Archive for October, 2010

Review: Merchants & Marauders

Posted by James (admin) on 30th October 2010

There have been a lot of pirate-themed games in the past but not many have covered the full pirate experience.  To make it worse, the Sid Meyer’s Pirates boardgame never made it to completion.  So, when I read the rules to Merchants & Marauders, I was very pleased that a big Pirate game was coming.

The goal of Merchants & Marauders is glory – the first player to score 10 glory points wins.  Each time a player gains a glory point, they also receive a glory card too which is a special ability or item, so your captain becomes more accomplished throughout the game.  Glory is gained through impressive feats such as defeating a ship in combat, trading large amounts of goods, completing missions, gaining wealth, and more.

The board shows the Caribbean split into sea zones – each zone contains a port, plus has a special rule too making every zone different.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, Merchants & Marauders | 11 Comments »

Review: Isla Dorada

Posted by James (admin) on 28th October 2010

When I first read about Isla Dorada I knew it would be something to check out because it sounded different to other games.  The players have crash landed on a desert island and aim to collect the most valuable treasure to win.  That’s not too different, but the way the players move is.  Rather than each player moving separately, the players are a single expedition party which never splits up.  So, players bid to decide who will choose the path along which they will next travel.  The island has various named locations on it and these are joined by different types of paths.  Players take turns bidding (stating which path they will move the expedition along if they win) and the highest bidder gets their way.  Players need to pay for a successful bid using adventure cards from their hand and the cards must match the type of path being used, i.e. kayak cards to move along rivers, yak cards to travel mountain paths, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, Isla Dorada | No Comments »

Spiel 10: Played and Bought

Posted by James (admin) on 28th October 2010

Several people have asked for the full run down of the games I played and the games I bought at Spiel so the lists are below.   I shall be reviewing these games as well as others which friends bought (such as Civilization) over the coming weeks.



  • Fairy Tale (What’s Your Game version)
  • Space Hulk: Death Angel


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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10 | 1 Comment »

Review: Mille Grazie

Posted by James (admin) on 27th October 2010

In Mille Grazie, players take turns as Italian noblemen travelling between cities trying to avoid being robbed whilst all the other players play the role of the robbers.  The board shows cities connected by 24 roads, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet.  The noblemen are trying to fulfil route cards they hold which show where the nobleman holding that card has to reach and how many points they will receive if they do so.  Four cities have route cards on them at any one time and these can be picked up by any nobleman passing through that city.

First, the robbers select on which road that they will each lay in wait by selecting the road’s letter on their selection wheel.  Then, the nobleman player moves along 4 or 5 roads.  If the noblemen moves along a road that a robber selected, the robber scores 3 points and the nobleman player loses 1 to 3 of the routes they have in their hand (depending upon the colour of road on which they were robbed).  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, Mille Grazie | No Comments »

Another Spiel Over

Posted by James (admin) on 26th October 2010

Spiel seemed different this year compared to previous years – not good or bad different – just different.  We went for 3 days of the show as usual, stayed in the same hotel as usual, ate steak in our favourite restaurant multiple times as usual.  However, when asked what was my favourite game so far, I wasn’t able to point at one specific game which outranked the others; instead, there were lots that were very good indeed but too close to pick a single leader.

However, Spiel was the usual gaming marathon and didn’t disappoint as there were many superb games.  Whilst I can’t pick my favourite game of the show, I think think the following (in no particular order) were great.

  • Merchants & Marauders
  • Black Friday
  • Isla Dorada
  • Mille Graize
  • Mord im Arosa
  • Era of Inventions
  • Tikal II
  • Dakota
  • 7 Wonders

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10 | 2 Comments »

Game Giveaway Prize is: Black Friday

Posted by James (admin) on 22nd October 2010

The prize for the Metagames 2nd Essen Game Giveaway will be Friedman Friese’s Black Friday. It’s a great stock market game without being dry. A lot of fun (and it’s Rio Grande’s English version too).

