Player Avatar
Book Lover
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Intermediate Reviewer

Reinventing Dad

gamer level 6
11250 xp
followers
9

Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
http://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=bookman3380
profile badges
Master Grader
Treasure Chest
Inspector
The Gold Heart
recent achievements
Reporter
Reporter
Earn Reporter XP to level up by completing Reporter Quests!
Knight
Knight
Give 100 hearts (loyalty points) to a single game
The Silver Heart
The Silver Heart
Give 10 Silver Hearts to games that you fancy.
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Claim that you have played a game today by clicking the "Played Today!" button on a game page 200 times.
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
Go to the The Castles of Burgundy page
Go to the Mice and Mystics page
Go to the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game page
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
Go to the Patchwork page
Go to the Telestrations page
9
Go to the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game page
44 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

If you’ve ever read a Marvel comic book or watched one of their movies and wondered how it would be to serve on a team of superheroes and face a diabolical evil mastermind intent on world domination (or, at the very least, taking you out), this is your game. Either as a solo game or cooperatively with two to five players, and with a healthy assortment of heroes, big bads, not-so big bads, and scenarios, Marvel Legendary guarantees numerous replays as well as hours of fun.

Initial Thoughts
If you’re interested in giving a deckbuilding game a try, this is a terrific gateway into the genre. If you’re a comic fan interested in giving a deckbuilding game a try, for crying out loud—get this game already! As a former (recovering?) comic book collector, the theme attracted me immediately. When I saw the different expansions that were available beyond the base set, I was hooked. While some find issue with the illustrations on the cards—specifically that the artwork for each hero, mastermind, villain, and henchman group remains the same (i.e. all of Captain America’s cards, regardless of the power on the card, have the same comic art)—I can easily get past that.

What’s In The Box?
*It’s a deckbuilder; you’re gonna get cards. LOTS of cards. Specifically, 560 beautifully illustrated cards including SHIELD Agents, Troopers, and Officers; heroes like Captain America, Nick Fury, Deadpool, Storm, The Hulk, and Wolverine; evil masterminds like Loki, Dr. Doom, Magneto, and the Red Skull; villains like the Skrulls, Hydra, and the Brotherhood of Evil; henchmen like the Sentinels and Foot Ninjas, and Evil Schemes like The Legacy Virus, Midtown Bank Robbery, and Secret Invasion of the Skrull Shapeshifters.
*Big plastic insert with several card dividers and more than enough space to accommodate several of the expansions)
*Gameboard measuring 19 inches x 27 inches
*Rulebook

Gameplay
The players start with a generic, twelve-card hand made up of SHIELD agents and troopers. From that meager start-up hand, you work together to construct a team of superhero cards, using recruitment points to “buy” cards to make your own deck over the course of the game to fight a designated villain. The villains have considerable variety between them, both in strength and powers, and the fight will feel different for each one. For example, when Dr. Doom’s Doombots take over bystanders, the feeling is thematically very different from Sabretooth’s feral swipes. Nonetheless, players do compete a little; saving bystanders does net points that determine who the most heroic was at the end of the game, provided that players did not lose to the villain. But this aspect generally comes across more as more of an afterthought. Heck, you don’t even need to keep track of the hero points if you don’t want to.

The game itself is well thought out, mechanically solid, and easy even for children to learn. Also, since there’s no blood or gore, it’s thematically safe enough for children (even with Deadpool as a hero pick). The game also seems to amp up the difficulty with more players. Many of the ability cards are simply different recruitment or attack values, so the type of cards you play do not vary much, but each heroes strengths and abilities shine through. The Hulk gets stronger when he’s wounded, Black Widow can do more damage if Bystanders have been rescued, Rogue can mimic other players’ powers.

Final Thoughts
I can’t stop playing this game, either solo or with my son. Discovering new ways the heroes combo together, enjoying how thematic the heroes and villains are, savoring the tension as I turn over another villain card (AUGH! NOT ANOTHER SCHEME TWIST!), and bringing down the mastermind—they all combine to make Marvel Legendary a terrific cocktail of superhero fun.

8
Go to the Battle Line page

Battle Line

67 out of 74 gamers thought this was helpful

Initial Thoughts
I have a bunch of games I can play with my whole family or even with a big group. Sometimes, though, it’s just my son and me. For these occasions, I tap into my stack of two-player games, and one of our favorites is Battle Line. It’s quick to set up, and the rules are simple (especially if you’re familiar with poker). It’s strategic enough to hold our interest, and light enough to keep the rounds quick.

