A Year in Reviews

Having had our gaming habits somewhat disrupted by the unexpectedly early arrival of a baby, it felt like a good moment for a bit of a retrospective.

I’ve been doing game reviews now for a little over a year now. In that time, I’ve saved myself money on some games I wanted to get anyway, breathed life into games that had been standing idle and, above all, tried a lot of games that I would never have come close to playing without doing the reviews. Today I want to look at some of the highlights.

 

Bigger and Better: Zombicide: Black Plague

(see original review here)

Zombicide PaintedZombicide was one of the earlier games I got to review, and it was undoubtedly the game which made the biggest impact on last year – it was also my pick for “2016 Game of the Year” in the video. It’s a miniatures game, where a small band of heroes take on ever-growing armies of zombies, simple to learn, and not that difficult to master, I love how accessible this game is, and just how much fun it is. The game is scenario-based, so there’s a fair amount of variety, and the ongoing search for better weapons drives a lot of what happens. The zombies power up as your survivors do – specifically spawning in numbers determined by the most powerful survivor at that point in time, which means that you need to be careful of one person getting too far ahead of the group.

paintotaurWith a £70+ price-tag on the base game, coming from a publisher and designers I didn’t really know, this is something I would never have picked up having not played the franchise before. Having got it, it’s been such a hit that various birthdays and Christmas presents have gone on expansions. At the time of writing, it’s hovering on the brink of hitting 100 plays in under a year, which is pretty good going for a game that typically lasts more than 90 minutes, and regularly hits 2-3 hours or even more.

Cracking game, great fun, and it even inspired me to get back into miniature-painting to an extent that I hadn’t in a good while. Great stuff.

 

Gaming for the Future: Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition

(see original review here)

all-investigatorsAfter Zombicide, Mansions of Madness was the second most-played new game last year, but I’m including it on this list for a couple of other reasons. I’ve already waxed lyrical about this game here, and here (amongst other places), but there’s something specific I wanted to draw out today. This game completely changed my mind on the use of apps in Board Games. I use randomisers for set-up in Legendary and Dominion, but otherwise, I’ve always been pretty luke-warm on the concept. Things like X-COM, with a stress-inducing real-time element aren’t really my cup of tea, and I could never see the benefit: Boggle works fine with an egg-timer, with needing to digitise everything.

mansions-madness-board-game-puzzleMansions changed all of that – it gave us access to a great game that we’d always steered away from due to the 1-versus-many aspect, and it allows masses of replayability in a way that just wouldn’t be possible with physical components. The puzzles are probably the biggest aspect of this, but the whole experience is very well done – I never feel like it isn’t worth having the bits out, or that I could just be playing on the app, but the app streamlines the play so much. Eldritch Horror is another game we picked up last year, very similar in a lot of ways, but it does have a lot of bookkeeping to do (and I often miss bits), so having the app to keep track of these things just makes life so much easier. Lastly, the element of the unknown that it provides is great – the fact that you can roll a check without knowing how well you have to do to succeed gives you all the openness and surprise of an RPG, without someone actually having to take on the role of GM.

Mansions has really whet my appetite for more of these all-vs-app games. I strongly considered getting Descent, and only decided against it on the basis of time, but if the rumoured app for Imperial Assault finally appears, then I’ll be taking a very interested look at it (hopefully they’ll publish a second edition of the box, and someone will be needed to write a review…)

 

Disturbing the Dust: Elder Sign

(see original review here)

ElderElder Sign is a game we’d owned for ages, but hadn’t been played that much. In fact, in 2015, it didn’t get played at all, and I wouldn’t be overly surprised if the same was true of 2014. It was one of a small handful of Cthulhu-mythos games that had been bought in, but had never really taken off.

Elder sign was already on my radar as part of last year’s “unplayed” project, but it definitely helped when I saw an expansion sitting on the up-for-review list – the Alaskan-themed “Omens of Ice” box.

Omens-of-Ice-Original-Box-Card-GameI didn’t put in for it straight away, but made a point of playing a few games first, to make sure I actually had some recent context for reviewing the expansion. Then I got the expansion to review, and played it some more. And more.

Fast-forward to 2017, and Elder Sign is our most-played game of the year so far. Part of that is due to some skewed circumstance, along with catching up on expansions for Christmas, but this is definitely a game that Reviewing breathed fresh life into – Dominion also benefited last summer with the excellent Empires expansion, but this felt like the clearest example of a game brought back from extinction.

