Descent SEDescent. Who could forget the many hours one could easily spend waiting for the other people to take their turns. Don’t get me wrong, the first edition of Descent was fun and had a lot of great mechanics too it. I’m a sucker for a game where I can play the bad guy and stomp of the forces of light, grounding them to dust under the boots of my many minions. The draw back, it took ages to take a turn. Looking up this and that, and while I had no issue with it as I played the overlord, the other players thought I was too overpowered. We added in a few home rules to help but I still won almost every game as the overlord. Descent Second Edition changes all of that.

The Basic Rules

One person plays the overlord the rest play the heroes. You delve into a dungeon to find treasure, vanquish the monster, and return home triumphant. That or you’re playing the overlord and you throw everything you can manage at the heroes until you have killed them enough times to score enough points. At least that used to be the rules. Now the Overlord has objectives to complete instead of just killing players. A player dying is not as bad as it once was. This simple change made it like a whole new game. As one side wins they gain rewards that help them in later games to become more powerful. Even the loser gains a little bit of power, this gives you a sense of accomplishment and growth.


So I am the overlord and it is me versus the world! Well me versus my wife and my brother-in-law Roy. Having played many games of decent before I start by glancing over the rules to see what has changed from the original. My first shock was that a lot had change.  I had an objective, the whole board and the monsters were visible to start, I only had a few cards in my deck, I didn’t have to manage threat tokens, killing the heroes only gave me an additional card, my monsters had changed, the list goes on and on. I spend some time re-reading the rules. Each change I come across I think “this is great, it fixes XYZ.” With the rules read and my wife and Roy having selected there heroes the game begins.

They have to kill this large Ettin in order to win, I have to get 5 of my goblin archers out the exit. My wife goes first and moves her archer up and around the corner, taken a shot at my archers, who quickly fall, they are not the strongest minions. Roy moves the warrior up but is unable to get close enough to the ettin or the goblins to hit them. My first turn I try and plan my strategy. I need to keep the attention of my goblins so I can work them off the board and my ettin has extra health above the normal ettin. A total of 9 hearts, he should be able to take a few hits. I move my goblins in line and start pummeling my wife with arrows. I get some good rolls and she takes a fair amount of damage. Her ability is that she can take it as fatigue instead of hearts and so she lives. I move my ettin forward and sense he has reach he can hit my wife as well. I let loose and take her down almost to death. I replace the goblin they killed and thus ends round one.

Round two starts with the heroes going in full retreat. My wife moves back toward the start and heads for the search marker. She gets a shield she can’t use with her bow. Roy strikes at my ettin dealing a few hearts of damage. Nothing he can’t take. Roy then backs off and moves back to protect my wife. My second turn I move my goblin archers forward and take shots down the corridor putting a few hearts on Roy. That should keep him a bit more worried about his health then my wifes. I play dash which lets me move my ettin twice his movement and I rush past Roy and to my wife. Swinging his giant club the ettin flattens my wife. They may have gotten first blood but I got the first kill.

Round three. My wifes only action is to stand up,she heals for 5 hearts and no fatigue. Roy strikes at the ettin which begins a theme that would hold for the next several  attacks. Roy rolls 2 damage, I roll 2 shield. I move my goblins toward the exit, they should be able to leave next turn. My ettin then starts to pummel my wife once again, doing a few more hearts of damage and bringing her near death once more. The next few rounds play out about the same. Roy and my wife launch attack after attack roll 2-6 damage. For the most part I match them with my shields, rolling exactly what they do. One round I play dark charm and seize control of Roys warrior for a round, running him back to have him attack my wife as well. He brings her close to her third death. I am just a few turns away from winning. My goblins are near the exit when I check the life of my ettin. All those little one points of damage have started to add up and he only has two life left. A bad roll for me could cost me the game. Seeing this I quickly put him into retreat. Pulling him slowly back toward his starting spot. My goblins march forward as Roy and my wife take a round to heal, then charge after the ettin. They catch him but it is too late. I move the last two goblins I need off the edge and win the game, but just barely. This has been the closest game of Descent in a very long time. Viva la Overlord!

The final word

Descent Second Edition changes everything that was bad about the first. There wasn’t a lot bad about it, it was an enjoyable game that had a few issues. Fantasy Flight Games listened to there fans though and were willing to make big changes. Game changing decisions. This paid off in a huge way. How huge you ask? I have no doubt I will be buying the second edition even though I already own the first. I may even move this above my next planned purchase of Stone age. My wife who hated first edition loves second edition, even though she lost. Any game you can have fun losing is a game to have. I can’t wait to get together again and start on the next quest. I think it will be the first time we will get from start to finish in the quest book.

