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B. Chereaux

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Go to the Talisman page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
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Go to the Memoir '44 page
Go to the Sagrada page


12 out of 13 gamers thought this was helpful

This is fast becoming the favorite game in our house. My wife will never turn down a game of Sagrada and after one play, it is not hard to see why. This game is easy to learn, quick to play, and downright beautiful to look at.

The Good:

The components are well made and the translucent, colored dice are awesome. After a few rounds, this one looks gorgeous on the table and you can really see the theme coming through.
The puzzle aspect of the game is engaging and challenging without being cluttered by unnecessary rules.
A full playthrough takes only 30 minutes, so it shouldn’t be hard to keep even the least initiated board gamer interested.

The Not-So-Good:

The cardstock used on the cards feels a little flimsy. This especially bothers me about the window pattern cards since they will be manipulated in and out of frames every time we play
The rules for scoring at the end of the game needed explanations of EACH rule. The rulebook only provided examples of a few, and I have to admit we played a few games wrong and did some puzzle solving after to figure out how to score.

This game definitely lives up to the hype, and is one that will be on our shelves for years to come. It plays well as a filler for two or three people in between longer Ameritrash games, or as a main course for up to six players with an optional expansion. I am very happy with the amount of game I got for only 40 bucks!

Go to the Dread Pirate page

Dread Pirate

7 out of 7 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a fantastic, though simple, pirate themed game. I bought it in college and took it home over the holidays back in 2009 and it was a huge hit with the family. It oozes theme, and has some top notch components.

The What: This is a pirate themed game in which the players control a pirate ship and move from port to port raiding, trading, and fighting with other pirates. All of these mechanics are simple dice rolls and very easy to learn. There are no stat sheets or loose leaf paper to track. Players are trying to amass the largest treasure horde before the “timer” runs out. This is a simple move and do actions game. There are some “advanced rules” that add wind, and cards to cause random occurrences (both good and bad) to keep the novelty going.

The Who: Dread Pirate is not a highly strategic game, but it never tries to be. With it being big on theme and easy to learn, it will appeal to a large audience in age and experience. This is suitable for children 4th grade and up.

The How: The components are phenomenal! The board is a cloth treasure map laid out with grids for sailing and islands to visit. The Gems are glass and the dubloons are a gold metal. The players pieces are cast metal ships in varied colors (black, silver, copper, and gold). The cards are a bit on the flimsy side, but the dice are a beautiful dark wood and the wind control die is 3x larger than standard dice.

Pros: Great theme, easy to learn, exceptional components, decent replay value

Cons: Cheap feeling cards, low level of strategy, hard to find retail

Go to the Talisman: The Cataclysm page
11 out of 12 gamers thought this was helpful

Lord of the Rings said it best, and so the world of Talisman is also changing. This Expansion offers a whole new base board to play on with updated art of familiar places with a very dark twist. Just as The Reaper expansion sought to clean up the boards clutter from time to time with card like Whirlwind and Earthquake, so this expansion offers ways to keep things fresh. The new mechanic is the complete renaming and changing of spaces on the main board, both by implementing the new base board and through cards that change a single space at random times during the game. It also capitalizes on NPC’s through the use of denizen cards, which can help the adventurer along the way.

Components: The new base board is a welcome addition to this series. I enjoyed how the Dragon expansion replaced the center portion of the board, but now they take it way further by giving us all new artwork to admire. It has a very dark feel to it (post-apocalypse high fantasy) that I enjoyed immensely. All of the artwork is Fantasy Flight good with great components. Some new characters offer different ways to play the game than your standard “stat change, new name” characters. The mutating ability of the Mutant is a fun way to gamble, and the Black Knight finally becomes a playable character! Trinkets are still utilized to help players have more objects available (they don’t count against your total items).

Pros: Plenty of new things to look at and great new mechanics. There is an alternate ending card that turns Talisman into a co-op experience…

Cons: Bigger box than the woodland expansion, but it contains a full size board so…

Overall: This is what a game expansion should be! Tons of wonderful new room to explore and new characters that behave in ways we haven’t seen before. Well implemented new mechanics that have a smooth flow to them but still let you play the game in ways you never have before. A good bargain, and in my opinion the best “big box” expansion for this classic game!

Go to the Murder of Crows (2nd ed) page
6 out of 6 gamers thought this was helpful

This game is a fun twist on the storytelling genre. While the point of the game is not really to tell a compelling story, the creators ingeniously added a line for the story to the bottom of each card so that, at the end of the game there is a fun little tale of murder most fowl!

