Archive for September, 2013

Spiel 2013 Preview: Bruxelles 1893

Posted by James (admin) on 9th September 2013

Bruxelles prototype

Image of prototype from Cliquenabend’s preview video. Click on the image to watch the video.

Bruxelles 1893 is a worker placement game with lots of game mechanics going on.  The setting is that players architects who are building Bruxelles in 1893.  The board is divided into two areas: the Bruxelles board and the Art Nouveau board.

Worker placement on the Bruxelles board locations is free (no coins); however, if a player wants to place on a location occupied by another worker, they must place one more worker than those already there; however, these extra workers go to jail/court when the player takes the action.  So, you can potentially use any action on the Bruxelles board but it may cost you workers.  The locations for workers on the Art Nouveau board is a grid and players must add coins to their workers when placing there.  The players with the most total coins in a column at the end of a round takes that column’s bonus card which can be used for either an instant bonus or saved for an end of point scoring effect.

The 5 actions are: gain resources for building, build a building, create a work, sell a work, and gain a character.  The income from selling a work (I believe a mix of cash and points) is based on the position of a marker on a grid – the income a player receives is based on the marker’s position and is adjusted by which player you are too.  So, changing the income marker’s position shifts all player’s potential income mix.  The resources required to build a building are determined by a dial and you can turn the dial after you construct a building.  Gaining characters gives a bonus but there’s a cost at the end of the game if you also keep the character. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spiel 2013 Preview: Mystery of the Templars

Posted by James (admin) on 9th September 2013

Mystery of the Templars cover
Mystery of the Templars board

I’m always interested in the history of the Knights Templar and I remember seeing a prototype of this game at Essen a few years ago.  Players send their knights in missions so they can gain money and relics.  A mission if successful if enough knights are sent and these can come from a mix of players, so there’s some possible collaboration.

Players can then buy and sell at the markets and events happen.  After this, players can send their relics to different locations to put them on display; however, transporting anything takes money and is safer if escorted by knights.  Of course, there are various enemies that may attack locations too, so players must allocate their knights and resources carefully.

Towards the end of the game, the persecution of the Knights Templar begins and players must try to rescue their relics and try to get them to their havens.  When the persecution starts, players can only use money where it is currently located too (whereas, up until then, a player can move their money freely between their bases).  The winner is the player with the most victory points scored during the game, plus points for relics, knights and cash in their havens when the game ends.

I love the setting and the game mechanics sound interesting too.  I definitely want to try this one.  More information and the rules can be found on Stratelibri’s Mystery of the Templars page:


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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 12, Essen Spiel 13, Mystery of the Templars, On the Radar | No Comments »

Games and US Shop Suggestions Wanted

Posted by James (admin) on 8th September 2013

USFairly soon I will be taking a holiday and visiting a place I’ve wanted to see for some years now: Gettysburg.  (I became interested in the US Civil War after watching the amazing Ken Burns documentary many years ago.)  So, why do I tell you this?  I always like the idea of playing boardgames at the location of the game itself.  If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I played Alhambra at the real Alhambra (which prompted a friend to play Carcassonne at Carcassonne).

It would be great to play a US Civil War game whilst at one of the battlefields but I’m having trouble finding something appropriate.  (I have Guns of Gettysburg but it doesn’t suit solo play at all).  So, can you recommend a good solo-playing US Civil War game?  (or one that plays okay solo even if not designed to)

Any suggestions of good games shops in Salt Lake City or Denver? (especially ones with games nights to play games at) would be greatly appreciated too.

Any suggestions, greatly appreciated.



Posted in Board Games, On Location | No Comments »

Spiel 2013 Preview: Rockwell

Posted by James (admin) on 8th September 2013

Rockwell gameRockwell is a mining game which mixes a little bit of worker placement (as you place your vice presidents at the start of each round to gain different advantages in the drilling phase) with tactical moving of your drilling crews.  Drilling is a often a joint effort by multiple players – if there are enough drilling crews of enough total strength on a tile then the resources recovered are revealed and shared between the players present (regardless of the amount of crews they have there).

