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Review: Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain:: A Newbie's Look at Pendragon

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:17:11 +0000

by claudermilk PremiseAs the tag line on the title states, this game covers the “Fall of Roman Britain” in the late 4th and 5th centuries. You take the role of one of the factions fighting for control of the island as Rome withdraws. On the Briton side are the military Dux and civilian Civitates trying to retain the old order while asserting control for themselves. On the Barbarian side are the Saxons and Scotti coming to fill the power vacuum and take a piece of the lands & wealth becoming available in the ensuing chaos.ComponentsAs with any GMT game the components are fantastic. There are also a lot of them! The map gets quite busy, but for me not overwhelmingly so. It’s a joy to see the game on the table and to move the bits around.The board is a large, high-quality, 8-section mounted map with beautiful artwork. There is a place for everything with multiple tracks and holding areas for all the pieces needed.Each faction has a set of painted wooden pieces (and a few spares too). The normal Euro wood cubes for the primary troops are present as are the cylinders for each faction to note resource levels and actions taken and/or eligibility. Added are custom fortification pieces and raider pieces. The last wood pieces are the smaller, gold cubes for representing Prosperity.The cardboard counters are standard thick, high-quality GMT pieces. The game includes both a comprehensive rule book, and a Playbook. The playbook is a hefty 70 pages! But contained within is an extensive tutorial game spanning 11 rounds; there is also an extensive AI tutorial covering one faction from each side (the Dux and the Scotti). More than half the Playbook is dedicated to detailed background information for each of the 82 event cards plus the serried of articles the designer wrote for GMT’s newsletter, designer’s notes, and a couple of pages of suggested reading on the topic. The last helpful bit of information is pronunciation guides to help us modern readers with the Latin, Welsh, Gaelic, and Old English names used. There is a ton of information in there!Game MechanicsThis is volume 8 (VIII) of the COIN series and shares many of the basic mechanisms. I am new to COIN so much of this will be old hat to those who have been following the series. My understanding is that Pendragon adds several new twists to the system.The game is driven by the event deck with periodic scoring and reset via the Epoch cards; this deck is seeded like other COIN games, or Pandemic if you are more familiar with that game. The deck also controls the length of the game based on the chosen scenario. Each card determines the player order and you can see the next one coming up so there is a little foreknowledge to plan by.The play sequence grid is present and in the normal COIN arrangement. This makes for one interesting tactical choice for the players as the second player’s available action is determined by what the first player chooses to do. The four factions in two sides of the conflict are present as are the asymmetric Command and Special Action (Feats here) actions. Each action does something different and can be combined with a Feat when the player wants or is able to enhance the turn.One of the new twists is the Imperium Track representing the deterioration of Roman rule. This keys off of where the Briton factions stand in relation to their victory conditions. As the political situation deteriorates, the Briton factions’ victory conditions change. It’s an added complication, but an interesting nuance. Another new twist is the concept of Prosperity. Each region has an amount of Prosperity, represented by gold cubes, based on population. This is a large part of what the Barbarian factions are after when raiding. It’s also used by the Britons as a victory condition (for the Dux), influencing the Imperium state, and paying off mercenaries.Lastly (and I may have missed some due to my unfamiliarity with most COIN games) is the concept of Foederati. This represents the Romans hiring barbarian tribes as mercenaries as the legions become unavailable. The[...]



Review: Schöne Sch#!?e: Stroke of Luck:: "Schöne Sch#!?e" - a conclusion (german)

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:50:45 +0000

by Brakus

Review-Fazit zu „Schöne Sch#!?e“, einem unglücklichen Punktespiel^^.


[Infos]
für: 3-7 Spieler
ab: 8 Jahren
ca.-Spielzeit: 20-30min.
Autor: Thorsten Gimmler
Illustration: Dennis Lohausen
Verlag: Amigo Spiele
Anleitung: deutsch
Material: sprachneutral

[Download: Anleitung]
dt., engl.: https://www.amigo-spiele.de/spiel/schoene-scheisse (s. Infokasten)

[Fazit]
Wer einmal einen richtig schlimmen Tag spielerisch nachstellen will, ist hier goldrichtig. Die Illustrationen der Karten sind nicht nur äusserst gelungen, sondern zeigen nur zu deutlich auf, was sich niemand wünscht, alles ausschliesslich unangenehme Situationen und Ereignisse. Und die will natürlich niemand erdulden, daher gilt es hier, die aufgedeckte Karte möglichst weiterzugeben. Dazu entscheidet sich der aktive Spieler, indem er einen seiner (begrenzt vorhandenen) Chips auf die Karte legt und diese zum Nachbarn weiterreicht, welcher wiederum entscheidet, ob er sie lieber weitergibt (inkl. weiterem Chip) oder behält. Die Crux ist, dass die Karten ihren Wert am Ende des Spieles in Minuspunkten zählen, daher möchte man eigentlich höherwertige Karten los werden. Eine Chance besteht, wenn man eine Strasse sammelt, denn bei einer solchen zusammenhängenden Zahlenreihe, zählt als Wert insgesamt nur die niedrigste Karte!
Wohl oder übel muss man sich gelegentlich damit arrangieren, ungewollte Karten zu nehmen, um wieder an Chips zu gelangen, denn wer eine Karte annimmt, erhält auch alle bis dahin darauf abgelegten Chips – welche bei Spielende als Pluspunkte zählen. Ohne Chips müsste man jede gezogene Karte nehmen (image) !
Sind die Karten aufgebraucht (zu Beginn werden übrigens 9 zufällig aussortiert), endet das Spiel und es gewinnt, wer die wenigsten Minuspunkte hat.

Die Aufmachung ist genial fies und lustig zugleich, die Regeln simpel, der Spielablauf schnell und kurzweilig – vor allem, wenn man sich die dargestellten Situationen einmal genauer vorstellt und vllt. darüber diskutiert^^ – und meist schliesst sich gleich noch eine Partie an.
Insgesamt ein gelungener Neuaufguss von „Geschenkt!“, den man sehr gerne empfehlen darf, für alle Freunde des schnellen Spiels zwischendurch^^.

[Note]
5 von 6 Punkten.


[Links]
BGG: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/234160/scho...
HP: https://www.amigo-spiele.de/spiel/schoene-scheisse
Ausgepackt: n/a

[Galerie]
http://www.heimspiele.info/HP/?p=25603




Review: Half-Pint Heroes:: "Half-Pint Heroes" - a conclusion (german)

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:49:55 +0000

by Brakus

Review-Fazit zu „Half-Pint Heroes“, einem .


[Infos]
für: 2-7 Spieler
ab: 9 Jahren
ca.-Spielzeit: 30-60min.
Autoren: Roland Goslar, Johannes Goslar und Søren Schaffstein
Illustration: Sébastien Caiveau
Verlag: Corax Games
Anleitung: deutsch
Material: sprachneutral

[Download: Anleitung/Übersichten/Varianten]
dt., engl., port.: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/216578/half-pint-her...

[Fazit]
Eine Kneipenschlägerei für zu Hause? Für jedermann? Klar, mit diesem feisten Kartenspiel (image) !
Die sehr schick und lustig gezeichneten Karten machen schon was her und der Spass kommt mit den simplen Pokerregeln, gemischt mit etwas „Wizard“. Es gilt seine Stiche vorherzusagen und abzuschätzen, wie die Mitspieler abschneiden werden. Das alles funktioniert, trotz Stichspielcharakter ohne Trümpfe, indem einfach nach Pokermanier die höhere Wertigkeit einer ausgespielten Hand zählt (Bsp. Strasse „übertrumpft“ Drilling). Dies geht reihum und wenn Mitspieler der Meinung sind, die Ansage eines Spielers zu Beginn wird nicht stimmen, kann ein Wettchip bei diesem abgelegt werden – ganz thematisch echte, schicke Pokerchips^^.

Das Spiel ist leicht zu erlernen und sehr kurzweilig in der Ausführung, es bieten sich massig Hausregeln an und es eignet sich für jedwede Besetzung, die sich mit schnellen (Stich-)Kartenspielen auseinandersetzen mag. Die Aufmachung ist stimmig und wertig und die Spieldauer sorgt i.d.R. für mehrere Partien. In unseren Testrunden kam das Spiel sehr gut an (image) !

[Note]
5 von 6 Punkten.


[Links]
BGG: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/216578/half-pint-her...
HP: https://www.corax-games.com/half-pint-heroes.html
Ausgepackt: n/a

[Galerie]
http://www.heimspiele.info/HP/?p=25571




Review: Not Alone: Exploration:: "Not Alone - Exploration" - a conclusion (german)

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:49:18 +0000

by Brakus

Review-Fazit zu „Not Alone – Exploration“, einer Erweiterung zum Überlebensspiel „Not Alone“.


[Infos]
für: 2-7 Spieler
ab: 10 Jahren
ca.-Spielzeit: 30-60min.
Autor: Ghislain Masson
Illustration: Sébastien Caiveau
Verlag: Geek Attitude Games (Corax Games)
Anleitung: deutsch, englisch
Material: deutsch, englisch

[Download: Anleitung]
dt., engl., frz., ital., span., poln., holl.: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/222738/not-...

[Fazit]
Diese Erweiterung bringt das Grundspiel (s. Review) nochmal um ein Schippe weiter auf der Skala der gruselig-spannenden Survivalkartenspiele. Wie bekannt, gilt es als gejagte Gruppe so lange zu überleben, bis Rettung eintrifft und der Spieler, der die Rolle des „Wesens“ übernimmt, muss schauen, dass er vorher alle Mitspieler assimiliert.
Hier nun kommen 10 neue Orte hinzu, die mehr oder weniger modifizierte Varianten der schon bekannten Orte sind, bis auf das „Labyrinth“ z.B., denn dieses läßt die gejagten Spieler auf einen verdeckten Ort ziehen – nur die ersten fünf Orte sind diesmal aufgedeckt, die restlichen 5 wollen so erst erkundet werden – oder, im Falle das der Ort schon „entdeckt“ wurde, dessen Sonderfunktion nutzen. Aber auch der Pol, das Archipel oder die Mangroven bieten interessant Neues auf modifizierter Basis^^. Schön ist auf jeden Fall, neben den wieder sehr gelungenen Zeichnungen, dass die neuen Karten einzeln oder komplett ins Spiel gebracht werden können (im Tausch gegen Grundspielorte) – das Spielgefühl ist dabei tatsächlich jedesmal anders.

Die neuen Karten für die Gejagten und das Wesen sind auch sehr schön abwechslungsreich und gemein geworden^^, z.B. kann das Wesen nun mit einer speziellen Karte seine Marker zur Ortsbegehung nach dem Aufdecken aller Ortskarten neu umlegen! Im Gegenzug gibt es für die Verfolgten z.B. eine Karte, die das Zielkreuz unwirksam macht.
Insgesamt kann man festhalten, ohne zuviel des Spielinhalts zu verraten *G*, dass die Anforderung an die Spieler schon gestiegen ist, aber dennoch auch Neulinge gut mit einsteigen können, da das Grundgerüst nach wie vor leicht zu erlernen ist.

[Note]
5 von 6 Punkten.


[Links]
BGG: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/222738/not-...
HP: https://www.corax-games.com/not-alone.html
Ausgepackt: n/a

[Galerie]
http://www.heimspiele.info/HP/?p=25563




Review: Pax Pamir:: Pax Pamir: a Learned-man's Risk

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:48:18 +0000

by xoozey

kind of a German version of Risk, that is to say, it is pretty much a complicated game (it took me three sittings to learn the game well enough to play it for the first time), very confrontational (the first time we played this game, we ended up fighting), and the goal is to dominate other players (having said that, the complexity is the ingredient that makes it fun, as other players almost always can do something to hold you back from wining).
the design is very good, and you always have a multiplicity of choices, which can never be enough on a board game. in contrast the designers have done a good job doing this simple: there is only three types of tokens (cylinder, cube, and coin) but each can have two or more functionality. types of cards are also simple, there are six types (anatomy cards, player cards, regime cards, loyalty cards, topples and favor cards) most of which are just simple indicators: player cards are just a quick over view of some the rules and having an individual identity in the game world, while loyalty cards indicate initiative and loyalty at the start of the game (which has a bonus if the selected empire wins), regime cards just indicate the current regime (political, economic, military and intelligence), topples trigger a possible end game, and last of all the 93 anatomy cards which ... that should prove my point: it is well designed but horribly complicated when you face it for the first couple of times.
graphics are also very good, there is a picture plus a short history lesson, which is good for there will be times when a player can make up his/her mind.
I particularly liked the mechanics which keeps the chance factor to a minimum, there is no dice and every card (which is shuffled) that turns up, goes straight at the sixth column which makes it very pricey to acquire at first (ah ... the Bazaar, that is genius, prices are not set in stone and change during the game, and you have the opportunity to foresee the market). there is also the possibility of making deals with other players: we have used it sparingly and as the last resort, but it worked out pretty great. all of that makes the game well balanced, and the possibility to change loyalty can change your fate in one turn.



Review: Escape the Dark Castle:: What is new is old, again. - A review of Escape From the Dark Castle

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:08:56 +0000

by scottatlaw Contrary to what the title may suggest, Escape From the Dark Castle is NOT the latest card based escape room styled game. Imagine taking the best part of Eldritch Horror (the encounter cards) and making an entire game out of them. Add in an item deck, some nifty custom dice, and obscenely large cards that you'll never find sleeves for and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this first title from Themeborne, an indy publisher out of England. When I first stumbled upon Escape's kickstarter page last year, it sent up plenty of red flags. First time publisher & designers. Stark retro style ink line art. Simplified implementation of the beloved Fighting Fantasy books. Ambitious custom components. Absurd card sizes. I never should have backed this project. Something though about the art and emphasis on story hooked me. So lets see if the game is any good!Escape's mechanical bones are dead simple. You make your way through 15 random chapter cards and then face off against one of 5 or 6 random bosses. Along the way you'll gather random items, roll the dice for skill checks, and fight nifty little dice driven battles. Rounds have a free form turn structure where the players decide as a group who is going to "take point" and flip the next chapter card. Each giant chapter card is slightly larger then the page of a paperback book and you get a real feeling that the random 15 card deck is trying to simulate the feeling of flipping through a Fighting Fantasy or Choose Your Own Adventure game book. Some pages will simply initiate a fight. Other pages will give you a non-combat encounter, and yet others will offer players a mix of choices and skill checks. Most skill checks and rounds of combat involve simultaneous dice throws from the players, so there is virtually no down time at any point in the game. Players are always involved in the action or listening to the story.The simplicity of Escape's rules allow it to be extremely easy to teach. Players need only pick a character and follow the instructions on the cards. Aside from that there are virtually no other rules aside from a few rules about inventory management, combat rewards, and resting. The design team has done everything possible to reduce the rules overhead and allow the game to be as approachable as possible.This brings us to perhaps the most glaring problem with Escape. One player's simplicity is another player's lack of decision space. Escape sacrifices complexity for ease of entry. Escape is clearly being aimed at a younger audience and/or one that lacks experience with more complex games. Fans of more complex games like Eldritch Horror may be disappointed by what they perceive as a lack of interesting player choices and agency. The main choices you can make in the game involve which character "takes point", if/when you will rest in combat, and whether or not you want to press your luck on certain tests. This means that Escape really does boil down mechanically to a game that mixes rudimentary push your luck dice elements with simple card based story passages and decision trees.A lack of decision space would normally be the final nail in the game box for me, but luckily for Escape, it wisely keeps the game at a brisk filler length of 30 minutes or less. Any more time would make for a frustrating experience, but Escape manages to confine itself to what feels like a perfect length, and with its butter smooth rules there is almost no chance of it running long.Also, the only thing that makes your character special is result spread on their custom dice. There are no special player powers (HUGE MISSED OPPORTUNITY). It would have been very easy to give players special abilities that would be triggered anytime they rolled their dice and had it come up with the side that included their character's name (a 1 in 6 chance).Despite being somewhat on rails, Escape From the Dark Castle, do[...]



Review: Agricola (revised edition):: UMCR Agricola Review: One of my Favorites for my 100th Review

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 02:17:03 +0000

by toothpickman How I came to Agricola...After I’d got a taste of worker placement in Fresco I knew I had to try more. This led me to Stone Age which I loved and was a hit with my wife. I had initially dismissed Agricola as too complex for us, but soon after Stone Age I was hungry for a deeper worker placement experience. I was split on which one to get, as Uwe has created so many great choices. I narrowed it down to Agricola and Caverna. Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower had said Caverna replaced Agricola for him, this gave me pause. Which to choose, Caverna is newer and he says provides more options of play. Agricola is said to have more variety due to the decks of cards that can be added or used. There were people in both camps on the issue of which to get. This made me think that likely I’d be happy with either choice as both are so loved. How did I make my choice? Well I heard that with Agricola you can play an easier/simpler mode without all the cards. The cards could then be added gradually increasing complexity. This made the game seem more accessible for my wife and I, and seemed like it would be a better bridge into the more complex games. Along with this I just like the theme better as I enjoy the idea of being a person from history over the fantasy theme. I can say I am very happy with my choice, but that I would still like to try Caverna in the future as the leveling up mechanism of the warriors, and the variety of ways to score points is appealing to me.ComponentsThere are many editions of Agricola, so many that if you’re looking on the used market you really have to pay attention. As I was asking for this as a gift for Christmas I made it easy and asked for the new 2017 Mayfair Edition, as I wanted to be sure to get the animeeples, and I liked the art work a little better.-The main board is attractive and shaped for it’s purpose, the left side of it looks a bit like a puzzle piece as a different end cap is placed on it depending on the number of players. The art is fantastic, the symbols are clear and intuitive. The board also folds away and stores well in the box.-The player boards have the same kind of art, and like all the cardboard in the box are of good thickness and quality. They are double sided with one being set in the mountains and the other in a forested area. The base game comes with 4 as that is the max number of players in the base game.-The cardboard tokens (food, room tiles, field tiles, begging, etc are of good quality and have nice art work)-The wooden bits (and there is quite a bit) look very nice and are of good quality. They really add to the table presence and make the game look fun to play. It comes with wood that looks like sticks (I know wood painted brown to look like “wood” sounds a little silly, but it works), Yellow wheat, white reed, off-white sheep, black boards, light brown cows, and black stone. My only complaint with the bits is that the stone and sheep are the same color, which can cause mix ups.-Each player also has a set of wooden resources in their color, Farmer Meeples, fences, and stables. I really like the addition of meeples over wooden discs of prior editions. That said I would have preferred some differentiation between the meeples. (Husband, Wife, and kids)-The box has attractive art work, and when full is the heaviest game I have-The game comes with a bunch of little bags to hold all of the many bits-The rules are a little complex, but are quite well written and illustrated. Game Play (not meant to be a full explanation of the rules)The object of the game is to score the most victory points. The victory points are a measure of how prosperous of a peasant subsistence farmer you have become.Points are scored in many ways, by increasing the number of fields, pastures, stables, family members, crops, animals etc. that you have. Points can be scored with minor and major[...]



Review: Planet of the Apes:: Planet of the Apes review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:29:10 +0000

by thejoshertm

This review originally appeared on GhettoblasterMagazine.com


Planet of the Apes (IDW Games)

I always get nervous when a board game is made based on my favorite intellectual properties. There just don’t seem to be that many games that really hit the nail on the head when it comes to capturing the mood, tension, and atmosphere of a popular TV show, book, or film.

So with that in mind, I was a little skeptical about IDW Games’ Planet of the Apes. Even though it was created by genius game designer Richard Launius, best known for Arkham Horror and Elder Sign, my fear was that the game just wouldn’t live up to my love for the source material.

I was pleasantly surprised then when Planet of the Apes turned out to be delightful. Though it’s not the intense “man vs ape” scenario-based, story-driven game I would prefer, Planet of the Apes is a simple and fun cooperative dice chucker that more of less works its way through the 1968 movie.

I don’t recall Colonel George Taylor, Charlton Heston’s character in the movie, as having dissociative personality disorder. However, in this game, each player takes on a different aspect of his psyche. So one player is “The Defiant Taylor,” while one player is “The Cynical Taylor,” etc. The players team up to play through each scene, attempting to roll certain combinations of dice as laid out on beautifully illustrated cards a la Yahtzee. Players may manipulate their dice by playing cards and taking advantage of special abilities granted to them on their character cards. Though it’s not a very deep game, Planet of the Apes is extremely engaging. The tension and excitement are gripping as you throw your dice in hopes of getting the roll you need to move on to the next encounter or scene.

For board gamers who are fans of the original sci-fi film, this game will be essential. The art is incredible, and the box will look super cool on your shelf. For everyone else, Planet of the Apes is definitely worth a play or two. Players who’ve never seen the movie will likely be finding themselves renting it after a game. This title does a great job of drawing you into the Apes universe.

The only negative thing about this game is that the rulebook is seriously lacking. Though Planet of the Apes is supposed to play in 60-90 minutes, it took much longer as we spent a fair amount of time fumbling through the rules looking for answers which are apparently not there. A game like this, with a lot of cards, could definitely use a page or two dedicated to clarifications for every card.

There are rumors that if Planet of the Apes is successful enough, IDW Games will release titles based on the other movies in the franchise. For that reason, here’s hoping this game sells a lot of copies, so we can play through all the adventures of the cinematic universe. (IDW Games) by [user=josher lumpkin]Josher Lumpkin[/user]



Review: Clans of Caledonia:: Clans of Caledonia - Anspruchvoll aber nicht zu verschraubt! Klasse!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:25:35 +0000

by gruescher [hr] Dieser Beitrag erschien im Original auf mittwochsspielen.com[hr]Schotten mögen Schottland und Whisky. Ich auch. Schön, dass es jetzt ein Spiel gibt, in dem beides vorkommt.Worum geht‘s?Clans of Caledonia ist ein Wirtschaftsspiel, bei dem wir uns als schottische Clans in den Highlands ausbreiten. Zwischen den Hügeln lassen wir Schafe und Kühe grasen, bauen Weizen an und verfeinern all das zu Brot, Käse und Whisky. Die so gewonnenen Güter exportieren wir gewinnbringend auf’s Festland. Waren, Geld und Exporterlöse bringen uns begehrte Siegpunkte. Wolle, Brot, Getreide, Whisky, Milch, KäseWie läuft das?Auf den ersten Blick ähnlt CoC dem beliebten Terra Mystica: reihum nehmen wir Produktionsgebäude von unseren privaten Spielertableaus, bezahlen diese mit Geld und stellen sie auf’s Brett. Gebaut wird wie üblich angrenzend an bestehende Gebäude, begrenzender Faktor sind unser Geld, die Anwesenheit der Nachbarn und die schottischen Flüsse und Seen („Lochs“). Gegen letzteres können wie Schifffahrt entwickeln, die es uns erlaubt, Gewässer zu überqueren. Spielerbrett zu Beginn Fortgeschrittenes SpielerbrettAm Ende einer Runde produzieren unsere Gebäude Geld oder Waren.  Milch, Wolle und Getreide werden direkt produziert, Whisky, Brot und Käse werden aus Getreide bzw. Milch veredelt. Und ähnlich wie bei Terra Mystica gibt es hier eine kleine Zwischenwertung, bei der wir für diverse Dinge belohnt werden: Mal für Waren, mal für Gebäude, mal für Exporterfolge. Rot hat Rinder, Blau hat Schafe, Weiß brennt WhiskyAlles was wir erwirtschaften, können wir über Exportaufträge lukrativ verkaufen, um so Siegpunkte, Geld oder andere Vorteile zu ergattern. Zudem gibt es einen Markt, auf dem wir unter schwankenden Preisen fehlende Waren einkaufen oder Überschüsse abstoßen können. Der Markt: Milch ist billig, Whisky teuerWie bei vielen Wirtschaftsspielen ist Geld knapp und will klug investiert sein. Will ich erst mein Geldeinkommen ankurbeln? Oder direkt in die Warenproduktion einsteigen? Zumeist ist Spezialisierung gefragt, denn alle möglichen Warentypen abzudecken ist teuer. Besser ist es, genau zu beobachtem, welche Waren gefragt sind, was die lieben Mitspieler liefern und welche Marktlücken gerade offen sind.Auch die Baupositionen wollen gut überlegt sein: Die verschiedenen Felder haben unterschiedliche Kosten. Benachbart zu den Kollegen zu bauen, schränkt mich zwar ein, erlaubt mir aber andererseits, bei diesen zu Discount-Preisen einzukaufen.  Hier braucht es also die richtige Mischung aus Distanz und Nähe.Asymmetrischer AufbauWir Spieler starten nicht mit identischen Voraussetzungen: Jeder Spieler bekommt eine eigenen Clan zugeteilt, der bestimmte Spezialfähigkeiten mitbringt: Der eine Clan hat Preisvorteile am Markt, ein anderer produziert besonders guten Whisky, ein dritter fühlt sich an den Rändern des Brettes besonders wohl.  Diese Unterschiede sind deutlich spürbar und geben jedem der Clans einen eigenen, taktischen Schwerpunkt, den man unbedingt beachten sollte wenn man vorne mitmischen will. Clan Cunningham kann Milch teuer verkaufenFünf Durchgänge des Bauens, Produzierens und Lieferns fordert das Spiel und nach ca. 90 Minuten in voller Besetzung küren wir den Sieger mit einer Endabrechnung, in der alle exportierten und produzieren Waren einberechnet werden.Wie fühlt sich das nun an?Auch wenn die Ähnlichkeiten zu Terra Mystica nicht zu übersehen sind, ist das Spielerlebnis doch ein anderes. TM ist im Kern ein eisenhartes Entwicklungsspiel mit drei Währungen (Arbeiter, Geld, Macht), bei dem wir zudem ständig die sich ändernde Landschaft im Blick behalten müssen. In Clans of Caledonia gibt es nur eine Währung (Geld) und die Zwänge beim Bauen, Kaufen und Verkaufen sind erheblich geringer. Das macht CoC leichter zugänglich und weniger [...]



