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8
Go to the Arkham Horror: The Card Game page

Arkham Horror: The Card Game

16 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

Tl;dr: It works. Narrative rocks, campaign is solid, deck-construction = experience points like an RPG. Needs expansions. Don’t bother playing with 4 players, it sucks and there are better 4 player games out there.

It seems every time Fantasy Flight releases a new game it’s always a big event, and for good reason, they’re simply the best publisher in the business. While forum dwellers may debate this fact all day and night, the conversation is rather moot and rhetorical. No other publisher has the sheer level of quality games in diverse categories as Fantasy Flight Games. Arkham Horror is the latest entry by the team of FFG and it hopes to stand toe to toe with its big brother board game of its namesake as well as keep up with the current LCG/Card Game market. Sounds like big shoes to fill. Arhkham Horror the LCG hopes to bring FFG’s pulpy twist to the Lovecraftian Mythos that they’ve been crafting for over a decade into a full fledged narrative driven campaign based game, and it challenges you to keep up with the ride.

First and foremost, Arkham Horror is an LCG, and for those of you who may be unfamiliar with this model (I’m sure at least someone reading this might not know, humor me if not) is that it basically means that you buy a core set of the game to get an idea of what you’re dealing with and get a broad view of the game, as well as should you wish to expand your enjoyment and experience with the game you will be in luck because every month new cards will be released in non randomized packs. This business model has become quite successful over the years for FFG and a few other companies. It allows player to have the option to test a game and see if it is for them, to then buy packs if they wish, said packs are not random and all their contents can be looked up online before to ensure the player doesn’t need to buy something they don’t want.

In theory this is how this works. In practice due to the oh lets say personality traits of players, they feel this model means that they have to buy every pack to ensure they get the full experience out of the game. And to be fair, the cynical part of the back of my head thinks that perhaps those gamers have a point. The issue I tend to have with collectible card game or games of this model is that at times the game is only “good enough” in its core box and additional cards are typically needed to really get the full experience the designer intended. As well as the amount of time typically needed to enjoy one of these games is more or less doubled by the inherent design. You see, in these types of designs players are asked to build their own deck of cards before the game begins. So before you sit down to play the game you’re already thinking about strategies, resources, optimization. I have in the past said that LCGs/CCGs are two games: One is the introverted game you play solo wherein you construct your deck to your type of play and the other is the actual game play and game, itself offering feedback on your deckconstruction.

I have often equated one of these games to an online MMO, as one doesn’t typically play multiple MMOs, one dedicates oneself to one because of the amount of time needed to experience full effect. Leading to a sort of pre-purchase resentment. I bring all of this up because these are common criticisms that are often levied on these type of games and they’re very valid ones at that, but, in my opinion, Arkham Horror not only address these, it solves them.

You see, Arkham Horror The Card Game begins with players picking their own unique investigator and constructing their own deck with some harsh and even constricting beginner deck building rules. The limitations here are a very good thing, I feel, as it gets players into the game faster. As well as each player must begin the campaign with very basic cards. Deckbuilding after a player begins the campaign is tied to your ability to play the game as well as your achievements in the game itself. It is somewhat akin to a roleplaying game where in players gain experience for pushing their limitations as well as meeting new challenges and overcoming them. So when one does get to deckbuild it is still very tight and restricted, forcing tough decisions as players prepare for the next scenario and allowing players to get back the gameplay and campain. Rather refreshing for me as it allowed me to immerse myself in what I was enjoying the most about this game, the story and narrative aspect.

The linear and narrative aspect and nature of the game is by far my favorite, and one that is most strongly benefited by the LCG model. You see, that deck you built is your catalyst to this world. You are thrown into the midst of a grand mystery that spans multiple scenarios (Three in the base game to be exact) and as you move along through the game you’re treated to one of the best uses in narratives in modern game design. The game is simple at first as you learn these new and fresh mechanics as the story spirals out of your grasp and you just chase it down the rabbit hole. And than it ends… You see, it becomes very clear very fast how a new adventure, a new campaign, a new scenario could not only benefit the game, but is entirely needed to continue this grand story, as well as it helps players who have gotten their fill of the campaign to simply stop playing and end their chapter of their characters there. As the game matures and expansions are released I can only imagine the possibilities for new locations, characters, plot twists, and new mysteries to unfold, and that prospect has me really excited, more so than any game this last year. The deep recess of my imagination are palpitating with possibilities of what lurks for us as the game continues.

