You Want Me To Draw On My Game? - Doodle City Review

Sometimes reviewers get a game that is far out of our comfort zone. It could be a game that’s so brain-melting it hurts to play it, an epic marathon of a game that’s hard to get to the table, or even just a simple kids game that you wouldn’t normally play unless you actually have kids.
Well, with Doodle City, I definitely fit in that last category! Check out my full review on Games Quest! 


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The Broken Meeple - 25 - The Xmas Special

Xmas time is here and even though I'm a bit of a Xmas humbug, I thought I'd tailor this episode to small games. First impressions are the definition of hit and miss with Get Bit and Monopoly Deal Card Game and if you need some last minute gift ideas or something to spend your money on following the holidays, then check out my Top 10 Stocking Stuffer Games.





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Looking for Civilization-Lite? - Imperial Settlers Review!

I really enjoy a good civilization game, but the problem is that they tend to be very long and complex. This means it’s difficult to get them to the table or find the players that are comfortable with them.
Through The Ages had to leave my collection due to its insane length and complexity – and Nations its replacement is also a long one. I really like Sid Meier’s Civilization - but again, long and involved. I hope to acquire it soon from my brother who can’t play it back home, yay! I don’t own Clash of Cultures but, again, it’s enjoyable and of course, lengthy.
Now, there aren’t many light civilization games that can be played in a quicker time than the ones I’ve already mentioned. But I guess “light” isn’t something we associate with a civilization game.
However, designer, Ignacy Trzewicek, the man behind Robinson Crusoe claims to have pulled it off with Imperial Settlers which was a huge hit at Essen 2014. My first play of Robinson left me a little disappointed, but after a while I tried it again, solo, and I started noticing qualities within the game - in fact I now actually enjoy it. So I figured “well the last Portal/Ignacy title worked well, so there’s high hopes for another success!

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Equal Opportunity Smackdown - King of New York Review

King of Tokyo............ahhhhh King of Tokyo, how we love thee! Well maybe love is a strong word, I do really enjoy the game, but "love"? Maybe not. It's really good and great fun, though when you throw in the expansions it can take a while to get through with lots of players (see my review). My biggest pet peeve with the game however is that it's possible to sit back outside of Tokyo and just win by hoarding destruction points (I prefer to call them fan loyalty points) which is a fairly boring way to play.

The "Power Up" expansion confounds this by having lots of turns where people just sit back, put their feet up and roll for evolutions. The evolutions are cool and all, but as time has moved on, it doesn't feel like the smackdown that I enjoy about monster movies in general...........and don't get me started on that recent Godzilla trash!

So now we have King of New York, essentially a revision of the original with some tweaks to the rules, but still retaining the same mechanics - roll dice in Yahtzee style, get the symbols you want, beat up the other monsters, win the game. Many would worry that this is so similar to King of Tokyo that it's not worth having both and is merely a cash-grab. Newcomers to the franchise will be confused as to which one to buy. Cult of the old or new? Let's check it out!


"You had me at the sight of a fish hurling a boat on a chain!"

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The Broken Meeple - 24 - The Sci-Fi Episode

Sorry for the delay, life has been very busy as I've been offered a job in a new Chartered Accountancy firm...........which I proceeded to accept! Happy days and hopefully some prosperous times ahead, but I can't neglect my blog duties!

Here we have Episode 24, focusing on technology, the future and science. We kick off with some first impressions of Warhammer 40K Conquest and Battle at Kemble's Cascade, then discuss the importance of apps in board games and finally end with my Top 10 Science Fiction Games.


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Artistic Skills: An Advantage But Not Essential - Telestrations Review

I feel like reviewing something a lot lighter today and for that I need to delve into the realm of party games, a genre that is sadly overlooked by many hardcore gamers. I think that a lot of effort is needed to get a party game to work right just as any other Amerithrash (using Zee Garcia's phrase now, I hate using trash) and Euro game. I've played some complete duds in my time so it's not a simple case of going "here's some funny cards, now get laughing".

I'd held off from playing Telestrations for a long while as I was concentrating on other genres and it's hard to get a party game played at clubs - they are more for playing at your own home I find or on holiday. Well I acquired this game in preparation for a large group holiday and also showed it to some friends in Portsmouth after hearing US reviewers praise it a lot. I needed a refreshing change from Dixit as well (also a great party game, check out my review on that). I can't draw for toffee, but I expected that this would be a benefit in playing this game.


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Fantasy Is The Only Myth - Mythotopia Review

Check out my guest review of Mythotopia as featured on Games Quest, our friendly, local, gaming.............online site??




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Board Game Extras Demo Day - 8 November 2014

Today I got to indulge in more gaming fun as Board Game Extras hosted another Demo day at the Highfield Church Centre in Southampton.

This is an event that the online store hosts usually about 3-4 times a year for people to come along and play demos of their new games in stock as well as a few popular favourites for the young ones. The staff hire out the hall for 5 hours and introduce gamers both new and experienced to the new hotness in their stock line as well as sell the games there and then.

