$10.00

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User Rating Comment Status
Svein Main
Norway
Joerpeland
Unspecified
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10
Mar 2013
An exellent game, that makes everybody challange for the best spots, and making good points of every move! A big surprice, and very underrated game!!! One of my all time favorites and a few that I give a score of 10! Buy if you can!!!
2013-03-13
Owned
Tiberiu Doman
United States
Seattle
Washington
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10
Nov 2011
Played it more with a couple of variants - just as interesting. I think this is a 10.

Once I internalize the rules, the game is less prone to AP, but just as tense!
Uprated 8.5 -> 9

Uprated 7.5 -> 8.5
The game is full of difficult decisions and very tight competition. I like it!
2011-12-06
Owned
Peter Franke
Germany
Unspecified
Unspecified
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9.5
Jun 2006*
Very nice new game by veteran designers Kramer/Kiesling. It is tile laying with some differences. Excellent graphics and a very good rules booklet.
2006-06-20*
Owned
Schrodinger's Dog
Canada
Medicine Hat
alberta
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9
Jun 2011
This one's rules escaped me for some reason... playing it they became obvious, and I'm still not sure what confused me. It's got mechanics reminiscent of Alhambra, Carcassonne, and something familiar from Catan... can't place it. Anyway, have played it once, and already know I'll not be happy until I play it a bunch more... absolutely worth the discounted price I've seen it for at nearly every place I see it.
2011-06-26
Owned
Carol Dufour
Canada
st-jerome
quebec
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9
Aug 2011
(Not best with any number)
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(11 voters)
2011-08-21
Owned
Rabid Schnauzer
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9
Nov 2013
That this game does not get more buzz is a scathing indictment of the systems in place to encourage groupthink here on BGG.
2013-11-20
Kane Klenko
United States
Ridgeway
Wisconsin
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8.5
Jan 2007*
A 60 minute brain burner with enough twists to keep it interesting. Not your standard area majority game since, for example, a single value 2 tepee would beat 3 value 1 tepees and 6 hunters. It's all about timing and managing your "money" to be able to upgrade at the right time. So far I've only played as a 2 player game, and I can see where it would probably be even better with more. Great game.
2007-01-30*
Owned
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
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8
Jan 2010*
This is a small game that is simply packed with implementations of one of my favorite masochism enablers in games: Tradeoffs. Every, every, everything in this game is a tradeoff. Excellent, agonizing.
2010-01-05
Owned
Want To Play
Larry Winckles
Hungary
Budapest
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8
Oct 2008*
Playtested.
2006-03-25*
Owned
Koert Debyser
Belgium
Brugge
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8
Jun 2006*
Bison has the typical Kramer & Kiesling touch: a tile placing / area majority game with a constant feeling of not having enough actions and/or money (food) to do everything you want or should do. The (minor) variants certainly add to the game and it is recommended to include them, as these offer even more possibilities and options. The components are simply beautiful.
2006-06-30*
Owned
Brian Moore
United Kingdom
Bolton
Lancashire
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8
Jul 2008*
Good solid Kramer & Kiesling game. Underrated
2006-10-21*
Owned
PJ Pletter
Netherlands
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8
Feb 2008*
Seemingly a dull combination of been-there-done-that mechanics, this game is quite a fresh surprise once you get the hang of it. The modular board ensures that the area majority principle is modified as areas change as you play, making this game quite suitable for 2 players. In fact, I play it strictly 2p, as more players induce AP and unwanted chaos to the game. 2 Player games allow for all kinds of luring and decoy tactics which cost too many resources in a multiplayer game - but with just 2, this is quite a heavy-thinking 1-hour game full of twists and turns.
Update: a 3-player game was surprisingly fun and the AP / chaos elements were not as bad as I expected. Still avoiding 4p though.
2008-02-03*
Owned
J.A. Castro
Spain
Córdoba
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8
Nov 2006*
Underrated, very good game
2006-11-05*
Owned
Ken Boone
United States
Berea
Ohio
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8
Nov 2006*
Reminds me of Titicaca.
2006-11-07*
Owned
Jeroen van der Valk
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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8
Nov 2010
Another solid offering by the masterful duo Kramer & Kiesling. They take existing mechanics and refine them to a tee. Bizon has so much to offer to the players, in a dynamic setting, challenging them always to balance all the different possibilities and limitations. Of course this can lead to some paralysis, and the number of options and possibilities does seem overwhelming at times. Phalanx's production work is somewhat iffy, in my opinion, and even Vohwinkel's artwork is not what it should be. A great game nonetheless.
2007-08-17*
Owned
Dave Serrette
United States
Lafayette
Louisiana
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8
Jan 2007*
Supposed to be one of the big awaited games of the year of '06, and I believe it was worth the hype. It's got a bit of everything. Trading, area control, tile placement. Modular board makes the game different every time. Really now, what's not to love?
2007-01-06*
Owned
Philippe Beaudoin
Canada
Montréal
Québec
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8
Feb 2007*
A very original majority game, a lot more strategical than most others of the genre. The goal here is to generate a good "revenue" since the scores are reset at the beginning of the last turn. This is strangely reminiscent of bigger management games such as, say, Age of Steam. To support this, the game moves more slowly than typical majority games: majorities are hard to take over and second and third players still get an interesting revenue. Strategical pawn placement plays a key role.
2007-02-20*
Owned
De Waey Joeri
Belgium
Oostende
West-Vlaanderen
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8
Mar 2007*
Good solid game. You really have to concentrate.
2007-03-18*
Prev. Owned
Mike Jones
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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Yeah it's here! Really it's right here.
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8
Jul 2010
a huge surprise. It got a rating of 8.0 after the first play. Really fun area majority game. Fresh. Excellent mechanisms. I like that in some cases 3rd and 4th might score more then 2nd. I think it adds an interesting twist to have to keep ion mind. The only think keeping it from a 9.0 is I wish it wasn't all scored based on your last actions in the game.
2011-05-20
Owned
The root of all evil... but you can call me cookie.
United States
Gainesville
Florida
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8
Jan 2009*
A good little game. I think I let the lower geek rating hold me off on playing this and I'm disappointed I did. I like this one as it's got a lot of tense decisions to make and well honestly it feels sort of like a Alan R. Moon game in there's so much to accomplish and so little time to get it done in!!!! Fun stuff in a small box and love the art!

