The Re-Review: Summer Doldrums

Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem

  • 1 play with 3 people
  • Played before

Sons of Anarchy

I’ve only played Sons of Anarchy a few times, but I’ve enjoyed it those times. It’s an interesting combination of dice, worker placement, and area control that I haven’t seen in this combination elsewhere. Also, the complete lack of victory points and desire for cold hard cash makes for an interesting difference from most games on the market.

Yet, I do wonder if this game is worth keeping. I’m not sure what it is about it that makes me question getting rid of it, but there’s a nagging feeling in the back of my head.

Tentatively recommended.

7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders: Duel

This was the tenth play for my 10x10 challenge and it’s starting to feel samey at this point. I enjoy it, but not as much as I once did. Still, the game does a great job of creating tension and forcing hard decisions as you plan out your turns. This is a game that will benefit from its inevitable expansion.

Recommended.

Raptor

  • 2 plays with 2 people
  • Played before

Raptor

With 7 Wonders: Duel starting to feel somewhat repetitive, I was on the lookout for a two player game that would supplement it and found Raptor. I’m not sure I like one better than the other, but I definitely enjoy Raptor’s asymmetry and it’s simple card play mechanic. You have a hand of three cards from a possible nine that are numbered 1-9. Cards 1 through 8 also have a special action on them. You and your opponent both pick and reveal cards simultaneously. The lower card acts first and it’s special action takes place. The higher card gets actions equal to the difference in cards (e.g. your opponent played a 4 and you played a 7, you get 3 actions).

This makes for hard decisions as sometimes you want those special actions, but your opponent may know that and play to stifle that exact action, so do you go with doublethink or stick with the simplest play? Tough, tough decisions.

Highly recommended.

Kemet

  • 1 play with 5 people
  • Played before

Kemet

The more I play Kemet the more I realize it’s one of my favorite games. It plays a large number of people in a relatively short amount of time, it feels balanced, it allows for creativity, it has great components, and it has a beautifully realized theme. I tend to specialize in white tiles (economy) with a side of red tiles (aggression), but in this particular game I went heavier with aggression than economy and reaped the rewards.

Highly recommended. Top 5

Mare Nostrum: Empires

  • 1 play with 6 people
  • Played before

Mare Nostrum: Empires

This is a partial game, but I’ve played before anyways. Mare Nostrum: Empires replaces Settlers of Catan for me. That sounds weird if you’ve played both games, but let me explain. The only part of Catan that I truly enjoyed was the trading, however anyone who’s played it knows that you don’t always want to trade, whether you’re being a jerk on purpose or just trying to stifle others. It sounds realistic, but it’s not fun.

Mare Nostrum forces players to trade. At the beginning of each round, the trade leader will announce how many goods players will trade, then each player must put forth that many goods. One at a time, players will take a good from someone else, then that person takes a good, and so on. In this way, your highly specialized Egyptian culture can diversify it’s possible trade goods.

Why do you need trade goods? Well, in order to build anything you need different trade goods or all money. Want to buy a soldier? You’ll need three different goods. How about a market? That’ll be six goods. Want to build the pyramids? That’s 12 different kinds of goods (in a game that only had 13 types of goods). Better get to trading.

This doesn’t even begin to cover building armies and ships and conquering others, but you don’t even have to go that route if you don’t want to.

Recommended.

Roll for the Galaxy

Roll for the Galaxy

After a series of lackluster plays, this one felt pretty good. Neither my wife nor I felt overwhelmed by the other and neither of us could get engines going. With that, there’s a chance that we’ll complete the ten plays for our challenge, but I still worry about this one staying in the collection.

Tentatively recommended.

Survive

Survive

I think I’m the only person in my group that enjoys this one, but there’s some childish joy in sending one of your friend’s people into the water only to see them be eaten by the shark that was created by removing the tile you just sank. I rarely win this game, but that’s not really the point here, the point is a little bit of almost manageable chaos.

Highly recommended.

The Grizzled

  • 1 play with 5 people
  • Played before

The Grizzled

Want to play a cooperative game that’s not afraid of bringing the pain without dice? The Grizzled is for you. Instead of relying on random die rolls to see whether you succeed at a check or not, it’s entirely up to your team to do it’s best and play the correct cards, and sometimes you don’t have much of a choice because of an earlier decision.

I like this one quite a bit and it’s probably my top, short cooperative game.

Recommended.

6 Nimmt

  • 1 play with 5 people
  • New to me

6 Nimmt

I’ve only played this one once, but I like the general flow of the game and the decisions you have to make. There’s some luck here, but it’s short enough to not matter much and the tension of flipping cards to see who played close enough without being the sixth in line is pretty fun. I feel like this one will be great to bring on family trips.

Recommended.

Blood Rage

My last few plays of Blood Rage have been disappointing. One player in particular has done exceedingly well and the other players couldn’t do much to combat that. We’ve called one of the plays and in the others it felt all but decided by the second age. However, last night we realized that someone will likely feel that way in each game of Blood Rage, but they aren’t knocked out of it.

It may take a good draft or two, but it’s likely that you’ll find the right combination to earn you a bunch of points and bring you out of your decline. But it’s up to you and the luck of the draw to find and play the correct cards.

Recommended.