Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Partial elimination made me feel uncomfortable

I have just come to a realisation about a reason that I did not enjoy a particular game. Overall the game was okay, but it drastically made me feel uncomfortable!

This game I played months ago, it has been on my mind searching for the reason I was uncomfortable. I obviously enjoyed something about the game.

In this game you collect and deliver resources, the board is seeded randomly (we played 3/4 times close together) and generates a nice challenge in figuring out the optimum delivery strategy.

However there is blocking and direct attacking. I do not mind attacking in a game and I don't mind direct attacking.

I'll explain direct and in-direct attacks. Games such as Risk, Scythe, Imperial Settlers and Blood Rage all have direct attacks in them. I see in-direct attacks as being in games like Agricola, Viticulture, Terra Mystica and Carcassonne. These are about denying an opponent options available to them.

There is also a segment of games that have a direct attack mechanic but you do not choose who you attack, such as King of Tokyo and Cosmic Encounter.

Going back to the game. As you get further into the game, things tighten up. You become flush with cash/resources and the game begins to say its time to attack and start taking what the other players have. The game is structured in a way where you will not have quite enough and incentive's you to attack an opponent.

This in its own right isn't an issue. However (I'm getting there), in games like this if I attack the strongest player or a player of equal strength a war will ensue and we both lose. This game rewards you to attack the weakest player and technically eliminate them from the game.

2 questions arise.
1. Why do games in general not give you an incentive to attack the strongest?
2. Would it not be best to be fully eliminated, rather than a partial elimination?

This game (and many others) in particular should have some sort of mechanic that gives you an incentive to attack the player/s in the lead or penalise hitting those that are weaker.

For example in this game I was tied in my opinion to win. I could attack the person that I felt I was tied with, but I could see that if I did, it then made sense for that player to retaliate elsewhere as I would be weak at another location.

Where as it actually made sense for me to attack the weaker player, leaving myself strong with no 'chinks in my armour' against the player who I was tied with. However, that leaves the weaker player partially eliminated. Meaning they have to continue playing, but they have no chance of working there way back up and there is still an hour left of game play.

In my opinion (and that is what this entire rant is about) it would have been best for that person to have been knocked out entirely from the game, or a catch up mechanic could have been put in place to draw that player back in and into the running.

I felt awful and really uncomfortable for attacking the weaker option, strategically it made 100% sense. I won the game, but took no joy from it, I was deflated.

Games such as Scythe and Imperial Settlers handle it really well. In Scythe you can have workers in the hex spaces, if a player drives you out of a location they lose as much popularity as you had workers in that area. Popularity is the end game multiplier, you need to think hard if you want to lose any popularity. The weaker player is given a really nice defensive option.

In Imperial Settlers if a player takes out one of your common cards, yes you lose that card. In reality you have only lost its ability. You gain a resource to use next turn and you can still use it as a foundation. Taking that sting out of the blow.

In games like Agricola and Viticulture. Your options effect the other players, but they are never driven backwards. In fact when you take a location in Agricola or Viticulture, the opponent just needs to take a different 'route to market'. That player still has a positive action You also generally do not know where the other players are going either, its normally not 100%, unless your Rainman.

In this game we were all seasoned game players and took it as is, but we all felt it. Maybe it was my feelings being projected on the group, either way I could not recommend this game to any particular group/style of players.

It is now something that I know to stay clear of and when I do my research on games I'm going to ensure I look to see if you are rewarded or not for attacking the weak player.


Friday, 13 March 2015

From the Clouds - Spartacus


A Very good intellectual property board game. You control a ludus in Roman times, back stab, bribe and undermine at every opportunity. Each turn an arena combat will have at least 2 players involved. They will potentially duke it out to the death, if your involved or not you still have the opportunity to gamble on the outcome of the match up.

Build up your ludus from a basic setup by outbidding the opposition in the market phase, buying slaves, gladiators, equipment and the 'Host' option. I'll come back to that later. Pay out or receive coins depending on how many slaves to gladiators you have and then proceed with trying to gain points through clever card play.

Art, Graphics and Components
Not the best I have seen in board games, however it is very functional and fits very nicely within the character of the game. Lots of coin tokens and a load of cards. Cards are for the intrigue phase, that have the ability to effect yours and your opponents ludus and the market cards that have the characters from the show. It would have been nice if they were all hand drawn, but Gale Force 9 did a good job in making the screenshots tie in nicely.

