Silver Duck Reviews

Thoughts, reviews and experiences of board games I play

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [20]

Recommend
31 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide

Lost Ruins of Arnak: Expedition Leaders Expansion Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 6 Players: 1 – 2

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box is beautifully illustrated and lines up with the original box art (Figure 1). The back of the box shows all the components you get in the expansion along with some more artwork of the leaders (Figure 2). The cardboard tiles and cards match the quality of the base game and are marked with a small symbol in case you need to identify them for some reason. The new player boards are larger than the base game and are stored folded and due to this larger size you get great detailed artwork of each leader. The cards for each leader are very easily identifiable from one another with a picture of the leader in the top right corner. The additional components (new items and artifacts, sites and guardians) match the brilliant art style of the base game (Figures 3 - 7). The new temple board fits seamlessly on the original board. The expansion can be stored in the base game box easily thanks to its large box size. Overall, great quality components matching the base game.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: New sites

Gameplay: New Mechanics

For a gameplay summary of the base game please see my previous review. The game comes with two main types of components, ones to increase variability and the expedition leaders themselves. New cards, assistants, sites, guardians and temples are simply shuffled into the base game components. The new item and artifact cards offer new abilities including flipping guardians for a different benefit or resetting them for their new abilities. Several artifacts offer different abilities depending if they are played from your hand (where you can exile it) or when bought giving them more flexibility. The two new temples have higher resource costs and are more balanced for use with the leaders. As well as different benefits, including removing a level one site from the game after activating it, they also offer very different things for your magnifying glass. The monkey temple offers you the chance to activate a face up 3 compass cost artifact when you move onto it with your journal moving on an adjacent track. The lizard temple has a guardian on the fourth row up which is revealed when a research token enters that space. No research markers can move past this row until this guardian is overcome. If any research markers are present on the guardian row at the end of the turn you receive a fear card for each similar to when your workers return from guardian guarded sites at the end of your turn. You are now allowed to buy bronze and silver research tiles from 1 to 2 levels respectively below the final step of the temple.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: New guardians

Each of the six leaders plays very differently from one another with different starting cards, tokens and different idol benefits. Each leaders starting cards will be related to an area you should specialise in and 2 of the leaders will receive resource income at the start of each turn. The final 2/3 idol slots for each leader are marked blue will have a different benefit that is specific to that leader and you can now cover idol slots in any order you choose. The captain starts with 3 workers and has an additional worker placement spot on their board to activate the silver side of a specialist on the board. The falconer has an eagle token which advances at the start of every turn and you can flip a guardian face down ignoring its boon to advance the eagle. At any time you can return your eagle to activate the effect of the space it is present on or before. These include gaining resources or activating a level 1 or 2 site on the board. The baroness receives a money income each round and draws 4 cards at the start of each turn and adds the special delivery card to their hand. This special delivery card allows you to add a bought item directly to your hand by discarding it.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: New items

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: New artifacts

The professor has an income of compasses and tablets which can only be used for artifact activations. They start the game with 3 artifacts in their area which are only available for them to purchase. If they ever empty this area it refills and they gain a compass for future artifacts. The explorer only has one archaeologist figure and can move them from site to site by placing a snack token marking where they have been and that they cannot return there that turn. One snack is free and the other two cost either a money or compass with the compass snack available from round 3. Finally the mystic starts every round with an additional fear card to their 5 card hand. Their starting cards can either be used as usual or they can be exiled to perform a ritual. This means you return exiled fear cards (which are stored on your player board) for various benefits including resources, buying an artifact for a 3 compass discount or overcoming a guardian on a site you are present at.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: New temple

Theme and Game Length

The base games theme really comes through and this is aided by the leaders in this expansion. They feel very thematic in how they work mechanistically with the captain being in charge of 3 workers and the explorer needing to eat food in order to keep visiting new sites. The average playtime of the game is slightly increased as you gain more actions and resources using these new leaders. The game however does not outstay its welcome.

Strategy

The main thing this expansion adds is asymmetric player powers and a few new abilities. The ways you score points in the game doesn’t change at all with no new point scoring opportunities but your player powers will change how you approach each game. You still need to do a lot of research and I would always use the new temples, since they are harder to advance on, as you generate more resources with the new player powers. Each of the characters will have slightly different focuses and you need to search for cards that supplement your abilities. For example the captain has 3 workers so you want to make sure you can place all three each round so you should be looking for item cards that get you extra cards in your hand or let you place workers for free in addition to their played ability. This goes the same for the explorer which moves around the map several times a turn using snacks. This one encourages you to explore lots of new sites and avoid guardians and fear by moving away.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 8: New leaders

The baroness and professor want you to mainly focus on one type of card so you should look for cards that give resources to aid this. The falconer is mainly focused on taking down guardians so looking for anything related to reusing guardian abilities or removing them for less cost would be useful. Finally, the mystic requires you to be exiling fear constantly or you will draw terrible hands that you will struggle to do anything with. Since each character has their own starting deck the cards that exile cards from your play area are significantly less powerful than in the base game (with the exception of the mystic), as you want to keep these powerful character specific cards in your deck.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 9: More new leaders

The new temples offer some different benefits and timing is now more crucial on them. With the artifact visible you want to make sure you can best use it on your turn when you move your magnifying glass onto it. On the other temple there is a guardian present and you want to make sure you have plenty of resources when you move onto that space as you want to overcome it before your opponents and to make sure you can keep moving up the research track. You can also now buy temple tiles from the 2 levels from the pinnacle of the temple. This means you can get as many points from the resources you have left over even if you can’t advance more on the temple. The replayability if the game is vastly improved from the base game with very different player powers to use each game as well as new cards and new temple tracks to advance on. The end game scoring remains the same as the base game and is very straightforward thanks to the score pad.

Accessibility

The game has the same weight as the base game when using the easier of the leaders but the mystic and explorer require a lot more consideration so increase the weight of the game slightly. The expansion is very easy to teach and arguably makes the game easier to teach to newer players with the leaders giving a clear path to follow. The rulebook is detailed, well laid out and is excellent overall. The player aids for each leader are excellent giving a summary of your abilities and all the new symbols used in the expansion and is a great supplement to the base game player aid. The game setup is a little longer with you needing to each select a leader. The iconography remains clear and easy to understand.

Final Thoughts

This is a truly exceptional expansion, fixing the main issues I had with the base game overall, variability and replayability. The new cards, temples, guardians and sites are great additions and almost worth getting the expansion for. It is the leaders that are the truly exceptional component though, feeling highly thematic and radically different from one another. I’m impressed that they could make leaders this different and still be balanced against one another and I love working out how to use them best each game. They do generate more resources however so you need to use either of the two new temples with them, which is fine because they are much more interesting than the base game ones. I don’t like to say that expansions are necessary but I truly feel that if you enjoy the base game you need to buy this expansion, it makes the base game better in almost every way.

9/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think out about checking out one of the 130+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing to let you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide

Trek 12: Himalaya Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 10 at player counts: 1 - 3

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box shows 2 people ascending a mountain to get to a temple and is very colourful and easy on the eye (Figure 1). The back of the box describes the theme of the game, the gameplay and finally the three different play modes (Figure 2). The two included wooden dice are very light to hold and colourful (Figure 3). There are 3 score pads, each with a different mountain and layout of circles to fill during the game (Figure 4). Surprisingly, the mountain artwork really comes through these circles so each type of sheet looks very different. The included assist cards are well illustrated and excellent quality but not linen finished (Figure 5). There are also 5 envelopes containing other components that you unlock for meeting certain conditions in a game (Figure 6). These include similar components to the ones found without envelopes but I won’t spoil the surprise. Overall, fairly good components for a roll and write though it lacks pencils/pens.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: Wooden dice

Gameplay

There are two main ways to play the game, express ascent and expedition. The express ascent mode is one round played with no extra benefits and the highest score wins. In the expedition mode you are trying to gain stars. Each map rewards stars for meeting certain point thresholds, stars for the winner of each game and a bonus star for the highest ever score on that map. This is played over 3 rounds with harder maps used consecutively and the player with the most stars after 3 games wins. Each turn a player will roll both the yellow and red dice. Each player simultaneously chooses one of five actions to do with the two dice. You can pick the highest number, lowest number, subtract the 2 dice, add the 2 dice or finally multiply the 2 dice (as long as this is 12 or below). You can only perform each one of these actions 4 times the whole game and you will write down 19 numbers on your mountain.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: 3 mountain score pads

