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Lebo

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Go to the Arkham Horror page
Go to the Twilight Struggle page
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
Go to the Pandemic page
Go to the Memoir '44 page
Go to the Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game page
8
Go to the Memoir '44 page

Memoir '44

71 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

Me and Memoir ’44

I’ve always loved history and especially war history. Now when I started boardgaming, this game haunted me on the shelves. I always looked at it, but the cartoonish drawing on the box kind of made it look uninteresting to me. “War’s not cartoonish!”, I said in my head. Then I did some researching, and now I’ve ended up with Memoir ’44 and multiple expansions. And I love it!

The Premise

You are commander in chief for either Axis or Allies as you try to best your opponent in battle. You have infantry, tanks and artillery at your disposal and it’s up to you how you maneuver and engage with them. This is the second world war, and winning or losing means everything.

Out of the box

This game is beautiful. Really, the components are top notch. You got sturdy cards, a thick board and lots of gray and green army men to fight with. Even the miniatures are modeled after the sides they represent: the allies soldiers hold rifles and have Sherman tanks while the axis wield MP40 SMG’s and fight with Panzer IV’s. The artillery looks the same on both sides but that doesn’t matter. This game also has a manual which is quite well written and has almost twenty scenarios in it for you to play. Overall this is great.

Actual gameplay

The actual gameplay is really simple. You play a card and move/shoot with your units. Different terrains have different protective values for your army men to cover in. The game is so simple that even a total newbie to boardgames or a child could learn them easily. This is an excellent aspect.

The gameplay, even though being really simple, is surprisingly deep. You can maneuver with your forces, retreat to city in order to have better cover, flank with your forces to go around that barbed wire or take ground with your infantry when you drive the defenders away. There’s also different kind of cards to make the gameplay even deeper.

These two aspects are what makes Memoir ’44 so special. Simple and fast to learn, but hard to master. It does matter a lot if you are a new player or veteran of countless of battles. The scenarios aren’t really balanced, but the idea is to play the scenario on both sides and then decide the winner by gained medals/killed units in total. I would have loved if the scenarios would have been more balanced, but it’s hard to do with games like this. I don’t believe that they are supposed to be balanced either, but rather represent the historical situations. The game has all sorts of interesting mechanics as well, like paradrops.

The game also has multitude of expansions which is great, but smells a bit like money milking. You have to own, for example, two sets of Pacific Theater to play one of the scenarios in the included scenario booklet.

Final words

Memoir ’44 is a great game for new and old players alike. It has a solid gameplay, great components and short play time which all make it an excellent choice for family game. It scales from 2 to 8 players (if you play the overlord scenarios, needs two sets of Memoir ’44) and has a lot to play as there are a lot of user made scenarios on the internet.

The downside is the money milking scheme of the game, something you have to get used to if you want to have full experience out of Memoir ’44. Some of the expansions are OOP as well and never to be printed again it seems like, which is sad as some expansions like Air Pack seem to be a great addition to the game.

Buy this game if you are into war history and like tactical games.

5
Go to the Flash Point: Fire Rescue page
240 out of 261 gamers thought this was helpful

Me and Flash Point: Fire Rescue

I got this game early on when I started board gaming. I had a friend who is a volunteer fire fighter, and since the game was co-op also (a mechanic that I am a fan of), I thought this would be a good fit. Well, the game is solid and has a great theme. It’s the replay value that’s an issue for me.

The premise

You and your team must rescue citizens in trouble from inferno that’s raging in a local suburbian home. You have limited time before the fire consumes the victims and the house collapses. Oh, and watch out for the explosions as well or you are the one that has to be dragged out of the house!

Out of the box

The components are nice. Basic colored pawns to represent the firefighters, LOTS of tokens to represent fire, flammable materials and the victims. Big and thick cards. The board is double sided, both still representing your average family home.

There’s one issue with the tokens though, and it’s that there isn’t enough of them. When the fire gets huge, you simply run out of the markers. This I don’t like.