My favorite bit is the arena board and miniatures. The miniatures are really nice, even though I have not yet done mine, I know and have seen some amazing paint jobs on these models. The board is a nicely depicted arena with a splash of blood here and there.

Rules and Initial plays

Not a very big rule book and it has pretty big text, with lots of diagrams and pictures assisting in explaining the rules. I found it pretty easy in learning the rules from the rule book and have found that each time I have taught the game it is relatively straight forward. There is pretty much 4 games going on, that have been expertly entwined together that makes Spartacus the game it is. You could even teach each phase as it happens, I don't believe you could win or lose in the first round of the game or even give yourself a lead that you couldn't be brought down from.

You are only disengaged for a minute or two each round for your general upkeep. Once the intrigue phase starts, through the market phase and into the arena phase. You should be well and truly engaged with the other players through out.

Through the intrigue phase you will be rebuking and committing intrigue through out this phase. Gaining influence for your ludus, effecting your opponents ludus' and particularly bribing and coercing left right and center.

In the market phase you will be choosing how much coins you will be bidding and trying to out think your opposition.Leading then into the arena phase where at least two players will have fighters committed to the arena. You all have the option to place wagers on the outcomes of the battle, ensuring you will all be engaged.

Decision points
​Primarily for me the key decision points are in the market phase. However their are still valid key decisions made through out the other phases.

In the market phase you will be blind bidding for items, slaves and gladiators. A number of cards will be placed face down, one is turned over and then you place your coins you want to bid into your hand, close it and place it over the middle of the board. Once everyone has done
this, everyone reveals their bid, with the highest bidder claiming the item and paying what they bid.

All other players retain their coins and then continue. The final thing you bid on is the host option. A very key manouevre, worth an influence point and you can dictate the arena battles and if the loser dies or survives (Unless they were decapitated).

One of the key decisions is in trying to figure out how much can I afford to bid and then determining how much the other players will bid and only then placing one more coin the the next highest. I get a big smile when no one bids at all other than one player and they have put 10 coins in their hand.

To summarise, this game is not complex and not difficult to teach. The game play entwined with the theme is amazing and the social dynamics of the table is great. Gale Force 9 have done a really stellar job with this title. When it came out, it was a surprise and was at a great price too. I now have the expansion, so I can play with 6 and it introduces 2 versus 2 arena battles.

I have not covered the battles and you may not think that they are important, but they are. I love the battle mechanic with the dice and the fact that pretty much all the gladiators have unique abilities in addition to their statistics. If your not in the battle, you have the option to gamble on the outcome and I have even been known to take coins for advice mid battle for players.

Always remember coins can flow quite freely as bribes, extortion, etc. Just keep it within the context of the game and try starting out with 1 influence and going up to 12. Makes it a really strategic game in regards to building your ludus and if not try starting out on 1, but finish on 7. This way you need friends to get higher intrigue cards into play.

I really have a great time with this game and I'm looking forward to seeing the X-Men game using the same core mechanics, however I am wary as I do not know how that will work.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

From the Clouds - Twilight Imperium 3

Twilight Imperium 3

An epic space game. Utilises lots of components and table space. Extremely rich in theme. Encompasses not only space combat, but developing your race, where to expand too and particularly the diplomacy between everyone.

Each round you will select from a diminishing starting selection of 8 roles and select within the round just when you will enact that role. Their are lots of choices each turn, but you will try to always keep your options open and to limit everyone else's.

Designed by Christian T Petersen, with the art done by Scott Schomburg, Brian Schomburg and Tyler Walpole. Published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Art, Graphics and Components
Where to begin, the art is great! 

Each hexagon tile has a unique looking planet on it with a space backdrop, individually looks good but as a laid out galaxy, looks really amazing. The races look really cool and add to the understanding of the race you are playing. There are a handful of tokens with great art too, like the leader tokens. Primarily this is a game with great graphics, race logos, positioning of text boxes and all the strategy tokens. Resources and influence values are all really easy to see, looks good and very functional.

This game comes in a massive box, I have both expansions in it and it is filled to the brim. Loads of races, loads of tokens to assist with your race management and a massive wad of cards. Technology, political and action cards. Then you have the plastic. Ground forces, carriers, fighters, cruisers, war suns!, etc. Over 60 plastic models per player and that is a total of 8 players when you have the Shattered Empires expansion. Pretty sure that is over 500 pieces and I've painted them all. Took me 3 years of doing them on and off, do not want to paint anything for quite a while.