Each number you write (with the exception of the first) must be written next to a previously written number. Overall you are trying to make either fixed lines or zones. In order to make a fixed line numbers must be in a sequence from one another (i.e. 4 or 6 for a previously written 5). Each number can only be part of one fixed line and this can continue for as many numbers in sequence you have adjacent to one another. In order to form a zone the numbers adjacent to one another must be the same. On more difficult mountains dangerous circles are present which can only have a maximum number of 6 written in them. At the end of the game each of your fixed line and zones score for their largest written number and 1 point for each additional circle that is in that line/zone. You will then receive bonus points for each of your largest zones and fixed lines. Any number that is not part of a zone or fixed line on your mountain is worth 3 negative points at the end of the game.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: Assist cards

In the expedition mode you can earn assist cards by making a new zone with 0s, 1s or 2s. These offer a one-time bonus such as rerolling the dice or letting your write a number anywhere in your mountain. At the end of the game you can discard these for three points each or take them onto the next map. The turns in this game flow very naturally with players playing simultaneously keeping downtime very low and overall game time low. All of the actions with the dice are very easy to perform and your options narrow over the course of the game as you run out of uses for certain actions. The game plays 1 to as many players as you have sheets and pens.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: Envelopes

Theme and Game Length

The game has an interesting theme, ascending a mountain but this doesn’t really come through very well. The harder mountains have more treacherous terrain meaning you can’t write numbers that are higher (which sort of suggests speed) which is slightly thematic. Fixed lines fits with how climbers ascend mountains but they don’t have to start at the bottom so there is a thematic disconnection there. The average playtime of the game is about 10 minutes per game with an expedition taking just over 30 minutes over the three maps. The game doesn’t drag with simple to perform actions and your choices narrowing over the course of the game. The solo game chooses the highest dice each round and writes it into the same circle that you do. It doesn’t receive negative 3 points for each lonely number but gains 3. It scores in the same way for zones and fixed lines.

Strategy

The way to score highly in this game is to make large chains either of the same number for large zones or a large run of ascending numbers adjacent to one another for a large fixed line. Without the bonuses for these your score caps at around 50 – 60 points. If you do have small groups of either type you want as high a number as possible to make sure you get the most points for that area. The sheet will also influence this as lots of difficult circles limits you to a maximum of 6 and you should be looking to fill these in as quickly as possible since they are the most limiting circle to fill in. You also want to start with your first number with as many adjacent circles as possible leaving you with better options in the following turns. You should make sure not to fully use an actions 4 uses very quickly as this will limit you and give you a higher chance of writing a lonely number. The assist cards are good, but some are more powerful and useful than others so there can be a real rush for these at the start of the game. I always find it better to keep the assist cards for the next sheet if there is one, with 3 points usually not making that much of a difference to my end game score. With scores calculated at the end of the game there have been no runaway leaders as such but the player that optimises the dice and actions the best will win. Newer players can be competitive with experienced players with such simple rules to learn. The game has modest replayability as although there are different maps you are doing the same thing each game and there are only a few different types of assist card to use. The game ends after 19 turns where you should have filled your mountain and is very easy to see coming.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: Pad during the game

Accessibility

The game is light weight with very easy to understand rules and concepts. There are still plenty of options each turn to make but it is never overwhelming. The game is very easy to teach and understand taking less than 5 minutes to explain with everything written on the pad itself. The rulebooks are all excellent, very clearly presented with excellent examples including a full end game example for extra clarity. The game takes up minimal table space with very small score pads and only the need for some space to roll dice and present assist cards. Setup and teardown are also to a bare minimum.

Final Thoughts

Trek 12 is a unique feeling roll and write which is very accessible but offers depth in your choices as the game progresses. It also comes with some envelopes offering more content that you have to unlock by meeting certain conditions. This means the game evolves over time giving it more replayability. The replayability is the main concern I have with you doing the same thing each game and in order to do well you must get either a large group or fixed line as the bonus makes or breaks the score needed for the stars on each map. Overall a nice simple roll and write to introduce to newer gamers.

7/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think out about checking out one of the 130+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing to let you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Jan 5, 2022 12:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Recap of December and coming up in January

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
In December I published reviews for:

-Maracaibo: Uprising: An exceptional expansion adding lots of new project cards and asymmetric player boards giving the game near endless replayability, Also the new game modes are great including one I prefer to the base game, 9/10.

-Cascadia: A great abstract tile laying game which is exceptionally easy to teach and understand but offers great depth for experienced gamers too, 8/10.

-Rajas of the Ganges: An old light to medium weight Euro that has a great look but ultimately some of the actions felt a little too powerful compared to others spoiling what could have been a amazing game with a unique scoring mechanism, 7/10.

-Boonlake: The latest Alexander Pfister game which is sort of a follow up to Maracaibo which has some similarities to the designers other work but with a unique tile laying and communal building of a town on the main board, 8.5/10.

In addition to these 4 reviews I published my top 10 games as of December 2021.

New to the collection this month:

-Boonlake
The latest Alexander Pfister medium to heavyweight Euro game, I managed to get hold of one of the few copies that made it to the UK in the first print run.

-Lost Ruins of Arnak: Expedition Leaders
This expansion was stuck at the post office for 2 weeks but now I’m glad to be able to add it to my base game which I do enjoy but lacks a bit of variety which this should help with.

-Kingdomino Duel
I found this game very cheap and I do enjoy the original Kingdomino game. I play a lot of 2 player games and enjoy roll and write games so this looks a good fit for me.

-Trek 12
I won this in an Instagram giveaway this month and I have played it before at the UK Games Expo but only one of the available maps so I look forward to seeing what the full game experience is like.

Leaving the collection this month:

-None

With it being close to Christmas I didn’t get the chance to get anything listed for sale.

This month I will be publishing reviews for:

-Trek 12
-Lost Ruins of Arnak: Expedition Leaders
-Witchstone
-Meadow

The Trek 12 review is undergoing proofing and will be out next week and I have started the other 3 already. I will also look at publishing my first impressions from the 5 games that have been new to me in the past two months. I will also publish my top 10 anticipated releases of 2022.

Poll
What game(s) are you looking forward to being released in 2022?
 Choices Your Answer  Bars Vote Percent Vote Count
Frosthaven
30.0 percent
30.0% 3
Wayfarers of the South Tigris
30.0 percent
30.0% 3
Verdant
40.0 percent
40.0% 4
Perseverance Episodes 1 and 2
10.0 percent
10.0% 1
Marrakesh
10.0 percent
10.0% 1
Amsterdam
10.0 percent
10.0% 1
Hamburg
10.0 percent
10.0% 1
New York City
0.0 percent
0.0% 0
Endless Winter
50.0 percent
50.0% 5
Darwins Journey
50.0 percent
50.0% 5
Voters 10
This poll is now closed.   10 answers
Poll created by Squalidsafe
Closes: Sun Jan 2, 2022 6:00 am


What content are you looking forward to?

Thank you again for reading my blog.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Jan 1, 2022 12:14 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
25 
 Thumb up
11.25
 tip
 Hide

Boonlake Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 6 at player counts: 1 + 2

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box shows a rustic town on a waterfront and is quite striking because of the river and flower being very bright compared to the rest of the box (Figure 1). The back of the box shows a 2 player game in progress, describes the theme of the game and lists the games components (Figure 2). The box is packed full of components with most of it taken up by the personal player boards. These are dual layered (by having a folded board stuck together with stickers) and hold the components well during the game and display income and effects (Figure 3). They do, with the exception of the river section, lack artwork however and this is a bit of a missed opportunity in my opinion. The wooden components are nicely shaped and are obvious what they represent with player colours easy to distinguish from one another (Figure 4). The action strips are well laid out and are colourful giving a nice appearance when in the dual layered action selection board (Figure 5). The main board is very colourful and well presented with each of the 4 regions having a different colour to stand out from one another (Figure 6). The tiles look plain with only spaces to place wooden pieces on but look better when placed onto the main board during the game (Figure 7). The coins, levers and vases are good quality thick cardboard components like the rest of the boards (Figure 8). The cards are ok quality and not linen finished, there is a lot of unique artwork (although not all cards are unique artwork even if they have slightly different abilities) with the buildings looking particularly good (Figure 9). The characters are a strange art style often seen with this artist and may not be to everyone’s taste. Overall, good quality components, especially the player boards.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: Dual layered player boards

