Thursday, March 15, 2012
Sorry all I will be doing another Board game review by the end of the weekend I had my hands full and my energy sapped with a very sick doggy that had surgery on Tuesday which I took off from work. Stonewall is fine now and getting better by the day so we can get back to regularly scheduled programing. Until I get a new review up amuse yourself with a battle report from my friend Benito. Cheers and happy gaming.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
It's designer is Takashi Ishida and current US publisher is Zman Games.
Magical Athlete is full of fantasy based racers all of which have different powers adding to the fun! There is a Necromancer, Medusa, Ranger, Demon, Troll, Centaur, Ghoul, and Ninja just to name a few!
In Magical Athlete there are two phases the Draft phase:
Where players buy racers at their current value on the market track. Starting with the first player they will flip over a racer and either purchase that racer at it's current value or pass. Then the next player will flip over a card from the deck offering another racer and the first racer if still there will move down the track to a cheaper position and the new one will take it's place. The values are from 4 to 0. Depending on the number of players the players get coins (4 get 8 points each, 5 get 6 points each) for the draft. They will be purchasing racers equal to the number of races (4 players 5 races/racers, 5 players 4 races/racers). If the drafting slots are filled on the board then the current player will have to purchase one of them. It is possible that players will get their full allotment of racers before other players have they will just no longer be in the draft.
The Race phase:
Now you are ready to begin the racing portion of the game. Players will in secret determine which racer that will be running for the race and revile them simultaneously. Each racer for each player will only race once during the game and each race will only award points to the first and second racers across the finish line! The points are more for the later races so choose your racers carefully.
Then with the start player they will roll the D6 and move that many spaces or perhaps take advantage of a power that may move them differently (like in the case of the Amazon for example which can advance 5 spaces instead of rolling, or the Merchant which can exchange places with another player instead of rolling). The first racer that crosses the finish line wins the race and the second racer that crosses is second, the other racers get no points.
At the end of the last race points are tallied and the player with the most points wins.
The game can easily be finished in less time then is listed on the box of 60-90 minuets unless some funky dice rolling happens or it is your first time. The components of this game are nice it may take you a bit to get over the silly art I know it did for me but once you get past that this is a really good game! The variable fantasy based racer powers makes for a lot of twists and turns with the races which keeps it interesting, and procedurally it is not a very difficult game which provides a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by the young as well as non board gamers too. I would highly recommend this one I have 14 plays recorded but I know I played it more before I started recording plays.
Have a great day gaming!
For more information:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/24565/magical-athlete
Monday, February 27, 2012
WOW all I have to say is WOW! This a FANTASTIC abstract game! I have been meaning to play it for over a year now just never getting around too it and I am sorry I waited SOOOO long! I played for the first time last Saturday with my buddy Marky Mark and was an instant fan. The next day I bought it and already have 15 plays on the game!
Its designer is John Yianni and current US publisher is Smart Zone Games.
Procedurally Hive like most abstract games is not that difficult but the options and game play are endless lending a different experience with any new people or old adversaries that you play with a different game every time! There is a reason why its ranked 112th on Board Games Geek.
Here are the nuts and bolts. Every piece has a different movement type including the 2 expansion pieces The Mosquito and the Lady Bug which are a MUST!
The Queen bee moves 1 space
The Ant Moves around the outside of the hive as many spaces as you want
The grasshopper moves in straight lines and can hop over pieces and onto the other side
The spider moves 3 spaces around (no less)
The beetle can move 1 space but can move on top of another piece or down into a hole or other side
The lady Bug moves over top of two pieces and then down 1 (no less)
The mosquito is a wild card and gains the movement of any piece it is next to.
When you move a piece you cannot break the hive.