Actual gameplay

There’s lot of firefighting roles to choose from, which is great. Every one of them has a different special ability which helps in your quest to save the victims. There’s also two different rule sets, basic and advanced. I recommend strongly that you jump to the advanced rules as soon as possible. The basic (family rules) are just bland and boring.

Every game’s different. The fire starts at random locations and spreads from there. The victims are randomly placed. You then storm into the building and start fighting fire.

There are couple of mechanics that I like very much in this game. The spread of fire is represented in a dynamic way that I like very much. Also the damage that the house takes is a nice addition as the holes in the walls can’t be used to traverse inside the house, but it also brings the house nearer to the collapsing.

The game is strong in gameplay. It’s replay value however isn’t. Every game feels same. There’s two sides on the board, but the difference is the number of doors the house has. That isn’t enough for me. Sure you can try to use different tactics, but most of them are just equally effective. There isn’t enough variables involved. Your character cannot die, only the victims can. While that adds to the feel of danger, the representation is just that you move the victim token to the side. That’s that.

The game is simple to learn so it is a great game for beginner gamers. I would think that especially children would like this game because of the theme and simple mechanics. For advanced gamer’s this game just gets boring fast.

Final words

The game is solid in mechanics and theme, but lacks in replay value. I’d recommend this game for new gamer’s and children, but everyone else should look in other directions for a co-op game. There’s plenty on the market.

Still, if you think that the mechanics are enough for you, there’s nothing else that should prevent you from getting this game. It’s a great game, but I got bored of it fast.

8
Go to the Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game page
363 out of 372 gamers thought this was helpful

Me and Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game

I travel a lot domestically. I needed to have a game that is portable and playable from solo to at least four players. I’m also a bit of a WH40k fan and also like co-op games a lot, so what’s not to like about this?

Well, for one, I don’t enjoy pure card games as I think they are not engaging enough. With this game, I made the exception just because of sci-fi Warhammer theme and bought it.

The premise

You are Space Marine terminator, top of the elite army branch of the imperium of Men. You are sent on a mission to investigate a space hulk: derelict space ship drifting in the space.

The abandoned ship isn’t void of life though. In fact it’s teeming with them. Thousands and thousands of small reptilian creatures live on board. They are called genestealers, and they eat human flesh. Your chances of survival just dropped down to 44%.

Out of the box

Cards, cards and more cards. Some cardboard tokens and a dice. With a price of 20 euros/25 dollars, I didn’t expect much else. The rule book is not written very well, but it’s clear enough on the rules once you find them. The art on the cards is average. It doesn’t exactly shine, at least I didn’t like it that much. Some of the cards seem a bit cluttered with info. The art isn’t bad either though. Maybe I’m used to too good (LOTR LCG).

I had to remove the insert once I sleeved the cards in order to fit everything in. They fit barely, but I’m happy with the result.

Actual gameplay

Now, the game itself is something else. I can’t believe I have this much fun with a pure card game! You have to make difficult choices on every turn, as you can’t do the same thing twice in a row. You can’t, for example, have that Gatling Marine mowing down alien scum turn after turn. The man’s gotta reload at some point!

The game is harsh. First times playing you won’t probably even make it beyond the docking port of the ghost ship before your marines are ground beef. The game has a desperate feeling trough as you try to advance while your team members drop down dead left and right.

This has a strong cinematic feel to it which I haven’t encountered even in many full priced games. This game engages you from the second you start playing it. The game also has multiple possible stages so it has replay value as well.

I do have to point out though that as this game is purely card driven, it isn’t very meaty. You should definitely own a copy of imagination before considering buying this, otherwise you might find the game a bit bland.

Final words

This game is fun. I have only played it solo, but I could imagine playing it with some of the members of my board game group. You do have to coordinate with your friend as you both have squads under your command, and they have to support each other as well. Kinda like soldiers do.

As it is only card driven though, it isn’t exactly dripping with theme if you can’t get into the mood of living out the battle. The dice also has an annoying tendency to roll bad results for me, but I don’t know if it’s just me or if others have encountered this “problem” as well.

