Monday Brews: 12-16-13

Can you smell it? No, despite copious amounts of buffalo chicken cheese dip this weekend that’s not the smell I’m thinking of. I’m referring to the smell of Christmas. My days lately are filled with the wrapping of presents, driving to see Christmas lights, and the over indulging of Christmas cookies. Yes, my house has smelled like a full-on bakery lately, which is pretty awesome.  The downside is that the Christmas season usually gets really busy so I don’t get to game as much as I would like. Never the less, I managed to enjoy a few Boards and Barley this week. Check them out:

The Barley:

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout: I enjoy the Samuel Smith beers. The IPA is even a very drinkable IPA for a malty (non-hoppy) guy like me. Fortunately a friend had several from a specialty pack that we could enjoy. And enjoy them we did!

Chocolatey and delicious!

Rogue Chocolate Stout: This was a decent chocolate stout. I am not sure the style is my favorite, but I did enjoy drinking this one. I don’t normally buy these types of bottles because they cost more than a 6-pack. But I bought one for the Board Game Day that we had, and then proceeded to forget to bring it to Board Game Day.

Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale: I also enjoyed this offering from Samuel Smith. Delicious.

Sierra Nevada Porter: I had this porter during an awesome Christmas Party where we have a Christmas cookie contest. It went well with the ham and potatoes that were part of the meal. It also went well with some of that buffalo chicken cheese dip that I mentioned above.

Lake Louie Milk Stout: This is a solid milk stout from a local brewery. Despite that I find I am already Stouted and Portered out and I am longing for warmer weather so I can properly enjoy a lighter beer.

Uncle Zeke’s Belly Warmer Imperial Cherry Stout (Homebrew): My friend Mike is a homebrewer and offered some of this cherry stout during the Christmas cookie party. It was a very nice stout. The level of cherry in the beer was just about perfect. It was neither too cherry nor too absent. Nicely done Zeke!

The Boards:

You've gotta try Lewis & Clark! You'll get a history lesson if nothing else.

You’ve gotta try Lewis & Clark! You’ll get a history lesson if nothing else.

Lewis & Clark: I loved it! It was our first play and I thought it was a really enjoyable game. The weight didn’t feel too heavy, but the decisions you have to make get pretty intense. I loved the interesting combos you can make between your cards. I can’t wait to play this game again.

Backyard Astronaut: This is a Dice Hate Me 54 Card Challenge entry for my friend Adam. It played well and we were able to provide good and hopefully useful feedback. I’m looking forward to playtesting it again for him.

Farmageddon: The Honorable Grant Rodiek‘s game is pretty fun. In fact, it is my favorite “take that” game out there. On your turn there’s this immense feeling of helplessness with the crops on your own planted fields. The game is almost more about how can you prevent other players from doing awesome things. I merely try to scrape together a few measly points when they come my way. Very fun game! I recommend you pick this one up for Christmas!

Russian Railroads: I played this for the first time yesterday and really enjoyed it. I thought it worked really well and I had a dominating performance. I do have one issue with the game, which I mentioned to my friend Jeremy at the time. If players diversify and attempt all three tracks equally they will likely lose. I would almost recommend that people playing for the first time agree to eliminate one of the bottom two tracks. The bottom line for me, though, was that I really enjoyed the game and I hope to play it again soon.

Designer’s Corner:

I am pleased to announce that I came up with what I think is a really cool mechanic that I plan to use for the 54 Card Challenge. I don’t want to give anything away right now, but I plan to do so after the contest has concluded.

It has been difficult for me to participate in the challenge because it has limited me in ways that I don’t normally limit myself. When I design games I typically come up with a theme and then add mechanics to make that theme fun as a game. With this challenge all you have are cards. So I cannot just add mechanics unless they only use cards. So I have been trying to come up with a few new ways to utilize cards and I think I’ve done just that.

Now all I need is a new theme that will work well with the mechanics. And then I need to prototype it, playtest it, and send it off as my entry!

***

Have you been enjoying any Boards or Barley?

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Posted on December 16, 2013, in Monday Brews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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