Now personally I think it should be longer than 5 hours, but then I'm biased, I'm a gamer who has completed a 36 hour marathon of gaming before ending on Twilight Imperium 3. Trust me when I say I can game for a LONG time and still enjoy myself!



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Never Forget................



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Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding...........Brian, Where's The Pollen? - Waggle Dance Review

Never judge a book by its cover. That's a phrase that many of us live by and one that should be applied to board games on a regular basis. A decent box cover will help sell a game and a dull one will make someone hesitant to pick it up off the shelf or click on the picture icon.

There's also a slight deviation to that though with how weird the box looks. A box can look insanely pretty but if it makes no sense or is odd then you're going to get a mix of reactions from intrigued to "what on earth". Well this is a poster child for such a feeling because even though it's very colourful, it really does make you think the latter of those two options and either I'm being thick or there's no reason why this cover is relevant to the game!

However it was getting a lot of Essen buzz and it's made by a publisher from my home country, in fact they're in Cornwall which is next door to my original home county. So why not, I thought I'd give it a look as it's nice to find some board games made closer to home. It's touted as "worker placement with dancing bees"....................did I really just say that?


"A flashy cover, but what in the world???"

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I Really Don't Know A Lot About History - Timeline Review

Board games with the family started off great when I was younger but then degenerated into the same old boring stuff time after time again. And it got worse in recent years as the only games that they felt like playing together before I got back into board gaming were the pub quiz and similar trivia games..........yawn!! Hate them!!

It essentially seemed as if the only games they would play at the time were either simple party games (Taboo was a good favourite but the cards got stale quickly) or games that tested general knowledge. I got lucky when I showed them Dixit but again you can only play that so often. So I had to find something that would not only be appealing to them, but also be worth my time to play and I tend to go for thematic games so "intellectual" or "historical" games don't feature much with me.

But then I came across a reprint of a game I'd heard mentioned on The Dice Tower called Timeline - a simple card game that tested your knowledge of dates - when items were invented, when historical events happened or when scientific discoveries were made. Now this sounded promising - it's intellectual so it appeals to them, it's short and it's a subject area that frankly most people aren't actually experts at - could you tell me right now when the sextant was invented.............I think not! So does it fill that niche? 

"Asmodee's logo means you're getting quality - not sure I approve of the tin though"

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Useful For Storing Excess Air - Smash Up: The Big Geeky Box Review

Smash Up has been a fun game in my collection and being the completionist that I am, naturally I've gone and bought all the expansions for it. The problem with that is, despite being able to hold out for a while, eventually the base box isn't large enough to hold all the factions and bases, etc while all sleeved..........or even unsleeved really, that's how crazy the game has got.

So after much badgering by the fans, AEG have now seen fit to give us what we really needed most. A storage solution to house all the Smash Up expansions and future ones at that. But we don't just get a box, no we also get a bonus "Geeks" faction for use in the main game. But it's mostly a box with a price tag so is it worth forking out the cash for it?

"It's cool that it has all the current factions plastered on it. . . . how soon before it gets outdated?"

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Episode 23 - Essen 2014

Unfortunately I wasn't able to make Essen 2014, but hey that doesn't mean I can't do an Essen special right?
As well as news and first impressions I discuss the common complaint in gaming groups where people use their mobile phones during games and give my Top 10 Anticipated Essen Releases.



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Where Frostbite Is More Dangerous Than A Horde Of Zombies - Dead of Winter Review

Zombie games have flooded the market, let's be honest. It can almost be said that if you want a guaranteed Kickstarter project, simply make a game about zombies and include miniatures. Hey it worked for Zombicide which is probably my zombie game of choice to date, but I don't actively seek it out as it tends to overstay its welcome.

It's always interesting though to see someone take the reins and give us something different in an otherwise very repetitive genre. Here we have Dead of Winter which might as well be deemed "The Walking Dead: The Board Game" (not the actual official one!) as rather than caring much about the zombies, it's more about the survival and the discontent between the players.

Now I mentioned hype was a dangerous thing in my Five Tribes review and I stand by that view. Dead of Winter probably got the most hype of all the Gen Con games so it had a lot to live up to. When I first played this game I was expecting greatness as a result. However did it live up to the hype or should I have prepared for disappointment?

NB: - I've decided to forgo rules explanations in my written reviews from now on. They shockingly enough take far longer to write than any other part of the review and from feedback received the majority of gamers look up the rules on BGG anyway. I'd therefore rather talk more about my thoughts on the game than spout exposition.

"A very striking cover, though the Crossroads line is maybe a bit un-necessary"

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I Hope This Legacy Ain't Just A Letter To A Princess! - Lost Legacy: The Starship Review

Little, light portable games will always grab my attention as it's good to have something that provides a decent amount of fun, but doesn't contribute to breaking your back when you're lugging 5+ games in a holdall to every game night.

