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Too Many Games!!!

My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

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The Best Games of 2014 (that I haven't played)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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2015 is now more than half over, and I have played very few 2015 releases at this point, because I am busy catching up with games released last year. There really are too many games, and it is impossible to play them all.

These are the games of 2014 that I have not played but most want to play, and public opinion seems to indicate they are some of the best releases of that year. A lot of these games are ones that when I mention I have not played it, I get "how have you not played this yet" look. I am a little hesitant to make this list. I made a similar list last year, and since then I only managed to play one game from that list.

Hopefully, I will do a bit better at getting the 2014 games played. These are the games from 2014 that I have not played that I most want to play listed in descending order for dramatic effect.

10. Diamonds
Growing up in Indiana, I have played a lot of trick taking card games in my life, specifically Euchre. I really like the concept of this game where a trick taking game gets a very gamer's game mechanic of specific suit actions. It sounds like a neat concept, and one that I will probably enjoy.

9. Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game

I have avoided the whole Legendary game system, because I am not a fan of cooperative games. However, I want to give this one a try. I like Aliens, and one of the things mentioned often about this game is how thematic it is. Due to the coop nature this is not one I will buy right out on theme alone, but I would love the opportunity to play it.

8. Doomtown: Reloaded
Doomtown is one of those old CCGs that I had always wanted to play because I thought the poker mechanism sounded really neat. At Gen Con last year this was a game I really wanted to demo, but it was never available when I was around. Fortunately, of all the games on this list I am most likely to play this one. We have a copy, and I just have to get through the somewhat intimidating rulebook.

7. Panamax
There were several heavier euro games released last year that I have not played. I like pick up and deliver games, and the dice action selection system sounds neat. For those reasons of all the heavier 2014 releases I have not played, this is the one that made the list.

6. 1944: Race to the Rhine

I joke with my wife that we do not have war games, we have conflict themed games. This specific game though actually is a conflict themed game. It is set in World War II, and it has less to do with fighting and more to do with supply. This took the old quote "Amateurs talk about tactics, professionals talk about logistics" and made a game out of it. It sounds fascinating. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who has a copy.

5. AquaSphere
My wife has been on a big Stefan Feld kick, and with a single exception we have liked all of his games that we have played. I know this is a bit heavier than some of our go to Feld games, but it is still one I would like to try.

4. Mythotopia
I really like A Few Acres of Snow. I like it less for the theme and more for the deck building mechanics. In some ways, I felt like the Colonial Canadian setting held back the mechanics some. This game takes the core engine of A Few Acres of Snow and strips away the historical chrome. This should mean that a better game was able to be built. I have a strong feeling that I would really like this game.

3. Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

Just based on the sheer amount of accolades that this game is getting, I feel the need to play it. I also am not yet turned off by the zombie theme, and the impression I get is that this is one of the most thematic zombie games. I am also a little hesitant to play this game, because I have talked to people who have. From their descriptions, I am not sure if I will like this game. It sounds like it has a neat and innovative system (the Crossroads cards) put over the type of co-op game that I really, really do not like. Despite that I have resolved the next time the opportunity arises I will give it a shot.

2. Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
With the exception of A Touch of Evil: Dark Gothic which is just OK, I have really liked every Flying Frog game that I have played. I was really close to backing this game on kickstarter but the price was too high for the risk. Once again, it is coopearative which makes me a bit hesitant. However, I love the idea of the game being persistent and the leveling up that happens. I feel like that if my wife liked it, this game is probably the closest she will ever get to playing a RPG with me. The problem is that the price tag is still too high to take a random shot on.

1. Xia: Legends of a Drift System

I have repeatedly said that the reason why I like Federation Commander so much, is because it makes me feel like I am in the captain's chair. I get a sense that this game would do something similar with how open ended it is. I really love the concept of "here's a spaceship, go fly it." I think I would probably love this game. The biggest obstacle to getting it played (other than I do not have it) is the time commitment.
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Thu Jul 2, 2015 2:00 pm
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End of the month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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I was gone for a week in June, but despite being away we still managed to get several games played. Our goal is to make sure we have every game we own played by Gen Con, and we are trying to get as many done as possible before the Gen Con math trade submission period ends on July 14th.

