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Pandemic is a great game with a unique theme, and while the game is beautiful the 'disease cubes' were begging to be unleashed into their non-cube form. I decided to make my own pathogens out of polymer clay to liven up the game. Here's how they turned out:
I wanted each pathogen to be similar to the art on the cards, but there were some limitations in making them "identical," so these were the designs I came up with:
In reality, this project took about 12 hours from start to finish, with about an hour added for prototyping. This project is probably reasonable for a beginner who's done some crafting before, or someone who has a lot of patience with learning new things.
Time: 9-16 hours depending on skill
Cost: $10-20 if you're starting fresh, but you will have lots of clay left over (and some tools). The actual cost of clay is closer to $5.
- 6 colors of Polymer Clay (red, black, blue, yellow, orange and white). I use Premo! brand, but you can use other polymer clays.
- Razor blade (preferred) OR sharp knife
- Non-permeable work surface (I use a dry-erase board)
- 1/4 inch round clay cutter (optional)
- Silicone shaper (optional)
Total # of Game Pieces: 96
Don't have time to make them yourself?
You can purchase these here!
Let's get started!
Start by making a small, round ball of clay about the same size as the original disease cube. You can adjust the size to your preference (quarter for reference).
Roll out a long, thin piece of clay at least 5 cm (2 inches) long and not very thick. Cut into 3 pieces about 1.5 cm each. It's okay if these are not identical lengths, they will be trimmed later.
Position your 3 pieces on top of one another so that they are crossing to form an asterix * shape. Press down lightly in the middle so that the center is partially flattened and the clay mixes.
Position the ball in the middle of the crossed pieces and push down lightly to secure it to the base.
Now we need to trim the "legs" so that they are equal lengths. You can do this with a blade or knife individually, but to speed things up you can use a 1/2" round clay cutter. Position the clay cutter over the pathogen body (round ball portion) so that it is centered within the cutter, and push down.
Next we will add the white details.
There is 1 large, central "donut" and 3 smaller donuts. Start with your center donut by forming a small ball about 3 mm in diameter (you can eyeball this). Position this in the center on top of your pathogen body and press down lightly to secure.
Using a toothpick (or similar item), push down into the center. This should expand your ball into a more flattened disk and secure it to the body.
Add your 3 smaller balls around the central donut equidistant apart, and press the toothpick into the center of each.
Voila, you are done with your first piece!
You can use a razor blade (or similar) to gently lift the piece up and move it to your baking sheet.
Only 23 more to go!
This one is the easiest of all!
Start by rolling a ball of clay so that when it is pressed down slightly it is about 1 cm in diameter. We want a slightly flat bottom so that it rests on the game board.
There are two different sizes for the orange details. You can eyeball this, or for consistency (especially across 24 pieces) you can roll out two ropes, one each of larger and smaller thickness.
I use 4 pieces from the large rope, and about 6 pieces from the small rope. Using a razor blade (or similar) cut pieces about 2mm long (4 from thick rope and 6 from the thin rope).
Roll these pieces into circular balls, then attach the 4 large ones to the body where you wish.
Use a toothpick to puncture the 4 large pieces. This should flatten them slightly and adhere them better to the body.
Finally, add the remaining small spheres around the body, pressing firmly enough to adhere the clay well.
After 23 more you are done with the yellow pathogens!
The blue pathogen has a body that consists of 3 "squiggly" ropes. The center is thicker than the two sides.
To begin, roll out two ropes, the large one of ~4-5 mm thickness, the small one ~2-3mm thick.
Cut the thick rope to be a bit longer than 1.5cm. Roll the ends slightly so they become somewhat rounded. Then use your hands to shape the rope into a gentle "S." It should be about 1.5cm long after bending.
Cut the thinner rope into two smaller sizes, one about 1 cm and one slightly less than 1cm. The sizing doesn't need to be perfect. If they are the same size that's okay.
Position the thinner pieces one either side of the main body. Adhere each of them to their respective sides, following the curvature of the main body.
The body is finished!
To add the white details, we need a thick and thin rope. The thin rope will be incredibly thin, about half the thickness of a quarter.
Cut 2 pieces of the thin rope, one for each side of the main body. The lengths should be slightly less than the lengths of your body sides. Adhere these to the tops of the body sides, bending them to fit the curvatures.
