Ticket to Ride
Since we're not supposed to go out, many of us have been at home playing a lot of board games. But what if you're getting to the end f your collection and looking for something new? Well, Days of Wonder is here to help with their print-and-play expansion for Ticket to Ride, available over on their website.
From the article:
ike millions of players around the world, Days of Wonder’s team is stuck at home during the lockdown trying to find a way to stay entertained and avoid eating six meals per day. That is why, in regard to this unexpected situation, we have worked on this very special project to allow you to have fun and evade reality without leaving your home! Today, we are pleased to announce the online release of Ticket to Ride: Stay at Home, a new, quick and free print and play version of the well-known board game Ticket to Ride.
Can't really go traveling around right now. But even if I could, I doubt I'd be able to make it out to someplace like Amsterdam, as much as I'd like to someday go. Well, I can still live vicariously through games. And soon, I'll be able to visit that historic city in Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam, a new stand-alone set coming from Days of Wonder.
From the announcement:
Welcome to the 17th Century. You are in the middle of the Gouden Eeuw , the Dutch Golden Age. Amsterdam is the beating heart of global trade and the wealthiest city on Earth. Goods from around the world are piling up on the docks, in ship holds, in warehouses, and on the banks of its countless canals.
Find out about Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam, a new, quick version and small version of the classic game.
This is an elegantly simple version of Ticket to Ride where players race one another, this time in cart, to claim the most lucrative commercial routes, fulfill rewarding trade contracts, and collect precious merchandise from the bustling streets of this legendary city. Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam is fast-paced, easy to learn in three minutes, and extremely portable—perfect for new players and veterans alike.
Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam is a stand-alone game designed for 2 to 4 players and plays in 10 to 15 minutes. It includes 1 board map, 64 plastic Carts, 44 Transportation cards, 24 Contract cards, 16 Merchandise Bonus cards, 4 Scoring Markers and 1 rule leaflet.
Ticket to Ride: Amsterdam is expected to be available in July in Europe and in September in North America at a suggested retail price of $20/20€.
Testing is a major component of any product's development. That goes for everything, including the games we know and love. And it's why Days of Wonder is looking for some help in testing out their digital versions of Ticket to Ride. You can sign up now to help out. Make this game the best it can possibly be!
From the website:
We are running a beta to improve the digital version of Ticket to Ride and fix some issues. Do not hesitate to join the beta to join us on this trip. We will release this update to the live servers as soon as possible!
To join, it is easy as A, B, C! Go to https://account.asmodee.net/en/betatests
Patch 2.6.8. aims to:
- Mac: Correct the text issue under Catalina.
- Back to the old sound for the cards.
- Fix for the launch crash when offline or airplane mode.
- Stability improvement on Android.
Technology is becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives. I mean, I work online for heaven's sake. The digital is coming more into the world of the real in board games with Days of Wonder's announcement of Alexa skills for Ticket to Ride. Now, you can simply have your Amazon assistant run you through a game. No more rulebook required.
From the announcement:
Amazon and Days of Wonder are changing how players experience board games by introducing the first official Alexa skills for Ticket to Rideand Ticket to Ride Europe for free to welcome new players aboard the award-winning games by Alan R. Moon and act as conductors for even the most experienced rail-riders.
These skills replace the rule books by taking players on a guided experience of the games and offer the option to use it as an additional player. We are excited to announce that both official skills are available now in English and French languages in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
She's got a ticket to ride... and he's got a ticket to ride... and they've got a ticket to ride. And they all care. I don't blame them, Ticket to Ride is a great game, and soon, a new pair of maps will be available as Days of Wonder has announced Ticket to Ride: Japan. Of course, since the board has two sides, it's not just Japan that gets featured, but also Italy. The Japanese map introduces bullet train routes, while Italy includes ferry routes. Have a look.
From the post:
Zoom across Japan in a bullet train admiring Mount Fuji through the mist or take the Tokyo subway to your final destination. Or if you prefer early 20th century steam engine trains, ride through the italian countryside, enjoy the alpenglow on majestic peaks and sunsets behind cypress hedges in glorious Tuscan landscapes.
Find out Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 7 – Japan and Italy a new expansion in our well-known Ticket to Ride series.
As the Japan board offers some cooperative gameplay, players face a new dilemma. Some of the Routes are reserved for the Bullet Train network, so once one of those routes is claimed, it can be used by all players to complete Destination Tickets. On the other hand, the players who contribute most to this shared project will also be rewarded with a larger bonus. Italy, the second map featured in this expansion, is focused on the Regions in this country and on a brand new type of Ferry Route. Connect cities from all Regions in the same network to score extra points.
*snifflesniffle* They always grow up so fast! *sniffle*
Days of Wonder is celebrating 15 years of Ticket to Ride with a new special Anniversary Edition. It's got special clear plastic trains and a retrospective booklet about the history of the game. For you collectors out there, this is one to check out.
From the announcement:
Today, Days of Wonder announced the release of a new edition of their award-winning game, Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary Special Edition. First introduced in 2004, Ticket to Ride has delighted board game fans worldwide, selling over 8 million copies during the past decade.
Celebrating the game's success, Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary Special Edition lets players travel the classic US board with new exclusive sets of clear plastic trains and a 4-page retrospective booklet featuring the history and creation of the game. A special sleeve designed to celebrate the occasion covers the game’s box.
"Huge thanks to everyone who has played and enjoyed Ticket to Ride over the last 15 years. I can't wait for you to see what's coming next!" says Alan R. Moon, Ticket to Ride ’s designer.
Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary Special Edition is a stand-alone game. It includes 1 Map board, 240 Clear Plastic Train Cars, 110 Train Car cards, 30 Destination Tickets, 1 Summary Card, 5 Wooden Scoring Markers,1 Rules booklet, and 1 Retrospective booklet. The game is expected to be available August 9th in the United State of America at a suggested retail price of $49.99.
Far-out. Groovy. Let's head on down to the disco, daddio. And other mostly-inaccurate slang terms. Days of Wonder has announced a new Ticket to Ride game. This time, it's London in the 1970s. Instead of trains, players will be looking to create routes of the famous double-decker busses to the most iconic locations around town.
From the announcement:
Today, Days of Wonder announced the release of Ticket to Ride: London, a new, fast-paced version of the well-known board game Ticket to Ride.
Welcome to the ’70s world capital of fashion and music. Jump aboard a famous double-decker bus to rumble through London’s historic streets, breeze past Buckingham Palace, pop into the British Museum or listen to Big Ben’s chime echo across the Thames...
Ticket to Ride: London is an elegantly simple version of Ticket to Ride where players race around 1970s London to claim the most important bus lines and complete their Destination Tickets, connecting Districts in the capital of the United Kingdom. With its quick and compact format, Ticket to Ride: London is fast-paced, easy to learn in three minutes, and extremely portable—perfect for new players and veterans alike.
“Ticket to Ride: London builds on the excitement of Ticket to Ride: New York. It’s slightly bigger but it feels more wide open, and the new Bonus balances the board and the tickets.” says Alan R. Moon, Ticket to Ride designer. “Ticket to Ride New York had taxis, so naturally Ticket to Ride: London has double decker buses. Can you guess what the piece will be in the next city game?”
Ticket to Ride: London is a stand-alone game designed for 2 to 4 players and plays in 10 to 15 minutes. It includes 1 board map, 68 plastic buses, 44 Transportation cards, 20 Destination Ticket cards, 1 rule leaflet, 4 Scoring Markers. Ticket to Ride: London is expected to be available in June in Europe and in July in North America at a suggested retail price of $20/20€. In the U.S., the game will be available exclusively at Walmart stores for a limited time.
It's not just Saturday... It's long-weekend Saturday. Short of full-on "Vacation Saturday," this is the best kind of Saturday. Just time to do aaaaall the things. What, exactly?... I've not relaly figured that out yet. But I'm sure it'll end up being something... or it'll be nothing, and that's just fine, too. But, before I get to maybe doing something or nothing, I need to get you your reviews I know you so desperately desire.
Today we have: Machina Arcana 2nd Edition, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Carthago, Dungeon Draft, Ticket to Ride: First Journey, Agra, Ruthless, Blitz Bowl, Lost Cities: Rivals, Root, Clank! The Mummy's Curse, Thieves Den, and The Edge: Downfall.
Board Game Quest:
The Machina Arcana ~ From Beyond base game mechanics mirror the 1st Edition. There are still four phases that drive the gameplay: Explorer, Spawn, Horror, and Monster Phases (two are retitled from the 1st Edition but still primarily the same actions occur). Instead of going into full detail of the gameplay it would be best to highlight the changes for From Beyond and give the link for those who want a full reference to the official page for draft rules: Machina Arcana ~ From Beyond rules.
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Between Two Castles going forward) is a collaboration between Stonemaier Games and Bezier Games that blends two of their games: Between Two Cities and Castles of Mad King Ludwig.
Between Two Castles is a semi-cooperative tile drafting, castle building game for 3-7 players (with a 2 player variant) that takes about an hour to play.
In Carthago: Merchants and Guilds players will attempt to become the most influential trader in the Phoenician city of Carthage. Players use multi-use cards to perform actions, trade goods, and spend money in the guilds to increase both their trading and prestige.
Two overarching philosophies drive role-playing designs. There are hard hitting, fast paced, stats reliant, dice rolling adventures with lots of action, fights and big results. Or the more narrative driven, cinematic churn in which imaginations and complex scenarios rely on stats only to support the players as they tell the story. While providing completely different tastes, both are enjoyable and have their place. Sometimes you want to steep yourselves in a commonly crafted tale and explore rich character development. Other times you just want to bash heads, bulk up and collect loot.
Enter Upper Deck’s Dungeon Draft. The design from Justin Gary, of Ascension fame, delivers a flash fire burn by streamlining both its theme – dungeon crawl – and its core mechanism – card drafting. The goal? Hire heroes and equip them to the max in order to complete quests and take down baddies…all for XP – aka victory points.
The design wants so badly for you to jump into action that it completely eschews back story and the tavern setting prologue, stalwart mainstays of the role-playing genre. Yet this is a card game, after all, so the omissions are refreshing. The former is often so much pointless fluff that insults a gamer’s intelligence. The latter is just simply trite.
Ticket to Ride: First Journey is a set collection/network building game for two to four players. Players are trying to connect cities on the board with their trains to claim destination tickets. The first player to complete six destination tickets wins.
Agra is a heavy euro in the purest and most literal sense of the word. It’s a sort-of worker placement game and is so big and expansive, it makes Jupiter’s Great Red Spot seem more like a pimple on a teenager’s face. Opening the box for the first time, I was genuinely impressed with the sheer amount of stuff in there; I nearly put my back out when I picked up the box, which, as regular readers will know, is a positive test result for a game. Physical injury is a basic requirement for any decent board game. What you’ll also know being the loyal and faithful subjects that you are, is that I also love heavy euros and buying Agra was only a matter of time. That and it was recommended to me by Paul Grogan and to say our tastes align is like saying that Steve likes a bit of Lovecraft.
