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Player Avatar
6
Old Bones
Knight
Explorer - Level 4
Go to the Charterstone page
9
emspace {Avid Gamer} Nov 21st, 2019
“Build-it-yourself Euro kit, with instructions given in story form”

Have you seen those make-your-own-succulents-in-a-terrarium kits you can find near a bookstore cash register? Charterstone is a make-your-own-worker-placement-Euro kit. If you’ve never made a boardgame, not to worry: all the parts are provided in the box and it will step you through the process 1 game at a time.

Experience

Charterstone is focused on the game-by-game growth and evolution of the town your play group is developing over a 12-game arc. Each of you will have your own region to build up, though for most games, you’ll be able to place most of your workers in any of the locations on the board.

The main strategy of the game is to build a “mini engine” in your region that you can exploit for points—the mini engine being a cycling of locations that will give you resources that you can use for more cards or more buildings or more workers that will help you get more points.

However, the end of each game unlocks new, modified, or temporarily suspended rules for the next game, which means the strategy you used this game may no longer work in future games.

Adaptation is the key to survival in the evolution of your charter.

If you don’t enjoy surprises and constantly shifting rules and goals, this isn’t the game for you.

The main fun here is in revealing new cards and components in mystery boxes, hearing the on-going story of the Forever King and what he wants from your play group, and getting to name new characters and locations on the board and tracking your progress.

There will be a winner at the end of the 12 games, but if you care about that too much, you’ll not likely enjoy the game as much as those who are playing to be part of the ride.
…………………………………………………………
Keywords

Campaign: Your progress in building your village is charted over 12 games and cumulative successes are used to determine the Campaign winner.

Legacy: You will be constantly adding to and changing the board, adding cards and other components, writing in names, sometimes destroying cards, leaving you with a unique game at the end that can be played as a stand-alone game.

Worker Placement: Players use a limited number of workers to take actions at locations on the board. When you’ve run out of workers to place, you must use a turn to take them all back, or hope another player bumps you from your spot to free that worker.

Engine Building: To a small degree, players are trying their best to add buildings to their regions that will help them generate points as efficiently as possible.

Story Told: The campaign’s appeal is the overarching story of the Forever King and executing the charter of building the village.
…………………………………………………………
What Works
• Surprises with opening Crates and rules modifications for next game.
• Campaign mode with slight shifts in ease or anxiety about rule change — every game plays differently and prevents runaway leader if players are forced to change tactics and strategies from game to game.
• Thrill of creating your unique Charter village and characters.
• Components are top notch and aesthetically and graphically beautiful, as one expects from Stonemaier Games.

What Doesn’t Work
• Bad buildings in your Charter makes it difficult to chain an efficient engine, making it difficult to catch up with players with great output of resources and/or other benefits; there’s no recovery from this — luck of getting building cards when they come up is difficult to mitigate if you don’t have things already set up (especially in the way of buildings in your charter) to take advantage of those at any turn.
• Lopsided building of Charters by the end of the game makes the board largely unplayable for stand-alone games.
…………………………………………………………
Buy If
• You can find 1 to 5 other people to commit to a regular game to play through all 12 episodes of the campaign.
• You want to create a custom worker placement Euro boardgame that you will continue to play after the campaign ends, even if it’s somewhat lopsided.

Play If
• The thrill of exploration and surprises excites you more than other types of game fun (such as exploring strategy, winning).
• You don’t mind playing sub-optimally from time to time and enjoy the challenge of adapting your strategy based on game-to-game rule changes and overall legacy changes.
• Your motto is “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”

Skip If
• You highly desire balance and low luck.
• You abhor runaway leaders or runaway engines.
• You really care about skill-based winning.
• You expect the connecting story to blow you away.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
6
Old Bones
Knight
Explorer - Level 4
Go to the Witness page
9
emspace {Avid Gamer} Nov 20th, 2019
“Agree with above review”

Everything you need to know is in the fantastic summary and review above, so I’ll only add a few points to stress:

1. This game is about short-term memory and ability to take what you heard and make inductions (come to a conclusion based on putting together separate details) to solve the problem. If you can’t remember anything you heard, or are really bad at induction, then being able to creatively abduct (make something up based on almost no clues) is also a hilarious alternative.

If you or someone in your group can’t accept that most of the game is about hilariously passing on misremembered/misheard clues and trying to make the best guess based on probably very faulty information — to the point of not being able to solve the cases — then you’ll probably find this game more frustrating than fun.

2. If your group can play this game with the mindset that it’s a party game and not a serious deduction game, you’ll all have more fun. Solving the case and winning is incidental to the fun of playing telephone with logic puzzle clues and getting most of them wrong.

If this doesn’t sound like fun, don’t play this.

If you’re hoping for a more straight up crime-solving “deduction” (but really induction) game, then look to something else such as Chronicles of Crime, which is also light, also highly participatory, also requires no note-taking, but takes much longer to search for clues and solve the cases.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
7
Canada
Z-Man Games fan
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan
Go to the Century: A New World page
9
iambfg {Avid Gamer} Nov 3rd, 2019
“A Fitting Finale to the Century Series”

I really enjoy worker placement games. Stone Age, Marco Polo, Champions of Midgard, Caverna…the list of good worker placement games is long and contains pretty much any theme you could want.

