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Go to the Lanterns: The Harvest Festival page
Tom {Casual Gamer} Aug 4th, 2015
“Lanterns: The Harvest Festival is a Simple, Colorful, Delight.”

Just looking at its components, you might guess Antoine Bauza designed Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. It’s vibrant colors, Asian theme, and art depicting a bamboo eating panda are reminiscent of Bauza’s Hanabi, Tokiado, and Takenoko. But Lanterns was designed by Christopher Chung, and it offers a fresh approach to tile laying games.

Thoughtful design is evident in nearly all the components of Lanterns. The jumbo tiles, well written instruction booklet, and beautiful artwork on the cards demonstrate the designer’s and producers’ commitment to creating a quality product. Lanterns looks and feels like a high grade production. The game scales very well, as players remove discretely marked pieces for games with fewer than four persons.

Gameplay is simple and straightforward. The object is to score points by collecting “dedication tokens”. Dedication tokens are earned by collecting various sets of cards. The cards come in seven colors, and players try and collect them in one of three combinations. They are four of a kind, three pairs, and one of each of the seven colors. The Dedication tokens are set up in stacks of diminishing point values (like the goods tokens in Jaipur), so getting sets early in the game is best.

Players play “lake tiles” around a central “start tile”. The lake tiles have four sections (sides) of illustrated lanterns in seven colors that correspond to those on the cards. When tiles are placed, one of the sides faces each of the game’s players. Each player receives a card of the color of the side facing him on every turn. The person who plays the lake tile can earn additional cards by laying tiles so that one or more of the colored sides matches an adjacent side on an existing lake tile or tiles.

There are special lake tiles called “platform tiles”, and they have a square image printed in the center of the tile. When a player plays a platform tile or lays a tile adjacent to a platform tile, he gets a wooden “favor token”. Once per turn, a player may trade two favor tokens plus one card for any card of his choice. The race to grab as many valuable dedication tokens can make for a strategic and competitive game. Placement of one’s tiles is particularly important late in the game, as only dedication tokens are totaled for scoring. Prudent, timely tile placement can help ensure a player isn’t left holding several cards at the end of the game.

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival is a light, fun tile laying game that plays in about 20-30 minutes. The components are well made, and the sturdy box is not grossly oversized for its contents. I can relax and enjoy light conversation while playing Lanterns, and short games mean multiple plays per sitting. Priced in the $25 dollar range, Lanterns: The Harvest Festival is an excellent value and a fine game.

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Go to the Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar page
8 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
RevBob {Avid Gamer} Aug 4th, 2015
“Turn, Turn, Turn...”

Tzolk’in is a worker placement game, with a twist. It is a mix of simple actions on a complex, ever changing board, in that sections of the board are gears that advance as the seasons change.

The game really only has 2 actions and only one can be done on your turn:
1) Place Workers-place any or all of your workers on the lowest available spaces on the gears, paying whatever costs required in Corn (the game’s currency AND food for workers. Placing more workers, costs more corn.
2) Remove Workers- remove any or all of your workers, one at a time, resolving the actions for their current space. These actions are usually a combination of : collecting resources, purchasing or building, advancing on the Temple or Technology tracks.

After you have completed one of the above actions, advance the calendar wheel one day (which advances all of the gears with workers on them 1 space) and place a corn on the wheel from the bank.

There is only 1 space on the board that works differently than the gear locations, and that is First Player space, allowing the following:
1) Current player becomes First Player, and turn order changes accordingly
2) The Player takes this worker back into their hand at the end of their turn
3) The Player MAY turn the Calendar forward 2 days instead of 1 (which has its own risks and rewards)
4) The Player takes ALL of the corn that placed during previous passage of days.

The above sounds like straight forward worker placement, except the gears. THE GEARS!You are actually placing workers on gears, that continually advance during the game as time passes, offering greater rewards – BUT because you MUST either remove or place workers on your turn you can’t camp out all your workers for the ride. Players must think ahead a couple of turns to understand outcomes, managing their workforce and resource in an ever changing environment.

