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Kriegspiel: Brutally Honest Wargame Reviews :: Unconditional Surrender Europe -- Panzers That Go Bump in the Night

John Goode
Falkland Islands
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I just spent two days in the wargaming equivalent of the land of Oz, also known as GMT’s Unconditional Surrender Europe. And just like in the classic film it looked grand from a distance. And all the rumors spoke of its magical properties. Here was the place you could go to have your wish of an innovative new strategic level World War 2 ETO game fulfilled.

All you needed was a brain, some heart and the courage to have a go at it. Having a little of the first, enough of the second and plenty of the third, I dove into the mini game Case Blue, included in C3i magazine to introduce players to the USE system. This was followed by playing a couple of the scenarios from the main game.

After a few turns it quickly became apparent I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, or in Europe for that matter. The “S” word should not be used when describing USE unless you’re talking about it simulating the carnival ride bumper cars. That’s what armies essential are in this game. Think of it as the military expansion to Ricochet Robots and you won't be far off.

You pay one or two production points to move a unit. Units move individually and “attack” by spending movement points to bash into enemy units. The most likely result, particularly if the attacker is the Germans, will be that the enemy retreats one space. Then you can spend more movement to bash into him again. Repeat for every unit you have, with armor being particularly good at bump-and-grab. Both sides roll in each combat and if you seriously outroll your opponent the defender may flip and retreat or the attacker may lose all his remaining movement points. That is essentially what you spend hours doing. And don’t even think about defense in depth. Having a friendly army covering your backside is the fastest way to get yourself unconditionally dead.

There’s some tactical, though generally obvious, finesse involved in bumping through enemy lines in order to isolate units that will be subsequently attacked. But don’t think about making large pockets of isolated defenders, you are only isolated if you are not adjacent to another friendly unit or city so only a single army can ever be isolated at any one time. Supply is checked at the end of your own move so surrounded pockets don’t suffer from being out of supply and can ‘bump’ back at full strength on their turn.

You don’t alternate moving units so be prepared to sit through a good long time of your opponent bumping your lines out of shape. Then it’s your turn to form a new line, hammer your old line back into shape if you can, or at least bump off the enemy units that stuck their necks out too far. Your not so much a general as a blacksmith.

The supply rules are bizarre and seem to have come from history books not available to the general public. Completely encircled cities not only supply armies in this game, you can build entire armies in them behind enemy lines. This even though no army-size unit was ever built in a surrounded city behind enemy lines. Not in World War 2, not in World War 1, not in the American Civil War. Never.

The point of surrounding armies was that it made them less effective and impossible to sustain in the field. Once this happened there were only two results: surrender/dissolution or a breakout/break in. They never got larger. They never organized entire new armies. Never. It’s not the first game to allow this, but it’s particularly dopey here.

That's because in USE the smallest units are armies, as in 100,000 to 150,000 men. Army scale makes for low counter density but it also means if you want to garrison a city you will have to use 100,000-plus soldiers to do it. This matters, for example, in Case Blue where you simply don’t have enough pieces on the map as the Axis to take and hold your victory cities without the Russians playing Twister on your supply lines. Oddly, Case Blue is an introductory game that’s essentially unwinable by one of the sides. Not the way to go methinks.

Overall USE is among the most process heavy games in recent memory. Take a peek below at the Fortranesque flow chart of what just the Action Phase involves. This is for each unit.

Every combat allows each player to secretly commit extra assets to it (using a go, no-go, style bidding mechanic) — either air power or event chits. That’s fine but eats up time way out of proportion to game effect. After the 50th time you start ignoring the hidden commitment mechanic and just say you’re adding/not adding to your attack.

Diplomacy and National Will have been abstracted to the point of near pointlessness. Much time is wasted on this as well as strategic warfare for very little meaningful effect. Diplomacy in particular is clunky and random. It’s neither fun nor generates realistic results.

A good example of the much-process-for-little-effect problem is the production system. Production is often at the core of strategic level games since it allows success to reinforce itself and allows swings of momentum.

