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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

 

Game Review: For The Win published by Tasty Minstrel Games

For The Win is a two player game that is played in about 15 minutes time.  The object of the game is to connect five of your tiles together either in a orthagonal pattern, diagonal pattern, or a combination of the two patterns.  You do this by taking a mandatory one or two actions each turn.

There are a total of five actions that you can choose from.  The first action is to “Add A Tile”, but it may not be placed next to one of your own tiles either orthogonal or diagonal.  The second action is to “Move A Tile One Space”.  This action can only be a tile that is Face Up.  The third action is “Shove Tiles One Space”.  A couple of things you have to remember when using this action:  First, you may only shove face up tiles.  Second, you have to make sure you do not break any link of tiles that are connected.  The fourth action is “Use A Tile Ability” (Tile Abilities will be explained later).  Remember to flip the tile face down when using their ability.  The fifth action is to “Flip A Tile Face Up”.

There are five Tile Abilities: First is the “Alien Tractor Beam”  – Bring any tile in play to an adjacent space next to this tile.  Second is the “Monkey Banana” – Flip over all adjacent tiles.  Third is the “Ninja Stealth” – Move to any other location.  Fourth is the “Pirate Canon” – Shoot an adjacent tile to another location.  Fifth is the “Zombie Infect” – Replace an adjacent tile with any Zombie Tile.  If None remain, deactivate an adjacent tile.

Components:  20 Tiles (10 For Each Player consisting of 2 Aliens, 2 Monkeys, 2 Ninjas, 2 Pirates, and 2 Zombies),  2 Player Aid Cards, 2 Actions Counters, and Rulebook.

First Impressions: This game is quick to play and would be a great game to add if you are looking for a filler game while waiting to play other games.  This game, however, is not very difficult but does take a little abstract thinking on the gamers part.

I received a Print And Play copy for review from Tasty Minstrel Games.  I believe I read some place that the retail value will be about $25.00 for the game.  That is assuming it gets fully funded through the kickstarter program.  You can save some money and get yourself a final copy by helping them get this game funded through the kickstarter campaign.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Reviews

 

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

 

First Impressions: HIKE by Moosetache Games

Recently, several of us at in the boardgame group at Hypermind had the opportunity to play Moosetache Game’s latest release entitled “Hike”.

Game Components: 80 Cards (7 Suits containing 10 Birds, 10 Bugs, 10 Lakes, 10 Lights, 10 Peaks, 10 Trails and 10 Trees plus 10 Specialty Cards made up of Avalanche, Drought, Earthquake, Litter, Lost, Poop, Spring, The Sun, The Wind, and the Worm), 1 Rule Sheet.

Overview of the game: The game can be played by 3-8 players.  Each player is dealt a hand of 7 cards and the object of the game is to get rid of your cards and score points.

There are a few different ways you can score points:

  • Have the fewest remaining cards at the end of the hand
  • Capture the Worm
  • Plant Trees

Each player plays one card at a time beginning with the first player to the left of the dealer.  When a player plays a suited card, there are three other suits at the bottom of that card.  The next player has the option of playing one of those three suits on his/her turn or playing a Specialty Card that will change some of the rules of how the next few cards are played.

For example:  If player 1 puts down a Bird, player 2 then has the option of playing a Bird, Tree, or Lake, or they may opt to play a specialty card like Drought.  If they play the specialty card, then the following players must do what the card says before the normal play of cards continues.  In this example lets say the player played Drought.  The text on the drought card says “All Players Must Play A Lake”.  That includes the player who played the drought card.

If any player can not play a card on their turn they are out of the rest of that hand and lay all their cards face up in front of them.  These cards will score as points at the end of the hand for the player who wins that hand.

The game ends when a player reaches a certain score.  In a 3-4 player game, the first person to get 25 points or more, wins.  5-6 player game – 35 points or more, and in a 7-8 player game – 45 points or more.

Specialty cards are really what makes this game a lot more fun to play.  The more specialty cards that show up in a round the chances of someone scoring big increases.

First Impressions:  I really love this game.  It’s quick to play and allows for many players in a group to participate.  There are not many games that allow for more than 4-5 players, and this one fits the bill perfectly.  It’s also small enough that you can take it on vacation with you or to parties.

The art work is really nice too.I think Kiril Tchangov did a nice job on it.  All of the artwork really fits the theme well that you are on a hiking trail in the woods near a lake or two.

The game retails for a price of $10.95 and can be purchased through Moosetache Games Online Store or your local friendly game store.  I would recommend putting this one on your list and buying an extra copy or two for Stocking Stuffers this Holiday Season!

I would like to thank Cristina Ramos at Moosetache Games for sending Meet The Meeples a review copy.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Reviews

 

First Impressions: Roll Through The Ages – The Bronze Age

Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age

Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age is another quick playing game using dice to play by Eagle/Gryphon Games.

