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Gary Boyd

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Follow a total of 20 games
Go to the Lanterns: The Harvest Festival page
Go to the Terra Mystica page
Go to the Galaxy Trucker page
Go to the  Expedition Northwest Passage page
Go to the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective page
Go to the Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia page
Go to the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective page
44 out of 49 gamers thought this was helpful

Sherlock Holmes was the Spiel Des Jahres award winner in 1985 and unlike many of its compatriots it has aged remarkably well.

The game is really quite simple, the rules are well written and easy to comprehend. You are the Baker Street Irregulars and Holmes is giving you the opportunity to best him in the game of deduction.

Consulting Detective is generous with its components. You have a daily newspaper, a map of London with references to the locations in an address book and in each case book you have access to all parties involved and some who will have no idea why you showed up at their door step. All you need to do is track down the right person.

Each case starts with a brief introductory passage to get you started but from there on out it’s all up to you. You decide where to go and who to speak with. You decide which leads are important to follow and which can be dismissed. And in the end, you decide when to stop and say: “We’ve got it!”

Then you revisit Holmes and tally up how well you did based on a number of questions he asks you. If you’ve come to the proper conclusion most of the main questions will be easy to answer, but if you’ve come to the wrong conclusion you may begin to get a sinking feeling in your gut, because you’ve just blown the case.

This game is an experience every time. There are only 10 cases so don’t rush through. Take your time, embrace the thrill of the chase, and perhaps listen to some violin music as you try your best to outdo Holmes.

You won’t outdo him, of course. He’s a master of deduction and you, well… you’re just a Baker Street Irregular.

Go to the Lanterns: The Harvest Festival page
110 out of 119 gamers thought this was helpful

Lanterns is one of the select few Kickstarter games we’ve received to truly deliver on the promises made by the publisher. The game provides players with a great puzzle that can be best described as Zen.

Each round, players may trade favors, dedicate lanterns, and place a tile. That’s it, and for such a simple game it delivers a tremendous amount of depth and strategy.

What makes Lanterns innovative is the tile placement. Each tile in the game has anywhere from 2-4 different colors, one color on each of the 4 sides. When a tile is placed every player gets a lantern of the color facing them. When placing a tile, you don’t have to match the color of the tile you place it next to, but if you do you get an additional lantern of that color as well.

Some tiles have platforms on them and when you play or match one of these tiles you get a favor. Get 2 favors and you can exchange them and a lantern for a lantern of any other color.

The whole point of gathering lanterns is to dedicate them. There are 3 dedications you can make: 4 lanterns of one color, 6 lanterns in 3 pairs of colors, and a set of 7 different colored lanterns. The value of these different sets is dependent on how many dedications of that type have already been made. The sooner you make your dedications the more points they will be worth.

I find the experience of playing this game to be relaxing and pleasurable. This isn’t a raucous hyper-competitive game that will make friends into bitter rivals. This is a game that you sit around a table and play to enjoy the company of others while having a nice hot cup of tea.

The games scales well, though I would argue that it plays best at 4. And, unlike many Kickstarters, it is a game that has been put through it’s paces and is as polished as it looks.

I would recommend this game to families, casual gamers, lovers of tile-placement games, or anyone looking for something a little lighter for game nights with enough depth to keep the serious gamers at the table interested.

Go to the Quarriors! page


51 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m kind of stealing the D6G’s slogan here, but it’s the most appropriate thing to say about Quarriors. It’s what’s made this largely mediocre game so hugely popular.

The concept is absolutely fantastic. This game fixes the single biggest problem with deckbuilding games which is: “Please, God no, I don’t want to shuffle these cards any more.” Not only that, but it allows players the pleasure of handling tons of wonderfully customized diced. It’s the best toy to come into the hobby market in some time. The problem is that, in fixing this one problem of shuffling a deck, the designer has created a host more.

What should be the next evolution of deckbuilding is tainted by runaway leaders and luck compounded upon luck which makes nearly every decision completely meaningless. PRO TIP: Get your dragon first and win.