Review: Edgar & Lucien:: Edgar & Lucient - Findings after 2 plays

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:43:15 +0000

by Nisses The wife and I came back from a short trip to Paris (January is awesome, no crowds )While around the 6th Arr. we had to stop in a boardgameshop of course.After browsing, I spotted this game, that I'd been meaning to try a few times already when Essen came around, but never was able to actually find during the convention.You can read up on the setting in the BGG entry description already, so I won't bother getting into details on that. In a few lines the mechanical idea of the game is:You've got 2 special workers, Edgar (bowler hat) & Lucien (top hat)Each player simultanuously decides where both their workers will move to next (move to adjacent space, but tunnels exist)Reveal, and do the moves in player order. Once there, you get to do select what action they do. Each has 2 standard actions to take, and there are 4 locations on the map that allow them to do a special action there.You pick the order in which you resolve your workers, but again player order is followed.Once ready, do it 3 more times, and you're at the end of a round.Then an income-action & a reset of your player boards is done.Keep this up, until somebody manages to win.Easy enough right?Well it would be, if that was all there is to it.You have two currencies in the game: Cogs ( just.. money. But because it's a steampunk game... gotta have cogs right? ) And popularity.Lucien keeps the cash and likes to spend it. In doing so, he acquires districts that generate you a fixed income (both cogs & popularity districts exist). He also generates popularity directly.Edgar provides the cash (by robbing banks, or other Luciens) and strongarms the opposition. As such, he "eats" popularity, in the sense that the population doesn't much care for his way of working.So you need to balance the two of them out.Additionally, Edgar also has a separate deck of cards he can charge up on... You need to visit a special location on the map that allows you to draw 2 cards (and keep both). These serve as special actions that can really mess up an opponents plans, or give you a leg-up.In a sense, Edgar is sort of self-sufficient, gets things done AND takes care of Lucien & his lofty plans. A true butler.It also means that both your guys feel completely different from one another.You'll realise I've not mentioned how you actually win yet.That's because it's another neat little thing, that I haven't seen before in a game (but feel free to point me in the direction of any):You have 4 different victory goals. To win, you need to fulfill 3 out of 4 goals....BUT if you temporarily fulfill a goal, you have the option of letting Lucien "lock in" one of those goals.For example: you need to have 15 coins (sorry, 150.000 cogs) to qualify for the "Wealthy Dandy" certificate. Lucien can take the Achievement action, to claim that certificate. The nice part about this is: You now count as fulfilling that victory condition, even if further in the road, you buy a lot of districts, and drop down to for example 8 coins.The only way to lose the certificate, is for a different player to fulfill the condition, and also take the Achievement action. I won the first game with only 1 certificate, but 2 other conditions fulfilled de facto.At that point, the game immediately ends, no finishing up rounds, or letting everyone get their last turn.Just so you can enjoy a little bit of eye-candy, a poorly positioned picture I took with some setup What did we think of this game:ART:The artwork is very nice. It's steampunky, but bright and well done. PLAY:It plays very well with two. Because there are 4 workers, you still need to keep track of where everyone is going and what they are doing.Because you can beat up the other player's Lucien and steal his lunchmoney, you want to doubly make sure you don't keep TOO much money, because your Lucien will start to look [...]



Review: The Dutch Golden Age:: UMCR The Dutch Golden Age Review: Roll and move in a Euro?

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:32:53 +0000

by toothpickman I found The Dutch Golden Age while exploring at a local Flea Market. It was a bit pricey for me at $14 given the age and the modest rating on BGG, but I happened to visit when they were having a 50% off sale and picked it up. Given the theme and my family heritage being set within Dutch History and depicting all of the Netherlands held extra appeal for me.ComponentsThe game is well made for the time, but it lacks a little table appeal now. The main components are cards (of good quality), wood and card board tokens, dice, and a board.- The Board depicts the Netherlands, it is quite a beautiful board and of good size. The only negative is a misprint that shows a blank space on one of the boarder tiles.- The tokens are either out of quality wood or cardboard of a nice thickness, functional if not attractive.- The cards come in several decks, they are of good quality and have nice looking art work on them.The rules are relatively easy to understand, but may require re-reading to grasp well.Game Play (not intended as a complete rules explanation)The object of the game is to be the first score 33 victory points. The game is set in 16th century in the Netherlands. Each player is a noble-person who uses area control, set collection, and guild control to gain victory points. Each of the 10 provinces of the Netherlands affords the player with dominance there to perform a special action. To gain access to one of the decks by drawing a card or to increase their influence/tokens.Each turn begins with the rolling of dice, this causes the orange pawn to move around the outside of the board. This represents the King of the Netherlands/the House of Orange going to a province. This causes the province to generate money, and income for anyone who has influence there. Having a wooden influence token somewhere also allows you to perform the action of the territory.The different decks, Money, Sea Fairing, Art and Culture, and Miscellaneous. Money is vital in performing actions and manipulating the guilds. The Sea deck allows you access to the colonies and trade which can provide a lot of points and access to a fourth deck that contains even more points.Art and Culture provides a good mount of points and can be a quick way to prestige/victory points. The misc deck contains a mixture of the Sea, Art, and Money decks.Cards typically are not worth anything until they are part of a set, so players need to draw several cards to see the payoff in money or points.As the provinces become crowded rather quickly and only provide a limited number of spaces to perform actions the Guilds are necessary to allow everyone access to every kind of action. In order to take control of a guild to perform those kinds of actions players need to buy the spot above any other token there. A player may choose to remove their token to use it elsewhere which will reset the cost to control that guild.Our ExperienceI wasn't sure what to expect out of this game when I got it. I loved the art, especially the board and had limited experience with Euros, having only played Fresco before trying this one out.The rules were a bit tricky to understand, and a bit difficult for me to explain to the other players. It took a play through in order for everyone to figure out what was going on.There is a fair amount to consider when playing, but given my limited number of plays I wonder if there is a single optimal strategy to this game, that once figured out causes the game to be less interesting.It seems there is a fair amount of chance between the card draws and the die rolling, but honestly the dice seem only marginally important at the beginning and less so as the game goes on.The money deck and the sea deck seem to the the strongest avenues early in the game. The Wild card de[...]



Review: The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade:: Final Thoughts from the Bottom Shelf

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:23:47 +0000

by singhalex This review was originally published on Bottom Shelf Board Games. View the original review for better formatting and more photos.There's a recent trend in board gaming to introduce narrative elements via books and apps or permanent changes to the board. It's an attempt to marry the traditional narratives we see in books and movies that we are more familiar with to the board games we so enjoy. Whether it's Imperial Assault or Near and Far, I've never been able to connect with them. Instead of peanut butter and chocolate, mixing narrative and board games usually ends up more like pineapple and black beans, two things I like but not the best pair. I always feel like the two are at odds and a sacrifice is made in order to try and fit them both in the same box. It overlooks the fact the board games can already do a great job of providing a story.Design: Thomas Spitzer Art: Harald Lieske Publishing: Capstone GamesThis is a follow up article to a game covered earlier. As such, it assumes that you are familiar with the game and how it works. If this game is new to you, check out the Initial Thoughts video to see if it's a game you would be interested in.Youtube VideoThe Ruhr starts small. You have a single barge, a warehouse, and just a few coins to your name. Your first few moves are similarly small. Pick up some coal and deliver it 2 spaces downriver for a pittance of cash. It's a humble beginning that eases you into each game. If that were all there were to the Ruhr, it would be a pretty lackluster game. Thankfully, it's smarter than that.From the outset, there are hints of something grander in scope.There are additional warehouses lined up along the round track foreshadowing future growth. Your player board has the outlines of development tiles pre-printed on it, a glimpse into the future to come. The board is dissected into multiple areas, one of which is inaccessible. So while the game might start out small in scope, all the pieces of a grander games are already laid out before you, enticing to you partake in them as the game progresses.Board games have the incredible capacity to convey progress and growth. Whether it's the accumulation of goods of the expansion of your empire, there is a physical representation of what was accomplished. Whether it's expanding your house or capturing territories, a glance of at the board will tell you how far you've come. Even the good ol' victory point track is a visual indicator of your accomplishments. Your progress in The Ruhr is most prominently displayed on your player board. Every time you claim a development tile you add it to your board. Like a trophy case, it will either display your great accomplishments or how little you've actually achieved. More than that, The Ruhr shows growth through your increased capabilities over the course of the game.Slowly, but surely, you'll add new moves to your repertoire. Want to build locks on the river so your coal doesn't get banged around? You'll get there. Want to build warehouse in the city for some trickle income? You can get to that point. Want access to the high quality coal on the other side of the country? Yeah, you can earn that too. Either through developments or the natural course of the game, your arsenal of tricks expands. This not only increases the amount of things you can do, it also increases the decision space for you to operate in. Cleverly, The Ruhr places hints of your future abilities all around. Your player board has slots for each marker. There are empty warehouse spots scattered around the map. Locks are build by removing tokens from the river. And, even though it isn't immediately accessible, the high quality region of Germany is prominent in the play area. These are all little aspirational breadcrumbs that [...]



Review: Gloom:: the game of alliterations, The thoughts of a teen girl.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:24:47 +0000

by CoalCat Do you ever think that how your life went, that is what determined what happened to you in the afterlife? Like, if you lived a completely horrible life and such, your afterlife will be amazing. What about having an amazing life? What happens to you after you die? We will never know. Mostly because the people who DO know are dead. Gloom is a card game by Atlas Games for two to four players. It’ll typically take around twenty-five to forty-five minutes, depending on the number of players.To set up the game, you’ll start by picking a family. There are four families in the core game, but the expansions add other families. In the core set, you have the Slogars, who are mad scientists. I don't mean angry, either. Then there are the Wellington-Smythes, who are a wealthy family. Their kids are almost halfway through Ye Olde Book Of Poisons, what a proud nanny! The Blackwater family are farmers. Lastly there is the Dark family, which is a circus family. There's a bearded man there! What fun! A family consists of five character cards. These cards have the character image, some flavor text (Which tastes like plastic for your information), and the family’s symbol. For example, Castle Slogar’s family symbol is a brain, those stereotypical mad scientists… Then you’ll shuffle the deck, so no one thinks your cheating, and pass five cards to each player. Then determine a player to go first, whether it’s by the rules or by house traditions. When you’ve chosen a first player, you may begin. The game is fairly simple to play. The first thing you can do is either play ANY card from your hand or discard your entire hand and redraw. There are three different types of cards: Modifiers, Events, and Untimely Deaths. These cards have different effects. Modifier cards give Pathos Points, which are points used for scoring at the end of the game. Not THAT kind of scoring, either. Modifier cards can be played on ANY character. The Pathos Points listed on Modifier cards can be listed on one to three spaces to the left. Pathos Points can be either positive or negative. For once in a game, negative scores are good! Everything I know has been destroyed! AH! Since some Modifier cards have positive Pathos Points, it's useful to be able to play them on opponents, or yourself for the effects they give. Modifier cards also have something on them called Story Icons. These explain exactly what the Modifier deals with. For example, a Modifier that has a Beast story Icon deals with dangerous/cuddly/dangerously cuddly animals. There is a spot on the right side where Story Icons can appear. These Story Icons can have effects on Untimely Death cards, as well as helping storytelling. Modifiers may also have special effects listed on the cards, such as making you skip a turn, or not draw for your turn. However, the effect on the card affect the player the card was used on. Modifiers are also the most common card in the game. Either that, or that’s just an illusion because all of the Untimely Death cards are usually drawn at the beginning of the game. Event cards are one time use cards that can have a variety of effects. These effects can include bringing a character back from the dead to canceling an effect as it is played. They are used, and then are discarded immediately. Untimely Deaths are just that, cards that cause an unfortunate event to happen to a family. They also lock in any VISIBLE Pathos Points on that character. The Pathos Points that can't be seen aren't counted. However, you may only play an Untimely Death card on a character who has a Pathos Points score that's below zero, unless specifically stated on the card. That's not to say that you're confined to only killing your own family. Have fun! Go [...]



Review: Topiary:: Topiary, a review of the written kind

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:21:11 +0000

by Vacabck Disclaimer: this review is from plays with a copy of Topiary provided by Renegade Games.You can find this review and many others over on www.wdyptw.com, most with pretty photos. TopiaryDanny Devine-Designer, Illustrator, Graphic DesignRenegade Games and Fever Games- PublishersIf you have ever in your life dreamed of being a competitive topiary garden viewer, Topiary is indeed the game for you. In Topiary, 2-4 players are vying for positions around a 5x5 grid to try to see the most sculpted trees and shrubs. The game starts with a 5x5 grid of tiles face down, with only the middle tile flipped for all to see, and each player will start with a hand of three tiles that are theirs to view. There is a drafting variant for picking these tiles, but for the most part, you'll just play by dealing out three and getting into the game. The tiles are in 8 differently designed topiary styles, like a dinosaur or a swan or a polyhedron as example, and each of those styles will have 5 tiles, numbered from 1 to 5 representing the size of them. Depending on the number of players in the game, each player will get a set number of visitor meeples and you are ready to start playing Topiary. On a player's turn they are going to do two things, well normally, two things. Place a visitor- You place one of your visitors along the outside edge of the garden in any unoccupied position so that it has a sight line down a row, column, or diagonal of topiary structures. If there is another visitor there, you cannot place yours in that position. You are doing this because ultimately at the end of the game, each visitor is going to score based on how many topiaries that they can see. Rearrange a Sculpture- You may, but are not required to at this point, pick one face down tile in your sight line and look at it and add it to your hand. You may then take one tile from your hand, including the one just picked up, and place it face up in the space that you just emptied. Players will alternate doing this until they run out of visitors and then the scoring will commence. Scoring in the game is done on a visitor by visitor basis, one at a time. You take a look at the visitor and each visitor will score points equal to the face value of all sculptures in that visitor's sight line that are visible to that visitor. So smaller numbered topiaries need to be closer to the visitor while bigger ones further away. A larger sculpture blocks a smaller sculpture or of any sculpture that is even with it. There are also type bonuses that a visitor can gain by viewing multiple topiaries of the same type in the same sight line. After all the visitors are scored, players will reveal the tiles they have left in their hands and if one of their visitors can see a topiary of the same kind, only larger than the one in hand, they gain points equal to the face value of the tile in hand. Highest score wins!It's all very simple, 40 tiles in the box, 32 visitor meeples and a score board with scoring markers in different colors, that's what is in this beautiful box, oh and the rules, can't forget the rules. But in that small box with minimal components, you get a lot of game and a lot of fun. Instantly folks are going to see that this can be a very confrontational game in that a topiary tile is part of 8 different viewing lines, if my math is correct, and it rarely is. This is going to cause all sorts of different ways to screw up sight lines for opposing players, and if you don't enjoy that, well, you still may here because this plays in about 15-20 minutes, tops. Some of the frustration you will have will be from those tiles in hand. If you did the math, I told you there are 40 tiles in the box and you only create a 5x5 grid, s[...]



Review: Bios: Genesis:: You don't have to have a PhD in Biochemistry to play this game but it helps

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:09:53 +0000

by Poins

This may not necessarily be the most complex game published last year but it probably takes the cake as the game with the theme and content that’s the hardest to get to grips with. It’s the first game I’ve opened up where I immediately felt I needed a science qualification to be able to play.

Designer Phil Eklund has built a reputation for developing games with a layer of difficulty that can sometimes be an initial bar to entry. Put it this way, none of his designs are what you might describe as ‘gateway’ games aimed ay easing new players in gently. That said, most of his games have earned a very appreciative following. Bios: Genesis follows in that same tradition. In terms of theme, it precedes them all…

In Bio: Genesis players each take the role of organic compounds, each of which form part of all life on Earth. The aim of the game is to replicate the two periods of evolution of living organisms: Autocatalytic Life and Darwinian Life. The game can be played co-operatively or competitively, though, befitting the theme, the rules warn that “this is a brutal game of survival”.

Players who have a reputation for taking a long time to decide what to do on their turn (Analysis Paralysis) may be relieved to learn that a turn in Bios: Genesis represents a period of 200 million years. That would allow for a record-breaking amount of AP! :-)

This is a game that has a novel charm and appeal once you get going. Players have to battle extremities and crises that represent extinction events. The biggest barrier to play, however, is the apparent complexity of the nomenclature on all the cards. Few of us know our cytochromes from our nitrogenase. Such terms are the routine currency of a game where players will, for example, have to distinguish their transfer ribonucleic acid from their ribosomal RNA.

If you have a PhD in Biochemistry, the terms thrown about in this game will trip easily off your tongue and you will very quickly grasp the mechanics. For the rest of us, Bios: Genesis will be challenging and seem a lot tougher to access than less ambitious evolution-themed games (North Star Games' Evolution, for example). Like Phil Eklund’s other games, though, Bios: Genesis greatly rewards those who stick with it. And if you don’t have that Biochemistry qualification, this is a game where, win or lose, you are almost certain to leave the table knowing a lot more than when you sat down!

You can get a Board's Eye View of Bios: Genesis at www.facebook.com/boardseye.



Review: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Etherweave:: The Perfect Expansion for the Experienced Player

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:57:42 +0000

by MyParadox It’s hard to say enough good things about Tash-Kalar. The near abstract nature keeps the game elements and mental challenge front and center. But the thin coating of thematic material prevents it from feeling too dry and lifeless. Every so often, a new expansion adds more considerations and challenges. And that’s precisely the case with Etherweave.The Basics. Etherweave is a new faction deck for the base game. You get all the necessary pieces, including three legendary tokens, along with the necessary cards and scoreboard. As with the other expansion factions, the Etherweave also bring with them a unique power: Warp. Most (but not all) of the Etherweave beings have the Warp ability. Using a Warp ability does not take one of the two actions per turn. In addition, you can play a creature’s warp from your hand without having to match the creature’s pattern. They aren’t unlike mini-flares that provide a particular power without any necessary preconditions. But, that power comes with its own drawbacks. First, when you play a Warp, you place that being card face up on top of your deck. It still counts as one of the three in your hand, so that means your opponent now knows a particular pattern you’re trying to achieve. You also can only have one Warp power out at a time. And, finally, while you have an unsummoned being on top of your deck, you have minus two points. Which can be make-it-or-break-it in Tash-Kalar. The Feel. Etherweave is a trip and extremely solid for experienced players. In fact, the disadvantages of the Warp ability – especially revealing the card – are most pronounced when playing against an opponent who makes a special point of disrupting your patterns. Etherweave also has a pronounced sense of duality. Some of this comes from the Warp abilities where beings can have immediate effects or be held in reserve. But much of it also comes from the presence of linked abilities. Several of the cards require you to move pieces in opposite directions or around a particular location. If you can’t move them in opposites, you can’t move either one. This opens up a large strategic space and allows you to not only arrange your own patterns, but disrupt opponents. At first glance, some of the Warp abilities seem to be beneficial to the opponent. For instance, they might require you to upgrade an opponent’s piece without a corresponding benefit to yourself. However, I’ve found that correctly timing this ability can be crucial for playing a flare that really allows me to rocket forward. By contrast, other Etherweave abilities seem incredibly powerful – including more than one way to destroy an opponent’s legendary being.The crux of the faction is in managing the advantages and disadvantages that the beings bring. A well timed warp ability can really decimate an opponent - and hopefully give you enough time to summon that being out before it becomes a significant liability. And while it functions well in death match, the Etherweave seem tailor made for High Form. In that mode, there is only one opponent who can focus in on your patterns and whose pieces will be at your mercy.Components: 4 of 5. The pieces are the same quality as the revised Tash-Kalar (or the upgrade pack’s tokens). But, Etherweave continues the trend of making the tokens even prettier than what came before. The deep purple really pops on the game board. The only negative here is that the great design is starting to make the original factions look muted.Strategy/Luck Balance: 5 of 5. As with the other expansions, there is some randomness in when and what cards you draw. But beyond that, Etherweave provides al[...]



Review: Kitchen Rush:: Kitchen Rush is ... Well, A Rush!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:56:51 +0000

by musicalanarchy

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As both the title of the game and this post might imply, this new arrival is a fast-moving rush of a game. A different take on the typical worker-placement game, this cooperative game really makes you feel like you're working in a busy, fast-paced kitchen, and it is one I personally will want to be bringing to the table more often.

In this game chefs work together to complete objectives in one of four difficulties (easy, normal, hard, or very hard). The team must complete a certain number of recipes, earn a certain amount of money (after paying 3 coins/worker for wages), and earn a certain number of prestige points.

Unlike other worker placements, your workers in Kitchen Rush are timers, and you can not move a worker until the time runs out. Each player has 2 workers (plus there is 1 universal helper to use) and they last about 30 seconds each. With rounds lasting about 4 minutes each, and a limited number of spaces available, it definitely makes for a tight game.

Tensions can definitely run rampant trying to get everything done. Ingredients and spices need to be bought and then collected and added to plates. Then chefs must visit and revisit the oven in order to cook dishes to perfection! There's a bit of stepping on toes and frantically yelling at each other to find out what's going on, but that's what makes the theme so perfect; it really makes you feel like you have customers waiting that need their meals served ASAP! There is always a lot to do, and it is definitely difficult (case in point - our first game, we ended with zero money), but as far as co-op games go, it does the genre well and is a lot of fun - once you get the hang of it.

Being that it takes a bit to get used to, I have a few tips for this one:

Plan Ahead - Setting out a game plan before each round is essential to getting everything done that you need to do.
Communication is Key - Don't try to handle everything yourself during the rounds. Ask for help, say what ingredients you need, and when possible utilize the extra helper timer (and let others know when they can use it). It's important to keep each other informed so that you aren't wasting time.
Maximize Your Moves - Speaking of not wasting time... Memorize where all your items are on the board/table, flip your timers as soon as you can, and pay attention to what actions you need to do in what order. Keeping all this in mind will definitely help you accomplish your goals.

I give this one a big thumbs up and certainly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of worker-placement games and is interested in trying one with a twist (it's harder than you think to go from just placing workers to placing them and watching to see when their time runs out)!

For some lovely formatting and a few more pictures, check out my blog post --> https://settleroftheboards.weebly.com/home/kitchen-rush-is-w...



Review: Captain Sonar:: The Thoughtful Gamer Reviews Captain Sonar

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:54:00 +0000

by M013 text of a review from thethoughtfulgamer.comThe sales pitch for Captain Sonar is ridiculously compelling. A real time game about battling submarine crews? Sold. Who doesn’t want to play that? Submarine battling is, as a game concept, inversely as awesome as I imagine real life submarine battling to be.In Captain Sonar you’re going to begin by splitting up into teams of mortal enemies (ideally of 4 or 3 people each). Then you’re going to place the very large screen the game helpfully includes between the teams so they can’t see each other’s ugly faces. Each team is comprised of four roles. The Captain is in charge and essentially decides everything. The Radio Operator has to listen to the opposing captain’s direction commands and tries to deduce where they are on the map. The First Mate keeps charges the various sub-systems (heh) in the vessel and communicates information between the Captain and Engineer. And the Engineer kind of has their own mini-game around keeping the submarine from falling apart in the water. They are a source of constant aggravation for their Captain. Together, each team will work in real time to find the other sub and destroy it.Comparative AdvantageIf it seems like the Captain is the only person who really matters here, that’s sort of true, but also not true at all. They’re like a conduit through which information flows. But then they have to also comprehend that information and make smart decisions about it. Mostly they’re going to be shouting out directions (north, south, east, or west) and marking where their submarine is going on the handy dry-erase map. As the submarine moves, just like in real life, it starts to slowly crumble into oblivion and also charge up all of its useful functions. Bad alternator, perhaps?As the Captains bark out orders, the Radio Operator has to listen carefully to the Captain opposite them and mark the movements on their map. Cleverly, the game gives them a clear dry-erase surface on which to mark this so they can move it around over the map and try to figure out where they possibly could be. I’ve found this to be the most difficult of the roles because it’s significantly harder to pay attention to the shouting of one single person (amongst multiple people talking) while literally doing anything else than I could have possibly realized. I’ve found that some people are mysteriously good at this and I do not trust them.The easiest roles are the First Mate and the Engineer, who simply have to mark something on their sheets every time a movement command is issued. The difficult part is that they have to work together to make sure the sub-systems are both charged and not broken. This frequently requires assistance from the captain, who may need to issue a movement command a specific direction so that the Engineer can fill up one of their tubes and repair a string of sub-sub-systems. Don’t worry, that makes a lot more sense when you play it.The First Mate just…charges something one tick and lets the Captain know when it’s charged. This is even less exciting because I’ve found that by the mid-game you’re usually more or less full on all of the systems and it’s up to the Engineer to free them up. In a 6-player game this role gets absorbed by the Captain because there’s not much to it. On one hand the disparity in role complexity here is a bit annoying because I don’t want to put anyone into a lame role. On the other hand it helps the game scale and it allows someone who is uncertain or not good at real-time games to have a simple job. On net I suppose that’s positive[...]



Review: T.I.M.E Stories:: T.I.M.E Stories: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:53:48 +0000

by musicalanarchy

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T.I.M.E Stories is honestly one of the best games that I have ever played. It is a game that is very heavy and reliant on story, so I promise not to spoil anything while I talk about it. (But please understand how badly I want to spoil it).

In the game you are acting as a time traveling detective trying to solve a mystery somewhere else in the past or future by talking to people and finding things from the time. Again, it's very reliant on story details, puzzles, and character interaction, so it becomes a lot more complex than I have described. Now, something that would normally be a complaint of mine is that T.I.M.E Stories is a game that once you play it the first time, you're basically done playing.

BUT DON'T CLICK AWAY JUST YET. Allow me to explain. Although you can really only play it once with fresh eyes, I call it "the gift that keeps on giving" for a multitude of reasons.

For one thing, you are able to try it again, if you want. The only catch is that you need to a) find a different group of people to play with and b) make sure that you don't give away the solution(s) while playing. Trust me, it is definitely possible, especially if you're like me and forget a lot of the details once you've done other things. And, on the plus, it helps you bring an awesome game to tons of people you know!

Secondly, there IS more than one game! The base game, just called T.I.M.E Stories, comes with everything you need for every other game, like the board and pieces, so the expansions just come with the cards which are used to transport you to various locations during the time you are visiting. (I promise it's not that confusing, it's just hard to describe without spoilers.) While the expansions cost the same as another board game, usually around $30 without any discounts or shipping costs factored in, the amount of entertainment they will give you is well, well worth it. Which brings me to my next point.

This game is not only entertaining, it's literally an entire day's worth of entertaining. Seriously, the game can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, maybe even more, if you get stuck. I know, I know, that doesn't sound all that appealing, because who wants to get stuck? But I swear, you won't even notice how much time has passed - because you're having so much fun! There's plenty of puzzles, codes, et cetera that need tons of your attention to be solved, so it is definitely a game that you'll want to clear your schedule to play. But, like I said, WELL worth it.

