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oshfarms

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Go to the Small World page

Small World

53 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

There are not enough options for the digital format of this game. There is only vs. AI, or pass and play…no online play.

The implementation of the game is okay, but it also only allows for two players.

To me, this is inexcusable for a $7 game (and each mini expansion will cost you another $2 each).

If you like pass and play, and only play two player games, then maybe this would be worth the money…it is certainly easier than setting up the board game.

7
Go to the BattleLore: Dragons page
27 out of 27 gamers thought this was helpful

What do you get in the box that retails for $34.95?

Contents:
8-page rules booklet with 4 new adventures
3 new creature figures:
Ice Drake
Fire Dragon
Wood Wyvern
3 banners
4 Creature (Dragons and Troll) Summary cards
3 Weapon (Dragon Breath) Summary cards
1 Obstacle (Troll Bridge) marker
9 Poison Breath tokens
9 Ice Breath tokens
9 Fire Breath tokens

Is it worth it?

Well, the quality of the dragon sculpts are very nice, though they do need a little bit of “green stuff” if you plan on painting them. The Wood Wyvern (green dragon) and the Fire Dragon (red dragon) are classic dragons in nice, yet non-dynamic, poses. The Ice Drake (blue dragon) on the other hand appears to be sitting on a throne and looks like he has a very human stomach. I really do not like the sculpt of the Ice Drake. The Green and Red Dragon both look very good painted. The Blue looks just okay, due to the odd pose of the sculpt.

The rules for using dragons themselves work well with the system and follow the standard fantasy fare… they breath poison, ice, and fire (which is perfectly fine). The only problem I have is the “expense” of bringing the Fire Dragon into play. It is a level 3 creature (the Ice Drake is level 2) and therefore costs 3 points of your total War Council. The effects of dragons rely heavily on the use of Lore, so you will find yourself unable to play many Lore cards if you are committed to using this bad boy.

Overall, Dragons adds an interesting element to this fine game. I would recommend it if you can find it for less than MSRP. It can be found online for around $20-25.

7/10

8
Go to the BattleLore page

BattleLore

86 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

Battlelore, by Richard Borg, originally published by Days of Wonder, now by Fantasy Flight Games, is a light wargame utilizing the Command and Colors System. It is set in the world of Uchronia, a fantasy version of our own world, during the time of the 100 years war.

This box is PACKED with over 200 miniatures (no assembly required)! There is enough to field 2 Human armies with Dwarven Mercenaries on one side, and Goblin Mercenaries on the other. Though they are begging to be painted, it is not necessary because each unit is assigned a banner bearer that holds a flag that contains the unit’s information (Color and Weapon Symbol). There is also a beautifully illustrated 80 page rulebook, dozens of terrain tiles, 60 Command cards, 60 Lore cards, 12 dice, and lots and lots of tokens. Please note though, Fantasy Flight Games is not currently printing new copies and have provided “repurposed French Editions” that include English components, but a French Rulebook. The rules can be downloaded at Fantasy Flight Games website.

For those not familiar with the Command and Colors System, I will try to give a brief overview. Each player will have a War Council with some advisors of different levels. One of those on the council is the Commander. Your Commander’s level determines how many Command Cards you may have in your hand. On your turn you play 1 Command Card, activate the units specified by the card, move those units (if you want to), then resolve any battles in whatever order the attacker chooses. There are a variety of Command Cards to choose from. The majority are “Section” Cards, and allow you to activate a number of units in a specific Section (Left/Center/Right) of the Battlefield. Other Command Cards allow you to activate a specific Color (Red/Blue/Green) of units based on your Commander’s level. After you are done resolving all your activated units, you draw a new card and your opponent takes his turn playing a Command Card.

The rules to the game are quite simple (but that is a good thing) and are designed to be learned slowly. The game comes with a Scenario booklet that slowly adds different types of units and different types of terrain. It also slowly introduces the use of Lore (the game’s Magic system) and the rules for building your own War Council. I do recommend playing the first few scenarios to get familiar with the system before adding in all of the units and Lore Cards.

The game also comes with handy reference cards that you can keep out for reference so you do not have to continually check the rulebook. For example, if a scenario calls for Forrest and Hill Terrain, just grab the Forrest and Hill reference cards. No need to have the River or Bridge reference cards cluttering your table.

Battlelore is a face paced game. No referencing complicated combat tables. Most die rolls are simple. Take a number of dice based on the strength of your attacking unit (Red-4, Blue-3, Green-2), modify this number by the terrain type (typically terrain gives a limit to the maximum dice rolled), and then apply any bonuses (usually from Lore Cards). Each unit has a weapon type that determines what it “hits” on, usually the opposing unit’s banner color. Those handy reference cards hold all the information about the unit weapon and make resolving combat quick and easy.

There is much more to the combat system (such as causing units to retreat, gaining ground or pursuing fleeing units, panic losses, etc) but it is a streamlined system. You will quickly memorize most of the information and find you will not need to use the reference cards for long.

