Player Avatar
Gamer - Level 3

Jackieboy37

gamer level 3
904 xp
followers
4

Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
https://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=jackieboy37
profile badges
...
...
...
...
recent achievements
I Got What I Wanted
I Got What I Wanted
Add a game to your Owned list that was previously in your Wish list.
Rated 50 Games
Rated 50 Games
Rate 50 games you have played.
Gamer - Level 3
Gamer - Level 3
Earn Gamer XP to level up!
Follower
Follower
Follow another gamer by clicking "Follow" after reading a review or viewing their profile.
Go to the Dominion page
Go to the Tichu page
Go to the Dominion: Prosperity page
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
Go to the Agricola page
Go to the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game page
Go to the Ora & Labora page
9
Go to the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game page
69 out of 76 gamers thought this was helpful

First of all, this one is not for the light of heart. Your first game is probably going to take in the realm of 5 hours. Actually, most of our plays have taken about 5 hours, but don’t let that scare you away! It’s totally worth it!. You don’t have to be familiar with the TV show either. I’ve played multiple games with friends who haven’t a clue what the show is about and they’ve had a great time and are usually much more curious about the show after they’ve played.

Okay, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fantasy Flight could write a rulebook that’s easier to follow. You’re definitely going to have to keep it in your lap for your first game…. Again, actually, I’ve had it in my lap for every game we’ve played. There’s just a lot of stuff going on. More recently though, we’ve gone to the rulebook less and have instead printed out some reference cards I found over at Board Game Geek. Sped it up a little.

The best part of this game: accusing everyone of being a dirty cylon. Battlestar is a cooperative game that secretly assigns one or more players the role of the traitor against the group. If you aren’t familiar with the show, Cylons are the evil cyborg race that look like humans, and are trying to infiltrate and destroy the human race. One of your friends is going to be a cylon. Probably a couple of them. Maybe even you.

The humans are trying to make it to their new home planet while figuring out who the cylon players are so they can avoid catastrophe. And more often than not, catastrophe strikes. The game is balanced to make it harder for the humans to win. But when you finally beat those dirty toasters… it feels great.

There are a lot of things going on in this game, and that’s why it stands out for me. Obviously, my favorite part is the traitor/deduction facet, but there’s also space battles determined by dice rolling, there are variable player roles, and a big worker placement element to the game.

The components are top notch (as is the way of Fantasy Flight) and do a great job of drawing you into the space theme.

If you’ve ever played Shadows Over Camelot the game play feels a little like that, but I really feel that everything that is broken in Camelot is largely smoothed over in Battlestar.

Anyway, enough blabbering. I obviously love this one. If you’ve got a few friends that are geeky enough to give it a shot, then go pick it up!

8
Go to the Agricola page

Agricola

57 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

Ahh Agricola… Probably my favorite game that I never get to play. There are a lot of detractors for the casual player, so it should probably be said first that you’re going to need the right crowd for this one. I’d say that the estimation on the box at 30 min. per player is about right, but longer, of course, if everyone’s just learning.

The rules are pretty dense. There are a couple things in there (like being able to keep an animal in your house as a pet) that are easy to forget, so make sure that you have a good grasp on the rules before you try to teach this to anyone. There’s an appendix in the rulebook if that tells you anything.

It’s suggested that the first time you play you should use the family rules. I don’t know if this is true or not, because I did not go that route. The family rules strip Agricola down to it’s basics and remove the cards from the game, so each player is going to have the same goal: and is simply trying to do the best they can with their farm. But the cards in Agricola add so much. Instead of everyone playing the same game, the cards steer you towards focusing on one or more strategies to get the most points out of your farm. I’d have to say that the cards really make the game. And there are multiple different decks to try out, so plenty of replay here.

The components are all great, though I’d advise getting some sort of little storage container for all the pieces (there are SO MANY PIECES) – something that you could use to hold the pieces during the game would be the best, because the little wooden disks that represent the crops are kinda annoying to try and pick off the table. Also: this game takes up the most table space of any game I own.

Bottom line: if you can count a few friends that really like strategy and are willing to learn, I think you’ll get a lot out of this one.

9
Go to the Dominion: Prosperity page
46 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m going to have to say that it’s pretty much a tie between Prosperity and Intrigue for my favorite Dominion sets. Okay, maybe Prosperity edges out Intrigue just barely (sweet platinum). Prosperity plays fastest of all the Dominion sets due to its focus on high value hands, and Colonies as well as action cards that give victory point tokens make for high point totals at the end of the game.

