Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over 18 months and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every other Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 18th - 23rd July 2017

This weekend was massive for new games! Amy spent Saturday with some gamers in Croydon and tried 3 or 4 new games, including The Captain is Dead and Nine Worlds, which I'm quite jealous of. Today we had Luke Hector from The Broken Meeple over for games, which we always do when the new T.I.M.E Stories expansion comes out. We managed to get a few extra games to the table too, even spreading the word about one of our new favourite fillers - King Frog.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Quadropolis: Public Services

Game: Quadropolis: Public Services

Publisher: Days of Wonder

DesignerFrançois Gandon
 
Year20
17


We reviewed Quadropolis during November last year and at the time rated it quite highly as a gateway level city building game. In the time since then it hasn't really hit the table a great deal and I didn't feel it was quite simple enough to introduce to my most frequent new gamers - my parents. If nothing else, the the new expansion Quadropolis: Public Services has helped us get the game back to the table, but what does this expansion add and does it over-complicate a smooth, simple game?


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The competent government expansion:- Quadropolis: Public Services

Game: Quadropolis: Public Services

Publisher: Days of Wonder

Designer: François Gandon
 
Year20
17

Quadropolis: Public Services is an expansion to the tile-laying city builder Quadropolis, which we reviewed in November. Unsurprisingly from the name, this expansion focuses entirely on upgrading the options you get for the public services tiles, granting a lot more strategies that can be focused on, or simply to be taken for minor benefits.

The expansion consists of 2 sets of tiles, one for both classic and advanced mode, instructions, and quick reference sheets to explain the iconography on the new tiles. Right off the bat we come across something strange as there are 3 reference cards for classic mode and only 1 for advanced. It would have been nice to have 4 of each, or at least 2 of each so both sides of the table could have one in a 4 player game.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 11th - 16th July 2017

On Monday and Tuesday we tried to make the most of my last two days of freedom before starting back in a full time job. A lot of the remaining unplayed games on the shelf are really big games, such as Caverna, Cry Havoc and Orleans, which definitely need some time set aside, but we're managing to get through some of our smaller games at quite a good pace. For some reason there's also 4 new games on the way to our house this week, so we need to keep up!

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Our first 6 months as Kickstarter backers

At the start of 2017 I decided we needed to take a look at Kickstarter. I was motivated by the ridiculous mountains of board gaming goodness I was seeing posted by friends or Facebook acquaintances and the fact that I just couldn't get the same value when these games came to general release. I'm not too offended by Kickstarter exclusives or discounts, I just want to be part of them!

When we started this blog we called it The Game Shelf and came up with our logo because of the huge rate at which our board game collection was expanding. You can see here that it still is. If I was given free reign on Kickstarter, we'd very quickly end up in a situation of not being able to move in our house and being unable to afford to eat. So, we have set a self-imposed one board game per month limit and here's what we've backed in the first 6 months and why...

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 29th June - 10th July 2017

We've just got back from our honeymoon where we took a cruise to Norway! We loaded a bag full of smaller board games and hoped to play a few on board and maybe even encourage intrigued passengers to join us! (Note that Feast for Odin and Marvel Legendary were played BEFORE the cruise!) We definitely got the most out of the games we played, playing 18 games in total and managing to try a couple of new ones. Unfortunately no-one seemed interested in what on earth we were doing although we were heartened to see other people playing cards and Rummikub on board.

Excitingly, we also found a chain of geek stores in Norway and bought ourselves two souvenir games - the first is a small expansion for Carcassonne, which only has rules in Scandinavian languages but I'm sure we'll manage and the second is La Granja. We were lucky to find that the shop in Bergen had a big sale - otherwise Norway's prices for board games are just crazy compared to the UK!

