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3
Advocate
My First Game Tip
Go to the oddball Aeronauts page
5
Demombrn {Avid Gamer} Nov 28th, 2014
“Broken and no balance”

Don’t be fooled by the title, I really love this game. Especially since it was my first contribution to a kickstarter campaign. But after a dozen or so games with a friend of mine that is great at exploitation we found that the two factions aren’t very balanced.

Brief overview if you skipped the above review:
Each turn you essentially pit cards against your opponent. You pick 1-3 cards for a combined total of a chosen action (sailing, guns, boarding) which will have different outcomes to the winner and loser (loser could have to discard on top of discarding cards used, winner can refresh cards from discard or both actions can take place).

Now the problem with balance…
The Pendragon deck has its strength in guns whereas the pirates sailing (guns make loser discard, sailing winner refreshes from discard), seems balanced. But not so. After quite a few games (around 15) pendragon has the upper hand out of the two. Just use 3 cards every turn with guns and you win 9 out of 10 times. Even if you use 3 sailing with 3 cards the pendragons avg gun numbers are well above pirates sailing.

We even switched decks, made changes with them and the outcome was always the same. The only game won with the pirates was a lucky hand that made the pendragons player limit hand size to 2 and even then the pirates only won by 2 cards. I attempted to contact the creator and they did get back to me but was along the lines of “we play tested it and we never had this problem. But we’ll look into it” aaaaand never heard from them again.

So in closing, I really love this game. Just a shame that the one exploit kills the strategy aspect of the game.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Canada
Go to the No Thanks! page
7
6 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
Game Ninja {Avid Gamer} Nov 27th, 2014
“Fantastic take anywhere game”

No Thanks is one of the best new additions to our collection. It is such a simple and short game that we can easily fit several rounds between longer more intense games.

What’s in the box?
The box contains a deck of cards (ranging from 3 to 35) and a bunch of read chips. So simple!
How’s it play?
No thanks is a game for 3 to 5 players, where you try to obtain the lowest score by building runs of cards. The deck is built by shuffling the cards and removing 9 from play. Everyone then gets a stack of 11 chips that are kept secret. The first player then turns up the top card of the deck. This player now has the option to take the card or say “No Thanks!” and put in a chip. The play then moves to the next person who can now take the card and the chip or say “NoThanks!” putting in one of their own chips. Play continues like this until someone takes the card and the chips. Once you run out of chips there is no option to pass on the card. The game is over when all of the cards in the deck are dealt. The object of the game is to collect low value runs of cards. Cards are scored based on the lowest number in the run. So a 10, 11, 12, and 13 only scores as 10 points. Also any remaining unused chips get subtracted from the score. So it is a gamble to use all your chips or to horde them for the end.
Overall Impression
This game is great as a filler during the weekly game session. We also like to use it to introduce our non-gamer friends to simple card games. The components are super simple. Overall a great addition to our collection. Too bad it doesn’t work for two players . Happy Gaming!!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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6
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Go to the oddball Aeronauts page
9
8 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
Mike B {Avid Gamer} Nov 27th, 2014
“oddly amusing and strategic fun.”

OK so I’m coming a tad late to this party, in actual fact its a shocking oversight as the designers are local lads. Stop with the looks back there, OK the truth of the matter is I missed the original Kickstarter and fully intended to catch up with Nigel and Lloyd at the UK Games Expo, but of course their stand was always busy so I never had the chance. Cue lots of shiny new games between that to muddy the waters further and so time passes Thorin sings about gold etc.

Spin forward to now and I’ve managed to right a great many of these wrongs, I have now made first contact with the Pyne brothers the symbiotic organism responsible for oddball’s and managed to play the game with them, bolstered by that experience I subsequently purchased it. See. Happy Now!

So what is all this oddball Aeronauts business anyway? I’d original been drawn in by the cool art and just the overall look of the game there was something intriguing which I couldn’t quite get a handle on. On its release many fellow reviewers and podcasters were bigging this up, heck there was even some slavering, i’m sure I saw some slaver. I’d kept quiet obviously, admitting to having missed the airboat would have made me terribly uncool.

So oddball’s is actually a pretty simple little card game set in a kooky steampunk universe where bands of critters pilot great floating airships and battle it out upon the very high seas. It does a simple little bit of sleight of hand, it takes that old staple of school yard playtime Top Trumps, a game I personally sunk numerous hours playing my old Horror deck and then fixes all its issues.

