Three Cheers for Master

 

 

| 2-6 Player | 30-45 Minutes | Ages 13+|

Master has been blue lately. It’s just not the same now that all lands known to evil have been conquered and when Master’s blue, it’s the minions who suffer.

As a lieutenant in Master’s army — a foreminion — it falls to you to cheer him up. Not the easiest task, even in the best of times. But then it hit you: What better way to cheer Master up than a cheer leading competition?

Whichever foreminion builds and scales the most impressive tower of war-hungry minions in Three Cheers for Master will win Master’s heart. What could possibly go wrong…

The Gameplay:

All players are dealt three card, and out of those three cards you play two – there are three types of cards; Minion cards, movement cards and Big Fat Hairy Fight cards.

Minion cards – minions that can be placed on your creation OR on your opponent’s to cause havoc.

Movement cards – can shift cards in your pyramid to create a better stack or to prevent a fight OR to mangle your opponent’s build.

Big Fat Hairy Fight cards – Randomly inserted in the draw deck, you must stop as soon as each one of these cards appears and resolve ALL combat actions. This means some pyramids will collapse, some minions most certainly will die and your Foreminion might end up flat on his butt.

 

After you play two cards you draw back up and the next player goes. Play suspends when each Big Fat Hairy Fight card appears and combat happens – and when the Master finally appears you fight three times to show your worthiness and then count up your points to see who gains the Master’s approval.

 

Because size does matter in this game, and not just about how high your ForeMinion got, your point score will rise depending on the point value of each card and which level it’s at. A two-point minion on the second level will be multiplied by two, delivering four points. If the same card is on the third level it’ll be worth six and so on – up until the height of your Foreminion. Forgot to move him up the stack as you go? Too bad master only sees that first level of your tower!

 

This is, of course, why you must CRUSH YOUR COMPETITION! Sometimes literally…

 

Combat is fast, smooth and hysterical – arrows on your minion cards show which way they will attack and in what priority. Three arrows go first, then two and then one. They will kill the minion next to it, leaving a gap in your pyramid. But don’t panic there are defenses. Barriers and shields can help your minions survive long enough to keep buildings… until, of course, the minion below them die and then gravity takes over.  Most minions will not survive the fall, after all it’s not gravity that kills them but the subsequent impact with the ground, or another minion, that does.  Be careful, some minions are “heavy” and can do some real damage on their way down.

The review:

This game is hilarious; laughter has been non-stop each time I’ve played this game. The flavor text is twisted, and amazing! When played this “little card game” can take up a ton of table space, in fact the last time I played we had to switch to the floor to accommodate all the players. This is by Atlas Games the folks who brought us Gloom, and the humor is the same. This is a crazy fun game that is easy to teach, easy to learn, and hilarious. I cannot recommend it enough, especially if you like a little dark humor now and again


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Splendor

| 2-4 Players | 30 Minutes | Age 10+ |

Dude look at those chips.”, “Feel how nice these chips are…” these lines sums up what nearly every person says about this game upon first impression. Then we play the game and people love it.

Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you’re wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.

 

On your turn, you may (1) collect chips (gems), or (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you take either three different kinds of chips or two chips of the same kind. If you buy a card, you pay its price in chips and add it to your playing area. To reserve a card – in order to make sure you get it, or, why not, your opponents don’t get it—you place it in front of you face down for later building; this costs you a round, but you also get gold in the form of a joker chip, which you can use as any gem.


All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.

 

The review:

I lose at splendor… a lot.  But still I love it, and will play anytime someone asks. I have never had a bad game of Splendor, and I don’t think I know own anyone who has.   I recommend this game as an introductory game for any family looking to get their kids into gaming, or to game groups who would like a little competitive fun.  The flavor of the game is unimportant; the mechanics are really what make it shine. I can say with confidence this is a game that should be in every collection.

