The Actual Table



I’m back to reviewing!

Tasty Minstrel’s “Embark” is a pretty fun game for what it is. And the small box is a joy!



My wife invited over a work friend (who is a big gamer) and his girlfriend (who is not). We first played Castles of Mad Kind Ludwig. I enjoyed the game but really felt as if I had almost no strategy with pricing the tiles. I’m glad I have the app to maybe play a bit with my wife while we are relaxing but I’m not rushing out to buy it. I also got to play Azul for the first time and have to say that it was…ok. I don’t see what all the fuss is about, though. It’s an interesting game but there are plenty of other abstracts I would go to first. Again, I’m not rushing out to buy it. It was a fun night, but if i had a do-over with the people we had I would have tried to get Shadows Over Camelot and/or Imperial Settlers to the table.


I would pretty much 90% of the time be trying to get Shadows Over Camelot to the table : )

Actually, the game I find most new gamers really respond well to has been Betrayal at House on the Hill. That’s almost always what I start with as a possibility. As soon as you say, “You build a haunted house with everyone”, it’s hard not to be intrigued.


Shadows is one of those games that I own and love yet for some reason I always forget about until after the fact when I’m browsing my shelf. I don’t know why it doesn’t come to mind sooner more often.


You just have to hope you don’t hit a Haunt that sours the experience for people.

I doubt you remember my October “New to Me” post, but I played Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, and we hit the Haunt where everybody was trying to kill everybody else.

it became a super-tedious game and when somebody was eliminated, they got to just sit around and watch. It lasted 3 hours.



That’s totally true. Your review was actually what kept me from buying that version, to be honest. Not that the regular version doesn’t have the same issue, but I’ve been playing that since it first came out, so I know many of the haunts as soon as I read the title. And if we hit a bad one, I just negate it and keep exploring the house until we hit another omen. I’ve also added Widow’s Walk, and lately, I’ve just been playing to only use those (with the regular group), as I haven’t seen many of them still. I have found those are, so far, more reliable.

We played what is supposed to be the final Time Stories mission this weekend, and we’re about halfway through (I think), and so far it’s quite challenging. There’s one puzzle that I can’t see how we can solve it given the very limited time units we have for runs.

I’ve also been thinking about trying to make my own mission, but the one thing holding me back is I’m no artist, and I don’t want cards with nothing but text. So I’m trying to figure work-arounds. It would be a big project, but it’s my favorite game (other than Battlestar Galactica, but no one will play that with me).


Loving Spirit Island on solo atm. Still working my way through all 8 spirits before adding some scenarios.

They all play so differently, and the game is always a slog… until it isn’t and you break it apart!


Could you take photos? I had the same problem when I was trying to make picture books for my kids, and ended up just telling stories about their toys, illustrated by pictures of them.


Five “new to me” games played in April.

Amazing since I missed a game Sunday and also was on vacation for two weeks so didn’t get any lunchtime games played. Thus, I only played 8 games in total (though I had 12 plays).

What new games did you play?



That was sort of my thought, though the mission would be set in the 1800s, so I’ve been (slowly) gathering old photos of the era and locations from online. But your suggestion makes great sense as far as some of the item cards, actually–I have old keys and fake gems and the like.

And I have at this moment about 25 tabs open in another window on this laptop, all pictures of garbage trucks, because my 2 year-old is way into them. And I was thinking of making a book for him of them. Did you print yours at home or get it done somewhere? I will need to do one on airplanes too, so any advice will be very welcome : )


I used one of the online services (Snapfish or Shutterfly) when they had a good deal on. Their “regular” prices are high, but steep discounts are frequent. But it occurs to me that, if your audience is young enough, it might make sense to print at home and use a laminator and a three-ring binder, instead. Sounds like there’d be a thematic mismatch with 1800s content, though.

But now my brain is buzzing with cool thing you could do, like having the pages be repositionable so the story changes. I may have to give this some thought for my nieces and nephews.


Finished Pandemic Legacy s1 this week. Great game, but after non stop playing it for weeks it is time for something different before jumping into season 2.
Wingspan and 7Wonders:Dual +Pantheon will get on the table next time.


The best genre receives its due. A title and category on BGG.


I tend not to like 1 vs. many, but the ones that I do like I think are outstanding.


Such as? : ) The only one I’ve liked very much is Fury of Dracula. I found Mysterium to be random and annoying.


Mysterium is a co-op game, not 1 vs many, right? The ghost is trying to help the investigators win.


Fury of Dracula is the one that immediately comes to mind, but I also quite like Specter Ops.