Excellent game that recreates a fascinating period in American history. The game is very well designed and every move has advantages and trade-offs. Z-Man has given the game top drawer production values as well. This game incorporates the historical feel and attention to theme of a wargame with the ease of play and tense decisions of a Euro.
Western US : An interesting map that plays well with six. Constraining early builds to track contiguous with one's own network is a big change and the continental linkage race adds some tension. Early money infusion is probably necessary because of the build costs in the Rockies and te building constraints.
Korea is an interesting map because of the major rule change which requires players to ship cubes to their destinations based on the goods currently in the target cities. A little more chaotic but still rewards both long term strategic planning and short term look ahead. Very good expansion.
I have only played the America map from this expansion. I enjoy how the free 6 locomotive makes the game somewhat less tense and allows for a bit more creative goods shipping in the early/middle rounds. A good expansion for those who are looking for something that has the classic Age of Steam feel while simplifying the number of decisions per turn somewhat.
A very tight map in terms of goods production and building is expensive as well (the engineer option eases this a bit for someone each round). When played with three the brutality was softened by the fact that there was some elbow room. When played with 6, it was full-on nasty -- half of the players finished in the negative. An interesting a fun map overall.
St.Lucia is an interesting little map that makes for a tight two player game. Rules could use a little more explanation, I needed a trip to BGG in order to decipher exactly how the mechanic of delivering the cubes worked.
Barbados is an interesting experience -- my first solo game of AoS. The game loses much of the tension of real AoS when I am not paranoid about others stealing "my" big deliveries out from under me. That said it is a cute little optimization puzzle. My score for my single play was $53.
I have played both sides of this expansion. The bonuses and penalties on the Brazil map make for interesting end game decisions on shipping goods. The wide open terrain and the cheap early round builds also complicate things. Nice solid map. The Chicago map has some interesting twists. The all important four hex Chicago space draws a lot of competition and the strikes that threaten to cut off shipping options keep you on your toes.
I have only played the Holland side with three players so far. The polders added some interesting decision-making and effected both early game strategy and tactics.Being in the right place once the polders became available was a key to success in our game at least.
This is the sort of meaty Eurogame that I prefer. The cards would seem to give this game a level of replayability that makes it even more impressive. Although I've only played a few times so far, I am very glad to say that this is one of those occasions where the hype seems well deserved. Played E and I, O and Z decks.
Excellent light civilization game that rewards several strategically diverse styles of play doesn't outlast its welcome. Warfare is difficult and costly but also has its rewards (temple destruction cards) and can be necessary at times to block a runaway leader. This game provides the tense decisions of a middle weight Euro and the negotation of a light wargame.
Although technically a trick-taking game, this is unlike almost all card games of its type because of the negotiation that goes on across the table. Further play has convinced me that this is an excellent game.
I'm a fan of area influence games and rank this game with Louis XIV and just below El Grande and Web of Power. It is sufficiently different from each of the games above to justify purchasing it (although I haven't). I have only played with three and suspect it would improve with more players (although it might also become a bit more chaotic).
Interesting two-player card game. It seems that the ability to look ahead and visualize long combinations is the key to success. I have enjoyed my preliminary explorations so far and expect my rating may rise with further play.
This may well be the best game of the Command and Colors system. The resource management aspect added by the war council and the Lore system is a welcome addition. I also appreciate the inclusion of battle back and moral boost rules from C&C Ancients. I happen to enjoy the (admittedly light) sense of historical recreation from the non-fantasy Command and Colors games and I also enjoy the rules for leaders and the additional units of C&C Ancients but on mechanics alone this game might really deserve the edge.
Scenarios Played: Crisis in Avignon, First Encounter (CtA), Burgos: Castille, Deeper in Castile, Free Companies on a War Footing
Interesting card game with very simple mechanics. In enjoy the base decks and the additional decks but have not yet explored deckbuilding. It is one of a very select group of games that my wife will play (although she does hate the geekish artwork). UPDATE -- my rating has increased with further play and additional decks.
