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Review 13 games and receive a total of 980 positive review ratings.
Go to the Elder Sign page
Go to the Twilight Struggle page
Go to the Mansions of Madness page
Go to the Arkham Horror page
Go to the Star Trek: Fleet Captains page
Go to the Eldritch Horror page
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
8
Go to the Friday page

Friday

44 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Friday:

1) What it is?
A solo card game where you are the smart and lonely Friday and you must teach the dumb newcomer Robinson Crusoe to survive the hazards of wild life. If you are successful he will go away and leave you alone and happy in your heavenly island.

2) How do you play?
Basically you draw cards (from two different decks, hazard and fighting) and use its special abilities to get good fighting cards while trying to eliminate the bad ones. Each time the fighting deck is depleted you reshuffle it with one extra nasty card, representing the fact that Robinson is aging. After the hazard deck is emptied three times, you must defeat two pirate cards to win the game.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
The main point of the game is how well you manage your deck of fighting cards. To achieve victory, you will have to decide:
– Which hazard card you will fight.
– if you want to continue drawing free fighting cards.
– In case of defeat to the hazard card, which fighting card you want to destroy.
– if you will lose health to draw one more fighting card.
– if you activate the cards’ special abilities and in what order they will be activated.

4) What is good about it?
It is simple, quick and fun. It has a good number of meaningful decisions, both tactical and strategic. Sometimes an immediate win over a hazard card is not the right decision, you may want to lose the fight to get rid of a nasty fighting card.

5) What is not so good about it?
A lot of people will not like it simply because it is a solo game. If you don’t mind that, the game may not be as replayable as it seems. Perhaps, after a certain number os plays you will know the best strategy and then the game will lose its appeal. The theme is not necessary to enjoy the game, after a few plays you will probably ignore it.

6) What it feels when you play it?
At first you will feel like a teacher trying to teach a difficult topic to a student that is not yet prepared to learn it. You will have to be patient and smart. With the passing of time you will feel satisfied seeing how good Robinson (the fighting deck) has became.

9
Go to the Mansions of Madness page
50 out of 57 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Mansions of Madness:

1) What it is?
A scenario based horror game where one evil player plots against honored investigators that don’t have any clues about what is going on.

2) How do you play?
If you are the evil player (The Keeper):
– Gather “Threat Tokens”
– Use Threat Tokens to play and activate some abilities, like move and spawn monsters
– Attack investigators if possible

if you are one of the good guys (investigators):
– Move your investigator’s miniature
– Explore (pick up cards) rooms
– Solve puzzles
– Attack monsters
– Exchange items

3) What are the decisions that you make?
As the Keeper:
– Setup: choose the objectives of the scenario and build the Keeper Action deck.
– Make a plan based on the Keeper Action cards available, like gather enough threat to spawn a powerful monster at the end of the game, or spawn several weaker monster during the game.
– Decide which card to play (Trauma, Mythos or Keeper Action Cards)
– Decide what investigators will be attacked

As an Investigator:
– Work with the other investigators to quickly explore the rooms in order to discover clues and objectives.
– Attack or evade monsters
– Try to figure out clues

4) What is good about it?
The atmosphere full of mysteries, the investigators know nothing about the items, monsters or even the goals of the adventure.
The quality of the components, the art of the modular board, the detailed miniatures. And for those that are familiar with the other Fantasy Flight Mythos games, there are a lot of items, investigators and monsters that are the same in Mansions of Madness.

5) What is not so good about it?
The setup is quite long and demands full attention of the Keeper, because mistakes may ruin the game for everyone. There are some problems with the scenarios of the base game, but for the most part they do not break the experience. Also in the base game, the scenarios are linear, meaning that one clue leads to the next and so on.

6) What it feels when you play it?
When playing as an investigator, you will feel inside a good horror story (or movie). You know nothing about what you will encounter, there is a feeling of loss and confusion as you advance in the adventure. Surprises are everywhere, clues that at first did not make any sense, useful items, scary monsters and the freak evil Keeper always observing and plotting his malevolous schemes.

