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User Rating Comment Status
Wendell
United States
Huntsville
Alabama
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10
Feb 2011
An overlooked gem

Easy to learn, a great mixture of tactics and strategy, an obvious goal and path, a good combination of simple choices each turn with hard choices per game phase.

I loved it
2010-08-22
Owned
joost kaha
Netherlands
utrecht
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9.5
May 2015
plays quite fast and yet a tactic game. me gusta mucho
2015-05-05
Owned
Guy Riessen
United States
Sebastopol
California
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9
Oct 2011
This is a vastly underrated game, and like some other Wallace games, like Tyros, its overall score suffers from people not playing it correctly.

If you look at the low rating comments, with people thinking that getting the 15 point sword to the castle will somehow "win" the game, I wonder if they're not playing that 3 pawns at the castle ends the game. That would make it a ridiculous race game, but it doesn't work that way. Three pieces of a single color must be in the castle for the game to end, so chances are that there will be 7 to 9 pieces, and possibly 7 to 9 swords delivered in a 4 player game. And remember those undelivered swords still count at half-value.

Our games have been very close, and the player with the 15 point sword wins no more often that the players who dont have it. And I've also seen players win this by being able to drop their -2 horse on their last turn and take the win (in that case they literally left a pawn and kept a card, positioned to drop the horse, during the last several turns, and let another player end it, thinking they were 1 point a ahead!).

The horse tile is very powerful, yet it is only -2 points--that should be a clue that tne end-game points are going to be tightly packed, and they almost always are. Always between 1st and 2nd, and often all for players will be within a point or two of each other.

Nope, this game is tight, brilliant with its business layout mechanic, balanced in its sword values, art-card values (also a viable winning technique), and has many paths to victory. It is well worth adding to your collection!
2012-03-03
Owned
Lucjan Lucjan
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9
May 2013
16.12.2010 Bartek 22
2013-05-05
Amparo
Spain
Valencia
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9
Apr 2011
Nice and easy to play game, that it's diferent to the other Wallace games I've played. It also is very fast, one game lest less than an hour.
2011-04-18
Prev. Owned
Amparo
Spain
Valencia
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9
May 2011
Nice and easy to play game, that it's diferent to the other Wallace games I've played. It also is very fast, one game lest less than an hour.
2011-05-18
Owned
Joshua So
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
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Love dragons...all kind of dragons!
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9
Mar 2014
A cute and neat little game by Martin Wallace. The game is techfully designed, while the draw-cards provide a just-about-right balance of luck in an otherwise tightly paced worker-placement game.
2014-03-07
Owned
Ricardo Jorge Gomes
Portugal
Setubal
Grande Lisboa
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8.83
May 2013
Com um tabuleiro bem ilustrado, tiles facilmente perceptíveis, componentes de muita qualidade e mecânicas apreciáveis, este é um mimo de jogo, onde todos os detalhes foram pensados, a começar nos meeples, passando pelas pedras preciosas multicolores e a terminar nas pinturas de El Greco, referência cultural da Toledo de outrora. À táctica da colocação dos tiles e à estratégia da movimentação dos jogadores, Martin Wallace adicionou a lotaria dos duelos, a qual, sendo apenas minimamente controlável, confere um tom de desespero ao jogo, tornando-o muito engraçado, embora tão propício ao amor, como ao ódio!
2013-02-03
Owned
Tero Laihanen
Finland
Toijala
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8.5
Dec 2011
Even with two players this game is very good. Very easy to learn and play, but requires big amount of strategy and planning for victory.
2011-12-10
Owned
Tim Murphy
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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8.5
Mar 2014
We will be playing this a lot. It has a good time-to-reward ratio. Not super deep, but engaging enough.
2014-03-20
Owned
Todd Geller
United States
Agoura Hills
California
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8.22
Aug 2012
A light weight game that actually hits the spot. Kinda of a Santiago De Cuba and En Guard rolled into one. I liked it.
2012-08-15
Prev. Owned
Randy Miczek
United States
Saratoga Springs
New York
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8.2
Jan 2010*
really enjoyed this game. Different but light and pretty quick with two. Closest game it reminders me of is Emerald although they really are too close. Quite a bit of luck but good skill that may take sometime to understand.
2009-11-04
Owned
Rüdiger Dorn
Germany
Nürnberg
Unspecified
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8
Mar 2008*
after one play
update: after two plays (it´s too fast over - playing time of the first game 20 minutes, playing time of the second game 16 minutes) - but i like it ....
2008-03-09*
Owned
Steve Kearon
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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8
Aug 2008*
A quick, lighter Wallace game that rewards efficiency of cardplay.