The goal of the game is to trap (surround) your opponents Queen with any combination of your and your opponents pieces on all sides not on top. You start the game with 1 piece from each player in contact with each other and then in alternating turns either place a piece from your supply not in contact with an opponents piece or move a piece. The Queen MUST be one of the first 4 pieces you place and you cannot move a piece until your Queen is placed. That's it now you literally know how to play! Mark and I usually follow up normal games with a variant of drawing tiles blindly before placing them which is quite good too.
It sound simple and is mechanically but you will have a lot of fun doing it. The pieces are of GREAT quality and the bag they come in is very nice too.
Here are my Plays:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/plays/thing/2655?userid=312147
For more information.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Eminent Domain is one of the top releases of 2011 and with good reason it is absolutely fantastic!!!
The designer is Seth Jaffee and its US distributor is Tasty Minstrel Games.
The goal of the game is to gain the most influence points which is done in several different ways:
1) Settling planets
2) conquering planets
3) trading goods into the bank
4) gaining them trough actions
Eminent Domain is in the deck building genre of games. What this means is that throughout the course of the game you will be purchasing cards off the board to add to your discard pile which will in turn be shuffled back into your deck, thus building your deck as you go.
The mechanics of the game are flawless and everything you can do in each of the phases of your turn with the cards is printed in the cards which is choice.
One each players turn there are three phases they are:
1) The action phase: This is only done by the player who's turn it is or better known as the leader. It is optional and they pick one of their cards in hand and do the action on it. Once again all the information is written on each of the cards.
2) The role phase: This is mandatory and the lead player will pick a role card on the center board pick up one of those cards and perform the role on it they can augment this with cards from their hand with the same symbols (found in the corner of the card) to boost the effect. They will get the leader effect of the cards. Then each of the other players in turn can either follow suit by doing the "role" on the card which can only be done from cards in their hands not from the board that is reserved for the leader. Or they can dissent and draw a card from their deck.
3) The clean up phase semi optional: The leader can now discard any number of cards they want and draw back up to five cards, or the leader can just opt to keep all their cards which is usually a better choice if they have more cards in hand due to dissenting in previous players turns.
The game end is triggered when 2 of the piles of cards on the main board are depleted although the round is still played until all players have taken their turn. The player with the most influence wins the tie breaker is goods.
This game is great with a lot of re-playability and can easily be played in the 45min suggested on the box unless you are playing with total turtles. The components are very well done and the card stock is nice and sturdy. The game plays with 2-4 players and is great with 3 and 4!
Here are my plays:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/plays/thing/68425?userid=312147
Click here for more information: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/68425/eminent-domain
Thursday, February 9, 2012
It's midnight at the Oasis the time is........wait no that's not it but this game is called Oasis and it is really fun! It is one of my acquisitions from the Unity auction this past week. It's got camels so how can you not like it just simply for that!
The designers are Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum. There is no current US publisher sadly but I am hopeful that someone will once again pick up this interesting game.
The objective of the game is to score the most points this is achieved by several means:
multiplying your largest section of camels on the camel path by your commodity tiles
multiplying your steppe tiles by your horse tiles
multiplying your Oasis tiles by your water well tiles
multiplying your Stony Plains tiles by your ovoos tiles
If you don't have both types of titles then you don't score for that item so if for example you have stoney plains tiles but no ovoos tiles then you do not score for stoney plains.
At the start of the game each player is dealt five cards from the main deck a the edge of the board these will be used for bidding. In turn order starting with the first player the player flips over 1-3 cards to entice the other players to take their cards and order number token. You cannot choose your own cards and order number token unless you are the last player to choose and yours are the only ones left. As the players take their choices they get to perform the action on the cards, weather it's placing camels, terrain tile types, adding cards from the main deck to theirs, or getting the multiplier tiles. After all players have chosen their cards and performed the card actions on them the player that chose the first player token gets one free placement of a terrain tile or camel. Then the process is repeated all over again. The game ends immediately once one terrain tile type has been has no more tiles left then the round is finished and you figure out the score.
