Board Games We Play During Game Night (Part 2)

Here is the second in a series of posts I’m publishing on the board games I play during game night, with the Cebu Board Gaming Society. We play game nights weekly, every Monday and Friday at Bubble Bee Tea House, Escario Central

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Me with my Cebu Board Gaming Society shirt.

My parents recently traveled to the USA for my brother’s graduation. Congratulations, Joshua! While I couldn’t accompany them abroad, the Mage Knight and Tales of the Arabian Nights board games I ordered from Amazon will be accompanying them back to Manila.

It will probably take me forever to learn the rules of the game, but I’m really excited to play both games with friends. I recently bought Eldritch Horror from Ballista Games, together with two expansions: Mountains of Madness and Forsaken Lore.

More on my new games later. Meanwhile, here are more of the games I’ve played during game night, and where you can buy them locally.

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

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Published by Fantasy Flight Games, the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game lets players take control of their favorite pilots and starfighters in space battles between the rebel and imperial fleets.

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Who will win this all out attack?

Choose from a variety of unique missions, or engage in straightforward battles for domination. Buy additional ships to expand your fleet and expand your tactical capabilities.

I was lucky enough to play this game with Darth Vader on my side. There were four of us playing, two of us for the first time. Instead of positioning them strategically, we pretty much rammed our ships into each other early in the game.

Vader has two tie fighters with him because most imperial ships have no shields. Piloting one of these tie fighters, I was quickly eliminated from the game. We won in the end though, which is awesome!

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game was lots of fun to play, and it helps if you are familiar with the different ships in the Star Wars universe. I look forward to playing it again.

You can buy this game from Ballista Games and Gaming Library.

Suburbia

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Suburbia, designed by Ted Alspach, is a tile-laying game where players take turns developing their towns into large cities. Players seek to increase their income and reputation as the game progresses, in order to play better tiles and increase their city’s population. The player with the largest population when the game ends wins.

Tiles are divided into three basic types: residential (green), commercial (blue), and industrial (yellow). Those who have played the PC game Sim City will find these categories familiar. There are a variety of tiles to choose, from each with different effects, allowing for plenty of strategic decisions and replayability.

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Kresia and Mark, co-founders of the Cebu Board Gaming Society, plan their next moves.

I had a bit of difficulty learning the rules of Suburbia the first time I played it. But I have a hard time learning the rules of new board games in general. My second time playing it was much more fun, and I have grown to like the game very much.

Suburbia is available at Gaming Library.

Above and Below

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Designed by Ryan Laukat, Above and Below is a town-building and storytelling game for two to four players.  After your last village was ransacked by barbarians, you have finally found a new place for you and your baby. Unfortunately, your friends have ended up settling nearby as well. Now, you and the others compete to build the best village above and underground.

The careful recruitment and use of villagers are the key to victory in this game. Each villager has a different set of skills. Some are good at building structures, while others are good at exploring. You also use villagers to hire more villagers. Villagers get tired when they work. They get sick and miss a turn when overworked.

The player with the most developed village wins the game.  Village development depends on a number of factors including earning coins, exploring caves, building structures, and gathering resources. Exploring can potentially give players big rewards as well.

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Nearing the end of our four player game of Above and Below.

For me, exploring is the most enjoyable aspect of Above and Below. When exploring, a player draws a cave card and rolls a six-sided die. Based on the number a player rolls, he refers to a paragraph number indicated on the cave card. Then, the player beside him reads the paragraph number from the Encounter Book, which comes with the game.

There are hundreds of unique encounters in the Encounter Book, and you never know whether the encounter results will be good or bad. I love this storytelling aspect of the game, which is primarily why I bought Tales of the Arabian Nights, which features a massive book with thousands of random encounters.

You can buy Above and Below from Ballista Games and Gaming Library.

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Board Games We Play During Game Night (Part 1)

Ever since my first game night with the Cebu Board Gaming Society, I’ve been hooked on tabletop games. I now spend much of my free time playing and consuming content on board games. Who would have thought I’d even spend more on board games than books and video games combined?

I’m happy to be part of a board gaming community, whose members enjoy buying, collecting, and playing new games. I often get to play new board games during our weekly Monday and Friday game nights at Bubble Bee Tea House. It’s now easier for me to decide which board games to buy, after trying them out once or twice.

Here are my first impressions of the board games I’ve tried so far, and where you can buy them locally.

Ticket To Ride

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Designed by Alan R. Moon, Ticket to Ride is a board game for two to five players. The goal of the game is to collect resources and claim railway routes throughout North America. Longer routes will give players more points, as will completing Destination Cards.

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Playing Ticket to Ride with the Cebu Board Gaming Society at Bubble Bee Tea House. We used a special 10th Anniversary Edition version of the game, with bigger, nicer, and higher quality components.

Very simple game rules and a child-friendly theme make this a great family game. Unfortunately, Ticket to Ride’s popularity has some people calling it the next Monopoly, or the Monopoly of this generation. Haters gonna hate, and all that, but I like this game a lot.

It’s easy to learn and fun to play. It’s a perfect game for introducing newbies to the world of hobby board games. It’s one of my go-to games when people who have no idea what the big deal is with board games today dare me to teach them how to play something.

Yes, I bought a copy of the game for myself.

You can buy Ticket to Ride from Ballista Games and Gaming Library.

Seasons

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Released in 2012, Seasons is a board game designed by Régis Bonnessée. It is a two to four player card and dice game, where player who scores the most crystals wins. This is one of the most vibrant and beautiful games I have ever played. It had beautiful artwork and top quality components. The game is moderately complicated, recommended for players 14-years-old and above.

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Look at how beautiful this board game is. You can see the dice, cards, tokens, and other game components are just gorgeous.

Players gain crystals by playing cards and harvesting energy, in the form of earth, fire, wind, and water. The game is divided into four seasons, and the types of energy that can be collected and harvested changes from season to season. Wonderfully crafted dice and card mechanics add plenty of luck and strategy to the game.

I only have one problem with this game: they used red for the air element and yellow for the fire element. When I think of air, red isn’t the first color that comes to mind. When I think of fire, red is definitely the color that comes to mind. Like me, the friends I’ve played Seasons are always baffled these color combinations as well.

Nevertheless, Seasons is one of the most fun games I’ve played so far. It’s definitely on my list of board games to buy.

You can buy Seasons from Ballista Games and Gaming Library.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis

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It’s every player for himself in Survive: Escape from Atlantis, a board game designed by Julian Courtland-Smith. Here, two to four (or up to six, with the expansion) players attempt to get their meeples to safety on one of four nearby islands before Atlantis sinks and its volcano erupts.

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This photograph was taken at the start of our game, when we were still all friends. Laugh and smile…while you can.

Unfortunately, this game is filled with perils: whirlpools that drown everything around it, whales that capsize boats, sharks that eat meeples, and sea serpents that destroy boats AND eat meeples. With each turn, portions of Atlantis sink to the bottom of the ocean, and the perils of the sea increase.

Who can get the most meeples to safety? Each meeple is worth a certain number of points, and the player with the highest point total when the game ends (and who remembers to keep his most valuable meeples alive) wins.

This is one of those games where players can be super evil or super nice. It’s very confrontational and has the potential to destroy friendships. Unfortunately, I always play to win—although I usually lose, which makes me more excited when I’m winning—so some of the others ended up quite annoyed at me by the end of the game.

Sink that boat!!!

You can buy Survive: Escape from Atlantis from Ballista Games and Gaming Library.