Our Spanish Timba

Hello guys! How you doin’? We hope you’re having a blast! Now you may have heard that we were on holiday recently, but worry not, we were not lazy. As part of our little adventure in Spain we did a special edition of the Cespedes – Gonzalez household renowned timba: games party bby!!

We cracked open the board games and have a full on day (from lunch time until midnight) on geekery. There was much banter and fun had, and a few crazy moments and sore loses. So here is a quick report of what we played and a few thoughts on a couple of games.

GAME LIST

Straw
Kerala
Mauna Kea
Black Sheep
Marrakesh
Family Business
Piko Piko

Camel Up

STRAW – this is a great game and family favourite for a warm up. It has little to no rules, and it holds up to 5 players. You play one round per player so it goes pretty quick. And all that there is involved here is a little maths: you have to add or take weight from the camel’s back. I failed big time. For 4 rounds I scored nothing 😐 My dad got a clear victory with no possible competition. This was not a very usual game of Straw in that regards. But the game has a high luck component which needs to be taken into consideration.

KERALA – relatively new game for the family; certainly a first for me. It is a game of area control, under the premise that you are building a trading platform for your elephant. You score more points for each colour you incorporate into your platform, you score more points. It’s a fairly simple dynamic of time placement, and has a luck component similar to Azul. Surprisingly, I won! Well, it was a tie with my dad, BUT it still counts as victory!

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Tactility Board Masters: Azul V Sagrada

Hello guys today I am bringing you a post that will be comparing two different board games: Sagrada and Azul. Now that I have played them both, I can sincerely say that these are wonderful games. However there is a couple of things that I wanted to discuss and that I think is where the choice of game comes into in to play (at least for me), if I were to buy one of them – no, I currently do not own, either but have access to them via my gaming network. So here are my thoughts.

Thematically speaking, they are similar in the sense that the game mechanic involves picking up the tiles, or dice in the case of Sagrada, and making up a pattern in the shape of a grid that will score you points according to the rules at the end of the game. Interestingly, while I didn’t have a clue who would end up winning the game playing Sagrada, it became very easy to establish at round 3 give or take, who was clearly ahead in Azul. I think it has something to do with the fact that in Azul there are no further mechanics other than tile placement, whilst in Sagrada we have the cards and tools that you can use to change the dice or the scoring. But then I know people who didn’t have a clue the other way around, so hhhmmm.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that, in a way I feel that Sagrada offers more possibilities in terms of the gameplay and the dynamic between the players, whilst in Azul it seemed when someone takes the lead it can become difficult to take that away from them, other than everyone conspiring against that player. At the same time it felt that if I was looking to trump the others I wasn’t scoring what I wanted…perhaps the idea is to find a fine balance or have 0 strategy and go with the flow…not sure on that one 🤔 Continue reading “Tactility Board Masters: Azul V Sagrada”

Little Gamers: 3 Board Games to Play with Kids

So as it is approaching my sister’s birthday, I found myself thinking about what should I write for the occasion. My sister is getting older now, even though for me she will always be little – even though now she can pick me up and beat the crap out of me if she wanted to…So, not so little then. Then I thought to myself, before she became an angsty teen – and before I moved to the UK – we used to play lots of board games together, cause she still thought back then that me and my parents were cool and was not ashamed of spending sometime with us. Sadly for her, she is a very sore loser, and had a tendency ever since she was tiny to get really annoyed if she didn’t win. However, there is a few that I remember she was very keen to play always; and I thought to myself, I haven’t really chatted about some cool board and card games to play with lil ones. So here we go.

Pickomino: now, this game for us is actually called Piko Piko, because for some bizarre reason, in Spain the German name of the board games just stick around. Piko Piko is a great game for everyone to be honest: we have played it in our big gaming sessions with my and my parents friends and it’s just fun. But it is even better to know that you can also play it with kids. I think the game recommends the children to be 8+ to play, but my sister played a bit earlier than that (with some assistance). The mechanic is very simple: you have some domino like pieces with numbers and drawings of worms on them. Depending on the amount of worms, the higher the scoring value, whilst the actual numeric value of the card is just what you require to roll to obtain it. You roll the dice and you can only keep those of a matching value (whichever you fancy), and then you keep on rolling until you run out of dice, you are bust, or you are happy that the amount you have rolled is sufficient for you to grab one of the tiles. It is, in essence, a very basic gambling, risk-taking game. All you really need to keep track of is what are you rolling and what number you are trying to obtain, the rest is just the availability of the pieces. At the end of the game, whoever has accumulated the highest number of worms, wins. Simple. And it plays to a substantial amount: 2-7 players.

