What Have We Been Up To?

Y’all.  It’s April.  Three whole months have flown by in this new year and we’re kind of in a daze.  We’ve been freakishly busy these last few months, but don’t worry, that involved playing a lot of games.  Below we’ve highlighted some of our new gaming experiences in 2018, games we haven’t played before this year.

Been missing our content?!  We’ve been missing you!  Our goal for Two Board Meeples is to have two solid posts a month moving forward, one fun post with lots of pictures and some games and another post highlighting what new things we’ve been trying out.  Thanks for sticking with us!

Interested in trying some of the games we have?  Click on our Amazon Affiliate links!  You purchases things like normal on Amazon and Two Board Meeples gets a few pennies from your purchase with no extra cost to you.  These pennies add up and allow us to buy more games to write about!

Vegas Wits & Wagers – This game isn’t too different from the typical Wits & Wagers format of everyone guessing at the numerical answer and players betting on who they think has the closest answer without going over. The new features include betting on a range of answers (either higher or lower than the median) and betting on a player before the answers are revealed, getting a 10-to-1 payout if you’re correct. These new features, in addition to the humongous playmat, make this very enjoyable entry in the Wits & Wagers family.

Meeple Circus – This is a dexterity and stacking game where you must arrange meeples, animals, and other objects to suit the demands of the circus audience. You earn points for arranging your pieces in certain configurations, as well as successfully using your star performer and performing special, silly actions in later rounds. The circus music which acts as a timer for each round helps make this game even more thematic and fun!

Azul – Don’t be blue; this abstract game is a lot of fun!  The tiles in this game are fantastic and very eye-catching.  The game uses a pretty neat drafting mechanism where you can take all of one color of a tile from one of the market discs (pushing the remaining tiles into the middle), or take tiles directly from the middle.  The drafting can be a bit mean (depriving players of tiles they need or sticking them with ones they can’t use), but this is altogether a nice light game.

Sub Terra – Sub Terra is a cooperative tile-laying and exploration game where players take on the roles of cavers trying to escape from a treacherous underground cavern before their light sources run out.  This is a very difficult game to win with everyone surviving, but still is fun to try! There are some downsides, such as tiles that are difficult to tell where the exits are and the game taking up a lot more space than you might initially expect, but overall it’s a nice cooperative experience.

Terra Mystica – We finally got a chance to play the highly esteemed Terra Mystica earlier this year.  It is definitely an interesting mix of area control, player powers, and engine building. I saw some of the mechanisms in the game reflected in more recent games (such as benefits from building next to another player in last year’s Clans of Caledonia).  This was definitely a fun one to try, and I’d be up for trying it again any time!

Las Vegas (Vegas: The Dice Game) – This is a fun and light dice game with a bit of luck involved (it is Vegas themed, after all).  Players compete to roll the most of each number in order to win money from the 6 casinos in the game. But with ties cancelling each other out, it may be a smart move to strategically only place one or two dice in a casino in hopes of scooping up a big payday for little investment!

Codenames Disney – This licensed version of the popular party game Codenames features pictures of various Disney characters or Disney-themed words on one side of the cards and the word itself on the other side, meaning you can play as Codenames, Codenames: Pictures, or a mix of the two. Unfortunately, I don’t think this game is quite as good as the regular Codenames because the words are more related with each other by their cinematic connections rather than similar definitions or being used in similar phrases.

Ex Libris – Do you like worker placement?  Do you like the alphabet? If so, Ex Libris is the game for you!  Through worker placement spaces, players gain books which must be shelved in their personal library in alphabetical order — a cool little mini-puzzle in this game.  In addition, each player has a unique worker with a special power, like the snowman who makes the location too cold for others to visit, or the goblin sneak who can steal books from others in the same location!

Banned Words – This is a team-based word guessing game, and one of our new favorites in the party word game genre!  Each round, one player on the team has to get their teammates to guess five different words, but similar to the classic game Taboo, there are words that the clue giver or their team shouldn’t say.  The catch is that the opposing team writes those words while looking at the word list, so the team doesn’t know which words will give their opponents points when said! This game is a ton of fun and easy to teach and learn.

