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I wanted to put up a quick post today, and this seemed like a quick game to cover:

image by BGG user toulouse

image by BGG user toulouse

One Night Resistance is a joint venture between Indie Boards and Cards (publishers of The Resistance) and Bezier Games (publishers of One Night Ultimate Werewolf).  The game was designed by Ted Alspach, owner of Bezier Games, and is for 3-10 players.  You are members of a resistance force trying to overthrow the government, and some members of your group may be spies.  You have one chance to figure out who is a spy and assassinate them.  This game is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, and is well overfunded.

The game will come with 13 ID tokens, 16 specialist cards, 16 specialist tokens, a leader token, an HQ tableau, and reference cards for everyone.  You begin the game by mixing together ID tokens – one Resistance token per player in the game and three spy tokens – then passing one to each player.  These are kept secret and the three that were not used are placed face down on the HQ.  You then deal out one specialist card per player, which gives you a secret special ability.

Everyone then closes their eyes.  The spies open their eyes and see who is on their team, then they close their eyes again.  Beginning with the leader, each player then opens their eyes and performs their specialist action.  You can look at your specialist card, but not your ID unless allowed by your action.

  • Observer: Figure out who the spies are.  This essentially means nothing – it’s like a Villager in Werewolf.
  • Inquisitor: Look at one other ID.
  • Signaller: If you’re a spy, tap a spy on your left or right.  If not, tap the player on your left or right.
  • Thief: If you’re a spy, you look at your ID.  If not, you switch IDs with someone else and look at your new ID.
  • Reassignor: If you’re a spy, switch an ID with one of the ones in the HQ.  If not, switch two IDs.
  • Analyst: View a player’s specialist card.
  • Confirmer: View your own ID.
  • Revealer: Flip another ID face up.  If it’s a spy, flip it face down.
  • Blind Spy: If you have a spy ID, raise your thumb during the spy reveal but don’t open your eyes.  If not, you don’t do anything.
  • Defector: If you’re a spy, you can look at your own ID.  If not, switch your ID with a spy ID on HQ if there are any.
  • Rogue: If you’re a spy, switch a Resistance player’s ID with a spy’s ID.  If not, look at your own ID.

(these were taken from an Imgur photo, I have no idea if they still reflect gameplay)

Once you have done your action, close your eyes and say “Mission Accomplished.”  Play then goes to the next person.  Once everyone is finished, the leader checks his ID before asking everyone to open their eyes.  Everyone then must declare which specialist action they took by taking a token, but you can lie.  You may end up taking a token from someone else who lied (or told the truth as the case may be).  Everyone then discusses what happens and tries to figure who the spies are.  If you’re a spy, you’re trying to sow distrust and misinformation.  After a preset amount of time, everyone must vote.  The leader counts down, then everyone simultaneously points at someone they think is a spy.  The person with the most votes is assassinated.  If multiple people are tied, they are all killed.  The only way someone is not killed is if everyone got one vote. Assassinated players flip up their ID tokens.  If a spy was killed, the Resistance wins, even if a Resistance player was also killed.  If no spy was killed, the spies wins.  The only exception is if all three tokens in the HQ were spy tokens.  Then the Resistance wins as long as no one died.

To talk about this, I need to talk a little bit about Werewolf.  I have grown to despise Werewolf in recent years.  I hate the way the player elimination works out, and I hate that you’re basically taking wild shots in the dark to try to find a werewolf.  I understand it’s roleplaying, but it’s not fun to me.  It’s like dealing a deck of cards and trying to figure out with no information who has the three of clubs.  However, One Night Ultimate Werewolf was brilliant.  It took the good parts of Werewolf – specifically, the different roles and the deduction elements – and compressed it into a far shorter game that doesn’t leave anyone sitting mutely on the sidelines while everyone else continues to play the game.

I like The Resistance quite a bit more than Werewolf, but even that has fallen off my table.  I got pretty tired of it.  There’s no moderator, there’s no player elimination, it’s shorter, but it’s still that shot in the dark mechanism.  I think this will rejuvenate the game for me and make it into a much better experience.  I like that everyone has something to do, and it’s not just about guesswork.  I like that there’s actual deduction involved, and some chaos as IDs can get switched around.  It looks like a good, tight, FAST game.  Go check it out – I think it will be a good time.  Thanks for reading!

LINKS:

Session Buzz: JesseCon

This past weekend, I attended JesseCon.  What is JesseCon?  Well, it’s an invitation only convention, hosted by me, where attendees play games all weekend.  There was only one person invited (me).  That’s right, it’s a solo convention!

What’s the point, you may ask.  Well, I’ve been getting more and more into solo games recently, finding them to be a really fun and engaging way to pass the time when there’s no one else around to play multiplayer stuff.  I have a few games specifically designed for solo play, and have found some variants I really wanted to try out.  Calling this weekend a convention helped me to be able to plan things out and actually get to some of these solo games I’ve wanted to try out.  So, here’s my log with some thoughts on how they worked.


image by BGG user Henning

image by BGG user Henning

I kicked the con off with a game specifically designed for solo play, Friday, by Friedemann Friese.  This 2011 game is all about helping Robinson Crusoe survive (you are Friday).  It’s a deck building game where you have an initial deck and have to amass enough fighting points to defeat certain challenges.  If you lose, you lose life points, but you can use that to destroy useless cards from your deck.  Hazards that you defeat go into your deck and have the potential to give you extra benefits like more cards, extra life points, or the ability to destroy cards.  If you survive three times through the hazard deck (the hazards get progressively more difficult), you have to fight two pirates.  If you beat both, you win.

I’ve been embarking on a project to play Friday every Friday for the entire year, so this seemed like a logical place to start JesseCon.  It was a pretty bad start however – I got down to no life left early in the first phase, and couldn’t build myself back up effectively enough to avoid complete failure the second time through the hazard deck.  This was the worst loss I’ve had in quite some time, made even worse because I’ve been challenged to listen to Friday by Rebecca Black  every time I lose.  So I started off the con with a loss.

image by BGG user a_traveler

image by BGG user a_traveler

7 Wonders (2010, Antoine Bauza) is not a game that was designed for solo play, nor is there an official solitaire variant.  However, BGG user David Weiss proposed this variant in which the player is competing against two dummy players who each have a hierarchy of cards they will draft.  A deck of seven cards is dealt to each player, and the live player each turn takes one card from each AI and adds it to his hand.  Then one AI drafts from that hand (using a priority chart), the player drafts, then the other AI drafts.  You play through the game just like usual – three ages, resolving military in between.  The civilization with the highest score wins.

This was my first time trying this variant, and I did a lot of referring to the chart as I played.  But the game was pretty simple to follow and I got through it pretty well.  I made the mistake of not planning ahead for needing four brick to complete the final stage of my wonder, and missed out on 7 points because of it.  The robot on my right ended up with 44 points, while I had 40 and the robot on my left had 37.  I don’t know if I would have won with those seven points because I would have had to pass on something else.  Overall, a very solid variant that I’ll be glad to try again.

image by BGG user matildadad

image by BGG user matildadad

I initial discovered Delve: The Dice Game (2009, Drew Chamberlain) as an app, then found out it’s available as a free print and play.  It’s basically Yahtzee in a dungeon – you have three rolls of six dice to get the best result you can.  You have four party members that have special abilities based on your results – the barbarian, for example, uses 6s to do up to two damage on the monster you’re fighting while the cleric can use straights to heal the party.  Once you’ve taken your turn, the current monster takes their turn and scores hits based on their own abilities.  If you make it to the end of the scenario, you win.  If all party members die, you lose.

There are several ways to play Delve.  There’s a basic starting adventure and a Sands of Time adventure, both with preset monsters and heroes.  There are also available charts where you can roll up what you’re playing with.  For this con, I printed out the basic and Sands of Time adventures.  I ended up losing to some monstrous spiders in the first adventure because they stunned my entire party, then presumably ate us.  In the Sands of Time, I lost one adventurer to a sandstorm, then the rest to a giant beetle that only needed one roll to kill everyone that was left.  I still enjoy this one as kind of a mindless adventure that doesn’t take too much time, but it was disheartening to lose both times.  Especially when I hadn’t won yet.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

The first game after my dinner break was Legendary: A Marvel Deckbuilding Game (2012, Devin Low).  This superhero themed deckbuilding game is cooperative, so it’s ideal for solo play.  On your turn, you first flip the first card of the villain deck, moving any villains or henchmen into the streets.  It could also be a scheme twist which advances the plot, or a master strike by the mastermind which could hurt you, or a bystander that gets captured by an already present villain.  Then you can fight villains or purchase new heroes from your deck by playing cards out of your hand.  If you defeat the mastermind four times, you win.  If the lose condition of the current scheme is met, you lose.

