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Hokken

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Go to the Seasons page
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8
Go to the Ikusa page

Ikusa

28 out of 28 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve never played the previous incarnations of this game, so here’s a review by somebody who is new to Ikusa/Samurai Swords and the experiances I had.

What is Ikusa?

Ikusa is a big dudes-on-a-map area control game that is all about movememnt and fighting set in medieval Japan. It is basically a box of toy soldiers – with all the joy and fun you’d expect from one.

Goal

Players begin the game in different provinces and fight their way throughout medieval Japan concquering more. The goal is to control a set number of provinces (conveniantely represented by cards), which is different depanding on the number of players.

Rules

My first experiances were two-player games, which wasn’t optimal, because the game is meant to be played by 3+ people and two-player games come with some extra rules and tweаks. Once we wraped our heads areound the rules though, there was no doubt any more – we knew exactly what we’re doing from round 1. So I’d say – easy and clear enough. As always, having an experianced player teach you the game is a huge plus.
Mechanics are streamlined and easy to follow – you bid, then you move armies, then you fight.

Gameplay

As I already said earlier – this is an army-movment wargame. There isn’t too much oter than that, but trust me – you’ll be occupied with plenty of stuff to do and won’t feel bored.
At the start of the turn people select their actions (worker placement style) – they can reqruit new soldiers, hire neutral Ronins to help them, build fortifications or hire Ninjas to spy or kill other player’s generals. All of these are essential for success and this decisions are critical.
I love the battle system. Players get their army-cards which are outside the gameboard – Heroes of Might and Magic (the video games) style. The positions and distribution of your soldiers amongst your 3 armies is quite important. The whole army is represented by a single standard bearer figure on the tactical map. Once two armies clash, players roll 12 sided dice in a set initiative order to determine the end of the combat.
Outside of that movement and strategizing is essential, so players are forced to ally and betray each other all of the time. If you’ve read some of my other reviews you already know that I LOVE player screwage and Ikusa has planty of this. Delicious.

I’d also like to touch on the set-up side of things. It’s pain in the butt! Prepare at least 30 minutes of set up time before the game even begins. You have to place ALL the soldiers everywhere on the map and the army cards. This always takes a while. However, when the game is fully set-up it is very satisfying and cool to look at.

Player Interraction

There is nothing but player interraction in this game. It’s massive battle after massive battle. Ameri-trash goodness.

Theme

I am in no way expert in Japan and Japanese history, so I don’t know all the clans and families represented in the game, but my guess is they are represented well enough. The theme works beautifully. The game has little words like Koku and Daimyo that you start using immediately. This leaves a nice feeling and really can sparks one’s interest – I wanted to learn more about the real Samurai after every session of Ikusa.
Not to mention the game has 60+ province cards and that’s 60+ Japanese names you use all the time. It’s thematic and wonderful.

Components

Here we go. I heard that the previous versions had worse quality components. The ones in Ikusa have beautiful art and the sculpts of the toy soldiers (I refuse to call them miniatures) are good enough. That being said, pretty much everything is thinner and weaker than it should be. The little tokenbox provided bents everytime you touch it. The little screens used to hide your bids are also easily bent, the cards are thin. Of course these components can live forever if you touch them very gently (and I am super gentle when it comes to board games), but everything is – sadly – on the cheap side.

Final thoughts

If you like Japan and/or dudes-on-a-maps and/or tactical wargames and/or oldschool computer TBS and/or toy soldiers you will love Ikusa.
It is just all-around satisfying experiance. You watch your armies rise and fall, you learn things about Japan and you play with plastic soldiers. What’s not to love?
If I could cхnage anything – that would only be a quality upgrade for the components. Other than that Ikusa is simply a great game and I recommend it!

9
Go to the A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (2ed) page
73 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll start right off with the sentance I tell everybody when I talk about this game – “Game of Thrones is one of those heavy games that are really worth the 30-40 minutes you put to wrap your head around the rules.”
This game is heavy for a reason – it knows what it is and it does it’s thing well.

What is A Game of Thrones: The Board Game?

This is a heavy area control political game about conquest in George R. R. Martin’s beloved setting “A song of ice and fire.” Players take control of one of the Great houses of Westeros in their quest to destroy their enemies and gain control of the land while fighting the constant wildling attacks in the North.

