Month: May 2010

The Dice Tower 171

The Dice Tower episodes 171 & 172

I got caught up with The Dice Tower over the last few days.  I’m glad because it is one of my favorites and they had some interesting topics.  Here’s my feedback.

171:  Top 10 Board Game Companies

My first question to Tom and Eric is did you finish your Stone Age game on  How about a report?

Interesting games that they covered:

First is Cyclades.  This one attracted my attention because of the graphics and then the mythology theme.  I’m a mythology person.  I have always liked learning about myths and legends.  This game seems to allow you to jump into some of these myths and use the characters from them for your benefit.  That sounds neat.  It is about city building and contains a conflict element.  I like that.  GamerChris has this one on his radar too so I’m hoping to get to play it before the end of the year.

The other game mentioned that piqued my interest is Merchant of Venus.  Eric loves this game and that comes through in the podcast.  I haven’t played it (yet) but look forward to doing so some day.  It is an exploration in space game, a theme which I like.

In other news Tom announced that his family is moving to Homestead, Florida in July.  I’m very glad to hear that he was able to get what sounds like a very good position in that town.  While not as close as I would have liked, it is in the same time zone. 

Moritz covered 3M Games’ history in a very interesting article.  I like several of their games (Twixt in particular) and was glad to learn about 3M.  It also reminded me that I need to pick up copies of Twixt, Feudo, and a couple of others.

The question of the episode was “What attracts you to a game company?”.  Various contributors mentioned good customer service, good games, well made components, fun etc..  For me it’s fun followed by consistancy and quality.  By this I mean the company puts out well designed games that are enjoyable.  I may lose at a game but if I have fun doing so it is a quality game in my opinion.  Consistancy points to the companies ability to seek out and filter the good games from the not so good games.  And/or to improve/develop a good game into a great game.  So for me there are a couple of companies that do this.  Alea, Queen, Ravensburger, Fantasy Flight, and Gamewright all fall in this category.  Rio Grande and Z-Man do in that they are able to bring quality to the U.S..  I forgot Mayfair and Days of Wonder.   So I don’t have a single favorite.

My question for them is What are your favorite 10 small publishers?  Like Smirk & Dagger or Your Move.

Eric briefly reviewed the first English edition of Spielbox Magazine.  I am going to have to look into this.

Last impressions – Eric has come into his own on the show.  The show is smooth and professional.  Tom and Eric have synched well.  I enjoy the multiple contributors. 

Keep up the good work guys.

What I Played Last Night

It was Game Night at Hypermind so I played some games.

First was Pandemic with the mutation variant.  There were five of us and we won in a tight game.  This is such a fun game.  Why is it so fun?  It’s intense.  It is ever changing.  It sneaks up on you.  You’re working on one disease then bam! another one outbreaks suddenly and you’re in a crisis.  There is a time limit.  It’s hard.  It is one of the best designed games I’ve played.  Each play is different.  And adding the On The Brink expansion just makes it better.  Everyone should own it.

Next up was Princes of Florence.  This is a thinky game.  I like thinky games.  Most of the time I lose but I still like them.  I was doing pretty good.  My initial hand worked well together.  Only the buildings were different.  So I thought I was in good shape.  And I was until the second to the last turn.  I had 4 works in place and was in third place of five.  And I had a 19 point work in my hand ready to go.  I forgot that I couldn’t build buildings next to each other with only one builder!!  So I couldn’t do the work!!!! So What to do??  I lose.  I ended with 2 Prestige Points cards that were worthless.  The last Freedom had been bought out from under me in the previous round.  And because of my forgetful self I lost the Lake which would have given me 8 points, enough to get me into 4th.  Argh!

Next up was a 7 player game of Bang!.  I had played Bang! once and liked it.  And was glad to be able to get in another game.  The first outlaw blew herself up with dynamite.  The second revealed himself soon after and went out several hands later as Vulture Sam began blasting him with his Volcanic.  I was the last outlaw.  Great name for a Western.  We lost.  Vulture Sam had a mean on for me and made it his goal in life to make sure that I died.  I almost got him.  His bigger hand was my undoing as he held back a Beer to give him a life after out duel.  Come to think of it, he played that on my turn.  I had played the Duel card I think.  Can he do that?  Oh well it was a blast.  The cool thing about this game is that people role play and get into character.  Lots of fun.  And Kenny has Ennio Morricone music playing through out.

The last game was just Chris, Kenny, and I.  Chris was itching to play Pandemic with the Bioterrorist so that’s what we did.  It really changes the game.  The BT takes his turns after EACH of the other players take their turn.  So he gets double turns in this case.  And the way he infects a city is different.  He moves in secret too.  This is a very cool twist on the game that we will play again.  Kenny and I lost when we ran out of cards in the draw pile.  It was huge fun though.

All images are from GamerChris and are used with permission.