The Buffalo Boardgames Meetup Group Message Board › Recently Played Games

Recently Played Games

Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,725

Rattus


ACCESSIBILITY
Medium weight strategy game for 2-4 players ages 8 and up, 45 min.

THEME
Europe in the mid 1300's. The plague is ravaging Europe. Players are attempting to have the most surviving family members at the end of the game.

COMPONENTS
Game board representing a map of Europe divided into 12 regions. 20 wooden cubes per player representing their family members. 49 rat tokens. 6 character tiles and 1 wooden plague piece. All components are high quality and functional.

ART/GRAPHIC DESIGN
The board is rather drab and somewhat dark which I guess is appropriate given the time frame. The 6 large character tiles represent different classes of people of the time period and the artwork represents that well. The graphic design/iconology located at the bottom of each tile does a good job showing the advantages they provide.

RULES
The rules are 8 pages long and explain the game well and are easily comprehendable. Everything is explained in detail leaving no questions unanswered. 

MECHANICS
Area influence/variable player powers.

GAME PLAY
The goal of the game is to have more cubes of your color on the board than any other player at games end. Players turns are divided into 3 simple steps. Optionally a player can select 1 character tile, then they will place cubes on the board, and they will finish by moving the plague piece to an adjacent area. 

Character tiles are selected to give the players advantages during their turns. You can have as many character tiles in front of you as you want and can use the abilities of each character once per turn. However, they also increase the probability of your cubes being killed off by the plague. The only way to get rid of character tiles is to have them taken from you. 

When placing cubes the player can place as many in an area as there are rat tokens in that area. Finally the player will move the plague marker to an adjacent area where the plague will spread by placing additional rat tokens in adjacent areas based in how many rat tokens are present in the area where the plague marker was moved to. 

If wooden cubes and rat tokens are present in the area with the plague marker then the rat tokens will be revealed one at a time to see if the plague kills off any player cubes. Rat tokens show both numbers and class symbols of character tiles to determine who if anyone gets killed off. 

UNIQUENESS
What makes this game unique? Honestly not a whole lot. The character selection, or should I say the taking of roles from other players has been done in other games and I'm sure this wasn't the first game to provide this type of mechanic. However what is different is not having the ability to give up those roles unless somebody takes them from you. Late in the game, and especially at the end it can be beneficial to not have any characters in front of you because all the rat tokens will be revealed and without the class symbols of the character tiles you have less of a chance of your cubes being killed off.

REPLAYABILTY
With so many rat tokens and all of them being placed face down randomly throughout the game the plague will never strike the same way twice from game to game. What really makes this game replayable are the two expansions that are available. These provide a total of 22 total character tiles to choose from as well as the ability to play with 5 or 6 players. 

GAME EXPERIENCE
I've played this game twice now and both games I thought were just so so. On bgg there seems to be many people that really like it. I think it's the type of game that might get better with repeated plays. Those that like the game seem to discover some unique and powerful combinations with the mixed character tiles that comes with repeated plays. I'd certainly be willing to play this a few more times and I'll have it with me for the next few weeks if anyone is interested. Soon after I played on Saturday I felt that there was many things I could've and should've done differently that would have given me a better result in the end. 
Doug
SuburbnBubbleBoy
East Amherst, NY
Post #: 2,962
I had the opportunity to play Kingdom Builder, Walnut Grove, and Rattus with Rodney at this past BACSIM. here are my quick thoughts:

Kingdom Builder
I thought it was a decent game. I don't understand why there are such polar arguments about it. To me I don't see how it could generate that much love or hate as the game itself just is not that...well...noteworthy? I understand that its not Dominion. The name on the box isn't Dominion 2. My opinion is that its a fun, lightweight filler game. Like Jenna said, it's not a game you build an evening around - I wouldn't invite others over for an evening of Kingdom Builder any more than I would invite them over for an evening of For Sale. I like the modular boards, I like the variable powers of the buildings, and I like making fun of Rodney being stuck in a forest for the whole game. The game we played lasted probably 30 minutes and the entire time we were all smiling and laughing. I think that should count for something.