Here’s a look at the gears:
Palenque(green actions) : wood, corn, food
Yaxchilan(tan actions) : wood, corn, stone, gold and crystal skulls
Tikal(red actions) : advance on tech tracks, construct buildings or monuments, advance on temples
Uxmal(yellow actions) : market/exchange, wild card actions, gain workers
Chichen Itza(blue actions) : placing skulls to advance on Temples and gain bonus victory points

Resources are spent to advance the Tech tracks and construct building and temples which provide bonuses and victory points at end of game.
Tech advancement gives bonuses for resources, cheap production, and additional victory points.
Skulls can be kept as victory points or placed for large bonuses.
Corn is both food and currency – 4 times during the game the calendar reaches Food Days, which require payment to feed your workers, and sometimes bonuses for Temple advancement. You see these days coming up and need to plan accordingly.

The game is a bit of a point salad, as there are multiple paths to victory : Temple advancement and Monuments being solid simple ways to collect, but there are others and various combos depending how aggressive the players. After the 4th Food day, the game ends, points are tallied and the player with the most wins.

My wife and I have enjoyed playing this as a 2 player game for years and it still remains a favorite. It scales very well for 2-4, though more challenging when playing 3-4. The components are beautiful, the challenge consistent, and the feel different enough that it doesn’t matter how many worker placement games you have, this will fit right in. I highly recommend this as a mid to heavy game with experienced players.

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8 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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I'm a Real Person
Go to the AquaSphere page
5 of 5 gamers thought this was helpful
Lyng {Avid Gamer} Aug 4th, 2015
“Feld with theme???!”

Stefan Feld. ”Ah so this is a game with a million ways to score points and as much theme as there is sunny days in London”, you might say.
Well yes and no.
To me Aquasphere is a very different beast than Felds other games. Let me explain what I mean by going through the different aspects of the game.

Great quality components. The boards are nice and thick and lie down flat on the table. The different meeples are shaped differently depending on what they are, which is a nice little thematic touch, they could just be cylinders and cubes but they aren’t.
The cardstock is decent but nothing great.
A little nice detail is the fact that the black crystal are little plastic crystals. It’s a nice little detail that adds to the theme.
“Waiiit! You said theme and thematic twice now. You sure this is a Feld game???!”. Well, wait for it guys. We will get there.
Rating: 8

Yes this game is gorgeous. The board is filled with fantastic little details. For example the loading stations that bots go to when kicked out of a sector, has little spaces for them with cords like if they where to recharge there. The gameboard is filled with these little nice details.
Some have said they think the board looks way to busy, I disagree though. The icons and things that relate to the game-part of the artwork is larger and clearly detailed so there should be no trouble telling apart game and fluff.
The art itself is bright and colorful and the game really pops when laid out on the table.
The Iconography makes sense and it is very easy to quickly check what your possible actions are and how you get points and how many you get.
All in all the art really makes the theme come to life.
Rating: 10

The rulebook is both great and bad at the same time.
How so? Well it explains the rules very elegantly and while the game might seem complex at first, the rulebook does a great job of simplifying the actions, so it is easy to digest and very concise.
It does, however, do a really bad job at selling the theme. There is hardly any fluff text. For some this is a good thing, but for me personally it is kind off sad, when the rest of the game focuses so heavily on the theme it would have been a nice way to hit it home to have the rules focus more on that aspect aswell.
Still the rulebook does what it is suppose to do: Tell the rules in the most logic and easy to grasp way possible.
Rating: 9

Gameplay (and theme):
On your turn you either: Program a bot, or sent out a programmed bot to do the action it was programmed for.
That’s it. It’s so very simple and elegant. The real depth comes with the fact that you need to plan ahead in order for you to be able to program and use your bots in the most efficient way.
You need to fight back octopods, collect crystals so you can further your knowledge of them, and collect as many knowledge points by being active in the most sectors. You spent time markers to move between the different sectors (a great thematic way to illustrate that time is limited and you cannot get to do everything before you are called back to the surface)
And this is what I love the most about this game. Time is limited and the rounds are fairly short. This is not a smorgasbord of points that pretty much lets you do whatever. No this game is very tight and at times even mean. You will be fighting against your fellow scientists in order to be the one who collects the most knowledge about these strange deep sea crystals, and reaps the most fame and glory.
To some extend this could be said about a game like Trajan too, but the main differences are: 1) Aquasphere is much tighter and 2) Aquasphere actually has a ton of theme.
From the components through the art to the mechanics this game is dripping with theme. Some might try to tell you otherwise but they are wrong. There has been put tons of thoughts into making the mechanics match with the theme, and boy does it show.
Rating: 10

