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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magnum Sal, Core Worlds Galactic Orders, Fairy Tales, Siberia The Card Game, Phantom, Pax, Star Wars the Card Game, CO2, Reef Encounter, Pickomino, The Hobbit Card Game

Not many new games I have played so far but a few good oldies! Lets take a look....

Magnum Sal

I have heard of this game before and was very tempted to get it but I wasn't too sure about the game play so never really got around to it. Luckily my Cult-of-the-New group had managed to get a copy and I get to play! Its so nice to be in a CotN group :P I am very lucky as well! So on with the game. In the game we are all trying to go digging for salt and then return back to deliver them to the King and earn points. So its all about us getting resources and going to the King to score points by turning them in based on the objective tiles available. That is the summarised view of the game. Other things you have to consider are the other players' miners that are in the mine with you that will cost you extra money just to transport salt cubes topside and may even steal cubes away from you. We were working quite hard during the game turning in a lot of objectives whereas only 1 player did not complete any at all till the very last turn and he scored quite a few of the high point objectives to win the game. However it seemed we played a vital rule wrongly, that is after every round, you will take back ALL your miners. This makes a very big change because it will mean that we have to establish our steps down into mine again. Another point that seems wrong is that if you store your cubes all the way to the end, you can score all the objectives that have way higher victory points. If that's the case, it may lead into a stalemate as the only way where rounds will end is when 5 objectives are completed. So jury is still out on this one but definitely requires another play to see where this stands with me.

Core Worlds: Galactic Orders

I have played Core Worlds twice I believe and while it feels like a deck builder, it has an additional element where you use troops to try to conquer planets that are available in the middle of the board. In addition, there are some core worlds which are like final objectives that you already know how to conquer and thus you can build up your deck to prepare for it. Its not a bad game but it doesn't really capture me or compel me to want to play it many times again. My friend had just gotten the expansion and we decided to give it a go. Expansion adds a few boards which give you extra powers like increasing the number of actions you have. To be able to activate them, you have to turn in your tokens that are already on the boards. To place your tokens on the boards, whenever you play cards that have those mysterious symbols, you get to place a token on the respective board. The expansion does add extra dimension to the game as you could plan now to get certain cards into your deck so that you can place your token on the boards. I found the extra action benefit the most useful though the power that lets you purchase a science card at a 3 cost discount to be quite good as well. Its quite a good expansion for the game so I will recommend playing the game with the expansion in the future. Still doesn't really endear me to the game enough to get myself a copy but I wouldn't say no to playing it.

Fairy Tales

Seems to be a newer version of the game that I had previously. The icons seems to be redesigned now and the rules are better. That is all the changes there is though. The game is a very straight forward drafting game that seems to be a lighter version of 7 wonders. With more players there will definitely be more interaction as there are cards which cause other players to flip their cards facedown and thus not allowing those cards to score at the end of the game. Its light, have very nice anime-style graphics and seems to have a back story but since the rule book is very short they did not include the story. Average light-weight game and worth a play or two.

Siberia The Card Game

Managed to get this game out again for another 2 player game. Light good filler that is easy to teach and fast to play. Might be growing on me. Lets see how it plays with 4 because that will make it more competitive as people will scramble to grab the specialists cards that will grant good benefits. Give it a try!


Another try of this seemingly fun 2 player game. This time the gameplay feels like chess to me as we battle it out to try to scare the characters with the most points. I feel that this game if you are not on guard all the time, your opponent may just pull ahead and there is certainly no catch up mechanism. I won with 11-2 points! Definitely give it a try before you buy.


Interesting set collecting game where you are fighting against Rome unless you are the secret spy which means if Rome wins, you win.  During your turn, you will take 3 cards, one at a time and decide where the cards go. This portion is similar to Biblios as you need to decide one at a time where to place them. Then you get to buy cards and play cards from your hand. You will then get income and your turn ends. Now the interesting part of the game is that to win, you will need to have at least 4 of the sets in front of you that have more cards than those that Rome has. Another way to win is if Rome wins and you have the secret spy card. Its not a bad card game but for my first game at least, kinda hard to beat Rome. Its possible that its my first game and I still haven't figured out some of the tactics yet but I can see how this will be fun. Not sure how well it will do with more players though because with 2 its already quite hard to beat rome. Will like to give it a try again to see how it works with more players.