But these are not short games.

So when Plan B Games announced the last in the Century trilogy would be a worker placement game, I was very much onboard. Could they really deliver a worker placement game where turns just fly by?

Components

There’s no easy way to put it. There are some good and bad here.

The cards and tiles are great. The workers and the playing board? Not so much. The joke that will come up is that a resource cube (it’s a Century game, ofcourse there are cubes!) is about the size of two workers.

And the board is made out of thickish paper. Why the boards are not the same thick tile like material as the Eastern Wonders tiles I don’t know. It’s a shame really.

Set-Up

Give everyone a player mat, and coloured pieces of their choice. Boring, typical stuff like any Euro.

But borrowing from Eastern Wonders, A New World has a variable board. THIS IS FANTASTIC. One issue most worker placement games have, is that after multiple plays they become a little samey. Not an issue here.

Adding to this is that some spots on the board are covered with exploration tiles. In some games you may not see large portions of the board.

This means there is more to discover in each game you play!

Game Play – Basics

On a player’s turn they will choose one of two actions:

*Work: Use one location of the game board by placing the required number of settlers there.
*Rest: Return all your settlers from the game board to your player board.

That’s right…there are no set number of round in a game of A New World. Oh and another great twist, there’s bumping other player’s workers. Really want to go on a spot somebody else has gone? Sure. But you pay an extra worker AND give the other player a worker or two to avoid having to rest.

I LOVE THIS.

The last round is triggered once a player claims their 8th point card.

The player with the most points wins.

Game Play – Advanced Tactics

When you go to turn in cubes for a point card, you also have the option of taking a bonus tile. These often will give you points for collecting certain icons on either point cards, or exploration tiles.

This really makes what point cards you go for vastly different than your opponent.

Theme

I’ll just copy what I put here from my Eastern Wonders review:
“Look, the Century games have alt Golem versions that are the same game with different components. If you are looking for a theme heavy game, you are not going to find it here.”

There is a theme here, but it’s pasted on.

Replay Value

Variable setup.

Unique end game scoring goals.

These are usually things that make a game very replayable. Add in the stream lined nature of the Century Games?

I’m on board. Yeah!

Over All Impression.

This is a great worker placement game. If you like worker placement games you will likely enjoy this one. The bumping, and unique goals really do make this game feel different.

But the best part?

This is still a Century game. Turns go by FAST. The game feel meaty, but is over before you know it. While I really liked Caverna, I sold my copy because it never got played. It just took too long. A New World? This is so easy to get to the table and gives me the same type of enjoyment.

I’ll just need to grab some proper sized meeples for my copy.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
7
Canada
Z-Man Games fan
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan
Go to the Century: Eastern Wonders page
9
iambfg {Avid Gamer} Nov 3rd, 2019
“Leaving The Spice Road For...Pick Up & Deliver?”

The first pick up and deliver games I played I hated. I just couldn’t get in to adding cubes to a boat, and moving the boat to a drop off location.

But I loved Century Spice Road. And games like Istanbul and Oracle of Delphi landed well with me. So I was willing to give Eastern Wonders a chance. But a hesitant one.

Components

CUBES!!! Look, while I like the bright colours of the player bits, this game is a cube pusher. So the bits are not going to blow you away.

But everything here is really nice. The tiles are nice and thick. The outposts are big enough to tell who all ready has one on a tile, but not so much that the tiles become unreadable.

Everything is small (I’d love a deluxe version) but wood always feel great.

Set-Up

Give everyone a player mat, and coloured pieces of their choice. Boring, typical stuff.

Setting up the board? Ok…now comes the fun part.

While there are specific setups in the user guide, and certain rules about the number of market tiles used, other than that you really have a lot of options. This means that each game is going to feel different.

I do recommend using the basic setup when teaching the game, but once everybody knows how to play? Go nuts.

Game Play – Basics

On a player’s turn they will choose to move, and then do one of the following:

* a Market action on a market tile (placing an Outpost plus take, convert, or upgrade cubes)
* a Port action on a port tile (trade in cubes for a point tile)
* a Harvest action on any tile (gain a yellow cube)

The last round is triggered once a player claims their 4th point tile.

The player with the most points wins.

Game Play – Advanced Tactics

Adding to the complexity of the game, whenever you place an outpost you may uncover victory points. But, if you empty a vertical column you get to choose one bonus tile from the supply and place it next to your player board.

These give you special powers to break rules, or straight up bonus points.

Theme

Look, the Century games have alt Golem versions that are the same game with different components. If you are looking for a theme heavy game, you are not going to find it here.

Replay Value

One of the reasons I love Century Spice Road is that turns are fast. And Eastern Wonders keeps that going here. Very often you’ll be trying to figure out your next turn and be reminded that it’s now your turn. Not as often as spice road, but frequently enough that the games plays in a short amount of time.