Sum up:

To me this is Felds best design to date. It is so elegant and simple to play, yet has tons of depth.
And finally Feld has made a game that has theme, and this without compromising the mechanics. For some reason this game has not gotten a lot of buzz, which is sad since it is one of the best Eurogames out there.
Final Rating: 10

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5 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Rated 100 Games
Go to the Evolution page
10 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
NoLimitDB {Power Gamer} Aug 3rd, 2015
“Constantly Changing Awesomeness!”

A few friends of mine recently picked this up at GenCon last week and we pried the box open as soon as they got home. Yes, I just admitted that a semi-regular board game reviewer did not attend GenCon…Please keep the hate to a minimum, I’m already super sad about it :(

The Overview: The basic premise of this game is to evolve, using trait cards, several species of creature to adapt to their environments and eat the most food. At the end of the game, you are scored based on how much food you have and the advancement of the species you’ve evolved. There are several kinds of creatures to evolve, you can go for a carnivore and eat others or a defensive creature protecting your herd from the predators, and lots of others. You can even evolve those species even further, you can create an intelligent pack hunting carnivore and be the apex predator, or a burrowing, fat, scavenger and horde food. It’s got hundreds of possibilities and lots of room for interaction.

The Rules: The game is played using a deck of trait cards and several species boards, plus food tokens and a middle ‘food pool’. Each turn you are given a certain amount of cards depending on the number of species you have, more species, more cards. You will discard one card immediately into the food pool, this will be used to generate food later. You use the rest of the cards to acquire more species, increase a current species size or population or give it a unique trait. You can upgrade as many of your species as you are able to and you’re free to keep as many cards in your hand as you can hold. After the Evolution phase you have a Food phase. In the Food phase you go in rounds across the table gathering food from the middle pool until everyone is either full, or there is no food left. If you run out of food, then species may starve and die off. The amount of food you can acquire at any given time can be greatly affected by your evolutions and traits and I watched some species fill up entirely out of order, stealing food from other species to do so. The game ends when the table runs out of cards. After that you score points based on Evolutions, number of species and finally total amount of food. Highest score wins. Simple, easy to remember.

The Art: This game is slightly above standard when it comes to art. The artwork all appears to be hand drawn and is done in the ‘historical record’ looking style. Lots of unique species creations are noted around the cards. It adds quite bit of immersion. You are also given a food bag that is very well crafted from soft material with a creature on the front. I like the art for this game, it’s simple yet effective in creating an atmosphere. The cards are sturdy and well constructed, easy to handle.

The Gameplay: This game has a great flow to it. In the introductory game, where we were having to stop and explain rules a lot, the game still flowed so well. With the simple rules and straightforward choices, turns go fast. During your turn you have a lot of strategizing and scheming to do, which keeps you engaged and when it’s not your turn you have some interactions with the other players to attend to that makes the game seem to go by quickly. It also has easy setup and easy cleanup/reset. The game flows like any fast-paced card game.

The Opinion: I liked my experience in Evolution. The game has a lot of ways to keep you entertained and allow for a lot of combinations and ways to win. It has several different strategies and all are viable, I appreciate that. I definitely enjoyed the interaction between the carnivores and the many types of herbivores. Seeing the last-ditch efforts many of my friends employed to defend themselves was really entertaining. I feel like this game is well suited to those who enjoy a little strategy in a casual atmosphere. It’s a relaxed experience, allowing for a great party feel and a solid every-week addition to game night. I will seek this game out and buy it myself so that I can take it to other groups’ game nights. Please buy this game.

