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KeithL

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6
Go to the Edo page

Edo

18 out of 20 gamers thought this was helpful

In Edo, you are a Daimyo, trying to develop Edo and its surrounding area. You do this by building houses, trading posts and castles. Throughout the game you earn power points (VPs), for the building and trading, for money and for each samurai on the board and the player with the most Power Points (PPs) wins. There is one catch however, if a player has not built at least one house in Edo, they cannot win no matter how many PPs they have!

Play
Edo is played over several rounds and each round consists of 4 phases.
Phase 1: Plan Actions in Secret
a) Select 3 Actions
b) Assign Officials
Phase 2: Perform Actions
Phase 3: Collect Wages & Income
Phase 4: Prepare for next round (or end game)

In phase 1 you will select the 3 actions you will be taking this round. Each player starts the game with 3 Authorization Cards (you may acquire more are the game progresses), each of which shows 4 possible actions. You will place 3 of these into you planning board and whatever action is at the bottom is the action you will be taking. Some of these actions can be taken more than once so you then need to assign 1 official for each time you plan on taking the selected action. Some of the actions also require that you have a samurai on the board in ADDITION to the official on the action. For example, to collect a resource you need to have an official on the selected action and a samurai already on a location on a specific location on the board.

In phase 2 you will perform the selected actions. Starting with the first player and moving clockwise, each player will reveal and perform all the activations their first chosen action. Then each player will do the same for their second and finally their third action. The actions do things like gather resources or money, place samurai on the board, move samurai on the board, build buildings, etc.
I am not going over all the actions in detail, but one action needs to be covered a little. The Trading Actions allows you to exchange resources for PPs and to obtain resources for money. Both of these are dictated by the Merchant card for that round. When you reveal the trading action you can move the merchant piece on the board. Normally when you take this action you can choose one of the 2 options on the merchant card (either gains resources or gain PP’s) but if your samurai and the merchant are in the city where you built your trading post you can do both.

In Phase 3 each player’s will collect wages and income. In starting with the first playing and going clockwise, each player must decide whether or not they will keep their samurai on the board. For each one remaining the player must pay 1 rice to the supply. The each city with building will supply income (money). The amount depends on the number of players who have buildings there and how much total Influence (determined by the amount and type of buildings owned) each player has. The player with the most influence receives the largest portion, the player with the second most influence will receive the second most, and so on.

In phase 4 you will check for end game (1 or more players has 12+ PPs or the merchant card deck is exhausted. If neither condition has been met, then the merchant Card is updated, officials & authorization cards come off the planning board and the first player passes.

Scoring
If the end game occurs then a final scoring occurs and you check to see if any player has not built in Edo (if so this player is eliminated). Each player will gain 1 additional PP for each samurai they have on the board and 1 PP for each 50 Ryo they have left and the player with the most PPs wins. Ties are broken with the most remaining resources.

My Opinion:
I like Edo quite a bit. The theme is not really strong, but it is there. The game has many familiar mechanics but the unique mechanic of having to have workers in 2 different locations (officials of the planning board and samurai on the board) in order to carry out an action gives the game a new feel. Lots of tough decisions and it is a very tight game.

8
Go to the Wealth of Nations page
17 out of 19 gamers thought this was helpful

In Wealth of Nations, you are nations vying for the most economic power.
Wealth of Nations is an economic game. You are building Industry tiles to produce goods to sell for the highest price possible. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game is the winner.

The Basics:
The game takes place over several rounds that are broken down into 3 phases. In phase 1 and 2 each player, in turn will take an action until all players have passed. In phase 3 each player will produce. This will continue until a game end condition is met.

Trade Phase:
1) Buy a Commodity from the Market – You purchase a Commodity from the Market at the current price and remove the cube from the market (Thus increasing the price of the commodity)
2) Sell a Commodity to the market – You sell a Commodity to the Market at the current price and place the cube onto the market (Thus decreasing the price of the commodity)
3) Barter – You trade with other players
Promissory Notes: You can take out a loan at any time during the Trade phase (take 1 or more Promissory notes) even if it’s not your turn. Taking or repaying a Promissory note does not count as an action, although you may only do so on the Trade phase.

Develop Phase:
1) Place a Flag – Pay a Labor Cube and place a flag on a hex (abiding by the placement rules).
2) Build an Industry Tile – Pay the associated cost and place an industry tile on a hex that contains your flag (abiding by the placement rules)
3) Move Industry Tiles – Pay 1 Capitol Cube and move up to 3 of your Industry Tiles (abiding by the placement rules).
4) Automate – Pay 2 Capitol Cubes and 1 Energy Cube to automate a bloc. Automating makes it more efficient to have that bloc produce.
5) Pass – Do nothing
When you are spending cubes (not selling) the cubes go to the supply area of the respective market, not the Market row. This means these do not affect the price of the commodity.

Produce Phase
In this phase you will run your blocs by spending food and energy cubes (or an ore cube if the bloc is automated) to produce commodities. The Industry tiles have dots on them (either full or partial) you will count all of the full dots to determine how many commodities cubes that bloc will produce. By smart placement of the tiles you can turn partial dots into full dots thus producing more.

