This game desperately needs a few variants to reduce the dependence on luck. Right now, dice luck determines how quickly you get clues, and the hansom cab is the only way around it. Also, the game could use some new mysteries with deductive-type clues, rather than "the animal that rhymes with the first syllable of the murderer's name"
So far, this just hasn't clicked for me. It feels too random, especially since the guild cards usually depend on what others are doing, and what they're doing usually just depends on how the cards are dealt. I suppose it mainly shines as a filler game for 6-7 people
Got this for my son, who's about three years too young to play. Impressed with the quality & cuteness of the blocks, and how well it plays for adults as a 10-minute filler. And we haven't tapped the drinking game possibilities yet.
BSG is pretty much the only AT game I enjoy, so it's doing a bunch of things right. The theme is really well integrated; character play is a hoot; the game is the right amount of hard.
Two minor concerns are the game length (we always seem to run over 3 hours) and exponential rules growth in the expansions, but they've done well to make most of the new rules optional... :sigh: I guess I'm just not cut out for Ameritrash.
Like the new characters, cylon leaders, and new crises. Seems like Pegasus is needed to deal with the extra difficulty of the new crises, whether or not she adds much to the game directly. Never been interested in playing New Caprica.
Wonderful game. You have to find a balance of strategy, tactics, and opportunity in the hand you're dealt. The two actions you get per turn are rarely enough to complete the action you want, so gaming the turn order is vital to get turns when you want them.
There's tension and opportunity cost between all of your options: build coal/iron now and take an immediate payoff? build/ship cotton early for the foriegn market, or build up more cotton & ports to bulk ship later? build now, or develop and build more valuable industry next turn... if the space is still available? Burn an industry card that might give you options later, or use a city card that might be your only way into a city you don't expect to use? take loans at the end of the canal age or flip one more tile?
My rating for Brit creeps upward as we get better at playing quickly (4-5hrs). The asymmetric nature and multiple tribes per player is really cool, and I'm seeing very different strategies emerge in email games. Friendly discussions with Dr Pulsipher on the 'geek add to uniqueness and historical appeal of the game.
Downside is that we often need newbies to play a full game, and said newbies can skew the game with shortsighted moves
I really like the mechanics, but parts of it are awkward and slow. The board develops slowly, leaving enough stability for good strategy and tactics. The Bulgars seem poorly balanced to me... they strike too fast & too randomly (either they end the game, or get mutilated, based on one dice roll).
Gave this to my brother & his wife a couple years ago after they enjoyed original Carc. They love it, I find it dull. The bonus for closing forests results in small, repetitive features that just don't capture my imagination. Most scoring was "pinging" in our games, making tile draw luck key, with the rivers breaking the ties.
The I&C expansion really spices up the base game. The inns give you more good places to put your meeples, reducing luck of the draw. Cathedrals are more of a crapshoot, but they add a bit of variety. Haven't tried the big meeple yet.
Didn't much enjoy my first game. Not requiring urban and market areas to match up prevented the mid-term structure on the map that allows for strategy. The walls phase was better, but you often had no choice whether or not to trigger scoring, leaving less use for tactics than I would have liked. I ought to play it again, but vastly prefer Carc+I&C at this point.
I've only played a couple games, and accidentally won both (against experienced players!). While I felt like the luck balanced out, the dice slowed the game down (due to an inability to plan ahead), and made it take a bit longer than it ought to be.
Quite enjoyed my first two games, but there's something that bugs me. Unlike other building games, you don't have much of a "position", besides your cube supply and favor track. Yes, I've built buildings and got VP's for them, but they don't feel like they're "mine": Either they're good enough that others will use them if I don't, or they're not worth the denier to me (too far down the road/not very powerful). Perhaps if more of the buildings offered side-benefits to the owner?
Clever, pretty game that plays quickly and is easy to introduce. I like the fact that you can print out the Web of Power map & several print & play expansions, and play that with the same pieces: basically four games for the price of one. Also, my wife tends to win this one, which makes everyone happy
Silly, short filler. Not much room for strategy, you either get the cards you need, or you don't. Depending on other people's goals, they'll either derail your plans or not, with no idea they've done so.
