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mynameisgrax

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Go to the Caylus page
Go to the Ticket to Ride: Switzerland page
Go to the Arkham Horror page
Go to the Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 page
Go to the Ticket to Ride page
Go to the Thurn and Taxis page
Go to the Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror page
Go to the Stone Age page
9
Go to the Infiltration page

Infiltration

95 out of 103 gamers thought this was helpful

Euro style games are some of my favorite, but even I have to admit, some times they can seem a little dry. Too much is guaranteed and/or known. We know how many turns we’re getting, what our opponents can and cannot do, how many cards in the deck, etc. In a way, this is part of their appeal, as it isn’t always possible to formulate a good strategy if there’s too much randomness in a game.

Infiltration, however, has a wonderful sense of urgency, and imminent danger, without having to rely too much on randomness for it. After 1-2 games, players will generally know what can and cannot come out in a given game, but it’s the ‘press your luck’ style gameplay, combined with limited resources (in this case, data to steal) that makes every turn seem urgent, and every decision pivotal.

The only drawbacks are the game can get really dull if you have to spend too many turns retreating, and I wish there were more rooms (although the relatively low price tag makes this forgivable).

With gameplay similar to Incan Gold and a short playtime, this is a great game to play while waiting for others to arrive, or just to kill 40 minutes.

Also, I love that they’re making new games for the Android universe. I absolutely ADORED the theme and components for Android, marred only by the fact that it’s nearly unplayable, combined with ridiculous game length. I’m really glad to see the theme, story, and characters put in better games like this one. I can’t wait for new expansions!

9
Go to the Ascension: Storm of Souls page
70 out of 117 gamers thought this was helpful

Expansions always add something to the original game, but it’s rare that they improve on them as a whole. This is definitely the case with Ascension:Storm of Souls, however. I’ve found that the expansion is not only more fun, but it’s also far better balanced than the original, without so many ‘just grab all the mechana constructs you can’ victories, and more overall balance.

I really like it, and strongly recommend it for any Ascension or Dominion fan. Also, you don’t need the original to play with this set, so if you haven’t gotten the original, I highly recommend starting here instead.

9
Go to the Thurn and Taxis page

Thurn and Taxis

110 out of 179 gamers thought this was helpful

This game was definitely influenced by Ticket to Ride, but I really like the direction it takes, adding a lot of strategy and exciting gameplay to the system.

What I really like most of all is that there’s no way to just sit back and play defensive. Risk is inevitable, and must be embraced every turn, whether you like it or not. I’m not sure about Post Offices, but I can say that this is a very realistic situation for businesses in general, and a great play mechanic for a game involving one.

The only downside I had was some of the rules were a bit confusing, making the learning curve a little steep (especially in terms of what the best strategies to pursue were), but overall, this is an excellent game!

7
Go to the The Resistance: 3rd Edition page
40 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

There are a lot of ‘werewolf’, find the traitor games out there, and this one is alright, but fails to really inject that much theme into the experience. What I did like are the special mission cards that throw a wrench into the system, and the fact that each player takes turns assembling teams.

After about 4 games or so with the group, it seemed to fall into a somewhat predictable pattern, with victory or defeat coming more from chance than anything else. It’s an alright game, but it just isn’t that thrilling to me. Still, it’s a fine party game.

8
Go to the Incan Gold page

Incan Gold

6 out of 33 gamers thought this was helpful

Granted, this is no deep strategy game, but a part of me absolutely loves quick, simple, streamlined games. With all the 90-180 minute eurogames out there, sometimes you want a quick game where anyone can win, yet isn’t completely chance.

I really like this game. The only thing I didn’t like was that the components seemed a little ‘cheap’, but overall, it’s a great little game.

7
Go to the Alien Frontiers page

Alien Frontiers

93 out of 117 gamers thought this was helpful

At its core, this is a very good game, but it’s marred by three main problems:

1. It’s too easy to hog the two most powerful spaces: stealing and terraforming. With the right alien artifacts, you can hold a monopoly on these spaces, and easily dominate the game.

2. The game suffers from a version of middle child syndrome, where it’s not quite a casual game and not quite a solid strategic one either. True, it does have elements of both, which can be a good thing, but it’s a bit too long to be casual, and it’s too random (both from dice rolls and opponents randomly stealing what you have) to be strategic, and I wish it was either one or the other.

3. There’s too much time between turns. Since you won’t know what you have to work with until it’s your turn and you roll, there’s nothing for you to do but sit and wait for your turn, and if your opponent’s the kind to take his time, it can get really boring.

All that said, there is a lot of great aspects to the game. The gameplay is streamlined, balanced, and a lot of fun. I just wish it was either a bit deeper, or a bit quicker.

