My Favourite Gaming Themes

Another #BlogMas 2019 blog, another list of stuff.
This time it’s my favourite themes in games
Here goes:

5. Zombies

This might be higher if I get to play more zombie games, but they’re a hit with me so far.

4. Fantasy

If nothing else, fantasy games are usually really quite stunning to look at. Good thing they’re great to play too.

3. Cthulhu

The great old ones must be appeased or they’ll come and take all our meeples away.

2. Dinosaurs

Slap a dinosaur on it, I’m game for a game.
1 Space
Cosmic Encounter
This is the clear winner. Actually, it’s almost impossible for me to resist a space game.

My favourite 10 Games

Yesterday for #Blogmas I listed My 10 Least Favourite Games. For today’s Blogmas I thought I’d update my 2017 list of Top Ten Best Board Games as I’ve played a whole load of different games since then.
Again, this is my personal list for the games I enjoy the most. If you personally don’t like any of these games for any reason, you are fully allowed to feel that way. If there’s a game you feel is more deserving that should be on this list, there is a chance I haven’t played it.
Here goes.

10. Splendor by Space Cowboys

A delightful set-collecting game that’s simple and devious at the same time. One of the best filler games out there. The Cities expansion gives some good variety to it too.

9. Carpe Diem by Ravensburger

A game that proves you should never judge a game by its box. Combines the tile-laying strategies of Carcassonne with resource generation and planning to meet two objectives a round. Such a satisfying game.

8. Tiny Epic Galaxies by Gamelyn Games

I enjoy all the Tiny Epic games I’ve picked up (and have picked up most), but I’d still say that Galaxies is the best of the bunch. Careful resource management to build up a galactic empire that’s masterfully developed further with its Beyond the Black expansion.

7. Abyss by Bombyx

Some games are all style and no substance. Abyss looks incredible and plays out so well using push-your-luck mechanics to build a usable hand. The two expansions Leviathan and Behemoth provide so much more interest to the game too.

6. Everdell by Starling Games

Another fantastic-looking game with and impressive (if slightly pointless) 3D cardboard tree). However the cutesy theme and delightful components are mere condiments to a solid engine-building game. Need to get the expansion – heard good things about it.

5. Pulsar 2849 by CGE

You either love point salad games or you hate them. I get that. I’m a lover of this style of game. With so many options to choose from each turn even rubbish dice can be used to do great things.

4. Dinosaur Island by Pandasaurus Games

I love Jurassic Park. The book and the film. This is pretty much the game in all but name. Building your own dinosaur park has never been so much fun, even when the dinosaur break out and eat my paying customers. With an expansion that adds four extra aspects to the game, this games just gets bigger and better.

3. Star Realms by White Wizard Games

Deck-builders have been around for a while now, with different themes and styles. I’m a sucker for the deck-builder, me. Star Realms is, hands down, my personal favourite in the genre where players build up their decks of cards in order to annihilate each other. Complete with an attractive space theme, many complimentary expansions and one of the best digital versions of a game on Steam, this one just keeps on giving.

2. StarCraft: The Boardgame by Fantasy Flight Games

For the longest time this was my straight-up favourite game. Partially because I adore the computer game of which it is based, but also it’s a very satisfying combat and area control minutres game. However, with a game time of 30 minutes per player, a six-player game is more time commitment than can readily be given.

1. Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

Thematically, I don’t know of a stronger game than this masterpiece by Stronghold Games. Players play in a semi-cooperative way with the aim of terrforming Mars by increasing the temperature, oxygen content and liquid water levels. Individually, however, each player is trying to score more points than anyone else. With five excellent expansions that provide even more things to do, this engine-building game can be played over and over again.

There are also a host of other games I also really, really enjoy, but these are my current top ten.
Do any of these feature on your top (or bottom) ten?

Games Night 21st December 2017

Five players this week and a very warm welcome to JM, thank you for joining us this evening.

