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Mr11

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Go to the 7 Wonders page
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9
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

40 out of 46 gamers thought this was helpful

Introduction

“7 Wonders” is a draft style game set in ancient times in which players attempt to accumulate victory points by bolstering their civilization through various disciplines. The game is very welcoming and involves very little conflict among players, it is a game that is likely to be very popular among families and groups of good friends.

Things I like

1. A fun theme that is based in history
2. You don’t ever feel a sense of loss over the course of the game as it is often hard to tell who is winning until the very end
3. The game time is pretty consistent and it plays quickly
4. Tge cards are easily labeled for setting up a game of varying number of players
5. High replay due to different wonders and strategies

Things I don’t like

It isn’t a perfect game by any means, but I can’t think of anything that I dislike about it. Usually I can come up with something but nothing really stands out.

Basic Rules

The game begins with each player getting 3 gold and either choosing or being assigned a wonder (you can decide how to do this, the rules tell you one way but you can easily house rule this). The game is broken up into 3 ages where you will play cards to the table. These cards include:

1. Raw Materials (brown) – These cards produce resources for you and allow you to meet requirements of other cards
2. Manufactured Goods (gray) – The same function as brown cards, but the resources produced are generally needed in less abundance
3. Civilian Structures (blue) – These cards give you a set amount of victory points at the end of the game
4. Scientific Structures (green) – These cards give you victory points at the end of the game based on how many of them you get. There are combinations that are worth more
5. Commercial Structures (yellow) – These range in what they do from either generating resources, giving you gold or netting you victory points
6. Military Structures (red) – These cards win you conflicts at the end of each age
7. Guilds (purple) – Usually these cards give you victory points in some way

The following is a basic outline of how each age will go:

1. At the start of each age, each player is dealt 7 cards
2. Every turn each player will in secret choose one card to use during that turn
3. At the same time, each player reveals their chosen card and they do one of the following 3 things with it: a) Discard it for 3 gold b) Build it if they meet the requirements for the card (each card has a requirement in the top left) or c) Using it to build their wonder
4. After playing their card each player passes the remaining cards in their hand to the player on the left or right depending on the age (Age 1: left, Age 2: right, Age 3: left).
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until there is only one card to pass to the next player and instead of passing it discard it
6. After each age is done, military conflicts are resolved. Players with higher military value than their neighbors are awarded military victory tokens worth 1, 3 or 5 depending on the age. Players with a lower military value that their neighbor get a military loss token worth -1.

This process is repeated 3 times, once for each age. At the end of the game you score points based on the cards you have chosen to play. Once the scores have been totaled you crown a victor!

Player Interaction

There is some player interaction in the game, but nothing really forceful. There are a few ways that you can affect other players:
1. Giving them gold to buy resources from them
2. Choosing to play/discard/use a card to build your wonder for the sole reason that they will not get the card passed to them
3. Defeating players in military victory

In general this is a very low conflict game because of the little amount of player interaction

Luck

The fact that it is a card game means there is some element of luck in what cards are initially dealt to each player. This luck element is unavoidable in all cards games and can in most instances be overcome with skill as none of the cards are inherintly better than any others.

Skill

The skill in this game comes from making wise choices based on the limited information that you have. Each turn that you choose a card you are making your choice based on at least the following variables:
1. Which card best helps my strategy?
2. Which cards best help my opponents strategies?
3. How many players are there between me and player X and what is the probability that the players between me and player X will deny them this card? (where player X is the player that will most benefit from any given card)

Aesthetics

The game itself looks decent, the art represents the ancient world well. The cards are easily decipherable at first glance due to the coloring scheme and the symbology. This lends itself well to the time it takes to play the game as you can get very good at categorizing the cards immediately.

Verdict (or “Should you spend your money on this game”)

This game is fantastic and well worth your money unless you simply cannot stand card games or any game that involve a little bit of luck.

Who it is NOT for
If you like games that are in your face intense with action between players throughout the game, then “7 Wonders” is not for you. If you like long and complicated games then you should probably skip this game.

Who it IS for
This game is for people who want to sit down and have some fun, families come to mind immediately. It is a fun game with no real stand out problems and it should be playable by just about anyone. I haven’t played this game with anyone yet that doesn’t like it after the first play through.