As a Keeper you know everything, you are the mastermind behind a plan to defeat those pitiful investigators. It is really fun to watch their mistakes but sometimes it is hard to avoid giving them small tips on what they should do next.

9
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
92 out of 99 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Sentinels of Multiverse:

1) What it is?
A cooperative game where a team of super heroes fight against uber villains.

2) How do you play?
Draw and play cards to defeat a villain. Each hero, villain and ambient has its own deck of unique and thematic cards. Everyone has a set of features and the deck of cards represents them pretty well.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
You have to work as a group and decide what to do based on the current villain and ambient cards in play and what combos you can activate. You will have to decide:
– What card you will play
– What power you will activate
– Or ignore all above and draw two cards

4) What is good about it?
– The theme is really amazing and goes well with the mechanics of the game.
– The replay value is huge, even considering only the base game. You can choose between 4 villains, 10 heroes and 4 ambient decks.
– The art style is beautiful.
– Each hero/villain/ambient is well thought and have its own unique features.
– The game has depth, good decisions and plays relatively fast.

5) What is not so good about it?
You have to keep track of a lot of things: damage bonuses, damage type, defense bonuses and others. This may be a bit overwhelming even if you are familiar with the game. Also, there may be (a few) times when your cards won’t do you any good at all.

6) What it feels when you play it?
You feel like you are part of a super hero comic book. The game has it all: compelling art, greatness, bad and good moments, funny one-liners and a lot of punches, kicks, super powers and injuries. All packed in a new and original universe to be discovered and appreciated.

10
Go to the Through the Ages page

Through the Ages

87 out of 94 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Through the Ages:

There are three ways to play: simple, advanced and full. I will talk about the full game, because the others exist basically to teach new players.

1) What it is?
A game where you build your own civilization.

2) How do you play?
The flow of play can be resumed as: select cards, execute actions and play cards. You have three tracks that represent your gains of culture and science and your military strength. You win the game by scoring more culture points than the other players. You gain culture points in several ways: by building temples and theaters, colonizing certain territories or by playing specific wonders, leaders, action cards, agressions or wars.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
Lots of decisions to make, new players may feel overwhelmed and it will take some plays to have a good understand of the game.

At the start of the game:
– You must select one card from the line of civil face up cards.

Then each round, you may:
– Play a military card
– Execute the political event, if there is any.
– Execute civil actions: select civil cards, elect a new leader, play action card, build or upgrade buildings, destroy buildings, increase population, discover a new technology.
– Execute military actions: build or upgrade units, disband units, draw military cards.

4) What is good about it?
If you like deep strategy games with lots of decisions and a thematic feel you can go no wrong with Through the Ages:
– There are several possible strategies to win the game.
– The theme is strong.
– It is considered one of the best in the genre, it is really deep and a genuine brain burner.

5) What is not so good about it?
At first, you may feel overwhelmed by the rules and the great ammount of information that you have to deal with. The game is quite long, from two/three hours with two players to four/five hours with four players. The game is not excellent with four players, because of the waiting time and the frustration of not being able to get the cards that you want. The aggressions and wars may have demolishing effects. Some may not like the absence of a map. And finally, mistakes in the first rounds may hurt a lot on the long run.

6) What it feels when you play it?
The game is epic. You start with very little: agriculture, a few mines, a lab, a primitive army and few people. As time goes by, you will work with great leaders, like Napoleon, Da Vinci, Gengis Khan, Gandhi and Albert Einstein. You will evolve as a society, creating the justice system, navigation and architecture. To fight your enemies you will build tanks, planes and rockets. You will discover and develop new technologies like movies, computers and even the internet. All that makes you really have that feeling of building a great civilization!

8
Go to the Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower page
101 out of 108 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

To read my Castle Panic review, please click here.

