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53 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

After hearing a lot about this game, I got a chance to play it and was not real impressed. This review is based off of experiences with 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions.

Gameplay-The game play consists of rolling a die moving your character and encountering mostly random objects places and monsters or other players. Combat is decided by adding up strength and a die roll. It is a basic roll and move game with RPG elements.

Characters have different abilities (some way more powerful than others) and starting strength and craft scores. These can be increased by objects, followers and encounters throughout the game.

The game is played out on a semi-linear board. There are three rings that players can move back and forth in, and under certain condition can cross over to another ring.

The gameplay really lacks a lot of the strategy elements I look for in a game, and seems to turn into a game of who can get the luckiest.

I feel the gameplay deserves 2 out of 10 talismans.

Look and Feel-This is where the game shines. The look brings me back to the 80s and the classic feel of Dungeon and Dragons. Some might say the art is a little cheesy or lacking, but I kind of dig it.

I really like the feel. It is fun to take your character and make them stronger by defeating enemies, and the encounters can be exciting. Will it be a monster or a magical object am I in danger or will I find a great blessing.

The feel and look drew me into the game and I give it 6 out of 10 talismans for the experience.

Final Score – 4 talismans out of 10

Final Word-Some fun can come out of this game, but I wouldn’t need to play it more than once every couple of years. Let a friend buy it and save you money for something more worthwhile. I have also found that playing this online is great, as it eliminates the downtime in between turns and I don’t feel like I have wasted my time when the player that gets lucky finally wins.

Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

59 out of 67 gamers thought this was helpful

I first played Ticket to Ride with a friend and it was on my must get list for quite a while. Once I got it, my family went on a TTR binge and wanted to play it all day every day. I did end up getting a little sick of it after a while, but now that the fervor has died down I still really enjoy it.

Gameplay- The gameplay is great. It is one of those games that the mechanics are simple enough to understand in a few minutes, but their is enough strategy there, that experiences players should have an edge.

Each turn consists of either drawing train cars, staking a claim if you have the proper color and number of cars for the particular route, or drawing new destination tickets.

The goal of the game is to get the most points. You can gain points during the game by claiming track. At the end of the game you will also gain points for each completed ticket in your hand and possibly by having the longest route. You can also lose points at the end of the game for each ticket you failed to complete.

The game turns are fairly quick and smooth, although hey can tend to get a little monotonous. Also, whenever a player draws new destination tickets, there can be a pause that slows down the game before the next player gets their turn.

Another great addition to the game is a code to play online at Days of Wonder’s Web site. I like little extras like that.

Although the game can play 2-5, I think it is definitely lacking with 2. The 1910 expansion has some new ways to play that make it more fun with 2.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 8 out of 10 tickets.

Look and Feel- The game has beautiful board, although not completely geographically correct, but the straying from geography seems to be necessary for gameplay purposes.

The components are all fairly nice. The cards are on nice stock and have nice colorful illustrations. The only problem is the cards are small; the 1910 expansion has reprinted the cards full size though. The trains are plastic, which is alright, but wood could be nicer. The scoring tokens however are wood.

The look and feel of this game earns Ticket to Ride 8 out of 10 tickets.

Overall Score- 8 tickets out of 10

Final word- If you are looking for light euro-style game that can appeal to a non gamer, this game is for you. It’s mechanics are light enough to let new gamers in, but strong enough to keep hard core gamers interested. I would say Ticket to Ride is one of the best gateway games available right now.

Go to the Puerto Rico page

Puerto Rico

69 out of 76 gamers thought this was helpful

I had played this game a couple of times before buying my own copy, and then that copy sat in the box for quite a while. It is now out and punched and seeing frenzied play as it should.

Gameplay- Puerto Rico has a very unique gameplay that really sets itself apart from other games.

In Puerto Rico, players are loosely simulating the colonization of Puerto Rico. They do this buy assuming different roles that change the turn structure. One person is the designated governor for the turn. They then get first pick of the roles and then go clockwise around the table. The governor passes to the next person each turn, so everyone gets a fair shot at picking the role they want first.