Rules and Initial plays
With the game being so meaty you are bound to have a long and complex rulebook, which you definitely have here. It is not a wargame rulebook but it is long and you likely will read the rules a few times before you grasp some of the concepts. They are however well laid out and there are a lot of diagrams. Do not rush reading the rules and expect to do something wrong. I played two entire games before I realised that we got the production rules wrong. That said we still thoroughly enjoyed the game. 

You can explain the core mechanics and then discuss the roles more in depth as they happen. The player boards have a summary that is really useful and the main boards planets have the prime details their to hand. After a full round, I would say that the players will pretty much understand the game at that point.

The core of the game play predominantly revolves around the action phase, do not get me wrong the strategy phase is very important. However in the action phase, is where you will be sat on the edge of your seat.

In turn you will all get to take an action. This includes building ships, moving units into battle, conquering planets and activating your strategy card.

You will be negotiating and threatening (In game) in this phase to keep your race in 'the race'. You are aiming to achieve certain goals to obtain victory points. Having a player on one side of you being an ally is extremely advantageous, but they will likely double cross you at some point.

You will have a player board, planet cards and technology cards in front of you. Choices like when to use these and how are what create this diplomatic space opera.

The diplomacy for me makes the game, having all these military options - which in its self would make a great game - is great but with parts like all the law cards and goods counters just adds to it all. Laws that change the game could come into effect, wormholes no longer being useable, players with War Suns paying a tax, etc. So not only do you want planets with production but also their influence to stay in a strong position for voting. Goods counters can also be used as bargaining chips as they can be freely exchanged and can be used as resources or influence.

Decision Points
Nearly each and every choice is a valid decision and relevant to the direction you take. Beginning with the strategy phase you have a choice that will dictate your entire turn. The strategy cards will boost you in that area when you play it, but also give the others a chance at a smaller boost in that area (Usually). However if you time it right you may be able to ensure people miss out on the opportunity.

When you exhaust planets for either production or influence, they are used for the remainder of the round, use them wisely. You can try and ascertain what your opponents are up to by looking where their strategy tokens have been allocated. When there is a token in a hexagon their ships are pretty much locked in place for the remainder of the round, use that knowledge to your advantage and if you cannot, be sure to tell who ever it helps, as long as its to your advantage and for a goods counter.

When you have a technology choice, you will have an array of options. Do you pick Cybernetics, boosting your fighters or XRD transporters, boosting your carriers? In the base game there is 24 technology cards and the expansions just add even more.

Summarising, make some time to play this game at least once. I'm not a big science fiction fan but this is my number one game. Primarily due to the narrative created in this game, from the word go until the end their is diplomacy galore entwined within a mechanically sound game. Games take a long time and you may get a few rules wrong the first time or two as I did. We all had the same rule applied to us and I do not feel it unbalanced the game as we had all been effected equally. 

Witnessing a player take an action that they just old another player they were not going to do is so rewarding, unless its against you!

I'm hosting a day of this soon, after feeling I could not play it because of been in the middle of painting the ships. I cannot wait to be totally engrossed within the Twilight Imperium universe for a day.

Friday, 29 August 2014

From the Clouds - Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Euphoria is at its core a worker placement dice game. Placement of workers to receive resources and to minimise any negative outcomes, is what you do action to action. However other players workers
effect your options directly and indirectly. 

Themed in a dystopian world and with great art and design.This is a fantastic game and if you like worker placement, an absolute must try. 

Designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, with the art done by Jacqui Davis and published by Stonemaier Games.

Art, Graphics and Components
Jacqui Davis really captured the essence of the world in the backdrop to this game. You can lose yourself for a few minutes taking in all the details, people working doing specific menial tasks in the different territories, the Icarites in their blimps to the Subterrans in their caverns. Absolutely great job. 

I found the graphics and the layout to really assist in helping learn the game and teach it to others. Its pretty obvious what the graphics mean, I have however had a couple of players mix up the Wastelander and Euphorian cards up. It can make a difference in the game, so I now tell everyone to pay special attention to the letter in the logo. Really helps that the costs of locations are to the side of the placement boxes and the kickback of that location is beneath is consistent throughout.