I understand that a lengthy, story driven games like T.I.M.E Stories may not be for everyone, at first I didn't think it would be for me either, but please understand that if you are one of those people, this might be the game to change you. And if you're someone who is interested in this by the description, it is definitely worth picking up.
Bottom line, this is an interesting, exciting, captivating game that is worth the time and price. I highly suggest investing in it today.

For a slightly sassier version of this review, and plenty of other posts, check out my blog --> https://settleroftheboards.weebly.com/home/time-stories-the-...



Review: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet:: Why I Really Like First Martians

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:53:12 +0000

by rawlinsusmc I really like First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet. But, like its predecessor, it is hard to like when you first play it. Now, in a market packed with games, why would you want a game that you will have to play 1 or 2 times before you really start to enjoy it? Well, that is a really valid question. But I hope you will find an answer here. And there will be a TLDR down at the bottom if you want to skip ahead, or just skip this all together. But for those of you who want to stick with it....Lets Talk About Tuco Really? He's the Ugly from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". You guys need to get out more. Now, just to cover where I am coming from, First Martians isn't my favorite game. I didn't even give it a 9. But it has found a place in my collection, and is there to stay. And since I have under 30 games in that collection, I feel like that is saying something. It really is very good. But lets start with the problems, and maybe even why they aren't as bad as they sound.First off, the rulebook is difficult. Lots of reviews have discussed this, but it is true. You really need to watch it played, and take it slow the first game to make sure you have the systems down. But, to their credit, the "Watch It Played" video is really good, and the current update of the app does a great job helping you manage all the systems. I haven't had to check a FAQ or ask online for anything, but the rulebook is in a layout for someone trying to find an answer to a quick question, not for someone learning the game. Also, to learn the system, you really need the game to be on easy so that you last long enough to figure out how to play. But easy in this game, is boring. But I will talk about difficulty a little later in the good parts of this game. And, there are a lot of rules. It isn't the most complicated game I have ever played, but the first time you play, it is a lot to take it. But it isn't like there are a bunch of little exceptions. The rules are fairly straight forward and intuitive, but there is a lot going on.This game has a lot of bits. Not like Gloomhaven amount of bits, but still a lot of bits. There are a massive amount of little cubes. They do have little sockets to sit into so they don't move around like Terraforming Mars, but there are just soooooo many cubes. And I am going to be honest, this one doesn't need them all. Personally, I don't use any of the green cubes. There should be a little green dot under each spot, so at the start of the game you do not need to put out a ton of cubes before you even play. It would speed up setup a ton.But I can see why they did it. In the game this one is loosely based on, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, every thing you get to work is a huge reward, and it so satisfying to place that shovel or stick hut card on the board. But with this game, it all starts working, so getting it working again feels rewarding, but having a cube to place down to represent it just isn't. So I don't use a lot of the cubes. I see the thought process, but for me, it wasn't a great decision.Why am I willing to look past all that?Lets talk about what works in this game. First off, we'll talk about how it is different from Robinson Crusoe. In that game you start off with nothing and you are struggling for every little thing. But with First Martians, you start off with everything. You get to see how cool that rover vehicle is, and how helpful the research lab is. You get all of the cool toys to play with. The trick is kee[...]



Review: Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes:: The Cardboard Hoard: Review of Raiders of the North Sea expansions

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:38:46 +0000

by ericbinnyc In 2015, Shem Phillips Kickstarted Raiders of the North Sea, a thematic sequel to his Shipwrights of the North Sea design from the year before. While the Raiders of the North Sea campaign was a success, with almost 2,000 backers, in 2017 it got even more attention for three very different reasons. 1. It was nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres award. 2. It was picked up for English distribution by Renegade Game Studios. 3. Phillips designed not one, but two expansions for the game -- Fields of Fame and Hall of Heroes.I’ll go into detail on both expansions in this review, but I’ll assume you are familiar with Raiders of the North Sea. If you are curious about the base game -- which is an all-time favorite of mine -- you can find my review here. Fields of FameThe Fields of Fame expansion adds an additional board that slots in seamlessly with the main board, which adds three new raiding spots called the Township, as well as a track for accumulating Fame, which gives players victory points at the end of the game, similar to the Armor and Valkyrie tracks. It adds two Valkyrie dice, which can be used instead of the dice that come with the base game, and add the risk of crew deaths during every raid. It also adds components for an additional player -- the orange player.But the most notable addition is the Jarls. They are a separate deck of powerful warriors that will be assigned randomly to the raiding spots, represented by blue wooden tokens. When raiding a space with a Jarl, a player has three choices. They may kill the Jarl if their strength is high enough, which will earn them fame and wound their crew members. They may subdue the Jarl if they have enough silver, which will add that Jarl to their crew, or they may flee, allowing them to raid the space, but losing them fame in the process.This adds a nice layer to the decision-making process of which spaces to raid, when to do it, and how to handle the Jarls. One nice combo that players can situationally use is dumping wounds onto a crew member fighting a Jarl, and then immediately sacrificing them to a Valkyrie on that same raiding space, using a neutered crew member to gain points on the Valkyrie track instead of being saddled with them in their crew.Pros: The Fame track adds an additional path to scoring points. Jarls add a fun new “boss” mechanism to raids when present, and subduing them to add to your crew is rewarding and thematic. The three extra Township spaces give more raiding options early in the game. The extension board art seamlessly blends with the main board. The expansion raises the player count by one.Cons: The player reference tokens for facing the Jarls is a bit unintuitive, but are actually necessary due to some scoring bonuses involving the Jarls. The Valkyrie dice punish the lowest roll on the dice, killing a crew member if a two is rolled. This punishes players that are more likely to have earned less victory points on their raids. I would have liked to seen the Valkyrie icon on the face with the highest roll of five, creating a balance against a player overperforming on a raid.Hall of HeroesThe Hall of Heroes expansion adds components for an additional player -- the purple player. It adds the Mead Hall extension board that slots in seamlessly below the main board. The Mead Hall allows players to recruit crew from a selection of face-up cards, instead of top decking off the crew deck. While players will only get one crew member this way, as opposed to two cards off the deck, they also [...]



Review: Topiary:: Topiary Review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:35:10 +0000

by treeline21

This is a great game. I think the fact it came out in the same year as Photosynthesis is a shame. This game pulls off so much of the concept of photosynthesis in a more concise and quick playing package.

The game is deceptively complex in a seemingly simple package and has a lot of strategies that can be employed. In any given game you have to consider how to get better tiles in front of your meeples while also blocking the views of your opponents' meeples. But depending on your tiles you may leave yourself open to being blocked. But when blocking a good view point for another player you have to give them a higher amount of points than the first tile they can see.

It feels like there are enough strategies to employ from game to game that it will be easily replayable. I feel like this is the opposite of photosynthesis in a few ways; in a four player game of Photosynthesis you will fairly quickly be locked in to only one decent move because the board gets too crowded. Also a benefit of Topiary is how quickly it can be set up and played. Photosynthesis feels like a slog to set up and get all the pieces arranged where Topiary is simple.

Both games are pretty fun but because of the easy setup and quicker play of Topiary it will hit my table far more often.



Review: Path of Light and Shadow:: BoardGame Generations — Path of Light and Shadow

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:19:20 +0000

by kentonwhite Path of Light and ShadowThere are typically 2 dominant meta-strategies in deck building games: fat deck or thin deck. Do you add card after powerful card to your deck, providing many options at the cost you will see these cards less frequently. Or do you mercilessly remove the weakest cards, crafting a deck where your best actions will happen every turn. Path of Light and Shadow frames these two strategies as a conflict of Good vs Evil. You can be merciful, keeping the less powerful cards around; or you can be cruel, culling the weak.This central conflict plays out on a simple track. Each time you remove a card from the game, you gain a cruelty point. When drawing a card, you can chose to take an extra card, gaining a mercy point. There are twelve spaces on this track. When you max out your mercy or cruelty, the next time you would add a point you earn a victory point instead. Path of Light and Shadow does not reward balance — chose your side!We really liked the morality of thin decks and fat decks. When we play deck builders, my son builds fat decks full of many, many cards. I prefer a nice lean deck, getting just the cards I need each turn and removing them once they are no longer useful. That Path of Light and Shadow encourages both play styles in a showdown is really cool. (Cards are beautifully illustrated by Beth Sobel.)Our decks represent the people in our growing nation. This nation starts the game as a ragtag collection of poor followers and conscripts. We begin in a single province, a stranger in a strange land. Over the course of 3 years, we will eventually control most of these provinces. Controlling a province requires playing cards from our current hand, rolling dice, and adding our card strength. If the total strength (dice plus cards) is greater than the province's defence, we conquer that province.Perhaps the coolest twist on this dice rolling formula is the towers in the province. Each province has a stackable tower representing the province defence. As you fight, some of the dice will have ruin values. Ruin values remove a tower stack, decreasing the defence. Over multiple rounds it is possible to wear down the defence to the point that a single conscript (the weakest soldier card) can simply walk in and control the territory. However, the weakened defence will make it harder for you to defend.(The board has an eye-catching table presence.)I liked the tower defence system. It led to some very interesting choices. You could siege a province, laying waste to its defences, ruining its lands, softening it up for a quick take over. A more desirable option could be building a strong army, one that can conquer a province with minimal ruin. The former strategy gives an early lead that may be hard to keep while the later risks running out of time. It's not just soldiers that populate your rag tag band. There are builders, who can repair towers and increase your defences; workers that research advanced technology, adding powers like the ability to re-roll a die; and the mysterious Numerai, secretive allies that may join your cause. Each turn you recruit from the population of the province you are in. This is another really neat idea. What kind of cards you add depends on which province your leader is in. Recruiting from the verdant farmlands will more likely yield Sigilborne, a merciful race. The harsh mountains will more likely produce cruel Horde raiders. Your choice [...]



Review: Not Alone: Exploration:: This ain't no Scrub

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:54:12 +0000

by charlest Look, I’m just going to come out and say it: reviewing a small box expansion like Exploration is a difficult proposition. It’s a small deck of cards and a rulebook which is really just a double-sided sheet of glossy paper. You can pick up the little tune from online retailers for less than $14 (I can’t even get a sandwich from Chick Fil A for that price). Why haven’t you just thrown the thing into a digital shopping cart alongside $86 of product you care much less about, simply to hit that oh-so-satisfying free shipping threshold? By the way – you know what sucks more than paying for non-obfuscated shipping? Beats. The purple kind, I mean, not those which are best described as phat. Only suckers consciously pay for shipping and only Schrutes eat beets. So, Exploration. Not Alone is a fantastic half-hour game of cat and mouse that is extremely economical with what it demands versus what it provides. One of the few deficiencies with this little jingle is that it lacks a bit of definition. It’s browsing for a new set of fatigues in the kids section when we really want it visiting Big and Tall. This expansion heard those cries for help and it rushed on the scene wielding a protein shake and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.From the first plays with the additional content you can feel that buckling waistband. With 15 new Survival cards for the entrées – er, survivors - and 13 additional Hunt cards for the alien, this release offers just enough oomph to vary the existing decks without overtaking them. Those intimately familiar with the base game will quickly notice the new cards popping up in play and relish the additional opportunities. The quantity feels perfect as they will have a noticeable effect on play but also will require multiple trips to Artemia in order to experience the entirety of the material.My favorite of the new kids on block are those that provide delightful tricks birthing dramatic moments. Those moments that have you smiling and Justin throwing you the bird as your menacing not-Predator digs a claw into his ribcage. “Inertia” is one of those moments. This card renders all 10 locations of Artemia ineffective if any Hunted are on the targeted place. Boom, suck it meat-bags.In the eye of the tornado, blow me away!“Telepathy” is likewise, a bitch. The Hunter chooses a location and then randomly takes a card from one of the Hunted’s hands to discard. If the card matches the chosen place then the Assimilation counter moves forward one space. Yeah, you might have to slap a Paw Patrol Band-Aid on that gaping wound.Oh but the brave TV dinners have their own shiny toys as well. “Rallying” allows all Hunted caught by the creature to take back the location card they just played. Nothing glorious about a do-over but who cares about glory when you’re eating dirt and choking on your own blood.“Regeneration” is a nice thumb of the nose to the alien as it lets you copy the power of a location card in your discard pile instead of using the one you’ve moved to. That can be extremely powerful when not expected and can result in a dynamic shift in position during the latter half of play. Gotta love it.The new powers on both sides of the aisle are fresh and appreciated, but the reason you paid for the ticket was for the sunny new locales. We’ve been to the Lair and it was fun and all, but who in their right mind would stand in line for four damn hours to get El[...]



Review: Mysterium:: Mysterium: The Deduction Game of a Lifetime

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:36:56 +0000

by musicalanarchy Let's start with the contradiction that is this game: Mysterium is a cooperative, one-VS-many board game. If you don't know what that means, basically, in most one-VS-many games, one player plays against the rest who play on a team (they very often use the "heroes VS the dungeon lord bad guy" kind of story). And in cooperative games...you work together. So in this game, the one player isn't trying to defeat the many, but is helping them succeed.The "one" in this case is known as the "ghost" and is helping the other players, "psychics", figure out a murder mystery by giving them picture cards. They each must find a person, location, and weapon (I know, it sounds a lot like Clue...which it is, but better) and then work together to figure out which of their sets matches the mystery's answer.Players only have a certain amount of time to make guesses, and only a certain amount of turns to get all of their clues or else they lose automatically. Plus, they only have pictures, which they can not show to other players, to figure out the mystery. These elements make it not only more interesting than Clue (because rolling and moving gets pretty tedious) but also make deduction more difficult so players really have to try hard and work together in order to succeed.I'm not usually a huge fan of cooperative games (I like winning, and having the win to myself, sue me) but this game changes everything. Mysterium has plenty of teamwork but doesn't allow for an "alpha player" (someone who makes all the decisions for the group in cooperative games). It's fun and challenging, and I love a game that makes me think a little more than normal. The art style is also gorgeous in this game, which is another reason I like it so much. The colors are vibrant and the cards are so detailed that every time you play you could find something you hadn't noticed before! (Yes I'm excited; you don't understand how cool these cards are!)What's also great is that there's so much replay value in this game. Not only do different cards get drawn for the mystery every time, but the ghost can also change every time. People look at things in different ways, making it essentially a new game every time, because you have to get inside other players' heads and figure out what they notice so you can notice it too.I highly recommend this game for anyone who likes co-op or mystery-themed games. I personally like it best with medium-sized groups (4 or 5), and I think it is a great gateway game for anyone who either loves board games or really wants to start getting into them. It's even great for families and kids because it's easy to learn and play, and can teach them a lot about context clues. I promise it is well worth the money because it will entertain you plenty of times! For a nicely formatted (and slightly sassier) review, click here! --> https://settleroftheboards.weebly.com/home/mysterium-the-ded... [...]



Review: Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862:: REVIEW: Cruel Morning Shiloh 1862, designed by Sean Chick, published by Tiny Battle Publishing

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:36:48 +0000

by owenedwards Cruel Morning Shiloh 1862, designed by Sean Chick, published by Tiny Battle PublishingThe Review BitI want to accomplish two things with this review: explain what Cruel Morning: Shiloh 1862 attempts to achieve, and whether it does so; and to use that as a way of connecting wargame design, in a very light way, to auteur theory.The game is designed by Sean Chick, with art by Jose Ramon Faura. The art is colourful and stylish without being particularly “deep”; it's colourful and the colour prints well, on map and counters. The counterstock is a little dubious, though that has something to do (one imagines) with the price point – this is a very affordable folio game. On the other hand, the counters themselves are individually lasercut, and are a generous size. The map is small (11x17) with large hexes and fairly clear terrain and objective markers.The situation is a brigade-scale examination of the Battle of Shiloh (6th to 7th April, 1862, in south-eastern Tennessee), during the American Civil War. The Rebels launch a surprise attack on the encamped Federals beside the Tennessee River.The game in most respects follows typical hex-and-counter conventions: move units, attack with units, roll dice to determine the results. There are three key mechanical distinctives, however, relating to the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th phases of each player's turn – Artillery Bombardment, Activation, and Combat (the other four phases, Initiative, Movement, Recovery, and Victory, are slightly more familiar). Artillery Bombardment is the first thing to happen after Initiative is rolled – players alternate place and firing with their artillery. Place artillery? Yes – artillery is usually off-map in between turns. Instead, if it's available, it's placed during the Bombardment phase in a hex with a unit from the same formation of troops. It then, aside from Bombarding (which isn't required), supports its hexmates through the turn. Artillery can also be placed by a defender in Combat, if available and if it passes a 50/50 check. After each player has done all their own Movement and Combat, most Artillery is removed from the map, and a six-sided die rolled to determine how many turns it will take for the Artillery to be available again (there are, of course, modifiers to the table based on situation). This makes Artillery flexible and partially fungible – it does not have movement restrictions as artillery in similar games do, and can, with a little luck, dash between different points of crisis. An artillery counter is more abstract than, say, an infantry brigade – it represents several batteries, and its use indicates a particular commitment or effort by some of its constituent units. It is more clearly a “resource counter” than the other unit counters; its use is actually half-way toward the entirely abstracted use of Support Makers in the Fire and Movement system. This is, generally speaking, something I appreciate – not over artillery being a normal unit, but as a different way of discussing the use of artillery in the era.The Activation Phase is the first part of each player's own little sub-turn – Activation, Movement, Combat. In it, the player checks how many Command Points he has – he starts with a Base CP from the specific scenario, and, if he has an Army Commander on the field, rolls to see if he gets any bonus CP (the better the Army Com[...]



Review: Sushi Go!:: UMCR Review Sushi Go!: A Short Review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:36:40 +0000

by toothpickman This was one of the many games I saw them play on Tabletop. It is also one that was selling for cheap at Walgreens, so I picked one up in the hopes of adding a fun filler game to my collection. It just so happens that I was invited to a game night the next evening and the first game brought out to play while we waited for everyone was Sushi Go! I jumped at the chance to try it. Note this was one of our first experiences with the card drafting mechanism.ComponentsThe game consists of a deck of cards that come in a colorful deck sized tin. The cards are covered with cute cartoon sushi and Japanese cuisine inspired dishes. They are of good quality and the style of art really works for me. It looks fun. The rules are simple and easy to understand.Game PlayThe object of the game is to finish with the most points. Points are accumulated by forming sets of cards. Different cards will multiply in different ways, with some adding value by themselves, and others only scoring once a set is made. The desert cards only matter at the end of all the rounds of play. These can cause you to gain or lose points.Our ExperienceBeing our first pure card drafting game, this was a new experience for us. The game is very very basic, take a card pass the rest and repeat until all the cards are taken. Honestly this was a little boring for us, I suppose it might have helped inform decisions if we knew all the cards in the deck, but we didn't. It was easy enough to play, and we did OK, but by the end of the game I really didn't care who won.Maybe it was a little to basic for us? I'm not sure, I just know I had no desire to play it again, as the decisions seemed a bit random and uninteresting.Pros- The game is very simple and easy for anyone to play- The art is really cute and makes you want to play the game- Sushi Go! has a small footprint and can be taken and played anywhere- It is an affordable gameCons- There isn't much game to it, it is one mechanism and that's it- If you don't know the make-up of the deck the choices you make are random and feel meaningless, it seems to me this would be a turn off to the non-gamers it is geared toward.- If you play all the rounds the game is too long for what it offers in my opinionResponses to the Cons- The simplicity is what makes it accessible to non-gamers- I suppose you can learn the deck before playing, but that seems unlikely, or you can play only with new people when you are learning- In order to avoid the game overstaying it's welcome you could reduce the rounds playedFinal ThoughtsI suspect that Sushi Go! is a great game for the right audience. Many folks seem to really enjoy it, including the guy who introduced us to it. After watching reviews of Sushi Go! Party, and 7 Wonders it looks like those provide more game without moving too far away from being a pure drafting game. Both of these also work as family/gateway games as well. Sushi Go! does what it does very well, but for us it just doesn't do enough to keep us interested. I see that it is streamlined and well designed, but just not for me.I rate this game a 6/10UMCR Reviews Geeklist [...]



Review: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival:: UMCR Lanterns Review: A Shining Example of a fun Light Game

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:36:31 +0000

by toothpickman I had the chance to play Lanterns: The Harvest Festival when at a friends for a game night. He opened the night with Lanterns with three of us playing while we waited for the others to arrive. As this was our first time playing there I think he was using it to gauge our understanding of modern board games, at this it succeeded well.ComponentsLanterns is a tile laying game that includes some chits and cards.All the cardboard bits are well made and of nice thickness.The cards are also of good quality.The appearance is ok, but gives you the feel that this is an abstract game, which it is.Game Play (not a full explanation of the rules)The object of the game is to accumulate victory points. This is done by earning tiles by turning in combinations of colored cards.These cards are gained through the laying of tiles.Tiles may be placed anywhere, but if you match a side, you get cards for that as well as a card of the color that faces you. The neat thing is that all other players get tiles for the color that faces them.This means that on every turn you are going to get something, and that you are giving something to everyone. Favor tokens may be earned to allow players to exchange cards for those of a different color, this allows for changes of plan, which is nice because scoring tiles are sometimes snagged by other players.Our ExperienceThis game was easy to pick up, and my wife and I both enjoyed it. It was enough of a puzzle to keep our interest but never felt like a brain burner. It is definitely a filler game, and the theme is pasted on, but it looks ok, and plays quickly so we enjoyed it. My wife even suggested that we might get it, but we have not picked it up yet. For the filler game that it is, the prices we have seen seem a bit high.Pros- It is easy for anyone to play, child, adult, gamer, non-gamer.- It is well made with quality components- It is smaller so it travels well- It is a good filler, it keeps your attention but doesn't tax you too much- The pace is usually pretty goodCons- Like many games AP can set in with some players- It has a great theme but still feels like an abstract game, so there is a disconnect- It is currently a bit high priced for the amount of game you getResponses to the Cons- AP can be a problem in many games, just consider the group you invite to play it. With all our groups it played at a good clip.- This game feels like an abstract game because it is one. It is a shame the lantern theme doesn't tie in more, or work better, but it is ok, and many abstract games are great. This one is a good one.- It is currently a bit high priced for what you get, in my opinion. This will likely be remedied with time or sales. Also you may think this game a bargain at the current price, your opinion may differ.Final ThoughtsLanterns: The Harvest Festival is a fine filler game. Like Qwirkle it is accessible and easy to explain. It is enjoyable but doesn't offer any particular challenge that makes me absolutely want to play it again. If offered I will gladly play it again, but I probably won't seek it out.I rate this game a 6.5/10 [...]



Review: Clue:: UMCR Clue Review: Is it still good?

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:35:56 +0000

by toothpickman Clue was one of the few board games we had in our house when I was growing up. Along with Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, Stratego and Sorry Clue was what one thought of when someone mentioned board games. Like most people we played Clue with some of our own house rules, and it wasn't until adulthood that I got around to familiarizing myself with the official rules. So what do I think of it now?ComponentsAside from the myriad of themed Clue games for sale now, I've seen 3 different standard Clue versions. (with different art work but the same mechanics) The one I am most familiar with is the one produced in the 1980s. The appearance and art work on the board are pleasing to the eye, interesting to look at and clear.- The pawns are rather boring standard game pawns of different colors.- The real notable part of the game for me as a kid was the murder weapons. The rope made out of plastic, the lead pipe, knife, revolver etc made out of metal.- The cards are of good standard quality, and have nice looking art work on them.- The die is a standard six sided die.- The player sheets are thin paper that is double sided. It is clear and easy to use.- The instructions are standard for the time, which means understandable but not fun or easy to read.Game Play (not meant to be a complete explanation of the rules)-The object of the game is to determine who the murderer of Mr. Body is, what weapon they used, and where the murder took place.This is accomplished by deducing what three cards have been set aside in the case file folder.At the beginning of the game these three cards are set aside in the folder. The rest of the cards are shuffled and divided up among the players. Each player has a piece of the information but not all.Each player in turn will roll and move and investigate. If a player ends their turn in a room they can guess a person, weapon, and the room they are in. If the player to their left has one of these they must show one of them. If not then the next person, and the next, and so on until someone has one of them.When a player guesses a character it immediately transports them to that room. (this was a rule we never played with when I was a kid)Play proceeds this way until someone wants to make an official guess at what is in the folder. If they are right they win the game, if they are wrong, they lose, and are out.This final guess must take place in the room that they are guessing.Our ExperienceI always enjoyed this game as a kid, although when I was younger I rarely won as I did not understand the logic at play. As an adult I find it an interesting exercise in deduction. There is definitely a winning strategy to be employed, and the card dispersion at the beginning of the game can play a big part in who has an initial advantage. The die rolling can also be a big factor is someone never rolls well. When I played it with my in-laws they enjoyed it. When I played it with my nieces they enjoyed it as well.Pros- It is easy to understand and play- The game is familiar and has a nostalgic feeling to it.- It teaches basic deductive logic- It is cheap and widely available- some newer versions have nice painted miniaturesCons- bad die rolling can ruin your game- The logic puzzle once solved makes every game feel very similar- Moving pawns to d[...]