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thoughts from The Yellow Meeple:- New Releases from Brain Games

With a recent Kinderspiel des Jahres win for Ice Cool -  a huge hit with children and adults alike in 2016, people are watching to see what Brain Games do next. At the UK Games Expo 2017, three new children's games were released and we've had the chance to try all three - check out our thoughts on Reef Route, Woo-Hoo! and King Frog and let's see if there are any more award-winning games on the way!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Frogs, fish, and elephant slides:- New releases from Brain Games

Woo-Hoo!
Designer: Matthias Kaufmann
Year2017

Age: 3+

Woo-Hoo is a 2-4 player dice rolling collection game and the simplest of Brain Games’ new offerings. The rules are simple, roll the dice, move your gnome the number of spaces up the slide. Should you reach the top then you slide down and take a toy. Collect the most toys by the time the supply runs out and you win! Woo-Hoo does a good job of introducing game concepts to a young audience, the core mechanic is dice rolling and as such it is very much luck based. Should you consider yourself an advanced player then you can try the advanced rules which introduce the idea of set collection (if you get 5 toys in the same colour you score an early victory), it also introduces a second dice which creates a bit more variance in how the gnomes move. Woo-Hoo is adorable, the use of the box as a tray to catch the sliding meeples is great for keeping the game tidy. Ultimately though I can’t see this being enjoyed by anyone other than parents playing with their very young kids, and that enjoyment is likely to be pride at seeing their child holding their first meeple!

3/10

Monday, 10 July 2017

Over-thinking by the Yellow Meeple: The Dice Tower Awards 2016


This is the third year that I’ve covered the Dice Tower Awards and, more than ever, we’ve played a lot of the nominees and winners. I’m still a fan of the Dice Tower for their podcast reviews and Top Ten lists so at times my views probably do reflect those of the Dice Tower and its contributors, who vote on the awards.

So this morning I watched the live stream of the Dice Tower Awards 2016 which take place at Dice Tower Con during 2017. There were 15 awards and a number of duplicate winners, so there were only actually 9 winning games – coincidentally the same number as in 2016. Of the 9 winners, I’ve played eight of them, which is very high for me – I’m definitely starting to follow the hotness more closely! Having also played a lot of the nominees, I would say that I agree with approximately 50% of the choices of winner. From the unsuccessful nominees, we’ve played Inis, Kanagawa, Conan, Cottage Garden, TIME Stories: Prophecy of Dragons, TIME Stories Under the Mask, Codenames Pictures, Junk Art, Secret Hitler, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu, Mystic Vale, Clank!, A Feast for Odin, Great Western Trail, Karuba, Sushi Go Party!.

So firstly, let’s luck at the winning board games we’ve managed to play;

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Thoughts from The Yellow Meeple:- HUNGER: The Show

GameHUNGER: The Show

Publisher: Phalanx Games

DesignerPim Thunborg
 
Year20
17

HUNGER: The Show bills itself as the first ever reality show in board gaming. I'm pretty sure there's been plenty of TV reality show spin-offs eg. Big Brother - The Board Game, but I suppose HUNGER: The Show may be the first that isn't a spin off. The publisher, Phalanx, definitely wanted to make a big deal of the theme when they released this game at the UK Games Expo, hosting a game show style competition with a very big booth presence. So how do you encapsulate the theme of the TV series Castaway or Shipwrecked into a board game?

HUNGER: The Show is a filler length game for 2-6 players, taking just 15-20 minutes. It's a bluffing and deduction style game, making use of simultaneous action selection to give you the opportunity to out-think your opponents. You are each a character on a desert island, trying to win the TV show prize money by either being the last contestant to survive or by reaching the end of the game and then using the lat of your energy to build the best raft compared to all other contestants. The competition for food and boat parts is fierce, and some contestants will turn to thieving to survive, whilst others might remain more loyal, guarding the supplies of other players.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Wiiiilsooooon!:- HUNGER: The Show


GameHUNGER: The Show

Publisher: Phalanx Games

DesignerPim Thunborg
 
Year20
17

Hunger: The Show is a 2-6 player card game in which you attempt to forage for food and raft supplied to survive, and ultimately win a survival TV show. You’ll have to frequently forage for food to survive, which is hard enough with the limited resources on the island. Other participants might decide to steal from your stash of food while you are distracted foraging, you could spend your day guarding your stash... but then you wouldn’t be getting any food!

