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My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

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Millennium Blades (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I think it is fair to say that this is the game that I have been looking forward to the most this year. I passed on the kickstarter campaign because of the price of entry, but once a few positive reviews were out I jumped on pre-ordering it. I was a little apprehensive playing this game with my wife. I thought there were many elements that she would love, but the game also has a couple of things that were red flags when it comes to what she likes in a game. So does this game achieve tier 1 or is it on the banned list?

Game Overview
Millennium Blades is a game that seeks to simulate the experience of being immersed in playing a CCG. Essentially, this is a game about playing a game. It's all very meta.

The game consists of two primary phases. The first phase is the deck building phase. The deck building phase is played in 20 real time minutes broken up in to three timed segments. During this time players will get several cards to start with as well as some starting money.

Over the course o the deckbuilding phase players can do several things. They can buy "booster" packs. These are single cards (because you only care about the rare anyway) that are blind purchases. Players can choose the set the card comes from what is currently available in the store. Players can sell cards in the aftermarket or buy cards in the aftermarket. Players are limited to a set number of sells based on their available sell tokens. Finally, players can turn in stacks of cards to redeem them for promotional items, but this costs one of their trade tokens as well. During this time players may also trade cards with one another.

Players will be acquiring cards for two purposes. The first is to build collections. These are cards that share the same element or type. Sets will score points based on how many cards are in the set. Players will also be building their deck. The decks are abstracted and they consists of 8 cards, 1 deck box and up to two accessories. Players will be seeking to build a deck that works well together and has combos. Players will also be building to try and include cards that are from archetypes that are currently strong in the meta. Doing this will give the player an edge in the tournament. Once the final six minute segment expires, the deckbuilding round ends and it moves onto the tournament phase.

In the tournament phase players are going to play their cards to a tableau. The cards have different functions. Some have play immediately effects, others have actions that can be done later in the turn, and then others score points at the end of the tournament. During the tournament, players are playing for reputation points. At the end of the tournament, the player with the most reputation points wins the tournament. Players get victory points based off of the position they finished.

There are some other details like player abilities and money is worth points at the end of the game, but this whole process is done three times so that the game consists of three tournaments. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 5 (love it)
My Thoughts: I have played a lot of games trying to find the perfect "CCG in a box". Some have been good finds (such as Berserk: War of the Realms) and others have been busts (looking at you Romance of the Nine Empires). All of these games sought to deliver an in-depth tactical game that had CCG like tactical play without boosters. However, those games did not deliver on the experience of playing a CCG. There was no collection aspect, no meta, only limited deck building, and there was not the excitement of opening a pack. Millennium Blades delivers on all that. This game is so smart in how it abstracts things. There is a lot of abstraction in this game, but it still delivers the feel of what it is simulating. This keeps the game from bogging down and makes it fairly easy to play. I really love the variety this game has. There are so many different cards available to create the store deck that it has a high level of replayability. For me this game is a huge success. It delivers exactly what it says it does in a near perfect way. This is a game that simulates playing a lifestyle game in two hours, it turns out this is the kind of game I have always wanted.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: During the rules explanation, I thought I would greatly dislike this game. It all sounded overwhelming. The phrase that made this game click for me was "real time deck building." There is not much of a deck in this game, but that gave me a good point of reference. I ended up liking this game a lot more than I thought I would. It is almost overwhelming but still stays manageable. The real time deck building is very unique. The biggest downside to this game is the long play time and a longer set up time. This means it will be harder to get repeated plays in.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 9
It is worth mentioning that the two player rules are different than the regular rules. The winner with two is the first to win two tournaments. This is a small change with some big implications, but it does work well for a two player game. We both really enjoyed this game, and despite the play length I hope we play it again often.
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Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:14 am
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Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I originally played this game as a demo when it premiered at Gen Con in 2013. I left that demo with a very positive impression of the game. However, the cost of the game at Gen Con that year was $70 (I think) and it would have taken up a significant portion of the money we had allotted to buy new games that year. I was also a little uncertain how my wife would feel about the game, so it got a pass then. However, i kept it in the back of my mind as a potential game to trade for. In November of last year, we did get it through a math trade. So did this game shockingly make the digital to cardboard jump or is it just infinitely bad?

Game Overview
This is a two player (or teams of two) game with one side representing the authoritarian founders and the other side being the rebellious Vox Populi. Players will be competing over territories and objectives throughout the game. The board represents the floating city of Columbia and it is divided into six territories which are each made up of different locations.

