Board Game Reviews

Board Game Reviews

Board Game Reviews

A quick review of the games we have played, how they work, ease of learning and any key points you should be aware of.

May contain spoilers.....

I will also note the date we played them so you can view actual play reports.

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Alien Frontiers

Resource ManagementPosted by Sir Keith Sun, May 20, 2012 11:56:19

Board game. 2-4 players, ages 13+. Publisher: Clever Mojo Games.

When humans first landed on the new world they knew it would be rough going. Building up fuel and ore reserves and constructing colony domes is hard work. But then the first alien artifact was discovered, and the secret tunnels, and the abandoned city. Now it's a race to colonize and control this Alien Frontier. Alien Frontiers is a game of resource management, worker placement, and area control set in a retro-future scifi universe. The dice you receive at the start of the game represent the spaceships in your fleet. Docking your ships at the orbital facilities will earn resources, expand your fleet, raid your opponents, discover alien technology, trade commodities, and build colony domes to land on the planet. Winning will require careful consideration as you assign your fleet, integrate the alien technology and territory bonuses into your expansion plans, and block the other players from building colonies of their own.

This is the game that really made everyone sit up and take notice of Kickstarter! Clever Mojo game of resource management, using dice is a simple yet clever idea. There is a lot of luck involved inrolling the right numbers but even then there are enough choices to keep you interested. The main thing is to try to add more dice (ships) to your pool and to get down onto the planet so you can grab the bonuses first. One great part is the clarity of the scoring. One bad thing is that it is difficult to overtake once someone gets a lead! However, this is a good game and the expansion has been on kickstarter so should be out soon.... Easy to learn (however be careful that you do not remove all the dice after a round of play as we did in the first game of this!). Only the active player removes their dice and then rolls them. This is not clear in the rules. Not one for children but gaming groups and older children will enjoy it!

Play report - 29th March 2012

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Hamburgen

Resource ManagementPosted by Sir Keith Sun, May 20, 2012 11:36:33

Board Game; 2-5 Players; Ages 12+ by Rio Grande Games

Hamburg in the 17th century! Mighty walls protect the city against the devastationsof the Thirty Years War. Thanks to Protestant religious refugees, Hamburghas become the biggest and most prosperous city of Germany. From far away the skyline shows the steeples of huge churches and the masts of mighty trade ships displaying the citizens’ pride and prosperity.The players guide families of Hamburg in the pursuit of wealth and prestige. They produce beer, sugar and cloth and sell these goods with their ships overseas. They compete over the best sites for their buildings and the best berths for their ships in the harbour. But ultimately they vie for the most prestigious church donations, because neither gold nor goods, but only prestige decides the game.Hamburgum is a strategy game for 2 - 5 players without any luck of cards ordice. The actions are selected according to simple rules on a rondel. The reverse of the big doublesided game board offers another city, Londinium, a different strategic challenge.

This is a deep strategy game, where you play families vying for economic power and ultimate prestige within the city of Hamburg. The game plays around the rondel, where you choose the action you wish to take that turn. You can move as far round as you like, but move more than 3 squares then you begin to loose prestige (as your desperation begins to show!). In a deeply religious city, building and expanding your church adds to your standing and this is how your victory points are gathered. To invest however means money and this is handled by producing goods and trading them away. To do this means the need for ships and the limited amount of berths available in the harbour.

There is a lot going on and a lot to consider for each turn. There is a risk of AP (analysis paralysis) so be aware that the play time is not a great guide! This is one for the Euro fans, not one I would get out for the family..

Play report - 12th April 2012

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Lords of Waterdeep

Resource ManagementPosted by Sir Keith Sun, May 06, 2012 15:23:52

Boardgame for 2-5 Players, ages 12+ from Wizards of the Coast

components:Game board; Rulebook; 5 card stock player mats; 121 Intrigue, Quest, and Role cards; 130 wooden cubes, pawns, and score pieces; Wooden player markers; Card stock tiles and tokens representing buildings; gold coins, and victory points

Waterdeep, the City of Splendors the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force! Lords of Waterdeep is a strategy board game for 2-5 players. You take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city. Expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and hinder or help the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact your carefully laid plans.

The rulebook is only a couple of pages and the rest is filled with examples or details around the different cards and their effects. I found this very easy to learn. I was able to explain it quickly to the group. However there are a lot of components (as seems the norm for D&D board games) so it does take a little while to set-up. Also the packing into the slots at the end of the game is not a quick exercise (and store it level!). The game is playable by fmailies and game groups. It is a very good entry level game into Euro games, due to the high amount of flavour.

Played on 3rd May

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