Gone are the marathon play sessions where you wish the world would just end and swallow you up, the endless clip art and themeless game play and in comes a story and art working alongside the clever idea of not requiring a play surface to get a game going. This is something that you can pull out of a bag and get to playing anywhere with anyone. It improves upon the pick a stat and compare by offering a few simple modifiers to the cards that will reward playing a certain power or type of card allowing for you to create some clever little combo’s. And the fact you can stack the stats from the top three cards to boost your score takes away the simple my number versus your number monotonousness play of Trumps.

This is a game of attrition as your deck slowly dwindles either through playing cards or the effects of losing a trick (a hand) which is also the in game timer counting down to your inevitable defeat. The three skills that you play and compare each round have ramifications allowing for some subtle tactics and choices to occur.

Sailing – The winner recovers 2 cards

Guns – Loser discards 2 cards

Boarding – Winner recovers 1 card and loser discards 1.

And its as easy as that, the skill comes in planning ahead and using those combo’s. Do you sacrifice a win this round knowing that you’ll lose the cards that will allow you to get to the sweet ones below, do you gamble on what your opponent will play or even how many cards to hit a sweet combo. There’s a little of a lot to think about each round, enough so that your always making a decision each round but not too much that you’ll fall into some AP coma.

Its a simple game and is gently marred by a few issues, there is the inevitable confusion in the first few plays, the rule book could be better I was helped tremendously by having the designers on hand to teach me so I didn’t need it, this is a feature that should be worked into all future games, somebody get on that right away. It also comes with a active player marker that kind of goes against the whole philosophy of the surfaceless requirement to play, we got around this by using it to bounce off the losing opponents forehead to really rub in that defeat and that works just fine.
There are enough extra mercenary cards that once you’ve mastered the base decks you can mix in a few of these more powerful ones to spice up the proceedings and offers a tantalizing glimpse of where this game may go. All in all if your looking for a simple and portable little game that looks great in your mits while offering that espresso hit of game than this is what we have here.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
8 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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7
Mask of Agamemnon
Detective
I Got What I Wanted
Tinkerer
Go to the The Witcher Adventure Game page
2
21 of 21 gamers thought this was helpful
Andr0ss {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2014
“Time of Contempt”

tl;dr: Quests are all samey, narrative and story are nonexistent, game boils down to a multi-player solo race for VP, plus game is laughably light, avoid unless you just have to own it because it’s Witcher.

I played 5 full games of the beta on GOG. My opinion is entirely based on THAT version. I am unaware of any rules or mechanics changes to the final board game. [EDIT: After some research I have discovered that there were no changes to the rules from the digital to physical editions] I was so thoroughly underwhelmed by this game that I blame it as being one of my triggers for my clinical depression. When I heard this was coming out I was so excited, “a new fantasy adventure board game by an established and accomplished designer!?”

“BY ODIN’S RAVENS! This is going to be amazing”, I thought.

Unfortunately, I could not find anything really enjoyable about the game. It had no real driving force or feeling, the “narrative” that occurs feels clunky and disjointed, zero player interaction, bland gameplay, and an overall feeling of emptiness. Where did they go wrong?

The main issue is the questing system. The quests are, to put it nicely, boring. You go around the board to collect tokens, and you trade the tokens in to complete it. There is no consequence for failing the quest (since you can’t really fail quests with this design), which makes it just a VP race. Which would be okay, if the name didn’t promised an adventure game.

You see, an adventure game should focus on the stories that come about with the game, and I’m not necessarily talking about the game’s flavor text. I’m talking about the experience an adventure game brings you, the stories that are built by the player, their decisions, and the system. You remember games of Mage Knight where you burn down a monastery and steal the monk’s artifacts then turned around and sieged a tower with said artifact, laughing in the ashes of your foes. You remember games of Runebound where the Brave Sir Valadir was more like “Brave Sir Robbin” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even In Talisman you remember when your significant other turns you into a frog three times in a row. You see, its these memories and these situations that make an adventure game. By making the game a VP race, none of the quests matter really. All the work that went into the flavor text is all for naught when quests only serve as a means to VP, and the main “skill” is who can do it the fastest.

