Archive for July, 2010

On the Radar: Cadwallon – City of Thieves

Posted by James (admin) on 31st July 2010

Update: A review has now been added.

Cadwallon: City of Thieves has been on my radar for a while now – since just before FFG took over the publishing and their usual planned previews have raised its profile a lot more.  Set in a fantasy setting, players allocate action points to move their thieves around the city to steal as much as possible from locations and from each other.  Players can block each other’s paths and even influence the militia men to slow opponents down.  Sounds like it’s a light-to-medium weight game but with enough to it to be good fun and plenty of racing against other players and scope for annoying opponents too.

There are adventure cards which set specific objectives, set-up, rules and events for each game, plus there are mission cards too which deliver bonus money if fulfilled.  So, each game should have its own flavour.

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Posted in Board Games, Cadwallon: City of Thieves, Essen Spiel 10, On the Radar | No Comments »

Review: Traders of Carthage

Posted by James (admin) on 31st July 2010

Traders of Carthage is essentially a card game but does include a board.  Each of the cards shows one of 4 different commodities (red, blue, yellow and green) and has a coin value from 1 to 5 on it.  Next to the board are two rows of face-up cards – one is the Market (these cards can be bought or taken) and one is the Field (which are cards that will soon be moved to the Market).  The board depicts a trade route passing through 6 Mediterranean cities along which 4 ships – one for each commodity – will travel.

On their turn a player can carry out one action:

Get coins: The player can add any 1 card from the Market to their hand (excluding any card with another player’s reserved marker on it).
Reserve a card: Each player can place their reserve marker on any unreserved card in the Market or the Field.  It can only be retrieved by taking the reserved card (Get coins), or by buying the cards (Buy goods).
Buy goods: A player can spend coins (the cards in their hand) to buy the cards in the market; however, the player must buy ALL of the goods cards in the market or none at all.  Purchases must include any good in the Market that the player has reserved, but exclude any goods reserved by other players.  Any goods bought are placed face-up in front of the player – these are the player’s shipment.  After a purchase, the ships matching the colours of the cards bought are moved along the trade route (1 space if one card of that colour was bought, 2 spaces if more than one was bought).

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Traders of Carthage | 2 Comments »

On the Radar: Troyes and Stronghold Undead

Posted by James (admin) on 28th July 2010

A couple of forthcoming games have caught my attention recently:

TROYES is designed by Xavier Georges who created Royal Palace and Carson City – both of which I like a lot, especially the latter. Troyes is a city building game using dice – it sounds like players use a central pool of dice but can also buy them off of each other too.  Players have secret agendas too.  Definitely one I have to try and/or buy.

STRONGHOLD: UNDEAD is an expansion for Stronghold and itsounds like there is an undead army storming the walls of the castle instead of the goblins, orcs and trolls.  One big difference sounds like there is no glory points this time – purely the task of breaking into the stronghold before 8 game turns are up.  The glory points of the original game were an interesting system but people I have played with (and myself) found the amounts of them required to win meant it was very difficult for the invader to win after turn 6 (out of 10).  So, a straight break-in or not  with a new type of army sounds great.

I’m really looking forwards to trying these at Essen and I may even pre-order them.


(Note to publishers out there: I’m much more likely to pre-order and buy a game without trying it first if the rules are available to read beforehand.  Sure, reading a few rules can make me realise a game is not for me, but not having rules to read means I’m much less likely to pre-order it).

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Posted in Essen Spiel 10, On the Radar, Stronghold, Troyes | No Comments »

New Stuff on the Metagames Blog

Posted by James (admin) on 27th July 2010

In my blog and Tweets I’ve mentioned I have some new (and exciting features) that I shall be adding.  The first are described below, but I also have two bigger items to announce in the next couple of weeks.

Since I started posting boardgame reviews in October 2010, I’ve noticed I describe the game and how it is played more and more – I think this is the game explainer in me which is one of my natural roles at games events.  To comment on a game, it’s important that the comments are in context for readers, but I’m thinking of cutting down the amount of game description I include in new reviews.  One reason is that describing a game in detail takes longer than the writing my appraisal of the game.  Also, less detailed game descriptions will make it easier for me to review more games, still convey the same assessment and comments, and make it easier for readers to consume.  If you have any opinion on this, let me know.

Writing a full review is great and I certainly won’t be stopping that at all; however, there are times when I just want to give some thoughts on a game, so some posts will purely be Shorter Thoughts.  I had thought of using Twitter but it’s so hard to fit fair and balanced comments into 150 characters.

When new games get announced some really catch my eye and I want to highlight them.  So, I shall be trying out adding posts which are purely games that I think look promising.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading my blog and Tweets on @Metagames if you follow that too.

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Posted in Board Games | 2 Comments »

Review: Egizia

Posted by James (admin) on 27th July 2010

Egizia was a game on my list to check out at Essen in 2009.  I would even have taken a punt and bought it without playing it first but the text on the cards was in German.  So, I played it soon as I had a chance a couple of weeks ago when the English language version was released.

Set in Ancient Egypt, players try to gain as many victory points (VPs) as possible over 5 rounds.  Each player has 8 ships and, in turn order (the player with fewest VPs goes first), players place their ships one at a time on spaces along the Nile following two important rules: first, only one ship can be placed on each space and, second, a player can not place a new ship upstream of any of their ships that they have already placed.

There are two main types of spaces along the Nile.  On one side are fixed spaces that offer the same benefits every round (improving construction crews, changing the weather and improving the player’s stone/grain markets – all explained later) plus there are 3 sets of building spaces where the player needs to have a ship if they want an opportunity to build monuments later in the round.  On the other side of the Nile, there are spaces whose benefits are determined by cards placed on each space at the start of each round (which increase as the game progresses).  The cards offer benefits that can be permanent, immediate use, or held for later use.  These benefits range from the simple (extra quarries or fields, one-off food bonuses, temporary construction crew strength boosts, bonus VPs, etc.) to more unusual abilities (place a ship on a space already occupied by another player, place two ships in a row, keep 2 Sphinx cards (explained later), take an unclaimed card at the end of the round, etc.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Egizia, Essen Spiel 09 | No Comments »