TGN Saturday Edition: Review Roundup

By Polar_Bear
In Board Games
May 16th, 2015

Hello again TGN Readers and welcome once more to Saturday. With any luck, you’re gaming. I know I am. We’ve got one of our guys in my D&D game moving to Ohio this summer, so we’re trying to get in as many sessions as we can before he goes.

As per usual, we’ve collected together various review articles we’ve found during the week and present them to you here now.

In this week’s articles, we’ve got reviews/previews of: Roll for the Galaxy, Gruff, Alchemists, Chaosmos, Elysium, Arboretum, Battle Sheep, Ystari, Spike, Patchwork, XenoShyft, Salvation Road, Tide of Iron: Next Wave, Stones of Fate, and Dungeon Crawler Fantasy RPG Miniatures Sets 1 to 3.

Shut Up & Sit Down:

Roll for the Galaxy Review

Roll for the Galaxy

I think I can trace my excitement for custom dice right back to my earliest gaming experiences. Dice were supposed to be uniform, six-sided things that counted from one to six. The moment I saw that you could put other things on dice, my world was turned upside down. Icons? Pictures? Why stick to just six sides? Any shape you roll could be a die! What was to stop me shaving numbers into the dog’s fur and tempting her to roll about the hall floor to decide our gaming fates? Nothing, friends. Nothing.

The first time I heard about Roll for the Galaxy’s 111 multicoloured custom dice I had to be sedated. I don’t actually remember much of the day but Matt says they had to call an ambulance and I recall Quinns, Brendan and Leigh visiting me in a facility specially constructed and arranged to avoid reminding inmates of the platonic solids. Thing is, in that place we still had our black market deals that the staff didn’t know about. Ten pounds to touch a D12. Forfeit an evening meal to roll some X-Wing attack dice.

Polyhedron Collider:

Gruff review

Gruff Card game kickstarter review

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up a hillside to make themselves fat, mean and weird, and the name of the goats was Ol’Darby, Gusto and Gaptooth.

Okay it’s not quite the fairytale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff but the card game Gruff is about three billy goats and using those billy goats to hit your opponent.

Board Game Quest:

Alchemists Review


When I first heard about Alchemists, a deduction game published by Czech Games Edition (CGE), I had a feeling that this game would definitely be in my wheel house. Alchemists is a game where players are trying to deduce the identity of 8 different ingredients while trying to also become the most famous potion maker in the land. One of the most noteworthy things about Alchemists is the use of an integrated smart phone app. Is this integration a gimmick or the real deal? That’s a question that needs to be answered, so let’s find out.

Alchemists is a worker placement and deduction game for 2-4 players that takes about 2 hours to play. Alchemists plays great with any number of players.

Board to Death TV:

Chaosmos Review

The universe is about to collapse, and your final hope lies in an ancient mysterious artifact, the Ovoid. Whoever controls this “cosmic egg” can shape the birthing of the next universe according to their own agenda. Players are secret agents from a handful of surviving worlds, zipping from planet to planet in special “amnion suits” that allow for interstellar travel, space combat and planetary landings.

Elysium Review

Elysium is a game of set collecting and combinations in which players recruit cards representing heroes, items, powers and gods. These cards have many different powers and you can create powerful combination to earn gold (the help of the gods) and victory points (the favor of the gods). Each card belongs to one of the eight Olympians gods (a family), and shows a level (1 to 3).

Dog And Thimble:

Arboretum Review


Arboretum looks like a game you’d play with your grandma. You’ve got these pretty cards featuring a dozen different types of colorful trees, with each set numbered from one to eight. Who can make the prettiest and most score-efficient arboretum? Such a peaceful little game right? Nah. Arboretum is a tense game subtly focused on screwing over your grandma and anyone else who thinks they’re going to score a single point for their intricately planned tree pathways.


Battle Sheep Review

Battle Sheep

In Battle Sheep, your flock of sheep is fighting against other sheep for control of the most pastures in the farmer’s field. Your sheep are not pacifists. You want to own those pastures and keep the other sheep off your turf by surrounding them and preventing them from moving in. Why share when you can have it all?