Another issue comes up when you have an encounter in the areas which are all but unavoidable unless you want to fall behind in the race to win the game. When you go to combat these monsters it’s QUICKLY apparent that unless you are Geralt you are going to lose and probably lose badly to the monster encounter. But you’ll see that it doesn’t matter, you get the token regardless if you succeed or not, it’s just a minor inconvenience if you don’t.

Worst of all, the quests that you go on (you know the entire point of the game) all feel the same. Regardless if they are combat, diplomacy, or magic, they all require the same skill and “strategy” all the same. It always follows the same path; Go here, collect a token, roll the dice and collect the token regardless of it’s results, go there, trade the token, move up the VP chart. It quickly makes the entire experience very tedious rather than adventurous.

I perfectly understand why Trzewiczek did what he did, and regardless of this mishap he is an amazing designer with a brilliant mind frame for mechanics and theme. Unfortunately he was under strict constrictions from the IP owner. There was no point from CD Projekt RED’s point of view to create a meatier game. A Witcher Board Game is just printing money. Furthermore the target audience are video gamers and the mass market, so it needs to be light and easily accessible to all kinds of people, not just the Board Game kind of crowd. Perhaps I’m being to harsh and expecting too much because of this fact. But I can only review this in the eyes of a gamer, not as a mass market player.

With that in mind I will not be purchasing this game, under any circumstance. In fact, I cancelled my pre-order of it. However, if someone else owned it, and enjoyed it, and I respected their opinions, and (a lot of conditions here), than I might play the physical version, if only to see if they improved anything after the beta [Edit: They didn't]. Otherwise this is a STRONG pass for me, and NOTHING I can recommend to anyone other than the most casual of the mass market fans who love the IP enough to just buy it for that sake and not really play it. Such a missed opportunity.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
21 out of 21 gamers thought this review was helpful
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9
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Go to the Sail to India page
8
10 of 11 gamers thought this was helpful
pookie {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2014
“Small game. Big game play.”

What is remarkable about Sail to India is that it packs an incredibly big game in tiny box, both in terms of its theme and its sometimes harshly efficient Euro style game play. From the designer of String Railways and the Origins award winning Trains, Hisashi Hayashi, and published by Alderac Entertainment Group as part of its Big in Japan line, it is a game of mercantile exploration and adventurism. Designed for three to four players, aged twelve up, it is a game of resource management and worker placement that sees the participants attempt to sail to the orient in search of glory and riches.

Sail to India is set during the Age of Discovery. With the Mediterranean under Osman Turk control, the empire of Portugal seeks trade routes to the East. To do so, its merchants and nobles are dispatching explorers to sail south along the coast of Africa and round the Cape of God Hope in search of a route to India. Each player must manage his resources, and know when to invest in ships and technological advances, when to discover new ports and establish facilities, and when to reap the riches and the glory.

Thus Sail to India has big themes, but where a classic board game might come with a big board and counters to represent the ships and various goods and buildings. The little box that is Sail to India does it all with just twenty-eight large cards plus thirteen wooden cubes per player. Of these cards, three are given to each player. These are a Domain card, used to track a player’s wealth, the speed of his ships, and his technology; a Historian card, used to track a player’s Victory Points; and a Reference card. He also receives three cubes to invest in technology, one to track his ships’ speed (initially one, but can be bought up to three), and starting wealth (varies upon starting order). This leaves eight cubes, which essentially represent investments that a player can make as ships, goods, buildings, wealth, and glory (Victory Points).

Of the remaining cards, they form the route to India, consisting of coastal towns along the coast of Africa. Each Coastal Town consists of two buildings—churches, markets, and strongholds—which grant Victory Points when built, trade goods that can be sold for wealth and Victory Points. and the sea. They are laid out in a line, with Lisboa at one end, followed by the coastal towns, of which three start face-up. They are known destinations. The others will be revealed as ships sail further and further until the last, India, is reached. At game start each player also places one of his cubes as a ship on Lisboa.

