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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Indonesia Bermain Road Show to Jakarta

Dear Bro and Sis yang tinggal di Jakarta,

Sabtu/30 Juli 2011 ini mulai jam 13.30-17.00 akan ada Road show Indonesia Bermain, di:
Main Lobby Kampus Joseph Wibowo Center (JWC), BINUS University
Jalan Hang Lekir I nomor 6, Senayan Jakarta

Regards,
Kanty

_________________
Ayo kita ber-Kummara ria
Kanty&Eko
http://www.kummara.com
http://sofaberdua.wordpress.com/

Info bisa cek disini http://indonesiabermain.com/

 

Bandung, 12 Juli 2011Game developer Agate Studio dan Kummara akan menggelar sebuah event bernama Indonesia Bermain pada 22 dan 23 Oktober 2011 di Sasana Budaya Ganesha, Bandung. Road Play, sebutan road show Indonesia Bermain melibatkan enam kota besar di Indonesia yaitu Semarang pada 13 Juli, Solo 14 Juli, Yogyakarta 15 Juli, Surabaya 21 Juli, Bandung 23 Juli dan Jakarta 30 Juli. Acara yang didukung oleh Nokia Indonesia ini dirancang untuk kembali menghadirkan bermain sebagai sebuah aktivitas penting dan bernilai positif. “Indonesia Bermain juga akan menampilkan potensi besar dari semua jenis media permainan digital dan konvensional baik sebagai produk, maupun sebagai media kreatif bernilai tinggi,” jelas Eko Nugroho, salah satu inisiator Indonesia Bermain.

Mengangkat semangat berbagi positive gaming dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, Road Play Indonesia Bermain akan diisi talk show ringan dari Eko Nugroho, inisiator Indonesia Bermain, Narenda Wicaksono Developer Marketing Manager Nokia Indonesia, dan perwakilan dari komunitas di tiap kota. Selain itu ada info kompetisi ide game, dan tentu saja sesi bermain permainan digital dari Agate Studio dan board game dari Kummara.

Bermain pada dasarnya adalah sebuah aktivitas yang mengingatkan kita semua  bahwa kegembiraan bisa kita hadirkan dan bisa kita bagikan di mana saja, kapan saja, dan untuk semua. Lewat bermain kita bisa hadirkan kegembiraan dalam belajar, bekerja, berusaha, dan berbagai hal lainnya. “Bayangkan jika kita bisa menikmati segala aktivitas keseharian kita sebagaimana kita menikmati bermain, banyak hal akan bisa kita capai dengan optimal,” tutup Eko antusias. Hal itu adalah salah satu pesan yang ingin disampaikan Indonesia Bermain.

Acara utama Indonesia Bermain akan berisi playground, exhibition, conference, creative performance, dan game serta idea game competition. Silakan follow mereka di Twitter @IDbermain atau kunjungi http://www.indonesiabermain.com untuk mendapatkan informasi lengkap mengenai Indonesia Bermain. Indonesia Bermain, when playing is good for your life!

 

Tentang Agate Studio

Agate Studio adalah sebuah game developer company yang berbasis di Bandung, Jawa Barat. Didirikan pada tahun 2009, perusahaan ini berkembang pesat dan telah menjadi salah satu game developer terbaik di Indonesia. Motto perusahaan ini adalah, “Live the fun way!” dengan keyakinan bahwa kehidupan akan lebih baik ketika ada kegembiraan di sana; games adalah salah satu sarana untuk mencapai kegembiraan tersebut. Agate Studio telah menciptakan lebih dari 80 games, dengan berbagai platform dan beragam tujuan.

 

Tentang Kummara

Kummara Creative Studio adalah developer sekaligus publisher seri Board Game Indonesia (BoardGameID) dalam bentuk konvensional dan digital. Saat ini tercatat ada lebih dari 12 judul Board Game Indonesia yang telah dirilis Kummara. Kummara juga merupakan pionir dalam pemanfaatan board game sebagai media kreatif baru. Selain sebagai sebuah media permainan yang sangat menarik, beberapa board game Kummara juga telah digunakan sebagai media pembelajaran, advertising, serta souvernir kreatif.

 

Road show Indonesia Bermain akan berisi talk show, sesi bermain, dan pengumuman lomba.