 

And now for something completely different: AYA

(see original review here)

AYA-Box-Board-GameWriting Board Game reviews can be a great opportunity to pick up games or expansions that I would be buying anyway. It also offers a chance to try something completely different.

There a few games which fit the “different” header better than AYA: a cooperative domino standing game where you work together, against the clock, to construct landscapes of dominoes in matching patterns, then attempt to knock them over with a single flick, leaving a unique pattern of animal and landscape photographs.

AYA-SetUp-Board-GameAYA is a fun little game – certainly not of the things we play most regularly, but interesting enough for a change. Without a doubt though, this is not a game I would have found and bought in a shop: it’s simply way too far off of my radar, too far removed from the sorts of things I normally play. When it comes to spending money, one of the main reasons I get so many expansions for board games, is that I feel like I have a better idea what I’m getting, a sense that I’ll be enhancing something I already know I enjoy, rather than taking a chance on something new. I still try to target games which I think might go down well at home for reviewing – it’s hard to write a review on a game no-one will play! – but overall, reviewing offers a great opportunity to push the boundaries slightly, to experiment with the new.

 

The People’s Favourite: Star Wars Carcassonne

(see original review here)

Star-Wars-Carcassonne-Game-Board-GameI feel like it wouldn’t be fair to finish this article without pausing for a moment to mention Star Wars Carcassonne, or Starcassonne as I like to call it. This takes the well-known tile-laying game, and mashes it together with the Star Wars franchise – it’s an interesting twist on the original game, with dice-based combat and planetary invasion making for a slightly more direct, if also more luck-based experience than the original Carcassonne.

The Star Wars theme is pretty thin- really this is “space” Carcassonne to a far greater extent than it is Star Wars in any meaningful sense, but that doesn’t seem to hurt its popularity – this was by far the most read of all the articles I did for them last year, and it continues to attract attention into 2017.

 

Looking forward

There have definitely been a few reviews in the last month or so that have run into baby-related reviews, and when time is at a premium, you don’t want to be unable to play your favourite game because you’ve promised to review something strange, new and not-all-that-appealing. That said, I’m optimistic that Review work will still have a place in a parenthood world, and I look forward to telling you all about them in due course.

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Baby got Box

I like Big Boxes and I cannot lie…

Well, actually. I’m not sure that I do.

Given the mass proliferation of expansions that most modern Board Games experience, the Big Box edition is a fairly logical evolution. For the game publisher, they can grab your money all at once, rather than just having to hope that you buy all the back-catalogue of expansions. (I’d imagine that there are also economies of scale in selling 1 big thing on 1 occasion, rather than a string of different small purchases.)

For the gamer, there are advantages too – it’s typically cheaper to buy a Big Box than to buy all of the contents separately, and the use of box-space is typically more optimised: no need to pad things out with a massive insert to disguise the fact that all you’re really getting is a few decks of cards.

Alhambra

alhambrabig A few years ago, I bought the big box edition of Alhambra. I’d done a lot of reading about the game, decided that it seemed good, and wanted to make the long-term saving. The box is very big, but it’s also packed with stuff, and everything has a very specific slot to go in, with a photograph to guide you when putting stuff back. As a big fan of optimised storage solutions, this seemed like a no-brainer.

However, regular readers may remember me mentioning not that long ago that Alhambra recently hit the table for the first time in over 2 years. So what went wrong?

alhambramarket
The money you use to pay for the tile corresponds to the space it occupies in the market, not the colour of the building

Before I get too far into the post-mortem, I feel like I ought to offer a brief explanation of how Alhambra plays. The object of the game is to construct your own version of the Spanish Palace of the same name, by buying tiles and arranging them in a network. On your turn you can pick up money, use money picked up earlier to buy tiles, or rearrange the tiles you already have. At random points throughout the game (roughly 2/5th and 4/5th through the money deck) players will score their Alhambras, and points are given to the player who has the most tiles of each type of building, with different types being worth more than others. Although it sounds slightly complex, the scoring is laid out clearly on each player’s individual board, and you get the hang of it quickly. It’s also worth noting that whilst you score tiles based on their colours, you buy them based on their position in the marketplace.