Love Letter is well known in the card game universe as a modern great. Whether you like it or not (personally I do as a quick filler every now and again) you can't deny for such a simple idea, it's really taken off.

Well Lost Legacy utilises the same simple "draw a card / play a card" mechanic that appealed to non-gamers, but adds a new twist by adding in a deductive element at the end so victory is not simply just going for the highest rank. Does it replace Love Letter or will it bow down to its master?

"Cool sci-fi space look, but you could paste any theme on this game"

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He Turned It Sideways! Kill Shot! That's A Kill Shot! - Cash & Guns 2nd Edition Review

It's been a while since I reviewed a party game and it's dawned on me that I really don't own enough party games in my collection, yet I enjoy them a great deal. This will be something I intend to rectify as there are some classics out there and it's easier to teach them to friends of mine who aren't big gamers.

Now this is a game I've wanted to give a try for a long time but it was never around in my area and then it went out of print. But now we have the 2nd Edition, all brand new and shiny . . . . . well as shiny as black foam guns can get I suppose. Now some will argue that this isn't a party game and in all fairness I can see where you're coming from, but in my humble opinion I feel that this game is crazy and laugh-filled enough that it meets the criteria.

So was it worth the wait and does it play well? Time to find out, but as a side disclaimer I will not be going into the differences between the first and second edition as I've not played the first one. But I'll likely be right in assuming that if you own the first one, you won't be too desperate to pick up the revised version so I'm talking from the perspective of a brand new player to Cash and Guns.


"Despite the theme of shooting each other, you can tell this is meant to be taken VERY lightly"

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Episode 22 - The Re-Theme Of The Broken Meeple

I'm back and to kick start the second year of The Broken Meeple we have a re-theming of the musical interludes! However we also have some changes happening to the way the blog will continue and I'll discuss those here.
There's a lot happening in this episode! I give my first impressions of Sons of Anarchy, Dead of Winter, Carcassonne South Seas and The Manhattan Project as well as future gaming news. And then after a quick rant on how gamers over-react to controversial themes in board game, I give my Top 10 Themes/Types in board games.

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Cessation of YouTube Video Production - For Now At Least!

Hi guys, life has gotten very busy now for me and as such I have to make a decision as what to cull from my life to make way for more important priorities. It is with some regret that I must now cease producing videos for YouTube as the work involved is incredibly time consuming and no longer feasible in my routine.

So for the foreseeable future, videos on this channel will cease so that I can concentrate more on the podcast and written reviews. When time frees up, or if it frees up, I hope to perhaps do some video reviews on board gaming apps, something that doesn't require me to take forever to set up a home studio of video equipment in a small flat which is time consuming and difficult. There is a reason why some YouTuber's in this industry do it as a day job.

But the future is still bright. My podcast is still going on and I hope to be one of the new members of Whose Podcast which is run by Robin Lees (@RMBLees) which will be a welcome change and in the case of written reviews, I'll still be doing mine, but I'm now guest blogging on Club Fantasci and am in negotiations to guest blog on Games Quest as well. 

I'm hoping that I'll be able to cope with this a lot better than video reviews. I apologise if you're disappointed, but I feel that this is the best way to go.

Enjoy what's on the channel to date, and who knows maybe you'll see my face there again!



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Phenomenal Cosmic Power, Itty Bitty Living Space - Five Tribes Review

Hype is something to be careful of when buying a board game, or really anything for that matter. Many a time a product will fail to live up to its hype. Take Destiny for example, the recent game just released for consoles. It had movie trailers, previews, BETA's the works and everyone has been so hyped for that game it's unbelievable. And now it's out, what exactly is it? Just Halo 2.0? Wow, what a disappointment. So much for innovation.

Board games have done this too, but where as something like a movie or computer game tends to affect the majority of customers, a board game tends to be more subjective among players. Dead of Winter got a ton of hype over its theme and semi-cooperative experience, but when I played it, I thought it was "ok" at best. Prefer it to BSG, but some issues I had with the design/theme would stop me rating it above a 7.

Of course this is all just opinion, but nowadays as a result I've learned to not get sucked into the hype whenever possible. It's not always an easy thing to do (looking at you Alien Isolation), but at least it allows you to keep an open mind when playing the game.

Now here we have Five Tribes, another game that also gained a lot of hype as it was made by Days of Wonder who always bling their games with stellar components, yet was a game that boasted about being very tactical for the "gamer" without being too complicated. Sounds like a good combination as Spyrium had that quality though obviously Days of Wonder take the component trophy in a fight. So how does it hold up in the world of Euro games?

"Just call it Five Tribes, life is much easier that way"

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Solo Games Have Their Place - Friday Review

Some people scoff at solitaire games claiming they are very boring or don't have the fun and excitement that player interaction brings to the table. Now that's a fair argument, one of the best things about board gaming is the interaction with other players with a drink in hand having a good time. But I wouldn't never scoff at solo games.

