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For all thats great in boardgames

Tag: Dominion

Toy and Games Expo 2014 and the Australian Boardgames Championships ACT

Toy and Game Expo 2014

2014 looks like its going to be a big year for the Toy and Game Expo. After a huge attendance last year, TAG14 looks like it will be the biggest one yet. Heaps of new exhibitors like Moose Toys will be there and there is the usual huge amount of board games to play and too buy.

We plan to bring a bigger and better stall this time around with the usual awesome selection and value prices.

Check out what else is on:

Join in on the 5-6th of July!

Australian Boardgaming Championships

Think you are hot in Carcassonne, Dominion, Ticket to Ride and Settlers? There is only one week left to try your hand in the ACT Family Tournaments.
Prizes include paid trip and accommodation to the Australian Boardgames Championships during TAG14 in Sydney.
Play with the best and see how well you go. I also hear that the winner of the Ticket to Ride Championships gets offered a trip to Paris.

Live in the ACT? Check out the details here:

Join in on the 20-21st of April!

Post Gen-Con World

Gencon has come and gone and that means one thing…HYPE!

What’s new ?

While there is a lull right before the swathe of Gen- Con releases, the wait is pretty much over.

New Warhammer 40 000 boxed set – Dark Vengeance . Did you see those models? The detailing is just sick. I do like it how they are creating a sort of board games-esque experience where you can get playing as quickly as possible. They are really making awesome stand out sets now starting from Assault on Black Reach.

The Hobbit: Over hill and Under hill. At least this isn’t being extended to a trilogy. The Lord of the Rings Card Game was always one breaking Card game conventions, but  I never knew if it was one to have legs.  These sets need to really affirm what Lord of the Rings LCG can do with the mechanics and it has been a great journey. At least in Over hill and under hill they are pushing the mechanics of their system to the fullest. Time will tell if this series will reach a competitive state or just a fan favourite for casual play. Really needs an Epic mode or something.

Leviathan: Massive box filled with flying dreadnoughts. Sign me up. Actually surprised me with the 1/1200 scale models as I thought there was just going to be stand ins.

Dominion Dark Ages : Still have to try it out so good thing I’m gaming over the weekend!

 Whats Hyped!

After eagerly watching Gencon happenings from my Tumblr and Boardgamegeek I could pretty much assure you that Netrunner is pretty much a big deal. Netrunner could be the real boost that FFG needs to bring their LCG series to full competitive status to rival the TCG format. Not to say that it would happen overnight but there seemed to be enough movement of Netrunner to validate the claim that it is the biggest card game related decision this year. Mind you Return to Ravnica is not out yet.
Seasons also sold out very quick which can only mean good things from the same studio that brought you 7 Wonders. Finally the last stand out would be Mice and Mystics which was demo only and seems to be piggy backing the Mouse Guard wave. Plaid Hat( Summoner Wars anything) has been a quality studio and I’m sure they are going to bring that professionalism to a miniature title.

What I Played

Have a new white board near the gaming table so people can record their greatest triumphs.  NOT an exercise in narcissism.

Infiltration : Pretty much a themed version of Incan Gold. Sort of has that tension though Incan Gold’s simplicity lends itself alot of strength. I still like playing Infiltration as it is fast and exciting. Just use Extract and reduce the floor sizes from 6  to 5.

Twilight Struggle : Watched my friends play and saw the entire world swing back and forth. In the end the US couldn’t influence a decolonized Africa and a domino fallen Asia to lead USSR ascendant into an alternate future.

Olympus : Keyaerts dealing with what he deals best. A limited space and limited time game. Very tight gameplay but large decisions means that this game will take longer than you think it will despite the simplicity. The BOX LIES just like Evo, expect 2- 3 hours.

Friday RIO Frenzy!

We are back here again with an all new FRENZY!
Now we are back with a nice new Rio Grande Games selection.

Caylus Magna Carta 

Lost Cities: The Boardgame


Scrabble (with wooden tiles)

Dominion: Alchemy


Three Commandments

A Castle for all seasons 


Pikce titles out with their heaps reduced prices!

7/100 Games in 100 Days: Dominion

Conventions are so tiring.
I don’t know how you gamers do it.
18 hours gaming, then going back to the apartment for 8 player Twilight Imperium, that takes alot of moxie.
I did not nearly have enough mana: stayed in the sidelines and watched the space opera unfold.

Things I hate about Cancon: saying I can’t play a game even though I really want too. Had a few offers from friend to play, even a teaching game of Twilight Struggle!! : (

After working for 9 Hours kicked back and waited for the midnight release for a game which must not be named.

And played a game a bunch of games in between. The highlight was a game of Dominion. Gold was flying everywhere and villages were cycling. The game was every bit of fun as it always was except I still hate villages.

