I enjoy playing this with my grade school age children. It is a nice, light, rummy-style game which offers some meaningful decision making and also manages to introduce the players to basic African geography. Components are quite nice for the price.
Very good, streamlined, simple 18xx with a reasonable playing time. The civil war is a very minor speed bump (which seems a little weak) and the map doesn't seem to resemble Tennessee (it's nearly square) but it is a solid game.
Very good implementation of the Twilight Struggle system to a related (but greatly condensed) period of conflict. The "We the People" like battle card play for the Power Struggles made things interesting. I also like the idea of scoring the same countries multiple times and rewarding the communist player for holding out against the tide for as long as possible.
Very cool card drafting Euro that allows for a variety of strategies in building up an empire. Decisions are neither obvious nor overly opaque and the game packs a lot of room for strategic manuever in a short time..
I have only recently had the opportunity to play this game for the first time. It must have been outstanding in its day and it still provides an excellent gaming experience. In my one game, I've already had the experience of being shut out of the benefits of the early mergers by a poor tile draw. I don't consider the level of randomness a major problem, however, as I think the game has enough meat on its bones generally to balance the luck factor with opportunities for clever play.
Interesting combination of Settlers-like colonization with an order selection mechanic from Puerto Rico etc. The game is tense, offers interesting decisions each turn and comes quickly to its conclusion.
Very fun, light, and quick Indiana Jones style adventure game. I enjoy the tension of fleeing the boulders and the press your luck elements involved in deciding to hold onto treasures or jettison them in the attempt to escape. Replay value is a bit limited.
A very good Euro game. The ability to structure your efforts towards a variety of different long term strategies (which seem to be equally potent), recalls Puerto Rico. The placement of tokens mechanic (similar to Caylus, Pillars and Leonardo) also encourages clever tactical play. All in all a well balanced, fun, meaty Euro game with an appropriate length.
I have played both sides of this map. The 1830's Pennsylvania map seems well designed. The coal bonuses are very tempting but it's tough to lay track over the mountains. The cities in the East make the track laid in that region very tight.
The Northern California map has several twists including a mega city in San Jose, the bridge from Oakland to Sanfrancisco and changing demand from Sacramento based on shipping into the coastal port. A map with some added spice but not radically different from standard AOS.
This refers to the South America map only: One of the tamer Age of Steam expansion maps that I've played on. The major innovation here is the handling of the hub city Buenos Aires. It is the only blue city on the board (and there can be no urbanized blue city either). It also receives an extra cube each turn. The catch is that any delivery involving it requires a payment be made to "El Presidente" who is either the bank or an opponent (who selects it as his role for the turn). The geography keeps things interesting with the Andes on the West Coast and the broad plains to the center and east.
Portugal only: Interesting map -- I spent much of the game in the North with one opponent so the special cube generation at Lisboa was not a big part of my experience. A lot of mountains and the board was very crowded by the end of our 4 player game. Not much in terms of new rules here but a decent map.
Should be a tight, tough map but my one three player game had room or everyone to turn a profit relatively early and no shares were taken after round four or five. Would like to play a more tense gem of this with more players
Very interesting expansion that offers three very different new games (assuming you have access to an extra copy of the board). The rules disallowing parallel routes and using others' track to move goods make the goods moving phase more easily to predict and significantly reduce the cutthroat nature of the game. The requirement of interstate delivery (if you don't choose the "Smuggle" option) makes for an interesting dynamic in the Central New England version. So far, I have only played Central New England (both maps at once with special rules).
I have only played the Washington D.C. expansion. Washington D.C. is one of those Age of Steam expansions that makes some rather radical changes to the game -- including a "ring-road" highway system that allows for virtual transfer of goods between routes and some unusual build costs. I played this with four players and found it to be a fun, tense map.
Played the Pittsburgh map only. This was a very tight map for three players with straight track build costs. This essentially forces the construction of odd loopy segments that crowd opponents out of key squares or force them to use complex track. The goods come out in bunches because there is not a light/dark side on the track. Weird but interesting three player map.
The Moon adds several new twists to the gameplay of Age of Steam. The Light Side / Dark Side flipping, building track off the edges to access the "spherical" surface, and using gravitational pull to commandeer a section of others' tracks all add up to a fresh new take on the game. While not a map that I would play to the exclusion of others, it is a nice variant to have in the mix.
Excellent two player game that offers some of the feel of Agricola at a fraction of the time and complexity. A well-done "small" version of Agricola that shrinks the complexity and playing time while retaining much of the tension and tough choices of the parent game (albeit in a far less rich format).
Although this game has something that I usually consider a fatal flaw -- namely, a high degree of randomness in a relatively long game -- I enjoyed it. The "fare wars" mechanic is very fun and allows for some wrenching decisions that force you to balance risk and reward with a strategic assessment of the overall game position.
Very well designed game which offers a large number of meaningful decisions without being too overwhelming to play with the family. It appeals to those who enjoy strategy (in terms of when to select buildings or draw cards) and those who enjoy puzzles (in terms of how to place the walled tiles of one's Alhambra).
Well designed dice game that integrates elements of To Court the King and Kingsburg in a satisfying resource acquisition and building game. I may prefer the two player game to the full compliment of players as the colony placements of others can lead to odd kingmaking situations. Luck plays a role but alien technology cards can mitigate that somewhat. There is a choice of options each turn even with poor rolls and I enjoy the tradeoffs that those choices force you to make.
Very good train/stock game. Determing a company's value is an art and this game basically measures how efficiently you can master that art. The balance between developing companies and controlling the auctions is interesting.
Very interesting Euro which integrates the cube tower in determining the options are available each turn. The various phases of the game interact in clever ways. I am a fan of Feld's "point salad" games and I think this one is among his best.
Very good game that incorporates a unique bidding system with some civilization building mechanics to ensure that the players will have difficult decisions about how to maximize their victory points. I enjoy how the game changes between the old and new kingdoms. Great game on SBW that's even better face to face.
Very nice Euro game that integrates a number of mechanics nicely into a system that allows you to pursue a number of different yet viable strategies for victory. Nearly every action phases is tense with the struggle to maximize your resources, infrastructure and/or points.
I enjoy the original Antike so it is no surprise that I also enjoy the two player version (only played online so far). The event cards are a slight negative in my opinion but their effects are mild enough.
Probably the weakest member of the Harvest Trilogy but that's still impressive company to be a part of. Very multiplayer solitaire with only a few helper cards that encourage any sort of interaction. Probably best with two.
Very elegant two player area control game. I enjoy the difficult choices that one must make when allocating cards to the different cartouches. I also like the multiple victory conditions. Better short two-player game than anything in the Kosmos line that I have tried.
Very good economic game that involves managing money, inventory, r and d etc. I have the sense that my group plays too conservative;y as most cars sell with each turn (having played with both 3 and 5 players). I wish I knew how to how to maximize my profits in this game but I seem to be missing some strategic piece.
