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Robert V. Bolton

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Go to the Eminent Domain page

Eminent Domain

92 out of 99 gamers thought this was helpful

Eminent Domain Overview

Eminent Domain from Tasty Menstrual Games is a two to four player deck building and role selection game designed by Seth Jaffee. Players compete for victory points by settling planets through colonization or warfare, exploration of technologies, and production and trade of goods. At the beginning of the game players starts with the same cards in their deck. On their turn a player can of play a card for its action, however they must choose a Role to execute (their opponents will get a chance to follow suit or decent) and in doing so you will add one of those Role cards to their deck. The game ends when a set number of decks becomes exhausted. The player with the most victory points is the winner.

Gameplay in a Nut Shell

Each player begins the game with a deck of cards consisting of two survey, two colonize, two produce/trade, two research, one warfare, and one political card. From this deck the player draws their starting hand of five cards. When a player’s turn begins they can optionally play a card for its action. These action are similar to the card’s role as in the case of the warfare, colony, or production/trade cards, or they can differ such as the research and survey cards. After the action phase player must select a role, in doing so they add a card of that type to their hand. This role allows them to do a specific action such as exploring, colonizing , or attacking new planets, producing or trading a planet’s goods, or researching new technologies. A player can boost the effects of this action by playing additional card of the same type. At this point the other players can optionally follow the player’s lead, or dissent and drawing a card from their deck. After a player finishes with both action and role selection phases they can discard any card(s) from their hand and draw up to their limit. Play continues until a set number of card decks become exhausted, the number of players determines the end game condition. The player with the most victory points is the winner. Players earn victory points for concurring planets, producing and trading goods, and researching technologies.

Overall Impression of Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain is an interesting twist on the deck building genre. The role selection mechanic adds another dimension not found in traditional deck builders such as Dominion. Players feel as if they are building a galactic empire and not constructing an economic engine to buy victory points. This allows players to choose a strategy that fits the goals of their empire rather than building a deck consisting of optimal combinations dictated by the available cards. The lack of player interaction gives Eminent Domain a felling of multiplayer solitaire, however Seth Jaffee has announced an expansion that will allow players to attack each other’s planets. The theme is a little abstract and will require players to use their imagination, but width more game expansions Eminent Domain could morph into a 4x space game that could even rival Twilight Imperium (third edition). I enjoy this game and recommend it to anyone looking to add a space themed deck building game to their collection.

6
Go to the Ninja Versus Ninja page

Ninja Versus Ninja

90 out of 97 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview

Ninja Versus Ninja from Out of the Box Publishing is a two player abstract strategy game designed by Tushar Gheewala. Each player controls a set of six ninjas that are trying to protect their dojo, while simultaneously trying to invade their rival’s dojo. You score points based on how far you make it into your opponent’s area and back in a set number of turns without being captured. The winner is the player who scores seven points or captures all the opposing player’s ninjas.

Gameplay in a Nut Shell

On a player’s turn, he rolls the dice and moves his ninja the number of space indicated by the dice. He can move his ninja in either a straight line or in an “L” shape. The ninja can do a reversal movement while in an opponent’s dojo. You can opt to combine the reversal movement with the “L” shaped movement. If a ninja’s movement doesn’t end on top of another ninja he has to move around him since the other ninjas is blocking his path. If a ninja’s movement ends on top of another ninja he has captured that ninja. Remove captured ninjas from the game. Once a ninja leaves a his dojo, indicated by the bamboo flooring on the game board, to invade his opponent’s dojo he is on a mission. That ninja has three turns to complete this mission. Capture results after three turns. A mission consist of invading an opponent’s dojo and returning to your own. The further you venture into your opponent’s dojo the more point you score.

What’s in the Box?

6 Black Ninjas
6 Red Ninjas
2 Ninja Masters—one red and one black
2 Grey Shadow Ninjas—one red and one black
2 Four-Sided Dice
Game Board
Rule Sheet

The only complaint I have is the swords on the ninjas. The soft rubbery plastic is not rigid enough. I would prefer hard plastic ninjas, but I can live with how they are.

