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

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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
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I tend not to like co-op games, but I played this game in November, and I really liked it. I was absolutely fascinated by the open ended nature and pure deduction elements of the game. Several weeks ago my wife asked what kind of game I would want for Father's Day (she knows me well). When she asked that Coolstuffinc just happened to have this game on sale so I listed it as one of the options. It turned out to be what she went with. After she played it with me do we deduce this to be a worth while game or not?

Game Overview
This game is scenario based. Each scenario is a book for a specific case. A map of London is used for each case. The case will explain the objectives and give leads. At this point players will be up to their own to decide which leads to follow. It is very open ended. To follow up a lead the players go to the location of that lead. To find these locations there game has a large reference books, but occasionally the lead require a jump of intuition. In the casebook the location coordinates can be looked up and there will be a paragraph that explains what is at that location.

Following up one lead may lead to more, which are investigated in the same way. When the players think they have solved the case there are a series of questions to answer, and then they can read the results. They will also find out how many leads Sherlock Holmes needed to solve the case. Each lead the players follow over Sherlock is -5 points. Each questions answered correctly is positive points and the goal (other than solving the case correctly) is to get a score as close to 100 as possible.

Our Thoughts
My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: This really pushes the boundraies as to what constitutes a board game. Really, I think this is something more akin to a diceless RPG. I really do like the game though. I do like how open ended it is. I appreciate that this is not just a logic puzzle but that in true Sherlock fashion requires inductive reasoning just as much as deductive reasoning. That is problematic though since making inferences can be subjective. I feel like this game works best with a group as the combined brain power of multiple people really helps get to the right conclusions.

Her Rating: 1 (never want to play again)
Her Thoughts: I do not care much for deduction games, and it is hard to figure out what is going on in this game. I dislike how this game has no direction. I do not like that the game requires taking notes and the objective is not always clear. If I want to read a book I will read a book. If I want to play a game I will play a game. I greatly dislike how this mixes the two and I have no desire to ever try it again.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4.5
This is a game that we really do not line up on. The box comes with 10 plays in it through 10 different cases. I know my wife will not play with me, but I would like to play through all 10 cases. If worse comes to worse I can play them on my own.
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Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:03 am
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Greedy Greedy Goblins (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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This was a game that was not really on my radar at all. However a very generous attendee of my local game night occasionally brings games that did not work well with his normal play group and gives them away. This is one of the games he brought. I was immediately drawn to Richard Garfield's name on the box. Real time games tend to be hit or miss for me, but I usually like the idea of them. I claimed the game and we recently played it. So is this game a gem or did it blow up on us?

Game Overview
In this game players are goblin clans trying to get as much as they can from mines. Mine boards are positioned around the table and a lot of treasure tiles are placed face down in the middle. This game is played in real time so once it starts it is a free for all. Players can grab the face down tiles, look at them and then place them on a mine board. At some point the players can take their colored goblin markers and place them on a mine. Once that happens nothing else can be added to that tile. There is also a guildhall space and whoever goes there gets one goblin card.

There are several different type of treasure tiles. There are five gems. These are normally worth a point, but each gem also corresponds with a goblin tribe. Essentially this means if the red player scores rubies they are worth two points instead of one. There are torch tiles. All the tiles are placed face down but a torch tile allows a face down tile to be flipped. There is also single and double dynamite tiles. If a mine has one dynamite then all gem scores are doubled. If it has two, then the score is tripled. However, if there are three dynamite icons then it all blows up, nothing is scored and the mine is actually worth -5 points. Monster tiles cause a treasure to be discarded, and goblin tiles (if the mine did not blow up) allow the player to draw goblin cards. Goblin cards are normally played during the scoring phase and give different ways to boost a player's score.