In USE many major cities contain a factory and each nation has production equal to a multiple of the factories it controls, usually two times. This number is what you can spend to activate your units, purchase replacements and purchase random acts of diplomacy. Okay so far, except the points don’t accumulate and you have so many (except in Case Blue where the Germans don't have enough) that the vast majority of the time you can move everything and build back everything you lost in combat. Like much of the ancillary stuff in USE, it’s a lot of fuss for very little variance. Maybe this begins to matter in the later stages of the full campaign. I don't know, but I hope so.

At first USE is somewhat fun. But like munchkin karoke, it quickly gets mind-numbing. So after enjoying a few turns of Fall Blau, I quickly found myself wanting to do nothing so much as stop after a few turns into the scenarios. Thankfully, my opponent felt the same way. It just all felt so fiddly-wrong and it could have been set on Barsoom for all the World War 2 feel it has. It was work to play this: blue collar work, outside, with a shovel, and no gloves, facing hard ground, on a 100 degree day, with only dirty water to drink.

The feeling wasn't unlike what I get when playing a made-to-be-played-solitaire game, these always fill me with nihilistic dread. Except here you have to wait for your opponent. And you need an opponent.

Still, if one enjoys process heavy, solitaire games like Patton's Best, or the more recent The Hunters, they may find something to like here. Many people apparently do.

But do yourself a favor before laying down the substantial green this game is going to cost you and try it out with Case Blue. That will allow you to pull back the curtain. You may see a wizard artfully conjuring up magical mechanics that blend into a state-of-the-art WW 2 simulation, or, like me, all you see is some bumper cars and a couple of 40+-page instruction manuals on how to drive them.

The rules are comprehensive and well written, the designer seems to go above and beyond in supporting the game and it certainly brings something new to the table, so it's not an F in my book. But I'd rather find myself aboard a hot air balloon in a tornado than have to spend another day with USE.




Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe
Unconditional Surrender! Case Blue

Kriegspiel Wargame Reviews
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 3:57 pm
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The Orange Cloaks: A D&D Campaign Blog :: The Orange Cloaks Campaign Guide Part 1

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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To prepare the players for the campaign we created a campaign guide to give them the background on both the world and the organization. My fellow GM is a graphic designer by trade so he made a really awesome pdf to send to everyone. I will be posting the text of the campaign guide here, and I will be doing it in segments so there is not massive wall of text.


History of Bren and the Orange Cloaks
Five hundred years ago the age of great kingdoms came to an end. The empires of Men, Dwarves, and Elves united to resist the power of Meduka. The Lord of Meduka made unholy alliances as well as recruited the support of the evil races of Orcs and Giants. With this power, the dark lord sought to increase his dominion until the entire world was under him. The dark lord was defeated in a final battle that saw many of the ancient bloodlines of the empires fall on the battlefield. When the dark lord of Meduka was defeated, his dying act was to unleash the three curses upon the land. The first curse was the great plague that ravaged the land and killed multitudes. The second curse was the great meteor storm that rained waste upon the great cities of the ancient kingdoms. The final curse was the release of eldritch energy that mutated mundane creatures and created new monsters that terrorize the lands to this day.

The result of the massive battles and the three curses is that civilization collapsed. The great kingdoms fell, the connections that once united diverse kingdoms disappeared, and much knowledge was lost in the chaos. After a century of chaos, order slowly started to emerge. People became more secure, new trade routes began to get established and, cities began to grow again into true bastions of civilization. The city this was most true for was Bren. In the age of great kingdoms, Bren was an outpost, an ancient fort that had become a modest town. When the meteors came, Bren fared better than most cities. The mostly intact walls were repaired and the city was a beacon of light during the dark times. The city grew and then outgrew its walls, so new ones were built. As the century of chaos came to an end the Orange Cloaks were born.

