Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Four Anticipated Board Games 2023

In the board game industry board games are slapped with release dates that are based on the game's factory production date. Sadly, this has nothing to do with the dates that these games are finally delivered and become available on store shelves. Most of the games on the past 2022 posts are only now becoming available.

That means that the entries that I am sharing now for my 2023 wish list aren't actually available at all. This then, is more of an "Anticipated" Games list, than a wish list.

Deadly Dowagers (2023)

The theme of this card game is to marry rich, murder your husband, and then marry rich again. Deadly Dowagers just seems so ridiculously dark, silly and fun that I can't wait to try it.

Starry Night Sky (2023)

Recently saw this on the YouTube channel: Rolling Reggie, where he recommended it as a modern alternative to Ticket To Ride. I really love the idea of a constellation themed star gazing board game. A recent foray into that genre: Astral, fell flat for us. This one is so beautiful and looks to be far more accessible. I think Starry Night Sky could be a great game. We love our heavy games, but it's the engaging lighter games that tend to hit our table over and over. I think Starry Night Sky will be one of those for us.

Unconscious Mind (2023)

In this game, players are psychiatrists trying to help patients during the time of Sigmund Freud. This is such an unusual theme that it has grabbed our interest and imagination. The mechanisms of worker placement in the game look interesting. The components with artwork by Vincent Dutrait (Oltr√©√©) and Andrew Bosley (Everdell) just look fantastic. Unconscious Mind is getting lots of great reviews. We can't wait for this one.

My Island (2023)

Julie and I loved this game's precursor: My City. A competitive legacy style tile laying game, My City was a favorite of the past year. My Island is a follow up game of the same type by the same designer. That's enough to put My Island at the top of both my and Julie's wish lists.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Double Trouble: Fantasy Adventure (sample text #11)

A One-And-Many Game

In a manner common to most TRPGs, DT is a one-and-many game. The "one" is a sort of coach called the Game Manager. The "many" are a team called the Players.

The Game Manager (GM)

The GM starts the game and guides its pacing. They initiate the conversation by describing the setting and current events. Discussion then moves around the table.

The Players

Players take turns in order, adding to the conversation initiated by the GM. Each player explains their actions and reactions to settings and events, adding to the story.

Player Characters (PC)

Players control a single protagonist in the game called a Player Character.  The PC is the player's avatar, their conduit to the worlds and stories that evolve during play.

Non Player Characters (NPC)

In addition to describing settings and events, the GM speaks for all of the Non Player Characters and creatures that players meet in each scene during the game.


The goal of DT is to create and enjoy a shared story. The story is made of scenes. Scenes are reactive locations meant to engage players and illicit responses from PCs.

On Your Turn? (Players)

Describe what your PC does or says based on the information you have. Feel free to ask questions, and if asked to make an Action Roll, grab your dice! (See page 1.)

"Action" As A Game Term

If a player describes something to affect the scene, this may be an action. An action is something that employs a skill to alter an aspect of a scene with uncertain results.

Hand Waving

Lots of actions have uncertain results. In most cases the GM will simply work with players to describe the most plausible outcome. However, dice are usually more fun.

When Should You Roll?

When troublesome failure seems as much fun to your story as triumphant success, let the dice decide. Roll only when success and failure can help equally to guide your story.

Before Rolling the Dice

Decide which core skill is most relevant to the action being attempted. Then discuss the effects that success and failure might have on the story. Now you're ready to roll!

Only Players Make Action Rolls

If the GM describes how a monster has attacked or how a ceiling has collapsed, it's up to the players to roll a Dodge Action to get their PCs out of harm's way!

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Four More Wish List Games 2022

My Shelfie (2022)

It's the classic game "Connect Four" but everyone has their own personal "shelf" to build on and a variety of scoring objectives and opportunities. This one just looks great and light and breezey and fun. Sometimes a person wants a quick light puzzle game, and My Shelfie looks like it will fit that bill.

The Light in the Mist (2022)

A mystery story puzzle campaign game using tarot cards. This one got a rave review from YouTubers: Thinker/Themer. Julie and I really enjoyed another puzzle campaign style game called "The Initiative" and based on Thinker/Themer's review, we really want this one. (Plus the cards look gorgeous!)