Hunger: The Show is played on a small board located inside the game box, a bit of a questionable choice as the walls of the box make it a bit hard for 6 people to all be able to see. The board has 4 locations, though some of these will be locked off in smaller player count games so as to keep everyone interacting. Each turn you choose a combination of 2 cards, one location, and an action to do there. The actions are pretty simple, gather meat, fruit or raft materials all let you get 2 pieces if you are the only person in the area, 1 if 2 people are doing it and nothing if 3+ are in the area (you just fight and get no work done). Thieves steal everything gathered at the location unless stopped by a guard, who shakes down the thief for supplies and gets paid a little by everyone they protected. If thieves or guards are in an area where no gathering/thieving is happening then they get a few coconuts while they waste their day (these are mere scraps of food compared to meat/fruit).

Friday, 30 June 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 20th-28th June 2017


Last weekend we got married!!!!

It was an amazing celebration of all things LEGO and board games and really epitomised us as a couple. We had Thirsty Meeples board game cafe attend with a mobile gaming library of over 100 games and the game room was a definite hit (possibly aided by the presence of cheese and port). Unfortunately it turns out you end up really busy talking to people at your own wedding so we didn't play anything at all!

Now that we have a week with no wedding planning, so we can play some games, followed by a cruise for our honeymoon, so we're going to try and squeeze in as many small games as we can. So far we've just tried a few small games this week

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Century Spice Road

GameCentury: Spice Road

Publisher: Plan B Games

DesignerEmerson Matsuuchi
 
Year20
17


Century Spice Road is certainly a much anticipated game. I remember first hearing about it last year when a game called 'Caravan' was being discussed that would be released with two different themes (Trading in the Mediterranean and Fantasy, if I recall). Now there's only one game and the 'Caravan' refers to just one element of the game, but glowing reviews from Tom Vasel seem to have put this on the radar of many gamers. At the UK Games Expo, we were promised an early limited release of the Century Spice Road, which turned out to be not very limited at all, given how many retailers attend the convention, but it was certainly a popular purchase for many attendees, including us.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Then add a pinch of cubes:- Century Spice Road

Game: Century: Spice Road

Publisher: Plan B Games

Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi
 
Year20
17


Century: Spice Road is a 2-5 player card game in which you take the role of spice traders on the famous Silk Road. You’ll have to hire farmhands to grow spices, trade your spices locally, and then finally ship the spices to Europe for a handsome profit. The intention is for this to be the start of a series of relatively quick “Century” games that can be chained together to create a longer game.
 
Century: Spice Road is the quickest game I’ve ever played that you could call a deck builder, though perhaps it would be more apt to call it a hand builder. You can use your spice cubes to buy new cards from a common market by placing 1 cube on every card below the one you take (which makes taking the cheapest card for free very tempting if it has a cube or two on it). If you get the right cards you can make it so you have some very powerful combinations that let you quickly get the spices you want.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Timeline: British History

GameTimeline: British History

Publisher: Asmodee

DesignerFrédéric Henry

Year20
16


Timeline: British History is a standalone expansion, for 2-8 players, in the Timeline series of games from Asmodee. It is part of a whole series of games based on history in different countries, such as Poland, Korea, Russia and America. Since we're a UK based blog, the British History version is the only one we stand a chance with and even then our knowledge of history might not get us very far in this game.


In Timeline: British History, each player is dealt a hand of 4 art cards, each depicting a historical event, which is written on the card. In the centre of the table is a common timeline, starting with just one card, flipped over, so that the date of the event is showing. On your turn you choose one of your cards and try to place it in the correct slot of the timeline chronologically. You flip the card to see if you're right, if your wrong, you take a new card from the supply and since the object of the game is to be the first to correctly place all their cards, taking extra cards puts you at a disadvantage.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Time for Tea?:- Timeline: British History



GameTimeline: British History

Publisher: Asmodee

DesignerFrédéric Henry

Year20
16

Today we are going to discuss the history of Britain, a once-proud island nation that withstood the test of time, until the early two thousands, when it famously became the first nation to vote for its own irrelevance. The story of Britain begins approximately 6500BC when the Island of Britain first separated from mainland Europe. Its people were simple scavengers then, it wouldn’t be for another two thousand years until they began farming. Thousands of years after that the early Brits began to erect great stone circles; such as Stonehenge. But it wasn’t until 55BC, when the Romans came, that a lot of technological breakthrough began to appear on the island. After that not much happened, a few battles, a little fire, and a handful of other minor events, until, in 2011, Kate and Will got married! Then finally in 2016, the country was allowed to vote on Brexit... and, well, we all know how that worked out!

