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Dylan Reid

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Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
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Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
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Go to the Race for the Galaxy page
7
Go to the Race for the Galaxy page
96 out of 101 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Race For The Galaxy is so complex and fun that at times you’ll feel like you’re actually playing a thousand-piece board game – but it always fits in the pocket and is perfect to pull out at a cafe or throw into the backpack. In RFTG, players build civilizations by developing technically or socially. Some worlds let players produce goods for consuming, victory points, or other benefits.

Setup
Being a card game there is almost no actual setup other than to deal out the hand, pick starting races, and get going!

Gameplay
At the start of each round, players pick one of seven roles which align to the phases in which the round will progress (this is done secretly and all at the same time). When a player chooses a role, it activates it for the round (otherwise it will not activate). The player also gets a bonus for selecting the role. This is similar some other notable games such as Puerto Rico and San Juan.

There’s a lot of opportunity for different strategies in this game and it was very well tested before release – players can go for the slower tech tree approach or the fast win. When a player reaches the required number of Victory Points, the game ends.

Conclusion
A great game for avid/power gamers as there is a bit of a steep learning curve. If you’re looking for a fantastic game to play at a moment’s notice, this is the one for you. If you like strategy games with space themes, this is the one for you.

Gameplay: 4/5 – Solid mechanics, lots of opportunity for individual’s strategy
Fun: 4/5 – Great space theme, lots of variety and opportunity for different feeling games
Replayability: 4/5 – Games are always a bit different, different ways to win
Learning Curve: 2/5 – Not for casual gamers, the learning curve makes it tricky
Tilt: 5/5 – Personal favorite game and so I have to move the Tilt up all the way
Total: 3.8/5

6
Go to the Talisman page

Talisman

39 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Talisman is one of those old games that had so much right “back then”, but is so broken by today’s standards. Having said that, the game (on its 4th edition) has fixed many of the problems it used to have. In Talisman, you will control one of many different fantasy characters (Sorcerer, Warrior, Bard, etc) who’s aim is to make it all the way to the Crown Of Command and thereby control the world. You get the idea.

Setup
To start, each player must pick one of the 14 character classes. The different characters have different abilities (some much more useful than others).

Gameplay
Essentially the game consists of rolling the dice and moving your character around concentric rings of progressively more difficult areas of the board. When you move you encounter random trials from cards and other characters depending on where you end up.

The game is very luck based, and you can get completely destroyed (and actually be out of the game) with one or two bad encounters. There are many house rules that can fix some of the more negative aspects of this game. When one of the player eventually assumes the Crown of Command, the game ends.

Conclusion
A simple game to learn, but very difficult to win, Talisman can be very trying at times. If you enjoy role playing and the art of fantasy, that might be enough to make the game enjoyable. Otherwise, unless you’re playing for nostalgic purposes, you might want to look elsewhere.

Gameplay: 2/5 – This game is old so the mechanics and general gameplay are dated and frustrating
Fun: 2/5 – Somewhat fun at first, but after you realize how badly you can be killed with unlucky rolls the game becomes less fun.
Replayability: 2/5 – I can’t imagine most people would want to play this more than 2 or 3 times
Learning Curve: 4/5 – Very easy to learn, none of the rules are complex
Tilt: 2/5 – Only getting 2 points because the game holds some nostalgia for me
Total: 2.4/5

4
Go to the Risk page

Risk

37 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Risk – the classic boardgame that everyone’s played, everyone has good memories of, and everyone hates. In this game where luck of the dice plays such a huge “roll” (hah!), you control an army that is trying to dominate the whole world. As you take over more territory you will receive larger reserves – on the other hand, if you lose all your armies you’re out!

Setup
Each player chooses a color and then takes turning placing army pieces on different countries. Once all the countries have been occupied by a single player’s piece, the players take turn reinforcing their countries with a set number of pieces at their disposal. After this setup is finished, the game begins.

Gameplay
Game play is simple (probably too simple): on a turn, a player reinforces with reserve army pieces, then attacks other players if he wishes. Attacks consist of declaring one country is trying to invade another, and then rolling dice to see how many attacking and defending armies dies. If the attacker destroys all of the defender, he may move into the defeated country.