After the players have placed their goblin markers, scoring is done. If a player reaches 100 points the game is over. Otherwise, it is reset for another round. 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: 2.5 (did not care for)
My Thoughts: This is a weird game. I did not care much for it, but I am not sure if that is because the game does not work well or it just does not connect with me. Essentially this is a real time set collection game with a heavy dose of "take that". I am not sure that real time and take that go together. When we played this games the rounds alternated back and forth between scoring small amounts quickly, to turns that were basically canceled out because we threw dynamite into mines to try and sabotage them. Again, this could just be a trap that my wife and I fell into but it just did not feel like the game worked all the well. The only way to tell if this problem is ours or an issue with how the game plays out is to play the game multiple times with multiple groups. That probably will not happen, because I did not enjoy the game enough to put that much effort into it.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: I have a love/hate relationship with real time games. I think they are tense in a good way and exciting, but they are also frustrating and tense in a bad way. I did not like this game, the way people could so easily mess with my plans was frustrating and it made some of turns just seem pointless.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4.5
Mechanically this game works, but when it comes to actually playing it out, the game just did not connect. It could just be that this is not a game for us.
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Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:29 am
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The Best Games of 2015 (That I have not played)

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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There are seriously too many games coming out. It is near impossible for one people to play them all. The Dice Tower crew has three people who make playing games their job, and even they miss some. Now that 2016 is approaching the halfway point, I looked back on what I have not played from 2015. There is a lot. So far I have recorded play for 50 games released in 2015. On one hand I feel like that is a decent number, but on the other I it is a drop in the bucket to what came out. I am missing out on a lot of good games!

I went through and picked out the 2015 games that look the best to me which I have not played. It turns out that statistically doing this activity does not increase my chance to play the game. I made a list for 2014 games last year, and I have only played 2 of the 10. The same is true for 2013. In 2012 I made a catch up list of the best games I have not played at that point, and I am only 1 for 10 of that list. So my goal is to play at least three of these games in the next 12 months. These are the ten games of 2015 that I have not yet played but want to, in descending order for dramatic effect.

10. Ghostbusters: The Board Game
I have serious reservations about actually liking this game, because it is a co-op. However, I really want to play it because of the theme. There is a lot of nostalgia driving this, but growing up I was a huge ghostbusters fan. Of course I liked the movies, but it was really the cartoon that I was a bigger fan of. I watched every episode of The Real Ghostbusters multiple times. My brother and I spent hours upon hours playing ghostbusters. The character and ghost design has a lot in common with the old cartoon, so this theme has a lot of appeal to me. I want to play it once just for that reason.

9. The Great War

I really like the command and colors system, and all indications is that this is a really good application of that system. This is one of the games on the list that I think is going to be hard to get played. I already have a couple of command and color games so buying one more at this game's price point is a harder sale. I do not think I know anyone who has this game.

8. Steampunk Rally
As I have mentioned before I am drawn to the aesthetic of steampunk games. I also really like this game's race theme. It sounds like several of the mechanisms such as customizing a machine and using dice allocation will be really appealing. This game has made several game night appearances, so I feel like my odds of getting to play it are higher than most games on this list.

7. Orléans
I have heard several people say they really like it, and I am fairly confident I know several people who own the game. However, I am fairly certain I have never even seen it played. I do not know a lot about this game but I read a description that called it a bag building point salad game. That sounds like the description of a game I want to play!

6. Above and Below

The The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast has really talked this game up, and gotten me interested about it. I find it fascinating that this game has story telling elements, but that is not the main component of the game. This game seems to have light euro mechanisms that drive it and then the storytelling elements flesh out and add a lot of depth to the theme. I really like that concept, and I am very interested to see how it plays out.

5. Rum & Bones
I really like the concept of this game. Ship boarding sounds like a fun theme for a game, and the MOBA influence seems like a good one here. I know this game has some problems, that the 2016 update is supposed to fix. This is a game that I will be passing on ever buying because it's price is honestly higher than my interest. However, if the opportunity to play it ever arose I would not pass it up.

