Dale Yu: Essen ’16 Preview of Power Grid: The Card Game


Power Grid: The Card Game

  • Designer: Friedemann Friese
  • Publisher: 2F
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: ?
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Times played: 2, with publisher’s prototype copy at the Gathering of Friends

pg tcg box

As I alluded to in my Gathering of Friends report – there is a new card game coming in the Power Grid family. Now that the embargo has been lifted, I will give a bit more detail about the game. I had the chance to play it a few times at the Gathering, and after glancing through the rules, it appears that there were not any major rules changes from the version that I played.

Power Grid: The Card Game (PG:TCG) is a streamlined version of the full game where you get a lot of the feel of Power Grid but in about a third of the time. This version of the game focuses on power plant acquisition and the resource market – but takes out the map play. This version of the game also uses some of the rules changes that were introduced to the Power Grid system from the Power Grid Deluxe release from a few years ago. Continue reading

Posted in Essen 2016, Preview | 1 Comment

Funkenschlag at Fifteen: The Story of Power Grid

Game History by Chris Wray


This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of Funkenschlag, the first forerunner of Power Grid.  In a hobby that is often defined by the “cult of the new,” Power Grid (which is still called Funkenschlag in Germany) is a perennial favorite among gamers.  It has long been in the BGG top 20, a rare accomplishment among older games, rising as high as #2 for several months in 2007-2008.  Power Grid has nearly 100,000 logged plays on BGG, has sold tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of copies in more than a dozen languages, and has been in-print continuously for more than a decade.  To honor the anniversary of this great game, I interviewed designer Friedemann Friese.  What follows is our retrospective on the story and impact of Funkenschlag and Power Grid. Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of Sea of Clouds


Sea of Clouds

  • Designer: Theo Riviere
  • Publisher: IELLO
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: ~45 minutes
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by IELLO

sea of clouds

Players in Sea of Clouds vie to be the best “air pirate” around.  What exactly is an air pirate?  Of course, it’s a pirate who commands a flying ship!  Duh.  Not clear if we’re Dutchmen or not, but based on the names, I don’t think so… El Capitan, Lady Damballa, Madame Tching and Duc de Plessy take to the skies in search of plunder – whether they find it exploring or whether they gain it in plunder by boarding other ships.

Each player gets a board whose purpose is really to show you where to put the different sorts of cards that you will collect – Pirates, Relics, Rum and Objects.  There is also a central board which is used to keep track of rounds (and importantly, in which rounds you can board other ships) as well as giving you locations for the three piles of Loot. Continue reading

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Kepler-3042: a quick preview

I was lucky enough to have the possibility to play Kepler-3042 before the end of the kickstarter campagin and I want to share with you my first impression.


It was a 4-player game.

In the game you have to try to get points sending your ships exploring the galaxy and colonizing new planets. It is a 16 turns game and you can colonize at most 5 planets and you can have, at most, 3 ships in play. So, first impression, it is a really tight game where all the decision are important. You will get points also for terraforming your planets and from the colony and technology tracks. Finally every player has a secret objective card.

Continue reading

Posted in Kickstarter, Preview, Uncategorized

Dale Yu: First Impression of The Game of 49


The Game of 49

  • Designer: Mark Corsey
  • Publisher: Breaking Games
  • Players: 2-5
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: ~30 minutes
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by Breaking Games


This week appears to be the week for calendar coincidence and game reviews. On Monday, we did America on 7/4.  While not entirely fitting, we’re doing the Game of 49 on 7/7.  Yes, I know it would be more suited for 7*7, but this is as good as it’s going to get…


Breaking Games is fairly new to me, I don’t remember seeing much about them prior to Origins this year.  I did see their banners for “Poop: The Game” in the dealer hall.  Examination of their website advertises them as the new promotion and publishing company of AdMagic, a producer of custom board games.  Further web investigation shows the company to be the producer of the iconic black and white cards seen in Cards Against Humanity. 