Star Wars the Card Game

Close in the heels of a very successful relaunch of Netrunner, FFG's Star Wars the Card Game had received quite a bit of hype and I was itching to play my copy. Compared to Netrunner, this has a different engine and seems lighter to play. Dark side will have a death star counter which counts to 12 each of his turn thus the game length is limited to at most 12 rounds. Light side will win when Dark side run out of cards OR having destroyed 3 of the Dark side's objectives. During your turn, play is similar to most LCG games where you get to untap/refresh used cards, draw cards, play cards and fight. FFG tried to weave into the game certain concepts because of the theme and by and large it seems an average game. Not bad but seems to be lacking something. I think being a fan of the show and role playing will enhance one's enjoyment of the game. Some issues I have for example how fast you use up your cards in Edge battles makes it seem odd that a game ending condition is if you run out of cards to draw from and you don't get to shuffle your discards back into your deck. I will give it a few more plays to make a final verdict but as of now Netrunner is still ahead of Star Wars the card game for me.


Sigh, the game that broke my heart this week of playing. I have so far played this 3 times and won all 3 times which makes my head swell. Unfortunately after reading around BGG I realised to my horror my wins are all tainted. That is because of some rules that we have gotten wrongly. For example, I realised that market doesnt increase in price if you buy a CEP from the market (the wording on the player aid seems to suggest otherwise). Also to determine ownership of a region, its not based on the number of power plants you have, but the number of types of plant you have. These and a few other rules really made the previous games I played all very tainted and I feel kinda bummed. I must say though that the rules in the game aren't very friendly to go through and judging from the numerous comments and questions on BGG, a lot of other players feel the same. Nevertheless, I still feel that this is a good game and I cannot wait to try it again WITH ALL the correct rules. I do feel that this game may not be suitable with more than 4. I also would like to play it solo and see how it works. A few of my friends though have totally dissed the game which I guess I can understand some of their points but it did not cause me to dislike the game. Furthermore, I haven't really hit most of the problems they have experienced. Then again, I haven't played this game with more than 3 so far so maybe my opinions may change when I do get a chance to table it for 4 and 5. Tomorrow! I will get a nice rematch with hopefully 4 and see how it goes. Oh and I am pimping my CEPs :P Will post pics once I get my copy and the stickers this week! Definitely give this a try. Highly recommended!

Reef Encounter

Now I have heard of this game and its rated quite highly on BGG and been wanting to give it a try. But something (maybe its the theme or the art) seems to put me off getting my own copy. In Reef Encounter, we are essentially trying to feed our parrot fish polyp tiles and score points for each tile fed at the end of the game. Whoever has the most points will win the game. Reef Encounter is a tile laying game where you are trying to grow your coral until a certain size before you feed to your parrot fish. During the game, certain colors of polyps can "eat" or overgrow other colors of polyps. So in this way, player interaction is crucial as you can play to block others and prevent them from scoring points. Another way to block will be the scoring tiles which you can flip and lock in to ensure certain colors will score more points than the others. It is a medium-heavy game as you are trying to obtain certain polyp tiles and play at the right timing such that you can grow your corals and "cash" them in at the right time before other players decide to take pieces off your corals. Quite a good game and I would like to play it again. Not sure why its not creating as much hype here but I am suspecting the theme itself is not very attractive. Its about marine life and may remind people of an aquarium or a fish tank. That could be the reason why its not as attractive as other widely accepted themes like Fantasy or space. Give it a try!


A light push your luck dice game where you roll as many times as you want but each time you have to lock down dice of the same number. If during a turn you cannot lock down any (because they have previously been locked down), then you end your turn and, if you have an existing domino, have to give it up. When you stop, you will take the domino that has the same sum as all your dice added up. The game ends when there are no more dominos to take and players counts the number of worms they have on their dominos. The player who has the most worms will win the game. Simple, light but not that easy to score dominos and you can even steal your opponents' top most dominos provided you have rolled the exact number. For a light game like this, it can drag on too long and overstay its time on the table. Not a game for me unfortunately.

The Hobbit Card Game

Final game I will talk about today is The Hobbit Card game. This is a bridge like Trick taking game where players play either the Good side (frodo etc) or the Bad side (dragons and orcs etc). Starting with the player who has won a previous trick (or a particular character), players will play cards very similar to bridge. If a player has won a trick, then, depending on his/her character powers, distribute the cards in that trick. At the end of a round (when all cards are played), players check to see what cards they have received. Depending on the symbols of the card, players maybe kicked out of the game. At the end of 2 rounds, the Good side will win when they have at least 1 player left alive with a Good character card. The Bad side will win when all Good players have been eliminated. Light filler game that has the character powers as an interesting twist to a well worn game mechanism. The artwork though I think is based on the original novels. Game play wise, is average only for me. I won't want to play it again though.

So that's it, CO2 being the most exciting and yet most disappointing game for me in this whole set. I hope to report better news again once I have finally played it with all the correct rules!

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