4. Watson & Holmes: From the Diaries of 221B
I enjoy deduction games. This goes all the way back to playing Clue. For instance, one of my most anticipated games of 2016 is Mythos Tales. However, most deduction games tend to cooperative or hidden role team games. I find this game appealing because it is a competitive deduction game. The Sherlock Holmes theme is a plus as well. I know someone who comes to my game night has this game, because I have seen it played there.

3. Specter Ops

Around 2006 I got really into Metal Gear Solid 3 Online. One of the modes had one player be Snake and the other players seek to hunt him down. This is that as a board game. I have also really enjoyed hidden movement games I have played like Nuns on the Run or Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan. From what I have read this game executes that style of game the best. All indicators is that this is a game I would really enjoy. I know it is a favorite of some of the people in my game group but I think new hotness keeps it from making it to the table.

2. T.I.M.E Stories
It seems that everyone who plays this game can not stop gushing about how good it is, so I feel like it is a game I should play. However, of all the games on the list this is the one that is going to be most problematic to play. Other than my wife, I think everyone who I regularly play games with has already played this game. The one and done approach means I can not play it with them. This is compounded by the fact that there is something about this game that inspires people to play future cases with the same group. I have serious reservations about what my wife will think (even money is that is she plays it, she quits within the first hour), so there is no way I am taking the risk of buying the game to play with her.

1. 504

Fortunately the game I most want to play from 2015 is the game that I am most likely to get played, because I own it! There are two reasons why I have not played it yet. First, I have some sort of mental block when it comes to wrapping my head around the modular nature of the rules. I am not sure why but I have a hard time grasping how the three elements combine together. The other reason is time. When we play 504 we want to devote a week to it so that we can play multiple scenarios close together and get a better idea bout the type of variety the game offers. It just seems that crowded work and child schedules have conspired to make that hard for us to do. Soon though, soon it will happen, and then I will be 1/3 of my way to accomplishing my goal for this list.


So what did I get wrong? What game from 2015 did I miss and really need to play?
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Thu Jun 9, 2016 3:23 am
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Frontline: D-Day

sean johnson
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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 got this game for Christmas in 2010. At that time it was already well established that we liked card games, and I was approaching full tilt of exploring war games. At the time this seemed like the perfect game. In 2012 when we first reviewed this game (as part of our "Play them all in a year" project that launched this blog), I wrote:
Quote:
"This game is very clear evidence that maybe we do have too many games."


That has proven to be true, because at this point we have not played this game for 3 1/2 years. The D-Day anniversary was the perfect excuse to dust this game off and play a D-Day scenario. So did this game deliver on the objective of being fun or is it pinned down and suppressed to the trade pile?

Brief Game Overview
This is a squad level skirmish game. Each player controls squads of cards, with each card representing a specific soldier. First players pick out their forces (or set up the scenario), pick equipment, and put out the terrain cards. Terrain is abstracted in this game by nine cards in a line. This means, for example, if I am in terrain 3 I can move forward to 4 or back to 2. Player's units are individual soldiers and they are placed into sections. Each section has a commander and each commander can only command so many men.

On a player's turn they will give an order to each section. There are three possible orders: Move, Attack, or Prepare. To move a move card is played. Often these cards will give special abilities such as allowing a player to flank, gain cover, or advance two sections. Any card may be discarded for a generic move order.

To move the section advances or retreats one section. The different terrain sections have various effects. To attack the range is figured out by counting the difference between section cards between the attacking squad and the target squad. The attacker then figures out their firepower, which can be increased by expending actions or by the attack card. The defender may counter-attack, which lowers the firepower or they may play cover cards that lowers the firepower.

Damage is determined by drawing tokens out of a bag. A pin result basically freezes a soldier until it is resolved. A morale result shakes a solider and after so many they can not advance. A wound hurts the solider, and dead is dead. Each of these results will spend some of the attackers firepower. How much it spends is determined by the type of terrain the defender occupies.

A prepare action allows a player to draw cards, remove pins, use equipment, or reload. A player gets one prepare option for each unit in the section getting the prepare order.

For each of these actions, when a player takes them, their opponent may react. For example, If I move then my opponent may also move, attack, or prepare. If I attack my opponent may move, prepare, or counter-attack.

The game ends when one player achieves the scenario victory conditions.

What We Previously Thought
I really liked this delivered the feel of a skirmish miniatures game without being a miniatures game. I was also impressed by the action/reaction system. My wife found the game fun, and she thought it was a very clever card game.

What We Think Now
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: This game is very much worth keeping, because it is so unique. I also really like the theme and feel of this game. More than most games this game captures the visceral feel of combat. Getting caught in the open is a death trap, and soldiers do not do well with being shot at. The theme comes through very strongly in this game and the narrative is engaging. The game also offers some extremely tough choices and some interesting card play.

Her Verdict Keep
Her Rationale: This is a somewhat hesitant keep for me. I think we should keep it because it is a really good, really exciting, and really fun game. However, I think there is a reason that this game has gone unplayed for so long. Part of it is the title. It is so generic and it sounds like something I would not like, so my knee jerk reaction is to pass on it. The box cover does not help matters. Even when we played this time, when I first saw it out I rolled my eyes. However, I quickly remembered how good the game is. We also do not have anything else like it.

Final Verdict

Keep

Play this game after a long hiatus reaffirms it is a keeper. However, we need to be a lot more intentional at getting it to the table so that we can justify keep this game on our shelves.
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Tue Jun 7, 2016 3:02 am
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The Purge: Dominion

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.

We got Dominion early in 2009. This game and Race for the Galaxy are the two games most responsible for making us a gaming couple. From 2009 to 2011 we played this game a lot. However, in 2012 our playing of this game went of a cliff and never recovered. The last time it even came off the shelf was in June of 2014. My wife's feelings on the game are a large part of it. Starting in 2013, she just did not have much desire to play the game. Did an extended time on the shelf rekindle her love of the game or is it time trash Dominion for something better?

Brief Game Overview
Is an explanation of Dominion necessary? This is the deck building game. Every game has 10 different kingdom cards available, three types of money (copper, silver, and gold) and three victory point cards (estate, duchy, province). Each player begins with a starter deck that has seven coppers and three estates.

Each turn a player will have a hand of five cards. If they have an action card the may play one, and then they may use any money they have to buy one card. Finally, players put all cards played, as well as cards unplayed in their discard pile and draw five new cards.

The kingdom cards are mostly the action cards the players can buy and they have a wide variety of effects. Point cards are needed to win the game, but they do nothing while playing the game.

The game ends when the province pile is depleted or three other piles. The player with the most points wins.

What We Previously Thought
We both really enjoyed the amount of variety that Dominion offers. We said that we loved Dominion and it is one of the few games we rated a ten.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: I never stopped liking Dominion. There are other deckbuilding games I enjoy more, but none of those games have the same feel as this one. I love looking over the initial kingdom card setup and trying to figure out the strategy to go with. I also find the infinite variety of this game very appealing.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: For the longest time I really did not want to play this game, and I really thought I was done with it. I think I was wrong. Maybe all I needed was an extended break, because this game really is so good. I think there are other deck building games I enjoy more, but this one holds a special place for me.

Final Verdict
Keep

We have all of the Dominion expansions except for Guilds and Adventures. I really feel compelled to get those because you gotta catch 'em all, but my wife insists that we have enough. She is probably right. If the trade off of not having everything is the game makes it to the table more often then I am OK with that.
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Sun Jun 5, 2016 3:32 am
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End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I got off to a slow month but attending Geekway to the west gave my play count a healthy bump. Also because of attending Geekway I played several new games this months.