That isn’t to say that this is a bad game. It’s got some very clever ideas and it’s lead to the insanely popular Dice Masters brand which, I’m told, fixes a lot of the problems inherent in Quarriors. The problem is that I feel burned by Quarriors and it makes me leery of anything that comes after.

Go to the Dominion page


70 out of 77 gamers thought this was helpful

One emergent behavior of collectible card games is deck construction. It’s probably the most important single factor in competitive play. I would argue that most hardcore MTG players spend more time thinking about and creating decks than they do actually playing the game.

So why not make a game out of deck construction? That’s the question that Donald X. Vaccarino asked himself before he created Dominion and I’m so glad he did.

Dominion is a simple game. You draw 5 cards, use gold from you hand to buy cards from the stacks of cards in the center of the table, place those cards in your discard pile and then discard any remaining cards from you hand. You shuffle your discard to make a new deck whenever necessary and that’s it. That’s the entire game summed up in a single paragraph.

What’s surprising, then, is the amazing amount of depth and exploration this single idea has created. From Dominion an entire wellspring of games has flowed forth. Deck-building games are probably the most popular games in the hobby market today, with the firm exception of CCGs which still make up the lion’s share of the market (MTG, I’m looking at you).

Dominion is an important game. It illustrated that there were still new and exciting things to come in hobby games and it has spawned myriad clones and look alike. Thunderstone, Nightfall, and Ascension are just a few of Dominions children, but I’ve yet to find a game that really replaces it.

Dominion is a game that belongs in every gamer’s collection, not just because it’s important, but because it’s truly great.

Go to the Galaxy Trucker page

Galaxy Trucker

61 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

Galaxy Trucker is a game designed mad genius Vlaada Chvatil in which players take on the role of intergalactic truck drivers. It’s basically Alien the movie without all the horror and Aliens bursting out of peoples stomachs and Sigourney Weaver in her underwear.

But before players start driving their space trucks, they have to build them. Each player has a board on which they build their ship piece by piece. In order to be a functioning ship you need various things: engines, crew cabins, cargo holds, and lasers.

Each component of the ship allows a player certain benefits during the remainder of that round, and if that were all there was to it then it would be easy to make your way across the galaxy. But their’s a catch; players have to build their ship… as fast as they can!

Your first ship is likely to look like the pipework under your house and fly just as well. Once everyone has built their ship you will take these puppies out for a test drive. The first round will be pretty easy. If your lucky, you might just make it to your destination with a little cargo and more than half your ship.

You see, as you fly about you will run into pirates and asteroids and various other things that will cause damage to your ship. The ship is connected in such a way that if certain parts of it are hit you may lose everything but an engine and a cargo hold making your ship the equivalent of a motor scooter.

This madness, this loss of everything you built is what makes this game so much fun. If that were the entire game it would be worth playing. It’s what happens next that makes it a work of art.

Once your first ship has been dropped of you build a new one, and this one is bigger than the first and more bad stuff will happen. Then it happens again. At the end of the game you’ll feel lucky to have any points at all.

If that weren’t enough the game comes with advanced boards, and the opportunity to lose absolutely everything. There isn’t a game out there that is more fun than Galaxy Trucker.

My only complaint is that it only plays 4 players, something which is solved by picking up.. The Big Expansion (yes, that’s really what it’s called).

Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
72 out of 90 gamers thought this was helpful

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative game which pits 2-5 super heroes against a nefarious super villain. Players get to choose which superhero they want to be, which super villain they want face-off against and even where they want to do it.

Each character and location in the game is represented by a unique deck of cards, which is fantastic. There are so many different decks of cards here. Players can spend a great deal of time discovering these characters and their nemesis.

Each round characters will try to do damage to the villain and his thugs while avoiding damage themselves and that’s the entire game. Defeat the villain, save the world.

This game has a big fan base. People love this game. So, when I say the game is as much fun as doing my taxes, I generally run and hide behind the nearest solid object.

There are several problems with Sentinels of the Multiverse. The biggest problem for me is that each card in play may have a different effect and each effect must be counted every round. This creates a situation where, when the enemy puts 10 cards in play in a single turn, I want to run screaming for the hills. I spend way too much time counting things and not actually making any real decisions.

