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steelchamp

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Go to the Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island page
Go to the Caverna: The Cave Farmers page
Go to the 7 Wonders page
Go to the The Pillars of the Earth page
Go to the Carcassonne page
9
Go to the The Pillars of the Earth page
13 out of 14 gamers thought this was helpful

This game is easily both a fantastic intro game to worker-placement, and also sits atop a pillar of the earth to veteran gamers alike.

The rulebook is very well laid out. It’s laid out in such a way that it tells you how to set up, then allows you to read a paragraph, play the first round, read the next paragraph, play the second round, and so on. As this is the case (also, nothing is secret from other players – everyone can see everything belonging to everyone else) this also makes it so easy to teach.

Luck is negligible. There are 2 occasions where luck is used (except for the card drafting mechanics which is visible before anyone takes their turn) and that is:

1. Tax. Everyone round, everyone must pay tax, unless they place one of their 3 workers in a particular spot on the board during the worker-placement phase (therefore, this is totally avoidable).

2. Workers being drawn from the bag. Each player has 3 workers which are all put in a bag, and turn order is decided based on the order of which each worker is pulled from the bag. You may think this would be a game-breaker with regard to luck, but it is not. If you’re drawn first, you could choose to take your turn first or wait until other people have had their turns. If you choose to go first, you must pay up to 7 gold. If you choose to go last, you will pay decreasing amounts based on turn order, and potentially pay 0 gold. Therefore, there are advantages of both waiting, and going first (going first would give you prime pickings of the available spots on the board).

There are 3 phases to the game:

Phase 1; Resource allocation: Take it in turns to place your meeples on certain resources (each card with resources on can only be taken once during this phase)

Phase 2; Master Builders: This is the point where your workers are drawn from the bag and you can choose what you want to do with your round, placing your workers on particular spots on the board.

Phase 3; Resolution: Resolve the board as clearly numbered in order.

Before moving onto the next round, you can cash in some resources for VP. After doing so, you start the process again. There are a total of 6 rounds per game.

The game can play 2-4 players, though it does play a little slow and it does have a few flaws when played with only 2. However, with 3-4, this game is simply immaculate. The only improvement they could have made with this game, is improving the way 2-player works. Everything else about this game really does make this game such an amazing worker-placement game which other games can aspire to.

If you’re looking for a 3-4 player worker-placement game, try and get a hold of a copy of this game, you won’t regret it. If you only want a 2 player game or you need more than 4, then you may want to look elsewhere. There is an expansion which allows up to 6 players, but it’s really not easy to find!

9
Go to the Carcassonne page

Carcassonne

51 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

I went for a long time disregarding all the positive reviews for this game, thinking to myself “I have no idea why all these people think this game is so good, it really looks like a pile of crusty orc diarrhea.” To be honest, I still wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for the fact that I walked into a charity shop and saw it sitting there on the shelf for £1.50 – I thought I don’t mind paying £1.50 for a potentially boring game, at least I could give it a go and see what all the fuss was about… I think that was the best £1.50 I have ever spent, and I feel like I have back-handed the charity shop – I owe it to myself to march back in there and slap an additional £20 on the counter.

Draw a tile from a bag, place it next to a pre-existing tile on the board, and potentially place a meeple on it.

Yup, that’s why I didn’t buy it for such a long time. Where’s the fun in that?

OH BUT IT’S FUN!!

It’s like a multi-player jigsaw puzzle where you can either add to a part of the puzzle you’re trying to complete, or totally screw over your opponent’s part of the puzzle he’s trying to complete. You signify your investment in completing a part of it by placing a meeple on a tile, and if that part does get completed, the meeple comes off and you score VP, then you can re-use the meeple elsewhere!

So simple. So fun. So not orc diarrhea.

I can see why everyone plays this now.

My only qualm would be the victory point tracker – it goes 0-50, but when playing 2-players, you will typically score 100-150 each game. The rulebook recommends lying the meeple down to signify that meeple has passed 50, so that is what we do, and when he passes 50 again, well, you can try and balance him on his head…

Get it. (especially if it costs £1.50)

10
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

36 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

This game seemed to get a lot of attention over the last few years, with a very positive reaction by most, so I thought I’d give into curiosity and pick this one up. Boy was I impressed!

Firstly, the fact that it goes up to 7 players is a very nice touch – there’s no reason why they couldn’t increase that amount of players with an expansion, either! And just to add to that – the amount of players does not affect the game length since all turns are taken simultaneously! I’ll explain the turn order.

Each player starts by selecting, or randomly selecting a “civilisation” (which simply gives you different bonuses throughout the game, depending on which civilisation you pick, and can also determine your strategy).

There are 3 “Ages” (each age will consist of 6 turns each). At the beginning of an age, all cards marked with said age (on the back of the cards) are distributed among the players, giving each player a total of 7 cards (the more players, the more cards come into play at the beginning of each age).