Hive

| 2 Players | 20 Minutes | Age 9+ |
Two mighty insectoid armies face off. Ants scurry about the battlefield, grasshoppers leap over their companion and foes alike to gain greater footing, and mighty Beatles stride atop others pinning them down as they go. All this to protect your queen and surround the opposing queen.
The Gameplay:

Hive is a highly addictive strategic game for two players that is not restricted by a board and can be played anywhere on any flat surface. Hive is made up of twenty two pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling a variety of creatures each with a unique way of moving.  With no setting up to do, the game begins when the first piece is placed down. As the subsequent pieces are placed this forms a pattern that becomes the playing surface (the pieces themselves become the board). Unlike other such games, the pieces are never eliminated and not all have to be played. The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent’s queen, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing likewise to your queen. The player to totally surround his opponent’s queen wins the game.

The review:

Hive is a great alternative to something like Chess or Go, but accessible enough that younger children could learn the rules. I really enjoy this game,  but honestly it doesn’t get in the rotation nearly as much as it should.  I don’t get many chances to play 2 player games.  I love playing this one on my phone,  but you can’t beat playing in person.  I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys strategy, abstract,  or bug games.

Sentinels of the Multiverse.

 

| 1-5 Players | 30-60 minutes | Age 8+ |

A mad scientist holds the world hostage with his terrifying inventions. An alien warlord from a faraway galaxy brings his limitless army of bizarre minions to conquer the planet. A giant rampaging robot cuts a swath of destruction across the coast, destroying major population centers. And who will stand in their way? A team of heroes, all with impressive powers and abilities stand between the world and the forces of evil. Will you help them? Answer the call to protect the multiverse!

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The gameplay:

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative, fixed-deck card game with a comic book flavor. Each player plays as one of ten heroes, against one of four villains, and the battle takes place in one of four different dynamic environments.

 

sotm_fanatic.jpgEach player, after selecting one of the heroes, plays a deck of 40 cards against the villain and environment decks, which “play themselves”, requiring the players to put the top card of the appropriate deck into play on the villain and environment turns. On each player’s turn, they may play a card from their hand, use a power printed on one of their cards in play, and draw a card from their deck. Each round starts with the villain turn, continues clockwise around the table, and then concludes with the environment turn. Each villain has various advantages, such as starting with certain cards in play, as specified by the villain character card. Play continues until the heroes reduce the villain to 0 or fewer HP, or until the villain defeats the heroes, either via a win condition or by reducing all the heroes to 0 or fewer HP.

 

The Review:

sentinels-of-the-multiverse-mini-expansion-collection-14664-p.pngYou have got to love this game, you and your friends choose heroes, who hopefully synergies, and use their powers to battle comic book style villains. This game has great strategy and awesome art. I love this game, and chanting “Sun God, Fun God, Ra ,Ra ,Ra.” Whenever someone plays the character Ra. This game isn’t the easiest to teach to newcomers to the board gaming hobby. The mechanics are simple enough but some of the powers characters wield require prior gaming experience. If you are a veteran or someone who is quick to learn this game is for you!I really do enjoy playing this game, and think that everyone should give it a try.sentinelswrath1.jpg

 

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Jaipur

| 2 Players | 30 minutes | Age 12+ |
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. You are one of the two most powerful traders in the city!  But that’s not enough for you, because only the merchant with two Seals of Excellence will have the privilege of being invited to the Maharaja’s court. You are therefore going to have to do better than your direct competitor by buying, exchanging, and selling at better prices, all while keeping an eye on both your camel herds.
The gameplay:

jaipur 11.pngWhen it’s your turn, you can either take or sell cards.
If you take cards, you have to choose between taking all the camels, taking 1 card from the market or swapping 2 to 5 cards between the market and your cards.jaipur 12.png


If you sell cards, you get to sell only one type of good per turn, and you get as many chips from that good as you sold cards. The chips’ values decrease as the game progresses, so you’d better hurry! But, on the other hand, you get increasingly high rewards for selling 3, 4, or 5 cards of the same good at a time, so you’d better wait!


