Saturdaaaaaay! It’s the best day of the week (in my opinion). What cannot be accomplished with a day like today? Well, I know what can, going to do some gaming. I put together some Guild Ball minis for my friend last night. Today I’ll go hang out and play some board games up at the library. But before I can head out there, I need to get you your reviews I know you so desperately desire.
Today we’ve got: I Am the Fourth Wall, Gravity Warfare, Gruff: Stuff of Nightmares, The Faceless, Lanterns: The Harvest Festival iOS, Vengeance, Clans of Caledonia, Harvest, Flamme Rouge: Peloton, Sakura, Fairy Tile, Pocket Mars, Lords of Hellas, Fog of Love, and Sarissa Precision 28mm Japan MDF Terrain.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at I Am The Fourth Wall by Slinky Gibbons Games. This card game follows a traditional Lovecraft theme and feel but offers a great player experience with technically 4 ways to play the game (I see them as grouped into 2 game play modes). 1: you can play co-op/solo – where all the investigators are working together to close all the gates and defeat an AI controlled “Wall” 2: 1 vs. all or Wall player vs all the other investigators (regardless if its one other person or many). Both game modes offer a rich intense experience of game play. Play is quick and enjoyable. I really do like this title and highly suggest it if you are a fan of the Lovecraft theme.
Board Game Quest:
Gameplay in Lanterns: The Harvest Festival is very easy to pick up. Each turn will have you placing lantern tiles into the lake, earning matching color lanterns for you and your opponents (depending on which color is facing you). You can use these lanterns on future turns to trade them in for victory points (in sets). There are a few other wrinkles, like gaining extra lanterns for matching colors or getting honor tokens from platform tiles. But that’s the main crux of the game. Place tiles, collect lanterns, trade for points.
There is a lot to cover with Vengeance so we’re going to do a high-level overview, but the actual rules are here if readers want them: Vengeance rules.
It’s important to note that Vengeance is made up of Acts much like a revenge movie. The Wronging occurs first, followed by Acts 1-3 which consist of Montages and Combat Rounds until the End for final scoring.
At the beginning of the game, each player drafts a clan, each with their own particular special power. These include being able to sell milk, aged whiskey in barrels to sell for more money, expand over sea spaces, and so on.
During a game round, each player performs their choice of an action, in player order, until all players pass.
In Harvest, players are trying to plant, tend, and harvest vegetables from their fantasy inspired gardens. There are nine different characters to play all with a different ability and starting resources. Each round you get to place two farmers on the town board or the action cards which change each round.
Throughout the game, you will acquire seeds, water, fertilizer, and magical elixirs. You can plant your seeds with fertilizer to turn them into crops. Once in your field, you can tend to your crops with water to grow additional crops of the same type. Each field can only contain one type of crop, so you will have to harvest your crops at some point to clear the way to repeat the process.
Let’s assume you’re familiar with Flamme Rouge, and you’re here to see if the expansion is worth adding to the mix. If not, I’d start here with my review of the base game.
Peloton adds a slew of new tracks, riders, and variant rules, but as there are no significant gameplay changes I’m going to forgo the usual rules rundown and jump right in.
Sakura is a simultaneous action selection/hand management game for two to six players. Players are painters who want to be close to the emperor when he smells the cherry blossoms but not so close as to cause their own disgrace. The player with the most points after the emperor stops three times is the winner.
In Fairy Tile, players act out the scenes of a tale upon the tabletop by moving its characters to various locations around the realm – and forging the kingdom’s borders along the way.
The story begins with three land tiles. These are double-sided and consist of three hexes randomly representing plains, forests and mountains with rivers running through some and a castle dotting the landscape every now and then. These start tiles designate where to place the princess, prince and dragon, respectively. Players are then evenly dealt a hand from a deck of thirty-six pages (cards). These are stacked and everyone draws their first page. Cards have very lovely artwork, a task, a number and flavor text.
The objective of the game is to complete all of your pages of the story by individually meeting the required tasks on each card. These adventures generally stipulate maneuvering one or more characters to a specific location. Or sometimes you only need position an actor so that he or she sees (as in a straight line of hexes) some designated feature. In the case of the dragon or princess, simply flying over a castle or visiting one might be enough to move the plot along.
“Mars is there, waiting to be reached.” – Buzz Aldrin
Mars. The Red Planet. The Roman God of War has hung in the night sky capturing the imagination of man, and drawing the creative mind to it like gravity since it was first gazed upon. In the last few years, the fiction was left behind as science began to catch up, and we now know more about this baron and hostile planet than ever before. Yet, the more we know, it seems the more our imagination runs rampant and so the notion of the colonisation of Mars seeps into our consciousness, filling our screens, bookshelves and of course, our board games. It is in this vein that we explore Pocket Mars.
Lords of Hellas is, thankfully, more than just “Dudes on a Map”; one of the major concerns that existed during the campaign. If you’ve played Kemet or Game of Thrones, this will seem familiar, but in my not-so-humble opinion it’s better than both. Different to both too, but superior. Game of Thrones has more politics and Kemet has a base of operations. Neither are present in Lords of Hellas. Despite the heft of the minis (and the Statues are very hefty), the game mechanics are thankfully very light and turns rattle on quite quickly, so there’s little downtime.
Drive Thru Review:
Fog of Love Review Intro (00:00); general overview (02:12); final thoughts and review (06:37)
Lords of Hellas Review Intro (00:00); general overview (01:02); final thoughts and review (11:48)
Meeples & Miniatures:
Sarissa Precision Ltd are a company that produce high quality MDF terrain in various scales at a mid-range price. This review is looking at their Japan range of buildings, which are useful for playing games in the Sengoku period – especially rules such as Test of Honour
I have a number of Sarrissa’s buildings in my collection – they actually make up the majority of my scenery that I use for Test of Honour and other games.