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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Belfort Insight

Monday, 19th Dec 2011

So, Monday night we (Me, Eric and Jeffry) hit Belfort the first time. Belfort is a game of worker placement and area majority from Tasty Minstrel Games, designed by the Duo Canada Designers Sen Foong Lim and Jay Cormier. Basically it’s a hyped game of 2011.

Jeffry and I, had read the rules. So I just needed to explain the overall of the game to Eric. We start the session at 19.00 (including the explain and setup) with 3 players game. It took quite a lot of space with multiple boards and player mats. Based on our first play, the game is different, it felt unlike any other worker placement or resource management games. We played with a lot of mistakes, not ruling but wrong decisions and miscalculations. This game has different feels. The phase order of the rounds is uncommon and could results in different uptakes and miscalculations.

Main Board - 5 Districts Pentagonal Uni-Board

The key point about it is the timing of income and taxes are in the middle of the order, which sometimes, if you’re not common or used to it would potentially lead to miscalculations and wrong decisions. The money is tight, the resource aren’t cheap. We used 5 random guilds from 3 categories. Which led us to display 2 resource guilds, 1 interactive guild and 2 basic guilds. By the looked of it, 2 resource guilds (gain 4 stones; gain 4 wood) are quite essential in the game. The 5 districts formed as a pentagonal uni-board, a very unique and classy approach on the component. Though the artist (Joshua Cappel) really done a great work by putting a fine and high details on the board illustrations, i just thought it’s better if the layout of the buildings aren’t the same for each district. The symmetrical layout seemed bore me down, but i guess it’s done that way to set the balance of the game. The King’s Camp available slot is kinda odd. I think it would be better if a player wants to be the first player, he need to pay for it (for instance 1 gold), and the rest of the planks are free. This could prevent players from swaps crests easily. And more of it, i think it’s better with 4 players rather than with 3. The reason is, with 3 players the competition of swapping crests would happen mostly from the first and last player only. Property cards are important, they really tweak your condition, beside giving you buildings for majority. Property cards give you other benefits such income, hire gnome, elf or dwarf (workers). This workers also essential to the game, which like other worker placement games, having more workers always a good thing. The points also embedded by a simple tax payout, which the higher your points, the bigger the tax is. Players get points from district majority and workers majority.

In Belfort, timing is important. Players must know what to do and when to do it. Quite impressed with the game but I must agree, that this was an over-hyped game in http://www.boardgamegeek.com

The components are in good quality but I noticed that the box was bowed (a common issue for this game). The rest are good, but I’m not really fond of the matte finish (or whatever you call it). I still prefer linen finish, but it’s still good.

3 Players Game

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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Board Games, Euro Games, Insight

 

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The Ares Project Insight

Please note that this post is not a review.

Friday, 16th Dec 2011

My friend brought this game to the meetup, he just got the game and wanted to play it, so did i. So we played it with 3 players. First he taught me and my other friend the basic game with 2 players. Since he said it’s best to get around the game and it’s complexity with 2 players game and playing it as Kahoum and Terran, then we played 3 players game with other races.

So, what’s The Ares Project anyway? It’s a new released game from Z-Man Games by Brian and Geoff Engelstein. The game’s background theme is centered on sci-fi theme of strategies. There are 4 races in the galaxy that struggles into each other for domination. The Terran, Xenos, Kahoum and Collosus. These races are similar to the races in the game of Star Craft. These races has their own variable player power and unique distinction from each other. The game itself provided closer feels from the core mechanic toward Real Time Strategy genre. This really embedded to the game play and created new feeling on the game itself. So to speak, my friend told me that this game is best with 2 players and with more players need to be played by experienced players. Cause in 1 on 1 play, the game really concentrate on 2 players conflict, but the multi player version could really distract the pure confrontation among players which can lead to one player being assaulted by others.

The game components are in good quality but one thing about the player screens. There’s no way you can screen all your private inventory with that small screen. You need big ones and also tall enough.

