you’re all Knights and you’re trying to acquire the most attributes that you can now these might be things like honour humility justice and sacrifice and the way you’re going to be doing these things is by running around a rondelle in the middle of the board so in the middle of the table really you put a castle tile and then you randomly put a variety of other locations face down around that castle and when it’s your turn you are going to play a card from your hand down on to your player board now on that board you have a red a green and a blue spot to play cards and you have a red a green and a blue dye that are associated with those locations so if I have a red three right now and I place a red red card down this means I’m gonna move around the rondell three times now you always go clockwise and you can sometimes duck back into the castle to evaluate that spot but the other locations let you do a variety of things like you could land on the spot that says increase the values of all of your dice by one or another spot might say reduce your pit values by four in order to get your gold back I believe is one of them so you are constantly manipulating your dice up and down and those dice are what are gonna enable you to move specific numbers of spaces around the rondell and at the end of the day the way you get those abilities like honor valor and justice is you’re gonna have to orient all of your dice and your cards in special ways to match up with the cards on the tableau so you might have a card out there that says you need to discard two cards from the cards that you’ve played already and the color on one of them has to be a three and the color on the other one has to be a five so I discarded those two cards from my tableau and I take that one after you and I stuff it onto my board and I get a little bit of a bonus and then I keep moving on throughout the game so you are not only trying to customize or modify your dice to match the abilities that you want to land on on the rondelle but you’re also trying to match those dice up to specific situations to grab those cards that are essentially victory points now some of these are a little bit simpler than others like one of them says you just discard cards from your your discard piles until you’ve reached eighteen pips worth of cards and that might be a lot of cards or it might be just three cards if all three of your dice are at sixes so you’re trying to be as efficient as possible because every single turn you are playing these cards down and potentially into that area and you might have the dice lined up well but that one card that you need to take requires you to discard three of those red cards and you only have one red card played so far so now you are trying to play those red cards and the red is associated with a die value that might not be what you want and so there’s a lot of things that you are thinking about as you’re putting all this together but at the end of the day we play this once it was a four player game I believe and while all of these systems did work I have to admit that I didn’t really feel super vested in it like it’s a very light style game and everybody around the table enjoyed the experience but nobody was necessarily hopping up and down about it if that makes sense I think it’s a fine game and I could see myself playing it again in the future but I don’t think it’s necessarily grabbing me and I think maybe part of that has to do with just the things that you were doing out there some of them are interactive and there’s definitely things where you could go on a spot and force everybody to reroll one of the dice so if you had a plan then I roll that plan and the plan is now gone so that’s kind of a take that style thing which I don’t normally love seeing in games but at the same time you might not have that one location there’s a big stack of locations and you don’t use like four or so of them every single time you play so some games I think will be a little bit more interactive than others and I think this one maybe just plays a little bit into that interactivity a little more than I would necessarily like but it’s also such a light experience that I did not feel super vested and honestly I would not want that kind of take that thing in a situation where I was vested so it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation where it’s like the game was not was a little bit lighter than I wanted it to be but if it was any heavier I would have just gotten really frustrated with the take that nest that going on there but overall I think there are a lot of good things going on here it’s kind of a cool system of the rondelle matching up with the dice which are trying to match up with the conditions that you’re matching on the table there’s definitely a lot of things to consider and I think some people are gonna really enjoy this one but for us I think it might hit the table again but we’re not necessarily excited to make it happen okay next up we have game number 5 and this one is dude that’s the name of the game lower case dude and I remember hearing about this one a few months ago and last weekend I traveled down to San Diego and hung out with my friends and we played a bunch of games and one of the games that one of my friends had is this very light party style game where essentially everybody is given a shuffled up deck of cards and every single card that says dude on it in a variety of different ways it might say dude it might say dude it might say dude it says all these different like the icons are big or smaller spelled in different ways and the game was really simple you just start the game it’s real time you draw your top card and then you just start saying dude in the way that the card says and you’re trying to match up with somebody or else around the table was saying dude in the same way that you’re saying dude and then once you both are looking at each other saying dude and hopefully the same way then you both need to say sweet in order to confirm that you both think that yeah this is the right one and you reveal the cards and if they do match then you could describe them and if they don’t match then you throw them into the middle of the table and then you draw the next card so realistically this is just a setting where I think we had six of us around the table just constantly just yelling dude at each other for about ten minutes until we all got through our decks if you are saying dude dude dude over and over and you don’t think anybody matches you can just discard that card to the back of your deck and get to it later so you’re just cycling through and it was ridiculous there’s really not a whole lot to say about this one other than the fact that we all laughed a lot it was a fun overall experience I don’t think it’s necessarily experience I will be seeking to replicate like I’m not gonna go out and get a copy of this one but also I don’t really play party style games all that often and I think that if somebody else had a copy of it and they suggested playing it in a setting that made sense with a bunch of people wanting to play something light I would play it again because it’s it’s just a fun experience it’s an excuse to laugh and be ridiculous with your friends and that is exactly what happened when we played this one I believe my friends are testing this one out to have it be played at their wedding as part of the reception like lots of light little games and I think that’s definitely gonna work out really well for that setting so it’s very likely I’ll be playing dude again but in a different sitting next time around so yeah that’s that one all right let’s now move on to game number six and this one is ever Dell now this is a tableau building worker placement style game with ridiculous production values