December 2016 was our third crate since we started and it was by far the trickiest to complete – mostly because it was Christmas and we hadn’t quite taken into account how quickly supplies of some games would go!
Subscribers to the October Crate will remember the themed meeples – the witch, the ghoul and the vampire. We tried so hard to get themed meeples for the December crate but the manufacturer decided to not make any this year and stocks from last year had all but gone so we went back to the dice from the November crate.
This month’s crate included some absolutely great games including the legendary Power Grid and the highly awarded Codenames and 6 Nimmt! as well as many other top rated games. There was also a huge amount of variety too with other games like Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy, Spyfall, Dreamwell, Welcome to the Dungeon and Grifters – it was a very eclectic month!
We tried to mix up the combinations with everyone getting two of the listed games, ensuring that each and every crate was still great value for money!
The objective of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network gains a predetermined size. In this new edition, players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, and then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they use to power their cities.
However, as plants are purchased, newer, more efficient plants become available, so by merely purchasing, you’re potentially allowing others access to superior equipment.[/bartag]
At the beginning of each round, players each select, secretly and simultaneously, one of the seven roles which correspond to the phases in which the round progresses. By selecting a role, players activate that phase for this round, giving each player the opportunity to perform that phase’s action. For example, if one player chooses the settle role, each player has the opportunity to settle one of the planets from their hand. The player who has chosen the role, however, gets a bonus that applies only to them. But bonuses may also be acquired through developments, so you must be aware when another player also takes advantage of your choice of role.[/bartag]
In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
Codenames: Win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.[/bartag]
Spyfall is played over several rounds, and at the start of each round all players receive cards showing the same location — a casino, a travelling circus, a pirate ship, or even a space station — except that one player receives a card that says “Spy” instead of the location. Players then start asking each other questions — “Why are you dressed so strangely?” or “When was the last time we got a payday?” or anything else you can come up with — trying to guess who among them is the spy. The spy doesn’t know where he is, so he has to listen carefully. When it’s his time to answer, he’d better create a good story![/bartag]
Each player uses a separate small board with spaces for city buildings, plantations, and resources. Shared between the players are three ships, a trading house, and a supply of resources and doubloons.
The resource cycle of the game is that players grow crops which they exchange for points or doubloons. Doubloons can then be used to buy buildings, which allow players to produce more crops or give them other abilities. Buildings and plantations do not work unless they are manned by colonists.[/bartag]
To play the game, you shuffle the 104 number cards, lay out four cards face-up to start the four rows, then deal ten cards to each player. Each turn, players simultaneously choose and reveal a card from their hand, then add the cards to the rows, with cards being placed in ascending order based on their number; specifically, each card is placed in the row that ends with the highest number that’s below the card’s number. When the sixth card is placed in a row, the owner of that card claims the other five cards and the sixth card becomes the first card in a new row.[/bartag]
The game ends when one candy reaches the top price, at which point every one gets to accuse one other player for what they smuggle. Arrested players are out of the game. The winner is the remaining player with the highest priced candy.[/bartag]
On your turn, you will be able to take three actions from the following list: move one of your pawns, rotate a tile, draw a card, replace the display, or locate one of your missing friends by playing a card. Only by carefully navigating the maze-like Dreamwell can you locate your friends and win the game.[/bartag]