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Chris Gordy

gamer level 4
2011 xp

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Rated 25 Games
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Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
Go to the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game page
Go to the Race for the Galaxy page
Go to the Dominion page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
Go to the Scythe page
Go to the Quarriors! page


51 out of 57 gamers thought this was helpful

As did many people that have recently gotten into board gaming, we were introduced to gaming via one of two games, either Catan or Dominion. I have to admit, for my family and me, it was Dominion that pushed us into additional games. We loved the idea of starting with a small, weak hand of cards and hopefully building an engine that would lead us to victory. I wanted to play more Dominion, and I wanted to play more games within similar mechanics. This eventually led me to Quarriors.

Now this is not a deck building game, but rather a dice building game. You start out with a relatively weak set of dice, and from there move on to building an all powerful pool of dice, all in the effort to collect victory points.

Components – For the most part, the components are of good quality. Card stock is solid, art is good and the variety of the dice is plentiful. Even the dice bags are fabric, not some cheep paper bag that some dice games come with. The one potential negative is the fact that, depending on the set, either some or many of the dice are poorly painted. This can be fixed if you want, but you shouldn’t have to.

Theme – Well, there is some fantasy theme layered on here, though it is more for flavor than for game play. The theme definitively does not drive the mechanics, or is really at all tied to the mechanics, but the art is fun and the idea of some of these creatures and their powers is quirky. Definitely something a young boy would love.

Game play – This is a fast moving game, as each player draws a hand ful of dice, rolls them, and then plays the dice, either by using to field creatures (dice), to purchase new dice or as the creatures (dice) to be fielded. If the fielded dice (creatures) survive until the players next turn, they score victory points before going back into the pool.

Creatures (Fielded Dice) each have a strength/attack value and a defensive / hit point value. All fielded dice are required to attack when fielded. On your turn, they are the attacker. If their strength is greater than their opponents fielded dice, the opponent must discard creature dice. If it is less then the defensive dice, the attack fails (but the dice remain fielded). Special powers on all dice impact various aspects of the game (defensive values, attack values, rerolling capabilities, VP accrual).

It is fast moving and relatively simple. Rules are basic and powers are not difficult to interpret. I think you could go as young as 6-8 playing this game, just understanding that they may need some help reading some of the cards.

Final Verdict – It is a fun game, that could potentially have some strategic elements in it based on building your dice pool and understanding the potential combos that are eligible. The problem is that the game end conditions are met too easily, resulting in the end of the game before you can really get your dice engine purring. Personally, we sometimes house rule the game end conditions to result in a longer and more strategic game.

Go to the Splendor page


65 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

Over the last year I have continued to try and find games that could be played with my family. My wife does not like to play games that lst more than an hour, as well as games that are focused on player conflict or are extremely complex (in essence she prefers gateway games). Our two boys on the other hand very significantly. Both love theme, most of the time. While one loves in your face game play and complex games, the other prefers quick, “growth” games. By growth games, I mean a game where the player grow’s his tableau, his empire, or his deck. A game where things start simple, but by the players actions, become larger and/or more involved. The interesting thing about Splendor is that even with the varying tastes within the family, it is liked / enjoyed by all.

Components – This is definitely one of the high points of the game. The chips (gems) are consistent with ceramic poker chips. The cards art and quality are of the highest standards. Even the insert is molded to hold the game in place. High marks all the way around.

Theme – OK, this is definitely one of the weaker aspects to the game. Supposedly, each player in the game is a merchant of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops — all in order to acquire the most prestige. To be clear, this is a pasted on theme at its best. Not once did I ever feel like a Renaissance merchant. I mean, how often do merchants walk down the street picking up spare rubies, diamonds and emeralds. It took me more than two plays to understanding the transportation and shops portion of the theme as these are just driven by the picture on the cards and has no impact to gameplay at all. This is really an abstract game with 5 resources that you have to manage to earn victory points.

Gameplay – In my opinion, this is one of the game’s strength’s. This game can’t be easier to learn (OK, maybe it could, but I have no idea how). In essence, there are three levels of cards, with each subsequent group being both more expensive and more beneficial. During the game, four cards are flipped in play for each level. These cards can generate 1 of 5 resources, and possibly some victory points. Each card has a separate cost. The players goal will be to create a resource engine from the various cards in an effort to generate 15 victory points.

The players turn has only three options: acquire gems (either two of one color or 3 separate colors), buy/build a card (this means putting one of the cards into your resource engine / tableau) or reserve a card which is taking a card from one of the piles on the table and saving it to build at a later date). That’s it. Given those few choices, one would think there would be little strategy or even though needed or this game, but they would be wrong. There is a lot of thoughts on how you will get your 15 VPs. Will it be to buy out the lower cost cards, will you focus on just 2 or 3 colors, will you try to get a lot of many colors leaving yourself open to the volatility of which cards are available or will you focus on trying to attract one of the Lords and Ladies bonus cards right away?

You may also think that there is little player interaction in this game given what I defined as could be done on a turn. Though this is true for direct interaction, thee is a significant amount of indirect interaction, especially for 3 and 4 player games. Because everyone’s resource engines are always transparent, it is not that hard to deduce what other players are going after. Thus you have the opportunity to disrupt this by either buying what they are going after, or reserving the card even if you can’t afford it yourself. There will be a bit of cursing when this get’s done more than once to a player. I would argue that everyone should leave at least 1 or 2 of their reserve slots for just this type of activity.

Replayability – Given the random nature of the cards, no game will be played exactly the same way twice. that said, it would likely still feel a lot like your other games. This is the type of game that you should expect exactly what you are getting into every game, but the how you do it can be tweaked each outing.

Personally I rate this game very highly given the simplicity and hidden depth, the fast gameplay and the high quality of the game. This is one game that I would anticipate coming out for the family quite often in the future.

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