Review: Um Reifenbreite:: UMCR Um Reifenbreite Review: Thoughts from a Cyclist and Triathlete

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:34:59 +0000

by toothpickman After getting into the board gaming hobby I began to look for games that reflected my other interests. I picked up Fresco because of my Painting Hobby, I picked up Commissioned and King's of Israel because of my Ministry Work, and I searched for a good triathlon or bicycling game. My main hobby has been cycling, commuting to work, riding in charity rides, doing competitive Triathlons, and going on a coast to coast bicycle/camping trip down bicycle highway 76. I was a little sad to see this sport underrepresented in board gaming. Fortunately due to a play-through Tom Vasel posted I was introduced to the 1992 Spiele winner Um Reifenbreite. After watching it immediately went on my wish list. I later received a copy as a gift from my wife for my birthday.ComponentsThe game consists of a large board, standees, dice, and some cards.- The board is huge! It depicts a race route loop with a few variable routes. It is of good quality and has fun cartoon art work. It makes me think a bit of the far side comics. It is very colorful, and there is a lot of detail in the art. The art is dated and depicts cycling in the early 80s or late 70s with leather helmets, and station wagon support cars. The spaces on the board are color coded to show if you are going p hill or down hill, and their role/function is easily understood.- The Standees are of a good thickness and feature the same style if cartoon art work as the board. They feature different number jerseys and also fit their purpose well. An added bonus is that the box has an insert that holds the standees as well as all the pieces very well.- The dice are standard six sided dice- The cards are the small euro kind and are of good quality. Each player receives their own deck of cards to augment their movement. These are language independent and work well. There is also a deck of event cards that are used when 7's are rolled. These are also of good quality, but are written in German as is the instruction manual.- The box, the edition I have is an old style box that is long and flat, it can be a challenge to fit on the shelf. It does have a fantastic insert that hold everything well, as well as attractive and engaging art work on the exterior.Game Play (not meant to be a full explanation of the rules)The object of the game is to have the winning team in the race. This is done by scoring the most points with your riders. Points are awarded based on finishing place. So you may not have the first or second rider to finish, but your entire team may have a higher score than the teams that do, thus making your team the winning one.Given this is a racing game, movement is a core part of play. Movement is accomplished in one of four ways. Rolling two dice and taking the result in movement for one of your riders, rolling one die and playing one card and taking the total as movement for that rider, or playing 2 cards and using that movement for the rider, or drafting.If 7 us rolled or 7 is the result of the card and die then an event card is drawn. These can be positive or negative, sometimes they are flat tires or accidents which can hinder that rider and those nearby, or they can be a burst of speed.Drafting is simply using the same amount of movement as the person who is pla[...]



Review: Qwixx Characters:: Short Review of Qwixx Characters

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:34:50 +0000

by Si Fei

Qwixx Charaters is an expansion for the dice game Qwixx.
I have mixed feelings about the other expansions so far, as I think that the basic game is superior to the expansions (which alter the numbers on the scoring sheet, mostly in a way that I find too random).

Anyway, Qwixx is a game that I really like.

Qwixx Characters is a very small expansion, consisting of a rules sheet and five cardboard character tokens.
The idea is that every player gets one character token (random or chosen) and can use the special power whenever it is their turn (and only on their turn). As simple as that.

The characters are:
Chris Chross, who may check a third box on the scoring sheet (adding up a white and a coloured die).
Miss Take, who may ignore the penalty box rule and can just cross off a box of her choice instead of a penalty box.
Magic Mike, who may cross off a box directly in between two boxes that have already been crossed off.
Tina Turner, who may change a "3" on a die into a "4" and vice versa.
Double Dutch, who may re-roll the dice yatzee style (i.e. re-roll none, any number, or all dice) once.

This expansion is fun. I am not yet sure whether the powers are balanced, but they worked out ok so far. The expansion is very simple to understand, adds a layer of assymetrical special powers on the game, but the game stays the simple gem that Qwixx was.

I would recommend this expansion if you enjoy Qwixx. The price tag is a bit unreasonable, costing nearly as much as the game itself for a few pieces of cardboard - but it is still cheap and will spice up the game.
Not essential, but a good one.

(Of course, you could play by the rules of this expansion without being in physical possession of the pieces at all.)



Review: Tiny Epic Quest:: Love the Zelda look and the sandbox adventure game play

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:34:06 +0000

by Dismas Gamelyn Games is one of my favorite board game publishers. They are known primarily for their Tiny Epic line of games, of which I am the proud owner of all of them. Today, I would like to tell you about one of them called Tiny Epic Quest, but before I do that let's talk about what makes a game Tiny and Epic. They come in a small box (7" x 4.75" x 1.5"), have simple rules, offer high levels of strategy, and come packed with amazing components. Each of them is also designed by Scott Almes and contain a theme and game play unlike other Tiny Epic games.OverviewTiny Epic Quest is a game for 1 to 4 players, ages 14+. It takes approximately one hour to play and retails for $30. The game takes place in the Mushroom Realm, where you and your fellow adventurers are embarking on quests to save this world that is being torn asunder by evil Goblins from the underworld. You will accomplish this by 1. defeating the goblins, 2. learning magical spells, 3. exploring temples, and 4. completing quests! The game plays over five rounds and whoever earns the most victory points from the four objectives is the winner.Game PlayThe game area is arranged in a similar manner every time. There are four castle cards on the map, which are put in the corners of a 3 x 3 grid. Regular map cards then fill in the cross of that grid, and two cards are put on each side of the grid to form the coast of the map. After this, each player is given three ordinary meeples to place in their castle with not a weapon or spell to their name.The game is then played over five rounds with each round broken into two phases - day and night. During the day phase, there are four turns of movement which will give you the option of moving an individual meeple or keeping them idle. The five different types of movement are by foot, by horse, by raft, by gryphon, and by ship. Each moves you in a certain pattern and can only be played once per round. After these four movements, night falls and the real action begins. Players take turn rolling five dice which allow them to explore temples, attack goblins, or learn spells. Be aware, these goblins will be trying to hit you as well. After you have rolled the dice and resolved the actions, the dice move to the next player, and you can choose to rest or keep adventuring. Successfully completing quests and exploring temples earn you points as well as items, which can be equipped to your meeples!Positives:1. Theme and Artwork - Any child of the 90s will have a flashback when seeing this game. If you are a fan of Nintendo video games, like I was, just looking at the box makes you think of The Legend of Zelda and long for the 8 bit days of collecting the Triforce and defeating Ganondorf.2. Components - Like with all of their Tiny Epic games, the components are top notch. The cardboard is thick, and the wood is beautifully painted. The dice (usually my favorite component of a Tiny Epic game) are beautifully marbled, but there are new items that eclipse all of these components...the ITEMeeple and their attachments. These aren't your traditional meeples, but instead are a hard plastic with holes bored into them to attach swords and shields, bombs and boomerangs! Were these ITEMeeples necessary? Of co[...]



Review: UNO:: UMCR UNO Review: One Game the Family still loves

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:33:59 +0000

by toothpickman Uno is one of those games that I've played long enough I can't remember when I learned it. It's like monopoly or checkers it is one of those fundamental game experiences from childhood. I hadn't thought about UNO or played it for years and years until I got married last year. When we moved in together and were arranging things I discovered my wife's copy of UNO. It sat in our gaming closet for a while, but on Thanksgiving last year we did get several games in with my in-laws.Components- UNO consists of a deck of cards that are of several different colors and numbers/affects. The cards are of standard mass produced quality. The look is simple nice and clean. Some copies, like the one I had growing up, come with a nice deck holder with a space for discards.Game Play (not a full explanation of the rules)The object of the game is to get rid of all of your cards. After each player is dealt a hand of 7 cards the next card in the deck is turned over and play begins. The player whose turn it is must play a card that matches the color or the number/symbol on the card on the top of the discard pile. If they cannot they must take a card (if possible they may play this new card immediately).There is another way to play where cards are drawn until a playable card is drawn. (this was the way I grew up playing, and it makes the game worse)Play continues around with each player playing or drawing a card until someone goes out of the game. If you are playing 1 hand that person is the winner. If you want to play several hands you can add up the points in your hands and the one with the lowest total at the end of all the rounds is the winner.Along with the numbered cards there are Draw 2 cards, Skip the next player cards, Reverse the direction of play cards, Wild cards (that allow you to chance the color in play), and Wild draw four cards. If you are the next player in line and a draw 2 or 4 card is played, your turn is taken up by drawing those cards and play proceeds to the next player.If a player discards their second to last card they are to yell "UNO!" if they do not do this before someone else yells "DRAW TWO!" they must draw 2 more cards and add them to their hand.Our ExperienceWhen we played UNO with my in-laws everyone had a good time. The rules are easy to understand, and play is pretty quick as the decisions are simple. The amount of chance in the game with the card draws and the take that cards makes the game winnable by anyone. Skill and strategy are really mitigated as factors here. That said, the game can be played with a few tactics as it is possible to guess at the color of cards people have from time to time. For us it was a fun random game, and the kids kept requesting it. I had brought Stone Age and Say Anything as accessible games to play, but neither was much fun for my in-laws. UNO on the other hand was much enjoyed. I wonder if this was due to the familiarity of the game.Pros- UNO is widely available and is relatively cheap- The rule set is very simple- A lot of people know it, so it has the advantage of familiarity.Cons- Unpredictability and randomness due to card draw and hidden hand- A lot of take that in the game wh[...]



Review: SET:: UMCR SET Review: Leave it where it SETs, or SET it up?

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:33:42 +0000

by toothpickman I first played this game while at a game night at a friends house. He introduced it as a quick little game we could play before everyone arrived. It is a small card game that can work as a filler.ComponentsThe game consists of a deck of cards with a variety of symbols on them made up of different shapes and colors. The cards are of standard quality such as you will find in a standard deck of playing cards, or in games like quiddler and crowns. As for the art work, I find it a bit boring, but functional.Game Play (not meant to be a full explanation of the rules)The object of the game is to find a certain number of sets(groups of three cards). These sets must have traits that are the same on all three cards, or different on all three cards. For example, three cards that have the diamond symbol, all are red, and all are outlines, but one card has 1 diamond, the next has 2, and the final one has 3.The cards are placed in a grid and all the players search for a set. The first person who declares they see one and successfully points it out collects the cards, and a new group of cards is placed out.After one person collects the predetermined number of sets that is the goal, that player is proclaimed the winner.Our ExperienceI took to this game like a duck to water. I suspect it was the years of playing chess and looking for patterns there that allowed me to see these patterns. Our game was over quickly with me accumulating a few sets. As for my wife and the other players it was less interesting. It is all about quick pattern recognition, and as such some players will likely have a distinct advantage.We all understood the rules rather quickly, and the concept was appealing enough to the group, but the experience came out a little lopsided. The experience for my wife was a bit like when you're puzzling out a question when watching Jeopardy, or doing a crossword and someone shouts out the answer when you're halfway through. Pros- Small portable game- relatively inexpensive- language independent- Simple rules that are easily understood- you can play it with kids and non-gamersCons- People with pattern recognition may dominate the game to a degree that makes it less fun for others.- The art work is bland- It can feel a bit too simple, and may not hold attention for long- There may be grids that are placed out that don't contain any sets, this can make for a long tedious search.Responses to the Cons- Players with a distinct advantage is likely in any game that doesn't have a good amount of chance involved. This can be addressed by placing a handicap on that player, or by choosing to play only with people around your skill level. These are the solutions I use in games like chess and they should work here as well.- The art work is a bit bland, but it does fulfill its function well. It is clear and understandable.- It does feel a bit too simple at times, but as a short filler it works.- The fact that there may not be a set is a bit annoying. This can be solved by increasing the size of the grid of cards, or placing a time limit on the search of a grid before it is wiped away and replaced.Final ThoughtsSet is a good e[...]



Review: Azul:: Azul: Worth more than $28?

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:33:32 +0000

by MegaWestWolf Azul was the only game that I had the patience to sit down and play a demo of at PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia. It was two rows in on the left, among a sea of living, breathing, "con-crud". It was a game that I had heard about a few weeks prior. A tile-laying game, or something. You are supposed to be a Portuguese worker, recreating patterns on a wall somewhere for someone important. Zee Garcia was receiving a bunch of flack for saying that the game had no theme, but he ultimately enjoyed it. I completely understood, and was intrigued. It wasn't even available to purchase at the convention, or maybe it was, but I was only able to get to the convention after 7pm, so it definitely wasn't available to me.ANYWAY, two weeks later, I was able to pick up a copy of Azul from CoolStuffInc.com at the regular price of $28...what I believe the game is ultimately worth.So here's your real quick, previously uninformed, overview:So, how's the game set-up?1. There are a number of circular markers (determined by player count) circling the board, all of which start each round with four tiles that have been drawn from a bag.2. In the middle of the circle, is a cardboard chit, marked "1". This is the eventual "player 1" marker. This marker is acquired by the first player to take tiles from the center.3. Each player receives a black cube, their point marker. So let's do a quick run through of the game:1. There is a 5x5 grid on a player board on your right.2. There are 5 different colors on that grid, none of which repeat in the same column or row.3. The left side of your board has five rows. Your job is to fill those rows with the same color tiles. At the end of a round, when a row is filled, it's corresponding spot on the grid gets filled in, allowing a player to score points at the end of the round.4. Chaining tiles together on the grid allows players to increase their score. 5. The game ends when any player has completed a row at the end of a round. A final scoring happens, and the highest score wins. So what happens between set-up and the end of the game?1. Each player will take all of the same color (they are also marked, if you just so happen to be colorblind) tiles from either a round marker OR the center pile of the board. If a player choses from a circular marker, the remaining tiles are pushed to the inside of the play area. The first player to take from the center of the board also takes the "player 1" token, which can only be placed on the overflow section of the board.2. Once tiles are chosen, they must be committed to one of the five rows on the left side of the player board. Keeping in mind that tiles can only be committed to ONLY ONE ROW. So if too many tiles are acquired, they must be sent to an "overflow" area at the bottom of the player board. The overflow area assigns a negative point value for every tile that occupies a space. 3. Eventually a player completes a ROW, ending the game. A final scoring occurs for all players, awarding an extra two points for completing rows, an extra seven points for completing columns, and an extra ten points for filling in five spaces of the same color on t[...]



Review: Apocrypha Adventure Card Game:: The Purge: # 1622 Apocrypha Adventure Card Game: Want to watch me talk about a terrible game? Click here

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:33:18 +0000

by william4192 Please check out my other reviews at:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...Conclusion: I am sad to report that this is one of the worst games I've ever played. Just terrible. If I am rating it with just what is in the box, it is a 1 as I found the game unplayable from the rule set. I am not alone in this assessment.The rule book sends me to a video to learn to play and the video fails to teach the rules of the game. Instead, it shows me a group of people (including the designer) playing the game and this group of people (including the designer) makes multiple rule mistakes. I'm sorry, but you have to find this in editing and make annotations to it. Sigh.The components and art work is the one facet of the game that I really enjoyed. The theme and story really doesn't come across at all. You end up feeling like you are flipping cards and rolling dice. The decisions are really filled with luck and it is hard to be "good" at the game. I am not going to continue to go on. This is less a review and more of a warning. Do not play this game. Pass that beautiful art work by. The rules are terrible, the game play is blah, luck defines your experience, and the story doesn't click. It is just a complete mess and one I would recommend you not get involved with. Purge. Components: The components are really good. I love the giant box and the quality of the cards. They feel great and I really like the finish on the cards. Great quality. I actually really like the theme and the art in the game. The look of this game is what attracted me to the game at first. Excellent!Rule Book: The rule book is likely the worst rule book I've ever read. It tells you to watch a video first that doesn't even explain the rules to the game. The rules include way too much detail and requires a new language to play the game. In addition, not all the rules required to play the game are included. I had a terrible time learning to play from the book (and that is rare for me) and had to resort to watching videos. Flow of the Game: This is going to be short and sweet. I want to write just "Copy of Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game", but I won't (even though it is true).This is allegedly a character driven game that can be played as a co-op or as a RPG. Sigh.Turns move like this:1. Draw a card from the doomsday clock2. Support - help saints sitting to our left or right3. Investigate - You flip a card of the deck of cards at your location. You will be rolling dice to see if you roll high enough to "gain" the card. 4. Sanctify - If the Nexus (location) is empty, you may attempt to seal it.5. Transfer - Move to a different location or give a card to another saint at your location6. End - Discard/Draw cards to your hand sizeThere are different missions in the game with all their own unique story and ending to the mission.Should I buy this game?:No one. Maybe fans of of Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game who didn't like the theme and likes this theme better. Nobody that would try to learn this game from the rule book. Pass this buy. Purge. [...]



Review: Warriors of Jogu: Feint:: Everything Board Games Warriors of Jogu: Feint Kickstarter Preview

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:32:33 +0000

by Dt92stang Quick Look:Designer: Tony ChenPublisher: Monsoon PublishingYear Published: 2018No. of Players: 2Ages: 14+Playing Time: 30-60 minsWARNING: This is a preview of Warriors of Jogu. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change. Review:tl;dr: Tactical fun for 2 players, with lots of replay value. Above average art, with the perfect combination of luck and mechanics.Getting to the Game: Warriors of Jogu pits two players against each other, vying for control of 5 different locations with one each of 5 different pre-made decks. Setup is fast and easy, and learning the game from the detailed and clear rulebook is just as simple. From unwrapping the plastic to the first turn, you'll be playing in no time.One of the real selling features of Jogu is also probably one of the things holding back its potential: deckbuilding. I mention that here, because this single mechanic changes the player pool drastically. If Jogu were a CCG / LCG, I think it would have the legs to do well. Including 5 different decks in the box (only 3 in the starter set) is very helpful for replaying with the same people, but will eventually lead to staleness. It's entirely possible that additional rules for mixing these decks or entirely new decks will come out eventually. If they do, look for them with earnest, I think they'll be well worth the time.Playing the Game: The rulebook for Warriors of Jogu states that the premise of the game is two factions are vying for access to a resource called saiur, which is apparently some kind of energy-generating liquid, which one might more easily call "fuel." This is only in the flavor text of the rulebook, though. No game mechanic references it, you don't collect it, and you're not rewarded with it for winning a round. It's not the most flavorful game out there, which is actually kind of a shame, because there are five separate factions here, and they each feel unique. Each player will choose one of the five factions, and shuffle their deck. Each of the five has a singular playstyle or mechanic that makes them all feel very fun, and lends a different air of strategy to each. The Gang of Mibits are Rabbit people who focus on pure numbers and cycling to amass unstoppable forces (checks out). Tribe Wu are elemental masters, high in strength, but fickle and easy to manipulate. The Guards of Keion are a medieval clan, focused on making sure the battle is only where they say it is, which can really mess with opposing teams' plans. What you're actually fighting over is five distinct locations, denoted by numbers 2-6. At the beginning of each round, each player has the option to discard any cards they don't want anymore and draw back up to 7. After that's done, each player will secretly draw one card from their location deck, a set of 10 cards (2 each of the 5 locations). These two location cards are the only ones that matter in this round, and you only know one of them. This partial-information gambit is fun on its own, but gets even better: higher-numbered locations are worth more at the end of the round than the lower-numbered one[...]



Review: Mansions of Madness: Second Edition:: New to this type of Game and really found it entertaining

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:32:19 +0000

by Trash_Heap This game is very different from any other game I own. I have to admit this game had me looking at it several times before I bought it. The idea of a game having a companion app had me interested. I watched several online videos of people playing (and having a good time). I finally purchased this game as family gift this past December 2017. Also picked up Recurring Nightmares and 6 extra dice. Have only gone through two scenarios, but have played them several times. Components:1. Miniatures: I don't really have a good rating on this. Never owned a game with miniatures like this before. They seem nice. Bases are a bit large, but work. I did glue the figures to the bases. 2. Map Tiles: Awesome art work.3. Cards/Tokens/Dice: Okay and satisfactory. Very good descriptions on cards. 4. Rules: It took me several times to go through the rules. Then I found The Universal Head MANSIONS OF MADNESS 2ND EDITON Rules Summary & Reference on this site. I highly recommend this document, especially for new players.https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/145631/universal-head-man...One other thing about components. No trays or anything to help store all the items in the game. Adding Recurring Nightmares too. (Not to mention there are more expansions). Since my figures are all glued to their bases I had to come up with an alternate solution. The box is gone. I bought a couple of Sterlite stackable drawers (1791 and 2301). Also purchased Plano 3650N case to store all cards and tokens. Good thing the game is ready to play immediately.App: We play on a Laptop (and connect to TV). Downloaded app from steam. Works fines able to navigate through options easily while playing. Gameplay:There were some things we got hung up on in the first game with rules and organization:- Range- Health/Horror (Cards face up vs down)- When to do a skill test- Finding Tiles and Cards (Make sure you have them organized in some manner. There are many suggestions on this site, find what ever works best for you)The game will flow very nicely. The story within each scenario is good, not too wordy, just enough to get an understanding of what's going on. App definitely adds to game. I like that it keeps track of monsters placement and health. We had at one time 4 monsters up. Keeping track of things like that is usually something I do, and having the app do it for me allowed me to focus on the game. The creepy music and sounds really add to the experience of the game. There is team work involved in this game. You are working together to explore rooms, gather clues and information, solving puzzles, and killing monsters. One additional aspect to the game that we enjoy as group is dealing with someone who becomes insane (even better when there is two, 3 would be hilarious). Definitely changes how you play the game. Our group has a blast with this. Maybe we just like to call each other CRAZY!Now for replay ability within the same scenario: The way I see each scenario. It is a story that is not going change much.Things that will be different:- Monsters and characters wil[...]



Review: Betrayal at House on the Hill:: For What it's Worth: a “Betrayal at House on the Hill” Review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:14:35 +0000

by AceOf86 For What it's Worth: a “Betrayal at House on the Hill” Review Betrayal is a horror themed adventure game for three to six players. You and your friends will explore a haunted mansion, because you're very brave or you've never seen a horror movie. While exploring one of your party will turn traitor and the rest will have to fight off the forces of darkness and try to escape with your lives.Gameplay Players get to choose one of twelve characters to play as. The characters have varying stats for might, strength, knowledge, and sanity. The stats will determine how many dice you get to use when making trait roll. The dice you will use for that are six sided with two 2s, two 1s, and two 0s. No matter how many dice you roll it's always possible to roll a zero, which is always bad. The house will start off as just three room tiles. When you move through a doorway without out a room connected to it, draw a new room tile from the stack and place it connecting to the doorway you just went through. Some rooms have text on the tile that will hurt or help you when you enter or try to leave. Most of the rooms will force you to draw an event, an item, or an omen card. Events are horror tropes that will normally force you to make a trait roll. If you roll high you usually get a reward of some kind, if you roll low it usually plays out badly. The items can do all sorts of weird things, there's such a great variety I'm not going to list any of them(Sorry). Omens are like items except when you draw one you must make a haunt roll. Depending in the outcome of that roll the haunt will begin or you will continue to aimlessly explore the house. The haunt is a scenario in with one of your party will turn on the others. The traitor and the heroes will have their own objectives. These objectives may be kept private so the opposition doesn't know what you're trying to do. But it's usually not hard to figure out. Whoever meets their win condition first wins.My Opinion Betrayal is a very random game. You're always drawing a random card or rolling dice. Even the house will differ greatly from game to game. Many players will find the randomness infuriating, but without it I don't think the game would be any fun. The haunts are fun. Some of them seem strongly biased toward either the traitor or the heroes, but nevertheless I enjoy being pitted against the forces of evil… or trying to summon them. My biggest problem with the game is that pre-haunt you're just roaming around the house waiting for the fun part. The first few plays aren't that bad since everything is new, but eventually it becomes a grind. Betrayal was my gateway game and I did enjoy it, but the more I got into the hobby the less I wanted to play it. I'd suggest it to someone who really digs horror movies and isn't looking for a strategy game. [...]



Review: Raiders of the North Sea: Fields of Fame:: The Cardboard Hoard: Review of Raiders of the North Sea expansions

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:10:23 +0000

by ericbinnyc In 2015, Shem Phillips Kickstarted Raiders of the North Sea, a thematic sequel to his Shipwrights of the North Sea design from the year before. While the Raiders of the North Sea campaign was a success, with almost 2,000 backers, in 2017 it got even more attention for three very different reasons. 1. It was nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres award. 2. It was picked up for English distribution by Renegade Game Studios. 3. Phillips designed not one, but two expansions for the game -- Fields of Fame and Hall of Heroes.I’ll go into detail on both expansions in this review, but I’ll assume you are familiar with Raiders of the North Sea. If you are curious about the base game -- which is an all-time favorite of mine -- you can find my review here. Fields of FameThe Fields of Fame expansion adds an additional board that slots in seamlessly with the main board, which adds three new raiding spots called the Township, as well as a track for accumulating Fame, which gives players victory points at the end of the game, similar to the Armor and Valkyrie tracks. It adds two Valkyrie dice, which can be used instead of the dice that come with the base game, and add the risk of crew deaths during every raid. It also adds components for an additional player -- the orange player.But the most notable addition is the Jarls. They are a separate deck of powerful warriors that will be assigned randomly to the raiding spots, represented by blue wooden tokens. When raiding a space with a Jarl, a player has three choices. They may kill the Jarl if their strength is high enough, which will earn them fame and wound their crew members. They may subdue the Jarl if they have enough silver, which will add that Jarl to their crew, or they may flee, allowing them to raid the space, but losing them fame in the process.This adds a nice layer to the decision-making process of which spaces to raid, when to do it, and how to handle the Jarls. One nice combo that players can situationally use is dumping wounds onto a crew member fighting a Jarl, and then immediately sacrificing them to a Valkyrie on that same raiding space, using a neutered crew member to gain points on the Valkyrie track instead of being saddled with them in their crew.Pros: The Fame track adds an additional path to scoring points. Jarls add a fun new “boss” mechanism to raids when present, and subduing them to add to your crew is rewarding and thematic. The three extra Township spaces give more raiding options early in the game. The extension board art seamlessly blends with the main board. The expansion raises the player count by one.Cons: The player reference tokens for facing the Jarls is a bit unintuitive, but are actually necessary due to some scoring bonuses involving the Jarls. The Valkyrie dice punish the lowest roll on the dice, killing a crew member if a two is rolled. This punishes players that are more likely to have earned less victory points on their raids. I would have liked to seen the Valkyrie icon o[...]



Review: Waterloo 1815: Fallen Eagles:: The Endless What If?: A Review of Hexasim’s Waterloo 1815: Fallen Eagles

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:09:54 +0000

by Scotty Dave The Endless What If?My interest in military history was kindled in the mid-1960s by a history teacher – ex-British Army and looking back, obvious PTSD victim – who would routinely march off-curriculum into the Battle of Waterloo, reinforcing his monologues with maps, NATO symbols, a very large bayonet, and the clear and present danger of homicidal rage. It was a surreal time. A dozen years later, in Detroit, I stumbled over a copy of S&T 73 – the one with Quatre Bras – whose NATO symbols, maps and battle narrative instantly catapulted me back to the classroom. I was hooked on the spot, and gifted three lifelong obsessions – wargames, Napoleonic history and how each can improve the other. I wonder if the deranged Major knew how much he would influence my life?Over the years since, I have read a lot of books about Waterloo. One of the earliest was Jac Weller’s Wellington at Waterloo. In his introduction, Weller writes that“After an exhaustive reading of Waterloo literature, I flinch like a recruit firing a service rifle for the first time when I come upon a sentence which begins with either ‘if’ or ‘had.’”I love that sentence, which still resonates today, 50 years after it was penned, because it aligns with one of my hobby horses – that popular military history by and large fails to provide much insight into even the most obvious of questions. As Weller implies, writers play fast and loose with alt.hist propositions – the ifs and hads – without deigning to provide much analysis to substantiate their view. Let’s look at a common example:It was the deluge on 17 June which cost Napoleon his throne, for if he could have begun the battle at 9am instead of 11.30, he would have swept Wellington from the field before the Prussians could have intervened. Given that even the victor admitted that Waterloo was a “damn nice thing,” it does seem likely that the result hinged on the late French start. More recently, historians of the battle have revised their views – perhaps the late start was not forced on Napoleon by the muddy ground; some claim that the ground would not dry out materially in a single morning, rather the French were not sufficiently deployed to attack before 11.30. All fascinating, but where is the analysis? How long does it take mud to dry in similar ground and atmospheric conditions? How long did it take the grand battery to arrive, and to deploy? Based on that, how early could it have been in position? How much longer could it have fired for? How many casualties did it cause? How many more might it have caused? Would these have been decisive? Each of these questions is susceptible to analysis, yet you will search in vain for this in the vast majority of popular histories. If you want answers then you are pretty well on your own. Hobbyists and amateur enthusiasts are no more helpful. As Weller also archly observes, “We know more of the uniforms worn by the contending armies than we d[...]



