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My Boardgaming Evolution
Tom Mc
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ACT
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I thought it would be great to have some way to capture the evolving nature of my boardgame collection, and as a gamer right from my very first play. This geeklist is it - entirely and unashamedly self centred devil

Milestones

2012

As part of this process and logging all my plays, I've noticed a few different phases / milestones that I've progressed through:

d10-1 As a brand new gamer, visiting Cancon 2012 and trying out some of the great gateway games : Jan - March 2012

d10-2 Finding my first regular public game group on Monday nights, getting exposed to a greater range of games and being drawn deeper into the hobby, having the odd weekend session with my primary gaming buddy, and BGG becoming my favourite website : April 2012 onwards

d10-3 Attending my second convention (Wintercon 2012), trying to recruit my non boardgamer friends (and wife) into the hobby and specifically buying games that will suit this purpose : July 2012

d10-4 Buying games specifically to take on holiday with me because they were suitable or backpacking : July 2012

d10-5 Finding my second public game group which I would occasionally attend - once a month at the Gungahlin library, and starting to host (and attend) larger sessions with some of the passionate boardgamers I'd met along the way: September 2012

d10-6 Epic and tough fought 2 player gaming sessions with my primary gaming buddy : November 2012 and onwards

d10-7 Giving boardgames as gifts (and making Christmas present suggestions for colleagues), in order to both share my love of the hobby and increase the pool of potential people I might game with : December 2012 and continuing.

2013

d10-8 Attending my second Cancon (2013), volunteering to teach games on the games library, and participating in my first math trade : January 2013

d10-9 Forming a regular weekly gaming group, and scaling back some of my public game group attendences : Feb 2013 - March 2013

d10-1d10-0 Starting to pimp out my games - painted board game components (Relic): May 2013

d10-1d10-1 Increased play with family: May 2013 onwards

d10-1d10-2 Arrival of and disappointment with first Kickstarter game: Aug 2013

d10-1d10-3 Starting a Boardgaming blog at http://ManualGamer.com and uploading reviews to BGG: Aug 2013

d10-1d10-4 Having my first unboxing video used by a retailer on their site to promote the game: Aug 2013

d10-1d10-5 Discovering that Mrs Tom really enjoys Lords of Waterdeep and is very good at it - so now we have a mid weight Euro to enjoy together: Aug 2013 and onwards

d10-1d10-6 Purchasing key HeroScape sets for future play with my boy before it gets too expensive: Aug - Oct 2013

d10-1d10-7 Starting to try and convert colleagues into lunchtime gamers: Sept 2013

d10-1d10-8 Starting to take tickets on the Australian Chains of generosity with a view to pruning my collection and swap out unloved titles for those which will get more play: Sept 2013 and onwards

d10-1d10-9 Having my comment regarding Francis Drake quoted by Ender in his comprehensive overview of the game: Oct 2013

2014

d10-2d10-0 Fitting Cancon 2014 in around family responsibilities; buying lots of bargain titles (adding to my stack of unplayed games: Jan 2014

d10-2d10-1 A core member of our regular Friday gaming group heading overseas, and the quest to find a replacement: Feb 2014

d10-2d10-2 Found some new gamers to play with on a regular basis who share the same love of games with great theme: March 2014

d10-2d10-3 Started to get some solitaire gaming in when I couldn't make the game group (usually when the session is scheduled for an inconvenient night): August 2014

d10-2d10-4 Stared focusing on acquiring more solitaire games, to give better backup options for when I don't make the game group : Dec 2014

2015

d10-2d10-5 Managed to negotiate a 2 day leave pass for Cancon - yay. Played in the games library with guys from my regular game group, and didn't buy a single game (had plenty coming in the Maths Trade, and the stuff I really wanted wasn't being sold, plus the prices were higher due to the falling $A). Had a great time, more low key than previous years. Only bummer was one of my games for sale going missing from the second hand stall: Jan 2014

d10-2d10-6 Backing Conan on Kickstarter - the biggest boardgame Kickstarter to date: Feb 2014

Comments and suggestions on possible future purchases are more than welcome.
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Tom Mc
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Got this for $20 at Cancon 2012, without having played it before. Did read some reviews beforehand and thought it would be a good place to start my collection.

My first gateway game. I quickly moved on to other games and Ticket to Ride Europe eventually took over as my preferred gateway game of choice.

My wife's initial favourite game.

Purchased: Jan 2012
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2. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:40]
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Got this at day 2 of Cancon 2012. Figured the co-op would be friendly for introducing non-gamers to. Played it a couple of times at Cancon, but only once or twice since then. Should remedy this.

Purchased: Jan 2012
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3. Board Game: Dominion: Intrigue [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:21] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
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After playing a few games of dominion, I knew I just had to get a copy. Went for this version as a mate of mine already owned the base set. Many games played since then.

