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The Best of St Petersburg Crammed Into One Weekend

For our upcoming Azamara Baltic cruise in June, we will be docking in St. Petersburg. I am so excited about this because I fell in love with this grand city when I visited it once before, in the autumn of 2013. There was a discounted fare available to Russia at the time, so I took the opportunity to fly to St. Petersburg for a self-indulgent weekend. The city stands in sharp contrast to Moscow with regard to its culture, cuisine, and tourism (see the travel post on my Moscow trip here). Whereas it was difficult to find English speakers in Moscow, I had no trouble with language barriers in St. Petersburg as many people spoke English. The city has a European vibe and reminds me of Vienna. With just two days to explore the city that weekend, I tried to include the most interesting experiences into my itinerary. I had a scrumptious breakfast each day at Coffeeshop (a Parisian style cafe), wandered the streets people watching, toured the Winter Palace and felt like a princess (alas no time…
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Board Game Preview - Glen More II: Chronicles

My husband and I started collecting board games in a purposeful and well-researched fashion in 2014. There are plenty of fantastic games that came out before then that are missing from our collection either because we weren't present for the wave of new-game-itis and no one we follow talks about them, or because the games are out of print and so we can't easily purchase them even if they've been recommend to us. Glen More falls into the latter category. Many gamers have told us how awesome the game is, but it’s no longer sold through retailers. So we were especially excited when it was announced that Glen More II: Chronicles was going to debut on Kickstarter this year. We were invited by the publisher (Funtails) to sit down with their team in Germany and play this sequel to the first edition a few month ago. We gathered around a virtual table, through the wonder of Tabletopia, and played through a full game. In Glen More II: Chronicles (designed by Matthias Cramer), we are…

Board Game Review: Master of Wills

We picked up Master of Wills from Stormcrest Games a few months ago. It’s the publisher’s first offering and originally debuted in 2017. If you haven’t heard of the game, or its publisher, I’m not surprised. It seems to be a publishing house with only about 1500 followers on Twitter and Instagram combined. A small operation for sure, but you don’t have to be big to be good. And Master of Wills is good. It’s very good. Master of Wills features a cyberpunk theme and is set in the distant future where factions seek to manipulate the community to build public support. Players align themselves with a faction of their choice and do everything they can to pull the most powerful collection of community members to their side. Gameplay extends over eight rounds, with a turn for each player (or team if playing two against two) during the round. Each turn begins with a move phase wherein the active player selects one of the cards from the community zone of the board (the neutral section in the mi…

Board Game Review: City of Gears

We added City of Gears from Grey Fox Games to our collection late in 2018, shortly after it was shipped to Kickstarter backers. We have other games that we love in our collection from this publisher and we thought we’d take a chance on City of Gears as it came highly recommended by some of the biggest influencers in the community, including the Dice Tower. City of Gears carries a steampunk theme wherein we are factory owners who control a legion of automaton workers that we dispatch into an abandoned city to explore and bring back to life. Featuring a pleasing muted color palette, the game’s artwork reinforces the theme perfectly. It’s a mashup of ancient looking gears, clocks, and architecture, with futuristic little robots. Artists credited include Anthony Cournoyer, Chris Leder, and Tyler Myatt.








City of Gears is designed by Chris Leder and Daryl Andrews. The gameplay is rather straightforward and easy to learn. Players alternate taking turns and during their turn they complete the …

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

I was delighted to receive Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia just in time for Christmas in December. I had heard great things about the game, including its status as a Mensa Select winner, and I was eager to get it on the table for play. The first time we opened the box, we were appreciative to find the components were nestled neatly inside GameTrayz. How thoughtful and practical is that? Kudos to Stonemaier for including the handy plastic organizers with the game.

In Euphoria, we take on the role of labor managers, trying to keep our workers dumb and happy so as to avoid them quitting as we work to gain enough influence to takeover the dystopian society we are all members of. A bit of a dark theme, even though the gameplay is fun. This is a classic worker placement game with some area control and set collection thrown in for good measure. It’s also a tense race to a point marker finish line (in this case 10) and it features the signature Stonemaier twist – almost every action you can…

Paper Tales: Beyond The Gates

I received a copy of Paper Tales  from Stronghold Games in December and our family has really enjoyed playing the game. You can read my full review of Paper Tales here. Because we had so much fun with the base game, we were eager to dig into the expansion,  Paper Tales : Beyond The Gates, which Stronghold Games began shipping late last year in 2018. Beyond The Gates provides 20 new unit cards (13 different cards, some with multiple copies), 30 new building cards (6 different buildings, 5 copies each), 7 building tiles that allow for the randomization of building selection during game setup, components for a 6th and 7th player, and components for solo play. All components and artwork are of the same high quality as in the base game.Let’s walk through all of this game goodness, starting with a roundup of the new unit cards.  The most expensive of the new cards is the Princess, which single handedly brought my husband back from his trailing position in our last game. Coupled with a power…

Board Game Review: Paper Tales

I received a copy of Paper Tales from Stronghold Games in December. My husband had expressed interest in the game, so I put it on my play list, knowing nothing about it, but trusting his judgement. When the game arrived, I was delighted with the clever artwork featured on the cover, which features a collage of illustrated figures set against a white background for contrast. It really stands out and is a striking example of paper craft.  The cards inside the box carry the same style of illustrations and are also intended to be reminiscent of paper craft, specifically, paper layering. It reminds me a bit of the style employed in the video game The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker. Fun fact: I actually took the time to look up the details on the CGI used in Zelda and I found out the designers used cel shading to give the artwork “a characteristic paper-like texture.” It’s pretty amazing when an artist can employ a technique that so perfectly evokes a style as intended that even those who aren’…