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Ciella

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Go to the 7 Wonders page
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Go to the Mansions of Madness (1st ed) page
8
Go to the Quarriors! page

Quarriors!

60 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

<Basic Idea: Can your warriors survive a series of onslaughts by your opponent? If the answer is yes than you just might win at this mix of dice and decks.

Gameplay: Like most deck building games, your game play area is set up with randomized items that you can “purchase” through out the game. You’re given a starting “deck”, which is 12 dice consisting of weak creatures and Quiddity (a.k.a. mana or money). Your dice are put into a bag that you then draw 6 from. You then roll these dice and hop that they land on the side you want them to. When you roll Quiddity you can then use it to summon creatures and/or purchase more dice. When you summon a creature (you will have had to roll this monster as well), you pay for it by moving the appropriate amount of Quiddity to your “Used” pile. Your creature than attacks each opponent in turn, trying to destroy their creatures. You may then use the rest of your Quiddity to but new dice, which will go in your used pile. You leave your creatures out in front of you until your turn comes around again or they’re destroyed by your opponents. If your creatures make it a whole round, they scare and you gain glory. They then move to your used pile and you draw 6 more dice. All of your used dice stay in the used pile until you can no longer draw dice. You’ll then put all of your used dice back in your back and continue drawing them. They game continues until someone reaches the appropriate amount of glory points, or 4 dice piles are gone from the game play area.

Overview: I have mixed feeling about Quarriors. I like it, and it’s fun, but it’s over far too quickly and you can easily go a number of round feeling as if you haven’t done anything. Luck is a HUGE portion of this game. Even if you have the strongest dice around, a streak of bad luck can ruin it for you. We’ve been working on some house rules to try and improve play, because the potential is awesome, it just seems to miss the mark a little. Fans of deck building will have fun with this mechanic twist, but if dice hate you, don’t touch this with a ten foot pole 😉

9
Go to the Dixit page

Dixit

49 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

Basic Idea: You’re a story teller who’s job it is to describe a piece of artwork in such a way that only the select few will understand. You can’t be too obtuse or too blatant, but rather, as the story goes, just right.

Game Play: Each player is given a hand of cards with beautiful and surreal artwork on them. In each round of the game, a story teller is chosen (usually proceeding clockwise, but can also be anyone’s whose ready). The story teller chooses one of his/her cards and places in face in front of them. Using anywhere from one word to a sentence, the story teller must describe their chosen card. Each other player then chooses a card from their hand that “matches” the description as closely as possible, and places it with the story teller’s card. The story teller then mixes up all the cards and places them face up on the table. Each player (other then the story teller) does their best to figure out which card the story teller was describing, and secretly votes for it. When all the votes have been cast, the story teller reveals his/her card and the round is scored. The story teller only gets points if some of the player guessed correctly. If all or none of the players guessed right, then everyone gets points except the story teller. The idea is to describe the card in a way that’s cunning enough, that not every one gets it, but with enough hints that someone will. Players also get points if others voted for their card instead of the story tellers. Play continues until someone scores 30 points, or for as long as you want to play.

Thoughts: Dixit is a beautiful game. The illustrations are amazing and you spend half of the time wondering if you want to play a card or frame it. The scoring pieces are cute (various colored bunnies) and using the box as a scoring area is a neat idea, but almost every time I’ve played this game, our group has decided to keep playing, even after someone wins, so the scores seem almost unneeded. I get the most satisfaction in this game with coming up with hints. This is a great party game and a great game to play with non-gamers and gamers alike.

9
Go to the Lost Cities: The Card Game page
54 out of 57 gamers thought this was helpful

Basic Idea: You’re an explorer trying to get backing and trying to get your expedition as far as possible, but your arch nemesis keeps getting in your way.

Gameplay: Lost Cities is super easy and fun to play. It’s a two player game(though there are rules for four, but you need two sets)where you and your opponent try and lay down cards of the same suit in as close to consecutive order as you can get. On your turn you play one card and draw one card. You can play a card by putting it in front of you as part of an expedition or discarding it. You can then draw a card from either the draw pile or the discard piles. There are 5 different expeditions (colors/suits) and each expedition has 3 investment cards and 9 cards numbered 2-10. At the end of the game each expedition without at least 20 points (the numbered cards added up) is a failed expedition and you’ll lose points. An investment card must be laid down before any expedition cards and if the expedition is successful then you score multiplies. If it fails, you lose even more points. The game is over when the last card is drawn.

Overview: I really like this game. It’s fun and fast (very fast) and easy to learn. The theme has nothing to do with the game and if playing cards had 5 suits you could just use them. This really feels like a game you would want to keep out for when you and your significant other are waiting for a show to start or for rice to cook. Something quick to pass the time that doesn’t take too much thought. I wouldn’t list it as an all time favorite, but it’s definitely a gaming staple.