You can’t sell camels, but they’re paramount for trading and they’re also worth a little something at the end of the round, enough sometimes to secure the win, so you have to use them wisely.


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The Review:

Jaipur is a fast-paced card game, with a blend of tactics, risk and luck. I really enjoy economic and set collecting games and Jaipur gives you all of that.  I do find it a bit difficult to get this game to the table as 2 player games aren’t all that accessible in groups. That being said anytime I can play this, I will. This is a really good intro game for kids as the mechanics are easy and the art is visually pleasing. I taught my 13 year old nephew this game in two minutes and he really enjoys this one, mostly because he has beat me in it before.

Dice City

| 1-4 Players | 45 – 60 Minutes | Age 14+ |
By decree of the Queen, there needs to be a new capital!

The Kingdom of Rolldovia is in turmoil. Her royal highness the Queen, has decreed that there will be a new capital, after the old one was sacked by hordes of barbarians and bandits from the south. As leaders of one of the country’s influential noble families, players vie with each other to establish their provincial city as the best home for Rolldovia’s new capital. You must choose your city’s path in gaining the approval of all others in the kingdom



 

The Gameplay:

Dice City is a “dice-crafting” game in which the locations in your city act as the changing faces of your dice each turn. Use tactics and strategy to press your claim!
You each have several ways to promote your city; create strong armies; construct wondrous buildings; or open up trade routes. Gather the most victory points before one of the end game conditions are met so you can win! The secret is to manage your city and its natural resources carefully to make the best of your fortunes. 

 



The review:

Dice city is really fun to play and as y’all might have noticed that this is one of my favorite types of games, economic games!  This is also one of my least favorite types of games, Dice games!! (Dice hate me) this game is crazy fun, and with so many different effective strategies to win anyone from a novice to a hardcore strategy gamers can pick this up and play.  I really do enjoy this game and can say that it is a good intro for those gamer who are just getting in to the hobby. This is easily accessible, has a ton of expansions, and is crazy fun to play.  Would recommend this as an introductory game for most new gamers.

Sheriff of Nottingham 

 | 3-5 Players | 60 minutes | Age 13+ |

Prince John is coming to Nottingham!

You and your fellow players are merchants who see this as an opportunity to make quick profits by selling your goods in the city during the Prince’s visit. However, you must first get your goods through the city gate, which is under the watch of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Should you play it safe with legal goods and make a profit, or risk it all by sneaking in illicit goods? Be mindful, though, as the Sheriff always has his eyes out for liars and tricksters and if he catches one, he very well may confiscate those goods for himself! Or perhaps, for a fee, he could be convinced to look the other way.

The Gameplay:
In Sheriff of Nottingham, players will not only be able to experience Nottingham as a merchant of the city, but each turn one player will step into the role of the Sheriff himself. Players declare goods they wish to bring into the city, goods that are secretly stored in their burlap sack. The Sheriff must then determine who gets into the city with their goods, who gets inspected, and who may have their goods confiscated!


Do you have what it takes to be seen as an honest merchant? Will you make a deal with the Sheriff to let you in? Or will you persuade the Sheriff to target another player while you quietly slip by the gate? Declare your goods, negotiate deals, and be on the lookout for the Sheriff of Nottingham!

 

Top row: Legal Goods, Bottom row: Illicit Goods

 

The Review:

So much contraband!

This is a fantastic game, I recommend bribing the sheriff with regularity, that way no one knows when you are smuggling. Heck I like to bribe the sheriff with a low or insulting offer just to get him to open my sack and pay me reparations.  I will warn you, smuggling illicit goods is not a great strategy.  I have learned from experience that illicit goods alone won’t win you the game.  Now I should say, this game is fun, but can get rowdy. I have experienced people giving exposition on why player A is lying, and why they are telling the truth.  I do recommend you role play this game.  It’s amazing how much fun it becomes at that point.