For a long time I was single, I'm not now, but both of us like our own space from time to time. During the single day's there would be a lot of times when I'd be in the flat chilling out, but wanting to play a board game. Now if friends were available for a game, great, but you can't always expect that in this day and age what with family commitments, long working hours and just generally a lack of time available. So you can do something else, or you can pull out a game that you can play solo.

I personally love a good solo game. You retain the cool tactile feeling of handling all the components, seeing the game laid out and engaging yourself in the tactics and strategy it provides. It's like those self improvement puzzles that test your IQ or memory skills or even something simple like Sudoku that tests your logic and arithmetic skills. Games can provide that level of skill improvement as well like a good teaching tool and no-one is going to dispute with me that theme is more present in a board game then in a crossword puzzle.

Now of course, not every game deserves a solo mode. Euro games have a regular habit of introducing solo variants which do a better job of teaching you the game mechanics then they do actually providing a fun experience, but there are exceptions to this rule. Co-Op's from experience provide me with the best solo plays because rather than simply aiming for high points, you're fighting to beat the game itself. Sentinels of the Multiverse and Lord of the Rings LCG especially have been sucking up my time lately with solo ventures.

But here we have a game that's designed to be played solo and only solo. Not many of those exist to my knowledge in modern board games, I can only think of Onirim which is another game I want to try, but even that can technically be played with two players, this one is solo only. Does the concept work and is this a game you should consider for those long, lonely nights?

"The artwork is very cartoon like which at first was a little off-putting"

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Episode 21 - 1 Year Anniversary Special!

It's been a year since The Broken Meeple grew some legs and got going in the board gaming world. Granted there have been some bumps along the way and probably still a few now, but I'm very proud of how things have progressed to date.
In this episode, I give my first impressions of Lost Legacy: The Starship and Trains, recall some recent news, discuss how to teach new players how to play games and finally answer the big one: - MY TOP TEN BOARD GAMES!




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Venturing Into Controversial Territory - Freedom The Underground Railroad Review

This has been the new hotness in recent months, a Co-Operative game that tastes a very taboo topic from American history and puts it into a box for your to play. People were skeptical that such a game would work as the theme ran the risk of possibly insulting a lot of gamers if it wasn't handled properly.

However it's getting all the praise now with all sorts of awards and at The Dice Tower it gained a lot of awards recently in several categories. Unfortunately I'm only a new member into the Dice Tower Network so I didn't get to join in the voting council, but give it time, we all have to start somewhere.

Now I was torn about acquiring this game for review purposes. On the one side I love co-operative games, it is my favourite genre and many people already know this about me. On the other flip side however, I'm not a history buff and/or fan. It was one of my least enjoyed subjects at school and I got shot of it the first chance that the lesson format allowed for it. I'm very much a man of the present and the future and tend to ignore the past, it's done and dusted, move on, build a bridge, walk over it. That's just how I roll and I have many sides.

Twilight Struggle is regarded as the #1 game on BGG and after playing that, I wasn't drawn into it as much as everyone else because I didn't really have an interest in the historical theme, nor did I understand what any card in the game was meant to represent, because you had to stare at the rulebook to find out, slowing the game down which was already too long for a two player game. So will Freedom just be another Twilight Struggle disappointment or will it bring enough to the table to make it in my collection as the first historically accurate board game?

"Good quality cover, you know as you look at it that this isn't going to be a laugh-out-loud kind of game"

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Recovering From Burnout!

Hi guys! Sorry for lack of content, I've been very busy and hit burnout with my workload recently, not just with blogging but mainly from my day job as a Chartered Accountant and Tax Advisor. I'm now on two weeks leave from work and I rarely ever take extended leave so this is a big deal for me and for the first part (today until Mon 11th) I'm on holiday camping with my new girlfriend so I'm going to take a much needed rest and rejuvenate myself! Normal service will resume upon my return! Thank you for your patience and have fun gaming! 

Upon my return, you can look forward to my written review of Freedom The Underground Railroad, a video review of One Night Werewolf and my next podcast episode



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This Needs To Become A Movie Franchise. . . . . NOW! - Android Netrunner LCG Review

I used to play a lot of CCG games, from Magic the Gathering to Star Wars (my personal favourite) to Aliens vs Predator and even dabbling in guilty pleasures such as Pokemon and Young Jedi (still don't know why I ever bothered to play that one). Recently though I've grown tired of the CCG model and having to spend a fortune either trying to acquire cards in booster boxes or acquiring them online from overpriced web sites. Recently a friend got me into Cardfight Vanguard which is a popular CCG in recent years, but even that I've now grown annoyed with and am selling off my collection piecemeal.

