Monthly Archives: September 2014

BGB says:

SoCal guy Andrew Federspiel is, like me, a video game designer going analog and his Knee Jerk game is good fun for the party and creative crowd. Check out the Kickstarter – only $10 in the US/UK/China.

Andrew Federspiel is raising funds for Knee Jerk: The Party Game of Instant Reactions! on Kickstarter! Create endings to funny situations in this fast-paced party game. The first player to shout their knee-jerk reaction wins the point!

Read on, gamers… at Kickstarter

BGB says:

Russian Railroads wins the DSP. While a good game, I found it unexciting and don’t see it winning over Concordia. Heck, even Istanbul (another solid but overrated game) placed over the clever, intriguing Mac Gerdts design. I am huge fan of Rudiger Dorn so I’m glad to see he’s getting kudos but this is certainly one of his lesser games.

The winner of the 2014 Deutscher Spielepreis (DSP), the heavier of the two major German Game of the Year awards, is Russian Railroads. The game was designed by Helmut Ohley and Lonny Orgler and was published by Hans im Gluck. This is HiG’s eighth DSP award, far more than any other publisher (the only other…

Read on, gamers… at Opinionatedgamers


Splendor is back in stock at! While it failed to capture the SDJ for 2014 (losing to Camel Up, the one with the dice-pooping pyramid), I’ve played Splendor almost 20 times this year and I’m sure it’ll hit the quarter list. You will love those crazy poker chip gems if you haven’t played it yet.

Splendor was the biggest hit of Gateway 2014 last weekend, with it being constantly checked out. I’m glad I bought one and hope Asmodee will send us a copy soon because we could easily support two copies in the Board Game Library.

While the game has fallen in and out of print the since early this year, it’s back on Amazon so get it now!

BGB says:IMG_3325

The rogue’s gallery of reviewers at The Opinionated Gamers discuss the new game from Bruno Cathala and Days of Wonder, Five Tribes. Like Dale and most of the OP gang, I’m fond of Five Tribes after two plays, including a tie for the win this last weekend at Gateway 2014. This is actually kind of a new things for Days of Wonder, a venture in real Gamer’s Games (although some might say that Small World is a bit beyond their normal market, too).

Cathala’s excellent use of the Mancala-style mechanism that is the basis for Trajan (one of my favorite games of the last few years) as well has resulted in a good game that is at once pretty intuitive and also sufficiently detailed to engage serious gamers. Dale astutely points out the big knock on the game – players can fall into analysis paralysis with the often huge decision tree on the board (which, admittedly, dimishes as the game progresses). The challenge is not just that the board changes each turn (making it harder to plan), but you have to suss out the actual options you can take, and you are subject to following someone who just isn’t very good at finding the patterns who may leave you with great moves. In fact, in my game this last weekend, a guy spent five minutes trying to find the way to perform a move. It was right there and I could see it but heck if I was going to point out the thing he kept missing. Next, it was my turn and I made the move. He seemed a little annoyed but, seriously, am I supposed to play your game for you (he was accepting of it in the end – but maybe not all players will be.

Speaking to Tom Rosen’s point about the added need to bid points/money (they are one in the same) for turn order, the first time I played the game (earlier this year at the Gathering of Friends), we completely missed the turn order mechanism for a sizable portion of the game. I mean, it was a prototype and we just forgot. It happens. But the game moved like lightning and we were having fun. Is there a potential lighter version where you just skip turn order and the need to balance your bid against how many points you will score that turn? Notably, on the final turn of our game, one of the players took almost ten minutes to make his final bid for turn order. As I said, this isn’t for the AP players.

Anyway, I heartily recommend Five Tribes as an excellent game. I actually just had an email from Bruno Cathala a week ago and he noted he feels this is one of his finest games. He’s right – Five Tribes is going to be heavily played and, I think, loved in the days ahead. Glad to see the recently-acquired (by the excellent folks at Asmodee) Days of Wonder back on top with a winner that I will be buying as soon as it becomes available.


Designer: Bruno Cathala Publisher: Days of Wonder Players: 2-4 Time: 40-80 min* Ages: 13+ * recommended time is what is printed on the box, our games proved to be closer to 120 min for a 4p game Times played: 3, with review copy provided by DoW Five Tribes is the new Gen Con/Essen 2014 release…


Read on, gamers… at Opinionatedgamers


BGB says:

One of the big demo displays at Gateway 2014 was Donkey: It’s a Kick. Here is a brief review by an attendee who gave it a go.

Last weekend, I went to Strategicon in Los Angeles at the invite of my son in-law Eric Bryan Seuthe II of Monkey Finger Games. I was there for two reasons: To help Eric promote the demo of his new game and to do a 4-hour demo of OGRE, and another 4-hour demo of Munchkin Quest, both by SJ Games.

Read on, gamers… at Boardgamegeek