The first Sunday of May turned out to be a very busy one with lots of groups playing lots of different games. It was challenging to set up and run the show as many different experience levels were at the tables. Everything seemed to work out quite well though as the games flowed without much-needed teaching on my part. I recently decided to always have a collection of games that everyone knows one hand in situations like these where I cannot be apart of each game.
The first Sunday of the month I want to add something a little special for those of you who attend a game night with us. Statistics have always been popular with the group and I want to share with you what I logged for the previous month. In the past, we have done something like this but I want to make things a bit more streamlined so it isn’t overwhelming. Hopefully, everyone enjoys the numbers and gets something out of them. Let’s dive in!
The Little Flower Shop
Century: Spice Road
Ticket to Ride
Love Letter: Premium Edition
Total Game Night Plays – 5
Last Played at Game Night – March 25th, 2018
Top Ranked Player – David Noller (3 Wins, 60% Win Percentage, Best Score 29)
The Little Flower Shop is a light strategic card game where players are responsible for a flower shop window display. They will be collecting flowers, vases, flower baskets, income, and sale cards through a drafting mechanic which will translate into flower points. The player with the most flower points will be the winner.
I’ve only played 2 player games of this myself and I really love how they solved the drafting issues with two players. Players will receive their hand of cards and choose one to draft. This card will be placed into the player’s tableau then each player will draw a new card and place that into the hand from which they just drafted. Each player will then choose a card from that hand to discard then pass the hand to the other player which will repeat the process. This may seem a bit tedious but in practice makes for a very intriguing experience. Every turn you will have the difficult choice of not only which card to draft but also which cards you will be passing to the other player. The choice would seem obvious to simply pass the cards that the other player will not want but this hand of cards will come back to you in a future round. It’s not in your best interest to keep eliminating the best cards. This feature alone makes this game very tense and thought to invoke.
The various card types make for interesting game decisions as well. Cards like the sales cards and the income cards help to pull cash into your shop which is very helpful in dealing with trash at the end of each drafting round and placing flower baskets in your shop. The vase and flower cards help to get flower points for the endgame but each flower pot needs a matching flower and vice verse. This makes for a very tense two-player experience that I’m hoping is still present when playing with the full complement of 4 players.
Total Game Night Plays – 5
Last Played at Game Night – February 11, 2018
Top Ranked Players – David Noller (2 Wins, 66% Win Percentage) and Kyle Delgado (2 Wins, 66% Win Percentage)
If you like Chess then this should be on your must-buy list. Onitama is a two-player, abstract, chess-like game with a little twist that will have each player challenged each time that you play. The board is a 5×5 grid where players will be moving 4 pawns and 1 king (probably not their actual titles) in an attempt to “take out” the other players king or to move your king to the doorstep of the other player’s kingdom. The variability is what makes this game special. Each game will consist of 5 movement cards that the players will employ. Two for each player to use and one that will cycle into play. Each player upon using the movement on one of the cards will swap the card used with the card off to the side of the board.
The dynamic nature of play is amazing. Each game is made up of a different set of moves that must be considered. I’ve found myself treating this like a resource management style game with the movement cards. Some games I’ve found that movements straightforward to only be found on one card so I will horde that card until the exact moment I need it to strike safely. This feels also feels faster and lighter than Chess so there is no huge time commitment. Also with its speed and ease of play, I don’t feel the emotional investment into the experience like in Chess. I really have to want to play Chess to sit down at a table but this is so short that a game doesn’t carry that weight. The fun to be had here definitely makes this a game group essential for two players.
Total Game Night Plays – 9
Last Played at Game Night – July 16th, 2017
This game was popular last year on game night. It seemed to be everyone’s new favorite small box game right up there with favorites like Artifacts Inc. and Patchwork. The dice rolling wasn’t punishing and yet still provided some challenge. Choices were dynamic and gave each player many options with various outcomes. I really liked it and it saw lots of love on game night. Something must have happened along the way and this title seemed to fall off the table. Over the course of the last year, the players that come to Game Night have seemed to change and some of the old favorites were not introduced to the new players. That is until this Sunday when it made its way back into the game tote for game night.
The game didn’t disappoint at all and was just as fun as I remember it to be. We even had one player bring it home to show the local high school gaming club as well. This was a very encouraging gameplay of Blueprints and has encouraged me to show more players this little masterpiece. If you haven’t played this title yet then please ask for a play at our Game Night.
Statistics from April 2018
Plays – 28
Games – 23
New Games – 2
Players – 17
Time Playing – 14 hours
Days of the Month Playing Games – 11
Top Logged Player – David Noller (18 Games Played)
Highest Win Percentage (More than 5 Plays) – Ryan M. (71%)
Top 5 Most Played Games in April 2018