HG didn’t want a late night so we kicked of with a shorter game:

by Repos Production.
We brought HG up to speed with the rules and play commenced.
Cards were played, resources were paid for, wonders were built, armies were raised and a good time was had by all.

At the game’s conclusion the final scores were:

Player DA HG JM KV Mc
Army VPs 15 1 0 -4 18
Money VPs 2 7 5 7 2
Monument VPs 10 10 10 10 2
Civic Building VPs 19 3 33 8 11
Commercial Building VPs 5 0 3 9 6
Guild VPs 14 9 0 0 8
Scientific Structure VPs 0 11 0 1 4
Total Score 65 41 51 31 52

DA for the win!

HG took her leave and JM was very decisive in choosing

by Gamelyn Games.
After going over the rules for JM those space dice started to roll.
DA was the first to acquire a planet, and the next, and the next.
JM unfortunately didn’t quite realise how planets worked until near the end of the game so it should be noted that she would have down much better had we picked up on that sooner.

In the end it was MC who passed the 21 VP mark first (also his secret mission was to end the game). Being the last player of the round, the game ended there and then.
Final Scores:
DA: 15
JM: 8
KV: 18
MC: 25
Kudos to MC!

Next up we played

by Calliope Games
We really enjoyed this last week playing with 2 ships each, so we did it again here.
We played two games.

Despite the death-wish the dragons had, eating each other and leaping of the board, KV lost both his ships very early on. MC was the last to have a single ship afloat.
The dragon’s self-destructive behaviour continued in the second game. However they were still voracious enough to eliminate JM then both of MC’s ships at once. DA and KV doggedly persevered for a goodly while until DA found he couldn’t steer and ended up in the belly of a dragon.
Horay for KV! It only took 5 games to see victory!

To round off the evening we played

by Flatlined Games
DA really has it in for that guy in the chicken suit.

KV and MC raced ahead and were neck and neck at the end of round 2 at 19 points apiece.
Unfortunately for MC it all fell apart when both his housemates were eliminated very early on gaining him only 2 more points. The final standing housemate belonged to no one, but KV was the first runner up.
Final scores:
DA: 23
JM: 14
KV: 28
MC: 21
Huzzah for KV!

Thanks to all our players for a fantastic year of playing games.
May you all have a very merry Christmas and hope to see you all again in the new year.

Games Night 13th June 2017

We had a games evening, just because that’s why.
A big hello to DA who joined us from all the way across the road having found out about us on the TableTop Gaming website. Thanks guys!
KV brought round Alderac’s deck-building game:

so we played that.
DA went into the Fertile Soil business in a big way.
KV showed how pushing your luck can actually work.
MC early on acquired a 3x VP field that generated a nice tidy pile of VPs during the game but found that pushing his luck was always a disaster.
DA joined with MC in the acquisition of the VP tokens with KV getting in there at the last minute and taking the last ones. Being the 3rd play of the round, the game ended there and then without any chance for DA or MC to try to catch up.
The final scores:
DA: 29
KV: 40
MC: 30
Well done KV winning the game you brought with you.
A fun variation to the deck-building game. MC was too engrossed to take a piccy of it though.

Next up DA chose Gamelyn Games’

The usual dice rolling stuff happened. KV was often thwarted at his attempts to colonise a planet.
MC was the first to get 21+ points. Like with the previous game, MC happened to be the 3rd play of the round so there endeth the game.

Final scores:
DA (Red): 16
KV (Green): 18
MC (Black): 25
Huzzahs to MC.

To finish up, we played two rounds of

by Calliope Games
After bending the rules a little to allow DA the chance to move the dragon in his path (they did like to follow him), MC rolled a 2 and took himself out with a dragon. DA soon fell foul of a dragon making KV the winner of round 1.

Round 2 saw MC rolling a 2 and taking himself out with a dragon…again. DA and KV then played on for a good while leading to this pivotal moment:

KV banked on DA not having a tile that would get him out of that situation but DA did and KV disappeared off the edge of the board.
Yay! DA won something!