1. Talk Show

  • Tema talk show: Berbagi Semangat Positive Gaming
  • Pembicara:
Eko Nugroho, inisiator Indonesia Bermain
Narenda Wicaksono, Developer Marketing Manager Nokia Indonesia
Perwakilan dari komunitas di masing-masing kota

2. Sesi Bermain

  • Board game dari Kummara
  • Digital game dari Agate Studio: flash game, mobile game, facebook game

3. Pengumuman Kompetisi

  • Pengumuman timeline kompetisi desain ide game: digital game dan board game

Kamu juga bisa ikuti perkembangannya lewat Twitter dengan hashtags #RoadPlay.

 

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Article, News

 

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Stupid Dice Game? Let’s Play Again…and Again!

Box Cover

Troyes Review

Just recently got a hold on a copy of this game, and played it 4 times not within a week. Maybe you never heard this game before, since it’s kinda new game, Published by Pearl Games (French / Euro edition) in 2010, which also republished in the same year by Z-Man Games for the international edition, this game was quickly went up in the Board Game Geek rank and popularity (since then it’s called as one of the BGG darlings). Designed by Sebastien Dujardin, Xavier Georges and Alain Orban, this game apparently offers great things and surprises. Being one of the middle box heavy euro, Troyes is stand still the test of challenges. Well, you could see maybe this game was kinda a blind buy for me, since i was instantly fell in love with it when i saw the game setup board including the dice allocation and all the cards in it. So interesting and mind-pulling for me to know more and want it. So i decided to order this game and from around the other games i ordered, this was the one i anticipated the most. And to be honest, based on my 4 times experience, and the game itself, you can say i am pretty great excited and satisfied, in fact it has gone up to the first rank of my best games collection, uprooted The Pillars of The Earth and Thunderstone. So, you might be curious the kind of games Troyes is? So here is my review, read and weep boys.

In the year 1200, the foundation is laid for the cathedral of Troyes, but it will not be finished until 400 years later, after innumerable incidents. This game invites you to experience four centuries of history by participating in the development of one of the finest medieval cities ever to make its mark on Western culture. The society of that day was organized into three orders: the nobility, the clergy, and the peasants. The nobility constituted the military force devoted to justice and to protecting the lands. The clergy were the spiritual guides of the community, contributing to maintaining and developing knowledge and culture. The peasants and artisans, in turn, were given very little consideration, although their hard work was essential to the daily life of the entire populace.

1. The Theme

Actually for the kind of Euro Games, theme aspect is not really matters or important. But in this case, the theme is kinda really stick. Can’t explain why, but somehow the theme really attach to the game quite nice. The game title ‘Troyes’ was pick from the small city with same name in North-central France. The game story is evolve on the building of it’s Cathedral for nearly 400 years since in the year 1200. Players represents one of the the rich noble families from the Champagne region of France, and using their influence to recruit and supervise individuals from 3 different prominent domain (military, religious and civil).

2. The Artworks

The artist Alexandre Roche had really put a great masterpiece with this game, the feel and the styles of the artworks really represent the game and supporting to build the theme of the game. Actually generally i did not really like this kind of style. It looks outdated, classic and so medieval, but in this case it kinda attractive for the game. So, i like it in overall, though the illustrations kinda lame, especially the characters faces.

The Character Cards

3. The Game Components

It really surprised me, when i look at the box, it looked bigger than the picture. Quite a big box but not a square box like 7 Wonders, The Pillars of The Earth or Thunderstone. It’s more rectangular shape in a portrait orientation. Nice art on the box, really shows it’s unique theme and style. Inside the box i found 1 plastic bag of dice (24 dice with 6 dice for each four colors, black / white / red / yellow), which were nicely crafted with great material. Also included single punch board of VP and deniers tiles in each denominations, 56 wooden citizens (in each colors plus gray color), 90 wooden cubes (also include the gray cubes), 8 wooden disc 2 for each colors), 1 beautifully drawn game board, 27 activity cards, 16 event cards, 6 character cards, 6 player aid cards (2 for each language) and 1 first player card. I kinda found it interesting that the available colors for players are not common (they use green and blue, which are commonly used, but the white or beige and orange colors are not commonly used in a 4 players games). The components are in a great shaped and they also provide sealed plastic bag to be used when you ant to separate the components in each colors for easier setup. The only little downer is inside the box with just white carton compartment to store the components and hold the board. Well, they could made it with better quality from this one, which they’re not. But i guess it’s just minor and really did not affect my review of the game.

