I’ve been noticing a trend toward the simpler games in the last few game nights. That isn’t to say that these games are too simple to enjoy but rather that they are rules light and quicker to play. The heavier games that are brought seem to hang out on the shelf for the night and really don’t get played. I cannot say exactly why this happens but I think it has something to do with the open nature of our game nights. Our group has many different players with various levels of board game experience. Some that stop by are simply looking for a social experience. Others that stop by are really into board games and are interested in playing some new games. This mixture of gamers tends to put the game selection to a grinding halt at times. Everyone wants to play something but everyone wants a different experience. The obvious answer would be that when more gamers come then it is not an issue anymore but most nights we have maybe 3 or 4 games going at one time. This demands a mixture of gamers. This has turned into the same few games coming to the table more often because everyone knows them and it’s easier to get started. These titles lately have been Sagrada, Seikatsu, Santorini, and Splendor (alliteration is mere coincidence). All of these carry the same qualities of being around under 60 minutes playtime, fast to teach, simple to grasp, and difficult to master. I almost want to call this the birth of an era. The era of the abstract game. It will be interesting to revisit this theory in the coming weeks to see if this is still the case.
I din’t get a chance to play any of those games this week but I did play some games that I was really excited to see get some play that I would like to share some thoughts about so let’s dive right in.
…and then we held hands
Sheriff of Nottingham
Star Trek Panic
Bloodborne: The Card Game
Boardgamegeek.com Rating – 7.32
Total Plays at Game Night – 3
Last Played – March 26, 2017
Most Wins – Kyle D. (4 Wins with a 80% Win Rate)
Most Total Plays – Kyle D. (5 Plays)
I’ve started like most people in our hobby playing Dungeon & Dragons and Magic The Gathering when I was younger. I stepped away for quite some time and came back recently. Both have been a delight to jump back into but I found myself playing Magic differently than I have in the past. I would play in local tournaments and try to forge a worthy deck. My skills in this were rather poor and I never did that well. It required a lot of time and also money to basically buy a good deck. I didn’t really want to fall back into this economic trap and discovered the cube format. A close friend of mine put together a rather extensive stack of cards that each player drafts from and builds a deck using those cards. It’s a great format for those who enjoy the game and the elements of deck building but don’t want to drop all the money it requires. You might be asking yourself how does this have anything to do with Dice Masters. Good question.
Dice Masters is a collectible game just like Magic the Gathering with the same pitfalls that scared me away. I really like the game and the Marvel theme that is attached so I decided to give it a try. This time around I decided to do something a bit different and build a similar cube but for Dice Masters. This was quite the task as each card in the deck also comes with dice which can make set up of a cube very tedious. I did it anyway a got a workable version of the cube to game night to test it out. It didn’t go as well as I would have liked.
This game has lots of rules that differ from card to card and can be difficult to teach new players. I started setting up the drafting round and soon after it started realized that no one but I really knows the game well enough to draft well. This leads to poorly constructed decks and just overall frustration from the players. This wasn’t the response I was looking for with something that I spent some time with. I was advised by one of the players that I shouldn’t dive new players into an experience like this as it can be overwhelming. I decided to do something a little different in the future. I built two simple starter decks that players can use just to become acquainted with the games mechanics and learn the cards. Hopefully this will bring people into the fold of Dice Masters so we can enjoy the cube more often.
Boardgamegeek.com Rating – 7.19
Total Plays at Game Night – 2
Last Played – June 11, 2017
Most Wins – Kyle D. (2 Wins with a 100% Win Rate)
Most Total Plays – Kyle D. (2 Plays)
I love a good cooperative game. There is something very fulfilling about working as a team to bring down a common villain. It builds comradely, trust, and really emphasizes why I love the hobby. It takes communication to play well. This game is a good example of how this genre of game works and brings with it a common theme that new gamers can get behind.
Set in the Star Trek universe, Star Trek Panic has players taking on the role of one of the original Star Trek characters. The group has the task of completing several missions before their ship is destroyed by the barrage of enemy ships. This game truly earns its title of Panic as these enemy ships will be coming in almost too fast to handle on top of the missions that have other parameters of completion.
I’m a fan of the original Star Trek series and this theme is drenched in Star Trek lore. Every mission in the box is directly pulled from an episode of Star Trek which will have each fan lost in nostalgia. It’s almost hard to concentrate on the task on hand as you just want to start talking about the episode. This is definitely one that will be making multiple appearances to game night as it is easy to teach and has the benefit of being able to teach while you play. It’s a great tool if you have some anxious players at the table.
I think cooperative games as a whole have found a good home in our group. Flash Point: Fire Rescue is another game that has seen a lot of play in our group and is a favorite. I don’t think the groups collection has many cooperative games now that I’m thinking about it. Flash Point, Pandemic, and Star Trek Panic are some of the only true cooperative games in it. This may be an opportunity for expansion in the group.