The Game of Gaming

Archive for October, 2009

Review: Carson City

Posted by Eisley on 31st October 2009

Carson CityUpon reading the rules prior to Spiel 09, Carson City sounded interesting and I pre-ordered it.  I wasn’t disappointed either as the game delivered a close run contest with some very interesting choices.

Together, but not co-operatively, players build Carson City.  Each turn, players select a unique role and then spend their cowboy meeple (one at a time) to claim actions.  Actions allow players to gain resources, buy buildings, hire additional meeple, and even gain victory points.  However, actions only get resolved after players have committed their meeple.  Plus, apart from the two default actions, only one player can perform each action. 
Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Board Games, Carson City, Essen Spiel 09, Review | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Colonia

Posted by Eisley on 30th October 2009

ColoniaThere are few specific designers I follow but Dirk Henn is one that I do.  So, I was excited that he was releasing a new big game.  And big is the word – big in size, big in weight and big in thinking.

Players play families in a town who use resources to make goods which they sell in order to buy relics.  Each step of the game is relatively simple, but it is the decisions to be made at each step that makes this an enjoyable, meaty game of thinking and decisions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Kingpin

Posted by Eisley on 29th October 2009


I’m always on the lookout for good 2 player games.  Kingpin sounded great from the description and the Flash demo is a superb example of how to use the web to showcase and explain a game.

The game involves moving your gangsters (tiles) on a board in order to either control the centre area, get one of your gangsters off the other side of the board, or to totally eliminate your opponent.  Moving your tiles and changing their facing is simple but very strategic, as each tile’s side has a different mix of attack and defence icons.  Some tiles can support others, fire over spaces and charge in to a fight (called a raid and shown by car icons). So, Kingpin offers interesting tactical play.

It took a while to understand how to be effective.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 09, Kingpin, Review | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Stronghold

Posted by Eisley on 28th October 2009


[Below is my initial review of Stronghold.  A three-part report covering the game in a lot more detail is available too:  Part One – Part Two – Part Three]

Stronghold not only has a great setting but it also had a great pre-launch.  The designer released over ten posts about how he came up with ideas and developed the game.  This brilliant bit of marketing explained the game perfectly but was also very evocative.  As a result, I pre-ordered it.

The game is about the seige of a castle.  With two players, one player defends and one invades.   (With more than two players, players share in the invasion or defense.)  Resources are tight, especially for the defender but then they have the advantage of being in a giant castle and shooting at anything approaching the walls.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Tobago

Posted by Eisley on 28th October 2009


Ever since I saw the photo of Tobago, I was looking forwards to it.  When I read the rules, I was even more certain.  Then I played it, and Tobago delivered.   I like games that offer a fresh game mechanic and Tobago was great because it’s beautifully diffferent.

The game focuses on determining where treasures are hiddden, primarily by playing an accumulation of clue cards to discern a treasure’s precise location, like “it’s not next to a palm tree” or “it’s in the biggest jungle”.  When the location of a treasure (there are always four being sought) is reduced down to just one hex/location, it can be picked up.  Instead of adding clues, you can drive your ATV to pick up treasures or amulets.  When grabbed, the treasure inside is revealed and shared between the players who helped find it.

There are two really great mechanics.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 09, Review, Tobago | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Full Game Reviews from MetaGames

Posted by Eisley on 28th October 2009

Writing reviews on games using Twitter during Spiel09 was fun but had a couple of inherent difficulties.  First, giving a fair impression of a game in one tweet is almost impossible.  Getting across all the points in around 120 characters (140, minus #tag, minus game name) is crazily hard.  In fact, it’s much harder than writing a short blog entry.  Rather than quick to write, every tweet becomes a mad challenge of summarisation – I even had to throw in a couple of deliberate typos to save precious characters (deliberate, honest).  Second, the time it takes to do the ultra condensed writing meant it was hard to write them between games.  As a reult, many tweets were written in a batch rather than ‘live’.  I think in future, I’d post short blog entries and use Twitter to notify people of the new item (all possible from the iPhone).

As a result, I shall be writing longer reviews on the games I played to give the full view on each.  Plus, I can add reviews of other games I play, general entries about gaming, as well as my journey to create my own board game (wish me luck on that) which I am aiming to have ready for Spiel 2010. 

So, whilst Essen may be finished, my thoughts and discussions about the games played, plus all the games still to be played over the coming weeks, are still to be aired.

If you have any specific items you’d like covered, post a comment and let me know.  Also, if you have any feedback on my tweets from Spiel09, let me know too.

Posted in Board Games, Review | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Essen Spiel 09 Day Three

Posted by Eisley on 26th October 2009

Final day of the show for me.  Found Carolus Magnus and Vineta for just 10 euros each – which was a bargain as I wanted to get them anyway.
(Check Twitter for my initial thoughts on games – Username: @MetaGames)
(Links below will take you to my fuller review)

Games bought but not yet played:
Carolus Magnus
Tarantula Tango
Robot Master
Letters of Marque

Bought and played:
Fits (twice)

Peloponnes (correct rules) (bought day two)
Sator …. Rotas
Colonia (bought day one)

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Essen Spiel 09 Day Two

Posted by Eisley on 25th October 2009

Another day full of gaming. The days seeming but still never enough time to play enough.  Met some great gamers in the hotel who joined us for a game too.
(Check Twitter for my initial thoughts on games – Username: @MetaGames)
(Links below will take you to my fuller review)

Games bought but not yet played:
Board Game Geek Game
El Paso
Bunny Bumny Moose Moose

Bought and played:
Samurai Card Game
Strada Romana
Abandon Ship
Tobago (played day one)

Day & Night

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Essen Spiel 09 Day One

Posted by Eisley on 23rd October 2009

It’s been a very long day but, at Spiel, that’s a good thing.
(Check Twitter for my initial thoughts on games – Username: @MetaGames)
(Links below will take you to my fuller review)

Games bought but not yet played:
Carson City
Savannah Tales
Letters of Marque
Plus expansions for Sumeria, Powerboats and Krakow

Bought and played:
Nostra City
Pony Express

Priests of Ra

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