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7
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan
Canada
Z-Man Games fan
Go to the Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion page
8
15 of 15 gamers thought this was helpful
iambfg {Avid Gamer} Aug 23rd, 2016
“We're Gonna Need a Bigger Table”

Upon my first couple of plays of Machi Koro, I felt that the game wouldn’t have legs for my game group. Despite the fun artwork, and the new take on Catan, the cards offered very few strategies to win.

So when I heard about an expansion I wasn’t super excited. Would more cards “fix” the game?

Components

Hey it’s another huge box! Besides that there are a few minor quirks. First…the card backs seem “off” in colour, and in some cases size. And again, this is a game that should be sleeved as the cards are thin.

Even with the quirks, the game is playable, and not really a deterrent to having fun.

Set-Up

Here is where the expansion CHANGES the game. Instead of ALL establishments being available, you make a tableau of 10 cards.

This takes the game from a Dominion style deck builder, to more in line with Ascension. This is a HUGE advantage.

Each player also has a new landmark.

One thing to keep in mind is that the new setup has a bigger footprint. So JAWS joke aside, you will legitimately need a bigger table.

Game Play – What’s Changed

The Harbour itself gives a unique twist of being able to increase dice rolls. This allows players to roll numbers higher than 12. Which is great, but has a negative. With this, buying #9 establishments typically becomes a waste of income.

The big change is the establishments come out in a much more random order. This means that there are MANY ways to win, and players are rewarded for trying out the different card combos and new cards.

The Tuna Boat is a personal favourite.

Theme

As I wrote in my review of the main game, theme is not Machi Koro’s strong point. that doesn’t take anything away from the game. You’ll still have fun playing, but if theme is vital to your group, you may want to look elsewhere.

Replay Value

Card games are at their best when they reward skill, but still have an unpredictable nature. This is the same for dice games. So for vanilla Machi Koro to be a card and dice game and lack any sense of unpredictability is a fairly big failure.

Because of that, I can’t stress enough how the Ascension/Legendary style marketplace and new cards open the game up.

There’s more back and forth to the game.

Is there times when people can luck in to great establishments showing up only for them? Sure. That’s the luck of the draw. But there are times when a great engine is lucked in to, and somebody else wins because of the luck of the dice. This really means that while The Harbour Expansion has the same feel as plain Machi Koro, the gameplay is a lot more engaging.

Over All Impression.

This is hard to sum up. The Harbour Expansion is the perfect expansion for Machi Koro. If you liked normal Machi Koro at all, this is a must play. If you own the game? This is a must purchase.

And if you hated Machi Koro? Well…I’d suggest giving the expansion a try, but wouldn’t begrudge those who take a flyer on this one. If you get frustrated with the dice in Catan, the game will still not work great for you. If Deckbuilders feel too swingy, the game will not work for you.

But as somebody who was DONE with vanilla Machi Koro, I will say the expansion made me go from not wanting to play the game ever again, to gladly playing it as a change of pace from more strategic games.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
15 out of 15 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
 
5 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
RinTheLightbearer {Avid Gamer} Aug 23rd, 2016
“Unique, even when im sent to hell”

A complex but wonderful game, it has components of Dungeon and dragons, changes constantly so no two sessions are the same. Don’t have children play that might get scared, it can be a bit dark but it is part of its charm.
Looking forward to the expansion coming in October called Widow’s Walk this is a great game for most people, but beginners to the board gaming community might find this one hard to play.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Tide of Iron fan
Go to the Glass Road page
6
4 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
Capt_Ron {Avid Gamer} Aug 22nd, 2016
“A little intimidating at first”

While I thought the game was well done, the instructions could have been a little simpler. I have played this game twice, the second time with friends that had played it once before. They didn’t fully understand all the rules and the one time buildings, they were playing their effects every turn, until I pointed out that they were for one use only. The rules were not that clear on many of the concepts. For example, I was wondering how you get glass and brick until the game was into the second building phase. I couldn’t find it in the instructions on how you get glass and brick, until I read again about the production wheels. I missed out on a lot of glass and brick. My wife played it with us at that time, and she thought it was very unclear, and she is a retired high school teacher! Once you know how to play it, it plays well, and I like that dice are not present in the game. The only luck involved is whether or not you can get the building you want before someone else snatches it.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Go to the Blue Moon  page
6
8 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
MilkSjeik {Avid Gamer} Aug 20th, 2016
“Light 2 player card game, not for LCG/CCG players”

A fast 2 player card game. Although it got compared to Magic shortly after the release it’s nowhere near it. It’s less versatile, but also less complicated, making it easier for the casual gamers. The deck building is rather limited. First you need to pick a race and then you can add a number off other cards based on the amount of moons they are worth. This game ideal for a quick time filler.

