It's hot out. Really hot out. Best to stay inside and just play some games. And Ravensburger is looking to give you some for free. Their Summer Giveaway is happening now. Head through and put your name in the hat to get free games.
From the website:
The Summer Giveaway will end on August 22, 2022. A total of 25 entries will be randomly selected to receive one of our product bundles (5 per giveaway category). All winners will be notified via email. Please click here to review the official rules.
When you've got a really good game, you want to get a really nice version of it. Well, The Castles of Burgundy is widely considered to be a really good game, so Ravensburger and Awaken Realms have teamed up to bring you a really good version of it. Some would even call it a Special Edition. The project is up on Gamefound now.
From the campaign:
Castles of Burgundy is a legendary Board Game design created by Stefan Feld, currently rated as the #17 best game in the world (via BGG rating, with 53k ratings). In this 1-4 players tabletop experience, you will take on the role of an aristocrat controlling a small princedom. Trying to build a settlement with powerful castles, practice trades, exploit silver mines, and use the knowledge of travelers.
Now, this timeless game is coming back with an extremely polished, high-end special edition resulting from a collaboration between Ravensburger and Awaken Realms.
The game's made up and over $1million in funding with 19 days left to go.
It's October. That means horror movies, scary stories, and things that go "bump" in the night. And Ravensburger is bringing it all to your tabletop with Horrified: Universal Monsters. Classics like Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, and more are terrorizing the town, and it's up to the players to work together to defeat them. You can pick up your copy now.
From the website:
A city screams in terror!
A cooperative game against the world’s most famous monsters.
The village is under attack! Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, his Bride, and more are on the rampage, and your team of heroes must defeat them. Each monster offers an entirely unique challenge, and players can adjust the difficulty by playing against a new group of adversaries every game! Overcome them all before the horror overwhelms you!
Are you good at 3D design? Have you been looking to get a new 3D printer? Do you like winning things? If you answered "yes" to these questions, MyMiniFactory has a contest running for you. They're running the Reimagining the World of Labyrinth contest in partnership with Ravensburger. You could win a new 3D printer.
From the website:
There's something about the way you experience a board game, the physical touch and feel is such a critical component of the game that you can't experience online. But even with the traditional form of play, board games are evolving, in fact, the future of puzzles is more inclusive and diverse than ever before.
MyMiniFactory is thrilled to announce our partnership with one of the largest, most loved European toy company, Ravensburger! The century-year-old company continues to celebrate togetherness through our incredible and exciting collaboration, designed to bring you closer to the brands and games you love in a way that's never been experienced before!
This co-creation competition is unlike any other in MyMiniFactory history. This competition is about bringing the Labyrinth game to life with your vision and perspective and bringing it to the forefront of the brand you've grown up adoring. We're overjoyed to share this opportunity with you! The chance to design new characters and themes to a game shared more than 30 years ago, and have them approved officially by Ravensburger themselves!
But that's for later (well, later to me now as I'm typing this, not later from the time you read this, since I'm typing this at 6am and will be gaming at 2pm when it posts).
Right now we've got reviews of: London, Colosseum, Ophidian 2360, Ore-Some, Critter Combat, Gloomhaven, Runebound: The Gilded Blade Expansion, Mage Wars: Arena Paladin vs Siren Expansion, Conquest of Speros, Castles of Burgundy, Flamme Rouge, and Ponzi Scheme.
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (02:11); final thoughts and review (16:58)
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:50); final thoughts and review (13:57)
Toucan Play That Game:
Ophidian 2360 Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Ophidian 2360 by Hack and Slash Games.
In this paid video you can find out about Ore-Some by One Free Elephant.
Critter Combat Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the new Critter Combat from Rare Mind Games. This is currently on Kickstarter with a super low funding goal. Please go out there an check this out as it is really a great little card game for kids and adults.
The mechanics are simple but the game still offers a good level of strategic thought process as you decide how to use 1 of your 3 available actions on your turn.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Gloomhaven! This is the game play review featuring game mechanics, my thoughts on quicker startup, layout and all the goodness that makes Gloomhaven. I will have to say, it will not be surprising to see this game make best game of 2017 as it is fantastic and the more you play the more you want to play and build out your board. It really offers a full RPG experience in a traditional board game setting.
