Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

Our featured game for the weeks of July 5 and July 12 was a cooperative game from Z-Man Games, Pandemic.

Pandemic on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Pandemic

In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.

The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases’ activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the “normal” spread of the infections.

Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists’ strengths in order to conquer the diseases. For example, the Operations Expert can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases and which allow for greater mobility between cities; the Scientist needs only four cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal five—but the diseases are spreading quickly and time is running out. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!

The 2013 edition of Pandemic includes two new characters—the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist—not available in earlier editions of the game.

Pandemic is the first game in the Pandemic series.

You and your team are the only things standing in the way of deadly diseases that threaten the world. The fate of humanity is in your hands.

As skilled members of a disease-fighting team, you and the other players work together to keep the world safe from outbreaks and epidemics. Only through teamwork will you have a chance to find a cure.

Pandemic is a cooperative board game in which players work as a team to treat infections around the world while gathering resources for cures. First published in 2007, the game’s unique combination of cooperative gameplay, engrossing premise, and compelling design have proved a hit with everyone from hardcore gamers to casual players. The Pandemic game line now includes multiple expansions and stand-alone titles.

 

Co-Op games are definitely favorites among my group. Pandemic has various difficulty levels and every game feels different because there are more character role options than player spots. This means you might get a role one game and not see that role in the next game!

Rules

The rulebook is easy to read and follow. I was able to understand all the basics and some of the additional rules after one reading of the rulebook. Player aids match the rulebook descriptions of the abilities as well.

Components and Game Play

You can find a review video on my YouTube channel that shows all of the components with a brief description and also a review of the game play.

You can follow this link directly to my video – HERE.

Summary

I love how the game feels difficult or hopeless at times – like the diseases are overwhelming your team, but then all of a sudden, one right draw can set you on a path to victory. I also like how you can do everything right and still not win. The randomness of the game is what makes it fun and exciting for me. The components are durable and the colors are all bright and appealing. The only issue I see is that some colorblind players may need help with some of the pieces.

This game promotes the most co-op play I’ve ever seen in a co-op style game. You don’t have just one person dictating what everyone should be doing, because all the players can easily come up with options or solutions to a current situation.

What the Players Said

Wednesday – The game is definitely ‘infectious’ and I love how the difficulty level adds to the fun. And I love the co-op play. I don’t like how one card or one wrong draw can ruin your best laid plans though.

Paul H. – Fun. I like the whole game and everything about it.

Sean – I liked that the roles are unique and how much the game can change depending on the various combination of roles. I dislike that you can lose after only eight Outbreaks.

Hannah N. – I like the game overall, especially that it’s co-op. Who knew diseases could be so much fun!

Olivia W. – I like the variations in the roles. I like the randomness of the infections and how random, or not random sometimes, the Outbreaks can be. The stress and the fun is contagious! The co-op is fun and to die for!

J. Hollis – Extremely fun and I love how strategic the game can be, but also how simple and easy it is to learn.

J. North – The most fun game to lose at! It’s also simple enough to be a gateway game for new players that are likely to be more co-op players than competitive type players.

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

I do not own this game yet, and I feel like I absolutely need it in my collection.

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more gaming and Star Trek related content!

Board out and game on!

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Greetings Fellow Clix Fans!

 

I finally ordered my first ever, sealed case of HeroClix. I couldn’t be happier with the set I chose! I also got the Fast Forces and the Dice & Token Pack for the set as well. Here is a brief review of the Fast Forces and Dice & Token Pack, as well as a breakdown of the case (two Gravity Feeds) for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Unplugged!

You can find my unboxing videos on my YouTube channel, Dice Dice Kitty. My Fast Forces and Dice & Token Pack are in one video, here. My case unboxing is in another video, here.

Dice & Token Pack

The Dice & Token Pack is just like the others that WizKids has made as far as quality. The token images are thematic to the set theme and the dice are not the same color as the ones from the first TMNT dice, but the image is similar. It’s not as large or defined as the image from the first TMNT dice and I would have liked a different image, but the turtle face is okay. I do love that the dice are purple and green, because Donnie is my favorite turtle!

I love the pixel images on the tokens and I also like that they included Bebop and Rocksteady in this D&T Pack instead of Splinter and Shredder again. Each token with a turtle has the turtle’s face and weapon of choice featured on it as well as their signature color as the background color of the token.

Dice and Token

I love this Dice & Token Pack, and since my other TMNT dice and my Star Trek dice don’t roll well for me, I’ll be using this set for a while.

Fast Forces

Fast Forces are a great way to help casual players obtain extra thematic pieces. I don’t ever expect a piece from a Fast Forces to become a meta or competitive piece and this Fast Forces seems to fall in line. Fast Forces typically don’t come with a rulebook, PAC, or maps. You only get the figures and their cards, usually.

This Fast Forces only comes with five figures, which I thought was a little unusual. I’m used to Fast Forces having six figures and the corresponding cards. This Fast Forces has a punch card of six bystander tokens, but for me, that doesn’t make up the difference of a whole character. I would have preferred token bystanders to cardboard ones in place of a sixth character. With the cardboard bystanders, they still could have put a sixth figure in the Fast Forces.

FF.jpeg

Cardboard Bystanders:

FFPogs

Here are the cards for the pieces in the Fast Forces:

Shredder seems kinda fun and so do the turtles, but really only for casual play. I’d be surprised if any of these show up in competitive play. If you’re starting out in HeroClix and you’re looking for some fun pieces to use at your local events, this is a great Fast Forces for that. You can easily build a TMNT Ally theme team with the four turtles and some extra pieces from some boosters. The turtles are 50 points each, so you’d need another 100 points for a 300 point game. That’s easy to do with a handful of boosters or pieces from a previous set. You could forego the theme team probs and build a 300 point Martial Artist theme team straight from the Fast Forces by adding Shredder at his 100 point starting line to the four turtles.

I really feel like this Fast Forces needed one more dude in it. Another villain would have been great to put with Shredder and then you’d be able to play TMNT vs TMNT Villain! Why not Krang?! Missed opportunity.

And before someone says – “But there are bystanders in it that you can add to the team.”

Yes, there are bystanders. But they don’t have keywords and there are only 70 points total between the six bystanders. I guess you could put the turtles against Shredder and the bystanders… Not sure how much fun that will be since bystanders can typically only take one hit.

Mr. DDK brought up a good point about the Laser Drone bystander and its weird trait. He thinks they gave it [PASSENGER]: 0 so it can’t carry anything at all. It has flight, but giving it the [PASSENGER: 0] prevents it from picking up other tiny dudes and carrying them.

Case – Two Gravity Feeds of Boosters
Feed One

Commons
I pulled one of each common, except for 001 and 006, which I pulled two of.

Uncommons
I pulled all of the uncommons except for 017.

Rares and Super Rares
I pulled one of each of the following rares: 019, 024, 027. I pulled one of each of the following super rares: 032 and 033.

Feed Two

Commons
I pulled one of each common, except for 002 and 009, which I pulled two of.

Uncommons
I pulled all of the uncommons except for 014, 016, and 018. I did pull a 017 in this feed, which completed my uncommon set.

Rares, Super Rare, and Chase
I pulled one of each of the following rares: 020, 021, 026, 028. I pulled one super rare: 034 and one chase: 038.

Here are the cards for all the different pieces I pulled in my two feeds:

 

Final Thoughts

I actually cancelled my Batman TAS pre-order so I could get a case of this set. I’m super happy with my case and have no regrets about swapping. I couldn’t be happier with Donatello as my chase piece and I can’t wait to buy more of this set! I love the pixel pieces and I think they’re unique and interesting compared to the rest of the HeroClix pieces out there. Pixels won’t work for every set of TMNT, or even every IP, but it works for this set of TMNT and I think it works very well.

I don’t mind the sculpt reuse at all, especially since there are so many new sculpts in this set. I don’t mind that the reused sculpts are on super rares either. It helps keep costs down a little so the price of our booster packs doesn’t increase. I’d rather keep prices the same and play with pieces that have the same sculpt, instead of having prices go up just to have a different sculpt. I don’t think they should reuse sculpts on OP prizing, unless the sculpt is really awesome, like that War Machine from one of the last WKO’s. His sculpt was a reused one, but it was pretty awesome.

