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Can I play more games in May? 170 games played, an April 2024 wrap up.

That is today's big question, can I, play more games in May 2024 than I did in April 2024. And I thought March was a good month for games, with 136 plays, April came along and asked March to hold its Beer. I'm not sure how I managed 170 games in May, but turns out I could. In stats, April 2024 was made up of:

170 plays

Across 62 games

19 games were new to me

I played games with 281 different players!

April started strong, with a mini board game day focused on playing some of the review games I'd been sent recently. Although the first game of the month was Memoir 44, April 1st was a day of Oink games, Dro Polter, Start Ups and Rafter Five. And some solo plays of Ecosystem: Savanna. We also revisited an old favourite, Kingdom Builder. Kingdoms Builder is a game I enjoy sporadically, but I feel like sometimes you are often held to the luck of revealing a random card from the deck, you can find yourself forced into building outwards from one or two areas, while other players may be able to build multiple settlements. Meaning that games in which individual settlements are goals, you can't held by feel somewhat handicap.

We also got another game of Shōbu in, and I'm not sure it's for us. It feels too aggressive the more we play it, the sliding of stones across the boards and knocking an opponent's stone off feels immensely satisying but also aggressive and ups the pressure. Maybe thats the point of the game, to create that feeling if pressure? But I'm not sure it's one for us.

The first Tuesday of the month saw Sauria, No thanks and Start ups making an appearance. I would have said Sauria was my least favourite game of the month, but that was topped by Power Hungry Pets, which was a dismal experience, although I'm not sure I'd return to Sauria again soon.

Boardgamearena has had me playing alot of games, which has been a great thing but equally a double edged sword. I've come a couple of times close to running out of time on games, and I'm fairly confident that's because it's opponents taking turns while I'm asleep or just asleep and wake up to find myself nearly out of time! I think the closest I've been has been down to 40 minutes. But equally I've found I've sat down to play games after watching a rules video and completely missed parts because the interface on my phone can be a bit hit and miss. E.g. the first time I played Beyond the Sun, I didn't realise until I played in person you had player boards to show production etc, dispite seeing them in a play through, I'd never seen them in Boardgamearena for sometime. Or games like Ark Nova or a Feast for Odin, the game always opens on another players map/board, and I've no idea why!

Tyrants of the Underdark made its first outing in over 2 years, and again I'm not sure why it's taken that long between plays. It's such a great Deck Builder and my favourite Deck Builder too! Although I wish I could get replacement plastic pieces for some of the factions. Tyrants doesn't do anything fundamentally new, but it does everything well and combines Deck Building with area control and equally a decision around keeping cards in your deck for their ability or archiving them for the extra points.

The most played games this month were:

Faraway (13)

Orion Duel (11)

Railroad Ink (9)

Captain Flip (9)

Interestingly my most played games have largely been those that I've played at two players even on Boardgamearena, with games seemingly going much faster, meaning that play again button us shown alot more frequently. Although out in front is Faraway, which I've played at every Tuesday game night in April, and it's never just one game of Faraway, there's always that first "huh" and the second game where the magic happens and it clicks. Honestly HachetteBGUK should put me on commission! (Joking)

Orion duel intrigued me when I saw it on the Boardgamearena suggests and it's had me coming back for more plays, it's a head to head game for two players in which you need to either build a path to connect to sides of the board, or connect to four galaxies, or connect your opponents pathway to three blackholes. It's a surprisingly tense game, one I've not won yet though! And Railroad ink, is a game that has seen a whole bunch of outtings thanks to the tournaments on Boardgamearena, admittedly I haven't placed very well or scored consistently. But if I was playing games to win, I would have given up a long time ago!

I got a whole bunch of review games to the table: Dropolter, Rafter Five, Bear and Bread, Starry Night Sky, Tossit, Molehill Meadows, Ecosystem Savanna, Empire's End, Apistrocracy, Shōbu, Start Ups. The worst review game this month? Tossit! Partly due to the game itself, but also the comments and messages left by the company and associate parties on my Instagram post. My favourite review game? That's either Molehill Meadows or Ecosystem Savanna.

But review games aside, my top 3 games of the month would have to be:


Memoir 44

Great Western Trail

Faraway has sort of taken my heart at this point, it's a perfectly boxed small card game that I will play at every opportunity. And it's a breeze to teach. Although as above, it needs a game largely just the scoring phase to click. Memoir 44 although old, is one that I've been playing a whole bunch of and working my way through the many missions available through Board Game Arena. I'm almost itching to purchase it again, but I know it'll likely never get played and take up a space in my collection. Great West Trail was a game I had fallen out with, largely because everyone I had introduced it to disliked it, it got to the point where I couldn't get a game of it going at game night. But thanks to Boardgamearena, I've been able to play it again and fall back in love with it. The second edition tweaks and changes things, meaning for me it's an improved game.

The worst three games of the month


Power Hungry Pets


Tossit for me is a bit if a marketing gimmick and hype, that is overpriced and doesn't live upto its claims. And it's not particularly that fun either, because you need more darts to play most of the game modes.

Power Hungry Pets was just well, just not very engaging drawing and playing a single card, can't be described or sold as Strategic, but that's what it's marketed as.

And third place, goes to I think Sauria, but that's largely because the designer has stopped supporting the game, there's no update to the terrible rules, no FAQ and so many bits that need clarification it's holding back the game.

Well that was my April, how was yours? I'm surprised how many games I got to the table, and May brings UK Games Expo, so I'm excited to see what I discover! If you're at UK Games Expo stop and say hi, you'll find me on the HachetteBGUK stand each and every day!

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