The goal of the game is to get the most victory points. This can be achieved in several ways. The main way is by sending goods back to the old world on ships during the Captain phase. Another way is by constructing buildings during the Builder phase.

Another aspect of the game is generating revenue in the form of doubloons. Some people get caught up in the money making aspect and lose sight of the true goal of gaining victory points.

The game offers a lot of strategy and little monotony with its turn structure. Not knowing what phases are actually going to occur each turn requires one to make decisions with limited information and try to guess what the opponents are going to do. One also has to be careful when choosing his or her role, because the role that might be the most helpful, may also help an opponent more.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 9 out of 10 doubloons.

Look and Feel- The art for the game is good. Nothing outstanding, but it works well with the theme and time period.

I have to say that when I play this game, I do not feel like I am really colonizing Puerto Rico. I feel like I am in a race for victory points.

Also be ready to do some punching when you get this game. There are a lot of pieces to punch, but lots of bits are cool.

I also like how each player is playing on their own board with the community board in the middle to buy and trade from.

The look and feel of this game earns it a 7 out of 10 doubloons.

Overall Score- 8 doubloons out of 10

Final word- If you are a fan of Euro style games, this game is already in your collection. If it isn’t, what are you doing reading this. Go get it now.

Go to the Carcassonne page


58 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

Carcassonne is a great gateway game. The rules are fairly simple for even the newest of gamers. With the exception of farmer scoring, I think everyone I have taught has caught on very quickly.

Gameplay- Turns in Carcassonne are simple and effective. A player must first reveal a facedown tile, and then the player must find a spot to place the tile. Placing tiles in Carcassonne is kind of like putting together a puzzle with the player having to match sides. Roads must lead into roads and castles must lead into castles etc. Once the tile is placed, the player has the option of placing a follower on one of the features of the just placed tile. A follower can be a thief on the road, a knight in the castle, a monk in the monastery or a farmer on the field. Each of these options provides the ability to score points when the feature is complete, except for the farmer, which stay on the board until the game is over. The next player repeats the place tile and or follower sequence and so on around the board, until all the tiles have been placed. The game is then over.

The way the game gets confrontational is through the rule that you can not place followers onto a feature that already has a follower on it, but two separate features with followers already on them may be connected through clever tile placement. So if someone is building a massive castle, a good strategy could be to start a small castle near their’s in the hopes of somehow attaching to their castle. If this happens both players get the total point value of the completed feature. A more insidious plan would be to get two small castles going near their large castle in order to get two followers into the opponent’s castle. The player that has the most followers on the completed feature gets the points, while the player who is outnumbered gets none.

Another factor that plays into one’s strategy is the limited number of followers. As the game goes on players will have a good number of followers on the board and less followers in their available pile; this will lead to players needing to make difficult choices on whether or not one should place a follower, because a better tile may come along. Also, with farmers staying on the board until the end of the game, players must decide how many of their followers they can devote to farming, and when to put them out. If you wait too long, all the farms may already be full, but if you put them out too early you will have less follower’s to use throughout the game.

A possible downside to the gameplay is that generally it seems that the winner ultimately comes down to who farmed the best. Sometimes this makes players feel that the rest of the game is for nothing, but clever placement of tiles can help to eliminate the farmer power. Early farmers can be hurt the most if other players pay attention to their first few road pieces.

There are many expansions for this game that help to adjust game balance issues and add more strategy and depth to the play.

Also the ability to play well with anywhere from 2-5 players is a great advantage of this game. The flexibility in player number means you can take it with you when you are not sure how many players there will be and know that you will still have a fun time regardless of how many show up.

Most players seem to get into the discovery aspect of flipping over the next tile, and a lot of excitement builds towards the end of the game when players need just one tile to complete that castle before the end of the game. There is always that moment of, “Dang!” when someone else flips over the tile that you really wanted.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 7 out of 10 tiles.

Look and Feel- The game looks nice. It is always cool to see what the board looks like at the end of the game. Sometimes the board is nice and compact, with few wholes, and sometimes it is spread out across the table like some sort of tentacled anime beast.

The actual art on the tiles looks good. It isn’t real flashy, but it probably shouldn’t be. It has a sort of flat old word feel, and that is appropriate to the theme.

