Very fun game, a favorite. Definitely a good game for peace lovers in that everyone builds in their own playing area and nothing can be done to directly affect your opponent unless you manage to snag the cards they want from the market consistently. Some people don't feel it's interactive enough.
Fun game. Played for the first time on 3/28/05 with 6 others. No such thing as strategy here because your role (abilities) change every round. You might think you want to follow a specific direction but even if you can it will always take longer than you think.
Good with two, three or four. Lay tiles to maximize points for yourself while screwing your opponents. Easy, fast and fun with a puzzle-it-through abstract thinking process. Theme independent with Alhambra themed artwork - smart way to repackage a game and make it sell.
Provisional rating. While the game itself is simple, the strategy is a tough balancing act. It's difficult to choose and achieve objectives; there's not enough cards to both play to objectives and have cards to score with. Nor can you simply "go for it" or your actions will make it obvious what objectives you're trying to achieve and you can potentially lose points.
Really good game. Dragged a bit the first time through because no one was familiar with the cards, we clocked it at 2.5 hours. Definitely have to pay attention in this game to get clues about which skills aren't needed to kill the shadow. A long time was spent party building with very few exploratory hunts.
You really have to be a negotiator and a shark in this game. In a 4 player game we played the winner had twice as much money as the second place player. The winner was also the one who started the most deals and became the boss on one or two others. You also have to be involved in as many deals as possible. It's too hard to accumulate the cards you need to do deals on your own (and defend them), the game ends by the time you can get close to having the right set of cards.
Rating based on initial play with 4 players, start positions random with the 5th removed per the instructions. I started in Rome, something I would not have chosen to do for the first play, as I prefer to play a commerce or building role rather than military. We determined the game would have been better with either 3 or 5 players, as the player with Egypt had plenty of income from cities and the best opportunity for expansion; he won as a result.
We were all tripped up by the limitation of available buildings, and played the first several rounds forgetting that we would not be able to continue to build caravans and cities in perpetuity. There wasn't enough military action on Egypt to slow that player down, and my military actions never got further than Greece. The game felt fairly static after the buildings ran out; director roles didn't change much. There wasn't much expansion and it was a bit late in the game for some to switch gears to a military offensive to gain cities and resources. Still, it was enjoyable, and I'd like to play again... knowing now what I'd do differently.
Cute game, chaotic. You can't really predict which bands will do well until you're near the end and if you don't have the corresponding color(s) in your hand to score it'll be too late to do anything about it.
I really like this sort of pick up and deliver game. Still, it took a while to get the hang of it and by the time I realized what I needed to be doing there was no hope of winning. Enjoyed it nonetheless and thought perhaps it was the inspiration for a PC game I used to play called Gazillionaire and another for the Palm OS called Space Trader.
Very, very random and chaotic but lots of fun. I suppose you could really try to observe which gems are on your opponent's expert cards and play gems to devalue their Mona Lisa but it's not that easy to do when playing this game quickly. You tend to focus on trying to play your gems defensively instead.
Fun game though it tends to drag on because the winner is the last man, err monkey, standing. You defnitely have to draw monkeys at random because some are much better than others. Satisfies any urge you might have to fling poo. ;-)
Cute game. You need to be fairly aggressive with bidding in order to obtain the exhibit tiles you need. Being able to think spatially by imagining the best orientation for a tile before bidding is required or you won't be able to combine exhibits effectively to maximize points.
First play with Ruth - she killed me all 4 rounds. Cute game, nice art, nice production quality. Very quick and simple to play, it's really a version of war. You can definitely sacrifice a lot of cards trying to gain hold of the higher perch positions and end up running out of cards with very little points on the board.
Solid game. Are there any other board games developed from a bestselling book? I actually played this game before reading Ken Follett's epic in Ireland (6/2008). Once I played the game after I read the book, I realized how well the theme and mechanics were done for the game.
An area control game that seems more intimidating/serious than it really is. Enjoyable, quick play with good strategy possibilities. Nice theme. Really nice box, board, and bits, though the cards are not as flexible or slick as they should be. (Face to Face edition)
Finally learned this one on 2/15/06 and liked it. Fairly fast moving, theme independent, abstract strategy game. To do well you need to be able to anticipate your opponents moves and plan accordingly. Two plays with Jenna on 3/21/07. I smoked her the first game by splitting up one of her larger sections and she thrashed me soundly on the second.
Interesting and quick game. Has a real 'screw your neighbor' factor that can make obtaining goal cards an exercise in frustration. The most common gotcha is losing high value cards to special ability cards. There's fair bit of randomness as you play from your own deck of 25 cards but only have three in hand at a time. You often end up wasting your best cards on crappy goal cards because you can only work with your draw of three.
Very cute -- the sheep rock! Good game, especially if you can think spatially and anticipate your opponents' moves. However, you're easily hosed by the whims of other players who don't think that way and choose their actions randomly just to create chaos.
This one's a hoot, I really like the theme and the setup. Race to get all three parts of a space suit and unlock the fuel program for the escape pod. Watch out for others on the space station trying to do the same thing.
Purchased as a birthday gift for my dad, who never played it. I retrieved it from him some years later with the intention of playing but just always ended up using someone else's copy. Good thing, as now I have a nice collector's game.
Finally played 3/24/07. Loved it! I thought the game had some great mechanics and was fairly well balanced. While it took over an hour to go through the rules, once we started playing the game moved along quickly with little down time between turns. The actual game play was not nearly as complex as we thought it would be. There were some nasty negative events - like the kill a noble card. Fortunately, the timing of the negative events didn't have a huge effect on our game but that might not be the case next time. I had been plodding along capturing cities, feeling like I was in the game but definitely not winning. Isaac was amasssing huge armies and was poised to begin a classic crushing when Jared gave me a card that compelled the recipient to purchase 1 victory point per round or pass the card. At the time, my position seemed benign (he could have given the card to anyone) but taxation happened twice afterwards and I received enough money from the cities I held to use the card for 2 rounds. In the end, Isaac's offensive would have won him the game but I won instead... by a single victory point.