Now all this gloating does not mean that this game, like all, is without faults. First and most bothersome to me, is that it does not feel like it’s enough game in the core box. Where as the Lord of the Rings LCG and Warhammer Quest offered quit a lot of variable play and multiple scenarios and characters you could mix and match, Arkham has a very narrow deckbuild that is intimately tied to a campaign, and said campaign is only 3 scenarios. Now of course this is being addressed, there is already a years worth of expansions if not announced than currently in playtesting, but I can’t judge something by future promises, only what we have. This next one is rather irksome than it is a real fault, but a large mechanic in the game is to draw random tokens from a “bag” that is preloaded depending on the campaign and difficulty with tokens, yet FFG did not bother to include a bag. Now of course dice bags, or token bags, or even a mug or cup is not hard to find, but you would think with all the capital Asmodee/FFG have they could have thrown in a cheap cloth bag or even one of those awful paper ones WizKidz used with Dicemasters. Finally, this is really only a Two Player Game (Or solo, if you’re into that kinda thing, I guess) though while the box says it can go up to Four with the purchase of another core set its very clear upon attempting it that the game does not scale to four players. Scenarios become way too easy and short, difficulty doesn’t really scale unless you just decide to tank the game, monsters become laughably easy, and the story in the base box doesn’t really address this either. You buy this as a Two player game, or you don’t buy it at all. To be honest though, with some of the best games ever designed for Four Payers on the market today such as Blood Rage, X-Com, Inis, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, or even The Game of Thrones Card Game Second Edition, I don’t see why you would bother looking to Arkham for a four player experience.

So, in a much needed conclusion, Arkham Horror the LCG is another excellent game from FFG, and one I personally look very forward to see it’s full development, as my investigator uncovers more of the Mythos before he meets an untimely fate.

8
Go to the Easy Breezy Travel Agency page
49 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

tl;dr: It’s a great little card game for 2 players, 3& 4 player game feels like game is too short, variant makes it better, but still best at 2.

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re missing out on an adventure? Do you ever want to just pack your bags and take a trip to such exotic locations as the Windy City, The Big Apple, The Big Easy, or the Magic City? Heck, don’t we all? But you’re super busy and you need help booking the trip. Well fear no more, as the agents of the Easy Breezy Travel Agency are here to help. Just as soon as we stop infighting with one another at your expense.

Easy Breezy Travel Agency is a card game for 2-4 player from Dice Hate Me Games. Easy Breezy is part of Dice Hate Me Games’ “Rabbit” Line, these are light card games of only 54 cards with maybe some tokens. Though light each “Rabbit” game promises strategy and immersive game play. Having not played all of the games in this line I can’t speak for the rest but Easy Breezy is a delightfully little card game that offers a tense and rewarding experience.

Easy Breezy’s premise is simple enough; In the playing field there are trips you want to book, on the side there are travelers who want to go to certain cities, and finally there is a listed fair cost that will describe how much commission (VP) you receive. Wherever you draw a passenger card you immediately flip over the next from the top of the deck, should any passenger card list a fair increase of a city you immediately move that cities fair up. Player’s familiar with Ticket To Ride will easily grasp a turn. On a turn you can do one of three things; draw two passenger tickets, book a trip by discarding the correct number of passenger cards for a certain city, or reorganize you hand.

What’s this reorganizing you ask? Well it’s what makes this game a tense and deeper little card game than you’d expect. Players are given a very strict hand limit of only 4 cards. Should you ever draw more than 4 cards your 5th and beyond cards are put into whats called a Waiting Area by placing the cards face up in front of you. These cards are still considered in your “Queue” when you want to use them for the Book a Trip action, but these cards are vulnerable for from your opponent. As an additional option when taking a reorganize action you may exchange up to 2 of your passengers in your Waiting Area with up to 2 passengers in an opponents Waiting Area. This offers lots of chances to steal your opponents good cards and give them bum cards for tickets you know they are not necessarily going for.

When you finally take a book a trip action you will discard a number of cards equal to the number on the city card. You will then score a number of VPs equal to the number of passengers you discard multiplied by the fair cost of the city. Once a city card has been claimed it is replaced with a new one from the stack, once the stack is empty in any city the game is over. In a 3 and 4 player game it is recommended by the designer to have a mid game scoring and shuffle all the city cards into a new stack and go again.

