It’s another Monday. Bummer. But I’m here to help. If you didn’t get to play any games or drink any beer this past weekend, then please feel free to live vicariously through me. Not only did our group have the first board game night of the season, but my wife and I also had company over that love to play games and enjoy beer.
So here’s the list of the Boards & Barley that I enjoyed this past week:
Vintage Oktoberfest: During our softball team’s banquet I enjoyed this Oktoberfest. Our team won our league and we were able to hand out some very cheap t-shirts from the league as a prize. They didn’t even mention what sport we won or what year we won it. For all we know the league bought a thousand t-shirts back in 1986. But I digress… This was an enjoyable beer on a night of celebration. I’d drink it again!
Vintage Cat’s Pajamas: After I had the Oktoberfest I followed it up with the Cat’s Pajamas. This is a nitrogen conditioned North English Style Brown Ale. And it was quite delicious. Plus, I love the name! So I’d probably get this beer again as well.
Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA: My first selection at our group’s game night was the Flipside Red IPA. I’m not normally an IPA kind of guy since I feel like brewers often just throw a bunch of hops in and label it as “special.” I’d rather have a different beer style where a brewer actually has to work for something special. Never-the-less, this was a decently enjoyable beer. It didn’t possess an overabundance of hops, which left room for some real flavor.
Hofbrau Oktoberfest: I only bought one beer for game night. But fortunately it was the big beast you see on the right. This 5 liter behemoth was enough to treat everyone accordingly at game night. And it was delicious. And it was only $20. That’s a way better deal than throwing $15 at 30 PBRs. Just sayin’.
Potosi Gandy Dancer Porter: This is a beer that I’ve wanted to try for a while and never had the opportunity because I haven’t been buying a lot of beer. Fortunately my game playing compadres for the weekend threw down and snagged a sixer. So I was able to have one of these funnily named brews. For those unawares, a Gandy Dancer was someone who laid and maintained railways before the work was done by machines. And for those interested, I may or may not choose to design a game of the same name and thus try to earn a part of the train game market. Oh, and the beer was okay. I probably wouldn’t go out and buy it myself, but I’d enjoy it if someone else bought it. An interesting fact about Potosi Brewing Co.: It is home to the National Brewery Museum.
Title Town Jolly Roger: This was my second IPA of the weekend. Can someone check my temp? Well, this is about the least IPA-ish IPA that I’ve ever had, so it wasn’t too obtrusive for my palate. My friend brought some in his growler and I enjoyed Title Town beer during the Packer’s disappointing game. Oh well.
The Little Prince: I almost had the victory in our four player game. But the Baobabs caused me to fail. Beware of the Baobabs!
Rialto x2: It turns out that the demo we did at GenCon was taught to us incorrectly. That’s annoying. We were not taught the correct use of the Gondola cards. We were taught the highest bid puts out the gondola tile, and no one else did anything. The correct rule is that when you play a gondola card you take councilman from the general supply and place them into your personal supply. This changes things a lot and makes the game more enjoyable. So I got to play it twice over the weekend and despite losing both times, thoroughly enjoyed it.
7 Wonders x2: (Once base only and once with Leaders & Cities): Our group loves 7 Wonders. The first time I played it over the weekend I scored an absolutely miserable 35. That was with the base game only. The second time I played it we included the Leaders and Cities expansions, which makes the game quite a bit deeper. Unfortunately I had some bad leaders that only netted me 4 points.
Trains x2: My friend Jeremy picked this up at GenCon and I was finally able to play it. First things first: I’d now rather play this than Dominion. I thought the game was really enjoyable. While basically being a Dominion type game I thought it offered enough interesting new stuff to make it enjoyable. I would probably buy this if I had any sort of budget for buying new games right now. My only question about the game is how can they trademark the very basic common word “Trains”?
Kingdom Builder x2: (With Nomads & Crossroads): I love Kingdom Builder. I love how simple it is in terms of mechanics and how deep it is in terms of strategy. So I jumped at the chance to pick up the Crossroads expansion at GenCon despite the Queen Games booth never offering discount pricing. This is another GenCon purchase within our group that I finally got to play over the weekend. (Note: I still have yet to play Targi.) I thought the Crossroads expansion added quite a bit to the game without changing the overall concept of the game. I’m looking forward to playing again!
Castles of Burgundy: Since this is one of my favorite games I was happy when it was selected over the weekend. I was unable to claim victory but I sure had a lot of fun trying. This game, once you get over the learning curve, is a truly excellent design. My only problem with the game is that they chose the Papyrus font.
Dominion: While I’ve lost a little of my love for the game, it’s still enjoyable every once in a while. We played with a mix of cards from the Dark Ages, Prosperity, and Intrigue expansions. It was a strange mix of cards though. After playing Trains a couple times over the weekend I realized that I enjoyed the lack of “Attack” cards in Trains, and disliked them in Dominion.
Cave Troll: I hadn’t even heard of this 2002 Fantasy Flight game until I saw it in the bag of games that my friends brought over. I played a two player game of Cave Troll and was able to win the game. It seemed to me like an interesting take on chess with a fantasy theme. While it was interesting I probably wouldn’t suggest the game above others like Trains or Kingdom Builder.
Hanabi: I also had the opportunity to teach the recent SdJ winner to the visiting friends. We scored 19 out of 25, which is pretty decent for having two new players. We were hindered by discarding both white number 3 cards without realizing it. That cost us a few points. This game is pretty fun and I’ll play it again if for no other reason than it is simple to teach but deep to strategize about.
So those are the Boards & Barley I enjoyed this past week. You can see that it was a pretty good week of games and beer! What did you play or drink that you enjoyed this past week?