Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday Night Board Games: The Impossible Machine, Survive: The Giant Squid, The Resistance, The Settlers of Catan, and Alhambra

We had a pretty epic board game marathon this past Saturday. There was a hurricane a brewing so we got an early start, and managed to squeeze in 5 games. We played some old favorites, and tried out an all new game and a new expansion. 

Click through the jump for a recap of our Saturday Night Board Games.

The first game we played was all new. It's called The Impossible Machine, and it's based on the Rube Goldberg machine. 
Rube Goldberg machinedevice, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883-1970).
I almost picked this up last week, but Marty surprised and brought his new copy. The game was quick to learn, and we jumped right in after about 5 minutes of reading the directions. In the game players draw and play cards to create one machine as a group.  The symbol on the edge of the card must match the symbol of the previous card. To make things a little harder you can also play a card in-between two existing cards, but the symbols on both sides need to match up. Once someone plays an end piece, the machine starts to turn on. During this phase cards will flip over and points are scored for each machine part. Players can continue to play cards during the scoring phase and it can get a little hectic (in a  fun way). We'll definitely play again.

The cards really work with the theme. You follow the machine from beginning to end. 

Marty played the best parts and won the game. But it was REAL CLOSE!
Next we played Survive! This is definitely one one of our favorites, and we really wanted to try out the new Giant Squid expansion. If you've never played Survive, it's a wonderful "escape the disappearing island" game from the 1980's. It was recently remade by Stronghold Games, and even more recently they released the expansion. The components of the original game were beautiful and I've remembered them since I was a kid. Stronghold kept that in mind when making The Giant Squid Expansion. The squid pieces are super cool, and their ability is pretty brutal. They can pull your tokens off of the nearby land or nearby boats. They also can kill whales, and vice versa. It's a solid expansion for an extremely solid game.

Awesome squids.

Shark city.

Molly and George tied for the win. 19 points each. The rest of us had about 4 each.
We FINALLY got a chance to play The Resistance. It's a social deduction game of 5+ players and it's rare that we have 5 players. Here is a little background about what the game is all about.
Players are either Resistance Operatives or Imperial Spies. For three to five rounds, they must depend on each other to carry out missions against the Empire. At the same time, they must try to deduce the other players’ identities and gain their trust. Each round begins with discussion. When ready, the Leader entrusts sets of Plans to a certain number of players. Everyone votes on whether or not to approve the assignment. Once an assignment passes, the chosen players secretly decide to Support or Sabotage the mission. Based on the results, the mission succeeds (Resistance win) or fails (Empire win). When a team wins three missions, they have won the game.
Deduction games like this (and any of the Werewolf games) encourage discussion. It can get a little heated, and that makes it much more fun. Instead of us arguing about who was a spy, or who we were voting for... we just argued about the rules. I think we got it right in the end (and enjoyed it very much) but it suffered a bit from it being the first time any of us has ever played. Hopefully we can play again real soon. 

The character art is pretty cool. They vary from Matrix-y to LOTR-ish to Gentlemen Broncos-esque. 
Marty and George were the worst spies of all time. But they did manage to win the game.
The Settlers of Catan
We wanted to play something familiar, so we jumped into a game of Catan. We all pretty much agree that Catan is board game perfection in that everyone is invested in every turn of the game. There is very little waiting involved because you can gain resources on everyone's turn.

In our game I managed to start on the best space on the board, but my second choice was forced and terrible. It definitely cost me the game.

I'd like to try out an expansion for this sometime soon. Curious as to which is the best to start with. I'm guessing Seafarers?

George's favorite part. The edition that I have is so hard to snap together.

There was a massive battle for the corner harbor.
We had a building contest, and I won with my AT-AT. The others weren't even worth photographing.

George won... let's move on.
We ended the night with a quick, light, two-player game of Alhambra. George and I wanted to give the fictional player "Dirk" a chance, and see how it went. Adding Dirk made the game work so much better.

My Alhambra was flawless.

I won! But I think George was tired because he barely scored any points.

See you next week! Hopefully we'll be playing either Quarriors or Irondie.


  1. We will most definitely be Playing Irondie! Man I destroyed you guys the other night.

  2. thats awesome. I have a review written up for impossible machine just need to take photos. very jealous

  3. Impossible Machine was fun. Looking forward to your review.