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Subject: Cyclades, Kemet, Rising Sun, or Blood Rage?! rss

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Bradley Smith II
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So I am trying to pick the last board game I get for a while before I go broke. Trying to pick a historical/myth themed game with cool minis and monsters which all 4 have. Other suggestions welcome! Any advice on what would be the best for me based on:

Games I already have of a similar genre:
Inis
Game of Thrones
El Grande
Tyrants of the Underdark

Ideally the new one would scratch a different itch.

I feel like I get players of varying skill levels which might be bad for certain games on this list.

Current thoughts on
Rising Sun: The game is gorgeous obviously, and would give me a non European themed game which would be nice. I am really stuck on getting so much less with the retail version compared to the kickstarter and that it's already 100 without extras. The biggest pull is how the game looks and getting the watered down version kind of sucks. The Diplomacy/back stabbing seems central and I think that overlaps with Game of Thrones which I haven't played enough. I feel like people will instantly want to try this game out though just by looking at it which is a plus.

Cyclades: Easily my favorite theme as I love Greek mythology. Downside is that it seems like Titans expansion is necessary to make it more of a war game and it sounds like the end game can be murky in the base game and I think I read you don't actually use the monsters very much. Maybe the hybrid nature is a good thing? I've been up on this one lately. It is the oldest and has the lowest overall ranking of the 4 though if that means anything.

Kemet: Seems like this is a very in your face game that punishes weak players. The board kind of looks ugly to me. The upgrade section/mechanic does seem sweet though. Maybe a full war game would be a good add for my collection?

Blood Rage: I know this one is super popular but I kind of wrote it off when I decided to get Inis over it. Reading that the suicide strategy is strongest and whoever knows the cards/strategies has a huge advantage were turn offs. Of course experience is a bonus in any game but I saw that complaint a lot. I don't have a Viking themed game yet so that's plus. I know this game is very highly regarded though so I figure I'd throw it on here.

Thank you!
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Kent Pritchett
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I have played all three except Rising Sun.

Cyclades is the most different of the ones on there, it has bidding for turn order and power, doesn't hurt to pass when the bidding gets out of control and save your money for the next round. I don't think it needs Titans but the creatures on the map have a short life span. Hades expansion can increase this lifspan as well as adds heroes. You mentioned Titans and there is a monuments expansion as well. It is a good game and you really have to watch what is going on or someone can sneak out a win. Conflict is restricted in the base game in that really only the person with Ares can attack another island for the most part, I believe if you want more conflict than Titans is a must. Hades adds well Hades so can move troops and fleets for you at certain points in the game so increases conflict slightly from the base game.

You like A game of Thrones, pretty sure you will like Kemet. I think it is better than A Game of Thrones in that everything is balanced from a map prespective at the start. I am not sure you need both games though.

Blood Rage is the best of the three, card drafting is the unique thing here. It really is a card game at its core, the board is for flair and to keep track of everything going on. I like that it forces more interaction and conflict as the game moves on.

I would say go with Blood Rage unless someone says Rising Sun is so much better, but all are great games. If you know the cards the better you are but I did not find this an issue in Blood Rage. I usually start off poorly and switch strategies if the game isn't going my way. You can bounce back in Blood Rage. The person teaching the game should point out some of the powerful cards at the start that might otherwise get overlooked.
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chris thatcher
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I've played all of them and own all but blood rage (several copys in my group).

I personally like Cyclades the most (especially with the Hades expansion. Didn't like Titans much).

However, all of them are great games. Can't really go wrong with any of them. I suspect Rising Sun may be the most divisive.
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Peter Strait
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I'd absolutely choose Rising Sun over Blood Rage (its heritage is obvious, and it uses some of the same mechanical concepts in IMO more interesting ways), and Kemet fell flat for me (it's great at what it is, I just find it kinda dull to do).

Cyclades is great with its expansions, so if you're considering everything C versus the Daimyo RS, that's a tough one. On the other hand, if you're looking at retail RS, I think it's going to give you more than base, retail Cyclades (or be a better value than retail Cyclades + all its extras).
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Matt & Laurel
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I don't generally have any great feelings about 'dudes on a map' games, but I've played Cyclades, Kemet, and Blood Rage and all them evoked a fairly strong reaction.

I enjoyed Cyclades and it also went down very well with the rest of my gaming group. It's a nice looking game, the theme is pretty strong, and we were all surprised with how quick it was (actually playing within the stated playing time of 60-90 minutes, which in my experience is pretty rare).