My only real issue is that they Fast Forces has five characters instead of six and in place of the sixth character, there are cardboard bystander tokens. I still feel they should have put actual plastic tokens in the Fast Forces since they left out that sixth character.

Overall, I love the set and I like the Fast Forces and the Dice & Token Pack. This is a great time for me to be a HeroClix player!

What do you think of the new pixel style?
What is your favorite piece?
Did you pull any awesome pieces from your packs?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and let me know! Thanks for reading and please remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

     LLAP
Live long, and Prob it!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

Our next featured game for the weeks of May 24 and May 31 is a great family co-op game from Fireside Games, Castle Panic.

Castle Panic on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Castle Panic Box Art

Castle Panic is a cooperative tower defense board game for 1 to 6 players. The co-op element makes Castle Panic a great family game, and the perfect kick-off for your weekly game night.

You must work together to defend your Castle, in the center of the board, from Monsters that attack out of the forest, at the edges of the board. Trade cards, hit and slay Monsters, and plan strategies together to keep your Castle towers intact.

Win or lose as a team, but only the player with the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer. Players must balance the survival of the group with their own desire to win.

This game is all about cooperation in order to protect the towers of the castle. While you can rebuild walls and fortify them, you aren’t going to be so lucky with the towers. Once a tower is gone, it’s gone for good, and you have to defeat all the monsters before your last tower is destroyed.

Rules

I found the rulebook easy to read and follow. It’s easy to find what you need to know while playing and just about everything you could think of is covered in the rules. There are great player aid cards included in the game as well as reminder text on the board for Boss Monster abilities.

Components

The board is well made and sturdy with bright colors and easy to see markings and text. As many times as this game has been played, it’s in excellent shape. I use my copy for conventions and various events at my FLGS, so it’s seen its fair share of play. I don’t have any major damage anywhere on the board.

Board

I absolutely love the reminders on the board. They’re in opposite corners of the board and each reminder box explains the special tokens and the boss tokens. This is invaluable while playing – we never need to pull the rulebook out! There are Order of Play reminders in the other two corners, but with the player aid cards, these aren’t needed. They do add a visual balance to the board though.

Player Aid on Board

The castle towers and walls are standard punch board material and they each fit into a small plastic stand. The stands are not too tight so they don’t cause pealing and don’t leave any dents on the castle pieces, but the pieces don’t fall out of the stands either. This prolongs the life of the pieces.

Towers and Walls

The monster tokens have taken a beating over the years, but they’re holding strong! They’re made of standard punch board material with thematic art on the front and back. The special tokens are easy to understand and the boss monster tokens are easy to pick out from the basic monster tokens while on the board.

Monster Tokens

I haven’t looked into sleeves for Castle Panic, but as soon as I do, I’ll update this article with the information. The cards are easy to read and have great thematic art with bright colors. While the cards say what color and what ring you can target, I wish they had made the colored gems different shapes. Color blind players don’t have the benefit of glancing across the table at your cards’ colors. They usually have to ask because the text is too small to read from across the table.

The player aid card has the turn order listed on it, which is such a great tool to have. Even though I’ve played this game a bazillion times, I still need a reminder for the turn order until we get a few turns in. I can’t express enough gratitude to Fireside for this detail.

Deck and Player Aid

The die isn’t anything fancy or special – just a white, plastic D6 with black numbers. I’m glad it has numbers and not pips, since the board displays numbers for the pie sections. The tar token and Fortify tokens are standard punch board and have held up better than expected over time. The Fortify tokens look great and fit perfectly on the wall sections.

Dice and Tokens

Setup & Clean Up

Castle Panic is easy to set up, and it only takes a few minutes. Clean up doesn’t take long because it’s just gathering cards and monster tokens from other players and putting all the pieces in their bags. It’s easier to set up and clean up if the other players help.

Game Play

Game play is very simple. Hand size and trading capabilities depend on the number of players. That’s the one thing I would have asked that they added to the board in place of the turn order – the player chart. Checking that is literally the only reason I pull out the rulebook.

The turn order is very strict and once you proceed beyond an optional step, you can’t back up! Each player takes their turn individually in a clockwise order, following the turn order.

1. Draw Up – Each player begins their turn by drawing cards until they have reached their hand size. Again, the hand size depends on the number of players you have. The more players, the smaller the hand size.

2. Discard and Draw 1 Card (Optional) – Once the turn player has drawn up to their hand size, they then have the option to discard one card in order to draw a new card. This is a once per your turn type of thing. It’s handy if you have a blue card and there aren’t any monsters in either blue arc. You can discard it to draw a new card in hopes of something more useful.

3. Trade Cards (Optional) – Once the turn player has used or passed their option to Discard and Draw, they now have an opportunity to trade one card with another player. This is also a once per your turn thing, but you can make a second trade in a six player game. The other players don’t have to trade with the turn player if they don’t want to. You also can’t give cards to other players – you literally have to trade.

4. Play Cards – Once the turn player has completed their trade(s), they get to play those cards in their hand! Each card tells you which color and ring they can be used it. There are plenty of special cards, like Tar and Missing, and they’re card text is pretty easy to understand. You can reference the back of rulebook for any specifics you might need to know.

5. Move Monsters – Once the turn player is done playing cards, all the monsters that are currently on board will advance one space forward, or one space clockwise in the castle ring. If a monster hits a wall, they take one damage and remain in the Swordsman ring if they didn’t die. If a monster moves into the castle and takes out a tower doing so, it moves into that space where the tower was – after taking a point of damage.

6. Draw 2 New Monsters – After the monsters on the board move, the turn player gets to add more chaos and panic to the game by drawing two new tokens from what we call, “The Bag ‘O’ Death”. The turn player draws the first token and if it’s a monster or boulder, they roll the die and place the monster in the forest ring or advance the boulder through the arc (killing all monsters and the first wall, tower, or fortify it hits). Boulders are nasty in arcs that don’t have a wall or tower because they advance into the arc directly across from the one it started in. All the other tokens trigger effects like plagues or forced movement for monsters on the board. There are even tokens that increase the number of tokens you draw for the turn! This is why the token bag is called “The Bag ‘O’ Death” by me and my locals.

After the new monsters are drawn and resolved, the next player begins their turn. This continues until either the players win or the game wins. Players win when all the monster tokens are removed from the board AND the bag is empty. The game wins when the last tower has fallen to the monsters… or a boulder.

Summary

This has been a favorite alongside King of Tokyo during both years of the Dyersburg Comic and Pop Culture Convention. I’ve taught several groups of new and experienced players how to play Castle Panic and I’ve never heard a player say they didn’t like the game. I’ve heard more family groups have gotten the greatest benefit from the game because it’s a co-op game, meaning those siblings that like to compete with each other have to work together now! It cultivates a different gaming atmosphere when you play a co-op vs competitive game. Castle Panic still has its ‘competitive’ side with each player collecting their slain monsters, but it also creates a dilemma of sorts. “Do I trade this card and let them kill the Troll that gives them three points, or keep the card and hope we don’t lose.”

This is a great game with a small learning curve. Younger players can play this game, even if they aren’t reading age yet. They only need to remember the pictures and what those pictures mean the card does. I’ve seen kids as young as seven play this game with no trouble, but the age limit is 10, so please inspect the game to be sure you’re okay with your younglings playing it.

There is one glaring problem, or at least with older copies – can’t speak for newer prints, and that’s the lack of a bag for the tokens. I had to purchase a dice bag for us to use for the monster tokens. I’m not sure why they didn’t include this in the base game. Check the box contents and see if it includes a bag before you purchase it. At least then you’ll know if you need to pick one up before heading home.

What the Players Said

Wednesday – 90% panic, 5% castle, and 5% “Why’d you draw all the wrong tokens?!” – but 100% family fun game. I love the co-op mechanic to this game.

John H. – I like everything about this game.

Sean – I like that it’s simple to play and that it has player aid cards and reminders on the board too for the monster token abilities. A game is always great when you don’t have to pull the rulebook out while playing. I also like how everything can go wrong or seem to be going bad, but you still have a chance to turn the game around and win.

Olivia – I like that there is panic and how a real struggle can ensue but in the end, regardless of whether you lose or win, everyone is still friends.

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

This game is probably the second most played game in my collection. It’s easy to learn and easy to play, making it a favorite among my fellow board gamers and also a favorite for gaming tables at conventions.

