A card game where you have to create a chain of seven elements that are determined by your secret goal card. I think I prefer the basic variant that excludes the actions cards as trading and shuffling goals can make the game random (or as a customized compromise, removing just the Trade Goals and Shuffle Goals cards). Fantastic artwork.
Excellent expansion that features a novel double tile. The castles function as twelve point cloisters but encourage other players to help surround them by providing a bonus of three points when finishing roads and cities on the castle tile. An adjacency rules prohibits castles being placed orthogonal or diagonal to each other so prevents cluster chaining that can happen with normal cloisters. Also helps to break up large farmlands.
Surprisingly engaging blend of Carcassonne and Yahtzee where nine dice are rolled up to three times. Players try to build a complete city but catapults are locked and cannot be re-rolled, while triple followers allow the player to keep one die and double the city points next turn, meaning the other players have one less die to use. A result of nine catapults is an automatic victory instead of having to reach 42 points.
The game comes in an embossed tin with a pencil and notepad for scoring. One complaint is that the city faces on the dice do not reach to the edges so there's a white border which can confuse city building as it gives the illusion that the faces don't connect.
Interesting enough Wild West variant but the mining tokens are perhaps a bit too fiddly for my liking, both flipping them all face down during game set up and dispensing them on mountain tiles. Would have preferred the farming working as tepees versus horses (as with wolves versus sheep in Ark Of The Covenant and saber-tooth tigers versus deer in Hunters & Gatherers) to make game play more cutthroat instead of both scoring. Found being limited to four followers quite taxing, especially as you cannot retrieve one as with the South Seas variant and did most of my scoring using the tent.
Prefer the South Seas variant both for graphics and strategy.
Good little expansion that can be mixed in with the base game for a slightly bigger play (unlike South Seas's Friday expansion) and includes a couple of graveyards that function as cloisters but also give a one point bonus for adjacent towns.
Superb Carcassonne variant with farming replaced by hunting where the player scores for deer and woolly mammoths but loses a deer for each sabretooth tiger in his hunting ground. Robbers on roads are replaced with fishermen on rivers with river junctions being lakes where the fisherman scores bonus points for the number of fish in the lakes. Knights in cities are replaced with gatherers in forests and the player who completes a forest with a gold nugget in it gets to play an extra tile from a bonus stack.
Excellent but simple expansion that introduces a double or nothing gamble to cities and roads with the inclusion of cathedrals and lakeside inns. Included is a set of grey/pink followers for a sixth player plus an oversized meeple that counts as two followers but I like to use it as a tiebreaker.
I like the King and Robber rules as it provides an incentive for players to finish off opponents' cities and roads, although the endgame scoring for this is quite laborious.
The expansion for Hunters & Gatherers is interesting but unbalanced so I rarely use them but sometimes just add them to the bag (minus the shaman) as extra tiles with a custom rule of having the bridge connect both hunting grounds.
Not just a tropical reskin. Instead of scoring points directly the players collect bananas, shells and fish and use them at the end of each turn to buy one of four ship tile that rewards points. Players have to juggle tasks with only four followers but are allowed to reclaim a follower instead of placing one. Graphically, the tiles are bright and colourful and the game has a silly but fun feel to it as you find yourself fretting over bananas.
A fun and inventive version of the classic with dice rolling now deciding who wins a feature instead of who has the most followers, with matching Faction symbols helping out the battle. Cities and roads are reskinned as asteroid fields and trading routes while cloisters have become planets that can be invaded through the placement of adjacent tiles. Like Alderaan, farming has been totally obliterated.
Setting up the Friday expansion by dividing the tiles into stacks of seven is a hassle so I prefer to play without this, plus it makes scoring even easier. I think I would have preferred extra tiles to add to the game or perhaps a special wild ware that could be a fish, shell or banana.
Fantastic two player Carcassonne variant with a city wall scoreboard that offers bonuses, giving players an incentive to score a particular amount of points to claim a mystery bonus tile. Spatially a bit confusing initially with the castles and houses fitting against each other with only the roads being problematic. Super graphics populated with lots of detail.
Dislike the rule that you can retract a follower as one of the strategies of Carcassonne is trapping or overpowering an opponent's follower. Normally, I play without this rule and just use them as extra tiles, especially if using the 10 Year Anniversary edition as this saves time separating the Festival tiles from the base game. Printing the rules on two tiles seems wasteful.