Cost: $54, or a conversion kit from first edition for $22.09

Descent: Journeys in The Dark Second Edition Board Game

Wait! That’s not a board game. Blasphemy! Well I direct you to the upper corner that reads Games for Geeks. Just as I stated before that I wouldn’t review ONLY video games I never said I wouldn’t review any video games. While I’ll limit my video game reviews there are some that are too geeky to not review. Towns is one of these.

The Basic Rules

This game is heavily based on Dwarf Fortress. Another great geeky game that has the issue of having no graphics. If you like DF but don’t like watching the @ chase the # near the ^ then you may want to check out Towns. You could also just get a graphical mod for DF but that’s another article. Towns plops you down in the world with a hand full of villagers. You have no direct control over them but can cue up jobs and hopefully they will do them. You build up your own paying attention to things like food and fending off monsters. You can dig down into the earth to get more resources but at the expense of allowing stronger monsters to come up.



All my villagers died, again. What did I need again for bread? A quick trip back to the wiki and I am ready for my 3rd game. It had been a long time since I had played towns and a lot had changed. I played the game in alpha while it was still being developed, and now it is available on Steam it a more or less finished fashion. My villagers get plopped down in a place that seems pretty good for a village. I have two large hills next to me, I like to dig into them and use them as my first rooms, and a river running right along side the one hill. This provides a bit of protection from the wild life. What is better is the hills block off the other sides leaving only a small gap into my town. It should be easy to defend and to keep my villagers safe. I start out by mining out the hill. Once done I setup my wood workers and stone masonry  Determined not to starve yet again I plant a bunch of wheat and once I have some stone I start on my bakery. I hear a sound like a cat gagging and quickly check my villagers. Down to 9 already. It looks like 2 starved to death. To bad, they’ll be missed. Leaving no time to morn I quickly delete there corpses. No time to build graves and if you leave them out, ghosts appear. Next goes down some planted trees for fruit and wood. Then I start to build there rooms. Digging out the second mountain I start laying out 3×3 squares for each villagers personal room. You have to have more rooms then villagers if you want to attract new people. I hear the gagging cat and check my population. I’m down to 8. Seems Ysmay decied to go out for wood and was killed by a frog. Best to weed out the weak now I guess. Rooms laid out I set to work on crafting the furniture and baking bread. I watch as they run around and work on the tasks I have qued up. After letting a small bit of food build up I set to work on building the tavern. I need a tavern to attract hero’s. Hero’s are stronger then my villagers and will auto explore the dungeons and fight off monsters for me.

It takes a while for my tables and chairs to be crafted for my new tavern and I go to check on what everyone is working on . Down to 6? I must of missed the gagging cat sound. This isn’t going well. Either I’m going to have to start over or do something drastic. Figuring all is lost anyway I start to dig down into earth and explore level 1 of the under ground. I promptly dig though the roof of a dungeon and end up on level 2. To my supprise my villagers start ripping though the slimes there and soon the floor is covered in green goo. I knew weeding out the weak would work to my advantage. I get a notice that a hear has arrived. He looks old. The hero makes his way to the dungeon and soon enough I see him flinging fire balls left and right at everything that moves. Go old dude! The fireballs are new and pretty cool to see.

It isn’t long before I have had 4 new people move in and the first level of the dungeon is cleared. It seems things are turning around. I now have 3 hero’s who are killing things left and right. My quest now is to find some iron. I’m tired of eating bread and need a stove or a camp fire to cook the meat I have been storing out in the open sun for the last 3 weeks. It’s still good. I could go with the camp fire but I haven’t found any flint to light it. Knowing I need iron for armor and such I deiced to put my efforts there. I dig down two more levels and let my hero’s explore. I do a few trades with a caravan and they have iron which I quickly snag. Unfortunately I forgot I qued up an iron sword and that gets made instead of my stove. Oh well, I’ll find some soon. I check my population and see I am down to 1 hero, then right before my eyes it drops to 0. What’s going on? I check the log and find out that they hero’s left due to lack of food.


