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User: Verkisto: Board Game Collection
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Title Version User
Rating
Geek Rating Status User
Plays
Comment
10 (2006)
2
Nov 2007*
5.428
Plays: 1
Totally, totally random. The betting/bluffing element is interesting, but not enough to redeem the game by any stretch of the imagination. I didn't think I'd ever play a game that made me long for Fluxx.

1 play: 6 players
2007-11-27*
5
Jul 2008*
6.245
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This game has an interesting concept, but I have the same issues with it that I have with 10 Days in the USA: The game can come down to whoever draws the right tile first, and it's entirely possible for someone to win the game without even taking a turn, if their starting tile draw is just right.

1 play: 2 players
2007-11-27*
5
Jul 2008*
6.167
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Suffers a bit from the card draw, especially the more players you have, but otherwise an OK game. Really, the winner is decided by who draws the right tiles first, and it's possible (though unlikely) for a player to win with his initial draw.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Z-Man First edition
Year: 2007
6
Apr 2011
7.347
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Having played a few rounds of Twilight Struggle, I was prepared to approach this game, and it probably helped a lot in learning it and moving straight in to it. It definitely seems lighter, though it also moves a bit more quickly as a result. The key mechanism of the game is in the cards, since they do a number of different things, and there's a nice metagame aspect to it at the beginning of each round, as you try to determine how to play your hand, and which cards to save for the debates and the election. I didn't quite make it through my first game, but I look forward to the next one.

The second game saw some improvements, in that we think that we were playing the support draws from the bag incorrectly in our first game. The different ways that the cards work in different circumstances, and the timing of playing the cards, is what gives the game its tension. There are some key areas that deserve the most attention on the map, but it's important not to overlook the smaller states, also.

All told, it probably lacks some of the depth that players find in Twilight Struggle, but the fact that this game is usually over in about two hours, tops, whereas Twilight Struggle can last for up to five hours, makes it a nice game to have for when you have that itch, but don't want to devote that much time to a game.

2 plays: 2 players
2009-09-10
2 de Mayo (2008)
6
Sep 2011
6.541
Plays: 1
This is another of those games that doesn't sound like much just from reading the rules, but winds up being pretty impressive, nonetheless. It plays quickly, but doesn't lose the importance of making the decisions one needs to make to do well at the game. The game plays on a very small scale, but not so small that the moves feel forced or fixed. The random card draw adds a little variety to the game, and saves it from being scripted, as the game starts out the same each time. In our first game, it looked like I was going to have a runaway win, but as we were packing up the game after calling it a few turns early, we realized that it wasn't as clear cut as it had appeared. We talked about our options for a few minutes after the game ended, and that's always a good sign. It's a perfect miniature wargame, and could even serve as a great introduction to that type of game for players new to the genre.

1 play: 2 players
2011-09-21
20th Century (2010)
5
Sep 2012
6.475
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
What I like most about this game so far is the way that the bidding works between the tiles and the technologies. It creates the right sorts of incentives to in turn create some good challenges in how to pick what is most useful to you, and that makes for a good tension in the game. The game also forces you to find the right level between pollution and progress, since the former hurts you, and the latter helps you. There is a lot of randomness in the game, which is somewhat tempered out by the auction mechanism, but getting what you need at the right time can sometimes be a little frustrating if the luck isn't in your favor. It's certainly an intriguing game that I want to play more, but it feels very uninspired and forgettable.

1 play: 5 players
2011-01-31
Hansen Bookshelf edition
Year: 1977
5
Oct 2010
5.715
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This is a decent enough game in the way that the clues slowly reveal the mystery. Which places you visit determine which order you receive the clues, and it takes some careful connecting of the clues to solve the mystery. Unfortunately, the die-rolling part of the game can make it a frustrating race, when all players know the solution, but can't make it back due to crummy die rolls. Still, the mysteries are interesting enough, and even if there are only 20 plays in the game, that still comes out to less than $1 for each adventure. That's worthy, I think.

2 plays: 2 players
2010-10-08
Portal Games English edition
Year: 2010
7
Sep 2011
6.611
Owned
Want To Play
Plays: 7
This is a clever design that borrows the "use the card in multiple ways" mechanism from a lot of strategic card games, but probably doesn't really compare as much to Race for the Galaxy as many of the comments and reviews are suggesting. I guess the tableau thing is what's driving that comparison? I don't know. But this is a different animal entirely.

The game creates a lot of turn angst for such a simple idea, and it's satisfying to see the game develop. It has a distinctive narrative where you can feel like there's a definite growth over the course of the game. The rulebook is a disorganized mess, though, so if you have the opportunity to learn the game from someone else, DO SO. We missed several rules, and misinterpreted a few that weren't all that clear.

6 plays: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
2013-01-08
51st State: Wrak Transportera (aka 51st State: Wrak Transportera Promo Card) (2011)
Polish First edition
Year: 2011
6
Aug 2012
5.617
Owned
Plays: 1
I'm not sure if this card is really all that useful as it is, but it doesn't break the game, either. I don't think it's a necessary card to include in the game, so I won't give it the same rating as the base game, but I won't break any new ground, either. Take that for what you will.

1 play: 2 players
2013-01-08
6 Nimmt! (aka Category 5) (1994)
AMIGO German edition 1994
Year: 1994
7
Nov 2007*
6.759
Owned
Plays: 16
There are some games that I hate because of the chaos, and then there are other games that I love because of the chaos. This game falls into the latter category. I don't think this game is meant to be played strategically, or seriously (though there are certainly tactics that will help you win), but even if you do play that way, I think you'll enjoy the game. If not for Geschenkt, this would probably hit the table a lot more.

1 play: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players
8 plays: 5 players
4 plays: 6 players

-----

Base game
Plus
2011-12-20
Repos English first edition
Year: 2010
8
Dec 2010
7.798
Owned
Plays: 23
So, the buzz is telling you that this is an approachable, straightforward game with a variety of strategies, all of which appear to be fairly balanced, and which plays in about 30-45 minutes, regardless of the number of players in the game. And ... well, it's true. I mean, I can come in here and talk about all of these things again, but why bother? If you haven't bought into the buzz by now, not much that I can tell you is going to make a difference.

It's also true that this game won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's entirely possible to wind up with a totally crap hand, where your best option is to discard a card for 3 coins/1 point, and it hardly seems efficient to play that sort of game. It also seems to be highly dependent on the luck of the draw, but playing with fewer players might help alleviate some of that, since you can manage the hands a bit more carefully. It's also true that you have to lock in to a particular strategy early in the game, but the varieties of strategies you can try, and the ways that the game can be different every time you play it, adds a lot to the appeal. Someone once wrote of Fluch der Mumie, "If this sounds like the thing you might like, then you will," and I can say the same about 7 Wonders. I can say with certainty that I'm glad I own it, and I expect to play it many more times.

I'm starting to like this game more with fewer player numbers, since it means you have some sense of planning with the cards, since you'll see more cards from your hands going around the table. With more players, you're strictly at the mercy of what's passed to you, and it turns the game into a tactical one. With fewer players, the game takes on a bit more of a strategic edge.

3 plays: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
6 plays: 5 players
13 plays: 6 players

-----

Base game
Catan Island
Cities
Leaders
Manneken Pis
2013-01-08
English/German first edition
Year: 2011
8
Aug 2012
6.578
Owned
Plays: 2
The whole "exchange two like resources for any one other resource" is a huge ability for this wonder, and one that I really, really like. It opens up a lot of possibilities, especially if your neighbors are taking a resource-poor strategy. It means you'll get more money from them, since you're likely to have what they want, and it also means that you can make what you need when you need it. I only wish it would allow you to convert two-for-one more than once each turn.

1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players
2013-01-08
English first edition
Year: 2012
6
Sep 2012
7.573
Owned
Plays: 2
The City cards don't add any new elements to the game like the Leaders expansion did, but that's not terrible. I like the extra turn that come into play with the City cards, since it gives more of an opportunity for players to see their initial hand of cards again. I still think I prefer the game with about 4 or 5, since it increases the times you get to see hands again, but the extra turn works just as well with that number, too, I would expect.

The Diplomacy action is nice, if you're not playing a military game, but it does add a little uncertainty to who your opponents will be. The paying-coins action is a little annoying, especially when more than one is played on a turn, but it's not overpowering. It's just more uncertainty added to a game that works well as a game that gives players a level of expectation during play.

I don't dislike the expansion, but the uncertainty added with the new mechanisms will take a little getting used to. Luckily, it's easy to leave out the expansion and play the game just with Leaders, or just the base game.

1 play: 4 players (Petra)
1 play: 6 players
2012-09-18
Asmodee English edition 2011
Year: 2011
7
Sep 2012
7.623
Owned
Plays: 4
The best expansions are those that provide variety without mucking up the basic game flow, and this expansion does that very thing. The leaders offer up new strategies, and give you something more specific to work toward during the game. The drafting element allows you to play toward your strengths, deny cards to other players, and give you options for future rounds, which mimics a lot of how the base game plays by itself. The added complexity slows the game down a bit, but that only turns a 30-minute game into a 45-minute one.

4 plays: 6 players

-----

Base expansion
Eseteban
Louis Armstrong
Stevie Wonder
2013-12-19
7 Wonders: Leaders: Stevie Wonder (aka 7 Wonders: Leaders – Stevie) (2011)
English Spielbox edition
Year: 2011
6
Oct 2011
6.199
Owned
Plays: 2
Well, it's not quite as interesting as the leaders who give you rule-breaking abilities, like discounts on certain cards, gold for certain buildings, or VPs for collected sets of cards, but it's also a better ability than the leaders that just give you a science symbol, or VPs. I can take it or leave it, but there's a good chance that it will stay in the mix with the other leaders, just for kicks.

2 plays: 6 players
2013-01-08
7 Wonders: Manneken Pis (Spielbox edition) (aka 7 Wonders: Manneken Pis) (2011)
Spielbox edition
Year: 2011
6
Feb 2011
6.359
Owned
Plays: 11
It's hard to see the value of this little expansion. For one thing, it seems to be too dependent on what your neighboring players play -- in one game, if the wonders had been reversed, it would have benefited me greatly -- and it's also dependent on which sides they pick. The luck factor in the game is already a little high, and having your primary strategy determined by luck in three ways (drawing this expansion card, your neighbors drawing the right thing, and then having them pick the sides that help you most) just makes it more so. The flip side of the expansion board doesn't really have much of an alternative, since the point value on that side probably won't be enough to make you want to pick it, and since it's so blasted expensive to build anyway. I don't see this one having a lot of staying power, as far as whether or not to include it in the initial shuffle of the wonders, but we'll see.

2 plays: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
8 plays: 6 players
2013-01-08
4
Aug 2012
N/A
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I'm not one for solitaire games, but I picked this up through an ArtsCow sale, and figured I'd give it a go. The design seems fine, but it seems like there's very little tension in the game until the countdown starts to get low, but by then, you've made enough progress in the game so that you're not too terribly threatened by the countdown running out. I like the idea, the theme, and the artwork, but it just doesn't seem like a great way to spend time by myself.

1 play: 1 player
2012-08-28
A la carte (1989)
5
Mar 2011
6.276
Plays: 1
This is a game that's convoluted, fiddly, full of a lot of moving parts, and prone to a great deal of randomness. The bits are cute, and there's no denying that a game that relies on being able to flip a crepe correctly wins a few points in any gamer's book, but the sum of all those parts is a game that takes far too long, and just isn't all that interesting. I get that it's a kids' game, but with all the rules to remember, they're hardly going to get much more out of it than flipping pancakes and shaking spice bottles.

1 play: 4 players
2011-03-15
Alderac Entertainment English Version
Year: 2008
6
Mar 2011
5.943
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I've discovered that one can tell a Knizia dice game just from reading the rules of one. There's always something a little clever, a little mathematical, and a little limiting with his games. It's almost like being familiar enough with the sound of a particular band that you can identify them on the radio, even when you've never heard that song before. Abandon Ship is like that, in the way that you remove dice as you roll them, and in the way that you can choose which die to use on a given turn. I wasn't expecting much from it when I played it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice little game buried beneath the fluff.

1 play: 5 players
2011-03-15
Flying Buffalo edition
Year: 2014
6
Apr 2014
6.314
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 1
Straight up: This is a cool concept. Aside from it being a cool system, it's also impressive from a design standpoint. I can't imagine how much effort it took to make this work, and I can't deny that it's a cool game to play. It seems like it's prone to mistakes (we wound up on different pages, even after double-checking that we had followed the right numbers), and didn't even finish a complete game, but I liked what I saw. It's definitely unique, if nothing else, and I liked that it would be possible to play this over a distance, so long as each player had his own book to play the game.

0.17 game: 2 players
2014-04-02
3M Bookshelf Edition with Plastic Tiles and yellow playing board 1966
Year: 1966
6
Jul 2008*
7.258
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
The most amazing thing about this game is its pedigree, considering it was released back in the 1960s. The game isn't without its issues (it seems like every time I play this game now, it's with a different set of house rules to balance out some strong elements), but it's still a finely balanced game between its actions and the reward associated with each one. I think I still prefer Shark over Acquire (at the very least, it improves the randomness issue), but I wouldn't turn down a play of this every once in a while, either.

1 play: 4 players
1 play: 6 players
2011-05-30
5
Jul 2008*
5.420
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This isn't a bad little stock game, but it's a bit too dependent on the roll of the dice. It's like Shark lite (very lite), but it lacks some of the turn angst that I like in my games.

1 play: 3 players
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2012
6.439
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I tend to go for either a Euro-style game or an all-out Ameritrash game, choosing strategy or experience. I'm usually looking for one or the other, and when I want one of the other of them, what I want is one or the other of them. The Adventurers tries to be a little of both, and ultimately dilutes the impact of what either game can be. It's not a bad game, it just tries too hard to satisfy both crowds, when it really should just be for one or the other. That being said, though, there are some neat mechanisms in the game (most notably the choosing of two cards for use over the course of the game), and the production is incredible.

1 play: 5 players
2012-09-12
5
Jun 2012
N/A
Plays: 2
CELINIAN TRADER: This is a straightforward buy-low/sell-high game that suffers from a lot of randomness. The market is determined each round by the roll of the die, but this can be mitigated by not holding on to goods to sell from one round to the next. Events, though, are a bit more capricious, and frustrating, especially when you add in the fact that you lose a turn when you reach 0 money. Movement is surprisingly open, and the fact that you can squat on a spot to hinder your opponent to some degree is a nice little addition. It's easy to fall into the "make as much money as you can" mindset, but this will lose you the game, as money is only worth 1 VP for each 5 money you have, so it's important to invest in the ship upgrades instead. It's a short game, but it still lasts longer than I would like for a game of its type. It's a bit of a Frankenstein's monster of mechanisms which winds up being too luck-dependent for my tastes.

1 play: 2 players

RATING: 4

-----

INTRIGUE: Intrigue reminds me of a very simplified Web of Power, since you're playing cards to place pieces into a region to maintain control of that region. There's not a ton of depth here, and the game teases you with the option of removing your opponent's piece, but it's hard to see why that would be a beneficial option when you could just play two of your own instead. This has a touch of potential (more so than Celinian Trader, that's for sure), but I'm not sur ehow much replayability the game has, since your decisions are always going to center around into which region you want to play pieces. It's fast, but so is Web of Power, and it's a much more satisfying game.

1 play: 2 players

RATING: 5
2012-06-07
Africa (2001)
4
Nov 2007*
5.806
Plays: 1
This reminds me a bit of Tally Ho!, in that you're a bit helpless in what turns up during the game. There are some mechanics to compensate for the randomness, but if you're stuck in an area with lots of monuments, you'll get little chance to score.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2012
6.000
Plays: 1
There are some neat things going on in this game, but it seems overly complicated and convoluted to be a truly great game. The contracts versus the expeditions is a nice balancing mechanism, and the game is designed in such a way as to force you to pay attention to the contracts. It just seems a little too "more of the same," and it seems also to be a little too dependent on the luck of the draw, especially where the ships and the scoring cards are concerned. Timing is important, but you can't ever know for sure when that timing will be.

1 play: 4 players
2009-09-11
Other: 1st Edition
5
Jan 2012
7.440
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
So, the game does some things right -- it's nice to see the warfare and area control aspects of the game that prevent it from being just another worker placement game, and I like the way the different kinds of people give you different benefits -- but unfortunately, those extra things aren't really to my tastes. Area control is something I've never grokked, and I tend to feel more frustrated than anything else when I play them. Warfare is very understated in the game, but it's still something I dislike, and let's not even speak of the buildings that allow players to get extra stuff every turn. Those are fine until you get to the last age or so, when the difference between one and another is huge. So while it's not a game that I would turn down, it's not one I'm going to be asking to play, either.

1 play: 5 players
2012-01-17
Warfrog Second English Edition
Year: 2004
10
Apr 2008*
7.510
Owned
Plays: 87
GAME SYSTEM: This is, remains, and will always be a 10 for me. After about 6 plays, I realized that I loved this game for many reasons, and I simply can't imagine ever not wanting to play this game.

Age of Steam gets a bad rap for being a heavy game, but it's not really that bad. I think people see that the game is UNFORGIVING, and assume that it must be a heavy game, but the turn order makes sense, and flows logically from one point to the next. There are certainly some angsty moments as the game attempts to squeeze the life out of you, and there are some incredibly tense moments as you attempt to out-think other players in what special action they may choose, and then wait to see what they're going to do. Overall, though, this is probably better classed as a medium-weight game system, with the possibilities of certain expansion maps making the game that much harder.

Speaking of expansion maps, this is a large part of what made this game a 10 for me. The base map is fine, and is a great introduction to the system, but that the system is versatile enough to allow for different adjustments and tweaks for different maps makes the game that much more appealing to me. There are so many different maps, that provide so many different takes on the system, that it's hard to imagine the game ever getting old. Even if you wind up playing the game on the base map, if it's been several months and several games since you played on it, the experience will still be new.

Furthermore, playing different games on the same map will show you how the system really adapts for replayability, because a previous game may have given the impression that a particular map was easy, when in reality it was the goods distribution that made it so. Play the same map again, and you may find that the goods come out in such a way as to make it impossible to make a first turn delivery like you were hoping to do.

Versatile. Replayable. Challenging. Crushing. It's everything a game should be for me, and THAT is why it's a 10.

-----

RUST BELT: This is probably the best map to introduce new players to the game, just because it's the least quirky and the most accessible. France is gentler, but not as challenging, and the Rust Belt doesn't have all the wild rules to wrap your head around like some of the later maps. It also plays well with larger numbers, which is good, since many of the later maps work best at lower numbers. That being said, though, I tend to play the expansion maps more than I do this one.

1 play: 3 players
6 plays: 4 players
4 plays: 5 players
Rating: 8

-----

SAHARA (prototype): This is my own design, so I like it. As of 9-30-07, it still needs some tweaking.

2 plays: 3 players

-----

Base game
1830s Pennsylvania
1867 Georgia Reconstruction
1890 Berlin
African Diamond Mines
Alabama Railways
Alps
Amazon Rainforest
America
Antebellum Louisiana
Atlantis
Australia
Austria
Barbados
Bay Area
Beer & Pretzels
Belgium
Berlin Wall
Brazil
California Gold Rush
CCCP
Central New England
Chicago
Chile
China
Cyclades
Cyprus
Disco Inferno
Eastern US & Canada
Egypt
England
Essen Speil
Europe
Finland
Four Corners
France
Germany
Giant Maps
Golden Spike
Great Britain
Greece
Hexpansion
Holland
India
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Korea (Warfrog)
Korea (AoS Team)
Las Vegas
London
Madagascar
Mars: Global Surveyor
Mexico
Mississippi Steamboats
Montreal Metro
Moon
Moscow
Netherlands
New Hampshire
New York Subway
Northeastern USA
Northern California
Oklahoma Land Rush
Paris
Pittsburgh
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Railroad Switches
Really Friendly Sharing
Reunion Island
Robot
Sahara Desert
Scandinavia
Secret Blueprints of Steam #1
Secret Blueprints of Steam #2
Secret Blueprints of Steam #3
Sharing
Soul Train
South Africa
South America
South Carolina
Southern US
Spain & Portugal
St. Lucia
Sun
Switzerland
Taiwan Cube Factories
Tasmania
Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico
Tibet
Time Traveler
Trisland
Underground Railroad
Vermont
War in Iraq
Washington DC
Western US
Zombie Apocalypse: Michigan
Zombie Apocalypse: Pennsylvania

Alpha Centauri
India
Japan
New Zealand
Northern England
Portugal
Scotland
Spain
Umbria
2014-02-11
Age of Steam: 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California (aka Age of Steam Expansion: 1830's Pennsylvania / Northern California) (2006)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2006
8
Jul 2009*
6.035
Owned
Plays: 3
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: One sees the ports and the big-ass city of San Jose and thinks that's what makes this map diabolical, but what really tightens the screws on this map is the scarcity of goods that comes out at the start. If you don't get a good distribution of goods on the board (and with fewer numbers of them, that's not very likely), it's going to be a painful act of balancing the line between productivity and bankruptcy. One of these games was the most intense game of Age of Steam I've ever played.

