Where Doom Awaits Review - Running Short On Ideas?

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Yog Sotthoth is threatening to rear his ugly head......or face......or spheres.....whatever he/she/it is meant to be! It's horrific, put it that way. Can you stop the ritual from getting out of hand and what's going to be the location for your last stand in the end?

Keeping to the previous format, these pack reviews are based on the scenario itself as well as my pick of decent, ridiculous or amusing cards from the player set. If you ever want to see the full player card list, you can check out Arkham.db, which has a comprehensive card list as well as quality deck lists posted by the Arkham LCG community - highly recommended.



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Broken Meeple Videos - Onitama: Sensei's Path Review

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More cards for Onitama! Sign me up please! How much do you get in the box and does it make enough of a difference? Also why the box?




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Broken Meeple Videos - Century Spice Road Review

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This game was the hotness at the UK Games Expo and is being touted as the Splendor Killer - that's a bold claim, how much truth is there in that?


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Broken Meeple Videos - Barenpark Review

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Here it is! The first review!!! It's a teething period, but I hope you all enjoy! Check out the new release from Mayfair and Lookout Games, Barenpark! Also bears are cool. Fact. 



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Broken Meeple Videos - UK GAMES EXPO 2017

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2 videos already?! Well I did promise I would get my UK Expo roundup done soon didn't I? Now it's about an hour long and I know that long videos aren't a great thing, but this isn't going to be a norm for the channel. Reviews will be kept short, discussions will be kept to a max length and Top 10's will likely be the longest videos, but even these should be kept to a limit.

This video goes into detail about the UK Games Expo 2017. What games did I play and buy? Who did I meet? What else did I get up to? And to top it off, there's some information on the new DIZED app that I gained after sitting down with the founder during the Expo. Hope you enjoy and I'll see you on the next video, which should be the kickstart to my reviews.

04:45 - ALL THE GAMES!
39:11 - SMALL EXPO HAUL
45:22 - EVENTS AND GATHERINGS
49:50 - DIZED INTERVIEW
55:52 - CONCLUSION









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Broken Meeple Videos - Season 2 FAQ Promo

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OH MY GOD! IT'S HAPPENED! IT'S FINALLY HAPPENED! THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL IS BACK FOR SEASON 2!!!!!

This video is to give you some more insight into who I am, what I do, why I do it and where you can find me. Hopefully you'll enjoy it and look forward to more videos from me!

Oh and I know I'm a tiny bit out of focus compared to the background - my bad, easily remedied for future videos. Obviously the quality will improve as time goes on, but with the UK Games Expo over (my next video will be a chat about that) and the Top 100 deadline looming over the horizon, I felt I'd kept you all waiting long enough for me to tinker with equipment and editing software and I owe you some content! 

Once again, thank you for sticking with me for all this time. I appreciate all your support and I look forward to providing more video content for you to supplement my podcast and written reviews. 




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Season 2 Episode 14 - SOLO (Part II)

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Recently the hosts of Every Night Is Game Night, also known as Jason Perez and Anthony Chatfield of Board Gamers Anonymous, invited me on for a Top Ten Solo Games collaboration. A really hard list to put together as I could have done a Top 30 really, but it had to be drilled down to 10.

It was great fun though and despite a tough time editing, there's a great show to be heard here. Part I dealt with the introductions and our list from 10 to 6. Part II deals with 5 to 1 as well as some ideas from contributors and the Peoples Choice poll we put up on the Solo BoardGamers Facebook group. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.



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Unfair Review - You Must Be This Mean To Ride!

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Awww theme parks! Even though I've gotten bored with them now, I have so many nostalgic memories not only of attending theme parks including the wonders of DisneyWorld in Orlando several times as a child, but also iconic games such as Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon. I wouldn't have the time or patience for them these days, but back then in the good old days where time wasn't at an extortionate premium they were just a joy. Building the rides, managing the sideshows and food stalls, deliberating sending trains of passengers to their fiery death on the rocket launch coaster, dropping complaining guests in the lake to keep them quiet...........wow I had issues then.

But we don't see this theme in a board game very often. Why not? Surely this is a theme that's just begging for a quality game. I've got my share of building villages and caves and I've had it with these really dry, dull historical settings lately, can we have a thematic Euro game about building a theme park? Get Vital Lacerda on the design, Days of Wonder or Stonemaier to publish it, Michael Menzel to do the card art and the board and make it worker placement and it could be the most amazing game ever! Keep to less than 3 hours though please and if Wallace or Feld tries to put their fingers on it, release the hounds!