I look over my food production and sure enough instead of 20 bread I have 1. It is set to auto produce so either my villagers have been ignoring it or something else is going on. It’s the something else and slowly but surely villager after villager starts to starve to death. My population drops quickly down to 6 and seems to hang there. I try and see if maybe my villagers can eat there dead friends but that doesn’t seem to be in the game yet. Maybe next release. I put almost everyone I can on making food, having  just found a new menu that lets me group the villagers together and set which tasks they will and won’t do. For the next half hour or so I watch as my villagers do nothing but make a loaf of bread then eat it. What is going on? They are eating the food as fast as they can make it. I have plenty of wheat but they grab one wheat, make one flour and then one bread and eat it. I should have about 20 flour being made but it doesn’t seem to be happening. Then I notice I only have one mill. While this mill is not in use the whole time, if a villager is set to use it, no one else will. So villager A walks over and plucks up a wheat, then walks over to the mill and makes it into flour. All this time no one else can deiced to make flour and they work on other things. I quickly plop down 3 more mills and throw in some more ovens and bakers tables for good measure. Soon my flour and bread starts to pile up and heros move back in. Now what did I need iron for again? I think I seen some somewhere….


As of this writing my little town is doing well. I have a stove and a small stock pile of iron. A population that fluctuates between 15-18 with 3 heros seems to be doing well. For some reason I still haven’t found any coal and that is what I’m currently looking for. Maybe if I dig just a little deeper, digging too deep never hurt anyone…


The final word

Towns is a great game but has a very steep learning curve. If you have played Dwarf Fortress you’ll be ahead of the game as this is a much simpler version. If you haven’t played Dwarf Fortress make sure to have the wiki open or go check out a few getting started videos on youtube. The game play is great in that it is so open and what you want to do is really up to you. Things are still being added and with Dwarf Fortress inspiring it, it is sure to get better and better. It is currently going for 14.99 on steam which is a little high. I would wait and grab it on sale. The game play doesn’t justify the $15 cost yet but I have full faith that in time $15 will seem cheap. If it doesn’t go on sale soon it still may be worth grabbing now so you have it later. Get a head start on starving your own villagers so you can thrive later.

You can read my review of the first Small World below. I’m sure Small World 2 will be just as good.



Days of Wonder, has just re-launched their Kickstarter for Small World 2, after originally being taken down in early February. With a clearer objective this time around, backers are supporting releases for PC (Steam) and Android.

Small World, has been a big success on the iPad, and Days of Wonder (since skyrocketing with Ticket to Ride) have made pretty great adaptations and games digitally. If you’d like to know more and potentially back this project, feel free to head to their official Kickstarter.

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Ah Settlers. One of the games that I often use to suck people into the realm of geek games and forever get them to stop thinking of board games as children’s games. I have meet very few geeks who play board games who have not played this game. I assume there are a few of you out there that exist, shame on you. Let me save you some time, stop reading this post and head straight to to the game store and buy this game. If your local game store doesn’t carry this game. Shame on them. Find a new store, or if there is not a new game store with in the nearest 3 cities then order this game and wait by the register until it arrives. Go on now, i’ll wait.

Now that we got rid of those people….

The Basic Rules

In settlers you set out to a mass 10 victory points (13 in the expansions which if you don’t own, see the above paragraph). You get points by building settlements and cities as well as having the longest road. In the non-expansion versions you can get points by having the largest army and getting development cards. It has honestly been so long since I have played the original with out the expansions that I have forgotten if there are other ways. Most of you will already have the base game so I will also review the expansions at the same time. The two expansions are Seafarers that add ships, and Cities and Knights which is the must have expansion that adds more to your cities and well, knights. In Seafarers you can get points by exploring new land and in Cities and Knights, improving your cities beyond a certain point will net you extra points as well as fighting off the barbarian hoard. See barbarian hoard,this is why you need the expansions. With out it, no barbarians. If there is anything any game needs it’s more barbarians. The board is a group of hexagon tiles with numbered chits on them. Rolling dice and where your settlements are located determine what resources you get. You spend those resources on upgrading cities (Cities and Knights), building roads, etc. You can also.. eh… there are so many rules that your going to have to readthe play-though to see them all. There is just tones of options. With that being said this is NOT a hard game to play or learn. Just hard to write out the rules.