The LCG model seemed like an answer to my wish for a deck-building card game that could be kinder on the budget. With LCG's there are frequent expansions and "packs" as opposed to boosters, but they contain the same cards and 3 copies of every single one. That way you can find out in advance whether you need the pack or not and you will have enough cards to use them in a deck off the bat as most if not all LCG's have a max count of 3 of each card in a deck. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think they all do.

Android Netrunner is the hotness right now for LCG's and my first venture into the genre though I now have Lord of the Rings as well which is very good and I look forward to Warhammer 40,000 Conquest coming out later this year. So I've certainly been bitten by the LCG bug, but I've repelled the CCG bug. So what do I think about Android Netrunner now that I've had a chance to enjoy everything it has to offer?

"A cool looking box cover, though it doesn't give off much information about the game"

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Episode 20 - Theme Vs Mechanics

After a long break, I'm back with Episode 20! Podcasts are still coming but due to time commitments including a new girlfriend, the podcast will be reduced to monthly rather than 2-weekly because I need the extra time. However to make up for this, I've added a short News segment to the podcast to up the content value.
In today's episode, I give my first impressions of Glass Road and Fleet, discuss Theme vs Mechanics in games and give my Top 10 Thematic Games list.



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Boss Monster - Video Review

Taking the theme of old style retro computer games, this new card game seeks to recreate that old feeling of dungeon building in a pixel world! But is it a bait and switch?


01:17 - The Cards
10:38 - Brief Rules Overview
13:30 - Verdict



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All You Need Is Some Nostalgia Game Soundtracks - Pixel Tactics Review

Two player games are a love and hate relationship with me. On the one hand I love a good two player game or even just a game that can be played with two players well. There are countless amounts of two-player games out there, particularly in the small games market and when you have a spouse or gaming partner, they are a perfect way to spend an evening. On the other hand I live alone currently and play most of my games at club settings or when I invite groups round, so it's hard to get two player games to the table and that does my head in. When you're at a club, it's hard to just grab one person and have a two player duel when there are others wanting to play a game.

My main games I play in a two-player setting are Android Netrunner, Innovation, Seasons, Hanabi, Marvel Dice Masters and Summoner Wars and even those last two struggle to hit the table. But I love to try others and recently my friend acquired two packs in the Pixel Tactics series and a third pack has been released albeit in short supply. As I'm doing a video review of Boss Monster currently that uses the same style of pixel graphics in it's imagery I figured this would make a good companion to review.


"I like how the game box looks a lot like an old computer game cartridge"

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Video Review - Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance

Sentinels of the Multiverse - ah how I love this game! And this is the newest expansion for it called Vengeance where Baron Blade has returned and brought along some friends. His team "The Vengeful Five" aim to take on "The Freedom Five" and put an end to them once and for all. The question is, is this a fun way to play the game, 5 v 5 and if so, is this an essential purchase?


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The Marmite Of Board Games. . . . . And I Hate Marmite! - Kingdom Builder Review

................(sigh)..............I can't believe I'm having to do this, but this review has been requested many times ever since my Top 10 Over-Rated Games list on the podcast so it's become necessary to do so. Let it be known that I don't love every game I play and in essence I suppose it's a refreshing change to post a negative review on the site as there has been a trend of positive ones lately. 

It is already obvious from the title and that paragraph that I really don't like this game. . . .  . . . at all . . . . .  and not because I don't like abstract games (yes it's an abstract game we'll get on to that later), I actually really like abstract games. Ever since my early school days of playing Chess in a pub league, I've loved the strategic, yet simplistic aspect of them. But there are many things about this game that drive me up the wall especially when I know how popular this game is with some gamers and how it "somehow" won the Spiel Des Jahres in 2011! 

However, remaining objective here, I'll explain why I believe this game is immensely over-rated in my opinion, yet will highlight its positive points as well (pictures courtesy of BGG).

"The cover that's on the box is a typical example of "Bait 'n' Switch"

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How 2 Play - Kingsburg

Ok let's finish up on dice worker placement games for the time being and show you how to play Kingsburg, the fantasy, "simpler" version of Alien Frontiers. Reviews for both games are on the blog and BoardGameGeek and How 2 Play's are both up on the YouTube channel. 


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I Pledge My Service To The King, Until The Next Wedding - Kingsburg Review

Brownie points if you understood the title reference! :-)

Well you've already seen my review on Alien Frontiers and I mentioned Kingsburg in that review. Kingsburg came out before Alien Frontiers and incorporates the same style of dice worker placement mechanics, thus it gets compared to Alien Frontiers regularly and it's a tricky decision for many players to decide on which game they would rather fork out the cash for.

Hopefully once you've read both my reviews and possibly even checked out my YouTube channel for the How 2 Play videos on these games, you'll have a decent idea of which game you would prefer, if any. I devoted a section of the Alien Frontiers review to comparing both games, I have included that later on in this article so that you don't have to keep flipping back between the two.

"Admit it, that's a nice looking cover"

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How 2 Play - Alien Frontiers

OK, following my recent announcement about not doing unboxing videos any more - let's get on with some more How 2 Play videos! Starting with Alien Frontiers and soon, we'll have Kingsburg to go along with it! 


