Raids Review

Raids is a game by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert, published by IELLO. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of Viking captain as they guide their Longship full of the bravest warriors on a fantastic voyage full of adventure. Of course they’ll have to fight off horrible monsters as well as battle other Viking ships to gain Glory and riches beyond their wildest imaginations. They’ll also need to do some recruiting, as well as collecting and trading valuable goods if they hope to survive the turbulent seas. In the end, the captain that can best command their crew will be declared the winner.

To begin, the board is placed in the middle of the play area. Each player will choose a color and take the corresponding Longship marker and player board of that color, placing them in front of themself. The Viking pawns are placed on their space in the middle of the board. The coins are placed near the board in a pile. The Voyage tiles are sorted into separate face down stacks based on the numbers on the back of each one. These stacks are placed near the board. The Voyage 1 tiles are shuffled together and placed face up on the designated spaces of the board, starting with the space immediately after the Harbor space and continuing around the board by following the arrows. Coins are placed on Pillage tiles and Viking pawns on Visit tiles as shown on the particular Voyage tile. The Harbor tile with the red ship on the back is placed on the Harbor space on the board. The remaining Harbor tiles are shuffled together. One tile is placed face up next to each stack of Voyage tiles. The remaining Harbor tiles are returned to the box, not to be used during the game. The first player is chosen. Each player in turn order, starting with the first player, places their Longship marker on the starting spaces of the board, going from 4 to 1. Starting with the first player and going clockwise in turn order, each player will take a number of Viking pawns, as noted in the rulebook. The number of pawns varies by player and number of players. Players place their Viking pawns on their Longship board, one pawn per Shield space. A number of Viking pawns are then placed in each of the Villages on the board. This number is equal to the number of players. Three Viking pawns are then placed on the “Visit” Voyage tile. Once all this is done, play now begins.

The game is played over 4 Voyages. Each Voyage consists of several consecutive turns, until all of the players have returned to the Harbor tile. Turn order is based on the player that has the Longship marker the furthest behind. At the beginning of the game, this would be the player on the number 4 space. Each player’s turn consists of 2 steps or phases; take a Voyage tile and Navigate. The first step is to take a Voyage tile. At the beginning of the game, this step is skipped. To do this step, the player simply takes the Voyage tile that their Longship marker is in front of, placing it on or beside their Longship board, based on what kind of tile it is. Rune and Port tiles are placed near the Longship board while Weapons, Sails, Mjollnir, Pennant and Goods tiles are placed on one of the 5 middle spaces of the player’s Longship board. If there are no empty spaces on the Longship board, the player may discard a previously placed tile or discard the new tile. It should be noted, once a Port tile is placed near a player’s Longship board, they may immediately sell 1 or 2 goods on their Longship and recruit 1 Viking. The sold Goods tile is then placed next to the player’s Longship board. It should be noted, the player is able to move the Viking pawns on their Longship at any time, reorganizing things as they see fit.

The next step is to Navigate. To do this, the player must move their Longship marker, following the directions of the arrows on the board. The player may then stop on any Voyage tile, as long as they follow the Rules of Navigation. There are basically 2 Rules of Navigation; Discard all Voyage tiles between you and the next player in front of you and Navigate to the tile you want to visit next. For the first rule, the player must discard all the Voyage tiles between themself and the next player in front of them on the board. These tiles are removed from the game. This means that the player may not stop in front of these empty spaces, they must always catch up to the other players before choosing their next Voyage tile. At the beginning of the game, only the last player to leave the Harbor needs to catch up to the rest of the players. That means that only this last player will discard Voyage tiles.

For the second rule, the player navigates by moving their Longship marker around the board, following the arrows. The player may pass as many Voyage tiles as they wish and may stop in front of any Weapon, Sail, Mjollnir, Pennant, Goods, Rune or Port tile left on the board. The player may stop in front of a tile before they reach the Passage, or they may navigate past these locations, stopping in front of a tile on the other side of the Passage. When passing by a Village, Visit or Pillage tile, the player simply takes whatever is shown there. At a Village, the player takes a Viking pawn. At the Visit tile, the first player to pass takes 2 Vikings and the second player to pass takes 1 Viking. At the Pillage tile, the first player to pass takes a 3 coin and the second player to pass takes a 1 coin. Players may also pass in front of Monsters. It should be noted that if the player passes in front of a Monster, they must fight it. This means that they have 2 choices; they may sacrifice a Viking pawn to the monster, placing it back into the reserve, so that they may continue on, or they may fight it by discarding a number of Viking pawns equal to the monster’s strength. Weapons on a player’s Longship will decrease the monster’s strength. Once defeated, the Monster tile is placed next to the player’s Longship board. The player then continues their Navigation as they are not able to stop on a Monster tile. If during the player’s navigation, they choose to return to the Harbor, they will placed their Longship marker on the smallest available number on the starting spaces. This player will not be allowed to take any more turns during this Voyage. The Voyage continues until the last player docks their Longship in the Harbor. If a player stops their Longship marker in front of a Voyage tile without another Longship marker on it, their turn ends. If they stop in front of a Voyage tile that has another Longship marker in front of it, they must begin combat. However, to begin combat the player must have at least 1 Viking on their Longship board. When starting combat, the player must discard 1 Viking pawn from their Longship board back to the reserve on the board. The opponent then has the option to Retaliate or Flee. If they choose to Retaliate, they must discard 2 Vikings from their Longship board to the reserve. This choice then goes back to the attacker who may Retaliate or Flee. For each new Retaliation, the player must discard as many Vikings as their opponent did plus 1. If a player chooses not to, or they simply can’t, then they must Flee. To Flee, the player must immediately leave the tile that they are on without taking the tile or discarding any other tiles. The player must then move their Longship marker to a tile in front of them. This can trigger another combat if the player stops on a tile with another Longship marker already on it, as long as they have at least 1 Viking pawn on their own Longship board. The player’s turn ends once they end their Navigation on an empty Voyage tile or on the Harbor tile. The player whose Longship marker is furthest behind on the board will now become the active player and may then take their turn. This sometimes means that the same player may wind up taking yet another turn.

The Voyage ends once all the players Longship markers have made it back to the Harbor tile and are lined up on the starting spaces. Players will now take a Viking pawn from the reserve for each Sail on their Longship, placing it on their board. The player that best fulfills the condition on the Harbor tile will then take a 6 coin, while the second best takes a 3 coin and the third best a 1 coin. As long as this is not the 4th Voyage, a new Voyage begins. The Voyage tiles for the next Voyage are shuffled together and placed face up on the board in the same manner as during setup. Coins are placed on Pillage tiles and Vikings on Visit tiles as shown on the tile. The Harbor tile is then replaced with the one set aside with this round’s Voyage tiles. Viking pawns are placed on the Village spaces equal to the number of players. Once all this is done, a new Voyage begins starting with the player that reached the Harbor last. If this is the end of the 4th Voyage, the game ends. Players add up their Glory points based on Coins, Runes, Mjollnirs, Pennants, Goods and Monsters. The player with the most Glory points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game has some really great looking pieces to it. First there’s the board, it’s very detailed with lots of different ports and lands to be discovered. It has some really rich and vibrant colors and images that are quite pretty. Next there are all of the cardboard pieces from the Harbor tiles to the Voyage tiles. The Harbor tiles have spaces on them for each of the Longship markers to be placed while the Voyage tiles have several different things that the players may encounter on their voyage. Each type of Voyage tile has some really cool looking artwork on it that works well with the board and the other pieces. Each cardboard piece is quite thick and sturdy. Speaking of thick and sturdy, the game also comes with some Longship player boards that are made of what appears to be chipboard. These are very good quality and are quite strong. The game also has 4 brightly colored wooden Longship markers that players move around on the board. They look like miniature versions of the Longships. These are great quality. Another set of wooden pieces included with the game are the Viking pawns. These are a natural wood color and are shaped kind of like little vikings. The final pieces included with the game are the coins. These are engraved metal and come in 3 different sizes and color. I noticed that some are a little duller than others and the engraving doesn’t seem as thick on some of the others. Still for a game to have metal coins these days in a retail version is pretty cool. Thematically everything works well together. You get a real sense of the viking world that the game centers around. Looking at everything laid out, it makes me think of the game Champions of Midgard. That’s just probably due to the Viking theme. Overall each piece in this game looks really nice. The artwork is lovely and each piece works well with the others. I’m quite pleased with the overall look and feel of everything. Once it’s all laid out on the table, it’s definitely an eye catcher.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is very well written and designed. It’s very easy to read and quite simple to follow. The book has plenty of pictures and examples on just about every turn of the page. The first couple of pages consist of explanations of each of the different piece in the game with some lovely looking pictures. The next couple of pages have a full color layout of how the game should look setup along with numbered instructions to guide you through the process. From there the book gets into the meat of the rules, walking you through the summary of a voyage. The Rules of Navigation are laid out in an easy to read format along with some notes thrown in along the way. The last couple of pages consist of pictures and clarifications of all of the different Voyage tiles. Finally on the back page, there are variant rules for 2 player games that involve adding a Ghost Longship that only moves from Village to Village. Also on the back page are some clarifications on the Harbor tiles with explanations of the iconography on these. I will say that there appeared to be a few things that weren’t exactly covered the absolute best though. In fact, I had to head over to BGG to find some clarifications of the rules. That would have been in regards to the Village, Visit and Pillage tiles. Thankfully the designer took time out to explain those oversights. Overall the book looks very nice. I like how quick and simple it was to get through. There are a few things that you’ll most likely have to look back on but everything is laid out in such a way that it’s no trouble trying to find what you’re looking for. Overall I’m rather pleased with the look and feel of the rulebook, minus the minor misunderstandings.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Let me start off by saying this, if you’ve ever played Champions of Midgard, this is nothing like that. Public Service Announcement over. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say that this isn’t a good game, it just shouldn’t be compared to Champions of Midgard. Yes, I realize that I pretty much already stated earlier that this game reminded me of that. It’s the theme, merely the theme. Actually this game reminds me, as far as gameplay goes, of Tokaido more than Champions of Midgard. Take for instance the fact that the farthest player back moves first, just like in Tokaido. Your boat, in this instance, must move at least to the next player’s boat if they’re looking for a fight but can move as far ahead of them as they’d like. Add on the fact that you’re adding tiles to your tableau, or Longship in this instance, to be able to gain more points at the end of the game. I think you can see what I’m talking about. The thing is that this game is probably about 20 minutes shorter to play than Tokaido. That’s probably due to the fact that they’re aren’t a whole lot of places to stop at. You simply move around trying to gain the most valuable tiles to add to your Longship. Weapons make it easier to kill monsters. Sails give you more vikings at the end of each voyage. Mjollnirs and Pennats give you glory points at the end of the game. Runes also give you glory points in a set collection sort of way. The more you have the more points you gain. Ports allow you to sell Goods which give you glory points at the end of the game. Monsters also give you glory points but you have to defeat them first. See the game has a bit of set collection mixed in to this whole rondel style mechanic. As you move around, your limited by what actions and tiles you’re able to take. Games like Village, Tzolk’in The Mayan Calendar and Walnut Grove are just a few that use this same mechanic. The thing is, I feel like this game simplifies it a lot better than in some of those other games. This is a pretty simple game to learn and play. This is one that even the kids can play. It’s family friendly without any blood and guts all over the place. I honestly think all the bright colors and the cool looking artwork will make this game appeal to pretty much everyone. Fans of games with rondel style mechanics or those looking for a fun family friendly viking themed game should look no further than this one. This is a game that I would definitely recommend checking out.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Raids is a rondel style game that encorporates set collection with a viking theme. The game doesn’t take very long. Most game sessions last around 30 minutes or so. The components are great quality and very eye catching. Once it’s set up on the table, people will definitely be drawn to the lovely artwork, metal coins and wooden meeples. The rulebook is really good, although there were a few things that needed some clarification that weren’t there. For the most part though, the book is easy to read through and well designed. The game itself is quite simple and fun. It’s family friendly and one that even the kids can play. There are a few icons that take a bit of time to understand, but it’s really nothing major. The combination of rondel mechanics and set collection make for a interesting game. In some ways the game makes me think of other rondel style game like Tzolk’in The Mayan Calendar, Walnut Grove and Village. The catch up mechanic in the game also feels like the one in Tokaido. Fans of any of these games will most likely find something to enjoy in this one. The artwork should appeal to players of all ages. This is one that I would definitely recommend checking out. Overall, it’s a fun game for the whole family and it doesn’t take too long to play either. Come along Bjorn and Ivar, we have some voyaging to do.
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out IELLO Games at their site.

