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David Ruley

gamer level 6
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Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
https://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=daruleyman
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Gamer - Level 6
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Review 5 games and receive a total of 140 positive review ratings.
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6
Go to the Wits & Wagers Family Edition page
51 out of 58 gamers thought this was helpful

I don’t like party games and I don’t like trivia games. I like trivia, just not trivia games. I can come up with many useful facts, but never the useful facts needed for the question being asked. Anyway, I digress.

This game is the family version of the popular party game Wits and Wagers. The only differnece is that the questions are simpler and the game is more family friendly. Here is how it works. A question is asked with the answer being a number. All players write a number on a small cardboard card and then place them in the middle is order. Everyone has two meeples, a small and a large. Everyone takes turns bidding on which answer they think is right. A big meeple is two points and a small meeples is one point. After all have bid, the answer is read and points are awarded. You continue till one person has a set number of points.

Why do I like this? Because I can bluff. If you don’t know, just make something up and figure out who the brainiac in the room is and bid on their card. It is more than just trivia, it is reading the room and using deduction.

The components are nice and sturdy and I very much enjoy to play this game. 6.5/10

8
Go to the At the Gates of Loyang page
49 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

This is game that both my wife and I love. We are big Uwe Rosenberg fans and this is one of his oft forgotten gems. Although it plays 2-4 players, it really plays best with two.

Components

If you like beautiful, colorful pieces, this is the game for you. Lots of different types of Vegemeeple in all the colors of the rainbow. The Chinese theme is nice and the card and board art is very pleasing. My daughter loves to play with the pieces

Game Play

You are a vegetable trader trying to grow, harvest, and sell vegetables at the highest price. Each turn begins with a harvest. There are four different types of cards (Market stalls, Helpers, Regular Customers, and Casual Customers) that you receive two of during the card phase. These cards are used to help sell the vegetables you harvested at the greatest profit. Helpers give special abilities and Market Stalls help you to be able to exchange vegetables you have for ones you want. You sell vegetables to either Casual or Regular customers. These customers provide the tension in the game. Regular customers must be served every round or suffer a penalty. Casual customers can be served at any time (or not at all), but you receive a two coin penalty if you have more Casual than Regular customers. Finding the balance of who to serve when is really important.

Thoughts

I love the tension in the this game. Once you learn to play, it is easy to remember. We can easily play a game in 45 minutes even if it has been a while since we played. Even though you are doing the same thing again and again, the cards are always different and your play really revolves around the cards you get. Highly recommended for those who like a good puzzle to solve.

6
Go to the Sherlock page

Sherlock

41 out of 46 gamers thought this was helpful

Memory is a game that we some people are good at, but others are not. If you are good at it, you will like this game. If you are not, this may provide a simpler version that adds some different ideas to make it more interesting.

Components

These are the thickest cards of any game I have ever seen. They were made with children in mind and my children have not yet been able to destroy them. Each card has a picture of a simple object on it and a number with an arrow either pointing right or left.

Game Play

All the cards get stacked in the middle of the table and eight cards are placed face down around the stack in a circle. The first player names one of the cards and turns it over. If they are correct, they count the number of cards indicated on the first card in the direction the arrow is pointing and guess that card. This happens until you either miss or return to a card that they have already flipped over that turn. Returning to a card means the player gets that card and a new card is put in its place. All cards are flipped back over and it is the next players turn. The game continues until someone has a predetermined number of cards collected.

Thoughts

A good game to play with the kids, but not a gamers game by any stretch. Definitely less to keep track of than ordinary Memory, but the numbers and the direction teach math and spacial skills as well. Recommended for those looking for a new twist on a game that all children should play.

9
Go to the Ra page

Ra

44 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

This game was not even on my radar until I found it on a thrift store shelf for $2. When I saw it was by Reiner Knizia, I knew I had to get it. Now that I own it and have played it many times, I know that it has become one of my favorite games to play and should have been on my wish list.

The concept is very simple. Draw tiles from a bag and place them on the board. Each tile has different point values based on the accumulation of tiles. Some tiles you need to have more than your opponents. Some you need other tiles to activate them. Others you need to collect sets or many of the same to get points. The auction is determined by the use of the “Ra” token. A person can either call “Ra” to start an auction or they can wait until a Ra tile is drawn. The person who drew or calls Ra is the last to bid and the winner gets all the tiles on the board.

The timer for each round is the Ra tiles and this is where the game really shines. If you draw enough Ra tiles, the round ends and points are counted. Many times this can happen quickly and you may get no tiles at all. Timing is everything and this is what make this game great.

The other things is knowing the value of the tiles. Some are more valuable than others, but the value changes based on the situation and the other tiles that player has. You have to think about everything and those who read the game well will win consistently.

Like most Knizia game, the theme has nothing to do with the game so some may consider it to be dry. It also is an old game so many will overlook it for other newer, shinier games. For me though, this is a definite winner and a game that everyone should try. It am always surprised by how much fun I have playing and how satisfying it is outwit my opponents.

7
Go to the Africana page

Africana

15 out of 16 gamers thought this was helpful

I live in Africa, Uganda to be exact. If the board game says Africa, I am in! Unfortunately, there are not too many games with an African theme and most of them are not too great. How does Africana stack up.

Components

Pretty standard fare. A couple different sizes of cards, cheap plastic coins, pawns, disks, a map of Africa with locations to travel to. The most unique components are the two wooden books. They are pretty cool and what makes this game unique and special.

Game Play

This game is all about exploration. Like most good gateway games, you have a choice of three actions. First, draw travel cards. Just take two travel cards. These cards have five different symbols on them and they will be used to, you guessed it, travel. Second, buy adventure cards. This is the second “Book of Adventure” game by Michael Schacht. The idea is that cards are placed in one side of the book and you flip the “pages” of the book to see the new cards. The first flip is free, and after that you pay one silver for each page flip. If you want to buy a card, you pay 5 silver (or one gold) and you are all set. There are two books, one in each hemisphere. The cards for the northern hemisphere are in the southern hemisphere and vica versa. This means you pick up cards and travel to the location listed on the card to complete it. You can only buy cards in the hemisphere you are in. These cards have symbols which you can collect to make sets and earn points at the end of the game. There are also helper cards you can get that will give you a permanent symbol card to help you navigate the map. The trick with these is that you can only own two without a penalty. Is the help of rapid movement worth the loss of points? That is for you to determine. Thirdly, Move. All the locations on the map have one or two symbols attached to them to show what card you need to discard to travel to that location. You can travel to as many places as you have cards so economy of effect dictates that you save up cards and move as far as possible in one turn. As you move to locations, you have to check to see if you have traveled to a location where an expedition starts. If you have, you place a marker on that expedition and join it. There is a bonus for joining, and of course, a reward for completing it. Game continues until there are not enough expedition cards to fill the spaces.

Thoughts

The rules for this always seem complex to me, but the game play never does. I find this game to be very enjoyable. Deciding when to travel, what cards to buy, what quests to join and racing to finish them before someone else does always adds to the fun. The theme fits the game, and you do end with a feeling of exploration. I have played this with gamers, and non gamers alike, and have had great success. The mystery of what card will come up in the book, and should I spend my resources to flip another card give some good tension. Overall, I would highly recommend this as a great intro to board games right along with Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne.

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