Unfair is probably my first exposure to this theme in a board game and I'm unfamiliar with the works of Good Games USA (yes it has CMON on it but GG USA kickstarted it so I'm giving them the initial credit for publishing this). But it's had some controversy over the "unfair" part, where apparently there's a lot of potenial meanness in this game in screwing other players over. A little meanness is good, too much is a bad thing for me. Are the fears warranted or a false alarm?



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Innovation: 3rd Edition Review - Controlled Tactical Chaos

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OK, technically this is a bit of a cheat! Some very astute readers may have read the title and gone "hang on a minute, you've already done this game!". Of course that means you've read my reviews since 2014, so when I say "astute" I mean, maybe the one lifelong member that reads this blog! However that one person would be right, because I indeed already reviewed the IELLO version of Innovation 3 years ago - but I won't say my opinion of it, you'll have to read it to find out!

Asmadi however were the original creators of Innovation and they use a more abstract approach to their graphic design and styling, whereas IELLO was more artistic and colourful. Both have their pros and cons, but most people prefer the look of the IELLO version. Well now Asmadi recently did a Kickstarter for the Deluxe Edition of Innovation to co-incide with their 3rd Edition reprint. It seems that very little has changed from before though aside from a few keyword tweaks and some minor alterations to the graphic design.

It's however very difficult to get hold of the IELLO version any more and no more expansions will be coming from them. So if you want to play Innovation, you need to look at this new 3rd Edition. But should you? How has this game held up since 2014? Let's give this one another look. . .  


Designer: Carl Chudyk
Publisher: Asmadi
Age: 12+
Players: 2-4
Time: 30-60 Minutes
RRP: £19.99


From Board Game Geek

This game by Carl Chudyk is a journey through innovations from the stone age through modern times. Each player builds a civilization based on various technologies, ideas, and cultural advancements, all represented by cards. Each of these cards has a unique power which will allow further advancement, point scoring, or even attacking other civilizations. Be careful though, as other civilizations may be able to benefit from your ideas as well!
To win, you must score achievements, which you can attain by amassing points or by meeting certain criteria with the innovations you have built. Plan your civilization well, and outmanoeuvre your opponents, and with some luck you will achieve victory!


I MISS MY ARTWORK


OK, let's not beat about the bush here. Asmadi has always stood on the foundation of being pretty basic with their graphic design and artwork. IELLO for the 2nd Edition on the other hand want everything to be pretty and made a very colourful version. For the 3rd Edition, we're back to Asmadi's norm, but there have been some improvements on the graphic design and look over the original. It's clean and easy to tell what's what on each card, but yeah, unless you're a Splotter fan this aesthetic won't be appealing.

Being cleaner however does mean it's a little easier to teach. . . mostly. The rulebook is pretty clear on all the key rules with very good pictorial examples of the dogma effects and what it means to splay cards left, right and up. I also would like to give Asmadi special credit for including a couple pages at the end giving a good example of how to teach Innovation to new players. I've not seen that before and I think other publishers could benefit from this, especially those who just dump a giant rulebook for a heavy Euro on us and expect us to sort it out.

However they've stuck to their odd terminology for basic actions, which is a pain. For example instead of "Play" which IELLO used, we have "Meld". . . . .why? Was "Play" really that bad or do royalties get paid on using the word "Meld"? The player aids are enough to ensure that there isn't too much confusion though so we're not talking Netrunner levels of obscurity. But really obscure terminology is something publishers should be avoiding in their games now.




THERE IS NO STRATEGY, AND THAT'S GOOD


Many games will involve tactics, but usually give you the opportunity to have a strategic game plan from the word go. For example you could play a civilization game going full military, but how you get there might be influenced. Innovation is just pure tactics throughout. You cannot form a strategy in this game period. Try it and see. The way the dogma effects interact off the players prevents you from setting long term goals. You have to be able to adapt on the fly, react to your opponents tableau and seek opportunities when they come up. And I can't get enough of it. This kind of game sings to me, I don't have to plan a hundred turns in advance and I don't have to spend 3 hours of my life seeing if one particular strategy works or not.

