Weekly Round Up #2

Well it’s already been another week since I last did my round up and in the week I gave no further thought to how the format of this post should be so we’re going to have another free form kind of post this week.

A little more has happened this week on the gaming front than last week as I wasn’t as preoccupied with Flamme Rouge. I eventually managed to get my #1 solo game of the year out. Continuing to work through the the different scenarios provided with Cascadia. In Cascadia you are trying to build the best environment for the animals of the Pacific Northwest to thrive. Each turn you take a hexagonal tile and animal and add it to your growing terrain. At the end of the game you score points based on the wildlife and the terrain. Each animal has their own special wants, for example bears tend to want to be in small groups together while hawks like to be separate from other hawks. In the rulebook there is a 15 different scenarios with a mix of different animal goals along with some special goals. This week I was faced with scenario 9, where I had to score a minimum of 10 points for each animal and 5 points for each terrain type and 90 points in total. Every time I look at a new scenario I am faced with a new puzzle that I have no idea how I am going to solve and this one proved to be the most difficult as I failed in my first attempt. Second time around I had learned from my previous mistakes of not focusing on the terrain and scored over 100 points for only the 2nd time.

This week I also didn’t game alone as I also got one game in with my partner last night as we played Belle of the Ball, a game I bought 8 years ago and played once. I for some reason then decided to, with limited space, bring it to Germany and after a year of it being here unopened, finally gave it a second chance. This game has a kind of Pride and Prejudice feel as you are trying to host a ball on the eve of Carnivale. You score points by forming small groups of your guests with similar interests. The play itself was a bit of a rollercoaster of thoughts. At first it wasn’t much fun as you slowly pick guests one by one and add them to your party. As the game started to pick up steam as we got to play special powers I was starting to get into it. Then my partner locked me out of making meaningful decisions for about half the game, which was no longer fun. Then finally I had once again changed my mind and thought the game was a fine light game for a casual get together. Belle of the Ball definitely doesn’t work well with only 2 players and it certainly requires at least 3 and maybe 4 to really work the best (I assume). Maybe I’ll try it out for a nullitaire game in the future…

Speaking of nullitaire gaming, I finished writing up my thoughts on how I created the bots for the Flamme Rouge nullitour, how it went and what I learned from it. You can read the full post over here. It’s probably the longest post I’ve made since I started this blog. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will definitely continue to grow the Flamme Rouge Tour along with trying out a few other games when I get the chance.

Finally the escape room advent calendar has been a bit hit and miss. Some of the puzzles have been really fun and interesting to solve and a lot of them have been quite difficult, we’ve gone through 9 or 10 of them already and I’d say we needed a tip for 9 or 10 of them… One thing that bothers me with the calendar is how small everything is inside the room. We’ve spent the majority of the time trying to solve the puzzles by burying our head in a little box with a torch trying to make out tiny symbols or in the cause of the dinosaur disaster, trying to indentify individual bones of a skeletal remains.

This weekend I’m going to visit one of the Christmas markets here in Germany and then heading to a nearby boardgame cafe for some boardgames and limonade. Then this time next week I’ll be back in Ireland for the holidays and will be busy unpacking an assortment of kickstarters that have arrived in the past year. What is your boardgaming plan for the Christmas period?

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