My wife's new favourite. She was not happy when she saw me honing my skills on isotropic.

Some of the art sucks big time (I'm looking at you, Shanty Town and Harem), but I rate this version higher than the base set.

Purchased: Feb 2012


After sitting on my shelf unplayed for over 2 years, I decided it was time to move it on. Good when we did play it, but just don't play it any more.

Sold via Cancon 2nd hand table: Jan 2015 (for $35)
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4. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:28]
Tom Mc
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Got this from my wife for my birthday (I did the ordering)

Wanted a worker placement game and this fit the bill nicely.

Purchased: for May 2012
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5. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:136] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Tom Mc
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Got this from my wife for my birthday (I did the ordering)

Wanted something epic and thematic. Something that I could play solo and really sink my teeth into. Little did I know what I was getting myself in for.

The alternative I was deciding between was Mage Knight. In hindsight Elder Sign might have been a better starting point - or I could have done Pandemic solo for a bit.

Played a couple of times on Vassal to learn the rules before introducing to my gaming buddies.

Doesn't hit the table much due to it being such a massive (and time consuming) experience. Will be interesting to play with people who all know the rules.

Purchased: for May 2012


Traded on: December 2012 (for Tales of the Arabian Nights)
 
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6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:62]
Tom Mc
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Trains + Rummy + Connect the Dots

Picked this up at wintercon 2012. Played the base American version liked it.

Simple to teach, great presentation, a good level of strategic depth.

Recommend it over Ticket to Ride America due to stations resulting in players being less likely to be shut out of the board. More suitable for teaching newcomers as a result.

The tunnelling mechanic adds a bit of fun and suspense.

Took over from Carcassonne as my go to gateway game for introducing newbies, as I enjoy the strategic depth a lot more.

Purchased: June 2012
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7. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:202]
Tom Mc
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Wanted a civilization game, and something I could play at lunch.

Awesome game - hasn't disappointed me yet. Every play is more and more enjoyable and I discover different nuances to the cards.

2 player games are fast, with a strong momentum factor. 4 player games are slower and more complex.

Love it, glad I own it and doubt this will change any time soon. Plus it's a quick fire and uncomplicated civilization game without many bits and pieces. Plus it is super portable. Definitely one of the best value games I own.

Purchased: June 2012
 
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8. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:414]
Tom Mc
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Wanted to build out my portable games, loved the theme and wanted something I could play solo without the massive exercise of Arkham Horror.

This game ... will kick ... your ass. Even with a great strategy, sometimes you'll get wiped by a bad run of draws or bad rolls. But that is all true to the theme and makes for a great experience even with a complete wipeout.

Purchased: July 2012
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9. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:143]
Tom Mc
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A robust game I grabbed to take backpacking and play with my wife.

Definitely lived up to my expectations. 20 games in and still just scratching the surface in terms of strategy, and haven't added the ladybug or mosquito into the mix as yet.

My wife's new favourite game (once we became evenly matched while on holiday).

Purchased: July 2012


After testing this game out on colleagues I realised that this game really requires 2 players of equal skill - otherwise I would just keep handing out thrashings. Lacking a regular opponent I decided to move this game on, noting that Love letter is just as portable and more accessible.

Traded in EOY 2013 maths trade (got Titan for it - shake when I realised the play time; more trade fodder): Jan 2014
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10. Board Game: Zombie in my Pocket [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1820]
Tom Mc
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Printed this out in case I felt like some solitaire gaming while travelling, and didn't want to worry about damaging components or boxes.

The theme works well with the mechanic - reminds me quite a bit of Evil Dead.

Lives in an Altoids tin - flavoured by the dreams of pregnant mermaids.

Printed: July 2012


Lost: September 2012 (can't say I was disappointed that ZiMP fell out of my pocket somewhere along the way, was looking to donate it anyway)

October 2012: Found it, and gave it to a friend.
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11. Board Game: Pirate Fluxx [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1852]
Tom Mc
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Picked this up for my holiday just in case Hive didn't hit the mark. Plus I was curious about the Fluxx game system. And who can say no to pirates.

arrrharrrharrrharrrh

Played lots of games in a short period 'o time which generated a bit of Fluxx fatigue.

Purchased: July 2012


Sold Jan 2013 via the cancon second hand table for $10 (minus $1 commission). Realised that I hadn't enjoyed the last couple of plays. Specifically bought Guillotine in my collection to replace this.
 
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12. Board Game: Munchkin Fu [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:2757]
Tom Mc
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Ordered this after having an enjoyable evening of munchkin with some mates. Went for this version due to my interest in martial arts.