www.iellogames.com

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Nessos Review

Nessos is a game by Takaaki Sayama and Toshiki Arao, published by IELLO. It is for 3-6 players. In this game, players will be trying to win the Amphora cards of the most interesting creatures as they vie for title of the god’s Chosen One. Of course they’ll have to be careful as the terrible Charon could be lying in wait to eliminate them. In the end, the player that can gain the right amount of points first, will be declared the winner.

To begin, the deck of Amphora cards are shuffled together. It should be noted that certain cards will be left out of the deck before shuffling, depending on the number of players. Once the deck is shuffled, each player is dealt 5 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table. The first player is chosen and is given the First Player pawn, which is placed in front of them. Play now begins.

The game is played in a series of rounds. Each round, the player with the First Player pawn will choose a card from their hand and places it face down in front of another player. If the card is a Creature card, the player must say the number of the card out loud without lying. If the card is a Charon card, the player must lie and say any number out loud. The player that receives the card then has 3 choices that they can make. They can accept the card without looking at it and place it face up in front of themself. They can refuse the card without looking at it, causing the card to be returned to the player that offered it. The card is then placed face up in front of that player. Finally, they may add a card from their own hand, placing it face down with the other card. They will then offer these 2 cards to another player. The player is only allowed to lie about the Charon cards that they offer, announcing a number of their choosing. In this last case, the new player that received the 2 cards now has the same choices; to accept them, refuse them and return them to the previous player or to add a card from their hand and offer the 3 cards to a different player. Just like before, they may only lie about the Charon card. In this last case, the player receiving the 3 cards only has 2 options. They can accept them and place them in front of themself or they may refuse them and return them to the previous player that offered them who must place them face up in front of themself.

Once the cards are flipped face up, regardless of the case, the round ends. If a player has 3 Charon cards face up in front of them, they immediately lose and are eliminated from the game. Their cards are left face up in front of them. If the player acquires any number cards, they are added to their total points. It should be noted that if a player has a set of 1, 2 and 3 point cards in front of them, they gain an extra 10 bonus points per set. If a player gets the number of points required, based on the number of players, the game ends. This player is the winner. If the player doesn’t have the points required yet, the game continues with a new round. Players with less than 5 cards draw the required amount to get their hands back to 5. The first player pawn is passed to the next player in turn order and a new round begins.

The game continues until one player acquires the total amount of points to win the game, or if all but one player have eliminated from the game due to Charon cards. The game can also end if there are 9 Charon cards face up in front of all players. In this case, players add up their points and the one with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game contains only 2 parts; a deck of cards and a first player pawn. The pawn is a simple unfinished wooden piece that looks like a vase or possibly a empty spool of thread. It’s sturdy but small and is good for reminding you of who the first player is. The cards are very good quality. The artwork is very nice and looks like the painted vase that the game is supposed to be based on. I like the unique looking designs and find them very intriguing. Each card has a very nice finish to it. The one problem that I can see is that these have black borders on them. That means that as these cards are shuffled, they’ll start to show wear pretty quickly around the edges. Of course you can always sleeve them and it wouldn’t be such a problem. Other than that, there’s nothing out of the ordinary or amazing that’s gonna blow you away. It’s simply a stack of cards, nice as they may be. As for the theme, it’s pretty much pasted on. There could be anything from dinosaurs to goblins on these cards and it wouldn’t really have mattered. Granted, I like Greek mythology, so the images work for me. Of course that might not be the case with everyone. Overall I like the designs and think for a mini game, it’s pretty nice looking. I’m not going to rant too much over this one. It gets the job done.
7 out of 10

RULEBOOK
Much like the game itself, the rulebook is quite small. At only 12 pages, there’s not a lot to discuss. There aren’t a whole lot of pictures but what’s here is pretty good. That includes the last page which has a picture of all the mythological creatures and a history behind the name of the game. There aren’t really any examples of gameplay in the book, but everything is pretty easy to understand anyway. Everything is quite easy to read. The rules do a good job of explaining how to play the game in a neat and organized way. Overall while there’s not a lot of information here, the book gives you everything you need to know in a quick and concise format. I can’t really complain here. Like the components, the rulebook gets the job done.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This isn’t a bad game. It’s just not my style. As a filler style card game, I guess it works. It’s really quick and easy to play. It doesn’t take a lot to learn and is pretty simple. It is quite mathy though. There’s a lot of addition that you kind of have to do in your head to keep track of everything. The game looks quite nice. I’m just not a big fan of bluffing style card games. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a very good liar. I wind up telling on myself every time. Games like Werewolf and others of that nature, never really worked very well for me. Thematically this game could have been about anything and it wouldn’t have really mattered. I do like the Greek Mythology theme, it’s just that for this game, it’s simply pasted on. I will say that I probably like this one a bit better than other bluffing style card games. It gives you enough of a challenge to be somewhat fun. Like I said, if you’re just throwing this one in the middle of a night of heavy gaming, it works fine. The game is, after all, a mini game. The box even says it. I think that as it is it works well enough. The main idea is to get enough points to win the game without getting too many Charon cards to be eliminated. You will find that as you start getting too many points, it’s very likely that the other players are gonna start throwing Charon cards at you. The main thing is knowing your opponents well enough to determine if they’re lying to you and have placed a Charon or if they’re telling the truth about the card they’re giving you. To me, it’s more like poker, as you’re playing the other players more than you’re actually playing the game. I think if you like bluffing games like Wallet or Werewolf, you’ll more than likely enjoy this one too. For me, it’s a try it before you buy it. As I said earlier, it’s not a bad game. It’s just not my style. I can see the good qualities of the game, even though it’s not for me.
7 out of 10

OVERALL
Nessos is a card game of bluffing and deduction with a Greek mythology theme. The game is rather quick. Most game sessions last around 15-20 minutes. The cards look quite nice and have some really cool looking artwork reminiscent of the painted Greek vase that the game was based on. The rulebook is small and concise and does a good job of explaining the rules. The game itself is a nice filler style card game that involves a good bit of bluffing. Unfortunately the theme is merely pasted one, the game could have been about anything. I don’t think it would have made a lot of difference on the enjoyment of the game. At least not for me. I’m not all that big on these types of games, but I can appreciate it for what it is. When compared to other games of the same type, this one is a bit better, although a bit mathy if you ask me. Fans of bluffing games like Wallet or Werewolf will most likely enjoy this one as well. Even though I like Greek mythology, for me this game is just not my style. This is one that I’d recommend trying first.
7 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out IELLO Games at their site.

www.iellogames.com

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DC Deck Building Game: Rivals – Green Lantern vs. Sinestro Review

DC Deck Building Game: Rivals – Green Lantern vs. Sinestro is a standalone game as well as an expansion for the DC Deck Building Game. It’s works especially well with the Confrontations and Rivals: Batman vs. The Joker sets, which make it possible to play with more players. It is designed by Matt Hyra and Nathaniel Yamaguchi, published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. By itself, the game is for 2 players. In this game, players will take on the role of either the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan or Sinestro. They will need to gain more powerful cards as they battle it out, defeating even stronger versions of their opponents character. In the end, the player that is finally able to knock out their opponent will be declared the winner.