Tobago – Tobago is a game of deduction by removing possibilities.  In it, players are trying to find treasure hidden around the titular island by playing cards to narrow down where the treasure can be located.  For instance, if you play a card saying the black treasure is in the forest, you can rule out all the beach and mountain hexes. Watch out for the cursed treasure that starts appearing later in the game — if you’re not protected, it’ll cause you to lose one of your highest valued treasures!  I really like playing this game, and hope to introduce more people to it!

Gloomhaven – We finally got a chance to try the colossal beast currently occupying the top spot on BoardGameGeek this year.  This game is certainly as epic as its box size; it’s a dungeon crawl with a lot of tactical strategy involved. We haven’t gotten very far into the campaign yet, but certainly are enjoying it very much so far!

Hardback – This “pre-quill” to Paperback is actually a somewhat more complex, “gamer-y” version of the deck- and word-building game.  This one relies heavily on a Star Realms like mechanic of a single trade row and four genres (factions) that give bonuses for being able to use multiple cards from the same genre in the same word.  Even if your vocabulary isn’t that great, you can use any card as a wild by flipping it over, so you should always be able to make a word in this race to 60 prestige points!

Palace of Mad King Ludwig – Another sequel, in The Palace of Mad King Ludwig, players are now no longer building individual Castles, but instead are working together on one sprawling palace.  It’s still a competitive game, though, so you can decide how best to place the square tiles to best benefit you and not your opponents. Partway through the game, players start filling in the moat around the castle, which can prevent further expansion or completing rooms, and once the moat is fully filled in, the game is over!

Spaceteam – “5-minute cooperative shoutfest” is the best way I can think of to describe this game.  Based on the cooperative mobile game of the same name, in this card game players have a deck of problems they must overcome to get their ship up and running again.  Each card requires a certain combination of ridiculously-named tools that must be passed around the table to the player who needs them. Coupled with malfunction cards which make players do things like change seats, all touch the same card at once, or play the rest of the game without thumbs, Spaceteam is a silly, fast, but very fun game.

Sidereal Confluence – This is an epic game of negotiation, but there is more to it than that.  Each player plays a sci-fi alien race, trying to build up an engine of technology and converting goods to earn the most points, but they’re also trading resources with the other players to be as effective as possible.  I don’t typically spring for games that are heavy on negotiation, but we had a lot of fun with this one!

Monopoly Deal – I know most gamers flee from anything bearing the Monopoly name like a vampire from garlic, but this is actually a pretty fun little card game.  It’s primarily a set collection game, with players trying to collect sets of the iconic properties in order to win. However, there is quite a bit of “take that” involved, as befits its pedigree.  Don’t let the title fool you, this is a fine filler game!

Marrakech – Marrakech is an interesting game where players compete to become the best rug merchants in the titular city.  Each turn, after moving the market owner, players place one of their rugs on the board, competing to have the most visible space.  In addition, if you land on an opponent’s rug, you must pay them based on the size of that rug, with money contributing towards victory.  This is certainly a quirky little game with a very unique table presence.

Decrypto – This is another team-based word game.  In this one, teams have four different words numbered 1-4, and each round one player on a team is trying to get the others to guess three of the words by giving clues related to them.  The gimmick to this game is that the other team is trying to eventually figure out what the opposing team’s words are so they can crack the clues the “spymaster” is giving. This game is a ton of fun, though the rules are a bit tricky to pick up on without playing a round or two, but fortunately it goes pretty quickly.

Groves – Groves is a worker placement, engine building, and bag building game where you recruit various elemental fairies who help you turn water, wood, light, and gems into new groves (and eventually into points).  This was certainly a neat and beautiful game, but not necessarily my favorite example of the genre.

Visitor in Blackwood Grove – In this game, one player takes the role of a “visitor” who has crash landed in the woods and has a spaceship surrounded by a forcefield that will let only certain types of objects pass (for example, objects that contain metal or objects that are bigger than a person).  The visitor is trying to get one player, “the kid” to figure out the pass rule before the other players, representing various federal agencies, do. This is definitely a unique take on a party-ish deduction game, and we’ll definitely be playing it more this year!

Roll Player – Roll Player is a game of dice drafting and character crafting.  In it, players are building fantasy RPG-style characters (Elves, dwarves, halflings, wizards, warriors, rogues, etc.).  Each round, players draft colorful dice, eventually getting three in each of their ability scores, aiming for a certain score in each as well as placing certain colored dice in specific spots.  There is also a market where players can buy weapons, armor, and skills to give them special abilities and ensure that no two games are ever the same!

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