Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Few First Impressions

I've been playing several new games/expansions lately.  Since I haven't played any of them enough to do a full review, I thought I would just give some of my thoughts on them.  All of these games have been played less than 5 times, and my opinions may change with additional plays.

King of Tokyo
A quick and entertaining game.  Lots of luck with the dice, slightly mitigated by the Yahtzee style re-roll (3 chances to roll, hold any you want).  There are a lot of interesting cards that can alter the flow of the game.  It's not a game to take too seriously, but it is a lot of fun.  Works with up to 6 people, 7 if you get the Power-Up Expansion.

An interesting blend of cards and dice.  The card draft at the beginning seems really important, but it's hard to have a cohesive strategy for that at the beginning.  Adapting to the dice rolls each round, and deciding when to use your special abilities is also important.  The game has a lot of potential, and a lot of cards that will likely keep it fresh for awhile.

Smash Up
I've only played this as a 2 player game, but I've enjoyed it.  It has great potential to work for more players.  I really like the way each set of factions interacts with the other.  Some faction combinations are likely better than others, but I'm not that invested in the game yet.  I have a fun time playing cards, messing with other people, and trying to capture bases.

I know this is an old game (2003) but I was only introduced to it in the late fall of 2012.  I've played it a few times since and I'm really enjoying it.  It's not a complex game, but there is a good mix of luck of strategy.  Players try to build the best Alhambra using buildings of 6 different types.  There are 3 scoring rounds, with each round yielding more points than the last.

X-Wing Wave 2
Specifically the Millennium Falcon, Slave 1, A-Wings, and Tie-Interceptors.  The big ships are a challenge to weave through the asteroids, but I think that makes them more interesting.  They both have low agility values, so they can't just rush into the fight.  Also, they both have a lot of room for upgrades, leading to a lot of variety.  The smaller ships are fast and nimble.  One player at a tournament called them "squirrely."  I think that is the best way to describe them.  The A-Wings don't pack a huge punch, but they are a capable fighter.  They're also hard to bring down in one shot.  The interceptors seem to be the best overall Imperial fighter, but time will tell on that.  Both of the new small ships emphasize careful maneuvering and focusing on angles and range.  They aren't ships you can just fly into the fray and hope for the best.

Kings of Air and Steam
A very well designed game.  It's the first pick-up and deliver game I've purchased, though I've played others.  The game seems very balanced, though I've yet to play with the variable characters.  The game leaves you wanting just 1 more action to do something, so that means the choices are well spread out and meaningful.  It is a bit long, and it can be very thought intense, but it is worth the investment.

This is a quick dice game about building skyscrapers.  Each turn you take 3 dice (ground floor, middle, penthouse) and roll. You then have to add at least one to your building area, then you can reroll, and repeat.  The game only takes about 10-15 minutes, and it has some meaningful choices, especially for a short dice game.

Want to buy one of the games discussed here and support BoBG?

1 comment:

  1. I played a 3-player game of KOAS last week with the special powers. They definitely improve the game and add hardly any extra complexity. I'm finding that KOAS is super-annoying because when something goes wrong, 9 times out of 10, you only have yourself to blame for faulty planning. Like, nobody got aggressive the entire game or tried to mess each other up, but there were still so many "ARGH!" moments.

    That being said, I somehow still enjoy the game and plan to keep playing it. It's definitely a game that rewards experience.