The growing town faced a crisis right as it was starting to boom. A werewolf began prowling the streets. Fear and paranoia gripped the community. The hysteria even led to a few innocent people being lynched because of their suspicious behavior. The problems were solved when an adventurer wearing an orange cloak rode into town and promised to deal with the beast. The adventurer was good to his word, and the people of Bren made it worthwhile for the adventurer to stay. He became Brom of Bren, the first Lord General of the Orange Cloaks. It did not take long before young men of Bren began coming to Brom for instruction. He trained them and as a sign of their completed training he awarded them the right to wear an orange cloak. The Orange Cloaks were born.

At first the Orange Cloaks operated as a city guard, but as Bren began to grow and made partnerships and then absorb neighboring villages, the Orange Cloaks took on a much broader role. There were two major developments that greatly changed the Orange Cloaks and made it what it is today. The first happened three hundred years from present day, and that was the sacking of Ravenport. Ravenport, an economic rival of Bren, was also growing and exerting influence over the countryside. The Bren city council decided that eliminating their rival was necessary for their continued growth. The Orange Cloaks were used as the main element of a standing army. Under the orders of city council appointed generals the Orange Cloaks suffered horrendous casualties and engaged in less than honorable behavior. The Lord General of the time set the Orange Cloaks on a new path. They were not an army; they were protectors of Bren and the surrounding countryside. The Lord General further insisted that the talents of the Orange Cloaks were not to be wasted on simple disputes that local law enforcement could handle, but that the Orange Cloaks would specialize in monsters and “magical mischief.”

The second great change occurred a mere 150 years from present day and that was the Great Manticore War. A pack of manticores of an unprecedented size had decided that Bren would be their new home. The city guard, out of fear, pushed the brunt of the fighting on the Orange Cloaks. The Orange Cloaks successfully defended the city, and rooted out the last of the manticores from the surrounding area, but they suffered horrific casualties. In general, the Orange Cloaks were in a dangerous line of work, but this incident really highlighted that fact. The general belief became that joining the Orange Cloaks was a quick way to shorten one’s lifespan, and recruiting became hard. The Orange Cloaks adapted and they focused more on the abilities of the recruit, and less on their background or stock of upbringing.

Over the course of five centuries, Bren has grown well beyond an independent city state. Numerous hamlets, villages, and towns consider themselves part of “greater Bren.” Bren is well on its way to reestablishing itself as a new kingdom to rival those of the old era, and the Orange Cloaks protect the entire realm from the dangers that terrify the hearts of lesser men.
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 1:22 pm
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An Extra Point: Musings on Wargaming, etc. (admittedly, with a LOT of etc.) :: My Top 100 Games: 21-30: Variety is the word...

Jason White
United States
Ashburn
Virginia
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30. Runewars
This game is so cool it appeared on one of the hippest shows on television, Orphan Black:



It has that epic feel in just a couple of hours. Armies clash with each other and with neutrals. Adventurers quest across the board. Cards not only give special bonuses to a variety of situations, but they also are the random number generator and combat subroutine. And the game hinges on the collection of runestones. This allows the game to be more than just a combat-fest. The flow of the game is: expand and consolidate, then sneak around to collect runestones through trickery and heroes’ quests. Love it!
Please note that I’m talking about the first edition here.

29. King of Tokyo
This has become the default filler game for our group. The Yahtzee elements are okay, but, for me, it’s all about the theme. Giant monsters are cool, but, again, this needs to be treated with a light touch. The game plays fast and loose, but still has interesting choices. You can collect energy cubes to get cards, keep number results, hoping for that elusive three of a kind, or you can be honorable and try to win by killing all of the other monsters. Each game is different and usually ends with one of us saying, “one more time.” If we’re playing, I call Cyber Bunny.

28. Victory in the Pacific
Based on only one night of playing, but what a great upgrade from War at Sea. The addition of air and ground units are key. This game keeps the broad strokes actions of its ancestor, but puts the additional considerations make this the chess to War at Sea’s checkers. And it stands as a great transition point to another favorite game of mine (spoiler alert!).