So, about Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower:

1) What it is?
An increase in variety and depth to the game Castle Panic.

2) What it adds to the game components?
– The Wizard’s Tower that allows players to draw magic cards from the Wizard’s deck.
– More types of monsters, like flying and magical ones.
– Six Mega Boss monsters.
– Fire tokens!

3) What it adds to the gameplay?
More decisions:
– you have to choose between two decks (castle and wizard)
– you have to think more about the cards you play because some monsters can be slayed in certain arcs while being imune to others.

More variety:
– Some monsters have ranged attacks in the form of fire
– Some monsters can move in different ways (the climbing toll can skip you walls!)
– Your structures can catch fire!
– Monsters can catch fire too!

More rules:
– Rules are suggested to make the game quicker or harder.

4) Is it worth?
Yes. The original game may become too easy after a few plays. Also, there aren’t a lot of decisions to make. This expansion makes Castle Panic a more replayable and challenging game. Magic, fire, trebuchets, giant flame boulders, hydras, dragons and necromancers are a really fun addition to the original game.

10
Go to the Heroscape: Game System Master Set page
96 out of 104 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

This review is a complement to my article about the Heroscape Family that you can find here. Please, read that first and then come back to understand the differences.

1) What it is?
The first and biggest Master Set of Heroscape. The set has everything that you need to start playing Heroscape: about 30 miniatures, lots of terrain pieces, dice, glyphs, etc.

3) What is good about it?
It is a decent Master Set, with enough variety to keep you entertained for several plays. The miniatures are beautiful and you have enough terrain to build good scenarios. It comes with a few good scenarios for 2 to 4 players. If you want more terrain ideas, you can go to Heroscapers, a fantastic site all about Heroscape.

3) What is not so good about it?
Heroscape really shines with multiple squads. The Master Set has a few squads but they are not enough if you want to build bigger and smart armies and try bright strategies of combat. Also, the stats of two miniatures (Sgt. Drake Alexander and Raelin Kyrie Warrior) were “corrected” in the next Master Set: Swarm of the Marro. And finally, with only one set you will never be able to play Mega Heroscape.

4) Final Words:
If you want to start playing with Heroscape, this is the best first set. After that, you can get other expansions or master sets. The game is out of print (and will remain that way unfortunatelly) but you can get a copy on ebay and follow the Heroscapers site for customized miniatures. Have fun with this great game!

9
Go to the Galaxy Trucker page

Galaxy Trucker

58 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Galaxy Trucker:

1) What it is?
A puzzle game that makes you build a spaceship-trucker and then take it to a crazy travel where it may be destroyed… or not.

2) How do you play?
The game has two main phases:

Phase One: The play is simultaneous. Choose tiles that represent various parts of a spaceship (cannons, engines, cabins, cargo, energy, etc) and put them on your spaceship board. In this phase you can also take a look at the cards that represent most of your future travel.

Phase Two: The travel cards are shuffled (after a few new ones are added to the deck) and turned one at a time. The players must react to the events in order to avoid damage to the spaceship and to collect goods from planets, smugglers, abandoned space stations, etc.
After three or four rounds, the player with the most space credits is the winner. Credits are earned in several ways: order of arrival at the destination, “better” spaceship, delivering goods, letting some of your astronauts go away in an abandoned spaceship, etc.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
In phase one you must decide how to build your spaceship and build it quickly! You may take a look at the travel cards to get a general idea of what you will face in the future. Also, look at what the other players are doing, because there are cards that will hurt a lot if you have the least number of something (people, cannons, engines, etc).
In phase two you must decide what engine, shield or cannon to activate and if you lose time to get those profitable goods.

4) What is good about it?
It is really fun to build something that works and reacts to events. After a few plays you will know the tiles and will be able to build better spaceships in order to avoid or minimizing damage.

5) What is not so good about it?
You may not like to see your pretty baby being destroyed by meteors or enemy spaceships. Also, experienced players will get a huge advantage but this can be fixed by the handicap/advantage cards included in the anniversary edition.