I really enjoyed Kemet, particularly the upgrades and the battle cards. It felt to me to be very well balanced, even with three players, and I never felt like I could be knocked out of the game or could do it to any of the other players. I wouldn't say it was much of a wargame though; more area control.

Blood Rage, in contrast to the other two, I thought was awful and one of my friends who is a real fan of these types of games also thought it was poor. I have only played it once, so you should bear that in mind, but I thought the drafting mechanic was weak and will definitely punish new or inexperienced players, unless they are very lucky. Likewise, for new or inexperienced players it seems very easy to unintentionally make a mistake and be punished for it. I also felt that it was very much a 'rich get richer' type of game.

I haven't played Rising Sun, but a friend of mine that has played it very recently said that it was totally over-produced; essentially, it's a small game that's been made to look like a much bigger game and with a price tag to match. He thought the minis, while quite nice, didn't really add anything to gameplay. I can't comment on whether this is accurate or not.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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I own all four.

Rising Sun sits in a fairly different space from the others. Our games have run three to four hours (with 5-6 players). It's a protracted game of tough choices, between the mandates and the complex battle auctions.

Cyclades really feels like an auction game with the board as the resolution mechanism. Base game is way too dependent on the one-two punch of Poseidon followed by Ares. The various expansions like Hades & Titans mitigate this. Titans really turns it into a different game based on the same mechanics, and one that I like much better.

Kemet is less of a wargame and more of a flinging-dudes-into-a-meat-grider-for-victory-points game, with your choice of upgrade path being key to your strategy working out.

Blood Rage is nicely balanced between the draft and the board. You need to get a synergistic set of cards, but then timing on when to place and move figures and when to pillage is key. The fact that regions fill up makes delaying much less viable than in many similar designs. Combat is simple but tense, and can lead to surprising turnarounds. It feels intense, but clocks in at only 60-90 minutes.

My feeling is that of these four, if I had less than two hours, I'd play Blood Rage, and if I had four hours, I'd play Rising Sun.
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Oliver Dienz
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yankeezulu wrote:

I haven't played Rising Sun, but a friend of mine that has played it very recently said that it was totally over-produced; essentially, it's a small game that's been made to look like a much bigger game and with a price tag to match. He thought the minis, while quite nice, didn't really add anything to gameplay. I can't comment on whether this is accurate or not.

I have played the Kickstarter edition recently and would second that comment. Some of the "minis" are actually pretty huge compared with the board and in a few highly contested battles were more of a distraction than helpful. They really felt like "eye-candy" even more so than I feel about minis in other games.

Overall I liked the game but what feels a bit weird for me in Blood Rage as well as Rising Sun is that losing battles can actually give you more points than winning them. In my last battle I decided to kill all my armies and sing praise about them which gave me twice the points compared with what I would have earned winning the battle (in the best case). I am an Eurogamer but that feels a bit too Euro for me in an area-control game.
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Matt & Laurel
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odie73 wrote:
yankeezulu wrote:

I haven't played Rising Sun, but a friend of mine that has played it very recently said that it was totally over-produced; essentially, it's a small game that's been made to look like a much bigger game and with a price tag to match. He thought the minis, while quite nice, didn't really add anything to gameplay. I can't comment on whether this is accurate or not.

Overall I liked the game but what feels a bit weird for me in Blood Rage as well as Rising Sun is that losing battles can actually give you more points than winning them. In my last battle I decided to kill all my armies and sing praise about them which gave me twice the points compared with what I would have earned winning the battle (in the best case). I am an Eurogamer but that feels a bit too Euro for me in an area-control game.


Yes, that's something that I couldn't get to grips with in Blood Rage either. I'm pretty sure that no Norsemen went into battle hoping that they would be killed AND the battle would be lost. Thematically, it's a bit lacking.
 
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Peter Strait
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yankeezulu wrote:
odie73 wrote:
yankeezulu wrote:

I haven't played Rising Sun, but a friend of mine that has played it very recently said that it was totally over-produced; essentially, it's a small game that's been made to look like a much bigger game and with a price tag to match. He thought the minis, while quite nice, didn't really add anything to gameplay. I can't comment on whether this is accurate or not.

Overall I liked the game but what feels a bit weird for me in Blood Rage as well as Rising Sun is that losing battles can actually give you more points than winning them. In my last battle I decided to kill all my armies and sing praise about them which gave me twice the points compared with what I would have earned winning the battle (in the best case). I am an Eurogamer but that feels a bit too Euro for me in an area-control game.


