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The Big Cheese 2012
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Go to the Ticket to Ride page
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Go to the Dominion page


73 out of 150 gamers thought this was helpful

Dominion really laid the foundation for the rest of the Deck Building game genre, it is a fun game to play in a group.

In the base set, you use your cards to build and manage resources, buy more cards, build up the best kingdom among your friends.

Many of the expansions has fixed the issue with the core game, which is that most of the cards only take care of your kingdom and do not interact with others. It feels like you are playing alone.

Look at Dominion, look at the expansions and know that the feel of the game is very different, and to me much more fun, when you are interacting with others.

Go to the Food Fight page

Food Fight

16 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

The 3 meals of the day are laid out with specific Battle. These battle each have points and appropriate themed name (examples: The Massacre at Little Big Corn, and The Bay of Pigs in a Blanket)

In your hand you have an army of food themed soldiers (everything from Private Pancake to Commando Steak). You decide what meal your hand is best suited to battle for, choose the appropriate meal’s chip and place it face down in front of you. All at once players reveal their targeted meals If you are uncontested you take that meal, if there is more than one food army going after the same meal, you play war in a head to head best of 5 series.

The drafting mechanic (pick one from your hand to keep, pass the hand to the left until everyone has a full hand) adds some strategy. Waiting for others to play war gets boring.

If it is on the table, I’ll play it, when it is not on the table I probably won’t suggest it.

Go to the Hike page


72 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

Most games that are friendly to kids annoy me with by being based completely on chance or by being dumbed down. Hike is simple, has a cute theme and adorable artwork and, thankfully, avoids these pitfalls.

The theme is a hick in the woods. On your turn you place the next thing you experience on your hike (Lake, bugs, birds, trees, trail, peak, light) and each of these cards lists what can be played on top of it by the next player.

There is the element of chance: Do I have a corresponding card?
The is, thankfully, also the element of strategy: What is the best card to play to make sure the next person can’t play.

There are a number of rarer cars in the set that each have unique, but simple mechanics that do add a bit more strategy to the game.

I initially purchased this to have a game to play with my niece and nephew, but it has seen more play at the adults table.

Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
57 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

In Betrayal at House on the Hill you take the roll of the group of people who’ve decided to investigate the creepy house on the hill.

Each turn you move your piece and place out, at random, the room you discovered. The house is different each time. The game does a great job of building tension, both with not knowing what room will be behind the next door but also with the random events, items and even omens that happen as you explore the house.

When you collect an omen, you have to roll dice and hope they total up to the same number or higher as the omens that have appeared so far, this is referred to as the Haunt Roll. After you succeed on the first couple of omens, the tension builds and everyone is worried about failing the Haunt roll.

Once a Haunt Roll is failed, you refer to a chart in the instructions. You find the omen that triggered the aunt, and the room it was found in and you will find what page to turn to for your scenario as well as who in your party betrayed you.

This is what the tension was building to, as you explored the house, with the floorboards creaking, wind whistling through and things falling over seemingly at random, you knew, KNEW, that this place was bad. Now, one of your party has alined themselves, willingly or not, with whatever negative power is in the house (there are a ton of scenarios). This is the point where the life of your character is in jeopardy, you know what you must do to survive. Or this is the point where you betray your comrades, align with the house and bring them all down.

Tons of fun, lots or re-playability. The concept of playing the group at the beginning of a horror movie is easy to explain to new people, the actual betrayal and role they play after is a little harder. Quality of the mini figurines and components is not consistent from copy to copy so you might get a very tippy miniature.

Go to the Miskatonic School for Girls page
34 out of 39 gamers thought this was helpful

You’re not making it out of this with your Sanity intact.

This take on the deckbuilding genre finds you playing the role of the head of a house at the Miskatonic School for girls. Your goal is to make sure that the girls in your house go mad slightly slower than the other houses.

Everyone begins with an identical roster of students. Each student had a Friendship value and a Nightmare value. You can choose to use the friendship on each card to buy a girl for your house, or the night mare to buy Faculty for an opposing house.

After you have bought one teacher and one student, you place any teachers in your hand into the classroom, discard the resat of your hand, draw one student for each faculty from the top of your library and they battle using the attack and defense values on them.
At first, this seems weird, disjointed. Building your opponents deck, cycling through your own like mad. But after you look at the beautiful watercolor pictures of the girls, and see them in the classroom trying to retain their sanity against a Lovecraftian horror in a very poor disguise it makes sense.

No one’s making it out, no one can stand up to these faculty, but if I can make another house go mad quicker, I’ll feel better about my own house.

This game is not for everyone, it is a deckbuilder with a deliberate lack of control. The rules of the game are simple and very easy to pick up (which is good because the instructions are convoluted), the mechanics are simple, straightforward and have some innovation. Powergamers, min/maxers and rules lawyers will all be disappointed, but the rest of us will have a blast.

Go to the Four Taverns page

Four Taverns

67 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

If you’ve done table top fantasy roleplay you’ve probably started in a tavern. If you’ve read any fantasy novels you remember the inns and innkeepers, whether it is Otik’s Inn of the Last Home from Dragonlance or Barliman Butterburr’s Prancing Pony from Lord of the Rings. The Inn is essential to an adventurer even if you do nothing more there than drink ale, smoke pipeweek, eat spiced potatoes and meet your companions.

Turns out, according to Four Taverns anyway, that Innkeepers are a rather competitive lot and they work against rival taverns to attract the best adventurers, have their patron fulfill the best quests and gain the most re known.

The game is straight forward. There are three piles of quests in the middle of the table that every one of the inns is trying to convince their patrons to go complete. The quests have requirements listed on them in the form of a color representing a class and a number on that color representing the number of levels that character class needs to be to fulfill that requirement of the quest.

Your hand if filled with adventurers and special cards. You pay a little gold out of your till to encourage your adventurer to go on a particular quest, when you have all the requirements for that quest fulfilled, you get the money and renown and can begin to level up your tavern (meaning larger hand size). Should your opponents complete it first you lose both your adventurer and your money.

This is a quick game 25-45 minutes with 4 players.

Go to the Say Anything page

Say Anything

20 out of 32 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a great game to play with friends or friends you’re hoping to make. It is in the tradition of Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity in that each player takes a turn being the judge. The judge pulls a card that reads “In my opinion…” then there is a list of 5 choices of questions for them to read. They are all along the ling of “Most romantic movie ever” or “Most overrated video game”

It is a party game made for groups that love to interact with each other. It is easily adjusted to being more or less adult themed as needed

This will be a party staple.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
48 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

When I heard that Wizards of the Coast had made a Euro-style game I wondered if they could do a good job of it. They did.

The materials are well done, the packaging is thought out to extreme degrees, including molded depression in the shape of an item that is beveled on the bottom so you can push, flip it up and easily get it out. The one downside is they did not include enough money tokens.

The resource management, turn order and quest fulfillment is esay to learn and quickly encourages you to expand your strategy to buying buildings, running intrigue and trying to get that elusive extra turn.

Will look intimidating to people new to the gaming scene at first blush, but is very easy to explain and play.

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