27. Europe Engulfed
Epic World War 2 game, using blocks. But this game is important because it is the first time Rick Young used the “Special Actions.” These streamlined a great deal that other World War 2 games frankly had a great deal of trouble coordinating. I enjoy the massive numbers of dice and blocks that storm across Europe. The game has interesting and realistic tension points the interesting decision points trying to hold off the inevitable Allied victory in the war in order to win an Axis victory in the game.

26. Hive
This game has no business being this good. It is short and has simple rules. But very quickly, you find yourself thinking carefully about each placement and movement. There have been expansions and shrinkings (down to a travel size). I’ll teach it to you now: each turn you place a tile or move a tile. When you trap the opposing queen, the game is over. Each of the tiles is an insect and each insect has special powers. But even with those few rules, each turn becomes a brain burner.

25. Battle Line
This is also a simple game where the decisions are incredibly interesting. For this one, you are trying to form three card poker hands which will dictate control of different flags. Control five of nine or three adjacent flags, and you win. I probably would like Schotten-Totten more, because I find the special cards add little to the game (in fact, I believe they take away from the game a bit).

24. A Few Acres of Snow
Honestly, the Halifax Hammer ruined this game for me. I loved this and played the heck out of it for a while. I love the deckbuilding mechanic here, especially as it represents expanding your colonial control of the new world. In short, when you take a territory, it makes your deck less efficient. Each of the colonial powers (France and Britain) have different strengths, different spheres of influence, and different realistic paths to victory. I would recommend ignoring the words “Halifax Hammer” on BGG. Get the game and play the heck out of it. You won’t be disappointed, unless you ignore my advice about the Hammer or stumble upon the strategy yourself.

23. Through the Ages
I like Ludology, and I completely understand Ryan and Geoff’s love of this game. The variety of cards and the many different ways your empire can unfold make it incredibly replayable. It is also makes me feel the closest to the way I felt when playing the old Sid Meier’s Civilization computer games. You have to manage a number of factors, including workers’ happiness and efficiency in production of food and mineral resources (I think – oil, coal, iron – hard to find a term that encompasses this, because I believe “resources” are the tokens used to make up your food and mineral resources). Leaders, wonders, and other cards can create some powerful combos. Political cards are powerful, but so are the military actions that, when unused, give you political cards. In short, the game is brilliant and I have to think it will be moved higher in my eventual revisions of this list.

22. Summoner Wars
This game is another example of a simple rules set that makes for a great game. Each player receives a deck of cards that will make up his or her army as they are deployed on the map. Each deck has its own “flavor” (warning: in my online games against strangers, it is clear that one of these decks is more preferred than the others). Your goal is simple: kill the enemy summoner. But you have to be careful. It is a great example of needing the support of a variety of units in order to bring about your plan. If you go directly for your enemy’s summoner, you run the risk of depleting your army early. You have expensive, powerful “champions,” but the risk of bringing them out to fight against your opponent’s army of pawns can leave you vulnerable to your opponent’s champions later in the game. Great game of tough decisions.

21. Dungeon Lords
Again, I cannot believe the variety of games in Vlaada Chvatl’s library. In this and Through the Ages (and, to an extent, Space Alert), you have a number of “levers” to operate, and, if you do it effectively, you are very powerful. If not, you’re in the proverbial “hurt locker.” In Dungeon Lords, you need to build your dungeon with tunnels and rooms. You need to recruit monsters. You need to feed your monsters. You need to have traps to help deal with those pesky adventurers. And, in addition to all of this, you have to pay “taxes.” The game also has the interesting aspect that, when you place your minions to perform certain tasks, the later you place your minion, the more powerful the reward. But if you are not careful, you will lose the opportunity to get what you need at all. Really only works with four players, which is a strike against it, and probably all that keeps it out of my top twenty.