Goal

The first to conquer 7 castles or fortresses is the winner. Alternatively, if the time runs out a winner is determined by other criteria.

Rules

The rules are kind of complicated and the rulebook isn’t great. Fantasy Flight Games have an online video on their YouTube channel that doesn’t do the job either. You really need an experianced player to explain things in 20 minutes, otherwise expect some headache. It’s worht it, though.

Gameplay

This game has a lot going on – you command armies, issue orders, attack, support other players, manage the food for your armies, build ships and siege weapons, etc. Diplomacy and co-operating with different players at different times is a must. You will betray them at the first opportunity, though.
Keep in mind, that this is a ruthless game. You will betray and get betrayed. I’ve seen people stop talking to each other for days over this game. And that’s the beauty of it – indeed “you win or you die”.

Theme

The game recreates Westeros very faithfully. The map is great and the character art is brilliant. When they announced the 2 edition a few years back I trambled in fear that they’ll tie the game to the tv show and worst case scenario – they’ll use stock footage from the show on the cards. My fears were in vain – all the art is interesting and original – it shows different interpretation of the characters and I just love them.

Componrnts

Though mostly everything is great (this is a FFG game), some things are really weird – like the board. It folds in an non-intuitive zig-zag fasion that makes it super easy to break. I’ve seen a lot ot torn GoT boards. Not sure why this is.
Tokens are also on the cheap side – they are made of plastic that imitates mother of pearl. I’d really prefer wooden pieces, but this is a really minor complaint.
Other than that, components are great.

Player Interraction

This game is all about interraction. You fight each other, you help each other, you betray each other. There is an interesting bidding mechanic that could buy you the right to break ties, be better in combat, or switch up one of you orders. Needless to say, you can only get one or two of those, but most of the time you’ll get none.

Final thoughts

How much fun you could have with this game is very dependant on the people you play with. Westeros fans, area control fans, power players – they will love it. A group of good friends comfort with the idea of screwing each other bad will love it. However, avoid playing it whith whiners and people who hate to lose. It might end ugly for them. I’ve seen a couple break up for a day after a GoT. Yes, it is that engaging and people are that passionate about it. This should say enough about the quality of the game. Highly recommended.

“Storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.”
― Lord Varys

8
Go to the Kingdoms page

Kingdoms

20 out of 22 gamers thought this was helpful

Kingdoms is a quick and easy to learn tile laying game. It contains multiplying and requires pen and paper to write the scores, which is always a bad sign for a board game to me. But it is quite fun!

Goal

Lay tiles and build castles in the way that will bring you the most points. Multiplying and counting are involved.

Rules

I could teach you the game in 2 minutes. The rules are simple and clear.

Gameplay

It is very fast, but doesn’t lack depth. You draw and play a random tile, play your one non-random tile, or place a castle. The numbers on the tiles (both positive and negative) are then multilied by the number of the towers on you castles. There are a few special tiles, and your castles have different number of towers on them, Battleship style. This offers a lot of strategy choices and interesting decisions. You could also screw with the other players, which is always fun!

Theme

Meh. All that you get is pictures with positive or negative numbers on them. The theme is generic fantasy – wizards, dragons, trolls and castles. Any theme could serve to these mechanics, but the chosen one does the trick, I guess.

Replayability

It’s not a game that you want to play all the time, but it will most likely make you “play one more” again and again. It’s a perfect filler between heavier games, that’s for sure.

Art and components

The game comes with these cute castle pieces and the tiles are nice and thick. The art is beautiful and the game is layed out nicely.

My thoughts:

It’s a fun little game. Honestly, I think it is overpriced for what it is, but I can see myself playing it over and over again. Perfect filler, nice components, easy rules. This game has a place in pretty much every collection. Just buy it on a sale or whatever – you can definetely live without it.

5
Go to the Kingdom Builder page

Kingdom Builder

66 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

I really do prefer dicey ameri-trash games, so I’m probably not the guy who should be talking about this game, but I am posting this as a different opinion. I hope it will be of some help to others like myself.

Goal

The goal of the game is to build houses in different areas of the map and score the most points. How points are scored is determined by three randomly picked cards.

Rules

Easy to teach and learn and very simple and clear. That’s it, really.

Gameplay

You put houses on hexes and then you count. The game didn’t gave me the feeling of expanding my kingdom the way games like – say 7 Wonders – do. You put pieces in (not so) various ways and count your points in the end. The game has several special rules, but not nearly enough to spice things up.
There is no player interaction in any form.

