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Category Archives: Overview

Overview of a game or game session

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.

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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.

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The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game is another game we backed on Kickstarter (Kickstarter campaign).

It is a quick (< 30 minutes) co-op game where Harry Dresden (the protagonist of the Dresden Files book series, by Jim Butcher) and his friends/allies defeat various fiends, overcome obstacles, take advantages, and solve cases.

In game play terms, one person is Harry Dresden, and then everyone else picks who they like. However, in a 2 player game, each player takes 2 characters, but then shuffles those 2 decks together (a la Smash Up). Harry decides who goes first, at which point the game is afoot!

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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.

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A while back we backed the Game Anywhere Table on by Transforming Designs. Like most kickstarters, it did not make its anticipated delivery date (Dec 2016). There were a few delays, during which they made some upgrades and tweaks (all of which were VERY well communicated); they are on target to have delivery complete for the tables by end of July (accessories are a different story) and are working on a larger one.

I’ll cut right to the chase: this table is great for gaming on. Being able to fold it up and put it away when not in use is also great. It means we have a designated table for games, without it taking up a lot of space.

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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:
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Friends of mine were getting married, and even though they had a small ceremony, we wanted to get them something. They have a young daughter, so we thought we’d get them a family game. We considered Best Treehouse Ever, but it was out of stock on Amazon. I did some searching and stumbled upon the Family Pastimes games. They’re cooperative games with rules for 5-7 years old, 7-12 years old, and 12+. We really like cooperative games, but there aren’t many that are for younger age groups. I ordered one game for them, and put Ogres and Elves on my wishlist. Then Christmas came around, and Ogres and Elves was one of my gifts. I had completely forgotten about it!

First of all, it’s not exactly quality craftsmanship. The board doesn’t lay quite flat and the pieces are cheap cardboard. If that’s the sort of thing that’s going to bother you, just skip this one. I wasn’t thrilled when I was punching out the tokens (several stuck), but I still wanted to play the game.

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We have a problem. We own a lot of games (some might say too many), and despite having a limited amount of room, we keep buying more games! We’ve reorganized several times because you can only stack games so high before it becomes a serious hazard. The more classic games (like Sorry!) that we’re more likely to play when our son gets older have been put into totes in the garage, and games we rarely play are tucked out of sight in the hard-to-get-to cabinet.

It wasn’t enough.

Then we found Bit Boxes on Kickstarter, and it looked like the perfect solution.

As most game enthusiasts know, a board game box is designed to accommodate the size of the board. This means there’s often a lot of wasted space in the box. In fact very few games utilize all of the box space. This means games often take up a lot of space on our shelves, cabinets, and closets. Too much space, really. Bit Boxes help solve that problem.

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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.

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This is the sixth in a seven part series on superhero games. In this entry I’ll discuss Sentinels of the Multiverse plus expansions.

Sentinels is another favorite of ours, and once again we have a lot of expansions:

  1. Rook City
  2. Infernal Relics
  3. Shattered Timelines
  4. Wrath of the Cosmos
  5. Vengeance
  6. Villains of the Multiverse

We also have several mini-expansions: Celestial Tribunal, Final Wasteland, Omnitron IV, Silver Gulch, Guise, Scholar, Unity, Ambuscade, Checkpoint, Miss Information, and Wager Master.

In this card game you choose a Hero and you’ll play with that deck throughout the game. We usually play a two player game, so we each choose two decks. You also choose a Villain Deck and Environment Deck. The Villain goes first, then the Heroes, and finally the Environment. As you turn over or play cards, you follow the instructions on the card.
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