Yes, that's something that I couldn't get to grips with in Blood Rage either. I'm pretty sure that no Norsemen went into battle hoping that they would be killed AND the battle would be lost. Thematically, it's a bit lacking.
It's Ragnarok. No one is surviving. Victory is meaningless, which is why it's about glory.

Forcing opponents into an inglorious victory (or taking credit for a victory that wasn't actually yours) is very much in keeping with Loki, though agreed that the cards never spell out exactly how you're stealing glory while suffering defeat.
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Bradley Smith II
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Battistebeoulve wrote:

if you're interested there is an ebay auction for Cyclades+Hades+Monuments that is ending in a few hours



Thank you for the good advice! I tried to win the ebay auction and got outbid in the last minute when I looked away. I guess the other games still have a shot now!
 
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Erik Andersson
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I enjoy all four games.

I would rank them:

1. Blood Rage
2. Kemet
3. Rising Sun
4. Cyclades

Random personal opinions that might or might not be useful:

Blood Rage works great with 3, 4 and 5 (5 requires expansion) and is one of my favourite games of all time. Imo it´s superior to the rest.

Kemet and Cyclades is best with 5. 4 works but with 3 I would rather play Blood Rage any day. Kemet is better with 5 than Blood rage with 5 though.

Rising sun is great fun but you could play Blood Rage twice in the same time. Ideally I would play Rising sun with an odd number of players to make the alliances more interesting.



 
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Thebrewgeek
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I've played all 3 except for Cyclades.

Kemet -

- Pros - Very Euro like buying / upgrade system.
- If you've played Euro games then this game won't be so difficult
- Timing with strategy and tactics simply amazing game
- A ton of strategy and I good player will destroy a noob
- Battle system is really cool and satisfying
- Components are top notch
- The expansion is really good and a must have if you like the game

- Cons - Can run a little long (2 players = 1.5 hrs / 3+ PLAYERS 2 - 3 hrs)
- Board is not appealing to me. It's functional but ugly
- Takes a few plays to get the strategy to win (can be tricky to win
because you can loose VP's)

Rising Sun -

- pros- Art and components are top notch. The board and art is best of the three.
- I found it pretty straightforward in comparison to the other 2 games.
- Battle system is intriguing and very deep
- Very unique system with negotiation (tea phase), at least when it comes to "dudes on a map" game.
- Replay ability is really high

- cons - Game runs long (easily 2.5 - 3.5 hrs)
- Negotiation with others really depends on your group if people are quit this can be a bust.
- Battle system is really cool but It doesn't give me that quick satisfy feeling that Kemet and Bloodrage do. Very strategic but it takes 20 - 30 seconds to kind of calculate who did better.

Bloodrage -

- pros - Battle system is the best by far (super quick, and just feels awesome). Also very strategic.
- Art and graphics is 2nd best to Rising Sun but still impressive
- Strategy is off the charts and there is a ton replay ability.
- The game is straight forward and easy to understand.
- It's shortest of the 3 (2p 1 hr / 3+ 1.5 - 2 hrs)

- con - The drafting portion can take longer if you AP it.
- If you mess up in the draft phase it could be very hard to come back. This is not a big deal the more you play the game.
- Winning and understanding how to win can take multiple plays.


I want to add that all 3 games are AMAZING and I would buy all 3 eventually (if you can). As far as Kickstarter Exclusives throw that out the window Rising Sun and Blood Rage base game is all you need. I love KSE but they really aren't need at all.

My vote is for Bloodrage with Kemet a close second. I will add that Bloodrage is my 4th favorite game followed by Kemet at 5 and Rising Sun at 10 ish. They all are amazing. The only thing is Rising Sun plays with 3+ and length is makes it harder to hit the table for me. Bloodrage for me is perfection with Kemet feeling a little slower and Rising Sun being a little to long. With that said I truly believe all 3 games are AMAZING and should be added to everyones collection.

Hope this helps!!!

Get Bloodrage...lol
 
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Shoosh shoo
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Ok time for me to add my opinions!

So i have all these mentioned games. Ive played each one only a small number of times so i havent had a lot of experience. Oh, and i suck at all of them!


Cyclades - i think the titans expansion is essential as it makes for a more aggressive and action packed game. I wont play without it anymore. My overall thoughts are that... The heart of the game seems to be the auction phase. I believe theres also a greater learning curve just because you really have to watch what others are doing. You also have to be flexible because you will constantly want to adapt to your oppone ts so that you can counter their strategies while employing your own. I know how to play but i dont really know HOW to play the game. One thing to note is that in the Titans expansion there are some artifacts that you can acquire. Maybe its my lack of experience but these seem very overpowered. I love this game but i need more experience.


