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Recent Reviews

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3
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the Viticulture page
9
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jan 19th, 2019
“A worker placement almost everyone can enjoy”

While I wouldn’t say this is my personal favorite worker placement game, I would say it is an objective worker placement masterpiece that most avid worker placement fans will enjoy

Gameplay/Replay

As a family running a vineyard you use your workers through the year to grow various kinds of grapes, turn them into wine and fill orders with the various people looking for certain kinds of wine of certain ages. The game is played over multiple rounds where you go through 4 seasons doing things throughout each season to help make your vineyard the best. You start by placing your rooster meeple on the turn order track to get a reward, the better the reward the later in the round you go. In the summer you choose to build improvements, plant grapes, get grapes to plant, entertain visitors or give a tour. Fall gives you a summer or winter visitor then in the winter phase you can harvest, make wine, entertain winter visitors, hire an additional worker, or fill an order. The catch to all this is you only have so many workers to spread through the entire year and a summer worker cannot be played in the winter (barring certain visitor cards changing this of course). Play continues till someone scores 20 then the year is played out and the player with the most points wins. With all the different visitor cards you will find a new way to play every time.

The Bad

Very little to talk about here. I guess if you hate crass jokes about a word that is a synonym to rooster then you might get irritated when people say “ok it’s wake up phase grab your roosters” and all the people as immature as I am start giggling. Also the theme is a little dry (Ha! Get it?!) but I found myself enjoying the game theme and all.

As worker placements go you can’t go wrong with this one. Get the essential edition though it really improved the original game by leaps and bounds

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Pick a Favorite LGS
Go to the Artifacts, Inc. page
6
Pentegarn {Avid Gamer} Jan 19th, 2019
“Solid Dice Placement game”

Artifacts Inc. is a nice dice placement that packs into an easy to carry box. Good for trips where you might be looking to kill an hour

Gameplay/Replay

In Artifacts Inc. you race to get to 20 points first and then have the most points after all players have taken an even number of turns. Players do this by gathering various kinds of artifacts like fossils or idols or gems or parchment. Each player starts with 4 cards that give them 3 different locations and 3 dice per turn to roll. The 3 locations give players 2 expeditions and a place to purchase upgrades to their artifacts for hire company. Money can be made by selling artifacts in amounts to various museums or by selling them to a public space where you can get 1 dollar per artifact with a bonus per extra unique type you sell. This money can be used to buy upgraded buildings which give you points. All points are tracked as you buy which can make the game seem to end sooner than expected, but it is often a tight race where having majority in things sold to a museum (the only end game bonus) can make all the difference. Every game the buildings are randomized so each play is different, though the dive mechanic will remain the same every game.

The Bad

This game can be prone to AP for some as you get more and more to do with upgrades giving yo u more dice, rerolls, or the ability to increase/decrease a die roll. More options means more thinking about what the best move is. Also it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing game yo have ever looked at and at times you will not have enough cubes (you can use a site that sells cubes to fix this however.)

All that said for what it costs MSRP wise this is a good little middle of the road dice placement game

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Bananagrams page
10
6 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
Scott Hayes {Strategy Gamer} Jan 10th, 2019
“Our favorite word game”

This game is great for a quick play (10-20 minutes depending on your skill) that is different every time based on the letter tiles that you draw. Form your own “Scrabble” board in a race against your opponent. Every new word must connect with a previous word, so you must choose whether to go for the simple words for time or figure out longer words to give you more options later. My wife and I enjoy playing together after a meal. If you like word games, this is definitely for you!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Stratego Original page
8
7 of 7 gamers thought this was helpful
Scott Hayes {Strategy Gamer} Jan 10th, 2019
“Better than Checkers or Chess”

Much more replay value than checkers or chess since you have the strategy of placing your own pieces and certain parts of the board are inaccessible. My wife and I played a 4-hour game on our first go-around, but I don’t think that’s necessarily how each game will be now that we understand the mechanics better. Depending on what version of the game you buy determines the quality of your components. We opted for the cheaper and easier-to-find version which comes with plastic pieces which you have to manually place the stickers on the first time you play. But do it once and you’re set for life, so it’s not that big of a deal. Simple gameplay, easy to learn, but fun and replayable due to the various setups and tactics you can employ. Plus it’s a great 2-player game, which can be hard to come by. We are excited to have finally got our hands on this game!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Forbidden Island page
7
6 of 7 gamers thought this was helpful
TH3 DISC1PLE {Strategy Gamer} Jan 10th, 2019
“Great Intro to Coop Games”

This game is a great introduction to cooperative style games in my opinion. Simple game mechanics and objectives, easy to understand rules, but still fun because it makes you think out loud with your teammates as to the best strategy to win. It’s very replayable because you set up the board random every time, and you can increase or decrease the difficulty to your liking and depending on the group of players you have. It’s a great game to travel with because it’s relatively compact and lightweight, easy to introduce new players, and has a shorter play time. We will be playing again soon!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
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6
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
AEG fan
Mage Wars fan
Go to the Dread Pirate page
9
6 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
B. Chereaux {Avid Gamer} Jan 8th, 2019
“Dread Pirate Roberts...his name was cumberbund”

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

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Platinum Supporter
Thunderstone Fan
I play blue
Go to the Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 page
10
7 of 7 gamers thought this was helpful
Jon {Avid Gamer} Jan 1st, 2019
“Another Great Season!”