So get out there and pick up a copy when it hits retail as this is a gamer's paradise!
Runebound: The Gilded Blade Expansion Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at The Gilded Blade a Runebound 3rd edition expansion featuring a new miniature, items, abilities and adventure cards. So as the festival takes place, buy sell and loot all you can - but watch out for thieves because they are everywhere in this one.
Play Board Games:
Mage Wars Arena: Paladin vs Siren Expansion Review
Paladin vs Siren is the newest expansion for Mage Wars Arena. It adds two new mages with unique playing styles and new creatures and spells.
Board Game Quest:
Conquest of Speros Review
In Conquest of Speros, each player will take control of one of four different factions and battle for various locations. Location types and resources from those locations translate into points at the end of the game, with the player having the most points being crowned the winner.
Castles of Burgundy Review
Based on The Castles of Burgundy, the card game of the same name has players as lords of lands in renaissance France. Their goal is the expanding of their estates through the construction of buildings, creating farms, mining, shipping goods, and constructing castles. This is accomplished through the playing of cards to form sets and using cards with dice symbols as virtual dice. The player who earns the most points from this variety of activities wins.
Flamme Rouge Review
There’s a fundamental question that every race-themed board game has to ask and answer, and that is this: what makes the track any more than a simple scoreboard? Or, in other words, what makes the race a race?
Ponzi Scheme Review
Ponzi Scheme is an economic trading game for three to five players. Players are fraudsters luring investors with impossible promises, trying to build the most profitable shell companies. The player with the most points in industries (without going bankrupt) wins.
But for the moment let's give you the review articles we've found over the course of the week.
In this batch we have reviews/previews of: Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis, Indigo, Fidelitas,Yggdrasil, Forge War, Alchemists, Apotheca, Buy the Rights, Nations: The Dice Game, Reign: The Card Game, Machi Koro's Harbor Expansion, and Forbidden Stars.
Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis by Outer Limit Games Review by Maurice Fitzgerald
Maurice Fitzgerald takes a look at Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis from Out Limit Games currently on Kickstarter.
A Bolt From The Blue (A Review of Indigo)
Indigo is a simple to learn abstract tile-laying game. Your goal is to gather the most gems/points by guiding them to an exit from the board which is under your control. The gems follow the pathways you create by laying tiles and connecting routes.
Delicatus Paulo Ludum (A Review of Fidelitas)
In Fidelitas you will put the townsfolk’s loyalties to the test, persuading them to move about the city so that you can complete various goal cards – no doubt messing with their heads the entire time. While it’s all very nondescript and generically Middle Ages, it’s eerily similar to the modern head game that local politicians play with us today. Mongo only pawn in game of Fidelitas.
Mjolnir Than Meets the Eye (A Review of Yggdrasil)
Yggdrasil is a cooperative game for 1-6 players. You play the role of a god. Along with the other gods, you must stop the advancing evil forces of Nidhogg, Surt, Jormungand, Fenrir, Hel, and Loki from destroying the fabled world tree.
Board to Death TV:
Forge War Review
In Forge War, players will take on the role of blacksmiths in a kingdom rife with marauding harpies, cursed dungeons and fire-breathing dragons. They are charged with gathering ore from the mines, purchasing weapon designs from the market and then using these resources to forge weapons for adventurers who will go on quests to fight back the ever-deepening darkness. If the adventurers are successful, they will return with more ore, money and other rewards with which players can invest back into their burgeoning weaponsmithing empire.
Play Board Games:
In Alchemists you need to publish theories about eight different ingredients. Publishing theories gets you reputation that is converted to VPs at the end of the game. If you publish incorrect theories they can be debunked and you might lose reputation. You mix ingredients to create potions that help you deduce information you can publish as theories.
Board Game Quest:
As a college chemistry major, it should be no surprise that I find my gaming predilections lean towards any theme having to do with alchemy and potions. Aside from board games, this leaks over into other gaming such as tabletop RPGs (I am playing my 2nd alchemist in as many campaigns), video games (Lil’ Alchemist has become my new obsession) and books (where I’d be Professor Snape’s star pupil).
Apotheca, an upcoming release by Knapsack Games, puts players in the role of alchemists trying to gather ingredients for potions, while using bluffing and strategy to prevent their competitors from brewing first. Does Apotheca emerge from the cauldron as a successful creation, or does it end up a congealed and smelly mess? Keep reading to find out.
