ROUX DAT #7: Clank!, Root, Donning The Purple, Coloma, and more! Thanks

Hey board gamers, BJ from Board Game Gumbo here, back with more Louisiana flavor and tales of board gaming. It’s time for more post-game night QB-ing after our recent Board Game Gumbo Night at Anubis Game & Hobby this week.

You can feel the excitement as the Southern Board Game Fest quickly approaches on March 30. Each week, our game night brings in more new faces and some old friendly gamers, too. This week was no different.



What Noisy Cats Are We

Ben likes deck builders, and had always wanted to try Clank! from Renegade Games. Anubis has a demo copy for sale, so we broke it out on the big Warhammer table and played a three player game. It had been a while since I played base Clank! (I prefer the Mummy’s version as my favorite), so I was happy to dive back in.

More and more gamers started to show, itching to get some games started, so Kent and I decided to do a “rush” game. We told Ben what we were doing — basically grab the highest treasure in the dungeon and scream back to the top. It is a low scoring game but the hope is that you pick up a few points in purchasing cards and a few secret treasures along the way, while your dungeon mates die before getting out, costing them the 20 point bonus. We call it informally “the Carlos”, but it almost never works!

In this case, it didn’t work either.

Ben sat back collecting lots of treasure and secrets, watching me stall as we ran back to the top. I ended up two spaces away from the surface when I ran out of health cubes. Ben beat us, but it was a close game between the three, especially with Kent only a few points behind.

Roux Dat says: I’m curious if anyone has worked out an “ideal” strategy in base Clank! The lack of cards in the game that can cull your decks hampers the base game a bit, but it is a classic deck builder — maybe my favorite of all time?

The Forest Prime-evil

Sarah and David have been wanting to play Root, the blockbuster hobby hit from Leder Games, but we have not been able to sync up their schedules with the owner of the game in the Krewe. So, they did the next best thing and bought a copy! While we were dungeon diving, they taught a few newcomers (who are usually there to Gumbo Game Night the game and its factions.

By all accounts, it was a hit. I visited with one of the players, and he said that he was intrigued by the asymmetric play and wants to dive into more factions. That’s the kind of talk I like to hear and it usually means he will be back for more gaming.

Roux Dat says: The Root bandwagon continues. I’ve played five times — all with the Eyrie faction for some odd reason — and I could play it again tonight. There was a lot of discussion after the game about which is better, Root or Vast. I’m squarely in the Root-is-better camp, and not just because I think it is easier to teach and play. I also find the art and theme infinitely more appealing and interesting. For me, it is Root, bird claws down.


The Gumbo Cinematic Universe

While David and Sarah were teaching Root, Sagan was teaching his favorite game: Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game.

Judging from the cheers at the end of the game, Sagan and his Krewe were victorious, which was a much better end result than the night they played at our Board Games & Beer meet up.

Gold In The Gumbotime

Jonny Pac was a guest on Board Game Gumbo Live! recently to talk about his new game, Coloma. Final Frontier Games was nice enough to send us a production demo copy, so we’ve been playing it a bunch.

In Coloma, players are pioneers looking for gold in 1849 California. The main mechanisms of Coloma have a worker placement feel to it, but with some very unique twists. First off, you have to spend some of your meeples on outdueling the bandits in the shoot out at the far end of town.

You also have to outthink your opponents because if you go to the same place as the majority of your other players, you won’t get as strong of an action. In other words, you have to zig when they zag.

Roux Dat says: I did a terrible job of zigging and Bradly zagged his way to a big victory, with Adam in second. The game is not complicated, but has a nice mashup of interesting elements: town building, hand management, and engine building. It’s on Kickstarter right now.

Board Game….Gumbo….Board Game….Gumbo

Bradly wanted another shot at doubling my score in Marco Polo, and I really hated to disappoint him. So we grabbed Ben and Adam and took off on an eastward journey.

I’ve heard people compare Coimbra to Marco Polo. I can see why, but they are definitely different. Each scratches a different itch for me. Traveling for on going bonuses as well as jumping to be first on action spots is a key in Marco Polo, while eyeballing the cards costs and benefits versus the bonuses you can get on the layout of the monastery track is unique to Coimbra.

I need more plays. Two is just not enough to get good enough to beat half of Bradly’s score. At least this time I actually was staring at the walls of the great city, so close to actually walking inside it. Next time?

Roux Dat says: Hey, they are both awesome games, so make sure that both find a spot in your collection! For now, I will say that my favorite game between Coimbra and Marco Polo is….



Six players were waiting on us to finish up Marco Polo, so whole waiting, they jumped into Villainous. Sagan had them taught and scheming in minutes. 

On a side note: the big news out last week was the purchase of the design team that has created these better-than-expected IP games.  Does this mean even more games, more exposure, and more retail outlets for good games? It so, that could be very good good for our hobby.

Roux Dat Says: It is certainly not my favorite asymmetric game (I think that would be Root) but I would not turn down another play as long as it was only three or four players. Six seems just too high of a play count; the downtime between turns is a killer.


One Half Of The Best Color Combination In Sports

So, Carlos and Bradly have been raving about this three player game from Tompet Games, Donning The Purple. Even my son Jack, normally not very ebullient about games (other than Game of Thrones), came back from Sunday Epic Gaming excited about his recent play.

I finally got the chance to try it. I see what the fuss is all about and why Jambalaya Plays Games likes it so much. Players take turns trying to build up their wealth and prestige all while scheming to overthrow the emperor (one of the players) at just the right time to score big points. The artwork and production really set the mood.

King Of The Hill Games are not my normal cup of tea, but this one was more about timing than beating up the leader. I loved my play and could see playing it again a few times.

I will say I was pretty lost during the first half of the game, because there’s a lot going on from a mechanism standpoint. But the game itself is not hard to learn at all.

Roux Dat Says: Believe the hype. It’s a unique experience, Part euro, part Amerithrash, part exercise in perfect timing. The addition of the way overpowered plot cards ramps up the energy level of this game to ten.

Ben said: DTP is a unique and enjoyable experience, even when I lose.


So, that’s it for Gumbo Game Night and our post-game quarterbacking session. Roux Dat will be back with more commentary and reviews about the games we are playing. Is there a game that you would like to suggest for the next Roux Dat? Send me a tweet @boardgamegumbo and let’s chat about it.

Until next time, laissez les bon temps rouler!

— BJ


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