4. The Game Play

Each player choose their colors and set the board (how many players in the game will determine how many citizens each player will get during the initial placement. For 4 players, each get 4 citizens which they have to spend in the 3 principal buildings on the game board. This placement will determine what dice you will get during the round. Put the rest of the citizens in the general supply along with the VP and deniers tiles. Each player get 5 deniers as starting capital and stock his color cubes in his personal supply. Shuffle and randomly draw the activity cards, 1 for each age (the numerical shown on the back of the cards) and put it face down in the board based on each principal colors. Shuffle the event cards (the red event cards are supposed to be 6 cards, as it will determine the rounds, 6 rounds for 4 players). Shuffle and randomly drawn the character cards to each player, this will be a secret to every player. Put the rest of the cards without looking at them to the box.

Each round consist of phases in there order:

  • Phase 0 – Reveal the activity cards for each principals (City Hall / yellow, Count’s Palace / red and Bishopric / white) start from the first round (can be identified by it’s number in the back of each card). Start from round 4-6, there will be no activity cards left to revealed, so skip this phase.
  • Phase 1 – Income and salaries. Each player will get 10 deniers each round for his income and must pay salaries for his citizens in the principal buildings (2 deniers / citizen in Count’s Palace, 1 denier / citizen in Bishopric and free of charge for citizens in City Hall).Players who cannot pay the salary losses 2 VP.
  • Phase 2 – Assembling the workforce. Workforce are presented by the dice that players roll, based on citizens they hired just before in the principal buildings. After rolling the dice, each player put his dice in the game board which represent his location district marked by his color marker. These dice will represent citizens and workforces each player has and will be used to execute actions.
  • Phase 3 – Events. For the first round, draw the red event card and resolve it’s effect (starting from the left bottom corner, which usually would require players to draw another event card. Then resolve each effect of the event card with roll black dice be the last effect occurred). Roll the black dice as stated in the active event cards and this will present as military event which need to be countered in the beginning of players action starting from the first player. He must counter at least 1 black die with the highest value (up to 2 black dice), with any of his own dice (based on the number) with red dice are doubled when used to counter black dice. After counter the black dice, each player gain 1 influence for each die. If one players cannot counter the black dice, he losses 2 VP.
  • Phase 4 – Actions. Beginning from the first player (clockwise) each player can use his dice to do actions. Start by activating the activity cards (by hire citizen and pay the appropriate amount of gold in the card and resolve the dice), allocate his dice to put his citizen in principal buildings, counter event cards, participate in the construction of the Cathedral (3 levels) or use agriculture to gain deniers based on the amount total of his dice result, or pass (which will give him 2 deniers and 1 denier for his next turn that he already passed.
  • Phase 5 – End of the round. The round end when every player has passed or there are no dice in the districts.

Game in Progress

The game ends after the sixth rounds and the player with the highest VP win the game. VP can be collected by activate a card, counter events, construct the Cathedral, and secretly complete character cards prerequisites. Influence can be used to re-roll one of your die (cost 1 influence), hire citizens from general supply (cost 2 influence), flip up to 3 dice of his own (cost 3 influence). Oh yeah it’s rather kinda late in, but better than never, the most interesting part is, you can use someone’s else dice. Oh yeah you can, with the right amount of money you can get everything they said. If you use 1 die for an action by using someone’s else die, you must pay 2 deniers. If you using 2 dice for an action which 1 of it was someone’s else, you must pay him 4 deniers / die you buy. If you use 3 dice for an action which 1 of it was someone’s else, you must pay 6 deniers / die you buy. There can only be 3 dice in one dice group and commonly with the same color (special case if the cards say otherwise).

