New & Restocked Board Games : November 24, 2010

New Board Games
Cities
Cleopatra’s Caboose
Covert Action
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey Animals Booster
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey Crops Booster
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey Elementals Booster
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey Energy Booster
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey Land Booster
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey Technology Booster
Launch Pad
Merchants of the Middle Ages
Revolution! – The Palace

Restocked Board Games:
Acquire
Albion
Babel
Bang! The Bullet

Bang! Wild West Show
Boomtown

Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers
Carcassonne: Wheel of Fortune
Castle Panic Boardgame
Catan Dice Game Deluxe
Cloud 9
Conflict of Heroes : Storms of Steel
Cosmic Encounter
Cyclades
Dixit
Dogfight
Dominion: Prosperity
Endeavor
Fast Flowing Forest Fellers
Forbidden Island
Gipf
Hey! That’s My Fish Deluxe
Hotel Samoa
Leaping Lemmings
Lords of Vegas
Lord of the Rings the Confrontation Deluxe Edition
Magic Labyrinth
Mini-PitchCar
Modern Art Revised Edition
Munchkin 7: More Good Cards
Munchkn Cthulhu 4 Crazed Caverns
Munchkin: Go Up A Level

Ricochet Robots
Risk 1959
Scotland Yard
Scrabble Deluxe 60th Anniversary
Sword of Rome (’10 Reprint)
Talisman: Sacred Pool Expansion
Talisman: The Dungeon Expansion
Talisman: The Frost March Expansion
Talisman: The Highland Expansion
Talisman: The Reaper Expansion
The Rivals of Catan

The Target

Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride Europe
Twilight Imperium 3E Shattered Empires
Ubongo
Wooly Bully
Yucatan Adventure Board
Zombie Survival the Board Game

PS: Unfortunately, due to the weather and a delay by UPS, the Dominant Species we had hoped to bring in this week is going to have to wait till next week.

Calamity and Water

The new office is great, but it does have some problems.  One of which is the lack of a working hot water radiator.  As those of you who live in BC know; it’s a touch cold out here right now.  Okay, cold for BC – I hear it’s a lost worst in other parts of Canada.

After complaining to the landlord, they came in on Monday morning to look at it – and proceeded to create a mess.   One of the screws in the radiator came completely free, proceeding to spray water across the office.  Dirty, brown water.

Cue spending the next 2 – 3 hours wiping down board games, checking for damage and placing the various  soaked cardboard boxes out for drying.   We’re still assessing the final damage, but all I can say is ‘Thank God for shrinkwrap’.

Thanks to the fact that the radiator was basically spraying direct onto the various packing boxes and not the games, we avoided damage to our stock mostly.  A few games were unfortunately damaged, but much less than I had anticipated.  We’re waiting for the games to dry out completely for a thorough check on the contents, but the worst damage was to our packing boxes, many of which will have to be tossed.

The silver lining? Expect in a week or so for us to be adding some new board games to the ‘Ding & Dent’ section once we confirm the extent of damage.  A few games might not be salvageable at all, but most are just badly stained on the front it seems.

New & Restocked Board Games : November 18, 2010

New Board Games
Botswana
Bridgetown Races
MidEvil Deluxe
Sid Meier’s Civilization the Board Game
Warhammer: Invasion LCG Fourth Waystone
Zombie Survival the Board Game

Restocked Board Games
Alhambra
Axis & Allies: Pacific 1940
Back to the Future: Card Game
Balderdash
BattleStar Galactic Pegasus Expansion
Battlestar Galactica Boardgame
Bausack
BUGS
Burrows
Cash’n Guns
Cleopatra & Society of Architects
Combat Commander: Europe
Cyclades
Dust
Egizia
Endeavor
For Sale
Forbidden Island
Frontline : D-Day
Hansa Teutonica
Here I Stand (’10 Reprint)
Hex Hex XL
Humans!!! 2 – Sea Food
In the Shadow of the Emperor
Ingenious Travel Edition
Inkognito Card game
Last Night on Earth
Martians!!!
Monty Python Fluxx
Munchkin Fairy Dust
Mykerinos
Pitchcar Ext. 5 – The Cross
Poo! : the Card Game
Risk: 2210 A.D.
S’quarrels
Settlers of Catan – Fishermen of Catan
Settlers of Catan – Replacement Card Deck
Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game
StarCraft: The Boardgame
Steam : Rails to Riches
Summoner Wars : Phoenix Elves
Sword of Rome (’10 Reprint)
Tales of the Arabian Nights
The Pillars of the Earth
Thunderstone
Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements
Tichu
Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition
Two by Two
Vegas Showdown
Vikings
Warhammer: Chaos In The Old World
Zombie Fluxx