I found this game when on vacation with my girlfriend in Copenhagen and we played it every night that week. The game offers a tense and light strategic experience that never outstays its welcome. I really want to call this the Ticket to Ride Two Player Card Game because this game hits on all those notes for me. Set Collection, hand management, occasional blocking or screwing over of people, I had a blast. At 2 players.

Sadly the unfortunate reality of the situation is that out of the box this game simply does not offer a consistent experience with all its player counts. The 2 player game is a tense back and forth with a lot of decision making and planning. The 3 player game feels like utter chaos trying to claim anything you can. The 4 player game feels like you just started the game when its over.
I played a 4 player game when I got back from vacation because I was so excited by the game that I wanted to share it on a “couples” night with some fiends only to quickly regret it. The couple we played with are the definition of a casual player, they have played games but do not own any nor seek them out. By the time they understood the rules the game was over.

There are simply not enough cards to make this a 3 or 4 player game. I found a variant that the designer had posted online that tried to solve this dilemma by instituting a mid game scoring round where instead of ending the game players just record their scores and shuffle all the city cards again and essentially play a second game. This kinda solves the issue but I still don’t feel the game offers the same tense and strategic experience as it does with 2 players.

As it stands I love Easy Breezy Travel Agency as a great portable 2 player card game that offers more depth than it should. I know this will be in my pocket every time I go to the pub with my GF or a friend for the potential filler or game to have over a few beers, a fine spot along side Star Realms, Brew Crafters the Card Game, and Star Wars Rebellion vs Empire. I don’t see myself playing this often with 3 or 4, in fact I may just forget it can play that many and just enjoy it as a two player. Bon voyage,

10
Go to the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game Starter Set page
68 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: This is a review of the new Force Awakens Core set and it’s contents. It also mentions mixing in with older generations ships but should mainly be used and seen from that perspective

tl:dr; If you already play X-Wing you know already if you’re going to buy it, stop lying to yourself. If you have never played X-Wing before now is a great time to jump in.

Fantasy Flight Games have graced us with a new core set for Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures, based in the new Force Awakens universe. This all new core set is completely stand alone, offering new players a good jumping in point to the game as well as veteran players more ships to add to the their collection. I’m here to go over the minutia of the core set and tell you what I thought of it all. If you’re a beginning player and want to know how the game is played, I suggest you check out this video here from the publisher that offers a complete tutorial. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuhwSma960Y)

Included in the core set are three miniatures ( 1 T70 X-Wing and 2 TIE/fo Fighters), maneuver dials and action tokens, pilot, upgrade, new damage cards, attack and defense dice (3 each), a range ruler, and maneuver templates. As well as a rule booklet and a mission booklet containing 3 new missions.

The new T-70 X-wing comes with 4 Pilot cards in the core set ranging from pilot skills 2-8. The new T-70 X-wing has a Primary Weapon value of 3, Agility value of 2, Hull value of 3, and a a Shield value of 3 (A slight upgrade from the previous generation’s X-Wing’s values with 3, 2, 3, 2). The Action Bar has a Focus, Target Lock, and Boost icons, the Boost being new to the X-Wing. The pilots with skills 2 and 4 have no abilities, but the 4, the Red Squadron Veteran can be equipped with an Elite Talent. The 5 Pilot, “Blue Ace” has the ability “When performing a boost action, you may use the [1 left] or [1 right] Turn template.”, and Poe Dameron the 8 Pilot reads “While attacking or defending, if you have a focus token, you may change 1 of your focus results to a hit or evade result.”. The biggest change comes from the X-Wing’s all new maneuver, the Tallon Roll. To execute a Tallon Roll you Tallon Roll the player will take 3 Turn Maneuver Template as normal but you don’t slide the rear guides into the template, instead you turn the ship 90º inwards to the turn.

The new TIE/fo Fighter’s come with 6 unique pilot cards with 9 in total ranging from 1-7. The TIE/fo stats are Primary Weapon value of 2, Agility value of 3, Hull value of 3, and a a Shield value of 1 (Again, a slight upgrade from he previous generation TIE with 2, 3, 3, 0) The Action Bar has a Focus, Target Lock (new to this generation TIE), Barrel Roll, and Evade icons. The pilots 1-4 have no abilities, “Zeta Ace” Pilot Skill 5 has “When performing a barrel roll, you may use the Straight 2 template (instead of the Straight 1 template).”, “Epsilon Leader” (Pilot Skill 6) reads “At the start of the Combat phase, remove 1 stress token from each friendly ship at Range 1.”, and finally “Omega Ace”(Pilot Skill 7) “When attacking, you may spend a focus token and a target lock you have on the defender to change all of your results to Critical Hit results.”. The TIE/fo also has an all new maneuver, Segnor’s Loop. To execute a Segnor’s Loop a player will take the 2 Bank Maneuver Template and place their ships Front Guides into the end of the maneuver template.