Walnut Grove
Terrible name, fun Euro. I know it's most often compared to Agricola and Carcassonne. I can't say much about the Agricola comparison as I've only played that game once, but I don't think it has anything in common with Carcassonne - at all - unless you want to say all tile-laying games are like Carcassonne. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a fan of Euro cube-pushers. And make no mistake, this is a cube-pusher. That being said, while I can't say the theme is so rich I felt like Pa watching little Laura Ingalls tumbling down the hill, I never felt like I was just pushing cubes thru a machine and watching different colored cubes (or VPs) pop out the other side. I think the amount of player interaction is right in this type of game also. Its not multi-player solitaire, but everyone can't jump on the leader either. I think the playtime was right for a game of this complexity also. I think I may end up getting this for myself. It's the 1st cube pusher I've enjoyed since...Fresco?

Rattus
Meh. Unremarkable. Its not terrible but nothing stands out about it (good or bad). Unlike Rodney I have no real desire to play it again. The biggest positive I saw about it was that the playtime was short. There are a lot better filler games than Rattus....Say, like, oh I don't know....Kingdom Builder.

I had a great time at this last BACSIM. Two of the three games I played will probably find their way into my collection, so that's not too bad.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,726
Kingdom Builder


ACCESSIBILITY
Light-medium weight game for 2-4 players ages 8 and up that plays in 45 min.

THEME
Players attempt to grow and improve their kingdoms by building settlements over various terrains in order to earn gold/victory points.

COMPONENTS
8 modular boards made up of various terrain types. 28 location tiles. 160 wooden settlements. 25 terrain cards. 10 scoring cards. 8 summary cards. All components are of high quality and functional. 

ART/GRAPHIC DESIGN
The artwork on the cards and tiles are average at best. The backside of the location tiles show pictograms which help decipher the function of the tiles. These tiles are small and difficult to read. However, the game also comes with larger summary cards that show a blown up version of the smaller tiles that work well for reminding players of the functions they serve.

RULES
The rules are 6 pages long, have plenty of pictures and examples and do an adequate job of explaining the rules. The game is simple to play and easy to explain. 

MECHANICS
Network building

GAME PLAY
Only 4 of the 8 player boards will ever be used in a single game. The boards are chosen and assembled randomly. Each board shows different buildings where the matching location tiles will be placed. Each location tile gives the player who acquires it an extra action and a specific benefit. 

Of the 10 scoring cards only 3 will be used in a single game. Like the boards these are chosen randomly as well. Each player takes his 40 settlements and 1 terrain card from the top of the deck. 

On your turn you must play your terrain card and place 3 settlements on the matching terrain. Optionally, if you have in your possession any location tiles you can carry out one extra action per tile. In most cases your going to want to spread your influence as far as possible over the board. This is because the majority of the score cards benefit those that can accomplish this task. However, there is an important rule everyone must follow at all times when placing settlements. Not only do you have to place your settlements on the matching terrain, but you must also place adjacent to other settlements you already have on the board whenever possible. Only if you are not adjacent to your terrain card are you allowed to place anywhere in a matching terrain on the board. This makes it difficult to spread your influence across the horizon.

You'll end your turn by drawing a new terrain card to replace the one you played. This will continue until one player has placed his last settlement on the board at which time the round will be completed giving each player an equal number of turns. Scoring will then take place based on the 3 scoring cards that were drawn at the beginning of the game. 

UNIQUENESS
Again there isn't anything really different or ground breaking here. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Games don't always have to be different to be enjoyable. 

REPLAYABILTY
8 different player boards that can rotated, 8 different building types, and 10 different scoring cards that can be selected or randomly chosen lead to many different possible combinations that lead to a lot of replayability.  Plus expansions have already been announced that include even more scoring cards and boards.

GAME EXPERIENCE
Kingdom Builder is a good gateway style of game that plays quickly, has simple rules, and can be enjoyed by both gamers and non gamers alike. It wouldn't surprise me if this game is nominated for the Spiel des Jahres. This game does involve a lot of luck, maybe a little too much luck for the hard core gamer, but it is what it is. This game was designed by the guy that created Dominion. I think with this being his second release that expectations for gamers were high and many expected more. 

