Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 12

Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!

If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.

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Dale Yu: Preview of Trekking the World

Trekking the World

  • Designer: Charlie Bink
  • Publisher: Underdog Games
  • Players: 2-5
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by Underdog Games
  • Disclaimer – while I received a free prototype copy of the game to play in advance of the Kickstarter campaign, I received no other benefits (i.e. money) to play the game or write the review.

Trekking the World is a game that should be hitting Kickstarter later this week (or at least that was the original plan – given the way the current market is swooning; there may be some delay on the part of Underdog Games…). But, in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, this may be the only way that I’ll be seeing different parts of the world for quite some time… I have already had two trips canceled, and given the current climate, my annual trip to Essen appears to be in jeopardy (even though it is still seven months away!)  This game is meant to be the spiritual successor to Trekking the National Parks, a very popular game from 2014; that was re-released in 2018.

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Posted in Kickstarter, Preview | 3 Comments

Dale Yu: Review of Axio Rota

Axio Rota

  • Designer: Renier Knizia
  • Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
  • Players: 1-4
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 15-30 minutes on the box, 10-15 minutes in reality
  • Times played: 5, with review copy provided by Pegasus Spiele

The tagline in the rules says this is “A clever tile-laying game for 1-4 shrewd minds”.  Though, maybe it would better to say that it a clever tile-laying game for 1-4 ingenious minds…  In this game, players will place tiles to the board (in five of the colors/icons that you might have seen in Einfach Genial – I guess someone really hated the yellow circle).  Each player gets their own scoreboard which shows the five colors and a scoring track that goes from 0-12 in each color. As you might have guessed, each player also gets a colored cube which goes on each track.

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Posted in Essen 2019, Reviews | 3 Comments

Granite Game Summit (2020) Recap

This last weekend I headed to New Hampshire to play some games. My friend Kimberly is one of the organizers of the Granite Game Summit, and with BGGCON exiting my annual schedule, it would be a nice way to support her and visit with friends from the New England area (and I’d been meaning to go for a few years.)

As intended, it’s a sort of BGGCON-lite, with everything shrunk down to about 10% of the Texas-sized con.

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Dale Yu: Review of Tournament at Avalon

Tournament at Avalon

Tournament at Avalon is a new trick-taking game, well really a trick-avoiding game, from Wizkids – it is a standalone expansion to Tournament at Camelot – a game which we reviewed here about 18 months ago: https://opinionatedgamers.com/2017/09/15/tournament-at-camelot-game-review-by-chris-wray/

The publisher describes it thusly: In the game, you play as a legendary character, battling opponents with weapon cards: arrows, swords, deception, sorcery, and even alchemy. The more you injure your opponents, the better you fare in the tournament. However, even the most injured characters can make a complete comeback with the grace of Godsend cards and the aid of their special companions. This trick-taking game ends when one opponent has been injured to the point of death. The player with the most health is then declared the tournament victor!

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Ultra Deluxe 2D Arcade Mega Fighter (Game Review by Brandon Kempf)

  • Designers: Ryan Paul & William Madden
  • Artists: Vincent Patrick & Shutterstock 
  • Publisher: WizKids
  • Players: 2
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Times Played: 3

I never was very good at 2D fighting games. I was one of those annoying button mashers who just moved the joystick all around and hit every button that they could in hopes of pulling off a combo at some point and maybe, just maybe, winning a match, it rarely happened, but I usually had a good time trying and annoying my opponent. So it’s kind of needless to say that I mostly skipped over the board game versions of these classic arcade style games, until Ultra Deluxe 2D Arcade Mega Fighter landed on my doorstep. 

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Dale Yu: Review of Catacombs Cubes

Catacombs Cubes (Catacombes Cubes)

  • Designer: Ken Valles
  • Publisher: Elzra
  • Players: 1-4
  • Age: 14+
  • Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Elzra

Catacombs Cubes is a new game which is set in the universe of Cimathue (from Catacombs).  In this game, players strive to complete buildings found on their blueprints – the end goal being the completion of construction in the Village of Stormtryne. 

There is a Planning board which is placed in the center of the table. Around the edge is a score track.  Below this is where the Village tiles can be found – these show different buildings which can by built. Then, at the bottom, you’ll find a Palace tile and an area for the players to jointly build this particular Palace.  There is a secondary score track in the center of the Planning board where players track their contributions to the particular palace. Finally, the town hall tile is placed on the table – it serves as the starting point for all building in the Village.  There is a Quarry board, which is also set aside, to be used later.

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Posted in Essen 2019, Reviews | 3 Comments

Silver Coin (Game Review by Chris Wray)

  • Designer: Ted Alspach
  • Publisher: Bezier Games
  • Players: 2 – 4
  • Ages: 14 and Up
  • Time: 45 Minutes
  • Times Played: > 5 (On Review Copy from the Publisher)

Silver Coin is the third game in the hit Silver line of fast-playing card games designed by Ted Alspach.  Based on the system from Cabo, each game in the Silver series is a hand management and set collection card game with a werewolf-themed twist.  

Each game in the series features a different namesake relic, and as probably guessed, this one is a silver coin.  Consistent with this coin theme, this game is all about flipping cards and building combos.

Silver Coin is my favorite of the three games released so far.  Clever card interactions allow for a variety of ingenious strategies.  People who love Silver Amulet or Silver Bullet will naturally love Silver Coin, but for experienced gamers, this could also serve as a great introduction to the series, as this has some of that combo-licous-ness that gamers seem to love.  

About the Series

Silver (a.k.a. Silver Amulet) and Silver Bullet were released last year, and Silver Coin was announced today.  The games can be combined, so sort of like with Dominion, you can mix different sets to make custom decks.  Ted Alspach has hinted at other forthcoming games in the series.  For the uninitiated, there is a free iOS app available to show you Silver Amulet.  For those interested in the game’s development, I highly recommend Ted Alspach’s Designer Diary over on BGG, which he updated for Silver Bullet.

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Posted in Reviews | 3 Comments

Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 11

Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!

If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.

Continue reading
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Surviving the Purge: Indigo (Game Review by Brandon Kempf)

  • Designer: Reiner Knizia
  • Artists: Eckhard Freytag, Walter Pepperle, Stefan Wingen & Betty Yao
  • Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
  • Players 2-4
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Plays: 22

By 2013, my family and I were playing a lot more board games. It had become our thing to do. We had an eight-year-old daughter who at that time enjoyed hanging out with mom and dad far more than hanging out with friends, and a two-year-old who was just hanging around whether she liked it or not. It was about that time that my focus in games kind of shifted a bit — they became a bit more family oriented and less oriented to my wife and I, or other adult friends and family. In other words, less Game of Thrones: The Board Game and more Indigo

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