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User: sweetsweetdoughnuts: Board Game Collection
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Title Version User
Rating
Geek Rating Status User
Plays
Comment
10' to Kill (2015)
6
Nov 2015
5.831
Plays: 1
10' to Kill has some interesting ideas in it, but honestly, there's nothing in here that I don't already get in Rumble in the Dungeon, except in this you can relatively easily deduce who another player is within 1 or 2 kills. Also, it can easily drag on for a lot longer than needed.
2015-11-04
11 nimmt! (2010)
6
Jul 2015
5.934
Plays: 3
Another interesting twist on playing your cards and trying to avoid points. There seemed to be two powerful strategies, with one being about one point per round better than the other.

That said, what a fun game and one of the better options for 6(+?) players.

Update: I'm not 100% there is much to this game - it's incredibly difficult to separate yourself from other players with each round being about trying to eke out an extra point lead or so. Combined with the luck factor here, this might be a bit of a miss for me.

Rating down to 6 from 7.
2015-07-29
3
Oct 2014
5.634
Plays: 1
Disclaimer: I've only played part of a round; we played the family stage but not the following stage.

15 Dias seemed... very random. From a hand of ~5 cards, you play one as a family member and then is gets discarded or swapped before you take a turn. So you play another and it gets discarded again...

It really didn't feel as though there was any space for tactical or even clever play.

There were also some graphic design issues that didn't make the game run as smoothly as it could; the icons looked pretty similar to each other and the colour variations would make it seemingly unplayable for a colour blind player.
2014-10-27
Dutch first edition
Year: 2011
7.3
Jul 2012
5.828
Owned
Plays: 8
It's a little gentle, but it is also a wonderfully different theme and a fun little mix of blind bidding and mild take-that.

It works well and is different enough to Modern Art that I am happy owning both.
2012-07-19
7
Aug 2012
6.780
Plays: 2
Based on a play of the introductory scenario this seems to have promise, though could perhaps be let down by some seemingly apparent main strategies. It's possible that the native's ability to cross water prevents both teams just heading for the bottlenecks on the map, but it didn't seem to massively on a first play. Needs further investigation, but a promising start.

Update: There are some major swings of luck in here; with the card draw, the need to have the Truce cards available (you might not draw the one you have for almost the entire game), the dice have hugely variable outcomes with the differences between flee and kill being entirely decisive and the hugely variable turn order. As such this game really only works when turns are fast and you hammer through the game. This is not a game to ponder over.
2015-08-25
Z-Man English second edition
Year: 2008
7
May 2012
7.331
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
I love the back-and-forth, the battle for New York, the vindictive cards and the multiple methods to influence states.

Update: Having just played this again after a while, I love the tense finishes and the tough choices over which cards to bury and which to play (and sometimes block).

Update 2: Playing this with different opponents every time, it is interesting to see people try out different strategies; whether they fight over New York, the issues or move around the board and try to pick up other areas.

The back-and-forth does now seem to be a little zero-sum and you can spend entire turns just undoing what your opponent has just done.

Rating down from 7.9 to 7 as this seems to take just a little longer than it really should.

Ultimately traded for £25 as I just can't see it getting played.
2012-06-21
English first edition
Year: 2011
6.5
Apr 2013
6.207
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
A light dicefest with some interesting decisions and hand management aspects. It offers, perhaps, less control than Pizza Box Football but more decisions. As such, it is probably the more accurate simulation, even though it does seem to feel pretty similar in game play.

Fun enough and if I didn't already own PBF, I'd probably pick this up.

Update: The dice really just make too much of an impact in this game. I can see how it is meant to simulate the variable outcomes in a real game, but it just feels too swingy here. Even the 2-12 variation of the dice in Pizza Box Football isn't so bad as it is here...

Rating down from 7.2 to 6.5.
2012-12-01
English first edition
Year: 2011
6.5
Sep 2012
5.641
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Hmm. There are 4 teams in this expansion; 2 are all defence and no offence and the other 2 are all offence and no defence.

Playing the 2 similar teams against each other is not overly exciting; the 2 defensive teams don't make for a great game as you trade field position and the offensive teams march up and down the field unopposed, even when subbing in the improved defensive dice from the other teams.

Playing a shoot-out is relatively interesting, but it almost seems as though you can score without any difficulty. I suspect it might be more interesting when playing one against the other, but suspect it might be hugely favouring toward the offensive team...

Rating down from a provisional 7.2 to 6.5.
2012-09-18
Gryphon Games Edition
Year: 2009
7.8
Feb 2012
6.508
Owned
Plays: 18
An interesting little game of bluff, spatial movement and planning. I don't know how much depth there is and whether I'll still be enjoying this after 30 plays, but at the moment, it provides a quick play with a tense finish.
2012-02-19
N/A
5.574
Want In Trade
Wishlist(3)
 (Like to have)
Want To Play
Czech Games first edition
Year: 2010
8.4
Feb 2012
6.441
Owned
Plays: 23
I've played this a few times now and got a decent idea of it. I love the auction mechanic for the disasters and think that the whole game works really nicely.

The variable scoring methods means that you can't simply find one winning strategy.

All in all, this is a really good game that I would pick up in a heartbeat if it wasn't so damned expensive!

Update: I found it in a sale and was delighted to do so! Massively replayable and a huge amount of fun.
2012-02-20
23 (2011)
6.5
Nov 2011
5.829
Plays: 15
Another Amigo card game that is simple to learn and has just enough wrinkles to it to make it interesting.

The opportunity to screw people over, even with imperfect information is probably what makes this so playable.
2011-11-30
Rio Grande English Edition
Year: 2008
4
Sep 2013
5.499
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I had pretty low expectations for this. I'd seen it be played and it looked pretty impossible to actually determine much through anything other than dumb luck and then to improve upon that. Having now played it, I can say that's partially not true. Being able to see whether the 'fun' card is good or bad encourages or discourages outlandish behaviour but the cards are so random, there's basically no information available for you to score well or consistently.

Oddly, two rounds seems too long for the interest to be maintained, but not enough rounds to discern anything.
2013-09-19
30 Carats (2013)
N/A
5.547
504 (2015)
5
Dec 2015
6.106
Plays: 1
I think it is fair to say that most people's enjoyment of 504 will depend very heavily on what modules are used. No-one could possibly enjoy 504 different games, even if they were the "top" 504 games in existence, so to assume that each game will work for everyone is a silly premise.

That said, playing a game heavy with shares was probably a poor starting choice for me.

Coupled with each game being a learning game (so learning rules, learning set-up, exploring the game space) means you'll never quite get the full experience.

It's a marvelous accomplishment, but it was never a fun game to play. Bonus point for the design if not the end result.
2015-12-15
Portal Games English edition
Year: 2010
6.3
Jun 2012
6.582
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Hard to rate after one play as I have no idea how many rules we got right/completely wrong, but it seemed to make coherent sense so I'm optimistic.

There are so many possibilities with each card and added to the fact that you have to essentially plan your next turn during this one, it is entirely possible that game could bog down massively with AP players, but with 2 playing pretty quickly, this worked well.

Update: On a second play, we didn't interact at all, just programmed our turns while the other player thought what they were going to do on their turn and waited to be told to start.

Most rules were right, based on a quick re-read of the rules and an intro video on the geek.

Rating down from 7 to 6.3.

Traded for £15 (which is what I paid for it).
2012-06-21
6 takes (2010)
AMIGO Dutch/French edition
Year: 2010
9
Mar 2015
6.767
Owned
Plays: 85
A perfect closer to any gaming night. We tend to play one hand and score a number of times over rather than playing to the recommended 66 which can mean that a run of bad cards will kill you, but great fun nonetheless.

Update: I've now played this 75 times and can honestly say that I love it. It's a wonderful joy teaching it to people (once they get the rule about placing lower value cards).

Up from 7.5 to 8.2 and then up again to 9.
2015-03-02
Repos multilingual EN/DE/IT/NE/SP edition 2011
Year: 2011
7.4
Jun 2011
7.771
Owned
Plays: 148
This one took a while for me to warm to, but once you get the hang of what you need to do 'well', the real fun comes from doing that, while denying your neighbours what they really need.

Multiple paths to victory make this an interesting game, if played at sometimes too fast a tempo.
2011-04-21
Asmodee English First edition
Year: 2014
7.2
Apr 2015
6.785
Owned
Plays: 2
I quite liked the addition of the Tower of Babel - having another thing to do with discarding cards perhaps even reduces the luck in the game as a bad hand of cards can suddenly be useful even if you already have sufficient money. The fact that it also adds interaction in the changing rules and the ability to dick over other players by limiting their synergies or affecting their ability to do what they're trying to do is a nice addition, though it does add to my concerns about people forgetting the changing rules and inadvertently cheating.

I'm yet to try the projects...
2015-04-07
English/German first edition
Year: 2011
7.4
Nov 2011
6.540
Owned
Plays: 32
Adds a nice little bit of player interactivity especially when playing with Leaders as stage II means all other players lose 2 money. That might be enough to prevent a leader being hired next age and can make a massive difference.
2011-11-28
English first edition
Year: 2012
8.5
Feb 2016
7.562
Owned
Plays: 24
This doesn't seem to add a huge amount to the game, at the expense of a few more icons and one more round. Is this the first mediocre 7 Wonders expansion?

It'll need to be played with the teams option to fully rate it, but so far, it's a tentative 'meh'.

Update: The 8 player team mode makes for an almost entirely different game. It was unlike anything else 7 Wonders, but was fun in and of itself. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Team 7 Wonders is a totally separate, and much heavier, game. And very good it is too.

Further update: The team game is so good that it is almost the only way that 7 Wonders still gets played.

Rating up from 6.3 to 7, then up to 7.5 and then up to 8.5.
2016-02-04
English first edition
Year: 2015
8.1
Oct 2015
7.933
Owned
Plays: 14
Ooh, this is a tricky little beast. The pyramid-like card selection is more clever than brilliant, but adds a nice tension and there are a lot of clever touches in the design that I like a lot - the risk of instant wins, the 'race' to 7 Wonders, the rebuilt science scoring - it all is exceptionally clever.

Two of my favourite designers deliver again.
2015-10-28
English edition
Year: 2015
8
Oct 2015
5.918
Owned
Plays: 7
A solid addition to the wonders that, whilst situational, can be either very defensive or very aggressive (combined with strategy for example).
2015-10-28
Repos multilingual EN/FR/DE/NE edition 2011
Year: 2011
7.7
Jul 2011
7.615
Owned
Plays: 63
Adds a nice extra layer of strategy so that you can attempt to plan what you want to do, rather than just play the cards.

It makes me enjoy 7 Wonders more.
2011-07-22
First edition
Year: 2012
6
Aug 2013
5.956
Owned
Plays: 3
This card exists for all the right reasons and adds Repos to the list of publishers that I have a soft spot for.

As to the card itself, I can see why it was rejected from the list of original expansion cards. At 5 gold, it is very expensive to recruit and is very situational. Sometimes it is the best card you could hope for, but it seems as though pretty often, it doesn't help at all.
2013-08-28
English Spielbox Promo
Year: 2012
8
Aug 2013
6.201
Owned
Plays: 7
What a wonderful ... addition. It doesn't change, prolong or break the game. You won't definitely win if you play Louis, but it's a nice mix up.
2013-08-03
English Spielbox edition
Year: 2011
7.2
Jul 2011
6.204
Owned
Plays: 28
A nice change-up card that always makes me smile and is fairly playable.
2011-08-25
N/A
5.869
Spielbox edition
Year: 2011
7.1
Jul 2011
6.333
Owned
Plays: 34
Adds a little more variety, even if the general consensus is that it is a little underpowered.
2011-06-27
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2013
7
Jul 2013
7.095
Owned
Plays: 13
Adds a little more variety to a game that increasingly has a lot of it.

Nothing essential, but another nice mix-up.
2013-07-05
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2015
3.6
Jan 2016
5.486
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 1
What a crushing disappointment. A push your luck blackjack variant with way too much counting and not enough intrigue. There is a little scope for clever play, but it is easily outdone by the luck of the draw.
2016-01-06
A la carte (1989)
4.5
Jan 2014
6.255
Plays: 1
This seemed distinctly more activity than game and I'm really not sure where there is any scope for either good play or bad. There is a tiny dexterity aspect to the crepe making but even that is an optional extra that you don't even have to attempt.

It is, of course, gloriously produced and looks wonderful but there really didn't seem to be anything beyond the wonderful production values.
2014-01-04
Aargh!Tect (2009)
German first edition
Year: 2009
7.7
Jan 2013
6.061
Prev. Owned
Plays: 11
A kind-of brilliant team game. I feel as though different words could have been used that would feel more 'authentic' but that's a pretty minor quibble. I'm also unsure exactly how long the inflatable clubs will last for...

As it is, it works remarkably well.

Update: Once people have played this once or twice, you start to learn the patterns, if not the actual positions of the pieces, making the game really far too easy and more about speed guessing than communication. It's still an excellent game, we've just played it out.
2015-05-13
5.5
Oct 2014
6.041
Plays: 1
I had high hopes for this, but it turns out that Hanabi without the clever giving and managing of clues descends into fairly random guesswork (and a lot of counting). The spells didn't seem to be particularly interesting either which was a shame.

Also, I think that the '4' spell might be massively overpowered, but from 1 play I don't have anything conclusive.
2014-10-27
Abyss (2014)
6
Nov 2014
7.008
Plays: 2
Abyss is a charming family game with some gentle set collection and push your luck, undermined by theme which makes it much less playable. The colours of each set are a bit murky and dark and how they relate to the theme makes no sense to me at all - and so collecting the land that scores you for 'political leaders' really could have been any of the colours.

It's beautiful to look at, but I don't think anyone will still be playing this in 3-5 years.

Update: This is very nearly a really good game; I love the idea of most of what you do benefiting other players - exploring makes cards available to other players, taking one costs you pearls, going looking for a specific card fills up the sets for people to swoop in and take, looking at lots of scoring lands makes more available for others, but the game just doesn't quite hold together for me. The lands are swingy and variable, the game is just too fiddly for a family game, and the attack cards are too punishing for a player to be able to make themself immune. A shame as there's a lot of interesting design decisions in here.

