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Monday Brews – 1-26-15

Welcome back to Boards & Barley. I hope you had a great weekend! My weekend was pretty slow. I didn’t play any games over the weekend, though I did work on some game design stuff. But since I skipped the Monday Brews last week we at least have a few games to cover! Let’s start with the Barley…

The Barley

Not terrible at all, until the bottle is empty!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Unibroue Terrible

I bought one of these for my uncle as a Christmas present so that I could joke with him and say that I bought him some terrible beer. Alas, he didn’t attend our Christmas celebration so I failed to deliver the joke. I did, however, get to try this beer for the first time recently and it is anything but terrible. In fact it is quite tasty, which is usually the case for anything coming from Unibroue!

  • NEW! – Orkney Skull Splitter Scotch Ale
  • NEW! – Karben4 Fantasy Factory
  • NEW! – Ale Asylum Mercy Grand Cru
  • You’ve Been Wheated – Homebrew Hefeweizen

Woo hoo! Four new beers! Not bad at all.

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The Boards

Can you catch the mutineer?

Can you catch the mutineer?

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT
Mutiny

I do not possess good social gaming skills. That is why I have a strong love/hate relationship with Mutiny.The game is so excellent. The social deduction aspect is hilarious. Make accusations, charge other people as the mutineer, use your special abilities, and watch out for knives flying at your back!

For those unfamiliar with Mutiny, it is a 10 minute social deduction game for up to 8 players by Moon Yeti Games. We handed out about 100 copies of the 4-player business card edition at last year’s Gen Con. I imagine we’ll have a few more to give away this year. 🙂

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Thanks for reading! What Boards & Barley have you been enjoying?

Monday Brews – 1-12-15

Scoville can heat up your frigid winter!

It’s a glorious Monday morning! Scoville is burning up twitter. The feedback so far from people on Board Game Geek is overwhelmingly positive. I’ve very thankful that people are enjoying the game. If you like it, head over to BoardGameGeek.com and rate it or write a review.

Side note: I haven’t yet received my Kickstarter copy. So if you haven’t received yours yet, you’re not alone.

One complaint I have been reading is that people seem to run out of the peppers. This was a very rare occurrence when playtesting the game, though my prototype did have slightly more peppers than the final production. But if you run out, please feel free to download and use this image to help keep peppers in the supply.

Use these multiplier tokens when you have a bunch in your stash and the supply is running low.

Use these multiplier tokens when you have a bunch in your stash and the supply is running low.

As we start another week I am feeling inspired. I chatted with my mom a little bit yesterday after the Green Bay Packers game. We were discussing game design and how it wasn’t ever one of my goals in life as a kid. She reminded me that I wanted to be a Police Sketch Artist when I was little. It’s funny to me that only five or so years ago I wasn’t that big into gaming (or “real” gaming). But I met some awesome people along the way and started to think I could design a game. And here we are, with Scoville about ready to hit retail. So amazingly exciting!

Anyway, enough of the touchy-feely stuff. Let’s get onto the Boards & Barley that I enjoyed over the last week…

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The Barley:

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale

After having the McEwan’s Scotch Ale last week I didn’t think I could ever enjoy a different brand. Obviously that’s not true, it’s just a way of stating how enjoyable the McEwan’s was. But I enjoyed the Tyranena Sheep Shagger quite a lot as well. It has a wonderful taste and nice body which makes it quite enjoyable on a cold winter night.

  • Capital Winter Skal
  • Deschutes Red Chair NWPA
  • NEW! – Perennial Dual Artisanship – I picked this up because I had heard awesome things about Perennial and Prairie Artisan Ales out of St. Louis. It is a Belgian style brewed with Brettanomyces yeast. It was lovely, though I doubt I’d get another one since it was $13.
  • Capital Supper Club

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The Boards:

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! – Caverna: The Cave Farmers

“I’ll never play Agricola again.” ~ Tom Vasel

Me either, Tom! Playing Caverna was an amazing experience. There is so much going on in the game that it is easy to lose track of things. However, the improvements over Agricola make this game far superior to me. Feeding your family is no longer a singular focus. Adding the Adventuring reduces the importance of Family Growth. There are numerous paths to victory. And the components! There are so many components. Literally tons. And they’re great components. Sticks. Dogs. Rubies. Donkeys. I cannot wait to play again.

