International Tabletop Day recap

This Saturday marked 2017’s International Tabletop day. While it doesn’t take a special day to get me out gaming on the weekend, I was happy to sit down with friends old and new and try out some new games!


First Via Nebula, a delightful route building and pick up and deliver game by Martin Wallace. I have always had a soft spot for Wallace’s games, but they can be a bit dry in terms of theme. This was certainly the most colorful game I have played by him, and was nice and light versus his usual brain-burner fare.

The beautiful Via Nebula. Wooden pigs always make a game better.

Essentially players build routes from different resources to building sites in order to complete buildings for points. There is an element of cooperation as everyone is using the same network of paths to different buildings sites and resources, but at the end of the day the player who delivers and build most efficiently is the winner.

The next game was a light cooperative title called Samurai Spirit. The person who taught it to us put it best when he described it as Seven Samurai the board game. In the game you draw cards that represent bandits attacking the village. Each of these bandits has a number and players are trying to have those numbers add up to their exact threat limit. Think here of taking hits in a game of Blackjack and trying to get as close as possible to 21. However there’s other things going on with the cards, as some of them deal wounds that could add up to kill your character (an instant game over), and others burn the village or send in additional ninja raids. Lastly there are three icons that players must defend against each round, and if they don’t bad effects are triggered. This village is in some real trouble, and like most cooperative games the strategy boils down to risk management as players try to deal with the different threats that can come up each turn.  The best part however was transforming into the animal form of your respective samurai when you got two wounds. Because who doesn’t want to be a samurai bear?

Managing threats in Samurai Spirits


I also got to play another classic game, Wiz-War. This one would qualify for the games that stand the test of time I wrote about last week. The original design is from 1983, and was a big inspiration for Richard Garfield’s juggernaut Magi: The Gathering. You can see of the roots here with counterspells and different schools of magic at play, but Wiz-War has a really fantastic sense of space that is missing in Magic: The Gathering. Players are wizards running around corridors trying to steal other wizard’s treasure, kill the other wizards, or just survive. Things escalate quickly and the game feels a lot like controlled chaos in a box. Certainly different than a very clean and balanced Euro-style game, but tons of fun if you’re in the mood to sling some spells.

Wiz-war, chaos in motion.

The last game I got to try at tabletop day was the Kennerspiel des Jahres winner Broom Service. Or as I like to call it, Kiki’s Delivery Service the board game. Players run a potion delivery service and try to get potions out to the far corners of the map to score the most points. Each player has an identical set of action cards, three gathering cards for the different potion types, four witches corresponding to the different terrains, two druids who specialize in delivery and a cloud fairy, to clear those pesky cloud hazards. Each turn players play four of these cards. They can choose to play them “bravely” which gets a better version of the same action, but if any other player also plays this card bravely they lose the action completely. Or they can play them “cowardly” in order to guarantee they get to play the action. So it becomes a game of guessing what other players have played that turn, and trying to bluff or outguess them to get the most out of your actions. Tons of fun, and beautiful to look at as well.

Potion delivery!

All in all it was a very successful tabletop weekend! Let me know in the comments if you got out for some gaming this weekend!

3 thoughts on “International Tabletop Day recap

    • Wiz-War is a ton of fun. Just be prepared for chaos and player death and you’ll be in for a good time 🙂

  1. Yes! I love that table top gaming and REAL face to face time with friends and family is making a comeback! While I am a big Settlers of Catan fan – I also think it’s cool just plain old cards – you will never have more real, genuine laughs! This is also a new cool one that I saw on Facebook – it’s called “Coinhole” and it’s kind of like Cornhole, but a table top game you play with quarters! Check it out! 🙂

    I think that the Samurai Spirit one looks fun – might have to try that sometime!

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