Components: This is a card game, and uses slightly oversized cards with fantastic artwork reminiscent of an early 90s comic book or the Series of Unfortunate Events book series. The cards themselves are not the thickest I’ve played with, so if you can find sleeves for them, please let me know where. My copy of the 2nd edition came in a cool tin instead of a cardboard box. Either way, it takes up a very small amount of shelf space.

Gameplay: Players take turns drawing and laying down cards in front of themselves trying to spell the word MURDER. Each card is a letter in the word and also allows the player to do a specific action: steal a card, force opponents to discard, draw an extra card, etc. My wife does not enjoy complicated games, but this was easy to teach and has a humorously dark theme. Our friends find it easy to learn as well.

Pros: Quick to learn
Small shelf space
Very affordable

Cons: Cards feel a bit cheap
It would be difficult to find sleeves for the oddly sized cards

Overall: This is a fun game with a humorously dark theme. The artwork is not gruesome, but maybe more appropriate for kids 10 and up. Easy to teach and plays a game in about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Go to the Castles of Caladale page
9 out of 9 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a neat little title of tile laying. The big difference between this game, and others in the genre (Carcassone,) is that COC is played building individually rather than working on a group construct. The theme is that each player is trying to build the most impressive castle from the pile of rubble left over after some terrible disaster.
Players take turns drawing and playing tiles to build a castle. Points are awarded for certain features, and of course for completion of the castle after the last tile is drawn. Another difference between this and others in the tile laying genre is that tiles may be drawn and stored by players to be used at any point later in the game. This is a great feature!
Plays well with different numbers of people
Can be fun with only 2 players
Great artwork and sturdy components
Easy to understand rulebook
Low price point
Large(ish) box considering the size of the components (I always think this about tile games though)
Storing tiles can frustrate people who forget to use them
Overall: I think this is a fantastic game for people who love tile laying. It takes longer to play than Tsuro, but is more complex. COC is a nice change for people who may be growing tired of Carcassone.

Go to the Talisman: The Dungeon page
5 out of 6 gamers thought this was helpful

In a nutshell, this expansion provides a lot of “more of the same”. It doesn’t really introduce any new mechanics that have a substantial change from the base game. It does include some new rewards and monsters which I feel are a bit bigger than what we are used to seeing in the base game, but it primarily adds only familiar elements. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING.

Easy set up
interesting new Heroes, with cool abilities
more difficult enemies and bigger rewards

No alternate endings
No new mechanics

Overall I would say this is a great first expansion to buy. It deepens the replay value of the base game without cluttering things with too many new mechanics. I have always said, “if I love the base game, I will love expansions that provide more of the same”. The Dungeon does just that!

Go to the One Deck Dungeon page

One Deck Dungeon

9 out of 10 gamers thought this was helpful

First Impression: There is so much going on in such a tiny game! The box fits in just one hand, but the adventure is as big as your imagination. I was very impressed with the replay value and depth of such a tiny game.

Components: I love the translucent dice that come with this game. they are also small which some people didn’t like, but I thought they were better small considering the large number them you will be chucking around. The cards were thinner than I would have liked, but it was a kickstarter game, so you run that risk. Artwork was good though.

Gameplay: The game is a dice game at heart, but defeated enemies can be used as trophies in multiple ways. This adds a strategic depth that is sometimes missing in dice throwers (think Dungeon Roll). Playing with 2 players is good because you act as a group instead of downtime as one player or the other does adventurous things.

Cons: I would have really like thicker cardstock for the components. Only 2 players with 1 copy of the base game is a bit of a bummer,, but it is mostly a solo game anyway.

Conclusion: The replay value is high and my friends have enjoyed playing it together. I really enjoy a game that can be played well as both a solo endeavor, and as a grouptivity. This scratches the dungeon crawl itch for me in a 30 minute, small box, glorious way. I look forward to the expansion that is due out March of 2018.

Go to the Talisman: The City Expansion  page
5 out of 8 gamers thought this was helpful

This expansion surprised me. It first seemed like nothing more than a big Walmart for your character. However, the more we used it, the more I appreciated the new (if sparse) mechanics. The bounty hunting is fun, and the pets that can be purchased really drew me in.

The components are top notch (its FF), and it has cards galore! Three new special ending cards add some diversity to play, and with all of the help available for purchase, money becomes more important than it used to be.

