Monday, September 29, 2014

R / Brave Rats - A Micro Review for Two

Hi everybody!
Sorry for such a late review today. I've been using the day to replay some games with my fiance, take some pictures, and jot some notes down. That being said I am good on review material for some time to come. Now on to the review!

I wanted to shift gears from some medium sized games to one that fits into a pocket and can be played virtually anywhere. So, as you may know, we play a lot of 2 player games, so today we are going to talk about R by Seiji Kanai. R was reimplemented into Brave Rats in 2011.

R/Brave Rats Together for the First Time...Again.
R is a 2 player micro game consisting of 16 cards. Each player receives 8 cards numbered 0 through 7 in their faction. The original R has identical artwork on the cards with the exception of the Prince and Princess cards (one faction being dark haired and the the being fair haired) while Brave Rats has red and blue factions of rats. The players simultaneously pick one of the cards from their hand to play and reveal their cards at the same time. Once the cards are revealed their special abilities activate such as the prince let's you automatically win the round, the princess wins the game automatically if your opponent reveals the prince, and the wizard nullifies the opposing card's ability.
Spreading Out the Factions.
The numbers in the top corner also act as the card's power. After the abilities are resolved players match the numbers up and the higher number wins. The winning player captures the opponent's card, by taking it and setting the pair aside. The first player to capture 4 of their opponent's cards wins the game.

The game only lasts about 5 to 10 minutes with no setup and extremely easy set of rules. The game, although short, has a lot of replay value. It isn't a brain burner and can be easily repeated again and again for a light experience. R works well as a waiting game as well, if you and a friend were eliminated early from a long game you can use it to pass time until the next game is ready to go.

A Swarm of Rats

As far as the game goes the art in both versions is very crisp and visually arresting. That being said, the original art for R is beautiful. Noboru Sugiura's artwork is masterful and a breath of fresh air. Just looking at it also screams that it is a Seiji Kanai/Kanai Factory game. It is distinct and fanciful. In both versions the cards are of a good size and feel. They are well made and won't easily fall apart through heavy play. My biggest complaint about the original R is that it comes in a flimsy white envelope while Brave Rats comes in a great, hard as nails tin.

This was another game I was looking forward to at Gen Con. I caught wind that Blue Orange Games had limited copies of R if you purchased Brave Rats or if you beat them in an oversized version of the game. I had to have R despite not really wanting Brave Rats. I know, I know, it is the same exact game with the exception of the art. That being said, the cartoony rat art and Scotish rat kingdoms really turned me off. It is so minor, but if it wasn't for the original art being available I wouldn't even own Brave Rats.

R!
Now, I really like this game. It is a neat, quick 2 player game. However, the nature of the game is that there is little to no meat to it. Once you play R you probably won't think about it again until it hits the table next time. It is a fun bit of fluff.

I can really only recommend the game if you are looking for a small, cheap bit of fun to play on lazy rainy days with a loved one or if you are a huge Seiji Kanai fan. I'd also say get R instead of Brave Rats because of the stunning artwork.

R/Brave Rats is a fine game, but it will leave you wanting more. Now hopefully Blue Orange and Mr. Kanai capitalize on this and finally release RRR in English with Noboru Sugiura's original artwork.

Thank you all again for reading another Daemonic Teutonic game review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers,
Phil

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Reviews on the Way and More

Hi everybody!

So I setup a list for the moment of around 40 games I am going to review as soon as possible. One or two of those will be on here tomorrow. Some of them are Kickstarter games that haven't arrived yet, but I want to jump on them when the iron is hot for reviewing.

Maybe It is
I am hoping to build up a bit more reputation before I start going into News segments and I am going to start looking into doing previews. The previews are tricky territory and I want to make sure I handle something like that properly.

I am thinking about making lists as well, such as "My Top 10..." or whatever. I know it is a bit of a quirk, but I love making lists. I don't know why, but lists are great.

I also want to thank you all again for reading these interruptions and reviews. It means a lot to me. Gaming is a wonderful hobby that helps me relax and escape from my stress filled work life. Sharing my passion and joy with you and having someone actual read it is such a great feeling.