The big downside on this game is the fact that you need expansions to be able to build decks since the core only comes with two races. Another problem seems to be that some of them have a bit of an upper hand.

The components of this game are great and beautiful, but the fact you only get two decks in the core drops the replay value substantial.*

It’s not a bad game, but just not good enough.

*The reprinted version by Fantasy Flight Games, Blue Moon Legends, comes with all decks.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
8 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Go to the BattleLore page
8
5 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
MilkSjeik {Avid Gamer} Aug 20th, 2016
“Light wargaming for almost the entire family”

An easy to learn wargame that sparks interest for the whole family. Played it regular with my wife and kid. Thanks to the scenarios every aspect gets taught a step at a time. This way my wife doesn’t get flooded in the 80 page rule book and with my kid we can easily replay the starting scenarios with less fantasy and lore aspects. The only downside for some people might be the fact that dice mainly control the chances to win and less the strategic mind.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Codenames page
 
5 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Cheelara1 Aug 19th, 2016
“Excellent Group Game for Everyone”

The More I play this game , the more i love it.
Its easy, its fun, it brings people together.
Yes it does cause some disputes but overall its a great family, party, team game. Play it with your family, your co-workers, your friends, your meet up groups.
Use it as a team building exercise, whatever you use it for , you will have tons of fun playing this easy to learn game.
There are now two other editions out Codenames Pictures and Codenames after dark which i can’t wait to play.
The guys at Czech games Editions outdid themselves this time around.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Go to the Steampunk Rally page
 
8 of 13 gamers thought this was helpful
PapaQuebec {Casual Gamer} Aug 18th, 2016
“Never the same game twice :)”

I love, love, LOVE this game! It’s one of the few that I rarely win, but still love every time I play it. It’s never the same game twice, and unlike games like Risk you don’t HAVE to deceive and sabotage other people to win; so you can keep your friends. There a few cards that are a little imbalanced imo, but you learn to play around them. Also, the game runs with simultaneous turns, meaning if you have dishonest friends, this game will suck.

The actual game is rather hard to learn at first compared to most games. However, I’ve found that letting people run through a few test rounds gets beginners up running quickly.

What I love most is the ability to modify the game. My friends and I often extend the end of the racetrack, or start with two cockpits just to change things up. The game has so many different options, you’re forced to constantly test out various strategies. Add the ability to modify the game and you’ve got endless replays!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
8 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
My First Heart
Go to the Star Wars: Imperial Assault page
 
12 of 13 gamers thought this was helpful
Monarchy {Avid Gamer} Aug 17th, 2016
“Star Wars in a box”

I received this beauty, along with the first expansion, for Christmas last year. I have had a blast painting the figures (they are unpainted) and playing the game. For those of you familiar with Descent, this is a very similar game in most respects, and in many ways is Descent with a Star Wars skin. There are a few differences, however. The main two being that line-of-sight works differently (in IA you draw a line from one corner of the attacking figure’s square, to two corners of the figure being attacked, without going through the attacked figure), and that the imperial player uses something called threat to ‘purchase’ more soldiers, whereas in Decent they just kept coming. This helps prevent the imperial player from ganging up on the other players, but if they save up their threat, they can really come down like a ton of bricks later in the campaign. You also get a skirmish game included, so in many ways it’s two games in one! But on with the pros and cons:

Cons:
– Difficult instructions. FFG is thier usual self and these instructions can be head bangingly
difficult to understand.
– if you don’t want to paint the miniatures, you either have to leave them unpainted, or pay
someone.
– Long setup time between missions.