8
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

32 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

There are better and more involved strategy games out there, but none of them play up to 7 players, and only take 40 minutes to play, all with less prep time than dominion.

What it lacks in substance, it makes up for in accessibility and fun.

7
Go to the Dungeon Petz page

Dungeon Petz

123 out of 188 gamers thought this was helpful

I really like the game, with a fun theme, fantastic components, and a unique playstyle that mixes Dungeon Lords with monster ranching.

The main problem is, this is easily the most complicated game board/player screen/rule set I’ve ever seen in any game marketed towards the ‘casual’ crowd. Sure, there are far more complex strategy games out there, but most of those revolve around interstellar conflict, world war, or building cities in Europe. I didn’t expect a game with cute monsters on the cover to take nearly a full hour to learn.

I just feel that they really could have simplified the system in some way that wouldn’t have detracted from the experience. As it is, its almost impossible to keep anything straight. When you do ‘get it’, though, it’s a very fun and enjoyable worker placement game.

9
Go to the Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm page
21 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

Kingsburg becomes a completely new game with this expansion. After trying it, the normal game seems more like the ‘beginners/learning’ version of the game, with the expansion being the ‘full’ version of Kingsburg.

Character cards add more flavor and an additional strategic element, we have a lot more buildings (although some are admittedly sub-par compared to others), random events to keep things exciting, and perhaps most importantly, the random dice element for combat is replaced by tokens, which make victory far more a result of planning than luck.

A great addition that really completes the game.

8
Go to the Kingsburg page

Kingsburg

52 out of 116 gamers thought this was helpful

The theme itself might be getting a bit old (influence people in a medieval setting, build your empire, fight off monsters, etc) but I have to love the game mechanics. Instead of a city or workshop, the main board is literally the assembled royal advisers, huddled around the king, ready to run the kingdom.

The dice mechanics make the results a bit random, but it’s a great game for people who want something relatively quick and light, but are getting bored of games like Ticket to Ride and Stone Age.

(Note: the expansion makes the game a lot better, in my opinion)

7
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
56 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

Don’t get me wrong, the game is alright. It’s more or less a standard worker placement game that’s a bit deeper than games like Stone Age, but more accessible than ones like Caylus.

The main problem I have with the game is there is absolutely no connection between the theme and the gameplay. There isn’t any gameplay mechanics that resemble anything you’d find in a dungeon’s and dragons game. Instead, our resources are ‘characters’ of the four basic class types (wizard, fighter, rogue, cleric), we have dungeon’s and dragons themed quests, and dungeons and dragons themed guilds.

The problem is, you could literally take out the theme, and put anything you want in there. We might as well be collecting farm animals in medieval Europe, collecting fabrics in modern New York, or fighting a war on Mars. The theme is completely arbitrary.

Granted, to some extent you could say this for most board games, but most games make you feel involved in the theme in some way. I just didn’t get that here. That aside, everything else in the game was perfectly fine. It just felt like I was collecting material components and completing tasks, rather than running a guild of adventurers, making it a lot more like Genoa than an adventure.

10
Go to the Caylus page

Caylus

146 out of 197 gamers thought this was helpful

That’s right, Agricola has to take a step back and make room for the real king of strategy/resource management games.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s a tough game to learn at first, but the rewards of learning the game are great, as a new element is added to the traditional building/resource gathering that I’ve never seen before: the provost.

What is the provost? The overseer of construction, which adds a very realistic element to the game: a manager to oversee your work. Everyone can influence him with money to either pull back or move ahead, which can halt your work, making all your efforts and investments worthless for the turn!

This results in a VERY cutthroat strategy game, that I have grown to absolutely love. A must have for any true strategy game fan!

7
Go to the Arkham Horror: Black Goat of the Woods page
70 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

Nothing this set provides is really relevant. The problem is, the Cult membership just doesn’t come up enough to warrant keeping track of all the cards that come along with it. Even if you get a membership, if its not near the start of the game, it can still be meaningless.

7
Go to the Alhambra page

Alhambra

43 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s difficult to exactly define what Alhambra lacks, but for me it keeps it from really shining.

Perhaps there just aren’t enough options. Perhaps its a bit too random. Perhaps its just not thrilling enough. I can’t really say.

If you cornered me and demanded a straight answer, I’d say its problem is that it’s just a bit too tedious to really shine. Games are supposed to be fun, and this one just isn’t fun enough for me.

When you think of it, the game is really about currency exchange and city planning, and I’m sorry, but it really feels more like ‘work’ to me, and not a game.

7
Go to the Pit page

Pit

7 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

A fun bidding game, which I never seem to lose at. Seriously, I’ve won every game I’ve played…of course, I have a natural advantage: I’m ambidextrous.

