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Review Roundup

It's feeling a lot like Saturday 2: Sat Harder (editor's note: rework that title before publishing) here. Yesterday I spent much of the day at home, hanging out and working on my friend's Guild Ball minis. He moved recently and a bunch of his stuff got jumbled and busted up. Plus, there were some new kits he'd gotten in that he wasn't sure when he would be able to assemble them. Putting figures together is arguably my favorite part of the whole hobby, so I've offered to fix his busted minis, assemble his new ones, and even move some of his other figures over to sculpted bases he'd gotten. There's ~35 minis that are getting some kind of work on them, from assembly, to those bases, to fixes, to green-stuffing the slots. It's been a fun project. Certainly kept me busy. Plus, next time I see them on the other side of the pitch, I don't have to see a bunch of half-assembled and busted figures. :P
But I'm currently taking a break (my hand's cramping from using a pin vice all morning) to bring you those reviews I know you all so desperately desire.

This week we have: Storm Hollow, The Mysterious Forest, Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Vengeance, Gloom of Kilforth, Spoils of War, Santorini, Kerala, Mini Rails, Armageddon, By Order of the Queen, NMBR 9, Coded: Card-Time Strategy, Legend of the Five Rings, Woo-Hoo!, AquaSphere, and Cities of Splendor.

theMCGuiRE review:

Storm Hollow Review

theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Storm Hollow the adventure Storyboard game. There is a ton of content in this system and I am impressed with its smooth mechanics, simple game play, and high level of quality components. It really is a fantastic gaming system for the family and I highly recommend this if you are a RPG'er or have considered getting into something like this with the family. All fairy-tails and stories from this realm are a reality in Storm Hollow. You will go on awesome magical adventures both fun to tell, as the game master, or experience as a player. The introduction is quick for the game master and players will be ready to play and start quickly. It also features a co-op board game experience as well - so if you simply want to set the adventure story mode aside and play a board game like experience, you can do that as well.

The Mysterious Forest Review

theMCGuiRE review takes a look at The Mysterious Forest from iello games. This is a great kids game which offers memory, group collaboration and tactical execution skill building. Its got a great theme, super high quality components and a low price point. Its a definite recommend from me for the kids and family gaming experiences.

Toucan Play That Game:

Pandemic Legacy Season 2 COMPLETELY SPOILER FREE Review

In this video you can find out my spoiler free thoughts on Pandemic Legacy Season 2 by Z-man Games.

Board to Death TV:

Vengeance Review

Step into the shoes of a hero that has been bashed and tortured by one or more of the four gangs in the game. You win by building up your hero, scouting gang dens to find the baddies who wronged you, then taking bloody revenge through action-packed fight sequences made up of dice based puzzles.

Gloom of Kilforth Review

The land of Kilforth is a perilous domain filled with nefarious monsters, mysterious Strangers and treacherous Locations, and dominated at its centre by The Sprawl, a huge city where intrepid Heroes begin their journey to fame and fortune. Throughout the land various factions vie for power over each other, such as the supposedly noble Order of the Rose or the terrifying Doom Guard. And presiding over the world outside Kilforth is the ever-present Overlord, Masklaw. Over the coming month, a deadly Gloom will descend upon Kilforth,which the Heroes must Battle through to prove their worth, defeat an Ancient evil, and save the land from darkness.
Gloom of Kilforth is a card game of high fantasy with a Gothic edge, playable in 1-3 hours, where 1-4 players, working individually or together, must take their humble adventurers on a journey through a dark world of magic and peril. They will visit strange places, stranger people and overcome powerful enemies in their mission to discover mysterious artefacts and mystical Spells. Players follow their Hero’s tale from modest beginnings through an epic story to an exciting climactic battle for the fate of the world. Gloom of Kilforth takes about 45 minutes per player to play.

Spoils of War Review

The raid is over, and the victorious Vikings gather in the chieftain’s tent to divide the spoils of war! Piled high on a massive oak table are the best treasures taken during the raid: gleaming gems, shiny swords, fine armor, and magical artifacts! Once strong allies, the Vikings are taken by greed, and soon a heated debate ensues — who will get which spoils? Fists pound the table, insults are made, and tempers rise!

Spoils of War is a fast-paced and exciting game of bidding and wagering for 3-5 players. Each round, players roll their dice, then cleverly bluff and bet to outwit their fellow Vikings. The winners of each round get to claim fantastic treasures to add to their collection! With lots of twists and surprises, no one knows who will win until the last treasure is claimed and the spoils are counted!

