$35.00

Too Many Games!!!

My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

Archive for sean johnson

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [89]

Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Timeline (Game #61)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a e year. This is a game that we skipped out on for a good while, but we eventually picked it up because the pictured American History version on clearance at Target. We later also got Timeline: Star Wars. This is a fairly quick playing game so it has gotten played a decent number of times. But is this a game we want to continue to make time for?

Game Overview
Each player is dealt four cards which they keep on the side without a date. One card is put date side up in the center of the table to begin the timeline. Each card has a title of an event that corresponds with the theme of the timeline set. So for the one we have, everything depicts events from American history. The active player will need to take one of their cards and put on in the correct spot in the timeline. Once a card and spot are selected, the card is turned over and the date checked. If it is in the correct spot then it stays in the timeline. If it is wrong then the card is discarded, and the player must draw a new card.

If only one player is out of cards at the end of the round, then they win. If there are multiple players then they each draw a new card and go in sudden death until one player has no cards and wins the game.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: Trivia games are a long standing genre, and this is a very creative way to do it. I like how these simple rules and concept make a game that is very accessible and very quick playing

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The idea of building a timeline is a simple but clever concept that works well. .

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: My undergraduate degree was in history education, so I love the idea of building a timeline. I like testing my knowledge and I enjoy learning new things when I get it wrong.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The title is accurate, you are building a timeline but this game makes me feels not smart and I do not like that experience.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: Each box comes with a decent number of cards, but eventually they will all be seen multiple times. This can be counteracted by mixing sets, but not all of the sets mix well.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: There are a decent number of cards so it can be played multiple times.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This is one of the strongest parts of this game. The game is quick and does not wear out its welcome. However, since it is mentally engaging it does not feel quite like a time waster either. It is also exciting because often it comes down to sudden death elimination to determine the winner.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The game plays fast which is good, because it can not end soon enough

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This is my favorite trivia game, one of my favorite filler games, and I think it is a good party game. It is so accessible and quick playing that it works with a lot of different groups. I really like it.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I actively dislike this game and I am happy never playing it again.

Final Score

61/100

My wife actively dislikes this game and it is her preference to never play it again. That is fine. This game feels a good opening game night niche, and it is one of the games we have that works great with non-gamers. This game has a spot in our collection, as long as my wife does not play it.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Today 4:42 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
21 
 Thumb up
11.00
 tip
 Hide

My First Video Review

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I will probably stick to writing about games because I am a better writer than talker. However, our recent play of Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game inspired my son and I to give making a youtube review a try.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:33 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
17.00
 tip
 Hide

Storm Hollow (A Father and Son Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Wow, it has been a long time since I have done one of these. My son Connor is seven now and he enjoys playing games. We were recently given the opportunity to try this forth coming Game Salute game. The intention was for this to be our first ever family review. However, my wife got about five minutes into the game before she was out. She absolutely and passionately hates playing role playing games. Which is the first thing to get out of the way. The box states this is a "Storyboard game", but for all practical purposes this is a RPG, and has more in common with Dungeons and Dragons than any traditional board game. However, my son and I soldiered on. Did this game fall flat for him or was it his first step into a larger world?

Game Overview
This is a roleplaying game where one player takes the role of the storyteller and the other players are the characters. The setting is a whimsical, storybook magical land. The setting is quite charming and would absolutely feels like it came off of a kids TV show.

The players are "poppins", human children who have been brought to the land of Storm Hollow to be heroes. This Narnia vibe works, because like Narnia there is something about the land that imbues the kids with magical abilities.

This game is fairly structured and uses a lot of visual cues. The game comes with an impressive number of adventures. Each adventure is divided into three acts. Each act has an art card that sets the scene for the players. To advance through the act the players must earn progress points. These are tracked on a board, so the players always know how close they are to advancing.

The location in Storm Hollow (called a rift), the allies, and the enemies all have full art cards that give the player a good idea of what is going on. One of the neat bits is that these cards have extra information on the back as well as a possible game bonus. The different character classes can potentially look at different cards.

This game uses a fairly rules light system. When the players are dealing with a problem of some sort they take turns. On their turn they may do one thing. They will say what to do and the storyteller will tell the players which stat to roll. Players have five stats that are one through three. This is how many dice the player will roll and this is visually shown on the character sheet. The custom dice have an equal amount of success and fail sides. Typically one success is needed, but the storyteller has typical GM discretion so getting all successes could result in what is essentially a crit. Likewise, trying a very complex action and only getting one success might mean the player only kind of succeeds.