5. The Replay Value

Now it’s time, when you say about the replay value, I’ve got 2 words which are ‘OPEN POSSIBILITIES‘. Yeah after 4 plays, i found the game mechanics has led to an open possibilities for players. For start, the cards that came in the game were not all come into play, this is one element that add variant to the game (event, activity, and character cards are not all played) and also the promo cards also add more variant. And the dice mechanic, wait, hold your thoughts. Dice mechanic? 24 dice? 24 dice are a lot amount of dice i admit it. What would one possibly do with 24 dice? Since dice are often associated with luck factor, and i won’t argue with that. This game has a dice allocation mechanic (remember Kingsburg?), which you maybe already thought that it’s a high roller game. Well, you can say that, but being a high roller is not always present the best result for you, and being the opposite (low roller) won’t kick you out of the game. In Troyes, being high roller put you in a dilemma, if you’re not the first player. The unique of the game or this mechanic is, it brings you more possibilities than any other games. When you look at the board, you’re not only see your dice, but all the dice in the board. Why? As i stated before, the game gives you more possibilities. This is the part where the game become interesting. You can ‘steal’ other player’s dice. What? steal? you mean cheating? Well, actually not stealing (at least indirectly literal), i would prefer the word ‘buy’ rather than ‘steal’ but that’s not gonna make it interesting, is it? When it’s your turn, you can use any dice.. if you can, while your impertinent rivals doing voodoo dance behind your back and hope that you make your mistake. So the game really has great replay value (let aside the cards variants which aren’t too many).

My Thought of The Game

Hmm, what words fit the game perfectly, i vote for none. You can’t describe the game with only words. Well if i have to, it would be MARVELOUS, FANTASTIC, FABULOUS, and AWESOME! The game is classic but has a modern touch in it. When i ordered it, it had been my most anticipated games and when i played it for the first time, it emerged as one of the best i have ever tried. It’s a worker placement and dice rolling game that really served in such an interesting way. There are many ways to win the game, and you can use your dice or someone’s else dice to the very least of options. This is the kind of games that forced players to skulking in their seat with eyes focused on the board, thinking hard while their hands hold their deniers tightly and mumbling some ancient chantings, hoping they eventually have an enlightenment of their best move. Yeah, this game is AP (Analysis Paralysis) potential, even for heavy gamers, so if you’re not a heavy gamer, you’re gonna likely end up in AP state.And i just recently noticed the perfect phrase that fit to this game, which is “A STUPID DICE GAME!” Yeah, one of my friends constantly saying it over and over again. Well in a way yes i couldn’t be more agree with him, this is a stupid dice game, The dice you roll make you look stupid or do stupid reactions. So yes this is a stupid dice game. “A stupid dice game! Let’s play again…and again!”.

All activity cards opened

The artwork is great and the game play is unique. I would say that the rules is simple once you get the hang of it, the difficult thing is your decision. Troyes is the game that will surely often hit the table if i had the chance, and to be honest it worth every penny.

You also can view this review on boardgamegeek.com here.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Board Games, Euro Games, Reviews

 

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The High & Low of Gaming Groups

Okay, when you say about Board Games, then it will come to mind that you need a group to play the game. Well, i know there are online play version of board games (which are not counted for) but in this matter it’s not put into consideration. We shall see, how important a gaming group is. To tell you the truth, you can’t play if you don’t have a group (except you think about solo play which i honestly don’t like).
So, if you are a board gamer, then probably you already have at least 1 group. This group can include families, friends, girl / boyfriend or even work colleagues. Or you have more than 1 gaming group which usually common for heavy gamers or board games mania with tend to have routine schedules over the week. Now with just this we can see the importance of a group is, since you will not be able to play without it.
Now let’s go deeper into the matter. What you gaming group consist of? Well i don’t talk about the amount of players, but it’s more like the kind of players your gaming group consist of. This will determine what kind of group you’re playing in. As i can say, your group is the important aspect of any board gaming experience, it could drastically judge the game itself, since your experience about the game will be your key point to rate the game.

I already told you about what part gaming group has in the board gaming experience, now it’s time to define what builds your group. As you can see, one of the board games most interesting parts is the players interaction (which is lies in your group). So i can small down the scales that i talk about the players. There are lot of different types of players, and though it’s not fair to categorized them into types, in this case i think i need to. So, here are the types of players in my opinion, and please try your best not to be offended.