Pocket Master Builder (2022)

A deceptively crunchy city building card game. You build worker placement spots by placing cards into a shared kingdom. It's cards. It's worker placement. It's city (kingdom) building. It's all the things that I like in a tiny box. Thinker/Themer rated it the number one best game they bought on a recent trip to Taiwan and just gushed about it. I really, really want this one, but it might be hard to find.

Turing Machine (2022)

Speaking of puzzle games, Turing Machine is just a box full of deduction puzzles and a mechanism for solving them based on old style computer punch cards. This looks so interesting and so different from anything else in our collection that Julie and I are just aching to try Turing Machine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Four Wish List Board Games 2022

Beer & Bread (2022)

I love farming sim style games. In Beer & Bread you are only harvesting the crops needed to produce beer and bread. It's a tight two player only euro style card drafting game. Julie and I have not like closed card drafting mechanisms in the past, but here it's only one piece of a much bigger puzzle, and this game is specifically designed and balanced for just two players. I want to see how that works. Tight, interesting, and deep, with a ton of player interaction, but none of it negative (Rhado loves this game!) I really think that Beer & Bread could become a favorite.

Woodcraft (2022)

Players are "forest people?" woodworkers fulfilling crafting orders for other forest people. Wood in the game is represented by dice that can be manipulated like wood. Sawing a die showing a 6 in half gives you two dice with values of 3, for example -- not really like real wood, but it's a board game.

Tales from the Loop: The Board Game (2022)

A fun looking adventure board game where players are kids running around their neighborhood having adventures. Thematically equal parts Goonies, ET and Stranger Things, this game looks like it will be so much fun to play. You have to go to school, get home in time for dinner, and avoid getting grounded while completing cooperative scenario based adventures. It looks awesome! (Foster The Meeple YouTubers: Jeff and Jamie love it!)

Planet Unknown (2022)

Explore a mysterious planet and extract its resources using a Lazy Susan. Another tile laying game with a twist, Planet Unknown is getting rave reviews and looks like loads of fun, as players rotate a Lazy Susan to select tiles on their side of the board while presenting different offerings to their opponents.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Double Trouble: Fantasy Adventure (sample text #10)

Health Points (HP)

HP is the damage you can take before being in danger of dying. HP is equal to the sum of all your core skill ranks divided by 2 (rounded down.) You start with 11.

Naming Your Character

Finally, give your character a name. Think of a name that tells others something about your character and fits the tone of the role that you want to play.

Experience (XP)

At the end of a game session, the GM will award Experience Points (XP) to the players. XP awards are spent to improve skills and gain powers. (The GM awards XP for contributing to the story and completing goals. About 2 XP per session is normal.)

XP Costs (spend XP like money)

Improve any one core skill with a rank of
   1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 by +1 rank ……… 1 XP.

Improve any one core skill with a rank of
   6, 8 or 10 by +2 ranks ……… 2 XP.

Improve any one core skill with a rank of
   12 by +3 ranks ……… 3 XP.

Gain a new power from any profession
   (must meet skill rank minimum) ……… 4 XP.

Improve your profession's key skill with
   a rank of 15 by +5 ranks ……… 5 XP.

Improving Skill Ranks

You must increase skill ranks by the exact amounts shown (for example: you must spend 2 XP to increase a rank 6 to 8.) After increasing skill ranks, remember to up HP.

Gaining New Powers

You aren't limited to powers listed for your profession. You can gain powers from any of the different professions if you meet the skill rank requirements. (See page 5.)

Rank 20 (only key, always helped)

Each profession has one key skill. Your key skill is the only skill that can reach rank 20. With a skill rank of 20, all actions based on that skill are always considered Helped.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Four Wish List Board Games 2021

Merchants Cove (2021)

This game is like four mini-games in one. All players compete as merchants trying to be the most successful at selling their wares. Each merchant plays in a different way. So, while competing to reach the same goal, all players are actually playing a different game. There are four unique merchants in the base game: the Alchemist, the Captain, the Time Traveler and the Blacksmith. Each has its own unique rules sheet and way to play. Expansions to the game add more merchants and more different ways to play. This makes Merchants Cove a really interesting game, and one that I hope to add to our collection soon.