in the Box you have this gigantic cardboard tree with cardboard branches and just bits all over the place the resources are nice the little berries are actually rubberized so you can kind of squeeze them but when it comes to what you’re actually doing in this game it involves hand management and tableau building for the most part now this is one of those games where you start off with essentially nothing apparently there’s a variant where you can start with a little bit more stuff but we did not play with that variant we just began the game with no resources and the hand of cards and these cards I’ll tell you what resources you have to spend to play them down into your tableau and it seemed like really high numbers I think how am I gonna get all these card playing I played like there’s a work replacement aspect where you can take a small subset of workers and put one of the mountain to a spot to get a couple resources but you can tell right away that you could send spend like all three of your workers and maybe have enough stuff to build two of the large hand of cards that you have in front of you but the thing is that as you start building these cards down they can kind of combo off of each other in a couple different ways some of these cards will give you an ongoing bonus like now you put a card down and in the future when you do something else that’ll give you a free resource of one sort or another based off of a condition but other cards are essentially discounted like they’re kind of combo’d together where if I have this one building in front of me and I have this one character card in my hand I can play that character card down for I believe it was free if you could put that down at a significant discount either way it’s been a few weeks since I play this and so what that means is you’re trying to synergize some of the buildings are putting down as well as the character cards are you putting down and all of these are gonna kind of bounce around give you various one-shot effects as well as ongoing effects but for the most part of this game seems more oriented towards combos than engine building and as we played through the game we got more and more stuff down and I was able to do more and more stuff and I found that to be very satisfying if it honestly kind of reminded me of terraforming Mars to a certain extent because even though that’s obviously very much an engine building game and in both of these games you start out with essentially nothing and when you finish the game you are gonna be amazed at how much you were able to accomplish considering the meager beginnings that you had now this game when it comes to the work replacement aspect does something kind of interesting that I wasn’t expecting when the game was taught I didn’t really pick up on this until we got a few rounds in because I used all my workers and I was ready to pull them back and that’s just something you could do it takes your turn and you pull your workers back but when you do that you essentially move it into the next season for just yourself so that means is I moved into the next season while both of my opponents stayed in the previous season and now I have workers and I’m placing them out and my opponents had not quite got into that new season and once they pull back they would then jump into that spot and again it’s been a few weeks so I don’t remember all of the specifics but when you hit these new seasons it does things like unlock new workers that you have access to as well as I think one or two other minor things the ebb and flow of people pulling their workers back and then putting them back down again and then going through these seasons is an important aspect to the game and it was just interesting to see how we were all not locked into the seasons together because you’re I believe just going through four seasons and then the game is over so you only have so many times that you’re going to be doing this cycle so you cannot just do this over and over again willy-nilly you have to pay very close attention to make sure you’re doing this when you need to be so yeah overall I was quite impressed with the game and again I went into it with no expectations before the mechanics I just knew it was a beautiful well produced game but when the game ended I felt a very strong sense of tension and ownership of how I did I was bummed that I didn’t win because I thought I might have had a chance to actually win I filled my entire tableau out but one interesting thinking about the seasons is that I finished my last action and then walked away from the table for like ten minutes while my opponent’s finished out all of their turns because for one reason or another I got significantly ahead of them in of these seasons in the rounds and they each had several more turns than I did and when the game was over I didn’t win but I was close to winning so it’s kind of interesting to see that I played like ten less minutes and I don’t know if it was I guess it was less turns it kind of would naturally be because you take one turn around the table and I was just as competitive as they were after having taken it many more turns now this is a game I would definitely enjoy playing again I think I I got some things right with the synergies and whatnot that I was building but there are other aspects that like these kind of rewards that you’re gunning for that I did not participate very well in and there’s just a lot of moving pieces although it’s not a terribly complicated game and I would certainly jump at a chance to play this one again if I had an opportunity let’s now move on to game number seven and this one is Metro X now I picked this one up from BoardGameGeek from the BoardGameGeek store that is at the same time I grabbed a past ally they had a small selection of these in their supply this is published by a Kazu brand which is a Japanese publisher and the designer is Hisashi Higashi who has designed many games like okie-dokie and yokohama and lots others that are not coming to the top of my head right now but a very prolific well-respected designer I think and I’ve definitely enjoyed both of those previous games I just mentioned now what’s going on in Metro X is you have a role and write style game where the idea is something random happens and then everybody is going to do something based off of that in this case they pick up the pencil and they write down on their own personal piece of paper something that has to do with that randomness now most roll invite style games involve rolling dice but Metro X is a flip and write game where you shuffle up a deck of cards and you flip over the top card and then everybody does something with it so what you’re doing in this game is you are filling in these little station spots as you go across this Metro board and the little pad of paper has this all these crazy interconnected lines and what you’re trying to do is fill these lines up as much as possible now this is absolutely a puzzle style experience because on each one of those lines you can input a maximum of two or three numbers and when you put a number into that spot based off of the card if you flip over like a three then you write a little three on the left-hand side of that line and then you cross off or circle or indicate up to three stations down the line but the catch is that if you run into any station that’s already been filled in by another line that’s coming through that spot then you have to stop so that means that you might only fill in two of those spots before you hit a break and that means that you kind of wasted one of the the three that you had available to you and at the end of the game you’re gonna add up all of the spots that you did not fill in and you look at a little chart and you’re gonna lose some points so you