Theme

Again, the theme is houses on hexes. It takes some imagination to view it as a growing empire. The special rules don’t make much sense thematically.

Replayability

The game has various maps and win conditions. It is very replayable and versatile. That is, if you want to play it again, of course 🙂

Art and components

It looks really nice. The cards and boards are pretty, though the wooden house pieces are too simple for my taste. The game is beautiful to look at and the components are very high quality.

My thoughts:

This game is pretty, easy and very quick to play. That makes it good filler between other games, or better yet – good last game after a long playing session, when people are burned out. It doesn’t require extreme strategizing and could be fun if played at the right time and with the right group.

That being said, I personally find the game really unexciting, even boring. With no player interaction and no deep strategies you could come up with, it simply isn’t the game for me.

However, I think that many groups will like it – especially with family, kids and friends who are not gamers. The game has it’s place on many shelves, just not on mine.

8
Go to the Eldritch Horror page

Eldritch Horror

62 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

Ok, maybe it is too early to tell. But let me start with this – this game came many years after Arkham Horror and FFG have really outdone themselves this time.

What is Eldritch Horror?

It is a mystery-solving adventure game set in H.P.Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. You and your friends take the roles of ordinary 1920’s people and cooperate in a struggle to save the world from an unspeakable horror.
The game offers easy to learn, fast-paced and fun gameplay, combined with engaging theme and interesting narrative.

Rules

The rules are very streamlined and easy to teach and learn. The rulebook is helpful and clear. Though the game has hundreds of tokens, cards and tracks you move around all the time, everything is clear and well designed. Good job FFG!

Theme

I won’t get into that because there’s nothing I can say about Lovecraft that hasen’t been said thousands of times. It’s the classic Lovcraftian horror world and the designers really payed attention to detail. This time around though, you’re not running through the streets of Arkham, Insmouth or exploring some hounted mansion. This time you travel throughout the entire world closing gates to terrible dimentions and fighting evil.
The game is very emersive and Chtulhu fans will fight their favourite monsters, while people who are new to the mythos will focus on the interesting characters and do their best to save the whole planet. Lovecraft fan or not, you’ll have fun with this theme, I’m sure of it.

Gameplay

Nothing revolutionary here, but all the mechanics work flawlessly, allowing the players to sink in the rich theme. You take control of one guy, buying train and ship tickets to travel the world, equipping items, learning spells and fighting evil. There’s a wonderful Omen system – you keep track of the constellations. When the stars are right bad things happen in certain spots on the map. It is very thematic and works beautifully.
From start to finish the game flows and the situation changes all the time. The game is slower with more players and faster with fewer. Either way, fun is had by all.

Art and components

This is where I think FFG really, really outdid themselves. The art is gorgeous! The characters and monsters are drawin in top notch realistic style, while the board is clear and everything has it’s place. The iconography is vivid and clear, the tokens are amazing and everything is just beautifull to look at. I really value the art and graphic design in board games and this one is one of the best I’ve seen yet!

Final thoughts

I’m sure that this game won’t kill Arkham Horror. After all, Arkham is one of the legendary board games that everybody has and loves. However, this game fixes a lot of the issues of it’s predecessor, offering simplified rules, better art and faster (and more fun?) gameplay. The basic game offers fewer characters and monsters to fight, but we know FFG – they’ll spawn expansion after expansion until you get every single monster in the Mythos plus probably more! Maybe soon enough the stars will align for this game and Arkham Horror will fall in deep slumber, while Eldritch Horror takes it’s place in our shelves and becomes the definitive “Horror”. But we shall have to wait and see.

IA CTHULHU FHTAGN!

9
Go to the A Study in Emerald  page
35 out of 36 gamers thought this was helpful

This game has a lot going on and I’ll try to keep my review as focused as possible.

This game is a love child by a a legendary author and a legendary game designer. Martin Wallace is responsible, amongst many games, for one of my favourites Diskworld:Ankh-Morpork and this game reminded me of it a lot with one major difference: it takes itself much more seriously this time. It is a wonderfully thematic and emerging experiance, though a little confusing at first on the rule side.
Let’s begin to take it apart, step by step.