For more information on the DC Deck Building game and how to play it, as well as all the different sets that this product can be used with, please check out the link at the bottom of the review.

Setting up and playing this game is a little bit different than that of any of the regular box sets for the DC Deck Building Game. However players familiar with the Rivals- Batman vs The Joker game should find a lot of similarities here. Armed with that information, let’s take a look at how this game is laid out and played.

To begin, one player chooses either Green Lantern or Sinestro, while the other player takes the remaining character. Each player will take the 3 oversized character cards for their chosen character, placing them face up in a stack in front of themself with the 9 on top, the 12 in the middle and the 15 on the bottom. Each player takes a starting deck of 7 punch cards and 3 vulnerabilities with symbols that match their character. The Hard-Light Construct cards and the Weakness cards should be set aside into 2 separate stacks. The remaining cards are shuffled together to form the main deck. Once shuffled, the deck is placed face down in the middle of the play area. The top 5 cards are drawn and placed in a row beside the deck. This is called the Lineup. The Hard-Light Construct and Weakness stacks are placed near the end of the Lineup. Each player shuffles their deck and draws their top 5 cards. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played with over a series of turns with players going back and forth, taking turns until one player is defeated or the Lineup is unable to be refilled. On a player’s turn, they must first decide if they want to take a normal turn or confront their opponent. A normal turn consists of the player playing cards from their hand to buy cards from the Lineup or Hard-Light Construct stack to power up their deck. Most cards create power which makes it possible for the player to buy or defeat cards in the Lineup. Once bought, or defeated in the case of heroes or villains, these cards are placed in the player’s discard pile. Once a player runs out of cards in their deck, their discard pile is shuffled together to create a new deck. Some cards will provide special abilities, on top of power which can help the player be able to do more and purchase even more powerful cards. Vulnerabilities and Weakness cards provide no power and only weaken the player’s deck. Each player’s character card will also provide the player with special abilities that may be used during their turn.

The other option that a player has is to confront their opponent. If a player chooses to do this, they may not buy any cards from the Lineup or stacks this turn. Instead, they will play cards from their hand to gain the power needed to try and defeat their opponent’s top character card. It should be noted that each character has 3 versions that are progressively stronger and harder to beat. If a player is able to generate enough power to meet or exceed that character’s cost, then it is removed from the character stack and placed near the attacking player. Once an attacking player has played all of their cards, the defending player may play any number of cards with the “Block” keyword to increase their character’s cost. Each of these Block cards contain the word in bold text with a number in parentheses. This number is how much that the character cost is increased by. Block cards are discarded after being used. As long as the attacking character’s power is as much or more than the defending player’s cost, the confrontation is successful and the player loses their top character card.

Once a player has played all of their cards or chosen to end their turn, the remaining cards in their hand and any cards played are placed in the player’s discard pile, except for cards with the “Ongoing” keyword. These remain in play near the player. Any “end of turn” effects are resolved. The player then draws the next 5 cards from their deck. If there are any empty spaces in the Lineup, the top card from the main deck is drawn and placed into the empty space. Play then passes to the next player.

The game continues until one of two conditions have been met. If one player defeats the other player’s last character card through confrontation, then the game ends and that player is the winner. The other way to end the game is if the Lineup is unable to be refilled back to 5 cards, then the game ends immediately and scoring occurs. Players add up their victory points from the cards in their hand and their deck, subtracting victory points due to Weakness cards. Players also gain victory points for any defeated character cards. The player with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game comes with some of the greatest looking cards. To start with, there are 60 main deck cards that have a mixture of heroes, villains, equipment, super powers and locations for both Green Lantern and Sinestro. These cards are deep into the Lantern universe of DC comics. Each one has amazing artwork that looks ripped right out of the comic books. All of your favorite characters make an appearance from Kilowog and Guy Gardener to Parallax. Needless to say, there’s some really cool designs. There are also 3 oversized cards for each character, Green Lantern and Sinestro. These are the same size and quality as those in all of the other DC deck building games and are very similar to those in the Batman vs Joker Rivals expansion and the Confrontations set. The new Hard-Light Construct cards take the place of the Kick cards in previous versions and core sets. There are also new punch and vulnerability cards that are character specific. That means that for Green Lantern, his punch cards show him punching the bad guys while Sinestro’s have him attacking the heroes. The weakness cards all have the same design, but what a design that is, showing GL with a stash of rings on each hand. The game also comes with a thick plastic divider card that makes it possible to add the contents of this game to the Multiverse box, keeping everything organized. I just love that. There’s also a randomizer card that can also be used with the Multiverse game’s rules and cards. I have to say, I really like how extremely cool each card looks in this set. Overall I think fans of the DC Universe and especially Green Lantern and all his cohorts and villains, will really love everything that’s included in this one. I’m thoroughly pleased.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is about the same size as those in the Crisis expansion packs, except that this one has a few more pages. There are plenty of pictures throughout the book, although there aren’t any examples anywhere to be found. Of course if you’ve played any of these games, you’re pretty well covered and don’t really need that. The rules are covered rather well. Everything that you need to know is pretty much covered. The book does include some additional rules on the order of playing your cards, attacks and defenses and resolving card abilities, just to name a few. Once again, these are pretty much common knowledge for anyone familiar with any of the previous content for the DC Deck Building Game. The book also includes clarification on several of the cards along with pictures of each one in question. The final parts of the rulebook include instructions on how to combine this game with the DC Deck Building Game: Confrontations core box, as well as the DC Deck Building Game: Rivals – Batman vs. The Joker set. Finally the back page of the book includes all the basic info such as turn sequence, info on normal and confrontation turns and the end of turn steps. This is a nice added reference that’s rather helpful for first time players. One last thing about this book that must be mentioned, every time that you flip the page, the background color of the page is a different color. It goes from green to yellow throughout the book which is a really cool little thing that doesn’t really add anything as far as the game goes, but looks cool anyway. Overall, I think the book does a good job without requiring too much time spent reading rules. I’m pleased with the look and feel of it all.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
In case you’ve been living under a rock or simply weren’t aware, I’m a big fan of the DC Deck Building Game. I’m also a huge comic book fan. It’s no wonder then why I would automatically be drawn to this game. I’ll be honest, the Green Lantern Corps have always been a little more interesting to me then plain old Hal Jordan the Green Lantern. Not that his character is bad in any way, just that I think the aliens appealed a little more so to me than he did. I will say this though, I like Hal a lot more so than Kyle Rayner. Never really cared for him. But enough about the characters, what about the game? I love it. Did you really think I would say something different? I really enjoyed the first Rivals game with Batman and Joker. At the time, it was a completely new way to play the game with just 2 players. Next came the Confrontations box set which took that 2 player game to 4 players but with a lot of the same mechanics and rules. I remember when the Confrontations box came out, I was thinking…where’s Green Lantern? I thought for sure that he was more popular than Zatanna. That just didn’t seem to make sense to me at the time. Of course I should have realized Cryptozoic had a plan, namely this game in the works. Needless to say, it was worth the wait. I really like how easy this plays and how it sticks to those ideas already presented in the earlier products. If you think you have power in your hand to take down your opponent’s character, you declare a confrontation. You throw everything you have at them and hope they don’t have any blocking cards to strengthen their defense too much so that you can defeat them. Of course the name of the game is building up your deck, after all it’s a deck building game for a reason. The one thing I’d like to point out that is a bit different with this game are the construct cards. The Hard-Light Construct cards take the place of the Kick cards in the original games and count as a construct card. There are some cards in the main deck that have card effects that will reference these constructs; cards like the villain card, Karu-Sil. This particular card states that the player will gain +2 Power when the card is played, but when it’s used in a confrontation it gives +1 Power for each construct that the player controls. It’s a pretty neat way to approach the things that Green Lantern and Sinestro can make using their power rings. Needless to say, I really think fans of the DC Deck Building Game and especially Green Lantern and/or the Green Lantern Corps, will really enjoy this game. If they already have the first Rivals game or the Confrontation box set, they’ll enjoy it even more as it adds quite a bit to those games. This is a game or expansion, whichever you want to call it, that I would highly recommend. It’s a must have in my book.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
DC Deck Building Game: Rivals – Green Lantern vs. Sinestro is an expansion/standalone game for the DC Deck Building Game. It works especially well with the Confrontations and Rivals: Batman vs. The Joker sets. In a lot of ways, the gameplay is similar to that in the previously mentioned versions of the game. It doesn’t take very long to play. Most game sessions last around 30 to 45 minutes. The cards are absolutely awesome! The artwork on each looks ripped straight from the pages of a DC comic book. There are new card types that replace some of the older ones, as well as new artwork for the regular cards like the punch and vulnerabilities. All of the cards and designs are pulled straight from the Green Lantern universe, so you should be able to find your favorite Green Lantern Corps member or villain. The game play is very similar to that in the Rivals: Batman vs. the Joker game, and has some similarities to the Confrontations set. It can easily be mixed in with either of these with very little trouble. I love playing this by itself as well as mixed in with the others. It’s a lot of fun. Fans of the DC Deck Building Game should really enjoy this one, especially if they’re fans of the Green Lantern or Sinestro. This is one that I highly recommend. For me, it’s an absolute must have. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power….ah, you know the rest.
9 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cryptozoic Entertainment at their site.

http://www.cryptozoic.com/

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Dwar7s Winter Review

Dwar7s Winter is a game by Luís Brüeh , published by Vesuvius Media. It is for 1-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of the leader of a clan of dwarves tasked with keeping their castle safe from rampaging monsters and horrible disasters. Of course, they’ll have to work together and send their heroes to battle these monsters and overcome the worst that winter has to offer if they hope to survive the bitter cold. In the end, if they are able to survive the long winter, the player with the most victory points will be declared the winner.

