The Re-Review: WesCon Summer 2016

The Voyages of Marco Polo

The Voyages of Marco Polo

  • 1 plays with 2 people
  • Played before

This is a game that seems to get forgotten about in our house for no good reason. Both my wife and I really enjoy the variety offered in this game along with the decisions you have to make. Rolling poorly isn’t a death knell, and you can typically come back from poor decisions. That being said, the game is rather quick and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Recommended.

Coconuts

Coconuts

  • 3 plays with 4 people
  • New to me

I bought this game intending to play it when we went on our family vacation to the beach this summer and it worked great while there. I played it a few times with my wife, nephew, his cousin, my sister, and even my two and a half year old son. It’s nothing serious and that’s fine, it’s a fun little activity as you shoot coconuts into the cups in a game that looks like it belongs at a carnival. Give it a shot, just don’t expect a ton.

Recommended.

6 Nimmt!

6 Nimmt!

  • 2 plays with 5 people
  • Played before

I taught this to my family while on vacation as well and about midway through our first play, the game started to click a bit more. That’s something you need to be aware of: this game is mechanically easy to teach, but you’ll probably need a game or two of experimentation before the strategy starts to click. Still, for the cost of the game, it’s one worth picking up.

Recommended

Mission: Red Planet

Mission: Red Planet

  • 1 play with 6 people
  • Played before

My first play of this game with six players was as chaotic as promised and likely too chaotic for even my tastes, but it did play in about 75 minutes, which is pretty fantastic for a non-filler game with six players. It’ll probably get brought out again at that player count if only for that reason.

Highly recommended.

Flick ‘em Up!

Flick ‘em Up!

  • 1 play with 6 people and 1 play with 8 people
  • Played before

After playing Mission: Red Planet we had some time left over and wanted to play another game, but nothing too long, nor something too heavy. Flick ‘em Up! fits that bill quite nicely since it’s a team-based dexterity game. I keep seeing the outlaws lose (maybe going first is a bad thing…), but I keep enjoying the silly fun this game provides.

I do wonder if it’ll stick around after I get my copy of Catacombs, but I’ll be happy to make that decision later.

Recommended.

Scythe

Scythe

  • 1 play with 2 people and 1 play with 5 people
  • New to me

Choo-choo, time to ride the hype train. Scythe is about all anyone can talk about lately, and it’s not hard to see why: beautiful art, detailed rules, a simple flow of play, asymmetry, and mechs, who doesn’t love mechs? Still, after two plays I have a concern: the first place player has typically blown the second place player out of the water by roughly 33%. Now, I’ve only played twice, so I’m not holding that against it quite yet, but the game ending as abruptly as it does causes problems. I will keep playing and I’d love to see that problem go away with experience.

Tentatively recommended.

Star Wars: Rebellion

Star Wars: Rebellion

  • 1 play with 2 people
  • New to me

First, let me get my butthurt out of the way: don’t play as the Rebels in your first game against an experienced player. Thematically, the Rebels are supposed to feel against the ropes and hopeless, but someone who has played the game before will know that’s more of a feeling than the reality as they figure out ways to punch holes in the Empire’s armor. A new player, however, will feel doubly hopeless and they’re unsure of how to play and the game is sending them signals that they’re not doing well.

Okay, with that out of the way, the game is really interesting. It’s not at all what I expected when I first saw it. Leaders are really workers and missions are basically the work they’re doing. It’s a worker placement game. At the same time, the Rebellion is trying to hide long enough to achieve their goals while the Empire stomps around the galaxy trying to find and destroy their base. The feel of the game is just right.

I’m looking forward to playing again and hope my frustrations from the first play go away.

Tentatively recommended.

Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter

  • 1 play with 3 people
  • Played before

I don’t get to play Dead of Winter much as my group doesn’t seem to request it much, however I do enjoy the game. I like that it does the hidden traitor thing in a reasonable amount of time and has some fun flavor and RPG elements sprinkled in. I don’t really care for (or about) the zombie theme, and would be happier with something else, but the threat is reasonable enough and works for the setting. I have my concerns about balance (having one survivor when other players have four isn’t the most fun part of the game), but I still enjoy it.

Tentatively recommended.

Ra

Ra

  • 1 play with 4 people
  • New to me

Man, this is a game that doesn’t look like much from the outside and is certainly over priced, but I had a really good time with my first game. I think the whole table came away surprised with how good it was. It’s a pretty simple game: on your turn you can draw a tile, invoke Ra (start an auction), or use a god tile to exchange another for another tile. If you ever draw a Ra tile, Ra is invoked. Auctions are quick because you can only win so many auctions on a turn and you know exactly what everyone can bid, so how much is this set of tiles worth to you? After drawing enough Ra tiles, the epoch ends, most of the tiles are scored, and the ones without a scarab are removed from your tableau. You play three epochs this way, do a final scoring, and count up your points.

I think my wife said it best: she was able to play, keep a handle on it, and do pretty well, even with our son distracting her. There’s lots of room for strategic play and the art is really nicely done.

Highly recommended.

Codenames

Codenames

  • 2 plays with 9 people
  • Played before

The 2016 Spiel des Jahres winner! It always gets played at our larger gatherings of friends. It’s a great game that everyone can play and at this point requires no rule explanation. Such a fun game.

Highly recommended.