Today I talk about the board games that I acquired and my first impressions. Join me as I go over a two part series of the games and look at the artwork, quality and other properties that I enjoyed or not.
CO₂ is a game I want to love. The theme – green energy policy and the rush to reduce pollutive energy sources across the world – is one of my favorites. There’s nothing quite like it. The art is gorgeous, and the box stands out on our shelf because of it.
Unfortunately, it’s another one of those 2-to-3 hour games where I have to struggle to stay awake during other people’s lengthy turns. Still, I’m glad to play it every couple months because it’s so unique.
The problem with games that you play infrequently is that you need to review the rules. I often just glance over the provided player aids and go “yup, I get it,” and promptly (and stupidly, I’ll admit) zoning out while everyone else does the right thing and looks over the rules again.
This, of course, will be my downfall.
I don’t remember much of the first hour or so of the game – mainly because I was also deep in my butter chicken from Indian takeout (no better way to celebrate Tabletop Day than with copious amounts of snacks and spicy food!). I went through the motions, and was shoveling spoonfuls of the spicy deliciousness into my mouth when it wasn’t my turn.
Then, suddenly, I was pulled away from my curry and into reality. Dan had just grumbled about Greg getting yet another UN card.
“WHAT UN CARDS?” I shouted. I looked at my secret objective cards… that told me explicitly to focus on UN cards. I had managed to go almost 2 hours in this game, completely oblivious to not only my own mission, but also an ENTIRE strategy of the game.
Needless to say I lost. I lost badly. Usually CO₂ is one of those games where the endgame is so close that you’re on the edge of your seat during scoring (a feature I like a lot in a game). Instead, I watched slouched my seat as Greg and Dan pulled away.
They lapped me. Almost twice.
I have been hanging my head in shame since.
The moral of the story? Pay attention to the rules explanation at the beginning of game night.
Another moral? Avoid enjoying my food so much that I zone out of the game completely.
Intro Strategy for Terra Mystica, one of the best games of the last 10 years! Please leave your own tips or even disagree with my tips. This is my first video for Meeples Included, all feedback is welcome.
The tips are:
Points do not matter early, building the engine is your priority
Craft a narrative that follows the round bonus tiles
Bonus Cards come in early game & late game preferred make sure you can manipulate when you pass to get the ones you need
Each culture has a unique plan
Get your Stronghold ASAP in most cases even if it is not the round bonus
Exile power early and often
Share power to move to tho the top, it is better to finish on team 1/2 than 4/5
Cut your opponents off of their land type
Favors are not all equal, 2 blue, 1 blue, and 1 brown are often the best
When I heard there was a game called Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, I knew I had to try it. Besides board games, snacks, and a musical about a tragically dramatic founding father, I love dystopian fiction. If there’s a book about a plucky teenage girl who somehow controls the entire fate of a doomed society, I am the first one to rush to the library to get it.
So telling me I could be in charge of Panem, Gilead, or future Chicago? Yes. Please.
The problem with Euphoriais that it’s one of those games that definitely can induce the dreaded analysis paralysis. I will admit, I do rush a lot of decisions in the name of speedy play, but I am much worse when it comes to having any sort of attention span when other people are taking their turns. Despite this, I was excited to see how the game turned out, and our first playthrough went as swimmingly as you can expect when four of the six players are learning it for the first time.
But like Stonemaier’s other offerings, Euphoria is definitely a game that gets better the more you play it. It also is one of those games I have no idea who is doing well or if I’m even doing well until the endgame is triggered. That’s always great because I can’t see a run-away victory and be upset; but the flipside of that is that I often have no clue what is going on.
Our most recent playthrough started like any other – everyone spending the beginning of the game gathering resources and trying to figure out a strategy. Well, almost everyone – I’m not someone who can see that far ahead, so I was just running around the board, mainly focusing on Bliss since my worker-in-waiting was an Icarite. After a few turns of this, however, I started to get bored. And instead of grabbing my phone to check Twitter, I blindly placed a worker on a building spot – I remembered from our previous play that those buildings were kind of important, so I decided to go for it. Little did I know that this small move would completely change the game and start an all out Battle Royale for building supremacy (a battle I struggled to keep up with).
Quickly, the other buildings in the game began to get constructed, which completely botched Will’s strategy (a point he lamented loudly and frequently to the primary building antagonist, Dan). Christine and I plodded along as Will and Dan seemed to surge ahead, and I was assuming a last place end game for myself, since I hadn’t managed to get involved in the construction of most of the buildings on the board.
But suddenly, Dan noticed that all four of us had only one or two stars left.
I picked up my workers on the board and rolled. Doubles. Hey! That means I get to go twice! I sit patiently as Will starts his turn…and then realize. With my doubles, I could win the game. “But there’s no way. Dan will win on his turn, won’t he?” I waited. Will has to move Dan’s worker in order to have a shot at winning, so he does. And Dan rolls.
And apparently, Dan doesn’t roll what he wants. But he has also figured out that I was about to win, and spends 3 minutes (which felt like 30) trying to figure out how to block me.
And that is how I unwittingly became the best Dystopian Dictator. Or at least, until next time we play.