Mystic Vale Review - Here's Your Cardboard, You Can Finish The Rest!

We're starting to see a lot of cool tricks being performed with board games now. Slowly but surely the app is starting to come into its own with assisting our modern board games and I want to see more of it. However there are still some cool ideas being devised without the use of technology and I always like to try a new game where something innovative is brought to the table. Of course that doesn't always go well (cough cough, 504 ways to bore yourself), but it's still good to try.

Mystic Vale I've had my eye on for a while since hearing of its unique "Card Crafting System". A device which functions similarly to deck building except instead of adding more cards to a deck, you add more abilities to the cards within your deck. So the deck never changes size but each card you have gets more powerful and more interesting. That just sounds cool full stop and naturally it was a must to get this one played and reviewed. I don't expect greatness straight out the door for a new idea, but let's see if it has a solid introduction with room to expand.





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The Broken Meeple Top 100 - (10-1)

WE'RE FINALLY HERE!! This is the Top 10 of the Top 100 - my most favourite games! I'm sure you'll disagree with some and agree with others, that's cool, that's the beauty of these lists, but I hope that this Top 100 has given you some insight into the type of games I like and maybe even given you some ideas as to your next purchasing option. Enjoy!!



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The Broken Meeple - Top 100 - (20-11)

So close now!! So close! 20 more games to go and here I talk to you in great detail about my penultimate 20 through 11. All of these games are ones I adore and we haven't even hit the ultimate Top 10 yet. Hear me rave and rant as we edge ever closer to the finale.



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Android Netrunner - Blood Money

The whole economy is going to pot now with all the aftermath of the Titan servers going down. How are the Runner's and Corp dealing with everything? We're already on the second pack of the Flashpoint cycle - it's a bugbear to keep up sometimes! Can't wait for Arkham Horror LCG where I get to do this twice over!

To repeat a previous disclaimer, I'm a casual player that enjoys the game and can hold my own in a local store tournament despite having much to learn myself. That's all. Take that for what its worth, but maybe that will allow me to consider combos and ideas that will be fun to use rather than simply dismissing anything that doesn't make a Tier 1 level deck or whatever! So that being said, let's start. You can already check out my Android Netrunner review on my site. If you want to see all the images for each card, I recommend you visit netrunnerdb.com and use their search engine.




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The Broken Meeple Top 100 - (30-21)

3 episodes to go everyone!! 10 games per episode, we are getting into the cream of the crop of board games for me now, I love playing everything from this point, not that I don't like playing anything else on my Top 100, they're all games I highly enjoy. Do you agree with these games, would they make your Top 10, or should they be off this chart entirely? Let me know your feedback!



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Five Tribes: Thieves of Naqala Review - A Tiny Piece of Cutthroat Style

I hope this trend of release tiny expansions for a game doesn't get out of hand. The biggest example of this lately has been Dice City where we've already had two mini expansions released and a third one is on the short term horizon. The expansions so far have been cool, but charging nearly £15 per expansion seems a bit crazy for what you get content wise. At that price point I'd rather you saved them up for a big box expansion. Flip City was even worse recently with releasing a mini expansion that had two different cards in it.........TWO?!

But now Five Tribes, one of my Top 100, has taken this trend and released the Thieves of Naqala - which looks more like a promo pack you would buy off the BoardGameGeek website. It's a tiny little box with just a few cards, but still on the market for around a fiver. I'd be interested to know from you readers, do you think it's starting to get out of hand or are we still safe for the moment? So as short as this review will be, does this mini-pack add anything interesting to the mix?



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Broken Meeple Reviews - #8 - Food Chain Magnate

I would have loved to have left this one by the wayside, but noooooo this was one was requested by many who know my views on this and so I had to put a review up for this game, I feel like I'm being punished! It takes a very specific kind of gamer to enjoy something like this..........find out why I can't stand this overpriced Euro from Splotter Games.



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The Broken Meeple Top 100 - (45-31)

Continuing with the Top 100 in Part IV with my 45-31 - there are some seriously big titles in this section so let's see if you agree with my thoughts.



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Oh My Goods Review - So Close, Oh So Close!

Right, straight off the bat, stupid title. OK, got that one out of the way so we can ignore that now. Oh My Goods is a small filler that escaped my attention until being asked to review it, but it had three things going for it. The designer, Alexander Pfister is also the man who designed the wonderful Isle of Skye (guest blog review coming very soon, when my host hurries and publishes it!), which has been the centre of attention of several high profile awards recently. Mayfair/Lookout Games are also known for putting out some solid Euro's in the field of resource management and goods production. And Oh My Goods was marketed as a filler experience utilising that same theme. All very promising so far.

Some of my favourite Euro's that use this theme (Fields of Arle, Le Havre and Caverna for example) are so because I get a kick out of the gradual build up of your own personal creation, plus the thematic touches of focusing on certain trades just for the enjoyment factor. If I can be the butcher and concentrate on that all game, then I will and see what happens. Now you'll have noticed that the above three games mentioned are all Uwe Rosenberg titles who is currently my "king" of this genre. They're also meaty, heavy Euro's. So not only is this a different designer, but it's also a 30 minute filler game. Can it really re-create the same feeling in what those heavier titles provide in such a small box and time span?