To begin, the board is placed in the middle of the play area. The Monster cards are shuffled together and placed face down near the left side of the boad. The Hero cards are also shuffled and placed face up near the top of the board. The top 3 cards of the deck and drawn and placed in a row beside the deck to form the Hero pool. The Disaster cards are shuffled and placed face down near the right side of the board along with the Disaster tokens. A number of cards are placed face up next to the board, depending on the number of players. Each player takes a player board, set of player markers and a music token. The player will also chooses a color and then take the corresponding set of 7 dwarf miniatures in their chosen color and place them on their player board on the spaces provided. The player markers are placed on the player board with the coin token on the 2 space of the gold track and the 3 crate markers placed on the 2 space of the food, stone and wood tracks. The scroll markers are placed on the 5 spot of the action track and the 7 spot of the hand size track. The music token is placed near the player board. Each player will now take the 7 starting hero cards in their chosen color to form their starting Action deck. The winter token is placed on the 1 spot of the winter track on the board. Starting with the first player and moving clockwise in turn order, each player will place a dwarf on one of the zones on the game board. The first and second player will only place one dwarf each, however the third and fourth players will each place two dwarves instead of only one. The first player is chosen and is given the first player token. Play now begins.

The game is played over 7 rounds or “weeks”. Each week is divided into 4 phases; enemy Invasion, Preparation, Actions and Resolution. The first phase is the Enemy Invasion phase. This phase is divided into 4 steps. The first step is to refresh the tracks. This means that each player will reset their hand size and action tracks back to their starting positions of 7 and 5 respectively by moving their scroll markers on their player boards. Players will also retrieve their music token from the Music Hall. All of this is unnecessary in the first round. For the next step, the monsters attack. Of course once more, for the first round, this is unnecessary. In later rounds, the first player will decide in which order the monsters will move. They will choose a monster on the board and move it 1 zone closer to the castle. Once moved, it’s ability is activated. Once the ability has been resolved and all effects applied, a different monster is chosen until each monster on the board has been moved and it’s ability resolved. Each monster has a special ability that can cause players to lose resources, actions or hand size. They can also spawn an extra disaster, move another monster or cause a dwarf to be returned to the player board. One other thing of note is that in zones that a monster occupies, players are unable to produce resources of any kind. Also, if a player is forced to pay a resource that they don’t have, they lose that much gold instead. For the next step, the monsters gain reinforcements, if there aren’t enough already on the board, by spawning new monsters onto the board. This is based on the number of players. When completing this step, the 1st player draws the top card of the Monster deck and places it face up in a free spot next to the board. The Monster’s miniature is placed on the corresponding location on the board as noted on the card. If a monster has a spawn ability, it is activated once the miniature is placed on the board. The final step is to reveal a Disaster. Once again, the 1st player draws the top card of the Disaster deck and places it in a free spot next to the board. A Disaster token is then placed on the board as noted by the spawning point on the card. Once a Disaster token is placed on the board, resources will no longer be produced in that zone until the Disaster has been overcome. It should be noted that if there are 4 or more Disasters active by the end of the week, the players immediately lose the game.

The second phase is the Preparation phase. In this phase players will choose a number of cards from their Action deck, equal to their hand size number as shown on their player board. The remaining cards are placed face down beside their player board. For the current week, the player will only be able to play the cards in their hand and not the face down ones.

The next phase is the Actions phase. In this phase, players will be able to take a number of actions, as indicated on their player boards. There are 4 actions that may be taken, as well as 2 free actions. Free actions require the player to have the required number of dwarves and resources in a particular zone. The 4 actions are place a dwarf, move a dwarf, acquire a hero and play a musical instrument. To place a dwarf, the player spends an action and may then place 1 of their dwarves from their player board onto any zone. It should be noted that a player may never place 2 dwarves in the same zone during the same turn. This action may be performed multiple times, as long as the player has the actions to pay for it. To move a dwarf, the player spends an action and may then move 1 of their dwarves on the board to any adjacent zone. This action may also be performed multiple times, as long as the player has the actions to pay for it. To acquire a hero, the player spends an action and must then pay the corresponding cost for the card in gold. The newly acquired hero is placed face down in the player’s Action deck. The remaining hero cards are slid to the right to fill the empty space. A new hero card is then flipped face up. This action may only be taken once per turn. To play music, the player spends an action and may then place their music token on top of their chosen musical instrument on the music hall space on the board, as long as there is not already a music token on the space. The player may then resolve cards from their hand that match the chosen instrument, performing any special abilities noted on the hero card. Once the player has played any or all of their matching cards, each player in turn order may then choose to play any number of cards from their hand that match the chosen instrument as well, performing the special abilities of their hero cards as well. This action may only be taken once per turn.

On top of the regular actions, players may also take free actions if they have the required dwarves and resources. They can defeat a monster or overcome a disaster. To defeat a monster, the player must occupy the same zone as a monster and have the required number of dwarves and resources to defeat it. Once defeated, the monster’s miniature is removed from the board and the monster’s card is placed face down beside the player’s player board. Any dwarves used are returned to the player board and the resource tracks adjusted accordingly. To overcome a disaster, the player must occupy the same zone as the the disaster and have the required number of dwarves and resources to overcome it. Once overcome, the disaster token is removed from the board and the disaster card is placed face down near the player’s player board. Any dwarves used are returned to the player board and the resource tracks are adjusted accordingly. The player then gains the gold reward as shown on the disaster card.