Each player will then look at their cards and keep them secret from everyone else. Each player will then pick a card and place it face-down in front of them. Once everyone has picked a card, everyone will reveal their card to everyone else – this is why a game will not take longer with more players. Once you have done this, you pick up your pile of cards, and pass them to the next person, so each person will get a new pile of cards which was previously owned by the player on their right (or left, depending on the age!) and so this really helps to keep luck to a minimum and yet also adds an element of randomisation to keep replayability high! Simply continue picking cards and passing the rest to the next person until the card piles have been exhausted. You then tally up some certain victory points gained from that age, and move onto the second age – again, you divvy up the cards amongst everybody and go again! Do this for 3 full ages and the game finishes.

Age 1 will consist of mostly resource cards which are mostly free to play. For example, in round 1, I could play 3 bricks (and some other stuff, but that’s irrelevant for this example). Then age 2, would be a mixture of victory-point giving cards and stronger resource cards, so during that round, I could play anything which costs up to and including 3 bricks (resources never deplete – once you have 3 bricks, you would use the same 3 bricks every turn whenever you want!) And during the second age, I could also play a card which has 2 wood. The third age would have no resource cards but would be pretty much wholly victory point cards – so in round 3, I could play any card which costs up to: 3 bricks and 2 wood.

There are more options you can do during the game, but that is pretty much the gist of it – it’s really simple and yet so much fun! For example, you could “buy” a wood from one of your neighbours for 2 gold (he still keeps the card, so no bargaining is required) and then you could place a card that turn which would require 1 more wood than you have. If you can’t buy anything due to lack of funds, and you can’t place any card due to not having any of the required resources, you could discard a card and gain 3 gold, which could be used in the next round to buy resources from another player! And then there’s military – You could ignore that altogether, or you could build a large military which gives you victory points at the end of each age based on who has the largest army!

There is really so many ways to play this game, and so much variety, that this game just never seems to get boring. Added to the fact that a typical game tends to last around 30 mins, no matter how many players, just makes this game amazing.

The box does say 2-7 players, however, it is 3-7 players. There is a 2 player variant, which essentially just means you and your opponent take it in turns to play a card for an invisible player known as the “free city”, so even that is just a 3 player mode but having to play a second set of cards every other age. If you are playing this 2 player variant mode, then the game would last a bit longer since you would have to pick your card, then pick another card for the free city, but it’s still a quick game.

This game just ticks every box, and I couldn’t imagine anybody not liking it, and therefore, in my opinion, it is a flawless game, and it deserves the highest possible rating. I recommend it to anyone!

9
Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

32 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s casual. Very casual. Even more casual since it’s digital and you don’t need to learn any rules.

Want to play something with the Mrs. But you’re both too tired as you’ve been working all day? Click on Ticket To Ride, press “Play” and Go!

Hungover from all them pints of absinthe? (Actually, you’d probably be dead if you did a pint of that…) Ticket to Ride – Digital Version!

Can’t be bothered to set up a board game or have to refer to the rule-book……Ah, you get the idea!

For those of you who haven’t played either the board game or this digital version, it might be an idea to go and look at some reviews for the physical version. But if you’re aware of the physical version and are contemplating purchasing this version, I would say do it. If there’s a digital version of a board game which you should have, this would be it.

Easy, simple, fast (about 20 mins for 2 players!) & definitely a lot of fun!

If you’re thinking about getting a DLC (expansion), I would suggest “USA 1910”. It’s basically the base game with some extra cards thrown in for good measure, whereas the other DLC’s change the actual game board and use some new and slightly more advanced mechanics. So I don’t think the other expansions are worth it, since if you want more advanced mechanics, you should probably be playing something else… But that’s just by 2 pennies (I would say 2 cents, but I don’t have any cents…)

The game to play when you can’t be bothered to play a game! (Though I probably wouldn’t play with any of the random guys hovering around in the lobbies…Just save it for you and the Mrs/your imaginary friend, aka “bots”(AI).

tl;dr: Get it.

8
Go to the Jambo page

Jambo

14 out of 15 gamers thought this was helpful

The game is small (In terms of actual box size and contents). It contains just over 100 cards and a bundle of tokens, making it a great 2-player travel game. We do also play it at home sometimes as it is genuinely a great game, but you could even play this on a plane! (It would be a bit tight, but you could manage it!)

Admittedly, there is quite a bit of luck involved – the luck of the draw. No dice are used. You do have a few options you can make each turn, but when it comes down to it, it is about getting a good hand.

So during your turn, you have 5 action tokens, meaning you can make 5 actions. There is a pile of stock cards, and a pile of discard cards. Then each player has some cards in their hand which the other player cannot see, and up to 3 “Utility cards” which the other player can see. Each player will also have 1 “Market Place” card with 6 empty ware slots on it (the aim of the game is to make 60 gold first, and you achieve this by buying and selling resources with the use of “Ware” Cards). At the start of your turn, you pick up 1 card from the stock pile for free, and then you can make the following actions with action tokens:

*Discard the card you just freely picked up, and pick up another one (you can keep doing this until you make a different action, but each time you do, it will cost 1 action token)

*Play a Utility card (Utility cards get turned face down after use, then at the beginning of your next turn, you may use it again). Utility cards will do things such as pay 1 gold and receive 1 ware of your choice.