Ruthless, from Alley Cat Games is very much like a firework. Not the type of firework that goes off randomly at 11:36pm on a Thursday night in March, waking the dog up, and thus you. No, Ruthless is like a firework in that despite the fact you’ve played many other deck builders, this one will make you go “Ooohhh”, like you do when watching fireworks, despite having seen many fireworks go off before.
Drive Thru Review:
One Board Family:
Clank! The Mummy’s Curse is the second expansion for the base game and it introduces some fun additions that fit the Egyptian theme. In this expansion, players are given access to two different locations to explore. One is a pyramid board that has a unique feel due to the diagonal orientation of the board. On the other side you have the Sphinx which is slightly more difficult but has the same set of rules.
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!
My favorite day of the week, as I can just sit back, relax, and do some gaming.
Nevermind that this week I'm vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning countertops in the den. That's important, too.
So, while I try and figure out just how much dust a single lamp can acquire, let's get you those reviews you so desperately desire.
Today we have: Atlantis: Island of the Gods, Build It with Bryan, Sea of Plunder, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tiny Epic Quest, Way of the Panda, Dogmight Games Sentinel Board Game Box, Anatomy Fluxx, Head of Mousehold, Robinson Crusoe 2nd Edition, Who Should We Eat?, Among the Stars iOS, Thunderstone Quest, Ticket to Ride: New York, Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, Junk Orbit, Nine Worlds, Nimble, For King & Parliament, and Warhammer 40k: Kill Team.
Atlantis: Island of the Gods Review
Build It with Bryan Review
Sea of Plunder Review
Learn to Play:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Components, Setup, players turns, monsters activation, boss effects, and end game conditions. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Tiny Epic Quest
In this video I will teach you how to play Tiny Epic Quest including: Components, setup, the four phases of a round, and scoring. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Way of the Panda Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Way of The Panda - a new board game from Pendragon and CMON. In this title you are fighting off ninjas and empire building! this game offers flavors of worker placement and area control - with a very nice balance of both working together. If you are into those gaming styles and Panda's - you have found your game!
Dogmight Games Sentinel Board Gaming Chest Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Dogmight Games brand new SENTINEL - a board gamer's chest delight! Team, this is an awesome product and I highly recommend it. It's built to last and comes in a variety of options, woods and customization's! You can change the top, bottom, wood, and even have an engraving put on top. Both the quality and functionality is there with this product and every gamer deserves to have one of these!
Board Game Quest:
Anatomy Fluxx Review
Head, Shoulders knees, and toes… Anatomy Fluxx gets a LEG up on other editions by adding a few new rules, making the game a little less cutTHROAT by putting a priority on BRAIN power! Fast paced and every changing, gameschoolers, budding biologists, and Fluxx fans will enjoy this new twist on the classic game.
Anatomy Fluxx is a hand management and set collection game for 2-6 players. Games can last from 10-30 minutes. Anatomy Fluxx is best at 4-5 players.
Head of Mousehold Review
In Head of Mousehold, players will play cards to the mouse traps laid out in the center of the table. Each trap has one or more cheese tokens worth anywhere from 2-4 points.
At the beginning of each round, the relative speed of each mouse is determined randomly. A column will be created next to the traps showing how the various colored mice stack up speed-wise. Each player receives a deck of cards depicting 5 different colored mice and selects three cards to play each round.
Robinson Crusoe 2nd Edition Review
This second edition of Robinson Crusoe’s rulebook was overhauled by Gaming Rule’s Paul Grogan. He went through years of rules questions to compile a 40 page rulebook that should guide players through the gameplay. I’ll be giving you a brief overview of how the game is played here, but I’d recommend downloading a PDF of the rules should you want the full details.
Who Should We Eat? Review
The concept in Who Should We Eat? revolves around the players acting as the remaining people on a deserted island after some catastrophe. The group has decided to build a raft and the pressure is on because there’s not enough food. The players need to finish the raft to escape the island before enough players die, become ghosts, and spoil the plans of the survivors.
Among the Stars iOS Review
The gameplay in Among the Stars is fairly easy to learn. Each player is building out their own space station over the course of 4 rounds. Each turn, players will choose a card from their hand to either play (costing you credits), discard for 3 credits, or turn into a reactor (some cards require energy as a second form of currency). The cards come in 5 different categories and each have a special ability. Cards will also earn you victory points, either scoring immediately or at the end of the game.
Thunderstone Quest Review
Thunderstone Quest is a deck-building game of fantasy adventure published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG). This is the latest in the line of Thunderstone deck-building games originally created by Mike Elliott in 2009. Whereas older Thunderstone games served as standalone sets with a loose story, Thunderstone Quest adds a campaign mode. Stalwart adventurers progressively unlock new cards, dungeon setups, items, spells, and heroes as they unravel the story of the Stormlands.
In this review, I’ll be delving into the the “Champion” edition of the game, which comes with a premium box, and two more quests than the regular edition.
Ticket to Ride: New York Review
Days of Wonder have ripped out the lengthy routes and longest train bonuses. They’ve trimmed down the footprint by providing fewer taxis, removing the scoring track from around the edge of the board, and reducing the board size dramatically. They’ve even excised an entire player (lowering the max player count from 5 to 4). All of this results in a game which fits in a box smaller than a sheet of paper.
Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg Review
The quacks are getting ready for the local festival, which means they are brewing their best potions. But the people of Quedlinburg aren’t the most discerning, and they care more about quantity than quality–as long as a potion fills the bottle, there’s less concern about whether it works. They like the appearance of a bargain, and you like the relief of not having to worry about effectiveness.
Put on your apothecary’s cap, drag out your best ingredients (and even some rat’s tails, if you need them), and strive to be the wealthiest quack in all of Quedlinburg.