The pet shop deserves special recognition. After purchase, they give special abilities that can really help your adventurer. They work like a follower too, so they don’t count against your items.

The only downside is the lack of adventures in the city, but that is really not what this expansion is built to do. Just something to be aware of before buying.

Overall, great expansion and well worth the money!

Go to the Friday page


12 out of 14 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a fun little solo only game. It was the first one I played in the solo only genre. Having said that, I now have several games that support solo play and a few more solo only games (thanks Z Man Games, and Victory Point Games.

The game components are good quality. I like that there are wooden leaf counters for Robinson Crusoes life total. The cards are sturdy enough, but nothing to write home about. The artwork on the cards is a bit cartoonish, but icons are clearly marked and color coding is good.

Gameplay is fun and has some choices to make when playing against the deck. With each challenge you face, you can decide at any point to fail it, and with the learning system for your character, failing a challenge is sometimes more beneficial than completing it. The mechanics are simple, but well woven into the theme of helping poor old Robinson to survive on this difficult island. The appearance of Pirates at the end of the game is where the challenge really comes in. It is important to remember while playing that you are preparing for a “boss fight”, not simply surviving. That lends more thinking and weight to early game decisions in my opinion.

The downside to a simple game is that there will be limited replay. This is not a long term limitation in my view, but simply means that I play this game once or twice a month instead of every day. Friday is like a college roommate visiting. Fun to visit, glad I’m not living together anymore. The mechanics are solid, so the game is engaging; it just doesn’t have the complexity to survive 100 run through’s in a week.

Overall, this is a great way to break into solo gaming if that is something you are interested in. It also makes a great filler if someone gets kicked out of a longer game and needs to do something until the next game. It will definitely stay in my collection and make appearances on my desk and gaming table.

Go to the Star Wars: Imperial Assault page
10 out of 12 gamers thought this was helpful

As of the writing of this review, our group has not tackled a campaign yet. So, this will be about the skirmish options instead. For background, I enjoy Risk, Memoir 44, Mage Wars, MTG, Battle Cry, and a few others.
The skirmish mode in a word: Elegant. The four rule books that come in the base game may appear a bit daunting at first, but underneath is a rich and well balanced world full of all of your favorite characters and a wealth of different objective types and environments to play in. As with any game, there are certain key words to learn, but they are simple enough if you have played any other game with its own language. All of the characters seem well balanced, and the ability to build your own team of characters and command cards makes this a rich world with great replay value.
As expected from fantasy flight, the components are top notch. There are custom dice and highly detailed miniatures. The cards are all of sturdy FF quality. My only gripe is that the black border around the games tiles will wear in time and could detract from the absolutely gorgeous artwork.
The skirmishes are played in a series of rounds with the initiative alternating each round. Line of sight is simple and easy to measure and the attack of each character is fairly well balanced ad personalized (I.E. a small pistol has decent damage but short range, some rifles can have more damage at close range or good accuracy at far range, and melee characters are brutal). Games take an hour or less once you learn the basics of the game, so you have a chance to play with different factions and scenarios.
My only complaint is the organization of the base game box, which is none. Not even Talisman-like attempt by FF to arrange all the components.
Overall, a great experience with a wealth of theme and replay value.

Go to the Mage Wars: Core Set page
6 out of 10 gamers thought this was helpful

This is one of my favorite purchases from my FLG. I was very pleasantly surprised by Mage Wars. I had done a little research about it online and had decided to replace my Magic The Gathering time and energy with something a little less draining in the wallet department. This fit the bill perfectly.
I won’t say much about rules and so forth except that they are very similar to MTG, and flow in a common sense kind of way. Line of sight is very simple in this game, allowing you to focus on the powers of your cards instead of mathematical calculations.
The artwork is beautiful and reminiscent of MTG. The components are of good quality and the best part is, everything you need is included in the base set.
The publishers also have a decent walk-through video on their website to help players get started.

Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
19 out of 20 gamers thought this was helpful

This was my introduction to higher level board gaming, as I’m sure it was for many of you. Since everyone has already covered the mechanics of the game I won’t spend any time there.
< It really is easy to learn as there are a limited number of things to do each turn
< The trading aspect between players makes this a highly social game
< There are many expansions that allow for new mechanics, but also scale the game up or down in number of players so that it is easy to fit to whatever group you may have
< The resource gathering mechanic is good for younger players and newer ones, because it keeps them engaged during other peoples turns

< I may step on a toe here, but I feel like the components could use an upgrade from 1995
< The initial placement of settlements is more important than it appears, and should be pointed out to newbies.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this game when I first tried it many years ago. However, since then, a member of our regular gaming group brought it back up and it has appeared at about 50% of our game nights since.

