Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Board-game Roundup

I certainly play more boardgames than wargames currently, simply because they are quicker and easier to arrange.  But I don't want to fill the blog just with them, this is notionally about wargaming after all.

Still, I do like to avail you of some info now and then.  One of interest played recently bills itself as a real-time time strategy game; Space Cadets - Dice Duel

Yes, Trek.
The aim of this game is for a crew to take on several functions in the crewing of a ship, aiming to destroy its' opponent whilst manoeuvring around an asteroid and nebula strewn starfield.

All this is done by the rolling of dice in real time, the dice allow different commands to be given, but only once the correct faces are rolled, and as there is no turn system you carry this out all the while trying to finish faster than the other side.

This results in chaotic and frenzied play, it's not a game for a quiet club environment as it does result in a lot of shouting (and laughter).  There is a battle for resources as well as to get your opponent in arc for a killer shot.  All told good frivolous fun, with a hint of strategy and tactics.

Next up, Splendor:

Splendor is essentially a set collecting game, based around being a successful gem trader.  It benefits from easy to comprehend gameplay that generates a deep puzzle for the players; what resources to choose and how to use them to attract the best clientèle.  It also benefits from extremely tactile, aesthetically pleasing components, most notably the poker chip styled gem counters.  

The game is not the most interactive I've ever played, it is essentially solo play in simultaneous competition with only the purchasing of a resource you had your eye on by another player impacting on your actions.  But it is attractive and easy to teach, and could certainly replace the dreaded Monopoly for a family game.  At less than an hour it does not out-stay its' welcome either.

For an amazing amount of tension in a tiny package, and no military metaphor that I can think of whatsoever, we conclude with Rhino Hero:

AKA Super Rhino
Don't write this off as a game for kids, as a Dexterity based building game it will work for all ages with a sense of humour and no inner-ear balance problems.  Players are dealt a hand of cards that function as floors, each with a floorplan on it.  You play a card building its floorplan then play moves on.  Sometimes a player will need to place 'Super Rhino' in the building in his efforts to save one and all.

The first person to get rid of all his cards, or the person with the least cards left of those players who don't cause the tower to fall down, wins.

For a game that takes all of five minutes to play, this was great fun, and one we repeated straight away.  Yes it is aimed at kids, but then so is that pub garden favourite, Jenga.  Though I doubt you'll see giant sized versions of this in pubs any time soon.

So three very different games, three very pleasurable experiences.

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