Best part about Prosperity? Add a few Prosperity cards into a game with any other set (I’m looking at you, Alchemy) and you’re almost guaranteed a quicker, more satisfying game. We play with the added Prosperity base cards with every game we play now.

Also: look at all the cards that cost 7 COINS! Finally something to buy with 7!

8
Go to the Tichu page

Tichu

89 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve played more Tichu than any other game I own. The feeling you get as you begin to learn what moves to make at what times is exhilarating. If you can find 3 people to consistently play with, that makes it even better. There’s a lot of luck to Tichu, it’s true, but I think most of the strategy is kind of under the surface because it lies in your connection to your partner. Once you and a partner can learn each other’s play style, you can really start to put things together and it makes the game much more rewarding. I’ve been playing Tichu for about 6 months a couple of times a week with the same teams and though we’re starting to phase it out, it’s easily one of my favorite games. I will say this: this is not a game that’s easy to pick up and learn it on the spot. Your first couple games are going to take a while and they’re going to be mostly learning the play of the game. Once you get there, though, you and 3 friends are going to have a great time.

On a side note, the rule book includes rules for a six player variant on the main game and then a 5 to 8 player variant that’s pretty different because you’re not playing on a team. While I haven’t played the 6 player variant, my group has found the 5-8 player variant to be a lot of fun from time to time. Basically, there’s a hierarchy of players and it’s very hard to move from the bottom to the top because the bottom player must give the top player their best cards. So, it’s brutal, but fun. Especially if you play like we do and make the bottom player (the wretch) sit on their knees at the table while the top player (the king) sits in the arm chair. And our king has a little bell and orders the wretch to fetch tea for the table.

***Just FYI, the Tichu cards seem to wear out quickly. We’re still using the same deck that we started with, but it’s a little sticky and flimsy now. For like $10 online though, it’s not that big of a deal to buy a new deck when the time comes.

7
Go to the Merchants & Marauders page
92 out of 99 gamers thought this was helpful

Most agree that if you’re looking for a pirate themed game, M&M is your best bet, but it’s not the perfect pirate game. I think most would also agree that the biggest drawback of M&M is the downtime. The theme is there: the game is gorgeous. You get a character, a nice plastic ship, gold doubloons and best of all, a treasure chest to put them in. The board is pretty, the cards are pretty, everything is pretty.

When I attempted to learn this game the first time, I had absolutely no idea what was going on until multiple turns in. If you haven’t played before, it’s just way too hard to discern a strategy from the rules. Especially because there are basically two completely different games going on side by side. As the title suggests, there are the Merchants and there are the Marauders, and they both win the game by different strategies. Merchants are trying to sell goods, Marauders are trying to intercept Merchant ships. It wasn’t something I picked up on right away. I’ve heard that the game is imbalanced, but I haven’t played it enough to say.

Did I mention there was downtime? Yeah. Lots of it. When I played my first time, the people I was playing with had all played once or twice before, and each players turn took about 15 to 20 min. And there’s nothing to do while that player takes their turn but sit and wait for yours unless they attack you. By the end, we had played for probably 4 hours. It was a little exhausting.

I don’t mind 4 hour games. In fact, I prefer long, involved games. But M&M had just too much downtime for my taste. I had a fun time, but I think I would definitely need to be in a special pirate mood to play M&M over something else just as long but more involved.

7
Go to the Homesteaders page

Homesteaders

32 out of 38 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll start with this: I’ve only played a friend’s copy of Homesteaders and the copy he got may have been an older print, but the original print of this game (I know that there was a second printing on the horizon) is kind of a mess. Apparently, they got the components made for cheap in China and so not only do a large number of copies have mold on a lot of the wooden pieces, but it has the cheapest game board I’ve ever seen. The wooden pieces are nice, and as it’s been said, there are sweet cow pieces, but the printing/cutting/all around manufacturing of this game was of the cheapest quality. But we all know that getting a game made and published isn’t easy, so I chose to look at the game as having character. If you’re interested in Homesteaders, make sure you get the newer printing.

