Posted by James (admin) on 5th October 2014
Notice the cards tucked under each player’s boards and each shows a potential bonus ability
ZhanGuo is a game published by What’s Your Game who have released some great games in the past including Oddville, Vasco de Gama, and Madeira. ZhanGuo looks to be a medium to heavy eurogame with plenty of simple elements but a lot of moving parts that need to be balanced.
The game is set around 230 BC and players attempt to contribute the most towards the unification of China. The game lasts 5 rounds and the player with the most Victory Points (VPs) at the end is the winner. The central game mechanic is that each player draws 6 cards at the start of each round and plays one each turn. The cards are split into 3 colours (writing, currency and laws) and, in addition to other info, each card has a unique number (writing 1-40, currency 41-80, laws 81-120). Each round, players take turns to either: (a) add a card to their player’s board, or (b) play a card to take any one of the 6 court actions.
Adding a Card to a Player Board
Each player’s board shows 5 areas each matching one of the main board’s 5 regions. If a player adds a card to their player board, they tuck it underneath the relevant region (leaving the info at the top showing) and then take a number of unification discs – 1 for the 1st card in that region, 2 for the 2nd, and 3 for the 3rd – and the colour of discs taken is determined by the colour of the card. Unification discs are important for earning bonuses at the end of each round. However, adding cards to a region increases unrest, and players will need to manage this because too much unrest means they may not be able to play further cards into that region, and/or can limit their court actions too. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Spiel 14, Spiel 2014, What's Your Game, ZhanGuo
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Posted by James (admin) on 4th December 2013
This is the main game board. There is also a small board (the Guild Board) too.
What’s Your Game have released some excellent games like Vasco de Gama and last year’s superb (and undeservedly less-known) Oddville. This year’s game, Madeira, is a very meaty eurogame – none of the game mechanics are complicated, but there are lots of them and they are quite interwoven.
Each round, players select a set of action dice which they place to use on the character’s actions, and potentially the building’s actions too. As well as cash and various resources, players have workers and ships which can be moved to various areas of the board. When triggered, workers on fields harvest that field’s resource, workers in colonies generate resources each round, and workers in cities can generate cash, food or bread. (Workers can also be in the city watch area.) Ships moved to markets and colonies can exchange resources for cash and special abilities respectively.
The board shows 5 buildings and some islands areas (located in 3 regions) and each building has a character on it too. The characters move during the game so are not always paired with the same buildings each round.
The game is played over 5 rounds. At the start of each round, each player selects a row on the Guild Board and takes the 3 dice next to it (which have already been rolled – values are 1, 2 or 3). Plus, the player selects one of the remaining Crown Request tiles in the same row – these earn points at the end of some rounds. The row selected also determines turn order for the next phase, plus it allows the player to reactivate some guild favours (special abilities) if they have any that match the row’s colour.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Madeira, Spiel 13, Spiel 2013, What's Your Game
Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 13, Madiera, Spiel 2013 | 1 Comment »
Posted by James (admin) on 11th October 2013
What’s Your Game have released some excellent games like Vasco de Gama and last year’s superb (and undeservedly less-known) Oddville. This year they are releasing Madeira which looks a like a very meaty eurogame with many elements that you need to balance.
In essence, players select a group of action dice and use these on different characters and buildings to perform actions with their workers and ships (visiting fields on islands, colonies, cities and the city watch. However, this summary completely misses noticing all the many game mechanics and resources to balance. So, I’ll try to give a more detailed overview of the game which is played over 5 rounds.
At the start of each round, each player selects a row on the Guild Board which gives them 3 dice (the values have been rolled already), plus the player can also select one of the remaining Crown Request tiles in the same row (which can earn points a the end of some rounds). The row selected also determines turn order for the next phase, plus allows the player to make ready some guild favours (special abilities) if they have any matching ones. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Madiera, Spiel 13, Spiel 2013, What's Your Game
Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 13, Madiera, Preview, Spiel 2013 | 2 Comments »
Posted by James (admin) on 12th October 2012
Shadows Over Camelot Card Game (Days of Wonder)
The original Shadows Over Camelot was an excellent semi co-op game that you could get fairly light gamers to play. The new card game version sounds intriguing as it has many of the same elements but a different core game mechanic. Similar to the board game, it’s co-operative but there may be a traitor. Each turn a player can turn over a card from the deck – many are rumours about the different quests (with icons showing the strength of the rumour) and there are other cards that affect gameplay like players not being allowed to communicate. These cards get added to the ‘threat’ pile. Instead of drawing a new card, a player can choose one of the quest icons on the previously drawn card and go on that quest. This means they sort out the threat pile into the separate quests and activate any Merlin and Morgana cards which can help or hinder the questing player. If the total number of rumour icons for the chosen quest is 11, 12 or 13 then the player succeeds and one of the 7 white swords required to win is gained (otherwise, they gain one of the 7 black swords which will lose the game). However, the rumour icons on the other quests are also added up too and can result in black swords if there are 14+ of their rumour icons. So, it’s a sort of push-your-luck game (with players trying to remember how many icons of each quest have gone past and what other cards are in there too). Like the original game, players can also accuse each other of being a traitor too.