8
Go to the Small World: Grand Dames page
72 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

Can a board game fail the Bechdel test? If it can, then Small World definitely did. I was very disappointed in the one female represented race (unless the Dwarves count, it hard to tell guy from girl… it’s the beards) had the symbol of a heart. My Jenny Bartlett character in Arkham Horror takes down shoggoths with the rest of them thank you very much and she don’t need no stinkin’ hearts! So it was really nice to see girls added to the sausage party. I especially love that these are all fan submissions too. I think it was great that they not only took those ideas to heart but made multiple expansions based on them. Pretty classy if you ask me 🙂

9
Go to the Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm page
29 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

This expansion is a must have for fans of Kingsburg. In fact if you’re planning on buying Kingsburg, just go ahead and get the expansion with it. You’re getting a lot with your money: Expanded building sheets, randomized building rows, world event cards, character cards and an alternate way of doing the final battles. But honestly, you don’t need ALL of it. The building sheets and rows are great, I absolutely love them. But I’m not a big fan of the battle chips (I know, I’m in the minority). I really like the luck aspect of the final battles, even if I end up losing them. I feel like the chips make it sure you’ll win, and what’s the fun in that!? The character cards are fun, but I don’t feel like I’m loosing anything by playing without them. Same with the world event cards. But again, it’s worth it just for the expanded building sheets. I don’t regret getting the expansion at all.

8
Go to the Kingsburg page

Kingsburg

59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

Basic Idea: You’re a vassal in a powerful kingdom trying your hardest to be the best darn vassal you can be. You build up your town, grease the right wheels and defend your people from attack, and by the end of 5 years, you see who’s left standing tall.

Game Play: At the beginning of the game your given a sheet with a variety of buildings, three brightly colored dice and a resource of your choice (between wood, stone and gold). There are five “years” in the game and four “seasons” in that year. At the beginning of each season (except winter), all the players rolls their dice simultaneously and leave them where they lay. The player order is then arranged from lowest roller to highest. On your turn you use your dice to “gain favor” from the right person at court. On the board are wonderful illustrations for everyone at court from the lowly joker to the king himself. Each character gives you certain benefits such as resources, victory points and military power. You gain favor by placing your dice on a character with the corresponding number. For instance: if you rolled a four, a two and a three, you could place your dice on #9 (using all three dice) or #6 (using your four and two that you rolled) or #2 (just using the two). As long as no one’s taken that character already, you’re free to place your dice using any combo you have. You can only gain favor with one character until it’s your turn again. Everyone keeps going until they run out of dice combos to use and then everyone collects the favors they’ve earned. After you all finish sucking up to the powers that be, you build up your town. The price in resources for each building is listed on your sheet, as well as the bonuses and victory points you get from building it. They have to be built from left to right (you can’t build the Church before the Chapel) but can otherwise be whatever building you have the resources for. But when winter hits, you better have your military in order, because the monsters are about to attack (and they get worse every year. One die is rolled for all the players. You add that number to your military power and compare it against the monster. Winners take home glory (and some resources) where losers can lose not only their stuff but their buildings as well. After five years, the one with the most victory points (and the best die rolling skills) wins!

Thoughts: I always have a lot of fun playing this game. The dice rolling aspect brings in both luck and strategy and it’s a relatively easy game to teach to new people. The expansion is a must, if only for the expanded building sheet. I feel like I forget about this game a lot, but then I play it again and remember “Wow! I like this game!”

8
Go to the Small World page

Small World

63 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

Basic Idea: You control a series of fantasy inspired races with special powers as you quickly gain power, spread yourself too thin, go into decline and take up a new race. It’s “Risk-Lite” with a supernatural twist that keeps the game fun and lighthearted.

Game Play: Powers are randomly matched with races at the beginning of the game. Players take turn making their first choices for the species they plan on sponsoring first. Races include all the fantasy favorites, such as elves, dwarfs, rat men, wizards, amazons and plain ol’ humans. Meanwhile some of the powers you might get include flying, seafaring, berserk and dragon tamers. Each player gets a handy cheat sheet that explains each race and power as well as the turn set up and types of land available. The sheet is a little too large to sit in front of you, but very in depth. On a players first turn, they’ll choose their race/power combo, get the amount of race tokens according to that combo and start placing them on the game board, with the goal of getting at much land as possible. In order to take over a piece of land, you need at least two tokens, plus one for every mountain, race token, lost tribe or “piece of cardboard” already on that spot. When you run out of tokens, your turn is over and it’s the next player’s turn. You collect a victory point for each piece of land you occupy plus bonuses for your race and power. When your turn comes around again you can pick up all your pieces but one for each piece of land and start expanding again. You can keep doing this for as long as you want, but when you run low on tokens or get bored with your race, you can go into “decline”. Your race looses its power and you can’t expand, but you get a whole new race to play with. Sometimes you can even go into decline 3-4 times in a game. The amount of rounds changes based on the number of players, but once you reach the last round, the game is over and players count up their victory points. The one with the most points wins!

Thoughts: When I first started Small World, I loved it. I was definitely my gateway game. I loved the fantasy theme and the different boards for the number of players. And the expansions were great as well. But over time it’s definitely lost its luster. If other people want to play, I definitely will, but I won’t go out of my way and won’t request to play it. It’s a wonderful gateway game though and I would really recommend it for new gamers or people who thought Risk was too long and didn’t have enough rat-people.