This continues until the player decideds not to attack or has no more armies to attack with. If the player succeeds in defeating a country in a turn, he gets a card which he can use for more reserve armies in later turns.

Conclusion
Original in its time, the game is very dated by today’s standards and will leave many players frustrated and angry at dice rolls. The game can drag on for hours or be over in a flash as a player gets a huge reserve and a string of lucky rolls.

Gameplay: 2/5 – This game is old so the mechanics and general gameplay are dated and frustrating
Fun: 2/5 – Somewhat fun at first, but after you realize how badly you can be killed with unlucky rolls the game becomes less fun
Replayability: 2/5 – I can’t imagine most people would want to play this more than 2 or 3 times given the much better alternatives available
Learning Curve: 4/5 – Very easy to learn, none of the rules are complex
Tilt: 2/5 – Only getting 2 points because the game holds some nostalgia for me
Total: 2.4/5

8
Go to the Pirate's Cove page

Pirate's Cove

41 out of 44 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Pirate’s Cove is a simple and fun with some interesting mechanics – perfect for younger and more casual players. It has some great opportunity for role playing and some fun aspects including the Legendary Pirates and different Action cards.

Setup
The setup is pretty quick, with the real challenge finding a medium sized or bigger table to hold all the pieces, cards, board, and individual player’s boards. Before the game actually starts, each player secretly decides stats for his/her ship and then everyone shows them at the same time.

Gameplay
At the beginning of each “month” (there are 12 months in the game), each of 4 islands reveals a card showing what spoils are available on the island. Then, each player secretly chooses an island to go to (either 1 of the 4 or the “card” island, or Pirate’s Cove where they can drop off previously plundered treasure).

After showing where they are going, all the players move their ships to their destinations and if multiple players arrive at the same island they fight (by rolling dice and using different ship attributes and special cards) until only 1 is left.

Player may upgrade their ships depending on which island they take over each month. A legendary and very strong pirate also moves between the islands which adds a bit of spice. At the end of the year (12 months/rounds), the player with the most prestige wins the game.

Conclusion
A very fun game for pirate fans, casual gamers, and for taking on a picnic or family gathering. After 5-10 games, most people will understand the game well enough to reduce the fun and replayability.

Gameplay: 3/5 – Average mechanics, simple strategies
Fun: 4/5 – Lots of “yarrring” make the game more fun than it would be otherwise
Replayability: 2/5 – There are definitely strategies that can be “winning”, so eventually the games can get a bit stale
Learning Curve: 4/5 – Pretty easy to learn this one
Tilt: 3/5 – I really liked this game at first and then its fun wore off after about 5 games.
Total: 3.2/5

7
Go to the Puerto Rico page

Puerto Rico

99 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Puerto Rico takes resource games to a new level and wraps it in a tremendously fun and non-random cloak. The fact that Puerto Rico comes very close to being totally non-random makes it ripe for all sorts of strategies and a variety of playouts.

Setup
The setup is pretty quick, with the real challenge finding a medium sized or bigger table to hold all the pieces, cards, board, and individual player’s boards.

Gameplay
Players take turns as the “governor” which allows the players in order starting with the Governor to choose different roles for each turn. Each role does different things, and also gives the player who chooses the role a special ability related to the role.

For example, a player may choose Mayor to increase population on everyone’s farms, or a player may choose Craftsman to “produce” for everyone’s crops, etc.

By building, producing, selling, and shipping the crops, players amass more money and victory points. Players can use the money to create bigger and more beneficial buildings and victory points are the way a player will eventually win.

Conclusion
This game is a perfect strategy board game for casual+ gamers. The non-random aspect of it will have avid and power gamers thinking of different tactics and ways to “break” the game. Overall it has tons of replay value and should be a staple in any gamer’s cabinet.

Gameplay: 5/5 – Very well thought out game mechanics
Fun: 4/5 – Great for strategists as well as casual players
Replayability: 3/5 – There are definitely strategies that can be “winning”, so eventually the games can get a bit stale
Learning Curve: 3/5 – It will take several games for most players to completely get the hang of this one
Tilt: 3/5 – I really like this game but I can’t play it continuously like I can some other ones.
Total: 3.6/5

8
Go to the Bang! The Bullet! page

Bang! The Bullet!