There’s a solo variant for this game listed in the rules, which is essentially an altered setup.  I messed it up, so my results may be a little skewed, but I’m still going to count my win as it was the first of the con!  My mastermind was Magneto, and the scheme was Portals to the Dark Dimension.  Each new portal increased the toughness of a villain in a particular position by one, and if seven were revealed, I would lose.  My heroic team (Spider-Man, Gambit, Deadpool, Hulk, and Rogue) managed to defeat Magneto after three portals had been revealed.  The world is saved!  Huzzah!

image by BGG user RichardC

image by BGG user RichardC

Zombies!!! (2001, Todd Breitenstein) has been languishing on my shelf for a couple of years, but I was convinced by some people in the 1 Player Guild at BGG to give a solo run-through a try.  I used the variant suggested by Shaun Rice in this video.  Zombies!!! is all about trying to either kill 25 zombies or make it to the helicopter.  It’s a roll-and-move game, as well as a roll-and-fight game – when fighting a zombie, you have to get a 4-5-6 to win.  You can spend bullets to increase a roll or a heart to reroll, but if you can’t do anything to affect the result, you lose half of the zombies you have collected and go back to the start space.  In this variant, you have only have three extra lives.  If you run out, you have failed.

This is an exploration game as much as a zombie fighting game, and you begin each turn by drawing a tile.  This creates a map that will be different in every game.  Zombies always appear on the new tile, and sometimes bullets and hearts will show up as well.  So as I played, I killed off zombies and collected stuff as I tried to find the helipad.  I was up to 16 dead zombies when I lost my first life.  I had gotten back up to 16 dead zombies when I found the helipad – it was off in the distance and I had a herd of ’em between me and it.  I lost my second life soon after that, but the start space was actually a little closer to the helipad.  I still had to fight my way through some of the undead, but I made it to the helicopter for my second win of the day.  I found the game to be much more palatable in solo form than in multiplayer – there’s a little too much “take that” in the multiplayer experience.  I enjoyed it, and would play again.  In fact, I think solo is the only way I’ll play it from here on out.

image by BGG user poppentje

image by BGG user poppentje

It’s no surprise to people who follow this blog, but my favorite game is Cribbage (1630, Sir John Suckling).  This is usually a two-player game, but I used a solitaire variant I found in the book Play Winning Cribbage by De Lynn Colvert.  In this variant, you deal six cards to yourself and two to the crib.  You discard to the crib, then flip over the top card of the deck as your starter.  You then peg, only competing against yourself, and end by scoring your hand and crib.  You then use the starter card as the first card you deal out in the next round.  This game will end up being only six hands long, and if you get 121 points, you win.  If not, you lose.

This is a solitaire variant I have played many many times, and it was a good way to end the night.  However, I was not very successful at it.  I scored 103 in the first game, and came really close in the second, scoring 118.  It’s a very tough variant, but I have won before.  Just not this time.

image by BGG user Rokkr

image by BGG user Rokkr

I kicked off Saturday with a game of Pandemic (2008, Matt Leacock).  This is another cooperative game that works well as a solo experience.  The idea is that you’re trying to rid the world of disease.  On your turn, you get four action points, and can use them to move, establish a research station, treat a disease, cure a disease, or give cards to another player in your space.  At the end of your turn, you draw two new cards from your hand, then infect new cities.  Epidemics may come out to wreak havoc and reset the infection deck, and if there are ever too many cubes in a city, there’s an outbreak.  If there are eight outbreaks in the game, you lose.  If there are not enough cubes in the supply to infect all necessary locations, you lose.  If you run out of cards in the player draw deck, you lose.  But if you manage to cure all four diseases, you win.

I played with three characters on Normal difficulty (five Epidemics in the deck).  My randomly drawn team included the Containment Specialist (removes cubes immediately on entering a city with 2 or more), the Field Operative (can take cube samples and use those in curing diseases), and the Scientist (only needs to turn in 4 cards to cure a disease instead of 5).  I should note, by the way, that I have the On the Brink roles integrated into my set.  Anyway, I was able to successfully contain most of the diseases, only suffering two outbreaks (both in South America).  I ended up curing all four diseases pretty handily – this was a really good combination of roles.

image by BGG user goblintrenches

image by BGG user goblintrenches

Onirim (2010, Shadi Torbey) is a solo game that CAN be played with two players, but it’s really just for one.  The idea is that you are a Dreamwalker trying to find eight doors before the Nightmares take over.  Each turn, you can choose to discard a card.  You can also choose to play a card to the labyrinth, which must be a different symbol than the card before it.  If you get three cards in a row that are the same color, you can claim a door from the deck that is the same color.  You can also choose to turn in a key card in order to arrange the next five cards in the deck.  Whatever happens, you end your turn by drawing back up to a hand of five cards.  If you draw a door and have a matching key, you gain the door.  If you draw a Nightmare, you must discard your whole hand OR turn in a key OR lose a door OR discard the top five cards from the deck (as long as they aren’t Nightmares or doors).  If you find all eight doors by the time the deck runs out, you win.  If not, you lose.

This is one of my favorites, and I’ve played it a bunch.  There are four expansion modules included in the box, but for this con, I just played the basic set.  It was difficult enough – I only got five doors in the first game and six in the second.  Still, this is a beautiful game that I really enjoy playing.  It’s very fast and is a good thing to play when it’s just me.

image by BGG user Surya

image by BGG user Surya

Tom Lehmann’s Race for the Galaxy (2007) took the basic idea of Puerto Rico and turned it into a sci-fi card game.  The first expansion, The Gathering Storm (2008) added a fully realized solo variant, complete with a play mat, counters, and two custom dice to be used by the robot.  Standard mechanisms apply, but the robot will have different powers based on its start world.  Basically, each round, you will select two actions (Explore, Develop, Settle, Consume, or Produce), then will roll the dice to see what the robot is doing.  You’ll then resolve each action in order, referring to the mat to see what the robot does.  Once you get to the end (12 cards have been played to one tableau or the VP chips run out), the side with the most points wins.

I haven’t played this variant in a long time…over five years, probably.  What I remember is that it’s really hard – the robot acts unpredictably thanks to the dice, and it is able to build random cards from the deck with ease.  In this game, however, it was not able to get too many points, and I won 39-36.  It’s a great variant, and I definitely think that fans of RFTG should check it out.

image by BGG user Grudunza

image by BGG user Grudunza

The d6 Shooters (2009, Eric Herman) is a print-and-play game where you are making a journey, and trying to complete it in a certain amount of time.  Each turn is a day, and each day, you will roll eight dice, five white and three red (or whatever – I used my dice from Yspahan, so I had white and yellow).  If you roll any 5s or 6s on the colored dice the first roll, set them aside – they’re bad things that happen.  After three rolls, you have locked all of your dice.  1s move you along the trail.  Every pair of 2s give you food, and every three 3s give you gold.  4s can be used to hide (which costs an extra day), seek shelter from the heat (any 5s you rolled with the colored dice), move (a pair of 4s can move you one space), or fight (any 6s rolled).  When you reach a town, you can stop, buy stuff, and play poker.  Event happen periodically that can be good or bad.  If you reach the end within the allotted time (Reno in 40 days for mine), you win and score.

This was my first time playing, and I screwed up a couple of things, namely resolving the heat and shootouts.  So it was a little easier than it should have been.  I made it to Reno in 31 days, and ended up with a final score of 41.  It was a nice game, not overly taxing on my brain, but a good adventure that I’d be happy to play again.

image by BGG user monteslu

image by BGG user monteslu

Dominion (2008, Donald X. Vaccarino) has often been called multiplayer solitaire (it’s not), but there have been a few soitaire variants produced.  The one I used is by BGG user GameRulesForOne, who has a whole series of solitaire variants for various multiplayer games.  I’ve tried out a few, and find some of them pretty intriguing, but they’re all written in the same instructional manual style that is hard to follow.  The Dominion variant involves ten kingdom card stacks of five cards each, as well as five gold and five silver.  A king marker is used (I used a turtle from Meeple Source) to move around and block off stacks.  If you purchase a kingdom card, it is blocked by the king for the next turn.  If you purchase a VP card or a treasure, movement of the king is determined by a stack of randomized treasure and VP cards and results in a card getting discarded from the kingdom stack.  If you can’t buy anything on a turn (copper is not available), you take a curse.  Once the provinces are gone or three supply stacks are empty, the game ends and you score.

You have to get at least 90 points to win this variant.  I got 48.  I completely missed the rule about making dominions, aka a complete set of 10 kingdom cards.  This would have increased my score had I purchased enough cards.  I didn’t.  Oh well.  It was not too bad, I’d play again.  The rules seriously need a rewrite, however.

MK

image by BGG user jziran

When I initially planned this con, the one game I knew HAD to be a part of it was the Mage Knight Board Game (2011, Vlaada Chvátil).  This game is the most intimidating one I own, and I’ve attempted a solo run-through on several occasions only to get called away of bogged down or something.  In this game, you are exploring the countryside, trying to ultimately conquer two cities.  You move by playing cards out of your hand, then can interact with the space you land in – recruit using influence, attack monsters, or other things based on the space.  As you play, you’ll be adding cards to your deck and building up skills as you level up.  Each round is set in either the day or night.  The solo conquest has to be won in six rounds.  There’s a dummy player to help determine how long a round is, and I was able to download an app to run that.

