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Subject: [Review] 10 Days in Europe rss

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Tom Vasel
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10 Days in Europe (Out of the Box Publishing, 2005 - Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum) is the third in a series - Europe coming after USA and Africa. The game differs from those games very little, so my review will be brief - refer to my reviews on the other games (http://www.thedicetower.com/reviews/10days.htm).

Short summary of the above review - I loved the system and still often continue to play it, mainly with my wife, as the 10 Days system is one that just works incredibly well as a "couple" game. As soon as I brought 10 Days in Europe home, we immediately cracked it open - expecting more of the same enticing play.

Europe is currently my favorite of the series - the map of the countries just lends itself to this type of game more than the others, and the addition of Ship Tiles are more interesting than the car tiles in the other game. Let's briefly discuss these:
- The map has countries that often border quite a few other countries. The Ukraine is connected to nine other countries, as is Germany. Other countries touch five or six countries, making them very valuable for a player to have. Some of the more critical countries - Germany, France, Norway, Russia, and Spain - all have two tiles each, as does Denmark, although I'm not sure why. There is only one card for Ukraine and Serbia, which makes getting them a bit luckier; but it seems to even out during the game.
- There are several countries that touch only one other country, such as Portugal, Ireland, Wales; and one that touches none - Iceland. This difficulty can be mitigated by airplane tiles, although this is difficult, but is more easily vanquished by the Ship Tiles. There are nine ship tiles that are split up amongst the three major bodies of water: Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Baltic Sea. Players can place a ship tile between any two country tiles that both border the sea. The map designates the seas in different shades of blue, so that it's obvious which countries touch which sea. The Baltic Sea is the smallest but can be critical, as the countries up there have fewer countries that border them. The Atlantic Sea should never be discarded, if possible - it's that useful. It's Iceland's best friend and also helps connect the British Isles much more easily. I'm almost ready to say that the Atlantic Ocean tiles are TOO powerful; but since there are four of them, it evens out fairly well.
- A few countries are connected by "ferries" - black lines on the board. Any person familiar with Risk will recognize these, as they basically make the two connected countries adjacent. They really don't affect the game much - other than noticing them.

And that's basically all the differences in this version (the automobile tiles are not in Europe). To the casual onlooker, there might seem like there are some wild disparities between the countries - some have many connections, others only a few. Yet it all fits together in an elegant, fun way. Now, I'm not going to tout how 10 Days in Europe makes the other two games obsolete. But it is a little better; and if you only get one of the games, it's certainly the most interesting that I've found. Personally, I'm glad to own the triology, because it's like having three delicious varieties of the same game. If you enjoyed the other two but want something different, then Europe delivers. If you've never played any of the 10 Days series but are looking for a game to introduce you to the simplistic system, then 10 Days in Europe is your best bet.

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games"
www.tomvasel.com
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