2 plays: 4 players
Rating: 8

-----

1830s PENNSYLVANIA: This is a much tougher map, and is much harder to get right out of the box. If you undervalue the use of the coal, while other players are taking advantage of those goods, then you're going to be left behind as they speed off into the sunset. This map has the unfortunate distinction of my first experience witnessing a player going bankrupt, on the second turn.

1 play: 5 players
Rating: 7
2012-01-08
Age of Steam: 1867 Georgia Reconstruction / South Carolina / Oklahoma Land Rush (aka Age of Steam Expansion: 1867 Georgia Reconstruction, South Carolina & Oklahoma Land Rush) (2009)
Bezier Games edition
Year: 2009
7
May 2010
5.627
Owned
Plays: 1
OK LAND RUSH: This map takes the long-term strategy of the basic game and gives it a tactical element by the way that the goods are all known and pre-determined on the map. That means that the first person to get to a certain point of the map will get first dibs on the good that's in that space, but the surfeit of goods, paired with the networks still being lucrative and important, give the map a nice tension. I'm not sure that this is a favorite, but it's certainly worth playing time and again.

1 play: 4 players
2010-05-07
Age of Steam: 20,000 Rails under the Sea (aka Age of Steam Expansion: 20,000 Rails Under the Sea) (2006)
6
Jul 2009*
N/A
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a neat idea, but it seems to add a lot of chaos to a system that rewards careful planning and manipulation of the board. Not knowing where or when the next tile would be placed, or when a city would no longer be able to accept a particular good, made things a little more difficult, but not necessarily in a good way. It removes some of the good tension of being squeezed by the game, and replaces it with the worry of what chaos would happen when the map creation is out of your control. Plus, the idea that this map can be played with more than 3 is frightening.

1 play: 3 players
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: African Diamond Mines / Taiwan Cube Factories (aka Age of Steam Expansion: African Diamond Mines & Taiwan Cube Factories) (2011)
English first edition
Year: 2011
6
Mar 2012
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
TAIWAN CUBE FACTORIES: The production action is changed on this map, where players keep the goods they deliver, and then convert those into cubes of other colors, which they then place directly on a city on the board. So it's possible to be very lucrative on this map, but to compensate for this fact, the track-building costs are doubled. This is all fine and good, but the Engineer action has been adapted so that whoever picks it pays the standard building costs instead of the doubled ones. There are a lot of mountains on the map, so the difference between getting Engineer or n1ot can be a share or three, so issuing shares based on getting Engineer and then not getting it can destroy you, while issuing shares based on NOT getting Engineer and then getting it means you've unneccessarily increased your expenses for the rest of the game. It seems like an unfair rule, and I'm not that fond of it.

1 play: 4 players

Rating: 6
2012-03-12
Age of Steam: Alps (aka Age of Steam Expansion: The Alps) (2013)
The Alps expansion
Year: 2013
7
Mar 2015
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
This doesn't look like that brutal of a map, but boy howdy would you be wrong to underestimate it. Aside from it basically limiting players to only two sections of the map for the entire game, it also runs the risk of having each section isolated if players work to cut off the building of the tunnels. It wouldn't break the game, necessarily -- it would just adjust the importance of the special abilities -- but it does strike me as a flaw that the game could be played that way.

1 play: 5 players
2015-03-16
Age of Steam: America / Europe (aka Age of Steam Expansion: America / Europe) (2007)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2007
7
Jul 2009*
5.859
Owned
Plays: 1
EUROPE: The express track isn't quite as useful as one would expect it to be, and it's darned expensive to build, so you're going to be in debt paying that thing off for a while. The production rules need some clarification (which is here in a different thread), as the way they are written is slightly confusing. Otherwise, this is a decent map, but nothing outstanding.

1 play: 5 players
Rating: 7
2008-01-20*
Age of Steam: Australia / Tasmania (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Australia & Tasmania) (2011)
English first edition
Year: 2011
7
Mar 2014
5.599
Owned
Plays: 1
TASMANIA: I don't like that the cubes for urbanized cities always go to the top of the board. I get that it forces players to connect to the two cities mainland cities at the top of the map, and I also get that the map is 3-4 players to keep players from getting shut out of that game, but it's a little too weird for me. At the very least, this map makes production a slightly more feasible choice in the player action selection phase of the game.

1 play: 4 players
2014-03-17
Age of Steam: Austria / India (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Austria & India) (2007)
Steam Brothers Edition
Year: 2007
7
Jul 2009*
5.667
Owned
Plays: 2
AUSTRIA: If you're looking for a 2-player Age of Steam map that feels most like a standard game of Age of Steam, this really isn't your best choice. Scotland probably does the best job of keeping the game as close to the base game as possible, but it's not a very different experience; Austria, however, is DIFFERENT. It's kind of amazing how a few building restrictions -- mountains and solid black lines are impassable, you can only urbanize foreign markets, and you can't build incomplete track -- make such a big difference in the game. I wouldn't recommend the map to beginners, but for experienced players with not enough people and/or time to play a multiplayer game, it's a good choice.

1 play: 2 players
Rating: 7

-----

INDIA: In a game like Age of Steam, chaos and randomness should be avoided. The goods growth element is fine, and allows for some unpredictability in the game that is (I admit) necessary, but the monsoon rule really turned me off from this map. There are some good things about the tweaks (the production rule makes the action slightly more valuable, but not as valuable as on Mexico, and the cluster of blue cities in the middle of the board makes those cheap builds a little less useful), enough so to keep me from never playing it again, but I seriously dislike the random monsoon. I usually like the Steam Brothers' maps, partly because their tweaks are usually economical, whereas others tweak the build or action mechanisms, but this one is not a favorite among their designs.

1 play: 4 players
Rating: 7
2009-10-31
Age of Steam: Barbados / St. Lucia (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Barbados / St. Lucia) (2007)
Bezier Games edition 2007
Year: 2007
6
Jul 2009*
6.039
Owned
Plays: 3
BARBADOS: This was my first solitaire experience with Age of Steam, and I was mildly impressed with it. It retains the feel of the basic game through the use of blocking certain actions once you use them, and the scarcity of goods retains the feel of the game, as well. The only thing lacking in the map was any sense of competition, which creates the turn angst that I like so much about the base game. I could leave incomplete track without the threat of someone else taking it from me, and I didn't have to worry about leaving certain goods for someone else to take. There's a real sense of importance in how you plan your network, such as when to urbanize and when to produce, that retains a certain flavor, but it just can't compare with the real thing. Still, as soon as I was finished with the first play, I was ready to play it again, since I saw what I should have been doing.

2 plays: 1 player
Rating: 6

-----

ST. LUCIA: While we were playing this, my opponent commented that 2-player Age of Steam maps are more puzzle than game, and I can sort of see what he means, especially in this case. The lack of cities is interesting enough, which makes for some very critical choices in your track building. The standard game requires that players be efficient in their building, and that's even more true here. Twice, I built dead-end track just to get to a couple more goods to keep me going in the game. It's probably not the best 2-player map I've played, but it's definitely among the weirdest any-player Age of Steam maps I've played.

1 play: 2 players
Rating: 6
2009-10-31
Age of Steam: Brazil / Chicago (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Brazil / Chicago) (2009)
English first edition
Year: 2009
7
Jan 2011
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
CHICAGO: This map ramps up the tension found in the more standard Age of Steam maps, by effectively forcing players to develop a network that doesn't form a loop. The map forces players to use the four-hex city of Chicago to deliver yellow and red cubes, and doesn't allow anyone to deliver any other color cubes through the city. It takes a little getting used to, especially when you're used to using those loops to develop a good network. It's a little extra painful, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

1 play: 5 players

Rating: 7
2011-01-30
Age of Steam: Chesapeake & Ohio (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Chesapeake & Ohio) (2006)
6
Jul 2009*
N/A
Plays: 1
The factories are a unique addition, and adopting the "piggy-back" delivery rule is useful in the later game, but the goods are so plentiful that the real challenge is in managing your cash and maintaining your profit margin. The biggest issue would have to be with the way factories produce instantly and randomly, introducing a chaotic element to an otherwise strategic game, and since 5-player Age of Steam is already chaotic enough, I can't see myself playing this one too often.

1 play: 5 players
2009-07-22
Age of Steam: Chile / Egypt / CCCP (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Chile, Egypt and CCCP) (2008)
First edition
Year: 2008
7
Jul 2009*
5.591
Owned
Plays: 1
CHILE: This is a tight map, since the only cheap terrain is along the coastlines, and the costs of the high mountains are so horrendous. On the one hand, it makes you think that shares should be worth more money, but on the other, delivering gold knocks off one of your shares, in addition to giving you income. It's a nice balancing mechanism, but this is a map that should only be attempted with experienced players. In my one playing of this, two players went bankrupt, one on turn 2, and another on turn 3. It might be a little too harsh on newbies.

1 play: 6 players

Rating: 7
2009-03-28
Age of Steam: China / South America (aka Age of Steam Expansion: China / South America) (2005)
English first edition
Year: 2005
8
Jul 2009*
5.820
Owned
Plays: 2
SOUTH AMERICA: In the tradition of other Steam Brothers' maps, this one tweaks the economics of the game more so than the traditional special action or build actions. The El Presidente action is a nice one, since any blue cubes delivered will trigger the payment, so if you can anticipate deliveries, it might be a decent choice to make.

1 play
Rating: 8

-----

CHINA: It reminded me some of South Africa, just in reverse, since now it costs MORE to build into cities, whereas in South Africa, the map paid YOU to build in to cities. It was harsh, and unexpected, but still a decent experience.

1 play: 5 players
Rating: 7
2009-07-28
Age of Steam: Disco Inferno / Soul Train (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Disco Inferno / Soul Train) (2006)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2006
8
Jul 2009*
5.750
Owned
Plays: 3
DISCO INFERNO: Wow. You lose cities when they're used up, you can lose goods through chain reactions, and you'll lose income if you start whistling disco songs if it isn't your turn. BRUTAL. And just as great as would be expected.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
Rating: 8

-----

SOUL TRAIN: I think this has to be the weirdest map yet, and not because of the setting. The weird way that goods travel up the board force players to engineer their network from the very first turn, so there's a huge learning curve to this expansion, even more so, I think, than 1830's PA. I like the way the mechanisms come together, though, and I'm very interested in playing the map again, with a better understanding of how the map develops.

1 play: 4 players
Rating: 7
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: England / Ireland (aka Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland) (2003)
Warfrog First English Edition
Year: 2003
8
Jul 2009*
6.591
Owned
Plays: 2
IRELAND: With two simple changes to the main rules -- making the Locomotive action into a privilege of upgrading your locomotive twice instead of delivering goods instead of giving you an immediate upgrade, and changing Urbanization to the deurbanization action -- the game becomes something much tighter and less forgiving. Suddenly, two useful actions become only slightly useful, and that's part of the reason this makes Ireland such a good map for three players. It decreases the likelihood of someone getting a useful action for free by passing in turn order.

It's a brutal map. Don't underestimate it, lest you fall into bankruptcy early in the game.

2 plays: 3 players
Rating: 8
2011-05-27
Age of Steam: France / Italy (aka Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy) (2005)
Warfrog edition
Year: 2005
6
Jul 2009*
6.106
Owned
Plays: 4
FRANCE: The map of France is more forgiving, as are the rules for the game, but it loses a bit of the remarkable tension that comes with the base game. It's a good game for people just getting introduced to the game, but it won't really prepare them for playing the base game, as bankruptcy never becomes a threat to the players. It's definitely a map that improves with more players in the game, and I recommend it with 4 (or more if that's your preference; it's not mine). Even though it's a more forgiving map, if the goods don't come out in a beneficial way from the start, it will be a difficult map to finesse.

2 plays: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
Rating: 6

-----

ITALY: I expected this to be a harsher, more challenging Age of Steam experience, but with the share rules, the lack of income reduction, the major changes to the most powerful actions, and the ability to build as much track as possible, it was a little disappointing. It was almost too friendly, even though our one play of the map was made difficult with the goods distribution. Even the use of black goods giving players negative impact seemed to have less of an effect on the game as I would have expected, since it was rarely in a player's best interests to choose that over giving herself positive income. I hear it plays better with more players, but I'm not sure I would like the map much tighter than it already is.

1 play: 3 players
Rating: 6
2010-05-23
Age of Steam: Greece / Cyclades (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Greece and Cyclades) (2011)
English/French first edition
Year: 2011
7
Feb 2014
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
CYCLADES

Alban Viard brings another turn-the-base-game-on-its-head expansion map to Age of Steam with Cyclades. This time around, there's no track to build. Instead, you have islands, which are in their own orthogonal boxes, and you can either build track on the lines (connects two boxes) or on the corners (connects three or four boxes). It's a little bendy, but the lack of towns makes the map much safer than a traditional map, in that no one can use the urbanization action to drop a city into the middle of one of your longer routes. This map is also notable for making the production action actually useful, though it's for changing the wind direction and not having anything specific to do with production. It's a clever idea that still feels like an Age of Steam game.

1 play: 4 players

Rating: 7
2014-02-03
Age of Steam: Holland / Madagascar (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Holland / Madagascar) (2009)
First edition
Year: 2009
7
Feb 2014
5.701
Owned
Plays: 1
HOLLAND

The thing about three-player Age of Steam maps is that it's too easy for one player to pass in every player auction and still get something pretty decent in the role selection. Holland mucks things up by going between Engineer and Urbanize, blocking them from use every other round in the game. It slows things down a bit -- not only are players forced to adapt to that mechanism, but they also have to contend with half the possible urbanization actions -- and makes the game slightly less interesting. The polders surrounding the yellow cities, forcing them to stay out of play until about halfway through the game, is interesting, but when the goods come out in such a way that few other deliveries are possible, it gets too constricting. It's a neat idea, but it doesn't work as well in practice.

1 play: 3 players

Rating: 7
2014-02-02
Age of Steam: Jamaica / Puerto Rico (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Jamaica / Puerto Rico) (2007)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2007
6
Jul 2009*
5.761
Owned
Plays: 2
PUERTO RICO: This was my second solitaire Age of Steam experience, and I didn't like it as much as Barbados. Jamaica has a weird feel to it, in that the first half of the game is spent building up your income, and the second half of the game is spent watching it spiral down to nothing as you work to deliver the weapons to San Juan. I went bankrupt in the first game, and then only scored points off of my track in the second game. I don't know if that's normal. It's an interesting iteration on the system, and I wouldn't mind trying it again.

2 plays: 1 player
Rating: 6
2008-02-18*
Age of Steam: Japan (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Japan) (2006)
Other: DIY
8
Jul 2009*
N/A
Owned
Plays: 2
This was the first P&P Age of Steam map I played, and I was impressed with it. It made for a tight race to the end of the game, and with just 4 of us, we were all up in each others' kitchens for most of the game. With 3, it was still very tight, and complex track becomes very important from the midgame forward. The rules changes aren't major, but they do require you to rethink the way you traditionally play the game, due to the locomotive limitations.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2009-07-10
Age of Steam: Mars (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Mars – Global Surveyor) (2007)
AoS Team Moon/Mars Edition, Second Printing
Year: 2007
7
Jul 2009*
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
This is an odd map, but I think I like it. That the player colors act as cities of those colors for one turn is interesting, and the spherical nature of the map (like the Moon) add to the challenge of the map. The rules are far too confusing, as is, so I'm not entirely sure that we played it correctly the first time we played. I like the weirdness of the map, but the way that new green discs generate makes it hard to control who delivers them, and when. I'll have to play the map again to see if my opinion changes at all.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: Mexico / Spain & Portugal (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Mexico, Spain/Portugal) (2007)
Steam Brothers Edition
Year: 2007
7
Jul 2009*
5.637
Owned
Plays: 1
MEXICO: It takes a turn to really get how the Nationalization move can benefit you, but once you get it, and can plan for it, it's like having stations in Ticket to Ride: Europe to keep you from getting locked out of a town. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It's hard to say. I'm interested, though. If nothing else, the map makes production more valuable, and that's always a good thing.

1 play: 4 players
Rating: 7
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: Mississippi Steamboats / Golden Spike (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Mississippi Steamboats / Golden Spike) (2007)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2007
7
Jul 2009*
5.739
Owned
Plays: 1
GOLDEN SPIKE: Despite the rules mistakes we made (well, *I* made), this is an enjoyable map. I think it lends itself to an interesting sort of experience, since it requires some cooperation between players. The hidden track came as a surprise to me near the end of the game, considering the amount of points it gave players, but I think playing a second time would keep me from doing that again. Neat-o mosquito.

1 play: 4 players
Rating: 7
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: Montreal Metro (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Montréal Métro) (2007)
First Edition
Year: 2007
8
Jul 2009*
5.844
Owned
Plays: 1
I like the way that the government track can be played offensively or defensively. I like the way that the competition remains fierce. I like the way that the contiguous track encourages competition between all three players. So far, I really like the map. I look forward to more plays, to see how the map develops with more plays.

1 play: 3 players
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: Moon (aka Age of Steam: The Moon) (2007)
English second edition (w/ AoS: Mars on back)
Year: 2007
8
Jul 2009*
5.676
Owned
Plays: 2
NOT for beginners. The map is very crowded, even with the minimum of three players, and since all players are forced to build out of the central city on the map, it means that the goods will remain in strong competition throughout the game. The way that track wraps around the board is brilliant, and creates opportunities for ingenious builds to get to a part of the board you thought was locked away from you. Add in the low gravity and night/day rules, and you have for an enjoyably tight, enjoyably competitive Age of Steam map that makes a lot of changes to the base game system.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2009-07-28
Age of Steam: Netherlands (aka Age of Steam Expansion: The Netherlands) (2007)
Spielbox edition
Year: 2007
7
Jul 2009*
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
Tight, tight, tight. There's not TOO too much new in the game that requires a new way of thinking, but the shares are going to rise up a lot less quickly than one wold expect. Plus, the -5 points per share at the end of the game is going to hit players HARD if they don't plan for them. My biggest complaint is that the hexes need to be larger, and there needs to be an easier way for the players to see and analyze the demand of the cities. Otherwise, this is a nice map, despite the inherent chaos of seven players involved in the same game.

1 play: 7 players
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: Northeastern US / South Africa (aka Age of Steam Expansion: North Eastern USA / South Africa) (2005)
English first edition
Year: 2005
8
Jul 2009*
5.681
Owned
Plays: 3
NORTHEASTERN US: The weird city layout makes for some challenging track builds, and the fact that there are only two colored cities to urbanize (none of them yellow or blue) just makes it that harder to figure out. This is a map that probably requires more co-operation than usual, but it's still an enjoyable experience.

1 play
Rating: 8

-----

SOUTH AFRICA: This is an even tighter map than most of the other brain burners, if only because any new track placed has to trace back to a coastal city through your own track. The higher connection costs for the land-locked cities, paired with the weird restocking rates for the dark cities, makes for a tough challenge, balanced out slightly with the payment players receive for building in to the dark city. Part of me wonders if the game will likely go to the first person to build in toward the 5-6 dark cities and Rhodesia, but experienced players likely wouldn't let that happen too easily.

1 play: 5 players
Rating: 8
2009-07-27
Age of Steam: Northern England (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Northern England) (2005)
Other: DIY
9
Jul 2009*
N/A
Owned
Plays: 4
This was one of the first of the fan-made expansion maps, so there aren't a lot of weird and challenging changes to the rules like you see in Disco Inferno or the Moon. The fact that two cities receive goods on two different die rolls for production, and that the ports receive goods for die rolls that "miss" make production more valuable here than on the base map. This would bump the map up a bit over the standard map, in my estimation, but the fact that this map also plays 5 very well is what bumps it up to a 9.

4 plays: 5 players
2013-02-07
Age of Steam: Outer Space / Reversteam (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Outer Space & Reversteam) (2011)
English first edition
Year: 2011
7
Mar 2015
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
REVERSTEAM: Aside from the fact that the board is a mirror image of the Rust Belt map, the goods get delivered to the first city of a color that doesn't match the color of the cube (save for black cities, which don't take any color). So, you know, good luck in getting a six-delivery on this map.