Genotype (2021)

In this game, players crossbreed pea plants in an attempt to create the greatest pea in the entire world!! Based on the work of Gregor Mendel credited with the discovery of modern genetics, Genotype is a sciency-cool, set-collection, worker-placement game that's reported to be educational as well as fun and challenging to play. It's gotten great reviews and it looks beautiful to boot.

Free Ride (2021)

This is a pick-up and deliver, route building game by designer Friedemann Friese who is responsible for Fabled Fruit an early favorite of Julie and myself. We don't own many train games (maybe only Village Rails ... so, one.) Ticket to Ride is too light for us and runs a bit long. But, I like the idea of games with a train theme, and I love pick-up and deliver when it's done right. Everything that I have seen about Free Ride makes me feel that it does what it does very well. So, I am super excited for this one.

Escape: Roll & Write (2021)

The board game version of Escape always seemed like it would have been something that I might really enjoy. The main problem that kept me from getting the board game was the "real time" element (meaning that players perform under the pressure of a timer.) I really hate the idea of timed elements in board games. Enter the Roll & Write version of Escape. It's not timed, and it's cooperative. A cooperative roll and write game?! We don't own one of those! (This is in fact, the only one that I have heard of.) Add the theme of Indiana Jones style adventurers trying to escape a cursed temple, and the fact that it's based on an award winning board game, makes Escape Roll & Write a MUST HAVE for our collection.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Four Wish List Board Games 2020

Lost Ruins of Arnak (2020)

A smash hit worker placement / deck building game with an Indiana Jones style adventure theme that has somehow evaded joining our collection. Lost Ruins of Arnak promises to be everything the Julie and I like in a board game. I honestly don't know why we don't already own it.

Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef (2020)

This is a mixture of worker placement and dice play to complete challenges. The dice play seems really fun and a lot like Dice Throne. You have cards and powers to help mitigate dice rolls and awesome character boards that allow you to "level up" your characters. The worker placement aspect of the game allows you to prepare your character for the dice challenges. Thematically, the challenges are both competition in a tournament and battling monsters that happen to show up during the tournament to create havok (very anime like!) I love the theme here. It's almost an adventure game, but not really. It seems like it might scratch the itch that I was hoping to satisfy with Dice Throne Adventures, but in a more accessible package.

Beyond the Sun (2020)

One of the hallmarks of a good space exploration game is the evolution and advancement of technologies or "tech trees" as they are often called in board games. Tech trees work like family trees where each technological advance grows the tree upward and outward growing from the branches below it. Beyond the Sun puts the advancement of tech trees front and center creating new worker placement locations with every discovery. This looks like an awesome space exploration game. I love advancing technologies in space games. This one is all about that. Plus the Dice Tower gave this game a glowing review. I love space. I love worker placement. I love tech trees and engine building. I NEED this game.

The Red Cathedral (2020)

Mid weight game with a dice placement rondel mechanic and engine building where players are working to build the Red Cathedral. This one looks really interesting in the way that the dice on the rondel work to provide player actions. The cathedral looks really cool on the table as it's getting built. And it's getting great reviews. The Red Cathedral just looks like an awesome game!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Double Trouble: Fantasy Adventure (sample text #9)

Shields and Wizard Staves

A shield costs 15 sp and helps dodge skill. A wizard's staff costs 50 sp and helps in casting spells from spell books as well as working as a melee Staff* ST 6 weapon.

Lanterns and Torches

Without light, all skills are hindered. Torches cost 1 sp for 3. Each torch lasts an hour. A lantern costs 7 sp and requires oil. Lamp oil costs 1 sp and lasts for 6 hours.

A Night At The Inn

A night in a common room at the inn usually costs 1 sp and includes a meal. An evening of common drink will also cost about 1 sp. Quality options cost 3 to 5 times more.