That is really the game’s only weakness: success is usually determined by how quickly you can move cards around in your hand, and not strategy.

8
Go to the Magic: The Gathering page
61 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

In a way, magic the gathering is no different from any other deck building game, and ‘drafting’ can be seen as the basis for most fans of that genre.

It’s easily to get addicted, especially with the unfortunately predatory business model, but that aside, I can’t rate it higher than an 8/10 because despite being fun, the game is mostly deck creation. After you start playing, there really aren’t that many choices to make. Still, it’s a lot of fun, and a great game to start with a group of friends. Just don’t go overboard with buying cards.

7
Go to the Dominion: Seaside page

Dominion: Seaside

50 out of 97 gamers thought this was helpful

I have such mixed feelings about Seaside. On one hand, it adds a lot of flavor and interesting cards to the game…but on the other hand, it’s the least balanced of all the Dominion sets, with its action cards usually chosen by players rather than cards from any other set.

That said, I do like the ‘multiple turn’ aspect of the cards, allowing you to affect future game turns. That’s a new element that I definitely like.

I just wish it didn’t have so many unbalanced cards in it, the worst being Treasure Map.

9
Go to the Dominion: Intrigue page

Dominion: Intrigue

63 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

All the advantages of regular Dominion, only with better cards, more strategy, and a more interesting game overall. The extra attack cards really help solve the ‘silver is always the best option’ problem.

The only problem this may cause is it definitely turns the game a bit away from ‘friendly’ to ‘hostile’, which for me was a perfect addition. For a more casual player, they might find the main game alone more enjoyable.

Above all, what I love most about Intrigue is that it could have just been an expansion, but they decided to make it a completely playable game in itself. That’s a really classy move, in an industry that usually won’t allow you to pick and choose what sets you want to play with.

8
Go to the Dominion page

Dominion

71 out of 92 gamers thought this was helpful

Literally, this game changed games. Deck building games went from being an obscure niche to being a big player in the board/card game market.

Unfortunately, despite all the fun you’ll have playing Dominion for the first dozen games or so, slowly you’ll being to discover what I did, that underneath the hood, the game isn’t nearly as deep or balanced as it may seem.

The problem is silver. When you get right down to it, silver is almost always the best card to buy each turn. Nothing can ever go wrong with it. It’s low risk and high return. Gold is better when you can afford it, but savvy players know that aside from possibly 1-2 action cards, silver will be your purchase of choice throughout the game.

This changes with expansions, but overall it knocks the game down a peg or two. In any case, if you haven’t tried this one yet, I highly recommend it.

7
Go to the Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror page
62 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

This is by far the weakest of the Arkham ‘big box’ expansions. The atmosphere in Kingsport doesn’t really have any flavor, and the system for opening the moving gate-like things is needlessly complicated, annoying, and doesn’t mesh with the rest of the game.

There are components in the game that make it worth having for a true Arkham fan, but I wouldn’t say that it’s enough to make it worth its cost.

All in all, this is an expansion you can skip.

6
Go to the Talisman page

Talisman

6 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

Talisman is okay, but all it really does is remind me of other, better games. If you want a light dungeon crawl boardgame, you’re much better off with one of the D&D box sets.

5
Go to the Android page

Android

75 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

I want to love this game, I really do. With personal missions, deep characters, and so many gorgeous components, it seems impossible for such an amazing game to go wrong. This is the futuristic version of Arkham, right? Right?

No. Sorry, but no. I really want this game to work, and despite numerous attempts, including optional rules to help gameplay along, the game is mired by three giant elephants in the room:

1. Despite being really long, you really don’t get that many actions. In other words, despite the fact that a lot of time is passing, you don’t get to do much.

2. Most of the gameplay elements just don’t work as well as they should.

3. This isn’t a mystery, it’s a frame-up. We’re not trying to find out ‘who did it’, we’re trying to make our suspect guilty. That’s…not really what I was looking for.

Sigh…I just know there’s a great cooperative game that could have happened with these components. It’s a shame.

9
Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

22 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

One of my favorites for game night with family and friends. It’s a fun, face paced and intuitive game, with plenty of chances of risk and cutthroat gameplay, if that’s what you want.

It really needs the 1910 expansion to really shine though, and ultimately the game isn’t as interesting if you play ‘competitively’, but all in all, it’s a very fun game for all ages.

10
Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

35 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s no secret that I love this game. In ways, it’s less a boardgame and more of a mini-roleplaying game with an automated DM/GM.

There’s a lot of atmosphere, a lot of differences between the characters, and plenty of story to follow. Or, if you just want a casual game, it’s that too.

