The Five By: The Games of Episode 12

I’m back again this week, well-rested from vacation and ready to record. Which as ever meant I actually procrastinated on writing my script, turned in my segment at the last minute, and probably bugged the crap out of Mike though he’s too nice to tell me so. But he still managed to put together another fabulous episode for your listening pleasure despite my making things tough for him; so go download it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or just head over to our website and then come back and see what I thought of the games covered this week.

00:32 Lindsay – Concordia

Concordia is both one of my favourite games and one of the games I find most aggravating, but not for the reason you might think. You see, I adore the game, want the game, and haven’t been able to get my hands on a reasonably-priced copy despite searching for well over a year because the damn things been out of stock for what seems like forever. Rumour has it that more copies will be showing up soon-ish, and so I’m keeping my fingers crosses that I’ll finally be able to add this wonderful game of building a trading empire while building a well-scoring deck to my collection. I really enjoy the blend of deck/hand management with spreading your network across the map and grabbing influence in the regions and cities you want before someone else gets in and makes it more expensive for you. And I especially love the mechanism by which you have to decide when to take a “regular” turn, versus when to “rest” and pull back all of your cards – something that I mentioned as grabbing my attention in regards to Century: Spice Road when discussed by Mike during our previous episode.

05:20 Mason – Stichlen

I don’t know Stichlen at all, so was curious to listen to Mason’s segment. I’m not a huge fan of trick-tricking games, mainly due to the sheer frustration that comes from being forced to play games like Pinochle without ever really getting any idea of how the game works, or of all the house rules that have been added in. The choice of “pain suit” in Stichlen does sound fascinating, along with the lead suit not winning tricks, and so I’d be interested in trying it to see how this mean little game plays out. Just not with card sharks, as god knows I hate playing trick-takers with people who make them their life – I just cannot keep up.

10:47 Ruth – Cacao

I can’t wait to get my hands on Phil Walker-Harding’s new release Barenpark, but for now I’ll happily take solace harvesting precious cacao in this unnamed jungle landscape. It’s a tile-layer that uses two types of tiles, it’s worker-placement where your workers are on the tiles, and it totally kicked Carcassone to the side for me. I love it as a quick two-player experience and my only complaint about three- or four-player is that I rarely get to play it. I did recently pick up the Chocolatl expansion and so I can’t wait to try out the various modules it provides to see what they add to the experience.

15: 36 Stephanie – Mysterium

I love Mysterium – of all the party-type games I own, it’s far and away my favourite one to play. No matter whether I’m playing a ghost or a psychic, I always have a blast trying to figure out what on earth everyone else is thinking, and how they’re seeing such random things in the same card I’m looking at. In fact, since I own the Polish version, I actually have plans to build a fancy ghost screen, similar but better than the Asmodee edition screen, to make the experience even better. I’ve played it with gamers and non-gaming family and always had it go over well, though no experience can beat the game from RUTHCon last year (pictured below). The game was accompanied by a lightning storm outside for extra atmosphere, featured a mix of gaming friends plus my mother, and was an absolute blast!

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20:08 Sarah – Roll for the Galaxy

I talked about Roll for the Galaxy as part of my Top 5 lists, awarding it the number 3 spot when discussing dice games. I love how quickly the game plays, how different it feels at various player counts while still playing well, and how much easier it is to teach or just jump into after a break. It’s noisy as all get out, but as long as you can cope with potentially pissing off tables next to you, it’s a damn good game and well worth checking out. Now if only I had actually played the expansion materials that have been sitting in my Roll box for months now.

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