Cut the thick rope to be slightly shorter than your center body length. Adhere this to the top of the center body, bending it to fit the curvature.
You can use the remaining thick rope to cut 3 equal sized pieces that will be formed into balls and attached to the center of each white rope. Make sure you press firmly enough to adhere the clay well.
Aaaaaand you know the drill...
These are the most time-consuming of the set because the details are small and elaborate. There are many ways to simplify this design which would work just fine, so don't be afraid to experiment with it.
Shape an oval to your desired size. Mine came out to be 0.5cm wide and ~1.3cm long, but I eyeballed it mostly. Make sure you press these a bit harder to give them a flat base, as they will roll around otherwise.
Take a small ball of white clay and flatten it with your finger to make a disk (not super hard). You need the disk to fit in the top 3rd of the red base, and you'll probably need a lot less clay than you think.
Take a blade/knife and cut a few slits along the edges to form the "petals" you see in the image. Then lift the disk using a blade and place it onto the top of your red base, pressing gently to adhere it.
Use a toothpick to poke a hole in the center of the disk.
Next roll out a very thin rope of white clay. You'll only need about 2cm.
Cut 3 different lengths, the longest being about 1/3 the size of your red base, the next two being about 1mm shorter than the previous. You will overestimate the length of these, these are extremely short.
Position the longest one in the middle and the other two on either side. The bottom ends will be covered by disks, so they don't need to look good.
You can use the extra rope to cut 3 small pieces (same size) for the bottom "donuts."
Roll these pieces into balls and place them at the ends of the thin ropes, overlapping the ends and pressing gently to adhere. Then use a toothpick to poke a hole in the center of each.
OPTIONAL: You can use something to smooth out the ends and make these nicer. I use a silicone clay shaper brush, but you can use your finger nail if you have a steady hand.
And it's done!
The last of the bunch!
You can move these onto a baking sheet and bake all at once, since these are all similar thicknesses. Bake at the suggested temperature and time listed on your clay packaging (this differs by brand). *Premo! clay bakes at 275 degrees for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay, so I bake these for 30 min.
I put mine straight in an ice bath after removing in the oven, but this step is optional (there are claims that this makes the product more durable).
A note on baking: Polymer clay companies claim it is safe to bake their product in your food-safe oven, but in the past it leeched toxic chemicals. Some people still prefer to use a separate oven for baking clay, like a small toaster oven. I have not found any peer-reviewed literature that testifies either way. I personally cook in my home oven, but the decision should be made by you and what you are comfortable with.
And that's it!
Your game pieces are now waterproof, paintable, varnishable, and surprisingly durable! Enjoy!
Don't have time to make them yourself?
You can purchase these here!
About the Author
My name is Alee! I'm an avid board gamer who loves to craft. I started upgrading my games in various ways and stumbled upon polymer clay 4 months ago. Since then I've been making tons of board game pieces and have fallen in love with the outcome.
When I'm not playing games or crafting I'm typically out rock climbing, backpacking, or watching space launches. For work I'm a molecular biologist, so I love science (of all kinds).
What's my favorite game? #X-ODUS: Rise of the Corruption
The biggest board game sales of the year are just around the corner. Are you prepared to resist or are you actually looking forward to it? Which one are you preparing for--Black Friday or Christmas? And which games would tempt you the most if a major sale came up?
Top 5 games on my wishlist are:
- #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - this actually ended up surpassing TMB after I played #Pendulum, which really wasn't the type of game I was hoping for.
- #Too Many Bones - Wouldn't it be nice if Chip Theory Games had some holiday promotions? haha
- #Nemo's War (Second Edition) - not the best price but I saw it displayed at my local store for $75, which matches Amazon's current price. I didin't pull the trigger since there are times when it's in the $60's range
- #Keyflower - still on my wishlist after all this time!
Happy Monday! Here are two community challenges for everyone!