The central action is to move your pawns using numbered cards, using the businesses where you stop or pause. Each turn you can use only one card value, but move as often as you want. The businesses let you gain a card, gain a painting (VP), gain fencing or movement skills, acquire steel or jewels or forge steel and jewels into swords (VP). Each business can accommodate only 1 or 2 customers, so sometimes you duel a resident to take their place, and sometimes its best to just move on and avoid the risk, since losing a duel sends you back to the start. Swords score most VP if they are delivered by a pawn to the castle at the end of the road. First player to get 3 pawns to the castle ends the game, but most VPs wins it.

Can be played in a "get ahead, then end it quick" fashion, but since other players get one more turn its possible they'll rein in your lead.
2008-05-09*
Owned
Skip Maloney
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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8
May 2008*
Certainly got to the game table quicker than other Martin Wallace offerings. Easy to teach; picked it up and was playing effectively first time. So far, only played twice as a two-player, which allows each player to place all of his/her businesses if (s)he so desires. A four-player game, at maximized play, would only allow each player to place half of the businesses, so I would guess, a tighter decision process regarding which half one wants to place. On the other hand, more people, looking to optimize their placement could end up creating more opportunities for everybody.

While the rules suggest movement "back to the Cathedral" (start space) as something you'd want to employ judiciously, we found ourselves using it freely; two or three (or more) times per game in each of the two games we played. Since you are only required to deliver three swords to the Emperor, this leaves two pieces on something of a 'free float' mode; capable of being sent back to the beginning to start working with the business placement you designed to earn you steel and gems.

All that said, a terrific game with enough mental challenge to engage the serious gamer, while offering light game play to those less inclined to serious thinking.

I wonder idly, whether there might be some 'givens' that would lend themselves to something of a 'solution.' For example, it seems pretty clear that since the movement token you can pick up at the Fencing Master business deducts two points from your score if you own it when the game ends, it would seem to be important to a) spend most of the game with the three you're allowed and b)place a Fencing Master business somewhere in the last row, so that you can get a fourth and return the movement token. It also seems pretty clear that you should have a 'sword maker' within a few movements of the "Alcazar' (or castle of the Emperor, where swords are delivered).

Shuffling the cards WELL is important. Because cards of a certain value are often played two or three at a time and when two players do this in repetition, one value can get stuck in a single position in the deck, it's important to get a good shuffle so that the overall card distribution (values 1 through 6, of which there are 16 each, if memory serves) is spread out. Nothing worse in this game than having eight 6's in your hand, or 2's, for that matter.