My mage knight for this game was Alythea.  The first skill I was able to get allowed my to use wounds as extra points when doing an action, which was immensely helpful.  It made me much less afraid to take damage because I knew the wounds would be helpful later on.  I ended up with 10 wounds in my deck, which ended up losing me 20 points in the final score.  However, I was able to conquer both cities, and scored 122 points on the game.  I know I missed a lot of rules.  I know this wasn’t a completely clean victory.  I know that there were things I did that weren’t legal, and I know I missed some things that would have helped me.  I DON’T CARE.  I made it through, and I know more for next time.  It’s a great game and I definitely need to play more.

image by BGG user bpovis

image by BGG user bpovis

Morels (2012, Brent Povis) is a two-player only game, and is one that has a solo variant that was designed by GameRulesForOne.  This is a game that is all about collecting mushrooms, and the basic gameplay is not changed much in the solo version.  Basically, you take mushrooms, then cards are added to the decay.  If a pan were to go into the decay, it cooks the next mushroom with it.  If a basket were to go, it is discarded and the next two cards are added.  If a destroying angel were to go, you discard until there are only four mushrooms left in the line.  You have to score at least 40 points to be considered a winner.

I had played this variant before, and find it to be pretty simple once you know the real version.  I did make an error at first in cooking three morels early in the game, which according to the solitaire rules ends the game.  When I realized this, I just reset completely.  For the record, I think that is a completely bogus and picky rule.  Morels are the highest scoring set in the game, so I’m assuming it’s there to make sure you don’t get TOO high of a score.  I say that the rule should be that you MUST cook a set of morels to win, and adjust the final scores later.  Regardless, in my second attempt, I wound up with 53 points, which is written in the rules as a major victory.  Even without the morels.

image aby BGG user Siegfried

image aby BGG user Siegfried

That ended my Saturday, and I wasn’t sure I would have time to play anything else on Sunday.  I did.  Seasons (2012, Régis Bonnessée) is a great drafting game that doesn’t have an official solo version.  Thomas Lajeunesse proposed what he calls “Dummbot’s Challenge“, and that’s the variant I played.  The initial draft is handled by you drawing five cards, choosing five, assigning them to years 1-2-3, and putting the other two in the Dummbot’s deck.  You do this three times.  Game play involves you rolling two dice of the current season and choosing one for yourself.  The Dummbot uses the other, and different things happen based on the symbols present.  When the season changes, the Dummbot summons a card.  At the end of three years, you add up the crystals you and the Dummbot have collected to see who won.

I liked this variant a lot.  It played pretty smoothly and provided a nice challenge for me.  I ended up with what I thought was a 132-124 win, and later realized that I had forgotten to drop my score five points for having taken a bonus action.  I still won 127-124.  I did play on the easiest level, so I’ll have to amp it up next time.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

After Seasons, I was 8-9 for the con.  I had to see if I could get one more win for a .500 performance.  So, I pulled out 12 Realms (2010, Ignazio Corrao).  This is a review game I got from Mage Company, and I wanted to see how it worked as a solo game – the game is cooperative, and scalable for the number of players (including one).  The idea is that there are a number of realms (1 per player), and you have a hero in one of those realms.  As the game progresses, enemies pop up all over the map and you have to take care of them because the more there are, the faster the timer will advance.  In the advanced variant (that I played), when the timer crosses 7, the Black Fortress appears and must be destroyed before you can take out other enemies in that zone.  When the timer hits 16, the big bad for the region appears and must be defeated for victory.

I played this game as the Sugar Plum Fairy on the Island of Bones, with the goal of defeating Jack Rackham.  It went very quickly with just me – all the upkeep didn’t take long, and I was able to keep track of everything.  I was able to beat the Black Fortress the same turn it came out, and Jack Rackham went down right when he first appeared as well.  So I won.  It was one of the easier games I played over the con, but 12 Realms is generally a pretty light game.


 

So that’s my report about JesseCon 2015.  It was really good for me to play some solitaire variants of games I already own and enjoy, and even to find new life in games that I thought I was done with.  I hope this post has encouraged you to go seek out some solo experiences.  Thanks for reading!

Expansions are the lifeblood of the gaming industry.  If a game comes out that is successful, you can bet there will be expansions.  Just like movie sequels, it’s usually more profitable to make an expansion to an already popular game than to make a new game.  If that sounds cynical, I don’t mean it to be – expansions can often breathe new life into older games.  I like expansions, though I don’t usually go out of my way to get them unless I think it’s really essential to the game.  With that, here are 11 expansions that I think are essential.

image by BGG user zefquaavius

image by BGG user zefquaavius

7 Wonders was a big hit when it first came out in 2010.  Designed by Antoine Bauza and published by Repos Productions, it is a 3-7 player drafting game where each player is trying to build up their own civilization.  In each of three ages, players will choose one card from a hand, play it, then pass the rest to their neighbor.  The game is all about getting points, and there are a lot of ways to get them – science cards can be stacked for exponential points, prestige cards are just worth points, merchant cards can get you extra points for money, military strength can earn you victories (or lose points for you), and guilds can give you all sorts of other scoring opportunities.

One problem I have had with 7 Wonders is that, when you get your first hand of cards, you have no direction.  Do you go for science or prestige cards?  Or would you be better off trying a military strategy?  The wonders themselves give you a little bit of a goal, but it’s pretty much just trying to build something and see what sticks.  And that’s where the Leaders expansion comes in.  You draft a hand of four leaders at the beginning of each game, then play one at the beginning of each age.  These leaders can give you a goal – you know what you need to make them effective, so you can be looking for those things as soon as you can.  The expansion took 7 Wonders from a pretty good game to a great game for me.  I have played Cities (the second expansion) a couple of times and like it too, though I’m not sure it takes the game to the next level like Leaders did for me.  I have not played Babel (the third expansion), though I heard that one is pretty great too.  But for me, right now, Leaders is an essential expansion.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Carcassonne has long been a classic gateway game.  Originally published in 2000, this Klaus-Jürgen Wrede tile laying game is a masterpiece of simplicity.  On your turn, you draw a tile and place it, making sure to line up features with already placed tiles.  You then add a follower (meeple) to the tile if you want to in order to score points (which you won’t actually receive until the feature you place it on is completed).  At the end of the game, you gain points for incomplete features as well as farmers, and the player who scored the most wins.

Carcassonne is famous for having lots of expansions, some sillier than others (like The Catapult).  But the first expansion, Inns & Cathedrals, is my choice for the essential expansion.  The first thing it did was add some new tiles that added different shapes to the existing features, as well as inns and cathedrals that give opportunities for scoring more points (or zero if left incomplete).  There are also some scoring tiles to help people know who had passed 50 (this really should have been in the base game).  It also included the big meeple, which counts as two meeples for tiebreaking purposes, as well as a sixth set of meeples for a sixth player (I’d recommend against playing Carcassonne with that many, but it is nice to have a new color).  Inns & Cathedrals is an example of an expansion that enhances a game without changing it much at all.  Many expansions will add new mechanisms or seek to change the game in some way, but I&C just made Carcassonne more without changing anything.  I never play without it, and that’s why it’s on this list.

image by BGG user Eeeville

image by BGG user Eeeville

Cosmic Encounter was first published in 1977, designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Bill Norton, and Peter Olotka.  The game had asymmetric alien powers, and was hugely influential for its time.  In the game, you are trying to be the first to land colonies on five foreign planets.  On your turn, you find out who you’re attacking, then you send ships.  You and your opponent can ask for allies, and then you choose combat cards to play.  There are various rewards and penalties based on who wins.  Over the years, several editions have released – the original came out from Eon, with Mayfair publishing it in 1991 and Avalon Hill publishing it in 2000.  Fans of the series rejoiced when, in 2008, Fantasy Flight released their version of the game, including 50 aliens as well as pieces for 5 players.

In 2010, the first Fantasy Flight expansion came out: Cosmic Incursion.  The game added 20 new aliens, including some reprints of old aliens and some new ones.  The game also included a reward deck, which gives cards you can draw when acting as a defensive ally rather than taking ships or cards from the cosmic deck.  These cards include negative attack cards, crooked deal cards that affect compensation from negotiations, a second morph card, kickers that can multiply your combat value, rifts that can get ships out of the warp or blow other player ships into the warp, as well as new attacks, reinforcements, and artifacts.  This really enhances the game by giving you some slightly different advantages.  There are other expansions (Cosmic Conflict, Cosmic Storm, and Cosmic Dominion) that add more aliens and mechanisms, as well as increase the player count.  But I think six is the perfect number of players for this game, and Cosmic Incursion adds just enough that I consider it to be the essential expansion for the series.

Prosperity - image by BGG user gf1024

Prosperity – image by BGG user gf1024

Dominion was first released in 2008, and really launched the deck-building genre of games.  Designed by Donald X. Vaccarino, Dominion was a game all about try to gain points by purchasing cards that make your deck stronger.  On your turn, you can play an action card if you have one.  This can give you more cards, more actions, more buys, more money to spend, or have other effects.  You then buy a card from the available kingdom cards – money, actions, or points.  Finally, you discard everything and draw a new hand, reshuffling your deck if need be.  One all Provinces (the highest point card) have been taken, or three kingdom card stacks are empty, the game ends and the player who has collected the most points is the winner.