Components wise I can only discuss what I got in my copy of the game, as in the non-Kickstarter version it is wooden pieces for resources, where as in my version their are gold coloured metal blocks, clay shaped into bricks and stone boulders. The electric is little lightning bolts, water is a water droplet, fruit is orange shaped, these are all wooden. Plus a little head and brain token for each player.

Rules and initial plays
First off, I may be in a minority or minority is very vocal as my gut feeling from Board Game Geek is that the rules are not clear. People had questions about lots of things. I really like worker placement games and I've read hundreds of rule books, I personally grasped what was going on and found the graphics and theme assisted in the immersion of the game and hand in hand the rules. Yes a few different things happen in different locations, but it makes sense and the different groups I've played with have had an easy initial play through. Think the most negative comment was 'I don't understand exactly what I'm doing', he went on to win!

I find every action very engaging and even out of my action, as other players workers can change the output of a location. Particularly rewarding when someones high on the knowledge track and you bump them off a space, at that point they roll their worker and if it comes out high for them, goodbye worker!

In addition you can work hand in hand with players to form a market, anyone that doesn't help will be rewarded with a negative bonus ability. 

You have recruits that reveal at certain points too, you could be inadvertently helping another player. When they reveal you can feel gutted that you have helped them so much and then laugh it off. Great game engagement. even though its essentially a worker placement game.

Decision points
Each turn is a valid decision, only occasionally is their only really one place to go and that would only likely be obvious to you. The one down point I could mention is at the beginning, you have such an array of choices to you. 'Where do you begin?' At this point you should pay special attention to your recruits and see if that helps with your choice. However you are not going to lose the game in the first few turns, so do not worry.

Other options like who should I help later on or who do I effect with this ability is key as each of all my games played have been very close.

In all, this is a game that I really enjoy. Fantastic art, graphics, components, rules and game play. I initially rated this as a 9 on BoardGameGeek, after multiple plays that has been increased to a 10 and is now actually become my number 2 in my top ten games.

As stated in my original post, this isn't a regular review. Just a brief explanation of some(of what I think) key points that people may find relevant as a review shouldn't have an emotional bias. These will have.

Few links regarding the game
BoardGameGeek Euphoria
Stonemaier Games
Official Euphoria page
Euphoria rules

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Neil's top 10 Board Games (For now)

Well here I go, I have a top ten and I have put it into a rank from 10 to 1. However I have decided to re-play my top ten to see where the final standings will fall, I'll post those findings under this heading but as part 2 and so on. Keep checking the page for updates.

First off some notable games that missed out that definitely deserve a mention.
Trajan, Runewars and Nothing Personal. One game in my top ten has only being played once (Caverna), and may be pushed out by one of these. 

Number 10: Blood Bowl: Team Manager
A game that I thoroughly enjoy, I feel like I shouldn't enjoy this one as much as I do. Theme and game play just draw me right in. Very good with all player counts, great for when you have an odd number of players as some games just don't work with 3 for example.

Does give me the feel of playing blood bowl but with out all the painting of models, etc.

Number 9: Bruges
Stefan Feld, number one for me. Tons of re-playability. Loads of characters that you will not be even sure will be in your game. You have a choice of around 6 different things you can do with the cards each turn. Do you cash it in, build a building, canal or put the character in a building. The choice is yours, but each round 5 dice are rolled corresponding to the colours of the cards meaning values will be different. I must have played this 5 times now and I haven't won once, close but not yet. I look forward to playing more of this.

Number 8: Le Havre
Uwe Rosenberg (Designer) and Klemens Franz (Artist) are a great combination. Love Uwe's games, his non card ones at least. Think I have them all to date. Plus the starter pic I've been posting and my avatar were drawn by Klemens Franz especially for me. In this you acquire goods that you can later convert into
upgraded versions of the same item (Sort of) to sell and/or build or use buildings. Very thinky, but very intuitive. For me at least. I'd like to not have to think about feeding people, but unlike Agricola its not as harsh. With plenty of special buildings, there is tons in the box. You can get an expansion that gives you even more too.

Number 7: Caverna
The one game on this list that I have only played once. Art, theme and game play are brilliant. Game is very much like Agricola with a few notable exceptions. Dwarfs in a mountain, exploration and the feeding is so much easier. Plays up to 7 (7 Dwarfs) but likely better with 4, very good interaction and its not so bad if you are cut off by someone. Very pricey game, however it weighs a ton.

