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 6 games, all at 4 players (that's right, we do have friends)! Compared to the usual weekly posts, I won’t go into as much detail about each game as there are a few to get through and some we have covered before.
Original BANG! was a card game, which I have not played it and probably never will as I have heard from several sources that the dice game is better than the card version. It's a straightforward yahtzee style dice game which is great for big groups as it plays from 3 to 8. Every player is one of 4 hidden roles either Sheriff (who reveals themselves at the start of the game), deputy, renegade and outlaws with each role having their own specific goal to win the game. The more players the more hidden roles and the better the game. Once you die you are out of the game, but its not a long play so player elimination is not a huge issue in this game. You role each of your 5 dice up to 3 times with each side performing a different function such as attacking other players or restoring health. It’s a fun game which we played 3 times and I was able to win once as the outlaw. This is also a great game to play with non/new gamers, as it easy to pick up and is quick to play!
Downforce is from Restoration Games, who are great! They take popular older games where the mechanics, components of the game or both haven’t aged particularly well and revitalise them for a modern board game audience. Downforce is a racing and betting game where the game is divided up into 3 parts; firstly, the auction where you are bidding on cars & powers which will be your car during the race, the race itself where you play cards from your hand to move your car & opponents cars and lastly, the race with 3 betting stages. The game can be cut throat but you can bet on other players' cars so although it definitely helps your final score if your car/s can win the race it doesn’t mean you're out of the game if you get stuck at the back of the pack.
You can play with up to 6 players and I think at any player count from 3+ it works great, even with 2 players it is fun but it isn’t quite as hectic and it’s easier to lose badly. We played 2 games and I lost 1 & won 1. In terms of strategy, all you can do is make sure you remember to use your power as it can make a difference, use your best cards at the right time and remember that sometimes it's beneficial to your final score if your opponent finishes higher up.
This is a 3 to 5 player game, although there are rules for a 2 player variant included but they seem tacked on rather than the optimum way to play. It is a bidding game where you add resources underneath a card as your bid (Invest) or you can pay the number of resources that another player has placed under a card to buy (Snipe) that card. In doing so you pay the number of resources directly to the player, add their bid to the supply and then that player takes half of the resources in the supply. If it makes it back to your turn and nobody has 'sniped' the card from you, then you can complete your bid to take the card. These cards can provide you additional resources or actions and get added to your tableau to form your nation. There are 5 ages of cards to work your way through which represents the ‘Flow of History’. The mechanic is good and works well but to me feels like part of a larger game and would work well as a way to buy new cards into your hand. The theme is interesting although many themes could be applied to this mechanic and it would still work. Arguably the theme could have been slightly more bombastic which could have made the game more engaging. It isn’t a bad game but I feel it will be difficult to get to the table when we don’t often play with 3 or more players so when we do there are other games we would prefer to play.
I came last with 20 points to the winners 25 so not a devastating loss, although usually only 1 player finishes higher than me when I play games.
We included a basic overview of Century in another post so won’t go into it in detail again. There isn’t a huge difference to the game with 4 players except that you play until someone gets 5 point cards rather than 6 and it can be more difficult to get the gem & point cards that you need so you have to be more aware of what the other players are doing. It works just as well with 2 as it does with 4 and the game is so quick it doesn’t seem to slow down at higher player counts.
We played 1 game and the score was 80, 65 (to me), 61 and 59 so it was close between everyone that finished 2nd to 4th. The people we played with enjoyed it so much that they ordered their own copy!
If you do not like maths then don’t play Roll Player. The basic concept of the game is that you are creating your RPG/ D&D character. To simplify the game, you do this by rolling dice and adding them to your character board. At the beginning of the game several aspects of your character such as race and class are randomised. These aspects determine what score you need each stat to be to score points, which colour dice you need on each spot on your board and whether being good, evil or a bit of both will get you more points. Throughout the game you are placing dice on your board, taking special actions associated with placing dice on the attribute and buying cars from the market which modify dice, give you skills or provide new ways to score points. It is a dice heavy game with a focus predominantly on what you are doing rather than your opponent as the main ways you can interact with your opponent is by buying a card or taking a dice you think that they might want.
We played 1 game in which the score was 35, 27, 26 (to me) and 23. Winning or losing is determined by making effective use of your attribute skills, buying the right cards which support your character skill and recognising early which attributes you won’t be able to match so you can work to mitigate the loss of points. Unfortunately I failed to achieve either of these 3 points particularly well as I focused too much on my character skill and then brought cards to mitigate attributes I was unable to match then forgot about them so wasted actions. This is a favorite of my wifes so I am sure I will have a chance to improve at it.... and probably lose more games to her!
There is Sushi Go then there is Sushi Go Party! If you do not already have the game then get Sushi Go Party! It takes everything good from the first game, namely the simple & fun card drafting mechanic, and adds more cards and a board making it even better. The whole game is based around card drafting, in Sushi Go you start with 9 cards then you take 1 and pass the rest on to the player on your left. Keep doing this until you have 9 cards in front of you. The cards score points in various different ways such as by collecting sets, scoring x number of points outright or finishing with the highest of a certain type of card. It is quick so you can change up the sets of cards in between games and easily play 3 or more games in an hour.
We played 9 games of which I won 2, although we did get rules slightly wrong in the first game…...which I am still counting as a win. There is some luck in the game as it depends on which cards come up and how well you do is impacted by what your opponent decides to pick, however for such as quick game you do also need to think strategically and be aware of what sets of cards you are playing with, for instance if there are several set collection cards, then focus on 1 set rather than trying to get sets of every card type. We don’t currently have this game in our collection however if you are a fan of card drafting or want to learn more about the game mechanic I would recommend purchasing this game……..and not the standard game, get Sushi Go Party!
Let us know in the comments if you have any tips for us and your opinion on the games we played.
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