… back to the topic at hand, having played Alhambra Big Box a fair few times, I do think it’s a good game, one that I have enjoyed playing. That said, it does have issues. Firstly, it doesn’t work all that well with 2: you have a dummy player, who we’ve never quite forgiven for beating us the first time we tried a 2-player game. The dummy player himself is quite random in his abilities, but the scope for the players to exploit his presence makes the game a bit too strategic for my wife’s tastes. Having largely ruled this one out as a 2-player option, we need to look at other groups: sadly, this is where the second issue came in, that one of the people we game with most often when it isn’t just the two of us, just didn’t like the game. He found the aspect of saving up over several turns for a tile which disappeared before he could buy it too infuriating (personally, I don’t have that much of an issue with this – it forces players to balance between buying things and keeping a well-stocked hand and it tends to balance out over the course of the game anyway. Either way, this wasn’t a game I cared enough about to fight him on those issues). By the time we’d ruled out 2-player sessions at home, and 3 or 4-player sessions with him involved, that’s probably 80-90% of our gaming time gone, and Alhambra was left to gather dust.

Expansions

alhambra-change As far as the actual expansions for Alhambra go, they were a bit of a mixed bag.

I really like the “change” mechanic: in basic Alhambra, if you over-pay for a building, your excess money is lost (in fact, you’re doubly punished for overpaying, as your turn ends immediately, whereas paying the exact amount allows you another action). This expansion was a very simple thing: a cloth bag containing cardboard coins in the colours of the 4 currencies of the game: for each 2 money you paid above the asking price, you get back 1 random coin, which is worth 1 towards future purchases. It added to the decision-making, and allowed a measure of gain from decisions that just looked bad otherwise.

The change wasn’t the only inclusion, far from it – Alhambra expansions add almost everything you could think of to the game: characters with variable powers, new currencies, tiles, bits of wood, I think there may even be a dice in there. The Big Box combines 5 released expansion boxes, each with 4 or 5 different modular elements that you can add to your game.

The fact that they were all modular was nice, for variety, but too often, they were fixing a problem that didn’t exist, or answering a question that hadn’t been asked. Some I played with once, others I never bothered with at all. Several years later, there are bits of this that remain untouched and overall this feels like too much stuff, and too much space, given over to a game that doesn’t get much play.

Space

The other (blindingly obvious) thing about buying a “Big Box” edition of a game, is that it comes in a big box. A box so big, in fact, that it wouldn’t fit on our normal game-shelf, and it ended up having to live on top of a bookcase. Lots of our games go through periods where they aren’t being played much, but there’s always that time when someone scans their eyes across the bookcase and spots one, saying “how about a game of X? We haven’t played that in a while.” – once it’s up out of sight, that doesn’t tend to happen.

smalboxes

Having dragged it down to play the other week, it sat in the middle of the living room floor for a while. As we prepared to go round to a friend’s house one day, I considered taking it along, only to be put off by the fact that it wouldn’t fit in any of the bags I’d typically use for transporting games.

 

Definitive?

carcassonne-big-box
This box is actually empty – they keep the game in a bag less than half the size…

Although it doesn’t affect Alhambra, the other problem with Big Box editions is that they fail to keep up: Carcassonne seems to be a particular culprit for this, with multiple Big Box editions appearing over the years as they try to keep pace with the never-ending and sometimes bewildering string of expansions. According to Board Game Geek, there have been at least 5 different ones – some friends of ours have a “Carcassonne Big Box” but I’m fairly sure it’s a different Big Box to the one now available on Amazon. Dominion is another game which seems to have had multiple slightly different iterations of “big box” over the years, with differences that could be difficult to identify for those unfamiliar with the game.

Another issue with Big Boxes, is one I’ve mentioned before in relation to Carcassonne, the fact that some games suffer severely from bloat: eventually all those expansions either give you so many components, or just so much complexity that a fun 20-minute game becomes an hour-long slog.

If I go to meet-ups of the local gaming group, I periodically see Big Boxes – certainly the version of El Grande we played a few months ago (I say “a few months.” To be honest, I think it was about Christmas time) was from a Big Box – but I think we only used the basic version of the game. It’s no good having lots of expansions if nobody knows the game, and you’re having to extract them all again for the newbies.

Keeping up?

pandemic
At what point does a first edition become valuable as a collector’s item?