Well, next time we'll start the top twenty (in my day, there was ONLY a top twenty; this generation and their top twenty-fives. Now get off my lawn!). Last summer, I allowed work to encroach on my summer entirely too much. This year, I'm trying to avoid that, and, so far (two weeks in), I've been successful. I hope to get the top twenty in by the end of the summer and the "updates to the list" post by year's end.

I also hope to have a Psuedocon AAR and a WBC AAR post. So, should be a busy summer!

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Mon Jul 6, 2015 1:00 pm
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BoardGameGeek News :: Colt Express Wins the 2015 Spiel des Jahres; Broom Service Named Kennerspiel des Jahres

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
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Colt Express from Christophe Raimbault and Ludonaute has been named the 2015 Spiel des Jahres (SdJ), Germany's Game of the Year, beating out fellow nominees Machi Koro and The Game. (You can view all the nominees here.) Colt Express also won the 2015 As d'Or, France's game of the year award, in March 2015, so a game that has you re-enact outlandish doings in the (largely fictional) U.S. wild west has won over the largest game award juries in Europe. How about that?

In April 2015, I posted an overview of the Colt Express: Horses & Stagecoach expansion due out Ludonaute at Spiel 2015, and BGG user Morten Elgaard has rounded up more info on this expansion and two others in the works: Colt Express: Marshal & Prisoners, which is due out February 2016, and Colt Express: Indians & Cavalry, due in October 2016. If you're not content to wait for these items, Ludonaute has already released a downloadable rule set for playing in teams and for playing with two and three players (PDF) Heck, Ludonaute has also released rules for a role-playing version of Colt Express (PDF) and started working on special pawns for the game, a first sample of which is shown below:




If you're not familiar with Colt Express, you can check out this video overview from Ludonaute's Anne-Cécile Lefebvre from Gen Con 2014 or read her long and informative publisher's diary about the game on BGG News, which details how the train came to be the star of this design:




Broom Service from designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister and publisher alea won the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres, the award intended for game enthusiasts who want something a bit more challenging than the Spiel des Jahres winner. I'm sure that some will view this award as cold comfort, with alea having received three prior SdJ nominations (Puerto Rico in 2002, Witch's Brew in 2008, and Las Vegas in 2012) along with multiple titles having been placed on SdJ's shortlist/recommended list:

Chinatown, 1999
Taj Mahal, 2000
The Traders of Genoa, 2001
Royal Turf, 2001
Edel, Stein & Reich, 2003
San Juan, 2004
Notre Dame, 2007
In the Year of the Dragon, 2008
The Castles of Burgundy, 2011

After all of the nominations and accolades, alea finally takes home the big poppel for a game that's a reworking of the previously SdJ-nominated Witch's Brew? Isn't this result akin to designer Reiner Knizia winning the Spiel des Jahres for Keltis in 2008 after not winning for so many other better, more involved games?! (Knizia missed that awards ceremony, getting stuck in traffic en route from the airport, while coincidentally alea developer Stefan Brück missed out on this award ceremony due to illness. After so many years, they both missed out on the celebration...)

To any such notions, I preemptively say "Bah!" Yes, Broom Service uses the game system at the heart of Witch's Brew — and I say as much in my Broom Service overview — but the game differs a lot from that earlier title, with players now competing both to carry out the roles that they've chosen and to deliver the goods they've acquired. That delivery aspect of the game adds another element of timing to what you want to play when and which roles you'll choose in the first place. You have the event cards and clouds to provide additional complicating factors each time you play, along with variants that can throw even more elements into the mix. Put all of this together, combined with Vincent Dutrait's fantastic artwork, and I'm not surprised that the SdJ jury chose Broom Service given that it already appreciated the game system in Witch's Brew. (Also, I love Keltis and have played it more than almost any other Knizia game that I own.)