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 16th-20th June 2017

We are now very busy preparing wedding decorations and have nowhere near the amount of board game time we anticipated, so all of our new board games this week were tried at a meet-up on Sunday with Warren from The Rollin' Inn.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 10th-15th June 2017

My first chance to try new games this week was actually at a friends hen party. Having a few more people than our usual player count of two meant it was a good chance to try a couple of new games, with high player count on the box. We've also had ample gaming opportunity during the week this week, so we've been working hard on our pile of shame, and there's plenty of thoughts to share.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Bärenpark

GameBärenpark

PublisherMayfair Games

DesignerPhil Walker-Harding

Year20
17

 
Bärenpark was a hotly anticipated game at this year's UK Games Expo, not just by me, but my many others who were disappointed to find the Mayfair only had a few copies being sold at a very inflated price. However there were some copies available with other retailers and we grabbed ourselves a copy early on Friday. I was excited because I'd seen some early reviews call this a Cottage Garden killer. Cottage Garden killed Patchwork for me and even made it onto my Top Ten Games list this year, so if Bärenpark was going to be even better then I was very interested.


Bärenpark is a tile laying game about building a bear park. There are four different types of bear; pandas, polar bears, brown bears and koalas (the classification of bear species is a little sketchy...), which in the basic game is purely thematic, but in the expert game can become more relevant to scoring. Tiles all come in different shapes and sizes and all except the basic green tiles have differing points values. Your goal is to score the most points for your park at the end of the game.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

There is indeed a bear in the park:- Bärenpark

GameBärenpark

PublisherMayfair Games

DesignerPhil Walker-Harding

Year20
17



Bärenpark is a 2-4 player tile laying game in which you compete to create the best bear zoo. Quite what Phil Walker-Harding has against other animals I don’t know. The premise is you are filling your zoo with different bear enclosures and amenities to attract guests and be successful. Many people are calling Bärenpark a Cottage Garden killer, which certainly piqued our interests enough to pick up a copy at the UKGE. 

The basis of the game will seem quite familiar if you have played Cottage Garden, you place tiles seeking to complete your board, gain new boards and fill those too. You do this by collecting and laying a series of Tetris-style shapes. Where Bärenpark differs is that it’s far more competitive. Completing your tiles feels like more of a race to get bonus points and efficient play is highly rewarded. That being said, at least in a two-player game, the advantage of being first player seems to be consistent access to slightly higher points until you make a mistake.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- My Top 10 Board Games (2017 Edition)

It's the two year anniversary of The Game Shelf! Happy Birthday to us!

This time last year I posted my top ten board games to mark the first anniversary of The Game Shelf. That means that we've now been writing for the blog for two years and it's time for me to renew my top ten games. In the last 12 months I think we've probably tried 100-150 new to us games so there's been plenty of contenders to dethrone my favourites, but have any managed to steal the top spots?

It was really difficult to decide on a Top Ten this year, because there's so many fantastic games on my shelf, but here is my Top Ten for 2017.

Friday, 9 June 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions: 3rd - 9th June 2017

So much has happened in the last week! First we visited the UK Games Expo. We've written a few blogs about what we played and what we purchased, so I'm not going to cover those games here, but if you do want to read about the games we played there then check out the blog here. The following day was my hen party and as part of that we visited Draughts board game cafe in London. We didn't try anything new, but I taught a group of my friends a few light party games, including Concept, Dixit, Spyfall and Knit Wit, which all went down really well! Once I got back it was time to start unwrapping the shrink on some of are UK Games Expo haul.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- My Thoughts on the UK Games Expo

What's it like visiting the UK Games Expo for just one day? Incredible and upsetting all at the same time! There was so much to see and one day was certainly not enough! This year was the biggest yet for the Expo and currently it ranks as the 3rd largest tabletop convention in the world. It's still not a place where publishers make their big announcements and release their bit new titles, but it seems to be steadily getting to that point.