Other Useful Items

Adventurers Kit (backpack, bedroll, tinderbox, rope, knife, waterskin, 1 weeks rations) ……… 10 sp.
Backpack (50 lb. capacity) ……… 5 sp.
Bedroll ……… 4 sp.
Blanket, wool ……… 2 sp.
Chisel (use with hammer to carve stone) ……… 1 sp.
Clothes (tunic, cloak, pants and shirt) ……… 5 sp.
Clothes (high quality) ……… 8 sp.
Grapnel ……… 10 sp.
Hammer ……… 1 sp.
Horse, riding ……… 100 sp.
Ink, black ……… 8 sp.
Inkpen ……… 1 sp.
Lock Picks ……… 15 sp.
Mirror, silver ……… 5 sp.
Paper (5 sheets) ……… 1 sp.
Piton (iron spike) ……… 1 sp.
Pouch, leather (1 lb. capacity) ……… 1 sp.
Quiver with 20 arrows or bolts ……… 3 sp.
Rations for 1 week ……… 2 sp.
Rope (50 feet) ……… 2 sp.
Sack, small (10 lb. capacity) ……… 1 sp.
Sack, large (30 lb. capacity) ……… 3 sp.
Tinderbox (with flint and steel) ……… 2 sp.
Waterskin (1 qt. capacity) ……… 1 sp.

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Four Wish List Board Games 2019

Machi Koro Legacy (2019)

Julie and I have really enjoyed some legacy style game experiences that we've had recently. Both "My City" and "Dorf Romantik" have been very well received. Machi Koro is a dice game that I really enjoyed when I used to have game nights with my aunt and my sister when I lived in Baxter Springs. This legacy version of the game looks really good and is very well reviewed. Most everyone seems to prefer this version of the game to the original version and that has me very interested.

Red Outpost (2019)

This is a really interesting worker placement type game where workers all have morale and will only work if they are happy or maybe at least not unhappy. It's an interesting idea. This game has players building a colony on Mars, and it just really looks cool to me.

Tapestry (2019)

A popular civilization building game from the publisher of Wingspan and Red Rising. This one has been on my radar for a very long time. It has beautiful components and is well regarded. Civ builders tend to be long and complex, Tapestry promises a more streamlined experience in a reasonable time frame and is a favorite among many of the reviewers that we follow.

Res Arcana (2019)

A super popular engine building game that has somehow managed to evade purchase up to this point. This game is all about finding powerful card combinations and is really tight and quick to play. Res Arcana frequently hits top ten lists of most popular games, and I like engine building games a lot.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Four Wish List Board Games 2018

Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig (2018)

This is a tile placement castle building game generally considered ideal for large groups. It wasn't on my radar at all until I saw it featured on a board game video of "favorite comfort games." This same video recommended Dorf Romantik which Julie and I got and LOVE! As for the high player count, the couple in the video are playing the two-player variant and say that they prefer the game at two players and won't play it any other way. Sold!

Ganymede (2018)

Another recommendation by the same video reviewers mentioned above a YouTube board game review channel called "Allies or Enemies." It's a great channel and their reviews are solid. They speak fondly of Ganymede often. We love space themes and this one keeps coming up. I'd really love to give it a try.

Fertility (2018)

This is a tile laying game where players place domino shaped pieces to a central board and gather resources based on where their tiles are placed. Gathered resources are then placed on scoring tiles. Each player has their own scoring tiles that they will purchase during play. The tile mechanics make me think of Barenpark or Gingerbread House. Taking scoring goals as you play reminds me of Floriferous. Both of these are games and game mechanisms that I really enjoy. Zee Garcia at the Dice Tower gave Fertility a strong positive review. I also like the theme of developing farm lands along the Nile.

Roll for Adventure (2018)

Another cooperative dungeon crawl kind of game. This one is all about dice placement and manipulation. Julie and I love dice games. This one looks to be a great one, but unlike Dice Throne Adventures, this one seems like it will be super easy to get to the table.

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Double Trouble: Fantasy Adventure (sample text #8)

Weapons (Melee)

Melee Weapons are grouped by how cumbersome they are. Heavier weapons often do more damage, but these are also more difficult to wield effectively.

No Weapon (hand to hand)

When fighting unarmed, use your Hand To Hand skill. If your opponent is armed, your Hand To Hand skill is Hindered. Unarmed Weapon ST is 2. (See page 2.)

