18 February 2017

Through the ages: A new story of civilization boardgame review

Czech Games Edition has published some of the best and most liked games in my collection, like Alchemists and Dungeon Lords. With Through the ages: A new story of civilization the published secured another piece of my boardgame shelf space. It is a truly great game, but also very complex and it takes a LOT of time to learn the game which makes me hesitant to bring it with me for one-off games at a friend's house or when we play at my place.

I have played Fantasy Flight Games, Civilization the boardgame, and though I enjoyed how it brought the best parts of the PC game series to the table I was also not overly sold on the product as a whole. There were some clunky game mechanics in both combat and exploration as well as science that I thought could be done better. I also find the idea of mixing various historical people and having them compete against each other - Julius Caesar and Romans vs Bismarck and the Germans quite stupid and weird.

Through the ages kind of takes the ideas of Civilization and reworks them into a very detailed worker placement game that is card driven and that has no real gameboard but instead focuses on player sideboards where you keep track of your own civilization. The civilizations are also more generic in terms that you all start out the same, with "Despotism" as your government style. Sure there are historical characters that you can pick up to aid you, but they are at least not taking on the lead role of your play style.

Through the ages, as the name alludes, takes place over the span of 4 ages - Ancient, Age I (medieval), Age II (renaissance), and Age III industrial/modern. At the center of the board you will place several smaller board pieces with different trackers. These will keep track of each players culture and science progress. The player with the most culture at the end of the game wins.
The board will also show you the cards currently available to pick from for the age currently in progress, once an age deck runs out of cards, another age begins. Characters belonging to declining ages will be removed from play - you will not be able to benefit from Genghis Khan during Age III for instance...

12 February 2017

Primus Palus gladiator rules free to download

I finished work on my homegrown Gladiator rules based heavily on the "Blood Eagle" rulebook as well as adding ideas from both SAGA and Warhammer Historical: Gladiator.

The end result is a skirmish game, primarily using D10's for rolling tests, use of activation points and fatigue management. As the game will mainly be used for skirmish sized battles with a group of Gladiators on each side I also wanted to add activation point management, which is presented in a shared activation point pool. All Gladiators on your team can use activation points from that pool, but fatigue and wounds limit how much they can activate each turn.

Gladiators are divided into levels, lowest being Tyro starting Gladiators and highest being the Primus Palus - champions of the arena. The higher level a Gladiator has the more wounds he can suffer, bring more activation points to the pool and have special hero points for re-rolling dice.

In a campaign mode the game offers leveling up your Gladiators if they survive enough fights, buying new Gladiators and gear, resting wounded and training idle Gladiators at your Ludus.

There are also 8 scenarios to get you started along with 3 victory condition variants for your campaign.

I did not add rules for animals or extended trait/skill sets but these may come in the future. I mainly wanting to finish the base rules and have a few games before adding more content.

Let me know what you think :-)

Download the rules PDF HERE

Download the Gladiator profile card sheet HERE

The rules are not meant to be sold since they are based on the work of other people. However if you want to show special appreciation of the content on this blog then you are always welcome to make a donation of your choosing to my PAYPAL: alexanderkawczynski@hotmail.com

09 February 2017

Gladiator rules based on "Blood Eagle" preview

I've been working over the past week with a Gladiator themed modification for Blood Eagle that turned into something bigger as I began compiling ideas.

The idea of the game, which is heavily based on Blood Eagle, but which has ideas from both "SAGA" and the Warhammer Historical "Gladiator", was to provide skirmish size fights that were interesting enough to play as a campaign.

The problem as I see with Gladiator rules is that you have a small play area, and fighters pretty much move into contact and bash each other until one dies. If done with no deeper finesse then that can be extremely boring or way to straight forward.

So after I had purchased the Blood Eagle rules I began playing with several ideas, and since I have a nice collection of painted up Gladiators from way back I decided to try out a few ideas which generated more ideas which generated something of a home cooked ruleset.

I will post the rules for free download and free of charge once they are finished. At the moment all the rules for playing, equipment, points etc are in place, but I want to make a few additions for the campaign section. So far I think I have an interesting enough campaign core with advancement of Gladiators, buying and replacing fighters etc - but I also want to put together some scenarios to make it interesting because "fighting to death" is not really that appealing in the long run.

I think I borrowed the best of both Blood Eagle and SAGA, while the WH: Gladiator rules provided lots of information for weapons, gladiator profiles and campaign ideas.

Anyways, I wanted to share a small preview of the work, I will post again once this is finished.

05 February 2017

Trickerion: Legends of Illusion boardgame review

If you like movies like the Prestige and the Illusionist the theme of this boardgame should appeal to you!

Caroline had eyed this game for some time before picking we decided to buy it. There was not that much information on the internet about the game either so it was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out to be a good game.

Trickerion is a 2-4 player, worker placement and resource management game with a rather unusual theme of players taking on the role as competing magicians/illusionists.

Originally funded by a Kickstarter it is now available in regular retail. The box includes both a regular game variant as well as an expansion with parts and rules included for those that want to add more advanced rules to the base game. So far we have only played the base game so my review will not touch upon the advanced rules of "Dark Alley". Suffice to say that the advanced game mode adds more tricks, longer gameplay, new theater venues and a new area on the map where players may play out actions and gather resources.

In Trickerion players take on the role of magicians/illusionists competing for fame by displaying their tricks at the town theater. The game takes part on both the main city board where players run adverts for their shows, get money from the bank, hire workers and assistants and buy parts for their tricks. In the city you will also find the theater where players will perform with their tricks.

The other part of the game takes place on the player sideboard, where your magician has his workshop where tricks are prepared and where you decide how to divide your labor force between various actions for the upcoming turn.

30 January 2017

Mansion of Madness 2nd Edition: What Lies Within DLC review

This weekend Caroline and brought back Mansions of Madness to our gametable and I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the app and saw that there was a downloadable expansion available called "What lies within".

This was exactly the thing I wanted when I reviewed the game a while back, and had hoped for this development for boardgames that are app driven. Though the price was perhaps on the expensive end of the spectrum with roughly 70SEK for a new story without any new components it was still worth it having played it through.

What lies within is a medium length scenario, 120-150 minutes to complete it, and I will not spoil the contents of the investiagion more than necessary. Suffice to say that this is another mystery driven scenario with lots of investigation before the climax - just the type of scenario that Caroline and I enjoy the most.

It offered a good story and enjoyable gameplay, it also used the app to great effect once again proving that this game is unmatched in the department.

The story in this scenario is that there was a murder in the middle of the night and the police arriving at the scene fled due to supernatural events taking place in the mansion - as you will soon realize yourself. From there it is a tense slow cooker as you unfold the mystery and secret of the murder victim and the house itself. The scenario is quite difficult, and we ultimately failed but I instantly regard this as one of my favorite available MoM: 2nd edition scenarios from what you get in the base game along with the additional scenario you can play if you have components from MoM: 1st edition.

Fantasy Flight Games did a clever move here and expanded upon a game without having you buying more parts or sets. I think that the game will see both physical and digital releases in the future as you will at some point want to get more investigators and monster types - but the digital add-ons will allow FFG to expand the game with minumal risk and low production cost which in the end will most likely result in more content than a game would normally get during its lifespan.

Mansionf of Madness 2nd edition: What Lies Within DLC scores 9/10
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