I played 2 games, first was 2 players basic game with Kahoum versus Terran (Terran won). And 3 players normal game with Collosus against Kahoum and Xenos (Collosus won). Great games and looking forward to play it again.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Ameritrash, Board Games, Insight

 

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The First Panic

Panic Station Session Report – First Play Test 12th December 2011 (4 Players Game)

A TROUBLED MIND / Journal Log #0026359 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 10th December 2220 – The Citadel, Headquarters of The Guardian Federation of Galaxy (Primary Left Section Fleet – Central Military Movement Operative First Officer). 16.28
As being one of the most decorated officers in the federation, not even once I ever take that as a compliment or even a payout. I consider myself as a servant to the federations, just looking to serve another purpose for the great calling or even cover up some imbecile diplomats stupidity from their hellholes. The problem is, once you get the hang of it, it slowly turned you into something else. An entity that answer anything through the banner of this pride, glory and respect. I’ve become a tool of war, that had been trained to finish what I started, to decide without hesitation, to neglect doubts and provide solutions for the greater medium which called The Federation. It’s been 20 years under that glorified banner, some began talking behind my back for the retirement plan, some think I just never got enough action and lust for violence, a hard man that seeks only justification of his mean of existence in this universe. But to tell you the truth, I just feel lonely. Lonely for I have nobody, nobody that related, nobody that care, nobody to come back home for. This is what I’ve got, this is everything I know, the people, the rules, the fundamentals and ideologies that shaped me before, they’re my families.
If I was asked to retire and let go all of these, what would I do? What would I become? That is my only fear, fearing only the truth of my future that’s not eternal like these decorated medals that shining with silvers and golds. I know I’m not a saint, living as myself would get you as far as a sweat running through your forehead for being straight in the platoon. We’ve been in and out of hell and by God, you can’t be a saint by doing that. We play God, we chose our kills and hell some of us thought we had paid those greatly.

Though, my spirit and nerves never ever let me down to this moment, yet I cannot ignore the fact that we all growing old. I can still take those awful beating by those guys back in the camp and walk with my head up high, but still, the pushing and growing fatigues are really corrosive time by time. The counsel think my time has come and their persistent persuasions are slowly bear fruit in my mind. Maybe it’s time, to let it go. All these medals to be put into frame and all I would do is just dust it off day by day and reminiscing those proud memories. An ugly truth but yet, it’s a thing that all man should face when the time comes.

LAST MISSION / Journal Log #0026371 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 11th December 2220 – The Citadel, Headquarters of The Guardian Federation of Galaxy (Primary Left Section Fleet – Central Military Movement Operative First Officer). 05.09
A beautiful morning, which i barely remember how a beautiful morning feels, yet rather seems common like any other morning. I woke up in the darkness of morning dusk, put on my training shoe and started to take a jog around the Piazza of the central community center. It’s been always no daylight since our sun was destroyed in the War of The Crowns. When I was back at my private quarter, I found a letter for me from General Commander David Ausloos, that the high counsel has  requested my appearance in a meeting, this afternoon.

08.47
Questions were racing in my mind, when I walking down the hall of the conclave to answer the counsels summon. What would they want me for, but this must be very important, for being summoned by the counsels is not my day to day job.  I met The General Commander in front of the Stronghold Gate and he asked me to join him in.

I was greeted by the grim and bitter tone of all the counsels. They’re old, old enough to be wise…yet i don’t know what age is old enough to be wise. The lead counsel spoke to me, his name is Kevin Nesbitt.
He said that the board have been reviewing my full dossier and with all the achievement and medals they want to liberate me from my position and be granted commendable and respected figure position on one of the armada fleets as a staff sergeant first officer and relieve me from all the current duties. But, in order to get that, they want me to do one last mission, as it is a standard operative during the resignation in field assignments. Honestly i was quite surprise this would knocked my door earlier than i had expected. But, i had no option to accept the proposition.