Rating down from 7 to 6.
2014-11-20
5
Nov 2012
5.514
Plays: 1
An odd little mix of storytelling and crappy party game mechanisms. The storytelling part can have a massive outcome on who wins the game so the intervening 90 minutes seemed a little ... pointless.

Also, the rulebook is seriously shit.
2012-11-19
Acqua Dolce (2009)
6.6
Nov 2011
5.562
Plays: 2
A nice little card game with variable win conditions making this pretty replayable.

The game itself is quite clever though not one that will set the world on fire.
2011-09-04
Avalon Hill (Hasbro) Edition 2008
Year: 2008
7.1
Feb 2013
7.234
Owned
Plays: 6
A slightly dry, mathy game that everyone should probably try at least once.

It doesn't really compare to many modern games, but wouldn't look massively out of place in a collection.

Update: the game is better than I originally gave it credit for. Cashflow really is king and getting cut out of the first few deals can be devastating. It also has possibly the same problem with T&E in that an unfair number of turns can be significant. You certainly want to be the one to end the game.

Rating up from 5.5 to 7.1
2013-02-17
Adaptoid (2009)
N/A
5.677
Want To Play
The definitive Nestor Games product.
2014-04-09
6
Feb 2014
6.419
Plays: 1
A very simple push your luck game, with a little memory aspect added in. It's a decent and pleasant little game, that probably has 5 or so plays in it in total.

It's gloriously overproduced which then unfortunately makes it far too expensive for what it is. This should be meeples and 2D. It'd lose some charm but could then also sell for half the price it does; at which point it'd be worth picking up.
2014-02-06
Africana (2012)
7.2
Apr 2015
6.204
Plays: 1
Pretty gentle - with the only real things you can do to interact are complete 'adventures' before other players and buy the cards from the books that they want. But all of that is pretty gentle.

I liked Africana - it feels much more satisfying than a game of Ticket to Ride for example and clearly feels like an attempt to hit the gateway mother lode. And I think it succeeds at it too.

That said, I'm not sure I'll remember having played it 12 months from now...
2015-04-27
First Edition
Year: 2010
7.4
Feb 2012
5.801
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
This is a really simple game to actually learn/play in part because it is really well written and the board is well designed (if fugly).

Lots of options, that are all difficult to choose between, but a great little game. Well worth tracking down if you can!

To me, it plays better with 3 than with 4.

Sold (for 45GBP) as it never hits the table - Dungeon Lords scratches my worker placement itch.
2012-02-19
Tropical First English Edition
Year: 2007
7.5
Feb 2012
7.414
Owned
Plays: 21
So many viable paths to victory make this a truely great game. Everytime I've played, I've experimented with different strategies and clearly there is not one that will work every time.

It is possible for people to get left behind and missing out on the 1 or 2 Age 3 buildings you need can be crippling which maybe knocks it down slightly for me...

Update: Dan and Nato seem to have broken this game with money strategies and as such this hasn't hit the table in a while. Need to try it again to see if I still love it.
2012-02-19
English first edition
Year: 2014
7
Mar 2015
6.173
Owned
Plays: 4
Oddly, the Japanese theme is even weaker than the Risk Express theme was - perhaps because it was more obvious - but AoW is a good and straight forward re-printing of that hard to get game. It's far from life changing, but plays in 20 minutes or so and has some decent moments of mild tension. An easy opener to a game night.
2015-03-08
English first edition
Year: 2013
6
Jan 2014
5.707
Owned
Plays: 5
Almost entirely devoid of theme but this is a cute little bluffing/deduction game that plays in 3 minutes. Worth a play, certainly.
2014-01-14
The Agents (2013)
5
Aug 2013
6.070
Plays: 2
Hmm. So, at the beginning I drew a mission card which said 'if you don't have any arrows pointed at you, score this mission in a faction for 3 points'. Well, early on that won't be the case, so as long as one card is in one of the 2 factions near me, there's 3 points every turn for free. So, opponents, do you have any cards to steal the mission or kill the agent? If not, I'll score 3 points every turn and the only thing you can do is play more cards in to the same faction, giving me either more points or some abilities. Let's draw a second mission: 'if there are 2 dead agents adjacent to each other in one of your factions, score 3 points'. Marvellous, that's easy since everyone has been killing off powerful agents. Now I'm scoring 6 points each turn. Try and stop me.

Hmm. This felt a little underdeveloped. It seems like there is little scope for clever play and a lot of room for lucky card draws. The decisions felt pretty slight and never difficult to decide between. One player said 'it feels like they're trying to be too clever'. I think she may have been right.
2013-08-09
Agricola (2007)
5
Sep 2011
8.006
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
I quite like the family version; it makes for a reasonably complex game.

Adding cards tend to make it a bit more complex than the game needs to be and you're basically just playing the cards, not the other players/action spaces.

The card drafting mechanism tends to reduce this.

Overall, it's a good game, just not one I have that much desire to play.

Traded for Dungeon Lords.
2011-09-19
6.5
Nov 2012
7.349
Plays: 5
Super-fast 2 player Agricola. It's more fun than the 'proper' Agricola, because it's so much faster, but played with the wrong person, could easily bog down in to analysis and blocking moves.

Incidental blocking still exists, but seemed less likely to occur based on one (quick) play.

I don't honestly know how many times I'd want to play, but I didn't hate it as much as I expected to.

Seriously though, if you AP during this game, I'm going to stab you in the eye.
2012-11-14
6.5
Jun 2015
6.505
Plays: 1
Adding some nice variety to the game to prevent it getting stale, though possibly starting to run low on ideas?
2015-06-02
7
Jun 2015
6.929
Plays: 1
Adding some nice variety to the game to prevent it getting stale.
2015-06-02
Air King (2012)
6.1
Jan 2013
5.537
Plays: 3
What an odd little game: it should be everything I hate. It's random, there's goals that overlap randomly and there's obvious take-that.

Somehow though, I found it oddly charming. Not great, but charming.
2013-01-02
Air Show (2011)
6.8
Aug 2013
5.603
Plays: 1
Quite an enjoyable game, but I'm not honestly sure how many of the actual rules we played. The stands seem to be pretty essential and anyone that didn't build one couldn't produce enough money. Outside of that, I quite like all of the different ways you can choose to build in.
2013-08-03
6
May 2013
7.114
Plays: 2
An odd re-engineering of Ticket to Ride that adds shares (which really aren't shares at all, just a majority set collection game) with some gentle hand management and cash flow management.

It feels like it needs more competition for spaces on the routes and a slightly more involved shareholding.

It's certainly more fun than TtR, but nothing I'm desperate to play again. A fun game that could work as a gateway, but isn't anything spectacular.

Update: Jesus, this is downtimey with 5. Also, the card draw for shares then becomes really chaotic.

Rating down from 6.7 to 6.
2013-05-22
English/Polish first edition
Year: 2011
6.5
Mar 2013
6.083
Prev. Owned
Plays: 9
I think it will take a few plays for the required subtlety of the scapegoat to really come out, but this plays pretty well.

In our first game, within 5 minutes, we had lies and threats and promises of loyalty and then lots of stealing and running away.

This game could be great and I look forward to trying out the 'B' sides of the locations.

Update: The B sides do add a little variety without being game-changing or game-breaking. Mostly, they offer the opportunity to swap items without the use of an AP.

I like the game, but too often there was little to debate or argue about as it was clear who could stop the plan and who couldn't. Random card draws, both in missions and in Scapegoat cards, seem to determine the winner(s) more than I'm happy with. So very nearly a great game, but for me it just lacks that little magic spark.

Rating down from 7.6 to 6.5
2013-03-22
Alchemists (2014)
4
Jan 2015
7.552
Plays: 1
I had a lousy first play of this, in part from some bad luck in the early mixes I made, but it felt a lot as though it was a mediocre worker placement game with a lousy deduction game bolted on to it.

The random factors also seem to detract from it as does the overwhelming ability to get screwed out of something just 'because'. An example; I was interested in picking up an artifact, but the player going last (I was third in placing) also had enough money to buy it, so I did other things instead. Next turn, that same player has spent his money, didn't seem to want the artifact last turn and is again the only player placing after me, so this time I place a worker to buy the artifact. The player after me places a worker on selling a potion and then places above me to take the artifact, leaving me with nothing.

Too much noise and randomness for me I suspect, where there's little to read other players' actions.

I'll be reading the rulebook shortly and I'll try it again to see if it was just an isolated experience, but this gimmick failed to excite or entertain me.
2015-01-07
Alhambra (2003)
6.8
Aug 2011
6.961
Plays: 9
Fairly simple (it is a SdJ game after all), but quite good fun. About as tactical as Ticket to Ride, but a little newer to me.

When played with 5 (like TtR) it bogs down horribly.
2012-02-19
6
Sep 2011
7.373
Plays: 10
Far too long for what it is. If this played in 45 minutes, it'd be great. 90-120 - way too long!

(I'm waiting for version 2.0 of Invocation - by Adam).
2011-04-17
4.5
Aug 2013
6.209
Plays: 1
Xeno Explorations: Use energy (and give it to opponents) to temporarily use one bonus power... Zzzzzz... Nobody used it all game. I'm not a great fan of Alien Frontiers. What it didn't need was the potential for more AP.
2013-08-18
4.8
Oct 2012
6.823
Plays: 2
Adds more options into a game that already bogs down in AP. Lots of it (apparently stretch goals, so perhaps forgivable) are simply cosmetic upgrades that serve no actual purpose.

Unforgivable though, is the fact that the agenda cards are so wildly unbalanced, and some of the race specific boards are just straight better than others. Were these play tested at all?!
2012-12-02
7
Jul 2012
6.096
Plays: 3
It works well as a mini expansion and does what it should do;

- it is useful enough that it's worth buying, but not so powerful as to break the game
- it is expensive to use which stops it being overpowered
- it doesn't add any new rules or change the basic game
2012-07-19
Aliens (1989)
7.4
Feb 2012
6.166
Plays: 1
An unusual experience - the first scenario was tense, nicely tactical and enjoyed by both of us. The second scenario started promisingly, we then passed a lucky 'conscience check' (IIRC, a 10% chance of success, but we'd have three goes at it) on the first roll which sucked all of the tension out of the game. The third and final scenario (the Powerloader Ripley vs. Alien Queen) is awful and entirely random. A terrible end to an otherwise good, and possibly very good, game. Production quality leaves a lot to be desired though.
2012-02-09
German first edition
Year: 2013
5
Dec 2013
5.537
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
With 5 players there really didn't seem to be a lot of looking at cards and then still having them available on your next turn.

A perfectly decent, if far from spectacular push your luck game.
2013-12-16
Amalgimal Zoo (2013)
6
Dec 2013
N/A
Plays: 1
There's a decent hand management aspect to the game which allows you to protect yourself from the 'take-that' to some extent. The humour in the game goes some way to paper over the cracks but provided this is played quickly, it's a decent little game.
2013-12-21
Amber (2012)
6.3
Nov 2012
5.441
Plays: 3
I've played with three and with 4 players and I think it's better with 3.

The game plays nice and quickly and there are some interesting decisions, though the luck of the tile draw helps immensly.

It's a decent (and pretty) game, but nothing that really sticks in the memory.
2012-11-19
Among Nobles (2015)
3
Oct 2015
5.879
Plays: 1
Among Nobles felt like a long series of particularly uninteresting actions where it was entirely possible to get into a long death spiral if a) you ran out of money or b) you had married into the wrong colour(s). We got to a point towards the end where one player was chaining actions to activate multiple cards and another player was taking 1 piety point as each of his three actions. It all felt incredibly dry and uninvolving, though oddly the other three players (including the one who'd been in a long death spiral) proclaimed they'd enjoyed it.

Not something I want to play again.
2015-10-21
5.5
Jul 2013
7.005
Plays: 1
I'd heard criticisms about this being a fairly blatant rip-off of 7 Wonders. And it is. Unfortunately, they've added nothing that improves the game and instead only worsened it.

The scoreboard is terrible and unclear. Once a few cards are laid out, it's impossible to tell which colour each player is, there is a huge amount of text that you now need to be aware of and the colours are a garish mess.

Add in to the fact that of the 4 alien races dealt out at the start, one was capable of scoring a maximum of 5 points (choose and score an additional hidden scoring card) versus one which gifted a player 10 points and helped him win 2 end game bonuses (your reactor is every colour).
2013-07-10
Amun-Re (2003)
7.3
Jun 2011
7.180
Plays: 3
I really like the auction mechanic, but don't feel like I've really developed a strategy beyond build 2 in the same place and hope for a point scoring card which works for you...
2011-07-10
Anchorage (2012)
6
May 2013
N/A
Plays: 1
This is a little dry and really doesn't have any pretence of a catch-up mechanism of any sort. It's purely about churning out points marginally more efficiently than your opponents. In a three player game this can result in 2 players getting in each other's way which should result in the third player winning easily. I love the quality of the tiles though and though this isn't a game I'd pick up, I don't think I'd resist too much if someone wanted to play it.
2013-05-30
4
Dec 2015
5.949
Plays: 1
This was... odd. Perhaps made more odd as Tom and I (another jaded middle aged man) commented on the relative ups and downs of our relationships throughout the game - and the anger and sadness caused by each other's betrayals.

But in terms of actual game play, this felt very lacking.
2015-12-15
4
Sep 2012
7.913
Plays: 2
First play: 20 minutes of teaching and then on the first run into R&D, I hit a snare. Lose all my cards; game over.

We pretend that card didn't happen, put it to one side and carry on.

Later, in 2 runs at R&D, I pull 2 agendas back to back, I'm now 5-0 up and the other player basically has no chance at this point. All essentially just luck of the draw.

Essentially, this is another typical FFG game for me: lots of artwork, lots of stupid cards that I need to be able to read upside down from across the table, very few meaningful decisions (hmm, I can run freely at that pile, or try that heavily protected one; let's play this card and see if it's worth it - nope, it's a bluff), every time I play a card in to my display, I then have to check the other 8 cards to see if they do something, oh and lots of jargon that 'adds' theme, but makes it largely incomprehensible.