  • Machi Koro
  • NEW! – Abyss – The board is a bit unnecessary since this is basically a card game. However, the artwork on everything is truly epic. The game was enjoyable with interesting decisions, quick play, and feel-good moments. I’d play it again and enjoy the beautiful artwork.

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Designer’s Corner

I’ve been pretty lax with my design efforts lately as the Scoville roll-out has been ongoing. But I did sit down the other day to work on Ziggurat. I thought of a fantastic way to ditch the singular path to victory while making the game more interesting, more intense, and more enjoyable. Now it’s time to put all that stuff together into a new prototype and get it to the table.

Horizontal RuleThanks for reading. What Boards & Barley have you been enjoying?

Monday Brews – 1-5-15

A new year is upon us. It was 8 degrees below zero (F) this morning and will snow 2-4 inches tonight. Oh joy. But Boards & Barley is back! So there’s that.

If you are new to Boards & Barley or made a New Year’s resolution to read this site more regularly, then I welcome you with open arms. On Mondays I like to recap the beer and board games I’ve played since the last Monday Brews article. It’s been a couple weeks and we had gaming friends over for a few days so the Boards and Barley are both longer lists than normal.

But before we get into that I wanted to mention that I’ll be posting my 2014 Recap article tomorrow and a Scoville article on Friday. As a reminder, if there are topics you would like me to blog about, please let me know via Twitter or via comments on this article.

Now let’s start with the Barley…

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The Barley:

But it doesn’t suck!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute

This brew was a gift from my wife. She found a beer with a 100 rating on Ratebeer and wisely purchased it. Lagunitas’ brews are usually hoppy, as was this brew. But this brew had 63 IBUs, which is about perfect for me. This enjoyable brew had a nice balance between hops and body. I’d drink it again.

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The Boards:

Your objective is to settle… Imperially!

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
Imperial Settlers x3

I love this game. I love the combo-ing or chaining of cards. I love figuring out how best to obtain and spend the resources. I love that it’s easy to teach and play. I love the artwork. I love everything about it with the exception of some downtime. But the downtime can be used to figure out what you are going to do next. The other thing I love about it is that my wife enjoys it. That means it will hit the table more often than some of the “heavier” games I own. If you haven’t already done so, check out Imperial Settlers by Portal Games.

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What Boards & Barley have you been enjoying? What were your favorites of 2014? Thanks for reading and I hope to bring you lots of great content in 2015!

Monday Brews – Christmas Edition

Welcome back to Boards & Barley! If you’re new here, have a look around. I post about homebrewing and board game design. Feel free to leave comments anywhere you please.

Each Monday I blog about the beer (Barley) and board games (Boards) that I’ve enjoyed over the last week. Sometimes I also post about my recent design efforts as well. Today will be my last blog post of the year so I’ll try to make it at least slightly interesting. To accomplish that I wanted to share this awesome tweet of Scoville in the wild:

Pretty exciting! For those who don’t know, Scoville is my first published game and will be hitting retail stores in January. Kickstarter backers are beginning to receive their copies (at least in the EU). I can’t wait to hear what people think about it. Now, let’s move on to the Barley

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The Barley:

Delightful!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
Central Waters Brewers Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout

I had this twice over the last few weeks and it was awesome. Many bourbon barrel beers are overwhelmed by the bourbon characteristics. That often makes it feel like you are drinking bourbon instead of beer. This one, however, had a perfect balance of bourbon and beer. The bourbon character was present but it partnered with the beer rather than drowning it. Central Waters created a wonderful brew with this one and I’m looking forward to having another.

If you’d like to follow along with my Barley consumption, find my profile on UnTappd (Username: EdPMarriott).

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The Boards:

Cover art is a little weird but the game is quite fun.

