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At Meeple Design we are playing Board Games every week. We like to provide our weekly game reports, which we record on ScorePal, with our thoughts to help you make decisions about what games may want to try. Check out our Instagram for pictures of the games set up, to get a better idea of how the components and art look. Time for our weekly gaming report and this week we played 2 games, both at 2 players.
We backed Path of Light and Shadow on Kickstarter in 2018 when our games collection was still relatively small. It's an area control game with a focus on deck building. You only have one 'hero' on the board and the area or 'realm' they are in indicates which deck you can take cards from & also the area that you can try to take control of. The deck building aspect combines with a tech tree that each player has and your deck of cards represents the warriors & workers in your kingdom. Throughout the game you can upgrade structures on your tech tree and upgrade or 'promote' the cards in your deck both of which you need to play cards to do. In the game you score by upgrading cards & structures and by controlling areas on the board.
During the game I followed an upgrade heavy route building new structures, that at level 4 provide additional end of game scoring, and upgrading cards for the abilities and end of scoring points. Only conquering the areas that I felt I needed to score some points and stop my wife from dominating the board. My wife followed a conquer heavy path only upgrading her cards and structures that she felt would help conquer more areas.
The game finished with another loss for me, I scored 147 points and my wife 227. We generally play games with a small amount of interaction where we are focused on building our own engine during the game and that is how I played this game as well. That strategy does not work at all as you need to be reacting to your opponent conquer actions more regularly and for me, I need to adopt a more confrontational play style than I usually would.
Overall this is probably my favourite deck building game I own as I love how the deck building impacts the board state, whereas a game like Dominion is completely focused on the deck building aspect. Although this is only my third play my only potential criticism of the game is that it is not very interesting to see what another person does on their turn and with 2 players this is fine but with 3 or 4 I wonder if the downtime would be a bit too much? Not that it matters for a while as we are only going to be playing max 2 players for the foreseeable future.
I would really recommend this game but unfortunately the game only had 1 print run which has made it difficult to pick up at a reasonable price and will likely mean that as time passes it will get even harder to find a copy. I hope there is a Kickstarter reprint of this in the future as more people should play it and it deserves an expansion.
Villainous is a Disney game where, as the name suggests, you control the villain. This was actually our 3rd play of this game although only the first time we have recorded it. Despite the fact that each villain has their own game ending objective, the game is quite simple and light so a nice easy game to play on a Sunday. I played as Ursula and my wife as the Queen of Hearts.
It is partly luck based as the speed at which you can win is dependent on the drawing the right cards but with 3 different spaces to choose from on your turn, each with 2 to 4 actions per space, you obviously need to make sure you are choosing the right actions to take on your turn. In this game I started with almost perfect cards however my wife used the 'fate' action to add heroes to my board from almost her first turn. Having heroes on your board covers the top 2 actions in an area, meaning you can only use the bottom 2 actions on that space. This limited what I could do for the whole game and for the 4th game in a row I eventually lost.
A previous match we have played lasted over an hour and this is when Villainous overstays its welcome as you are performing similar actions every turn and stop feeling a sense of progression that you would have with other heavier games. It becomes more of a grind about who will get the cards they need first to win the match. This match lasted less than 30 minutes which is when the game shines and you end wanting to play another game. Although following from this devastating defeat we decided to stop and watch some Stranger Things instead.
Let us know in the comments if you have any tips for us (or me as I lost both games) and your opinion on the games we played.