International Girlband #05 – October 2020

International Girlband’s monthly favorite games!

The International Girlband aims to promote Women into the boardgame community. For the occasion, every woman will present you their monthly favorite game, the one they most played, the one they loved to discover, in a word their own nugget ! 

Click on a woman’s portrait to discover her favorite game

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Ludigurl

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My game of the month is Stellar, a beautiful, space themed 2-player card game published by Renegade Game Studios and Origames.

In Stellar you are a stargazer using your telescope to find heavenly bodies, astronomical objects like moons, stars, interstellar clouds, and asteroids. Well, at least that is what the theme and the beautiful card illustrations convey. But beneath this delightfully charming veneer you’ll instead find a really enjoyable card game, where the rules are unmistakably simple but still deliver a quite thought provoking and challenging game play.

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Each turn you select a card from five different piles to place in one the two different areas in front of you, either in your Telescope or in your Notebook. The selected card also dictates what other card you will be be placing in the area you didn’t place the first card. This mechanism enhances the importance of the initial choice and in the best possible way make your head hurt. Because it is the relationship between the cards in your Telescope and the cards in your Notebook that determine your final score.

I would actually compare Stellar to games like Jaipur, Lost Cities, and Schotten Totten. They are all simple two-player card games that nevertheless manage to be both engaging and highly entertaining, and really encourages the players to not only focusing on their own cards but to take the opponent’s game state into account as well. And for Stellar to be mentioned in the same sentence as those hallmark games is actually ringing endorcement in and of itself. So, I have really enjoyed my plays of this super beautiful, thematically quaint card game, and am looking forward to explore the night skies even further.

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Sabrina

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Running the best hotel in the world is quite a busy job to do. Everyone wants to eat strudel and drink coffee and all the rooms have to be booked… What a job!

My game of the month is GRAND AUSTRIA HOTEL which is a famous dice-placement game by Simone Luciani and Virginio Gigli and will get an awesome expansion on kickstartert on 22nd of October. The well-known boardgame publisher LOOKOUT GAMES will bring the expansion „Let‘s Waltz“ to kickstarter and I am working together with them on this campaign. This is why I played the basegame GRAND AUSTRIA HOTEL quite a few times in the last weeks. But it was totally worth it.

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In this game you try to earn the most prestige by satisfying the emperor and your guests at the hotel and your cafe. The game is runned by a dicepool. Each die gives you an action. You must satisfy your hotel-guests by serving them delicious drinks and cakes and you have to keep an eye on your opponents.

The game is for 2-4 players and takes about 60-90 minutes to play. It is an expert-game where the options are just as huge as your hotel-bill. You always struggeling with money and you have a nice puzzle-element in the game when you try to arrange the right guests into the right rooms. Everything is worth points in the end and you try to get as much as possible during playing GRAND AUSTRIA HOTEL.

Even if it is an expert-eurogame the accessibility of the rules and the mechanism is quite simple. There is also a clever mechanism oft he player-order which can be the reason for some downtime (to mention something that is not liked by everyone – including myself) ☺

GRAND AUSTRIA HOTEL is a very clever eurogame with a really sweet theme and it is illustrated by the famous Klemens Franz who is responsible for many cool games like Orleans. When you taste a strudel in the Grand Austria Hotel you sure are hungry for more…

More: This is what the first expansion „LET’S WALTZ“ will bring to the table. More variety, more components, more guests and more champagne. If you are fan of the base game, you will adore the expansion. If you haven´t played the game yet: Book your room now!

This is the link to the kickstarter-page. The campaign launches on 22nd of October. Make sure you have your roomkey ready! Grand Austria Hotel Kickstarter Campagin

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Yvonne

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My favorite game of the month is My City designed by Reiner Knizia. In this competitive legacy game, each player develops and builds a unique city through the ages of time.

How to play?
My City is played in 24 episodes. The game containes envelopes with new rules and new game materials that you open up between the rounds. In this tile placement game some of the player’s decisions and actions will carry over to the next rounds of the game.