Junk Orbit Review
Junk Orbit is a pick up and deliver game with a thematic twist: Every time you fling junk in one direction, your spaceship moves an equal amount in the opposite direction. If you remember your physics from school, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So if your spaceship exerts energy to fling junk in one direction, energy is also exerted to fling your spaceship an equal distance in the opposite direction. This turns pick up and deliver into a bigger challenge as you have to plan your movements both “forward” and “backward.”
Nine Worlds Review
In Nine Worlds you will be battling against the other denizens of Norse mythology's multiverse, sending your troops between worlds in an attempt to control as many of the realms as possible. You will achieve this by spending a number of action points to move your troops, and your avatar, around the board. It's all very abstract, as in reality you are shuffling coloured beads around a board.
Nimble is a game that will present you with neither interesting nor agonising choices. It will not test your resolve, or your ability to read a bluff in a friend's face. It will—as the name may hint at—test your reactions, your nimbleness if you will.
The rules and gameplay are very simple; all you have to do is draw a card from the top of your player deck, briefly place it on your discard pile and then place it on one of the central piles, where you will match the frame of your card to the circle of one of the central cards.
Meeples & Miniatures:
For King & Parliament Review
Being a British wargamer, I have often thought that I should take more interest in the wars that have shaped the island on which I live – let’s face it, there are numerous ones to choose from.
The English Civil War has always seemed a challenging period of warfare – tactics were evolving with the introduction of large numbers of troops armed with firearms. However, it’s not a period of history I really studied very deeply, so in gaming terms I am really after a set of rules that captures the essence of warfare in the period, without becoming bogged down in the detail.
For King And Parliament seem to be that set of rules.
Warhammer 40k: Kill Team Review
Intro (00:00); component overview (02:09); building a Kill Team and campaign overview (09:47); gameplay overview (25:21); final thoughts and review (36:37);
From the post:
Today, to celebrate the release of Ticket to Ride: New York, Days of Wonder launches a contest on their Facebook page, in which the winner will win a trip to New York City. It will take place from the 9th until the 18th of July.
The boardgame company offers the opportunity to win a trip for two to New York, including 4 nights in a four-star hotel. To participate, participants have to go on the Days of Wonder Facebook page and answer the following question in comment : “Who is the illustrator of Ticket to Ride: New York?”
The winners will be randomly drawn on the 19th of July. The winner will win the trip and ten other participants will receive a copy of Ticket to Ride: New York.
My favorite day of the week, as you all know. And while I'm not probably going to be doing much gaming, by the time you read this, I should be stuffed full of tacos and empanadas and churros. So I'm still having a pretty spectacular day.
But while I take a siesta, let's get you those gaming reviews I know you so desperately desire.
Today we have: Gunfights and Gambling, Vikingjarl, Evil Corp, Raccoon Tycoon, Rising Sun Broken Token Insert, Neuroshima Hex: Iron Gang, Ticket to Ride: France and Old West, Vanguard of War, Feudum, Street Masters, The Mind, and The Tea Dragon Society.
Gunfights and Gambling Review
Evil Corp Review
Raccoon Tycoon Review
Board Game Quest:
Rising Sun Broken Token Insert Review
For those inexperienced with game inserts, they’re basically third-party provided box organizers which allow owners of a game to fit as much as possible into the original game box. They can also make it so that pieces are easier to deploy and put away. Some of these are premade from foam core or plastic. Others, like the one to be discussed here, are wood but require self-assembly. Broken Token provided their Rising Sun Daimyo Collection Organizer for yours truly to try out in this edition of Level Up My Game.
As of this article, the Daimyo Collection Organizer costs $120 (Core Box Organizer – $70), so fans are going to really want to know if they’re getting their money’s worth when it comes to this insert. In the following article, we’ll take a look at build process, build quality, organization, and fit in the box.
Neuroshima Hex: Iron Gang Review
Neuroshima Hex is far and away my favorite game to play with 2 players. In fact, it was recently number 7 on my Top 10 games ever! Portal Games continues to expand the world of Neuroshima Hex with additional armies, each with unique abilities and units.
Today we are taking a look at Neuroshima’s resident bikers—the Iron Gang. They are a heavily armored group of ruffians that will try to surround your units and hunt them down.
Ticket to Ride: France and Old West Expansion Review
Ticket to Ride is perhaps the most popular modern board game outside of Catan. For almost 15 years now, it has been a gateway game that introduces new players into the ever-expanding board game hobby. The franchise continues to expand with new map packs and today, we are looking at the most recent, France and Old West. How does it change things up from the tried-and-true Ticket To Ride experience? Let’s take a look…
Raccoon Tycoon Preview
If Wind in the Willows met the board game renaissance, their baby would be Raccoon Tycoon. This game combines set collection, commodity exchange, engine building, and bidding into a terrific intro game for new players or gamers looking for a something longer and more in-depth that you could still have a conversation over. A light euro for two to five players, Raccoon Tycoon takes about an hour to play. Its sweet spot is 3-4 players.
Board to Death TV:
Vanguard of War Video Review
Vanguard of War (VoW) is a 1-4 player game focused on the defense of a small church deep inside the decaying ruins of a once great city now known only as “the Whispers.” Players will use their heroes to hold the line against seemingly endless waves of demons while their allies inside the church desperately attempt to learn how to use the fel army’s own doomsday weapon against them.
Feudum Board Game Video Review
Feudum (latin for fiefdom) is an economic medieval game of hand and resource management for 2-5 players. With many strategies at their disposal, players optimize four actions per turn in attempt to score the most victory points over five epochs.