Please, please feel free to drop me an email or comment and discuss on the posts. I also want to take this time to ask for your feedback. Are my views clear and concise on the games? Is there something I can change or format better? Is there something you want to see here at Daemonic Teutonic? Please let me know because I would love this blog to become the absolute best it can be.

Thank you all again! I hope you are enjoying Daemonic Teutonic.

Cheers,
Phil

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Imperial Settlers - A Civil Review

Hi everybody!

Welcome back to for another board game review. Sorry about the couple of day break, it has been absolutely crazy here. So without any more delay here is the new review. Today I will be talking about Ignacy Trzewiczek's Imperial Settlers, a civilization building card game for 2 to 4 players.
Meet the Settlers
The game is a medium-light civilization builder. Each player picks one of the civilizations; either Barbarians, Romans, Egyptians, or Japanese. Each civ has its own strengths and unique abilities, this is represented within the civ's deck of cards. The unique buildings all have their own flair that relates back to the civilization. The example I can give, as I have played the most as the Barbarians, is they have a lot of abilities that use the production of opposing civs as their own as well as produce a lot of swords in order to tear other civilizations down. It fits well with the aspect of raiding and burning that barbarians are known for. Players begin the game with a combination of their own cards and the generic cards from the shared deck. These all represent buildings that can be made into your city for one of three purposes; production, features, and actions. Production buildings give you resources at the beginning of each round. These resources are used for everything in the game ranging from laying out new buildings to using special abilities. Features give you passive abilities such as "you may store any number of a certain resource". Actions give players special abilities at the cost of resources. Each civilization starts off with one feature, a handful of produced resources, and a special action as dictated by their civilization board.
The Roman Empire
 The picture is an example of the starting position of the Roman civilization and what is produced from their board. On thing about the resources, whether you spend them or not, they are all discarded at the end of the round with the exception of the ones you can store. You should take full advantage of all you have and use the resources to their full potential. After this we move on to the Action phase where players can produce buildings, use actions and features, as well as attack other nations by sacking their buildings. Sacking an opponent's building is satisfying and nets you some goodies including victory points, while denying some end game points to the opponent. Players may also make deals. A deal is using 1 food and a card from your hand to place the card under the top of your board (the blue area) to immediately produce the printed resource(s). The deal card continues to produce the resource(s) each round. You have a lot of options, however, you can only perform one action as your turn and must wait for it to be your turn again before using something else you desire. The rounds can be long or short, it depends on how many actions each player can afford or wants to make, but once everyone passes the round is over. The game lasts 5 rounds and the player with the most victory points wins.
A better look at the Romans
 Now I neglected to mention the Lookout phase. This begins each round with a small card drafting mechanic. A number of cards (the number of players +1) are laid out from the shared deck, face up. The first player picks a card and so on until there is one left. That card is discarded and another round of drafting begins. The second round of drafting is counter-clockwise where the last player goes first.
Drafting for 2

The game goes for about 45-90 minutes. The round count is short, with their being only 5, but their length is variable. Imperial Settlers has a good time to it as it doesn't wear out it's welcome before the game is over.

Now, let's get right down to it. The game is stunning. I love the artwork, from the chubby mustachioed settler on the box right down to the level or detail on the cards and the fantastic wooden bits. With that being said, there are some bits that are cardboard that I wish were wooden blocks; the raze swords and shields mostly.

The game plays smoothly and very streamlined. It reuses and cleans up the core mechanic of Ignacy's other card game, 51st State. Players familiar with that can easily jump into Imperial Settlers and vice versa. The rule book is alright, but missing some FAQs that make some of the concepts, like Deals and Razing, easier to grasp. However, there is a great FAQ sheet on Board Game Geek (Imperial Settlers FAQs ). I have even printed out a copy and keep it in my Imperial Settlers box just in case some rules lawyering is needed or new players have a few questions about something unclear in the book.
All The Bits
The game is really neat. It was my number 1 must have from Gen Con, I even went so far as to preorder it a few weeks before the convention. That being said, the game does not disappoint. I really enjoy it and even after a couple of games I wanted to keep going and play again.

