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If I Could Turn Back (The Tides Of) Time

Stuart Burnham
United Kingdom
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Just a quick little post to "Cher" my thoughts about this neat little title from Portal Games, the excellent 2 player only drafting game Tides of Time.

A 2player only drafting game? How does that work? Well, yes, it does need a little love and understanding; a hand of 5 cards each, keep and play one, pass the others, repeat until all are played. Scoring conditions or special powers are on each card, total them up: choose 1 card each to keep in tableau, discard one from the game: re-deal 5 cards and repeat the whole process: re-deal a final time and repeat once more, now all cards have been used: final scoring, add all 3 round totals and you have a winner: 20 minutes for a first play, then about 10 thereafter. It's ideal for our home life because sometimes all I really want to do is have a very quick game and then get on with the evening chores. It's a very compact and enjoyable little game and plays smoothly.

The artwork is good quality standard fantasy landscapes, no dwarves or trolls nor gypsies, tramps and thieves here. The cards are large and pleasing to hold and the game is very cut-throat, as long as you can remember what you have just passed you'll be fine! (My biggest problem!) There have been many times when I've played this with Karen and was confident that I had a good thing going, thinking "I've got you babe!", only to be completely shot down in flames (just like Jesse James) because I'd forgotten that there was no castle icon left available for me to complete a decent scoring set.

It is quite a gamerly game, and I don't think it'll capture anyone's better half if they're not already into modern board games; I know that I'm fortunate that I found someone (or rather "groomed" someone) who'll play games with me. I would still advocate buying this excellent little package though if you have a games group, it's handy whenever you're near to one game finishing and need to re-jig groups to play something else.
It certainly benefits from repeat plays with the same opponent because the meta-game comes into play and it develops its own life between the 2 of you as you try to outthink one another (and probably just end up out thinking yourself!)

I believe it's an excellent game that should be a staple part of any gamer who regularly plays with just one opponents collection.

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