Review: Mount Everest

Posted by James (admin) on 23rd May 2014

Mount Everest gameMount Everest is a game by the designer of K2 which is a great game and you can read my review of K2 for more details.  (This review assumes you have not played K2 and I will talk about comparisons at the very end.)

Players each have 2 guides who can escort clients (climbers and tourists) up and down the mountain.  Players score Victory Points (VPs) for getting clients to the summit, and more VPs for getting those clients who have reached the summit safely back to base camp.  Tourists are worth more VPs but are less hardy than climbers.  Your guides can carry tents and oxygen too which are both very useful (in fact, they’re almost vital).

Each guide has a small board showing what they have with them (equipment and clients) but there is very limited space; for example, a guide can take 4 clients and no equipment, or 1 tent and 1 client, or  1 oxygen and 2 clients, etc.  So, right from the start, you need to have a strategy on what to take and how to split it between your guides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spiel 2013 Preview: Vikings: Warriors of the North

Posted by James (admin) on 20th October 2013

Vikings Warriors of the North box

Vikings: Warriors of the North is a game of looting and pillaging as, from the name along, you would hope it would be.  Each turn players play cards to move their ship around the various islands and carry out actions, etc.  The first player to end their turn with 3 daughters of other thanes at their war camp wins.

At the start of their turn, a player draws 2 cards and has the opportunity to play add 1 hero card to their longship’s crew (maximum 3) which each add an on-going special ability.  Then, the player can use 1 of the 5 standard actions and play as many cards as they wish.

Wind cards allow players to move their ship (the cards specify the movement’s direction); and, Event cards carry out special actions which can also be used as wind cards instead.  The standard actions include attacking other players, attacking the sea monster, looting villages (taking thanes’ daughters), and sacrificing pairs of cards to draw new ones.

However, when a player plays an action card (on themself or another player) or uses a standard action, all players have the opportunity in turn order to play a card in response and these create a stack of cards.  When every player has passed in succession, the stack of cards is resolved from top to bottom.

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Spiel 2013 Preview: Mount Everest

Posted by James (admin) on 19th October 2013

Mount Everest board

Mount Everest is a new game by the designer of K2 which is a great game and you can read my review of K2 for more details.

The rules of Mount Everest are very similar to K2 with some additions.  Rather than moving your 2 mountaineers up and down the mountain, you move 2 guides who are taking mountaineers and tourists up and down the mountain.

Your guides can carry equipment with them like a camp and/or oxygen, but this comes at the cost of taking more mountaineers and tourists with them (and it’s those that can earn you points).  Players score points for the clients (mountaineers and tourists) they manage to get to the top (but lose points if they die anywhere on the way up or down).  The tourists are worth more points, if they make it to the summit, but are less acclimatised so are more difficult to get there.  The player with most points after 18 days wins.

As in K2, players have a hand of 6 cards and they get to select 3 cards to use each round.  Players simultaneously reveal their cards and the player who is moving furthest must take one of the 3 face-up risk tokens (which can reduce what you can do in a round).

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Review: Drako

Posted by James (admin) on 16th July 2013

Drako - GameDrako is a 2-player, card-driven game by the designer who created K2 and The Cave.  In Drako, 3 dwarves are pitted against one dragon with players taking turns drawing and playing cards from their hand.

The two sides play very differently as each has their own specific deck of cards, plus the dragon is a single powerful figure which can fly around the board, use fiery breath and attack using powerful claws, whereas the 3 dwarf figures attack with their axes as well as each having their own special ability such as a crossbow or net.  The game board shows a small hex-based grid which is the arena where the fight will take place.

Each turn, a player gets to perform 2 actions: Draw 2 cards or play 1 card.  (Players have a hand limit of 6 cards.)  Some cards display more than 1 option but a player can only 1 of the card’s options when played.  For example, dwarf options include move 1 dwarf, move 2 dwarves, attack with 1 dwarf, attack with 2 dwarves, defend, use crossbow, and use net.   Each move and attack icon has a value next to it which determines the amount of movement or power of the attack.  When dwarves attack, they need to be adjacent to the dragon which is dangerous because the dragon could strike on its turn.  Each dwarf has a special ability – one can use the crossbow, one can throw a net (which stops the dragon from moving until they spend a full turn escaping it), and one can give the dwarf player 3 actions during a turn once per game. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: City Tycoon

Posted by James (admin) on 11th July 2013

City Tycoon Game

In City Tycoon, players are building different building tiles in the same city.  The player with the most victory points (VPs) when the game ends after 4 rounds is the winner.  The city starts with several fixed tiles in the middle including a small power and small water plant which are neutral.

Each of the 4 rounds is split into 3 main phases: Selecting tiles, Building/Selling tiles, and Activating tiles.  The tile selecting phase starts with each player being dealt 6 building tiles – players look at them, keep 1 tile and pass the rest to the player on their left.  This process happens 6 times with each player picking 1 tile from those they were passed, so each player ends with 6 tiles, as well as knowledge of what other tiles other players will have this round.

During the building/selling tiles phase, players take turns using 1 building tile from their hand in one of 3 ways:

  • Build: The player pays the cost of the tile, places the tile in the city (next to any existing tile) and places a marker on it to show they own it.  (Some buildings even generate cash, VPs, etc. when they are built too.)
  • Sell: The player discards the tile and receives $5.
  • Plant: The player discards the tile and can build the next available power or water generating plant tile (paying the cost marked on the plant tile and placing a marker on it to show they own it).

Finally, players take turns activating one of the building tiles they own to gain the benefit shown on the tile.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: K2

Posted by James (admin) on 1st February 2013

As you would expect, K2 is a game about climbing the mountain K2.  Players each have two climber meeples and score points based on how high their climbers reach; however, any climbers that perish only score 1 point no matter how they had ascended.

Each player has an identical set of 18 cards and each turn they pick 3 of the 6 cards from their hand.  Cards can be climbing cards (values range from 1 to 3) or acclimatisation cards (used to increase your climbers’ health).

Once selected, all players reveal their 3 cards simultaneously.  The player with the highest climbing total must take one of the 3 face-up risk tokens.  These tokens range in value from 0 to 2 and the player must pay that cost with movement points, acclimatisation points, or their climbers’ health.   A new token is revealed to make a total of 3 for the next round.

On their turn, players allocate each of their 3 cards to either of their climbers to move them, pitch a tent, or increase their health.  If a climber’s health goes above 6, it always goes down to 6 at the end of each turn, which adds a nice limit so climbers are never too far from the chance of perishing.

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Review: Kolejka (Queue)

Posted by James (admin) on 6th November 2012

When someone suggests a game about queuing and shortages in Poland in the 1980’s, your first thought is probably to avoid eye contact and back away.  However, Kolejka (which is Polish for ‘Queue’ and pronounced col-aay-ka) is actually a gem of a game which I hope gets the attention it deserves as it actually contains a great Eurogame as well as an interesting and fitting theme.

Players are each trying to obtain 10 goods listed on their objective cards – for example,  4 luxury goods, 3 pieces of clothing, 2 food and 1 electrical.  The first player to collect all of their items wins, or the player that collects the most of their items by the end of the game.

Each round a few goods will arrive at some of the 5 stores.  First, before knowing what will arrive where, players take turns adding any of their people (meeple) who are not in queues to the queues.  Then, goods cards are revealed which determine how many goods arrive at which stores, e.g. 2 electrical items at the electrical store, 3 foods at the food store, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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