1 play: 6 players
2015-03-16
Age of Steam: Portugal (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Portugal) (2008)
Other: DIY
7
Feb 2010
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
I like Age of Steam with three players, and this map works really well with that number. It doesn't muddle with the standard action selection, though, so it suffers from the problem that 3-player maps tend to have, which is one player can not participate in ANY of the bids, and still get something good from the special action selection. The map is still nicely designed, since its vertical nature means that it's harder to develop a loop, and the sea routes mean that there are a couple of places where goods are guaranteed to come out each turn. I may not choose to play it over other 3-player maps (the Moon and Montreal Metro, for example), but for a fan-designed game, it's awfully nice.

1 play: 3 players
2010-02-26
Age of Steam: Scandinavia / Korea (aka Age of Steam Expansion #3: Scandinavia and Korea) (2004)
Warfrog first edition
Year: 2004
8
Jul 2009*
6.400
Owned
Plays: 6
SCANDINAVIA: This is probably a good "second step" map from the Rust Belt, since not too much is changed here. Ferry movement takes at least one turn with someone using it to grasp its importance, and the bottleneck at the bottom of the map can cause frustration, but the layout and rule tweaks aren't so severe that it would mess up someone just used to the base game. Plus, it introduces new elements that show up in future expansion maps.

2 plays: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
Rating: 8

-----

KOREA: This is a brain-bending map, since the colors of the cities changes, depending on how they are restocked. Once you have that element set in your head, you have to pay attention to both ends of your planned route and ensure that no one else takes either side. It's a far less forgiving map, but still manages to maintain the fun of the base game. In addition, the way that the cities can effectively change colors means that the game becomes more tactical, and less strategic, so it takes a different style of play in order to do well on the map. It's interesting to note that there are 3-4 dead-end cities on the map, so that players can build in to regions and make some cities a permanent color, unless another player chooses to move a good out, at a gain of 1 to you in return. The map is not for beginners, but it's certainly an interesting challenge.

2 plays: 4 players
Rating: 8
2012-05-26
Age of Steam: Scotland (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Scotland) (2006)
Other: DIY
7
Jul 2009*
5.764
Owned
Plays: 1
With two players and all actions available to both players on every turn, this map is probably too powerful. We neglected to use Turn Order Pass at all during our one playing, and this may have made a difference near the beginning of the game if the losing player had chosen it, guaranteeing himself a chance at a sorely needed action, but even then, I think that there needs to be more restrictions on the action selection portion of the game to tighten up the map. We did build on every available hex on the board by the end of the game, though.

1 play: 2 players
2009-07-10
Age of Steam: Southern US / Pittsburgh (aka Age of Steam Expansions: Southern US & Pittsburgh) (2007)
Other: DIY (Inkscape)
8
Aug 2014
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
PITTSBURGH: The way I hear people talking about this map, I was expecting it to be BRUTAL BRUTAL BRUTAL. As it is, it's just ... well, tight. I've played more brutal maps (Northern California and London are much harsher experiences), and since you're playing with just three players, the game feels a but looser than either of those maps. It's still a feasible strategy to not bid in the auctions and still have something decent to choose from (especially when the map itself makes one more action pretty tempting), so that helps loosen it up a bit, too.

Anyway, it's a decent map, but I'm not seeing the brutality that other people are talking about. Then again, I never built any straight track, so that might have something to do with it.

1 play: 3 players
2014-08-24
Age of Steam: Sun / London (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Sun / London) (2006)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2006
8
Jul 2009*
5.826
Owned
Plays: 2
SUN: There's a lot more hanging on your initial placement on this map than in others, but if nothing else, it gives the map some replay value. It's much more chaotic than the standard maps, and there's a lot of weird stuff going on. Still, it's a decent AoS experience.

1 play: 3 players
Rating: 8

-----

LONDON: Brutal, brutal, brutal. The Union Overtime rule takes a lot of getting used to to play the game well, because it's very easy to find yourself with FAR more shares issued than you're used to, and you run the risk of not being able to break out of the downward spiral of losing income each turn. This is definitely not a map for newbies, and even for experienced players, they'll have to adapt quickly to the new expense scale in order to stay competitive in the game.

1 play: 3 players
Rating: 6
2007-11-27*
Age of Steam: Time Traveler (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Time Traveler) (2011)
First edition
Year: 2011
3
Apr 2014
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
Well, we didn't actually finish the one game we attempted on this map, mainly because the rules weren't clear on how to handle certain issues with the game. At the very least, they didn't even tell you how many goods cubes go on each city! The rules also didn't cover how to deliver through the void very well, which became evident when we came up with three questions about that particular aspect of the map before even starting the game. Combine that with the horrible, horrible graphic design choices (dark green and black was better than a lighter color and black?), and it makes you wonder if there was any proofing or playtesting on this map at all. This map appears to have potential, but it's mired with a sorry, sorry production, and FRED Games should apologize to everyone who purchases a copy of this set.

1 play: 4 players
2011-03-14
Age of Steam: Vermont / New Hampshire / Central New England (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Vermont, New Hampshire & Central New England) (2008)
Bezier Games Edition
Year: 2008
8
Mar 2012
5.729
Owned
Plays: 3
NEW HAMPSHIRE: On this map, you can't build links between two locations if someone else has already built a link between those two locations. That alone would be tricky enough to manage on the map, but in addition to that, players also can't deliver goods over another player's track. So the track builds become very convoluted and complex, and cutting someone off from a particular city becomes much more manageable. Urbanization is about as useful as it's always been, and the value of Production increases, as well. But it's agonizing and tight, especially with five players, so I wouldn't recommend it except for experienced players, because even then, it's an uphill battle.

On the bright side, on this map, no one can push you up one income into the next reduction bracket.

1 play: 5 players

Rating: 8

-----

VERMONT: What makes this map a little different is that for each special action that's not selected on a given round, $1 per player in the game is added to it, and the person who selects that action on a future turn gets the cash, along with the bonus action. This turns out to be very useful toward the end of the game, especially in a 3-player game, since actions like Turn Order Pass and Production had $21, and since the terrain -- mountains and rivers ONLY -- is so expensive. Additionally, on the odd-numbered rounds, you pay $1 extra for any track built, with a return on $1 extra in income for any deliveries you make on those rounds. The extra cash is almost necessary for this map.

1 play: 3 players

Rating: 7

-----

CENTRAL NEW ENGLAND: Take the rules changes for both of the above individual maps, mix them together and apply them to both maps, and then add an additional rule requiring all deliveries to cross the state line unless you pick a special action to allow you to deliver within a single state, and you come up with a result called "Ted Alspach Hates You."

1 play: 6 players

Rating: 7
2013-03-11
Age of Steam: War in Iraq / New York Subway (aka Age of Steam Expansion: War in Iraq & New York Subway) (2007)
First edition
Year: 2007
8
Jul 2009*
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
NY SUBWAY: This map feels a bit looser, since the connections are virtual, but the face of the game is changed so much that it deserves special attention. How the designer even thought of this sort of backwards approach to the game is impressive. According to the others who played in my only play of this map, it works much better with 5 than it does with 3.

1 play: 5 players
Rating: 8
2008-01-20*
Age of Steam: Washington DC / Berlin Wall (aka Age of Steam Expansion: Washington DC and The Berlin Wall) (2008)
Publisher: AoS Team
Year: 2008
Language: English
7
Mar 2011
5.601
Owned
Plays: 1
WASHINGTON DC: Alban has a knack for coming up with mind-bending ways to approach making deliveries in Age of Steam, and Washington DC is no exception. The four cities that represent the beltway around the city reminds me a little bit of the spherical nature of the Moon and Mars, and while the traffic jams add a little chaos to the game, it's at least manageable, so long as players taking advantage of that characteristic spread out enough around the board. The more expensive central terrain means that players may want to start on the outskirts of the city and start using the beltway. The map suffers slightly due to there still being three really good actions to take on any given turn, but Alban seems to have tightened up other aspects of the map in response. All in all, it's a tough map, and in Age of Steam, tough is good.

RATING: 7

1 play: 3 players
2011-03-14
Age of Steam: Western US / Germany (aka Age of Steam Expansion #2: Western US and Germany) (2004)
Second edition
Year: 2004
8
Jul 2009*
6.392
Owned
Plays: 3
WESTERN US: Just as tough and challenging as the original, but far more unforgiving for players starting in the west, since the cost of building through the mountains can be extraordinary. It's important to pick the right initial placement on this map.

1 play: 5 players
Rating: 6

-----

GERMANY: The can't-leave-incomplete-track rule makes the game harder than I would have expected, based off of just that one rule alone, but it's a good challenge. It might take a round or two to best understand how to adapt your play to compensate for that change. Plus, the randomly determined permanently-colored cities add a little something extra to the map, even if the randomness of the cube draw can make for a nearly impossible-to-play map.

2 plays: 4 players
Rating: 8
2012-01-08
Age of Steam: Zombie Apocalypse (aka Age of Steam Expansion: The Zombie Apocalypse) (2009)
First edition
Year: 2009
7
May 2010
5.732
Owned
Plays: 1
The idea of roaming zombies being a part of an Age of Steam map is enough to raise giggles and eyebrows, but the end result is a decent expansion map. The zombies aren't random, aside from the person who is first in turn order determining where a zombie will go when it has a choice, and even then, that sort of thing can be guessed by the other players. What really makes the expansion special is how much tighter it is from other maps. The locomotive action is changed enough to make the finances of the map much tighter, to the point where players will likely have about half of their usual scores at the end of the game. In addition, the zombies make the game more tactical than strategic, since you might have to plan around goods that won't be available on your next turn. I like it so far, but given that I'm partial to Michael's designs and tastes, that's not a big surprise.

1 play: 4 players (Pennsylvania)
2010-05-20
Z-Man Games first edition 2008
Year: 2008
8
Feb 2009*
8.047
Owned
Plays: 13
OK, so is this game all that, or is it just hype? The way folks are going on and on about it, you'd think this was Jesus in boardgame format, and that this was his second coming. Make it a little scarce, give it some exclusivity with some pre-release bonuses, etc., and you've created the perfect storm for a bunch of boardgaming geeks. But how is it, REALLY?

Truth be told, it's not bad. It has an interesting system, which reminds me a bit of Puerto Rico with its role selection, a bit of Pillars of the Earth with its placement system, and a bit of Age of Steam with the angst that comes about from timing when to pick the best role, based on the timing of the game and what others can do before it gets back to your turn. It's tight and squeezy, which are two things that I like in my games. If the game is punishing you and you're still struggling to stay afloat, then it's a good game.

Another good thing going for this game is its replayability. At most, you're only ever going to see 70 cards per game, and there are 372 cards between the decks. That the selections change slightly with different numbers of players gives the game that much more of a lifetime, and I can see this game being fresh and enjoyable for many, many plays.

I'm not keen on it as a 2-player game, just because the choices are so limited. You have to understand how weird it is for me to say that; usually, I don't like games as they creep up toward the upper end of the player limit, because the added players tend to add a lot of chaos. With Agricola, though, the added choices for the additional players make a big difference in what you can plan to do. With only one space to collect wood, clay, and reed, respectively, it makes your choices only that much more critical, and it sometimes leaves you with some very suboptimal choices to make. That being said, the game is balanced well with 2 players, so it's hard to criticize that version of the game, since clearly a lot of thought was put into its development. It's just not much to my tastes.

I have a minor gripe with the primary strategy of the game changing each game, due to the random card draw. It's easy to see one player get the cards needed to get some tremendous engine going, while someone else in the game gets a handful of random cards that don't meld together as easily. It might throw the balance of the game off, but time will tell.

It ain't Jesus, but it's at least the Pope.

6 plays: 1 player
1 play: 2 players
3 plays: 3 players
6 plays: 4 players
2 plays: 5 players

-----

Base game
Farmers of the Moor
Gamers' Deck
Legen*dairy Forest Deck
Through the Seasons
CZ-Deck
L-Deck
Ö-Deck
X-Deck
Z-Deck
2011-05-29
English edition
Year: 2009
8
Sep 2012
7.745
Owned
Plays: 3
At first glance, the game suggests that it might be a lot easier to fill in your boards, since you start with so many filled spaces. Once you get into the game, though, you start to realize that you're probably going to be removing those tiles over the course of the game, which means it will take you two turns to fill in those spaces. That, along with the inclusion of the requirement to pay fuel as well as food each round, tightens up the game. As compensation, though, the designer included the card actions, allowing players to select extra actions earlier in the game. It's a nice balance, and none of the additions make the game feel very different from its base game. That's a pretty good expansion, in my book.

2 plays: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2010-12-06
English first edition
Year: 2010
6
Apr 2011
6.686
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 2
With only two games played so far, I'm not sure I can really judge what sets this apart from the other decks that are available for use with the game. At the very least, the cards are strategic as opposed to silly, so that at least gets it off to a good start.

2 plays: 4 players
2011-09-05
Agricola: Legen*dairy Forest Deck (aka Agricola: The Legen*dairy Forest-Deck) (2010)
English first edition
Year: 2010
4
Dec 2010
5.824
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Glancing over the cards after I initially received the deck, I thought that the cards were a little less chaotic than the X-Deck, but BOY HOWDY was I wrong. If you didn't like the randomness that the X-Deck brought to the game, then you're probably not going to like it here, either, especially since you're going to see a crapload more of the cards here than you would using the X-Deck. It has the same sort of risk-reward system, where a card can be really good or really bad, and it all depends on what you happen to draw (or when in the game you happen to draw it) as to how it affects you. And unless you forego a wood game all together, then there's no way to avoid taking one of these cards, since it's inevitable that someone's going to take 3 wood from the board at some point in the game. I get that this is more a diversion than a serious expansion, but wow. Just wow.

1 play: 4 players
2010-12-07
Agricola: Ö-Deck (English first edition) (aka Agricola: Ö-Deck) (2008)
English first edition
Year: 2008
7
Jul 2009*
6.020
Owned
Plays: 2
It's nice that the deck is a collection of cards that are actually useful, and not goofy, but a lot of the cards seem to be focused on wood. Does Austria have a strong history involving wood? Regardless, the cards are a decent addition to the game without detracting from the overall feel of the base game, while giving some new and different things to do in the game. For me, that's the perfect kind of expansion.

1 play: 2 players
1 play: 4 players
2009-11-06
Lookout Games Edition
Year: 2010
7
Dec 2010
6.560
Ö-Deck: It's nice that the deck is a collection of cards that are actually useful, and not goofy, but a lot of the cards seem to be focused on wood. Does Austria have a strong history involving wood? Regardless, the cards are a decent addition to the game without detracting from the overall feel of the base game, while giving some new and different things to do in the game. For me, that's the perfect kind of expansion.

Rating: 7

-----

X-Deck: I'm not really sure what to say about the expansion deck, since I've only seen three cards during actual game play, but to me, it seems like drawing the card is a crap shoot, akin to drawing an encounter card in Starfarers of Catan. You can either get something that helps you or hurts you, and since the cards aren't something that you can plan for or avoid, it seems harsh to take that chance in a game that already relies so heavily on planning and long-term strategy. I can't see why someone wouldn't take stone from the second quarry once it became available, unless there were just so much stone on the first one as to make it irresistible, or at least worth the risk. So far, though, I'm not sure what all it adds to the game.

Rating: 5
2010-12-17
Agricola: Through the Seasons (English first edition) (aka Agricola: Through the Seasons) (2008)
English first edition
Year: 2008
7
Jul 2009*
6.378
Owned
Plays: 4
I like the options it adds to the game, both via the extra actions, the bonuses available to everyone during the turn (or, at least whoever gets to ANOTHER action first), and the way that it affects the way that the goods come out in the rounds. It doesn't detract too much from the overall flow of the game, and the options it adds aren't so different that it bogs down the game with bloat. This is a nice, inoffensive addition to the game.

2 plays: 3 players
2 plays: 4 players
2010-09-23
Agricola: X-Deck (aka Agricola X-Deck) (2008)
Lookout English edition
Year: 2008
5
Jul 2009*
5.757
Owned
Plays: 1
I'm not really sure what to say about the expansion deck, since I've only seen three cards during actual game play, but to me, it seems like drawing the card is a crap shoot, akin to drawing an encounter card in Starfarers of Catan. You can either get something that helps you or hurts you, and since the cards aren't something that you can plan for or avoid, it seems harsh to take that chance in a game that already relies so heavily on planning and long-term strategy. I can't see why someone wouldn't take stone from the second quarry once it became available, unless there were just so much stone on the first one as to make it irresistible, or at least worth the risk. So far, though, I'm not sure what all it adds to the game.

1 play: 5 players
2009-03-22
Air Baron (1996)
5
Nov 2007*
5.929
Plays: 1
I like the way the fare wars are balanced out by the random drawing of the turn order, but it's too random for me. The game was too dry, with too much chance of a runaway win if one player manages to snowball his way through a fare war with, say a 5 advantage. 'Course, if other players had worked that area, too, it wouldn't have given him that much advantage....

1 play: 5 players
2009-07-28
6
May 2011
7.130
Plays: 2
It's not really Union Pacific, which might disappoint the hardcore UP fans, but for me, that was what made it enjoyable. This design removes the track deck (which proved to be a frustration more often than not), separated the money and the VPs (which added another choice to the turns), and made it harder for the players to pick up UP stock. All that, combined with the lower player number (meaning that UP stock could potentially be divided evenly among all players in the game) made a game that's much more enjoyable for me to play. I don't feel the need to own it, but it's not something that I will refuse to play, like I do with Union Pacific.

2 plays: 5 players
2013-12-24
6
Dec 2013
5.710
Plays: 1
Eh, I could take it or leave it. It's nice to have a tie-breaker effect on majority, but I don't like that it can happen as you enter scoring, as it feels a little too "take that"-ish for this type of game. Plus, you only get one point for not using it, though I suppose that makes sense, since if you get one for a company that you don't invest in, it would be too big of a point swing otherwise.

1 play: 5 players
2013-12-24
Airships (2007)
5
Sep 2012
6.229
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
For people who like dice games, but are tiring of the roll-three-times-and-pray style of the Yahtzee derivatives, Airships should fill that niche. This is more like a civ game, where you're developing a machine over the course of several turns, making it more powerful and more efficient as the game progresses. The dice are essentially tools, and since you only get to roll them once, you'd better make sure that your machine is polished before you decide to go after a particular card. After the disaster that was Queen's previous dice game (Lucky Loop), Airships is a breath of fresh air to show they're able to redeem themselves.

1 play: 2 players
2009-05-23
Al Cabohne (2000)
Other: DIY (carthaginian)
4
Mar 2009*
5.774
Owned
I've only played the solitaire version, which is kind of fun for passing a half-hour. I rarely have two players, though, and if we're hankering for Bohnanza, why not just play Bohnanza?

3 plays: 1 player
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2012
5.687
Plays: 1
This is a curious game where the main strategy is spreading yourself among several different areas of the game in order to be the first to get the most of a particular type of good. I don't do well at these types of games, which makes for a minor strike against it, but I can see how other people would like them. It's difficult for me to judge how to spread myself among all the different regions at a time, but I know other people appreciate the challenge. I understand that this is a very faithful adaptation of the board game to an affordable (and easy to find) card game, so that's another positive aspect to the game.

1 play: 4 players
2009-11-27
English first edition
Year: 2009
6
Dec 2011
6.404
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
There are a lot of worker placement dice games out there, so when a new one comes along, I expect it to do something pretty cool that sets it apart from the rest. Here, players get a chance to reroll remaining dice when their turns comes around again, and it makes a difference in how you approach the game. There's still a "The strongest set wins this region" aspect to it, but there's a nice tension that comes from rerolling the dice, and the way that players place dice into the columns to take people. It's still a bit random, but it's a dice game, and besides, there are reroll tokens and other ways to alleviate the luck of the rolls. It also seems a little same-y, since there are a limited number of buildings to use, but so far, I've only played it with 3 players, and fewer buildings are out. Playing with more players and all buildings might make the game seem less repetitive.

One thing I found odd about the game is that there seems to be very little incentive to place two people into a province. There's a Senate card that gives bonus points for couples, but that seems to be about it. It feels like the game needs some different way of scoring provinces to make players more motivated to place couples, otherwise players can just make land grabs early in the game and then collect whatever people they can in future turns.

1 play: 3 players
2011-12-13
Queen German edition 2003
Year: 2003
6
May 2011
6.969
Prev. Owned
Plays: 11
Interesting variation on a stock game. The balance between the currency, the walls, the majorities, and the "second turn" mechanics make for a fun, challenging game, but luck CAN play a large factor into the game. It's best to play the game with three (four at the most) to eliminate the chaos that can go into how much changes between your turns. The 2-player variant is OK, but in our games with those rules, we never saw a need to give a tile to Dirk.

2 plays: 2 players
4 plays: 3 players
2 plays: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2 plays: 6 players
2013-04-08
Alhambra: Gunst des Wesirs (aka Alhambra: The Vizier's Favor) (2004)
German first edition
Year: 2004
7
May 2011
6.386
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
VIZIER'S FAVOR: This takes away some of the random chaos that comes with playing the base game with more than 4 players, which is a very good thing. I like that players can use the Vizier offensively or defensively (a player further around in the turn order can play theirs to prevent another player from getting a needed tile). I expect that with 2 or 3 players, though, this expansion would prove unnecessary.