Which leads to the next point, all that variety is really just smoke and mirrors. There are a bunch of different types of damage that generally don’t matter because they almost always do the same thing, and that’s it. Would you like to do some damage, heal some damage, or prevent some damage. The characters look and even feel different but it doesn’t really matter.

I’ve heard criticism of the artwork, but I’m not here for that. This was obviously a labor of love and I’m really glad so many people enjoy Sentinels of the Multiverse. I just can’t count myself as one of them.

I wouldn’t recommend Sentinels of the Multiverse, but I still play it. Why? Because my 10 year old son (who doesn’t have to do all the adding up and checking of effects) loves this game. So, I would equate playing this to playing Monopoly. I’m not going to have any fun doing it, but I do it anyways because the kids like it.

Go to the Terra Mystica page

Terra Mystica

74 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

Terra Mystica falls squarely into the 2 hour strategy game category that seems to be taking a back seat to shorter games, but don’t write it off just yet. This game is everything a strategy gamer could want and more.

A game of Terra Mystica takes places over 6 rounds. Each round players use their power, money and workers to build a thriving civilization. Players will choose a faction from 1 of the 7 starting terrains. They will place their starting dwellings onto the board on 1 or 2 of the hexes of the corresponding color.

In order to move into a terrain that is not of the same color, players must terraform those tiles and it’s this terraforming that causes your first major hurdle. Terraforming can be very expensive and finding ways to do so without using the shovel track will be key to success.

That’s where power comes in handy. When players build next to other players they will get to advance their power. As your power grows you can use it for things like terraforming, gaining workers, coins, or priests to send off to a cult track for end game scoring and the opportunity to gain more power. If you’re short on power you can sacrifice some of it from the game completely to use some now. This can get your economy going in the beginning of the game.

Another interesting thing about Terra Mystica is that as you upgrade your buildings, the buildings you are replacing go back to your player board, lowering your income of power, workers, or coins. Learning to manage this situation is key to success in Terra Mystica.

Though there is direct attacking in Terra Mystica, player interaction is a big part of the game. That power that I spoke of is extremely important and building next to your opponents is the main way to get that power. This leads to a certain tension as you are always worried whether your opponent is going to cut you off or take that next space you need to form a town.

This has led to the criticism that Terra Mystica should really only be played with 4 or 5 players. I would disagree, because I’ve had a great deal of fun playing it as a 2-3 player game, but the experience is much different.

Terra Mystica is a game that you could spend an entire lifetime mastering. It is my favorite game and I know that, as long as I have a board game collection, it will remain upon my shelf.

Go to the  Expedition Northwest Passage page
24 out of 28 gamers thought this was helpful

Expedition Northwest Passage is a game for 2-4 players which should take you about 60 minutes and that’s about right. Players start their journey in Greenland and place tiles as they go to form a map leading to the Northwest Passage.

This is a tile-laying action selection game where players will be forced to make difficult decisions. Making discoveries along the way will help you win the game and sometimes finding the Northwest Passage will cost you your life. You see, you don’t just have to find the Northwest Passage, you have to make it back.

The rules are simple, each round you have 7 crew-members to distribute among various actions. Player boards show the actions you can take each round and how many crew-members it will cost to take that action. The first person to pass each round is the first player for the next round. The sun disc travels around the board and you move on to the next round. That’s it.

Expedition Northwest Passage has one of the best thematic mechanics I have ever seen. There is a disc painted blue and yellow that travels counter-clockwise around the board each round. This disc shows you what parts of the board are navigable by ship and what parts are completely frozen.

It’s this freezing of the board that really makes the game. Eventually, your ship will become locked in place forcing you to launch your sled. You must chose how many of your crew will go onto the sled. The problem is, once the ice melts you have to have someone left on your ship in order to keep it moving.

The one hiccup in the theme is the tile placement. It doesn’t quite work thematically but it does add an element of fun as you force your opponents around a giant iceberg. This is how the Titanic sank, folks.

I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys tile-laying games. This is an absolute buy if you have any interest in Arctic expeditions.

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