We have seen some players come and go over the years. Some left due to moving and others just can’t make it anymore due to time restrictions. I’m sure there are several reasons to peoples absence from Game Night but it is something that I’ve noticed recently. The original consistent game group that started game night looks a bit different than the new gamer regulars at game night. I think calling it a shift would be appropriate. It’s not like the original members don’t come anymore but they don’t come as often as they did in the past. This observation doesn’t have a malicious intent but rather a reason to look at the groups gaming habits. As we have introduced new members to the group, we have moved on from the older games that were enjoyed by the original gamers. We will call them the OGs. I just made that up all by myself. These games have been sitting on the shelf for at least a year or two without play and I hadn’t noticed. This is what I want to address in the next couple week and also with this post. I’ll be talking about a couple of them. Let’s dive right in with the games we played this week at Game Night!
Sheriff of Nottingham
…and then we held hands
BoardGameGeek.com Rating – 7.98
Total Plays at Game Night – 3
Last Played – April 1, 2018
Most Wins – Esther (3 Wins with 75% Win Rate) and Kyle D. (3 Wins with 50% Win Rate)
Most Total Plays – Kyle D.(6 Plays)
I recently picked up a copy of Azul which has been quite the wait. It has been such a popular game in the gaming community that the inventory of all retailers has been vacant. Finally, I was able to snag a copy for the group and got it introduced to the greater group on a Game Night.
Azul is an abstract tile placement game that has players building a decorative wall made out of colorful tiles. These tiles are drafted from a common pool and are placed on their players on board. These placements will score the player points based on where it is placed and by how many tiles are adjacent to it. The player with the most points is the winner.
This game is beautiful. The colored tiles are sturdy and thick that give the game a sensed value as you’re playing. The game mechanics seem very simple at first once you begin but then becomes increasingly difficult as the game progresses due to the condensed nature of the player boards. This game shares a lot of small details like this as Sagrada which has also become a group favorite. It starts off very simply and increases in difficulty as the game progresses. I really like this one a lot and fits into the groups dynamic quite well as being a simple game in rules that brings complexity through its players choices. It’s enough to keep you coming back to the table and wanting more.
BoardGameGeek.com Rating – 6.33
Total Plays at Game Night – 8
Last Played – October 30, 2016
Most Wins – Kyle D. (8 Wins with 100% Win Rate)
Most Total Plays – Kyle D. (8 Plays)
Don’t let this game’s title fool you into thinking this is a silly little cute game. This game can be a nightmare of a game if you are paired with a player that you don’t connect with on some level.
“…and then we held hands” is an abstract cooperative game for 2 players with the goal of finding balance. To win, players must complete a few series of objectives and reach the center of the board on consecutive turns. Players will take turns trying to fulfill these objective cards by discarding emotion cards from each other’s hands and moving their piece on a circular track. Each emotion will move them to a different node located on the board. The trick is that you must do all of this without any verbal or physical communication at all.
I found this game to be rather challenging and fun. I’ve only lost one game which seems odd to say challenging but I don’t find myself playing this game with people I don’t connect with which brings me to my point. This game lives or dies with the players sitting in front of it. Each player must pay close attention to not only the cards in front of them but also the cards in front of the other player and their position. It isn’t difficult to close down the other player’s ability to move if you are not paying attention. The emotion cards are a finite resource and some players can be rather frivolous with them. I tend to only invite the players that I trust enough with a game like this one.
This game saw a lot of play initially when it was first introduced to the gamers at game night. 10 total plays in 2016 which is quite a bit considering the size of our group’s collection. The group then seemed to shift a bit from the initial starting members to a new group of gamers and this one somewhat lost after that shift. This shift seemed to claim a lot of games once I realized that this had happened. It is unfortunate that a lot of these great games don’t come out but it is something that I will be reintroducing over the next few months. Classics shouldn’t die to the “cult of the new” mentality. I will attribute this to my laziness and my need to learn and play the new stuff.
BoardGameGeek.com Rating – 7.43
Total Plays at Game Night – 11
Last Played – March 19, 2017
Most Wins – Kyle D. (4 Wins with 50% Win Rate)
Most Total Plays – Kyle D. (8 Plays)
(Data is inaccurate as many plays were made before we started recording stats)
This was another classic that I needed to brush the dust off of as it came to the table. Carcassonne was the third modern board game that I ever purchased right behind Dominion and Bohnanza. Its strategies have gotten a little old over the years and say the table less due to this gaming fatigue. New games came in and this stayed longer on the shelf between plays. Recently I discovered our absence of playing the classics and teaching the new players of the group which prompted my desire to bring this title back out. We also have a giant homemade version of this that the group plays regularly in the summer so it’s good to have more players understand how to play. It’s not often we are able to play a board game outside without any tables.
I have mixed feelings about Carcassonne even as classic as this may be to me. I don’t mind playing the game at all if someone really wants to play it but it has lost a lot of its initial luster. I thought an absence from the game would restore my original love for the game but I may have outplayed this game. The strategies and tactics of play all came back to me quickly and became mundane soon after. I did have a good time playing the game but that had more to do with the players at the table and less with the game itself. I think this game would be best served in our large yard version as opposed to the tabletop version.
I would sound like I have given up on this title but to the contrary, I have decided to keep this one in the Sunday game collection for a time. The other players at the table seemed to really enjoy the title and like I previously stated I want to introduce these classic titles to all the new people to the group. They deserve the same experiences of falling for a game and then playing it too much like I have. They may even find an evergreen game that they will pick up for themselves. I’ll keep an eye on this and report back at a future date.