definitely want to be as efficient as possible and and not sacrifice some of these points here and there but the game is not always going to give you that option now this is a very puzzling experience as you were trying to work your way around it because every one of these lines is pretty long some are longer than others but they’re certainly longer than you could fill in with just two or three numbers in total because the numbers you can flip over in the deck range from essentially a 1 which is technically a star and up to a 6 so what that means is you have to try and streamline these and kind of piggyback so you’ll kind of do this line up to this point which just matches up to where you did this one which means when you go through you’ll follow through and go to the next one because I don’t think I properly mentioned this but when you’re filling in these numbers you find the first empty station and then you start marking for that place so you’re just trying to weave all these things in and not have annoying gaps of like 1 station between this line and that line because you might have to burn like a two or three just to fill in that one spot now in this deck of cards there are a couple cards that have a little skip word on them there’s circled numbers and those are rare and they do allow you to jump over to the next available station if you run into a spot that’s already full and the last type of card well I guess there’s a couple more in there one lets you circle in anything that you want but the last important one is the star when you mark a star you are going to find the first empty station and you’ll write a number in there equal to the number of metro lines coming into that station times two and this is just going to be raw victory points because at the end of the game once we fill in all of the slots which is about 23 I believe you’re gonna take around 23 turns you are going to count up all of the blank spaces and you’ll lose points for those you’ll count up all of your star stations and you’ll just get points for those and the last thing is you have this race where you’re trying to be the first person to finish out each one of these lines if you’re the first person to do that and then you get to a bigger number of victory points if in the future you complete one after somebody else has finished it you get a smaller number of points but realistically all of the points come from finishing lines those star locations and that’s it and if you subtract points for all the missing spots so you are desperately trying to finish out these lines and every time I play this and we’ve actually played this four times in this last month it’s seen the table a lot more than I expected every time we have played this it seems like everybody has been enjoying it but man is this a complaining style game we’ve joked that should be renamed just regret the game because you will be so upset with the decisions that you made in the past it’s definitely one of those situations where when you go to draw the card especially in the mid to late stages you flip the card over and half the table groans that those are hands of the air like water tree peoples like yes that’s exactly what I needed and this game definitely brings in that that energy that I’d love to see in this style of setting where everybody is playing simultaneously and you’re all gunning for different things but you’re all working with the exact same random input essentially and then at the end of the game you see who did the best now as I just said we’ve played this game four times over the last month which is more than any one game usually gets in its first month and inside the box there are two different metro maps there’s the Tokyo map and then the Osaka map and I haven’t even touched the Osaka map yet the Tokyo map four times now and the Osaka map looks a little bit more complicated it doesn’t start on the left and go to the right some of them start on the top and go to the bottom I’m looking forward to trying it because honestly this game has really impressed me when it comes to the wide array of role and write style games this is probably one of my favorite if not my actual top favorite of them that I’ve played so far and I think a big part of that has to do with the punishing nature that it comes into play when you don’t streamline your actions and the great rush that you feel when you are able to actually have these things piggyback off of each other that puzzling nature really comes through and I just think it’s a winner like everyone I played it with has enjoyed it it got played twice last weekend with the same group of people because people enjoyed it so much and we didn’t even try the next map we just played it twice on the same map and it’s definitely one of those games where in your second play you will find yourself playing it significantly better and differently than you do in your first play because that first play you can pretty much just throw it out you will probably have fun with it I certainly did but you will get halfway through the play and realize how poorly you have understood the overall mechanics of this game and coming to figure out how to use these mechanics right is a joy and yeah I’m looking forward to playing this one more it’s relatively quick it’s usually played like twenty to thirty minutes so it fits into that filler style category and I do see this one hitting the table more in the future up next we now have game number eight and this one is polis now this was sent to me by the publisher and this is a game that has not been published in English just yet it was originally published in 2017 I believe just in Dutch and polish and the English version is supposedly coming out pretty soon now they reached out to me and I thought it looked kind of interesting so they sent me a copy and I played it add to five players and I think five is the biggest player count that this one supports and what you’re doing is you’re kind of got a civilization building theme going on with tableau building as you put these surprisingly large cards out in front of you now the main mechanic of this game comes into play with a action so the way the oxygen works is there are four different colors in the game and everybody has a hand of cards and you can see the back of the card like if it’s a red card the back of that card will also be red and on every player’s turn they’re gonna draw a couple cards and then they are forced to one of their cards but the catch is that they auction it facedown so you can see the color of that card but that’s it and then you put it down there and then you go around the table and everybody starts bidding money to try and buy and build that card immediately now they might be interested in doing that because they understand the red deck is more about fighting and the yellow deck is more about all the different characters and they might be kind of playing the odds but another thing to keep in mind is that it just costs ten money to play a card from your hand so if you were able to bid and spend less than ten money to buy that card and that’s probably a good thing because you’re being efficient with your money so what that means is we would start off the bidding and more often than not the actual price got relatively close to ten money because again you can just play cards from your hand for ten money but you can only also only draw so many cards at the beginning of each one of your turns so being able to buy a card and immediately play it on somebody else’s turn is a nice perk and it definitely seems a little bit weird that you were spending money doing this auction kind of going up and up around the table you keep going until everybody but one person passes and then you get the card you flip it over and you’re like what did