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Dallas Petersen

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Novice Reviewer
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Review 5 games and receive a total of 140 positive review ratings.
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Go to the Dominion page
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
Go to the Power Grid page
Go to the Agricola page
Go to the 7 Wonders page
Go to the Pandemic page
Go to the Summoner Wars page
8
Go to the Colosseum page

Colosseum

131 out of 145 gamers thought this was helpful

I think it’s too bad that this game hasn’t received more attention—it’s got a lot going for it…

Pros
• Superb production value—artwork and component are amazing.
• Great phases. It feels like you have five games in one because of the varying mechanics employed for each phase. In one phase it is a bidding game, the next it is a trading game, the next it is a set-collection game, etc. This may sound like it is a Frankenstein design, but the sum is truly greater because of the parts. Despite being a fairly long game to play, the mini-games in the form of phases makes it feel like it takes less time. There is also a decent amount of interactivity between players, so it doesn’t feel like you’re just waiting for the next person’s turn to end.

Cons
• A bit long. It plays like a gateway game, but takes as long as gamer games.
• Box is glossy rather than matte. This may seem really nit-picking (ok, it is), but the box can be hard to open because of the glossy cover.
• Need to have one player drive the other players through the phases. Maybe this doesn’t seem that big of a deal, but it can be hard to keep the game moving without someone saying, “OK, everyone. The next phase is…”.

All in all, I really recommend this game. It seems there have been varying times when Days of Wonder has put this game on sale or bundled it with others. If you can get it at discount, consider yourself lucky. If not, I think it is worth the full price.

8
Go to the Hive: The Ladybug page
29 out of 33 gamers thought this was helpful

I love Hive. It’s a quick, it’s strategic, it’s highly portable. (How many games can you play on the beach?) Prior to purchasing the Ladybug expansion, I’d purchased the Mosquito expansion. Certainly, the Mosquito is extremely versatile—the ability to copy the ability of any insect it is adjacent to, so it is probably not fair to put the Ladybug in the same category of value as the mosquito. The insect that it is most like is the beetle—except faster. Altogether, it moves three spaces—two on top, then one down, ending its turn beside other insects. Really, it can be quite useful. Now is it worth the money for the expansion? I like the game, and the quality of the tiles is as good as the others, so I was good with completing the Hive set with this new bug.

My only question is: What is the next insect? Preying Mantis with the ability to eat other insects? I’d buy it. 🙂

10
Go to the Conflict at the Carrock Adventure Pack page
82 out of 89 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m in constant search for games that will appeal to both my gaming groups and my family. Generally speaking, it is easy to find games that appeal to the gamers, it’s finding games that can “make it to the table” for my family that is hard. In my family, it is my son that plays games the most, but he has a distinct preference for games that exhibit the following qualities:

• fast, accessible gameplay
• solid, adventurous theme (preferably fantasy-oriented)

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and its accompanying adventure packs, meets both of these requirements. “Conflict at the Carrock” is the second expansion pack, and it definitely ratchets the difficulty up several notches from the first expansion pack. In the previous pack, “The Hunt for Gollum,” the adventure was simply this—stay on Gollum’s trail. You don’t capture him—that’s left for a future adventure pack—so it feels a bit “all exposition and no resolve.” With Carrock, you’ll find a tight adventure romp, with the trolls providing a solid butt-whooping to those who dare to tangle with them. My son and I are 0-2 so far against them, but we’re loving it.

9
Go to the Summoner Wars page

Summoner Wars

89 out of 98 gamers thought this was helpful

If you’re like me, your gaming sessions fall into a few categories:

1. Playing with the family
2. Playing with the gamers

For me, more often than not, the time to actually play with gamers comes few and far between (alas), and finding the right game to get the family to play is hard, too. The games you play with the gamers tend to be more complex and strategic, and the games with family tend to be lighter, more gateway-type games. I’ve found this game bridges both camps, though tends to be more of a filler for the gamers.

Beyond being a great game to transcend playing groups, I’d give this game high marks for the following:

• speed: gameplay is simple and setup is quick
• replayability: numerous factions decks and great booster packs
• theme: consistent artwork (I’ve read mixed reviews on it, but I like the visual design)

My only knock against the game is the components. The cards themselves—the heart of the game—are a bit cheap. I didn’t buy card protectors for Dominion, but it’s pretty much required for Summoner Wars. I’d recommend the “Premium Chimera” cards from Mayday Games (no, I’m not affiliated with them—just a happy customer of these particular protectors). Also, you’ll definitely want to get the optional board for the game—the folded paper playing board is worthless.

9
Go to the Dominion: Cornucopia page
8 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m a completist when it comes to Dominion–I have all the expansions, including the overpriced single cards from BGG. This is a great one. Alchemy was so-so, but this one, Prosperity, and Intrique are all must haves.