Also, as a sidenote to those who have read some other of my reviews here, I’m starting to become a huge fan of Kickstarter games :)

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10 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Rated 100 Games
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
11 of 13 gamers thought this was helpful
NoLimitDB {Power Gamer} Aug 2nd, 2015
“Betrayal of the RNG.”

Easy to learn, but as we’ll see, it has some issues.

The Overview: This is an exploration horror game set in a very stereotypical haunted mansion. Weird stuff happens, the floors move about beneath your feet, scary monsters will hunt you down, etc. Eventually someone will either go crazy, change into a horrible nightmare creature or aliens will show up. It is then that the objective of the game is announced and then it becomes a race to escape the house/kill the monster/survive. The game goes from cooperative exploration to semi-cooperative survival horror at an undetermined point in every game. If you cannot already tell, I am pretty nonplussed by this game, I will elaborate further.

The Rules: Each game turn is broken down into several player turns. Each player is represented by a character on the board, who has different stats than everyone else, some are slightly stronger, smarter or faster than others. You have a movement phase that allows you to move up to your speed in tiles on the board until either something happens to you, or you uncover a new tile. When you uncover a new tile you will explore that room and either be presented with a series of trials, nothing at all, or a boon of some kind. It is all randomly determined. The object of the game is to initially explore, but, you will stumble upon Omens along the way. Each Omen the group encounters goes into a cumulative pool, and you must roll against that Omen Pool each time you uncover a new one. When you finally end up rolling under the number of Omens the group has, you trigger ‘The Haunt’. At that time, depending on the game type and some other largely random factors, a terrifying event will occur in the house and a random person will become the villain. There are several different events that can occur and the rules are different for each one.

The Art: The tiles are detailed and well constructed, easy to shuffle and maneuver around the table when needed. The art for the tiles is pretty standard, it doesn’t shoot for the moon, but it’s not bad, definitely not the worst game art I’ve ever seen. The player cards and figures could use some work, though. Something else that is of note, the game comes with place-holder counters for your stats, as they will go up and down throughout the game, and they are slightly larger than the cardboard is thick and they slide right off if you tilt the player card at all.

The Gameplay I will not lie, I spend a lot of time during this game refilling my drinks or playing games on my phone. There is a lot to do on each of your turn, but inbetween, nothing. It is not very player-interactive and unless you really care that someone fell two stories to the basement or lost a strength, there’s just not much there to keep you entertained. The game requires the players to create their own stories and scenarios and justifications for the actions they take because there just isn’t any provided from the game. Even once the haunt starts, a lot of the scenarios just assume interaction but do not require it to win. I felt like I was playing a single player game with four other people, but I had to wait on them before I could play.

The Opinion: I, obviously, am not a huge fan of this game, but I will not be harsh. The game is playable and is fun provided that the group supplies most of the fun. I have had enjoyable experiences playing, but only because the group I play with is awesome. However, objectively speaking, the entire game is a random number generator wearing a haunted house skin. Everything is random besides one thing, where your character moves, you can control that. Everything else is random, but skewed against the players. You will probably lose some stats throughout the game, but, you may not, you may slightly increase some of them. You may get a weapon, but you may also get a curse. RNGs are not inherently bad, but what I do not like about this game is that some Haunts are actually impossible unless you have upgraded your character. Some of them require you to fight things in combat, which you cannot really do without a weapon, but the game provides you no reliable method of getting a weapon. I did not like basically watching for two hours while my character got thrust through a nightmare RNG until the players all lost and none of us could do anything to avoid it. The game is fairly easy to learn, though, and like I said it is fun in certain groups. I, however, just did not enjoy my time in the Mansion on a Hill and I typically vote nay on playing it.

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11 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Rated 100 Games
Go to the The Doom That Came To Atlantic City page
11 of 11 gamers thought this was helpful
NoLimitDB {Power Gamer} Jul 31st, 2015
“Non-Euclidean Revere Monopoly!”

A very fun game that is easy to learn and play, but that’s not what you’re hear for, please let me give you the scoop.