I am enjoying the specific battle series of A&A games very much. This game has quite a different feel from the A&A Bulge game. There is plenty of opportunity for clever manuever and dramatic swings of fortune. I happen to like the random casualty system provided by the much maligned Battle Box. The fact that units which attack in more than one sphere (land, sea, air) can make multiple attacks per turn seems a little odd but I suppose the units that are capable are also of higher cost. Airfields and carriers really play an important role in this game. Very nice job in creating a simple wargame that is not in any way simplistic!
I enjoy the level of complexity in this game. It hits the sweet spot for me in terms of offering some nice thematic touches to enhance the experience of recreating history while avoiding tons of exceptions and special cases. My biggest problem with the game is the initiative roles for combat as they seem overpowerful and a bad run on those particular rolls will sink your chances of winning (of course rolling poorly in any A&A game is not going to be good but the entire game seems to me to rest on only 7 combat initiative rolls (no role for round 1). My first play saw the battle come down to a struggle for Bastogne and exhibited a bulged front line that rather nicely approximated the historical front.
Fun,light wargame focusing on the invasion of Normandy. My one play of the standard (non-advanced) rules showed the game to have a remarkably easy flow to it. Very much the sort of game to introduce people to wargaming a specific battle with its programmed turn structure and relative simple ruleset.
Well designed cooperative game with a traitor element. The theme is well integrated into the design in terms of the general structure of the game and the smaller details. The game can be a bit long though.
Adds three interesting elements to the base game -- Pegasus, Cylon leaders and New Caprica. I like Pegasus and the Cylon leaders quite a bit; the humans have not yet lasted long enough for me to explore New Caprica yet. I also like the new character choices. Solid expansion.
Very cool dexterity game. The wild pieces force the players to imagine comstructing their towers in very interesting ways. There's nothing better than finding the perfect use for a wonky piece late in the game. Some of the rule sets seem prone to gamey strategies that reduce the fun.
Fun, relatively light, Horror-themed dungeon crawl. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed this game. I can see how there could be significant game balance issues and replay might become a problem after frequent play but I appreciated the level of immersion into the theme that the game achieves with a relatively small ruleset. After several plays, I can say that all of the complaints about balanced gameplay and how one spends the first half of the game doing little but exploring rooms waiting for something to happen are true. Nevertheless I still enjoy the game very much and feel that it provides for a unique and interesting experience nonetheless.
Interesting game of drafting and then auctioning cards. It plays quickly, has some random elements and still allows for some strategic depth. I like how you seed the auction deck in part one of the game.
Interesting game of placement -- reminds me vaguely of Acquire and Chinatown in the numbered region placement mechanic but the building requirements and bonuses make the game interesting and the parks, factories and streetcars add tension.
Blokus is an interesting and successful example of a rare class of games that I enjoy -- the multi-player abstract. I have played both against people and the computer AI. My rating has improved after about 10 plays.
This is a very interesting game with an interesting and unique mechanic that drives the construction of buildings for rewards of various types. Choosing which building to make your offering is often difficult as it often forces you to weigh the benefits of several competing possibilities. Other tough decisions include whether to use a card for offerings or for its power, whether to discard at the end of a turn and whether to run to the obelisk to make an offering or continue making offerings at builings and gathering more crystals.
Cute trading game with an interesting fixed hand order arrangement that makes it sometimes necessary to offer trades just to clear one's own hand of useless cards. The theme is a little bizarre and I think the game would be easier to introduce to nongamers if the "humorous" artwork were abandoned but it still works very well for what it is. Runs a bit long for what it is if people keeping insisting on hyper-optimizing their trades every turn.
Excellent game -- VERY unique wargame that is elegant in both appearance and play. Decisions are tense and the fog of war effect works better even than in the Columbia Games I've played. I've only played as the Austrians so far but I enjoy the asymmetrical forces with different victory conditions. My only (slight) gripe is that the game lacks a certain intangible "fun" factor that is probably a result of the diceless combat.
Very cool, fairly meaty Euro with a lot of moving interlocking parts. There seem to be a variety of different viable paths to victory. Dice keep the game tactical but there is some real scope for long range strategizing as well.
Very nice trick-taking game with a unique mechanism that lends some risk to playing lower trump cards. You can hurt yourself by being overly bold and you can be hurt by being stuck with unfortunate cards at the end of the hand. I love how the plot of the short story guides the principal mechanism of the game. This would probably be a game that I would enjoy more with repeated play among the same group of players.
Very interesting simulation of a fairly large scale American Revolutionary War battle. The conventional wisdom suggests that this game offers more scope for creative manuevering than the other titles in the series. Having only played Guilford and Eutaw Springs before this, I cannot really confirm or deny this but I would tend to believe that it's true as my first play saw fronts opening and closing all over the large map. In enjoy this series although I do find that the tactics chits can slow down the gameplay somewhat.
I enjoy Crayon Rail games. I found this map to be interesting as one has to decide exactly where one will branch off from the main North - South axis. Obviously, there is not enough time and money to branch off to every corner of the map.
Well done Euro that has a lot of meat on its bones for a short play time and an uncomplicated rule set. I like the opportunity for replayability that the rules for setting aside cards offers. The dice are used in an interesting way and give each turn a healthy dose of tactical choices while still allowing scope for long range planning.
The different loot cards (cash, diamonds, paintings) and their shifting values add portent tactical decisions and make the game a bit better than the first edition. Went over well with a mostly non gaming crew of Werewolf fans.
Lighter, quicker than it's older brother 1960 while still managing to offer a good deal of the tense decisions of its sibling. Some of the cards seem like they are fairly generic in effect and I worry that the decks might get a little "samey" in feel over repeated play.
This is a very clever game that, like many of Feld's offerings, allows players to score points in a variety of ways. Choosing the best option available is often not at all obvious and it is necessary to keep track of one's opponents as well.
Very interesting and enjoyable 2 player game. In fact this game is so rich that it would be easily be among my favorite two-player Euros if it were not for the long playtime. Perhaps if further plays reduce the playtime (maybe in combination with the 10 victory point variant), this game will receive the 9 or higher that it seems to deserve.
Although I think that the 5-6 player expansion changes the game a bit by allowing players to build on other peoples' turns, the flavor of the original is retained. The extra tiles integrate neatly into the set-up and alleviate the cramped space nicely.
Cool multiplayer light wargame with a robust Euro feel. The four sides seem relatively well balanced and have significant differences in the way they must be played. The dark theme is a negative for me but the gameplay is engaging and fun.
Very well designed building game. Although I've played many building games, the mechanics here feel unique. The graphic design could use some improvement -- the tiles seem to have been drawn with more concern for their beauty than their functional purpose. The game is a little fiddly and late rounds can bog down in mathematical calculations.
Interesting variation on the Command and Colors system that gives more of a traditional wargame feel. My original fear that this might be too close to the C&C games to be worth owning was off base. This is another light battle game but the rules differences are sufficient to justify owning it as well.
Scenarios Played: Fort Duquesne, Bunker Hill, Lake George
I have always had a soft spot for Clue among traditional American mass market boardgames. This version improves upon the original in several respects. It eliminates the roll and move tedium, it is playable with 2 players and the search/make a suggestion mechanic adds a new degree of decision making.
