Recent Board Gaming


Fresh Fish classic rules, paraphrased from the back of the rulebook…

Play with the “blank” side of the boards (ie. no roped-off sections, just one big field). Replace the road placement rules with the following:

Define R as “the set of all roads and empty spaces”.

Rule 1: R must be a single contiguous network at all times.
Rule 2: All stands and trucks must have access to R.
Roads are placed to ensure Rule 1 and Rule 2 are followed.

The easiest way to actually implement it when you’re playing, in pseudocode:

After placing a table or a stand, check:

  1. For each empty space
    If placing a table or stand here would divide R into separate sets
    the empty space becomes a road

  2. For each stand / truck that is not already next to a road
    If all orthogonally adjacent spaces but one are blocked by tables / stands / trucks
    the empty space becomes a road

Placing roads removes reservation disks, just like the “normal” rules.

All remaining empty spaces become roads at the end of the game.

There is no “outside 2x space” road in this version of the game.

The openness of the board and the requirement to have one single road network creates dozens of possibilities that quickly collapse in surprising ways compared to the “normal” game. Apparently a lot of people have trouble playing it at all, based on BGG reviews… but I promise if you can follow that pseudocode explanation it’s not hard at all to implement in-person. But it IS very hard to predict exactly what will happen to the board.


I want to play, but I still can’t see it in my mind.


Yeah, it’s hard to visualize without pictures or pieces in front of you. We just jumped in, trusting that manually executing those “for each” loops would work, and you develop a feel for it after a few minutes.


Tsuro is one of my go to games for new players and I’ve found that younger players can get the hang of it just fine. Sushi Go! is another good one that can teach card drafting and set collection without being overly complicated. Both games are fairly inexpensive as well.


Both of these are sensible suggestions, though my niece already remarked on the oddness of two games I showed her being “japanese” (Lanterns is of course chinese themed, but that doesn’t exactly make a difference to her yet). Those two games would fall into a similar theme. Might try them some time later.


Love It: 3x Fresh Fish (new-ish), Dominion, Bohnanza, 2x Gloomhaven (new to me)
Like It: Tramways (new to me), Charterstone
Neutral: Grimslingers (new to me), Beasty Bar, Bunny Kingdom (new to me)

I’m counting Fresh Fish as new-ish, since I had never played with the classic rules (and, after three games this week it quickly climbed to an all-time favorite)

Every game we played on Friday has a big square grid; Fresh Fish, Bunny Kingdom, and Tramways. Nothing really to say about that, other than they look nice next to one another in my phone’s camera roll. Bunny Kingdom’s a nice speedy drafting game (especially since you select two cards at a time) that I’d be happy to play again. Tramways is a tactical and strategic puzzle with a sadistic auction that I found enjoyable.

Grimslingers and Gloomhaven are also thematically similar, two card-driven cooperative RPGs. Grimslingers is fine, although the rules feel like a work in progress (I was told that we were playing with the fourth major rules revision, which seems about right). Might grow on me.

Gloomhaven is D&D 4e done right (or done even better, if you prefer). The enemy AI decks add a level of very satisfying clockwork to every game turn. It feels a bit like managing a Final Fantasy Tactics mercenary squad, tromping around, getting into fights, and collecting new party members. I can see why it jumped to #1 on BGG; if that sounds like fun you’ll probably like it.

We’re on game 10 of Charterstone, and my opinion has been sitting on “like it” for the past eight games. After game 12 I’d be happy to play through one more time on a fresh board… I guess legacy games make it easy to rack up double digit plays of a given game.


Played Terraforming Mars was a lot of fun. While I was learning and teaching we got thru it pretty well and only made some minor mistakes as we played. I definitely see why this is a favorite for folks.

FYI Target has a buy 2 get one free they seem to have a bigger selection than one would expect.


I haven’t tried Grimslingers (god what a terrible name!), but Gloomhaven is a lot of fun. Also Terraforming Mars is great. It’s actually pretty simple once you get to know the mechanics. The components are terrible though.




What I’m saying is, regardless of how you feel about D&D 4e, Gloomhaven is a considerable improvement on that specific thing.


Can confirm they have a surprising selection. I just acquired America, Captain Sonar and Lost Cities. I was pretty surprised at the selection.


I like Grimslingers more than Chris does, though not as much as I like Gloomhaven. It’s got a different feel to me than Gloomhaven, and I like the theme/artwork more.

There aren’t many games where you can play as a red panda with an eyepatch.


Would you guys be up for Gloomhaven on a Friday night over at GK? It sounds interesting.


So nobody here (that I know of) followed/follows starcraft like I do (you should, the best foreigner (fuck you, she’s the best) is a transwoman who goes by the handle scarlett (she recently won the pyongchang tournament that intel put on right before the Olympics, and she roflstomped the highest paid koren player to do so)) And as such I’d not expect any of you to have heard of or played former pro Kevin ‘qxc’ Riley’s co-op deckbuilding card game Aeons End.

The actual news here is apparently it’s got itse’f a legacy version that’s going to be kickstarted soon.

As to Aeon’s End itself. It’s an interesting and, I think, elegant approach to both co-op games and deck building games.

It controls information in that you can reveal only so much to your team mates insofar as you telegraph your intentions by prepping actions this turn to be used next turn.

The other novel idea that I recommend you give it a shot to try out, is that when you run out of deck. You flip over your discard without shuffling and begin anew. There are very specific rules about what order cards go into your discard pile, but it does leave some control to the player. So you’re incentivized as a player to put useful combo pieces in your discard pile next to each other so as to maximize your effectiveness during future turns.

It’s from 2-4 players and that’s a hard max. If anyone would like to play it with me, I will be bringing it to PAX East (the non-legacy version) and you may try it there.

Edit: The kickstarter for the legacy version went up earlier today… and was funded in about an hour:


Finally played my first game of Puerto Rico today. I think what set it apart from other worker placement games I’ve played is that because it has multiple game ending conditions, it makes it that bit more difficult to time the point where you switch from building your machine to running your machine.

I can see why people consider it very re-playable.


Puerto Rico is quite good, and I’ve played it dozens of times because it used to be a favorite at my game store. It’s also related to three of my favorite games (Outpost, Race for the Galaxy, and Phoenicia) which doesn’t hurt. The designer credits a lot of interesting games in this 15-year-old geeklist, including Vinci for the mechanism of putting dubloons on unselected roles.

This is what I got up to last night, 1860 with a friend’s copy:

In online conversation, people have regularly misinterpreted 1860 as 1960. This happens about as regularly as the Fast Food Franchise / Food Chain Magnate mixup.


Played Lost Cities for the first time last night.

This is a game that really flows. Like big time. Goes really quick. Love this game.


I like that the Vinci market bidding got distilled right down into it’s own game, with Majesty. And it really works. I can see how the person who designed Splendor could choose to do this next. Bid and buy on the market, 12 times around the table, count your points and go home.


Had a good night of gaming post-Toy Fair on Sunday. Sat down with Nolan Nasser, who just formed Deepwater Gaming, and will effectively be the importer for all future Emails S4 games out of Taiwain. He’s doing a good bit of extra development work on these games before they get North American releases, and I think it’s really going to show.

Also got to do my second playtest of the Executives expansion for The Networks. I don’t know how I don’t own that base game yet but I need to fix it. This is a game I can’t say enough good things about, and would like the rest of this forum to play so we can discuss.


I enjoy The Networks but the lack of variety in setup kind of keeps it from reaching the really high heights.