While the game easily compares to gin rummy or other set collection games, I suspect that replays will yield new impressions as experience sinks in. A careful monitoring of the discards can reveal the hidden tactics of your opponents; when you realize that the discard piles are sort of a staging areas for cards you'ld like to switch on your rack, you have to be careful of not revealing too much and be wary of those cards being buried. Fun game.
With 3 players, this game felt scripted and we got some unpleasant down time where nothing much was happening. The production quality is outstanding and the game is beautiful, but this one sadly is my least favorite 18xx.
Another gem in the 18xx series. Lots of room on this map to build local alliances; money's in Toronto unless you build many loops. Nice touch to have a Government takeover for unpaid loans. Big government footing large debts?!? This has to be a new idea...
When played cautiously, the game does not have some of the trademark pitfalls that can be nasty in some 18xx titles. Noone got near a disaster and by the end of the game we were all awash in cash. One of the friendlier games in the series and perhaps a good gateway into 18xx.
You'ld swear you're playing Twilight Struggle except for a few subtleties which add up to a big difference. An all-around winner for me; it's CDG with multiple strategies which must all be balanced between the immediate and the final turn on Election Day. Excellent in all the ways I like a game to be. And as a bonus, you can probably play two games in the time you would with TS.
Group Mastermind using actions and board placement as variables. As party games go, it's a little fiddly but with the right group can be amusing. Don't know how deep it can be but I see the appeal. For a game with 3 designers, this feels rather unfinished; the guessing can be either super easy if the novices pay attention or it can be completely out of reach. We noticed that the more down to earth priests tended to put both artefact cards in the good karma section making it dangerous to perform any action other than the required movement of an artefact. Needs some tweaking to become a complete game.
I think I bought this game on the strenght of the recommendations I saw here on BGG. I am happy to say that the praise was well deserved as we discovered a rich game with a lot going for it. I feel a player as perhaps more control over his fate when there are fewer players but this has all the trappings of a classic we'll play time and again.
After a few plays where we misunderstood a rule, we have now decided that our wrong interpretation is actually more fun to play. Here's what we do: when the cards are revealed, we can only add cards to the *end* of a queue, not in between the already present cards. It makes for some pretty brutal situations' especially with the last rows, but we're having fun this way. Let me know what you think.
I am quite certain my girls will enjoy playing this for its adventure and exploration theme. There is a lot of luck involved, perhaps a bit too much for my liking. The game plays well and there are numerous ways of advancing your score, but at the end of it all the best draws determine the winner. Family fun surely; avid gamers may be left a little hungry after trekking all of Africa.
The only worthwhile game by G. Drover; other games I tried were unmitigated disasters. Nothing new here but well put together with good tempo and relevant choices every turn. I felt engaged throughout and the multiple avenues to victory were diverse enough to obfuscate who's really in the lead. Yes, there can be wild random swings in the Discovery outcomes, but without these, the game would just bog down in analysis. Would play again.
Need to replay another time for a deeper analysis. I have discovered that in card driven games, I prefer to have a separate deck to mitigate the luck of the draw. Certain key cards can have a significant impact if they always go the same way.
Excellent and challenging game where a single early mistake can annul any brilliant plan one could have. The first 3-4 turns are spent reaching an equilibrium between income and expenses; then ideas of profit can be entertained. Since money is the focus of most of the early concerns, it seems odd that in the endgame the only real use is to build like mad or bid for a favorable play order position. The different roles are interesting as their desirability varies greatly from turn to turn. Keep an eye on that goods display as it pretty much tells you what is in store in the near future. Good tension, excellent challenge and definitely will hit the table again some time soon. Minor issues: components are bland for a game of this price, an error on a game map is never a good sign when something that obvious is forgotten; for an avid 18xxer, the luck factor in the Goods Growth phase can be severely irritating, it might seem like a small thing, but since everything has to be painstakingly planned out, it bothers me to no end that a fortuitous roll can create instant wealth for a few lucky players. As a major peeve, we had a hard time figuring out some details during our first game since some of the rules are not clearly written at all. In one example of the goods movement a red cube is moved and stops in Cincinnati (which is a blue city) and the income track is adjusted, whereas the rules say that a cube must be moved to a city of its colour. Links along the way contribute to the income growth, but to do so, the final destination has to be of the same colour. For a game that requires such attention to detail, I find that such egregious oversights are silly at best. Thankfully a quick trip on BGG allowed to clarify such problems and we had a really good time our first time around. I look forward to trying it a few hundred more times.
An earthier spin on Caylus with tons of ways to help a gamer lose his way in fourteen rounds. Not sure I will only need a few more plays to get better at this one, but I had fun in my first try. Extremely important to get a litte bit of everthing on your farm, and keep an eye on your foodstock. Very nice. The game is a very different experience depending on the number of players. It's fun to get 5 to play as we see new cards with interesting effects.
A worthy return to the original theme. We have always been playing Union Pacific with a house rule to make the acquisition of UP shares less of a race and more of a choice; this is fixed in AE, you have to make sacrifices to get the big shares. Game works perfectly, a joy to experience.
Bluffing and blind bidding at its finest. Exquisitely difficult to choose the right combinations every turn; the suspense revolves around where to put your pawns to get the best advantage. Tons of opportunity for mayhem. Keep your eye on the goal: the most artifacts win; it doesn't matter if you have lots of treasures and spells. The artifacts are it. Fantastic game.
I had many reservations about this game after reading the rules and fishing around for clarifications (thanks Jim_Pulles!). But in the end, we were all pleasantly surprised. The game can be an AP delight but it plays reasonably fast and once you know what you're doing, there are many subtilities here. The turn order is key but not so much that everything hinges around it. Going first is essentially an invitation to have your plan getting medievaled, but you can force your opponents into unfavorable decisions.
This game would be a perfect candidate for a list called: "If not for this one crucial detail, this would be a great game." The crucial detail in question is the levy tax action. Since everyone scores all their provinces, the player scoring an insane amount of points for an insanely big province takes and keeps the lead throughout the game. Since the ways to take over a province is rather difficult to pull off, the game becomes obviously skewed early on. Has anyone thought of a brilliant fix for this problem? I generally like Colovini's games but this one just seems flawed.
Alhambra goes Can't Stop and serves up an interesting laid back version of the overly grafted original. This version feels more beer&pretzel and in a good way. Plays really well with 3 if everybody keeps their analysis to a minimum. Good fun factor.
This DVD game has excellent production value but it does take some getting used to. You have to follow along and make sure you play during your turn. The one major flaw is in the final contest; teams must leave the room while the opponents try to answer the trivia questions. A bit clunky but once you know this, the game sort of works. Well, more so than what the other comments would lead you to believe.
Excellent game with a lot of tough choices. The idea of restarting for the second age with the board preset from the previous age is fantastic. You can now buy that wonderful spot with all those juicy pyramids that your opponent built. [32(3)]
Once the murky rule book is deciphered, a nice game of resource management with many different paths to victory emerges. It must be something about the way I think, but I generally find Ystari games difficult to grasp the first time around. After a few turns though, the game reveals itself. I would gladly play again.