Luckily, the press preview was a god-send for flying visitors like us, letting us see around 30 publishers and loads of their new games all in one place. There was by no means representation for all games at the convention, but at least we felt like we'd seen a lot of games and talked to a lot of designers and publishers.

It wouldn't be a good expo for me unless I did a lot of buying too. Given that we were there for just one day, I probably did too much buying and not enough trying and trading in particular was stressful and took up a big chunk of our precious time. Our haul was 31 unique items and you should be seeing reviews for many of the games in the coming months.

So here's some thought on games at the expo...

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Amy's Rundown of the UK Games Expo 2017

The UK Games Expo is now the third biggest board game convention in the world! This is the second year we’ve attended, and once again we were forced to only attend for one day. We’ve booked a hotel for next year as this mistake is not one to be repeated! There is no end of things to do at the expo, and plenty of money to spend.

There are tons of stores, of course, many of which are at very reasonable prices, but if you want a bargain then you need to head to the bring and buy. Here you can get almost any second-hand game you can imagine, and the prices tend to be very reasonable. We had a list of 15 games we were willing to buy if we saw them, I think we saw 10 of them, but budget constraints held us back. There are also plenty of accessories to buy, from box organisers (like the broken token Imperial assault one I bought last year, highly recommended) to wargaming terrain.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- UK Games Expo - The Haul

With only one day at the UK Games Expo this year, we were trying to cram a lot into a very small time. It turned out that a significant part of the plan was shopping. I prearranged some trades, but otherwise we each set ourselves a budget of £100. Here's what we managed to come home with!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions: 22nd - 30th May

This week I visited Draughts board game cafe in London twice. The first visit was with PlaytestUK and my second was with non-gamer friends so there wasn't much opportunity to try new, published games. We also spent this weekend with my parents, so again, we played some of their favourite games - Codenames and Cottage Garden - but still managed to play a couple of new games with just the two of us.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Yamatai

GameYamatai

PublisherDays of Wonder

DesignerBruno Cathala

Year20
17



Yamatai is this years big release from Days of Wonder. We like most of their games, and particularly enjoyed last year's release Quadropolis. Yamatai is from Bruno Cathala, who also designed Five Tribes with Days of Wonder, a game I really enjoy, but Amy wasn't as excited for. With a good track record, Yamatai is one of the few games that we will buy this year as soon as it is released.



In Yamatai you each take a set of buildings in your player colour which will be built in the regions of the board throughout the game. On your turn you choose a tile from the five face-up in the supply which will typically allow you to take a combination of different coloured boats and give you a special ability. You can then buy or sell boats and then place the boats that remain on the board.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Can't Touch This, Stop:-Yamataï

Game: Yamataï

PublisherDays of Wonder

DesignerBruno Cathala

Year20
17


Yamataï is a 2-4 player game in which you seek to build the most beautiful palaces and houses on the islands of Yamataï. To do this you’ll have to purchase boats worth of building materials and sail them along the winding inlets to where you plan to build. But you need to be careful because once the resources have reached an island anyone can use them, seeking your own success can often lead to setting your opponents up.



Yamataï is a relatively simple game on the surface, each turn you do a series of 5 actions (some of which are optional) in a set order. First you take one of 5 fleet cards which give you between 1 and 3 boats to play with. Some of these cards are clearly better than others, with more boats or powerful special abilities, but as a result you’ll be going later in the turn order next round. You then have the option to buy or sell boats for money, after that you must place boats, followed by either building a building or taking culture. Finally you lose all of your remaining ships bar one which can be saved for future turns, then you have a chance to spend culture tiles to recruit specialists. The exact details on how each of these actions works is what bogs things down a little. But once you master the rules, since you always know what actions you are going to be doing, turns are usually quick and the game has a good flow.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Very excited for the UK Games Expo!!

