TGN Saturday Edition: Review Roundup
We’ve got another Saturday here on TGN and that means a collection of the review stories we found throughout the week. What are others saying about the games you’re interested in playing? Read on to find out.
This time we’ve got reviews (and a couple previews) for games/models like: Rivet Wars, Eight Minute Empire, Kromlech’s Orc Warchief, Witness, new Nachtjager releases for Flames of War, Scoville, Wizard Dodgeball, San Juan (the game, not the location. Though one is based on the other), Xia: Legends of a Drift System, Out of Dodge, Hoyuk, the 5th Edition Monster Manual, Amerigo, and King of New York.
That should keep you busy for a while.
As you might expect in Rivet Wars, the Allied and Blight combat each other on a battlefield made up of tiles. Each tile contains nine grids, and each grid holds four squares. The grids tiles forming the battleground differ depending on the scenario played. Each side has deployment areas on the grid, with bunkers, strategic objectives, minefields, traps, and barb wire strewn about. Ten scenarios are included, with most of them using eight or nine of the tiles.
The Board Game Show:
Who could resist a game with the title, Eight-Minute Empire? It’s intriguing to me on a number of levels. First, who would dare put — what appears to be — the apparent playing time on the cover of their game box, as part of the title no less? Is the title a dare? Is it a challenge? Is it a taunt? And then there’s the word “Empire.” An empire isn’t just a country, it’s a vast group of states and peoples under a central authority. An empire implies incredible depth, expensiveness and complexity. Pairing that with “8-Minutes” is surely an oxymoron. Surely Eight-Minute Empire is a title to pique one’s interest.
Follow the link to read the full review.
Imagine you’re a resident of Scoville where everyone is crazy about hot peppers, so much so that the city hosts an annual chili pepper festival in honor of Wilbur Scoville, who developed the pepper hotness index. As the game’s rulebook says, “The festival lasts one day and the grower that can generate the most heat will take home this year’s trophy.”
Or another way to put it is that Scoville is an awesome resource management and collection game revolving around different-colored peppers. Not only do I like games that are awesome, I also happen to consume a bottle of hot pepper sauce each month, and I grow hot peppers in my garden. Who better than to review a game all about hot peppers? Just sayin’…
Waaagh!!! When it comes to Orcs and Orks, bigger is always better, and this offering from Kromlech doesn’t disappoint. Today we are reviewing the absolutely huge Orc Warchief in Juggernaut Mecha-Armour, a hulking Orc which looks like it will make an excellent alternative Ork Warboss in Mega Armour for Warhammer 40k players.
Play Board Games:
Witness is a cooperative game of deduction, communication and memorization. Can your team solve the case and score the most points?
San Juan is a card game version of the board game Puerto Rico. Like in Puerto Rico you select roles, build buildings and produce goods to score Victory Points and win.
With the most recent Flames of War supplement Nachtjäger just around the corner you might be wondering what new toys have been planned for you so soon after Christmas. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was not to buy any more lead (or plastic) then you might as well stop reading now…
Combining sports and fantasy elements is becoming a bit of a mainstay in tabletop gaming, especially if that sport is American style football or rugby. Bloodbowl did it first but games like Dreadball, Guild Ball and Chaos Ball all take a similar approach, but why not other sports? Would you be interested in Orc Cricket? Troll Tennis? Or how about Wizard Dodgeball? Well the last one is a reality as Peter Newland at Mind the Gap Studios has added a fantasy element to a game about dodging balls.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
It’s big, it’s as colourful as a bag of sweets and it wants YOU to become a space-faring superstar. Xia: Legends of a Drift System was one of the Kickstarter success stories of 2013, and a retail version is finally upon us, complete with pre-painted ships and metal space-coins.
Quinns has buckled himself into the driver’s seat of this board-behemoth to deliver the official SU&SD verdict.
Out of Dodge is a game that understands one of the golden rules of the criminal genre: a botched heist is a good heist. As four outlaws on the run from a job that went terribly wrong, there is room here for hi-jinks, comedy, seriousness and treachery. It is a short, one-shot RPG from Jason Morningstar of Fiasco fame and it has a dastardly fun set up: you arrange four seats in the shape of a car (or use an actual real-life moving car), get in and argue about what went wrong while you speed away from the crime scene with a bag of loot much lighter than you expected.
Oh yeah, and watch out for all the blood because one of you is dying.
Board Game Quest:
When I learned about the Kickstarter campaign for the release of a game called Hoyuk, which also uses tile placement as its main mechanic, I was instantly interested. I was also cautious about becoming a backer too quickly. As much as I enjoy tile placement games, I wondered if Hoyuk would bring anything else new and exciting to the table. I ultimately decided to take a chance and back the project. Was my money well spent? Read on, and I’ll let you know how the game plays, and some of my thoughts about it.
Hoyuk is a tile placement/area majority/set collection game, designed by Pierre Canuel. It supports 2 to 5 players and plays in about 60 minutes.
Today, we are going to climb further down the rabbit hole as we jump to the other side of the screen and take a look at the Monster Manual. A solid collection of creatures is critical for any on going RPG campaign. While crafting your hero is fun, every warrior needs someone, or something, to oppose him. So lets dive in and see if Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has continued this edition’s excellence with their new 5th edition Monster Manual.
Board to Death:
The world is moving into a new era, and now more than ever the clans work for the progress and the evolution of their community. Everyone tries to find new ways to improve their lives, new means to grow their lands and new constructions that create an easier life. In Höyük: Anatolia, you must prove your quality through three different Achievements: build a Water Supply System for your village so the water can reach your land, throw the best Fest in the valley, and finally, build two Artifacts!
In Amerigo, the players help Amerigo Vespucci on his journey to discover new land. The players explore the islands of South America, secure trading routes, and build settlements.
The actions available to players are determined through the use of a specialized cube tower, which has appeared in the Queen titles Im Zeichen des Kreuzes and Wallenstein. At the start of the game, this tower is seeded with action cubes, which come in seven colors, with each color matching a particular type of action. During the game players will drop additional action cubes into the tower – but some of these cubes might get stuck in the floors of the tower while other cubes already in the tower are knocked free. Thus, players need to play both tactically – taking advantage of the actions currently available in the best way possible – and strategically – using their knowledge of which actions do what to play well over the course of the game.
King of New York is a standalone game from designer Richard Garfield that keeps the core ideas of King of Tokyo while introducing new ways to play. As in KoT, your goal is to be the first monster to collect 20 victory points (VPs) or to be the last monster standing. On your turn, you roll six dice up to three times, then carry out the actions on those dice. Claws cause damage to other monsters, hearts heal damage to yourself, and energy is stored up so that you can purchase power cards that provide unique effects not available to anyone else.
What’s new in King of New York is that you can now try to become a star in the big city; more specifically, you can achieve “Fame”, which nets you VPs, but superstar status is fleeting, so enjoy your time in the spotlight. The game board for King of New York is larger than in KoT with each monster occupying a district in the city and everyone trying to shine in Manhattan. When you attack, you can displace a monster in another district, whether to escape military forces or to find new smashing opportunities. Yes, smashing because you can now destroy buildings and get bonuses for doing so, but the more destruction you cause, the more intense the military response. The monsters from King of New York can be used in KoT and vice versa, but the power cards are specific to this game.