New to Me – March 2017

March was actually a very good month for “new to me” games, and I even managed to hit three 2017 games in there!

The year is off to a good start.

Pretty much everything was light, filler stuff (which is never a bad thing for me), except for one game that’s fun, but a bit longer than it really needs to be.

Herbaceous 1

Beginning with a stellar card game.

New Games for March

Herbaceous (2017 – Dr. Finn’s Games) – 2 plays

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This beautiful card game designed by Eduardo Baraf, Steve Finn, and Keith Matejka with art by Benjamin Shulman and Beth Sobel, is the very definition of a quick card game.

It’s probably the best new game that I played this month. It’s such a quick, gorgeous card game, but it has that nice element of push your luck.

Is one of your opponents going to pot those plants in the common garden before the turn gets around to you again? Should you go ahead and do it even though it’s a few points less if you do?

I also love the “draw two cards one at a time, but you have to decide whether or not to keep the first one before drawing the second one and the second one goes wherever you didn’t put the first one” mechanic. I know it’s not unique, but it definitely adds to the decision needing to be made.

Fun game, quick enough that you can play it twice (like we did, hence the two plays).

Biblios (2007 – Iello edition) – 3 plays

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This is another Dr. Finn game! Though I have the Iello version that came out later.  Designed by Steve Finn with art by Finn and David Palumbo.

I bought this game on a whim when it didn’t get traded to me in a math trade. It just sounded like a cool game to play. Quick, plays 2-4 players equally well (just differently).

And even more of the same mechanic used in Herbaceous (yes, I know Biblios came out way before that one) where you have to decide what to do with a card before drawing the next one.

I played this two-player twice and four-player once, and it was fun in all counts.

I do think that the sweet spot could be three players, though.

Wits & Wagers (2005 – Northstar Games) – 2 plays

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Designed by Dominic Crapuchettes with art by Jacoby O’Connor

An old game and a classic. Played this at a con when we had a bunch of players and no game really ready to play.

I love trivia games to begin with, but this is a trivia game that you don’t need to know a lot in order to play.

You do have to have an idea, though, and then you bet on which of your friends’ answers is closest without going over.

Great fun in a party setting.

Santorini (2017 – Roxley Games) – 2 plays

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2-player game designed by Gord! with art by Lina Cossette and David Forest

A great two-player abstract game that, unfortunately, just cements for me that I don’t really do abstract games well.

I can see that this is a good game. I understand why people love it.

But it left me a bit cold.

I wanted to love it, because so many people I know and respect do.

It’s very simple, with each of you moving one of your two nicely-produced plastic figures to an adjacent square on the relatively-small board. Then you can build a level in an adjacent square. Create a new level, add a level 2,  a level 3, or a dome that will make it so nobody can go up there.

You can move one of your figures up one level to an adjacent square, but not two. So you need steps. Which your opponent can screw up by placing a 2nd level before you can move.

Very simple, very elegant design.

But my impression was just kind of “meh.”

It is a short game, so I wouldn’t be averse to trying it, especially with the god powers that change things up some.

So we’ll see.

Leaping Lemmings (2010 – GMT Games) – 2 plays

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Designed by John Poniske and Rick Young with art by Rodger B. MacGowan, Leona Preston and Mark Simonitch

This is a much funner game than I would have thought, with a lot of “take-that” play between players, especially when you have the maximum six players around the table. Those eagles swooping around, you know that a bunch of lemmings are going to die.

But a bunch more will make the dive over the cliff!

It drags a bit at six players, though the first time we played it was new to most of us and the second time, we had a couple of assholes who made the game drag.

But I think it would shine with 4-5 players.

I do like this game for the stories that can emerge. Remind me to tell you the story of Charlie the Soldier Lemming, who tragically was eaten shortly after leaving the starting line, only to heroically pop up on the other side of the board!

Just to promptly get eaten the next turn.

It’s these types of stories that I think would give the game some staying power as well.

New York Slice (2017 – Bezier Games) – 1 play

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Designed by Jeffrey D. Allers with art by Stephanie Gustafsson and John Kaufmann

This is a really cool filler game, and probably my second favourite of the month (saving it for last just to end on a high note). I’ve never played Piece of Cake or any other “I split, you choose” game, and it’s a very interesting mechanic.

I really screwed up in the final round trying to figure out which way to split it, handing the victory to one of my opponents.

But still, great game. Happily play it again.

And kudos to Allers for making anchovies negative points!

I hate anchovies.

So, did you play any new games this month? What did you think? Or what do you think of these games?

Let me know in the comments.

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