To qualify for the prize draw, you needed to be following my Twitter durig Spiel 2010 plus you could earn two extra entries too by tweeting about the giveaway competition and by completing the questionnaire about this blog.

Good luck,


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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10 | No Comments »

Review: League of Six

Posted by James (admin) on 20th October 2010

I bought League of Six with its expansion at Spiel 2009 so I’m pleased that I have managed to finally play it just before going to Spiel this year.  (We played the game with 6 players – which requires the expansion – but did not use the other part of the expansion that adds different tax tiles.)

In League of Six, players are tax collectors going from town to town.  No, wait, don’t give up on it just yet…  Okay, it may not sound the most evocative theme but League of Six delivers an interesting medieval-themed Euro game which has its own identity.  The game lasts 6 turns and each player tries to collect goods, guards and horses so they can deliver goods to the king and to the civic leaders in order to gain influence.  The player with the greatest number of influence points at the end wins. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, League of Six | No Comments »

Spiel Coverage Starts on Thursday

Posted by James (admin) on 19th October 2010

Recent posts have been a bit sporadic recently due to my preparations to go to Spiel in Essen.  However, I have time to post one more review today before I leave for Essen tomorrow.

After today’s review, I shall be sending tweets from Essen (@MetaGames) with thoughts on the games that I play.  Full reviews will start once I get back next week.  Also, remember that one random follower of my Twitter will win one of my favourite new games (check out the site for details on how to earn more entries into the draw, if you haven’t already.)

I started this blog just before last year’s Spiel so it’s exactly one year old.  During that year, I’ve posted 65 board game reviews, 9 iPhone board game reviews as well as other posts about my thoughts on other games and other items too.  It’s certainly been a busy year – let alone all the actual real-life work.  Thank you to all of you for following this blog.  I’m looking forwards to bringing you more reviews over the next year as well as being able to finally reveal what I’ve been working on for the last couple of months too.



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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10 | No Comments »

Thoughts On: Tammany Hall

Posted by James (admin) on 15th October 2010

In Tammany Hall, players place their ward bosses to try to win the support of the migrant nation entering New York so that they will be voted in as mayor.  There are 4 different migrant nations – each represented by different colour cubes (different to the player colours).  In essence, Tammany Hall is an area control game but has some interesting elements that take it a bit further with hidden voting and role allocation.

Each turn, a player either places two of their ward bosses in New York’s regions, or they place one of their ward bosses plus place one of the migrants (cubes) who want to enter New York.  If a player places a migrant from those currently queuing, they also receive a political favour cube of that nationality.  A game lasts 16 turns (16 years) and there is an election (scoring) after every 4 turns.  During an election, each city area is assessed and player’s who have ward bosses in an area compete to win that area.  Each ward boss is worth 1 vote and players can also (secretly) add any of their favour cubes which match any migrant nations represented in that area too.  Winning an area scores 1 VP; also, plus the players who have the most migrant cubes of each nation present in the areas they control get 3 extra political favour tokens. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Tammany Hall, Thoughts On | 1 Comment »

On The Radar: The Boss

Posted by James (admin) on 15th October 2010

The Boss is a gangster-themed game.  Players place cubes on city cards and the player with the most cubes on each city card at the end of each round gains a reward; however, what reward will be gained each city’s winner is only revealed during the round.  The rewards are revealed because each city has a fixed set of possible rewards and players take turns placing cards next to each city which show which rewards are not the one that will be gained by the city’s winning player.  So, the game’s a sort of are control game but the reward to be won is a process of elimination.  Some of the rewards are actually bad things like one of your men (cubes) is killed or out of the game for a turn.

It sounds relatively simple but quite inventive and with a deductive element.  Sounds like calculating when to strike and take control of a city will be important.  I’m hoping it has enough meat to it but the game mechanic appeals to me that I will definitely give it a try.


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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, On the Radar, The Boss | No Comments »