Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Disney Pixar Cars Dobble from Asmodee Games unboxing and Review.

The Dobble games have provided plenty of fun in our house, and are certainly a favourite of Olivia and get to the table very often with their simple fast playing mechanics, they never overstay their welcome either, so are perfect for a "Quick game before bed, or before we go out"
Take a look at our thoughts on Dobble  and   Dobble Chrono also from Asmodee, this should give you the basics on this version, as it plays the same.

 Today we look at the Disney Cars version, its suitable for ages 4 and up, and plays fast with 2-5 players, though of course you can always combine the clock from Dobble Chrono to play solo timed challenges too.  The major challenge for us being we have never seen the film cars (that was rectified after this)
Like the other Dobbles, its kept in a nice tin, but there are less cards in it then regular Dobble, so it helps keep the play time very low.

Also tells you pretty much how to play the game on the back of the tin.

So lets take a look inside... see what we find........

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Marvel Legendary Secret Wars Volume 2 unboxing and Review

Marvel Legendary is a solo and co-op card game, where you lead your team of heroes, (or villains) against a mastermind to take them down.  We looked at one of the "core" games, Marvel legendary villains before, so now to look at one of the other  available expansion packs and see what it adds.  we looked at Secret Wars volume 1 last time, so now onto Secret Wars Volume 2.

Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 2 allows players to play through the Secret Wars storyline within Legendary!
With sixteen all new Heroes, six new Villain groups, four new Masterminds and six new Schemes ready to challenge players like never before! Players can work both with and against other players to defeat the various Battleworlds while laying waste to planet Earth and, for the first time ever, players can now play as the Mastermind against the other players!
The game features playable characters from the Illuminati, Cabal and favorites from alternate universes including Beast, Capt Britain, Spider Gwen, Ruby Summers, Dr. Punisher The Soldier Supreme and many more!
Build your team to battle against the various universes in Battleworld including the X-Men '92, Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos, Deadpools Secret Secret Wars, and the Masters of Kung Fu!
350 new cards, all with new content will add a huge amount to your game, 4 masterminds will really change up the way you play as well, adding more and more content, combined with the Villians set, and the previous expansions we now have 1200+ plus cards to chose from.

Lets pop it open and take a look whats inside......

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Star Wars Armada Rebel Transports Flotilla expansion pack from Fantasy Flight Games

Time once more to dive into the world of Star Wars Armada, with the release of the Rebel Transports flotilla for Armada.  Flotillas are a new form of ship, that come in pairs to sit on a single base.  Whilst they will not possess the same kind of firepower as main fleet ships, but will benefit you more in a support or escort role.

The first set we will look at is the Rebel Transports.
I had a massive toy of this when i was a kid, it was an awesome figure carry case, so it has a soft spot in my heart.

The Rebel Transports Expansion Pack introduces a flotilla of GR-75 medium transports to your games of Star Wars Armada. In addition to its flotilla, which you can field as either a pair of GR-75 Combat Retrofits or GR-75 Medium Transports, the Rebel Transports Expansion Pack introduces eight upgrades, four of which feature the utilitarian Fleet Support icon. Relay commands to your larger ships with a Comms Net, or trail behind your largest ships with Repair Crews to keep them in the fight a bit longer. Clever use of the support your fleet gains from its Rebel transports can easily make the difference between victory or defeat.

The Rebel Transports Expansion Pack contains two GR-75 medium transport miniatures, two ship cards, eight upgrades, one rules reference card, and all necessary components.

 So lets crack it open, and see what it adds to the fleet...........

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing USS Venture unboxing and Review

The Latest Wave of Star Trek Attack Wing, brings one new ship.  the Galaxy class USS Venture.

The USS Venture (NCC-71854) was a Federation starship, a Galaxy-class explorer in Starfleet service in the late 24th century.

n the year 2368, the Venture docked at planet Luxor IV due to a baffle plate malfunction.  In 2370, the Venture was sent to help in the clean up of the New Bajor colony after it was destroyed by the Dominion.  In 2372, the Venture was on a long-term diplomatic mission when news arrived of Klingon forces massing to attack Starbase Deep Space 9. Captain Roger Corbett volunteered to lead a task force to Starbase Deep Space 9 to protect the station after it came under attack from the Klingon Defense Force during the opening volleys of the brief Federation-Klingon War of 2373. 