*Play a person card. These cards are normally instant quick-fixes such as: draw 2 more cards.

*Play an Animal card. These are attack cards. They could do things such as “Both players place all their cards (only the cards in their hand, not the utility cards or marketplaces which are face-up on the table) face up in the middle of the table, then each player takes it in turns to take a card of their choice. So for example with this card, if you were down to 2 cards and your opponent clearly had about 10, this card would be beneficial for you to use!

*Play a Ware card. These cards are the core essence of the game. For example, a ware card may have 2 sugar and 1 tea. It will also have 2 gold values, one higher than the other. If you want to buy these goods, you place the card in the discard pile, take the wares on the card, place them on your market stand, and spend the gold of the lower number on the card. If you want to sell these goods, you would have to find that exact same card again, and then you would discard the card again and gain the amount of gold which has the higher value of the 2 values written on the card. Remember: You have 6 slots on your default market stand, and all the ware cards have different wares on them, so for example, you could buy on 1 card: 2 tea and 1 fur for 3 gold. Then with another card, you could buy 2 sugar and 1 Textiles for 4 gold. Now your market place is full with 2 tea, 2 sugar, 1 fur and 1 textiles, and you have spent 7 gold. You could then find another card which is 1 fur, 1 sugar, 1 tea. You could then sell these items for the higher value stated on the card (which is usually about 10 gold) so now you’d have sold half of your wares but have made 3 gold profit and you still have 3 wares left!

So that’s all the game is. Some strategy, some luck of the draw, and some good, fun, simple buying and selling for profit.

The only downside to the game is the game time. 1 game could last 30 minutes, yet another game could last 3 hours. It really is based on how much attacking is going on, and how lucky the players are with the ware cards they’ve been finding. (For example, player 1 has 3 tea and 3 fur on their market place. He keeps drawing ware cards which require him to have 2 sugar and 1 fruit, and he’s not finding any cards which allow him to trade 1 ware for another ware. This player is not going anywhere in a hurry, and Player 2 could be having a similar problem).

There is a good interaction level in the game, since there are attack cards, and even some utility cards such as “You pick 2 cards, your opponent picks 1 card” so it’s generally quite a friendly game, it’s just the animal (attack) cards which can sometimes cause one player to get a little frustrated (Finally! I got the ware card I’ve been after for so long so I can now clear some of my wares, make some gold, and then buy some different wares! Oh wait…My opponent just took it from me….ARGHHH!)

The rule-book is about 6 pages long and is mostly pictures. Pretty much anyone could play this. It’s a great filler game/travel game, and it just runs so smoothly. Bear in mind though it is 2-player only!

If you already have a light-weight, compact, 2-player filler game which is your go-to game for the occasion, then maybe you won’t need this game, but if you’re looking for a game to fit those specifics, I would highly recommend this game!

tl;dr: See 2 previous paragraphs! Some strategy, some luck, and a whole lot of fun! Take it in turns to buy for little and sell for lots! Simple!

8
Go to the Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island page
85 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

Everything is out to get you. If you need to draw a card, it’s probably bad. To be honest, you want it to be bad, because it’s either bad, or terrible. There is a mystery deck which can have treasures in it, but even that is mostly traps and monsters. There is a lot of randomisation in the game which helps a great deal with the replayability, however once you have succeeded in completing a scenario once, you probably won’t want to replay it for a while (and currently, the game comes with 6 scenarios and there are 2 additional scenarios available on-line for free as downloadable PDFs).

You can play this solo, however you will actually benefit from other player’s input and suggestions – the game is all about seeing what you have at the beginning of the action phase, and deciding how to use your limited amount of tokens and resources during that turn (and there are a lot of options, which is what makes this game so much fun!).

Each scenario will have a certain number of rounds, but generally between 8-12. 1 round will cosist of 6 phases as follows:

1. Event Phase: Draw an event card (it’s going to wreck you during one of the other phases)
2. Morale Phase: This can be good, but keeping morale positive takes a lot of doing, and if it’s negative, it’s going to wreck you.
3. Production Phase: This is the only phase which won’t actually do anything negative to you, however, if something has happened previously which has forced you to skip this phase….you’re wrecked.
4. Action Phase: This is the phase where you make all the decisions and where all the fun is! But most of the time, you end up making no progress and using all your actions just to heal yourself or collect food so that you don’t starve at night….
5. Weather Phase: This is the phase where clouds will pop out of the sky and wreck you.
6. Night Phase: Got any food? No? Take some wounds. Got shelter? No? Take some wounds.

Sounds stressful? It can be! But it only adds to the satisfaction of beating this*ish island!

On average, you win about 1/3 of the time, and don’t be misguided by the average playing time on the box – a game will take at the very minimum 2 and a half hours, and if you plan on having a tea break, or using the toilet at all, allow up to 6. 4 on average.

If you have a lot of friends to potentially play board games with, then the replayability would be a lot higher than it is, however if you have the same group of friends who you always game with/always solo games, then you will probably complete each scenario once and then let it gather dust for some time.

I highly recommend this game as it is a lot of fun, however do be warned with regards to the aforementioned.

Conclusion: Get wrecked!

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