Bought this one for my 5 year old son. It's ok and fun for him, and even my 2 and a half year old has a go. It's a little on the dull side though and we have better "kid games." The standard Labyrinth is better than this, but it may be a mite too difficult for children under 6.
A good, fun card game which reminded me slightly of Hearts in that you try not to win points and try to put those points on others if you can.
The rules are simple and it makes a great starter or end to a night of gaming.
Just how much control there is over tactical play I am not sure about. There are certainly tactics, but I think the element of luck is large, too. There is certainly not as much control in planning how you play your hand as there is in Hearts, and it is more difficult to target a player as what happens on the lines of 6 can be much more random than each trick in Hearts.
This rating is based on a first play, but I like what I saw. There's lots of strategy and tactics and the luck element allows for a huge amount of replayability. The placement of pieces in Manhattan obviously owes a little bit (no mor than that) to this game.
I think the maths in it might put off a fair few people, but I didn't mind it at all. I will enjoy playing it again.
A variation on Stratego. Played this a lot as a teenager and have not played much since. Rules are maybe a shade more interesting than Stratego. You can jump over enemy ships ala Draughts (Checkers if you're American) and the main piece (The Admiral) actually gets to move. The board is quite nifty, too.
This game works very well as a two player as well as for up to 5 players. It can be played by adults and also by families with children as young as maybe 6 or 7 (if they are game players). I expect that a child who could play Enchanted Forest might well be able to graduate onto this with a bit of help and encouragement. But that's not to say that it's a child's game, because adults do enjoy it, but it is very simple in tactical terms. I guess this makes it a perfect choice for those who would want to play in pairs, adult groups or with the kids. When you read the rules, it sounds a lot harder than it is. All you have to do is roam around Africa turning over hidden counters and taking actions according to what you find - for instance, if you find one of 6 types of animal, you can move them to be with others and thus make a herd and score points. There's a certain child-like magic to turning over the counters and finding something you want. Typical examples of tactical choice would be that sometimes, you want to do more things than you can, or you want to build a base camp somewhere lucrative, but the journey there will just take too long and may not be worth the effort when you consider points you'll miss out on by not doing something else.
Anyway, me and my wife enjoy it and I think we will be playing it with the kids in years to come. Nice board too.
Edit - yes have played it with the kids (8 and 6) three times now and they really like it. Perfect for the age group if they know the basics of Euros.
In a way, this is a "gamer's game" par-excellence. It's deep, edgy and precise. You needn't bother asking Aunt Maude to play this one after tea, in fact even amongst your gaming friends only the most serious would enjoy it.
I may change my rating as I play it now, but as I see it at present, the plusses here are: great depth, agonising decisions, cut-throat play, replayability, room for lots of different strategic thinking, subtlety.
On the negative side: get behind early and you struggle/get ahead and you're hard to stop (in some games of this, it can be a total killer), badly written (though simple) rules, dull art work, a fairly high degree of luck for such a strategic game, some players may think there's no fun involved in it (you won't get smiles just a lot of head scratching). And it's pretty dry and very mathematical. The last third is rinse and repeat after setting youreself up - just ship as many goods as you can for the maximum you can make. That might be something that burns your brain in the planning, but in terms of the spin off at the end, it's pretty dull in terms of fun.
For myself, I sort of enjoyed it the first time, but felt less good about each time I played it thereafter. I wouldn't say that it was enjoyable as Wallace's other highly acclaimed heavy game - SoE, though it's about as deep. But that depth is in very different ways, and whilst this is good, it's not one I then long to play again, which I do with SoE.
Having recently played Railroad Tycoon, I marginally prefer that...but I'm not big on that one either. RT is not as pure, but it's slightly more fuhn. Actually, I'd say the game where about 80% the same, which makes RT more "AoS midi" than "AoS lite."
Hmmm...scratches head...I enjoyed this game and can see why so many on the Geek rave about it. It certainly a Gamer's Game par excellence. In many ways it reminded me of an expanded Caylus. It certainly seems less linear and more variable than Caylus, but the downside to that is that it's also longer and more difficult to get your head around at first.
But there are problems that mean I just can't rate this higher than a 7:
1. It's one of those games where there is likely to be quite lot of downtime between your turns - and that's never a good thing. 2.There is player interaction, but not quite enough for me. 3.It's also maybe just a little bit too much of a calculation game. That can also bog-down the game even more, and after a while, all that calculating numbers gets a bit dull. I find myself desperate for something exciting to happen...instead one just keeps building the puzzle. 4. And this brings me on my main gripe - it's just not got as a high a "fun factor" as many other euros. Yes, it's brain-burning, and brain-burning can be a major part of fun. However, the other part of fun (excitement, unexpected interaction and edginess), is not there for me. 5. The rules are both poorly written and hard to grasp.
Having said all of that:
I like the heaviness of it and the theme is fine considering it's actually pretty abstract at base. It's also deep and variable and the artwork is great, though I think cubes for animals is irritating.
Overall, I really don't think it's worth all the hype it gets but it's certainly a solid 7. To get more it needs magic and excitement.
And that's not to say that deep games can't have magic or excitement: to give one example off the top of my head - El Grande is just as deep, but is also less mathematical and ultimately more fun and edgy.
This may all come down to taste in the end and I guess I find this game good, but not compulsive.
Used to have this when I was about 10. I remember it contained some strategy and that it was quite fun, but it was never one of my favourites. You do get the feel that you are in a competitive business, so that's in its favour. Also, the pieces are nice but rather fiddly.
You can see similarities to Ticket To Ride, Acquire and Samarkand in this - I've never played Union Pacific, so wouldn't know about that. It's a slot above an entry level game. I wouldn't suggest it for newbies beacuse there is a fair bit to get your head around, and since you don't play a colour as such, that would mess with some people's heads. It's an enjoyable and colourful game - a fair bit of interaction without it being very cut-throat. One down side is that near the end, if payers don't work out possible goes in advance, it can get a bit AP bogged down as players try to maximise spending their money on expensive routes. My advice would be to discuss that first and nip it in the bud.
This is a fun light-medium to medium game which lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes with 5 players. I can see that it really needs 4 or 5 players to work properly - with less, the blind bidding just wouldn't be so tense.
I liked it very much but one possible weakness is that the first turn is just jockeying for position and then if all the artefacts go every turn, the game ends in a rush and there isn't much time to acquire a lot of spell cards. So, the criticism I've heard that the game is too long, can actually be turned on its head. I'd imagine though, that as you played the game more often, you'd be more prepared for the speed of the ending.
There are a lot of positives here - the bidding is tense, the spell powers (which must be used) are variable and interesting, the different spaces are well thought out and I like the Palace Guard mechanism. I love the treasure pieces, but I'd have liked to have plastic lamps and a chit to show who won the play 2 artefacts power.
Overall, I love games with player interaction and plenty of thinking and this has both.
Hmm...there's a lot of both positive and negative things to say about this game, but by and large the positives hold sway.
Positives: it's easy to learn and play, it's attractive to look at and well put together component-wise (as are most Queen games), you can buy lots of variants, it moves along quite quickly with 2, 3 or 4 players, there's a plenty of strategy, a degree of luck to stop it getting stale, the theme and play is quite relaxing which makes for a pleasant evening, you can plan ahead but not so much that it dreis the game up. Negatives: there's not much player interaction (though beacuse it's light there is a fair bit of heckling and social interplay), some might find that there's too much luck (particularly if someone keeps managing to get two actions by paying the correct cash), if you get a bit boxed in it can be hard to sort that out (but then again good play should mitigate against doing that).
It is somewhat reminiscent of Princes of Florence, but I prefer it to that game as this is less dry and more fun. The lack of interaction is about the same, but this just seems more of a pleasant way to spend an hour. It's definitely lighter than PoF, but then again if I want a heavy or heavy medium game, I'd never pick PoF anyway, so in that sense there isn't such a direct comparison - I might well pick Alhambra when a light-medium game is required.
This is an expansion with four different elements and is particularly useful if you are playing with 5 or 6 players, where it tends to remove some randomness. It works ok with 4 players too, but I wouldn't bother with it when there are only 2 or 3 players. Some variants are better than others:
Vizier's Favour: this is a queue jumping variant. You get a chit which you can flip over, but cannot use again unless you take an action on a future turn to flip it back. Nice!
Office of Exchange: this is a card you can take that allows you to spend 2 colours of money to buy an item. It has limited use as written, but I like Versikto's idea about giving every player a card for this at the start of play and letting them use it only once.
The Bonus Cards: you get a bonus building if you can flip this card when you can show that you have the building on the card in your Alhambra. I'm undecided about this one.
Builder's Huts: place these carefully - the huts are worth the number of adjacent buildings in the same colour. Hmm...adds an element that is rather like Oregon, so you may or may not find that useful!
The version I have is called Couronne, which is a sort of cross between pool, air-hockey and Carrom. It doesn't have it's own entry here, and I dubt that it will be given one. It's a great game for adults and kids alike and is very different with either 2 or 4 players.
I have played classical carrom once, too, and really liked it.
Nice game. I bought it knowing that I like Stefan Feld's games and also that I like Queen's production quality. I wasn't disappointed on either count. It is a bit expensive and the box is huge (about the biggest I havce apart from MBs samurai Swords), but other than that it's first class.
A really nice way of using the dice tower though this can be very variable. Sometimes you have to throw the cubes on gently and sometimes really go for it. Cubes don't tend to come out when you want them to...but then that's partly the point. As in all the best games of this type, you want to do more than you can.
It's pretty to look at, the boats part of the game makes you feel that there is a good theme and it last about the right length of time for a game of this type.
I found it more fun than something like Agricola or Caylus, whilst still having plenty of meat. I hope it catches on here like they did.
I wasn't overly impressed by my first play. It's got very a very difficult and rather dull rule book, the game is quite dry and perhaps overly busy and hard to keep a track of - and it goes on too long for what it is with 4 players. It's very hard to plan as you just have to react to what the other players do - even as regards their passing or not - and how the cards come out and where you sit. You can gather resources for instance, but then they may be no good if someone else moves the camel. The artwork is painful and hard to fathom. I will give it another go with the expansion, but it's the first game by the company that just seemed rather dull.
This is a great kids' stacking game and is almost THE perfect stocking filler for ages 4-8. Adults have a lot of fun with it too, that's for sure. It's cettainly a lot cuter and quicker to set up and play than Jenga, so go on, get a copy...you know it makes sense!
A set collection game that's maybe a little like Medici and a little like Felix...there's also even a touch of Coloretto in there. It's quicker than the first two and about the same as the third. The artwork is good (very similar to Felix), but I recommend the deluxe version (with the medals) as this makes the game much more fun and appealing (if not adding to the game-play as such).
Recommended for end-of-evening game groupings or for family/Christmas play.
On the postive side, this can be tremendous fun. There's a lot going on and much to think about. You can win lots of ways, it's elegant, it's quick, it looks good, the board has two sides, the rules are well written, it can be very edgy. It's also easy to learn, but not to master. Further, the roundel is a clever and fun mechanism, whilst the know-hows and simple battle system add much to the game.
On the negative side, the early game and middle game are a LOT more interesting than the end game, which can come out of nowhere and be very short - things may finish in a flash. Also, the end is rather a "bash 'em up" feast, and like a lot of such empire games, if you're stuck in the middle it's not so good, especially if you allow the folks in the corners to make non-aggression pacts. In fact in that respect, this game can be worse than say, SoE, CoE or Vinci.
Despite the negatives, I enjoyed this and am very keen to play again. I think it's better than Vinci, for instance, and maybe my rating could rise to an 8, though it's limitations will ultimately stop me rating it as a 9 or 10.
