Board Game Journal – March 20 2023

It’s a short journal this week, with the only games played are old favourites that I have spoken about before.

What was interesting to me this week is I started up Paperback Adventures twice on the Steam Deck, but had to stop myself from playing it. The rule I made for myself last week was to play the Digital version only on the PC, or go to the physical version.

Even with Paperback Adventures’ new cards, heading upstairs or firing up the laptop just seemed like a little too much. So maybe the convenience of the game on Steam Deck is part of the appeal after all? Will see if I knuckle down and play it next week.

Cartographers Heroes

Another super quick one (this week’s journal seems to be full of them!). I have mentioned how I play Cartographers on my phone so much I don’t even bother recording the plays anymore.

Well, this week, I have been playing in the ranked game and I have managed to break my personal record by a lot. In Cartographers (or Cartographers Heroes), a solo score of 40+ is considered great. To score this, you usually have to score about 100-110 in the ‘normal’ scoring.

You see, in the solo Cartographers Heroes, each scoring goal has a value you subtract from your score to determine your ranking. So imagine how excited I was that I achieved a ranking score of 147!

20230320 - Cartographers - Record Breaking Score
My previous best-ever score was 87, so quite the jump!

I quickly jumped to the leaderboard to see how this score faired and came crashing back to reality. Can’t even crack the top 100. The top score at the time of writing this is 227. The top 4 are all 200+. No idea how they did it!

In a game like Cartographers Heroes, there is an element of getting the right cards to truly jump your score. Try as I might, I can’t see how I can squeeze another 80 points out of what I have here, which is what I would need to match the top spot.

But I almost doubled my personal best – I till take that as a win!

Isle of Cats

We wanted something fun to finish the day. Why not Isle of Cats? It’s been at least 2 weeks since we played, almost an eternity!

We keep coming back to Isle of Cats because we have so much fun playing it. Even a bad round of Isle of Cats is a lot of fun. The most you can do to mess with another player is rescue a cat before they do, and even that is recoverable.

20230320 - Isle of Cats - Still a great game to play after all this time
Still a great game to play after all this time

This round we had a slight wrinkle, but not a bad one. Alpal has been playing Isle of Cats with her mum and playing the Family Rules.

Apart from the cheating aspect that Alpal is getting in extra games (😋), the Family rules replace the drafting aspect. The scoring rules are also tweaked a bit. So the conditions weren’t exactly what Alpal was expecting.

This didn’t stop Alpal from scoring highly, but did mean a small change in thinking from what she became used to. I think I need to convince her mum to only play Family Mode rules so I have a higher chance to win!

20230320 - Isle of Cats -Takes up so much board space though
Takes up so much screen space though!

So while this is a very short entry, go see all the Isle of Cats entries if you would like to know a bit more about the game.

Potion Explosion

After coming back to games after being sick, I wanted to play something we hadn’t played for ages. Potion Explosion quickly bubbled to the surface.

Potion Explosion on the table looks amazing, especially the second edition with the plastic dispenser. It’s rare someone doesn’t enjoy pulling out a marble and seeing what happens.

The digital implementation doesn’t have exactly the same feel, but it does play the same way. Except. I had forgotten how janky the Board Game Arena controls are!

20230320 - Potion Explosion - Back to an old neglected favourite
Back to an old favourite

It took a little while to work out how Board Game Arena wanted us to play Potion Explosion. Rabbit especially got caught out one round where they tried to use a potion, but the game insisted she used her normal turn instead.

That said, it was still a fun game once we got into it. Alpal, Rabbit and I have the Steam version though, which plays a lot smoother.

Next time I feel like playing Potion Explosion with this group, I think it will be the Steam version all the way!

20230320 - Potion Explosion - Steam version FTW
Playing the Steam version is more intuitive, but BGA lets you play with more people so which is better?

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,