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

The featured game for the last two weeks is a game from one of my favorite publishers. We played Bunny Kingdom from IELLO.

Bunny Kingdom on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Box Art.png

Play as Rabbit Lords conquering a new world on behalf of the Bunny King.

Take control of vast Territories across the New World, build Cities, and farm Resources to make your Fiefs prosper and harvest precious Golden Carrots. Don’t forget to satisfy the King by accomplishing missions on behalf of his Majesty.

Each choice can bring you closer to victory, but only one of you will be named “Big Ears” by the Bunny King…

Will you be worthy?

This game is for two to four players, but plays differently for two players than it does for three or four players. We did not play this with two players. We played with three and four players.

Rules

The rulebook is very intimidating. The first time I opened it, I thought I was looking at a technical manual of some kind. I had to set up the game and play against myself in order to work through how to play the game, and even then, I still had things wrong. We were constructing things after drafting our two cards and the construction part of the round happens after all the drafting for the round is complete. I only just now realized this. We also played the Trading Post incorrectly. We were counting it as all three resources instead of just one. If the rulebook was put together in a more ‘user-friendly’ fashion, I may not have made those errors. The rulebook could definitely be simplified and organized a bit better.

Components

Aside from this being a drafting game (which I’m a huge fan of), the components are probably the biggest draw for me.

I love when a game has a decent insert built into the box. The cards in the picture are not sleeved, but you can fit all the cards in the box – with sleeves. There is plenty of space to put the components in the box without them being crammed in or packed in too tightly.

Insert.png

The board is very colorful and also sturdy. I definitely don’t like having a flimsy board for my board games. I love the land layout and all the artwork on it. What I dislike is that the score tracker is attached to the game part of the board. I would much rather these be two separate pieces. Having the score tracker separated would cut down on accidental bumps of the score bunnies and also make it easier for players on the tracker’s side of the table to see the actual board.

Board

The deck is HUGE! I think the actual number of cards is 182 if I read the contents list right… I didn’t count them. This game has enough math involved. The artwork is super cute and each card is easy to read. The coordinates and any pertinent information is in the top left corner, making it very easy to see what you have in your hand at a glance. I also like that each different type of land is color coded on the coordinates of the cards, making it much easier to locate that particular plot on the map while in the midst of drafting. I do not like how flimsy the cards feel. I’m constantly scared I’m going to bend them. The cards are standard size, so you can use any standard size sleeve, but be sure you use all of the same color sleeves or clear sleeves.

Deck.png

The player aid cards are… okay. They should have put a turn reference on them too. We never used the multiplication table on the back, because we always forgot about it. Not really handy when you forget it’s there.

Player Aid Cards.png

The tokens are the perfect size for the corner of a map square. They have a concave to accommodate a bunny on the same square or the corner of a city. They’re also very thick, which makes them much easier to spot on the map during clean up. Being easier to spot means they’ll be less likely to be forgotten or left behind when you’ve packed up the game. Thin tokens or thin cardboard coins are usually lost very easily.

The cities are made of plastic and they’re actually very detailed. Their towers are shaped like carrots, so that makes them super cute too. They feel sturdy, but I’m paranoid that I’m going to break a tower off at some point. If you like to paint your components, these would be absolutely adorable all painted up.

City Tokens

I saved the bunnies for last. These are so cute and adorable, but they are vicious as well! Don’t let those ears fool you – they’re sturdier than you think. I was leaning over the table to help a group of players with their game of Bunny Kingdom, and I was repositioning my hands when I put my hand down onto a cluster of these devils (all standing upright and ears at the ready!). Let me tell you… The words that I didn’t say are a testament to my willpower. I didn’t break a single ear either, but I probably would have been bleeding if I’d have stepped on them instead landing a hand. I’ve stepped on Lego blocks and even D4’s… but these adorable evil bunnies with their needle-ears… Don’t leave them laying about! You could end up with one sticking out of your foot!

Bunny Tokens

Bunny vs Foot

Setup & Clean Up

Setting up the board isn’t super complicated. You need to put a single tower city on each of the squares that has the picture of a city in it. Each player chooses one of the bunny colors and takes one from their stash, placing it on the giant score tracker. Then you shuffle the enormous deck of cards (which is even more difficult to shuffle if it’s sleeved), and deal each player the correct amount of cards, based on the number of players. That’s about all there is to setup, it just takes a little time to shuffle the massive deck.

Clean up is not as quick. There are buildings, bunnies, and tokens – everywhere… It’s best to have the players help with the clean up to make it go quicker. It’s not difficult, it just takes some time.

Game Play

The game play is not overly complicated. You have your hand of cards and you pick two of them, then pass the remaining cards to the player next to you. You reveal the two cards you selected and place your bunnies on the coordinates and collect your tokens and cities. Then you take the hand that the player sitting next to you passes to you, and you draft two more cards, reveal them, place bunnies and collect your tokens and cities. The direction you pass your hand is determined by the round. Round 1 and 3 are passed to the left and round 2 and 4 are passed to the right.

After all the cards are drafted, you get to build your cities and place your tokens on the map. There isn’t an initiative except for Camps, which causes a little bit of chaos during the game and even leads to some bumped score tracking bunnies. I would advise play groups to form an initiative of some sort, just for the construction part (that doesn’t apply to Camps since they have their own, of course), to help keep the chaos at a minimum.

After players have constructed what they want to build, you score the round – called Harvesting. I will not go into detail about that here. If you need help with scoring, you can email me or message me on Facebook and I’ll help the best I can.

After the round has been scored, you move into the next round and do exactly what you did in the previous round. The only real differences between the rounds are the direction the hands are passed during drafting, the presence each player has on the board, and how many points you score. You should be scoring more points each round if you’re drafting cards that will benefit your fiefs. You will never see a set of coordinates more than once, so if you see coordinates you need, better take them!

At the end of the fourth round, you harvest as normal, but instead of going into a fifth round, you score all Parchment cards you collected. Again, I won’t go into detail about how to score those here. The basics are, you score the number of points the Treasure cards give you and you see if you completed any of the other Parchment cards to score their Golden Carrots (points).

When all the crazy math calculations are completed and score bunnies are adjusted, the player with the most Golden Carrots is the winner.

Conclusion

This game was a blast to play, until the Parchment card scoring at the end of the game. Once we hit that particular portion of the game, I saw Richard Garfield’s style in all its complicated glory. Even though I shouldn’t have been surprised (since he is one of the creators of Magic: The Gathering), I guess I expected the game to be a game and not a multiplication teaching tool for pre-teens and adults. My players got up from the table and left me alone to calculate the totals on all the players’ Parchment cards. That’s NOT fun at all. We tried to take the non-Treasure Parchment cards out and deal out two less cards to the players, and that worked great. But it felt like we needed a few extra cards. We tried to select a few Parchment cards that were not super crazy to deal with, and it didn’t work as well. We filled up every single plot on the board. If I were to ever play this again, I would take out all the non-Treasure Parchment cards and deal two less cards to each player – and I would never feel guilty for doing it. I’d rather go score a dozen games of Fantasy Realms, alone in the dark, than score a regular game of Bunny Kingdom – ever – again.

But aside from the atrocious scoring, it was a fun drafting game with a very cute theme. This game is most definitely not for younger gamers, which is appropriately displayed on the box (14+). Even though it’s simple enough to play, the multiplying is overwhelming for anyone under 14 or anyone with a short attention span.

And the play time on the box is a lie, just like the cake. This game is not a minimum or average of 45 minutes. We played our shortest game at about an hour and fifteen minutes, which was the same game where we took the non-Treasure Parchment cards out of the deck. The rest of the games were roughly an hour and a half.

What the Players Said

Paul – I don’t like the Parchment cards, but I do like the bunnies. They are really cute.

Katie – I love the board, and the art, and all the pieces – especially the pokey bunnies. The game is really fun and really cute. It’s really easy to play too, until you get to the end of the game and have to score the Parchment cards.

John H. – Drafting is a lot of fun. There’s too much math, but it’s an acceptable game.

Olivia W. – The math wasn’t a huge problem for me, but the Parchment cards are definitely overwhelming. The Treasure Parchment cards are fine though. The art is awesome all over the game!

Buy or Bye?
Bye – Maybe?

So, I don’t think I’d actually buy this game for myself unless it was super discounted or if someone gifted it to me, I would totally take it. I would make my own house rules for it and adjust it to play better for my local players.

