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Category Archives: Dice Games

A game that emphasize on it’s mechanics and game play which fairly involves the use of dice (resource, management, allocation, etc)

How Greed Are You? The Game

pic2773860Thief’s Market Review
This game was launched on Kickstarter by Tasty Minstrel Games, designed by Dave Chalker. It’s a small box game, for 3-5 players. But don’t be fooled, the game is not “small” at all. At first this caught my interest because of the price was cheap and the shipping was so affordable. So I was like “what the heck, let’s back it!”. Well let’s see how the game really is.

The Theme and Artworks
I am not particularly fond with the theme and artworks. It has an okay theme, about thieves doing business in their free time? Just kidding. The artworks are not really my favorite, but it’s okay and you can still enjoy the images, comical and fun. Okay, serious, the game is about splitting up the loot of your last job (remember, you all are thieves) and spend them to get what you want in the market. The back story is that players are a group of thieves, which have been back from their “interesting” looting activity and now the real deal takes place, they need to divvy up the loot and spend their shares to get what they need to help them carve their way to be the one and only, King of Thieves.

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The Components
The dice are what make the game really interesting. The dice are plenty inside a box of that size and they’re custom black dice with colorful symbols. What’s not to love? Though the symbols shown on some of the dice were not really painted well enough, so some icons do not have solid colors compared with others. The cards are in good quality, though they’re not linen finished, but you still can fit them in the box even after you sleeved them (I used premium Mayday sleeves). The coin and point tokens are okay. The small box is good enough to fit all the components, fully packed, and I love the smooth laminated finished on its box.

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The Game Play
The main idea is to get the most infamy points at the end of the game, he/she will be crowned as King of Thieves, it has a card for it, not a real crown, so please be content with just that. Before the game starts, shuffle the cards based on the alphabet shown on its back, place it face down to form three separate decks (A,B,C), draw 5 cards from deck A. Choose a first player and give him the first player marker. The game starts with the first player rolls the available loot dice, and place the first player marker and all the dice roll results to the center of the table as a loot pool. Then the first player choose what to take from the loot pool. He can take anything, all or just some. He even can take the first player marker back. Then the player to His left, choose to take from the loot pool or from any player who has any loot in front of them. If He decided to take from a player, he takes all but 1 from the player’s loot, and return it to the pool (it can be a loot die or the first player marker, if it’s a loot die, He re-roll the die first). So this process is repeated until everyone has a loot in front of them. Then the next phase is to spend those loot, starting from the player with the first player marker and continues clockwise. Players can spend their loot to buy a card from the display, they return all the dice used to buy the card back to the center. In addition, they can spend one or more coins to be any symbol to buy the card. And then they can cash in their infamy symbol with points and gold bag symbols with coins. After all players finish their turns, more cards are revealed, if the current deck is depleted, five more cards from the next deck are drawn and available for next round. If it’s the last deck, the game will end.

So what are the cards do? Some give infamy points but most of them give passive or active benefits that can help players during their turns. This is also one of the many interests about the game, the core idea here is to build your tableau the best you can to gain the most points. The cards are divided into 3 decks, with labels from A to C. It uses cards from deck A and then as the game progresses continued to deck B and C. As the decks changed, the cards get better and eventually offer huge potential points for players.

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The Replay Value
It has some replay value, since all the cards are usually not used in a game, so there often some cases that some cards will not come up in a game. This gives probability and a bit of adaptability with the available cards to build the tableau. Aside from the cards, which is common in tableau building games, one thing that really stands out in this game is the dice mechanic. Okay, it’s just a dice-rolling mechanic but what makes it really interesting and unusual is its distribution. Players have the chance (especially the first player) to get all the dice they need, but there’s a catch. The designer made a brilliant system to incorporate interactive mechanic for players to get their dice. So basically the first player, can and may take all the dice, but that’s not the wisest thing to do, since other players will eventually loot them from his possession. Even if he took only some of the dice, others will decide whether it is okay or not to let him be. The dice amount are limited based on number of players, this what makes it interesting, since in equal perception, there should be an average amount of dice that a player can get, for example in a 5-players game, the game uses 13 dice, which in average there should be 2.6 dice available for each player (not to mention the first player marker). Getting more than the average amount would incite interesting decision by other players, and another factor is what symbols are available in this round relates with the cards available. To some extent the game really has flexibility aspect in the form of what dice and cards available. But aside from all of that, the ugly truth is that people sees things very simple and with the competitive nature of the game, it’s not easy to get away with more dice than the average without other players screwing while they have the chance.

My Thoughts About The Game
I think the idea of splitting the loot dice is very novelty and adds unique aspect to the game in a very big approach. The game is so simple, presented in a very small box but contains a good deal of “contents”. Personally I love the splitting loot mechanic, it stands out very well to represent the game or as it’s identity. The dice allocation and tableau building are nice, they’re just labeled as necessities to form the game. Aside from what components that you get from the game, the price is also affordable from what you really get (in short, it’s very cheap).  What I do not like is the dice, not that really matter to me, but the quality from each die are not consistent and it shows quite apparent.
So in overall, the game is good, you can play in 30-45 minutes with 4 players and it offers interesting choices, tactical and highly interactive. Easy to store with a very small box, even you can put it on your pocket and bring it anywhere.

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Racing with Feld

pic3302018The Oracle of Delphi Review
Stefan Feld’s latest new game after The Castles of Burgundy Card Game and Jorvik (while technically Jorvik is just an implementation of Speicherstadt). But beware, this game is not like your occasionally point salad Feld games. Why? Because here you don’t get points (at all) but racing to be the first to appease Zeus. Yep, racing in Greek Mythologies. So, what’s my take on this new and “fresh” Stefan Feld’s  game? You’re about to find out.

If you are an avid reader of my blog, it’s clear that I do not like racing games (mentioned these a lot lately: Istanbul, Euphoria, Viticulture, etc) if they don’t have rewarding game plays. So that’s why I like Lewis and Clark though it’s a racing game. So crossed my fingers when I got this one. I do like Stefan Feld’s designs, have been collecting His game though not yet complete the line up (Still missing quite many titles). So kinda bit obliged to get this into my collection. Okay, now let’s get down to it shall we?

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The Theme
In this game, players will compete with each other to be the first to appease Zeus. To do that they have to complete 12 tasks given  by Zeus before everyone else. The 12 tasks are broken down into 4 categories, building shrines, erecting statues, making offerings and defeating monsters. The theme seems quite abstract, but the implementations are quite finely done. As you know Feld doesn’t really think through the theme as long His designs have smooth game flow. So not really give much thought about it. But for what is worth, let me give brief description over the theme. What exactly is The Oracle of Delphi? Or maybe the exact question is “who”. In the times of Gods in Greek, there was a sanctuary dedicated for Apollo and in there lies a priestess, which known as the oracle of Delphi. This priestess was chosen by Apollo to translate His message or prophecy. So based on these definition, players will consult to this oracle on what actions they can take and how they will proceed to claim victory.

The Artworks
It’s OK. If you are familiar with Feld’s games, you can see that this game art shares the same resemblance with his other game, Aquasphere. Both of these games’ illustrations were made by Dennis Lohausen, who has been widely known for his illustrations for mostly Euro-games out there such as Terra Mystica, Helios, A Feast for Odin, Coal Baron, Camel Up, Dominion series, Village, The Voyages of Marco Polo and many more. Dennis Lohausen made one of the greatest game box covers in the history of Euro games (IMO) with the illustrations of a woman (priestess) sitting in the center of  somewhat looks like a temple and surround her are many colorful flaming spirits meanwhile the Gods are watching closely above her. I found it to be evoking and rightly describe the game in a way of using dice. The components are colorful, love the way He did with the player boards, very colorful. And one distinctive element to keep note is the iconography throughout the game is very simple and unified, a very good achievement if I may say.

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The Game Components
Okay I will discuss the Tasty Minstrel Games as a reminder here since my copy is TMG version and not yet see or even compare it with Pegasus Spiele version. For me, TMG has better box art, the illustration has border-less frame unlike Pegasus Spiele version, but somehow I noticed it’s a bit thinner than most boxes. The components are good, nice thick map tiles and wooden pieces. I do think the God discs are too small that I would really want to, but then again if it’s bigger, the player board wouldn’t fit them all into the God advancement track, but I suppose you can always stack them.They provide stickers for monster and God tokens, which is very neat and good addition from the bland colored wooden pieces. I just wished the player board could be as good as Trajan in quality, which using thick board instead of thin one. The cards are not in linen finish, which is a bit of disappointment but most of games are using non-linen finish, which I don’t know if there’s a good reason to choose this over linen one. The dice are good, chunky regular dice but wooden, sadly. It would be way much better if using the same quality as Bora-Bora. The thing with wooden dice, they’re too light when rolled, and easy to get dirty.
The rules were poorly written (English), there are many various details got left behind and not many examples covering possible scenarios. And setting up the default map is very challenging.