60 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Bang! is an awesome party game that will be brought out many times even with the same group. The randomness of it leads to a bunch of variety and it’s easy to role play without feeling lame. Any game with backstabbing is a personal favorite, and this one encourages it!

Setup
Setup is really quick: Deal out 2 types of cards, the character and the role cards. Then deal a starting hand and let the game begin!

Gameplay
Each player has a character card and a role card. The character card determines how much life a player has and also gives them a special ability. The role card will determine whether the player is the Sheriff, one of the Sheriff’s Deputies, an Outlaw, or a Renegade. Each role determines how a player can win. All roles are hidden from all other players, with the exception of the Sheriff

The Sheriff and his Deputies must kill everyone else (the Outlaws and Renegades). The Outlaws must kill the Sheriff. The Renegade must be the last man standing.

The players take turns, each drawing cards and shooting others (Bang!ing them) in their attempt to bluff or actually achieve objectives (part of the fun of the game is pretending to be something you’re not in order to protect or kill the Sheriff). Once a group or individual satisfies their win condition, the game ends.

Conclusion
This is not a serious game by any means – it’s meant to be played at a BBQ or family event. This game is at its best when everyone is lying and backstabbing. Some groups have a hard time being able to bluff or role play and this can make the game a bit lackluster.

Gameplay: 3/5 – Simple game, some characters are definitely better than others, Renegade role is almost auto-lose
Fun: 5/5 – In the right group this game is tons of fun
Replayability: 3/5 – Lots of variety, but once you learn the way players lie it becomes less fun
Learning Curve: 4/5 – Easy to learn, some confusing mechanics in the cards
Tilt: 4/5 – I have a great group of friends so this is always an entertaining game
Total: 3.8/5

8
Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
68 out of 74 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Is there a game that has revolutionized boardgames more than Settlers of Catan? For me and I think thousands of other gamers, no other game has ushered in the renaissance of boardgames more. Sure everyone and their mother (literally) has played Monopoly, Risk, and Scrabble. Maybe it’s because of these games that board games as a hobby stagnated for decades. Then came Settlers and several others that reinvented the genre and heralded “Board Games 2.0″.

Setup
The game takes 5-10 minutes to setup – Essentially each player chooses a color and tiles the represent 1 of 5 different resources are basically randomized into a farming world.

After the initial board setup, players take turns placing their initial settlements and roads. There are different reasons and strategies to pick some placements over others, but essentially players choose optimum probability spots and then the game begins.

Gameplay
Players take turns doing a series of events. First they roll dice to determine which hexes will “produce” crops for the turn. After collecting the resources, the player whose turn it is may trade with other players and then spend resources to build or buy development cards.

The game becomes more interesting through a robber mechanic that moves around stealing resources as well as development cards that can do some neat tricks. There are also prestige awards for having the largest army or longest road on the board.

Once a player reaches a predetermined number of Victory Points (calculated from numbers of cities and settlements among other things), the game ends.

Conclusion
Most likely everyone on a board game website has played Settlers of Catan – it is probably the most famous of the “new” board games. If for some reason you haven’t got around to it yet, make it a priority! Not only is it a great game with tons of replayabliity, but it also is referenced all the time in board gaming circles.

Gameplay: 4/5 – Solid mechanics that show up in many other games after it, lots of opportunity for individual’s strategy
Fun: 4/5 – Tons of inside jokes from this game, easy to play after a few beers
Replayability: 4/5 – Games are always a bit different, different ways to win
Learning Curve: 3/5 – For casual gamers it will take a few games to completely get a hold of the rules
Tilt: 5/5 – Personal favorite game and so I have to move the Tilt up all the way
Total: 4/5

6
Go to the UNO page

UNO

23 out of 51 gamers thought this was helpful

There’s a time for UNO when it’s Thanksgiving or you’re babysitting your nephew or you just want a casual game at a picnic. For those times, UNO is a perfect solution for a simple and casual way to kill 20-30 minutes: it’s portable, easy to learn, not frustrating in anyway, and decently fun.

Don’t hate on UNO! :)

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