Spiel 2013 Preview: Triassic Terror

Posted by James (admin) on 20th October 2013

Triassic terror game

Triassic Terror is by the designer of Francis Drake as well as the very good War of the Roses.  It is an area control game with some interesting game mechanics.

During the game, players place dinosaurs (meeple) of their colour in different areas on the board.  A group of dinos of one colour is called a ‘herd’.  Players with the largest (and second largest) herds in each of the 12 areas during the 2 or 3 scoring rounds score points, and the player with the most points at the end of a fixed number of rounds wins.

Each area contains 3 spaces called ‘habitats’.  The biggest herd in an area occupies the primary habitat (scoring the most points), the next largest herd occupies the secondary habitat (scoring fewer points than the primary), and the next largest herd occupies the tertiary habitat (which scores no points but, hey, it’s better than being any smaller as herds not in the 3 largest instantly die).  Whenever herds grow or shrink, the habitats are re-assessed; for example, if there’s a herd of 3 blue dinosaurs in the primary habitat and a herd of 2 red in the secondary habitat grows to 4, then the red herd would move into the primary habitat and the blue herd would move down to the secondary. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spiel 2013 Preview: Francis Drake

Posted by James (admin) on 16th October 2013

Francis Drake gameFrancis Drake is a game of sailing, looting and plundering.  So, already, I’m thinking, what’s not to like?  From reading the rules, the game appears to have some very promising gameplay within it too.

Before setting out on to the high seas, players prepare for their journey in the streets of Plymouth by buying/gaining guns, crew, supplies, goods for trading, etc.  The 18 locations that can be used for these preparations are laid out in a long line (street) and the players take turns using a location by placing one of their 10 action discs on the location.  However, players can select an action further down the street from their last action (never backwards).  Also, some locations have limited uses and some of the actions on a location are better than others – so players will want to progress slowly so they can use lots of different locations, but move quickly so they are first to use a location and get the most from it.  This is very similar to Egizia (one of my favourite games) which is a very engaging game mechanic.

Once the players have all finished their preparations, they each set sail.  On the board are various destinations which are comprised of islands (with towns and forts) and galleons which can be attacked, as well as trade ports where players can exchange goods they have brought with them.  Players take turns placing numbered mission discs of their colour next to the destinations they wish to attack (or trade with).  The mission discs are placed face-down so players do not know the numbers that other players have placed, and are revealed when all discs have been placed. Read the rest of this entry »

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