I build a put it up face in front of you and now you get to do some stuff based off of that I know this turned me off a little bit from the game originally but I wanted to give it a shot and I’m honestly pretty impressed by it I’ve been completely turned around on my opinion of this mechanic because I really like the fact that you don’t know what that card is gonna be because it adds some pretty interesting tension and surprise to the act of actually getting that card I think if the card was face-up then everybody would be able to much better calculate exactly how much that card is worth to them based off the bonuses on the card and this is not the other thing and you actually have a lot more downtime but in this case it’s almost like a Christmas present and you have an idea of what that Christmas present might be but you don’t know exactly what it is and then you start spending money to try and get that big surprise when you play it in front of yourself now a lot of these cards have little symbols on them and they interact in different ways so for instance you might have a card that just gets you victory points of return for every green card you have played so now you just bid on that green card that’s out there for auction and you don’t even care what’s on the other side you just know it’s a green card that’s gonna work for the synergies that you’ve already built up in front of yourself now after you finish that auction you can hard if you want now you as a player are doing that because people are paying you for this card because then you can start playing cards from your own hand again for ten money each unless you have some discounts but you can only build I believe two cards are turned which again feeds into the idea of you wanting to buy cards on other players turns and then you move into a couple other really interesting mechanics in fact when I was reading the rules to this game for the first time I went into it with a bit of a bit of apprehension like ah this looks like kind of a generic Civilization theme but I found as I was reading the rules there were several times I was like huh that’s cool or huh that’s interesting and one of those moments happened with the trade base so what happens is that there is this symbol which is a jar and it is the trade symbol and when it’s your turn you’re going through all of these different steps and one of the steps is trade now what you do is you select one of your opponents and you’re going to trade with them and what that means is you count up all of the jars that they have and you take money equal to that so they might have five jars so cool I take five money and then that opponent counts the number of jars that I have maybe I have three jars and they take three money so it really is like a trade I’m like utilizing the fact that they have a lot of jars and what that means is if you get the most jars of everyone around the table and people are incentivized to trade with you because if they trade with you they’re gonna get the most money but if that happens then you’re everybody’s trading with you you’re gonna have tons of money so that’s I mean I mean it sound like it’s a bad thing that’s a great thing you want everybody to want to trade for you with you so you’re trying to vie and have the most of these jars as you can it’s definitely important not to slip behind too much in that because this is a big aspect of the revenue in the game and then after you do the trade base you go into the combat phase where you select one person and you can’t attack them if you want but interestingly enough you cannot attack the person that you just traded with so they have a little bit of immunity by having so many pots maybe they don’t even have to worry about necessarily having a bigger military because I know that people are gonna want to trade with them and when the combat comes into play it’s it’s it’s kind of just thing because you count up the number of combat tokens in front of yourself or symbols and you kind of the number of your opponent and if you have more than you win you select one of the cards that is in their area well first of all you get one money I think for every card they have played in front of themselves and then you destroy one of their cards and that seems pretty take that right you like destroying their cards that’s not fun but that card that’s destroyed it’s not discarded this turned face down and put into the history area in that players area and then I as the attacker have to destroy one of the cards in front of myself that did some of that attacking so it shows the attrition of war so I got some money for killing the cards and then I killed one of my cards and I put it into my own history pile and this is interesting because at the end of the game there is a a culture I think it was called a symbol and you will get one point for a culture per card in your history so that means if you have one of these cultural symbols and you’ve had two cards destroyed throughout the game then that culture symbol is worth 2 points so you actually can generate points for having your stuff destroyed and you can generate points by attacking other people because you’re forced to destroy your own hostile engine and that card that you just destroyed can turn into points so when we played this game it ended sooner than I expected and I had like three of these trade symbols in front of me and I had zero cards in my history I was actually bummed that nobody attacked me throughout the game and I was bummed that I never really got around to building a military so that I could attack somebody else so that I could destroy one of my military cards and have it turned into points so there’s just all of these that was definitely another one of those huh moments was reading through the rules like how interesting and when we actually played it there was a couple of combats but I feel like everybody was bumbling around in the dark as far as strategy like we were all trying to figure this out and piece together what we wanted to do but it had a very strange different feel to it with this this turn where you like drawing cards then auctioning cards and then building buildings and doing trade and making income and then attacking people and okay now you’re done now it’s the next person’s turn and it might seem like that would cause a lot of downtime and honestly I don’t think for five players was the best way to play it there was a bit of downtime for it to come back around the table to you but the fact that there’s an auction every single turn means you’re doing something between those terms and potentially somebody might be trading with you or attacking you when it’s not your turn so there’s other stuff going on there as well so yeah overall I only played it the one time I don’t think I’m gonna play it at 5 players again but I I would like to play this one again I think a lot of the stuff worked out better than I expected and I feel like I played very poorly it’s kind of a strange situation actually I realized the game was coming to an end and I felt like I was doing good I had a good table in front of myself was getting a bunch of income this stuff worked with that stuff and then I had this epiphany moment where I looked down and I was like wait how many points do I actually have I was like I got like nine points and I look over to my opponent across the table and it’s like oh my gosh they’ve got like 20 or more points over there I am so far behind I didn’t even realize it like I was having fun winning auctions and building cards and putting that stuff in front of myself without even realizing that I had not been paying attention to the winning condition of getting victory points and that’s the reason I think I came dead last out of the five of us and interestingly enough