Components: 7 Wooden Dice, Game Sheets on a Pad, 4 Peg Boards, 24 Pegs, Rulebook.

Overview:  Each player has a peg board and 6 pegs and a sheet of paper containing boxes to be checked off as the game goes along.

On the players turn they roll the number of dice equal to the amount of cities they have built.  Initially this is 3 cities but can be built up to 7 cities total.  The dice rolls are similar to Yahtzee, where a player will initially roll the dice and keep one or more, then roll a second time, keep one or more, and then have a final third roll of the dice.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

On the dice the player may roll workers, food, coins, goods, skulls or a combination of skulls/goods or workers/food.

The player will then mark their sheet or move the peg on the pegboard based on what they rolled on the dice.

As they check off boxes they can earn extra dice by building cities, or they can earn victory points by building Monuments or Developments.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

Developments can also aid the player with different bonuses to use or bonus victory points for the end of the game.  Players buy developments using the coins and goods they have for that turn.

Players can also get disaster points accumulated if they roll skulls or have skulls rolled against them.

At the end of the game, the players will add up their scores and whoever has the most points wins the game.

First Impressions: The components in this game are nice.  Using the wooden dice kind of reminds me of olden days in the saloons.  I like the feel to them.  The score pad comes with plenty of sheets to get you started, and if you ever run out you can download more for free at the RollThroughTheAges.com.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

You can play this game as a solo player or play as many as up to four players.  The game does not take a lot of time and can be thrown in as a filler game if needed, or use it as a standalone playable game.

Either way, I think you will enjoy this game.

The game has a suggested retail value of $34.99 and can be purchased through Eagle Games web site or you can pick up a copy online or at your friendly local game store.

I would like to thank Eagle/Gryphon Games for sending this review copy. Also, thank you to EndersGame for some of the images used in this posting:  http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/EndersGame

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Reviews

 

First Impressions: Railways Of The World

RotW Box Art

If you like Board Games that involve Trains, I am sure you will enjoy playing a game called Railways Of The World by Eagle/Gryphon Games.

Components: 1 – 30″ x 36″ mounted map of Eastern U.S., 1 – 14.75″x24.5″ mounted map of Mexico, 12 Railroad Baron Cards, 1 Start Player Card, 37 Railroad Operation Cards, 3 Rulebooks (1 Explaining the play of the game, 1 For US specific Rules, and 1 for Mexico Specific Rules), 1 Score Track, 150 Plastic trains in 6 colors, 24 empty city markers (4 types), 125 good cubes (5 colors), Bond Certificates (54 notes in 3 denominations), Money (3 denominations), 217 Track Tiles, 12 New City Tiles (3 x yellow, 3 x black, 3 x blue and 3 x purple), 2 Golden Spike tiles, Drawstring Bag

A Little Bit About The Components: The first thing I have to say about the components is that there are a LOT of them! Also, the Eastern US Board that comes with the game is gigantic. You will need a big table to play this on or at least a minimum of two card tables side by side. The Empty City Markers are different shapes, but that does not mean they represent different rules or anything. It’s just a matter of making the components look good. I like these empty city markers a lot They could have been used when I was a child playing with Matchbox cars and electronic Toy Trains for some of the buildings and signs along the way near the tracks. “Ahh…The Old Childhood Memories of Playing with those Trains and little Cars…”

High Level Overview Of The Game: Railways Of The World has Three Turns (or Phases). In the First Turn players are going to bid for the right to be the First Player for the start of the each round. After that they are going to do the following for 3 rounds: Perform one action from the following for each round: Lay Track (Maximum 4 track per action), Urbanize (I’ll talk more about that in a moment), Draw a Railroad Operations Card (More about that in a moment), Transport one Good from one city to another, or Upgrade their Engine. Then the last thing that gets done is the third phase which is to issue Income and pay Dividends.

In order to have money for Track costs and Bidding you can earn it through gaining points in the game, but you have another option of taking a BOND card. For each bond, you receive $5,000. But at the end of the third phase you have to pay back a dividend of $1,000 for the each bond you hold. Bonds can not go away and you also receive -1 points for each bond you have at the end of the game for final scoring.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

Urbanize: Players can Urbanize a gray colored city by doing the following: Pay a Cost of $10,000, then take a new city tile and place it on a gray city. If the city has an empty city marker on it (All Goods have been delivered out of that city), then place the marker back into the available empty city marker pool and add two random cubes to the city. The new city can have cubes delivered to it based on the color chosen for the new city.

Draw a Railroad Operations Card: During their each round a player has the option of drawing a Railroad Operations Card. These cards give additional bonuses to the score track for that player if the text on the card is fulfilled. Note: some of the cards are not additional scores, but allow you to do things like lay longer track lines per turn, etc.