8
Go to the The Agents page

The Agents

26 out of 26 gamers thought this was helpful

Introduction

“The Agents” is a card game for 2-5 players in which players try to be the first to reach 40 Intel Points. It is set in a world where a secret organization has been disbanded and it’s agents have been spread out across the globe (there is no real narrative here though, this is merely the setting). It is a game that has few options but has a depth of strategy that is not obvious at first glance.

Pros

1. Unique gameplay
2. Plays fairly balanced
3. There are good and interesting strategic options to either push your own victory or shut another’s down
4. The plastic cards are nice for durability
5. The art style fits the setting well

Cons

1. Certain mechanics seem to make a particular strategy prevalent rather than promoting diversity (namely just getting missions early)
2. The effectiveness of the game seems to rely heavily on the number of players playing the game. For example 2 players feels like too little and 5 feels like too much, 3-4 is really the sweet spot (perhaps this shouldn’t be a con but it feels like it since it is a game designed for 2-5 players)

Basic Rules

Players start off with a Site in between them and each other player adjacent to them, thus each player has 2 Sites next to them. Agent cards can be played to either of a player’s factions during each of their turns (all cards at a Site are called a Faction). Each card that is part of the Site (and the Site as well) has black arrow halves and white arrow halves along the border on both ends of the card pointing towards each player. The colors are always opposite on either end of the cards(i.e. black pointing towards player 1 and white pointing towards player 2). At the end of a player’s turn they net Intel Points equal to the number of completed arrows pointing at them, 2 points for arrows of one color and 1 point for arrows of split colors.

The twist here is that the Agent cards that are played to a site also have an ability attached to them. This ability is only available to the player which it is facing, so you can never both get use of an Agent’s ability AND gain the benefit of it’s arrows. Each time you play an agent to a site you have to choose how you are going to benefit yourself and how you are going to potentially benefit the other player sharing the site you are playing to.

In addition to scoring Intel Points from Agent cards, there are also Missions. Missions are cards that you can play to a site that have a condition on them which when met nets you Intel Points at the end of each turn. An example of a condition would be something like “If this is your longest faction” and the point value is 1. At the end of your turn if the mission is assigned to your longest faction then you would get 1 extra Intel Point.

There are also Free Agents, these are Agents that do not get played to a Site but rather are played to the table between you and any other player (including players that are not adjacent to you). When these cards are played they will give one person Intel Points and another player a one time use ability which they perform immediately. The person playing the cards gets to choose who gets which so choose wisely!

Player Interaction

This game is player interaction heavy. Literally every time you play an agent it will affect another player in some way. This is one of the reasons I like this game because it really pits your moves against your opponents in a tangible way.

Luck

Which agents you get at any given time can play pretty heavily into your success. That being said, the agent cards all have a way for you to get points so there should almost always be a way where you can do something useful. The only exception would be if you get nothing but Free Agents, you could be in a spot of trouble. Some house rules could probably fix this though, something like “If you have all Free Agents in your hand you can discard X agents to draw X agents from the Agents deck” or something like that.

Skill

Skill is definitely a strong element to this game. Each card you play has the potential to help your opponents in some way. Knowing which player with whom to play a Free Agent, knowing the order in which to play cards in order to maximize your points each turn, etc..

That being said the one thing I am disappointed with is the way that missions are implemented. It really seems that if you do not buy missions early on in the game that you are going to lose due to the fact that one of the actions you can perform during your turn is to trade in as many missions as you want WITH ONE ACTION to get the same number of missions. This means that if you get more missions early, then every trade you do is more successful. It sort of forces you into doing this if you want to win and that seems like it reduces the overal strategy.

Aesthetics

Personally, I like the art style and I feel like it fits the theme of the game very well. The cards have a simplistic design that lends itself to readability and the plastic cards are very nice.

Verdict (or “Should you spend your money on this game”)

The Agents is a fun strategic game, if you like strategy that is. This is not a game that will make you laugh when some combination is pulled off. There are only a set number of actions that can be performed on an Agent and there are inverses of each type (i.e. “Turn an Agent in THIS faction” and “Turn an Agent in your OTHER faction”) so there isn’t going to be some wicked combo that you never really thought of. This fact though is the mark of a good strategy game, the options are limited, but the strategic combinations are not.

