Review: Spyrium

Posted by James (admin) on 23rd January 2014

Spyrium gridSpyrium is a eurogame with an interesting worker placement game mechanic.  It is designed by the creator of Caylus and Caylus Magna Carta (the latter being one of my favourite games) so I was keen to try it out.

The game has a steampunk-ish setting and players are each head of an industrial conglomerate in Victorian England and spyrium is a mineral high in energy.  The player who scores the most victory points (VPs) by the end of the game wins.

Each round 9 cards are drawn from the deck and laid out in a 3×3 grid – I’ll call this ‘the grid’ from now on.  Players take turns either placing a worker or activating a worker; however, once a player starts activating their workers, they can’t return to placing workers during the current round.  As a result, you have to choose carefully when to switch from placing to activating.

The cards in the 3×3 grid are either characters (one-off benefits that all players can use), buildings (which can be bought to give special actions), and patented techniques (which can be bought to give on-going abilities plus they score VPs at the end of the game too).  When a building or technique is bought, it is removed from the grid and placed in front of its owner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 13, Spiel 2013, Spyrium | No Comments »

Review: Caylus

Posted by James (admin) on 9th September 2010

I had played Caylus: Magna Carta before (the smaller, card-based version of Caylus) but not the original big game so I was looking forwards to playing this.

During the game, players place their workers on various buildings so they can generate resources and cash which they can then use to build further buildings and generate victory points.  First, players take turns placing their workers on the available buildings.  Only one player can use each building during a round, so timing your placement of your workers can be agonising (in a good way) because you always want to place your workers in multiple places at once (always a good sign in a worker placement game) before someone else does.  When all players have passed, the buildings get resolved in order (moving along the road that leads out of the castle).  Some buildings generate resources (food, wood, stone, cloth, gold), some generate cash, and some have special effects like allowing a player to build a new building, changing the turn order, allowing a player to buy a resource for cash, trade gold for victory points, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Caylus | 2 Comments »

Game Session: 4th Sept 2010

Posted by James (admin) on 8th September 2010

Occasionally, a friend of mine runs an all-day boardgames tournament at the games shop (Eclectic Games) in Reading (UK) where anyone can turn up and play.  The day consists of around 5 or 6 games each played with 3 or 4 players and the people in each group changes every game so you get to play with most people present.  Saturday was the fourth of these tournament days (called BADGER which stands for Berskhire All-Day Gaming Extravaganza in Reading) and I got to play games that were mostly new to me.

The games I played were: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Caylus, Downfall of Pompeii, Games Session, Il Principe, Louis XIV, Samurai | No Comments »