2 plays: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 7

-----

CURRENCY EXCHANGE: This module is a good idea, but it doesn't translate well to the actual game. There are too few cards to prove to be very useful in the overall game, and given that they're distributed randomly into the deck, it only adds more chaos to the base game. I would prefer it if players received a card randomly at the beginning of the game, and could plan around using that card at a particular point in the game.

1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 6
2011-05-27
Alhambra: Schatskammer des Kalifen (aka Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber) (2006)
German first edition
Year: 2006
6
Jul 2009*
6.176
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
BAZAARS: Bazaars. How bizarre. They're extra tiles that don't significantly add to the length of the game, and the scoring of them is not very intuitive. On the one hand, you can score a lot of potential points for them; on the other hand, you can self-limit yourself in the process and find it harder to get the tiles that you want for your Alhambra.

1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 6

-----

TREASURE CHAMBER: This one is probably too weird for me to want to play with again. It's good in that it gives you another "building" to compete for in majorities, but first you have to have the right buildings in your Alhambra, and then you have to spend your money on a group of chests that may not benefit you. I feel like this module adds a bit more to the game than it can handle.

1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 5
2009-03-22
Alhambra: Stunde der Diebe (aka Alhambra: The Thief's Turn) (2005)
German first edition
Year: 2005
7
Jul 2009*
6.157
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
CHANGE: And now it's time for another "Good Idea, Bad Idea"! Good idea: Allowing players to receive change (to some degree) when overpaying for a building. Bad idea: Eliminating some of the tension of deciding to overpay for something instead of waiting to see if it's going to be available when your turn next rolls around.

1 play: 6 players

Rating: 6

-----

WALLS: One of the more frustrating things about this game is developing your own Alhambra, and never seeing the right tiles come up to help you build your wall. These cards allow people to custom-build their walls to some degree, allowing players more options than just the tiles for building their exterior wall. This is definitely a good thing.

1 play: 6 players

Rating: 7

-----

TRAVELING MERCHANT: On the one hand, the merchants allow players to get back into the game once one player has cornered the market on one or two different building types. On the other hand, it's just one more thing to track, and it gets a little distracting to try to keep up with that, along with everything else. The module also seems to limit the development of your Alhambra to some degree, which is more distracting. I don't know what to think of it after just one play.

1 play: 5 players

Rating: 6
2009-03-22
Alhambra: Tore der Stadt (aka Alhambra: The City Gates) (2004)
German first edition
Year: 2004
6
Jul 2009*
6.378
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
DIAMONDS: It's an additional currency, which can be played in lieu of any other currency, just as you would spend any of the other currencies in the game. It doesn't take away from the game, and it allows the players a few more options during the game. Not bad.

1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 6

-----

ENCAMPMENTS: These additional tiles are good in theory, but don't seem to really add much to the overall game. It doesn't seem to be in a player's advantage to gain these tiles unless it's near the end of the game, and he could place it against the longest continuous row of buildings in his Alhambra. Other than taking a tile early in the game and holding it until that time, it's pretty much up to when the tile is drawn to determine how beneficial it is to use it at the time.

1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 6
2009-03-22
English second edition
Year: 2011
6
Apr 2011
7.379
Owned
Plays: 4
I guess I get the whole "Kingsburg in Space" comparisons, but really, this is a game that's separate enough from Kingsburg to be considered in its own light. For one, the blocking element of Alien Frontiers gives it its own character; for another, the timing and flow of the game is very different. Yes, it uses dice, and yes, you can place them at different places on the board based on what you roll, but the similarities end there. Why dilute the effectiveness of a game by comparing it to something completely different?

1 play: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players

-----

Base game
Factions
Faction Pack #1
Mind Control Helment
Space Crane
2012-07-21
Clever Mojo promotional edition
Year: 2011
6
Apr 2011
6.143
Owned
Plays: 4
I really should just get out of the habit of rating/reviewing these mini-expansions. I mean, how much difference could two copies of one type of card really make in a game like Alien Frontiers? It's a tech, and it gives you an ability that can help you. Couldn't one keep adding these to the game without messing it up too much? I've only played the game with this card, so how the game plays with this card is how I know this game, period. 'Nuff said, I guess.

1 play: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players
2012-07-21
Clever Mojo Kickstarter Backer Edition
Year: 2010
6
Jul 2012
5.700
Owned
Plays: 1
Like most mini-expansions, there's not much about the card that breaks or improves the flow of the game enough to make it much different from just playing the base game. Include it or not, it won't make much difference in how the game plays out.

1 play: 3 players
2012-07-21
Amazonas (2005)
4
May 2011
6.013
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Is there anything wrong with this game? No, not really. I mean, I don't like the randomness and uncontrollable nature of the action deck, but as someone else pointed out to me, it's not completely unpredictable. There's probably some skill in keeping track of which cards have been played out of the deck, knowing how many are left, and juggling your income cards to save the right ones for the right time, but I'd prefer that there be more structure in that deck than I saw in the one game I played. The rest of it has been done before, in many ways (often better), so this game doesn't have anything to it to make me interested in playing it again. It's a real shame, too, because I've seen a lot of cleverness in Dorra's other designs, and I was expecting to see some of that here, too.

1 play: 4 players
2011-05-27
5
Mar 2013
7.017
Plays: 1
This is another of those "There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm not going to ask to play it again" sorts of games, along with being one of those "I forgot we had played it by the end of the day" kinds of games. It has some similarities to 7 Wonders, and it has some neat mechanisms that are going on during the game, but it just doesn't have that sort of OOMPH that makes it a Must Play Game. I couldn't even tell you why.

1 play: 4 players
2013-03-11
5
Mar 2013
5.722
Plays: 1
I wouldn't be able to separate the promotional cards from the base game that I played (it included all of them), so let's just give this the same rating as the base game, mmmkay?

1 play: 4 players
2013-03-11
English first edition
Year: 2003
6
Sep 2012
7.205
Prev. Owned
Plays: 9
It's an auction game blended with an area control game, and it comes together into a nice mesh of both. There are several different sorts of auctions in the game, but it never feels strictly like an auction game; instead, it feels unique and interesting. There are some issues with the randomness of the power cards granting a player a large number of points at the right time, but you also have to plan for some of those situations. Best with 5 players, I think. Its main issue with me is that it just feels very much like a standard Euro cube-pusher, and it doesn't give the game much staying power, even though it's a decent overall game.

1 play: 4 players
7 plays: 5 players
2012-09-12
English first edition
Year: 2012
6
Sep 2012
8.001
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I never played the original Netrunner, so I don't know how this version compares to it (other than it being non-collectible), but I like the way it works. The asymmetrical play is a big draw, and I haven't played enough of it yet to get a good feel for how balanced it is, and I like that the theme of the game works with the mechanisms. It's a helpful reminder for how the game flows, and pretty cool, to boot. It's been a long time since I've played any CCG-ish game, and this one is different enough that it doesn't feel much like one, so I imagine it will be a while before I get around to the deck-building elements of the game. For now, though, I'm intrigued.

1 play: 2 players
2013-01-08
Andromeda (1999)
5
Sep 2012
6.058
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This is a weird sort of area control game, with a ridiculously random method for determining who gets majorities. The collection mechanism for upgrading technologies and hand size give the game something that elevates it above the random hockey puck, and there are ways to minimize the randomness, but frustrating things are still likely to happen in the game. Still, it's unique enough that I likely wouldn't turn down a game, unless someone were to suggest Taj Mahal or Princes of Florence. Or Goa. Or Age of Steam.

3 plays: 5 players
2007-11-27*
4
Dec 2012
5.710
Plays: 1
In my one play of this, I drew a location that was Level 3, which then drew a Level 3 monster encounter that killed my only character and forced me to discard my card, and then once I started to get going again, with a true band of characters and a full hand of advantage cards, my opponent drew the major missions after completing both of his minor ones, when I hadn't been able to complete any of my missions because the locations required to complete them never came up in the game. It was incredibly frustrating, and the entire game felt like it was out of my control and was a slave to randomness through the die rolls and the card draws. I'd like to say that I saw some promise despite all that, but no, it just looks like a mess of mechanisms that don't gel into a proper game.

1 play: 2 players
2012-12-29
5
Mar 2014
6.632
Plays: 1
It's a dexterity game without a lot of complexity. It's cute, but I don't quite get the fascination people have with it, though I don't have kids, so that might play into it. Unlike other children's dexterity games, this one can't be modified to make it suitable for adults.

1 play: 4 players
2014-03-17
Anno 1503 (2003)
5
Jul 2008*
5.983
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
It's the same basic Settlers mechanisms, with some elements seen later in the Catan Adventure games. It really is multiplayer solitaire, as there's no way that you can slow someone down from reaching his or her goal (the roll of the die dictates the disasters), but it's still interesting. It needs to be played quickly, so that the down time is lessened.

1 play: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Antiquity (2004)
7
May 2009*
7.257
Plays: 1
Jiminy cricket, but this is a tough game. It looks simple and straightforward, rules-wise (and, really, it is), but then you get halfway through the game and realize that your efficiency machine broke down on turn three, and you realize you're in for a world of hurt. You really have to start off with a plan, thinking about three turns ahead every time you plan your current move, in order to stay competitive in the game. The different victory conditions, the squeezy nature of the game, and the depth all go a long way toward making this game a deserving recipient of its rank.

1 play: 2 players
2009-07-28
Out of the Box Second Edition
4
Dec 2009*
6.001
Owned
Plays: 2
This is a step above other party games, but I can see it having a few flaws. Depending on the sorts of people you play with, the leader will find it gets harder to justify his or her cards, and other players will gang up on you. Still, it's better than some of those crappy DVD trivia games, and most families will play it.

2 plays: 4 players

-----

Base game
Expansion Set #1
Expansion Set #2
Expansion Set #3
Expansion Set #4
2010-11-29
First edition
Year: 2001
4
Mar 2007*
5.950
Owned
I feel safe in rating the expansion the same as I do the base game, even though I haven't played with the cards from the expansion. It's just more words for the game, right?
2007-03-28*
First edition
Year: 2001
4
Mar 2007*
5.921
Owned
I feel safe in rating the expansion the same as I do the base game, even though I haven't played with the cards from the expansion. It's just more words for the game, right?
2007-03-28*
First edition
Year: 2001
4
Jul 2008*
5.784
Owned
I feel safe in rating the expansion the same as I do the base game, even though I haven't played with the cards from the expansion. Besides, the game was acquired used, and the cards had already been intermingled. This is an expansion to keep the game new and amusing.
2007-03-28*
Aquädukt (2005)
5
Sep 2012
6.160
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
On the one hand, this has an interesting "day trader" element, where players are betting on the market producing like a player wants it to, but the market determination is completely random. It has a betting/press-your-luck element that intrigues me, but the randomness of the game rubs me the wrong way. This is OK, but not the kind of thing I'll want to play very often.

1 play: 4 players
2008-01-20*
Aquaretto (2008)
5
Sep 2012
6.670
Plays: 1
Better than Zooloretto, but not as good as Coloretto. For whatever reason, the money actions create some nice tension in which decision to make, and how to time your tuns, whereas in Zooloretto they just seemed overly complicated. I still think that the basic game in its simplest form (Coloretto) is the best of the bunch, but this one isn't a bad entry into the series.

1 play: 4 players
2008-06-08*
AquaSphere (2014)
5
Jan 2015
7.012
Plays: 1
I'm not a huge fan of Stefan Feld's games, and I'm growing a little tired of the current vein of Euro games, so I'm probably not the right audience for this particular title. It's another in a long line of "There's nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't excite me, either" games. On the plus side, I can attest that you can get off to a ridiculously slow start (I had 2 points to my opponent's 21 at the end of the first round) and still have a chance to win the game, so there's that.

In addition, the game is visually overwhelming to me. There are lots of colors and tiny icons used to convey a lot of information, and the illustrations tend to get in the way of the functionality of the game. I think it would become a little easier to comprehend with further plays, and while I wouldn't turn down a game of it, I'm not sure I'd ask to play it, either.

1 play: 2 players
2015-01-19
Z-Man Games First Edition
Year: 2009
4
Sep 2012
6.442
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I like the card-cycling mechanism (it reminded me faintly of the one in R-Eco), but it seemed like the game's mid- and endgame points were a little dull. The middle of the game slows down as everyone is drawing a card to keep, working up toward trading in for a larger card, only to get stymied by a sandstorm before they can do anything significant. My biggest points came from digging in the pyramid, where I could get a ton of cards all at one time, and from getting lucky draws off the deck. As such, I was playing whatever sets I could from those cards, and that's where all my points came from. I realized it was pointless to try to make sets from the marketplace, since the number of sandstorms and thieves in the deck meant I couldn't hold onto cards long enough to do anything with them. It was more frustrating than anything else, but it's short enough that I want to give it a few more plays to see how it works out in the end.

1 play: 4 players
2009-09-10
Ark (2005)
5
Jul 2008*
6.014
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The rating could go up with more plays, but the number of restrictions for playing cards can leave you with only one choice per turn, and that's drawing cards. It's a little too dependent on that, but the idea of the game still intrigues me.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Arkadia (2006)
5
Sep 2012
6.741
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
It's like it's a stock-majorities game with a lot of weird ways to manage the stocks. I like that it takes at least two turns to set up a scoring move, but the design doesn't really wow me. It's a fine enough game, but I don't know that it's going to become a favorite. It's non-offensive, at least.

1 play: 4 players
2008-02-09*
Arkham Horror (2005)
6
Jun 2008*
7.275
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Neat ideas, interesting mechanics, and a great theme. The game takes about 2 hours too long for what I get out of it, and the mid-game seems to get terribly drawn out as people wander around, waiting for something interesting to do, but dammit, it's a whole heck of a lot of fun. I like the way that the game handles die rolls (instead of modifying the die result with different bonuses, you modify the NUMBER of dice you roll, with the winning results never changing), but it means that there's still no guarantee that you're going to get what you need at the right time. Still, a game with a Cthulhu theme should contain no minimum of chaos, so it works. If I could play it within about 2 hours, I'd probably like it even more.

1 play: 4 players
2 plays: 6 players
2013-07-13
Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (aka Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion) (2006)
6
Jul 2009*
6.973
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
I like the idea of being barred from certain regions of the town, and the alternate rules (surprise!) added to the game. Shoot, anything that makes the game harder to beat is going to make it more entertaining, right?

1 play: 4 players
2 plays: 6 players
2013-07-13
Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror (aka Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion) (2006)
6
Jul 2009*
7.542
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Ooh, I like the new board, and the different places to go and things to do up there. Thank the Elder Ones that the creatures on the top half don't count toward the terror limit on the main board; if it did, you'd probably be increasing the terror level every turn.

1 play: 6 players
2008-06-15*
Arkham Horror: King in Yellow (aka Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion) (2007)
6
Jul 2009*
7.237
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I played one game with all but one of the expansions, so I don't know what sets this one apart from the others. For now, it gets the same rating as the base game.

1 play: 6 players
2008-06-13*
Rio Grande English Edition
Year: 2004
7
Sep 2008*
6.336
Owned
Want To Play
Plays: 3
Hm. There are some interesting things going on in this game that fit quite well with the theme. There's a +1 to its staying power right off the bat. The turn order and cards can become a little frustrating, though, so that's a -1 to its skill check. It plays quickly, though (+1), and there are some nice tensions as you try to plan through a move or two. The time element adds a little something as well, especially since the person who's behind has a chance to sit tight and plan for a nice move, so long as he isn't left stranded at a location. It's not a hardcore game by any means, but it allows for some nice choices, and is easily played with family.

2 plays: 3 players
1 play: 5 players
2009-08-01
First Edition
Year: 2010
6
Jul 2011
6.754
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
I haven't played a lot of 4X games, so I don't know how other games of this type handle things like the unknowns of travel through space. All I know is that the flicking of discs across a board is a fantastic way of doing so. At first, the flicking put me off (one bad flick at a critical point could spell doom for you), but later I realized that this is almost like the fog-of-war effect that comes from the roll of the dice or the draw of a card in most wargames. Having a little unpredictability is good, and adds a nice tension to the game. The momentary angst that precedes a tricky shot turns into excited whoops or sorrowful groans, and it adds a lot of fun to the game.

The game isn't perfect, though. It can get a little tedious at the start of the game, and it can take a long time to accomplish small things in the game. Still, the turns typically move quickly, and it's hard to begrudge a player for taking a little extra time to judge a flick when the turns do take a little bit longer than usual. Like I said, that adds to the turn angst, so it's definitely a beneficial part of the game.

2 plays: 3 players
2011-07-19
Ascension (aka Ascension: Deckbuilding Game) (2010)
English first edition
Year: 2010
7
Sep 2012
6.906
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
There are things I like about this game, and there are things that I don't like about this game. The weird thing is that those things are both related to the main core mechanism of the game, which is the single row of cards that's available to players, instead of having a full tableau of different cards from which to choose. On the one hand, I think it's a nice alternative to Dominion, where you wind up getting a few cards that aren't as useful as you want them to be; on the other hand, it's a little annoying to draw a hand full of attack cards, and have nothing but triangles in the row. The use of the Mystics, Fighters, and Cultists allow for something to always be available, and there's a nice balance of getting points from killing monsters and getting points for buying cards, but sometimes you want something better. It becomes more of a tactical game than a strategic one, and ultimately it comes down to developing a good strategy based on the luck of the draw. As such, I think it probably plays better as a 2-player game than a multiplayer one. Still, it's a fun game that owes a lot to Dominion without feeling like that's the case. Or maybe I'm just accustomed to shuffling a whole bunch of cards in games by now.

Hoopty-jillion plays: 2 players (iOS)
3 plays: 3 players
2 plays: 4 players

-----

Base game
Deep Drone
Kythis
Leprechaun
Nethersnare
Pathwarden
Rat King
Return of the Fallen
Soul Collector
Storm of Souls
Vedah, Sage of Swords
Void Mesmer
Vortex
2013-01-08
Ascension: Deep Drone (aka Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Deep Drone Promo) (2011)
First edition
Year: 2011
6
Nov 2011
5.747
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
I haven't adopted the Mechana strategy in any games I've played so far, so while I can appreciate its value -- get a bunch of cards that allow you to get Mechana cards more cheaply, and then have this in play so you can take them right into hand -- I honestly haven't seen it in action. I may have to try that tactic sometime to see how effective it is.

3 plays: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
25+ plays: AI
2013-01-08
Ascension: Kythis the Gatekeeper (aka Ascension: Return of the Fallen – Kythis, the Gatekeeper Promo) (2011)
English first edition
Year: 2011
5
Jan 2012
5.789
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
This card is awesome when you get it, but not quite so awesome when your opponent does. So yes, it's more chaotic, but it sort of depends on what you think about those sort of mechanisms. It probably works best with two players, though, which might be why it's a promo for Return of the Fallen.

5 plays: 2 players
25+ plays: AI
2013-01-08
Ascension: Pathwarden (aka Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Pathwarden Promo) (2011)
First edition
Year: 2011
7
Sep 2012
5.837
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
I really like this one when it comes up in games, but I do have to wonder if it's a little overpowered. It's a Hero, so it's not like it sits out to be used every turn, and it's really only useful when there are monsters in the center. So I guess it's not. But it's a whole heck of a lot of fun to play with.

3 plays: 2 players
25+ plays: Computer
2013-01-08
Ascension: Rat King (aka Ascension: Theme Pack – Rat King) (2010)
English first edition
Year: 2010
6
Sep 2012
6.108
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This one is honestly more annoying than anything else. The rats are easy to defeat by themselves, but they usually just get in the way of whatever you want to do, and it adds a bit more chaos to a game with enough chaos as it is. But I still play the game with it, so go figure.

3 plays: 2 players
25+ plays: computer
2013-01-08
English first edition
Year: 2011
6
Jan 2012
6.933
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
So, take the original idea of Ascension and add a few minor little tweaks to it. It sounds like a good idea for an expansion, and in some ways, it works. I like the way that the banishment/recovery actions are more stated, and that it can be a valid tactic to start banishing cards in the hopes of reacquiring them through cards that allow you to reclaim them. It adds a bit more chaos to things, though, as now when some cards come out into the row, they can remove other cards that you were hoping to get. It's not terrible, and is actually pretty much in line with what you would expect out of the game, but if anyone feels like the chaos in the base game is bordering on too much, this expansion will probably push that over the edge for you.

