GameFor – an interesting app to help find other gamers!

GameFor Logo

Looking to make a new game group or extra player?  GameFor has you covered

Yesterday, I saw a mention of an app called GameFor.  Something about connecting gamers?  It was free, so I had a look.

Jumping in, I was instantly greeted by a new board game group in Brisbane I knew nothing about – The Blind Pig Games Club.

You may be thinking “So?  Isn’t that what the app is for?”

Well yes, it is.  But GameFor is written as a free app from US-based We’re Milk Can Dev & Design Studio, and Australia usually gets ‘outside of area’ type issues for these type of apps.

Finding a group and event within 5 seconds of registering is actually pretty cool!

And not just groups – yes the first page is a gaming event, but GameFor has a virtual bulletin board for gamers looking for players groups as well that already looks pretty healthy in my area.

GameFor Upcoming Events
Upon registering (a very quick and painless process) first screen is an event near me! Usually I am greeted with US events
GameFor Looking for Group
Looking for players is also just as advertised. A fair number of people are already on and around in QLD, which is awesome!

I won’t be jumping straight into new groups this weekend, I already have a fair bit on.  However, if you are looking for somewhere to play/someone to play with, give GameFor a look!

You can get the app for free on Android and sort of for iOS.  I say sort of because I can’t find the app on my Australian iPad App Store, but the homepage has a link so maybe there is a way?  Android users no issues loading though, and what I have on my phone.

The only niggles I have with Gamefor so far are pretty simple fixes.

  1. Get it on the Australian iTunes Store
  2. Allow distance to be changed to km’s.  The US is virtually the last holdout for imperial distances!

Registration is email and an emailed verification code and is quick and easy.  After PAX (Maybe even during?) Don’t be surprised to see a JohnHQLD group appearing in the future!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Haru Ichiban – fun little two player game out of nowhere!

Haru Ichiban Feature

Don’t know where this one came from, but it was fun!

You will hear a lot of Board Gamers talk about ‘The Cult of the New’.  This can be used to describe people buying/playing only the new ‘hotness’, or at least newly published games.

While I definitely have a wish list of releases that stretch to 2020, I like to think I look for games that are fun and don’t care when they are released.

So last night Alpal showed me a game from a designer I enjoy that has gone under my radar for four years.  That’s quite an accomplishment.

Bruno Cathala’s Haru Ichiban is a fun, light and quick two-player abstract game that can be surprisingly deep.  Essentially it’s a game of sliding puzzles, where you try and make a shape out of your coloured flowers.

Gameplay is simple.  Each player has eight flowers, each with a number on its base between 1-8.  Each round, you have up to three flowers, and you select which number you want to play.  The highest number becomes the Grand Gardener, with the lower number the Little Gardener.

Then you proceed to play as follows:

  • The Little Gardener places their flower on the dark lilypad.
  • The Grand Gardener places their flower on the lilypad of their choice.
  • The Little Gardener moves one lilypad to an adjacent space, possibly moving other lilypads at the same time.
  • The Grand Gardener flips one unoccupied lilypad to its dark side.
  • Each gardener takes a new flower.
Haru Ichiban Gameplay
An elegantly simple board for an elegantly simple game

This continues until players are out of flowers, or players form a shape with their flowers.  These shapes are fairly simple – a 2×2 square, a 4 flower line, or a five flower line (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal).

Once one of these shapes is achieved, the player will score 1, 2, 3, or 5 points depending on the pattern, until someone gets 5 points total and is declared the winner.

Simple, isn’t it?  But it’s not as simple as it initially looks.  You can play to mess with the other player, but that just weakens your position in the long run.  The timing for when to be the Grand or Little Gardner is everything, but a player cannot dominate the board.  There is a true ebb and flow to playing this game properly, I just haven’t quite found it yet.

Hopefully, I can talk Alpal into a few more games, and a formal review will be coming soon.  Until then, if you enjoy light abstract strategy games like Onitama or Patchwork, definitely give Haru Ichiban a look if you see it around 🙂

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Fantasy Flight Games reveals Fallout: New California

Fallout Board Game New California Box Art

An interesting choice for expansion material

Fallout: The Board Game.  It had a lot of buzz, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it when it was first announced.  I have three plays of it now, and I will be getting it back to the table a few more times for a formal review.  Right now, my thoughts are if your a fan and like heavy solo games, go for it.  Fallout is not a terrible game, it’s just to me not a great game either.  The license and theme are definitely doing a lot of the sales work.

Things have been fairly quiet for about a year now about the board game.  And then Friday the 13th (Australian Time) on the Fantasy Flight Facebook page, an image familiar to Fallout fans appeared:

Fallout Board Game New California Please Stand By
The last time we saw this image, Fallout 76 was announced

Personally, I was hoping the announcement was for a Mansions of Madness/Imperial Assault type of app.  Fallout has a lot of bookkeeping, and play could be streamlined with such a tool.