This game falls in the simple quick fun game category. A game should never last more than 15 minutes and the rules are clearly laid out. I enjoy the idea of pitting historical figures in a gladiator contest. The gamer in me aches to have a different conflict resolution mechanic, one that doesn't involve dice. But that would likely be overly complicated. Still fun though.
With many different areas to keep track of and so many ways to spend your cards, every decision weighs in the balance. An intricate mix of randomness (draw of cards, the starting positions and the Puck) blended with risk management (what to advance and when to transport). The end game reminds me of a game of Medieval Merchants with many players: if you're not paying attention, the game can end in a flash and you don't want to be caught empty-handed with your last go. Lots of fun during those cringing trade rounds where you may be forced to give out way more than you normally would. Nice twist. In fact, there lots of neat ideas which are new mechanics altogether. That puck really forces some tough choices; do you wait until you have a commanding position before shuffling or do you still try just to weaken your opponents' positions (although they do get a VP out those expelled cubes...)? Excellent game.
An long exercise in counter shuffling and micro-management. Like other games of this scope, you're usually one mistake away from doing yourself in without a chance of coming back. Becomes tedious and mechanical early on, and what little interaction there is between players makes this feel more like a puzzle than a game. Lots of interesting ideas, but ultimately of limited appeal for me.
As with many party games, the crowd makes or breaks it. With the proper players, I can see this being a riotous hoot of fun. The times when all offered cards match the green card is always quite revealing of the judge's decision process. Lots of fun.
Comparisons to Metro are relevant, except that I find this to be a greater challenge than the predecessor. The architects moving around the board are a task to master as they alone provide the building opportunities. This is certainly less random than the tile drawing in Metro and while it gives you some control over your fate, it is also a way by which you can screw thy neighbor. And well it should be. Played the 2 player and I think the game probably shines more like that.
Yes, there is a dice which makes a large part of the game totally random. Yes, being the one to place a source leaves you wide open to be screwed by your kind opponents. Yes, the water never quite goes where you would want it. All these would normally aggravate me except we all had fun and I would definitely play again. Simple, fast and fun.
Absolutely brilliant! I had recently played The Caucasus Campaign from the same designer and thoroughly enjoyed the compact and deep experience. Wonderful game; will likely become a fixture even though the Germans have a monumental task to win this thing.
I will want to try it again with more than 2 players, but what I've seen so far is very promising. There are interesting elements of placement, hand management and scoring which blend very well together.
It's fidgetty, a lot of time is spent in tedious shuffling, it is long. Yes but I enjoy playing this game regardless. It has wonderful atmosphere, the bits are beautiful and the slow progress makes the story unfold much like Lovecraft's books, lots of words and uselessly long sentences but dark and intriguing. I like the fact I can play solitaire and that it is a challenge. I'm anxious to try it with more players but I can understand that the charm may not work equally well on everyone.
I find the theme is well represented in the movement choices every turn and it really does feel like a race in which you can't afford to rest for too long; that pesky detective really is a concern and watching your opponents going by is no comfort either. [5-87]
I'm impressed with how much strategy there is to be found in the card distribution phase. Doesn't matter if you hold a great or crappy hand; the most you can play from the cards you get is 2 cards. Choosing which without giving too much to your opponents is a minigame in itself. Lovely bits and great challenge.
I hesitated for a while getting this one. Don't know why exactly but there were a few favorable reviews here on BGG that convinced. I'm glad I did because this is likely to hit the table often. Many paths to victory and a good measure of tension from turn to turn.
Ok, there's only 2 things I can do during my turn: draw or build. So how come it is so agonizing to actually choose between the two? Simple mechanics with a familiar ressource management conendrum. Plays fast and provides lots of difficult choices.
Update: Having played more recently (BSW mostly), I realize that there are a number of set options which you must take. Since the order of drawing will have a major impact on the possible building actions, randomness rears its ugly head in an annoying fashion. Ex: a quick way to yield a connection victory (granted it's not easy), is to have all 4 roads available with a few bonus turns in hand. That is only possible if the right tiles are drawn. I'm not saying I wouldn't play again, I just feel that there is probably a recipe which will yield a better chance of winning given a minimum luck. This has to affect replay in the long run.
We can't get enough of this one. Keep an eye on your neighbors as regions fill up quickly along the border, expand and don't spread yourself too thin. It is useless to try to be in each category, try being in a majority position in 2 or 3 at the most. When fights break out, try to wipe out those colors where you have no influence; it is a great way to diminish the other tribes' presence.
My first try was with 3 players and I can see how more players can definitely kick the drama up a notch or two. The bidding mechanic is simple and works very well. I will review once I've had a few more games with 4-5 which seems to be the better fit.
A wealth creation game where you can only grow by building and selling cars. You'ld think that the game is limited in scope, but once you start playing the head reels with possibilities and plans within plans. An accomplishment from an accomplished designer.
A fast and simple chariot racing game with elements from several other games. Everyone has their own deck which has the same distribution of cards. Go three times around the track, don't forget to salute Caesar and hope that you don't have to pass your turn too often. I could review this rating once we play the game with more players.
Played it. Don't need to anymore. Opening moves are limited and the dice will destroy even the grandest plans. The best strategy is to buy research just once and to roll the superbomber on that roll. It never fails.
How can one get excited about a solitaire game in which your one way destination is a city which you will hopefully bomb to oblivion all the while trying to elude or survive the finest Luftwaffe fighters? Plenty is what I say. Yes everything is dice driven, yes tension relies on the amount of enthusiasm you put into it, and yes you do get blown out of the sky every now and then. But it is much better than doing housework. Essen, here I come!
Yes, the luck of the draw does affect the game quite a bit but since there is so much of it, it tends to average out over the course of the game. Interesting in many aspects; don't think that the Assyrians are necessarily the best tribe, it all depends on the present situation on the board. Rated this one down after a few rather bland games where the draws (either nation or temple) really through the game out of whack one way or another.
Yet another tactical system which offers good fun in a small package. The format and scale will appeal to players looking for quick games with few pieces. The system is streamlined and easy to learn; I like the way the usual fixtures of squad level games are blended in this game. Fire, movement, command, moral and LOS have been incorporated to offer a good feeling of battle chaos and control. The opportunity fire rules are interesting and deadly. There is a very good balance of realism and abstraction that will appeal to fans of the genre who are looking for a good quick game.
So many of my gaming buddies have this game that I get to play this regularly. After a few plays, my impression improved somewhat. Bearing in mind this is a light game meant to be played with some attitude, there are a few points going for it. First of all, there is a genuine challenge in winning with the renegade. The hidden roles at the start of the game remind me of 5-player Tarot, and the quicker the sherif finds his vice determines how and where the game will go. I tried some of the expansions and they really do add something new.
A kid game which requires speedy reactions to get to the matching cards. Recommended for a group of evenly skilled kids; otherwise endless bickering, nagging and pouting is sure to erupt after the first close call when two kids touch a card at *exactly* the same time.
