Archive for the 'Essen Spiel 09' Category

Review: Egizia

Posted by James (admin) on 27th July 2010

Egizia was a game on my list to check out at Essen in 2009.  I would even have taken a punt and bought it without playing it first but the text on the cards was in German.  So, I played it soon as I had a chance a couple of weeks ago when the English language version was released.

Set in Ancient Egypt, players try to gain as many victory points (VPs) as possible over 5 rounds.  Each player has 8 ships and, in turn order (the player with fewest VPs goes first), players place their ships one at a time on spaces along the Nile following two important rules: first, only one ship can be placed on each space and, second, a player can not place a new ship upstream of any of their ships that they have already placed.

There are two main types of spaces along the Nile.  On one side are fixed spaces that offer the same benefits every round (improving construction crews, changing the weather and improving the player’s stone/grain markets – all explained later) plus there are 3 sets of building spaces where the player needs to have a ship if they want an opportunity to build monuments later in the round.  On the other side of the Nile, there are spaces whose benefits are determined by cards placed on each space at the start of each round (which increase as the game progresses).  The cards offer benefits that can be permanent, immediate use, or held for later use.  These benefits range from the simple (extra quarries or fields, one-off food bonuses, temporary construction crew strength boosts, bonus VPs, etc.) to more unusual abilities (place a ship on a space already occupied by another player, place two ships in a row, keep 2 Sphinx cards (explained later), take an unclaimed card at the end of the round, etc.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Power Struggle

Posted by James (admin) on 8th April 2010

Power Struggle had a lot of great feedback at Spiel 09 in Essen.  It hadn’t been on my radar before that at all and, unfortunately, I didn’t get to play it.  Now I have I can see why it was so well received.  (It’s quite a complex game to explain so excuse the longer-than-normal review).

The game is based on creating departments in a company and having dominance over the business to win the game before anyone else does.  It may not sound very inspiring but is a lot more interesting than it may sound.  The setting is good Eurogame stuff and it’s a theme that lends itself well to the gameplay, especially as there is a touch of humour too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Replay: Colonia

Posted by James (admin) on 18th January 2010

[If you don't know how to play Colonia, please read my initial review before reading this post.]

My initial review of Colonia was one of my earliest reviews and focussed a lot on how the game is played.  My recent play of Colonia made me want to re-visit it and talk more about the gameplay.

This time we played with 5 players.  The 3 of us that had played before were slightly concerned that it would be more chaotic than when we played with 4 because plans could be more easily disrupted by other players because there would be more players who could take the action you were planning before you did.  In actuality, it didn’t feel like this and you just planned with other players in mind as usual.  It did make player order even more important because the amount of materials/goods/contracts/relics are the same no matter how many players are playing.  So, there were fewer materials/goods/contracts/relics per player to be had compared to a 4 player game. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Mow

Posted by James (admin) on 8th January 2010

 Mow (pronounced Moo as it’s the noise cows make in France) is a simple but active card game with good player interaction as each tries to obstruct the other players. 

The game consists of two decks of cards – one deck is used for 2 to 5 players and the other deck is added for 6 to 10 players.  Each card shows a cartoon cow and has a number on between 0 to 16, plus each has a number of flies on it from 0 to 5.  Flies are bad and the players want to avoid collecting them.

Each player starts with 5 cards.  On their turn, a player plays a card to the centre of the table so that a single row of cards builds up and these will be in numerical order.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Vasco Da Gama

Posted by James (admin) on 15th December 2009

In Vasco Da Gama, players are each preparing ships and setting sail for the New World to earn victory points.  In essence, Vasco Da Gama is a worker placement game played over 5 rounds.  Each round players place their 4 (sometimes 5) action disks on one of the 4 areas so they can perform the relevant actions, and then they resolve these actions.  However, the system that determines the order in which the actions actually occur is very clever and is the central and unique feature of Vasco Da Gama.

I recommend reading the rules for the full details but I’ll give an outline of the game.  There are 4 main actions to take: Recruiting crew and captains, Attaining projects, Setting sail, and using the special characters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 09, Vasco Da Gama | 4 Comments »

Review: Bunny Bunny Moose Moose

Posted by James (admin) on 13th December 2009

In Bunny Bunny Moose Moose, players use their hands to make deer antler or bunny ear shapes to score points.  Each turn, one player takes the role of the hunter who reads out a poem and reveals a card at the end of each line.  Only 6 cards are in play at any one time, so the 7th card replaces the 1st card, and so on.  All the other players sit in a row facing the hunter so they can see the cards.  On the table there is a score track and each player has a moose and bunny piece.

The cards show either a moose or a bunny: a moose card can show a mixture of antlers up or down, wide or narrow, and on the left or right or both; a bunny card can show ears straight or floppy, at the side or on top of their heads, and on the left or right or both.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Krysis

Posted by James (admin) on 11th December 2009

The setting for Krysis is a mix of sci-fi, post-apocalypse and fantasy where players play companies attempting to collect gems and relics from a mine.  Players use cards representing their agents who are either fighters or transporters for not only do you need to collect items but you need to protect them (or steal them) too.

The board shows a mine with 6 levels.  Players start on level 1 and each turn they enter the next level down, so the game lasts for 5 rounds.  Each player has a screen – items placed in front are in their campsite, and items placed behind it are safely at their company’s base.  Each player has two decks of agent cards – fighters and transporters.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 09, Krysis | 1 Comment »

Review: Burgen Land

Posted by James (admin) on 11th December 2009

During Spiel 08, I noticed Schmidt publishing a range of games for 2 players, ‘Easyplay for 2′.  As you may have read in my previous articles, I’m always looking out for good two-player games, so this range was definitely of interest.  Burgen Land is one of these games in this range.

During the game you will develop a red, a blue and a yellow castle by adding castle sections which each display the number of points they are worth.  One the board is a circular track called a rondel (if you’re familiar with games like Imperial, Hamburgum, or Finca, you’ll recognise this game mechanic).  The rondel is split into 24 segments – 8 blue, 8 yellow and 8 red – and each segment displays an icon – wall, large tower, small tower, house or crown.  On your turn, you roll your dice and move a crown piece that many segments clockwise around the rondel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Replay: Nostra City

Posted by James (admin) on 9th December 2009

Nostra City originally grabbed my interest because it’s by the designers of Cold War (CIA v KGB).  The theme was great, the rules sounded good and I enjoyed it when I played it at Spiel (initial review here).  I’ve played it a few times since then and I still really like it for several reasons.  (If you don’t know how the game is played, I suggest reading my initial review before this article.)

WHY I LIKE IT
First of all, each game feels quite different.  The cards that come up for auctions can really alter the shape of the game depending upon their mix.  If there are lots of wiseguys early on, players may be more likely to cheat each other out of income because it will be scarce.  If there’re lots of more racket/turf cards early on, income will be high and players may bid differently and have more options when making the boss more innocent or guilty. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Opera

Posted by James (admin) on 8th December 2009

When I first heard of Opera, the theme didn’t instantly grab me.  However, it looked nice and it was getting good reports so I was looking forwards to playing it.

The players’ goal is to score points by performing Operas in different European cities and this takes money, opera houses and music.  The game is played over 9 rounds and players earn income (ducats) after every round.  Some points can be earned during the rounds, but the most points are scored at the end of every third round.

The game mechanics in Opera are quite unusual and took the new players (including me) a round or two before we started to understand the relationship between the different elements.  Read the rest of this entry »

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