Tuesday, 5 July 2016

10x10 Update

Update:
We decided to have a bit of a shuffle after getting some new games at the Expo.

Ice cool, Zombiecide Black Plague and Imhotep are in. Along with two of David’s current favourites Legendary and Village.


Exodus: Proxima Centauri , Stronghold, Roll For The Galaxy ,Flick Um Up and Five Tribes are out. There is nothing wrong with these games in fact Flick Um Up is fab and I love Roll for the Galaxy but we wanted to get some games to the table multiple times based on current plays. Imhotep and legendary were at the top of the list for this.

This has set us back a little bit but allowed us to mix up the games with some fresh ones. 

We now need to crack on and play some more games. 




Sunday, 3 July 2016

Imps Devilish Duels

Time to play: 20 minutes.
Players: 2 players
Suggested age: 14+
Price: £15 (On Kickstarter)
This is a review of a promotional copy kindly sent to us by Triple Ace Games. 
Diolch yn fawr.

Mike: It’s so nice to see another game land on our doorstep from Triple Ace Games. If you have read our previous reviews you will see we have a fond love for their games. (Halfling Feast & Cadaver
Like their other releases Imps is quick to set up and play typically takes around 20 minutes for a full game.

Imps is a Dice and card battle game with each player controlling four imps each. Each imp is aligned with and element and has a mischief effect and you can choose any combination of imps to battle your opponent.

At the start of the game in addition to the four imps players also take 2 of each colour dice which represents Earth, Fire, Water and Air. These 8 dice and 4 imps form your pool. When you roll the dice and play imps these are in play. Any time an Imp or dice is banished these are put to the side and out of the game.



David: In Imps the goal of the game is to banish all of your opponent’s imps by winning elemental trials.

For our first few games, we randomly drew one imp of each element as we didn’t know what would work best. After a few plays, we then picked imps based on how we like to play.




Mike: That’s a good point David as its key to winning. Some Imps work well together and there are some strong combinations. Part of the fun of the game is exploring the different combinations and finding one that works for you. One thing the rules doesn’t cover is how to draft these Imps at the start of the game. Both players may both want the same imp. You could alternate or make up a draft rule for this.

David: The imp’s mischief powers are very important they let you change the game. For example, they will let you re-roll dice, add points to the dice, reorder trials and steal opponents dice.

Once you have chosen your imps you can start. Players chose to roll 4 dice from their pool. You then choose 1 or 2 imps to play and can re-roll up to 2 of your 4 dice. Once this is done players place their dice in play and take part in the elemental trials.



Mike: The trials play in order (Earth, Fire, Water and Air) unless an imp’s mischief changes this. Winners are determined by comparing dice scores if there is a draw nothing happens if one player is higher they win. If you win by double or greater than your opponent’s score you will double win and gain a greater benefit.



David: My favourite imp is Spark as she lets me move a red dice in play to another trial. By doing this I can double win on fire and remove opponents in play dice and return it to their pool. This can help you win an air trial and banish an imp.



Mike: I like Pebble she stops you losing your dice this can be very useful.
It’s those little combos with the imps that you have to look for and work to your advantage. This is what I have come to love most about the games Triple Ace Games make.

On the surface, they look simple and quick to play but there are enough depth and strategy in them to make you want to go back for more. With them being easy to set up and quick to play you can try lots of different combinations and strategies.

I love head to head 2 player games especially when you can adapt the game to your own style. David and I have really enjoyed this and as always it was a pleasure to play.

Imps Devilish Duels is available to back on Kickstarter now (Until July 25th)

Check it out and if you decide to back take a look at adding Rocket Race to your pledge it’s our favourite of the Triple Ace Games collection.

We wish Triple Ace Games all the best with the campaign and I’m sure they will fund with another quality game.


Sunday, 26 June 2016

In A Bind

Time to play: 15 minutes.
Players: 3-10 players
Price: £10 Approx.

Mike: Firstly can I say big thanks to Bez @stuffbybez for a review copy of his game In A Bind and the expansion pack.

So what is In a Bind? The rules are simple you draw a card, read it aloud and obey the instruction.

These instructions stack over the game and you must obey them all or you are out. That basically is the game. It’s been a while since I have played a game so simple to explain and get going in minutes.

David: Yes, I have played this with my family and friends and it is very easy to teach. Some cards are harder than others and might be too difficult for younger players. You can easily take these out though and customise the deck. 

You can also play this easily with 2 players or even on your own as a challenge to how many cards you can complete without failing.

Mike: It is easy to customise the rules and the game to fit your group. As I mentioned earlier it is designed as a knockout game. 
Every turn you will take a card and if at any point you fail to adhere to all the commands on your cards you are out.


Get your camera at the ready when playing this game it often results in some odd yet comedic poses.




Let's get David to give us an example.

David: Why me?

Mike: Because you’re younger and better at this game than me.

So on his first turn, David draws left palm face down.


Then on his next turn, he draws left wrist bent making sure he obeys left palm face down.


On the 3rd card, he has this card touching pinky.