The final phase is the Resolution phase. In this phase, player check to see if there are 4 active disasters or if there is a monster inside the Castle. If either of these is true, then the players lose the game. If not, then a new week starts. The Winter token is moved 1 spot to the right on the track and the first player token is passed to the next player in turn order. If it is the end of the 7th week and the player managed to not become overwhelmed by disasters or allowed a monster inside the Castle, then the game ends and scoring occurs. Players add up their victory points from defeated monsters, overcome disasters, acquired heroes and reaching the 7 spot on any of the resource tracks, as well as having all of their dwarves on their player board. The player with the most victory points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This is truly an amazing looking game. The board is beautiful and depicts a frozen kingdom covered in snow and surrounded by thick wall. Each zone is separated and numbered with an icon that relates to the type of zone it is. There are spaces along the top and both sides for the different card types, as well as a winter track at the bottom. The bottom left corner has the music hall with 4 different instruments. The board is great quality and is well designed. The same is true of the player boards, which aren’t quite as thick as the game board. There are several tracks on these and a section around the campfire for the player’s dwarf miniatures. I like that the extra touch of detail was added for what could have simply been an empty box to place your dwarves in. The game also comes with several tokens, from player markers and music tokens to disaster tokens. There is also a winter token and a first player token. Each of these is a good thickness and has great artwork that fits in with the theme and the boards. The game has a fairly good sized stack of square cards. These are much the same size and quality as the ones in Dwar7s Fall. There are 3 different types; heroes, disasters and monsters. Heroes have both starting hero cards as well as regular heroes. Each of these has a very great looking design on both the front and the back that carries the same feel as the cards from Dwar7s Fall. I really like the fun looking art and think it fits in perfectly with both this game and the previous one. The iconography on these cards is fairly simple to learn and understand. After a couple of plays, you’ll get the hang of it. The final components are the miniatures. Believe me, there are quite a few of these included in the game. There are miniatures for the monsters which are all winter blue and 4 different colored sets of dwarves; 1 for each player, up to 4. The sculpts on these are amazing. They fit the same look and feel as the artwork on the cards. It’s the same cute and fun style that is present there. I absolutely love these. They really bring the game to life, moving around on the board. Needless to say, I am very impressed with the look and feel of this game. My copy of the game also came with the Legendary expansion which includes 12 more disasters, 8 monsters (cards and miniatures), 4 starting heroes and 12 legendary dwarves (3 for each player color). These cards and miniatures bring a bit more of an epic look and feel to the game. Overall, this is one great looking game. I feel that you’d be hard pressed to find many others that look this good. It’s definitely one of my top games for 2018, as far as components go.
10 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is on par with the components. The quality is absolutely top notch. Everything is well written and designed. Each step of the game, from setting it up to scoring, is laid out in an easy to read and understand way. The book is full of pictures and examples. Each part and piece is explained in great detail, from the player boards and action decks to boards and cards. There are special sections that explain each monster ability and hero ability, decoding the different iconography of each design. The book is a great reference and finding what you’re looking for is very easy. Also included in the text is a solitaire variant, as well as a nightmare and bloodlust variant for more of a challenge. The solitaire variant gives you a score chart to compare your final score against to see where you rank. Of course that’s if you survive all 7 weeks. The nightmare variant adds more disasters, while the bloodlust variant gives a player more points for each different type of monster they defeat. As I mentioned earlier, my copy of the game also came with the Legendary expansion, which includes the rules on the back of the rulebook. The abilities for the legendary monsters, as well as the legendary dwarves are included on the same page. Overall I can’t think of a thing that has been left out. I’m thrilled with the overall look and feel of this rulebook. Like the components, it’s definitely one of my tops for 2018.
10 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
If you’ve ever played one of those castle defense style games, like Castle Panic, then you’ll probably be able to relate to this game. However, this game takes the idea of castle defense and really improves on it in several new ways. Instead of the monster just plodding along as if memorized towards a central location, this game throws special abilities out each time a monster hits the board. On top of that, the monsters don’t just start at the edge of the board and move toward the center, they can show up in any zone, depending on the type of monster. If that weren’t bad enough, you’ll also have disasters that show up all around the board that must also be taken care of. If you end up with 4 or more by the end of a week, you’re toast. So not only do you have to protect the castle, you also have to control the disasters too. I was a fan of Castle Panic before, but this game has definitely taken it’s place in my collection. I like the variety of monsters and heroes, each having it’s own special ability. I like how that each time you play the game, it feels new. The variety of cards makes the game highly replayable, as you never know what’s going to come against you next. The inclusion of the Legendary expansion just adds more variety and replayability to an already great game. The extra variants that are included in the rulebook give a bit more of a challenge for when things start getting a bit too easy. Needless to say, I really enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game. As far as the solo variant for the game, I quite like it. I’m not usually a big fan of comparing my score against a chart to see how I did. I usually prefer a strict win or lose aspect. This game takes both and mashes them together. You still have to survive the monsters and disasters to win the game. It’s only after you’ve won that you can see just how well you won. That’s kind of the best of both worlds in my opinion. I can honestly say that I really enjoy this one. I love how it looks and how it feels. I love the challenges that this game presents and I love overcoming the obstacles that the game throws at me. My kids enjoy this one too. They love the fun cartoon like aspect of the cards and miniatures. It’s challenging enough that it scratches my strategy itch while not being too overly complicated that my 8 year old can enjoy it as well. Of course she loves the Snow White card, and makes me promise not to buy it if it comes up in the hero pool. That’s my daughter for you. All in all this is a great game that is fun for the whole family. It’s family friendly and is one that even the kids can play with little trouble. Fans of castle defense games like Castle Panic should enjoy this one immensely. Players that enjoyed Dwar7s Fall should find this one even more fun and challenging. This is a game that I would highly recommend. It’s definitely fun to look at as well as play.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Dwar7s Winter is a castle defense style game set in a fantasy world of dwarves and monsters. The game doesn’t take too long. Most game sessions last around 45 minutes or so. The components are truly awesome! The miniatures are a lot of fun to look at and play with. The cartoon like style makes it family friendly and fun for everyone. The rulebook is well designed and looks great. It also includes several game variants that make the game harder, as well as introducing a solo variant. The game itself takes castle defense to a whole new level with a bit of resource management mixed in. It’s a truly fun game that is a thrill to play. The multiplayer and solo versions of the game are both enjoyable. Fans of games like Castle Panic should really enjoy this one. The solo game is a lot of fun, even though it includes a beat your own score ending. The player still has to survive the 7 weeks of winter or immediately lose. The tension in this game is really great and takes the castle defense mechanic into new levels of fun. It’s highly replayable and is one that I think most players will enjoy. This is a game that I would highly recommend. It’s definitely one of my top games for this year. Winter just got HOT!
9 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Vesuvius Media at their site.

http://www.vesuviusmedia.com/

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Covil: The Dark Overlords Review

Covil: The Dark Overlords is a game by Luís Brüeh, published by Vesuvius Media. It is for 1-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of dark overlord of their own living breathing fortress, known as the Covil. Players will be fighting to control different regions surrounding an isolated town. They will have to acquire powerful minions as well as summon new troops to battle their enemies. In the end, the player that can gain the most powerful warriors to their side, while protecting their fortress and padding their treasury with gold and powerful relics, will be declared the winner.

To begin, the game board is placed in the middle of the play area. The specific game board used is based on the number of players. Each player chooses a color and is given the Champions Hall player board, 5 Troop meeples, 5 Henchmen cards and Fortress in their chosen color. They also receive a HP token and a Gold token. The HP token is placed on the Fortress Health track on the 5 space, while the Gold token is placed on the 5 space of the Treasury track. The Henchmen are placed on the empty minion slots of the player’s Champions Hall. A Rebel meeple is placed on the town space of the board. The remaining Rebel meeples are placed in a pile near the board. The Dark Overlord cards are shuffled together and each player is dealt 1 card. Players will now place their Dark Overlord on the Evil Throne space of their Champions Hall. The remaining Dark Overlord cards are returned to the box. The Exhaustion tokens are placed in a pile near the board. Each player takes one and places it on their Dark Overlord with the Exhausted side face up. The Mercenary cards are shuffled together. 24 Mercenary cards are set aside from the deck, while the remaining Mercenary cards are returned to the box. The top 6 cards are placed in a row near the board, while the deck is placed beside the row. If there are any Mercenaries with a cost of 10 gold or more, these are shuffled back into the deck and a new card is drawn to replace it with. The Power Relic cards are shuffled together. Each player is then dealt 2 cards from the deck. These cards are placed in the player’s hand. The remaining deck is placed in a stack near the board. Each player is given a Quick Rules reference card. The first player is chosen and is given the Evil Scepter/First Player token. Players choose their starting zones, placing their fortress along with 2 of their Troop meeples onto one of the colored spirals spaces on the board. This is done in turn order. Once all of this has been taken care of, play now begins.

The game is played over a series of 4 days. Each day is divided into 3 phases; Morning, Afternoon and Night. The first phase is the Morning phase. In the Morning phase each player will stand up all of their Troop meeples, starting with the first player. Once that’s done, players will then check to see if they need to summon one or more new troops to their fortress. The number of troops that a player should have is determined by the day. A reference chart in the rulebook also provides the number of troops to use. These troops are placed standing up in the territory of the player’s fortress. Once each player has the required number of troops, play moves to the next phase.

The second phase is the Afternoon phase. In this phase, each player in turn order will take a turn. On a player’s turn, they may take each of the following actions once, in any order. They may acquire a minion, perform any number of free actions and they may lie down 1 troop to perform a troop action. One thing that can be done is to acquire a minion. Minions are purchased from the Mercenary pool by paying it’s cost with any combination of gold from the player’s treasury, by discarding Power Relics from the player’s hand and by returning a ready minion from their player mat back to the pool. The amount of gold that each Power Relic or Minion provides is equal to their cost in gold. That means that 2 Minions or Power Relics that cost 2 gold each would provide 4 gold together to be able to acquire a new minion. It should be noted that a player may never have more than 6 minions in their Champions Hall at a time. Each minion has a class, base stat and ability. These determine what abilities can affect it, what combat attribute that it’s best at and what special actions that it may perform. Abilities can be either passive or instant. Passive abilities are always active and can either give a bonus to certain troops or it can provide a non combat advantage such as allowing a player to purchase a new minion for less gold. Instant abilities can either aid in combat or can provide a free action. Another thing that the player can do is to perform any number of free actions. As just noted, some minions provide free actions this is done through the Command ability. Actions such as activating a Power Relic of exhausting a minion to use it’s Command ability are all considered free actions. It should be noted that Power Relics are gained in one of 3 different ways. They can be bought at any time by spending 3 gold to purchase one from the deck or by dealing the last hit point to an enemies fortress. They can also be gained during the night phase, more on this in a moment. Finally the last action that may be performed is to lie down one troop to perform one troop action. If a player has any troops still standing on the board, then they must lie one down and perform it’s troop action. Troop actions include moving the troop, resting a minion, repairing the fortress, gaining a gold or attacking. To move a troop, the troop is moved into and adjacent zone and laid down. Some passive abilities allow a player to move 2 spaces instead of just one. To rest a minion, the player must lay down a troop. This allows the exhaustion token on a minion to be flipped to it’s tired side. If the token is on the tired side already, then it may be removed from the minion. To repair the player’s fortress, the player must lay down one of their troops which then allows them to gain 1 health point on the fortress health track. To gain 1 gold, the player must lay down a troop which then allows them to gain 1 gold on their treasury track. To attack, the player must lay down a troop and exhaust one of their minions. Attacks may be either melee or ranged. When an attack is declared, the player must also declare which enemy troop that they are attacking. Melee attacks may only be performed with troops that are in the same zone as the troop they are attacking. Every troop has a base melee attack of 1. Ranged attacks may only be performed by troops that are in an adjacent zone to the troop they are attacking. The outcome of the attack is determined by comparing the strength of the attacking troop with the defender’s defense score. The attack strength is equal to the base strength, if performing a melee attack, along with the base stat of the minion exhausted to perform the attack, as well as any reinforcement abilities that the player’s minions have plus any bonuses provided by active power relics. All defending troops begin with a base defense of 1. A player’s defense score is equal to the base defense score plus any reinforcement ability bonuses provided by their minions. The defending player may also exhaust any of their ready minions with a defense base stat or activate any power relics with defense abilities to add to their defense score. It should be noted that the attacking player may activate one or more of their power relics in response to the defending player’s defense. This can continue back and forth until both players pass. Once the attack strength and defense score are determined, the scores are compared to see who won. If the defender wins, nothing happens. If the defender loses and their troop was standing up, the attacker gains 2 gold and the defender must lie down their troop and move it into an adjacent zone. If the defender loses and their troop was lying down, the attacker gains 2 gold and the defender must remove their troop from the board. If the defending troop was in the same zone as their fortress and they lost the combat, the difference in damage between the attacker’s strength and the defender’s score is dealt to the fortress. If there are no troops present in the zone with a fortress, then the fortress takes all the damage. If damage is dealt to an enemy’s fortress, the attacking player gains 1 gold. If the player deals the last HP of damage to an enemy’s fortress then they will also draw a power relic. Once a fortress is destroyed, the fortress token is flipped over to the explosion side. Destroyed fortress can no longer be repaired and will not grant any victory points at the end of the game.

