Friday, 7 November 2014


Friday. Ian and I cracked into Hyperborea, the game with possibly the most teenage box (fantasy, weapons, mountains) and certainly the silliest title of 2014. However hearing good things I rose above my snobbery and traded in... er, Terra Mystica for it.

The theme is of tribes or peoples post-apocalypse in some distant planet, perhaps named after a bowling alley, reawakening their sense of adventure, exploring the largely hexagonal world, encountering each other and obviously fighting to the death the moment they make contact. There's also ruins and cities to explore and ghosts to kill. It's like a conglomeration of all the things that make games sound a bit silly.

But at the same time there's a really nifty mechanic at work - terminology allowing. It's been christened bag building or something on BGG. Basically you're generating movement up some advancement tracks as well as on the board, and the more you do this the more options you have in your exploring/fighting and the more gems (victory points) you generate. And how this happens is by pulling three cubes from your bag and seeing what you can do with them: certain combinations allow certain actions, and you can get cards that give more options and rewards too - although the cards cost you in grey cubes, which are mostly worthless.

As the game goes on you populate your bag with more cubes and have more options. It's reminiscent of the card-play in Dominion - not a game I'm fond of, but I found this more engaging. There are options - do you take an instant reward or gamble on setting a few possibilities up for your next turn? That part of the game was a very intriguing element.

4-player set up with invisible table

Although it took us two hours that was a first play and I think the alleged game time of 25 minutes per player isn't too far off, assuming all players know the rules. I also think plain wooden discs rather than designed plastic pieces would have been preferable to me - there's something about bright plastic that turns me off. But these minor gripes aside I think we'd call it a success - Ian would, too: he wiped the floor with me.

Ian 52
Sam 44

I then introduced Ian to 7 Wonders for two plus Dirk - it's really underrated as a two-player I think. The ghostly Dirk adds an extra dimension as you dump cards your opponent (Ian) wants and get Dirk to buy stuff from you. I exacted a small measure of revenge for my trouncing in Hyperborea...

Sam 73
Ian 52
Dirk 31

And with that we called it a night.


  1. I had a debate with a guy from the RBS on Wednesday (Report to come) about 2 player 7 wonders. He said it was shocking and I was defending it, saying it stood up as a nice game all on it's own. I couldn't quite get to the bottom of the problem, whether it was the virtual player or that it was too removed from the original concept but the feeling was bordering on loathing. Quite bizarre as I've only felt that way about one game and that was BSG. (Which gets a lot of love....)

  2. I may be the only core-GNNer to have not played BSG, and I never want to. I've not played 2 player 7W neither, but I'd like to give it a go.

    Hyperborea (auto-correct wants to call it "hyper bored", btw) looks interesting - I'm intrigued by the colour-wheel iconography.

    Ah teenagers and their mountain obsessions . . . My parents were always finding mountaineering literature stashed under my mattress.

  3. Mine too. There was one humiliating moment when my mum walked in on me belaying

  4. I've never played either either Joe. Hyper bored! I almost want to play it so I can make that crack. Almost.

  5. I actually think you might like it Martin. There are screwage options aplenty. Often to yourself by your own bag.