A gamer's game when you're in the mood to just be playing. Fun, simple and quick. The trading rules in this game are so clear cut that you wonder why they weren't poached for all those other unending too free-for-all trading rounds (hello Civilisation). Lots of fun and one of those that when it's over, you want to play again right away.
Instant hit with my family. Beautiful game with enough twists and subtleties to keep everyone interested. Be careful not to progress too quickly, and don't forget to convert your colonies before the game ends, like I did...
This is not a redevelopment of Schotten-Totten; this is Schotten-Totten under a different name and look. The version of S-T I got has exactly the same tactics cards with the exact same card distribution and effects. This is not a bad thing by any means as I think this is a brilliant game. It develops slowly and much like Lost Cities, the charm lies in not revealing too much all the while trying to stake your claims before your opponent divines your plans. Excellent game.
I recall several tries at this with little or no success on my part. Apparently this is a near disaster for Napoleon and his not being utterly squashed is regarded as a showcase of his military prowess. I sadly report that I could not elevate my own prowess in quite the same fashion.
I'm not a miniatures fanatic for so many reasons but mostly because of the fidgety nature of measuring and whatnot. BFW goes through hoops to smoothen this by offering an impressive game with more manageable ressources. I like the idea of cards instead of the truck load of components which some game demand (hello Warhammer). We did manage to make sense of the rules and play a game. It was fun and I'm going to get some. The command structure makes for an imperfect control of the battlefield which I find brilliant. There is plenty of room for strategy and tactics and I'm sufficiently impressed to get my own army to tinker with.
Wonderful paranoia until a moment of revelation starts a concerted effort to make the final jumps. Since the Cylons do have a favorable position because the more the humans bicker, the less efficiently they work together. And the humans must play perfectly together to even hope of winning. The Cylons have it easy if they can stay under the radar long enough, but at some point they must come out and start pummelling the ship. I think the best opportunity is when distrust amongst the players is at its highest with hopefully an innocent human already in the brig. This game has a wonderful atmosphere but it must be played swiftly; I wouldn't sit down for this one with AP players. That is what likely ruined it for a lot of complaints of long playing times. My first game took 2h30 including explanations, which I found perfect for this type of game. The crux of this game is crisis resolution. Last I checked, the crew didn't have endless thinking time to resolve them...
Like other Zoch games, Bausack shines through with its simplicity. Plenty of engaging moments of tension when the next piece has to be piled on your structure without having the beautiful plan come crashing down. Very accessible to the whole family.
Sackson really has something special when it comes to minimal design and components for a maximum fun result. Bazaar delivers much like Can't Stop in terms of easy play but difficult decisions. Many times wow.
Once again we are faced with the question: "How can Phalanx produce such high quality components and such poorly written rules?" We had a hard time getting started and eventually had to make a spot ruling on a few issues. The way we played actually worked pretty well, but it felt like we were completing the game more than enjoying it. Nice new twist with the auctioning of cards. Very confusing but would play again.
If I didn't know Taj Mahal or Lord of the Rings, I'ld think this is a brilliant game. However, I do. My impression is that Beowulf doesn't do anything better than Taj Mahal does and it just dresses up LotR in a new costume with a barrowed twist. There's been ample harking about the Risk part of the game, so I'll limit my comments to yes, there can be some monumental shifts of luck while drawing for risk but it's not any worse than a lot of other ways of resolving random events. My own particular problem is that even though I enjoyed playing, my usual partners are not likely to prefer this over other similar games. It is beautiful to look at but the rest is so familiar that I can imagine them telling me that they'ld rather play Taj Mahal.
A good late night game. This has the feel of all those wacky horror movies that start out as an exploration of an old spooky mansion and ends in morally justified bloodbath. Well, this is the game to relieve those glorious moments. Some of the scenarios will befuddle even the most experienced gamer as the description leaves you with a lot of questions that you can't really ask the other players if you're the traitor. I suspect this just requires some getting used to, but since that is about the only detail that's not too clear, we will play again.
Sim City on a board. We have never seen a player build the City Hall and win. Someone tell me if this happened in your games. After several tries, our group pronounced this one of the better 3 player games. 3 being the dreaded number it is, this one fits perfectly. 4+ becomes way too random.
Once the initial (and still remaining) confusion subsides, the game does deliver some interesting twists. Not so sure that 2 player works all that well but I want to try with more before finalizing my rating.
Rating is subject to change as I played this eons ago. What I recall however is a wonderfully tense cat and mouse search through the northern atlantic. I don't recall playing with the advanced rules which apparently are some of the best naval rules ever produced.
Lots of familiar mechanics packaged into a nice blend. The tiles are pretty neat although the map looks increasingly like something Dali would have drawn from the sky while being completely wasted. Since the terrains do not have to match, the sudden changes from plains to hills looks awkward. Contrary to popular belief, one does not need a balanced diet to win. To wit, those sturdy indians feasted on salmon, buffalo and turkey. Most never had a bowel movement in their entire life.
Near perfect game so simple it makes you wonder why this was never done before. Plays well with young and old alike and puzzle-like appearance is appealing. It's interesting enough to draw none gamers into a game or two (because they didn't quite get it right the first time around so they want to give it another go...)
Visually interesting game that is best played with more than fewer players. Blokus scales much better from the 2 to 4 range. This game does not do it for me with just 2, but with 3-4 it's ok. Placement rules actually limit the spreading of the colors and forces localized play and cannibalisation of your own areas.
Makes the original more portable and faster to play. And more difficult in my impression. The play area seems smaller and I keep getting stuck with large pieces! I will be packing this box in our luggage whenever we travel. Excellent game.
I'm a big fan of the original game. This is a worthy and challenging encore which will take some getting used to. In my first game, I had the hardest time seeing where which piece would fit and I got caught thinking I had all the time in the world for the long pieces. Excellent and accessible just like the square version but I think this one's a bit more difficult to grasp.
Nifty artwork which gave the game an unusual and unique look. Unfortunately suffered probably from a lack of playtesting thus letting a few broken combos slip through. Tiamat had a sick power if I recall correctly. Anyhow, probably not as bad as a lot of other ill-fated CCGs but still.
Dull, mechanical and bland battle game which really feels like a trick taking game. Impressive artwork hardly makes up for the overpackaging. This is based on a single playing and if I can convince my opponent to try it again, we may yet find what the hoopla is all about. Not Knizzia's finest hour...
A beautiful game which has a lot of nice features but lacks in one which I value: interaction. This is a beautiful, fast-paced and simple game which can be played by completely ignoring what the other players are doing. If fact, it's probably better to do so and try to finish quicker than your opponents since what you can do depends on the cards you're holding. There is some luck but the game is not entirely driven by that; sure you can draw just average cards, but overall, you do have some control over your fate. Played a 4 player game and I can only imagine a 2-player game being even less interactive. I'ld play again though.
