Friday, September 25, 2015

The Weekly Route - From LV-426 to Mallorca


Theme bleeds from every pour of this game, Upper Deck have really hit on a winner with this. Pushing their Legendary deck building system into a movie franchise that reeks of tension and fear. As you play through each of the movies that come in the core set for this, every card turn can cause collective cringing and gasps of relief. I finally got a chance to teach it to my wife, at first she didn't seem too enthralled but as we built toward the end of scenario she came around and was riding right there alongside the movie's heroes.

If you enjoy deckbuilders you'll love this, if you have a love for the movie franchise you'll love this. Looking forward to getting Predator and the future expansion for this.


In my quest to play my way through the Top 100 on BGG I rarely turn down plays of games currently occupying it. On the lower end comes Glory to Rome, a game that I have heard alot of mixed feelings for. It is a card driven city building game that features a very unique mechanic of playing cards, every card in your hand can be used in multiple ways. It really brings about a depth to game that is simple in it's mechanics, giving you alot of choices on each turn. You can use them to build up roles in your tableau so each time you have a turn you can use certain powers multiple times. Scoring comes from the buildings you complete, along with resources you managed to store along the way.

I played with original cartoon style artwork, which detracts from the game itself as it gives it an old look on the table. Definitely a game that should be reworked with new art.


Crossing another one off the 100 list here, hadn't really heard much about this before playing but came away feeling I got to play something a little different. The theme places you as competing companies trying to make theirs the most profitable by building up plantations on colonies during the 16th century. Each phase of the game starts with a auction, players have the chance to put certain items up for bid, if one of your opponents win they pay you, if you decide to take the item you get it for cheaper than the highest bid. Once that is over you have a very limited number of actions to level up their technologies, grow on plantations, gather ships and build up colonies.

Once the game is flowing it plays rather quickly and a nice feel to the engine building that doesn't overstay it's welcome. Certainly would like to play again.


Controlling farms on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean, players compete to deliver their goods to market and earn the title of "La Granja" for their estate. Taking a heavy influence from Glory to Rome and many other Euro games from designers such as Stefan Feld and Uwe Rosenberg. This is a game of great depth and decision each turn, multi-use cards, resource management and turn manipulation are all things you have to keep track off. With an element of timing over the seemingly short six rounds of play make every choice you make huge.

Initially the game will seem to have a high AP level, but I think over time and familiarity with the cards that will level out with multiple plays. A contender for game of the year for sure.


Taking an elegant puzzle design like the original Lewis & Clark and turning it into a shorter playing dice game and carrying over a similar feel is a hard task, but one that Discoveries is more than upto. Taking the journal aspect of their journey across America, Lewis & Clark and other members of their expedition wrote page after page of new species they discovered and maps of the lands they traversed. Using the dice to help you push your expedition along and collect as much knowledge as possible in your journal is key to winning the game. With just two choices on your turn, place a die or pick up dice to add to your pool it converts the original into a different kind of puzzle.

Excellent all round, art is fantastic to look at and there is enough dice mitigation to not get stomped by bad rolls each turn.



Set on the beautiful shores of Scotland's gem, the Isle of Skye, players compete to build up the best kingdom. Each round players place land tiles up for auction to each other and once they are purchased they are laid into a personal tableau of the isle as it builds up. Each game has a selection of 4 objectives to score points of, from a potential pool of 16, creating a different feel each game as how you build your kingdom will change from game to game.

Personally this game could replace Carcassonne and Castles of Mad King Ludwig as it fills the feeling of each of these in a tight clean package, that plays in under a hour. Also the art is bright and colorful creating a great look on the table once everyone is finished.

Dug up fossils and went on expedition into the jungle with Artifacts, Inc... Went to Medina to build a city... Travelled to San Juan to sell tobacco... Voyaged to the new world to mess with the Spanish Main alongside Francis Drake... Became an Istanbul gem hoarder... Finally ran my way around London to find Mr Jack and defeat my wife for the first time.

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