Dale Yu – Review of P’achakuna

P’achakuna

  • Designer: Moreno Vogel and Stefan Kraft
  • Publisher: Treeceratops
  • Players: 2
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by publisher

pachakuna

Treeceratops is a newer company, and we have played their previous release, Darwin’s Choice, a few years back.  Their most recent game is called P’achakuna – set in the Andes Mountains.  You and your opponent are traders, and you are trying to deliver wool and dyes to the far flung villages in the mountains.  The goal is to the first to deliver to all seven villages, collecting yarn of a different color at each, and thus be able to create your own colorful costume!

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Headin’ Back Down Thunder Road

they haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets

Ways that we know that I am officially old:

  • I learned to drive in a ‘69 T-bird with a 429 engine under the hood.
  • My goatee is now completely white/grey.
  • Spotify continually tries to get me to listen to playlists that reference the ‘80s in some manner.
  • I actually was a regular poster on the Usenet group rec.games.board.
  • I can remember buying Metagaming Microgames and Steve Jackson Pocketbox games from the local game store… including Wizard, Warp War, Fury of the Norsemen, Illuminati… and, most importantly for our purposes, Car Wars.

Ah, yes, Car Wars – originally packaged in a ziplock baggie in 1981 and featuring vehicular combat in the Mad Max/Road Warrior vein. Let’s be clear – while the game system spawned a BUNCH of expansions and multiple editions, I always found it to be similar in enjoyment to Star Fleet Battles. In other words, it was more fun to design the cars (or spaceship) than it was to play the game. 

But the idea of vehicular combat is pretty appealing to a kid who grew crashing Hot Wheels cars into each other… so when Games Workshop published the massive coffin-sized box of Dark Future in 1988, I plunked down a substantial amount of hard-earned cash to acquire it. Once again, the idea of the game was more fun than playing it… as was retrofitting Matchbox vehicles with guns & such.

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Gaming Timeline: 1974-1979

The late seventies saw the introduction of two games that were not only popular, but which each launched an entirely new genre.  That’s pretty rare and the fact that both debuted in the same year is remarkable.  The decade also laid the seeds for modern boardgaming, with the first publication from one of the hobby’s greatest designers and the introduction of its most celebrated award.
   Larry

Dungeons & Dragons; Creation of Roleplaying Games (1974)
The story behind D&D is fairly well known.  Dave Arneson, a young miniatures wargame fan, began running a fantasy-based campaign in which the participants played individual characters.  He based the combat on a game called Chainmail, which was co-created by Gary Gygax, but Arneson added many other elements, including the critical concept of character improvement through experience.  After running this successfully for a couple of years, Arneson showed the game to Gygax and the two decided to publish it.  Gygax wrote up the rules and added some modifications of his own.  The result was Dungeons & Dragons, which, despite its roughness, sold far better than either of its co-designers imagined it would.  It really was a new kind of gaming.  Roleplaying could be found in earlier recreational pastimes, but the type of play acting that players could indulge in with D&D was brand new and proved to be immensely popular.  Just as appealing to players was the identification with a fictional character of your own devising whose abilities would grow over time.  Many competing RPG systems arose following the release of D&D and, within a decade, it was a thriving branch of gaming that wound up having immense influence (both positive and negative) on society.

I was introduced to D&D in 1980 by a co-worker, soon after the first hardbound rulebooks of the game (referred to as Advanced D&D) were released.  I fell for it hard and loved being both a player and a referee.  I continued roleplaying with various systems for the next 20 years and it was a huge part of my life for most of that time.  Even though I eventually switched to Eurogaming as my principal recreational activity, some of my best gaming memories came from my roleplaying days.  The sort of gaming I participated in required a huge investment in time, but when it worked, it was incredibly enjoyable and satisfying.  I’m very happy I discovered it when I did.
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Happy 11th Birthday to the OG!

Well, it’s that time of year again where we take a minute to celebrate our existence!  Today marks the 11th year of the Opinionated Gamers, and we’re still here playing games and writing about them!

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We have had over 3,400 posts in that time, and we definitely want to take a minute to thank all of the readers of our little blog!