Go to the Bottom of the 9th page
13 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a fun little title from a company I had no previous experience with. I took a chance on it and I am very glad I did.

The components in the box are all good quality. I liked the vintage feel with the colors and all. Someone at Dice Hate Me also plays games, and I enjoyed seeing the boardgame genre well represented well on the baseball player cards.

There is a lot of game for such a small box. In a world filled with cheap filler material and more being pumped out daily on kickstarter, it is nice to see a good quality game.

There is an engaging solo aspect to the game as well. This is nice for scratching the gamer itch when your normal group is unavailable.

During the course of the game, there are multiple mechanics that all seem to flow well together and at times (like with the runner dice roll off) capture the excitement of a real ballpark.

There are some expansions available, but have no experience with them.

My only gripe is that I can see how the batting line up can become a little redundant as the abilities of each batter are generally the same with the exception of their special ability.

Overall, I would say that it is a great experience that even my wife (not a gamer) enjoys.

Go to the Memoir '44 page

Memoir '44

12 out of 14 gamers thought this was helpful

This is one of the best light wargames built on a classic hex grid system. For me, it brought back memories of playing command and conquer. I like the way the game really tries to stay true to history. All of the scenarios set up in the book are as close to the actual circumstances of history as possible.
I think the components are top notch, as to be expected with Days of Wonder.
The rule book was simple to understand and has plenty of timely examples to help.
Play is quick and very balanced. Since players switch sides after each battle, the game plays like history, but each player has an opportunity to play both sides of a battle, hence a good chance to win whether starting out on the strong side or not.
There are numerous expansions as the base game only as American and German armies in it, and each new expansion adds a book of scenarios and 1 additional faction.
The game also enjoys a large fan following, and from that online community, there are hundreds of fan written scenarios that can be downloaded and played.
The only think I dislike about this game is that outside of a four player, two board format; there is no way to play with more than two players. I would like to see some lopsided two against one battles in future expansions, but I think I would have better luck finding something like that in the online community.

Go to the Elder Sign page

Elder Sign

19 out of 25 gamers thought this was helpful

This is one of the great dice rollers of our time ladies and gentlemen. That being said, if you are into games that require a great deal of tactics and strategy, you should probably look elsewhere.
Theme is everywhere in this game. The box is practically oozing it before you even get the packaging off. The tarot sized cards have been a gripe for some people, but I thought they kind of fit the theme, and also help display the amazing artwork.
The components are top notch, the only complaint I have is that the dice come in bright primary colors. It’s a little thing, but the dice in ancient terrible things (a game with very similar gameplay) have more subdued colors and a swirly metallic look that adds to the theme in my humble opinion.
There are a few expansions for this game that add new content and a few new mechanics if you are interested, and they are all readily available at this time.

Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

19 out of 20 gamers thought this was helpful

This is supposed to be a gateway game, but I keep coming back over and over again. The game while incredibly simple, offers a decent amount of strategic opportunity and a wealth of expansions to broaden your horizons at will.
I’m sure that basic gameplay has already been covered to death, so I would like to focus on what this game has to offer that makes it stand out in my collection, and why it should be added to yours as soon as possible.
The simplicity of the games’ mechanics are where Ticket to Ride really shines. my 8 year old nephew could pick it up and be competitive on his first game. However, there is also enough depth to the strategy that my eurogaming friends request this game as well.
The pieces are of the highest quality, as to be expected with DOW. However, the thing that sets companies like DOW and Fantasy Flight apart from everyone else is the quality in the base game continues in the expansions.
The expansions themselves are a great selling point. All of them are wonderful, but NONE of them are required to get a lot of enjoyment out of this game. I believe that is the mark of a good gaming line. The expansions add some interesting and new mechanics, but are not a must have to get high replay value from the game.
All in all, it is so much more than just a “gateway game”. With all the ways offered to the player for a unique experience, coupled with the smoothness of gameplay, this one is sure to leave the shelf at least once a month.