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

The featured game for the last two weeks is a super cute game with lots of cute components. We played Korrigans from Ilopeli and Asmodee.

Korrigans on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Box Art

The legends of Brittany claim that a cauldron full of gold appears at the foot of each rainbow, and tries of Korrigans compete to find it first. Lead your own tribe in Korrigans, a board game of fun and mischief for two to five players! Each turn, you’ll move one of your Korrigans to a new field with the help of your animal Companions. Once you arrive, you can claim one of the tokens there, either giving you more gold or a new animal Companion who can help you move differently. Sooner or later, the cauldron of gold appears at the foot of the rainbow, and at that point, it’s an all-out race to get your Korrigans to the cauldron. Enter a fairy-tale world, and make your tribe of Korrigans richer than any other.

This is an adorable game of area movement and item collection for practically the whole family! This game is for two to five players. Korrigans are supposed to be fairies or sprites, despite how much they resemble leprechauns in the game.

Rules

The rules sheet is short, but to the point. It explains everything as plain as possible, but because some of the aspects are so unique, it took playing it out to fully understand them. Most of the game play and mechanics are simple enough. It was drawing the Rainbow pawns and the cauldron appearance that had me confused until I set it up and played it out on my own. But once you’ve played it out once or twice, it becomes much easier to understand.

My one complaint about the rules sheet are the typos. I understand that the game is translated to English, but there is a whole section of example text on the English rules sheet that’s not in English. The minor grammatical typos aren’t a huge issue, but for the price of the game and how short the rules are, I would expect them to be free of errors.

Components

This game has a lot of unique components and they all serve a purpose. I’ve played several games of Korrigans and there have been games where none of the side components were used, and other games where almost all of them came into play.

The board has two sides. Both sides are almost identical, except that one side has companion reminders on it as well as marked starting places, and the other side doesn’t. The reminders are there to help players with which companion can be used at a particular location. The side without the reminders also lets you place your Korrigans different at the beginning of the game. Instead of having to place your Korrigan in a particular numbered field, you can place them in any field. This changes things up a little and a player can even nab a Menhir before the game really starts. The board itself is very sturdy and we are still having trouble flattening it out. There were a few cracks in the bends of the board that were there when we first took it out of the box. They don’t affect game play at all, but I don’t like when something is damaged (even somewhat superficially) right out of the box. This could be because the copy we have is a older copy. The production quality of a newer copy is not something I can comment on, because we don’t have a newer copy for comparison.

Map 1Map 2

The player screens come in five different colors with different artwork on the front of each screen. The backs on the screens are all the same artwork, just different colors to match the color on the front of the screen. These are made of regular card stock and the images are bright and clear. There are bend guides on both sides to show where the screens need to be bent so that they stand up on their own. They flatten back out without too much trouble and bending them multiple times, for multiple games, hasn’t caused any unnecessary wear on them.

Screens

Each player gets two Korrigans of their chosen color. Something that I think is really awesome about all the Korrigan pieces is that each Korrigan is different. None of them are the same, even if they’re the same color. I like that each player gets two unique Korrigans that are different from all the other players’ Korrigans too. This small detail makes the game more desirable for me. There’s nothing wrong with Meeples, but sometimes, I want special pieces. The pot of gold, or cauldron, is really cute and I’m happy that it’s an actual plastic cauldron piece and not just another cardboard token.

Korrigans and Cauldron

The clover tokens are standard cardboard punch out tokens. There are a variety of companions and coins that are randomly placed in the fields at the beginning of the game. The tokens with the yellow ring are only used if there are four or five players. It was brought to my attention by a player, that the companions have something in their image that corresponds to how they help your Korrigan move. The hare lets you hop from field to field, the Squirrel has a gate in the background, the frog is near a dock, the mouse has a bridge in the background, and the mole is in a molehill. The bird is not as clear, but that’s probably because it lets you fly from one field to another field of the same color, and that’s difficult to illustrate. The bird is not on the reminder side of the board either, but it’s easy to remember what it does.

Clover Tokens

Each field, aside from the town square, will get a pointy rock thing. These are called Menhirs and each one has a symbol or a sticker on the bottom. When you collect one, you reveal it and gain the bonus or ability showing on the bottom. There are two of each different symbol.

Menhir

In the picture below, the troll token, which is the one with the stand, is brought into play or moved when you find the Menhir with his symbol on it. The giant hare and squirrel companion tokens are backup companions for players that need one of those companions because they can’t move with the companions they have. You have to discard a token to get one and you can only have one. You also have to choose which side you want and can’t change it later, so you either get a hare or a squirrel – not both. The cute little leprechaun with the pot of gold is the first player token, which never leaves the player chosen as the first player throughout the entire game.

The green tokens that go on the base of a Korrigan are Elves, which are found on the bottom of a Menhir. When you find the Elf, you place the token on your Korrigan and the Elf will give you two coins at the end of the game. You can lose this token if someone enters the field you’re in! The Goblin is the red one and works similar to the Elf. You can only get rid of the Goblin by moving your Korrigan into a field with a different Korrigan. The Goblin steals two of your coins at the end of the game, so you don’t want to keep him!

Misc Tokens 0

To make the cauldron appear and trigger the end of the game, you must have a rainbow! Every round, before the first player’s turn, whoever has the bag will draw a rainbow pawn. New colors are placed on the Sun markers on the board, and duplicate colors are placed on the Cloud markers. The rainbow pawns are made of wood an painted in seven different colors. My only complaint about the rainbow pawns is that the shade of the yellow and orange are too close in color. The orange needs to be a little darker. The picture actually makes the orange look darker than it is in person. This picture makes the blue and violet look too similar in shade, but in person, they’re definitely different. The bag is made from a thin black cotton like material, but it’s definitely big enough for folks with larger hands to reach in and draw a rainbow pawn easily. It has a one sided drawstring on it to keep the rainbow pawns from falling out.

Rainbow Pawns

Setup & Clean Up

The setup for Korrigans will take a little time, but it’s simple enough. Each player picks a color and takes the player screen and the two matching Korrigans.

Each field is marked with a four leaf clover and a number which tells you how many clover tokens to place in that field. Each field also gets a Menhir, except for the Town Square. The Town Square does get clover tokens, though. If you’re playing with four or five people, each field gets one extra clover token from the ones with the yellow rings around their pictures. This helps to ensure that players find enough companions and coins and so one player doesn’t get an unfair advantage over another.

After the fields are set up, each player places one of their Korrigans in the field that matches their player number. For example, the first player puts one of their Korrigans in one of the two fields marked with a number one. Then that player looks at all the tokens and chooses one to keep. They place that token behind their screen and put the remainder of the tokens back in the field, face down. The next player, to the left of player one, is player two. They place of their Korrigans in a field labeled with a number two and does the same thing, choosing one of the clover tokens. This continues until all players have placed their first Korrigan. Then it starts over with player one, who places their second Korrigan in the remaining field marked with a number one and chooses a clover token from that field. The same steps are repeated until all players have placed their second Korrigan. It’s good to grab at least one companion from a field during this setup.

If you’re using the side without the companion reminders or the field numbers, you can place your Korrigans in any field. There aren’t any field numbers on the side without the companion reminders. You can even put your Korrigan in the same field as another Korrigan. This is an easy way to grab a Menhir before the game actually starts, though I wouldn’t advise doing this. This limits the chances of finding a companion token which means you’ll have to discard a clover token for a back up companion.

All the Menhir tokens (Elves, Goblins, Troll) and the backup companions are placed to the side of the board with the cauldron.

After all Korrigans are placed, the first player draws a rainbow pawn and places on one of the Sun markers of their choosing. Any row or column marked with a rainbow pawn will potentially eliminate that field from being selected as one for the cauldron appearance. Since most of the fields are present in more than one grid section, you’d need to eliminate several rows or columns to prevent the cauldron from being placed in a particular field.

Game Play

Game play is not difficult and moves fairly smooth throughout the game. Each player, on their turn, moves one of their Korrigans and collects a clover token from the field they moved into. If it’s the last clover token, they get to collect the Menhir too. If a player picks up a Menhir, they reveal what it is on the bottom and get to do whatever the Menhir says. If it’s gold on the bottom of the Menhir, the player places it behind their screen after revealing it.