On his turn, a player has several options, but can only do two of them. These include employing markers, moving ships, selling trade goods, constructing buildings, acquiring technology, and increasing ship speed. Employing ships means taking a cube from a player’s stock and paying one wealth to turn it into a ship in Lisboa. Moving ships involves a player moving any or all of his ships in any direction, up to his ships’ speed. If he moves his ships into a new coastal town, it is turned over and he earns Victory Points. To sell trade goods, a player moves his ships from the sea into the trade good spaces on the coastal towns. These are sold for wealth and Victory Points, the greater the number of types of good, the greater the reward. The markers for the trade goods are returned to Lisboa. For two wealth, a player can turn a ship into a building which now belongs to that player—churches give two Victory Points; markets only give one, but serve as a permanent trade good; and strongholds also only give one, but also serve as a starting point instead of Lisboa. To acquire technology, a player pays the coast and places a technology marker on the correct space on the technology cards. There are three of these cards, giving a total of twelve technologies. They have various effects, such as Printing Press giving a Victory Point when a technology is acquired, the Factory giving extra wealth when trade goods are sold, or Mission Church giving extra Victory Points for churches built. A technology can only be purchased once. Lastly, a player can increase his ships’ speed, first to two, and then three.

Play lasts an hour. It ends when the last coastal town is turned over and India is discovered, or when two players have run out of cubes. After that, everyone gets another turn and the game ends.

What makes Sail to India challenging is three factors. First, a player only has eight cubes to use as ships, trade goods, buildings, and so on. Second, they are interchangeable—ships can become trade goods which become ships, ships become buildings, and so. Third, a player needs to use some of these cubes to track his wealth and Victory Points, and since the tracks for both only go up to five, if a player earns enough to have six or more wealth or Victory Points, then he needs extra cubes—which have to come from those in play and from those in stock. If a player no cubes in play available, then he cannot track this extra wealth or Victory Points. Essentially, keeping track of his wealth and his glory (Victory Points) takes effort as reflected by the need for the extra cubes.

Sail to India is nicely presented. The cards are easy to use, the reference cards are very handy, and the rules clearly written. The artwork is in keeping with the game’s enjoyable theme, which is elegantly implemented in the game play. Similarly elegant is the balance between taking actions and using cubes and using cubes to keep track of a player’s wealth and Victory Points. Above all, Sail to India packs a lot gameplay and choices in quite a small box.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 11 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Brazil
Gamer - Level 3
Go to the Munchkin Quest page
6
7 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
SeteNove {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2014
“Too complicated”

I’ve played the original Munchkin games a few dozen times, so I was really looking forward to Munchkin Quest. What I found was a game that is fun but overly complex.

The instruction book has something like 19 pages of rules. I found myself constantly flipping pages while playing trying to figure out the game play. I’ve played four or five times now and still find myself referring to the rules. Fairly regularly, the instructions have you turning to other pages to reference other rules. On page 8, you are asked not less than ten times to turn to another page.

The combat also feels a bit random, more so than the original Munchkin game. Our first game was over fairly quickly as we kept drawing low level monsters. The fact that you have to be in a room adjacent to other players in order to mess with them takes away some of the original fun of stabbing your friends in the back. This might not be as big of an issue if you are playing with more than 2 players. Most of our games were 2 player and the one time we played with 3, the game was a lot better.

It’s still a lot of fun, especially once we got the hang of monster movement. But I still think the rules and their explanation need a major overhaul.

Recommendations:
-Play with at least 3 players. Allows for more interactions and back-stabbing.
-Keep the instructions handy.
-Pay attention to the Monster Movement Rules. They can be confusing at first, but are very important to a fun game.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
1
Go to the Istanbul page
10
6 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
iGabas {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2014
“Favorite strategy game of 2014 for me!”

This game is a must have for any strategy game lover. It’s fast (30min or 45min), lots of re-playability, with awesome mechanics! It hits my gaming table every week, and more than once, two or three times in a row. It’s really awesome. The funny thing is, even it being an AWESOME game (and I can’t say this enough times), and even having won the Kennerspiel des Jahres 2014, people don’t get this game enough attention…. Don’t know how, but probably the thematic may seam a little too specific (turkish merchants on the Istanbul Bazaar doing business) but that’s the real fun in this strategy game: an odd theme to an awesome game filled with great moving mechanics that makes your journey into the world’s biggest bazaar market, in Istanbul, really enjoyable and totally feeling like its a real race against other merchants on a busy day at the bazaar. Favorite strategy game of 2014 for me! Cheers!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Brazil
Gamer - Level 3
Go to the The Settlers of Catan – 5-6 Player Extension page
9
4 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
SeteNove {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2014
“What's better than Catan...”