I found this disappointing. It seems like there is a great game trying to get out, but it just doesn't quite manage it. In a way, it could have been a bit like Pirate's Cove for Stags - move around the board getting what you want, avoiding and fighting, having lots of choices for about 12 turns...great theme. It falls short of that. Having said that, I've only played it once, so I may react better to it next time.
The game would benefit from slightly more engaging combat. OK, so you only need to win one fight or get someone else to retreat, but even so an extra fight here and there would make things more interesting. Our group suggests one of these would work:
1. Have some random, non-moving, stags that you can fight. These would appear at various times and be worth a hidden strength value (this is a bit like the LPs in Pirate's Cove) 2. Have a rule that you have a chance of failing to evade on the bottom level of land. Roll the die. If it's your colour, you fail to evade. Middle row you always evade, top row you can never evade. 3. Have some power chits (in addition to food tokens) for each player at the start. When these are gone they're gone, but you can use them in combat until then.
I realise that this is supposed to be a light game, but even so the combat could be more interesting. Pick one of these suggestions and it might help. I would raise my rating if one of them was used.
The bits are of course, wonderful and I also like the mechanism by which the does move up at the end of each round. That makes it harder to chase them and food at the same time.
Has to be one of the easiest games in the world to understand. Everyone enjoys it. I have the first 2 expansions as well. Next to Cranium, I'd say it was the best party game...but it's a lot quicker than Cranium. If you want an easy party game that's a lot of fun then this is it, if you want something a little more challenging and varied, but just as daft, then I'd go with Cranium...but these are the best two of scores of Party Games that I've played.
Great fun! The theme is great. You have to plan your aqueducts and know when to stop pushing for a longer one. If you get it right you feel a little like Archimedes. The fact that YOU are in almost total control of your architectural-destiny helps that feeling along.
The art work is some of the most attractive in board-gaming.
This may be the most detailed of the Panzerblitz series, but I don't really enjoy the period as much as WW2 and the sides are less interesting - Israel is pretty strong.
After recently playing this again for the first time in almost 30 years, I can say that I still prefer micro-tank warfare - as I did then. The rules for that are much better and more fun.
I'd say this game is ok at best, when using the advanced rules, and it's not something I'd want to revisit a second time. And don't bother with the basic rules - boy are they a pile of pants - utterly unrealistic and silly.
Really enjoyed this game. It is quite abstract, but it's a lot of fun. there could be a tendency towards AP with the wrong players, but providing you're intlerant of that as a group and play a reasonably fast game, this is good.
Lots of choices. Elements of Princes of Florence and Samurai, whilst some of the pieces reminded me of Africa.
This is a really good quality, heavy wargame. I say heavy because there's lots of charts. Actually, it's not that hard to play, but I suppose those who'd never done anything like it before might find it tough.
And, I prefer this to AHs Panzer Blitz series. Why? It's simple really - this is very much like playing Micro Tanks, and I love mirco-tanks. Indeed you could use 1/300th scale tanks instead of the counters here and the game would work brilliantly.
It's a lot of fun and if you like tanks and the old style wargame where you get a ton of charts and a shed load of detail and you feel you can handle that, you'll probably love this one.
Enjoyable romp through a famous battle. And yes, you can win as the Brits! It's important to keep a track of which bridges get blown and to keep an eye open for where the Germans might exit and enter of the sides of the map -that can be sneaky.
Light, fun and full of twists and turns. It is more luck based than TtR (to which it is often compared) but also more edgy and not as linear. I enjoy this game very much - mainly for the theme's integration into the mechanics - but it is not in the very top rank of light/family games.
There are lots of interesting mechanics - the Detective to stymie others, the need to go first sometimes (and the consequent need not to go last), the risk of picking up an event card and finding it's a blue one, needing not to be last to finish no matter how quickly you're completing the individual legs, the decision of whether to roll the die again with a balloon card.
It's a nice game and one that will have lots of replay value and be useful to play with a family growing up as well as with adults.
Fairly decent Euro. Didn't find anything to dislike about it or rave about either. The wells seem to be a good tactic but are also quite hard to build. It's main problem is one of analysis paralysis...easily resolved by use of an egg timer.
I've so far only played this a few times, but I've really enjoyed it and found that the game had some great mechanics. Seeing that I like ships, I was more interested in this than I would have been in Show Manager, and I think that the cards are really attractive and well made, as are all of the other parts.
I like the fact that there are 5 columns to play cards in and that only 4 will be used per game - and that the ones that have highest victory points at the top, have the lowest at the bottom and Vice Versa. That's really well thought out. Obviously, you have to try and pick up low cards as often as possible to conserve money. I guess it would be very hard to get all 8 cruises as bonus scorers in a two player game. It's usually worth picking up a card that you don't need immediately if it looks like it gives you lots of options or hampers another player. Nice game. Hope to play it more soon.
Reasonable but not as good as I was hoping. It has overtones of Settlers, Durch de Wuste and even Ticket to Ride (making long links and drawing cards as an option - and playing 2 cards if you haven't got the right one is a bit like drawing a loco). It's low on inter-action though, and you sometimes have to be the one to block to stop someone connecting the temples to gain a win, yet the cost of doing that is often large in terms of where it leaves you. I found it a high-mediumish brain-burner, but with less fun attached than other such games. I also found it a bit dry and even arid at times. Not a bad game, and I much prefer it to Settlers, but it's not as good as the other games I mentioned here.
It's pretty similar to Apples to Apples but perhaps more silly and less thought-provoking. After a few bottles of beer it's fun, especially if someone comes out with an odd or saucy word to match.The element of slapping you hand down on a card first makes for hilarity and sore wrists.
I don't know what it is about Wallace's economic games, but by and large, I don't think that they're half as much fun as his Waros. On the negative side, this is dry, prone to AP, rather long to get into at the start, has fiddly rules (though the play is easier than the rules suggest), has little interaction, though buying factories ahead of the others on the track and selling some at the right time can create some nice screwage. Perhaps it'll grow on me, but equally, it might not. Just not quite enough fun for me, though it's tight and well-designed enough.
Hmm...there's not much to this - even less than its close cousin The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game. But this is a more glossy product and I prefer the chariot racing theme.
Essentially there's precious little in the way of Strategy, and some very obvious tactics, but even so, I found myself enjoying this - but I wouldn't want to play it too often. As a race game, for instance, Mississippi Queen is much more interesting.
I think children from about 6 up would enjoy it though, and I can see teenagers loving it...and so maybe that's the best place for it - a teenagers and family game. Just the sort of thing that your kids could take into school on the last day of term.
Certainly a very beautiful game. Like, I suspect, every other owner I bought it as much for that as the game play. I wasn't disappointed. The quality of the pieces is very good and I was delighted to see that the base of the game is also the box and that the pieces are stored within it.
As for the game itself - well the English translation of the rules isn't that clear. For one thing, it says that the game ends after the last (22nd) piece I played. Well, in the games I've played so far, it's not proved possible to place all 22 pieces. I guess maybe something was lost in translation, and in any case there's plenty of game there without having to place all the pieces!
Summing up the game play - fans of games like Tetris, Blokus and Cathedral will certainly like it. It plays a little like all of them, but is it's own thing as well. It'll burn your brain gently, but it's all over so quickly that you won't get a headache.
It's quick, easy to learn, could be played with kids and the 3-player variant looks fun - must try it sometime. Yep, if you've ever fancied owning it, then go for it! Don't expect anything as deep as El Grande, but that's not why you'd be buying it, eh.
This gets easier after two or three plays. It's ok the first time, but there will be a little stop-starting as you fathom what the different tribes do and the best ways to utilise them. It's a good one for medium brain-burning. There's a lot of strategy in it, so I wrote my first strategy guide for this Site about it. I'd put it a mite lower than Battle-Line for that particular aspect -I think Battle-Line is one that Babel players would like, and is a slightly better game. Also similar in feel to Babel is Saga (2004), which is in one sense a mirror image - it has the settlements having the special powers and the knights/tribes just having to defend/attack them. In Babel, it's the tribes that have the powers and you defend the territories/towers that have no powers. One thing appears clear, if you like either Babel or Saga, you're very likely to enjoy the other!
There's certainly more skill in this than first appears and my wife and I used to play this a fair bit on holiday - especially in Greece, where it is very popular. You can get some gorgeous sets, though ours is just a travel set.
Fun and has a nice element of stab your opponent in the back. Can get quite mathematical, but that's fine unless you've got a headache. It's certainly worth learning how many of each colour there are - and what values they are. My wife quite likes this, so it does come out a fair bit. I wouldn't say that it was as good as some of the other small-box 2 player games. I prefer to play Battle Line or Lost Cities, especially.
I finally got to play this game at The Cast are Dice and had an absolute blast! It did help that I won - as the Sheriff - and what's more no-one took a single shot at me, despite the fact that the game lasted 40 mins and everyone was shooting everyone else. Mind you, I did have a really good character to go with the role, and the fact that no-one shot at me made it really hard to spot who wasn't the Deputy, which was a balancing factor.
The game plays out EXACTLY like I thought that it would from reading the rules - and I wasn't the least bit disapponted. I had a lot of fun and that was what I expected. It is a great game to play in a group of 6 or 7 and perfect for getting out with the right crowd at Christmas. The only problem is that you can be eliminated early on and that can be a drag...but you gotta love this game anyway!
Not sure how much you need this unless you plan on having more players, but nonetheless, the green cards are fun as are some of the new characters (though one or two are a little too strong...but you can leave those in the box!)
Not a bad little game. One of those were the rules are much harder than the game itself! If you've played Gulo Gulo (which is a fab kids' game) then you'll recognise the movement here.
So what do you do to win? Get to the end quickly, concentrate on commodity majorities, grab ship cards, try to trade in trading post tiles? Quite a lot you can do though some of it you will have no choice in - esp if 5 play.
I love the Pirates rule, which is a little piece of originality and fun for screwage possibilities.
By no means a classic Euro, but it's fun enough and has nice bits (as do nearly all Queen Games).
Played this years ago at School Wargames Club. Not a bad game. Simple to learn, but hard to master, if I recall. I'd rank it as an average wargame. I'd play it back then and probably now too, but it's not one I'd reach for quickly.
A superbly designed game. It has to be in the top two or three 2 player, small-box games. If you enjoy wargames and poker then you're bound to love this. It has an edge of the seat quality and comes to the boil at the end. I often play it both ways (as Schotten-Totten and with the battle cards). Lots to think about and tough decisions to be made, but it's always enjoyable. One little card play either way can swing it, but it nevertheless rewards a grand strategy.
In no way is this game as good as Brawling Battleships or The Kaiser's Pirate's, but it is better than Naval War (these are the three most similar games I can think of).
I prefer the cumulative damage hits of BB but this one keeps the Axis and Allied navies separate and I do like the different dice sizes depending on how good the ship is(rather like the later, Giganten der Luft). The aircraft cariers make a change but the sortie system is messy and the rules are badly written: "when you use the offensive dice offensively..." hmmm. This made them hard work, yet the game is easy. A bit US biased with the ships. I would have rated q a few of the ships a little differently from how they ended up here.
I played this a lot in Junior school. Then, I'd have given it a 7, I suppose. Anyone looking for something with more oomph, should try Avalon Hill's original Midway. The searching is similar, but then there is a load more too it as well.
Smashing game. What's particularly nice is that the author gives you various sets of rules to use. I find that the ten bean bidding one (knock out) is maybe the best, but some of the others are great, too. Maybe sometimes it can go on a little long, but some variants quicken it up.
Have made some sculptures from it that look as if they're from Salvador Dali's garden. A super looking game!
To my way of thinking it is a curious thing indeed that this game is rated so highly by many of my fellow Geeks. Indeed, many folks who like this, hate Cranium. I just don't get that at all.
