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Ktusing

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Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
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Go to the Revolution! page
8
Go to the Revolution! page

Revolution!

31 out of 33 gamers thought this was helpful

Revolution Details:
No. of Players: 3 – 4
Time to play: 1 Hour
Age: 10+
Set-up: 5 Minutes

Overview
“Secretly bid against your opponents to gain the support of the people, win territory . . . and gather more Gold, Blackmail, and Force for the next round of bidding! Will you try to control the tavern or the fortress? The harbor or the plantation? Knowing where to push for support – and where to back away and let your opponents fight – is the key to victory. It’s a game of bluff, counter-bluff, and surprise.”

Revolution!, by Steve Jackson Games, is comprised of 1 game board that represents the town in which the players will vie for power, 100 Influence cubes (in 4 different colors, 25 per player), 4 Score tokens, 4 Bid boards, 4 Player Screens, and 56 bid resource tokens (12 Force, 12 Blackmail, and 32 Gold). The game components are made of thick and very durable cardboard along with the cubes which are made of wood. The components of the game are of excellent quality.

The Currency of Coups
Before the game beings, it is important for all players to understand what resources they have at their disposal and what they are attempting to gain. The object of the game is to have the most support by the town elders and other influential persons at games end. To gain support, you must use the resources in your possession. These are threats (Force), having access to compromising material (Blackmail), and wealth for bribes (Gold).

Game Play
Using their resources, the players will influence key town officials. Each official, in turn, influences a specific part of the town. By buying the official, the player temporarily gets to use that official’s influence. The officials are briefly described here:
• General (immune to Force): provides Support, Force, and helps influence the town fortress
• Captain (immune to Force): provides support, Force, and helps influence the town harbor
• Innkeeper (immune to Blackmail): provides support, Blackmail material, and helps influence the patrons of the town tavern
• Magistrate (immune to Blackmail): provides support, Blackmail material, and helps influence the town hall
• Priest: provides support and helps influence the patrons of the cathedral
• Aristocrat: provides support, Gold, and helps influence the workers at the plantation
• Merchant: provides support, Gold, and helps influence the town market
• Printer: provides support
• Rogue (immune to Force and Blackmail): provides Blackmail material
• Spy (immune to Blackmail): provides the ability to replace Influence cubes
• Apothecary (immune to Force): provides the ability to swap Influence cubes already on the board
• Mercenary (immune to Force and Blackmail): provides support and Force

Influence
The game is played out with all players taking the same actions at the same time during 4 different phases. As a group, the players will complete the following phases in sequential order.
Phase 1: Espionage
Every Player is aware of what resources each player has available at the beginning of each round.
Phase 2: Bidding
Each player now places their bids behind their player screen.
Each on may place as much or as little of their resources as they like on the officials but can bid on no more than 6 at a time.
Phase 3: Resolution
Once all players have placed all their currently available resources, the Player Screens are removed. Now all the Bid boards beginning with the upper left most official (the General) and moving to the right, the top row are determined. .A player influences and gains support of that official and it’s rewards. All used resources on the Bid Board are returned to the resource piles. Any gained resource are kept and set aside for the next round.
Phase 4: Patronage
At the end of the round, the secret and silent backer of each player will provide enough gold to ensure that each player has at least 5 resources to start the next round.

Victory Goes to…
The game ends when all the Influence spots on the game board have been filled at the end of Phase 3: Resolution. The players now count up their points and adjust their Score tokens as needed on the outside Support track. Once all the counting has been completed and the Score tokens have finished being adjusted, the player with the most Support points wins the game and the town.

Conclusion
Revolution! has become a family favorite in our house. The relatively easy learning curve and fast pace keeps everyone interested. The short playing time is also a plus for younger/newer players. The difficulty of game play and strategy is totally determined by the experience level of the players involved. While this is certainly a “light” game is does have several elements that even avid gamers will find intriguing.

1
Go to the Fluxx page

Fluxx

16 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

Those that invite others to experience the random, chaotic, frustrating “game” called Fluxx may be relegated to either the 6th or the 8th Circle of Dante’s Inferno.

This is a “game” (I hesitate to use the word to describe Fluxx) that is pointless, banal and probably created by stoners while on a munchie binge.

When my experience with Fluxx finally, mercifully came to it’s whimpering conclusion I was asked to play again. Given that choice I would prefer to either:
a) poke my eyes out with a dull stick
b) super glue all my fingers to my scalp
c) run head-long into a quickly approaching Mack Truck!

Any of the above choices would be preferable to a second Fluxx experience.

10
Go to the Eclipse page

Eclipse

84 out of 96 gamers thought this was helpful

The game of Eclipse has a daunting appearance at first glance however the goals and mechanics are easily understandable. At the conclusion of nine rounds the goal is for your space empire to have earned the most victory points. Simple, right? Victory points are gained by participating in combat, controlling hexes of the game board, researching technology, and forging alliances with other players. The greatest triumph of Eclipse is that all of these routes to victory are equally valid to pursue and all interact with each other interdependent.