The game has earned its "8" as far as I'm concerned; something I'll always agree to play.
2008-05-13*
Owned
Mark Beyak
United States
Santa Rosa
California
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Combat Commander gets your blood flowing.
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8
Dec 2008*
Martin Wallace is a master game craftsman. This is a very engaging game that begs to played multiple times.
2008-06-11*
Owned
Want To Play
Steven Dennis
United States
Mandeville
Louisiana
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8
Oct 2008*
Very good and quick enough to play a couple of times in a night.
2008-06-11*
Prev. Owned
John Mellby
United States
Plano
Texas
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8
Jun 2008*
I love the artwork. The game is slightly too long for
its content, but still very nice.
2008-06-24*
Owned
david karasick
United States
Gladwyne
Pennsylvania
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8
Jun 2008*
Holy Toledo!.......Holy Cow!..........Holy Mackerel!
2008-06-27*
Owned
Jean-Francois Charette
Canada
Montreal
Québec
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8
Jul 2008*
A really good light game. Don't take the "heavy wallace's games" approach on this because you will have a negative impression.For the gameplay think more about "80 days around the world", a bit of "That's Life" and a very light hint of "Caylus" Very good quality components with those yumies thick tiles (made in germany !)
2008-07-11*
Larry Mendel
United States
westminster
California
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8
Feb 2012
This is a fun game. Not a rockus, belly laughter type of game, but a very light thinking game. Played it three times at my first sitting! Really enjoy it.
2012-02-08
Owned
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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8
Jun 2009*
After several playings I have decided that this is really a race game. There are multiple ways to score points and once you have the lead it is then in your best interest to finish the game while the others race to either score more points of use duels to keep the game alive.
2009-08-02
Owned
Christopher Seguin
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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8
May 2011
I am impressed with this game. I think visually it looks great, although the board can look "busy" at times. There is a deep sense of strategy as you balance out gathering resources, playing action cards, or drawing movement cards. The fact that you can get "paid" for someone else using your action card is a significant possitive.

Overall, a well done game.
2008-09-21*
Owned
Want To Play
Warren Thompson
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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8
Mar 2009*
I don't know about most people, but I love it when a game allows me to interact with other players rather than just with the game. Toledo takes full advantage of that thrill. This game is a lot of fun, there are many strategies for victory and the game is never the same twice because it hinges entirely on other people's decisions. While it makes the game a thrill to play, it takes control away from the individual and makes victory difficult sometimes. You can work your tail off, but there's always someone waiting to take the lead. This game is much more enjoyable if you don't take winning too seriously.

Also, the "art" element feels out of place and unnecessary. I think it was tacked on as an after thought.
2009-03-24
Owned
Andrew Rae
New Zealand
Wellington
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8
May 2009*
This game feels like Wallace, but it is a lot simplier than his prototypical design. The game play is relatively easy and once explained easy to pick up. I don't know this has the replayability of some of his others, but it is certainly quick and easily managed. It could go down well.
2009-05-30
"Kurosawa"
Belgium
Antwerp
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8
Oct 2009*
Surprisingly good game, underrated
2009-10-27
Owned
Andy Cassola
Italy
Piacenza
PC
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8
Feb 2010
Very good game. Nice flow, the theme is almosta pust-up but it is a fun game.
2010-02-01
Owned
john malafronte
Czech Republic
Prague 2
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8
Oct 2011
In USA
2015-01-29
Owned
Amber Vadalis
United States
West Palm Beach
Florida
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8
Feb 2010
This is a really beautiful game ... has an interesting element of strategy to it ... and I love shopping games ...
2010-02-28
Owned
Stefano Crespi
Italy
Bologna
Italy
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8
Mar 2010
Could remind Caylus, but it is funnier.
2010-03-05
Owned
sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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8
Jul 2012
This was a fairly enjoyable game with some mechanisms that were new to me.
2012-08-07
Owned
Dimitris Vasiadis
Greece
Vari
Attiki GREECE
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8
Sep 2012
The caylus-resembling mechanism with multiple pawns advancing through the buildings works well. The duels are simplistic. I wanted more imagination on the player choices, but I do enjoy the game.
2012-01-31
Roger Howell
United States
Lenexa
Kansas
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8
Mar 2015
Nail biting race to craft swords and get them to the castle. This is the most suspenseful race game I have ever played. After we played a few games and got better at our strategies, the games have been really close in scores. A hidden gem of a game. Plays excellent with 2 players.
2015-03-21
Owned
Richard Young
Canada
Victoria
BC
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Old Ways Are Best!
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Check Six!
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8
Jul 2011
A quick, colorful and interesting family oriented game from Martin Wallace. I think it has been under-rated here and believe there is more depth than it is given credit for. The fun factor is definitely there, it moves quickly, is easy to teach non-gamers and there are several approaches to effective play that are fun to explore. I expect my family will enjoy playing this game and so will I (and they may find themselves drawn into playing some of his other titles such as Age of Industry as a result).