This game is much slower than Cranium, it's mostly less funny (there are some hilarious moments, but they are less than 20% of the time); the scoring mechanism is ungainly and cumbersome and makes the game drag out further; the actions are pretty samey - make some wordy, possibly pseudo-intellectual and ridiculous answers that sounds vaguely plausible in that they swim in a pond where none of the answers are that; repeat for 40-60 minutes.
Hmm, well, it's ok, but I bought this after hearing the buzz here, and like with Wits and Wagers, I feel I've been mislead. It may be a well-known party game, but I think it's the slightly intellectual side of it that has appealed to people here. Alas, the fun side of it doesn't balance that up. As regards intellectual party games, Cranium Hoopla is VASTLY superior. For fun, pick several others.
Smashing game. Lots of fun, a fair bit of depth, a sprinkling of luck, a well done theme and fantastic bits. Families with kids over about 10 would also enjoy it.
Boy is the Shopping Centre powerful! Just be careful that you don't let you opponents score with it too easily! And if they're feeling mean they'll plant a factory or park right where you're planning to carry out your masterplan.
By mechanic this is a roll and move/set collection game. In that respect a lot of people here are going to turn their noses up at it. TBF, though, it's not a bad version of this type of game. It may not be anywhere near a classic, but it does have certain good points:
1. It's on a great theme - saving the planet. 2. The movement is quite thought provoking in that you can go in any direction and need to plot a strategy for where you need to go - even though that can come a bit undone by bad rolls. 3. The questions are fun - you are likely to learn quite few odd facts about the planet. And that's particularly valuable when playing it as a family (it's target audience). 4. It has kudos for being made out of all recyclable products (what else given the theme, I suppose!) 5. There are enough cards of the three types in the game to make it replayable for quite a while.
I've got the later version of this and also have the Battle of the River Plate variant. I haven't played it in a long time. My memory of it is that it is ok, but a little over-complicated in places. I remember that it wasn't nearly as clean and enjoyable or exciting as Jutland, which is a similar sort of thing in the sense of search and battle on different areas.
it's very long due to the AP that almost every turn necessitates for a two hour game you could be having as much fun elsewhere I'm not sure how replayable it is.
If you've never played this, I suppose Carcassone and Fjords have a surface similarity - but this is much more cerebral (three or four times more so). That could be a big plus!
I played it with 3 and that was about as many people as I think I'd like to play it with. Any more and the downtime for thinking through each move would just become painful. Hey maybe you could play Bison against the clock...but then again part of the charm of this is its critical decision making and if you try to play it fast it would lose that strength.
Played this a fair bit as a teenager, usually for sweets or pocket money. Not a bad game but there's not much to it really and I wouldn't want to play it now. Maybe if I was stuck on a long-haul flight with just a pack of cards and had already played most of the better games, but that's about it.
Forget a lot of what you think you know about wargames. This has no dice, CRTs, cards, hexes or point-to-points. Instead, we get inovation, like approaches, locales and manoeuvre attacks. Partly because of this, I think the rules might be more easily understood by Euro gamers than died-in-the-wool grognards. The rules are not hard and become clearer upon playing.
It's fun, challenging, short to play and attractive to look at.
And it just the sort of thing to keep a great hobby fresh.
A fun filler that lasts about 40 mins. Thematically, it's very well done - tossing sticks of dynamite, becoming a governor if your rich enough in mines, saloons, dangerous mines etc. There's a great deal of luck in it - but I don't object to that as with gold prospecting, it seems pretty apt. The bidding mechanism is somewhat unusual in that you pass the money bid to the right (and then the receiving player passes half of that right again). Sometimes you're bidding to get to receive money not spend it, sometimes you're bidding to stop someone else gain a card.
Wild West Fun all the way...but certainly not as good as Bang! for that.
Love this. A lot of fun with the right crowd. Very light. Giving someone an angry looking chicken instead of a high card when you cal them a liar can be brilliant fun after a few drinks. Could probably do with an expansion or two.
I'm rating this as a beer and pretzels game - obviously it's not Flat Top!
A whole load of fun - especially in teams. A lot of folks can play and the game has a great deal of inbuilt variation. There is some simple tactical play, and it's perfect for certain times when you aren't wanting to play something heavy but still need a wargame fix. Good quality cards (coated) and the artwork is fun. I also think that the action cards have been well thought out.
All in all, a winner that fills an important place on a wargamers shelf.
I played this ages ago and really enjoyed it. Since then, I've purchased it and am waiting to find time to try it again. I have the AH General Ireland expansion. My rating on this may change, but my memories of this were that it was medium weight, fun and high on interesting twists and interaction. A generally good AH game, though perhaps time to play may be an issue at this moment in my life (young kids).
I can see this working in a pub (if you can keep the cards from getting wet). I can even see that it would have worked on a real pirate ship. It's quite a lot of fun, but there's not really a lot going on. There are tactics, but I don't think that these are very deep. Still, I would play this most times.
I remember enjoying this as a child, and now my Mum has bought it for my kids. They like it too, and prefer to play it than something like Pop-Up-Pirates. It's fun and kids of all ages can have a laugh. There's very little skill, but then again, that's not something that you want when you play a game with 2 and 3 year olds.
I quite enjoyed playing this for the first time recently. Although, it goes on a bit and the card deck is slightly too negative, there are many good things about the game and you can see that there are a lot of ideas here which have been followed elsewhere - I found the whole transport business reminiscent of quite a few modern Euros, showing that these old British 1970s games did often partly predict what was to come (Mediterranean and Escape From Colditz both do this a bit, too).
Sometimes I think we forget that some of the games for the British market in the 60s and 70s were really quite innovative, and just because some of them have now been over-taken by newer ideas, it does not mean we shouldn't celebrate them for what they were.
If you want to see what Euro-isation does to a game, go check out Die Handler - it's this with a few bits lopped off and a lot of Euro-stuff added.
A most unusual and fun game with fascinating mechanics and much depth. Basically, it's another very good game from Martin Wallace and I think that this is one of his more original efforts. There are some great ideas in there and yet it remains typically Wallacian: the scarce resource management, the balance between aggressive and constructive play, the different scoring mechanisms, the special order/chit pulls.
Funwise it's better than Age of Steam and maybe on a par with Struggle of Empires - though I think SoE is a better and deeper game.
One thing I know is - it's not a good idea to build too much next to where the Bulgars are going to come storming in. They can be quite powerful and it is not easy to stop them - though players must make it hard for them to take out Constantinople.
Hey...and this is actually quite attractive as Warfrog games go! I hope to play it many times in the future.
Great fun - easpecially in a group that's had a few drinks. It does have strategy and tactics, despite being mainly a dexterity game. There are some subtleties in it, and that's refreshing for its genre. I like the scoring system, pyramid building, the changing use of different flicking digits (depending on a die roll) and the way that you can knock other players best efforts out of the scoring - rather like bowls or curling. I guess that it could work well as a party game for Euro-players or as a game to start or finish the evening with. In a two player game, we tend to play with at least one dummy player, taking it in turns to flick for them. It can be bought cheaply, and is well made with good art work. The rules are a little long, but that's rather misleading, since this is really not hard to learn.
Fairly simple betting game, though it does have some interesting mechanics and vague elements of poker. The theme is fun and the cards attractive. You can do a little bit of bluffing and card holding, but have to watch that you don't get squeezed out of a tower early by others. Not a bad filler if you have 30 mins or so. I got mine on Ebay and I don't regret it.
Hmm...this isn't as good as San Marco. Not by a long way. Having said that, it, it works ok and can be fun to play. Artwork is not as good as you'd hope and many of the action cards look similar to each other.
Hmmm...I really wanted to like this more than I did. Whilst there were things in the game that I appreciated, it just wasn't as high on fun as I thought it would be, plus it was both a little too puzzle-like and also encouraged a lot of AP in the latter stages. The lettering on the cards isn't easy to read if you're across the board.
Having said that there are some good mechanics at play here: the choice of which of two places to put the first warehouse in, the increasing interest of loans, the way the point for each city vary and also go down as well as up, the ability to knock off warehouses from a city, the extra variability of the 3 additional cities and the different ways you can navigate around with different cards.
Really, this is very well designed! Only the readability of the artwork let's it down there. Maybe if players played faster the AP problem would disappear. I'll play it again and see what happens.
Early days - I've only played this twice (3 player and 4 player) so far. It's better with 4. It's essentially an abstract game, but like all of Alan Moon's games, it's pretty elegant in that it works very well, with some depth, in a pretty simple design.
There's a fair bit of brain-burning, but the way the cards come up in the draw can have a huge effect as well. I also think that the amphitheatres are very powerful.
There's a lot of take that in it, and at times this can make what you do rather telegraphed and you find yourself not wanting to play in an area where you know that it will ultimately profit someone else a lot more than yourself - but I guess that typically Euro - it's just a bit more obvious here.
I think Patrician has partly built on this, but that's a much quicker game. Also, some people have compared the game to El Grande and San Marco, but I don't think it's as good as either of those two - having said that, in this game, you can only add to your areas and cannot remove others from them. Some gamers may prefer that less aggressive mechanism.
It's just a bit of fun for the kids, isn't it? I mean the skeleton is a fun toy on his own and you have to keep those pesky kids on task or they may prefer to just play with him! Sure, there's not much game here, but it works for what it is and with a certain age group.
Whilst this is a good game, it's far from being the best of the Carcassonne series. It's historical importance to gaming is large and I will normally be up for a game of it, since it's a lot of fun (esp if you play with everyone always having a tile in hand to speed it up). Hunters and Gatherers is a better game because the forests are less fiddly than the cities, the rivers allow for better scoring than the roads, and (most importantly), the meadows are not likely to be as sprawling as the farms.
But, let's be clear here - this is the first of a series of superb gateway games. I'd rank the best of the series right up there with Ticket to Ride - and much better than Settlers (but then again, I don't like Settlers at all, so I'm biased there). Art is good and to play it at its best you need to throw in at least a couple of expansions - esp with 4/5 players. TBH though, this is better with 2-4 players.
I will state though that even on the first play, I did see a problem with the the endgame in particular. Despite not having any Cloister tiles in a four player game (and thus lagging behind as those tiles are a real boon to pick up), I still won because at the end, I drew a tile I needed to connect an extra meeple to a HUGE farm that I was equalling the control of. This enabled me to win the game, scoring a decisive 40 points.
It seems to me that at the end, you can either draw such a lucky tile, or you can draw rubbish. Similarly, if you draw no Cloisters and then also draw badly at the end, you will have no chance of winning.
So, I enjoy the game, BUT H and G IS more balanced and better at the end and The Castle is more cerebral (although it's only 2 player). Haven't tried The City, but that may well be wonderful...
I find this better than the original Carcassonne and play this quite regularly as a two player with my wife. I haven't played it with more than 3, but my oldest boy (eight)now plays. It's fun, a little challenging, but not so much that your brain will hurt after a hard day at work. There's a fair bit of luck in it, but I'm not one of those that denegrates that factor - because a genre I love (wargames) also has a lot of luck, to go with their depth and strategy and tactics. The card art is good here, too.
A very good expansion - but the inns are exactly the sort of thing that would have been better in the original box as a gimme - you get fish in rivers in H and G, and a doubler on roads in The Castle as a matter of course.The cathedral tiles are also fun to use.Over all if you like the game, you probably ought to buy this.
A super game for two. One of the best, in fact. I really liked Hunters and Gatherers, but this is better. It's the added twist of having a confined space, the bigger tiles, the way the scoring track goes around the board and the cleverly placed bonus tiles. There's also slightly more to think about than in the other versions I've played - it's easier to block, the bonus chits mean that sometimes you want to score an exact amount, the size of the hole at the end can be crucial and you may wish to leave it large or close it dwon a little. It an extrememly well designed game. It may be "standing on the shoulders of a giant," but it does it well! I also think it's a great "partner game" and also one you can play with kids from about age 8 or 9. I think this is a game that will gets lots of plays over the years.