It's like an A-Z of bad game design. Poor. Even by FFG standards.
2012-09-30
Andromeda (2015)
7
Oct 2015
5.573
Plays: 1
Andromeda is not a perfect game, but what it is is an interesting puzzle like game where players are racing to 7 points. In our first exploratory game we were hard pushed to get any real numbers on the board (essentially because of the armoury) and the final turn was a little AP inducing as players tried to work out but it was an enjoyable experience. As always with "I cut, you choose" games, I suspect it will work best with three players.
2015-10-21
First edition
Year: 2005
8.1
Feb 2012
5.567
Owned
Plays: 34
A great little draw, hold and play tile game. Maybe slightly luck-based; but I don't hold it against the game because it is so fast.

Much more a case of 'your tactics are decided by what tiles you draw' than 'this is my long-term plan for victory'.

Up from 7.6 to 8.1.
2012-02-19
7.3
May 2016
5.561
Plays: 2
Light-hearted dickery. Exactly what you want in your family games.

Two choices: split or buy. Score for singles or triplets plus. A really brilliantly pared down design.
2016-05-04
English first edition
Year: 2015
7
Oct 2015
5.782
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 2
Antartica is a clever game. And surprisingly easy to explain once you have grasped the scoring system.

And the scoring system is brilliantly clever; everything (the board, the research tracks and the discarded resources) are all area majority games. In each case, the winner scores a point for everything in the region (minus ships and the sun). The person in second scores a point for every person the winner used to win and so on down. (Plus 1 point for the winner of each majority)

The game is very clever, though I preferred playing three rather than with four and it is possible both for very clever play and allowing players to do very well by leaving enormous gaps on the board, giving a player a chance to rack up multiple turns. It holds together exceptionally well, but can be incredibly AP prone, as many rondel type games can.
2015-10-23
Antidote (2013)
5
Jun 2015
5.843
Plays: 1
Trade information and hope to have the right card in hand at the end. Technically there is information to be gained from what people discard, but since no-one is making a fully informed decision until very late on the value of that information is questionable at best.

Get dealt 2 syringes and you're probably in trouble as you're relying on others to discard X cards before you can do much with them unless you just want to hope for a lucky draw from someone's hand (a bad idea generally, but possibly worthwhile right at the end).

Antidote is not a terrible game, but it's not one I can ever really see me playing again.
2015-06-02
Antigua (2010)
6
Jan 2013
5.532
Plays: 2
The 'board' felt a little crowded with 4, but was good fun with a balance of light-hearted screwage, direct attacks and evasion.

I'd be interested to see how it works with 2, but I suspect 3 might be unbalanced if one player goes on the offensive against another.

Update: On a second play, it's odd how the swings of randomness can absolutely destroy a player. In a 4 player game, I discovered 4 times and found 2 (of the 2) sea spaces. Essentially, a guaranteed loss.

The officer role is an odd one too and it takes one of your two actions, so unless you're using it defensively, you never have enough actions to take advantage of it and it'll likely change before it comes back round to you.

The game is fast enough that it ceases to be a major issue, but it's not one I think I'd find myself recommending/asking to play.

Rating down from 7 to 6.
2013-01-11
7.4
Jul 2013
6.519
Plays: 1
Rondels have never really excited me so I didn't have high hopes for Antike Duellum. Thankfully, it turned out quite well, even if my strategy caused the game to run pretty long.

I enjoyed my first play and am keen to dig in to this a bit deeper.
2013-07-10
Antler Island (2007)
6.5
Apr 2014
5.762
Plays: 1
This seemed to end a little too quickly; so that the only viable strategy seemed to be to try and mate as quickly as possible and as many times as possible and hope to grab a quick victory over a weaker opponent. With more turns, other options would perhaps be more viable. The 'roar' tile also seemed to be massively more useful than the others.

I'd like to play again with the advanced combat rules.
2014-04-06
6
Aug 2011
5.921
Plays: 2
A poor man's Dixit.

It clearly requires less effort as you don't need to think of a clue etc, but with no abstractions, it is also possible to have multiple rounds where your cards are no help whatsoever.

We had too many rounds where everybody (playing with 6 IIRC) just dumped a card and the reader essentially picked a random answer from 5 terrible options.
2011-09-04
4.2
May 2012
5.653
Plays: 1
This rankles especially for me as we'd played Cards Against Humanity the day before. Far too many cards don't offer any funny, interesting or ribald responses and so many fall flat.

We played to 6 points with 6 players and not a single response raised more than a polite chuckle. It's just far too gentle for me.
2012-05-23
Aqua Romana (2005)
6.5
Nov 2012
6.036
Plays: 1
An oddly fiddly mechanism for allowing you to choose which tile you pick (though it seemed to actually be pretty easy to manage throughout the game) combined with a push your luck aspect of how high you try and score versus waiting too long to 'crash' them and losing out on points as the scoring spots were already taken made for a mildly diverting, if largely unmemorable game.
2012-11-19
Arboretum (2015)
5
Jul 2015
6.750
Plays: 2
Arboretum feels very much like it was designed by a Knizia fan; the scoring is very tight and there are a few clever twists in there. Unfortunately, the optimum way to play seems to be to encourage others to block players whilst completely ignoring that element yourself. If you only hold cards in your hand that allow you to score all of the colours you have played, then that is the perfect hand for you. If you've clogged your hand up with blocking cards it is less efficient. Consequently, this style of play has become dominant in our group in just a small number of plays and so the game now has no tension.
2015-07-13
Arcanum (2011)
6.3
Mar 2013
5.633
Plays: 1
I actually quite enjoyed this. Which came somewhat as a surprise because the tarot cards and box cover art gave me every indication that this would not even function as a game.

Essentially, this is a game of hand management, (blind) bidding and variable powers. And in that regard, it's perfectly functional.

I must admit, I'd do away with the tarot cards, rethink the iconography and I'm still not quite sure whether the board art is lovely or a mess. Solidly decent though.
2013-09-11
6.3
Aug 2011
6.431
Plays: 3
A decent filler with some tactical hand management aspects.
2011-09-04
Arche Noah (2013)
6.3
Nov 2013
5.517
Plays: 1
So, we missed a few bits of the rules with some poorly translated rules, but got the gist of the game. It's a decent little bidding/set collection game. Nothing special, but worth a quick play.
2013-11-29
Archipelago (2012)
4.8
Jan 2013
7.103
Plays: 2
The more I think about this, the less I like it. The action selection is fairly generic but worked well and seemed fresher because of the circular board. The discovery seemed to massively favour those who found stone in the early turns and then those who found tiles that fitted later on.

I really am starting to dislike hidden objectives, especially when scores might be so low that happening to have achieved an extra card was with 1/3 of someone's score.

Oddly though despite all of these issues, I quite enjoyed my first play.

Update: On a second play, the game felt less chaotic and it was largely possible to formulate a plan and stick to it. That said, the traitor card is bloody stupid and so if they are last in turn order the game encourages losing players to abandon the game and let everyone lose as resources are so tight that they have no incentive to spend anything to keep the game going.

Further update: The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that this game is broken as it comes. In my most recent play of it, I offered the player who was able to avert the crisis that killed us enough resources to effect a four point swing in his favour. This would have taken him from last to joint second. This is before he collected stone which was being offered by another player and was a known VP condition. However, because the resources I was offering were hidden, neither he nor I knew their true value. How can you negotiate with resources when their relative values are unknown and largely unknowable? To fix this game, you probably need to start with more money, have all objective cards face up and completely change/abandon the turn order bidding. Of course, you'd still have a lot of useless, overpriced cards in the game.

Rating down from 6.4 to 4.8, but this could easily be my first one rating. I think, in most circumstances, it is broken.
2013-01-07
6
Jul 2013
6.540
Plays: 2
I dislike deck-builders. We should probably start with that point.

It seems to address if not quite solve some of the issues I have with other deck-builders, namely that I can basically ignore the other players (because of the the skirmish) that we look at the cards available at the start and devise a plan and then see whose was better an hour later (because of the digging and contested stacks of cards).

That's not to say that there are clearly some massive luck factors in the game. Can you ever afford to pass up contesting a 5 person Tribe Family? It's too many VPs to give up for free, but you really want to see that card going in to the last skirmish and not the first.

All in all, it's a decent game, but not one I'd ever consider owning.
2013-07-14
Multilingual edition
Year: 2009
7.3
Mar 2013
6.495
Owned
Plays: 20
A pretty fast dice game. It is very attack orientated, but the attacks are so numerous that cards don't stay with you very long so you don't have time to get upset about it.

It needs more plays to see how well balanced it is between luck and skill, but it warrants the extra plays...

Update: After quite a few more plays, it seems that many of my gaming partners are not keen on A:R2. Which is a shame as it's a lot of fun and plays in next to no time. The game is obviously better when it doesn't bog down and last more than 45 minutes, but I don't actually recall the last time that happened.


Rating up from 6.8 to 7, to 7.3.
2013-03-05
English first edition
Year: 2011
N/A
6.079
Owned
Want To Play
Arkadia (2006)
6.9
Dec 2011
6.708
Plays: 1
A very pleasant little tile-laying game where you control a mini-stock market type mechanism to try and sell your coloured seals at a premium. Possibly relies too much on people taking sub-optimal decisions to block other players, but quite good fun and relatively fast to play.
2011-12-22
Arkham Horror (2005)
4
Dec 2010
7.235
Prev. Owned
As described by Greg Pettit (Gregarious) whom I have never met, but stole my thoughts when he described the game thusly;

You mean we've spent all this time wandering around this asylum fighting random monsters, gathering tools, and losing our sanity waiting for this thing, and now it's just a die roll? Why the hell didn't we just wake up Cthulu three friggin' hours ago?

Traded for (signed, Essen edition) Galaxy Trucker.
2011-04-17
Blackrock multilingual first edition
Year: 2013
7.7
Oct 2013
5.869
Owned
Plays: 7
Blackrock continue to release clever fast little games and Armadora is another in that streak. A little bit of bluffing and guesswork and some clever tactical play make this a charming little entry.

I'm curious to see how the special abilities impact the game now.
2013-10-31
Armorica (2010)
6
Sep 2013
5.717
Plays: 1
I've almost no concept of how to do well at this game. It seemed like it was very difficult to screw others over without messing with your own score. I suspect there was more to the game than came across in the first play, but I don't know when I'll see it hit a table again to find out.
2013-09-08
6.5
Oct 2012
6.017
Plays: 1
There are some good things here, and a couple of great things but it doesn't quite work for me.

The negotiations are too heavily guided by the random tile draws and I can't quite see a solution to fix this. If you end up with your -4 tile being your secret agenda, you end up losing out either way. If only there was a fairer/better way of determining short-term goals, this could be really good.
2012-10-19
Articulate! (1992)
6.8
Jan 2012
5.859
Plays: 2
A relatively fun little game, though there are some horrible party game imbalances (the 'control' zones simply give better players more turns and the orange and red areas should only be available to teams that are behind), but the game itself is quite fun. Easy to descend into arguments though, as our play and anecdotal evidence would suggest.
2012-01-07
Artus (2011)
7
Sep 2012
5.914
Plays: 1
Hugely tactical/chaotic and there certainly seems to be some luck in the order/timing of which scoring cards you draw, but this is a fun game when played with anti-AP players.

Not one to own and I think it'll be forgotten in 5 years, but it's a solidly decent entry.
2012-09-27
6
Jun 2014
N/A
Plays: 1
What seemed to be a fairly clever little game of managing your supply of chips(?) and using them to bid for the powers of the cards.

It perhaps runs a little long (and the advertised time of 60-90 minutes would be way too long), but there's enough going on here that I'd play again.
2014-06-28
Multilingual edition
Year: 2010
7.4
May 2013
6.619
Owned
Plays: 6
A very gentle looking family friendly game, but the colour-matching and drafting of actions makes this both very fast and surprisingly cut throat. And very good it is for it too.

Another Kiesling & Kramer success.
2013-05-31
5.9
Jun 2011
6.703
Plays: 1
Dexterity games just don't do it for me (Animal Upon Animal isn't dexterity; it's a game of your ability to deal with stress) and the mixture of tech trees and flicking are two of my least favourite mechanisms.

That said, it's a well designed version of the two, it's just not my bag, baby.
2011-06-22
4.8
Sep 2011
6.877
Plays: 1
Just another deck building game. Lacks the theme or excitement of Nightfall and the central stack of cards is not really any different to Thunderstone's cave. Essentially; either pick all runes or all power and go all in, or hedge your bets and split between the both (probably the best strategy for winning percentages).

Frankly, pretty dull and still too solitaire.
2011-09-29
7.3
Nov 2012
5.994
Plays: 2
Surprisingly fun and, what seemed to be, pretty balanced.

Odd that the Rebels should be able to win by killing everything in a scenario that's about them hanging on long enough to escape, but perhaps that was a consequence of sub-par playing on the Empire's part.

As much as I've grown to hate Star Wars, and all things SW related, this game does a decent job of capturing the feel of the movie scene(s) and was good to play. I can see this being reprinted as it has aged really well.

Disclaimer: You absolutely have to be okay with throwing tons of dice.
2012-11-14
Assaultous (2013)
6
Jan 2014
N/A
Plays: 1
This feels like a light war-game designed by someone who'd only played war-games and Settlers. That's not to say it's bad; it isn't, but I can't say I was excited by it either.

It does have good, clean design, both in terms of gameplay and graphic design. Worth trying certainly.
2014-01-09
Asteroyds (2010)
7
Jun 2013
6.028
Plays: 1
I've only played the race variant.

It is fast, stressful and mildly chaotic. And it's a lot of fun.
2013-06-18
Atlanteon (1992)
4
Jul 2013
5.624
Plays: 1
This felt a little like Knizia might have phoned this design in somewhat.

Perhaps there is scope for interesting play here, but I don't really care for it enough to find out.

