Review: Star Wars: Empire vs Rebellion

Posted by James (admin) on 6th May 2015

Star Wars Empire vs Rebellion gameStar Wars: Empire vs Rebellion is a 2-player card game which uses the core game mechanics of Cold War: CIA v KGB with some changes and a Star Wars theme.  (As Cold War: CIA v KGB is one of my favourite 2-player games, there are lots of comparisons to be made, but I shall save these until the end of the review so those who have
not played Cold War can understand this game on its own merits.)

At the start of each round, an objective card is drawn which sets several things: the total resource value, the capacity, and its objective value (plus, some have special rules for the round too).  Each round, players take turns drawing or manipulating resource cards from their own resource deck (Empire or Rebellion).  Each resource card has a number on it (usually 2 to 5) as well as a special power, and players can never have more resource cards than the objective’s capacity.  The round ends only when both players pass in succession, and which player won the round is assessed.  Usually, the player with the cards whose total value is closest to the the objective’s total resource value (without going over) is the winner of the round – there are some occasions when this is different but I’ll explain that later.  The winner takes the objective card (as well as any resource tokens it grants) and the first player to have objective cards whose total objective value is 7 or more wins the game. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Gears of War

Posted by James (admin) on 7th September 2012

Gears of War is first-person shooter game on Xbox.  The board game by Fantasy Flight Games had been listed as in-development for several years so it was interesting to finally get it play it.  The video game focusses on a small squad of human soldiers (called COG) fighting against an alien race – a lot of the main action involves frantic gunfights, dashing from (or diving over) cover whilst under (and returning) heavy gunfire, and often throwing grenades into large holes in the ground where the enemies are emerging from.

The board game of Gears of War has all the players playing the COG soldiers co-operatively against the game (enemy) and there are various scenarios which determine the map, victory conditions, etc.  Also, some scenarios have multiple stages and the players must complete one stage before they next is revealed.  The map is made of various tile sections and each is divided into several areas which determine movement and weapon range.

Each player has a hand of Order cards (gaining 2 at the start of each turn) which each describe a special action but also act as the player’s health too.  Every turn, players play a card to perform the card’s action (like move 4 spaces and attack, revive a comrade, etc.), or to move 2 spaces, or to do 1 standard attack.  Each card also has 1 of 3 icons which mean it can be played when it is not the player’s turn to either attack an enemy, gain extra defence dice, or move with a comrade.  If a player runs out of cards, they are ‘bleeding out’ until a comrade revives them, which means they can crawl 1 space per turn, don’t get attacked, and gain no cards. Read the rest of this entry »

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FFG Starts a New Line of Star Wars Games

Posted by James (admin) on 2nd August 2011

Wow!  There are few announcements these days that really are big news but FFG have just managed one by announcing they’re going to be releasing their own Star Wars games.  FFG have been going from strength-to-strength as a company as they secured bigger and bigger licenses – much in the same way that Electronic Arts did the same with videogames back when they were young.  I have a few issues with FFG in terms of the costs of their expansions (as they release so many) but they do release solid, quality games and have created a couple of my favourite non-Euro games.

For me, this is great news.  As a major Star Wars fan, I’ve been wondering for years why no-one’s done any serious games.  Even to the point last year that a friend and I discussed creating a Star Wars large battle game with a demo set using the toys to potentially get Hasbro’s attention.  In my opinion, the last great Star Wars game was Assault on Hoth by West End Games (a lot of randomness and very cheap production but a game we still play to this day) and since then Hasbro continually released weak board games that primarily served kids.

FFG have announced two games X-Wing ( – a 2-player, space combat, dogfighting game – and Star Wars: The Card Game ( – a 1-4 player co-op card game.  I’m definitely more interested in the first one as I find living card games a bit daunting due to the continual churn of new cards; however, I’m sure I’ll try the basic set at least..

So, congratulations FFG.  I look forwards to some great Star Wars gaming to come – just keep it in the original trilogy era please (which looks to be the case so far).  As Vader would say: Impressive.

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Review: Cadwallon – City of Thieves

Posted by James (admin) on 10th November 2010

In Cadwallon: City of Thieves, each player has a team of 4 thieves and they attempt to steal as much treasure as possible from around the city and from each other.  The board shows the corridors and rooms of an area of the city – a treasure tile is placed on each room, the players place their thieves on the board edges and 2 militiamen are placed on the board too.  Before the game begins, one of the 8 adventure boards is selected which sets special rules.  Players take turns comprised of moving a militia man, drawing an arcana card and spend 7 action points (APs) to move/use their thieves.

The militiamen are neutral city guards who block player movement and can attack other player’s thieves.  The current player rolls a dice to see how far the militiaman they choose moves.  The loser of a fight with a militiaman is moved (by the winner) 3 spaces and pays 2 ducats (cash) to the bank too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Cadwallon: City of Thieves, Essen Spiel 10 | 4 Comments »