Cuckoo Zoo: or Cocotaki (again, the German name…). Once again this is a very easy-going game. It is a bit like UNO. You have a deck of cards with animals and colours and you must play to suit the colour or animal, BUT unlike in UNO you MUST make the sound of said animal card, otherwise you mess up and take cards. The only time when you don’t make animal noises is with the red cards, unless you are playing a red cockerel in which case you very happily go and say “Cocotaki!”. And when you run out of cards; you win. Dead easy. Now for kids this is fun, cause how often do they get to see adults and others make funny noises such as “mmooo”, “oink oink” and the likes? The suggested age for the kids is 5+, which to many sounds outrageous, but it really isn’t, seriously. My sister was rocking it around that age – like I said, it isn’t complicated at all. And the amount of players that can join in is very generous: up to 10. So, children’s’ party? Birthday? You are essentially sorted.

The Dwarf King: (El Rey de los Enanos or Le Roi des Nains for those of you who don’t have the English version). This is something that you could technically play with a normal deck of cards: but this has Dwarves, Goblins and Knights, which is considerably more fun! So, you have cards and these little slabs. The slabs determine the special bonuses of the round. The cards are numbered as in your average poker set, as well as some special cards that have interesting abilities. You play 7 rounds, new slab on each round, and a special card. Then you play your hand in tricks, where the highest card wins the trick. When you all run out of cards, you count and tally your points and repeat for the next round. At the end of the 7 rounds, whoever has more points wins. The mechanics here a bit a more difficult perhaps, and the box does say this is for 10+ children. However, I guess it depends on the case. I was playing ordinary card games with a normal deck with my great grandparents at the age of 8, so just judge whether the kids would be able to follow the process. It is a bit more restrictive in terms of number of players, however: you need a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5.

In any case those three should be plenty to get you started and get the little ones hooked up on the magic of board games 😉

Hopefully they won’t get a salty as my lil monkey :p ( I love her, honest!).

Juegos que Hacen que me Muera del Aburrimiento

¡Buenas! Ya sé que el tema que traigo hoy es bastante controvertido, pero eh, para eso estamos, ¿no? Como siempre, lo que digo es lo que pienso, y no lo digo con ningún tipo de malicia: simplemente expreso mis sentimientos sobre determinados juegos que, aunque he intentado cogerles el gusto, la verdad es que me pueden. Así que preparos para la lista de la muerte:

-Catan: Si, si, ya lo sé, soy una desalmada…PPPFFFFF que queréis que os diga, me importa un comino este juego. Me aburre de forma abismal. Normalmente no puedo aguantar más de cuatro turnos antes de querer acabar con mi sufrimiento. ¿Por qué? Pues, veremos. Creo que posiblemente sea porque me parece una dinámica muy repetitiva y formularia, en la que un par de estrategias funcionan bien, y es uno de esos juegos en los que o te agarras a esa estrategia y ganas o no te comes ni los mocos. Tampoco me gusta la estética del juego – es feo con avaricia. Y nada oye, que es que no puedo entre una cosa y otra sentarme a jugar una partida de Catan (en cualquiera de sus variedades). Y la verdad es que lo he intentado varias veces. Al principio pensé, “jo, soy torpe y no lo pillo”. Pero no tenía nada que ver con eso; incluso ganando me aburre. Punto.

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Games I Tried to Like but Bore Me Endlessly

Hello everyone!! Yes, I know, I come with a controversial title, and I know I am going to get evils from many of you as I write this post but I really needed to get this off my chest. There are some games that it seems everyone loves…But me. I am not saying they aren’t good games, they just don’t cling with me, you know? I have tried them, and tried them, and played them…And i just cannot be bothered. And sometimes I play them just to please others and get along, but if it was down to me, they will never touch the surface of a table. EVER. So here is my list:

-CATAN: I KNOW!!! YOU ALL HATE ME NOW!! Well…Whatever! I really couldn’t care less for Catan. I can last about 4 rounds of the game without my jaw dropping into an insane concatenation of yawning. Why? Well, who knows. I think it feel rather repetitive and very formulaic, in the sense of xyz strategy works and that’s it. I don’t personally find it aesthetically appealing, and the general mechanic of it, I really just cannot find the will to make it through. Not even on my first game ever, years ago, did I actually enjoy playing it. I thought, “huh, I must be doing something wrong as everyone Loves this game”, and that is why I kept insisting. But Nope. Not for me.