The only way to move your Korrigans are with the companion tokens. If you don’t have a companion token, or you don’t have the one you need to move, you must discard a clover token from behind your player screen and choose either the hare or squirrel backup companion. You can only have one, so choose wisely! The bird companion is the only one that’s not on the reminder side of the board. That’s because the bird can fly your Korrigan from its current field, to another field of that same color. That’s not easy to add in without causing a huge mess, but it’s definitely easy enough to remember.

Before the first player takes their turn each round, the player that has the bag of rainbow pawns will draw one and place it on either a Sun or Cloud marker of their choice, depending on the color drawn. If the color drawn was a new color, it has to be placed on a Sun marker. If the color was a color already on a Sun marker, it must be placed on a Cloud marker.

When the seventh color of the rainbow is drawn for the Sun markers, the rainbow pawn isn’t placed. Instead, the player takes the cauldron and finds all the available intersections under the Sun and Cloud markers that do not have a rainbow pawn and chooses a field. The chosen field can’t have one of that player’s Korrigans in it (if possible). Once the field is chosen, that player places the cauldron in that field and the end of the game begins. The exception to this is if the fifth color is drawn and placed on a the Cloud markers. Game play is paused and the bag is passed to the next player who will draw a rainbow pawn and place it. This continues until the seventh color is drawn, and when that happens, players move on to the cauldron appearance.

Once the conditions are favorable and the rainbow has triggered the cauldron’s appearance, the game will continue for one final round. Players will use their companions in an effort to reach the field with the cauldron. There is a special condition with the companions during this last round. You can only use each companion token one time. It’s a good idea to collect more than one of some companions, that way you can increase your chances of reaching the cauldron. Players that have one Korrigan in the cauldron’s field will receive ten coins, and players that have both Korrigans in the field will receive fifteen coins at the end of the game.

Once each player has taken their final turn and tried to reach the cauldron, all players count up the coins behind their screens, including coins on Menhirs that they may have collected, and then they add in their cauldron bonus if they have one. The player with the richest Korrigan clan is the winner!

Conclusion

This game is so much fun! It’s a great family game and it’s great for children because there isn’t any reading involved. Younger children sometimes lose interest quickly if there are too many components that require a lot of reading, like card based games. But don’t let the cute exterior fool you. This game actually has a lot of strategy to it, which surprised me!

I love the movement mechanic, and how it changes slightly when the cauldron appears. I also like that you can have a rough start, but still come back and do well or even win. I also really like the way that the cauldron appearance works. You never know who is gonna trigger the appearance or where they may put the cauldron. If you’ve got lots of rainbow pawns out, it’s easier to maneuver your Korrigans based on the companions you have. But, if the cauldron is triggered before lots of Cloud markers are covered, there are lots of places the cauldron could end up!

It really is a fun game and the game can be over in as quick as 20 minutes or as long as an hour or more. The random mechanics are what dictates the length of the game, for the most part, and it’s easy to get several games done in one evening.

What the Players Said

Paul – This game is really fun and I like it overall. I can’t think of anything that I don’t like about it.

Katie – I love it! It’s so, so cute and so easy to learn. I love all the cute little pieces. The player screens kind of feel pointless.

Sam J. – It was fun and my favorite things are the rocks and the randomness in the game.

John H. – I really liked it. It’s easy to play and learn and there isn’t anything I dislike about it.

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

This is a very cute game that was fun for my diverse group of players. Each of my fellow players seemed to really like the game and they stayed engaged during the other players’ turns. It’s a game that I definitely need to add to my collection, and soon!

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

The featured game for this article is Forbidden Island from Gamewright. This is a cooperative game where players work together instead of against each other. This game is meant for 2 to 4 players.

Forbidden Island on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island was the secluded retreat of the ancient mystical empire known as the Archeans. Legend has it that the Archeans possessed the ability to control the Earth’s core elements – fire, wind, water, and earth – through four sacred treasures: The Crystal of Fire, The Statue of Wind, The Ocean’s Chalice, and The Earth Stone. Because of their potential to cause catastrophic damage if they fell into enemy hands, the Archeans kept the treasures secretly hidden on Forbidden Island and designed it to sink if intruders ever attempted to claim them. In the centuries since the mysterious collapse of their empire, Forbidden Island remained undiscovered … until now.

Will your team be the first to breach its borders, capture the treasures, and make it out alive?

Rules

The rule book for Forbidden Island is well written and covers lots of different situations. The book is eight pages and full of visual examples to assist with learning the game. It’s fairly easy to find information in a timely manner if a question arises in the middle of game play.

The only issues I had with the rule book were minor ones that can be easily figured out. One of the issues I have with the rules are in the setup section. I do not care for the explanation of how the island tiles are to be setup, but based off of the picture displayed, it’s simple enough to figure it out. The other issue was over the water level on the water meter. There were a few questions brought up over what the water level indication was represented by. Some players believed it was designated by the numbers, as they appear to be next to a particular line. Others believed the water level was designated by the color breaks, which seems more plausible and is how we ultimately played it.

Both of those are extremely minor issues and do not impact the game in a way that would cause too much confusion. As long as the water level breaks are clearly explained at the beginning of each game, there should be no issues at all with reading the water meter.

Components

Adventurers

Each player is randomly assigned an Adventurer card. Each Adventurer has a different color and an ability unique to them. Since the game only suggests up to four players at once, you won’t have access to all six Adventurers in a single game. This helps to change up the variations in game play each time you play, and since selection is random, you never know who you’ll be on your next visit to Forbidden Island.

Flood Deck and Island Tiles

The Flood Deck contains 24 different cards, which match the 24 different tiles that make up Forbidden Island. Every time a tile’s card is flipped, that tile is is either flooded (flipped to the blue tinted side of the tile) or sinks (removed from the game with its card). The illustrations are beautiful and correspond to the names of each island location. During setup, the tiles are randomly placed to form Forbidden Island, which is another aspect that makes each game different from the last. You’re not likely to set foot on the same Forbidden Island!

Treasure Deck

The Treasure Deck consists of five of each different Treasure card to match the four Forbidden Island Treasures, three Waters Rise! cards, three Helicopter Lift cards, and two Sandbag cards. In order to capture a Treasure, you need to be at one of the two locations and have four of that Treasure’s cards. For example: To capture the Ocean’s Chalice, you need to have four of the Ocean’s Chalice cards and have your Adventurer pawn placed on one of the Ocean’s Chalice locations (Tidal Palace or Coral Palace). You use one of your three actions to capture the Treasure, which will also require you to discard the four Treasure cards.

Treasures

These are the four Treasures: The Earth Stone, The Statue of the Wind, The Ocean’s Chalice, and The Crystal of Fire. Each one is made of plastic and they’re super cute. Everyone enjoys having a tangible item to hold on to, rather than a cardboard token or a card. The addition of actual ‘Treasures’ was a great design choice. Other than being captured, the Treasures don’t have any other function in the game.

Water Meter

I like the Water Meter, but as I mentioned under the rule book section, I would like for the Water Level indication to be made more clear in the rule book. The only issue I have with the actual Water Meter itself, is that it’s cardboard and very susceptible to wear and tear over multiple uses. The plastic level indicator clamps on very tight, which is good but also bad. Clamps that are too tight, like this one, can cause damage. Luckily, this Water Meter has not been damaged over the course of its use. I can confirm that this copy of Forbidden Island has been played more than 20 times and all the components have held up with minimal evidence of wear.

Standard Size Double Sided Clear

All of the decks will require shuffling and will wear over time and multiple uses. I would highly recommend using protective sleeves that are clear on both sides to sleeve all the cards. All of the cards in this are what they call ‘standard’ size. These Ultra Pro sleeves are perfect for all the cards in Forbidden Island.

Setup & Clean Up

There are multiple aspects to the setup of the game. There are two different decks that need to be shuffled, tiles to be shuffled and formed into an island, and Adventurers to be shuffled and randomly dealt out. I would recommend that the each player assist with the setup to decrease the amount of time it takes. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting on one person to set up the entire game, which could take five minutes or more.

The clean up takes significantly less time. The cards from the two decks won’t be mixed during game play, so it’s very easy to collect both decks, the tiles, and other components quickly.

