Sunday, 22 November 2015

Cadaver

Time to play: 30 minutes.
Players: 2-3 Players (second deck allows 2-6)
Suggested age: 13+
Price: £10 approx. – On Kickstarter (23/11/15)

This is a review of a promotional copy kindly sent to us by Triple Ace Games.
Diolch yn fawr.

Mike: In Cadaver you are playing as a necromancer attempting to reanimate a series of cadavers. You do this by using arcane resources with the help of the diabolical accomplices.

The game supports 2-3 players but this can be increased to 6 with an additional deck.


At the start of the game you will remove 2 of each resource card from the deck and place them in the centre of the table. The deck is then shuffled and each player is given 5 cards.

The player who is closest to death starts first. That has to be one of the darker ways to decide first player I have seen. I do love these creative ways on deciding a first player.

On your turn you have three phases laying, drawing and trading. You can lay up to two cards from your hand or discard. The cards you can lay are Corpses, resources, accomplices, ghouls, coffin lids and coffin keys.


Corpses are what you need to win and how you score points. When you lay a corpse on the table it will have three resource symbols on it. You need to also lay resources on the corpse to score it. So it is impossible to play and score a corpse on the same turn.

Resources – there are brains, potions and scrolls. These resources are needed to raise the corpses.

Accomplices – During the drawing phase you can draw a resource from the resource pile instead of drawing from the deck. You can draw a resource that matches the one the accomplice is holding.

Ghouls are nasty. When you lay a Ghoul you can take an accomplice or a corpse from your opponent and place it in front of you. These cards can quickly change the direction of a game and really spice things up.

Coffin lids are used to block opponents. For example you can see your opponent needing potions to score his corpse. You can block it by placing a coffin lid on the potion resource pile. The only way this can now be used is if it is unlocked by using a coffin key.

David: Also there is only two of each accomplice so this means in a three player game you might not be able to get the accomplice you need. The coffin lids can also be nasty as you can really cause some problems. Sometimes you lock a resource and then need it yourself a bit later on.

The Ghoul cards are great to play if your opponent has 2 resources on a corpse. You can steal it and score it in one turn if you have the last resource required. This can be a great way of getting a few sneaky points.

Mike: It’s so frustrating when that happens. Good point about the accomplices. We noticed there were only 2 accomplices when we played a 3 player game. We decided to make the same rule in a 2 player game and removed 1 of each of the accomplices to make it a bit harder. This increased the difficulty and made you think about how you use the Ghoul cards.




So back to the turn phases. Once you have finished laying cards you draw back up to five cards from the deck or resource pile if you have the right accomplice.

At the end of the drawing phase is the trading phase. You can trade with another player as long as they agree. This doesn’t happen much if at all in 2 player games but can be crucial phase of the game with more players where resources may be a bit scarcer.

Play continues with each player taking a turn until the final card is drawn from the deck. Players then have one turn each remaining. After this players organise there corpses into sets for scoring.

David: You can only use a card once in each set.
A set of three different corpses is worth 7 points.
A set of three of the same is worth 5.
The abomination corpse is worth 3 and a single corpse is worth 1.

It is very simple to score and makes it easier to teach others how to play. I would feel comfortable teaching my friends this in school.

Mike: Another great little filler game from Triple Ace Games. Their games are light and as David has already mentioned easy to teach. They have quickly become our go to games to take out and about.
It easy to see why. Cadaver is simply a pack of cards, no counters or board. This makes it a great choice to take out for example to play whilst waiting at a restaurant.

I mentioned the same with Halfling feast but I believe the suggested age higher than what I would suggest. I know there is a theme of necromancy and corpses here but if your child is into books and films like Harry Potter they will love this. I would suggest 8/9+.

David: The artwork is not gory or scary so is fine for younger players. I really like the art style and its nice not having any text on the cards so you can see the full picture. Not having the text on the cards makes it easier for younger players to pick up and play.

Mike: We had great fun playing this its another hit in our house. We wish Triple Ace Games all the best on their Kickstarter campaign with another great family game.

You can back it from 23rd November.





Monday, 9 November 2015

Cromlech

Time to play: 20-30 minutes per player.
Players: 2-4 Players
Suggested age: 14+
Price: TBC – Kickstarter.

This is a review of a prototype copy kindly sent to us by Rattlebox Games.
Diolch yn fawr.


Mike: In Cromlech 2-4 players fight for their faction’s glory as druids. The druids build stone circles (Cromlech’s) and use elemental powers to defend these circles and attack the other druids.
The game is played over 3 rounds (years) that comprise of 4 turns (seasons).
At the end of these 12 turns the player who has done the most damage to their opponent wins.
In year one you build up the inner ring of stones using a drafting mechanic. Players take it in turns to choose from a selection of 2 stones in the middle of the table.
This continues until there is a circle created like the one in the picture below.


You then select a druid from a choice of four.
Each druid specialises in one element (Fire,Air,Earth,Water). It is important you choose a druid that complements the strategy you wish to play.




David: Well the first thing that caught my eye was the theme. I like games that have a medieval theme. The game is a dice building game and has quite a bit of strategy. In the beginning I was rolling earth and fire which give you a higher chance of attack. I should have been rolling water and air which will give defensive bonuses for later on in the game.



Mike: Yeah duelling druids is a new one for me I don’t think we have a game like this in our collection.
I wouldn’t put this in the class of an entry level game there is quite a bit to learn and it took us a few games to get comfortable with the rules.
For example you have to take into account what druid your opponent has when attacking as you can only damage an opposing element. Fire and Air oppose earth and water. So a fire attack will not hurt a Fire/Air druid.
Also when you are attacking your opponent’s stones there is a table of what elements you need to combine.



This does mean it might be a bit tricky for younger players to pick up. I guess it largely depends on their gaming experience.




David: The re rolling and attacking using dice reminds me of King of Tokyo. With the lintels giving you additional dice powers like the power ups you can buy in the game.

It’s more strategic than King of Tokyo though and feels a bit like Dice Masters in the way you have to pick your dice to play with. I really enjoyed our games and would like to play a few more times to improve my strategy. I can’t wait to see what the final game looks like.


Mike: It certainly plays well we had some very close games. Something that shows the mark of a well-balanced game. I really like the Celtic theme and the fine balance of luck and strategy. It has been a pleasure to play and we can’t wait to see how the final product will turn out.

As we write this Cromlech still has just under a week left on its Kickstarter Campaign.
We wish it well and hope it funds as it’s a great game with a lot of depth.
Da Iawn Rattlebox. Keep up the good work.

Also to see it in action check out this play through by Rattlebox games.