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Eldritch Horror: Signs of Carcosa Review - Quicker Than You Can Say, Wooble!

More juicy cards for Eldritch Horror - what's not to like? If you want more cards, go buy it. There, end of review. . . . what you're still here? Alright, fine let's discuss this in more detail. First up, I'm actually more stoked about this expansion than most mainly because of the Ancient One involved. Hastur (or The Unspeakable One) is one who I like the back story of combined with the Yellow Sign and the King in Yellow, where unsuspecting individuals would come across a play and then become obsessed with the horrific other worldliness. It used to be a fun one to play against in the Arkham Horror board game where an additional timer was included in the form of Acts (like in a play) and if you got to Act III, you went mad and lost.

So I'm expecting to have a scenario here where my health is generally not an issue, but sanity on the other hand will drop for me quicker than during a game of Kingdom Builder. I tend to win my games of Eldritch Horror, but if anyone dies it tends to be from death instead of madness so I welcome a potential change to the formula. Let's see what this small box expansion delivers.



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The Broken Meeple Top 100 - (60-46)

And we continue with Part III of VII in my Top 100 - some great games to mention, there has to be at least one you all like!!

I apologise in advance though for the slightly softer voice tone throughout - I'm currently in my temporary lodger accommodation and I didn't want to disturb the landlords too much! :P Next time I'll wait for a moment when I've got the house to myself! :D



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Via Nebula Review - Give Me Back My Pig!

Martin Wallace isn't the first designer I look for when checking out new games. A lot of his games from history haven't impressed me or enticed me to even try them out. Steam and Brass - just looking at these on a table sucks away the excitement of wanting to dig deeper into them. Discworld and Mythotopia - played both and they're extremely "meh". Study In Emerald, how dare you do that to my beloved Lovecraftian immersive experience?

It's not that his games are super-dry or anything, some of them are, but others have some theme to them, they just don't tend to have much excitement for me or are based on themes that are outside of my comfort zone for interest. Trains, 19th century war times and industrial age trading, already falling asleep, these settings don't grab me, but there's a clear dedicated audience for them and that's why he's a popular and respected designer.

So Via Nebula arrives out of the blue, naturally I wasn't expecting it as I wasn't looking for it to begin with. I see his name along with Space Cowboys, a publisher who despite some rulebook issues is knocking out some quality games lately, which is a first for this team-up. But I'm also greeted with super colourful artwork, a scary looking Hobbit lady in a weird get-up and a cute little adorable piggy (What? I like cute animals), all next to a name "Via Nebula" which tells me nothing about what the game is about. What on earth am I going to find here?



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The Broken Meeple Top 100 - (80-61)

Continuing on from Part I, I now talk about the next twenty great games on my Top 100! The closer we get to the top half the better the games, are there any on this list you like more or less?



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The Broken Meeple Top 100 - (100-81)

3 years of running the Broken Meeple, wow has it been that long? So much has changed in that time, how I write, how the podcast has developed, how I had to put YouTube on hold, my attendance at conventions and my association with distributors, publishers and The Dice Tower. It's all great fun and I look forward to future times as I try to grow the Broken Meeple and improve it as a service to all of you.

Currently I'm in my "temporary transition" period. I'm moving out of my flat on Saturday to short-term accomodation until my future house is fully ready in September. From that point once I'm settled and Essen is over, I'll be looking to crowdfund/Kickstart a new season of podcasts, reviews and with your help, hopefully videos with updated equipment and a new quieter location where I'm not held back by annoying headsets, outside traffic noise and lack of space.

But while I'm in limbo, reviews will still continue on for that period, I've got plenty coming as well as audio reviews from time to time. But as a treat, as I will do every year, to mark the anniversary of the Broken Meeple, I will be giving you my Top 100 Games of all time. Last year it was only 75, from now on it's 100! Throughout August I'll crack on with 7 special episodes showcasing 100 great games starting now with 100 through 81.



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Android Netrunner - 23 Seconds

Well if you're were only just reeling from the impact that the Mumbad cycle had on the Netrunner meta, wait till you get a load of the new Flashpoint cycle (interesting name, perhaps they're as excited as I am for Flash Season 3)? No deluxe box, just straight into another cycle of cards. Opening up with the cool premise that Titan bank servers went down for 23 seconds, which in real time is nothing, but in cyberspace it's a colossal amount of time for everything within those servers to be opened up for Runners. In the midst of all the chaos, the Corp is stepping up their game.

To repeat a previous disclaimer, I'm a casual player that enjoys the game and can hold my own in a local store tournament despite having much to learn myself. That's all. Take that for what its worth, but maybe that will allow me to consider combos and ideas that will be fun to use rather than simply dismissing anything that doesn't make a Tier 1 level deck or whatever! So that being said, let's start. You can already check out my Android Netrunner review on my site. If you want to see all the images for each card, I recommend you visit netrunnerdb.com and use their search engine.




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