Soon after its release, expansions started appearing.  First it was Intrigue and Seaside in 2009, then Alchemy and Prosperity in 2010.  And it’s Dominion: Prosperity that I’m naming as my essential expansion for the series.  Every expansion adds something different to the Dominion experience, and what Prosperity did was that it greatly increased the available money, as well as introduce some very powerful (and expensive) cards to the system.  It doesn’t really add new mechanisms, which tended to bog down several of the other expansions, so it’s really the most pure title in the series to come out since the base game.  More expansions were released (Cornucopia, Hinterlands, Guilds, and Dark Ages), and another is on the way (Adventures), but I agree with many people who think Prosperity is the best of them all.

image by BGG user karel_danek

image by BGG user karel_danek

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know how much I love Galaxy Trucker.  Vlaada Chvátil’s 2007 masterpiece is my favorite board game of all time (and just behind Cribbage as my favorite game).  The game is played over three rounds, and in each round, there is a building phase and a flight phase.  In the building phase, players are scrambling to find useful parts that will build their ship and give them the highest probability of making it through the flight phase alive.  In the flight phase, you could find planets with goods, abandoned space ships or space stations with added bonuses, or even open space where you can really crank your engines.  However, you could also find asteroids, pirates, slavers, smugglers, combat zones, or other nasty things.  In the end, anyone who has made money can be considered a winner, but the person who has made the most is more of a winner.

Galaxy Trucker by itself is pretty complete, and doesn’t need much.  However, in 2008, we got The Big Expansion, which added new ship classes, new aliens with special abilities, new ship components, and new adventure cards.  Also included were pieces for a fifth player, 24 evil machinations cards (which gave players the opportunity to mess with their opponents) and the Rough Roads expansion (which consists of 25 really nasty events).  In all, it was mostly several modules that can be included or not, depending on how you feel.  I see it as an advanced expansion – once you’ve gotten pretty good at the base game, you can pull out the expansion and start suffering again.  I wouldn’t play any part of this expansion with new payers.  In 2012, we got Another Big Expansion, which added even more, but I think if you just want one expansion, the first one is the one to get.

image by BGG user raviv

image by BGG user raviv

Dungeons & Dragons made a big splash in the board game world with the 2012 release of Lords of Waterdeep.  This Peter Lee/Rodney Thompson design is a light worker placement game where players are trying to accomplish quests around the city of Waterdeep.  Each player is assigned a secret lord at the start of the game, then goes about the business of placing agents around Waterdeep to collect people (cubes), money, buidlings, intrigue cards, more quests, and so on.  At the end of your turn, if you have the resources to complete a quest, you can turn them in and gain the reward – points, cubes, money, intrigue cards, and other benefits.  After eight rounds, the game ends and players count up their final points to determine the winner.

Lords of Waterdeep alone is a great gateway game – it has a theme that will bring in role players, and is simple enough that anyone can pick it up fairly easily.  The first expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport, came out in 2013 and added some more content that made the game more advanced.  It features two modules: Undermountain and Skullport.  Undermountain adds some bigger quests and a new board with spaces that can be quite beneficial.  Skullport introduces corruption, which is collected when you take some of the more powerful actions in the game and ends up costing you points in the end.  The interesting thing is that the more corruption gets taken, the more points each one ends up costing you.  This single mechanism just made the game so much better for me – I enjoyed it in its pure form, but the expansion really makes the game a lot better, and I can’t imagine not playing with it again.  So Scoundrels of Skullport, I think, is an essential expansion.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Cooperative games where not new in 2008 when Pandemic came out.  However, they definitely weren’t as commonplace, and Pandemic really opened the floodgates of possibility for the genre.  Designed by Matt Leacock, this game is all about trying to rid the world of disease before it wipes out humanity.  On your turn, you can do four actions.  These can be spent on moving around the world, treating a disease (which removes a cube from the board), discovering a cure (turning in five of the same color card), building a research station, or giving cards to someone in your current city.  Once done, several new cities are infected.  You have to watch out for Epidemics, which can cause diseases to progress much more quickly.  If a city has too much disease, it will outbreak.  If you have too many outbreaks, you lose.  If you run out of cubes in a color, you lose.  If the draw deck runs out, you lose.  But if you manage to find the cure for all four diseases, you win!

Pandemic by itself is pretty tough.  Add in the On the Brink expansion (2009), and it gets even tougher.  This expansion added three new modules that could be used in the basic game: Virulent Strain makes certain diseases even more deadly, Mutation adds a fifth disease that acts differently than the original four, and the Bio-Terrorist makes one player into a bad guy actually trying to help the disease win.  In addition, there are new events and new roles, as well as rules for five players.  I can do without the five players, but my favorite thing in the expansion is the new roles.  Each player in the game has a different special ability, and there were only five in the original set (I think the most recent edition has seven).  OTB adds seven more roles, as well as petri dishes to store all your cubes.  It’s a great expansion, and I never play Pandemic without at least all the new roles.

image by BGG user Surya

image by BGG user Surya

Race for the Galaxy originally came out in 2007, but designer Tom Lehmann had been working on it as the Puerto Rico card game long before that.  In the game, players are trying to build up a galactic economy.  In each round, players will choose from one of five roles.  The roles selected indicate what will be done in that round, and the selecting player gets a small bonus.  For Explore, players get to draw two cards and keep one, with the selector either drawing three/keeping two OR drawing five extra cards.  For Develop, players may build a Development card from their hand, paying for it with a number of cards (also from their hand).  The selector here gets a one card discount.  For Settle, players play a World from their hand, paying for it in the same way.  The selector here gets to draw a card after playing the world.  For Consume, players can turn in goods for VPs, with the selector either selling a good for cards or gaining double VPs.  For Produce, goods are produced on all worlds that can, with the selector producing on one windfall world.  When one player has 12 cards in front of them, or when the VP chips run out, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.

The Gathering Storm was the first expansion, published in 2008.  This expansion added new cards, which are always welcome.  It also added goals – “first” goals that are claimed by the first person to meet the goal’s condition, and “most” goals that change hands whenever someone takes the lead in that condition.  “First” goals are worth 3 points, “most” goals are worth 5.  These add some strategy right at the beginning, which is something I really appreciate.  It also added a solitaire variant, introducing a robot player and dice for that robot.  It’s really hard, but for people who like solitaire variants, it’s a really good one.  The game also added a fifth player to the system, and while I often bash that as a bad thing, the simultaneous play makes it not so bad here.  Of the other expansions, I’ve played The Brink of War, and found it to be pretty bad.  I’ve heard not great things about Rebel vs. Imperium, and downright terrible things about the most recent expansion Alien Artifacts (which started a new arc and was incompatible with the first expansion set).  Another expansion, Xeno Invasion, is another new arc and is due out later this year.  But for my money, I think The Gathering Storm is the only worthwhile expansion of the bunch, and is also essential to the experience.

image by BGG user echdareez

image by BGG user echdareez

Shadow Hunters is a 2005 game from designer Yasutaka Ikeda.  It’s a social deduction game where players are either a Hunter, a Shadow, or a Neutral character.  Each player gets a random role at the start that they keep secret.  On your turn, you roll a die to determine where you go, and that space determines what you can do.  This might be to steal equipment, heal or damage a character, or draw a card.  You might draw from the white deck (which usually gives you righteous equipment), the black deck (which often allows you to attack someone), or the hermit deck (which allows you to find out some information from your opponents).  At the end of your turn, you can attack someone in your zone if you wish.  As the game progresses, you can reveal your character, which gives you a special benefit but also tells everyone who you are.  The Hunters win if all the Shadows die.  The Shadows win if all the Hunters die.  And each Neutral has its own individual win condition – in the base game, it is surviving to the end, being the first to die, killing off a third character, or gaining five equipment cards.

The cleverly titled Shadow Hunters Expansion Kit came out in 2006 and added ten new roles to the game.  Added to the ten from the base game, this really increases the replay value.  There are now six Hunters, six Shadows, and eight possible Neutrals.  I always recommend playing this game with the expansion, even for new players.  Unfortunately for me, I have the first edition of Z-Man’s version and was too slow to get the expansion.  In 2011, they produced a second edition that included the expansion and stopped selling the expansion separately.  I’m still on the hunt for those ten cards – anyone have a spare set they want to send me?

Sinister Dexter

Sinister Dexter

Ticket to Ride is a classic from Alan R. Moon that was first published in 2004.  It’s a game all about building train routes to complete preset goals, aka tickets.  On your turn, you can choose to draw two train cards, either from the face up array or from the face down draw pile, or some combination of both.  You can also turn in train cards to place some trains on a link between two cities.  The number of trains and the needed color is indicated on the board.  You can also choose to draw new tickets.  These show two cities, usually some distance apart.  If you successfully connect them using your trains, you will gain the indicated number of points at the end of the game.  However, if you fail, you will lose the indicated number of points.  The game continue until someone has two or fewer trains.  At this point, everyone gets a final turn, and then the player with the high score wins.

The USA 1910 expansion came out in 2006 and fixed what I see as the biggest problem in the original – it replaced all of the tiny cards with normal human sized ones.  It also includes new tickets to go along with some new modules, which you can play separately or throw into one big mega game (which is the way I usually play).  However, the bigger cards are really the reason to get this expansion.  Looking at all the games on this list, this one is the MOST essential.  I never play Ticket to Ride without it.  Later TTR versions (Europe, Märklin) switched to the bigger cards, but for the original, you need 1910.

image by BGG user aaronseeber

image by BGG user aaronseeber

TransAmerica, by Franz-Benno Delonge, first came out in 2001, and was followed by TransEuropa in 2005.  The two games are exactly the same, just with different maps.  This is another train game, though it is even simpler than Ticket to Ride.  Each player gets a hand of five cities, each from a different region on the board.  On your turn, you simply place 1-2 sticks on the edges of the triangles that make up the map.  If you’re crossing mountains or water, you can only place one stick, but any other type of terrain allows you to use two sticks.  No sticks belong to anyone, so if someone else connects a city you need, all the better for you.  As soon as someone has connected all five of their cities, the round ends.  Players count how many more moves they needed to get to their destination and reduce their score accordingly (everyone starts with 13 points).  Another round is played, and the game continues until someone hits zero points.  The player with the most points is the winner.