What’s In The Box?
9 wooden pawns
10 tactics cards
60 troop cards

Gameplay
The nine pawns (or “flags”) are placed in a line between the two players, then they’re dealt seven troop cards (numbered 1-10 in six different colors). The rest of the troop cards are placed face down on one side of the line, and the tactics cards (each with a special ability to allow the bearer to bend the rules or use them as wild cards) are placed at the other.

The goal is to create powerful formations on your side of the flags to beat the formations on your opponent’s side of the respective flags. The first player to win three adjacent flags (called a Breakthrough) or any five flags (called an Envelopment) wins. The formations are sets of three cards following standard poker rules. From strongest to weakest hand, you have a Wedge (a straight flush), a Phalanx (three of a kind), a Battalion Order (a flush), a Skirmish Line (a straight), and a Host (three random cards). In the event of a tie, the formation with the higher total sum wins—not the highest card.

It only gets more strategic when you toss in those tactics cards like the Morale Tactics (from the leaders Alexander and Darius that can be played as any troop card, but you have to define the color and value), the Environment Tactics (like Fog and Mud—cards that affect the number of cards needed to claim a flag), and Guile Tactics (like the Traitor, allowing you to take a Troop card from an unclaimed flag on your opponent’s side and place it into an empty slot on your side). While they do shake up the game a bit, they don’t break it outright.

Final Thoughts
It’s battle poker…right down to the thematic renaming of the hands. While there’s no gambling in the traditional poker sense, there’s still bluffing and risk-taking (“He has a yellow 7 and a yellow 5 showing. There’s no way he has a wedge with a yellow 6, but he might have a battalion order with another yellow card. I need to attack that next flag so he can’t get a breakthrough.”). If you like card games and are looking for something a little more on the strategic side, this is an enjoyable game.

9
Go to the Black Fleet page

Black Fleet

118 out of 127 gamers thought this was helpful

Initial Thoughts

I was intrigued when I saw the Space Cowboys logo on the Black Fleet box. The minds behind games such as Splendor, Elysium, and T.I.M.E. Stories have hit it out of the park once again! If the rich, thematic cover art (by the outstanding Denis Zilber) doesn’t immediately set your mouth to watering, just wait until you open the box….

What’s In The Box?
Instead of listing the different components, I have to gush about the absolutely gorgeous quality of them. The attention to detail on the different types of ships (they have molded slots for the cargo cubes!) is amazing, the “clinky” solid metal doubloons (silver and gold colored) are fantastic, the artwork on the different cards (Action, Fortune, and Development) is lovely, and the large board itself is bright and eye-catching. Heck, the box insert that holds all this treasure is an actual skull and crossbones! Pull this out at your next game night, and heads will definitely turn.

Gameplay
Each player takes control of the two of their own vessels—the merchant and pirate ships I mentioned earlier. There are also two “neutral” Navy ships that are looking to sink the pirates. The merchant ships visit different ports and pick up supplies (colored cubes), travel across the treacherous waters, and deliver them to other ports—earning doubloons for each good still on board. The pirate ships sail around these same waters and earn doubloons for attacking those merchants and swiping cargo, and then earn more doubloons by burying it at one of the many islands. What’s a merchant to do? Well, there are two “neutral” Navy ships that are all about seeking out those pirates and sending them to the bottom of the sea (at least until the next turn, that is).

Movement is determined by the movement cards. Each card depicts the three different ships and lists the maximum number of spaces that ship can move. Also, the bottom of each card shows how many treasure cards the player must pick up or discard. Those treasure cards give a one-time buff to the player, bending the rules of the game in one way or another. After all ships have been moved, the player is allowed one action per ship: pick up, deliver, or steal a goods cube, bury a goods cube, or attack another ship.

The ultimate goal of the game is to earn enough doubloons to unlock all of your four development cards. This is a lot like Machi Koro in this regard, and like the cards in Machi Koro, these development cards give the player special (and increasingly awesome) abilities. Once all four development cards have been purchased, the player must make enough money to purchase the end-of-game Governor’s Daughter card to make it official. The player who has the most doubloons (not necessarily the one who flipped the end-of-game card) is the winner.

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a fun, light family game with plenty of opportunities for smack talk, pirate accents, laughter, and “gotchas”, this is it. The rules are easy to pick up (much like those goods cubes), the components, as I’ve already mentioned, are fantastic (just try not to clink those doubloons!), and the gameplay is quick. Set sail for a great time!