My rating is based on its value as a gateway game as well as solid family fun.
2011-07-16
Owned
Jake Preston-Marshall
New Zealand
Twizel
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8
Jul 2011
After one play, very keen for more. Looks like it will be popular with my family, lots of things to try, easy rules to grasp - was surprised how evenly it worked out.
2011-07-22
Maija Hyötytyöläinen
Finland
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8
Dec 2011
Remember to fight; that is part of the fun in this game. Would play another game now when I got the "essence" of the game.
2011-12-11
Want To Play
Ben Vollmayr-Lee
United States
Lewisburg
Pennsylvania
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8
Sep 2012
This is an underappreciated game. It's simple and plays pretty quickly. It's all about timing. The point is to be able to end the game and be ahead at the same time. One or the other is relatively easy, but you have to get in a position to do both.
2013-05-16
Owned
Your Friendly Neighborhood Hairfarmer
United States
Edmonds
Washington
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He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
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The rain in Spain falls mainly on Edmonds
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8
Oct 2012
Simple to learn. A underrated game.
2012-10-15
Owned
David Sleaze
Germany
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8
Oct 2012
A very nice light Wallace! Like this one very much!
2012-10-28
Owned
Anna Creech
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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8
Aug 2013
Mostly an acquisition and luck with a bit of strategy game, but as we found out, the endgame can be lengthened considerably by preventing other players from finishing it until you have enough victory points to win, if you are appropriately positioned.
2013-08-06
Life is a lamp-flame before a wind.
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8
Oct 2013
A somewhat underrated game. Simple rules, but fairly thinky. Excellent game for introducing new people to the hobby.
2013-10-25
Jeffery Hunt
United States
Kentucky
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8
May 2015
really cool game. caylus meets ticket to ride lol
2015-05-03
Owned
Jonas Hoffmann
Germany
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7.8
Mar 2008*
Nice, fast game. The board looks like the board of Caylus but its totally different in the playingstyle, you dont need to buy buildings, setting them in is just a turn. The Buymechanism is more like Alhambra. The rules are short and easy to explain, so the first game can start quickly.
2008-03-01*
Dea Draper
United States
Boise
Idaho
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7.8
Jul 2008*
Quality game. Good board design, nice pieces, pleasing graphics. Rules well written, play straight forward and quick, with strategy & various ways to win.

A Martin Wallace, advanced family kid's game.
2011-03-06
Owned
Eric Lund
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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7.75
Jun 2012
A good game about making swords, presenting them to the palace, and using them on other swordsmasters who get in your way. Essentially this is a resource collection game on a track leading to the palace. You play cards to move along the track and land on certain buildings, which tell you what you can do there. Playing cards that match let you move again in the same turn. You have several workers to move along the track. You can build buildings on the track if there are any spaces left, so it's quite likely that this is all players will do on the first few turns. You can also acquire horses (which count against your score but give you more maneuverability) and swordfighting skills (which helps when someone is in your way). You can make standard swords or ornament these swords with jewels for even more points when presented to the palace.
2012-06-22
Joe J.
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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7.728
Jun 2008*
Rating after one play. Very interesting so far, and quite enjoyable. Starts a little slow but then speeds up considerably. Game seems to end abruptly, but that only adds to the tension and excitement of play. Excellent components and very aesthetically pleasing. I liked the first game despite coming in third. Will possibly re-rate after another game or two.
2008-06-28*
Owned
Matt Hiske
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
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7.7
Jan 2012
Swords & Duelling Oh Yeah!
2009-05-03
Owned
Piet Lavens
Belgium
Deerlijk
West-Vlaanderen
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7.6
Mar 2008*
Original mechanics. Will play it again.
2008-03-09*
Brian Moore
United Kingdom
Bolton
Lancashire
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7.5
Nov 2010
Another good Wallace game
2010-11-28
Owned
Javi Santos
Spain
sevilla
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7.5
Aug 2008*
Quite familiar Caylus stile game. Get components, make your best swords and be fast to present them. Quite nice and easy game, good for the family, nice presentation.
2008-08-14*

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