Game Play Statistics
Number of Recorded Plays: 58
Most Played Game: Dice Masters (12 plays)
Best New to Me Game:Deus

New Games to Play
New Games Reviewed in June: 7
New Game Reviews in Progress: 1
Highest Rated Game this Month: Deus (combined rating of 9.5)
New Games Left Unplayed: 9

State of the Collection
New Games Added: 4
Games Removed: 1
Total Number of Games:200
I participated in the wargame generosity chain again, but this time I shipped one game and got three. We also bought The Great Heartland Hauling Co. because a local store had it on clearance. Last year we sold several games at Gen Con to get back under 200, it took us most of a year but we reached the number again. I think this will mean my wife will want us to sell games off again.

10x10 Challenge
Dice Masters Completed!
Star Realms Completed!
Race for the Galaxy Completed!
Memoir '44 Completed!
Ticket to Ride
My First Carcassonne
Federation Commander
Trains
Among the Stars
King of Tokyo
Suburbia
Because we focused so much on unplayed games this month, we made almost no progress on our 10 x 10 challenge. We are still ahead of the curve I think, but Suburbia is really lacking. We initially included Kids of Carcasonne and King of Tokyo as games we could play with our son. However, in May our daughter had to transition from a crib to toddler bed. This changed our night time routine and took out the time we typically played games together. We still need to work to reclaim our family game time.
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Wed Jul 1, 2015 6:56 pm
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Deus (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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Since 2009 my wife and I have had an annual tradition of buying a game that we no little to nothing about, and then we have a date day where we play the game. This year this was our game. At Geekway to the West this year Miniatures Market had several ding and dent copies of this. The only thing I knew about this game going into it is that I have a friend who likes it and it was a good price. So far we have had more successes than we have had failures, so which one is this?

Game Overview
In this game players get points by expanding out and building buildings. There are six types of buildings and each building is represented by a card. Each card also corresponds with a Greek deity, and they can be used to make offerings for various rewards.

On a player's turn they may either build a building or make an offering. To build a building, the player must have a piece representing the building type available in their supply. They must then pay the cost of the building. Building will have a cost in resources and/or money. Once the player pays the cost they will then place the building piece on the board. They may place the piece in a location they already have a building (as long as it is not the same type of building) or in an adjacent location. Finally, the buildings activate. The building just placed will activate, as well as every other building of that color the player already has in their tableau.

To make an offering a player will discard cards. The player may discard any number of cards, but whatever card is on top determines what kind of bonus they get. For instance, if a blue card is on top then the player will get two money for each card discarded. After taking this action, the player will then draw back up to five cards.

One of the card types are temples. All temples give end game points. Once a set amount of temples have been built the game will end. There are also barbarian villages. When these villages are surrounded, the player with the most military around them will get points. If all of these villages are conquered, the game will also end. The player with the most points will win the game.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 4.5 (like it)
My Thoughts: This game is a lot of fun. I like how easy it is to play. I really like how this game offers a lot of options. Every turn offers interesting decisions, and there are often multiple decent ones. It is fun to try and figure out what the best option is. This game is very easy to get into and fairly quick playing so it as a "one more game" type of quality about it.

Her Rating: 5 (love it)
Her Thoughts: I am really, really loving this game. I feel like this a tableau building card game like Race for the Galaxy or Glory to Rome made into a board game. This game has a lot of elements that I like in games in it, and I think this is a game that I am going to want to play a lot.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 9.5
For our annual tradition of getting a random game, this might be our most successful game pick. This is also one of the best game we have played in a while. I am fairly confident this is a game we will be playing a lot more of.
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Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:14 am
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Subdivision (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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One of the neat side benefits of attending Geekway to the West is that every attendee gets a free game. This was the free game that I ended up getting. I knew very little about this game so we approached it with very little expectations. So does this game build up something or is it just a sprawling blight?

Game Overview
In this game players get points by filling in the plots of land in their subdivision. The game is played in four rounds, and during each round players can play up to four tiles.

Before playing a tile a player will roll a die, and this die will determine what type of plot players can build on. If a player would prefer they can spend money to place a tile on a different type of plot.

When a player places a zone tile, they can activate any adjacent zone tiles. An activated government tile will allow a park to be placed, and park tiles score points of each adjacent tile at the end of the game. A residential tile will allows a school to be placed. A school tile can be placed on its own, or if it works out stacked on another tile. If a school gets three tiles high then it is worth 8 points at the end of the game.