In addition to the stats the players have a couple of class specific special abilities and equipment. These all provide some sort of bonus that may or may not impact stats. These bonuses are all fairly straight forward and easy to understand. In the same way, the players also pick a talent which further modifies their class. Again though this is all very age appropriate and easy to understand.

The storyteller never rolls dice in this game. When the players engage in combat, a pre-set threat grid determines the actions of the enemy based on the threat level. Often attacking the monster lowers the threat level. This is also shown visually on a chart, so the players always know how strong the monster is. The monster will be trying to accomplish an objective and it's progress is also visually shown on a chart. All of this visual information makes it very easy for players of all ages to grasp what is going on.

By the end of the third act, the story will be complete and the players will succeed or fail. How long this takes is up to the group, but these adventures are fairly straight forward. I think even a full group going slow could finish all three acts of an adventure in no more than ninety minutes.

In addition to the set adventures with all of their art assets, this game comes with a world book and the tools to create adventures. This includes several blank cards that players can make. From the perspective of a brand new role player, I did find the section about making new adventures to be a bit lacking though.

Age Level Appropriateness
The game box claims it goes down to 5 but I think that is too young. I would say that children need to be literate to play this game. It obviously is child dependent but I think a decent first grade reader or second grade is the youngest this game should go. I would also not hesitate to use this with 10-12 year old children who have no RPG experience.

I am not sure where else to mention this, so I will put it here. My son is in first grade and he has been diagnosed with ADD. Sometimes getting through a 20-30 minute game can be hard for him to stay focused. However, we played this game for about forty five-fifty minutes. He was enthralled and engaged the entire time. Outside of video games, I have never seen him focus this well on anything. If a child buys into the concept of this game it will pull them in completely.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale. I am specifically rating the game for how well I think it works as a game for families. To get my son's rating I asked him two questions. First, I asked "is this game fun?" and he circled smiley faces that corresponded with No (1pt), kind of (2pts), and Yes (3pts). The second question was "Want to play again soon?" and he had to pick from "no" (0pts), "maybe" (1pt), and "yes" (2pts). By taking his answers and adding them together, we get a rough idea of where he falls on our point scale.

My Rating: 5 (love it)
My Thoughts: I currently run two active D&D campaigns and play the game about three times a month. I love role playing games and I love creating a story together. This game create the perfect framework to introduce roleplaying to children. It is not just the simple system, but it is all of the artwork and visual cues the game includes. This really give children the needed guidance they need and it really brings amazing problem solving out of them.

For instance, my son played the lightbringer class. One part of the adventure had him having to find lost allies in the dark. He looked at his sheet and item cards. He noticed the art for his ability which allows him to make light. He asked me if he could find some broken class (the previous tunnel had a bunch of trash in it). I told him he could and he used his light ability to light up the glass since the light would refract and spread out further. He is seven, and he figured this all out on his own unprompted. That kind of problem solving and story telling is what role playing brings out, and this game is perfectly crafted to do that for children.

This is the perfect game for a family that wants to role play with their kids. This could also be good for a group of 9-12 year olds who are interested in roleplaying but D&D is a little too daunting to jump into. The adventures are also very easy to run. With zero prep, I opened the book and I was able to run through it without any issue.

His Rating: 5 (love it)
His Thoughts: Connor thoroughly enjoyed this game. At the beginning he was a little hesitant and was not sure what to do. However, once he started rolling dice, he fell in love with the game. As soon as the game was over he had so many questions about what happened next. He wanted to tell everyone about his experience and the story he helped create. Most importantly, he asked, "When do we play again?" His favorite part was fighting the monster at the end.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 10
We both really enjoyed this game a lot. For any parents who are looking for family RPG options, then this needs to be a contender. The biggest downside to the game is the price. Right now this game only comes in a massive deluxe edition. It is seriously huge and there is a lot of content in there. I feel like the price point is decent for all of the content, and is in line with RPG standards. However, that is a lot of money to drop up front. Kids can be fickle, so as much as my son likes it now, he could also be done after two adventures. If that happens, that would be a lot to spend up front. It is available for pre-order right now, so I might give it a few weeks and see if it is still something that he is jazzed up about before pulling that (big) trigger.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:48 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Deus (Game #60)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. We have a tradition going back to 2009 where in the early summer we get a random game to play together. The only rule is that it has to be a game that we know very little about. In 2015 we got this to be our random summer game. It was a ding and dent copy and it was a good price. We liked the game then, and last year we selected this to be a game on our 10 x 10 list. IN the past couple of years this means we have played the game a decent amount. Do we still enjoy this game or is it played out?