Rounds will continue in this way until one the end game conditions are met (a player has placed all of their flags, every hex on the board contains a flag or an industry tile or 5 of the 6 industry tile stack has run out). Once this happens there will be one final Produce phase and then a final Trade Phase. Once players have sold off their remaining Commodities in the final Trade phase the game ends.
Players ear 4 victory points for each Industry tile they have on the board and 1 victory point for each $10 they have. Each Promissory note not repaid is -3 VPs. The player with the most VPs is the winner with ties broken by money left and then by flags on the board.
The Components:
The components are good quality and the artwork is very functional giving the game an abstract look. However, the economic engine in this game is extremely well done and this really makes the theme of economic power struggle come across well.

The Fun:
If you like engine building games and economics games then you will really enjoy this one. The trading aspect of the game really help to up the interaction and the market system also creates a good interaction.

My Opinion:
This game does not make it to the table nearly enough for me, but it is one of my favorite economic games.

6
Go to the Zombie Dice page

Zombie Dice

27 out of 31 gamers thought this was helpful

In Zombie Dice, you are a zombie trying to eat brains!

Zombie Dice is a light dice rolling game that takes about 15 minutes to play.

The Basics:
On your turn you will randomly draw 3 dice from the dice cup and roll them. Brains and shotguns blasts are set aside and the footprints can be rerolled. If you decided to reroll you will draw addtional dice from the cup to bring the total dice to 3 and roll again.

You will continue this until you decide to stop, or you roll 3 shotgun blasts. If you choose to stop you will score 1 point for each brain you rolled and then pass the dice. If you rolled 3 shotgun blasts you score zero for the turn and pass the dice.

When someone scores 13 or more brains the game will end. Everyone will get the same number of turns and whoever has the most brains wins the game!

The Components:
The dic are great quality and look good. The cup where you draw the dice from (it is also the storage) is okay but you can purchase an upgraded back to store it (and draw the dice from during the game) which improves it quite a bit.

The Fun:
This game is super light and a lot of fun. Probably the best short filler game out there. Everyone who plays it has fun. Eating brains and ducking shotguns is awesome!

My Opinion:
This game gets played alot when we are waiting for the rest of the group to show up or we don’t have a lot of time and we want to get a quick fix. This is one of my favoriter fillers.

9
Go to the Shipyard page

Shipyard

20 out of 23 gamers thought this was helpful

In Shipyard, you are building ships.

Essentially Shipyard is a rondel style action selection game where you are collecting ship parts and crew, hiring employees and trying to build the best ships possible. Each ship will score points when you take it on the shakedown cruise and the government contracts you have will give a bonus at the end of the game and the player with the most points wins.
The Basics:
Each turn you will select one of the 8 actions by moving your piece to the appropriate Action Card on the Action Track. You will then move a marker on the associated rondel and carry out the action. The number of actions you will get each round will depend how fast the players go around the Action Track.
The Actions are:
• Build Ships – Get bows, middles or Stern tiles. The ship parts will tell you what you can add to the ship. Cabins for crew, mounting points for equipment (you can’t have a gun on the ship if there is no gun mount!). The ship parts will also have other things that may score you points during the Shakedown Cruise (Lanterns, Lifeboats, etc.)
• Purchase Commodities – Get a Freight Train tile. These tiles will have a combination of 3 good that you can trade in for money, crew or equipment.
• Rent Canal – Get a shipping canal tile. These will be placed together to create a canal for a ship’s Shakedown Cruise. The canal will tell you what the inspectors are looking for (Speed, lanterns, Soldiers, etc) and you will score additional points for having the appropriate thing.
• Manufacture Equipment – Get a Sail, Smokestack, Crane or Gun Tile. Sails and Smokestacks will increase the speed of you ship while Crane and Guns will give you points.
• Recruit Crew – Get a Captain, Soldier, Businessman or Propeller tile. Propellers will increase the speed of you ship. Businessmen and soldiers will give you points. Captain also give points, but every ship needs 1 Captain (additional captains are considered crew)
• Hire Employee – Get an Employee card. These do not go on the ship, but instead give a permanent ability to use for the rest of the game
• Exchange Commodities – Trade a Freight Train for money or tiles. If you have the right good on the freight car you can get pretty much anything you need. Also, if you time is right you can get a decent amount of coins.
• Receive Subsidy – Gain 2 coins from the bank.
These actions will be combined together to create a ship and a canal to test it in. Creating the ship (along with the points earned during the Shakedown Cruise) gives you the main source of points during the game. But the government contracts will give you an end game scoring bonus. You will start with six contracts (3 green and 3 blue) and as the games progresses you will discard down until you have one of each.

The Components:
There are A TON of components in this game! This can make the game a little fiddly and make the setup a little long. Everything is good quality and the art is good. Nothing fancy here, but everything works and carries the theme of the game.