  1. The Victors. These type are just can’t play without winning they like winning, instead they love to win in every plays. Their number one goal is to be number one, at the top of the score boards of every games. They tends to take the game seriously and think hard so they can achieve the glorious victory ignore the rest. Well, if you’re such a competitive person, then you need to try them. Usually they smart, know the game very well, a hard thinker, serious face and solemn throughout the game. What good about them is, they can provide a good challenge for you, to test your skill maybe. The bad thing is, they can pose a serious threat to your joyous victory and the most important thing is they are not fun to play with. Come on, we play games to have fun, not to get overwhelmed like we had in office hours or school tests.
  2. The Clowns. Well i shouldn’t need to explain this type of players to all of you, but never mind, this type is the most common you can find in any group. Why? I’ll tell you why, because this kind of players are the biggest contributors that your gaming group still exist. Nope, they’re not the perfect type but, with them, your group will instantly be alive. This type usually play the games with lots of fun, they shoot you with laughter and overwhelming tears. The good about this kind of players is, they can turn your seemingly desperate and brain burner game sessions into a fun in the circus or comedy show. They will non stop humoring you and your friends with their unbelievable skill of self denial, out of place, regrets, and persistent foolishness. Now the bad thing is, they tend to slow the game as they usually makes unimportant gestures or actions in the middle of the game that made you want to slap your fore head.
  3. The Cheaters. Now, this is the kind of players that you really want to avoid. No one’s enjoying the company of this kind of players and to the very least, what’s the good of the game if you cheat? One must take a good look upon this kind of players since they will make their moves when others looking away. This kind of players can turn your gaming session into trial session which end up really bad with someone accusing each other. So, be careful with this one. Keep lots of eyes on this one, on the general supplies and count all of his assets. You don’t want him to come up with more that he can come up to.
  4. The Losers. Well, this type is the kind that really annoying. They will complaining relentlessly and without end. The only thing that come out of their mouth is the things that did not happen as they planned or hundreds of reasons why they’re unlucky. So, tuck your ear plug and enjoy the pantomime. They will blabber as much as they want and you set the remote on mute. Please, do your best to survive the ongoing madness if you miss the ear plug.
  5. The Thinking Dead. Yeah, let’s assume they’re zombies or else. You play board games with bunch of zombies, who cannot think (or doesn’t want to) and never have the will to play or finish the game. The only thing that keep that stay still is they have nothing better to do or they had been forced to play! It’s kinda pain in the ass if you’re the only one eager to play and finish the game right?

So, after all these types descriptions, maybe you can look at yourself before you judge players next right to you, what types you are? For me, personally i could put myself on the clown types. I enjoy playing board games, any kind of board games (generally) and really enjoy the play, not the winning (for me victory is kinda like a bonus when ding something you like). And i really ecstatic or enthusiastic when i can invite people to play, or even let them play without me playing. It somehow satisfying for me. But i kinda lil’ bit victors and losers types frequently, just to allow the game is flowing and living.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Article

 

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Kill The Peasants!

Box Shot

In The Year of The Dragon Review

Last Friday i played this game, a game with Chinese theme originally published by Alea Games and reprinted in English version by Rio Grande Games. Designed by Stefan Feld (the man behind the game Notre Dame, Die Burgen von Burgund, Luna and many more).

“He who has no vision for the small things also blinds himself to the greater design.”
(Confucius, 551 – 479 B.C.)

1. The Theme

This game really has strong theme in my opinion. The title itself really describes the Chinese sense for the title refer to one of the Chinese Calendar. Players take on the role of Chinese ruler around the year 1.000. The game is set in one year length (12 months as the rounds). These 12 rounds / months will present the game with certain of events (randomly faced up) which almost consist of bad events. So i guess the theme makes the game unique, even in the first place i really don’t put much interest in these kind of games (with Chinese theme and the illustration is really lame).

2. The Artworks

Really, it surprised me to know that Michael Menzel did the artworks for the game. For the artworks really turned me off when i saw the cover. So, bye bye In The Year of The Dragon, i won’t try this game (first i thought). But one of my friends told me that the game, despite of the artworks, is really good. I am not saying that the artworks are bad but it’s just doesn’t really fit into my style. But the worst part of the artworks is the game board (okay i know i lil bit cross the line, this is supposed written in the components section) which really poorly designed.