Game Overview
In this game players get points by expanding out and building buildings. There are six types of buildings and each building is represented by a card. Each card also corresponds with a Greek deity, and they can be used to make offerings for various rewards.

On a player's turn they may either build a building or make an offering. To build a building, the player must have a piece representing the building type available in their supply. They must then pay the cost of the building. Building will have a cost in resources and/or money. Once the player pays the cost they will then place the building piece on the board. They may place the piece in a location they already have a building (as long as it is not the same type of building) or in an adjacent location. Finally, the buildings activate. The building just placed will activate, as well as every other building of that color the player already has in their tableau.

To make an offering a player will discard cards. The player may discard any number of cards, but whatever card is on top determines what kind of bonus they get. For instance, if a blue card is on top then the player will get two money for each card discarded. After taking this action, the player will then draw back up to five cards.

One of the card types are temples. All temples give end game points. Once a set amount of temples have been built the game will end. There are also barbarian villages. When these villages are surrounded, the player with the most military around them will get points. If all of these villages are conquered, the game will also end. The player with the most points will win the game.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This is a great tableau building game. I like the mechanism of each time a building of a certain type is built, all previous built buildings of that type activate. I also like that this game has a board component and players have to choose between spreading out or putting multiple buildings in the same terrain.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I really like the tableau building of this game. This is my kind of game.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: I am not wild about the theme of this game. The generic ancient civ building with divine favors does not come through very well and it is not terribly compelling. Despite a bland theme, the experience of each individual play continues to be engaging.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The theme is abstract and it could easily be building anything. The experience of playing and finding synergy is great though.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: I am to the point where I would like more cards, but this game is still very replayable. There are enough cards that every play continues to feel different and offer a unique challenges each time.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The replayability in this game is good. It does not yet feel played out, but I am also ready for new cards.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This game has a great flow to it. As tableaus build players can do more and more. This is partnered with e players placing more buildings on the board so it is very satisfying to watch tings grow.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The length of this game is just right. It gets up and going at the right time but it also does not drag out.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: Tableau building games is one of our favorite type of games to play, and this is a good example of one. This is a game that is a great fit for us.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I love building a tableau that works together. This game offers that, and it is always fun at the end of the game to see if what I put together was good enough to win.

Final Score

79/100

Of our random summer games this might be one of the biggest hits. We really enjoy this game, and I think we are ripe to get the recently released expansion for it.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:16 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
25 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

7 Wonders Duel (Game #59)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. We got this game back in October. We liked 7 Wonders but the game did not work well with two. Since we mostly play two player games this seemed like a no-brainer. We played the games several time when we first got it, but not much after the first few weeks. So is this game still a wonder to play?

Game Overview
In this game players will be building a civilization by drafting cards, building the cards, and building wonders.

The game is played over the course of three rounds. Each round a pyramid of cards is set out. Each row of this arrangement varies from face down to face up. On a player's turn the players can draft any of the cards that are face up and do not have any cards covering it up. When a face down card no longer has a card covering up part of it, the card is revealed.

This game has the same type of cards that can be found in 7 wonders. Brown and Grey cards provide resources that can be used to build other cards. Yellow cards provide money or allow for resources to be bought at a cheaper cost. Red cards provide military strength, while Blue cards provide victory points. Green cards are for technology. If players get matching symbols they may take technology tokens that give powerful bonuses.

On a player's turn they will take a card and do one of three things with it. The card can be built by paying the cost. The cost might be in coins or resources. There are way that players can buy resources they do not have. It is also possible that a card can be built without paying the costs if the player as another card which is the prerequisite. If a player can not or does not want to play the card to their tableau, then they can take the card and discard it for money. Finally, instead of building the card the player can essentially discard it to build one of their wonders. Each player has four wonders. These wonders provide points and powerful abilities. Even though there are eight wonders in each game, only 7 can be built per game.