Street Masters Board Game Video Review
Street Masters is a 1-4 player cooperative miniatures board game inspired by classic fighting video games. Featuring over 65 highly detailed miniatures, unique decks for fighters & enemies, custom dice, and lightning-fast gameplay, Street Masters lets players match up powerful fighters against villainous organizations in a wide array of exciting scenarios. Designed by Adam Sadler and Brady Sadler, the game offers modular and elegant gameplay set in a unique and exciting world of brutal combat.
The Mind Review
There are some people that I just share a bond with. My wife and I are often thinking the same things independently when one of us will blurt it out. My older sister and I are sometimes accused of sharing a brain.
The Mind asks the question: can you share a brain with a friend, or with a complete stranger? Can you become so in sync with the other players at the table that you can play numbered cards in order, even without communicating?
Does this sound weird? Intriguing? Vaguely paranormal? The Mind is all of these things.
The Tea Dragon Society Review
I really enjoy light, quick card games that offer a bit of strategy, but not too much brain burn. Bonus points if they have an accessible theme that most people will like. These are the games that I can get anyone to play, they’re perfect for weeknights, and they see the most play of anything I have in my collection. Jaipur, Port Royal, Biblios, Cat Lady, and Sushi Go are just a few examples of games that meet these criteria.
So when I saw The Tea Dragon Society on the horizon, I thought it would tick all of those boxes for me. I hoped it would fit into my collection alongside my trusted favorites. So the question is: Will I be having tea with these dragons forever, or was this a one time tea party?
From the post:
Ticket to Ride: New York is an elegantly simple version of Ticket to Ride where players race around 1960s New York City, this time in taxis, to visit landmarks and complete destination tickets. With its quick and compact format, Ticket to Ride: New York is fast-paced, easy to learn in three minutes, and extremely portable—perfect for new players and veterans alike.
I'm sure a lot of you are probably traveling today, or perhaps hanging out with some non-gaming family. So, to take your mind off of things, here's your regular list of reviews I know you so desperately desire.
Today we've got: Guild Ball Blacksmith's Guild, Rail Raiders, Naruto Shippuden The Board Game, Zendo, Cottage Garden iOS, Meeple Circus, Gut Check, Mountains of Madness, Import/Export, Ticket to Ride Map Collection 6: France/Old West, Welcome to Centerville, Hunt for the Ring, and Master of Wills.
Battle Brush Studios:
Guild Ball Blacksmith's Guild
Guild Ball is roughly based on an odd little soccer variant called "Calcio storico" or "historical Florentine football" which is about kicking and punching people and looking dead 'ard with slitted pants on. Somewhere between the 54 lads kicking the snot out of each other there's also a ball on the field. Have a look, it's insane. I've watched a documentary about it a bunch of years ago and all I can say is that it's very impressive and very odd.
Learn to Play:
Rail Raiders Review
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Components, Setup, player turns, player actions, sample turns, end game conditions, and scoring I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Naruto Shippuden The Board Game Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Naruto Shippuden the board game and its really fantastic in game play, use of mechanics and character interaction synergy! I think Yoka Games has really nailed it with this title and its fun every time. You basically get to work your way through the anime battling monsters, villains and familiars to fight the ultimate boss at the end. The outcome of every round in the game makes a difference for that final showdown and I love the build up to that final battle that makes of breaks the outcome of the overall game! If you come across this title - don't miss out on an excellent co-op experience.
Board Game Quest:
In Zendo, one player will act as the mediator, building a structure out of plastic parts that meets a very specific rule. There are pieces in three different shapes (blocks, wedges and pyramids) and three different colors (red, blue, and yellow). The rule may be something as simple as “must include at least 1 blue shape” or as complicated as “must contain one red shape on top of a blue shape.” You can even forego the included rule cards and make up your own rules if you feel the need.
Cottage Garden iOS Review
In general, players in Cottage Garden are scoring points when completing grids by placing tiles. On each turn, players will place multi-block tiles of flower designs onto one of two garden grid boards. Each garden grid has spaces which include flower pots or plant covers, which are worth points. By placing tiles that avoid overlapping the pots or plant covers, players can score for those items when the garden grid is eventually completely filled in.
Meeple Circus Review
A game of Meeple Circus is played over three rounds. Each round begins with a drafting phase as players select two tiles in turn. Each tile will show what components a player adds to their collection.
Gut Check Review
The rules for Gut Check are pretty straightforward. Each turn, players can take a few different actions based on the cards in their hand and what they have on their player board. The player board shows which healthy and unhealthy microbes, also known as pathogens, they have. Additionally, if a player has any infections, these cards live here. The main board mostly serves as a score track and organizer for cards.
Mountains of Madness Review
Despite the ominous name, Mountains of Madness is almost more of a party game than anything else.
Your goal is to escape from the Mountains of Madness while fighting off madness and injury. It’s a cooperative game, and everyone must work together if you hope to survive. In order to escape, you’ll need to explore the mountain and collect relics, then reach the mountain peak and escape safely.
Import/Export is a role-selection, hand management, tableau-building, multi-use card game for two to six players. Players are shipping magnates who are seeking to control the import/export market. The player with the most credits when the game ends wins.
Ticket to Ride Map Collection 6: France/Old West Review
This is a “Map Pack,” so you’ll need another full version of Ticket to Ride to Play. That could be the original TTR (USA) or TTR Europe. From those “full” games you’ll need to scavenge the trains, score markers, and train car cards. Everything else you need comes in this box.
Drive Thru Review:
Welcome to Centerville Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:50); final thoughts and review (22:06)
Hunt for the Ring Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (02:22); final thoughts and review (25:30)
Board to Death TV:
Master of Wills Review
Master of Wills can be played one-versus-one or two-versus-two. It’s all about moving the cards—you want to move as many points to your side of the board as possible while your opponent is trying to do the same for their side. Community cards are each assigned a value, and each card is represented by a character from one of the eight sectors of the Community. Moving those cards can trigger the basic movement of other cards on the board.