I've enjoyed the times I've played this game. Why? Because many of my plays we're with family and they too had a positive experience. It's important to play the right game with the right group. It doesn't matter how great of a game you think it is, if the players around you aren't enjoying the game chances are its not going to be a good experience for you. Games like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, and Kingdom Builder are games that my family are willing to play and always provide a positive gaming experience. 
Isaac
IsaacScharp
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 641
I do not believe that any amount of analysis, no matter how well presented, will convince me that Kingdom Builder is a game.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,734
Played Ticked Off, 10 days in America, Poseidon's Kingdom, and Callisto with my family this weekend. When I find some time I'll write some comments on what I thought about these games.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,735
Ticked Off

is a light weight party game designed by Ted Alspach for 3-10 players that takes around 45 min. to play. What drew me to this game was the designer. For those that don't know Ted also designs many of the maps for Age of Steam. 

The rules are two pages long, simple and to the point. Components consist of a board with a circular bidding track in the center and scoring track running around the outside edge. Each player also gets two colored pawns, one for bidding and the other for scoring. The game also comes with a large double sided deck of category cards, pencils, paper, and a 45 second timer.

The starting player will draw a category card and make a bid of how many words he thinks he can write that fits the category drawn. Then players take turns making claims of how many items they could list in that category either passing or raising the previous bid. 

Once all but one person has passed on increasing the target bid, the timer is triggered and a second category is revealed. And this is what makes this game a bit different. Every player then lists as many items as possible but from only one of the two categories revealed. 

Once the timer sounds players compare answers and mark out (tick off) duplicates, scoring one point for each unique answer; the bidder scores two points for each unique answer, but only if he meets his bid. In addition, each player scores additional points if he listed more answers than the number bid.

Since you only score points for unique answers that other players haven't written, sometimes it may be in your best interest to pick the more difficult of the two categories hoping that your the only player that chooses that topic. Thus giving you all the points you've written due to nobody else choosing that category. 

Another "it is what it is" type of game. It's an ok party game with simple rules and quick play that's compatible with gamers of all ages. The bidding mechanic gives the game a sort of push your luck element and can double your score if you succeed in outbidding your opponents. Other than that it's basically Scattergories with bidding. 
Paul
user 9349172
Depew, NY
Post #: 10
I played Lords of Waterdeep at DDXP 2012. Here is my review on BGG, copied below for convenience. In short, I liked the game a lot and will purchase it when it comes out.




I had the opportunity to play Lords of Waterdeep (LoW) twice at the Dungeons and Dragons Experience this past weekend. First, I would like to thank WOTC for demoing it and also a big thanks to Chris Tulach (D&D program manager) for doing a great job at teaching us the game and helping us throughout our games.

How I rate games on BGG:

* 1-3: Games I do not want to play again and avoid like the plague. I wouldn't purchase these.
* 4-6: Games I will play but would rather play something else. I wouldn't purchase these.
* 7-9: Games I enjoy playing and will argue to play them over lesser games, but won't be disappointed if they don't hit the table. I usually purchase all 7-9 games.
* 10: Games I would like to play every time I get together to game and one I know I will never grow tired of playing. I don't often rate a game 10. I purchase all 10 games.

For this review, I value the underlined categories more than others.

DESCRIPTION
Lords of Waterdeep is a Eurogame and plays like most other Eurogames. If you dislike all Eurogame you probably won't like this. The game allows for 2-5 players.

GAMEPLAY: 9
The object of the game is to be the lord with the most victory points (VPs) at the end of the game. Each turn is broken into rounds where each player places one of their 2 agents on a location in Waterdeep. Each location confers some benefit to the lord, usually in the form of a number of adventures (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard), gold, intrigue cards, quest cards, some combo of the previous, the ability to purchase buildings, or the ability to play an intrigue card. Buying a building allows you to own a location where lords can place their agents. Building owners get some commodity when some other agent uses their building. Most locations can only accommodate a single agent so moving your agent to prime locations is important. What makes a location important to each lords depends on what they need to complete their quests. Quests require a combination of adventurers and gold to complete, and reward the lord with VPs. Each quest falls into one of 5(?) categories (Warfare, Commerce, Arcane, Skullduggery, Piety, ?). Quest categories are only used during the end game to gain bonus VPs. After an agent is placed the player can complete one quest. Completed quests generated VPs.

