Review – San Juan (2nd Edition)

There’s nothing like the Caribbean sun, I’m sure (I’ve never been down there, unfortunately). I know it gets really hot down there, especially when you’re working out in the streets or in the fields, building markets or working the indigo plants. Maybe you are building some statue to some long-honoured military general?

Of course, you aren’t actually out there doing all that stuff. You’re organizing it all, directing traffic, and having others build all of that for you. Still, watching them work while you’re sipping lemonade can be…ok, it can be peaceful. But you might start feeling bad for the workers!

So why not do it all in cards instead? That saves a lot of the hard work involved. And the messy sweat. Now everybody can drink lemonade with you! Or rum, if you like (though maybe that’s more of a Jamaica thing)

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You can do all this by playing San Juan (2nd Edition), the card game designed by Andreas Seyfarth, with art by Harald Lieske and Mia Steingräber, published by Alea & Ravensburger. Based on the board game Puerto Rico, it does have some similar mechanisms to its parent game.

But it’s so much more fun, at least for me.

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The Fantastic Four returns to Marvel Legendary!

I’m a big Marvel Legendary fan. Between enjoying the Marvel comics of my youth and then some awesome deck-building action, I’ve bought all of the expansions until the last one (I’m running out of room!) and it just feels so cool.

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One of the small-box expansions that came out early in the Legendary list of expansions is the Fantastic Four expansion. Of course, these are required characters, as they are almost the first family of modern era Marvel Comics.

Then rights issues hit, in the sense that Marvel Comics had sold movie rights to the Fantastic Four to the Fox movie studio and there have been issues involved in Marvel not wanting to do anything with them. They prevented Upper Deck Entertainment from reprinting the expansion once it sold out, causing secondhand copies of it to go for $200+.

That has now changed.

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Raiders of the North Sea – Renegade Games

One bit of news came out while I was gone last week that got me a little excited.

Yesterday’s “New to Me – May 2017” post included my play of Jorvika viking game about settling northern England.

There seems to be a bunch of Viking games coming out over the last couple of years, some more enticing than others to me (or one that looks interesting but a friend of mine is already buying it so I’m not going to bother).

One that looked kind of interesting, but I discovered that it really wasn’t widely available around these parts (and not in English, apparently), was Raiders of the North Sea, a worker placement game where you are collecting resources and building up your crews so you can raid villages to get treasure and more resources.

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The surprising news came out that Renegade Game Studios is going to be publishing Raiders of the North Sea in English for the first time.

Also according to Dice Tower News, both English-language expansions will be coming out as well.

This game has been nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres (German expert game of the year) for 2017, which is certainly noteworthy.

According to Renegade, the game itself will be available sometime this Summer with the expansions coming in the Fall.

I can’t wait!

 

 

New to Me – May 2017

After a week of being away, how about a big “New Games I Played in May” post as a return?

May was a good month for new games for me, and three of them were actually 2016 games! That’s kinda new, right?

Anyway, on to the list. There are definitely some good games on here.

Imhotep (2016 – KOSMOS Games) – 3 plays

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This one has to be my favourite new game of May, though some of the others are damned close.

In this one, each player is trying to help build various monuments in ancient Egypt and get the most prestige/glory/whatever the heck they call it in this game (it would be nice if games picked one name for victory points and kept it).

The game is interesting because each player is building on the same thing. Players have their own stone quarries that they get stone from, then put on ships that will be going to four of the five locations. One of the locations, the Market, gets you cards that you can either save for later, you have to use immediately, or get you end-game victory points.

The others have various ways to place your stones to get the most victory points, but stones are unloaded from boats from front to back, so where you have your stones on the boats can be very important.

And you don’t even have to have stones on a boat to ship it to one of the locations, so you can seriously screw with somebody if you really want (though that does waste a turn where you’re not getting any benefit, so it’s not something to do willy-nilly).

I love that these decisions on what to do on your turn (get stone from your quarry, place a stone on a boat, send a boat to a location, or play a blue card) can be quite difficult sometimes.

And it’s such a simple game! Non-gamers can easily play it (one of the players I introduced it to, and who loved it, thought another fairly simple game looked way too complex, so that tells you something). It teaches fast, it plays fast (40 minutes easily), and it’s interesting.

What’s not to like?

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Onirim App Update Adds Glyphs!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Onirim app review, where I mentioned that when it came out Asmodee Digital had said there were no plans for the expansions, look what showed up on the app store?

Yes, the Glyphs expansion dropped today, free as long as you are logged in with your Asmodee account.

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See those swirls on the two green cards? Mmmmm swirls….

This is a small expansion, but it adds a new “suit” of cards of each colour, giving you more matching options because you are less likely to have a hand of five suns and you keep discarding one and getting another one, again and again and again…

<SLAP>

Sorry, that’s just happened too  many times to me.

Anyway, because it’s adding a number of new cards but no new nightmares, you also have to now get 12 doors open instead of 8.

I’ve tried three games with it, and I haven’t won yet. I’m not sure if it’s just getting used to things or what, but the jury is still out on whether this makes things harder or easier.

We’ll see!

The description on the iOS update mentions that there will be more to come, so I’m really looking forward to these expansions!

More goodness to an already great game.

 

Asmodee Digital is busy – Jaipur released and New Game Announced

One thing you cannot say about Asmodee Digital is that they are goofing off.

Unless you count playing games as goofing off, in which case I’m done with you.

Yesterday, I posted my review of the wonderful Onirim digital adaptation yesterday, and they’re already back for more!

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Beautiful cards…what do they do?

Also yesterday, the 2-player card game Jaipur was released for iOS and Android. It has an introductory price of $2.99, but who knows how long that will last? Remember Onirim’s 99 cent introductory price was also supposed to be temporary. Not sure when that will go up.

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Onirim – App review

Onirim is a card game that apparently can be played with two players but is essentially a solo player game.

I had never heard of it until Asmodee Digital announced that it was coming to mobile devices and that it was going to be a purely solo effort.

When it was first announced, and when I first bought and downloaded it, I was a bit concerned that it was going to get a bit samey. None of the expansions for the card game are included, and there were rumblings that they never would be.

I started around 20% win rate, so I’ve improved!

This screenshot seems to indicate that the fear was groundless. Those are my current stats on my iPad.

I just find this game so addictive!

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