Dale Yu: Review of Fantasy Realms: The Cursed Hoard Expansion

 Fantasy Realms: The Cursed Hoard Expansion

  • Designer: Bruce Glassco
  • Publisher: WizKids
  • Players: 3-6
  • Ages: 14+
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Times played: 4, with review copy provided by WizKids (maybe 30+ plays of the base game over the past 4 years)

fantasy realms cursed hoard

The base game, Fantasy Realms, came out in 2017, and became a constant filler that summer.  You may have heard of it this week as the base game was just named a finalist for the 2021 Kennerspiel des Jahres award.  It is a quick game but yet one that offers players a surprisingly deep amount of strategy.  In Fantasy Realms, each player is the ruler of a far-away kingdom, trying to make the best and strongest kingdom possible – being represented by a hand of seven cards.  Each of these cards has a base strength, a suit and some form of bonus and/or penalty value.  In the game, you will draft from a very small deck.  The Cursed Hoard expansion gives players two different modular expansions that they can add separately or together to enhance the base game.  Before I get to the expansion though, let me recap some of the base game (in case you missed our original review!)

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Congratulations to the 2021 Spiel des Jahres nominees!

The Spiel des Jahres jury announced their nominees and recommendations this morning. Congratulations to the nominees!

We’ve listed the nominees below, but we’ve only put in the names of the German publishers (or what we assume is the German publisher).

We did pretty well with our predictions this year, calling 2/3 each of the SdJ and KdJ nominees.

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Dwarf (Review by RJ Garrison)

Designer: Lee G. Broderick

Publisher:  Dragon Dawn Productions

Players:  1-3 (1-5 with a second set)

Playing Time:  30-60 minutes

Ages:  9+

MSRP: $35.00


You often hear about Dwarves being miners and that mining is really what Dwarves do best.  But how often do you actually see Dwarves doing what they’re meant to do?  Instead, you see them roaming around the wilderness with rangers, elves, humans and short, furry footed people returning jewelry to their rightful owners, or going on a mission to steal back jewelry from a large thief that stole theirs in the first place.  Occasionally you might see some Dwarves heading off to work they go while singing, but you don’t necessarily get to see them doing a whole lot of actual mining.  

Enter Dwarf: a Forging, Mining and Fighting for Glory game by Lee Broderick.  Dwarf takes you into the mine as Dwarven players mine, forge and defend their mine against enemies all for the sake of seeking glory.  

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The Opinionated Gamers (Try To) Predict the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres – 2021 Edition

For the past few years, our group of gamers has taken their best guess at trying to read the minds of the Spiel des Jahres jury members.  The nominations for the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres will be announced Monday, and the award winners will be revealed this summer.  

As has become our habit, we will do this in two parts.  This first survey is done prior to the actual release of the lists, when just about any game was open for consideration.  Once the lists are out, we will then do a second round of voting, limited only to the actual nominees.

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Dale Yu: Review of Cold Case: A Story to Die For

Cold Case: A Story to Die For

  • Designer: uncredited
  • Publisher: Think Fun
  • Players: 1+
  • Age: 14+
  • Time: 1 hour on box, 37 minutes in reality for me playing solo
  • Times played: 1, with review copy provided by Think Fun

In this game, you play the role of a police officer, who is looking though an unsolved case from the past, a “cold case.”  As it happened more than 30 years ago, your only source of information is the file folder filled with the records, interview transcripts and other evidence that was collected back when the crime occured.  You are tasked to examine the evidence in the file and see whether or not you can solve the mystery…

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Dale Yu: Review of Sky Towers

Sky Towers

  • Designer: Charles Ward
  • Publisher: EXIST Games
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Times played: 3
  • Played with PnP copy from files sent from publisher

Sky Towers is a game created for the 2021 54-card game design contest (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2495300/2021-54-card-game-design-contest) and I do try to peek at contests such as these to see if anything there catches my eye.  In this case, the game came and found me, and the designer contacted me to see if he could send me a copy (From Japan) to try.  I figured it would be easier to make a PnP copy, to save both time and postage, so we had a copy to try in short order.  My local group is always looking for new card games to play; and this game was sold to me a a light family oriented game – and I’m hoping to have more time with my non-game playing niece and nephews in the upcoming months.

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