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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This game just keeps growing on me. Finally played it with all the expansions and I think it may go up to a 10 soon. It is just a fun game that makes very logical sense. Get up earlier, get exactly done what you want, but be cranky about it. Sleep in, enjoy life. Buy paint, mix paint, use paint, score points.
I really like this game. But I am afraid my bias towards Spain (I was an exchange student there) may contribute to this more than anything else. Unfortunately, I can't get my friends fired up about it though they all seem to enjoy it.
I am not a big fan of auction or area control games. But the blend of the two works well for me. I like the added suspense of trying to screw everyone through the action cards while trying to efficiently balance my moves from the provinces to my court and from my court to the regions. I also like the added suspense of the Castillo emptying during the scoring round and the "clearly I cannot choose the cup in front of me" reasoning when selecting their destination.
I have the decennial version but haven't gotten into the expansions yet.
One play so far. Interesting, but unforgiving. It will be a puzzle figuring out the best/efficient strategies. Unfortunately, I think it is too long and too prone to knowing the cards to be something I introduce often.
Played again 3-player and the game is infinitely better in this format. Instead of one player being punished with only 1 turn per round, everybody has 2 turns in a round and the starting player for the round gets a "bonus" round. The flow is much better with this slight change to the 7-turn round.
A solid expansion to a great game. EF has managed to take a few tweaks and make a very unique experience in the world of C&C.
First, I love the visual impact, along with the W/D board, or the winter battles. I really enjoy that aspect that screams EF to me.
The second is the use of more units and more involved terrain. The battles are really drawn out and engaging. Most of my longest sessions have come from this expansion and they are worth it.
Next, I really like the introduction of the Snipers. They give just enough harrasment to keep things interesting. If you don't deal with them, they can eventually take down a unit. And if you spend the time to go after them, they don't grant you a medal.
Finally, the Commissar rules are very unique. For me, this is a frustrating aspect of the game as too much can happen from when you place the Commissar's card to when you actually play it. But as much as I dislike the concept, it do appreciate the flavor it brings to the table.
Perhaps it was the hours spent maximizing the US attack againt japan in Axis & Allies, but this was the must have expansion for me in M44.
As with the other Army expansions, the feel is unique in this game. Where PT has its strengths is in the bloody feel of the battles. The slight tweaks to the IJAgive you the sense this is a battle to the death. And while not as interesting as the IJA, the USMC rule activates more units for more carnage.
I also like the new terrain and corresponding rules, such as the jungles and headquarters.
This is probably my favorite of all the expansions.
What a great game! I love the artwork, love how simple it is to grasp, and love the combos that can be put together. It can be a slaughter-fest but in a good kind of Small World way where you can at least do what you want with what you get out before it goes away. Easily the best design from Small Box Games.
At first glance, it doesn't seem to be very much to it. But once in the game, it does a great job of creating the tension and frustration of a real football game.
Though influenced by the luck of the dice, it seems to accurately reflect the ease some teams have of driving down the field in one series and then going 3 and out in the next.
The game really shines with the expansions that tweak the teams just enough to make it feel like you are playing the Colts or the Bears. My only complaint with the expansions is they come out so late in the season and reflect the previous year.
However, I also admire the designer's support of this game. I particularly enjoy playing the Super Bowl challenge each year and helping predict the winner.
China: Makes for a very different gaming experience in that the plants are pretty much scheduled to come out in a certain order. Scarcity of plants, especially with more than 4 players, really makes you rethink your strategies.
Another excellent Breese design. All the parts fit together seamlessly as you build your little ocean cycle. Growth takes death feeding it and it is interesting to see the waves of action during a turn. The shifting dominance and values of the coral inserts enough chaos into a real thinker of a game.
I have been wanting a race game for a bit and this seemed like a great theme. The rules seemed pretty straight forward (once I wrapped my mind around drifting through the turns) and we were up and running quickly.
I see that the game could summer from too much AP, especially with a larger group. It took my quite a few head scratches trying to negotiate the first U-turn. But I also think with more plays, I would have left myself better cards and a sharper sense to resolve it more quickly.
All in all a fun game and I look forward to playing it with more.
Fun game that I thought would be similar to Pillars of the Earth but played nothing like it. It was more enjoyable than a brain-burner and had some unique scoring situations. The one thing I am unsure anout is the massive amount of points scored at the end of the game but after a few plays, you realize the importance of the Civ cards.
This is probably the best worker placement game out there.
I need more plays to further comment but I think this is my favorite Knizia. Though most see it as a typical pasted on Euro theme, I actually think it is one of his most thematic games. There is a lot going on under the surface and while simple to understand appears to be very difficult to master. But I enjoyed the first tense play and look forward to getting this on the table with gamers that I know will appreciate it.
A very fun "deductive" type game. This is easily introduced and explained and an over all success. The only draw back is the limited risk in the push your luck aspect. I'd rather see the curse cards shuffled back in after being drawn.
Necessary addition to the game with more players (even with the base set of 2 to 5). Before, the tribune was the most challenging of the victory conditions because it required multiple steps and factions. Now the new module adds more crafty ways to get victory points.
Excellent worker placement/resource management game. I like the twist on this one where you can get the same cards (resources) at each location, but get them in different ways. I also like the multi-step progression of getting the cards in order to get the factions in order to collect the winning conditions.
A very mathy game. Another good use of dice in a game. Takes a twist on Stone Age that instead of choosing where to go, then rolling, you roll first and go to the most efficient use of the pips. Also nice that there are a set amount of dice no matter the number of players and you can "borrow" as needed.
Looks to be a solid design with enough variability through the available Activities and events to keep this interesting.
Only complaint so far is the board layout. I am fine with the art direction and think their choices were good. However, they could have done more to make the "boxes" on the board more integrated with the artwork. Many games like this have blended form and function much better than here. Also, some of the iconography seems a little inconsistent. Nothing game breaking but slightly distracting.
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.
Ticket to Ride is a good game but falls short for me in two areas: it is a 5-player game (where most of my game groups have 6) and it is just a bit too light. Union Pacific fills those shortcomings quite nicely. There seems to be a bit more strategy with the options available and the tension is much higher as the unexpected dividend rounds come up. This is fast becoming one of my favorite games.
This was a great little game that promised to have many plays. Unfortunately, we bought Stone Age shortly after and it has overshadowed this one. When we want a short, meeple-themed game, that one usually goes first.
However, the game was solid and offered some interesting choice of strategy. The theme isn't what one would expect of a Viking game, but it shows they were about more than just pillaging.
Sorry this one sat on the shelf so long. It really is a fun little game. Dusted it off after 3 years and still enjoyed it.
Awesome party game. There are a few of us in the group that love trivia but since the others can't compete, prefer not to select those games. This is a perfect fit for both groups. We enjoy the challenge of the tough questions while they enjoy betting on our often conflicting answers. Since teh questions are so far out there, we spend as much time discussing the answers as we do playing. A truly socializing success.
This is the most refreshing game I think I have every played. The use of the dice is a clever twist that allows one more control over the luck factor. There is also so many paths to score points. When the dice don't favor me, I can stay in the game with card draws. Gold elludes me, I can focus on the caravan. Not getting the neighborhoods I need, just build. I think I have used a different strategy everytime I won. It's fresh, it's fast, and it's lots of fun.