1. Trick Shot
- What to do: Record video(s) of yourself landing trick shot(s) using board game components! Here's a video for inspiration: https://youtu.be/8BZXQMz90o4. Send your video(s) to email@example.com and we'll compile all submissions into one video
- You will gain 1 entry per trick shot to win a $60 gift card from a store of your choice. No limit to number of entries
- Deadline: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST. We'll randomnly select 1 winner on the following day
- Note: Depending on how difficult the shot is, it'll take a long time. One of my shots took 2.5 hours and all other ones took about 30 min on average
2. Rating Games
- Let's spend some time this week to leave our ratings on all of the games we haven't reviewed yet! You can review your overall impressions and score by clicking on the "Leave a Review" button. You can also rate the learning and strategy complexities for the game
- There are no prizes associated with this challenge, except that we'll have milestones created so that when you reach a certain number of ratings, you'll be awarded a badge to show off on your profile :)
- After going through this process, feel free to share about your experience in a forum post. Were there any games you ended up rating much higher or lower than expected? Has your feelings toward a game cooled off after a while?
I hope you enjoy the challenges!
A few weeks ago I got a very serious warning at BGG for saying that I believe all lives matter and not only black. This was my second warning after writing a few months back that I am willing to play all kind of games, even those that include sensitive topics like slaves, war, etc. in a joyful fashion.
I am tired of that. Of not being able to express myself and being silenced (posts erased and no trace of them left on the original thread, so that the illusion of uniformity does not shatter) each time I post a disenting opinion about certain issues.
I wanted to know whether I would face the same issues here or if BGA team is more tolerant with us non-SJW.
A wild, silly party game that's great for a wide range of players.
I have long loved the idea of big games in small boxes. I think the first game of this sort that I ever played is #Innovation. I love #Innovation but it is a older game, it is sorta ugly, and it isn't talked about much. However, I find it a lot of fun, and, considering it is usually available for less than $15 I think everybody should have it in their collection.
I am not intending to teach you the game. @nightsaroundatable recently did a how to play video and I recomend you watch that if you want to learn to play the game. That can be found at https://www.boardgameatlas.com/forum/g79d0hVvQm/nights-around-a-table--how-to-play-innovation. I will just note that he is playing with the deluxe version of the game. I have the plain jane version. I don't know which is uglier. I don't like the art on the deluxe version, but The lack of art on the regular version is equally mortifying. I do think the iconagraphy is clearer on the base game, and the box size is considerably better suited for the game.
Theme +- There is a theme. you are guiding a civilisation from prehistory to the information age. But, You rarely feel like you are a benign, or malevolant being actually guiding a civilisation. So, in that sense, the themeing is nonexistant at best. But, on the other hand, the cards do beautifully illustrate what happens when an internet savy society goes up against a society that is proudly sporting archery as the pinacle of modern achievement. So so often the more modern society wins, but sometimes, they also show weakneses that can be exploited by more primative societies. If you allow the game to speak to you you will find stories, so, in that sense I think the themeing is good.
Rules presentation - The included rules book is abysmal. I suppose that for some it would be functional. But, I find it mostly garbage. Find good youtube teaching videos and watch them.
Component quality + You have a bunch of cards, that is it. The cards are decent quality, I won't call them great quality, but they are better than serviceable. They will not be shuffled and handled much like they would be in #Race for the Galaxy or #Dominion: Second Edition so you don't need top of the line cards. I think that them choosing not to go, unnecessarily, to the top of the line linen finished card stock has helped keep the price of the game low. So, I think they chose the perfect quality for the amount of use the cards get, while keeping the price low.
Player interaction +- There is a lot of player interaction, even a lot of negative player interaction. I really love it, but some people will hate it. This game will feel unfair at times, and the experienced player will stomp all over the inexperienced player. If you really hate negative player interaction this might be a good one to stay away from.
Game Balance + Every card in the game feels broken. But, every card in the game can be exploited as well. People, after one or two plays, complain that the game is swingy and chaotic. But, when played with the right player count, that is two, it is a delight. But, you have to get to know the game. You have to figure out how to run your tabluea and ruin that of you neighbors. You have to get into the mental state that doesn't hold your cards or your tabluea to dearly, because they will be snatched from you. You have to figure out how to build a engine while your components are being stolen. You have to be able to see and steal the parts you want for your engine from your neighbor. All that being said, there are a few game ending cards, but 9 times out of 10 those cards will come to the one who has built the best engine.
Player scaling - The box says 2-4, but in reality it is only a two player game. I do find that that it is too swingy, too chaotic, too random, and, most of all, much too long at 3 and 4. Just don't even try it at those player counts. I do think that those that complain about the balance of this game are right at the higher player counts. At two players it comes in at that 45-60 minute slot, and that is where it wants to be.
