What happens when someone in our game group is going to get married? We kidnap them and keep them away from all of their adult responsibilities for 12 hours and treat them to lunch, escape rooms, and 2.2 kilograms of candy, and a great evening of board games!!

Lost Cities: Rivals

We started the day with lunch at a local pub, and we came armed with a bag of small games that could be played anywhere. The first game fished out of the bag was Lost Cities: Rivals by Reiner Kenizia. Lost Cities: Rivals takes the classic Lost Cities gameplay, expands it to four players and makes the central mechanism for distribution cards an auction. It works fairly well, but it falls woefully short of the greatness of the original Lost Cities. There’s not very much tension in Lost Cities: Rivals as there’s no ‘punishment’ for embarking on an expedition, but I concede that losing points because you don’t manage to collect cards in the auctions would make for a bad game. There’s very little control in Lost Cities: Rivals, you can only win one or two auctions per round, and after you do win a auction, your power for the rest of the round is severely diminished. If you spend all your money you might as well take a walk until the next round as you are unable to do anything other than flip up cards for the other players to take.

6 Nimmt

6 Nimmt is a game that we had only played on BoardGameArena, but when a stranger gifted it to Bigfoot, we couldn’t resist. In 6 Nimmt players are playing cards simultaneously, then the cards are slotted into a row depending on which row has the closest number (in the picture above if you played a 29, it’d go next to the 27). The catch of the game is if your card is the 6th card in a row, you have to take all the cards in that row as your score, and your card becomes the new card for the row. In 6 Nimmt, points are bad, the first player to hit 66 points triggers the end-game, and the player with the lowest score at the end of that round is the winner.

I found it harder to strategize when playing on the table vs when playing online, but the moment of the reveal, when all the cards are flipped up and people see their fate of taking a whole row was just a delight.

Food Chain Magnate

I could talk about Food Chain Magnate by Jeroen Doumen, and Joris Wiersinga all damn day, but I won’t. Being my absolute favourite game and one of Bear’s top games means whenever either of us have an bigger board game ‘event’, Food Chain Magnate is very likely to get played.

This time, we played with a couple extra marketers (the Mass Marketeer and the Gourmet Food Critics), along with the new set of milestones from the expansion. This game ended up being chaotic, Bear and Bigfoot started with a couple of trainers while Otter and I went with the recruiting girl to start (which netted us both an Executive Vice President, which will be important later). Otter marketed Pizza effectively via a mailbox campaign to three houses in one corner of the board. Otter and I quickly hired kitchen trainees and fulfilled their demands. What we didn’t realize was the first pizza sold milestone threw up three radio campaigns, all marketing pizza! Suddenly the board was full of pizza demand. The bank broke quickly and it revealed that 3 of the 4 players put in $100 as their secret objective, meaning all the CEO’s were reduced to two management slots. This wasn’t bad for Otter and I, as we had those Executive Vice Presidents with 10 management slots, but Bear and Bigfoot both were crippled. The game ended quickly after that, I managed to get a luxuries manager out and sold 5 pizzas to a garden house for $200 in a single turn, and the game ended with me in the lead with a winning score of $456.

Food Chain Magnate is a game all about anticipating your opponents moves and capitalizing on the opportunities that are presented to you. I really cannot get enough of it!!

Hansa Teutonica

My favourite story about Hansa Teutonica is that Bigfoot owned it, but hadn’t gotten around to playing it for a couple years and just had it on his “For Trade” list on Board Game Geek. We broke it out one night and as soon as we finished the game, he immediately took it off that list! Hansa Teutonica by Andreas Steding is an area majority network/route building game where you’re placing your workers on the board, trying to obtain a monopoly on a road so you can either improve your actions, or claim the nearest office as your own to earn victory points.

The hook of Hansa Teutonica is that you need to control all the spots on a road between two cities, so if someone gets in your way, you need to bump them off. To bump someone off their spot, you have to pay and extra worker to the supply, and the bumped player gets to place the bumped worker, plus one extra worker onto an adjacent route. This added benefit highly incentives players to get in each others way as much as possible, hoping that they’ll get bumped out and get that added benefit.

I struggled with the rulebook, but Hansa Teutonica is an excellent game. A highly interactive euro, if you have this game languishing, un-played on your shelves, You owe it to yourself to pull it out and give it a go!

7 Wonders and 7 Blunders

Those fools let me go hard on green

7 Wonders by Antoine Bauza is a classic for good reason. It’s fast, easy to teach, and utterly satisfying to play. If you haven’t played this yet, it’s a drafting game where each player has one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient world, and are trying to amass the most victory points. You can play brown or grey resource cards, which allow you to buy other cards, like the blue culture cards, the yellow merchant cards, the green science cards, or the red military cards.

Each Wonder will lead you down a slightly different strategy, but you don’t need to follow the path of least resistance. Each round you’ll be dealt 7 cards, and each turn you’ll choose one of your cards to play on the table. Everyone reveals their choices simultaneously, then you pass your hand of cards to the player on your left. Each turn the number of cards will dwindle until you only have two cards left. You’ll play one, discard the other, and then move on to the next age. After 3 ages, the player with the most points wins.

7 Wonders is such an easy game to play and that makes it a default for us. Sometimes we like to change it up and play 7 Blunders instead, where the goal of the game is to get the lowest score possible. There’s a couple extra rules, like you can’t chose to discard a card for coins if you have a card you could play, but it offers an interesting twist on the gameplay. I’m torn between trying to build as many of the same resource as possible, or trying to unnecessarily stack up on military cards. The winner of 7 Blunders had 29 points which is far from the lowest score I’ve ever seen. We still have room to grow downwards I suppose!

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

To end the night we fell back on The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine by Thomas Sing. I’ve talked about The Crew a lot in the past already, so I’ll skip the preamble. By now, we’re tackling the missions in the mid to late 20’s range and they’re starting to get really difficult. Sometimes the way the cards come out make it seemingly impossible to win, like if you need to win 4 pink cards in perfect sequence between 4 players. But it’s still an enjoyable experience, and the joy that I feel when we succeed in a mission is an incredible achievement from a game so small.