And the variable setup just adds to the replay-ability of this one.

Over All Impression.

So is this just another bland pick up and deliver game? Yes and no. It, like the other Century games, takes a mechanic at it’s most basic and figures out the way to make a streamlined game with that core element.

What Spice Road is to hand management, Eastern Wonders is to pick up and deliver.

And surprisingly, that works wonderfully for a game that is still quick and has few rules, but also has some depth to it. This one will gladly stay on my shelf.

One caution I will say…unlike Spice Road that works great from 2 to 5 players, you’ll want to stick with 2 or 3 for Eastern Wonders. Playing with the full four players is a little bit chaotic, and can introduce some minor AP. I haven’t really felt that in the games at the lower player numbers though.

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5 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
1
Go to the Star Realms page
 
WeViewGames Oct 14th, 2019
“Massive fun in a small box”

This review can also be found on our website: Star Realms Review

Hi!

Today we are reviewing Star Realms. It’s a card game with a space theme that is playable with 2 players. It’s designed by Rob Dougherty and Darwin Kastle, both known because of their place in the Magic hall of fame, and published in 2014 by White Wizard Games. The game started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2013.

The base game consists of 128 illustrated cards and a rulebook and that’s all that you need. Because the game is contained in a small box, it’s easy to take it with you on vacation and it doesn’t take up too much space on your shelf.

Gameplay
The game is quite easy to learn/play, but still gives you many decisions that can give you the edge above some other players. Every player starts with the same deck of cards and 50 authority. Authority is your life in this game. Every round you draw 5 cards and you get to play them on the board. The cards can, when played, give you any of the following effects:

Trade: used for buying new cards from the trade row

Combat: used to damage your opponent

Authority: used to gain more authority

There are 2 types of cards in the game. There are ships and bases. Both those cards can give you the effects that are listed above, but could also give an additional effect. Ships go away after your turn, but bases stay on the playground until they are destroyed.

There is also a trade row in the middle of the playground consisting of 5 cards. You can buy new cards from the trade row with the trade you get that round. You cannot keep trade through your turns, so it’s usually smart to spend most of it. New cards go into your discard pile along with the cards that you played that turn. When your deck is empty, you shuffle your discard pile and use that as your deck. So you are always improving your deck.

Some cards that share the same faction have a separate effect. So it’s good to base your deck around at least one faction. There won’t always be enough cards to build your deck with only one faction, so experiment with different combinations and see what works best for you.

The core of the game is basically to draw cards, play cards and expand your deck. Doesn’t sound too difficult, right?

Factions
There are 4 different factions in the game and they all play very differently. They all follow a certain theme, so they are fairly easy to distinguish on the cards.

Trade Federation:
The trade federation focuses on trade and growth. They are not very aggressive, but they do have a defensive branch to protect their trade from other factions. In the game, they specialize in generating large amounts of trade and gaining authority.

Blobs:
The blobs are the first alien life that the human race encountered. Ever since humanity met them, they have been very aggressive. The blobs specialize in generating large amounts of combat and removing cards from the trade row.

Star Empire:
The star empire consists of former colonies of the trade federation. They felt like the federation failed to give them enough protection from the blob, so they decided to unite and create their own empire. The star Empire specializes in drawing cards and discarding cards from the opponent.

Cultmachine:
When the industrial mining worlds were completely separated from the federation due to the blobs, they decided to take measures in their own hands and advanced their technologies. Soon the technology became their religion and god. The machine cult specializes in removing cards from your deck and have many bases.

Factions just bring so much more to the game in the way of playing. Sometimes you’ll only be using one faction but usually, your deck will consist of multiple factions that all work together to make sure that you win.

Our opinion
This. Game. Is. Amazing. For the price (around 15 euros), you get so much content that’ll definitely keep you going for quite some time. The base game supports only 2 players. You can also play with 3-4 players, but then you need to buy another copy of the game. The different factions really play differently and you will usually need to combine them together for your own deck. We do think some faction combinations are very strong. And sometimes this can be difficult to beat due to the trade row being random. But usually, this balances itself out quite well.

Card games come with a bit of randomness due to drawing the cards. Sometimes this can be annoying, but it’s not too bad due to you buying your own deck. Sometimes you’ll get unlucky and help your opponent to get a card that helps him to beat you later on, but the games are quick so you can quickly beat him in the next game.

Should you get it?
If you are a fan of quick 2 player games that appeals to either casual and competitive players, then yes, go get it right now! Honestly, for this price, you can’t quite go wrong. Even for 3-4 players, I think this game is worth it. If you want to buy 2 sets, make sure to buy the base set and the expansion one. This way you get even more fun out of it!

Maybe if you are really competitive and don’t enjoy the randomness of card games, then this game won’t be for you. Or maybe the theme isn’t something for you. If you want a different theme. The makers of this game also created a game like star realms, but with a fantasy theme called Hero Realms.

Happy playing!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful

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