TGN Saturday Edition: Review Roundup
Welcome to another Saturday. This week went by quick (at least for me). I hope you’ve been enjoying the Adepticon photos we’ve been posting. Be sure to check out the ones of the Desert Hydra. Makes me almost wish I played Skorne. I might get one of those just to paint up.
Anyway, as is custom here on TGN, we’ve collected the review articles from the week and have them here in one place for you here today.
In this batch we have previews/reviews of: Kromlechs’ Armoured Orc Assault and SMG Squads, Urban Commando and Battleground Gaming Mats, Deus Board Game, Dead Man’s Draw, The Institute of Magical Arts, Board Game Quest’s Top 10 Cooperative Games, Port Royal, Saboteur, Mysterium, Wizard’s Academy, and XCOM.
These Armoured Orc kits allow you to field some mean looking green-skinned brutes in your wargames, and work especially well as Ork Boyz in ‘eavy armour for Warhammer 40k Ork players. They’re from Kromlech, a company who are well known for creating characterful Orc models compatible with a range of 28mm wargames, we’ve already reviewed several of their other orc kits in the past and haven’t been disappointed yet.
Today we’re bringing you a double gaming mat review! These are the Urban Commando gaming mat and Battleground gaming mat from Artistic Impressions, a UK based company specialising in high quality print services and have recently expanded into producing a large range of gaming mats. Both of the gaming mats we chose are 6×4? which is great for games like Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, and Bolt Action, but these mats are available in various sizes right down to 3×3? for skirmish games.
Play Board Games:
Deus is a tableau building card game. You must manage your resources to build your civilization and score the most VPs.
Dead Man’s Draw is a light, fun, press your luck card game that is great for families or when your board game group needs a break from heavier games.
Board to Death:
The Institute for Magical Arts is in a state of discord due to the mysterious disappearance of its principal magician and headmaster, Dr. Finneas. Two senior wizards are now contending to fill his shoes and bring a state of harmony back to the Institute. However, the wizards have contrasting ideas about the Institute’s direction. To gain the title of headmaster, the wizards must gain the trust of their colleagues and gather as much magical powers through the tools of their trade as possible.
The Institute for Magical Arts is a two-player dice and area control game in which players use dice rolls to place “power stones” onto different cards in an attempt to win those cards. Once won, cards offer either special powers or victory points or both.
Board Game Quest:
Cooperative games are one of my favorite genres of board games. They allow me to play a game with my wife and/or kids and we compete together against the board, instead of against each other. It is a great way to build teamwork and problem-solving skills, all while having a blast playing a game together as a family.
Below are my top ten cooperative games. This is my personal “Top 10 List,” and it does not necessarily reflect the views of every writer here at Board Game Quest. I made the list based on my experiences with many cooperative games, as I have not played every cooperative game.
Head on over to the south side of Jamaica on the Caribbean Sea and you will find the town of Port Royal. Founded in 1518, Port Royal was the center of shipping commerce during the later half of the 17th century (thank you wikipedia).
I could go on about Port Royal’s history, but I’m guessing you don’t really care. You’re here because you want to know about the new card game of the same name. No, Port Royal is not another pirate game where you will be plundering to your heart’s content (although there are pirates). In this easy to learn card game, players will take on the role of shipping magnates, pushing their luck to earn income and hire the best people. Port Royal seems to have flown under the radar since its release. Does it deserve more attention? Let’s find out!
Port Royal is a push your luck, economic card game for 2-5 players that takes about 20-30 minutes to play. Port Royal plays best with 3-4 players.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
The problem I’m having writing this review is, rather than simply telling you how Saboteur works, I really want to give you a selection of quotes from some of my recent games. The thing is, none of these will be remotely illuminating, since they’re all going to be the same sort of questions, which all go like this:
“What are you doing?!” “Why did you do that?!” “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!”
Or they’ll be the same sort of answers, which go like this:
“I’m helping!” “I have no choice!” “JUST TRUST ME.”
Or they’ll be the same end-of-round exasperation, the same old post-battle cry of Saboteur:
“I TOLD YOU SO.”
I guess Saboteur is something of a game of soundbites.
Everybody, stop! STOP![Montage of factory workers looking up from industrial machinery. Doctors and nurses looking up from their surgery. Soldiers locked in deadly hand-to-hand combat, who freeze and turn to face the camera as one.]
I’ve played a new board game and it’s really, really good![Amiable mumbling as factory workers loosen their aprons and turn to face the camera, doctors take five on the edge of the operating table as blood spurts into the air, soldiers dust one another off and sit cross-legged like toddlers.]
Mysterium is a co-op game of ghosts, murder and hilarious incompetence, in that order. All but one player is a psychic spending the night in a horrid house where a killing took place. The final player, who may not speak, is a ghost sending everyone else horrible dreams. The ghost must guide the psychics to the correct murder weapon, crime scene and culprit before the week is over, or… well, I’m not sure. Maybe the psychics have concert tickets. It doesn’t matter, and you won’t care. You’ll be laughing too much and thinking too hard.
We’ve opened a portal to a fire dimension, a water dimension and the troll dimension. The library is on fire, the study room is six feet under water and there’s a demon in the lecture theatre, and for once we’re not talking about the lecturer for advanced transmogrification studies. Yes, it’s a typical day at the Wizard’s Academy.
The weird thing about XCOM The Board Game is there is no rule book. It’s one of those things you expect to find with a board game and when you first open XCOM you’ll be hunting for one and thinking Fantasy Flight Games have forgotten to put your rulebook in the box. However, there is no rulebook. XCOM is designed to be played with an app on your tablet or laptop. This isn’t some companion piece of software that helps the game run more smoothly, no, the XCOM app is integral to the game, and without the app this game just wouldn’t be XCOM.