Goal

There are several end game and win conditions and I won’t get in any detail here, but players recieve a secret agenda in the beggining of the game, and try to either assasinate enough Royalty figures, or hide them, thus saving them from being assasinated. Players bluff their way to victory assasinating and hiding, while a Revolution and War end-game tracks get filled up. There are also some special rules for assasinating opponent’s agents, which can result in game end as well.

Theme

The theme makes this game so much fun! It is based on Neil Gaiman’s short story by the same name and it is every geek’s dream. It is a huge bag of Chtulhu mythos, mixed with zombies, vampires, Sherlock Holmes and historical figures. It might sound like too much and it probably will be for some people, but I personally enjoy all these things and find the combination delightful.

Rules

Like most hevier games, once you wrap your head around everything it all clicks and starts to look simple. Before that point though, expect some confusion and scanning through the rulebook. There’s a Hidden Personality system with it’s own intricacies. There’s bidding-based deck building system. There’s Agents and Double Agent twist. There’s special rules for Vampires and Zombies. That being said, with an experianced player a 10-15 minutes of explanation and one or two turns of gameplay should be enough for anyone to get the basics.

Gameplay

I’d say it is quick and streamlined. You recieve two actions that vary from moving your characters on the map, to geting new recources, to geting new cards, expanding your deck, to combat. Once you know what you’re doing turns pass quickly and everybody is having fun!

Player interraciton

There is just enough of it. Most of the time you’ll be focused on assasinating or protecting the Royalties on the map and buying new cards for your ever-expanding deck, but between these things you will block cards and locations other players need, bid just to screw with them and assasinate their guys. As I said, it has just the right amount.

Art and Graphic design

It’s appropriate, that’s for sure. It is at the same time classy and old-timey and comic-book style and cartoony. The cards are wonderful. They all represent cities, people and special events in a brilliant 19th century aesthetic. The board though is too candy-colored and cartoony for my taste. It is also kind of clustered. But it is still practical and I can’t complain too much.
Also, the box is smaller than the average Ticket to ride style boxes, so there’s that.

Replayability

Just like in Diskworld (as I said these two games are similar in many ways) you’ve got many many combinations of cards – locations, agents and Permanent effects. Put your different agendas on top, and add the possibility of becoming a vampire and your options become endless.

Final thoughts

A Study in Emerald is a wonderfully thematic, deep and challenging board game that gives us all we love in a gothic horror story plus a lot more. It has very nice components and art and is just fun. It is priced a little higher than I’d like and the theme won’t appeal to people who are not into that gothic literature. That being said, I’d strongly recommend it for both horror/mystery/steampunk fans and board gamers who are looking for a deep and interesting experiance.

I loved the game and I hope you will too.

9
Go to the Seasons page

Seasons

57 out of 64 gamers thought this was helpful

Yes you do. That’s why you’ll like this game. You just can’t help it.

Goal
Players are wizards who compete in a grand tournament. The game moves through a calendar counting months and changing seasons (doh!) The player with the most points in the end of the third year is the winner! Points are scored in a few ways – all the cards stay in front of you on the table and give you points at the end of the game. Also, there is a huge Crystal track which provides you points.

Rules
The game involves three main elements – deckbuilding (drafting), throwing dice and playing cards.
In the start of the game players draft cards until everybody has a deck of 9 cards. Than players split those 9 cards in 3 smaller 3-card decks. A three card deck? Really? Well, it actually works quite well.
After the decks are built players roll dice – different set for every season. The dice tell you what actions you can take. That includes genereting mana, changing mana for Crystals (these are different resource for playing cards + they bring points in the end of the game), drawing new cards, etc.
I thought that dice telling you what cards you can play would be terrible, but it is not at all! It does work and is really fun. You can’t play all your cards the first turns and the seasons change rapidly, so this part of the game is quite dynamic and interesting.
The rules are intuitive, simple and though at first some aspects seem weird, they really work beautifully.

Player interraction
Here’s my problem with the game – it pretty much doesn’t have any! This really really disappointed me. It feels like a lost opportunity. Here in my gaming group we are all very aggresive and ‘in your face’ gamers. We love games that let us screw with one another and interract in interesting ways. Well, there’s none of this in Seasons. One little exception are cards like “make everybody draw a card” or “everybody returns one card he played to his or her hand” and one big exception is the dice selection – one player choses a die and keeps it leaving less choice to the next and even lesser choice to the next players. But that’s pretty much it.

