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Obsession

Game Details
NameObsession (2018)
ComplexityMedium [3.17]
BGG Rank [User Rating]492 [8.25]
Player Count1-4
Designer(s)Dan Hallagan
Artists(s)Dan Hallagan
Publisher(s)Kayenta Games
Mechanism(s)Card Drafting, Deck, Bag, and Pool Building, Solo / Solitaire Game, Tile Placement, Worker Placement and Worker Placement, Different Worker Types

Participants

  • Mark
  • Logan
  • Bailey

Rules missed

  • When the market is refreshed, put the tiles in reputation order. After season two, remove any 1 reputation tiles during refresh

Photos

About the game

From Boardgamegeek:

You are the head of a respected but troubled family estate in mid-19th century Victorian England. After several lean decades, family fortunes are looking up! Your goal is to improve your estate so as to be in better standing with the truly influential families in Derbyshire.

Obsession is a game of 16 to 20 turns in which players build a deck of Victorian gentry (British social upper class), renovate their estate by acquiring building tiles from a centralized builders’ market, and manipulate an extensive service staff of butlers, housekeepers, underbutlers, maids, valets, and footmen utilizing a novel worker placement mechanic. Successfully hosting prestigious social activities such as Fox Hunts, Music Recitals, Billiards, Political Debates, and Grand Balls increases a player’s wealth, reputation, and connections among the elite.

Each turn, players choose a building tile representing a room or outdoor space in and around their 19th century British country house. The tile chosen dictates the event that can be hosted and the guests to be invited. Players must carefully plan, however, to have the proper staff available to service the event and support guests as needed. The reward for success is new investment opportunities, permitting further renovation of the estate (acquisition of more valuable/powerful building tiles), an increase in reputation in the county, an expanding circle of influential acquaintances, and a larger and highly-trained domestic staff.

Throughout the game, a competitive courtship for the hand of the most eligible young gentleman and lady in the county presents specific renovation and reputation objectives. The player who best meets these objectives while accumulating victory points will win the hand of the wealthy love interest and the game.”

Gameplay

A mix of luck and strategy will deliver victory in the final courtship, allowing you to capture your love interest, and likely the game.

Players each start with the same set of improvement tiles. They must then navigate their way through 4 seasons of courtship. Each season rewards the winner with extra VPs and an additional powerful card added to their hand. Each improvement tile and card in the player’s hand have a reputation level that must be reached to use them. So increasing reputation is an important part of the game and can earn lots of extra VPs.

Final Thoughts

We played the builders market refresh incorrectly, so some advantages of gaining very powerful improvements for cheap, would have mitigated by the higher cost of those improvements. The cards are very thematic with their flavor text which matches their characteristics with the benefits they provide. Anyone who enjoyed the series Downtown Abbey, will enjoy the theme of this game. Very much looking forward to playing it again.

The Expanse

Game Details
NameThe Expanse Board Game (2017)
ComplexityMedium [2.74]
BGG Rank [User Rating]1482 [7.20]
Player Count (recommended)2-4 (3-4)
Designer(s)Geoff Engelstein
Artists(s)Uncredited
Publisher(s)Pendragon Game Studio and WizKids
Mechanism(s)Action Points, Action/Event, Area Majority / Influence, Campaign / Battle Card Driven, Catch the Leader, Take That, Variable Player Powers and Victory Points as a Resource

Participants

  • Mark
  • Sean
  • Katey – Winner
  • Frank

Rules we Missed

  • None found so far

BGG Clarifications

  • Being able to move up to one band means you can also move within a band.

Photo

About the Game

This area control game plays well with 4 players. Rules are simple. On you turn, you have the option to purchase a card. Each card has a number of actions points and an event. Events can only be used by the factions shown on the card. Once you have chosen your card, you can either use the action points or the event. The action points allow you to move/build your fleets and establish influence in different areas. If you use the action points each faction shown the card has the option to use the event based on the order of the initiative track.

Once a scoring round is initiated, your influence and fleets are used to see who has control of each sector. Points are awarded based on this. The person in last place gains control of the Rocinante. this catch up mechanism gives the player extra options to use during the scoring round.

Final Thoughts

The theme of the game is nice for those that are familiar with the books or television show. However prior knowledge in no way affects gameplay.

The catch up mechanism works well. In our case the person in last, up until the 5th scoring round, won the game.

This game was a long one since we were learning straight from the instructions. Future games should be much quicker, since all the rules were very straight forward.

On Mars

Game Details
NameOn Mars (2020)
ComplexityHeavy [4.63]
BGG Rank [User Rating]68 [8.30]
Player Count (recommended)2-4 (1-4)
Designer(s)Vital Lacerda
Artists(s)Ian O'Toole
Publisher(s)Eagle-Gryphon Games, Angry Lion Games, Giochix.it, hobbity.eu, Lavka Games, Maldito Games, Mosaico Jogos, Skellig Games, TLAMA games and YOKA Games
Mechanism(s)Area Majority / Influence, Contracts, Delayed Purchase, Drafting, End Game Bonuses, Hand Management, Hexagon Grid, Income, Movement Points, Moving Multiple Units, Point to Point Movement, Set Collection, Solo / Solitaire Game, Tech Trees / Tech Tracks, Tile Placement, Variable Phase Order and Worker Placement

Participants

  • Mark – Winner
  • Curtis
  • Alain
  • Robert

Rules we Missed

  • Building complexes using executive actions on blueprint cards: The corresponding tech must exist on someone’s board in order to build or increase the size of a complex. If the existing tech’s level is toolow to build a complex of the desired size, you can boost it by sending colonists to the working area.
  • If you develop only 1 tile twice, treat each of the movements separately.
  • If you gain a discovery or research tile, resolve it immediately by paying any associated cost, then place it in your play area (put Discovery tiles face down).

