Welcome back for another week of news! I’m going to try a slightly different format this week to help give you a better preview of my favorite articles. Let me know what you think!
Articles From The Community
Law of Game Design
3D Total Games
Boards & Barley
Last Week on iSlayTheDragon
We had the first in a new series of articles highlighting some of our favorite artists, be on the lookout for more in the future. There are plenty more great reviews and articles coming this week!
Games On Our Table
Panamax – I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Panamax and finally got a chance to try it out this weekend. It’s a heavier euro that’s all about moving cargo along the Panama Canal. We set aside a good chunk of time for this one since two of us were playing for the first time and needed a rules explanation beforehand. The rules are quite lengthy and involved but I found that compared to other games of similar complexity that everything fit together really nicely. I think the reason for this was things moved very natural around the very well designed board allowing you to easily visualize how things worked together. There are lots of mechanics in play: dice action selection, loading and delivering cargo (also dice), stocks, as well as managing personal and company finances. You only get 12 actions over the course of the game (plus some bonus actions) so you’re really trying to squeeze the most out of very limited actions. In order to get ahead you can coperate with the other players by loading cargo onto the same ship or pushing other boats through the locks to move cargo quicker. Of course everyone’s trying to come out ahead so it ends up being forced cooperation more than mutually helping each other. I really really enjoyed Panamax and I barely felt like I even scratched the surface of the strategy! Hopefully I’ll get to play this one again soon.
Artificium – I’ve played Artificium with three different groups and had qite different experiences each time. My most recent play was the most interactive and nastiest game so far. I’ve felt like the Knight and action cards were intended as a catch-up mechanic and finally saw it in play as the leaders were reined in several times. In the second last round I was out front and had two second tier goods stolen to prevent me from pulling off the chain that would let me hire two characters that turn. But even more dramatic was watching the seemingly uncatchable leader get hit by three Knights in the final round to end up losing by one point. I was glad to see that getting a lucky chain early in the game didn’t mean that you were guaranteed the win.