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Review Roundup

Saturdaaaaaaaaaay! Woo! All the woo! Continuous woo!
And, as I'm sure many of you are well-aware, it's the last Saturday before Gen Con. So get in all the prep you can now before heading out for the show this week.
Me? I'm playing some D&D. But I've planned ahead and scheduled these reviews for you that I know you so desperately desire.

Today we have: The Edge: Downfall, Rise of Tribes: Deluxe Edition, Expancity, War of the Cross, Moonshiners of the Apocalypse, But Wait There's Even More, Valhal, Dino Party, Scythe: The Rise of Fenris, TopSpin, Rival Realms, Carthago, Ninja Taisen, Battlegroup Torch, The Edge: Downfall, Everdell, Sunset Over Water, Dale of Merchants, and Pulsar 2849.

theMCGuiRE review:

The Edge: Downfall Review Part 1

theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the brand new The Edge: Dawnfall board game and this thing is MASSIVE! It offers 3 modes of play: a competitive miniatures game, a fully cooperative multi-player campaign game and a solo campaign experience. Each game mode is an awesome and well executed experience and yet again adds to Awaken Realms stock of excellent games!

Rise of Tribes: Deluxe Edition Review

theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the brand new Rise Of Tribes from Breaking Games and Team this is a winner in my book! It's a solid buy recommendation. You are getting a great worker placement and area control game here and it drips with theme. the game is simple, clean and offers a lot of different ways to be the first tribe to 15 points - winning the game. As you start the game you truly feel like a small tribe growing in power round to round. The dice mechanic offers a good way to create some choice on which actions you decide to take, although they do not dictate with actions you take - I like this. It give the player the choice to still take the actions they want even if the dice do not provide a bonus. So check this one out when it releases in Aug and get in on the giveaway, as its an EPIC LEVEL one.

Expancity Review

theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Breaking Games brand new Expancity. Here you will be building a downtown landscape with both commercial and residential buildings. Then scoring points once you cap them off with a roof - but be careful not to violate the building codes, as city council will be watching! So get your contracts and start designing your very own downtown!

Undead Viking:

War of the Cross Review

Moonshiners of the Apocalypse Review

But Wait There's Even More Review

Board Game Quest:

Valhal Review

A game of Valhal proceeds round by round through three stages, where each stage represents a season of the year. With winter and spring, players are planning their voyages and constructing buildings to help them train warriors faster and build new ships. During the summer, in addition to normal activities, the Vikingfahrt occurs and players roll dice to see what spoils and glory their adventures have yielded.

Dino Party Review

If I had to choose the favorite game type my kids prefer, then it would be dexterity games. From Terror in Meeple City, Ice Cool, Riff Raff, or PitchCar to name a few, they love playing these games that challenge their reflexes and coordination. What keeps my kids coming back to dexterity games is that they have more success than other game types. And the victory is so much sweeter when it’s over mom and dad.

This brings us to today’s review, Dino Party from Ankama. In this game, players throw dino meeples onto the board to make pairs and increase their number of dinos to their hand. Dino Party is a family friendly dexterity game that plays best with 4 and plays in about 20 minutes.

Scythe: The Rise of Fenris Expansion Review

Here is a quick recap of my Scythe history:

Kickstarted Scythe Collector’s Edition. It arrived and I loved it.
Picked up Scythe: Invaders from Afar. It added two new factions to the game and two new player mats. While not revolutionary, I liked the variability this expansion added.
Reviewed Scythe: The Wind Gambit. I also liked this expansion, especially the new Resolution Tiles.

Ok, now that my Scythe history is out of the way, let’s get to why you are here – to learn more about Scythe: The Rise of Fenris (simply Fenris going forward).

I was stoked (I loved Point Break!) to be given the opportunity to review Rise of Fenris. I was looking forward to experiencing the re-settable and replayable campaign that is the meat of Fenris. At the same time, I was saddened because explicitly stated on the box was “the conclusion of the Scythe expansion trilogy.” I truly love the Scythe universe, from the art to—most importantly—the gameplay. Is Rise of Fenris the swan song Scythe deserves or will it go out with a whimper?

TopSpin Review

Dexterity board games come in all shapes and sizes. Some will have you tossing plastic coconuts across the table (Coconuts), while others might have you balancing wooden pieces on a swaying ship (Riff Raff). And that’s the great thing about the genre, you can be as creative as you want to be with the components.