Of course, you could have a fixed Big Box as a starter point, and still have expansions on top of this. With modern games being in such a fluctuating state though, even that becomes tricky. Pandemic only made it as far as 1 expansion before they rebooted it, and made all the future expansions to match the new style. Would people have been more annoyed if they’d bought Pandemic and On The Brink together as a “Big Box” then found it wasn’t future compatible?

dominion-2nd-ed A month or so ago, a new edition of Dominion was announced – half a dozen of the Kingdom cards are being replaced, the result of 8 years’ experience of extending the game, and thousands if not millions of recorded plays, dwarfing what would be possible in any play-test group. The publishers have confirmed that, for a little while at least, there will be upgrade packs available for the cards that are completely new for second edition, but there’s a ruckus developing over the cards undergoing “minor” changes. How will these be made available? Will people have to re-buy the base set if they want the revised wordings? If so, that might not be the end of the world for those with the ordinary version of the game- chances are they can sell on their old versions, but it’s a lot harder with a Big Box.

Saying Goodbye?

boxesThere are games I’ve played in the past that I’ve ended up buying into in a big way. After a while (sometimes months, sometimes years) when the hype fades, the time can come to reassess your collection. Often, part of me thinks, that the sensible thing to do would be to part with some or all of the expansions (freeing up space and money), but keep the base game. Often that’s been the point where I realise I’ve shot myself in the foot by ditching the expansion boxes (for this reason I now tend to stack empty expansion boxes on top of a cupboard for future use), but for anyone who buys in to the Big Box, it’s never an option.

Of course, selling games always has its limits, and it’s easy to over-estimate the liquid value of a game, but anything that restricts future courses of action feels like an issue.

Final Thoughts

Overall, despite being a completionist and a big fan of efficient storage solutions for my games, I think I’m generally unconvinced by the Big Box. At root, it feels typical of the modern consumer mentality, convincing people to buy based on a theoretical saving that doesn’t stop to consider whether you would have actually bought all that stuff in the first place. It happens on a daily basis in the supermarket: Yes the bigger tub of cream is cheaper per litre, but if I’m going to end up throwing half of it away, then I’d have been better off with the smaller tub that cost 50p less.

As I said earlier, I like Alhambra, and I think it’s a good game, but it’s not one that’s suddenly likely to see lots of play. If I had the base game, or maybe even one expansion (whichever one the change comes in) then I’d keep it, play it now and again, and not really worry about it too much. As it is though, the Big Box sits in the middle of the living room floor, asking to either be hidden back on top of the cupboard, or moved on. A large part of me is tempted to sell it – if only it weren’t so big and heavy when I come to posting it…

Board Game Economics: Money, Trade and Value – part II

notfree
(Mostly) not free

Last time out, I talked about how I’d looked at some of the financial numbers behind the free games I’ve received to review this year and concluded, (not surprisingly) that the value was pretty good.

Presumably because I was looking for reasons to hate myself, I then attempted to spread the concept out more widely, across my whole games collection.

First of all, I looked at the 25 most-played games of 2016 so far and compared the hours of play this year with the money spent this year. Over half the games were either review copies or things I’d bought years ago, so the short-term value was fairly self-evident.

That said, there were a few games where I’d spent significant amounts of money this year – typically these are the games with an ongoing release format who’d managed to get me hooked, and I was buying the new content as it came out, sometimes because we really wanted something fresh to play, other times because I simply wanted to get the new-release-discount, and didn’t want to get too far behind.

Overall, the picture here was still good. Assigning a fairly arbitrary value of £5 per hour (more on that below), every game except 1 came out in the black. The game which looked to have “failed” to meet the value estimate was Dice Masters, which I’ll talk about more later.

 

History

notebooksThe second stage of the examination was a bit more complicated. I stayed with the most-played games of this year, but added an extra 3 so that I was covering the most-played for all the records I had.

I then tried to log all the plays of the games, and all the money I’d spent on them. This was a fairly flawed analysis on a number of levels – for one thing, I don’t remember what I spent on games 5 years ago, so I had to use current prices from online retailers, which are generally higher, due to several years’ worth of inflation and a weak pound.

I also only have records of which games I played going back to Christmas 2014. Before that, It’s an entirely hotchpotch selection: I know when I won (but not lost) Lord of the Rings LCG as far back as the autumn of 2011, and I have some erratic hand-written notes lying around for a fairly arbitrary selection of games that barely make it onto the list.

The resulting picture is unusual, and in some places downright misleading – some games look like great value, and others look terrible. To be precise, 9 are in the red for spending to hours of play value.