We did have to go back to the rules quite a few times. Game play ranged from the blow out to a close finish down to the wire. If suspension of disbelief can be held long enough and forget that this is not at all a simulation but a game with the Civil War tacked onto it, there is some fun to be had. Both games we tried were nowhere near what happened and I doubt the system lends itself to replay history. For one, there is absolutely no obligation to use the weaker Union leaders which historically proved to be a major advantage for the South. Indeed, an early Grant or Sherman draw coupled with a late Lee draw creates quite the opposite as the Union's units are just so much better. The combat system makes for bloody battles but we found that it works pretty well.
Will try again but not a classic at the moment. After a 3rd and similar outcome rated this game further down... Won't be touching it for a while. A House Divided is a far more enjoyable and playable depiction of this conflict.
Based on the 1862 scenario. It's very impressive how much game can be had with so few pieces on such small a map. But as with other outstanding Columbia Games, BL offers a lot of challenges for both the North and the South. I'm curious to see how either side could achieve a decisive victory consistently. Will definitely play again as there is a lot to explore.
If it wasn't for the noise, this would be perfect as a cottage evening game with the even the staunchiest non-gamer. I enjoy word games and this one enjoys the benefit of being ubiquitous, so it's easy to coax others for a game. Once they are exposed to games however, it is time to move them on to real grown-up stuff like Scrabble or Paths of Glory.
There isn't much to dislike here. The goofy artwork charms everyone and the free wheeling and dealing makes for chaotic play. Rousing fun in trying to get the right combinations of beans planted. Oh the agony of deciding if that 3rd field is worth it! My only concern is the sometimes difficult rule to implement in who initiates trades (supposedly the current player but sometimes from table talk it gets murky). But besides that, there is so much fun to be had. Bean there and will go again.
Provisional rating. I feel the game works well, it is a clean compact design even though I had a horrible time remembering the intricacies of maneuvering into and out of locale and defense positions. What bothers me might actually the lack of randomness (apart from the setup) which eventually may lead to a scripted outcome. To win, the Austrians must do X, thus the French should counter with Y, and henceforth we have slight variations of X&Y. A few more games should clarify my grasp of the game and balance my overall appreciation.
A fun and simple bidding game where there is a lot going on. Having played tons of such games, I find the mechanism for wealth redistribution quite ingenious. There is pratically no down time and you are seldom screwed by not winning a bidding round. This being a Faidutti game, I feared there had to be a completely broken card that would have a major impact on the game (à la Queen's Necklace). Perhaps the culprit in this case is the card that allows to take over a mine and attachments which can have a range of nasty impacts. Since you have to bid for the cards, other players can protect themselves somehow but the effect is still overpowered IMHO. Regardless, I think the game is highly enjoyable and is worth a try or twenty.
Meaty, intense and once grasped, a wonderful gaming experience. Many things to look out for: ports in the canal era, coal in the early frantic railroad era and then, weirdly enough, steel in the late game. Excellent!
Nice bits, intriguing strategies and lots of turnarounds. Not much missing from this abstract gem. Students need to be coaxed into going where there the least damaging for your own colors. If you can manage to get a few masters in early, you're set. Oh and don't be afraid to sacrifice a few students to blow up the bridges that would let otherwise unwelcomed visitors use it. Sacrifice is part of learning...
The stacks form and reform in wild chaotic ways. Maximizing your revenues has a lot to do with what the other players will compromise on. The 3 player game can be fun but I'm sure that more would make for a very fun filler.
Lots of fun when played with a variant suggested to change the play direction when the attack value is matched by the defending player. The pyramid setup is not as random and pointless as it seems at first. Be careful of the way your hand devolves. Playing mostly on BSW.
For a short while I enjoyed discovering the many possibilities this fun game offers. Like many CCG of the past, it failed to attract a large enough following to maintain its viability. Had some original ideas and good play value.
My brother is a stockbroker and a gamer. So naturally this had to come our way sooner or later. As it turns out, we enjoyed the easy yet subtle moves required to turn a profit. Much like many other Knizia offerings, the mechanics are deceptively simple but finding the right way of gaining an edge over the opponents is not obvious. Recommended.
Sackson pulls Scrabble up from its roots and adds his peculiar blend of ideas to produce a fascinating twist on word games. I think a mix of the draft variant along with the crossword layout makes for a great game. Excellent fun.
A cut-throat and aggressive game forcing you to play two sides against each other. Lots of difficult choices and options on every turn. Downside is the usual kingmaking issues that plague games with open scoring and predetermined turn order. Still I would play again to see how much the game varies from game to game.
Nice simultaneous game of hoodwinking thugs. Grab what you can and dodge as many bullets as you need to. Don`t get too rich too quickly if you can, because you tend to be a favored target. The foam guns are overkill though; fingers would have worked just fine.
Oddly enough, I played countless games of the card game edition before I played the original. The similarities are many; in fact apart from the bar and the jokers, the game is exactly the same. Which is not a bad thing in anyway because this is a game that my daughters will gladly play. Getting pre-teens to sit down and play games is an achievement in itself, but I have found a few games that are well-received.
On your turn, roll 4 dice and make 2 pairs; put your marker down on the chosen results (from 2-12); decide to roll or stop; you have 3 markers available, if you would have to put down a 4th marker or can't advance an existing marker you're busted; once you've advanced your marker by rerolling a result you had before all to the end of that combination, you close it out and noone can choose it anymore. Win 3 columns and you've won the game. That's it.
Pushing your luck has never been this fun. The game accelerates once number start to close out thereby diminishing the possible combinations of pairs. Vintage Sackson.
A contract connection game during the early industrial age in England. Nice building rules force players to vary the routes between cities. I am thoroughly puzzled by the possibility of crossing canals; it just doesn't make sense to me... Game works but like a player said, it is little more than Ticket to Ride on boats. Would play again.
There are many interesting games which can please parents and kids alike. Think anything by Haba and you're usually set. We didn't really find anything compelling about Capt'n Clever and I doubt it'll be anytime soon before I get the girls to play again. Very mechanical and nothing to grab my family's interest.
The game most often referred to when describing a tile-laying mechanic. Mixed feelings about this one, but in the end its mass appeal makes one of the best entry-level options for non-gamers. Spawned a new generation of fans and countless funny looking meeples.
My preferred Carcassonne adaptation. The streams and fishes and more interesting than the roads. The resulting board is way more confusing than plain vanilla Carcassonne but that is something to get used to.
Lovely improvement over Carcassone à deux. Scoring is slightly different for the unfinished buildings and paths, and it does make for a better challenge. Randomness does rear its ugly head in the form of drawing the good tiles and when. Path endings can be table-turners but quick.
My favorite of the Carcassonne incarnations. It is the most beautiful and certainly purest way of playing as this one actually involves building the city that spawned a tsunami of expansions. The walls mechanic force a new choice which at the start does not seem to be all that obvious when you are casually laying tiles from which you hope to expand. Walls quickly change the possibility of expansion and create new scoring opportunities thus creating even more walls. The city looks really nice once built.