Replayibility + This is a game full of amazing combos and strategy, you never know what combos you will be able to make, maybe you can win with a strong combo of AI and archery this game and the next game you might win with a devestating nuclear bomb. Every game you will play differently, You can never sit down with a strategy that will last you through to the end.
Art - There hasn't been a beautiful version of this game that I have seen. I think that the deluxe version is ugly. And the plain Jane version is also ugly. I do give a slight nod to the plain version because I think the iconagraphy is clearer but, I think that both versions are a embarrasment to the publisher.
Some other notes.
Tactics vs. Strategy. This game is almost exclusively tactictal in nature. I love it, but some people won't.
Rules complexity. The rules complexity is really pretty low. The rulebook is unnecessarily confusing, but if you watch a good video or something like that, you will see that the rules complexity is actually pretty low. I would rate it a 1.5 or a 2 on the bgg complexity rating if I were rating soley based on rules complexity.
Emergent complexity. There is a nice amount of emergent complexity. I would maybe rate the emergent complexity as a 3 on the bgg scale. I find it about perfect for the gameplay length and for the head to head nature of the game. It does give a nice amount of meat for a pretty short package.
All told, I love this game. It is one of my top ten of all time. I find it amazing that you can find a game that feels like this in package that is this small, and under $15. I think that everybody should at least consider having it in their collection. And, I think it amply rewards the amount of time needed to learn the game well.
By Mrs. Saint
Confession time. I’ve never played D&D or any tabletop RPG. My husband has, he even volunteered and taught/played D&D with kids at the Boys and Girls Club back when he lived in New England. We were about to try to schedule putting together a group and campaign with some friends but then two of the friends we were going to play with got pregnant. Then we found out six months later we also were pregnant and well, since Little Miss came last April, putting together a regular game night while keeping her on schedule has felt pretty impossible. However, the desire to create a character and go on an adventure with that character never went away. When my husband first told me about Roll Player by Thunderworks Games, I was really excited to try the game. Luckily, someone purchased it for us off our Christmas list this past year.
Roll Player is self-described as a dice game of fantasy character creation. The game is for 1 to 4 players. At this point, we’ve only played it with two players. The goal is to win by accumulating the most Reputation Stars by the end of the game.
You begin your character’s creation journey by selecting which race you want to play. There are six races to pick from and each race/character sheet has a male and a female side. Gender choice does not affect gameplay. Each race has a different set of attribute modifiers.
There are six attributes you’re building for your character. These attributes are (from my understanding) the standard D&D character attributes of: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma. Each attribute row has its own special ability to help you try to maximize your dice for scoring. As an example, when a die is placed in the constitution row, you are able to increase or decrease any die on your character sheet by 1. But if you place a die in charisma then you’re able get a one gold discount on your next market purchase for the current round. There are some class abilities and some weapons or skill cards that let you mimic the attribute abilities.
Attribute modifiers impact your class choice. Class is decided by drawing a die from the dice bag. Each player gets a unique color and then receives the class color card matching the color. Each class card has two sides, so you pick the one you feel is best based on your race’s attribute modifiers or their class ability. For example if you’re a Dwarf and you pull a white die, your choices would be Paladin or Cleric. Because of a Dwarf’s modifiers of +2 to constitution and -2 to charisma then the best choice by the numbers would be Paladin, since you need a 17 for constitution to earn 3 stars. But, based on your preferred playstyle, perhaps you’d prefer to be a Cleric, because you like the ability of getting to use the wisdom attribute action more often, moving the tracking token on your alignment card one space either up, down, left, or right. However, sometimes, you can do what I do and just be the Paladin not because the ability is better or the numbers make the most sense, but merely because you always wanted to be a Dwarf Paladin.
You know your race and class but now you need your alignment. The seventeen alignment cards are shuffled and randomly dealt. You never know if you will be neurotic, a hermit, or maybe even a scoundrel. Each alignment card has its own unique alignment grid and the choices you make will impact your character’s reputation.
And last but certainly not least, you need a backstory. And guess what -it’s random too! There are 16 backstory cards. At the beginning of the game they are shuffled and dealt out to the players. So you never know if you’re going to be a Rift Walker, the Chosen One, or a Street Urchin. The backstory cards show the attribute grid and each backstory shows six different dice of specific color on the grid. You gain extra reputation stars during final scoring depending on how many of the color dice you match to grid on your backstory card.
