Plays the same as Africa, the only one in teh series I had played before. Hawaii and Alaska seem interesting but no one took them so hard to tell what impact they have. The map is more familiar to me, which was bad as I forgot to check colors of neighboring states.
Secret Santa 2007 Gift! Fun game. Similar appearance to its cousin, Twilight Struggle, but different gameplay. It's a little hard to know where you stand in the game (unless you can calculate states in your head or have a computer handy). The break up of the debates and the elections help the game move along and feel like you have mini-goals throughout.
Improves 7 Wonders quite a bit by neutralizing a bit of the luck, especially in the guilds that come up, and allow you to form a strategy before the first card is played. I really don't think I will play just the base game alone (unless teaching it to new people) after this.
Arguably, this is Glenn Drover's best game. While some claim it is a Puerto Rico-Caylus hybrid, I think it is better than both of those games. Game flow is very intuitive and while the first round plays very fast, it is just as easy to pick up the game from this round. There are many choices to make and paths to victory but not a lot of punishment for making the wrong desicions.
I also like the fact this game can easily expand to 6 players; because of this, I hope to introduce it to more people in our gaming group.
Rating after 1 game just so I can get my intiial thoughts down. Good game and well worth the wait. I am not sure if it is the game to take down Puerto Rico or my personal number 1's, but it is a fun game.
We felt the game played fast, almost too fast, but we were playing the family game. There were a few moments of blocking and taking what the other person wanted but for the most part, we were able to get what we wanted. In that sense, it just became a race to see who was more efficient.
There was a lot to think about and I took the shotgun approach. I only took negative points for not having my fields filled. It was a bit overwhelming to realize all the potential positive and negative points but I am sure with more time, it will become 2nd nature and more-crafted plans will develop. I want to get a few more family games in before delving into the Minor Improvements and Occupations. I think these items will help you focus a bit more on strategy.
I expect my rating to go up with more plays but I am comfortable with an honest 8.5 at this time.
Subsequent plays settles it at a 9. The full version puts the family game to shame!
A streamlined version of Union Pacific. Not sure if it will completely replace the original for me but it is nice for a faster game.
Not sure that I like the unnecessary set-up time by removing money from the bank and removing lines based on number of players. We followed the company removal for 2-players but both felt the game was way too short.
With a few more plays, removing Yellow from a 4-player game seems just right.
Along the lines of To Court the King, it doesn't live up to its predecessor. It's a nice change of pace and uses teh dice combinations differently. Two things keep it down for me. One is the luck since cards come out one at a time and may be useless until another card randomly surfaces. They really needed more than 2 phases. The other is that the +1 chip as a consolation prize seems pretty paltry. But do it thrice, and you can get another turn, which seems to be key.
I was looking for a civ-lite game and I found it in this game. Victory conditions are easy toi explain and the rondel seems to minimize the AP that games liket his can suffer.
The only draw back is explaining the conquering of a city. I can wrap my mind around it but have a difficult time explaining it to others. As always, the 6-player possibility is a bonus for me. A 2-sided board is also a nice feature that allows twice as much replayability.
The combination of stream-lined rules, bold artwork, and unique play makes this my favorite stand-alone game of the Carcassonne series. While I enjoy the simple fast nature of this one, I do wish there were more expansions to add. I have purchased a 2nd set with the hopes of adding a few Carc-inspired expansions. My only other "gripe" is that this version seems to suffer the most from the mega-fields; more roads are needed.
Unfortunately, this was a game I avoided because Lovecraft's mythos was completely foreign to me. The artwork and co-op nature made me bite. I was happy to find a well-rounded adventure game beyond my initial impressions. With so many investigators, Ancient Ones, and encounters, no session plays the same twice.
While the rules seem rather complex, I found that they were fairly easy to grasp within a play or two. There is still a need to remember all the maintenance, but it doesn't kill the game if you forget here and there.
I completed the collection by grabbing all the expansions. However, I am still enjoying the base game too much and want to continue to explore as much of it as I can.
I love Arkham Horror and would put it in my Top 5 games of all time. Curse of the Dark Pharaoh means well but falls short of the mark. There are too many unclear issues to resolve (confusing encounters, misprints, etc.) and a lot of awkward parts (scrambling to find pieces, looking for investigators not in the game. etc.). Some elements could have been treated differently - like making the Exhibit Items Unique Items instead. It seems that this was more of a fan-created expansion than an official product. But for all its short-comings, it is still playable. As an AH-fan, I would recommend it but I would rank it at the bottom of the expansions produced.