Review: Chronicles of Crime:: A first impression review from PAX

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:09:05 +0000

by zb1035 Hello everyone,I don’t normally write reviews, but I feel that this is important. I had the opportunity to demo a full game at PAX, and I will speak of my experiences of that demo. The game is simple. Set up the board, place the always available characters to the side (as I recall, the police chief, the scineitist, the criminolgoist, the mortician, and the hacker,) and place the case lead on the board. In our game, the case was an old woman who died without apparent reason. The players are investigators trying to solve the case. Now, it’s extremely important to say here this is an ENTIRELY app driven game. This game could not function in any capacity whatsoever without the app. SoHow does this game play? Each card has a QR code on it. First, you’ll scan the QR code of what you’re investigating. This might allow you to examine it, or, often, to ask others about it. For example, we scanned the dead woman and then we scanned the scientist to determine if she suspected anything. She told us her thoughts via the app and we moved on, now with an additional clue. Eventually, we were at the old lady’s place- the scene of the crime. We went there by scannning the location and investigating. This is where the games gimmick comes in. The game came with a pair of glasses that you slide over your phone. This seems to use similar technology to the Nintendo 3DS; there are two panels on the phone and when you put on the glasses it merged into one, more 3D and seemingly augmented reality image. You can then look around the crime scene in full 3D. Then, you tell your team what you see. Cats! Books! A card game! A phone! As you exclaim your observations, your team will dig through the clues deck and set those aside. Once you think you’ve found everything ... you guessed it, start scanning clues. Several items were just regular items and were returned to the deck, the rest were added to the board as clues. As with people, you then scan the QR code of the clue and discuss it with various people. This led us to several other people as leads. We spoke to them about the old lady, the clues, etc, all by scanning lots and lots of QR codes. Eventually, we went back to the police chief to solve the crime. This is in the typical way- answer some questions and see what your score is. We ended up getting everything 100%. Thoughts on the game. But first, a disclaimer: I am in no way opposed to apps in board games. They allow new ways to play games that regular cards and components wouldn’t and, if done right, can greatly enhance the experience. Now you may have noticed a trend while I discussed this game. It’s literally a QR code scanning game. Do you like scanning QR codes? If you answered yes, this game might be for you. If you did not answer yes, then I would recommend looking elsewhere. Let’s start with cons. Disclaimer: I’m aware this is a demo of an unpublished game, but this was not playtesting to improve the game,[...]



Review: Smile:: A Thousand Hugs from Ten Thousand Lightning Bugs (an iSlaytheDragon review)

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:07:04 +0000

by Goatcabin Somehow all the beautiful creatures you’ve been carefully taming have escaped. (Apparently you need to work on taming them not to pry open their cage bars next time.) Thankfully, you have a stock of fireflies on hand, and it is proven fact that creatures like nothing more than fireflies.Unfortunately, this applies across the board, both to your prized pets and to the feral creatures of the forest. Keep a stiff upper lip and try not to cry, and maybe you’ll walk away with all the animals you’ve come for…if they don’t scare each other off, of course.How It WorksSmile is a bidding/speculation game for three to five players. Players have captured creatures, and these creatures have escaped. The players use fireflies to lure the creatures back. The player with the most points wins.Smile set up for four players.To begin, cards are removed for each player up to five not in the game. Each player receives six firefly tokens, which they are allowed to conceal. The deck is shuffled, and one card per player is revealed and placed in ascending order. Play begins.On a player’s turn, a player must either place one firefly on the lowest-valued card or claim a card with a firefly on it, taking the fireflies into their personal stash. If it is a player’s turn and that player has no fireflies and there are no cards with fireflies, the player takes a tear token and places a firefly on the lowest-valued card.Once a player claims a card, that player is out of the round. Once all players have claimed a card, a new round begins with one card turned up for each player.Cards are valued -5 through 6, and some cards also have a splotch of color on the upper-left corner. If a player ever collects a second card with the same-color splotch, both cards are discarded.After ten rounds, players add the face value of their cards and score one additional point for every five firefly tokens they have and lose one point for every teardrop. Whoever has the most points wins.Schadenfreude Is the Best Kind of FreudeMichael Schacht is known for creating very tight, very clever designs that offer good decisions with a slender ruleset, and Smile is no different. It’s quick, tense, and quirky, with just enough difference to stand on its own as a top-tier filler game.Smile takes as its basis an earlier Michael Schacht design, Mogul (whose auction system was later popularized by the filler game No Thanks!). In Mogul (and in No Thanks!), the center of the action is a pay-to-play auction, where players are bidding to either win or avoid winning an auction. In either case, the compensation for taking the worse option is winning the other players’ currency to be used in future bidding. This system is brilliant because it focuses on player interaction and heightens tension as players try to get the cards they want.The cards range in value from -5 to 6. Getting a high score can be…difficult, especially since you ca[...]



Review: Little Drop of Poison:: Quick little filler game of poisioning your friends

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:06:47 +0000

by Talisinbear

Whenever you get a game that comes in a box about the size of a pack of cigarettes there is a tendency to fall back on the line about good things coming in small packages.

That is typically rather accurate in terms of games in large part because a small package usually means a lower cost. When you get a game in that $25 range you need really only play it for an hour or so to have had a pretty good return on investment in terms of your leisure spending, especially if you factor in two, three, four people at the gaming table.

And that all brings me to Little Drop of Poison, a card game from designer Sean Scott Garrity, and from the Canadian company Baksha Games.

So what do you get in this particular small package?

Well, Little Drop of Poison is a card game, one which comes with a unique deck of cards which allows for game play by three-to-eight players. The broad range of players the game facilitates is one of the greatest strengths of the game. It makes for a rather light game for a party situation where numbers wanting to participate can vary.

So the game revolves around the idea of getting other players by poisoning them. Yes it sounds like a rather dark theme, but the game keeps things light with the art work.

A quick digression here; the art for the key character cards is quite nice, although that for the main cards, (the poison drops), are rather plain, albeit they do work. They are differentiated by colour, which could be an issue for some.

So, “the rats and the weasels have always been at each other’s throats. It isn’t in their peasant natures to be overly aggressive. But what needs to be done can be done with a little drop of poison …,” details the ruleset.

“Players gain points for killing each other and the king. The game is divided into assassination rounds. (Use as many assassination rounds as necessary). Each assassination round ends when the king is killed or there are one or fewer peasants remaining.”

So at its core this one is very much a ‘take that’ game. You are out to get other players, so the idea of good-natured revenge will hang over the game table.

The game rules are not hard to grasp, another plus in terms of a party game, nor are they very deep. Whether this one would have huge replay value outside a party setting would be a matter of taste, but I suspect not for many.

That though shouldn’t deter anyone from getting the game. The cost point, coupled with the fact it can support up to eight players, makes it a handy game for a collection.

-- This review has appeared in Yorkton This Week



Review: Gloom: Unfortunate Expeditions:: Terible Travelings, The thoughts of a teen girl.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:06:30 +0000

by CoalCat What would your reaction be if your parents came home from work and said you were going on a vacation. Exciting, right? Now, what if you were going to the disease, cannibal, and wild animal infested jungle? If it were me, I’d still be pretty excited. Unless there was a plane involved. HEY! I’m not scared of flying and falling. It’s the sudden stop that scares me most… Gloom: Unfortunate Expeditions is yet another expansion for the card game Gloom by Atlas Games. It ups the number of players by one. Besides the basic stuff, like new Modifiers and such, it adds a few other things. It adds the Bumpersnoot family, along with their Baobab tree house. So at the very least, they have a place to “live” when you play with the Unhappy Homes expansion. And it must be so cool to have a teen idol in the family! Besides this very unfortunate family, there are now Expedition Cards. These new cards add a new rule to the table. Heh, get it? Table? Because it’s a board game? I’m sorry for that sudden outburst... The setup for the game is easy, with a small change. First, have everyone choose a family. A family consists of five family members. Each of the family members have an image on them, along with some flavor text and a Family Symbol. For example, the Bumpersnoots have an explorer's hat. And the flavor text finally doesn’t taste plastic! Now it has a subtle fruit flavor! They took my advice! Then, take all four Expedition Cards and place them face up in the middle of the table. After that, you’ll take the original deck and the expansion deck, and shuffle them together. Deal out five cards to each player. When that’s done, choose a player to go first. The game is fairly simple to play. The first thing you can do is either play ANY card from your hand or discard your entire hand. There are four different types of cards: Modifiers, Events, Expeditions, and Untimely Deaths. These cards have different effects. Modifier cards give Pathos Points, which are points used for scoring at the end of the game. And not THAT kind, either. The Pathos Points listed on Modifier cards can be listed on one to three spaces on the left of the card. Pathos Points can be either positive or negative. However, negative points are good, and positive points are bad. Modifier cards also have something on them called Story Icons. These explain exactly what the Modifier deals with. For example, a Modifier that has a Money icon on it can either mean losing or gaining money. These Story Icons can have effects on Untimely Death cards, as well as helping storytelling. Storytelling is optional, but it makes the gameplay more fun. Or at the very least helps people be more creative. The Story Icons are on the right side of the card Modifiers may also have special effects listed on the cards, such as making you skip a turn, or not draw for your tur[...]



Review: Gloom: Unwelcome Guests:: Friends, Family...Fatality. The thoughts of a teen girl.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:06:23 +0000

by CoalCat Would you let some random little kid into your house after you caught him snooping about? Knowing most of humanity, probably yes. It’s the cute factor, isn’t it? I personally wouldn’t for the fact that the kid could have a knife or something. Then again, what little kid would carry a knife with them. Knowing how I was when I was little, I’d probably be that kid. Gloom: Unwelcome Guests is an expansion for the original Gloom by Atlas Games that adds a few new things. As you can hopefully infer from the title, this expansion adds random guests to your humble abode. Of course, said house is probably infested with ghosts and termites… These people tend to make your life more of a living hell then it already is. It also adds a new family, which means another player can join the “fun”. Oh joy, yet another family to torment! The Malone family are part of the mob. To be honest, that's less suprising than some of the other families. Their Family Symbol is a money bag, which was going to be a given. At least they have a house, which is included in the expansion. Well, "house". More of a hotel to exact. Along with this, it adds some new Events, Modifiers, and Untimely Deaths. To set up the game, you will start by shuffling the Guest cards. Put one or more Guests in the middle of the table, and set the rest aside. They won’t be used for the rest of the game. Probably because they’re off bugging people in a different decrepit neighborhood. You’ll then pick a (unfortunate) family. As I have stated in my previous Gloom review, a family consists of five character cards. The cards have some flavor text, a picture of the character, and a Family symbol. The symbols are different for each family, such as a circus tent or a brain. After that’s all said and done, determine a player to go first, whether it’s by the rules or by house traditions. When you’ve chosen a first player, you may begin. The game is fairly simple to play. The first thing you can do is either play ANY card from your hand or discard your deck and redraw. There are four different types of cards: Modifiers, Events, Untimely Deaths, and Guests. These cards have different effects. Modifier cards give Pathos Points, which are points used for scoring at the end of the game. You know what I mean. The Pathos Points listed on Modifier cards can be listed on one to three spaces on the left. The spots can also nullify Pathos Points on a previous modifier card by covering up the points. It can either be a good or bad thing. Pathos Points can be either positive or negative. You want negative points, because they make your family depressed as heck. As bad as that sounds. Truly a wholesome game. Modifier cards also have something on them called Story Icons. Story Icons are on the right of the cards These explain exactly what the Modi[...]



Review: Gloom: Unhappy Homes:: Depressing Domiciles, The thoughts of a teen girl.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:06:16 +0000

by CoalCat Would you live in a house where someone (maybe) got murdered in? I suppose it would be weird. And I doubt anyone would clean it. I mean, curses are a thing. Still, I’d be fun to say “Hey, I live in the murder house!”. It’d make for an interesting conversation starter. People might give you odd looks, though. Don’t really see why… Gloom: Unhappy Homes is an expansion for the game Gloom by Atlas Games. It adds a new player to the table as well as some other things. Besides a new player, Unhappy Homes adds… homes. Well, they’re technically called RESIDENCES, but we aren’t gonna get into specifics here. Even though they’re important here. Besides Residences, Mysteries were added. Normal houses are too mundane anyways. We want ones that’ll kill us in our sleep. Those are the best kind of houses. Mostly because they’re usually more than three stories tall. Along with these, a new family was added, which allows for another player to join in on the fun. Fun for us, not the family. I thought I should specify. This is the family of a bunch of bohemians. Eh, there was no diffinitive last name, so it was the best I had. The family's full of artists! You know how they say you have to suffer to make art? Well, that's true here! It also includes their house/place of business, Le Canard Noir Cafe. I wonder where they sleep if they live there. The setup for the game is easy, with a small change. First, have everyone choose a family. A family consists of five family members. Each of the family members have an image on them, along with some flavor text and a Family Symbol. The flavor text doesn’t taste good, though. After choosing the family, you’ll take the house corresponding with it. For example, if you choose the Slogars, then you’ll take Castle Slogar. Lucky scientists… They get a CASTLE! Wish I had a castle. Anyways, after that, you’ll take the original deck and the expansion deck, and shuffle them together. Including the Mysteries. I'll explain the Mysteries in the next paragraph. Deal out five cards to each player. When that’s done, choose a player, either via rules or other methods. After that, you may begin the game! The game is fairly simple to play. The first thing you can do is either play ANY card from your hand or discard your ENTIRE hand. There are four different types of cards: Modifiers, Events, Mysteries, and Untimely Deaths. These cards have different effects. Modifier cards give Pathos Points, which are points used for scoring at the end of the game. The good kind of scoring. The kind that wins games! What did you think I was talking about? The Pathos Points listed on Modifier cards can be listed on one to three spaces. Pathos Points can be either positive or negative. However, negative points are good, and positive points are [...]



Review: Takenoko:: UMCR Takenoko Review: Panda-monium!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:39:22 +0000

by toothpickman I was searching for the perfect family game for my sister and nieces. I had already turned them onto Survive: Escape from Atlantis which they love. I wanted to find a good family Christmas gift for them that had the same fun factor but played differently. One niece likes Anime and the other likes Pandas so Takenoko seemed like a slam dunk. I have since played it with them and here are my thoughts.Components- The board - is built throughout the game by placing tiles on which bamboo grows. The tiles are differentiated by color and art work/symbols. The art is nice, the thickness is good, and they fit together nicely producing and attractive board.- The player boards are of good quality and have symbols that are fairly easy to understand. There is space for everything, and a reason for everything.- The bamboo pieces are made of plastic and look very nice. They stack well and add to the appearance of the game.- The Panda and the Gardner are nice miniatures that have a fun cartoon look that add to the fun factor of the game.- The die is quality as well with symbols on each side. These are a little challenging to get at first, but after a few turns you begin to remember them.- The rules are attractive and easy to understand/well explained. Though as always I suggest watching a play through/rules video as well as I am more of a visual learner.Game Play (this is not meant to be a complete explanation of the rules)The object of the game is to accumulate victory points. This is done by fulfilling cards. There are three types of cards, Panda cards, Garden/Tile Cards, and Bamboo cards. - The Panda Cards are completed by feeding the Panda the colored bamboo pieces that appear on the card, and turning them in for the points when completed.- The Garden/Tile cards are completed by creating a configuration of tiles as well as sometimes providing water to those tiles.- The Bamboo cards are completed by growing bamboo to the configuration that appears on the card. For example 3 yellow stalks 4 high, or a 3 green stalk, etc.When a tile is placed, if it has access to water the bamboo will grow. After that bamboo grows when the gardener is on or adjacent to the tiles that have water. The Panda eats one from any tile it lands on.A player begins their turn by rolling the die, this will give them a special power they may use.The player spends their 2 actions doing any of the following, but never two of the same (except when the die roll allows)A player may draw 3 land tiles and immediately lay one tile and discard the others.-A player may draw new cards.-A player may get an irrigation stick (which brings water from the first tile/pond to more distant tiles. (these can be placed at any time during your turn as a free action.)-A player may also move the P[...]



Review: Fallout:: Fallout the Board Game: An Overland Hexcrawl Worth Exploring

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:38:52 +0000

by D_Davis The Fallout Series of video games has always focused on telling stories through quests, dialog and the environment. Recreating these elements of the video game series in a board game format is no easy task, and yet Fantasy Flight Games has done precisely that. It’s about as good as a Fallout board game can be, and I can’t wait for more.They key to everything is the card Library, a huge stack of cards that the players dip into, revealing, reading, and creating sub-decks with as the game is played. There are two small active decks for Settlement and Wilderness encounters at the beginning of the game, and only a few initial quests are staged, waiting to be solved. But as the game progresses, cards are added to the two main decks, new decks are created, and more quests get staged. Each encounter/quest has a number of options available, with different ways to progress the story, offering different outcomes and rewards. It’s an ingenious system that makes every game feel like a single-session legacy experience.The gameplay itself is standard Adventure Game fare. Each player gets two actions with which they can move, quest, fight, explore, or camp. The map starts out mostly hidden, and as the players branch out, more places are revealed, exposing more enemies and more chances for things to happen. Along the way, the players will by vying for the attention of two warring factions. Each scenario pits two different factions against each other, and it is up to the players to choose sides, and help one advance while hindering their rival.The faction system adds an interesting balance to the game. On one hand, it acts as a timer. As soon as one faction reaches the end of the track, the game is over. On the other hand, it dictates how the players will interact with each other. Will they be working on the same team, or for different teams? This balance becomes the most important part of the game, and the players have to carefully decide which quests to solve so that they do not trigger the end-game before enough points can be scored.However, this can also lead to a problem, a similar problem that the game Near and Far suffers from. Trying to win the game can be at odds with what the game is really about. Both of these games are mainly focused on telling stories, and it is far too easy to trigger the end of each game without ever seeing a single story to its plotted conclusion. If you’re playing with players like me, people who don’t care about winning or losing, people who just want to experience the narrative, this isn’t a problem. However, if you are playing with people who are competitive, people who want to win, I can see this being a big problem, as the game-winning mechanisms are at cross-purposes with what makes the g[...]



Review: Dragonsgate College:: BGNews reviews Dragonsgate College

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:38:12 +0000

by HelenaTzt


In a world infused with magic, in a mountain where the peaks are concealed in mists, there is a college for young students with special gifts, who have everything they need to be real heros. The houses that the college consists of are in a constant conflict of domination.

Dragonsgate College is a game where players assume the roles of those Houses in order to top others in prestige points at the end of the game.

Number of players: 2-4

Average duration:
80’

Age: 12+

MSRP: $50


Thumbs Up:


Gameplay: Dragonsgate College is a Worker Placement game on point of delivering this experience to those who love this genre. In combination with the dice pool mechanic it can be differentiated from other games.

Component Quality: Components won't excite but won't disappoint either. Everything is made of great material quality and is sturdy enough. The illustration is not that impressive but it is clear and well executed.

Interaction: As expected from a game of this genre, interaction between players is minimal, but the dice rolling mechanic makes up for it, delivering a great number of choices, such as using another player's colored dice in order to perform various actions themselves.


Thumbs Down:

Rules: While trying to implement mechanics into the game in order to emphasize into the theme and also provide a sense of originality, the overcomplicated actions add less depth thus making the game look more abstract .

Setup: The game contains a lot of cards and small components without having a tray, thus making it difficult to set up and store.


Final Verdict:

Dragonsgate college is a board game that will satisfy most but will impress a few gamers. Having a good overall identity, it provides some clever and unique rules / mechanics that are also tiring at the same time.


Original review posted on BGNews.



Review: Alien Artifacts:: A Big Game in a Short Time

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:37:45 +0000

by KingCroc Alien Artifacts is a tableau building card game. Recently, I've come to realize that this is one of my favorite style of games. There's something about building card synergies that I find appealing, and most of these types of games are very easy to set up and relatively easy to teach.Alien Artifacts is easy to set up and easy to teach. The theme here is that of building an intergalactic empire, doing so by building a tableau of complimentary cards. The comparison thematically to Race for the Galaxy is inevitable, and since I like Race quite a bit, I find I like Alien Artifacts too. They share certain similarities, but they are different enough that I don't find them competing in my head.Like Race for the Galaxy, Alien Artifacts delivers a lot of complexity with clever card interactions and a resource card driven mechanism. Teaching the basics of either game is easy enough, but that doesn't mean the games are easy.And this is a huge stumbling block with Alien Artifacts. If you are one of those players who simply must win their first game, you are unlikely to be pleased. If you want to feel as if you know exactly what to do at every moment, then you're unlikely to be happy here. It also reminds me of another Portal tableau building game, Imperial Settlers, another favorite. Though Imperial Settlers is perhaps a more accessible game or at least a touch more forgiving.I've played the game four times so far. My first game, my wife and I felt as if we didn't know what we were doing (and we didn't). By the end, both of us felt like we'd figured stuff out, but it still felt like we'd barely scratched the surface.On my second game, I was teaching new players and while I enjoyed the game, they didn't. To them, it seemed too random, too limited in choices, and perhaps too complicated. For me, the opposite happened as I started seeing more pieces fall into place. My third and fourth game were with a different friend, and by the fourth, I felt as if I understood the game. My friend also liked it, and was able to summarize why it was appealing.Alien Artifacts is a game with a learning curve, and probably the only way to get better at it is to lose. Many players dislike this idea, and that's fine. I was reminded of another game I love, Battlecon, which is relatively easy to teach, with limited choices every round, but difficult to get to the table. And when I do get it to the table, I'm usually playing with new players and therefore, not really getting the full experience. It was only in my last two games of Alien Artifacts, with the same player both games, that I really started to understand Alien Artifacts.Alien Artifacts is a "4x" game in about an hour. You play cards to exploit[...]



Review: One Night Ultimate Werewolf:: One Night at its Best and at its Worst; a Short Review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:37:13 +0000

by e_vandyck

I assume many other people have already explained the rules, so I don’t feel the need to! Rather, here are some of the thoughts I have about this game! I’m just going to jump right in!

This game has the potential to breed some of the most hectic-fun, mind-boggling, and satisfying experiences! I've had many many incredibly exciting moments and memories playing it!
At its best no one trusts anyone besides themselves(even that isn't ensured) and there is no way to be sure of what really happened, alongside an exhilarating adrenaline rush gradually increasing until the final moments. The time after the reveal holds either incredible triumph or a still-confusing defeat; in either case, my favorite part is the potential, prolonged chatter and discussion about the round, sometimes lasting longer than the round itself! Everyone gives a run down of what the heck they thought was going on. There’s often a lot of “I FREAKING KNEW IT” and a lot of “...oh. I could’ve sworn he was the werewolf.” This kind of social interplay is awesome and quite sitisfying. Then everyone is quick to reset and go back to sleep for one more night!

Sadly the game is far from consistently this good! That is generally fine because the rounds are so short though, so don’t let the negative qualities I’ve perceived in certain rounds keep you from experiencing the incredibly rich good games of One Night.
One Night, at its worst, has is little excitement. All too often there is no question over which character is which. No unsureness. No mystery. No satisfaction, really. Everyone votes for the same player and the reveal is quiet. This can be due things going to smoothly, randomly, or the culprit is the group you are playing with. If there are a few or multiple people who aren't invested at all, it somehow often ruins the whole game. No one has a reason to disagree or lie because no one cares! This can be a huge issue for me, although I don't think that its entirely the game's fault! Almost every game suffers when the players don't care.

But regardless of the potential for boredom I’ve noticed, the game still feels fresh most of the time. There is a lot of fun to be had with this one! Overall, I have loved my time with this game, despite the mundane rounds! Great quick game for a big group! (Most of my plays have been with the Daybreak expansion too, which I recommend you pick up along with the base game.)

From one gamer to another



Review: Charterstone:: Charterstone: Does non-coop legacy really work? I don't think so

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:36:28 +0000

by gruescher I wrote a pretty lengthy German review about Charterstone here:https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1914583/charterstone-gut-ab...I don't want to translate the entire review to English but at least I want to share my conclusion with you:When looking at Charterstone, you have to consider two things:1) How does it work standalone?2) How does it work as a legacy game?As a standalone game, Charterstone is a solid design, with a score of 7-8 on the BGG scale. It has the same feeling as Viticulture and Euphoria, very nice components and simply plays pretty smoothly. However, as a legacy it has a number of shortcomings:First of all, the rule extensions introduced throughout the campaign are not too spectacular. Frankly, most of the new rules were obvious. Secondly, the pace at which new rules are introduced depends heavily on the playing style. In our campaign, every major rule update was active at the end of game 6 which means that in the last 6 games not that much new happened (apart from some minor variations). These are however only minor drawbacks.A major problem with our campaign was the concept of the Charter Boxes which allow you to keep stuff from game to game. At least two of our players managed to get some pretty powerful combos of cards and buildings in their own charter. As a result these players played the same strategies over and over again, scoring a solid 60-70 points game per game. The campaign had become very static at that point.I contrast, one player had neglected to develop his charter sufficiently in the first 3-4 games. This player fell significantly behind and struggled very hard to keep up with the others. Compare that to Pandemic Legacy: P:L is a cooperative game. You decide together, you lose together, you win together. If the group makes a stupid mistake in game #2 you face the consequences all together. In Charterstone, you have to face the mess all alone. Simply put: Looking at both these games I feel that Legacy and non-coop doesn't mix too well.All in all, my Charterstone rating is 8 for the first third of the campaign, 7 for games #5-#8 and only 6 for the last third. [...]



