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Game Preview

Game Overview- Cities: Skylines

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Game Overview- Cities: Skylines

Based on the popular video game, the board game version of Cities: Skylines by Thames and Kosmos is a 1-4 player cooperative game where the goal is to plan, build, and manage a city. Join Anne as she teaches you the basics of game mechanics, and pick up Cities: Skylines at your FLGS on October 25!

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Game Preview: Wayfinders

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Game Preview: Wayfinders

Do you ever find yourself just playing the same handful of games over and over again? Just me? It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I’m comfortable. I love learning new games, but let’s be honest, I love being taught new games. So imagine my surprise when I checked out Wayfinders by Pandasaurus Games, and was able to not only read through, but understand all of the rules well enough to teach the game at my next game night. 

If you’re looking to learn a bit more about this new game before it releases at your FLGS later this month, you’ve come to the right place!

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Setting Up the Game

First, decide what color you’re going to play. You have a choice of orange, blue, white, or dark green. Take your color’s airplane, 5 worker meeples, and 10 airstrips.

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 Next, you’re going to shuffle the three different colored decks separately, then pull 9 red, 8 blue, and 7 yellow cards and shuffle them all together. Set them up on a 5x5 grid with the home square in the middle. 

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 Put all of the resource tokens into the resource bag and shake it up (Note: you’ll only need to do this the first time you play, after that you’ll likely just keep the tokens in that bag all the time). The 5 resource are: Parachutes (green), Headphones (purple), Gas Cans (red), Tires (yellow), and Propellers (navy). 

I must say, I appreciate that the resources can be done by color or by symbol, just in case you’re playing with someone who has trouble distinguishing colors. The resources will correspond with island types, which I’ll explain later, but it can’t hurt to know about it now.

 Each player draws one resource randomly from the bag.

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Now you’re going to set up the Hangar. Set it up somewhere where all players can access it, and fill up each row with three resources pulled randomly from the bag. You’ll fill double the amount of rows as players, so 4 rows for 2 players, 6 for 3 players, and all 8 for 4 players. Don’t worry if you’re confused, the board has a little marking at the top of each row to remind you.

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Last but not least, determine turn order. The person to most recently travel by plane goes first, and play continues clockwise. The first player will put one airstrip on the 1 square on home island, the second player puts one airstrip on the 2 square, and so on. Players start with their airplanes all on the home square!

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 Gameplay

When it’s your turn you get to take one of two actions: 1. Place a worker at the hangar, or 2. Collect all your workers from the hangar. 

The first action is super easy, you just place a worker meeple in one of the rows of the hangar, behind any other meeples that are already in line. You can only have three of your own workers in one row, but there can be more than three workers total

That’s all you have to do! Your turn is now over.

 

If you choose to collect your workers, you get to take 4 sub-actions, in this order:

1. Collect resources and return workers

You’ll collect all of your workers, and one resource per worker in each column. You must take the topmost resource, regardless of where your worker is in line. So in the below example, if blue chose to collect their workers, they would take the red gas can resource, even though they are third in line. This lets you be strategic about when to collect your resources and lets you cut off your competitors.

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 2. Move your Airplane and Build Airstrips

If you want, you can fly your airplane around the board to build more airstrips and collect the rewards of the square/island you build on. If there is already an airstrip on the island, even if it’s not yours, you can fly there for free. If there is no airstrip, you need to pay one resource in the color of the mountain at the bottom right of the island (think of it as having to use fuel to fly over the island, rather than landing on the airstrip and refueling). You can fly anywhere you want, as long as you are moving orthogonally, and you have the resources to do so.

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To build an airstrip, you need to have all of the resources shown on the bottom of the island (or, you can use two of the same resources to make a “wild” resource). If you’re the first person to build an airstrip on that island, you pay the resources to the bank, but if someone else already has an airstrip on the island, you pay them the resources. 

 You then collect the reward on the top left of the card, which could be everything from immediate resources, to making certain resource colors work as a sort of “wild” color, to providing extra victory points for particular island configurations. There is admittedly a lot of island rewards, and you won’t necessarily play with all of them in each game. Luckily, there is an incredibly helpful, double-sided reference card that explains all of the different rewards, and will stop all of the players from asking you “wait, what does this do?” over and over. (Well, it might. It didn’t stop the people I played with. But I did keep referring them to the card anyway.)

 

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The order you place your airstrips is another great opportunity for strategizing and messing with other players. Maybe you don’t necessarily need that island, but you know someone else does, so you go ahead and put an airstrip there so that when they go to put the airstrip down, they have to give you extra resources. And the amount of resources you can hold at once is limited, because the next thing you have to do is…

 

3. Discard down to 3 resources

So here you were thinking you could just hoard a bunch of resources and then place a bunch of airstrips in one turn, huh? Well the game has thought of that, so now you have to discard down to 3 resources. There are some island rewards that allow you to discard one less (and one of our players definitely exploited that and wound up being allowed to keep 6 resources) but without that, you’re going to have to be very strategic about when you pull your resources and make sure your plane is in a location where you can actually use your resources. Finally…

 

4. Refill the hangar

This step is super easy, just move any remaining resources in the hangar to the topmost available slots, and draw new resources from the bag to fill the missing slots. It feels natural to try to do this step right after you collect your workers, but this must be done after all the other steps because available resources may change depending on airstrips placed or resources discarded.