The ship saw heavy action during the Dominion War. In 2374, the Venture participated in Operation Return, the epic battle to recapture Deep Space 9 from the Dominion. She was amongst the first ships to arrive at the station after the Dominion retreat.  The Venture participated in the First Battle of Chin'toka in December of 2374, helping the allied forces capture that system.  Following the end of the war, the Venture battled Legate Matan's renegade forces, and was heavily damaged in the battle.  Olivia Bolaji served on the Venture prior to her assignment on the USS Titan in 2379.

Lets crack the packet open, and see what we get.............

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Hit Z Road unboxing and review from Space Cowoys and Asmodee games

Hit Z Road...... a zombie game, a zombie survival game with bidding mechanics and dice rolling? sounds intriguing, sounds different as well.  I know the market is flooded by zombie games, but this is something i have not come across before, and frankly i was sold on the box art....

Its a thing of beauty, with a 50s/60s look that i just love! combined wit the weathered style of the box, and hand drawn scribble its not like the normal boardgame you see, and that for me is one of its charms.

In the fast-paced and morbidly kitschy game Hit Z Road, you and your fellow players embark on a road trip going south from Chicago along America's famous Route 66 — now infested by zombies. As you travel though a deck of adventure cards rife with dangers, you battle zombie hordes, drive abandoned school buses, scavenge for gas and bullets, and explore a darkened, tainted American countryside full of shambling undead, haunted carnivals, and plumes of toxic gas. Your goal is to stay alive until you reach the safe, sandy beaches of the California coast.
Three different stages of adventure cards create an experience of increasing difficulty and ensure that each playthrough is unique. Each round begins with an auction that determines both player order and which cards you will encounter. Since the resources used for bidding are the same as those used to battle the oncoming zombie hordes, your survival depends as much on your resource management as it does upon winning those bidding wars. The player who either accumulates the most points or survives the longest wins.

Zombies of all types await, with cannibals, anti-personnel mines and radioactive wastes also being among the hazards awaiting the players. Who will survive the zombie onslaught?
 The back of the box has some nice art, and gives you a good overview of the game, but you may notice, it doesnt really fit the theme of the front of the box, again there is a reason, as once you open the cellophane wrap from it, you see its just a s sheet and under it is.......
What looks like a battered and weathered box from some 50s/60s board game that has rules that dont relate to the game you just read about.  Its all part of the excellent graphic design and theme of this game, don't worry, ti will all start to make sense when we pop open the box...........

Monday, 22 August 2016

Called to Arms chapter pack for A Game of Thrones LCG 2nd edition unboxing and review

Carrying on the second cycle in A Game of Thrones the card game we look at what new drops in for us with Called to arms.  Like all the expansion packs you get 60 cards, 20 new ones, with 3 copies of each for your deck building.

“Lady Catelyn, you are wrong.” Brienne regarded her with eyes as blue as her armor. “Winter will never come for the likes of us. Should we die in battle, they will surely sing of us, and it's always summer in the songs. In the songs all knights are gallant, all maids are beautiful, and the sun is always shining.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

The banners have been called in the War of the Five Kings. In the north, Robb Stark gathers his armies around Riverrun, preparing to strike out at Tywin Lannister’s forces. Joffrey Baratheon has ascended the Iron Throne in King’s Landing, Renly Baratheon has been crowned in Highgarden, and on the islands of Dragonstone and Pyke, Stannis Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy plot their own rise to power. Before long, great armies will march onto the field of battle, while subtle intrigues and assassins’ daggers decide the fates of countless others.

Lets crack it open, and take a look at the new cards.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Star Wars Armada Interdictor Expansion Pack from Fantasy Flight Games

Time to check out some reinforcements for the Imperial fleet for the excellent game we looked at before. Star Wars Armada 

The Interdictor-class Star Destroyer was a variant of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer equipped with gravity well projectors.

Sienar Fleet Systems already produced an Interdictor, the Immobilizer 418 cruiser based on a 600 m Vindicator-class heavy cruiser (also used for the Enforcer-class picket cruiser). Though it was decently armed for its size, it was a high priority vessel that was generally unable to hold its own in combat, especially if the battle involved Imperial Star Destroyers and comparable vessels.
Kuat Drive Yards decided to produce their own Interdictor offering to rival that of SFS by using an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer hull as a base. 

To make room for the gravity well projectors, half of the turbolasers and ion cannons, as well as eight of the Phylon Q7 tractor beam projectors found on the original Imperial-class Star Destroyer, had to be removed.  The Interdictor-class Star Destroyer's reduced hangar held sixteen TIE fighters.
The Interdictor-class Star Destroyer did not require additional support when performing patrol and customs duties. Some bold commanders such as Loka Hask even used the ship to pull armed convoys out of hyperspace and destroy them.

