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Boardgame Collection

Arkham Horror
Arkham Horror
This is my latest purchase. Arkham Horror is what I would call a heavy game; lots of bits and pieces to set up prior to playing, lots of steps each player must go through on their turn, and a lot of different things to keep track of during play. This is not a game for an entry-level boardgame player. The gist of the game is that each player takes on the role of an investigator – of which there are several. With a maximum number of five players per game, the 16 investigator roles will allow for a lot of replayability. As an investigator the players must move about the town of Arkham, closing dimensional gates and fighting otherworldly horrors before they themselves go insane and before enough gates open to allow the big bad Old One to come to town. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will enjoy this game, as it is steeped in Lovecraftian lore and legend. Even those who are not familiar with Lovecraft’s work will enjoy the frantic pace and fear that this game presents.

Carcassonne
Carcassone
This was the first “German” boardgame I purchased. I had been assured that it was the ideal game to get into the feel of “designer” boardgames, and they weren’t kidding. For a person that was used to games like Tribond, Monopoly and The Game of Life, Carcassonne was a breath of fresh air. Strategy and alliances come into play in this tile-laying game where players must build cities, control farmland and use highwaymen to gain points and eventually win the game. I purchased the expansion that adds engineers and commodities to the game giving it a little more complexity, but not so much that a boardgame newbie won’t be turned off. I have often presented this game to many friends and family members who are used to Rummoli, Trivial Pursuit and Gin Rummy as the games to play at the cottage, and it has always been a big hit.

The Settlers of Catan
Settlers
A medium weight game, Settlers of Catan has continuously been lauded as one of the best boardgames ever designed. While I’m not sure I agree, it certainly is a pantload of fun. Players must vie for resources on the island of Catan in order to build roads, towns and cities in order to gain points and eventually win the game. Resource trading between players is encouraged and ofttimes exceedingly helpful. Additionally there are dock areas where players can trade resources if they can’t get what they need from other players. Resources are gathered by random die rolls, and there is a “robber” figure which moves around the board, stopping resource collection from particular hexes.

Runebound, Second Edition
Runebound, 2nd Ed.
Another somewhat “heavy” game, but not as heavy as Arkham Horror. Players take on the role of a hero who must travel the land, defeating the minions of the DragonLords, gaining strength, mystical items and allies in order to finally go up against the DragonLords and save the realm. There have been many variations released for this game, creating different storylines, new items you can purchase from town marketplaces, new monsters to defeat, new allies to tag along with you, and new hero archetypes. Replayability abounds with the original box, and the publisher has also released varient game boards with completely new storylines and goals to go along with them. Careful, though – this game can sometimes take many, many hours to complete.

Shadows Over Camelot
Shadows Over Camelot
What intrigued me about this game was the cooperative play aspect of it. While there are rules in place to allow for a traitor (an agent of Morgan Le Fey out to ruin everything for Camelot), there are also rules in place to not use the traitor at all, and have all players working together toward the common goal of collecting twelve swords to encircle the Round Table. Various quests are on the board, including the quests to get the Holy Grail and Excalibur. Each round, cards are drawn to move the world closer to doom and shadow by losing access to those mystical artifacts, and the players must work together to stop that from happening. All the while, Picts and Saxons are surrounding Camelot with siege engines and barbaric soldiers, and those must be defeated as well before Camelot falls. This game has a lot going on, and if you don’t keep on top of everything and work together, you will lose shamefully.

Star Wars: Starship Battles
Starship Battles
I own several packs of these little Star Wars ships, though I’ve never played the game. I just like the ships. I have used them occasionally for my tabletop Star Wars campaign, however.

Ticket to Ride: Europe
Europe
A medium weight game, Ticket to Ride: Europe is a fantastic game, an ideal game for those who are used to more traditional “western” boardgames. Players must collect cards in order to take control of various train routes across mainland  Europe. The goal is to eventually complete routes between two cities, for which you gain points. Points are tallied at the end of the game for every route you managed to complete, as well as for  whomever has the longest continuous route across Europe. TtR:E also includes the addition of Stations, which allow you to piggy-back your route on another player’s route between two cities.

Zombies!!!
Zombies!!!
Another tile laying game, Zombies!!! pits players against a horde of shambling undead, as well as the other players. Moving through a city, players search out health, ammo and special weapons while attempting to place and move zombies elsewhere on the map to bugger up the other players. The goal is to either kill 25 zombies, or get to the helicopter pad and clear it of all the brain-eaters. This game can be very cutthroat and has been known to start fist fights and break up romantic relationships. Proceed with caution!

Catan Dice Game

I picked this up a few weeks ago after seeing it played at Gen Con. It’s a nice light game, playable in just 15-30 minutes and is very enjoyable with just two people. Rolling dice to collect resources, you need to buy your various settlements, cities and knights in order, their score increasing as you go. The person with the most points after 15 rounds wins.

Pandemic

I was given Pandemic as a birthday gift – I had been looking for it for about six months, and was thrilled to finally get a copy of it. Players are specialists at the Center for Disease Control/Atlanta where you watch several virulent diseases break out simultaneously all over the world. The team mission is to prevent a world-wide pandemic outbreak, treating hotspots while researching cures for each of the four plagues before they get out of hand. This is a cooperative game for 1-4 players. Players take on a role (scientist, researcher, medic…) and each role has a special ability that comes into play throughout the game. Disease outbreaks and outbreak chain reactions are fun and add an element of panic and anxiety to the game. Can you find a cure and eradicate a disease before it overtakes the world?

With some birthday / Christmas money, I went out and bought Killer Bunnies as well as the red booster deck. I also bought

…which I have not yet had a chance to play.

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