Check out the details and rules at Days of Wonder’s web site: bga.me/soccard
Asgard (What’s Your Game)
What’s Your Game have published some great games in the past (like Vinhos and one of my favourite worker placement games Vasco de Gama). After releasing no new games last year, it’s great to see they have two this year. Asgard is a viking-themed, worker placement game where players place workers (influence) on different locations (gods) with lots of options and interesting decisions. The worker placement is interesting as players secretly select on which gods they will place workers, then take turns revealing one location and placing a worker (which sets the specific action for that god), and then take turns using each worker (and some get benefits for being the first one used on that god). There’s a lot more to it too. For more detailed info, check out my full On The Radar: Asgard piece for more info. Sounds really interesting.
Oddville (What’s Your Game)
Oddville looks like it will contain an interesting mix of tile laying to build a city and using cards to gain resources. Each card can only be used for one of its three uses – cash, resources or buildings – I always like multi-use cards in a game. When players build a building, they place it to expand the city and gain bonuses including gaining characters which give special abilities. At the end of the game, VPs are scored for the buildings each player built (they all score in different ways), characters and remaining resources.
There are some other nice sounding game mechanics too like the way the players pay for resources by putting their worker on one of the limited market prices which determines how much it costs and shows they have that resource until they spend it to build a building. Also, when obtaining a building, the card shows which of the buildings on display are free and which will cost money. So, it sounds like a very interesting and clever eurogame. For more detailed info, check out my full On The Radar: Oddville piece for more info.
Tags: Asgard, board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Days of Wonder, Essen, Oddville, Shadows Over Camelot Card Game, Spiel 2012, What's Your Game
Posted in Asgard, Board Games, Essen Spiel 12, Oddville, On the Radar, Shadows Over Camelot Card Game | No Comments »
Posted by James (admin) on 12th October 2012
From reading the rules, Oddville looks like an interesting mix of using cards to gain resources and tile-laying to build a city. Now that may sound like a lot of other games but the game mechanics of Oddville look inventive and slick.
On your turn, you play 1 card from your hand or build 1 building. When a player plays a card, they can do 1 of the 3 things on the card – gain the cash shown, gain 1 of the resources shown, or gain 1 building from the 6 building cards on display (the card affects the price). I always like games where cards can be used for multiple purposes as it usually creates some interesting decision-making on how to combine the cards best and, hopefully, can be combined differently to give you alternate options if you need to change strategy.
When a player chooses to gain one of the resources on their played card, they place one of their workers on one of the market prices for that resource which are limited in number – this determines how much the resource costs plus the worker shows the player has that resource until they spend it to build a building. This should make for interesting competition over the lowest prices.
When a player chooses to gain a building, their card determines which of the 6 buildings on display are free and which will cost cash – the ones on the left (the oldest) are the ones most likely to be free. This sort of mechanic is in other games (like Gloria Mundi) and I like it because it makes newly added buildings (added to the right-end of the row) generally more expensive. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Oddville, Spiel 2012, What's Your Game
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Posted by James (admin) on 11th October 2012
What’s Your Game have published some great games in the past (like Vinhos and one of my favourite worker placement games Vasco de Gama). After releasing no new games last year, it’s great to see they have two this year. Asgard is a viking-themed, worker placement game where players place workers (influence) on different locations (gods) but there’s a lot more to it too and sounds like a meaty eurogame. The board shows the 10 gods (5 light and 5 dark), the various worlds, Asgard and Valhalla.
The worker placement aspect is a bit different to most worker placement games as players first secretly select on which gods they will place each of their workers (by selecting god cards equal to the number of workers) then they take turns revealing one of their card and placing a worker on one of the available actions of that god (or placing it in Asgard instead if they prefer which has its own benefits), and then they take turns activating one of their workers. (It reminds me a bit of Era of Inventions (a great game from 2011) where players take turns placing their workers and then take turns activating them and the order of activation made a big difference too – but Asgard goes a step or two further.) It sounds like there will be lots of decision-making required as you consider where others will likely place their workers (as there are limited spaces on each god), which actions will work well together, which actions you will need to do before another player, etc. Players will gain and spend workers during the game too so they will need to manage these. Plus, the first worker used on each god earns a light/dark token which are used to buy warriors/giants and new workers (which can trigger battles).
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Tags: Asgard, board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Essen, Spiel 2012, What's Your Game
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Posted by James (admin) on 22nd February 2011
Vinhos is one of the several games with a wine-making theme that were released last year. The game lasts 6 game years and the winner is the player with the most victory points (VPs) at the end of the game. Each year, players take 2 actions and turn order is re-assessed after each round of actions. In one action, a player can:
- Buy one or more vineyard (which produce wine)
- Buy 1 or 2 wineries (which increase wine value)
- Hire 1 or 2 enologists (which increase wine value but cost money each year)
- Buy a cellar (increases the time you can keep wine which makes it more valuable)
- Sell wine for cash
- Export wine for VPs (some immediately and some later if you dominate that area)
- Bank (cash in/out and make/sell investments)
- Hire 1 or 2 wine experts (giving various extra powers and increasing chances at wine fair)
- Press release (announce your wine fair entry and maybe influence a manager) or Pass
As you can see there’s a lot choice, especially as a player will only take 12 actions in the whole game. I won’t explain all the rules as that’s too much to cover but will mention a few core gameplay areas. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: board game news, Board Games, board gaming, Vinhos, What's Your Game
Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Vinhos | 1 Comment »