The box is also aesthetically pleasing, and it has a ton of space, but if you decide to pick up expansions, you will enjoy the added space to store your whole Carcassonne collection together.

The look and feel of this game earns Carcassonne 7 out of 10 tiles.

Overall Score- 7 tiles out of 10

Final word-If you want to introduce friends and family to gaming, Carcassonne is a great way to do it. While being friendly to non gamers, there is enough strategy to keep hard core gamers interested. Carcassonne is a good all around game, and should probably be in most gamers collections.

Go to the Loot page


42 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

I was hunting for new Heroscape expansions at Wal-Mart one night when I stumbled upon Loot. I saw that it was designed by Knizia and only cost 5 dollars. Since I hadn’t found any Heroscape stuff to burn my money on, I decided to pick up Loot.

Gameplay- This game has relatively simple mechanics that make the game easy for all to pick up, but it still offers players the ability to make tactical decisions.

At the start of a players turn, they first check to see if they looted any merchant ships, if so they add that ship to their pile of loot. Then that player must do one of two things in an attempt to gain more gold. One choice would be to draw a card and the other is to play a card. There are several types of cards one can play. They are as follows:

Merchant Ships – These cards have a picture of a merchant ship and symbols of gold doubloons in the upper right corner from 2-8. If one plays a merchant ship and it gets back to his or her turn without anyone playing a pirate ship to attack it, one adds that merchant ship to his or her loot pile.

Pirate Ship – These cards depict a pirate ship and come in 4 colors with a printed strength of 1-4 designated by skull and crossbones symbols. These are played to attack a merchant ship. They can only be played on merchant ships that do not already have a pirate ship of that color attacking it. One can however boost one of his or her pirate ships strength by playing a pirate ship of the same color on top of it. If it gets back to a player’s turn and they have the highest strength pirate ship on a merchant ship, they get the loot.

Pirates – There is one card depicting a cartoonish pirate for each color. It may be played on a pirate ship you control of the matching color. This ship is now the strongest ship and will take the merchant ship, unless a pirate of another color or the admiral is played.

Admiral – There is one admiral that one may play on his or her own merchant ship. The admiral makes that merchant ship strong enough to repel all pirate ships, unless a pirate is played.

The game ends once the draw pile has been exhausted, and one player is out of cards. Players then total their loot and the player with the most loot is declared the winner.

Another fun aspect of this game is that it can be played with partners, where one can look at his or her partner’s hand and play cards to help boost each other’s attacks. I think I prefer the every man or woman for his or herself version better, but I think the partners can make for some good variety every once in a while.

The game can be played with anywhere from 2-8 players. I have yet to play it with two, as I can’t see if being a lot of fun as the luck of the draw would be too big of a factor, but it is very fun with 3-8.

Loot also plays pretty quickly, so it can be a good filler game or multiple games can be played in succession very easily. Families and younger players can be introduced to this game and should be able to pick it up pretty easily.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 8 out of 10 gold doubloons.

Look and Feel- A game based on pirates is always going to grab some people’s attention. However, I am not sure the theme is that necessary. I don’t think the theme is pasted on, but at the same time I also don’t think it is integral to the game. The theme does make it fun though!

The game components are just a deck of cards in an oversized box. The art is very nice, with semi cartoonish pirates and ships. The cardstock is pretty good. My cards are starting to show a little wear, but for five dollars, replacing the deck isn’t going to be the end of the world or send me to the poorhouse.

I don’t especially get into the role of a pirate capturing merchant ships on the high seas while I play this, but it is still a lot of fun to play.

The look and feel of this game earns Loot 8 out of 10 gold doubloons.

Overall Score- 8 gold doubloons out of 10

Final word- If you like Knizia’s games and are looking for a cheap, fun, fast paced card driven game this is a good one for you. It plays well with 3-8 players individually or with partners. Loot is also good for younger players and families, as the mechanics are simple and easy to learn.

Go to the Citadels page


54 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

I had heard a lot of good things about this game and had thought about purchasing it many times, but had just never got around to it. Matt brought it over to one of my Monday Night Game Nights and we got a chance to play it two-player since no one else had shown up yet. After that, I knew that I wanted to purchase a copy for myself.

