A bit of a quiet month this one, with only a single trip to Newcastle Gamers, and an awful lot of solo gaming.
Having clocked up quite a few plays of the new “art box” edition of Onirim in August, my most-played title of September turned out to be its Oniverse successor, Sylvion.
Sylvion is, essentially, a Plants vs Zombies clone in single-player card game form. Bad guys appear at the right of the playfield, and march towards the left. You drop stuff in their way to hinder their progress, and if too many of the bad guys make it through your defences, bad things happen.
It plays well, but it’s a lot of effort to set up (at least, for a solo game) and processing each turn takes a fair bit of card manipulation and concentration. Plus, it requires quite a chunk of table space too. If it wasn’t for the psychological inertia involved in getting past these hurdles and taking the game off the shelf in the first place, I expect this would probably have got even more plays 😉
Aside from Sylvion and Onirim, my other solo-gaming experience of the month was the 1-player variant of Uwe Rosenberg’s old-school cube-pusher, Merkator. Disappointingly, this didn’t turn out to be a particularly edifying experience; I wouldn’t recommend it that way. (The multi-player version, on the other hand, is rather good!)
Newcastle Gamers on the 12th saw a long-overdue outing for my copy of Dungeon Lords — I think this was the first time I’ve played Dungeon Lords since getting all the Anniversary Edition extras almost a year ago(!). We stuck with the base game, and it was a really enjoyable session… I definitely need to get this one out a bit more regularly.
Dungeon Lords was followed by a game of Mogul, an old (2002) game, and the origin of a push-your-luck auction mechanism which was subsequently re-purposed for the (very popular) filler game, “No Thanks!”. Sadly, aside from the neat auction aspect, Mogul is pretty dry, and tricky to get your head around on your first play. I’m not sure the board element (new for the 2015 edition) adds a lot to the game either. It was interesting to play for the historical perspective, but — having now ticked it off my list — I’d probably just choose to play “No Thanks” in the future.
My Newcastle Gamers visit was rounded out with a 2-player game of Trambahn, and a 4-player game of “Onward to Venus” – the game of 19th century interplanetary colonialism. The last time I played Onward to Venus I enjoyed it a lot… but this session was a bit… “meh”. I think the mix of action chits we drew from the bag this time simply wasn’t conducive to an interesting game. It’ll probably be a while before I can convince people to play it again. 🙁
Other September plays included a few goes at The King of Frontier (a game so good that it warranted its own post!), a second outing (finally!) for my copy of Russian Railroads (which was very enjoyable), a 2-player try of the Neuhauser Bockerlbahn scenario for Snowdonia (I’d previously only played this solo; it worked great with two), a deathmatch playthrough of Tash Kalar (I enjoyed this far more than my previous experience with Tash Karar, where we’d jumped straight in to the advanced “High Form” of the game), and my first ever play of Battle Line, a 15-year-old Reiner Knitzia “classic” for 2 players, which I’ve somehow managed to avoid playing until now.
Which was fine.
For a 15-year-old game.
Highlight of the month: Finally getting my hands on a copy of King of Frontier. It’s a lovely game!
Lowlight: Solo Merkator. Should probably have just cracked open Sylvion for one more try instead 😉