Review: Dinosaur Island:: A Very Short Review feat. My (Not-so-gamery) Wife, Beth

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:36:10 +0000

by Muel Wisdom

Day 1

BETH: I don't want to play that game. I don't like dinosaurs.
ME: Shall we just give it a go?
BETH: Fine

Roughly 70 minutes later

BETH: I really liked that game.

DAY 2

BETH: Can we play Dinosaur Island?
ME: Abso-bloody-lutely

Roughly 30 minutes later

BETH: Bloody hooligans

Roughly 60 minutes later

ME: That's it, 2nd objective claimed. Game ends at the end of this round.
BETH: Can we just play until all objectives are claimed?
ME: Abso-bloody-lutely

Roughly 30 minutes later

BETH: I really, really like this game!

So there we have it. Even my not-so-gamery, dinosaur hatin' Wife likes this game. It's addictive, it's thematic, it's charming, it's pretty, it's got fantastic components, It's surprisingly easy to teach and the hooligans are bloody annoying (for the record I like the hooligan mechanic, I love a bit of chance).

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Review: Thief's Market:: El Mercado de los Ladrones, reseña por El viernes toca... JUGAR!!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:35:53 +0000

by elviernestocajugar Comenzando el año, por Reyes, le trajeron este juego a uno de los chavales del grupo, así que decidimos probarlo con él. Aparentemente parecía un filler, pero pronto el chaval vio que se le iba de madre y abandonó la partida (10 años), así que continuamos los mayores con gran sorpresa y agrado por parte de todos al ver que el juego daba muchísimo más de lo que se esperaba.Así que si quieres saber más no tienes más que continuar leyendo ;-) Si ya lo conoces, la opinión al final.Resumen rápidoSe trata de un juego básicamente de dados en el que, a diferencia de los juegos "normales" de dados, las tiradas de los mismos son comunes. Un jugador tira todos lo dados y por orden los jugadores pueden coger dados del centro o, aquí viene lo interesante, los de otro jugador!!, creándose un ambiente de choriceo importante.Los dados con los que finalmente nos quedemos nos permitirán comprar cartas del centro de la mesa que nos darán habilidades adicionales para las siguientes tiradas, monedas de oro y/o puntos directos (puntos de infamia).Al final de la partida, las cartas, con posibles combos importantes, nos darán puntos y/o convertirán el oro o la infamia en puntos finales.Esto es básicamente El Mercado de Ladrones, un juego mucho más profundo y con mucha más miga de lo que parece.Ficha técnicaJugadores: 3 - 5 jugadoresTiempo: 45 minEdad: +14Mecánica: Tiradados, gestión de cartas y habilidadesAnalís / Paralís: MedioPrecio: 18€ aproxEditorial: Edgehttp://www.edgeent.com/juegos/coleccion/el_mercado_de_los_la...Autor: Dave ChalkerArte / Diseño: Rob Lundy, Adam P. McIverFicha BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/182351/thiefs-marketCaja y componentesCaja completamente adecuada al contenido (por fin!!!), no sobra casi nada y es bastante robusta. De formato mini, apenas ocupa sitio y es muy transportable.En el interior encontramos además de las instrucciones (bastante bien explicadas), 5 tableros de ayuda para cada jugador donde viene muy bien explicado a la izquierda el setup y a la derecha la secuencia del juego y el recuento final. Por la parte de atrás un resumen de la simbología del juego. Todo un acierto por parte de los creadores, se les nota que han metido horas en ello.Un montón de fichas de infamia y oro en cartón normalito pero suficiente...13 dados con símbolos en las caras....Y 49 cartas de mercado con un arte chulísimo, en plan caricatura muy lograda y con la simbología antes comentada.Según las reglas hay también un indicador de jugador inicial que a nosotros no nos aparece por ningún lado, así que no pue[...]



Review: Pixie Queen:: Pixie Queen - Wie Shades of Grey, nur besser? Another MUWINS Review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:35:46 +0000

by Benji68 Read the whole review (including pictures) on muwins.chNein, ich habe „Fifty Shades of Grey“ nicht gelesen. Aber ich habe mir natürlich einige Online-Leseproben angetan (ja, auch wir Pixies haben Internet), die waren dann gleichzeitig auch der Hauptgrund dafür, dass ich den Rest nicht gelesen habe: Einerseits, weil sich Frau James sprachlich so unterirdisch ausdrückt, dass es einem die Spitzohren einrollt, andererseits, weil das Dargestellte so nichts mit unserem Alltag zu tun hat. Der ist nämlich alles andere als lustvoll…Wer wirklich etwas Aufregendes lesen möchte, sollte sich stattdessen lieber Klassikern der Weltliteratur zuwenden: „Tinkerbell“ oder „Peter Pan“. Aber um es klar zu stellen: Nein, wir sind keine Feen und auch keine Kobolde – am ehesten noch etwas dazwischen. Das hat uns aber nicht davor bewahrt, dass 1917 unsere so lange geheim gehaltene Existenz aufflog, als die Wright-Bälger Fotos von Feen (oder was sie als solche bezeichneten) veröffentlichten. Es ist nun mal eine Sache, ob man sich (angebliche) Märchen erzählt, oder ob man die handfesten Beweise sieht. Danach war nichts mehr wie früher… Und obwohl unsere Existenz nun also schon seit über 100 Jahren unzweifelhaft bewiesen ist, werden wir nach wie vor missverstanden! Ja gut, wir klauen, was das Zeug hält – aber nicht nur aus bösem Willen, sondern auch aus purer Angst: Angst vor der Alten im Schloss, ihres Zeichens Königin der Pixies – und übellaunig bis zum Abwinken. Ihr wichtigstes Anliegen: Essen! „Ich will ÄÄÄÄÄPFEEEEEEL!“, kreischt’s dann jeweils durchs Schloss, denn Äpfel, Honig und Brot sind ihre Leibspeisen, und eine davon verlangt sie jeden Tag. Aber denkt ihr, die Dame könne rechtzeitig Bescheid geben, wonach ihr sein wird? Neeeeeein… Erst im allerletzten Moment gibt sie ihre Bestellung durch, und dann gilt es, sofort das Richtige aufzutischen.Als Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe Pix III bin ich letztlich mit für die Entscheidung verantwortlich, was wir der Ollen jeden Tag vorsetzen. Zur Auswahl stehen Gold, Silber, oder eben das von ihr gewünschte Nahrungsmittel. Jede Arbeitsgruppe liefert genau eine Sorte, und so lange der gefragte Mampf dabei ist, ist alles in Ordnung. In diesem Fall dürfen wir einige unserer Mitarbeiter befördern, und sie rechnet uns allfällig gelieferte Edelmetalle sogar grosszügig an. Sollte aber gar niemand die geforderte Nahrung geliefert haben … eieiei… Vielleicht sollte ich anmerken, dass „Arbeitsgruppe“ lediglich die offizielle Sprachregelung für „eine Bande von Sklav[...]



Review: Fast Forward: FEAR:: BGNews reviews: Fast Forward: Fear

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:28:12 +0000

by HelenaTzt Fast Forward: Fear is a game where players must play cards from their hands while they are hunting ghosts. The game starts without the need to read the rules, find your co players and use the predetermined deck that's inside the box. You can start playing!!Number of players: 2-5Average duration: 15’Age: 8+MSRP: $20Thumbs Up:Rules: In the box you wont find a rule book. The rules can be found in the deck of cards that will be on the table and you learn as you play the game.Gameplay: While the game is simple it has a nice feeling. As you play you will find that your decisions and strategic choices will increase in order to win your opponents. Rules change constantly in the course of a game, since new permanent and special rules are also added. It is also very important that the game has rules that allow you to store the game and continue from where you left it.Component Quality: The game consists of only 90 cards. The box is sturdy with a nice art in the inlay, and the cards are well designed, with as much art as needed and clean layout, just as it should for such a game Interaction: Interaction between players is intense as each player is trying to eliminate others from the game, and all players are drawing cards from the same deck that is constantly changing during play.Thumbs Down:Gameplay: The game box states it takes 15 minutes to play the game. This statement is not entirely true. The first match will take you about 2-3 minutes and you won't be sure why you are doing whatever it is you are doing. In order to grasp the whole game you need to play around 15 matches, while playtime increases in each match. So for a whole experience of the game you will need around 30-40 minutes. Also the experience is totally different depending on the number of players. A 2-player game is simply an elimination game, while for more than 2 players you need to eliminate the other and also be the one with the "best" hand. Of course the fact that it offers a different experience is not something negative necessarilly, but depends on each player's taste. Downtime: While the number of players is increasing, downtime also increases, although it is still short in total.Final Verdict:Fast Forward: Fear is an excellent hand management game. You will have great time playing it with gamers from all kinds of background. It's strategic and clever, without being complicated.This review was first published on BGNews [...]



Review: Doodle Rush:: "Doodle Rush" - a conclusion (german)

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:23:50 +0000

by Brakus Review-Fazit zu „Doodle Rush“, einem flinken Zeichenspiel.[Infos]für: 3-6 Spielerab: 10 Jahrenca.-Spielzeit: 10-15min.Autor: Adam PorterIllustration: Reinis PētersonsVerlag: Amigo SpieleAnleitung: englischMaterial: englisch[Download: Anleitung]engl.: http://www.publishing.brain-games.com/doodle-rush (s. Farbbalken)engl.: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/232090/doodle-rush/f...[Fazit]„DR“ ist vom Prinzip her ein klassisches Party-Malspiel, bei dem es gilt gegen die Zeit bestimmte Begriffe zeichnerisch darzustellen. Der Unterschied zu anderen Spielen dieser Art liegt darin, dass alle Spieler gleichzeitig spielen und zudem gleich 6 versch. Zeichnungen, besser Skizzen^^, auf kleinen Plättchen anfertigen müssen. Hierfür erhalten alle je zwei Begriffe-Karten mit je 3 Wörtern und bei Rundenbeginn steht allen genau 1 Minute zur Verfügung. Nach jeder Zeichenrunde folgt eine Raterunde, in der ebenfalls alle zugleich drauf los raten und sich bei Übereinstimmung die bemalten Plättchen von den Mitspielern nehmen – diese sind bei Spielende je 1 Punkt wert. Plättchen, die nicht erraten wurden, verbleiben beim jeweiligen Spieler und stehen diesem in der 2. und 3. Runde wieder zum Bemalen zur Verfügung – das Ziel ist es aber, alle eigenen Plättchen los zu werden, denn jedes verbliebende Plättchen zählt am Ende einen Minuspunkt.„DR“ ist ein sehr kurzweiliger Spass und das Schöne ist, dass es gar nicht erst darauf ausgelegt ist künstlerisch wertvoll zeichnen zu müssen, sondern allein schon wegen der knappen Zeit, Skizzen völlig ausreichen und somit ziemlich jedem Spieler in die Hände spielt. Denn die meisten Ausreden sind ja die, dass „man nicht zeichnen könne“ , doch das fällt hier gar nicht auf, denn die groben Zeichnungen reichen völlig aus und der Ratespass geht los. Wer gut zeichnen kann, hat natürlich auch hier die Vorteile auf seiner Seite, aber zumindest kann jeder mitmachen^^. Die knapp 15min. Spielzeit sind auf jeden Fall gut investiert und so erlebt man ein feines Spiel für zwischendurch, zum Aufwärmen oder als Abschluss.[Note]5 von 6 Punkten. [Links]BGG: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/232090/doodle-rushHP: http://www.publishing.brain-games.com/doodle-rushAusgepackt: n/a[Galerie]http://www.heimspiele.info/HP/?p=25531 [...]



Review: 7 Wonders:: 7 wonders review in Greek

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:23:16 +0000

by georgetennisman Disclaimers:-Δεν θα βαζω τονους -Εχει χιουμορ χωρις να ειναι ενοχλητικο. Μαλλον. -Δεν θα αναλυσω κανονες κτλ. Οι κανονες ειναι ευκολα προσβασιμοι απο ολους και υπαρχουν αναλυτικα εδω: http://rprod.com/index.php?page=download-2-Οι εικονες που χρησιμοποιησα ειναι απο το database του bgg ΚΑΙ ΟΧΙ δικες μου με οτι αυτο συνεπαγεται. (δεν ξερω με τι συνεπαγεται. Ετσι το ειπα.)Η γενικη ιδεα:Καθε παικτης παιρνει τυχαια (ή και οχι) 1 θαυμα.Το παιχνίδι καλύπτει 3 Εποχές, καθεμία από τις οποίες χρησιμοποιεί μια από τις 3 τράπουλες: πρώτα αυτή της 1ης εποχής (Age I), μετά της 2ης (Age II) και τέλος της 3ης (Age III). Οι Εποχές παίζονται με παρόμοιο τρόπο, με κάθε παίκτη να έχει τη δυνατότητα να παίξει 6 κάρτες ανά Εποχή για να αναπτύξει την πόλη του και να κατασκευάσει το Θαύμα του. Στο τέλος κάθε Εποχής, κάθε παίκτης συγκρίνει τη στρατιωτική του δύναμη με αυτή των δυο γειτονικών του πόλεων (που ανήκουν στους παίκτες στα δεξιά και στα αριστερά του). Στο τέλος της τρίτης Εποχής, οι παίκτες μετρούν τους πόντους νίκης τους. Ο παίκτης με τους περισσότερους πόντους είναι ο νικητής. Μπραβο νικητη, εισαι ενα συγχρονο θαυμα της ανθρωποτητας!1) ΘΕΜΑ Το θεμα ενος παιχνιδιου πρεπει να υποστηριζεται απο το artwork και τους μηχανισμους του. Οι μηχανισμοι του 7 wonders με το θεμα του εχουν τοση σχεση οσο ο Καραπιαλης με την Δουκισσα Νομικου. Το να διαλεγω μια καρτα για να χτισω και τις υπολοιπες να τις δινω διπλα ειναι σαν να παιρνω καρα[...]



Review: A Column of Fire:: Una Columna de Fuego, reseña by Dr. Cheno

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:23:08 +0000

by Cheno Esta reseña ha sido redactada para el blog El Dado Único http://www.eldadounico.es/PrólogoSi vas a hacer un juego de mesa sobre una novela que versa sobre el paso del tiempo ante las imbatibles catedrales,¿qué mejor que usar los dados como años que pasan?. --------------------------------------------Antecedentes personales Autor: Michael Rieneck, creador de toda la trilogía de Ken Follet, Santiago de Cuba, fortuna y coautor del Merlin con Feld.Editorial: Devir cumple finalizando la trilogía de juegos basadas en las novelas catedralicias. Este año posiblemente se reedite la primera, Los Pilares de la Tierra, considerado el mejor de los tres juegos por muchos.Caso Clínico Europa se encuentra en un momento de gran tensión religiosa, y deberás conseguir el apoyo de grandes familias durante años en Paris, Amberes, Sevilla y Kingsburg para alzarte con la victoria.Fisiología En este juego emplearás tus dados de colores para emplazar un puesto comercial en una de las cuatro ciudades y el apoyo de la familia que allí se encuentra. Los colores son blanco para Inglaterra, marrón para España, naranja para Bélgica y azul para París, además de violeta como comodín y negro tu religión. Al principio de tu turno tirarás tus dados y decidirás cuál usar.Ese dado tendrá un valor que simboliza el número de años (rondas) que esa familia te apoyará. Al principio de cada año, bajaremos en uno el valor del mismo y recibiremos el beneficio que la carta de personaje familiar te conceda. Al llegar a 0 el dado vuelve a tu mano y lo podrás volver a usar para conseguir nuevas cartas de familia.Además, tras elegir a qué ciudad iremos, con qué dado, y con qué número, emplearemos el resto de dados restantes, ya sin importar el valor, para movernos por un cuadro de acciones y elegir así la que nos beneficie.Lo habitual en el juego es vender mercancías que te otorgan puntos de victoria. Habrán personajes que te darán esa opción también. Si al elegir un personaje se desvela en el mazo un evento, todos los jugadores deberán afrontarlo. Normalmente se emplean escudos, un recurso preciado, para obtener puntos o para evitar perderlos.Queda un elemento importante y temático: la guerra entre católicos y protestantes. Cada vez que recojamos un personaje en cada ciudad, éste tendrá asignado una cruz que representa con su color religión neutral, protestante o católica. Al rellenar los 3-4 espacios (según el número de jug[...]



Review: Schollen Rollen:: "Schollen rollen" - a conclusion (german)

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 08:22:47 +0000

by Brakus

Review-Fazit zu „Schollen rollen“, einem glücklichen ‚Fang’spiel.


[Infos]
für: 2-8 Spieler
ab: 8 Jahren
ca.-Spielzeit: 20min.
Autor: Reiner Knizia
Illustration: Steffen Gumpert
Verlag: Amigo Spiele
Anleitung: deutsch
Material: sprachneutral

[Download: Anleitung]
dt., engl.: https://www.amigo-spiele.de/spiel/schollen-rollen (s. Infokasten)

[Fazit]
Bei „SR“ geht es darum möglichst viele Fische zu fangen, um so bei Spielende die meisten Punkte zu erhalten. Per Würfel darf er aktive Spieler in seinem Zug diese dann so oft sammeln, bis er nicht mehr würfeln mag und seine gefangene Beute behält oder keine „Schollen“ mehr wirft, dann endet der Zug ohne Beute. Per „Angelhaken“ kann man sogar bei Mitspielern die Fische stehlen.

Ein seichtes, schnell erlerntes und gespieltes Würfelspiel mit kleinem Ärgerfaktor für familiäre Besetzungsrunden und für den kleinen Happen zwischendurch. Die Würfel und Holzfischchen sind von toller Qualität, die Regeln simpel und die kurze Spielzeit lädt durchaus zu mehreren Partien ein. Als nettes Gimmick wird die untere Schachtel als „Netz“ benutzt zum Beute sammeln.

[Note]
4 von 6 Punkten.


[Links]
BGG: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/232437/schollen-roll...
HP: https://www.amigo-spiele.de/spiel/schollen-rollen
Ausgepackt: n/a

[Galerie]
http://www.heimspiele.info/HP/?p=25517




Review: Rhino Hero: Super Battle:: The Purge: # 1624 Rhino Hero: Super Battle: A dexterity game for those that don't like dexterity games and it comes with super heroes!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:14:41 +0000

by william4192 Please check out my other reviews at:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...Conclusion: Rhino Hero is a personal family favorite. We got Rhino Hero Super Battle for Christmas and we have even more impressed with this game. Let me explain why.We (my kids also!) love building the larger structure. It is really fun to just build the 8 story building with all the different levels and criss crossing we make. My son also loves the battling between super heroes; yes, even though it is just rolling 2 sided dice. These games that have you build a structure that can just come tumbling down is always good fun. HABA does it right with sturdy components that makes playing the game fun and not an exercise of frustration. Huzzah for that!The game is super simple and intended to be played by nearly anyone. A game like this really shoots up the list when it is made with this quality. I do wish there was a variant to make the super hero battles more investing, but the game is likely smart to keep the action strictly on the building of the structure.At its core, it seems HABA has a franchise going with the this Rhino Hero character. He has two games out and both are very good. There are some complaints people have about the game and they say it doesn't have as much tension as the original game, but I don't think that is true. The is larger, grander is scale and for that reason it last a little bit longer. But when you are finished everything just looks so cool.I highly recommend this game for any family with kids. If you don't like dexterity games, but are looking for a light filler that looks great on the table, then you may have just found it.The game is likely too easy for just adults, although they will have fun building the structure. When it doesn't fall, and you wade through all the cards, the game may drag on too long. That's like the biggest flaw of the game. Keeper. Components: The components are really good. Maybe even too good. The cards are all very good quality and the structure holds together pretty darn well. With this game, you want to build it up, but at some point you do want it to fall. My kids have no problem building it up and watching it fall. The dice are big and clunky. Rule Book: The rule book is very, very good. We were able to be up and playing within 5 minutes and the rule book even includes tips and ways to make it easier/harder. [...]



Review: Rum & Bones:: The Purge: # 1627 Rum & Bones: Pirate attacks and gangplank battles!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:13:59 +0000

by william4192 Please check out my other reviews at:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...Conclusion: Rum & Bones is a huge disappointment for me. The game fell so flat and boring to be honest. I am not a huge skirmish/battle type of player. The theme is spot on, but the fun was not included in this box.Theme: The theme is very strong. The factions feel different. The powers fore each hero is super different and they all are so different in story and abilities. I feel like Pirates. I feel like I'm boarding a pirate ship and battling for me treasure!Game play: Utterly boring. This game has so much down time, I'm just bored. Most of my decisions are meaningless as moving around is tough and I'm just rolling a bunch of 6 sided dice. Bleh. Not my style of game at all. Luck: This game has a ton of luck in it. Nearly everything you do is about rolling any number of 6 sided dice. This just isn't fun to me. I find it rather boring and not very interesting. Maybe if the game was shorter.Time to Play: At 90 minutes, the game is too long. I feel like I'm doing the same thing over and over again. And being that is rolling 6 sided dice, it isn't much fun. The downtime is just atrocious as I take all of these actions while my opponent waits while I destroy him. Then, it is her turn to destroy me. I only have three cards, which zero of them may be defensive, so there is zero strategy to what I can do: I'm just waiting to live or die by her dice rolls. Is that fun? Not to me. Strategy: I don't know if the game has a ton of strategy. Maybe when I use the coins and how I save them up? Which attack I use? Those henchmen always move forward. They always roll the same number of dice with the same number of options. The game doesn't have terrain or any modifiers. It is the same combat over and over. And over and over. And over and over. Maybe you can press your luck with a hero and do a rigging action and risk falling into the water. Maybe there is some tactical strategy? I don't know when the majority of your characters only move one space per turn. Fun: No, I didn't find the game very fun. The only real interesting part is the powers of the heroes, but most cost coins so they are hard to even perform very often. I didn't find it fun to move all those miniatures one space each turn, then roll a handful of 6 sided dice and take the kill[...]



Review: Monopoly Deal Card Game:: UMCR Monopoly Deal Card Game Review: Monopoly with card, it's chancey!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:13:49 +0000

by toothpickman I first played Monopoly Deal when a friend brought it to the game night we hold at our house about once a month. I was a little wary of any game with the name Monopoly in the title due to past experiences, but we gave it a shot and had a fun enough time that when I saw it for sale at a thrift store for 50 cents I thought I'd pick it up.ComponentsThe game consists of a large deck of cards of standard size and standard quality. They depict properties, money values, and special actions. The Special action cards may also be played as money, some cards also have a short description of the how to play.Game PlayThe object of the game is to own 3 complete sets of properties. This is accomplished by drawing and playing cards. On a players turn they may draw 2 cards and play 3. One may play a property card by laying it down in front of them, or play a money card in the same way. Action cards are played to the discard pile with the effect taking place immediately, some of these are rent cards, where an opponent must pay rent equal to what it says on one of your property cards, or a "Sly Deal" steal a property card, or cards that allow you to steal a set, or force the other player to pay money, etc. Simply a bunch of take that cards.There are also wild cards that can be played as different properties.The purpose of money is to be a shield, if you cannot pay in money you forfeit properties in that value to your opponent.Our ExperienceAs I said we enjoyed the first play of this game. We played it six player, it was chaotic to the extreme, quick, and fun. Everyone had a good time, and of course the game was settled with one of the cards that allows a player to steal a full set. These cards seem kind of over powered in this game.Pros- The game is quick- It is easy to introduce to people, simple to understand but still containing some interesting choices- It has a nice look to it- Having multiple use cards, money and effect is a neat mechanism to introduce to people- It was cheap- While some turn their nose up at the name monopoly, the familiarity can be enticing to some non-gamers- My wife likes it, and I like it when she has fun!Cons- It is super random, the card draws can definitely decide the game, and the game is very reactive rather than strategic- It is monopoly branded, that can be a turn off for some- It has a l[...]



Review: Sub Terra:: Sub Terra: A preliminary report/review

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:13:28 +0000

by Togmosis I backed this game on Kickstarter and it arrived about 48 hours ago. I got it out the box last night and ran through it by myself. I had a pretty good idea how to play before I set it up having seen a few videos here and having read through the rules fairly extensively and to my surprise there weren’t a lot of unanswered questions or the need to recheck the rulebook very often, although there were a few little niggly questions and one unanswered question I have.In this game I played with four characters, the leader, the geologist, the medic and the engineer. All player boards look good and have their advantages but from what I can gather the bodyguard and the medic seem the most powerful. I chose one to add to the team and my experience in Pandemic guided me to include the medic. The leader can add a +1 to all dice rolls (although he only rolled once or twice during my game) and can give another player an action on their turn, something I used often. The geologist had a great ability that I used constantly and that was to place a tile, face up on his board. He was allowed to turn a tile over and add it to the face up tile on their board before placing one of those two tiles down. This meant that the geologist did the bulk of tile drawing as they could often do this twice in a turn using the explore action. They did something else but I forget what. The medic could move twice instead of once which was a great move coupled with his other ability which is to heal using one action instead of two. The engineer had the ability to blow through walls and likely wouldn’t be killed (losing only one life instead of three) during cave ins.The game plays pretty seamlessly and is reasonably quick once you have figured out what you are doing. There are a few occasions when you really have to think what the best move is but often the game will dictate you explore, sprint or heal. Revealing and moving are probably the most common move types but also probably the most ineffective. I made a few errors early on and some errors mostly throughout the game being my first time playing. Ones that come to mind are not using the leaders ability early on, not rolling a skill check when entering a rough terrain tile, not realising I could move across the slide tile without putting the rope there first, never using th[...]



