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Go to the Eldritch Horror page
Go to the Bang! The Dice Game page
Go to the Firefly: The Game page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
Go to the Fiasco page
Go to the Flames of War: Open Fire! – Starter Set page
Go to the Letters from Whitechapel page
Go to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles (Base Set) page
76 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

Pathfinder ACG Skull and Shackles is the second entry in their Adventure card game series. The number of players goes from One to Six, and is played over a series of “adventures” across several scenarios.

Cards, a lot of them if you count in the expansion scenarios.
The insert is functional for the base set with out the expansion scenarios. You will most likely be making a new insert for it or buying one online or from a convention/store.
The quality of the cards is best put at mediocre.
The art is Good.
The Box is sturdy.

Setup is pretty easy as you follow what the location cards tell you to put there (IE: 4 Monsters, 3 Items, 2 Weapons, etc).

Each player begins play with a character of their choosing and a deck of 15 cards. This will change and grow some over the course of play.

Players “move” their character to a location, explore it, encounter the top card of that location deck. Play a card(s), roll some dice then add in some other numbers to get their result. Either you make it or you don’t.

Unfortunately PACG Skull and Shackles keeps up the tradition of its predecessor in being a really boring, arbitrary, formulaic, and repetitive game. The first couple of plays are good, but then you realize how the game is designed and realize its rather quite boring. This character min-maxes this, that one min-maxes that to be able to do this stuff. Play weapon, item, or spell and maybe a blessing to get more dice. You pick up and roll them and then add in modifier numbers. There is really no choices in this game. It is all random luck. If the dice are on fire you will do good, if not well then the opposite happens.

-Decent artwork
-Sturdy Box

-Extremely repetitive
-Lots of Downtime
-Breeds a lack of interest in what other players are doing on their turns

I know a lot of people seem to sing nothing but praises for this game. I may have the unpopular opinion on this, but the game is just boring after the first couple of games when you figure everything out. There is only luck in this game, no skill or thinking involved. Its just a flip and see what happens game. Which IMO is a bad design for a game now days, maybe a decade or two ago with would be great. If you want a dungeon crawl there is Decent, Imperial Assault, the D&D board games(all GM-less), Thunderstone Advanced is a way better card game choice, that give better experiences and have you interested in what other people are doing on their turn.

I found myself and the other players grabbing our phones to play other games, or else setting up side games and getting more involved in those then the Pathfinder Adventure Card game. There is no incentive to want to encounter monsters or obstacles other then you are forced to. I think Paizo needs to look at the Thunderstone Advance card game and see what they did right. That played way better.

Go to the Smash Up page

Smash Up

22 out of 23 gamers thought this was helpful

Smash Up is a card game for 2-4 players taking around an hour to play.
It is released by AEG in 2012 and is still in print.
Also covering the expansions a bit in this as well.

-Nice Sturdy Box with lots of space in it for the factions (won’t support card sleeves)
-Faction decks (20 cards each)
-Location Cards
-Artwork is fantastic and fits the theme they are going for.

These are all really nice. I do recommend getting the Big Geeky Box once that is released as the base set box just lacks the rooms for all the factions that have been released with the Expansions. Plus the Big Geeky Box comes with factions as well and will support card sleeves in it.


Players are competing to be the first to 15 Victory Points. They do so by competing over various ‘bases’ that are out to capture, and they capture those by playing minions onto them. Each minion has a power rating, and when the added power of all minions on a base beats its’ ‘breakpoint’ they well..break, and points are awarded to 1st/2nd/3rd place.

Each turn, a player gets to play 1 minion and 1 action from their hand. Each card has an ability, and it’s good management of these abilities that can lead a player to victory.

Its a very easy game to explain to people and the interesting stuff comes in the form of the combos you can play with your cards.

-Good Quality Components
-Plays in about an hour, so can use it as a filler game or main game of the session by playing a few times over.
-Some Interesting Combos.
-Base Set was designed with expansions in mind, so has room to store them pretty decently.

-With the player limit of 4, makes it hard to get out with larger groups when you got the 5-6 people showing up.
-Some people just take forever making up their minds on what to play either too many options or they are not reading the text. So pays to keep on reminding people to read the text on their cards
when its not their turn.
-Some people refuse to take and try other factions at all, so some house ruling can help this out.