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
Maharani

The theme is a little weird and the box cover probably wouldn’t draw me in at a game store, but the gameplay itself is fun. You basically draw and place a tile on the board. But the locations of the tiles you choose are different from your opponents. This is because the tile selector in the middle of the board physically rotates. And the region from which you draw a tile matters. The tiles are placed to earn points by connecting like colors together, or using your meeples to score. I had fun and I definitely want to play it again.

Monday Brews 12-8-14

We’re already a week into December and it’s been a good month so far. My family has had a sleepover in the living room in front of the Christmas tree (We have 5, 3, and half year old kids). I’ve played a bunch of new games. I just transferred my Belgian Dubbel from the fermenter to the carboy. It should be ready soon! And as a bonus it has been warm enough to melt most of the snow!

With a few weeks left until Christmas I’m sure a bunch of you are making your lists of board games you’d like to get. If you don’t have any ideas of games to get, or if you are not a gamer and want to know what to get for those awesome family members of yours who enjoy games, then check out these helpful gift guides from the folks at iSlayTheDragon:

Those are nice lists but they are a little restricted. I’m planning on posting my own list this week, so keep your eyes open for that and make sure your non-gamers relatives who need some Christmas ideas for you get a look!

And now, let’s get to the Boards and Barley!

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The Barley:

Image from San Diego Magazine. Rightly displayed with a Christmas Tree since it is a great seasonal beer!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale (2011)

Brewed by Unibroue in Canada and aged three years in my friend Adam’s basement! This was an amazing brew and I am now inspired to purchase and age my own bottles for future enjoyment.

This brew was a Belgian style brew that hit all the right notes. It was excellent. If you haven’t had any Unibroue beer I highly recommend any of them!

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The Boards:

Interesting art that tells nothing about the game.

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
Machi Koro

This one has had a lot of hype and coverage. I had heard good things and some mixed reviews. The thing that stuck out from the hype was that people were describing this as a fresh take on The Settlers of Catan. That piqued my interest.

After playing it I can definitely say that it has elements similar to Settlers. The overall gameplay is pretty similar. But rather than having settlements and cities you have cards. The cards you purchase allow you certain abilities based on the dice roll value. So you have to plan what cards you want and then whether or not you want to roll one or two die. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to playing it again (and doing better).

  • Camel Up
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Kingdom Builder
  • Uno (My 5yo daughter has been really into this lately, except when she loses)
  • Tic-Tac-Toe – Played with my 5yo daughter. She got frustrated that I beat her every time but I was trying to teach her the secrets.
  • NEW: Pairs – I’m amazed that this simple pub game earned $330K on Kickstarter. The art is very nice and I’d play it again with the right crowd.
  • NEW: Evolution – This was better than I expected. I really enjoyed it despite playing really horribly. The mechanics of the game are really clever. I’m looking forward to playing again.
  • NEW: AttrAction – More fun than you should be able to have with magnets. It was actually a pretty fun experience.
  • NEW: Temporum – I could sense the Donald X in this game. It had some really cool things going for it. The downfall is that games can be drastically different depending on the combination of cards that are dealt. I enjoyed it despite that and I’m looking forward to playing it again.
  • NEW: Colt Express – I think this game could be a lot of fun… when you’re not getting shot! There are some really neat programming things going on in this game. Unfortunately my programming led to me being shot 10 times! I lost.

Overall it has been a great couple weeks with all the new games I was able to play. That being said, my gaming group still has over 10 games that are owned but unplayed. Must do more gaming!

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Designer’s Corner:

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had a couple new game designs I’ve been working on and that I was going to blog about them. And you probably noticed I haven’t blogged about them. In fact I’ve been pretty quiet on this site as of late. That’s because life is pretty busy with a full time job and three kids, one of which is a 6 month old.

I will be writing an article for each of my current designs: Ziggurat and Impossible. Those should be coming out this week in addition to the Holiday Gift Guide I plan on writing. I’m setting myself up for failure here, but I’d rather have my hand forced to actually put some content here. I’m looking forward to hearing what you all have to say about Ziggurat and Impossible.

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