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Player Avatar
Gamer - Level 2
Go to the Elysium page
JGunnz {Avid Gamer} Feb 11th, 2016
“Set collection with special powers - a gift from the gods!”

Time and Complexity
Looks more complicated than it is. Took about one hour to teach and play my first 2 player game.

The game is definitely more on the medium/heavy side as far as decision making goes but mechanically it is fairly simply.

The game’s beauty is that it gives you a lot to think about in neat and quick package !

Game Play Mechanics
Here is the game in a nutshell. On your turn you discard one of your four pillars and take one of the available cards or a quest tile. Cards give you special powers and score you points, quest tiles enable your cards to score and give you gold. At the end of each round you will have taken 3 cards and 1 quest tile. Cards score in numbered sets (i.e. sets of all 1s, 2s, or 3s; or a “straight” consisting of a 1,2 and 3 for the same god – [i.e. suit]).

One of the unique aspects of Elysium is that when your cards are in scoring position they do not give you any special powers and you can only move a limited number of cards into scoring position each round. Thus, the timing of when you move your cards into scoring position and how long you decide to take advantage of each card’s special power is an essential tension the game forces you to grapple with.

Thus, at its core, Elysium is a game about balance. What column you discard when choosing cards impacts what cards you can obtain in future turns, how long you keep a card above your Elysium (i.e. outside of scoring position) will determine how long you will get a benefit from the card but also reduce the chance you will be able to transfer it for points in later turns. Also how you organize your sets matter – whether you go for straights or duplicate cards- straights are easier but worth less points duplicates can be worth more but are more expansive and harder to obtain.

All-in-all lots of good decision making in a fairly quick game (a two player game is under an hour).

The hardest part for beginners is getting down the iconography – and there is quite a bit of it, however once you start planing it becomes intuitive. One of the nice things is that each card’s ability is also printed on the card – however, one minor complaint is that the print is very small.

Great art and components !

Overall, this is one of the best set collection games out there because it offers so much more than set collection. Special powers, card selection, player interaction, great art and components, and a cool theme bring this game to a 9 ! It was also a worthy 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres nomination.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 1 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Go to the Guillotine page
Rukkus {Avid Gamer} Feb 10th, 2016
“Heads will roll..”

Guillotine is a lighthearted card game that can be played quickly, easily under 30 min. The mechanics are simple: collect the noble at the start of your line or rearrange the line to collect a different noble. The art work on the cards in my opinion is pretty funny, I even went as far as to paint the picture of the executioner and guillotine.

Strangely the game offers an opportunity to tell my kids and the kids at my school’s board game club a little of the French Revolution. Pointing out who King Louie, Marie and Robespierre were.

The action cards allow for a little nastiness against the other players by giving them negative points, not allowing them to rearrange the line or play action cards on their turn. I like that you can effect other people’s scores besides just improving your own.

It is also nice that the game is over in three rounds (days) so it’s a great filler game or a game you can play multiple times. Not a game we play on a regular basis but we will go to in spurts when we want a change of pace from the more involved games we usually play.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Go to the Sutakku page
Highland Wizard {Casual Gamer} Feb 10th, 2016
“Fun quick easy to learn”

If you are looking for a quick filler game try it. If math is a challenge to a player they may not enjoy it.

It plays up to 12 people so it works well for a filler game. It plays in about 15 minutes more if explaining as you go. Easy to learn one time through and you got it.

Good replay-ability but not good to replay several time in a row.

The following is courtesy Boardgamegeek:

Steeped in Japanese folklore, SUTAKKU was originally developed to teach the common man the foibles of wishing for more than he had.

In this quick-playing, push-your-luck dice game, you attempt to create the tallest stack of dice in order to gain the highest score per turn. To play, roll three dice and add two of them to an ever-climbing stack of dice. You can choose to stop rolling and score your stacked dice at any time, but pushing your luck will net you more points if you succeed. Continue as long as you dare – but like the stonecutter of legend, who was never satisfied, you may find yourself with naught, right back where you began. The wise will distinguish ambition from reaching beyond one’s means.
SUTAKKU is beautifully crafted with classic Japanese design aesthetics and features hand-inked brush art characters on premium engraved dice. These twelve dice are ¾” on a side, perfect for stacking. The game also includes a cloth dice bag, stacking board, and scorepad.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
13 out of 16 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Go to the Risk page
Rukkus {Avid Gamer} Feb 9th, 2016
“It all depends on the group of people you play with.”

This is one of the first games that I played that was different because I wasn’t trying to move pawns around a circle or follow some colored path. This game allows choices and lots of them. Yes the game is won and lost on dice rolls but the choices you make can totally help the outcome.
You get to choose which countries you start in (or if you deal out the cards for a quicker game) which countries to reinforce. You decide where to attack and when the right time to hand in those valuable sets for extra armies. Where to use your one troop move. You can even decide when to make alliances (you know you do it)and when to stab a brother in the back. That’s where the strategy comes in.
The enjoyment of the game I think depends on the group you are playing with. Do they understand the level of commitment? Are they competitive enough that if they are eliminated early they would want to jump back in the next time you break it out? I have played with a few different groups, ones that can’t get enough no matter who wins and ones it is like pulling teeth to get more than one play.
Regardless it’s a great game, with lots of options, many “house rules” and with the right group lots of replayability. I would suggest having a couple of filler games that people can play while they wait for the world conqueror to emerge. In my opinion the biggest drawback of Risk, that a game that can easily to more than 2 hours could have someone waiting around after 30 min.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
18 out of 23 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
I play blue
Go to the Between Two Cities page
Dick Dale {Avid Gamer} Feb 8th, 2016
“Work with two partners to build the best two cities”

I love this game and can not wait to introduce it to others.

In this drafting game you will place two tiles rather than one on each turn because you will use one to build with the player on your right and the other to play with the player on your left. You must keep a balance while trying to build the best TWO cities not just the best city.

The value of the sets grow exponentially and placement becomes much harder in later rounds because certain tiles may not be able to be placed next to another or they have more points if placed in groups. In addition duplex tiles are used in round 2.

There are 3 rounds to fill a 4 x 4 grid with 16 tiles for each city.

Round 1 seven single tiles place 2 each turn for 3 turns discard 7th tile
Round 2 three duplex tiles place 2 discard 3rd tile
Round 3 Same as round 1

Shops 16 Buildings + 8 Duplex
Factories 16 Buildings + 8 Duplex
Taverns 20 Buildings + 8 Duplex (7 of each type ( 4 types))
Offices 20 Buildings + 8 Duplex
Parks 16 Buildings + 8 Duplex
Houses 20 Buildings + 8 Duplex
See rule book pages 4-5 for an explanation of each.

This game is a semi-cooperative. You have two separate cooperatives going at a time but your goal is to make them both the highest scoring. The winner is the person that has the most points after using the lowest score of the cities they have with the partner on the right and on the left.

It is tile laying, it is drafting with some cooperative features.

I got it on Kickstarter and I was proud to help bring it to market. It has come to the table during our weekly meetup gaming group several times. The feedback I received from the other players is that they also enjoyed the game.

I highly recommend it. One of the best parts is that it can be played with 3-7 players. There is also a two player version and a solo version.

Give it a try I am sure you will enjoy it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
24 out of 28 gamers thought this review was helpful

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