Today we are going to be looking at TopSpin, a newcomer to the genre that, unsurprisingly, uses a spinning top as the core mechanic. The rules are fairly simple, but winning can be anything but. Let’s take this game for a spin and see if it’s worth bringing to you tabletop.


Rival Realms Review

Imagine a world where a little boo-boo happened with a card trick and two magicians find themselves standing in the empty land of Fantastiqa before it was formed. First thought: That was one heck of a card trick. Second thought: And one heck of a boo-boo. Anyway, the world is now a blank canvas for them to shape however they want.

Fantastiqa: Rival Realms (known hereafter as FRR) has you placing cards in order to create your magical realm, and then exploring that realm by moving your standee over the “board” you have created. In order to build and move, you’ll have to carefully manage your card resources, gather artifacts, and recruit mythical beasts to assist you. The player who creates the “best” realm (scores the most points) is the winner.

Carthago Review

Carthago is a hand management card game for two to four players. Players are merchant families in Carthage trying to gain the most wealth and prestige by improving their standing in the merchant guild. The player with the most points wins.

Ninja Taisen Review

Ninja Taisen is a two-player game in which you control one village’s ninja clan. To win, you must reach your opponent’s village or eliminate all of their ninjas.

There are 11 tiles placed between players: two village tiles are at opposite ends of the nine path tiles. Players begin in their left-side home village and advance to their opponent’s right-side village.

Each player gets an identical set of 10 ninja cards with one designated as the shogun. The shogun is placed on their home village, then the ninjas are shuffled and placed randomly on predetermined tiles.

Meeples & Miniatures:

Battlegroup Torch Review

Battlegroup Torch is the latest supplement to the Battlegroup World War II rules, written by Warwick Kinrade and published by Iron Fist Publishing and the Plastic Soldier Company.

This book is hardcover with 230 full colour pages, and is of similar format to previous books.

Torch is a direct sequel to Battlegroup Tobruk, and covers the second half of the desert war, starting with the Battle of Gazala and finishing with the final defeat of the Axis forces following the fall of Tunis.

Following the introduction, the next 50 pages of the book provides an overview of 1942 and 1943. Interspersed with black-and-white period photos is a description of all the major operations and battles which took place across Egypt, Libya and Tunisa.

Drive Thru Review

The Edge: Downfall Review

The Edge: Dawnfall Review Intro (00:00); gameplay overview (02:28); final thoughts and review (19:24);

Everdell Review

Everdell Review Intro (00:00); gameplay overview (01:31); final thoughts and review (14:26)

Polyhedron Collider:

Sunset Over Water Review

Those of us who lack the always enviable skill of artistry, especially that skill of painting can rejoice, finally, that there is now an alternative to colour-by-numbers and those adult colouring books (which failed my expectation on the adult front) with Sunset Over Water, a lightweight, quick game of painting landscape masterpieces and selling them off.

Warning: This review was written with a thesaurus close at hand, primarily used for synonyms of charming and delightful, because, well, Sunset Over Water is both charming and delightful. Indeed, you will be enchanted by the simplicity of the rules, and you’ll find the artwork presented on the landscape cards to be quite enchanting, but there is more to this game than meets the eye, in fact, you’ll have a very jolly, if not somewhat twee and bohemian time playing this little gem.

Meeple Mountain:

Dale of Merchants Review

Players are competing to become members of the Extraordinary Guild of Traders by being the first to arrange their stall according to the Guild’s specifications. This makes Dale of Merchants a race: the first player to set out 8 stacks of goods (cards) in front of them wins. Each stack must be built of cards from your hand worth an increasing amount and from the same animal set. The first stack must be worth 1, the second 2 and so on until the final stack needs to be made up of cards worth a whopping 8.

Once you’ve used a card to build a stack you can’t reuse it, meaning that the entire game revolves around deciding when to hang on to your cards for their effects and spending power, and when to sacrifice them to create the stacks you need to win. It’s as much deck-dismantling as it is deck-building.

Pulsar 2849 Review

The game of Pulsar 2849 is a dice drafting game where players use their dice to explore the galaxy, establish and activate pulsars, and harness new technologies in an effort to score the most points by the game’s end. The game is broken into several rounds consisting of the dice drafting phase, followed by the actions phase where the players utilize their dice, and then the cleanup phase where end of round points are scored. At the end of the game, a final scoring is performed and the person who is highest on the victory track is the victor.