Skip navigation

Category Archives: Competitive

Competitive Game

Llamas have become sort of a thing in our house because of a hilarious road trip incident. As we were driving to a convention, Professor asked if Space Cat and I had read the new rules.

He said, “They aren’t allowing llamas!”

He interrupted his own sentence to point out llamas in a field beside the road, but we took the sentence as you see it above, stating our disbelief that they wouldn’t be allowing llamas. This occurred near the beginning of the trip, so we had mostly forgotten about it by the time we arrived at the con.

Then we walked into the dealer’s hall.

Read More »

Lanterns is a tile placement game. The starting Lake Tile is placed in the center of the table with the red side facing the first player. 7 different colored Lantern Cards are separated into stacks and placed off to the side; the Favor Tokens are also set aside; Dedication Tokens are separated into 3 stacks by type and set aside; the Lake Tiles are stacked to create a draw pile. Each player then draws 3 Lake Tiles. Players then receive Lantern Cards matching the color that’s facing them on the starting Lake Tile. First player will get a red Lantern Card.

There’s also a little boat token which can either be given to the first player or used to mark the last tile played to help with distributing Lantern Cards.

Each turn players will place Lake Tiles and gather Lantern Cards. As long as there are cards of the color available, everyone will receive at least one card beginning with the active player. If a stack of Lantern Cards runs out, players who would have received that color, receive nothing.

Read More »

Qwirkle is an easy family game. Everyone gets 6 tiles, and you take turns laying them on the board. A line (horizontal or vertical) can be by color or shape. So a completed line or Qwirkle can be 6 green shapes (each shape must be different) or 6 squares of the same shape in the 6 different colors. You cannot repeat a color in a shape line. You cannot repeat a shape in a color line. That’s the most important thing to remember.

When you take your turn, you can only play in one direction (horizontal or vertical), but you can play as many tiles as you want/can in that direction. You then replenish your tiles from the tile bag.

If you don’t have any moves (perhaps the player before you took your move), or don’t want to make any moves, you can trade in 1-6 tiles. Hopefully your new tiles will be more useful.

Read More »

Several years ago my husband and I stumbled upon Kooky Kalooki while we were out shopping. It says it’s a Jamaican card game, and since his mom is from Jamaica, we thought it would be a great gift for her. Despite never having heard of the game before, his mom quickly became the expert (9 times out of 10, she wins).

If you’ve ever played Phase 10, it’s a little like that, but more complicated. Everyone starts on Round 1, so everyone is dealt 9 cards and is trying to get 3 sets (more on sets later). If I’m the only one who gets 3 sets, I move on to Round 2 and get 10 cards for my next hand while everyone else is still on Round 1. So once you play a few hands, you can all be working towards different goals (the tricky part for whoever is dealing is remembering how many cards everyone gets). Now, in the rules you’re supposed to play 9 rounds or to a certain amount of points, but we play until someone completes Round 9. The way we play always takes longer.

For each Round you need a certain number of sets and/or runs:
Read More »

Our board game collection takes up a serious amount of space. Most game boxes have an excessive amount of empty space inside (aka “slack fill”). Regardless of the reason (plastic/cardboard trays are the usual culprit), the wasted space makes the boxes bigger. It is also rare that the publisher leaves room for expansions, which means that you have your original game box, and each expansion. For our 7 wonders collection, this was a large stack of boxes. It also meant that when we wanted to play 7 Wonders, we had to get all the boxes, open each up and collect the various cards and extra bits from each one, creating a lengthy setup (and tear down) process.

Enter the The Broken Token Organizer for 7 Wonders (aka the Wondrous Organizer).

Read More »

This is the final entry in a seven part series on superhero games. This entry is about X-Men Under Siege.

This is a board game from the 90s, so it has that “classic” feel to it. There are 18 figurines of the different characters to choose from, and each character also has a small board listing Fighting Skill, Durability, and Intelligence and special abilities. The Fighting Skill number tells you how many dice you get to roll in a fight, Durability is how many dice you can roll to remove Hits from your character, and Intelligence determines how many cards you can have (total Intelligence of your 2 smartest characters). You begin the game with 2 characters with the chance of getting a third.