The rest of setup includes setting up the Initiative Cards area and the Market. The Initiative Cards area is where you will place the random attribute dice pulled each round and place them from lowest to highest. This creates a tension between getting the highest numbered die in order to hit your attribute requirements and getting first pick of the powerful Market cards. The Market is where you can spend your gold to buy things to help you while you build your character or discard a card for gold if you’re running low and don’t want your opponent to get a strong card. There is armor, which depending on your class color can add up to extra reputation stars if you have multiple pieces of the same armor; weapons which give you abilities for the rest of the game (note: you cannot have more than two hands worth of weapons); Skill cards that let you take actions each round if you can move your alignment market in the corresponding direction on the grid; and Trait cards which help with end game scoring.
Let’s talk about the gold you need for the Market. You’re given a few gold to get started. For two players, each player gets 5 gold (the amount of gold changes as the player count becomes higher than two). You can earn gold by discarding a card from the Market on your turn, finishing an attribute row, or from placing yellow dice in one of your attribute rows. There are some Class abilities and cards from the Market that give you the ability to get more gold or reduce item costs during game play.
The final part of setup is each player reaching into the bag and pulling out their first six dice (number of starting dice changes based on player count) for placement on their attribute slots. Dice may be placed in any attribute row but they have to be placed in the first available slot of that row. There are seven different dice colors so in addition to trying to meet your class stat requirements, you’re also trying to line up the placement of specific colors of dice with the backstory card.
Once your first six dice are placed, it’s time to play. Each round consists of the first player drawing the appropriate number of random dice from the bag for your player count. For two players, it’s three dice. They are then placed on the Initiative cards from lowest to highest. If dice share the same value, the first player decides how they are placed. Then the first player gets first pick. Once dice are selected the player with the lowest Initiative goes first to market. They can purchase something or discard a card to gain two gold. Then the rest of the players go according to their Initiative order. That’s it, that’s the whole round, and the game continues until every one of the attribute slots is filled and you go to final scoring.
Roll Player has what some might perceive as an inherent flaw. It’s meant to be a competitive game but really for the most part (at least at the two player experience) it feels like you’re playing solitaire and only occasionally the dice or cards have some small interaction with the other players. The most interactive I have seen the game become is when it comes to the store, either discarding or buying a card you think your opponent will want. For the dice selection, I feel you’re always just trying to optimize for your build and it’s too much to also figure out what’s going on with the other players’ boards. There’s only been once or twice that I have picked a die that I knew my husband wanted, but that’s because it also fit my board needs, not necessarily to deny him.
However, I don’t think the feeling of multiplayer solitaire is a bad thing, if it’s handled properly. In the case of Roll Player, it is done well. You’re having so much fun trying to optimize where you’re placing your dice, how you’re using the Skill cards, or making the right store purchase that you don’t feel as if you’re losing out on anything during the experience. But, I also recognize that’s a personal preference and if someone wants a truly competitive game, where your every action directly affects your opponent(s), then this is not the game for you.
We find every game that the score ends up being pretty close. In fact, much to his dismay, Mr. Saint has lost to me by one Reputation Star every single game. I like that there are different ways to try to get the most Reputation Stars, using the Trait or Skill cards to manipulate the dice. I also have a deep appreciation for when a publisher puts in a mechanism to make final scoring easier, so I’m grateful for the small touch of putting a star tracker on the back of the Player Aid cards.
We recommend adding Roll Player to your collection. It’s easy to travel with, not too difficult to learn and teach, and most important, it’s a lot of fun to play.
Also, if you already have and love Roll Player, there is still the opportunity to late pledge Roll Player Adventures on Kickstarter, where you can import your Roll Player character to continue their story! We’ve backed it based on our love of Roll Player, and we’re already busy at work creating characters so that we’re ready to play when Roll Player Adventures arrives!
It seems that BGA imports BGG ratings so that:
[0-4[ ---> 1 star
[4-6[ ---> 2 stars
[6-8[ ---> 3 stars
[8-10[ --> 4 stars
10 -----> 5 stars
I don't mind a lot about 1 to 3 stars, but I am a bit upset about the 4 and 5 stars. For me, there is a very notable difference between a game I rate as 8 and a game I rate as 9.5, yet BGA translates both as 4 stars.
