Archive for the 'Board Games' Category
Posted by James (admin) on 13th June 2013
The 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.
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 »
Tags: Asara, board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Hans im Glück, Michael Kiesling, SdJ, Spiel des Jahres, The Palaces of Carrara, Tikal, Tikal II, Wolfgang Kramer, Z-Man Games
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Posted by James (admin) on 11th June 2013
Wunderland 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 »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Pegasus, Pegasus Spiele, Wunderland
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Posted by James (admin) on 7th June 2013
Some 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 »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Euphoria, Kickstarter, Viticulture
Posted in Board Games, Euphoria, On the Radar, Viticulture | No Comments »
Posted by James (admin) on 6th June 2013
Augustus 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 »
Tags: Augustus, board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Hurrican, Paolo Mori, SdJ, Spiel des Jahres
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Posted by James (admin) on 1st June 2013
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 »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, K2, The Cave
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Posted by James (admin) on 31st May 2013
Rattus Cartus is a card game set in the world of medieval plague as is its sibling game, Rattus. It should make it clear that Rattus Cartus is not a card game version of the original Rattus game as, whilst is uses the same theme and art style, it has its own game mechanics.
The goal is to earn the most victory points (VPs). At the end of the game, players score VPs based on how much influence they have with each of the 6 different character classes (10 VPs for having the most, 5Vps for 2nd most, and 2 VPs for third most influence). Some other VPs can be earned during the game too.
The game primarily comprises of character cards (6 types) and building cards (6 types each corresponding to a character). During set-up 5 random character cards are laid out face-down – each card has 0-4 nuns on it – and these are called the ‘nun’ cards. At the end of the game, any player who has more rats than the total number of nuns on these 5 cards is lost to the plague and automatically loses. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Rattus Cartus, Spiel 2012, White Goblin Games
Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 12, Rattus Cartus | No Comments »
Posted by James (admin) on 17th May 2013
Libertalia is by Paolo Mori who designed one of my favourite games Vasco de Gama. Libertalia is a very different game to Vasco de Gama as it is a simple and relatively quick, card-playing game.
Players are pirate crews who are trying to earn the most doubloons buy collecting booty. Each player has a set of 30 cards each representing a crew member with a value (1-30), a special ability and a tie-break number. Each player’s set of cards is the same except the tie-break numbers are different so that no two cards are exactly the same. Each card’s special ability states if it will be used in the day, at dusk, at night, or at the end of the campaign. To start the 1st campaign, one player randomly draws 9 cards from their deck, then all the other players draw the same cards.
The game is played over 3 campaigns, each consisting of 6 days when players will play one card each. At the start of each campaign, booty tiles are drawn at random and placed on each of the 6 days on the board (one token per player). Most booty tokens are simply worth 1, 3 or 5 doubloons, although treasure maps are only worth 12 doubloons combined if you have at least 3 of them. There are also cursed booty tokens worth -3 doubloons, as well as saber and Spanish officer tokens which are worth no doubloons but have special effects (see below). Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Libertalia, Paolo Mori, Vasco de Gama
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Posted by James (admin) on 14th May 2013
Rialto is yet another of this year’s game by Stefan Feld (which is a good thing as I like most of his games).
Set in Venice, Rialto is played over 6 rounds – one for each of the Venetian islands on the board. Players are aiming to score the most victory points (VPs) which are primarily earned by having councilors on the islands at the end of the game. Players each have a marker on the Doge track and this splits all ties and determines some order of play.
Each island has 1 connection to each of its 4 neighbouring islands. During the game, these 12 connections each get filled with either a bridge or a gondola token. Each bridge and gondola token has two values on it (one on each end) – bridges have values between 3-6 VPs; whereas, both values on gondolas are always value 1. This is important because the final VPs gained by players with councilmen on each island are based on the total of each island’s 4 connections’ values.
At the start of each round, several (number of players + 1) rows of cards are laid out each consisting of 6 face-up and 2 face-down cards. In Doge track order, players select one row of cards, add any extra cards they may have (such as from the previous round), and discard down to 7 cards. The player may own some buildings which allow them to have more cards to select from, or keep more than 7 cards) but players must pay 1 gold for each building used. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Rialto, Stefan Feld
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Posted by James (admin) on 15th March 2013
Stefan Feld’s games are known for having an interesting mechanic at their heart, which is one of the reasons I look forwards to his games. Bora Bora is no different and has a dice-placement-action system in the centre of a game that isn’t complicated but it does have a lot of other game mechanics and bits surrounding it. No specific aspect is complicated, but there is a lot going on, so I’m going to try to discuss each main part one-by-one.
The game is set on a Pacific island and players place huts, gain tribe members, build buildings, make offerings to the gods, and so on. The game lasts 6 rounds and the winner is the player who finishes with the most victory points (VPs). Many VPs are earned during the game, but there are also lots of bonus VPs that can be awarded at the end of the game (although, as you’ll read later, these are quite tough to achieve).
Each round players first roll their 3 dice and then take turns placing one at a time on one of the action tiles allowing them to perform the appropriate action. Next, players use the ability of one of their man tiles and the ability of one of their woman tiles. Then, the status track (scoring VPs and determining turn order), temple track (scoring VPs and a bonus for one player) and jewelry purchases are all resolved. Finally, players must complete or discard one of their 3 objective tiles before taking a new one. (All unclaimed man and woman tiles, objectives and jewelry are cleared from the board and new ones added for the next round.) Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Bora Bora, Stefan Feld
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Posted by James (admin) on 11th March 2013
The Achtung! Cthulhu Keepers and Investigators Kickstarter project smashed its £8,000 target in just 26 hours.
The Kickstarter project is for the Achtung! Cthulhu Keeper’s and Investigator’s handbooks which can be played with the Basic Role-Playing system as well as the Savage Worlds system too. It has already reached a lot of stretch goals which means the two books will be full-colour hardbacks; however, other stretch goals already reached mean many backers will also be receiving loads of extra supplements in PDF form (with an option to upgrade to physical versions).
One supplement is the superbly named campaign ‘Assault on the Mountains of Madness’. A piece of concept art for the campaign is shown here. The first two parts of this campaign have been unlocked already and the third (and final) part is within reach. Some other stretch goals already reached are another campaign (Shadows of Atlantis) and some sourcebooks too. Read the rest of this entry »
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