When you choose a route to victory you can be assured that the route you choose will be viable and exciting. Eclipse keeps all of the participants focused on the table as you may need to amend your strategy mid-game. The research that is available each turn is determined by tiles drawn out of a bag, the contents of hexes are revealed as they’re explored, and combat is as unpredictable. Every round of the game is can bring something fresh and new causing the 2 – 4 hours to pass quickly.
Eclipse is a space game that will give you the feel of an ever-changing universe.

Commerce & Battles

While at first look Eclipse can appear cumbersome with so many pieces and elaborate rules. Yet, it is still approachable and can be easily understood. It is a graceful and intuitive game that while admittedly time-consuming is a great deal of FUN.
The “launching pad” for each player is the individualized game board that contains and controls you empire. It measures resources, income, ships (their upgrades), available technologies, and even the number of actions you can perform during your turn. Absolutely all the information you need is at your fingertips. Best of all you can also easily see the other player’s information. Eclipse depicts all of your options clearly and encourages you to take decisive action.

The game also makes sure that the scale remains manageable, while expansion is certainly a hallmark it never becomes too large. The layout of the hexes insure that you will make contact with other races yet fleets of ships never become excessive. Even tracking resources, controlled territories, and taking actions are all controlled by the same circular chip. Playing Eclipse is the only way to experience just how smoothly everything interacts.

Find It – Play It – Buy it – Have FUN!

Even though this review is relatively short that is a testament to the playability of Eclipse. The game delivers a complex space-conquest experience for everyone without creating the levels of complexity that could cause it to be left on the shelf. I’ve played Eclipse once and I’m anxious for a another opportunity to play again. While Eclipse is not a simple game, the complexity is easily managed and certainly worth the effort.

Space + Aliens + Commerce + Battles = FUN!

8
Go to the Small World page

Small World

67 out of 74 gamers thought this was helpful

Small World Details:
No. of players: 2 – 5
Time to play: 40 – 80 minutes
Age:8+
Set-up: 10 minutes

Small World is a board game published by Days of Wonder and designed by Phillipe Keyaerts. This game of world conquest features an cornicupia of fantasy races — Dwarves, Giants, Orcs, Wizards and more as they battle for dominance of a world that is just too small.

The game is designed to have appeal to both gamer and non-gamer alike. It is playable as either a light-hearted fun 3-5 player family game, or as a more confrontational 2 player battle of wits. The easy gameplay and fun graphics ensure that Small World is accessible to the vast majority.

Small World has several small expansions and a reimplementation in 2011’s “Small World Underground.”

A Brief Overview
Small World comes with four different maps, each one varying in size and layout based on the number of player that will be playing. However, all of these maps share one thing in common: the world is just too small.
In Small World, you claim victory points by occupying any of the various territories on the map. The map itself is beautiful, depicting grassy knolls, sparkling lakes, crystal mountains, and more.

Throughout the game, players will play as one of the interesting races, each with different powers. As play continues you will have the option to change races in an attempt to always stay one step ahead of your opponent.

Gameplay Mechanics
The rules in this game appear extraordinarily simple yet, stilll providing compelling gameplay. Each turn begins with two options:
Conquest or Decline.

Your race will be represented by cardboard tokens, each beautifully illustrated. You place the race tokens on the map. Areas that are occupied by enemies or other obstacles such as mountains or the native Lost Tribes of Small World require more tokens than empty territories. In order to conquer a new area you must enter with a force that’s greater than the opposition by 2.
While each race has its own special skills that makes for interesting gameplay, in addition each race also has an additional special power badge as determined by the adjoining token. These special power – race combinations change every single time you play, so no two games are alike.

At the end of each of your turns, you will acquire an amount of points equal to the number of areas you occupy. The game ends after a designated number of turns which is determined by the number of players in the game.

Small World’s most Strategic move: Knowing when to Decline!

This is where it gets really interesting. Instead of choosing to further your race’s conquest, if you feel you have conquered all you can with your current race, this your chance to go into decline. Now, come back as something totally different. A fresh start.

Who will play Small World…just about everyone. It’s a game that may not be a favorite of everyone but it’s also a game that just about everyone will play. For me the game is a favorite for it’s constantly changing race and special power combinations. Small World is a game that is accessible to everyone but will also appeal to those that consider themselves avid game players. That’s a rare combination.

10
Go to the Star Trek: Catan page

Star Trek: Catan

127 out of 138 gamers thought this was helpful

Star Trek Catan Details:
No. of players: 3-4
Time to play: 1 – 2 Hours
Age:10+
Set-up: 10 minutes

Based on the iconic game Settlers of Catan – Star Trek Catan plays much the same way. If you like Catan and you like Star Trek this is a no-brainer. Star Trek Catan is the very same game we all know and love, with the addition the Star Trek theme and one new mechanic. If you are familiar with the game play of Catan then you will almost immediately be able to jump into Star Trek Catan.