The Overview: In The Doom that came to Atlantic City you take on the role of one of eight gods in the Cthulu mythos. You will rampage and pillage throughout Atlantic City, opening your personal gates to bring forth your reign of terror upon the Earth.

The Rules: At first blush this game resembles the board game classic, Monopoly. However, a deeper delve reveals something very different and strange indeed. The object of the game is to destroy buildings on each named space to open six of your gods gates, the first to open six gates wins. You also are given a ‘Doom’ card with certain win conditions on it, complete the conditions and you also win. During your turn, you roll two six-sided dice to determine how far you move, then once there you are faced with several decision points. If there is another player token on that space you must have a combat, if there is a player in the same colored zone as you then you may choose to fight them or not. If you choose not to fight, or are successful, then you move into what’s called the Destruction phase. Here, you roll the dice to determine if you destroy a house that’s currently on the space you landed, if you remove the final house you place one of your gates there. All of this gets thrown through a loop, however, because each deity has his/her own special abilities that augment themselves or punish their opponents and you have the opportunity to pick up additional powers along the way. Providence cards add a static variable or ability to your character where Chants cards provide a one-time, powerful benefit or hindrance. You can utilize cultists and houses as sacrifices for these powers. The gates also provide some shenanery in the form of movement choices. If you start your movement phase from a gate you can freely move from any gate of that god as if you were on that space.

The Art: The game board has some very good artwork, there are eight landscape images of various Chthulu Mythos realms and the cards and player boards are very well done. The best part about the aesthetic of this game, though, are the pieces. Absolutely some of the most detailed and impressive looking game pieces I’ve ever really seen outside of a Fantasy Flight game. The only caveat is that the pieces are grey, but really, it actually kind of fits if you have a small understanding of the Cthulu mythos as the colors that these beings are not meant for human eyes. Good artwork, sturdy construction.

The Gameplay: The game flows almost exactly like a game of monopoly but only takes about 30 minutes to play. One person at a time takes their turn while the rest wait patiently and chat amongst themselves or mock the current player for their deities terrible existence. There is some downtime, but the game doesn’t last that long so I can forgive that.

The Opinion I like this game. It’s not my favorite, but it’s a great casual game. It’s playful and funny, easy to learn with a simple premise. This game is a favorite of those in my group who prefer games that are light on strategy but foster a playful experience. With its’ twisted, Chtuloid monopoly-esque feel it calls to those who are fans of that mythos no matter what kinds of games they enjoy playing. It takes less than an hour to fully set up, play and put away so it’s great for a game night where you want to get several different games in and it’s even great if you have an hour to kill in an evening. One of the most impressive things about it is that it is the fruition of a Kickstarter scandal saved by Cryptozoic. You can google the story, it’s quite interesting. I like this game and recommend it to just about everyone.

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11 out of 11 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Tokaido page
2 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Jcarpe Jul 30th, 2015
“Fun for us "big kids"”

This game is very addictive and the expansion truly adds a new dimension to the base rules.

One of the most delightful discoveries over the course of playing the first few games of Tokaido is that the game reveals it self as more complex and more strategic than it appears at first. At the same time, there is not such complexity that the game is pushed out of the reasonable realm of play for families and kids.

While not terribly difficult to learn, it is billed as a “family” game and could stand to be confusing to younger folks.

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2 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
oddball Aeronauts fan
Go to the Coup page
22 of 24 gamers thought this was helpful
Mike B {Avid Gamer} Jul 30th, 2015
“Resist to bluff”

Coup premiered at Essen 2012. Designed by Rikki Tahta it went on to be a huge success and pretty soon unfortunately went out of print.

Skip forward to early 2013 and Indie Board & Cards announced that they had picked up the rights to a re-theme and re-print setting it in their Resistance universe, a sort of cyberpunk dystopian future world deal. Having played this fiendish little game and loving it, but not owning a copy, I jumped at the opportunity to pick it up and backed the project.

So I’m now very excited to report that popping through my post box this morning was my pimped up Kickstarter exclusive version of this cool little game.

While Indie sensibly hasn’t messed with the rules; they have given this the Resistance makeover. Personally I liked the originals simple art style and while this isn’t a slouch in the visuals department, I enjoyed the earlier version.