I do not know what was the reasoning for chosing stars over numeric ratings, or even why limit to 5 stars and not 10, but I just wanted to voice my disagreement with the current system.
- Make a post on our forum or write an article
- Comment or reply on posts/articles
- Add/edit info on a game page
For those who are new, this is where you can share your feedback on all things related to Board Game Atlas. You can also find more information in this article where I walk through the various features on BGA.
You can also feel free to answer these questions:
- What are your thoughts on the revamped game page format?
- Which game rating system would you prefer? 5 star? 10 point scale? 100 point scale?
- What are your main complaints about anything on the website?
Thanks as always everyone and have a great weekend! :)
Part of the community challenge is rating your board games on BGA. I've been going through and slowly rating my collection and was suprised at a few of the ratings my favorites have. #Karuba in particular stood out to me as we have it rated as a 64 on BGA and I think I would give it an 80 on fun factor alone. Even on BGG, it has a GeekRating of 6.924 out of 10.
What about everyone else? Are there any games you feel BGA or BGG has rated too low? Why do you think they're rated so low?
It occurred to me today while setting up a game of Clank! to play with my kids and reading the rulebook, that there is something BGG doesn't necessarily do so well that could be introduced to BGA.
It would be nice if each game's page had a specific Q & A section for rules clarifications. If structured well (and perhaps curated?) it would be a lot simpler to find what you're looking for than searching through forum posts that can go back for years.
Does this seem reasonable? I'm thinking something along the lines of the Questions section in Amazon listings, but there may be a better way of doing it.
The Quest for El Dorado is a deck-building adventure game by Reiner Knizia where players race through the jungle to the finish line.
Open the box, and you’ll find large terrain tiles, wooden figures, and several types of cards.
Many different layouts are possible. The six hexagon jungle tiles can be rotated, and they are double-sided.
There is a starting tile that is also double-sided.
The setup guide suggests six other ways to set up the game, with varying amounts of difficulty.
Blockades are randomly placed between the terrain tiles. Blockades are terrain that must be overcome like any other terrain space, but once a player has done so, they remove the blockade and place it in front of them. These blockades will serve as a tie-breaker in the event of a tie. The additional hex strips are optional, but add to the possibilities when creating the board.
Even the ending tile is double-sided, shown here with the starting player token.
Each player has a starting set of cards. The symbol in the lower right is in the player’s color.
There are also 54 expedition cards that are displayed in a marketplace. The starting 18 cards (6 types with 3 cards of each type) have a circle in the bottom corner of the card.
There are 36 additional cards (12 types with 3 cards of each type).
A strip for the marketplace cards is provided, shown here with the expedition boards for the players. The cards with the circles start on the market board, which has a circle on it to serve as a reminder.
A card sorter can be handy, if you have one. The starting cards are in the front row, with the other cards in the two rows behind.
There are eight wooden figures, two in each player color. The second player piece is for two-player games.
36 cave tokens are also included, for the Caves Variant.
Cave tokens let you move onto terrain, buy cards, or perform special actions.
Playing The Quest for El Dorado
The starting tile, ending tile, and terrain hexes are laid out, with random blockades placed between them.
The tiles are labeled with letters in the center to aid players during setup.
Each player takes their starting deck and expedition board, and places their wooden figure on a starting space. The marketplace cards are laid out in a grid.
Players start each turn with four cards in their hand. The expedition cards will help you move through the jungle or buy more cards to add to your deck. The top of the card shows what it can do.
Players advance by playing cards that match the strength and type of terrain.
Yellow cards are have a coin value that help you to buy additional cards, but all cards can be used as half of a coin instead of their displayed action.
Each player plays cards to move through the jungle or buy new cards, and then refills their hand to four cards. Once their draw pile is empty, they shuffle their discard pile and create a new draw pile.
Players race across the jungle to be the first to reach El Dorado. If two players arrive during the same round, the blockades are used as a tie-breaker. In a two-player game, both of a player’s pieces must make it to El Dorado in order to win.
Comparing The Quest for El Dorado
The Quest for El Dorado is a family-friendly game that plays in under an hour. It can also provide challenges to more advanced players by using a more difficult terrain setup. The box is a Ticket to Ride-sized square that fits easily among other common games.