It's exceptionally short playing time is probably the only reason I'd every sit down to play this again. I'm usually willing to invest 3 minutes in most things (except new-age anything or alternative medicine).
2013-07-18
Atlantis (2009)
6.8
Feb 2012
6.174
Plays: 3
Very pretty little tiles but the chance for AP (since you can't really plan anything until your turn) and the seeming randomness (since tiles covered by others can be anywhere between 1 and 7 points) put me off quite a bit.

As it is; a fun little game, but not one I'd ever rush to play.
2012-02-19
English edition
Year: 2004
7.2
Jun 2011
5.713
Owned
Plays: 12
A tense little 2 player game that is nicely vindictive and plays in very little time.

Update: Played again after a gap of about 16 months. What a good game this is. Yes, it's a little dependant on the draw of cards, but it's so fast and so much fun, I don't care. The tiles and characters themselves are also really nicely drawn; the box art (which bizarely convinced a friend to buy it) is totally misleading as to the type of game it is and puts most people off.
2012-10-23
English first edition
Year: 2003
7.4
May 2011
6.837
Owned
Plays: 26
An interesting game that starts as a race game and the key to winning is realising when winning the race (by connecting temples) is no longer possible and knowing when to make the game an efficiency game.

You can attack other people's efficiency engines by playing tiles to block where they can build for free, you can time when to add new terrain tiles to allow you to time when to make a mad rush for connecting temples and there are many other strategies and options in play.
2011-06-22
German first edition
Year: 2013
7.8
May 2015
5.790
Owned
Plays: 4
A really wonderfully produced and engaging push your luck/betting game. The theme just about makes sense and holds everything together and the very blatant catch-up mechanism means everyone should be pretty much still involved right up until the end.

It's probably a little expensive for me to consider picking it up, but it's a game I'd certainly be happy to play any time.
2015-05-11
Rio Grande/Alea English Edition
Year: 2006
N/A
6.084
Owned
Want To Play
Why I bought it:

An interesting, if perhaps, flawed bidding game.

From the designer of Chinatown.
2014-06-03
Augustus (2013)
6
Mar 2013
6.645
Plays: 4
Described as bingo in Rome. And it really is. The only choices are:

1) Where to allocate your soldiers (obvious)
2) Whether to take a scoring token (obvious)
3) Which mission to take next (requires mild thought)
4) Whether to use any of your abilities (almost always obvious)

And yet, somehow, this was quite fun... There is no element of skill and I suspect my dog would beat me twice in every five plays, but it was oddly playable. I am currently unsure exactly why.
2013-03-31
Automobiles (2016)
7
Feb 2016
6.101
Plays: 6
Having now played Automobiles three times, I can't honestly say that it isn't *entirely* bullshit. It certainly has a very high level of bullshit, but it is also surprisingly entertaining. There are a lot of combinations that can be built which are enormous (it is entirely possible to do a lap and a half even without using the 'faster' builds) and the game can be over much faster than people realise.

In summary, it is a clever bag builder, with a moderate level of randomness and more strategy than is perhaps apparent in a first play.
2016-02-16
Ravensburger Dutch Second edition
7.5
Jan 2011
6.433
Prev. Owned
Plays: 27
Play the old version; less cards make it a tougher race, more choke points make it more ruthless, more tracks make it more versatile.

That said, the new version is still pretty good fun!

Update: The problem with Ave Caesar, like too many racing games is that once you're out in front, it's very difficult for you to lose. In the same vein, it's all but impossible for the person in last to recover.
2013-06-19
First edition
Year: 1999
6.2
Dec 2011
6.168
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The game doesn't have enough pieces for you to set it up (as per the set up instructions) and you have to sub-in coins, that doesn't bode well at all...

Having now played it... it is okay. It's too long, the Americans really have very little to do for three hours, the winner is basically determined in the first few rounds and there isn't really any replayability as it is basically scripted (Germany: take Russia or lose). Not one to seek out.
2012-02-19
4
Jan 2014
5.707
Plays: 1
A not particularly interesting game where there is a small element of bluffing and guesswork, though if you've paid any attention you saw the three cards chosen and so should have a pretty good idea of what your options are.

Even for such a quick game, there were too many instances where players were doing nothing.
2014-01-20
First edition
Year: 2010
3.5
Jan 2012
5.680
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I *love* the theme of this, but the game drags on much longer than needed. If you have 2 people with the same (or very similar) winning conditions playing in a 3 player game it is massively unbalanced. There are too many cards that randomise things too much.

Basically, the timeline is a nice mechanic but all the other cards (i.e. the ones you draw) seem poorly thought out and basically unplaytested.

This could just have easily have been a co-op game with all players being characters from the alternative timelines, trying to prevent themselves being erased... from existence. A decent game first time around, but a massive let down by play 2.

Sold through BGG.
2011-04-25
Backgammon (-3000)
6.8
Jan 2012
6.382
Plays: 1
I finally got around to playing this game and I have to say, it's actually pretty decent. Just enough strategy in the game to make it playable but I suspect that most games will work out being similar to each other.

A decent game to play occasionally.
2012-01-13
Balloon Cup (2003)
7.5
Apr 2014
6.542
Plays: 1
Balloon Cup looks awful and the theme, I think I described during the game as "junk", but it played quickly and smoothly and was a lot of fun.

It certainly has a similar feel to Lost Cities, but perhaps feels a bit more vicious. There's perhaps also a bit more luck of the draw in this game, but I enjoyed it immensely.
2014-04-14
BANG! (2002)
5
Oct 2010
6.476
Hidden roles and no information at all as to who is on your team. So essentially, just roll dice and highest wins.
2011-07-10
4
Sep 2014
6.864
Plays: 4
Took three turns; each time rolled 2 dynamite, re-rolled three dice and got a third dynamite. That stopped being fun really quickly.

So, in summary, Bang is still rubbish. The dice version is mercifully quicker, but with perhaps more downtime.
2014-09-17
German first edition
Year: 1998
8.1
Sep 2012
6.338
Owned
Plays: 16
With only one choice to make each turn (pick one of three cards), this should be terrible, but it absolutely comes alive in the bartering when two people pick the same thing.

It's a shame it's so ugly as it really could otherwise an a classic.
2012-09-27
7.2
Apr 2015
5.715
Plays: 1
With all of the Basari, Edel Stein & Reich games, it does feel that they're all very similar and often whichever one you played first is your favourite. For me, the card game version adds portability at the cost of increased randomness in the travelling option (we've always used the variant movement between turns in Basari). It's a good game, but I never need to play it again as I own Basari which for me is the better game.

If nothing else, having more gems makes for more opportunities to make interesting offers to players.
2015-04-07
7.8
Oct 2015
6.213
Plays: 8
I still have no idea, after 2 full plays, whether there is anything to this game. I'm sure that if I tracked what cards people were buying and retiring (sending to the minors) then I'd be better, but with 3+ players, that is almost impossible. Intentionally so, seemingly. And yet I'm still happy to play it each time. I'm unsure why that is - perhaps it is a combination of the company I play it with and the opinions of those I trust who rave about the game, but I'm not sure I see the magic that they do in this design.

Update: Tracking what people are doing with their decks, even a little bit, makes a real difference to the experience. I've had a lot of fun with BH2045 and though I'm not quite certain what is the 'best' way to play (2 player, 3 or 4 player tournaments), I've had a lot of fun exploring it.

Rating up from 7 to 7.8.
2015-10-23
5
Jan 2016
N/A
Plays: 1
It's hard to have a strong opinion on the differing starter teams as off the top of my head I don't think I could even say what the 5 veterans did. There's an element of wanting all of the game for it to be 'complete' and beyond the wafer thin theme of wanting a specific city, I can't really justify owning these...
2016-01-06
English first edition
Year: 2015
5
Jan 2016
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
It's hard to have a strong opinion on the differing starter teams as off the top of my head I don't think I could even say what the 5 veterans did. There's an element of wanting all of the game for it to be 'complete' and beyond the wafer thin theme of wanting a specific city, I can't really justify owning these...

I do recall that I had considered picking up the Chicago set, but I didn't like my one play with them - I'm not a huge user of multiple base runners, so perhaps more a case of not fitting my style than anything else.
2016-01-06
English first edition
Year: 2015
N/A
N/A
Owned
English first edition
Year: 2015
N/A
N/A
Owned
English first edition
Year: 2015
5
Jan 2016
N/A
Owned
Plays: 2
It's hard to have a strong opinion on the differing starter teams as off the top of my head I don't think I could even say what the 5 veterans did. There's an element of wanting all of the game for it to be 'complete' and beyond the wafer thin theme of wanting a specific city, I can't really justify owning these...
2016-01-06
English First Edition
Year: 2015
7.7
Dec 2015
5.910
Owned
Plays: 10
I've had a lot of fun exploring Baseball Highlights (in its various editions). I must admit, that the extras in Super Deluxe (versus Deluxe) are probably a bit redundant, but I like the variety.

BH2045 is one of the few deck building games where I care enough about what my opponent(s) is doing to watch and pay attention to the cards they select and what they may have in their hands.

I dislike the 3 player game for teaching and it is a little counter-intuitive, but I've played 1-4 player (and a 16 player tournament) and this game holds up remarkably well at all levels.

My only negative would perhaps be the slightly slapdash rulebook, but it's a really solid game.
2015-12-15
First edition
Year: 2010
6.7
Jul 2012
5.935
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Staggeringly dry, but an interesting premise that seems to work quite well. The game is essentially an area majority with some nice, difficult choices as to how best to try and score.
2012-07-19
Batavia (2008)
5.9
Feb 2012
6.010
Plays: 1
We played 5 players and I think this might be too many. All but 1 tile was taken and we only got to win approximately 1 auction each. That makes the auctions themselves pointless and basically random if you win an early one (and then have no chance to compete later on).

It looks pretty and I wanted to like it. I didn't.
2012-02-09
6
Nov 2014
6.211
Plays: 1
If Kemble's Cascade is trying to recreate a fast playing video game then it fails badly. It is pretty light and really shouldn't involve AP, but it's far from a brainless, fast twitch game. I really dislike a lot of the production; the ships are cheap and look pretty rubbish, the card trays are functional at best and I personally dislike the 80's style artwork.

The game itself was moderately interesting with a pretty simple progression; get better everything in order to give yourself more option. It all functioned pretty well together, but the rulebook was a bit of a mess and it was never deeply engaging.
2014-11-17
N/A
5.742
Want To Play
Dumb space combat. I'd like to try it, but I don't have high hopes.
2014-04-09
7
Sep 2011
6.285
Plays: 11
A quick tactical battle. This plays in all of about 5 minutes and for what it is, it's a lot of fun.

For the price it is now, it is well worth picking up though I'm not sure how luck dependant it is (it didn't feel it, but I have a nagging suspicion)...
2011-09-04
N/A
N/A
Want To Play
If, for nothing else, because I've enjoyed 218 so much in the past.
2014-04-14
English fourth edition
Year: 2011
7.2
Jul 2011
7.277
Owned
Plays: 36
A clever little card game where you're essentially playing poker sets (high card, straights, flushes etc) to win areas on a battle.

Tactics cards add just enough to keep this interesting.

Very push-your-luck, typical Knizia.
2011-07-22
6.5
Dec 2014
6.938
Plays: 1
BoFA seems very much to be in the mould of; thrown enough stuff in and people will a) like it because of how complex it is and b) if it's broken, it doesn't matter because everyone will have bought it by then anyway.

I don't actually know that it is broken, but how could you possibly balance that many moving parts? There is almost certainly a major issue there somewhere.

Despite those quibbles, and the messy design of dice choosing actions, but each action being three or four different things, I quite enjoyed BoFA. I can't see it being something I'll play frequently, but it was an interesting game in the Stronghold/Seven Sword vein.
2014-12-08
English Edition
Year: 2007
8.1
Jan 2013
5.867
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
This is so silly, but so much fun. Played at sometime around 2am with Nato and we were laughing and encouraging each other, but taking the aiming deadly seriously at the same time.

I bought this on a whim and am now expecting to play it surprisingly often.

Update: It is a lot of fun, but it also runs a little long, has some under-baked rules and really is a toy rather than a game.

Traded for £15 (which is a £1 profit!).
2012-06-21
BattleLore (2006)
7.6
Aug 2013
7.212
Plays: 4
Thus far, I've only played scenarios 2 & 3 which don't have any magic and only just had the appearance of 'Goblinoids'. Without the magic and fantasy bolt-ons, this is a very good Memoir adaptation, adding tactical depth and a more interesting theme (the 100 years war) at the expense of cost (no doubt) and not much else. The tactics in the 2 scenarios both seemed to reward aggressive play which bodes pretty well over something like C&C(r):Napoleonics which seemed to favour holding defensive positions, making this play much faster and freer.

Rating could well plummet with the additional scenarios.
2013-08-14
7.4
Mar 2014
6.520
Plays: 1
Epic certainly seemed to add a decent amount of scale to the battle; we used almost all of the miniatures in the base game.

That said, I think I'd rather like to see a game where you can fight it out to the last man standing rather than playing to a set number of points; it leaves me feeling a little as though there is conflict still to resolve.

A fun, if not essential, addition.
2014-03-18
6.8
Mar 2014
6.894
Plays: 6
I enjoyed my first play of this, in part due to some terrible tactics by my opponent that perhaps made the scenario seem much more balanced than it actually is.

Assuming that the rest of the scenarios are equally balanced (I have no idea if this is true), then this is a promising addition to the Memoir set of games.

It has a far higher toy quality than Commands & Colours, but also seems to offer much more varied strategies than that game. If future plays end up being as promising as the first, I might well end up picking up a copy of this.

Update: The rules overhead is just too much. If this isn't a lifestyle game, then there's a ton of flicking idly through the rulebook each time you want to play. This was most evident having just played BattleLore where DoW cleverly give each player a reference card showing what each unit does, how it moves etc. BoW - nothing.

Rating down from 7.6 to 6.8.
2014-03-12
English first edition
Year: 2008
3
Jan 2013
7.676
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
I still want to love this game, but can't help but feel that The Resistance does all the good things this does and plays in a fraction of the time.