Each round begins with revealing the objective for the round, such as have at least three turrets or control 9 locations. Each round also begins with a vote. Often one player is voting in favor of the vote and other against. Each player selects a number of their five action cards, and uses their influence value. Whichever player uses the most influence wins the vote, and if the player was in favor of it the event happens if not it fails. Then some game stuff happens such as Booker (the main character from the video game) moves or Elizabeth (another game character) advances on her track causing things to happen. The player that won the vote will be the first player.

During the main phase, the active player first may discard cards for their money value. Money can then be spent buying new units or buying buildings. Units are either common, special, or leaders. Each unit has an associated die with it. Newly purchased units or buildings can be placed in any territory a player controls, but each territory can only have one building.

Next players can move. A player can only move four units a turn. To move from some locations to others requires using a skyhook. However, moving in this way has extra risks as a die roll needs to be massed to make it happen. After moving combat might result.

At the beginning of the game all locations not controlled by a player have a starting defensive value which has to be beat. In combat, players figure out the dice they can roll based on the units they have. They can then play action cards for their combat ability and add it to their total. If a player wins they get the territory, if a player loses they lose one unit and the rest go back to a stronghold.

When a player wins combat (as well as some other things) they get to upgrade. Each action card can be upgraded in four ways. Their three values (combat, influence, and money) can be increased by up to +2 and a special ability can be unlocked. Some of the special abilities are different, adding some asymmetry to the game.

Player's get points by controlling complete territories or from completing objectives. The game ends when a player gets 10 points of the world event deck runs out (from Elizabeth reaching the end of her track usually). In that event, the player with the most points wins.


Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating
: 3 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: I really like some of the ideas of this game. This game uses the "cards have multiple uses" mechanism that I really like, so this means every turn has great choices about how to best utilize cards. I also really like the way that upgrades work, and that may be the highlight of the game play. My problem with this game is the randomness. This game takes elements of a card driven area control game and combines them with Risk-style dice chucking. On paper to me this sounds like a decent idea. However, the execution means the negative aspects of the mashup are both there. There is the randomness of the card draw from CDGs and there is the randomness of the dice. The combination can make for some extremely frustrating turns where nothing can come together, or if the cards actually work the dice roll terribly (this is the worst with moving on the sky hooks). This randomness can combine in some bad ways that really causes the pace of the game to start to grind in a bad way.

As an aside, most conversations of this game I have heard seem to start with "I have not played the video game, but. . ." I have played the game. Much like the board game, I have mixed feelings about the Bioshock Infinite video game. However, this does capture the theme well. It does feel like the board game is playing out what is happening in the background for much of the video game. If you are a big Bioshock fan then this game does deliver on the theme.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: I thought everything in this game worked well. I liked how the cards had different uses, and I especially liked upgrading my cards. It was fun to see them get stronger as the game went on. However, I found this game very frustrating. It seemed like I could never do anything, and this was made worse by how confrontational this game is.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5
While we were playing this game, I could not help but think how much I would rather play similar area control games. We already have a couple of those games, and I think I would choose them over this one every time. That means we will not be keeping Bioshock and it is destined for the next math trade.
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Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:22 am
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Expanding on Expansions: Ticket to Ride Map Collection Vol. 5- United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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My wife really loves her some Ticket to Ride. When the first set of map packs came out, we already had two of different boxed games. She immediately got Vol 1 (Asia and Legendary Asia) as well as Vol 2 (India and Switzerland). However, she was fine on skipping the next two. The weird circular scoring of the India map kind of led her to think that future maps would be different locations with forced changes to set themselves apart. She also did not like the switch to only having one sided boards. However, this new expansion drew her in with the UK themed map. So is this an expansion to take stock in or should it be discarded like obsolete tech?

What This Expansion Adds
Obviously this adds two new maps, but instead of just being new places to claim routes and complete tickets each side adds a new wrinkle to the Ticket to Ride formula.

On the UK side, wild cards are needed to buy technology cards. What a player can do in the game is very limited at the beginning. They can only claim routes in England, and they can only be 1 or 2 length routes. To claim longer routes or to build elsewhere requires getting tech cards, and tech cards cost wilds. Some of the tech cards even give extra abilities like cost decreases, increased card draw, or extra victory points. Because wilds are so necessary, any four cards can be used as a wild.

On the Pennsylvania side players can earn stocks. Whenever a route is completed, players can take a stock from one of the rail lines associated with that route. The player with the most stocks of a certain company will get points, and then second gets less points, so on and so forth. If there is a tie then it is whoever got the stock first (they are all numbered). Due to these stocks Pennsylvania games tend to be much higher scoring.