6
Go to the BattleLore page

BattleLore

62 out of 106 gamers thought this was helpful

i had Memoir 44 before buying this. Several years and expansions later, and I’m thinking I’d just stick with Memoir 44. Battlelore adds some complexity through the lore cards and other expansion rules that slows the battles too much for my taste. Setup alone can be rather time consuming. If you’re wanting to scratch the fantasy battle itch, I’d go with Heroscape or others.

7
Go to the Ticket to Ride: Switzerland page
47 out of 110 gamers thought this was helpful

i have the Europe version to use with this expansion. This makes TTR a great two player game. After playing this, I’m actually tempted to buy the Nordic expansion–also a 2-3 person game.

8
Go to the Small World: Tales and Legends page
65 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

This expansion introduces some additional strategy in the form of changing events each round. There are enough cards that the replay value is high. I think it is well worth purchasing.

8
Go to the The Hunt for Gollum Adventure Pack page
68 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s a challenging co-op with a stronger sense of narrative and character than other co-ops that I’ve played, and I enjoy that. The difficulty level tends to vary with the adventure, and to that end, this Gollum adventure seems to be fairly middle-of-the-road. I don’t mind that it is easier (we’re 50:50 with wins-loses). What it may lack in difficulty it makes up for in story–after playing this I want to buy the next adventure packs to see how this evolves and resolves.

8
Go to the Dixit page

Dixit

32 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

Yes… and well deserved. I was skeptical, but this game has proven to be the best in the breed of “guess-what-the-judge-picked” games (Apples to Apples, etc.). The picture-cards are terrific and definitely spur creative thinking.

This game plays well with both gamers and non-gamers, so I’m glad I have the game. I just like to see games get played, and this is one that will definitely make it to the table.

8
Go to the Dixit 2 page

Dixit 2

58 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

More great pictures for Dixit. I suppose if you really wanted to, you could probably buy just this pack and make your own pieces to do the scoring and voting, but then you’ll miss out on the other cards in the base set. Regardless, this is a terrific addition to an already great game.

4
Go to the Loot page

Loot

41 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

It felt like a somewhat more elaborate version of war. With only two people, this game is definitely broken. I’d like to try it with more, but I have the feeling that you need four or more to make it work. I’m not really sure that even if it were “working” it would be something I’d care to play. Hate to be a downer on it, but just not feeling it with this one…

6
Go to the Wasabi! page

Wasabi!

62 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

Great theme… check. Great visual design… check. Interesting play… meh. This had such promise, but just didn’t deliver for me.

9
Go to the Pandemic page

Pandemic

23 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

There were others in this genre before, but you can see the influence this game has had by the number of similar games that have followed. A must for any collection. I’ve been surprised by how many non-gamers have liked this, too.

8
Go to the Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game page
58 out of 87 gamers thought this was helpful

This game seems most similar to Civ Revolutions, if you’ve played the video game. There are several ways to win, the characters add some nice replayability, and the components are solid. My only gripe is the war mechanism is not quite satisfying. Looking forward to future expansions.

8
Go to the Carcassonne page

Carcassonne

48 out of 104 gamers thought this was helpful

No collection is complete without it. As other reviewers have said, this is a gateway game—works well with experienced gamers and non-gamers alike.

10
Go to the Agricola page

Agricola

32 out of 87 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s rank on BGG says it all—a great gamer’s game with tons of replayability thanks to ample cards. I’d suggest a card draft during setup to get your occupations and minor improvements—makes it possible to really hone your strategy with the cards.

9
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

31 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

This fits a space similar to Dominion—fast games that are easy-to-learn and apt to sessions of repeated plays. I usually don’t sleeve card games, but with as much passing and shuffling you’ll do with this, you’ll definitely want to invest in sleeves. Mayday Games has some good ones.

8
Go to the Pandemic: On the Brink page
36 out of 77 gamers thought this was helpful

Many new roles, extra difficulty, bio-terrorist, petri dishes for pieces… what’s not to like?

9
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
37 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

I play this as much as I can with my 13-year-old son. We get beat most of the time, but that just makes the victory all the sweeter. Can’t wait for all the adventure packs to come out.

Pros
• Easy to learn
• Cooperative gameplay
• Rich theme and narrative
• Fantastic artwork
• Ample expansions planned for the future

Cons
• Card component quality is so-so.
• Box insert is worthless.

10
Go to the Dominion page

Dominion

66 out of 105 gamers thought this was helpful

Dominion—the game that started the latest deck-building craze. I have all the expansions, and love the following about this game:

Pros
• Easy to learn
• Fast play
• Always doing something—whether it is shuffling your deck, planning your next hand, playing your hand, or watching what others are buying, there is never a “down” moment.
• Great artwork
• Loads of expansions—great replayability.

Cons
• If you’re playing with newbies, it can be a bit slow as they mull over all the cards to buy.
• Difficult to find a suitable case to hold all the cards.

At this point, I’m pretty much hooked on the game… and committed to buying all the expansions. If you just want one base set and expansion, I’d go with Dominion: Intrigue and Dominion: Prosperity.

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