On his 4th turn, he has right pinky touching nothing.



As he has placed the last card touching his right pinky he must switch it to the other hand has he did this he dropped the card and was out.
David: I can’t believe I did that. I have had better runs than that, my personal best is 8 cards.

Mike: I don’t think I have ever got past 6 without struggling. (Hint some of the cards are a bit easier if you wear glasses).
You may have remembered we mentioned we had the expansion as well. This makes the game a lot harder but equally as fun.

The expansion adds three different modules. Wildcards, Triggered Binds and Communal Binds.



Wildcards have a word omitted like “One Finger Touching What?” The player to the right of the player who picks up the card fills in the blank. So it could be touching your nose, your left knee or something else (keep it clean hehe)

Triggered Binds require the player to do something whenever anyone draws a card and Communal binds effect everyone playing and are left face up in the centre of the table.

David: Some of these cards are so difficult. Trying to kiss the back of your hand whilst balancing cards on your elbow for example.

Mike: But so funny to watch! So as you can probably guess we have had great fun with In a Bind.



When people wonder why football is so popular it’s not hard to see why. Place a ball in a group of kids and adults and within seconds a game is going. In A Bind falls into this category for me. I have played it with a few groups and as soon as one game ends we are setting up another.

Do we recommend it? Yes but there are some exceptions. The game does involve a bit of bending, twisting and stretching so requires a bit of physical dexterity. This can also be played with younger children 5+ but you will need to remove some of the more challenging cards from the deck as it will be very frustrating for them.

It’s a great game for work and team events as it has a twister like feel but without the invasion of others personal space. There are also some variants in the rules that allow for team play.

David: I’m a big fan of dexterity based games. I love how quick they play and everyone can have a go. This one is fantastic as you don’t need a board or a table for setup so you can play it anywhere.

Also, Dad likes it and he isn’t a big a fan of dexterity games as I am (as I normally beat him). So I agree and will recommend this to my friends in school as well. It’s sitting on the top of the list for our favourite filler games and getting a lot of plays. We look forward to seeing more of Bez's games in the future.


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A Proud Moment........

David and I have had a busy last few weeks. We have been off on holiday and had a lot of work/school work to do. We had a great time at Table Top Day and in a few days, we are off to the UK games expo. It's our first time at the Expo and we are in awe of just how much there is to do.

I wanted to post today though not about board games but about the achievement David has been working so hard for and one of the reasons we have been away from the site.

A few weeks ago David got his Black Belt in Taekwondo. David started training when he was 4 years old and has put a lot of time and effort in to obtain his goal. Even I have learnt some Korean when helping him revise.

I cannot express how proud I am and hope he continues to train and help his little sister become the next ninja.

Well done David.



Monday, 9 May 2016

Looney Quest: The Lost City

Time to play: 20 minutes.
Players: 2-5 players
Suggested age: 8+
Price: £11.99 RRP

Mike: A big thank you to Esdevium Games for our review copy. You can find your nearest game store using their handy store locator.

A year ago we reviewed the crazy Loony Quest. In Short we absolutely loved it. You can read our review here.

It’s been a firm family favourite of ours. This game works so well due to how accessible it is. Mostly because there are very few rules to learn and it’s a joy to pick up and play.

Imagine our delight when we found out there was an expansion. We like expansions.

The Lost City takes place after the Arkadia championship in Looney Quest. The contestants have been captured by Vadoor - King Fedoor’s exiled evil brother. You play the adventures trying to flee their captors and protect Arkadia.

David: Yes it’s nice when an expansion adds something new this one adds a 3D pyramid spaceship!



I was hoping for some more levels as we have played the original quite a bit now. The new worlds added are Pirate, Nautilus, Abyssal, Spectra and Vortex. Spectra is the world that uses the 3D pyramid and it’s very difficult.

Mike: The Pyramid levels are the best of the additions however they are very challenging especially for younger players. 

The game also adds two new tokens a new bonus where you can place an x on your marker board before you play as a guide. There is a new curse penalty which if drawn makes you draw an additional 2 penalty tokens.



Personally, I thought there could have been a few more bonuses and penalty tokens but what we really want are the new worlds.

David: I agree and the new worlds are awesome they have portals lasers and secret passages. These worlds are a lot harder than the worlds in the core set. This really is an expansion to play after you have mastered the first set of levels.

Mike: But it’s that extra challenge that keeps you coming back for more. As expansions go it doesn’t look like a lot. You then realise how tight some of the levels are and how much replay value you will get.

To give you an example of how difficult it is this is the boss from world 11 Spectra.



Now you need to make 4 lines starting from the gun in the lower right corner and ending up on one of the four green containers on his back and head.
Oh, and you also need to circle the two rockets he has shot at you. Easy yeah!
Now try it with this pyramid on top. Now you get why it’s so difficult.


This was my attempt and I had to do it with one eye closed as well that’s the penalty token I have in the picture.