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The Game Play
As already mentioned above, the goal of the game is to finish 12 tasks given and return to Zeus as fast as you can. The first player to do that, wins the game. So it’s definitely a racing game, bear with me, I do not like racing games (not games a bout racing, but more like a game that players race to win the game, my argument is that these two are different in principle). Players get the same tasks (types and number) but may be different in colors. They need to complete building shrines, statues, making offerings, defeating monsters to appease Zeus. The board laid out as one huge ocean with many islands scattered around.
Players will start their voyage from the center of the board (where Zeus figure is located) and will move their ship through out the board doing actions. Each turn of a player is broken down into several phases, Check Injury, Actions and Consult the Oracle phases.
A. Check Injury Phase
At the start of a player turn, He must check his injury cards, if he has 3 cards with the same kind (color) or 6 cards in total, He must pass his action phase and didn’t consult the oracle. He discard 3 of His injury cards. So it’s kinda important to keep your injury cards in check from time to time, and be wary not to lose the next turn because of this.
But if He has no cards, he gets 2 Favor tiles or 1 step advance in one of His Gods.
B. Action Phase
In this phase, the player carries out His actions, which come from oracle dice and an available oracle card. There are many possible actions that a player can choose from by using a die and there are actions independent no matter the die is or dependent based on which side the die shows. The actions unrelated to the side of a die are taking 2 favor tiles, take an oracle card, or look at 2 unexplored tiles. And the actions related to specific side of the die are below:
– Remove up to 3 Injury cards (of the same color / icon shown on the die)
– Move up to 3 spaces in the sea hex (the destination hex must be the same color / icon shown on the die).
– Explore an unexplored tile (and immediately get it’s reward, whether building a shrine or get it’s bonus) or place a shrine in an explored tile with player’s color.
– Load an offering cube to the ship (the color shown on the die must match the cube color) or unload the cube from the ship to a temple with the same color (also use die of the same color with the cube / temple).
– Load a statue to the ship (the color shown on the die must match the color of the statue) or erect the statue from the ship into the tile with matching icon / color as the die.
– Battle a monster (the color of the monster must match with the color shown on the die).
– Advance one of the Gods with matching color shown on the die, one step in the God’s track.
C. Consult The Oracle Phase
In this phase, the active player rolls His dice. The other players check to see if there are dice matching with their Gods in the advancement track above the clouds, if yes, that particular God(s) move one step forward. The Gods in the cloud (most bottom step) do not advance.
D. Titan Attack Phase
This phase only happened if its the last player’s turn. He roll the titan die and check the result. If the result is 5 or less and the players shield value is less than the result, they gain an injury card. If the result was 6, all players get 2 injury cards instead.


This turn is repeated until one player managed to complete the 12 tasks and return back to Zeus. Once that happened, complete the round until last player and check who wins the game. If there are more than one player managed to finish the game, player with the most oracle cards wins the game.


Battle Monsters
When players take an action to battle monster, they must defeat the monster with starting strength of 9, minus the player shield value. They roll a d9 and check if the result is equal or greater, they defeat the monster. If not, they fail and have to choose to battle another round or give up. If they want to battle another round, they need to spend a favor tile and the monster strength is reduce by one.
If players decide to give up or cannot go through another round, the battle stop and players do not get or lose anything (except the action itself). If they won, the monster was defeated and placed in the player’s board.
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Favor Tiles
Players can also spend their favor tiles to help them in their turns. Each favor tile can be spend to add distance when moving ship, but the ship must end movement in the same color of the die. Or players can also use the favor tiles to modify the die result in clockwise order based on the chart in player board. Players can also use favor tiles to help them fight another round when battling with monsters.
Rewards
Completing tasks not only take players closer to the goal, but each completed task provides players with reward that can help them in later turns. These rewards are fixed based on what kind of task is being completed. Each time players build a shrine, they can move  one of their Gods one step forward. Each time they defeat a monster, they can get one equipment from the available. Each time they erect a statue, they can get a companion card of the same color as the statue. Each time they make offering in the temple they get 3 favor tiles.
The Gods
During the game, players will advance Gods in their advancement tracks. Once a God is in the top most space, players can use it for it’s special effect to help them complete their tasks. Once used, the God token will reset back to the bottom of the track, which players need to advance again to the top so it effect can be used for the second time.
There are 6 Gods for each player, each with different ability. There are Poseidon (teleportation), Apollon (one turn wild dice and draw 1 oracle card), Aphrodite (discard all injury cards), Hermes (loading another statue into the ship), Artemis (uncover an unexplored tile) and Ares (automatically defeat a monster)
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Ship Tiles
There are also ship tiles, which a ship will be randomly / drafted / whatever you prefer, to each player. This ship tile not only provides a cargo slot for each player but also provides a different starting benefit or ability for each player.

My Though of The Game
First of all, before I spill out my opinion about the game I must point out that I do not like racing games and this game got all my doubts. But since it is a Feld’s, then I must try and hope He can deliver something different out of the stereotype racing game I dislike. So by any means, I bought a copy against my fear and tried the game anxiously. And wow, it’s not that bad as I feared. Okay, you may think there’s a catch in my statement, not that bad also means not that good. Well you are right, this is not the best of Feld and also not my favorite immediately. My first impression was kinda mixed with confusion for the rule book lacks of details and examples. My expectation was they could made it way much better. The map setup is a pain, short on example and hard to recreate. First obstacle in the game, getting the default map structure ready. But of course there’s no problem when you start creating map freely.
The game play is actually pretty simple and straightforward, aside from the fiddly rules and tidbit of restrictions but hey once you master all that and get onto the game halfway, you realize how easy it is. The essential thing in this game is observation. Feld has proven again to be one of the best and notable modern game designer over the past few years. His game design is very solid, stream-lined and excellently easy to digest. Just look at the use of the dice integrates perfectly not just with the actions but also to the game elements such as the map, gods, cubes, statues and everything. Multi-use of symbols became the important element in the game. Love this and I must praise Him for it.
The game play is simple, dice allocation, a group of 3 dice can be used for multitude of options. Of course there’s a luck of the dice, but many elements help to mitigate this.
It still a racing game, and I do feel the hopelessness in the last round, but one must say that playing this game is quite rewarding. Players can tinker their dice usages and timing to perform combos. The game also offers moderate player interactions from watching opponent plans and what they have in store for next turn and also outmaneuver your opponents with the same goal.
Like most racing games, its hard to catch the runaway leader, there’s no catch-up mechanic. But it is possible to win by tie breaker, which is not bad.

The Replay Value
Each game will mostly the same, with different outcome of course. Though setting up the map differently might affecting how you play it. You can change and customize the map to your liking but the golden rule is that the ocean tiles must be connected as a single large space. The different ships also make a difference but not that big I guess. After several plays I still want to play it again, a good one though the racing aspect of the game keeps me out for loving it.
dav

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Board Games, Dice Games, Euro Games, Reviews

 

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My Top 10 Games from 2016

2016 is over and from it, there are many games that I’ve tried and yet to try. So in short, here are my top 10 of 2016 and some worth mentioned. The rank is of course, subject to change by play count and also different feel of the game and as time goes by, but at least this is my initial take based on my (first) experiences.

The Top 10
#1 Great Western Trail
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Okay, I heard good (if not great) things about this one. After I got and played it, I must admit that it’s quite over-hyped but agree, this one is good and worth to be in the very top of this list.
Why I like it?
Classic
This is modern Euro that has the classic feel shows in the presentation. The rules are somehow hard to chew but once you play it for the first time, you know what to do and straight-forward simple. There are many mechanics thrown into the game but surprisingly they work very well overall.
There’s a deck-building aspect in it.
A hint but not too strong to be considered as a deck-building game and doesn’t restraint players for building their deck cause there are still many ways to get points. In short, players do not have to totally surrender over the deck efficient and effective aspect of a deck-building game.
Rondel
Disguised in the player board, this one has rondel mechanic in it. Yes, the location spaces along the trail is one network or rondel system that becomes lengthy over time during the game because new locations will be added by the players. I could need a game with rondel in my collection and though this is not the usual rondel but better than none.
Engine Building in player board
The player board gets more interesting since players get to move some components from their player board into the game board in such interesting way. Players mostly score points and get instant benefit while improving their engine.
Clever use of objective cards
Players acquired objectives from the card display and put them their deck. These acquired objective cards are mixed together with their cattle cards, which will eventually be drawn into their hand and can be used in such an innovative way. Players are left with an interesting decision either to keep those objectives in their deck (while making your deck less-efficient in the same time) or play them to get the bonuses but must committed to complete them at the end or they will get penalized with minus points.
What I don’t like about this game?
Hmm, almost nothing. The components are good, though there was minor misprint in one of the player’s building tile (though a simple sticker should take care of the problem). The player boards should be thicker (as thick as the game board) and also has indentation to place all the wooden pieces.

#2 Yokohama
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Finally another heavier game (heaviest actually) from Hisashi Hayashi. I kinda like most of His game and this one is so beautiful (aside from the beautiful artwork from Ryoko Hayashi). Some said (including Rahdo) that the game design shares the resemblance with Stefan Feld designs (a point-salad game), and I must agree. Even this year, Hisashi Hayashi is more Feld than Feld himself.
Why I like it?
Heavy
At first the box and visual presentation of the box art surely gives you friendly and casual feel of a classic Euro with a location (city / country) name as its title. If it’s true then you were fooled, it’s unlike any of sorts, though the box art is remarkably compelling and relaxing. The truth, the game is quite complex. Though the rules are simple but there are many tidbits that players need to keep up for the first time.
As far as the eyes see
Ludicrous amount of ways to get points. Yes there are many ways to get points (really a point-salad game) even there are some double locations that serve that sole purpose to open more access through out the map.
Combos
After a while learning the game, you can figure out some interesting combo with chaining action and additional action together, also helped by abilities from technologies and bonuses.
High variable setup
There will be no setup like before. The game map setup makes it different each time you play, the location and how you build your resource processing engine is based on the game map. You need to be more efficient to move around and using your assistants to beat your opponents. And in addition, the technology card and award distributions are also different in each game.
What I don’t like about this game?
The modular boards are easily get moved and shifted by players though I understand that this is how the variable setup possible. And the cards, ugh the cards are too fiddly, placed on top of the modular boards and also technology cards are too hard to read (the texts are too small) especially from a player seat to the end of the table. If only they can come up with iconography solution for this. Table-hugger, yes the game takes a lot of table space. With card displays and huge modular boards with maximum amount of players, you get a busy tablecloth ready to be played.