This is not so important to Classic Carcassonne as Die Steinmauer is to Hunters and Gatherers (where it gives you much needed extra tiles and change of pace), but it is still pretty useful. It helps to make farms less sprawling and makes the game slightly more cerebral.
Fun, lightish game that often has a sting in its tail. The blind-bidding is actually short and sweet and this time the game may not hinge on it as mayhem may braek out before you get to move the boat you won a bid on.
When there is a lot of treasure up for grabs in a small area, there is often a premium in winning the ships that are first alphabetically in that area. This enables you to take the first action and potentially whisk the treasure off somewhere that you want it (preferably one of your safe-havens). Clever tricks of passing in a relay fashion can be attained if you have a little luck to go with your planning. You can also use ships to block others - certain sea spaces are very useful in this respect. It's also important to keep track of which towns have already had there treasure placed on the board, whilst the -1 chip is a super and entertaining mechanism!
A good, simple, abstract game that comes with two variants in the box. It's great to play with children from aged 4 up and teaches some simple strategy elements. Movement-wise, it has elements of Galloping Pigs, Labyrinth and Gulo Gulo...or should I say, these have elements of this, for the story goes that there was a very old game played at actual prison of Cartagena. Whether it was like this, we'll never know!
Great game for families. It's a bit like Coloretto and a game of chicken put together - with a few twists. My boys both love it and the bell adds a lot of fun. It has also worked really nicely as a filler in between more serious games with some of the game groups I'm in.
I have recently raised this from a 7 to an 8. Quite simply my boys can't get enough of it and it is great fun!
The Emperor's new clothes? Well, I reckon it feels like that.
To me, this is the gaming equivalent of Morrisey's music. Many friends are telling you that it's wonderful, but it just grates, feels like the dirge that the old cow died of, and bores the pants off of you.
There's really only one so called "Classic Euro" on this Forum that I just don't like and this is it. What on earth is all the fuss about! I just found it dull and too luck based. I can understand why some would say it was a good introduction to German Games, but it has been surpassed by many others. Lost Cities is much easier and more elegant, Ticket to Ride is vastly superior, easier, better made and more fun. If you want to place things, then there are much better games. If you want depth you've got games like Wallenstein. Then there's the quality of the components (mediocre at best). So what gives? It's palpably not the worst game in the world, but, for the above reasons, it's not for me I'm afraid.
Beautiful to look at and quite a change to play. This is one of those games that could go into the "coffee table" category, but it's really too good for just that. Nevertheless, if you leave this out, folks will want to play. It's kind of a 3D Tetris. I play it every so often, but it's not really a classic even though it makes you think a fair bit.
I'm really split on this game. I'll see where my thoughts go the more I play it. So far, I've actually enjoyed it and yet...there are a few things about it I normally don't much care for in games: lack of player interaction (there's only the possibility of stitching another player up by combined Provost movement), overly puzzle-like game play, systematic procedures, lack of strategy (there's plenty of short term planning and the chance to have a starting aim - eg I'll go for gold or Castle building - but that's it). Like most of this sort of game, keeping on top of your money supply is absolutely critical.
Other negatives are that some of the artwork is really dull and the game takes too long...3 to 4 hours depending how much AP there is. If this was playable in 2.5 hours, it would be better for what it is - still, I suppose we've got Pillars of Earth (which I found vastly inferior) and Yspahan (which I like) for that.
And yet, I did like this, so what gives? It must have something to save it from those faults above.
Hmm (scratches head)...I think it's the fact that there is SO much to think about. Ok, so it's a bit puzzle-like and there is a system (buy this to get that), but even so, within that there seems to be a labyrinthine structure which I quite enjoyed. And I like brain-burning games if they're not too unforgiving (that's where AoS falls down like a building in an earthquake for me). In this one, you're never quite sure who's going to win because you can look behind and then come from nowhere. Certain paths are slower burning than others. I like that unpredictability - it makes up for the fact that there is no randomness in this (save for the set up).
So yeah, the game is a bit like problem solving, and normally that can be very dull, and yet, the problem solving here is so intriguing that I ended up liking it despite myself.
Even so, if the game was quicker and had just a wee bit more interaction, it would rate better for me.
A little bit more play has seen me raise this from a 7.5 to an 8.5
Well, the short, filler/opener type game that is on a board and has little to do with cards is in a very small field. Frankly, we could do with more games like that - Clans, Tsuro, Patrician, King Of Siam, are all pretty welcome! This one is up there with the best.
It's got a few things going for it: it's very quick playing (forget the hour quoted, this is more like 30-40 mins for four players) It's got a fair bit of depth for a quick game There's about the right amount of variation in luck terms - gives it extra replayability. It's VERY attractive - yes that is a plus in getting it to the table! It's simple to learn and play You have various methods of making progress - you won't play all of your peices and cards, so what you do with them is up to you. The action cards are elegantly done and add a huge amount of suspense for such a short game. The event cards add replayability and fun. It works well as a two player and four player (and probably as a 3, though I haven't tried that yet)
The only weakness is that the game is still a little bit abstract - even with the superb pieces and elegance. Personally, I'll forgive it that, as there's so many good things about it.
Huge fun! It has to be one of the best kids' games out of there. Elements of manipulation and passageways, like 3D Labyrinth, only it's much more interesting than that. Also elements of Akaba in the set collection and memory aspects. It can be very mean but enjoyable to drop someone else's mouse into the dungeon, but be careful who you pick on - some younger kids might get very upset!
It's deliberately hard to keep a track of what's going on, which adds a lot of tension - and I love the action points system which is great for kids learning the fundamentals of German-style games.
And the mice are realy cute and the game lovely to look at!
A very useful addition to the game - not least for the box which doubles up great as a holder for all of the small bits of the game that were so hard to fit into the base-game box.
Cheesy is the best addition. He speeds up the game a bit as well as adding an edge. The 5th player rules are useful Some will like the chance to shove an extra time - it doesn't bother me The pantry rules also speed thing sup a bit and are fun.
I wish they'd added the cat (free from Essen) as well, but I guess you can't have everything.
You might say that this should be a 10, and I can see many, many arguments for that. The fact is though, that very few people master this to any great degree or other. Nevertheless, I enjoy it. It is very pure and I have a beautiful Greek set of bronze pieces.
I'm rating this as a kid's game. It's lots of fun. Ok, so it's just a memory game, BUT as memory games go it's one of the best - Shicki Micki, also about chickens, is pretty good, too. It's colourful and well themed and it draws you in whether you're an adult or a child.
The pieces and card art are lovely. If you have kids under 7, they'll love it and older ones will like it, too.
Quite a fun filler to play with kids. The push-your-luck element if fun and so are the cards - and learning a bit of German! There's a few different ways of playing the cards you have to score, so there's something to think about. It's not the deepest game that Knizia's ever made, but it's not a bad one. It could also be played with adults - as a filler or over a bottle or two of wine.
You've got to love those fleas...a horrible creature made cute here.
Great game. Plenty of bluff, strategy and tactics. A little bit of luck too. Colourful board, nice art work on the box, quick to play, cheap, easy to teach and as deep as you want it to be. The hidden sides rule is quite interesting and I like the way the ground that is worthless changes throughout the different eras. It is lightish, but is different and fun. For a half hour game, what more can you want?
A fun, simple and elegant game that doesn't last too long if you employ a simple variant - give a certain number of cities needing to be taken to win the game - somewhere between 12 and 15 depending on how many are playing.
It plays like a cross between Vinci (without the civ tiles), Risk, Liar's Dice and "nuke your neighbour for fun."
You'd think that any game that allowed you to have nuclear exchanges at will must be in bad taste, but actually this game is partly tongue in cheek. It's light and not meant to be taken seriously. You've only got to look at those silly white rockets which you build ever higher to see that.
Nice game. Lots of entertainment and I reckon that it's a bit of a semi-hidden gem - a lot of folks here who've never played it would love it.
I was pleasantly surprised by this. Upon reading the rules, I had expected a dog's dinner of a game - way too much froth and mess and not much underneath. In fact, it's not nearly as much like that as you'd imagine. Not for the first time, DoW have come up with a good game, but an overly wordy and poorly set out rule book.
Anyway, there's lots to recommend this though some of it is familiar: the way the cards are half up, half down in the stack (simple but brilliant), the choice of which row to place your first card (not unlike San Marco), the corruption and the crocodile stopping one player from winning (echoes of High Society), the sanctuary (echoes of enclosures in Cathedral and placement in PoF). And of course, though the game is perhaps overproduced, it is beautiful to look at. Newcomers would be drawn in, but the complicated rules would flummox them to start with.
There is a possibility of Analysis Paralysis in the game, but regular groups can chastise each other to think about their moves before their turn.
It will be interesting to see if the game gets better or worse on future plays, but for now, I enjoyed it.
It's easy to play and learn, fun and quick. Ok, so it's not a game you'd play for a serious night of gaming, but if you've got a few friends around for the night and someone says "hey, let's play a game," this one is a perfect one to pull out. Nobody will be bored whilst you explain the rules and then they'll have a blast playing it.
She may not be the woman of your dreams, but she is a dizzy floosy who knows how to entertain you in the wee small hours. Nice bits too (oo'er, missus).
Not bad. I wouldn't say that it was a classic children's game, but it's playable. The first three games are considerably easier to get through than the last one, but the game gives you lots of variants and there's obviously a lot of learning points for little children.
A pretty light, fun filler card game. The cards are really nice and I like the set collection aspect and the place the cards so as not to benefit your neighbour bit - a bit like San Marco in that respect.
One I think my boys will enjoy when they get to about aged 8 and above. Also one to play with friends who aren't so keen on games.
This was a bit deeper than I thought it would be. Days of Wonder have certainly done it again, though this game tends towards the medium level of euros rather than the light. Yet, as with all DoW games, the presentation is such fun that it feels light, anyway.
The key seems to be to plan ahead. You need to think 2 or 3 events ahead rather than just one. You might not need Chariots now, but do your chit strengths mean that you are likely to later? And, for instance, priests are needed for all of the 5 most prestigious events, so if you get one, it's probably not a good idea to trade it early. You might want to keep it, but if you do trade it in, it'll be worth more later for sure.
The roll and move for the 6 bigwigs is a bit more thoughtful than just any old roll and move and you have to decide whether it's worth playing an Emperor medal to affect it. Personally, I think buying an Emperor's Loge early on is pretty critical.
Although there are elements of PoF in the assembly of your events, Hollywood Blockbuster in the bidding, the game I really felt I was closest to whilst in play was Civilisation during the bidding phase..."I'll give you 3 salt for that gold - no, make that two gladiators for that chariot." The trading is really very key in this fun game. You can certainly lose the game right there.
So - critical trading, thoughtful roll and move, bidding, strategy (in what you buy and what events you pre-plan for), theme, luck, an interesting set of multi-ability jokers...all good stuff. What more could you want from a mediumish Euro?
A fun and elegant game with plenty of player interaction, thought and conflict - my sort of game. It's short, easy to learn yet full of depth and Strategy and Tactics. The powers of the different special cards are very well thought out and bring a lot of bluff and head scratching. It plays well from 3 players up to 6 and is different with diff numbers of players.
Great entertainment and a perfect filler when you have an hour left. It can drag on longer than that, but not usually.
I have the bigger box edition and the pieces and cards are gorgeous.
I really like the theme and despite this being rather abstract in many ways, the theme still shone through. I certainly prefer this to many other waros, but alas I don't think it will prove to be one of the very best ones.