The dogma effects are what make the game and every single card is unique. Don't worry about the thematic connection because it isn't here, but deciding on the best way to utilise these abilities is fun in itself. Do you want to use your Atomic Theory knowing that the opponent is also going to benefit? Will it be better for them than yourself? Do you fear attack because they are hogging all the crown symbols, if so, do you muster a defence or take the hit and retaliate with something else? You'll be surprised how many important decisions you'll make over the course of one game and the game will differ depending on what cards come out and when.

I wouldn't go as far as to call Innovation a "mean" game, but be aware that there are a mix of co-operative and aggressive dogma effects. And there's nothing but your own cards to stop the opponent from utilising an aggressive dogma over and over again if it benefits them each time. So if you're down and don't think of a solution, you may get kicked in the stomach again. Games are usually quick enough though that you're not feeling the after effects for too long and you may even get a chance to repay them for their less than friendly card play towards you.



BALANCING CHAOS



Some tweaks have been made to the cards for 3rd Edition, but these are all very minor changes - in fact you would probably have to pain-stakingly inspect each card from both editions in turn to spot them and a lot of them are mostly to do with wording/phrasing as opposed to a balance fix. Certainly don't feel you need to get this if you own a previous edition already. I do wish perhaps they would have made some of the special achievements easier to get as they can be quite tricky. Sadly there's no extra cards compared to previous editions so you will see the same ones popping up in subsequent games - be on the lookout for expansions to assist with that.

Games of Innovation are very quick generally especially between two players. 30-60 minutes is pretty accurate for game length, but be warned about including any slow players. The tactical nature of Innovation and all the effects lends itself to analysis paralysis and it is for this reason that I almost never play Innovation with 4 players unless everyone knows what they are doing and it's a team game, which surprisingly is actually a cool way to play as it reduces the amount of chaos slightly compared to 4 players out for themselves.

Essentially the more players you have, the more chaos that may ensue from dogma effects. This is quite fun to witness however and so I don't mind a 3 player game for that reason, but Innovation is always at its best with 2 players or 2 teams. If you think that 4 players is all you'll do, then you won't get the best out of this game.



VERDICT ON INNOVATION


I loved this game back in 2014 and I still do now. It's a highly underrated card game that is wonderfully tactical in nature and great for combo builders among us. Games play very differently and repeated plays lead to greater mastery over the cards - if like me you like having to adapt within a game without being punished for it, this is as perfect as you can get. The theme is non-existant, but for a game that is done with in less than 45-60 minutes, that's something I can put up with. It's an abstract card game through and through and should be approached as such.

The graphic design is decent, but it's not going to win any artwork awards ever. The IELLO version looks a lot more colourful and if you prefer that and can find a copy, I strongly recommend you grab it, but if you're happy with Asmadi's stark look that admittedly is a little cleaner, then by all means pick up the 3rd Edition which is in a much smaller box for added portability - though sleevers will be frustrated at the lack of spare space.

For card game fans, this is a must-buy. But if your opponent is even remotely prone to analysis paralysis, don't say I didn't warn you.




BROKEN RATING - 9 SPLAYED RED CARDS 




YOU WILL LIKE INNOVATION 3RD EDITION IF:


You want a thinky abstract card game that rewards regular play.


You're keen on having multiple ways to win during the game.


You love pure tactical games - you can't form a strategy here, you have to adapt.




YOU WILL NOT LIKE INNOVATION 3RD EDITION IF:


You can't stand the bland styling that Asmadi uses.


You aren't a fan of abstract card games - there's no theme here to go by.


You play with anyone remotely prone to analysis paralysis.


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Season 2 Episode 13 - SOLO (Part I)

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Look what I've got for you! Recently the hosts of Every Night Is Game Night, also known as Jason Perez and Anthony Chatfield of Board Gamers Anonymous, invited me on for a Top Ten Solo Games collaboration. A really hard list to put together as I could have done a Top 30 really, but it had to be drilled down to 10.

It was great fun though and despite a tough time editing, there's a great show to be heard here. Part I will deal with the introductions and our list from 10 to 6. Part II released later this week will deal with 5 to 1 as well as some ideas from contributors and the Peoples Choice poll we put up on the Solo BoardGamers Facebook group. Sit back and enjoy, because this is a good one!



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