6) What it feels when you play it?
You may feel like an engineer that must build a spaceship according to incomplete specifications. And if you have a certain sense of humor, you may laugh a lot seeing your adversaries’ spaceships being destroyed along the way.

9
Go to the Memoir '44 page

Memoir '44

97 out of 104 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Memoir 44:

1) What it is?
A Second World War game where you control allies or axis troops during specific battles that simulates real events of 1944.

2) How do you play?
Draw cards, move miniatures, throw attack dice, collect medals, play cards. Each scenario represents a real battle, has a historical background, different goals and setup. For the sake of accuracy, the sides are usually unbalanced like they supposed were in the real battle. But this is a great feature and not a problem because each play consist of two battles where the players switch sides. The game uses a clever mechanism known as Command and Colors where the player must choose a card to activate units from a particular section of the board. The winner is the one who collects more medals over the course of the two battles.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
– Devise a general plan according to the scenario’s goals. For instance, units less protected may be the best target.
– Choose a card from your hand and play it. There are common cards that allows you to activate (move and attack) units from a particular section and special cards that provides you with powerfull actions like healing, air attack, all units activated, etc.
– Decide which units you will move and which you will attack.

4) What is good about it?
The variety of historical scenarios. Although there are fifteen cenarios in the base game (that can be played several times each without losing the fun), you can get books full of scenarios if you wish.
The simplicity of the game. If you like war history but do not like those highly detailed and accurate war games, this may be the game for you. It plays quickly, looks nice over the table, has a decent number of decisions and provides an hour of fun.

5) What is not so good about it?
You throw dice and only attack dice. That said, it is possible for a single miniature soldier (that represents a number of real soldiers) to destroy a bunch of tanks in one throw of dice. The defender can’t do anything about it, with the exception of avoiding the situation in the first place. Also, sometimes you don’t have the best cards to fit your situation and can’t activate that set of units that you have to. So, if you mind about a high lucky factor you may pass this game.

6) What it feels when you play it?
If you like war history and light games, you will be amazed with the historical background, the position of your troops on the terrain and what could have happened if decisions were different. And you can even play an entire campaign playing the battles in sequence. If you don’t care about war history you will still have fun with this simple yet satisfying fighting experience.

10
Go to the Pandemic page

Pandemic

146 out of 154 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Pandemic:

1) What it is?
A cooperative game where you have to discover cures for diseases to avoid the brutal human extinction.

2) How do you play?
Draw cards, move pawn, give cards, put cubes on board, remove cubes, shuffle cards, get cure tokens, build research stations, set the outbreak and infection rate levels. Cubes represent disease infection levels and are added to a city when an infection card of that city is drawn. There must be a maximum of three cubes of each color in a given city. If a fourth cube must be added, the disease spreads to the neighbour cities (outbreak). Players can remove one cube worth of a disease per action if the cure was not yet discovered or all cubes from a city per action otherwise. A cure is discovered when one player reaches a reasearch station in a city and he discards five cards of the same color.
Victory: all cures are discovered.
Defeat: there are no more cubes of a color when one is needed or there are no more player cards to draw or the eighth outbreak occurs.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
You have 4 action points to spent with the following actions:
– Where to move your pawn. You must move to remove cubes from a city (cure population), to reach a research station or to be in a better position to give or receive cards from other players. You may move direct to a neighbour city or to any other city using your cards.
– Give cards to players. Other players may have more of a certain diseade. You may give another card of the same color so they have a better chance to discover the cure. You can only give cards of the city where you are.
– Decide to build a research station. These are the only places where cures can be discovered.
– Each player has a different role with different powers. For instance, if you are a scientist you can cure a disease with only four cards.
– There are event cards that can be used at any point during the game. Such cards do not need action points.

4) What is good about it?
Variable player powers are really interesting because they require group thinking and a good dose of ingenuity to work. The game is simple, elegant and fun to play. You can even play solo using more than one role card.