In box size and play time, The Quest for El Dorado is similar to the classic deck-builder, Dominion, but The Quest for El Dorado has the colorful board and wooden meeples that give it a different feel.
Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis & Clark is another 2-4 player exploration game that plays in about an hour, and is in a similar price range, but Discoveries uses dice for actions, while The Quest for El Dorado uses cards.
The variability and quality of the components really goes above and beyond what one might expect at this price-point. The rule book is clear and easy to follow. With Reiner Knizia, Franz Vohwinkel, and Ravensburger on the box, you know it will be done right.
Small World is only $23 right now on amazon and I’ve heard it’s good. Have any of you played it and/or have any thoughts on it?
I've seen Jamie (from Stonemaier) post something like this with his thoughts so I thought I'd see what others have to say.
As for me, I love worker placement games as they give me a sense of satisfaction. Paladins of the West Kingdom #Paladins of the West Kingdom and Anachrony use this and employ differing worker types which I like quite a bit. I like the theme among works in Anachrony #Anachrony more than Paladins and would like to see a game that combines the theme (like in Anachrony) with the use of multiple workers (like in Paladins) to take appropriate actions.
Deck building is another mechanic I enjoy and I enjoy the ability to create stacking triggers that enable a greater number of drawn cards, increased resources, or increasing some other game enhancing feature for a turn. Taverns of Tieffenthal #The Taverns of Tiefenthal and Clank! #Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure have some good combinations with Clank! allowing for more cards to trigger off one another.
You can check out the link for more info, but here's a quick rundown:
- Compatible with base game and with #Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated
- Supports up to 6 players
- Comes with 6 new characters
- MSRP: $30
- Release: September 2020
- Pre-order available at Renegade Game Studios or try contacting your local game store
Who's interested? It's pretty unlikely for me to get it since most of my game sessions are with 2 players, but I could see how this would be a great option for some of you! What do you think @BenjaminK?
So this is two fold: The first suggestion I wanted to make was that games tell you when you have already left a rating. I noticed this when I was rating a game, about to click submit and then thought "wait... have i done this one already?" Turns out I had!
The second suggestion is having a specific forum for making these suggestions! (Or adding a flair for them!!) So they can be sorted more easily and not distract other people in the forums.
Two of the biggest, grandest board games ever made. Two of my all time favorite board games. Two games occupying a similar space in a collection- at least from afar. This article will attempt to compare and contrast these two behemoths, as well as hopefully demonstrate why they are both so beloved by the board gaming community (and by me!).
Darth Vader with a squad of elite Stormtroopers and an elite Deathtrooper chase down some Rebel operatives.
I’ll start by painting a broad picture of how the two games are similar, before diving into what makes the two games unique.
At their very most basic level, Imperial Assault and Gloomhaven are both party-based dungeon crawlers with an overarching story campaign and scenario-based gameplay. Both games feature player characters that earn experience and level up over the course of the game, earning new abilities and becoming more powerful. Both games have extensive amounts of items for players to acquire and equip, further enhancing and specializing their characters.
Scenario set up and management of special scenario rules are also very similar between the two games. In each case, one player is allowed to read the scenario book and is responsible for set-up and reading the rules to the other players. Most scenarios in both games have special events that take place after certain triggers are met (End of Round 1, this door opened, etc) furthering the story of the scenario and the overall campaign.
Our valiant mercenaries escorting a warrior on his quest for vengeance.
The two games even utilize similar modular map boards that fit together to form unique maps for each scenario. The map pieces are interesting and varied and combine to form a multitude of exciting places to adventure.
Unfortunately, both games also share a penchant for loads of tokens and components. Damage counters, item cards, skill cards, enemy tokens, traps, doors, etc. The amount of things to keep track of can definitely be overwhelming. Fortunately Gloomhaven has numerous third party apps to help manage the AI, health, experience, and money. And Imperial Assault has its own app-assisted campaign too.
So, we’ve examined the facets of the two games that are similar and now we are all convinced that these are the same games. Right? Wrong! Let’s dig into what separates the two games.
One of the most visually obvious differences between the two games: hex-based maps in Gloomhaven versus grid-based maps in Imperial Assault. A simple difference, but a fundamentally important one, especially when it comes to gameplay.
Hex-based maps in Gloomhaven present interesting tactical combat possibilities.