Gut-wrenching game that forces one to make decisions about which monster to place bets on. The basic choice is should one try to keep up with the other players making a lot of early bets or save tokens to place in the more reliable later rounds. Manipulating the monster powers lends the game some tactical depth. I prefer to use the original rules for the endgame as the game loses its tension if more than three monsters are standing when the deck runs out.
Some have complained that about this game simply recycles mechanisms from other Euros. There is some truth to the complaint but it does not inhibit my enjoyment of the game at all. The game has set collection, auctions, and resource management aspects that will seem very familiar. It also includes a roll and move element that's not typical of most Euros. The mixture works well for me however and seems to offer tension and opportunity for clever play. The game is over produced and I like the colorful components.
The complexity level is fairly modest but there is still a good amount of historical feel. The game is certainly infused with randomness of many different types but that seems appropriate to the nature of WWII squad level combat. There always seem to be interesting and significant decisions to make and I'm sure experienced players will generally defeat lucky amateurs over the long run despite the incredible swings of fortune. Scenarios Played: 1 Fat Lipki, 2 Hedgerows and Handgrenades 3 Bonfire of the NKVD, 4 Closed for Renovation 5 Cold Front, 6 Paralyzed from the West Down,7 Bessarabian Nights,8 Breakout Dance,10 Commando School, 13 Tussle at Maleme, 14 At the Crossroads, 30 Red Skies at Night, 102 Night Shift, CC: P Grassy Knoll
I give this game the same rating as the base game because the BGG rating is a measure of how much I would like to play it and my desire to play is equally as high as the original. For those looking to buy this game, you should consider how often you're likely to play it. If you play infrequently and are not a completist, CC:E has enough scenarios and variety on its own for quite a lot of play. If you need more scenarios and really want to explore British, Italian and French troops in new scenarios and on new maps, this is for you.
Another excellent installment in the Command and Colors series. This one takes a bit of getting used to -- especially in terms of remembering the differences among nations. Melee is not as prominent asin Ancients.
Interesting CCG with some unique combat mechanics. The premise of dueling Conans is sort of odd thematically but it works fine in practice. Having only scratched the surface of this game, I am a bit concerned about game length and smoothness of flow, but that might well improve with further play and familiarity with the rules. The game is a bit too long for my tastes multiplayer.
I have only played the Conquest of the Empire II game of the Eagle Games edition (although I own and have played the MB original edition of game I). I found it to be a very nice game completely independent of the original -- an interesting graft of Euro mechanics onto a large scale multiplayer wargame.
Interesting economic game that encourages players to balance three different ways to earn revenue -- production, purchase of raw goods and shipping/auction. The ability to set one's prices makes the markets particularly interesting. I like how the elimination of all containers of your most numerous color influences people's bidding during the auction in difficult-to-predict ways.
Yet another deck builder that takes a proven formula and adds enough tweaks to make it a compelling game. I like how the drafting does not leave ou with particularly large decks and that the cards therefore cycle frequently.. Balancing energy and actions seems vital as does finding those winning combinations.
Very engaging Eurogame that integrates older mechanics into a design that feels fresh. Nice middle-heavy Euro but that puts it into a category crowded with favorites for me and it is not at the top of that list.
Fantasy themed cooperative game which seems to offer a nice balance between the forces of good and evil and maintains tension in every turn. The difficulties of minion/corruption management, hand management and management of the movement of the bosses of each color gives the game the feeling of attending to several spinning plates at once.
This is a very good game of territorial control. There are lots of options to weigh before making decisions. It is possible to win by incrementally building resources or by a sudden move that radically transforms the board
Interesting new set of cards -- similiar to the council house but it costs less and has the penalty of allowing another player to force you to discard the best card of the bunch that you flip. This was not selected much in my limited experience with it on the table.
Another quality expansion to a franchise that is becoming a bit unwieldy for those like me who like to play with all the options. The coin tokens offer a different take on the typical Dominion gameplay.
An unusually combative Eurogame! The river flowing mechanism is fun and playing dams to divert the flow adds greatly to this game. Managing the placement of campesinos makes for tough tactical choices on one's turn. There is some truth to the criticism that you can basically leave the room after your turn in a four player game as the board will be so different by the time your turn comes again that it's not worth thinking about your position in advance.
Interesting negotiation game with a fairly unique scoring system that makes calculating the value of the individual bits of treasure difficult and fun. The sand timer adds quite a bit of tension to the negotiations. The magic cards make the game chaotic and keep it light in spirit. I fell victim to the "Invisible Hand" card that encourages a player to steal tokens from the dragon cards.
Very nice Rummy style card game. The key decision point comes in determining when to lay down sets of cards as one must weigh the desire to get cards out quickly with the benefits of buidling up a large set. A very good game for non-gamers.
Unique air combat game in which each side has a different mission goal. I have enjoyed the game from the German side and liked trying to guess the flight path of the bomber squadron. Perhaps it would be less interesting as the British.
Not the kind of game I would like to play everyday but a fun, unique experience. It might be a little long for a game that involves so much randomness and the experience of failing a die roll in a labyrinth only to be catapulted to the ass-end of nowhere is a bit frustrating. That said I love the richness of having all sorts of crazy options available.
Dungeon Lords is a very interesting Euro game combining resource management and worker placement with the goal of preparing to defend your Dungeon in a series of very unusual programmed combat phases. It is a game ultimately like no other. The theme and graphics do not seem to fit well with the actual gameplay and the rules are not exactly what you would call elegant but I enjoyed my first play quite a bit nonetheless.
Dvonn presents interesting problems related to the trade-offs between maintaining the movability of one's stacks and their size. I still have difficulty in visualizing tactics until relatively late in the game.
Clever Eurogame. Nothing particularly groundbreaking here but the various mechanisms interact well and present the players with meaningful decisions each turn. I have only played on Yucata and would like to try this face to face.
Nice, highly abstract 3 player Euro game. This is one of the more conflict driven Euros but it offers compensation for combat losses and offers multiple paths to victory (two of which require no combat). It is a unique game in my collection as it is intended for 3 players which can be a tricky number.
Like all of the crayon rails this can be time consuming with additional players but it is a varied and interesting map with he benefit of having familiar city names. Not a game I'd play often but crayon rails are generally fun.
Unique puzzle style game in which people work independently for the most part to maximize the efficiency of their factory layouts. This multiplayer solitaire activity is briefly punctuated by 30 seconds of furious activity as people grab machine tiles from the group of four available. All in all a decent puzzle game that I enjoy but it's not a game with much player interaction.
Very cool solo wargaming experience. The engine allows for interesting situations to develop and gives the game system a sort of AI that seems to respond to your moves logically. Winning is tough; maximizing one's score beyond that is no doubt even more challenging.
Scenarios played: Ghost Division 1940 -- loss; North Africa 1941 -- loss
Very good worker placement resource management game. It is very reminiscent of Agricola with far less tension regarding feeding and preventing negative points. I found myself wondering if I needed to own another "Harvest" style worker placement Euro but it is quite well done as usual.