Gameplay – I know this game can spark quite a bit of controversy on the best way to play it, but I have found in my gaming circle that it scales very well. I have had very enjoyable games with two to eight players with the Dark City expansion. The game is a very different beast between two players and eight though.

The object of the game is to make the best city by building districts on each of your turns. Players start the game with four district cards in their hand and two gold.

Each turn a player selects a role from one of the eight roles numbered one to eight. The roles in the base game are 1 – The Assassin. This player can choose a character and if another player has chosen that character, they will lose their turn. 2 – The Theif, this character can select a character and if a player has chosen it, when they reveal that it, the thief can take their gold. 3 – The Magician, this character can discard as many district cards from hand and redraw the same number, or exchange hands with another player. 4 – The King, this character gets one gold income for each yellow district in the player’s city. The King also gets to take the crown token which will allow that player to choose first from the roles on subsequent turns. 5 – The Bishop, this character gets one gold for each blue district in a player’s city and makes that player immune from the Warlord. 6 – The Merchant, the player that selects the Merchant gains a gold for each green district in a player’s city, and gives the player a gold after they take an action. 7 – The Architect, this character allows a player two draw two district cards after taking an action and allows the player to build up to three district cards this turn. 8 – The Warlord, on the Warlord’s turn, that player can take one gold income for each red building and pay the cost of an opponent’s district minus one to discard it.

After everyone has selected a role, the King will call out the first role, the Assassin. The Assassin player will then take his/her turn. The player will start off by using the Assassin ability, then that player may take one of two actions. He or She may take two gold from the bank, or he or she may draw two districts from the district pile, but he or she must discard one. Then that player may build one district if he or she wishes. Play continues on with number the second role The Thief, the third role The Magician and so on, all the way to the eighth role, The Warlord. Players will then choose roles again and play out another round until at the end of the round someone has 8 districts out.

The game ends at the end of the round in which a player has build 8 districts. Players then score their cities. Each district is worth a point for each gold it cost. Four bonus points are awarded to the player that built 8 districts first and each player that also built 8 districts gets two bonus points. There are also three bonus points awarded to each player that has built a district of each of the 5 colors.

In a two or three player game, players will end up taking on two roles. I also feel that the Dark City expansion makes the two player experience a lot better by substituting the Witch for the Assassin.

I talked a little bit about the colors of the districts above. The red, yellow, green and blue all give income to their respective role, but there is one color that I haven’t talked about yet, and that is purple. The purple building each have their own special abilities that can be very helpful.

The game is basically a role choosing hand management game with some bluffing and deduction involved.

One’s seating position can have a positive or negative aspect on their ability to win, but overall I think that the King counter is easy enough to move around that eventually one will have an improved position if he or she wants.

I feel that the gameplay deserves 9 out of 10 gold.

Look and Feel – This game mostly shines in the look and feel department, but that also depends on which version one can get a hold of. I have the newer Fantasy Flight Games version that has the Dark City expansion included.

The art on the cards is great. I know there are a few cards that some people have mentioned are too risqué, or grotesque, but I personally don’t see any problems. I just see beautifully rendered artwork on each card. There is a negative to the cards though, they seem to wear really easily, especially the role cards. I know that they get handled a lot, but I think FFG would be aware of the amount of ware that at least the role cards would get, and could have produced better wearing role cards at least.

Gold pieces in the version I have are very nice plastic pieces that have kind of a gold yellow marbled look to them. They look and feel great, while performing their function very well. I know one of the other versions had cardboard punch out gold pieces, which would function fine, but would not be near as nice.

The only other item in the box is the crown counter, which is a nice painted wood piece. There is one thing that bothers me about it. Mine at least isn’t quite symmetrical, and it always just kind of sticks out at me like a sore thumb. I know it is really nit-picky, but I can’t help but notice it.

This box is also a pretty good one as far as boxes go. It is a little bit of an odd shape, but it has good solid construction and shouldn’t have trouble with warping. It has a little bit of extra space, but it is pretty much just a comfortable amount and not a waste like some games. The art on the box is also very nice to match the cards inside. It doesn’t give you a wrong impression; the quality of the art on the box is what you get inside.