Smash Up is a great game to play. I wish I got more chances to play it, but I normally sit out since on average I get five people showing up to my weekly open game night I host at my place. It changes when a bit with some of my other groups, but those are dedicated to RPGs and Wargames. Sometimes they like to shake things up and try something else for a session or two.

I recommend this game for pretty much anyone. A hardcore gamer will have fun trying to figure out the optimal combinations and a casual gamer will just have fun with the ridiculous premise of the game.

Go to the Love Letter page

Love Letter

116 out of 123 gamers thought this was helpful

In Japan there is a fascination for pocket sized games that usually consist of a small deck of cards and possibly some tokens. Love Letter came onto the scene at the Japan Game Market Trade shows and won the Popularity Vote there for New Game with a 4.2 out of 5. It was published by Kanai Factory in Japan and has spread through out the world. In the United States it is released by AEG aka Alderac Entertainment Group.

Love Letter Plays 2-4 Players in about 20 min.

-16 cards
-Wooden Cubes
-Storage Bag (depends on the edition)

These components are above medium quality.

The cards are shuffled with one taken out of play with out being revealed to anyone.

Players take turns to try and get their letter of love to the princess. This means either getting as high a number card in hand as possible, or eliminating all the other players or High Card in case of a tie. On a turn, draw 1 card and play 1 card (So out of turn each player has 1 card), with each card having a special ability, such as looking at another players card, or swapping with another player, etc. The first to win X rounds (X depends on #players) er…gets to be with the princess I guess.

-Decent Components
-Quick Gameplay makes it a nice filler game and doesn’t keep eliminated players from having nothing to do for a while.
-Easy to teach/learn
-Usually a pretty cheap game

-The bag can be a bit irritating for storage and put the components at risk quite easily. (Again depends on edition, some actually have a nice box in addition to the bag.)
-Not a game to play a bunch of times back to back and definitely not a main event type of game for a gaming day.

Love Letter is a game that people should think about adding to their collection for having for a filler or just a quick sit down and play. Its not much fun with just two people, but really shines when you get the full four players.

There are other versions of Love Letter out there. By that I mean just a themeing thing ranging from Samurai to a High School theme. This is varied by country and which company is releasing it.

Go to the Fortress America page

Fortress America

114 out of 124 gamers thought this was helpful

Fortress America was originally released in 1986 by Milton Bradley as apart of its Gamemaster Series. It then faded away to be brought back by Fantasy Flight Games in 2012.

Fortress America is about the US being invaded on three sides simultaneously by the Euro-Socialist Pact to the East, the Central American Federation from the South, and the Asian People’s Alliance from the West. In the original it was the US vs. Communists.

Its focus is on combined arms, which will be made prevalent after one play through.

It is a 2-4 player game that can last up to 4 hours.

Note: This is not to teach you how to play the game.

The game is one player playing as the United States vs. One to Three people playing as the invading forces. The Invaders go first followed by the US player.

Turn Order is as Follows:
-Reinforcements: Invaders place 8 units in their starting area and America places 1 Laser in a U.S. controlled city. America also plays 2 Partisan cards plus any bonus cards gained for recapturing a city.
-Declare Battles: The player chooses the territories they plan to attack.
-Maneuvers: Players move their units; in some instances this may be to position them for an invasion. Each unit has a set movement value.
-Fire Lasers: America fires its Lasers (Invaders do not take this action).
-Combat: Resolve all declared battles. The defender will roll dice first according the type of units they are defending with. It should be noted that destroyed units are removed from play immediately. This gives the defender an advantage by trying to eliminate invading units before they roll. Any invading units that remain then roll dice according the type of units they are defending with. Both sides only roll dice for their units one time, whether or not the invasion was a success.
-Invasion: Players can move their units again to secure a newly declared territory, to reinforce a weakened area, or to simply advance your forces.
-Supply Lines Check: Each Invading army must have a controlled supply line back to their starting area. Any unit cut off from supplies is destroyed and removed from the game.
-Capture Territories: Players take control of any territory they successfully claimed in the invasion phase. This is done by placing a corresponding control marker on the board.

The game uses three types of dice.
-Red(D6) used by Infantry and Mobile Infantry
-White(D8) used by Tanks and Helicopters
-Blue(D10) used by Bombers

Combined arms comes into play when you are trying to take a city or attacking a mountain region. There are two types of attack symbols, one in a circle and one not in a circle. The not in the circle does not count for attacking a city or in the mountains unless you are using combined arms (different types of units together).