Splitting the resources gained is intriguing as the players involved share out as much as they can so they have the same and any remainder is given to the player with the ‘priority’.  Players can move other players’ crews by bribing them, or they can pay to hire temporary crews (who don’t take a share of any gains).  Players can sell what they mine and buy other resources like improved drilling crews, permanent mine shafts and safety equipment.  Each player is attempting to complete some of the achievements which score fewer victory points if other players have already completed them too.

So, Rockwell looks like it contains a lot of interesting tactical decisions along with some strategy too.  More information and the rules can be found on Sit Down’s Rockwell page:


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Spiel 2013 Preview: Rampage

Posted by James (admin) on 7th September 2013

RampageRampage is a dexterity game of giant Godzilla-like monsters smashing their way through a city.  Each player controls a monster which consists of a wooden disk for feet, with a wooden body/head section on top.  The city is divided into different neighbourhoods and buildings are built out of card layers with meeple as the supports between floors.

That may sound kind of normal but the game actually based on flicking, dropping and blowing.  Each turn, monsters get 2 actions.  To move your monster, you flick the feet disc.  To attack buildings, take your monster piece and drop it onto a building.  To blow a building down, place your chin on your monster piece and blow.  To throw a vehicle, place the vehicle piece on top of your monster and flick it.  Players get to eat any loose meeple in their current  neighbourhood.  Also, monsters can attack each other too – a successful attack removes one of their teeth which reduces how many meeple a monster can eat during a turn and are worth points too.

Each monster has a special ability as well as some other  powers.  Each player has a monster screen behind which they hide the meeple and monster teeth they gain, but rather than simply place items here (because that would be far too normal), players push items through the mouth slot in the screen.  Nice.

Rampage looks totally made a lot of fun.  More information and the rules can be found on Repos’ Rampage page:


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Spiel 2013 Preview: Spyrium

Posted by James (admin) on 4th September 2013

Spyrium boxSpyrium caught my attention from the gameplay description.  It was only after that that I discovered it is designed by the creator of Caylus and Caylus Magna Carta (the latter being one of me favourite games).  So, this doubly interested me.

The game has steampunk-ish setting and players are each head of an industrial conglomerate an spyrium is a mineral high in energy.  The player who scores the most victory points (VPs) by the end of the game wins.

Spyrium uses a clever worker placement system where players place their workers in between buildings which are laid out in a 3×3 grid.  Players take turns either placing or activating a worker; however, once a player starts activating their workers, they can’t place any more during the current round, so you have to choose when to switch from one to the other.

Activating a worker allows the player to use one of the two cards that the worker is positioned between, so you have a choice until you use them.  The cards in the 3×3 grid are either characters (which give you one off benefits), buildings (which allow you to build your own buildings used for special effects in future turns), and patents (which give you on-going abilities plus score VPs at the end of the game too).

Using a card by activating one of your workers next to it costs money equal to the cost of the card being used plus the number of workers (of any player) that are positioned next that building.  So, placing your workers can hinder others, give you a choice of uses, and the order you use them in can make a difference too.  Workers can generate money too which is also based on how many other workers (of all players) are next to the same building. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spiel 2013 Preview: Armadöra

Posted by James (admin) on 1st September 2013

20130831-204740.jpgArmadöra is a new game by Blackrock Editions who published The Boss in 2011 and Blackrock City in 2012. The Boss is one of my favourite games as it has a superb information revealing/deduction game mechanic, fits a lot of game into a short play time, and fits a lot of game into a very small box. Blackrock City was quite different in gameplay and was good too, (although not as good as The Boss in my eyes).

Armadöra appears to be a re-themed version of a game called Nuggets where players are trying to stake claims on gold mines. Various mines are on the board and players take turns either (a) placing their markers face-down (which have different strengths) on any empty board square, or (b) placing 2 fences between squares on the board. When an area is completely sectioned off by fences (so long as it’s large enough), the players’ markers in the area are revealed and the player with the most strength receives the gold for any mines in that section.

Armadöra has a fantasy adventure theme (with players after Dwarves’ gold) and has some extra rules for an advanced version. Sounds simple, fun with plenty of tricky decisions and entertaining tension. Read the rest of this entry »

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