Review: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition):: UMCR Descent Review: My first Dungeon Crawl... Treasure and Troubles!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:36:08 +0000

by toothpickman After watching some people play Heroquest on Youtube I got it into my head that I should try a dungeon crawl game. I looked into getting that game, but the cheapest copy I could find was about $100 incomplete. This was way over my budget so I started asking around and doing some research. I almost ended up buying a copy of Dragonstrike as this was a game that I had when I was a kid, but never managed to get a group together to play. Consensus on BGG and Face Book was that I should try Descent 2nd edition, so I picked up a used copy that came with a home made insert with the help of BGG. To my surprise it also came with the pack to adapt the first edition, so a lot of cards for heroes and villains. Given the complexity of the game I wanted to try it solo first, so I also downloaded the app.Components- The board is made up of many puzzle pieces that fit together depending on the scenario. The book or the app tell you how to arrange them and what goes where. The art is relatively nice looking. One side depicts indoors and one outdoors. The pieces are of good thickness and they fit together well.- The dice are custom with each different color having it's own probabilities. Some for distance some for melee and others for defense. These are of good quality and the symbols are not too difficult to pick up.- The tokens and there are a lot of them are of good thickness like the boards. The health/stamina and stamina/exhaustion tokens make sense with health/damage being hearts and stamina/exhaustion being sweat.There are also object tokens, and enemy tokens, as well as several other kinds of tokens, all good art and thickness.- The cards are of ok to good quality. The player cards which are larger are a little thinner material than I would like, but they work. The enemy cards, resource cards, poison/effect cards, event/journey cards, and all the other cards are of good quality and have nice art work on them.- Now for what attracts many people, the Miniatures; the miniatures are of really nice quality. The detail is quite good and the base game comes with a nice variety of both monsters and heroes. My are unpainted but I may take the time to try my hand at painting miniatures for this game.- The rule book is a bit dense but well written, and I haven't look[...]



Review: Wizard:: UMCR Wizard Card Game Review: It's Wizard!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:30:09 +0000

by toothpickman I bought this game after being introduced to it by my Uncle in Arizona. It is a fun little trick taking game with some interesting mechanics.ComponentsThe components consist of a deck of good quality cards that include an additional card for each suit, a Wizard card. The art work is good but fairly standard to a deck of playing cards, and the cards are easy to read and understand.The game also comes with a scoring pad and rules that are easy to understand.Game Play (this will not be a rules explanation)The object of the game is to collect points by predicting the number of tricks you will take and then taking that number. The game begins with each player getting a card in the first hand, 2 in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd and so on. Depending on the number of players the number of rounds will vary. The game plays 3-6 players, and I've played it mostly 4 player and 6 player. In each round each player will predict how many tricks they will take. One suit will be trump, and this will be determined by the next card on the deck after the hands are dealt. If it is a Wizard or a Jester there is no trump. A player must follow suit (play the same suit as is lead if they can). If they cannot they may play another suit or a Jester or Wizard. Wizards are super trump cards, they trump the trump suit. Jesters are the lowest possible card. If two wizards are played the first played is the more powerful.If you correctly predict the number of tricks you are to take you are awarded 20 points, plus 10 points for each trick taken. If you guess incorrectly you lose 10 points for every hand you are over or under your prediction.The player with the highest score at the end wins. Our ExperienceThis was a relatively easy card game to pick up. It was somewhat familiar as I had played a few of the popular trick taking game before. It plays well with 6 as the game play moves quickly. At smaller numbers I can see the number of hands becoming a little tedious, and I wouldn't want to play it at 3 as it seem suited for larger numbers of players.I enjoyed it quite a bit which is why I went out and bought a copy.The really interesting bit for me was having to predict the number of tricks exactly. I have played a lot of Euchre but in that you predict a min[...]



Review: Desktop HEBOCON battle kit (卓上ヘボコン 対戦キット):: First Impression Robot Rumble in Desktop Hebocon Battle

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:06:35 +0000

by lorna Are you ready to rumble? Desktop Hebocon Battle will definitely not prepare you for the sumo ring or any other combat but it’s one of the coolest games I’ve played in a while. The game is themed around the real life Hebocon: The best worst robot competition. It is strictly for the technically challenged nonprofessional.The goal of the game is to create and program your robot to do battle in the ring but not do it too well. There are 2 phases. The first is making your robot. Your robot will consist of differently shaped polyominoes with various programmed movements or actions. You take turns collect programming pieces to eventually place on your player board similarly to other polyomino type games. Once everyone has collect their parts, the simultaneous building occurs. THe first player to complete their board hosts a one minute timer included in the game and the rest of the players have 1 minute to finish. Players earn points equal to the number of spaces on their board covered but if you manage to cover all the spaces you get a high tech penalty of minus 8 points!The second part of the game involves the battle. Players now take turns activating the polyominoes one at a time and move their robot or their board accordingly. The board has bonus chips for points and well as penalty spots. The big goal is to eliminate your opponents. If you push your opponent out of the ring you gain points and they lose points. The game ends once all players have used all their programming pieces (you must use all your pieces even if you don’t want to!)or if there is only one robot left standing in the ring. Bonus points for anyone still in the ring.Way back in the day when I first got into the hobby, RoboRally was a huge hit for us with its silly random and chaotic mmovement and cute little robots. I tired of it since most games went on too long. Desktop Hebocon provides the same fun in a much more streamlined manner with a fixed game end. I’m sure some people will be able to see ahead and create and program their robots well (although maybe we should handicap them since it is a Hebocon) but for the rest of us it’s lots of laughs and groaning. The sumo battle is great and I feel like there should be side betting! I’m nor[...]



Review: Fugitive:: The Cardboard Hoard: Review of Fugitive

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:01:14 +0000

by ericbinnyc Fugitive, designed by Tim Fowers and published by his Fowers Games, successfully funded on Kickstarter in June of 2016, and delivered to backers in the Spring of 2017. The two-player deduction game is a thematic sequel to Fowers’ earlier game Burgle Bros, but shares no mechanical similarities. While I am not a fan of social deduction games, I do enjoy pure deduction games. Where social deduction often seems to degrade into verbal arguments based on little or no actual information, true deduction games -- such as Mr. Jack and Specter Ops -- use logic and breadcrumbs of information to pit two asymmetrical sides against one another in a tense battle of wits. While those larger box deduction games that play more players aren’t a great comparison to Fugitive, there is a similar vibe to be found in Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc's Mr. Jack Pocket, the two-player, quick playing offshoot of Mr. Jack.So how exactly does Fugitive play? One player takes the role of the Fugitive, while the other controls the Marshal. The Fugitive’s goal is simple, to play hideout cards until they go from the starting hideout (value 0) to the final hideout -- a jet plane (value 42). There are three decks of cards that both players will draw from over the course of the game, with each containing cards in certain ranges, 4-14, 15-28, and 29-41. The Fugitive can play one hideout card each turn, face down, up to three numbers higher than their current hideout, and can also add additional cards to sprint and go further, determined by how many footprint icons are on the extra cards. However, since they can only draw one card per turn, sprinting too far too fast can leave them stuck later on. The Marshal, meanwhile, also gets to draw one hideout card per turn, using that information to eliminate potential hideouts the Fugitive could be hiding in. They then get one guess per turn -- and can guess a single hideout, or guess multiple hideouts at once. If they are correct, the Fugitive flips the hideout over. If every hideout is flipped over, the Marshal has caught the Fugitive and wins.Fugitive plays in about 10-15 minutes, although it almost always gets played more than once when it hits the table, especiall[...]



Review: This War of Mine: The Board Game:: This War of Mine: compelling, powerful, exhausting, depressing, brilliant

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:51:23 +0000

by Paulsharville This is one of the most powerful gaming experiences I've ever had. I have played TWoM four times, but only completed it once - with four friends for ten hours straight. We even made it more tragic (both meanings of the word could apply) by accompanying the game with a 10-hour 'urban war zone' soundtrack courtesy of YouTube. We usually play games with some music on in the background but this was not allowed until we'd built a radio (which we never did; it was never enough of a priority), and so we really immersed into this game. The small victories are few and far between, but I can tell you, when they happened, they were sweet (like the time a neighbour came and offered to build some stuff for us). Also, when the Ceasefire finally happened, I switched off the soundtrack and there was this most beautiful silence. It was joyful, and a treat. Three of my friends were not experienced gamers, and they have not stopped talking about the game since: when can we play it again, can we play it with our wives to see what a female perspective would bring to, for example, killing starving people who are trying to get into the house? For me, TWoM demonstrates that boardgaming can be as dramatically powerful and thought-provoking as film, books and music. It would be a sad day if boardgaming levelled out to a leisure pursuit that could only ever give us light relief from the more heavy aspects of life. Like lots of well-fed, contented and well resourced members of western society, I'd always thought that I'd do OK in some sort of city siege situation (despite having absolutely no credentials to justify that ridiculous belief). This game made me realise that I'd be as vulnerable and prone to failure as any of those poor people in places like Syria, because when I think of those situations I'm invariably healthy, warm, well fed and under no threat of violence.As I said, we played a warzone soundtrack. That pretty much sums up our pathetic attempt at an approximation of reality, but it was really there just to add a bit of colour, to make it more fun, weirdly. Ideally, I'd have played it while suffering from the flu, in a freezer room eating a plate of raw vegetables wh[...]



Review: Automobile:: Ten small decisions are greater than one big

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:08:19 +0000

by nhjelmberg IntroductionImagine a situation where you have to evaluate return on investment, free cash flow and market segmentation in the competitive and evolving car industry. A boring routine task at work? An even more boring assignment at business school? No, a surprisingly good time at a game of Automobile. The designer Martin Wallace has managed to collect several financial decisions, simplify and streamline them, and put them all together in a medium heavy game. One would almost think that Automobile was designed to teach future executives how to manage a manufacturing company. The basics The goal of Automobile is simply to earn the most money. To do so, you invest in production facilities, produce cars, invest in marketing activities and sell cars. This sounds like nine out of ten other euro games out there, where you build an engine, turn resources into victory points, and rinse and repeat until the runaway leader wins. However, every little link in this value chain has a special mechanic that turns the whole into something completely different. If the mechanic hadn’t been there, you wouldn’t have noticed that anything was missing, but once you’ve seen it in operation, you can’t possibly imagine the game without it. Similar to a well manufactured car, it’s not one big thing that stands out but the way the many small details work together. Let us review those seemingly small design decisions to see how they support the game and why they do it so well. The investment action One available action is to invest in a factory space. This could have been one big decision where you are free to set how much to pay for production, what to produce and how much to produce but not so in Automobile. Instead, the investment action has been broken down into several small and limited decisions, each of which only has a few discrete options, but where all those decisions together have a great impact on your strategy. The factory spaces are neatly arranged in a clockwise pattern around the game board where each new space introduces a more modern (and more expensive) car model. This looks a bit like, although I shudder to mention the game in t[...]



Review: Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of Doom:: Dungeon Degenerates Hand of Doom

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:24:10 +0000

by GrogDog There's allot of good and a little bad to this game. I feel I must present both here but, all in all this game is fantastic all things considered. I am almost exclusively a social gamer and love cooperative games. If you enjoy Eldritch Horror or Runebound you will enjoy this game as much as I have as it is similar to both. I'll start with the bad. First you must understand this IS Goblinko's first rodeo as far as producing games go. The quality of the game pieces itself is not great. Despite the great care I've taken thus far some of the cards are already fraying and the pieces were difficult to remove without damaging. The back of the board is already peeling as well. This is all despite the fact I've only used the game 3 times thus far. Consequently, this is the first time I've considered putting sleeves on the cards of a game and I recommend anyone else who purchases this game to do the same (because this IS game you want to last). Being very excited about this game, and considering its cost I was a little disappointed about the physical quality of the pieces but I personally the feel the creative value of this game sort of supersedes this fact. The rule book is THICK and for good reason. I read it twice before attempting to play the game and made some very drastic blunders the first two times I played the game, I read the rule book a third time before attempting to play the game again, it went smoothly and was LOTS of fun. This is not a game you can set up and play through reading the rule book as you go. You must read the rule book start to finish at least once before playing. I'd recommend multiple people reading the rule book all the way through before attempting to play. At first the rules seem very complex, but once played through and well understood the play is very smooth and intuitive. The many aspects of the games rules lend to creative play that allows players a depth of play greater than the two Fantasy Flight games I've listed above. Strategy and luck meld together in the most fantastic of ways. This is MY first rodeo writing a review for a game. I am inclined to do s[...]



Review: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game:: Is It Worth It? Battlestar Galactica The Board Game BASE GAME

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:41:05 +0000

by wizwar100 Hi I'm Al, and I like playing boardgames with people and want to give my thoughts on the games I played that I may or may not own.Recently at the time of posting I finally got the chance play Battlestar Galactica The Board Game, after hearing about the hidden traitor mechanic and the gameplay aspect of from a youtube called SpoonyOne (which is how I knew of this game). I was dying to play this game. I went through quite a lot of trouble to get myself a copy of the game in mint condition (in 2017 when it was long out of print). I could have gotten it way back earlier but money was an issue and I wished I got it back then, but that's in the past. Now I can give my thoughts on the game based on the 2 sessions I got to play, so this is more first impressions.Pros:1. The group dynamic. - I really liked the co-op aspect of the game, where everyone has a role, everyone contributes to helping to fight off the crisis cards, us discussing what course of action the group should take, I liked the social interaction that happens as we play this game. Now don't be mistaken, that's a part of the game that I like, not just the only part. If anyone recommends me 'Avalon' Don't! Because I don't like that type of 'game'/interaction where there's only the social aspect of it vs BSG where there is a game in it.2. Hidden Traitor. - Now first off I wanted to play human all the way and discover who the Cylon is like a detective, suspecting players based on their actions during the game, and following my intuition(Not like Avalon). But fate decided(or the cards in this case) that I would be deemed a Cylon and was somewhat dishearten at having to play the traitor. But it turns out to be quite fun as you stay hidden, try to be as human as possible so you don't get found out, and screwing them over. I had the title of Admiral so I play sub-optimal with the distance cards and fortunately no one tried to suspect me, as I delayed our travel to Kobol. (I have a story in detail of my exploits of the game at the end below)3. Game Design - Now for about 95% of the game, it's really well design with the remainin[...]



Review: Sword & Sorcery:: Ronny reviews... Sword & Sorcery

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:09:40 +0000

by ronjake11 Hey guys, I'm Ronny from Co-op Board Games. You can also see this review here, which includes more pictures of the game.GAMEPLAYIn each game of Sword & Sorcery you’ll be attempting to complete a quest from the Storybook. You’ll set up the map tiles, Story Events, enemies, Waypoints, doors, and other items exactly as they’re diagrammed in the book. You’ll learn what you have to do to complete each quest as you move through the quest.When you first start the campaign or when you play a one-off quest, you’ll choose which hero you want to be and their Soul Nature. The three Soul Natures are Law, Neutral, and Chaos, which alter the heroes’ play styles. This is an important part of setup because you can’t have Law and Chaos heroes in the same party (Neutral can be with either of the other two) and the Soul Natures let you know which cards you can and can’t use.The heroes have their own attributes, innate powers, and power cards. They are further customized by the weapons, armor, and artifacts that they get during the quests.Each hero has a Soul Gem, which tells you how much health they have, the number of power and talent cards they can have, the number of combat activities they can take, and the number of action activities they can take. As you move forward through the campaign, you’ll be able to gain Soul Ranks and increase these attributes; thematically, you’re gaining back your old abilities as you kill more evil enemies.During each round of the game, there will be a Time Phase, a Battle Phase, and an Event Phase. The Time Phase is basically when everything refreshes and the power cards you used either get refreshed or get one step closer to being refreshed. The Battle Phase is when the heroes and the enemies move and attack. The Event Phase is when you draw and resolve an event card, which could be a positive or negative effect on the heroes, the enemies, or everyone on the map.During the Battle Phase, the heroes can decide to activate in any order they choose. They can move around the map, open doors, interact with different items[...]



Review: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: Twilight Imperium 4??? Is Anything About it Epic Other than the Time It Takes to Play???? (A Negative Review)

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:09:31 +0000

by MrPerfect1 I recently played TI 4 at a convention. It was not just my 1st time playing 4th Edition but also my 1st time playing any edition of the game.I am not comparing this to previous versions of the game but rather just reviewing the game on its own.It is possible the problem was not the game but rather my expectations. I was expecting an epic game of diplomacy, trading, politics, and warfare....but none of that seems to exist in the game.Elements of an Epic Space Opera:-------------------------------Exploration: TI 4: 0/10. Granted, you know going in that there is no element of discovering unknown planets/systems/etc since the map is all revealed from before the game begins but does take away part of the epicness when there is basically 0 exploringDiplomacy 2/10. Much of the Diplomacy in this game is very minimal. Alliance building is on a similar scale to that of a game like Risk basically "let's try ganging up on X." Want to propose military coalitions where I provide the ground troops and you provide the carriers, sorry not allowed. How about we both fly into the same system and only attack the player who occupies that planet....sorry not allowed. How about I use political influence to prevent someone from attacking me or bribe some of their leaders or use spies for something...either can't happen or do not exist in the gameTrading 2/10. You know how for example when you watch Star Wars and The Federation might trade some planets to the Romulans for some other planets... yeah that isn't happening in TI 4. Want to trade planets, sorry you can't. How about 4 Dreadnoughts for 1 War Sun.. sorry that isn't allowed either. OK let's at least trade some technology....sorry can't do that either. All you can trade for the most part are nebulous commodities that become a type of resource of your choice.Technology 2/10. Ok, technology must be pretty cool and divergent since there are like 15 or whatever different races to play from, right???? Actually the tech available to each race is nearly identical, with the difference[...]



Review: Vs System 2PCG: The Alien Battles:: Believe it or Not 4 Ripleys vs The Queen and her Cohorts

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:28:25 +0000

by Chris Baylis Online and in Game Stores from around £20.00FANS of the ALIEN movies can now play through using the excellent VS SYSTEM rules to see how Ripley's battles really would have played out had they (the players) and not them (the scriptwriters/director) been at the helm (of the Nostradamo ? or camera). Here in this stand-alone (or play as expansion) card game there are FOUR Ripleys for your to control: There is the Warrant Officer Ripley, the famous Lieutenant Ripley, Sister Ripley and Ripley #8 each being Main Hero characters with two copies of each card at L1 and L2 as is normal for a VS System 200 card set.However, my first game using the cards from this pack was not Ripley & co versus the Queen and her minions but instead I selected my Predator Deck from the PREDATOR BATTLES pack and went straight into a Predator versus Aliens game, and it was awesome. Of course this means that to play this you will also have to purchase both sets but I can assure you if you enjoy the VS System you will be fascinated by the depth of battle you can be part of. This is a super 2-player (One vs One) challenge which is enhanced by using the flip-side of these two game packs and setting Ripley up against the Predators. I have also had some fun playing a "training exercise" style game where Ripley and the Predator's Prey (led by Dutch) take on each other to test their strength and skills- there are no deaths in our "training exercise" games, just sore losers. Despite Dutch and Co being stronger Ripley's team really hold their own, and offer a few surprises too.All the card types are in this boxed set, colour coded as normal so that they can be integrated when possible. On integrating sets, most cards in every set have a specific symbol to show their team affiliation and by the laws of the game any Support cards you use, be they Supporting Characters, Plot Twists or whatever, may only be on the team of other cards with the same affiliation symbol. This doesn't mean you cannot mix any cards from other sets together but [...]



Review: Unicum:: Unicum - How unique are you? - quick review

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:27:28 +0000

by tiagoVIP Unicum is a game I wasn't expecting much from - on the contrary, I worried that the game would be very bad. The rules were simple: players write down three candidates for the circle of unicums - one for the first position, and the other two for second-to-last and last; and will get points accordingly to the position the tile ends up in the circle - if they even enter. Because in their turn players choose one tile and give and argument about why the piece should enter the circle. Other players can argue against the proposition. Then there is a vote - if the piece gets more votes to enter than not, it enters; otherwise, it stays. If the piece didn't entered the circle, it can be chosen again later. Once each player have had a given number of turns, play ends. After scoring, the player with the most points will be the winner.This don't sound like a bad game, until you reach the vote portion. There is nothing in the rules about actually chosing the best argument. Players can vote only based in their interest - on other words, it can be "gamed". Thus I thought that, with gamers, Unicum wouldn't fare well - maybe it would in other environment, like in a classroom. Still, I give it a try. And it worked nicely.Sure, I said that the vote would be regarding the argument about the uniqueness of the piece - the counter-argument would be required to give a sound reason against the initial proposition. Otherwise, there wouldn't even be a vote. Though this isn't in the rules, I think this is a true spirit and intent of the game.With this, Unicum became a fun experience - with arguments being crushed, leading to some big laughs. Play went fast enough, and the way scoring works helped the whole game to become more thoughtful.All the versions of Unicum are duo-sided, and players can choose which side to use. Production is OK - nothing really stands out, on either way; except the art in the Lovecraft edition, which is quite good. The game is quite portable, coming a tiny box.Overall, Unicu[...]



Review: Legacy of Dragonholt:: Finished the Game - Roleplayer's perspective

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:20:04 +0000

by Azurah Intended to be fully readable both spoiler-free and with the hidden spoilers to add detail.Although I have played boardgames a lot and love doing so (heck, I even work at a board game shop), first and foremost I consider myself a roleplayer. I have several years of experience in both live action and table-top roleplaying and am the proud creator of two completely original settings and rules systems (although yet to be published). As everyone I started with D&D but soon moved to much rules lighter systems cause I value story and immersion into one's character much more than the complex rules covering every single detail.Legacy of Dragonholt promised to be just that. And without a gamemaster. GMless systems are the new hip and cool of the European roleplaying scene and although I am rather sceptical of them I can't deny the excitement of the idea of being completely on your own as players. I immediately decided to go solo because with already two people I could just gamemaster my own games but as a busy adult of modern times me and my friends often barely have any time to meet up.As mentioned in several other reviews you start with creating your character first choosing race and class. Since I have always been drawn to the mage/sorcerer archeotype not exactly available in the choices I settled for human apothecary with a secret magical gift. Next you are told to describe your character's backround and values and this before choosing your skills. I was immediately delighted because this is exactly my roleplaying philosophy: skills need to be chosen not to be the most efficient set but to be what this particular character would be able to do. My character, Yesnah, was a daughter of a noble father and apothecary mother from the Free Cities. Her father was murdered in some unknown infighting of nobles and three years before the game so was her mother. She escaped and needed to choose the life of an adventurer to avoid being caught by never staying in o[...]



Review: Telestrations:: The Cardboard Herald Reviews: Telestrations

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:16:55 +0000

by TFJ383 This review was originally posted on the Cardboard Herald website:http://www.cardboardherald.com/reviews/2017/12/29/tellestrat...Telestrations - For the Stressed Doodler in All of UsJanuary 2, 2018 Jack EddyTelestrationsPublished by: USAopoly2 - 8 players ~ 15 - 30 minutesReview written by Luke MuenchParty games have categorically been my least favorite genre of board games to date. Games with no sense of strategy like Battle Wizards and Cards Against Humanity actively bore me to tears, Codenames has far too much downtime in-between turns to keep my attention, and some titles like Monikers and Dixit feel less like games and more like excuses to sit around the table with friends.My blatant distaste for party games is so palpable, that I sometimes sit out on them at my Friday night gaming group, knowing that my inclusion in the roster of players will simply dampen the mood and game experience. Simply put, I wear my heart on my sleeve, so when I’m having a bad time with a game, everyone knows it. And I’d rather wait patiently for a game I’ll have fun with than bring down the mood during a game they love and I loathe.So it’s a rare sight when, three Friday’s in a row, I come bounding into the room with the same marvelous, gut-busting, absurd party game that consistently brings a smile to my face. (Some in my group may even assert that it’s rare to see said smile on my face period, but that’s another issue). And it’s not just the fact that it’s a party game that makes that makes my mirth so unusual, it’s that it’s Telestrations; not a game of skill or logic, not of mind-bending puzzles and thoughtful choices, but of awful, AWFUL drawing and the stupid words that are eventually associated with them.Telestrations brings the best of drawing games to the table, overthrowing the likes of Pictionary and it’s ilk for a far more rewarding and consistent experience. The gameplay loop is simple; at the start of[...]



Review: B-17 Flying Fortress Leader:: Everything Board Games B-17 Flying Fortress Leader Review

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:16:21 +0000

by Dt92stang Quick Look: Designer: Dean BrownArtist: N/APublisher: Dan Verssen GamesYear Published: 2017No. of Players: 1Ages: 12+Playing Time: 30-120 minutesThe air exploded with flashes of light and sound as the 4th Fighter Group intercepted a swarm of German bandits. The bombers were close to their target, an airfield in France that acted as a staging ground for a host of the German Luftwaffe, including these fighters now engaged in combat with the Spitfires. Destroying the airfield meant eliminated at least one more squadron of German air support.Anderson flew his B-17 bomber through the sky, unwavering against the exploding flak all around him. Fear was something for new recruits, and had since been driven out of his system after a handful of missions. The fighters skirmished nearby, but at least the Spitfires were keeping the Germans busy. Anderson had a payload to deliver, and it wouldn't do to be shot down before he could release his explosive gifts. His aircraft shook as a shell exploded too close for comfort.Almost there, he thought as he gritted his teeth.Approaching the target, he checked in with his crew. A few moments later, the bombardier let loose their bombs. The aircraft jolted with the newfound relief of losing all that weight, but Anderson kept her steady. As soon as the bombs were off, he turned his flying fortress around to head back to their base in the UK. As he banked his aircraft around, he looked down at his target and was rewarded with a large fireball that erupted from the airfield.Anderson smiled for a brief moment, then readied his mind for the return trip home.Review:In B-17 Flying Fortress Leader, you take the role of Deputy Director of Operations for the Eighth Air Force, and are therefore responsible for reducing Germany’s ability to wage war.B-17 Flying Fortress Leader is a strategic bombing solitaire game which, you will find upon reading my review, is a stellar s[...]



Review: Win, Lose, or Banana:: 5X Reviews #8 - Win, Lose, or Banana: A Zany Bluffing Game

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 01:00:52 +0000

by z10n x [BGCOLOR=#00CCFF]This review series is dedicated to reviewing games I’ve received from publishers in exchange for an unbiased review. I play each of these games at least five times before reviewing them. Subscribe to this Geeklist to be notified when I publish a review: 5X Reviews. Please Geekmail me if you're interested in having me review your game![/BGCOLOR]Introduction: I first played Win, Lose, or Banana back in 2014 or 2015 with a homemade set. A friend made a party edition for eight players, and we all had a good laugh playing three or four rounds. Fast forward to 2018, and Asmadi sent me a copy along with my review copies of Red7 and Adorable Pandaring. Would I find this game a-peel-ing the second time around? Did my group have a good time monkeying around with Win, Lose, or Banana?How to Play: One card says “Win,” the second card says “Lose,” and the third card says, “Banana.” Deal the cards face-down to the three players. The player with the “Win” card flips it face-up, then the loser and banana attempt to convince the winner of who’s the actual banana. If the winner chooses correctly, both he and the banana win.What this game does well:1. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Even the rule page seems a bit tongue-in-cheek. This is one of the most silly games I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t pretend to be more than it is--a ridiculous, silly source of fun.2. It has a few useful applications. You can get creative and use the game to decide who will pay for drinks or who gets to go first in a board game. It’s a good starter before some more serious games.3. People really get into the bluffing. This is one of those games where you literally just look into someone’s eyes and try to convince them you’re something that you’re not. There’s even a pretty lively metagame that can develop once you’ve played with the same people a [...]