Roll for the Galaxy Review


Today I would like to talk about my favorite new [Rattle Rattle Rattle] … Ahem, my favorite new game from this year [Rattle Rattle Rattle] … MY FAVORITE GAME FROM 2015 CALLED [RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE] … WOULD YOU JUST ROLL YOUR DICE ALREADY!? [Click Clack Clack]

Ystari Review


Step into the comic book world of Blake and Mortimer and be drawn into the mysteries of–

Wait, you’ve never heard of Blake and Mortimer? Really? Well, neither had I. Turns out it’s a Belgian comic featuring two detectives, the impulsive Mortimer and the straight-laced Blake, who consistently find themselves drawn into mysteries or trying to solve criminal cases.

Fortunately, you don’t need any backstory to play the game. You don’t need to role-play, and the mysteries aren’t continuous or set in any consistent world. All you need to know is: mysteries. Get ready to solve some.

Spike Review


You know I’d have a Johnny Cash line for this review’s title. Used to, songs about trains held a certain prominence in American culture. Lyrics often celebrated and lionized the mighty iron steeds so critical in building and sustaining this continent-stretching nation. And not just in poetic refrains. The music often imitated the mournful moans of a steam whistle or the beats the rhythmic chugging of hanger and piston. From the ballad of Casey Jones, to the old country Wabash Cannonball, to the swinging Chattanooga Choo-Choo, to the folksy City of New Orleans, to the soulful Midnight Train to Georgia, and the rocking Last Train to Clarksville, innumerable songs across every genre have recognized the railroad’s central place in the American story. It just so happens there have been a fair number of popular games about it, too.

Play Board Games:

Kahuna Review


Kahuna is an area control board game for two players. You play cards to place bridges (or remove your opponent’s) on islands to gain control of those islands and score VPs.


Patchwork Review

Useful Info:

No. of players: 2
Play Time: 15 mins
Age: 8+

PHD Games:

XenoShyft Review


Have you ever been punched in the nose and thought, “Man, that was awesome. Gimme 2 more!” Xenoshyft Onslaught is going to kick you in the teeth, steal your lunch money, stuff your limp body into a locker, look amazing while doing it and you are going to love every painful second of it. Thanks Cool Mini of Not.

PHD has a play through review of Xenoshyft which is a hybrid blend of a cooperative, deck builder, tower defense game that challenges even the veteran gamer.

Club Fantasci:

Salvation Road Review


Salvation Road is the 5th game to be launched by Van Ryder Games. It is also the 3rd game (I believe) from the design duo of Peter Gousis and Michael D. Kelley. Van Ryder Games is located out the Nashville, TN area and is known for its solid solo games. Salvation Road plays very quickly in about 60 minutes and is very easy to learn and play almost immediately. Please note, I was provided a prototype of the game so the rule book, artwork and components may be much different that what I was provided.

Tide of Iron: Next Wave Review


If you’re a fan of small unit tactical WWII combat then you are likely familiar with a game that has been well known for years in the genre, Tide of Iron. If you’re not familiar with it or regret never picking up the now out of print game, you’re in luck because 1A Games has picked up the license and intends to not only continue the series but to grow it even further.

The Meeple Mechanic:

Stones of Fate Review

My mic was all kinds of messed up so I apologize in advance. It worked fine during the actual hangout, but for the playback over the air for YouTube somehow it was lost in translation. I shall try to do better in the future.

Gruff Review

My mic was all kinds of messed up so I apologize in advance. It worked fine during the actual hangout, but for the playback over the air for YouTube somehow it was lost in translation. I shall try to do better in the future.

Graven Games:

Dungeon Crawler Fantasy RPG Miniatures Sets 1 to 3 Review


More fantasy RPG miniatures! The kind folks over at Dungeon Crawler have obviously heard about our addiction to pre-painted RPG miniatures as they have sent us some of their minis for review. We’ve been collecting pre-painted fantasy miniatures for RPGs such as D&D and Pathfinder for a long time, and have been enjoying the new sets from WizKids. We’re very excited to discover another company producing this kind of miniature and look forward to seeing the minis from Dungeon Crawler’s first 3 sets up close.

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