Feld-ruary #8 – La Isla

21 Feb

First, I need to get this out of the way.

Sorry, had to do it. The stupid song starts playing in my head every time I look at the box, for no good reason.

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In La Isla, players are exploring a mysterious island in search of animals most people believed to be extinct. The player able to collect the most points based on the popularity of the animal tiles collected is the winner.

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Feld-ruary #7 – Bora Bora

20 Feb

Quick status update. First of all, why did I decide to write long form reviews of every Feld game we played this month? Next up, no, we aren’t going to get to every Feld game. For one thing, we don’t have them all in our group (Sorry Pillars of the Earth Builder’s Duel), and between bad weather and me being sick last week, we just haven’t been able to get to all of them. It’s still been a really interesting experiment, and I hope you have enjoyed reading about these games!

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Feld-ruary #6 – Rialto

19 Feb

One of the most interesting things I’ve found by playing a whole bunch of Stefan Feld games is that none of them have really felt like anything else I’ve played. There are no other games around that play like Macao, or The Speicherstadt, or In the Year of the Dragon. Rum & Pirates is probably the closest to feeling like another designer could have made it, but there are enough Feld parts to make it his.

And then there’s Rialto. A game which, except for one aspect, feels like half a dozen other games I’ve played. I don’t necessarily mean that negatively, because (SPOILER) I enjoyed the game, but of what we’ve played this month, it’s the most “generic”.

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Feld-ruary #5 – The Speicherstadt

13 Feb

IMG_0783Translated, the name of this game is The City of Warehouses. The Speicherstadt is an actual 1.5 km long warehouse district in Hamburg, Germany, and was built as a place to trade goods without having to pay customs.

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A panorama of The Speicherstadt, thanks Wikipedia!

In the board game, players use a unique bidding mechanic in order to get resources, marketplaces, other special buildings, and contracts in order to get as many points as possible. You also have to protect against fires that will wipe out some of your hard earned gains.

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Feld-ruary #4 – Rum & Pirates

12 Feb

IMG_0779Rum & Pirates is probably the most un-Stefan Feld game Stefan Feld ever designed. It’s also quite possibly the most controversial game he ever designed. Here’s why. If you look on the lower front corner of the box, you see the name “Alea.” Alea is an imprint of the major German game and puzzle manufacturer Ravensburger. Alea games have the reputation of being “Gamer’s games.” They tended to be high strategy, lower luck games; a step or two above a typical family style game. Games in the Alea series are usually  siren’s calls to the hobby gamer that something really special is inside.

And then we have Rum & Pirates…

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Feld-ruary #3 – Macao

9 Feb

IMG_0777Macao was, quite frankly, a game I hated with a mighty passion after my first play when it was released in 2009. I found the game (and in the long run, it became one of my problems with Feld games in general) to be over-fiddly, and that it tried to cram in too many mechanics – especially the ship movement / trading aspect. Other players seemed to agree with me, as one was basically whining the entire game about how much he was hating the experience (note: he won, running away). So it was with a bit of trepidation that I sat down to the game this time.

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Feld-ruary #2 – In The Year of the Dragon

8 Feb

IMG_0778One trademark of Stefan Feld games is that the players must deal with some level of adversity. In most of his games, the penalties are usually annoyances that you have to keep a partial eye on, but you can largely do your own thing. Not here. In the Year of the Dragon is all about trying to mitigate the litany of disasters that are about to befall you. The player that can do that is the winner.

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