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So, what were we playing last night? Road Hog, a nice lightweight game, briefly around in 2017 and not seen since. Via Nebula, which came and went in 2016, we could have sold more of that if only Days of Wonder/Asmodee had printed more, and it remains a favourite here. New Frontiers, which came out at the beginning of this year, went down well and has just resurfaced; one of several developments of Race for the Galaxy (2007). Then Splendor, still going strong after five years, but with some worthy challengers more recently, especially Azul and Gizmos, and finally Dragon Realm, a 10+ children's game that is also an excellent lightweight adults' game. Two that we nearly got out were Colt Express and Flamme Rouge.
Going back a week or two, Clank remains a firm favourite and has been played several times by players old and new, some new players have also been introduced to the perennial favourites Concordia and Oddville. Bosk has become established as a good early evening game, alongside The River, totally different but similarly short but satisfying. A surprise hit has been Tank Chess, I must import more of that one. A less surprising hit has been Era: Medieval Age – a re-working of Roll Through the Ages, a favourite from nearly a decade ago. Although twice the price, and four times the size, having 3D pieces with which to build your city gives it a satisfying feel as well as adding a spatial puzzle element.
Evolution sprang onto the scene back in 2015 and is still a regular choice for a fairly quick game for up to 6 players, alongside the enduring 7 Wonders, which handles 7 players happily. This year's big (and well deserved) hit, now available again after frequent shortages (see above) is Wingspan, for 1 – 5 players, often on the table.
I must mention that we had a game of Strat-ops recently, the game that started Spirit Games off all those years ago. And despite its obviously antique design, everyone enjoyed it!
I have concentrated on games of modest length and complexity, but Terraforming Mars deserves a mention as probably the most played of the longer games. Every so often a group of enthusiasts will settle down to an evening of Gloomhaven – a big hit but filling a rather specific niche and costing well over £100. Next week or so will see the arrival of some of the Essen Show releases, and the eagerly awaited Tapestry, so I will endeavour to put finger to keyboard again then with first impressions.
Spirit Games (Est. 1984, Lefglow Ltd) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 35 years
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