UPDATE: Been playing it more and well, I'm liking it more and more. Underrated game for CERTAIN.

This game was surprisingly good at 2 players. I didn't expect it to play well at all and even said so before we started off but man did it prove me wrong.

2013-12-09
Owned
John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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8
May 2007*
True it's another K&K majorities game but I found it really intriguing. Players earn food determined by their majorities in three different region types on the board. You get fish in the streams, turkeys in the mountainous areas and bison in the meadows. The food is used to pay for action points (to feed the hunters) and to buy teepees and canoes (which add to the majority totals). There's a tile-laying mechanic too which can be used to create new regions, expand regions or join regions. The choices in the game are difficult for a few reasons: you have a limited number of hunters to work with (although those can be melted down to teepees/canoes and returned to your supply to be bought back later), actions are expensive... you won't always be able to pay for the number of hunters you want to move/activate and the scoring, although easy to understand, is difficult to parse out quickly. This is one of the heavier area-control euros out there.
2007-05-04*
Scott Moore
England
Birmingham
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8
Oct 2010
Played a couple of times (months apart) with 3 and 4 players. Bison is a mid-weight majority-control game that has an attractive theme and a couple of unusual aspects that make it different from other games of the type: namely the tile tesselation, and the fact that true scoring only occurs at the end of the game. Our games lasted a little too long, but the end result surprised me on both occasions. Probably gameplay would be quick enough if we were familiar with the game.
2007-08-13*
Rafal Szczepkowski
Poland
Gdansk
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8
Aug 2007*
underrated, very nice area-majority-control game with strong theme connection.
2007-08-14*
Pascal Staelens
Belgium
Near Ghent
Eastern Flanders
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8
Oct 2007*
at last owning it.
2007-10-24*
Owned
steve perkins
United Kingdom
Telford
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8
Jan 2008*
Excellent game of action points and area control. Variable board as only the first three tiles are a constant feature. Plenty to think about, 3 player game took 2 hours, but you don't realise the time has gone. Only negative is it could be subject to AP which would increase downtime.
2009-04-25
Owned
Failing Upwards Since '93!
United States
Bridgeton
Missouri
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8
Jan 2010*
This game is brutally unforgiving. Me like.
2008-01-08*
Owned
Peter Hein
Netherlands
Delft
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8
Jan 2008*
Do we really need another area majority game? Well, not really, but this offering from my favourite pair of designers is actually pretty good. Bison combines elements of tile laying games like Carcassonne and El Caballero with a very interesting resource management system. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.
2008-01-16*
Prev. Owned
Susie_Cat
United Kingdom
Oxfordshire
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8
Jan 2014
We really, really like this one. Didn't get to play it until March 2008, but it was one of the games we were given as part of the 2007 Secret Santa who became not so secret - Cheers Paolo, you made our first a really great experience!