Worth Getting the Expansion?
My Answer: Yes
My Thoughts: For a game like Ticket to Ride, this is a wonderful expansion. It is more than just a different map. It adds unique mechanisms, but it still fundamentally feels like a Ticket to Ride game. I do like the progression of the UK side. It feels like I am really establishing something as I build up tech. However, the dependence on wild cards can delay the game. In a two player game a very lucky couple of draws can also give a big advantage. Of the two sides, I think I like Pennsylvania better. It is closer to the base game, but the stock options give a different strategy to go after.

Her Answer:
Yes
Her Thoughts: I think this is the best expansion for Ticket to Ride. I love the UK map because of the subject matter. I am surprised by how much I liked the Pennsylvania side. I think the stocks really add something to the game. I like that it gives an additional consideration. I also did not mind the two player rules even though they technically added a minor "dummy" player. It still worked well, and in making the dummy player decision I still got to make strategic choices to benefit me.

Final Thoughts
Ticket to Ride is best known as a gateway game, and this expansion is not for beginning gamers. This is a more complex version of Ticket to Ride but it is still accessible. This is for experienced gamers who have moved on from Ticket to Ride, this expansion is the perfect way to get them back to play this classic.
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Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:24 am
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ScrumBrawl (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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We got this game in the Gen Con math trade last year. When we traded for this game I did not know a whole lot about this game, other than it was a light take on a fantasy sports game. It took way to long to get this game played, but now that it finally got to the table does this game score a goal or does it foul out?

Game Overview

In this game players try to get orbs through a portal to score points or take out opposing players to get points. Each player has a hand of cards that contains event cards, items, cards that manipulate die rolls, as well as monsters that make up the team. Players draw a new card each time, and there are some random event cards that can show up as well.

Each player can three monsters on the field at a time. When a monster is fielded it shows up at a random spot. On a player's turn they can activate their units, move them, pick up the ball, throw it, and attack. Attacks involve rolling a 20-sided die and adding a modifier, the high number wins. If the defender loses then they are killed and removed. If the defender wins then they may get to counter-attack. Every three units killed make a point.

Throwing the ball works a little different. Instead of rolling high, a low roll is wanted. The appropriate skills and modifiers are added, and if the roll is under that number it succeeds. If the orb is ever thrown through or carried through the portal, then the player doing so gets a point.

To win the game a player must score at least one point by getting the orb through the portal. The first player to three points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: This game did not come out until 2010, but if I had played it sometime prior to 2010, then I would have loved it. The whole fantasy football concept is one that I find super appealing, and I like that this delivers that kind of game in a very accessible level. The problem is that this game is too random and chaotic. I realize that the randomness is a very intentional design choice. For the people who want that, then this game is probably a great one. However, I wanted a game with a little more strategic death, true customization, and deeper game play.

Her Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: I do not have much to say about this game, other than it is too random. All of this variability and no control can make for some very frustrating moments.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5
As I mentioned, I really like the fantasy sports genre, but my wife does not. I had traded for this hoping that it might be one she connects with, but the randomness, barely there theme, and lack of strategic choices made this game a no-go for us.
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Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:24 am
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Boss Monster (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We got this game in the beginning of December. It was part of a group of games that our Secret Santa gave us to be "disappointing games." Other than the 8-bit theme, that is really about all we knew about the game. Now that we played this game did turn out to be a disappointment or did it exceed expectations?

Game Overview
In this game all players play a boss monster of a dungeon. Each turn players will draw a room card, and they may also add a room card to their dungeon. Each dungeon may have a total of five rooms, and players can build on top of existing rooms, replacing them.

Each dungeon will be a monster or trap room. They will have a treasure type, a set amount of damage that the room will do to heroes, and a special ability. Each turn a number of hero cards equal to the number of players will be turned face up. Each hero is attracted to a certain treasure type, and the player with the most of that treasure type in their dungeon will attract the hero. Each hero has a number of hit points. Each room will subtract from these hit points. If the hero reaches zero, they die and they become points for that player (heroes are worth one or two points). If the hero makes it all the way though the dungeon they damage the player. Each player gets eliminated whey they take their fifth damage.

There are also spell cards which work outside the regular rules and allow for all kinds of effects. A lot of spell cards (and room abilities) target other players. This puts this very firmly in the "take that" card game category.