#3 Terraforming Mars
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This offers a very interesting theme with science backing the theme and logic of the game. Immediately ordered it once I had the chance and played it straight out. The game is amazing, very intimidating though but rewarding with clever card plays.
Why I like it?
Really dig the science behind the theme
The theme is not very compelling for me, but for some reason the relevancy between game and real life science seems click (thinking of High Frontier or Leaving Earth for other examples).
Clever card plays
This definitely what makes the game shines. First of all this is naturally a card game. Many cards inside the game, and it offers different clever card plays along with a tableau engine building. In a game, all the cards won’t be played and sometimes the cards can be useless but sometimes can be very crucial. This reflected by the timing and compatible pairing with other cards (combos). So players need to adapt to every situation in the game and come up with the best solution to get the most points in the end.
Shiny metallic cubes
Okay, they’re plastic but seriously they still looks good and shiny like metals. I like to hold the biggest cubes in my hand, big cubes. Aside from the idea of same big size for all the cubes, I agree the different sizes makes it easier for color blind players.
Game flexibility
The end game relies on the players. There are three parameters to end the game and players are “semi-cooperatively” work towards that end. So in a way, players together is in control with the length of the game (which could also be the drawback in terms of unnecessary prolonging the game).
What I don’t like about this game?
Many. Yes, aside from the cards have heavy texts on them, makes it hard for players to read and prolong the game duration. And for new players, pretty much intimidating if they’re not omni or heavy-gamer people. The cards distribution can also felt unbalance.
The player board could be improved, to keep track the income track and the supply with the same components could turn your game experience a bit nightmarish if things turn sideways. Good thing that there’s a game trays for the player board (or should I say player mat?). The game length could be hard to determine because of the end game trigger, which based on players game plays.

#4 Scythe
pic3163924_mdThis one is one of the best, undoubtedly. You can see it on its Kickstarter project and how good the feedback is. Backed it myself and worth every penny. Stonemaier games has a very good reputation though relatively new in the hobby.
Why I like it?
Stunning artworks and immersive theme
Actually the game was purposely designed out of the beautiful and stunning artworks from Jakub Rozalski, based on His self-made universe of alternate world war aftermath. The scenes are jaw-dropping and awesome. One can own this for collection only and no one dares to argue. The game sets in a alternate history of world war where mechs were exist in 1820’s and there are some factions that want to seize control of the land. The factions not only shows different characteristic in appearances but also in abilities that affect the ways to play them.
Marvelous components
The game is heavy, literally. Many top notch quality components, as already known by it’s components quality, Stonemaier games didn’t kid around by chucking realistic resource tokens and metal coins, not to mention thick card board and huge enormous game board, and those mechs. Hands down, one of the best Kickstarter game projects.
Interesting game play
The rules seems intimidating, but once you break it down, it’s pretty simple and straightforward. It’s an engine building game with variable player power, area control, resource management, and semi racing game with interesting player interactions.
I love how the scoring works and the encounter cards also add a nice touch to the game theme. Battle doesn’t seems highlighted, so for Euro-gamers this should give a plus, direct conflict is down to minimum. So for those who expecting frequent battle, they might be disappointed. Though of course they can play it that way, it’s not guaranteed to be a winning strategy.
What I do not like about the game?
This is hard. Maybe my biggest issue is the game takes a huge table space, more if you use the collector’s edition bigger board. Also it’s better if players can accomplish more objective cards.

#5 The Oracle of Delphi
pic3302018It’s Stefan Feld new title, The Oracle of Delphi. Surprisingly in this game He didn’t make His usual point-salad game, this one is a racing game. Yeah, racing, surprised me. I do not consider myself as a Feld fanboy, but I do like and admire His games. There are many favorites among His games such as Trajan, Bora-Bora, The Castles of Burgundy, Amerigo, Aquasphere, The Name of The Rose and many more.
Most of these share the same feat, various ways to get points (point-salad). But not this one. In this game players need to appease Zeus by completing 12 tasks before anyone else. The player who completed those 12 tasks and managed to get back to the starting place, won the game.
I usually do not like racing game (Euphoria, Istanbul, Viticulture) so I am kinda pessimist with this one and did not get my hope high. Though I hope this could be like Lewis and Clark or at least as good as Automobiles for me.
So let see the summary…
Why I like it?
Stefan Feld
Okay should I admit that I might be a fanboy after all? Stefan Feld always counts something in my book. His games are awesome so far and truth be told in early days of my board gaming adventure, I planned to collect all of His games (though I’ve been lazy and distracted). So His name as the designer should be one of the reason why I like this game.
Dice Allocation
Yes, one of initial reasons why I like Feld was right after I tried The Castles of Burgundy. The dice allocation system is very clever and interesting (for me). What you can do with such dice really amazed me, and how He managed to mitigate the dice roll luck, the reason why I like dice games. And guess what this one also uses the same system and in addition, the dice are custom dice, superb.
The symbology and iconography
Okay, I do not know whether it’s Feld’s, Dennis Lohausen’s or the developer’s doing that makes it great but this game has such a clever implementation of colors / symbols in the game. Not only just to make players identify the elements in the game but also the various aspect or elements in the game are boiled down to these 6 colors / symbols. And extra, it’s color-blind friendly (bravo!).
Theme
Greek Mythology is one of the themes that makes me interested. So this one is interesting. Though I also think it’s lack of theme and quite abstract (most of His games are).
Rewarding game play
Actually aside from the racing game aspect, the game play is simple and quite fun. Okay Euphoria is fun and simple but somehow at the end of the day, its not really rewarding for me when lost the game. But this one feels slightly different. You can feel the excitement to complete task, moving around ship and matching the colors, tinkers with your dice and what combo you can possibly do with those God’s special abilities. So my verdict so far, its playable in the future. In fact, I already logged 3 plays in such a short time.
What I don’t like about this game?
I’ve experienced difficulties to set the map. Even there’s a pictured diagram for the basic map setup, it’s kinda hard to determine the shape of those map tiles because there are more then one kind (4 shapes and sizes). And Place Zeus in the center, what center? There’s no shallow in the center (at least not center, center if you know what I mean). And the cities should be placed in an equally-distant way (come one, it gives me headache). I also tried the random setup and it’s not easier (could be worse).
Racing game, as I already mentioned earlier, even the racing is not that bad, but if it’s not a racing game, it could be better for my taste. For example completing tasks gives you points (how many points is vary not on the type of tasks but the type of objects (monsters, statues, offerings or build shrines), this mean based on colors and each game it should be vary. I never favor a wooden die. Better other materials. Not really an issue but worth mentioned. I mean how good could this be if the dice are plastic or resin (just like in Bora-Bora) or whatever that is beside wood.
The Gods abilities and Ship tiles feel somewhat not balanced. I feel Ship tile that gives starting position on all Gods really overpowered. I also feel that Blue, Red and Yellow Gods are very useful throughout the game, unlike other Gods, which only used number of times for specific actions. But that’s just based on 3 plays.

#6 Word Porters
pic2948039_md This one is coming from Hisashi Hayashi, one of the few Japanese games that go international. His games are amazing and innovative.
I knew him the first time from Sail to India and then Trains. As these games are good, I started to check His other games and turned out His other games are also good.
And when I knew He has a new game with word as its main idea, well I like word games, so I immediately sold.
Why I like it?
Word Games

I love word games, and this looks a very nice addition aside from Codenames, Snake Oil and Dixit. The truth is, I think this is the successor of Dixit and Codenames combined. It shares unique features from both games.
Hisashi Hayashi
I don’t know from when I starting to like and hunt for Japanese games (maybe safe to blame Love Letter) and to be more specific, Hisashi’s games kinda always have special treatment in my eyes. So here it is, another Hisashi’s game that actually quite good and fresh.
It actually good
Turns out the game is very good. If you have second thought about this one because it looks similar to Codenames and Dixit altogether, well it has the same features but the scoring system is different and it changes a lot in the gaming experience. Since in Dixit you try to choose the one and in Codenames you play in teams, in this game you try to guess all other players. The feel is quite different (turned out it’s a big turnover) and it’s so exciting. So I still think it’s worth having in my collection (I own Codenames, Dixit, Spyfall and Snakeoil for your consideration).
There is a minor but essential deduction element in the game, which makes the game quite complex in meta gaming but not necessarily running the game entirely. So whether you use deduction or not, the game can still be fun.
What I don’t like about this game?
The only version is in Japanese though it has English paste ups in the BGG file section and the word cards have English translations, still hard to get this easily run smoothly. You need to get some efforts done, such as print the paste ups, stick it in the hint cards or use sleeves and insert it to the sleeves.
Also the English texts in the word cards are too small, it’s hard to read.
It shines with more players, the game can be played with 3-7 players, but with 3 or 4, is not as good as 5-7 players.

#7 Mask of Anubis
pic3104778_mdThe only reason I found this game interesting was the VR implementation into an analog game. Sounds and looks cool. It’s a Japanese game and not an easy one to acquire. I had to go to Japan to get this, though this was also available in Essen 2016 for a limited amount.
Why I like it?
VR Technology

Okay, technology implementation is always interesting. You can see many approaches from the likes of X-Com, Alchemist and such but this one is more interesting since it’s using our sensory and perception more closer. To play the game you need a VR goggle (which already included inside the game). The first time, you need to assemble it first which is not easy but I am sure everyone can do it.
The interaction is off the chart
In this game, it constantly demands interaction between players. Players need to listen carefully, explain clearly and work together to map the pyramid. It’s a very fun game to begin with, lots of talking, back and forth and getting things done. I also think it’s good for training your visualization skill (mapping it out in your head based on the description of your teammates).
Challenging with different people or group
since the main focus is people interaction and communication, it’s essential to have a good communication and interaction. But in order to do that, there are too many factors at play. Different people with different understanding, speaking skill and how their mind thinks really make this game challenging when played with different people. Though returning group find it easier from session to session due to teamwork and progressing communications.
A monster to explore
As you check on the maps (oh did I tell you about the app you need to install first before you can start to play this game?), there are many stages provide by the publisher, from easy to hardest. The difficulty is based on the scope of the map size. The bigger the map is the more points of view it needs. So, it’s rewarding in terms of game time. And also there also extra stage and time trial mode if you want to change the game mode.
What I don’t like about the game?
The VR goggle is kinda bit fiddly and fragile. You need to carefully use and store it if you want it long-lasting. The truth is you can always replace / substitute it with another VR out there (there are many cheap ones). The assembly instruction could be more helping and clear.