Gameplay

The aim of the game is to have the most victory points after 2 rounds have been completed. A round ends when a players ship gets to the last river space and an interim scoring occurs when a players ship crosses a lock. There are 3 phases that happen on each players turn, choose an action, move your ship and reset the action strips. When you choose an action you simply remove an action strip from the action board and perform all the effects listed on the action strip. The left side offers an effect just for you whereas the right side offers an effect(s) for all players, with one tile not letting the active carry out a specific action. First, you may discard a card of the suit shown for 2 money or play a card with the matching suit. Cards can cost money, resources or vases with money and vase costs paid from your supply. Resources are not spent, instead you must have access to them either from factories you have constructed or from your canoes on your board. Each canoe can supply one resource based on its position on your board, moving the canoe to the right is free but you must pay 2 coins to move it to the left any number of spaces. These cards can offer ongoing benefits such as reductions for actions, movement on the coin and card tracks and offer some end game goals for victory points.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: Player components

Whenever you would play a card you can instead complete a special project on the main board which have much higher costs but bigger rewards (Figure 10). You can only complete each one of the 4 available during the game once with each one marked by an inhabitant of your colour to say it has been completed. The action strips offer various actions including placing tiles or wooden pieces from your board onto spots on the main board. When you explore you draw a building tile from the stack and place adjacent to a previously placed tile on the main board. earning rewards that you cover including money, inhabitants, cards or factories. When you develop you place one of your inhabitants onto one of the building sites on an available building tile. This may cost money and offer a reward such as card and money track movement or just offer a reward when covered with an inhabitant.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: Action strips in board

When you upgrade you have 2 options, either to upgrade an inhabitant to a house or a house into a settlement. To upgrade an inhabitant you must pay one inhabitant from your supply and replace one inhabitant on the board with a house from your board. In order to upgrade a house into a settlement there must first be at least 3 presences (wooden pieces) adjacent to the house you wish to upgrade. This costs 2 inhabitants for the first two and costs 3/4 for the final two or 4/8 victory points in addition to the 2 inhabitants. Placing a settlement in an area with another of your settlements also costs 5 victory points. Removing these buildings from your main board will unlock income on your main board during each interim scoring. Placing building tiles, developing and upgrading are present on several of the action strips in different ratios.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: Main board

When you perform the cattle breeding action you place a cattle pasture adjacent to a building tile. Every player can, in turn order, then choose a cattle pasture with less than 4 cattle and pay inhabitants to place a cattle from their board onto that pasture. The first cattle on a pasture costs one inhabitant, the second two etc. The fourth and fifth cattle you remove from your player board also cost additional inhabitants/victory points in the same manner as the third and fourth settlements. When you place cattle you gain 2 money for each adjacent house (of any players). When you perform the region scoring action you choose a region to gain a reward, money, cards or victory points and then every player gains money for their presences (pieces) in the other 3 regions. Finally you can progress and perform the modernise action. This requires you to gain a lever and place it onto your player board by paying the listed cost of the space you wish to cover. These offer various abilities including for when you forgo an action all player gain from an action strip, offer discounts such as reducing the cost of a card by a resource or give a bonus when you do a certain action. When you use a lever it slides down meaning you can’t use it again until it is reset by a card effect or during each interim scoring.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: Building tiles

After carrying out the actions on the strip you can move your ship up to the number of spaces shown on the action board where the strip was removed. Ships cannot end on the same space unless it is a harbour and you receive the listed reward where your ship ends its movement, including money, cards, inhabitants, vases and factories. If your ship crosses a lock, interim scoring takes place immediately after you reset the action board as the final action of a players turn. Interim scoring always consists of 5 steps. First, each player may play up to 2 cards from their hand, upgrade on the main board twice or perform up to one of each. All players must then score one of the 4 scoring tiles that they haven’t already scored, with the point marker corresponding to the interim scoring number (1, 2, 3 or 4). Each scoring tile has a condition to meet in each of the 4 interim scorings, increasing each round. If you do not meet the condition listed you instead lose the points on the scoring tile. One of the scoring tiles is linked to your player colour and rewards are doubled for you for both this scoring and if you perform the special project (listed above).

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 8: Resources

All players then receive income from their player boards and position on the card and money tracks. These include money, cards and victory points. The numbers of each are listed with cattle scoring victory points based on the number of adjacent settlements. All player’s levers reset with 1 victory point rewarded if a lever wasn’t used. Finally, the region markers are reset and made available for the next round. After the second interim scoring all players ships are reset to the top of the track and after the fourth interim scoring final scoring takes place. Players will gain victory points for the amount of levers they have played, 4 to 6 rewarding 2 victory points each and 7 or more rewarding 3 victory points each. Each card rewards the point listed and you receive 2/4/6 victory points for each wooden piece removed from the 3rd/4th/5th row of your player board. The player with the most victory points wins with no tie breaker. The turns in this game flow very naturally with each player gaining a main action before all players gain a supplementary action. This keeps the overall downtime between players turns very low. The actions themselves are very straightforward to resolve with simple rewards in most cases. The game plays 1 to 4 players.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 9: Project cards

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 10: Special project and end game goal tiles

Theme and Game Length

The game has an interesting theme, building on old abandoned waterfront and has some signs of the old infrastructure on your player board with electrical circuits. It doesn’t really come through though with the levers being hard to explain and why cows should reward points for adjacent settlements. However, placing pieces on the board does feel like growing a community with settlements only possible if enough people and other buildings are present. The average playtime of the game is about 40 minutes per player with people experienced with the game and about an hour per player with newer players. The game doesn’t drag over this time period however due to little to no downtime due to the follow mechanism of the action strips. I have been unable to play this game at higher player counts because of the current situation and feel it would probably play best at 3 players due to increased competition on the main board and being able to use other player’s buildings to construct more settlements. I feel 4 players will be a little long unless all players know the game fairly well. The solo game is excellent with very simple to resolve actions and gives you plenty of follow actions and is run by several tiles (Figure 11). It follows a similar style to the Maracaibo automa where it goes down the river very quickly meaning you have to adapt and don’t have lots of time to build a large engine, this may not be to everyone’s taste.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 11: Solo automa tiles

Strategy

There are a lot of ways to score points in this game and ultimately you will specialise in a couple of them and dabble in others. The best way to decide what to specialise in is using the 4 scoring tiles that are dealt out at the start of the game. You choose one of the 4 and because this is worth double points for you for both its project and scoring condition you should focus on what it states, such as place settlements or cows. Then you should try and prioritise 2 out of the other 3 to work towards in round 2 and 3 scorings. You never want to place your scoring marker for negative points, especially your own scoring tile which again will be double negative points so focusing on these 4 conditions is key for your game. Your project scoring opportunity which can be worth 14 to 16 points for you alone should be scored in the third or fourth round when you have built up money and factories. These require 3 or 4 resources meaning you’ll need the upgraded factories for that resource type along with your canoes. You should take one of the factories for your scoring tile at the start of the game and upgrade it over the course of the game.

Card play in the game is key with 3 different types, ongoing effects that offer discounts should be prioritised early to get the maximum benefit over the course of the game. Cards with immediate benefits especially movement on the card and money tracks should also be prioritised early as this behaves as a sort of engine building component of the game. You need to move on the money track to get more money for further card play later. The card track is not quite as simple with you sacrificing card income for victory point income unlike the money track where the money remains constant. This means you can move up this track a little then stop for more cards or keep going for more points. I have played both ways and found the same success. Finally, the end game scoring cards usually offer some track movement but the main focus of these cards is their scoring condition. These can stack very nicely and again can be a focus for you to have if you open with several of them and you should look for synergies between these and the scoring conditions on the board. Almost all of these cards cost money so constantly discarding cards that aren’t useful for money as part of your action tile selection is a good idea. Some cards require vases, which is a resource that is much harder to acquire and you should look to pick these up for future card plays where possible as they are usually worth more end game points.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 12: Player board during the game

Levers are a very interesting part of the game and offer you special abilities that you can use instead of follow actions or to gain various bonuses once per round. These again offer some engine building and can be used in contrast or in support of the card play. They again cost money so you will need to choose what is best for your current situation. They are all different and will be useful in certain situations, I always pick up two every game, the one that offers a resource discount to give you more flexibility and the upgrade action when you forgo a follow action. If you do decide to go heavy into levers you need to get more than 7 due to the jump in victory points at the end of the game. You can also ignore them completely and score just as many points by using the money for cards so it is up to you which path you choose.