Review: Legacy of Dragonholt:: A Serious Roleplayer Played Legacy of Dragonholt

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:52:34 +0000

by Azurah Intended to be fully readable both spoiler-free and with the hidden spoilers to add detail.Although I have played boardgames a lot and love doing so (heck, I even work at a board game shop), first and foremost I consider myself a roleplayer. I have several years of experience in both live action and table-top roleplaying and am the proud creator of two completely original settings and rules systems (although yet to be published). As everyone I started with D&D but soon moved to much rules lighter systems cause I value story and immersion into one's character much more than the complex rules covering every single detail.Legacy of Dragonholt promised to be just that. And without a gamemaster. GMless systems are the new hip and cool of the European roleplaying scene and although I am rather sceptical of them I can't deny the excitement of the idea of being completely on your own as players. I immediately decided to go solo because with already two people I could just gamemaster my own games but as a busy adult of modern times me and my friends often barely have any time to meet up.As mentioned in several other reviews you start with creating your character first choosing race and class. Since I have always been drawn to the mage/sorcerer archeotype not exactly available in the choices I settled for human apothecary with a secret magical gift. Next you are told to describe your character's backround and values and this before choosing your skills. I was immediately delighted because this is exactly my roleplaying philosophy: skills need to be chosen not to be the most efficient set but to be what this particular character would be able to do. My character, Yesnah, was a daughter of a noble father and apothecary mother from the Free Cities. Her father was murdered in some unknown infighting of nobles and three years before the game so was her m[...]



Review: Probe:: UMCR Probe Review: Hangman with some added

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:32:42 +0000

by toothpickman I received a copy of the 1964 version of Probe along with Sequence as a gift from a friend who knew I liked board games. It looked like a word game, so I figured I'd give it a shot. ComponentsThe 1964 edition has fantastic components.- The cards are of good quality, there are four sets and they are smaller sized. Each set is one of four colors, and the decks each contain 5 of each letter and 5 dots for spaces.- There is also wonderful deck holders that contain your deck during play and in storage. These are well made and nicely designed.- A plastic frame is used as a board which holds your word once it is made and indicates the point value of each card placed. This too is really well designed with a groove that makes card pick up much easier.- There is a deck of white cards that are used to determine what happens on your turn and they too have their own deck holder.- The box is well designed with each component fitting well without any movement around. The insert is well placed and there isn't a lot of wasted space.- The rules are standard for the 1960s, they are on a small piece of paper and can be a little difficult to understand. They may require rereading a few times, or a video online can provide the rules quickly.Game Play (this will not be a complete rules explanation)The object of the game is to get the most points. This is accomplished by guessing the letters of other peoples words, along with the drawing of cards.The player draws from the white deck at the start of their turn. These cards say things like subtract 15 points, add 20 points, take a normal turn, reveal a letter/dot, or take 2 turns. This adds some randomness into the game.After this the guess is made, points are awarded, and the turn passes to the next person. Completing an opponents word gives a bonus, and guessing a dot[...]



Review: Risk Europe:: Risk Europe - A Detailed Review

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:56:28 +0000

by Neil Thomson Image Courtesy of montesluThis review continues my series of detailed reviews that attempt to be part review, part resource for anyone not totally familiar with the game. For this reason I expect readers to skip to the sections that are of most interest.If you liked the review please thumb the top of the article so others have a better chance of seeing it and I know you stopped by. Thanks for reading.SummaryGame Type – Conflict (Dudes on a Map) GamePlay Time: 2 – 3.5 hours Number of Players: Mechanics – Area Control, Dice Rolling Combat, Action SelectionDifficulty – Moderate (Requires 2-3 plays to learn completely)Components – Excellent +Release – 2015Designer – Austin Rucker (Risk: Star Wars Edition) Overview and ThemeDudes on a map games are as popular now as they have ever been. Sure, they don't appeal to everyone, but there is definitely a scene within the larger tabletop hobby that love nothing more than rolling some dice to make little plastic guys fight it out over land and resources. I just happen to be one of them as well and I look forward to reviewing a raft of these games over the coming year or two to explore what each one has to offer. And so, it is somewhat amazing that with so many offerings out there today, that Risk continues to find new ways to try and engage the 'dice chucking' crowd. In this offering Hasbro has released a version of Risk that is equal parts true to its roots, whilst embracing the hybrid game movement of the last 20 years. Make no mistake, this is not classic Risk as we know it...but then again we shouldn't be surprised by that either as there are now a plethora of Risk 'Skins' out there that mix things up in one way or another. With that in mind this review aims to serve two key functions. First is to explore what Risk Europe ha[...]



Review: Enchanters:: BoardGame Generations — Enchanters

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:56:08 +0000

by kentonwhite EnchantersWe love deck building games! Drafting cards and making the perfect deck is so much fun. But a stack building game? That's the delightful mechanism Enchanters introduces.In Enchanters, we are brave adventurers protecting our helpless village. We start with just our fists and the potential for magic. Through this quick playing game we will become powerful warriors, vanquishing giants and dragons. Sounds very familiar. The twist on this tired tale is we gain our power through crafting and enchanting mundane items.After selecting a random village and decks, we shuffle these decks together and deal a river of 6 cards into the Journey Track. We'll be drafting items, enchantments and monsters from the Journey Track. The card closest to the village is free (it doesn't take much resources to step outside our gates). Each additional card away costs a crystal. Only a single item and enchantment can be active at a time. Each of these cards has an attack value, a defence value and maybe a special ability. While this card is active, you get the full values and can use the special ability. When you draft another item or enchantment, it goes on top of the previous card, becoming the new active card. Cards will also have an attack and defence value on the bottom of the card. These values stick around, making your magical artifact more and more powerful.Eventually you have enough attack and defence to take on monsters. Fighting monsters is really simple. You draft the card from the Journey Track, compare your defence to the monster's attack and take the difference as damage. If you have a higher attack value than the monster's defence, you keep the monster for victory points at the end. Damage costs victory points, so no worrying about dying o[...]



Review: Ulm:: Ulm - Rule Adjustments for 2 to 3 players

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:55:46 +0000

by Grongard I like this game, with 4 it is very well balanced and I like the Cathedral area push mechanism for actions. In the discussion threads there are a number of observations that the game works well with 4 player but not for 2. This is something that I found as well. The problem with games is that the game experience emerges from the rules so you make changes at the risk of uspsetting the balalnce.We have developed (played Ulm) using the following changes. They maintain the balance of the 4 player game with fewer players - they are simple and ensure that the competition for resources works whist still allowing progress down the river to some of the bigger earning potential quarters.All you need is some tiddlywinks.(1) PRIVILEGE QUARTERSReduce the number of Seal spaces so that the ones left remain in the same proportion to the number of players as they do for 4. Covering the unused ones the tiddlywinks- where there were 4 spaces reduce to 2 or 3 (= number of players)- where there were 3 spaces reduce to 1 or 2 (1 less then number of players)- where there were 7 (Shipyard) reduce to 3 or 5 (2 for each minus 1)(2) NON PRIVILEGE QUARTERS (silver coat of arms)There are 4 of these so remove 1 or 2 by covering them with the reverse side of the coat of arms being removed. Also put tiddlywinks on the spaces adjacent to the Cathederal area for the removed coats of arms. New Rule; When any player PUSHES an action in this direction that player gets a SPARROWThis is in addition to the normal rule for getting a SPARROW when you push to an area you control.(3) BARGE ACTIONNew Rules; when you carry out a barge action you can move up to 2 spaces along the river and as a consequence, If you have the BARGE DRIVER descendant increase the special action [...]



Review: Corinthia: A Conan / Mythic Battles – Pantheon Crossover:: Subject: The Purge: # 1621 Corinthia: A Conan/Mythic Battles - Pantheon Crossover: Is this the place to start with the expansions?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:55:38 +0000

by william4192

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/5894446#item5...

This series of reviews are going to be smaller in nature and with a different format. I hope you enjoy them.

This Corinthia expansion is likely the best expansion available in Wave 1. It comes with a Winged Ape and a full set of Villager miniatures that replace the tokens provided in the core game. The miniatures are fantastic. The Winged Ape is something to see for sure. It is a scene stealer on the table. The detail on this miniature is amazing and once painted it is going to look fantastic. The Villagers come in three different molds and they are unique enough looking. These miniatures are really great additions to the game.

You also get the Ketos cards to use if you have the expansion miniature. You get some new scenarios and ways to play the game. This is all fantastic and worth the price alone.

But then you also get everything you need to take Mythic Battles into your Conan board game. If you have Conan, then this expansion is a must purchase. This is amazing and I can't believe they added to this game. If you play both games, this where you want to start your expansion experience.

Keeper. If you have Conan, then this is the first expansion you should purchase.

Keeper.



Review: Suburbia:: Suburbia:

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:53:14 +0000

by Skombie View this review with pictures, and my corgi, at: http://rolltoreview.com/2018/01/16/suburbia-review/Suburbia is the second of four board games to feature in Roll to Review’s Critical Hit January, so let’s get the verdict out of the way. Suburbia is great, and I highly recommend it. That’s my opinion, but be aware it’s more biased than usual. I have an affinity for these types of build and manage games. In the two and a half months since my wife gave birth, I’ve spent exactly thirteen hours playing video games. That’s wrong. I’ve spent thirteen hours playing a single video game: Planet Coaster. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read, and remember, never have kids.Suburbia is a 2-4 player tile laying game from Ted Alspach, and published by Bezier Games. The game takes place in a dystopian future where the producer of ‘The Block’ was elected president of the United States. Now, death row inmates battle for their lives trying to create the most liveable towns. At the end of the game the prisoner whose town has the highest population receives a presidential pardon, while the losers face off with the chair. Who am I kidding? It’s a city building game. You lay tiles down and build a city; that’s it.How to PlayTo begin playing Suburbia everyone needs: a player board, a couple of tokens, a few tiles, and fifteen million dollars. Don’t worry, if you don’t have your own, everything is included in the box, except for the fifteen mil. Bezier Games skimped out, providing cardboard chits instead.Next, set up the real estate market, bank, and scoreboard – noting from now on the word population is synonymous to victory points. Finally, put some communal obje[...]



Review: Senators:: Extorting, bidding, scheming, laughing

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:53:07 +0000

by Muemmelmann SenatorsSenators is the latest hotness from La Mame games. The publisher brings 1-2 new games to Essen each year. It is usually a small print run, but often the game will be picked up by a larger publisher for wider release. This time, the game is a bidding game and the designers are Haig Tahta and Rikki Tahta. The publisher usually offers extremely interactive games with simple rules that play in a short time and keep the players engaged at all times. In short, this game delivers just that.What kind of bidding?If you like bidding, auctions and deciding the value of goods, you will feel right at home. The game has blind bidding, bidding where everyone pays, 1 on 1 bidding, bidding around once around the table, dutch auctions, you name it.How do you play?The game is structured around an event deck. One event is drawn each turn, and when the fourth war is drawn, the game ends. The winner is the person who has the most senators.Apart from senators, money is the other main resource in the game. You can use them to buy senators.On your turn, you take one of three actions.Auction: When you start an auction, you reveal four cards (3 resource, 1 office). You have a once-around-the-table bidding where each other player can bid on any number of the cards. After that, for each card, you decide to accept the bid (you get the money they bid, they get the card) or buy it yourself (you get the card, they get the money).So, what are these cards we are buying? They are either resource cards (with a number and a color) or office cards (with cool special abilities). You try and collect sets of resource cards for the Cash In action.Cash In:In the cash in action, a pl[...]



Review: Onitama: Sensei's Path:: Pawns, Cards, and Critters: Fun With Onitama

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:53:00 +0000

by farmermouse Really a fun game. Blending elements of chess with card-driven capabilities for your pieces, Onitama has a superb combination of intricate play with simple set-up and rules.I've got the expansion card set, which livens up the already fascinating interplay of your constantly shifting card 'hand.' After a few games, it quickly becomes apparent that some cards (from both the original and expansion decks) are significantly more powerful than the rest: the Tiger, Kirin, Dragon, Monkey, Giraffe, Phoenix, Elephant, Turtle, and Crab.Mixing in a certain number of these 'power' cards for the 16 card deck is an interesting variant. If you end up in a game with five weaker cards, your pieces will spend most of the game hobbling about without much purpose. The worst situation is drawing three or four cards which don't allow direct forward movement. We actually had one game in which all five cards were that way: a 1/700 chance we figured. On the other hand, putting all of the powerful cards in the deck makes for a speedy, manic variant.Whatever your hand, there's usually more reasons not to play a card than to play it. Knowing how long to hang onto the Tiger or the Kirin can be decisive. Ideally, playing the most powerful card of the five should result in a game-winning move. Otherwise, your opponent may keep that card until he finds a way to use it to finish you off.Planning your moves, and anticipating your opponent's, as in chess, is the key to Onitama. The rotating hand of cards, however, frustrates both your offense and defense. In general, the cards that allow more backward than forward or sideways movement are less useful. If[...]



Review: One Deck Dungeon:: Review of One Deck Dungeon

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:52:38 +0000

by RustyBaker One Deck Dungeon (ODD from here on) is a solo or two-player co-operative dice-rolling dungeon crawler. As its name implies, 90% of the game’s action involves a single deck of multi-purpose cards. The Kickstarter for this game was highly successful, spawned an even more successful sequel, and is to my knowledge generally available in retail, but is it the dice-rolling dungeon crawler for YOU?Rules; or How much dungeon can you fit in one deck?As indicated in the intro, the bulk of ODD revolves around the deck of cards. There are other cards as well, such as your character’s oversize card and some other assorted items with rules or other pertinent information, but that deck is where the action is. Not only is it the location of the action, but also the rewards for your courageous adventuring. Unlike Glory to Rome or something along those lines, where each card can be used a variety of ways, the cards in ODD all start off the same, as doors that must be opened, and then challenges to be overcome. Nobody wins all the time, though. Unlike other games where failure is rewarded with naught but pain and hardship, ODD softens the blow by tossing in some reward to go with them. Challenges which are not fully dealt with will still punish you and your dice for your shortcomings, but you still get to keep the card as reward. You can then use it to improve your character in a variety of different ways, ensuring that your character learns from both her successes and her failures. In a manner reminiscent of Race for the Galaxy or San Juan, the cards themselves are a sort of resource that is spent [...]



Review: Spirit Island:: Solo Gaming Spirit Island: A Meeple, Myself, and I Review

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:52:32 +0000

by neotrunks2002 ACT I: WHEREIN THE REVIEWER TALKS ABOUT HOW THE GAME WORKS (AND OTHER THINGS)Before mechanisms, let’s start with theme. In Spirit Island, you (and anyone you might be playing with, but hey, this is a solo review, so I’ll just talk about things like it’s just you playing, but maybe you’re playing with more people, and that is just a-okay) are controlling spirits who are trying to prevent their island from being colonized by invaders. It’s a neat theme, a subtle subversion of the imperialistic tunes that are jammed by a puzzling amount of modern hobby board games.Okay, I have to stop there. Because I can’t even get this far into the review without fawning over what’s going on in this game. The reason the theme of Spirit Island works so well is because it manages to be simultaneously (a) subversive to a trope of the genre that many people find troubling and (b) not constructed in a way that comes across as preachy or overbearing. I know plenty of people who would not want to play a game that has a “point” to it, but Spirit Island manages to walk that fine line between “saying something interesting/important” and “shoving that idea down your throat/judging you for not already being on board with the clear truths espoused by the game.” The point of the theme, to me, manages to be compelling without threatening, aggressive, or self-important in its own way. It’s a remarkable thing.So. You’re a spirit. You have your little slice of land on the island, and you want to make sure that the invaders don’t do too much damage to your land. There a[...]



Review: Fallout:: Puts people out of their comfort zone... And that's great!

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:51:46 +0000

by mcmorris23 I can't help but think that a lot of the people griping about this game are euro gamers who are simply mad that it is not like euro games (i.e. gamable because you know what you will get when you go somewhere or do something, and you can monitor what other players are doing).This game puts people out of their comfort zone because of uncertainty, but it is meant to do that. In Fallout, you are not guaranteed wood when you go to the forest (there is no forest in Fallout but euro gamers get the point). Points/influence can be taken away from you. You are not able to know for sure what other players are working towards. You can die quickly at times because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In short, shit happens in this game. But isn't that the point for this particular game? Whether you have played the video game or not, thematically, nuclear holocaust would not and should not be easy and gamable.Finding money should be hard in the wasteland. You should not be guaranteed stuff you want and can afford when you shop (or stuff that you think is "good"). There should be points when you pull your hair out because no matter what you do nothing seems to go your way. I'm pretty sure that is what living in a nuclear wasteland would be like. So for those euro gamers who like consistency and being able to strategically game a game with practice, Fallout is not for you, but that does not mean it is not a good game. I love this game because it is unique and story driven. I love the length and uncertainty. The only thing that is guaranteed in t[...]



Review: B-17 Flying Fortress Leader:: B-17 Flying Fortress Leader: A Harsh Critique of a Game I Wanted to Love (my first ever review)

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:41:37 +0000

by actiondan87 I own several Leader games by DVG, with Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations holding a place among the top 3 games in my collection. When I learned about B-17 Flying Fortress Leader, I was pumped. This was a whole new design in the Leader series, not a rehash of a previous Leader game, as many of them appear to be at first glance. And it was getting lots of praise! Nonetheless, I was wary of purchasing it outright, having heard the complaints of a sloppy rulebook and various errata in the first edition. So I restrained myself and waited 6 months for the second edition to print, my anticipation building as time went on. Finally, the second edition arrived in stores and I pulled the trigger.Wow! There was so much stuff in this game I could hardly fit it all back into the box. I immediately dove into the rulebook, played a campaign, and even designed a custom log sheet and a squad randomizer. I was prepared to spend a lot of time with this game. The first campaign was fun, to be sure. But it was too easy. I achieved a Great evaluation on my first try, something I’ve achieved maybe only once, or perhaps never in Hornet Leader.I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I missed some rules. So I played a another campaign. Again, I shot past the minimum Great rating with a week left in the campaign, despite not scoring any VPs in one of the early weeks of the campaign. Ok… maybe I could develop some house rules to make the game more challenging. So I ran some numbers, came up with a couple of house r[...]



Review: Massive Darkness:: Should you spend a lot of time doing nothing exciting, or playing MD? Wait. Both options are the same.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:41:30 +0000

by Panzerdude Like many others, I wanted to love this game.The hope of a tough co-op, cool heroes, neat items, hordes of monsters, light and darkness, etc. Take all that and build it on all the experience gained from other great (and not) dungeon crawl games out there and I hoped CMON had hit the sweet spot.I'll keep this review nice. CMON DID NOT produce a tough co-op, no cool heroes, items are not neat, the hordes of monsters are pathetic and the light/darkness mechanic is only important at level 1 and 2, so ends up being a big nothing.After spending too much money, I got the group together and we were excited. The first "tile" was tough, then an Agent spawned on the next tile, with a Roaming monster. The move from tile 1 to tile 2 was tough, with lots of close calls (we lost both points from the Lightwell).After battling the hordes, we finally get fully onto the 2nd tile and the characters are all level 3.For the next 4 hours there was not a single close call. Items were either OP or useless. Excitement, where did it go? You simply go through the drudgery of killing hordes and hordes without any risk to the heroes.It's like Descent in that way, you kill everything. The problem is that it's supposed to be a co-op. So, unlike Descent where the Overlord is using his hordes to slow the heroes down and win via attrition, in MD killing the hordes only makes the heroes stronger, and that's a problem for fun.As we reached level 4 and the major roaming monsters came out, we thought it would get bett[...]



Review: ブレンドコーヒーラボ (Blend Coffee Lab.):: First Impression and brief summary of Blend Coffee Lab

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:40:18 +0000

by lorna Saashi & Saashi continue with the coffee theme they started with Coffee Roaster in ブレンドコーヒーラボ (Blend Coffee Lab.). Coffee Lab is a trick taking game that incorporates winning a trick with being able to select one or two of the cards from the trick for scoring.The game is playable witn 2-4 players but like with most trick takers the 2 player version seems less interesting so far. What makes BCL different from most standard trick taking games is as follows. First following “suit” in BCL means you must if possible play a different color card than the ones previously played.There is a “trend” which is determined at the beginning of the hand from the previous trick. It determines whether high cards or low cards will win “priority.” Priority allows a players to choose one or possibly two cards from the trick to use in scoring. The last unpicked card determines the trend for the next hand.Winner starts the next trick like usual. Players are collecting cards of 3 “roast” levels to make cups of coffee. A cup consists of one each of available color cards of the same roast level.Cups of each roast level are scored for each of the three rounds with the best of each roast being scored for the finally tally.It took me a few plays to see how best to try and play BCL. Winning tricks is obviously great but trying to figure out how to play your hand isn’t always easy. Trying to control the trend I think is important so deciding whether when to t[...]



Review: Little Town Builders:: First Impression and quick summary of Little Town Builders

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:29:02 +0000

by lorna One of my favorite games to come rom TGM in recent years is The King of Frontier which is a delightful mash up of role selection and tile placement. I was really excited to see they had a new game this year, Little Town Builders but a little apprehensive because sometimes the follow ups just don’t live up to expectations.Little Town Builders manages to meet mysterious expectations. I’d call it a mash up of worker placement and tile placement. It comes with a double sided board for variety which is really nice. There are preprinted resource areas on the map which is made on a large grid. Each player gets a set of workers and a set of buildings. The game also comes with a set of building tiles reminiscent of King of Frontier, wheat fieldsand a set of goal tiles (in Japanese, paste ups made the game easier for us). Each player also gets a hand of random goal tiles.Game play is simple. Players can place their worker on any open space on the board and activate the surrounding tiles directly orthogonal and diagonal. If the tile has a tree or mountain you collect wood or stone. If there is a pond you collect fish. If there is a building and you own it you may use it’s ability. If your opponent owns the building you can pay them 1 coin to use it. You can build a building if you have the resources for it by placing your worker on a building area. In addition to abilities buildings are also worth points.At any time if you meet one of your goa[...]



Review: Smash Up:: The Ultimate Internet Poll Game

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:22:44 +0000

by hist A complete version of this review, with more pictures, can be found on my blog: Dude, Take Your Turn!When you’re sitting down to watch The Walking Dead or some other zombie movie, what’s the first thing that goes through your mind?No, not “ohhh, ain’t Darryl hot?”The first thing that goes through my mind is that this show could use a dinosaur or a space alien.Or maybe a Dumbledore.For those of us with a similar mindset, Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has us covered, with the hit game (with an ever expanding list of expansions) Smash Up.Designed by Paul Peterson, with artwork by Dave Allsop, Bruno Balixa, Conceptopolis, and Francisco Rico Torres, this 2012 game lets you “smash up” (Ha! I see what you did there) two classic factions into a deck of cards that you will use to stomp your opponents.The game plays 2-4 players.So How Does it Work?This is a review of just the base game and factions. The factions included are: Dinosaurs, Pirates, Zombies, Aliens, Robots, Wizards, Tricksters, and Ninjas.In Smash Up, each player forms a deck of 40 cards from two 20-card faction decks. The factions can be chosen in a drafting manner or randomly or however you want to do it.Out on the table, you will place a series of “bases” equal to the number of players plus one. These bases are what will “score” and will get you the points that you need to win.On your turn, you are able to play one Minion and one A[...]



Review: Pandemonium:: Impressions: Shall I give Pandemonium a try?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:47:25 +0000

by DKMirror Disclaimer: I originally wrote this not as a review but in reply to a threat that the OP deleted before I even posted - thanks for that - so it's not a fully fleshed review; especially an in-deep description and review of the mechanics is missing. But as long as there isn't one or I muster both the courage and time to rewrite this, I will leave it as it is.Back to the question: Shall I give Pandemonium a try?Well, if you're unsatisfied with your current horror dungeon dice chuckler because you feel that it constantly bogs you down and the number of times you make decisions that really matter are few and far between, yes, then Pandemonium may be the right thing for you: you can break away from monsters, open, close and barricade doors, lay traps at the expense of items, attack in combo with other characters and search items in every location (not searched before). These options in combination with constant monster pressure and the need to further the mission makes Pandemonium very dynamic and imho enjoyable. Usually, every damn action point matters and can be used up. Setup, combat and monster spawn+movement is quick once you figured how it works. Downtime is low but in order to win, you have to carefully plan your actions and consider the movement of the monsters who will always take the shortest route towards a character. It's not a Euro game though. The randomly drawn objects and[...]



Review: Transatlantic:: If you liked plying the Mediterranean in Concordia, you'll enjoy traversing the Atlantic in the age of steam...

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:16:28 +0000

by Poins Designer Mac Gerdts is best known for his roundel games (Navegador, Imperial 2030) and his smash hit game Concordia. With Transatlantic, the designer has taken the core mechanics from Concordia and adapted them to create a trading game that moves from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and from Ancient Rome to the early part of the 20th century.Transatlantic plays from 2–4 players and you can expect to complete a game in a little over an hour. Though the set-up for Transatlantic feels more complicated than Concordia, gameplay is actually very straightforward. That means this is a game that can be learned fairly quickly and one that can be used to introduce to newcomers to board gaming. Just be warned that you'll need to play in good light because some of the card colours can be difficult to distinguish. You can catch a 360º view of the game on Board's Eye View at www.facebook.com/boardseye. This new game replicates almost exactly the Concordia mechanic of playing a card to take a specified action. For example, playing your Shipyard card allows you to purchase 1 or 2 ships from those in the ship market and then to deploy one of them. The market for the ship cards works in a similar way to the market for the personality cards in Concordia, in that the additional cost of the cards falls as they move to fill slots to the left. In Transatlantic, however, each t[...]