Roll and move games are a thing of the past. For some strange reason, I would play this one again as I have some good memories associated with Careers. I was intrigued even back then that I could choose my own goal. Interesting.
I generally like simultaneous movement/action games so right away I had a favorable response to this one. I was surprised by the number of opportunities for second-guessing and foiling opponent's plans by moving an earlier both to cause trouble. Be careful not to count to much on the later boats as they will find a very different set of options by the time it's their turn. The one problem I noticed is that the colors appear to be matched to interfere one another in pairs (yellow vs blue, red vs green). In fact in our game, it happened several times that it was always the same players competing for the same one or two boats. I guess the draw of treasures should force some variation, but I'll have to try it again to confirm my impressions.
The game of clumping territories. Watch out for the color control as wild unexpected switches are commonplace. While I dislike too much randomness, there is sufficient control in this one to make for a challenging game. Plays very well in teams of 2 vs 2.
Should be a good atmosphere game, and it is simple enough that you can jump into it quite easily. Trouble is the game becomes repetitive very quickly as it is pretty easy to figure out who's in which affiliation. The trouble is that getting the second part of the challenge can only be done through a series of attacks or forced exchanges. Since most players know who's with who, the drama transforms into a drawn out affair. Not too keen to repeat the experience.
The new generation of hex and counter games are so streamlined that you don't need thousands of them anymore. The counter density is low but the action is vastly superior to the older games of the genre. Another magnificent offering by M. Simonitch.
Oh my. Finally discovered what all the fuss was about. I agree with the favorable chatter around this magnificent game but it must be said that Caylus seems more like a highly successful blend of existing mechanics than some new groundbreaking game. Everything works well together and the turn angst is atrocious (a very good thing in my book). For veteran gamers, the game is picked up easily yet there are always new strategies you would like to explore. Excellent in so many ways that for the genre I prefer it to Puerto Rico which is its closest sibling. Plus, Caylus scales extremely well; I've played 2, 3 and 4 player games and each time the beautiful turn angst is ever present.
Not nearly as dry and analytic as its older brother. This is much more of a game than an exercise. The fact that it is quicker to play may mean I play this more often. Does to Caylus what San Juan did for Puerto Rico; can be an entry to the more involved game, but satisfying by its right.
A no-nonsense area control game with lovely components and interesting choices. The actions must be timed for maximum impact and try not to play with people who think like you; similar actions cancel each other out as I found out to my dismay. My brilliant plan was squashed because of a duplicated action... Fun and simple.
My rating is based more on the fact that Chess is a game that hardly scales. I mean the enjoyment is solely based on how equally skilled the players are; if one player is more experienced and skilled, he will not get much out of beating his opponent. It does make for a learning experience but the enjoyment turns into masochism if you are consistently beaten by better players. Having been in that position (being beaten) for a long time, I can appreciate that this is one of the better games, but for entertainment there are lots of games that can pit better players against less skilled ones and still give a fighting chance to all involved.
Let me explain the rating before you judge me too harshly. I'm a dad. I'm a gamer with kids who see their dad spending a lot of time around games. Naturally, they want to play as often as possible so finding suitable choices for my two daughters can be difficult. Enter Zoch.
We as a family have played lots of the other smaller games (Pick Picknick & Pickomino). They are accessible and fun for all ages. Chicken Cha Cha Cha goes that extra step in that it really makes it challenging for the parents to compete against the kids. Try it and you will see what I mean. A 6 year old's memory assimilates the hidden tiles so quickly, you hardly stand a chance against such a formidable opponent. Had to that the quality of the components (does chickens are darn cute and plucking those feathers really makes us laugh), and you have a winner for everyone in the family. This is not a family game which you can play uninvolved, unless you don't mind having your hat handed to you by a child. Great great family game which should be part of any family's collection.
All the familiar trappings of Web of Power but in a different setting. There are two maps which make for more crowded games with less players. The fortifications seem to make the house and road scoring significantly more important than the advisors. Next time we'll play without them. Update: Disregard my comment when playing with 5 as it becomes increasingly difficult to yield insane scores while everyone is competing for areas. I upped my rating as this as become a major hit at the office lunch hour game.
Before laying out the puzzle mapboard (honestly, this is the 21st century, please update your production methods...), I had precious little knowledge of Chinese geography. Game is consistent with other crayon games; it's a quasi multi-solitaire race to the finish with little if any player interaction.
A free for all chaotic affair best suited for more than fewer players. I generally dislike games which allow or generate an anything goes atmosphere. This usually favors the quick and loud to get their way first. In fact there are a few players in our group which refuse to play such games. While I don't think Chinatown is the worse example, I would prefer a negotiation mechanic which would have some kind of a format so that everyone would be on equal footing. I'ld like to try it again with the maximum number of players just to see how loud this gets.
When we refer to this game in our group, we call it the "PLANTE TABARNAK!!!" game. This roughly translates into "Sow, goddamnit!". This came about when we realized how carefully a line must be threaded with the food management when all of a sudden you receive unexpected guests in your healthy, educated and cultivated cities. The choices are bountiful and none so easy as a recipe to follow. Be sure to keep an eye out for the political cards presenting you with unexpected opportunities, but mostly, never run short of food. That one step back you take from your opponents cannot be made up without much effort.
A simple game of tribe hoarding with an interesting scoring approach that tries to leave you guessing as to who is what color. Clever movement rules makes for a lightning fast game the entire family can play.
It is easy to be turned off by this game when you consider the amount of units on the board. That would be a silly mistake to make though, as herein lies a gem that defies preconceived notions of what makes a great wargame. The minimalist approach to the important battles would at first seem limiting the possible strategies, but not so. There plenty of options and probably like the commanders themselves, you are constantly forced to deal with the vagaries of the ACM rolls. It is difficult to finally achieve a breakthrough only to bog down for a few turns of near immobility while the treasured price lies but an extra hex away. Excellent game. Thrilled to know that I have 4 battles on this great, simple and fast system. Here's hoping that CoG III and beyond are made soon.
Excellent game with a surprising share of strategy for what seems like a regular run of the mill dicefest. Not so. Tons of decisions at every turn and oh the agony of the team building. Slowly revealing your options while adjusting to your opponents' is a really neat setup feature. Tons of fun and highly replayable. I think this must scale perfectly too.
A very tolerable children's game. Remembering what you can and can't call when playing your cards is the grabbing point here. Must be played swiftly otherwise you can always figure a way to call correctly every time.
The idea behind this simple and intriguing game is great. Code breaking as a game works perfectly well. However, I fear that the mix of tiles is not sufficiently large to really challenge strong gamers. Being the last to play means you have access to a better starting position because you start with more information. If you pay attention closely enough, you reach a point where you can't go wrong. We're considering removing 2 random tiles to add to the difficulty, but what I think would make this game shine is just more tiles.
Worker placement with a time delay release of the previously played workers. Acquire ressources, purchase goods with these and sell lots of goods to acquire currencies, which ultimately help to gain religious artifacts. Score is based on the acquired artifacts, so you can't skip a step on the way; the trick is how to balance your workforce. Brilliant.
