Specter Ops rules, Meteor crashes and burns, and Space Junk gets junked.
Every week, I play board games. It’s sort of this thing I do. On the Dog and Thimble podcast, your trio of handsome hosts run down one game they played over the past two weeks. But we all play more than that. And so, each week I provide you with a look at all (or most) of the games I played the past week.
Some weeks are slimmer than others. But when I can game, I do game. And if you play board games, I want to know! Write us (email@example.com) with a game you played in the past week and a couple sentences summing up your experience. I’m not looking for reviews, but for the experience of that game session.
Some entries will be posted in Dog and Thimble’s new weekly “The Games I Gamed” feature!
THE GAMES I GAMED DURING THE WEEK OF MAY 4
Plaid Hat Games’ latest is an awesome experience. The rules are so slim, I was worried this might end up being too simple. But, not to worry, this spy vs. spy game is intense from start to finish. One player is an agent, breaking into Raxxon corporate HQ to complete three of four available mission objectives. The others are hunters, hired by Raxxon to stop such activities. The big twist is that the agent isn’t on the game board. Instead, her movements are tracked on a separate sheet and the hunters must use deduction and their special abilities to find the elusive spy.
More than once, as the agent, I thought I was cornered. But I managed to trick the hunters and circle around to other objectives while they sniffed around in the wrong place. It was a crazy chase to the finish line, but I narrowly escaped.
One recommendation when playing Specter Ops: Use a timer for the hunters. The players can spend five minutes or longer on every turn debating what to do, which really slows the game down.
A new micro game from Mayday Games, Meteor is a Kickstarter I backed mostly to support a local company. Still, the idea of a co-op game that only takes five minutes to play sounded pretty promising.
We gave it our best, playing about six games of this before calling it quits. It definitely plays in under five minutes (there are five one-minute times, so it is not possible to go over five minutes), but set-up is longer than that. There’s a dense and incomprehensible iconography on the cards, which had us constantly looking things up before we could even get started. A micro game needs simplicity and Meteor is a 30-45 minute game trying to cram itself into five minutes.
Also, we got crushed every game. (Literally, by meteors crashing into Earth… sorry, Earth!)
Another Kickstarter that I (fortunately) didn’t back. A couple of friends brought this over and boy is this kind of a shitty “game.” We’re all space hoarders, flying around and collecting junk left in space to either equip our ships (improving speed, attack, or search skills) or to store for points at the end of the game.
The junk cards are really inventive. My weapon systems were a trebuchet that launched laser swords! But this one is totally imbalanced. Thanks to good early draws, I had an attack level no one could touch, and so I was never attacked and everyone else just picked on the weak. It’s got humor, but this one was boring and leads to bullying of weaker ships.
I liked it more than my friends, because it didn’t cost me a cent to learn Space Junk is, well, junk.
This time, I had the chance to enjoy it with someone who’d never played before. She created a very organized Arboretum, but barely got to score any of her tree paths because her boyfriend and I knew exactly how to screw her over. A delightful experience once again, though I lost by four points. So, in retrospect, this game is a piece of shit.
Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000
I’m not much of a fan of dexterity games. Possibly because my Dex score is 8. That -1 modifier really screws things up for me. If none of that made sense, your parents raised you wrong.
When it came to trying out Mayday’s CDMC 3000, my thought was, “Well, this will be horrible.” Instead, I found one of the best drinking games around. You and your competitors slap chopsticks (Worst. Euphemism. Ever.) in a battle to claim wooden pieces of sushi. It’s less about dexterity and more about knocking over the sushi bowl and stabbing each other with chopsticks.
Played a game this week? Tell about it in an e-mail. (Pics encouraged!) Send us the games you played to firstname.lastname@example.org.