Monthly Archives: May 2018

Villagers from Sinister Fish

Villagers

Game by

Sinister Fish

A preview by

MAWIHTEC

  • 1-5 Players
  • 30-60 Minutes
  • 10+ Ages

What is Villagers

Have you ever played a PC game by the name of ‘Settlers’? If so then Villagers will feel very familiar to you. You and your fellow players are the founders of new villages set in the middle ages after the great plague. The roads are teeming with refugees looking for a new home. You need to tempt the best of them to join your village, allowing it to grow and prosper. Choose wisely because food and resources are limited. New residents may allow you to access new or improved skills but they also need supplying by other people from the roads. Choose well and build the most prosperous new village before your opponents do the same.

What is in my Box?

The copy of Villagers I received was a preview copy and as such components and quality were not finalised. In saying that, The standard of the preview copy was very high indeed. Inside the very stylish but understated box there was

  • Numerous coins in denomination of 1,5,10 and 20.
  • Basic Villager cards,
  • Founders cards,
  • Player aids,
  • Travelling Villagers.

The art on show was gorgeous in its simplicity. Illustrated by the artist Haakon Gaarder. The illustrations for each villager were easy to recognise with all icons and titles clear and easy to recognise.

How does it work?

Each round players take turns to draft new villagers based on their food supply. As each villager is claimed, they are replaced on the road by another from the reserve stacks. Players will then allocate villagers for building based on their available building slots. This can be followed by an income phase. After the second income phase the game ends and the player with the most money is the winner.

Sounds simple?

On the surface of it Villagers is a very simple game. BUT (yes it is a big but) there is a depth that is belied by the simple exterior. To start with players can only draft two new villager cards. You can only start to gain more by producing more food. However it is no good drafting more villagers if you cannot do anything with them. So you decide to try to draft villagers with extra building capacity. Some villagers allow you to place others onto them gaining more money, food or building capacity. Wait what is this? Some of the villagers have padlocks on them this means you will need to unlock them. This may cost or earn you 2 coins. If you have the right villager in your tableau you can earn the coins from the bank. If an opponent has the required villager you will be paying them. You can also unlock by paying to the central bank. There are also ‘special’ villagers which allow you to bend or break various rules. 

Strategy?

Choosing when to go for more building capacity or drafting more villagers is critical and different every game. Using ‘Special’ villagers at the right time could swing things in your favour. You will be constantly surprised how much thought you put into each villager draft and subsequently each building option. In fact the amount of thought required for what is essentially a card game is surprising.

Who is it for?

Villagers is a game for everyone. That is something I do not say often or lightly. Children as young as 9 or 10 can play the game without any major issue making Villagers suitable for family play. While its suitability for meet-up groups is an easy recommend with the 5 player count and it having a shortish playtime. I can also recommend Villagers for regular game groups as the amount of thinking and subtle depth mean that it is a great shorter game to start or finish off a game night.

My thoughts.

I first received my preview copy of Villagers about a week prior to its Kickstarter launch. I did intend to try to have a preview ready for the launch, but following my customary 3-5 minimum play I wanted to be certain of how I felt about the game. I do not mean in a negative way but more an intangible desire to play again repeatedly. After more than 10 plays at 2,3 and 4 player (I did not have the solo variant available at time of testing) I could still not find a ‘one way to play’ You do not reveal all the cards each game meaning Sinister Fish have avoided the single strategy way to play. A definite recommend.

  • For my shelf – Yes.
  • Play again – Yes.
  • Recommend a friend – Yes.

I Was provided a copy of  Villagers for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

Zombie Legacy

Zombie Legacy

A game from

SLAM Games

A Preview by

MAWIHTEC

  • 2-5 Players
  • 60 minutes

What is Zombie Legacy

Society has fallen to the Zombie Hordes. You and a few survivors have banded together to try to survive by scavenging for supplies like gas, food and medicine. But everybody is different and their experience and life before the fall have shaped who they are. Ex-cons, Police, Single Mums. Thieves, getaway drivers, Sword wielding ninja types all these and more. Who can you trust if anyone? Who will stand by your side and who will let you fall? As your stories unfold friendships will be made and broken, factions will form and survival will be about more than the undead. The question is, Do you have what it takes to survive?What is in my Box?