#8 Automobiles
pic2586265_md Another racing game, that I like. It’s about racing (Nascar) so definitely a racing game. Its a good game, quite thematic in spirit of the game.
Why I like it?
A racing game with racing theme
This really makes the game inline with the theme. A game about racing cars with a racing mechanic. So you can feel the atmosphere of speeding over your opponents and give them smoke!
It actually tense and satisfying
To get your car speeding away leaving your opponents behind or even make a come back by surpassing your opponents give a great satisfaction to anyone. Though in the end there’s only one winner, the game rewards you with some adrenaline along the race.
Bag building in it’s finest
Bag building is not a common mechanic used, it’s new and you can also find it in Orleans and Hyperborea (don’t know any other games that use this). But this one really works very good compared to those two (hyperborea too fiddly with the game map, while Orleans is too dry and bland). Okay the bag building also doesn’t important but that makes it good, its just a means, an engine for your car to beat others. So we need to make the engine better but the most important thing is the result. As long as you can beat your opponents or progressing you car as you expected, keep ’em coming!
Tweaking
You can try different or random setup for the cubes ability. So each race would not be the same. And there are 2 circuits to choose, which each has different characteristic that change how you race. So you can always tweak the game setting and feel it in different ways.
What I don’t like about the game?
Hmm, nothing in particular I guess. A good game without any flaw, oh well the box is too big because of the not so useful plastic storage.

#9 Railroad Revolution
This was my only blind buy in 2016 that turns out pretty good. My two reasons were because it’s from What’s Your Game? and its price was reasonable.
Why I like it?
What’s Your Game?

What can go wrong? Yes, they have been releasing good quality games so far. Well, Signorie and Zhang Guo are the least of my favorite, but still good games nonetheless. I like how they present their image and well also because Nuno and Paolo are with them (can’t wait for Brasil).
Simple rules
After reading the rules once, it’s quite straightforward. Easy to grasp rules and the actions are very streamlined. Its enjoyable and rewarding, though unlike my top favorite heavy games such as Madeira or Kanban.
Cool Worker Placement
Okay, actually it’s just a simple one, place a worker in an action, do the action and take a bonus. But the bonus depends on what kind of worker you use to activate the actions, different not based on the worker type but also on the action it’s used. Simple not really that innovative but somewhat fresh yet simple.
Why I don’t like the game?
One thing for sure, What’s Your Game? is notoriously known for its warped game board. Don’t know why they couldn’t make their folded board flat in the table. Encountered the same issue with Madeira and Nippon.
Another issue is the restricted actions, don’t get me wrong, but simple actions and set of rules intend to do just this. There are basically only 4 actions on a player’s turn and there’s nothing that a player can do outside that. So whether a player want to build a station, rails, telegraph office or trade, you need to do it. The only thing that makes them different is only the kind of worker you used to do the action. So the game is somewhat constrained in a specific length. Which not always a bad thing, just consider it as game rounds. Also the condition of player’s action is somewhat solitaire and there’s no blocking in the game. Of course there’s a minor element where player’s get the first bonus effects but that can be mitigated easily by playing the right worker in a certain action. The last thing is the iconography or maybe graphic design elements. Don’t get me wrong, Mariano Iannelli is a talented artist but from what I see with this one, He didn’t take this 100%, the icons were bit off, out of place and not really suitable. Just call it designer’s perception, but that is it. Not affecting the game play and surely won’t be matter to anyone.

#10 Covert
pic2744644_mdDice…. yes dice. Would love for a good dice game.
Many said that this game is good and couldn’t wait to try it.
Why I like it?
Dice allocation
is always interesting, the actions are blockable by dice value so you need to prioritize, so there’s a good decision and planning in it. After you roll your dice, you need to figure what are you going to do with those dice, checking other player’s dice results too.
Theme
Its a secret operatives / spy theme. You need to gather intel and travel around the world to complete missions.
Why I don’t like this game?
First, the dice roll is too random, you can plan it but there’s a time when you really really get a bad roll. Next is the code breaking, it’s fucked up. Getting first is important but the rest only luck left that you can break the code after other players messing it up.
There’s no modifier for general. Okay, there are some, but not easy one to get. If only it has same one like workers in Castles of Burgundy or something. Fixed action to spend dice to get modifiers.
The world map is kinda bit complex. it’s hard to find a location (though it’s already color coded. Also there’s an inconsistency in the iconography, I don’t know why they did not use the same icons.

There were also some games that worth mentioned, like these games below:
Quadropolis – As you notice, it has Days of Wonder’s game quality and characteristic. It has family-friendly value, easy to grasp rules and interesting play. The real deal is about set collection in a 9×9 grid tile laying game. There’s a small bit of worker placement but not quite a classic worker placement since the worker is more like a resource. This one is not really my taste just like their other games (though Five Tribes is on my collection).
Thief’s Market – Surprisingly good beefy filler, though the rules are simple and straight-forward. But the game’s hook is what make this one good. The dice distribution is really clever, players  are forced in position to decide how they take the dice in a clever way to achieve their goals.
The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game – It’s the card version of one of my most favorite games and though at first thought skeptically at it, it turned out OK, well yes not good because too simple for my taste. Good thing this is perfect if you want a fast game (30 minutes or under an hour) with casual friends, since it’s very simplified with the building types, restriction of tile laying and also small-generated points, strictly a set collection card game.
Waka-Tanka – A friend introduced this one to me and wow, we had fun. It’s a bluffing, push you luck game that could make your night with friends unforgettable. I consider this as a filler. An OK filler game with casual friends.
Dairyman – Got this one from Japan. It’s a very simple Yahtzee style of dice game. The interesting part is the decision offered to players whether they want to pursuit another risk to get bonuses based on partial stages in dice rolls. And the use of freeze tokens and additional red dice improve the game.

And also some that I really want to try, interested but still don’t have the time to try it.
A feast for Odin – It’s Rosenberg latest, another monster after Caverna. But what I do not like is the idea of Rosenberg’s games is really centered in the same idea, like it’s an improvement of some sort from the same game between Agricola, Le Havre and Ora et Labora.
Cry Havoc – A Blood Rage killer? Okay that’s way ahead of it’s head. Blood Rage is a beast and though it seems like one, I do not think it is. A good game maybe, I really interested in the conflict resolution system, which kinda unique. But still this is an area majority game in the core.
Inis  – Been hearing good things about this. It’s the new title from Matagot in the same line of Kemet and Cyclades. The cards are so beautifully represent Celtic’s art visual theme.
Vast: Crystal Caverns – One of those games that I really want to try. It offers a very unique game play and experience, a new level of variable player power. It’s a game where players have different goal, which change the way they play in the game. Sadly it’s hard to get and quite expensive, and lastly I do not know if it’s within my taste or not.
Cottage Garden – I love Patchwork and this one really tingles my love of it in a very different way. Patchwork seems mathy, this one seems a lot more fun and more space to move around. Would love to get this one.
Vinhos Deluxe Edition – I really want this one, since I wanted to complete my big box collection of Vital’s game, I alread had The Gallerist (and Kanban though it’s not in the same line). One said this game is the most complex of Vital’s games, so really interesting to see this one compared to Kanban.
Black Orchestra – The idea and theme sounds good and yes I love the artworks. Simple as that, though I do not know is the game really work or not for me.
Dream Home – Look at those beautiful pictures? Who could resist this one? In this game you build a dream home of yours by drafting cards as rooms, specialists or even tools. Definitely will pick this one once I have the chance.
Lorenzo il Magnifico – One of my most wanted list, the box cover is so stunning, though the in-game artworks are not. But hey, this is Euro and a good Euro is simply not based on it’s artwork. Been hearing good things about this one and definitely want to have.
Solarius Mission – Okay, this one lost against Terraforming Mars, but not totally, since I still want it even after I got Terraforming Mars. I do think my wife will prefer this over Terraforming Mars being it’s more towards classic Euro feel than TM.
Beasts of Balance – I’ve seen this on Kickstarter, though as much as I really wanted this, I did not back it due to the expensive price and a children game likely. Yes, this game helps children with their hand coordination and animal / shape recognition. Though the technology they used is slick! Would love to try or have it.
Fabled Fruit – A new mechanic in the board game world, fable. Not the same as legacy but it offers a progressing game in a series of sessions where players keep progressing the game even after several plays until the game run out of resources (in this game’s case it’s the cards). Unfortunately the cards have pretty moderate in-game texts.
Oceanos – Bauza’s new game with drafting mechanic (thinking 7 Wonders) but offers a new element of decision in it. Definitely will pick this one once available, already watched Rahdo’s runthrough and I fell for it.
Roll Player – The rare of the bunch. Its a dice game with role playing theme. And it’s so awesome. I really want this so bad but it’s hard to get. Passed on the Kickstarter because of the shipping cost. Hope I can get this game soon.
Ulm – The first impression I get when seeing this game is Pillars of The Earth, because of the 3D-like building components in the center of the game board. And it gives certain vibes of a good classic Euro, so nailed it.
The King’s Abbey – Actually already waiting for this for quite a long time, even before it’s released. Based on the description it’s a medium heavy game about building an abbey. Sadly I had to pass on this when I had to choose whether getting this or Domus Domini.
Legends of The American Frontier – Wow, just wow. This game was on my wishlist for a very long time. The Kickstarter project took a very long time to complete. I love the idea / concept about being a legionnaire and working their life career with various choices. Love the artwork too, beautiful. Sadly the high roll and price really kinda turned me off.
Round House – Finally got this just now and I am looking forward to try it. Rahdo said it’s good and it’s from the same designer of Burano (which I also want it). The rules seemed simple and interesting with rondel and worker placement.
Dragoon – I just interested on the game components, which are sick with metal dragons, cloth map and others. But after rules reading I thought it’s too simple for my taste.
Moonquake Escape – Damn I really want to get this, the components are very eye candy though I do not know how the game turns out and does my wife will like it or not judging by the game’s alien theme.