8
Go to the Timeline: Diversity (Second Edition) page
52 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

Initial Thoughts
The Timeline series of games is probably about as close as you can come to a Living Card Game without actually tacking on that label. Each new set combines seamlessly with all other sets (or so I would imagine). If you are a history buff or have one in your family, these games are perfect. And for $15, how can you pass them up?

I was trying to decide which one to purchase first, and Diversity sounded like the best bet. Other Timeline sets deal with one particular…well…line of items (e.g. Discoveries, American History, Music & Cinema, and even Sports). Diversity could be viewed as a survey of all of these with cards showing the date of the first appearances of everything from bees to football to corn flakes to hip hop.

What’s In The Box?
110 64mm x 43mm double-sided cards (gorgeous artwork and date on one side; just the gorgeous artwork on the other)

Gameplay
You get the game going by taking a card from the draw pile and placing it date-side up in the middle of the table—this is the starting point on the timeline. The first player then chooses one of her cards and places it either before or after the initial card (without looking at the date). The player’s card is then flipped up to show the date. If she guessed correctly, it remains on the table. If not, the card is put in the discard pile, and she must draw a new one to replace it. Play continues around the table until one lucky player gets rid of all of his cards. That’s the catch: the more cards everyone plays correctly, the tougher it slowly becomes to correctly guess where the next card goes.

Final Thoughts
What’s terrific about Timeline: Diversity is that any player can play it. The tin says it’s for ages 8 and up, and, granted, some of the cards may require some explanation, but nothing beats the reaction when a younger player correctly places The Carving of the Rosetta Stone after a brief explanation (“So it isn’t a computer program?”) and some intense head scratching. Heck, it’s pretty impressive when I correctly place some of these! Player interaction can be as active or passive as the group allows. I love it when my kids and nephews start chatting up their decisions (à la Who Wants To Be A Millionaire) Also, as I mentioned earlier, cards from this set would combine with other sets greatly increasing the replayability…and the difficulty!

8
Go to the Concept page

Concept

53 out of 60 gamers thought this was helpful

Initial Thoughts
Looking for a game that has the same…well…concept as charades without the awkwardness? The imaginative flexibility of Pictionary without the drawing? You’re in luck. Swapping out the gesticulations and scribbling for ambiguous, general pictures, Concept requires the same sort of lateral thinking to understand that Animal + Nose + Red + Cold = Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

What’s In The Box?
110 cards
5 pawns (a green question mark, and blue, red, yellow, and black exclamation points)
10 green cubes
32 cubes (8 blue, 8 red, 8 yellow, and 8 black)
1 point & 2 point victory markers
Storage bowl for the cubes
2 game aids to help navigate all of the concepts

Gameplay
The game’s premise is deceptively simple: place markers on the various concepts to convey the answers found on the game cards. The answers are separated into Easy (e.g. Angel), Medium (e.g. Bilbo Baggins), and Hard (“Hungry Like the Wolf”). You’ll find that, as you continue playing, some of those easy and even medium items are trickier than the hard ones.

After you decide on an answer, you place the green question mark on the concept that you feel is the main one—keeping in mind how the other people at the table think. Would the main concept for Bilbo Baggins be a person, or literature, or movie? Do you mention that he’s a fantasy person and that he’s short? Using the concepts, can you get across that he has to walk a long way? Do you use the circle concept to imply a ring is involved? You can place up to four exclamation points under what you would consider sub-concepts. You also have color coordinated cubes that match all of the pawns to go as far down your conceptual rabbit hole as you and your teammates can handle.

While the game does come with one and two point scoring tokens, the real joy in the game comes from the interaction (or lack thereof) among the teams as they try to deduce the answer from the pawns and cubes scattered across the board. My family can get pretty competitive, but we found the game was more enjoyable without points and just laughs and applause for our efforts.

Final Thoughts
Concept is perfect for the whole family. It rewards creativity and imagination regardless of age or previous gamer experience. It’s terrific as an icebreaker for a group just getting to know each other, and it can be made cutthroat enough to satisfy a competitive family (like mine).

9
Go to the Rhino Hero page

Rhino Hero

51 out of 58 gamers thought this was helpful

Initial Thoughts
Like most HABA games, Rhino Hero has the deceptive appearance of a children’s game. Yellow box, cartoon-y artwork on the cover, simple yet solid components. Sure…it’s a kids’ game! Right? Not so fast. After stacking a couple stories and moving our intrepid Rhino Hero from floor to floor, the tension starts to ramp up and you find yourself drawn in. The higher the tower rises, the more precarious our titular hero’s position becomes. And then…it all comes tumbling down.

