Recent Board Gaming


I’ve heard mixed to good things about Cthulhu wars and would like to try it out but it was overproduced in ways we usually don’t see even in miniatures games. MiniatureMarket is basically giving it away at $97.50 and I just can’t justify the same price I paid for Twilight Imperium 4 for that.


Cthulhu Wars is a perfect example of a mediocre game getting attention because of its miniatures.

If you really want a “Dudes On a Map” type of game, check out Kemet, or if you can find them, Chaos in the Old World or Forbidden Stars. All three of those games take the same concept as Cthulhu Wars, Blood Rage, etc, and rework them into superior games.


I’ve play Kemet which I really enjoyed. Forbidden Stars might be a hard game to find now that FFG has lost the 40K license.


Both Forbidden Stars and Chaos in the Old World are FFG/GW games so they’re both probably hard to find. That said, I’ve seen copies of Forbidden Stars floating around online and at various retail outlets, so I don’t think it’s quite as hard to find as Chaos in the Old World, which is older and pretty much impossible to find, except from resellers.


I’m going to give Kemet a try but my group has issues being aggressive in dudes on a map games so we’ll see how that goes. From what I understand from players that love it and the designer himself Chaos in the Old World has significant balance issues and at $100+ that’s a hard sell.


Friday game night is back after last week

… jury is out on how many more people I can convince to play train games with me. :slight_smile:


If I ever have the opportunity I will play as many train games as you will let me play. I’ve a hunger since I’ve learned they exist.


I will say that 1889 felt like the best 18XX experience I’d had.

I’m still shit at stock games and need more practice, but 1889 with the tight board and limited tokens felt like a very good take on the genre.


This is actually the most common reaction I’ve had to 1889 vs. 1846 - all my close friends have preferred 89. It’s a hard call for me, but right now I’m interested in exploring 1889 (and 1830) before returning to 1846.

We just played a game where I jumped out to a narrow lead, and Dan and Anthony made a pact to partition the two remaining 5 trains and never buy a 6 so the 3s stayed permanent. Dan probably should have killed the 3s but he was in a bad position already… the game ended after 90 minutes once the meaningful decisions dried up, and I lost by $100 - primarily because I was running up the stock market with the yellow company, but there were still 4 shares in the IPO that were instantly worth $125 over their par value. Dan and Anthony got to scoop up 250 free dollars each that I couldn’t really do anything about.


So very much an old hat to you guys, but I played my first round of Lords of Waterdeep tonight. We played with 5 players and the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion, which adds a risk/reward option of very good resource options that also give you tokens worth negative points at the end of the game, with increasing negative values the more often people use it.

I got very lucky with my starting quest and Lord. The Lord would let me choose a type of quest at the end of the game and I would receive 6 victory points per quest of that type I completed, and one of my starting quest was a plot quest that would give me an additional 2 points per Commerce quest I completed after it. Naturally that was the first I completed and started going after additional commerce quest whenever possible. I managed to score 4 additional commerce quest, with being a turn/meeple short of completing another, so the Lord gave me 30 points. I also stayed away from Skullport after three players immediately took Skullport spots. When the fourth players also took a skull token in the second round of the game, I also scored 6 points off an intrigue card I could only use if every other player had more skull tokens than I did, though I also lost 5 points at the end of the game because at one point I picked up a skull token myself and was unable to get rid of it.

In the end, I managed something like 117 points and got second place on tiebreakers. Still had a ton of fun and would love to play it again.


Yesterday i tried out the Warhammer Age of Sigma Trading Card game. The game has some interesting mechanics involving positioning, stacking cards on top of each other, and changing values over time. However, the card layout is also rather ugly and the card texts are hard to interpret. It took us way too long to grok that one of the icons used in the card texts is a placeholder for the values in the corners instead of an instruction for an action, mostly due to its similarity to the tap-symbol of Magic the Gathering.

