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Nathan

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Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
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Go to the Innovation page
Go to the Eminent Domain page
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Go to the Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game page
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Go to the Gears of War: The Board Game page
Go to the Dominant Species page
10
Go to the Innovation: Echoes of the Past page
33 out of 34 gamers thought this was helpful

Innovation: Echoes of the Past is an expansion for the base game of Innovation. It adds 110 new cards with three new mechanics bringing variety to the base cards.

Game Overview
Echoes of the Past adds more to the base game of Innovation. More cards, more mechanics, and more tricks to pull on your opponents. This review will assume that you are familiar with the way the base game plays, and only cover what the expansion adds or changes from the base game.

First of all, setup now takes a little longer. Each Age deck now need to be set up with a set number of cards from each set depending on the number of players. This means that if you are familiar with all the cards in the base game, some of them will now be left out each game, shaking things up a bit. There are also now enough cards to play a 5-player game, though this will only add to the chaos if that bothered you about the base game.

Three new mechanics are introduced in the expansion: Foreshadowing, Echoes, and Bonuses. Various dogma effects allow you to “foreshadow” cards, usually from higher decks, by drawing them and placing them in your forecast. On later turns, when you meld a card from an age equal to or higher than a card in your forecast, you may meld one of those cards and take its dogma action for free.

The second new mechanic, Echoes, represents different ideas/inventions having an effect on future ages. Some of the cards in this expansion have dogma abilities in place of an icon on the card. These effects are activated whenever you play the dogma action in that stack as long as you can see them in the splayed stack.

The final new mechanic is the Bonus points, that appear on some cards in place of icons. These icons are worth points equal to the highest bonus on your board, plus one for each additional bonus. This means that if you have visible bonuses of 7, 4, 3, 2, then you would have an additional 7+1+1+1=10 points.

Review
This expansion takes everything that I love about Innovation and gives me more. More variety, more action, more options. The only minor complaint is that setup now takes a little longer. Other than that minor quibble, this is a perfect expansion, breathing life into the base game without increasing the difficulty substantially. Unless teaching new players, I will never play the base game without this excellent expansion.

9
Go to the Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game page
100 out of 110 gamers thought this was helpful

Blood Bowl: Team Manager is a card game for 2-4 players that takes 1-2 hours to play. The game is not a deck-builder, but does contain some light card-drafting elements. The goal of the game is to have the most fans by the end of the season. Each manager (the term the rulebook uses so as not to be confused with “player” cards) starts with one of the 6 teams starter decks (Human, Dwarf, Wood Elf, Orc, Skaven, Chaos) that contains a selection of basic players and draws six cards into their hand. A row of Highlights (games) is laid out in the center of the table. Each manager then takes turns committing one of their players to a highlight. Once all the cards have been played, the star power on each side of each highlight is totaled, and rewards such as fans, staff upgrades, team upgrades, and star players are assigned. The winner of each highlight will receive more stuff, but the loser will get rewards as well. After 5 rounds, the final fan count will determine the winner.

This game really took me by surprise. While I expected it would be fun (after all, I don’t think there is an FFG game I don’t like), I did not expect it to be this awesome. Every team plays very different from the others, with their starting decks and personal team upgrades. Each Highlight is also exciting, with the outcome of any given matchup unsure until the last minute thanks to the cheating tokens, which are not revealed until the resolution phase, and can range from extra star power to a player getting ejected. The only downside to this game is the 2 player rules. While they are not bad by any means, the interaction to be found in a 3-4 player game is so much better that I would much rather play that way than 1 on 1. That being said, this is a game that I intend to play as many times as possible in the coming weeks, even if it is 2 player.

9
Go to the Eminent Domain page

Eminent Domain

92 out of 103 gamers thought this was helpful

Eminent Domain is a role-selection/deck-building card game for 2-4 players that takes approximately 45 minutes to play. Each player starts with a 10 card deck that contains cards representing the various roles a player can take on their turn. On a player’s turn, they may optionally play one card from their hand for the action on it, then they must select a role card from the center of the table. They may then add any number of cards from their hand with a matching icon to the one on the role card they selected. Each played icon boosts the effectiveness of the selected role. The other players may then play card from their hand to follow the role, or “dissent,” which means to draw a card.

There is also a deck of technology cards that players can choose from when they take the Research action. These cards have multiple icons and improved actions, so researching is very important to making an efficient deck.

I helped to support this game on Kickstarter back when Tasty Minstrel was trying to get it printed and I am incredibly happy that I did. The card design and components in this game are top-notch… far better than anything I imagined when I supported it. The gameplay is also amazing, with plenty of choices and multiple strategies. Do I try to just major in one role, or do I get a little of everything? Which tech cards are right for my deck. As a fan of deck-builders, I am also happy to see some of the newer batch of deck-builders forging their own style rather than just aping Dominion. Eagerly looking forward to expansions!

