Tuesday, 5 July 2016

10x10 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


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.

Monday, 22 February 2016


Time to play: 15 minutes.
Players: 3-6 players
Suggested age: 8+
Price: £16.99 (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.

Crossing is a bluffing/party game. You play as fairy folk trying to claim life stones or filch them off other players. The aim of the game is to collect and make sets of these life stones.

At the start of the game, everyone picks a character card and places it in front of them. Then a number of mushroom tiles are placed in the centre of the table equal to the number of players less one. Two life stones are added to each mushroom tile from the bag and you are ready to go.

Typical set up for three players.

David: I really like the character cards the artwork is fantastic. Setting up the game is very easy and the rules are very simple to teach. We never had to check back to the rules once after reading them.

The six character cards.

On the first turn, you count to 3 and everyone points at a mushroom tile. If you are the only player to point to a mushroom tile you can take the life stones and put them on your character card.

If more than one person points to the mushroom tile you get nothing. After the first turn, you can point to another player’s character card instead of a mushroom and steal their life stones.

After the stones have been taken by the players a stone is added from the bag to any mushroom tile with stones already on it. Empty mushroom tiles get two stones.
Play continues until the bag is empty and this signals the last round.

Mike: Stealing or Filching as the game prefers to call it, from other players can be a worthwhile move. Players can protect their stash of stones by placing their hand on their character card instead of pointing. This protects your stones and you can take them off your card and place them to the side. They are now safe but this move comes at a price as by banking your stones you can’t play in the next turn.

This adds a nice amount of strategy and a bit of push your luck to the game. Do you feel lucky and continue to take from the centre? Do you play safe but lose a turn and miss a chance to gain more stones?

The rules clearly say you can talk between counting and this can add a nice bit of bluffing and devious play. Any deals you make are not binding - those that have played Sheriff of Nottingham will know the deal here.

At the end of the game, everyone counts up their gems and get 5 points for each set of three (blue, orange and red). 2 points are given for each white gem and 1 point for each leftover gem that can’t make a set.

This would give you a score of 22 points.

David: Yeah, everyone kept stealing my gems but then again I did have a big collection on my tile. We only played this with 3 players I would love to see how it plays with 6 as it would be a lot more chaotic.

Mike: Yes I would like to see how this plays in a bigger group. The next group game session we are in we will get this out instead of resistance.

As David already mentioned the artwork is fantastic. The price of this game is towards the higher end for a filler. Don’t let that put you off too much though  as the components are of a very high quality. If you compare it to the game called “The Game” of a similar price point and that is just a deck of cards.

Seriously look at these components and artwork.

Do we recommend it?

Yes from both of us. This is a great game to introduce younger gamers to the bluffing mechanic. This game works really well with 3 players and is not complicated enough to cause issues when more players are added. It has a really family friendly theme and feel to the game which might change after a few turns of stealing gems from your nearest and dearest.

Thumbs up from us here at Board Know More.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Fruit Salad

Time to play: 15 minutes.
Players: 2-6 players
Suggested age: 6+
Price: £9.99 (RRP)

Mike: This is the first of two filler reviews we have the second game –Crossing will be up next.

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

Fruit salad is a reaction and memory game for all the family. To me, it feels a bit like a cross between snap with the memory element of pairs. At the start of the game, the 60 cards are dealt out evenly to all players. With the aim of the game being to get rid of all your cards or win 4 rounds.

David: The starting player rolls the 2 dice, one is a fruit type and the other is a number from 4 to 8.

5 Strawberries are needed to win.

This tells everyone what fruit and how many of that fruit you need to keep track of. Players, in turn, each place a card from their hand into the centre of the table. This is called the salad bowl.

David plays first and there are 2 strawberries.

I go next and there are now 3 strawberries in the salad bowl.

You need to remember what has been placed. When you believe the required number of fruit are in the bowl you slap your hand on top of the bowl, just like you would in a game of snap.

Mike: Sounds simple right? Well, it would be if the goal didn’t change throughout the game. If any of these cards come out below you reroll the fruit or quantity dice.

Left card re-roll quantity die. Right card re-roll fruit die.

So you also need to be trying to keep a running count of how much of the other fruit has shown up in the salad bowl. Once you have stopped the round by placing your hand on the salad bowl you go through the cards counting up the fruit.

If you are correct and the number of fruit on the fruit die is equal to or greater than the number on the quantity die you win the round. You take one of the cards from the fruit bowl and place it face up in front of you as a victory point token. All the remaining cards are dealt out to the other players. If you got it wrong you lose and take all the cards from the salad bowl into your hand.

David: There is also an “any fruit” side to the dice which can be useful if it is rolled later in the game as it gives you a chance if you have forgotten some of the other fruit amounts.

This game is simple but great fun. It is much better than snap as you have to think a bit more about the game and the way the goal changes keeps you guessing.

Mike: That is quite simply all there is to this game. Which makes this a great filler game and fantastic for younger players who like card games.

The rules mention a small rule change for younger players that lets them look at the card first before playing to give them a small advantage. I really like this idea as it can be a little difficult to remember the counts of all the fruits (even for adults).