 

Games of Christmas Past

carcs When I looked a £/Hour, it was the low-play-count games that look really bad, things like Carcassonne and Dominion which were purchased, played a lot, expanded, played some more, then gradually fell out of favour. Neither “6 games of Carcassonne” nor “16 games of Dominion” comes anywhere close to showing how much time we’ve spent on these games historically. It also creates weird situations where some games, like Memoir ’44 currently don’t make the list, having only been played 2 times in the past 2 years, but as I noted in June’s gaming challenge update, this is a game that’s seen some serious wear and tear, which justified the big spend on expansions 5 years or so ago, and would look ridiculous now. On the plus side, I recently discovered that the BattleMap expansions I’d bought for this way back are now Out-Of-Print and very sought after – I managed to get £140 for 3 of them, which is definitely more than I paid originally.

 

How Long?

time It’s also worth commenting on game length. As I’ve decided to measure value in terms of a £:Hours ratio, I need to work out how long a game takes. This is problematic at best – very easy to say that Zombicide takes longer than Boggle (to use an extreme example), but exact numbers are trickier.

Taking an example where a small tweak makes a big difference. I’ve played Lord of the Rings 238 times in the last 22 months, wins and losses, and I’d opted for a fairly short play-time of half an hour, so that the ten-minute deaths and rage-quits would balance the hour+ grinds. However, the 243 sessions logged for the previous 3 years are definitely an incomplete figure as i.) they only include wins, and ii) they exclude entirely the first 4 months or so of the game’s life before the scoring system was changed. It’s possible that I could retrieve data for some of these sessions, but maybe I’d be better off increasing the game’s play-time from half an hour to 40 minutes, which instantly adds around £400 to the game’s “value”

 

How much?

ticket It’s also worth looking more closely about that “£5 per hour” figure. I think that I originally arrived at this based on a suggestion on Board Game Geek, equating games to Cinema Tickets. If we assume that all films are 2 hours long, and that a trip to the cinema costs £10, this gives a figure of £5 per hour.

Evidently, this is a simplification: Going to the cinema probably takes 3 hours rather than 2, but sitting watching adverts so that you can get a good seat, queuing, or just getting there in the first place seems like a poor thing to class as entertainment value. £10 for a ticket is slightly more than what it costs if you can manage to go off-peak with a Student card, but a bit less than a peak-time ticket, and by the time you average it all, and add in a bag of over-priced pick-and-mix, it’s probably a wash.

All of this, of course, assumes that “more time” = “better” in terms of the amount of entertainment you get. This is clearly an idea that has some truth to it: However much I might love Dobble, I’m not going to play it for 3 hours straight (that’s not strictly true, I sometimes play it for 8 hours at a time, but I get paid for that…) A short game may get played more often, but it’s still only entertaining you for a lowish number of hours of your life overall.

ascendancy Equally, we’ve all played games that ran too long – sometimes that’s a quirk of that particular session, other times it’s inexperience on the part of the players, and sometimes it’s just a design-flaw in the game. What I do know is that I recently got to try out Star Trek Ascendancy at the FLGS who were doing a big launch event with Demos. We played a 4-player game that lasted 5 hours, and I suspect most of us would have been tempted to pay £5 to have had it finish an hour earlier…

 

On your own?

Probably the biggest issue with the figures I’ve created is player-scaling. If I buy a board game, it’s cost me the same whether I play it solo, with 2, with 3 or with 4 (5-6 often requires an expansion…) Cinema Tickets by contrast are explicitly linked to the number of people attending. I might only pay £10 for a theoretical solo cinema trip (or more probably a trip with friends who don’t share my bank account), but mostly I go with my wife, and that’s then a £20 evening out. Should I be using £10 as the hourly figure instead? That would probably bring things much more in line with going to a gig, or the theatre and (of course) instantly prove that all Board Games are much better value than we previously thought.

elder-sign For games played in the last not-quite-two-years, I do have player-number information, and adjusting by player-number, the list of games that are “bad value” shrinks from 9 to 4, with the remainder looking far healthier: Carcassonne and Dominion remain victims of their old age and recent quiet,  Race for the Galaxy a little closer to looking like good value, and might even fall of the list entirely in a few months.

Of course, even scaling up for player-count does no favours for some games – for Dice Masters the problem is that it doesn’t really get played at home. If I play a handful of games down at the store, and the other guy is using his own cards and dice, paid for out of his own pocket, then it hardly seems fair to count his play-time towards my budget. Realistically, I’d only be able to add a handful of games by scaling for player-counts.