Purchased: July 2012


Sold Jan 2013 via the cancon second hand table for $30 (minus $3 commission; bundled with expansion). It just wasn't getting played and I couldn't foresee it getting played any time soon. A couple of friends have other version of munchkin if I get desperate. Moving this on helped make way for new cancon purchases ...
 
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13. Board Game: Munchkin Fu 2: Monky Business [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.48 Unranked]
Tom Mc
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Figured I might as well pick up the expansion as well. In the base munchkin game I played 4 player we had to reshuffle the deck a couple of times. I thought getting the themed expansion would avoid this.

Purchased: July 2012


Sold Jan 2013 via the cancon second hand table for $30 (minus $3 commission; bundled with base). It just wasn't getting played and I couldn't foresee it getting played any time soon. A couple of friends have other version of munchkin if I get desperate. Moving this on helped make way for new cancon purchases ...
 
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14. Board Game: Discworld: Ankh-Morpork [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:328]
Tom Mc
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Looking at my collection so far, I realised that Discworld: Ankh-Morpork met a number of holes in my collection:
- a game with area control;
- a game with map based conflict;
- a game with genuinely hidden and interestingly varied roles (in contrast to Lords of Waterdeep);
- a great post-gateway game

It was super fun to play when I tested it, making it a very easy game to purchase. The next step was figuring out the other games I would add to the order to get free shipping. whistle

Purchased: September 2012
 
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15. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:166]
Tom Mc
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Love the theme, but don't have the time (or inclination) to dedicate to the miniatures version of BB. Did enjoy the 1995 and more recent computer game versions.

I really enjoyed the contest mechanic when I tested this. Involves some tough choices about placement and just edging our your opponent while not over committing to any specific contest.

Some of the teams seemed stronger than others at first. Even if this is the case (and it is not just a question of learning the appropriate strategies), then it means that the game can be made to be more balanced when experienced players are teaching the game to others.

An easy purchase given the game is relatively inexpensive and the components look great.

Purchased: September 2012


Decided that I'd move this on as it wasn't getting any play, realistically I couldn't see myself playing it with Mrs Tom and a friend has a copy. Put this on the 2015 bring and buy stall at Cancon 2015. It disappeared and the guys running the stall denied any knowledge of hat had happened to it! So no cash for me.

Gone: Jan 2015
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16. Board Game: Friday [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:241]
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I had approximately $25 left before I qualified for free shipping when ordering Discworld A-M and BB:TM.

So I opted for this. I broke my usual rule of only buy what I have already tested (implemented after getting Arkham Horror) for a few different reasons:
- it is a solitaire game so I figured I was unlikely to get to test it;
- it seemed like a game which would be fun and fast to play, and was reasonably well ranked on BGG;
- it was quite cheap;
- I was planning to remove Zombie in My Pocket from my collection, thus making way for another solitaire game;
- from the reviews I saw it seemed to have an interesting deck building mechanic - quite different than Space Hulk Death Angel (my other quick to play solitaire game); and
- the only other game I was considering at this price point was The Resistance, which was out of stock, and I also hadn't played.

Purchased: September 2012


Swapped for a copy of Citadels: October 2012 - I realised that the times I'd play this, I'd be more happy to play Space Hulk: Death Angel due to the theme.
 
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17. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:47]
Tom Mc
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Despite not having played any wargames, I wanted one - to see what they were like. To see how they matched up to the various real time strategy computer games I've played.

CC: Ancients overcame my rule about not buying games that I haven't tested due to:
- my love of ancient history;
- none of my local geek buddies or my local gaming venue having a copy that I could test;
- how much I enjoyed Rome:Total War in the days when I played computer games;
- the fact that of all the war games listed on BGG, this is the top one that has a listed play time of under 3 hours (noting that it is supposed to play in 60 mins);
- the expansions apparently being hard to find and me wanting to have time to get sufficient plays in before Cancon 2013; and
- the 35% discount one of the local online retailers was offering.

Purchased: October 2012
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18. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:160]
Tom Mc
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I'm a big fan of Race for the Galaxy. But it has a really steep learning curve due to all the iconography. And it is a pain to teach, even to those who love board games. And I'd forget about teaching it to those who aren't really into boardgames.

San Juan offers something similar to RftG, but in a more accessible package. I'm not sure it will be as well balanced as RftG or have as many viable strategies, but I think it will get more play time with my non-gamer friends who I am slowly trying to recruit into the hobby. Especially those who have a low threshhold for rule complexity, but might still enjoy a light economic game.

This review of San Juan really settled things for me.

Purchased: October 2012


Found the game play repetitive and bland. Lacks the sparkle of Race for the Galaxy. For a while I considered getting the treasure box expansion, but figured it wasn't worth the hassle. Decided I'd be better off trading it for something else I might get more plays out of.