STATION DEBRIEF / Journal Log #0026377 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 11th December 2220 – The Citadel, Headquarters of The Guardian Federation of Galaxy (Primary Left Section Fleet – Central Military Movement Operative First Officer). 12.36
General Commander sat in front of me, having a chat and some of the old days memories we had back then. After several glasses of whiskey, he turned silent. I waited him for some time, then he reach inside his jacket, a black and yellow colored envelope, a top secret files as i recognized it. This must bey last mission. He opened it and start briefed me about the background nature of my mission. He said it’s a simple mission and they expected to stay that way. During the mining colonization several years ago, one of the station on a small mining planet named Recon-6 stopped sending signal to earth and lost contact ever since. An investigation team was send but they never returned. The team was considered missing, and the operation was
closed and shut down. Last month, the patrol dreadnought that orbiting the space solar system near the planet received disturbing signal which was believed as a communicative attempt from the station. After heard about the report, the central dispatch filed it as a top priority subject and David was ordered to re-activate the operation. David told me that the important and delicate matters about this mission was it’s not a simple and common mining station. Based on the secret project, the station was also conducted as a research facility
of an alien terraforming and advanced technology implementation. This made it critical so they want all the available data and conducted test results along with the lab specimens. The possible situations are the station might have been captured by the space outlaws or rebels, an accident inside the station or overwhelmed alien infestation problem. David wanted me to assemble my team and dispatch to retrieve all the necessarily and investigate what had happened to the station and the investigation team.

TEAM ASSEMBLY / Journal Log #0026378 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 11th December 2220 – The Citadel, Headquarters of The Guardian Federation of Galaxy (Primary Left Section Fleet – Central Military Movement Operative First Officer). 19.21
Though David gave me several recommendation of the personnel, i prefer to choose my own team. And by the look of the mission i need a special tactical small team that consist of technician officer with alien terraforming specialization, Lt. Sgt. Ricky ‘GREEN’ Bayu was my first choice. His technical skills are on the top list among the geniuses and we had been working together before. Firepower and heavy assault was down to Capt. Daniel ‘FRENZY’ Mulia. A tough and quiet man, but reliable hands with the 19mm caliber heavy assault rifle. The last was a recon and secret ops that specialize in retrieval, infiltration and sabotage. Pvt. Karno ‘GRIEF’ Gunawan, a shady man with dark background. With him it’s as simple as you don’t need to know him to know he’s best at what he does.

INTERESTING MISSION / Journal Log #0026382 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 12th December 2220 – Goliath Starship fleet Northstar Armada, Main Deck. 10.11
I left the vicinity of The Citadel along with the team. We’re ready and would be arrived in destination in approx. 4 hrs hyper light speed time. Team members are:
Capt. Cmd Angrod ‘JOKER’ Vardamir
Lt. Sgt. Ricky ‘GREEN’ Bayu
Capt. Daniel ‘FRENZY’ Mulia
Pvt. Karno ‘GRIEF’ Gunawan
Estimated time of mission take out is 0400 hours. General Commander  send me direct message that he had new information about the mission, that there was confirmation of alien infestation presence on board the station and most likely they set a hive somewhere inside the station. The objective of the mission was added with destroying the hive came out as a primary objective above all else. This mission turned out to be more ‘interesting’ before it even started.

POWERLESS / Journal Log #0026383 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 12th December 2220 – Mining Station GHT-6528, Recon-6 (Inside Tricoran Gamet Solar System). 02.33
We had arrived at destination, the mining station. We needed to execute personal infused teleportation procedure with the reactor templates between the ship and the station to transport us inside the station, for the unfriendly environment and the hazardous atmosphere. To do this we need to be transported one by one. Start with me, followed by GRIEF, FRENZY and GREEN.

02.45
I entered the station with 2 gas cans and began exploring the other room on the left. GRIEF was behind me, with the same direction. Carrying the heavy assault rifle and ammo. FRENZY with heavy assault
rifle and gas can, GREEN with gas can and knife. When we entered the station, parasite was spotted in the reactor room but we’re unable to take it down. It was dark, damp and surely had not been operated for years. The power generator didn’t work, only the emergency lights turned on. So we will be exploring this place in the
dark.

—crrtzzzz— over radio comm
JOKER: “We need to find the hive…”
GREEN: “Understood sir!”
GRIEF: “I don’t like this…”
FRENZY: “Huh, Just like old times right?”

—crrtzzzz— over radio comm
JOKER: “Check all you stats, stay alert and android assault on. FRENZY, take GREEN and lead down that corridor!”
FRENZY: “Got it Sir!”
JOKER: “GRIEF, on me!”
GRIEF: “lead the way sir!”