Oh and dat chapel.

Chapel hard and chapel fast. I won but I felt i left some newer people behind.

Watched a person unfold an amazing collection which you can check out in my tumblr

Till Tomorrow


Rio Grande Games

‘German-style’ boardgames certainly kicked off the boardgaming resurgence of the 90s, and back then gamers would often buy German games and puzzle out translations themselves. As the popularity of these kinds of games grew—games like Settlers of Catan—publishers like Mayfair began to make available English translations for the market.

One of the new companies to take advantage of the growing ‘Euro’ games market was Rio Grande Games, founded in 1998 by Jay Tummelson and previously an employee of Mayfair Games. His company works with the original European publishers to make available English versions of some of the most popular games on the market; and going full circle, more recently they’ve begun publishing their own games and licencing them to foreign markets. Rio Grande has published over 350 games, many of which are classics and award-winners: Carcassonne, Puerto Rico, Lost Cities, Power Grid, Bohnanza, and Race for the Galaxy.

Games from Rio Grande tend to be family games with an emphasis on players making choices and spending good social time together. As distinct from what has become known as ‘Ameritrash’ games, which feature fancy components, heavy themes, luck and often miniature figures, ‘Euro’ games put the emphasis more on strategy and less on luck. Generally, the theme of the game tends to be less important than the mechanics. Rio Grande also seeks to produce games that teach children in families to make good choices leading to good results—not only in gaming but in life!

Let’s have a very quick look at some classic Rio Grande Games, plus a closer look at a few brand new ones that have just become available at Games Paradise.

In Dominion, each player is the rulers of a small medieval kingdom, competing to hire minions, construct buildings, renovate his castle, and fill the coffers of his treasury. This game has had a huge influence on gaming since its release just two years ago, single-handedly kicking off the deck-building card game genre now populated by such games as Thunderstone and Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, among others. Check out my earlier article on deck-building games.

Zooloretto is a great family game in which each player tries to attract as many visitors as possible to their zoo with small, large, wild, and exotic animals and their young. Your zoo must be carefully planned, because before you know it, you can have too many animals and no more room, and that means in losing points! Winner of the prestigious Spiel des Jahres in 2007.

Carcassonne was first published ten years ago and since then has spawned countless spin-offs and expansions, including a beautifully produced iPhone/iPad version. This deceptively simple tile-laying game involves creating a medieval land of roads, cities, fields and churches, scoring points as you go by laying claims with your pieces. In fact these wooden pieces, called ‘meeples’, have become a symbol of European board gaming.

Stone Age is a beautifully illustrated and produced worker-placement game in which players struggle to survive the Stone Age by working as hunters, collectors, farmers, and tool makers. As you gather resources and raise animals, you work to build the tools needed to build your civilization. Players use up to 10 tribe members each in 3 phases; placing their men in regions (like the hunt, the trading center, or the quarry), activating those regions, and feeding their populations. With a balance of luck and planning, the players compete for food to achieve victory in the Stone Age.

Be sure to check out other Rio Grande classics like Torres, Tikal, Elfenland, El Grande, Bohnanza, Puerto Rico, and Power Grid.

In the 15th century, the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator (Henrique o Navegador) summoned the best cartographers and top navigators of his time and instructed them to explore the shores of the African coastline. They thereby won expertise in navigation and shipbuilding, heralding the Age of Exploration and enabling Portugal to later to find a direct trade route to India and China. In the height of its power Portugal controlled the sea trade from Brazil to Japan and attained overwhelming wealth with the trade monopoly on spices.

The players in Navegadorrepresent wealthy trade dynasties helping to build up the Portuguese colonial empire. Tracing the routes of famous explorers they advance all the way to Nagasaki—but sailing into unknown waters is a dangerous venture. Founding colonies and building factories helps them to build up an economic base. But the prices for sugar, gold and spices fluctuate all the time, and only the trade dynasty that adapts to the market will be able to finance its lofty plans. Competing for new discoveries, colonies, shipyards, and churches it is very important to observe the actions of the other players.

Navegador is a challenging strategy game for 2-5 players with a little luck—because no-one knows exactly what to expect when navigating new seas… The game uses a rondel system of eight action choices, a system first seem in Antike , which players must navigate in order to plan their actions. There is a lot of planning ahead and interesting strategic possibilities. Fans of Puerto Rico, Imperial, and games with intersting economic systems will definitely want to check this one out.

From the clay pit to the robot factory, you must steer your burgeoning industrial empire through five different eras in this exciting auction game. Experience the discovery of steam power, electricity and the first machines—then put them to work for you. Build factories, then secure rail lines and shipping rights for your business; in the end these will be worth valuable bonus points. Good control and clever planning will make you the most successful industrial magnate!