Well, MultiMan Publishing, eat your heart out. You sat all these years on the Up Front game reprint and now we have an alternative. A fast, easy to learn and highly replayable alternative. While the game is not perfect, it is a whole lot of fun. And people: we have a rules index!!! This is one learning curve I will gladly hike.
Note to GMT: in this day and age of digital printing presses and high quality specialized papers and cardboards, it is completely unacceptable to deliver a subpar product. The die cutting seems to be the exact same one used by SPI and Avalon Hill way back when. Half my counters were off-centered and I had to use scissors again to clip the annoying little bits at the corners, all the while wondering how come I had to pay more for this game than the top notch Phalanx products. Plus, I know I have more expense coming my way as the cards definitely have to sleeved if they are to suffer the punishment that's coming to them. I will play this game a heck of lot, but I'm not a fully satisfied customer. There is no reason that the components can't be better than this.
Update: 25 games thus far and I've yet to be bored. Outstanding and now a staple of my gaming time.
I'm surprised to see how much more fun was packed into what was already one of my favorite games. The new elements definitely add to the experience and I look forward to devouring all the scenarios. I find that the new orders offer excellent tactical options to give greater control over the course of the game. CC has been the game I played the most for the past two years; this will likely be the case again this year.
An improvement over the original design of Memoir '44. The added complexity adds decisions in battle and that is much appreciated. I can see this engine yielding tons and tons of scenarios; striking a good playable balance will be interesting to explore. An odd change that I think was actually a reduction from M'44 is the lack of objective control. So much importance was attached to holding a key part of the battlefield, even in the ancient times, that I find it weird to remove that part of the game. Especially because it tends to encourage situations where advantage is gained through mad dashes to reduced units. Never mind how incohesive your line becomes or hoow dispersed your units are across the battlefield. Strange but not a showstopper.
Another nice trick taking game with interesting twists. The timing of winter, drummer and cardinal cards is where the game separates the hacks from the geeks. Connect three region for the win; how and why the others would let you is beyond me.
Light squad level game with an activation scheme that allows for plenty of interaction. My rating is likely to change as I see how well the game holds up with repeats. The first scenario seems pretty daunting on the Soviets but it does the job of introduction to the system. I'm already pretty sold on Combat Commander for the same format, but we'll see. I'm curious enough to try it again. Update: knocked a point off my rating. The second scenario is even more unbalanced than the first one. I will wait for better scenarios to come out. Playing the russians in the initial scenarios is a form of masochism that I do not abide by.
Empire building/exploration games have been over and over again, by now we shouldn't have to go over the same same old. But this is precisely what I felt playing this; new chrome, same old. I think my rating reflects mostly the disappointment I experienced because this is such a great theme and there is the possibility that we did something wrong. I might be coaxed into trying the game with 4 players; our first try with 3 players was dry and uninspiring.
A strange brew of a game. The control over your own destiny is very subtile; it hinges on the cooperation of the other players which can just as easily avoid your offers and go somewhere else. It's an intriguing approach to ressource shuffling; in practice though, I wasn't all that hooked by the game. It seems that there is only so much I could do to attract the players to my areas.
Back when bash the leader games were all the rage, we enjoyed any twist that would obfuscate the real leader. Cosmic Encounter with its endless possibilities was a welcomed addition to our gaming world. Haven't played in a long while; I think some of my younger fellow gamers are due for a lesson...
As of this writing, I have 602 games in my collection. I have rated 768 games in total and I managed to rate only 2, count 'em 2, of these a 1, the lowest of the low.
Enter Covert Action. That this thing passes off as a game comes as a complete shock to me. Let's see, 4 roles are defined, one of which is useless if another is present. Then players are expected to guess who is what and act accordingly. No guidelines, nothing to go by except, we suppose, sheer mastery of the unknown. The real mystery for me remains how I managed to sit through this pointless, fun-deprived, over extended exercise. It is feasible to be forced to sit through 10 rounds of this mind abbatoir. I pity anyone who hasn't figured out the quickest way to deal with this awful contraption. Here's the best way to play this: get a few matches, a fireplace and marvel on the ageless contest between paper and flames.
Difficult to scale the game correctly as some of the tasks can be really easy for some and impossible for others. I've had limited success with party games as they tend to seldom be replayable. I guess this one is no worse.
Played a 3 player game with both my daughters who promptly knocked me out of the first round. The youngest went on to win in splendid fashion. Elegant design and very simple play makes up for the lack of chrome.
My youngest daughter had a very negative reaction to being "eliminated". Granted that his pure conjecture; this is the first game of this type which she ever played. Crao relies on several familiar concepts and mixes them all up in a neatly packaged with cute frogs. The game itself is all cut-throat. Too cute for adults, too rough for the 6+ crowd targeted. To be fair, my oldest daughter was mighty proud of vanquishing daddy...
Funny setting which leaves a lot for the imagination: why are the swimmers still there after they've seen a well-fed crocodile just gobble their neighbor... Fun and fast; like Tally Ho! there is a chess-like feel to the end-game.
Tiles play themselves; you're generally screwed into having to do yourself in or be a kingmaker so not much decision-making. A very dry gaming experience. Much much inferior to the better Tom Tube from the same designers.
An early nice-looking game from GDW. More colorful and bold in design, an early precursor to the new era of eurogames. The mummy could be controlled by using the same cards needed for progress. Tough to catch up if you fall behind. Interesting game.
Argh. A setting I like very much has been used for a game that seems half-baked. Has the game been tested thoroughly enough to make sure that the many different ways of winning are all equally balanced for the different factions?!?
For such a beautiful package, this game is a bit of a disappointment. It suffers from a rich-get-richer problem and the maps seem to favour some initial positions through the accessibility to easy income generating spaces. The game is mostly driven by the creature cards so an emphasis on cost-reducing Temples and Priests will yield an advantage on the bidding as well as lowering the cost for creatures. Could and should have been much better.
Didn't immediately grab me like other new games but certainly made me curious. Elements of Fossil combined with a scoring which forces the hand of the opponents. Just the right mix for my family, very appealing because of the theme and the flow of the game. I like this more and more.
Excellent game! The shootout mechanics are lots of fun; the setting is pretty cool; the game flows well although getting all the subtleties takes some effort and hand management is brought to an artform.
Game-wise this is an excellent racing contest. The rules are simple and the mechanics are such that the races are always pretty close. Production-wise, I have to say this is of such a draft-like quality that you have to admire anyone who asks to be credited for the design. Clip-art and stock photography never looked so bad since Sim City the Card game.
Push your luck with increasing temptations to make your decisions tougher as the exploration goes on. This is a game where the mood of the players will make or break the fun to be had. The mechanics are so simple one has to spice things up a bit with a fair measure of taunting, teasing and goading. Chicken calls usually intice the players to draw that last fatal tile. Lots of fun with the right crowd.