It is one of those games that also crawls into your brain pan. I went to bed thinking about what I did, what I could have done better, and if I did something different maybe it would have changed the results of the game. It is one of those games you will be thinking about long after playing. With the games many player options you will always ask yourself "what could I have done differently?" It also generates some good after game conversation.

I can't recommend this game enough. It packs in enough choice and strategy to satisfy gamers of every skill level while maintaining a level of lightness that is inviting to newer gamers.
2 Player Beginnings
It was well worth the preorder and has brought a lot of entertainment.

My one complaint is that the game with 2 players feels different than with more players. Maybe it was just us, but there was less razing and turned into a more building/production oriented game where we tried to make the best cities possible in hopes of getting the most out of each round. Imperial Settlers really shines with 4 players. It works wonderfully and is a great addition to the collection.

Thank you all for reading. I hope you are enjoying coming back to Daemonic Teutonic.

Cheers,
Phil

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bravest Warriors - A Rolling Review

Hi everybody!

Today I'm reviewing Bravest Warriors: The Cooperative Dice Game from Cryptozoic Entertainment. I phrase it this way because there is no designer listed on the box or anywhere I can see online. Bravest Warriors does, however, sport art provided Pendleton Ward, the creator of the Bravest Warriors web show.

It's Adventure...wait, no, no it's not.
The game comes packaged with 12 custom dice that are split as evenly as possible among 1 to 6 players. These dice are your life blood. They will win you challenges or lose your health or worse. Each player upon receiving their dice is also given a character that has a unique ability. Most of the abilities say once per turn on them in order to monitor any sort of abuse that may arise. After that players are given a number of Portal Cards, the number varies depending on the number of players. Portal Cards provide players with some well needed help that let's them exchange dice for a desired result or re-roll the dice they can't use. The rub with the Portal cards is once they run out the players lose the game. All of this is done so the players can beat Encounter cards. These cards provide a number of points toward the final game or if you fail the challenge there is usually a punishment that can be detrimental. Some of the Encounter cards are pretty hard as is, but to make it worse every round a new Challenge card is drawn. The Challenges can help or hinder the players as they roll the dice. It adds a layer of difficulty to each situation. The rounds are pretty smooth, as a Challenge and Encounter card are revealed to the players then they roll their dice at the same time in order to hopefully beat the Encounter at hand.
Gas Powered STIIIIIIICK!
The game is played until the players die off, the Portal card deck runs dry, or the players score 25 points worth of challenges. Like other cooperative games, there are more ways to lose than win. The game plays pretty straightforward with only a little bit of rules clearing up to perform on the first play or two.

The thing that really makes the whole thing come together is the theme. The game is dripping with Bravest Warriors. Fans of the show will get the same feel and flavor from the game as they do watching the 15 minute long webisodes.

All the goodies.
I hate to say this now, but the component quality of the game is only so-so. It is typical Cryptozoic quality, which I feel is at the low end of the spectrum. The dice are the nicest feature of the game though. They are a little on the small side, but the stickers are vibrant and hold up to some heavy chucking. There is also very little character variety. They wanted up to 6 players, so they only made 6 characters. That's great and all, but it makes the game feel samey and stale pretty fast. There are at least a few more characters I can think of that would make the game a bit more interesting. Now, see those 3 nice, round cardboard pieces that say Scored, Failed, and Initiative - those are completely superfluous. They aren't really needed here, some people may be glad to have them, but I find they are a waste of materials. The card art is fantastic, I love Ward's style and each card feels ripped right from the show, which I assume some of it is.
The Crew

Overall the game has a neat concept and theme behind it and is a very light co-op experience. However, there is no feeling of accomplishment. We played a good few games with 3 players and every time we won or lost I just felt relief that the game was over. I didn't really care if we beat the system or failed. the game plays in around 30 minutes, but some games felt much longer. Those games were you discard an Encounter you won, or refight an Encounter your failed, the back and forth that can occur just drags out the game. Also I like to play with randomized characters, although I can understand why a person would choose characters instead as some are clearly better than others. There is some sort of character balance at work, but after several games you can see how some player powers are more useful and better to have than others. Danny is probably the most useful and powerful of the characters with Chris and Wallow being close behind.