Light Melee (quick or dual wield)

Includes Dagger ST 4 for 2 sp, Mace ST 5 for 5 sp, Short Sword ST 6 for 10 sp, and Rapier ST 8 for 20 sp. Light weapons are either "quick" or "dual wield."

Quick (light) Weapon Quality

Light weapons are either quick or dual wield based on how they are used. When not used to dual wield, a quick weapon provides a Helped condition to MWP actions.

Dual Wield (light) Weapon Quality

When used to dual wield,  you equip a light weapon in each hand. You are able to attack twice on your turn, striking first with one weapon then with the other.

Two Handed Weapons

Weapons below marked with an asterisk [*] require two hands. Weapons marked with a double asterisk [**] can optionally be used with two hands in order to gain +1 ST.

Medium Melee (no conditions)

Hammer ST 4 for 1 sp, Staff* ST 6 for 0 sp, Hand Axe ST 6 for 6 sp, Heavy Mace ST 7 for 12 sp, Long Sword ST 8 for 15 sp, Bastard Sword** ST 8 for 35 sp.

Heavy Melee (hinders dodge)

Heavy Weapons include Club** ST 4 for 0 sp, Spear** ST 6 for 2 sp, Battle Axe** ST 8 for 10 sp, Great Sword* ST 10 for 50 sp. Heavy weapons hinder dodge.

Weapons (Ranged)

Ranged Weapons are either Light or Medium. Light ranged weapons are one handed, while heavy ranged weapons require two hands to wield properly.

Light Ranged (helps RWP)

Light ranged includes: Sling ST 4 for 0 sp, Dagger ST 4 for 2 sp, Spear ST 6 for 2 sp and Hand Crossbow ST 6 for 100 sp. Light ranged weapons Help RWP actions.

Medium Ranged (two handed)

Medium ranged includes: Short bow ST 6 for 30 sp, Crossbow ST 8 for 50 sp (dodge action to reload,) Longbow ST 8 for 75 sp.  Med. ranged weapons add no conditions.

Ranged vs. Melee

If you throw a melee weapon at a ranged target, MWP is Hindered. If you fire a ranged weapon at a melee target, RWP is Hindered. (Except for daggers and spears.)

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Four Wish List Board Games 2017

It's June. I have a birthday next month. In my selflessness, I am continuing the board game wish lists, so that my wife won't have to struggle to find birthday present ideas. (I'm just that awesome!) This time it's four games from 2017.

Nusfjord (2017)

A worker placement game by legendary game designer Uwe Rosenberg. It has players building up a fishing village. Our favorite reviewers "Thinker/Themer" really like this one. It makes me think of that movie "Fisherman's Friends" and I just love the idea of it. Also, surprisingly (at least to me) we don't own many worker placement games, so it would be nice to have a few more.

Rajas of the Ganges (2017)

Another worker placement game. This one uses dice of different colors as resources. Players track money going one direction around the board and fame going the other direction around the board. When the two intersect, that player wins the game. There's a lot going on in this one. You are building your own little "town" on your player board to gain bonuses and abilities. Dice are paid to the supply to earn benefits, some based on colors, other on numbers. There's a lot of interesting choices here. I really want Rajas of the Ganges. (Did I mention that the first player marker is an elephant?!)

Rising 5 (2017)

I'm always on the look out for a good adventure game that Julie will enjoy playing with me, and I am pretty sure that Rising 5 fits that bill. In Rising 5 players battle monsters to find clues to solve a "riddle" to save the land. The "riddle" in question is basically the classic deduction game Mastermind, which I assume Julie enjoys because she owns a copy of the game and has told me that she is really good at it. I would have probably added Rising 5 to my collection long ago, but the "Mastermind" role is fulfilled by an app and I have avoided board games with an electronic component up to this point. It's possible that Rising 5 might become the first game in my collection to break that rule.

Chimera Station (2017)

This quirky little worker placement game has a space theme. Your workers are little aliens that you can add "body parts" to. This allows you to stack sections together to make workers with different powers. It's funny. It looks cool, and there's a high toy factor. This one has been lingering on my wish list since it came out. It really looks fun. Unfortunately, Chimera Station was published by the now defunct Tasty Minstrel Games and could be quite hard to find.