Overall Impression

Easy to learn rules, quick gameplay, and quality components make this game a great addition to anyone’s collection. I initially purchased this game with my kids in mind. I didn’t think this game would challenge an adult, but I was wrong. There is enough strategy for adults to enjoy, while keeping things simple for a child. So when your child ask to play Ninja Versus Ninja, you’ll be able to enjoy it as much as them. I would recommend this game to anyone with children. It would also make a fun filer at a game night as well.

6
Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

134 out of 145 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Ticket to Ride is a two to five player route/network building game designed by Alan R. Moon. Players begin the game with at least two destination tickets that show which cities on the game board they need to connect. They then collect sets of cards for the various colored trains routes between each city. As each card set is discard a player places their train tokens on the board. Players score points for connecting the cities shown on a destination ticket and for each train route a player is able to claim. The winner is the player is the one with the highest point total at the end of the game.

Gameplay in a Nutshell
At the beginning of the game each player is deal four train cards and three destination tickets. A player can keep all three destination tickets or they can discard one of their choice, but they must keep at least two tickets. On a player’s turn he has three options: they can draw more train cards, discard a set of colored train cards to claim a route, or draw more destination tickets.

When a player chooses to draw more train cards they can either draw two cards from the deck or two cards from a set of five face up cards next to the card deck. If a wild card is present, indicated by a multi-colored border surrounding a locomotive, in the cards that are face up and a player selects the wild card that is the only card they can draw during their turn. A player can draw one card from the deck and one card from the face pile if they wish. If a player draws a wild card from the deck they can select an another card since this the other players are unaware of their choice.

After a player has collected the proper amount train cards of a given color they can claim a route. The game board consist of different colored routes that correspond to the train card colors. There also exist routes on the board that are gray. A play may claim these routes with any colored set of cards. Wild cards my also be substituted for another color in a card set.

At anytime during gameplay a player may choose to draw more destination tickets. When drawing these tickets the player takes three and must keep one ticket of his choice. Any destination tickets left uncompleted at the end of the game cut your final score by the point total listed on the ticket.

Each player only has forty-five train token claim routes with. As the game play progresses they will exhaust their stockpile of tokens. Once a player has two or fewer train tokens, the last round of play begins. The other players will have one last turn in wich to claim any routes. You can not claim a route longer than the amount of train token you have left. Once the game is over players move their scoring marker reconciling their completed or uncompleted destination tickets. The player with the longest continuous train scores an extra ten points. The winner is the player with the highest point total.

Overall Impression
Ticket to Ride is a game the entire family can enjoy. The simple to learn rules and short game player make it an excellent game to introduce non-gamers into the board gaming hobby. However there exist a couple of flaws in the game. One thing that drives me crazy is lack of hand limit. This allows for the first twenty minutes of the game to consist of players randomly drawing cards. This is easily overcome by a house rule for a hand limit size. The destination tickets in the base game of Ticket to Ride are also unevenly spread among the following routes: Settle to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Miami , and Miami to New York. The Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 game expansion addresses this issue, while simultaneously providing larger train and destination cards. If you plan on purchasing Ticket to Ride I would also recommend purchasing the USA 1910 game expansion as well.

7
Go to the Qwirkle page

Qwirkle

75 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

Qwirkle is simple game to learn, yet surprisingly strategic. The game components consist of wooden tiles with various colored shapes painted on them, and a cloth bag to draw the tiles from. During a given turn a player selects one of these tiles randomly and places it down with the other tiles. Points are scored by placing tiles together in groups consisting of the same color or shape. The winner is the player with the most points after all the tiles have been played.

Not only is this game fun, it can help young children learn colors, shapes, and pattern recognition. My six year old loves playing this game with his three year old brother. Both of them are able to enjoy this game despite there differences in development. Qwirkle is a great family game, and the casual gamer will enjoy it as well.

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