I explore some rooms and searched one of the rooms and found a kevlar vest from one of the lockers. The more we went deep, the air smell  worse, it reeks. What happened here… There is no sign of life, not  even a body or trace. It’s like they just vanished to thin air.

—crrtzzzz— over radio comm
GRIEF: “Sir, i found a gas can!”
JOKER: “Okay, useful. Let’s keep on moving! We need to find that hive ASAP, and be careful for alien infestation. We seen it once and i believe it wasn’t the only one that swarm this place.”
GRIEF: “Damn, i think i saw another one sir. But lost sight of it in the dark!”
JOKER: “This thing sucks, we need to get the power back on.”
—crrtzzzz— over radio comm
JOKER: “Guys, check out for backup power on your way. We need the light quick!”
GREEN: “Affirmative sir!”
JOKER: “what’s your sitrep guys?”
FRENZY: “We’re 300 meters and down 1 level. The place reeks and we found an ammo clip and heat scan sir!”
JOKER: “Okay, same thing here. But we’re still on the same level and spotted 2 aliens movement. Careful guys, i planned to get us back just the way we got in!”
FRENZY: “Oh, that’s very kind of you sir!”
JOKER: “JOKER, out!”

FIRST CONTACT / Journal Log #0026383 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 12th December 2220 – Mining Station GHT-6528, Recon-6 (Inside Tricoran Gamet Solar System). 03.08

I explored one of the room that seemed like a supply depot. Searched it and found another 2 gas cans and i notice a parasite movement in the other room. I would be in a very bad situation if that shit come.
My android wasn’t here. GRIEF handed me his assault rifle and went to other room. GREEN found an access card for the security door, but he got attacked by one of the parasite. He’s losing much blood.

GREEN: “Shit, I’m fucked. It cut me deep!”
FRENZY: “Come on GREEN, keep yourself together…we need to find a sick bay!”
JOKER: “are you okay, both of you?”
GREEN “aye sir, no sweat…just blood!”
FRENZY: “damn, GREEN is severely wounded sir. We need to look for a sick bay! Request of overrun the primary objective temporary sir!”
JOKER: “Request granted! Just be careful!”
GRIEF: “Arrrgh!!!”
JOKER: “GRIEF! What happen?
GRIEF: “it got me sir…but not bad. I had a first aid kit”
JOKER: “Did you get it? The parasite!”
GRIEF: “Yes sir, i think i hit it quite good. Good God, i’ve never seen this like and with this big!”
JOKER: “What? Is it dead? Stay alert, this is far more dangerous than it seemed!”
GRIEF: “Yes sir, pretty dead!”

03.23
—crrtzzz—
GREEN: “Uh uh…JOKER!”
JOKER: “Yes GREEN…”
GREEN: “i found a sick bay. It’s locked but luckily i had the access card!”
JOKER: “Good, patch yourself quick and move on”
GREEN: “Got it sir!

JOKER: “Damn, this is not a simple mission. Guys, please remind me to kick that old David’s ass when we get back!”
GREEN: “Will do sir!”

03.37
FRENZY: “JOKER…”
JOKER: “Hey, FRENZY, how you’re doing down there? You went silent for a brief there. Any update?”
FRENZY: “Found the terminal room. But the power generator was down to junk, beyond repair!”
JOKER: “Shit! Okay, what else you could do there?”
FRENZY: “The security cams still works, but most of them are low visible. The security panel still works. Heat scan sir!”
JOKER: “Okay what do you got there on the cams? And perform the heat scan right away!”
FRENZY: “Sir, this is bad! There are 2 infected member sir! But i had no idea who they are!”
JOKER: “What? How come? I didn’t hear anything suspicious!”
FRENZY: “I could see GRIEF, you but no GREEN! And sir, i think i found the hive!”
JOKER: “That’s good. Who’s the closest? GREEN is in a sick bay, somewhere.”
FRENZY: “GRIEF Sir! It’s right above his and  right in the corner. I guess it’s the water drainage room sir!”
JOKER: “Ok, GRIEF, what’s your stat?”
GRIEF: “Good sir. Ready to comply. But one thing sir. I don’t have
enough gas cans.”
JOKER: “Okay, stay there! I meet you there with extras!”
GRIEF: “Okay sir, and be quick sir! I wanna go out from this shit hole as quickly as possible. And i see movement sir!”
JOKER: “Okay, stand your ground, son! FRENZY, GREEN go to him!”
FRENZY & GREEN: “Roger that!”