Ok, so it has been awhile since our group has played this one. Not because it is a bad game, just due to scheduling conflicts with the group me and my wife play with. After setting up a random board and getting everything figured out we rolled to see who went first. My wife and I were playing with two of our friends Steve and Gwen. Gwen won the chance to go first and placed her starting settlement on the board. A good spot right next to a gold mind with a 8 on it. Gold mines let you collect 1 of any resource when the number is rolled. 6 and 8 are the most common numbers rolled on two dice besides 7. In Settlers rolling a 7 activates the robber, if you have more then the number of cards allowed in your hand when a 7 is rolled, you must discard half. More on the robber to come. I followed Gwen in the play order then my wife and Steve. Gwen having taken the spot I wanted I opt to take the other gold mine spot that has a 6 on it. Now your settlements always border 3 hexes. My other two were both 9’s. One gave me sheep the other wood. I like that I am on a spot that should give me lots of resources  However I dislike being on the double 9. It will do though. Next my wife takes a spot on a 2:1 ore port and the hex also produces ore on a roll of 8. How did I miss that spot? I must of had gold fever. In settlers trading is a big part of the game. You can trade with the other players, or the bank. If you trade with the bank you have to trade 4 of any one resource to the bank for 1 of anything else. If you have  a settlement that borders a port you get a better deal. You get either a 3:1 trade instead of 4:1 or you get a 2:1 trade but only of one resource type. Like this 2 ore for 1 of anything port. Steve lets out a groan and a complaint about that being where he wanted to go. Placing his settlement last means he is the first to place his city as the placement order reverses around the table to keep it fair. He plunks down on a 2:1 wheat port and then plunks his city down next to mine on the gold hex. You must be at least 2 hex sides away from another settlement when placing a new settlement or city. My wife then places her City across from Gwen’s complete stopping me from placing my city anywhere on that hex. I let out the same groan and complaints as Steve and scour the board for a new location. I settle on a place that gives me wheat and ore. The ore I get on an 8, it should come in handy. I think it might have helped me win the game, if I had ever remembered to collect on it.

Setup done the game starts. The first few rounds go quick as we all build up our hands for our resources. It isn’t long before I notice the dice are not in my favor tonight.  Three 8’s in a row and about the 6th time this game they have been rolled and I still have yet to see a single 6. My wife is racking up the resources and building a road the Romans would be proud of. Gwen is grabbing up cards and expanding out. Soon everyone has built a second settlement but me. With the ore and wheat I am getting in I choose to work on upgrading my cities and making knights. There is a third dice that is rolled and it has colors on it as well as a ship icon. When the ship is rolled the barbarians advance. When they reach the end of there track, they attack. You total up the number of cities and you need to have more activated knights on the board then cities. If you don’t, whoever has the fewest knights downgrades a city to a settlement. If you have the most knights and you fend off the attack, you get a victory point. If you tie for knights and fend them off, you get a card. Soon the barbarians attack and I score a point. I see this as a sneaky way to win and deiced this will be my strategy. I also get coin and some cloth now and then from my city and use those to start getting my upgrades. I am the first to do this and it really helped me in the game. Well, it would of helped me in the game had I remembered to collect the cards it gave me.  Do we see a pattern here? Never play board games when your tired.

Flash forward several rounds. The game has taken a turn for the worse. I have racked up 3 victory points but my wife is sitting at around 9 points and I still haven’t got another settlement. I see a way to totally screw over Steve and block him from doing anything else in the game. Two roads down and he would be completely blocked in. Knowing that this would basiclly ruin the rest of the game for him I opt out of this strategy. Oh don’t get me wrong, I have no problem stomping an opponent when they are down. I also know that for the rest of the game if I do this, he will help out his wife Gwen and my wife and do anything he could to stop me. I take the opportunity to point out what I could do and hope that by not doing it I generate some good will between us that I might be able to call upon later in a pinch. The only other way I see I can go though means I have to race Gwen for the spot. I place my roads down and the feud starts between us as we battle for a spot that will net us some much needed brick.

A few more rounds in and I am not getting the cards I need. To top it off I keep forgetting to collect my ore and me and Gwen keep moving the robber between the two of us. My wife is at 10 points and I am lobbying for a trade embargo against her. Much to my dismay it seems my other opponents keep forgetting she is silently winning. That road she was building has netted her the longest road points and I see her winning very soon if something doesn’t happen. I also notice about this time that I could of went another direction with my roads and not had to battle Gwen for the bricks I need as well as saved myself some need resources.