This is a very tough game to rate because it is a kind of interesting level up/pick up and deliver/press your luck kind of game on its own but it is just improved so much if you enjoy the license. I am a Browncoat so I enjoy the immersive theme. If I did not, I would probably play something else given the length and relative randomness of this game (it is not a completely random game by any means and experienced players will have a huge edge but the best plans can be undone by randomness and the game is best played for the experience in my opinion). This game does what I want it to do very well -- it creates a rich immersive game with a very limited amount of source material. It is also a solid gamer's game but it would not be an exceptional one (or perhaps even an average one) if not for the theme. Scenarios played: First Time in the Captain's Chair, King of All Londinium
Interesting train game with the unique mechanic of having to decide when to sell track to rid yourself of expenses. Reminds me a little of deciding when you sent your civilization into decline in Vinci.
This game really hits the sweet spot for me as I love the tactical fun of chess and I also love the deckbuilding aspects of Dominion. Of nearly 1000 games rated, chess and Dominion are both in my top 20. This game can be a little long compared to some of my other chess variant favorites (e.g. Navia Dratp). I also find that playing with multiple sovereign units can give the game a grinding feel since one has to eliminate these units one by one -- often sacrificing offensive power to do so.
Interesting expansion of the card driven system into the ACW era. I absolutely love the basic engine of the game here but I feel that much of the additional chrome detracts from my enjoyment. River movement/control and the leadership hierarchy in an army/corps are two particularly bloated areas that should be trimmed.
Fortress America was an interesting game back when it was first released. More balanced in my opinion than Axis and Allies but somewhat less enjoyable gameplay. This game is better multiplayer than two player as the gameplay can bog down if the invader player is beset by AP.
Somewhat abstract area control game that has a lot of nice historical details added in the flavor text. I tend not to notice the details during the gameplay however and the lack of thematic engagement (despite the thematic detail) keeps this game a step below 1960 and Twilight Struggle for me.
Cool middle weight Euro that has an interesting series of build up and execute action structure. Perhaps the game would have more tension for me if the three rounds ramped up the intensity somewhat in ways beyond simply the race for a limited supply of trade commodities.
I have played this both solitaire and as a true coop and I enjoy the optimization puzzle it presents. The historical flavor lends the game much of its appeal for me as well. I like the blending of historical subjects into Euro mechanics that has characterized a number of recent games from Twilight Struggle, 1960, Campaign Manager, Founding Fathers, and some of the recent Academy Games releases.
Solid, well-designed Eurogame with some tense decisions and competition for limited resources. Nothin particularly new here but it is all well integrated and executed with an appealing theme and an attractive design.
This is another fine hybrid Euro-War game that blends aspects of each genre nicely. There is a surprising amount of historical detail presented in a game that also boasts the elegant mechanics of a typical Euro. The playing time is likewise a compromise. Unfortunately this will not hit the table as often as it should for me.
This game includes all of the tension of NY Chase and Scotland Yard with a much more engaging theme and adds an interesting combat element. I have enjoyed my two plays following the trail of Dracula but unfortunately found that there was a bit much downtime in my single play as the villain.
I know that this is the sort of expansion that adds a fifth player and several elements that may or may not be used in a given game. We played with the extra ship tiles and blue aliens but not the fifth player and the harder event deck. I have not played the base game enough to need to explore the expansion material but it seemed well done.
Tense and fun light wargame which uses simulataneous action chit placement to give it something of the feel of Diplomacy. The bidding for influence charts shows a debt to Eurogames as well as the game's most obvious strain of forebears. I also happen to be a fan of the books so the theme works very well for me. Very nice incorporation of theme and mechanics into an excellent game. It does seem a bit hard for those who start poorly to recover, however.
I think this is a very strong expansion for the base game. I've only used the port rules so far and the six player map/pieces. I have found the rules to be an excellent solution to the naval problems of the original and I enjoyed my single experienc with a conflict-filled 6 player game. I am excited about the new house cards, fortifications and siege engines. The one time orders look intriguing but I am afraid they will lead to more AP. I am not interested in either of the two printed variant rule sets.
I have long enjoyed the first edition of this game and you can read my comments on that edition for my explanation why. This version adds some interesting elements from expansions and some new twists. The ports are a necessary addition - in fact the original version is almost unplayable without ports in my opinion (though one can use port rules without actually having port pieces). The siege engines are a good addition as well because they make the game less static with their outsized offensive benefit and defense liabilities. I am neutral on the starred consolidate power token's muster feature. The wilding cards seem to add an interesting element. I prefer the old house cards as they make battles less unpredictably swingy (although that could be a benefit if you really know the decks or like a little more chaos). I have played this version with 5 and find the original board far more balanced for that number of players.
Nice entry into the field of modular board tactical sort of games with a dungeon crawl feel like Doom, Descent, Space Hulk. I like the way cover is integrated into the game and the cardplay offers interesting decisions.
Interesting negotiation game that has a unique feel. It's difficult to gauge the relative values of different actions, and it's generally a tense struggle to actualize the plan once you've decided upon a specific course of action that seems tactically beneficial. Like many games with so much player interaction, it can run a bit long.
The turn order mechanism and special condition for each railroad for this game are what set it apart from other games of its type. A rather wild ride of a game with sweeping changes of leader throughout. The endgame seems a little dissatisfying and I would prefer if there were multiple possible ways to trigger the endgame.
Highly abstracted Euro-style version of the battle of Gettysburg. Limited resources force tough decisions but there are other games that do the same almost as elegantly with a little more historical detail. I like the command system but I also liked the similar command structure of Gettysburg: Badges of Heroes. I found the damage tracking mechanisms a little tedious -- kind of a clunky stain on an otherwise tidy game.
This game adds a command dimension to the typical Columbia block game system that I have come to know through Hammer of the Scots and Liberty. Since read Killer Angles and visiting the battlefield, Gettysburg is a subject that I enjoy exploring. Melee attacks without outflanking the opponent or softening them up with fire attacks can easily backfire. The command mechanics add an interesting element to the game on one level but they also contribute to the fact that this game just feels much less elegant than the other block games I've played.
A much improved product over the first expansion set as this actually includes two different potentials and offers more rings for Zertz. I have only played using the Zertz and Dvonn potentials in Ultimate Gipf and they are my favorites of the five potentials. They actually improved the game of Gipf as they made it significantly less dry without adding unnecessary complexity.
Interesting use of production wheel in this innovative Euro. The player interactions during the specialist card play phase is unique and intriguing. My first play used the recommended beginner buildings and the options seemed less than exciting -- I will update my thoughts on the building interactions with further play.
Interesting Euro that uses an interesting tile taking mechanism. Forces players to build synergistic groups of tiles and provides tense decisions about when it's wise to leap ahead and grab a valuable tile at the expense of turn order.
Very good building card game in which each card has multiple uses. As with other games of its type, it is all about forming the most effective combinations of cards to fuel a VP generating engine. I like the unpredictability of the endgame.