Two ways to play: Visiting and Permanent Exhibits. The Visiting method is supposed to highlight the expansion by removing all the basic encounters and alternating Mythos cards every otehr round. I didn't feel it showcased it too much so I will stick with the Permanent Exhibit when I play with it in the future. I also need to try the Herald version available to print from FFG's webpage. I think they will helop correct some of the unbalances between teh Exhibit and Unique Item deck.
2nd on my wishlist for AH expansions. I want them all eventually but figured I would go in the order they were produced. Plus, the base game is already more than my kitchen table can accomodate. Dunwich might be too big for the whole kitchen!
A very engaging game. It begins rough as cash dries up quickly but setting yourself up for the end game with multiple harvests is where this becomes rewarding. It seems this will surpass Agricola, especially in the 2-player version, with just a couple more plays.
I definitely prefer the drafting and recycling of cards over Agricola.
An interesting little "filler." I was curious why it was rated so highly when the turn options seemed so simple. But it makes for some intriguing decisions as you decide whether to reach for the next shrine or block around the one you protect; to maximize your builds, or sacrifice for more resources. And just once you think your plan is coming together, more land opens up and your back to hex 1.
Another Wallace winner. Though many tough decisions, the game moves. Lots to think about but the basic premise isn't very tough. With most of his recent games, a collection of black cubes that can hurt you, but these Loss cubes seem pretty manageable. I want to play this again soon.
This just seems to be a game of extremes. You either love it or hate it; feel engaged in the play or see too little interaction. I think the game is fun and engaging and have almost as much fun when it is not my turn.
I also think the game is a good gateway but feel it has to be played at least twice in a row during its intro. The first round seems to be a lot of rules and players trying to understand the effect of the myriad of cards. But playing a second game usually sells everyone on how easy it really is.
My quest for High Noon and other special card releases finally come to an end. I don't usually buy "complete" expansions if I already have a bunch of the cards. But when I first got the game, we played it so much that most of those cards are worn down quite a bit. So I look forward to picking this up to replace the old cards plus get the ones I missed.
Great trick-taking gaming with a twist. Trump can be called...or not...but not by the lead player. You show everyone what you are collecting...except for what remains hidden. Easy to teach but deep enough to draw you back. Quick play that will become the newest go-to card game in my group.
Akin to Carcassonne where you claim areas and those areas score points based on tiles. This is more mechanics than theme. It plays well enough with some thought going on in the order and selection of tiles to activate the vault or the order side. I think I would rather play Carcassonne though.
Being the first C&C game to be published, it broke a lot of ground. While the theme is still great and I anxiously await another company to pick it up (and support it with expansions), I think that the game has been outdated with the other games in the series. I think a few house rules are in order for a few flaws, though it is hard to tell what should be kept because of historical significance and what is improved game play in the other titles.
The one rule that needs to be changed in the future is the ability to order one unit of your choice when you have useless tactic cards. Another rule that needs to be looked at is allowing Infnatry to move 2 hexes if they choose not to battle. The game takes longer to develop when they can only move 1 hex at a time but may be refelctive of the period. The final rule that is questionable is eliminating a unit when it retreats off the board. It may also be refelctive of a unit being completely broken and going home, but it also seems too extreme when one flag can send a full unit with a general to the victory track with 2 flags.
Decent party game. The biggest thing lacking is enough question cards. After only 3 plays, we pretty much went through the whole deck of cards and I have learned most of the 1st and 2nd round questions. Plus 2nd edition did little to correct the probelm if a member of the opposite sex was knoweldgable about the "other side's" area of expertise. 1st edition, if a guy was a cook or a lady a sportsfan, they had this game locked up. 2nd edition, though I don't remember the categories, had similar problems.
I was a bit down on this game when it first came out. But I knew also that DOW wasn't giving us a completely finished product. With most of the rest of the foundation set, this game is finally getting to where it should have been.
While the theme doesn't quite grab me the way Memoir does, it has its own level of excitement in the Lore aspect. This truly is a unique game from the rest of the C&C series and will probably finish as the most magnificent of the bunch.