Pros:
– Two games in one. This allows you to do tournaments with the skirmish game, if you so
chose.
– Fun game play, and once you get the hang of it, not to frustrating (you might want to look up
a walk-through video on YouTube, however).
– you don’t need to purchase the extra figures to play the game, their are tokens to represent
them, you do get Luke and Vader included, however.
– it’s Star Wars! What else is there to say!

In conclusion: it’s a fun time for all, and truly Star Wars in a Box!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
12 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
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7
Miniature Painter
Stone of the Sun
I'm Completely Obsessed
Novice Advisor
Go to the Bang! The Dice Game page
8
9 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
Jen Moore {Avid Gamer} Aug 17th, 2016
“I shot the Sheriff (but my gun misfired; I'm actually the deputy)”

While this isn’t my favorite board game, it is the game that has landed on our game table more than any other. This game scratches an itch with my gaming group and no matter what game we play as our main event, Bang inevitably ends the evening. This is a game that can be set up quickly, and the game itself goes pretty fast.

What I liked

1. Dice chucking fun: I never played the card version of this game, so I can’t compare it, but the act of rolling dice, Yatzee-style is great fun. The dice are good quality and the images are easily discernible. With this game, my group has taken to trying to change up their dice rolling styles in the hopes of impressing the dice gods of luck.

2. Interaction between players: I like the game where everyone is engaged – even when it isn’t their turn. You never know what will happen with the dice roll, and everyone is waiting to see if they will be hit – or maybe helped. Even when a player has been eliminated, they tend to stick around to see the results – and cheer or jeer those still in the game.

3. Special character abilities: With this game, you get a character who has a special ability. Some of these abilities are very powerful and others are kind of pathetic, but I find that by taking on a character with a unique ability, everyone seems to get into the game a bit more and each person’s roll varies – even if everyone were to get the same results.

What I didn’t like

1. Are you feeling lucky? – Dice rolls can go poorly for a particular player who may lose interest in the game as it goes on. In our gaming group, there is a guy who is always killed first – and sometimes by the second round. So, if you tend to roll cursed dice, you could easily (and understandably) grow to hate this game.

2. To blave means to bluff – Don’t get me wrong, bluffing games are a staple in gaming – and my group loves them. And I enjoy them too, but… I am just really bad at bluffing. Any traitor game or bluffing game there is – I will hope and cross my fingers that I score a loyalist card. In this game, I want to be the Sheriff or at least the Deputy. If that doesn’t happen, I’ve got to try to pretend to be a good guy and I keep shooting the sheriff by mistake – a deception my group will quickly see through. So this isn’t a problem with the game, but my own inability to keep a poker face.

Final Verdict

I love this game when I am the sheriff, when the dice are in my favor, and when my special ability is on par with a super power. When the dice keep blowing me up, my special ability isn’t so special, and when I’m an outlaw trying to convince everyone I”m the deputy, well, I’m still having a pretty good time and looking forward to playing it again next week!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
9 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
My First Heart
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
7
12 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Monarchy {Avid Gamer} Aug 17th, 2016
“Dripping with Theme!”

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is one of Fantasy Flight Games Living Card games. That is, it’s like a collectible card game, except instead of purchasing randomly placed card packs, you buy expansions with specific cards in them. This can help keep costs down, but it still can get expensive. The base game comes with three adventures, one easy, one hard, and one that’s **** near impossible to beat with the cards in the base set. I only own the core set, so I can’t give advice on the expansions.

Cons:
– Steep learning curve. This game will chew you up and spit you out.
– Complicated rules. The rule book is 30+ pages long. And, let’s face it, FFG is not known for
their well written rule books. You can watch a video on the games website, however.
– Only three adventures. If you want more, you’ll have to buy some expansions.
– It’s supposed to be a 2-4 player game, but it only comes with two threat trackers. If you want
more, you’ll have to buy another copy of the core set.

Pros:
– As I said, this game is dripping with theme. The card art is beyond gorgeous.
– You feel like you’re in Middle-Earth. The funtion and theme work together.
– Inexpensive. You can pick this up on line for less than thirty bucks.

In conclusion, if you can get past the difficulty and complicated rules, this is an excellent RPGish game to have.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
12 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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