This game presents the player with many routes to success. Luck plays a minor but potentially decisive role (especially if one is counting on a decent pull of colonists in order to found a colony). This seems to be quite deep and worthy of more exploration, although it might be a bit too long.
Interesting splotter game which once again forces players to establish and run interesting logistical networks to accomplish their goals. I like the short playing time and the variety of powers of the gods and helpers. Have only played with two -- would like to try with more.
The fact that this game includes two completely different battles (both of which have shorter "tournament scenarios") makes this a hit for me. The mechanics are relatively streamlined while still allowing for some degree of immersion into the conditions of 18th century warfare. I also appreciate the ability to learn a rules system which is applicable to other titles in Mark Miklos' ARW series.
Typical Euro complete with largely irrelevant theme laying over a interesting abstract game engine that forces players to optimize their three actions per turn while purchasing and laying tiles of various sorts on the board. Although one gets the sense that you've played this game before somewhere, it still manages to be tense and fun.
Interesting game in the Tichu family. The presence of three wild cards which can form a bomb each round allows for a great deal of creative play. Ultimately not as satisfying as Tichu but sometimes only 2 or 3 people are available to play.
Interesting CDG on an American war about which I know very little. I like the fact that how many movement points you have left before entering a battle can influence your readiness for the fight. I like the level of chrome here -- not too dry/abstract and not too complex from a rules standpoint.
Light, fun, dice-rolling game with very nice miniatures. There are usually some interesting tactical decisions to be made (especially at the beginning of the game when one has a lot of units) and drafting one's army offers some room for strategic analysis of how to diversify one's forces and adapt a group for a certain scenario.
Very fun quick abstract with cute penguin pieces. Shrinking board reminds me of Zertz while the all important race to preserve one's rapidly decreasing mobility reminds me of Dvonn. An interesting multiplayer abstract that teaches quickly, plays quickly and packs a hefty dose of strategy into a simple package.
I really enjoyed this quick bidding/resource managment game. The "no change" and "least money loses" rules make for very interesting decisions about bidding strategies. In my opinion, it is best played lightly (i.e. without specifically keeping a firm mental count of other people's finances but rather an estimation) as the end game becomes much more tense. I haven't played it enough to say but I fear that amongst serious players it might degenerate into an excerise in card counting.
Brilliant asymmetrical abstract game. I have played this in the "Tablut" version on boardspace.net and have also tried it live I enjoy the breakout vs. enclosure dynamic and (unlike some abstracts) the goals seem to me to be evident though hard to achieve. I am not sure which ruleset yields the best gameplay though.
A very nice Euro which combines an auction mechanic with an engine building framework to produce a solid balanced game with scope for strategic and tactical variety. It doesn't feel terribly new but it is done quite well for what it is. I am not a fan of games that encourage taking debt and bailing oneself out in the endgame (cough Le Havre cough). I prefer the Age of Steam model where one can take debt but it will hang around your neck for the whole game and likely affect your final score. I realize that it is a part of the game that must be taken into account but I still prefer games that punish taking debt and encourage tight play.
Another very interesting Euro game with a strong element of conflict. Combat is reminiscent of Advanced Civilization in that military aggression hurts both the attacker and defender. Although the game is primarily about economic growth and investment, the threat of combat looms over everything and makes for some tense gameplay. I love how all of your careful planning can be undone by having a rival take control of a country in which you had held the majority.
Very good Euro that manages to feel different than other games of its type. It is possible to fall behind in some respects and realize that your position is hopeless but that problem is inherent in many games and it may seem less evident in future games after I have had more exposure to the flow of the game and the importance of managing the cards.
Very interesting economic development game. The integration between the operating rounds, merger phase and research&development choices each player makes is very well handled and gives the game a rare depth. Enjoyable, satisfying engine building game that does not outstay its 4 hour playtime. Components could be designed more functionally given the amount of fiddling that needs to be done over the course of the game.
The complex relationships between the technologies, the production buildings and the resources make this game fairly heavy as each decision during the auctions and building phases must be carefully planned. It works well with 3 and 4.
I have been a longtime fan of abstract games (in fact they led me to the Euro games that I now play a bit more often). This is an above average 2 player abstract that is absolutely the BEST multiplayer abstract game I have ever played. As an avid (although poor) Bridge player, I especially enjoy the partnership version. My children (7 and 8 years old) also enjoy this game quite a bit and often make strong plays to optimize their points (although they haven't yet figured out the joys of blocking their opponents).
A more rulesy descendant of Britannia. It seems to take a bit longer and has a little more annoying chrome but our first play seems to show a balanced game that builds nicely on its predecessor and transports the action to Italy with appropriate thematic changes.
Clever multiplayer war game that solves the turtling issue by giving a strong incentive to starting combat but still has some of the king making problems that most games of this genre are plagued by. The different tech trees offer some ability to vary one's strategy but ultimately the game seems to devolve into having enough movement to get a good strike force into position to attack any enemies who can be reached during your turn.
Keythedral is a particulary outstanding Euro game. The method of gathering resources from fields by placing cottages on the intersections feels very much like Settlers. The auction for turn order and the use of the cottage/house numbers are an ingenious way of forcing people to plan their strategies carefully and weigh their decisions. The law cards, trading posts and the victory point tiles are all ingeniously and elegantly designed. The game is also beautifully produced with great variety in the artwork on the individual pieces. Although the individual mechanics of this game are not completely original, the game as a whole is unique and well-crafted.
Interesting game on a conflict that I had never heard about before learning of the controversy surrounding the publication of this game. I enjoy the simplicity of the mechanics and the relatively short playing time. The frustrations involved in trying to mount a successful military campaign under the limitations of the time period were well depicted.
Cool engine building optimization game. I like the different powers on the dice chart and the ramp-up of the building powers. I also think the military phase adds some tension. I don't love the way the king's favors track works.
This is an intriguing political/military game in the vein of Twilight struggle. My limited experience suggests it might not be quite as rich as its illustrious forebear but that's no shame. It has some unique mechanics of its own and it models its own conflict with a nice balance of detail and abstraction.
This is the classic example of an expansion which adds more but changes little. There are extra characters, locations, scenarios, zombies etc. and a few tweaked rules but there is little here that's going to change the game experience. This would make sense as a purchase for those who've played the hell out of the original and are looking for "more of the same" for variety. .
Very fun and highly thematic zombie game. The choices each turn can be tense. The scenarios add some variety to the gameplay, and the semi-cooperative play style seems to fit the survival horror genre. The rules are light enough not to get in the way of the frantic, escape from the zombies storyline. Scenarios Played : Save the Townsfolk, Escape in the Truck x2, Plague Carriers (GH exp.), Defend the Manor House, Burn Them Out, Die Zombies Die.
Very good game with a lot of interesting elements to manage simultaneously. I enjoy the tension of placing workers and the race to gain resources and research time to complete the inventions before others.
Very cool deduction game on the order of Scotland Yard/New York Chase with the added aspect of the home location for Jack and the alleyway movement (I have not used the variant rules yet). I love deduction games so this is a hit for me. The game is very atmospheric overall but I wish the streets were labeled.
