TGN Saturday Edition: Review Round-Up
It’s another Saturday and so that means it’s time for another Review Round-Up.
We’ve got reviews for Ares Games’ The Battle of Five Armies, Red7 from Asmadi Games, Psycho Therapist, Gothic Invasion, and Mafia Casino.
Along with those, there are a couple “favorites of 2014” and a Top 10 or two to check out.
Play Board Games:
The Battle of Five Armies simulates the huge fight at the end of the Hobbit. Will the shadow or free peoples win this epic struggle?
Another year, a bunch of new board games I got to try. The following is the list of best board games I played for the first time this past year.
Just because a game is new and shiny and fresh it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than what has come before, something I think we forget in this age of the cult of the new. It’s because of this, and influenced by the great Fire Broadside blog, that I like to look back at the games I’ve played the most over the previous year, we’ve already been through what I consider the best games of 2014 but where those the games I actually played the most during the year?
Board Game Quest:
Sometimes a game doesn’t have to have the deepest (or any) theme to be enjoyable. While I don’t naturally gravitate towards these abstract games, every now and then I get sucked in by one that promises to be clever or unique. Recently, I’ve been hearing raves about Red7, a new card game published by Asmadi Games. Red7 seemed to be a fairly straight forward game, but what really got my attention was that it was designed by Carl Chudyk (Glory to Rome, Impulse), whose games I really enjoy. It’s probably because he’s a fan of “cards with multiple uses” like it am. So lets dive in and see what makes Red7 unique and if Carl has another hit on his hands.
Red7 is a quick playing hand management and set collection game for 2-4 players. Red7 takes about 5-10 minutes to play and plays best with 3-4 players.
So, you’ve been sucked in. You’ve checked out our list of the Top Ten Gateway Games and you’ve played most of them with your friends. But now it is time to head out for deeper waters. You want something with a little more strategy and a bit more depth. Rulebooks over two pages no longer scare you. So, what games are the best “Next Step” games?
We’ve put together the Top Ten Next Step Games. Most of these games would be considered medium-weight. There is still quite a variance in depth here, but the premise is that we would never start a person completely new to the hobby with one of these titles. However, a novice gamer might enjoy the added depth, complexity, or theme that these games provide. We’ve tried to limit the list to in-print or otherwise easy to acquire games. No use telling you how great a game is if you can’t get your hand on it! With that in mind, let’s get to it.
Board To Death:
A humorous party game for 3-8 players. Players take on the role of a Psycho!Therapist and attempt to treat people with problems ranging from weird to WTF?!
Gothic Invasion is a card-driven wargame depicting the Gothic Wars from 377 to 382 A.D. Each player takes the roles of the Goth leaders (Fritigern, Alatheus and Saphrax) and the Roman leaders (Valens, Theodosius I, Gratian and Flavius Richomeres). The Goth player’s objective is to plunder nine cities of the East Roman empire between 377-382 A.D., while the Roman player must defend the imperial cities and slow them down as best as he can until the spring of 382 A.D.
In the card game Mafia Casino, you want to be the first player to raise $30 million, whether through legal means (such as building hotels or casino resorts to attract clients who deal in pearls and diamonds) or means that fall on the shady side of legal (such as extorting someone or planting bombs in the hotels owned by opponents). The game lasts a number of rounds, and in each round players have a choice between building, gambling, conducting “business”, or completing a mission.