The game will end at the end of the third round and whoever scores the most points from various cards wins. There are two Instant wind conditions that could happen instead. First if a player gets a set of all six different green cards it is an instant win. Second is a military victory. As players build military cards they advance a track towards their opponent. If they ever advance the track to the end then it is also an instant win.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: I have a complicated relationship with the rules of this game. Objectively, I think this captures the feel of 7 Wonders for two very well, and the use of a pyramid structure for drafting is innovative. Subjectively though, this game strikes a bad chord. It is a frustrating experience to take a card and then to turn up the exact card the opponent needs. It is frustrating to really want a certain card but it just can not work to get it. I know this all supposed to be part of the challenge and back and forth of the game but it is anti-fun.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The rules are very straight forward and intuitive to grasp, but it is so frustrating to play for the reason mentioned above.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: I find the experience of this game more aggravating than fun, and for me the theme is pulled back too far. The civ building theme is very abstract and does not come through.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not really feeling the theme in this game.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: The wonders a player gets can help guide strategy, and different cards coming out in different ways can ensure a different tactical feel each game. However, there is not enough here. The building arc is always the same and the options are not varied enough from game to game.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I do not think this game is very replayable. It feels very limited, and there is not enough variety.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the game's strongest element. The Three age pacing works really well. There is a strong flow of progress as players build up, and the link building helps cement this feel.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is very average in this area. It does not stand out as good or bad.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I just do not find this game fun at all. The experience is frustrating than fun. I know I am in the minority on this one, so I am sure it is me not the game.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is better than the two player variant from 7 wonders but it is still just OK. I feel like it should be more fun.

Final Score

56/100


Maybe there is something we are missing, but this game did not hold up for us at all. For us there just is not enough game here. We have a lot of card games that share similar concepts to this one and we like all of those games better. This is going to the trade pile.
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:40 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Millennium Blades (Game #58)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb


My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. Going in to 2016 this was my most anticipated new game. As soon as it became available we bought it. This game got played several times, but after Gen Con when everyone started getting the new hotness this game cooled on the shelf a bit. However, I recently took it to a game night again and it was received with great enthusiasm. When it came back out at home was the reception the same?

Game Overview

Millennium Blades is a game that seeks to simulate the experience of being immersed in playing a CCG. Essentially, this is a game about playing a game. It's all very meta.

The game consists of two primary phases. The first phase is the deck building phase. The deck building phase is played in 20 real time minutes broken up in to three timed segments. During this time players will get several cards to start with as well as some starting money.

Over the course o the deckbuilding phase players can do several things. They can buy "booster" packs. These are single cards (because you only care about the rare anyway) that are blind purchases. Players can choose the set the card comes from what is currently available in the store. Players can sell cards in the aftermarket or buy cards in the aftermarket. Players are limited to a set number of sells based on their available sell tokens. Finally, players can turn in stacks of cards to redeem them for promotional items, but this costs one of their trade tokens as well. During this time players may also trade cards with one another.

Players will be acquiring cards for two purposes. The first is to build collections. These are cards that share the same element or type. Sets will score points based on how many cards are in the set. Players will also be building their deck. The decks are abstracted and they consists of 8 cards, 1 deck box and up to two accessories. Players will be seeking to build a deck that works well together and has combos. Players will also be building to try and include cards that are from archetypes that are currently strong in the meta. Doing this will give the player an edge in the tournament. Once the final six minute segment expires, the deckbuilding round ends and it moves onto the tournament phase.

In the tournament phase players are going to play their cards to a tableau. The cards have different functions. Some have play immediately effects, others have actions that can be done later in the turn, and then others score points at the end of the tournament. During the tournament, players are playing for reputation points. At the end of the tournament, the player with the most reputation points wins the tournament. Players get victory points based off of the position they finished.