An expansion that adds two significantly different mechanics to the game -- bluffing and ships. I am not sure that I love the new mechanics but they certainly add variety to the system. There are a few more rules specific to this deck so this is not an ideal introductory deck.
Interesting deck that encourages one to make extensive use of paired boosters and retrievable character cards. This deck has been particularly effective in games that I've played against my wife; I have no idea why others seem to think it is weak.
This is another unique deck that encourages a different style of play. The cards must be used in gangs to maximize their relatively low earth/fire numbers as individuals. There are a number of cards that can be used to increase one's chances of getting the right cards in combination. I find this a very interesting deck to play.
Interesting deck that encourages the efficient play of boosters. I like the caterpillar/butterfly theme to this deck's artwork. As a classicist, I have to say that I find the mock Latin names to be awful.
This deck is very high in earth power and relatively weak in fire. As such, it's bascially the inverse of the Vulca deck. I like the 3 Storm support cards which are dangerous if one can get them out in combination. Often the threat of having one on the table can lead an opponent to try to end the battle prematurely.
Another excellent Martin Wallace game. This may be the high point of the meaty Euro genre in terms of density of decisions and plenitude of options per turn. Very satisfying but it can be frustrating when one has a hand of nearly useless cards (admittedly this may occur because of a lack of strategic forethought). This game plays very differently as the skill of the players increases.
The best traditional card game I've ever played. The more I learn, the more interested I become. Along with chess and go, one of the few games that I take the time to study. The only problem with bridge is the demands that it places on knowing the basic rudiments of bidding. It is therefore difficult to play with people who are not already experienced players themselves.
Absolutely brilliant multiplayer wargame that (lightly) simulates the settlement of Britain from the invasion of the Romans to the Normans. An absolute blast to play that infuses a huge amount of theme into a game that does not feel complex at all.
Excellent meaty Euro that develops the "Agricola" system in a new direction. Obviously this has some of the feel of Agricola but the exploration and cave development (building rooms) factors give the game a very different feel.
I can certainly understand why this game received so much attention after its release. It is a very well designed "gamer's" Eurogame. There seems to be an enormous amount going on and it's very difficult to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the different options effectively. The playing time is a bit longer than most Euros and it is certainly a brain burner but this game has enough meat on its bones to make it all worthwhile.
Best Children's game that I have ever encountered. My older daughter loves it. This game has been played in my house more than any other. The version we have is French and called Pique Plume. UPDATE: It's been several years since I returned from a trip to Paris with this game and it's still a family favorite. I've now become concerned about keeping all the pieces in order as I would like her to be able to share this game with her children some day as she has enjoyed so much. My son who was just born when I bought this now plays with me.
I love Web of Power and enjoy UberPlay's rethemed version. I miss the end of the first round house scoring in this version (in fact I may add it on my own) but I like the fortresses. Very tense and elegant game that plays quickly and always seems to produce close endings.
I really enjoy this game as it has enough to interest a gamer while remaining approachable for families and non-gamers. The balancing of the relative value of corruption and victory points is the highlight. I like the placement of mosaics, the closed fist offerings for sacrifice and the way in which the market piles are half-visible and half-concealed. Very clever and beautifully designed game.
I generally like the rules alterations in this version - the overstacking penalty seems to make more sense and adds a tense choice, the automatic kill possibility lends tension to large fire attacks and I love the recon order. The breaking of weapons mechanic here seems odd honestly.
This is a tough one to rate. I enjoy Command and Colors Ancients quite a bit and have found the scenarios here to be just as enjoyable as the original game which I rate a 9. I feel that this expansion, however, ultimately doesn't bring a lot that's new to the table and so it is somewhat disappointing. By a strict BGG rating scale, based solely on my desire to play this, it should probably rate a 9 like the original but I would caution those looking for significantly new mechanics that this expansion doesn't really deliver on that front.