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews

Dale Yu: First Impressions of Agricola (revised Edition, 2016)

Agricola (revised Edition, 2016)

  • Publisher: Lookout/Mayfair
  • Players: 1-4
  • Ages: 12+
  • Time: 30-150 minutes
  • Times played: 3 with new version, conservatively 300+ in all forms


Agricola is one of my favorite games – and as I mentioned yesterday, it’s the game that truly started my boardgaming “career”.  In this review, I won’t go over the mechanics of the game – I think the 18,000 words in the previous piece should cover it.  What this review will focus on are the changes between the original and the revised edition.

In some ways, I wish that there had been at least some sort of subtitle on the new version.  As the two games share the same name, this will almost certainly lead to confusion when people are referring to one or the other version of the game.  However, the new game is very similar to the old version, and the bulk of the rules are the same.

What’s different with in the revised Edition? (and what do I think about it?)

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | 7 Comments

Dale Yu: Re-review of Agricola (2007, Lookout Games)

So… Agricola has been hailed as one of the more influential releases of the past 10 years… the other being Dominion. (“infallible” Source here).  I have been lucky enough to be involved in some way with both of those games.  My review of Agricola back in 2007 ended up spawning two “careers”.  First, it helped me latch on as a regular reviewer/commentator for Boardgamenews.  Second, my review got me in touch with the folks at Lookout Games, which then led to a volunteer job revising the solo game, which in turn started me on the path to being a game developer…

This review was originally posted to Boardgamenews.com in my weekly column back in 2007.  That site has now gone to the electronic dumpster in the sky (the Wayback Machine).  It was later revisited on BGG:  https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/255808/agricola-long-review-family-game-full-game-solo-ga/page/1

Some edits have been made from that original review.

Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of America



  • Designers: Ted Alspach, Friedemann Friese
  • Publisher: Bezier Games
  • Players: 2-6
  • Ages: 13+
  • Time: ~45 minutes
  • Times played: 4, with review copy provided by Bezier Games

Given that today is Independence Day in the USA, it seems fitting to review a game titled “America”…


America is the new release from Bezier Games, the newest release in the Fauna family of games.  I have been a big fan of Fauna – well, maybe not since the very beginning… but definitely from August 2009 onwards!  The reason for this is that I first learned about Fauna when I started doing research about the 2009 Spiel des Jahres finalists.  I played a role in the development of Dominion, the eventual winner of the 2009 SdJ, and I must say that I was nervous of our chances leading up to the award because the other two games, Fauna and Pandemic, were very good in their own right.

Fauna is a trivia game that focused on animal trivia, but the unique twist in the game was that you didn’t have to know the exact answer… you could score points for simply being close!  The central idea was later used in the followup game, Terra – a game which used geographical trivia questions instead.  The third version of the game, America, focuses on…. you guessed it, American trivia. Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters


Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

  • Designer: Brian Yu
  • Publisher: Mattel
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: ~30 minutes


Times played: at least 20, most with the original German version (Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchemeister) but a couple with a preview copy of the American version provided by Mattel USA

Disclaimer – Brian Yu is my brother, and I’m somewhat biased towards him.  However, this familial bias should be balanced out by the fact that I’m still a bit sore that his game won the Kinderspiel des Jahres in 2014 over Flizz&Miez, a game which I helped design myself.

Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (GFTH) is a great game that is finally making its way to the English-speaking world.  It has been around since 2013, and was released by Mattel Germany to critical acclaim at that year’s SPIEL fair.  It was a well deserved Kinderspiel des Jahres winner in 2014, and while there was a fair amount in interest in bringing it over to the US, it did not get signed by Mattel USA until just this year, nearly three years after its initial release in Europe. Continue reading

Posted in Reviews

July is for Re-dos, Repeats, Rethemes, Re-releases, Re-prints and more!

As we move into the hot summer months, I took a look at my stack of review games and noticed that there are a lot of second comings out right now – whether that be re-releases, re-themes, sequels, re-prints, etc.

So, for the month, we’re going to try to take a closer look at a lot of these re-games.  I doubt that every review this week will be a re-something, but a good number will be!

Later today, we’ll start off the month with the American re-lease of the 2014 Kinderspiel des Jahres, once known as Geister, Geister, Schatzschumeister – now known as Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters!  Lots more to come in July…



Posted in Site News | 2 Comments