The game can be a nice stepping stone for new players into the co-op world, it shows good team work and doesn't promote an Alpha Player. However, if you are accustomed to gaming and co-cop style then this game has too heavy a price tag to buy on a whim.

The game is only OK. It is mediocre, middle of the road, nothing to get excited over. It is a shame, I love the web cartoon. It makes me laugh, but the game I just find to be humdrum. If you are a big fan of Bravest Warriors than you may still enjoy the game, but I think it needs more variety, better character balancing, and some better component quality.


Dice Dice Baby
I can't recommend this game, so I am going to have to give it a big no and say just pass it by.

Thank you all again for reading and keeping up with Daemonic Teutonic. My next review may be delayed until Saturday, but hopefully I will be posting something short and neat between now and then.

Cheers,
Phil

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Press-Your-Luck 3-in-1 Review

Hi everybody!

So today I am going to talk about big risks in small packages. I am reviewing three fantasy themed press-your-luck games; Dungeon Roll, Monsters and Maidens, and Dragon Slayer.
Chunky Dice Galore.
Each game brings something different to the table along with their scale of ease and luck. Besides the big mechanical similarities, all three were also successful Kickstarter projects from Game Salute, Tasty Minstrel Games, and Indie Boards & Cards. So without further discussion, let's get right into it.

Chris Darden's Dungeon Roll is a game of party assembling. You roll your hero dice in hopes of getting the best dungeon delving group ever assembled in order to gain massive loot in the dark depths. Each player picks a character card ranging from wizards and warriors to Santa Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge. These characters grant players a one time use power to help combat the monsters lurking in the dungeon. These characters also level up and gain better powers for further exploration. Now, the player rolls a series of hero dice that can become thieves, warriors, mages, clerics, etc. This is your party and each party member can clear any number of equally matched monsters, so clerics can wipe out skeletons, thieves take out chests, and you get the idea. You press your luck by delving further with a limited party, spending heroes as you gain levels and loot. Your goal is to hopefully make it down to the 10th floor and defeat the dragon that lurks there.
Filled to the brim with goodies.
You can be defeated and lose all of your collected loot on that delve. It can be a real plummet in score for you.

Out of the three games I am reviewing today, Dungeon Roll has the highest difficulty in it. It seems like the game is tightly gripped by Murphy's unforgiving Law. Whatever can go wrong most certainly will. The biggest downfall of the game is that the player interactions are nonexistent. It is a solitaire game through and through. Sure, an opponent rolls for the monsters, but outside of that minor working there is nothing you can do with or to each other. Unfortunately it is a spectator sport. The other major folly of Dungeon Roll is that the rule book is hot garbage on a sunny day. I read the rules, so did my fiance and we came up with two different interpretations. We watched 3 different reviews and play through videos and all 3 had different rule sets as well. So for awhile it was hard to figure out the exact right way to play. Eventually we saw some gameplay that worked and that is how we have been going about it ever since. Enough of the negative though, let's talk about some of the positives. Firstly, the artwork and custom dice are fantastic. They went all out to make the game look beautiful. The Mimic box from the Kickstarter also has am eerie gloom about it. Really spot on. The character powers add something special to Dungeon Roll, it is more than just flavor, but something that really sets it apart from other similar games. It can give you the edge you need or even better loot grabbing. There is also plenty of variety, so whether you choose favorite characters or deal them out randomly, you won't be sore with what you have. Now, I am going to save the rest of my thoughts for the end when I will compare the three together, so stay tuned for that.

