Archive for September, 2011

WIN a copy of Dark Minions in this year’s Spiel competition

Posted by James (admin) on 30th September 2011

Each year, I have run a competition to win a copy of one of the latest games released at Spiel in Essen. As always the competition will be open to anyone so you don’t need to be at Spiel itself.

I am very pleased to announce that this year, I shall be doing the same.  However, I am also very excited to announce that I am running the competition in association with Z-Man Games who will be providing a copy of Dark Minions as the prize (which they are releasing at Spiel).

This competition has now closed.  You can still read my preview of Dark Minions for details on the game.


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Posted in Board Games, Dark Minions, Essen Spiel 11 | No Comments »

On the Radar: Dark Minions

Posted by James (admin) on 29th September 2011

I read the rules to Dark Minion recently and it sounds really promising.  The players are all dark hordes descending upon towns to attack and loot them, which I already liked the sound of, but it contains some interesting game mechanics delivering a mix of meeple allocation, area control and dice.

On their turn, a player rolls 3 dice which they use to either attack towns, respawn minions from the graveyard, or capture towers.  Attacking towns is the core of the game where a player can allocates dice to the towns (a maximum of one dice per town) allowing them to place that many minions next to the town.  When there are enough total minions from all players next to a town to exceed its defense number, the town falls and the player who allocated the most minions gets the tile, the victory points (VPs) and the skulls printed on the tile.  Also, the player who allocated the second most minions gets 2 VPs, and the player triggering the event gets 1 VP.

One aspect I really like the sound of is that the 1’s on the dice are actually +1’s which can be added other dice results.  I like this because rolling low in games usually penalises a player through sheer bad luck but, in this case, rolling +1 allows a player to make other dice stronger.  This sounds like a subtle but clever mechanic to balance up the luck of the roll.  Also, this idea is taken further by the white dice – a player can choose to roll a white dice instead of their usual dice which can add +1 or +2 (or a skull) which is also a nice idea. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Dark Minions, Essen Spiel 11, On the Radar | 40 Comments »

On the Radar: Burdigala and Kahmate

Posted by James (admin) on 28th September 2011

I was interested to read that a new (at least to me) publisher is releasing a game by Bruno Cathala at Spiel this year.  The game is Burdigala and plays 2-4 players.

The setting is Bordeaux in 56BC and players are constructing the port town.  The winner is the one with the most prestige points (PPs) which are earned by involvement in building construction, completing a building, merchandise and plot cards,  So, fairly standard sounding stuff so far.  However, the game sounds like it has  some neat game mechanics.

First, each turn players roll 2 dice and use one of the results to move one of their meeple to an unoccupied space on the board which have to one or two building sites next to them.  The player places a cube on the building site and scores a number of points equal to the spaces still left.  If the player places the final cube to complete a building they score PPs equal to the building’s value (and any players next to the district get a plot card which give their owners special abilities).  Not only do I like the sound of the simple but strategic movement system, but I also like how this system encourages players to get building. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Burdigala, Essen Spiel 11, Kahmaté, On the Radar | No Comments »

Reivew: Looting London

Posted by James (admin) on 12th September 2011

Looting London is a game that seems so simple you might think it doesn’t have much to offer as a game when the rules are explained; however, it contains a simple but clever little filler game.  This is not too surprising when you know the game is designed by Renier Knizia and this game is quite typical of his designs.

The players are investigating the theft of London’s 5 biggest treasures (although the theme is inconsequential in this game).  The goal is to score as many victory points (VPs) which are scored by collecting tiles.

The game consists of various tiles and cards.  Each tile is one of 5 colours (each matching a treasure) and has a number between 1 to 5 and a character (boy, detective, policeman and lady) on it.

The tiles are laid out randomly in a 5 x 5 grid.  Each turn you can either take a card (one of 4 face-up cards, or one off the top of the deck unseen) or claim a tile that is at the bottom of a column.  To claim a tile, you must discard a number of cards equal to the number on the tile AND the cards must show the character that is on the tile you’re claiming too.  You can play any pair of matching cards to count as any character. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Looting London | 1 Comment »