In 1516 AD, you are a young sovereign are cultivating your small Furstenfeld to supply goods to the local breweries. Your status will eventually rise high enough to leave farming behind, demand taxes from the surrounding rural population, and finally realise your greatest dream—your own palace.

Harvest hops, barley and spring water and increase your wealth. Additional buildings help you to get the necessary funds for building your palace. There are only two problems: the demand for goods at the breweries is limited; the more goods the players produce, the faster the prices drop; and the palace needs more and more space. The closer you come to victory, the smaller is your personal field for farming.

Furstenfeld is a game with easy rules but interesting challenges by Friedermann Friese, designer of Power Grid, and will appeal to fans of that game and Agricola. When do you start to build your palace? Which goods do you produce? Which additional buildings are helping you the most? Start with the base game rules and once you’ve mastered them, move on to the expert game.

Deck-Building Games

It’s incredible how many games rely on those simple pieces of cardboard—playing cards. After Magic The Gathering hit the world by storm, and hundreds of collectible card games (CCGs) followed in its wake, it seemed that there was nothing new in the world of card-based games—until, that is, deck-building games came along! This ingenious new concept takes many of the CCG concepts, but does away with the collectible idea, putting players on a more even playing field and forcing everyone to rely on their skill and ability, not just their ability to buy new cards.

The deck-building genre hit the games world with the release of Dominion by Donald X. Vaccarino and Hans im Glück in 2008. What is deck-building? Well, rather than have a number of cards in hand that you add to and play, the main strategy of the game is building an effective deck as you play. So rather than pre-building a deck, as you would in a collectible or living card game, the deck-building is an integral part of the game itself.

In Dominion, each player is the rulers of a small medieval kingdom, competing to hire minions, construct buildings, renovate his castle, and fill the coffers of his treasury. Each player starts with a small, identical hand of cards. A selection of cards—10 of the 25 available—is placed in the centre of the table, which players can buy using their cards. As you play, you attempt to build the most effective deck with which to buy precious victory cards.

Dominion certainly deserves the oft-used adjective ‘elegant’; it remains balanced despite the endless combinations and variety, since the cards are always available to all the players. It’s a perfect game for lovers of strategy, and collectible card gamers looking for something new and fresh without the common problems of that genre—like killer combos and decks.

Dominion was an instant hit, and went on to win the Spiel Des Jahres in 2009. Of course, in the tradition of all successful strategy card games, it wasn’t long before the expansions started coming. The first was Dominion: Intrigue (2009), a stand-alone expansion which added rules for up to eight players at two tables or a single game of six players when combined with the base game—not to mention 500 new cards of course!

The same year saw the release of Dominion: Seaside, an expansion that required either the base game or Intrigue. Another 300 cards, plus some new items such as coins, emargo tokens, and game mats. This year—2010—we have already seen Dominion: Alchemy, which adds 150 cards including the special Potion treasures; and Dominion: Prosperity, with 300 cards and some significant changes to the way the game plays.

With the success of Dominion, games with similar mechanics, or mechanics inspired by the game, came along to satisfy the hardcore card gamers. For example, Thunderstone (2009), is a deck building game with a deeper and more immersive fantasy dungeon-crawling theme. Rather than just buying victory points, they are won by fighting monsters, and since they have special abilities, some say the game play is more flexible. You can also play it solo!

Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements (2010) is the first expansion for Thunderstone, adding traps and new hero and monster types—along with lots more cards of course. The next expansion will be called Thunderstone: Doomgate Legion and should be out soon.

Two more fantasy-themed deck building games are Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer (2010) and Heroes of Graxia (2010), which each bring their unique take on the genre.

Arcana (2009) is a fantasy-themed card game using a drafting mechanic, using characters from Rackham’s fantasy city of Cadwallon (recently featured in the Dust Games/FFG boardgame Cadwallon: City of Thieves). A couple of other deck-building games to keep an eye out for are Arctic Scavengers and Eminent Domain.

If you haven’t tried the deck-building genre yet, there’s lot to choose from, so let the cards be shuffled and the games begin!

What’s Hot: Dominion Prosperity

This is the 4th addition to the game of Dominion. It adds 25 new Kingdom cards to Dominion, plus 2 new Basic cards that let players keep building up past Gold and Province. The central theme is wealth; there are treasures with abilities, cards that interact with treasures, and powerful expensive cards.

Video Review: Dominion

Dominion Video Review

* The game box separates the cards well.
* 500 cards! + Blank ones.
* Very easy to learn, great rule book.
* Fast paced, short player turns.
* Feels like you’re really building up a dominion.
* Great concept – buying cards for your deck with your gold.