The US player also gets to draw two Partisan Cards each turn and use them. These are basically one shot special powers/events. They also give the other type of unit the Partisan to the US player. They are quite nice and roll the white die if they are defending by themselves. Invaders can get cards in a variant listed in the rule book.

There are a lot of variants you can play to make it easier and harder for either side.

As standard with pretty much every Fantasy Flight Game, these components are extremely nice. The map is a bit subdued to what it was in the first edition.

As always they should last a long time unless you are abusing the heck out of them. Also if you are worried about the cards, sleeves can be a nice thing if you want to do that.

-Fantastic Component Quality
-Has the theme, especially if you grew up in the cold war era.
-A nice Light leaning towards medium weight War Game.
-Rule book is pretty easy to understand and detailed without being complicated.

-Can be ruined by playing with an overbearing Alpha Gamer
-Tends to push the limit for game length at 4 hours, but is still fun
-Some choices can seem overwhelming at first.

Its the same as the first edition with minor changes. There are people out there who say that the game is unbalanced/lopsided. Some say US is more powerful and vice versa. Honestly the US is weaker in a 2 player game but stronger in a 4 player game. This is due to the number of people playing the invaders not getting along well in their strategy. Yes talking to each other is good, but don’t let it all become lets just crush this guy talks. The variants add some nice replay value.

Its still fun with hardly any mechanic changes in nearly 3 decades since its release. I have played it with a wide variety of people from those getting into boardgaming all the way to hardcore war gamers. They have all had enjoyment from it. .

Go to the Bang! The Dice Game page
132 out of 142 gamers thought this was helpful

Bang! the card game has been around for over a decade now. The Dice game is a new foray into its western theme. It plays up to 8 people in around 15-20 min.

Players take on the roll of Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw, Renegade.
-The Outlaws want to kill the Sheriff
-The Sheriff wants the Outlaws and Renegade Dead.
-The Renegade wants to be the last man standing.
The number of Deputies, Outlaws and Renegades varies by the number of players.

Each Player is given a character card. Each with its own life total and special ability.

Players roll five dice choosing to keep certain results. They can roll up to 3 times (similar to King of Tokyo).
-A player must keep any dynamite rolled.
-They must take an arrow from the pile if it is rolled
-Beer can be used to give life to any player of your choosing
-range 1 and 2 shots. Must be used to only target people at that range. So a range 2 must be someone two spaces from you unless you are on the final 3 people.
-3 Dynamites deals you one damage
-3 Gatling (bullet holes)does 1 damage to everyone but you.

Once the last arrow is taken, everyone who has arrows, takes damage equal to the number they have.

It plays fast with just enough of a push your luck element.

They are quite nice. The dice are indented so the symbols won’t wear off and high enough quality that they will last a pretty long time of use and abuse.

The Cards and tokens are of medium-high quality and should last as long as they are not abused.

-Plays quickly up to 20 min. with a group of 8 that I played it with.
-Really good quality components.
-Accommodates up to 8 Players.
-Great filler game for leading up to or winding down from your big game of the night.
-Quick Turn over for a player elimination game, so they are not out of a game for very long.
-Can be used as a party game with how quick it is and simple to learn.

-Not a game you would use as the main one for a gaming day/night
-Lacks the upgrades from the card game. No impressive I just got a Winchester rifle and a hideout.

Bang! the card game has suffered from expansion bloat and can end up taking a long time to wrap up. This is a nice quick game and you can get several in. The Dice Game is going to replace the card game for when we want to play Bang! I highly recommend this version.

Go to the The Walking Dead Board Game: The Best Defense page
28 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

The Walking Dead: Best Defense is a Co-Op game for up to 4 players taking anywhere up to an hour to play. As the title of the game says, its based off The Walking Dead televisions series as it uses images from that.

In an age with a lot of quality co-op games and zombie games lets see how this looks.

There are two difficulty settings to this game. Beginner and Hardcore.
Beginner allows you to always talk to each other, and if a survivor dies, you just grab an unused one and keep on chugging away.
Hardcore If a survivor dies the game ends. There is not talking except during combat.
The game can be lost once the last card of a pile is removed due to drawing or zombies.
Combat is simply rolling dice and killing one zombie for every five points of damage you do.

The gameplay is repetitive, not in the good way, but in the boring way. The weapons suffer from huge disparity in their effectiveness. The katana pretty much guarantees you the game as if you roll a 4+ you keep on rolling and adding it up. This allows you to pretty much dominate. Beginner or Easy mode is pretty much a guaranteed win normally.