The game ends after 8 turns. After the 5th turn each lord gains a 3rd agent to place during each turn. At the beginning of the game each player draws one of 10 Lord cards, each representing one of the many Waterdeep personalities from the Forgotten Realms. All but one Lord card contains 2 quest categories (Warfare, Skullduggery, etc) that grant 4 VPs per completed quest of either of those 2 quest categories. One Lord card grants 6 VPs for each building you own at the end of game. This lone Lord card can throw a monkey wrench into planning and must be accounted for.

DURATION: 10
Both games I played took about 1.5 hours and each had 5 players, most of them new to the game. The duration felt perfect to me. I do not like games like this that take more than 2 hours.

TIME BETWEEN TURNS: 9
I would say the time between each players action was anywhere from 5 seconds to 1 minute, with most being between 10 and 30 seconds. I rarely had to wait more than 3-4 minutes between my actions. I dislike games that have long downtime between actions and LoW did not have this at all.

THEME: 7
Just like every Eurogame I've played, the theme felt like it was just laid over the mechanics. This is okay as it seems like this is the case for most Eurogames. I'm a D&D player, and also a fan of the Forgotten Realms, and thought the theme was cool and felt like we were nobles vying for dominance. The quests, locations, buildings and lords were flavorful but were more mechanical.

COMPONENTS: 8
I like all of the components. The map is your typical fold up cardboard, the cards seemed like the same construction as Magic the Gathering, and the wooden meeples and cubes are what you see in most Eurogames. The art is great and the flavor text is both spot-on and funny. I've never been a fan of the cubes in Eurogames, preferring shapes that resemble what they represent, but they went with what is the status-quo for Eurogames. I would have preferred simple colored minis that looked like Fighters, Rogues, Clerics, and Wizards, and also more defined Agent minis.

MANUAL: ?/9
I didn't need to read the manual since Chris Tulach taught us how to play in less than 10 minutes. I liked that the game mechanics were easy and quick to learn but had depth once play began. We didn't have any problems in either of the games I played in.

PLAYER INTERACTION: 7
Player interaction comes in a couple of forms, Intrigue cards and placing agents. Intrigue cards are drawn randomly when an agent is placed on certain locations. Intrigue cards are played when a lord places an agent on the Waterdeep Harbor location. Intrigue cards do various things, and some of them can be targeted at other players. Most locations can only accommodate a single agent so you can prevent others from getting what they need or focus on getting what is best for you.

LONG TERM DESIRE TO PLAY: 8
Our group will probably play this often, but not every time we get together. The game seems to have enough depth to avoid getting stale after several plays.

BALANCE: 9
Not being a Eurogame master, I cannot comment on the math behind the game or how fair it was for each player. I felt the game had little luck or randomness, but it did have some. The small amount of randomness and luck came from the Intrigue cards and the first player at the start of the game. To compensate for going first, the 1st player gets 4 gold at start, the 2nd player gets 5, etc. There's a location to be the first player in the next turn.

FINAL RATING: 9
Simply put, I had a great time playing both games I was in. I will buy this game and I'm sure it will see the table quite often in our group. Without more plays I cannot comment on if it will eventually get stale.
Isaac
IsaacScharp
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 644
The game comments have been very useful to me, now I really want to play Eclipse and LoW.
Doug
SuburbnBubbleBoy
East Amherst, NY
Post #: 2,974
Takenoko

I had a chance this past weekend to play one of my new acquisitions: Takenoko. Its a light, family strategy game (think about the same complexity as Ticket to Ride or Settlers) that sees players taking actions to expand and grow a beautiful bamboo garden - and in some instances feed said bamboo to a hungry panda bear. The most striking thing about the game is how beautiful the components are. From the thick, colorful tiles, to the stackable bamboo sections, to the awesome pre-painted gardener and panda figures. The theme holds up well and the whole game is just fun to look at and the pieces are fun to play with. So how does it play?