Game Play Statistics


Most Played Game: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong (5 plays)
Highest Rated Game This Month: Star Wars: Rebellion (combined Rating 9)
Number of Games Reviewed in May: 5
Games Left Unplayed: 8

State of the Collection
New Games Added: 11
Games Removed: 13
Total Number of Games: 213
We traded a lot between a math trade and the wargame chain of generosity, but our game total only decreased by a little bit.

10x10 Challenge
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Completed!
Warhammer: InvasionCompleted!
Ticket to Ride Completed!
Fleet [/thing] Completed!
Tides of Time
Viceroy
Deus
Glory to Rome
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Roll for the Galaxy
Bruges
We inched the plays up on several of these games this month. Next month marks the halfway point of the year. By then I would like to have half the games done, and have all of the other games up to halfway. That means we are going to need to play several of these games in June.
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Wed Jun 1, 2016 3:24 am
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Cross Promotion

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
Indiana
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This will probably be the only time I do this because I realize that it does not have universal appeal. However, I have started a new blog.

I am a clergy person in the United Methodist Church, and this new blog attempts to explore how my faith and my geeky passions intersect. I just started this last week, and already a couple of the post have a strong board gaming element to their focus.

If this sounds like something that is of interest to you, I would love it if you would check it out. You can find the website at Biblical Geek.

If you want to know when I make new posts, you can follow on twitter @BiblicalGeek.
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Tue May 31, 2016 7:00 pm
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Koryo (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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I recently got this game as part of a math trade. I did not know a lot about it, but I did know that it was a card game by the same people who made GOSU. That is a card game that I like (and think is underrated), and I knew that this was also a card game. I had looked at this game when it first game out, and I rememered that it was a set collection game of sorts. This all added up to make it a game that I was very pleased to get in the math trade, but now that we have played the game was it truly a good trade?

Game Overview
This game is played over eight rounds. Each round players will get a set number of cards. The cards are numbered 1 through 9. There are a number of cards equal to the value of the card (there are nine 9's, eight 8's, and so on). Players will take the cards they are dealt and they will pick one number of cards to play. They may play any number of that card.

Players may then take actions, if they have the majority of that card in play. For example the player with the most sixes in play will be able to take a victory point coin each turn, while the player with the most eights gets an extra card when new cards are dealt.

There are two event cards that are -1 point. One allows players to destroy the card of another player, and the other allows a swap between the cards of two players.

At the end of the round players will have to discard cards played in front of them down to a set number. Event cards though can not be discarded (only the action of the #4 priest cards can get rid of played vent cards). Each round the number of cards that players are dealt decreases and the number of cards they can keep increases.

At the end of the last round players will score points based on the cards they have the majority in. As an example, if I have four #9 cards, and that is more than any other player then I score nine points. The player with the most points at the end of the game 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: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: This is a fairly simple game, but it is extremely clever. Even though this game has simple rules, it offers fairly complex decisions that requires looking over the table, figuring out what other players might be doing, and then figuring out the best play. This is a 10 to 20 minute game that is rules light and feels quick. Yet at the same time it feels like this is some depth to this game, and that is an impressive achievement.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I really like the card play in this game. This game offers decisions in a way that is very accessible. The quick play time has a "let's do it again" quality. While it is too early to tell, I feel like this is a game that can be played again and again without feeling played out.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 8
This did turn out to be a good game to get for us. This is also two for two for Moonster games, so I am thinking I might want to check out Choson and Ryu as well.
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Mon May 30, 2016 4:21 am
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Black Orchestra (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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This WWII cooperative game has an active pre-order campaign going on right now. As a way to promote the game, it is also playable using the tabletopia virtual tabletop program. While I am generally not a fan of co-op games, I am a fan of historical games. This game is not yet published, but it is fully playable online. It is my understanding that what is on tabeltopia is more or less complete. There might be some minor card tweaks, but the rules are set and the artwork is finalized. So when it comes to being fun is this game mission accomplished or did it blow up in our face?