Initially, having never played CCG's before, I was impressed by the depth of the game's deck-building component. After a dozen games (mostly on BSW), the deck-building has become fairly standard, and timing the push for VP's the bigger challenge. Still haven't played with Gardens or Witches, which certainly complicates things.
BSW is definitely the way to play this... the constant shuffling & longer play-time would otherwise lower my rating.
The powerful cards add something to Dominion that previous expansions have lacked, and that adds something that really pops. I'm not quite convinced that province-collectors can compete with colony-collectors in the same game, so the strategic space hasn't exactly doubled, but the variety certainly has.
Really interesting wargame that feels at once satifyingly symmetric and asymmetric. Each faction's different powers can be used in a number of ways, with a number of allies. The main drawback is the playing time...
A clever little fencing game, which really captures two-handed fencing nicely. The only problem is that a 2-player game usually comes down to luck of the draw, and multi-player has no structure. So I made a melee variant to fix that.
Moves quickly, offers nice strategic & tactical depth in a short game. And it looks quite nice for a Cheapass. My complaint is that there's rarely any separation between the top 2-3 players, so it often comes down to initial turn order. Also, the first player is either golden or screwed based on the board layout.
Good large-group game, but as you add players, the lag between turns gets a little dull. There's not too much to think about, and luck seems to dominate gameplay. The pitting rules are really silly... it needs something better there.
Has a very different feel than any other abstract I've played. Stones are played by geometrical intuition as often as they're played by tit-for-tat calculation. I find this to make for an equally deep, but less stressful game, that nevertheless builds in excitement and has as much of a "story" as themed euros.
My wife and I started by playing 20-minute 9x9 games, and have moved up to hour-long 13x13. The flavor does change significantly as the board gets larger, and multiple areas play separately, then slowly coalesce.
El Grande seems like the most elegant game we have... all of the decisions balance multiple objectives, and the board position is just stable enough to allow for clever but forgiving strategy and tactics.
Downsides: My wife (and recently, everyone else )finds this dry, combattive, and a little long, so we either end up playing something short & sweet, or a railroad game
I wish the game didn't seem to revolve so heavily around iron and coke. Perhaps I'll feel differently after playing more games with the advanced buildings, but our first advanced game didn't change that dynamic much.
Excellent combination of asymmetric diplomacy, warfare, and strategic cardplay. The one drawback is that you really need 6 players, and they all need to have a clue, which means sitting down with the rules for at least an hour. It's tough to get eurogamers to do that. All that said, if you give me six players, and a free day, this is what we're doing.
Very mixed feelings. The kingdom-selection mechanism can drive the scoring, and the catch-up mechanism is unreliable. But when it results in a balanced game, it's very compelling... so we should probably investigate alternate drafting methods.
This is one of those brutal games that's so in-your-face competitive that it's impossible to hold a grudge because you're getting screwed so often. Gameplay is oddly abstracted yet very, very tense, as players generally must bribe and outspend each other to get resources before it's too late, but get pounced upon if they pull ahead too early. If we weren't playing with such cute wives, there'd be punches thrown over the table...
Wow, what a brutal theme. You starve to death, unless you can cannibalize your opponent, in which case you probably starve to death next turn, unless you can steal a patch of farmland until it erodes, at which point you starve. I like it. For variety, of course
What I didn't like as much was the hardcore take-that leader-bashing screwage of the mid & late game. The problem was that the screwing mechanisms don't cost the aggressor anything, except ill will, which at this point in the game is saturating since everyone has to screw someone on their turn. So the person who is accidentally least-screwed wins. I feel the game could be much improved with a slight tweak in the cards to fix that
Munchkin still gets played a bit when friends who are afraid of my Euros come over. It's still a fine game, and when played infrequently, the jokes stay pleasantly fresh. It's just that I own two dozen higher-rated games and am unlikely to play it under other circumstances.
