ManaBurnt 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!

MAUNA KEA – also known as escape the lava game -…well, I made a song that I used as a chant to hope the lava wouldn’t kill me… XD the objective of the game is to escape the island with hopefully at least one meeple (the rest is optional). The luck component in this game is incredibly high, and lava can come out at any point whilst you’re taking out your tiles to escape.

No one actually won in realistic terms, though a technical victory was granted to Alex here and our friend Francis because they had a meeple each which hadn’t died… Poor man’s victory, imo…

BLACK SHEEP – this is essentially poker, but where farm animals replace numbers. Each animal has a value and you are trying to win animals per field, which means you’re actually playing 3 poker games with the one hand that you can draw new cards for every turn. However that means sometimes you may have to give up in certain fields to succeed in others. There are common and hidden objectives that help towards the end game scoring, but the easiest way to win is by accumulation of animals – all except black sheep. I had a good run in this one for a little while. Let’s just say that, if this would have been a casino, it wouldn’t have resulted in lots of bling!

MARRAKESH – I LOVE THIS GAME! An all time favourite, this is a great laugh because of it’s simplicity and it’s tactile value. You are a rug seller in Marrakesh competing against the other players for profit. You have your own lil rugs that you place to get money, and that’s it. Looks like this:

I seemed to be winning, until my mum got herself ahead very quickly, and it was almost impossible to catch up. Alas, always fun wrestling to cover other people’s rugs.

FAMILY BUSINESS – the most brutal game: mobsters killing mobsters. It’s a very fast pace game where you need to balance how aggro you are towards the other players, defending yourself and saving your own. Usually ends in Big Deaths – exactly how it went. I am a vengeful person and got them dying quick! And again, victory snatched from my dead, cold fingers 😭

PIKO PIKO – another fast pacing game, that we have already discussed in a previous post:

As with most azarous games: I Suck lol

CAMEL UP – one of my favourite games ever. I won big time. A combination of using my consortium at the right time, placing my money making tile in the right spot and not getting too enthusiastic about what camel may win, but ensuring which one would lose 😁

So, this is how we party back in Spain during game night. Add tasty local burgers and you got the perfect day.

How do you guys game with your friends? And what are your games party favourites? We look forward hearing your feedback!

See you on the next one 😁

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ManaBurnt Podcast – Episode 5 ft Rikki (DICE, Portsmouth)

Sorry guys, we have been on holiday! But don’t despair: to compensate we bring you a very special edition of our podcast. We had the infinite luck and pleasure of speaking with Rikki from Dice, the board game cafe in Portsmouth.

Rikki explained to us the concept behind their business, how it all came to fruition and their hopes and struggles. We also talked about a few board games.

We would like to send a massive thank you to the entire crew at Dice for their time and hard work. And we hope you guys come down there for a good geeky time!

Find them at diceportsmouth.com

The Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 2

The second episode of our podcast is here already! with some awesome geeky chat ready to be beamed straight into your brain… via your ears.

This episode features guests Nick and Nik! alongside our friend Mike returning from episode 1. Our chat is slightly more focused this time, it’s all about board games!

Be sure to check out Nick’s RPG publishing company, Owlman Press: https://www.facebook.com/OwlmanPress/

And keep an eye out for the release of Nik’s new board game, The King of all Bards: https://www.facebook.com/kingofallbards/

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”

Ancient and Medieval Board games

Here’s a new post I wrote for our History blog at W.U HSTRY. The wonderful combination of History and Board Games doesn’t get much better!

W.U Hstry

Board games have been a part of human society for thousands of years, and although most of them have been lost to the ages, there are still plenty that have survived either in some physical form, or described. Archaeological finds of various game boards and pieces that we may never know the rules to can be an interesting if frustrating source, but the combination of games that have survived to the modern day, written sources and artwork can often reveal how many of these old games are played. There is evidence to show that all levels of society would have enjoyed gaming in various forms, be you rich or poor, educated or not, old or young.

There are many examples in recorded history of people playing board games, such as Romans sitting in the forum playing Ludus Latrunculorum, Monks in Gloucester Cathedral playing Fox and Geese in their cloister…

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DICE: Board Game Lounge (Portsmouth)

On the 2nd of February (2019), some of my friends and I ended up in Portsmouth with the intention to go to the game fest at the Guildhall… but our plans changed, and there are 0 regrets because our visit to DICE: Board Game Lounge in Portsmouth was more than pleasant! I am gonna make a very strong statement here guys, but i wholeheartedly believe this establishment is the best of its kind in the South of England – granted we haven’t been to All board game venues, but, hear me out. I will use points of comparison with our local BITC in Southampton and the big name in London – Draughts. Having been to either of these several times, and knowing that of course their audiences are slightly different, I think DICE have actually managed to find a very happy medium which makes their success apparent.

For starters, DICE has several aspects of the business which we approve of: you have the facilities to play board games, they have a bar, a shop, and seemingly a good set of activities throughout the week. We were stupid enough to not book a table – plans! Silly! I know – so please if you are reading this make sure that you book through their page or Facebook which is: https://en-gb.facebook.com/diceportsmouth/ And you will think reserving a table sounds pretentious, but nuh huh! It gets so busy! particularly during the weekend. And you can understand why very easily.

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Dice from the side of the shop – look how well stock they are! And without having to have a ridiculously overwhelming display. Super good use of the space and resources.

Continue reading “DICE: Board Game Lounge (Portsmouth)”

Be Responsible with Your Cardboard Crack – A Farewell to My MTG and Netrunner cards

I am not bringing you something exotic today, but rather sharing my experience of how I have come to terms that I am for good – or at least until the game changes and Wizards rethinks its strategy…so probably eternities from now – getting rid of my Magic: The Gathering collection. Sad as it is, the truth is I am not really invested in the hobby any more: I have pretty much ignored the last 2 sets of the game, and even before that, I was mostly making decks that I wanted to play with and nothing to do with whether they’d be tournament legal or not. Plus, after a while cards take a fair amount of space, so I needed to clear some of this. In addition, the sudden turn of events for Netrunner earlier on this year has also meant I am saying bye-bye to most o my cardboard crack.

Continue reading “Be Responsible with Your Cardboard Crack – A Farewell to My MTG and Netrunner cards”