****Keeper - We love it and it was a gift that we treasure.
2008-03-14*
Owned
Mark Vogel
Canada
Red Deer
Alberta
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8
Apr 2008*
This is pretty decent actually, a little like Carc.
2009-03-17
Owned
Drew
United States
Wisconsin
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"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."
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"No matter how low your opinion of Washington DC, it's nothing compared to Washington DC's low opinion of you."
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8
Feb 2009*
eBay purchase, Nov. 2008

After one play, I am tempted to give this an initially high rating. Bison packs a rather heavy game in a small box. What we have here is a tight little game with a tight economic system, in which you cannot waste a single move.

With three players (which is how I got to play it) you will only place five tiles, meaning you can only bring hunters into the game five times. You had better make that count.

Kramer seems to excel at thinky placement games that provide a nice brain-burn. Bison could cause the AP-prone to lock up, but if you are a proponent of "Slow Games," I think Kramer's Bison is hard to beat.

Okay, so what's the deal? You go for majorities in three different terrain types that correspond to three different resources. (Bison, Turkeys, Salmon.) Every move you make must be paid for with these resources. And taking majorities in these terrain areas nets you the very resources that you must pay to make the moves that help you get majorities. It's a simple little economic system.

At the start of the game you have 30 resources, and given that your resource income is your score, you might get the idea that doing absolutely nothing during the entire game and max out all your resources. The thing is, your final score equals only the number of resources you collect at the end of the final round. So if you haven't spent the previous rounds paying everything you own in order to get your hunters on the board, you will have a score of zero.

The economic system is tight, movement is rather limited, and you'll probably have a number of turns where you choose the action "do nothing." Mostly because there simply isn't any way to improve your position at that time.

This would suggest to me that you weren't planning out the round very well.

I am anxious to play it again after having screwed up one rule. But at the moment, I am thinking that this small-box game has great potential.
2008-11-23*
Owned
Luc VC
Belgium
Brugge
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8
Dec 2009*
I really liked this one. Theme leaves me rather cold, but it's pretty brutal for a small game. me like
2009-12-29
Brett Christensen
United States
Dickinson
North Dakota
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Pat OwlOrbs on the head.
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Rub the wizard! You should probably wash your hands.
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8
Aug 2011
Big game in a small box. Lots of interesting planning in your move and speculation as to what the person after you may attempt. Nicely done.
2009-07-13
Owned
For Trade
DAVID MOYANO
Spain
SALAMANCA
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8
May 2010
Juego al que no se le hace mucho caso pero que para mi esta muy bien, es un juego de mayorias, me recuerda a un carcassone pero con mucha mas chicha. Ademas se mereceria un 10 por la relacion CALIDAD/PRECIO, ya que en tiendas alemanas cuesta unos 6 euros.
2010-05-15
Owned
Janusz Ja
Poland
Bydgoszcz
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8
Dec 2010
40
2013-01-16
Owned
Clemente "Gebhard Von Blücher" Durán
Chile
Santiago
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8
May 2010
COLLECT AS MUCH ANIMALS AS POSSIBLE, AVOID LEAVING THEM ALONE AND SAVE FOR THE WINTER

Clearly, Bison: Thunder on the Prairie is an underestimated game. It may look weak and boring, but after a few turns and games, it may start catching on, especially when played with more than two players.

