Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

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Lovin' It

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Santa brings lots of new games to us and many of our friends, so during January we get to play a lot of new titles.

Here's what we've been up to for the last several Fridays and Saturdays (in no particular order):

The Ark of the Covenant, a new variant of Carcassonne, to be forever known to us as Arkassonne :-) This one plays well, and introduces several variants on the basic game, for a good result and new flavor in the line. Plus it has really cute sheep!

And speaking of cute sheep, the entire point of Wooly Bully is to get as many of your sheep into as big a pen as possible, whilst preventing other players from doing the same, and fending off wolves. Cute game, with even cuter sheep on the tiles laid down to form flocks in pens.

Having nothing to do with sheep, A Game of Thrones takes its title and setting from George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series. A decent game, with lots to do, and some unique mechanics. Really wants five and only five players for the best balance.

Another in a series, Age of Mythology: The Boardgame, comes from Eagle Games, who introduce this as the latest in their series of computer-games-converted-to-boardgames line. Again, lots of fun pieces, lots of color, lots to do, and lots of dice. Overall, kinda fun, worth playing again, but also kinda long, and not going on my wishlist.

Also pretty, Pirate's Cove plays well, and makes for a fun Aaargh, Matey! game any time. Looking forward to adding this one to my collection and some point in the future. Avast!

New England also offers a number of new elements to a game, at least for me. It's a bit of tile-laying as well as bidding. It's a good game and I expect to play it regularly from now on.

Clans is another one that we'll most likely play at least a few more times. At the beginning no one knows which color you are, although this information came out fairly soon in our games. It also has an interesting mechanic of trying to eliminate your opponents' counters without losing yours, by grouping them together.

[If you combine the two games above, you get New England Clan chowder. Bonus points to whomever spots this insert first.]

Having played this one at Larry's once, Pizarro & Co. is a little weird in that you're sponsoring explorers from different time periods, by bidding on their powers to gain you resources to move along a scoring track. Perhaps not quite what I remembered, and not likely to be played as often as others, but not one to throw away either.

Aside from all these newbies, we've played Alhambra, Union Pacific, The Seafarers of Catan, and an old stand-by Carcassonne.

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