Archive for May, 2014

Luchador Mexican Wrestling Dice – Round 2

Posted by James (admin) on 29th May 2014

LuchadorLast year, blogger turned designer (and all-round good guy) Mark Rivera created a game called “Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice!” – a fast-paced, dice-rolling-fest.  It’s a fun and fast game as you try to (literally) beat your opponent’s wrestler before they beat yours.  The game finished #26 in the Boardgamegeek Buzz list at Spiel 2013 in Essen.

Now, Mark has launched a new version of the game on Kickstarter with more contents than the original and it even contains a 3D wrestling ring which looks neat.

There is also an option to purchase a pack which will upgrade your 1st version game to the 2nd edition.  (It’s a shame more revised versions of existing games don’t allow you to buy the parts required to upgrade it – yes, I’m looking at you Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh.)

As I said in my Spiel 2013 Preview: “Luchador is a light, quick, dice-rolling game that is a fun filler, especially if you act it up.”

For more info, check out the Luchador Kickstarter page which ends on June 18th 2014.

James.

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Posted in Board Games, Luchador | No Comments »

Review: Istanbul

Posted by James (admin) on 28th May 2014

Istanbul game

At the bottom of the photo, you can see a player’s hand cart which has yet to be upgraded. When it is, the upgrade tile fills-up part of the missing piece.

Istanbul is one of the games nominated for Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel 2014 (the German complex game of the year) and is designed by Rüdiger Dorn who has designed a wealth of games.  The game is a race to be the first to collect 5 gems with an interesting core game mechanic and a surprisingly dense amount of decision-making.

The board is made up of a 4×4 grid of locations (large tiles) and each player starts with a stack of wooden discs which are their merchant and assistants (with the merchant always on top).  Players take turns moving their merchant (and any assistants currently underneath it) so they can use the actions of the location tiles.  When a player moves to a location that does not contain one of their assistants, they remove an assistant from their stack, place it on the location, and then take the location’s action.  When a player moves to a location that does contain one of their assistants, they add it to the bottom of the stack, and then take the location’s action.  If a merchant moves on his own (without assistants) and lands on a location without assistants, then he can not take the location’s action.

So, players already need to work out which locations to visit, in what order, and how to do this by dropping off and picking up assistants along the way.  The actions at each location are varied allowing players to gain goods (which come in 4 colours), gain money, buy gems, upgrade their cart, gain special abilities, gain special cards, etc.  One location allows the player to gather up any assistants that are elsewhere on the board and place them under their merchant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Mount Everest

Posted by James (admin) on 23rd May 2014

Mount Everest gameMount Everest is a game by the designer of K2 which is a great game and you can read my review of K2 for more details.  (This review assumes you have not played K2 and I will talk about comparisons at the very end.)

Players each have 2 guides who can escort clients (climbers and tourists) up and down the mountain.  Players score Victory Points (VPs) for getting clients to the summit, and more VPs for getting those clients who have reached the summit safely back to base camp.  Tourists are worth more VPs but are less hardy than climbers.  Your guides can carry tents and oxygen too which are both very useful (in fact, they’re almost vital).

Each guide has a small board showing what they have with them (equipment and clients) but there is very limited space; for example, a guide can take 4 clients and no equipment, or 1 tent and 1 client, or  1 oxygen and 2 clients, etc.  So, right from the start, you need to have a strategy on what to take and how to split it between your guides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 13, Mount Everest, Spiel 2013 | No Comments »

Review: Splendor

Posted by James (admin) on 22nd May 2014

Splendor gameSplendor is a light, fast game of constant, small decisions.  Overall, it’s a race to be the first player to score 15 Victory Points (VPs) by buying development cards using the 5 different coloured currencies (gems).

Each development card is a colour and each card shows its cost as well as how many VPs it is worth.  Each card you purchase gives a permanent reduction on your future purchases; for example, a card costing 2 red gems and 3 green gems would only cost 2 red and 1 green if a player had already bought 2 green cards.  As a result, players’ purchasing power increases as the game unfolds.

The game mechanic of discounting future purchases means that every card you buy is potentially useful and means each player has a slightly different view of the game because the costs of the cards on display become different for each player.  Also, whilst gaining VPs is slow to start, with as players purchase the cheap (bottom row) cards usually worth no VPs, the game accelerates as players’ purchasing power increases and they can more regularly buy the expensive (top row) cards worth higher amounts of VPs.  (Players can also score VPs by gaining noble tiles which are awarded as soon as a player has bought enough different coloured cards as shown on the tiles.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Splendor | No Comments »

Spiel des Jahres 2014

Posted by James (admin) on 21st May 2014

SdJ logoThe Spiel des Jahres nominations were announced this week.  I have added a page for the SdJ with the details of the games as well as links to reviews of the games: SdJ 2014 page.

The winners will be announced on July 14th.

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Posted in Amerigo, Board Games, Camel Up, Concept, Concordia, Istanbul, Rokoko, Russian Railroads, Splendor | No Comments »

Review: Camel Up

Posted by James (admin) on 20th May 2014

Camel Up gameCamel Up is a simple game so it is surprising how much interaction there is and how lively it can be.  During the game, camels move around a simple circuit; however, players do not own a specific camel as you may expect.  Instead, players take actions which can move the camels as well as try to predict which camel will win the current round, as well as the overall race.  The winner is the player with the most money (Egyptian Pounds, or EPs) at the end of the game.

Players take turns by performing one of 4 actions which are:

1. Move a camel
The player drops 1 dice out of the pyramid and moves the matching coloured camel that number of spaces forwards along the track.   (There are 5 dice – one for each camel each with values 1 to 3 – more about the pyramid later.)  If camels are moved to space occupied by camels they are stacked on top of those already there.  When camels move, they carry any other camels already on top of them along with them too.  This action earns the player 1 EP.  (The dice only get placed back in the pyramid after all 5 have come out which and this ends the round.)

2. Place/Move their desert tile on the race track
This tile earns 1 EP for its owner each time a camel lands on it, plus it moves that camel forwards 1 space if the tile is oasis side-up, or backwards 1 space if the tile is mirage side-up. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Camel Up | 2 Comments »