I had I think the most of the trade jars throughout most of the game so a lot of people trade it with me but the person who won had the least they ended the game with anything three trade jars and I don’t think anybody ever traded with them throughout the entire game so obviously that didn’t put them at a detriment they just had a really good synergy of the cards that they were able to I think a couple win in the auction but also play down from their hand and they were able to just put together a much better victory point engine than I was so yeah I end of the game it dead last after enjoying myself and I’ve definitely talked about this one too much here but either way I’m looking forward to trying this one again and exploring the systems that are going on in there even more next up we now have game number 9 and this one is Rialto now this is not a new game it came out in 2013 which was kind of a the year of failed and I know that or we also came out that year Bora Bora Amerigo as well as Bruges also came out that year so just a lot of games designed by Stefan Feld and I feel like Rialto kind of got overshadowed by some of those other ones now I picked this one up in 2013 so I’ve owned this one for about five years and I played it twice back when I first got it and did not play it forever until this last month so I finally got to play it again and that’s why I’m talking about it right now and honestly this game has been on the chopping block for a couple of years now you know pretty much every time I look to my shelf and I’m like I have to remove some games I have to get rid of some games to put the new games in I look to Rialto and I’m like I gotta play that game over time I just it’s sitting there I don’t want to get rid of it just yet I have to play it again and then I’ll decide whether or not I want to keep it and the reason I’ve had a trouble getting this one to the table is because the first couple plays that I played back in 2013 didn’t go super well like they were okay and I definitely enjoyed those plays but the people I played with are people a part of my general board gaming group and it got to the point where as time went on every time I’d be like hey what about real – let’s try rialto again there’d be somebody who’s like ah now that game was terrible I don’t want to play that game again and then anybody else who was like thinking about maybe trying it was like maybe I don’t want to play it either and so it was like this kind of vicious cycle where I just could not give this game to the table again because it had had such a poor first impression for a couple of my friends now I I finally decided to do something about that I was I think lamenting about this a few weeks ago to some other friends that was playing games with and they said oh I’ll give it a try so I brought it out and we got to play a three player game of this one this ended up being with my wife Jessica as well as my friend Paul and I’ve talked about this a lot already but I haven’t talked about the game so what’s going on in this game is you have a hand management style situation and you have I believe it’s Venice in front of yourself with six different locations and you randomly put these number tokens on them and every single round for the six round game you will move to the different spots and within each one of these rounds you will do things like build buildings activate buildings you’re going to generate councilors you’ll put councilors down into the different island areas you’ll put bridges down as well as gondolas and when the game is over you’re gonna score victory points and it’s just area majority you’ll check each one of those six different islands and the person who has the most councillors gets all of the points that are indicated by the bridges and gondolas pointing towards it and then the second per most person gets I think the amount that the first person got have rounded up or something like that and then the third person gets have that again so you definitely want to vie for these but by far and away the most interesting aspect to this game and the thing that really made me want to come back to it is the card draw mechanism so you have a hand of cards and every single one of the six rounds of the game you’re gonna draw a hand of cards but the way it works is you actually deal these hands of cards face up in the middle of the table and rows so you can see every single card you put one more row than the number of players and then there is this dozer track and you start with the person who is I believe farthest on that track and they get to draft one of these hands of cards they looked at all the different options with all the different symbols on the cards they select one and then you go to the next player now honestly I can’t remember if it’s the Doge track or just quite from that point it’s been a couple weeks since I played it at this point but either way each person is drawing up these hands of cards from a smaller and smaller pool of face-up hands of cards until you get to the last person who can choose between the two options and then you go into the main meat of the game where you do these different steps and you play cards out in front of you and you do these in player order and the person who plays is the most of that one type of card gets a bonus so that means if it’s the money round and I put three money cards down and you put two money cards down then I get three money you get two money because you play those two cards but then since I played the most I get a bonus which I believe is one more money so I’d actually get four money in that respect and then you can use money to actor your buildings to do a variety of other things so you are constantly vying it to try and put the most cards down in the specific categories that you can but there are I believe six different categories that you do each round and you’re not gonna be able to compete in all those and some of these cards are jokers so you can use them to kind of beef up one bid or another so it has this really interesting aspect where everybody’s kind of always taking terms at the same time and you are just trying to play these cards in such a way to get the stuff that you need but also trying to draft the cards in such a way that you have the right types of cards to be able to do the things that you need to do in the game we played a couple of my opponents ran oh I think both of my opponents at one point ran out of money and were not able to draft a hand of cards that had money in them which means they could make extra money in the next turn which means they couldn’t activate their buildings because activating buildings cost money and they found themselves in a little bit of a pit there but then in the next turn there was some money out there on the cards so they drafted according to that like I desperately need money and so they went after that and they got that and we just kind of kept rolling with the game now I think I won that game relatively solidly I don’t super remember but I do know that I really enjoyed this third play it’s been four or five years since I played it at all and both Paul and Jessica actually really enjoyed this game as well actually I don’t know if it was really I don’t want to put too many words in their mouth but when the game was over they both seemed quite happy with the experience and they both seemed interested in playing this one again so Rialto has officially been taken off of the chopping block I did like it enough that I’m gonna keep this one around because I think it does some interesting different things that I just don’t see in that many of the games in particular I just love the idea of drawing your own a full hand with full knowledge of everybody’s hands of cards just so cool and you don’t even