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elucidarian

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Go to the 7 Wonders page
Go to the Citadels page
Go to the Dominion page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
Go to the The Great Dalmuti page
Go to the Innovation page
8
Go to the Magic: The Gathering page
60 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

I was first introduced as a senior in high school, in 1994. It was presented as a combination between D&D and card games, BECAUSE that was all most people had to compare it with! This game was a trail-blazer that continues to inspire and underpin the tabletop game industry after 20 years on the market.

Now, I stopped playing tournament and constructed formats over the past few years. My time and money were simply needed elsewhere. Yet, I still play, regularly. These days, when new sets arrive, I’ll play a release and a few booster drafts. But mostly, I keep adding fun cards to my ever-evolving cube draft, over 2000 filling four “fat pack” boxes (Highlander-style, no duplicates). It’s essentially become another board game on my shelf for casual play.

7
Go to the Cthulhu Gloom page

Cthulhu Gloom

4 out of 26 gamers thought this was helpful

I consider this a gateway tabletop game for people who enjoy the topical Lovecraft, The Addams Family or any horror-inflected dark comedy.

It certainly has a unique physical aspect and the twist of losing to win suits the quirky flavor. Some folks I’ve introduced the game to are actually a little put off by the morbid notion of killing characters, mostly their own, which makes it a party game for peculiar guests, I suppose.

6
Go to the Dungeon Roll page

Dungeon Roll

51 out of 94 gamers thought this was helpful

Pros: It’s a quickly played, well-made press-your-luck dice rolling game. The downtime between turns is convenient for playing during lunch with friends/coworkers. Bring it out for casual play or as a gateway game for those whose comfort zone it fits.

Cons: The downtime between turns means it is not an engaging experience for multiple players. I’m sure someone could home-rule a better multi-player variant.

Overall: I’m not going to play it with as much interest or competitive fervor as many other games, but I’m still glad to have this sort of option in my collection.

7
Go to the Kill Doctor Lucky page

Kill Doctor Lucky

59 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

Irreverently themed and lightly ruled, this Clue send-up requires more tactical than strategic processing, but should please the casual gamer in you. It’s also going to feel more familiar to your friends and relatives whose board game knowledge doesn’t extend much farther than Monopoly and Risk. Unless they don’t appreciate the black humor of the theme.

When you do get your aunts, uncles, and cousins to sit up to the table between Thanksgiving meals, I recommend 3-5 players. My games with 6 people been inconsistently enjoyable. Too many characters on the board tends to prolong the game to the point where mere chance (and holding onto the right move card) snares you the win condition. That saps the fun from winner and losers.

Also, don’t bother with “little dog” alternate rules, unless you like said dragging of a game.

9
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
48 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

Let me get this out of the way, first: Some gamers have set their standards so high, that what is good and new to their palates will only become more difficult to attain. They will just have to go on thinking this game is too generic. Maybe someday I’ll understand why they look down on it, but in the meantime, I intend to enjoy the D&D out of it!

Lords of Waterdeep is one of the best games I own. Why, you ask? There are a few reasons, but primarily it offers just enough elements of a complex strategy game, while remaining simple enough to learn and play well the first time out, even for very light gamers. I’ve watched it happen. It’s a better gateway game to the Euro genre than Settlers of Catan (unless your new gamer is more of a sci-fi than fantasy fan—then I would go with Star Trek: Catan!).

8
Go to the Smash Up page

Smash Up

19 out of 27 gamers thought this was helpful

The “brospeak” wording of the rules at first made me wary. This one has surprising complexity for what seems like a theme pandering to the lowest common denominator, the kitchen sink of genre games.

What might throw off casual gamers is a fair amount of numbers tracking, e.g. which bonuses apply to which cards in which locations to which players, etc.

My first four player game might have been quicker if we’d played some rules correctly:

1) There is supposed to be one more base than there are players. This would have meant less squabbling over territory and some cards being slightly more powerful.

2) Once scoring begins on a base, it continues EVEN IF total minion power falls below the Breakpoint, and if minions that get to move to other bases afterward would cause those bases to score, they do before the next turn begins. This would certainly have aided faster scoring and a sooner end.

3) This rule was relevant during one score: Players involved in a tie each score the same Victory Points, but use up as many succeeding places on the base as there are tying players. So, if two players tie for highest minion power on a scoring base, a player with the next highest power there gets the 3rd place point value, not the 2nd. If four players have minions on a scoring base, and three of them tie for highest power, the three get the 1st place value and the fourth gets no points!

I have since played with four players and these changes did make it a better game (i.e. shorter).

9
Go to the Citadels page

Citadels

53 out of 108 gamers thought this was helpful

This game rewards you for recognizing the progressive complexity of interaction between character cards. There is a subtle strategy in drafting your character each turn, depending on where you are in turn order and what you know has or hasn’t been chosen by whom. You must evaluate the other players’ needs and dispositions, and consider how well they intuit your own.

That said, Citadels is not difficult to learn and can be fun even for casual players. No great expenditure of brain power is necessarily required.

9
Go to the Innovation page

Innovation

58 out of 134 gamers thought this was helpful

I get a real kick out of the tactical back and forth this game provides. The theme comes through really well on some cards more than others, but they come and go too quickly to dwell on it. If you like fast and clever card mechanics that keep you appraising each other player’s board, you will likely enjoy Innovation.

A second edition of the base game has been released, which is certainly a more visually appealing product, though both expansions are still only available in the first edition version as of this review. (2013/09/12)

5
Go to the Killer Bunnies: Quest - Blue Starter Deck page
46 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

I do like random, luck-based games that are fast and entertaining. However, this game requires too much time and thought to be of that variety. If I’m going to devise a plan for my subsequent turns, I would like it to matter. Also, the win condition has only one sure strategy: Take all the carrots, which is an improbable feat at best.

I posted in the Tips & Strategies section my remedy. It summarizes a house rule wherein the winning Magic carrot is randomly determined and revealed at the outset. I also suggest a simple Victory Point system, the non-Magic carrots being worth 1 VP and the Magic carrot 5 VP (or more or less, depending on how many carrots you play with).

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