 

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The Castles of Feld

Box Cover

Box Cover

The Castles of Burgundy Review

For long I have wanted to do a review for this game. It is one of my favorite games and it’s from my most favorite game designer, Stefan Feld. You would know the game if you’re not a newbie to the hobby. Feld has received many great responses for this game, some even might say that it’s the best game he ever invented. For those who don’t know, Burgundy is a region located in East-Central France. As you can relate the title of the game with the background, you can see that there are lot of castles in Burgundy, in which were built during Middle-ages. In this game, each players will become an Aristocrat who controls an estate of settlements. Players will compete with each other to build the most prestigious estate during the game.

The Theme of The Game
The Castles of Burgundy, while having a theme (Euro style) is really a Euro game with pasted theme. Nothing special here, it’s just you are bla bla bla, controlling bla bla bla, competing with other player in bla bla bla, to get the highest points by the end of the game to win it. So it’s really boiled down to the game play mechanics rather than the theme’s importance in a game. In this game, you will become someone powerful enough with authority and decision to shape the land that’s given to you by building some settlements in such a specific manner that (instantly / eventually) give you prestigious value that will be accumulated as points at the end of the game. And by jolly that someone will become the winner by having the most points and celebrates over the entire land, which I doubt that someone will ever truly do so in real life. That’s why this is just a game.

The Components
Feld is known to design a game that has lots of lots of components. In this game for example, there are hundreds of tiles in many shapes. Also dice, yes colorful dice. The game comes with a main board and several double-sided player boards (or more likely player mats), settlement tiles in several categories, goods, worker, Silverlings tiles, wooden player markers and also colorful 6-sided dice. In details there are 164 hex tiles, 42 goods tiles, 20 Silverlings tiles, 30 worker tiles, 12 bonus tiles, 4 victory pieces, 8 wooden markers, 9 dice and 6 player boards. Alea published the game with only one flaw, the thin not so good-looking tiles. It would be perfect if they made it with thicker cardboard material and also the player mat should had been perfect if they made it just like the main board. But of course they had considered these things before.

Game Components

Game Components

The Artwork
Nothing special on this one also, but it’s pretty good as a standard Euro game. Not great nor bad. The artist behind this game is Julien Delval , who also had share a good portion around Euro games’ artworks such as Dominion, Battle Lore, Citadel, Memoir ’44 and other things. The symbol designs are pretty much intuitive and it’s finely made to provide a language independent aspect throughout the game and the components.

The Game Play
The game lasts in 5 phases, which there are 5 turns in each phase. Each player will receive a player board (which can be random or predetermined), 3 random goods, 1 Silverlings, 2 dice of a chosen color, 2 player markers that are placed on the shipping track and VP track, 1 initial Castle tile that players place into one of the dark green slots on his player board (each player chooses which slot he want) and some workers (the first player gets 2 workers, while the next player gets plus one worker more than the previous player consecutively in clockwise order. Place the main board in the center or the table and fill it up with the needed tokens, such as 5 face down goods tiles in each phase slot and randomly draw hex tiles based on the corresponding color slots and number of players listed. And the game is ready to start.

Main Board Breakdown

Main Board Breakdown

At the start of each phase, reveal the current phase’s goods tiles into available slots. This 5 goods tiles will give players easy sign to mark the current turn of the phase. Next all players roll their dice simultaneously (the first player adds the white die to his roll). After the roll, the first player place the current goods tile to a depot with a corresponding value of the white die (this is important to be remembered by the first player, so he doesn’t forget to place the goods tile into a depot). A mistake is crucial and can make the game 1 turn more or less.

Lets take a look at the player board. Each player board, has a space on the right side which is the Estate. This hexagonal shape space is formed by small and colorful hexes with different dice values. The colors and dice values are important, for they will be used to determine placement of the settlement tiles. There are 6 different colors for the settlement tiles. Those colors are Blue for the Ships, Dark Green for the Castles, Brown for the Buildings, Yellow for the Knowledge, Green for the Animals and Gray for the Mines. These colorful tiles are spread on the Estate, creating regions based on color adjacency. The left side of the player board, you can see brown buildings’ references, scoring chart, space for workers, goods and Silverlings.
Meanwhile on the main board, there are 6 depot slots around the central black depot. During preparation process at the start of each phase, these hex spaces on those depots will be filled by randomly drawn tiles based on their colors. These are the hexes that available for the players to acquire at the current phase. There’s also a shipping track which shows players turn order. At the top and bottom right of the board, there are square spaces for bonus tiles. These bonus tiles are rewarded for players who complete to fully cover a specific type / color on their estate. There are 2 bonus tiles for each type, one for the first player and another one for the second.

Player Board Breakdown

Player Board Breakdown

During a player’s turn, he will take 2 actions consecutively out of 4 available options with his two dice. A player may use the same action out of the two actions he choose. Those 4 actions are:

A. Taking a hex / settlement tile from the Depot
There are 6 available depots around the central black depot. These depots have die values from 1 to 6. Using one of the player die, that player can take any hex tile available on one of the depot with the same value of that die value, placing it to one of the three available slots on the player board.

Numbered Depots

Numbered Depots

B. Placing a settlement / hex tile to his Estate
A player can use this action to place a tile that’s already in his storage spaces into his estate. Note that the restrictions of the placement are based by the type / color of the hex, the pip value on the hex space and it must be adjacent to an existing tile on the estate. Once the tile is placed, the tile effect is triggered if any. There are 3 kind of tiles based on the effect, some tiles are immediately activated once placed, some are for end game scoring and the others give benefits during the course of the game as long as the requirements are met.
If placing a tile complete a region (adjacent spaces with the same color), scoring takes place. The scoring values are different based on number of tiles and at what phase the scoring takes place. The more tiles and the earlier phase a player scores, the more points he get. Also when a player places the last settlement of that type / color, he receive the bonus tile (if any).

Estate

Estate

C. Selling goods tiles from the warehouse
Each player has a warehouse section on his board. The warehouse provides 3 slots for goods, each slot used for a different kind of goods, so a player can only stores up to 3 kind of goods at a time. Players can sell goods to get points and silverlings. There are 6 kind of goods and each kind has a die value. To sell it, players use one of his die which has the same value of his goods. For each tile of goods sold, players get 2/3/4 points in a 2/3/4 player game. And in addition of the points, players also receive 1 silverlings tile from the transaction. The sold goods are placed face down on the sold goods spot.

Goods Storage Spaces

Goods Storage Spaces

D. Buying workers
This is the most simple (but often important) action out of the four. You trade die with workers. Each die generates 2 workers no matter the value is. What’s the use of worker? Worker gives you modifier for your dice. 1 worker tile gives you a plus one or minus one to the value of the die. Players can use multiple workers to modify one die value. And yes, it’s possible to modify 6 value to 1 with +1 modifier and 1 value to 6 with -1 modifier. This gives you flexibility against the luck of your dice roll.

In addition of the actions mentioned above, players may also spend their silverlings once per turn to get the black / special hex tile on the central depot with the price of 2 silverlings. So what’s the difference between other hex tiles and these black tiles? Well, the black tiles consist of various types of tiles, this provides extra chances for players to get the tiles needed out of the six depots available.

Central Black Depot

Central Black Depot

A phase ends when the last player had completed his fifth turn of that phase. The depots (the six depots and the central depot) are refreshed (the goods on the depots are stay). The next stack of goods tiles is distributed to the goods slots. All players’ mines generate silverlings. The game ends after the last phase has been completed. The final scoring takes place, players get points from the end game bonuses from yellow / knowledge tiles, bonus tiles, extra worker tiles (1 point for each 2 workers) and 1 point for each silverlings tile.

Strategy
As you can see, based on the rules of the game play, this game falls right into the medium heavy category Euro games. You need to get familiar with the rules and all the settlement abilities to really understand what to do and plan during the game. At first, if you are not a gamer yourself, you might get overwhelmed by the lots of different types of settlements and specific treatments for them. It’s usual getting lost not knowing what to do during your turn, asking advise from more experienced players should be useful, though it won’t help much because experienced players usually have more wide range strategies that they can choose from. Just like his other games (his signature maybe), Feld made this game with lot of options, many paths to get points, which some might see diversification is the best thing, but don’t get it wrong, as many as you want to diversify, focus just on several not all could be an important key to play the game. Yes they all have potentials for you to get points, but not all can be accomplished in one play, players will need to choose which paths they need to focus on and which path they don’t need to. This is important, the run of the game should force you to make important decisions throughout the game. Whether the tiles you need will ever come out or maybe it’s already taken by someone else. The dice factor really adds some key element, though it’s pretty much random and luck, they provide coverage for your plan. The dice roll determine which action you can take and which you cannot during each turn, and to mitigate the luck factor, Feld added the worker tiles. It’s luck alright but you can still survive bad luck roll with those workers, bless them!During the game players will encounter some pretty interesting combo and combination effect with different kind of tiles and how big difference could be when timing the turn order. After one play, new players could easily understand how the game works and fully enjoy it.