I am desperately trying to get some cards in my hand. Trading a little with Steve for cards I don’t need that he does hoping that he will return the favor in a few turns to get me what I need. Steve is looking over the board while my wife sits at 11 points. She calmly asks what the little arch symbol on here city improvements means. What it means is that she gets an arch on one of her cities worth 2 extra points.  The number of points to win is 13. Which this gets her. My wife wins with out even noticing it. Thus ends my perfect win streak for this blog. Final Scores Wife – 13 Me – 9 Steve -9 Gwen – 7. Ugh….

The final word

See first paragraph… If you don’t own Settlers, go and get it. I will often suggest you get a game but this is one of the very very few games I will say is a MUST have. If nothing else get the base game. If you like that, buy Cities and Knights. It adds a lot to the game and gives you a lot more to do on your turn. The only problem is deciding what to do. The other thing I really like about this game is there is a lot of player interaction. With the trading and how tight space is it forces you to interact with the other players. You don’t want to get up from the table to get a drink in fear you might miss a good trade. More then one time we have heard yells from the kitchen to wait they have wheat to trade.

Cost: $35 for the base and another $35 when you grab an expansion like Cities and Knights.

Amazon link: Settlers of Catan

I want to take a moment and step back from reviewing games and give a shout out to a well run site. Here in the blogging community I think it is important to take some time and acknowledge other sites we find useful, helpful, or just plain interesting. This is where Board Game Quest comes in.

Board game Quest is a site similar to this one. They play board games and review them to help save you from wasting time and money on a bad game. They have a well laid out format for there post that lets you either read the whole post, or just jump to the part you are interested in. The over all theme of the site is easy to use and pleasant to the eye. Bonus points to the nice looking logo. I’m not sure if I want to destroy the little green guy or play as him.

When I started reading a few posts I found I wanted to more and more. A clear sign that this is a blog to put in my favorites. I got excited seeing that there most recent blog post was about a Zombie game. As they stated there are a lot of zombie games out there and my wife is a huge zombie buff. The thought of a new game I could get her for her upcoming birthday was great. Thank goodness for the review. A game that takes 5 turns to get into is a bit slow for us. Follow this up with my dislike of high luck games or the gang up on the leader games made this game look like it would easily go into the lose column. Thanks for saving me the $30 for a game we will enjoy.

One of the other things I really like about this site is that they review a large type of games. I am so tired of sites that seem to rate one type of game over and over. Just video games, or just board games. I was surprised to see Android and IOS games listed right along side board games and card games. Who reviews a simple card game? They do. After reading the post about No Thanks! I’m sure I’ll be picking that one up.

To top it all off they also bring you news about the gaming world. Once again not just the video gaming world. There is even an article on Kickstarter and a game I can help support.

The only fly in this other wise delicious cake of a site is number ratings. I have never been a big fan of number ratings. They can be nice in a chart to see what games are over all better but I feel that they can leave some very good games untouched because of a lower score. 5/10 would be an average game. Average isn’t bad. It just means it is in the middle. Where do you draw the line at selecting a game based on rating? 6/10? 7/10? If I seen a 7/10 game I would most likely pass it up. If you look at the numbers out there that game though is better then 70% of the other games out there. I like the review and what you have to say about it, but assigning a number to it makes me feel like you know what parts of a game I enjoy. I may like a game mechanic enough to ignore the fact that the pieces are cheaply made.  I may value quality pieces more because I have a small child that will try to eat them and they need to stand up to that. Reducing your whole review down to a single number I feel is poor form. At the very least, use categories and split the rating up.

After spending some time on this site I see several ideas I would like to incorporate into this site. The best thing about going out and looking at other blogs and sites on the web? It gives you ideas for your own.

Close your eyes for a moment and picture if you will, WAIT! If you close your eyes you can’t read the blog post. Scratch that. Look at this instead.


Ok, so those are the cards that come in the basic set. I say basic because there are several addons to this deck building card game. However today we are just discussing the core set.

The Basic Rules

The aim of the game is to get more points then everyone else. Points are achieved by buying the land cards, Estate (1 point), Duchy (3 points), and Province (6 points) and putting them into your deck. You start with 10 cards in your deck, 3 Estates and 7 Copper. On your turn you can play 1 action, and buy 1 card. There are cards that give you more actions, let you draw extra cards, and increase your buys among other things. Each of the cards have a cost that you must pay from the 5 card hand you draw each turn. Have 3 Copper in your hand? Then you can buy any card costing up to 3. Besides the land cards you can also always buy a Copper for 0, a Silver for 3, and a Gold for 6. Silvers in your hand are worth 2 Copper and a Gold in your hand is worth 3 Copper. Quick example. Two Silver and a Gold card in your hand gives you the ability to buy any card costing up to 7. There are 10 other cards on the board that you can buy that normally range from 2 to 5 copper each. I know some peoples math skills are not that great but looking at the picture above you can easily see there is more then 10 cards there. This is where the fun of Dominion begins.