Art and components
Gods, the ART! This truly is a box of candy. You’ve got this amazing huge colorful dice, nice looking player bords and callendar and the art on the cards is superb. This is easilly one of the best looking cards I’ve ever seen. The strongest part of the game, at least for me!

Replayability
The game comes with 100 cards, and only 30 of them are recommended for beginner games. Keeping in mind that every game players use 9 + the ones they draw (which are not too many) the combinations should be fresh game after game after game. No worries at all!

Final verdict:

This board game is a box of candy. I just can’t hate it. The art is great. The mechanics are great. The rules are refined. The components are amazing.
However, it has little to no player interraction. I really don’t like this at all. But I can really forgive that. Love the game and can recommend it for the art alone. However, if you wanna poke your friends – like I love to do – this is not your game.

9
Go to the Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2ed) page
78 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

Descent: Journeys in the Dark is an easy to set-up, easy to teach/learn and easy and fun to play dungeon crawl with one interesting twist. In this review I’ll be comparing it to D&D a lot, but there’s a reason for that so please bear with me.

Almost 10 years back, when I started to play board games as a hobby for the first time I picked up D&D 3.5 Basic Game. A nice little box with few miniatures, boards and dice. Descent made me remeber my excitement exploring my first dungeons, but with one big plus: it allowed me to actually kill off the adventurers! I’ve never been a cruel DM, but I liked to challenge the players. Descent is all about that – confrontation between the Overlord and the Heroes, each trying to achieve (usually) different goal. It is very ellegant and simple, almost too simple.

Theme
The game is set in Terrinoth, the Runebound universe. I’ve never played Runebound or other games in the setting, so I’m not familiar with the lore, but from what I see in Descent, this is a fantasy setting that’s as generic as it gets. You’ve got your goblins and skeletons and evil mages, yadda yadda. However, the characters are colorful and interesting and I don’t have a problem with it. This is not a RPG and the setting is there to set the stage for the scenarios, nothing more.

Goal
Unlike D&D, here players clash against each other – one player plays all the badguys, kind of like a DM, but with the exception that he actively plays against the PCs. The rest of the players team up together against the evil.
Players choose a single stand-alone scenario or play a Campaign – series of many scenarios connected in a story. This is where Descent shines – it could be played as long or as short as players decide. Either way, eveybody is having fun.
Evey single scenario comes with a unique win condition and most of the scenarios are two-parters. The Heroes team up cooperatively to acheve their goal, while the Overword tries to stop them or to achieve his own goal. It’s elegant and really nicely designed system.

Rules and Gameplay
The rules are too simple, really. You’ve got your hero’s card and it has several stats on it. You equip weapons and gain skills as you progress, which are also represented by cards. Combat is resolved with custom “funny dice” with icons on them. You’ve got 4 icons to remember and that’s it. I can probably teach you how to play a Hero in 10 minutes.
On the other hand we’ve got the Overlord. He has his monsters (represented by cards) and Overlord cards in hand – these are mainly traps, debuffs for the heros and buffs for the monsters. Pretty much the same rules apply.
However, the easy to learn rules come with a price – everything is so simple, that on a Hero’s turn, a player is limited to several actions (fight, search, etc.). If you expect the complexity of a RPG, go play D&D instead.

Components
Fantasy Flight quality components – just amazing in every way. The box is full of map tiles, miniatures, cards and dice. Perfect graphic design and nice cartoony art.

Replayability
The rulebook it says the campaign is about 20 hours long. You can practically play it twice, repeating only few of the quests, so I’d say the basic set comes with 40 hours just in campaign time. Apart from that, you can play the single scenarios all you want, plus you can create your own with the adventure builder on the FFG site. The game also comes with several expansions, plus a Coversion kit that allows players to use miniatures and tiles from the previous edition of the game. If you really like the game and get invested, the adventure could never end!

My thoughts
To be completely honest, I was overhyped about this game. I really missed my D&D days back in hughschool and I was sure this game will bring them back in a way. While being very quick to understand and play, the game lacks half the depth and fun from a classic style RPG. You can’t really create a character, and you can’t interract with the world apart from the few set actions you are given each turn. On the other hand the game allows the DM to go straight for the players with no mercy – this really schraches an itch for me, especially looking back at bad D&D groups I’ve played with in the past, constantly having to come up with ways to keep them alive.
Descent is a wonderful, quick and painless dungeon crawl. It has both cooperative and competative elements, different scenarios, amazing art and components and is overall really great. It’s not a roleplaying game, so don’t have high expectations there. Open the box, kick some doors and slay some monsters and adventurers. Than close it until next time. I strongly recommend the game to everyone who is looking for a D&D experiance that could be had with non-D&D group.