The first player to reach ten points wins or the last player left standing wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: I have very mixed feelings about this game. I love the theme and the artwork. That part all came together so well. I also really enjoyed the experience of building my dungeon. I did not like the take that element though. This is similar to many other type of games, where for every step forward other players are ready to knock you two steps back. There are a ton of take that card games. I am not a fan of the genre, but this is might be the best one I have played.

Her Rating: 3 (It's OK)
Her Thoughts: I am surprised how much fun I had playing this game. Most of that enjoyment came from the theme. This game captures the Nintendo game feel really well. Even though it was fun, it was also frustrating. I do not like when people mess with my stuff, and that happens a lot in this game.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 6
If we had to play a game of this nature, I think this would be our first pick. Despite that we are not keeping it. I am glad we got the chance to experience this game, but it just is not our kind of game. I think I would like a game with this theme that was more about optimization and less about messing with each other.
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Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:09 am
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The Purge: The Walking Dead: The Board Game

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. There are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

I played this game back when it debuted in 2011 at Gen Con. I would have been tempted to buy it then, but it was sold out. A few months later, my brother gave it to me for my birthday. It got played a few times in that first month, but then it sat unplayed for a year. Then throughout 2013 the game found itself on the table a few times. However, the last time we played it was October of 2013. Now that it crawled back out of the box does this game shamble on or are we going to put it down for good?

Brief Game Overview
In this game player's take the role of one of the characters from the comic book series. For Walking Dead fans the time frame of this game is before the prison. Along with the main character players also start off with a follower, and they can get more followers during the course of the game. The goal of the game is to scout three different locations to find a safe location. On a player's turn they can move up to three hexes. If they end on a hex with resource icons, the player must resolve an encounter card. Many of these cards involve a die roll of some sort to get specific icons or to kill zombies. Some of the encounters interact with other players and create interesting "prisoner dilemma" situations. There are three resources and they can be used for things like extra combat, restore health, or extra movement. The final thing to consider is that when a player moves off a non-location hex a zombie token is put face down. These tokens range from 1 to 12. Any player that crosses over this token will have to fight zombies. An interesting twist to this game is that it can be played as an optional co-op.

What We Previously Thought
We both liked the sense of exploration the game offered. I liked how some of the exploration cards offered "prisoner dilemma" choices, and my wife liked the dice based mechanisms.

Verdict
My Verdict: Purge
My Rationale: This game is a little luck heavy, since the challenges are random and the available dice are random. If that is not a major strike, then this game is competent. It just is not very exciting. It has sat unplayed for 2 1/2 years for a reason. This game is not bad, but I also think it is not great. If we keep it, I fear it will just be a dust collector.

Her Verdict: Purge
Her Rationale: I do enjoy playing this game. There is nothing wrong with it, and everything works well. I just do not feel like this is a game with many plays in it. I do not think future plays will feel radically different or offer up any more excitement. I do not dislike this game, but I am ok not keeping it.

Final Verdict
Purge

This is a game that is kind of on the edge for us. While we do not dislike the game, it just does not make the cut for us. I think if one of us was a huge Walking Dead fan, that fandom would be enough to keep i around. However, that is not really the case so we will hopefully trade it to someone who fits in that category.
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Wed Apr 6, 2016 3:54 am
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The Purge: Federation Commander

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
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We have too many games. There are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

I ran across this game at some point in 2011. Around the same time, a friend of mine also discovered it and bought it. In February of 2012 I played the game for the first time. Eighteen months later I had the entire Federation Commander line. If this is not your first time to read this blog, then you know my love of this game is well documented. You also know my wife's dislike of the game is equally well documented. The last time she played the game was February of 2013. It ended in tears. She has been on a bit of a kick of playing games that she has not played for a while. Despite that I was floored when she suggested we play this game. Of course, I took her up on it. So was this experience different and did the game finally win her over?

Brief Game Overview
This game is a scenario based game of starship combat. Each player controls a number of ships based on the scenario. At the beginning of the turn players will pick their speed for the turn and pay the required energy.

Each turn is divided into eight impulses. During an impulse their are up to four opportunities to move one hex based on the speed the player is going. After these four subpulses, players have the opportunity to fire. Each weapon can only be fired once per round. In order to fire a targeted ship must be within a weapon's arc. Damage is determined by rolling a die and then consulting a chart. Damage is applied to the ship by marking on the ship card with a dry erase marker. Damage is first applied to shields, but if the shield is out then it will do internal damage. This again is determined by rolling on a chart.