Epic improves the base game by giving you so much more room to play. Reluctant Allies is a great twist to adding more players. I would have rather seen a different means to mark them than card board tokens. Now we just need more scenarios in this format.
Wow, what a highly thematic game! Some of the downtime (when the space was clear) was a little long and drawing skill cards each turn was a bit of a pain, But even the downtime felt thematic as you waited with baited breath for the next Cylon attack. Although the first game out was a 2-player test run, accusations flew after the Sleeper Agent phase and it was pretty intense.
The only interesting aspect of this expansion is the Allies. The rest makes it too random and too hard for the humans. I find it is just more fiddly now and doesn't add much. I guess the new cylon ship mechanism gives a more regular cylon presence but I never felt the original mechanism was broken.
After several more plays, my rating keeps going up. It is a bot more fiddly and makes it much harder on the humans but I think the theme is even more integrated. I really like the CAG and Allies. The Cylon Fleet works well but does ramp up the difficulty if you just keep jumping instead of dealing with the Raider problem.
I prefer this expansion more than Exodus. This is a bit more tame and does "more of the same" better. I particularly like the Cylon Leader aspect as a replacement for the Sympathizer balancing mechanic. There is a good selecting of interesting characters that do not seem overpowered. Pegasus can become a damage sponge but a decent alternative for locations while it lasts.
After several more plays of Exodus, Pegasus does seem a bit lackluster than my initial impression of both. However, it is still a solid expansion and I like combining aspects of both expansions for the ultimate experience.
I get the nostalgia feel to the game, and for that it is worth a play. But the game can go through periods of doing nothing. Everyone tied so no heroes come along. Or if you get behind in a category, you can't catch back up. There are also too many "take that" cards that can also cripple you when you finally get something to do.
Joshua's First Game. probably Joshua's favorite game. I don't mind this as much as some of the others because it goes really fast. Only the special candy spaces add some luck but it doesn't seem as bad as Chutes & Ladders.
What a delightful game! This is my favorite light Euro. It is easily accessible to newcomers yet varied and strategic enough for frequent gamers. Each expansion also seems to add and enrich the game.
To be fair though, the base game all alone has a few shortcomings for me: the lack of a 6th player, the incomplete feel of a total package, and too short. Inns & Cathedrals make up the first two points while Traders and Builders takes care of the last 2 points. I rarely play the game without at least these two expansions. Even if I don't use all the rules, I keep all the tiles in the game.
So basic vanilla Carc probably deserves a score of an 8 for me. Hunters & Gatherers and Ark of the Covenant are the better basic games. But with the expansions, Carcassonne is impossible to beat.
If T&B and I&C finished out the base game for the complete experience, A&M looks to elevate this to Carc 2.0. It seems every aspect of the game is impacted for the better and I can hardly wait to add this into the standard Carc package.
A decent expansion for Carcassonne that adds 3 modules.
Castles are the best of the bunch allowing you to leech more points from others hard work at the cost of giving up a quick 4-point city. I'd give it a 9.
Bridges function fine but don't see a whole lot of use. Bridging a gap to continue a road seems less useful for roads that see too many tiles already. I'd give it a 7.
The Bazaar was forgettable. Auctioning was just cumbersome and doesn't seem to mesh well with the Abby or those who draw a tile at the end of their turn instead of the beginning. The random interruption also slowed us down. I'd give it a 5.
This is a streamlined version of the original that puts th issue of farmers to bed. It also has a clever addition with bonus tiles and a new concept of huts that gain points at teh end for the river system.
My only complaint of this game, is that the colors are too similar to distinguish the features - especially in lower lighting and if you are a bit tired. If the graphics and been more like the video game, this would be my favorite vanilla Carc game.
This is a must have expansion. Not only does it add the possibility of a 6th player, it "completes" the basic game and put it on par with the other basics Carc games like H&G and AotC. This set remains in my basic game mix. While I don't usually play this expansion when I introduce the game to someone new, it is almost always implemented by the second game.
Conundrum on this expansion. I keep it mixed in my other main Carc tiles and play with it everytime I play. So it should be a 9 or 10 for the amount I use it. However, the expansion was very disappointing in what it offered. It had the potential to add some real unique tiles instead of a rehash of what we already had. So for design and my ability to recommend it, I give it a 3. Overall, I'll place it a 4 and leave it at that.