I guess it has a more epic feel than The Resistance, but I have much less desire to play this now than I used to...

Update: the game is, sadly, solvable for the humans which breaks it. It's also so hugely padded out, with 20 minutes of gameplay in three hours of sitting at the table. That's entirely unforgivable. Yes, I've had some epic, memorable plays of this, but it has also delivered some of my least favourite gaming memories.

Rating down from 6 (from a high 7 originally) to 3.

(Note that I've actually played this ≈20 times, but it was pre-game logging)

Traded for La Citta and Angkor.
2013-01-25
5
Aug 2011
7.468
Plays: 1
More padding to an already over-inflated game.

It's actually better than Pegasus which isn't really saying a lot.

Give me The Resistance any day.
2011-09-04
3.5
Aug 2011
7.398
Plays: 1
Take an already overlong game and pad it out even more.

Give a second ship that can take damage for you so that there is one less genuine threat for the humans and add treachery cards that no human in their right mind would ever collect and this expansion does nothing for me other than reinforce the idea that The Resistance is the better game.
2011-09-04
Bausack (1987)
6.1
Jun 2012
6.602
Plays: 2
Oh, what a crushing disapointment. I'd been looking forward to playing this for years having seen it being built from afar on a number of occasions.

Unfortunately, the bidding mechanic is a little underbaked and the game just doesn't deliver the laughs that Animal upon Animal does.

The first two games (as listed in the rulebook) are also far too long, even with a misplayed rule where the base could only be one piece instead of as many as the player chooses (which would surely only make the game longer).
2012-06-07
Beasty Bar (2014)
6.9
Apr 2015
6.219
Plays: 7
Is this entirely chaotic, or can you actually start to plan if you card count (even if you only count your own)? Either way, it was an enjoyable 20 minutes and is another really well made Zoch game, even if it is prone to some horrific king-making opportunities.
2015-04-27
6.5
Jan 2016
5.733
Plays: 1
The biggest problem with getting Beasty Bar to the table is that, despite looking very newbie friendly, it actually really requires players to know all cards in play (as well as track them). That is doubly difficult with a new set which also seemed less smoothly designed than the originals.
2016-01-06
First Edition
Year: 2008
7
Jul 2011
5.552
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 9
Haha! How to rate this game... It's a wonderfully silly kids game, suitable for three year olds and yet is quite a lot of fun with 4 adults.

Also, you'd be surprised how often people cheat at this!
2011-07-25
Third Edition, black and white
Year: 1998
N/A
5.399
Prev. Owned
Ben Hvrt (1996)
Cheapass English edition 1996
Year: 1996
N/A
5.516
Prev. Owned
English first edition
Year: 2005
8
Mar 2014
6.155
Owned
Plays: 7
Another classic Knizia game. Essentially it is a hand management game with a push your luck aspect (as so many of the faster playing Knizia's are). It does what it does very well, has a very pretty board (with a slightly jarring graphic design), decent art on the cards and enough meaningful decisions and hidden information to make the game fun to play. Recommended!

Update: Rating up from 7.3 to 8.
2014-03-18
6
Jan 2014
6.047
Plays: 2
A more complicated Kingdoms, but I'm not sure it is better for the changes. I suppose it offers the game a bit more replayability, but at the expense of the elegance of design...

Update: It really is pretty swingy with the tiles that cancel out others (the mead/drunkeness tiles and the valour ones too) though so long as you're aware of these you can at least choose whether to attempt to score them. The dragon in Kingdoms is here, except now it is also a -6 tile. All in all, too much randomness added to a game that isn't without randomness any way.

Rating down from 6.5 to 6.
2014-01-16
Bermuda (2015)
6
Oct 2015
5.517
Plays: 1
Bermuda is a mildly clever way of adding a timer to a simply co-op, with the added benefit of making children (or 45 year old men) be quiet for a short space of time. It's fairly novel, but not particularly memorable.
2015-10-14
5.5
May 2012
5.471
Plays: 1
Luck in dice rolls (to move) compounded by luck in the form of where the cloud moves, compounded by luck in the values of shares as they appear means this really doesn't seem to have any strategic value at all and provided you don't make a few (pretty obvious) tactical mistakes, the game almost plays itself. It's not *not* fun, but it's not quite fun either...
2012-05-11
3
Jun 2013
6.943
Plays: 2
I've played this twice now and both times it has fallen really flat for me.

Wandering around aimlessly until something (entirely random) happens is not my idea of a fun game. Do I want to stay close to the others in case I turn out to have to kill them all, or should I keep my distance in case they're trying to kill me? Since there is precisely no information to base the decision on, it ceases to be a decision.

Just awful.
2013-06-27
5
Nov 2015
6.840
Plays: 2
Between Two Cities is an interesting idea which ultimately falls very flat. None of the decisions are anything close to agonising and it is exceptionally difficult to actually do anything significant or game-changing. It's 15 minutes of very gentle drafting that won't stick in my memory at all.
2015-11-06
Waddingtons second edition
N/A
5.564
Owned
English fourth edition
Year: 2010
6.9
Jan 2012
7.070
Owned
Plays: 23
An unusual imperfect information card draft, followed by an auction for the 'rejected' cards.

The 2 parts of the game just feel a little too disjointed and unrelated, but I have to say I enjoyed this.

Update: Played again and is much better now we're playing it correctly and I know what I'm doing! Surprising how much the imperfect information comes into effect, even with only 2 players. It is a pretty subtle game and takes a few plays to really wrap your head around how to play well.
2012-02-06
6
Nov 2015
6.382
Plays: 2
Playing with five players seemed really hard. And I'm not 100% sure why. Perhaps it was that each player got fewer turns and so had less time to upgrade their decks.

There's some quite big swings of randomness in the curses and the monster abilities which can sometimes be helpful (destroy the top card after having put a curse there vs. discarding a 2 or 3 you've just upgraded to), but that seemed almost acceptable in a co-op.

It all holds together but between being a deck builder and being a co-op, it really wasn't ever going to be my thing.
2015-11-09
Dutch first edition
Year: 1999
7.8
Apr 2014
6.524
Owned
Plays: 6
Spatial placement with clever hand management, a little take that and general dickery, make this a great little three player game. Playing with 5 was too many (as I think everybody knows by now) but I reconfirmed it just in case.

I love the addition of the City Centre and the decision point that gives.
2014-04-23
The Big Idea (2000)
7.2
Oct 2011
5.908
Plays: 2
I have no idea what the rules actually are as we changed them every round or so whilst trying to actually get it right.

That said, I like the basic idea and the elevator pitches are sometimes, frankly, brilliant.

Who wouldn't buy my Inspirational Toupee if they were feeling a little down and a little lacking in the hair department?
2011-09-20
Cheapass version in paper envelope
Year: 1997
N/A
5.146
Prev. Owned
Black Friday (2010)
3.9
Mar 2013
6.144
Plays: 2
This looks so promising and the theme is so interesting, but beyond being a fairly complicated teaching tool (complicated for non-gamers) I fail to see the point of this. As a game it seems to fail quite badly. Slightly misjudge when the bubble will burst and you're left with worthless stocks which only continue to decline in value. At that point your options are too hope to ride it out and come last, or sell for next to nothing and come last.

What a spectacularly uninteresting second half of the game as your decisions are basically to see whether you can afford to buy silver or not. A disappointment.
2013-03-31
Blackrock Editions Multilingual first edition
Year: 2012
8
Nov 2012
5.496
Owned
Plays: 21
This one is a little opaque and beyond 'not letting one person be left at the end with tons of cowboys', I'm not entirely sure how to play this well.

That said, it's an interesting little game and Alain Ollier continues to impress me with his variations on bidding games (in small boxes).

I'm keen to play this more and investigate it further. The rating could well go up (considerably).

Rating up from 7.3 to 8.
2012-11-19
6
Aug 2014
5.871
Plays: 9
For some reason I found this slightly more charming than the identical in all but colour Toc Toc Woodman. Perhaps it was the different group.

Either way, it's still barely a game, but has a certain simple charm to it. I suspect if I played it 5 more times though my rating would plummet.
2014-08-10
Blockers! (2007)
7
Jan 2015
6.327
Plays: 3
Uptown is a really simple fast game that whilst not particularly deep is quite fun and rewarding to play. It does have some serious king-making issues though so is better suited to casual play.
2015-01-05
Blokus (2000)
5
Aug 2014
6.867
Plays: 1
Blokus is just a little too dry and dull for me and it seems a lot as though it is decided pretty early on and then you're simply just going through the motions until we can score. Playing 2 player, with 2 colours each is a mess.
2014-08-10
Blokus 3D (2003)
5
Nov 2014
6.581
Plays: 2
I suspect this works better with a smaller player count as it seemed far too easy for one player to get shut out, but Blokus 3D is a perfectly fine little filler that didn't excite me at all.

I'd be happy to try it again with only 2 players.
2014-11-26
Blokus Duo (2005)
5
Sep 2012
6.651
Plays: 3
It seems to play slightly mechanically and though it has some interesting options (mostly at the start) it quickly descends into mild tedium.

Also, though I understand that the box is designed for travel, it is woefully unfit for purpose. It's all but impossible to remove the playing pieces from the storage area and then almost entirely impossible to remove them from the play area. We resorted to smashing the board upside down on the table... Not how I usually want to treat my games, but somehow fitting in this instance.
2012-09-13
7.2
Dec 2011
7.186
Plays: 6
For all the dice rolls going on in this game, it really is a lot of fun.

I played a BB enthusiast (it was my first game) and though I only won 1-0, it was the most one-sided game ever. Essentially, I brought American Football knowledge and tactics to the game, tweaked it to take in to account the difference in rules and proceeded to play him off the pitch.

We're now looking to set up a league which I'm eagerly anticipating.
2011-09-04
7
Feb 2012
6.377
Plays: 4
Doesn't add a huge amount to the game, but what it does add; namely league play is massive and raises Blood Bowl to a whole new level.

Dropped from an 8 to a 7 now the BB cracks are starting to show (it's basically impossible to win by more than 1 unless the dice hate your opponent, or he is inept).
2012-02-19
5.5
May 2012
7.186
Plays: 5
The randomness of hiring Freebooters and Stars almost breaks this game (and can break some individual plays) but there is enough going on in other aspects to help it retain most of the fun of Blood Bowl, with less tactics and less strategy.

It really doesn't need to be a Blood Bowl game, as it has almost nothing in common outside of theme.

I think I'd always rather play regular Blood Bowl, but this is a decent alternative for 4 people or those who have less than 2 hours.

Update: the more I play this the more apparent it becomes how massively luck heavy this is. A few dice rolls go in your favour at the start of the game and you might get to recruit 3 star players. If your opponent has none, you're then at a massive advantage in round 2. Do well in round 2... snowball effect. Conversely, if you get a couple of useless Freebooters over a Star Player, you're screwed. Some of the power-ups are just better than others. All in all, this is a nice idea, done badly with my pet hate of tiny cards that people need to be aware of across a table.

Rating down from 6.8 to 5.5.
2012-05-23
4
Jan 2016
6.555
Plays: 3
After three plays, I can honestly say that I don't really like The Bloody Inn. It sells itself very hard on theme and art and though I quite like the art, there's almost no theme behind it. Or interesting decisions.

Increasingly I am of the opinion that a little luck and a good start will decide the game. Blargh.
2016-01-06
Bloody Legacy (2004)
6
May 2011
5.492
Plays: 1
Very little game, but a lot of fun!

The first turn takes about 80% of the total time of the game and players fall in quick succession once you're a round in.

Play it quickly, possibly with alcohol and the right group of people and it's great fun.

Would be better with more cards to add variety in the flavour text.
2011-06-22
7.6
Nov 2013
6.884
Plays: 3
A pretty little game, fun for 30 minutes. I'm never in a rush to play it, but I always tend to enjoy it.

Tends to be quite a close finish too...

Those dragon scales are more valuable than you realise.

Update: I wonder what the original theme was here, but there's a strong aspect of leeching/working with others and (for the most part for me) finishing their work to either get a small reward for little work or a lot of reward (by doing the 'most' in a location) for a decent amount of work. The game can leave you behind if you end up at the other side of the board from people and if they're not working with you (and stealing the dragons) but this is a nice, slightly vicious, fast game.

Rating up from 7 to 7.6.
2013-11-27
5
Jun 2014
6.495
Plays: 2
I'd been keen to try this for a long time, but it just didn't click with me at all. I don't understand why the beginner decks would contain so many cards that have the promise of interesting combos but not the matching cards required to make those combos work.

As a result, I found the gameplay a little dull and uneventful.
2014-06-09
Blueprints (2013)
6.5
Sep 2014
6.669
Plays: 3
Blueprints is an oddly charming game. I'm not convinced that it is any more than decent, but it represents a mildly distracting 30 minutes.

It's nicely produced, a sensible size and, I'm told, a decent price.
2014-09-18
La Boca (2013)
6.5
Apr 2013
6.449
Plays: 9
A fun little semi-co-operative brick building game. It falls in to the same game space as something like Uggtect and both games have some replayability issues. I think my main issue with La Boca is that one side of the puzzle often seems to be much easier than the other so with varied abilities in the team, you can get massively swingy results. There also doesn't seem to be much in the way of balance between how easy the 'easy puzzles' are. Some are clearly easier to construct than others.

All of that rather spoils the game as a competitive beast, but played for laughs (as it probably should be) it's pretty fun.
2013-04-24
Bohnanza (1997)
6.3
Dec 2011
7.000
Plays: 1
I finally managed to play this - it takes a little too long for what it is and I'd be interested to see just how luck dependent the card draws make the game, but the basic idea of the game is decent. In summary, not one I'd rush to play again and again, but I certainly didn't hate it.
2011-12-09
English/Korean first edition
Year: 2014
7.3
Nov 2014
5.580
Owned
Plays: 9
This was a little flat with two players, but comes alive when played with 4. With that player count there's just enough information and bluffing to make screwage viable and entertaining.

