Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First up: We’re high seas hustling to complete quests faster than the other captains in Quests and Cannons
Next: We hustle for followers from a dystopian cast of hundreds in Red Rising
And lastly: We hustle around sand traps and water hazards as we putt for a hole in one in Play Nine

Quests & Cannons: The Risen Islands

Designed by: Eric Geller & Shannon Geller
Published by: Short Hop Games (Coming to Kickstarter in 2021)
Players: 1 – 6
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 20 – 120 min

Quests & Cannons: The Risen Islands is a strategy game about exploration, epic quests, and exciting combat. 

Players use action points each turn on an open movement, modular game board to explore the various islands, receive quests from the settlers, gather resources, find map clues, upgrade their ships, collect loot, and trade cannon fire with rival adventurers. 

Players earn prosperity by finishing quests, completing map clues, and attacking other players. The object of the game … is to get to the most prosperity, thereby becoming the greatest explorer in the animal kingdom!

Red Rising

Designed by: Alexander Schmidt & Jamey Stegmaier
Published by: Stonemaier Games (2021)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 45 – 60 min

Red Rising is a hand-management, combo-building card game.

Start with a hand of 5 cards. On your turn, you may deploy 1 of those cards to one of 4 locations on the board. This “activates” that card’s deploy ability. You may then either gain the top card from one of the other 3 locations or you can top draw from the face down deck.  A special location bonus applies when you take a card.

If you choose not to deploy, then you can scout. Scouting is when you turn over the top draw from the face down deck, and place it on one of the 4 locations to activate that location’s benefit.

Scoring is chaotic, with lots of synergy points and abstract bonuses for color combinations and name matches. Player with the most points wins!

Play Nine

Designed by: Ceil Anderson, Kathy Assell
Published by: Double A Productions (2004)
Players: 2 – 6
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 20 – 60 min

Play Nine is a card game whose theme is golf. In golf, and this game, the objective is to get the lowest score. 

Each player is dealt 8 cards.  Do not look at them, keep them face down. Arrange them in front of you, 2 rows of 4 columns. Reveal any 2 cards. The rest of the deck is put in the center of the table, and turn over the top card into the discard pile. Then play begins.

First player can pull the top deck card and choose to play it, or discard it. Or instead, the player can take from the top of the discard pile.

The player can then substitute the card for any one of the 8 cards in front of them.  Replace it with either a face down or face up card. The replaced card then goes to the discard pile. Play continues until one player has no more face down cards in front of them. Everyone gets a last lick, and then the scoring happens.  Add the points, the cards range from 12 to -5. Two matching cards in the same column count as zero (or less) and there are bonuses for 4, 6 and 8 matching cards.

After nine holes, the lowest score wins.

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