The box for Forbidden Island is a metal tin with a plastic insert. All the components have their own compartment, including individual spots for each of the Treasures. Sleeved cards will fit in the designated spot where the cards go, but the corners of the sleeves could bend slightly in the tight fit.

Game Play

Each player gets three actions on their turn: Move, Shore Up, Give a Treasure Card, or Capture a Treasure. Each space a player moves takes up an action, so moving three spaces will use all three actions. The same applies to Shore Up and Give a Treasure Card. You will only ever be able to Capture a Treasure one time in a turn, due to the hand size limit.

Once a player has completed up to three actions, they then draw two treasure cards. This could give them Treasure cards, Special Action cards (Sandbags or Helicopter Lift), or Waters Rise!. Drawing Waters Rise! will cause the water level to increase, making the island sink faster.

After a player has drawn their two Treasure cards, that player then reveals a number of Flood cards equal to the water level as indicated on the Water Meter. Each card revealed will indicate which tile becomes flooded or sinks. If the tile is already flooded (the blue side is showing), it sinks and is removed from the game with the corresponding Flood card.

Game play continues with the next player until either the players win by escaping the island, or the island defeats the players. The only way for the players to win is to capture all four Treasures and escape the island via Fools’ Landing (the helicopter pad). Players need to have at least one Helicopter Lift card among them and all pawns on Fools’ Landing, at the same time, to escape.

Forbidden Island can defeat the players several different ways. If both of the tiles corresponding to a treasure sink before the treasure is captured, the players are defeated. If Fools’ Landing sinks, the players are defeated. If a player’s pawn is on a tile when it sinks and they can’t swim to an adjacent tile, the players are defeated. If the water level reaches the skull and crossbones on the Water Meter, the players are defeated. There are a lot of things for the players to keep track of and stay aware of, which makes this game engaging.

Forbidden Island is tactical fun and each player will want to participate in the debate on what everyone should do on their turn. Full cooperation between all players is key if players want a chance at winning. One wrong move and all could be lost.

Conclusion

This game is probably one of my favorite co-op games. It’s a difficult game on the Novice level, but near impossible on any other level. I do not go into any game of Forbidden Island thinking we’ll win easily, if at all. It almost feels like we shouldn’t win, based off of the game backstory. I feel like a villain, plundering an island for treasures that are too powerful for any small group of people to wield. Then again, maybe we’re archeologist, studying ancient relics and trying to preserve the Archeans history. Either way, the task of retrieving the Treasures and making it off the island is extremely difficult.

The difficulty level of this game is caused mostly by the random layout of the island, the randomness of the Treasure Deck and Flood Deck, and the random selection of the Adventurers. Some Adventurers are more useful in certain games, but because of the randomness, you may not have drawn that one super useful one. The difficulty level of the game is also one of its appealing factors. I tire quickly of co-op games that victory can be easily or frequently achieved.

This game is not for the faint of heart! It can be stressful at times, but not in a bad way that would make me not want to play.

What the Players Said

The players that played the game tonight all had a great time and they all agreed that the game is stressful, but in a fun and exciting way! We played several different games on different levels, but we only won one on the Novice level.

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

I’ve borrowed this particular copy from a fellow tabletop gamer. I most definitely have to purchase this game for myself as it’s becoming a favorite with the locals!

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

If this is your first time visiting my blog, then I greet you with a big smile and a warm hug! Most of my blog is dedicated to Dice Masters and HeroClix, but I’m a board gamer as well. I felt like it was time to expand my reviews into the board game world and get to know a whole new community of awesome folks!

My FLGS has started a new ‘featured game of the week’ event where we encourage folks to come in and play the featured game. We decided to crack open a copy of IDW‘s Mine All Mines to start this new event series, as well as kick off my board game review articles!

Mine All Mines on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Box Art

Rules

Every game has them and every game needs them. They can be as simple as the rules in Fluxx or as complex as a Warhammer rulebook, but all games need rules! The rulebook for Mine All Mines is not overly complex and it’s easy enough to follow. You still will likely need a dedicated individual to sit down and study the few pages of rules and go over potential scenarios in their head before playing, that way there will be minimal down time.

My one complaint about the rulebook is that it doesn’t cover various scenarios that could potentially pop up. This leaves players to come up with house rules on the fly which could make someone feel they’re getting a bad deal if the scenario is house ruled against them. This is why I suggest having one person study the rules and do a play through with someone that will help raise questions about certain interactions. This will not cover everything that could come up, so be prepared to house rule on the fly.

I’m hoping that IDW releases an updated PDF with answers to all the questions we have about game play, but until then, there is a user submitted rulebook on BGG. You can find it here. I found it incredibly useful while trying to nail down some of the odd rules questions that came up. *Nice work on that rulebook!*

Components

Who doesn’t love colorful pieces of plastic!? The gems/gold are really cute and add a bit of that 3D feel to the game. It wouldn’t be near as fun if the gems were represented by cards. Someone said that they wished the gems looked like the cut versions of the gems they’re meant to represent, but I like the raw look much better. And they have a gem pouch for storage!

Bag and Gems

I like the cardboard punches for the mines and that they have the plastic bases, but I do not believe the bases are necessary. They could have just as easily made the mines from cards, which would have given you a labeled place to put the gem/gold stashes. I almost wish they would have done a tray of some sort and fashioned it to look like a pile of stones. It would have helped to keep the tiny plastic pieces in place so they don’t get scattered easily. But the cardboard punches are fine and serve their purpose! I don’t like the plastic bases though, because they could damage the cardboard mines over time and multiple uses.

Mines and Stands

There are three different decks and five different “Dwarf” decks. Each deck is easily distinguished from the others by their card backs, making it very easy to separate and pack away.

Main Decks

Dwarf Decks

The artwork on the cards is colorful and very pretty. I also love that the Jewelry pieces actually have mostly unique and accurate pictures on them and not just a generic jewelry related picture. The Dwarf cards are each unique and very easy to distinguish from one another.

Dwarf Deck Cards

Each type of Dwarf has the same image, just with a different colored nameplate to tell you who the manager (or owner) of that Dwarf card is.

Gold Dwarves

All of the decks will require shuffling and will wear over time. I would highly recommend using protective sleeves that are clear on both sides to sleeve all the cards. All of the cards in this are what they call ‘standard’ size. These Ultra Pro sleeves are perfect for Mine All Mines.

Standard Size Double Sided Clear

The Marketplace looks like it’s supposed to be a stone table with plates on it. It’s sturdy enough and since it only stays in place for the game, there should be next to no wear on it for the life of the game. The first player tile is a pick axe, which is thematic and cute. It’s also made from the same cardboard stock as the other pieces and I’d expect the life of the piece to be the same as the Marketplace.

Marketplace and Pick Axe

There is one component that the game is missing that I wish it had and that’s a place to keep your gem stash. We’ve been keeping our stash on top of the two cards you have to discard from your player deck, but it really could have used a stash tray of some kind. I’ll eventually find or make my own component for that.

Setup & Clean Up

Both the setup and clean up for Mine All Mines is quick and easy. It doesn’t look like it would take up much space with the limited amount of components, but don’t let that fool you. I think that’s my only real complaint about the game itself – it’s awkward in it’s setup. We tried to find a way to accommodate the awkwardness and it’s not the setup that the rulebook suggests to do it. We put the Marketplace and the two rows of cards on one end of the table, and the mines at the other end of the table – instead of all of it being on one the same end.

As far as clean up goes, I think the game cleans up faster than the setup. You only need to flip the cards over and match the backs up. The gems all go into the pouch and the punches and plastic stands go easily into the box insert. I’m sure there are custom inserts for Mine All Mines and if you sleeve your cards, you’ll need a different insert to accommodate the sleeved cards without damaging or marking the sleeves.

Game Play

Each player needs to accumulate gems and gold to buy Jewelry or Support cards. When you buy those cards, they usually give you victory points that help you win the game. You can also acquire an achievement card if you meet the requirements for it, which gives you additional victory points.

In order to get the gems and gold, you have to use the cards in your hand to mine and dig for them. If you play a Dwarf as a friend to another Dwarf that’s already in a mine, you get additional gems/gold. If you play a Dwarf as an enemy to one that’s already in a mine, you get to steal a gem or gold from the player that manages that Dwarf.

