Archive for June, 2013

Review: We Will Wok You

Posted by James (admin) on 19th June 2013

We Will Wok You gameWe Will Wok You is a quick card-game for 2-4 players.  The theme is that the players are providing food at a music concert.  On the table are recipe cards and ingredient cards.  Each ingredient card shows one ingredient as well as one or two symbols (bowl, chopsticks, etc.)  Recipe cards show how the player that owns the card can score victory points (VPs) at the end of the game and the player with the most VPs wins.

At the start of the game, 4 coin cards are placed next to 2 rows of 2 ingredient cards, and 6 coin cards are placed next to 2 rows of 3 ingredient cards – the coins indicate the price of the rows that they are next to.  On their turn, a player must do one of three actions:

Buy ingredients: The player pays coins equal to the number of coins next to the row purchased.  New ingredient cards are drawn to replace the bought row and the spent coins are added to the price.  As a result, buying a row of ingredients raises the price of the ones that replace those bought as well as the other row of the same length.

Take a coin: The player takes one of the coin cards that show the prices of the ingredients.  Taking a coin means some ingredients will be cheaper for the next players.

Gain a recipe card: The player places cards from their hand onto the table which have a total of 4 matching symbols (the ingredients on the cards are not important for this) and this allows the player to take any one of the remaining recipe cards. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: The Palaces of Carrara

Posted by James (admin) on 13th June 2013

The Palaces of Carrara - GameThe Palaces of Carrara first caught my attention because it’s a Eurogame by veterans Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Tikal, Tikal II, Asara).  Also, the Palaces of Carrara has been nominated for the 2013 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel.

Players buy coloured marble which they use to build buildings in the 6 cities.  The player with the most victory points (VPs) at the end of the game is the winner.  This may sound very ordinary, but there are several clever game mechanics that combine really well and deliver a tight and tense game.

On their turn, a player can either buy marble, build a building, or score.

Buying Marble
On the board is a rotating disc (split into 6 segments).  Around the disc are 6 sets of prices for the different marble colours – white is most expensive, then yellow, then red, and so on.  When buying marble, the player turns the wheel one section clockwise and draws marble blocks from the bag to bring the total on the wheel up to 11 (placing new blocks in the most expensive segment).  The player can then buy any number of marble blocks but only from one single segment of the wheel.  The costs are marked next to each segment and these get cheaper (even free) as blocks progress around the wheel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Wunderland

Posted by James (admin) on 11th June 2013

Wunderland gameWunderland is a game set at the massive,  real-world, model village in Germany which covers 1,300 square metres.  Players aim to earn the most victory points (VPs) by completing destination tickets and collecting postcards – the player with the most VPs at the game’s end wins.

Each player has 8 visitor tokens and these all start on the main start space.  The board shows lots of numbered spaces (locations) which are linked by various pathways and are located in 8 different regions (such as Hamburg, Austria, Scandinavia, USA).  On their turn, a player can move any number of their visitors from one single location to another location that is 1 or 2 locations away (so a player can leave some of their visitors behind if they want); then, each other player can choose to move some of their visitors with those that were moved (if they had any on the same location).

This is a nice and simple game mechanic.  Players can move their visitors quite quickly if they tag along with each others’ visitors, but players can also go their own way and be on their own spaces so they don’t benefit anyone else when they move.  It’s a double-edged sword – you don’t want to help other players move towards their goals, but you want to tag along with other players when they move. Also, this game mechanic keeps the game flowing very quickly (as a turn is short) and there is very little downtime (as players are very often involved in moves when it isn’t their turn). Read the rest of this entry »

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On The Radar: Euphoria (Kickstarter)

Posted by James (admin) on 7th June 2013

Euphoria coverSome months ago, I posted about the wine-making game Viticulture which was being Kickstarted (and I will be reviewing that soon).  The same designers at StoneMayer Games are Kickstarting their new game at the moment called Euphoria.

Euphoria is set in a dystopian future and is a game of worker placement.  Workers are dice whose values are set by rolling them when you gain them or retrieve them from the board.  High value dice can be handy because some locations give a benefit based on the sum of the workers there; however, the numbers represent the worker’s knowledge of the world around them and too much knowledge on your workers who aren’t currently placed means they become too aware of their reality and run away.

On their turn, players can either place workers (one at a time, or more if the workers have matching values) or they can remove workers, but never both.  Placing workers allows players to use various actions which usually earn resources or allow a player to spend resources to gain things like workers, etc.

However, there are a few different types of area where workers can be placed.  For example, in some areas, workers don’t get returned to their owner until another worker is placed on the same area (which makes me think there may be opportunities to return a worker to another player specifically to try and cause them to run away if that player has several high-value, unplaced workers already).  Another example is that some areas can have any number of workers present on them and the benefit gained from placing a worker there is based on the total sum of the workers’ values.  These sound like nice additions to the usual worker placement mechanic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Augustus

Posted by James (admin) on 6th June 2013

Augustus GameAugustus is one of this year’s nominees for the Spiel des Jahres (the largest board games award).  It is designed by Paolo Mori who designed Libertalia and (one of my favourite games) Vasco de Gama.  In fact, Paolo seems to be designing more and more at the moment.

Players always have 3 objective cards and each can be completed by placing one of their  legions (meeples) onto each of an objective’s symbols (sword, shield, chariot, etc.)  Each turn, one player (the town crier) randomly draws one symbol from the bag.   Then, every player can place one of their legions onto a matching symbol if they have a vacant one on one of their objectives – the placed legion can be from their supply, or they can move a legion which is already placed on an objective.  So, if a sword symbol is drawn a player can place a legion from their supply, or from another objective, onto an empty sword icon.

There is a known mixture of symbols in the bag and there are more of some symbols than others, i.e. 6 swords, 5 shields, 4 chariots, etc.  Therefore, whilst it’s a random draw, some symbols are more likely to be drawn than others.  There are also 2 wild (joker) symbols in the bag – when one of these is drawn, players can place a legion on any one symbol, plus all of the previously drawn symbols are put back in the bag, and the town crier moves on to the next player. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: The Cave

Posted by James (admin) on 1st June 2013

The Cave game

The Cave is by the same designer who created the mountain climbing game, K2.  This time players are trying to get the most victory points (VPs) by exploring the depths of an underground cave system, taking the best photos, reaching the deepest depths, and so on.  However, players have a very limited amount of space to carry their equipment like rope, food, water, etc. and must balance what they need for survival and what they need to explore.

All players start at home base and each player has a player board showing the 8 spaces in their backpack where they place the tokens representing the equipment they are carrying.  One of the most important items to carry are consumables (food/drink) because a player must first discard one of their consumables before they do anything else on their turn.  If a player doesn’t have any consumables then they must spend their entire turn moving one tile and can do nothing else and can gain no VPs.  So, miscalculating how long you can stay in the caves before going back to resupply can really hinder you.

The cave system starts with the large home base cave tile in the centre of the table and the cave network will be created as players explore by drawing and adding new tiles.  When the tiles run out, players each get 3 more turns and then the game ends; however, be warned, anyone not back at base camp by the end is automatically eliminated.

Read the rest of this entry »

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