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First Impressions: 1812 The Invasion Of Canada by Academy Games

In 1812, Great Britain and its allies were battling Napoleon for control of Europe.  A young United States declared war on Britain and decides to invade Canada due to seizures of American ships and goods.

1812 The Invasion Of Canada is a semi cooperative game that allows up to 5 players to try to conquer either the United States, or Canada, depending on which faction side you play in the game.  Players may either play the Canadian side which includes cubes, cards and dice for British, Canadian Militia or Native Americans, or they may choose to play the United States side which is composed of American Regulars and American Militia.

During each round there are 5 player turns that occur.  Five colored cubes are placed in a bag and drawn randomly for each players turn.  Once the cube is drawn the player will then act out their turn before the next player is randomly drawn out of the bag.  The cubes are placed on a turn track so you can see who’s turn it is and who has already played in that round.  There is also a wooden pawn that marks the rounds.

During a players turn they will play one or more cards (they have three maximum in their hand).  They must have at least one action card in their hand and can also have special cards that can be played along with the action.  If they do not have an action card, they are required to reshuffle their cards and draw three again to try to obtain at least one action card.

The player can then play only one action card that turn.  He may not play more than that.  He can also choose to play any number of special cards.  Action cards will allow the player to move their troops from one place on the board to another.  This movement can be either a land movement or a water movement based on the action card.  The card will tell them the number of troops and how far they may move in that turn.  Special cards will have enhanced benefits to the turn that may aid in the players movement or battle.

Once the player has moved then they resolve battles.  Battle occur when any number of troops land on an enemy territory that is occupied by the enemy.  Players will roll battle dice to resolve the battle that occurs in that land spot.  Battles may end in total victory or may end in victory where players wind up fleeing.  If a player rolls a die that has a person running on it, they will put one of their color cubes in the FLED area of the board.  These troops may return to a muster area on that players next turn.

Once all the battles have been resolved it then becomes the next players turn.  This continues like this for three rounds.  At the end of three rounds there is a check for end game conditions.  Remember the Action cards I mentioned?  Well, each player has one of them in his deck that is a truce card.  He may play that at any time when he plays an action.  Once all of one side has declared a truce and they have reached at least round three then the game is over.

The winner will be whoever controls more enemy territories.  How do you control them?  When you have won a territory during a battle phase you then put a territory marker down to represent that area now belongs to your side.  Note: if you leave that area you lose control of it, so you need to leave at least one troop in the area to maintain control.

This game potentially could end in a tie.  It all depends on the number of territory tokens that have been placed during each round check in rounds 3-8.

My First Impressions: I like this game a lot.  It has a coop aspect that will help new players team up with experienced players and learn the game.  I also like the way the rules read our and show examples.  The Dice are really well-balanced and make a lot of sense to me as to why or why not there may be a FLED marking on it or not.

The game plays in about one and a half hours which is just about the right amount of time for a game like this.  Also, in the rule book there are three starting scenarios that will allow for shorter or longer play depending on how you set up the game.

The board is pretty big and does require some significant table space.  The components are good.  I am going to see if I can locate some type of miniature figures to add to my game to replace the colored cubes, but the cubes do work and miniatures are not necessary.

Thank you to Fred Distribution for sending a review copy of the game to Meet The Meeples.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in General, Reviews

 

Better Late Than Never: Game Of The Year For 2011

I played many boardgames in 2011, but the one that struck me as what I would nominate as game of the year would be: Kingdom Builder by Queen Games.

There were many things that came to mind when I decided to nominate this as game of the year for 2011.

First, this game has the Euro-Game feel and look and is easy to learn.  That makes it a great Gateway style game for new players that are not familiar with Euro-Style Games.

Second, the replayability in this game is amazing.  You can have many different ways to play and it’s random enough that there would not be any one way of possibly winning (eliminating that one player from dominating game after game).  I think any game that offers even a novice player a great chance of winning deserves a big thumbs up.

Next, the Rules are straight forward and do not require a Rocket Scientist to interpret.  There are a lot of games out on the market that have rules that are poorly written.  This is not one of them.  Kudos to the rule guys on this one.

Last, for the price of the game you have a lot of gameplay in the replayability factor I mentioned above.  After all, would you spend $50.00 on a game that gives you very little replayability?

Even though I mention the price of $50.00 above, you can find this game for a lot less by shopping around online.

I give this game a solid 5 out of 5 Meeple rating!

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in General

 

I Drank What? – by Empire Games

This past weekend I attended the MACE convention in Highpoint, NC.  While there, I had the chance to play many games and meet many new gaming friends.

One of the games I had the chance to play was “I Drank What?” by Empire Games.

Overview: “I Drank What” is a card game for 4 to 10 players.

Each player receives one card at random that may either be a Wine Card or a Poison Card (Although to start off the game there is only one POISON Card that is handed out – All the rest of the players receive a WINE CARD).  The players do not look at these cards.

Then each player gets 4 cards (drawn from a different deck of cards) that will either be an ACTION, REACTION, or CHEESE Card.