The theme of the game is outstanding and having all those camels everywhere is cool by anyone's standards. The quality of the board, the tiles, and the wooden player markers and camels is fantastic! The playtime of an hour that is on the box is accurate for the first time you play but after you will get done in less time then that. There is good player interaction and you can cut player's off in their expansion or just work on you own expansion and play in a non-confrontational manner.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The designer is Carl Chudyk and its current publisher is Asmadi Games.
The goal of the game is to acquire a certain amount of achievements (dependent on number of players), this is done through the playing and activating of cards and their effects.
Innovation is my is my second favorite game at the moment and I don't even know where to begin in its praises! Well first off there are 2 and only two actions that you take on your turn.
With those actions you can:
1)draw a card of value equal to the highest card on your board (or 1 higher if there isn't one in that available numeric pile).
2) Meld a card: play a card face up from your hand onto your board. in the pile of it's color.
3)activate a card doing all of the activate abilities on the card face or any echo effects that are showing on that card or ones that are beneath it that are showing due to being splayed in a certain direction.
4) Achieve take a available achievement from the center of the play area that you have enough score for (points that are in your score pile and in round circles with laurels under their number on card faces), and have a card of equal value showing as atop card on your board.
The game end when one player makes then target number of achievements depending on the number of players there is a chart, or when one player needs to draw a ten car and cannot because there are none left.
In the pictures above you will see examples of cards splayed left, right and up. Up is the best then right then left.
When activating a card other players may be able to take advantage of it's effects if they have equal too or more then the symbol that is used to activate the card. Above you will see some crowns, factories, and light bulbs. and there also other symbols that are there as well like the sunglasses and the stethoscope as are in the cards above these are extras that ma come into effect if requested by other cards in the game.
Whenever another player benefits from an effect on one of your cards you will draw a card.
The game re-playability is absolutely awesome on this and I could play it 10 times in a row easily without getting tired of it the expansion is a MUST, in set up you don't put out all of the cards so the game has different card compositions in it every time. You can have a terrible board position and still be in the game and win you never 100% know what is going to happen. I have on more then one occasion come from the brink of destruction and won when it looked hopeless and lost when it looked like opponents had zero hope at all of pulling it out. The game plays GREAT with any number of the 2-5 players when the expansion is added I say again that the expansion is a MUST! I love the simple yet well done art on the cards it is not so busy that it detracts from game play or too badly done so that you are disgusted.The size of the game is great too you can carry it anywhere! A 10!!!!
Here are my game plays:
Here is more information:
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Friedemann Friese the designer of my current number one game Power Grid. The US publisher is Rio Grade Games.
After setting up the board the players in order of the first player (who is randomly determined in round one) put up a technology/tool up for purchase with the next player on the order track having first right of refusal then the next and so on if all players pass then the player that put it up for purchase can buy it using food as currency. Then it is the next players turn to do so, players are out of this "auctioning" phase once they have made a purchase, or when it is their turn to put something up for purchase have passed. Then the players discard "rotten" food which is 1/3 rounded down (unless they have fire).
Next the players in reverse order from the start player gather food from the market. The food items are herbs and maze (which you only need the tools to collect there are no hexes for them), berries, fish, bear, and ma-mutes. Using their tools, they can only gather food types from the market when they are occupying a hex that has that food supply and if they have the appropriate tool to do so (also it still has to be there once it gets to their turn). Also a neat mechanic is if you have clansmen on different hexes with the same food supply then you get one extra of that food item or two if there are three hexes that have said item. Then you feed you people that are on the board one food per clansman! If you cannot feed them all it's very bad and you loose any that cannot be feed you choice on the board but it will definitely guarantee you a loss in the long run so don't do that.
Then also starting with the last place player and working your way up you spread the clan it's one food plus any extra's 1 to cross a mountain 2 extra if there is already another clan in the hex 3 if there is 2 other clans in the hex (and so on). Then there is a scale for each other clan member you expand out onto the board 3 food for the second member, 6 for the third, 10 for the fourth, and 15 for the fifth, and these costs are cumulative.