Settlement’s Breakdown
1. Shipyards
Shipyard is a blue settlement with a ship image on it, The main purpose of this settlement is to advance a player marker on the turn order track. And aside from that, this settlement is the only way for players to gain goods tiles on available on the depots. There’s a little tactic that goes on with the turn order, being the first player at the start of each phase is very important, this way you can snatch the new tiles you want before someone else. Making sure that no other players will be able to surpass your turn order track at the last turn of the phase is always a good plan. So it’s good to run ahead leaving other players behind as soon as possible, not entirely true, though being the first player gives you more advantageous position, being the first player to reach the end of the turn order track has it’s downside beside achieving shipyard bonus tile and being first early on the game. Of course your opponents won’t do nothing being left out in the back, they will pursue you and when you’re already maxed out, the other players can eventually get on top of you on the track. Well, just like most Feld’s games, the tie breaker is based on the order of the stack, the one who’s on top wins the tie. So if that happened to you during the first half of the game, your second half would get you last,

Ship Track

Ship Track

2. Castles
Castle is a settlement tile with dark green color with a castle image on it. At the start of the game each player has already own a castle that marks his starting position on his estate. The good thing about castle settlement is the free action it gives. Immediately after placing a castle tile, the player gets one free action that he must immediately take. This free action can be any one action from the 4 available actions and doesn’t restricted upon any die value. So you can take a tile from any depot, place into any space or sell any type of goods.
And there are only 4 Castle spaces on the estate, so it’s not hard to complete to gain the bonus.
3. Mines
There are only 3 mine spaces on an estate, the least spaces from any other settlement, but of course it’s also has the least distribution tiles on the main board. Mines main purpose is to generate silverlings at the end of each phase. These silverlings are used by players to buy black tiles or worth 1 point each at the end of the game.
4. Pastures
Pasture is a settlement with light green color and animals. There are 4 kind of animals in the game, chicken, cows, pigs and sheep. This animals solely purpose is scoring points and points and more points. Each time you place an animal tile on a pasture space you score points based on a number of animal shown on that tile plus points from the previously placed animal tiles with the same type in the same region. So they could be many. Usually you gather them animals of the same type in the same region place tiles with most animals first so they can hopefully score more than once.

A Pasture

A Pasture

5. Knowledge
Knowledge tiles are yellow colored with various images, those images describes the effect of the tiles. There are two kind of effects, the end game scoring effect and the passive continuous effect during the game. Though the images is self explanatory, new players will need some adjustment and time to understand and memorize all of them.
6. Building
Building tiles are brown colored and have different kinds with different images. The description of each building is shown on the left side of each player board, and the symbols are also self explanatory. There is a basic restriction for building tile placement, players may not place more than one building of the same type in one region (unless you have a knowledge tile that allows you so). The building effects are surely interesting, there is a building that upon placement let you acquire a specific kind of tile from one of the depot (if available of course). Or a building that upon placement gives you 2 silverlings, or a building that upon placement let you to place any kind of tile from your storage to your estate and many more, I let you find out yourself.

Different hex types

Different hex types

The Replay Value
You can rest assure that this game offers you high replay value right from the start. The game comes with different player boards that you can try aside from the 4 basic boards for your first game. These other boards have different estate layouts that could give you interesting approach in the game paths you need to take. And also, playing with different number of players doesn’t work the same, since different number of players provide different number of tiles drawn in each phase and points given from selling goods. So basically, the replay value is quite good, playing over and over again is unlikely the same, since you cannot get everything you want in each game. Now let’s get to the bad parts, as you can see there are some aspects why this game is not as good as it should and some might agree or disagree. The awful thing to start this game is the preparation, you know separating and organizing those tiles are painful and unasked for. The game does not come with draw string bags in it, so you need to find at least 4 draw string bags to hold and randomly draw the tiles. And don’t forget to clean up after the game ends has the same painful effect (more I dare to say) since you need to separate those tiles back into the box based on it’s category. Looking on the tile’s thickness, I should say it’s supposed to be thicker than it is, so you can feel the goodness of the tile when picking them up. Not really important but could improve the premium feel of the game components, same thing with the player boards.

Draw String Bag

Draw String Bag

My Thoughts on The Game
No doubt that this is one of my favorite games in my collection, my girlfriend likes it. It even works very well with 2 players (quicker I must say). Two experienced players can finish the game in 45 minutes (aside the setup) and 90 minutes for 4 players. This is a game that finds a permanent place on my collection, no way I’m gonna sell it (or no way she gonna let me), it has this awesome feel of building something, some sorts of accomplishment to complete your estate in such a way and yes, you will feel the solitaire game in your estate but of course there is still interaction on the main board. This game is widely known and overly known as the most favorite Feld’s in my group though I am not completely agree with that statement. I still prefer Trajan over Castles of Burgundy by a hair or two. The game is fun, with simple rules and the building theme really fits into gamer and non-gamer alike. New players or casual gamers will find it amusing. The only reason why I picked Trajan over this game is Trajan is heavier game than this game, that has medium weight scale. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I prefer heavy Euro than medium. One to his own.

Images courtesy of BGG users

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Board Games, Dice Games, Euro Games, Reviews

 

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Quantum Preview

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Essen 2013 is coming, and I’m about to do a preview of one of the Essen’s games listed to be released. So, what is Quantum all about? Hearing the word ‘Quantum’, most of us would think about science and such. First, let me describe the word ‘Quantum’, before getting too deep.

In short, Quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction.
But in long, here is what I got from Wikipedia:

The word “quantum” comes from the Latin “quantus,” for “how much.” “Quanta,” short for “quanta of electricity” (electrons) was used in a 1902 article on the photoelectric effect by Phillip Lennard , who credited Hermann von Helmholtz for using the word in the area of electricity. However, the word quantum in general was well known before 1900.It was often used by physicians, such as in the term quantum satis. Both Helmholtz and Julius von Mayer were physicians as well as physicists. Helmholtz used “quantum” with reference to heat in his article on Mayer’s work, and indeed, the word “quantum” can be found in the formulation of the first law of thermodynamics by Mayer in his letter dated July 24, 1841. Max Planck used “quanta” to mean “quanta of matter and electricity,” gas, and heat. In 1905, in response to Planck’s work and the experimental work of Lenard, who explained his results by using the term “quanta of electricity,” Albert Einstein suggested that radiation existed in spatially localized packets which he called “quanta of light” (“Lightquanta”).[7]

I…don’t understand. Okay, let’s stop make ourselves look more stupid than we are. So, it’s physics and enough of that. But judging by the cover, you can see the game is all about, Sci-fi theme in space? Close or not, you tell me yourself.

The game is published by Funforge, a French board games publisher which also published Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido in previous year. But this time, Quantum is not Bauza’s, it’s designed by Eric Zimmerman. The game can be played from 2 up to 4 players and was listed for 30 minutes of game play. So a quick game with heavy nuance.

Personally I just not interested on the game itself, by many aspects, one being a Sci-fi theme with planets and outer space elements. But, I did read the rules and found that the game has certain feats that provide interesting aspect on the game. So, since it’s quite simple and easy to understand I decided to make a preview for this one.

Box Cover

THE CATCH
In Quantum players compete to be the first player who place all of his Quantum cubes on the board. If one player did that, he immediately wins the game. I can safely conclude that this is a racing game (*sigh, just not my cup of tea). Anyway, let’s look on the them or background of the game. Players command their own fleet from different factions or colonies, though as far as I can see, the different factions provides no other beside the game flavor. During the game, you will take actions that will support your goal to place all of your Quantum cubes in place.

THE MANIFEST
So let’s take a pause from there and look at the components. The artworks are undoubtedly gorgeous, very stunning and perfectly representing high technology, science and space, you can thank that to the artists, Georges Bouchelaghem and Kieran Yanner.

So, what’s in the box?
You can find 24 map tiles that form the game map / board. You only use 9 maps in each game, so there are many various combination for you to try in every game (call that replay value!). Each map tile is broken down into 9 grids with a planet image on the center grid. These planets have different colors and square slots.
There are also 4 Command sheets, one for each player, 28 six-sided dice in 4 different colors acting as ships (yes, their ships are cube-shaped and I understand your confusion and amazement about how ergonomic is that, but I guess the ergo-law is not applicable in space). You will also find 28 small cubes in 4 different color, these are the so-called Quantum cubes. While we all know that the main objective is to place all of your Quantum cubes into the game board, that does not mean you can throw some of the cubes while others not looking (we all know it’s called cheating).
Cards, yes do not forget about the cards. There are 53 cards that contain 2 types of cards, Gambit and Command cards. The last are two combat dice (a simple black and white 6-sided dice).

Map Tiles

SETUPS
Before any game, at least one player must prepare the game setup (often is the owner of the game). First, you need to form the space map, draw 9 out of 24 map tiles based on the number listed on the tile (the color does not matter) and place the tiles face-up on the center of the table in 3×3 layout. You can find several layouts in the rulebook for starting planet locations to be set based on number of players, but no matter how many players you still use 9 tiles in each game.

Each player then can choose a color and take the inventories that matches the color, such as Command sheet, 7 dice and 5 Quantum cubes, remember only 5 cubes not 7 (You don’t need to place yourself in more difficult situation from others, no reward for hardcore gamers). Now let’s prepare the Command sheet, by placing one die on the Research box (with 1 pip facing up) and one die on the Dominance box (also with 1 pip facing up). Place your 5 Quantum cubes in the Quantum box. Next each player determines their starting ships by rolling 3 unused dice (for this purpose you can re-roll the 3 dice once). Player with the lowest total of the 3 dice is the starting player and going clockwise the first player place one of his Quantum cubes on the starting location slot (okay, so now you only have 4 cubes left). After that, in player order each player place the 3 dice / ships on the spaces adjacent next to his starting planet (note that orthogonally adjacent not diagonally).