Kemet- i love this one too. Everyones faction starts the same but you can customize it according to how you want to play. This is a fast paced and aggressive game as well. What i love about it is that the map promotes attacking and discourages turtling. I love the customization via the power tiles. The .onsters feel more useful in kemet. One thing i find annoying is that it can be fiddly. For example there are lots of threads in the forums asking "how do i resolve a situation where Y happens in response to X happening initially". Maybe this is just due to lack of experience but it seems like there are a lot of situations where the timing pf certain things isnt very clear. Ive had to look up a lot of situations here in the forums. The battle system is really cool.

Blood rage - this game is a lot of fun and i agree that knowing the cards is key, so that you can draft better. I am terrible at winning battles. I like being able to upgrade my clan into something unique. Its a shorter game length and its fun, and it seems best with 4-5 players. I dont remember experiencing a lot of downtime even at high player counts.

Rising sun - i REALLY love this game! I do have the kickstarter exclusives, but honestly if i could only buy the retail version, it is still good enough components wise to be worth getting. The exclusives are cool but the game really is fine without them. There is plenty of content in the retail version. This is definitely a longer game. When i played with 5 players we went for 4 hrs. The game bogs down during the war phase bc thats where the really interesting decision making lies, and also most of the tension. It can also be the source for some lengthy downtime (at least in my group bc we think a couple people have some AP). Its a very interactive and dynamic game. I love how different each faction feels due to their abilities. The alliance system is cool but i think a lot of people are under the impression that this is a stab your ally in the back game. Maybe its just my group and our lack of experience but it doesnt seem beneficial to outright betray your ally because there is high incentive to be in an alliance. The clans abilities feel overpowered, yet they all seem to be very well balanced. The combat is super streamlined. Some people complain that its not thematic that my oni or monster counts as the same amount of strength as my foot soldiers, and they can be taken hostage, etc. But i think this contributes to the whole streamlining of the war phase. You dont have complex calculations to make, or worry about all these "what if" situations coming up with the rules of the game.

I dont know if ive helped at all but i tried to highlight why i like each game. They all feel very different and i think theyre all terrific. The deciding factor will likely be what do you and your group tend to gravitate towards. Better yet, have each person in the group by one of the games lol!
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Bradley Smith II
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Thanks for all the input! I have been leaning towards Cyclades plus Titans but now a few more Blood Rage recommendations are making me consider it again. Looking at my collection it being shorter might be a good thing.

One complaint I've seen is that one strategy - the suicide or Loki tactic is the most powerful. Anyone got any insight on that? It seems like a good mechanic if it's a viable strategy but I won't like it if that's the clear best strategy.

I think Rising Sun and Kemet are out for now.
 
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TheSteadfast77 wrote:

One complaint I've seen is that one strategy - the suicide or Loki tactic is the most powerful. Anyone got any insight on that? It seems like a good mechanic if it's a viable strategy but I won't like it if that's the clear best strategy.


Loki tactics are quite powerful, however if your opponents are aggressive they can end the round before you are able to get anything going.
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Ray
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Cyclades before Blood Rage.

I'll be upfront: I really don't like Blood Rage. The card drafting gets too ridiculous unless you really like the game and play it a lot. I really hate the "Loki" cards that let you win if you play against the spirit of the game. The pros are that it is pretty straightforward and the ability to upgrade your clan is pretty good. You'll all start the same and through drafting, will all have unique clans.

Cyclades is more about auctions. I have but have no played the Titans expansion...but I do understand the concern (especially late game) for getting that Ares and Poseidon gods (both allow for movement of ground and sea troops, respectively). The Pegasus card can also allow for a hail mary pass in some games. With the base game, I think everyone just needs to know that upfront and can enjoy the game. At one time I felt so strongly about that opinion that I vocally disparaged the Titans expansion because it made it more combat than auction (which, if that was the case: play Kemet). But I'll give it a try and see what happens.

Lastly: you have El Grande....that's all you need!
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Shoosh shoo
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The pegasus card was supposedly a game decider in the cyclades base game. My friend used to tell me how it alone decided the winner many times.

I hear this "issue" is not as pertainent with the Titans expansion just because youre allowed to move more freely throughout the course of the game. I wouldnt say that Titans makes the game more combat than auction... The games heart is still the auction phase. This doesnt SOUND as exciting, but when actually playing you see this system works very well. I still stand by what i said that i feel there is a significant learning curve to the game. It will require a few plays to be able to learn the ins and outs of the game.
 
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Ken B.
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I like all these games, but Blood Rage is pretty decisively the best one IMHO.
 