The Fun:
This one is a brain burner and has very low player interaction but I really enjoy it. Figuring out what your opponent’s contract is can increase the interaction, as you might want to take ship parts or canal parts so they do not get them. Also, the end game scoring can be big so even if you take an early lead, if you don’t supply the government what it needs, you still may come up short.

My Opinion:
This is a great game. It has a puzzle-like fell to it and you need to make the best of every action you take.

8
Go to the The Manhattan Project page
142 out of 149 gamers thought this was helpful

In Manhattan Project, you are building bombs. To do this you need to collect resources (Money, Yellow Cake, Plutonium and Uranium), hire workers (scientists, engineers and laborers), build your air force (fighters and bombers).

Essentially Manhattan Project is a worker placement, race game. The first player to reach the scoring goal (different depending on the number of players) is the winner.

The Basics:
Each round you will do 1 of 2 things. Either place workers or retrieve workers.
Placing workers mean that, you will choose one action on the main board to place a worker and then place any number of workers on your own buildings. If the action you chose on the main board was Espionage then you can place workers on another player’s buildings. Also, when choosing this option you can do any number of bomb actions. Building, loading or testing are the 3 bomb actions. Building is how you score the points for the bomb, loading increases a bomb’s point value by 5 (lowering your bombers by 1) and testing is a little more complicated but essentially after you test any one Uranium bombs, your future Uranium bombs are worth more.

Retrieving worker simply mean that will take your workers off of the main board, your buildings, your completed bombs and any opponent’s building, and you will also retrieve all Contract Workers from the main board and your buildings.

The Components:
The Artwork in the game is good and really helps bring the theme across. The components are top notch (however there back of one of the starting building cards was printed incorrectly but this does not affect game play in anyway). The worker tokens in this game are extremely cool!

The Fun:
This game is a lot of fun. You are collecting resourcing, building buildings, and developing bombs, but you can also, use your fighters to attack other player’s fighters and then use your bombers to bomb their building (making them unusable until repaired). Lots of good decisions to be made, but keep an eye on the other players score because whoever hits the goal first, is the winner!

My Opinion:
This is one of my favorite worker placement games, The theme is awesome and the game play has some Euro elements (resource and money management) and some Ameri elements (Bombing other players, using espionage).

8
Go to the Legacy: Gears of Time page
23 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

In Legacy: Gears of Time, you are traveling back and forth through time trying to influence the past, to ensure that the technological advancement of the world remains intact.

The Basics:
Each round you will be traveling back through time (back only) establishing new technologies and influencing already existing ones. Each player will have 4 turns each round to play technology cards into a timeframe, place influence cubes, draw cards or to play one of the all powerful Fate cards. At the end of each round you will check to see which technologies are successful (You can’t have the steam engine if you have not discovered fire!) and the player with the most influence on each technology scores points.
When a new round starts you travel back to the present and do it all over again.

The Components:
The Artwork in this game is very cool and extrememly unique and fits the theme well. The Board is good quality as are the cards. The wooden bits are fine and except for the gear tokens, are kind of generic.

The Fun:
This game is VERY thinky and VERY interactive, so if you like those elements (and I do) is is very fun. However, if you do not like other people messing with your best laid plans (my wife does not) then you might find this game frustrating. This game is HIGHLY interactive with every play influencing something or someone else.

My Opinion:
I really enjoy this game. The theme is completely awesome and the gameplay makes forward thinking and trying to anticpate you opponents a must.

8
Go to the Ninjato page

Ninjato

121 out of 128 gamers thought this was helpful

In Ninjato, you are playing a ninja that will be stealing treasure from the different clans and using the treasure to influence envoys and to gather rumors. The artwork is spectacular on the board and cards and the wooden Shuriken are awesome!

Play
Ninjato is played over 7 rounds where. In each round, Players will be sending their ninja (placing a wooden shuriken) to one of the 5 areas on the board. Each area gives a different action that the player can take.

1) The Dojo is where players will be able to replenish Dojo cards in their hand.
2) The Clan Houses are where a player will attempt to defeat guards (some elite!) to steal treasure and possibly change the clan token on that house.
3) The Palace is where the players will use the treasure to acquire Envoy cards.
4) The Pavilion is where players will use treasure to acquire Rumor cards.
5) The Sensei is where players will acquire skills to use to become more powerful.

After everyone has placed each of their 3 shuriken, cards and treasures are refreshed and a new round begins.

After the 3rd, 5th and 7th rounds, there will be a scoring

Scoring
First, Players will score the point value of every treasure they use to acquire Envoy and Rumor cards.
Second, players may score points or Acquire rumor cards, during the 3 scoring rounds

In the scoring rounds, each clan house is scored in the order listed on the board. The player with the most envoys of each house will be able to either score points equal to each house on the board or select a rumor card for free. The Player with the second most envoys of each house will gets what is left (either points or rumor card, depending on what the first place player choose). In case of a tie, the player who has the Oldest Envoy wins.

The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

My Opinion:

I really like Ninjato. The theme is good and there are lots of tough decisions to make throughout the game. I have played it 2-player, 3-player and 4-player and it plays well in all cases, but I think the games plays best with 4 players.

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