It was interesting, but I doubt I will get into it. We also noted that since there isn’t a cost of playing the cards, the game seems very strongly “pay to win”.


A quiet weekend for some proxy wars at home. @DemoWeasel squeaked a narrow win as the US while I was waiting for Asia scoring to come up again.



A lot of first-plays this weekend.

La Cosa Nostra is a killer negotiation game… perhaps it’s the simplicity, but there’s a beautiful tension in games that use small (2-4 dice) d6 dice pools. Like the best trading and negotiation games, you’re hardly self-sufficient and the other players are your only bulwark against the capricious randomness of the game; it’s likely you’ll need to beg someone to use their resources and go halvsies on a job… only to have a third player gleefully burn it down.

Cuba Libre on Saturday. No amount of bargaining could keep me in the game as Havana was overrun by urban guerrillas, the US pulled its support, and Anthony quietly called a one-sided truce with Dan’s Directorio - so Castro and Che sent me packing. I had previously played the two player COIN, Colonial Twilight, and the multiplayer aspect adds just the right amount of uncertainty to make it a roller coaster ride without needing any extra complexity.

Twilight Struggle on Sunday. All of Cuba Libre is one card in TS! This is a game where you have to figure out how to play the hand you’re dealt… I love how your hand forecasts all of the ways you’re about to get punched, but lets you sequence your opponent’s events in the least optimal way. The only foreknowledge you need to enjoy the first game is which scoring cards are in early war, and which scoring cards are in mid war, which makes a 30 second conversation mixed into a short upfront teach. We finished a 9-round nail-biter in 100 minutes with time for shit-talking and laughing at our fortune/misfortune, which makes this a surprisingly approachable game given its reputation (at least around here).

High Society with David and Jaime. Warsaw with Brian. Calimala, Spring Meadow, The Estates. A+ weekend.


I played Troyes again for the first time in years. I don’t know why I waited so long. Honestly, this is a phenomenal game, up there with Hansa Teutonica and Concordia as one of my favorite more abstract Euro boardgames.

While I’m not a huge fan of the art style, I love the mechanic of using dice as workers, and how you can buy other players’ dice to use. Troyes is just an elegant well designed game that seems to have fallen by the wayside.


Troyes is a favorite of one of the Friday regulars at Games Keep. I still need to play it; after Ginkgopolis and Carson City I have a certain amount of faith in Xavier Georges to create interesting interactive euros.


I really love Troyes. I’m not a huge fan of Ginkgopolis, and haven’t tried Carson City, so I can’t really comment on the rest of his games, but Troyes is excellent.


Fort Sumter, three times with three different people. I love how tiny everything in this game is - tiny winning scores, tiny rounds, tiny hands, and the multi-use cards (all three uses are tiny).

Everdell, twice. Tricks you into thinking you’ll never get anything done because you start with two workers and no resources, and then you find some way to get one card down, and that gets you another card that lets you re-use an action, and on and on.

Pax Renaissance is my current favorite of the series. The possibilities at the start of each turn, the map full of chess pieces adding weight to those possibilities, and the immediate satisfying outcome of every action are fantastic.

We also set up High Frontier and pushed the pieces around and read the cards. The chart in the back of the training guide (suggested missions) is a tremendous help.


Heir to the Pharaoh is a two player bidding game where the players exchange the cards they bid at the end of each round. You bid on the placement, alignment, and types of monuments that will be added to the board for end game scoring. You also bid on Animal Magic cards that allow you to modify future bids. The placement and alignment of monuments, combined with set collection, bidding, and bluffing combine to create a unique and engaging game. I love the theme of this game and the way it all ties together. I’m planning to 3D print custom monuments and pyramids just because. The box say 45 minutes, which is accurate once you’ve learned to play.


I like the sound of this game.


We spent about 13-14 hours playing games on Saturday for Extra Life, and I finally tamed High Frontier in such a way that I can actually teach the game.