3. The Game Components

First off, continuing from my last written review about the game board, it sucks! The game board really seemed was not designed at all. You can see monotone color of red (pale red) with looked like the board is turned upside down. The first reaction of mine was: “hey, seriously, you set the board in the wrong side!”. And all was done for… what a lame board. The other components are quite good, from the peasant tiles, action tiles, character cards, event tiles, and tokens (palace, dragon, rice, fireworks and coins). I would say that the palace tokens were really made unique, the shape really resembling the shape of a Chinese house roof.

What You Get

4. The Game Play

As stated before, players take the role as Chinese ruler which must lead his people through 12 months of suffering (yeah, this game is not a fun game, at least the theme). They must prepare their people to face 12 events throughout the year> the year consist of 12 random events that will be drawn face up when setting up the game. The events are 2 peace events, 2 mongol invasions, 2 drought events, 2 dragon festival events, 2 imperial tribute events and 2 contagion events). Which you can see that there’s only 2 peace tiles (this would give you time to take a breath) and 2 dragon festival which can give benefit. Each player will be given 11 character cards with each character a card and 2 joker cards. These character cards can be played to activate the role of that peasant. The goal of the game is like every euro games, is collecting VP. Players will start the game with 2 palace tiles, 6 yuan, 2 peasant tiles (player can choose what peasant he want to choose but must not the same combination as any other players) and the 10 character cards.

The game started by randomly place the action tiles into (based on the amount of players) separate decks. The available actions are harvest, fireworks display, research, build, military parade, taxes and privilege. Each round consist of 4 phases in order (action – person – event – scoring).There also 2 track marker o the board, one is the population track and the other is point track. Person track manage players population (how many peasants they have) which will affected the turn order. The player with highest position on the person track is the first player. In action phase players choose what action they want to do (put his dragon marker on the action tiles layout). There are spaces contains 2 action tiles, and the player who put his dragon marker on that space will have the option to choose between that 2 possible actions. Players can choose an occupied space by paying 3 yuan to the supply. Player can put his dragon marker but completely pass his turn in this phase (thus gain up to total 3 yuan). After all players had put their dragon marker, each action is resolved. Taxes will give you 1 yuan and additional 1 yuan for each tax icon on the tax collectors you own in your palace. Build will give you palace tiles and 1 additional tiles for each hammer icon on the craftsman in your palace. Harvest will give you 1 rice and 1 additional rice per rice icon in any farmers you own on your palace. Fireworks will give you 1 firework token and additional tokens per fireworks icon in pyrotechnists you own.Military parade will give move you person track 1 space for each helmet icon shown in warrior tiles you won. Research will give move you scoring track 1 space forward and additional space for each book icons in researcher tiles you own. Privilege will give you the chance to buy small privilege for 2 yuan or 2 privilege for 6 yuan. These privilege token will give you additional point for every dragon icon in the privilege tiles you own in the scoring phase each round. A player may only purchase 1 privilege per action. Next phase is person phase, which each player (start from the first) play his person / character cards and take the peasant tile corresponding the character played and put it in his palace (if all the slots are occupied, he must decide which peasant tiles he want to get rid of (kill, this is the reason why the game is brutal). This cards are discarded into the discard board and won’t be returned to players’ hand. This 11 character cards represent all person / peasant tiles in the game with 2 joker cards which can be assigned as any characters. When performing these action, each player person marker will advance depending what peasant tile he took.

Game In Progress

Next is the event phase, in this phase the actual event in that round is resolved. Each player must perform the event obligation (pay something or kill some peasants). Here are the list of events and their effects:

  1. Peace Events – Nothing happens
  2. Mongol Invasion Events – The players moves their scoring tracks as many as their military strength (helmet icons), gain that many VP. Player with the lowest military must lose 1 person tile from any 1 of his palaces.
  3. Imperial Tribute – Each player must pay 4 yuan to the emperor. If a player can’t pay the tribute he must lose 1 person tile from any of his palace for each missing yuan.
  4. Drought – Each player must pay 1 rice token for each palace that contain at least 1 peasant tile. If he doesn’t have enough rice tokens he must lose 1 person tile from each palace that he cannot supply.
  5. Dragon Festival – Player with the most fireworks tokens score 6 points and the second most score 3 points. After the scoring, players return half of their firework tokens (rounded down) back to the supply.
  6. Contagion – Each player lose 3 person tile of his choosing. He can prevent this if there are healers in his palaces (1 medicine icon prevent the lose of each person tile).

