Between trying to keep up with the website, organizing and preparing for the Board Game Giveaway and everything else, my opportunities to play games recently has been temporarily diminished. I managed to sneak in a few games! Over the past week I got a chance to try 2 games I had never played before!
Codenames is a team game where players divide into field operatives and a spymaster. The spymaster attempts to give clues to the field operatives about the available 25 word cards on the table; the words on said cards are representative of undercover agents, known only by their codenames.
The 5 x 5 grid of codenames (partially obscured in the photo above by already identified agents) correspond to a secret grid (bottom of photo) known only to the spymaster for each team. Thespymasters attempt to guide the field operatives (other players on their teams) to correctly identifying all friendly agents in the field. For example, the grid in the photo above shows that the blue team has yet to identify two different operatives, codenames ‘Ambulance’ and ‘Turkey’.
The spymaster on his/her team’s turn will give a clue AND the number of cards/agents that the clue applies to. If the spymaster thought that a clue (must be a single word) applied to both cards/agents he/she could say “_____, 2” indicating the clue and the number of cards that the clue applies to. To play it safer though, the spymaster might instead say “paramedic, 1” which indicates the clue and the number of cards that that clue corresponds with. The answer of course would be ‘Ambulance’ and the field operatives would more than likely guess correctly.
I sat down to play Codenames with Trudi and several other friends, and we played badly through our first game. The rules, though not hard, were a little unclear to us. They became apparent towards the end of the first game.
Outcome – Trudi, my teammate, and I lost, but we had a lot of fun doing so.
Kemet is a strategy game with an Egyptian theme that focuses on pyramids of power and fast-moving aggressive armies made of both men and giant monsters. The game also has an upcoming expansion, so I was eager to give it a try. I had already been very interested in Kemet before my friend Brian brought it to Board Game Night at The Jester’s Court.
Brian, Trudi, Laura and I sat down to do battle in this pseudo-Egyptian game. In Kemet players are rewarded for attacking and defeating the opponents with victory points. Other victory points are also awarded for controlling temples spread around the map, fully upgrading their pyramids and by other means. I started off with an aggressive strategy, seeking to both overrun my opponents and take control of temples. I started off highly aggressive and dedicated my Prayer Points (the game’s currency) to upgrading my armies’ offensive abilities. I took an early lead that was threatened only by Laura’s meticulous and calculated approach and Trudi’s wise, defensive countermeasures when she designed her armies.
While everyone at the table played very well, I was able to handle the combined forces of the others when Brian and Trudi decided I needed to be knocked down a notch. Laura, a quiet player for the most part, went largely overlooked despite her quickly growing number of victory points. Brian, the only of us to have played the game before, lamented loudly that he was doing badly and had made several errors. Looking back now I think that it was a rope-a-dope strategy.
Outcome – Brian won at the last possible moment of the last round. That rascal beat me despite me having the lead for the entire game, with only Laura silently threatening my position of power for the duration of the match! KHAN(pronounced as Brian)!!!!!