Problems are that it plays a lot slower than is stated and that it has a VERY slow start. I think you could get over this by each player having a colonist and two sailing boats to start with. I'm going to try that, as I just don't see the point of a boring start - ok, it may be realistic, but it's just not fun.
The combat is simple. I don't think it would be hard for those who felt they needed something more weighty to tag that on.
There is enough to plan for, but I wouldn't describe it as deep. There is a lot of luck in it, which I don't mind at all, but some here might hate.
The box is great, the board and hexes not too bad, but I wish they'd done a bit more with the villages. Coloured wooden huts would have been better. And why four player colours that are so similar?
The rules are generally well written and I love the Designer's Comments booklet - excellent! I would say that a little more clarification about sea battles would have been useful. There are various cominations of possibility there and we had to use common sense to resolve them as the rules weren't clear.
One more thing - I like the advanced rule suggestions - they have been very well thought out and provide an interesting series of add ons to keep the game fresh. I am sure that many players will make up their own and hopefully add them to the database here.
I was going to give this a 6.5, but the variants and the fresh them raise it to a 7.
This is very much a first impression after playing only once (with the Martin Wallace rules), but I liked it very much. Similar to SoE - but not too similar, and great fun, too. After a second look, it lost a bit, but we'll see how it goes from there.
I really wanted to love this one. To be frank, the theme is right down my street. I love ships and the the bits of this are so cool, even if the player areas and island are pretty dull.
I found this game rather boring. Sure, it's got some good ideas, but they don't stop it from being uninspiring. All this build, buy, sell just gets tedious. And it's a mystery how and why you'd get containers from someone else's production onto your dockside. And what about the get rid of the colour you've got the most of mechanism (a slight borrow from King's Breakfast)? It seemed a bit adhoc to me.
What a shame! Actually, I think I have more fun with Mine a Million and Serenissima, which are both second cousins to this one.
It's a bluffing game a bit like Cheat and Ciao Ciao. Some friends of the family had this one when we were kids and we used to play it when we went around. Quite a lot of fun and I suspect that it would still work today.
This is Build a Beetle, or Beetle Drive in England. It is a little bit of a dull one as kids games go. I didn't enjoy it as a kid and my boys ask for it only rarely. It teaches kids about numbers on the die, but there are much better kids' games out there!
This is a reasonably fun game that is light in feel, though possibly heavier in play (but only if you find simple adding and subtracting to be an issue), and fairly light in tactics. It's great for kids from about 8 up who you want to help with their mental arithmetic...nothing too difficult, but it'll keep them on their toes. There's a strong memory element, but for teaching purposes I think the first game should have all obstacles showing.
The theme is good. To add to theme, we tend to put as many cows on the wave as there are players and then if one falls off, we can see that visually by taking one off and handing it to the player who lost it as "a wounded cow." Those plastic cows are cutish, too.
The game reminded me a little of Land Unter - rising and falling water, two types of cards, trying to avoid hits. It's not as deep and thoughtful a game as LU, but it is still worthy and I think it will have its place at the table with a good mix of kids and adults. To be honest, Playroom Entertainment make some great games for kids from about 6 up - some of their other games are easier than this. I like their stuff, because it fills a market gap quite nicely and the cards are always of good quality.
Ah, come on! I don't understand why many folks have knocked this game. I think it's seriously under-rated here, and I suppose that there must be a bit of Gamer's snobbery going on. For one thing, this is mainstream and that gets right up a certain type of gamer's nose!
I know that some of the serious Euro-gamers here have knocked this on the grounds that it has taken from many other games, but who was it who said that "talent borrows and genius steals"? Perhaps we should reflect for a moment on how many of the top rated games here have not taken from other games. Ticket to Ride? Peurto Rico? Memoir '44? Lord of the Rings (Conf)? You've got to be joking! How many of the top 30 are original?
Anyway, there are no less than 14 things that you may be called upon to do during the course of the game, and this variation is another one of the game's strengths - most other party games call you to do one thing repeatedly. I got it when it first came out, before anyone else in my local area had heard about it, and about 6 people/partner pairs have bought it since playing it with me and my wife. That represents 90% of those I've played this with. And they are a cross section of gamers, non-gamers and even wargamers. That in itself is rather impressive. I have no other game with that success rate, though, Pirate's Cove and TtR come close.
It's no good with a bunch of fuddy-duddies, but if you want a fun game with a group of friends who don't mind having a laugh, it's perfect! It's seriously funny and there's never a moment when there's not something new to think about. I have actually heard some folks on this Site complain that this game causes too much hilarity and noise. I suggest that they go and think about the state of the world and all of it's many depressing problems and also about the meaning of the word "game." At times Cranium is blessed relief. I won't say it's better than heavy games like Wallenstein or Hannibal, but it does a different job equally as well. As the good book says - "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun."
Cranium is brilliant for something we all need more of and what do some folks here do - slam it for that! Not that there isn't a more serious side to Cranium. I have heard this aspect of the game knocked, too. And, I will agree that some of the Trivia questions are on the easy side - but many are also hard. If this bugs you, there's a simple solution - mixing in the 1st extra set of cards (made purposefully harder) makes this game even better.
Don't knock this because you roll a die and move (it's a party game for goodness sake!) or because your cousins always want to play it. Hey it's a change from the heavy stuff you usually play - is that not a good thing? Works for me! Just shake the die, get on and play and have a laugh, and be grateful that you know some folks who know how to enjoy hilarity.
Above all, Party Games deserve to be rated as Party Games not compared to other genres. I've played loads of them. I think this is by far the best. Hence the 10.
Whilst I adore Cranium (indeed I am told that I am infamous for doing so around these parts), I am more luke warm about this. It's not as varied and as hilarious as the adult game. The kids often need the adults to play along, but really the game would be better if it was all kids.
This is a really good game. First of all, for a Party Game, this is a rare beast - it's hard - sometimes VERY hard. Mind you, this is partly because I am English and have played it with an American set of cards (no one had a clue what a Pottery Barn was). Having said that, 90% of the cards are fine for English minds. It's only vaguely similar to Cranium - there are variable categories of things to do throughout the game and which one you do is mostly down to luck. Regarding the original Cranium - even if you mix the two sets of cards in, it's not as hard as Hoopla.
Here, the Tweener and Tongue-Tied sections are great ideas and really get people's brains working. We have had great fun with those. I also love the way you can change the amount of cards in play at the start according to how you feel the group will manage.
Basically, if you want a Party Game that is intellectually Challenging but doesn't deal with something that's a little obscure (such as proverbs - and there's a few games that do that sort of thing), then you may have found it here. This is testing, but great fun. Recommended.
This rating may go up or down on extra plays...I've only played once so far.
This is a good and enjoyable game with a lot of things to recommend it. However, I did find there were quite a few rules questions that weren't covered by the existing text and needed intuition to answer. Usually, concise rules are a good thing, but here I feel more examples of play and some FAQ-type solvers would have been a VERY good thing. I would advise Columbia to add extra detail into the next printed set of rules - probably mostly as an add-on section rather than within the main text.
The Wintering rules made for a much slower game than I imagined...somewhat like Wilderness War - but this is both less complicated and sophisticated than that game. The latest rule changes certainly help to balance the game - I wouldn't say that the Saracens have a big advantage as Winter is more of a problem for them, and pieces for both sides come onto the board quicker now. There can be a lot of die rolling, but I personally don't object to that.
So far, I'd say it was fun and good but not a classic. It does benefit from being on a theme that is interesting and little visited. As I get to know the game, my opinion may change.
I feel like I shouldn't like this game and yet I do. Ok, so there's a lot of Caylus, Agricola, Ys, Pillars of Earth in here and maybe Container borrowed a little from this one. Even so, I thought it hung to gether well and was a more simple game to understand than all of the above aside from Ys.
I like the artwork, I like the ship mechanisms and the market. It seemed to play quite quickly with 3 once you got to know what was going on.
Looking forward to playing it again and then we'll see how it shapes up.
This is pretty light. It reminded me most of Kleine Fische. It has the same push your luck/chicken quality of that, but with a wee bit more thrown in. It's gorgeous to look at and it's clear that it's a social game and that since it holds 8, it will be better when 5-8 are playing. Good for playing with kids too - not a lot of difficult decisions, but what there are at least give some pause for thought.
A very pure game with virtually no luck and simple rules. It's all down to the negotiation, and which country you play can affect that. Played this loads of times at uni, sometimes well into the night. A deserved classic and I only wish that I still had the time to play it now. I know some will say that it is too cut-throat, but hey, as cut-throat games go this is brilliant and deserves it's high score. Besides, if you play too aggressively, you're never going to win anyway!
Castrated version of Lowenherz. Like a eunuch at the Sultan's Harem, it has it uses. It is entertaining, is tarted-up to look pretty and can fan you when you need a light, breezy game. The point is, it's not really going to satisfy when you need something substantial.
Whilst I'm a bit surprised to see this as high as number 6 in the BGG Charts (a nod to latest fashion?), I do think this is a good game. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought that I would and would gladly play again. There seems to be a lot of scope for replayability.
Smashing! An almost perfect light-medium game that would also be good with growing families. The theme is fantastic. I defy anyone who isn't oversensitive (being thrown into a volcano might not be your Aunt Maud's idea of fun) not to enjoy the idea of this - a gold star to the designer for the volcano-tossing idea alone. Having one of your pieces, in a good position, thrown in can be excrutiating, though. Still, you can get the rotter back and feel the exquisite pleasure of seeing his piece fry.
Play does not lack for choices and hard decisions have to be made. Those who say the first half is without decent decisions have not grasped this one at all! (shakes head). I've played it many times and how you place and spread your pieces, which cards in your hand you play, what order you play cards in, how you utilise neutral areas and how you move your pieces are all crucial to how you're going to do. You cannot win by not thinking. Sometimes you have to more or less kill off some of your own pieces to get a win.
Hey, if you've not played this, if anyone suggests it, you should jump at the chance. You'll probably want to play it again very quickly!
Fun! Fun! Fun! (and isn't that what it's all about?)
A bit of a daft game for an adult group - quick and very light. Quite good for a family group, though. Basically, it's a betting game where you have to guess where the dragon will end up. You have a bit of control, but not much. There's a little bit of tactical play, but not much. Nice pieces, quick and fun-for-a-while, though.
On the positive side, the box has got almost every battleship and battlecruiser ever built. It's fun to play and there are a good selection of scenarios. On the negative side, if you like naval warfare, this is very simple and the battle system is a mite too basic. It's ok, but it's not a patch on Avalon Hill's Jutland.
A fun bidding game, now out in an English version, which extended family members and gamers alike are probably going to enjoy. The theme is very attractive and I think most people would prefer the modern and jokey production chips and film titles to those of the original and much older ones.
In many ways, it's a typical Knizia bidding game. It's not as simple, quick or cut-throat as High Society, or as deep as Modern Art or Ra, but it sails though the middle of those in a rather entertaining way and has enough going on to make it fit for those who like to ponder each move carefully. Sure, it's not as much of a gamer's game as any of the above games, but then the theme and mechanics like the Party mean that it hits a different sort of sweet spot.
I haven't played Magic the Gathering. I hope it's better than this though, beacus eif this is Magic-Lite, Magic better be 1000% better. I really don't like this sort of thing - a rip off to buy loads of cards and then the game itself is boring.
I enjoy the odd game of this but it isn't as good as Yinsh. It's just as quick, but it's not as dynamic or as likely to produce a huge, clever swing. The pieces are great to look at and my eldest son likes to play (though he too prefers Yinsh).
I haven't played any maestros at this yet, but I'm guessing that if I did I'd be soundly thrashed - it's that sort of game. If you're good at abstracts, you'll be good at this.