The core set also comes with 5 upgrade cards. Proton Torpedo, two all new droids, a new Elite upgrade, Weird (When attacking or defending, if you are stressed, you may reroll 1 or more of your Focus results. ). The core set also debut an all new type of upgrade, Tech. The tech card included in the core set is Weapons Guidance (When attacking, you may spend a focus token to change 1 of your blank results to a Hit result.)

From this point on it’s impossible for me to continue without giving my opinions. If you’re looking for a fair and balanced review, this may not be it, I’m a fanboy of both Star Wars and the X-Wing miniature game so its hard not to gush sometimes. So fair bit of warning ahead.

Some rules have been tweaked from the previous generation. As this film deals with the new Star Wars film, the factions have been re-branded to fit in that world. Ie; The Rebellion is now the Resistance and the Empire are now The First Order. For the purposes of mixing generations the rules state that these are allied factions. Other changes have to do with very specific rules about timing, meant to address issues with organized play over the years. These changes are nothing new, more errata then 2ed edition and anyone following X-Wings organized play will already know them. Though its nice to see them added officially in a rulebook.

The Core Set comes with 3 missions. Missions are my single favorite aspect of X-Wing. Skirmish’s are great for casual games but missions are where I really enjoy the game personally. I was really happy to see that they included three new missions as opposed to re-use the three from the first core set. Each mission can be played right out of the box and is intended to in fact, but the also includes rules for scaling each mission to include older ships and more points. Mission F1: Ambush is a great little arcade like mission involving mine tokens along the field to blow up the First Order. A little one sided but a lot of fun. Mission F2: Raid is a mission where satellite tokens are used and the First Order is attempting to disable them by landing on them. I thought this mission was a lot of fun to play from both sides, adding an almost asymmetrical game play aspect. Mission F3: Rescue is a mission where a “Squadmate” token is used to represent a downed Resistance ship that needs to flee the edge of the board. While I appreciate the thought in the design I felt this mission was lacking a bit, maybe I just feel strange about having another ship represented by a token. Different, and good, but I likely wont replay this one.

I spent a lot of hours with this core set this weekend and here are my full thoughts. My first impression was that these ships maneuver a lot better. The subtle changes in green maneuvers and baring are excellent. I love these New Maneuvers. The New Maneuvers allow players to always be inaction if skilled enough to use them at the right time, no more is there those awkward rounds where you turn around and do nothing. At least not in my experience.

My thoughts on the new ships and factions are mixed. I have been reading a lot of forums online wherein people say these new ships kill the use for their Galactic Civil War counterparts. The new maneuvers are very powerful but I wouldn’t say broken. What might be though are some of the pilots. Omega Ace’s ability to get 3, potentially 4 (or 5-6 with upgrade cards) critical hits is insanely powerful. This can potentially knock out one of the large size ships in the game in one hit if unlikely enough with the damage deck. Epsilon Leader’s ability to remove stress from all neighboring ships as opposed to just one seems massive when compared to a similar ability in the previous generation. Meanwhile the Resistance pilots are all bland and fairly boring. Ironically enough, Poe Dameron, one of the stars of the new film itself is perhaps the most boring pilot in the game. Costing far too many points for an ability that calling useless would be putting it nicely.

The missions are good, easily better than the missions in the first core set. I loved missions 1 and 2, playing each of them twice from both sides just to try them out. They also scale very well with the optional rules to 100 points. Mission 3 on the other hand was weird to me. Like I said, It might just be because they make you use some token to represent a downed ship running on impulse power, I would have much preferred to use some other type of miniature, but that’s me. The mission itself is an escort mission, fine but similar missions have been available, including an awesome one included with the Rebel Transport expansion. So while I can’t say it was bad it didn’t impress me and I only played it once as a result. Mission 1 is a great arcade style skirmish with some more tactics and complexity than just “pew-pew”. But as I said earlier, it does feel a bit one sides. The tokens are all controlled by the Resistance and can overwhelm the First Order quickly, especially when you scale the mission to 100 points and add three more mine tokens. Maybe a more skilled Imperial player could turn the game in their favor but for me it was a 2/0. Mission 2 is almost a perfect introduction mission. Its a great tutorial and chance to practice precise maneuverings, a skill needed to play the game in higher levels. Having to land on the satellite tokens to take them out means your movement has to be exact, and planned out before hand. It’s also very asymmetrical in design, the First Order player is playing a game of exact movement, and the Resistance player is trying to tail them as fast as they can and knock them out. This one also scales amazingly well at 100 points and with a swarm of Imperial ships makes it more chaotic and quick.