The Vexation expansion came out in 2007, and is compatible with both TransAmerica and TransEuropa.  This is probably the most basic expansion on this list because all it consisted of was 18 colored sticks, three per player.  These sticks are available to you and you alone, and when you place them on the board, you are the only one that can use that route.  So whereas the original had sticks that could be used by all players, this expansion now allows for blocking.  It’s brilliant, and I think it’s the way to play.  The basic game is fine, but Vexation takes it totally to the next level.  Since playing with Vexation the first time, I have played without it, and missed it terribly.  So, here it is on the list.


So how do you feel about expansions?  Do you have some favorites apart from the ones I have listed?  Let me know, and thanks for reading!

Thanks to North Star Games for providing a review copy of this game.

image by BGG user henk.rolleman

image by BGG user henk.rolleman

Evolution is a 2-6 player game from North Star Games that was designed by Dominic Crapuchettes, Dmitry Knorre, and Sergey Machin.  It was based on the 2010 game Evolution: The Origin of Species from Rightgames LLC, though it has been altered significantly.  The original game was designed by a biologist trying to explain to students how evolution works.  This concept has been carried into North Star’s version.

The game comes with a watering board, 129 trait cards, 24 species boards, 48 cubes, 180 food tokens, 6 food bags, and a dinosaur first player marker.  There are also six player aids that outline the flow of a round, as well as giving you suggestions for naming your species.  At the beginning of the game, each player gets a food bag and one player gets the first player marker.  The trait cards are shuffled, and you’re ready to go.

Each round begins with anyone who does not currently have a species gaining a species board (everyone gets one on the first turn).  You then draw 3 cards plus one per species you have.  Each player then plays one of their cards into the watering hole – the number on this card will help determine how much food will be available.  Each player can then play as many cards as they wish from their hand.  You can play it next to a species board as a trait (face down), or discard it to increase your population, body size, or gain a new species.  Here are the possible traits:

  • Ambush: Allows a carnivore to attack a species with Warning Call.
  • Burrowing: If full, it may not be attacked by a carnivore.
  • Carnivore: May attack other species, taking a meat food and reducing their population.
  • Climbing: May only be attacked by a carnivore that also has climbing.
  • Cooperation: When taking food, the species to its right also gets food from the same source.
  • Defensive Herding: May only be attacked by a carnivore with a higher population rather than body size.
  • Fat Tissue: May continue taking food after full, up to its body size.  This will be moved to the food track at the start of the next feeding phase.  Any leftover food when the trait is discarded due to extinction, trading in, or game end will be scored.
  • Fertile: If there is food in the watering hole from the previous round, increase population by one when food cards are revealed.
  • Foraging: Take an additional food when taking plant food.
  • Hard Shell: Increases body size by four when determining if it can be attacked by a carnivore.
  • Horns: If attacked, the attacking carnivore decreases its population by one.
  • Intelligence: If attached to a carnivore, you can discard a card to negate a trait of the species you’re about to attack.  If attached to a non-carnivore, you can discard a card for two plant food from the bank.
  • Long Neck: You get a food from the food bank when the food cards are revealed.
  • Pack Hunting: Body size is equal to population plus body size when determining who can be attacked.
  • Scavenger: Take a food from the food bank whenever a species loses one or more population during an attack.
  • Symbiosis: Protected from attack by a species you control to the right with a larger body size.
  • Warning Call: Species to the left and right cannot be attacked unless the carnivore has Ambush.

Once all traits have been played, you reveal them, then reveal the food cards, placing the corresponding amount of food in the watering hole.  Players then take turns taking one plant food from the watering hole and giving it to a species.  Each species can only eat as much as its population size.  Of course, there are traits that will allow you to take more food, or store food, or could even make a species carnivorous.  Carnivores attack smaller species and take meat from the food bank, which reduces the attacked species’ population.  Once feeding is done because no one else can take food, any species that was not fully fed reduces its population to the highest amount of food eaten.  A species that ate nothing or that got wiped out by carnivores goes extinct – discard the species and all traits it had, then draw one card per lost trait.  Once population has been adjusted, food is placed in your bag and it’s time for a new round.

Once the trait deck runs out, the game ends.  Players score one point per food token collected plus one point per surviving population plus one point per remaining trait on species.  The player with the highest score wins.

CHANGES: The copy sent to me by North Star is the second edition, which has some changes from the first edition.  Here they are:

  • New cover art.
  • New background art on some trait cards.
  • New graphic design for the watering hole.
  • Food numbers on cards reduced.
  • Food left on fat tissue will always score.
  • Foraging triggers anytime you eat from the watering hole or food bank.
  • Pack hunting used to be +3 to body size, now it’s body size plus population.
  • Hard shell is now +4 instead of +3 to body size.
  • Fertile only occurs if there is leftover food.
  • Intelligence can now be used by non-carnivores before the first player feeds and several times in a row if desired.
image by BGG user henk.rolleman

image by BGG user henk.rolleman

COMPONENTS: This is a very well produced game.  The art is beautiful, with lots of colorful and inventive species types.  The species boards are well designed, with holes that are exactly the right size for cubes lined up perfectly with circular spaces for the food.  The species boards also have a nice feature that they can be played horizontally or vertically, depending on space needs.  The cards are good quality, and there are plenty of them.  Theres also more than enough food tokens and cubes for the game.  The bags are small pouches for the food, and are made of a nice satiny material, and each one has a different illustration taken from one of the cards.  They’re my favorite piece in the game.

The watering hole and dinosaur first player marker are both little bits of over-production that I think help the experience.  The watering hole is nothing more than storage for the food that is available during the round, and the dinosaur is just a giant piece so you can tell who the first player is.  Both are ultimately useless in terms of game play, but both are still really cool and go a long way towards enhancing the look of the game.

I often give games grief because of storage.  I can’t do that here.  The insert is VERY well designed.  Everything has a place, and there’s room for an expansion or two without sacrificing the security of the base bits.  Also, baggies are provided, and that always goes a long way with me.  The player aids that are included do a great job in laying out the turn sequence, and also telling you what each trait does.

Overall, the components are very well done.  Great job, North Star – no complaints at all from me.

THEME: This is a fairly unique theme among games, and it’s done really well.  There is, of course, a certain amount of abstraction going on – evolution is not nearly as easy as just playing a card, nor is the building of population, body size, or a new species as easy as discarding one.  However, the game does a very good job of representing how species have to evolve in order to survive.  Each trait makes sense thematically – a species who can climb is a lot tougher to catch if a carnivore can’t climb, a hard shell is tougher to get through, and a burrower would naturally go underground once it has eaten all that it can.

The thematic touch I like the most in this game is that you can name your species.  Once you have at least two traits on the species, you can look at a chart on your player aid to figure out what you should call it.  For example, a carnivore with a hard shell could be called a Crustaraptor.  Or a forager with horns could be a Cornusaquilex.  Or a creature with intelligence and cooperation could be a Collabageek.  There are actually two different sets of prefixes and suffixes depending on the player aid you get.

I’ll end this section by dipping my toe into a little bit of controversy.  Evolution can be a touchy subject for some people who reject it as an explanation for the development of species.  I’m not going to get into that debate at all here, but it’s something to be aware of.  You may encounter people who refuse to play based on their beliefs.  I asked Dominic Crapuchettes about this, and he said that they spent a lot of time testing out other titles, such as Adaptation.  However, nothing really seemed to fit as well as Evolution, which they hope will become a genre much like Civilization games.  So they stuck with it.  To me, this game does not feel like it is trying to push the theory of evolution on the gamers, but rather just trying to illustrate the concept.

MECHANICS: Evolution is primarily an engine building game.  The engine you are building is your species, and you’re trying to get them to collect as much food as possible.  These engines are going to be in flux throughout the game as you add new traits, replace old traits, increase your population and body size, and maybe even lose them.  You have a three-trait limit per species, but you can just discard old traits as you go.  This is good because often traits won’t make sense after a while.  No sense to have Warning Call if there are no carnivores.  No point to have Fertile if no food is remaining between rounds.

This game also features one of my favorite mechanisms, one that I don’t think has an official name.  I call them multipurpose cards – cards that can be used in a number of different ways.  Here, cards can be used to determine food, or as traits, or to increase a statistic.  This leads to lots of choices that need to be made as you determine what needs to be used and what is expendable and can be spent as currency.  Traits in play interact very well and seem very balanced – I tend to like Fat Tissue a lot because it allows you to collect extra food, but otherwise I can’t really think of any trait that is really overpowered.  Some of the traits have be rebalanced from the original edition to make them less powerful/more useful.  I do have some friends that played the first edition and found carnivores were too powerful early in the game.  I haven’t found this to be the case so far, but your mileage may vary.  I think it probably balances out with experience.

The game also has secret play.  Food is contributed in secret, so you don’t know exactly what others are doing.  Traits are played in secret, and not revealed until everyone has played theirs.  You can see where other players are, and you can try to guess where they’re going, but you don’t know for sure.  The first time I played, I accidentally let everyone play their traits face up, and while that meant people were more able to plan ahead, it put the first player at a significant disadvantage.  Playing them secretly keeps people on a somewhat level playing field.