It's worth noting, though, that original Munchkin, without expansions, can be a brutal, tactical, sneaky battle, especially when played by overcompetitive folks. With one expansion, I feel this reaches a comfortable compromise; with more, it waters down the game and turns it into a card lottery.
The main flaws with Munchkin are that it takes a bit too long, and almost always leaves 1-2 players card-poor (due to drawing high-level enemies their first few turns). I need to try a game with a draft of starting equipment/class/races, maybe beginning at level 3 to compensate (and shorten the game)
Nice expansion to the original game. Original Munckin was brutally hard to win, requiring clever cardplay and backstabbing to even have a shot at winning. Unnatural Axe dilutes those cards so that the third or fourth person to go for the win should succeed.
Caution: The more expansions you add, the more the screwage is diluted, until it's almost just a race to level 10 vs the 1-2 undefendable blocking cards. If you add two expansions, death becomes rarer, and the game is more lottery and less clever.
Munchkin plus Unnatural Axe has a decent balance. Adding Clerical Errors to the first two dilutes the race and class-specific cards too much, so we took it out of our deck. Without Unnatural Axe, Munchkin plus Errors would be okay.
This seems like a fine game that takes a little too long to develop, compared to the games I rate around an 8. The requirement to kill the entire enemy army to score a victory is a little annoying. Feels like there should be some middle ground.
I quite like NMM. It's a simple, satisfying attractive abstract that's quick to teach, takes the right amount of time to play, and offers decent complexity. It can be sketched on a napkin while waiting for dinner, played at reenactment venues, or be a game night filler. I've yet to play it seriously, so I could care less that it's solved.
ND feels like a short, sweet optimization euro, which is a good niche. I'm looking forward to playing more with my wife, since it's supposed to play well with 2. Hopefully the expansion cards will keep it fresh.
I really like the overall feel and play, and generally quite enjoy playing PG. Two major dislikes are the total crapshoot factor in power plant draws, and the endgame scenario where various players might or might not have enough money to end the game, aren't sure, and thus an orgy of arithmetic ensues, often during bidding for plants
Like poker, primero is rather pointless if you're not playing for a meaningful amount of money. Even with stakes, the game devolves into playing the odds unless a good fraction of the opponents are clever.
This is another one of those games I like better than everyone else. I appreciate the struggle to align all of your needs with not quite enough auctions or actions to get it done. I think other people see an underthemed optimization euro.
Very nice map for RR Tycoon. The game is both financially and geographically tighter, and the map is has a color structure, with red cities in the middle, and yellow and purple cities at the perimeter, to encourage building from center to edge. On the downside, this did create less differentiation among play, making it more about competing at parallel tasks. RoE forces balance and competition, where RRT expects the players to provide it through intelligent play and bidding.
I'm rating this below RRT for a couple reasons: It lacks some of the grandeur of the original map, and fails to bring any exciting innovations to the game, as opposed to cool rules in several BGGer-made maps.
Fills the principal gap of all RRT/RoTW maps so far: it works well for 2-3 players, complementing the 4-6 player sweet spot of the original map. Being a smaller map, feels a little more scripted, fewer real options. I also think I dislike the always-in-play major lines.
It's nice to have a more expensive map that takes 5-6 players. The shorter game length (due to fewer cubes on the map) changes the debt dynamic to compensate, too. My one complaint is that the plethora of mountains (even in places where the land is rough but flat) limits the number of smart routes, such that the Rockies and coast might as well be a point-to-point grid, and the plains seem too poor to compete.
This is offset by the ability to put the eastern, western, and/or Mexican maps together for mega-games.
RR Tycoon was already my favorite game, and I bought the Rails of Mexico map to basically make it equivalent to RotW. But I'm going to rate RotW higher anyway, because the Mexico map makes it much more fun for 2-3 players without needing to buy an extra map. Kudos for the extra addition.
