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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The Great Dalmuti

CardPosted by Sir Keith Fri, June 01, 2012 19:35:08

Card Game, 4-8 Players by Wizards of the Coast

Players take their places in the pecking order, from Greater Peon to Greater Dalmuti, and try to ditch the cards in their hands. From this simple concept comes an ingenious game by Richard Garfield (designer of Magic: the Gathering and RoboRally).

There are 5 roles to play in the game: The King (or Queen), the Princess (or Prince), the merchant, the upper peon or lower peon. The more players there are, the more merchants appear. The upper peon keeps the score and the lower peon has to shuffle, deal out the cards and clear the table after every hand! Also the upper peon has to pass his best card to the pronce and the lower peon has to give his best two cards to the king. The prince and king reciprocate by passing the same number of cards back to the peons but these can be of whatever value or typt they wish.

The lead player plays a set of number of cards (there are two 2's, three 3's etc). The aim of the game is to empty your hand of cards as quickly as possible. The lead player lays down a set then it follows in clockwork order with others laying down the same number of cards but of a lesser number value. The lowest person then leads off the next hand. The first person oput becomes king for the next hand and scores the maximum points; the next out the prince etc until the lower peon is found. People then get up and sit wherever their new social status places them. Get both Jesters and then a revolution takes place and the peons become king/prince and vice versa.

What is really great about this simple card game is the social aspect of the game. To get a real feel for this, the minimum this should be played with is 5 players. Players move up and down the social ladder and getting the two best cards from a peon is great fun. So is the amount of stick you can give a peon, but be prepared to take it as well, as luck can turn at any time!!

Actual play report - 31st May 2012

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Blood Bowl Team Manager

CardPosted by Sir Keith Wed, May 23, 2012 07:00:11

Card drafting game for 2-4 players, ages 14+, from Fantasy Flight Games.

Blood Bowl: Team Manager—The Card Game is based on an old Games Workshop property. It’s a standalone game of frenzied deck-building action that takes 2-4 players through the cutthroat excitement of an entire Blood Bowl season in just about one-to two hours of playing time. Some players rely on speed, others on size. Some will mercilessly injure their opponents, while others cheat like crazy to score touchdowns. The object is to build a formidable team and win the Blood Bowl championship. Players take on the role of the coach of one of six factions from the Blood Bowl world Humans, Dwarfs, Wood Elves, Orcs, Skaven, or Chaos, and attempt to formulate the right style of play to fit the characteristics of their teams as they customize their decks in frenzied fits of deck-building in order to fight their way to the championship.

I remember when the original game was released from Games Workshop (yep I am that old!!) I had a Dark Elf team that would race up against teams of chaos, dwarves, orcs, skaven etc. We all had a team we used, so this game does bring back the memories! In itself, this is a very clever little game. It oozes flavour, the cards have some great llittle captions at the bottom (especially the orcs!). The star players and special moves are true to the original game and as it is played over a season, the game is well balanced. Star Players are a must at the start and the only moan is they there are a couple of cards that add points at the end of the game that seem a bit over powered. The game itself is easy to learn, the cards are clear and self-explanatory so older children will soon pick them up. A bit violent for younger children but the box is clearly marked as 14+ and that is a good guide. So a good game, especially if you remember the original!!

Play report - 8th December 2011, 15th December 2011, 8th March 2012

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Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards

CardPosted by Sir Keith Wed, May 23, 2012 06:52:29

Card Game for 2-6 Players, ages 15+, from Cryptozoic Entertainment

Contents: 40 Spell Source cards 40 Spell Quality cards 40 Spell Delivery cards 25 Dead Wizard cards 25 Treasure cards 8 oversized Hero cards 8 Wild Magic cards 7 Last Wizard Standing chips 6 Skull life counter chips 4 Six-sided dice 1 Rulebook

Did you know that magical wizards are battling to the death ... and beyond ... right now!? “Why battle?“ you might ask. “What have I got to prove, magic man?“ Only who's the most awesomely powerful battle wizard in the entire realm, that's what! As a Battle Wizard, you'll put together up to three spell components to craft millions* of spell combos. Your spells might kick ass, or they could totally blow -- it's up to you to master the magic. You will unleash massive damage on the faces of your wizard rivals in a no-holds-barred, all-out burn-down to be the last Battle Wizard standing. And it doesn't stop there! Powerful magic items bring on a whole new level of bloody carnage as you and your mighty wizard opponents tear each other limb from limb in an orgy of killing! Do you have what it takes to use epic spells in a war at Mt. Skullzfyre? Will YOU be the Ultimate Battle Wizard!?!

*Not actually millions of combos ... but like thousands or more, maybe.