I don't think it scales well, but when played with 4 (and maybe 3) it's a genuinely fun game. Though the theme makes no sense at all.
2015-04-07
Face2Face German first edition
Year: 2004
6.8
Jul 2011
6.312
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 8
A fairly simple game and I quite like the mechanic of passing the funds to the right. A fairly simple, quick game and rated accordingly.
2011-07-14
Blackrock English/French/German Edition
Year: 2010
8
Nov 2012
6.424
Owned
Plays: 31
A hidden information/area control game. Worked pretty well with non-gamers but has had mixed reviews from gamers. Some really like it (like me) but for others it falls flat.

Update: I'm finding more and more people now enjoy it. It's more hand-management and bidding than what I wrote above previously. Better with more than 2.

Rating up from 7.4 to 8.
2012-11-09
5
Mar 2015
6.228
Plays: 1
This was described to me as Dungeon Lords without all the complexity and worker placement. Well, it is, but only in theme. It has none of the depth, scope of choices, creative solutions, clever dependencies of chains of actions. It's a simple 'throw cards down' little filler that is pretty heavily dependant on card draw. Oh, and don't accidentally go for the same icons as another player; you'll essentially be guaranteed to lose.

There's really little here of value. I don't really care for the artwork, it was never funny and the random take-that from spells added nothing. Tedious deterministic combat.
2015-03-01
English/French first edition
Year: 2012
7.5
Apr 2013
5.649
Owned
Plays: 6
Playing with 6 (in teams) is a lot more complex than playing with 4! It makes the game quite a bit longer, but it's still great fun.

Recommended.
2013-04-25
English First Edition
Year: 2010
7.3
Apr 2013
5.913
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
Played with the right group, this was a lot of fun. It might well be almost entirely random and with 6 players (which is probably best) it seemed to split into two groups. Group A would collect cards while Group B scored them and then vise-versa but this isn't a game you really play to win so strangely it didn't seem to matter.

With 6 it finished just quickly enough. With fewer players, I'd be tempted to remove some cards to keep the game brief as I think it shines if it's over quickly.
2012-02-09
The Bremens (2015)
5
Dec 2015
N/A
Plays: 1
Some slightly random bull-shit racing game. Turn order is pretty significant, but I couldn't quite always work out whether I wanted to be first or last.
2015-12-15
4.8
Aug 2011
6.241
Plays: 2
Not that brief.

A slightly older brother to Risk, but not by enough to warrant it only being 2 years old.

If I'd played this 10 years ago, I'm sure I would have loved it.
2011-07-25
Briefcase (2012)
4.3
Nov 2012
5.856
Plays: 1
How much of a clone is this of Dominion? Almost entirely. There's really nothing of note here that I haven't seen before.

The blocking aspect is supposed to make the game more interactive. In practise, it just makes it more annoying.

It's staggering how many hands you can do nothing with; how did this get through playtesting?

After the inital frustrations, it's just another engine building card game. Where have I seen that before...? Oh, wait...
2012-11-10
Bright Future (2015)
3
May 2015
5.586
Plays: 1
More Kickstarter bollocks unfortunately.

Choose 1 of 2 cards. Each one has a good thing and a bad thing (which sometimes might be good).

Do the good thing (which might be bad) and then the bad thing (which might be good). Potter around on a map which feels like it was meant to be big tiles and miniatures and then got massively scaled back. Each location is essential a 50/50 random draw of potentially good stuff (recruit allies!) or bad stuff (lose health!), though some areas are always bad, but give you stuff you need (so always worth visiting, pretty much?).

You track your life/resources. Buying equipment costs resources and hiring mercenaries does too. Both are useful. But then you have less life. This sounds more interesting than it was.

Anyway, we won in 2 rounds. We could have won on turn 3 if one tile had come out differently. Utter balls. With some nice pictures. Ask me in a week and I might not remember the game already.
2015-05-13
5
Aug 2013
N/A
Plays: 1
Oh, God. The cards. What on earth is this? Is this a seven or is that artwork that mostly obscures a sword mean it's actually a six?

Of course, being a traditional card game it has stupid rules. 3s are now the second highest card, for no apparent reason.

Beyond the stupid exceptions and the horrible artwork, the game is decent. Being 'picked' to be on the winning bidder's team is always a bad thing. You score fewer points then them if they win and do worse than the team if you lose. Oh, and it requires a scoring change to prevent it possibly being never ending.
2013-08-03
Broom Service (2015)
7
Aug 2015
6.766
Plays: 2
I love Witches Brew, but it does have a tenancy to drag on a little too long sometimes. Broom Service absolutely addresses that, limiting the game to a number of rounds, but the board is poorly designed and difficult to use (and entirely non-colour blind friendly) and the extra cards added a small amount more to the game. I'd be happy owning either, but with WB in my collection already, I don't need BS.
2015-08-10
Bruges (2013)
6
Jun 2014
7.277
Plays: 1
I've always quite liked the smaller, faster Feld games and Bruges falls into that category. As a result, I quite liked it, but found it a little dull in places, the card draw doesn't really offer any control at all and I'd really struggle to say how it would be any different play to play.
2014-06-09
Buccaneer (2006)
6
Feb 2013
6.024
Plays: 2
Another one of these Queen games that looks friendly with its cartoony art, but has a reasonable potential for viciousness. There's lots of noise and the game is so fast, it becomes (intentionally, I think) hard to track the tiles.

Ultimately, it makes for a mildly diverting if not really memorable little filler that takes thirty or so minutes to play.
2013-02-13
4
Jun 2014
5.718
Plays: 1
I liked the premise of this one, with having to play cards to make a colour valuable, but wanted to hold on to cards to then be able to score that colour.

Alas, in practice it did very little for me, or for anyone else at the table. Perhaps it just needs an extra something; a different distribution of cards, more cards removed (only 3 with 4 players), I'm not sure.
2014-06-20
8
Nov 2014
5.707
Plays: 7
A hilarious game of simple hand management/trick taking combined with occassional massive take-that. Brilliantly simple and simply brilliant.
2014-11-04
6
Jan 2015
6.220
Plays: 1
Dice-rolling nonsense with cardboard standees, incredible randomness and massively imbalanced roles (which are actually pretty funny. After all, Xander should be useless, right?).

Our one play of this went on slightly too long, but it was fairly entertaining nonsense.
2015-01-05
6
Dec 2014
6.283
Plays: 2
A super-fast engine building little filler where it can surprisingly bog down in AP. The end game condition, along with the ability to buy extra actions means that you can happily ignore the other players for much of the game, but then suddenly need to really focus on everything for the final few turns.

Perfectly charming - and the production is really good - but I doubt this will stay long in the memory.

Update: This really is far too much heads-down optimisation for my tastes. Rating down from 6.5 to 6.
2014-12-01
Amigo German edition
Year: 2012
7.3
Jul 2015
5.562
Owned
Plays: 5
Another charming entry in the Kramer bullhead series. Bullenparty is probably best with 4 or 5 players, but delivers a clever little bidding/push your luck/set collection game with cards being variably useful at different times of the game.

Rating up from 6.7 to 7.3.
2015-07-13
English first edition
Year: 2009
7.4
May 2012
5.843
Prev. Owned
Plays: 18
Slightly over-complex for what it is and maybe plays just a little too long, but very entertaining and laugh-out-loud good with the right gamers.

"A party game for gamers" which is probably a pretty small niche, but a worthwhile one.

Update: rating moved from 7 to 7.4 as this really is consistently funny and the bemused, confused, scared looks of people playing it for the first time really are priceless.
2012-05-04
Burger Joint (2009)
4
Jun 2013
5.693
Plays: 1
Mindlessly shifting cubes around and largely ignoring the other player, glancing across only to see which diners he has built is not my idea of fun.
2013-06-13
Busen Memo (2003)
2.5
May 2011
5.351
Plays: 1
This was fun(ny) for about 5 minutes, but took 3 of us 45 minutes to play. In the end, we gave up, flipped over all the tiles and tried to make pairs.

Some of the photos are so bad, that we had to vote as to which cards made a pair. How you'd play this properly, I have no idea.

Keep submitting it to Geeklists, but never actually buy/play it yourself. You have been warned.
2011-05-08
Button Up! (2012)
4.5
Jan 2013
5.523
Plays: 1
I don't know that there is much here to dislike, I'm just not convinced that there is much to commend either. It has a very low-end prototype feel to it; clearly very homemade.

Ultimately, this is a mildly interesting puzzle, but I'm not sure it works as, or even really is, a game.
2013-01-24
7
Jan 2014
6.022
Plays: 2
Note that I've only played with these in Kemet and have not used them in Cyclades.

It's a pretty brilliant marketing idea to say "Hey, grab this and you can expand two games at once!" Of course, it will help sell the 'other' game if people only own one of the two and I suspect that's a big part of the appeal for the company here.

As for the expansion itself; some of the pieces are of very questionable use. The Kraken only affects a few spaces. Does it affect the walled cities nearby? We weren't sure and so decided probably not. But, for the minimal cost (assuming you already own Cyclades) this is a nice little addition to the game. It certainly isn't required and if you're thinking of picking up Cyclades just to use the monsters in Kemet, save your money.
2014-01-26
Repos Productions multilingual edition 2009 (EN/DE/GR/SP)
Year: 2009
8.6
Feb 2012
6.571
Owned
Plays: 41
The easiest filler game in the world; takes all of about 10 minutes to play.

I'm not sure the advanced rules really add anything to the game, but it's great fun without them.
2011-01-29
English First Edition
Year: 1979
6
Feb 2011
N/A
This is a chase and trapper game, in a way like Scotland Yard, but more abstract and 2 player. It is biased with imbalances and so should be played twice, with each player taking turn in each role.
2011-06-22
El Caballero (1998)
5.5
Sep 2014
6.125
Plays: 1
I don't think El Caballero was really designed for 2 players. Everything seemed just a bit too zero sum and the interest petered out fairly quickly. With three or four players this could be an interesting tile laying game and because of the designers I am keen to try it, but it didn't leave me with much of a positive impression first time out.
2014-09-22
Cable Car (2009)
6
Feb 2014
6.053
Plays: 3
Slightly chaotic with 6, but with this number it essentially becomes little more than a good filler.

I think it'd be better with fewer players (and probably best with 2-4) but I've only played it with 6.

Update: Played again with 5 - still mildly entertaining but fairly brainless fun. Essentially your choices are 'do I try and score myself or dick someone else over?'. One outcome results in you winning, the other in you having fun.

We also tried the shares option with 4 players. I think the general consensus was that it was more interesting but less fun.

Rating down from 7.1 to 6.
2014-02-19
7
Aug 2013
6.270
Plays: 1
This played very quickly and really didn't feel particularly confrontational. In that regard, I suppose it works quite well as a 2 player, partner-friendly game.

The theme is basically non-existant, but it's a good, fast, card game that probably rewards good play (I did win).
2013-08-19
English first edition
Year: 2013
5
May 2015
5.566
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
A simple game to pick up with some interesting and mildly challenging decisions. I suspect this requires everybody to play with blocking to prevent a runaway winner, but provided they do, it's a fun little game.

I'm not entirely sold on the artwork; there's a lot of brown in there and the plan itself is not deeply functional nor pretty but this has a very indie feel to it. That charm is enough for me to overlook the slight problems I have with it.

Update: The choices were just too simplistic for anyone in my gaming group (probably me included, even with the best will in the world) and so out it goes!

Rating down from 7.2 to 5.
2015-05-13
7.2
May 2012
6.406
Plays: 3
It's pretty fast and I quite like the card mechanic (dare I say it, more than in Twilight Struggle). I can see this wouldn't have a huge amount of replayability but, based on one play, I quite like this. Perhaps it's currently my favourite of the 3 card based political games.

I do tend to swim against the flow...

Also, the component quality is so much better than the GMT produced TS. That shouldn't matter, but it does. At least a little.
2012-05-11
Blatz edition with SdJ logo
Year: 1995
6.3
Jun 2011
5.681
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I'm not sure how much strategy there really is in the game; the choices never seem particularly challenging.

Sold through GG lotteries.
2012-02-19
Can't Stop (1980)
6.2
May 2012
6.719
Plays: 6
An interesting little idea which seems to sadly take just a little longer than it should. The whole game is push your luck and it's just a shame that this is done better elsewhere (see: everything by Reiner Knizia).
2012-05-11
Canal Mania (2006)
5.4
Jul 2011
6.345
Plays: 1
Just another track building and pick up and deliver game. It's basically a train game.

Not for me.
2011-07-14
N/A
5.681
Want To Play
Cape Horn (1999)
6.3
Sep 2011
5.686
Plays: 2
This is a difficult game to rate because a) it is so unlike anything else I have played and b) after two plays I have only just begun to wrap my head around it.

An interesting mechanic, but perhaps too easy to 'attack' others rather than focus on achieving your own goals.
2011-09-29
The Capitals (2013)
6.5
Dec 2013
6.251
Plays: 1
Potentially massively imbalanced and with very little in the way of long term planning this is 2+ hours of tactical reactions to the tiles that come up.

It wasn't unfun and certainly exceeds Suburbia in every way, but I won't be desperately rushing back to play this.

Randomly being screwed out of being able to build purple buildings is somewhat addressed by not having to be alone in having the most of something, but instead only having to tie for most. Oddly, this doesn't occur with all tiles; how am I meant to have the least power if someone else has just spent all of theirs? This unintentional (and basically impossible to predict/combat) blocking sours the taste a little, but there's a decent game here under the morass of icons and ugly board design.
2013-12-03
El Capitán (2007)
N/A
6.390
Another Kramer gem?
2014-12-26
First edition
Year: 2013
N/A
5.830
Owned
English first edition (paper envelope)
Year: 2005
N/A
5.512
Prev. Owned
English edition 2001 with River
Year: 2001
8.8
Feb 2012
7.339
Owned
Plays: 88
Simple, elegant, pretty easy to teach. You can play this aggressively (stealing cities and roads, battling for farms), or non-aggressively, depending on who you're playing with to tailor the experience accordingly and this is a game I expect to still be playing years from now.