I was really surprised by this game. It sounds very simple and at its core it is, yet the changing goal during the game trips you up and keeps you on your toes throughout.

Fruit Salad is a welcome addition to our set of family games and another one at the top of our lists to take on our travels. The game comes in a nice small tin that looks like an old-fashioned sweet tin. Coming in at just under a tenner as well is a perfect price for a filler game and will give you hours of fun.

David: This is a great introductory game for the family and is a very addictive. I would like to play this with my sister when she is a bit older it will be a perfect game to introduce her to memory card games.

Mike: So there we go we both recommend it. If you’re looking for a filler game that can be played with kids, your family or a way to kick off a board game night we think this is for you. 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Podcast Episode #6: Carcassonne, 10x10 and Julian Cowboys.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Carcassonne the classic original and a few variants we have played.
  • Our 10x10 challenge. This is to play 10 games 10 times over the year.
  • What we have played recently, our completion of Pandemic Legacy (no spoilers) and some Julian Cowboys.
  • Some upcoming games we are looking forward to.

Please get in touch especially if you have completed Pandemic Legacy we would love to hear your experience.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Star Wars: Empire vs Rebellion.

Time to play: 60 minutes.
Players: 2 players
Suggested age: 10+
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.

Star Wars: Empire vs Rebellion is a 2 player strategy card game with a small amount of deck building. It is a re-theme of a game called Cold War: CIA v KGB released in 2007.

Before we mention the main game in the rules there is a little tutorial that helps you learn the game. Honestly, we think this is largely pointless and not worth it as the game itself isn’t complex to learn. The tutorial is also a little bit flat and may put you off the main game which has a lot more depth.

The winner is the first player to get to 7 or more victory points.

Before the game starts one player will be Empire the other the Rebellion. You then take that factions deck and add 4 of the 8 available characters to it. This is the only deck building choice you will have in the game so pick the characters that match your style of play.

Two Characters i'm sure will be in most decks.

David: Yes the tutorial was a bit boring as it finished quickly and didn’t really help us with the game. There are more complicated card games than this and once you get going it’s very easy to play. I like being able to choose what characters to add to the deck as it mixes the game up a little bit each time.

Mike: Once we have set up the game and each got our decks we flip the balance token to see who goes first. This is a token that is imperial one side and rebel on the other and used to keep track of who is the first player.

Game Setup

David: The game has 3 phases. A Planning phase, Struggle phase and Dominance phase.
In the planning phase, you reveal an event. This will be an event from one of the original trilogy films. For example, attack on echo base or duel on cloud city.

Mike: Let’s take a closer look at one. In this picture, the round will be Battle of Hoth.

It is worth 3 victory points and 0 influence tokens (white and red numbers top left). You need to score as close to 17 as possible without going over to win this event and not use more than 5 cards (the five hexagons net to the 17 show this).

Based on this event players now choose one of their five strategy cards. Each player has the same five so it can be to you advantage in the later rounds to remember what ones your opponent has played. This is because once you have used a strategy card it stays out of play until you have used all five. Once this has happened you get them all back.

This can be a crucial part of the game as knowing what strategy your opponent has played can help give you the edge to win an event.

David: After the planning phase we get to play our cards in the struggle phase. You can take one of four actions. Play a card, use a power on a card, Spend influence or pass.
When you play a card you play one from the top of your deck you never have a hand to choose from. This can be risky as it could push you over the event limit. You need to think about if you want to make the gamble.

The cards in the picture above would add 4 to the score for the empire and 5 for the rebels.

Using a power on a card is simple you turn the card 90 degrees to exhaust it and do what is in the text. This could be discarding an opponent’s card or exhausting one of their cards for example.

Spending influence lets you use the influence tokens you get to refresh your exhausted cards. These can be really useful.

If both players pass in a row the phase ends and it’s on to the last phase. 

Mike: Yes playing a card blind from the deck can be risky and feels a bit like blackjack. It can either help you or make you go bust. As David has mentioned once both players have passed we go to the dominance phase.

In this phase both players reveal strategies and then work out who has claimed the event in the middle.

The player who is closest to the event score without going over wins that event and keeps the card. First to seven points wins the game.

The game time on the box suggests 60 minutes but none of our games ever reached that point. I would say it was closer to 30 minutes.

David: It’s a great filler game before playing something bigger. I do prefer star wars timeline to this game though. For me, I prefer deck builders that I can have more control over during set up. I’m not sure I like the way we just turn cards over and don’t have a hand to play from. Again there is not much control the player has.

Mike: I know what you mean it is a bit odd playing cards blind from the deck. This does make it a bit push your luck. But I really like this aspect of the game as there is that gamble of getting as close as you can without busting the limit.

I disagree about this Star wars Timeline being better. I would much rather play a game of this as I know that I could play this with non Star Wars fans as well.

It’s a difficult one to review as it is a game we would go back to but there are others that play better. At the reasonable price, it's worth picking up and adding to your collection if you want a simple strategy game filler.

It will leave you wanting more though and you will need to look at a deck builder or the Living Collectable Card games that Fantasy flight offer to quench your thirst.