This is kind of similar to a fair-ground slot-machine game that is still quite popular and has been for some time. I've seen the game at museums and fairs. It's a harmless bit of fun but is really more of a toy than a game. You don't have any control on the play of it at all other than placing a wager on a result that is totally random. Nevertheless, at the right moment, this can have a charm of its own, and watching the horses revolve is slightly mesmeric.
Not much to say about this - apart from the fact that it's quite fun for kids aged about 3 or 4. Maybe it's more of a toy than a game, and that's why I've given it the mark I have. I'd love to see grandads and grandmas playing it!
Hmmm...I'd like to play this a lot more, but my intitial impressions are positive. It's a good family game and has enough strategy in it to make it interesting. The movement mechanism was copied in Pompeji. I particularly like it thst young players have so many choices each turn, but in a manner that they can cope with...which pieces to move and in what order, which card to take, when to sacrifice a knight. IThe game is fine with 3 player, but it's better with 4. This is perfect for young minds to learn about Euro-style games.
I enjoy it more than Vinci, but certainly less than Wallenstein. On the plus side, I like the combat system and the multiple ways of scoring. It can get quite tense and the maths of adding at the end of each scoring round, whilst not difficult, is enough to make it unsure who might just be sneaking it if it's close. There are ways to block rampaging hoardes, though it's possible not to suss these too quickly at first play (Forts can force those holding loads of great cards to play less of them), and then there's ambushes! You can do quite well with trade, but you can do better with measured aggression if you are in a good position for it. The seas are valuable, but jealous eyes will cast their gaze there. Luck can go against you (it took me 4 turns to take a neutral province that should take a max of two), but it's not the most important factor. Like in most Empire games, being boxed into a corner is a very difficult.
On the negative side, it does play quite long (it's easy enough to shave one Turn off to help with that), the battles you're not in can get a bit monotonous after a while and the rules cards and board are not as good as they should be (though this does not affect the game too much).
Definitely worth playing many times, but not a classic.
Quite a lot of fun. I played this loads of time at School in the Wargaming club that we had there. It's easy to play. The rules are simple and it's great fun. Best of all, you can come and go within the game as often as you like - take a break one day and play something else, then come back and play again when the mood takes you. I have very fond memories of this!
As a children's game, this is very good. It's attractive, simple, contains a little strategy and is good for the memory. The board and pieces are super, too. You can enjoy it as an adult, though my rating reflects the fact that it's a child's game. You can play a simplified version (less trees) for children under 5 or 6 and the full version for older children. If you want your kids to grow up to be keen gamers, then this is a super one to buy them near the start of their gaming.
A fun, designed for 3, Waro. Some ways to win appear easier than others and the rules make the game appear more complex than it is, but I do like this very much. My group may end up doing a minor tweak or two to adjust the competence win....when you can figure out how to do that.
I like this, but it's not as good as I hoped it would be. Whether Survive is any better, I don't know.
The pieces are great and it's one of those great British games from the 70s and 80s that are clearly antecedents of some of the Euros we have now - others being Mediterranean, Mine a Million and Escape from Colditz.
It starts off great, but there is not quite enough sea-creature movement and the endgame tends to be too long. However, I think this could be easily cured with house rules: end the game so many turns after the last piece of the island disappears, for instance. We also have the version with the spinner - which I like, BUT it's not very bloody. The dolphins move far too often. I guess I could maybe open and amend it or else make some dice and use them...or perhaps get some cards.
There are strong similarities to the idea behind Pompeji, though I have to say that the newer game is much better for adults, though maybe this one is better for young family play.
Played this years ago. Once owned it, too. I wouldn't mind owning a copy now, but my guess is that I'd find that I didn't enjoy it as much now as I did then. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be! What I do remember was that it wasn't easy to escape quickly but and that one usually got caught several times before one made it out. There are so many means of escape that it was just a question of waiting your time, collecting the right cards and maybe waiting for a diversion.
Good for families and those lighter moments in gaming sessions. Lots of screwage and lots of luck with the card draw. After you get one piece off of the board it gets so much easier due to the extra wild cards you're allowed. Fun, but not as deep and interesting as Mississippi Queen, which it resembles just a bit.
It's a bit of a cross between Nobody Here But Us Chickens and Geschenkt. TBH, it's not as good as either of them, lacking as it does the simplicity of the former and the elegance and bite of the latter. Having said that, I'm glad that I bought the game and it will get play as an end of night filler or as a family game with the kids. The art work is lovely and the cards are great to hold in the hand - large and thickly cut. So, it's fun , fairly easy and colourful...but it does have rivals in the simple-but-interesting card game genre.
It makes a big difference to bidding and play where you put the cat in the sack card. We prefer to put it onto the right hand side and thus pay out 2 for the fist person to pass. This also means that the last one in HAS to pay up and can't pass for 6 mice. To our minds this makes for a quicker bidding process and an edgier game.
There's more poker-like-bluffing in this than there is bidding. I found it fun and sometimes hilarious - all that fiddling behind the screen and rattling coins to make people wonder whether you were really going to bid or not.
It's a good filler for half and hour and for that reason, too, I think I may play this quite a lot over the years.
I'm impressed with this little jewel of a game. The first half is a cousin (no more than that) of Carcassonne and maybe the tile laying part of Hellas. You place tiles to try and give yourself an advantage and place up to 4 farms on freshly laid tiles in order to potentially maximise your score later. The second part of the game is reminiscent of Go and Hey that's My Fish!, in that you try to close off areas that only you can exploit. Unlike HTMF, you don't do that by moving your pieces around but by placing tokens (fields) to block your opponent out. Anyway, the rules say that you should play 3 times and add the scores. I found that two plays were enough, but you can do as many as you like really. I'd also imagine that adding an extra set of tiles would be cool if you REALLY like the game.
It has its moments, but it takes an age to set up and you have to ask if the time to read the rules, get to know it and become good at it is worth it. So, IMO, the law of diminishing returns comes into affect heavily with this game. It's not a bad game as such, but I'd much sooner play Midway or any of the simple-middling AH games, or an SPI (like Seelowe) that's on the hard side of average. That's why I've only played this game twice. On the other hand, if you love massive complexity and naval games, this may be for you.
Wow! Great little game that causes much amusement and laughter. It's great how the differences in property values in the first half of the game, and cheques in the second half of the game can cause you palpitations and influence your decisions about what to bid. There's a fair amount of bluffing in it, too, and there's nothing better than selling a cardboard box to the bank for several thousand dollars.
You've got poker-like bidding in the first half of the game and blind bidding in the second half - lovely! And it's so elegant and pretty to look at that you're just dying to get the game out when sessions allow.
About on a par with its big sister pandemic. Horse for courses...depends who's playing and how much time you've got. Hard to win even on the easiest settings and great fun and nice pieces. It will get a lot of play in our family.
An easy game that would be quite good with kids from 8 up. I enjoyed it and found it a pleasant enough way to pass the time, but I don't think it's the best kids card game out there. I prefer the easier Kleine Fische and the harder Circus Flohcati.
This is very much an initial rating after only three plays and a solo attempt. I suspect my rating may go up a little rather than down. We'll see.
This is a good game that models the Seven Years War pretty well. It's full of S and T, which I like. In part, it plays rather like the thinking aspects of Chess, the Fog-of-war movement of block wargames and the card battles of Mediterranean. I like the asymmetry of it very much and the different challenges posed by each nation.
I may change my mind later, but I think playing the Imperial Army or Sweden has the possibility of frustration if your one card draw per turn is repeatedly poor. It's also got some down time, but providing players agree not to analyse too much, that might not be a big issue. Players must learn to look at their positions during someone else's turn - so they can act quickly on their turn. Slow players playing Prussia/Hannover should maybe be faced with a clock of fate of a different sort - an egg timer to speed up their play!
Having said that, unless the cards of fate come up unexpectedly harsh, there is a very high chance that this game will go to 12 or more turns (it can go to 24), which means at least 3 hours play - and more likely 4-5. That can be a problem
Hmm...I haven't really played this enough yet to say too much. I expect that it's rating is more likely to go up a bit than down a bit.
Above all, this game is full of theme and atmospherics. The designers did a great job with that. Strip all of the chrome away and there's maybe not that much left, BUT the chrome is well done - and not too much for what we have. It's kind of in the same area as Pirate's Cove I guess - the themes are very different but it's the same kind of fun, light-medium, bit of strategy/lots of theme sort of thing. Where this one is not as good as that is in the fact that it can be MUCH slower to get to any sort of a climax. Strategically, there's more going on, but when a fights start, PC is more edgy.
Some folks are going to want to knock this down for having too much chrome and not enough elegance or clever mechanisms (I can sense them sharpening their, ahem fangs, as I type), but actually I'll be fairly happy to see this periodically hit the table.
It's fun to play with children from 3 up to about 10 and I adults can get along with this fine, too. It's not a classic, but it's cheap and quick and has it's place in my collection. It's also good to use variations. We play with the put some food out at the start idea and we sometimes allow everyone to keep all of their food at the end and play the best over 3 rounds.
My mother bought my boys this as a Christmas present. Surprised by it, to be honest. Compared to most games I have, it's pretty basic, very random and requires little if any skill. However, I still found it a bit of a laugh. It was quick to play (if you set the end at 60 or beofre), the new turn and spin mechanism is cool and it's light-hearted enough. The athithesis of a gamer's game, but perhaps no worse for that in a family collection. Much more fun than Monopoly, that's for sure!
The essential problem with this game is that it's at best mediocre in a field were there a lot of very good or even excellent games. It simply isn't as good as exciting or as deep as Wallenstein/Shogun, Struggle of Empires, Byzantium, Perikles, Empires of the Ancient World, Antike and several others you can mention. All those games are similar in that they are comabt games which give you lots of possible actions. Ok, it may be more demanding and involved than Vinci, but then Vinci is very quick to play and this one drags in at about 3 and half hours. In fact I'd probably rather do the hoovering than play this, and, alas, I'm told that the expansion makes the game worse not better...that's one to avoid then!!
Lightning quick game "spot the difference/what's the same" type game with a slight twist. Kids will beat you for sure. Don't play with anyone who has long finger nails! Ouch! Lovely pieces and quite fun to play - if you're drunk it would be hard. Not sure how much replayabililty there is in it, though.
On initial reading, the rules are a nightmare. Since some things are slightly counter-intuitive for a Euso, it's hard to get to grips with it and the rules aren't written that well. Having said that, I liked the theme (even if it is quite dryly done). I enjoyed the race aspect of it and the paying of tributes is different and fun (if hard to get your head around). It can be a little mathematical, but thata's true of a lot of Euros.
It's hard to give this a rating. I don't enjoy it as such, but it is clearly a good game. I don't think that it has any obvious flaws apart from the fact that it's VERY abstract and if you don't like really dry abstracts then it's one to avoid. And this certainly is drier than most abstracts, for my taste.
Personally, I'd much rather play Yinsh, Hive or Billabong, but I can't say that this is worth less than 6. I simply don't enjoy it enough to rate it higher than that.
Certainly a brain-burner, and having played it I can see where some of the ideas in games like Through the Desert and other Knizia's in particular come from.
My 7 year old son loves golf and so he asks for this a lot. It's just rolling 'em and there's no strategy, but it's a good pocket game to take to the park or to a restaurant whilst you're waiting for food. As such, it has it's uses.
Definite mixed feelings here. I wasn't that struck on it - too many different cards, which for such a simple game is a bit confusing and maybe burdensome. There is a simple fun game, buried in the long rough here. Having said that, my son (7) loves it - though he needed help with the cards on the first few plays. So, it can't be too bad - yeah, a 5's about right!
I think this is going to be one of my favourites as I play it more and more. I was very impressed with its depth and elegance. There are lots of things to think about and the mechanics are well integrated.
