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

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;
  • Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has been sitting on our shelves for a long time, looking intimidating and difficult to learn. Amy learnt the game, which was apparently a bit painful and set-up took a long time, but the actual game didn't take very long at all to play one adventure. It's a cooperative card game where you're battling through 4 different location decks. Each turn you have an encounter where you are simply doing a dice skill check, but other players can come to your aid to add additional dice, but with the consequence of running out of cards, which is a game loss condition. The negatives were that there was no real progression in the game, with very little change to your deck and you heavily relied on dice luck, but I'm still interested to try more of a campaign to take advantage of the progression between games and see it that is satisfying.
  • Tyrants of the Underdark is a deck-building game based on the Dungeons & Dragons IP. The theme has no appeal to me, but I enjoy deck-building games and this one is the style that also mixes in a board element. In principal, the game has basic deck-building mechanics, with one currency for buying cards and one for creating board presence. Your goal is to have majority or total control of cities for end game points, as well as promoting cards from your deck to make those cards worth more points too. The game is a great blend of mechanics from Trains and Valley of the Kings, with an element of area control which was just the right amount for me not to dislike it. I'd be very happy to play Tyrants of the Underdark again and might even buy or trade for it if the opportunity came up.
  • Castles of Caladale  is a very beautiful looking tile-laying game from Renegade Games. There are three castle types -  a stone one, a woodland one and a tudor one and you simply have to lay tiles so that the matching types are touching. Because you can rearrange your tiles throughout the game it's quite easy to succeed in building a finished castle with all your tiles and this is the problem I had with the game - with two competent, adult players the game just ended in a tie because you both take even numbers of tiles. I'd like to try the speed game before making a final decision, but so far, this game looks lovely but plays far too simply for gamers.
Next weekend we have plans to join a game day in East Grinstead. Partially I'm excited to play new games, but also I'm taking a load of games to bring and buy, so hopefully we'll make some space and recoup some of the very high costs I've been spending on games recently!

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