Very few games manage to do so much with so little. Perudo is a fun game that can be very casually among non-gamers but offers enough interesting psychology and odds calculation to be played among serious opponents as well. I also like games in which the winner is the sole survivor.
Interesting are control game with a number of interesting points to consider. The battles vs. elections provide interesting stratgic decisions and, of course, the need to balance scoring VPs with watching out for alternative winning conditions gives the game some added excitement. I also like the theme.
This is a very fun negotiation game. It is quite simple in terms of mechanics which really puts the table talk into the foreground. It's a bit more streamlined than Mall of Horror (and lacks the theme of that game which is a plus for me). It seems to loose a little tension in the endgame which keeps it from becoming a "must buy" for me.
This game was a pleasant surprise. The use of mulitple figures to represent a combat unit and the and dice rolls for combat remind me of the Command and Colors system. The movement rules are more abstract but lend the game much of its tactical interest. I enjoy the differences between the unit types. For a mass market game, this is quite good.
Well implemented Euro card game. The various elements -- buying neighborhoods, building/running your network and managing your poverty level are well integrated throughout. There seem to be some strategic as well as tactical concerns in choosing how to develop one's tableau best.
Very different, cooperative game. Despite the evocative artwork and apparent attention to theme, the game can feel abstract in execution -- I seldom imagine myself as a hobbit using precious resources to avoid corruption but often find myself calculating the benefits of discarding a certain number of cards to forestall an event tile.
Interesting Stratego variant which plays very quickly. I'm not as big a fan of this as some others and I wouldn't rank it among my preferred Knizia games but it's an elegantly designed two-player game with nicely asymmetrical sides that forces both sides to make tough decisions throughout the game.
REVISION: After playing on ACTS, I bumped up my rating a bit.
Fun and interesting variant to the "Acquire-style" games of attempting to join blocks on a grid to make larger, more powerful structures. Among the most clever addtions here is a money gathering system that recalls Settlers in providing you with cash during a random phase of other people's turns that can be planned for (by considering what cards have been used already) but never fully anticipated. The gambling mechanism is a clever way to try to maximize one's turn options when your cash on hand is tantalizingly close to what you needed. A solid entry into a somewhat crowded field.
This is a relatively light card game that requires a bit of decision making and a bit of luck in order to win. I have introduced it successfully to nongaming friends at work over lunch and everyone seems to enjoy it(although some of them prefer Battle Line). UPDATE: The cards are wearing out from overuse -- a sign of an excellent game. I also now see the game as deeper than I had first supposed.
Very nicely designed exploration game. I prefer this to Goldland. The means of exploration itself seems to flow more naturally. The limitations on movement and action make the game tense. The river and mountain nugget tiles give a limited amount of information and prevent outright counting of the scores. Interesting use of diamond shaped tiles.
Fun game for a large group. I have introduced this game to my high school classes with all the instructions and narrative (after I've taught the rules) given in Latin. I have played online here several times -- a very different game than it is face to face but a lot of fun nonetheless.
Very strong Euro game. The windrose mechanism is absolutely unique and drives the game's strategic choices in a very interesting way. Die rolls and card draws add just enough luck to prevent the game from becoming too heavy. There seem to be several good overall strategic options to pursue.
This is a very interesting and engaging game in which one tries to build up influence through a series of elections. It is also quite long, complicated rules-wise and more than a bit too fiddly for its own good. It also seems to have a large amount of chaos for such a long, calculation-heavy game. Ultimately, however, the game's charm outweighs its flaws for me.
This is perhaps the best game in the "level up your hero and bash monsters" pseduo-RPG genre that I have played. That said, it is not a genre that I particularly favor. I like how the mana system works and feel that the wounds blend nicely with the deckbuilding elements. A very good game, indeed an outstanding game of its type, that stands on the shoulders of games that have come before.
I came to this brillant card game very late. I was in a non-gaming phase of my life when this was extremely popular and though I knew of the game at that time, I had never played it. Recently, having enjoyed Blue Moon, I've been getting into some dead CCGs and decided that I should try the game that all else in the genre is measured against. Having dipped my toes into the ocean, I can already sense that I could get into this in a big way if I had regular opponents etc. and my rating would almost certainly rise if I explored the game more fully. Kudos to Garfield on such a groundbreaking design.
The simultaneous secret action choice is the heart of this game. It gives it a great deal of flavor but also makes it quite chaotic. I enjoy the interactions of the special bonuses of the roles and the decisions about where to invest your resources when considering the upcoming areas to be scored.
This is an interesting game that combines area influence with voting and negotiation. Having played it with both a 3 player group and a 6 player group on several occasions, I can now say that it plays MUCH better with a larger crowd. The artwork and theme are not to my taste but it is one of the better horror themed games out there in my opinion.
I enjoy this unique game which effectively spices up a relatively simple press-your-luck gambling mechanic with an auction and other elements to form a whole that seems greater than the sum of its parts. The components (particularly the wooden boats) are very well done. I especially like how the harbor master can control the starting positions of the boats each round.
Interesting war-themed abstract game. I enjoy the quick play and straightforward rules. My initial plays suggest that the differences between the various nationality decks are fairly subtle but I'm sure they add to the replay value of the game.
I am a fan of the older Marvel comic characters from my youth so this one is a nice fit for me in terms of the theme. It seems a bit fiddly in some respects. The game is all about the effective management of your planning phases and your mission actions. It has the feel of a Euro game in that you're always trying to optimize your limited resources based on your place in the turn order and the anticipated actions of your opponents. The combat mechanism is decent and provides a little bit of fun randomness into a game that is well designed but, perhaps, feels a bit too much like a logisitical puzzle than a superheroic adventure.
Very elegant auction game. This takes a very short time to teach but offers a satifying array of gut-wrenching decisions. The more I play this, the more I enjoy it -- this is an absolutely first rate auction game.
Fun light wargame. I actually prefer 1 on 1 play to the multiplayer Overlord scenario as the game's greatest fault (as with Battle Cry) lies in the relative paucity of meaningful decisions. The Overlord scenario rules cut the limited available options down even further.Scenarios Played: Pegasus Bridge, St. Mere Eglise, Juno Beach, Sword Beach, St. Vith, Mount Mouchet,Saverne Gap, Arracourt, Twin Cities, Gold Beach,Pointe du Hoc, Operation Cobra, Arnhem Bridge,Liberation of Paris, Omaha Beach (Overlord), Battle of Gazala - Knightsbridge(Terrain Pack), Kursk - Ponyri (Eastern Front), Guam - Invasion(Pacific), Guam - Counterattack (Pacific), Iwo Jima - Meatgrinder (Pacific), Peleliu Landings (Pacific Overlord),
This is an excellent expansion to the base game that allows one to play Eastern Front battles using Russian troops. The new rules for minefields, blitz wars and the special rules for Russian command programming add some additional depth to the system.
This is the best of the expansions so far in my opinion. I like how the Japanese rules make the gameplay more filled with decisions. Do you attack the one figure unit that you hope to kill or do you try to crack the four unit infantry and limit its close assault bonus? I like the night rules as well.