Strategies and tactics go deep within the very limited game board, which interestingly enough, is being built as the game progresses, much like Carcassonne. However, said profoundness may be annoying for some players who approach the game as a somewhat simple and easy kind of game, when in reality, is much more than that. “Bison” is a rough diamond, with lots of defects on the outside, but on the inside, it’s a fairly good game, even mind-daring, especially during the last turns of the game.

Granted, the theme is not exactly that which arouses the interest of many players, but it is only accidental. It could do great with many other themes, so I admit it’s not a great choice. I’m merely holding on to the mechanism.

Without a second thought, I would most definitely play this game again, but only sometimes though. It’s not a game easily accepted and embraced by "Carcassonne and Settlers" players, but it sure is a great game for the collection of more modular board experienced gamers.

Recommended, but it's a bit too expensive. When buying it, it’s a good idea to consider this game was created by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling, the minds behind Tikal.

I. Criteria

Mechanics: d10-8
Design & Art: d10-7
Packing & Presentation: d10-9
Theme: d10-7
BGG Factor: d10-7

II. Sliders

Abstract __[3]_______ Themed: As previously mentioned, the whole American Indians is not the best theme the designers could’ve picked, and I would really digsagree with anyone stating that the whole theme is the very core and essence of the game. I think that a more “approachable” theme or symbology could do better for the game, For example, maybe replacing the theme of Indians with cavemen or Ancient Civilization’s earlier beginnings could be a more suitable theme. Also, replacing some of the animals with minerals, plants or other things important to young civilizations may be a very good idea. But still, we may never understand why Bison is about American Indians.

Simple ______[7]___ Complex: The rulebook, though extensive and sometimes way too interested in showing certain situations in the game instead of actually explaining the situations or solving certain issues, is a very nice work, but still short from a good rulebook. Some of the players to whom I’ve introduced “Bison” have complained over the unnecessary complexity of the rulebook, and on a mutual agreement, have decided to “skip” certain rules when playing the game. Surprisingly enough, disregarding some rules have resulted in the game being more accepted and even faster, without compromising the core mechanics and turn flow.

Strategic ___[4]______ Tactical: The possibility of “colonizing” or “taking” some of the “hunting grounds” shown on the various board pieces as they appear, allows the players to relax their grip on every animal they see and plan a few steps ahead of their current turn, possibly delving into some effective strategic game play. However, tactical game play is also a very effective and fast way to play “Bison”, which makes the whole game appealing to both types of gamers. Combining both ways, in my personal opinion, is not a very good idea though.

Luck _______[8]__ Skill: Other than drawing a certain board piece may be good or better for you or your opponents, “Bison” has little to no luck involved. Skill and action management, as well as administration of animals/money is the core of the entire game. For short, no board piece you can draw is bad for you. They are just "good or better" for you.

Fiddly ____[5]_____ Elegant: The “Bison” rulebook is both a blessing and a curse. If you’re a “rules lawyer” kind of gamer, you’ll probably think this game is too fiddly and you’ll turn into a “let’s not do that instead” kind of gamer, in which case, the game is a lot less fiddly, but not elegant enough to call it “elegant”. There’s too much confusion and lack of term precision in the rulebook, and the graphic examples within it, though sometimes helpful, can’t make up for its defects.

Indirect interaction ___[4]______ Direct interaction: The most interaction players get in “Bison” is the kind of interaction you get in race games, in the sense that, once a good board piece is revealed, the players will most likely race to get for themselves as much of it as possible. Other than that, players are usually much more calm and focused on their respective player boards, administrating their goods and planning their next steps. In that sense, I really like this game.

Cutthroat ________[9]_ Friendly: As a result of the almost exclusively indirect interaction between the players, there are very rare occasions where the players act viciously and aggressive towards each other. The most aggressive moment I ever witnessed was when someone took another player’s fish before the latter one had the chance to build a canoe. It’s all good friendly fun… Mostly.