have to worry about memory too much because after you draw those cards you always draw a couple more cards from the top of the deck and then you discard down to your hand size so you if you try to memorize everything that’s an option out there that isn’t even going to help you because some of those cards might be discarded for other ones that you didn’t see so yeah if this game really came together well I’m happy that I still own it and I’m hoping that this one will see play more often than once every four to five years anyway at this point we’ve reached a game number ten so we’re working away well through this list and this one is Thunderstone quest now this was published by AEG and they sent me a copy of this game and it’s actually the third version of Thunderstone to my understanding the original Thunderstone came out I believe back in 2010 and I played it a couple times back then it was kind of like the second deck builder to Dominion and the idea of it then as well as now is you had a deck builder style game where you have a little bit more where the theme is a little bit more prevalent and you are putting adventures into your deck and you’re putting weapons and items into your deck and then you can equip the weapons on to your adventures when they come out in the same hand and then you can send those adventurers into that deep dark cave and try to kill some monsters and get benefits for doing that and then once everything is over you kind of predict your points just like Dominion and you see who won but it definitely had a much stronger somatic 5in connection to it but the setup was a bear if you had these adventure stacks with level 1 adventures over the two over the three and you had all these different items and it just it took a while to set this game up and break it down and I enjoyed it back then and then Thunderstone advance came out and a few years later and I never played it I honestly don’t know what it did that’s different between it and the original game because I just moved on and then finally Thunderstone quest just I think released recently and this is the third revision and it brings a lot more stuff into play first of all this box is gigantic it’s like I think I waited I think it was like 2/3 or 3/4 of glue Haven it’s like almost as big as gloom ham in the box like that big like that and it’s just full of cards and it has a campaign scenario type thing built into it but from what I can tell it’s not so much a campaign that you’re gonna make decisions with and more like a story that is linear and then in each one of these story packets you will pull out there subsets of cards and enemies and items and adventurers that you’re gonna be playing with and the game has I didn’t kind of a shockingly large number of these different scenarios that you can play with to the point where I actually have left most of these cards in shrink wrap because there’s gotta be thousands of cards inside this box so I just opened up all the basic ones and all the ones for the first scenario and even that is a pretty good variety of different monsters and adventurers that you can choose from and I’ve had this one for honestly a month or two at this point and I was a little bit reticent to get this one played with like three or four players at a game night because it seemed like the set of time would take a while and I felt like I would stumble through the rules so I kept telling Jessica actually I was like we got to play this two-player like the first time I want to play this I want to play it just with her Jessica loves deck-building games so that just kind of made sense and we finally found the time to get this one played and I have to say that we both really enjoyed it and honestly I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to not that I didn’t think I’d like it but I really enjoyed the experience the act of building up those adventurers leveling them them up inside of your deck but also bulking up your deck in a variety of other ways and then moving around a dungeon this game in Thunderstone quest you actually travel with a little miniature throughout a dungeon as opposed to just having a line of a couple cards and finding those different monsters in different ways just was very satisfying like much more than I expected it to be and on top of that this kind of goes back to what I talked about Poulos earlier and Thunderstone quest it has this thing that I don’t remember if it was in the original Thunderstone or not and that is a treasure deck now when you’re fighting a lot of these different monsters one of the rewards for killing them will be a random treasure from the treasure deck and it’s just decades about that thick and it’s got a variety of powerful cards in there and you draw random from the top and you put it right into your deck and you don’t know what it’s gonna be but it’s gonna add it to your options and just like in Pulis where you are trying to bid on auctions to buy cards that you can’t see the front face of it in that game and this game the randomness of that kind of adds a variety and freshness because you’re like oh cool I got this big spell now well I guess maybe I should try and get more of that adventurer that works really well the spells because I randomly got this spell so you can kind of try to orient your decisions based off of the randomness grabbing these powerful cards although you’re pretty much never gonna be sad about any of those random cards that you get and the the fun of kind of flipping it over and seeing what you’re not to get is a definite attraction in this game as well as what I talked about in polis now at the end of the day we kind of wrapped up the game after playing it for a while it took third a little while but we were playing slowly and just enjoying each other’s company as we progressed our way through this we talked about it quite a bit and we both discussed about how we really enjoyed it but I realized that I think I never want to play this with anybody else but Jessica in particular I think I don’t want to play this game more than two players and that’s just because of downtime thank you the terms don’t take that long to process but you aren’t doing anything when it’s not your turn except just watching somebody else and there are some terms where you’re doing a bunch of different convoy stuff which lets you do this and pull more cards out and do that and then you can actually move over here and do that other thing over there and you’re doing a whole bunch of things and it’s fun to watch an opponent doing this but I feel like if I was playing with four people it would take a while to get back to me so I’ve we’ve discussed it and we’ve decided that this is a game we both definitely want to play again and it might even be a bit of a go to game for the two of us when we want to play a game just the two of us when nobody else is over um the the fact that we won’t have to keep teaching the game again not that it’s a hard teach but that is a big perk for us so yeah I’m looking forward to playing Thunderstone quest more to seeing how all of the other cards interact and I have no idea if we’re ever going to get through this gigantic box over the course of the next three decades or something like that but I do know that we want to play this one again because it was a very satisfying deck building experience at this point let’s now move into game number 11 which is trash pandas now the publisher for this one is game right and a friend of mine owns us one and we played it last weekend and the idea of this game is you are all raccoons aka track bandits and you are trying to dig out of the most trash that you can and stash it and at the end of the game see who has most points now you’re gonna get points by having the most of specific types of trash