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Cessation of Unboxing Videos on YouTube

After much deliberation I have decided that Unboxing videos on my YouTube channel will now cease They may be easy to shoot and quick to edit, but they still take up my time, which should be spent making content you, the subscribers want to watch, which seems to be the reviews, but I've also had requests for more How 2 Play videos. Therefore I shall focus on reviews and play-throughs and hope to significantly improve on the latter.

Another reason for the decision is that I tend to have to shoot my videos in bulk. Holding on to games and not being able to open and check them out and play them because of having to shoot an unboxing video is grating me a bit - I just want to play games and teach people about them! Who doesn't? :P 

Lord of the Rings LCG will be my last unboxing video on the channel which is being uploaded now.

So there you go. That's my reasoning behind it and hopefully this will be a boost for my channel for the foreseeable future. I thank all of you for subscribing to my channel and hope that this decision will help the channel to grow. 



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In Space No One Can Hear You Chuck Dice - Alien Frontiers Review

This game I've heard about constantly on The Dice Tower. The crew praise this game every chance they get, but for a while it's been out of print and nobody I knew had owned a copy. I then managed to get a try on Tabletop Day which convinced me to spend the cash on acquiring the new recent 4th edition reprint to see if the potential of this game could be met.

My initial hesitation on this front came from the fact that I already owned Kingsburg, which has mechanics very similar to this one and I wasn't sure if I could own both. This is naturally a question that a lot of gamers will also be asking, so for those people I will endeavour to answer that question near the end of this review.

Unique ways to use dice will grab my attention. We have already seen how much of an effect Seasons had on me, I enjoy Kingsburg (hopefully I'll get to reviewing that some day) and I recently got to try Quantum which performed above initial expectations. I like dice, most gamers do, but I don't like "roll and move" and we've all seen dice used for combat values, etc. Here however, we get to use dice as our "workers" in a worker placement game (and no, don't get confused with Castles of Burgundy, that's area control!) so let's see what the fuss is about. 

"Not a great deal of difference on the cover besides an extra woman astronaut - strange addition""

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Episode 19 - The UK Games Expo Special

In this special episode I give details on my experiences at the UK Games Expo 2014
 as well as my Top 10 tips for how to survive a games convention.




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Video Review - Hanabi

Designed by Antoine Bauza, this card game introduces one of the most ingenious and innovative mechanisms found in a game. And the weird thing is, we've probably all thought of it at some point, but always dismissed it. Well here's what you get when it's done right!


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The UK Games Expo 2014 - Photos

The UK Games Expo was great fun and I can't wait to go next year, albeit with the provision that I don't participate in any tournaments that take longer than 3 hours and certainly not take 8 hours. More on that in the upcoming podcast special on the expo experience. For now though here's a bunch of photos I took while I was there. Shame my new Xperia Z2 phone didn't arrive in the post before I went as the photos would have been a lot better.

And apologies that photo updates weren't more common during the Expo, but unfortunately the hotel had ZERO internet signal in the gaming rooms meaning the only time I could get any signal was in my room when I was going to sleep!
A talented Doctor Who look-alike and two daleks, one of which was on remote control and spoke! I WANT ONE!! 


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Unboxing - Chaos In The Old World

Unboxing anything made by Fantasy Flight Games usually means there is a lot of cool stuff to look at and this is no exception - though I finally experience the issues raised when the board is especially large! This is Chaos In The Old World!


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See You At The UK GAMES EXPO!!

As many of your board gaming fanatics are aware, this weekend is the UK GAMES EXPO being held in Birmingham from Friday to Sunday. 

When I got back into board gaming in a serious way, I was a week off the last Expo and so couldn't attend it - I'm not making up for it this year by attending all 3 days and I'm even driving up on Thursday afternoon so I can meet some Twitter folk ahead of time, catch a swim in the hotel and settle in (not to mention get a decent night's sleep before all the mayhem begins). 

As a result blog and YouTube activity will be non-existent until I return, but content is planned for then and my next podcast episode will be devoted to my experiences at the Expo. However keep an eye on my Facebook page and particularly to my Twitter account where I'll post up comments and occasional photos of the event when possible - shame I didn't have my new phone delivered in time for it so I have to make do with what I've got! 

As for those of you going to the Expo, send me a message on Twitter or Facebook and I hope to play some games with you soon. On some of the days, look out for me in a Broken Meeple T-Shirt as well. 

Signing off for now, got to carry on with work until it's time for me to drive up! Look forward to gaming with some of you soon! 



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Too Bad The Post Office Isn't As Efficient As The Weather Service - Seasons Review

One thing that can grab me about any game is the quality of the dice. I like chucking dice as much as the next person, providing that the whole basis for the game isn't purely based on luck of what you roll - i.e. you need to be able to mitigate it. 