If a luxury tile is activated then a lake can be placed. Lakes will give the player $1 for each adjacent tile. Industrial tiles will allow a player to play one or two roads. These are important because any tiles that can be connected to the highway printed on the player board are worth five points, and roads help make that connection possible. Finally commercial buildings allow sidewalks to be placed, and sidewalks will score points based on how many different types of tiles they are touching.

In between rounds there are bonuses that can be achieved by having certain patterns or conditions met.

At the end of the game players will lose points for plots they did not fill with tiles and then get points for parks, schools, and tiles connected by roads. The player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: This was a decent game. It is maybe a touch dry and abstract, but it is fun to place tiles, only to set them off later. The game has a nice puzzle aspect to it, but it is still fairly accessible.

Her Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
Her Thoughts: I liked this game a lot more than I thought I would at first. However, it is a very clever game and I like the challenge of figuring out optimal placement. I am a little concerned about how well replayability will hold up.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 7
This turned out to be a solid game for us. We like it enough to keep it, and it is unlike any other game we have. Time will tell though how much replayability holds up and how often it gets played.
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Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:05 pm
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Forbidden Island (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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At Geekway to the West we ate dinner one night with one of my gaming friends. His oldest daughter is about six months older than our son. During the conversation he mentioned that one of the favorites that he and his oldest daughter played together was this game. As it turned out the next day, Miniatures Market had a booth with Ding and Dent games and they had a copy of this. Even better it was 80% off! Of course this was because the tin had been completely destroyed. Seriously, I should have taken a picture. It had to have been run over by a truck or something. I figured for $5 (plus the extra couple of bucks for a new storage box), it would be worth getting to see if our little guy liked it. We have not played it with him yet, but the two of us have played it so we would no the rules. This means our thoughts are based on what we think about the game as a game for the two of us to play, not as family/kids game.

Game Overview
This is a cooperative game where everyone is working together to find four treasures and escape a sinking island.

On a player's turn they will take three actions. They can move from one location tile to an adjacent tile as an action. If they are on or adjacent to a tile that has started to sink, they can shore it up for an action. Players can also give a treasure card to another player as an action, and finally if a player has four matching treasure cards and is on a specific tile they can find the treasure.

After taking actions, players will draw two treasure cards. Most of these depict one of the four treasures that have to be collected. There are a couple of special cards, and there are also flood cards (more on those in a second).

After drawing cards, the player will draw location cards equal to the water level. Each location drawn causes that tile to flood. If it is unflooded it is flipped to flooded, and if flooded it is removed. Each time a flood card is drawn from the action deck the water level increases and all of the already drawn location cards are shuffled and put back on top of the deck.

Each player has a special ability and many of these abilities manipulate movement, which becomes important as the island starts to sink and becomes harder to navigate. If the players get all of the treasures and play an airlift card from the helipad the win.

If the helipad sinks, the treasure locations sink before the treasure is collected, a player sinks, or the water level gets to high the players lose.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: It is hard not to compare this game to Pandemic as they come from the same line of thought (and designer). I think the theme is very accessible and the theme works well throughout the game. However, for me this game is just not fun. In fact, like most co-op games it is the antithesis of fun. Like most co-op games I feel like I am playing to not lose instead of playing to win.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: Everything in this game works. It comes together very well. It is easy to understand and I can see it working well with families. However, I do not have any fun playing this game. I love the idea of co-op games, but most of them leave me feeling like I would have been better off if I just did not play it.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4
We just do not like co-op games. They are not are thing at all, and that is a bit of a problem for us. Our son is in the bad winner and bad looser five year old stage, so we feel like a co-op game would be good for him. We feel like sharing victories and losses will help learn to do both better, but at the same time we do not like those games! For us, it appears that co-op games are going to need to be about WHO we play with and not what we are playing. We will probably introduce this game to our son soon, and we hope he likes it more than we do.
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Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:47 pm
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The Bag Draft: Our Favorite Way to Play Dicemasters

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We both like Dicemasters, but for a while it looked like it started to fall out of favor a bit for my wife. As I got more into team building and exploring possibilities, she got less amused. She did not like when I figured out that the Relentless global action, combined with Polymorph's global and Wolverine meant that I could do 12 damage as early as turn three. She also did not like when I put together a direct damage team that did not even field characters and won in just a few turns. She prefers constructed when it stays in set (specifically D&D or better yet, DC). However, she is not a big fan of mixing things together and finding crazy combos. We looked to some draft formats. With one of our DC boxes we did do a rainbow draft of our own, but that was not ideal for two players. We discovered the concept of "the bag draft" the original idea came from user SarkhanMad at the The Reserve Pool. We took his basic idea (draw dice out of a bag and roll them as the basis of the draft) and modified it quite a bit. What we ended up with was something new, and it pretty much instantly became our favorite way to play one of our favorite games.