This week we have: Villages of Velaria, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - Box of Monsters Expansion, Axis & Allies: Anniversary Edition, Wizards Wanted, Braintopia, NMBR9, Ticket to Ride: Germany, Planetarium, Barbarians: The Invasion, Space Race, The Captain is Dead, and Heaven & Ale.
Learn to Play:
Villages of Velaria Review
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Setup, Player turn, player actions, end game conditions, and scoring. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Board Game Quest:
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 Review
Note: This review will be a spoiler free look at Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. Everything discussed in detail can be found in the rulebook and the prologue.
Unlike the first season, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, starts off quite a bit different from a vanilla game of Pandemic. Instead of trying to prevent disease cubes from being added to cities, you are trying to add and keep supply cubes in each city. Season 2 offers a prologue that you can play through any number of times to get used to the slightly different setup.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle Review Box of Monsters Expansion
In order to keep things as spoiler free as possible, I’ll just give a general overview of what’s new the expansion, and limit photos to what’s in the first sealed box.
Much like the base game, the expansion comes with four boxes to open over the course of four games. To go along with the 4 characters from the core box, players can now use Luna Lovegood as their hero. She has a base power that heals someone the first time she draws extra cards. The expansion also includes a new power for each of the other heroes.
Axis & Allies: Anniversary Edition
Chances are you already know how to play Axis and Allies so I’m not going to bore you with a lengthy gameplay overview. For those of you that aren’t, I’ll give you the quick basics. You can also download a PDF of the rules here.
Axis & Allies is a war game set during World War II between the Axis powers of Germany, Russia and Japan against the Allies of Great Britain, Russia and the USA. The Axis and Allies Anniversary Edition comes with two ways to play. Either 1941 or 1942, depending on what period of the war you want to use. They each feature different setups and turn order, but other than that have the same core gameplay.
Wizards Wanted Review
Each player takes a wizard player board which grants the player one of four charms (in four separate colors). These charms give bonus money and fame to players as they complete spell jobs at village locations on the board. The player board also has a space for a player’s pixie dust which powers spells and extra movement.
Each turn, players choose how far they will move and whether or not they will take an action. Moving a higher number of spaces costs more pixie dust. In addition, a player can use multiple teleportation type spaces to zip around the map. This is important because budgeting pixie dust for movement vs completing spell jobs is an important calculation in the game.
Braintopia puts your mental synapses to the test. The goal is to recognize patterns, memorize images, solve puzzles or otherwise use your brain faster than the other players. One card at a time. It’s basically cerebral Slapjack.
The rules are simple. Flip over one card from the deck. Players try to deduce the card’s answer based on its category. If you think you’ve solved it, slap it with your hand and leave it covered. The one with the quickest reflexes gets to announce the solution. Correct answers win the card. Guess poorly, and you sit out the next round. Collect two cards to earn a brain token. Gather four brains to win the game.
NMBR 9 Review
NMBR 9 is all about stacking tiles as high as possible to maximize your points, and it’s not as easy as you might think. Here’s how it works.
From a single deck of cards holding 2 copies of each of the numbers 0 – 9, a card is flipped over. Everyone takes the tile represented on the card and adds it to their own personal stack of tiles, with just a few restrictions.
Ticket to Ride: Germany Review
The first thing to note is that Germany isn’t a map pack expansion. (Although perhaps it should have been. More on that down below.) It’s a full fledged game in its own right, meaning you don’t have to own any of the other versions of Ticket to Ride to play.
The basic rules are almost exactly the same as basic Ticket to Ride, though. You’re collecting sets of cards, trading them in for trains to claim routes, and scoring points based on how long those completed routes are. The only two notable exceptions are the passengers and the inclusion of two decks of destination tickets, divided into long and short routes.
Board to Death TV:
Matter swirls around a new born star, coalescing on the planetoids that orbit it. Planets evolve, grow and migrate in their orbits, forming a unique solar system by the end of every game. Planetarium is a game of creation, chaos and terraforming on the grandest scale.
Players are competing to crash combinations of elements onto planets that then allow them to play cards to evolve the planets in a variety of ways, with each player looking to evolve planets in the system to suit their own secret endgame goals.
Barbarians: The Invasion Review
In Barbarians: The Invasion, you control a barbarian clan and lead it on its path to glory. Place your champions on the 3D Volcano to gather resources, construct buildings, pray to gods, and lead your troops in fierce battles to conquer the most regions and become the greatest clan of all time.
Space Race Review
The world struggles in the Cold War, and many see the sky as the next battlefield. The era of Space Race has just begun. Do you have what it takes to lead a daring space agency into a new age of human achievement?
Space Race takes place during the first seven decades of the space conquest, and players become directors of newly established Space Agencies. Their goal is to expand them and to achieve astonishing breakthroughs. During the game, players will develop their Space Agencies by acquiring various cards (engineers, technologies, space programs) from a shared pool of cards called Universe.
The Captain is Dead Review
The Captain Is Dead is a co-op game for 2 to 7 players. All you have to do is get the ship’s engines (aka “Jump Core”) back online and you win, but because there is a hostile alien ship trying to destroy you, that is easier said than done.
You have an impressive star ship full of useful systems that will help you fend off the aliens, and get the Jump Core back online. Each system gives you an advantage while it remains online. The assault from the hostile alien ship tends to keep knocking those systems offline however. So you need to balance your time between keeping the ships system’s online, fending off the alien threat, and completing your objective.