What came to light over the weekend though was a new expansion is coming this year – Fallout: New California.

Now some new scenarios and characters are always a welcome addition to this sort of game.  Variety is the spice of life, and there is a good game in there – I am sure of it.  It’s one of the main reasons why I am determined to stick with the game and try to find as much game as possible in there.

But the expansion setting confused me a little.  While I admittedly haven’t finished Fallout 4, I only really remember New California being referred to in story on the odd occasion.

Fallout Board Game New California Box Art
The Fallout: New California Expansion. An Official Expansion for an unofficial mod?

The big bit of news Video Game wise about New California is that a long-awaited fan-made mod for Fallout: New Vegas has been in the works.  Set as a prequel to Fallout: New Vegas, the New California mod has been years in the making, and has a release date of October this year.

There was recently a trailer for the mod with the release date, shown below:

Now while this is a huge mod and the culmination of years of dedicated work, it’s not exactly a ‘canon’ update either.

This makes the Fallout: New California Board Game an interesting choice.  On one hand, you have an established IP with set events and characters that fans know.  On the other, there is an unexplored lore acknowledged area of the country that is open for creative interpretation.

The featured Vault 44 is even a new area lore wise – from memory there is no mention of Vault 44 in the pre-existing narrative, so hopefully again some creative freedom is being explored here!

Fallout Board Game New California Components
A way to add variety is almost always welcome!

While the expansion comes with only two new scenarios, with new characters and creatures there will be a lot of variety in the original games too.  This is always something to look forward to.

But honestly, one thing that pulls me out of the Fallout game is the micromanagement of the world itself.  Fantasy Flight, if you could maybe think of supporting the Fallout with an app, I think you will have a better sales uptake than with this expansion.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
Fallout Board Game New California Minis
New characters incoming. Even just this addition is a welcome one!

So E3 isn’t over, but Origins is beginning. Back to the Board Games!

Origins Game Fair

From excitement about trailers to excitement about box art and rulebooks

So E3 is winding down.  My Video Game stuff isn’t stopping, but it is slowing to a trickle as I take in more of the stuff I am excited about.

But while the public spectacle side of E3 is winding down, over in Columbus Ohio the Origins Game Fair is just warming up!

The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has been hosting Origins since 1975, and is five days of gaming.  And not just Board Gaming – if it involves a table, someone is at Origins to represent!  RPG’s, Miniatures games, Table Wargaming, even LARPers are there!

There is also the Origin Award to look forward to.  These are awarded annually for contributions to gaming over the previous year and will be announced Sunday (Australian Time).  While the Origins awards do not have the same buzz around the world as the Spiel Des Jahres, these nominees and winners are no less important for their contributions to gaming.

But that’s enough for today – tonight I will be eagerly combing through as much Origins news as I can, and I will start sharing my thoughts tomorrow.

Until tomorrow!

JohnHQLD

April Fools Day 2018

Renegade April Fools

Oh yeah, that’s ama… Wait… Damn it it’s April Fools, isn’t it?

Sometimes, companies troll us with great sounding ideas.  Other times, we all laugh with the joke.  Today, I thought I would just list a few board game related April Fools jokes that made me smile 🙂

Let me know which ones you wish you were playing!

Other than that, I hope everyone has enjoyed/is still enjoying their long weekend and catch you all soon.

JohnHQLD

Lego VacuSort

Can’t stand stepping on Lego blocks?  Don’t have hours to sort everything?  How to fix two problems at once!

Lego VacuSort

Renegade Game Studios

Renegade Game Studios is my favourite new publisher and one of my all time favourites as well.  I can’t think of a single game they have published that I don’t enjoy.

And now, thanks to the great news released April 1st, I don’t have to worry about storing the games I don’t have!

Renegade April Fools

Mayday Games – Get Bit Legacy

Mayday also announced their contender for the Legacy craze.  Get Bit Legacy sounds rough!

Get Bit Legacy

Sony knows where the games are at

Even PlayStation gets in on the act.  I am sorry to say I really wouldn’t mind the mini controller pieces though.

PlayStation Board Game

Space Cowboys gives us the expansion we didn’t know we wanted

Cites of Splendor is a fine expansion that adds greatly to the base game.  But it’s no Kitties of Splendor.

Kitties of Splendor

Stronghold Announces Fields of Mars

Can’t decide between Fields of Green and Terraforming Mars?  Why not both?

Fields of Mars

ZMan goes all out with the newest Pandemic Title

Yeah.  Image says it all 🙂

Pandademic

New York Slice gets the Legacy Treatment

Honestly, Beziers April Fools made me smile, then wonder why I was still watching.  Then I watched the people at the end.  It’s always great seeing people enjoying not taking themselves too seriously!

ThinkGeek is in on it as always

ThinkGeek is never one to shy away from a good prank, and this year it makes character creation so easy!

4d6AndMe

Wyrmwood announces a new line

And speaking of not taking yourself seriously…