Played: Byzantio and Coal Baron

Posted by James (admin) on 25th January 2014

As writing full reviews takes some time and I often play more games than I have time to review.  As a result, there are many games that I play that don’t get reviewed for while, if at all.  Therefore, this is the first of a new type of post where I will post a few quick thoughts about the games I have played.  If there’s a game I mention that you’d specifically like a full review of, add a comment to let me know.

Byzantio gamePlayed: Byzantio
Byzantio is an area control game with a difference as each player only has a specific number of each of the different actions to use during the whole game so you need to ration them carefully.  Players select their own objective cities.

I enjoyed this game, although it felt lighter because there was a bit more randomness than I expected, with the dice deciding several of the action types adding most of that.  I don’t mind some randomness in a game, so it’ll be good to have that in mind when playing it again, and I hope it’s not too big a factor for my preferences.  There are a few things I’d do to add more clarity to the board, but these are polish rather than fundamental.

Still, working out how to use your actions and how to try and disguise your intentions added some good gameplay.

Played with 3.

Coal BaronPlayed: Coal Baron
Coal Baron is by the great team of Kramer and Kiesling (also called Glück Auf) which I previewed before Spiel in Essen.  This in an excellent eurogame – plenty of elements to balance but plays in a short time too.

It felt like a lean and well-oiled game design made up of only the most necessary and important elements.  There’s nothing revolutionary in the game design (although there is a nice small twist added to worker placement), but it impressed me with it’s elegance and how it delivered a tense, thoughtful game from such simple game mechanics.

Light enough for newer players, and enough decisions for experienced gamers wanting a short game.  Very impressed.

Played with 4.


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Spiel 2013 Preview: Glück Auf

Posted by James (admin) on 9th October 2013

Gluck Auf game

Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling have an impressive track record in their design partnership with games like the excellent Palaces of Carrara, Tikal, Tikal II, Torres and Asara.  In fact, Kramer has won the Spiel des Jahres 5 times (twice with Kiesling).  So, I’m always interested in any game they create.

Glück Auf is a worker-placement mining game.  Each player has their own mine which has 4 levels (each providing a different type of coal) and a lift shaft down the centre.  The coal trucks you buy during the game must be placed on the matching level and they must also be placed on one side of the lift shaft of the tunnels they are in are torch-lit, or placed on the other if their tunnels are dark.

In the centre of the table is the main board where players place their workers to (a) gain coal orders, (b) gain cash, (c) buy mine trucks (which start coal filled in the relevant mine level), (d) gain movement points (which are used to move the coal and the lift to get the coal to the surface), and (e) deliver completed orders.  The action spaces for delivering orders allow a player to deliver any completed orders that match the action space’s transport method, i.e. a player using the delivery action space showing a train can deliver any complete orders they have with a train on them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 13, Glück Auf, Preview, Spiel 2013 | No Comments »