Sunday, September 29, 2013

Love Letter Review

Love Letter did not initially appeal to me.  The sappy title and the romantic theme were both turn offs.  Plus I had already backed a game called Coup on Kickstarter, and they seemed like similar games.  But one day I was placing an order, and I needed to spend $10 more for free shipping.  We've all been there, right?  So now I own Love Letter, and boy am I glad that I do!

Love Letter was released in 2012 by AEG, and is actually a retheming of a Japanese game designed by Seiji Kanai.  With it's new theme, it now takes place in AEG's Tempest setting, along with Courtier and Dominare.  The Queen has been arrested, and various people of interest are trying to sneak love letters to the forlorn Princess for a shot at the throne.  If that theme doesn't sound like your thing, don't worry about it.  The game is an absolute blast.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Soviet Dawn Review

In my continued exploration of solo games, I've finally discovered the States of Siege series.  It has a long list of games, covering conflicts of numerous scales and time periods.  I decided to start with the first game in the series, Soviet Dawn.  It may not look like much, but let me assure you, it has it where it counts.

In Soviet Dawn, you are attempting to safeguard the formation of the fledgling Soviet state.  It was published in 2009 by Victory Point Games, and was designed by Darin A. Leviloff.  It's core mechanic revolves around a deck of events with associated action points, similar to what you would find in Twilight Struggle.  It definitely bares closest resemblance to a Card Driven Wargame, just tailored to solitaire design sensibilities.  It's a winning approach to a solitaire game, and at the moment stands as my favorite.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Soviet Dawn Session

So this is my best attempt at a session of Soviet Dawn, a game I've been utterly enthralled by, and plan on having reviewed by Monday.  This is going to be a bit higher level than other sessions I've done.  Partially because the gameplay of Soviet Dawn really isn't conducive to recording every action taken, and every die roll made.  But hopefully I can capture the key decisions that make this game fun.

So my strategy in the beginning is going to be to keep the Eastern Front back.  The worst event you can possibly get, is the Eastern Front rescuing the Czar!  I'm also going to try to improve my Political Level track, and hopefully get the Allied Front to go indecisive before they even become active.  I've been attempting to Reorganize the Red Army aggressively in the beginning, but all in all it feels like a losing strategy.  The only way to succeed is to roll a 6 on a 1d6.  I've wasted dozens of valuable actions attempting it to meager results.  So this game, I'm only going to attempt to Reorganize when I have a bonus to the die roll.

So the game is set up, now lets see how it plays out!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lords of Waterdeep Review

Lords of Waterdeep is a game I picked up on short notice before a beach trip with a bunch of friends.  It was getting a lot of hype on the message boards I frequent, and there was a fantastic sale on Amazon for it.  So I figured why not!  I took a ton of games with me to the beach that year, and Lords of Waterdeep saw a good amount of play.  But less now, over a year later.

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game that takes place in the Dungeons & Dragons setting of the Forgotten Realms.  It was published by Wizards of the Coast in 2012, and was designed by Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson.  It supports 2 to 5 players, and plays in about 60 to 90 minutes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Field Commander Napoleon in Italy, 1796

Today I decided to play Field Commander Napoleon.  It's a game I just haven't had the time to really indulge in lately, so hopefully I don't make too many rule mistakes.  I've decided to start over again with the very first campaign, 1796 in Italy.  I start in Nice, in the Southwest, and must conquer my way all the way to Klagenfurt.  I need to take every city except Genoa, and if I ever control less than 2 objectives at the end of my turn, I automatically lose.  Also, once I move past Genoa, enemy reinforcements will sweep down from the Northeast to dislodge me.

Field Commander Napoleon is a significant step up from Alexander, both in terms of rules complexity, and difficulty.  The battles are far more strategic, as you will see, and the enemy won't sit around waiting for you to come to them.  Well, the game is set up, so lets play.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Field Commander Alexander at Tyre

Today I'm going to record my playthrough of the Tyre scenario for Field Commander Alexander (review), which takes place after Alexander conquered his way through Asia Minor.  This one is a bit unorthodox, as it contains a host of special rules concerning the extended siege of Tyre.  It's a welcome change of pace from the usual scenarios Field Commander Alexander has to offer.  To make things interesting, I've decided to play with the Raiders rule, which adds one warship to Tyre for the entire game.  I've also decided to play with Gaza's Defenses which subtracts one from my Siege Engine strength in Gaza.  I start with Antipater, who allows me to purchase different types of resupply options.  I also had the option of 2 Advisors, so I picked my favorites.  Parmenion, who reduces the Battle Plans of the enemy by 3, and Hephaestion, who gives Alexander +1 to his strength.  The game is set up, so lets play!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lord of the Rings The Card Game Review

When Lord of the Rings: The Card Game came out, I wasn't too interested.  I already owned Warhammer: Invasion, and I was already having enough trouble getting anyone to play that with me.  So I passed on it.  However, years later, a friend of mine was completely geeking out over Lord of the Rings.  When I mentioned there was a card game, she bought it on impulse at PAX East 2013.  It took us a few months to get around to digging it out and learning how to play, but once we did, we immediately loved it.

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative Living Card Game released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2011.  It was designed by Nate French and Caleb Grace.  For those unfamiliar with the Living Card Game format, small booster packs are released roughly monthly.  They contain a set roster of cards.  There is no randomness, as you would find in a Collectible Card Game.  This is highly appealing to a lot of people, myself included.  But Living Card Games also try to bill themselves as complete games right out of the core box, using only the starter decks.  So how well does Lord of the Rings hold up?