The final main thing is placing out your wooden pieces on the main board for money and victory point income. You should be aiming to get your first two houses out in the first round for the money income and if possible clear your first two rows by the end of the second or third round to boost your victory point income. You need to manage your inhabitants well as you never want to be without them, whenever the option to gain them by paying money or cards is chosen you want to get 2/3 for future plays. A lot of how you place your wooden pieces on the board will depend on the other players especially the cows and settlements. In order to place settlements you need lots of neighbouring pieces and you should use other players pieces to make this easier for you as they are worth a good amount of victory points each income phase. Settlements make cows worth victory points but you first couple of cow placements will probably be for their money income rather than victory points. Cows can be worth a lot of victory points income if you place pastures in the right places but other players will not let you dominate these pastures if they have the inhabitants. Some of your placements will also depend on the tiles themselves with points rewarded for certain buildings placement or you may really want the bonus they offer you.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 13: Main board during gameplay

In order to place these pieces you need to place tiles on the board which you may do for later settlement placements or just for the bonus you get for when you cover. Factories are not very easy to acquire so targeting these bonuses with your tile placement is important in the early game. But other bonuses may be better for you at the time so a lot of this game is about reacting and playing tactically for your maximum benefit. At the end of each round you get two upgrades or card plays and you should always make sure to do this, in most cases the upgrading will be better but you need the inhabitants to do this.

Your actions are controlled by both yourself and other players via the action strips. Moving your ship using these decides the round length so you can accelerate rounds if you think you are winning by choosing the top two action strips in a similar manner to Maracaibo. You always want to choose the strip that is best for you and worse for other players, because they can’t perform the follow action efficiently. The cards in your hand will also influence your choice as sometime you want to play a certain suit meaning your choice is limited and then you should chose the action that is best for you.

There has been no runaway leader problems in the game I have played with players very close in points with vastly different strategies. Newer players can be competitive with experienced players as long as they are experienced with this sort of weight Euro game. The game has excellent replayability with how the tiles and map is constructed, lots of scoring tiles and lots of project cards for you to draw and play. The game ends after 4 rounds but each round can end very suddenly so you need to plan ahead for that. End game scoring is relatively easy to perform but I wish the iconography on the main board was with the interim scorings to make it easier to see for new players.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 14: Players tableau during gameplay

Accessibility

The game is medium to heavyweight with simple to perform actions but lots of different considerations for each turn. You always want to make sure you can follow others so have to plan for what other people may be doing. The round lengths are also completely player determined so you need to keep an eye on how much time you have left to do what you need to before interim scoring. There is also plenty of indirect player interaction on the main board so you will need to monitor what others are doing and potentially adapt. The game is a very long teach and it would have been nice to have player aids for first time players to help with some of the iconography and help the person teaching the game. The rulebook is well laid out with good examples but the project/scoring tiles are worded a little strangely and this makes them a little harder to understand than they should be. The game takes up quite a lot of table space with large player boards and enough space needs to be left for each player to build their tableau. The main board is quite small compared to most other Euros of this weight however. Setup and teardown is fairly long with lots of items to randomise and each player needs to select a scoring tile from two.

Final Thoughts

Boonlake is another excellent medium to heavy Euro game form Alexander Pfister with a similar feel to his other designs whilst also offering something quite different. The interplay and interaction between players on the main board is very interesting (probably even more so with higher player counts) with you needing neighbouring pieces to really increase your victory points income every phase. This adds some nice player interaction which isn’t negative and the game can become very tactical in where your place your pieces. The action selection mechanism is very interesting, I thought I would be more focused on moving my ship but this is instead a nice bonus, with the main way of me choosing being based on cards I want to play. Overall, I rate this game lower than Maracaibo as I find the project cards in this game to be slightly less interesting.

8.5/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think out about checking out one of the 120+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing to let you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:03 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
32 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Top 10 games as of December 2021

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
20. Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun (Last year 16), 19. Railroad Ink Challenge: Lush Green Edition (New entry), 18. Blackout: Hong Kong (Last year 15), 17. Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set (Last year 14), 16. Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan (New entry), 15. 7 Wonders w/ Cities (Last year 12), 14. Everdell w/ Spirecrest (Last year 10), 13. Praga Caput Regni (New entry), 12. Underwater Cities (Last year 9), 11. Nusfjord w/ expansions (Last year 8).

10. Rococo: Deluxe Edition (last year 11)

This climbed a place this year as I was able to play it at the higher player counts I had been intrigued to try. I enjoy the 2 player and solo experience a lot but with more players the room majorities and competition for dresses and cards is a lot more challenging. After more plays with the jewellery expansion I could take it or leave it and will only play it when I want some variability with players experienced with the game. For me this is the most beautiful game in my collection and one I want to play more but the box size is limiting me taking it to other locations.

9. Altiplano (Last year 7)

This has fallen a couple of places but I still rate it as highly as last year. It’s a real shame that there hasn’t been anymore content released for this, sort of like how Orleans keeps getting more building just to help it’s variability. This is my go to heavy 2 player game with my partner as we can get a game set up and played in less than an hour as we know what all the buildings are and can play almost simultaneously until the last couple of rounds. I might pick up the expansion this year to give a few more options each turn. I played Orleans for the first time this year and overall I prefer this design especially with you drawing all you chips out of the bag and then resetting giving you more control over your actions.

8. Teotihuacan w/ all expansions (Last year 13)

The biggest rise in my collection from last year where I ranked it with the pre-classic expansion which vastly improved the base game. The Shadows of Xitle expansion didn’t look like it would add much but so many strategies became viable and suddenly building wasn’t automatically the thing to do. But the real improvement came with the expansion period expansion. Now every board is interesting and depend on the dice present there and you always have a good option on your turn, whether to move one of your dice or shaman, which adds a whole new action to the game. Obsidian makes it easier to pivot during the mid game and the shaman allows you to plan for big turns with less dice and overall cacao cost. Overall, the expansions turn a good game into an excellent game.

7. Coimbra (Last year 6)

This has the same rating last year and although I have only played it twice I have loved both plays. Such a simple game to teach and understand but has exceptional depth and is the highlight from this group of designers. The game is very elegant with you simply choosing a dice but that one decision has so many repercussions. What income this will give you, which card will you bid on and what effect will that have and what resources are left when you acquire a card. I have now won multiple times while ignoring the purple track and feel it is better to focus on end game goals and I have even got all 6 voyages in one game this year. I thought seeing the same cards each game was going to be a problem but it makes the game deeper and now I don’t feel it needs any new cards.

6. Hallertau (Last year 4)

This has been my go to solo game this year with 14 games and I can play a game in under 30 minutes. I compare this to Agricola a lot since it has the same farming feel and card play but little stress thanks to not feeding workers. You still need to diversify, in this case gaining different resources, to do well again like Agricola. I struggle to think of many other Euro games where you generate so many resources in one turn only for them to all disappear to move your community house. Everyone I have introduced this game to has loved it and wanted to play it again and again. The cards keep the replayability high but is also the thing newer players struggle with the most. Early in the game people will dismiss cards when they should instead be looking how to work them into their strategy.

5. Clank! In! Space! w/ Apocalypse! (Last year 3)

In my entire collection I struggle to think of any game where I have more fun when playing or laugh as much with the other players. The expansion is essential as you can tailor the experience to the players you are playing with using a relaxed scenario for newer players and a more intense scenario with experienced players. This is my favourite deck builder and I still prefer it to something like Lost Ruins of Arnak as you get to play your cards more. The game has a slow start but that is more than made up for by the intensity of the game when one player escapes. The game has luck but that only makes the game more exciting and helps it rather than hinders it.

4. Maracaibo w/ Uprising (Last year 5)

This is an excellent game and for me is Alexander Pfisters best design. The main reason for that is the campaign element of the game meaning the board evolves over time with new locations to visit and cards to see. I have played the game at higher player counts this year and I am glad that it scales so well with other players able to apply pressure on you if they think they are winning. My least favourite part of the game was the nation scoring but with the expansion you can remove this to instead fight the nations (a much more palatable theme) and have bigger combo filled turns. It also introduces a new campaign which I am currently enjoying. More cards also help the games replayability although I always felt that was fine before.

3. A Feast for Odin w/ Norwegians (Last year 2)

I am still searching for the last mini expansion for the game which randomises the harvest which I think will make the game better but I still have been enjoying my solo plays this year. This probably falls due to the fact that I have not played it multiplayer in over 18 months and miss some of the interaction players would add. The expansion makes the game so much better with lots of different paths to score refined and made viable. I was very disappointed that the Danes expansion/standalone game wasn’t released this year as this sounds like a real evolution of the game.

2. Anachrony w/ Fractures of Time (New entry)

I waited almost two year for the Inifinity box to be delivered after backing the Kickstarter and wasn’t disappointed. I really enjoy the base game (it would rank about 5/6 on this list) but the Fractures of Time expansion makes the game something special. Now you have to think where shall I place this worker first, where will it go next and when should I move it. The base game is already deep but this just increases your decision space so much for few added rules. There are also new technologies increasing the asymmetry between players allowing you to decide what you will specialise in. Pioneers of New Earth is also a great module that I enjoy playing adding a push your luck element. The production on the game is top notch and really elevate the theme which really comes through even the time travel mechanism, which I thought would be fairly abstract. I have yet to play this at 3 and 4 player but that is a definite aim this year.