But rolling a basic six-sided dice with pips on it gets dull unless you make good use of them (see Alien Frontiers or Kingsburg for example). Custom dice however always look cool, I mean look at how Marvel Dice Masters is taking the world by storm lately. And of course who can forget the classic King of Tokyo or the recent Bang: The Dice Game, the murderer of its predecessor?

Seasons is a game which can almost be called "Magic The Gathering With Dice". You are archmages competing in a 3 year tournament showing off your skills and collecting crystals by playing power cards with different abilities and manipulating the elements with the help of an innovate timer mechanism and custom dice. Very popular in the gaming meta and being expanded each year so far, let's dive in.

"Libellud were also responsible for publishing Dixit - oh yeah you know the artwork will be good!"


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Unboxing - Amerigo

This video I recorded all the way back in March on the old equipment but I completely forgot about it! Sorry about that subscribers! I couldn't leave it out though, you have to see just how much stuff you get in this box as well as see my "epic fail" at putting together the Cube Tower!



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Unboxing - Alien Frontiers 4th Edition

Alien Frontiers has come out with a brand new edition - I'm now going to dig into the box and see what's changed from my previous experience playing the older version. And there's a little bonus at the end!



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Episode 18 - The Euro Edition


In today's episode, I focus on Euro games, starting with my first impressions of a Euro style Cthulhu game "A Study In Emerald", followed by my opinions on what defines a Euro game and then finishing off with my Top 10 Euro Games!





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Ignore This Expansion At Your Own Peril - Key To the Universe Review

Right, well you've hopefully by now already read my review on Empires of the Void. And if not. . . . . . . WHY NOT? Go and read it now!

Those who have been keeping up to date with my geeklists and podcasts will remember that I put this at my No 1 for Essential Expansions so there's a bit of a spoiler for you there. But I'm here to explain why that's the case.

"It's Print and Play so there's no fancy box cover!"


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Ghost Stories: White Moon - Video Review

Hi everyone! Sorry that it's been a while, been very, very busy with gaming and dating life! Back to work!

Ghost Stories is already a very difficult, yet very entertaining Co-Op game. What does the first expansion, White Moon bring to the table - short answer, quite a lot!

Now this video I recorded prior to getting my volume experiments done and dusted so apologies for that, but I've made good progress to improve future videos. I might be wrong on this, let me know either way! :P 





01:09 - So What's In The Box?
12:45 - Changes to Gameplay
15:06 - Verdict



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The Thing About Space. . . . . Is It's Black - Empires Of The Void Review

When we think Space 4X games, typically the three names that come to mind (at least in our area) is Twilight Imperium 3, Exodus Proxima Centauri and Eclipse. Now all have their pros and cons, with TI3 having more pros and Eclipse having far more cons, but one big con for all of them is the time length of each game. When you get a proper game of them going with multiple players and/or expansions, it's going to take you a long time. Exodus will easily take a whole game night, games of TI3 have to be planned out as a day event and I've had the misfortune of sitting through a 6+ hour Eclipse game including explanations which was maxed out in players and expansions. 6 hours of balancing your cheque book in space, god that was boring.

They also tend to be pretty complex, featuring all kinds of weird and wonderful rules and giving the player a plethora of options available to them each turn lending themselves to Analysis Paralysis. So what if you want a balance between the two? The feel of a Space 4X game but without the obscene time length and making it still accessible to many players. Well Red Raven Games has jumped to the rescue with Empires of the Void, dubbed as a light 4X experience, but was it justified?

Now a quick disclaimer first - this review is going to discuss the base game only. The Print & Play expansion "Key To The Universe" will follow shortly in a subsequent review. Observant followers may remember that this made No 1 in my Top 10 Essential Expansions list on the podcast. I strongly urge you to read both articles and find out why. Also the pictures here are from BGG - I've been somewhat busy lately, but want to get this content out!




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Episode 17 - The Best Of 2013!

On todays show, I give my first impressions of Clash of Cultures and Tsuro, followed by a discussion on Local Game Stores and Cafes, finally ending with a highly anticipated Top 10 list - The Top 10 of 2013!




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How 2 Play - Flash Point Fire Rescue


In this video, I give you a full tutorial of how to set up and play a typical non-family game version of Flash Point Fire Rescue!





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Southampton On Board - 28 April 2014 - Cylons, Nukes and Baltar To The Rescue!

Only one game to talk about tonight, but was it a doozy! A 7 player game of Battlestar Galactica with all 3 major expansions though not using every single module from them, but what we left out was pretty minor. This got a lot of hype from players wanting to try this, I suspect mainly because most of the SOB members haven't yet played this game and have heard many good things about it.
I played this for the first time on Tabletop Day and it was a 5 player game with only the base set. I found that really, really boring. I was playing a pilot that barely got to do anything, there was little discussion in between turns, one Cylon stupidly made it obvious that he was an enemy on the first turn and the other Cylon was the President/Admiral who owned the game itself so let's just say that ended badly.