One glaring issue and elephant in the room I feel is the size of the core set. While 3 ships are a great introduction to the game for new players, its not enough to fully experience the game. The full core set (or even two copies) would still not be enough for 100 point games. There are far too few upgrade cards and the ones they do have do not give a good representation of their importance to the game for new players.

So what are my final thought? Well as you can suspect, I was predisposed to like this core set. I own quite a lot of X-Wing and I am a very avid player of the game. I went into this core set wanting to see it from a few sides. 1) How does it stand up on it’s own as a core set to a) the X-Wing Miniature’s Game? and b) A miniature game in general? 2) How does this incorporate into the preexisting game. On its own this is a nice core set. As I mentioned earlier I loved two out of three missions and they play great out of the box with the recommended ship list. The core set scales very well when incorporated with older ships. Yes these new ships are in the action faster but they’re not necessarily stronger (with one massive exception that is Omega Ace, F_ that guy). My biggest complaint is that Fantasy Flight still went with the Three Ship core set system. I assume it’s due to cost as they want the game to be affordable, but on it’s own I don’t think this offers the full experience that is X-Wing. That being said, I can easily recommend this as it’s only a slight tweak and shine to what is already one of my favorite games of all time. If you’ve never experienced X-Wing before, this is a great time to start. Star Wars is in the air and the gaming hobby is more than happy to welcome you in with this still stunning miniatures game.
May the force be with you, all of you.

7
Go to the Boss Monster 2: The Next Level page
46 out of 52 gamers thought this was helpful

tl;dr: If you like Boss Monster already, you’ll like this as an expansion for more stuff. If You hate Boss Monster, you’ll hate this just the same. If you’ve never played Boss Monster and the first one isn’t available, go ahead, pick this up.

Boss Monster 2: The Next Level is the newest Stand Alone Expansion to the highly successful Boss Monster. For those of you unfamiliar with Boss Monster, simply put, players will be strategically trying to build a dungeon full of rooms as they try to lure in unsuspecting heroes, only to kill them off and collect their souls. They’ll have to be careful though as any heroes that make it through their dungeon alive will cause wounds to their boss. If they collect enough wounds, they will be eliminated. The player that is best able to build and survive will be declared the winner.

Boss Monster has been one of my favourite light card games. It’s not a perfect game, and its no game of the year, but it offers a light/casual experience with great them and it never outstays its welcome, like other formerly successful card games (I’m looking at you, Munchkin!). Plus, and this is a very personal reason, I love the 8/16 bit theme. I like many people of my age have very found memories of the classic consul games that inspire Boss Monster. I have thoroughly enjoyed Boss Monster for the last two years now, introducing it to many of my friends, co-workers, customers, and strangers at the bar. When I heard Boss Monster 2 was coming, I knew it was an instant buy for me.

So, whats in it?
12 Boss Cards
75 Room cards
31 Spells
25 Heroes
17 Epic Heroes
Rulebook
Quick start guide.

So, whats different? Last weekend I got to play Boss Monster 2. I noticed right away that every new Boss was WAY better than any of the originals. I would go as far to say as they replace them. The Bosses level up ability typically give a permanent bonus, not unlike Emblems in MTG. Others just have almost a game winning ability if you can time it right.

The spells are all way better too, and offer some interesting choices and options. Most new spells have two choices of what they do, as well as other sells do different things depending on weather you played them in the Build Phase or the Adventure Phase. Good call on the designers I felt.

One of my original complaints with the first game was that the developers went to all the trouble of making all the unique flavor text for all the heroes, even giving them all unique art and names but they all were more or less the same, minus a point or two of strength. Boss Monster 2 fixes that to a degree. Some heroes marked with a Star icon have special abilities that other players can activate, as well as change things around a bit. For example, players may discard a room card to give a hero +3. Some heroes have multiple treasure types and are a little more challenging to bait.

Finally, the rooms all seem to have a design overhaul. More emphases is put on rooms all complementing each other, rather than the “every room is broken” complaint often said of the first game.