The final phase is the Night phase. In this phase, 5 actions are performed in order. First, all players must discard any of their active power relics. Next, all the cards in the Mercenary pool are discarded and 6 new cards are drawn. If there are no more mercenaries left to be drawn, then the game ends at the end of this Night phase. Next, players collect protection fees for having dominance over a terrain type. That is to say that the player controls the majority of the zones of that terrain type by having more troops in it then their opponents. Players that have dominance collect 2 gold for that particular terrain type. Next, players will draw 1 power relic from the deck for each troop that they have in the town zone. For every power relic card that is drawn, a rebel meeple is placed in the town zone. If there are 5 rebels in the town, they will retaliate. What this means is that each troop in the town zone will receive an attack with a strength of 3 proceeding clockwise around the table. Players are able to defend themselves just like normal, one troop at a time. All non destroyed fortresses are also attacked with a strength of 3. Once again, players can defend as long as they have at least 1 troop in their fortress. Once the rebels attacks have been resolved, all rebel meeples are removed from the town zone. Finally, players are able to rest each of their minions once for free. Exhausted minions become tired and tired minions become ready, removing the token from the minion entirely. Once this has been done, play starts back over with phase 1.

The game continues until the end of the fourth night phase that the mercenary deck is empty. When this happens, final scoring begins. Players score victory points from Influence abilities, minions cost, gold in the player’s treasury, for having a living fortress and for the gold on power relics still in the player’s hand. The victory points are added up and the player with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game has some really cute and fun looking pieces to it. First there are the 2 double sided game boards and the 4 Champions Halls player boards. These are quite thick and have your standard fantasy style artwork to them. The game boards look a bit like those in Small World while the player boards have an evil throne on them along with some cute minion characters in the corner. Each player board is color coded and match the colors of the fortress tokens and henchmen cards. Speaking of tokens, the game comes with a small punchboard of tokens of various types. There are HP tokens that look like hearts for the Fortress Health track. There are gold tokens that sort of look like a smurf with a gold hat on that are used for the Treasury track. There are several exhaustion tokens that have a sleepy minion on one side and a hour glass on the other. The sleepy side is for exhausted minions while the hour glass is for tired ones. The fortress tokens are a bit larger and come in 4 different varieties. Each one has a unique look and color, for instance, the green fortress looks like Castle Grayskull. Then there is the evil scepter which looks just like one. This is used as the first player marker. The game also comes with a bunch of wooden troop meeples in 4 different colors and rebel meeples in brown. The troops look like little dwarves with viking helmets on, while the rebels sort of look like some kind of military meeple. Finally there’s a stack of regular sized cards and a stack of smaller euro sized cards that all have a linen finish to them. The regular cards consist of the Dark Overlords, Henchmen and Mercenaries, while the euro sized cards consist of Power Relics. The Henchmen cards come in 4 different colors and contain identical sets of 5 henchmen for each player. The Mercenaries and Dark Overlords have cartoon like characters on them that are a mixture of cartoon characters from the 80’s and 90’s. Each of these are super cute and fun and remind me of some of my favorite cartoons growing up. The Power Relics also have some references to those same cartoons. The game also includes some regular sized quick rules cards. These are a nice reference to help you remember the different phases and steps in the game. Needless to say, for a game that doesn’t contain any miniatures, I absolutely LOVE the way it looks. The quality of the pieces is absolutely amazing. I especially love the character and power relic cards. They’re super fun and silly. The iconography is really simple to learn and easy to remember. It didn’t take long to learn either. Overall, I’m absolutely thrilled with this game. No doubt this has to be one of the best looking games that I’ve seen all year.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is very well written and designed. Everything is explained in great detail and in a step by step process. Each step and phase is easy to understand. The book has lots of great pictures and examples. There’s a great picture that shows how everything should be set up, as well as explaining each of the different card types in thorough detail. There are also lots of great flavor pictures that help to make the book even more fun to look through. The book also includes rules for solo play that use an AI controlled dummy player to fight against. On the back page of the book there’s a very helpful and convenient gameplay summary that includes a summary of the different phases. There’s also a section of basics for scoring. This is a great addition that makes things a lot easier to play. The fact that the book can be passed around or put where everyone can see it makes this a great resource. I really think that this is an extremely good rulebook. I didn’t see anything that was difficult to understand or read through. The rules themself are quite simple to learn. Needless to say, I’m very happy with the overall look and feel of the rulebook. It’s one of the best that I’ve seen this year.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This is an amazing game that plays as good as it looks. I’ve already mentioned the quality of the components and the excellence of the rulebook. The game itself is quite a lot of fun as both a multiplayer game and a solo one. With the both the multiplayer game and the solo one it’s all about scoring the most points. This is done in a kind of worker placement style way while also dealing with a bit of area control as well. You’ll need to be hiring on new and more powerful mercenaries while letting go of the weaker ones. You’ll also be moving your troops around the board in an attempt to dominate as many different terrains as possible. Each time you do this, you’ll be gaining more gold in which to hire even stronger mercenaries or to purchase some power relics to help you out with. Of course your opponent will also be trying to do the same thing which means that you’ll be butting heads on a constant basis causing random bouts of combat. Planning out when and where to attack is crucial as one wrong move can lead to your base being overrun and destroyed, costing you a good chunk of victory points. With this game you can be aggressive and try to do as much attacking as possible to wear down your opponents, or you can play more defensively and try to bolster your army against incoming attacks. Either way you play it’s all up to you. The solo game pits the player against a predetermined set of moves via an AI. The rulebook lays out each of the AI’s moves and which one that the dummy player will go for first versus the last choice it would make. Of course players that want a real challenge can always play against 2 dummy players, making things really hard. I have to say that I quite like the challenge that the solo game provides. It has just the right amount of tension and really feels like you’re playing against a real opponent. I have to say that I’m not usually a fan of most area control games. However I think the inclusion of the worker placement portions of the game along with the solo rules and the great looking artwork push this one over the top for me. Fans of area control games like Small World should really enjoy this one. I also think those of us that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s will enjoy finding the different cartoon references as you play the game. This is a game that I highly recommend. It’s lots of fun.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Covil: The Dark Overlords is a game that mixes 80’s and 90’s cartoons together into a silly and fun area control style game with a bit of worker placement thrown in for luck. The game doesn’t take too long. Most game sessions last around 45 minutes or so. The components are absolutely amazing. The cards are fun and full of cartoon goodness with a mish mash of characters from the 80’s and 90’s. Everything is brightly colored and fun to look at. The rulebook is well designed and easy to read through. It even includes rules for solo play. The game itself is a lot of fun. It mixes area control with worker placement to make a truly enjoyable game to play as well as look at. This is one that I think can be played by the entire family without a lot of trouble. The artwork is all cute and fun with nothing over the top or graphic. Fans of games like Small World should find a lot to enjoy with this game. The solo game is especially fun, in my opinion and the AI actually feels like you’re playing a real person. I enjoy the strategy and puzzle like nature of the game in both modes of play. This is definitely one of my most favorite games of this year. I highly recommend this game. It’ll bring back a lot of fond childhood memories.
9 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Vesuvius Media at their site.

http://www.vesuviusmedia.com/

 

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Preview Review of Curators

CURATORS

Recently I was given the opportunity to preview an upcoming new game that is currently in the design process. I received a print and play copy of the game and rules. These are my thoughts and opinions on the presented materials. Enjoy!

Curators is a game by Jacob Westerlund, published by Worldshapers. It is for 1-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of the chief curator of a museum with dwindling visitor numbers. They will be trying to develop creative displays and win contracts for famous objects to be placed in their museum. In the end, the player that can best run their museum thus earning the most visitor points will be declared the winner.