 Dragon Slayer by David J. Mortimer puts players in the roll of heroic knights out to slay as many dragons as possible. The game is very fast past where the first person to hit 40 points wins. Each dragon, represented by 3 dice, is worth a number of points and has its own level of difficulty. The player picks a dragon to fight and rolls its dice along with his knight dice. The goal is to roll the dragon's Head, Body, and Tail in order to confront it in combat. After that the player only needs to roll 1 axe in order to slay the beast and score. However, the dragons have breath weapons and you have a trusty shield. Hopefully you can outlast the onslaught from your fearsome foe. When a dragon is slain the player can fight another dragon and hope to win as well. If he fails all points are lost and his turn passes. The thing is another player may use a challenge token, a one time use item to coerce the current knight into fighting one more dragon. If the knight refuses the challenge, he ends the turn and nets only half of his points while the challenger earns 5 points. If the knight succeeds the challenge he earns double his points that turn. It is quite a risky move and can make or break someone's current dragon slaying streak.
Thar Be Dragons

Dragon Slayer finds itself on the low end of the difficulty scale. The game is very straightforward, easy to learn, and easy to get into. The game shines with more players, basically the more challenges that get thrown around the more laughs are had. My one problem with the game is that it suffers from being a little too easy. My fiance and I might have just been on lucky rolling streaks, but we both found it easy to hit 20 points on a single turn and one unfortunate challenge can just end a game for 2 players. Other than that the art work is nice, the trophy board and knights are a little unnecessary, but they are cool to have. The metallic dye on the knight dice is a great contrast against the black plastic.

Last, but not least we have Fred MacKenzie's Monsters & Maidens. In the game players take on the roll of the hero, brave and strong, out to fight vicious monsters in order to save a whole harem of maidens. The game consists of 9 dice of three different types; monster, hero, and maiden. On a player's turn the dice are rolled, the maidens are put on your hero card for potential scoring while the heroes and monsters cancel each other out in combat. If there are too many monsters a player loses that number of maidens and places them on the monster card. If, however, there are more heroes a player may rescue that number of maidens from the monster card. It is a big back and forth of points and a player can continue to roll and push their luck for however long they wish or until they meet one of the two automatic end conditions. The automatic end conditions are rare, you either roll all maidens and immediately score them or you roll all heroes and monsters and end your turn. If your turn is automatically ended you gain an EPIC FAILURE card. The card can only be used on your next turn to change the face of any 1 die you rolled. The game play continues like this until the total of all players scores is equal to the player number multiplied by 20 (so 40 in a two player game).
Monsters, maidens, and a lot of bits.

Those black dice in the picture are the Epic Dice Expansion. It adds a season die that adds a special effect for the whole round, a fate die that is rerolled each time you roll to usually some negative effect (like losing a die), a tool die that can greatly help you out, and an adventure die that has a good mixture of positive and negative effects for you.

Monsters and Maidens is a medium difficulty out of these three games. It has a good range of judging when to stop and how far your luck can really go. I have two complaints with this game. The first being that those great maiden meeples aren't part of the game. They are sold separately. Without the meeples all scores are tallied with pen and paper, which is fine, but the meeples add some flare and make score visually easier to keep track of considering you need to reach 20xY points in order to end the game. The other complaint is that the automatic turn end conditions are rare at best. Over the course of several games it only happened twice. Those Epic Failure cards are pretty much useless throughout the game.

There is one stipulation I have with this game and that is the Epic Dice Expansion is totally worth the money. It adds a layer of complexity and deeper risk to the game and really enhances the fun factor for it.

Now that all of that is said, let's get right down to my final thoughts about the games in question.
Dungeon Roll, despite having great components is a pass. The game is short and the characters are great, but the game itself is slow, lots of player down time, and no player interaction, you might as well be in a room by yourself and chuck some dice. It has limited appeal and I feel that the game is easy to pass by. You aren't missing out on anything if you haven't played it. If you have to play it though, play it as a 2 or 3 player game, it will go quicker with less down time. The Winter Promo doesn't add much outside of variety, its a cool idea, but not really worth it in the long run.

Dragon Slayer is a very fun game. It isn't meant for 2 players though. It works great with 4 or 5 making the challenges a lot more fun and viable to play. It has a nice balance to it and is suitable for players of almost all ages. There's a lot of laughs to be had here and I give it one great axe up.