2 BY 2 / Journal Log #0026383 – Capt. Cmd Angrod Vardamir / 12th December 2220 – Mining Station GHT-6528, Recon-6 (Inside Tricoran Gamet Solar System). 04.18

This is our hope. The hive had been found and all we need to do is burn down that shit. But i guess there are something bad we yet to uncover and this really got me worries with 2 infected members and still have no idea who were infected.

04.21
When i could reached GRIEF, he still alone. I tried FRENZY and GREEN but no response, just static.
JOKER: “GRIEF, how’s your condition?”
GRIEF: “in pain sir…the blood hasn’t completely stop, but still manageable”
JOKER: “Good! This is awful, i couldn’t get FRENZY and GREEN from the radio. And with that heat scan, probably they’re infected!”
GRIEF: “I see… So it’s just us then?” (in dismay)
JOKER: “we can’t be sure of that. The important thing is we need to burn the hive first!”
GRIEF: “Okay, but my flamethrower busted out sir! So it must go with yours sir!”
JOKER: “Okay, let see what you’ve got!”

We traded items and to my great surprise, he got me infected. I couldn’t believe this… GRIEF was infected?! How could all of these happened? We lost our hope.
Who else? 2 members were infected, who’s the host? Is it GRIEF? and who else, either GREEN or FRENZY?

04.31
FRENZY’s android arrived in the room and to our surprise, his android shot us both. What in the hell, did he already know that we’re infected? I thought he also infected. He killed me. Only my android left.

ALL HOPE IS GONE / Journal Log #0011837 – Lt. Sgt. Ricky ‘GREEN’ Bayu / 12th December 2220 – Mining Station GHT-6528, Recon-6 (Inside Tricoran Gamet Solar System).

04.35
FRENZY did a heat scan in the terminal room. And there was only 1 human left. I am the only one who’s not infected. I head gunshots, they got FRENZY? or it’s the other way around?

GREEN: “Guys, what just happened? I heard gunshots!”

No response… I think again, it’s not the wisest thing to do to communicate over the comm. The infected member and the host could overheard us.

GRIEF: “God, oh God…no… this couldn’t be! Ugggh…”

Shit what happened? It’s GRIEF… i need to!

GREEN: “GRIEF…are you okay? What happened?”

GRIEF: “Arrgh…help me…GREEN!”

GREEN:”Hold on… I’ll get to yours as fast as i can! Tell me what happened? Where’s JOKER?”

GRIEF: “…ugh…Cap is dead! FRENZY shot us down! Hurry…he’ll find me!”

GREEN: “Shit Shit Shit Shit Shit Shit!!! JOKER!!!”

FRENZY shot JOKER and GRIEF for a decoy. He thought that would left me trusted him, he wanted to infect and kill us all. I’m his last bounty, the alien have prevail.

04.38
I heard a shot, what happened? Was it something i fear the most? Is it FRENZY of GRIEF. I run through the corridor toward the source of the gunshot. I found JOKER lying still and pass to the hive. And to my dismay, it’s GRIEF, covered in blood with 2 shot wounds, in his chest and head, lost an arm. This is madness, GRIEF was killed by FRENZY. I didn’t find  FRENZY, where is he? What is that? Wait a minute…

04.39
————–static

THIS IS PANIC STATION!

