Arcana review

A random pickup we have from the FFG Black Friday clearance sales: FFG’s and DUST’s Arcana.

Set in the same setting as City of Thieves, except a deck building  game where instead of buying cards, you compete to win them.

Arcana, probably slightly poorly lit even by my standards
Arcana, probably slightly poorly lit even by my standards

The gameplay isn’t super shocking or amazing, but I appreciate how much content there is in the small box, with a large number of factions, many optional game modes, and some slightly varied optional goals.

Having said that, there is a certain symmetry to everything in game that has the feel of a game that was kickstarted and then stretch goals were piled on madly with as little game balancing as possible.

I do love the art style though. Very consistent and varied. A pleasant not-too-serious game for slow evenings.

City of Thieves review

We got this one a few years ago as a Christmas present from my parents: FFG’s City Of Thieves.

It’s a pretty simple fun game where you control a group of thieves and are attempting to rob a district, then get out with as much loot as you can.

Emptying streets of City of Thieves' last round
Emptying streets of City of Thieves’ last round

The game looks deceptively complicated for how simple it is. I personally think it could have stood to have a bit more player character differentiation in their stats (they’re all 2 strength, 4 movement, 4 mind. All 16 of them), and maybe a bit more juice to the arcana cards that give one-off bonuses. Then again, I might be trying to make it into something it’s not, which is a pretty easy going, chaotic, dice heavy, mass robbery simulator.

Worth pointing out that FFG also has a sister game in the same setting just called Arcana, where the same characters are fighting for control of the city. I imagine there’s probably a series of novels I’m not familiar with set in the same world.

Btw, visible on the right of that photo are our very cool metal fantasy coins from Rare Elements. Any game is more satisfying when gaining gold makes that sweet tinkling sound.

Arkham Horror, Lurker at the Threshold review

Steve’s for Arkham Horror. Not much to say other than no matter how many playthroughs I do of it, keeping track of the rules never seems to get any easier.

2015-07-03 16.32.24
Arkham Horror, Lurker at the Threshold expansion

Visible in screenshot, some of Steve’s extras like the blessing dice, tentacle gate holders, and fancy elder signs for seals.

I grabbed the phone app with the hopes that it would help us keep track of monster limits and gates, but no such luck: all it does is show you a picture of the game map, sorta keep track of inventory and encounter draws, and act as a dice roller (that doesn’t even count successes for you). Super weak.

Cosmic Encounter

Playing FFG’s Cosmic Encounter at work, one lunch hour at a time

Alien Encounters, 4 player map
Cosmic Encounters, 4 player map

Interesting game. Like an abstract Game Of Thrones that just concentrates on the betrayal aspect and drops everything else. It’s fun but I definitely can see why GoT gains as much as it does from the theme part.

It’s entirely possible Encounters gets better with expansions that add a bit more dimensions to the decision making


old photo by Angelica, circa 2011. just me and my fur chicken, from a game of Android with Lex, Corey, and Shawna

Android, with Loki
Android, with Loki

Nexus Ops

FFG’s Nexus Ops with Jon and Erin

Nexus Ops
Nexus Ops
Nexus Ops close up
Nexus Ops close up

i had a terrible start (0 refineries in exploration) but still almost won, thanks to helding the monolith forever and spending all cards as i could

Nexus Ops

FFG’s Nexus Ops, acquired super cheap from the black friday sale

Nexus Ops
Nexus Ops

deceptively simple with a tiny little learning bump: it’s not obvious at start that every army should have a pile of clones in it to absorb hits. as soon as you figure that out, the flow changes somewhat

we only played the FFG remade units, they seem far more interesting

Arkham Horror: The King In Yellow

FFG’s Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow expansion with us and steve

Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow
Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow

despite my best efforts to make the play happen, we eked out a win. we were one plot advancement from instant loss. won by final combat, which proved easier than expected