There are some other details like player abilities and money is worth points at the end of the game, but this whole process is done three times so that the game consists of three tournaments. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This is one of the most unique games I have ever played. There is truly nothing else like this. The game is full of innovation and it all works together incredibly well.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I have a love/hate relationship with this game. I like the base mechanisms of set collecting and putting a deck together. But I dislike the take that cards that mess with my stuff and the real time game play stresses me out.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: For years I sought a game that delivered a "CCG in a box". Several games have attempted this, but they always fell short. That is because they only captured half of the experience. This game is brilliant because it tries to simulate the lifestyle of playing one of those games. It does a brilliant job to. Buying "boosters" trying to pull the right card has the same excitement of cracking a pack. Trying to put together a deck in this game uses the same skills and has a similar feel as building a CCG deck, but it is a much easier and manageable process here.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The theme is weird, but it is there and it comes through.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: It is hard to express how much game is in this box. Each time a deck is built, but only a fraction of the cards are used. The different expansion sets can interact differently and all kinds of synergies can be discovered. Right out of the box it feels as if this game has near infinite replayability.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Playing this game can honestly be a bit exhausting so it needs long breaks in between plays. Still there are a lot of cards in that box.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This is probably the weakest aspect of the game. I love the flow of the tournament to deckbuilding, and the timing for the real time portion is perfect. The issue comes from card interaction. Like a true CCG it is easy to misinterpret, misunderstand, or misuse cards. This inevitably leads to pauses, discussion, consulting, etc. Granted, this is very on theme but that is one of the least desirable aspects of CCGs to replicate.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It’s fine. The game is long, but it does not feel that long. I do like the two segments of the game and how they flow into one another.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I love this game. This game is such a fun experience. It captures its theme and condenses it down to a thoroughly enjoyable two hour experience. Even though it has a longer play time this is a game that I will always be up for playing.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is a good, but it is also stressful and it can be frustrating. This is a game I need to prepare myself to play this one.

Final Score

83/100


It is probably accurate of our higher rated games this is the one my wife likes the least. I love it, and she is OK with it. Realistically, this means that under ideal conditions this is a game we will play only once or twice a year. Fortunately, I know several people who are big fans of this game so getting it played should not be a problem.
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:37 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Zombie Dice (Game #57)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. This is a game that I played all of the way back at Gen Con in 2010. I got it then and there, because I figured this would be a filler game that was easy to get to the table. It has been played a good deal, so my thoughts seemed to be on target. However, we do have quite a few other filler games since 2010. Has this game been blasted away by the competition?

Game Overview
Zombie Dice is a simple "push your luck" game. On a player's turn they roll three dice. There are three possibilities they can roll. A brain is a point, footprints will be re-rolled, and shotgun blasts are bad. If a player gets three shotgun blasts then they lose all of the brains they rolled on that turn.

When a player rolls they always roll three dice, bu re-rolling the footprints and grabbing new dice at random They can stop at any point, and "bank" the brains. There are three types of dice. Green dice are more likely to roll brains. Yellow dice are in between, and red dice are more likely to roll shot gun blasts.

The game ends when one player gets to 13 brains, but all players get equal turns so whoever gets the most brains wins.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This is a great example of taking a mechanism (push your luck) and making it a game. This game is simple, but it works well as the many different versions of this simple rule set show.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like how this takes push your luck and simplifies it way down. It is like a pure version of pushing luck.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: This game could be about hunting deer, catching dinosaurs, or even escaping Batman. The theme is inconsequential and does not come through. It is also very much a filler and is more in the time waster category than a compelling game experience.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Sure why not? I am so-so on zombies in general, so this is a fine zombie game by me. We added little plastic brains and that helps a lot.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: What this game lacks in a deep experience it makes up for in replayability. It is a very easy game to get out again and again. It also plays well multiple times in a row.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game plays really fast which helps create a "let's play it again" feel.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This game plays fast, but it is also multiplayer solitaire. Even though it is quick, most of the play time is waiting your turn.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It normally plays ice and fast. Cold dice and conservative players though can slow this game to a crawl.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This game gets play with our kids, occasionally as a game night closer, and with non-gamers. It is great in those circumstances.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Rolling dice is good fun, and I especially love that this works so well as a family game.

Final Score

68/100

This game fits the exact niche we bought it for. Our version is getting a bit beat up, and I do not know how much more life the cardboard dice cup has in it. I know we could just replace it with a cup, but I like the idea of getting the newer Batman version over zombies.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:13 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Risk: Star Wars Edition (Game #56)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. We got this game back in 2015 when it was released as part of the merchandise wave released in advance of the Force Awakens. This game got my attention because it was said to be a reimplementtion of Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit. Playing both, it is close but not quite a reimplemntation. This game is based off of Return of the Jedi, so is this a game we like to return to?