The players in turn may Play and Action and a second Action.  As an Action the player may play a Cheese Card which goes in front of him until it’s either stolen, eaten, Then they may issue a drink challenge to another player to flip over their drink card.  The player that is challenged may opt to “Pass” on drinking.

This is where the Reaction and Cheese Cards come into play.

Reaction cards can combat the effects of drinking, or they may cancel you from taking a drink, or they may manipulate drink cards, etc.  They are just that, some sort of REACTION to an ACTION or CHALLENGE.

Cheese cards can be eaten instead of taking a drink.  This is the easiest way of not possibly revealing a POISON card and being out of the game (possibly, again see some of the reaction cards that may combat POISON).

The game is over when one player wither wins overall or gets eliminated in a possible move when there are two players and both somehow get that taste of POISON.

COMPONENTS: Base Game Contains 20 Wine Cards (5 are Poison, 15 are Wine), 60 Play Cards, 1 Rule Sheet.  The Expansion includes other Reaction Cards plus Cheese Cards.

What I think if the game:  This game is great in a lot of ways.

First, it plays up to 10 players, and it does it well!  How many other games out there can make that claim?

Next, the images used on the cards are nicely done.  From what I was told from the gang at Empire Games is they used people to model for their photos on the cards and save a lot of money because of having some great connections in that market.

The game also plays quickly.  I was surprised that having that amount of players played in less that one hour time frame.  Kudos to a quick playing game that allows that many players.

What I Didn’t Like About The Game: I’m not sure that I agree with players who say the game is just crap because you can possibly lose quickly and then have to sit there and wait a long time in order to play again.  Although I did get knocked out of the game quickly a couple times this weekend, I still have to say I had fun watching the other players finish the game and also get some of the “Take That” action that occurs in these types of games.

Overall, I had a blast playing the game, and trying to win one of those Empire Games Wine Glasess.

Unfortunately I did not win a glass in the game.

However, Chris from Empire Games did present one to me on the last day of MACE as a “Good Will” gesture, and I want to personally say thank you to the guys for doing that.  That was nice.  I would have given the same review regardless, and that wine glass did not have any weight on this review.  Again, though, Thank you!

Also, I thouroughly enjoyed the comical way that David had with holding the Wine Glass while walking up down the MACE convention hallway letting folks know that another tournament to try to win one of the “Coveted Empire Games Wine Glasses” was about to begin.

Thanks Empire Games for a great time this past weekend at MACE.  I hope to meet up with you guys again soon.

Watch for an overview of MACE coming later this week on my blog.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in General, Reviews

 

@EagleGames Gryphon Games Demo Day and other Games played too.

Being on the Wingman Demo Team for Eagle and Gryphon Games, I chose a couple of games that I recently received to demo and took them with me to a demo day at Hypermind in Burlington, NC.

One of the games is a game called Can’t Stop.  Can’t Stop was initially released back in the early 1980’s.  Since then it has gone in and out of print and is now being reprinted by Eagle and Gryphon Games.

The object is to get a number of cones to the top of the board to win the game (number of cones is based on the number of players in the game).  You do this by rolling 4 dice and making a decision by choosing 2 pairs of dice as to where to put your runners (The White Cones).  At that point you can press your luck and roll again to further gain ground up the track or you can stop and place your colored cones as place holders and pass to the next player.

Once a player reaches the number of cones to the top of the board (3 cones for a 4 player game, 4 cones for a 3 player game, and 5 cones for a 2 player game), then the winner is declared.

This game plays in about 20-40 minutes and is a fun little filler game in between those 1 1/2 plus hour games.

After the game of Can’t Stop I proceeded to demo another game called Yin Yang.

Yin Yang plays 3-5 players and plays rather quickly too.

Yin Yang is played by players trying not to win tricks.  There are cards marked 1-50 in the deck and each player playing receives 9 cards.

There are also 10 cards that have Yin Yang symbols on them with a number next to both the Black and White Colors.

The player who plays the highest card in the trick wins the number of Black tokens that is on the card.

The player who plays the lowest trick wins the number of White tokens that is on the card.

The object is to NOT have tokens in your hand by the end of the 9 tricks that you play each round.  You can eliminate tokens by making a Black and White matching Yin Yang symbol and returning those tokens back to the pool.

At the end of 9 tricks you will either have some black token or white tokens, but not both, or you may have none at all if you play your cards right.

The play continues for a number of rounds based on how many players you have in the game.  Remember, each round plays 9 tricks.

After we finished Yin Yang, we broke out and played several other games during the day including Ascension: Return Of The Fallen, Memoir ’44, Nexus Ops, and Blue Moon City.  I have also included some photos of those games in this blog posting.

 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in General, Hypermind Board Game Night

 

Games people play at a “Carnival” celebration!

Games people play at a “Carnival” celebration!

On October 1, 2011 I had the pleasure of joining several of my Board Gaming friends that live in the Raleigh-Durham area for a celebration.  We all gathered to celebrate the countdown to a very successful Kickstarter campaign of Carnival.

