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4
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the Le Havre page
8
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jul 4th, 2019
“Tough choices lie in wait”

Uwe Rosenberg has made his fair share of crunchy economic games. This one is by far the toughest to get things going o on yet that I have played

Gameplay/Replay

For as hard as it is to succeed at playing, it is surprisingly simple in execution. On your turn you have two options, place your one and only worker on a building, or take all of an available resource from the board. Where this game gets brutal is in how rounds play out. You need goods to build buildings and boats, but you also need money and food to meet your feeding requirement (which increases incrementally throughout the game) at the end of the round (which consists exactly 7 actions divided between 2-5 players) In most cases that leaves you precious little time to get anything moving. Grab those fish, take them to the smokehouse (if it is even available) and hope that is enough food for a round and a half so that maybe in the next round you can get a building built (which is where you get the VP. Many buildings you build can be used by other players for a modest coin or food payment, and at times that can give you just enough to get by for the round. It is a tight unforgiving game. But that’s what makes it a good one as well.

The Bad

Oddly enough the good is also the bad, you feel like you are working your a** off and accomplishing nothing of note. And it is not newbie friendly,it took me 12 of the 15 game’s rounds for it to click how I needed to go about my business, which by then was far too late.

In conclusion

If you love heavier euros, this is a pretty good one, as soon as I was done I felt frustration coupled with a desire to try again. Overall I recommend it for the heavy gamer

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5 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the The Island of El Dorado page
5
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jul 4th, 2019
“Beautiful but lacking depth”

A gorgeous game packaged with care that is a sight to look at from opning to playing it, unfortunately it falls shhort when the playing actually takes place

Gameplay/replay

El Dorado is a race to make 4 offerings at 4 temples, it is played over 2 different areas, the island which houses 3 temples, and the cave which houoses the last one. The play itself is rather simple in nature. Roll 2 dice, one is gathering power, one is number of actions. You decide which is which. So far so good. Get those offeings made, get those farms built, win fights. Sounds fun right? Well….

The Bad

The longer I played this, the less enamored I was. While it sounded good on paper, it fell short in execution. Most of the game seems to end up being you and your opponents throwing haymakers at each other where one side loses everything and has to start from scratch. Farms burned, villagers slaughtered, fortresses destroyed, which makes the exploring aspect often get forgotten as you rebuild and counterattack… over and over and over. Then there’s the cave itself, a nonstop series of fights against cave dwellers all in the hopes of finding the last temple. The game wore out its welcome very quickly once we saw how combat seems to be the be all end all of this game.

In conclusion

A good 4x can be a masterpiece. The other side of the coin however is that a bad 4x can be a chore. El Dorado looks spectacular, it really does, but it is style over substance in the end for me. Hopefully the person who buys my copy will enjoy it more than I did.

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4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the Teotihuacan: City of Gods page
8
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jun 23rd, 2019
“Well this feels somewhat familiar”

Teotihuacan: City of Gods is an interesting little game with a modular board and a very different take on worker and how they interact, yet this will feel familiar if you played another of Daniele Tascini’s games, Tzolk’in. To be clear this is not a bad thing necessarily, just something I noticed right away

Gameplay/replay

Much like Tzolk’in (get used to seeing this) you play over a set number of turns which are separated by eclipses (when scoring for that round are done). You have a modular board where you move workers represented by colored 6 sided dice 1-3 spaces and take said space’s action paying cocoa based off the number of different color dice with the power of the action based off how many of your color dice are there and the pip count on your lowest die after which you raise the pip count of one of your dice in that location, pray for god track elevation (much like Tzolk’in) locking your die to the space until someone else prays there or until you buy it off of the lock with cocoa, or take cocoa based on how many different color workers are there. Actions vary from gathering gold, wood, or stone (much like Tzolk’in) to building path of the dead buildings for vp and movement on the path of the dead, to adding to the pyramid in the center of the board for vp. Between rounds you score points based off masks you gather, path of the dead placement, and participation in building the pyramid. At this point workers must be fed (much like Tzolk’in) cocoa based off how many you have and how many have a pip count of 4 or 5

If a die is promoted to the 6 side, it ascends, moves to the 1 space on the board, and you get a bonus but a turn toward the eclipse happens as well (meaning like in Tzolk’in, certain events accelerate the game forward)

After the 3rd eclipse, the game ends and round points and final points for getting to the penultimate space on any god track are awarded. Most vp wins

