February was a great mix of solo gaming and gaming with friends at the table, along with tabletop sims and digital board games.
One of my two Buttonshy Kickstarter bundles arrived, which was three pocket sized solo games by Scott Almes – Ugly Gryphon Inn, Food Chain Island and Unsurmountable. I managed to get two of them to the table, but have yet to scale (ha) the Unsurmountable challenge.
I treated myself to Dice Throne: Season One, something I had wanted to do since PAXU and then finally caved after three different TikTok people I follow AND a new Discord group I joined were all talking about it. I’ve played it a couple times and I really just love everything about it – it looks so damn good on the table, it is easy to set up, and relatively easy to teach. Someone called it “Battle Yahtzee” and I think that’s the easiest way to break it down and lure friends to the table. At PAXU, I played as the Gunslinger, but she isn’t in S1, so I’ve been learning the Moon Elf to start off.
I also taught my friend how to play Calico and Canvas, two games that look beautiful and innocent…and then can burn your brain as you try to strategize and get the best score.
I played a few games of Winterhaven Woods solo, another Kickstarter that arrived this past month. A co-worker saw it on my instagram and asked me to bring it into work, so we played at lunch. My verdict is that the game works okay as solo and 2 player, but it clearly meant for a bigger group to really get all the nuances of the animals moving through the meadow and forest.
I also rolled the dice with Twice as Clever in solo mode and…I did not feel that clever after adding up my score. But the strategy was addictive and the games so quick (I probably played about 5 times one night) that I will come back to this one and someday triumph!
My online game group played Everdell again on Tabletop Simulator, which I am just in love with. The whole look and theme pulls me in and the little things that change each game mean you can’t stick with one strategy each time. I can’t wait for my physical copy to arrive…someday.
An attempt was made to learn Too Many Bones, but I think playing this on TTS made it hard to grasp (ha) the tactile enjoyment of rolling ALL THE DICE. But it did click for me near the end. TMB Queen Dani Standring was teaching a group of us, and she commented that our luck on some of the card draws and baddies just wasn’t great for a teaching session. I want to play again though! It’s a game I’d like to invest in at some point but probably should have a group for since the base set is pretty pricey.
I played Skull King on the Sovranti app, a trick-taking game with a pirate theme that was a lot of fun. I’m not sure how I feel about that app – the games are fun but the avatars are just so strange looking. They remind me of the Bratz dolls. Sometimes just being a floating picture is enough, I don’t need the customizable Sim body standing awkwardly around the table.
In January, I upgraded to a Premium Membership on Board Game Arena which means I can essentially have an infinite number of asynchronous games going at any time. I think my highest amount was 35 at one point. Now, some of these games were 1 turn a day, so it isn’t quite as hectic as it sounds, but as you can see from the left, I managed to complete quite a few games – 112.
Obviously, BGA isn’t a replacement for real-time games in-person with friends. That tactile experience of moving meeples and collecting your tokens is missing, but at the same time, it is like having a board game cafe in your house. You get to try all types of games you would never be able to try at home, find players in seconds, and your dining room table never needs to be cleared off.
My current obsession is ‘Downforce‘ by Restoration Games, which I played 13 times and have at least 2 games going at the moment. It’s a racing game and if it wasn’t for BGA, I never would have tried it but I really enjoy it and I need a physical copy.
Okay, this post is getting long! What did you play this month? Want to know more about any of the games I mentioned above? Share in the comments or link me to your blog/insta/tiktok!
Thank you for reading!