BGG Clarifications

  • When 2 players have the appropriate tech tile, the player who uses the tile chooses who gets the benefit
  • If a tech tile is used twice on the same turn, the owner gets two oxygen

Photo

Final Thoughts

Like all of Vital Lacerda’s games, this game has a learning curve. The rules take a while to learn, but they all make sense and seem logical as play progresses. This is a long game but turns can be quick, since you can take one action and one executive action each turn That said, the best turns are ones that can string multiple actions together by moving tech tiles or completing your personal goal. As someone who also likes The Gallerist, I would recommend this game.

Tapestry Playthrough

Game Details
NameTapestry (2019)
ComplexityMedium [2.88]
BGG Rank [User Rating]233 [7.49]
Player Count (recommended)1-5 (1-4)
Designer(s)Jamey Stegmaier
Artists(s)Andrew Bosley and Rom Brown
Publisher(s)Stonemaier Games, 999 Games, Albi, Angry Lion Games, Arclight, Delta Vision Publishing, Feuerland Spiele, Ghenos Games, Lavka Games, Ludofy Creative, Maldito Games, Matagot, PHALANX and Surfin' Meeple
Mechanism(s)Card Drafting, Chaining, Dice Rolling, Grid Coverage, Hand Management, Hexagon Grid, Income, Map Addition, Solo / Solitaire Game, Square Grid, Tech Trees / Tech Tracks, Tile Placement, Track Movement and Variable Player Powers

Rules we Missed

  • First player to complete an era gets a resource
  • Some technology cards have a requirement that your neighbor has a specified technology

BGG Clarifications

Photo

Black Angel Play Through

Game Details
NameBlack Angel (2019)
ComplexityMedium Heavy [3.82]
BGG Rank [User Rating]665 [7.42]
Player Count (recommended)0 (1-4)
Designer(s)Sébastien Dujardin, Xavier Georges and Alain Orban
Artists(s)Ian O'Toole
Publisher(s)Pearl Games, Asmodee, CrowD Games, Hobby Japan, Maldito Games, Rebel Sp. z o.o. and sternenschimmermeer
Mechanism(s)Bias, Dice Rolling, Hand Management, Slide/Push, Solo / Solitaire Game, Tile Placement, Variable Set-up and Worker Placement with Dice Workers

What did we miss

  • You can change the color of die. Draw a card of the original color. I think the only way to do this is using a tech tile.
  • It is enough to “own” a Mission Card in order to activate it, you don’t need to have a ship there. From page 10: “If you choose to activate a card with an activation mission, you must respect the following conditions … You must have a robot or ship on this card.”
  • After taking an Advanced Technology tile, immediately replace it with a new tile from the deck.
  • When an Advanced Technology tile is ejected, immediately place it on one of the 3 Advanced Technology spaces on your player board (limit 1 tile per space). The space you choose determines the maximum VP this Advanced Technology tile can earn during end game scoring. This maximum starts at 4 VP, but each of your Mission cards that are ejected from the Space board that you place beside this space increases this maximum by 2 VP. Each Advanced Technology tile not ejected at the end of the game, and each Advanced Technology tile that is ejected after all 3 spaces are occupied by tiles can earn you a maximum of only 4 VP at the end of the game.
  • If you can not pay the cost of a ravager card, you can sacrifice a victory point
  • Each hex can only accommodate up to 2 different player’s Ships.
  • f you must place 1 Damage cube on a damaged action (an action which already has 2 Damage cubes), you must place the cube on a die in the same-color supply. This die is damaged! If during Sequence B, you must roll a damaged die, you lose 1 VP, and the Damage cube returns to the supply. Damaged dice are only ever found in the supplies
  • When the endgame is triggered, finish the round in progress, then play a final round. During this final round, if you are required to perform Sequence B, you can instead simply pass (but only in this final round!). Even if there are still dice in players’ compartments, the game ends after this final round

Some FAQs from BGG

This is more of a clarification for the Neutralization mission card

– When the card ejects, the owner of the card receives the benefits listed on the left, while everyone with a ship docked on the card receives the benefits listed on the right. This means if the owner still has his/her ship docked on the card then they will receive the benefits listed on both sides of the card. IF the card only has one space for benefits listed (not split to left and right) then the owner and everyone with a ship there receives the benefits listed and the owner only gets the benefits once, i.e. the owners docked ship doesn’t provide any extra benefit of still being there, therefor this is one reason for the above question “Can you move ships off mission card?”.

Can you activate a mission card you control without having a ship there?

– I believe the answer is yes, I haven’t seen a clarification on this but I am not sure there needs to be one. The rules state, “You must have a robot or ship on this card.”

See: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2243008/moving-zero-black-angel-and-not-placing-mission-ca

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