5) What is not so good about it?
As a cooperative game there can be those moments when one player tries to command everyone. Also, you can adjust the difficulty level but after a number of plays the game may look repetitive. This can be corrected with the On the Brink expansion.

6) What it feels when you play it?
After a few rounds there will be tension in the air. There will be outbreaks? Will I be able to reach the research station on time? After a victory, a sense of relief. After a defeat, totally despair, the humanity is doomed.

8
Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

125 out of 132 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Forbidden Island:

1) What it is?
A simple cooperative game where you have to recover treasures before the island submerges.

2) How do you play?
Draw cards, move pawn, flip island tiles, give cards, get treasure, set water level indicator, shuffle cards. Each island tile represents a place on one side and the same place flooded on the other side. At the end of eacher player’s turn, a certain number of water cards are drawn to indicate which tiles will be flipped. If the tile is already flooded it is lost forever. The players win the game if all treasures are captured and all players escaped with the helicopter.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
– Where to move your pawn. You must move to shore up tiles that are flooded, to capture treasures and to be in a better position to give or receive cards from other players.
– Which island tile to flip. You may flip tiles that are crucial to the players: a tile with a treasure, a tile that is part of an important path, etc.
– Give cards to players. Other players may have more of a certain treasure. You may give another card of the same treasure so they can capture the treasure.
– Capture a treasure if you have four cards of it and if you are at the correct location.
– Each player has a different role with different powers. For instance, if you are a pilot you may decide to use the helicopter to go directly to a better place.

4) What is good about it?
The components, box and artwork are really good. The tiles are thick, the miniatures are solid and the box is made of metal. The variable powers of each role demands for group decisions. The simple rules and the short duration of the game.

5) What is not so good about it?
The game is very simple so power gamers will not find real challenges here. You can adjust the difficult (initial water level), but even so the game will not offer many options to achieve victory.

6) What it feels when you play it?
A bit like a bike ride in the park. There are some obstacles to avoid but not that many. And children will probably love it.

8
Go to the Castle Panic page

Castle Panic

139 out of 149 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Castle Panic:

1) What it is?
A Tower Defense Game converted to a boardgame. Several bad monsters are trying to destroy your castle (walls and towers). There are three ways to play the game: The players control the heroes against a horde of bad guys: orcs, goblins and trolls. You can play as Co-op (everyone wins or loses), Master Slayer (everyone loses but only one player wins) and Overlord (one player controls the monsters agains all other players).

2) How do you play?
Draw cards, replace cards, exchange cards, play cards, move monsters and draw monsters tokens. If all walls and towers are destroyed the players lose, If all monster are killed, the players win. In the Master Slayer game, the player that has the most victory points (killed monsters) wins the game.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
Players that control the heroes:
After complete your hand of cards:
– You may discard 1 card and draw another
– Exchange cards with other players.
– Decide which cards to play: kill or disturb monsters, repair walls, etc.

In the Overlord Game, the player that controls the monsters:
– Draw monster tokens and decide which tokens to play. Then, choose one of two options: where to place one token or throw a die to place two tokens.

4) What is good about it?
As a co-op, it is a great game for kids, the decisions are easy and the art is nice. The most challenging way to play the game is with the main rules, the Master Slayer. In the co-op game you must always exchange cards to maximize chances of a victory. In the Master Slayer you must be more careful to not let the players lose but also trying to kill more monster than your adversaries.

5) What is not so good about it?
Without the expansion, there is not much replayability, mainly with the co-op rules. It is not that difficult to learn the best strategies to beat the game. As a side note, the board is not top notch: after only five or six plays marks appear where the board folds.

6) What it feels when you play it?
For the most part it is not a demanding game, so you can play without much worries. And you can have a few laughs too. For instance, a funny fact that happened more than once: a dice is thrown to place the giant boulder token, it starts to roll and, amazingly, it crosses your castle right in the spots where there are no more walls and towers and kills a few monsters in the way. The kids just love such moments.