Apotheca is a strategy and deduction game for 2-4 players that takes between 15-30 minutes to play. Apotheca plays well with any number of players.
Buy the Rights Preview
Going to the movies with my father, an audio/broadcast engineer for a major television news outlet for almost 40+ years, is always an adventure. Post-movie discussion tends to avoid talk of the plot or the acting, in favor of the not-as-popular Oscar award categories like sound editing, sound design, and cinematography.
Needless to say, he’s a bit of an oddity amongst moviegoers, who tend to want to review plot and actors and storyline. If you’re not like my dad, you may be interested in Buy The Rights, the initial launch from Literally Wizards Games. Does Buy the Rights make a big splash at the box office, or is it a dud that you can hold out for when it airs on cable on a Friday night? Read on to find out.
Buy the Rights is a party game for 4-10 people that plays in under an hour. Buy the Rights plays well with 4-10 players.
Nations: The Dice Game Review
I love the Nations board game. I’m a huge fan of civ building games in general, but Nations has just the right amount of variety and uniqueness that propel it to our gaming table often. Heck, it even won our Game of the Year award for our 2013 Board Game Awards.
So when Nations: The Dice Game debuted at Essen 2014, you better believe I wanted to play it. Unfortunately, the game was delayed from its mass distribution until spring of this year. Finally though, I was able to get my hands on a copy. Since then I’ve able to get it to my gaming table quite a few times. Does it hold up to the greatness of its big brother? Let’s find out!
Nation: The Dice Game is a civ building, dice rolling game for 2-4 players that takes about 30 minutes to play. Nations: The Dice Game best with 3-4 players.
Reign: The Card Game Preview
The element of betrayal is a hit or miss for me when it is a part of board game. I like it when it is more subtle and allows for doubt and misdirection rather than directly lying to your face.
The game we are previewing today strikes a nice balanced between those two extremes when it comes to this element. Set in a world in chaos, Reign: The Card Game pits players against each other attempting to win the war of succession and claim the kingdom. Player’s cannot do this alone and must align themselves with great houses to earn their support. You will have to barter and negotiate with other players as you try to earn enough points to win the game and claim the crown. Let’s get into the preview to see if this is a game you would like to pledge your support on Kickstarter.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
Review: Machi Koro's Harbor Expansion
Quinns: Today I’m joined by Matt, who’s finally played Machi Koro!
Matt: What does "Machi Koro" mean in English, Quinns?
Quinns: “Give Me a 4 You Useless Sodding Dice or I’m Melting You In the Microwave.” But I don’t just want to talk about Machi Koro today! I want to talk about the new Harbor expansion.
Matt: What does "Harbour" mean in English, Quinns?
Quinns: It doesn’t have a direct translation, but you could say “Den of Lost Souls.” But let’s start with a quick reminder of why the base game is so delightful, and why people should think about buying it if they haven’t already.
Forbidden Stars Review
Quinns: I don’t really like the Warhammer universes. When I was a kid I couldn’t get enough of them. “In the grim darkness of the future there is only war”? Holy shit!
These days I find them a little tired. Conflict is exciting, but not without peace to contrast it with, and not when you siphon all the humanity out of it. Where's the ego and romance? Where are the themes and mysteries? And obviously: Where are the women?
Let me wrap this up before people start sending me photos of Sisters of Battle, or pointing out that the expanded universe is awesome (I know!). My point is I was a little grouchy when I opened up of Forbidden Stars, Fantasy Flight’s new, striking war game set in the Warhammer 40K universe.
I'm happy to say that Forbidden Stars defrosted my icy heart. This game is sensational.
Ok, so it's not exactly "night" yet... unless you're East of here. So those of you in Europe might consider it night.
I'm getting off track. Anyway, it's Saturday and hopefully you're getting your gaming groove on.
We've got a collection of the review articles we found during the week and present them to you now.
In this edition, we have reviews/previews of: Doomtown: Reloaded, Mysterium, Between Two Cities, Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, Sanssouci, Mythtopia, The Tyrant and Dreadnought Army Cases from Tabletop Tyrant, Oh My Gods!, Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed Adventure Kit, and Specter Ops.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
Doomtown: Reloaded Review
Following on from XCOM, it's time for our second big review of the year. Doomtown: Reloaded is a portable game with some big ideas. It's a generous box with a golden future. It is, in fact, the first real competitor to the awesome Android: Netrunner.