10
Go to the Mansions of Madness (1st ed) page

Mansions of Madness (1st ed)

62 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

Basic Idea: Your team of investigators has been brought to a mysterious location to try and solve a mystery. You’re given a story and a prologue and thrown into the depths of Lovcraftian horror. You work with your team mates to explore the location, solve the mystery and survive the horror. All the while the evil “Keeper” is throwing obstacles, monsters and insanity your way at every step. It’s everything you always wanted Clue to be, but didn’t know it until right now.

Game Play: This game is mostly cooperative. The whole team of investigators work together to solve the mystery set before you. There is, however, the element of the Keeper (or as I like to call it, “The Evil DM”). While your group together can pick the story, the Keeper sets up the scenario and has his/her own turn at game play where they can add monsters, make investigators crazy and basically stir up the plot. An investigator’s turn is simple: you may move two spaces and do an action. Your action can include exploring the room (picking up the cards placed there by the keeper), working on a puzzle, attacking a monster, using a unique item or moving an extra spot (running). On the Keeper’s turn, he/she gain “threat” (points they can spend on actions), play action cards, attack players with monsters and move the clock forward in the game. While the play itself is simple, there are A LOT of components to this game. Each room has cards that the Keeper has placed at the beginning of the game. Some rooms are locked and the appropriate keys must be found before you can enter. Some rooms have locked suitcases and fried electrical circuits that translate into logic puzzles that players must solve to continue exploring. There are monsters, items, spells, clues and a series of time cards that create an air of suspense and will end the game if the investigators aren’t fast enough.

Thoughts: Start setting up this game AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to when you plan on playing. The set up is intense and the Keeper must do almost all of it by him/herself. While there is already an expansion out (Season of the Witch), there’s still only a limited number of scenarios available right now, so your gaming group might go through the available plot rather quickly. But I LOVE this game. I’m a huge mystery and role-playing fan and this game satisfies both of those parts of me perfectly. I love the puzzles and the locked rooms and the cooperative play. And if you’re a horror game fan, this game really manages to bring on the suspense and over all creepiness. With the exception of the set up time, I love every aspect of this game and can’t wait for more expansions!

9
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

84 out of 91 gamers thought this was helpful

Basic Idea: You’re an ancient civilization trying to be the best around. You do this by making buildings, enlarging your army, educating your people, profiting off your neighbors and building the great wonder of your civilization. You do this in a series of three ages. In the first age you’re gathering the basic resources available to you and setting up trade routes and minor buildings. In the second age you’re improving these resources and your buildings as well. In the third you’re building grand palaces and setting up guilds to profit of your neighbors. At the end of each age you go to war with your neighbors (which isn’t nearly as devastating as it sounds). And at the end of the game you add up all of the points you’ve accumulated, and see who wins!

Game Play: This game is Civilization on speed. With a group that’s played it before, you can finish in 30 minutes or less, easy. Which means you can easily get two games in while you wait for your pizza to arrive! Every player is dealt a hand of seven cards of the age you’re currently in. You choose the card you want to use and pass the hand to next player (this will be familiar to people who have played in booster drafts). You then either play your card, use that card to build your wonder or sell that card for three currencies. The type of cards available includes raw materials (lumber, stone, clay & gold dust), manufactured goods (linen, glass & papyrus), civilian structures (victory points), scientific structures, commercial structures, military structures & guilds. In the upper left hand corner of the cards is the price of that card (usually some combination of resources or currency) and in the top center is what it produces. The symbols used on the cards can be confusing for first time players, but the meanings are nicely laid out on a cheat sheet and are rather intuitive once you start to decipher it. Also some buildings will allow you to build others later on for free! Cards that you sell are discarded face down and cards that you use to build your wonder are placed faced down under the appropriate level of your playing mat. These cards are never used for what they produce. After you play your card, you pick up the hand given to you by your neighbor, choose another card, play it and pass the hand along again. This happens until you have two cards in hand. You play one and discard the other. The age is now over and you “go to war”, a simple process of adding up the military symbols in front of you and comparing it to your neighbors. The one with the most military wins, and gets the victory points to prove it. The loser gets a negative one victory point. War only happens with the people to your immediate left and right, no matter how many players there are. You can also trade with your neighbors for resources when you don’t have what you need to play a card. Once the war is over, the cards are dealt for the new age and the whole thing happens two more times and then the game is over!

Thoughts: If you’re anything like me, you’ll play this game immediately after you’ve played it the first time. Its short length keeps you wishing you had more and it’s double sided board means you can play fourteen times before ever playing the same board again. Also your favorite strategy can go out the window with your first hand, so it keeps you on your toes. But there’s not a whole lot of deep thinking involved here. This game is popcorn, it’s delicious and you can easily eat the whole bag, but you’re not going to make a meal out of it. It’s a great warm up game and perfect for large groups. Easy to learn easy to teach and it’s made it’s way into my favorites on the first play through. But then again, I loooooove popcorn! 🙂

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