Once a month gamer: Online resources

No review this month, but I did want to share some of my favorite places to go online to find new games, tools for gaming, and great communities!

  • Tabletop: This Geek & Sundry YouTube series is where it all began for me. I didn't even know that the types of games I play now existed before I saw this show! It has been a huge inspiration to me and if you haven't seen it already, please go check it out.
  • Geek & Sundry: While I'm at it, you should check out their site. They have articles about tabletop games and more!
  • BoardGaming.com: This is my go-to resource when I want to know what games are coming out and to check out reviews of games by other tabletoppers. It also helps me find publisher links for some of the games I review here!
  • BoardGameGeek.com: A forum space for all things board games. I'm not super active on this site because my designer heart detests forum sites because they are so visually unappealing, but I have found useful information on here before.
  • Your DnD Stories: I love this Tumblr that takes people's actual D&D stories and illustrates them. Always good for a chuckle.
  • Out of Context D&D: Speaking of Tumblr, this is another one that will give tabletop players a laugh.
  • Lastly, some gaming swag:
D&D Chiffon top from welovefine.com

D&D Chiffon top from welovefine.com

The player's vault from mythical makings on etsy

The player's vault from mythical makings on etsy

board gamer top from grumpy geeks on etsy

board gamer top from grumpy geeks on etsy

these candles have metal dice embedded in them! from boonzy arts candles on etsy

these candles have metal dice embedded in them! from boonzy arts candles on etsy

Takenoko /// Once A Month Gamer

From the publisher's websiteLong, long ago, the Emperor of China offered the Emperor of Japan a Giant Panda in a gesture of peace. You have been appointed to the delicate task of caring for this politically-important Panda and tending to the Emperor’s illustrious bamboo garden. You must cultivate plots of land using irrigation and intelligence so that bamboo, the only food that the Panda will eat, grows in abundance. But beware of the sacred animal’s uncontrollable appetite for crunchy young sprouts… 

 

PUBLISHER:
Asmodee, Matagot

DESIGNER(S):
Antoine Bauza

COST: $49.99

THEME: Animals, Farming, Strategy


We haven't played this game a whole lot, yet, because it is farely new to our collection. However, we played it none stop the week we got it. It is a lot of fun and I have yet to win, lol. You are tasked with working the bamboo gardens and caring for the Giant Panda, all while competing against other players to score the most points by completing as many of the objectives as you can.

There are three types of objectives:

  • Plot Objectives, which award you points for creating a certain configuration of colored plots on the board.
  • Gardening Objectives, which award points for growing colors of bamboo to certain heights, before the Panda eats them.
  • Panda Objectives, which award points for eating certain combinations of colored bamboo.

You can only grow a certain color of bamboo on the matching color plot of land (ie: green bamboo only grows on green tiles), and you have to make sure you irrigate the land or have a water source on an adjacent tile in order to grow any bamboo. You also have to roll the weather dice, which will have different affects on your turn (example, the gentle Rain causes the bamboo to grow, allowing you to place a bamboo section on a garden plot of your choice).

Honestly, this game is a little complicated as there are a lot of things you can do but you only get two actions each turn. However, the game itself is beautiful and very well designed.

IMAGE VIA PUBLISHER

IMAGE VIA PUBLISHER

If you combine the price (at almost $50, it's one of the pricier games) and the learning curve, this isn't a game I would necessarily recommend to every one. However, if you are an experienced gamer and want a new game that it is fun and beautiful, then go for it! 

Tokaido /// Once A Month Gamer

LazyLady-OAMG-Tokaido.jpg

Since I'm all about travel this month, I thought the perfect game to review would be Tokaido. This is one of my favorite games and it centers around players competing to see who has the be trip as they travel along the legendary East Sea Road connecting Kyoto to Edo. In this game, it is all about the journey.

 
We even played this game while on vacation!

We even played this game while on vacation!

 

The set up isn't crazy, but it can take a minute to get all the pieces out. There are a few decks that you need to have on the board, and while I love the design of this game, the box doesn't really help you keep the pieces to it very organized. Once you set up and randomly select your players (each character you can play has different advantages and starting out money), it's time to start your travel.

OAMG-Ratings-Tokaido.jpg

PUBLISHER:
Passport Games Studios

DESIGNER(S):
Antoine Bauza

COST: $40.00

THEME: Japan, Travel, Strategy

There is a two-player variant to this game, in which you have a "third player" that the two real players take turns controlling. Mr. LL and I found this to be tedious and never play this way. We play with just the two of us just fine. Things get a bit more cut throat with just two players though because you KNOW where the other one wants to go.

You get points along the way for buying souvenirs, eating delicious food (but never the same dish twice!), visiting temples, meeting fellow travelers, going to hot springs and painting the scenery around you. If you run out of money, you could even work for turn to get some coins to spend along your journey. Not only do you get points for all these things, but you also are rewarding for doing them better than your other players. If you complete a landscape first (of which there are three), then you get a bonus. If you eat the most expensive foods, you get the Gourmet bonus. If you have the most complete sets of souvenirs, you get the Collector bonus. If you had the most encounters with fellow travelers, you get the Chatter box bonus; and finally, if you visited the most hot springs you get the Bather bonus.

This game takes some strategy so you can make sure you get the most out of your journey to Edo. I'll admit, none of my strategies work and Mr. LL always wins. Always. But I still have a great time playing it and love this addition to our collection.