Posted by James (admin) on 8th August 2014
Very early on and already both players have caused some damage to each other’s blocks. Towards the end of the game, blocks are full of collapse markers and fires.
I hadn’t played Block Mania for over 25 years and decided to give it another try this week. If you’re not aware of it, it was a game made by Games Workshop (back in the days when they did more than just their own licences) set in the world of Judge Dredd (from the 2000AD comics). The ultra-large high-rises (blocks) of Mega-City 1 sometimes start fighting with their neighbouring blocks for good or bad reasons (or, sometimes, for no reason at all).
When I played it when released in 1987, I found it was a great idea but just didn’t deliver the massive action it should have done. It seemed there were too few units on the board (because they were easily killed but not easily added). The reason for this is that each player would get 2-12 (2d6) action points (APs) to spend on their turn. This made the game very swingy, especially if one player rolled low and the other high.
Having done a lot of game designing since then, I now know how to address these things so, for this game, I decided to alter the AP system. I would have liked two identical decks of cards with different APs written on each card and players would draw a card from their own deck each turn – this would give relatively random APs per turn but each player would get the same overall as they’d both go through their identical decks. However, rather than make anything specific, APs were instead 1 dice + six (1d6+6) making them 7-12 per turn. This would give more APs so more action was possible. I suggested if a player rolled a 1 they should get +1 next turn but my opponent said not to bother – which they regretted later after rolling four 1’s in a row. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: 2000AD, Block Mania, Board Games, board gaming, Games Workshop
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Posted by James (admin) on 29th January 2014
After playing Euphoria last week with 5 players, a couple of us wanted to try it with 2 players. The game is mostly the same with just 2 differences: it takes only 2 actions to build a market (not 4 when played with 5 players), and there are only 2 spaces where stars can be placed in each territory (not 5 as with 5 players).
As before, I enjoyed playing Euphoria – the theme works really well with the game mechanics and working out how to use workers and resources is entertaining. It worked fine with 2 players, although I think it’s more fun with more players as there’s more chance of your workers being bounced back to you, more chance of higher totals to earn commodities, and more development of the allegiance tracks and mines which make a big difference.
I think most of the issues could be solved with a few more rules for scaling the game, such as making the tracks shorter. I’ll post more thoughts about this soon.
Euphoria worked well enough with 2 players – I would prefer to play it with more but, with the current rules, I think 3 players would be fine and 4+ would be best.
Played with 2. (To find out more about Euphoria, you can read my main review.)
It had been a long time since I last played Tzolk’in and it definitely showed as I tried to recall my previous games so I could create a decent flow of resources to then convert into points.
Tzolk’in is definitely a tricky game to balance which makes it a good challenge. There are several ways to score points and I think you definitely need to choose to pursue just one or two of these in order to do well.
Tzolk’in works well with 2 players. Each 2-player game can be a little different as neutral workers block some of the locations on the wheels (determined by randomly drawn cards at the start of the game). I think the 2-player game may be slightly more forgiving as turn order can be quite brutal with more players because the last player in turn order can find the wheels packed with workers – whilst that means they could place their workers further around a wheel, it requires lots of corn.
Played with 2. (For more details on Tzolk’in, you can read my full review.)
Panik is a very quick, light game with some bluffing. Players place their ghost hunters in front of mansions in order to score points equal to the mansion’s value; however, each player only knows what a few of the mansions are worth (and each player knows about different mansions). Placing a ghost hunter can expel one already placed there to a different mansion (chosen by the expelled card’s owner) so there’s some jostling during the game. Various ghost hunters have special effects too.
With limited information on which to base to your decisions, the fun is from trying to read into what your opponent(s) have done. However, that also means you need to work out if they’re trying to mislead you, and work out how you can mislead them too.
Panik worked quite well with 2 players (taking only 5-10 minutes for a game); however, I think it’s better with more. The mind games and displacing other ghost hunters mean there’s more to it than it first appears, but there may not be too much more to discover after some replay. Can work as a gamers’ filler game, but more for a lighter audience.
Played with 2 and 4.
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Euphoria, Panik, Spiel 13, Spiel 2013, Tzolk'in
Posted in Board Games, Euphoria, Panik, Played, Tzolk'in | 3 Comments »
Posted by James (admin) on 25th January 2014
As writing full reviews takes some time and I often play more games than I have time to review. As a result, there are many games that I play that don’t get reviewed for while, if at all. Therefore, this is the first of a new type of post where I will post a few quick thoughts about the games I have played. If there’s a game I mention that you’d specifically like a full review of, add a comment to let me know.
Byzantio is an area control game with a difference as each player only has a specific number of each of the different actions to use during the whole game so you need to ration them carefully. Players select their own objective cities.
I enjoyed this game, although it felt lighter because there was a bit more randomness than I expected, with the dice deciding several of the action types adding most of that. I don’t mind some randomness in a game, so it’ll be good to have that in mind when playing it again, and I hope it’s not too big a factor for my preferences. There are a few things I’d do to add more clarity to the board, but these are polish rather than fundamental.
Still, working out how to use your actions and how to try and disguise your intentions added some good gameplay.
Played with 3.
|Played: Coal Baron
Coal Baron is by the great team of Kramer and Kiesling (also called Glück Auf) which I previewed before Spiel in Essen. This in an excellent eurogame – plenty of elements to balance but plays in a short time too.
It felt like a lean and well-oiled game design made up of only the most necessary and important elements. There’s nothing revolutionary in the game design (although there is a nice small twist added to worker placement), but it impressed me with it’s elegance and how it delivered a tense, thoughtful game from such simple game mechanics.
Light enough for newer players, and enough decisions for experienced gamers wanting a short game. Very impressed.
Played with 4.
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Byzantio, Coal Baron, Eggertspiele, Essen, Glück Auf, Ludicreations, Michael Kiesling, Spiel 13, Spiel 2013, Wolfgang Kramer
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