If you want to find out how a person would react if their 11 year old daughter came in with orange hair and a car parts through their ears and noses, this game will let you prepare for that eventuality. Many other topics of similar importance are discussed to everyone's delight.
Go straight for the expert rules. Perhaps a precursor to Blokus and similar in feel to Othello. Keep an eye on the opponent's remaining pieces as the shrinking play area reveals much about the diminishing possibilities.
A throw back to another era where games required investment of time and effort. Intertwined objectives and abilities are wonderfully blended in a contest of both area control and evolution. Excellent with all numbers as the game scales perfectly for all number of players (up to 6). Exquisite delight of a nailbiter!
Dangerously addictive. Has this timelessness quality to it that just sucks you in and won't let go of you until biological functions remind you of life outside of the game. Got instantly hooked during the explanation of the rules. My only concern at this point is that the cards might not sustain the constant shuffling required. Excellent design and a positively brilliant game. Bravissimo!
Hard challenge for the marines in the first few games. I think I'm not playing the game the right way as I'm suffering some pretty bad beatings. However, there is so much action and options on each turn that I want to keep trying to figure out a way to make it through. Lots of bits.
Once there was a time when trying all the CCG's seemed like a good idea. Then I realized that I would never keep up with the onslaught. "Me too" games and unoriginal ideas were far more prevalent than games with a unique flavor. Doomtrooper was not worse than most but neither was it in the same league with other far superior games.
Yikes. What a brutal game of water management through damn building and cunning redirections. Forget the Three Gorges; Dos Rios' damns will make anyone scream: 'Damn!'. Tough competition and an analysis-paralysis candidate as much can be done with only 6 moves every turn. Game ends suddenly when someone comes up with the right conditions. Can't wait to see this with 4 competitive players.
Populate a doomed city, add a pinch of molten rock than stand back and watch the mayhem. A fun game gorged with many opportunities for screwing thy neighbor. We thoroughly enjoyed our first game and can't wait for the repeat. Excellent fun.
Knizia goes roll and move. Guess what: he succeeds at that as well. The catch of moving just two of your three pawns works itself into a tough choice every turn. Exciting scoring rules as we've come to expect from the Master.
Knizia cannot go wrong with auction games. We find the familiar feeling of needing so many things at the same time as the other players. The scarcity causes a temporary inflation on the exact things you're looking for. Decide early if you're trying for one big movie or several smaller ones as either avenues seem to offer a running chance to victory. Moves along well and is distinct enough from Ra and Modern Art to interest players of the other Knizia classics.
Excellent game of control reminiscent of awale. The movement of the spirit cards is very subtle and back and forth control contests are very interesting. I'm really enjoying the Kosmos series and this forced me to reorganize my list of favorites. Well done Herr Rieneck!
When a game tries to be everything at once and for everybody, it seldoms ends up being anything at all. DoA is likely the product of the labor of love from gamers who hadn't found all that they liked in *one* game and tried to pack everything in there. I can respect that, I often find myself contemplating doing just this. But whenever you find yourself with a huge stack of components with countless combinations (maps, characters, items, etc.), broken situations often arise. As far as I am concerned, DoA will always stand out as Exhibit B in the perpetual debate of the Euro vs American game philosophy. Exhibit A are the thankfully defunct Eagle Games atrocities. While I may play every now and then, this game doesn't grab in any particular way to get me to buy it and the umpteen expansions.
Turn the tables on the dungeon crawl theme: Be the dungeon master! Build your dungeon, dig tunnels, hire monster and set traps but be weary as to be not too evil, lest you attract the most potent heroes who will ask no more than to vanquish your minions swiftly. Excellent components, hilarious rulebook and truly original setting. A big winner in our group. But how will this game age? We classify it in the "Atmosphere and Experience" category; with the right group, this can be a boat load of fun. If played too analytically, it's not much of a challenge. I'm tempted to retire for ever as I slayed the Deluxe Paladin using a Demon on my first game. It was a grand moment. Not so shiny anymore after a Dragon, a Green Slime AND a Demon's been at that spiffy armour, hey mr. Paladin?
Wow! This will be forced on many of my usual opponents because I want as many foes as possible. Much analysis paralysis could be had as there are tons of possibilities every turn. I'm very impressed with the subtile options, the careful balance of the character powers and the interactive puzzle quality of the game. I'm not sure that I want to jump into the several expansions as I fear they would ruin the great balance of just the right elements found in the basic set. Sometimes a puzzle, sometimes a tactical struggle, and sometimes a race. Great fun.
Try to navigate your way to the treasure hoard and survive the trek back OR snatch the first treasure you can find and run away and watch the other players be slaughtered. Option B requires less tedious dicerolling and random draws. Fidgety, random and aged.
A prettier and meatier Catan without all the trading nonsense. Luck drives a big part of the game but in a game of this length I don't mind it as much as in Catan where it is all encompassing. Beautiful components. The tulips seem like the best early means of income but the colonies and paintings are what will bring home the victory, IMHO.
In keeping with the essence of simplicity like the other GIPF games, DVONN is learned and played in minutes. The strategies reveal themselves with every move; incredible depth for such a small footprint in rules. I absolutely adore the tactile feel of this game. Abstract gaming appeals to me more with each play. My ineptitude at this game is now confirmed. On BSW and in real life, I'm the chumpion.
The research mechanic with the cards resolution is clever and relatively innovative. This is what the game should have focused and expanded on.
What I don't like so much:
Switch Project?!? That gets used when exactly? And while a player is doing this, if the others continue their own research, how does this player make up the lost tempo?
Any time I see an Event deck, I shudder in apprehension. To make sure the events are well weighed against one another is often a difficult task. Since only players who completed a research project get to draw these, this is a painful reminder that the rich does get richer.
Could have been something interesting, failed mildly for us.
I own the DB Spiele version which suffers from really basic component quality. The game however feels just right in the Queen version though, and the material is excellent. My 5 player game was tension filled and I wouldn't want to play with less than that as the game centers around conflicts. The way the combat cards are cycled is pretty neat.
A better more involved Catan version. Plays well with 2 players and while the game certainly offers a lot more than the plain vanilla Catan, the usual rich get richer was observed in our games. True, one can build over other players buildings but the permit placement limits the free-for-all that could knock back an early leader. Not turning it down for a few more tries though.
This game has a wide enough appeal to cater to many crowds. I can play in a leisurely quasi-cooperative mode with the kids and the cut-throat nasty obstructionist version with the regular gamers. Has a nice dry tension during the road token placement phase. Vintage Moon.
Ok, it's easy to fill cheated when you open the box to find so few components that could have made yourself, really. However, I always have a good time playing this game. I need a pressure meter and better muscle control; many an elk have been knocked off the diner table...
This is too long for its own good. We decided to shorten the finale to $200 because as the game wound down, it was getting obvious that we were just in a race with the luckiest draws determining the winner. I'm pretty sure there are choke points and key routes that should be exploited. I liked the experience but I can see this getting old unless it is played with variants. Note to the wise: don't get stuck pennyless, but it won't kill you to shove your hand to get better demand cards. Ones that fit your own rails mainly...