Monsters and Maidens is my clear favorite here. The game screams fun with any player count. The dice are nice and chunky, the games become tight and almost like a race to the finish. There is a good risk to be taken each turn and you can really fall hard if you make a few bad rolls. The game by itself is fun, but only OK - I give it a good recommendation. Once you add the Epic Dice Expansion though, the fun factor goes through the roof and adds some obstacles in your way. The expansion really made the game for me and I will sing some good praise for it.

There you have it, Monsters and Maidens won out on this battle with Dragon Slayer not too far behind, but they both leave Dungeon Roll in the dust.

I hope you enjoyed another review from the Daemonic Teutonic.
Thanks again.

Cheers,
Phil

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Slow Day and Tomorrow's Review

Hi everybody!

Today is a slow day here at Daemonic Teutonic. It seems to me that I am falling into the pattern of posting every other day, which I don't think is too bad.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get a couple of more plays in of a few dice rolling games and give you a 3-in-1 review. I think I will be doing Dungeon Roll with the Winter Promo cards, Monsters and Maidens with the expansion, and Dragon Slayer. Three chunky, rolly, press-your-lucks with some different bells and whistles. See how they stack up tomorrow.

Thank you all again for stopping by and reading.

I hope you enjoy it all.

Cheers,
Phil

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pandemic: Contagion - An Infectious Review

Hello everybody!

Today I am reviewing one of my "must have" games from Gen Con. It has been awhile since the convention, but last night I finally had the chance to play it. Pandemic: Contagion designed by Carey Grayson is a new take on Matt Leacock's popular cooperative Pandemic game. It focuses on the other side of the "war", you and your opponent's are the various diseases of the Pandemic world competing to be the most deadly virus outbreak across the globe.
Proceed with Caution
Each player begins by picking their disease color, the game comfortably plays from 2 to 5 players, by taking their respective Petri dish, player board, and scoring token. Once every player is setup, a number of city cards are placed face up in the center of the table and every player is dealt 4 contagion cards. The cities are the battlefield for your sickly strikes as you try to infect the populace 1billion people at a time. The contagion cards are just colored to match the cities, as you must discard 2 matching colored cards to infect an area.
Yellow Disease starting the turn.
A player can perform 2 out of 3 actions during their turn - either Incubate (draw contagion cards), Infect (place your disease in a city), or Mutate (discard a number of cards to "level up" your disease). The trick to the game is that there is a dreaded Event deck that does a good job of dictating the flow of play. The Event deck is made up of two kinds of cards, the orange Event cards that are mostly helpful to the diseases and the blue Who cards that try to fight the further spread of infection. The cards add some flavor and help to facilitate the first few rounds of scoring. Some of the orange cards are marked with a skull and crossbones, when two of them have been drawn the players will begin the round by scoring points for their Death Tolls. This is usually only a small handful of points (2 to 4 depending on the city) where the smallest disease at the location scores.
A helpful card for a sick, sad world
There is another chance to score, however, and that is if a city is filled with enough disease to wipe out the entire population. Once that happens the whole city is scored giving the player with the highest amount of diseased citizens the most points. The game goes on until their are only 2 cities left standing or the event deck runs out of cards. With the exception of players with analysis paralysis, the game plays in about 30 minutes with 2 to 4 players, a little longer I would suspect with 5 (haven't had a chance to try 5 players yet).


Cities for the taking
The game is very competitive and gives the players a lot of room to get in each others way. If you can be a thorn in the side of anyone else that is typically a good move to take as it can net you some good points while hopefully knocking them down to second or third place in a city. As far as that goes though, the game is very light with little use of strategy. I said it earlier that the event cards help dictate the turns of the game, it is true. We had one game where I was going to boost my card draw and then draw cards for my opening turn, but the event let players add 1 extra infection cube to a new city. I scraped my original plan in order to place 3 infections at once. The events aren't too powerful, but they have a strong hold on the flow of the game. The game itself plays smoothly with little to no hiccups in rules, the only problem we ran across was the city cards special abilities. The rules say when the final infection cube is placed on a city that player gets to use the ability. Very straightforward. However, we found ourselves in the unique position ( a few times) where due to an event multiple players placed their cubes on the same city causing it to score, but who gets to use the ability? There's no rule of the situation, granted it is rare that it happens, but an errata or a rules exception would be nice. Overall the game is nicely crafted and does justice to Leacock's Pandemic. The one thing that I don't care for is the 2 player game. I play a lot of the games I have as 2 players since it is mostly my fiance and I that play. Pandemic: Contagion uses a dummy player in this case, which I find very annoying to have, and there are specific city cards to use for only 2 people. That is all well and good, but very unnecessary. The game is also a little lackluster with only two, but shines at 4 players. Take that as you will, but for me if you want a 2 player game this one is only middle of the road.