"Battlestar Galactica"

Most of the players were new, but even with the expansion bits it didn't take long to get the rules and extras sorted. I was mainly waiting for the character selection with the intent that I never chose a pilot ever again - I find them to be a very boring class. The crew on the Dice Tower gave Gaius Baltar some stick when talking about the series which I've not watched so I thought I'd take the character and see what's what - naturally I got the same reactions from the others at the table who had watched the show so I figured I was already half way to my goal of wanting to be a Cylon traitor.

"Discworld"

The loyalty cards were dealt and I got two of them. . . . . I took a look in suspense and. . . . . <sheesh> honestly WHY can't I be evil or a traitor or the bad guys in ANY game I play with loyalties? Resistance: Avalon, Shadows over Camelot and now Battlestar Galactica - I just can't ever get to be on the bad guys team, I'm bored with being the goody all the time. Naturally I was internally frustrated, but there was always the half way stage to get one last chance to become the enemy so for now, go with the flow and fight for the humans.



The game got off to a good start, but with all the usual banter of mis-trust, half of which directed at me for playing Gaius Baltar, but I was a good guy so I was having none of that. We managed fine until the Cylon fleet started piling up literally on one spot on the table due to a misfortune with Crisis cards. Best solution for that, send a nuke over to their location, but we needed the Admiral to launch them and that called for some Executive Orders from me. All well and good yeah, except it turned out that the Admiral was a Cylon from the beginning and proceeded to nuke half of our civilian ships with his two actions. . . . whoops! Though he had some crazy dice luck there because in order to hit our own ships he had to roll an 8 each dice roll. So the humans can hardly be blamed for him rolling two 8's in a row!

One Cylon down and a rather battered population counter and we weren't even half way. A few stern eyes in my direction, obviously from people forgetting that they AGREED with my plan so we were all to blame, not just the voices in my head. Our Cylon leader in the party was contemplating whether playing his Human allegiance card was such a great idea.



The game continued with increased tension - every time the giant Basestar fleet appeared we had to quickly hit the FTL controls to jump across the galaxy and elude them. But resources were getting drastically low and we had a centurion rampaging through the ship. We were one turn from death, but my Gaius Baltar leapt to the rescue with a last ditch effort to take him out . . . . 8!! Gaius saves the day, kills the centurion and keeps the humans in the game!

On top of that the armada returned to annihilate us, but as my Gaius had fulfilled the repairing role this game, I managed to construct a new nuke and hand it over to the newly appointed Admiral who proceeded to

"Android Netrunner"

A failed Crisis card made all of us gang up on the Doc for being a traitor despite his pleas and shove him in the brig. . . . which turned out to be a big mistake as the real traitor was the pilot who hadn't been doing much useful in the second phase of the game. Turns out the Doc had failed to remember that he had given some Engineering cards to him in a previous turn and those cards were what screwed us over in a crisis. . . . .yeah that MIGHT have been useful information for the rest of us MAYBE!!!

However the second Cylon didn't have long to do any more damage by revealing himself as we all rallied to stick him in the Pegasus airlock and blast him out into space! Yay, we got to use the new airlock! That alone would make even a defeat worth it!

"Elder Sign"

With two of us stuck in the brig, the rest of us were struggling to keep the resources in check and we had not only a return of the ships, but also THREE centurions in formation heading through the ship. Finally however we ended up at a point where we needed one more jump to win the game and we only got that far due to my Engineering card testing the limits of the FTL drive. The Centurions were about to overrun the ship after my turn under the Cylon's control and I had one last action to save the day - Make The Jump!

"Blood Bowl: Team Manager"

The problem was, we had little to no population left and a failed jump result would mean a loss for the humans so I had to make this roll - yeah talk about tension, Gaius Baltar saving the day for the humans, who would have thought it as a BSG fan eh? With some card assistance the target was a 4+. Now if anyone knows my dice luck you know never to assume that probability falls my way! The dice rolls and up comes . . . . 4!! Loud cheers from the human side as the good guys take the game and even our Cylon Leader plays his last human allegiance card to win the game with us. Oh thanks for siding with me now, oh ye of little faith! Turned out he could have easily switched to Cylon if I rolled badly so his inclusion in our celebration was a hollow one!

"Gaius Baltar To The Rescue!!"

This game made me realise that with more players and the expansions, that there is potential here. I didn't like my first game of this but that was a very tense and fun game. Granted the downtime is a bit long but for a fair chunk of it you're involved in other activities so it's not as bad as die hard Euro's. It is also dependent on the group, you need a fun group that you get on well with to enjoy this game - I almost wouldn't recommend it for a game with people you've never met before. But when it works, it works really well and I look forward to the next game. . . . . please, please, please can I be a Cylon?

Other Games At The Event

Blood Bowl: Team Manager
Elder Sign
Android: Netrunner
Discworld




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