A couple of weeks ago I posted my most anticipated games being demo'd or sold at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham on 2nd-4th June. Take a look here. However, since then there's been a few more announcements and I've also been using the tool from Tabletop Together to do my planning. So here's a few more games we're excited to see!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- My First Event with PlaytestUK

This week, I took advantage of all the free time I have during the week to attend a daytime event with PlaytestUK held at Draughts board game cafe in London. This is the first time I've ever been involved in any play-testing and I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I played.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Amy's Top 10 Co-operative Board Games 2017

While I do find the competition in a standard board game enjoyable, there is something special about the warm fuzziness from working in a team. Human's are animals that actively seek out company to co-exist with and cooperative board games are a good way to scratch that primal itch. Some of them present themselves as more of a puzzle to be solved in unison with your fellow players, while others you feel like you're desperately trying to sandbag up your house before the inevitable flood reaches you.

Cooperative games make up some of my favourite games and they are getting more and more common. I find that sometimes it's nice to play something where everyone can get along, particularly as part of a gaming couple. So without further ado, here are my top 10 co-operative games.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions: 16th - 21st May

We're fast approaching the UK Games Expo, which normally means that a lot of people planning to attend start to have a game clear out to make some space and get some cash to buy new games at the event. For me this means there's the potential to pick up  a few bargains so I'm still on a rather ridiculous spending spree! New games are very abundant, so there's enough first impressions to write a blog every week at the moment.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Terraforming Mars

GameTerraforming Mars

Publisher: Stronghold Games

Designer: Jacob Fryxelius

Year20
16

I've been interested in Terraforming Mars since Stronghold Games started the hype over 12 months ago, but when the first print run sold out I let it slip to the back of my mind, hoping to play it at a cafe or convention before paying the price for the second print run. Fortunately I did get my chance to play at a convention earlier this year - we enjoyed it and I decided to buy it, just as the second print run sold out. After scouring online sites, one appeared to get a restock and I hit buy straight away - really happy to get my hands on a copy!

It's hard to put your finger on exactly what type of game Terraforming Mars is. It's a medium-weight euro-game with very thematic actions and goals which all work towards a common end game condition of Terraforming Mars. It combines hand management, resource management and tile placement into a very smooth and satisfying game.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The good kind of global warming:- Terraforming Mars

GameTerraforming Mars

Publisher: Stronghold Games

Designer: Jacob Fryxelius

Year20
16


Terraforming Mars is a 1-5 player game in which you team up to transform the wasteland of the red-planet into a habitable wonderland capable of supporting human life, just. Essentially you have to increase the surface temperature and Oxygen levels to equal those of the most remote mountain villages on earth, and add enough water to create a functioning evaporation/precipitation cycle that will ensure the survival and growth of plants.



Each player takes control of a corporation and while you are out for personal victory, you actually work together to terraform the planet. Contributing to the worldwide Oxygen/Temperature/Ocean objectives gives you terraforming rating which is both victory points and income during the game. There are also tons of cards which are limited on the planet being in certain states. For example building a domed mars reserve to preserve how the planet once was requires the planet to not have changed much, however introducing cattle requires there to be enough oxygen for large lifeforms to live, and graze on the surface.

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions: 10th-15th May

This week we've managed to play a few of our new games, which is a relief since more arrived over the course of the week too! We also had a game day on Sunday, but this time I tried no new games! The great thing about starting build up  a network of gamer friends in the local area is that we're starting to organise slightly more impromptu gaming sessions with just a few people. On Friday I met up with just a couple of people to try Great Western Trail, and Amy is making connections too, as shes now painting a friend's copy of Scythe. 

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions: 3rd - 9th May

Loads of new games have arrived this week - in particular some titles I've been really excited to get, like Yamatai and Scythe. Time to play is also at an all time high, so hopefully we can get new games to the table pretty quickly. Last weekend I went to an event in Crawley, run in association with Battlequest Games - probably my most local game store. It was a really good day, although I only played one new game. I also got to play another game of Terraforming Mars and then took a family under my wing to teach them some games.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Most Anticipated Games of the UK Games Expo 2017

With the UK Games Expo just 4 weeks away, it's time for me to start planning what I want to see and do whilst we're there. As more news comes out from exhibitors, and as people start sharing some thoughts from Origins over in the USA, I might need to update this list or write a second blog post, but I'm already thinking about it so I'll already write about it.