A few of the highlights from the past 11 years:

Our first review – Norenberc, by Valerie Putman

Our most read article: A review of 7 Wonders (Believe the Hype!)

Our most recent review:  UNO Ultimate Marvel Edition

Our most popular post according to Reddit: Kickstarter Skepticism

And the most popular article of 2021:  Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion Review


We’re glad to have you with us, and we look forward to many more (hopefully interesting) articles in the coming year!

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Dale Yu: First Impression of Uno Ultimate MARVEL edition  

Uno Ultimate – MARVEL edition

  • Designer: uncredited
  • Publisher: Mattel
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 7+
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Mattel USA

PXL_20220122_193300177.MP

Uno is one of the staples of American childhood gaming.  It’s the sort of game you can find in just about every home, a deck will always be found at the lake house or summer camp cabin, or in the recesses of the basement toy chest.  Just about everyone knows the rules (or thinks they know the rules) – though apparently you can’t stack +4 and +2 cards – https://twitter.com/realUNOgame/status/1314309660589998080  and https://twitter.com/realUNOgame/status/1124720366130204672

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OG’s Favorite Expansions from 2020-2021

Through the Ages: New Leaders and Wonders Cover Artwork

We close out this retrospective week at the OG with a piece on our favorite expansions from the past couple years.  Some of us go hard for expansions, while others turn up their noses at the concept, but love ‘em or hate ‘em, expansions seem to be the lifeblood of the industry in many ways and they only seem to be proliferating.  Today we share the expansions that we think are really worth your time!  Let us know in the comments what board game expansions really worked well for you in 2020 and 2021.

Talia: My favorite expansion from 2020-2021 is definitely Through the Ages: New Leaders and Wonders.  As a huge fan of the base game, I was skeptical that an expansion could fit, but Vlaada and the CGE team knocked it out the park with this brilliant approach to expanding Through the Ages.  I’ve played a handful of times in person and dozens, if not hundreds, of times on the mobile app.  The expansion has become an essential part of exploring this game and makes for a fascinating setup as you consider the range of card combinations in any given game.  I have also really enjoyed the 7 Wonders Duel: Agora expansion, which adds a new winning condition that makes an already tense two-player game even more tense and fascinating, and Root: Underworld, which adds even more enthralling faction combinations to a system with seemingly endless variability.  Lastly, as a growing fan of roll-and-write games, I’ve greatly enjoyed the many new Railroad Ink and Cartographers expansions (including the epic boards and eldritch expansion for Railroad Ink, and the various map packs for Cartographers).  I’ve already played so much Railroad Ink (59 times) and Cartographers (22 times), and expect to play both a lot more in the year to come.

Unmatched: Little Red Riding Hood vs. Beowulf Cover Artwork

Mark Jackson: I am a sucker for expansions… and the last couple of years has had a number of really solid additions to these, well, additions to games I love.

  • According to the ‘Geek, there have been 5 expansion boxes for the Unmatched game system in the last two years – and while I love all of them (some of which we playtested), I’d strongly recommend Cobble & Fog and Little Red Riding Hood vs. Beowulf as the two strongest boxes. (Yes, I know – Vol. 2 was released right before Christmas 2021… but I haven’t had as much time with it as the others.)
  • In the same vein, FFG has finally managed to get the Marvel Champions LCG pipeline moving – and the sheer number of expansion sets (heroes, villains, campaign boxes) is staggering. Since both of my boys love the MCU and the comics, we keep acquiring them. My suggestion: save getting villain expansions like Kang or The Wrecking Crew until later – the hero & campaign boxes are the best bang for your buck.
  • Undaunted: Reinforcements not only adds new troops and scenarios to the excellent Undaunted games, it also adds the ability to play 2 on 2 AND a robust solo AI for all the currently published scenarios. ‘Nuff said.
  • If you liked It’s a Wonderful World, there’s a plethora of expansions available – I wrote about them earlier this year here on the OG.
  • Other expansions that deserve a mention:
    • Tobago: Volcano
    • Era: Medieval Age – Rivers & Roads Expansion
    • Clank!: Adventuring Party
    • 7 Wonders Duel: Agora
    • The Dragon & Flagon: The Brew that is True
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