The board consists of 6 levels of the Mansion, and each level has a certain number of rooms to explore. Along one side of the board is a number line which is used for battles. You play cards to move your characters to different levels and rooms to explore. Each room has a small square which you flip over during exploration. If the square is blank, nothing happens (you keep the square since it’s worth points later). If the square says “X-Men” you get an additional character (if you don’t yet have 3). If the square says “Evil Mutant” you flip over an Evil Mutant (EM) card. You place the small square at the bottom of the number line and the level marker to the number indicated on the EM card. Some of the numbers have a red blood mark on them. If you lower the EM’s HP to or past that number, you receive a token (worth points later). When you defeat the EM, you keep the EM card (worth points later). If you manage to clear enough rooms (the level indicates how many), you have cleared that level and get the level marker (worth points later) along with any remaining room tokens. Each room square, blood token, EM card, and level marker is worth 1 point at the end of the game, and the player with the most points wins.

Read More »

This is the fifth in a seven part series on superhero games. In this entry, I’ll discuss Legendary plus a bunch of its expansions.

Legendary is our favorite deck building game, which explains why we have so many expansions:

  1. Captain America 75th Anniversary
  2. Dark City
  3. Fantastic Four
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Paint the Town Red
  6. Secret Wars 1

Professor and I play this game quite a bit, so I’ll just explain the 2 player set up. You choose 5 Heroes (each has a 14 card deck) and shuffle them together to create the 70 card Hero Deck. Each Hero has at least one icon on the card indicating the Hero Type. This is important to look at when you’re choosing your Heroes because if Iron Man is the only Tech Type Hero you have, it’s going to be difficult to use some of his special abilities. Also, some Villains and Masterminds attack you unless you have a certain class of Hero or a Hero on a certain team (like Avengers).

You choose your Mastermind and Scheme, which will tell you what has to be in your Villain Deck (Villain Groups, Henchmen Groups, Bystanders, Scheme Twists, and Master Strikes). The Mastermind plus its 4 Mastermind Tactic cards and the Scheme card go in their indicated locations on the board. The rest of the “villain” cards are shuffled together to create the Villain Deck. There’s also places on the board for the rest of the Bystanders, Wounds (30 in the base), and SHIELD Officer Maria Hill (30). Each player gets a 12 card starting deck (8 SHIELD Agents and 4 SHIELD Troopers).

Read More »

This is the third in a seven part series on superhero games. Today’s entry is on Dice Masters.

To start with, we have 5 starter packs:

  1. Uncanny X-Men
  2. Avengers vs X-Men
  3. Justice League
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man
  5. Age of Ultron

And we’ve bought a lot of booster packs which give you more Character cards and dice.

Each starter set is basically the same. You get three different types of dice: Basic Action, Character, and Sidekick. You also get three different types of cards: Character, Basic Action, and Color Reminder. Finally, you get two dice bags which are okay.

You decide which three Basic Action cards you want to play with (they give you extra abilities during the game), then assign those card to three different colors (like Blue, Pink, and Green). You then place three dice of the same color on each of the cards. During the game you can buy these colored dice which then give you the chance to use the ability on the Basic Action card.

Each player gets 8 white Sidekick dice which go into your dice bag.

Read More »

I was pretty excited about this game. It’s like One Night Ultimate Werewolf (ONUW), but there are a few interesting differences.

In this game each player makes their “secret” move in turn which can make it harder to figure out who’s who. However, once everyone has made their move, you take an identity token from the middle of the table. You can either be truthful or take the “wrong” token. It can be risky taking a different token than your actual identity because that tells at least one other player that you’re lying.

The game says you only need 3 people to play, but I would recommend playing with a lot more people. We played with 4, and it felt like we couldn’t really bring out the intrigue. It basically became “you’re lying”, “no I’m not” with the other two players deciding who was more believable. So you could tell when it was time to vote who was going to die.

I think that with more people, you could have more accusations and discussions, and I hope we get to play with a larger group to get a better feel for the game.


This is the second in a seven part series on superhero games. Today’s entry is on the DC deck building game, the expansion Crisis (pack 1), and Heroes Unite.

First the base game.

In this deck building game, you get a Super Hero card. These cards are larger than the other cards and give you a special ability to use during the game. For example, Aquaman lets you put any cards with cost 5 or less you buy or gain during your turn on top of your deck. So Aquaman doesn’t suck.

During your turn, you use the Power indicated on your cards to buy other cards/defeat Super-Villains. In the beginning you don’t have a lot of Power because all you have are Punch cards (+1 Power), but as you build your deck, you become more powerful. Also cards you gain might have special text on them which can allow you to pull off some nice combos. It can be important to have cards with Defense capabilities because some of the attacks can be pretty rough.

This is a semi-co-op game. The goal is to defeat all the villains in the Super-Villain stack, so in that respect you’re working with your fellow players. During the game you can add villains to your deck, and some of these cards attack your fellow players. Also, at the end of the game, each card has a victory point value, and the player with the most victory points is the winner. So in that respect you’re also fighting against each other.

Now the expansions.
Read More »