Upgrade Your Engine: Why would you want to do this, you may ask? Well, if you pay the price to upgrade your engine, then you can transfer a good across multiple tracks giving you potentially more points in the long run for each good you deliver. Of course the higher the upgrade the more links (between cities) you can transfer across.

Giant Eastern US Map Gameboard

 How to win the game: Be the player who has the most points at the end of the game. Pretty simple. So, keep track of how many bonds you are getting, bid wisely and use your track management wisely and you should have no problem.

What I liked about the game: I really liked the components that are in the box as far as the trains, empty city markers, and bonds go. The color cubes representing the goods were also good.

What I was not a fan of: I really didn’t care for the huge size of the Eastern US Game board, although I will still play the game, I think it could have been smaller (Maybe the train track hexes could have been smaller to compensate and thus making the board itself smaller). I also was not a big fan of Paper Money (although it looked authentic). I would have prefered some other way of keeping track of the money such as gems or poker chips. But that would not be a showstopper either for me.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

Something Interesting: I received a 1st edition printing of this game, which meant some of the colors were slightly off on the game board and cubes. This was a little annoying but again it was not a showstopper. It is to my understanding that the 2nd edition printing fixes that issue. Also the 1st edition did not come with Mexico Baron Cards and Railroad Operations Cards. This was also added in the 2nd edition printing. It does not mean the game is necessarily broke when you play the Mexican board, it just means that it plays a little differently.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

My First Impressions: At a suggested retail cost of $74.99, this game is well worth the money for what you get in the box. It does play about 2 hours in length, so if you are not a fan of that kind of time limit in a game, this may not be for you. I did like the components, a LOT! They are pretty solid and nicely done. I would, however, like to trade out the board some day for a 2nd edition printing and also would like to get the Mexican Cards to enhance the play on that game board too. Overall, if you are a fan of train games, this one just may be for you!

I would like to thank Eagle Games for sending me this review copy. Also, thank you to EndersGame for some of the images used in this posting: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/EndersGame

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Reviews

 

First Impressions: Pastiche published by Eagle/Gryphon Games

Anyone who likes looking at or learning about Art and likes board games will certainly fall in love with a board game called Pastiche published by Eagle/Gryphon Games.

Components: Gameboard (with color spots to hold palette cards), 124 Palette Cards, 54 Palette Hex pieces, 1 Starter 3 pieced Palette Hex, 34 commission Cards from the Bridgeman Art Library, 4 Player Reference Cards, 1 Rulebook.

High Level Overview Of The Game Play: The game is designed to play from one to four players.  Each player will start out with two commission Cards, two Palette hexes and four Palette cards.  The object of the game is to play the Hexes against another hex on the playing table and create color combinations.  Once those color combinations are created, you take the corresponding cards with those colors and put them in your hand.  Now that you have the cards, you can trade with the Bank (The Game Board) or other players to get other colors.  Once you have the colors you need to “paint” a commission painting, you will play those cards, and also play the commission palette.  Each commission palette has a score on it, as well as details about the painting with the author, city, dates, etc.  The first player who scores the amount of points needed to finish the game ends the game and all players after the start player will have a final chance if it is not the last player to end the game first.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

What I Liked About The Game: The game was a lot of fun to play and plays in between 45-60 minutes.  I enjoyed learning about the paintings with some information included about the author, city, and dates.  I also enjoyed the way the colors mix together to make other colors.  The reference cards helped a lot when I wasn’t completely sure of how the colors were actually mixed to produce what I needed.  Also, the components are absolutely lovely, and top quality!  The box that the game comes in is a heavy-duty box too, it should have no problem holding up to even the hardest box abusers.

Image courtesy of boardgamegeek.com user EndersGame

What I Didn’t Like About The Game: I can’t say I really “Didn’t like” this but I figured I would mention it here:  It’s a little difficult to hold everything in your hands (Cards, commission Cards, and Hexes).  I would recommend getting some kind of large domino holder or some other device to hold the commission Cards and Hexes while your hand will be free to hold the Color Cards that you will play.  On the Board Game Geek, there was a guy who had some custom stands.  I decided to show you a picture of what he had to give you an idea of what I believe would be ideal for this game.

Overall: This game is a lot of fun to play.  I think any board game player would be happy to own it in their arsenal of games.  The suggested retail cost is $49.99 for this game and I have to say it’s worth every penny!  Like I said earlier, the components are solid!  There is a lot of replayability to the game too.

Thank you to Eagle/Gryphon Games For Sending Me A Review Copy Of Pastiche!  This is one that will be played a lot! Also, thank you to EndersGame for some of the images used in this posting: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/EndersGame

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Reviews