1. Agricola (last year 1)

A third year at the top as I am yet to find anything that matches its simple gameplay to depth of decisions. The game is also highly thematic and I love the drafting at the start of the game to decide what cards I will play and how that affects my overall strategy. The game also forces you to do everything not rewarding specialisation which is extremely rare for games these days. The game is tough, restrictive but I still really enjoy it somehow. I played a lot of solo game this year, as I completed my solo playthrough series of the revised B deck. Not my favourite deck (C>K>E>B>I) but it was still fun seeing what I could do over the course of the series. I hope to play Framers of the Moor more this year for a review and to see which version of the game I enjoy more.
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:51 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide

Rajas of the Ganges Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 4 at player counts: 2 + 3

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box shows a beautiful landscape and river with a deity holding dice and is full of colour and detail (Figure 1). The back of the box shows a 2 player game in progress showcasing the majority of the components and gives a description of the theme of the game (Figure 2). The game has a good insert which holds the components well and makes setup a lot quicker (Figure 3). The player boards are well laid out but a little bland until you lay tiles on them during the game (Figure 4). The tiles are more detailed with various spices and buildings, along with a large number and colour to denote what they require to be built (Figure 5). The wooden coloured player components are easy to distinguish from one another and include some shaped meeples along with some bland cubes (Figure 6). The main board is a particular highlight of the components, it is very colourful and detailed and doesn’t look overwhelming (Figure 7). Finally the dice are very good quality in bright colours with a nice weight to them (Figure 8).

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: Insert

Gameplay

The aim of the game is to make your fame and wealth track markers intersect one another, these run in parallel around the board in opposite directions. When a player’s 2 markers intersect the end of the game is triggered, with the player with the biggest difference between the 2 markers winning if multiple player’s tokens intersected. Each turn players will place workers, pay any costs associated with the spot and carry out the action listed. These costs vary from moving back on the money track to paying a specific colour or numbered dice. Players will continue to place workers until all workers have been placed and the board will then reset with players collecting back all their workers and the next round can begin as long as the end game hasn’t been triggered.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: Player boards

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: Province tiles

There are 4 main different worker placement areas: the quarry, market place, palace and harbour. Using the quarry worker area you can build a province tile into your personal province. There are 12 different province tiles on offer at any time, 3 for each different coloured dice. Your must pay the listed money cost when placing your worker along with matching coloured dice of equal to or greater pip value than the tile you are acquiring. You must place these tiles with a direct path back to your starting palace on your province. You gain any yields that you connect to on the edge of your province and receive the money from any markets on the tile. You also receive fame for any buildings on the tile based on your position on that buildings scroll track on the main board, so between 2 and 4 fame. There are various actions and bonuses on the board that allow you to move up on the 4 building scroll tracks.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: Player components

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: Main board

The market worker area allows you to collect income from the markets in your province, either from the same type of market or different ones. When activating the same market you must pay a dice and can only activate as many markets as the pip value of the dice. The palace has 3 main areas the terrace, balconies and the chamber. In the terrace and balconies you can either collect a specific coloured dice of your choice or trade one coloured dice for 2 of a different coloured dice. Whenever you collect dice you roll them and place them onto your Kali statue if you have room. You can always spend karma (if you have it) to flip a dice when you need to pay a cost. In the chambers you can spend a dice of a specific number to activate one of the characters for a specific action. These include gaining dice, karma, scroll movement, taking first player and building over province tiles in your area.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 8: Dice

In the harbour you can move your boat 1 to 3 spaces on the river and take the listed bonus on the space you end your movement on. The amount of spaces you move depends on the value of the dice spent. Boats cannot be on the same space and you simply skip spaces opponents boats are present on. The bonuses are very similar to the other actions on the board but towards the end reward dice, money or fame based on a condition such as number of karma, scroll movement or markets built in your province. You start the game with 3 workers but can unlock up to 3 more from the fame, money and river tracks when your corresponding marker passes them. Play continues until the end of the game when one player’s score markers intersect. Play continues until every player has played an even number of turns and then the winner is determined. The turns flow very naturally in this game with simple to resolve actions and costs to pay. The game plays 2 to 4 players and an unofficial solo automa is also available on bgg.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 9: Yield tiles

Theme and Game Length

The game has a good theme, different to many other Euro games of this weight but it doesn’t really come through in the actions you are performing. Why are you trying to get wealth and fame to meet, who are these characters and why does the river give the bonuses it does. Gaining workers makes slightly more sense as when you get more famous on the 3 tracks more people are willing to work for your province. The game doesn’t drag at all and is actually quite fast for the level of decisions offered. The game scales well with 2 different sizes of the board to tighten up the worker placement spots. The game takes about 20 minutes per player which is very good considering the weight of decisions you make.

Strategy

There are two main ways to score points in this game, wealth and fame. It is very hard to just work on just one of these and win so over the course of the game you will be earning both. Players will differ in their overall strategy but there is only the one way to win, intersecting your markers. A focus you must have is to get more workers as quickly as possible. The two workers that can be unlocked on the wealth and fame tracks are the easiest to obtain. The wealth track also offers multiple other bonuses so is the track you should target at the start of the game. If other players have more workers than you for too long you have no chance of winning with the yield tiles offering too little in compensation for the worker placement actions they are taking.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 10: Players province during the game

Each fame is worth 2 money so this obviously looks more appealing to try and race up but without the track bonuses this shouldn’t be an early game focus. Instead you should look to increase your scrolls for the 4 building types. If you specialise in one or two building types other players may build tiles with that building type to prevent you from building it. Also with 4 different building types the tiles that may come out may not be the ones you get extra fame for so it’s probably best to spread your scroll movement out. A space that you cannot underestimate is the space to activate up to 3 different markets in your province. You want to make sure to build 3 different high value markets as soon as possible to take advantage of this space. This spot (or spots in the 3/4 player games) is usually the first spot players go to at the start of each round from the mid game onwards. It costs no dice and can yield anywhere from 3 to 9 money which is better than any other spot due to having no costs. Activating multiple markets of the same type can also be good but requires a lot of the same market to be built which depends a lot of the tiles that come out.

Many of the spots cost dice of various values with every value having a potential good use. If you get lots of high value dice you should be using these to build tiles, trying not to waste too much pip value. The lower value dice can be used for some of the characters or more likely the river. The river is sort of split into two halves by your unlockable worker with the first half offering small bonuses like dice, scroll movement and fame. The later half offers powerful one off bonuses like activating multiple markets or gaining fame and money based on a condition. It is perfectly viable to skip most of the early bonuses and plan to maximise these powerful one off bonuses instead. With so many spots costing dice you always want to make sure you don’t run out. You should never take the terrace actions to gain one dice as it is so inefficient and should instead look to use bonuses to acquire dice or trade one dice for two. In the higher player count games you also want to make sure you are not 3rd or 4th in turn order for long due to some worker placement spots being clearly better than others and you can really fall behind if you are not careful.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 11: Main board during the game

There have been some runaway leader problems in the games that I have played of this. During the mid game it became obvious who was going to win generally because of the market setup they had on their board. This meant one worker could gain them 6 – 12 money with each action which was much stronger than the other players. Newer players will struggle with experienced players with both tracks to manage and not being able to distinguish which worker placement spots are better than others. The game has modest replayability as you are aiming to do the same thing each time and the way the tiles come out and what dice values you get will change each game. The game also comes with several modules which significantly help replayability and make the game better in my opinion with ways to customise your province. The game can end very suddenly and can be difficult to plan for so you need to be building towards the end of the game constantly.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 12: Main board during gameplay

Accessibility

The game is light to medium weight with simple to perform and resolve actions but some setup on your province tile required to do well. There is also some consideration needed for when and where to place your workers to maximise their benefits. The game is very easy to teach with obvious iconography and the main board layout also helps. The rulebook is excellent, very clearly laid out rules with multiple examples and text descriptions of each worker placement spot. The game takes up a decent amount of table space with each player’s province, the main board and places for tiles and dice.