 

And that’s pretty much it! You’re going to keep taking turns either placing workers or collecting workers (and doing all of the sub-steps), gaining advantages based on where you’ve placed your airstrips, until one player has 2 or less airstrips remaining. This triggers the final round, where everyone gets one last turn (likely choosing the collect workers action), and then you begin the scoring phase, which is helpfully explained on the reference card. Basically, any island with a resource or a permanent effect gets you a flat number of victory points, while an island with a scoring effect gives you that number of victory points multiple times for however many times you fulfilled that condition. It’s incredibly intuitive.

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 My Thoughts

This game is a lot of fun! We played it twice in one night, and even with learning how to play, and playing it twice, we still had time to play another game after. I’d say it took us about 30 minutes per game, which is right in the 25-45 minute time slot that the box says it takes. We did have one player who was determined to place her airstrips as soon as possible, and since that triggers the endgame, that explains why we kind of sped through it. Which brings me to another thought:

Who you play this game with absolutely affects your strategy. If you’re playing with someone who is throwing down airstrips the second she gets enough resources, you can’t really play the long game plan. If the other players immediately spread out across the board, you’re not really going to be able to take advantage of collecting resources from other players for them building airstrips on “your” island. Plus, the randomness of the islands you play with, and where they show up on the board, can change up your plan from the get-go. For that reason, this doesn’t feel like a game where once you have “your” strategy, it’s the same game no matter how many times you play.

 

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For people who play games a lot, this is an easy game to learn. For newcomers to games, I think it has just enough rules to make it interesting and complex, without being overwhelming. It’s a game you can learn as you play. Just don’t expect to win that way.

 

Lastly, don’t be like us and put all of the island tiles touching each other. You lose the effect of them feeling like “islands”. It’s such a tiny detail, but it really does make a lot of difference. Plus, then you can make airplane noises as you fly from island to island.

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Wayfinders will be available on October 30th at your FLGS! Let us know if you’re planning on picking up a copy for yourself, and show us pictures of your island configurations.

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Gen Con Demo Table Spotlight: Tuki, Azul, and Century: A New World

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Gen Con Demo Table Spotlight: Tuki, Azul, and Century: A New World

Happy Friday, active players! Today we’re spotlighting 3 fantastic games we’ll be demoing during Gen Con at booth (say it with me) 2535! No time to waste on a snappy intro, let’s talk games!

 

Tuki -Next Move Games

Have you ever wanted to play Tetris with real blocks? Do you like games that require spatial awareness and puzzle-solving? If you answered yes, you’ll love Tuki.

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Your goal is to be the fastest to build a Tukilik, a 3-D object that denotes certain meanings in the Inuit culture.  Basically, you have to make the colored blocks match the drawing on the card, and you use the white snow pieces to help support the structure. What you roll on the die determines how you set up the card and how you’re allowed to build your Tukilik. If you’re curious what this looks like, we have a video of Anne and Emily playing.

Tuki is a game that you have to play at least once. It takes less than a minute to learn, and about a minute to play a round. And I can honestly say that every single person I have shown this game to said they would play it again. Come see us at Gen Con and play a round with us! (Maybe not me specifically, I have been known to knock a tower down if I’m losing) 


Azul -Next Move Games

 Do you like games that require strategy? Do you like making moves that screw over your friends, and sometimes yourself in the process? Then you should stop by and try Azul.

Photo by The Review Board

Photo by The Review Board

In this game,you’re collecting different types of (beautifully designed) tiles trying to create sets. You are all pulling from the same pile set, so turn order is key, as is what group of tiles you choose. The theming is simple, and I’ve mentioned before that it’s a great game for people who have tried super easy board games and are ready to try something with a bit more meat. 

This game requires a lot of strategy, and you get better the more you play. But luckily, we’ll have it available for purchase as well as demo.

 

Century: A New World- Plan B Games

Do you like worker placement games? Do you like the other Century games? Then Century: A New World is the game you should come try!

The final installment in the Century series debuted at Origins and sold out in the early hours of day 2. In this game, you’re placing workers and cubes, and then swapping them out to upgrade to better cubes to earn victory points. Century: A New World is an excellent introduction to the worker placement genre, and as Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower said, it’s easy to learn and turns go by quickly, so you are constantly engaged. 

 

 

 

All three of these games will be in rotation at our booth, and that schedule should be released next week. So stay tuned, check back, and let us know which games you’re most looking forward to!

