Gaming in Greater Anchorage area, Alaska since 1978. Looking for Indy-willing RPG players in Eagle River (or willing to drive to Eagle River). Geekmail me if interested.
The Shattered Imperium
I won this in one of the give-aways here on the geek, given by the designer. I promptly forgot what I was expecting. I checked the mail today (it wasn't here monday, it's saturday, and I didn't get back in between), and lo, and behold, a key... down to locker 42 (how significant... Ford, can you spot me a pint of Bitter?), a GREAT BIG 9 cubic foot package locker...
Oh, great, says I, it's a monster game. Inserting the key, turning, opening... I see nothing... wait... a little white box, about 2"x8.5"x12", tucked into the very back corner. I walk with a cane due to a knee injury... The USPS is TRYING HARD to make me angry with the game from the get-go.
I drive home. The kids sit and watch intently. First thing I see is "Purple Coaster Expansion." Hunh? He didn't mention the expansion. Packaging was boxed game, shrinkwrapped, and a loose counter sheet, with an instruction sheet, all inside a huge ziplock, itself wrapped in a fold-up cardboard sheet-box.
This box is surprisingly heavy. Textured paper covering thick card. Beautiful full color art. High Quality.
The divider has two channels, about 4"x8", but is only 2/3 height of the box.
Inside the box
5 sheets of die-cut, really thick, monster-sized counters... about 4".
Each sheet is a different color.
1 cord, 2 yd, made into a loop. Gold cotton, I do believe, metal crimp.
2 bags of plastic coins; 1 bag penny-sized golden color, 1 bag quarter sized silvery. They are nice and thick.
2 small 3x4" ziplocks. Perfect for the coins.
1 rule-sheet, double sided. One side is English, eine Seite ist auf Deutsch.
each color, including the purple expansion sheet, has 5x about 4" disks, and an about 4" rounded corner square.
Disk 1: 4x$1 pillow pretzles
Disk 2: 2x$2 pairs of pretzel sticks
Disk 3: 1x$3 thin classic twist
Disk 4: 1x$4 thick classic twist.
Disk 5: 1x"x2" showing a miniature
The square: A coctail napkin.
The colors, Base: Pink/Red, Blue, Green, Gray, Yellow
The expansion: purple
Playing the game
Put the string out on the table.
Pick starting player.
In turn, toss a disk, aiming to land it in or on the string, and preferably, covering all or part of someone else's disk.
When all done with disks, in turn, each tosses their napkin in.
Count points for pretzels that are not covered, but are on or inside the string.. If the beer scores, double your score.
"pay" the players their score from the bank
Repeat, with new start player each round, until everyone has started a round, making sure nobody starts more than one round.
Compare total coins; high wins.
1st Night Play
3 games in half an hour. Really lifted my mood. (it was pretty black; I went out because the wife had pumped petrol sans cash to pay, and was insisting on spending the rent money.)
The players were myself, my 10yo, and my 5 yo.
play was competetive and fierce. We cheated like big dogs on game one. Dropping is NOT tossing, and it really chops scores.
Games 2 and 3 were far more fun... toss from beyond reach of the table. Lots more scoring. 28/11/8, and 50/16/11 for games 2 and 3.
Cries of "More, Daddy! Another round!"
In the rules, on the box.
Note: there is only one page of rules. The other side is written in German. Don't try to read the other side unless you know German. Even then you might want to stick with this side...just to be safe. German, like math, is kind of hard. And it has really long words that sound funny when read out loud.
Now, Ted, the designer, includes quotes on the box-bottom's side. Best of the bunch:
"I've solved it alread, and until I did, it was rather pedestrian."
—Every BoardGameGeek.com user
Heck, the box bottom even has title side:
Beer & Pretzels: The Box Bottom
A sophisticated box bottom for the discriminating gamer who knows where the pieces go when the game is over.
And from the expansion...
using the purple set with less than 6 players will "void the warranty."
Pretty much. Quick, easy. 2-5, 6 with expansion.
Took much longer to write this review than to play.
But it has one error: the age icon, above "6+"... my 5yo caught on right quick.
My 10yo thinks it's TOO fast, she thinks it should be 6 or 7 rounds.
Bottom Line: Fast, fun, easy to play, dexterity game.