Play is very straightforward and player turns go quickly. On their turn a player 1st roles a custom wooden die that gives them a special bonus for that round. These bonuses range from taking an extra action to moving the panda for free to building improvements in the garden. After the player has used the action from the die roll, then they get to use their two actions - the only restriction being that they may not take the same action twice in one turn. These actions are: 1) Adding a tile to the bamboo garden; 2) irrigating tiles so bamboo can grow there; 3) Moving the gardener so the bamboo grows; 4) moving the panda so it eats the bamboo; and 5) drawing objective cards. All the actions you take are in an effort to fulfill the different objective cards you have in your hand. These cards come in three different flavors, and you can choose what type you want when drawing new ones. Some require you to build the garden in a certain configuration (such as a straight row of 3 yellow tiles), others require that you grow a certain configuration of bamboo (such as 4 green bamboo shoots with a height of exactly 3 segments), and the 3rd type requires you to have the panda eat a specific combo of bamboo sections (such as 2 red or 1 of each color). The point value of the cards reflects the difficulty of task. So while having the panda eat two sections of green bamboo might only net you 3 points, growing those 4 pieces of bamboo to exactly 3 sections nets you 8. The cards are kept secret from the other players until you fulfill them on your turn, at which time you may play the card on the table in front of you. The game is played until one player has a certain number of objective cards (based on the number of players) in front of them. The other players are then given one final turn and points are tallied based on the completed objective cards - highest score wins!

After one play I have to say I really like the game. Its certainly not going to burn your brain, but it makes a nice gateway game or a good filler. I think we finished our 4-player game in about 45 minutes, and with repeated plays I could see the game being easily finished in 30 minutes. That's just about the perfect length for a game of this complexity. It is a low confrontation game, as player objectives are hidden until they are completed. While actions you take on your turn can (and will) mess up other players, its very difficult to specifically target another player. This may put some people off, but it makes for a great family game. I look forward to playing Takenoko again in the near future.
Rodney
Candyman
Elma, NY
Post #: 1,745
Core Worlds is a game where each player is in control of his own space empire attempting to invade and control other planets in order to earn victory points.

At its core (no pun intended) core worlds is a deck building game. However, it doesn't feel or play like your typical deck builder. This game is a bit more heavier and strategic than other deck builders I've played in the past.

The game plays over ten rounds and each round is comprised of six straightforward phases. In phase one you draw cards, in phase two players adjust energy levels based on energy provided from conquered planets. Phase three involves flipping new cards for players to acquire in phase four which involves players taking actions. Phase five players will discard cards in hand, and phase six is an end phase that prepares players for a new round.

The heart and soul of the game is the action phase. Players have a choice of five different actions they can perform. Each player is limited to a number of actions based on the round. In most cases players are required to spend energy to carry out actions as well. Your possible actions include drafting cards from the main play area, deploying cards from your hand face up into your war zone, invading planets, using specific action cards, or simply passing.

Players take one action at a time until they have no more actions or energy left in which case they are forced to pass. The goal of the game is to score points. You score points by invading planets. In order to invade planets you have to deploy various fleet and ground forces that equal a planets strength. In order to increase your fleet size you have to draft cards and build your deck. In order to draft cards you need energy which comes from planets you've already conquered. 

While gameplay itself is fairly simple, the decisions on which action to take and at what time isn't always an easy decision to make. I really want that starfighter, but if I don't invade that planet now will someone else invade it before me? Will that starfighter still be there if I invade first? Trying to draft cards that could work in conjunction with one another can be key. Timing and player order can be a factor in deciding what actions might be best given the current circumstances. 

The game took us a little longer than expected, but that was because we were all new to the game reading and learning the cards as they were revealed. I personally didn't feel like the game was a deck builder even though it is. I guess that was because of the amount of "think" involved in the game when compared to other deck builders. That and the fact that you aren't constantly shuffling like many other games of this type. 

The game is unique in that the cards your drafting are always changing and new planets and stronger units become available as the game progresses. Because of these changes and twists I did enjoy the game. And the fact that the cards already have icons on them that are meaningless now with the base game, but are already included and setup for expansions should make this game highly replayable. Looking forward to many more plays of Core Worlds in the future.
Powered by mvnForum

This Meetup is community funded

$10.28/year

Member dues are used to:
  • Cover Meetup costs
  • Have a reserve fund

Voluntary

Members are not required to pay dues, but are encouraged to chip in.

Cancel dues at any time.

Dues are billed each year.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy