Sunday, November 24, 2013

What do you get for the gamer who has everything?

With the holiday season rolling around, everyone is trying to come up with gift ideas.  But gamers can be hard to shop for.  We tend to get so excited about games we preorder them, or buy them ourselves the moment they come out.  Plus our tastes can be so specific, it's extremely difficult to confidently buy a game you know we'll like.

So I would strongly encourage people to look into gaming accessories.  Well chosen accessories can greatly enhance a gaming experience.  They can make a game easier to set up, improve it's aesthetics, or just satisfy the needs of an especially OCD collector.  So with that in mind, here's a list of accessories for games I've greatly appreciated over the year.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stickering the Austrian Army for Commands & Colors: Napoleonics


Such a cathartic evening. Nothing beats applying a few hundred stickers to wooden blocks for an hour or so.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guildhall Review

I first played Guildhall at my FLGS.  It was a game I'd heard about for a while.  I have a friend a few states away who consistently speaks highly of it.  The Dice Tower would sporadically heap praise on it as well.  But the look and feel of the game just didn't grab me.  Plus, I own a lot of card games already.  Seriously, I own a lot of card games.  But my FLGS had a demo copy, and I had an hour to kill one evening, so I figured why not?  I'm glad I did, because Guildhall lives up to all the fond things said of it.

Guildhall was published in 2012 by AEG, and was designed by Hope S. Hwang.  It's primarily a set collection game, except each set has a special ability you can invoke.  There are only 6 sets in the game, and their abilities delicately play off one another.  The first player who completes enough sets to earn 20 points is the winner.  But for more detail, lets get into the rules summary.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Escape: Curse of the Temple Review

Escape: Curse of the Temple is one of an increasing number of what I call "experience" games.  These are games that usually involve a soundtrack, and are played in real time.  Their hook is mostly altering your perception of the game through their music and sound effects.  As well as some time dilation caused by the stress they put you under.  Escape in particular was published by Queen Games in 2012, and was designed by Kristian Amundsen Østby.

Escape primarily came to my attention thanks to Shut Up & Sit Down.  I bided my time, waited until I got a gift card and then grabbed it.  I just wasn't sure if the people I play with would enjoy it.  $40-50 also felt like a steep price for a game that lasts only 10 minutes.  So using a gift card definitely alleviated my fears of potential buyers remorse.  Of course, I also had fears about teaching the game properly, and successfully getting everybody through a game where I don't have the luxury of time to keep people honest about the rules.  So lets see how Escape did in those regards.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ottoman Sunset Review

Since getting Soviet Dawn, I've continued to explore the States of Siege series.  It's been extremely interesting to look over the broad range of titles available.  But I eventually settled on the one most like Soviet Dawn, Ottoman Sunset.  It shares probably the most design elements with Soviet Dawn, as it should since it has the same designer.  Although Ottoman Sunset displays more cohesion between the parts, as well as better overall balance.  But I'm getting ahead of myself!

So today I'm reviewing Ottoman Sunset, another game in the States of Siege series by Victory Point Games.  It was designed by Darin A. Leviloff, and was published in 2010.  It takes place in the Ottoman Empire during World War 1.  Your job is to see the nation survive a war it historically collapsed during.