I love legacy games, and this one is among the best.

I’m now on my second time through Season 2. The first time was with my family, about a year ago. This second time through, my game group chipped in to share the cost of the game. It’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten quite a bit of what happens over the course of the game (so it’s still fun for me). I’m trying hard to avoid giving anything away that I do remember. It’s not always easy to do that, since decisions can have a big impact on how future games play out.

I can’t write a detailed review without spoiling the game, but if you liked Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, you’ll probably like this second season. Nothing I mention below is a spoiler – you’ll learn it during your first game.

1) I really enjoyed the new exploration aspect of season 2. You start with only a portion of the board revealed, and you explore new regions (adding stickers to the board when explored).

2) The main ongoing mechanic of Pandemic, strategically removing disease cubes from the board, has been replaced with adding supply cubes. That provides enough difference to make Season 2 more than just an ongoing story line.

3) The character sheets have scratch-off sections that randomize whether you get scars or whether your character dies (permanently). Avoid beginning your turn on a space with a plaque cube!!!

When I talk about the game to other people, I’m almost always asked how many games you play before you’re done. Like Season 1, you can play any number of “practice” games before starting the real campaign. After you begin the campaign, the minimum number of games is 12, assuming you win every one (very unlikely). The maximum would be 24 games, assuming you lost every one. The difficulty increases after you win, and decreases after you lose, so you’ll probably end up playing around 16-18 games.

Overall, I thought the game was very well balanced. I’m looking forward to Season 3!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Platinum Supporter
Thunderstone Fan
I play blue
Go to the StarCraft: The Board Game page
10
10 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
Jon {Avid Gamer} Dec 19th, 2018
“Many fun game mechanics with a great theme”

I broke this game out this week after many years of not playing it and remembered why I liked it so much. The video game was one of the first popular Real-Time Strategy PC games (like Warcraft), and the board game does a great job of following the theme.

Deck Building: This game had the deck building mechanic before Dominion! You use cards from your Combat Deck for battling, and you can add more cards to your Combat Deck by researching new cards from your technology deck.

The board game is not real-time like the video game, but it has a unique way of assigning Move/Build/Research orders that adds a very fun strategic element to the game play. You get to assign 4 orders per round, but you place orders one at a time and other players can interfere with your plans.

3 Alien Races: Up to 6 players, 2 of each type of alien race, including Terran (Human), Zerg (biological Alien), and Protoss (Tech/Psi Alien). Each of the 3 races has a unique set of units based on same units in the video game, and the board game does a good job of translating the unique abilities into mechanics that work for the board game.

Base-Building and Unlocking Abilities: Just like the video game, to build more advanced units first requires building up your base to create those units. What you research and build depends on what your opponents are researching, because some units are only able to attack air or ground units.

When I purchased this years ago, I was looking for something epic, with a lot of fun pieces. This fit the bill nicely, and it also helped that I loved the video game.

Not Terribly Long Games: Unlike many epic strategy games (think Axis & Allies or Twilight Imperium), Starcraft games don’t need to take longer than 1.5 hours after you’ve learned the game.

Works Well for 2 Players: The game scales very well to make sure that players will clash. Unlike a game like Scythe where you don’t need to ever battle anyone, or Settlers of Catan where you might never clash with somebody in a 2-player game, Starcraft is designed for battling and the win conditions almost always force you to face your neighbors in battle.

Complicated, yes! And that makes it fun – many different ways to win and choices on what to build and research. A person who enjoys more complex games can get the feel for the game by playing it. That might mean the first game is 3 hours long, but it’s fun.

I wouldn’t recommend the game for casual or social play (too much strategy to have distracting conversations during the game). But, if you know somebody who has the game and you enjoy a shorter type of epic strategy war game, ask them to break it out.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Go to the Wasteland Express Delivery Service page
9
4 of 5 gamers thought this was helpful
n0rseMN Dec 12th, 2018
“Very fun game and great build quality.”

Played this game and really liked the flow of the turns and the varied approaches you can take to win. The components and build quality are top notch and the game offers tons of replayability. As others have noted, it would be nice to have slightly more interaction between players, but I think this will be optimized slightly with 3-4 players. With 2 players, there’s plenty of room on the board to largely avoid conflict. Highly recommend this game!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Canada
Belfort Fan
The Bronze Heart
Go to the Sushi Go Party! page
9
7 of 7 gamers thought this was helpful
NS Oakey {Avid Gamer} Nov 26th, 2018
“Maki some room at the table”

Sushi Go is a fun fast card game that is a pick pass and play style so strategy is based on collecting what you need, but also paying attention to stopping your neighbour from completing a set. I enjoyed playing it, until I was invited to the Sushi Go Party! This expansion improves the game 8 fold! Not only can more players join the feast, but the ability to mix up the cards you use means the expansion has much more replay value.

The game suggests several combinations that work well, but we’ve found randomly selection is also a treat.

A fun game for adults and children (fair warning some of the mechanics for points might be confusing to the littlest in your group) Some of the ‘special’ cards can be confusing to first time players, regardless of age, but most everyone catches on quickly in the first round.

The art is delightful, and the style of the board and components are sturdy. My only complaints are the scoring track is narrow if you’ve got more than four players and the vacu-form insert for card storage does not allow you to keep cards sorted, we all wish it was more like the dominion inserts.

Really the only downside is that playing makes me hungry!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
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