Decay. After an event occurred, each player must check, if they have a palace unoccupied by peasant tile, they must lose one story of that palace.This could also possible that one story palace will be terminated by this condition. The last phase is scoring. Each player score how many palace and dragon icons he have for each VP.

The game end after the last event has been resolved Thus trigger the final scoring phase which is the same like the previous scoring phase but with some addition. Each person tiles worth 2 points. For the monk, multiply the number of Buddha icon with the number of floors that monk inhabits. Each rice and fireworks tokens can be sell from 2 yuan worth, and 3 yuan can be converted into 1 point.

5. The Replay Value.

Well there are not much can be hope for. The replay value only lies on the event randomizer and the layout spaces for action tiles. The rest are kinda static (you always have 11 character cards, which 2 joker can be used in any combination if that’s count as replay value), fixed with 12 rounds (12 months). But it’s a fun game even it’s dreadful with misery events. Maybe you can get different feel of the game with different gaming group.

My Thought of The Game

It’s a simple game but full of chaotic events which made the situation more lively and in the same time require good decisions and planning. This game is known to be cruel by most gamers, where constantly forced players to kill his peasants. Just played this game once and really eager to play it again. A good game filler to have fun but for a filler game this takes quite a time (about 2 hours). Well, the game looks easy but it’s hidden gem lies on the strategically plans that player must take to face all the events.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Board Games, Euro Games, Reviews

 

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Village or Dungeon?

Box Shot

Thunderstone Review

Ah, it’s about time to write a review for one of my favorites and one of the games i’m proud of, Thunderstone. Do not be deceived by the look of the box / package, it’s a card game, a simple card game though the box really made you think otherwise (like some medium heavy box games which contains lots of components and board, but it’s heavy alright). Published by AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) in 2009, this game was designed by the designer Mike Eliiot (the man who brought you Earthquake, Battle Spirits, Duel Masters and the soon to be hit dice game, Quarriors).

For ages the vile Doom Knights have sought to gather the remaining Thunderstones to fulfill a prophecy of corruption over the lands. Now the first Thunderstone has been discovered in the Dungeons of Grimhold and the Doom Knights have sent their minions to claim the relic. The Villagers of Barrowsdale gather brave souls to face the dungeon and keep the Thunderstone out of the hands of the Doom Knights.

1. The Theme

Thunderstone is a fantasy deck-building card game which players take the role of heroes trying to fight the threat of the Evil forces and gain the Thunderstone (Stone of Mystery). As it was written, the Thunderstone is a supernatural stone which need to be collected by the Doom Knight to fulfill an evil prophecy which can bring corruption throughout the lands. Now the first Thunderstone has been discovered in the Grimhold dungeon near the village of Barrowsdale. While the Doom Knights are set to claim the relic in the dungeon, Barrowsdale must gather forces consist of brave souls to face the threat of the Doom Knights and get the stone before the Doom Knights have it. So it’s a fantasy based with dark and grim atmosphere (presented by the image of the monsters and the dungeon exploration itself).  So anyone with the feel of adventures are likely gonna love the theme.

2. The Artworks

I would say no doubt that the game artworks are marvelous. Love all the illustrations from Jason Engle (A Game of Thrones, Castle Ravenloft, Magic The Gathering and Legend of The Five Rings). His artworks are simply stunning and it really fits into the theme. I like his illustrations of the Doom Knights and other monsters and also the heroes. If your’re fantasy RPG fan, you’re gonna like his artworks.

Clerics

3. The Game Components

Inside The Box

Well, this one is simple, what else, cards… lot of cards  (guess what 530 cards in the box), that explains the card game category right? The 530 cards consist of different categories range from heroes, village, monsters and the randomizer cards (also include the separators). The box is big and heavy (for more than 500 cards, no wonder) and also inside the box there’s a separate containers to categorized each type of cards for easier setup. And cause it’s a card game, sleeve is important accessory, so i spend 530 sleeves just for the base game (pheew….)