It’s fairly simple – as that’s really all there is to it. The complexity comes in when you’re trying to decide if you want to play a Dwarf as an friend or foe to other Dwarves. What Jewelry you purchase also plays into your decisions. You could buy that one bracelet to stop another player from getting it and completing an achievement, but is that new card going to be a bracelet too? Mine All Mines is easy to learn and easy to play, but difficult to master.

There is a fair amount of luck involved too. Each player’s deck of seven cards is identical, but when you begin the round, you have to randomly discard two cards. Each player could have very different cards, or very similar cards which changes what you could or would play. The randomness of Jewelry cards also plays into things, as do the random achievement cards and support cards. You might have all necklaces showing but the necklace achievement isn’t an option for that game. The Marketplace also adds some randomness as you never know what someone will swap with the aid of the Dealer card.

Each round moves fairly quickly, even if someone is taking their time trying to decide which card to play and where to play it. There isn’t a ton of down time between plays and everyone seems to stay engaged in what’s going on. There isn’t hours of game play either. For two players, there are four rounds which gives both players the opportunity to start two rounds. For three, four, and five players, the rounds are equal to number of players. Each player gets a chance to go first and then the game is done and points are tallied.

Conclusion

This is a great game! It’s visual pleasing, fun to play, and engaging. It’s a great game to play in gaming store with your friends or around the kitchen table with your family! It’s family friendly and the art is appropriate for all ages. The box recommends ages 10+ and that’s likely due to the complexity of some of the card wording as well as the difficult decision making on plays. I haven’t seen anything controversial, such as religious or political references in the cards or card text. If you don’t want your child to play a game that involves a mechanic where you ‘steal’ from other players, then I would not suggest this game. Taking gems or gold from a foe is a major part of the game play. You could reword it so that the Dwarf dropped the gem and they found it, just to avoid the stealing part.

I also wouldn’t recommend this game as a gateway game, only because experienced board gamers could easily overcome a brand new player and discourage them from playing again or even playing anything else. I would recommend this for a group of inexperienced players with a experienced player overseeing the game. Keep in mind that everyone is different so be sure to use your best judgement with brand new players.

I really do love playing this game, even with the lack of necessary rules in the rulebook. I could easily recommend this game for groups that are still new to board gaming as well as experienced groups that are looking for a quick and easy game that’s still fun and tactical.

What the Players Said

The players that played the game tonight all had great input about the game.

John H.
The game is fun and easy to learn. I think it needs a better setup on the table because it’s hard to see when it’s all at one end.

Olivia W.
I think it’s a fun game, but it has a really weird setup. I think the Support Cards need larger text for people that can’t see that well. I think it’d be cool to have something like a mini mine cart to keep my gem stash in after I dig them up. Not to mention, it’d be super cute.

Katie R.
Love it. I love all the pieces and the art on the cards. It was a little confusing at first because I couldn’t see all the cards until we moved them to opposite ends of the table. It’s a fun game and easy to pick up on once you start playing.

J. North
It’s fun and easy for inexperienced board gamers to learn and play. It’s also easy enough and fun for players of various ages. It definitely needs a better setup. The size of the cards in the Dwarf decks could be made a little smaller to help reduce the amount of table space they take up. But the best of the game is the plastic gem pieces.

Buy or Bye?

Buy – most definitely!

IDW Games shows that they’re out of stock, but you should be able to score a copy for MSRP or cheaper at your FLGS (or online, if you must). I always an advocate for players to support their FLGS!

Have strategies or tips for Mine All Mines? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I have a ‘mighty’ cool treat for you today, courtesy of WizKids! In celebration of the release of The Mighty Thor set, they’ve sent me a few ‘worthy’ card scans to share! And before you start wondering when you can get your hands on this set, it’s available right now! You can find foil booster packs and draft packs at your friendly local game store.

Preview #1 – Beta Ray Bill: A Worthy Opponent

First up, we’ve got a Guardians of the Galaxy affiliated character, Beta Ray Bill: A Worthy Opponent.

MDM9 Cards Reg95

This is a whopper of a character! He’s got some huge defense stats and his attack is sure to pack a punch! As an added bonus to his glorious stats, when Beta Ray Bill attacks, he can KO a Bolt character die that’s the same level or lower as his die. If you have multiple Beta Ray Bill dice to attack with, each one gets to KO a Bolt character that’s equal or lower level than their level. I know his purchase cost is high, but there are plenty of ways to lower that purchase cost a little. One way is to use Big Entrance: Basic Action Card. Using that action die will reduce his cost by one and also put him in your bag when you buy him. You could get lucky and find a Big Entrance card in one of The Mighty Thor draft packs!

Preview #2 – Enchantress: Fatal Attraction

Next up, we have an addition to the Mystics affiliation, Enchantress: Fatal Attraction.

MDM9 Cards Reg102

If simple brute force isn’t what you want, Enchantress is a card you might want to look at. She’s got a high purchase cost, but just like Beta Ray Bill, you can reduce it with cards like Big Entrance. Her ability is a really good one if she’s on your side! She’s got the ability to tax your opponents when they try to use a Global Ability or an action die. Her ability doesn’t say basic action die, which means she forces them to pay that one extra energy for ANY action die they try to use! She also taxes the Global Abilities they try to use too, which could give you an advantage if your opponent is relying heavily on Globals or action dice. If your opponent isn’t using a lot of Globals or action dice, Enchantress can still deal a decent amount of damage to them with her high attack stats. She’s got the wit and the muscle!

Preview #3 – Hela: Even in Death…

Next up is a very menacing looking Villain, Hela: Even in Death….

MDM9 Cards Reg105

Hela is a super tough character with her huge stats, so it makes perfect sense for her to have a While Active ability. She’s a really useful character if your opponent is using Immortal characters.

Immortal: Except when purchased, when this die would go to the Used Pile, instead add it your bag.”

When an opposing character with the Immortal keyword is KO’d, you get to Prep a die from your bag. It’s usually beneficial to roll more than four dice at the start of your turn, because this gives you more opportunities to purchase crucial elements of your win condition or it can provide the energy you need for a super important Global Ability, like Hela’s. Hela’s Global is a double edged sword though. You need a loophole to prevent your dice from being chosen by your opponent. One way is be sure all of the dice you don’t want back on their cards are in your bag or Reserve Pool before using her Global. Another is with the Global on True Believer: Basic Action Card from the Amazing Spider-Man Starter. This will only help one of your character dice in the Field Zone, but that may be all you need!

W True Believer, BAC

Preview #4 – Pepper Potts: Behind Every Great Man

With this next card, we see the return of the Stark Industries affiliation. I’m super excited about this because it’s the first set we’re seeing it in, outside of the Iron Man and War Machine Starter! Thank you, Pepper Potts: Behind Every Great Man, you are my hero today!

MDM9 Cards Reg118

Rescue: Resilient and Rescue: Catching a Jet needed a new Pepper Potts and I’m so glad we’re getting her! This Pepper Potts is particularly handy while you have Iron Man active. Her stats get a nice boost as long as Iron Man is also in the Field Zone. She’ll become a 4A/4D on level one, 4A/6D on level two, and 5A/5D on level three – all with a zero fielding cost! You just need to be sure to bring an Iron Man – in case your opponent didn’t bring Iron Man to the battle. I like Iron Man: Secretary of Defense because his Enlistment ability puts your opponent in a tough spot!

W Iron Man, Secretary of Defense

Conclusion

While I’m not a fan of the more expensive characters, I totally have my eye on that Enchantress and Hela for her Global! I’m a control player and they’re both my type of cards. My favorite of all four of these cards is most definitely Pepper Potts! I can’t wait to get my hands on one and build a team with her, Iron Man, and Rescue. Now, we need a new Iron Man! I’m super excited to see what I get from my draft pack display that I’ll be picking up from FLGS later today. I’ll be posting an article with my pulls and an unboxing video soon! Keep an eye on my YouTube channel for it.

Huge thanks go to WizKids for allowing me to bring you these previews and I hope that you’re just as excited as I am for what The Mighty Thor set will bring to the game!

Thanks so much for reading and remember folks, if you like the content I provide, be sure to click that like button! Every follower and subscription matters!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Clix Fans!

 

Before I get into this, I have to send a huge thank you to WizKids for giving me the opportunity to preview these two products for all my fellow Clix fans. Thank you, WizKids!

