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ConraDargo

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Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
http://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=conradargo
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Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
Go to the Shadows over Camelot page
Go to the Mage Knight Board Game page
Go to the Twilight Imperium (3ed) page
Go to the Tales of the Arabian Nights page
Go to the Thunderstone page
8
Go to the Legend of the Five Rings page
83 out of 90 gamers thought this was helpful

L5R isn’t Magic: The Gathering. L5R is L5r; a deep strategic game of tactics and warfare in a living, ever-changing world. Legend of the Five Rings takes place in the fictive realm of Rokugan which is based roughly on feudal Japan with influences from other East Asian cultures. The realm consist of 8 major clans and a handful of smaller ones – all trying to put one of their own kind on the Emperor’s throne since this would greatly benefit that one clan.

Naturally as with pretty much every (card) game, L5R is about defeating your opponent – in one way or another; by taking out their provinces through sheer military force, by becoming more honorable or suppressing the others honor through defamation and shaming them, or by possessing all five Elemental Rings. There exists three types of troops – all recruited from the four Provinces which every player starts with, and these in turn come from one’s deck of Dynasty cards. Thus by taking out your opponent’s Provinces, not only does one come closer to a Military Victory but is also effectively cutting down on reinforcements – in more than one way since the deck of Dynasty cards also holds the means to a player’s income: Holdings.

Troops are recruited to one’s army by paying them with Gold and this is what Holdings are for, with everything from rice fields to huge farms and valuable mines providing the players with a steady income (each Holding can do this once per round). The different troop types are Infantry, Cavalry and Naval and they each have a role to fill in an army when assigned to a battlefield. Regardless of type, each troop comes with two main stats that are used for combat: Chi (mental strength) and Force (physical strength). When initiating a battle, you don’t get to pick which individuals you’d like to attack, but instead selects a Province which will then act as a battlefield between everyone involved in the battle. Once the attacking and defending forces has moved there, however, one may start pinpointing troops by using ranged attack abilities or even challenging individuals to a duel.
Winning a battle will result in gaining Honor for the enemies that was slain (as does recruiting new troops) and if any player managed to gather 40 points of Honor, he or she wins the game at the beginning of the next turn. A victorious attacker may also be able to destroy the defenders province, depending on the surviving army’s strength (Force).

There’s also another deck of cards, Fate, that players may play from their actual hand (contrary to how the Dynasty cards lying in front of each player works) and are allowed to save up to 8 cards of. These cards hold everything from equipment to followers or spells and even political actions – as well as the five Elemental Rings which also grants a person victory should he/she ever manage to put them all in play. Fate cards are “timed events” that can be played during the game’s many different phases (even during the opponent’s turn) – including battle, naturally, to try and change the sway of battle and giving you the upper hand or simply withdrawing your troops without losing anyone.

Legend of the Five Rings is a truly tactical and interesting customizable card game where you don’t need to invest much more than the time for understanding the rules to be able to get your hands on a playable, enjoyable deck of your own. And the world itself so happens to be filled to the brim with lore and histories about each and every clan, for anyone who’d love to get to know the realm of Rokugan a little better.

If you have a knick for Japan, samurais, CCGs in general or is simply looking for a neat, engaging and fun strategy game to play then your search may very well be over.

9
Go to the Shadows over Camelot page
101 out of 110 gamers thought this was helpful

One of my favorite board games, not only within the co-op genre but just overall. Love the theme, love the components and I find the gameplay to be both thrilling and intriguing. It’s actually quite easy to feel safe right off the start, but things can quickly get out of hand if people doesn’t fully cooperate and are ready to make huge sacrifices on their end to keep the game from overwhelming everyone with all the threats that are posed.

The game comes with four different boards that all have one or more questing areas and while these are all beautifully designed and have that wonderful colorfulness and level of detail about them that one can always expect from any Days of Wonder product, they could also feel somewhat intimidating to newcomers – especially if you’re not an experienced board gamer but more used to what games looked (and played) like back in the 80’s and 90’s. Still, I’d say that Shadows over Camelot is still a good place to start off for those curious about co-op board games because of how easy it is to get into – despite the size of the playing area.

One of the greater aspects of the game is how each turn, the players all need to do one good deed, which feels pretty natural for a Knight of the Round Table, but also one evil – something that will actually help the very same darkness that you are all trying to prevent from overthrowing Camelot. This is no easy task and the decision on what kind of evil act will hurt the least will only become harder to make the closer to the end you get. Because all progress that is made, be it stopping the Black Knight from winning a tournament to keeping the sword Excalibur from getting into the wrong hands, or letting yourself be overthrown by ravaging Saxons and Picts just so that you can make it to another quest somewhere else on the boards, moves the game forward and the further you get the less options you have that will actually help you make a stand and overcome the evil that is the game itself.

And even then, when the game is finally over, when there are no more battles to be fought at the shores or walls crumbling due to catapults to worry about… there’s always the possibility of one of you so called brave Knights revealing his true face – that of a traitor. And suddenly, everything that the rest of you have fought for turns into dust and you are nothing but losers, prone to deception, betrayal and defeat.