Nonetheless, like the Immobilizer, the gravity wells remained a major drain on the ship's main reactor. This had the potential to compromise defenses in heavy combat. For instance, while Loka Hask's Dominator had interdicted and was destroying a New Republic Convoy, Rogue Squadron's X-wings counter-attacked by hitting Dominator with a salvo of proton torpedoes. While an Imperial Star Destroyer's shields would have easily held up against such an assault, Dominator's shields partially collapsed and the hull took some damage, prompting its commanders to call off the battle. Rogue Squadron also successfully used this tactic on the Immobilizer 418 cruiser Aggregator, which caused it to retreat.

So what comes in this new pack? what wondrous goodies does it add to the forces of the Empire? lets crack it open and take a look..........

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Brain Game Cortex Challenge unboxing and review from Esdevium games

Sometimes its fun to pull something out to play that doesn't take hours to set up, or even minutes, doesn't take ages to explain, and that can still challenge your mind, though maybe in different ways from normal strategy boardgames.  Cortex challenge is a game that can fill that role easily.

Challenge your brain in a fun game that tests your thinking, memory and speed skills! Compete with other players in 8 different challenges which will make you use all your brain power: touch tests, duplicates, logical series, mazes, colour puzzles, and more.

Cortex Challenge is the exciting new brain-busting card game by Esdevium Games, which uses the same fast-paced approach to family fun popularised by Dobble and Jungle Speed.  Cortex Challenge tests up to six players’ memory, cognition, and sensory perception. It even includes texture cards that are used during ‘Touch Challenges’, where players must guess what they are feeling, adding a unique element that is often neglected in games. Players’ brain powers are stretched to the max as they race to be the first to match symbols, correctly remember all objects on a card or find the route out of mazes, amongst many other tests! Winning challenges allows players to add pieces to their brain puzzle which they must complete before their opponents in order to win the game. Cortex Challenge is sure to tax the mental abilities of players both young and old!
 The standard version is 2-6 players ages 8 and up (Olivia was fine at 7 but do use your own judgement)

The game also comes in both Geo (for players aged 9+ years) and Kids (for players aged 6+ years) versions, making the game accessible to more specialised or younger audiences.

Lets crack the box open see what lurks within..........

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Marvel Legendary Secret Wars Vol 1 unboxing and reveiw.

Marvel Legendary is a solo and co-op card game, where you lead your team of heroes, (or villains) against a mastermind to take them down.  We looked at one of the "core" games, Marvel legendary villains before, so now to look at one of the available expansion packs and see what it adds.  Secret Wars Volume 1.

Legendary: Secret Wars - Volume 1 is the second "big box" expansion for Marvel Legendary since the Dark City release in 2013. Players can work both with and against other players to defeat the various Battleworlds while laying waste to planet Earth! The game features playable characters from the Illuminati, Cabal and favorites from alternate universes including Black Panther, Dr Strange, Namor, Miles Morales, Captain Marvel and Old Man Logan. Find 14 new Heroes, 6 new Villain groups, 5 new Masterminds and 8 new Schemes. Build your team to battle against the various universes in Battleworld including the Domain of Apocalypse, Monster Metropolis, The Deadlands, Limbo and The Wastelands. For the First time EVER - players can now play as the Mastermind against the other players!
350 new cards, all with new content will add a huge amount to your game, 4 masterminds will really change up the way you play as well.

New Heroes
Illuminati: The 2015 Marvel storyline Secret Wars begins with a terrifying discovery: all the parallel dimensions in the Marvel Universe are hurtling towards each other! Wherever they collide, only one dimension will survive. The other will be utterly destroyed! The smartest genius Heroes in the world band together as the Illuminati, in a desperate search to stop it.
Cabal: Meanwhile, a group of evil geniuses form the Cabal with a different plan: stop other dimensions from colliding with ours…by destroying them all with antimatter bombs!

Lets pop the lid off and have a look..........

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Flick 'em up! from Z-Man Games unboxing and review

Board games are not always about deep strategy and worker placement, and card combos, sometimes, a good theme and something simple and fun can make a game a great one to play.
I have never really played dexterity games before, but i do like westerns, so seeing Flick 'em up! I was certainly intrigued.

The cities in the West are not the safest place to be. In the disc-flicking game Flick 'em Up!, you can become an outlaw and rob banks, free prisoners, attack innocent bystanders... or you could become the Sheriff and try to protect the people of your city from these bandits!
Relive the great adventures of the West, face your enemies in street duels, use different guns and tactics to get what you want. You can follow the scenarios or create your own—the choice is yours, cowboy!