For those not familiar with Broom Service, you can read the overview that I linked to above or watch the game being played by the Game Night crew:




• Joining this pair of award-winners is Roberto Fraga's Spinderella, which was named Kinderspiel des Jahres in early June 2015 and which I somehow completely overlooked at the time in my post-Origins 2015 comedown. Spinderella marks Fraga's first victory in the SdJ awards, although his Dragon Delta — one of his first published games — was on the SdJ shortlist in 2001. He's also been nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres twice before with Mare Polare in 2004 and Gesagt - getan! in 2007.

For an overview of Spinderella, here's an overview that BGG recorded at Spielwarenmesse in February 2015:


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Mon Jul 6, 2015 11:55 am
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Every Man Needs A Shed :: ...after the fact (SdJ results!)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
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And, so, the final results for 2015 are:

SdJ - Colt Express
KSdJ - Broom Service

Yay! to the first and Booo! to the second - a reworking of an old game? Really? Boooo! (again).
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 10:32 am
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d3meeples :: Kastélyok Burgundiában

Ferenc Szekeres
Hungary
Budapest
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Most komolyan... Kastélyok, várak, birtokok??? Nem hiszem, hogy 2011-ben, amikor Stefan Feld The Castles of Burgundy-ja megjelent, nem számított elcsépeltnek a téma. Ilyen szempontból mindegy a játék földrajzi, történelmi (vagy fantáziabeli) elhelyezése. Én nem vagyok társasjáték veterán, de már én is unom, hogy a stratégiai játékok jelentős része ugyanazzal a tematikával rendelkezik. Már ha ez annak számít, talán inkább csak egy képi világ, ami valamennyire vonzóbbá teszi a lapkarakosgatást.
Csakhogy furcsa módon, amíg az absztrakt játékok vonzanak engem, addig a kastélyok, várak, birtokok egyre kevésbé.
Lehet, hogy kezd számomra fontosabbá válni a téma? Valamennyire biztosan, de igazából azt hiszem, hogy inkább csak arról van szó, hogy míg mechanikákban nagyon sokszínűnek érzem a játékfelhozatalt, addig körítésben eléggé szűkös a választék.

A Castles of Burgundy-t végül a Gémklubban Zoli ajánlására vettem meg. Már nézegettem egy ideje, de a külcsín valahogy nem ragadott magával, ráadásul a kockáktól is tartottam egy kicsit. A BGG-s előkelő helyezése miatt néha-néha elgondolkodtam rajta, de mindenféleképpen szükség volt egy lökésre a vételhez. Úgy tűnt, hogy ideális lehet két fővel, és állítólag a lányok is szeretik.

Amikor kibontottam a játékot, akkor már a megjelenés is közelebb került hozzám. Nem, azért nincs az élmezőnyben, de nem csúnya. Kicsit meg kell szokni, hogy ahova néz az ember, ott a dobókockáról megszokott különböző számú pöttyök tekintenek vissza rá. Picit szokatlan, és nem is feltétlenül esztétikus. De legalább egyértelműsíti, a dizájn a funkcionalitás alá van rendelve. Amúgy nagyon átgondolt felépítésű az egész, nincs is szükség segédletre, mert a játékos táblán minden információ fel van tüntetve.

Van egy központi tábla, ahonnan be lehet gyűjteni a különböző típusú épületeket, területeket, árukat, amelyeket a saját tartalékunkba, raktárunkba helyezhetünk el. Innen kerülhet valami ténylegesen a birtokba. A játékban mindennek van egy 1-6 közötti értéke, ami alapján eldől, mi az, amit tehetünk, és mi az, amit nem. Ez persze kockadobással dől el. No de semmi pánik, a játék tökéletesen tervezhető, jól felépített stratégiákat lehet véghez vinni a dobások eredményétől függetlenül. Ezért persze tenni kell, mert magától itt sem épül fel semmi.