The look and feel of this game earns Citadels 7 out of 10 gold.

Overall Score- 8 gold out of 10

Final Word – If you like role selection and or bluffing, this could be a good game for you. My wife and I like to play it just as a couple or with several other people and have fun both ways.

Go to the Warhammer: Island of Blood page
22 out of 24 gamers thought this was helpful

This review is more about 8th edition in general and not just the Island of blood.

Gameplay – I have played Warhammer off and on from 4th edition, so I have seen many rules come and go and many changes for good and bad.

8th Edition is quite and overhaul and not merely an incremental update like the change from from 6th to 7th. The basic fundamentals of the game are still there and overall I feel the game was very much streamlined and most parts of the games that caused rules ambiguity or arguments have been removed or refined. This also overall speeds up the play of the game in my mind and is a good thing. The stat line is the same, the phases of the game and their order didn’t change despite the rumors that it would, but a couple of simple rules changes have drastically changed the way the game is played in my mind. These two things are measureing anytime and true line of sight.

Being able to measure anytime takes out the time and thinking where players would hem and haw about whether they wer 9.75 inches away from the target or 10.25 as it could make a big difference in the game and risk/reward would need to be wieghed on either outcome. Now a player can measure anytime and more easily make a decision based on this information. It also makes it easier for new players that don’t have 20 years of guessing distances between toy soldiers ona 6 by 4 foot table.

True Line of Sight on the other hand I think will cause the game to have more arguments and slow the game down a lot.

Another controversial change is random movement for charges. Some people claim this takes all the strategy out of the game. I do agree that there will be a game you will lose on a bad die roll, but that is going to be very rare and one should always plan to miss the charge unless they are in guaruanteed range.

Always striking in initiative order is another big change to the game. Before getting the charge to strike first was really important and initiative was a fairly forgotten stat, but in the new edition low initiative units will always be striking last unless their opponent’s are low initiative too or have great weapons and now great weapons always strike last even on the charge.

The new magic rules are a big change to the game as well and the new lores seem to be pretty darn powerful. The consequences of miscasting are worse now though too. I really think some of the old magic items give some of the races a pretty big advantage in this phase and it will be interesting to see what GW does with these magic items in the new books.

Speaking of magic items. One of the coolest part of the new book I think is the new common magic items. There are like 80 of them and these new items have really refreshed some of the stale character builds and boosted some of the armies with weaker magic item lists.

Now attacks are made with two ranks instead of just the front and units of 30 wide can add a third rank in close combat. All ranks beyond the first are called supporting ranks though and only get one attack regardless of their profile or other special rules.

Although I am not happy with all of the changes, I believe the new edition breathes fresh air into the game and has got me excited to try all sorts of new things.

I feel that the gameplay in Warhammer 8th Edition deserves 10 twin tailed comets out of 10.

Look and Feel – The looke and feel of the game didn’t really change much with the new edition. GW is still putting out some top notch miniatures with a fumble here and there.

The actual rulebook itself is quite and amazing site. It is over 800 pages of beautiful full color. It has a nice ribbon in the middle to mark pages, but could use about 12 of them. The special collector’s edition one does have more ribbons and is even more gorgeous.

With the release of the new edition GW also released some neat player aids and special skull dice that are not necessary, but all look pretty cool. I picked up the engineer’s ranging set as well as the markers, battle magic deck and the special collector’s range figures. All are very nice!

The look and feel of this game earns Warhammer 8th Edition 9 twin tailed comets out of 10 coins.

Overall Score – 10 twin tailed comets out of 10.

Final word – The review might be a bit fan boyish, but 8th ed has really reinvigorated my spirit for playing Warhammer. In most cases the new rules streamlined things and are overall a much more clear rule set. There are a few things from the previous edition that I miss and there are few things from the new edition I wish weren’t there, but all in all I am really excited about playing Warhammer right now and want to keep trying new things with the new ruleset. On an almost daily basis I have a new idea I am inspired to try for my armies.

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