This expansion doesn't add a whole lot to the game and probably doesn't deserve such a high ranking. However, it is played just as much as the base game. Our group likes it because it spreads us out to begin with (we play a lot of 6-player games) and helps create the better visual effect of the city.
This adds a bit more to the River experience if you have the expansions included. With a few more roads and buildings inserted, it also seems to break up the fear of the superfarm wrapping around the ends.
We play with both rivers usually starting with a 2nd one once the 2nd spring is drawn. If a lake is drawn, we house-rule the option to discard to the bottom of the pile if there are still more rivers and make it a requirment if there isn't an open river hex still on the board.
After Inns & Cathedrals, my favorite expansion for the Carcasonne series. The tiles have a permanent place in the basic mix. However, I usually hold off introducing the rules until the 3rd game.
We all have our favorite aspect. The farmers love the pigs and the knights love the builder. Mine typically gets trapped quickly so I sometimes reserve him for the roads - that way when a iget a "crap" piece, I can at least go again. Christie dominates the trade goods. Somehow, that is always her niche and she usually ends up with two of the three.
The impact to the system is that motivation to complete others' cities is introduced. Farms are given a little bit of a boost and everyone enjoys a 2nd turn.
Nice mix of Settlers and a Train game. I like the elements in the game that promote settlement to the west (free tracks, bonus gold, and moving resource numbers). Also good that you never get hosed on resources, picking up at least a gold if needed. Lots more decisions to make though ultimately you need to get your settlements founded and your trains running.
This is my favorite of the heavier Euros. There is lots of things going on and always leaves you with a sense that there is too much to do with too little resources. The interplay between all of the mechanics is finely balanced. Though I haven't played it many times, the games have been varied enough that I continually want to play more.
I am holding back on a full 10 because I have only played this with 2 players and a few 4 player games. I haven't fully explored the 3-player or 5-player options which I hear can radically change the game play.
I didn't pay much attention to this game when it was first announced. No interest in Warhammer. However, I got tagged to run a game for FFG at GenCon and so had to learn the rules without the game and only a week out to boot. Once I read them though, I thought this would be a good game.
After running it and explaining it later to my wife, I have to say this is an awesome game. It is very tight rules-wise and has an interesting valuation concept between the resistance and conquest value. There are just enough old world tokens to affect all the different aspects of the game while being able to keep them all straight. The interaction between the 4 Chaos gods is also pretty well balanced. The set amount of rounds make this a fast-paced game where you have to strike fast and grab what points you can while making sure you advance your threat dial every turn at least once, if not twice.
This game went from a "no interest" to a must have" in a matter of minutes. I think this is the sleeper hit of the Con for FFG. If it doesn't get its due, it is only because it is overshadowed by the hype surrounding Middle Earth Quest.
Joshua loves the game so I play it with him and will leave it at a 4. But of all the children games, I like this the least. Too much back and forth with too much luck in the big gains and losses. Once the boys are past this age, I'm dropping it to a 2!
One of my favorite card game. The game is easy to teach and most people grasp it after the first round or two. While some feel there is too much downtime, I stay engaged with everyone's action and trying to figure out the players' strategies. The game can drag with the wrong people - especially the closer they sit to the king and have more character options. For that slight inconvenience, I knock it down to an 8.
A good game in the C&C series. My least favorite because 1) I struggle keeping the units straight and 2) there is not a good forum environment (can't stand consimworld) and 3) it is hard to play this one PBEM with all the evade interrupts.
Because of 2, I don't feel I know the latest errata and clarifications like I do with BattleLore and Memoir. Because of 3, I don't have as many plays logged - and probably why I can't keep the units straight.
But a solid game none the less and probably the best match for the C&C series.
Another in the C&C Series, though it still manages to stay fresh. Once again, a few major tweaks introduces a whole new strategical approach. The units seem easier to remember than Ancients though Ancients uses a better marking system.
I have looked forward to this version for many many years and it lives up to the expectation.
Will take a few plays to completely sink in. Looks to be a solid game and my rating will probably go up. Need to wrap my head around transport canoes used for transit and used for control; but I think we played it right.