Overall I like the Agents and think it is a fun and engaging game in which you have to make important decisions each turn.

Who it is NOT for
1. People who want a narrative
2. People who want a humorous game
3. People who want to not make hard choices
4. This is probably not a casual/social gamer type of game

Who it IS for
1. People who want to make hard choices and feel rewarded for making the right one
2. People who like spy stuff
3. People who like lots of player interaction
4. This is probably more suited for the avid/strategy/power gamer

8
Go to the Smash Up page

Smash Up

15 out of 16 gamers thought this was helpful

Introduction

Smash Up is a zany game where the age old question can finally be answered: who would win in a fight between Pirates and Ninjas? Aliens and Robots? Zombies and Dinosaurs? Wizards and Tricksters?

The game labels itself as a “The Shuffle Building Game of Total Awesomeness”, which is a pretty solid description. The phrase “shuffle building” comes from the fact that you will be choosing two factions and shuffling the premade decks for each faction together (more on this later).

Pros

1. The theme is AWESOME!
2. The factions each feel unique
3. Fun and interesting player interaction
4. The fact that you have 8 factions means there are 28 unique combinations which leads to lots of variability
5. The bases add interesting strategy
6. Short play time
7. Minor but still worth mentioning is the box design, there are slots for future expansions so you can keep everything nice and tidy 🙂

Cons

1. If there is anything I can knock the game for it is perhaps (maybe) a slight imbalance of some combinations (I’m looking at you Wizards and Zombies)

Basic Rules

To start the game a number of Bases equal to the number of players +1 are played to the table from a Base pile. Each Base has a number on it which tells you the amount of points the Base can support before it breaks. Playing minions or Actions to a Base affect the amount of points on that base.

After the Bases have been set out, players draw an initial hand and then play begins. On each player’s turn they can play one Minion and on Action, then at the end of their turn they draw 2 cards and check to see if any bases break. When a base breaks the players who have points on that base each score points based on their position amongst other players with points on the base (i.e. most points gets first place, next gets second place, etc.).

Play continues until one player has reached 15 points.

Player Interaction

There are a lot of cards which allow players to interact with each other. This can take the form of cards that:

a) destroy minions/actions

b) return minions/actions to their owner’s hand

c) move minions to another base

d) replace bases

e) stop other players from playing minions/actions

All of this is awesome IF your group can handle that kind of interaction.

Luck

This is a card game so there is certainly luck in what you draw, however the cards seem well enough balanced that if you play them correctly then the draw doesn’t seem to dictate your win as much as you might think it would.

Skill

There are lots of places for skill to be showcased in this game. This will mainly come in the form of which base to play cards to, how to chain cards together or how to use the cards you have to the greatest effect. There are lots of cards that allow you to do something sneaky so be on the lookout for these cards and make a big move!

Aesthetics

The cards themselves look nice and have an overall fun feel to them. Some of the factions in particular just look very stereotypical or even comical representations of the genre, overall it looks great.

Verdict (or “Should you spend your money on this game”)

From the groups I have played this game with it generally tends to be a hit. That being said, some people are bound to not like this game.

Who it is NOT for
This game is NOT for people who cannot handle other people targeting them and purposely trying to keep them from winning. Some people can start to feel attacked if their minions are constantly under attack and even though it is a game sometimes people cannot see that. This game is not for those people. It is also not for people who don’t like awesome stuff.

Who it IS for
This game is for anyone who likes awesome stuff. If you like to imagine that you are commanding a legion of Wizard Aliens that can zap or probe anything in sight, then head out and buy this game immediately. If you like card games, buy this game. If you like battling it out with your friends for (light hearted) superiority, buy this game. Who am I kidding, you already left to buy this game didn’t you?

8
Go to the DC Comics: Deck-Building Game page
63 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

Introduction

“DC Comics: Deck-Building Game” is a fast paced deck building game in which players choose a Super Hero from the DC universe and try to get as many Victory Points (VP) as they can by buying cards and defeating Super-Villains.