10
Go to the Elder Sign page

Elder Sign

99 out of 109 gamers thought this was helpful

Elder Sign is a cooperative dice game for 1-8 players that takes 1-2 hours to play. The game includes 8 custom dice and a LOT of cards and tokens. The players’ goal is to seal the gate with Elder Signs so that the chosen Ancient One does not awaken, or to battle the Ancient One if it awakens. Each player will select a unique investigator that gives them a special power and some starting cards. On their turn, players will either stay at the entrance to the museum or attempt to resolve an adventure card. Staying at the museum entrance will let them heal their sanity and stamina, buy souvenirs, or search the lost and found, which can help them get vital items for their quest. Attempting the adventure cards is the core of the game, with the players rolling the dice in an attempt to match the symbols on the tasks listed on a given adventure. Accomplishing these goals earns the players items and Elder Signs, while failure is usually punished by the loss of stamina and sanity.

I am generally not a fan of horror themes, Lovecraft or otherwise, but when I tried this game at GenCon, I knew I had to have it in my collection. I have played this game 5 times already (and lost 2), and every game has been different and interesting. With 16 investigators and 8 Ancient Ones, each having a different game affecting ability, every game has been different and exciting. While dice games are inherently based in luck, I feel that most of the time the game will be won or lost on making the right decisions, not on a single lucky roll (though I have seen one or two). The only problem I might have with the game is that each player’s turn is played 1 at a time, so with 7 or 8 players there may be a LOT of downtime between turns. That being said, it is not at all necessary to play with that many people, so that makes for a minor complaint. Elder Sign is truly an amazing game.

7
Go to the Martian Dice page

Martian Dice

33 out of 38 gamers thought this was helpful

Martian Dice is a simple push-you-luck dice-rolling game for 2 or more players that takes 20-30 minutes to play. The game comes with a dice tube and 13 dice that show a human, chicken, cow, tank, and death rays x2 on their sides. Each turn, a player rolls all 13 dice, sets aside all tanks, then puts aside one other symbol type. They may then score their roll or continue rolling. Each “earthling” type (human, cow, chicken) can only be set aside once and is worth 1 point apiece, with a 3 point bonus if you collect all 3 types. Death rays can be set aside multiple times, and the player must have at least as many death rays as tanks to score anything. Players continue rolling and scoring until one player has at least 25 points.

The game play is quick and light, and the rulebook has moments of humor in it. An enjoyable filler.

9
Go to the Gears of War: The Board Game page
325 out of 400 gamers thought this was helpful

Gears of War is a cooperative game 1-4 players that takes 1-3 hours to play, depending on the scenario. The game comes with 7 scenarios, however with a variable map setup and random enemy AI, each scenario should be usable for several games rather than the 1 time of many similar scenario-based games. Each player takes the role of a COG soldier, and their goal may vary depending on the scenario. Each player has a hand of 6 order cards that represent various action they can perform, but also represents their health. This means that every time you take an action, you are exerting yourself closer to death, so every action has to be carefully weighed against your current health total.

Amazing. That is the only word to describe this game. I have played it with 1, 2, and 4 players and the game feels identical at every scale. Not once have I felt that the game was functioning differently because of the player count. Every action choice is agonizing, as cards can be used for 3-4 different purposes, and every one spent brings you closer to bleeding out. Every action has you trying to decide if this is the right moment to play this card, or if you might need the card when the Locust enemies attack. This is definitely one of the best cooperative games on the market right now.

9
Go to the Innovation page

Innovation

59 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

Innovation is an amazing card game for 2-4 players. The game comes with 110 cards that are divided into 10 ages. The cards represent different ideas and inventions that were created over the ages.

Game Overview
Each card is one of 5 colors, a special ability, and three icons. On a players turn they may take two actions. The available actions are Meld, Draw, Dogma, or Achieve. To meld, the player plays a card, adding it to the matching color stack in front of themselves. The draw action allows players to take a card from the age stack that matches the highest numbered card in front of them. The dogma action lets players use the special ability on one of the top cards of their stacks. In order to use a special ability, the player must either have more of the icon associated with the ability showing on their stacks, or allow the other players with more to use the ability too. Each player gets more and more icons as the game progresses by “splaying” their card stacks, which means to spread the cards out so that 1 or more of the icons on the lower cards are visible.

The achieve action is important as it is one of the ways to win the game. If a player has at least 5 times as many points as the age achievement they want (e.g. 5 points for Age 1, 10 points for Age 2, etc.), then they can take the achievement card. There are also 5 special achievement cards that can be claimed if special conditions are met. A player wins automatically if they claim a set number of achievements. The game can also end either through the Age 10 deck running out or through a number of Age 9 or 10 dogma effects on the cards.

Review
I overlooked this game for a while because I didn’t like the look of the cards. While I was at GenCon this year, I decided to try it out since I had seen some good reviews for the game. I was immediately grabbed by the game, and I have played it 10-15 times since GenCon. Every game is different, and it is almost impossible to go into the game with a set strategy. There is a high level of player interaction, as every action can have a huge impact on the other players. Some players complain that there is a large random factor with all the other players’ effects going off, but I have always felt I still had control of what I wished to do. This is an incredible card game that I will be playing for years. I have also reviewed the expansion for those that are interested.

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