Production slightly under par for GMT. Discovery chits needed to be a different blue so they stand out (I think the designer said they should have been the color of the game board). Also, my ocean hexes weren't completely glued (front and back) and one has already fallen apart.
Fairly straight forward economic engine game. Cash seems a bit tight though to expand quickly so need to explore more efficient ways to generate income. First play was with 2 and was left a little underwhelmed. You obviously lose the tension of the Office auction, but the final score was competitive.
Interesting game. A bit random but love the bluffing and alliance making. I also like that destiny picks your target and keeps you aggressive in this game. No means to turtle as you have to get out there and fight. The shifting alliances and alien powers keeps it interesting.
Like Apples to Apples but with pictures. A decent party game that I just don't enjoy. It is too subjective like their other title, Say Anything. But this is a game my friends and family would like so I recommend it to them.
Interesting take on the worker placement as you have natural alliances but then must compete against those to gather resources.
The game is a little too tight in that there isn't enough time to get anything going before it is over. Perhaps with more players and more initial starting spaces, the game will open up and resources are more likely to be gathered.
Pretty standard trick-taker. Follow suit, highest card wins the trick. The neat aspect is the special function based on the suit. What you win with allows you to move Diamonds (VPs) from Spot A to Spot B: from the supply/showroom/other's showroom to your showroom/vault. Playing off suit also grants those abilities so you are actually relieved to cast off cards. After each round,t eh person collecting the most of each suit gets that action once again. So lots of moving Diamonds in the game.
The flaw I think is that vault (safe) Diamonds are worth 2 VP while showroom (at risk) Diamonds end up at 1 VP. While it takes a bit of manipulating to get Diamonds in the safety of your vault, they can't be touched which makes it hard to catch up to any perceived leader. Meanwhile there is a lot of stealing going on with Showroom Diamonds that tends to harm those already doing a poor job of safeguarding the higher value Diamonds.
It might be better to score those at higher points since that is the higher risk. So banking guarantees a lesser value to give you a more interesting decision.
Definitely adds time to the game and shakes up the decision making process. With 4 or less, I think the base game is probably sufficient and this only needs to be pulled out with 5 or more, possibly with 2 as only one reward is giving per location.
I am not a big fan of these types of games where you need to process info quickly and react before others. Some games do it better than others. Blink and Beep! Beep! are examples of doing it better and Jungle Speed is one that does it poorly.
Discount Salmon joins Jungle Speed in doing it wrong. The most annoying thing about this is the tiny grayed out symbols you are too look for. Nearly impossible to discern from any distance and something like the make-up is very indistinguishable from the toxic symbols used. Also given that there are potentially two symbols not next to each other with people tossing cards makes it even more difficult to even see what you are going for.
Perhaps if this could be corrected in a future edition, it might allow for another point or two to be added to the rating. But as it stands, that is 10-minutes of my life I wished I had back.
Plays fast and furious and allows for a unique experience that I could only find in CCGs before. I like the quick nature, especially with experienced players. Plenty of variety that the base game alone is still fresh for me.
A fun little "push your luck" diversion. We used the alternate combat which speeds up the game. The game is way to luck-dependent for me to add it to my collection between die rolls and the drawing of the widely varying cards/treasures.
More similar to the original than Candamir. I prefer the simplicity of only having to deal with 2 resources and the match/set of the influence cards. The board does get a bit too tight towards the end as you try to find space that isn't going to be expensive to develop.
Martin does deck-building; and he does it well. I like this implementation of Dominion on a Board where the reward is a physical representation of what you captured. I like the synergy of playing certain cards together and the asymmetrical nature of the two nations. The game ended rather abruptly when realized only one type of counter needed to be gone at the start of a players turn, so this will most likely impact our strategies for next time. Still, final scores were relatively close. Looking forward to another game soon.
Definitely a twist on the train pick up and deliver game. Quite the brain burner to juggle all your areas of influence, still turn a profit, and knowing when to hold and when to fold your tracks to the big dogs. And with most games of these types, never enough time to do it all.
I can finally fulfill my childhood (and adult) dream of being a fire fighter. Great co-op that does a decent job of capturing the spirit of the rescue in game format. So far we have only played easy settings and while somewhat challenging, not that difficult. Waiting to see what the right setting is for a tougher experience and if the luck will even out to the bad side.