To begin, a certain number of exhibition tiles will be placed in the middle of the play area randomly in a spiral. The tiles used are determined by the number of players. This spiral is known as the exhibition market. In the middle of the spiral , the role change token is placed along with the end game token which is placed on top of it. The auction house board is placed near the spiral. An object disc of each corresponding color is placed on the bottom spaces of the rows on the auction house board. The remaining object discs are placed to the side in an area called the bank. Each player chooses a color and is given a set of double sided employee chips and a museum entrance board in their chosen color. Each chip is placed in front of the player with the yellow star ring side face up. The museum entrance board is also placed in front of them. Each player is also given 4 dollar bills, 1 reputation token and an object disc in the color of their choosing. This disc is placed in the basement of their museum entrance board. The reputation token is placed on the first space of the reputation track. The contract cards are shuffled together and each player is dealt 2 contracts. These are kept secret until the end of the game. The remaining tokens, money and contract cards are placed to the side in the bank area. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over several rounds. Each round players will take a turn. On a player’s turn, they have the choice of 2 options. They can draw new contracts or allocate two employees. To draw new contracts, the player simply draws 2 contract cards from the deck and keeps 1. The other card is returned to the bottom of the contract deck. To allocate an employee, the player will flip over one of the double sided employee chips and then take the corresponding action for the side that was just flipped over. It should be noted that if a player has 2 identical symbols facing up on their employee chips, then the player is allowed to allocate both at the same time, taking the chosen action twice and flipping both chips over. There are 5 different employee actions that may be taken; Financial manager, Researcher, Archaeologist, Exhibit designer and Collection manager. The Financial manager allows the player to receive $1 for each of their reputation tokens. The Researcher allows the player to place objects of one color from their basement to any exhibits of the matching color in their museum. If doing this causes them to fill 1 or more exhibition tiles, the player may take a reputation token for each completed exhibition tile. The Archaeologist allows the player to take 2 undiscovered objects of the same color, placing 1 in their basement and 1 in the auction house. The auction house is filled from the bottom to the top. The Exhibit designer allows the player to buy an exhibition tile from the exhibition market. The player is allowed to buy any tile, however only the outermost exhibit tile is free. The cost increases by 1 for each tile further in the spiral the chosen exhibition tile is. Once bought, the tile must then be placed in the player’s museum. The first tile placed may be placed wherever the player choose, however future tiles must be placed adjacent to a room on a previously placed tile. The Collection manager allows the player to buy 1 or more objects of the same color from the auction house by paying the cost next to the auction house space from where it was taken. Each object bought is placed in the players basement. If the market is empty once a player has made their purchase, it is filled with 1 object of each color. Once the player has finished with their chosen option, play passes to the next player in turn order.

During the course of play, players will be completing contracts, either from the 2 that they started the game with or one that they obtained from drawing a contract on their turn. Contracts are completed when a player has built the shape shown on the contract card and they have placed objects on the spaces of those shapes. Some contracts will have wildcard symbols on them. For these contracts, any exhibition room color can be used.

The game continues with players taking their turn until the last exhibition tile has been taken. The player that takes this tile also collects the 2 visitor points end game token. Play continues until the round has ended and then one more round is taken. At this time the game ends and scoring occurs. Players score visitor points for each completed contract, for each exhibited object, for each set of $3, for each completed exhibition tile and for having the end game token. Each player adds up their visitor points and the player with the most is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game has a lot of different pieces to it. Granted, the pieces are still in the design process so getting a really good handle on how the finished product will look is still a ways off. From my best estimation, it appears that there will be quite a lot of cardboard pieces with this one. There are employee chips, museum entrance boards, exhibition tiles, dollar bills and 5 dollar bills (yes, it appears that these will be cardboard and not flimsy paper.) object discs, the end game token, reputation tokens, the auction house board and the role change token. That’s quite a lot of pieces. At the moment, the artwork for these cardboard pieces is quite basic. Probably the most elaborate pieces are the employee chips and the object tokens as these all have a small icon on them that represents what they stand for. For instance, the archaeologist employee chips has an image of an Indiana Jones style Fedora on it. The museum entrance boards have a small reference in the bottom corner that shows what each employee action is through a series of icons. It’s a nice little reminder of what each one does, once you’ve played the game a time or two. The final piece is the stack of contract cards. These are completely square like the cards from Fields of Green. They have a visitor point reward number on them, a small picture of the item it represents and a museum layout. There’s also a description that tells when it was discovered and where it’s kept. I’m not going to be harsh with the components at this point as this is still in the early stages. I’m hoping and banking on the graphic design of each piece to greatly improve. As it is now, the game is functional and it’s easy to figure out what each piece is and how it works. As things progress and this gets closer to being released, whether through Kickstarter or wherever Worldshapers decides to put it out into the world, I’m expecting a much better looking game overall. In any event, when looking at the pictures just know that this is no where near being finished.
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RULEBOOK
The rulebook like the components is also in the early stages of development. I have the 0.0.26 version of the rules. So things will change I’m sure, if they haven’t already. As it is, I just have a copy printed out on plain printer paper. Looking at the rules, I can point out a few things. There are a few pictures in the rules, such as a picture of how the game looks set up, along with an example or two with detailed pictures for them as well. I do hope that as things get closer to production that the number of pictures and examples increase. Just to add a bit of pop to the book. The rules themself are fairly easy to understand. I couldn’t find anything major that stood out to me as an issue. There were a few minor spelling or wording problems but nothing that is any reason for concern. The rules also include a solo variant which progress through 6 different stages. In this variant you are hired as the curator of bigger and more prominent museums starting at the local museum and progressing all the way to the curator of the Louvre in Paris, France. Each one offers a new challenge as well as increasing the difficulty each time. Overall I think the rules cover everything fairly well. A couple of times I found myself looking back at the rules for clarification. Thankfully I was able to find what I was looking for rather quickly and without too much trouble. I think everything is laid out quite well making it easy to find what you’re looking for. I think as long as some more pictures and examples get added to the finished rulebook, everything should end up looking great. For the time being, I’m good with the rules.
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GAMEPLAY
This game is a nice mixture of worker placement and tile placement. I like how everything works together as you’re trying to get visitor into your museum. The game has several different mechanics that remind me of other games that I enjoy quite a bit. The exhibition market and it’s spiral of tiles makes me think of Patchwork, while the employee actions feels a little bit like the role selection in Puerto Rico. Choosing which role to take at the right time, as well as which tile to add to your museum can be really important. A bit of planning ahead is a good idea. For the most part, these mechanics blend together into a cohesive game that is quite fun. I will say that there isn’t a whole lot of player interaction in this one though. In fact, it feels a lot like multiplayer solitaire. I guess that’s just the euro games style that this game has been influenced by. As it is, the game has a lot of interesting choices to be made as you work to fill those contracts through the arrangement of objects and tiles. Of course the goal is to get as many visitor points as possible. If you make the wrong choices, it can be quite difficult to acquire these. I guess the main thing to say about this game is that if you don’t mind a good euro game, then you’ll probably like this one too. As for the solo game, I probably like this part of the game the most. I like the puzzle like aspect of getting everything just how it needs to be, as well as the campaign like progression that increase the difficulty. In the solo mode, you have a number of allocations to finish the game in, not turns. In other words, you really have to plan out each move with scientific precision, especially in those later missions. As you start those harder missions, you’ll have a certain set of contracts that you’ll have to complete before you run out of allocations. As I said earlier, this can be quite challenging. Overall I think this game works. Of course there’s still a bit of refinement that can be done to make things even better, especially with the graphic designs. Still where it’s at right now, I think it’s headed in the right direction. I look forward to seeing the completed game in all it’s glory. Here’s hoping that this continues to evolve into what I’m sure will be a really great game.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Curators is a game of worker and tile placement set inside a museum. The game doesn’t take too long. Most game sessions last around 45 minutes. At present, the components are still a work in progress. I’m sure that as this gets closer to being published, things will look much better. For the time being I think there are several things that can use some work. The same is true of the rulebook. With a few small touch ups, I think the rulebook will be great. The game itself is fun and mixes the worker placement and tile placement mechanics together quite skillfully. I like how the feel of each of the different roles that a player can choose on their turn. Each one has a very unique feel that works thematically. The solo game is quite challenging and the most enjoyable part of the game in my opinion. I like the increasing difficulty along with the campaign like feel that each level walks you through. I think that fans of games like Patchwork and Puerto Rico should find aspects of this game that are very familiar. I those aspects should make this game enjoyable for them. I also think Euro game fans will also like this one, as it doesn’t have a whole lot of player interaction. Solo fans should find this game fun and challenging. Overall, I like this one pretty well, especially as a solo game. This is one that I would recommend keeping an eye out for as it becomes available to back on Kickstarter or purchase from your local game store. With the right aesthetics and a bit of work, I’m sure this one will be a great game once it’s published. Get your tickets now before the museum closes.
8 out of 10

 

 

For more information about this game, please check out Worldshapers on their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

https://www.facebook.com/WorldshapersBG/?ref=JN

https://twitter.com/WorldshapersBG

You can also keep an eye out for the Kickstarter link coming April 2019.

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DC Deck Building Game: Crisis Expansion Pack 4 Review

DC Deck Building Game: Crisis Expansion Pack 4 is an expansion for the DC Deck Building Game by Richard Brady and Matt Dunn, published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. It is for 1-5 players. This expansion adds 6 new hero cards and 8 new crisis hero cards, as well as 9 Impossible super villains and 4 crisis only super villains. It also adds 32 new cards for the main deck and 12 personal crisis cards.

For more information on the many different DC Deck Building Game core sets that this product can be used with, please check out the link below.

If you’ve never played the DC Deck Building game, let me take this opportunity to quickly explain the basics of how a core box set is played. Each player begins with 7 punch cards and 3 vulnerabilities to create their starting deck. They also begin the game with one of the many different variety of DC super heroes, or Villains if using the Forever Evil core set. The main deck of cards is shuffled together and the top 5 cards are flipped over and placed in a row known as the lineup. The Kick and Weakness cards are placed in separate stacks above the lineup along with a stack of Super Villain cards. The Super Villain cards are shuffled together and 7 cards are randomly placed face down with one specific card placed face up on top. The specific villain card is usually noted in the rulebook for that particular core set. Players shuffle their deck and draw 5 cards to begin the game. On a player’s turn, they will be playing cards from their hand to gain power which can be used to buy cards from the lineup, the kick pile or even defeat villains with. Some cards will also give special abilities which will further aid the players. Each time a card is purchased or defeated, it’s placed in the player’s discard pile and will create an even more power, helping the player to earn more points to be able to purchase more powerful cards with and defeat even stronger villains. Each player’s Super Hero will also provide them with special powers that can be used during their turn. Players continue adding cards to their decks and defeating villains until the final super villain is defeated. When that happens, players add up all their victory points from the cards in their decks to find their total. The player with the most points is the winner.

