18th Jan 2024 - Skymines / Mining Nightby Robin. Fri, 19 Jan (Updated at Fri, 19 Jan)
First there was Race Night, then there was Vital Night; and then, this week, we had the even more glamorous Mining Night. Of the 7 tables, I don't think mining is involved in Food Chain Magnate, Estates or Age Of Empires - please correct me if I've forgotten something 🙂... but at the other 4 it somehow was.
Starting down on Earth, we had a first appearance for Kutná Hora. If you're a mining afficionado you'll know that Kutná Hora is a Czech city famous for its medieval silver mines - so this one was about mining silver (with action cards). Then upstairs we had another new game, Ceres, which was about mining various things (I think) from asteroids. Its mechanic of choice was worker placement. Another middle-weight game; they both seemed to flow well.
And then there was Dune Imperium: Uprising. I have to admit I don't know much about the Dune universe, other than the original concept of exploding Spice out of the ground before the sand worms stop you. Which isn't quite chiselling away at the coal face, but it sounds like a nice sci-fi spin on mining nonetheless. I think this one is a completely new game as opposed to the old Dune Imperium? But I only got a brief look at it.
And lastly there was the game I played - Skymines. Not sure about the exact theme of this one - I think we were mining on the Moon for the 3 things that you find when you dig on the Moon - carbon, "minerals" and titanium. But for any of you more familiar with board games than mining, this is the game that re-implements Mombasa with a less offensive theme.
So I maybe didn't get the mining vibe that you might have hoped for on Mining Night, but I definitely enjoyed the game. Having concluded that diamonds were the way to go in Mombasa (another game with mining), I resolved to try the other track in Skymines. And I did manage to get all the way to the end, despite making several mistakes. I don't know if that's because they've tweaked the balance in the re-implementation; probably I just didn't bother trying it in Mombasa.
So I'd definitely play this one again - although there are so many mining games to choose from! The 4 that we had this week were all released in the last year or so: no room for Brass, The Ruhr, Tinner's Trail or any of the others. So if you're a gaming and mining enthusiast and you missed Mining Night, I'm sure you'll get another opportunity soon enough.