Final Thoughts

Rajas of the Ganges is a good next step worker placement Euro game with simple to understand rules and great components. The game has good flow to it with your points increasing steadily before exploding towards the end. One of my main problems is the market space on the main board especially the activate 3 different ones in your province. This is way too strong due to having no cost and makes first player way too powerful in this game with players needing to shift it multiple rounds in a row to mitigate this. I really like the scoring in this game it’s fairly unique and offers different considerations unlike normal Euro style games. I also like the fact that all values of dice have uses in this game so even though low numbers aren’t good for building you can use them on characters and the river or to trade. A solid light to medium weight game.

7/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think out about checking out one of the 120+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing to let you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide

Cascadia Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 4 at player counts: 1 - 4

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box is very beautifully illustrated showing an elk with multiple different landscapes in the background and spot UV to make it really stand out (Figure 1). The back of the box shows a 3 player game in showing off all the games components and describing its theme (Figure 2). The tarot sized animal scoring cards are very beautiful and clearly illustrates the scoring with a picture and description (Figure 3). The screen printed animal tokens have a good weight to them and are nice to hold with different colours to make them easily identifiable even without the image (Figure 4). The drawstring bag these components come in is also excellent quality. The tiles are colourful thick cardboard and well finished with clear divides between land types (Figures 5 + 6). Each of these land types is again easy to identify based and colour and design. Overall, excellent quality components.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

Gameplay

The aim of the game is to have the most victory points after each player has taken 20 turns. On a players turn they will draft a habitat tile and wildlife token with 4 pairs available to choose from. However if all 4 wildlife are the same type they are instantly removed and 4 more drawn from the bag to replace them. Before you choose a pair, if 3 of the wildlife are the type you may remove them and draw 3 to replace them from the bag. Instead of taking one of the available 4 pairs you may spend a nature token, to take any habitat tile and wildlife token from the 4 pairs or to replace the 4 wildlife tokens with 4 new ones. After you have drafted a pair you must place the habitat tile adjacent to a previously replaced tile in your area, matching terrain isn’t necessary but may cost you end game victory points. The wildlife token may be placed into your play area onto an empty habitat tile in your play area that has the matching wildlife symbol printed on it. If you place a wildlife onto a keystone tile (where only one animal can go) you gain a nature token. You may also not place the wildlife tile you drafted if you do not want to.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: Animal scoring cards

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: Animal tokens and bag

After 20 turns the game ends and final scoring takes place. You score points for each wildlife type based on the scoring cards that were dealt at the start of the game. This can include having large continuous sets of animals, isolated animals from one another or multiple different pairs. Each remaining nature token scores one point. Finally your habitat tiles score with you gaining one point per habitat tile on the largest contiguous group of each of the 5 types. Depending on player count you may also get 1-3 bonus points if you have the largest or second largest group in each habitat. The most points wins with ties broken by remaining nature tokens. The turns in this game are very short and easy to resolve and flow very naturally. The game plays 1 to 4 players and takes about 15 minutes per player.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: Starting tile

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: Landscape tiles

Theme and Game Length

The games theme is very pasted on and overall it’s an abstract game. The scoring for each animal time makes sense with you wanting groups of salmon together, large groups of elk or isolated bears. The game scales very well with there always being 4 pairs of wildlife and habitat tiles to choose from. At 2 players you have more control of what tiles will be there your next round so you can plan ahead more, with the 4 player being a lot more tactical. I am happy to play it at all player counts in the future. The solo game plays like the 2 player game with the dummy player taking the rightmost set of tiles meaning you can plan what will be available and you can decide if you need to take a pair of tiles to prevent them from being taken away from you. There is also a family variant but I have not played this as the game is fairly simple to pick up and understand.

Strategy

There are 2 main point scoring opportunities in this game, animals and habitats. It’s impossible to score all animals well and you need to pick two to three to specialise in whilst dabbling in the others. One thing I have found is essential is to have nature tokens in case the perfect habitat and wildlife token come up but in different pairs. For this reason I think you need to be looking at getting some keystone tiles early in the game when there are still lots of each animal available to still draft. If you see other players going heavy into a type of animal early in the game, such as salmon, you should look to try to score other animals keeping your competition low especially at higher player counts. I have found foxes to be a lot less lucrative than the other animal types in my game so I haven’t really focused on them.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: Drafting area

The habitats scoring is much easier to control with you always wanting to extend habitat groups where possible. Generally each player will have a large group of a one habitat in the first half of each game so you should pivot to ones that aren’t being built up to try and get some majority scoring from a smaller area. The tile and animal combinations may sometimes stop this though and you just need to take the best one of the two and place the other in an ok position. There has been no runaway leader in the games I have played with very different landscapes and animal combinations being fairly close scoring. Newer players can be competitive with experienced players with very simple easy to understand rules. The game has good replayability with each animal having 3 different scoring opportunities and the way the habitat and animal tiles come out each game will change each game a lot. The game ends after 20 turns and you can see the stack of tile depleting making it very easy to plan ahead for.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 8: Player area

Accessibility

The game is light weight with very easy to understand rules and clear point scoring opportunities that are very easy to see. Your never feel overwhelmed with choices and the pace of the game only slows at the end when people are vying for majorities of landscapes. The game is exceptionally easy to teach and understand and could be taught to just about anyone even without the simpler family variant. The rulebook is well written, easy to understand with good clear examples. The animal scorings are also clearly explained in case there are any questions. The game doesn’t take up a lot of table space initially but you need to leave players room to grow in multiple directions. The setup and teardown time is very quick as well.

Final Thoughts

Cascadia is an excellent abstract family weight game. Typically I don’t enjoy these types of game as I find them boring and decisions to be very easy. However that’s not the case for this game, each turn there are difficult decisions and great depth with where I place my tile and wildlife. Scoring is simple to understand but difficult to fully optimise keeping me coming back for more. This has become my go to starter game for the night nowadays and everyone I have played it with has loved it. A game well worth playing with new and experienced gamers alike.

8/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think out about checking out one of the 120+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing to let you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Wed Dec 15, 2021 11:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
42 
 Thumb up
5.75
 tip
 Hide

Maracaibo: Uprising Expansion Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 6 Players: 1 – 4

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box matches the art style of the base game but has more detail and overall a nicer appearance (Figure 1). The back of the box states some of the new modules that are included, shows some of the new components and makes it clear that this is an expansion (Figure 2). The new double layered player boards are much bigger than the base game player boards and have more artwork making them look more like ships (Figure 3). The only pity is that my boards are a little offset so the artwork on the bottom board doesn’t quite line up with the top board. Also, it’s best to place the 2 discs on each space sideways so you don’t have similar problems with bumping them to the base game boards. There are various cut outs on these boards for other tiles which have the same art style and fit nicely (Figure 4 - 6). There are an entire new set of quest tiles which have slightly darker artwork on the back to match the new player boards but I don’t think that this was necessary. All these cardboard components are the same quality as the base game. The newly included cards are marked with a U in the bottom left corner to make them easy to identify and separate if necessary (Figure 7). The new project cards have the same art style as the base game and have the same colour as the 2nd edition (in my 1st edition the card colours are slightly different on the front and back so can be identified when in the face down stack).

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

Gameplay: New Mechanics

For a gameplay summary of the base game see my previously published review. There are 5 modules along with new project cards which are added to the base game A and B decks. These cards are similar to the base game but include new mechanisms such as placing figures on an influence track or next to the combat tokens meaning you gain bonuses when anyone fights for that nation or can choose from 2 combat tokens when fighting. There are also new cards that reward you for stopping at certain spots on the board, gaining victory point income when a certain condition is met and allowing you to remove influence cubes form the main board. There is also a brand new campaign which has a similar feel and writing style as the base game campaign but is about half of the length with several new legacy tiles. Some of these new legacy tiles offer some rewards based off of revealing the top card on the project card deck adding some push your luck to the game often seen in some of the designers other games.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: New player boards

The first of the new modules is the home ports, which can be used in any scenario of the expansion or the base game, and offer variable player powers. These must be unlocked by removing 2 discs, the same as your ship abilities in the base game, and offers an immediate 10 victory point by spending the coin cost listed. These powers vary from being able to use sugar as any good, bonuses for fighting for certain nations, giving different benefits when delivering to cities and the ability to gain additional bonuses or have an additional explorer on the explorer track. These powers aren’t game breaking but offer asymmetric benefits between players.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: Resistance tile

The resistance tile module is new to the expansion and gives 2 different benefits. Its main benefit is that when you liberate a location from a nation you can place that nations cube onto it and receive the benefit you covered. You cannot have a cube from the same nation next to each other however. When you fill all 4 spaces the cubes are all removed, you receive 3 money and also 1 victory point per combat token on your board. There is also a new village action you can unlock which gives you 4 money immediately and you can now spend 3 combat points as a village action to take a nations influence cube from the village space your ship is on and place it onto your resistance tile earning double its listed reward. This tile is used with two of the other modules, uprising and freeing the Caribbean.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: New combat tile

In the uprising module you add a new combat legacy tile to the board. When fighting you may now fight against a nation rather than for a nation. If you do this, you ignore the bonus printed on the top of the tile for most/fewest ownership. When you remove a cube, if possible you can place it onto your resistance tile for the benefits as listed above. The two actions added are liberate city and liberate village. For liberate city you must spend 6 combat points to gain 3 money, 1 victory point per occupied city (any nation) and remove a cube of the nation you are fighting against. For liberate village you spend 4 combat points, remove one cube from the nation you are fighting against from a village space and receive 3 victory points for each neighbouring nation cube to that location.

