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Good Morning, Jesters!

Story of the Week

Today we mourn the death of Rick. He was born into a world ravaged by a pandemic that left the survivors living on platforms in the sea. Each day a struggle, not knowing if you’ll run out of food or if the virus would get you. Rick died at the young age of 21 in the month of May in the ruins of Paris.

If you’ve been following the newsletters, you might remember that I’ve been working my way though Pandemic Legacy Season 2 with my Pandemic play group (if not catch up on our newsletters here).  The one lesson I want everyone to take away is, READ EVERYTHING.  Don’t forget to read the rules and definitely don’t forget the text on new stickers you add to the board.  If not you might be responsible for the death of a character.


I’d like to take a moment to apologize to my play group for not noticing a little piece of text that may (or may not) have saved the beloved Rick.  Without Rick, Morty and the other survivors are left to carry on trying to find a way to survive whatever Pandemic Legacy has left to throw at us.

Spotlight: Terraforming Mars


I’m trying to add a recurring segment to give some consistency to these newsletters.  I’m trying out a “Spotlight Game” section to hopefully introduce you all to a game you might want to try.


Released: 2016

Playtime: 120 Minutes

Players: 1-5

Age: 12+

Mechanics: Card Drafting, Hand Management, Tile Placement, Income, End Game Bonuses, Take That, Variable Player Powers


In the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. In Terraforming Mars, you play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.


I first played Terraforming Mars after I bought it for my brother-in-law as a Birthday gift.  It was a ton of fun.  I’ve since played it numerous times both with groups of friends and as a single player version.  I love the strategy of card drafting, resource management, and tile placement involved in Terraforming Mars.  Because you aren’t guaranteed to see the same cards every game, it keeps things nice and fresh between plays.  It may seem complicated at first, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.

Highlighted Mechanic

Another recurring segment, I'm trying out, is to highlighting a different game mechanic each time. Card Drafting Card drafting games are games in which players pick cards from a limited subset, such as a common pool, to gain some advantage (immediate or long term) or to assemble hands of cards that are used to meet objectives within the game. Popular Examples - Terraforming Mars - 7 Wonders - Wingspan - Agricola


Until next time,

Kevin

Your Humble Court Jester

Good Morning, Jesters!


Last week I mentioned how excited I was to receive my first Jester Stack, if you haven’t heard Jester is trying out a new product offering where you can sign-up for a personalized box to arrive at your door with three games in it.  Then you have the option to keep the games you love and return the ones we didn’t get quite right.


As soon as Don stood up GetJester.com, I was on it signing up and purchasing my first box.  Over the next week, Don worked frantically to figure out what kind of box to use, packing material, and most importantly what games he thought I would like.


On Friday, my first Jester Stack arrived!  After a few days of refreshing the tracking page to see where my package was, it was finally here, and I was beyond excited to experience the unboxing.  Being the first box shipped by Don, I know he was also super excited, maybe a bit nervous to see how I responded.

What's In The Box


The first game I pulled out of the box was Forbidden Island, where players race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!  Another new one to me, and I do enjoy cooperative games, so this was another one I was going to be keeping.


Game two was Azul, where players score points based on how they've placed their tiles to decorate the palace.  I had seen this game before but never taken the leap.  I was keeping this one for sure.


Can we go three for three?  The last one was Werewords!  A party game where players guess a secret word by asking "yes" or "no" questions.  I LOVE Werewords, it’s a great party game and super easy to pick up.  Sad news though, I already have this game.  I quickly scrambled to make sure this game was part of my collection on Jester, did I screw up or did Don not look closely enough at my collection.  Sure enough it was there, it’s okay. We aren’t perfect.  And I do give Don credit for picking an amazing third game.



Overall I was super happy with the box!  I love the excitement of unboxing and seeing what was added.  All the games arrived in great shape.  And even though I haven’t had time to try them out, I know that Azul and Forbidden Island will be played for sure.  I will be getting another Jester Stack in the future. 


Are you ready for a Jester Stack? What are your thoughts if you’ve received one?


Until next time,

Kevin

Your Humble Court Jester

Welcome back, Jesters! Don, one of the co-founders of Jester, and I talk often.  He likes to drop ideas out of left field to see if it would be a good feature for Jester or if it resonates with me as a board game enthusiast.  Two weeks ago he dropped this one on me.

How interested would you be in some sort of board gaming subscription service? Think StitchFix for board games. Customers of the service would receive 3 top-rated board games either each month or as a one-off, personalized to their interests. They’d have 7 days to decide whether they wanted to purchase any of the games they had received or send them back free of charge.


A Brief History Of Jester

Now, in the beginning, Jester (or “Foozli” as it was called at that point), was started with the idea of being an online board games rental marketplace.  Don saw a potential gap in the industry - board games are expensive and people don’t seem to have an option to try them out before they buy them.  “Why isn’t there a Netflix for board games,” he said.  Remind me to give you all a more detailed Jester history lesson later. While creating a board game rental company didn’t exactly pan out, from the ashes of Foozli rose Jester.


One of the core focuses within Jester has always been personalization. You might have even seen a short-lived feature within the app that said: “Get a Personalized Recommendation”.  Once you clicked that Don and I scrambled to look at your collection of games, get a bit of input from you on the most recent games played, and then pick three games that we thought you might like.  This type of personalization is one that seems to be missing from the board game industry but is found just about everywhere else you look.


What's In The Box


When Don posed the question of JesterBox I was interested.  I liked the idea of a personalized bundle of games based on my collection, recent plays, likes and dislikes.  It took me back to the original idea of Foozli where we’d be giving people a chance to play board games.  I was ready to jump in.  We talked about it for most of the day and the rest of the week.  Don began running with it and created a simple website to test the idea: https://www.getjester.com/




Take a look - does this resonate with any of our current Jester community? If so, give it a shot (you’ll need to create a brand new account just for the website).


I know I love the idea. So much so that my first box is already in the mail.  Let’s see how it goes.



Until next time,

Kevin

Your Humble Court Jester

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