Két kockával dob minden játékos (az egyik egy harmadik, fehérrel is, ami az újonnan érkező áru helyét határozza meg), ami egyben azt is jelenti, hogy mindenkinek két akciója van a körében. Ezek a következők lehetnek: fő tábláról lapka levétele, lapka lerakása a birtokra (ilyenkor mindig valami építési bónuszt kap a tulaj), áruk eladása, munkáslapkák elvétele. Ez utóbbi zseniális húzás, ugyanis a munkások a dobott értéket eggyel módosítani tudják. Azaz, ha szerencsétlenül gurítunk, akkor is tudunk mit tenni, és a stratégiánkba ezt be is kell építeni. Amúgy majdhogynem mindenért pont vagy pénz szerezhető. Eléggé kiegyenlítettnek tűnik a játék. Bár volt olyan, hogy elhúztam 50 ponttal Anettől, de néhány kör múlva meg utolért (sőt, meg is előzött), mert az ő pontgyűjtése másképpen volt ütemezve.

A lapkatípusokra némi jóindulattal rá lehet fogni, hogy valamennyire tematikusak, és a saját táblán történő elhelyezésük valami olyan bónuszt ad, ami összefüggésbe hozható a jellegükkel. Viszont az áruknál úgy tűnik, elfogyott az ez iránti igény, ugyanis ott már csak színek vannak. Pedig nem nagy durranás hat fogyasztási cikket kitalálni, és ahhoz néhány illusztrációt készíteni.

A teljes játék 5 fázisból áll, amelyek során újratöltődnek a megszerezhető lapkák, a fázisok pedig öt fordulóra oszthatók. A szabályrendszer azért összetettnek mondható, sok dologra kell figyelni, nem is merülök el a részletekben, mert csak elvesznék. De gyorsan bele lehet rázódni, és utána gördülékenyen megy minden.

A játékidő nálunk olyan 60 perc körül mozog. A ki- és elpakolás viszont picit lehetne kevesebb is. A kibontás után minden lapkát összeömlesztve raktam el, aztán sűrűn szidtam magam a következő alkalommal, ugyanis elég macerás szétválogatni a különböző lapkatípusokat. Utána már külön tasakokba tettem a játék végén, így lehet nyerni pár percet.

Alapvetően itt is mindenki a saját dolgaival foglalkozik, és nagyon konfliktusmentesen lehet játszani. Ugyanakkor, ha kifigyeljük, hogy ki mire hajt, és azt szépen megakadályozgatjuk úgy, hogy közben mi sem járunk rosszul, akkor kimondottan konfrontatív is lehet a játékmenet. Mivel még szeretnék vele játszani, mi inkább az előbbit alkalmazzuk.

Amúgy hurrá, Anettnek tetszik. Nekem is. Mindenféle negatív megjegyzésem eltörpül a játék nagyszerűsége mellett. Gyors, de gondolkodtató, a kockák ellenére nagyszerűen tervezhető, kiegyensúlyozott, sokféle stratégia lehet eredményes, és végül egészen szép látvány, ahogyan kiépül a birtok. Az ára pedig kimondottan barátságos… Mármint ahhoz képest, amit kapunk, mert sajnos az ilyen kategóriájú társasok már bőven 10e fölött szoktak lenni.

Szóval én jó szívvel tudom ajánlani, de azért aki nálam érzékenyebb a témára, az elképzelhető, hogy nagyon száraznak érzi majd, mert ha úgy nézem, ez is csak számok és lapkák ide-oda pakolgatása.
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 7:35 am
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Every Man Needs A Shed :: ...before the storm (SdJ predictions!)

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
Unspecified
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How I'd like things to pan out today:

SdJ: Machi Koro
KSdJ: Elysium

Reasoning?
- because me banging on about how good MK is was what (apparently) got Wolfgang from Kosmos interested in looking at it 'to license' in the first place!
- because Matt and Brett are gaming pals!

Mind you: Colt Express is a blast and Orleans is drawn by Klemens, so...
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 6:58 am
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The Adventures of Tarlin :: 1-1 Attack on Sandpoint

Thom McAlister
United States
Muncie
Indiana
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As Tarlin approached the Sandpoint city gate, he was shocked to see the guards in the midst of an attack. Running into the fray, Tarlin was able to grab a discarded Bastard Sword +1. The cleric fight off a Goblin Pyro, a Skeleton Horde, and a Goblin Raider. His assistance was enough to aid the guards to regain control of the city gate.