Heavy use of language __[3]_______ No language needed: Again, after reading the rulebook, good players will decide to follow the rules to the letter or to improvise around them. Either way, “Bison’s” game play it’s almost completely free of language. Instead, the presence of symbols in the player’s boards are most helpful and easy to understand!

III. Number of players recommended: 3.

CHEERS!
2011-02-08
Prev. Owned
Federico Pacheco
Spain
Torrelavega
Cantabria
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Todos los viernes en el BdC
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8
Jun 2010
Juego de mayorías ambientado en el viejo oeste con tribus de indios que pueden dominar colinas, con sus bisontes, montañas, con sus pavos, o ríos con sus salmones. PAra mí este juego fue todo un descubrimiento.

Lo añadí a mi colección tras las CLBSK Abril 2010. Adquirido en alemán a CSI-badajoz, por 5€.

Lo cambié en la mathtrade de la BSK, Invierno 2014, en Febrero y fue para Tallarad.
2014-02-11
Prev. Owned
Michel Sorbet
Poland
Lublin
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"A son seul aspect n'est-on pas terrasse? Nul n'est assez hardi pour l'exciter" Job 40:28
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8
Apr 2010
Another tile placing game - my favourite mechanic ever. Bison is a smart design. The game engine is very simple but the options and the decisions during a play are complex. I believe this game is very underrated.
2010-04-19
Owned
Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
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8
Feb 2011
Despite this being a very ugly game, it is very enjoyable. The three-tier scoring/action point mechanic is intriguing.
2011-08-26
Owned
vins baudet
Spain
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8
Jan 2011
solo probado a 3
2010-12-12
Owned
Robby Timmermans
Belgium
Wellen
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8
Jan 2013
Very good tile placement game, for me better than Carcassonne
2013-11-05
Owned
Amparo
Spain
Valencia
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8
Dec 2010
Simple, easy to learn, an amusing. It's a game that you can play very easily.
2011-04-06
Owned
For Trade
R S
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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8
Dec 2011
An area control game with a tile laying/worker placement aspect. A great theme and the awesome tile shape makes this one of my favorite games of its type.
2011-12-30
Owned
fakir fakir
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8
Jul 2011
I find this one really challenging and quite underestimated
2011-07-16
Owned
Marc Hawkins
Canada
Vancouver
British-Columbia
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8
Apr 2013
I'm a big Kramer and Kiesling fan -- so I pretty much love everything that I've played so far that's come out from the two of them. This little gem of an area control game also has interesting (yet not overly complex) interlocking mechanics that help distinguish it from others. It has the tile laying aspect that we have seen in Kramer's earlier El Cabellero, but the placement becomes less cut-throat when you consider that the 'dudes on the map' can move around. Overall, a great game for both 3 and 4 -- while it is also good with 2, there's a serious snowball effect that can occur (and no 2 vs. 1 balancing effect).
2014-09-06
Owned
Mike Flavell
United Kingdom
Dereham
Norfolk
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8
Oct 2014
2-4
90m
2014-10-21
Owned
Alejandro Calle Martín
Spain
Alcorcón
Madrid
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7.8
Oct 2011
2 a 4 jugadores. Recomendado con cualquier número de jugadores.
Duración: 1 hora.
2011-11-15
Owned
Rhonda
United States
Avon Lake
Ohio
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7.5
Jul 2006*
The modular, expand as you play board was what I liked about this game.
2006-07-04*
Todd Sweet
United States
Geneva
Illinois
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7.5
Jul 2006*
I like tile laying games. This is getting lots of plays since my boys like it and it's simple to teach, but you want to play again and see if you can do better. Never enough actions to do all you want.
2006-07-07*
Prev. Owned
Paul McKinney
United States
Houston
Texas
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7.5
Aug 2006*
Well designed area control game. Many difficult decisions to be made every turn. Well designed and plays smoothly. Would like to play again to see if I can better grasp strategies.
2006-08-05*
James Eastham
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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7.5
Aug 2006*
Bison played like a familiar mixture of intense Carcassone and area control. The components and rules are of typical Phalanx top quality. Box size is perfect and price point is good.
2006-08-13*

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