The card deck is the timer for the game, and you can tell how much longer the game will go just by looking at it.  As my friend Zack pointed out, the deck will decrease quicker as the game goes on because players are getting more cards due to having more species, as well as replacing traits in extinct species.  Even though species can go extinct, there’s no player elimination in the game.  In fact, the game goes out of its way to make sure players can come back strong by giving them extra cards when a species dies off.  This can help you get right back in it, and in fact, letting a species die out might be a strategic move.

STRATEGY LEVEL: There is a certain amount of luck that will always be present in a game with cards.  You have to draw cards, and won’t necessarily get what you’re looking for.  However, it’s all about finding the right combinations, and then trying to use your strengths to your advantage.  If you’ve got the only carnivore on the table, you might want to work on being big enough to pick on everyone.  If you’re surrounded by carnivores, add some extra defense and let them fight it out.  Out of 129 cards, there are only 17 different types – 17 carnivores and 7 of everything else.  So if you miss something you need, you’ll probably find it again.

The big choice that must be made in the game is deciding which cards are expendable and can be used for food or your stats.  Trait must be considered, but number also plays a role in deciding which food card you will contribute – if you have all carnivores, you don’t care about food in the middle; if you have herbivores that can take extra food, you may want a lot of extra.  Then you need to decide when to get a new species, and whether to increase population or body size.  So while there is luck, you have to make the decisions about what to do with the hand you’ve been dealt.

ACCESSIBILITY: This is a fairly straightforward game.  It does not have a lot of complicated mechanisms, and North Star has put a lot of work into making it user friendly.  I think I’d probably put it into the gateway category – it gives an introduction to engine building in a concrete way (you want your species to survive, how are you going to make sure that happens), and does not get bogged down in complexity.  It is a thinker, but it’s not a brain burner.

REPLAYABILITY: The fun part of this game is finding new combinations of species.  With 17 different trait possibilities, there are over 4000 possible combinations out there.  So it’s unlikely you’ll have the same species twice.  Different playing styles will also mean that games play out differently every time.  So I think the game has pretty high replayability.

SCALABILITY: This game is for 2-6 players, but it’s really for 3-5 players with 2- and 6-player variants.  The variants don’t necessarily change the game – for 2-players, you remove 40 cards from the deck and can only have 2 traits per species; for 6-players, everyone can play their cards simultaneously, just not looking at what the others are doing.  In fact, this 6-player version is the Quick Play variant that can be used with other player counts to decrease downtime.  Downtime is not a significant problem in the game as long as people think about what they want to do when it’s not their turn.  The benefit of the deck being the timer is that games will last roughly the same amount of time no matter the player count.  It’s just that the downtime increases.  But it tends to move fairly quickly, and I like being able to see what others were doing before me so I can react somewhat.  I’ve played with 3- and 4-players, and both counts work.

INTERACTION: All the direct interaction comes during the feeding phase as you try to get food before the others and attack with your carnivores.  But there’s some indirect interaction in playing your cards as you look around, see what others have done or are likely to do, and react with your own play – beefing up your body size so that hungry carnivore doesn’t target you, adding more population to take advantage of a hoped for food surplus, and of course adding traits to give you an advantage.

FOOTPRINT: Not much room is needed for the main game components (watering hole, food bank, draw deck), but each individual player will also need some room for species.  There’s no species limit, but I haven’t played a game yet where anyone had more than three.  However, it could happen.  My first game (three players) was on a small table and worked fine.  My second game (four players) was on a larger table, and we needed it.

LEGACY: North Star made a name for themselves in the party game market – Wits & Wagers and Say Anything are two of the best party games ever made, and some of the few that I’ll recommend.  This is a very different game for them – it’s a strategy game that probably ISN’T good for parties.  Still, it’s a good accessible game that should be good for gamers and non-gamers alike.

IS IT BUZZWORTHY? Yes.  I like Evolution quite a bit.  From the beautiful art to the strategic choices that can be found throughout the play of cards, this game is a real winner for me.  I don’t think it will be everyone’s cup of tea, but on my Yeah-Meh-Bleah scale, it gets a solid

Yeah


Some bonus content for you today as the Kickstarter campaign for the first expansion began today.

image provided by North Star Games

image provided by North Star Games

image provided by North Star Games

image provided by North Star Games

Flight is an expansion for the Evolution game system that adds…well…birds.  The expansion comes with 12 avian species boards, 12 cardboard flight trait cards, 48 new trait cards, and a cliff board.  The flight trait is what makes your species a bird, and acts just like a regular trait – it counts as one of your three, can be negated by Intelligence, and counts as one point at the end of the game.  It can also be traded in for another trait, but then your species becomes a land species and you switch boards.  Avian species have a maximum body size of three rather than six, and two cards must be discarded to create one.  You also get an upkeep cost for each bird since they need more energy to fly – you must take food equal to their body size before you can start taking food for their population.  Upkeep food is not scored – it is returned to the food bank at the end of the round.

image provided by North Star Games

image provided by North Star Games

Another new aspect of this game is the introduction of Event cards, which are played from your hand to the discard pile for what they do or are discarded to draw a new card.  There are two Event cards in the this expansion, Dive Bomb and Seed Dispersal.  The cliff is a new source of food that gets food equal to the number of players when the food cards are revealed.

Gameplay is generally the same, with the changes already mentioned.  The only other change is in setup and game end.  All 48 trait cards are shuffled into the deck, then 30 cards are removed.  When you get to the end of the deck, rather than reshuffling the discard pile, you just use the 30 cards set aside, still ending after the current round.

I talked with Dominic recently about the expansion, and he told me that they approached the game with three things in mind.  First was theme – they wanted to remain true to nature, and because birds really do have a different makeup than land animals, there had to be some new mechanisms in play.  Hence, upkeep.  The second thing was depth of play – they wanted to make sure that the choices were not obvious and it still had to be an engaging experience.  Third was simplicity – they wanted anyone to be able to play.

This expansion was completely made in house – the original Evolution has an expansion called Time To Fly, but Flight didn’t use any of it.  Dominic mentioned that North Star is really going all in on supporting Evolution for the next ten years (at least) with expansions, digital versions, scenarios, offshoots, and more.  There’s a lot of ambition there, and the current Kickstarter campaign is going to help them out in bringing this vision to life.  Go check it out – you can get the expansion for just $25, the base game for $55, or the base game with the expansion for $75.  You have until May 24, but the quicker it funds, the more they can work on stretch goals, including free second edition cards to all backers of the first edition and a giant bird as an alternative start player marker.

Thanks again to North Star for providing the review copy of Evolution, and thanks to you for reading!

LINKS:

Back to reality after my April Fools Day fun.  These are the games I got to play at my game group’s March Game Day, which occurred on March 28.

image by BGG user toyvaultinc

image by BGG user toyvaultinc

We started off the day with a round of But Wait, There’s More!, a recent Kickstarter acquisition by Robbie.  This is a game in which you are pitchmen for an infomercial.  You start out with three feature cards in your hand, and a product is revealed from the deck.  You choose one feature card from your hand, and a 30-second timer starts.  You must pitch the product using the feature you chose.  At some point, you must say “But Wait, There’s More!” and turn over a new feature from the deck, then incorporate that into your pitch.  After everyone has had a turn, you give secret vote cards to the people you think did the best job.  After three rounds, the player or players with the high score are victorious.

We had six players, so we played with partnership rules – one player starts the pitch, then the other completes it.  Robbie and I were on the same team, and managed to win with 10 points.  I have to say that I really enjoyed the idea of the game – I think it will be really good for improv – but I didn’t enjoy the game.  It felt too much like an activity with scoring shoehorned in.  It was played again later in the day without partners, and from what I hear, it was much better.  I’m certainly willing to try again, but I don’t want to play with partners anymore.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

We had enough players by this point to split into a couple of different games.  I pulled out my new copy of 12 Realms (a review game I received from Mage Company – look for a review in the coming weeks).  This is a fantasy co-op where players are trying to defeat the big bad in each of the realms (only four are included in the base game).  Each player has a certain number of resources that they spend, or exploit, to do various actions like move, attack, pick up treasures or artefacts, buy cards in town, and so on.  At the beginning of each round, a time marker is moved forward for each creature remaining in the realm.  When the time marker for a realm crosses 16, the big bad comes out.  If the time marker hits 21 before the big bad is defeated, the whole game is lost.  You have to defeat all big bads to win the game.

We set up a four-player game – I was Siegfried, Geoff was Robin Hood, Amanda was The Sugar Plum Fairy, and Robbie was The Nutcracker.  The first round went fairly smoothly, and then Geoff’s realm started to get overrun.  He didn’t have the necessary resources to defeat all the monsters, and quickly got up to 15 on the time track.  When you hit 7, the Black Fortress comes out, and must be defeated before you can start fighting monsters in its region.  This is an advanced variant that we chose to play with.  It didn’t really matter – we couldn’t get aid to Geoff in time, and the Island of Bones ended up destroyed for a loss.

