It’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Man… my grocery list was 2x as long as usual. I got 2 turkeys, some sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, dressing, carrots, and ingredients to make 2 pumpkin pies. … I, uh… kinda take Thanksgiving seriously. My fridge is rather full. But before we get there, we’ve gotta get you those reviews I know you so desperately desire.
This week we have: Hotshots, Alien Artifacts, America, Noxford, Twilight Imperium, Rhein: River Trade, Queendomino, Exit the Game Wave 2, Folklore: The Affliction, and The Expanse.
Board Game Quest:
The game board is made up of 18 randomly placed tiles, each of which has a specific scorch limit that players must be aware of. To combat the fires, each player will control a firefighter with a special ability.
Alien Artifacts is card driven 4x game (eXplore, eXploit, eXpand and eXterminate). Players manage their hand of resource cards to build a vast fleet of ships, develop fantastic new technologies, and discover far away worlds (well, they are on the table in front of you, so they aren’t THAT far away, but I am trying to stick to the space theme).
After plopping all the components out of the box and laying out the board, setup is pretty much complete. Players will take turns guessing answers to the current topic shown on a variety of subject cards which sit in a box hiding the answers at the bottom of the cards. Guessing tokens record the players answers.
If players guess the exact right answer out of State, Year, and Number types of answers, they earn 7 points. Any answers adjacent to the correct answer get 3 points. Players can also gain points from guessing that no player has a correct answer. Turn order rotates so everyone will have a chance to guess early.
So there are no thematic stakes at play in Noxford. Rather, in this simple design you head a seedy crime syndicate looking to muscle in on turf throughout the ever evolving city of Noxford. And muscle others out. All with steampunk card art. If you can outmaneuver your opposing bosses by deploying henchmen around key districts, the town will soon be eating from your hand!
Twilight Imperium is an epic 4x strategy game (well, technically 3x but let’s not quibble over details) wherein players compete to expand their galactic empire, conquer planets, exert their influence, and ultimately prove the worth of their people to rule the galaxy from the throne on Mecatol Rex.
Players take on the role of the head of a freight company that moves goods to cities along the Rhine. You’ll take orders that designate which city to deliver the containers and how long you have to do it. You, along with the other players, will charter planes, trains and ships along with your own personal fleet of trucks to deliver these goods and collect money on the contracts. Whoever can earn the most capital by the game’s end is the winner.
To begin each round, players take turns selecting an order card from the market row. Each card is a contract that dictates where you promise to deliver goods and how long you have to do so. When taking a card, you’ll put a number of time markers on it as indicated by the card you choose.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Queendomino by Blue Orange Games.
In this video you can find out my spoiler free thoughts on Exit the game Wave 2 by Kosmos. (Wave 2 is The Forbidden Castle, The Forgotten Island and the Polar Station)
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Folklore the Affliction a newish game from Greenbrier Games and its on its second printing in kickstarter right now! so check out the link below to get in on that. Man, I go on for a while on this one – over an hour actually! this really is a great game and a fantastic implementation of your classic RPG but in a board game style and approach. It has a ton of content and expansions already available. Please look into this one and consider your options as I am not sure we will see this one in retail and you may only be able to get it through kickstarter and Con’s. Excellent game!
Nerds on Earth:
For those who don’t know, the story of The Expanse is set in our solar system some two hundred years in the future. Four political entities struggle for control, and comprise the playable factions:
the United Nations of Earth,
the technologically advanced Martian Congressional Republic,
the oppressed asteroid belt miners of the Outer Planets Alliance,
and the mysterious ProtoGen Corporation.
It’s an interplanetary cold war that threatens to become hot at any moment, which is why it’s not surprising that the game is very much reminiscent of GMT’s classic Twilight Struggle (a fantastic game about U.S.-Soviet conflict from 1945-1989). Just like that game, the emphasis in The Expanse is on subterfuge and intrigue rather than open conflict, and high player bluff skills are definitely rewarded.