Drive Thru Review:
Heaven & Ale Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:10); final thoughts and review (16:32)
From the post:
Discover a whole new board, rule variants, and brand new cards with Ticket to Ride United Kingdom!
Explore new Ticket to Ride strategies and relive the history of the railroad with the United Kingdom expansion and its new technology cards.
Lay down the first tracks in an incredible railroad adventure that begins in Great Britain and Ireland in the 19th century.
Master the technology of the first steam locomotives to win the game. Technology cards are essential in order to expand your rail network, build new double-routes, and cross the sea to reach the coasts of Ireland and Scotland. More complex gameplay means more strategy and rivalry between opponents!
From the announcement:
Ready for a new journey? The official adaptation of Ticket to Ride: First Journey is available on mobile, tablet and computer!
Children are finally able to join the great Ticket to Ride adventure through the two actual maps: Europe and USA!
Enjoy a fantastic journey with this very simple and family-friendly app. Collect train cards, claim routes on the map and do your best to connect the cities shown on the tickets. On your turn, draw two trains cards from the deck or discard train cards of matching color to claim a route between two cities. Have fun through original illustrations and funny animations once you connect the cities. Learn more about the different cities and their iconic monuments.
Days of Wonder continues their Ticket to Ride series with a new line going in. This one will take you to France and the Old West (though not at the same time). Ticket to Ride: France includes a double-sided map, with one letting players build routes all across France during the Industrial Revolution. Players will need to lay down tracks and decide what color those routes are before actually laying out their trains. The other side of the map is the Old West, where players will build routes from their home cities. But beware, build a route to a rival's city and they'll earn points, too.
From the announcement:
This expansion will challenge the players’ existing habits, as this time, before claiming a route, you will need to build the tracks and choose their colors. This simple variation adds a new twist to Ticket to Ride and makes the France map completely unique. The double-sided board also features a map of Old West, where up to six players can develop their railway networks starting from their Home Cities. Claiming routes along the way will make players face a dilemma: every time a player takes a route which leads to a city controlled by an opponent, that opponent scores the points.
Ticket to Ride – France includes a oversized, double-sided map. The French map is designed for 2-5 players and includes 58 Destination Tickets cards, 2 Bonus cards, and 64 Track Pieces. The Old West map is designed for 2-6 players and includes 50 Destination Tickets cards, 2 Bonus Cards, 40 White Train Cars, 18 City Markers, and 1 Alvin the Alien Marker. Both of these maps require the trains and the train car cards from either Ticket to Ride® or Ticket to Ride® Europe. This expansion is scheduled to be available at Essen and in Europe late October followed by a early November release in the USA, at a suggested retail price of €40-$44.99.
This week we have: Lotus, The Exiled: Siege, Ancient Terrible Things, Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails, and Hanamikoji, Yamatai.
The Board Game Quest:
Players will play petal cards to complete and collect flowers as points. Yes, it really is that straightforward.
The cards, cardboard tokens and small wooden insects are good quality. The insecteeples are especially cute. The art on the petal cards themselves is gorgeous, and when a flower forms on the table, it’s easily photo-worthy.
The Exiled: Siege Review
In The Exiled: Siege, one player takes on the role of the attacker trying to bring his invading force of fantasy-themed armies to bear on the defenders of the castle. When there are more than two players, the extra players share the role of defender.
Each game, the attackers and defenders will spend time building up their fortifications (or army camp for the attacker) and armies, and then conduct a series of attack rounds. The goal for the attacker is to damage the defenders walls (and then city), while the defender just needs to hold out until time expires.
Ancient Terrible Things Review
In this high-stakes pulp action-adventure you are an explorer seeking, facing and overcoming Ancient Terrible Things. Players take on an Intrepid character, all varying slightly in starting swag, to venture down a Dark jungle river, passing through Ominous encounters at Fateful locations to confirm the Ancient secrets (points) of the Fantastical scribblings from the Lone survivor of a previously Doomed expedition. If you fail, you will unleash Terrible things (negative points). And may go Unspeakably mad…
Even I can’t come up with this many colorful adjectives on my own!
Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails Review
Hopefully you’re not surprised to hear that Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails retains the core elements of the basic TTR game: one action per turn; choosing between drawing cards, playing sets of trains, or getting new tickets; and scoring points by connecting two cities across the map based on your tickets. Of course, with two new maps come just a few new twists to the formula.
Hanamikoji is a two-player hand-management/area-majority game for two players. Players are restaurant owners trying to attract the favor of the geisha masters. The player who wins the favor of four geisha (or geisha with a total charm of 11) at the end of a round wins.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Yamatai by Days of Wonder.
From the announcement:
Find out Ticket to Ride: Germany, a new stand-alone board game in our well-known Ticket to Ride series.
As in the other Ticket to Ride board games, players will build their own rail network, this time across a new beautifully illustrated board of Germany at end of the 19th century, to connect cities listed on their Destination Tickets. But that’s not all. Competitors need to watch out their opponents who might be trying to reach the same far-flung corners of the German empire and outwit them by collecting valuable Passenger Meeples from the cities faster than they can.
Using the route network previously seen in the Märklin Edition, Ticket to Ride: Germany introduces a new and exclusive passengers rule. Additionally, the game includes short and long Destination Tickets to choose from, making Ticket to Ride: Germany a simple and elegant variant to the original game, with new challenges which will please newcomers and veterans alike.
From the announcement:
Ticket to Ride – First Journey is a family-friendly introduction to Alan R. Moon’s best-selling train adventure series. The game features a board of Europe, with shorter routes and new whimsical illustrations in every cities. With this simpler version of Ticket to Ride, younger players and beginners alike can take their first steps in the train game series.
