New games!

This weekend I had a bunch of people around who brought with them a whoooooole bunch of new games, several of which go up to six players! So here’s a short run-down of what I played, and what I thought of them.

Betrayal of Balder’s Gate:  Betrayal at House on the Hill, but with a D&D theme. There are a couple of rule changes — you can attack mid move, the haunt can’t come out before the third omen — that all help to keep the game moving. Being based on a role play game, the story telling elements were all on point and the inn jokes (I’m so punny) made me smile. Unfortunately, both times we played there was no individual betrayer, which kind of took out half the fun.

Subterra: Forbidden Island extreme. With monsters. My friend had the SuperDuperDelux edition which is very pretty, but I did find it rather hard to see the tiles as they were so dark (which might be half the point. You are supposed to be in a dark cave). We died the first time, then played with the Investigation expansion the second time which seemed much easier. It was fun, but it didn’t seem very different from similar games, so I kind of felt I’d played the game before.

Ticket to Ride, Old WestFinally! A proper six player Ticket map! This is the flip-side of the new France expansion. The new rules require you to put down Towns and you have to build out from those — so everything has to be connected. No more suddenly going on the other side of the board to grow your ever expanding train empire. Also, if you build a route to another person’s town they get the points, not you. Interesting take on the game and the rules really change things up. I just wish I’d realised how important putting down more Towns was. I did not do well…

First MartiansYou are astronauts on a Martian colony. You have to keep it running, complete missions and survive events which are thrown at you by an app. It’s a great mix of good mechanics and strong storytelling. Unfortunately, it has the WORST rule book I have read in a long time, and we were constantly FAQing everything. I was also a bit annoyed that you HAVE to have an app for the events when a deck of cards could also do the job for those without a smartphone (yes, those people do exist). Having got to grips with it however, I would love to keep playing especially as it has a campaign mode and I love me some of that!

Every game is better with a traitor mechanic

I have a friend who maintains that every game — EVERY game — would be improved with the addition of a traitor mechanic if only we could work out how to implement it.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Pandemic: You win if the others lose. Hands are played closed and no one is allowed to say what cards they have explicitly. Convincing your ‘team’ you can’t help and persuading them to make bad choices is how you win.

Flash Point Fire Rescue: You set the fire. You win if the others loose BUT all deaths, including yours, are permanent. If you are in the building when it collapses, you lose. If you get caught in a fire, you lose. The main team only need to find five civilians to win.

Ticket to Ride: There’s a chance that one of the initial tickets is a traitor card. Instead of getting points in the usual way, you get the points of all the tickets your opponents failed to complete.

7 Wonders: Less of a traitor mechanic, more of a being-an-arse mechanic (most of them are from this point to be honest). Your wonder is all about making other people lose points and there are extra black city cards in the deck to help you.

Terraforming Mars: You get your own special deck with all the attack cards in. You win if after a set number of generations (depending on the number of players) Mars has not been terraformed.

Settlers of Catan: You are the robber. You ALWAYS control where the robber moves and automatically roll a seven on your turn. Instead of building settlements and cities, you steal other people’s. It takes eight points to win.

If you can think of any games to traitor-ise, drop me a note in the comments below.