8
Go to the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game Starter Set page
66 out of 77 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s not easy being a male, general gamer because this tends to make every single game which includes waging war with small plastic figures so attractive and cool that it’s ridiculous. Especially at a young age because you’ll probably have a hard time understanding even half of what the thick rulebook(s) says, not to mention trying to memorize every single action that can be taken, how to score or avoid taking hits, the way your units move etc. And then there’s the enemy – your opponent’s miniatures, which probably doesn’t even act the same way your own does and they have all these special rules and stats.
And then there’s all the debating about whether something is within shooting range or not, and whether you just moved too far or too short.

Thankfully, Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game isn’t like that at all. The rules are easy to understand, the gameplay is rather fast-paced, and everything that both you and your opponent needs to know about every ship that is involved in the battle is printed on the cards which represent the miniatures and their pilots as well as onto the miniatures themselves (or rather – their bases).

You won’t be needing any thick rule books nearby because the game is so easy that anyone could understand it after having only a few turns. Everything that you need to know about the miniatures is available right in front of you. Measuring and movement cannot go wrong because of the included maneuver templates and range ruler. There are no charts to look into when trying to find out whether your shot missed or hit because of the symbols on the included custom dice – providing you with instant visual information. And thanks to the maneuver dials, every player may both plan their strategy and then carry out their actions simultaneously, reducing downtime.

A miniatures game for everyone that you are sure to be able to pick up and enjoy within minutes after opening the box, and most definitely WILL if you’re into Star Wars or just dogfights in general. Also supports team play which only adds an already enjoyable and varying experience, as do the included missions when you grow tired of simple head-to-head combat.

8
Go to the Mage Wars: Core Set page
116 out of 132 gamers thought this was helpful

When I picked this game up (or rather – was offered it for a review), I took the box home with mixed feelings of both excitement and cautiousness. Because as cool as the included “spell books” (binder of pocket card sleeves) seemed, I couldn’t help but feel a bit worried about how it just would end up being nothing more than a gimmick and the same goes for the board as well – I mean surely the cards would probably be fine standing on their own two legs without the need of a card board playmat?

Well luckily for both me and the developers on Arcane Wonders, they’ve managed to nail it and get everything right. Not only do both of these physical features provide a lot of extra strategy and depth to the game play, but also the game itself with its infrastructure when it comes to the way the schools of magic plays and how natural the “flow” of magic within of the game feels just adds to this amazing experience and feeling of what it’s really like to be a mage; to cast spells of destruction or creation and how to use the different elements and schools to your advantage in ways that your opponent haven’t even thought about.

I’m actually quite perplexed at how much difference it makes to add actual movement to a strategic card game of casting spells and summoning creatures to fight for your cause; when you suddenly need to actually reflect on such things as line of sight, how to block your enemy’s movement or luring creatures into your traps, and just staying out of harms way. It really adds another dimension to a “simple” card game of shooting magic at each other. Then again, Mage Wars is about so much more than simply pointing fingers and wands at each others and going “Fireball!” or “Lighting Strike!”. The depth of both the magic AND combat system makes this game way more complex, but also so much more strategic and fun than any other similar game that I have played.

As I write this short review, I regret rating it an 8 instead of a 9. Because the more I think about it – the clearer it becomes to me that Mage Wars is without a doubt one of my favorite card and mage themed games in general, ever.

7
Go to the Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game page
289 out of 344 gamers thought this was helpful

Surprisingly enough, Space Hulk: Death Angel quickly became one of my favorite co-op games. It really balances the feeling of “We can totally do this!” and “Game over man, game over!” because of how quickly things can turn from bad to worse on a mission. The Genestealers are just as dangerous to the players as the players are to them and without the right planning and usage of every Marine’s special ability and cards, you’ll quickly get overrun by the flooding enemies. And that’s why I’ve never once felt like how a game was just an impossible mission, but simply a matter of not putting enough effort into winning.

I also feel that Death Angel is varying enough to make me wanna come back for more, even if it’s for the same mission. The different Chapters/Marine squads has their own kind of strategic play to them which helps creating a new experience the next time you play and end up with new marines to fight with.

What you do in this game is create a column of Space Marines cards of different Chapters (i.e. squads/legions/warbands) with two Marines per Chapter, as depicted on the product’s picture here at Boardgaming, and unless you’re playing this game with fewer than 3 people – then each player is controlling their own Chapter of two Marines. Your mission objective is positioned at the top of this column of Space Marines and consists of a couple of cards that needs to be dealt with one at a time, as you try to fulfill a certain condition per card (which is quite often simply “kill all the aliens”). These objectives also tells you the layout of the Location cards – which spawn Genestealers (when drawing Event cards) and also hold certain mission objectives, as well as a few special actions that may be taken.

Marines may either reposition themselves in the column or attack a nearby Genestealer and this is done by playing cards; each player has three Action cards and while everyone sits with one of the same type (Move, Support, Attack), every such card is unique for that very Chapter of Space Marines. Players all decide which Action to take simultaneously (one per round per player) but the cards are then resolved in order by looking at each card’s timing value – from lowest to highest.
Each of these Action cards can only be played once every second round.