 The box is nice with some stylized western themed artwork on the front and back, and pictures of the game in action as well.
The games recommends ages 8 up, which is really subjective as  i think in concept its a simple enough game for younger players, and Olivia aged 7 had it mastered and was surprisingly effective!  2-10 players..... yes... its possible to play 10 players, as you have one player controlling each character, but then it would take so long i think it wouldn't really be viable.  We played it 2 player and it was a blast, but i would not want to play any more then 4 players due to the time it would take.

Lets crack it open and take a look at the goodies within!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Cthulhu’s vault from Jolly Roger Games and Ultra-Pro unboxing and Review

Ahhhh Cthulhu..... you get everywhere these days since the work of Lovecraft is in the public domain. Which is not too much of a problem or me, since I am a big fan of the mythos and worlds (and otherworlds) created by Lovecraft.  Olivia and me love playing games set in that world such as the excellent Elder Sign and the huge and deep Eldritch Horror.  We love playing the games and making up stories about characters as we play.  Cthulhus Vault though... is ALL about storytelling.
 The box is a shiny dark grey in colour, with a Cthulu head subtly marked on the front, i like it, its simple but effective.

I found myself faced by names and terms that I had heard elsewhere in the most hideous of connections—Yuggoth, Great Cthulhu, Tsathoggua, Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Hastur, Yian, Leng, the Lake of Hali, Bethmoora, the Yellow Sign, L’mur-Kathulos, Bran and the Magnum Innominandum—and was drawn back through nameless aeons and inconceivable dimensions to worlds of elder, outer entity at which the crazed author of the Necronomicon had only guessed in the vaguest way.... There is a whole secret cult of evil men (a man of your mystical erudition will understand me when I link them with Hastur and the Yellow Sign) devoted to the purpose of tracking them down and injuring them on behalf of the monstrous powers from other dimensions. 

—H. P. Lovecraft, "The Whisperer in Darkness

Cthulhu's Vault is a card game for up to six players. Collaborative in nature, players work to tell the story of the monster's defeat, but unlike many storytelling games, the ending is not set. Within the storytelling are mechanisms for unexpected turns of events...
Players begin with a hand of cards, each an element to work into the story being told. As they tell their story, they play a card, and if they can link multiple cards from their hand together, they receive a bonus of some sort usable later in the defeat of the Great Old One (or his ascension if the player turns out to be a cultist).

Each Story card you play lets draw from the random token pile, and when a certain number of skull tokens are revealed... that players  old one awakens! and the game becomes a battle between the remaining investigators vs the Ancient one.
3-6 players and ages 10 and up.  The age was not a problem to olivia, she is used to the world of Lovecraft, and can sure tell a good yarn!

The objective is to tell a great story and then reach the climactic fight between the investigators and the Great Old One which is told in story-format as well.
Cthulhu's Vault is co-designed by Richard Launius and Jim Dietz. Launius is the designer of the classic 'Arkham Horror' (huge favourite of Olivia and me) while Dietz is the author of 'The Cthulhu Rainy-Day Activity Book' and the Lovecraftian novel 'The Last Post'.

Lets head through the other world portal and see what horrors lay waiting for us.......

Thursday, 4 August 2016

13 Days the Cuban Missile Crisis boardgame by Ultra Pro and Jolly Roger Games

I love the "Atomic Age" and its history, this of course encompassed the Cold War.  At no other point in history was the Cold War so close to going hot as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Now there is a game where you can play through those decisions, and see if you can come out on top, or if you start Armageddon.
Written by  Asger Harding Granerud and Daniel Skjold Pedersen this should help with that interest.

What do they say about the game?

Experience tense Cold War suspense in only 45 minutes.
13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis is a nail-biting, theme saturated two-player strategy game about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Your fate is determined by how well you deal with the inherent dilemmas of the game, and the conflict.
1) Will you push to gain prestige at the risk of escalating the crisis to global nuclear war?
2) How do you best manage your hand of cards to further your own plans while depriving your opponent of options?
Work out these dilemmas in order to emerge as victor of the Cuban Missile Crisis after thirteen suspenseful days.

13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis is a meaty filler utilizing the card-driven game mechanics. Rich with history, yet accessible to gamers with no prior knowledge of the crisis. It is targeted specifically at catering to two groups of gamers: the enthusiasts that just don't have the time they used to and the curious newcomers that are scared off by the heavy commitment and long play times of the classics in the genre.