Most of the components just felt really cheap. The Box is way too big for what it contains. The only reasons its that big is to say “Hey Walking Dead Game Here!”, also for the cover art on it. Have to say its a pretty nice picture.
The life counters are double sided. One side has a 1 and the other a 3. So that can get confusing and for that gamer that likes to cheat they will be flipping it.

-Decent pictures chosen for the cards

-Mixed quality on components
-Highly Repetitive (In the boring way)
-Huge weapon disparity (Katana is a gawd card)

This is a mediocre game that is elevated by it licence. No one would bat an eye at it or even try to talk it up if it didn’t have The Walking Dead plastered on it. Honestly only get this if you are a collector of Walking Dead merchandise.

Go to the Star Trek: Attack Wing  page
20 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

Star Trek: Attack Wing is a game from WizKids that uses the Flight Path System created by FFG for X-Wing Miniatures game and before that Wings of War which was sold and became Wings of Glory. They use the system to represent capital ship combat instead of fighters.

Differences between Attack Wing and X-Wing
-Renamed some of the actions
-Scan Action (Opponent rolls one less defense die)
-Cloak Action (Can’t be target locked for one round, bonus defense dice, etc.)
-a forward 6, turn distance 4, backwards move
-Ships can attack each other when their bases are touching
-Multiple factions

I am a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek, but this game is only good for the real die hard Trekkies who need everything Star Trek. The quality on this one is really disappointing.

Since this is a WizKids game the models really bad. This is amplified by the point that they are sold for the same cost as the FFG X-Wing ships. The plastic of them is horrendous, and the pre-paint on them is not really passable. This makes them feel like a rip off compared to the quality and price point of FFG’s X-Wing Miniatures game.

Also the game will have exclusive ships, cards, tokens, etc that you can only get through tournaments that will be extremely powerful and game breaking. They already have released tournament exclusive dice that have no blanks on them, so those that have those have a higher chance of crits, hits, evades, etc. Remember these are legal to use from now on. This has been their business model since MageKnight came out and it really needs to change.

-Easy to pick up, especially if you have played X-Wing Miniatures game.
-Highly Customizable
-Great if you are a Star Trek fan.
-Multiple Factions.

-Really bad components. The ships themselves are made of awful plastic and not that good looking. Plus they are the same price as the FFG X-Wing ships. This makes these ships overpriced.
-Need to do tournaments and be willing to spend a lot of money to get tournament exclusives to be remotely competitive.

Go to the BattleLore Second Edition page

BattleLore Second Edition

25 out of 28 gamers thought this was helpful

I was skeptical at first about how the new edition of this game would turn out as I enjoyed the first edition from Days of Wonder. FFG bought it then did Battle of Westeros with it and it was in a different direction. This ended up being quite a surprise to me, it still uses the basis of command and colors for it.

There are two factions right now, tons of plastic miniatures. Each side has 7 scenario cards that will tell you have to set up half of the board. Together they will make up the whole battlefield. They will have some special rules for it as well. There is a lot of differences from the first edition to the second edition. There is a double blind simultaneous set-up which involves cards. The rules are about average to pick up.

Really hope there will be expansions. Will most likely get them since its a FFG release.

-Great two player miniatures game
-The factions and units all feel different from each other
-Factions have their own decks with their own abilities unlike 1st edition.
-Since its FFG most likely going to have several expansions
-Excellent components
-Game length is quick to average. So 30 min to an hour and a half in my experience.
-the best in the Command and Colors family.

-For the gamers who do a lot of miniature war gaming and the such, may be a bit too elementary/basic for them.

Go to the Firefly: The Game page

Firefly: The Game

80 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

Firefly is a pretty decent board game for 1-4 players, 5 players if you managed to get the Artful Dodger ship card and ship from Game Trade Magazine #167 for you collectors out there. The length of the game varies depending on what mission you are doing. Right now there are two expansions that have been announced for the game. Breaking Atmo which adds some more jobs and supply cards and then Pirates and Bounty Hunters which is going to add player vs player interaction, more crew, captains, jobs, missions, ships, supply cards, etc.