So to start a game of dominion you must first select 10 cards out of the monster stack of cards they give you. The rules suggest a few games to play to get started using pre-set cards. You can also do a draft style, each player picking a card they would like to play with until all 10 slots are filled. You might also just throw caution to the wind and pick 10 random cards to play with. My wife and I took the last method. A quick look over the cards and I have my basic strategy set. The first thing I noticed was there was no Villages. Villages let you draw a card and take 2 more actions. This is great because it costs you 1 action to play it and you get too, and two is more then one.  Unfortunately this was not one of the cards we had to choose so my standard strategy of buy up all the Villages quickly so I can take turns that last 5 minutes and use most the cards in my deck is out. What to replace it with. Well I see we have Spy. Spy, which gives me +1 action, +1 card, and lets me look at the top card of each deck and decide if it goes on top of the deck again or into the discard pile will play an important role. See the major problem in Dominion is that each land card you buy goes into your deck. Your deck begins to fill up with land and soon that is all you are doing. Land in your hand does nothing. It is not until the end of the game that you count them up. Buy to much land and your deck “slows down” stopping you from buying things and harming your opponent. Buy not enough land, and your opponent stomps all over you because you have no points. How can Spy help? Well he is free to play. +1 card means I can replace the spot in my hand he took up and +1 action means after I play him I still get to play another card. See, free to play. I can then use its ability to see if my next card is a land or not. If it is a land, chuck it in hopes I get something better. If not, back on top so I can draw it. The next card I see I am going to want is Laboratory. It gives us +2 cards and +1 action. Net gain, +1 card. This will let me get more money in my hand for buying things. More money is more points.

So the game starts, I buy up a spy and as soon as I have the money start buying Laboratories and Silvers. My Wife though is buying up Markets. They give + 1 action, +1 buy, +1 card, and +1 coin. Helpful but I think that Science will win over free economy. After all can’t science change lead to gold? The early game I find myself falling behind. Not only does my wife get first blood and buy up the first province, a que that it is now time to start buying up as much land as you can. She also buys the second and I am still only getting 4-5 gold a hand. Not even enough to buy a gold let alone a province for 8. I begin to doubt my science and think about which secrets I could be selling on the market. I hold fast though and refocus my efforts into getting some Gold and doing what a lot of player might think is nuts. I buy a chapel. Most players, especially new ones, undervalue the Chapel. For a small cost of 2 coins to buy it lets you trash 4 cards from your hand. Trash is different then discard. Trash removes them from your deck. In a game with Curse cards (-1 point) it is easy to see the value of the card. Trash the Curse cards to get rid of them. We didn’t have Curse cards though, so what could I be trashing? Copper of course. Now I know what some of you might be thinking. You don’t have enough money so you trash money? Well Coppers are only worth 1. If I take a 3-4 Coppers out of my deck, that means it is a lot more likely I’ll draw the Silver and Gold. So now instead of drawing 3 Copper worth 3, I can draw say 2 Silver and a Gold worth 7. This strategy starts to work and I pull up even and even pass my wife in points. She catches on that the Coppers in her deck are slowing her down and she grabs a Chapel and like me flings Coppers at the priests with in, freeing her deck of them.  She starts grabbing up Duchies left and right. It is a race to the finish. I snag the final Province and we count up our totals. Wife 45 Me 53. I win the game by 9 points and a free night on the couch. Not really, my Wife is a good loser. I mean she loses good. I mean… I’m sleeping on the couch for sure now.

The final word

Dominion is a great game. One of my favorite as well as one of my Wife’s. The shear number of card combinations mean each game is different. The fact that you can add expansions (to be covered later) means you can even more card combinations. No one card is over powered and no one card is useless. It all depends on what other cards you can pair them with and what you can think of to use them on. While this game does have some luck to it if your not drawing the cards you need then you didn’t build your deck right. A well built deck means you won’t be faced with a situation where you can’t do any thing. Here is the best part though. You can try and play this game for free online. Here is a link to where you can play Dominion as well as many other board games online at Board Game Arena. The official link to play it online though is at Goko.