For games that feature tactical combat, positioning and the shape of the map have a large impact on the game. I’m not here to argue about which system is better - frankly, they both work well - but it’s a significant difference with a dramatic impact on how the game plays.
One of the largest differences between the two games is how attacks are calculated. Imperial Assault uses a tried and true custom dice solution to determine accuracy, damage, and special abilities. Gloomhaven uses attack modifier decks to determine damage. Both systems are excellent.
The cool part of the Gloomhaven approach is that you can add or subtract cards from your attack modifier deck as your character grows more powerful in order to manipulate the odds in your favor.
The cool part of the Imperial Assault approach is that each weapon you acquire lets you roll different combinations of dice. Some weapons deal more straight damage while others are more likely to produce symbols that let you use special abilities. This approach gives characters a great chance to specialize and feel more powerful as the campaign progresses.
Beyond obvious physical differences are some significant differences in how the games actually play. Imperial Assault is a free-wheeling thematic game that encourages you to take risks and - for lack of a better way to put this - play out cool Star Wars stories using your characters.
Gloomhaven, on the other hand, rewards careful, thoughtful play of your cards each round. In Gloomhaven, each character starts with a hand of cards. This hand represents your abilities but it also represents your stamina. As you use abilities each round you either discard or lose these abilities. Discarded cards can be recovered by resting but even resting still forces you to lose one card. This puzzle creates many interesting and challenging decisions. Do you use that powerful loss ability to escape a tough scrape early in the scenario, knowing that it’ll be gone until the end? Or do you try and save it for an even worse situation? It’s this rewarding hand management aspect that sets Gloomhaven apart. This puzzle part is also something that leads many to declare that Gloomhaven is actually a Euro game hiding in a dungeon crawler’s clothes. I don’t necessarily agree with this sentiment.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I failed to talk about a few extra factors. Imperial Assault is a Star Wars product. Something about moving these minis around just calls to me and my inner child. Fantasy Flight really did an amazing job with this game. Just look at how cool it is:
If those awesome minis don’t get you excited... go watch Clone Wars Season 7 or The Mandalorian and get back to me.
Also, the legacy aspects of Gloomhaven are incredible. The thrill of opening one of those new character boxes is sublime. Progressing the story is a wonderful feeling of uncovering a mystery. Fighting against so many different enemies keeps the game fresh almost every time you play. Leveling up unlocks new cards to mix and match and makes you excited to dive back into your next scenario.
At the end of the day both of these games are incredible and I am so happy to have them as part of my collection. They are similar in many aspects but also totally different. And totally worth your time!
Thanks for reading!
Not sure if I'm missing something, but it looks like game pages don't show what other games it integrates with. For example, the Aeon's End page doesn't show that it can be played with AE: War Eternal or AE: Legacy. Could this feature be added to let people know which games are compatible with one another?
It'd be great if all properties of a game (designers, publishers, categories, mechanics, etc.) were clickable to view all of the games with the same tags.
Arguably, this would be enhancing the search page with additional filter/search criterias on these fields, so then all the pages could easily link to the general game search page with passing in the correct parameters via the URL.
What IP's need to be made into a game if they haven't. OR need a better one for the IP.
In a perfect world all games would come with functional and beautiful inserts. We, however, do not live in a perfect world. What do y'all use to help you bring order to the chaos that can exist in a game box?
The arcade/fast version of the classic Blood Bowl. How does it measure up to an established title like Blood Bowl? Pretty damned well as it offers a totally different play experience.
I'm weird about inserts, as in, I want them. Cardboard trenches and baggies do nothing for me. I want to be able to set up a game and play as quick as possible. That said, what do you do for inserts?
I've made foam core ones before, and they're fine, but they just take so long.
On the other hand, buying them online feels like a waste of money because I could just make them myself?
What are y'all's go-tos, if any, for inserts?
[Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1]
[Ticket To Ride, Coimbra, Carcassonne]
[The Quest for El Dorado]
[Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, Paladins of the West Kingdom, The Taverns of Tiefenthal, Anachrony]
[Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, Clank! Adventuring Party]
[Gloomhaven, Star Wars Imperial Assault]
$47,295 / $547
A highly detailed 28-mm-scale 3d-printable spaceship, crew miniatures and print planning tools for your home 3D printer
Ends in 7 daysSee Kickstarter