stashed in a facedown pile and so you are not really sure if you are winning these majorities or not as you are stashing the stuff and you’re certainly trying to and the main mechanic for the game is push your luck so you have these six different action options and a single d6 with one face for each of those and when it’s your turn you roll the die and you will take a token equal to the the face on top of the die and you put in front yourself and you can stop and then do that one action or you could roll the die again and as long as you don’t hit the token that you already have so as long as you don’t hit the same result twice then you take that next token and put it in front of yourself and you can roll the die again and then take the next token so the more you roll the die the less likely you are to hit a new die face and if you hit doubles then that’s it your turn is over and it’s the next person’s turn you busted so you have that tension of the push and pull and these actions let you do things like draw more cards stash cards in front of yourself you can also steal a random card from an opponent from their hand and there are a couple other things that are going on here but the cards you have in your hand it can be stashed or they can be played at specific times to do various effects that are printed out on the card now this is a pretty interactive game like those definitely cards that let you interact with your ponents obviously I already said you can steal cards from opponents there’s a card that lets you steal a card from their stash as well as a couple other minor take that style things but the the big tension from this game comes from the pusher luck and I think we played a four player game of this one and at the end I don’t think anyone necessarily had a great time with this game I think some people enjoyed it more than others I was kind of in the middle camp because it seemed like the pusher luck bit that the penalty for busting was huge right you just lose your entire turn and this is a lucky game and there were several times where I saw an opponent roll the die once in the roll die second time it hit the same thing that hit the first time boom their turn is over and of course maybe they shouldn’t have pushed that luck but the odds were really low of that happening but that seemed to happen several times for two of my opponents in particular I had great luck I don’t think I busted once the entire game and it wasn’t like I was stopping after one token after every single turn I was going to two or even three a couple times and I know there are also cards you can play to force your opponents to roll the die again to cause them to bust and I know that happened a couple times and if I’m being honest when that happened the person who was forced to roll again in the bust was not having a ton of fun with that it was like okay well there went my whole turn and I had plans and all right now it’s not my turn anymore and it kind of kept going around the table and it just seemed like the interaction that happened in this game was not really driving super well with the group that was sitting there at the table I know I wasn’t super into all that and I felt kind of bad like I was just getting great luck and my opponents were not necessarily getting great luck and I was stashing so many pieces of garbage in front of myself and everybody was just convinced I was gonna win by a landslide but interestingly enough when the game ended my friend Josh actually won because I think I put four of the bananas into my trash and for most of the different types of things that you are vying for there’s a certain number of points for first place and a certain number points for a second place and I had one less banana than Josh and the bananas in particular only give you points for first place so that means about half of the cards that put that I pushed into my put into my stash did not give me any points at all and I lost the game by a couple points so it did not seem like my streak of great luck as far as to the diamond was concerned meant that I was guaranteed to win the game maybe I should have played it differently or played around the bananas in certain different ways but overall I think that this is a game that I could see myself playing again if everybody else around the table brought it out and they were really excited about it but it’s not one that I am gonna be actively seeking out to own or play again in the future all right we’ve now reached a game number 12 which is the final one I’ll be talking about in this vlog and this one is war chest now this one was sent to me by a eg and I was pretty excited to get this copy because I’d already heard a decent amount about this game I saw a good chunk of a playthrough that Paul Grogan with gaming rules made on YouTube I have seen a bunch of other photos and just buzz about it because in this game you have a kind of abstract chest like fighting board in front of yourself with a bunch of different hexagons and you are moving your units around of the units for behave in different ways like some move really fast some attack better than others but the core mechanic for the game is bad building you have a bag and you put these units the actual tiles themselves are like these really nice thick kind of poker chip ask things you put them into your bag and at the beginning of every round each person pulls out three of these tokens they keep them hidden from their opponents and when it’s your turn you’re gonna do one of these three actions and once everybody’s done reactions then you draw three more out of your bag and if you don’t have enough then you put all of your discarded tokens back into the bag now the things that you’re doing are pretty simple one thing you can do is spend any token to buy a new token from your own personal pool and put it into the discard pile to then find its way back into the bag and every single time you’re playing this game you’re gonna have different sets of these units there’s sixteen units total I believe in a two-player game each person there’s four units but I played it in a four player game which is two versus two and each one of us had three units that we were able to pick from now the next thing that you’re able to do is actually activate the units themselves and this is the only way that you move them around and activate them on the board you have to have that unit out there and then have that specific units token in your hand you play that token into your discard pile to move the unit and then maybe fight or do various things based off of the abilities of that unit but what it means is you have a abstract combat kind of dudes on a map style game but it’s hamstrung by the tiles that you have in this bag so it’s not about you no chance for checkers type of thing where you can move anything and you’re trying to work your way around in specific ways here the kind of beating heart of this game is the bag and so you might desperately want to move this one token because it’s about to get attacked or it’s just a perfect position to move over there and do an attack but if you don’t drop that token out of the bag then you can’t activate it and so this also lates its way into the tokens that you’re drafting into your bag you go for a wide variety or do you just try to take all the tokens of one type so that as you’re cycling through your man you’re hitting that token over and over again and you’re moving that one unit around like crazy on the board but not really moving any of the other ones now the end goal of this game is you’re trying to control a certain number of these little nodes on the board and if you control a certain number I can’t remember the off the top of my head then you’re gonna win and it seems like this game was most likely designed