What’s In The Box?
31 roof/floor cards
28 bendable walls
1 foundation card
1 Rhino Hero wooden figure

Gameplay
After placing the starting foundation card (easy side with two wall cards or hard side with just one?), each player gets a hand of five roof/action cards (with two players, the number goes up to seven). They’re a lot like Uno with their Skip a Turn, Reverse, and Draw One cards. You also have the cards that indicate where the Rhino Hero stands.

The first player will bend the required wall card(s) and place them In turn, players place one or two wall cards (they’re made to fold in the middle) to fit the pattern on the foundation card. Now comes the cardplay: The roof/floor tiles have those Uno-esque symbols on two corners. Do you play a reverse card? Do you force an opponent to draw an extra roof tile? Do you play a 2X card and lay two of your cards instead of one? Do you play a Rhino Hero card and make an opponent place the hero on the picture of the Rhino?

Play continues as players take turns building floors and walls until all players run out of floors (less likely) or someone knocks over the tower (much more likely). The person who knocked it down is, of course, out. From those remaining, whoever has the fewest remaining roof/floor tiles is the winner.

Final Thoughts
This game is hilarity in a box. I’ve had three generations gathered around the table totally engrossed in carefully placing wall cards, delicately stacking roof/floor cards, and expertly moving the Rhino Hero from floor to floor. Another plus: adults don’t necessarily have an advantage over younger players. My eight year-old nephew is a beast at this game, owning all of us on several occasions. Portable, popular, perfect!

8
Go to the The Builders: Middle Ages page
50 out of 57 gamers thought this was helpful

Initial Thoughts
I found The Builders: The Middle Ages near the front of my FLGS, near boxes of several different iterations of Fluxx and different Timeline tins. On impulse, I purchased it—remembering a friend saying it was “sort of like Splendor.” Some people may be put off by the game coming in a tin box, but don’t let that deter you. This 2-4 people game has plenty of depth to keep you thinking, but is light enough to keep gameplay relaxed.

What’s In The Box?
42 Worker Cards
42 Building Cards (including 8 Machine Cards)
15 Gold Plastic Tokens
25 Silver Plastic Tokens

Gameplay
Players score points by completing buildings, and they must pay money to place workers and machines on construction sites. Each of the building cards has four requirements: wood, stone, tile, and knowledge, and each requirement has a level between 0 and 5. The workers have the same stats and the same levels. To complete the construction of a building, you must add enough workers and machines to cover the characteristics required on the building card.

You start the game with ten money units and an apprentice card. Five buildings and five workers are placed face up on the table, and the others are set aside in their respective decks. On your turn, you can take three free actions. Any extra actions will cost you some cash. Your actions include Selecting a Site (picking one of the five available buildings), Recruiting a Worker (picking one of the five available workers), Assigning a Worker to a Building (paying the cost of the worker and placing him on the building. When the building’s requirements are met, you earn points and coins and get to flip the card over to show the completed building. The workers then get to return to your labor pool), and Getting Money (you can skip one, two, or all three actions and earn 1, 3, or six money units).

Some of the buildings you can complete include machines that can be used to complete future buildings. These machines have their own stats that contribute toward a building’s need for wood, stone, tile, and knowledge, and they can be VERY handy down the line.

Play continues until one player reaches 17 points, then all players finish their round so everyone has the same number of turns. When tallying points, each completed building has a point value, and each ten money units adds one additional point. The player with the most points is, of course, the winner.

Final Thoughts
The Builders: The Middle Ages is a very fun, very engaging little game. It’s true that fans of Splendor will be familiar with the basic mechanics of the game, but the rules are simple enough for anyone to pick up. It’s portable enough and has a small enough footprint that my wife and I played it at a mall food court. A terrific bargain at around $15!

9
Go to the Sushi Go! (Second Edition) page
62 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

On a trip abroad, I happened upon a sushi place called YO! Sushi. You sat at a counter while a conveyor belt brought plate upon plate of delicious sushi dishes past you. If you saw one you liked, you took it. When you’d had enough, the waiter tallied up your bill. The different colored plates were worth different amounts.

Sushi Go! pretty much operates on the same principle. Different sets of cards are worth different point amounts. Sounds simple enough, right?

What’s In The Box?
Inside the brightly-colored tin, you’ll find 108 beautifully illustrated cards on solid cardstock. Smiling sashimi, grinning maki rolls, green globs of wasabi, happy puddings, and squid, salmon, egg nigiri. You even have chopsticks cards.