Game Overivew
In this game all of the players work together to successfully pull off an assassination attempt and kill Hitler. On a player's turn they will take three actions and then draw an event card.

There are several possible actions a player can take. Players can move from space for space as an action. The amount of spaces are limited at the beginning of the game, but the options grow as the game goes on. Each location has an item randomly assigned to it. These items help with assignation plots. Items are face down so it takes an action to reveal them, and another one to pick a revealed item up. Players may also take cards. These cards can be extra items, helpful effects, or plot cards. At the beginning of the game there is not a win condition. That only appears once some plot cards are drawn.

The last major action a player can take is conspire. To conspire a player rolls one die for each unused action. For each number rolled that is how many actions the player now gets. Targets go on a track that once filled will give players a small bonus, but Eagles raise a player' suspicion level.

There are three tracks that are kind of important to understanding this game. Two of them are on the individual player cards. The first is the motivation track. Players start off timid, and can not do much to help with the plot. However, as a player's motivation to remove Hitler increases their ability to contribute does as well. At one level each player opens up an unique ability, and players have to be at another level higher to undertake plot attempts.

Players also have a suspicion track. Several of the event cards are Gsetapo raids, and any player maxed out on the suspicion track is put in jail, and another player has to use up actions to free them. Leaving a player in jail can be detrimental because the Gestapo will interrogate them which causes bad things in the game to happen.

Eventually there will be plots in plays, and these plots have various conditions that have to be met. If the conditions are met, then there are other conditions (such as equipment) that will allow the attempting player to roll more dice. One of the tracks on the board is Hitler's Military power. The higher this is the more successes required to kill him.

The event cards that a player draws at the end of each round are historical based. Some of the cards directly impact players. The Gestapo raids can remove powerful cards from players and imprison them. A lot of the event cards cause the Nazi leaders to move around.

The event deck is divided up into seven time periods. In the last time period there is a "game over" card. If drawn, the players lose. If the players all end up prison after a Gestapo raid, the players lose.

If the players manage to successfully pull of a plot by rolling the needed number of successes, then they win the game.


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 feel like a caveat is needed here: I do not like co-op games. There are a lot of trappings about co-op games that I just plain do not like or find fun. That being said, this is one of the better co-op games I have played. There are several things that this game does right. First and foremost, it captures the theme. The historical nature comes out in a very evocative way. The game also captures the feel of being conspirators working together to take out Hitler. After a few turns there might be multiple plot cards, and the players need to stay flexible and work together to make it happen. The biggest plus about this game is it felt like we were working to accomplish something. I can not stand to play co-op games where the whole game is about preventing losing, rather than doing something to win.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I usually do not care much for co-op games, but this is one that I would play again. One of my problems with co-op games is that I feel for every two steps I take forward, the game knocks me one step back. I never felt like this game was beating me up. There were obstacles but they tended to be timing or logistic hurdles. I also liked that completing the plots was based on a die roll. This added a lot of excitement to the game. I really dislike it when co-op games have long play times. I much prefer shorter timed ones like Escape, but the game length for this was about right for what we were doing.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 7
The amount of co-op games that we like to play together can be counted on one hand, so I think the fact that we would include this one in that number says a lot. I think for people who are much bigger fans of co-op games, this is one to check out.
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Sun May 29, 2016 4:02 am
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Star Wars: Rebellion (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Since all you have to do is scroll down to get my initial thoughts about this game there is no reason for me to be coy about it. I really liked it (more on why later). However, as a two player game I knew the big challenge would be if my wife liked it or not. Fortunately for us, a friend let us borrow his copy so we could try it before taking the plunge. So does this game go down at legendary status like The Empire Strikes Back or is it a disaster on par with the Star Wars Christmas Special?

Game Overview
In this game one player is the Evil Galactic Empire who is trying to find and destroy the rebel base, while the other side is the Rebel Alliance seeking to topple the oppressive regime.

