Longer Games

The longer or more involved games for March 11th included Star Trek Catan, Ticket to Ride Europe, Champions of Midgard, Mottainai, Deus, and Scythe.

Bridget, Ryan, Mia, and Ksenia played both Star Trek Catan and Ticket to Ride Europe.  They were at least mostly familiar with Catan, so I explained the minor changes in the Star Trek theme, and they were able to play with only a few questions as the game progressed.  Ksenia ended the game as the winner with 10 points.

They moved on to Ticket to Ride Europe but none of them had played before, so I gave a quick tutorial, and they had a couple questions as they played. They were able to figure things out for the most part and ended with respectable scores for their first time play.  Ryan won with 127 points.

Sometime in the middle of that Jeremy and Aaren were playing Mottainai and Jump Drive both with Aaren learning the games for the first time and Jeremy explaining.  I told Aaren that Mottainai is a simplified version of Glory to Rome which seemed to make the game play clear.  They played a longer game with Jeremy winning with one final megaturn.

Justin (with Halen as a partner) explained Champions of Midgard to Sam, Daniel, and I for another video that ended because of a low battery.  The explanation and play went well, but at that point there was too much background noise, so the result was not great.  The game is a worker placement that includes rolling dice and battling monsters. The dice are warriors that also need to be fed if taken on long journeys.  Points and money to spend on things can be gained through battle.  There are also varying abilities for the players including the pious, the swordsmaiden, the berserker, and the destined. I ended up winning the game with 81 points, using the swordsmaiden, followed by the teaching team of Justin and Halen at 64 points playing the pious.  I was happy with the result and could probably work more on strategy next time.

Justin, Halen, Sam, and I continued on to a game of Deus. Sam was the only first time player although I had only played once before and didn’t remember the exact rules of play before reminders.  Halen killed us all with a score of 47.  Justin and I had scores in the 30s at the end. We ended slightly prematurely as Sam had to take off in the final turn.  The end result probably wouldn’t have changed much though.  Sacrificing to gods and building up a good engine takes pretty good strategic planning along with the luck to get the right cards together.  Halen definitely had all that going.

The last game that I saw going was a big game of Scythe with Jeremy, Justyna, Daniel, Jenna, and Aaren playing and Injae observing the game and cursing Jeremy while supporting Justyna.  This led to a 2nd place finish for Jeremy with 68 points and a win by Justyna with 72.

Finally, Jeremy, Jenna, and Daniel played their extreme coop Codenames and a game of Mottainai.  Jeremy pulled off another Mottainai win with 26 points which is a better end to the day than the double loss to the Box in Codenames.

Deus in Review

By Justin:

(3.75 out of 5 rockets)

A card driven engine building area control game for 2-4 players. This game has a similar feeling to San Juan where you are building cards into your tableau to increase your engine capabilities and getting rid of card that don’t. It’s addition of a board makes things even more interesting. The choice of where to build is not always evident, and that creates interesting decisions. Choosing which cards to get rid of in order to draw cards that more finely turn your engine makes it even more challenging because giving up semi-good cards will likely increase your chances of drawing that one card type that you need to score a lot of points.

Plays well at all player counts but just like most games that I enjoy, the two player count is excellent and recommended because there can be a lot of down time with more players while waiting for people to decide which cards to play and which cards to discard. Although with more experience that time might decrease in a 3 or 4 person game.

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Anthony and Mary showed up to the May game day just as other games were starting.  Evan decided to join them and play Deus.  This was Anthony and Mary’s game but their first time playing with 3.  It was also Evan’s first time playing.  It was an enjoyable game with easy to learn rules.  The actual gods’ named didn’t seem too important to the theme compared to the types of buildings.  We never mentioned the gods names once while sacrificing cards to them.  Anthony won with 106 points as he got some really good cards working together to build points.  Mary got 75 and Evan 71.


The game of sacrificing cards to Gods in order to build up control on the hexagonal map and victory points for the end. There are 6 card colors that work for 5 different gods (red-Mars, blue-Neptune, green-Ceres, yellow-Minerva,  brown-Vesta, and purple-Jupiter which acts as a wild) and different building types (blue-maritime, green-production, yellow-scientific, brown-civil, red-military, and purple-temple). The game is won by having the most victory points.  2-4 players. 60-90 minutes.

More info.