This one's for my retirement: long and complicated. But with the right people, it is the near perfect game for the genre. Excellent combat system. Uncontrolled major powers don't work so well and do make an effort of sticking to history just a bit; silly alliances don't seem to fit in with the game. Come to think of it, by the time I actually go through all the rules and have played a few games to make a better informed judgement, I may reach retirement...
While this is a light game for kids, it does have a few elements that prevents adults from falling asleep completely. I was surprised how quickly my daughters got into this game and I think it's the theme they enjoy especially. Still, it will do for now until they are ready for meatier games.
Pente with attitude. The pieces actually move which allows for evolution in the game. The number of pieces are limited and the wise know how to play into a situation where you are the one holding the remaining pieces as they can be put anywhere on the board. Nice design and better than the more popular Pente.
Rating based on a single play of the introductory scenario (16.3). Excellent turn angst where a lot of decisions all seem to compete for the ressources at hand. Rating likely to grow as we try the more complex scenarios and tackle the strategic warfare choices.
Great fun for the entire family (8+). Conditions keep changing, sometimes unpredictably, and the struggle for spaces is quite ferocious. Lovely bidding mechanics, awful score sheet and storing of game components is odd. Take lessons from Rio Grande, people. They know that games have to be stored neatly! [4- 53]
This game illustrates well the pitfalls of the kickstarter format. I understand how the business model permits anyone to market a game idea and get going once the targets have been met. Unfortunately, it is way easier to present a great idea than it is to execute it. This game contains a lot of good ideas which ultimately fail in the execution. Had this been presented to an editor and submitted to extensive playtesting, it might have turned out fine. In its present form, this game is half-baked.
The good: - the infuriating combat widget is a neat mechanic for combat resolution; - the scale (number of units and space) felt good for 4 players; - the fog of war is pretty good (love that deploy Move action).
The bad: - Combat rounds may go on, requiring further fiddling with the widget spawning ever-increasing amounts of infuriation; - Tactics/Agendas have wildly varying potency issues which can lead to lob-sided outcomes (it can make for a good story line if you are amused by holding better cards, but at 3+ hours, one gets easily annoyed by losing through poor drawing); - the pacing of the game felt wrong, I am not even sure if all players got to play the same number of turns.
My favorite way to play a CCG is drafting. This game uses the same mechanics but throws in a neat balance of scoring opportunities. The rules are clear but the available options are not so easy to grasp. A classic case of wanting to play just another one. Then another. Then another...
You are falling from the sky. The last one to hit the ground is the winner. Any questions? While the subject is amusing, the implementation needs reworking. Noone I've played this game with is comfortable with the timing issues which are just so chaotic as to make the game nearly unplayable depending how involved the players want to be.
This wins me over if only for the vast modularity of the game. I'ld have to play tons of games before the same combinations of boards and players shows up twice. Our first session with two players was a lot of fun and the continuous jockeying for key choke points at river bends was neat. This can only get more chaotic with more players on the board. This would be the bastard son of Ave Caesar and Canyon. But in a good way.
I like: the modular aspect of the playing field, the changing conditions from turn to turn, the possible tactics and the blind setting up of the starting positions. I don't like: moving all pieces makes for a chaotic environment incondusive to planning, the unlimited moving ranges of mounted pieces, the fastidious capture of the castle.
An unusual beast which offers new twist on territorial conquest and control. The pieces never leave the board while you transfer them with neat move rules. I will have to try my hand again as I've just been handed my hat in a not so pleasant way. I like it when that happens, gives me a challenge to tackle.
We played this despite all the mixed reviews we had read here and elsewhere. Our first reaction was that we liked it very much and wondered what the fuss was all about. Interesting choices and fun to play.
I've had few good experiences with sports related games. While this is not a perfect game, it is quite a bit of fun. There is an element of control and tactic in the careful management of the players during the plays. I haven't tried building my own team and playbook yet but I look forward to it.
The theme is perfectly woven into this well-paced game. It almost feels historical in how the Viking sphere of influence expands outwards from Scandinavia into all the reaches of their explorations. Lots of luck here and maybe a few imbalanced Runes cards, but the mix felt right enough to want to play some more.
Very neat design. Forces you to think ahead for both your moves and the opponent's as the piece you move becomes a place relinquished. Rules don't mention it explicitly but you can yield inadvertently yield control of an island. Excellent sneaky game.
A macro strategic game which might just become a template for a series of games treating other campaigns. The object here is to replay a conflict in a couple of hours. In that sense it is far more abstract than the more involved Paths of Glory, but it is still an interesting challenge to see of tight a rope you can walk. Much is in bluffing astutely and picking your fights where you can do the most damage. Fast-paced and intriguing in the sense that any given strategy depends on how much the opponent lets on. Will get this and play it again for sure.
Ah the fabled FFF. This has a definite appeal to me in that the multitable aspect is unique in my collection. This added dimension forces the players to litterally think on their feet. Although I only played on a single board I have every reason to believe that the game definitely shines once a crowd can be summoned and played on all three boards. The math in this game does not appear to be as balanced as in PowerGrid but it still works. My concern lies more with some the tiles and potentially broken combinations of stores. All in all, I enjoy this and look forward to a full-blown session.
Somehow I think the math doesn't quite work with this one. I rarely make that judgement but given the number of fishes, I feel there are perhaps 3 or 4 too many cards to play this game. The idea is nice but since the target crowd was my daughters, this did not generate enough excitement to bring it out as often as I'ld like a Knizia game to. I'll fiddle with the setup and see if I can propose something to fix this.
Blind bidding with lots to look out for. The order in which the characters come up for auction really adds spice to the flow of the game. Very interesting to find out which special characters get added to the mix but in the heat of action. Lots of good ideas which work well together. Will definitely play again.
For those whose lives were engulfed by endless hours of Tetris but without the warm fuzzy EMFs of the now defunct CRTs. Gets in your brain and stays there. Hours later you find yourself imagining ways to improve that one move if only the bloody "+" hadn't come out then...
This is really 2 games in one. The exploration part borrows some elements from Hellas an earlier design from the same author. Both players actually build a play area which looks really cool. This is intriguing as you kind of get caught up in the aesthetics of the exercice; the fjord really looks good! Then the contest switches into an area control contest which takes a few minutes to complete. Nice end of evening filler.
With a referee to ensure that all rules are being followed, this is the most nerve wrecking experience of cat&mouse in the Pacific. Wonderful game. Misses the perfect because of long play time and difficulty to find willing opponents.
The kids enjoy it. I like to answer the question "What's the goal of the game?" with "We don't know yet". Cute but replay depends on open-mindedness of opponents. As a friend once described it: "I played Fluxx the one time that it was fun to play." I guess a certain mood can be mustered to play this, but I have discovered other much funnier and interesting alternatives.
Another quick, simple and interesting game for Dorra. I find his designs have a streamlined quality to them that I will definitely follow his work in the future. Doesn't get much simpler than this game and it's very enjoyable.