Then there is the bureaucracy phase where the tech/tool market is reset, the food supply is replenished and the turn order is recalculated.
This is a really good game with some similarities to power grid but also some differences as well which make it worth picking up and playing even if you already have power grid. Yesterday I played it again with my friends Josh and Mark (first time for Mark). The caveman theme is very well done and the card art is nice with the different levels of tools. Above are the tools for hunting the MaMuts the animal which gives the most food! I really like the the knowledge's and they make the game fun and interesting. Speace (yes it's spelled wrong lol) lets you pay one less to spread clansmen into areas where there are other clans, fire lets you hide your food and prevents it from spoiling, intelligence lets you move your position back on the track, so you will get to collect food first and spread your clan before others that are doing just as well, the sled lets you have 4 tools instead of the normal 3, and the plow gives 2 extra food for fields (herbs included). The wooden pieces are great quality as are the hex boards and the food is also in the shape of the animals. The playtime is easily less then the hour that they suggest on the box with the exception of the first time you play. And there is a good amount of re-playability. I have seven plays on it so far and I am going to play more!
Here are my recorded plays:
Here is a link to the page on BGG for more information:
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Battle Star Galactica is not only one of my favorite board games (my 3rd actually) but is rated 18th on board game geek (which is a fantastic site for all board games the best informational site for anything in my opinion) with over 10,000 ratings which is quite impressive.
It's Designer is Corey Konieczka and is currently published by Fantasy Flight Games.
The addition of it's first expansion Pegasus and the last expansion Exodus made an already fantastic game astronomically better with a slew of other characters, crises, 3d base stars, and the advent of treachery cards, the Pegasus ship and a couple of area cards.
The game has all the feel of the show where you don't know who the Cylons are. You are all passed out loyalty cards at the start of the game after you pick characters. They say either you are a Cylon (and give you what your benefit is when you revile it), you are not a Cylon, or you are not a Cylon with added objectives to need to attain before the end of the game and revile or the humans loose something. The objective of the main game is for the human players to get to earth with out loosing any of the main resources (moral, population, fuel, or food) below zero. The Cylons win if any other the resources reach zero before the humans get to earth. There is a twist if there are 4 or 6 players there is a sympathetic Cylon which only wins the game if they meet a specific set of win conditions drawn randomly when they are reviled.
Each player takes a move and an action on there turn (after drawing their skill cards) and then they have a crisis drawn from a really nice big deck when using all the expansions. First in a crisis there are two cards put in from the destiny deck (a deck made up of two cards from each skill set and shuffled) and then players take turns starting to the left of the current player putting in cards face down to pass or make fail in the case of Cylons the crisis. The cards are then shuffled and we see if there is failure or success! Some of the mission cards have jump prep and once the fleet hits the end of the jump track the Admiral draws two destinations of the destination deck and picks one (a bad one if they are an unrevealed Cylon) which has a jump distance and possibly another effect.
At the half way distance of jumping to earth (full distance 8) there is a second loyalty phase where more loyalty cards are passed out and possibly more Cylons!
There is an element of bluffing which I really like and there is a really big feel of the show which was excellent too by the way see it if you haven't! The game is made with fantastic quality pieces as per most Fantasy Flight Games, and I have spent several hundred hours with over 15 different people playing this game. It a has even created a Tuesday night group after I close the store of different people just to play it. My favorite characters to play tend to be Dee, Boomer (unfortunately in the second loyalty phase she gets thrown in the brig and no one wants to let you out), and Helana Cain!
The two expansions also offer two different variants which add all sorts of other mechanics and fun with the Ionian Nebula, and New Caprica, which are both great fun although I would not want to do those every time.
Here is a record of my current plays with the game I played some before I started recording but here it is: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/plays/thing/37111?userid=312147
You should check it out! Here is a link: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/37111/battlestar-galactica