Combine spell cards into three-piece combos, creating hundreds of unique and devastating attacks. The chaos is limited only by your thirst for destruction! Super mind-blowing fun for 2-6 wizards! Dozens of Arcane Artifacts modify your spells and bring the ultimate pain to your wizard opponents! Dead Wizard card innovation keeps players in the game, even when they suck and die before winning! Simple to learn with endless replayability -- you'll be locked in deadly Wizard Combat till you've got a long, gross, goat-like beard! Amazing art with over 100 unique images, the world of epic spell battles comes to righteously hilarious life!

Hmmm - not that hilarious!! Nope, don't remember wiping tears from eyes. What I do remember is a game that seemed a bit elongated as you have to play rounds to win, not just one game. One round (as a filler) was fine but after that it seemed the play was elongated to justify the cost. The cards are nice, the idea of combining different parts of spells to get different effects were fine (though there were no devastating blowback from what i saw). However the downtime of dying early was an issue that they tried to address, but I felt the solution of getting advantage cards for the next game just unbalanced everything! The game is simple enough, combine your different spell parts (front, middle, end) and choose a victim. Special cards add more effect and make them more devastating but it is not a brain boiler! I am a bit confused by the minimum age of 15+ as there is not that much in here that children don't see in cartoons. Overall, buy it if you like games such as Munchkin, but if you do then buy Munchkin!!

Play report - 15th March 2012

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Seven Dragons

CardPosted by Sir Keith Sun, May 20, 2012 11:09:14

Looney Labs. 2-5 players. Ages 6+.

For over 20 years, fantasy art maven Larry Elmore has breathed vivid life into our unbridled imaginings with his illustrative and painted works for the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, Dragonlance, Magic: The Gathering, and Everquest. Chainmail-clad amazons, sword-wielding barbarians, spellbinding sorcerers, diabolical demons — all inhabit the fantasy realms he literally conjures with brush and pencil. But, among his most recognized and endeared of fantastical denizens remains those most majestic and fearful of creatures — dragons! Now, Larry Elmore, the greatest dragon artist in the fantasy industry, and Looney Labs, the folks behind the award-winning game of ever-changing rules, FLUXX, team up to conjure a card game of mythological proportions — Seven Dragons! Seven Dragons is a fast-paced, domino-like game where players attempt to be the first to create a connected territory of seven panels of their dragon. Secret Goals add the opportunity to bluff, and with aggressive Action cards in the mix subterfuge is a necessity!

This game is very much a game of dominoes. The rules are simply laid out over one sheet that explains the level of play with clear examples. The most difficult aspect is that the starting silver dragon is any colour, but then becomes the colour of the action card on top of the discard pile. However once play is under way then refering to this is a lot easier! Apart from this, the colourful cards and beautiful pictures do mean that younger players enjoy this game and as such can be a filler for your game group or an enjoyable game for the family.

Play report - 19th April 2012, 26th April 2012

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Seven Wonders

CardPosted by Sir Keith Fri, May 18, 2012 17:15:19

Asmodee Board/card game for 3-7 players, ages 10+, duration approx 30 minutes.

7 wonder boards; 7 wonder cards; 49 Age I ''foundation'' cards; 49 Age II ''Growth'' cards; 49 Age III ''Apogee'' cards; 42 Flag tokens; 20 Gold coins; 40 Silver coins; 1 score pad; 1 rulebook

In this game by Asomdee, you are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. You gather ressources, develop your economy and build up your military supremacy. As your civilisation advances throughout the ages, you can also erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times!

7 wonders is a simple yet has some great hidden depths. In 40 minutes you can raise a complete civilization and build the greatest Wonders of the ancient world. 7 Wonders play lasts through three ages of the ancient world. Each age is subtley more advanced than the previous, but require more resource to build up. Players receive seven cards from that ages deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and the boards are double-sided with an A or B side that have some striking differences. Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.

In essence 7 Wonders is a card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Some cards have immediate effects, while others provide bonuses or upgrades later in the game. Some cards provide discounts on future purchases. Some provide military strength to overpower your neighbors and others give nothing but victory points. Each card is played immediately after being drafted, so you'll know which cards your neighbor is receiving and how his choices might affect what you've already built up. Cards are passed left-right-left over the three ages, so you need to keep an eye on the neighbors in both directions.

The game itself is very easy to learn. The most important aspect is the changes of direction during play, especially the direction of choosing the Leaders (if using the expansion). However the cards have direction arrows on them for ease of reference. Apart from that, the other important thing is the actual scoring. Remembering how the science is scored does mean some initial checking though there is a scoring pad included. Overall, this is a fun evening that can be played by family and game groups due to the level of complexities within the game.

Play Report - 2nd Febrary 2012; 17th May 2012

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