4 plays: 2 players
2013-01-08
English first edition
Year: 2011
6
Jan 2012
6.969
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
With this expansion (yeah, yeah, base game, whatever), Ascension gets a little bit fiddlier, but also allows for more strategy. The event cards and the Fanatic allow players to have more of a multiple-card effect, like in Dominion, so shorter-term tactics going toward a longer-term strategy pay off more here than in the base game alone. The games will take a little longer, I think, considering the new tactics that the event cards allow, but it's still a 60-minutes-or-less game, so it's a good trade-off.

On the negative side, the cards in this game are completely different from the cards in the previous two Ascension games. I sleeve my cards, so it's not a huge issue with me, but even sleeved, I can tell a difference in the heft of the cards. So be forewarned on that issue, especially if you're not a card sleever.

4 plays: 2 players
2013-01-08
Ascension: Vedah, Sage of Swords (aka Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Vedah, Sage of Swords Promo) (2010)
First edition
Year: 2010
6
Sep 2012
5.809
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This is a decent enough card that isn't too overpowering. You get a free card, but it's a bit of a crapshoot, so it's not like you can take a biggest card from the center row every time you play it. It seems expensive, and probably is if you get a lot of piddly cards, but it would be worth it for good cards. Like I said, though: It's a crapshoot.

3 plays: 2 players
25+ plays: computer
2013-01-08
Ascension: Void Mesmer (aka Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer – Void Mesmer Promo) (2011)
First edition
Year: 2011
6
Nov 2011
5.715
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
The card gives you additional power, and lets you take another monster from the center row when you defeat another monster in the center row. It seems like a rich-get-richer card, but that might be good for a player who falls behind. There's just no way to prevent a stronger player from getting it, and I wonder if it would somehow imbalance the game over more play.

3 plays: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
2013-01-08
Hall Games English First edition
Year: 2009
6
Sep 2012
7.172
Prev. Owned
Plays: 10
As a solitaire game, it's really not bad. There's definitely a need to be efficient in the game, and the action card tableau adds a little variety and a way for players to speculate for future turns. It runs a bit tight, money-wise, but I expect that's really the point. The loans are going to be necessary, as will a good sense of how all the cards interplay. The bonus for the solitaire game is that there's no down-time, but be careful not to forget a step along the way! I think I shorted myself points on one turn in an early game. Regardless, it's a game that has a very good "One more time!" feel to it, as can be attested by my 10 games in one afternoon....

10 plays: 1 player
2011-05-07
Mayfair English Edition
Year: 2009
5
Sep 2012
6.190
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This is very clearly a Colovini game. The theme is irrelevant, the game plays quickly, and for the players who enjoy this sort of thing, it can provide a light challenge of how to place your pieces each turn. It's a blend of Cartagena, Verflixxt!, and Tutankhamen, but provides a bit more of a challenge than any of those games, while giving a unique experience with the game. I think the game probably works best as a 2- or 3-player game, since so much can happen between turns, but either way, it's a light, thinky kind of game that will appeal to fans of the designer.

2 plays: 4 players
2012-09-12
Queen EN/IT/ES/FR/NL/DE edition
Year: 2006
6
Dec 2011
6.663
Owned
Plays: 6
This game is a little unlike anything else I've played before. It has elements of games I've played before, but everything comes together in a way that's very different. The heart of the game is in the way you play your cards, but the board is where everything balances out as far as scoring goes. The different ways that one can win keeps you on your toes, as you don't want your opponent to get too far ahead in any one of those ways. The strategies aren't necessarily apparent, which makes me think that the game is more tactical, but that's not a bad thing. It was just different from what I was expecting. I think that wargamers would enjoy it, but it's best to understand that there will come a point in the game where your opponent has a game-winning move, and there's nothing you can do to stop them. The race to that point is pretty interesting, though.

6 plays: 2 players
2012-02-14
Attika (2003)
5
Jul 2008*
6.855
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This is a nice action point game, where you have to constantly determine when to build, when to draw, or when to take cards, but the fact that what you get to play is determined randomly by drawing from piles creates too much of a swing for players who draw the right things at the right time. It doesn't strike me as anything special, and I don't quite understand what makes the game so popular, other than that it can be easily explained, and thus played with family.

1 play: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Schmidt German Revised Edition 2007
Year: 2007
5
Nov 2013
5.994
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
1987 RELEASE

This is a pretty basic pick-up-and-deliver game, which I originally wanted to play because I'm such a fan of Age of Steam. There's little complexity to this game, and more than a little bit of randomness (the cards and the dice play into the uncertainty, though the dice mechanism alleviates it somewhat), and the road block can be game-changing. I'd like to give it another shot (or at least play the 1997 release) before writing it off completely, but I don't think this is the game for me.

1 play: 6 players

Rating: 5
2013-11-25
Augsburg 1520 (2006)
5
Mar 2009*
6.122
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I want to be generous with my rating, since I was impressed with the mechanisms, and how they interacted. Unfortunately, though, I think too much was dictated in the card draw, both in the order in which the selection cards came out, and the cards that players received through the standard draw. If there's only one good selection card in the initial draw, and you don't have any good red cards (or worse, any red cards at all), then you don't stand a chance of getting it. The way that cards are dealt out and paid for is nice, but I think cards would need to rotate through the deck more quickly (as in San Juan) to really make up for the randomness of the draw deck. Still, the VP cap levels, and the prices of the cards on the back of the cards, was interesting. I'd play it again, just to see how it holds up over multiple plays, but it doesn't really impress me all that much.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
Augustus (2013)
5
Aug 2014
6.688
Plays: 2
This is an amazingly short game for it to have as many rules as it does, and the game is actually pretty decent, all things considered. I didn't like the way that the game can come down to when a certain card comes up, especially when you can have up to six players in the game. Still, a game shouldn't last much longer than about 30-40 minutes, so it's not like you've sunk a lot of time into a game that causes some chaotic frustrations.

2 plays: 6 players
2014-08-02
Aura Poku (1993)
4
Jul 2008*
5.464
Prev. Owned
Not bad. Only played with the rules that say no one but the player who draws the sacrifice cards ever sees the price. Adds some good tension to the game, but then again, it's still information you'll never know.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
Warfrog Games Treefrog Line edition
Year: 2009
7
Sep 2012
7.157
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
After one play (hell, after one ROUND), I saw something incredible in the design, and after it was over, I wanted to talk about it, play it again, and try something different to see if I could do any better. This is a tight, agonizing little game, played over 4 turns, for a total of 12 actions, and trying to decide when to do what is what gives the game its tension. At first, I thought that the game might have a scripted start once players got to be familiar with the game, but I think the demand tiles, and the corollary loss cubes, will prevent that from being the case from turn two forward. The economic engine is easy to see in this game, so it's easy to tell if you're making a profit, and in all honesty, it's likely that everyone will; the question is whether or not YOU can be more profitable than anyone else. It's definitely a game that gives players lots of options, with a limited time to do them all, meaning that you will NEVER get to do everything you really want to do on a turn. It's tight, agonizing, and interesting, but if you're going to play with 3 players, you might want to doctor the executive decision chart, since it seems too easy for players to get a hold of the bonus sale markers. What can I say? It's Wallace at his best.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2012-09-12
Babel (2000)
5
Jul 2008*
6.473
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I like the way the mechanics come together, but there's something about the end game and the way it rushes along that leaves me wanting more. Plus, the level cards are drawn and left stacked, so the cards you need to move toward a win can get buried beneath a lot of cards that are useless to you. As such, parts of the game can be very frustrating.

1 play: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Backgammon (-3000)
5
Feb 2009*
6.384
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I remember playing this when I was much younger (say, 9 or 10), and just loving the heck out of the game. Now I've had the chance to play it again as an adult, and while I still like it (it's a "classic" that I wouldn't mind playing again), it's very, very different from how I remember it being. Still, the use of dice as giving you choices is an interestingly "Euro" element that was unexpected.

1 play: 2 players
2009-02-27
Bakong (2009)
5
Sep 2009*
5.504
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
You might think that you're getting something like Goldland meets Verflixxt! by looking at the back of the box, but you'd be fooled. The backpack mechanism is reminiscent, but nothing like the one that made Goldland unique, and just because a bunch of octagonal tiles are lined up to make the board doesn't mean that you're seeing any clever additions to the roll-and-move game like seen in Verflixxt! This game is light-light-light, with very few decisions to make along the course of the game, but it does play quickly, and would work well with younger and/or family players. So long as you're not expecting something terribly deep, you'll be in for a fun time, especially as you add more players and expand on the potential chaos.

1 play: 2 players
2009-05-23
Games Gang first edition
Year: 1984
6
Jan 2008*
6.175
Owned
Plays: 8
I like this game a lot. It doesn't JUST reward people with good vocabularies; in fact, it probably rewards people who can bluff more than anything else. This is always a hoot to play with family and friends.

4 plays: 6 players
2008-01-02*
Balloon Cup (2003)
4
Dec 2008*
6.564
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a hose-your-opponent version of Lost Cities, with a couple of fiddly rules thrown in for good measure. Once, I managed to win a game when my opponent drew a red card that he HAD to play on my side, giving me the last cube I needed for the last trophy. It seemed anti-climactic, and a bit aggravating.

6 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
BANG! (2002)
5
Dec 2008*
6.519
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
This game gets points for playing 8, since it's better than Citadels with that number, but I feel like the game is the horse, and I'm the unseated rider being dragged along behind it. There's just not much here that's interesting to me.

2 plays: 6 players
1 play: 7 players
2 plays: 8 players
2009-07-02
3
Dec 2008*
6.096
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
These cards add a LOT of chaos to an already chaotic game, and they tend to draw the game out much longer than is comfortable for me. Bleah.

1 play: 7 players
2007-11-27*
5
Dec 2008*
6.638
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
I think that a lot of the card combinations and characters in this expansion are largely overpowering. It adds enough "more of the same" to the base game to give it some options, though.

1 play: 6 players
1 play: 7 players
2 plays: 8 players
2009-07-02
3
Nov 2007*
6.305
Plays: 2
These cards add a LOT of chaos to an already chaotic game, and they tend to draw the game out much longer than is comfortable for me. Bleah.

2 plays: 8 players
2009-07-02
English first edition
Year: 2003
6
Sep 2012
6.379
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
The simultaneous reveal mechanism is interesting, but it makes it so that the game reaches its potential with EXACTLY four players; otherwise, it's possible that everyone takes an individual action. The game is finely balanced in the way that you reduce the number of gems you have once you claim majority. My only complaint is that the dice can dictate a significant number of points in a given game.

2 plays: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Battle for Hill 218 (aka The Battle for Hill 218) (2007)
First Printing
Year: 2007
6
Oct 2011
6.312
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This game is a bit more Chess-like than I was expecting, but it has a nice ebb and flow, partly because of that similarity. It's a little trickier than I expected to get the basics down, since supply, attack, and support all work a little bit differently based on the card icons, but once you have it down, it will all make sense, both thematically and in regards to the rules. The game is all about building up a defensive army to allow you to keep your opponent "in check" so you can make one good offensive move, and it works remarkably well. The rule book could use some clarifications (or at least some better organization), but overall it's a satisfying tactical game that doesn't take that long to play. Note that people who are spatially challenged might find difficulty playing the game, since being able to see future moves and how they will affect the game is critical.

1 play: 2 players
2011-10-24
Battle Line (2000)
6
Mar 2009*
7.289
Prev. Owned
I've never played the game with the action cards, but they seem too chaotic and random to add to such an elegant, tense game. I've heard that some people will play that each person gets one "Replace a card with another card" action per game, which would help alleviate some of the initial layout that's done without a clear idea of how the sets will develop, and I like the idea. I've never played this way, though, so my rating for Battle Line is lower than that for Schotten Totten.

5 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
English/Chinese second edition
Year: 2013
3
Apr 2015
5.568
Owned
Plays: 1
Wow. I wouldn't have expected a game derivative of Mah-Jonng to be so chaotic and luck-driven. Sure, there are tactics to use to better your position, but between the Peng rule and how many cards you draw at the end of a round where you play, there's a good chance that someone will get the card they need, and then immediately be able to play it. I'm not that impressed with it.

1 play: 5 players
2015-04-09
Milton Bradley / Hasbro Edition 2003
Year: 2003
5
Sep 2012
6.046
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
It's luck-driven and chaotic, but it still rewards planning and strategy. There can be some big swings based off of the roll of the dice, but it's such a quick game that it's easy to chalk it up to bad luck and play again. It's always fun to watch the players move up and down the field, getting crushed under Bruno's feet!

2 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Battleship (1931)
4
Nov 2007*
4.583
Plays: 1
The design is OK, but there are definitely better games to play. I'd pretty much only play this if my cousins, nephews, or nieces asked to play.

2 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
4
May 2009*
5.479
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Bleah. Since there's no real interaction, or options for players to attack another player, the game really just comes down to who rolls the right dice combination on his turn. The only choices you can make on your turn is which ship to use to attack, and thus make vulnerable to attack itself. The advanced game appears to have more tactical options, but since the win condition of the game and the interactivity don't change, then it's still a matter of who gets to x ships first. Sure, it's brief, but it still seems fairly pointless.

1 play: 4 players (basic game)
2009-02-28
7
Jan 2009*
7.708
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
Very impressive! Other than BaHotH and Werewolf, this is the first "traitor" game I've played, and I really enjoyed it. The mechanisms mesh well, and even though they reminded me a bit of Arkham Horror (the Crisis cards were a lot like the Mythos cards), it wasn't a bad comparison, since I really enjoyed AH. The cooperative aspect of a game still intrigues me, but having to play the role of a traitor was new, and very fun. The time aspect is a bit of a turn-off, but I'm very interested in trying this game again. I wonder if it's as much fun, or just frustrating, to play as a human.

1 play: 4 players
3 plays: 5 players
2013-03-10
10
Nov 2009*
N/A
Plays: 6
I know what you're thinking: "A 10? Seriously?" Well, yes. I am serious. If you're playing with the right crowd, are willing to scream and yell at your gladiators, and maybe even throw some money down on the battles, then this just might be the best game you ever played. I mean, when was the last time that a game of Agricola broke down to so much screaming, yelling, laughing, cursing, and that it drew a crowd of 12 people who wanted to play it?

I rest my case.

6 plays: 4 players
2012-09-12
Ideal First Edition
Year: 1968
9
May 2010
5.661
Owned
Plays: 13
I give this almost the same rating as Battling Gladiators, for the same reasons, and because this version of the game doesn't have the silly roll-and-move mechanism of that game. Unfortunately, it's not quite as much fun yelling at Tom to win, as it is to yell for Bratus to win, so it loses a point for that distinction.

Play it like adults, with the screaming, hollering, and raucous behavior that becomes adults acting like children, and you'll have loads of fun. Trust me.

2 plays: 3 players
10 plays: 4 players
2010-05-29
Bears! (2011)
5
Jun 2012
5.689
Plays: 1
I dig the fact that there's more player interaction here than expected from a dice game, but I don't think the game improves on Bongo! (what I see as its predecessor). There are two distinct phases in the game: roll the central dice, and determine how best to pair them up; then roll and reroll your dice until you can pair them up that way. The tension comes from racing to get to the dice first, and keeping an eye on what other players are doing so you can try to hose them with negative points. It's not bad, and it's definitely worth the price (40 engraved dice for $20!), but it won't become my go-to filler dice game, by any means.

1 play: 2 players
2012-06-07
English first edition
Year: 2011
6
Jan 2012
7.111
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Let's get the most important thing out of the way first: SET UP A MONEY ENGINE EARLY IN THIS GAME. Without it, you're going to suffer. I don't think the entire game hinges on having a nice cashflow from turn to turn, but it certainly doesn't hurt. The game borrows a lot from Agricola, but it also has touches of El Grande (the area control aspect of the regions) and Age of Steam (the tax brackets as a means to keep leaders in check), and winds up being a pretty decent little game in the process. The downtime is incredibly severe, especially in the end rounds, and there's really nothing you can do while you wait, save for getting up and jogging around the block, or baking a Key lime pie, since you're certainly going to have the time for either. It's got some neat things going on, and feels very tight, so I definitely would like to play again. I just wish it didn't take quite so long to play it.

1.3 plays: 5 players
2012-01-03
5
Sep 2012
6.192
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I like the way that people press their luck for useful cards, and I also like that it retains the card competition mechanisms from Taj Mahal, but there's something about the game that doesn't seem right. We had a strange feeling that we were playing the game incorrectly the first time around, since everyone was pushing their luck for cards on every turn, but it turns out that we were doing what we were supposed to be doing. Very strange. It has an odd appeal, but it's hard to get the game to the table since others were underwhelmed with it.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
5
Nov 2007*
6.939
Plays: 1
Props to the game for having an interesting second half, but that first half is a bit too random for my tastes. Once the traitor is revealed, and once the other players start working around the hidden information, it improves, but not enough for me to want to play this over and over again. It's interesting enough to prevent me from ever refusing to play it on principle, though.

1 play: 6 players
2007-11-27*
6
Jan 2008*
6.417
Plays: 3
Compared to Balderdash, it's a little bit better, thanks to the different categories to mix things up. Unfortunately, all that can be ruined by the "Double Bluff" spaces, but you can discard that rule all together to maintain a better game.

3 plays: 4 players
2008-01-02*
Bharg (2008)
5
Mar 2011
5.556
Plays: 1
My problem with a lot of Decktet/Icehouse/Piecepack games is that a lot of the game designed for the system are pretty uninteresting. Bharg at least has a similar feel to other Gin Rummy-style games, but if I have a Decktet deck with me, there's a good chance I have a standard deck of cards with me, too, and I would most likely play this one instead. There's a nifty way of manipulating the two discard piles to set up the condition for going out and winning the game, but it's not enough to make me want to play it very often.

1 play: 2 players
2011-03-15
German first edition
Year: 1999
5
Sep 2012
6.563
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
First impressions of this game were that it was dry, and far too dependent on luck. Second impressions improved, as I started to see some the elegance in the design, and it stuck with me a couple of days after playing it. After the third play, I realized that the randomness was only a small factor of the game. Though the neighborhoods come out in a semi-random fashion (the fact that players place sections in turn may be chaotic, but I don't consider that aspect of it random), and though the cards are random, as well, knowing when to pick from which stack of cards, based on what's in play, where you've played, and where other people have played, is the key to the game.

4 plays: 4 players
2008-02-05*
Blackbeard (2008)
5
Sep 2012
5.841
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
There's chaos. There's randomness. There's a lot of take-that! in the game, too. All of that can lay to waste any carefully laid plans on your part, which can be a little frustrating, but with the right crowd, it can also be a lot of fun. I played half of a game with 4 players, and then half a game with 3 players when that fourth player had to leave, and I prefer it with 3, since there's less of the above three things to destroy your plans. Playing this with more than 4, though, I think would be painful. The jury's still out on whether or not this is going to be a game with legs for me, but so far, I'm interested in playing again.

.5 play: 3 players
.5 play: 4 players
2008-05-31*
Educational Insights StrataGems edition 2005
Year: 2005
7
May 2011
6.904
Owned
Plays: 8
For an abstract game, this one's a lot of fun. It leaves you with the "Just one more game!" feeling, and an almost immediate "Argh!" feeling after each move, as you suddenly see the better piece to play. Nice tension, nice challenge, and light enough to get non-gamers interested. I prefer it as a 2-player game than as a 4-player game.

1 play: 4 players
7 plays: 2 players
2013-12-19
Educational Insights StrataGems edition
Year: 2006
7
May 2011
6.615
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
This seems to be a tighter version of vanilla Blokus, but at the same time, it seems to be harder to block someone completely in. Unfortunately, it's not as intuitive or accessible as the main game, since calculating the proper way to align the pieces takes a bit more time. It's different enough to warrant owning it, but for now, it gets the same rating as its pappy and its brother.

3 plays: 2 players
2 plays: 3 players
2008-05-11*
English edition
Year: 2004
7
Feb 2008*
6.605
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
Very interesting, and addictive. The base decks seem to develop with particular strategies in mind, so I can see the appeal of wanting to build decks in the advanced game. It's reminiscent of MtG in that way, and it's nice to have that feel to the game, without the collectability attached to it.

5 plays: 2 players
2011-06-03
R&D Games First Edition
Year: 2009
6
Nov 2009*
5.789
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a light, clever little design, where players are trying to maximize profits in this shopfront-type game. The use of the dice as customers is clever, and works, since it randomizes part of the game, but doesn't lock players in to one particular location (e.g., players can pay points to move the pieces to a different location). The placements are neat, and gives the game a small amount of tension based on placing their pieces into shops where they're hoping another player will take them, and then there's the timing aspect of when players will take a certain tile in a certain shop. There are a couple of issues with the design (i.e., when would anyone play a 1 tile to the 1 shop?), but overall, it works fairly well for a light game. And plus, that theme will certainly draw in the hardcore BGGers.

