Click through the jump for a full recap.
Days of Steam (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/38364/days-of-steam)
Days of Steam can be quickly described as Carcassonne with trains.. but there is much more to it than just that. You are placing tiles to create train routes from city to city, while also trying to ship goods between those cities. Points are obtained only by shipping goods and creating full connecting routes that do not overlap, so the game feels much more competitive than Carcassonne.
Another difference is that you have a hand of tiles (instead of draw one, play one) and you have a few options during your turn. You can only take one action (play a tile, move your train, stop at the water tower) and determine which is best is the core of the game.
It was quick to learn and my group enjoyed it. This will be a good one to bring to game events, and I'm sure it'll hit the table from time to time, especially as my train-obsessed son grows up. He's 2, but he screamed when I pulled the game from his monster grip. So, in the next room over we pulled out all of his trains to give us time to play a quick session. Looking forward to playing this one with him in a few years.
I also saw that there is a small expansion called Days of Steam: Locomotives. At about $10, I will definitely pick it up and see what it does for the game, but you can probably get the full game for that price of you head to Barnes & Noble.
D-Day Dice (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/101785/d-day-dice)
After unboxing this game a few days ago, I was eager to jump into it. But with a hundred boards and a billion dice, where do you start? Well, we started with the suggested practice map, Exercise Tiger. It's a light map with multiple options for beginners who are learning the game for the first time.
D-Day Dice is a cooperative World War II board and dice game, so we're all working together to survive. If one of us doesn't make it out, none of us do. We only played a few missions using the one map, but it was enough to see what the game is about. Basically you roll dice trying to get sets, which will provide you with additional troops, medals, cards, and tools. World War II Yatzee? It's a good way to describe it to a newcomer, but it's only similar in the most basic form of rolling and re-rolling dice.
There is so much to this game that I think I will be uncovering new things for years to come. Exercise Tiger has a few ways to play starting with a simple Practice Run, then going into the harder Basic Training where machine guns and land mines are added, and then jumping into Advanced Training where you are finally playing the full game. We spent an hour or so messing around with the first two modes and never even made it to Advanced Training. And that's just one of the many, many double-sided maps.
D-Day Dice is by far the best bang for your buck, even if you didn't have the opportunity to get all of the extra Kickstarter bonuses. Expect to see this in many more of the Saturday Night Board Games posts.