9
Go to the Discworld: Ankh-Morpork page
76 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll start right away with the fact that this is the game that my group plays the most. It is always fun, we laugh and we always have a good time!

Goal:
The game has a lovely assymetrical system – every player draws a Hidden personality card and has a unique goal written on it. The game goes on until somebody declares he or she’s the winner.

Rules:
When people see the name Martin Wallace on the box and then read the rules, they come back to check the name again. This game has two pages of intuitive rules and I think couldn’t be any simpler.
Players have 5 cards in their hands. They use the to place, move or remove pieces on the 12 areas on the board. The pieces are Minions, Buildings and Trouble markers. You play your cards, than draw back up to five new ones.

Player interraction:
This is the meat of the game. Mostly everything you do has consequences and ruins somebody else’s plan. You all work for your goal, while aslo working against all other goals (you never know which one your opponents are trying to achieve)

Theme:
It’s the Pratchett universe. The game comes with a ton of cards, every single one of them representing a different Pratchett character. And they all do things that make sense! The theme is very very strong and I absolutely love the design. However, though being thematical and interesting, the mechanics are simple to understand and players who are not familiar with the city of Ankh-Morpork can enjoy the game just as much as the Pratchett fans. It really works wonderfully.

Components:
Beautiful art on the cards, amazing quality and cute little custom meeples for the minions and buildings. Can’s say a single bad thing about them.

Gameplay:
Fast, easy and unpredictable. This is definetely not the game for the strategy generals who want to plan every move three turns ahead. This game features a lot of random effects and you can never know what will happen next turn. That being said, it still has a lot of strategy and you are not depandeble only on the dice and cards. If you’re good at the game, you will win most of the time.

Replayability
No two games could be the same. Once you learn all the cards by heart, you don’t get bored, but instead you get more tactical with them. I don’t see lack of replayability ever being an issue.

What do I think of the game:
As I said in the description – this is our favourite game. It’s relatively short (usually ~60min), easy to teach and learn, easy to understand, and always fun. We’ve never had a single game go wrong or bad for anybody. If you win – great! If you lose – great, somebody outwitted you and it was really fantastic experiance!
This game allowed me to see parts of my friends that I’ve never seen before. People scheme and lie looking you in the eye with no remorse.
Yes, the game might be too random at times and there are situation (I’d say one in every 6-7 games) where you are stuck with bad cards and there’s nothing you could do. But this doesn’t take away from the fun.
I’d honestly change nothing about this game even if I had the chance.

Final verdict: strongly recommended. I think this game deserves a spot on every shelf.

6
Go to the Small World page

Small World

60 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

I won’t tell you what’s in the box or how the game plays – there are too many reviews you could read to get this information. I’ll share the experiances my group has with the game – what do we think and why.

Small World is a great game – simple, elegant, very easy to teach and gorgeous looking. It is perfect for people who are new to games and just want to try something out. It is fun, engaging and the possabilities – at least at first – seem endless.

Here’s my problem with the game though:
I found that the people who enjoy Small World the most, are people who play it for the first few times and don’t know it well yet.

At the beginning we were very impressed with the game and couldn’t get enough of it. We wanted to see all the crazy races and special abilities and all the combinations. But this game is the most fun when you discover them, when you try weird strategies and don’t know where things are going.

The more we play this game, the less engaging it becomes. We got to a point, where everybody knows exactly what’s happenening all the time and just calculates the best play for the most points. The excitement of the discovery of all the crazy things that could happen – which is the soul of Small World – is left somewhere in the box.

This is not a negative review and I don’t hate the game – we still play it every time a new guy comes on a game night, but pretty much only in such instances. This is the game that sits on my shelf the most and gets played the least, and this means something.

Maybe it is the perfect game for your group and you have a blast every time, but for me all the enjoynment vanished once I learned the game.

Right now we are obsessed with Chaos in the Old World – another area control(ish) style game that gets better and better the more we play it. This is the style of games my group enjoys the most and we will stick to them in the future.

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