Recent Board Gaming


My active interest really started in 2015 when Z-Man republished Traders of Carthage as Traders of Osaka, and I played the hell out of it. There were a couple games getting US distribution through AEG and Grail Games. When the BGG Store started carrying imports, I took a chance on King of Frontier and Minerva (based on positive reviews from opinionatedgamers contributors like Joe Huber and Lorna) and that’s what got me into importing games.

Different games have required different amounts of legwork to acquire:

Traders of Osaka, Trains, Too Many Cinderellas - Bought the English versions

The King of Frontier, Minerva, Wind the Film! - Purchased from the BGG store

Yokohama, ButaBabel - ships international.

Neos - subscribed to the Neos forum on BGG and posted in a group-buy thread as soon as it popped up

Age of Craft - Received a Geekmail from someone local who had a copy and worked out a price, because I had it marked “want in trade” on BGG

Familiar’s Trouble - Sent a DM to US importer Ninja Star on twitter, after spotting copies in a picture of their convention booth

Tricks & Deserts, Pecunia - By far the biggest pain in the butt, set up an account with a JP-based forwarding service and purchased from a small Japanese online store that wouldn’t ship internationally

Actually tracking down copies of these games is definitely part of the appeal. I have one more TGM 2017 game on the way, in fact.


3x Sheep ‘n’ Sheep
1x Arkham Horror: The Card Game
1x Nubia (new)
3x The Lost Expedition (new)
5x Okey Dokey
3x Trains (+ Coastal Tides)
2x Villannex (new)
3x Savanna Trick (new)
2x Automobiles (+ Racing Season)
1x Three-Dragon Ante

I played through the rest of the games in the Japanese box this week.

The Lost Expedition and Okey Dokey are both solitaire games (with cooperative variants) of very different types. I’m enjoying them both.

I like what Racing Season adds to Automobiles, even though I’m still not thrilled by the moment-to-moment of actually maneuvering around the track.

Not sure how I will fall on Savanna Trick, although it works with three players which isn’t always the case for trick-taking games.


Sagrada: solid game where you create a stained glass window with colored dice. You can’t place die of the same colors or value next to eachother. You have starting boards to where you have limitations to where you can place colored, valued dice in certain spots as well. You win the game by getting points based on your personal goal card and community goal cards. There is a drafting mechanism of 9 rolled dice that changes with turn order. There are also tool card that help you move dice if you need help.

The game is easy to learn and play, but has that really good strategy/difficulty with your limitations from dice placement.

Will make sure to have a copy for PAX.


1x Innovation
1x 1846
1x Flash Point: Fire Rescue
1x Arkham Horror: The Card Game
1x Dominion
1x Keyflower
1x Thebes
1x Ticket to Ride
4x Codenames
2x For Sale
2x Fuji Flush
1x Bohnanza: The Duel (new)
1x Dixit
1x EXIT: The Game - The Pharaoh’s Tomb (new)
1x The Grizzled
1x Legendary Encounters: Alien
1x Mysterium
1x NMBR 9
1x Okey Dokey
1x Guns & Steel (new)

On July 4, we played a game of 1846 where I was able to execute a successful train handoff for the first time. Someone should have started the C&O, but no one wanted to - I started the B&O to buy a train and create a route for GT, and I won for the first time with only four corporations floated.

We also made another attempt at Arkham Horror: The Card Game, now that all three of us have constructed decent decks. I’ve been enjoying AH most as a 3p game, even though you need two core sets.

On Friday, we played Bohnanza: The Duel (interested, need to play more) and Guns & Steel (satisfying planning, but don’t need to own it)

We had (game-curious) company for the weekend, and used the shotgun approach to see what they might enjoy. Some games went over better than others - Flash Point, The Grizzled, and Mysterium were winners. They even bought Flash Point while they were here. I suggested a few card games after I learned they were a lapsed M:tG player, but both Dominion and Innovation got strong negative reactions along the lines of “let’s never play these again.” Dominion was my gateway from Magic to hobby board games, but you can really never tell!

We also played EXIT - The Pharaoh’s Tomb, which is our fourth escape room game. 70 minutes, 10-20 of which was variations on failing to input the correct answer we already knew. Most of that is my fault :stuck_out_tongue:

Now I have a second big box of Japanese games to play through (Emperor’s Choice), and the Innovation: Deluxe KS is arriving today. Between the holiday and the weekend, it’s been a lot of gaming for a non-convention week.


Bonus Japanese Game Box picture (#2 out of 2):


Spent six hours playing Betrayal at House on the Hill this past Friday. I like the game but that was a long time. I was pretty fried afterwards. I got to be the traitor once, though! I also tried out Someone Has Died when the designer waved me over to her table. I am not any good at improv, but it was entertaining.