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Board Games, Card Games, Session

 

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There Is No Circus In Economy 101

Box Cover

Drum Roll Preview

During my school days, I wasn’t that much into mathematics or economics and every other things related to numbers. So to speak, I sucks with numbers. That’s why I was into geography, history and other fun fact things including the creative world of art and design. So what it got something to do with this game? Drum Roll in a new game which was recently released in Essen 2011 by Konstatinos Kokkinis & Dimitris Drakopoulos. They’re Greeks, kinda new in the business and Drum Roll was their first game published. So what’s so special about Drum Roll? Well, there wasn’t (at that time) except the artworks are completely stunning, with circus theme that full of contrast colors. Actually, the game presentation was quite impressive with it’s visual and theme. Not many games in circus theme and this one looked special. By quick looking at it, i admit that it’s one of my blind buy in my collections. Pre-ordered a copy through the publisher, Artipia Games a month before Essen with some of my friends. So what did i know about the game? Well i knew enough to ordered a copy, from the visual alone, in addition with the unique theme and a glimpse of the core game mechanic (action point allowance or worker placement). So, half-blinded i ordered a copy with it’s bonus pre-order and promo cards from Essen. By the look of it, I bought it for only the sake of the artworks. After playing the game several times, I was manage to make the review. So, here it is…my usual review of the game.

1. The Theme

This is an attractive and unique theme. Not many games did used this theme, which made this game kinda rare jewel, mostly for some who like the theme. Player’s are circus managers that try to uplift their circus prestige by manage 3 shows during one game with their performers. They can hire performers, provide them with resources like equipments, wardrobes and such. Or they can sell tickets to gain income, hire personnel and invest. Though it’s a Euro game the theme doesn’t feel like blandly pasted on but rather seemed deep enough to connect and implicate with the game play itself, so the game experience really create the same ambiance of the theme itself, which is circus.

Player Mat (Blue) – Circus Tent

2. The Artworks

So, Antonis Papantoniou really done a great and remarkable job on the artworks, splendid work from him. The first time i looked at the box cover really amazed me. The first thing i had in mind was “What is this game? I must have it!”. So no wonder why the real excuse of my blind buy resolved by only just the artworks itself. The artworks are amazing, with such full contrast striking colors and exotic imaginative illustrations which really expressed the potential of the circus theme that we had known in our childhood. If you can’t remember what circus like in those old days, well, at least you can still remember the hazing blurry colors of blue and red tents and ornaments. The classic decorative borders really add the scenic and atmosphere of the theme. In overall, I really like the illustrations and the color tones of the artworks. So in short, this is the kind of games that need to be in your shelves just for showin’ off. Be sure to put it in the front row for an eye catcher.

Performer Cards Artwork

3. The Game Components

Okay, by the looks of the artworks, you, me and others would likely expect something marvelous inside the box. But, when the box opened, there seemed  a bit yawn of disappointment. Not that it has bad quality components, but the inside really packed with dull and messy. No insert tray or even card board separator and it’s just left out with quite a big hole and everything inside it. The board was surprisingly small (which i couldn’t be sure was it good or bad) with only 2 folds, great quality of cards, little disappointment with the player mats, which only made by thin paperback though in good quality. These mats should be in thick card board, which more durable and less worried if spilled by some liquid, knocked or bent in the edges. The wooden components are golden, in a perfect condition. The chits are also good and quite top notch, they gave more extra first player tokens (there are 3 first player tokens available). The rulebook was great, I think it’s the most heavy components in the box. You sure got a nice of bargain with that thick of rulebook, the downside was, you don’t need all the pages since there’s 4 languages in 1 book.

Wooden and Cardboard Chit Components

4. The Game Play

Okay, each player as a circus manager, have their responsibility to get their circus to achieve prestige (this is the other name for the victory points). During the game, players will have 3 shows (which means 3 times scoring) and each show has 5 to 7 preparation turn before the show is on. During the preparation turn, each player will spent their actions to gain resources cubes, sell tickets, buy investment cards, hire performers and personnel members which available on the main board. Each performer cards need to be provided by it’s resources cubes (at least 1 most left cube) to be able to perform during the shows and gain that performance benefit, and need to be provided with all cubes if they want to flip the performers and gain the prestige points. During the show, player’s performers must perform or otherwise must be fired. Performers that perform will gain benefits, except those with outstanding performance will likely be chosen to gain the benefit or to be flipped for the prestige points. After each show, players must pay the salaries of their performers and personnel, if somehow they can’t, they lose 1 prestige point for each coin they cannot pay (a bit harsh and mean? Well yes, then you better watch your spending in this game).