…Catan with more players! I bought this expansion because we almost every time we play Catan it’s with at least 5 people. My only complaint is that the extra tiles don’t fit exactly within the boarders. I’m a little bit OCD, so having tiles not fitting flush, the borders not staying together, and just the somewhat sloppy look it can take on, tend to bug me a little.

But still worth the purchase if you like playing Catan.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
3
Brazil
Gamer - Level 3
Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
7
3 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
SeteNove {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2014
“The gateway drug to board gaming”

Like many table top gamers, this was the game that got me hooked. Since Catan, I’ve moved on to try a wide variety of games. Anything from coop to deck building competitive card games.

I love Catan for many reasons. It’s easy to play, yet not easy to master. It requires little to no knowledge of English, so it’s a great game to play with my non-English speaking friends (I don’t live in the U.S.) It’s a pretty kid friendly game. My 8 year-old daughter can play with no problem, albeit she does loose interest the longer the game goes on.

I may not play Catan that much these days, but I’ll always love this game and get excited when people discover the joy of trading brick for wood.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Canada
Go to the Quantum page
8
39 of 40 gamers thought this was helpful
Game Ninja {Avid Gamer} Nov 25th, 2014
“Colonize all the Planets!!”

Are you looking for an exciting space adventure? Then look no further. Quantum will give you everything you need to satisfy the hunger of exploring vast regions of space. Offering a rich theme of exploring space and colonizing planets, Quantum is a fantastic addition to any game collection. Each of the four factions have a thematic back story that helps to build the world while you are racing your dice ships through space.

What’s in the box?
The Quantum box is full of quality pieces. Each faction comes with a thick, sturdy cardboard reference sheet, 7 solid dice (5 for ships, 1 for research and 1 for dominance) and a number of small Quantum cubes. The area of play is constructed by arranging a number of thick cardboard squares, which range from a value of 7 to 10. Battles are decided using the additional black and white dice included. Lastly, upgrades and advantages are supplied through cards that are obtained throughout the game.
How’s it play?
The dice you control are your fleet and the core of the game. An initial roll of the dice sets up your fleet for play. Each player only has access to a total of 5 ships (3 initially and 2 through an upgrade card). The value of the die has two key roles; 1) how far you can move that die and 2) the type of ship that it represents in your fleet, which indicates the special move that it can take. On your turn you can take 3 actions plus each ship can take a special free action. The actions available are: reconfigure (reroll a ship), deploy (relocate a ship from your scrapyard to an orbital position you control), move/attack, research (add 1 to your research die) and most importantly construct cube (place a cube on a planet where the pips on your ships, in orbital positions, equals the value of the planet). Being first to construct all of your cubes wins the game but plan accordingly because constructing a cube takes 2 actions! Even so, every time you construct a cube you get an upgrade card for free. Attacking and defending occur when a ship moves into a square already occupied by another player’s ship. The outcome of the battle is decided by adding the pips on the ship die to those rolled on either the defence die or the offence die (the black and white dice). The other 2 player dice are used as the dominance die (increased/decreased through battles) and the research die (increased by an action). When the dominance die reaches 6 you immediately construct a cube for free, whereas when the research die reaches 6 you can choose an upgrade card for free.
Overall Impression
I was first introduced to this game at my FLGS’s tabletop day celebration. At first I wasn’t sure what to think, but as we played I realized there is a great theme wrapped around a highly strategic game, and it is fantastic. I really like the tactical feeling as you deploy your ships across the game area. The modular board adds replay value, as any combination of planets you can think of works. As for the optimal number of players this game works really well with 2 or 4 players. As long as you can get over the confrontation of battling ships it works great as a two player game, with no need for a dummy player. I have two complaints though. First, even though the dice are awesome neon colours they have a sticky feeling to them. I’m sure there is a way to get rid of this but it feels like they are dirty from the time you open the box. Second, I really enjoy a box that is built for the components and on first glance the Quantum box is just that; however, don’t be fooled!! The slot for the cards is slightly too shallow for them. We store our games on their side and every time we open the box the cards are everywhere. These are complaints that I can definitely live with to have such an awesome, simple but highly strategic game in our collection. Happy Gaming!!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
39 out of 40 gamers thought this review was helpful
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