I have thus far only used the mounted board and red Roman units (Marian infantry) and not played any of the included scenarios. My rating reflects my rating for the series as a whole but my impression of the scenarios here is good from having read through the additional rules in the booklet.
Another excellent WWII tactical game that manages to hit the sweet spot for me between historical depth and modest rules complexity. A very playable, engaging game. I look forward to seeing what more is done with this system.
Scenarios Played: #1 Partisans, #2 The Gap,#3 General Petrov,#4 The Bunker, # 5 Monsters #6 Breakthrough to the Mzensk Pocket
Excellent, although somewhat long and AP prone, meaty gamers game. I like the interaction between trying to get majorities in an area with individual species and also trying to achieve dominance with the element markers.
Interesting expansion that doesn't get much love on this site. I have enjoyed playing with it. I play with Alchemy cards mixed directly into the randomizers -- I might try to mix a few into the deck per game in order to make buying potions more tempting.
I like this new card very much. The addition of one of the "non-selected" cards makes for a whole series of interesting choices. This card has been attractive to players drafting for their decks in my limited experience with it.
An interesting expansion that brings ruin and collapse to the world of Dominion. Difficult times call for difficult measures and I like the interaction of the various cards of this set. The more ruins you have, the more you need to rely of scavengers and the other roles that are uniquely suited to that environment.
Still exploring all the cards but I am impressed with what I've seen so far. Pirate ship makes for a very interesting game and I like the Island card a lot as well. The duration cards add an interesting layer of complexity to the game.
My initial impressions here are very strong. The pieces are well designed and rendered, the rules are well thought-out and (thankfully!)straightforward, and the game offers many opportunities for clever tactical play (I suspect the warband building aspects offer room for strategic variety as well but I cannot confirm that yet). The theme was not a selling point for me but the game itself is first rate. Oddly enough, beneath the well painted, hyperthematic minis and the plethora of dice rolling there is an elegant abstract game here. The combination of elements makes the game more than the sum of its parts. Unfortunately, it's collectible but one can obtain enough pieces to satisfy all but those interested in competitive play outside their circle of friends rather cheaply.
This is the space exploration game I hoped Twilight Imperium and Space Empires 4x would be. It is epic enough for me in length and complexity while still being possible to get to the table for me. It is very Euroish in mechanics but the system seems to encourage a fair amount of dice rolling combat (especially in the late game).
Interesting deck building wargame. This is the first game I have seen that takes the basic deck building mechanic and does something radically different than Dominion. The addition of the board and the way in which siege combat is handled is quite groundbreaking. Ultimately, it could probably offer some more wargame flavor (perhaps greater differentiation of units -- maybe with actual unit designations) to put it over the top and make it a favorite game but it does what it was intended to do quite well and pushes a popular genre in an innovative direction.
Brilliant game of building a spaceship that will hopefully withstand the dangers of space under time pressure. I love the time element of the ship construction process and the different strategies possible. The random destructive elements add fun.
Although I've only played a few times, I feel this is a game that I will enjoy for a long time. The relatively elegant rules (for a war game), the different stratgies needed to play each side, and the relatively quick play time (again for a war game) have convinced me that this is a quality game.
Very cool Euro that offers a number of strategic and tactical dilemmas throughout the game. Route building, area control, managing individual powers on the player board, trying to block others (and anticipate placements that benefit oneself) all make the game complex despite its simple ruleset.
Nice easily portable abstract game of piece placement and movement. Very tactical game that requires a significant amount of "look ahead" to play well. Its small ruleset and quick play time make this an ideal game to play with a variety of people.
Very good block game in the tradition of Hammer of the Scots. The naval movement/attacks seem a bit fiddle to me after one play -- I don't quite understand why sea attacks cannot be supplemented by simultaneous land attacks (without resorting to the excuse that it would make the game too easy for the Brits if that rule weren't in effect). After one play, I'd say it's not quite up to the level of Hammer because it's less richly themed but it plays easily and quickly and gives a nice strategic-level overview of the American Revolution. It also suffers somewhat in my opinion by being the second best simple strategic-level ARW game since We the People is a bit better.
