Usually when someone describes a game as "unforgiving" it means that a careless noob move will give your opponents a lasting edge. I have never seen a game, though, that will so cheerfully allow you to bury yourself, even playing solitaire. I highly recommend playing first using the excellent Java hotseat program; don't engage any human opponents until you feel confident that you can win against a friendly opponent that you control.
Still in development, but working toward something like a zero-luck update of Kremlin. We don't have Kremlin's hidden faction mechanic, which is a pity, but we do have brisk gameplay without dice, which Kremlin lacks. Of course, there's plenty of opportunities for negotiation and backstabbage, too. The voting mechanic is, so far as I know, totally unique. The scoring borrows from Tigris & Euphrates, but (unlike T&E) allows some benefit to a big score in one area. This is going to be a fun and unique game.
I have many happy memories of this awesome game. Grognards will complain that it is just a very basic wargame with some chrome tacked on, but fantasy and RPG fans will see it for what it's meant to be: a chance to take part in a massive struggle between legendary forces, using basic wargame mechanics to regulate the action.
This entry is for my original, somewhat musty copy.
I like this game more each time I play it. My only complaint might be that there are too many different ways to score points and win--the game always seems to end just as my machine starts humming. It's a bit like Race for the Galaxy in that regard: it isn't the most efficient machine that wins, but rather the machine that's pretty decent soonest in the game.
Virtually perfect game, whether you play with or without the investor card. No luck, simple rules, great bits, perfect balance, there's nothing not to love here.
Revised down to 9 after additional plays: the game always ends with the rondel-pump, which is pretty boring. Also, it would be nice if there was a consensus on the investor card. I have played both ways and find the game very different depending on which way one plays, but can't say which one is better.
A bit like an 18xx game, but fiddlier and much prettier to look at. The abstraction of city values is replaced with a complex pickup-and-deliver mechanic, while the whole stock value mechanic is streamlined. I hope I'm able to get this to the table often enough to really grasp everything that's going on--it is a bit long for some folks. While I agree with the many who have said that the map is difficult to make out at times, but I find that it's good-looking enough to be worth the extra trouble.
This is probably the best game on Bruno Faidutti's Nasty Games list. And wow, it truly deserves its spot--it's ugly! No matter how the opening cards fall, they weave an intricate web of hidden motives, driving players to pick and take sides in conflicts when they'd really rather shut up and row. This is definitely one to play with a thick-skinned group. There isn't a whole lot of strategy that isn't obvious from the outset, but everyone will have fun.
A great idea for an expansion: a character who can actually do something nice for others. 8ˆ) It's fun to hear the person at the front of the boat call out "there's a medical kit in here!" and see whether someone will try to grab it before it makes its way back to the good doctor. Count on a visit from the Kid if you try it.
Who knew a roll-and-move could be so much fun? There is a fair amount of luck, but not so much as one might think. With this and Magic Realm, AH seemed to hit on something: even though I know what's going to be on the board in the end, it's a lot of fun to go out there and find it and make the most of it.
Scales well, plays fast, very little luck. What's not to love? Perhaps best of all, it's the most thematically consistent Euro-wood-cube game I've ever played. It all makes perfect sense. "The Irish on the Upper West Side love me, because I helped so many of them to get settled there", or "I might be able to hold on to Ward 7, but I'll have to call in a lot of favors." Just a great game, all around.
Falling somewhere between a pure-abstract game and a Martin Wallace-style tactical economy-builder, Tigris and Euphrates is just about perfect. Beginners always have trouble distinguishing the internal and external conflicts, but a few examples usually clear this up. T&E can be very boring if everyone tries to be too nice, and it can be extremely frustrating if everyone is too aggressive. Once the group finds a workable balance, though, it just works.