The only drawback is the poorly written/organized rules. It’ll take several read-throughs, and some checking in with the official online FAQ, but once you get it, it’s not that difficult to follow.

Yes, it’s not the perfect strategy or casual game, but it’s the best cooperative game I know.

9
Go to the Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow page
58 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

For all those of you who think Arkham Horror is too easy, here we have the King in Yellow expansion, to add some tension to your game. Not for everyone, or the faint of heart, but I like it.

The addition of Acts of the King in Yellow, combined with Blight cards (sort of ‘Anti-allies’) both add a lot of fun to the game.

One problem though: the Act-mythos card system doesn’t really work unless you have few expansions, or the new Miskatonic University set, as otherwise the cards won’t come up nearly often enough. I like the addition in the new Miskatonic University set which has the act change not only when you come across the appropriate Mythos cards, but also when a particular type of environment card comes out.

All in all, a great addition to the series.

9
Go to the Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Horror page
64 out of 119 gamers thought this was helpful

Am I the only one that has never had the Dunwich horror show up? I’ve played countless games, but it’s just too easy to keep too many monsters from entering the portals.

That aside, it’s a great expansion, and probably the number one ‘must have’ expansion for Arkham Horror.

9
Go to the Arkham Horror: The Lurker at the Threshold page
60 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s a very nice expansion to have. I particularly like the Lurker at the Threshold mechanic, which offers ever present ‘temptation’ to the players. All in all, it works very well.

9
Go to the Arkham Horror: Miskatonic Horror page
60 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

As a longtime Arkham fan, all the new encounter cards are a very welcome addition. I just wish the set wasn’t so expensive, considering that the expansion is mostly cards, and if you’re like me, and ‘pick and choose’ what additions you use from the numerous expansions, you’ll only use about half of them.

All in all, it’s about $10-20 overpriced, but that’s its only flaw.

9
Go to the Agricola page

Agricola

32 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

Although it isn’t the toughest game to learn, per se, it’s still an incredibly tough game to ‘get’. Unlike other games, which you can often more or less ‘auto pilot’, this one has you depending heavily on your opening hand of cards, which I like. This confuses a lot of people, because they might go into a game having a ‘default strategy’, only to have their cards provide a better strategy, forcing them to adapt.

Unfortunately, this can mean that your opponent’s can be handed a ‘perfect’ set of cards at the beginning, which you cannot beat, but this (along with minor nitpicky issue that I wish the animal counters looked more like animals) is the only real flaw of the otherwise perfectly designed game.

9
Go to the Dominion: Prosperity page
35 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s a great expansion for the base set, possibly the best, all things considered. A few cards are a bit overpowered, but not as much as Seaside was. All in all, a good buy for fans of Dominion.

8
Go to the Puerto Rico page

Puerto Rico

49 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

Puerto Rico is indeed a fun game, but there are a few problems that keep it from being ‘great’, in my opinion.

The first is the staggering number of components. I can’t help but feel they could have found a way around using so many tiles, chips, and tokens. It’s so overwhelming when you’re trying to get things started.

The second is the fact that there really aren’t as many ‘good’ choices as there may seem at first. All in all, you can follow one of a few strategies, and win most of the time (unless others use the same strategy).

Finally, victory is too often decided by ‘who gets the most large purple buildings’. They’re such a big factor you really have to go after them, so your opponents don’t get them instead.

That said, it has a lot of fun elements and it’s a very well designed game. It’s just not perfect.

10
Go to the Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror page
53 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

I really love this expansion. The ‘innsmouth look’ and mechanic that punishes you for not having gates open is a challenging and engaging one, and adds to the tension of the game.

It’s far superior to Kingsport, which was mediocre at best.

7
Go to the Space Hulk page

Space Hulk

50 out of 91 gamers thought this was helpful

First and foremost, I have to say that the components of this game are some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen for any game, ever. Makes me want to find a way to give it a 6th star.

The missions add replay, and it’s good 2 player fun, but I feel there are inherent flaws in the concept that limit the fun you can have with the game.

The two main problems are that there’s too much focus on keeping an eye on every spot of the board (similar problem to Descent’s), and more importantly, with so much emphasis on which direction you’re facing, combined with your inability to pass each other in hallways, the characters in the game move more like tanks than people in suits. It just doesn’t work for me.

9
Go to the Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 page
60 out of 94 gamers thought this was helpful

Not only does this expansion add a lot of balance to the game, but it also gives us cards big enough for people with large hands (like myself) to shuffle easily. God, do I hate small cards.

On top of this, they did it with a small and reasonable priced expansion set, instead of milking the components until it’s big enough to put in a big box and charge $40 for. All in all, it’s perfect. A must have for all ticket to ride fans.

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