So, what are my thoughts? I wanted to try the game out as a Stand Alone Experience to see how it felt. Because the game included everything you need to begin with playing it I felt I had to try it as a stand alone, before just deciding to add the cards into the cardpool of the first game. Overall I felt that Next Level played very different than the first game. I’m still unsure if I would recommend people begin with this one or the first. To be honest, I felt that my dungeon wasn’t as exciting in each game as the first. I felt that my dungeon was near identical to my opponents dungeon, as we literally had the same rooms far more often because the multiple copies. Personally, I don’t think I will play this as a stand alone again, I think it will do perfectly in just combining it into Boss Monster 1. That being said, if Boss Monster 1 isn’t available and you see this on the shelf, I can recommend you buy it if you’re looking for a light card game with a lot of luck and some negotiation thrown in for good measure.

2
Go to the The Witcher Adventure Game page

The Witcher Adventure Game

40 out of 44 gamers thought this was helpful

tl;dr: Quests are all samey, narrative and story are nonexistent, game boils down to a multi-player solo race for VP, plus game is laughably light, avoid unless you just have to own it because it’s Witcher.

I played 5 full games of the beta on GOG. My opinion is entirely based on THAT version. I am unaware of any rules or mechanics changes to the final board game. [EDIT: After some research I have discovered that there were no changes to the rules from the digital to physical editions] I was so thoroughly underwhelmed by this game that I blame it as being one of my triggers for my clinical depression. When I heard this was coming out I was so excited, “a new fantasy adventure board game by an established and accomplished designer!?”

“BY ODIN’S RAVENS! This is going to be amazing”, I thought.

Unfortunately, I could not find anything really enjoyable about the game. It had no real driving force or feeling, the “narrative” that occurs feels clunky and disjointed, zero player interaction, bland gameplay, and an overall feeling of emptiness. Where did they go wrong?

The main issue is the questing system. The quests are, to put it nicely, boring. You go around the board to collect tokens, and you trade the tokens in to complete it. There is no consequence for failing the quest (since you can’t really fail quests with this design), which makes it just a VP race. Which would be okay, if the name didn’t promised an adventure game.

You see, an adventure game should focus on the stories that come about with the game, and I’m not necessarily talking about the game’s flavor text. I’m talking about the experience an adventure game brings you, the stories that are built by the player, their decisions, and the system. You remember games of Mage Knight where you burn down a monastery and steal the monk’s artifacts then turned around and sieged a tower with said artifact, laughing in the ashes of your foes. You remember games of Runebound where the Brave Sir Valadir was more like “Brave Sir Robbin” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even In Talisman you remember when your significant other turns you into a frog three times in a row. You see, its these memories and these situations that make an adventure game. By making the game a VP race, none of the quests matter really. All the work that went into the flavor text is all for naught when quests only serve as a means to VP, and the main “skill” is who can do it the fastest.

Another issue comes up when you have an encounter in the areas which are all but unavoidable unless you want to fall behind in the race to win the game. When you go to combat these monsters it’s QUICKLY apparent that unless you are Geralt you are going to lose and probably lose badly to the monster encounter. But you’ll see that it doesn’t matter, you get the token regardless if you succeed or not, it’s just a minor inconvenience if you don’t.

Worst of all, the quests that you go on (you know the entire point of the game) all feel the same. Regardless if they are combat, diplomacy, or magic, they all require the same skill and “strategy” all the same. It always follows the same path; Go here, collect a token, roll the dice and collect the token regardless of it’s results, go there, trade the token, move up the VP chart. It quickly makes the entire experience very tedious rather than adventurous.

I perfectly understand why Trzewiczek did what he did, and regardless of this mishap he is an amazing designer with a brilliant mind frame for mechanics and theme. Unfortunately he was under strict constrictions from the IP owner. There was no point from CD Projekt RED’s point of view to create a meatier game. A Witcher Board Game is just printing money. Furthermore the target audience are video gamers and the mass market, so it needs to be light and easily accessible to all kinds of people, not just the Board Game kind of crowd. Perhaps I’m being to harsh and expecting too much because of this fact. But I can only review this in the eyes of a gamer, not as a mass market player.

With that in mind I will not be purchasing this game, under any circumstance. In fact, I cancelled my pre-order of it. However, if someone else owned it, and enjoyed it, and I respected their opinions, and (a lot of conditions here), than I might play the physical version, if only to see if they improved anything after the beta [Edit: They didn’t]. Otherwise this is a STRONG pass for me, and NOTHING I can recommend to anyone other than the most casual of the mass market fans who love the IP enough to just buy it for that sake and not really play it. Such a missed opportunity.