-----

1 play: 4 players
2011-01-20
English First edition (2-7p)
Year: 2000
7
Apr 2009*
7.014
Prev. Owned
Plays: 9
I like the negotiation aspect of the game, and how it ties in with the way that you may never reorder your hand. There's a certain tactical strategy in knowing when to trade to reorder the cards in your hand, and when to hang on to what you have, but it's a unique mechanism that draws in a lot of non-gamers. It's certainly a revolutionary design.

3 plays: 4 players
2 plays: 5 players
1 play: 5 players (Fan Edition)
2 plays: 6 players
2014-02-13
Bohnanza (1997)
Other: DIY - Carthaginian
7
Feb 2014
7.014
Owned
Plays: 9
I like the negotiation aspect of the game, and how it ties in with the way that you may never reorder your hand. There's a certain tactical strategy in knowing when to trade to reorder the cards in your hand, and when to hang on to what you have, but it's a unique mechanism that draws in a lot of non-gamers. It's certainly a revolutionary design.

1 play: 7 players

-----

Base game
La Isla Bohnita
Order Cards
Spiderbeans
2014-02-13
Bohnanza: High Bohn Plus (aka High Bohn Plus) (2004)
English first edition
Year: 2004
6
Jul 2009*
6.035
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
HIGH BOHN: It adds some interesting variation to the game, but the whole "claim a card whenever the heck you want to" rule makes things a bit more chaotic than I would like. I do like that there's no risk in buying the buildings, since they're worth the number of talers that it cost to buy them.

1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players

Rating: 6
2009-03-16
Bohnaparte (2003)
6
Nov 2007*
5.659
Plays: 1
Allows for some strategic planning for a random card game, but you can still suffer from the randomness of the card draw, which affects the strategy.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
Bombay (2009)
5
Sep 2012
6.119
Plays: 1
This is a pick-up-and-deliver game with some room for planning, and opportunities to hose other players. It reminds me a little of Valdora, except this offers more opportunities to mess with other players, and more directly. The palaces are a nice twist, especially with that choke point between the two halves of the board, but it seems like the game would be better with a theme of urban deliveries, with the palaces being toll booths of some kind across the board. I don't think it's the theme alone that turns me off on the game a bit, but it just doesn't thrill me. It works, and I would likely play it again, but ... meh.

1 play: 4 players
2009-10-30
Second edition with park ranger
Year: 2002
7
Nov 2007*
5.713
Owned
Plays: 3
I'd recommend playing this one at the end of a long game day, just to see if you can still keep up. The brain begins to enter a Zen state by then, and it might just be the best time to play the game! The way that players lose points for misidentifying a set, while necessary, makes the game draw out as one player's in the lead, then another player's in the lead, and then he drops back, etc. It gets a bit annoying.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
1 play: 6 players
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2012
5.864
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
This is a simplified version of the system (one card can do three different things, as opposed to having three different cards that each do something specific), and it loosens up the game a bit, but at the same time allows for more strategy. The timing of moving the car from place to place is a little tricky to get the first time around, but there's a neat mechanism in there to manipulate once you get it. All told, I think I prefer the other iterations in the series over this one, but my wife likes it, so I anticipate it will get a lot of play.

4 plays: 2 players
2009-03-15
English Edition
Year: 2000
4
Nov 2007*
5.407
Prev. Owned
It's a step up from Uno, so it sometimes hits the table when family is about. Since it's a card game with basic draw mechanics, though, it's easy to get hosed out of a game due to some bad luck.

20 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Boomb, Le! (aka Le Boomb!) (2009)
First edition
Year: 2009
4
Jan 2010*
5.200
Owned
Plays: 34
As a game, it's not very interesting, but as a method for determining start player, it's a lot more interesting than just drawing pieces or rolling a standard die.

3 plays: 2 players
8 plays: 3 players
19 plays: 4 players
3 plays: 5 players
2014-08-02
Bootleggers (2004)
4
May 2009*
6.442
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This game has aspects of area control games, dice games, and simultaneous reveal games, with a big, heaping helping of Take That! thrown in for good measure. The theme is nice, and the mechanisms work well in relation to the theme, but remember the Take That! stuff? Yeah. It sort of takes the shine off of whatever bit the game had to begin with. I don't see myself playing that one too often.

1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2009-05-30
6
Jun 2008*
5.643
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This is a cool way of turning a carnie game into a real one, though there's little (if any) strategy you can add to the game. Like any dexterity game, it's best played if you can put a little English on the game, and learning how to do that is part of the fun. Plus, it's good for if you have some young'uns around.

2 plays: 4 players
2008-06-28*
Warfrog first edition
Year: 2007
8
Jan 2012
7.859
Owned
Plays: 6
There's an interesting economic engine in this game that drives a VP engine, but it's going to take a game to at least understand how it works. There are a lot of rules to remember here, and they don't work quite as intuitively as, say, Age of Steam, but I think the game would grow to be more intuitive the more people played it. Knowing how everything interacts is critical to winning the game, and it's not something that will become apparent with the first play (or even the third or fourth, for that matter).

3 plays: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players
2012-01-08
Breaking Away (1991)
Other: DIY (custom board)
6
Nov 2007*
6.193
Owned
Plays: 1
The allocation of the speed points, and the careful manipulation of the bicycles to allow them a string of lengthier sprints, makes for an interesting race game. It's definitely better to be a part of the pack, and it's not always in your best advantage to be in first place, but can you best manage your racers to know when it's the right time to make a break for the finish line?

1 play: 3 players
2007-11-27*
4
Nov 2009*
N/A
Plays: 1
The best thing about this game is the number of ball jokes you can make during play: "Your balls just dropped"; "Wait a minute, let me grab my ball"; "You have to be really delicate handling these balls"; etc. Needless to say, this is not a good sign.

1 play: 4 players
2009-11-23
English edition
Year: 2003
4
Jan 2009*
6.442
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
In our first (and only) game, we played aggressively, and forced the creation of lots of villages with very few masters. Halfway through the game, we discovered the need to build up more masters before travelling, but it seemed to be too late to make much of a difference. It's primarily a boxing game, where you're trying to keep everything in balance, but there's so much on the board that it's difficult to figure out where to play, and when. Not my thing, but I can see other people enjoying it.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2014-03-04
Buccaneer (2006)
5
Sep 2012
6.049
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The mechanisms of the game intrigue me enough to give it my standard "I like it" 6, but I can see the rating going up with future plays. The randomness of the card draws can make some plans worthless if a card you need is taken, but isn't replaced with a comparable card. Still, it leaves room for strategy.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
Bucket King (aka The Bucket King) (2002)
Rio Grande English Edition
Year: 2002
5
Sep 2012
6.063
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
I don't usually like Take That! games, but this one intrigues me. I like the bucket building mechanism, but your initial build is based off of the strengths and weaknesses based on your starting hand, so by the time you get halfway through the game, your entire hand has changed, and you're more or less left to the mercy of the draw. I feel strangely attracted to the game, though. It's weird, and fun to play.

3 plays: 6 players
2007-11-27*
Milton Bradley/Hasbro First Edition
Year: 2000
5
Nov 2007*
6.250
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The person teaching the game said that it helped to know more about the show to really get into it. I guess so. I don't know the show, and I felt like the game was a watered down blend of Fury of Dracula and Epic Duels.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
English first edition
Year: 2013
7
Nov 2013
5.963
Owned
Plays: 2
This is a crazy, chaotic game that inspires a lot of yelling and screaming at the hexbug to get him into the right corner. I can see this being a good lead-in to the craziness of Battling Tops, as well as adding more hexbugs to the game to make the game even more chaotic. Play this one if you can!

1 play: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
2013-12-08
5
Aug 2014
6.264
Plays: 1
This isn't a bad game, but I don't like that it has a "replace a card as soon as you buy one" mechanism, which means that the card you've been waiting on will suddenly show up at the end of your turn, only to get scooped up by another player before it gets back around to your turn. Plus, there's no incentive NOT to take a building that will only help someone else, since any unfinished buildings won't count against you at the end of the game. It feels fine, but it also feels unpolished.

1 play: 2 players
2014-08-03
Ravensburger Multilingual First Edition
Year: 2011
6
May 2011
7.937
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Like Troyes, DBvB uses dice as a random method to determine a tactical move, and like Troyes, you're not specifically restricted to exactly what you rolled on the dice to do something on your turn. Of course, rolling the number you need is better, but you're never without something to do just because you didn't roll a 5 when you needed it. Aside from modifier abilities, the game provides enough options with any given die to allow players to branch out and build up their tableau for better turns in the future.

There are a lot of tiles to keep up with in the game, along with the abilities they grant the players, so this isn't for a bits-averse gamer. The better you understand the abilities and how they relate to the actions you can take, the better you'll do in the game, so the learning curve is a little inclined, if not necessarily steep. The turns are straightforward (roll two dice, and take two actions based on your numbers); it's understanding how to use those actions to your best benefit that's the challenge of the game.

I'm not sure if this is a game I would play often, much less own, but it fills its own niche, and is satisfying enough as a game. The randomness of the dice can lead to frustrations, but the special abilities of certain tiles can put you in a position where a bad roll can still do a lot for you.

1 play: 4 players
2012-09-12
First Edition
Year: 1999
7
Apr 2009*
6.108
Owned
Want To Play
Plays: 2
I've only played the game twice, and each was a learning game. In the first game, I attempted to learn from the rules while playing against some experienced players, and watched the game spiral out of my control. In the second game, I had a better idea of how the mechanisms worked together, and I enjoyed planning my route and moving my passengers, even if I still didn't have a great grasp of the game.

I think people who like Age of Steam would like this game, since you're competing for limited actions, building a network, and delivering "goods" from one place to another. There MAY be a significant start-player advantage, but with experienced players, I think it might be avoided. I want to play MANY, MANY more times to find out.

1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2009-03-03
5
Nov 2007*
5.860
Plays: 1
There's a little too much depending on the luck of the card draw, and too much power can be had by one player, thanks to the uneven playing rounds. It's not bad, but I'd rather play other stock-type games.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
BuyWord (2004)
5
Sep 2012
5.921
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
The solo game is an interesting challenge, but I think this works better as a multiplayer game. I like the way the need to balance your purchases with your profits challenges your word AND your math skills.

2 plays: 1 player
3 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2014
6.943
Plays: 1
I don't know what the differences are between this edition and the previous one, but I'm fairly convinced that playing one will be enough for me to judge both games. It's too unpredictable for my tastes, and the player elimination aspect of the game is annoying. It might improve if bailing out at the end of a round would give some small reward, but as it is, you have to be bold to win the game, but being bold means you'll wind up dead. Meh.

1 play: 8 players
2014-09-27
El Caballero (1998)
5
Sep 2012
6.159
Plays: 1
I get the game, and I think that it has some very tough choices to make, based on the weird situations that arise in the game. I just find that the game is heavily balanced toward the PROactive side, instead of the REactive side. This is fine and good, it's just that I tend to do very poorly at these sorts of games, and I wind up being more frustrated with the experience than anything else. It's simply too hard for me to figure out how to arrange the board to make something pop, and by the time I do, I've already been smoked by the other player. It's just too much like work.

1 play: 2 players
2009-07-30
California (2006)
5
Nov 2007*
6.006
Plays: 1
With shades of Alhambra, California seems like a distant cousin to a much better game. It has some neat mechanisms that give it a different feel, but it feels fiddly and forced. It's not a bad game, and offers some strategy, but it's not all that I was hoping it would be. It plays much more quickly than its predecessor, though.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
English edition
Year: 2009
5
Jan 2011
6.448
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Take each individual country battle from Twilight Struggle, explode it out into single individual battles, and add in a card mechanism that simplifies the process (e.g., they no longer have dual purposes), and you get Campaign Manager 2008. The complexity level has been drastically reduced, but the drafting mechanism gives the game some replayability, while the card draw and the different possibilities for developing a deck create a nice tension in a game that takes 1/10th of the time to play. I think Jason's fans will find a new gem in this game.

-----

3 plays: 2 players
2009-11-27
Parker Brothers First Edition
Year: 1980
7
Nov 2007*
6.733
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
Fun, addictive filler. Like Bluff, it's a dice game with only a smidgen of luck thrown into the mix. Since you're wanting to play the odds, it's usually easy to guess when to stop pressing your luck. While the computer game is shorter, it lacks the taunting and trash talk that makes the game fun as a social event.

100-plus games: computer
3 plays: 3 players
2 plays: 4 players
2015-03-16
Canal Grande (2002)
4
Dec 2008*
5.895
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This game has elegant, stripped-down mechanics, but the game leaves a bit to be desired. Since the Doge cards have to be played as soon as they're drawn, it leaves the action largely out of your control.

3 plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Canal Mania (2006)
5
Dec 2008*
6.403
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I had heard a ton of great things about this game, partly in relation to Age of Steam, so one spring when I had a windfall, I purchased this game without having played it first. I was REALLY excited about it, and my expectations were irrationally high. Now, the problem with high expectations is that the only direction they can go from there is down. I'm willing to admit that my disappointment in this game was in part due to my expectations for it. But it seemed to be either (a) a watered down version of Age of Steam, with too many random elements to help with developing a long-term strategy, or (b) a more complex version of Ticket to Ride, which lasted three hours.

I like Age of Steam because it's challenging, and lacks a lot of randomness. The length of the game doesn't bother me that much, because I feel engaged. I like Ticket to Ride because it's quick, and even though luck can play a large factor into the game, it's over quickly enough that it doesn't bug me too much. Canal Mania falls somewhere in between these two ranges, and it just doesn't satisfy me.

The rules are overly fiddly (it took about 30-45 minutes to cover the rules, and even then we STILL had to refer to the rulebook time and time again), all you can do to get a good network on the board is hope that you draw the right routes, and there's too much luck in getting the cards you need when you need them. I would be interested in playing a second game, with 3, and knowing all the details of the rules, to see if the game improves, but I don't have a lot of hope for that. I see that the lowest ratings for this game are from other Age of Steam nuts, and I'm one of those, too.

1 play: 4 players
2010-05-29
Canasta (1939)
4
Dec 2011
5.901
Plays: 1
We played the 2500/5000 variant of Canasta, which was about as fun and exciting as having my teeth pulled. I'm not sure if I'd prefer to play Uno or Phase 10 over this, but it would be like asking me if I wanted to have my face shoved into burning coals or razor blades at that point.

1 play: 5 players
2011-12-29
Winning Moves Deluxe Edition
Year: 2003
6
Nov 2007*
5.867
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
From the way this game plays, it appears to be best as a 4-player partnership game, but it's a nice Rummy variant, and since my wife likes Rummy games, that's a nice bonus. The Stop cards become fairly useless in a 2-player game, and serve pretty much as a useful discard, but otherwise the game has some nice mechanisms in play. I'm eager to play it as a partnership game to see how it plays there.

1 play: 2 players (without Caliente cards)
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2012
5.937
Plays: 1
Finally, a Settlers game that doesn't feel like a Settlers clone! Aside from the trading and the building, the mechanics are very different, and makes the game feel like a new experience. There's still a lot left up to the luck of the die, but there are several ways the game lightens that load for you.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
Candy Land (1949)
3
Mar 2008*
3.655
Plays: 2
The only reason I would ever play this game is if one of my cousins or nieces or nephews suggested it. Otherwise, it's extremely annoying, since there's no thought involved AT ALL.

2 plays: 2 players
2008-03-25*
Abacus Multilingual Edition
Year: 1997
6
Oct 2011
5.863
Prev. Owned
Plays: 6
Wizard plus a board equals Canyon. I like that the penalties for making an incorrect bid increase as players near the end of the game (the rapids), but without the Grand Canyon expansion, it gets a little repetitive. Still, I'd play this over Spades any day.

1 play: 3 players
6 plays: 6 players
2012-09-12
Canyon: Grand Canyon (Grünspan German First Edition) (aka Canyon: Grand Canyon) (1999)
Grünspan German First Edition
Year: 1999
7
Oct 2011
5.622
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
I find it odd that the expansion has a lower rating than Canyon, since Grand Canyon gives the base game much more interesting decisions to make, and adds a wilder level of chaos to the game while also allowing people to make good decisions.

3 plays: 5 players
4 plays: 6 players
2007-11-27*
First edition
Year: 2001
6
Oct 2011
6.403
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
At first examination, the game seems overly complicated, but after a round or two, you can really see why the rules are the way they are. This game is a weird combination of an area control game and chicken, and the way that you build your buildings before placing them to the board adds an element of out-guessing your opponents. Not bad.

1 play: 4 players
2008-03-21*
First edition
Year: 2013
5
May 2014
5.735
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The design seems fine in that the push-your-luck element drives the main choices in the game, but it also seems like there are very few decisions to make related to the roll of the dice. Every roll combination tells you how to place the dice, unless you roll both dice below 4 (and even then, it's one of two things). The use of the mayor tokens may add another choice to your decision, but even then, it doesn't seem like enough to make the game interesting. It's disappointing.

1 play: 2 players
2014-05-18
Capt'n Clever (2003)
4
Dec 2009*
5.546
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Doesn't really live up to its name....

1 play: 3 players
2007-11-27*
Carcassonne (2000)
6
Jul 2009*
7.348
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Yes, it has the luck of the draw, and yes, the farmer scoring rules are nebulous and confusing. So what? This is a game with a lot of staying power, thanks to the expansions and the appeal to all kinds of gamers. Players familiar enough with the game to know when all sorts of a certain tile are out will have an advantage, but if you can memorize all of the tile types, then you deserve a bit of an edge. This rating is with the River expansion only, as it's the only way I've ever played the base game. I can't say how well it plays without.

1 play: 2 players
2 plays: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2008-01-16*
5
Dec 2008*
6.081
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The concept of this expansion is good, but it seems to lack something when implemented. The fact that there are only four tiles means that it's easy for one player to never see any of them, but even if he does, the small difference in point values doesn't seem to add a whole lot to the base game to make much of a difference for me. I'll probably continue to mix the tiles in with the game, just in case (we can always use them as a standard city tile), but I don't see the big deal with this one.

1 play: 4 players
2007-12-18*
Rio Grande English Edition
Year: 2002
7
May 2008*
7.008
Owned
Plays: 5
Using the animals instead of the cities DOES improve on the confusing farmer rule, and the use of the bonus tiles is clever. The fish and the huts seem to create possible huge swings, since one player could monopolize the points during and after the game, but that disappears somewhat with multiplayer games. Still, I could easily play this or standard Carcassonne.

1 play: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players

-----

Base game
Die Steinmauer
Scout
2008-05-11*
English First edition
Year: 2003
8
Jan 2008*
6.886
Owned
Plays: 3
To be a Carcassonne game, this plays much differently than I would have expected. The defined playing space, the bonus tiles, the "largest house" rule, and the fact that only the roads have to line up, make this game something unique. At first, I thought the bonus tiles could throw an advantage too much in one direction, but I didn't see that happen in my second game. In fact, in my third game, I saw the bonus tiles give a tremendous gain to a player who seemed out of contention, enough to give him the win. This may have been an anomaly, but I'm going to keep watching this sort of thing. As of right now, I prefer this to standard Carcassonne; I just wish it supported more players!

3 plays: 2 players
2008-01-20*
5
Jul 2009*
6.921
Plays: 1
Take Carcassonne, and add a bunch of rules to complicate things. This gives you Carcassonne: The City. To me, Carcassonne should be a short, simple, fun game to learn. This version of the game draws out the length of the game, and creates a number of alternative ways to score, making the result a bit more chaotic than I would like.

1 play: 3 players
2007-11-27*
4
Sep 2012
5.353
Plays: 1
I like dice games, but Carcassonne isn't really a favorite of mine, and I like my dice games to give me some choices to make over the course of my turn. Granted, this one does, and even offers up a mild form of interaction through the mechanism of being able to keep one die and prevent your opponent(s) from using it, but overall this is a multiplayer solitaire game that lacks a progressive narrative. The only thing that builds up during the game is your score, and I can't help but think this game was thrown together at the last minute just to meet the demand for a Carcassonne dice game. To say this is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the game is a bit of an insult, though.

1 play: 2 players
2011-11-14
5
Sep 2012
6.236
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is standard Carcassonne, with the ability to remove a meeple from an incomplete structure, at half the points. I like this idea, and the fact that Colovini compensated for this change by only giving you four meeples with which to score. The way the mountains and seas score take a lot from the Farmers/Hunters scoring, which I think is a good thing. For now, this gets the same rating as standard Carcassonne.

1 play: 2 players
2008-06-09*
6
Jul 2009*
6.773
Prev. Owned
I learned the game with the River expansion, so that's the only way I've ever played it. I think I prefer it with the expansion, as it gives a semi-structure to the game, eliminating what could be a total random effect in the first portion of the game.