After all firing has been done, the next impulse begins. Once all eight impulses are done there is some end of turn bookkeeping and a new round begins. There is a lot of chrome on this game with various ship systems such as transporters, probes, evasive maneuvers, and marine raids. Victory conditions are dictated by the scenario.

What We Previously Thought
I loved the game and I felt like it really put me in the captain's chair. My wife thought the ship cards were kind of neat, but hated pretty much everything else about it.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: This is my absolute favorite game. I love how much depth and variety this game has. I think if I had the ability to do so, I could play this game weekly for decades and still feel like it is not played out. It succeeds on every front. It is a deep game of tactical maneuvering. It is a tense resource management game, and it it delivers an engaging narrative.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: I fully expected to still hate this game, but something about this play made everything "click". The rules that once seemed hard to grasp were now intuitive. The boring hexes and counters faded away and I could really feel the theme. I am not the biggest spaseship fan, but I understand the appeal now. I did feel like I was the captain of a ship. I can not believe I am saying this, but I really liked the game and I can not wait to play again!

Verdict
Keep


This really is my favorite game ever and I am fully invested in it, so of course we are keeping it. I really, really wish my wife's comments were true. However, if you look at the date this was posted you will quickly deduce they are not. She still greatly dislikes the game and will not play it. She told me earlier this week that she would play on Friday night. I was excited, until I realized that Friday would be April 1st. I passed along the joke, in what I think might be my first ever attempt at an April Fool's prank. Sorry about that.
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Fri Apr 1, 2016 1:41 pm
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End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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After a bit of a dip last month in plays, this month got back into full swing. I had to miss a couple of game nights in a row, so things got off to a slow start put they picked up as the month went on.

Gameplay Statistics

Most Played Game: Dice Masters (16 plays)
Best New to me Game: Star Trek: The Adventure Game

New Games to Play
Games Reviewed in March: 2
Highest Rated Game This Month: King's Forge (Combined Rating of 9)
Games Left Unplayed: 9
Last month I mentioned that I wanted to play 504, and sadly that did not happen (that rule book is daunting!). This month we ended up focusing more on some games that we have not played for awhile.

State of the Collection
New Games Added: 2
Games Removed: 0
Total Number of Games: 213
My sister sent me Timeline: Star Wars from England, and we got King's Forge. This was a big game month though because we got gravity feeds for DC Comics Dice Masters: World's Finest as well as Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania.

10x10 Challenge
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1Completed!
Warhammer: Invasion
Ticket to Ride
Fleet
Tides of Time
Glory to Rome
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Viceroy
Deus
Roll for the Galaxy
Bruges
In the first quarter of the year, we got in half of the 100 plays needed to finish the 10x10 challenge. That is decent progress, but well behind where we were last year. We also really need to play Bruges!
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Fri Apr 1, 2016 4:14 am
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Steam Torpedo: First Contact (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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We kind of stumbled into this game by accident. In November when we ordered games for our Secret Santa target we came in at like $3 below the required amount to spend by getting games off his wishlist. He had specified he was not picky and liked to be surprised, so I added this game. It was on sale and he had numerous other Submarine games. At the same time, a game my wife wanted was on sale so I added it to the order. The next day I got an email, from my parents saying that they got the same game for my wife for Christmas. Since it had already shipped, we made a quick switch. Our target got the game that was originally for my wife. This game when combined with the two games off his wishlist filled the shipping box, so Steam Torpedo got left out and ended up on our shelf. Other than it being about sub warfare we knew nothing about the game? So is this game a direct hit or is it sunk?

Game Overview


In this game each player builds a submarine out of ten tiles. Each tile represents a compartment in the vessel and contains a weapon or some other system.

On a player's turn the first thing they do is use one of the oxygen tokens on their ships since the crew is breathing it. Next they get to the main phase. During this phase they can activate crew and make a maneuver.

Movement in this game is abstracted. It is all about relative position. The options are adjacent, close ,or far. Being in front of or behind can also matter. Maneuvering allows a player to change these positions.

When a crew member is activated it may move or use the tile it is in. These tiles all have special abilities, but many are attacks. For an attack to work the submarines must be properly oriented. Then the armor value of the defender is figured by counting how many crew are in an armor compartment that is under fire. The armor value is subtracted from the attack value to figure out how much damage is sustained.

The defender may choose to assign the damage to their control room. If this is done, only one damage is dealt to the control room but this can only happen 3 times. Otherwise the defender must assign the damage to a targeted compartment. If a compartment suffers more damage than frame points it is destroyed and all crew there lost.

Once a crew member is activated it must move a space back to the control room. This prevents the same crew from using the same weapon or ability every turn.