Tarlin moved further toward the city square. The goblins were moving secretly through the town like a Monster in the Closet. Every turn, the cleric felt as if he would be able to pounce upon the enemy--but nothing was there! As he stalked his prey, it soon became clear that they were stalking him! A goblin riding a giant lizard, Ripnugget and Stinkfoot, attack and struck hard. However Tarlin was able to catch them on a rebound and caused them to retreat.

Turning a corner while following the goblin and lizard, Talin became swept up into the Swallowtail Festival. The cleric caught his breath and healed himself before moving further in. Suddenly a Goblin Cutpurse attacked, but it was subdued. A sign from the gods revealed that Tarlin had become honored with the Blessing of Lamashtu, likely due to the recent recovery of the shrine*. The crowd backed away as the swordsman, Tsuto Kaijitsu called for a duel. As soon as Tarlin defeated the fighter, Ripnugget and Stinkfoot attacked from the shadows to beat down upon the cleric. After getting back put, the cleric was about to take the fight back to the goblin and its lizard mount. As the crowd cheered on, Tarlin stood victoriously.

*See Blog Post "B3-Black Fang's Dungeon"

Deck Changes:
removed--longsword, blessing of the gods
added--bastard sword +1, blessing of lamashtu
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 6:37 am
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It Beats Watching The TV :: Street Spirit

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
Abingdon
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Yesterday I mentioned about us dashing off to the country for a peaceful and relaxing night away: We arrived in the Cotswolds early in the afternoon (it's not far) and spent a pleasant couple of hours mooching around and partaking of tea and cake, looking in curio shops at the odd juxtapositions such as the one below;



I mean, if you're in for a bit of fancy old crockery why not pick up a boars head or a firemans helmet as well?
(Is there a "Taxidermist" occupation in Agricola I wonder?)

Settling "inn" to our coaching house for the early evening - no wifi, phone lines all down, power problems due to recent electrical storms and "cash only please"; it was like being transported back in time!
What a good job that a little travel companion had been squirrelled away in the suitcase...
A nice couple of games of Arboretum with a beer in the lounge bar.



We drew admiring and/ or quizzical looks from some other patrons; the landlady thought it was "very sweet" that we were playing a game.
I've written before about Arboretum - (it's very good, I love it) but I don't think it's best with 2; it's fun working out what the other player must(?) be holding when you're down to a few cards in the deck though and you can be more assured in what you discard; I do think that there is a definite trick in holding on to the 4/5/6 cards early on and playing high or low first off to build your Arboretum strategically.
In one game we both built a main path of 2-7 in a variety of colours and then topped and tailed with the 1s and 8s where possible; it's very interesting indeed exploring this little gem. I can't remember the totals, but we both scored pretty high in the games, and results were close.

So, a spot of dinner and then a relaxing "early night"?



Ermm, no, you see we weren't aware of the annual music festival / street party that was to take place literally outside our bedroom window (until we rocked up, at least) with all the noise and drunkeness that it entails. Many, many bands from 7pm until about 12:30am, and pretty darn good they were too.

Oh well - If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...!

However the old "a change is as good as a rest" adage is not strictly true now, is it?




/// Obligatory SDJ /KSDJ guesses - Machi Koro and Broom Service \\\
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Mon Jul 6, 2015 6:29 am
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Point Salad Game Night :: July 5, 2015

Dustin Potter
United States
Marcellus
New York
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Attendees: Dustin, Lindsey, & Katie
Venue: Dustin & Lindsey's Apartment v2.0

Game --- Winner/Result:
1. Concept* --- 35/36
2. Sushi Go! --- Dustin
3. Gloom --- Dustin

*Friendly varient



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Mon Jul 6, 2015 3:19 am
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