Games Night 18th May 2017

KV came back for a second helping, so we must be doing something right.
This week we kicked off with
Five Tribes
played with the artisians and thieves expansions – not that the thieves are ever picked.
The game ended with no legal moves left.
Five Tribes
The Big Spender award went to KV for finishing up with only 4 coins.
The Scottish award went to MC for finishing up with the most money.
The Jafar award went to PH for having the most Yellow Viziers.
The Crafty award went to MC for having the most Purple Artisans. KV’s attempt to assassinate all MC’s Artisans was thwarted when MC summoned Boaz.
The Doddery Old Man award went to PH for having the most White Elders.
The Blistered Palm award went to MC for having the highest Djinn score.
The Calendar award went to KV for the most Palm Trees.
The Air Conditioning award went to PH for the most Palaces.
The You Bastard award went to MC for most Camel points.
The Happy Shopper award was shared by MC And KV for Artefacts acquired.
The Pokémon award for best card collection went to KV.

More importantly the final scores were:
KV (Pink): 119
MC (Blue): 176
PH (Black): 166

Huzzah for MC!

Next up we built up some
Tiny Epic Galaxies
Dice were rolled, ships were moved, energy was acquired and spent, actions were followed.
MC ended the game by acquiring his second 7-point planet.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
KV (Blue) scored 17
MC (Black) scored 22
PH (Green) scored 15

Huzzah again for MC!

We rounded off the evening with
Gloom: Cthulhu
To make it a fair game, KV and MC both mostly picked on PH.
Despite all that PH finished the game by playing the card that removed 1 living member from each family and having 4 dead already.

Final scores:
KV held the Story Card allowing him to count the living giving him -95 points.
MC had to dead family members, one being zeroed out leaving him the grand total of -60 points.
PH had all 4 dead and a score of -150 points.

Not a bad play there PH considering you had a large positive score for a while.

Games Night 25th April 2017

A very warm welcome to BD who found us on the internet. We hope you had a great time.
In the tradition of all newcomers, BD was miles earlier than anyone else (i.e. on time) and so we had a quick game of

MC uncharacteristically rolled some great dice and got to the grand score of 13 in only a few turns.
BD made it to 3 and then went for broke, did an amazing run to 11 but had to bow out what with all the shotgun blasts to the face.


had been the most voted for so out it came. Thankfully PH did turn up before we started.
Having been long enough since we last played this, we were once again bamboozled by those bloody rules. Got there in the end.

PH triggered the end and the final scores came to:
BD (Green): 21
MC (Red): 28
PH (Nearly Green AKA Blue): 28

Keeping to a theme we then played

Dice were rolled, ships were flown, planets were colonised, dice were re-rolled.

Final scores:
BD (Yellow): 18
MC (Black): 23
PH (Green): 26
Well done PH!

With a few minutes left we played

Round one saw BD with both his house-mates still standing.
Round two saw BD with only one single house-mate still standing.
Round three saw BD score shockingly badly with the last house-mate to leave the house.

Final scores:
BD: 29
MC: 21
PH: 26
Hooray for BD, what a sterling finish!

Games Night 16th March 2017

Just three of us this week.
Started off with newly acquired:

Dice were rolled, tiny wooden pieces were moved about. Cards were acquired.

MC (black) ended with 17 points
PH (green) ended with 26 points
SC (red) ended with 15 points

Next up was another new game:

Unfortunately, the helpless humans were very, very trigger happy with their shotguns and it took a while for the zombies to eat any brains.

Eventually the game did end with
MC with 10 brains
PH with 15 brains
Sc with 12 brains

Finally madness and despair came along with:

Being burned alive turned out to be an affliction that was not only completely curable, but an easily and repeatedly transferable ending.
In tradition of the evening PH triggered the end-game event this time by killing off his entire family.

Final score:
Mc (1 dead but has story card allowing him to count still living relatives): 145
PH (all dead): 145
SC (2 dead) 30
Well done PH for being 1st at everything.