Interesting pick up and deliver game that has much of the feel of crayon rail games. Like those games it also has downtime problems with large numbers of players. I like the asteroid exploration and the way in which penalty spaces and "pilot number" spaces affect your movement. I have not played with the combat version.
I have been a fan of Avalon Hill's Atlantic Storm for a few years now and I'm very happy to own a similar game without having to pay exorbitant prices on Ebay. I enjoy the trick taking game with some light historical flavor. I like the table talk that being able to play on either side of a trick can produce. The modifications made to this from Atlantic Storm are interesting; I particularly like the "Fog" card but I'm not a fan of the "Renewed Battle" card.
Tense game in which one must budget actions very carefully and skillfully use table position to maximize one's benefit during the auction phase. Player interaction is very understated but plays an important role.
This is a very well-designed game -- relatively simple to teach but strategically and tactically rich. Playing this well over a decade since it was designed, I am reminded of just how good a game it really is.
In some ways this is the ideal example of what an expansion should be. It's cheap and adds some variety to the gameplay of the original without changing the game so radically that it really becomes another game entirely.
Fabulous Knizia auction game. The fairly complex scoring combinations make calculating one's bid very difficult. The tension of using or holding onto your high value sun when the Ra tiles start accumulating is excellent.
This is a very clever card game that I will need to explore further. The interactions of the cards are complex and seem like they will provide variety to the gameplay over many sessions. The selection and enactment of different turn phases is well handled.
New board offers tighter options for five or fewer players of RRT. The bonus cards are different as well. The map thankfully spares us the constant decision regarding the Northeast US corridor -- i.e. whether to try to muscle in there where the points are or be content to develop elsewhere while others face off in that region.
Having played Age of Steam, it's difficult for me to judge this game without reference to its predecessor. I feel that RRT is a very fun game that is nearly as good as Age of Steam itself. The secret objective cards and the operations cards both add a significant bit of chaos but also give the players other goals to consider when building. I find they add somewhat to the game. I also like the more lenient monetary system (no bankruptcies), the increased emphasis on theme and the superior components (despite the warped boards). I find the inability to ship a good along someone else's track for the first leg of its journey flattens the tactical choices a bit and I also prefer the role selection mechanism of the original.
Very interesting area control game in the spirit of El Grande. I enjoy the mechanic by which a player divides a lot of cards and offers it to an opponent. I also like the idea of mixing the beneficial cards with the detrimental cards. I am usually not overly sensitive to randomness in games but I felt that the die roll for the banishments made those cards so hard to evaluate that it might have been better to put the banishment cards at fixed amounts (say remove 2 or 3 of your opponents' pieces).
Excellent train game that packs a lot of interesting decisions into a relatively short play time. I think this is the perfect step up for those who've enjoyed Ticket to Ride and might want to explore a slightly more involved train game.
The definitive word game. Best played with a chess clock to keep things lively. I run a yearly scrabble tournament for scrabble in LATIN at the high school where I teach. It consistently draws over 70 participants. I thus supervise almost a hundred games a year despite the fact that I actually play very few games myself.
Very interesting, highly thematic sleuthing game. Playing this has some of the feel of participating in an RPG but the race aspect gives it some more focus and tension. I love the setting and the period details. A welcome antidote to a recent slew of relatively themeless, charmless but mechanically sound Euros. Some clue points can sound bizarre if you arrived by an unexpected route but that is a small flaw in a very interesting and unique game.
Excellent Asian chess game that deserves its classic status. My experience is very limited and I'm not completely familiar with the Japanese characters on the pieces yet, but I have the sense that this will become a favorite if I can manage to explore it further. The promotion of pieces and the drop mechanism make Shogi differ from traditional Western chess in a more dramatic way than Xianqi does.