1 play: 2 players
2 plays: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2012
5
Aug 2014
5.652
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is more a multiplayer puzzle than it is a game. I like that it's thinky, but once you figure out the way to organize your playspace to maximize your points and profits, it's just a matter of hoping the right cards come out in your favor to make it happen. For it to be an Alban Viard game, I was expecting more, but it was pretty disappointing.

1 play: 3 players
2014-07-30
Cardcassonne (2009)
6
Dec 2011
5.952
Plays: 2
I'm ambivalent enough about Carcassonne and franchise games enough that I was a little wary about this game overall, but I'm pleased to say that it exceeded my expectations. Other than the theme, it has very little to do with Carcassonne, and actually feels more like the -loretto games by Michael Schacht than anything related to Carcassonne. The choices are pretty simple -- play a card or reserve a row -- and there's a neat little timing element to the game, where you have to decide how far to push your luck in getting what you want on one round. There's also a bluffing element with some face-down cards that you can play to either tempt another players, or to hide away in an effort to take them yourself on a later turn. The endgame can be a little skewy, since the points you can get for sets of cards seems ridiculously high, but folks with better memories than I will probably not be as surprised by them. The game doesn't feel groundbreaking or even original, but it's a pleasant little game, regardless.

2 plays: 2 players
2012-05-15
English edition v 1.5
Year: 2013
7
Nov 2013
6.418
Owned
Plays: 3
Well, now I know why the owner of my FLGS told that group "You can't play that here." It's fun, and you have to have the right group of people to play it with, but there are a lot of levels of wrong here that have the potential to offend a lot of people. As for me? Oh, so much laughter....

1 play: 9 people
2 plays: 11 people
2015-01-19
Cards Against Humanity: A Cringing Look Back at 2013 (aka Cards Against Humanity: 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit) (2013)
First edition
Year: 2013
7
Feb 2014
5.907
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a small collection of just a few cards, but they're about on par with what you would expect from the Cards Against Humanity gang. If you like the game, you should find some funny cards in this mix.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
Cards Against Humanity: Bigger, Blacker Box (aka Cards Against Humanity: The Bigger, Blacker Box)
First edition
7
Feb 2014
6.095
Owned
Plays: 1
The cards that come with the game aren't all that interesting, but the box is very useful. Weighed together, that makes this expansion come out to about what I rate the base game.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
Cards Against Humanity: Conspicuous Consumption (aka Cards Against Humanity: 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit) (2013)
First edition
Year: 2013
7
Feb 2014
5.907
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a small collection of just a few cards, but they're about on par with what you would expect from the Cards Against Humanity gang. If you like the game, you should find some funny cards in this mix.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
Cards Against Humanity: Elves, etc. (aka Cards Against Humanity: 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit) (2013)
First edition
Year: 2013
7
Feb 2014
5.907
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a small collection of just a few cards, but they're about on par with what you would expect from the Cards Against Humanity gang. If you like the game, you should find some funny cards in this mix.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
English First Edition
Year: 2011
7
Nov 2013
6.626
Owned
Plays: 3
There are more cards, and no changes to the rules. This gets the same rating as the base game.

2 plays: 11 players
1 play: 13 players
2015-01-19
Cards Against Humanity: Five Cards That Have Nothing to Do with the Holidays (aka Cards Against Humanity: 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit) (2013)
First edition
Year: 2013
7
Feb 2014
5.907
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a small collection of just a few cards, but they're about on par with what you would expect from the Cards Against Humanity gang. If you like the game, you should find some funny cards in this mix.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
English First Edition
Year: 2013
8
Aug 2014
6.268
Owned
Plays: 1
More cards to expand CaH? Sign me up! And give this the same rating as the base game!

1 play: 13 players
2014-08-02
Other: DIY (PrinterStudio)
8
Aug 2014
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
More cards to expand CaH? Sign me up! And give this the same rating as the base game!

1 play: 13 players
2014-08-02
Cards Against Humanity: Interfaith Circle Jerk (aka Cards Against Humanity: 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit) (2013)
First edition
Year: 2013
7
Feb 2014
5.907
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a small collection of just a few cards, but they're about on par with what you would expect from the Cards Against Humanity gang. If you like the game, you should find some funny cards in this mix.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
English first edition
Year: 2012
8
Aug 2014
6.561
Owned
Plays: 1
More cards to expand CaH? Sign me up! And give this the same rating as the base game!

1 play: 13 players
2014-08-02
English First Edition
Year: 2013
8
Aug 2014
6.478
Owned
Plays: 1
More cards to expand CaH? Sign me up! And give this the same rating as the base game!

1 play: 13 players
2014-08-02
Cards Against Humanity: Your Shitty Family (aka Cards Against Humanity: 12 Days of Holiday Bullshit) (2013)
First edition
Year: 2013
7
Feb 2014
5.907
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a small collection of just a few cards, but they're about on par with what you would expect from the Cards Against Humanity gang. If you like the game, you should find some funny cards in this mix.

1 play: 9 players
2014-02-15
Parker Brothers edition 1965
Year: 1965
5
Apr 2013
5.638
Owned
Plays: 1
When you compare this game to either Life or Monopoly, you'll find that this is a game with a few more choices than either of those games, but not quite as many as you might want out of the newer crop of games. The self-selected win conditions are pretty cool, and what you pick determines how you play the board, and the use of the cards for movement means you don't always have to rely on the luck of the dice every turn. There are definitely tactics to use to play the game, such as building up a good income before getting into too many career paths, and using the opportunity cards to jet around the board and pass pay day, but there's still a lot of luck in how the game plays out.

It's also a very punishing game, as the longer you stay on the outside of the board, the more you risk having to pay a lot of money or lose a lot of turns. The bumping rule is a bit annoying, too, but it might depend on your group as to how bad it can be.
2013-04-23
English first edition
Year: 2011
5
Feb 2012
5.609
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 2
Based on reading the rules, I expected this to be a light game with little redeeming value outside of starting a fire. After a couple of plays, though, I started seeing some tactical opportunities in the game through the judicious use of wild cards to guarantee options for you when you rolled the dice, and in how to manage your hand so that you can almost always be getting more cards in hand. It's still a pretty light game, with one of my least-favorite mechanisms included in the mix (interrupts), but I was pleasantly surprised with what the game had to offer.

2 plays: 2 players

-----

Base game
Sideshow
2012-02-23
5
Sep 2012
6.606
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This is an area majority game turned up on its side and shaken around a bit to make something similar, yet also different. The way that the islands collect during the course of the game means that each game will be a little different, which is perfect, since this game is essentially an abstract design. The dice add a much-needed random element to the game, since otherwise it would be a perfect information game, which would in turn lead to a scripted sort of play each game.

2 plays: 3 players
2009-07-28
Carpe Astra (2008)
5
Jun 2012
5.699
Plays: 1
This isn't a bad game, but it doesn't feel like it's very well developed. It has a puzzle aspect to it, where players are trying to manipulate the board in such a way as to match patterns against symbols on cards held in hand, and players can either work toward collecting symbols for themselves or work toward taking symbols from other players. That part of it is fine, but it seems like playing slander cards (which take symbols from other players) should be harder than it is. It seems weird that moving onto another player's token is as easy as just moving on to that space, especially since there's no way to defend against that sort of movement. I get why the action is there at all -- otherwise, someone with a big lead will keep it -- but it seems like it should be harder to pull something like that off. Also, the game feels like it would work better with more than just two players, since with that number, it's too easy to fall into a tug of war game with your opponent. And it seems like going last is a huge advantage, and the same person goes last every turn. I'm not really sold on the game as it is.

1 play: 2 players
2012-06-14
Carrousel (2006)
5
Nov 2007*
5.688
Plays: 1
Real-time pattern recognition games? Not for me. It doesn't help that you can wait for the right color combinations to evolve on the board so that you can do a handful of quick switches to burn through some cards. It's quick, though, so I can't complain too much about it.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Winning Moves English/German edition 2000
Year: 2000
6
Mar 2011
6.575
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
What makes this game stand out, I think, is the way that you have to essentially hurt your position to draw cards. The game isn't taxing, or even strategic (it's strictly a tactical game), but it is unique.

JAMAICA: I haven't played the game with the Tortuga variant, but I'm not sure that I would want to, since this is a light game that can be played to pass the time during social gatherings. Having face-up cards would lead to analysis paralysis, making the game longer and too "gamer" for the kinds of people who would typically play this game. That being said, I wouldn't be opposed to playing the Tortuga variant with more hardcore gamers, just to see how much of a difference it makes.

6 plays: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2009-07-28
English first edition
Year: 2011
5
May 2012
5.520
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Fair warning: DO NOT LEARN THIS GAME FROM THE RULEBOOK. It has a horrible organization, and you'll find answers to your questions outside where you would expect them to be, and sometimes not even answered at all. Have someone who knows the game teach it to you to save yourself the time and frustration. The game is straightforward and not really that bad, but getting to where you understand the flow of the game enough to appreciate it is very frustrating. The game is a simple worker placement game with small battles going on each round (mostly dictated by the dice), and there's an odd characteristic to the game where you play against a neutral central castle with odd numbers of players (and yes, that neutral castle can win the game). There's a hint of an interesting game here, but I'm not sure if it has the kind of staying power I'd like to see. I'll give it another chance, with four players, but I'm not holding out high hopes for it, to be perfectly honest with you.

1 play: 5 players
2012-05-15
7
Oct 2009*
6.505
Plays: 2
I had been under the impression that this was strictly a worker placement game, and I'm glad that I was disappointed in that respect. There's certainly a worker placement element to the game, but I find it interesting that it's something that's in the control of the players during the game, since some placements aren't available until players build a particular building. Player turn order can come into play at that time, but there's a neat timing element in how you play the roles to best help yourself during the course of the game. My first impression is that the game is well balanced, since I made a bone-headed selection on my first turn, and still managed to take second place by one point against someone who knew the game. In addition, it works better with more players, since the competition among all the spaces on the board is a little too open, and I have to say, I wasn't thrilled with the added chaos of the Winter variant of the game. Still, I would gladly play this again.

1 play: 2 players
1 play: 3 players
2010-01-21
English first edition
Year: 2014
6
Dec 2014
7.506
Owned
Plays: 1
The game doesn't disappoint. The bidding mechanism is pretty much straight out of Industria, and the game is pretty much about the end-game scoring (e.g., if you're not working toward it, then you're not going to win), but the game has a nice tension and allows for a lot of neat building options. I think it's another hit.

1 play: 4 players
2014-12-02
Late for the Sky Production Company edition
3
Nov 2007*
5.410
Owned
Plays: 1
Monopoly with only one change -- the "Free Parking" rule error is official here. Roll-and-move mechanic takes over at the beginning, middle, and end of the game. Bleah.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
English second edition, first printing
Year: 2011
7
Sep 2011
6.767
Owned
Plays: 2
Woot! Flicking meets a dungeon crawler meets one-against-many meets a semi-strategic game. It's certainly a novel idea, and one that works remarkably well. There seems to be a neat balance of strategy versus tactics, for both sides, as well as a lot of replayability with the way the dungeon is set up each game. It has a nice potential, and lacks some of the tedium that one finds in Ascending Empires. Both games have good qualities, but if I had to pick one over another, I would probably go with Catacombs.

The rules aren't very well organized, or even all that clear (we had a handful of rules questions in our first game where we just had to make our best judgment on the situation), but that's really the only failing I see of the game at this time, and that's definitely fixable with some player aids.

1.5 plays: 4 players
.5 plays: 5 players

-----

Base game
Cavern of Soloth
Dark Passageways
Horde of Vermin
2013-01-08
Catacombs: Cavern of Soloth (English first edition) (aka Catacombs: Cavern of Soloth) (2011)
English first edition
Year: 2011
6
Sep 2011
6.088
Owned
Plays: 1
More monsters! More items! More characters! Why are you still reading this comment?

1 play: 4 players
2013-01-08
Catacombs: Dark Passageways (aka Catacombs: Dark Passageways) (2011)
First Edition
Year: 2011
6
Sep 2011
5.719
Owned
Plays: 1
I like how this really ramps up the difficulty for one side or another. The base game seems really balanced toward the heroes' favor, so seeing some things that can make it a little more difficult for them helps to balance that out a bit. Unfortunately, there are cards that are good for the heroes, and if both cards help them, then the Overseer has little chance to really tear up on the heroes. Still, it adds some nice variety and replayability to an already fun game. Double-plus good!

1 play: 4 players
2013-01-08
5
Jul 2009*
6.685
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Aside from the uses of the special cards and the commerce tile, this really IS like playing multiplayer solitaire. There's not much room for player interaction, since I can't see the need to want to trade goods in a 2-player game. If you both know what each other needs, then there's really no point, and it falls to who gets the necessary resources first. It's not a bad game, but I'd rather playe regular Settlers.

1 play: 2 players
2007-11-27*
5
Dec 2009*
5.646
Prev. Owned
Plays: 11
Hm. Catan Yahtzee? Well, yeah. Roll the dice, set aside what you want to keep, and re-roll the rest. Repeat twice per turn. I like the way that the playmat allows you to take one of a couple of different strategies, either through settlements or cities, and the way that you have to get the roads built to build out toward your goal. The wilds (both using the gold and the knights) add an extra "out" on your turn to allow you some options. Still, it seems that you have FEWER choices to make here than in Yahtzee, since you don't have the leeway to put failed rolls in a different row. You either roll what you want, or don't, and if you don't, then you lose two points. It's an interesting idea, but probably better suited to solitaire play than multiplayer play. I'm interested in seeing what the PLUS rules bring to the game (which is actually why I bought the game).

11 plays: 1 player
2010-05-07
Catch Phrase! (1994)
ImageID 233536
6
Nov 2007*
6.103
Owned
Plays: 4
I used to love this game, but then I discovered Balderdash. CatchPhrase is still a lot of fun, but it's too dependent on having the right partner to play the game. On the other hand, every game you'll ever play of Catch Phrase will elicit a new story to tell at parties.

9 plays: 4 players
2 plays: 8 players
1 play: 16 players
2013-02-20
Cave Troll (2002)
4
Dec 2009*
6.202
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
You can really see that this game started off as an exploration game, and then got re-themed when FFG got a hold of it. It suffers by appearing to be a dungeon crawl sort of game, when in fact it's more a game that would appeal to standard Euro-game players. The people who buy it aren't really its target audience, and its target audience aren't going to get past the theme to realize it's their sort of game. That being said, though, the game is random and chaotic, and prone to severe downtime, so maybe the Euro folks should avoid it anyway.

1 play: 4 players
2009-07-28
5
Jun 2012
5.859
Plays: 1
There's not a whole lot one can add to the basic idea of a flicking game without making it a little overdone, so Caveman Curling doesn't try to overcomplicate the game. It's straightforward and fun. The board rules are useful, since a failed flick might also serve as a good blocker, but I'm less convinced at the usefulness of the totems and hammers. I understand why they're in there -- they lend some tactical support to an otherwise strictly dexterity game -- but I would prefer that the game be more about the flicking than the use of the extra pieces. Catacombs does a good job of giving players tactical elements without taking away the importance of the flicking, but here, the extra pieces mean you don't have to strive as much for accuracy. It's a little disappointing, but it is a flicking game, and it's an awful lot of fun, regardless.

.25 plays: 4 players
.75 plays: 5 players
2012-06-14
Caylus (2005)
5
May 2010
7.784
Plays: 1
There's a lot going on in this game. Possibly, there's more going on than I can track to enjoy it. The design is elegant, though, and definitely requires multiple plays to get. I look forward to future plays so that I can become more familiar with the tiles, which seems to help when planning your moves.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
English Fantasy Flight Edition
Year: 2009
5
Sep 2012
7.517
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Initially, I was put off on this game because it had an area control mechanism, but the variable powers of the races, combined with the various different ways to win the game, mean that the game doesn't have to be played strictly off of that one mechanism. One can't ignore that aspect of the game by any means, but it's not necessary to maintain control over the regions in order to win the game. It does require a familiarity with all the gods and their abilities to play it well, so it's hard to judge off of just one play, but it seems to be a nice alternative to strict area control games. At the very least, I like the mechanism where the players have a certain amount of energy to use each turn, and how it affects the order in which you play your cards in a turn. It's a neat tension that may not be unique, but works well in the game.

1 play: 4 players
2011-02-02
Charon Inc. (2010)
4
Sep 2012
5.835
Plays: 1
To be fair, there are a couple of things I like about the game. I think it's clever that you pick an action by moving your pieces off of particular spaces, and take an action with what you have left on the board. I also like the tie-breaker rule that's based off of your position on the nodes, so that the more you're trying to get with one piece, the less likely you are to get it. Those two elements are the key parts of the game, but for some reason, they don't come together to make a great game. It's a fine, inoffensive little game, but there's nothing there to make it more than just an average game for me. It's ultimately very forgettable.

1 play: 3 players
2011-03-15
Cheaty Mages (2013)
English second edition
Year: 2013
6
Nov 2013
6.086
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I see similarities with this game and Colossal Arena, though Colossal Arena probably has a lot more control over the game than Cheaty Mages does. The face-down cards create a lot of uncertainty, but they do wind up making the "discard a card to see the face-down cards" option more valuable at the start of a round. I like the way the mana interacts with the judge, and how the disallowed cards both force you to rethink your strategy, and give you options for which cards to discard. I'd like to play it again to see how well it holds up over repeated plays.

1 play: 6 players
2013-11-25
Checkers (1150)
4
Nov 2007*
4.894
Plays: 1
Honestly, this is rather boring. If I'm killing time at Cracker Barrel, waiting to be seated, or find myself trying to keep a niece or nephew interested, then I'd probably play it. But it's not very interesting.

25-plus plays: 2 players
2007-11-30*
English first edition
Year: 2007
6
Jul 2012
6.074
Owned
Plays: 5
This is pretty much a standard push-your-luck game with drawing from a bag replacing rolling the dice. Like Pickomino and its ilk, the "push too far" element is matching what you've already drawn, and the game also allows players to steal from other players by matching tiles, or swapping when drawing the monkey tile. There are some neat tactical decisions to make based on the distribution of the animal chips and the balance factor of swapping the monkey chips at the risk of giving the chosen player a majority in those chips. It's a straightforward game that can be played with kids, but it has enough going on to make it more than just a mindless exercise in drawing tiles.

1 play: 2 players
3 plays: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
2012-07-23
Chess (1475)
4
Nov 2007*
6.948
Plays: 1
It's abstract, and it rewards people who devote their entire lives to playing it. Pass.

10-plus plays: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Chicago (2012)
3
Mar 2014
N/A
Plays: 1
Full disclosure: we didn't actually finish the game we played (we didn't even get halfway through it), but I saw enough of it to be able to judge it, since each turn is exactly the same. It's an area control game with a high amount of screwage, most of it rather arbitrary. It doesn't have interrupt actions, but it still has a lot of take-that, which is almost as bad. There's a neat element where the player who is last on the income track snitches on someone else, but what that does is remove everything that player has done in one space. Highly annoying.

1 play: 4 players
2014-03-18
7
Sep 2012
7.046
Prev. Owned
Plays: 8
Wow. Just ... WOW. What a tight economical game. There is a lot to weigh and manage during the game, and given the perfect information of it all, there's a good chance that it will take you a game to understand the ways that everything relates. But since the game only lasts about an hour, so what? Play it once to get a feel for it, and then play it again immediately afterward. About halfway through our first game, I saw what I SHOULD have been doing, and saw how we couldn't catch up to the person in the lead. By the second game, I thought I was out of the running when someone pointed out that I could dilute someone else's stock, and then I realized that I had a different option that took me to the win. That third game was an out-and-out beat down, though.... So far, it's a unique experience.

That's my rating for Wabash Cannonball, the exact same game as this one. I knocked this printing down a point because the artwork is far busier than it needs to be, and it makes it much harder for me to be able to read the board.
2012-09-12
Other: DIY (Inkscape)
8
Dec 2009*
7.046
Owned
Plays: 8
Wow. Just ... WOW. What a tight economical game. There is a lot to weigh and manage during the game, and given the perfect information of it all, there's a good chance that it will take you a game to understand the ways that everything relates. But since the game only lasts about an hour, so what? Play it once to get a feel for it, and then play it again immediately afterward. About halfway through our first game, I saw what I SHOULD have been doing, and saw how we couldn't catch up to the person in the lead. By the second game, I thought I was out of the running when someone pointed out that I could dilute someone else's stock, and then I realized that I had a different option that took me to the win. That third game was an out-and-out beat down, though.... It's a unique experience. Oh, and even though the box says 3-6, really the game should just be a 3-4 player game. With 5 (and, I assume, 6), the stock distribution on the first turn, as well as the smaller distribution of money among the players, turns the game into something different, and less interesting.