This is a bluffing and push your luck style of game, and if you have played Love Letter and enjoyed that then you should just go and pick this up right now. It’s also very quick to explain and set up and is ideal filler material. These sort of games are my home groups bread and butter and having dined out on many an evening of Love Letter, I know this will be a huge hit.

The base game uses just a deck of 15 cards made up of 3 each of the following types.

The Duke, Assassin, Captain, Ambassador and Contessa. Each of these has specific powers that we’ll get to in a moment. To play you shuffle up and deal everyone two cards that are kept face down by the players (their influence). The remaining cards make up the Court deck.

You also get a set of summary cards with all the characters powers and actions you can perform. Helpful for the first couple of games as it’s hard to bluff if you can’t remember what the card you were pretending to have.

The idea is to win the game by eliminating the influence all the other players have over the court. You do this by removing their cards from play. But how you may ask do I do this? Well rather like poker by getting a tell on the other players and bluffing, a lot of bluffing.

Each turn you get an action, it can either be to take coins, the basic is one but you can select to claim foreign aid and receive two. If at any point you have 7 or more coins in your hand you can stage a coup on a player of your choice and they instantly lose one influence. If you’re not doing any of that, then you can choose to use one of the characters actions and this is when things get interesting.

You can choose to play it safe and pick one of the characters in you hand and play that action, or pretend you have a power that takes your fancy. Once you’ve announced your intentions, the other players decide whether they want to challenge or counteract that action.

The challenge is the most dangerous move because somebody is probably going to lose a card. When you issue a challenge, you select a player who has just made an action with a character and call them out as being a liar. They then have to prove that they have the card they said they did, by showing it.

If successful then the challenger loses one influence and must reveal one of their cards. Now they are in a tricky situation as you don’t get any more and must play on with their remaining card, this also paints a big bulls-eye on you for the others. The player who successfully repelled the challenge gets to replace their shown card from the Court deck.

And so it continues until everyone else is knocked out.

Right let’s take a look at these cards and what they do:

The Duke
He will allow you to take three coins from the Treasury.
And blocks foreign aid. (handy if somebody is starting to accumulate wealth)

The Assassin
Can assassinate one of the other players.
You pay three coins and pick a player. Unless they successfully block this move, they lose one influence.

It’s a dangerous card for players to bluff with, if caught out, they lose an influence for the failed bluff and then the assassin takes out their other card.

The Captain
Can steal two coins from another player.
And he also blocks any attempts to take from you, a very powerful card if you are building that wealth up for a coup attempt.

Can exchange cards with the court deck. Handy if somebody thinks they know what cards you are holding and make you a wild card at the table. And then you can lie about whatever you like.
He can also block a player attempting to steal from him.

She blocks any assassination attempt. It’s a very useful card to hold. As blocking an assassination attempt with a bluff can be a very dangerous game.

As you can see all the actions are pretty easy, the fun comes from trying to work out what cards everyone else is holding and whether they are just a big fat liar. Remembering who did what in previous turns is essential. A Player, persistently bluffing and going unchallenged will eventually make the silly mistake of claiming a third card type they can’t realistically have unless the first two actions were both bluffs! It soon turns into a minefield with players bluffing a bluffing player. But once cards start to be flipped, and you can see what’s out of the deck then the tactics change gear and everyone has to play things very tight.

It’s marvellous fun, deceptively simple and a joy to play.

As I have the pimped out Kickstarter edition, it also came with an additional character card for mixing up games. And that’s the Inquisitor.

He has a couple of choices.

He can either exchange a card with the deck or look at one of his opponents cards and then choose whether he will force them to change it. I’d suggest leaving him out for your first few games. The opportunity to know what an opponent is holding does give you significant power over them.

Additionally he also blocks anyone with a captain attempting to steal from him. (If you play with him, he replaces the Ambassador)

If your a fan of these types of filler games then this is a must buy. The retail version should be hitting pretty soon, be aware this is just the base game and is missing some of the extra cards found in the Kickstarter edition.