We liked the game well enough, though we didn’t really know what we could have done differently to affect the outcome.  We were unlucky in our cards draws – or rather, Geoff was unlucky.  Still, some good potential there, and I look forward to giving it another run.

image by BGG user poppentje

image by BGG user poppentje

Robbie and I sat down to play a couple of games of Cribbage.  I taught it to him about a year ago, and he’s really taken to it.  He hadn’t played in a while, and had brought his board.  Our first match was a standard game which I won 121-109.  Our second game was lowball, which is a variant I like a lot in which you are trying to get the lowest score.  It makes the game a lot longer, but it REALLY messes with your head as you try to minimize your points instead of maximize.  It was a back and forth battle, but I ended up with the 116-121 win.  Fun stuff – so glad that there are other Cribbage players out there.

image by BGG user riddlen

image by BGG user riddlen

I came back from lunch to find Eggs and Empires being set up to play.  So I joined Matt, Robbie, Alan, and Geoff in a game that I had been interested in, but had never played.  Each player has a deck numbered 1-10, and draws a hand of three cards.  Three eggs are revealed, each with positive or negative points.  You then play one of your cards as a bid to try to get one of the eggs (or not).  The highest numbered cards will end up getting the cards, but each card (except 1 and 10) has a special ability: 2 allows you to peek at the next egg card, 3 gets to collect before 8, 4 can give his egg to another player, 5 gets 6 points if he doesn’t get an egg, 6 allows you to discard a collected egg, 7 never takes a negative egg, 8 takes -4 points if he doesn’t get an egg, and 9s cancel each other out if played at the same time.  The round ends after everyone has played nine cards from their deck.  After three rounds, the player who has collected the most points wins.

Alan had the high score after the first round, which meant he got attacked a lot for the next two and ended up with the lowest score at 50.  Geoff came in fourth with 57 points, and I got third with 73.  Robbie came in second with 77, and Matt got the win with 86 points.  It was an enjoyable game – it was kind of like Love Letter mixed with a simultaneous auction game.  Good stuff – I’d happily play again.

image by BGG user domcrap

image by BGG user domcrap

I set up Evolution as the second game of But Wait was set up and a game of Flash Point was wrapping up.  This is another review game I got recently from North Star Games.  The idea of the game is that you are developing species to try to collect food, population, and traits in order to win. Each round begins with players adding cards to a pool to determine how much food is available.  Players then get the opportunity to play cards, adding them as traits or discarding them to increase population, body size, or add a new species.  At the end of the round, players collect food, then reduce their population if they didn’t eat enough.  The player who scores the most points from food eaten, surviving population, and remaining traits is the winner.

I played a three-player game with Amanda and Sylas.  Thoughout the game, I thought Sylas was running away with it and focused my attacks on him.  I ended up with two carnivores, but Amanda and Sylas had protected themselves well, so it wasn’t that profitable for me.  Amanda got the 67-63-58 win largely due to having some good foraging abilities that helped her take extra food.  It was a good game, and I look forward to playing again.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Rick wanted to try out Red7, a game I’m always willing to play.  I taught him the rules (you must be winning by the end of your turn or you lose), and we were off.  He got the hang of it quickly and beat me 40-0 in our first match.  Our second one was closer, and we ended it at 30-25 because Amanda and Steve were looking for a game (Rick won that one too).  Poor Amanda got shut out of the four-player match thanks to some very bad deals, and Steve snuck in the 32-26-23-0 win.  Rick really liked this one.

At that point, I had to go because I had a show that night.  But it was a great time, and it looked like everyone had a great time.

Before I end this post, I just wanted to mark that this is my 444th post on the blog, and it’s going up on 4/4.  I did not plan that at all, but I like the coincidence (though I did purposely schedule it for 4:44 PM just to make it extra cool).  Thanks for reading!

Some changes to announce on today’s post.  First of all, I am happy to announce that this blog has been purchased by Asmodee, and I for one welcome our new French overlords.  It promises to be a very fruitful partnership, and I am proud to have been assimilated into their growing monopoly on all things gaming.

Secondly, this will no longer be a site that features reviews and game previews (that is, unless it is of Asmodee products, which are all awesome).  We are making the switch to a weekly news site, one that features all of the relevant information you need to keep up with the gaming world.

BTTF

Let’s start with the huge news that Fantasy Flight, Eric M. Lang and Rob Daviau have teamed up to bring us the Back to the Future LCG.  It is scheduled to be released on October 21, 2015, which fans of the franchise know is the day Marty McFly arrived in the future in BTTF part 2.  Fantasy Flight is keeping most details under wraps, but we know several pieces of information at this point.  First of all, it will be for two players with the potential to add more with additional sets.  Secondly, it’s a competitive game in which players are attempting to change the future by altering the past.  The basic game comes with several decks representing different time periods, and promises a unique method of traveling between them, as well as lots of scenarios for missions that need to be accomplished.

In their cryptic announcement last weekend, Fantasy Flight also hinted that Rob Daviau’s involvement in the project “will be exactly what you might expect from Rob Daviau.”  Speculation has run wild since then with most everyone assuming that means this will be a Legacy style game.  Lots of people are already praising this as a perfect match-up of theme and style – changing cards really makes this time travel game LIVING – but critics have already pointed out that people invest a lot in cards, and to ask them to destroy them or otherwise alter them is not going to sit well with the collectible market.  There are also questions about what will keep people from changing their cards outside of play to gain advantages in tournament play.  FFG assures us that these concerns are well-addressed, so time will tell.  The title has already become the most anticipated game of the year, with FFG projecting that preorders will outsell all previous LCGs combined.

RK

World renowned game designer Reiner Knizia is reportedly working on designing an abstract game with pasted on theme.  Details at this point are sketchy, but it likely will feature auctions, Egypt, and some very convoluted scoring in the end.  Tom Vasel already hates it, while Doug Garrett has already declared it to be the best game ever.

image by BGG user Steverino

image by BGG user Steverino

GSN is in talks with Asmodee to produce JUNGLE SPEED: THE GAME SHOW, which is based on the popular dexterity game.  Just like the game, players are looking for matches before trying to be the first to grab the totem.  In this game show, however, the cards that are to be matched will appear on a big TV screen, one for each player.  Once a match comes up, players will have an obstacle course to clear in order to get to the totem.  Rather than cards, players will be trying to get rid of points.  False starts lead to point penalties.  The show is set to premier in the spring of 2016, hosted by Marc Summers – good to see hime back to game show hosting, hopefully this means the show will have a lot of the wackiness of Double Dare.

TTR

Days of Wonder will release Ticket to Ride: Pacific during Quarter 3 this year (in other words, GenCon).  This is a version that is not compatible with any other version of TTR as it will use boats rather than trains.  You’ll be connecting various islands across the ocean to score points and complete tickets, as in all versions.  There will be some unique mechanisms, as in every TTR game, but many people have pointed to one spot on the map where a route crosses over what appears to be a great white.  Is this Days of Wonder’s subtle way of telling us that TTR has finally jumped the shark?  Time will tell.

KS

As I was writing this post, news just came across my desk that Asmodee has just purchased Kickstarter.  That’s great, it means I can keep doing my monthly Kickstarter Blitzes.

That’s all the news for today.  Please join us again for another rundown of all the most important news in the board gaming world.  Merci beaucoup!

Editor’s Note: You may notice that this post went up on April Fool’s Day.  And you may feel that this invalidates anything reported here.  I would never participate in such juvenile activities.  It would completely discredit me.  Thank you for your understanding.

Kickstarter Blitz #15

Time for another monthly roundup of projects currently funding on Kickstarter.  On with the show!


image by BGG user Floodgate

image by BGG user Floodgate

Vault Wars (Jonathan Gilmour/Ben Harkins, Floodgate Games) is a game about bidding on the treasures left behind by adventurers that never return (think Storage Wars for D&D).  Each player has a contract with two heroes, one of which will give you bonus victory points at the end of the game.  You’ll also draft a hand of vault cards (3-5, depending on the number of players).  Each player chooses a vault card and reveals simultaneously.  You can then hire a worker to help you.  After this is an auction, and each vault card will be on the block in turn.  Each vault card will tell you a number of vault cards to draw (hidden), how many must be revealed by the auction master, and how many may be peeked at by the other players.  You then bid on the lot, and the winner gets the contents of the the lot, paying the auction master or the bank (if the auction master wins).  After everyone has auctioned their vault, you can sell items or keep them.  Once all players have auctioned off all vaults in their hand, the game is over and the player with the most points wins.

I’ve said many times that I just don’t like auction games.  However, this one has an interesting theme, and that counts for a lot.  You can see the upcoming auctions, and you know part of what’s in the lot.  It seems like a fun one.

  • End Date: March 27, 2015 @ 8:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $20
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user JoystickJunkies

image by BGG user JoystickJunkies

Thunderbirds (Matt Leacock, Modiphius Entertainment) is a game based on the 1965-1966 British television show that use marionettes as the main characters.  The object of the game is to avert all disasters in The Hood’s scheme before time runs out.  The Hood is the main adversary of the series, and also the game.  In the game, players take turns to do three actions and draw a mission card.  Your actions could be to move, to attempt a rescue by rolling dice, to plan by taking a FAB card and advancing The Hood, or scan to move a mission card back one slot.  When you draw a mission card, you’ll either end up advancing The Hood or the mission cards.  You lose by running out of time to complete a mission, or The Hood triggers a disaster that the players can’t avert, or the mission card pile runs out.