Work hours, discipline & productivity

It’s an interesting life, owning your own store.  Since it’s an online store; other than ensuring that stock goes out everyday I can dictate my own work hours.   Of course, these days, I have someone else doing the shipping so I often spend most of the day at the home-office, giving me an extremely high-level of flexibility.  If I want to, I can wake up at Noon and work till midnight; or vice versa.

Of course, that’s the theoretical possibility.  Reality is; I often work the same work-hours as everyone else; just more. Customers call anywhere between 6am (figuring we’re in the East Coast like they are) till 6pm during the day.  Vendors & other suppliers are only open during work-hours; so I need to ensure my orders and contact with them fall within that timeframe.  And if I’m placing a restock order, that needs to be done early in the morning so that it has time to be packed on their side.

While I have more a flex-time than a physical retail store that has to be open by a certain time-period; the reality of business is that we’re still locked into the 9-5pm work cycle for high productivity.

In many ways, that’s a good thing for me. It ensures a certain amount of discipline on my side – I have to be up and out of bed by 10am at the latest; I have until 5pm to get my calls / e-mails / orders completed.  Canada Post comes by at 3.45pm every weekday, so orders have to be packed by then.  And so on, so forth.  The routine creates a timeline, that you just need to follow; reducing the self-motivation / discipline requirements.

Of course, being a night owl; I find myself working at night a lot too. It’s just easier to get work done sometimes, especially if I’m coding or updating the site.

New & Restocked Board Games : November 12, 2010

New Board Games
Call of Cthulhu LCG The Cacophony
Frag Gold Ed: FTW
High Frontier
High Frontier Expansion
Munchkin: Go Up A Level
The Rivals of Catan
The Target
Zombies!!! 3.5 – Not Dead Yet!

Restocked Board Games:
A Game of Thrones Core Set
Apples to Apples Crate Edition
Arkadia
Axis & Allies: D-Day
Axis & Allies: Pacific 1940
Bang! The Bullet
Bang! Wild West Show
Card Protectors – Black
Carcassonne
Carcassonne: the Tower
Carpe Astra
Claustrophobia
Coloretto
Combat Commander: Normandy Battle Pack
Combat Commander: Stalingrad
Command & Colors Ancients : Roman Civil Wars
Command & Colors Ancients (3rd Printing)
Command & Colors Ancients : Greece vs the Eastern Kingdoms
Cutthroat Caverns: Deeper and Darker
Cutthroat Caverns Relics& Ruins
Cutthroat Caverns Tombs & Tomes
Descent Sea of Blood Ocean Map
Dice Tower – Cherry Wood Finish
Dixit
Dominion
Dominion: Alchemy
DungeonQuest
Dust
Fairy Tale
Fluxx (Version 4.0)
Flying Colors (’10 Reprint)
Gosu
A Game of Thrones LCGBeyond the Wall Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG : A Change of Seasons Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Raven’s Song Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCGS acred Bonds Chapter Pack
Homesteaders
Horus Heresy
Illuminati: Mutal Assured Distraction
Last Night on Earth
Lord of the Rings (Silver Line Edition)
Macao
Martian Fluxx
Blokus Duo / Travel Edition
Middle Earth Quest
Mr. Jack
Munchkin Quest: Portal Kombat
Once Upon a Time 2nd Ed
Pandemic
Pandemic: On the Brink
Pitchcar Ext. 4 – Stunt Race
Primordial Soup
Primordial Soup : Freshly Spiced
Risk: 2210 A.D.

