I’ve been interested in Forest Shuffle for a while and have even considered buying the game. People on a Finnish board game Discord started talking about the game being unbalanced, which sounded terrible, so I gave the game a go on BGA.
It’s the deers and wolves combo, and sure enough, in my first game, I lost by 150 points to a player who used that strategy (I tried using it, but my opponent got all the deers). I tried again and collected lots of deer and wolves to win by 100 points.
So yes, I can see how that could sour the game for some people. I’m not sure yet. I like what the game does – it’s another Race for the Galaxy variant, with simple draw-or-play mechanics but lots of scoring interactions between cards. It’s a sleeker version of Earth and, as such, quite interesting. However, if it’s always about who gets lucky with the wolves and the deer, that will be boring. But I think I will be exploring this a little further on BGA.
Update (Oct 15th): After more plays on BGA, the two-player game there isn’t interesting because of the wolves. I’m getting a review copy of the physical game to explore the multi-player game.
Last night, we tried Fit to Print. This is a tile-laying game about creating newspaper layouts. It reminds me of Extrablatt (this makes me feel old), which I haven’t played, but it’s a different kind of game. This is a real-time game where you first grab news stories, photos and ads for your paper, then have to do the layout so that everything fits and follows placement restrictions (no adjacent photos, no adjacent ads, no adjacent news stories of the same colour). You want a good balance of good and bad news, and everything must be well placed for maximum score.
It’s all nice and easy, except you only have five minutes time for all this, and you must first collect all your material, and only then can you start doing the layout. You may end up with too much stuff – minus points – and if you’re too careful, you won’t have enough material and won’t get many points. Ads aren’t worth anything, but the player with the least ad money loses the game.
This was a blast. It all takes about 20 minutes and works really well with six players. Real-time action isn’t for everybody, and the game has alternate modes with a slower pace, but for me, the attraction is in the hectic pace. I’d love to play this again.
A friend is a fan of Sinister Fish games and has backed Villagers, Streets and Moon. I haven’t loved the earlier games, and I’m not a fan of Moon, either. My first play of Moon last week left me annoyed and frustrated. Yesterday, I gave the game a new chance. Turns out I still don’t like it. I did raise my rating from 5 to 6; I am still deep in the indifferent camp. Since my friend is a nice guy, I’ll play this for him in the future, but if there’s a second table playing something else, there’s a good chance I’ll jump ship.
Moon is a pick-and-pass drafting game: players rotate the hands of cards, building one card every turn to their lunar base. Cards produce resources, compete in majority schemes and gain victory points. There are many common goal cards to claim when you fulfil the requirements. Here are three elements I don’t particularly like: I’m not a fan of pick and pass, I don’t like majority races and running to claim goals isn’t great fun either.