It reminded me of San Marco in many respects - the area control and mess-up-you-neighbour mechanisms are similar and some of the cards do the same sorts of things. Having said that, San Marco is a much quicker game with less, though still significant depth, but possibly slightly more elegance (it's simpler and works with less big shifts).
Which is preferable may come down to the number of players available at the time.
Whether this one is of any use to you really does come down to three things: how many people are playing, how much of a stickler you are for original games only, hw mnya times you've played the original. Assuming that you have played the original many times and are not one of those folks who hates all or nearly all expnasions, then this isn't bad with 5 players and it may work with 4 if you prune it very hard.
The ship is great in a 5 player - you won't get the King much as it'll be shared around and having the ship makes the game more dynamic. You may as well have the jail though it is of much less interest. Portugal works very well with the crowding of 5 players.
It's then a matter of whether you want to heavily prune Deck 6 or leave it as is. I took two cards out (Stop Action, which seems to me likely to cause game-ruining frustration and Revolution. I probably could have taken out another 3 or 4). I quite liked the Queen and Jester (as did all of my group), but I can see that some players woluldn't.
"Ah, Glasshopper, come closer while I teach you the secrets of the universe."
"You have to remember to flick your insects from a hard surface, my son, or your work will be in vain. Now go and meditate on the meaning of life and practise your flicks, and may peace and prosperity of the soul be yours"
A good addition to a good system and there are lots of interesting scenarios here. There are the usual good quality, attractive components. Even so, it's my least favourite of the GWAS system. But, if you want to recreate Tsushima or if pre-dreadnought battleships are your thing, then you may love this one the most.
GWAS is a wonderful system for playing Naval Wargames anywhere from the pre-dreadnought era to Washington Treaty-What-ifs.
Watch out for the minor print errors on the hit box records! A visit to the Web-Grognards Web site will sort you out on those. Use as many of the optional rules as you like. It's a super system, well made and addictive and you'll want to buy more.
Well, I like the GWAS system and this fits into it well enough. The pieces and scenarios here are good, though it'll take me a LONG time to plough through all of them. The battle system is poor, but the scenarios, detail on hit sheets and ability to play Campaigns are all very good.
These what ifs are a lot of fun and some of the ships in here could have been pretty awesome. The Japanese Type 13s have long been a favourite - I reckon that if they'd have been built they would have been some ship even in WW2 - though, of course, the casemate secondary armament was very backward looking.
Some good scenarios pitting behemoths against each other here.
This is a great game for adults to play with children. It's fun and easy to understand. My almost-three year old got the hang of it in no time. Both of my boys ask to play this a lot and me and my wife are happy to oblige. Little fingers do have an advantage and my three year old has the knack of being able to rummage through the bowl, knock everything all over the place, pick out the right egg and still leave the egg-alarm upright...now when I try that!
The components are lovely, though perhaps the game is a trifle over-priced for what you get. Nevertheless, I heartily recommend this and I think that it could even come out at a pizza night with some friends after a few bottles of wine. It's fun!
There's a lot going on and I think it's the best Rondel game I've played so far - though I haven't got to Navegador yet. Lovely board and bits and great that you get two sides to it. I am wondering whether it will appear at little too jig-saw-puzzly and scripted in time, but we'll see. That may not be a problem. I also liked the screwage involved in building ships to knock others ships pout of the port - especially if you employ the captain. I can see myself trying different things each time I play, so that's a good sign.
This is one of those games whose legend precedes it. It's postion as a wargaming super-star is almost akin to that of Hannibal himself in generalship. What I've discovered over the dozen plays I've had so far, is that this reputation is justified, for this is a game worthy of endless replaying and which is full of huge subtleties and depths. And yet somehow the rules, though long at the first read, click together pretty nicely and the whole thing seems constantly very rational. Of course, the War covered is one of the most famous in history and I must say that the designers got it about right in their interpretation.
I particularly like the way the card system can be used to do so many things and that it is much harder to move as well as fight with certain generals. The naval rules are simple but elegant and the battle cards keep you on the edge of your seat. So far, I have detected a slight advantage to the Carthiginian player, but there are those who say the opposite...so what do I, a mere beginner know? I look forward to playing this game scores of times! My fourth play moved this up from a 9.5 to a 10 and I haven't looked back on that since. A great game, but I know it's costly to obtain these days. The forthcoming reprint will bring a whole new army of fans to this gem of a game. If you have any interest in wargaming, if I were you, I'd grab it.
Kind of a classic euro. I liked it and would play again, but it seems that certain portions of the board tend to get a lot more action than others. I've only played one side of the board though, so maybe that would change? Plenty to think about.
For me, without a doubt, the best card game going. I enjoy Whist and Poker, too, but this one has more depth than those and much more lightness than Bridge. I've probably played this more than any other game on the planet. Have had several groups of regular players and played many, many times in pubs. I prefer the English rules, where each heart is worth it's point value - so Jack to Ace is worth 11-14. Having said that, I've played the American version (all hearts worth only 1) many times, too. I usually use the 10 of diamonds, which is worth minus 10 to your score. That adds a twist, but it's very hard to win! Rollicking fun. Decisions at every turn. What do you pass? Can you void in a suit? Can you force another player's cards out? Can you shoot the Moon? Lovely!
Reasonably good light game that plays really quickly. It's as much about tile placement and card play as it is about wargaming. There's a lot of luck in it but a fair amount of strategy, too. A good one to take on holiday for a quick evening play.
Shucks, how can you diss a phenomenon? Nah, it's alright, but I'm gonna be generous here and say that it has its uses and is ok with certain groups. TBH, I sooner not play this and would prefer to play historical figures or a decent older-style wargame.
Smashing game to play with kids from about aged 4. They'll love it and so will you. It's got easy rules, but there's a fair bit of simple strategy in it and it's cute to look at. You can really think hard about what you're going to do, but it's better to play fairly quickly, of course. And it's easy to do variations by playing KO - 4 players start and the weakest drops out each round until there's 2, or by varying the initial tile set up. I reckon it would work great if you made extra tiles, too, and you could even have a few different fish values in there - lots of scope if you want it...BUT this game works brilliantly as it IS.
Tremendous fun. Sort of a heavier and more cut-throat cousin of For Sale, but unlike it's milder, sillier cousin, this one might turn up and bash you across the head if you don't play extremely cannily. It can be edgy and tense, despite its speed of play. And you can easily lose on a ite break or by having too little money at the end. It's one of those really - it's as easy to throw it as it is to win it and you can end up making other's lives easy if your not careful. I like it very much, but it's maybe not quite so much fun as For Sale, though it's certainly more brain-burning.
This game has loads going for it: it's fun; it requires you to think, but not too much that your brain hurts; it has lovely components (Franjos version) and looks great out on the coffee table - bet lots of visitors will want to play; it plays well with 2-4 and even works as a fun solo game*; the referee Kangeroo adds a real twist and a touch of MENSA-type thinking to it (but I don't mean that in an off-putting way... This is NOT a heavy game). Another advantage is that it can be had cheaply if you go to the right German games shop.
It can and probably should be played quite quickly (or at least not slowly). There are strategies and tactics in it, but I don't think it's a game to spend too much analysis on. Obviously, one tries not to get any one piece too isolated and it can be a bit like Carategena in that a clever play can be to line up a piece of your own, seemingly miles away, so that you can jump over it before anyone notices what you're up to. To do this with several pieces is an endorphine moment. Nice game!
*A bit like advanced Solitaire (without a formula): taking turns for each side, you can either try to see how quickly you can finish with one side only, or to get all sides to cross the line. You can vary this by using different amounts of colours each time.
A very interesting design. It has the movement programming of something like Wings of War (I could say Robo Rally, but it's nowhere near as chaotic as that), the area majority of something like El Grande and the winning rules are a bit like Samurai (you need to be top in two things ideally). There's even an element of Age of Steam - pick up goods and deliver them to where they are needed (where they come into the game can be random).
There is a lot to think about. Luck does play a fairly big factor in that you can just be in the right place for when extra orders and goods come out.
The baseline is that I enjoyed this and found the artwork and pieces to be a delight. Not sure how a 5/6 player expansion would work - I expect it would be too crazy in terms of planning.
It needs to be played quickly. There are decisions to be made, but the idea, in the rules, of limiting turn programming to one minute is a good one.
Lovely artwrok and a great theme for young kids and for parents to play with kids. You sometimes have the choice of whether to join up some snakes or which snake to add to, but other than that it's just luck. There's not a lot to it, but then it is aimed at younger kids!
Positives: it's quick - you could play several games in twenty minutes it looks good it's portable (you could play it in a pub etc) there is a fair bit of skill kids can play it with adults it's quick to learn it's good for the price it's quite fun
negatives: the end seems to be obvious several turns ahead some of the moves of both attack and defence seem a bit scripted it's maybe too quick
I like it and am glad it's in my collection. It has a few uses. I don't think it's a classic.
Very unusual. Played this in Germany against a German maths lecturer (who doesn't like German games!) Not unsurprisingly, he beat me several times. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and the fact that playing the two sides is a very different experience. My version is called the "Viking Game."
Pattern recognition game for kids. Adults can play but are likely to have an advantage on kids under 8 or 9 at least. Kids of 5 or under will find it slower to make the necessary connections, but can still play.
Cards are chunky and attractive, but the game is not one of the better Amigo kids' games, though it's perfectly playable in short sessions.
Not as good as I hoped that it would be - at least not with gamers. In a way, Nobody But us Chickens (which has a similar rock, paper, scissors mechanism) is better as it's simpler and more fun. I thought this was ok, and may come out with certain groups, but I don't feel that it's worth some of the praise it gets. On a more postive note, though, my kids do like it!
It's a fairly nice family games. At first the rules can be a a bit fishy for families. It's not that it's hard but that all of the wishes and how they work can initially make people flounder a bit. Essentially, it's drafting and hand management and a little space for being a worm towards your fellow players. It has a slow start then gathers momentum.
A fun listening, spread-betting/betting game that can be quite chaotic and silly. Best played with as many players as you can get (up to 6) and with children in the mix, but it can also work as a game to play after a few glasses of wine.
If you play with children though, watch they don't cheat or accidentally reveal the numbers to other players.
Have spent many a happy hour playing this. Someone told me it was a bit like Risk when they tempted me to play it. In fact, it's far superior and contains many times the depth. Lots of fun, and plays much more like a light-wargame than a board game. The pieces are amongst the best in a mainstream game (ie you could buy it in a toyshop). It's always nail-biting to bid on various things, decide whether you need fortresses or whether to risk employing the dreaded ninja! It scales well with player numbers from 3-5.
My first impressions of this are good. It seems that it's likely that the best way to play with even numbers is in teams.
The mechanisms are fun and well-executed. It is true that certain cards are often more valuable than others in battle - but then it really does depend on what else you and your opponenets have in their hands.
The closest games to this are probably Ivanhoe and the card playing part of Empires of The Ancient World.
I need to play this again, BUT on the positive side it's deep, interesting, rather original and has high replayability. However, on the negative side, the game situation is constantly emphemeral and is prone to both long downtime and bouts of Analysis Paralysis. I'm not sure that first criticism will turn out to be a bad one - I may get to grips with it after more plays, and thus find it refreshing. But to start with, the constantly changing situation can be rather hard to get your head around - especially if you're a wargamer used to linearity.
A friend of mine commented "the thing about this game is that to win you don't need to follow what's going on on the map in the second half of the game. Just look at the investments." Spot on. The more you play, the more you see this. Weird hey! A game that looks like an Empire game and yet all those ships and armies can be next to irrelevant at the end.
The AP could be a serious problem and needs a house rule - we have used an egg timer for choosing investment chits - you get a minute for each choice, but may invoke the "I need 5 mins clause" once per game. When you do this, the game loses nothing but is playable in under 2 hours.