5 plays: 3 players
2 plays: 4 players
1 play: 5 players

-----

Base game
Erie Railroad
Narrow Gauge Railways
2010-05-23
Chikara (1989)
Other: DIY
7
Dec 2009*
N/A
Owned
Plays: 2
What a pleasant game! It's charming, in that the rules are very simple, yet allow for a variety of challenging decisions. It's challenging, because it's an abstract game that pits one player against another. It's also the kind of game that's easy to learn, but takes a handful of plays to get the main strategy of how to win. It's a game of placement and timing, and is a wonderfully portable sort of game that would work well on an airplane, in a restaurant, or in the back of a car. It's a shame that the game is so hard to find, as it's definitely a hidden gem.

2 plays: 2 players
2009-11-27
China (2005)
6
Sep 2012
6.827
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Yes, it has different rules than Web of Power, but it plays very similarly. I think removing the mid-game scoring and adding an extra face up card remove some of the tensions that the original offers, but it feels almost identical to its pappy in gameplay. I like that it has two boards, and an expansion board for replay value.

3 plays: 3 players
2010-01-31
English second edition
Year: 2008
5
Dec 2009*
6.969
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Eh. Negotiation games aren't my thing, because it's hard for me to determine the value of something quickly enough to make a deal before someone else beats me to it. I would probably play this again, though.

1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
4
Nov 2007*
5.175
Plays: 1
I was surprised to find this keeping my interest when I played it on vacation. There are some Cartagena-mechanics involved there, since it's important to keep your pieces clumped together for a big hopping move, but let's face it -- there are more challenging games out there.

1 play: 2 players
2007-11-27*
Choice (aka Extra!) (1989)
Other: DIY
7
Nov 2007*
5.790
Owned
Dang, but this is an addictive game/puzzle/whatever. It's like a solo version of Can't Stop, with some tactical know-how required to get a good score. Out of all my games, I've only had a handful that have come up with a positive score. Push your luck and play the odds!

50-plus plays: 1 player
2007-11-27*
English first edition
Year: 2010
6
May 2011
6.280
Owned
Plays: 5
For a trick-taking game with variable powers with nearly every card played to a trick, I didn't expect to like this game all that much. It's actually pretty impressive that the game has that sort of design, but still gives players a way of managing their hands and keeping the chaos down during the course of the game. It ran a little long the first time we played it (probably ten hands, at just over 90 minutes), and I honestly don't see it going down, even as players become more familiar with the game. Still, the game satisfies, partly because it's surprisingly balanced, for all the variable powers in the game. I'm quite interested in playing this one again, but only with four. With three and five players, the card counts seem to get wonky.

1 play: 3 players
2 plays: 4 players
2 plays: 5 players
2013-06-17
English first edition
Year: 2012
4
Nov 2013
5.512
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Bears, Martian Dice, Chupacabra ... if you've played one of these sorts of games, you've pretty much played them all. With this game, though, you only get one chance to roll the dice, and if you don't get any chupas, you're going to lose. On the bright side, the dice glow in the dark and look cool in a dice jar in the dark.

1 play: 2 players
2013-11-25
Drei Magier Multilingual Edition
6
Dec 2008*
5.630
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Imagine Bluff crossed with Can't Stop, and you might have an idea of how this game plays. I like the dynamics here, especially in that if you successfully bluff the other players, you don't have to reveal whether or not you did so. It suffers a bit from the "I have to keep pushing my luck or someone else will win" aspect of these kinds of games, but I'm starting to realize that that is an inherent characteristic to all of them.

1 play: 2 players
2 plays: 3 players
2008-06-27*
4
Dec 2008*
6.248
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Dropped the score a bit after multiple playings. I still enjoy it, but it seems to be far too dependent on luck to develop any manageable strategy.

2 plays: 4 players
3 plays: 5 players
2007-11-27*
English first edition
Year: 2010
6
Oct 2011
5.702
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This game is a neat take on the pick-up-and-deliver genre of games, with your deliveries being tied in to making better and better circus shows. The solitaire game (which is the only way I've played it thus far) takes a lot of the elements out of the game, so it's hard to judge the game entirely off of just that one play, but there's a clever balance of incentives in the design that force you to decide whether or not it's worth hanging on to your performers and being forced to pay for them. The action card mechanism is familiar, but it works, since the timing element of the game is particularly necessary to manage. As a solitaire game, though, it's pretty tight, since I thought I was doing well, but then wound up not being able to survive the winter. Harsh!

1 play: 1 player

-----

Base game
Expansion Kit
2012-02-04
Fantasy Flight English Large Box edition with Dark City logo 2005
Year: 2005
8
Nov 2007*
7.115
Owned
Plays: 20
This game is all about knowing your opponents, and guessing how they think. If you're not into bluffing and out-thinking, or if you're playing with some new people, this game might not be for you. The game seems to be better with fewer players (though with three, the mechanisms get ... weird), but 5 players seems to be the sweet spot here. It's important to play with the right people in two different ways -- those who don't get their feelings easily hurt, and those who can keep the game moving. If you take too long to pick a card, the downtime can be excruciating.

2 plays: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players
9 plays: 5 players
1 play: 5 players (variant role selection rule)
4 plays: 6 players
1 play: 8 players

-----

Base game
Dark City
2013-05-20
Citadels: Dark City (aka Citadels: The Dark City) (2005)
English First edition
Year: 2005
7
Jul 2009*
6.806
Owned
Plays: 14
Some of the new buildings can be a bit overpowering (and most of them are reminscent of San Juan), but you don't have to use them all. I like the new districts, and what they can do, and since you're all supposed to agree on which buildings to use, it helps alleviate some of the possibly unbalanced cards. I've played this thrice using every card in the expansion.

2 plays: 3 players
3 plays: 4 players
8 plays: 5 players
1 play: 6 players
2013-05-20
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2008
8
Jun 2009*
6.064
Owned
Plays: 15
I won't speak on this being a cross between Take It Easy! and Carcassonne, because eleventy-billion people have already made that comparison. What I will say is that this game is addictive and challenging, plays in a short amount of time, and has a high, high "One more time!" factor. Of course, I'll bet that the same eleventy-billion people who made the TIE + Carc comparison said the same things, so I suppose I'm being redundant, regardless. Just play the dang game. It's a lot of fun.

1 play: 2 players
3 plays: 3 players
8 plays: 4 players
3 play: 5 players
2014-10-29
La Città (2000)
6
Jul 2009*
6.907
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a game of keeping up with the Joneses, really. Once you get into competition with another player, you HAVE to keep increasing your own resources, or risk losing them to that player. It has wonderful choices, though, and makes for some great, trashy table talk.

1 play: 5 players
2007-11-27*
The City (2011)
5
Mar 2015
6.201
Plays: 1
It feels like Race for the Galaxy lite, just with dependencies and different scoring. It's OK, but nothing outstanding.

1 play: 4 players
2015-03-16
Clans (2002)
4
Dec 2008*
6.410
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This is strictly a tactical bluffing game, made more difficult to understand by a lousy color scheme and pattern.

2 plays: 2 players
1 play: 4 players
2009-07-28
5
Sep 2012
5.701
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a weird game that gives you some semblance of control over the second half of the game by having you pick your teams in the first half, but in the end, the game still comes down to the die roll every single turn. It's interesting (What can I say? I love rolling dice!), but nothing I say here is going to change anyone's opinion of the game and its randomness. There are definitely some tactics that are optimal, but if you can't roll the critical hits at the right time, then you won't win the game.

1 play: 4 players
2009-11-27
5
Sep 2012
6.656
Plays: 2
The game is intriguing and compelling, despite there being a good bit of randomness to a large part of your choices. I like that the designers used the half-deck-face-up mechanism to allow for some foreknowledge with a little hidden information, so there's some unknown in the choices you make. I'm not sure I like the corruption mechanism, at least in the sense of there only being two ways to get rid of it. The die rolling aspect of it leaves a little too much to chance, and as a result, there doesn't seem to be much strategy in taking a lot of corruption to get rid of it later in the game.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 5 players
2011-08-09
Jolly Roger Edition
Year: 2004
6
Mar 2009*
5.588
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 5
I like the idea behind the game. It's challenging enough for a 20-minute card game, and sometimes it's not that easy deciding which card you want to pick up. Being a card game, it has the issue of drawing a card and revealing what your opponent needs, but the game plays quickly enough and allows for some clever enough play that it alleviates some of that issue. It's a gentle game with a nice competition to it.

2 plays: 2 players
3 plays: 4 players
2011-11-08
Clubs (2013)
6
Aug 2012
6.028
Plays: 5
I'm not a big fan of climbing games (they frustrate me in a way that no other type of game can do), but I like this one. For one, you're only playing for yourself, so if you screw something up, you won't be taking someone else down with you; for another, the inclusion of 2-card runs adds a bit more flexibility to the strategy to keep from feeling hemmed in by your cards. It follows the same sort of thinking and playing that you'll find in Tichu and Gang of Four, so it doesn't feel terribly new or unique, but it's fun (though still a little frustrating).

2 plays: 4 players (prototype)
1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players
2014-04-14
4
Dec 2008*
5.639
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Too dependent on luck, even though the use of deduction skills does help. I was somehow convinced that this one was different from the board game, but was disappointed.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Coal Baron (2013)
5
Feb 2014
6.850
Plays: 1
There's nothing really wrong with the game, but there's nothing terribly exciting about it, either. The worker placement aspect of the game is OK, but it doesn't create a scarcity of actions so much as it makes future actions more expensive for those taking said actions. The game feels more like a huge puzzle of taking this, then that, then this over here, and then making sure that you get this before everyone else, etc., than a game where you're interacting. Don't get me wrong; you can interact pretty heavily, but it feels kind of artificial in the way that it all comes together. Plus, there's the issue of the cards and carts being replaced randomly, so you can take something that's only marginally beneficial to you, only to see what would have been most beneficial to you following right after, only to see it scooped up by the next player just because he happened to be there. It's just another "plan your efficiency" sort of game that leaves me cold.

1 play: 4 players
2014-02-11
Coda (2002)
6
Nov 2007*
5.877
Plays: 1
I'm not much for deduction games, but this one is pretty easy. Plus, it's usually over in ten minutes, so it's not a painful experience. Not bad.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Code 777 (1985)
Other: DIY (ArtsCow)
6
Feb 2011
6.329
Owned
Plays: 2
I'm not good at deduction games, because while I can deduce based off of a direct connection on a single clue, it's more difficult for me to narrow down my choices based on indirect, multiple clues. Plus, it seems to take much longer than I have patience for these sorts of games. It has an interesting design, though.

2 plays: 5 players
2011-01-30
English first edition
Year: 2014
6
Nov 2013
6.038
Owned
Plays: 1
This is a clever little game with a unique "action points" mechanism that I haven't seen before. I imagine that the game will grow a little stale over time, with the winner being the person who throws down the best coins on his turns, but it seems like a perfect little game to play for when you have just a couple of minutes to kill.

1 play: 2 players
2013-11-25
5
Sep 2012
6.468
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a neat concept, and if it played much longer than it did, it would probably aggravate the hell out of me. As it is, there's some amount of strategy and second-guessing, not just with the hidden roles, but also in the way that you manage your cards, even though the cards are drawn completely randomly. Card counters might be at an advantage here, if they can recall how many of each type of card has been played. Also, this is one pimped-out produced game, with some sweet chips and nicely produced cards, for a Chinese production. I'm looking forward to playing again.

1 play: 2 players
2008-06-08*
Abacus First edition
Year: 2003
7
Nov 2007*
6.889
Owned
Plays: 5
This is a nice set-collection filler game with a few more decisions to make than the average filler game. It creates a nice tension from a simple rule: Draw and add a card to an exisiting row, or take a row. Are you going to add a bad card to a row to keep someone else from taking it, possibly hurting yourself if it comes back to you? Or will you add something good for you to it and hope that it makes it back around to you? Or will you take that row with only one card on it, since you're not ready to risk taking cards that will hurt you? I can see it growing repetitious over many playings, but it offers a nice alternative to the more mindless games that hit the table often.

20-plus games: computer
3 plays: 3 players
1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players

-----

Base game
Extrakarten
For 2 Players
Limitkarten
Zwei Neue Uebersichtskarten
2012-02-10
5
May 2014
6.675
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
It's a little difficult to grasp the first time around, but playing one round will make everything fall into place. It's composed of an interesting betting mechanism that reminded me somewhat of Modern Art's payout system. It's more reliant on the luck of the draw, but I like the way the game develops.

1 play: 4 players
1 play: 5 players
2014-05-03
Colosseum (2007)
6
Jan 2010*
6.996
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This is a quirky game that seems to offer a lot of choices over the duration of the game. It's unique also in that you're working toward a "best of" score, instead of a cumulative score in the game. It's a little weird, and takes a little getting used to as far as how to plan the game, but it provides a different experience from most games. It seems like it's equally likely for a player to be competitive by using the same attraction over and over again, as it is to go for newer attractions each turn. Although, it seems like the best strategy is to re-use a smaller attraction while working toward a larger one that's slightly related. It's intriguing enough for me to want to play it again, with a better idea of how it works.

1 play: 5 players
2010-01-10
6
May 2010
7.544
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This game is my first foray into wargaming proper, and I'm not 100% certain that it's my thing. It's an interesting system, and it seems straightforward enough to learn and play. The game does have a lot of exceptions and fiddly details to remember to apply at the right times, but after about halfway through the game, they make a lot of sense. The card-driven mechanism is also interesting, and clever in the way that the cards can do four different things, but it is possible to be hosed by an unlucky draw, which can be fairly frustrating. I can see how this system would be a great one for wargamers, but I'm not sure if it's for me. I would certainly play it again.

1 play: 2 players (Fat Lipki)

-----

Base Game
Mediterranean
Paratroopers
Stalingrad
2010-05-29
Gamewright edition
Year: 2006
5
Feb 2012
5.591
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This is a pretty light game, as one could expect out of a game that's just dice and cards, but it's not one that has a lot of strategic decision-making driving the game. You get a hand of cards at the start of the game that give you different combos to complete -- some are as familiar as three-of-a-kind or full houses, while others are a little more unique, and then some even have direct competition between players -- and when you complete the combo, you get a number of chips and discard the card. The chips go toward helping you accomplish your goals (take an extra roll or an extra turn, give another player a card, or discard one of your cards in hand), so there's some tactics to how you play out your cards, but other than that, it's pretty luck-driven. There are some cards that only give you one roll to meet the goal, so it's strictly a matter of rolling the right thing, and it's a little frustrating. It's a short game, though, and I can see that with more players, more choices come into the game, but it's not particularly challenging. It's fun enough, but nothing groundbreaking or distinctive.

3 plays: 2 players
2012-02-22
Comuni (2008)
5
May 2010
6.211
Plays: 1
This is OK. It comes with some of the frustrations that are a part of worker placement games (cuz it is one), and despite the way that I like my games to squeeze me, it just leads to frustration more often than not. I wouldn't turn down a game of it (especially now that I now how the game flows), but there are other games I would play over this one. Oh, and I can see this being ridiculously chaotic with 4 or 5 players.

-----

1 play: 3 players
2008-11-28*
English first edition
Year: 2013
7
Mar 2014
6.765
Owned
Plays: 4
I'm not much for party games, but this one is a lot of fun. It's like Zendo light! I also like that you're not limited by the cards that come with the game. It would be easy to incorporate cards from other games with similar kinds of subjects, like Time's Up! or even Apples to Apples (or just come up with your own!). It's one of the few party games I've played with competitive people who wind up not caring about the score at the end of the game, so that's saying something.

1 play: 3 players
1 play: 5 players
1 play: 6 players
2014-04-05
First Edition
Year: 2009
7
Mar 2012
6.179
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This is a weird game with a mechanism I've never seen before. Basically, you can give gifts to other players in the game, which in turn makes them indebted to you, which is useful for holding your majorities in certain areas of the board, and in the voting for those areas. It's a tricky mechanism that allows you to control the votes, but it's difficult (for me, at least) to wrap your head around the way that the gifts will influence the voting process when it comes time to finally resolve the votes. There are other ways to manipulate the majorities before the voting, even if you're indebted to someone else, so it's hard to lock down a particular region without a lot of extensive work on the front end. It's very intriguing, and challenging, and I like it, though it's probably not for everyone.

My only complaint so far is the deck of action cards which players earn by pursuing other objectives in the game. They serve as incentive to pursue those objectives, but the cards are extremely powerful, and can destroy a lot of that extensive work on the front end that I mentioned, just with the use of that one card. I understand why they're in the game, but it's very frustrating to see a lot of work get destroyed just because someone drew the card that could do it. I'd be curious to try the game without them to see how much impact it would have on the rest of the game.

2 plays: 4 players
2012-08-28
Connect Four (1974)
5
Dec 2007*
4.882
Prev. Owned
Plays: 6
Decent. Not great, but decent. It just suffers from the same sort of offensive/defensive play as Tic-Tac-Toe, so two smart players will never let their opponent set up for a winning move.

6 plays: 2 players
2007-12-24*
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2007
9
Sep 2012
6.806
Owned
Plays: 8
The last time I played a game that wowed me right off the bat, it was Wabash Cannonball. Container follows in those footsteps, and it's not a coincidence that the games are both made up of a closed economic system, with extra money only coming in to the games at determined times. It's also no coincidence that the games are both perfect information games (well, with Container, it's near-perfect, since no one is ever entirely sure which containers the other players are hoping to score), and that the way the game plays out is entirely dependent on the choices that players make during the game. Like Wabash Cannonball, Container is also a relatively short game for its depth. It has a delicate (or fragile, depending on how you look at it) economic system which is prone to "breaking" when players don't understand the consequences of overbidding, but the same can be said of Modern Art, and besides, in both games, it's more a characteristic of the game to manage, not a problem with the system itself. In addition, all of the games I've played of Container played out VERY differently, which impresses me, as well. In short, I really enjoyed this game, and I can see myself wanting to play it often.

5 plays: 4 players
3 plays: 5 players

-----

Base game
Second Shipment
2013-12-02
Contraband (1950)
5
Nov 2007*
5.606
Plays: 1
The bluffing element of the game is fine, and entertaining, but the game tends to run a bit long for what I get out of it. Plus, if a person is far enough in the lead when he becomes the customs agent, he has little incentive to call a bluff.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Rob Terrell Self-Published Edition
Year: 2005
7
Nov 2007*
5.685
Owned
Want To Play
Plays: 1
Unless you're good at games like Bridge or Mu, it will likely take a hand played before you really get what this game is about; the rules seem convoluted, and aren't very intuitive from reading them. Once it clicks, though, you're likely to have an "Ah ha!" moment when you see how the bidding and the control cards interact. I'm very much looking forward to future plays.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
5
Sep 2012
5.518
Plays: 1
This isn't a bad little design! It's intended for smaller kids, and I think it's the right level of dexterity for that age. The game can also be played solitaire, which is another good way to keep the little ones diverted....

1 play: 2 players
2012-09-12
2
Nov 2007*
5.483
Plays: 1
As a kids' game, it has its appeal, but it's far too chaotic and dependent on luck to be worthwhile for the parents.

1 play: 4 players
2007-11-27*
Cootie (1927)
2
Mar 2008*
4.449
Plays: 1
Clearly, this defies the definiton of "game," since there are no meaningful choices to make here. To me, this is even worse than Candyland, because it's obviously a toy, with the "game" part of it being marketed to give people an idea that this is something interactive. Please. There are better games for children of this age that actually encourage some sort of social involvement.

1 play: 2 players
2008-03-25*
First edition, first printing
Year: 2011
5
Jan 2013
6.962
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I like deck-building games, so that was the main reason I pre-ordered this one. The problem is that the characteristics that I like about deck-building games are more or less absent here, and it doesn't feel anything like a deck-builder. The game is more about building up fleets and managing your resources to keep those fleets running, and I guess the game succeeds well enough at that, but it's not really what I was expecting out of it.

The game took a long time (2.5 hours), and there's not a lot to do when it's not your turn. Reading the cards to see what they do and comparing your own strengths with the defenses of all the planets takes a good part of every turn, so the downtime is high. I can see why it has its fans, but I don't think I'm one of them.

1 play: 5 players
2013-01-28
4
Jan 2013
6.827
Plays: 1
I almost bought this because I had the base game, but I hadn't played the base game by the time the expansion was out on pre-order, so I held off. I'm glad I did, because the expansion adds a good bit of chaos to the game through the event cards. The guilds are fine in and of themselves, but they add yet another thing to track in an already busy game. The prestige cards are supposed to offer points to folks who haven't pursued the core worlds, but they didn't seem to be worth a whole lot of points based on what I could see. The good doesn't seem to overcome the bad that comes with the expansion, and overall, it just seems to be underwhelming.

1 play: 5 players
2013-01-28
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