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Batiburrillo de Juegos: del King of Tokyo al Rattus

!Hola Hola! Bueno hace tiempo que no os dejo nada sobre juegos, y menos en español. Así que retorno con el tema. Esta semana pasada he estado visitando a mi familia, de vacaciones, y como es costumbre, hemos estado pues jugando a cosillas. Algunas ya me las conocía, pero hubo algunos que era nuevos y que tenía ganas de probar. Aunque la verdad, no salieron todos como había esperado…Así que os cuento:

Por fin probamos el King of Tokyo. Yo había oído hablar bien de ello, y sabía que el juego era chulo desde el punto de visual, y la verdad es que lo es: los bichejos que manejas, los dados y el mini escenario están bien hechos. Echamos una partida a 5 jugadores. Los primeros turnos más o menos bien, hay algo de vidilla, le das de zarpazos a la gente, te subes vidas, ganas puntos de victoria. Vale. El problema vino al quedarnos con 3 y 2 jugadores, entonces el juego se vuelve muy repetitivo, casi pierdes las ganas de jugar porque una partida que siguiendo el espíritu del juego debería ser rápida y solucionada en un par de tiradas, se convierte en algo eterno…Por tanto, me parece un juego que estaría bien pues para empezar con gente que no ha jugado nunca a juegos o con los peques de la casa. Pero nada más. Y bueno, que decir que fue una decisión un poco unánime…

Otro día jugamos una partida de 3 al Mauna Kea, y la verdad es que estuvo bien. La verdad es que es un juego en el que hay que tener algo de estrategia pero de forma un poco relativa, porque al final tienes que estar pendiente de tus meeples, de los de los demás, y de que no te coja la lava. Así que se hace entretenido porque realmente nunca sabes que va a pasar, y no es fácil pronosticar quien va a ganar hasta que se acaba la partida. Quiero suponer que con 4 jugadores ya se complique incluso más el asunto porque habría otro par de manos poniendo ficha, provocando lava, y más competición por los bloques que te dan puntos. Así que me parece bien. Tiene jugabilidad, vidilla, es divertido, e impredecible.

Por último, jugamos al Rattus – que yo había jugado una vez anterior – pero con la expansión Rattus Africanus, que tiene un considerable impacto sobre el juego. También fue una partida a 3 jugadores. He de reconocer que no es el típico juego que se me dé especialmente bien: con tantas cartas y posibilidades, terrenos, fichitas y pestes múltiples a veces me aturullo un poco. Pero me gustó mucho la combinación de cartas de personaje nuevas y las opciones de juego y estrategia que abren. Y es que hay combinaciones que pueden ser muy peligrosas (el de la caravana puede liarla parda por lo que he visto y he podido comprobar). Por otro lado, se me comentaba que las cartas de personaje que salen también pueden ser unas combinaciones extrañas o no igual de efectivas desde el punto de vista del combo (la bruja no parece hacer mucho entusiasmo…), y por tanto pueden alterar de forma significativa la dinámica de juego.

En resumidas cuentas, dos buenas experiencias y una que se quedó por el camino, por así decirlo. Si alguno de vosotros ha jugado también a estos juegos que os comentamos, nos encantaría que compartieseis vuestras experiencias. Y si habéis probado algún juego nuevo últimamente, pues compartidlo igualmente.

Nos vemos en la próxima 🙂

Juegos de Cartas: de Campo y Playa

İHola gentecilla! Os prometí que volvería con más juegos, y aquí estoy. Con este tiempo tan caluroso que tenemos incluso en el Reino Unido, hay ganas de frikear, pero también hay ganas de salir al sol. Muchos de vosotros estaréis de camino a la playa, o tal vez de picnic a la sombra, o de barbacoa. Y si sois como yo, en algún momento diréis, “Jo, vaya pena no haber traído unas cartas”. Normalmente, la gente se suele llevar una baraja española, lo cual siempre está bien (además con la pila de costumizaciones que hay hoy en día, no tienes por qué tener una baraja aburrida de las de toda la vida, puede ser súper geeky con cosas de comics, artistas de fantasía y ciencia ficción, series populares de televisión…). Pero, seamos realistas, no todo el mundo quiere echar una partida de brisca…Y nosotros tenemos la solución. Por tanto, aquí os dejamos una selección de juegos de cartas, rapiditos de jugar, fácilmente transportables, y que nos han salvado la fiesta al aire libre en varias ocasiones:

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