3x Innovation: Cities of Destiny (new)
1x 6 Nimmt!
2x Coffee Roaster (new)
1x Emperor’s Choice (new)
3x Heat Up Live! (new)
1x Shephy
1x Space Beans
1x Sticheln (new)
1x Ticket to Ride Team Asia (new)
1x Maigo-Neko (new)
1x Vast: The Crystal Caverns
1x Automobiles Racing Season

Innovation Deluxe arrived last week and we spent some time with one of the two “new” expansions (they’re not new if you’ve been playing on isotropic). I really enjoy Cities on its own, we’re going to play with Artifacts of History this week. Playing with all four expansions eventually is not out of the question.

Heat Up Live feels like an arcade puzzle game. I don’t know about my long term prospects for any of the Japanese solo games (Coffee Roaster, Heat Up Live!, and Shephy) but where else are you going to find a game about playing a concert as an idol group?

Sticheln is a trick-taker from 1993, probably coming with me to the next PAX. Space Beans is actually better than I remember, and I didn’t dislike it before.

Team Asia is an interesting TtR variant, makes me wish I had more opportunities to play partnership games.


Shephy was worth a few hours of amusement but is not an otherwise great game. Feel like I got $5 of value out of it playing on Switch.

I’ve never been a big fan of Team Asia mode, due to a general hesitation to play games w/ limited communication


That’s how I end up feeling about most solitaire games. They end up being more accessible on mobile because you don’t have to deal with setup to play a quick game (like Friese’s Friday)


I finally played Terraforming Mars, after all my friends have been hyping it up all year. It was good. I actually played it twice on Saturday. My first game, I got blown out, because it took me a little while to fully grok how everything worked. The second game, it just really came together for me, and while I didn’t win, I came in second place and only lost by 3 points.

As an aside, the fact that Terraforming Mars is a medium-heavy Euro that you don’t feel completely mentally exhausted and drained after you play it, and can play again an hour or so later, is great.


Played my first game of Android: Netrunner today. We had a fun time in a terrible match. I had only read about half the rulebook before the guy who brought the game had finished putting together the decks, so we played really slow and made a ton of mistakes, went back to fix it. Game sped up a bit later when we both were comfortable with the turn order etc. (He had also only played it a couple of times before). The game was awful because I was playing the company (?, game was in german so forgive me if I make a mistake with the terms) and I just absolutely couldn’t find any agendas. Still had the runner just bash his head against some well laid countermeasures a couple of times. My opponent was attacking R&D because of a virus that let him look at extra cards. I put up additional defenses there but he was still getting through due to a “doping” card (giving him an additional 9 credits for an extra run but at the cost of one brain damage). On the very last run he could perform before running out of cards in his deck he found the third agenda to steal and won and I died with five countermeasures Ice cards in my hand.

Was still fun though and would like to play again, though it took like an hour and a half for the game.


TIL German Ice is “countermeasures”, and German Stimhack is “doping”


Netrunner is a hard game, yo. Unforgiving as fuck.


Nah, it’s still called “Ice”. Dunno why I repeatedly used the word “countermeasures”. As for Stimhack: I really didn’t know the name anymore, just that the owner of the game explained the flavor as “doping”.


And like the filthy degenerate that I am, I just bought a copy of the base game second hand.


1x Innovation
1x Sticheln
1x The Gallerist
1x The Fox in the Forest (new)
1x Bohnanza: The Duel
1x Nubia
1x maskmen
1x Verflixxt
1x This War of Mine: The Board Game (new)
1x Tamamooool: Defend the Eggs (new)

The Fox in the Forest is a “two player trick-taking game” and that’s techncially true, but “two player card game” captures it more accurately. You can tell a lot of thought went into the design.

Just this morning it occurred to me that Maskmen is a card game where you convert a heap into a linked-list. That kind of captures the difficulty of explaining how it works when teaching it…

I enjoyed playing The Gallerist more than the first two times, it may be worth revisiting Kanban with knowledge of Vital Lacerda’s approach to design.

Sticheln and Bohnanza: the Duel are keepers. Undecided on Verflixxt and Tamamooool.


1x The Fox in the Forest
1x Luna (new)
1x Medina (new)
2x Dice Forge (new)
1x Emperor’s Choice
1x Lazer Ryderz (new)
1x Deadline (new)
1x Between Two Cities: Capitals (new)

I’m spending this week in California for family stuff, but look at that: six new games last weekend :]

Luna is unique and good. Perfect information, but player interactions branch too much to be easily calculable. Dice Forge is great fun, a snowball game with dice, more intricate than Machi Koro but still accessible. Between Two Cities: Capitals is a great addition, love everything in the box.

Layzer Ryderz is better than it should be. The giant standees are a little wobbly but the vaporwave track pieces are excellent. Medina is fine, but it’s a perfect information abstract with relatively straightforward scoring.

We played several rules incorrectly in Deadline, I’ll withhold judgment for a week :stuck_out_tongue:


I agree with Lazer Ryderz I have played several versions of that game with the designers and they have the interaction down to a science.


What rules in Deadline did we get wrong? Would it made the game easier or harder?


You don’t reload the bullets.
Table talk is allowed (and makes the game better, after trying it once)