The Cuban Missile Crisis,  was a 13-day (October 16–28, 1962) confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. Along with being televised worldwide, it was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.

In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to agree to Cuba's request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter future harassment of Cuba. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July and construction on a number of missile launch facilities started later that summer.
An election was under way in the United States. The White House had denied charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. These missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range (SS-4) and intermediate-range (R-14) ballistic missile facilities. The United States established a military blockade to prevent further missiles from entering Cuba. It announced that they would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons already in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the USSR.

After a long period of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a U.S. public declaration and agreement never to invade Cuba without direct provocation. Secretly, the United States also agreed that it would dismantle all U.S.-built Jupiter MRBMs, which were deployed in Turkey and Italy against the Soviet Union but were not known to the public.
When all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 20, 1962. The negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick, clear, and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow. As a result, the Moscow–Washington hotline was established. A series of agreements sharply reduced U.S.–Soviet tensions during the following years.

 This is a beautiful box, look at the earlier picture, its dripping with theme in the form of photgraphs from the era and event.  It plays 2 players only, ages 10 and up, which is a difficult one, i think olivia could grasp the mechanics, but the cards can be wordy though she is only 7.  Plus there is the Theme, the Cuban Missile crisis does not exactly get a lot of coverage this side of the Atlantic, even though i find it, the cold war and the Atomic Age extremely interesting.  You will be pleased to know however you do not need a deep understanding of the event, in fact you do not really need any, the mechanics in the game are so solid you can play it that way with no worries about history, thought its always nice to know more.

so whats inside this lovely box??........

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Marvel Vs 2PCG Defenders expansion from upper deck unboxing and reveiw

Time to look at at an expansion for the Marvel VS 2PCG system.  I really enjoyed the core Vs game, so its really exciting to see what this will add to the game.  The expansion pack is called The Defenders.

If you don't know how to play VS system, then head over here  to get an idea how it works so you can see all the good stuff that is now being added. 
 In this set you will get 200 new cards to add to your collection, and some new game mechanics.
The new Marvel VS expansion introduces The Defenders and The Underworld teams! The characters in VS System 2PCG: The Defenders can have different versions on each team. For example: Daredevil and Dr. Strange can be Defenders as well as Avengers.

Lets take a look inside, we what we get.........

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Dobble Chrono from Asmodee games unboxing and review.

A While ago we looked at a fast and fun game called Dobble (take a look its great fun) from Asmodee games.  Now we get to take a look at another version of it in Dobble Chrono.

Not every game we play has to have a theme, which is good as Dobble doesnt have one really, or a back story, its just a simple fun game to play.
this one comes in a larger box then the normal Dobble, still with the same age ratings, and time ratings, but... the player rating has changed.. its now 1-8.... 1.... so this includes solo play! this is always a good thing in my opinion, and very very welcome.
On the back it tells you it includes the 5 original games from Dobble, a two function timer, solo vairants, and new variants of the game to play.

Lets crack it open and take a look.......

Monday, 1 August 2016

Agricola 2016 edition unboxing and review from Mayfair Games

Time to look at another "classic" of table top gaming, the new 2016 edition of Agricola.  A game about farming.... yes farming.  May sound odd i know, but stick with us.... its a VERY deep game, and is considered with games like Catan to be genre classics and responsible for the resurgence in boardgames.
The artwork on it is different to more modern games, its very..... subtle, though i kind of like it, it pretty much shows you what the game is about in a single picture, and this style of artwork is carried on through the game.

The 17th Century Was Not an Easy Time to be a Farmer. A game for 1-4 players ages 12 and up; play time is 30 minutes per player. Amazing replay value. The Agricola base game is a revised edition of Uwe Rosenberg’s celebrated classic. The game is designed for 1-4 players, features improved all-wood components and a card selection from the base game as well as its expansions, revised and updated for this edition. Players begin the game with two family members and can grow their families over the course of the game. This allows them more actions but remember you have to grow more food to feed your family as it grows! Feeding your family is a special kind of challenge and players will plant grain and vegetables while supplementing their food supply with sheep, wild boar and cattle. Guide your family to wealth, health and prosperity and you will win the game.
its a game for 1-4 players, excellent to see a solo mode, really good for learning the game to teach.  90 min time, but that does depend on player number, and how familiar they are with gaming, and this is a pretty hefty beast to tally up the points at the end of the game.  Ages 12 and up is relative to how well your children can read, and plan, Olivia found this one a bit tough at age7.  Mind you... i did too at points!!

so lets open this box and see what we get to start our farms.....