I’m a huge Star Trek fan and I’ve always loved the Tactics sets, but I really wanted to play Clix with characters that I know and love. I was super excited when I first heard about the Away Team booster set and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those pieces too! The Away Team set has a corresponding starter, Dice and Token Pack, Premium Map, and a Release Day OP Kit too! I can’t express how much excitement I have for this set and that Premium Map is going to be a must have, for me. I plan to do videos and articles on any of those products that I can get my hands on! You can always find out what releases are coming up on the Solicits page, but remember, those dates are usually tentative until they set a day.

But, I received this Star Trek Away Team Starter and Dice & Token Pack early so that I can preview it for everyone to can see how cool these pieces are and how much fun it’s going to be to put together a team of your favorite Star Trek TOS characters!

You can find my Preview and Unboxing video for these items on my YouTube channel, here.

Dice & Token Pack

I love Dice & Token Packs, especially when they have characters I love on the tokens and really awesome icons on the dice! This is probably one of my favorite D&T Packs to date, rivaling the TMNT D&T Pack. Don’t make me choose between them!

Dice Token Pack

I adore these tokens and the dice are very pretty. Looking at the dice makes me feel like I’m looking into space. The yellow pips are like stars and the shimmering swirl pattern in the dice look like stardust. I wish my pictures did justice to these awesome looking dice!

Dice

I had a hard time getting a decent shot of the tokens because Kirk’s token wanted to outshine all the other tokens and you couldn’t make out the picture in any shot. Kirk’s foil is super shiny.

Tokens

Fun Fact: Most of the main crew is represented, except for Chekov. But Chekov didn’t enter the show until the second season. All the crew that’s represented on a token were the main crew members from season one.

Starter

 

Away Team Starter

There are lots of items in the starter, as listed on the back of the package. The updated Rulebook and Powers and Abilities Card is a huge bonus for folks like me that only buy particular starters. It also comes with three sheets of cardboard tokens. You get one sheet of objects and two identical sheets of terrain markers.

Objects

Terrain Tiles

You will also find a double sided map with “Gorn Fight” on one side and “Forgotten Planet” on the other side. Both maps are outdoor and have hindering, elevated, and blocking terrain, but the Forgotten Planet side also has water terrain. You can click on the images below to get a better look at the maps.

The starter comes with the six characters that also appear on the tokens in the Dice & Token Pack. I love that! We have Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Mr. Scott, Dr. McCoy, Lt. Uhura, and Lt. Sulu.

All of the characters have the same Team Ability called United Federation of Planets. It says: When this character is given a MOVE action, modify speed +1. This makes the lowest movement total an eight. That seems decent for characters in a starter.

Each of the supporting crew members has an ability that enhances the entire team, including themselves. Mr. Spock modifies attack +1, Mr. Scott modifies damage +1, Dr. McCoy modifies defense +1, Lt. Uhura modifies range +1, and Lt. Sulu modifies speed +1. Captain Kirk is the only one without an ability like that, but he has the an ability when he’s KO’d to potentially deal two damage to every opposing character on the map and then come back on his last click!

Mr. Spock is the only one that’s Indomitable, but all the other characters have Willpower on their first click. This is very helpful for the first turn or two to get your pieces into position. Lt. Uhura also has Perplex starting out which is incredibly useful. Captain Kirk has Leadership on his first click, which gives you a +1 to your action total, allowing you extra positioning capability in the early stages of the game. There are great abilities on all the characters and all the abilities are thematic to the characters, such as Mr. Scott having Telekinesis and Dr. McCoy having Support on every click.

Bones meme

These pieces are definitely tons of fun to play with. I’ve tested them out and thoroughly enjoyed them. I played against a constructed TMNT Ally team and even though I didn’t defeat them, I didn’t go down easy! It was a good game and I took out several opposing pieces. I can’t wait to test this starter team out again and I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on the boosters!

If you’re a new player, I highly recommend this starter. Each character has their own way of helping the team out, which is very thematic to Star Trek. All the character abilities are thematic for the characters too and that’s something I love to see! It makes fans of the show more excited to play with these characters and it also helps teach team tactics to new players.

I also wanted to mention that the sculpts on these pieces are really great. Kirk and Sulu have the same body sculpt, but their heads are different sculpts. It appears that WizKids has put in a great deal of attention to the detail of these pieces, making them more enjoyable to play with, but also worth having for a collection. One of my favorite details has to be the Starfleet badge insignias. It’s very hard to see these tiny details, but the yellow command and blue science shirts have the insignia on their badges that’s accurate to their divisions. The two red shirts are too small for me to see and it’s really hard to make out anything on Mr. Scott’s badge because his arm is in the way. Lt. Uhura appears to have the command logo on her badge, but I can’t see it that well, so I’m not completely sure. Even if it’s not the operations logo, the fact that WizKids made at least two different decals for these figures is cool. Kudos to WizKids on that!

This starter is making my inner fan girl squeak with joy! I’m so excited for the boosters and I really can’t wait to get that premium map!

Be sure to check out my unboxing video and remember to subscribe and follow my social media!

Thanks for reading and watching! As the holidays approach, I hope that everyone has a wonderful time and is surrounded by love!

Boldly go, my friends, and dial it up!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

The 3D Geekery has some amazingly cool items that every Dice Master should check out and this review article is going to give you a brief look at some of those items. You can see my review video on YouTube, here.

Note – I mentioned in the video that I couldn’t find the prices for the items, but it turns out that I’m not very good at using Facebook and totally missed the prices. I’ve noted the prices in this article.

Dice Storage

The 3D Geekery has a few different sizes for their storage cases and they’re working on even more! The one pictured above will hold 32 character dice, which is two Team Packs or two Starters worth of character dice. This storage unit is perfect for holding each Team Pack or Starter separately. The dice fit comfortably in each lane and are held in by a gate that slides and snaps in place. The gates are not easily shaken lose or jarred lose, which prevents accidental spilling of dice if the unit is dropped. If a gate should ever slide open, it will only affect that one lane of dice, unlike a tackle box or bead box which spills all of its contents if it were to accidentally open.

They can customize the units with lettering on the sides, making it very easy to label each set, Team Pack, and Starter in its own unit. The colors can be customized as well, so you can color code your sets or color code by IP.

This storage unit passed all of my durability tests, which is a major bonus. Tackle boxes and bead boxes do not pass my durability tests.

Here are the links to the different albums:

Small Storage Units ($5.00)
Large Storage Units ($10.00)

Card Shields

I mistakenly called these ‘plates’ in the video. Here is a direct link to the album for their Card Shields. You can get a set of two for $3.00 which is really awesome! These are the ones that I featured in the video.

Blank Tiles

I really love the Card Shields! They are a must have for players that play in the more competitive scenes because DWiz and Shriek are such highly used cards. These are totally worth the price and you can customize the colors and lettering as well.

Tokens

They also make a variety of tokens that are generated by certain card abilities. They’ve already made Squirrels, Plants, and Stun Tokens! They are priced at $2.50 per set and each set has four tokens. Here is a link to the album, here. I featured Squirrel Tokens and Stun Tokens in the video.

Squirrels

The Squirrels are super cute and look like chocolate! Don’t eat them! You can change the color of the Squirrels if you don’t like chocolate. But who doesn’t like chocolate?

Squirrel

Stun Tokens look so much cuter than a regular six sided die or glass beads. Their Stun Tokens are very thematic and can be made in any color. I absolutely adore my pink Stun Tokens!

Colors!

The 3D Geekery has a wide range of colors and they add new ones periodically. You can see an album with all their available colors, here.

Final Thoughts

My friends at The 3D Geekery have done such an amazing job with their products and they’re very affordable as well! The storage units are so amazing and I must have more! I plan to order a set of the plant tokens for Poison Ivy and would love to see what they come up with for the Experience tokens that they’re working on. There is a Drizzt card that produces a Guenhwyvar token that I’d love to have a token for too.

All of my locals thought the items were amazing, cute, and very useful. Functional accessories are always the best and everything they’ve produced so far is functional and cute too!

The 3D Geekery has made accessories that can help every Dice Master out there and also kept those accessories affordable! On a scale of one to ten, one being “don’t bother with it” and ten being “Must have!”, all of their Dice Masters accessories get a ten from me!

If you missed the link above, here it is again: The 3D Geekery. Go check them out!

Thanks for reading and watching!
If you have an accessory that you think I need to check out, let me know here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

Roll on, Dice Masters!