A quick note about the Lore in BattleLore… There are no “magical units” in the game. Instead, all Lore Cards represent spells cast by a member of your War Council. These cards generally give boosts to your units or hinder your opponents. They are paid for with Lore that is collected by rolling the “Lore” symbol in combat, or by taking 1 (or 2) Lore tokens at the end of your turn. All in all, the Lore cards add some fun fantasy elements to the game and seem to be balanced enough (cost enough) that they do not overwhelm the game.

This game has many expansions. The most important expansion in my opinion (for replayability) is the Call to Arms expansion. This expansion allows a variable deployment for your armies so you do not have to play scenarios in the book.

About the only negative thing I can say about BattleLore is the set up (and tear down) time, especially when playing with custom War Councils. But part of this time intensive set up is also one of the reasons BattleLore is worth its weight in plastic… there are lots and lots of miniatures.

If you can find this game for a reasonable price, pick it up!

8/10

7
Go to the Zooloretto page

Zooloretto

78 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

Zooloretto is a Set Collection game in which players take turns “Loading” delivery trucks with various animal tiles, vendor carts, or money tiles. On a players turn he may choose to do 1 of 3 things: Load one of the trucks with one random tile drawn from a bag, Take a truck that has already been loaded (even if that truck is not full), or use a money action (to expand your zoo or to move/buy/destroy animals). Once you decide to take a truck, you place your animals in your zoo and your turn ends.

Each pen in the zoo can only have one type of animal. Generally speaking, you score points at the end of the game for each pen you have completely full, or are one animal short. Some pens give you money immediately when you fill them.

If you take in more animal types than you have room for in your zoo, you must store them in your barn. Animals and vendor carts in your barn at the end of the game score negative points. And this is where the strategy comes in…

When you are picking the random tiles to place on the trucks, you get to decide which truck to place the tile on. The goal is to try to fill a truck with only animals/items that you want, and to place tiles that are undesirable on trucks that other players may be forced to take. Of course, the other players are trying to do the same to you! Many times it is to your advantage to take a truck before it is completely full, in order to avoid it being loaded with non-desirable tiles.

Speaking of desirable tiles: each group of animals has 2 fertile males and 2 fertile females. Whenever a fertile male and fertile female are in the same pen, they will produce an offspring. That offspring can be immediately placed in the pen with them, thus getting you closer to filling your pen.

The game is for 2-5 players and scales well with all numbers of players. In fact, the 2 player game requires a special set up that can be quite fun. The delivery trucks are designed to hold 3 tiles. In a 3-5 player game, you use 3-5 trucks. In a 2 player game, you use 3 trucks… however, 1 truck has 3 open spots, 1 truck has 2 open slots, and 1 truck only has one open slot to place tiles on. This makes for some very tense moments as these limited spaces are filled up.

The quality of components is fanstastic. The art on the tiles and game board are cartoony, but very well done. And the baby animals are adorable! The bag provided for the tiles is adequate, if not a little too small for someone with big hands. The only complaint is the Delivery Trucks are just wooden blocks with slots on them for the tiles. It would have been nice to have them look a little more like a truck, but they serve their purpose just fine.

Zooloretto will appeal to a variety of gamers. Most of all to the Family, Casual, and Social Gamers, but it can even appeal to Avid and Strategy Gamers as well. Though to be fair, I usually don’t play this game with my gaming group. I usually play with my wife and my very competitive mother! Don’t let the cute theme fool you… there is a cutthroat game hiding in this one!

A solid 7/10.

9
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
88 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game that doesn’t necessarily do anything really new. Players take turns placing their Agents on various buildings in the City of Waterdeep to acquire resources (adventurers, gold, or intrigue cards) or to get Quests. They then use those resources to complete the Quests they have acquired.

While some say the theme is “pasted on” (and in many ways it is), if you use your imagination it can feel like you are recruiting and sending out adventurers to do your bidding. Most of the Quests make sense thematically, but you have to look for it. For example, the “Heal Fallen Gray Hands Soldiers” Quest requires 2 clerics, 1 mage, and 4 gold. The reward is 6 Victory Points and 6 Fighters. If you think about it, it makes sense that you send healers in and spend some resources, and you are rewarded with volunteers to help your cause. (The Victory Points reward are always abstract but seem to be fairly balanced based on the resources required to complete them).

But the beauty of this game is that it can appeal to those that like a heavy theme (even if it is “pasted on”–like myself) and those who don’t (like my wife). It drives me a little batty when she says, “I’ll take a purple please”… Doesn’t she know that’s a WIZARD! 🙂

But she actually enjoys playing the game, and that’s what counts. The game is extremely easy to teach, and plays very quickly. It plays well with 2 and 3 players (and probably with 4 or 5 as well–I haven’t had a chance to try it yet). The random buildings, quest, and intrigue cards provides a lot of replayability.

The components are fantastic, though the cards will probably show some wear and tear from shuffling (they have black borders). If you sleeve your cards they will not fit in the well designed interior of the box.

If you are a hardcore gamer, this game may not feel “deep enough” for you. But if you like to take a little break from games that cause “brain burn”, this game may fit the bill. It plays smoothly and quickly and can appeal to casual gamers as well. With its short playing time, I expect this game to hit my table very often.

9/10

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