Jobby recaps the games he played at the UK Games Expo 2017…
I had arrived at the UK Games Expo this year not feeling very excited about anything. Luckily, when we got wandering the aisles (after dropping off our bring ‘n’ buy games) we very quickly found a game with a very enthusiastic designer who wanted to demo it. That game was Ghostel.
In Ghostel players roll a pool of dice which they will take turns to place on a board to scare the inhabitants of a hotel. Each inhabitant has a value which needs to be matched or beaten to scare them away and then the players who contributed dice get points.
The catch is that a player can’t just put dice anywhere; after their first placement a player then has to put their next die in an adjacent room. This means players must be smart about how they’re placing their dice
A big thanks to the game’s designer, Bevan Clatworthy, for demo-ing his cool little game to us!
Vikings on Board
Friday at UKGE for us is always a reccy day. We mooch around and see what’s there and then form a semi-plan of what to do Saturday and Sunday. We don’t play too many games. However, we did sit down and play Vikings On Board on a random whim. I think it was the cool looking ships that drew us in.
In this game players have a number of Viking ‘workers’ who they will use each turn to select actions. Ultimately players are trying to score points by controlling ships that ship with goods so they get the goods. Players can also score points by successfully guessing who will control a ship when it sails. Finally, players can increase the value of a type of goods and thus make their collection worth more.
It’s a bit of a brain burner. There is a good number of action available which is a little overwhelming at first. However, it soon become apparent that some of the actions are quite similar: move on of your pieces of boat to the back of a boat or, instead, move a bit of boat belonging to anybody to the back of the boat.
Move bits of boat? Yup, control of a boat is indicated by the colour and number of shields on that boat. The boat is split into segments which will have one, two or three shields of one colour. Having the most shields in your colour means you control the boat.
The action selection is very clever in this game. The actions are lined up along the board with a set of selection spots either side of them. The players Vikings will be covering one set of selection spots. To select and do an action, the player moves their Viking from his current spot to any free spot on the other set of action spots and performs that action. The order of play runs from one end of the actions to the other so when a player selects an action they are also selecting when they want to go in the following turn. Very interesting and definitely leads to some proper thinking!