Matt Leacock is the designer of Pandemic, and you can see that system all over this game.  It looks like a very different game, but it uses the action point system, the multiple ways to lose, and constant attack from the game as in Pandemic.  I’m not familiar with Thunderbirds lore, having never watched the show, but it does have a cult following and this game is funding very well.  So check it out.

  • End Date: March 29, 2015 @ 2:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: £20,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: £40
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user Justinschaffer

image by BGG user Justinschaffer

Far Space Foundry (Dan Manfredini, Terra Nova Games) is a game about mining crystals and transporting them between space stations (foundries) to earn points.  In the first half of the game, players use the Alpha side of the foundry board.  On your turn, you play a pilot card from your hand.  This card will allow you to either land a shuttle at a particular dock on the foundry or transport ore from your warehouse to your freighter.  If the dock you want to land in is full, you move around the rondel to the next available dock and collect more ore for the inconvenience.  If there’s no shuttle in the dock you want to use to transport ore to your freighter, you move around the rondel to the next occupied dock and move more goods for the inconvenience.  In the second half, you flip the foundry board to its Beta side.  Here, you will be transporting ore to the foundry, then using it to make robots, med kits, and deflector dishes.  The player who has earned the most points when the game ends is the winner.

This game looks like an interesting take on the rondel mechanism.  I like that it’s played in two halves – I tend to like games like that (though there are exceptions).  It has a nice look, seems fairly unique, and looks like a good mental exercise game.  Take a look.

  • End Date: April 2, 2015 @ 3:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $25,250 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2015
  • To Get a Game: $39
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user dknemeyer

image by BGG user dknemeyer

Tesla vs. Edison (Dirk Knemeyer, Artana) is a game about the battle to bring electric lighting to the masses in the late 19th century.  Players can be Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson, Charles F. Brush, or Sir Hiram Maxim.  At the beginning of the first, fourth, and seventh rounds round, there’s a luminary auction where you can get some help from someone.  You then reveal propaganda for the round, and then players can start taking actions – send one or more luminaries to claim a project, advance in technology, engage in propaganda, participate in the stock market, or collect outstanding invoices (aka pass).  After everyone has used all of their luminaries, you collect money and evaluate inventor popularity, number of projects, and popularity of the different systems.  After nine rounds, the game ends and the player who has the highest valued stock at the end of the game wins.

Historical games interest me, particularly when they’re not about some obscure battle.  There’s a lot of history out there, and it’s good to see a company tackling something that can be just as tense without involving bloodshed.  I like the theme here, and the game seems pretty good – it’s kind of like worker placement, but more about speculation and money management.

  • End Date: April 2, 2015 @ 10:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $20,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2015
  • To Get a Game: $49
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user heya

image by BGG user heya

Addictive Alchemy (David Lupo, New World Alchemy) is a game about drinking potions for their power, but possibly getting some weird side effects.  Six side effect cards are placed in the center, and ech player gets a 15-card deck of potions.  You begin the game with five potions in your hand, one of which goes to your discard pile and one to your scrap pile.  On your turn, you will drink (play) two potions.  These have effects which occur immediately.  When it gets back to your turn, the potion combination you played will produce a side effect, which you follow.  These could be good or bad for you.  If you cannot draw a potion when asked to because your deck and discard pile are empty, or if you cannot play a potion when asked to, you are addicted and out of the game.  If you are the last person standing, you win.

This seems like a fun, quick game.  They’re calling it a deck deconstruction game because cards will be going out of your deck to the scrap pile, rather than adding new cards to your deck.  There’s player elimination, sure, but there’s also a mechanism in play to speed up the game once someone is out (other players take damage at the start of their turn automatically).  So I think it will work.  Looks good to me.

image by BGG user Debate

image by BGG user Debate

Lord of the Fries (James Ernest, Cheapass Games) originally came out in 1998, but Cheapass has been Kickstarting new editions of a lot of their old catalog, so here comes this zombie fast food game.  In the game, you are building combos out of random ingredients.  Each round, someone will choose an order from the menu, calling it out or rolling for it.  In turn order, each player sees if they can fill the order from the cards in their hand.  If they can, they play the cards, then choose a new item.  If not, the next player tries.  If no one can, it goes around again and players have the ability to leave stuff out.  Once someone has played all of their cards, the round ends.  You get positive points for cards you played and negative points for cards still in your hand.

This looks like a silly hand management game where you’re just trying to get rid of all of your ingredients.  I’ve played Give Me The Brain, which is set in the same zombie fast food restaurant (Friedays), and enjoyed it, though it is completely different from this one.  It’s not a brain burner of a game, just a chance to be silly and make random food with random ingredients.

image by BGG user muka

image by BGG user muka

Tumblin Dice (Carey Grayson/Randy Nash/Rick Soued, Eagle-Gryphon Games) was originally published in 2004.  This is a dexterity game where players are rolling dice down a staircase to try to score points.  Each player slides four dice down the stairs, and then points are scored based on where they land.  There are 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x areas on the board, and you use that multiplier with the side the die ended up on.  After four rounds, the player with the most points wins.

I’ve heard about this game for a while, but have never gotten to play it.  It seems like a pretty fun dexterity game in the tradition of curling.  You can shoot to knock other dice out, improve your position, and of course try to get a high score.  I’ve always wanted to try it, so I’m glad it’s coming back into print.

  • End Date: April 4, 2015 @ 12:35 AM CDT
  • Goal: $25,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $60
  • Video: Dice Tower Review
image by BGG user angelkurisu

image by BGG user angelkurisu

Adorable Pandaring (Chris Cieslik, Asmadi Games) is a game about adorable pandas trying to get bamboo.  On your turn, if there are four or more adorable pandas in play, you score the red panda, which awards bamboo to players with adorable pandas.  If this scoring happens, you’ll get to choose a new panda law, which determines which pandas are currently adorable.  After this, you hide a panda from your hand, then play one, performing its effect.  You end your turn by drawing up to four cards.  If you are the first to five bamboo, you win.

This is a cute quick little game that is apparently going after the Exploding Kittens market, even though there are no explosions or kittens.  It still has a looooong way to go to catch up.  But it does look really cute, and I think it will be a good filler to bring out with the family.

  • End Date: April 9, 2015 @ 3:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $5,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $12
image by BGG user MrGlubGlub

image by BGG user MrGlubGlub

Train Heist (Sean McDonald, Tower Guard Games) is a cooperative game set in the Old West.  Players are working together to stop a corrupt sheriff and the rich people of Notting County from stealing the town folks’ money (see where this is heading?).  On your turn, you draw up to five poker cards, then can take four heist actions.  These include moving, moving a horse, looting the train, dropping off loot at a town, flipping a railroad switch, trading cards with another player in your space, taking a bullet (which effectively saves an action for later), or escaping from jail.  There are also some free actions – using card abilities based on your poker hand, or mounting/dismounting a horse.  At the end of the turn, you move the train.  If you reach the predetermined goal of loot deliveries, you win the game.  If the event deck runs out and the train reaches a switch junction, or if the hangman’s noose reaches the bottom, you lose.

Old West games seem to be making a resurgence lately, and honestly, they have been hit or miss for me.  I haven’t played Colt Express yet, but I liked Spurs and really disliked High Noon Saloon and A Fistful of Dinero.  This one looks different from all of those, and combines pick-up-and-deliver with the cooperative genre.  This is one I’d like to try sometime.

  • End Date: April 14, 2015 @ 10:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $17,000 CAD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2015
  • To Get a Game: $46 CAD
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user Mad Scientist

image by BGG user Mad Scientist

Wizard’s Academy (Gregory Carslaw, 3DTotal Games) is scenario-based cooperative game where a group of bad magic students have to work together in order to succeed.  Each player has a character, each with its own special ability.  The academy is randomly generated each game (both position and orientation of the tiles).  There’s a board of spells, which may or may not be visible (known).  On your turn, you first play the disaster card that you’re holding, and then you draw another for the next turn.  This means you can prepare.  You can then take up to three actions – move, use the power of a room you’re in, or cast a spell.  After this, you endure any threats in the room your in (possibly resulting in injury or death), then can share one of your glyphs with the other players.  If you complete the given scenario, you win.  If you fail, you lose.

This looks like a pretty deep game.  A lot of strategy in how to use spells and how to complete scenarios.  The bits look great, and it seems to be getting a lot of good buzz.  So give it a look.

  • End Date: April 17, 2015 @ 2:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: £30,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2016
  • To Get a Game: £50
  • Video: Box of Delights Runthrough
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Best Treehouse Ever (Scott Almes, Green Couch Games) is a card drafting game about building and outfitting the best treehouse.  At the beginning of a round, each player is dealt six cards.  You’ll choose one card, reveal simultaneously, then pass the rest.  The card you chose will be built on your tree.  You have to keep your tree in balance, not making it too heavy on one side.  You’ll end up playing five cards in the round.  You score after each round – each color is worth a point, but there are modifiers players can play to double or nullify a color’s score.  The player with the highest score after three rounds wins.

This is a light game, much simpler than something like 7 Wonders.  And I have to say, the treehouses you are building look REALLY COOL.  This looks like exactly the kind of quirky game that would make good bait, and maybe even as a good gateway to deeper drafting games.  I’m calling this one my PICK OF THE MONTH.

  • End Date: April 18, 2015 @ 8:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $15,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2015
  • To Get a Game: $16
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough

Thanks for reading!

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