Is this town big enough for the both of 'em?
Board Game Quest:
There has been a murder! Many years ago, an ancient mansion was the site of a horrible crime. A crime in which the owner of the house was falsely convicted and sent to prison (I swear I’m not doing a review of the A-Team here, stay with me). That poor man died in prison and has since returned to the walls of his old home as a ghost to pester the current inhabitants. They now need you, an intrepid group of paranormal experts, to put his soul to rest.
That’s the great theme of today’s review of Mysterium (currently for sale in Europe as Tajemnicze Domostwo), a cooperative deduction game that will have you racing the clock to solve the mystery. Can you help put the spirit to rest?
Mysterium is a cooperative deduction game for 2-7 players that takes about 45 minutes to play. Mysterium plays best for 4-5 players.
Between Two Cities Preview
Stonemaier Games has built itself a pretty solid reputation. Their small company has released two medium-weight games (and an expansion), all of which could be considered a resounding success. I’ve played Viticulture and Euphoria more times than I can count, so I’m always interested when I hear they have a new game coming out.
And new game they do as Stonemaier is back on Kickstarter with their latest campaign, Between Two Cities. This is the first title to be published by Stonemaier that wasn’t developed in house by designer Jamey Stegmaier. Instead, they turn to veteran game designers Matthew O’Malley (Diner) and Ben Rosset (Brewcrafters, Mars Needs Mechanics) for the creation of Between Two Cities. Can Stonemaier keep their streak of great games alive on the back of a different designer? Let’s find out!
Between Two Cities is a tile drafting, set collection and city building game for 2-7 players that takes about 25 minutes to play.
Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide Review
We are finally here, the last book of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition “core set”. When they first announced that the roll out of the core books would be a month by month process, I was a little unsure of the strategy. I’m used to getting my hands on all three books at once and, as my wife will attest to, I hate change. But it seems to have worked out OK. The Player’s Handbook was outstanding and the Monster Manual was a love letter to DMs. Truth be told, we were able to play the game just fine with the staggered roll out.
So now it’s time to dive into the final book in the set, the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Even though I’ve ran countless campaigns as a dungeon master (DM), I rarely read the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) cover to cover. It’s always been more of a tool for me to use piece-meal as needed. So what do I think of a book that’s targeted only to a specific section of the RPG market? Let’s find out.
Play Board Games:
Sanssouci Board Game Review
In Sanssouci you are trying to create the most beautiful garden. You gain VPs by completing rows and columns in your garden, by moving your nobles through it and by completing your secret mission card. Score the most VPs and win the game.
Mythotopia Board Game Review
Mythotopia is a deck-building game mixed with area control and a bit of war game.
You win Mythotopia by scoring the most VPs. You gain VPs by invading your opponents’ provinces or achieving the victory conditions on Victory Point Cards.
The Tyrant and Dreadnought Army Cases Review
If you’re anything like us, you’ve got plenty of armies and miniatures, and could always do with a decent solution for storage and transport. Today we examine two options from Tabletop Tyrant, we’ve already had a look at their smaller Squire Plastic Figure Case, so today we’re trying out the Tyrant and Dreadnought army figure cases.
The Meeple Mechanic:
Dead Man's Draw Review
Dead Man’s Draw is a press-your-luck card game where thematically, you play a pirate trying to accumulate the most wealth (highest-numbered cards from a unique deck). So let’s get right into the rules!
Oh My Gods! Review
In Oh My Gods!, one of the Greek gods has stolen Zeus’ lightning bolt. Now you need to find Mr. Boddy– I mean the thief– Essentially you are about to play a themed game of Clue. But stay with me! It does get better!
Iron Kingdoms: Unleashed Adventure Kit Unboxing
It’s the new Iron Kingdoms RPG Adventure Kit Unleashed and unboxed! Play Unplugged’s Enrico Nardini takes you inside Privateer Press’s latest RPG starter set. Will he survive the wilds of Urcaen?
Watch It Played:
Specter Ops video
In this episode we learn how to play Specter Ops.