No tabletop for Splendor, oh no. Played a couple of games of this with my love Alyson on our iPads before bed this last week. The mobile app works really well, but I think I'd only play this way head-to-head for a quick fix. Splendor itself is a great game and not much work and not a huge footprint, so the tabletop option is usually a good one. But for a quick 10 minute, right before bed fix, the app is the way to go. In our first game, I rushed to end the game, but Alyson had about 4 options on how she'd beat me and she did. In the second game, I somehow ended up with a crazy stack of red cards and just about every big point card that needed a lot of red was on the board, so it didn't take much to just run through, pick them up and end the game before she had anything going. Which is how I normally win at Splendor - I get a lucky streak of stuff that lets me grab stuff. When I try and plan it out, I get killed.
Windup War (NEW!)
I was fortunate to receive a copy of Windup War for review and broke it out last week while I had my kids. I want to get a handful more plays in before I writeup an official full review, but the couple of games we played were enjoyable and the kids liked it. Windup War is sort of a programmable version of Bang! (albeit a little simpler than Bang!). Each played gets a set of programming cards, picks 3 of their characters (each can accept different versions of the programming cards) and then you place orders for your squad, hoping that you can eliminate your opponents. Good stuff. Our first game was a teaching game, so we just randomly grabbed three cards for our squad (which hamstrung my son a bit). My daughter gleefully toasted us both. In our second game, I won out by scoring the requisite number of points while my kids were busy trying to kill each other.
For years I've been reading about what a good game this little thing is - so in the last math trade I was in, I added this to my wish lists and ended up with a copy. Hey, guess what? It is a decent little game. I took it with me to work and a couple of my co-workers and I played at lunch one day. Like any good game you play the first time, you start to see things that make you want to play again so you can maybe approach the game a little differently. In our initial playing, my co-worker Mary and I tied in the end, but I ended up with a handful of gold cards and she didn't have any, so I won the tiebreaker (which was totally not intentional at all). And while having the tiebreaker in my hand, the real issue was that I didn't have a decent feel for how important (or not) the money was, nor did I track what was being collected or manipulated well. Again, first play kinds of things that made us all interested in that next playing.
Ah Carc! This made it into the rotation of games before bed on the iPad during the last week. None of that crazy month long marathon 4-player stuff, just head to head against my love. I absolutely owned all the farms and scored about 70 points at the end of the game for that and I think all the points for goods collected (Traders). As good as the app is (and it is still one of the top boardgame conversions as far as I'm concerned), it'd be nice if they'd work in some new expansions at some point. I still have the Carc Big Box 2 on my game shelves because there are about 6 modules/expansions I haven't ever tried. I need more variety in my iPad games!
Ticket To Ride: Switzerland
The iPad nightly games before bed series included a couple of different TtR maps. I like Switzerland because Alyson and I have played the crap out of this map and still are willing to play it. (What's the best part about Switzerland? The flag is a big plus) Probably because we know what the tickets are what the ways to go are, what the danger points are etc. My tickets were such that I took a series of routes along the south part of the map, connecting the southern countries and getting a lot of the longer routes that are available. Alyson was going mostly in the central and northern part of the map, so this was a less contentious game for us. As usual, I raced along and ended the game right after she took tickets (which made her none to happy). Switzerland is a great two-player map and mean three player map. Plus, for whatever reason, I love the stupid music for this map and yodel along, which drives Alyson nuts.
Ticket To Ride: Europe
The night after my win in Switzerland, I chose for us to play in Europe. I like Europe, but Alyson always forgets about claiming cities and isn't as familiar with the routes and such (I personally think she'd like this map more since you are less apt to get hosed). At any rate, I had a really nice set of tracks on the southern edge of the map that scored me a ton of points and handily won here too. Since Europe has a 1912 expansion in the app, maybe I can get her to revisit this one a little more.
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
After my huge win in Europe, Alyson wanted nothing to do with that map, so I picked this one, which we've both only played once. Thus far, Alyson is undefeated on this map. The games have been close thus far, with her winning by a total of maybe 6 points. This seems to be a race map (ala Switzerland 🇨🇭) so that probably means needing to play a fair bit of it so that its a little more interesting, otherwise I don't really know that I find this map particularly compelling (win or lose).
And that's it for last week! Be sure to check us out at PunchBoard Media!