Review: Campaign Manager 2008

Posted by James (admin) on 27th August 2010

Campaign Manager 2008 is a card-driven game recreating the Presidential Election between Obama and McCain.  The designers of the game are well-known for Twilight Struggle and 1960: Making of the President – both are card driven strategy games and Twilight Struggle is ranked the number 3 best board game of all – so the game was highly anticipated.

The game primarily consists of 45 cards for each player, a deck of Breaking News cards, a mini-board for each state.  Players aim to win the electoral votes of each state and be the first player to gain 270+ votes.  During the game, 4 states boards are laid between the players which are the ones the players are currently campaigning (fighting) over to win.  Each state has a track showing whether economy or defence is currently the important issue to its voters, and each state has two demographic groups printed on them with a marker showing which is currently the most influential group in that state. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Power Struggle

Posted by James (admin) on 8th April 2010

Power Struggle had a lot of great feedback at Spiel 09 in Essen.  It hadn’t been on my radar before that at all and, unfortunately, I didn’t get to play it.  Now I have I can see why it was so well received.  (It’s quite a complex game to explain so excuse the longer-than-normal review).

The game is based on creating departments in a company and having dominance over the business to win the game before anyone else does.  It may not sound very inspiring but is a lot more interesting than it may sound.  The setting is good Eurogame stuff and it’s a theme that lends itself well to the gameplay, especially as there is a touch of humour too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Replay: Colonia

Posted by James (admin) on 18th January 2010

[If you don’t know how to play Colonia, please read my initial review before reading this post.]

My initial review of Colonia was one of my earliest reviews and focussed a lot on how the game is played.  My recent play of Colonia made me want to re-visit it and talk more about the gameplay.

This time we played with 5 players.  The 3 of us that had played before were slightly concerned that it would be more chaotic than when we played with 4 because plans could be more easily disrupted by other players because there would be more players who could take the action you were planning before you did.  In actuality, it didn’t feel like this and you just planned with other players in mind as usual.  It did make player order even more important because the amount of materials/goods/contracts/relics are the same no matter how many players are playing.  So, there were fewer materials/goods/contracts/relics per player to be had compared to a 4 player game. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Savannah Tails

Posted by James (admin) on 17th January 2010

Savannah Tails is a game of Ostrich racing.  The designers’ previous game was dog sled racing (Snow Tails) and this is a lighter and very different game.

Each player has a deck of cards which each show one of four colours and a number from 2 to 6.  The track along which the ostriches race is made up of sections – straights and curves – which can be arranged in lots of different way.  Each track section shows 4 trails (red, blue, yellow and black) and each has a tree at one side of the track. 

At the start of each round, the playing order is determined by the player whose ostrich is furthest forwards, and ties are split by whoever is closest to the tree on that section of track.  On their turn, a player plays one card from their hand of 4 (sometimes 5) cards, moves their ostrich along the track and then draws another card from their deck.  When each player has taken a turn, a new rounds starts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Mow

Posted by James (admin) on 8th January 2010

 Mow (pronounced Moo as it’s the noise cows make in France) is a simple but active card game with good player interaction as each tries to obstruct the other players. 

The game consists of two decks of cards – one deck is used for 2 to 5 players and the other deck is added for 6 to 10 players.  Each card shows a cartoon cow and has a number on between 0 to 16, plus each has a number of flies on it from 0 to 5.  Flies are bad and the players want to avoid collecting them.

Each player starts with 5 cards.  On their turn, a player plays a card to the centre of the table so that a single row of cards builds up and these will be in numerical order.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Alea Iacta Est

Posted by James (admin) on 8th January 2010

Alea Iacta Est is a dice rolling and allocation game.  For any gamer who rejects games where dice are central, please read on as you may miss a really enjoyable game.

The game consists of several rounds where players are trying to score as many points as possible.  Players start each round with 8 dice of their colour and provinces.  Players take turns rolling their remaining dice and allocating some (or all) of them to one of the areas on the table for which they may get a reward at the end of the round depending upon what other players place in the areas too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Top 10 Games: Very Portable 2-player

Posted by James (admin) on 16th December 2009

Taking lots of games away whether on holiday or business trips  can often be a problem due the size and weight of games; yet, many small games don’t deliver enough punch to warrant being carried.  Over the years I have assembled a bag of excellent 2-player games which has been updated as new games have appeared.  I usually have 5  or 6 of the following games fitted neatly into a single cloth bag.

Note that these portable (easy to transport) games aren’t to be confused with travel games (easy to play on-the-move/whilst travelling.  (Check out my Top Games for a Family Christmas too.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Top Games | 4 Comments »

Review: Vasco Da Gama

Posted by James (admin) on 15th December 2009

In Vasco Da Gama, players are each preparing ships and setting sail for the New World to earn victory points.  In essence, Vasco Da Gama is a worker placement game played over 5 rounds.  Each round players place their 4 (sometimes 5) action disks on one of the 4 areas so they can perform the relevant actions, and then they resolve these actions.  However, the system that determines the order in which the actions actually occur is very clever and is the central and unique feature of Vasco Da Gama.

I recommend reading the rules for the full details but I’ll give an outline of the game.  There are 4 main actions to take: Recruiting crew and captains, Attaining projects, Setting sail, and using the special characters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 09, Vasco Da Gama | 4 Comments »

Review: Bunny Bunny Moose Moose

Posted by James (admin) on 13th December 2009

In Bunny Bunny Moose Moose, players use their hands to make deer antler or bunny ear shapes to score points.  Each turn, one player takes the role of the hunter who reads out a poem and reveals a card at the end of each line.  Only 6 cards are in play at any one time, so the 7th card replaces the 1st card, and so on.  All the other players sit in a row facing the hunter so they can see the cards.  On the table there is a score track and each player has a moose and bunny piece.

The cards show either a moose or a bunny: a moose card can show a mixture of antlers up or down, wide or narrow, and on the left or right or both; a bunny card can show ears straight or floppy, at the side or on top of their heads, and on the left or right or both.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Krysis

Posted by James (admin) on 11th December 2009

The setting for Krysis is a mix of sci-fi, post-apocalypse and fantasy where players play companies attempting to collect gems and relics from a mine.  Players use cards representing their agents who are either fighters or transporters for not only do you need to collect items but you need to protect them (or steal them) too.

The board shows a mine with 6 levels.  Players start on level 1 and each turn they enter the next level down, so the game lasts for 5 rounds.  Each player has a screen – items placed in front are in their campsite, and items placed behind it are safely at their company’s base.  Each player has two decks of agent cards – fighters and transporters.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 09, Krysis | 1 Comment »