10
Go to the Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game page
83 out of 92 gamers thought this was helpful

It is the late 1930s and the world is in turmoil. Humanity is on the brink of war as imperialist nations in the Far East and Europe work aggressively to expand their domination. The Nazi party have taken control of Germany and now darkness spreads across the globe in their hunt for powerful occult artifacts that can give them the upper hand in the days to come. But the spirit of adventure and freedom won’t be stamped out so easily.

Heroic adventurers from around the world answer the call, racing against time to hunt down ancient artifacts, explore deadly temples, and fight back the powers of darkness from engulfing the world. It is a race of good versus evil and only a cunning and agile explorer can claim the ultimate prize of… Fortune and Glory!

Fortune and Glory, The Cliffhanger Game is a fast-paced game of high adventure, vile Villains, edge-of-your-seat danger, and thrilling Cliffhangers to keep you enthralled for more. Plays play as adventure seekers and archeologists on the hunt for ancient relics and treasures in exotic and fantastic locations hidden behind paralysis dangerous. Meanwhile, you must beware not only the forces of nature, but the nationalistic plague that is the Nazi party infiltrating the world in search of occultist and ancient relics in order to harness their power for their sinister plan of global genecide.

Flying Frog Productions bring us another attention-grabbing genre movie based game. Let me get this out of the way now. Many criticisms of FFP always seem to boil down to the art design of their games. The PhotoShop -> Filter -> Artistic -> Drybrush effect is used throughout the majority of their games is including here as well. Let me state this loud and proud; think it perfectly fits that B-movie feel FFP’s games have. Furthermore if you don’t like it and disregard the game based solely on the art design you are missing out on a fantastic game and I couldn’t pity you more. I’m sorry to come across so brash but I feel so strongly for this game and this genre of the gaming world and it has become a point of pride to defend it, but enough of the aesthetic, on to the game.

The game begins with a set up of the beautiful board and the starting artifacts. An artifact will have a listed number of Fortune it is worth and a number of Dangers that must be overcome in order retrieve the artifact. You will place a token on a random location on the board for each artifact. Players then either chose to pick your daring hero or heroins or deal one out randomly. Each hero is unique with their own flavor text, stats, starting location, and special abilities. Next, if players are playing cooperatively or are playing with the Vile Organization players will close to combat either the mafia or the Nazi party. The Zeppelin is placed as well as starting secret bases and bunkers and a starting villain. Now you’re ready for the adventure.

Each turn will begin with all players simultaneously roiling for initiative, should anyone roll a 1 they draw from an event deck. The player with the highest initiative will go first and play will proceed clockwise. Beginning with the first player, a hero will roll a die and move that many of spaces along the board. Should a hero encounter a Nazi figure during their movement phase they must immediately resolve combat. After all players have resolved their movement players will in turn order resolve an Adventure Phase. Should your hero be in a land or sea space without an adventure icon on it they will roll a dice and on a roll of a 1,4,5, or 6 draw an event card and take it into their hands.

Should Your hero end their movement phase in a space with an adventure icon on it, your hero will attempt to retrieve the fabled relic. You will begin to draw cards from the Danger Deck. Danger cards are the bulk of the action, a danger card will give your adventure story and plot twists and test your hero to the brink of death. A Danger card will have a skill check that must be met a certain number of times in order to successfully pass the danger, once a player passes the danger they have the option to press on the adventure or camp down and heal their wounds and collect their glory. Whats glory you say? Well, Glory is more of less the currency of the game, you use it to buy gear and allies and in some cases to travel to another city, you collect glory by going on Dangers and completing them. But here is the catch, should you chose to Press On to another danger and you don’t succeed, you end your turn and flip your card over to it’s Cliffhanger side. Cliffhangers are significantly more difficult challenges and should you fail your Cliffhanger your character is KO’d. Play will precede as such until the heroes are able to collect enough Fortune.

after the every hero resolves their adventure phase and you are playing with a vile organization you will resolve the villains turn. The villains will spawn more henchmen or soldiers on the map as well as attempt to retrieve artifacts themselves. Should the vile organization retrieve a set number of artifacts or go up on their villain chart they will win the game.