Go to the Love Letter page

Love Letter

45 out of 52 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a great party game to help non-gamers have a fun night. A simple deduction and luck game, its’ simplistic rules and fast rounds will have everyone at the table enjoying the night.

the components are few and durable
the gameplay is very fast
players have options, but nothing that would induce a bad case of analysis paralysis

it doesn’t play well with 2 people (the luck factor is increased with each lower number of players)
the wooden cubes that count affection are very small

Overall this is a light game that almost everyone will be able to enjoy

Go to the Carcassonne page


52 out of 60 gamers thought this was helpful

Carcassone was a game I stayed away from for a long time for no particular reason. Recently, I was looking for some light strategy for my wife (who loves ticket to ride) and I. After checking out the numerous awards it has won, I finally decided to give it a try and I’m so glad I did.

The game plays well with many or only two players
The pieces are good quality
The reply value is very high
Rules are simple and easy to teach to new players

games are generally quick (20-30min) with two people, so it doesn’t work well as the “main course” for a board game night
There are many expansions (not a bad thing) so that if you play with too many of them at once, scoring can become a bit complicated for non-gamers

Go to the Dungeon Roll page

Dungeon Roll

45 out of 54 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a great game with a standard theme and simple mechanics.

The rules are simple to understand and the dice are all color coded to help with that

The game has a few expansions out that don’t really change the fundamentals of the game, but allow for a wide selection of characters

It plays as well with one as multiplayer

components are top notch

the tokens are tiny, which can be frustrating at times (losing them, difficult to pick up, etc)

the game needs a player mat to keep dice tidy and add some theme

Overall, it is hard to find things I don’t like about this game, and despite the simplicity, it is a lot of fun every time we break it out.

Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
54 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a game set in one of my all time favorite universes, but it really was a disappointment for me over all. If you are familiar with ccg mechanics (I play MTG) then this is a fairly simple transition to make and is nice to get some co-op play in. The main problem seems to be in the design of the game. The manufacturer can almost be seen, holding out a grubby hand for your money. I know that this is a game that will want you to buy expansions, but it seems like they could have given me a lot more in the base game, especially for the price.
PROS: great theme and artwork
simple mechanics
co-op play
CONS: base game doesn’t allow for full decks of any type
only enough tokens and counters for 2 players

Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

66 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

The game is easy to set up and has quality components. The rules are simple and didn’t take a lot of exampling or elaboration. The game could suffer from quarterbacking though if the players lack general experience with board games. The simplicity of the game does make for a good gateway as long as the familiar player can enjoy playing without letting the need to win or coach the other players take over.

Go to the The Manhattan Project page
46 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

Although you might think that in a game about nuclear bombs there would be a fair amount of nuking, that is not true in the Manhattan Project. However, the game is far from boring. It is a great example of a worker placement game with more depth to its’ strategy than Lords of Waterdeep. There is more than one path to victory, but not so many that the game becomes inaccessible. It plays well with the full range of players, even just 2. The components are all quality, though I wish there were a few plastic minis (maybe the airplanes) instead of cardboard tokens. Although combat is not the main function of the game, it is possible to attack other players during the game, though it is not necessarily advantageous. The need to quickly amass victory points keeps players who are prone to combat from being able to afford to ruin others games.

Go to the Talisman page


45 out of 53 gamers thought this was helpful

Where else can you be a dwarf riding a unicorn with a band of fairies, princes, hags, and donkeys following you as you vanquish dragons with your holy lance? The game mechanics are simple and the expansions really seem endless. It is an easy game to teach to new gamers, and has enough theme and player interaction to keep experienced gamers coming back time and time again. Each expansion (and there are several)adds something unique and have quality components. I get turned off a franchise when the expansions are simply a new skin or a fresh set of monsters, but never fear… in Talisman, the expansions offer new locations to explore and add alternate endings and game mechanics to keep things fresh without leaving the vibrant world they have created. Theme is everything in Talisman. They paint a colorful world full of memorable characters that tie together the fantasy theme well. The freedom to choose where your character goes doesn’t seem rigid even though there is only a dice roll to determine how many “spaces” you can travel. My only gripe with the game is that in a world so beautifully created, the base game box is horribly constructed. It is not anywhere near as useful a storage container as Lords of Waterdeep.

Go to the The Village Crone page

The Village Crone

43 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

This is not what I would call a gateway game (Lords of Waterdeep, Carcassone, Ticket to Ride), but it is a very fun middle weight game. The spell casting mechanic allows you to manipulate NPC’s and ruin your opponents well laid plans. The ability of spells to stack effects makes for some great player interaction. The game plays fairly quick turn-to-turn, and plays well even with only two people. The loose structure (not story driven quests) allow for good replay value. The game also included blueprints to 3D print minis for the game. I would have preferred for these to be included, but I admire the effort to give their fans the option at least.

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