Game in Progress

THE MEAT
Okay, now let’s play the game. A player’s turn consists of 2 phases, Action and Advance Cards. During actions, players may take 3 available actions and use ship special abilities. There are 5 possible actions that players can take:
1. RECONFIGURE
When taking this action, you can re-roll one of your ships on the map or scrapyard. The good thing about this roll is, you can always re-roll the die if you get the same result roll. Even with this, it’s still a long shot to get what you want. Maybe you need to look at this differently, this action lets you to change your ship type other that what it is now.
2. DEPLOY
This action lets you to place a new ship from your scrapyard (if any) to any orbital positions on a planet that has your Quantum cube in it. Remember that you cannot place your 2 expansion ships in this manner, only in your scrapyard.
3. MOVE / ATTACK
You can move one of your ships on the map. A ship can only move once per turn and the distance is varied based on the ship’s type. You can attack other ship by end the ship movement in the enemy ship’s space. Ship cannot move through an obstacle (ships and planets are obstacle). The movement range is shown on the die value. A die with 1 value can move 1 space, a die with 6 value can move up to 6 spaces and so on.
4. CONSTRUCT
This action lets you to construct a Quantum cube in a planet. You may construct the cube if only you have ships in the orbital position of the planet with a value exactly equal with the planet’s number. For example you need 2 ships with the value 3 and 5 in the orbital positions of the numbered 8 planet. The hard part is the exactly factor, you need precise value of your ships to construct the cube. This is the only action that uses 2 actions out of your possible 3. Place a cube from your Command Sheet into the empty slot on the planet. And note though, you cannot construct more than 1 cube on the same planet. So this force you to go around the map to place other cubes and face conflict with other players.
5. RESEARCH
This action lets you to increase 1 value to your Research die on you command sheet. You cannot increase the die more than 6, once you increased the die value to 6, you have achieved a research breakthrough, which will be resolved during phase 2.

After a player has already taken his 3 actions, he enters the phase 2 of his turn, Advance Cards. In this phase, players get 1 card based on a research breakthrough (if any) and 1 card per quantum cube they placed during this turn. Once the player take the cards from a research breakthrough, reset the research die back into 1. The turn of that player ends and next player begins his turn.

DOMINANCE AND INFAMY
As you play the game, you will encounter combats against other players. Dominance is a measure of your  combat supremacy. When your Dominance die reached 6, you’ll get Infamy and can place a Quantum cube anywhere on the map (without Construct action). Each time you destroy an opponent’s ship, move up your Dominance die by one. Each time your ship is destroyed, move down your Dominance by 1.
After you place a Quantum cube from the Infamy effect, reset the Dominance die back to 1.

ADVANCE CARDS
There are 2 different types of Advance cards, Gambit (black backs) and Command (white backs) cards. The name ‘Gambit’ sounds cool, these type of cards has one time effect, immediately and discarded after use. While Command cards give players permanent abilities and last for the rest of the game. You can have maximum 3 active Command cards at any time. These cards are revealed face up 3 Gambit and 3 Command cards for option. Players can choose to take a card on phase 2 based on these available 6 cards.

Advance Cards

THE SHIPS
Onto the most interesting part of the game, the ships! What about the ships? Well, in this game you are playing with 6 different types of ships. These 6 types have their own advantages and purposes. Each type of the ship is known by the value of a die (from 1 to 6 pip). So, you might think that ships with high value are stronger than the lower ones, well think again. It’s the other way around. Ship with the lowest value is the strongest but moves the slowest, while ship with highest value, is the weakest but moves the fastest. Let’s take a look at the ships.
1. Battlestation, is the most powerful ship ever (in this game of course), but they move 1 space only. Special ability of this ship is STRIKE, this ability gives the ship an additional attack.
2. Flagship, can move up to 2 spaces and have a special ability of TRANSPORT, which can carry ship as it moves. It’s not just that, you can carry as many ships as ships within 1 space surrounding the Flagship. With this ability you can combine strategies with your other ships and get the game more interesting (in a way).
3. Destroyer, can move up to 3 spaces and have the ability to SWAP. Yes, as literal as it is, Destroyer can swap itself with one of your ship anywhere on the map. Ain’t that cool?
4. Frigate, can move up to 4 spaces and have a special ability called MODIFY. This ability lets the ship change into a Destroyer (3) or Interceptor (5).
5. Interceptor, can move up to 5 space and what’s cool about this ship is It can MANEUVER, travel diagonally. Yes, you can move / attack diagonally with this ship.
6. Scout, can move up to 6 spaces and has the ability to free-reconfigure itself.

Command Cards

COMBAT
Okay, once you know all the ship’s types let’s get into the combat system. The combat system is absolutely simple, involving the 2 black and white dice and two ships. Players engage in battle not more than 2 ships in each combat. The attacker rolls the black die and the defender rolls the white die. Each player involved add the result to their ships involved in the combat. The lower sum wins and the attacker breaks any tie. So this is one of the game that you want to roll for the lowest number than for the highest one.
If the attacker’s total is equal or less, the defender’s ship is destroyed. The destroyed ship is re-rolled and place it on the scrapyard. The attacker then has the option to move into the defender’s space or move back into the space from which it attacked. If the defender’s total is lower that the attacker, the attacker’s ship is not destroyed and it only move back from which it attacked. So there is no risk for an attacker if the attack is unsuccessful.

OVERALL
The visual presentation of the game looks solid and I like the artworks on the map tiles, and yes, the game box cover is very stunning. The game looks simple and yes at first, the game system is very similar to Pulsar, the game of space exploration, but way more complex. The interesting parts are the dice and the ships abilities that may affect the game play quite a bit. There are 4 factions on the game, each for each player but it’s too bad though the visual presentation of the factions have a good foundation for unique variable player powers, the truth is it’s not. So, not interested in this one, The racing game factor does turn me off.

Game Box

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Board Games, Dice Games, Euro Games, Insight

 

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Rolling In The Sky

Art Cover

Art Cover

Skyline Review
A simple dice game from David Short, the game designer of Ground Floor. This game is part of Ground Floor Kickstarter exclusive stretch rewards. The project had reached $75K to unlock this additional game for each backer. At first the game was not known by anyone, the project backers were pleased for having an additional game from a game they backed. All they knew was it’s a game of dice rolling with a city building theme (well, though it’s not literally a city building, more like a dice building game). The first thing we knew about the game was the cover, which was an okay. The rest were revealed right after the stretch reward was reached and I was half of ignorant about how the game played, since I was more lean toward the main game (Ground Floor) instead of this one and pretty much ready to receive this additional bonus for whatever it was.

1. Theme
I guess there’s really not much of a theme in this game. It’s practically a dice ‘building’ game with pasted on theme of skyline buildings. For such a simple and short game like this, theme is never such a big deal in the fist place. It’s a filler alright and people don’t care about the theme. What they care is, this game answers their need for a quick and simple game to fill in their gap time.

2. Artworks
Gavan Brown did the art of the game. The box art really depicts his style. You can check his other creations like Eminent Domain planet cards, Jab Real Time Boxing and Undermining. These artworks have the same style of colorful vector arts. Few things to notice though, the colors are combined very well and really stand out, and also the building tiles have various shapes and colors even for buildings with the same value. These attention of detail is a plus in my opinion though not an essential aspect to the game play.

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3. Game Components
Dicefest, yes indeed there are a lot of dice in the game (I’m talking of 60 custom six-sided dice), it’s a dice game after all. The black based dice are divided into 3 categories: ground floor dice, upper floor dice and penthouse dice. These specific type of dice has different color on their sides, to determine the type of buildings, a low rise (purple), mid rise (blue) or high rise (orange) building. The building tiles are plentiful with double sided card board in different values (1 / 4 / 9 / 16 / 25 / 36) in different colors and shapes of the building.  There are also a simple piece of game board for reference and round track and a single piece of small black cube for the round marker, The overall quality of the game is quite good, the bad side is the color quality of the dice are very poor. There are lots of dice with mismatch color, it’s like applied with washed effect. For example the orange color of the dice does not consistent in each die, some have lighter color of orange, some have darker ones. But, this downside does not affect the game play, since you can still easily differentiate the type of building (either it’s a low rise, mid rise or high rise) on the dice. This shows not only you can mark the building type by color, but you can also mark it by the iconography of the dice. A low rise building only has 1 window and mostly in blocked color, while the mid rise has several lines that form window panes. In the other hand, the high rise building has more lines (which means more window panes) than the mid rise. The game board quality is very good, it consist of a round track and also the building and space references. The board is double sided and has a smooth finish applied to it (my favorite finish beside linen finish).

Custom six-sided Dice

Custom six-sided Dice

4. Game Play
Though it’s a simple and easy to learn game but I managed to understand it clearly after several times reading the rules and playing the game once. It’s not that the game is hard to understand, it’s just the rules are not pretty much clear with the walk through actions. In this game players compete to gain as many points as possible in 9 rounds by build buildings from dice. The game play area consist of 3 spaces (the main board, the construction yard and the abandoned district). The pool of dice are placed  on the construction yard space based on the dice types, set the round marker in the first place of the round track and place one die of each dice type in the abandoned district (which always forming one die of each type minimum available for every one’s turn). Player’s turn consists of several phases, which are Take Dice, Roll, Action and Roll Again.
TAKE DICE
During player’s turn, the player can choose to take dice from the construction dice or from the abandoned district. If he choose to take dice from the construction yard, he takes 3 dice (from whatever type whole or combination). If he choose to take dice from the abandoned district, he takes all the dice available on that space (there will oft be more than 3 dice in this district).
ROLL DICE
After taking dice, he rolls his newly taken dice and check the results. With these results he may take an action.
ACTION
Basically there are 3 actions that can be chosen. Player can either build, abandon or demolish. The most important thing is after player rolled the dice, he’s must take an action. If he choose a build action, he may build his dice as a building (of course each building starts from the ground floor). He only needs to match the type of building and level of the dice. Once a penthouse part is completed, the building is considered complete and immediately exchanged for building tiles of the specific level (the dice returned to the pool). Beside BUILD action, players may abandon the dice by set aside one or a group of dice into the abandoned district. The other option is to demolish. This is done by demolish a player building (completed or incomplete) to return dice back into the pool.
RE-ROLL
After players take an action, they may re-roll the leftover dice and choose another action. Or they can choose to resign and end their turn (they return their leftover dice back into the pool).
The game ends after the last player take his turn on 9th round. Player with the highest value point of buildings win the game.