Game Overview
In this game one player plays the rebels and the other the Empire. There are three areas on the board and three things going on. One has Luke and Vader fighting. The other has a track that has the progression of the task force that seeks to blow up the shield generator. The final area is the center which is the space battle for the death star.

Each player has an unique deck of cards and each card has two or three possible actions. At the beginning of a round players will pick three of their six cards to play. Starting with the rebel player, they will reveal their top card and pick one of the symbols to resolve.

Each symbol corresponds with one of the three areas. Both sides can choose to do the lightsaber duel. This involves rolling four dice and getting 4+, each one is a hit. The first side to get the other down to zero life on this track will get several bonus actions.

Other actions can allow the rebels to move up the shield track. The rebel player rolls five dice. At the beginning they need 2+ but at the end it requires 5 and 6s. The Imperial players can add stormtroopers to this track to increase the difficulty.

The middle section is where the win conditions exist. Rebels can move and attack with squadrons of fighters or the Falcon. The Empire can attack with tie fighters, the Super Star Destroyer, spawn new fighters, or use the Death Star to blow up capitol ships (which may have starfighter reinforcements). Fighting is done rolling dice.

The Empire's goal is to destroy all of the rebel ships. The Rebel's player goal is to destroy Death Star. They can do this if they reach the top of the shield track, and then roll a six with a ship next to the death star. If this happen, the rebels win.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This game does not have much in common with traditional Risk except it requires a LOT of dice rolling. This game has several unique mechanisms that work well together. I like how players have to pick cards in advance to use, and I like the thee areas of focus. However, I have serious balance concerns about this game. After several plays, this game seems weighted in the rebel's player advantage. This is because for the Imperial player to win they have to roll a 5 or 6 on just two dice multiple times. A couple of bad rolls in a role cause a serious problem for the Empire.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game is very simple and very straight forward. This makes this game easy toplay, but luck of the dice plays too huge a role.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the game's strongest feature. It seeks to capture the battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi and it does that fairly well.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The theme comes through, but a lot of that has to due with the fact that we added some extra toys to serve as components. It is more fun to add little stormtroopers than use small tokens.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: This game can be fun to play but there is not a lot of variety to the game play. The cards and dice ensure the outcome might be different each game, but the strategies players use will not change.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Each game is the same thing with the same objectives. There is not not much replayability here.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: The pacing and flow to this game is great. Players want to focus on all tree areas at the same time, so there are good decisions to make. The game play is quick and does not slow down.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Normally this goes well, but the experience is highly dependent on the side being played and how the dice roll.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: For me most of the fun of this game comes from the theme. I love Star Wars and this game delivers a fun Star Wars experience. It is not a game that can be played often, but every so often I like to get this one out.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is the best version of Risk, even though it still is Risk. Rolling buckets of dice is fun, and that brings most of the fun to this game.

Final Score

68/100

If this game had a different theme we would probably not keep it. However, this game implements the Star Wars theme so well that it is a keeper for us.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:35 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Manoeuvre (Game #55)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. This is a game that I discovered very early when we were getting into board games. This game was a first for me as I backed it on the P500. We have had this game since 2010, and most of our plays were in 2010-2011. Is this a game we are willing to maneuver to the table more often?