10
Go to the Star Trek: Fleet Captains page

Star Trek: Fleet Captains

126 out of 143 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Star Trek Fleet Captains:

1) What it is?
A game that represents very well the concept of Star Trek: lots of exploration and influence, but also a good fight when one is needed.

2) How do you play?
Choose command decks, reveal regions of unknown space, move miniatures, change the clix of your ships, throw dice, put tokens on the board, draw command cards, draw mission cards, draw encounter cards. You score points for destroying enemy ships, building starbases, completing missions and resolving some encounter cards. You can play as Federation or Klingon Empire. The winner is the player who achieves a number of points equals to the initial size of the star ships.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
Lots of decisions, some are free, some cost actions points. Such actions can be executed in any order you want.

At the start of the game:
– You must choose four (out of ten) decks to form your command deck.

Then each round, for free, you may:
– Change the power configuration for each ship
– Move your ships (you are free to choose where to go restrained by your current engines power)
– Play command cards (there are temporary and permanent effects)
– Discard a command card (so you can buy another one latter)
– Cycle a Mission Card (if a mission is too difficult to complete at the moment)

Finally, you may spend three actions to:
– Cloak, uncloak or deploy a sensor (if your ship is capable of)
– Exert Influence or build installations (they are important for complete some missions and to repair ships)
– Finish a mission (with a systems test)
– Repair a damaged ship
– Scan an unexplored region or a cloaked ship
– Transport cargo and crew between ships
– Bring a reinforcement (if a ship was destroyed)
– Attack another ship. To attack another ship you may play one command card before or after your opponent plays it’s card. You can also decide to attack with more than one ship.

4) What is good about it?
This game is a great experience with lots of different and interesting decisions to make. Each turn a good story is developing, an adventurous story with tension, danger and happy moments.

5) What is not so good about it?
The manual is confuse, lacks information and does not have an index. But this is a minor problem that can be easily solved by downloading several user created files available at boardgamegeek. The clix is also a problem, because sometimes it is difficult to rotate the base and this game really does not need such feature. The same effect could be accomplished with markers on the cards. Also, some people may be bothered by the thin board tiles but I don´t mind, they are easier to shuffle. Finally, although there is lucky, you can protect yourself against bad results most of the time.

6) What it feels when you play it?
During the game you feel the antecipation of discovery and the tension before a battle. After the end, you feel like you participate in several small adventures during a season of Star Trek. It is a must have for Star Trek fans.

10
Go to the Dungeon Twister page

Dungeon Twister

21 out of 22 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Dungeon Twister:

1) What it is?
A battle/race that mixes fantasy characters, items and dungeons with abstract strategy-like game play.

2) How do you play?
Shuffle the mini-boards and place them face down. Put your characters and items, one at a time, face down, in one of the mini-boards or in your starting line. Then you can reveal or rotate boards, move characters, attack, jump over traps, unlock, lock or destroy doors, pick or drop items and, finally, escape from the dungeon. The winner is the first to achieve 5 points. You gain point by killing your enemy and escaping with your characters (some items give extra points if you carry them out)

3) What are the decisions that you make?
– Decide where to put your characters and items
– Decide how many actions you will take each turn (from 2 to 5 actions)
– Execute actions: move a character, reveal a board, rotate a board, jump (with special card or special ability), pick up objects, drop objects, unlock door, lock door, destroy door, use item, attack
– When a board is revealed, all tokens (characters and objects) are revealed and each player places the tokens of the other player in the dungeon.
– If you choose to attack you must add the attack of your character, plus any bonus from objects, plus the value of an attack card (range from 0 to 6). An used card must be discarded, except the zero card. The loser flip the character to indicate that he is wounded. A second successful attack will kill the character.

4) What is good about it?
The planning. This is a game of strategy, carefully calculations and outmaneuvering. It has intense interaction: fights, turns of the boards and blockades, outguessing combat system, offering several paths to victory.