I have only played the classic game so far. I prefer the graphic design of the older version and wish the chits were less busy with information for the new version. That said, my copy of this edition cost significantly less than a copy of the out of print Avalon Hill game.
I enjoyed my first play of this dutch auction game. The interrelationships of the various objectives are sufficiently opaque so as to make the bidding far from obvious but there always seems to be some goal to pursue each round. I like the unique auction clock.
Very fun (if somewhat one dimensional) light track placement game. I always only seem to see the placements that hurt others rather than the ones that help me. I am optimistic that this will be a success with nongamers.
I have only played Njet and Mu so far but like the rules to the other games as well. Njet was a fun, unusual trick taking game that seems like it would improve with regular play. Mu is an excellent game that I also hope to explore more face to face -- my only problem with Mu is the endgame difficulty that resorts from having to choose partners based on relative scores rather than cards shown during the auction.
Interesting, light area control game with some interesting room for tactical decision making. The powers of the various buildings interact nicely and the game makes each turn dynamic as there are always trade-offs to every decision and one needs to keep on the move as the board situation changes each turn.
Interesting deduction game with a bit of strategy to determining the most evidence without revealing too much to your opponents. I like the interplay of the various rooms for revealing information and the different ways in which the time cards must be determined.
I have always been a fan of deduction games and even rate the venerable classic Clue quite highly compared to most on this site. People have complained that the card passing creates too much chaos and kills the deductive element in the game. I would probably prefer a less chaotic game, but I also enjoy the game as is. After one play, I found that there were some (admittedly rare) opportunities to ask questions which did not reveal information to other players and still were of benefit to the asker. I also enjoyed the mechanism by which one can make revelations and accusations before one is certain of the facts based on probability alone. The side mechanisms (crypt, scriptorium and bibliotheca cards, penance, returning to mass every round) added some tacitical decisions and enriched the theme. As usual, DOW does an excellent job with the presentation.
This is an excellent game that I enjoy playing with non-gamers. It offers the comfort factor of traditional rummy with enough added elements to make it interesting. As a bonus, I have to say they've been surprisingly successful in integrating the theme into the gameplay. Even the flavor text has been interesting enough to urge me to pick up a book on the old Jack the Ripper mystery.
This is an absolutely excellent deduction game with more tension than most games I've played. The game is equally tense and fun when playing as the fugitive or as a detective. Mister X does have a particularly difficult time escaping but I don't mind the imbalance as I often play with my kids as the detectives; the disadvantage for the fugitive means that they can beat me even if I'm trying my hardest to escape.
An interesting reworking of the Bonaparte at Marengo system into a larger battle. The corps command structure is well handled. The map and pieces are among the best I've ever seen in a wargame. Further play (without botching rules) will be necessary before I can give a truly well-reasoned rating. I must admit that I enjoy the tension of the hidden units but miss that element of chance that dice provide in most wargames.
Unique light wargame with a great deal of tactical interest. Clever manipulation of the initiative, placement and facing of units must be combined with timing the battles to optimize one's play. Tile draw and placement reminded me vaguely of Knizia's Samurai but the conflict is obviously much more overt.
Very satisfying middle-weight Euro game. I enjoy the card drafting and like the ways in which the various game mechanisms intertwine to produce interesting decisions. Maximizing payouts, keeping resouces available and avoiding rat problems all need to be done yet corners must be cut each round.
Relatively simple tile laying game which offers some interesting twists on fairly familiar mechanics. The decision of which stack of cards to pick is the heart of the game but the strategic placement of the pieces also offers some opportunities for clever play. Plays best with 5.
Decent game in which one tries to develop combinations of technologies that enable the player to accomplish the most goals in the least amount of time. There are interesting decisions each turn and the game is engaging throughout its modest length.
Track laying connection game in which one must balance the three methods of scoring: attempting to control the track segements used by the passenger, surrounding territory and linking to valuable spaces. Relatively light but calculation can get fairly intense and it's very easy to be frozen out of your brilliantly planned move in a larger game.
Another strong meaty Euro game from Uwe Rosenberg. I enjoy not having the pressure of feeding because it allows for a more free-form approach to the purchasing of buildings that form useful combinations with one another. There seem to be many ways to direct one's efforts and earn VPs. I have used a fairly balanced strategy so far, gaining Vps from high point buildings, setlements and resources/wonders but could see focusing more on one or two elements in the future.
Interesting, quick-playing game in which players must build palaces. The quest to construct in sequential levels for maximum efficiency reminds me of Lost Cities while the auctions remind me of several of the designer's other games. Despite some people's legitimate complaints about originality, I found the game light, quick, tense and, most importantly, fun.
Very fun cooperative game with interesting mechanisms for progressing the spread of the disease around the world. The players get to experience quite a bit of delicious gaming tension as there always seem to be too many critical situations to handle at any given time. This one could fade with repeated play but I found the game challenging and engaging throughout.
Interesting placement game which plays very quickly and builds towards a tense and satisfying conclusion as the number of houses on the board makes the endgame significantly more interesting (and important for scoring) than the early turns. Often one is faced with difficult decisions about whether to make the more advantageous long term placement or the short term scoring bonus. I enjoy the fact that the game is set in Paris, a favorite city of mine, despite the basically abstract, themeless nature of the game.
Another entry in a line of recent civilization-lite sort of games. The most interesting wrinkle in this one is the mechanic of patching in various tiles to your network. The tiles incorporate standard resource development buildings, heroes and monuments. The auctions of the pieces to patch in is conducted in an interesting way as well. Not on the level of a Nations or Through the Ages for me but a nice diverting civ game nonetheless.
I have only played the introductory and limited war scenarios so far, so I am not really in a position to give a final judgement on the game. I enjoy the ramp up from mobilization through Limited War into total war. I like the combat system. My major misgivings are some of the chrome rules regarding the Near East map, the entry/exit of US and Russia, and the exceptional rules that differentiate the individual powers and certain specific units. For a strategic overview of the conflict on this level, I would prefer that there were fewer exceptions to the rules (at the price of some of the WWI flavor). A second play has raised my rating somewhat as the basic mechanics give the game a nice flow despite the exceptions.
Very good light wargame / area influence game. There are really two games in one here with the struggle to control city states as it opens with an area control contest while the second half that consists of light wargame that allows players to use the military forces of their cities against one another. There are some confusing aspects to the rules that are not terribly well handled in the instruction booklet but everything becomes fairly clear after the first round.
This was a surprisingly fun game for me. It offers a great deal of meaningful decisions in every stage of the game. There are random elements to add spice but various ways to mitigate their effects or compensate in other areas that you can control. It also plays very well with three which can be a difficult number.
Interesting economic development game. The interplay between gaining cash and developing one's infrastructure makes for a dynamic game experience. Some roles seem significantly more powerful than others but I suppose the bidding system should make the price fit the role among experienced players.
Vice nice game that forces players to make a number of significant decisions. It can be a bit unforgiving, however, and one can back oneself into a corner by bad play which can make for a rather underwhelming endgame.