Gale Force Nine managed to capture the feel of the show and put it into the game. This game literally oozes theme. It is a really delivers almost the entire feel of the show minus the antics. Its biggest flaw as a multiplayer game is that it feels like a single player game. The interaction between players is extremely minimal, so there is no need to really have any vested interest in what the other players are doing. I am hoping that future expansions will address this issue. Just keep that in mind if you are looking for a game that will have players interacting with each other.

I do recommend picking this game up if you loved the series and movie.

-Great components
-Decent insert for the game that actually works well.
-Has awesome theme
-Medium to Long length game (depends on if the players are new to it or not)
-Excellent artwork
-Promo cards are a toss up on difficulty to get, but the Artful Dodger ship can cost you a pretty penny on Ebay.

-Pretty much a single player game even with multiple people playing it due to extremely limited player interaction.

Go to the King of Tokyo page

King of Tokyo

57 out of 64 gamers thought this was helpful

King of Tokyo is perhaps the best example of a pick up and deliver game. Meaning that it is extremely easy to explain the rules and how the game works with minimal effort.

Each player chooses a monster. The goal is to either be the last monster standing or the first one to 20 victory points. You get victory points either by being in Tokyo and/or getting at least 3 of the same number on the dice, each addition number of that type adds an additional point. You get 3 rolls of the dice choosing to keep results from each roll. Going to gloss over the rest as the rule book for this is only 3-4 pages long with lots of easy to follow diagrams and pictures.

This is a game that I have been able to play with hardcore games to being able to be played with my friends children who are 7 and 9 years old. Everyone seems to be able to understand the game quite well.

The power up expansion and the Halloween expansion did not ruin the game with any power creep at all, so that puts a lot of trust that the company won’t cause an unbalance to the game in the future.

-Very easy to explain and get into the game
-Extreme replay value
-Works as a party game, transition game, etc.

-Though the components are really good, the character dials are really flimsy and wear out really fast. The dice are a bit too big for children to be able to roll them all at once. The energy cubes for the game are a choking hazard for your little children so be careful there.
-As with any super aggresive gamer/poor loser gamer they will most likely take this game way too much to heart, so don’t play with them.

Go to the The Resistance: 3rd Edition page
27 out of 35 gamers thought this was helpful

The Resistance is a fun and quick game that has a traitor element. There are two promo cards for this game that add Merlin and the Assassin from the Avalon version to this. They follow the exact same rules as in Avalon to this game. The idea is to get your side to win during the mission selections. The rules do a great job clearly explaining this, so I will gloss over that and just say its a fun quick game that you can fit between other games quite easily.

-Very light and quick game
-Components are of a decent quality
-The promos for this game are pretty easy to get.
-High replay value
-A great filler/transition game

-Do not play with people who are not willing to go you are the traitor/etc.
-Some people will take this game to heart.

Go to the The Resistance: Avalon page
119 out of 131 gamers thought this was helpful

The Resistance: Avalon takes the formula of The Resistance and adds in a few tweaks that makes it superior to its predecessor. That being Merlin knows the traitors, Percivel knows who Merlin is, The assassin can win the game for the traitors if the Knights win by picking out who Merlin is and and killing him. There are other role cards with some abilities as well. The promo card Exaliber adds a bit too by allowing you to force a player to change their Pass/Fail choice without knowing what they put.

-Very light and quick game
-Components are of a decent quality
-The promos for this game are pretty easy to get.
-High replay value
-A great filler/transition game

-Do not play with people who are not willing to go you are the traitor/etc. Can also get a Merlin who will say one of the loyal players is a traitor which causes Percivil to think that player is a traitor as well.
-No expansion like there was for The Resistance.
-Some people will take this game to heart.

Go to the Eldritch Horror page

Eldritch Horror

58 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

Most Cthulhu games are a 6+ hour affair outside of Elder Sign. With seven people the game took about 4-5 hours to play out. Its a much needed speed up from Arkham Horror. With the combination of Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign my other Cthulhu games are pretty much going to be shelved for a while. The test will be if future expansions don’t ruin what has been built as a very strong base here.

-The game oozes theme and you feel it playing through.
-Mid range on the time. This varies by the amount of people that you play with. Smaller group – faster, Larger group – Slower
-Great quality components
-Rules are easy to pick up and understand.
-Since its from FFG, definately getting expansions.

-Lots of card and tokens.
-Bad insert (seems to be a standard FFG deal) so get rid of it and use some kind of organizer in it.
-Avoid playing with the gamer(s) who are too Alpha, don’t pay attention to what other people are doing, needs constant reminding of what they can do.

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