I am a fan of Wallenstein and was happy to hear that it would be back in print in a rethemed version (although I did have a slight preference for the Thirty Years War period). I enjoy the special cards of this game and the bidding for their powers and turn order. I love the programmed actions, the cube tower combat resolution and the relatively short playing time for a multiplayer light wargame of this sort.
My first play of this game revealed it to be an excellent and unique "meaty Euro" game. I absolutely love the way the art was incorporated into the gameplay despite the fact that the functionality suffers somewhat (with slightly unclear divisions in terms of board regions and cards with somewhat unclear graphic representations of their use). It is a bit on the long side but each turn feels quick and their is little downtime. The rulebook could be better written but the complaints on this site exaggerate the problems somewhat.
I played the standard (not basic) version of this game once. It offers some interesting differences from Age of Steam. I like the streamlined track costs in Steam compared to AOS. I find the handling of shares/income to be a bit gamey (sometimes encouraging one to jockey for position relative to the 10 income cap with oddly sized deliveries). I enjoy how the track doesn't bump down those in the higher income categories -- something I've always hated in AOS. The goods reseeding method is more under the control of the players and an improvement in my opinion. This feels more like AOS than Railroad Tycoon.
This is a great example of a game that lives up to its hype for me. Meaty, meaty Euro that is neither completely opaque nor obvious even from the first play. Has a playing time appropriate for its depth and feels tense throughout. Will have to see how different races influence play and balance. Races = Giants, Dwarves
Very good deck building card game HEAVILY influenced by the mechanics of Dominion. I enjoy the light dungeon delving theme (although it is primarily a mathy optimization game at its core). Plays a bit longer than Dominion and seems to require some more setup -- I'm not sure if that will hold it back in the long run.
Once again the new cards add interestng new options without being overwhelming. I like the dungeon board -- it makes the game easier to explain to new players. I also prefer the thunderstone tokens for XP points.
This is an excellent partnership card game in the ladder style. I am only exploring the shallows of its depths (and, sadly, will likely remain there forever) but I get the sense that I could play this regularly if I had three willing partners.
I absolutely loved this clever and unique Euro-wargame hybrid. I think it of it as "El Grande with the opportunity for combat." Further play may cause me to revise my rating from its lofty heights but this game has really impressed me so far. This is fun to play through the Spiel by Web interface when one is unable to find over-the-table opponents.
This interesting asymmetrical wargame has great historical feel with a very streamlined ruleset. I don't mind the influence of leader death (although I certainly asknowledge that a few unlucky dice rolls can swing the outcome of the game).
This game preserves all of the fun and quick playtime of We the People while updating the system somewhat in light of recent developments in the CDG genre. I was very happy to preorder this as I love We the People but I began to get nervous when I read there would be extensive updates to the original game. I recently got the opportunity to play at WBC and I can say that my fears were unwarranted -- the game retains its original appeal and the developments seem to improve the original in all respects (though I still miss the battle cards a bit). I have now played the official version and can confirm that I still feel the same way and am pleased with the components as well.
Very well designed card-driven wargame. This game should probably get an extra ratings boost for being the origin of the CDG genre but my rating simply reflects my own (very high) desire to play it again. The asymmetrical forces, the use of battle cards and the all-important struggle for political control make this game quite unique from other wargames I've played (except, obviously, for Hannibal which was derived from it).
This is an excellent area-influence game that plays a bit lighter and a lot quicker than El Grande and Louis XIV. It provides as much tension and as many interesting decisions in 30 minutes as many games do in two hours.
This was the first Card Driven wargame that I had played and I enjoyed it so much that it has led me to explore the genre further. I am not very knowledgeable about the French and Indian War, but the level of detail suggests a good deal of historical accuracy in the game's presentation. I found the rules to be substantial (perhaps becuase I'm used to euro games) but not overwhelming. All in all, a worthwhile game that has improved with further play.