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5. Replay Value
This game is certainly a filler. You can play it alone or with 3 more friends while waiting over anything (waiting in the restaurant, class, coffee shop, or maybe waiting for another heavier game to be played). It has it’s uses, not really a thinker game and maybe with several plays, you’ll have enough of it. I would say it has low replay value since every game should be no different, there is no element to add variant of the game.

My Thought of The Game
Personally this is a good game, easy to learn and quick to play. It’s good to play the game with non-gamers and you can done all that in 30 minutes more or less. Though the game is just about rolling your dice, there are several decision makings in this game. A short and simple plan is needed for deciding which dice you should take and which dice you should choose in you actions. Whether you need to abandon or demolish your dice. But it’s all end up in your luck of the dice. I sucks at this game and til now I still cannot win against my girlfriend over this game. She just never run out of luck. At first I did not thought the depth reward of the demolish action, what pushed players to lose points / incomplete building by demolish action. The main reason is not to let players after you to get additional dice in his disposal from the abandoned district. But considering the possible actions and outcomes, is it worth it? And at what cost? So it’s a good thing if you stock one or two low rise ground floor dice in your building area just in case you are forced to take the demolish action.
I think it’s a good and worthy game considering I got it from Kickstarter exclusive reward, it’s the same to say that I got the game free.

The Board

The Board

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Dice Games, Reviews

 

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I Didn’t See That Coming!

Box Cover

An Epic Spell Wars of The Battle Wizards: Duel on Mt. Skullzfyre Review

So, you like being a wizard? Of course beside the deathly spells pointed at you and those crazy creatures sprawling towards your face. Me like being a wizard, because I can punish and torment others with my weird, tricky and sometimes devastating spells. As long that ‘others’ aren’t also wizards, who could spell back at you.

But, in this game you will face seriously hilarious wizards, exchange spells with them and be the last wizard standing. So, looks like an easy task right? Nothing vicious, no one gets harm and we’d shake hands after that? Hold your thought, it’s hilarious alright but it’s way far off easy. You’ll be dead before you know it.

This game was designed by Cory Jones and Rob Heinsoo, published under the Cryptozoic Entertainment. Originated from a card game, this one little bad-ass came out strong and surprisingly outstanding. The game designers created a simple yet unique and innovative from card component and combined with dice rolling mechanic.

Did you know that magical wizards are battling to the death … and beyond … right now!? “Why battle?” you might ask. “What have I got to prove, magic man?” Only who’s the most awesomely powerful battle wizard in the entire realm, that’s what! As a Battle Wizard, you’ll put together up to three spell components to craft millions (okay, not really) of spell combos. Your spells might kick ass, or they could totally blow – it’s up to you to master the magic. You will unleash massive damage on the faces of your wizard rivals in a no-holds-barred, all-out burn-down to be the last Battle Wizard standing. And it doesn’t stop there! Powerful magic items bring on a whole new level of bloody carnage as you and your mighty wizard opponents tear each other limb from limb in an orgy of killing! Do you have what it takes to use epic spells in a war at Mt. Skullzfyre? Will YOU be the Ultimate Battle Wizard!?!

Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre is a humorous card game depicting a vicious, over-the-top battle between a variety of comically illustrated wizards. The game focuses primarily on creating three-part spell combos to blast your foes into the afterlife. The unique Dead Wizard cards allow players to stay in the game even after their wizards have been defeated.

So, what made me pick-up this awesome gem? Well, the first thing was the artworks. When I got my eyes on that comical and hilarious illustrations, I just knew that I must have this one. And when I got my hands into this baby, got it through several plays and hell it’s just too goddamn worth it. It’s quick, simple to learn, easy to understand and the rules are exemplary easy to understand. Had it played with 2,5 and 7 players. Yeah I know, over the limit, but who cares since we had fun out of the roof. So, after several plays, here is my review on the game.

1. Theme

Fantasy theme with shallow background story. It’s okay, since this game is just a filler and people just want to have some fun. So, here goes the theme. So, there’s a battle, epic they said. Battle between wizards, which usually they cast spells all over the place. The last wizard standing is the winner (oh yes it’s a player elimination game), but that’s not it, you need to be that twice. Now you don’t say, twice? Do you mean all the dead wizards come back to life to fight with you again? Yeah, kinda. We are wizards who seek supremacy and being the last wizard standing somewhat meet that criteria.

One of the 8 Over-sized Hero Cards

2. Artworks

This aspect was the first thing caught my attention. The artwork is superb, it has the feeling of cartoonish with violence theme and somewhat strong explicit images. This may not very suitable for underage children and proven to be harsh and negative influence for them. But for me, it’s hilarious and worth collecting. The cheesy bright and contrast color combinations with spectacular arts from the gruesome characters with ridiculous spell names really lighten up your day. The good part is with the unique mechanic of a spell that consist of a set of cards, which the illustrations are joined together to make a single illustrations with different combination through the cards. This is creative way of visualization. One illustration can connect to another illustration to form an illustrative spell with catchy and super unique name. This one rocks and deserve my thumbs all the way up. Nick Edwards, the artist really did a great job.

Artworks on some of the cards

3. Game Components

The game comes up with awesome components, the cards are smooth and nicely finished. It consist of 178 cards, 8 Over-sized Wizard cards, 6 Skull life counters, 7 Last Wizard Standing tokens, 4 six-sided dice, 1 Rulebook and there is one standing card board to picture Mount Skullzfyre as a theme flavor only function. The Cards are divided into 3 different basic types (Source, Quality and Delivery) which each has it’s own effect. The other cards are Wild Magic Cards (kinda more like a joker type of card), Treasure cards and Dead Wizard Cards.

The other components are simply in good quality, such as the tokens, the Over-sized Wizard Cards and also the dice. Sometimes the dice just not enough, you’ll need 2 more (for every player may required to roll a die in the same time or a player may rolled more than 4 dice during his turn), but this could be solved by rolling the dice in several groups.

The box comes in a small size and also with a nice insert (there is an illustration on the insert, which is a plus) but that almost not fit all the components, and forget the insert if you want to sleeve all the cards. It won’t fit into the insert. Si I decided not to sleeve the cards and keep the awesome insert.

Game Components

4. Game Play

The game is simple, all you need to do is understand all the card types and read the text for the effect. It’s one of those games that you can easily and quickly pick up an play in an instant. The cards effects are clear and easy to understand. Players simultaneously choose what spell to play from their hands. A spell can contain 1 to 3 cards contain of 3 types (Source, Quality and Delivery), in other words you cannot play more than 1 card with the same type. After all players done their selection, the cards are revealed. The player with highest initiative value in the spell goes first (or players with the fewest cards in his spell, in case of a tie, roll a die).

The player announce the spell names in such stylish fashion (this make the game more hilarious) and resolve the effects of the spell in order from Source, Quality and the last Delivery. The target of the spell are different based on the effect, it could be one of the specific players, your neighbors or even random players (by a die roll). The players whose life is diminished to 0, eliminated the game and collect a Dead Wizard card. If the game still going around, when it’s his turn, he doesn’t draw spell cards, but a Dead Wizard card instead. This Dead Wizard cards are useful for the next round. After all players cast their spells, each players refill their hands up to 8 cards. Next turn begins. There are Treasure cards, which player can usually get from the effect of the spells or from the Dead Wizard cards. These Treasure cards are useful for a player to fight against other players. When there is only 1 player left standing, the round is over, the last player gain a Last Standing Wizard token. All players discards their hands and Treasure cards and also cash in their Dead Wizards cards. Next round begins, all players draw their hands up to 8 cards again. The game ends when there is one player with 2 Last Standing Wizard tokens. There are also Wild Magic Cards, these cards give you the option to play a spell card type that you don’t have, when you are about to cast the spell, you’ll be able to draw spell cards from the deck until you found the card of that type to replace the Wild Magic Card.

A Complete Matched Spell

5. Replay Value

The key of the replay value is the cards. With it, you can have millions of combination spells. There are always different effects and combos in store for you to play. Cast them off and finish your opponents. This game shines with the perfect gaming group, which can be hilarious enough for you to laugh out loud and shout to cast the spell in ridiculous style. What more you want, it’s a party game indeed. There won’t be the same game every time you play, it’s hilariously different in each game.

The Cards

My Thought of The Game

I like the game very much, instantly bought it when I saw the arts. And after reading the rules, the game play offered me interesting points. I like the creative idea of combining 3 cards into a spell with different combinations and effects. The name of the spell also creatively made. It’s a quick filler card game with party and hilarious feel in it. Play it with your crazy group and shots laughter into the room. This game is a quick paced card game with the ‘take that’ effect that played without thinking and careful planning, so better playing it fun and do not waste your time. It’s potentially gonna hit tables often and easy to become everyone’s favorite. Though it’s luck dependent on the dice rolls but must I remind you that it’s a party game after all and do not take this game seriously. You should just concentrate on how your spell casting evil voice drive the tension or laughter to the game.

Fresh Out of The Box

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Card Games, Dice Games, Reviews

 

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