Carnival was the idea of Cherilyn Kirkman (Pictured on the Left) as the designer and Chris Kirkman (Pictured on the Right) as the Artist.  Both of them own and run DiceHateMe.com and have recently launched DiceHateMe publishing as well.

Their publishing company will be launching other games in the future and look like they have jumped in with some very good candidates.

One of the games that they will be coming out with in the spring will be VivaJava.by T.C. Petty III (Pictured on the Left).  Let me tell you, this is a game that you will want to back on Kickstarter when they put it up there.  T.C. has come up with some great mechanics for the game, and with the help of Chris Kirkman they have teamed up to have a great layout for this game the will play 3-8 players.

We had the chance to play a full 8 player game on Oct 1 and it plays really well.  There is very little downtime for any player, so you will not have that feeling of sitting there waiting for your turn.  The pictures I took are of the prototype of the game and are not the final product, but even the prototype components worked really well and looks good.  I can not wait for the final product to see the end design.

 

Also, while I was at the celebration, I had the chance to play Elder Sign a couple more times.  The first time we played it during the day, we easily won the game, and I was thinking that the game “might” be broke, since it was so easy to win.

My impression on that quickly changed when we played the second game.We just barely got by winning.  It came down to a couple really lucky dice rolls in the end.

I still want to play this game a few more times before I actually make a firm opinion on it.  I like the concept, and the price point.  I am, however, not convinced 100% yet that if you play 4 or more players in the game that you will ever lose.  I suppose it’s possible, but the three games I played this week did not convince me yet.

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in General

 

Games People Play

When I arrived at Hypermind last night, Chris I and Sceadeau were playing Elk Fest, a finger flicking type game.  The object is to get your Elk from your side of the table (on a land tile) to the other side of the table (on the opponents land tile). You do this by using stones to cross an icy river.

On each turn the players get a number of moves to flick their stones as close the front of the elk as possible and make him walk across the stones to the next stone and eventually to the final destination.

If your elk falls in the water, you place it back on the last stones it was standing on and your opponent gets an additional flick of his stones to try to do the same thing.

I have never played any flicking type games yet at Hypermind, so this was my first chance.  I actually did really well, and even surprised Sceadeau and Chris.  My winning Elk got to Chris’ side before Chris could even get one-third of the way to mine.

The next game I played was called Genoa.  I have never heard of this game before, but it seemed like a game I might like to play if I am in the right mood.

During the last couple rounds of the game, I almost gave up trying to even come close to winning.  I did make a few turns earn me some money by taking offers from Chris and Sceadeu to make my moves go in certain directions that would aid them.  By the end of the game, I was surprised to find out that I actually came in second place.  I thought for sure that Chris would have outscored me, just by the way he was playing and the lack of my playing skills on this game.  I think I would like to try this game again sometime in the future, just to see if I can pick up on some tactics I just didn’t quite understand the first go round.

By the end of that game, a few more people had come in and were ready to play some games.  We jumped into a seven player game of 7 Wonders.  I am liking this game more and more each time I play it.  This is one that I think I would like to put on my wish/want list and hope that someone will fulfill that list someday for me.

I think this game plays well with 4-6 and is really random with all 7 players.  The funny thing is while I was thinking that, Sceadeau actually said it out loud.  It kind of freaked me out that I was thinking the same thing as Sceadeau almost at that same moment.

What game night wouldn’t be fun if we had not cracked out Cities? I am really loving this game, and wish more people would play it.

It’s a great filler game and doesn’t use CARDS!  It seems like when we pick filler games, most of the time it involves some kind of card game.  Don’t get me wrong, card games are fun, but it’s always nice to play with some tiles and meeples too!

This game is going to stay in my bag for a long time to come.

And now for the last game of the night for me…Ascesnion: Chonicle of the Godslayer.  I am starting to believe this is like an addicting drug or something to that effect.  i just can’t seem to get enough of this game, and if someone were to ask me what game I would really like to play if I had my choice, this would be it!

I am really excited for the expansion, and can’t wait until it’s released in June 2011.  This is one expansion that I will buy as soon as our game store has it in stock!

 

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in General

 

Ascension Game Day

Vedah, Sage of Swords - The first Ascension Game Day promo in all it's glory! Hi folks!  It seems like it has been forever since my last post.  Sorry for not getting on here regularly, but things have been hectic with the new job and Christmas right around the corner.

Anyway, today is Ascension Game Day !  I’ll be at my favorite game store, Hypermind to play in a Casual Play tournament.

I have not had a chance to play this game yet, but I purchased a copy last night and am pretty impressed with the Cards and the Plastic Crystal pieces that it uses for scoring.

As a participant, each player will get the Vedah, Sage Of Swords card to add to their game.  I’m excited.  It looks like it gets a randomness to the game, and I look forward to other promotions that Gary Games has in the future for this game.

I’ll be doing a review of the game some time in the near future.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2010 in General