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Unpacking the Pathfinder Playtest

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Unpacking the Pathfinder Playtest

The Pathfinder Playtest ended November 18th and according to Paizo Inc., it was huge in terms of the number of players and incredibly useful to the designers!

Jason Bulmahn updated players on the findings from the Playtest and thanked them heartily for their participation in a video missive from the Paizo Studio.. He talked about data, surprises, and even gave a few spoilers as to what the final version of Pathfinder Second Edition will be like. 

The Paizo team was very clear that Pathfinder Second Edition will not be identical to the Playtest. The Playtest made bold choices to test various options and players will absolutely experience the game differently when the Second Edition is released in August.

While still being written, Pathfinder Second Edition will add storytelling flavor and polish, provide a better introduction for new players, include more useful GM tools, do away with magical Resonance, and refine the Proficiency system. All of this moves towards making a game that is easier to learn, faster to play at all levels, providing the depth of character customization that Paizo is lauded for, and giving GMs the tools to tell the stories they want to tell. Getting the rules just right allows players to focus more on the story at gaming table.

Even though the Playtest is at an end, the Pathfinder Playtest books still create a fascinating and challenging adventure - especially for any party who might want to gain an deeper understanding of game design, compare their experience with the final version coming this year, and of course explore the vast World of Golarian. The chapters of the Doomsday Dawn adventure take place in many of the same locations as Pathfinder’s previous Adventure Paths, giving a sampling to new players and a sentimental journey to veterans. Let’s be honest, it’s just plain fun. Reach out to your FLGS to see if they still have copies available!

Paizo has plans to make the buying experience special for customers who plan to buy Pathfinder Second Edition at their favorite local gaming store which they plan to announce in March.

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Sneak Peek! Munchkin: Warhammer 40K

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Sneak Peek! Munchkin: Warhammer 40K

Munchkin: Warhammer 40K is slowly making its way to us, fam! If you have been thirsting for it since it was announced at Gen Con last year, then you’ll be super jealous to know that our friends at Steve Jackson Games gave us a sneak peak at the cards in production.

Don’t stay mad at us though, because we are passing them along to you!

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That being said… this did just arrive on my doorstep.

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So, the green-eyed monster may have returned - and frankly, I understand if it did. The art will delight and tantalize all Warhammer fans and Munchkin fans alike and there are 168 new cards to explore in the box. It comes with a game board as well as a custom six sided die and twelve standies with even more of that classic Munchkin art from John Kovalic.

Dare I open it on APN for all to see? Tell me in the comments if that’s something you’d like to see!

BUT! Don’t let me have all the fun! You should head to your FLGS and preorder because this game will be hitting shelves in March!

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Get the Game - Ghostbusters: The Card Game

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Get the Game - Ghostbusters: The Card Game

Get the Game helps you understand games and accessories that are taking the world by storm. Whether you're a gaming veteran, tournament champion, or you've just dipped your toes into tabletop gaming, everyone is welcome to tune in and learn how to craft the play experience that's right for them.

Follow/Subscribe to Active Player Network to make sure you don't miss out on new episodes and game giveaways:
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Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

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Get the Game - Root by Leder Games

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Get the Game - Root by Leder Games

Get the Game helps you understand games and accessories that are taking the world by storm. Whether you're a gaming veteran, tournament champion, or you've just dipped your toes into tabletop gaming, everyone is welcome to tune in and learn how to craft the play experience that's right for them.

Follow/Subscribe to Active Player Network to make sure you don't miss out on new episodes and game giveaways:
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Facebook 
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Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

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Get the Game - Ultra Pro Accessory Preview

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Get the Game - Ultra Pro Accessory Preview

We got a sneak peak at some amazing accessories headed to your table from Ultra Pro!

Get the Game helps you understand games and accessories that are taking the world by storm. Whether you're a gaming veteran, tournament champion, or you've just dipped your toes into tabletop gaming, everyone is welcome to tune in and learn how to craft the play experience that's right for them.

Follow/Subscribe to Active Player Network to make sure you don't miss out on new episodes and game giveaways:
YouTube
Facebook 
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Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

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Get the Game - Architects of the West Kingdom by Renegade Game Studios

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Get the Game - Architects of the West Kingdom by Renegade Game Studios

Check out Architects of the West Kingdom - a new worker placement game for 1-5 players that kicks of the new West Kingdom trilogy from Renegade Game Studios.

Get the Game helps you understand games and accessories that are taking the world by storm. Whether you're a gaming veteran, tournament champion, or you've just dipped your toes into tabletop gaming, everyone is welcome to tune in and learn how to craft the play experience that's right for them.

Other games from Renegade Game Studios:

Gunkimono
Spell Smashers
The Cosmology of Overlight - Shards, Chroma, and Folk
Overlight - Character Creation
Overlight - How to Roll Tests

Follow/Subscribe to Active Player Network to make sure you don't miss out on new episodes and game giveaways:
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Host: Anne Richmond
Twitter: @annerichmond
Instagram: @hearthsinger

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