Best part about this game: it’s got lots of euro strategy and only takes an hour. Or less. The rounds are short, and it doesn’t take 20 min for each player to plan their move. I learned and played my first game in under the estimated playing time. Basically you have a worker placement phase, a bidding phase and then a buying phase. Really simple. If you’ve played Cyclades, the bidding feels a lot like that.

All in all, I enjoy Homesteaders, but its largest drawback to me is the theme- or lack thereof. It barely feels present. I know I’m supposed to be bidding on properties, but I just felt like I was bidding on cardboard. Just one more step up in production value might have done it for me. Homesteaders is fun, it has good strategy elements, but it’s not one that I’m overly eager to play unless I’m looking to fill an hour.

7
Go to the Letters from Whitechapel page
106 out of 119 gamers thought this was helpful

Firstly, the production value on this one is very good. All the components play into the dark theme. The board looks great and the pawns are nice and big. One complaint is that the markers used to mark “clues” are clear and hard to find if one happens to fall on the floor- which has happened a few times at my table. Also, the turn breakdown cards given to each player are a little too vague. They break down the turns, but they don’t remind you exactly what you’re supposed to do during each phase. I went ahead and printed alternates out that I found on Board Game Geek.

I love the deduction mechanics in the game. I really like the idea of a deduction game, but all the ones I’ve played feel a little broken in one way or another. If you’ve played Nuns on the Run before (or I hear Scotland Yard), you’ll know what I mean when I say that they feel like not everyone is included in the game as much as the next person. I always feel a little distant from the gameplay. In White Chapel, technically, someone is assigned first player and they are supposed to make some decisions for the police team on their own. It doesn’t fell like it really adds anything though. The role is not exactly coveted and I feel like it slows down the game a little and makes the other police players just kind of wait around until the first few phases of the round are completed. Also, I find that most of the fun in this game is being on the side of the police and helping each other deduce where Jack could have gone. Whenever we play, I never really want to be Jack. It’s kind of lonely. Though it ishighly enjoyable to watch the police wander around without a clue as to where you are on the board.

All in all, I like White Chapel. I enjoy it every time I play it. But every time I play it, I feel like something is missing. I’m still on the lookout for the ultimate deduction/mystery game.

9
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
66 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my first true experience with a collectible deck building game. I really like Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Game format because I don’t want to be pressured into buying booster packs a la Magic. The Chapter pack expansions for this game are really nice because each one adds a new scenario to play, so instead of just adding cards to your collection like the Game of Thrones LCG, you’re kind of getting a new game with each pack.

Anyway, a couple of things: A. Don’t let the 30+ min in the description fool you. Unless you lose quickly, it really means 30+90. B. Unless you are familiar with deck building and the flow of these Magic-esque games, the learning curve is going to be a little steep. Fantasy Flight is not known for the most easily digestible rulebooks and this one keeps with the trend. Basically, you have to understand how to interpret the flow of the game. In the rule book it says something to the extent of, ” Remember the Golden Rule: text on cards override rules in the book,” so the timing and order of things gets a little murky at times. I often have my laptop handy to Google questions about the rules. Luckily, Fantasy Flight has great customer support and lots of helpful things are posted on the game’s website.

The number one thing you should understand about this game before buying it is this: THIS GAME IS HARD. Solo or with a partner, the game is designed to present you with a challenge. But this is a good thing. If you could just pull a deck out of the box and beat all the scenarios on the first time through, what’s the fun in that? You’re going to get the most out of this game if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t mind losing as long as you’re learning things you can use on your next play though.

Perhaps my favorite things about this game are the production value and the theme. The cards are beautiful – they’re the only cards I’ve ever bought sleeves for. As someone who hasn’t delved into anything with much of a roleplaying element to it, I was really impressed at how the mechanics of the different scenarios reflect what was going on thematically. For instance: in one of the quests, you and your party are supposed to be traveling down the river on a raft, so for this portion of the quest, the enemies can’t attack you are “waiting for you on the banks.” Once you finish this stage, though, you are confronted by all the enemies that were waiting for you. I found this really cool.

So in the end, if you’re looking for something highly thematic and deep, that plays well solo or cooperative, and you’re interested in the deck building element, I’d highly recommend this one. If you’re like me and are a Lord of the Rings fan who hasn’t read the books/watched the movies in a while, you might find yourself really wanting to re-immerse yourself in Middle Earth.

× Visit Your Profile