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OneCrazyCanuck

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Go to the Carcassonne page
Go to the 7 Wonders page
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7
Go to the Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game page

First off-the-bat, this is not Shadows Over Camelot. They share the same name but the similarities really end there and that’s OK because Shadows Over Camelot: The Card Game is a good time on its own.

The game is easy to teach and atmospheric in nature as you, sons and daughters of the Knights of the Round Table listen to rumours brewing in the land and have to make the decision when to go out on a quest. But you have to keep your guard up because there are likely a traitor or two in your midst and they will sabotage your efforts to keep the land safe.

If you like a nice, fairly-light romp with a group of good friends who don’t always have to take their games so seriously then this one will definitely fit the bill. Every time I’ve played it’s always a down-to-the-wire affair and depending on how the group co-operates dictates your success or failure. There’s even elements in the game where you’re not allowed to communicate and have to try to keep track of everything going on without help and that just adds to the fun of the game.

It’s short (about 20-30 minutes per play depending on your group), thematic (who doesn’t like knights of the Round Table?) and fun and if you’re looking for a good filler or something to play with friends who don’t appreciate brain-burners, Shadows Over Camelot: The Card Game is a great choice to bring to the table!

9
Go to the Carcassonne: Winter Edition page
12 out of 13 gamers thought this was helpful

Full disclosure – I’m a big Carcassonne fan. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the game that sucked me into gaming in the first place or because the game is just that good. For whatever reason, a game or two of Carcassonne always fits the bill and everyone around the table, regardless of gaming experience, always enjoy how easy the game is to pick up while offering some good “depth”, all in a package that plays in less than an hour.

The Winter Edition of the game doesn’t really change that much (well, really anything) with the base game play but what I enjoyed were the updated graphics (the individual ties with various critters is a very nice touch) and just the overall theme of the game which made it a perfect fit for our gaming group’s Christmas party the other night. The Gingerbread Man expansion is a nice touch as well and like many of the other Carcassonne expansions just gives a little twist to the formula with a gingerbread man meeple who scores a few extra points for people on castles he’s currently visiting when one of the special gingerbread man tiles is drawn. Very festive!

All in all, this is just a re-theme of the classic Carcassonne game and if you already have it in your collection you probably don’t really need this one, but if you are a fan like myself it’s a very nice edition to pull out over the holidays.

One thing I should note is that one of our gaming group pointed out that this version is very colourblind-friendly. His brother-in-law can’t distinguish the features on the original version but with the contrast of the snow on the tiles in this one it’s a version he can play and enjoy!

Now if we can figure out exactly what those farmers are actually farming in the snow!

9
Go to the Lancaster page

Lancaster

16 out of 18 gamers thought this was helpful

Lancaster is definitely one of my favourite games! Where else do you get to vie for the King’s favour, go to war and pass legislation all within the same game?

Without describing the rules of the game in too much detail (you can read that elsewhere), Lancaster offers a variety of mechanics as you try to convince local lords to join you for dinner, wage war against the French, renovate your castle, upgrade your knights and vote on legislation all in the name of earning power points that will propel you ahead of your competition. It’s a worker-placement game at heart that offers you a variety of ways to achieve your goals. Will you spend your time gaining influence so that you can pass the laws you want or will you upgrade your castle or increase the rank of your knights? It’s all up to you and the number of ways to tackle the problem of gaining power points is one of the most interesting aspects of the game.

While sounding like a lot to take in, the rules are surprisingly straight-forward and I’ve had little problem teaching to them to gamers of different interests who have joined our table. Every game we’ve played has been interesting and the final scoring has always been extremely close.

The game components are top-notch and really draw you into the game’s theme.

The only problem that I’ve had with the game (and I’m not sure it’s much of a problem) is with Analysis Paralysis on the knight placement phase. People sometimes pull their hair out trying to figure out where to place their pieces and the fact that other players can boot them off of a location with a stronger army make the consideration of adding squires or more powerful knights to the placement even more interesting. I think it’s really best-suited to 3 or 4 players although we’ve had a blast with it with 5.

So if you enjoy confrontational worker placement games that include a voting mechanic and an excellent theme, Lancaster is a game I’d highly recommend you check out!

My Score: 9/10

8
Go to the Carcassonne: The Princess and the Dragon page
40 out of 45 gamers thought this was helpful

The Princess and the Dragon really does change the feel of Carcassonne but if you’re in the mood for a little more confrontation in your game (as well as increasing the luck-factor) adding this expansion might just hit the spot. Watching the big, red dragon figure appear in a location near tiles you’re currently sitting on will change your long-term strategy and its inclusion generally makes for a lower-scoring game as your minions get munched by the mighty beast.

We’ve always had a good laugh with this expansion when playing light-hearted games but for serious, more-strategic games of Carc I would probably leave it out.

Although the magic portals add a nice new element to the game, I’m generally less excited about the princess who tends to just really annoy knights that she kicks out of their castles. The dragon is the real stand-out here and for a good night of fun with Carcassonne I’d recommend including it in your mix!

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