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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.
Game Played: Architects of the West Kingdom
Player Count: 2
Number of plays recorded on ScorePal: 2
We brought this on holiday last year from a fantastic board game shop in San Francisco called Gamescape. Despite owning it for over a year this was only our second play of the game. Architects of the West Kingdom is a worker placement game set in medieval times where you take on the role of a royal architect tasked with constructing landmarks. The winner is the player with the most Victory Points at the end of the game. It focuses on resource collection, with variable powers based on your starting player and various apprentice cards you can recruit throughout the game which grant you new actions or passive abilities. You can also uniquely impact your end game scoring through the various buildings you construct.
The rules are quite simple, however it is a complex game with a lot of choices including, the different abilities you can gain, various ways to score points and the 'virtue' track, which can impact your actions during the game and your victory points at the end based on your position on the track. There is also an interesting mechanic whereby you can capture the opponents workers and then place them in prison, to gain additional resources and restrict your opponents available amount of workers until they use actions and resources to get them back. This is perfect for our play style as it introduces an element of player interaction without that being the main focus of the game.
I managed to stop my losing streak against my wife by winning 46 points to 38. We finished the game equal in almost all areas of end game scoring but what gave me the win was that I finished at the top of the virtue track gaining me 7 points compared to my wife who, as I suspected, lacks virtue losing 3 points at the end of the game. Hopefully we can get this game to the table again so I can get another win.
After my crushing defeat last week we decided to get this one straight back to the table. In this game I took control of the wicked Maleficent while my wife took control of the deceitful Jafar. The rules remain unchanged regardless of the character you control, however each character has cards that are unique to them which generally impacts or is directly linked to their game winning objective. For example Maleficent can play curses to locations on her board which have powerful effects but different actions in the game can cause them to be discarded and to win the game Maleficent must have 1 curse in each location. These differences change the game just enough for it to be interesting on each play.
This weekend's game was much closer between us both and on various occasions we each thought we were on the verge of winning only for it to be prevented on our opponents turn. In the end the deceitful overcame the wicked and my wife had racked up another victory.
Fireball Island was published by Restoration Games who revitalise popular older games. This started as a dice rolling game with the main feature being the Vul-Car in the middle of the board which spews marbles out. The Restoration Games version has been modernised replacing the dice rolling with card play, adding more ways to win/ score points and adding more marbles which make everything better. Despite being modernised it is still a simple and light game to play which is exactly why we played it on Sunday as we didn’t want to play anything to long or heavy.
We have played with 5 players before and I would definitely recommend the game with higher player counts. It is still interesting with 2 players as there are additional rules, one of which is each player controls 2 characters. This ensures there are still targets to aim at and adds an extra element of danger as you don’t want to hit either of your characters.
At the beginning of the game you are dropped off by helicopter onto the Island. During the game you travel around the Island collecting treasure and trying to avoid being hit by fireballs (Marbles). Once a player collects the required amount of snapshot cards and returned to the helicopter landing spot, the helicopter returns and all players have two more turns to get back to the helicopter and receive an additional reward. I missed a scoring rule which meant that I didn't try to make it back to the helicopter at the end. If you don’t make it back to the helicopter then you don’t gain points from collected snapshots that you gain as you’re moving around the island. As a result of this oversight I lost.... again, 66 points to 45 points. Fireball Island is a fun game and a good way to end a weekend of board games.
If you like Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar check out our Poster inspired by this amazing game.
Let us know in the comments if you have any tips for us and your opinion on the games we played.