Getting to know…

It’s pretty easy to decipher what I like and don’t like if you’ve read some of my reviews but I realized that what I’m into isn’t what my gaming group necessarily likes. My number one gaming partner (also known as my fiancee) is mentioned fairly regularly throughout my reviews and I received a message asking to know more about her thoughts.

I figured this would be a good outlet for you to get to know her so without further adieu, here is a brief interview I conducted with Rachel as she made pan-fried vegetables for dinner.

What is your favorite game?

Come back to me on this.

Seven questions later.

Part of me wants to say Galaxy Trucker because there’s so many things to do. It’s like two games in one. Building your ship is a blast and stressful due to it being timed. It’s all on you and you have the potential to make an awesome ship or to make a crappy one. There’s always someone who forgets to put something in their ship, like engines. I like the actual voyage as well and feel like no one is ever really out of the game. It’s also really quick. We never play just one game. It’s always two or three before it’s boxed up for good. I also just like space things.

What is your favorite ‘underrated’ board game?

Is this underrated in our household or in the world? Whatever you want it to be. Betrayal at House on the Hill. You can do it with a group and everyone gets to be a character. I feel it’s underrated due to the fact that not many people like the horror genre or don’t get into their character enough to enjoy the experience.

Ooo, also Gloom. I really like the improv and story-telling but it only works with certain groups.

Who is your favorite designer of board games?

I like the…ummm…uhhhh…I like the style of Viticulture. The text and the font are easy to read and not too crazy but they still pop. Everything is somewhat realistic. I think I like the artists more than the designers…

What is your favorite component in a board game?

My favorite tchotchke? My favorite one is the gavel in Article 27 because it’s fun to hit on the table and everything gets rowdy.

What is your least favorite component in a board game?

Any first player token because they are unnecessary.

What is your favorite theme of a board game?

Something with a historical background is kind of cool. Something like a Twilight Struggle but it doesn’t have to be that heavy. I like things that are also as fun as Castles of Mad King Ludwig due to the crazy King or Medici with the light background knowledge of the families and their shipping trade.

What is your least favorite theme of a board game?

Trains? Are trains a theme? Anything with transportation. Getting from point A to point B is boring. It’s not even really a theme. It’s not like Photosynthesis where there are trees and seasons going on.

What is your favorite board game mechanic?

Worker Placement! It’s stressful, especially when it limits the abilities of the next player, like when you take my spot. I really like the planning ahead aspect and I have my turn mapped out a round or two in advance. I get real antsy when people take too long or don’t plan contingencies when something doesn’t go their way. It also feels a little less random than rolling a die or drawing a card. If something bad happens to you it’s typically because you made a bad move. I also like that you get to do twelve things at once; it’s not just drawing one card or moving one space…unless you only have one worker.

What is your least favorite board game mechanic?

Deck Building. Heavy deck building. Not The Quest for El Dorado but the serious deck building only is too much.

What game can you not stand or refuse to play?

Ticket to Ride. One, it became overplayed (it was our second game). It’s…ugh. I hate it. I hate the repetitiveness of drawing a card, playing a card. People take forever to make turns happen even though there aren’t that many options available to them. I hate the wildcards and the discarding of the market in front of you when there are too many. I don’t like no matter how good you are at playing board games, Ticket to Ride punishes you if your route is cut off or isolated. Why play when you can’t complete your routes? I also don’t care about the theme of travel in general. Planes or trains. We have them. Cool.

I think trains are too innocuous and that makes them boring.

So is Ticket to Ride your most overrated?

Yeah but so is Settlers. The Hipsters found that in Target and it took off. I have a theory that no one likes it but they pretend to because they don’t want to look stupid. It’s like the Picasso of the board game world except it didn’t beat up a lot of ladies (we got real sidetracked on this topic for quite some time. I was unaware of his darker side).

What’s the most memorable gaming experience you’ve had?

Playing with the crazy Fluxx guy at PAX Unplugged (Andrew Looney)! He had us play a crazy abstract game (Zendo) and I’m terrible at abstract games but I beat you three times in a row. He was so laid-back and mellow.

If you could only keep 10 games in your collection, what 10 would they be?

Galaxy Trucker – I like space stuff.

Pandemic (the first one) – It was the first game we played and it brings back fond memories.

The Castles of Burgundy – I like the varied gameplay; it never feels boring.

The Manhattan Project – Very fun theme and fairly quick.

Chinatown – Because you like it so much.

Stone Age – …because I’m good at it…I like the dice cup too.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – Even though it has limited gameplay, it’s so fun and works as a brain teaser.

Terraforming Mars – It has the cool insert (Broken Token) which makes it easier to play. And again, I like space things!

Viticulture – But with the Tuscany board because it has all the seasons and makes sense that way.

Zombicide: Season One – I painted all the characters and they’re really fun. I also like the dice rolling as actions.

Are those your ten favorite games?

Not necessarily. But they’re ten that hold up over a long period of time so you get a lot of gameplay out of them.

What’s the heaviest game you enjoy?

Do we consider Twilight Struggle heavy? Yes. Then I would say that. It’s only a two player game, which means it’s just us, alone, on a weekend in our cozies. I love the subject and it’s different. I haven’t played anything else like it. I don’t even know what it’s classified as. It’s not deck building but it has cards. I like the multiple options and love the historical aspect.

What’s the lightest game you enjoy?

I want to say Go Nuts for Donuts because it’s adorable but I’m picking Loonacy. It’s so quick and easy and you can play it without thinking. You don’t have to wait for people’s turns and can play it while (or after) drinking. It’s also incredibly easy to teach. I like that about light games.

Favorite player count?

I feel like four is good for any game, even when they fit six or more as this still keeps the game moving quickly. Four is a nice, perfect number.

Favorite big group game?

Spyfall. There’s always one confused person who misunderstands the job and their answers are hysterical.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Umm…something clever. Follow Miles on Kurt’s Instagram. It looks like he’s actually playing the games!

Author: Two off the Top

Just a guy that wants to talk about board games more than his significant other tolerates.

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