Welcome to Week 38, a short week gaming wise, but a long week due to just being busy every night of the week. This week school starts for the girls on Thursday and we have our Welcome nights for the girls on Tuesday and Wednesday so this week is looking just as busy. We didn’t get to play many games this week due to that schedule, but I did get to talk to a couple fantastic people about their GenCon experiences this year so the podcast while it may be light on actual gaming, it’ll be good and heavy on gaming talk.
Thanks to a little contest on Youtube held by Rhiannon Ochs over on the Spooning Meeples channel, we got to try out a new to us game from the fine folks over at Haba, DrachenStark. This one was a big hit with AnnaBeth due to the dragons, but also she enjoyed the memory aspect of the game. In DrachenStark everyone is a dragon, who is in a race around the fire spitting volcano. The players race from their home cave, trying to be the first one back to their cave. Their movements are based on finding the dragon token that has the animal that corresponds with the tile on which you stand. So if your dragon is on a tile with a salamander, you have to flip a dragon card that shows a salamander in order to move. If you don’t find one, you turn the dragon token over and the next player starts their turn, but if you do find a salamander, you leave it flipped over and you move the number of spaces that equals the numbers of salamanders on that card. There will either be 1, 2 or 3 animals on the token. You move that number of spaces and then if you choose to, you can go again until you don’t flip a token that corresponds with the animal on the tile where your dragon is standing. Beware though, there are also the mean Dragon Pirates that are on the Dragon Tokens, if you flip a Dragon Pirate, you immediately move your dragon back as many Dragon Pirates are on the token, there are only 1 or 2, and you end your turn. That’s all there is to DrachenStark, it’s really just a cute race game that uses Memory as the mechanic to move the dragons along. AnnaBeth won the very first game we played of this. Now, Kerensa and I may not have been paying as close attention to the Dragon Tiles as we should have been but AnnaBeth still rightfully won it and I think she enjoyed it, just not enough to give us a rematch to try to redeem ourselves. This one will sit nicely right alongside Brandon the Brave, Animal Upon Animal and Rhino Hero for games that should see some play with AnnaBeth. So thank you again Spooning Meeples and Rhiannon. We really enjoyed it and are glad to have it in our collection for our budding young gamer.
Once AnnaBeth decided to not give us a rematch, Kerensa and I decided to give Castles of Mad King Ludwig another go, this time though just as a two player game. Nothing really changes much when playing this one two player, just fewer cards, fewer tiles and no 2k Mark spot on the auction track so the lowest you can bid is 4k marks. The favor tiles we flipped were both for room types, sleeping rooms and dining rooms. Luckily for me, I pulled the sleeping room bonus card as well and kept it. The game moved a bit funky. In the first round neither of us bought a tile, both choosing to take a corridor, I took a stair case and Kerensa went with a hallway. After that things moved a bit better and more normal but there were still a couple rounds where we didn’t take anything including me on the second to last round where I just took 5k instead of buying a tile I didn’t need. Anyway, as the game went on, not one Dining tile came out to purchase, never did. After we finished up the final round, in which I bought a sleeping room to break the tie for that favor, we tallied everything up and after my bonus cards I was about 30 points ahead and feeling comfortable, but Kerensa scored 25 points and had one more card left, only to reveal it as bonus points for dining tiles, which we never saw. I had finally won, on like my 6th or 7th try. As we were putting it away, Kerensa mentioned that it was a game that she could see herself playing once a week if we get the time, so I think we’ve found a staple in our collection. We really owe a review for this one as much as we enjoy it, now, if we could just get Gabby to play it a bit more often.
Star Realms keeps motoring along, the new season has started and after my first two matches I am 1 and 1. I played a handful of matches this week and didn’t fair all that well ending the week at level 9 5/10. Thank you all again for the matches, hopefully I get to play a few more this week and hopefully, for my sake, the results are a bit better. Keep the challenges coming to VacaBCK, I do have the Gambits expansion now as well so don’t feel the need to only challenge base game.
That’s all for the week, not a lot of gaming, but I did do quite a bit of gaming work, I’ve started the review for GemPacked Cards and I did a couple of interviews over Skype for this week’s podcast.
First person on the show is a gamer who I have come to know through various social media outlets, Twitter, Facebook and Board Game Geek. He’s by all accounts one of the nicest folks you ever meet in board gaming circles, so hopefully I can get to a convention where he is at and we can sit down and have a few cookies and play some games. Ken Grazier was kind enough to sit down and talk to me a bit about his experience at GenCon this year and I had a great time talking with him, even while we had to have his wonderful wife Sam help out and get him up and running with both a mic and headphones that worked.
Ken's Interview starts at 6:18 on the Podcast.
Kickstarter Well, New Bedford ended on Friday and holy cow did it exceed every expectation that I had for it. I didn’t see this as a $75k Kickstarter project, sure I knew it would be successful but I didn’t ever imagine that it would end really close to $110k. So hats off to Nat Levan, the Dice Hate Me crew and the folks over at Greater than Games who I assume had a part of this as well. Now, let’s get this game on my table!
A new Kickstarter did launch this week that I was completely unaware of and I ended up backing it. Dingo’s Dreams is the newest game from Red Raven Games. This one has the same fantastic artwork from Ryan Laukat that we expect from them, but this one is a bit of a departure, as it isn’t designed by Ryan, instead this one is a game from Alf Seegert of Fantastiqa fame. This one uses tiles to create a modular board in which you are trying to navigate your animal around to form a specific pattern on the modular tile board. It really looks beautiful and seems like the type of game that my family will really enjoy. But to top it all off, this is the Kickstarter campaign to get the 2nd edition of City of Iron, a game I’ve been watching for at a decent price for quite awhile. $52 plus $10 shipping gets both of these games on your doorstep, hopefully by May of 2016.
Alright, so for our second interview tonight, I talked to another pillar of the gaming community. He’s set himself apart from a lot of folks by excelling at creating some of the best instructional videos in the business and he also has a great 20-30 podcast that I don’t miss. He’s done so well over the past few years that he’s now taking to doing this full time. He’ll talk a lot about that but he’ll also discuss his recent attendance for the first time at GenCon, both as an attendeed and as an employee of Czech Games Edition. Ladies and gentlemen, Paul Grogan.
Paul's Interview starts at 23:36 on the Podcast.
Well, I think that’s it for this week’s episode and blog, no acquisitions, which will change in the next week or two I have a feeling, and while I read through the entire geeklist and each entry in the thread, I didn’t get the chance to dive in and interact with everyone nearly as much as I would have liked to this past week, so hopefully I can make that happen this coming week. Keep up the fantastic reports, it helps me get through the busy weeks when I don’t get to play nearly as much as I would like to. Have a great week everyone and thanks for listening and reading!!!