The bad

This is a slightly more difficult game to learn, though to the thick rulebook’s credit, it does have a first time play instructions that allow you to jump in with less time than learning the more traditional version would take. Also, as I have often repeated, this game seems like Tzolk’in’s brother. Probably aa more complex brother and it plays differently enough to distinguish itself, but it cannot be denied the similarities are many and prolific. If this would annoy you, it might be a turn off

In conclusion

It’s a heavier one, but worth learning. I like the promoted workers and how you have to plan accordingly because while powerful workers are good, feeding them is a task and one the game penalizes you for failing to do so a well timed 5 to a 6 can be a game changer as can a poorly timed 3 to a 4. Still a worthy heavier euro to add to the collection if you like that sort of thing. I would advise try before you buy however cause it has a lot of moving parts

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4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the Thunderstone Quest page
9
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jun 23rd, 2019
“New and improved”

The third iteration of Thunderstone brings it into the echelon of deck builder plus games like Trains, Tyrants of the Underdark, Clank!, or A Few Acres of Snow.

Gameplay/Replay

Much like previous editions, Thunderstone Quest starts you with a modest deck of starter cards which you use to purchase in the village or visit the dungeon, through visits to the village you purchase cards to improve your deck in order to defeat stronger dungeon denizens. Quest improves on this concept in several ways.

For starters, you now have several village actions that you can take when visiting the village. The choice you make decides what your purchase includes, many choices will allow you to buy a card with an extra action, such as promoting a hero card, getting an item, or healing. That’s right, in this version, you have a health track, and said track will affect how many cards you draw at the start of your turn so keeping that health up is important.

In addition, the dungeon now is a board where the strongest monsters are in the deepest part while weaker monsters are closer to the surface. Light is still a factor, but it how much light you need can be wildly varied depending on the room tile the monster is on. There is also a new giant rat persistent monster at the entrance you can kill for a free purchase at the village. Things get dangerous when enough keys come out and the rat gets replaced by the big bad of the game. That last turn everyone gets additional cards in their draw for a final crack at the big boss. Most pints win

The Bad

Well for one thing this game weighs a lot, not game difficulty weight, I mean I can state its weight in stone. You will gain musculature when carrying it from the shelf to the table. Also the randomizer factor is still a problem as odd mixes can cause messy results, but playing them in adventure pack form is a decent fix as the packs are balanced for the adventure they are trying to give. Also it is hefty on the wallet especially if you want the adventure packs as well

In Conclusion

I for one think this is the best version of Thunderstone yet, and good news, it is as of this writing still available in deluxe form, though the magic of a Kickstarter expansion. That said it is NOT cheap (as mentioned earlier) though it is probably now my favorite deck builder and I think the cost worth it.

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2 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the New Frontiers page
9
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jun 22nd, 2019
“Race for the Puerto Rico!”

The newest game out of the Race for the Galaxy universe is a Puerto Rico-esque version, and the results are quite fun

Gameplay/Replay

Taking a page from the role selection that made Puerto Rico and San Juan the games that they are, New Frontiers presents yet a third way to experience the Race for the Galaxy concept. Each round consists of a player selecting one of several actions that do things that all players participate in, but you get a special benefit for choosing such as

-Explore: pull 7 planets out of the bag, each player in turn order starting with the leader picks an unsettled planet and places it on their planet board, the leader gets to choose a second world from leftovers.}

-Settle: Settle a planet on your board through settler meeples paying credits or using military as appropriate, otherwise take 2 settlers, Leader gets a free settler. Planets are worth VP

-Discover: Purchase a tech, leader gets a 1 credit discount Tech is worth VP

-Produce: produce a good on all non windfall production worlds, leader gets to produce one good on an empty windfall world

-Trade/consume: May sell one good, man then use each consume action you have. Leader gets 1 vp

-Leader Get 2 credits

-Move to front of turn order

-(Optional) Introduce an endgame goal and gain 1 credit which everyone gets VP from doing

After all players have chosen different roles and everyone carried them out, the roles reset and it all starts again. 4 things can trigger endgame; Running out of VP tokens, having 7 or more settled planets, having 11 or more discovery tile spaces on your board covered, or the settler meeple pool having less than 5 meeples in it. Most VP wins, credits left break ties

The Bad

Credit crisis is a fairly easy trap to fall into, I have played 3 times so far and seen it happen twice. Also the military path is a difficult path to pull off in this game

In Conclusion

All that said, I recommend this one quite highly and this might be my favorite 2019 game so far. With the random techs and multiple starter player boards each game is different. A fun time.

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4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful

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