Review: The Palaces of Carrara

Posted by James (admin) on 13th June 2013

The Palaces of Carrara - GameThe Palaces of Carrara first caught my attention because it’s a Eurogame by veterans Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Tikal, Tikal II, Asara).  Also, the Palaces of Carrara has been nominated for the 2013 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel.

Players buy coloured marble which they use to build buildings in the 6 cities.  The player with the most victory points (VPs) at the end of the game is the winner.  This may sound very ordinary, but there are several clever game mechanics that combine really well and deliver a tight and tense game.

On their turn, a player can either buy marble, build a building, or score.

Buying Marble
On the board is a rotating disc (split into 6 segments).  Around the disc are 6 sets of prices for the different marble colours – white is most expensive, then yellow, then red, and so on.  When buying marble, the player turns the wheel one section clockwise and draws marble blocks from the bag to bring the total on the wheel up to 11 (placing new blocks in the most expensive segment).  The player can then buy any number of marble blocks but only from one single segment of the wheel.  The costs are marked next to each segment and these get cheaper (even free) as blocks progress around the wheel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Artus

Posted by James (admin) on 12th September 2012

Artus is a game about King Arthur and the round table designed by Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer (the creators of great games such as Tikal, Tikal II and Asara).  The board shows the round table with seats around the outside occupied by players’ knights, the princes and the king.  The table shows points values ranging from -15 to +10 for each seat position.  The crown on the table always points at the King, so when the King moves, the table turns which means the points for each chair change.

Each player has 22 cards (all will be played during the game) which are split into 3 decks and each player has the same: Knight cards move your own knights, King cards move the King/Princes, and scoring cards.  Players start with 3 Knight and 3 King cards, but after their first turn, they can draw cards from any of their decks.

On their turn, players play any 2 of their 6 cards.  Knight cards let the player move one of their knights a number of spaces within its range so a 3-6 Knight card lets you move one knight 3, 4, 5 or 6 spaces.  Knights move clockwise apart from one card that lets you move one anti-clockwise.  When a knight moves, the player scores points equal to the value of the chair (indicated by the table) that they vacate.  If a knight moves to a chair already occupied by a knight then that knight gets displaced to the first empty chair anti-clockwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reviews of New Releases – 7 March 2011

Posted by James (admin) on 4th March 2011

Below are links to reviews of games that will be released in shops next week (in the UK):

Tikal II 

Tikal II
Reviewed: 29 Nov 2010


Dakota cover
Reviewed: 14 Nov 2010

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Review: Tikal II

Posted by James (admin) on 29th November 2010

The original Tikal is a classic game of archaeological discover where players spend action points to send their explorers into the jungle to excavate temples and collect treasure.  Tikal II has a similar premise but this time the players explore a single temple revealing its rooms and grab treasures using coloured keys and secret passages.

Each turn, a player moves their boat around the temple and picks up one of the remaining action tiles.  The action tiles dictate what a player does that turn – adding a new room to the temple, gaining a coloured key, gaining treasure (to sell later), taking a card (special abilities or end of game points), secret passages (to use later), and so on.  Each time a player’s boat starts a new lap of the temple, they must discard a key (or lose points).  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, Tikal II | 3 Comments »

Another Spiel Over

Posted by James (admin) on 26th October 2010

Spiel seemed different this year compared to previous years – not good or bad different – just different.  We went for 3 days of the show as usual, stayed in the same hotel as usual, ate steak in our favourite restaurant multiple times as usual.  However, when asked what was my favourite game so far, I wasn’t able to point at one specific game which outranked the others; instead, there were lots that were very good indeed but too close to pick a single leader.

However, Spiel was the usual gaming marathon and didn’t disappoint as there were many superb games.  Whilst I can’t pick my favourite game of the show, I think think the following (in no particular order) were great.

  • Merchants & Marauders
  • Black Friday
  • Isla Dorada
  • Mille Graize
  • Mord im Arosa
  • Era of Inventions
  • Tikal II
  • Dakota
  • 7 Wonders

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10 | 2 Comments »

On The Radar: Tikal II

Posted by James (admin) on 28th September 2010

The original Tikal is a classic game of archaeological discover where players send their explorers into the jungle to find tombs and collect treasure.  Each player had an amount of action points each round that they could spend on a variety of activities, and the board consisted of hex tiles that would be revealed and placed by the players.

The news that Tikal II was being released was quite unusual as there are few direct board games sequels and Tikal is some years old (winning the Spiel des Jahres in 1999).  The images of Tikal II that were released looked very nice indeed.  Cool looking little flags and this time the action is set in a single temple.  Until now, the gameplay was a mystery but the rules have just been released.

In Tikal II, players reveal the insides of a temple by placing rooms (hex tiles).  Each room has a few doors on some of its sides (all of the same colour) and a player can move their explorer through these doors if they have the matching colour key.  Read the rest of this entry »

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