All said, I’m happy with my purchase. I don’t see myself getting bored of this anytime soon, and if I do, there’s also expansions out for this one.

6
Go to the Carcassonne page

Carcassonne

102 out of 109 gamers thought this was helpful

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Me and Carcassonne

If I remember correctly, the first time I played Carcassonne was a few years back. I was spending my evening with a couple of friends at a local pub when someone thought that we should play this game (games at pub, awesome!). Having never played it I accepted. It was fun the first time, but the novelty has worn off a bit by now.

The premise

You are a feudal lord / city planner during the medieval times. Your job is to build roads, cities, monasteries and fields around the city of Carcassonne. You earn your victory by building the biggest cities, longest roads and best supporting farms. Ok so the theme isn’t as awesome as in let’s say Arkham Horror, but this is a family game!

Out of the box

The box is thick cardboard and funnily shaped. While this is refreshing it’s also kinda hard to fit in your shelf space. It is well made though. The pawns are made out of plastic (Boo!), I liked the wooden bits better! It’s also funny because the 6th player pawns you get in one of the expansion ARE made out of wood, so it isn’t very coherent looking. The box has little extra space for anything else but the base game. I’ve managed to fit in the River II expansion and the bag you get with Traders & Builders.

Actual gameplay

If the box or the pawns didn’t exactly shine, the gameplay is luckily a bit better. You don’t get River I with this, but instead you get a new mini expansion called the Festival. It basically grants you the chance of picking up pawns from the board.

The gameplay itself is pretty solid even though there is a luck factor involved. You grab a tile from the bag and try to fit it on the board somewhere so that it would score you points. This is pretty fun as the board will always be different, so that’s a plus. This allows two different types of gameplay as well. You either play the “friendly game” where everyone focuses on their own projects, or you play the “up yours” game in which everyone tries to block and take over stuff from the others. This is also good as there are two different “game modes”.

The base game gets a bit dry fast though. I don’t know if they wanted to make more money by making it so simple or what, but you basically have to either buy more expansions for it or just play it rarely to keep it interesting. That’s a minus.

Final words

The game is simple enough (maybe excluding the farm mechanic) that you can take with you and introduce new people to the world of board gaming. The 10th anniversary box isn’t suited very well for travelling though: the stuff inside is all messed up if you move it.

However, the game gets old fast. That’s why it doesn’t fit very well for a game that is played very often. Now and then is just fine, but you’ll find out that the game tastes like saw dust soon enough.

6
Go to the Zombie Dice page

Zombie Dice

22 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

Me and Zombie Dice

Like probably many of you, I found out about Zombie Dice trough Wil Wheaton’s TableTop. They made so simple game look so fun that I just had to get it, partly because of my gaming collection missing a light filler game to play between those longer games like Arkham Horror or Twilight Struggle. I also wanted some simple game to play with my girlfriend and this game fit the criteria.

The premise

You are a hungry zombie out to grab a meal and by meal I mean brains. The more brains you get the happier your zombie is. It isn’t all fun and games though, because the owner of your meal isn’t very happy with your eating habits. That means he either tries to run away from you or shoot you, which isn’t very kind behavior. After all, you ain’t asking for much.

Out of the box

This game isn’t packing much. You got 13 dice and a rules sheet in a carton cylinder. That’s all you get for your money. The variation lies in the dice, which are color coded in three different ways representing different meals/survivors (green, yellow, red). That’s also the difficulty of “catching” that survivor.

The 13 custom dice are fun, but nothing special really. The carton cylinder seems like it might start showing the signs of wear pretty fast. Also the lids won’t stay in place very well, so if you are shaking the dice hard in the cylinder, try to keep them shut with your hands.

Actual gameplay

This game is so simple that even a zombie could play it. You take three dice every turn and throw them, then take note of the results. The beauty of the game is the risk management, will you push your luck or are you satisfied with the amount of food you’ve gotten. It can be fun, involving lots of laughter and lighthearted disappointment when you lose all your lunch. Ultimately it’s very repetitive though.