Santorini Review

Santorini is a re-imagining of the purely abstract 2004 edition. Since its original inception over 30 years ago, Santorini has been continually developed, enhanced and refined by designer Gordon Hamilton.

Kerala Review

Welcome to the elephant festival in the Indian province of Kerala! Colorfully decorated elephants roam everywhere, and naturally players want to participate and make the most magnificent fairground with as many elephants as possible.

In Kerala, each player wants to take at least one tile of each color, and all tiles of one color should be joined together, but of course the players are constantly getting in the way of one another and grabbing the tiles that someone else wants.

Mini Rails Review

Mini Rails distills the essence of the stock-buying and track-laying game genre into a tight experience that can be finished under an hour.

The game includes only two types of actions — “Buy Shares” and “Build Tracks” — and you must carefully decide how to best use them. You must do each action exactly once per round, and which company you choose affects the turn order on the next round.

Armageddon Review

In a post-apocalyptic world, players try to rebuild society. Using the debris, they build new towns for the remaining survivors to live in — but these friendly folks aren’t the only ones still out there. Marauders want to pillage your town and see it burn. Scavenge what you can and build new structures to help you defend against the marauder threat. While you can get more things done in town when you house more survivors there, they all have to have a space to sleep or they might turn against you and join the marauders.

Armageddon is a strategy game that offers many tactical choices and different strategies to claim victory.

By Order of the Queen Review

By Order of the Queen is a cooperative 2–4 player game with a fantasy role-playing game theme. Players take on the role of one of the Guilds of Tessandor, working together to dispatch Heroes to important quests, to combat monsters and to complete the Queen’s Orders themselves.

By Order of the Queen is designed to give players a full fantasy campaign in one 90-120 minute game, by giving players just the highlights of a role-playing adventure.

Players must work together to keep the kingdom from falling apart while trying to complete three Queen’s Orders to win the game.

Board Game Quest:

NMBR 9 Review

In NMBR 9, players are trying to earn the most points by stacking different numbers. The game comes with twenty cards numbered 0-9 (twice) and enough tiles for 4 players.

Each round, the top number card is drawn and each player collects the matching number from the tray, placing it on the table. After the first round, each newly placed number must touch a previously played number. Players can also build up to higher levels, as long as it is fully supported by at least two numbers below it.

Coded: Card-Time Strategy Review

In Codex: CTS, each player starts the game with a set of heroes (one to three), a starting deck, and a binder… err… Codex… of 24 cards per hero. Each turn, a player’s workers generate a certain amount of gold that can be spent to build up a player’s draw deck with the cards from their Codex.

The Legend of the Five Rings Card Game Review

Players construct a deck using cards from one of seven clans, splashing in cards from another clan and generic cards. Each player has four provinces that serve as the staging area for cards coming into play, and are the target for attack by their opponent. Cards on provinces can either be characters, attachments that enhance characters in play, or attachments that enhance the province they are on. Each player also has a stronghold province that provides players with fate tokens each turn and is more difficult to defeat.

Woo-Hoo! Review

Woo-Hoo has two modes of play to choose from to cater to the kids you are playing with, but both share a fairly similar structure. Players will take turns rolling a die and moving the appropriate numbers of steps up of the elephant slide. Once your pawn reaches the top, you can slide down into the sand box. Yelling Woo-Hoo at this point is optional, but encouraged.

Then in the easy version, you will choose one toy from the box and place it in front of you. If you play with the slightly advanced setup you will roll a different die to determine how many toys, between 1-3, that you will collect.

There are 20 toys, five each of four different colors. The game ends when all of the toys have been collected. If you are playing with the basic rules, you can choose the number of toys to include to shorten the game if you’d like. In the advanced game you can also win by collecting all 5 toys of the same color.


AquaSphere Review

Aquasphere is a point-salad Euro game for two to four players. Players use their engineer and scientist to program and use robots aboard an underwater station. The player with the most knowledge points after four rounds wins.

Cities of Splendor Review

I was a latecomer to the Splendor love train. When it came out, I looked at it and thought, “That’s it?” Bear in mind, I was in a place in my life where I had time and energy for heavy games and something as light as Splendor was easily dismissed. But life changes. Not long after, everything did a 180 and I found myself with far less time and energy for gaming. I began seeking out lighter games which still possessed some depth, and that search led me back to Splendor.

I fell in love (or at least heavy like) with the base game, yet when I saw there was an expansion on the way, I thought, “Is it a good idea to mess with the simplicity of the original game? Isn’t the simplicity what made it great?” So with some trepidation, I took the plunge into expansion-land. So the question is, did Cities make things better or worse?