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Thanee
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TheSteadfast77 wrote:
One complaint I've seen is that one strategy - the suicide or Loki tactic is the most powerful. Anyone got any insight on that? It seems like a good mechanic if it's a viable strategy but I won't like it if that's the clear best strategy.


It isn't.

The Loki strategy (if you can even call it a strategy) is strong, but only if you let him do it.

You know from the very beginning of the game, that it is a possibility. Once the Loki card has been played, you know who has it.

You just need to adjust your tactics accordingly.

In fact, I think it is great, that something like this exists in the game. Also, that losing your units is not necessarily just bad, and you can gain Glory for their death. Otherwise, the game would be all about combat strength, and not much else, which would be pretty boring. It is a good thing, that you do not have to win combats to win the game (though, it might be hard to win, if you always lose in combat).

I would say, the strongest strategy (again, if you can call it that) is unpredictability. Catch your opponents off-guard by doing stuff they do not expect.

One of the cool things in Blood Rage is, that you do not have to have a single strategy. You can switch with every draft. The cards you end up with dictate what you will try to achieve. That can be vastly different things in different rounds.


About knowing the cards. Yes, it is important. It is a huge advantage. When experienced players play with less experienced players, I see two options. Show them all the cards in advance and explain them all. Or draft and play with open cards. Sure, that will take some of the fun out of the game (no real surprises), but for learning the game it might be a good idea. Consider it a training game. Then play for real afterwards.


About KS exclusives. Blood Rage also has a few of those (not a huge amount, fortunately). You do not need them. They are nice to have, add some variety, but you absolutely do not need them to enjoy the game.

Bye
Thanee

P.S. I agree with many above, that Blood Rage is the best game of that list (though, I havn't played Rising Sun, yet).
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Peter Strait
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On Blood Rage, It's worth noting that if you raise your glory gained from combat you'll still get more from winning than the Loki player gets from losing.
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Brian Phelps
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My copy of Cyclades just came in the mail today!

rayzor6 wrote:


Lastly: you have El Grande....that's all you need!


...Great, now I have to buy El Grande
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Shoosh shoo
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El grande is awesome. Its a classic
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Enrique Canales
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Having played all these, Cyclades is by far the best. Kemet has huge kingmaking issues, BR is more a card game that can get a runaway winner quickly. RS is the second best, gameplay is very balanced but I still prefer Cyclades. Having said that, you have to know what game you're getting into, it's an auction game with area control, very cerebral. Cyclades is very satisfying and tense and anyone can win at any moment. BR is card drafting, Kemet is worker placement and RS is action selection. So that should also figure in your decision. Honestly, I'd play all these before committing to buy, but yeah, buy Cyclades.
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Bradley Smith II
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rayzor6 wrote:


Lastly: you have El Grande....that's all you need!



El Grande is amazing!!! Just played it for the first time over the weekend and it became my favorite game halfway through. If it had awesome Spanish knight figures near the quality of any of these newer games.... sheesh. I'd have to quit my job and wander the streets to find people to play with.


I am thinking I do not have enough self control to not buy both Blood Rage and Cyclades at this point. Not much more than just Rising sun and I can wait to decide which Cyclades expansion...another tough choice.

I think Cyclades is more my style of game, more cerebral as someone put it. But I think Blood Rage would be a good addition too because short play time and I think it woudl appeal more to my girlfriend and some of my friends.
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Ben Rubinstein

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Hope you enjoy it! Cyclades is one of my favorite games of all time, and I'll add that I prefer Titans over Hades. If you love Greek Mythology, you really can't go wrong with Cyclades.

I would add that I think Rising Sun is a good deal better than Blood Rage, especially if you prefer "cerebral" type games. The blind draft is just too important: I don't like the luck in getting first dibs on two of your most important cards. At least in Rising Sun, everything is open and you can negotiate to stop people from grabbing powerful combos.

TheSteadfast77 wrote:
rayzor6 wrote:


Lastly: you have El Grande....that's all you need!



El Grande is amazing!!! Just played it for the first time over the weekend and it became my favorite game halfway through. If it had awesome Spanish knight figures near the quality of any of these newer games.... sheesh. I'd have to quit my job and wander the streets to find people to play with.


I am thinking I do not have enough self control to not buy both Blood Rage and Cyclades at this point. Not much more than just Rising sun and I can wait to decide which Cyclades expansion...another tough choice.

I think Cyclades is more my style of game, more cerebral as someone put it. But I think Blood Rage would be a good addition too because short play time and I think it woudl appeal more to my girlfriend and some of my friends.
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