Saturday, July 5, 2014

More Games from Dice Tower Gaming Con

Here are some other games I've played at the Dice Tower board game con in Orlando. These are not in particular order. I have put clickable links for the games if you're interested ...

First up, Cards Against Humanity.

Manufacturers description: "Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you've played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.
"The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card."

It's a fun game, though I didn't win any of the hands. Basically, someone puts down a card that says something like: "Come back to my place and I'll show you my ____." You put in a card that will make people laugh the most.

I played this late at night with a younger crowd. I didn't really connect with the group, because I think they had me figured for A) an old fart and/or B) a narc. They were right on one count.  Anyway, at least one player was partially illiterate (or maybe sleep-deprived), so perhaps it was not the best crowd for me to try this game. I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

Next up, Dungeon Fighter.  It's a light, silly game. It is dungeon-adventure themed, but it's basically a trick-dice-throwing game.

Here is the cover ...
From the description:
In Dungeon Fighter, a fully cooperative board game, players take on the roles of heroes venturing deep into a three-tier dungeon. Along the way, they explore the dungeon, search its many rooms, and face endless hordes of vicious monsters. Best of all, your skill determines the ability of your character. Can you kill Medusa without looking into her eyes, defeat the Minotaur in the labyrinth, or resist the breath of the dragon? Will you be able to hit a target by throwing the dice under your leg with your eyes closed?
You will feel truly part of a centuries-old battle between good and evil...with a touch of foolish stupidity.
And here is the Dungeon Fighter board ...

All dice have to bounce on the table once before going on the board, then have to NOT roll off the board. Also, they can't hit the holes in the board itself. And you thought it would be easy.

Here is one of the "monsters" we fought, a Cute Bear.

You can see on the bottom of the car the "trick" way you have to roll the die to hit the bear. 

The "Monkey King" required a different kind of trick roll, launching the die off your elbow.

Here is a game I almost played, called EuphoriaI say I almost played Euphoria because after all the set-up and explaining, I got called away to do something else.

From the website:
In Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, you lead a team of workers (dice) and recruits (cards) to claim ownership of the dystopian world. You will generate commodities, dig tunnels to infiltrate opposing areas, construct markets, collect artifacts, strengthen allegiances, and fulfill secret agendas. is the Euphoria board. My one complaint is the dice are hard to read.
I hear Euphoria is quite good, though. It's an interesting twist on worker placement. You don't want your workers to become too aware of how much the dystopia they live in sucks.

Here is a game I'm picking up for the family -- Expedition: Famous Explorers.  It's like a competitive geography lesson with elements of Ticket to Ride.

You can watch Tom Vasel's review of Expeditions HERE.

Next up is Legendary, the Marvel deck-building game.  The art is gorgeous.

And here's more Legendary art ...

The official description:
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is set in the Marvel Comics universe. To set up the game, players choose a number of hero decks – Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc. – and shuffle them together; since players use only a handful of hero decks out of the fifteen included, the hero deck can vary widely in terms of what's available. Players then choose a mastermind villain (Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, etc.), stack that particular villain's attack cards underneath it, then modify the villain deck as needed based on that villain's particular scheme.
However, I found the gameplay in Legendary somewhat "Meh." I don't think I'll pick it up, but if you like deck-building games, consider it.

Here's a blast from the past -- someonne made a customized PacMan board game.

I didn't get to play it, but it looked fun.

I saw a demo of this new game, Siege of Verdan ...

It's a Risk variant with less pieces and more exploration (territory grabbing)  diplomacy. I hope the creator doesn't take that as a slight.  Here is some of the card art on Siege of Verdan ...

Google cannot find a link for Siege of Verdan the board game, so dude who designed it, if you're reading this, send me a link.

Update: Link here:

I also taught a grand old game, Small World. Here's the line-up from the start of the game.

Small World is inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth.
And here is the board game in play ...

I actually taught it to two board-game designers/merchants and my friend Barbara, who manages a household of three barbarians (children). Guess who won? The person with the barbarian experience.

Just kidding, her kids are great, as well as cutthroat boardgamers.

I saw a demo of Space Empires.