An interesting enough idea but the removal of followers became tiresome and reduced farming to an end game decision rather than planning throughout the game. I'm not a fan of mechanics that randomly remove or add followers to the board and unfortunately this expansion is not an exception. I'm glad I played it but can't imagine wanting to try it again. Possibly the expansion would scale better if not played with just the base game.
Brilliant expansion that comes with a thematic cardboard tower to stack tiles in and interlocking wooden tower pieces. Adds a whole new strategy and game play is excellent but precarious as investing followers in long term projects can risk them being captured. One interesting twist is that the towers make farming difficult with farmers usually deployed towards the end of the game when tower tiles and tower pieces are exhausted and players can better calculate safe places to farm. Normally I dislike expansions that mess with follower placement but this one is good.
On the downside, Some confusing issues about the prisoner exchange of irregular followers.
Good variant that involves placing followers on a wheel of fortune instead of the board to score bonus points. Not overly keen on the wheel of fortune being the four by four start tile as I like building from a single tile as it is more strategic and competitive. Possibly I could put the wheel aside and use another start tile as a home rule. Slightly, bemused by the giant pink pig.
Small problem with scaling with other expansions as the the triple points from the crown spaces become insignificant in high scoring games.
Surprised this was issued as a base game rather than an expansion with just the Wheel Of Fortune, the pig and the tiles with the icons needed to rotate the pig.
Normally I don't like rules that randomly add or subtract followers from the board as I think the placing of them is part of the game's strategy but the shield tiles chain so crazily with the Gingerbread Man and the scoring for knights in a city that this meddlesome expansion has become a surprise must for all future game plays.
Good addition with the Pleasure Garden allowing an extra action equal to the white die. One criticism is that an additional building type makes towns easier to complete as it reduces the chance of duplicates, plus there are more of these tiles than any other building type (five versus seven).
Terrific bluffing game and I like the Renaissance setting.
On the downside the card stock is poor quality and slightly translucent so you can see the character's silhouette if there is a light source behind the player plus the reverse of the box shows detailed silvery metal coins but the game comes with plain grey plastic ones.
A clever party game reliant on analysis and intuition but can also reward guessing. Game comes with a deck of beautifully bizarre illustrated cards. The scoreboard is cute but impractical with rabbit scoring pawns that are prone to falling over.
A clever party game reliant on analysis and intuition but can also reward guessing. Game comes with a deck of beautifully bizarre illustrated cards although I find this deck difficult to work with. The scoreboard is an improvement over Dixit but the point marking bands are too narrow plus the pawns remain top-heavy.
This is a fantastic little strategy game lumbered with a bizarre theme which could easily be reskinned into something more neutral. However, the setting up to game play ratio is terrible so I usually don't bother playing this much. Also, I dislike the box's dimensions as it could easily be half the size.
This just made me want to play a Celtic-themed Carcassonne.
Game play didn't seem very fluid and I imagine in a five player game with each player staring at ten tiles, mentally orientating them and then deciding which is the optimum tile for the current but ever-changing scoring conditions then game play can be sluggish.
And of course as a Carcassonne player the roads not having to connect bothered me immensely.
Small but strategic expansion. Useful for players who find themselves stuck on a sector. Quite powerful too as any of the adjacent hexes are legal spaces rather than just the hexes adjacent to the graphic cave entrance or hexes that match the drawn terrain type.
Bit disappointed that ships and wagons cannot use these as I especially like the idea of a ship sailing through a network of subterranean rivers!
Interesting addition. The double-sided Island board doesn't count as a sector so can be ignored for Farmer and Lord scoring but counts for Discoverer scoring and can count for Knight scoring too. The two special locations are Treehouse (move a settlement onto Forest terrain) and Rope Bridge (move a settlement onto Canyon terrain) and each island has a city.
Tempted to get another so both Islands can be played together.
This is a fantastic little filler. The original tile version was good but prone to over-analysing with adults and game play could be quite tortuous but this has got the balance just right with quicker decision-making. And who doesn't like building mazes?
Abstract tile laying game where you make rows of different shapes of the same colour or different colours of the same shape. Easy to teach and I like how spectators can work out the rules simply by watching a game in progress.
A generous rating but I loved the Fighting Fantasy books as a child, especially the Warlock Of Firetop Mountain so am thrilled to see a board game version of it. The board is fantastic and although this uses the dated roll-and-move mechanic it it's still a lot of fun. And probably the only time I've bothered to actually resolve combat rather than just automatically winning.
At the bottom of the rules the publishers talk about making other Fighting Fantasy books into board games and it's a shame other classics like Citadel Of Chaos, Forest Of Doom, City Of Thieves or Deathtrap Dungeon never got the green light too.