Robo Rally
Settlers of the Stone Age
Shadow Hunters
Shadow Hunters: Expansion
Shogun
Solid Black Deck Box
Solid Green Deck Box
Solid White Deck Box
Space Junkyard
Steam: Rails to Riches
Stoner Fluxx
Sumeria
Summoner Wars: Fallen Kingdom
Summoner Wars: Vanguards
Talisman: Sacred Pool Expansion
Transeuropa with Vexation
Tsuro: The Game of the Path
Warhammer : Chaos In The Old World
Warhammer: Invasion LCG Assault on Ulthuan
Zombies 4! The End
Zombies! 7: Send in the Clowns
Zooloretto
Zombies! (Second Edition)
Zombies! 3 Mall Walkers 2nd Edition
Zombies! 9 – Ashes to Ashes
Zombies!!! 2 Zombie Corps

New & Restocked Board Games : November 4, 2010

New Board Games
A Game of Thrones LCG Song of Silence Chapter Pack
Cavum
Conflict of Heroes : Price of Honor-Poland 1939
Covert Action
Flying Colors (’10 Reprint)
Manoeuvre (’10 Reprint)
Here I Stand (’10 Reprint)
Panzer General: Allied Assault
Paths of Glory (’10 Reprint)
Robber Knights
Small World Be Not Afraid Exp
Sword of Rome (’10 Reprint)
What’s Missing? (Differences)

Restocked Board Games
10 Days in Europe
A Game of Thrones LCG : City of Secrets Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Epic Battles Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Illyrio’s Gift Expansion
A Game of Thrones LCG Kings of the Storm Deluxe Expansion
A Game of Thrones LCG Mountains of the Moon Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Rituals of R’hillor Expansion

A Game of Thrones LCG Tales of the Red Keep Chapter Pack
A Game of Thrones LCG Winds of Winter Chapter Pack
Arkadia
BattleLore: Call to Arms
Blokus Classic
Bohnanza
Boomtown
Catan: Portable Edition
Arkham Horror Innsmouth Horror Expansion
Cosmic Incursion
Descent: Well of Darkness
Dixit
Dogfight
Downfall of Pompeii
Duel in the Dark
For Sale
Guillotine Card Game
Jambo
Lemming Mafia
Lost Cities
Mousetrap
Neuroshima Hex
Nuns on the Run
Onirim
Pandemic
Piratissimo
Qwirkle
S’QUARRELS
San Juan
Say Anything
Settlers of Catan Great River
Small World
Settlers of Catan Fishermen of Catan
Twister
Ultimate Werewolf
Winner’s Circle

Zombie State : Diplomacy of the Dead Review

Zombie State : Diplomacy of the Dead Review is an interesting board game that has players controlling continental nations in a battle to end the Zombie plague.  The game starts out in catastrophe and keeps getting worst, with players having to decide which countries to sacrifice to conserve limited resources and actions.  Zombie State is a fun game that takes just a little too long; but still worth trying out.

Appearance:  Okay, this is my largest gripe about Zombie State.  It has one of the worst graphics I’ve ever seen on a board game.  The world map is horrendously designed; with colours that are hard to read and worst to look at; while the rulebook looks like a first year Graphic Design Student knocked it out.  It’s bad.  The only saving graces  are that the quality of the components are great (the tanks/armies are cute) and the well thought out player aid.  That’s about it.

Rules/Ease of Learning: Zombie State is broken into a few different phases in each turn – starting from receiving resources & actions (known as Freedom Points); random events, the Zombie Action Phase, Player Action Phase & Upkeep Phase.   Of those, the meat of the game is in the Zombie & Player Action Phases.

An interesting take on the action points is the ‘Popularity Track’.  As players lose regions; they remove the dice that indicate the population of that region onto their player aid Popularity Track.  The track indicates the number of actions a player gets a turn as well as the number of armies they can draft.  So, as players lose more regions, their options reduce.