How to Bag Draft

Step #1
Grab 24 dice and put them into the bag. It does not matter which 24 dice you use. You can go single set or mix sets to your hearts content. You can grab them randomly or select them by some sort of theme or order. The one thing I would recommend is that you include seven or eight dice that have cards which cost 2 or 3 to purchase. You do not want 24 dice that have a starting purchase cost of 5!

Step #2
Take all of the cards that correspond with the selected dice and arrange them in a splayed fashion. The sets of cards can be arranged however you want(we tend to go with three rows of 8). Then put all 24 dice in a bag.

Step #3
Randomly determine who goes first. This person draws four dice from the bag and rolls them. If they roll all energy faces, they must re-roll all dice. The active player takes the cards that correspond with all dice that rolled a character face. Of those cards, the active player takes picks one. The picked card and die are kept. The other cards that correspond to the picked die are removed from the draft, and other cards are returned. The three dice not selected dice are passed to the other player.

Step #4
The other player now becomes the active player, draws one die from the bag to add to the remaining three dice and rolls all four. This player selects a card and die using the same process.

Step #5
This continues until both players have selected ten dice and cards. This will leave four dice unselected, with one still in the bag. Of the ten selected cards both players will now choose eight to keep. They may then take any combination of dice for those cards as long as they do not select more than twenty dice total.

Step #6
The player who did not draft first now takes all available basic actions and picks one. The basic actions are then passed to the other player who selects two, before the first action selecting player takes their second.

Step #7
You should both now have a drafted team. We like to play a best two out of three set.

Advantages to the Format

Tons of Exploration: This format is excellent for exploring the dice and the interactions. The official Rainbow Draft format requires staying in set, but this makes mixing sets really easy. One of the times we did this we purposely picked 24 dice that we have barely to never used. It was very engaging to see some never used cards in action.

Lots of Excitement: Rolling dice is inherently exciting. That is after all one of the appeals of dice masters. Adding rolling into the draft process adds to it. Each roll has some micro-tension, as you hope the character you want rolls the right face.

Best of Both Worlds: Perhaps the biggest strength for us of this format is that it combines great elements of drafting and constructed. It has the flexibility and working with what you have feeling of draft. However, there is a lot more control here than there is in a draft so it works a bit like doing constructed in real time. I know for my wife, providing limited choices (at the most she has 12 cards to choose from), helps her focus on constructing a competent deck and it is much more approachable.

Disadvantages to the Format
Time Commitment: Drafting in general can take a while, and this might take even longer. The set up is somewhat time intensive. Also, when choosing between a lot of cards it can take a while. Often for us the whole process from set up to the end of the third game is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Bad Luck: Since this format involves rolling dice bad luck can be a plague. It can work out that out of four dice, there is only one you do not want. Of course, that is the only die to roll on a character face. If this happens a couple of times in a single draft it can be frustrating.

Conclusion
We have play tested this format and it works great for us. I was not exaggerating when I said it was our favorite way to play. Hopefully you enjoy it as well!
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Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:02 pm
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Regnum Angelica (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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We traded for this game not to long ago in the Geekway to the West math trade. This game was appealing because several two player duel games have gotten a lot of traction with us. Also, look at the cover. It is alluring. I didn't know this previously but I apparently find minimalist design mixed with Latin to be a very appealing combination. So is the rest of the game as well designed as the cover?

Game Overview
In this game one side plays the angels on the side of good and the other plays the rebellious fallen angels. The goal of the game is to score points by getting your angels across the board into the opponents area.

Players will go back and forth taking turns. On a player's turn they will first gather movement cubes equal to their current power. They can play an angel from their hand to their back row face down. Next a player can activate a face down angel by turning them face up. Many cards have a when activated ability. Players will then spend their movement cubes moving angels from one space to another across the board. Each space requires a cube, and each angel has a limit of how many spaces they can move.

