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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The rulebook is bad for an FFG game. Too many errors but still playable. Luckily it appears that the components themselves are all correct.
As far as the new edition, they streamlined it and made it more clear on the distinct night and day phases. I think I prefer the art direction of the 2nd edition though the components of 3rd edition are better designed and more practical - for example all the effects of encounters on the cards themselves.
Overall an improvement breathing new life into the game.
Pretty good game and I love the sweeping history on this one. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw on the epoch cards and the worn-out Risk-like battle mechanism shows me how much of a Euro-gamer I have become in the past few years.
While one of Feld's lighter offerings, I really enjoy this one. Quick to explain, quick to play, the game still offers interesting decisions as you decide in how you distribute cards for the round. The variable set-up presents a slight challenge in how to optimize the randomness.
Though Breese seems to only put out one game every couple of years, they are all solid designs. I enjoy the twist in placing your workers and the special effect each has. I think the production could have been a little better to help the game flow and think a better system could have been devised for what has been harvested or not.
A very meaty game to wrap your head around. The flow of the game is easy to pick up after a season or two but there are plety opf interconnected actions to think about. Probably my favorite of the key series.
I was initially luke-warm on this as just another dice roller. But it is quick, super easy to teach and really displays a push your luck feeling. Even the best laid plans can be foiled by your final dice roll. Even though I am enjoying the base game, I am really looking forward to finding the expansion to add even more layers.
An interesting version of Lost Cities. I like that it can be played with more than 2 and that it simplifies the concept of a negative cost to opening an expedition. Only played the 4-player game so hard to tell if the 2-player will be better than the original game.
Interesting game with a lot going on. Seems more forgiving as you usually have the option to pay for what you need or have some consolation prize. The board can get a little fiddly, especially when it is slick and the advisors starts spinning. But another winner from Dorn.
Another winner in the Mask trilogy. Choices are a bit more focused here and the board will get fully developed as calpullis get locked down and force you to move around. Score stayed fairly tight throughout and the board leaves a wonderful vista at the end.
I was not a fan of auction games but I am finding myself more drawn to them recently. I especially like the variety of auction mechanisms within the game. Easy to teach, quick to play, I will lean on this for a great filler.
Interesting Tile-laying game that stays dynamic with the shifting attention of the visitors. The added bonus of the permanent benches is a nice side-goal. Played as a 2-player and the blind auction mechanic works well for that number.
This is the best of the drawing games for two main reasons. 1) Anyone can play. As the name shoudl indicate, this is more about doodles than drawings. Everyone can draw a recognizable cat or dog and that's all this game asks. 2) Eraser board! The biggest drawback in most drawing games is having enough paper. And you feel cheap telling everyone to use the back - not because you don't want to spend the money for the paper, its because its a pain to locate the one that goes with the game. Markers can run out but they are much easier to replace.
Alan has designed another solid game. It is much more chaotic and abstract than his other games but still offers the tension of wanting to do more than you can. The chaos comes from the other players pushing walls and switching control markers. Randomness comes from drawing the cards that restrict your placement options, and the random scoring opportunities in the deck. Scores were tight throughout the game and seemed everyone had an chance to steal the victory at the end.
Interesting mix of cards. Though the cards were shuffled into the deck, 3 of them popped up early and back to back, including the Flux Generator which constantly stayed in the future market.
Theme park helped get more cities connected (since we didn't make it to Step 3 this game) and the Warehouse helped screw over the resource market. The two events came out early and had little overall effect.
It seemed to drag the game out a bit but not too much since there was only 1 actual power plant added to the mix.
First Play, 2-player: It was an easy game to explain and we had the rules down pat within a round. As play progressed, the subtle interaction of picking up cards or playing them vs. creating more empty spaces is intriguing. I look forward to more plays.
Biggest gripe is a runaway leader problem. I think between evenly experienced players, this will be less of an issue, though that may devolve into a scripted opening. My bigger concern is introducing this to new players and most likely crushing them in that first game.
First play was with 2 players. It was decent but really needs more, I think, to let this shine. Because of the 5-player limit, this doesn't usually fit our group. But I am determined to get more plays in soon.
I definitely prefer this version of the game over the original. There is enough other things going on that it keeps my interest even when I am losing. My only complaint is that it can get a bit tight in the 4 and 6-player versions as you run out of space to colonize and have to focus on other aspects to gain the win. It forces diversification, but if forgotten can lead to a late game stall.
I tossed the insert and created my own foam-core insert to fit all of the expansion in here as well.
My preferred gateway game when introducing new players to the boardgame world. They all seem to struggle with the "take 1 of 3 actions" but quickly get the hang of it and are usually hooked after one play.
The only downside to this game is it only supports 5 players and my typical group is 6. Luckily, we have a copy of Union Pacific, which is similar enough but a much more enriching game.
Great map for 3 players. Just enough tweaks to make this interesting as yet another different version. A lot more small routes but with everything so interconnected, it is more than made up for with the ease of completing destination tickets.
Also had a different feel from Switzerland, which tries to accomplish the same goals.
My first and favorite CDG. The game is easy to learn but difficult to master. I find the individual actions to be remarkable accurate on such an abstract level. I also enjoy reminiscing of the events being a child of the 80's - especially once the late war deck is introduced.
My reasons for not giving this the full 10 is that I am worried about eventual replayability. With such a tight deck and more familiarity of the cards, I am afraid it may become too scripted. However, I really enjoy it now and look forward to many more games.
Best family game of 2010. The components are top notch with colorful graphics. It is easy to introduce, quick to learn, but offers enough of an edge in competition and strategy to hit the table many times.