RRT Comment: The game that got me into boardgaming. I love the feeling of building massive rail networks on the huge board, making tough decisions of taking shares vs. growing organically, and the uncertainty in when the game ends. Only downside is that although she loves the game, my wife doesn't like uber-competitive play, so she refuses to play with 6, and dislikes 5 somewhat, whereas 5 is the sweet spot for me.
Wow, what a brutally tactical game... ties with Lowenherz for depth, but the chaos factor can frustrate the best-laid plans a little too well. The possibility of losing your rice or tax province to conquest is a bug that needs fixing... the penalty is too high for something that's often dependent on chaos; maybe halving the payout would be better.
I must say, I like Vinci slightly better. Vinci has a wider diversity of civs, a more familiar map, and open scoring that I find is more interesting. Small World scales better, but we mainly played these games with 4-6 players anyway.
This is just a game that makes me smile... in a cringing sort of way, after we realize that we did one point of damage too few and the space amoeba is going to eat our heads. Can't argue with the 20-30 minute playing time either. I worry a little that it will get formulaic, but we haven't nearly gotten there yet.
Trying to decide how I feel about Stone Age. It's fine for an intro to Euros, or a quick, light game, but there are a couple things I don't like much: - It's impossible to plan for good multipliers or civ tech cards, unless there's a very strong opening draw. - The game doesn't feel like it has much of a "story arc", as it's kinda flat throughout the game, and many of the choices are only marginally better than the others.
Clever light gambling card game, with a theme that fits a fantasy crowd without turning off non-gamers. I'd like to see more hand variations (perhaps adding straights and straight flushes), but like any deck of cards, nothings stopping you from making variants.
I had to stop playing this online after I had trouble sleeping because my brain kept trying to optimize next turn in bed. I get a little discouraged by the military race, though... I'm one of those kumbaya Civ players who just wants the AI to stay out of my country while I live the good life and fly off to Alpha Centauri.
I've always found this simple, elegant, fun. but a bit dry. Everyone's trying to complete their routes with maximum efficiency, so it basically comes down to playing well and hoping the card draw doesn't screw you. Not bad, but not at the top of my list.
The US version is just a little too harsh for my taste. You can win or lose depending on the luck of the ticket draw, by getting cut off in the wrong place & time, or by the game ending a turn early. I invariably end up chewing my fingernails to a nub every time we play. Ties for Marklin as my least favorite TTR
Very much prefer the European version to the USA game. The division of long and short tickets make the draw less of a factor, and stations both make the game friendlier, and allow for clever completion of a wider range of tickets.
I sold my copy of Switzerland to make room for the India/Switz expansion...
I've really enjoyed playing TTR:S, but a couple of features have irked some of our players: 1. The country tixx are too powerful, making drawing tickets too good and luck-driven. 2. Many of our games have come down to face-down draws to get a single colored card. Restricting wilds to tunnels balances the tunnels nicely, but creates other problems
For the most part, these can (and have) be house-ruled, so my rating is a bit higher than as-published
This is a massively chaotic game. Played with enough people, you have almost no control over your destiny. Played with fewer, it's a crapshoot whether you drown or not. Maybe there's strategy under that, but I've never figured it out.
Challenging game with solid tactical and strategic options abound. Evokes the history and feel of the cold war with large amounts of game to game possibilities. Seems a tad long, but playing time will come down with experience.
The strange thing about VQ is that it looks like a wargame, but building an army and taking people's keys is the least efficient way to score points, and a prolonged stalemate will likely knock both players out of the running. It's just so much easier to score points with piracy, weddings, and patronage, so the peace dividend is very, very high.
But that, in turn, captures how the second half of the 16th century differed from the first, and from Here I Stand. I'm not sure how I feel yet about "slot machine" payouts from piracy, weddings, and patronage, but I've enjoyed my first few games, and the rest of the groups has as well.
The gameplay just doesn't match the theme at all. This is a game you want to play with a bunch of friends at a party, but the font is way, way, too small, the cards not spillproof, and the core gameplay just didn't seem very deep.