Final words

Zombie Dice can be fun and can be taught very easily to a group of people. It’s also transportable, so you can take it with you everywhere if you have any kind of carrying equipment with you. You can also play it almost anywhere, be it a cafe or outside on a picnic.

This game doesn’t stand many plays without getting boring. That’s why I recommend you only use it occasionally. Don’t rely this on being the one filler game, get others as well.

7
Go to the Talisman page

Talisman

38 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

Me and Talisman

I have to admit, fourth edition of Talisman is my first contact with the game. What actually spurred my interest in it was the fantasy theme and the completely random gameplay which made it interesting choice for a lighthearted game session. I had overheard discussion in my FLGS about how it’s bad and only relies on it’s nostalgia value. Then I saw a video series about some dude playing it solo at BGG and I was sold.

The Premise

You are an adventurer, searching the land for the legendary Crown of Command which a powerful wizard hid in the most dangerous parts of the kingdom. It is said that whoever has the crown owns the domain. You are not alone though. There are others searching for it. Can you beat them to it and declare yourself the rightful ruler of the land of Talisman?

Out of the box

You can certainly say that this is Fantasy Flight Games quality. Well done though unpainted miniatures represent the 14 different characters in the game, plus 4 toad figures for the moments when you become a slimy green one. Plastic cone markers to track your character’s progress. LOTS of mini cards which represent the items, events and monsters of the land. Good quality board. Clear enough rule book. Gold coins and character sheets. All in all, the quality of the components is well above average.

Actual gameplay

If the components were a 9 or maybe even perfect 10, same cannot be said about the gameplay. It is based almost solely on luck. Everything you do, from movement to combat to encounters with the locals are decided with a roll of dice. You can only influence whether you go clockwise or counter-clockwise on the board and that usually means either going to the fields or woods, which both have the same outcome.

That is almost everything there is, really. Your character gains strength, craft, items and followers, but that is all dictated by luck and the shuffle of cards. You do have a chance to slightly alter the dice roll with fate tokens which give you chance to re-roll, but that’s about it.

There is a Player vs. Player element in the game which does make the game a bit more interesting. Whenever you land on another player’s character, you have the chance to fight him for gold, items or life. Usually this is a viable option if you have to take a vital item from your enemy so that you have better chance in succeeding in your quest. I’d say that this is actually one of the core elements of Talisman which redeem a lot of the gameplay’s shallowness.

Final words

Talisman is a game of luck. There is some player interaction due to the option of fighting others, but that’s also heavily luck based. You’ll be rolling dice to boredom. There’s something in Talisman that makes it interesting though. Maybe it’s the experience itself, not who’s winning. I usually focus more on what my character has gone trough than where he stands in the race for the Crown.

Strategy gamers and other similiar players, steer away from this game. You don’t want to play this, you won’t like it. There is no choices to be made, no serious strategy to follow. You’ll find Talisman shallow and bland as there is little more to it than rolling dice and seeing what happens next.

Social gamers and others who like to have a good laugh when your character turns into a toad and loses his magical items, you might like this. There is so little to think about that this is perfect game to play on a lazy Sunday evening with friends and a couple of beers.

9
Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

85 out of 96 gamers thought this was helpful

Me and Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror was one of the first designer board games I played. It was a fun experience, luckily the game owner knew how to play so it was quite easy to get into the game. Fast forward five years, I started board gaming myself and one of the first buys was Arkham Horror.

The Premise

The game relies heavily on the universe created by the author H. P. Lovecraft. In the game, an ancient old one is about to wake up and devour/enslave the whole world. It’s up to 8 unlikely allies to stop that from happening. The scene is a quiet town in New England called Arkham, but not everything is what it seems like in this idyllic town. Be prepared to fight monsters and travel alien worlds, because that’s what you have to do in order to survive.