Game Overview
Manoeuvre is played on an 8x8 grid that is made by putting together four 4x4 tiles. These tiles have various terrain spaces such as woods, hills, and villages. In this two player game a player will play the military of one of eight countries from the early 19th centuries. These countries range from powerhouses like France to weaker upstarts like the United States. The armies are represented by counters and each country has eight counters. Most of the game is controlled by cards. Each country has it's own deck of cards. On a player's turn they first discard any cards they do not want (like cards belonging to eliminated units). Next they draw back up to five cards. The third step is movement. On a turn a player must move one unit. Infantry move one space and cavalry move two spaces. Then a player may make an attack playing a card. To attack they must play a card that matches one of their units and that unit must be adjacent to an opposing unit. The opposing unit can play defensive cards (again it must belong to this unit). The attack cards have a die value like 1 D10, 2 D6, 2 D8, etc. The attacker rolls the dice and adds the total to the current strength of the unit. The defender takes their unit strength, adds any terrain bonuses and any defense bonuses from a played card. There is an extremely simple and completely non-intimidating Combat Results Table to check to get the results. If a unit is hit then it is flipped to it's weaker side, if already on its weaker side it is eliminated. After making one attack a player can play cards to supply or rally wounded units. There are also general that can be used to set up some massive damage combos by allowing multiple adjacent units to participate in a battle. The game ends when one side looses five of their units or both players run through their deck. If both players go through the deck then their is a way to determine who has the most control of the board.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This is a very interesting game. The use of cards and dice make this a very tactical game. However, the emphasis on movement requires a decent amount of set up and gives this game an eloquent strategic feel.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like the use of dice and cards, but I dislike the use of charts in this game. I know this game is not hard, but it is hard to keep all of the modifiers and procedures straight.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: This game as an interesting theme that I find it very appealing. I like how this game has a historical theme, but is ahistorical. I think it is fun how this game allows for various historical factions fight.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: If feels like a war game, and it feels like maneuvering does have a big emphasis. The theme comes through.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: This game has multiple factions and it has multiple map tiles that can be combined in a variety of ways. This makes very single game different and equally engaging.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: There is a lot of variety in the factions, but on a surface level playing the countries do not feel terribly different. I am not sure how much replayability this has over the long haul.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This game has an almost chess like feel to it, with a lot of back and forth. The pace feels slow and methodical but the game play length is short. This creates a very unique flow to it.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is really reliant on getting the right cards. Not getting them can really slow down plans and make the game feels like it drags.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I think this is game is a lot of fun. It is a very unique system. The rules are quick and light but the experience feels deeper.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not a big fan of war games, but this is one I will play. It feels like a real war game, and I think it s fun. That is a true rarity.

Final Score

74/100

This is a war game my wife actually enjoys so it is a game that we will be keeping for sure. This game does have an expansion coming out, but we are planning on passing on it. Even though we like the game, we just do not play it enough to justify spending more on it.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:15 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
1.25
 tip
 Hide

La Granja: No Siesta (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Back in February we played this game at a local convention and liked i a good deal. In March, we placed an order for mostly game expansions, but my wife did want to add this game to the order. So was that a good decision or should we have given this game a rest?

Game Overview
This is a "roll and write" game where players will roll dice and then work out the results on their own sheets.

In this game the start player will roll the dice. Then starting with the start player each player will pick a die. All players will eventually pick two dice, and then that will leave one left over that all players get to use. Players will mark their acquired resources on a resource board. Each die has six faces: Hat, coin, grapes, pigs, donkeys, and olive plus grain.

During the next phase players will spend these resources on a variety of the things. The hats are mainly spent to move up the siesta track. This track will allow the players to store more resources, gives points, and it controls the end of the game. The coins are mostly spent to get roof tiles. These provide once per game bonuses and can be worth points. A variety of resources can be spent to provide helpers. The helpers provide bonuses that can be very helpful throughout the game. The produce and livestock resources can be saved in sets for points.

Market carts can be loaded up with resources of all kinds in an exact order. The first player to do this for each type of cart will get a greater point bonus. Finishing one of these carts allows players to place a disc in the market which generates end game points. Finally, players may ship sets of three goods which provide points and a trade good which is a wild resource.

Players continue this until someone reaches the top of the siesta track. Then players go through all of the ways to earn points, and add up their total. The highest score wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: I like this game more than any other game of this type that I have played. I like it because there is a lot to do, and it is all good. This creates some interesting choices. It requires players to have a general strategic plan but they have to keep that plan loose and tactical because the dice are unpredictable. We have not reached this point yet, but I am concerned that this game might play itself out. Since the scorepad that players write on is static, I fear we might eventually find a preferred strategy and gravitate to that every time.

Her Rating: 4.5 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I really like these kind of games. I feel like this is an especially creative game of this type. I especially like the way dice are selected back and forth so that on every turn all players are engaged. This really takes care of the down time most of these games suffer from. I felt like we were in need of a good, quick dice game that was not Qwixx and this game feels that niche perfectly.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 8
My wife is the one who waned this game so it is no surprise that she likes it more. This is a game we both approve of though. I do think my wife is right, this game feels a solid niche for us and because of that I think it will be back on the table regularly.
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:54 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [89]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.