I’m struggling to find a rhythm with this weekly report. If I don’t manage to write it up on Thursday, it seems to get delayed until Monday. With that in mind it’s been two weeks since my last post so here we go!
Cribbage is a game that my wife and I got pretty into last year. My in laws all play cribbage so it’s an easy go to activity when they’re visiting. I taught my wife how to play in July in preparation for visiting my family, as she would have extra downtime where I might not. After teaching her how to play, we both downloaded the app “Cribbage Classic” for a fast, easy, offline game to play and man, she took to it! I think since July she’s played over 200 games.
This particular game of Cribbage had me in the lead by at least 10 points for most of the game. She made a bit of a comeback at the end, but I ended with the win, 121 to 118!
On Wednesday night I broke out the prototype of Earth that was sent to me by Inside Up games with a pair of people who have played Terraforming Mars well over 100 times. They quite enjoyed Earth, with lots of excitement building up around the potential ways you could build your engine.
They reported that Earth doesn’t really feel like Terraforming Mars, but they really enjoyed their play. Sandra and I ran a tight race, but in the end I came out the Victor with 191 points to her 189. Bear managed to score 149. I think the discrepancy of points came from him being unable to achieve the goals set out by the Fauna cards.
I’m looking forward to playing Earth much more when the full game gets delivered (estimated ship date, December 2022).
The Great Heartland Hauling Company
The Great Heartland Hauling Company is a great game to start a evening with. It’s fast to set up, easy to teach and learn, and gives everyone a chance to make pig and cow noises as you collect and distribute pink and black cubes across the countryside.
This is one of the few games that I own that came with an expansion (or an inspantion as it’s called on the cards) that I haven’t really bothered exploring. Mostly because when it comes to lighter games I’m not usually seeking to add more complexity. I often play The Great Heartland Hauling Company with people who haven’t played many games, and introducing extra components or rules just doesn’t make for a great experience.
I’ve reviewed The Great Heartland Hauling Company here if you’re interested in reading more about this great, small game
Sagrada was a birthday gift from my wife eons ago (like, 5 years ago) but it quickly became one of my go-to games to play with anybody. Sagrada is great to use as a introduction to board games due to its easy instruction and gorgeous table presence, it has enough randomness to absolutely cripple veteran players.
While we all manged to complete our full windows with dice, I faced a brutal loss in this game of Sagrada. 60, 60, 50, 46.
If you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts about Sagrada, check out my review here!
Food Chain Magnate
Bear had a birthday celebration this weekend so we gathered at his place for crepes and board games. The first game played was my absolute favorite, Food Chain Magnate. Historically, Otter wins the majority of the time, but in this game which featured some expansion elements (Kim chi and the apartment building) it seemed to be Bear and I who were vying for victory.
The board set up was a bit weird, tucked into a corner was a bit of the town that was unaccessible to the rest of the town, with only a single house on a dead end street. I plopped my first restaurant down and focused entirely on getting two more houses down on the cul-de-sac, preventing anyone else from getting a restaurant down in my turf. This ended up being the game winning move, as I was able to use the luxuries manager to sell 5 lemonade for a total of $300 on the final turn, netting me the win with a total of $415. The other players who were squabbling over the rest of the board ended with $294, $257, and $250.
This is likely our closest game of Food Chain Magnate ever, generally what happens is one player earns all the cash in the game while the rest of us can barely pay off our salaries!
Following up Food Chain Magnate was Brass: Birmingham. We tend to play Brass about once every 6 months to a year. We skipped our last play which was scheduled for Cabin-Con 2021 (Food Chain Magnate also got skipped that day actually) so we needed a rules refresher. My child demanded my attention so I passed the rulebook off to Otter. They got through the rules teach, but it’s always good to remind my friends why they keep me around.
The first era of Brass ended with me in the lead with points, but dead last in income. The second era was our busiest ever, with all of us feeling choked out, unable to get our Industries into the towns that could support them.
Brass: Birmingham is an excellent game with some fascinating positive player interaction. While you want your resources to be used so your tiles can flip, if it happens at the wrong time it can be supremely frustrating when someone consumes your beer a turn to early and leaves the board completely dry.
I finished second with the final scores being 147, 134, 131, and 124. Unfortunately Bear didn’t win any of the games on his birthday.