With a basic knowledge of how the game works, it’s time to look at this expansion to see exactly what it adds to the game. For those players already familiar with any of the previous 3 Crisis expansions, much of this will be very familiar. With the Crisis expansions there are 2 different modes of play that may be utilized. There’s the Competitive mode and the Crisis mode. Competitive mode is played pretty much the same way as the basic game, just with new main deck cards sprinkled in to the top half of the deck. Any of the new oversized Super Hero cards can be used by players, however it’s recommended to leave out the Crisis Super Heroes. The new Impossible super villains cards may also be used, however the Crisis super villains should also be left out of the competitive game. In Crisis mode players will be working together while dealing with Personal Crises. This mode of play is a little bit different and takes a bit more explanation.

Crisis Mode is set up much the same way as the basic game, with a few exceptions. Instead of 8 Super Villains, the number of Super Villain cards that are used are determined by the number of players. The fewer the players, the more villains to contend with. Instead of the basic Super Villain cards, Crisis mode utilizes the Impossible Super Villain cards. To set up the stack, the Trigon card is placed face down. The Slade Wilson card is set aside and all the remaining Impossible Super Villain cards are shuffled together. A certain number are then placed face down on top of the Trigon card, as noted in the rulebook and based on the number of players. Slade Wilson is then placed face up on top of the stack, which is then placed beside the stack of Kick cards above the lineup. Any remaining Super Villain cards are returned to the box. The Personal Crisis cards are shuffled together and placed face down beside the Super Villain stack. Each player is dealt 1 Personal Crisis card which is placed face up in front of them. Once these additional steps to the normal setup have been completed, play now begins.

Much of the gameplay for Crisis Mode is exactly the same as in Competitive mode, or the basic mode of play for any of the core sets. There are however a few differences. For instance, when you buy or gain a villain card from the line up, normally you would put these into your discard pile. In this mode, you simply destroy it. Destroyed cards are not the same as cards that are removed from the game. Destroyed cards are still a part of the game and may be interacted with. Removed from the game cards are returned to the box and can not be interacted with any more. If you defeat a super villain, you will do the same thing as buying or gaining a regular villain except that you will also gain a Personal Crisis, more on these in a moment. Another note on super villains is that you can’t defeat a super villain until there are no more villains face up in the line up. Another change in this mode is refilling the line up. Instead of filling each empty slot during the end of a player’s turn, only the top card from the main deck is added to the line up at this time. This means that the line up will fluctuate as the game goes on. The last change is with Impossible Super Villains. These are much stronger and harder to defeat villains. When playing with these, if a Weakness is destroyed, it is returned to the stack of Weakness cards. Also if a card needs to be added to the line up from the main deck and there aren’t any to add, the game is over and the players lose.

Earlier I mentioned Personal Crisis cards, these cause negative effects and many times hinder the player in lots of different ways. First, at the beginning of a player’s turn, the top card of the main deck is destroyed for each Personal Crisis card that the player has. This depletes the deck faster causing the players to lose quicker. To remove these from play, they must be beaten. These cards are beaten by following the directions at the bottom of the card that say, “To Beat”. This involves placing cards from your hand next to or under the Personal Crisis card that meet the requirements. It should be noted that other players may contribute to their team mate’s Personal Crisis cards as well. Once the requirements to beat the card have been met, all the cards contributed to it are removed from the game and the Personal Crisis card is placed in the Crisis discard pile beside the Personal Crisis stack.

In this game, a new Keyword is introduced; Unity. These cards are easily identified by the large U in the text of the card. These cards will usually provide a benefit to the players when the card is played. The more Unity cards that are in play, the more powerful they become. For instance, the Super Power, “Titans Together” allows the player to gain +2 power for each Unity card that they play, including the “Titans Together” card.

With Crisis mode, the game continues with players taking turns defeating villains and purchasing cards until one of two things happens. If all the Super Villains in the stack have been beaten before the main deck runs out, the players win. If a card from the main deck needs to be added to the line up and there are no more cards to draw from, the players lose.

COMPONENTS
This expansion comes with lots of new cards that can be added to any of the DC Deck Building Game core sets. There are 14 oversized character cards; 8 Crisis heroes and 6 regular heroes. The Crisis heroes are new versions of the characters in the Teen Titans core set which have new powers. The new heroes are Arsenal, Donna Troy, Nightwing, Omen, Tempest and the Flash. There are 9 new Super Villain cards that may be fought against, as well as 4 Crisis Super Villains which are only used when playing Crisis mode. There are also 32 new main deck cards that can be added to the game for either Crisis or Competitive mode. Finally there are 12 Personal Crisis cards. Each card in this expansion is based on characters from the Teen Titans comics from the DC comics universe. The Personal Crisis cards focus on specific storylines from those comics. The look and feel of each card is really amazing looking. The artwork looks like it was ripped straight from the pages of the comics. The designs are exactly like those in previous sets and expansions so that these are easily added to any set. One more thing of note is that the expansion also comes with a randomizer card that can be used with the Multiverse set, as well as a plastic divider with the same image as the one that’s on the box. This divider is great for keeping the expansion separated from the rest of your expansions and sets in the Multiverse box. Honestly, I’ve always liked the characters from the Teen Titans comics so to expand on the characters in the Teen Titans core set is a major plus in my book. I especially like the addition of Arsenal, which means I can use Green Arrow and Arsenal together in the game. If it’s not been completely obvious by this point, let me state that this expansion works best with the Teen Titans core set but can be used with any set. Overall the cards work together really well and look amazing. I am very pleased with the look and feel of everything that comes with this expansion.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this expansion isn’t all that big. Those players familiar with any of the previous Crisis expansions will find the size of those rulebooks similar to this one. The book goes over both the Crisis mode and the Competitive mode. For Competitive mode, there’s only a small paragraph explaining it, while Crisis mode covers a couple of pages. Instructions for using Personal Crisis cards, Impossible Super Villains are also covered in great detail, as is the new keyword Unity. There are a couple of pages that are devoted to clarifying how certain cards work from the oversized Super Hero cards to the Impossible Super Villains, new main deck cards and Personal Crisis cards. The book also includes a few frequently asked questions that go a little more in detail on certain subjects that may come up while playing. The back cover of the book features a handy reference for playing Crisis Mode, as well as for using Impossible Super Villains. As for the rules, I feel like everything is explained rather well. There should be anything difficult to understand about using this expansion. There aren’t a whole lot of pictures in the book. What’s here is just a few pictures of some of the cards. There’s only one or two examples of gameplay in the book, which is fine as there’s not much that should need additional explaining. Overall I feel like the rulebook gets the job done in a small and compact way without a whole lot of reading required. I’m fairly pleased with the results.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
As most of you know by now, I’m a huge fan of the DC Deck Building Game. I’ve played pretty much everything that has been out for the game since it first came out. Mostly this is due to my love for the DC comics universe. While I enjoy all the various costumed heroes and villains, I have to say that the Teen Titans have always been some of my favorite characters. I always liked Robin/Nightwing, Starfire, Raven and Donna Troy. Over the years the characters have grown and changed. I still like the Titans though, so for me this expansion paired with the Teen Titans core set is absolutely gold. I like that this has two different ways to play with the Crisis mode and Competitive. Of course the competitive mode is great for playing with friends that simply want a quick and simple game to play with the DC characters. This expansion allows you to add a stack of new cards to the main deck and change up the game a bit without going to overboard. The Crisis mode allows you to really get into the game. I wouldn’t recommend playing this way with your casual players. It can be rather tough, especially with those Impossible Super Villains. They are called Impossible after all. Those Personal Crisis cards really throw a monkey wrench into what you’re doing too. Needless to say, you can find yourself losing several times without blinking. However I really enjoy the challenge. With the Crisis mode, you can also play the game solo which is awesome. Speaking of solo, yes the solo mode is a lot of fun. It’s a bit of a challenge but I love a good challenge. I can’t forget to mention the new Unity keyword either. I like how that the more of these cards that you play the more power and abilities you’re able to generate. Once you get a stack of these rolling, it makes those super villains a bit easier to beat. Needless to say, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I really enjoy this expansion. I’m pretty sure that fans of the DC Deck Building Game, especially the Teen Titans set, will love what this brings to the table. This is an expansion that I would highly recommend. For me, it’s a most definite must have.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
DC Deck Building Game: Crisis Expansion Pack 4 is an expansion for the DC Deck Building Game. It’s compatible with any of the core sets but has a special connection with the Teen Titans set. It adds adds 6 new hero cards and 8 new crisis hero cards, as well as 9 Impossible super villains and 4 crisis only super villains. It also adds 32 new cards for the main deck and 12 personal crisis cards that are all centered around the Teen Titans. The game length varies depending on the mode of play chosen and the number of players. Most game sessions last between an hour and two hours. The cards that come with this expansion are absolutely gorgeous. I especially like the addition of new characters like Arsenal and Donna Troy. The images on each card look like something ripped from the pages of a DC comic. The new mechanics of the Personal Crisis cards and the new Unity keyword create new challenges and new ways to play an already great game. Thematically I think that the expansion capitalizes on the themes and feelings of the Teen Titans comics quite well. Needless to say, I absolutely love this expansion. Fans of the DC Deck Building Game, especially the Teen Titans core set, should really enjoy this expansion. I highly recommend this one. It’s a must have. Now back to more teenage angsty drama.
9 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cryptozoic Entertainment at their site.

http://www.cryptozoic.com/

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