 

No Dice

booster Throughout this exercise, Dice Masters has been the big blot on the landscape: it’s the only game showing a (small) value “shortfall” based on the figures for this year alone, and the historic numbers are even worse.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the only game which comes out looking bad whichever way I measure it is also the only Collectible (i.e. randomised purchase) game that I play. I really enjoy Dice Masters, both as a game to play, and as a collecting exercise (there’s something very therapeutic about sorting dice) but this spreadsheet raises some fairly serious questions.

Collectible games, done well, offer a fairly low barrier to entry, but they also offer a dangerously open-ended upper ceiling to spending. There’s something dangerous in the human brain (mine at least) which sees sets and wants them to be complete (I’ve told my wife that I don’t mind whether our first child is a boy or a girl, but that the second has to be whatever the first one isn’t). I fairly quickly gave up on attempting to get a full set of the Super Rare or Chase Rare cards, but I know I’ve spent money on cards and dice as a collector that I’m unlikely to ever actually use as a player.

foilarrow With most of the casual sessions having dried up, most opportunities to play are in tournaments, which generally have an entry cost – always less that the “value” of the games the tournament will add, but still, something which slows down that process of catching-up: I did a Rainbow draft last weekend, in which I added £15 of “value” but paid £12 to participate. Of course, being a draft event, I came away with new cards and dice, and am hoping that if I can sell the Foil Ultra-Rare Green Arrow which I drafted, that that will actually wipe out the 2016 deficit.

Beyond that, the model for this game is designed around constant consumption – new sets come out all the time, and they bring in mechanics that can leave old teams behind if you’re not keeping up with the new releases. Draft formats are, arguably, the most enjoyable way to play the game, as well as the way that puts the most emphasis on player skill, but there is cost involved.

finest As I mentioned last time out, theoretical value and what I can actually liquidate things for tends to be a very different matter. If I’d known how quickly the player-base would evaporate, I wouldn’t have bought the World’s Finest set at Easter (this is the main set that really feels like a failure cash / play-value wise) – but selling it now might well not recoup the sorts of figures I’d be looking for to make things value for money.

The hourly rate for Dice Masters still doesn’t look too bad. The sheer number of plays spreads that shortfall gets spread pretty thin, and it works out at under £7 an hour. Still, I’ll have to be very careful moving forward.

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the picture that this exercise has given me seems fairly accurate (if kind of obvious): Free games are great value. Free games that you then go mad and buy stuff for can still be good value if you play them a lot, but it’s easy to get carried away.

Games that require an ongoing, regular investment will easily rack-up the costs over time: if you play them a lot, they can still offer good value, but it’s easy to get lured into a false sense of value. Lastly, your old games will look like a poor deal, if you make calculations based on what things you bought 5 years ago would cost you now, but not on how much you played them.

Summarised like that, a lot of this looks blindingly obvious, but for me, this exercise has been helpful: I’m expecting some fairly major financial changes on the horizon and as Board Games are (apparently) a luxury item, the gaming budget is likely to get fairly well decimated. I’ve already given up the Game of Thrones LCG in order to free up some room/cash, and this sort of stop-and-reflect has definitely given me some useful food for thought as I make plans for the future.

Rave Reviews

ReviewerOver recent weeks, as I’ve already mentioned here and there, I’ve been doing some board game reviews for another site. This had left me wondering what the best thing to do with those reviews was, in regard to readers here – after all, it seemed a lot of work to produce 2 completely separate reviews of the same thing, but I didn’t really feel I could fill my own blog with reviews when they had provided the games to review.

After a worryingly long period of thought, the obvious has struck me. From now, I’m going to be posting links on the Fistful of Meeples Facebook page to game reviews when they go live. I’ll also be updating “The Good, The Bad and The Meeple” page so that in addition to in-house reviews, it provides a handy list of the other reviews as well.

There’s already half a dozen or so to check out, and to save you a few clicks, here they are: if you aren’t already familiar with Zombicide: Black Plague, I’d recommend reading that one first.

(All the following links are to the Games Quest Blog, and feature thoughts and images based on review copies provided by Gamesquest)

Zombicide: Black Plague

Carcassonne Star Wars Edition

Curse of the Black Dice

Hocus