If you can hunt it down in addition to the inquisitor and the shiny coins you also get 12 additional cards, 2 each of the roles but with alternative art, these allow you to play with up to 10 players.

Whatever version you do get, this is still a very cool little game and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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22 out of 24 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Sheriff of Nottingham page
3 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Donbow {Casual Gamer} Jul 30th, 2015
“Better than I expected”

I pulled out this game for a couples get-together, and was not sure whether they were going to be gamers or not. Wow! They really got into it and started roleplaying the sheriff like they were born to do it. I think this game is replayable just because it makes you ponder how other strategies may work. My wife does not care for bluffing games, but after one play she said, “I really like this game.”

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3 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Rated 100 Games
Go to the Chaos in the Old World page
9 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
NoLimitDB {Power Gamer} Jul 30th, 2015
“In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war...for exactly 4 players...”

I do not normally start out reviews this way, but I wanted to stress at the beginning just how awesome this game is. This game is easily the best Warhammer-based board game on the market today, I say this with the understanding that Space Hulk has been remade recently. This game is awesome. I will now commence my review.

The Rules The object of this game is to assume the role of one of the four gods of chaos, the bloodthirsty Khorne, the fateweaver Tzeentch, the Beautiful Slanesh and the corpulent Nurgle to gain complete domination of the Old World. Each god has his own set of minions and magical abilities and you will utilize them to defeat/outsmart your foes. This game is played in a similar fashion to a specialize game of Risk. You will deploy your troops, you will invade locations and/or defend a strongpoint and you will have table talking for strategy. Each player will taken turns, determined by how much ‘threat’ your god commands, casting magical spells, invading, defending and interacting with the board. Then you will determine if you ruin an area, you ruin an area when you leave too much of your influence around it. Then you will determine the score for the round. There are two ways to win the game. Each god has a spin dial that can be advanced through completing certain objectives each turn, spin the dial enough and you will win. The other way is to gain points through ruining areas, invading and controlling territories. However, there is a catch, the people of the Old World are actively fighting against all four of you. Each turn, there is a new ‘Old World Card’ flipped over to reveal a hindrance to you, there are a finite number of cards (depending on the number of players) and once the last one is resolved, the game ends in a loss to all players.

The Art The aesthetic of this game is very much inline with what you would imagine a bunch of chaos gods fighting over a map would look like. The map is etched into leathered human skin, with similar features strewn about in the various interactive pieces of the board. This makes for a very gruesome feel, which is great and adds to the gameplay experience. The pieces are pretty simple, plastic molds of the various minions of the gods, but they are nice. Each god has a greater daemon that is very well detailed. The board is well put together and sturdy.

The Gameplay The game flows very smoothly. Turns go quickly despite having a lot of things to accomplish each turn. You never have a lot of downtime as you are always engaged in either performing your actions, defending against opponents, upgrading, calculating scores, talking with the other gods about who to gang up on, etc. You’re never bored playing this game. There is a caveat to this, though. The game flows optimally with four players, any less than that and the game feels clunky and awkward, despite having less complexity. The game is clearly designed to have four at all times. You can tell this because with less than four, the game unbalances itself and Khorne becomes very happy. With four, however, each god has a rival and two neutrals. Despite this, the game flows nicely and you’re never bored playing it.

The Opinion This game is awesome! It combines two of my favorite things, complete global domination tactics with asymmetric gameplay. Each god has its’ own strategy and mechanics and the way you play the game is very different depending on which god you are. I like that. Everyone is not equal, yet the power levels are balanced (but only if you have 4 players). I have a lot of fun just watching the interaction of the gods. I find the game to be satisfying in every phase and is one of the more complete games out there. It does have it’s black spots, though. As I’ve said before, the game seems unbalanced with less than four players which does decrease the fun. My group has house ruled that if there are less than four players, no one can play Khorne because he needs to be kept in check by the other gods. Also, since the game is asymmetric and each player will have completely different abilities and strategies from the others, there is a learning curve. Despite all of these, I’ve had a lot of fun playing this game and my group loves it. It is a perfect game for a group of four that love a strategy game set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Fantasy Flight does it again!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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