If an angel ever moves off the opponents side of the board (from one of three spaces) then they score a set number of points printed on the card. If an angel moves into the same space as an opposing angel a fight happens. Each angel has a combat compass that has a earth, water, or fire symbol in one of eight directions. The direction they moved in from's symbol is compared to the defending symbol and a rock-paper-scissors mechanic determines the winner. The defeated angel is removed from play.

There are script cards and pillar cards that can be played on a players turn. Pillars are shields for angels and scripts have a variety of abilities. These cost power.

Finally, a player can discard script cards to gain power and they then draw a card. The game ends once one player scores 35 points.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: You know if I wrote this right after playing it I might have rated it a bit higher. I liked the idea of moving around in this game for more than just kill the opponent. I thought the flow of the game worked well, especially the way movement was inversely tied to the ability to use powerful script cards. The problem is this game is kind of dull. At first I thought the combat would be tactical, but in the end it is blah. It is so deterministic and dry. This game was less of a fun experience and more of a slog.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: This game is boring, plodding, and the opposite of exciting. I would rather spend my time playing fun games. Which this is not.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4.5
This game was just not as fun as I had hoped. It also shed light on a big way that my wife's gaming preferences have changed. Before in math trades I would try to get games that were similar to games she already likes. At that point she wanted stuff that felt familiar. However, after playing this game she commented that even if she liked it we already have similar games like Berserk: War of the Realms. When we trade this (hopefully at Gen Con) I will be looking to get games that are more unique and different than anything we already have.
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Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:57 am
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The Purge: Patrician

sean johnson
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Edinburgh
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We have too many games. There are some games that sit on the shelf unplayed for a while, sometimes years. We plan on playing every game we have not played for two years or more, and that one play will determine if the game stays or if it gets purged to make room for something else.

We both played this game individually at Gen Con in 2011, but did not compare notes about in time to get the game at the con. We waited a year and in 2012 we used the 50% off coupon from the Mayfair ribbon hunt to pick the game up. We played the game fairly consistently for 10 months, but then just stopped. Before recently our last play was in May of 2013. So is this a game we still build up support for or has it fallen from its lofty tower?

Brief Game Overview
Players are competing for points from building towers in Italian cities. Each city will only have so many pieces that can be played in it. When all of the pieces are played there the city is complete and scores.

On a players turn they will play a card from their hand. This card will tell them what city (based on color) they can put their tower pieces into. Each city can hold two towers, and if two towers are started pieces are placed on top of existing towers. Each city also has a card by it, so the player will take that card.

When the city is closed the player who has the most pieces in the tallest tower gets the higher point chip. The player with the most pieces in the other tower gets the second point chip. If there is a tie, then the player closest to the top is the winner. Some cards also have faces on them. For each set of three of a face a player collects they get six points.

Once the last card is played, the game will be over and the player with the most points wins.

What We Previously Thought
We both thought the game was accessible, quick playing, and very deep. My wife was concerned that the two player game would lack replayability.

Verdict
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: For me the biggest reason to keep this game is because it is unlike anything else we have. It is not quite a perfect information game, but it is a very tight system. I know it is a big buzz word with very little meaning, but this is one of the few games that I would describe as eloquent because everything just works together so smoothly to deliver a quality experience.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: I like this game a lot. It feels like a very deep strategy game that I can really get a grasp of. Winning this game is always so good because it feels like an accomplishment.

Final Judgement
Keep

This game is defiantly a culprit of having too many games. This often gets passed up for new games or games that excite us a lot. However, it is one we both enjoy and one we will be holding onto for quite some time.
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Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:34 am
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Batman: Arkham City Escape (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Back in March we got this game in a local math trade. We are always open to finding some good two player games. This one looked like it had promise because the asymmetrical game play meant it would be more than a dual style game. However, the real reason is because of Batman. Batman is a theme that is naturally appealing to me, so I was happy getting this in a no ship math trade to try out. So when it comes to quality is this more Batman Forever or Batman: The Animated Series?

Game Overview
In this game, based off of the Arkham series of video games, one player takes the role of Batman and the other player the villains. The goal of the villains is to escape from Arkham City and Batman's goal is to stop them.