Space Empires is a game in the finest tradition of 4X space games - eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. Each player builds up a space empire and uses it to conquer the other players. Exploration on the mounted map is simple for players (and dangerous for their ships), revealing different space terrain that affects movement and combat 
Space Empires was developed to keep a rich theme without overcomplicated rules. The game includes carriers and fighters, mines, cloaking, a very large technology tree, fifteen ship classes, merchant shipping, colonization, mining, terraforming, bases, shipyards, black holes, warp points, and non-player aliens. Yet the rules are short and intuitive: The basic rules are 8 pages long and increase to 11 pages in length when the advanced rules are included.

And here is the board of Space Empires itself...

It's awfully good-looking for a black board. It's pretty much Master of Orion as a board game. All the information you need is on the chits for the ships, so you aren't looking things up constantly.  I want to play this game in full first, but I'm probably buying it.

I also played Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery, the board game.

The official description:

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery is an exciting game of twisted schemes and bloody combats inspired by the hit STARZ Original series. Players assume the role of the Dominus of a great house competing for influence in the era of ancient Rome. Players vie for dominance through careful diplomacy, cunning intrigues and the glory of the Arena. Undermine the machinations of rivals, leverage your wealth for advantage at market and pit your gladiators in bloody contest all with the goal of seeing your house rise to supremacy.
Here's what one of the cards and the board and pieces of Spartacus looks like ...

I did not win Spartacus, in fact, I did pretty poorly. But I still had fun.

However, I have some recommendations for the designers/manufacturers:

One problem is that only two gladiators are picked to fight each turn. This leaves everyone else sitting on their hands (sure, you can bet, but big deal). It would be better if all gladiators fought every turn. This would lead to more and shiftier alliances, too.

Also, if someone gets ahead early, they stay ahead. At least that's my experience. There are ways to fix that, too.

Also, my "special powers" only activated by getting bodyguards from the deck. I was only dealt one bodyguard all game. The guy next to me got like, seven.  That could be fixed, too.

So, I'm not buying Spartacus at this time.. I had fun, but I bet they'll fix the rules and it will be a better game.

I also was able to cross a game off my wish list by playing Star Trek: Catan:

The official description:
In Star Trek: Catan, players start the game with two small Outposts at the intersection of three planets, with each planet supplying resources based on the result of a dice roll. Players collect and trade these resources – dilithium, tritanium, food, oxygen and water – in order to build Starships that connect regions in the galaxy, establish more Outposts and Starbases (upgraded Outposts) at new intersection points in order to increase resource acquisition, and acquire Development Cards that provide Victory Points (VPs) or special abilities.
On a dice roll of 7, a Klingon ship swoops in to prevent resource production on one planet while taxing spacegoers who hold too many resources.

 This is the end-game. I didn't do particularly well.

Why didn't I do well? Let's blame Mr. Sulu. "Oh, Myyyyy!"

You get assigned a card at the start depending on how old you are. I am old, so I got Sulu. He's worthless (sorry, George Takai) early in the game. You can trade him out, but by the time I traded him out, I was hopelessly behind.

George Takai should sue. Just sayin'.

I closed the night playing Ubongo, which is a Tetris-like board game.

Official description:
On each row, twelve gems (of several colors) are arranged. Each player places his pawn in front of one of those rows.
Each player receives a playing card on which a shape consisting of several squares is depicted. Each player also gets 12 tiles consisting of 2, 3, 4, or 5 squares in some shape. By means of a dice roll, each player is assigned three or four tiles that he has to use to fill the shape on his card.
The players try to solve their own "puzzle." The race is timed by a sand glass. The outcome of this race determines the play on the main playing board.
Players may collect two gems from the front of the row their pawn is on, so the more rows you can move, the more control you have on what color gems you can collect.

Ubongo was hilarious fun, but probably shouldn't be attempted by the sleep-deprived. Bonus: When you finish your puzzle, you get to shout out: "Ubongo!"

All in all, it's been a great time. And I have more gains to try today.


  1. The hell, isn't Monopoly good enough for anyone anymore?

  2. Monopoly is not a good game. Not by modern standards. Do yourself a favor and play Carcassone or something that's actually fun.

  3. Hi Sean, I am the Siege of Verdan designer, thank you for mentioning us our link is and we are on facebook too Love the blog!! See you at Conjure? (convention?)