Friday, February 27, 2015

Love Letter: Hobbit edition

Really great art!
So while visiting the AEG booth at the Toy Fair, I was introduced to 2 upcoming Love Letter editions, Batman and Hobbit. Now when I first heard of these many many editions of Love Letter, my first reaction was "Oh no, they are just revamping the art and milking it for all its worth.....". To my surprise though, there are some changes in the rules and Todd from AEG mentioned they do check back with Seiji san (original designer of Love Letter) to seek his advice and approval which, to me, is quite cool. So just how different does The Hobbit love letter play? Lets take a look.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

For the Love of Lore - Warhammer 40k Conquest Review

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest is Fantasy Flight’s latest LCG that was released in October last year. Eric and I got our core sets a few weeks ago with a bunch of our classmates, and I've been obsessed with playing it ever since. If you're a 40k fan, you'll find it fun too! 

Conquest has an interesting combat and resource system in its own right, but I'm going to mostly review how it represents the canon and wider 40k universe. I'm a huge 40k fan, so it was important to me that the game portray the lore well in addition to being fun and interesting to play. Bottom line, it generally does a pretty good job! For starters, every card looks great - the artwork is consistent with, for example, the Black Library book covers.
Space Marine Relic from the Core Set: glorious art.

The game's 7 factions - Space Marines, Astra Militarum (made up of Imperial Guard and other non-Marine Imperials), Orks, Chaos, Dark Eldar, Eldar, and Tau - also represent their in-universe races pretty well, for the most part. Chaos has a lot of cards that involve sacrificing Cultists to summon demons, Dark Eldar is all about bleeding opponents of cards or units in order to kill them slowly, and the Tau have lots of Attachments that upgrade their units with BattleSuits and the like.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Xcom - omg omg then meh

Relatively clean board after our first round
I LOVE XCOM the video game. I remember playing its first version and loving the tactical placement of my squad as well as the management of the base so as to advance my technologies and ensure my soldiers are better equipped to eliminate the aliens that the game throws at us. The latest version of XCOM provides not only enhanced graphics but the tactical battle can be seen like a miniatures game of sorts as you control your soldiers and decide how many steps to move and what actions to take, based on an action point system. The game definitely have many elements that can carry over well onto a tabletop format. To that end, Fantasy Flight Game released X-COM the boardgame in 2014 but it really saw the market in a big way in 2015.  So how is the game and had Fantasy Flight Games done a good job ?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Too many Cinderellas - or can I pass my cat off to the prince?

Yes that's a cat with a wig. Yes you can marry the cat off to the Prince!
Released in 2014 by Taikikennai Games and soon to be distributed by Grail Games, Too Many Cinderellas pits 2-4 players in an attempt to marry off one of their charges to the befuddled Prince. At the start of the game, players are dealt 4 cards each and have 2 chits, a OK and a NO chit. The cards contain different characters and they have ranks 1-18 as well as certain attributes that distinguishes them. In addition, they have conditions. During a player's turn, they are to play a card from their hand face up on the table. When that happens, the character on the card no longer becomes relevant and players are focused on the condition. Players then get to choose one of their chits face down and then reveal them simultaneously. Any NO chits are placed on the card which means the condition is null and void. If there are none, then the condition is active until the end of the game. The game ends when every player has placed 2 cards at which point, they will choose 1 card from their remaining 2 and reveal simultaneously. The player whose chosen card best matches the conditions depicted by the face up cards on the table wins the game. If there is a tie, the rank that is the highest (smallest number) will win the game. 

Cat box lite - it's the MEOW

Print and Play version
Prolific designer and artist Aza Chan has created at least 4 boardgames in 2014, all of which are well designed, different and shows what a great artist he is. He also has an active Designer blog and from it I found this Print and Play version of Cat Box Lite, which he is releasing in 2015 (the full version). You can find the link here

In Cat Box, which plays 2-4 players, players are given 1 hidden Cat card, which determines what cats will score you points. There will be a stack of double-sided cats card and from it, players will draw 2 cards and 1 card from the draw deck will be placed in the center of the table. During your turn, players are allowed to play a card form their hand OR play an opponent's card (keeping the side facing you placed faceup on the table). Players are allowed to cover 1 square of another card on the table. If the card they are playing has a box on the faceup side, then they are allowed to cover up to 2 squares of the cards on the table. The game ends when the draw deck is empty and players count the number of cats of their type that is exposed on the table. In addition, players will choose the biggest cluster of their cats and score an extra 1 point for each of their cats in that cluster. The player with the most points wins!

8 the liar

Components of the game

8 the Liar is a party style game that plays 2 - 8 players. In the game, players are trying to empty their hand of cards as well as 3 Liar chits they have before they can win. During your turn, you can play any number of cards from your hand, facedown into the center of the table. Before the next player plays his or her cards, anyone can challenge you by placing their Liar chit down. Whoever loses the challenge will have to pick up ALL the cards on the table. If the challenger was correct, then the Liar chit is discarded. Play continues until one player has won.

When we first started playing, all of us were quite excited and intrigued. We do like good party games and the group I was with especially liked bluffing elements in games. We quickly realized that discarding cards was easy, getting rid of the liar chits is difficult. This is made even more difficult because we have so many players so really knowing when each other is lying is crucial.