And that’s a quick rundown of how Death Angel: The Card Game works.

9
Go to the Twilight Imperium (3ed) page
93 out of 110 gamers thought this was helpful

Every time that I try to put into words what my feelings and thoughts on Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition are, I always end up starting off with “where to begin…”

Twilight Imperium is more than a board game. It’s a board game of epic proportions, just as it (kind of) says on the actual box. There’s so much to this game that all that it takes is one quick look at the components to either get frightened and turned off or excited and hyped about it, depending on what kind of player you are. And this one’s totally not for the casual player – even IF you’re into space and sci-fi and all that (I’d recommend taking a look at Eclipse instead, and no I don’t mean that awful movie but the friggin’ board game!). What makes TI3 my absolute favorites is at the same time also its biggest drawback; how big the game is, and this includes all the components as well – with the star map being huge when playing with 5 or more players and all the small counters, cards, player sheets and whatnot that you somehow need to fit on the table as well.

And then there’s the rulebook… my God, it’s both an intriguing beauty and yet a frightening beast at the same time. There’s just a TON of text to read through and Fantasy Flight Games even went as far as writing up a whole slew of optional rules – which even come with their own component extras! Not to mention all the brilliant lore that the game has to it, with a really cool backstory for each playable race and what’s been going on in the TI-universe for some thousand of years.

Speaking of “a ton of text” – notice how I haven’t really said anything about the game’s mechanics yet? All these words and I haven’t even really mentioned WHY I rate this game my #1 favorite. Well, that’s the thing about TI3 – it’s just so friggin’ hard to explain without going all over the place about how cool the miniatures look, how many awesome mechanics there are or how thick the rulebook is. The bottom line is this: you can play the game in a number of ways and with all the optional rules and two great expansions that this game has, it really is up to you how you want your galactic game of trading, fighting, colonizing and diplomatic to be. All you need to know from me is that this really IS “a game of epic galactic trade, politics and conquest” and that should be enough to either turn your back and look for something more suitable (such as Eclipse) or make a purchase and never regret it.

9
Go to the Tales of the Arabian Nights page
58 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

A truly joyful, playful and exciting experience in a magical Arabic setting. One moment you’re skilfully fending off desert bandits, the next you feel a strange urge to drink from a stream of murky black water and then, all of a sudden, you’re locked up in jail – trying to convince the keeper to let you off the hook. In the end, you might have a happy ending where you leave the table as wealthy as a Sultan and powerful as an Efreet, or just as poor as a beggar and with the look and shape of a beast.

The game is really easy to pick up and play with anyone, no matter what their relationship to board gaming is and what previous experience they have. In fact, TofAN isn’t so much of a board game as it is an adventurous interactive story – both told and played by everyone participating, which helps endure things when the pace feels slow due to having so many participators and that’s the only real flaw about this game: that it’s pretty time consuming and one turn could take anything from a few seconds to a few minutes depending on whether you’ve been stranded somewhere with no real options to choose from or is having the adventure of your life.

But while luck plays a strong part in this game, the whole “going on a big adventure”-thing with all these encounters that are awaiting is what makes TofAN not only such a joyful and varying experience, but also accessible to anyone and a truly interesting way of playing a board game.

9
Go to the Mage Knight Board Game page
65 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

Wow, this is one of the best RPG experiences I’ve had with a board game. The open-ended world and its almost endless possibilities feels like something out of Heroes of Might & Magic and I just love the way movement and combat works. A game that is not only extremely well designed with an amazing look, but also rich on cool game mechanics which offers the players plenty of fun not only as a group but even as a solitaire game.

But casual players beware: though the rules booklet has been written in a pretty pedagogical way, there’s still a whole lot of stuff to keep track of and just as many situations that could arise. Depending on how much previous experience you have with RPGs in general (not only in the shape of a board game), I’d rather recommend that you try out Runebound first – just to get a small feeling of what an RPG board game plays like.

Still, if you’re willing to invest “a few” hours into learning the game then rest assured that you will be rewarded for it – with an awesome gaming experience where you level up your “hero”, gain new abilities, recruit soldiers to form your own personal army, raid castles and keeps and even cities! There’s a lot going on in Mage Knight: The Board Game and it plays brilliant. I love how your personal deck of cards is gradually expanded by putting spells, abilities, artifacts and whatnot into it, and then all these cards are used for everything from movement to combat and even diplomacy – persuading recruits to join you, either by good will or through force. Because you don’t need to act as a hero who’s saving the lands from evil while asking nothing in return but possibly even paying for such services as healing. Instead you could simply plunder the villages and burning the monasteries in order to lay your hands on valuable artifacts and such.

I’m also quite fond of the magic system with it’s “mana source” that is constantly changing so that one turn you may be able to power up your spells and abilities using blue mana, but then during the next turn – there’s no blue mana left but red or green or something else. Hence the need for Crystallizing mana, which can then be carried around and used whenever needed.

An all-around excellent and most joyful roleplaying-like experience and a true adventure.

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