I've not yet played any expansions and don't feel that they're needed. Maybe one day I'll burn out and feel the need to change it up a little (note: I have the River 1 expansion but rarely use it).
2011-04-17
6
Jun 2015
5.529
Plays: 1
Barely significant enough to rate. I suppose that technically it very slightly increases the likelihood of scoring a city? Essentially worthless even as a promo.
2015-06-02
Spielbox German edition
Year: 2012
N/A
5.628
Prev. Owned
English Spielbox edition
Year: 2013
N/A
5.606
Owned
6
Jul 2012
7.415
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Only played with the goods (trader) rules so far. It seemed to further dilute what I like about Carcassonne...

I'm also really not a fan of the builder piece; I realise Carcasonne is pretty abstract, but this just seems out of place.
2013-04-10
Spielbox English first edition
Year: 2014
N/A
5.633
Owned
English edition 2005
Year: 2005
7.3
Nov 2011
7.454
Owned
Plays: 19
Essentially adding a small amount of push your luck to Carcassonne (with the inns and cathedrals) and a tweak to area control with the giant meeple.

Not essential, but a nice change-up to the base game.
2011-11-30
6.5
Jul 2011
6.867
Plays: 3
Another 'new Carcassonne' that doesn't compare to the original. As pointed out by Henrik, if a player gets ahead, the bonus scoring tokens just simply help to mean that the other player can't catch up.
2011-07-25
English Second Edition
Year: 2010
7.7
Jul 2011
6.895
Owned
Plays: 17
I've really enjoyed this so far; it has enough differences to Carcassonne that it feels almost like a different game and the walls add a new strategic element.
2011-07-25
5.5
Mar 2012
5.334
Plays: 2
This is almost a non-game; you certainly have very little control over whether you win or lose.

There are very few valid decisions to be made, but the game is so fast (2 or 3 rounds) it really is a mini-filler.
2012-03-28
Rio Grande Games English edition
Year: 2001
6.8
Jun 2011
6.769
Owned
Plays: 19
A slightly unnecessary expansion; it cuts the map in 2 but creates the possibility of a mega-farm. Nice to change it up now and again, but far from vital.
2011-04-21
English edition
Year: 2005
7
Nov 2011
6.822
Owned
Plays: 16
Solves the mega farm issue of the River and adds a nice little mix-up to base Carc.
2011-11-28
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2012
7.5
Apr 2014
5.655
Owned
Plays: 24
Gentle almost to the point of nothingness with 2 players, this game comes alive with three players where you have some control over the cards as you're drawing six instead of four. It really needs to be played a couple of times to really grasp the building/expansion rules and how to benefit from them.

Update: The more I play this, the more fun I'm having with it! It doesn't always go to plan and oftentimes you're simply having to make do with the hand you've been dealt but that's a wonderful challenge in itself.

Further update: Town Cent(re) has pretty much replaced this for me, with Card City mostly now functioning as a way of teaching Town Cent(re). That said, it's still a nice game though I'm a little concerned that it's possible to lose (ie have nothing left to do) if you keep getting residential cards. The limited number of Leisures is also a little frustrating at times as strategies based on them are pretty boom or bust.

Rating up from 7.3 to 8.5 and then down to 7.5.
2014-04-24
First edition
Year: 2012
N/A
N/A
Owned
1.5
Feb 2016
5.504
Plays: 1
Take three, very subjective, factors and then be forced to rank them.

Many of the other Cardline games are an absolute delight. Even playing this with a few fairly big Marvel fans, there were a number of characters that no-one recognised and the ratings are so entirely subjective as to essentially be random.

A terrible tie-in that should absolutely be avoided.
2016-02-16
6
Jul 2013
6.203
Plays: 9
Take the Apples to Apples mechanic and swap out a lot of dull cards for horrific, obscene cards. The result is a greatly more entertaining game that possibly has a little less replayability but I don't hold that against it at all.

We played until we ran out of white (answer) cards which took about 3 hours and only had 2 cards that didn't elicit a great response.

Rated: print and play version and the full version

Update: It really doesn't hold up to repeated plays; even though it still raises a few laughs, it just isn't the same level of shock that you get the first time out.

Further update: This has almost no replayability for me. After just five or so plays, this is no almost no fun, even with some expansion cards mixed in.

Rating down from 7.8 to 7.2 then to 5.8, then back up to 6.
2013-07-05
6.5
Jul 2013
6.520
Plays: 1
Adding replayability to a game that is sorely lacking it. There's not enough new cards (I'd be inclined to ask for a whole new edition), but it helps.
2013-07-05
6
Jun 2014
6.075
Plays: 1
CAH needs tons of variety to keep it interesting and they've clearly done a good job of that here, but I still find myself smiling politely rather than really laughing on too many of the cards to have much desire to play CAH again.
2014-06-28
Carpe Astra (2008)
3.6
Jan 2012
5.680
Plays: 1
Described to me as 'fairly random and it basically comes down to who does best on the last round'. That would seem to largely bear out though with 2 players attacking each other (in a three player game), the outcome was determined even earlier than that.

The hand of cards is so small, that you can't plan ahead and drawing the right few cards goes a long way to determining the winner. Just awful.
2012-01-13
Carson City (2009)
6.4
Oct 2012
7.088
Plays: 6
I was a little underwhelmed with this. It promised so much and was only ... decent.

Update: It's actually a pretty clever WP game that plays in a sensible amount of time (and seems faster than it is). The downside being that the dueling mechanism which makes the game stand out can also result in players being shut out for a whole round or more which is essentially devastating.

Update 2: I'm seeing rounds where the dice go against a player too often and they end up with nothing from an entire round. That's too punishing for a game with as few rounds as this game has and is a major issue for me.

Rating down from 7.1 to 6.4
2012-10-04
4.2
Jan 2013
6.008
Plays: 1
I have issues with Carson City and this expansion simply exacerbates all those problems. Now, everyone has to have guns, the ranches are devalued because so many more houses get built so the whole board fills up.

Just everything about this turns me off the game more.
2013-01-02
7.5
Jun 2012
5.929
Plays: 3
It seems to offer the possibility of a land-grab strategy (which seems odd given the character being an American Indian...) which would be an interesting alternative strategy.

Essentially, this adds a lot of land, but randomly distributed across the board. I think it's more useful at the start of the game than the end, but is a role I like to take.

Update: Rating up from 7.1 (to match the base game) to 7.5.
2012-06-02
Cartagena (2000)
5
May 2013
6.563
Plays: 2
A fairly simple game that is maybe showing its age. Not a huge amount of strategy and I'm not sure how much I influenced the game (despite winning).

Would play again but probably not more than a few times.

Update: There are clearly some clever things to do here and some ways to manipulate the game, but I'm honestly not interested enough to even pay enough attention to what's going on to do so.

Rating down from 6.8 to 5.
2013-05-24
6
Jan 2014
5.497
Plays: 1
A speed pattern recognition game generally causes stress to some players - and that is precisely what this game simulates. The stress of having to glad-hand the public.

It's silly, but it is lovingly produced, pretty to look at and a decent filler. As such, it comes with a mild recommendation to try it.
2014-01-04
Castaways (2013)
7.8
Dec 2015
6.534
Plays: 1
Castaways delivered one of the most memorable and entertaining plays I have had in a long time, but I don't know how repeatable it would be. We had a huge amount of fun squabbling over who was going to help us survive and who was off after their own objectives. The game, though long and complicated (set up was a nightmare) was always interesting and entertaining.

Robinson Crusoe, but with added dicking over. A huge amount of fun.

I'd played a prototype version years ago (literally, about 4 years ago) and was glad to see that the published edition lived up to that original promise.
2015-12-15
English first edition (red/blue pieces)
Year: 2013
5
Mar 2014
5.871
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
I'm unsure what to make of this. It seems to be that the ideal thing to do is hang back until your opponent runs out of cards so that you can play a bunch all in one go. The few cards that allow you to draw cards also seem pretty powerful and drawing one on the last turn seemed to put me at a great disadvantage.

That said, I quite enjoyed playing it and am keen to try it again.

Update: This is a bit samey each play and after 2 plays I feel that I might have seen everything in the game.

Rating down from 7 to 5.
2014-03-05
Castle Crush! (2013)
4
Nov 2014
5.689
Plays: 1
There may well be a good game in this box, but we couldn't find it with the rules enclosed. I don't think it was a mistranslation so much as I suspect the original rules didn't have enough information in them to explain the game.

The castles hold together fairly well when under attack, so if anyone can ever figure out the rules, I'd try this again.
2014-11-04
English edition
Year: 2008
7.5
Nov 2012
6.475
Owned
Plays: 22
As close to a perfect game as I've played so far. I just wish a) I was better at it, and b) that I could convince more people to play it with me!

I love the simultaneous role selection, the balance of having to gain resources and collect money, the trade offs between building for immediate VPs and building for money to score end-game VPs, I love the parasitic point scoring from other people's work and I love that you can set yourself up so that other people have to score you some points if they want to score themselves more.

Rating down from 9.1 to 7.5. I still really like the game, just don't have the same excitement to play it currently.
2012-11-19
English First Edition
Year: 2009
6.5
Jul 2011
5.692
Owned
Plays: 1
Having played with these once, they do clearly add a little randomness to the game, but I'm not honestly sure this is what a Castle for all Seasons really needs.

They impacted the game by about 8-10 VPs which (in this case) didn't determine the winner but if you're not in a position to deal with one or two of the events it can put you a long way behind with little chance of recovery (as the game is so balanced).

Bought for $5 from Rio Grande.
2011-07-14
English first edition
Year: 2009
6
Jun 2011
6.581
Prev. Owned
Plays: 7
The idea of having to work co-operatively to protect the castle whilst trying to hold back cards at the right time to ensure you score the most points at the end is a wonderful idea, but I'm not sure it really works here for me.

I think this game might be best as a fully co-operative game for families and youngsters (the variants are all in the rules).

Sold for cash in a maths trade.
2012-05-21
English first edition
Year: 2013
6
Feb 2014
5.466
Owned
Plays: 5
Umm. I'm not sure there are really any meaningful decisions to be made in this game. There's some gentle hand management going on, to try and collect required sets. There's the illusion of a push your luck game, in that if you wait for people to eliminate suspects, you're increasingly likely to be correct if you guess, but really this all just happens and somebody wins.

The rules state that you can play a game in an advert break and that is probably correct. It's probably about the best time for it. I can't see this every making it to a game night.

Update: I still don't think that there is much in the way of 'game' here and the theme is basically non-existent. But, oddly, it is quite fun to play. Perhaps because it is so stupid that you're almost required to add drama to the accusations and suspense to flipping the chips to see if you've won.

Rating up from 4 to 6.
2014-02-10
6.9
Apr 2013
7.987
Plays: 2
I feel a little like this whole game is set up so that you never really have to worry about what numbers you roll. I can see some benefit from that; losing because you didn't roll as 'well' as someone else is frustrating, but why bother having the dice if every combination is good?

This game suffers from the usual Feldian 'everything you can do is worth something' and so each choice feels a little underwhelming; there are 29 things I can do, each is worth approximately 6 points... but as usual, smoothly put together and runs quickly. My favourite of the non-fillers from Mr. Feld.
2013-04-02
English first edition
Year: 2014
7.8
Oct 2014
7.612
Owned
Plays: 11
I'm guilty of many, many rants against Bezier Games, having disliked Ultimate Werewolf, One Night Ultimate Werewolk, Suburbia and even managing to dislike Start Player, so it was with some trepidation that I sat down to play Castles...

We started setting up and I saw many of the same components from Suburbia - that terrible price track that makes the game so random with more than two players, stacks of tiles that didn't look like they were all going to be in the game - all of the issues I'd had with Suburbia were flooding back to me and my heart sank.

And I'm delighted to say that they appear to have been addressed; now, tiles are repositioned on the price track by players meaning no more lucky draws determining games, there is some control over the tiles that come into play, but most imortantly you can't just simply lose because the type of tile you decided to go heavily into just isn't in the game (airports were famously bad for this in Suburbia). All in all, Castles of Mad King Ludwig delivered a really smooth, fun play experience. To the extent that it has now become the first Bezier Game in my collection - and that is quite something coming from me.
2014-10-28
5
Dec 2015
6.375
Plays: 1
Secrets didn't really add anything for me: I didn't care for the swans and didn't really like the added random factors of removing rooms during set up. Not necessary at all.
2015-12-15
Catan (1995)
4.3
Jul 2011
7.174
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Hate, hate, hate. My own personal gateway game that I've since discovered is everything I hate; a total dicefest and if the dice gods are against you, 90 minutes of sitting and watching other people do stuff.

Sold for £10 to Adam.
2011-04-25
3
May 2015
5.584
Plays: 1
Utter shite. Not quick enough to justify the lack of decisions or the lack of a game.
2015-05-08
5
Jul 2011
6.831
Plays: 2
More Settlers. More time.

Blurgh.
2011-09-04
5
Mar 2012
7.284
Plays: 1
Adding tech trees and *stuff* makes this no longer a gateway game. If I'm not playing it to introduce newbies to gaming, why am I not just playing something more fun?

The barbarian attacks are a nice idea, but it can basically wipe a player out if they can't get a city protected before the first attack (as would have happened in our game if I hadn't gone out of my way to prevent it). Getting wiped out in the first few rounds of Catan is not my idea of fun...
2012-03-12
5
Mar 2012
6.713
Plays: 1
Doesn't really add anything, but doesn't really impair anything, so rated as I did for the C&K expansion.
2012-03-12
Cave Troll (2002)
6.6
Jul 2013
6.192
Plays: 1
An oddly fun little area control game with lots of special powers.

I'm not really convinced the theme comes across, but that's not an issue; it's a clever enough game that it was fun just to experience it.
2013-07-18
4
Apr 2014
8.049
Plays: 1
Maybe if we played 2 player and maybe if that person was the fastest player in the world, I could be talked in to trying this again.

