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8
Go to the Uchronia page

Uchronia

16 out of 16 gamers thought this was helpful

Overview
Uchronia is a good game for two to five players although most of my experience comes from playing two player with my wife. Some have titled it “Glory to Rome” light which I would agree with after watching the review for that game but cannot talk specifics because I haven’t played “Glory to Rome”.

Gameplay:
The main mechanic of the game is that each of the five card types act in three different ways depending on where they are. Those different ways are: order, resource, and activity.

Each turn you will issue a command or “plot” which will allow you to draw new cards into your hand.

Three of the orders will allow you to put cards into your “stock” as resources, these are: 1)Exploration which will put a card from your hand into your stock, 2)Production which will move a card from the forum to your stock (more on the forum later) and 3)Draconians which will allow you to show a card and anyone with that card in their hand must put it into your stock in addition to one card of that type from the forum if available.

The other two commands allow you to turn the cards in your stock into points and special abilities to get ahead in the game.

Trade will allow you to move one card from your stock to your activities. Activities make your orders more powerful by allowing you to essentially repeat your orders of the same type when you play them. For example if you have two production activities and play a production you can take three cards from the forum instead of one. Also if you have the most activities of a type you get a monopoly card which makes each activity of that type worth one point and also allows you to take a card of that type from the forum into your hand when anyone builds a building of that color. You can only have a total number of activities equal to 2 plus the number of your completed buildings.

The last order is construction, this allows you to construct buildings that are worth victory points, grant special abilities, and increase your activity cap. Buildings must first be moved from the common construction pool by using a construction order and discarding a card matching the buildings color from the forum to make a “foundation”. Next further construction orders can be used to move cards matching the color of the building from your stock to the building, when you have the appropriate number of resources on the building it is complete and you gain it’s bonuses.

It should be noted that you can always play two orders of the same type as any order, this allows you to still get things done even if the luck of the draw is not favoring you. After you play an order when your turn comes around again you take the order you played and place it in the common forum area, allowing people to use if for building foundations and moving to stock areas through production and draconian orders.

When you plot you draw up to five cards or one card if you already have five or more. When you plot if you have an activity of the same type as what someone played in front of them last turn you can “copy” that action with no activity bonuses (i.e. only do it once). This is nice as it makes activities more valuable and cuts your down time for drawing if you are careful.

He who makes it to a set amount of points (20 in the two player) initiates the end of game such that the game will end after the person who took their turn last has finished their turn. The person with the most points wins.

Pros:
This is fun game that has good replay value owing to the different building powers and the strategies that open up as they come out. Also the artwork is great and gives a good feel to the visual aspect of the game. Lastly the game mechanics are fun and have a good mix of “build your own” while keeping track of what others are doing due to the forum, draconian order, and the ability to copy during plotting.

Cons:
My few gripes are that the production value of the components is rather poor. The cards are low quality card stock and the player boards are pasted on resulting on several being at a 10-15 degree angle to the actual cardboard square. Also the game seems to try to make scarcity of resources in the forum a main mechanic but after a few rounds this never seems to be much of a problem, this may be due to my playing it two player most of the time but it does seem a shame. Lastly the theme is a bit “pasted on”. It’s about competing families building an ancient dinosaur city but just as easily could have been about ancient Rome, modern day New York, or even futuristic Venus without any change in game mechanics. Not a big deal but theme matching mechanics can be nice.

Final thoughts:
All in all, not going to make my top ten but will see some good table time and I will always be up for another game if someone pulls it out.

7
Go to the Bananagrams page

Bananagrams

54 out of 76 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a good game for family or casual gamers. The goal is to form words given random tiles in a “Scrabble” like manner with the first to use all of his/her tiles winning. It is a simple game that can be played within minutes of picking it up and is great for younger audiences. This is a great starter or filler game as it takes little time to pull out and play several times. If you are looking for a quick, fun, and simple game for little cost I would recommend giving it a try.
Pros: Quick to set up quick to play, easy to learn, simple.
Cons: Simplicity won’t satisfy avid gamers.

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