It was a really awesome week for theme on The Five By with reviews taking you all over the place. Of the five games covered, I’ve played 4, own 3, and am really trying to avoid adding the others to my collection after listening to my co-hosts.
00:38 Mason – Star Realms
For a while there, Star Realms was Kit and I’s go-to game to play while grabbing dinner and a few beers at our local pub. It fell out of rotation as we started taking larger games with us, but listening to Mason has me tempted to pull it out again. The only issue will playing Star Realms with Kit is that I seem to beat him, well, almost all of the time and neither of us is quite sure why. Maybe the long hiatus will have evened the score, but luckily it’s such a quick, fast play that it’s easy to just deal it out again after each crushing defeat, and somehow, he doesn’t get particularly bothered by it. The tuckbox for my copy did disintegrate a long time ago as it was pretty shitty quality, but luckily I had a plastic deckbox lying around that could easily rehome this tiny deckbuilder.
05:49 Mike – Morels
I haven’t played Morels, though I keep being tempted to buy it while browsing Amazon. I’ve actually not yet played Agility either, despite buying it after listening to Stephanie’s review in episode 2. The current Kickstarter campaign for the expansion has me thoroughly tempted once more, but I’m trying to hold off in the hopes of finding someone who has the game to teach it to me before I add yet another unplayed game to my collection. But the art is gorgeous and I love the slightly offbeat theme, so if I can’t find someone soon, I may just end up pulling the trigger on a sale, and learning it for myself.
10:52 Ruth – Ulm
As I said, this is a new favourite light-medium Euro game that I’m rather glad I purchased without actually knowing very much about it. I’m also extremely impressed at the amount of historical information on the city of Ulm provided in the Appendices. I don’t tend to choose or play games based on educational utility, but if you’re someone who uses games in a teaching setting at home or in a classroom, Ulm has plenty of information about the city and the historical basis for everything in the game right there in the box. For example, that church steeple you’re building round by round? Ulm is famous for having the tallest church steeple in the world, something I learned while working on this episode’s script.
16:20 Stephanie – Kodama
I do enjoy Kodama, but I have to admit to preferring it’s slightly meaner older sibling, Kigi. However, both are games that I’m heavily biased towards thanks to having been fairly heavily involved in playtesting both of them throughout their development. Kodama is a friendlier, but still strategic game and Kwanchai Moriya’s art is perfection itself, leading to some gorgeous trees sprawling their way across the table as the game progresses. I highly recommend grabbing a copy if you’re interested in building homes for these friendly tree spirits after listening to Stephanie’s review, as I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
20:56 Lindsay – Rokoko
I love Rokoko, or Rococco if you prefer. Yet I’ve only actually ever played it twice and it’s been a long time. I was always amazed by how much I enjoyed the area control in the game as that isn’t always my favourite (though it feels like I keep saying that so perhaps need to reassess that statement). I love the varied abilities of the different types of workers and figuring out how best to use the cards I have available when choosing my hand. And then there’s the theme – I love that it’s a different theme and think it works really well. Having something different in a sea of medieval trading, fantasy races, and space operas can only be a good thing, after all.