I have one last thing I want to talk about, the components. The game is wonderful to look at.
Everything in the box
The player boards are very well made. They have great spaces to comfortably hold the infection cubes used for leveling your abilities and the disease Petri dish. The cards are all of a nice quality and showcase some nice art for the game. Once again, I only have one exception to this and that is the player scoring tokens. They are ok, just typical plastic discs, I wish they are a little wider and taller. I had some issues, with my big fingers, picking them up and moving them around, other than that the quality of them is fine.


Overall, the game is nice. It is one I would bring to the table in play with almost any group of people, but there are other games I would rather play. The game has a similar feeling to Smash Up, where you are playing cards to take over an area, meet the population (or base's breakpoint in Smash Up), and score the area. Don't get me wrong, the game is fun and easy to play in a short amount of time, but it loses out to some other games and definitely sinks at 2 and 3 players.

I recommend the game for people looking for a shorter game than Smash Up or for big Pandemic fans. Its good and I give it one diseased thumb up.

Thank you for reading another Daemonic Teutonic review. I hope you are enjoying these. Please feel free to comment and discuss.

Cheers,
Phil

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rise of Augustus Review

Hello everyone and welcome back.

Tonight I am going to discuss a game I just acquired and started playing - Rise of Augustus (also called Augustus) from designer Paolo Mori and artist Vincent Dutrait.
What a box!
Augustus has players competing to complete objects in a timely manner. Once you sit down to play Augustus you will be surprised how familiar the game is, even if you haven't played it before. Augustus plays like and, in many ways, is Bingo. Each player receives three objective cards and a handful of Roman legions which act as your Bingo markers. One player is elected as the town crier, a prestigious position, and is handed a black die bag containing several tokens with different symbols on them. And just like Bingo night with Nana in the church basement, the town crier pulls tokens from his sack and calls out the symbol. Players will mark off their matching symbols on their objective cards with the cute legion meeples.
Ave Caesar!
Once an objective is filled with the red devils, the player can, and will, shout out AVE CAESAR! Apparently it is the Roman version of yelling the B-i-n-g-o word. The card is scored and a new objective is drawn from the stockpile. Now, certain objectives grant certain abilities like taking away an opponent's scored objective, having them remove their legions, or by granting you more legions to use for the rest of the game. The combination of special abilities really helps the game find a good level between the classic game and a more modernized game. Players will also find themselves trying to complete certain objects or combinations of them in order to receive bonus points that can be found on a series of tiles.
Sweet, sweet victory (points).
Once a player completes seven objectives the game ends and scores are calculated. Highest score wins.

Augustus is incredibly light and suitable for the whole family. The recommended ages eight and up, I would go so far to say that five and up would be agreeable. Everyone can play it. The thing that makes the game for me, outside of the ease of play and minimal setup is the special abilities. They add a bit to the game that gives it that slight competitive edge. You can really go out of your way to attack your opponents or try to build up your legions or even have it so you can use a symbol as something different.
The meat and potatoes.
As far as components go they are pretty nice. The art is fantastic, the meeples are great, but there is too much box for what is inside of it. My other problem is that the rule book is mediocre at best. It doesn't have a good flow to it, plus for a simple game with minimal rules the book is as big as the box. It could have been greatly trimmed down. The game itself accommodates two to six players with a play time of 30 minutes, which is great for gatherings. I have played several games with two and three players and the games took about 15 minutes each, so it plays fairly quick. Although the game calls for scoring seven objectives to end the game, it can always be amended for longer games, which I am enjoying more. I recommend at least going till ten objectives are scored to end the game, I tend to get into the game and enjoy it a bit more that way.