Main Board

The limitation of the actions, are quite different in this game. For instance, the resource cubes slots (white, blue, red, green and yellow) are limited only for 1 action token. But the other action slots are quite flexible and not limited for only one token. The Sell Tickets and Investment Cards for instance, could be placed by any players, even there are other player’s action token in that slot. These actions are limited up to two action tokens for each player. So you can spend 2 actions in these actions, unlike the resource cubes, which can only has 1 action token per slot. In the other hand, Hire Performer and Personnel can only be placed with 1 action token per each color. So each player can only have 1 action token placed to hire performer and personnel in one turn. After all actions are resolved in the main board, each player could distribute (normally) up to 2 resource cubes from his pool into the performers they have. The order of the distribution is free, but please bear in mind that in order for performers to perform, they must have at least the most left cube (poor performance with 1 star). If a performer has cubes in their 2 or/and 3 star but none in their 1 star at the start of the show, that performer is unable to perform and must be fired (the player minus 1 prestige and still must pay the salary of that performer). In the end of the game, after adding the end game bonuses, the player with the most prestige points, win the game. In case of tie, well, count the coins.

Performer Cards

5. The Replay Value

Based on my several plays, the game is quite balance, though it really depends on the luck of the draw. The cards make the game quite random, since performer and personnel card are drawn random but still manageable with opened options. The investment also random, worse maybe, since you pay 1 coin for a card in a blind luck of the draw. The region tiles are also random, but it’s still in acceptable level, for players can manage their subsequent shows by looking at the other player tiles. This randomness, even pretty much a downside of the game, adds more replay value to the game itself. Your games won’t ever be the same each time.

Basically there are 5 categories of performers but until now, the game designers published another category (which is Plate Spinner) and most likely opened to several other categories in the future. There also a mini expansion called the Ring Master just recently published which quite probably add some replay values to the game.

Ringmaster Promo Cards

My Thought of The Game

It’s one of my favorites and I really like the artworks. The artworks must be the most important things in this one. A masterpiece to behold in your collections and front row of your shelves. My friends taught me the game, but to my surprise, i played the game 3 times with the incorrect rules. So after reading the rules and search for clarifications in the forum, there it is, know i know and play it with the correct ones. A great game, quite good and really force you to calculate. Yeah, I’m not that good with numbers, which likely end up with the thought of “What? There isn’t any circus in my economy classes?!”, but i do not hate this one. By the look of the game, in fact, there is more economic feels rather than the circus and there’s mot much of a worker placement (at least standard worker placement) since players compete only in the resource slots and the order of hiring a performer and personnel.

Performer Cards

So, why economy? Yeah, because mostly during the game, you will end up counting the salaries that you need to pay after each show in your free time (or not). This gripping and creeping death feeling about the salaries really store the goosebumps and enjoyment of the game, Looks like that in order to win, each player must do their best to have more performers, and gain more prestige, but the consequences are clear, they face the same big and heinous problem, which is the salaries. Statements like “How can I pay all these?” or “I need more cash” or “OMG, I hope this investment give me extra coins” or “Damn, I can’t sell tickets anymore!” are often likely to be heard during the game. I believe this game is a delicate, tricky and complex, but when you get the hang of it, you’ll know what to do and get most of the suitable strategy. The odd thing is the end game bonuses. For some reason the end game bonuses are kinda bit weird, since each player can easily outtake the bonuses, which bring most of the players the same addition of prestige points. It’s quite easy to get and doesn’t really a game situation changing.

Player Mat

Money is important in this game, and you don’t get much of an income. The only obvious income is from the Selling Tickets action which are limited to 8 actions, after that you can only have coins from the investment cards (which really a gamble) and pass your actions for 1 coin (seriously, this is so desperate). You can gain coins or extra discounts from performers benefit (gain trailers / coins / free salary), but to this point then you cannot flip them to gain points and more to that, you need to pay their full salaries after this show and next show. There aren’t too many direct conflict in this game, though the interactions are somewhat interactive.

Some images are courtesy of BGG users.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Board Games, Euro Games, Reviews

 

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