Each turn begins by players assigning leaders to mission cards. Each player has four cards available every turn, but they will constantly be drawing new ones. Once missions are assigned, players will go back and forth taking turns.

On a player's turn they will be using their leaders to do things. There are three primary things a leader can do. The first is activate units. To do this a leader is put in a system, and all adjacent units may move there. Units may not move out of a system that a leader is in, so it is impossible to move a force across the galaxy in one move. Ground units (and tie fighters) can only move if there is a bigger ship to carry them.

Leaders can also be used to carry out mission assigned to them. A mission will always specify the conditions of the system the leader must be sent to (such as an Imperial system with an Imperial unit) and it will either be a resolve mission or an attempt mission. If it is an attempt mission, then the opponent may oppose the mission by sending one of their leaders. Opposing a mission is the last thing leaders can do. Each mission has a skill type associated with it, and each leader has a number of skill icons of that type. For each icon a leader has they can roll a die when opposed. The side that gets the most successes wins. If the one on the mission wins, then the mission happens and if not the mission fails.

These mission have a wide variety of effects. They can cause systems to join a side, they can destroy units, place units, and even capture opposing leaders.

Whenever, units of opposing sides are in the same system combat results. Leaders can be deployed to lead the fighting and leaders can grant players combat cards. There are two levels of combat, naval and ground. They are resolved the same way. Different units will roll red or black dice. Normal hits can only be applied to opposing units that match that color. So for instance a starfigther is a black unit but a Star Destroyer is a red unit. There is a symbol on the dice that can be applied to all types of units. All units will get a chance to roll dice before they are removed. After that has happened, the defender can choose to retreat and then the attacker may choose. If not a new round of combat happens. If an imperial unit ever occupies a planet unopposed then they get to subjugate that planet. It is not as good as loyalty but still provides resources.

The rebel player will be seeking to meet various conditions to play objective cards. Each objective moves the rebel marker one space forward on the turn track. If the rebel marker and the turn marker ever occupy the same space the rebels win. Each turn the Imperial player will get two probe cards which tells them where the rebel base is not. When the Imperial player lands ground troops, they will also be told if that is the base location or not.

If the Imperial player ever has ground troops unopposed on the base or just blows up the planet with a Death Star they win.

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: This is the Star Wars game you have been looking for. It capture the essence, the grand adventure, and the "pew-Pews" of the original trilogy and puts it in a box. This game provides the backdrop for incredible Star Wars stories. For instance, I sent General Madine on a sabotage mission to Corellia, but he was opposed by Darth Vader and failed the mission. Then on my wife's turn she used Boba Fett to try and capture General Madine. However, she failed. This backdrop allowed me to imagine an amazing story of the rebel general leading his strike team only to find himself out matched by Darth Vader, narrowly escaping he runs into the bounty hunter back up plan. However, the rebel general outsmarts the bounty hunter and escapes. The mission failed, but at least he made it out. Or did he? Because the next round, My wife did a capture mission again against Madine and this time got him. This continued the story, as Boba Fett never leaves a contract unfulfilled. This also allows space for dramatic space opera battles, like when we had the super star destroyer get ambushed by three Mon Cal cruisers. This game perfectly captures the Star Wars theme, and if Star Wars is your thing then this really needs to be your next "Must Get" game.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I did like this game. It is really good. The game is very thematic. It has a lot of small rules that can be hard to keep straight, but the core mechanic of using leaders is fairly straightforward. This game provide good but frustrating choice of trying to figure out the best use for each leader. My complaint about this game is that it is long. I know with repeated plays it would be shorter, but I think unless the Imperial player gets lucky it is always over two hours. If this game were half the length then it would be perfect.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 9
It is not a matter of if we get this game, it is a matter of when. My wife's concern is that with a long play time it will not come out very often. That is a valid concern, but I think it is reasonable that we would play the game once or twice a year. If that was the case, then I could see us owning and playing this game for a very long time.
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Wed May 25, 2016 9:34 pm
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