The UK Games Expo will take place at the NEC Birmingham, UK from Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th June. This will be our second time attending. Last year we only did one day and although we said we'd do the whole weekend this year, I unfortunately ended up planning my own hen party for the same weekend, so a full weekend at the expo will have to wait another year.

With just one day, we intend to try and see and demo as many games as we can, as well as spending some time at the Bring and Buy - after all, buying board games is a big part of the hobby for me! Here's what's caught my eye so far;

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Castles of Burgundy

Game: The Castles of Burgundy

Publisher: Alea/Ravensburger

Designer: Stefan Feld

Year20
11


Stefan Feld seems to be a polarising designer, with some people adoring the complexity of every game and others finding his 'point salad' style games too long, to AP inducing and dull. My first foray into Stefan Feld, with Bora Bora, was enjoyable but hasn't left any lasting memories or a desire to try it again, but when The Castles of Burgundy because flavour of the month in one of my Facebook groups, it caught my attention. With it's very high ranking on BoardGameGeek too (currently number 11), it was definitely worth a shot and thanks to the generosity of our friend Warren, we were able to do a bit of 'try before you buy'.

Here I could describe the theme, but let's be honest and say that this game is about placing hexagonal tiles on a board effectively to get the most points. The tiles represent different settlement types, such as castles, rivers and buildings which can only be placed on their respective terrain type on your player board. Mechanically, the game uses dice allocation to enable you to buy and place tiles as well as ship goods. Other than purchasing dice modifier tokens, these are your basic actions and with two dice rolled every turn, it's very much up to you how you focus your attention during the game. Other than making a personal choice where to focus, the yellow tiles you collect for your board can also direct you, as they either reward different actions more highly or give end game bonuses for different types of set collection.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 27th April - 2nd May

With International Tabletop Day, plus spending our bank holiday Monday dedicated to board games, we've managed to play quite a lot of new games this weekend and are working our way through the growing pile of shame. Amy attended most of Tabletop day without me, but I still managed to play a couple of new games too.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

I prefer mine in maroon:- The Castles of Burgundy



Game: The Castles of Burgundy

Publisher: Alea/Ravensburger

Designer: Stefan Feld

Year20
11
 The Castles of Burgundy is a 2-4 player dice allocation game in which you play a lord building up their kingdom. The game consists of 5 rounds, each of 5 phases for 25 turns in total, the knowledge of how much time you have left to develop is useful in a strategic game, but also there is a race element. There are substantial rewards for completing sections of your kingdom, and these rewards decrease as time goes by.

Each turn you will roll your two dice, then, in turn order, players use their dice to perform actions. The majority of the central board consists of a market split into 7 locations, one for each face of the dice and one that exclusively trades in silverlings, the games currency. You can use a dice to claim a tile which is then stored on your player board. You can also use dice to build the tiles, so long as the dice matches the number on the space on your board, you have to build adjacent to existing tiles so you can often be limited in choice of where to build, additionally the player boards are zoned out; you can’t build a city in river, or a boat in a field!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 16th - 26th April

Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have been quite stressful at home and gaming has had to take a back seat. A lot of new games have arrived but our unplayed pile is mounting. Hopefully things will turn around soon! This week we've only had the chance to try two of our new games, and they're not our biggest hits, but at least one has our interest.

So, here are the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Friday, 21 April 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Carcassonne South Seas


GameCarcassonne: South Seas

PublisherZ-Man Games

Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede

Year20
13



I'd like to say that all of my board game purchases are well considered, but lately that would be a lie! I love a bargain, so the odd impulse buy on eBay or on Facebook groups is inevitable and that's where Carcassonne: South Seas came from. We don't need any more Carcassonne, we have the original game with lots of expansions, plus we have played and enjoyed Hunters and Gatherers, but just didn't see the need for it. With that in mind is Carcassonne: South Seas good enough and unique enough to justify a place in our collection?


If you have played Carcassonne before then South Seas is a very pretty version set in a Caribbean setting. Roads become bridges, cities become islands and fields become seas. If you've never played Carcassonne, then perhaps you should, but the game is a tile-laying game where every turn you draw a tile and choose where to place it on the table, adjacent to at least one previously place tile, with matching artwork touching ie. roads must continue, island must touch island as sea must touch sea.