Number 6: Game of Thrones
First off play this with 6, if you do not block off the zones that you would create as dummy players as this
game is all about the interaction between players. You have to co-operate to a certain extent but beware that knife in the back, it will happen. There is an element of Diplomacy, but thankfully without the tiresome order sheet.

Battles are not entirely random events with a dice roll, down to the strength of the units in the battle plus a card you play from your hand. Sometimes you may know exactly what the player will play, but generally it will lead to a very intriguing situation. For not always the two players involved.

Number 5: Spartacus
When I first got hold of this I didn't expect it to be any where near as good as it is. Wow, it blew me away. Played maybe 8 times and loved each game, the narrative is so strong. Has a slight economic twist, lots of intrigue, combat and gambling. You find yourself pushing your luck each time and you are either rewarded or
feel gutted as you missed out by one gold...

I have the expansion for this and feel like it is a must buy for the fact that it adds two more players. For me the more the merrier. Go and play this, add it to your want to play list if you have not already.

Number 4: Cosmic Encounter
This game didn't look appealing to me, but so many people discussed it and said they loved it. I even saw it played at the club once and it didn't still look appealing. But with so many people saying its great their must
be something about it, so I did a bit of research and watched some videos on YouTube and low and behold its the type of game I actually really like. You have a random alien race out of a selection of tons. The game mechanics are very sound, but your race breaks a rule in some way and you have to utilise and maximise the social situation at the table to get 5 colonies. You can even win hand in hand with other players. Definitely worth a play.

Number 3: Civilization
Only 3 plays of this game, long game, but very rewarding. 4 ways you can win, but you need to keep your eye on the other players to keep them in check to ensure you can win. Very thematic and great graphics design all round. Plays like the civilization computer games, but closer to revolution ones rather than the
typical PC options. Nice way you deal with armies with having a card combat mini game, some people don't like this, but its unique to this game and means you don't have a sprawling amount of miniatures. 

Number 2: Euphoria
Well this was a surprise too, didn't expect it to be thrown all the way to the second spot in my top ten list. But this game fires on all cylinders. Art, graphics, game play and components. Worker placement at its very
best, maybe not the very best one in regards to game play, but from the social situation created at the table it definitely is. Having hidden workers that come out in the middle of the game and you are not sure if your are helping someone more than you are yourself is brilliant. Not had a bad game of this yet. Real shame the great Kickstarter components don't come in the regular box, buy the treasure chest, also from the same company to get some very similar components. 

Number 1: Twilight Imperium
I have painstakingly painted each and every ship in my version of the game, took me 3 years of doing on and off, but I finally got their a few months back. I host a full day of this game each year, not happened for the last two because of painting the ships. This year their will be 3 full games happening at the same time. Very long game, but let it go long. Do not be pushed into speeding up as the game is all about diplomacy,
sometimes that means an extension into military diplomacy. That is what this game is all about. Your building up of forces, worrying about your opponents on your borders possibly attacking. Laws being put into place that hinder your race. Take the time out to play this even once, if your local to the Lancaster area and would like to join us for this years day, post below. hopefully something could work out to get even more people involved as we probably have room for 8 games at once.

Hope you have enjoyed reading my top ten, as I stated above some may move around. As it is very hard to pin down what your favorites are, let alone say what order they are in. They are all brilliant games and any not in this list likely still deserved a place, I've played hundreds of board games and own a lot. These just happen to be my style to a tee. I gravitate towards worker placement and negotiation, they are more than likely going to be enjoyed by me. Please post below to let me know what you think.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Steve's Top 10 Board Games

People often ask me what my top 10 games are, and I really struggle with this question because I've never thought about it in great detail. There are a lot of games I love and some I'm convinced would be in my top 10, but I've never gone ahead and actually worked out the list. So that's what I'm going to do now. I like a wide variety of games, and I can't say I love a 20 minute filler more or less that a 4 hour epic strategy game: they're just different. I've tried to represent the different types of games I enjoy in the top. The other thing is that this top 10 list isn't in any kind of order, that would be just too difficult!