All and all I came to praise Caesar, not to bury him. I really enjoy this game as a filler. It is good to gear up to a longer game with or to unwind after something heavy. I'm really glad I added it to my collection and I think it is one that will be sticking around for a long time to come. As far as filler games go, I couldn't recommend it enough and it plays will with everyone of every skill level.

Give Augustus (Rise of Augustus) a try.

I hope enjoyed the first review here on Daemonic Teutonic. Please come back again. I have plenty more where this came from.

Cheers,
Phil

Just a Little Background Before the First Review

Hi Everybody!

I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my background in board gaming with you before I begin to write reviews and share my opinions. I think this will be a good stepping off point for me so anyone that reads this will know where my love of gaming is coming from and why I am doing this.

Game night was my favorite family night. Being an only child and one that had a small group of friends, not even enough to make a circle of them, I loved family game night. I looked forward to it with fevered glee. We would play Uno, Monopoly, Clue, and TMNT: Pizza Power (which is still in my collection) just to name a few.
Cowabunga dude!
The thing is, games were basically all the same. Sure there were different themes and looks, but as far as mechanics went there was no variation in them. Then one day my mother brought home a game and I just fell in love with it. It took a while to play, it had an interesting board, and some neat gameplay features. My first time playing Key to the Kingdom was amazing! I wanted to play it every family game night. However, it didn't hit the table often because there was a lot going on at the time and some of the adults didn't feel like dragging it out.

Eventually, like all good things, family game night ended. I became older, the games became stale, and interest was lost by all parties involved. I pretty much set board gaming aside until April 2003. After my first year of college and experiencing my first taste of Dungeons & Dragons third edition, I was becoming interested again in the tabletop, face-to-face, gaming experience. At this moment, I didn't know what to do outside of role playing. I still didn't know about all of the wonderful games out there just waiting to be opened and played to excess.

Fast forward to Anime Boston, around 2005. I saw a lot of board games being played on tables throughout the hall. Carcassonne caught my attention and so did a shiny box cover for  Ticket to Ride which, at the time, I thought was about or based on The Beatles song. I was too shy to go to the tables. I didn't think anyone there would teach me how to play and that I would just get in the way of their fun. However, I did make a bold move. I went over to the table of a local dealer and picked up a copy of Carcassonne that came with The River I. I also bought River II and King & Scout. I brought it home, I poured over the rulebook loving, and I conjured up the family for one more game night.

I've never played a game like it before. It was amazing. Simple with some good strategy. I fell in love. I went out and started looking for more games like it. It wasn't until the first PAX East that I was introduced to Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and many others. My gaming world burst wide open. Since purchasing Carcassonne my collection has blossomed into almost 350 games and 360 expansions.

Board gaming is a hobby I hold dear to my heart, one that started in my childhood, and now as an adult I can try to share with others. It is one I would like to pass on to my future children, one I can share with friends, both gamers and non-gamers. I am very passionate about board gaming and I hope I can convey that in my news and reviews. I will also be fair and honest.

Thank you for reading my introduction. It seems like it was a long journey from the start to end, but I appreciate your time and I hope you come back for the reviews. Later on today I will be posting my first review of Rise of Augustus (or in some cases just Augustus). I just played it for the first time yesterday. I am hoping to get a few more plays in before I write tonight.

Thank you again!
Cheers,
Phil

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome to Daemonic Teutonic - The New Gaming Blog

Hello readers, well eventual readers.
Welcome to Daemonic Teutonic!

The purpose of Daemonic Teutonic is to discuss the latest news, post reviews of board games both old and new, and share what is going on in the cardboard world. Hopefully this will also contain convention news and updates as well.

What is to come: Starting tomorrow I will begin with a few reviews of games from the collection. That will eventually branch out into news, Kickstarter hotness, and maybe previews as well.

That is the plan at least. At the moment I must cut this intro short as I must depart for the graveyard shift once again.

Please look for future updates, share your thoughts, and leave some comments.

Thank you for reading.

Cheers,
Phil