I am looking forward to playing again, so we'll see how it's score changes. I expect it is likely to be a game that I think more highly of as I get to know it better.
This is pretty abstract and is all about pathways and using money efficiently in bidding. The theme is very pasted on and some might not like the German-ness of it - especially if they have the German edition, which I do. Having said that, I did enjoy it and would play it again. The game works very well as a design.
Just about as simple a game as you can possibly meet. Not as good as snakes and ladders, because kids don't get to learn skills like adding and subtracting, but both of my boys loved playing this from about ages 2. You have to rate this as a game for every young kids, obviously. If I was to rate it as an adult's game it would get a 1, but I do believe that this is a good one to play with young children and has merit therein.
Hmm...well, it may be a roll and move and so it wouldn't satisfy most of the gamers here. However, as roll and moves go, especially those of a certain vintage, this is rather good. It knocks spots off of Monopoly! The theme is great, it doesn't go on too long and like in Hollywood Blockbuster, you get to make films and buy (and sometimes trade) actors, directors etc. It's a good family game and one that adults can play onc ein a while. It's not as good as HB, but it is easier.
A lightish bidding game with a colourful theme. It's quite quick to play and easy to grasp. It's competing in quite a crowded market so the theme is what really carries this and will make a lot of folks want to buy it.
A fun and fairly uninvolved filler. There's not an awful lot to it...but sometimes that's exactly what you want. The cards are nicely done and the game is very easy to learn. It's playable quickly and it scales pretty well from 3-5, although I think it's best with 4 or 5. Not as good as Iliad, but that's a more complex game.
This is a light-medium race game with a bit of piracy thrown in. As such, it's a lot of fun. The artwork is also really attractive. You get a lot for your money. It's not as involved, strategic or tactical as Pirate's Cove, but there is a little bit of that in this with a large dollop of luck thrown in. It would make a good family game if you dare risk those lovely cards with kids. Those who are po-faced serious-only gamers will not like it at all.
Not bad game, but not as good as I hoped it would be. An easy to play, light sort of game with yet plenty of strategy. It does take rather a long time compared to some 2 player games, but I'm sure that I'll keep on enjoying this for many years to come and my rating may well go up with more plays.
This is maybe the hardest game in my collection to rate. I've settled on seven, but a 5 would be what it's worth as written with no changes. With a few of the suggested tweaks it's about the 7 I've given it, but with some slightly more major surgery it could be an 8 or pehaps even (just) an 8.5.
I am reasonably eager to explore the game further with various changes, but I'm not sure that my game group could take it.
What a shame it is when companies mess up what could be a good game by just not developing it enough. This game is crying out to be Martin-Wallaced.
It's a great looking game with a great theme, too. So that's something else to build on.
Smell the cordite! More so than in any other naval game. It's my favourite wargame and plays a lot like simplified miniatures. I've played it a lot and own most of the variants (Mediterranean, Baltic, axed ships, South Atlantic) and the later edition. One minor problem, which I enjoyed solving, is that Avalon Hill slanted it rather too heavily towards the Germans. Okay, so their ships were usually much better, but not SO much as AH made them. I get around that easily enough. I've designed slightly amended hit sheets and they work a little better. The game plays well stategically and tactically and the rules are just right without making it too heavy. You can use 1/3000th sale miniatures instead of the pieces should you so wish, and the affect is quite splendid. The other thing about playing the game using the main battle (Jutland itself) is that you are in a position to win or lose WW1 in an afternoon. This was the only battle in the war were that was actually the case. Although the real battle was indecisive, it could perhaps have been one of the great decisive battles of the 20th Century. Now's your chance to make it just that! Brilliant!
Good Points Revolutionary. You gotta admire the history of this one. It?s one of a handful of wargames that broke the mould - hitboxes and no board, for instance. In terms of fun in the midst of battle this one is still king. A naval battle plays with all the dynamism of a real one. You feel in control and yet not in control. It's edgy and ships may blow up on you. You can make a brilliant move or a stupid one. You get the feel of the different types of ships doing what they really did. The critical hits in the second edition and in the AH General are very well done. With the given rules, plus the expansions that came later, you get lots of battles you can recreate and a good number of exciting what-ifs. If you have the miniatures (as I do) you can add them and keep the rules. There's something about naval battles when you blow up someone else's ship (better if it's their flagship) that is rather like the tossing in the volcano moment in Pompeji - you just don't get that in most land based battles. It's an adrenaline shot. You can play this quick or slow. A Battlecruiser skirmish can be done in less than an hour. Unlike many naval games, the book-keeping is barely more than in, say, O Zoo Le Mio. It's cheap on Ebay.
A fun filler. It's very random though and there are maybe too many different types of bullets, so it's really hard to keep a track of what's going on or what's likely to happen. Those who like twidling bits in their hands will enjoy the mechanisms here.
This is NOT a serious and complex game, so if you're looking for that go elsewhere! However, it is a ton of fun and the theme works surprisingly well with an essentially card-driven and die rolling game.The cards are really attractive if a little thin. The rules are best played with the simple version first and then by adding the extra rules bit by bit. Works well with various numbers of players. It's a great theme and I like the game.
It's ok. Perfectly playable and quite fun. Definitely large on chrome and not massively high on strategy, but it passes along reasonably quickly and has a fair degree of tension. There seems to be a craze for games with lots of cards in them - where you upgrade or by pwers having first built something to improve them - this has lots of that. At first it can be difficult to get a grip on that, and certainly some power combinations seem very powerful - but you soon learn.
Nice filler game or game to play with your growing kids. It's not all that deep, but there's something to think about and it's quick and works well. The cards are fun and you've got to love the Dragon and the mechanic that goes with it...mess up your neighbour!
A fun, slightly more weightier than normal gateway game - certainly as regards the amount of rules. I like the die rolling mechanic which limits rather than decides the game. I like the invading hordes at the end of each year, which seems like a Stephan Feld-type idea. I would have liked them to have slightly more teeth, though. It's also got elements that will remind you of Caylus and several other worker placement games. Perhaps it's slighlty too long for a filler, which seems a shame as it may be even better if it was quicker - but perhaps one could limit time for each decision with a chess clock - maybe not on the first game as there's a lot to learn, but after that. In this respect and a few others, it reminded me a little of Tribune.
On the postive side, it's fairly brain-burning in the middle and end games. It's good to look at, the theme is an interesting one (if a little abstractly tacked on), it plays quickly and once you understand the rules, it's easy to get on with.
On the negative side, it's hard to get to grips with the rules on the first play - it's counter-intuitive in that you don't play a faction, and there are some fiddly bits for such a short game. The rules aren't easy on first play - it's maybe best to get an experienced player to explain them. Also, the start game is pretty random - you cannot make many plans there, apart from maybe which cards to hang on to.
I like it and think it fits a nice gap in the market - a short, slightly brain-burning, area-control filler. Whether I'll like it more or less after further plays reamins to be seen.
Very good game. It has elements of Knizia's Samurai maybe and also elements of other other area control games, yet somehow it feels very fresh. Part of this is down to the playing time. Even with 4 players this is likely to be less than an hour. It's a game where the first 5 of the 11 scoring sections (upon play of a Castillion) can come in 40 mins and the last 6 in the remaining 20. In other words, it speeds up as it goes along. There's a lot of strategy to it and some tactics, too. Do you follow the visible cards, try to go for harvesting crops of the same type, or place pieces in the areas that could score the highest, hoping that a relevant fort card will come up? Nice!
The board, box and pieces are in the top 10% of attractive Euro games. Basically, I think this is a game that deserves more praise than it's probably had, and it's certainly worth buying - go get a copy from Germany...you'll only need to print off the rules from here and it'll save you a packet. And, isn't it nice to find an attractive, fairly original Euro that is deep yet quick to play?
It's a sort of a cross between a memory game and a set collecting game, but there are twists and turns along the way. The scoring makes it more edgy - you don't want to end up with one of a type and you do want to try to get cards of your colour. Also, you can control, to a large degree, which row you go to next by picking the right card from the ones on offer this turn. Of course, you have to trade this off against a card that you do need for a set but which will take you somewhere else next go. The hat and exploding cauldron abilities add a nice touch. I haven't used the spell cards yet - I suspect that the game will not need them, but I'll try them anyhow.
This is a good game to play with kids over about 7, too. They like the game and they like the theme!
Nice game. It impressed me at first. I liked the theme and it was fun. There is a lot going on even if just about all of it is rehashed from various other euros. It feels 80% Euro 20% waro to me. If it was slightly more waro, it may have been a bit more orignal. It does go on a fair bit longer than it suggests on the box and can be prone to AP. Would play it again.
This is certainly a bit of a cross between Geschenkt and Coloretto. I would say that it's more fun than the latter, but not the former - but then Geschenkt is one of the simplest and most devilish games out there!
There's a fair bit of luck involved and a lot going on - maybe too much for such a short game, but repeat plays will enable me to get a handle on it all, perhaps.
Art work is lovely as are the stones and bits. It's going to be a nice change to play once in a while.
Cool! I'm going to rate this for family play. My two boys (5 and 7) love to play this with their Mum and Dad. Spinning the wheel and watching the laser land on a white line is great fun as is hoping that you've planted your energy pods in the right place to win the game. It may be simple, it may have a lot of randomness in it, but it is a laugh to play and I will don't mind at all when the kids as to play it.
Quite a difficult game to get your head around on the first play. By the end of that you've a fair idea what needs to be done to win, and by the second play it's really fine. This is quite original compared to many Euros. It's got a counter-intuitive feel to it at first which will apeal to most people here. It's definitely on the heavy side of medium at the very least and I'd say that you won't get many non-gamers enjoying it - it's simply too involved and has a labyrinth of decision making. I like the art and the theme. And although most themes are pasted on to an extent, you do get a decent flavour of what your supposed to be doing here.
An interesting game. It really was a minor stroke of genius to use so many of the well-used mechanisms of euro action-phase, placement and car-draw games in complete reverse. Basically the designer makes the players do what feels like exactly the opposite of what they usually do - that is play to lose. Strip this away of course, and it still actually the same stuff...you are still deciding what to do to win and having to choose between an array of attractive options and synergies to do so. I guess some people will, as always, state that this is yet another pasted-on euro them only done slightly more cleverly. Well yes, and Dickens was just a writer, and Picasso just another painter. I've never bought that cynical stuff.
The truth is that actually this FEELS very refreshing. The theme does work and it is a game that has enough interaction and detail to offer lots of repartee between the players (especially the hiring of "the ladies" in our group).
I'll see how my thoughts on it progress with play. My only complaint was that the rules hang together very well and are totally coherent, but they were still devilishly difficult to get your head around first time. I wonder whether a brief intro to how things work would have helped for that...something like they have on a player help sheet.
The game is ripe for an proper expansion - more cards and another planning board. I look forward to that.
Nice kids' game that's perfect for under 5's and pretty good up to about 10. Actually, it's not that easy for adults! Several of the items in the feely bags are pretty similar and you have to take care.
The artwork is lovely and you get a cassette and a story (both in German) with the game. You can play it several different ways - a sort of an "I Spy" variant is one. The main game can be played competitively or co-operatively, which is nice. And, of course, if your little ones have trouble learning to tidy up, this helps with that, too.
The sort of thing that makes a great Christmas present!
It's not a great game but it is a fun and quick one and there will be laughs and sound effects for sure. Families will enjoy it as will wargamers fancying something lighter for a change. I dare say some serious gamers will turn up their nose at it, but equally some may enjoy it. There's enough going on to keep you interested, even though it is at heart an sophisticated roll and move. The card and box are lovely and the rules well written (though as often the game is a lot easy to teach than it is to learn from the rules). My copy will certainly get plays especially as a short opener.