Monday, August 18, 2014
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Boxcars features one major change, a double-sided board that allows players to choose between playing in the United Kingdom or the United States (I prefer the United States version).
The components are really quite nice, with some exceptions. I like the deed cards, which are mounted on a board instead of being flimsy cardstock. However, on the map the specific logos could have had the distinctive track pattern printed below them for ease of reference. The destination and payoff charts will cause the player to go blind trying to read the tiny font. However, there is already a smartphone ap for choosing homes and/or destinations and it when it is used it also gives the expect payoff a player will receive when he reaches that destination. The ap is really nice, but does not excuse the poorly designed destination charts. Also, Rio Grande should have printed those charts on the back of the rulebook or at least printed extra charts so every player could easily access these.
Boxcars is a real taste of nostalgia, but brings Rail gaming back for a new generation. An excellent game, easily played and enjoyed by young gamers as well as older. I highly recommend this title.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Players have two tokens (agents) at the beginning of the game. They recruit adventurers (which serve as primary resources) of various colors. It isn't really important to know that the purple cubes stand for cleric and the black cubes represent rogues, etc. When a player places his token on a space he might earn cubes, gold or a card, or a privilige.. he might also purchase building which come into play under his control and therefore obtains a benefit should any player place his token onto that building. Gaining gold and various color cubes is important because players earn victory points and some other benefits by completing quests. Every quest requires an expenditure of resources, whether gold or cubes. Some quests have ongoing benefits for the remainder of the game. Some provide a return of adventurer cubes and\or gold. Harder quests reward with large victory point payment. Players are able to see, for the most part, who is winning the game, but that, of course, changes as the game progresses. I say that players can see who is winning for the most part because every player has a "secret" Lord which provides various alternative objectives. For example, each completed quest with the piety trait might provide a Lord with extra victory points at the end of the game, so there is some secret stuff. At the heart of the game are the intrigue cards. These cards are typically "stick-it-to-your-opponent" cards or they provide some much needed assistance. These cards may take cubes from other players, provide a player with extra cubes, or allow some other action that affects the game. The limitation is that in any game round only three intrigue cards can be played because a player must place his token on the space to play that card and there are only three spaces. However, another cool feature is to allow the players who choose to RE-ASSIGN tokens places on that space AFTER all the normal placement for the turn is complete. I found myself struggling to find a proper strategic balance in this one. In the first game I was always short of gold and so in the second game I found myself using placements that would earn me gold. In the first game I owned and controlled no building, in the second game I was the player who owned and controlled the most buildings. In the first game I fought hard to complete quests and was ahead of the other players for most of the game. Honestly, I did not find the right strategic balance, but I can see that it is there, but there is some chaotic stuff going on based on the other players using intrigue cards or placing on the space that I need-- so I can see that the best laid plans of mice and players can easily be messed up, usually unintentionally. I can see that a FIVE player version of this game (the maximum) would be very, very difficult and perhaps frustrating. We played three and I felt it was well balanced for a three player game because two players could not agree to tag-team a third player. It doesn't look like a two player game would be much fun, but I will reserve a solid opinion until I see such. All in all, my first two games were enjoyable and we asked our friend to bring it to our next session. It looks like it might be a nice game to add to our rotation and thus far we've enjoyed it. However,