Gameplay
Each player starts with a hand of cards (the number of which depends on the number of people playing). Play begins by deciding which card you want to draft, and you pass the rest to your left. Now you have nine cards to pick from, and you pass the rest. This continues until all cards have been drafted, and you score points based on the sushi meals you’ve prepared. At the end of round three, the player who has the most points wins.

The fun comes in the choices you must make: Do you keep the wasabi (worth no points on its own, but it triples the point value of a nigiri card if you get one) or do you hold on to a pudding (a card that doesn’t score at the end of the round, but does at the end of the game)? Do you add another maki roll to your set, or do you try for your third sashimi—knowing that the squid nigiri card you’re passing may be just what she needs to beat you? And at each passing of the cards, your choices get more and more limited. It can get pretty cutthroat—in a good way—for a “kids game”.

Final Thoughts
The choices, the planning, and the risks you take make this seemingly light game deeper than one would think. My three nephews are extremely competitive, and they LOVE this game. At a recent vacation, this is the game that came to the table the most often. I enjoyed watching how they approached their hands. One was all about the long game and loading up on puddings, another collected maki rolls for points, and the third used the wasabi + nigiri approach. Any game that allows different approaches like this, along with the potential for smack talk, is always going to be a hit at the table.

9
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
87 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

Greetings, true believers! Who hasn’t dreamt of battling the forces of evil with your crew of superhero friends? In Sentinels of the Multiverse, heroes like the valiant Legacy, the armor-clad Bunker, the shadowy Wraith, or the psychic Visionary work cooperatively to defeat villains like the nefarious Baron Blade, the giant robotic Omnitron, or the otherworldly Grand Warlord Voss in a variety of environments like Insula Primalis with its roving packs of velociraptors or the Wagner Mars Base with its threat of meteor storms.

Initial Thoughts
As a fan of comic books, the theme attracted me immediately. Initially, I was a bit skeptical regarding the “store brand” superheroes, but they actually work very well. Marvel and DC superheroes have their canon, their limitations, and their pre-existing strengths and weaknesses. The heroes in the Sentinels multiverse, while similar in many respects to their mainstream counterparts, don’t. The designers are free to go crazy with the character development. And they do: each character comes with a fully-developed back story complete with illustrations, stats, and a nemesis! The pantheon grows with each new expansion, too!

What’s In The Box?
10 Hero Character Cards that look like comic book covers (double plus theme points!)
10 40-card hero decks complete with action-packed comic art
4 villain character cards
4 25-card villain decks
4 15-card environment decks
36 divider cards, one for each hero, villain, and environment from the base game and a few expansions
Loads of fiddly bits for tracking health, damage, buffs, mods, and what not
20-page rulebook with clear, easy-to-follow directions and diagrams, a quick-start guide, and even bios of the heroes and villains

Gameplay
Each round starts with the villain’s turn. They have start-of-turn powers, they have abilities that come into play when a card is played, and they have end-of-turn effects that kick in after these which are sometimes worse than what has already gut-punched your heroes. Seriously, the AI in the game is ruthless and unforgiving.

Next comes the hero turn, and it follows three steps: Play, Power, Draw. In turn, each hero has a start-of-turn phase, a play phase (they/you play a card), a power phase (they/you use a power printed on a character card or another card of theirs already in play), and a draw phase (they/you draw a card from their personalized deck). Sometimes these card abilities can trigger more cards being played, more cards being drawn, or sometimes cards being destroyed.

But wait! Now the environment gets to throw down. There are start-of-turn abilities, then an environment card is played, and then there are end-of-turn abilities. What makes this turn interesting is that the environment doesn’t pick-and-choose between your heroes and the villain. Everybody gets swept up in the mayhem!

Play continues in this manner until all of the heroes are defeated. Their cards is flipped to show their once-majestic hero now beaten, but all is not lost! Defeated heroes can still affect the game with abilities listed on the back of the card. The only other way the game ends is when the villain is finally wiped out.

This leads to one of the major drawbacks: the sheer amount of mathy bookkeeping necessary. Yes, the heavy cardboard punchouts help to keep track, but it can become a bit overwhelming. One plus I’ve found to help with this (for you Android owners) is the Sentinels Sidekick.

Final Thoughts
This game is a terrific gateway game for those who are looking an immersive experience that has interaction and teamwork. There is no dice rolling or player movement, just turn upon turn and chance upon chance to explore how each hero contributes, how well your team works together, and how your players can stack combos. The defeats are crushing, and the victories are exhilarating. Sentinels, ASSEMBLE!

× Visit Your Profile