  1. Game of Thrones (2nd edition) - This is probably my favourite game that I don't actually own. Why not? It's best with 5 or 6 players and most of the people I'd play it with already own the game. It is based on the Game of Thrones books, and is a strategic, area control, negotiation game. Players each take on one of the seven ruling houses of Westeros, and fight for control of the Iron Throne. This is a brilliant, fantastic game, however you need at least 5 players for a good game, and it will go on for a good 3-4 hours or more.
  2. King of Tokyo - This is a great, push your luck dice rolling game. Lovely chunky dice, great cards to collect, lots of messing your opponents up. Really fun game. One of the expansions, Power Up!, is a really good addition, and I'm looking forward to King of New York which could be even better.
  3. Cosmic Encounter - This is a space based conquest game where you try to establish colonies on other players planets. There's a certain amount of luck, quite a bit a big chaos factor, a lot of negotiation and a bit of strategy thrown in. There's lots of special race powers which makes the game really interesting and leads to a lot of replay value.
  4. Le Havre - This is a worker placement/resource collecting/building game from Uwe Roseberg. It is a meaty game that takes a good 2-3 hours to play. It is for 2-5 players, and is good with all numbers (though 5 can take a long time and quite a bit of time between turns). I really enjoy it with 2-4, and two player is our game of choice if we have 2+ hours to play with.
  5. Castles of Burgundy - This is a Stefan Feld game, where you collect settlement tiles from the game board, and place them in your own princedom (player area). You roll dice to determine what you can do on your turn, but there are so many ways to mitigate the dice rolls that there is very little luck in the game. This is for 2-4 players, but I think is ideal with two (unusually), as it takes rather a long time with 4.
  6. Hanabi - This is a co-operative card game for 2-5 players, where have to help each other to play down cards. There are five suits of cards and together you've got to play down 1-10 in order for each suit. The catch is that you can't see the cards in your hand, only the other players can. A clever, puzzle-y game, and very different from any other co-op game I've played.
  7. Eclipse - This is a space-based game of strategy, negotiation, war and civilisation building. You need a lot of table space and a good 2-3 hours to play this game, but it is fantastic. This is the other game on my list which I don't own, but I really probably should.
  8. Lords of Waterdeep - On the worker placement front, it was a tough choice between this and Village. Both great games, and Village is the slightly more innovative of the two, but this year Lords of Waterdeep seems to be our game of choice at home so I went for that one. It's fairly simple, place your workers, collect cubes, use them to complete quests or build buildings. Great game.
  9. Las Vegas - This is a simple, dice rolling auction type game. Roll your dice, sort in to each number (twos, threes etc), then place all of one number on that number casino to 'bid' on the money on that casino. Play goes round in turn until you've used all your dice. The neutral white dice which each player has turns this from a fun little game to a really great filler.

    There's lots of variants you can try, and there's an expansion if you want even more fun.
  10. Concordia - with only one slot left, this was a tough one with several possible candidates but I've been really enjoying Concordia this year. Runner up for the Kennerspiele De Jahres (the gamer's game of the year) I think it is a great game. You've got a great map of the Roman Empire (or Roman Italy - it is a double sided board), and you've got to choose a role each turn to build colonies, buy cards, collect resources etc. I don't know what it is, I just really like this game.
So that's it. Games that just misssed out include the perennial Ticket to Ride which I continue to enjoy a lot, and Fungi, a really good two player card game about collecting mushrooms and cooking them! Hope to do more top 10s for different types of games soon, and my fellow contributors will hopefully do their own top 10s too!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

From the clouds introduction

Hi I'm Neil and I'll be putting up regular posts in regards to what I see as the emotion behind the games we play. Only came to this realisation when writing the basics of my first article and don't want to be doing a straight up review as that's what Steve and Sam will be covering.

Take note that I'll only likely be covering games I really enjoy, so expect positivity.

In my section I'll be covering these points.

Art, Graphics and Components.
Pretty obvious I think. I'll discuss the different parts of the game.

Rules and Initial plays.
I'll write about how I felt my rules read through went and how easy it was to teach and run through those initial plays.

I'll write about the main parts of the game that have you engaged with the other players as often you find there is a lot going on, but there are only a handful of bits that the game is moving around.

Decision Points.
What I see as one of the most important bit of what I call a strategy board game. If the decision isn't important and there is no real decision, I don't believe that its a real one. I'll discuss the really key decisions and the options open to you.

Remember though that all of this will be based around the emotional state of the game play and all of these may and will likely evolve through future articles. If you like what you read or don't like what you read please email me or post a comment to give me feedback.

Here is a teaser on which game I'll be covering first.