Pros

1. Easy to learn

2. The art is wonderful

3. Quick set up, quick tear down

4. Game time is short (around 30-45 min once you know how to play and what the cards each do)

5. Player interaction adds fun and complexity without making players feel picked on (if you have sensitive players this is important)

6. The Super-Villain mechanics add fun, anticipation and excitement

7. Some turns can have that EPIC feeling that you want in a Super Hero themed game where you get a ton of Power because you made the right choices

8. Wording on cards is consistent and has little confusion if you read them fully (some games have very ambiguous wording, I haven’t found that in this game at all)

Cons

1. The Super Heros do not feel totally balanced (they are close, but they don’t feel completely right)

2. Some people have a problem with thematic inconsistencies (e.g. you can be the Flash but by the Batmobile card so the Flash is using the Batmobile). If you can approach the game as not an RPG but rather a simple and fun card game then this shouldn’t be a problem for you, if you can’t then this will be a problem for you

Basic Rules

The resource of this game is Power and it is what is used to buy cards and defeat Super-Villains (defeating a Super-Villain is the same as buying it, it’s just a different term). The more Power you can generate per turn, the better because it means you can buy higher cost cards or more cards with a lower cost, both of which net you VP.

At the start of the game everyone is given a starting deck that has the same 10 cards, 7 Punches (+1 Power) and 3 Vulnerabilities (is a junk card, it does nothing). All players shuffle their starting decks and draw 5 cards.

The basic model of game play following the start goes something like this:
1. Play cards in your hand

2. Buy cards from a line-up of cards, placing them into your discard pile

3. Discard all played cards

4. Draw a new hand of 5 cards, if you don’t have 5 cards left in your deck then shuffle your discard pile and this becomes your new deck to draw from

5. Next player’s turn

This goes round and round until all cards in the main deck (the deck that the line-up is replenished from) are gone OR all of the Super-Villains have been defeated. Each card in the game has a VP value and at the end of the game you simply add them all up and whoever has the most wins.

Player Interaction

There are 2 ways that players can interact with each other:

1. By buying cards in order to deny other players the chance to buy them. This is an indirect way of interacting with another player and in some case they may feel like they were not attacked because another equally good card turns over after the one you bought which they can now buy

2. By playing cards which affect other players. Many of the Villain cards in the game have effects that will cause bad things to happen to other players. These effects however are applied to ALL other players so no one person can ever say they are being picked on. This helps to reduce frustration between players if you have people who don’t handle conflict well

Luck

There are 2 forms of luck in this game:
1. Which cards flip over into the line-up right before your turn (i.e. at the end of the turn of the person before you)

2. Which cards you draw on any given turn (i.e. the order of the cards in your deck). There are some cards that allow you to stack your deck ever so slightly so there can be some minor removal of luck here, but for the most part you are at the whim of the shuffle

Skill

The skill in this game revolves around which cards you buy and the order in which you play cards during each of your turns. Let’s talk about each:

1. When buying cards you need to know which cards are best to buy given the following factors: a) which cards are best for your Super Hero, b) which cards are best for your deck given it’s current makeup and c) which cards are best for your opponents. When you can accurately assess any given card given these 3 criteria then you can make the right choice of which card to buy in order to either bolster your deck or disable your opponent’s.

2. When playing cards it is important to understand that you play them in order. Certain effects can be utilized in order to come up with conventions that other players wouldn’t consider. An example would be to say play 2 cards with 3 Power total, buy a card with cost 3 and put it into your discard pile, then use a card to get the card you just bought from your discard pile and play it during the current turn. This is something that many people don’t think of doing but in certain circumstances is the right thing to do.

Aesthetics

The design of the cards is very easy to read and quickly understand what is going on and the sizing on fonts is well suited. The art of the cards is also top notch, this is actually one of the things I like about this game the most as other games I have played (I am looking at you “Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game”) don’t this level of art.

Verdict (or “Should you spend your money on this game”)

If you like playing quick and fun card games this is a fantastic game. The aesthetic and design of the cards, coupled with the epic art for the DC characters makes for a nice looking game.

Who it is NOT for
If you are looking for a game with a story or plot like “Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game” then this game is NOT for you. If you cannot get past the idea that you are playing as Batman and can buy cards like “Super Strength”, “Heat Vision” or even “Gorilla Grodd” for that matter, in order to defeat your fellow Super Heroes then this game is not for you.

Who it IS for
If you just want to sit down for a fun game that takes 30-45 minutes in which you can mess with your friends, defeat some Super-Villains and have some turns that make you feel like a super hero because your master plan has finally come together in that one epic hand, then this game is for you.

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