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Collecting SDJ: Part 8

For those who have been following this series of blogs you might be aware that I was down to eleven of the award winners to pick up, that was November last year, which you’d think might mean I was well into single figures by now, sadly its been two steps forward and one step back. It’s been a strange time after all, for everyone.

The two I picked up were Niagara and Heimlich & Co. Niagara has a great table presence, its an interesting game actually, many of the SDJs are on the simpler “German” end of the “Euro” spectrum and arguably Niagara is there too. At the same time part of its feel is whatever would be the equivalent end of the Ameritrash spectrum (“New Yortrash”?). I’ve already given it a few plays and actually rather like it, a review will be going up soon.

Heimlich & Co. is again solidly “German” in its feel, and it’s a really nice game. Apparently its both a possible source of the meeple and the scoring track around the outside of the board (I’ve heard that they are colloquially known as “Kramer” tracks in Germany as tribute to the designer of this game). I’ve not managed to get to all of the alternate play modes yet and I’m very curious as to whether the proto-social deduction mode is particularly playable, but the base game is lots of fun and full of interaction, which I love.

As I say its been a weird year, I used to enjoy picking up SDJs in charity shops and conventions. I’ll be visiting my first convention since the pandemic began in December, though due to the games that I’m down to I doubt I’ll have much luck with charity shops from here on in. I’m down to; Auf Achse, which was never published in English, so I’ll probably have to over-pay online for what I’m told is a pretty poor game (but it might be getting a new version, so I could hold out for that); Barbarossa, which seems super rare, possibly due to the play-dough in it going off over time; Um Reifenbreite, again never published in English and so tough to track down in England; Call My Bluff and Manhatten, which are the best bets I have of picking something up not in a specialist location at this point; El Grande and Mississippi Queen are both English language but I think too complex and too long out of print respectively to get from anywhere sensible; Thurn and Taxis which I think has a good chance of turning up at a convention as not totally obscure in hobby terms; Pictures and MicroMacro are the last two still missing, which are presumably too new to pick up anywhere other than first hand.

As I mentioned last time, once I get done with this I’ve been wondering about the various KDJs, at the moment it looks like zero in both cases, though I’ve long had my eye on Magic Labyrinth without knowing it was a prize winner. However, since the last time of writing we now have an extra teeny person in Man O Kent towers, so that’s probably good enough reason to start collecting the Kinderspiel Des Jahres.


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