Traded in EOY 2013 maths trade (for an in shrink copy of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game ): Jan 2014
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19. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:215]
Tom Mc
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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Got this in trade for Friday.

Been interested in it for a while, due to the hidden role selection mechanic and bluff element.

It also covered a larger number of players (2-8 with the included expansion) than the other games in my collection. That is, excluding Arkham Horror which I would never consider playing with 6+ players.

But mainly I just wanted to get rid of Friday. Hadn't play tested Citadels before making the trade.

Received in Trade: October 2012

Traded for Roma : May 2013

Biggest complaint is that it tends to outstay its welcome. Towards the endgame, it can become a bit of a grind where there is a clear leader. While it is initially fun to try and catch what they are doing and counter it, once their winning position becomes obvious I find the game can drag.

I also dislike the downtime during the role selection phase - easy to get drawn into analysis paralysis as it is difficult to plan one's move in advance.
 
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20. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:812]
Tom Mc
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Canberra
ACT
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I wanted a fast, light, portable filler so that I could stop resorting to Pirate Fluxx (played way too many games of it). Tested the online play of Guillotine and enjoyed it.

Suspect I may be using this game to determine the present order for our secret santa this year. Winner of the game gets last pick of presents, but can choose to swap it with any of the other presents.

Purchased: November 2012
 
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21. Board Game: Dixit Odyssey [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:106] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Tom Mc
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Didn't have a party game in my collection, but wanted one. Great gameplay, suitable for non gamers, and a game which is very different to anything I already had in my collection.

I'm not sure how often I'd actually need to pull out a game that plays 7+, but it would be nice to have the option, so went with Dixit Odyssey.

Plus this version has spare space for the cards from one of the other versions.

Trade arranged: November 2012, for Cancon 2013 handover
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22. Board Game: Dixit Quest [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Tom Mc
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Seeing as I was already getting Dixit Odyssey in a trade, I figured I might as well grab Dixit 2, which the fellow was also trading.

Plenty of room in the Odyssey box for the cards, and will add more variety to the game.

Trade arranged: November 2012, for Cancon 2013 handover
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23. Board Game: Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1059] [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Tom Mc
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A filler game with retro styling, dungeon building and hero slaying. Don't have one of these in my boardgame collection yet.

I've been interested in Dungeon Lords for a bit, but suspect it will be too long and complex to get much play time with those I introduce gaming to, and I already have a few heavier games to keep my occupied. Boss Monster has a similar theme but I expect will be much quicker and easier to teach.

Also reminds me of the Dungeon Keeper video game that I enjoyed may years ago.

Figured it was a good project to back as my first on Kickstarter.

Backed on Kickstarter: November 2012, due to ship Feb 2013 May 2013


Not a filler game. Not suitable for occasional play due to rules uncertainty; or for introducing non gamers to due complex interaction between cards.

After 5 plays I am disappointed with what this game is compared with what it could have been - given the great concept, theme and artwork.

However, while the ruleset is expressed to be reasonably simple, there are some complex interactions between the different cards and a precise understanding of exactly when a card can be activated or played. While a number of these have been resolved by the advanced FAQ released by the designer (which should have been included in the box), there is still a lack of clarity about precisely when abilities can be activated.

I think in every game I have played there has been a situation where I've needed to scour the rulebook to find a general rule which might be helpful or look to the advanced FAQ (or both). This makes the game less suitable for infrequent play, and a poor option for teaching non-gamers.

Traded in EOY 2013 maths trade: Jan 2014

Got an out of print copy of Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #3 – The Roman Civil Wars for it - initially shake as I'd accidentally included that item in my trade list rather than Catacombs plus expansions; and because this undervalued the item (the Kickstarter version is rare). But then I perked up when I saw that the bright side was getting an expansion to my favourite game and getting rid of a game I no longer wished to play.
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24. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:228]
Tom Mc
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A really fun game. Somewhat hard to control one's fate, but that is part of the enjoyment. Being evil can really pay off... Mechanics are straightforward and enough to enable the theme (which is great) to shine. Fantastic stories abound.

Swapped Arkham Horror for this. Both games have a whole lot of theme, but TotAN is quite a bit quicker, is less complex and is suitable for play with non-gamers. Much more likely to see play time than Arkham is for me.

Received in Trade: December 2012
 
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25. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:130]
Tom Mc
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Excellent game. Very easy to teach, clean and simple mechanics. Quick to play, great for couples and a modern classic.

Like the theme too. While not crucial to the game play, it certainly is a great fit.

A must buy, even though I already have a 2 person light strategy game (Hive Pocket), and a point domination game (Blood Bowl:TM). It is less complex than either, and great for playing with those who don't like complex rules.

Purchased: December 2012
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