Again as we mentioned in our first review watching your family attempt these challenges with an eye closed and using their other hand to draw results in some hilarious attempts.
If you own the original you can’t go wrong by purchasing this and increasing the longevity of this awesome filler game. The only thing I didn’t like was how flimsy the 3D Pyramid was after a fair few plays I can see it breaking it’s not very strong.

David: Totally agree, fully recommended by Board Know More.


Monday, 11 April 2016

A Year has passed ......

What a year we have had. We started our blog a year ago today on 11th April 2015.
Today we publish our 7th Podcast and take a look back at our 1st year of blogging.
A big thank you to everyone who has supported us and given us advice over the year.

Jamie @ Geeks in Wales for his links to our site on his articles and Twitter feed.

Tinkerbot games for interviewing us on their podcast, letting us play Ghostel and their continued support.

Triple Ace games for a review copy of Cadaver.

Rattlebox Games for a review copy of Cromlech.

Esdevium Games for review copies of games sent to us over the last few months.

A huge thanks to all our viewers and listeners as well.

Mike & David.







               

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Raptor

Time to play: 25 minutes.
Players: 2 players
Suggested age: 9+
Price: £22.99 (RRP)

Mike: A big thank you to Esdevium Games for our review copy. You can find your nearest game store using their handy store locator.

Raptor is a 2 player asymmetrical game where one player is a team of scientists the other a mother raptor and her babies.

The scientists win the game if they sedate the mother raptor or capture 3 of her babies.
The raptor wins if there are no more scientists on the board or if 3 of her babies escape from the board.

At the start of the game, the modular board is set up with 6 double sided tiles (either jungle or savannah). At the end of either side, there are 2 L-shaped tiles. These are the starting points for the scientists and where the baby raptors will try to escape.

Each player takes a deck of 9 action cards, a player aid and their playing pieces.

David: The miniatures are a really good each of the 10 scientists is different and the raptor looks awesome in its striking pose.

Clever girl.


The raptor player places the mother raptor in one of the 2 central tiles and then one of the babies in each of the other tiles. The scientist player then places one scientist on each of the 4 L-shaped tiles. The other 6 scientists are held in reserve.



Each player when shuffles their action cards and draws 3. Then we are ready to play.

Mike:  Each player chooses one of the three cards they have in their hand and places it face down. Both cards are revealed simultaneously.

The player that played the lower value goes first and plays the action on the played card. Then the other player will spend action points equal to the difference between the values on the two cards.

 For example:

The Raptor will use its Disappear and Observe action. The scientist gets 3 action points.


This is a simple yet very clever mechanic and requires you to think about your options each turn. Do you try and play a low card to get the action you want but risk giving a lot of action points to the other player? There is a lot of strategies here and it gives to some exciting turns where you try and predict what the other player will do.

The card actions can be quite powerful. For example, the scientist can light fires that block the raptor and its babies from moving use correctly this can really help you out. The raptor has a card ability that allows it to remove the mother from the board then after the scientist has used up their actions points place her back anywhere on a free space. This same card also lets the raptor player see what the scientist will play next. This is a very powerful card for the raptor to use.

The 9 value cards have no action.


David: Yes if the raptor gets a lot of action points early on she can do a lot of damage to the scientists. The raptor player has an advantage in the early game. Once the scientists start bringing in reinforcements it can be tricky for the raptor player to cover the board.

Mike: I agree, it is in the raptors best interest to get out and attack early on and try and make a dent in the scientists progress.

The scientist has some options with their action points. They can move, shoot the mother, put a baby raptor to sleep or capture a sleeping baby raptor.

Each turn the raptor can move, attack a scientist, put out fires with her tail, wake up sleeping babies or use action points to move babies towards the exit.

David: It’s a lot trickier than it looks to shoot that mother raptor and you need to be sure you want to as next turn she could charge at you and eat you. The game is a lot of fun and doesn’t take long to learn.

Mike: The games we played were around 15 to 30 minutes and requires very little time to reset after a play. This is great as it allowed us to get a few games back to back, switch sides and try out different board layouts.

It is a bit more of a challenge playing as the raptors as you do have to give some careful consideration to the cards you play and your moves. It can be a bit more forgiving for the scientist player as you have a few more resources to work with. I think this is something to keep in mind when playing with younger players. They may want to play with the cool dinosaurs and who wouldn’t but it can be a bit harder to master.

There is something that entices me about 2 player only games. There are some great ones out there at the moment and for me, this is up there as one of my favourites. It is fun, challenging and has just the right amount of luck with card draw against strategic thinking.



David: If you like chess style games I think you will like this. You have to plan your moves ahead and think about each turn and the next. Especially if you are the raptor. I like that the tiles are double sided as well so there is a lot of different ways you can set up the board.

I agree this is one of the best 2 player games we own. It is very easy to set up and play and with the quick time for a game, it’s a great filler to play before we play a bigger game.

Mike: Do we recommend it?

Sure this is a very well thought out strategic game that kept us coming back for more. The theme is excellent and it’s presented very well. The imbalance between the 2 sides may put some players off but I think it adds to its charm.

So two big raptor claws up from us at Board Know More.