In the freeing the Caribbean module you do not fight for nations at any point and are removing nation cubes from the board placed at the start of the game and at the end of rounds. This means that there is no nation scoring at the end of the game. As above since you are fighting against nations you ignore all bonuses for most/fewest ownership markers on combat tiles. There is a new tile on your player board for this module which lets you spend 3 or 5 combat points to remove an ownership marker from a village or city respectively. When liberating a city this way you receive the bonus indicated on the flag. You can also unlock an additional action by removing 2 discs which lets you perform the same actions but for 2 or 3 combat points. This means you could remove 3 cubes in one turn if you have enough combat points. Again when you liberate these locations if possible you can place the cubes onto your resistance tile for bonuses. When playing this module anytime you would receive influence you instead gain 2 points.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: New project cards

There is a new solo AI included, Jacques which is much simpler than Jean from the base game. This AI simply just takes quests, places discs in cities and moves their explorer. It then scores points at the end of the round based on how many cards it has revealed. Jacques can be played against solo or co-operatively. In order to win all players must score more points than Jacques at the end of the game. The final module is the search where you are seed the main board with map tiles and are trying to find a number of clues based on player count to find a missing person. Some of the map tiles will be the clues you need, others will hinder you by blocking up the card these clues are placed on and goods must be spent to remove these tiles in order for your to continue. These map tiles are collected when you end your movement on a space before performing your main action. When the number of desired clues have been found you must rescue the person from the location the last clue was found at, either by spending 4 combat points at that location or paying 15 money at the end of the game. These various modules combine to form the 5 scenarios (which will be discussed later).

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: Home port tiles

Theme and Game Length

The theme remains the same as the base game when playing with the home ports module. However the theme of the game completely changes when you add the resistance and freeing the Caribbean modules. Instead of colonizing you are now fighting back as the natives, removing the influence of nations from your home and is much more palatable as a theme for me personally. The average playtime of the game remains the same for me at 40 minutes per player, solo with Jacques is slightly faster as it is a more streamlined opponent.

Strategy

There are 5 different scenarios which use the modules in this expansion. All of which use the home ports module which you can build you strategy and game towards. You want to make sure that when you unlock this you have the money to pay for the 10 victory points. These powers aren’t game breaking like Marco Polo or Clans of Caledonia but you want to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from them by trying to find project cards that compliment their effect. The campaign scenario plays much the same as the base game so you can play in the same way. The all inclusive module additionally adds the uprising and resistance modules and is the best thing to try when first playing the expansion. This plays mostly the same but you can now fight against nations when they are on the board. For the uprising combat action you want to wait until several cubes are on the board to gain the maximum victory point benefit whilst still keeping up with everyone else on the nation influence tracks. Also unlocking the village action on the resistance tile is important, not only for the money but to give you a better chance of filling your resistance tile and gaining additional bonuses. Being able to double the reward when you place a cube on your influence tile with this village action is huge, 6 money and removing 2 discs can set you up for some huge combo turns.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 8: New player board in action

The most different module is the unrest module where you are fighting against the nations with no influence scoring at the end of the game. One of the main aims of this module is for you to keep filling and emptying your resistance tile for lots of benefits. Surprisingly using the bonuses of this resistance tile you can score a similar number of points to the base game even without the nation end of game scoring. This is because you can generate more money easily and focus on playing more or higher cost project cards. Being able to place 2 cubes in the same combat action is desirable so unlocking the combat action on your player board is also important as it makes the combat action much cheaper. The final 2 modules are played against Jacques, co-operative in the Caribbean is simply the unrest module with you trying to score more points than Jacques at the end of the game. This feels like the solo game with you on a 5 – 7 turn clock each round so you need to maximise actions whilst not giving away too many points by revealed cards for Jacques. The faster you play the more likely you are to win this mode, but you need to make sure everyone is on the same page and you may leave city locations for other players to fill and remove discs from their player boards.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 9: New player board during gameplay

The rescue adds the additional search module to the cooperative in the Caribbean module. This makes the game much tougher as you have to stop more to pick up map tiles and requires more coordination between the players. You are not sure where the desired clues are but you will probably block the cards with red tiles at numerous points in the game. These require spending two of a good from your hand at any time during your turn to remove, so having a 6 card hand is essential for this mode for all players. Also having the ability to pick up project cards without paying is very useful to have.

The expansion adds numerous new ways with different point scoring opportunities on new project cards and on your new ship board. The replayability of the game is enhanced just with the new project cards and new campaign mode. But the ability to play the game with the freeing the Caribbean module and resistance tile means you can play the game in a completely different way. The new home ports also helps giving you a different ship action each game and finally you can lay the game co-operatively as well as competitively.

Accessibility

The game remains the same weight with the main focus still being on the optimisation of your tableau of cards but your home port should help give you more focus at the start of the game in combination with your career card. The expansion is easy to teach and understand though I would only play it with players who had some experience with the base game to keep the teaching time low and not overload players with even more information. The rulebook is ok but in my opinion there should be more examples of setup, especially the unrest module and I personally would have explained the modules first before the scenarios to make things much clearer. There is an appendix with new abilities listed which I have found to be useful. The iconography remains consistent with the base games and is easy to understand. The expansion just fits in the base game box.

Final Thoughts

This is an excellent expansion to Maracaibo, improving the games replayability in several ways. The new player boards, whilst not perfect, are so much better than the base boards keeping discs and quests in place when bumped. The new solo AI is great if you wanted a more streamlined opponent, which is definitely necessary for the co-operative mode. I’m not the biggest fan of the co-operative in the Caribbean mode due to its low difficulty and not much player interaction but the rescue mode is much better and is a real challenge for players to win. The new project cards are more interesting than the base game cards and I’m always happy to see them when I draw them, potentially offering more bonuses for better planning. The home ports module is excellent and can be played with the base game if you don’t want too much change and I would never play without them. The thing I enjoy most is the unrest scenario which is completely different to the base game but I like the theme and idea of this mode more. Now you are clearing cubes and not having to watch a very well disguised stock market. Instead you build up combos on your resistance tile for rewards that can lead to further card play down the line. Overall, this expansion only makes the base game better.

9/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think out about checking out one of the 120+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing to let you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Dec 8, 2021 11:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide

Recap of November and coming up in December

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
In November I published reviews for:

-Whistle Mountain: A very underrated release from last year with a novel communal board where more worker placement spots are built by each player and the game end is controlled by how fast people build up the mountain, 8/10.

-Canopy: A recent Kickstarter with beautiful artwork, a nice push your luck set collection game that plays well at 2 and 1 player, 7/10.

-Anachrony: Classic Expansion: The final review in my Anachrony series, not the strongest overall expansion however the pioneers of new earth expansion is something everyone should try, 8/10.

-Glass Road: An old Uwe Rosenberg release that has been out of print for a while but still feels very unique even after all this time, I’m glad new players will be able to play it, 8/10

In addition to these 4 reviews I also published my first impressions of the previous 2 month containing 13 games including Terra Mystica and Barrage.

New to the collection this month:

-Maracaibo: Uprising
I finally managed to get hold of an Essen release before it sold out the day after in the UK, I’m super excited for this expansion.

Leaving the collection this month:

-None

After the last 2 months purges I’m fairly happy with how my collection is looking.

This month I will be publishing reviews for:

-Maracaibo: Uprising
-Cascadia
-Rajas of the Ganges
-Latest release/Witchstone

I’m a little behind but I expect the first 3 reviews to be written by the middle of next week with Maracaibo: Uprising out towards the end of next week when I finish the campaign. I will also publish my top 10 games as of December 2021.