For a villain escape it must move off the far side of the board. On the villain player turn they will roll four dice. For each villain symbol rolled they may take an action. As an action the villain player can put down up to five villain cards face down on the entry row. For another action they can move all face down villain cards one space. Another action item is to move a face up villain 1 or 2 spaces. Drawing an extra card an also be an action. They can also do free actions such as volunteering to flip one of their cards face up or playing free action cards form their hand. A lot of free action cards are equipment that attaches to a villain. After the villain has used their actions, they draw one card and it becomes Batman's turn.

Batman may move either one space, from gargoyle to gargoyle (as long as they are two spaces aways), or from sewer to sewer. If Batman moves onto a space with a villain, the villain card is turned face up and combat occurs. For combat the Batman player will play combat cards that generate combo points. Each combo point allows the Batman player to roll one die. For each bat symbol rolled he gets a hit, and the hits must equal or exceed the challenge rating of the villain. If successful the villain is captured, and Batman gets to roll the XP die for an extra boost. Batman has a utility belt that is customized at the beginning of the game. These gadgets are limited in use but give Batman extra abilities. At the end of Batman's turn the player draws one card.

Each villain has a point value and the game continues until Batman captures 10 points of villains or 10 points of villains escape.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: This game does a decent job at feeling like a Batman game. Batman is the star for sure, but the villain player has a decent chance at winning. It works as a game, but the downside is it is kind of boring. This feels like something that should stood out as an above average mass market game. Had I found this on the shelf of Target or Walmart for $25-30, then it would have exceeded my expectation. However, for a hobby market game with a retail price of $45 it feels a bit middling. The card art also did not really work for me. It is all stills from the video game cropped and squeezed onto cards. It all looks very blah.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for it)
Her Thoughts: This game worked well enough but it was boring to play and felt overly simple. I was not left with a feeling of wanting to play it again, and I feel like this is a game that would drop in replayability very fast. I also think the box is way too big.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5
It seems making a good super hero game is hard. This game took a step in the right direction. The Batman player feels like Batman, and the Villain player does feel like they have a chance. However, the game did not work for us, and we will be looking to reclaim the shelf space it is taking up.
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Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:38 am
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Rialto (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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So far both of us, but especially my wife, have enjoyed every Stefan Feld game we have played. In fact, my wife has been a big fan of games like The Castles of Burgundy, La Isla, and Bruges. Since we have enjoyed his games, I made sure to try to trade for Feld games in a recent math trade. I managed to get this one, and were excited to try it. So is this game another hit or the first flop for us?

Game Overview
In this game players get points by having majorities in six different districts of Venice. At the beginning of each round, players will select a row of cards and then draw two cards at random. In the next phase of the game, players will play their cards for various actions. Each card corresponds for an action type. First players, can move up on the doge track which determines player order. Players can also play cards for money, for points, to get more councilmen, and finally place councilmen on the board in the active district. For each card that a player plays they can take one of the specified action. Which ever player plays the most of each specific card will get a bonus. If there is a tie between which player played the most card then which ever player is higher on the doge track will win the tie.

One of the more important bonuses is getting to play bridge pieces. These bridge pieces are connections between the districts and have a point value on each side. At the end of the game the player with the most councilman in a district gets the point total of all the bridges connected to that district, the second player gets half of that total, and the third place gets half of the half. The player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 1.5 (do not like)
My Thoughts: I did not like this game at all, and the issue that I have for it is that this game is not very good for two players. It was our experience that the player who got the lead in the doge track early had a big advantage. With just two players it is common for the players to tie on cards, and the player in the lead keeps getting advantage after advantage. Perhaps with more players this is less pronounced. This game had a very strong rich get richer feel.

Her Rating: 2.5 (do not care)
Her Thoughts: I was not feeling this game. I kept asking if we were doing this right because things just did not come together right in this game. There was a lot of luck with the cards were dealt and there was not a lot of way to mitigate or manipulate that luck. I would play it again, but I also was not really wowed by it either. Maybe it is better with more players?

Verdict
Combined Rating: 4
I really am just not sure if this game is good for two players. This was a bit of a misfire for us. I do not want to say this is a bad game, just one that did not connect with us. If we played it longer, we might find we like it more but with so many games we enjoy this one did not excite us enough to want to invest much more time in it. I realize that everything that both of us has stated on this game is kind of wishy-washy, but that is just where it is for us. For us it is very much a take it or leave it type of game, and we are choosing to leave it.
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:13 am
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