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Why is this my monthly favorite?
The tile placing in My City is so satisfying. And it works perfect for two players. This game is not frustrating at all, since you get points for winning a round, but a small bonus for catching up after loosing a round. I really love the little surprises hiding in the envelopes. Fortunately these envelopes does not add to many or too complex rules to the game, it stays clear and simple.

Besides the legacy game, My City also includes a version that can be played on the back side of the player boards. This eternal game is a fantastic and more sustainable idea for a legacy game, since you don’t simply throw it away after playing.

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Sofie

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My favorite game of the month is the Roll & Write game Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition which can be played with 1 up to 6 players and takes about 20 minutes.

How to play? In Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition each round one person rolls the 4 dice representing either railways, roads or a combination of both. These 4 roads then need to be drawn by every player on their personal erasable boards, that way creating various transport lines in which you try to connect as many exits as possible. The more exits you managed to connect at the end of the game, the more points you will get. Besides that you also get points for your longest railway and your longest road. But…beware, because at the end of round 7 you will lose points for each incomplete railway or road! So you need to plan your construction a bit wisely ; -)

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Railroad Ink: The Deep Blue Edition contains two expansions, represented by a set of light and a set of dark blue dice, showing either rivers or lakes. These sets can be added to the 4 standard dice, adding some variation and extra challenge to the basic game.

Why is it my monthly favorite? Railroad Ink: The Deep Blue Edition is soooo incredibly easy to learn, plays very smooth, is a nice & quick filler-up and is different each time you play it. Moreover, the game is very compact, making it easy to take with you everywhere you go. Also the components look really nice and are of a good quality. It’s my monthly favorite, simply because I’m having a lot of fun every time I play this game! And that’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it? : -)

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Anna

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My favourite game of the month is Paper Safari (Polish title – Dragons) published in Poland by Nasza Księgarnia.

In the photo below you can see how wonderful illustrations by Marcin Minor decorated cards as large as those we could find in the first part of the trilogy — Dream. The amazing atmosphere of the surroundings of the title dragons makes you want to watch and admire the cards for a long time. We personally love the works of this illustrator.

As for the mechanics, at first glance, it can be quickly associated with the aforementioned Dream, but there have been some differences here that, in our opinion, make this title a nice change.

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Each turn, a player draws a card from a face-up or face-down pile. Then he decides whether he wants to swap the selected card with any of the face-down or face-up dragons in front of the player. The cards have values -2 to 10. In each of our turns, we strive to include those with the lowest value in our collection of cards. The catch is that we don’t know what our face down cards are.

Throughout the game, we will have to risk a lot and decide whether we want to replace the card in front of us and which one we choose. It is not an easy task, but as they say, « nothing ventured, nothing gained ». In addition, we have 3 special action cards that can help us, but also deprive our opponents of really good cards.

The gameplay is rather short and fits perfectly the style of the previous games. The rules can be explained incredibly quickly. In Dragons you will play dynamically and without downtime, the only thing that can stop you is admiring the pictures on the cards and enjoying their wonderful atmosphere.

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Marieke

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My favourite game of the last few weeks is Homebrewers! We’ve got NO idea why Homebrewers has only 222 ratings on BoardGameGeek! We love this beer themed game by Matthew O’Malley & Ben Rosset, who also made Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

How to play? Homebrewers is an engine-building and dice-trading game. In this game you are brewing your own beer and you try to win the price for best beer at Summerfest and Octoberfest. You are buying ingredients, adding flavours to your beer and ofcourse brewing your own Ale, Poter, Stout and IPA.

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Why is this my monthly favourite? So if you love beer, you should def play Homebrewers! And if you don’t like beer – like us – but you DO like lovely games with a nice theme, then you should still play Homebrewers. The game looks amazing (with the mini beer tokens!) and the gameplay is smooth. Just a great game that everyone should play!

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