Poll
What game would you like to see coverage (first impression/review) for?
 Choices Your Answer  Bars Vote Percent Vote Count
Cascadia
18.2 percent
18.2% 4
Edge of Darkness
13.6 percent
13.6% 3
Village
9.1 percent
9.1% 2
Crystal Palace
27.3 percent
27.3% 6
Imperium: Legends
22.7 percent
22.7% 5
Luna Capital
18.2 percent
18.2% 4
Red Cathedral
40.9 percent
40.9% 9
The Grand Carnival
13.6 percent
13.6% 3
Under Falling Skies
13.6 percent
13.6% 3
Point Salad
0.0 percent
0.0% 0
Voters 22
This poll is now closed.   22 answers
Poll created by Squalidsafe
Closes: Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:00 am


What content are you looking forward to?

Thank you again for reading my blog.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Thu Dec 2, 2021 11:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
21 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide

Glass Road Review

Anthony Ball
msg tools
Microbadge: Golden ReviewerMicrobadge: Renegade "BGG.CON" Contest ParticipantMicrobadge: Boardgames with Niramas fanMicrobadge: Uwe says...Microbadge: Level 01 BGG poster
Plays: 7 at player counts: 1 - 4

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 1: Front of the box

Appearance

The front of the box shows people making glass in a workshop and is quite a striking image even with the lack of colour (Figure 1). The back of the box shows a 2 player game and gives a good summary of the gameplay. The box is packed full of components including wooden discs with stickers, cards and lots of thick cardboard components (Figure 2). The resource markers are all different colours and thanks to the stickers are very easy to identify (Figure 3). The building tiles are easy to separate into groups thanks to their different coloured backs and even though the building art is quite small it is all unique and represents the description (Figures 4 - 6). The main player boards are a little bland in design although do improve when you place buildings on them during the game (Figure 7). The resource wheels when constructed are plain but rotate freely and are very easy to use (Figure 8). The cards are linen finished with their effect taking up half the card art and an image of the worker on the other (Figure 9). Overall, good quality components.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 2: Back of the box

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 3: Resource markers

Gameplay

The aim of the game is to have the most victory points after 4 rounds have been completed. The only way to score points in this game is from constructed buildings or from the 3 buildings originally printed on your player board. Each turn you will choose 5 out of the 15 specialist cards that you wish to use that turn. In a 3 and 4 player game then you will pick a card from your hand and place it face down. Each player in turn order will reveal the face down card and resolve it immediately. When a player reveals a specialist if any other players have the same specialist in their hand they must play it if either of their 2 card slots on their board is available. Each player in turn order will then activate 1 of the 2 listed abilities on the specialist card. If you play a specialist card and no other player plays one from their hand when you reveal it you may activate both listed abilities instead. These vary from collecting resources, constructing buildings and placing landscape tiles on your board such as lakes or forests. In the 2 player game you instead just take turns playing cards from your hand until one player runs out and the round immediately ends. This means one player might still have cards left in their hand at the end of the round.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 4: Anytime buildings

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 5: Immediate buildings

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 6: Bonus buildings

When you collect resources you move the resource on one of the resource wheels (some resources are on both wheels so the amount can be split up). However one of the two pointers of the resource wheel must be against a good so if you produce a basic good the wheel may turn automatically consuming 1 – 3 of all basic goods and turning it into 1 – 3 of the refined goods. On your turn you may also carry out any number of anytime actions, as long as they are not in the middle of another action. These include removing a landscape tile (but not a forest) to give you free space, to construct a building for example. You may also have anytime buildings that you wish to activate which have a listed trade on them, such as remove a forest to gain 2 clay on your resource wheel. As well as anytime buildings you can also construct immediate buildings which only activate once when built and bonus building which offer end game points for leftover goods, buildings, forests or landscape tiles. Some of these replace your starting 3 buildings which reward points for leftover glass, bricks and sand.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 7: Player board

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 8: Resource wheel

At the end of the game, after 4 rounds, you score points printed on your buildings and for the conditions listed on bonus buildings with the player with the most points winning. The turns in this game flow very naturally with players taking the simple actions described on their specialist. Downtime is kept to a minimum as well as you always have the potential of joining an action if you have the matching played specialist in your hand. The game plays 1 to 4 players.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 9: Specialist cards

Theme and Game Length

The game doesn’t have much thematic connection to the actions you are taking with you being able to throw landscape tiles away from your estate at any time. The names of the characters you are using make sense with the action they are taking but that is as much theme as the game has. The average playtime of the game is about 15 – 20 minutes per player depending on how much time people spend choosing their cards as the actions are very easy to resolve. There is very little downtime on players turns with you constantly seeing which cards people are playing and potentially joining their actions. The game plays very differently at various player counts, the lower player counts (1-2) you have more control of your actions and the buildings that are available. At higher player counts (3-4) you are trying to predict all the other players and make sure you are playing cards face down that you need to resolve. You should try to get your join actions as fast as possible to enable you to play your remaining cards for their full benefit.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 10: Landscape tiles

Strategy

There is only one way to score points in this game and that is the buildings. There are three types and whilst they all offer points they are better at different stages of the game. The anytime buildings are great in the first couple of rounds as they give you more options to gain certain resources other than the specialist cards. These can simplify your options as if you buildings produce food and require wood you are less likely to play specialists to generate food and instead aim to produce wood. Other players will know this by looking at your board so it can telegraph your choices for the next rounds. The immediate buildings vary in strength depending on your current situation and you want to get the maximum benefit when constructed so these take longer to work towards. Finally the bonus buildings can generate the most points but have specific conditions and these are something to work towards over the course of the game. Unless you are worried about other people building the bonus building you are working towards you should aim to build these types of buildings in the final 2 rounds.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 11: Main board during the game

Buildings cost 4 different types of resources, clay, wood, glass and brick. Glass and brick are harder to produce and requires careful manipulation of the wheels. You should try and produce these early since they are more difficult and give you more flexibility in your building choices during the game. Any leftover glass and bricks can also be worth victory points at the end of the game if you have not covered your starting buildings so making lots doesn’t have much of a downside. The resource wheels can take some time to get used to and one of the best ways to use them is to use a blocker resource to stop the wheel turning when you don’t want it to. It is crucial to not use wood or clay for this as you always want to have lots of these resources.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 12: Resource wheel during the game

The key element (and major selling point) is the card play and predicting your opponents cards whilst making yours unpredictable is crucial to success. In a perfect situation you would play 3 cards no-one else plays whilst also getting 2 bonus cards plays. Sometimes player boards will tell you what actions they are likely to take so you always need to look at what other players buildings and landscapes are. For example they may have a lot of quarries and very little clay or sand, meaning they will play a card to take advantage of this so you should play that card to reduce the power of their action and give you a bonus action.

From gallery of Squalidsafe

Figure 13: Player board during the game

There has been no runaway leader in this game with you always feeling like you can recover points with careful planning. Newer players will struggle against experienced players as the games economy is very unusual with a unique card system and the resource wheel itself. Players can often find themselves short of the resource they need and have to take numerous inefficient actions to recover. The game has excellent replayability with lots of different buildings in each of the three types giving you lots of different choice each game. Also players may play quite differently giving you very different cards options each round. The game ends after 4 rounds so is very easy to see coming and plan ahead for.

Accessibility

The game is medium weight with simple to resolve actions but lots of choice with 15 specialists available each round to choose from. There are lots of different considerations each turn especially with you trying to work out others actions for the round and playing with that in mind. The resource wheel is also something that takes a lot of planning and thinking to use well and efficiently. The game is very easy to teach and understand but playing it well takes a bit of getting used to. The rulebook is well laid out with excellent descriptions of actions and how complex turns resolve with examples. There is also a detailed appendix of all the buildings which I haven’t needed but is great to have. The game takes up a lot of table space with each player having their resource wheel and estate along with the main board. The buildings are quite small so playing closely together is necessary for the best game experience. The setup time is ok with lots of tiles to shuffle, estates and resource wheels to seed for the game start.

Final Thoughts

Glass Road is a very good medium weight Euro resource management with a unique action selection and resource management system. The game is very easy to understand with simple rules and choices but offers great depth of decisions. There are lots of different building and due to the interaction between players the game has excellent replayability. The game plays very differently at higher and lower player counts so it is worth trying at both these counts to see which you prefer it at. This game won’t be for everyone though, with the resource wheel being very tricky to use well and you can end up not having the resource you want due to poor planning. This is a game that I am glad got a reprint as even after this many years its design feels very novel. Even if you don’t like this designers other games this is one that you might enjoy.

8/10

If you enjoyed this review please leave a thumbs up and also think about checking out one of the 120+ reviews available on my blog (with pictures), Silver Duck Reviews, and subscribing so you know when new reviews go live.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Dec 1, 2021 11:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [20]

Subscribe

Categories

Contributors