Fortune and Glory is without a doubt, one of the best games in my collection. I positively love the experience I get with Fortune and Glory and I have never been even close to find another game that brings me such joy. I want to stress the word Experience, because that’s what this game is, its an experience in edge of your seat trills, hair raising adventure, and fast paced game play. Every die roll in a tense die roll, every card you draw could be your last, every fight you do could lead you a wounded mess or feeling like a total powerful hero from the pulp era. You see, Fortune and Glory may be one of the most luck or random based games I’ve ever played, and it’s design is all about the fluctuation of luck and the roller coaster it leads you on. This may be a turn off for some player, I know for a fact that there are people who attend my gaming group who would tear their hair out due to the amount of die rolls and random card draws in the game, but for me, THAT is what makes the game special. You see, I honestly feel many publishers and designers are afraid of making a game like this. A game that leads to an experience like that only Fortune and Glory can deliver because of the predominant fallacy that strategy equals good and luck equals bad. You see, I am utterly bored by games that have you quietly sit at a table and do math for 12 turns ahead to beat an opponent on points. I love games that bring our the kid in you, games that have you role-playing, making funny voices, has you talking to the others around the table, has you standing up for a tense die roll, and no other game has done that better for me than Fortune and Glory. If you’re a gamer who isn’t allergic to die rolls and randomness, due yourself a favor and check this game out. Adventure awaits.

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Go to the Runebound: Second Edition page

Runebound: Second Edition

144 out of 153 gamers thought this was helpful

The Necromancer Vorakesh has plagued the lands, raised armies of the dead, caused the houses of men to turn on one another out of fear and paranoia, and laid waste to all in his path. Yet all this pales in comparison to his ultimate goal… You see, for the mad Necromancer seeks to bring back the shadow of the world. An evil long thought to be sealed away in the dark mists of the past. Margath, the High Lord of All Dragonkind. Long thought to be a myth by most of this world, should he return would mean the end of all. In this dire hour, who will answer the call?

Runebound is a fantasy adventure board game for 1-6 players published by Fantasy Flight Games. You and your fellow adventurers take on the roles of Heroes questing across the land in search of adventure. Along the way, you will find magical artifacts and cunning allies to help you in your quest. You will also encounter terrible villains that you must overcome in order to complete your quest, and in doing so gain treasures and experience.  
 
A turn of Runebound consists of a Refresh Phase, a Movement Phase, an Adventure phase/or Market Phase, Experience Phase. The Refresh Phase consists of “untaping” any “taped” cards or discarding of some specific cards, or resolving any effects that occur before your Movement Phase. The game board is divided by hexagonal spaces, each representing the terrain type or city of the game map. Movement is determined by rolling Movement Dice, these dice have symbols of a specific terrain type.

Scattered across the map are Adventure Counters, or event/encounter markers, each color coded by the level of the encounter. An encounter is resolved by drawing a corresponding card of the level. The cards are typically monsters you must fight but can also be personal events or global events as well. Your reward for slaying the monsters are listed on the card and range from gold to powerful spells and always the Adventure Counters, which are used to keep track of XP and to level up your character’s stats.

Should your character chose to end his or her movement in one of the many cities across the board they may enact the Market Phase. In the Market Phase your character can utilize all the precious gold you gained from your adventuring to buy new items or Allies to aid them along their quest, or heal themselves of both wounds and their exhaustion.

And so the game goes on, adventuring, traveling, upgrading, buying, slaying, and morning. The First player to defeat the High Lord Margath or collect three Dragon Runes is declared the winner.
I did not wish to go so in-dept into the rules, as I feel I can not do the mechanics and rules justice in this piece, and rather encourage you to read through the rulebook for a more in depth understanding of the game. Runebound is in my opinion a wonderful adventure game with just the right amount of balance of luck and strategy that keeps it fresh and accessible to a wind range of players.

But not all is perfect in this foray to Terrinoth. The combat system while not difficult to understand by most gamers may be a big struggle for most unexperienced gamers. Also, while dying is always annoying, in this game it does not have so much of a heavy consequence, which can lead some players to play recklessly because a lack of a real consequence other then not progressing at a faster rate. Finally, the lack of player interaction may turn of many people. A common complaint I have heard from gamers is that Runebound is a solo game you play with other people at the same table. While I can see and understand this complaint, it does not phase me in the slightest.

With these minor flaws, I see Runebound as amazing game with a lot to offer for myself and many other gamers. A great adventure, a fun questing system, a unique combat system, great game play, and for  me a perfect balance of luck and strategy. Next time you’re in the market for a Fantasy Board Game and you want something with a great balance of exploration, combat and flavor, I implore you to consider Runebound.

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