I like Powergrid quite a bit and I find that the alternate boards add some replayability to the system. I appreciate how a few small rules changes can encourage one to explore different strategies without losing the feel of the original game. Benelux was interesting with its fast paced replacement of power plants.
I primarily enjoy the different Power Grid maps for the same reason I like the different Age of Steam maps - the alternate rules keep the game fresh after many plays. I have played the China side of this expansion and felt that the "planned economy" of the power plant market was an interesting and kind of cool change.
Interesting game of economic development with a limited pool of resources. 5 rounds does not offer a lot of time to get an efficient engine up and running but it certainly makes for some tense decisions.
An expansion in the style of Age of Steam additional maps. I don't play Power Grid as frequently as AoS so I have less need of additional maps with extra rules but I appreciate the variety and the subtle changes. I have only played the France portion -- I enjoyed the differences that the additional uranium and the large capital city added.
Quebec is a very tight map and the clusters around Montreal and Quebec City make building choices interesting. The ecological plants rules seemed to provide an interesting, though fairly minor, effect as well.
This is a well-designed game that integrates war nicely into a game of political influence. I like the frequent auctions and how they constantly force you to weigh the relative values of various items up for bid. The playing time (approximately three hours) is just long enough to ensure that this won't be a game I play terribly often.
Interesting abstract connection game. I enjoy it a bit more than other connection games as I think the ability to move one's pieces and immobilize those of your opponent gives the game a unique tactical flair.
Another interesting game that builds off of the premise of Dominion and creates a subtlely different experience. The dice add an additional degree of randomness to the equation but the game is light and quick enough that it hardly detracts from the fun.
Very interesting game with an odd theme. The devaluation mechanic is interesting and the interaction of the various special cards makes the game tense. Trying to decide what gems to sell is agonizing in the way that the the critical moments in the best Euros generally are.
Early play with this expansion has seen very little in terms of actual use of the takeover powers. The cards needed have come slowly enough that it has not played a major strategic role for us so far. A little interaction between players is not a bad thing though so hopefully we'll see some more takeovers in the future.
Nice expansion map for the Railroad Tycoon series. The mountainous terrain makes some longer routes very challenging but there are also some noteworthy rewards for those who choose to make the investment. I did not use the special rules regarding fuel depots in my game.
This game offers exactly the sort of gaming experience that I enjoy most -- tense decisions that must be made about a situation over which you have less than perfect information. Very much a gamer's game -- a relatively heavy Euro. Works well on SBW and face-to-face.
Very good block wargame with much of the feel of Hammer of the Scots. The game is very tense as the struggle for political control shifts between the placement of key pieces and the inevitable manuevers of nobles and levied troops into battle.
Very good cooperative game of surviving against a series of challenges emerging from the card deck. My first game suffered from never really feeling tense. Adventure cards give the game good atmosphere and flavor.
Very fun highly abstract two player game. the decision between whether to draw a card or play a stone gives the game a lot of spice. The four power cards also give one a very powerful limited resource over whose use you have to agonize.
This is an excellent game of resource management. The decisions can be agonizing and wrong choices are very costly. I feel that the power of the aristocrat deck unbalances the game slightly and tends to flatten the strategies in play among experienced players.
Excellent card game that simulates its parent game well for situations when playing a full game of Puerto Rico is not possible. In some ways it's more elegant than Puerto Rico but probably lacks the strategic and tactical depth. It's also a nice change of pace for those who've explored the board game quite a bit with significant differences in gameplay and strategy.
Very enjoyable Knizia card game that reminds me of a cross between Blue Moon and Battle Line. Fortunately I love both of those games so I am also a fan of this as well. I do find the endgame in which a player in the lead on the board loses by running out of cards in his draw deck a bit unsatisfying.
Very cool block wargame that breaks the conventions of its genre with an intriguing diceless combat system and some unique movement rules. Not as dry as the Simmons diceless block games because of the random elements provided by the hands of cards. A possible knock against this is that hand management is quite important to one's success which can make this feel less like a traditional wargame. This is not a problem for me though.
Well done Civ building game. Integrates military, technology and production concerns nicely but not as well as Through the Ages (I feel). The exploration of the board is fun for the first few turns then it seemed to become a matter of setting up for combat or defense.
Excellent deduction game. As many have said, it plays like an advanced form of Clue. It really does involve quite a bit of notetaking. I am accustomed to taking a lot of time to sort things out when trying to figure out this type of logic puzzle so it is difficult for me to keep track of everyone's questions and answers while also trying to analyze the potential benefits of their responses.
I liked a good deal about this game. The complexity level was perfect for what it was trying to achieve -- a nice balance between playability and chrome. The game is fiddly though -- I would prefer my fog of war games to use blocks rather than chits as it is easy to lose track of them and I did find keeping track of the various generations of tech on different ships a bit tedious. The exploration, colonization etc. was fun though the end game seemed to be entering a grind phase when I conceded victory to my opponent. I had the feeling that I could have held out for quite a while longer and would like to have seen alternate victory conditions that could have ended the game before that point.
Very nice tactical game with asymetrical sides. I especially enjoy the quick playing time but I'm not too sold on the overproduced components. I would probably prefer chits and a price tag of 1/3 the amount.
Spades is an above average trick-taking card game that can be played as a foursome. It offers a good alternative to bridge because it can be taught and played (fairly competently)in one night because of the simplified bidding system.
Solid Euro in which one must manipulate bidding ladders in order to get the most valuable resources as cheaply as possible. The values of various options (firemen, contracts, ships, special buildings) are fluid and shift during the game depending on the circumstances.
Very good light wargame which integrates the five separate battles from the end of the Phantom Menace quite nicely. Proof that a lot of thematically engaging chrome need not require an impossibly dense ruleset. Don't let the fact that the movie itself was disappointing dissuade you from trying this game. Incorporates tough decisions about how best to allocate resources (inspired by the emerging success of Eurogames at the time it was made) with classic Ameritrash attention to theme. A host of different plastic miniatures fighting it out over a battleboard and three dimensional recreation of the Naboo adds to the appeal.
Well-designed space retheme of Catan with a number of new interesting elements. I like the overproduced pieces and the whole concept of adding to the starship -- it gives Catan a kind of light tech development aspect that works well. The encounters can be a bit tedious and frequent though.
Odd but interesting take on the train game genre by Knizia. The rules are fairly straightforward but strategy in the early part of the game was difficult to determine on our first play. Things began to click as the game progressed, however, and I suspect the game itself is not quite as opaque as it originally seemed.
Excellent worker placement game. Lots of tension each turn -- I enjoy the way in which the dice add an element of randomness (though there are ways to combat the randomness by adding extra meeples, using tools etc.) Although this genre of games is becoming rather crowded, this particular game feels lighter, less structured and somewhat more fun than some of its close relatives.
I have played this game using both the classic Stratego rules and the "special powers" rules. I've always enjoyed the original more than most on this site and the extra powers add a nice twist to the base game. I gave it a slight ratings boost over the original as it includes the extra powers while also offering the gameplay of the original and the theme appeals to my daughters.