So I took advantage of the free shipping sale over at Time Well Spent last month to order up a slew of new to me games. I have made a bit of progress in cleaning out my game shelves, and it is time to get them filled back up again. As with all things in life, two days after I ordered three new games were released that I would want…guess they can wait for next time.
So first up on the new order is the 4th edition of Talisman, published this time by Black Industries. I own a complete set of second edition, but when I play 2nd edition I like to use all the expansions (just cannot help myself). That makes for a long game, so when I want a short game of Talisman I have been playing 3rd edition. I hate 3rd edition. Pretty much everything about it sucks. So I went ahead and purchased 4th, and 3rd is now going to be sold. I like the look of the board a lot, nice detail and big spaces. The components in general are all nice, except for the stupid counters. These little plastic shapes with numbers on them that are so small and fiddly you can barely more them around and with numbers done in the same plastic color that you cannot read. I guess we will either just use a number of them to represent the count (use 4 actual pieces instead of 1 with a 4 on it), or I will have to get a marker and darken in all the numbers. The box is nice with all of the cards fitting nicely into slots inside. Rules look the same, but I have read that things are a bit cleaned up. We are looking forward to trying it.
I also got a copy of Tannhauser. I had passed on this game after it came out because I heard that the board was too dark and hard to follow. I had been very interested in the game leading up to it’s release though. After reading a bit more about the game though, I decided to go with my original interest and get a copy. This is one of those games that will have a hard time finding it’s way to the table with my normal gaming group, but it still looks interesting. Fantasy Flight Games did a great job on the components for this one, all the way down to the painted miniatures. The board is two sided, thick, and quite large. I see what people are saying about how dark it is, and without reading the rules it does seem confusing, but hopefully that will all be cleared up. One nice little extra is that this game comes with it’s own plastic bags for storing all the counters. Kudos’ to FFG on that one. If you are a Tannhauser owner make sure you check out the web site for some special tokens that were released over the past couple of weeks.
Keeping with the Fantasy Flight Theme (a recurring theme in this order), I got a copy of Britannia. This is another game that I wanted back when it was first released, but didn’t get it because I figured it would just sit on the shelf. I have a game day planned with some guys from work though, and war games are tall on the order. I am hoping to play this and Conquest of the Empire. This game has the same amazing bits as did Tannhauser. Great board, I mean really great…it just feels good, as well as some very nice (and numerous) counters. The insert for this game was worthless though, I hate that. I grabbed out some storage boxes from The Container Store and threw away the insert. This one looks very interesting. I like games that have a predefined number of turns, even if there are 16 armies that have to go each turn.
Stepping away from FFG for a minute, I did pick up the very shelf friendly Ticket to Ride expansion for Switzerland. This game is a board, and some ticket cards. You need to get additional cards and trains from either the original or Europe games. This is a two or three player game only, looks to be pretty straight forward. I expect this to get a lot of play.
I grabbed three of the new small box Silver Line Games from FFG. The two player Cold War CIA vs KGB, Condottiere, and the 3rd edition of MagBlast. I got CIA for Melissa and I to play together, as it looks to be short, thematic, and different from other games I already have. Condottiere seems to be very similar to Great Wall of China, which was a hit at work. I will be bringing this in next week to give it a try there. I love the little board that comes with this game, makes me wonder why more games are not designed/packaged like this. MagBlast is just a replacement for a warn out 2nd edition. It is a fun little game.
Wrapping up this order is the game I am most excited about, Cutthroat Caverns by Smirk & Dagger games. This is a fantasy adventure card game, love fantasy adventure games, that plays sort of RPG like. Basically, players have to work together to defeat a number of encounters (monsters, rooms, traps) and make their way through the Dungeon. Players get points only for being the one to land the killing blow however. So while you cannot win the game alone, you also cannot win the game without stabbing your buddy in the back. In fact, the game ends with an (assumed not played) killing of everyone except for the winner. The mechanics of the game are very simple. You have attack, event and item cards in your hand which you play each turn. You try and deal out damage while avoiding it yourself. You try and get yourself into a good position to be the one to actually kill the beast. The game is small, but comes with a good number of both cards and counters. I also grabbed the first expansion which adds special character powers and additional encounters to the game. Smirk & Dagger is making additional encounters available for download from their website which is cool. The one downside is that this is a 3 player game, so Melissa and I cannot play alone. I expect this one to make the table at the next game day or sooner. Expect a full review of the game then.