It's simply everything I dislike in games; no interaction, tedious chains of resource collection, 400 things to read and look at before you can really do anything, pointless Dwarven fantasy theme, prone to AP and at no point did anyone smile, laugh or even really speak to each other through the 150 minutes we were sat there.
2014-04-04
Cavum (2008)
6
Sep 2013
6.254
Plays: 1
Cavum has a lot of interesting ideas going on in it and there is clearly scope to be rewarded for playing well. The downside is that this comes at the expense of downtime. Even with 4 playing quickly, there was too much time spent watching others staring at the board, planning their turns.

I liked it, but I'm not enthused about the idea of playing it again.
2013-09-08
Change! (1999)
4.5
Jun 2012
5.456
Plays: 2
Played both Boneyard and Making Change and neither seemed to really have much to it. We played 2 player which is probably not the ideal way to play, but there really wasn't enough to the game to make me want to try again with more.
2012-06-20
6.8
Oct 2012
7.500
Plays: 1
A surprisingly decent area control game where the dice don't annoy me as much as I'd expected. I was a little disappointed to see that the Australia strategy from Risk seemed to work when I played, but extra plays will see how often this pans out.

Even with the little cards with tiny text (one of my pet hates) wasn't as annoying as usual as they are placed in the middle of the board.
2012-10-15
Cheaty Mages! (2008)
6.8
Dec 2012
6.056
Plays: 3
An odd little game; it's swingy and pretty random because of the card draws, but it's also oddly engaging.

I feel like I have a soft spot for the designer after R and Love Letter but there seems to be something inherently fun about Kanai games.

The last round is clearly the most important but I'm also willing to overlook that...
2012-12-07
Cheops (1998)
6
Sep 2014
5.663
Plays: 1
I think there might be a large degree of randomness in this game; one of our players was trying to get eliminated by not drawing additional tiles after her turns. We had to actually pass her one each time.

That player won comfortably.

What does that say about the game? Or perhaps about us?

There may well be a decent game here. It's slightly lost in a bad rules translation, fiddly set up and slightly bland design.
2014-09-22
First edition
Year: 2014
N/A
N/A
Owned
Want To Play
4
Jun 2014
5.621
Plays: 1
I fail to see quite how there's any real skill to this game. It seemed like a charming premise, but the luck of the draw rules out a lot of the skill or depth.
2014-06-09
Multilingual second edition
Year: 2008
7.5
Feb 2013
7.023
Owned
Plays: 9
This might be the most opaque game I've played. I have no idea as to whether each decision I made was good or terrible and it seems hard to get feedback on your decisions. That said, it's a very interesting game.
2013-02-26
6
Oct 2014
6.035
Plays: 1
The Narrow Gauge didn't seem to really make sense though I can understand why it exists (I just don't understand why they are trains. Why not little mountains or something?).

Erie was more interesting, though seems to be an all-or-nothing gamble. Others are essentially required to bid you up and then block you off as the company only has one share. I suppose it is a nice change-up to Chicago Express, but I didn't find it anything close to essential.
2014-10-06
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2013
7
Nov 2013
5.529
Owned
Plays: 9
How can you resist a 5 minute game of screwing over your friends? Or at least, collaborating with them just enough to profit from it whilst gently stabbing them in the back at the same time.

A fix for the variable number of player turns would make this better, but I can't really complain. Just play so each player gets to be start player.

The people who are rating this a 4 really are just a little mean spirited.
2013-11-02
5.5
Mar 2013
5.974
Plays: 2
An interesting premise, but for me, this feels like another Kickstarted game that is a little underdeveloped.

The rotating decision-making seems forced and artificial. There's promise here, but I'm far from excited by it.

I do also feel like I broke it a little when I ended it in three rounds...
2013-03-31
China (2005)
6.8
May 2013
6.788
Plays: 5
I'm still not quite sure what to make of China; it's fast playing, pretty tactical, but also fairly chaotic (I've only played with 4 or 5) and so it seems a lot like it just 'happens' and then somebody wins at the end...
2013-05-04
Dutch second edition
Year: 2008
8.9
Mar 2014
6.974
Owned
Plays: 9
How negotiation games should work. Just enough structure to point players in the right direction, but enough freedom to do as they please.

For me, the trading and deal making in this works better than Bohnanza and I'm The Boss, though I'm The Boss is definitely funnier (just not more fun). I'm keen to play this again soon to see if it stands up to repeat plays.

Update: I'm beginning to really love this game, though it's not one I can play frequently because I find it exhausting. Of all my games, it's probably the one I want to win most every time it hits the table. Everything is for sale as a price, everything is negotiable.

I had particular fun in my last game; trading away a spot that was valuable to me to another player to give me leverage against a third player who then gave me enough money to attempt to buy back the original space I'd traded away and still leave me with a healthy profit.

Rating up from 7.6 to 8.9.
2014-03-25
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2014
7.4
Nov 2014
5.790
Owned
Plays: 7
This feels more complicated and involved than I recall Koryo being, but I still enjoyed it. What it does need though is for all players to understand what they're doing and what their cards do.

The iconography is decent, but has that annoying tendency of only making sense once you know the game and so don't really need it...

The decision space of trying to score easy sets which don't score many points, or harder sets which score lots but can more easily be attacked or overtaken is enjoyable as is the choice between playing sets of characters (for majorities), a mix of character and event cards (for activation abilities) or event cards (possibly for a lot of points).
2014-11-05
English first edition
Year: 2010
6.8
Dec 2011
6.271
Owned
Plays: 16
Another trick taking game but with enough wrinkles to keep it interesting. The individual card abilities makes it a little heavy going for a new player and their first turn or two (with 8 or so cards to be aware of), but the game is pretty simple once you pick it up. As with all card games, a good hand helps immensely and a bad hand can probably kill you, but there are enough choices in the game that it doesn't feel like it too much.
2011-12-22
6.8
Jan 2012
5.588
Plays: 1
A fairly quick card based auction game. It's fairly simple and fairy fun and for what it is, has just enough difficult decisions to make it fun.

The card stock and artwork are both lovely.
2012-01-07
English first edition
Year: 2010
N/A
5.679
Owned
7
May 2016
5.856
Plays: 1
There seemed to be some big swings of luck in the arrival of acts and shows which may have had a significant impact on the winner, but this is a clever and interesting design.
2016-05-04
VPG Edition
Year: 2010
N/A
N/A
Owned
Citadels (2000)
5.6
Jul 2011
7.087
Plays: 5
This game is horrible and bloated with more than 5 (4?) players. With three it is better, but I'm still not really a fan.

There are better things available to play at any given moment. My least favourite role selection game.
2011-06-22
English/French first edition
Year: 2010
N/A
5.553
Owned
Want To Play
An interesting looking tile game with a trading element. It's poor rating had kept me from pulling the trigger, but eventually I found it for 12 Euros...
2014-11-24
English/German first edition
Year: 2013
7.5
Oct 2013
6.052
Owned
Plays: 6
Citrus is a pretty simple game; buy tiles from a shared market and add them immediately to the display. You score for how big your plantation is.

What makes it clever are the little wrinkles; limited numbers of workers mean that you have to manage your purchases and your finances. Having to remove your workers means that there is a timing aspect to scoring fincas.

There's a lot to think about here, but all wrapped up in a neat, 70 minute (or so, it felt fast) package that played very nicely and was enjoyed by all.
2013-10-29
English first edition
Year: 2000
7.3
Aug 2011
6.872
Owned
Plays: 4
A nice Euro game that plays fairly quickly but has some interesting decisions to make.

I really like the idea of expanding your cities whilst trying to steal population off of your neighbours. It's a game that works really well and I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to.
2011-09-04
The City (2011)
6
Oct 2013
6.181
Plays: 2
I'm not entirely convinced that this isn't random. Yes, there's a little engine building, but with 5 players burning through the deck, you really can't guarantee you'll ever get the card(s) you want. It also seemed that some cards are just outright better; one player was earning 16 points per round by turn 4, almost all from one card.

Still, it plays in 10-15 minutes so I can't really complain, but this felt much more pastime than game.
2013-10-18
City Hall (2014)
N/A
5.775
Want To Play
5.2
Dec 2012
6.405
Plays: 2
What a shame. I don't recall thinking much of Mall of Horror and so was hoping to see an improvement here. I really don't think the card play added much here other than a layer of randomness and there remains very little space for real negotiation as the points players have, or can score, is open information and so, generally, you just simply kill the person with the most points.

What a shame.
2012-12-08
4
Jul 2013
5.689
Plays: 1
So, I have a longstanding dislike with promos that break the game, are over powered, essential or that change the game away from what it was originally.

The Lawn Mower is guilty of only one of those crimes (it's massively overpowered) but that's still enough.

They've clearly addressed this by making it non-recoverable from the discard pile (it leaves the game when used) but still guarantees the player who has it complete immunity in one space and adds to the already dominating luck of the draw.
2013-07-14
City of Iron (2013)
5
Jun 2014
6.659
Plays: 1
I played this a month ago and now as I come to write about it and rate it, I find that I can't recall much at all about City of Iron.

I recall being glad when it was over.

Deck-building very rarely does anything for me and here, along with a bullshit pasted on theme and pretty uninspired interaction made for a forgettable experience.
2014-06-02
4
Aug 2013
6.268
Plays: 1
We feel like we broke the game twice in the first 2 rounds.

There's so little actual information in the rulebook (though there is space for a 2 page 'story' of the world) that every action becomes a series of rules questions and FAQ checking. After 4 or 5 house rules just to keep the game moving, we abandoned it in favour of something else.

Within 1 turn, if I can find an infinite loop with my deck, you've not play tested this enough (or at all). Looking at the rulebook, the group of playtesters looks a lot like it might have been 2 groups, mostly made up of family members. THAT IS NOT ENOUGH PLAYTESTING. We shouldn't have to house rule your games; you should test and fix them prior to release. Plaid Hat Games, we expect better.
2013-08-09
City Tycoon (2011)
6.8
Oct 2011
6.082
Plays: 1
A clever tile-laying game with a nice card drafting start to each round. The game has a little too much downtime with 5 players, but does some good things.

I dislike the icon that scores points for adjoining tiles as it gets easily lost in the middle of the game, but overall, it's not bad.
2011-10-23
Winning Moves with Spiel des Jahres logo
Year: 2002
6.2
Jul 2011
6.395
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
This would probably work well with 2. With bigger groups, the hidden player colours are irrelevant because basically any colour scoring points is bad for you.

In the 2 games I've played, the player that has made no effort to hide their colour has won.

A great idea that doesn't quite work for me, though as I said, with 2 this might play very differently.

Sold for cash in a maths trade.
2012-05-21
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2012
8
Oct 2013
5.518
Owned
Plays: 24
The theme has come in for a lot of stick and I do think some questionable choices have been made. The first time you see some of the tiles you find yourself wondering who this was aimed at, but the blogs on BGG do a good job of actually explaining the reasons for these choices and make them seem altogether more reasonable.

Anyway, frankly, the game is a pure abstract at heart and having played RRR, on which this is based, I can more easily appreciate that.

Clash is a clever, fun, fast game and the stack of additional tiles adds a huge amount of replayability in to the game, something that was sorely lacking in RR and what made RRR so much better. I honestly think this is Senji Kanai's best game.
2013-10-29
6.8
Mar 2014
5.749
Plays: 1
I think my main concern with Classic Warlord was that it seemed pretty obvious who was going to win long before they eventually did (even with a resignation in the end).

Beyond that though, it was a smooth playing game of conflict and area control. It didn't wow me, but I'd happily give it another go sometime soon.
2014-03-18
English first edition
Year: 2009
7.6
Mar 2013
7.330
Owned
Plays: 28
A tense dungeon crawler that plays quickly? Sign me up.

This is a game that is totally not my thing, but works wonderfully! Asymmetrical, nicely varied and with some decent tactical choices.

Update: After many plays, there really are some shitty scenarios that are massively imbalanced where one player really does require 'perfect' rolls to succeed. These reduce my enjoyment a bit and put it closer to Memoir '44 in my estimations.

Rating down from 8.2 to 7.6
2015-05-31
English/French first edition
Year: 2011
6
Sep 2012
6.547
Owned
Plays: 4
Hmm. We ran in to a few problems in the first three scenarios - with unusual tactics seeming to break 2 of the first 3.

The Hellhounds are a nice addition (I've not yet gotten as far as using the Sicarias) and some of the new cards add some interesting wrinkles, but for me it's mostly about the scenarios and so far they seem... flawed at best.
2015-05-31
7
Apr 2014
6.640
Plays: 1
Another beautiful production from DoW. I wonder if the character cards are underpowered, especially since you gain corruption for using them, but this is a nice family game that I'd happily play most of the time.
2014-04-06
5
Apr 2014
6.256
Plays: 1
Mildly charming, but not enough to make me really ever need to play it again.
2014-04-04
Climb! (2008)
6
Dec 2013
5.554
Plays: 1
A moderately charming little design which can be (and has been) accurately described as Finger Twister.

2 rounds is about long enough before it begins to outstay it's welcome and in my one play of it, people will simply copy a succesful climb, but it's a decent filler.
2013-12-03
The Climbers (2008)
6
Aug 2013
6.225
Plays: 8
A very unusual, 3D spatial competitive puzzle game. I'm not sure how much this would stand up to repeat plays, but I'm keen to try it at least a few more times to fully wrap my head around it.

Update: You can't win this game in the first round but you can certainly lose it. If everyone else decides to build/climb together and you end up away from them, you are almost certainly doomed. This game also seems to fall a little flat toward the end with less happening as the game draws to a close.

Rating down from 7.6 to 6.
2013-08-09
Clippers (2002)
6.4
Apr 2012
6.084
Plays: 1
A little over-long and I can (a little too clearly) see the TTR genesis in this game, but it offers some interesting choices. It probably needs 5 to shine, but worked well enough with 4.

The last round or two descended in to point grabbing so I think the game would benefit from having a slightly different end game condition.
2012-04-19
5.5
Jan 2016
5.864
Plays: 1
A weird mix of euro area control and AT overpowered cards (which isn't actually a complaint in that all of the cards appear to be overpowered, making none of them overpowered?). There was much to like here, but in actuality it was a little too chaotic for the time investment. In addition, turn order seemed vital at times with no way to mitigate or control it. It felt... underdeveloped.
2016-01-06
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