as a one versus one experience but the one situation that I played this in so far had four players so we decided yeah why not let’s try it at two versus two and I don’t think I necessarily recommend that for a first game for anybody in the future but everybody enjoyed it so I guess I take back that hesitancy I think it’s definitely gonna show us how best for new players at one versus one but it didn’t work technically with the two versus two the big difference here is that since every but he has three units that’s gonna be 12 units total out of the 16 versus the 4 and 4 so 8 total out of the 16 if you’re in a 1vs1 situation and so with 12 different units on the board you have to remember which units are your units and which units are your opponent’s units because they’re yours that you can move there’s your partners across the table that they can move but we found that since the board state kind of grew organically as a game when I wanted like I started out very empty and it kind of got more and more full of things move around that I was never really mistaken by if this was my piece or if this was my opponent’s piece but either way I was really impressed by it in general I’m not a big fan of games where I’m just moving dudes around on map and killing things often trying to vie for position but the fact that it had this bag building mechanic in there which kind of forced the the play in the decisions in a variety of different ways really made it feel fresh and it made it a situation that I think I’m gonna want to experience again I definitely want to try this out again I might play it again and two versus two or maybe I’ll find myself in a situation to play it one versus one but either way I’ve been really impressed by it I think it’s a solid package it’s a pretty fresh idea and a combination of all these different ideas and it was fun to see everybody else around the table enjoy it as well so yeah I’m definitely hoping this one sees a table more okay with that we’ve now reached the end of this vlog I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion overall I feel like I was maybe a little bit more rambling than I normally am at slightly less coherent with some of the points I was trying to make specifically about brass there’s just so much to talk about about brass and I’m so strangely excited about it then I’m not sure if I really explained it all that well but either way I hope some worth was taken out of that by you if you watch that section or not and going forward looking at the next month I’m not sure if I’m gonna hit 12 new games to talk about in the next impressions vlog but I do have quite a few new ones coming in one in particular Te’o two back on that one showed up just a couple days ago but I haven’t had a chance to play that one yet so I’m hoping to hit that have that one hit the table possibly even tonight and then maybe a couple more times throughout the next month if possible so that I can talk about the final release version of that one so yeah that I think is gonna wrap this one up as always I’d like to thank everyone who’s been supporting this channel including all of these producer level patreon backers if you two would like to directly support these videos and please go to junkets Gamescom slash support to see a variety of ways with which you could do that also if you enjoyed this video please consider clicking the like button down below as well as this subscribe button thanks for watching

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Interesting, other reviewers have stated almost exact opposite sentiments between Lancashire and Birmingham. Namely, that Birmingham is a smoother experience.

  2. I am exactly the same with the Brasses; I really don't want to play much else right now. I kickstarted both of them, and was pretty worried about how much I would even like them (the art and the lovely poker chips were extremely enticing – bought two extra sets). I think they're both phenomenal; I played Lancashire twice before trying Birmingham which has now been played three times. Birmingham is definitely the crunchier of the two, but doesn't feel too significantly different. These are definitely one of my biggest kickstarter success stories (my taste in games has been steadily trending heavier and heavier over the past year or two), and I can't imagine getting rid of either of them. Maybe I'll try and get Lancashire played again tonight.
    Great video as always, Jon!

  3. I was the same way with Brass. I backed then played the app and was like ehh not sure I am going to like this and then played Lancashire and loved it and then loved Birmingham even more. Birmingham wins it over for me because of the various goods u can sell and the entire beer aspect. It’s def a thinkier game, but I love the added complexity and decisions as well. This has jumped to my Top 5 fav games in 6 plays between the two. I keep wanting to play it as well. 🙂

  4. I had the exact same reaction to Brass. I had this one filed away as the type of Euro game that is just not for me. But I had a chance to play it and became completely obsessed by it. So much that I was able to get into the late Kickstarter pre-order and picked up Lancashire and Birmingham. Both are amazing games and look gorgeous on the table. I do find the games different enough to own both but if you only wanted one, Lancashire is the winner.

    I did find my Brass obsession to be interrupted by Founders of Gloomhaven, which also has a route building, pick up and deliver mechanism. The way the resources build (pun intended) reminds me of a Civ tech tree and I love that. I am quickly becoming a Euro snob 🙂

  5. You probably already know, but there is an epic variant for Thunderstone Quest that is fun after you have a couple plays the regular way under your belt.

  6. Found Everdell incredibly mediocre trying to compensate with super overly produced, but impractical, components (Wood and Berries will roll out of the board)…

  7. A question about Everdell: did you find moving through seasons at different rates to be a positive or negative about the game? Specifically, does it make it less of a communal experience that one person may finish so much earlier, and that people aren't going through the seasons together?

  8. played a lot of the original edition of brass with a group. Only tried Birmingham once so far but I did likethe varying values. It makes you rethink development. Instead of it being a given to develop if you are able to get a higher value you have the choice of which tile along a track makes the most sense to build. Points or income along the or maybe keeping a tile that won't score connection points if you have to place it in an area where you have 0 or 1 rail and everyone else would get points for your tile.

  9. Re: Polis. Colovini is SO underrated in America, esp. by the post-boom, post-video-reviews-are-a-thing generation of board gamers, i.e. the folks who eat up overproduced underdeveloped inelegant dreck like Everdell. (I know you had a positive response to that one, but having seen enough of your stuff, I trust you'll sour on it soon enough.)

    Re: Rialto, I too LOVE the notion of drafting a full hand of cards with full knowledge of your opponents hand. Just wish there was a different game attached at the other end, as what's there doesn't turn my crank at all. Maybe it's just something silly like the graphic design that throws me…

  10. Hey Jon, I was just wondering whether you have gotten a chance to play Brass: Lancashire again? If so, can you see a place for both Brass games in a collection – or should we just choose one? If we should choose one – what basis would you use to separate and decide which of the 2 Brass games are for us?

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