The game ends when one submarine runs out oxygen, loses its control room, or loses all of its crew. The last submarine floating is the winner.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: I like some of the thoughts of this game. I felt like the maneuvering system worked well. A tactical submarine battle is a bit hard to pull off, so I felt like the way they did it was not bad. I like the customization element, and I felt that the game offered plenty of interesting choices. However, I felt it had some rough spots as well. I am really not a fan of the deterministic combat. I felt that it really made the game kind of boring and procedural. The game tries to be very minimalist on components to keep cost and footprint down, but this was to its detriment. A board that clearly defines the five sea zones, as well as a board that clearly illustrates what is the front and the back of each submarine would have made this game feel less abstract and cleared up some confusion. This is a game where I appreciate the effort, but in the end it is not for me.

Her Ratings: 1 (Never want to play again)
Her Thoughts: I do not like this game. It is too abstract for its own good, and it is needlessly complex in the worst ways. This game did not capture my interest at all, and I have zero desire to ever even open the box again.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 3.5
As I read the rules for this game I had a suspicion about how my wife would like the game, and it turns out my thoughts then were fairly accurate. This game is bound for the trade pile.
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Fri Apr 1, 2016 3:42 am
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The Purge: Warhammer Invasion

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We have too many games. There are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

In the Fall of 2009 I went to a new game store start to check it out and they were doing demos of this game. I played it then, and instantly loved it. We soon bought the game and at first my wife was very middling on it. However, despite that lukewarm reaction I bought the first few battlepacks I ended up making two decks that really just clicked with my wife, and as long as she was playing one of those decks she liked the game. Warhammer Invasion is the most serious and competitive I have been in a game. I took deck building seriously, traveled for tournaments, and actively participated in the game forums. However, once the game was "finished" that kind of dried up. Not having an influx of new cards made deck building static. No new cards also meant there were no tournaments to look forward to. These factors plus major life things like moving, new jobs, and kids made it harder to get together with the main person I played the game with as he drifted in to Netrunner. The last time my wife and I played the game was right at two years ago, and I did not record a single play in 2015. So is this still a game we love or has the fire burnt itself out?

Brief Game Overview
In this game each player has a deck of cards that they bring with them to the table. This is a customizable game, so unless it is being played straight out of the base box, customizing a deck in advance is required.

A player's turn consists of four phases. In the kingdom phase, they get their resources, in the quest phase they draw their cards. The primary phase is the capital phase in which players play cards.

All units and support cards have a cost, and provide power. All players have a capital board with three zones: Kingdom, quest, and battlefield. Cards played to the kingdom zone contribute their power to providing resources. Each board starts with three power and each additional power icon is one more resource to spend. Cards in the quest zone contribute their power to draw cards. Units played in the battlefield can attack.

The final phase is the battlefield phase. If a player wishes to attack they pick which of the opposing zones they are attacking. The combined power of the attackers is how much damage is dealt. If a player has units in that zone they can block, as every unit has hit points. All damage above the hit points of the blockers damages the attacked section of the capital. Each capital section has a base hitpoints of eight, but once per turn a card can be put face down as a development to give that section extra hit points. Once a capital section has taken damage equal to its hitpoints it is burning. The first player to burn two sections of the opponent's board wins.

There are also tactic cards that can be played at various points and can stack on one another, and many cards also give special actions. Like most game of this nature the depth and complexity comes from the cards and how they interact.

What We Previously Thought
I liked how this game had a board game feel with resource and hand management. I also commented how I liked the artwork. My wife said she liked the game in spite of herself, and she was glad she gave the game a chance.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: This is my most played game, and I truly do love this game. The decisions it offers are excellent. The way the capital board works is brilliant and a true innovation. The biggest obstacle to this game is getting it played. The reason why we finally got it back out is because I am finally dismantling tournament level decks and trying to make decks that are balanced against each other. I am hoping that making decks that are easy to understand and competitive with one another will ensure this game has a long shelf life for us.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: It had been a long time since I played it, and going into it again I thought I was going to find that I was kind of done with this game. It was the opposite though. Playing this game was kind of like catching up with an old friend. I had a lot of fun. I am hoping Sean is able to get balanced decks like he wants to, because I could see us getting this game out from time to time still.

Verdict
Keep

I was pleasantly surprised by my wife's pleasantly surprised reaction. I put off making new decks for two years, but now that I have two done I am motivated to make the rest. After all, I only need 400 or so more plays to get to 1,000.
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Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:33 am
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