What Did You Play Mondays: March 30, 2020
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Another week indoors playing 2-player games with my wife:
This week my wife and I binged several games of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle but stopped just before getting to Box 7. We're going to try to finish that this week and start on the Monsters expansion. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle isn't my favourite deck-building game, it's a little too simple and easy to win for me (however it does have rules to ramp up the difficulty level) but it's a super-fun "beginner deck building game" for fans of the books and/or movies. It's a great cooperative game to play with younger kids where everyone is playing one of the characters from the books/movies and trying to defend the different locations in the stories using spells and magical items. Like all deck building games, you start with some basic spells and have to spend turns developing new skills and find new magical items and allies to help in the battle. While the box says ages 11+, I think you could probably play with kids as young as 8 or 9 if they had a high enough reading level.
Garden Dice is a favourite in our house and a woefully under-appreciated in game in my opinion. The rules are simple and easy to learn but the way that the tiles chain together makes this game an exciting and interesting strategic game. Players are planting seeds, watering their plants and harvest them as vegetables to use in final scoring as set collection. The game uses dice in a clever way that provides a wide range of options with every roll and the "chaining" mechanism means that you may end up watering or harvesting your opponent’s veggies for them. Fantastic artwork by Josh Cappel that adds so much to the game.
I like to teaching new people to play Karuba by explaining the game's main mechanism, The Bingo Mechanism. Each player has the same 36 tiles and one player is drawing tiles (or numbers) at random, all players find the tile with that number on it and place it anywhere on their personal player board. Tiles have few rules about how they can be placed and everyone has their board set up the same way with 4 different adventurers all starting in the same spots racing to reach the matching colour temples. The first players to a temple will get more points than those who arrive later. With a small player board and only 36 tiles it's always surprising to watch how quickly everyone's own strategic decisions differ. Everyone's own player board end up looking quite differently. Super easy to learn, plays fast and great fun. This is a HABA game by Rüdiger Dorn.
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