In the Zombie Action Phase, the Zombies Eat, Move & then Fight in that order.  Eating is relatively simple – one Zombie token eats one population and creates another Zombie.  Movement is more complicated; with Zombies moving towards the highest population regions first in groups.  However, not all Zombies move together; 3 then 2 then 1 to regions with populations of descending amounts.   At which point Combat occurs; with armies and zombies canceling each other out.

In the Player Action Phase; players can research technology; generate new resources, create and move armies and use any technologies that are appropriate.  The focus of a the player’s decisions are here – which technologies to research, where to build armies and whether to move or fortify the armies, what regions to evacuate or abandon if possible.

It’s worth noting that because players fight zombies; they have almost no direct interaction with other players.  Most of the interaction is via deciding how to deal with the zombie movement, mostly by channeling the zombies into another player’s region.  However, you can’t send armies into another region nor can you ‘steal’ resources.

In the last phase; the mutation markers move ahead.  Acting as a game timer and a zombie mutation & outbreak timer; the mutation track just makes things worst for everyone continually.

Overall, the game takes about 10 minutes to teach.  None of the rules are particularly complicated for a gamer; though there are quite a few details.  The hardest part to learn / understand is the numerous technologies that are available and how zombie movement occurs.

Gameplay: Zombie State is fun to play.  In the beginning, the game starts out with zombies in 2 regions and multiplying.  It just gets worst as the next turn, another outbreak occurs and in 2 more turns, another outbreak.  Within a few rounds, you have multiple zombie outbreaks that are chewing through your population.

Of course, you only have a limited number of resources; so you have to decide to either slow down the zombie plague by sacrificing expensive units or focus on researching technologies to win.  Stay focused on or the other path too much though and you’ll end-up over-run by the zombies.  The crux of the game is figuring out when to switch between the two paths.

Like any other good game; there’s a lot of choices but unfortunately, there might just be too many in Zombie State.  Between analyzing where the Zombies are moving; the decisions on the technology track and the allocation of armies on the board; the beginning few rounds are slow.  Players are all engaged during this period for the most part; but after 3 – 4 hours players begin to wear down.  While the later game is faster as there are fewer actions and fewer regions to concern yourself about; by this time player fatigue is catching up.

Lastly, there’s a bit of a  problem with player elimination.  After 2 – 3 hours; its certainly possible to see who the winner (or potential winners) are.  Quite often, there’s a few players in the lead and the others are stuck behind, either due to bad luck or bad decisions.  Unfortunately, there’s still at least another hour or two left of gameplay at this point; and while there’s still a lot of fun left, it is a bit of a let-down for the players stuck behind since there’s really no way to turn it around completely.

Conclusion:  Zombie State is a lot of fun; don’t get me wrong.  It’s not a Risk game as players aren’t fighting each other, instead they are combating zombies.  On the other hand, the game does suffer from a high play length and player elimination.  It’s still a game I’d keep in my collection to take out once in a while.

November 2010 Newsletter

Review Contest Winner

This month’s winner is Eric L. with his review of Camelot Legends. In his words “Camelot Legends is a good looking card game but there is some major problems that ruin it all. After a few games, it is obvious that if the players are experienced, only luck decide(s) the winner… there is too much bad knights compare(d) to good knights so if a player get two or three good knights, he’s almost assured (that) he will win.”

 

On-Going Contest

Don’t forget, we are also awarding 50 Citadel Points to each approved review. Lastly, the winner is enterred into the end of the year draw for the Grand Prize of $250 of board games!

Read more about the Contest

Site Updates

We have moved offices to a new address at3 11-Rear West Cordova St. The Google Map of the location is here.

Our coupon codes system is still down. We are now doing a complete wipe and reintallation of the site on a development server that seems to be going well and should be fixed in a month or soon. Our apologies on this delay!

Christmas is coming soon, and we’ll be updating the site with a ton of new games that are making their ways from Essen & released just for Christmas. Keep an eye on the site for all this information.

Read more on our blog

Upcoming Hot Games

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A ton of great new releases are arriving in the next few months including the restock of Dominion : Prosperity, Jerusalem, Automobile and Merchants and Marauders.