4. The Game Play

This 2-5 players card game gives you the opportunity to embark on an adventure in dungeon crawling to colect points and of course the objective of the game, the stone of mystery. First start each player receive 12 cards which formed as their deck (in time this deck will be growing) as 6 militia, 2 iron rations, 2 torches and 2 daggers.Shuffle the deck and draw 6 cards (alway 6 each turn, unless there is special condition stated otherwise). The main deck consist of 2 separate place (village and dungeon) which each place provide an action (go to village or to the dungeon). These places are set with randomizer to balance the game. When players enter village, they can buy items (weapons, spells, foods & lights), heroes (4 different types), upgrade their heroes or play cards in their hand (6 cards in hand) with the village ability. Dungeon hall is filled 3 rank of monster that are drawn from the monster deck (randomly shuffle the monster cards and insert the Thunderstone). Just as the ocean from If Wishes Were Fishes, this hall provide special condition when battling the monsters. Rank 1 monster is the face up monster card that placed in the farthest of the deck, and rank 3 monster is in the nearest from the monster deck. Each rank gives light penalty of 2 (-2 attacks), which mean rank 3 monster card gives the penalty of 6 attacks when engaged. Upon entering the dungeon, player can choose which monster he wants to fight, and reveal all cards in his hand and resolve the fight. Whether he win or lose, the cards in his hand are discarded. The last action available is rest (which sums up the actions available for players to choose, village / dungeon / rest).

First Play

Monster cards provide players with coins, xp points, special ability and VP, while the last and highest level of heroes also provide players with some VP (though the range is between 2-3 points). The goal of the game is to collect points, and player with the highest VP when the Thunderstone is claimed win the game. Weapons, items and spells provide modifier for players attack. While character cards in the village provide special action which can be used in the village. Discarded card will be placed on the used card deck and will ba shuffled again to form a newly deck after the deck is empty, while destroyed cards are completely out of the game. Players will take turn to do their action, expand and build their decks to challenge the dungeon.

5. The Replay Value

Honestly, i haven’t play the game often (just about 4-5 plays) and i still find it interesting and always eager to play it again. Well, so far the replay value did meet my criteria. When i analyzed the replay value, it did come to my mind that the game play must getting us bored by the time about such individual interactions between players, since nobody does give a damn about others action and only concern to build their own deck. But somehow it really turned out to be different (well must agree there is aspect that showed the light of this matter), since the competition aspect of the game really well placed, so you must (or were forced) to take account every actions your opponents take. And the situation is more gripping when the Thunderstone card is revealed in the dungeon hall (now we’re talking, this is some intense bull-shit situation which you hope that players before you doesn’t have the right cards in his hand this turn. And also you must pay attention on the card ranks and how the game flow after the Thunderstone is revealed in rank 3 cards. Well, this really gives you something to think about. The randomizer also add replay value of the game since with it there will be different experience each game. And don’t forget all the interesting expansion that AEG has to offer (4 expansions) with new additional heroes, monsters, items and many more and also new game rules and systems.

My Thought of The Game

This game is so outstanding, i love it very much. Well if i would say about the good and the bad, it almost strike 10. The theme, the artworks, the game play, are perfect. The only downside of the game is the setup process and the complicated rules that need lots of clarifications. Whenever i play the game, there always one time like “what’s  that supposed to mean?” or “we should ask someone!” or “shit…it’s dead end, the rules doesn’t explain it” or else… so yes, the rules did sucks, but the rest are epic!

Clan Champion – Heroes Lv. 3

When you mention this game, it’s always bring the arch-rival into matters, which is Dominion, some said both of the games are resemble each other. Since Dominion was realeased previously, some said that Thunderstone did was made by Dominion’s game system (i wouldn’t disagree on that). But let’s state the fact that Thunderstone is known as the Dominion game with theme (now that’s something i tell you). I haven’t played Dominion yet and really wnat to try it, but if the theme is that makes it different, then i would prefer Thunderstone. The downside of Thunderstone is the game setup (preparation of the deck is taking little bit steep overtime, and so is after the game). I love the game and probably have the plan to get a copy of all the expansions (already got the hold of the ‘For The Dwarf’ Promo Card from Geek Store.

 

You can also view this review on boardgamegeek.com here.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Card Games, Euro Games, Reviews

 

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