So, what does the change in theme bring? For me, some very cool changes. No longer are we playing with wooden pieces…they are now replaced with molded plastic versions of the starship Enterprise and the familiar federation space stations. The ships are equivalent to roads, the space stations replace towns, and in place of a city simply add a second tier to the space station. Both the ships and the space stations are attached to clear plastic bases about half an inch tall. Personally, I love the theme and for me it feels very much like a new game. The board is still constructed of randomly placed hexagons with randomly placed numbers. However, the hexagons are now different colored planets (red, blue, gold, white and green) that correspond to the different resources (Tritanium, Water, Food, Oxygen and Dilithium). The robber has been replaced with a fearsome Klingon Bird of Prey that trolls the galaxy robbing moving as always with the roll of a 7.

The new mechanic is the addition of Character Cards/Support Cards that give you a specific advantage based on the card currently in your possession. For example, Captain Kirk allows you to do one of two things: if you have more than 7 cards when the next 7 is rolled, you can use your Kirk card to avoid losing any cards. Or, if you have less than 7 cards, you can use it to take 1 resource of your choice. When you’ve used one of the character cards for the first time you have a choice: flip the card over and save it to use again later (after which it must be returned to the table), or you can immediately return it to the table and choose a different card. While this is the only mechanic change to the game it adds a great deal in the way of strategy without dramatically changing a beloved, classic game.

This is a great addition to the world of Catan and also the world of Trek. My family loves playing Catan and now we have found a fresh interest in Star Trek Catan. Of course that is probably influenced by our love of all things Trek!

8
Go to the Zombie Dice page

Zombie Dice

27 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

Zombie Dice Details:
Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
No. of Players: 2 to any number
Time to Play: Depends on players (about 3-8 minutes per player)
Setup: Paper and Pen

Zombie Dice is a short-form play-almost-anywhere game of pushing your luck. The premise is you’re all zombies, competing to become the one true Zombie King.

The game comes in a short, reasonably sturdy tube (which doubles as a dice shaker) filled with 13 six-sided custom dice. One great thing is that the number of players is really only limited by the number of people you can persuade to play. Though from my experience 10 is about the practical limit.

There is limited strategy involved in the game, primarily limited to “should I push my luck?” The dice in the game come in 3 different colors, clearly indicating whether a die is likely to come out as favorable or not, and cunning players will obviously take account of how many favorable dice remain to be rolled. Since the game mechanics allow for only one winner, the way it’s played will change depending on how far ahead or behind you are from the other players. There can be only one Zombie King, so if one player is very close to getting the prerequisite 13 brains, other players should start to take risks just to catch up.

Is it FUN? Yes. While, I don’t think Zombie Dice will appeal to everyone, it’s a lot more fun if you get into the theme (putting on your best zombie drawl, pretending that 3 red dice are a group of survival nuts with double-barreled shotguns, etc.) Zombie dice is best played in a very casual setting, or as a filler between other games. It’s self-contained and doesn’t require much table real estate, so it’s perfectly suited to play anywhere. Zombie Dice has a pretty good chance of tagging along if I’m meeting up with a group of gamers. Remember, if you see me running… a Zombie is chasing me!

10
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
49 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

Lords of Waterdeep Details:
No. of players: 2-5
Time to play: 45-60 min
Age:12+
Set-up: 5 minutes

Lords of Waterdeep Description:
Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game set in the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms. You are one of the rulers of the town Waterdeep and score victory points by accumulating adventurers to complete quests.

Lords of Waterdeep has a game board with buildings that allow you to add adventurers to your tavern, build more buildings, gather quests and play intrigue cards. On your turn you place on agent on an unoccupied building space and then you may complete a quest. You start the game with two to four agents based on the number of players, two quests and two intrigue cards.
Each quest card earns a reward and requires a certain number and type of adventurers to complete. There are four types of adventurers: clerics, fighters, rogues and wizards. Rewards usually consist of victory points and gold, but sometimes include intrigue cards or adventurers. Some quests are plot quests that grant you a bonus for the remainder of the game.
You also begin the game as a specific lord of Waterdeep. This card is kept secret and each lord grants you a bonus for completing specific quest types.
The game consist of eight rounds and the player with the most victory points wins.

Review of Lords of Waterdeep:
Lords of Waterdeep brings many classic worker placement mechanics together to create a great medium weight game. This game is very streamlined and plays quickly. Most games will take between 45 to 75 minutes regardless of the number of players.
Lords of Waterdeep looks fantastic and the components are of excellent quality. The box is unique and the interior tray is amazing. The tray has a place for organizing everything and all the components fit perfectly in the tray.
I really enjoy worker placement games and Lords of Waterdeep is one of the best I’ve played. It is not as complicated or deep as Agricola, but it is still a lot of fun. The unique scoring abilities of the lords keep things interesting. And trying to chain quests together, getting adventurers for your next quest by completing a different one, is great when you can pull it off.
The rules are well written and teaching the game is easy. The simplicity, depth and play time of Lords of Waterdeep guarantees it will hit your table often. Players new to gaming and non-gamers alike will enjoy Lords of Waterdeep. This is one of my new favorites.

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