Do you want to play a long game?

Just thinking back to what I played on Saturday. Mansions of Madness. Game of Thrones. Junk Art. Terra Mystica. Can such a day of gaming be beaten? I find it hard to think of a day where I’ve played and enjoyed such a consistently high quality set of games (but of course every weekend features a high quality set of people! /shameless pandering). There’s something about sitting down to a game knowing you’re delving into something you can get your teeth stuck into, get lost in the game, and not emerge until 4 hours later. Sure everyone* loves Splendor, and long games can be daunting, but if you haven’t why not give one of our long games a go? If you’ve always fancied a game of Game of Thrones, or eyed up Through The Ages before walking away from the box, give them a go sometime. You can always borrow them from the club to learn them, and/or use our blog to help organise a game with a long playtime- there are always people willing to play them as well.

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And wasn’t Junk Art fun! If you saw us play it, or heard us play it, it’s was as fun as it looked/ sounded. And it’s dead easy to play and explain. Give it a go!

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You can try a long game this week at our Friday meet! Although given it runs from 5pm until 9pm, you may only get to play one game if you do. Our meet is at the Bar Convent as always, so come along.

We’re going to have an AGM soon, so please think about coming along- we always want ideas, suggestions and people to let us know what we should be doing. Also we’ll be discussing some interesting stuff there this time and you get to tell me what games to buy [Note- you always get to tell me what games to buy. When you don’t I end up buying The Dragon and Flagon, which whilst okay, hasn’t exactly set the club alight. More plays needed!]. Date is still tbc.

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Airecon in Harrogate soon! If you haven’t bought your tickets yet the website is here https://airecon.uk/ It was a fantastic success in autumn, and this time it’s even closer at Harrogate. I’ve got my tickets.

Now some none boardgaming news. One of our regulars, Angel, is playing music in the Minster next Wednesday 20th. Normally I’d feel really bad about forgetting the name of the instrument, but this isn’t some normal musical instrument, as my miming of it being played will attest. Anyway, he’ll be playing in the Minster with Gamelan Sekar Petak, it’s a fantastic event which is completely free, and will undoubtedly give bonuses to culture. More information here: York Minster website

That’s almost it! Just time for our recommendation of the week…

Terra Mystica

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“Hold on Mark, traditionally Friday meet posts are accompanied with a game of an appropriate length, such as 1hour, or possibly 1hr30minutes at a maximum. What’s this doing here?”

Well, that’s a good question, nicely asked, and it’s good to see you reading my recommendations, cheers. But Terra Mystica is my recommendation this week because despite harping on about how much better Scythe was last weekend, TM has stuck in my brain and refused to move out. For those who don’t know, Terra Mystica is a game where through careful use of Microsoft Excel you have to build huts during the right turns to gain points. And whilst you clearly don’t use Excel, the player board each player has does make this feel akin to a spreadsheet game. There is a theme- each of your races- Giants, Witches, Mermen, etc want to live on land of their colour, and only near other available settlements. So that means changing the land’s colour and building dwellings. Then upgrading those to trading posts, temples and so on. Each action requires money, workers, priests or magic, but each thing you build gets you more of them. Or less of them. You see, when you build a building your income each round increases by the icon uncovered, but when it’s upgraded that building is replaced, and so the icon gets covered up again. This means that you need to think carefully about when to upgrade buildings, as it effects the income denoted on your board, and not always in a beneficial way. Also to bear in mind is that some rounds give you bonuses for building different buildings, so (with thanks to Paul for this great tip!), build buildings when you will gain points, not when you won’t. This is not a Stefan Feld point salad- if you just build your economy up happily to finish with a big engine and lots of income, you will lose. You need to work for points.

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If Terra Mystica sounds dry, it’s because it is. Extremely dry. And you can wait for a while for your turn, the board can get clogged, people steal your actions, and you find yourself passing early wondering where you are meant to get points from. And yet, I’ve found myself thinking about it. I enjoyed it on Saturday, and the more I reflect upon it, the greater my enjoyment was. The difference between building your engine and going for points, the extreme asymmetry of all the different races, the choices (there are a lot of genuine choices), and the lack of any luck factor make this an excellent Euro. Maybe I would prefer to play this to Scythe some times. Terra Mystica plays up to 5 (though I’d warn against that in your first game) in a significant number of hours (I think our games was 3?). Not copying the BGG playtime here.

 

*Not everyone.

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