Price for the game: $30

Amazon link: Dominion

The first game posted for your pleasure is Small World. This is one of those games that you can learn in just a few moments but is very deep and a blast to play.

Basic Rules

Small world is like a very simple version of Risk. The board has areas marked off that you need to conquer with your current race. To do so, you take the tokens you currently have and just place them on the board. To conquer an area you need to place 2 tokens plus 1 more for each token in that space. So lets say your opponent has 2 tokens on a spot. You simple place down 4 tokens and it is yours. No unlucky dice rolls that re-enact the Spartans. One man holding out against your army of 100 is a thing of the past. Now there is a dice to be rolled, but only when you have one more land you want and not enough guys to take it. You roll a dice that goes from 0-3 and get to add that to your tokens to see if you take the land over. After taking over as much as you wish, you score 1 gold for each country you control. No more complex math figuring out how many armies you get. That is your basic turn. Here’s some twist though that make the game truly one for geeks. Your races change though out the game. To start off you can buy one of the 6 showing races by simply placing gold on all the ones under it and taking it. Each race has a special ability that can make it stronger in some situations. Next to each race is also a randomly dealt power. This can make or break the race it is connected too. On your turn you can put your race into decline, abandoning it and selecting a new one. You can have 1 race in decline and you still score gold for what they control. However you can not do anything with a race in decline and they lose all there powers.


Now that you know the basics lets run though some key points of a sample game. In this game there was two players, Roy and I. Having won a dice roll I went first. A quick look at the races and powers I quickly selected the Amazons with the heroic ability. Now Amazons are a great starting race. When you are taking over lands you get 4 extra tokens to use. This lets you spread out quick. The heroic ability lets you protect 2 lands, stopping anyone from attacking or using special abilities on it. This heroic ability was so important in the start of the game that two of the three turns I used the Amazons, I forgot to place it. It looks like I would be going against some Giants with the camp ability. These wouldn’t be too much of a threat, early on there are plenty of places I can expand too and avoid the camps that count as an extra token when taking it over.

Third turn comes around and am only getting a few Amazons back to take over and I’m spread out all over. You must always keep 1 person on a land once you take it over. Time to dump them and get a new one. Taking a quick glance I see we have Command Sorcerers available. This is a killer combo and I don’t have to think twice about paying the 4 coins to get them. Sorcerers have the ability to take a token from the box and swap it with one of your opponents. Taking that land over for free. That giant on a mountain with 2 camps on it that would normal take 5 tokens to take. SWAP! Now it’s mine for free. This is also one of the very few races that let you get extra tokens while playing. What does Commando do? When you take over a place, it costs you 1 less to do so. So now I have a stack of guys that can basically take over 1 land for free and take all the others at a reduced cost. I am now dominating the board getting 16 coins a turn to my opponents 5-7. The only draw back? Every time I see Commando Sorcerers I think of guys in robes going around with out underwear on.

Flash forward to late game, Turn 7 of our 10 turn game. I am now up against skeletons that when they take over two lands that were occupied, they get another token. Looking at the board I am only going to get one of my half naked sorcerers back to fight with, that’s no good. We kick them to the curb and put them into decline. It had to be done. Looking over my choices I see Berserker Wizards. Wizards aren’t bad, they get an extra coin when they control a land with the magic symbol. Berserker though? You get to roll the dice BEFORE you attack and each time you attack. This gives you from 0-3 extra tokens per country you try to take over. This is another great ability and I quickly start taking over the whole board once more. My income of 16 coins per turn is still coming in, more or less 1 depending on the turn. I end up taking this race to the finish. Roy takes his skeletons right up to the last turn, only dumping them in an effort to get a bunch of coins by taking a new race. One of the races had Wealthy on it. Wealthy gives you 7 coins when you select that race. From start to finish this game took about 30 minutes in total. Final tally, Me 131 Roy 82. Who knew that naked sorcerers and crazed wizards could rule the world!

The final word

This game is a lot of fun and scales well with more players. There are different boards for 2,3,4, and 5 players. Each one giving you more lands to take over while reducing the number of turns so the play time stays about the same. The huge number of race and power combos there are make each game different. Getting the right combo can really turn your game around. The fact that if you choose a race that has coins on you then get those coins means that even poor combos become worth taking just for all the extra gold you get from taking them. It’s simple rules means anyone can pick up the game and play, but the strategy is deep enough to keep everyone interested as well. This game is definitely a must have for any geek collection.