As you would expect from a Legacy game, a lot of the contents are kept secret. What I can tell you is that when you open the box you will find,

  • A board,
  • Zombies (go figure LOL),
  • Player Characters,
  • Boxes,
  • Packs,
  • crates,
  • sealed decks,
  • Tokens,
  • Stickers.
  • Various other components to be revealed.

First order of note is that the copy of Zombie Legacy I received was a prototype copy and as such did not contain all components for the full legacy. The components were also not to full production quality. I have taken these factors into account. Also being legacy I do not want to spoil aspects of the game so have deliberately left some information out or been a little vague where this might have impacted prior knowledge.

Legacy? That sounds scary!

Legacy games are a little bit of a scary prospect for many gamers. The thought of putting stickers onto the board or tearing up cards. There is also the hurdle of perceived value. Normally you buy a game and that is it you play it as often as you want and the 3PG (Cost per player per game) goes down dramatically often being pennies per game for a really popular game. With a Legacy game however you generally have a finite number of games (often 12) which can make a game feel more expensive (it is not).

How does it work?

Zombie Legacy begins with players deciding on a character to play. There are 10 to choose from, 5 male and 5 female. You will then stick their picture to your player board, this is followed by selecting various ‘backstory elements’ and a starting weapon. You will then place these stickers onto your board as well giving you over 2,000 possible starting combinations for a character. Each of these combinations can change how your character develops throughout your journey (more on that in a bit). Once all players have chosen character set-up, you will open the first deck of cards. Following each cards instructions step by step you will set up for your first campaign.

Sounds simple?

The main gameplay within Zombie Legacy is fairly straightforward. Each game consists of a quest that you need to complete. Players move revealing tiles as they go. Uncovering weapons, survivors, medicine or quest items. Then any zombies on the board move according to simple to follow guidelines. Each time a zombie and a player occupy the same tile an encounter occurs. Draw an encounter card which might give you a lucky break and a reward or more commonly give a die modifier to the zombies. Win and you kill the zombie lose and you take damage. Players will try to complete the main quest before the encounter deck runs out. If that happens you will be able to reset that level and replay that quest.

Strategy & character development?

On the surface the co-operative aspect of Zombie Legacy allows you to work as a team to complete your objective on each level. However as you progress through a campaign of Zombie Legacy, your character will gain motivation cards based on your backstory choices. These are mostly hidden bits of information that will guide the way you play the level or even the entire campaign. Other players will also have their own motivations guiding their actions. Can you trust them?

Who is it for?

Zombie Legacy is a lightweight entry into the legacy aspect of gaming. You can raise the difficulty if you are finding the level a little to easy. As such it can be considered as suitable for the more occasional gamer. While also fitting well with the more experienced gamer looking to explore the legacy style game. Given the zombie theme not really recommended for younger players but families with children over 10 should have no issues. Meet-up groups are a little trickier unless you have the same players most weeks because with its 60 minute playtime it is of the right length. Game groups might enjoy the experience if the theme is appealing.

My thoughts.

Zombie style games are not normally my game of choice. Saying that however I did enjoy Zombie Legacy’s approach with the character motivation progression. I did feel it was a little on the light side for my personal tastes BUT as I only had the first 4 episodes to preview. I felt that could be down to the story arcs only just getting established. Well worth a visit especially for those looking to dip their toes into the legacy game genre especially if they enjoy the zombie theme.

  • For my shelf – No,
  • Recommend a friend – Yes,
  • Play again – maybe.

I Was provided a copy of Zombie Legacy for preview through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.