5) What is not so good about it?
It is prone to analysis paralysis and it may be dry for some people because the theme is not really there. It has dungeons, fire balls, thiefs, mages, trolls and warriors but the game is less about the theme and more about the movements of the pieces.

6) What it feels when you play it?
As it has a low lucky factor (basically the initial position of the boards), it is mainly a clash of brains. As it demands heavy thinking, it is a tense experience, you will relax only after the game has finished.

10
Go to the Heroscape page

Heroscape

68 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Disclaimer: The main goal of “Down to the Basics Reviews” is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about Heroscape:

1) What it is?
A war fought with characters from different genres and eras, played on a customizable 3D board.

2) How do you play?
Choose your army, choose the order to play your heroes/squads, throw lots of dice several times each turn, move miniatures and attack. Although there are games with similar mechanics, there is no other game that plays like it or even replace it.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
– Build your terrain. You can choose one of the scenarios or build your own.
– Choose your army. Each scenario has a total of points for the army. You must look at the characters, analyse their strengths and how they work as a group. Each hero (one miniature) or squad (more than one miniature) have a point value, movement, range, attack, defense and special powers.
– Decide the order of play. Each player has four markers (1, 2, 3, X) that must be put on the cards that represent the characters to show the order of play.
– Decide where to move your hero/squad and if you use any special ability.
– If possible, decide wich miniature to attack. If so, decide if you will use a special attack.

4) What is good about it?
Pre-painted plastic miniatures, amazing terrain, immersive game play, variety of scenarios and characters, replayability. The game achieve its maximum potential with multiple squads of the same type. It is flexible in the sense that you can play short battles with 4, 5 figures or play Mega Heroscape, an epic war between dozens of units.

5) What is not so good about it?
If you do not like building things (Lego-like), setup time can be really long, anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the scenario. The lucky factor is high, but flawless and flexible play usually leads to victory.

6) What it feels when you play it?
Heroscape is more than a game. It is also a toy, a really beautiful one. The fun begins before the game starts, when the players build the terrain. Choosing an army is food for your thoughts: if you are careful your victory begins at this moment. The gameplay has an epic feeling, you are the strategist that must combine the best of your troops to achieve victory.

10
Go to the Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit page

Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit

117 out of 125 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my first review ever. My main goal with this kind of review is to show what the game is about, getting down to the basics, the bare minimum necessary to captivated the reader.

So, about this great game:

1) What it is?
A battle between the Republic and the Federation, it simulates the last 30 or 40 minutes of the movie Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Each side plays in 4 different areas: battlefield, pallace, space above Naboo and the site where the jedis and sith are fighting.

2) How do you play?
Buy cards, decide the order to play the cards, play one card at a time, move a miniature or miniatures based on the card you played and attack the other player´s miniatures. It has few similarities with the Command & Colors system used by Memoir 44 and other games.

3) What are the decisions that you make?
At the beginning of the turn, decide the order of the cards. As you reveal your card, decide wich of the 2 or 3 possible actions you will execute. Finally, decide wich miniature, or group of miniatures you will move. As a federation player, there is one action that allow you to add cards to the space above Naboo just to make things more difficult to Anakin Skywalker.

4) What is good about it?
It has great components, a nice 3D board, it is assymetrical, each side has different winning conditions. It is very thematic, you really feel like you are in the movie, participating in all battles.

5) What is not so good about it?
Setup time, although simple, is long ranging from 15 to 30 minutes. The game has, obviously, only one scenario, so it may have replayability issues. It is the kind of game that you do not play often, but when you play, it is a great experience. Also, as it has a high lucky factor, some players may not enjoy it.

6) What it feels when you play it?
At the beginning of the game: awe, the game is really beatiful: dozens of miniatures, four different areas and the 3d pallace makes you wish for the start of the game.
After the game ends: a sense of epicness, even if you lost the game.

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