Although rules are simplified and game objectives made easier, the game remains faithful to what has made Ticket to Ride a success: players race to complete their tickets by capturing routes on the board. The imaginative art on the board and on the ticket cards makes it easy to find cities for even the youngest players, who will be delighted to build their own networks with the big plastic train pieces included in the game.
Expect to see the game on shelves in March/April.
But that's for Thursday and Friday. For right now, we've got reviews. So let's get to it.
Today we have: Robots Love Ice Cream, Acquire, Bloodborne: The Card Game, The Arrival, Trick of the Rails, Great Western Trail, 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon, Inis, Fabled Fruit, Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails, CO-OP: The Co-op Card Game, Star Trek: Ascendancy, Terraforming Mars, Hit Z Road, Hocus, Ta-Da!, Legends Untold, and Ominoes.
Toucan Play That Game:
Robots Love Ice Cream Preview
In this paid video you can find out about Robots Love Ice Cream the card game by 25th Century Games.
Play Board Games:
Acquire Board Game Review
Acquire has been around since the sixties and has been reprinted several times. This latest version (2016) changes a few things but keep s the basic game play and feel of this classic game.
Drive Thru Review:
Bloodborne: The Card Game Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:05); final thoughts and review (09:34)
The Arrival Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:45); final thoughts and review (16:03)
Trick of the Rails Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:07); final thoughts and review (10:00)
Great Western Trail Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:04); final thoughts and review (21:50)
Acquire Micro Review
7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:41); final thoughts and review (04:56)
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:02); final thoughts and review (14:15)
Fabled Fruit Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:56); final thoughts and review (06:49)
Board Game Quest:
Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails Review
TtR: R&S is a card drafting and set collection game in which you build train and boat routes by matching the color of the cards you have drafted to the color of the routes on the board. It supports two to four players and clocks in at about 30 minutes per player. Ticket to Ride players, that is NOT a typo….
CO-OP: The Co-op Card Game Preview
The first mission of the Co-Op base game sees your cooperative in debt and on the brink of getting forced into a MondoMart take over. Based on the difficulty level and the number of players, you have a set number of days to get out of debt and make enough money to pay the rent and keep the dream alive. You are not alone though, you form a crack-pot team of hippies (who totally get the vibe of the place, man) and bizzies (who know what it means to earn a dollar) to get the co-op back on its feet again.
Star Trek: Ascendancy Review
Star Trek: Ascendancy is a 4x game of galactic exploration and conquest. If you aren’t familiar with the genre, 4x stands for: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. It’s a style of game that has been around for a long time and garnered many fans.
Players will start off the game as a fledgling civilization of one of the 3 Star Trek powerhouses: Federation, Klingon or Romulan. Armed with just their home world, some tech, and a few ships, players will explore the galaxy, seeking to extend their reach.
Terraforming Mars Review
Each player controls a corporation interested in transforming Mars so that large numbers of humans can thrive in residence. As the environment changes, players win by accumulating accolades for doing the most to bring new life to the planet. The end of the game arrives when the temperature, oxygen and presence of water are sufficient enough for more permanent settlement.
Hit Z Road Review
Hit Z Road is a 1-4 player game of resource and risk management set in a zombie-filled America. Each player is trying to guide their group of survivors to the relative safety of California. Along the way you’ll accumulate Victory Points by killing zombies, collecting valuable resources, and ensuring members of your party are still alive to enjoy that zombie-free West Coast weather. There’s also a strong possibility that one or more will succumb to the walking dead so whoever is still alive at the end and has the most VPs is the winner.
Hocus is a hand management card game for two to five players. Players are wizards in a card game tournament, each with their own spell book, trying to win the most points in pots. The player with the most points when someone hits 25 points is the winner.
Just because magic allows you to break the rules of nature itself, doesn’t mean there aren’t rules to magic. Order and procedure must be followed in this talent show.
First things first, you gather 6 spell dice and matching colored cup. To be victorious, you must cast 6 spells before anyone else over a series of rounds.
Legends Untold Kickstarter Review
Legends Untold attempts to recreate the classic dungeon crawl; gather a party, tool up and head into the dark uncharted depths in search of riches, glory and most likely a grisly death. What makes Legends Untold stand apart from the plethora of miniature games and RPGs is that Legends Untold is played out entirely with cards and builds a sprawling dungeon map as you play.
Ominoes is a really simple concept, roll some dice and place those dice on the board. The aim of the game is to match up your dice symbols, get fourof a kind and the dice are removed scoring you points, the first player to 15 points wins. Four sides of the dice represent the four player icons the other two are wild cards, that also allow you to move dice and reroll dice already in play.
As you can tell from the name of the set, Rails and Sails adds in a whole new element to the game: ships. On one side of the map, you'll truly go global as you look to create networks that circumnavigate the entire world. On the other side of the map, you'll be looking to ply the waters of the Great Lakes (just don't pull an Edmund Fitzgerald and you'll be fine).
You can find the game at your local gaming shop.
The game adds in ships (though they're not sail-powered, so the name's a bit of a misnomer, but whatever). The two-sided map has the whole world on one side and the Great Lakes region of the US on the other. So now you don't only get to connect places with trains, but you can have ships bring you places you've never been to before. There's also new routes that go through several cities. Sure, it's a bit harder to score those, but they're worth a lot more points if you do.
As always, it's more than just a new map. There's new special rules that go with it. They include not being able to use locomotives as wild cards on regular routes, only tunnels and ferries. If you don't have a locomotive when placing a ferry route, you can use three cards of any color. Finally, there's a new 9-card route, but not all the cards have to be the same color, since you can fill any missing train car with any four cards of other colors.
There's also a special pack of maps that they've bundled together for one low price, if you've fallen a bit behind on the extra sets.