Out of the box

Lots and lots of cards, medium and small in size. Cardboard tokens to represent the investigators. Big sheets for the investigators which have all the useful information, like how much health/sanity the investigator has, what starting items he/she has and what skills does he posses. The sheet also gives a nice and short background story for the investigator to set you in the mood. There’s also similar sheets for all the elder gods. The game has lots and lots of different counters. The board is a six-fold board, not too thick but not too thin either. Also the game comes with 60 monster tokens representing the different horrors that pour out of the dimensional gates.

The overall quality of the components are great. I like the cardboard tokens, the art and the board itself. I do have to warn you though: the board may break up after just a few games. Happened to me and has happened to others as well. Fantasy Flight Games has a program to replace it free of cost, so it is not a big problem.

Actual gameplay

This game has lots of rules and exceptions to those rules. The first few games are far from being fluid. Once you have hold of the rules, the game still takes about two hours to play. Consider yourself warned.

The game has many different win objectives and many different lose objectives, which leave room for strategy. Also your character can specialize, for example give all the weapons to one player and he becomes the mean lean killing machine whose sole job is to clean the streets from monsters. Other player can specialize in closing down the dimensional gates. There’s a lot of possibilities, and since this is a co-op game, it’s strongly suggested that you communicate with the other players about your strategy.

The game is fun and hard. There’s always this desperate feeling since the investigators are always the underdogs. The encounters they have at the locations in Arkham or in other worlds are almost always hostile and lethal. That said, there is a luck factor involved: every encounter is solved by the roll of dice. Your skill and the encounter’s difficulty modify that roll (the amount of dice you are allowed to roll). Sometimes the game is really easy though. This is one of the problems in Arkham Horror which prevents me from giving it a perfect 10. The game experience varies greatly by the cards you draw and the dice rolls you make and while this gives the game replay value, it also can make the game impossible or a walk in the park.

Final words

The game is an excellent co-op game for people who like to immerse themselves. The theme set in the works of H. P. Lovecraft is perfect for that, since who doesn’t love the 20’s with fedoras and jazz music. The game experience varies greatly, but that gives it replay value. Some people don’t like Arkham Horror because they think there isn’t real choices to be made, but I disagree. The choices you make in the game greatly decide wheter you win or lose. It’s mostly about time management, do you chase the clue or do you fight the monsters?

The game is well made, but the rules are a bit cumbersome and complex. If you can get past that, it’s a great game. Great for others who like a game with slight roleplay elements.

8
Go to the Pandemic page

Pandemic

132 out of 139 gamers thought this was helpful

The Premise

Pandemic is a game about four disease control workers trying to stop four global Pandemics from eradicating the human race. It’s a race against the time, and the winner is determined by who is left on the face of the planet.

Out of the box

The board is thick and feels durable. There’s lots of cards too in there. Five different player pawns of unique color and some wooden houses representing research stations. There’s also a manual which seems well done, clear and informative. The colors on the pawns are a bit off though, they don’t represent the colors on the role cards very well (which determine your disease control worker’s unique skills). There’s also wooden cubes for the four different diseases.

Actual Gameplay

You have three different mechanics for failing. 1 You run out of player cards (which are used for travel and curing diseases, each player draws them from a deck during their turn), 2 you run out of disease cubes which you have to add to the game (representing the diseases spread) or 3 there’s too many outbreaks. You win only by curing all the four diseases.

You start in Atlanta, travelling the globe in search of information with which you can cure the diseases. It’s though, you have to really work with your team mates in order to save the planet.

Final words

The game is HARD. You will most likely lose first games you play. Don’t be but down by this: the game is very rewarding. The game feels a bit repetitive though without the expansion, but nothing that prevents you from playing again and again. One of the role cards is a bit underpowered, but it gets buffed in the expansion. Some of the disease cubes are a bit bad quality and the pawns have wrong shades of color on them, but otherwise the components are good.

So, if you are a sucker for co-op games and aren’t afraid of getting beaten by the board, get this. The gameplay isn’t deep, but keeps your entertained for sure. It will most likely get a lot of table time as well in your play group, so it’s a good purchase.

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