Mini Board Game Reviews (4)

World of Warcraft the Adventure Game
The World of Warcraft Adventure Game is surprisingly good. It’s a solid game that balances the need to develop your characters with interesting abilties, skills and equipment with the need for fast gameplay very well. You each get an individual character to use, with their own special ability deck. As you gain experience, you gain access to more cards from the deck and new portions of the board to explore. Interaction with the board is quick and intuitive; there’s no major restrictions on movement due to bad die rolls and the game’s quests and monsters are fun take-on. Overall, I’d say it’s probably the best adventure game out there at the moment.

A board game version of the hit Coloretto; players must slowly ‘stock’ their respective zoos by taking orders from the trucks arriving each turn. Of course, you’ll need to know when to take a truck with some animals that you want and when to push your luck in the hopes of getting just the right mixture. The addition of a game board that limits both the type of animals you can take as well as the number makes Zooloretto a tighter resource management game than Coloretto. Add the cute animals and Zooloretto makes a lightweight Euro strategy game perfect for introducing beginners to.

Glory to Rome
If you liked Race for the Galaxy, you probably will love Glory to Rome. Taking the role choice aspect of Puerto Rico and Race; Glory to Rome makes you cards work triply hard. Each card can be a role, building, client or resource depending on the phase of the gameplay and where it’s situated. This is an advanced strategy game that requires players to think 2 to 3 steps ahead each turn at a minimum and benefits from multiple plays. Even after 10 times playing it, I’m still finding more to this game each time I break it out.

Dungeon Lords
I like this game. As a fan of Dungeon Keeper; I’m tickled pink by the homage to the original PC game; but don’t let the ‘cute’ graphics fool you. There’s a serious game here, with quite a lot of thinking required. It might be a touch too heavy for some players, and a bit too fiddly for others though as you’ve got to control your command cards, the order of your commands, the monsters and traps you’ll purchase as well as the dungeon rooms you place (and where to place them); along with balancing your evilness to ensure the Paladin doesn’t come visiting. There’s a lot going-on; but it’s well worth the playing.

Tanto Cuore
Ooooh, I like this game. My favorite deck-builder thus far; it has just the right mixture of interaction and strategy for my taste. You can get nasty and throw Illnesses and Bad Habits at other players or play purely defensively, attempting to buy up points to win the game. Of course, the art might turn some people off but if you can get past that, Tanto Cuore is an extremely solid game.

The Legend of Drizzt
The Legend of Drizzt is the 3rd D&D Board Game and introduces both team and competitive play scenarios. In addition, there’s even more heroes that you can play with than ever before with new Events and improved (and more interesting) monster AI. Legend of Drizzt is the perfect gateway dungeon crawler and introduction to 4th Edition as well as a great stand-alone board game by itself.

Lords of Vegas : Dust, Dice & Dollars
Lords of Vegas is a family strategy game. There’s too much luck in here for a pure Eurogamer; but if you’re looking for a simpler filler game that you can introduce the family to; this light-hearted game of casino building is a great bet. Fast turns, easy rules and lots of dice makes this a pretty solid family board game.

Revolution is a game of area control and blind bidding where players are attempting to gain sufficient influence to ensure it’s their opponents who go to the guillotine; not themseleves. They’ll need to bid for control over a variety of powerful individuals in the game, with each successful bid providing a combination of points, territory and influence for the next round. There are 3 types of influences, with force trumping blackmail which trumps gold. However, certain individuals may be immune to certain forms of influence so deciding where each players goes each turn and what they’ll bid is key to the game. Revolution’s a ton of fun, it’s quite light and with a good group can flow very fast.

New Game Decks

The Insurgency Gaming Risk 2210 AD decks have just arrived.  They can be found here:

Risk 2210 AD : Aerial Assault Deck

Risk 2210 AD : Day of the Dead Deck

Risk 2210 AD : Mercenary Commander Deck

Risk 2210 AD – Spy Commander Deck

Risk 2210 AD – Religious Commander Deck

Risk 2210 AD – A Call to Arms: Patriot

Risk 2210 AD – A Call to Arms: Celestial Dawn

Risk 2210 AD – A Call to Arms

Risk 2210 AD – Mission Pack

Risk 2210 AD – Terror Tactics Command Deck

Risk 2210 AD – Advanced Tech Command Deck

Small World’s Tunnels – When Free Isn’t Free

We recently received our first copies of Small World : Tunnels. For those of you who do not know, it’s an expansion to Small World’s that links the Small World base game and the Small World : Underworld stand-alone expansion together into one large board. It’s actually quite a good mini-expansion, and certainly something worth putting out.  Once we got it in, we put it up for $5.00.

Then we were informed by a customer that Days of Wonder was letting customers know that they could pick up the Small World expansion for free from retailers.  Contrary to what DOW is impressing on customers; getting these expansions is not free to retailers. We are allocated copies based on purchases with our distributor. Following is the relevant text we were sent.

Game retailers who purchase products from the Small World line during the 4th quarter can get their copies as follows:

– Purchase $100 in Small World products and get 5 free copies of Tunnels

– Purchase $200 in Small World products, get 10 free copies of Tunnels

– Purchase $500 in Small World products, get 20 free copies of Tunnels

– Purchase $1000 in Small World products, get 40 free copies of Tunnels

A few things to note:

  • this is only available for retailers who purchase Small World line items in Q4
  • quantities to retailers are extremely limited
  • no consideration is provided for past purchases of Small World items throughout the year

Putting a quantity minimum to get these items isn’t free. It’s an incentive to buy more of their products and a transfer of holding cost, which is how we’re treating it.   If DOW feels that’s unfair, I’m more than happy to distribute for free any expansions they send us.

Inflection Points

The most dangerous time for a business is during inflection points – either from internal or external factors.

We can all name the majority of external inflection points – recessions, logistic changes, new laws, etc.  All these effect the business and can potentially ruin them or at least seriously damage them.

The less obvious inflection points are internal.  They can appear due to logistical, staffing, financial or marketing reasons.  They can strangely enough appear from growth as well.  And that’s what I’d like to discuss – inflection points due to growth.

Businesses often have processes & capital that work for them at certain sizes – bureaucracies or lack of them, physical space or financial capital.  However, at a certain point, they no longer work because the business has outgrown them.

However, the next ‘step’ in the business – whether it’s a larger space, more employees or more processes is often too onerous for the current size of the business.  You are in no-man’s land and it’s at this point of the business that errors are most likely to occur.

We’re currently transitioning through a few inflection points – in employees & processes and the resulting error rate in mis-shipped orders or customer miscommunication is frustrating.  Sometimes, all you can do is take a deep breath, tell yourself that this will past and get down to managing the chaos while you (hopefully) transition through that point and move onto the next stage of your business.

New Games: November 17th, 2011

New Games

All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Battletech: Major Periphery States
Battletech: Master & Minions Starcorps Dossier
Call of Cthulhu LCG: Never Night Asylum Pack
Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower
Deathwatch: First Founding
Dominion: Hinterlands
Dust Tactics: Heavy Recon Grenadiers
Dust Tactics: Red Devils
Dust Tactics: Terrain Tiles
Munchkin: Reindeer Games
Pathfinder: Warpath
Runewars: Banners of War
Super Dungeon Explore
Super Dungeon Explore: Candy & Cola
Ticket to Ride Asia Map Collection