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Tag: Ticket to Ride

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!

Game of Dungeons, Thrones and Munchkin Deluxe

Back in Stock

Lots of stock just came back into stock.
Game of Thrones, Munchkin  Deluxe, Ticket to Ride anything and Small World all are back online. If you have an outstanding order for any of these
items, they should be ready to go or have just left.

What’s New? 

Magic 2013 has just dropped and we are all to busy playing 52 pickup with all these new Magic cards.
We have these swanky Deckbuilder Toolkits which are pretty much the best way to start playing right after picking up an intro deck.
Lots of value and every thing your really need as a beginner.
Still have a lot of Fat Packs so pick them up before they run out.

Dungeon Command from Wizards in the Loth and Cormyr variety. This is a quick skirmish game that can be mixed with the Dungeons and Dragons dungeon crawlers.

Expect fast brutal gameplay like Heroscape or Dream blade which is also a Wizards skirmish game.

Fiasco for all you RPG fanatics and its erstwhile companion kit. As seen in the most recent Tabletop video, intense situations to roleplay out of.

Finally Maharani which is a new age tile laying Euro-game bursting with intriguing gameplay choices.

What we are playing

Pretty much Magic 2013.
All the time, every time.
Last weekend was dominated by 3 drafts of the new format and showed that
A) It was nothing like Magic 2012  and;
B) This was a good thing.

I was pretty much tired being blown out by turn 5 in Magic 2012 by goblin piker and its aggressive ilk. By far one of the most aggressive drafts ever made, M12 proceeded to teach us lessons about tempo and why goblin piker and coral merfolk were pretty much good cards depending on the format.

M13 was heaps different. Slower and more methodical card choices allows for a person to brew up many different combinations. Exalted is a great albeit risky mechanic which rewards good reading and commitment. Low levels of creature kill allows for alot more out playing and more emphasis on creature enchantments.

Loving it right now,
Have to wait to see what it is like after many plays.

My card of the format is Talrends Invocation which is value central and makes 2/2 flyers which pretty much pound on any one or trades for value.

Tonight I have wargames so might eke out an extra play of Dungeon Command.

10-11/100 Games in 100 Days: Ticket to Ride and Anomia

Whoever told me this game was for beginners was lying through their dirty rail baron teeth. This is as cut-throat of a game as Game of Thrones 2nd edition, and that’s saying alot.

At first we were all making little routes like friendly social workers; only to devolve into rail hungry capitalists as the board filled up.

Ticket to Ride reminds me of Kingdom Builder: primarily because I played Kingdom Builder first. It looks easy when it starts off but then it starts to suck you in with its depth.

It’s no Caylus but it can boost your kids colour hungry ambitions.


11/100 Games in 100 Days: Anomia

might not be heard of but I played a quick game of Anomia with my sisters last night. I now have a reason to throw out fast card games like Uno.

Anomia is like Snap…EXCEPT using your MIND!


Such a fast paced game that feels like you are using all of your brain.

It hurts just thinking about it >_<!

Till tomorrow

Remember pics are up on Tumblr and Facebook!


Games You May Have Missed

Conquest of Planet Earth and Isla Dorada

As gamers, we tend to be obsessed with the latest releases and whatever game is generating the biggest ‘buzz’ at the moment. But I find there are lots of games that get a bit neglected as a result, and don’t get the ‘table time’ they deserve. Games You May Have Missed will be an irregular series of articles looking at games you may have overlooked the first time around, but deserve some more attention. You may discover a lost gem of a game that grows to become a favourite of your collection!

Last night I brought out two games that have been languishing unplayed on my shelf for a while now—Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game by Flying Frog Games and Isla Dorada by Fantasy Flight Games/Fun Forge. Strangely, I’d found the time to paint the figures in both games, create a foamcore insert for one, and make rules summaries for both, but hadn’t yet played them! Both are really fun, luck-based, thematic games that possibly got lost in the cloud of hype surrounding other releases at the time. Let’s revisit them now!

Conquest of Planet EarthConquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game is a little bit different from other Flying Frog releases, and may have been neglected because it was released very close to their other game that features invading aliens, Invasion From Outer Space. That and Flying Frog’s other games: Last Night on Earth and A Touch of Evil, share a similar graphic style (retouched photos of actors instead of illustrations) and style of play (characters move about a map playing thematic cards and fighting). Conquest of Planet Earth, however, is a bit different, though there’s still a heavy reliance on cardplay and combat. The first thing you’ll notice is that it features colourful, cartoony art instead of photos! You choose an alien race (your ‘character’ in the game) that has several special abilities, and begin the game with four flying saucers on your landing site. The board is made up of a central board and one board for each player, each divided into seven locations.

During your turn you secretly bid for how many Action points you will spend during the turn, and the player bidding the least number becomes first player. You can then spend Action points on your turn, moving your saucers to other locations, replacing destroyed saucers, buying tokens to fuel special abilities, or playing event cards that cost Action points to play. When your saucers move to a new location, you draw a Location card, which may represent anything from a military base to a small town to empty countryside. If there is a Resistance value on the location, you draw Resistance cards one at a time, in number equal to the value, fighting each card as it is turned up in an attempt to conquer the location. Depending on how populous the location is, you get Terror points for a conquered location.

So the rules themselves are pretty basic and easy to pick up; but where this game really shines is the fantastic variety of Event cards and ‘Space Stuff’ cards, that cover probably just about every alien invasion B-movie situation you can think of—and then some. You can drop an Atomic Bomb on a location to clear it of rival aliens; spread a Contagion to wipe out the human resistance; try Eating Kittens (‘Now that’s just wrong!’) to increase your Terror level; or play We Come in Peace to automatically win a fight. You might be joined by a Giant Robot ally in your quest to conquer the humans, use Disintegration Beams or a Death Ray to increase your fight strength; or deploy a Massive Blob to wipe out resistance.

The game is hilarious and fun, and as an extra bonus it has rules for both Cooperative and Competitive play—and you can even play solo. We had a great time playing this last night, and I’ll definitely be bringing it out on the table more often when I feel like like a good laugh and a light game.

Conquest of Planet Earth

Painted Ally miniatures (front and back shown) representing classic movie monster aliens (supplied unpainted in the game).

Isla DoradaThe second game of the evening was Isla Dorada, designed by Bruno Faidutti (of Citadels and Ad Astra fame) by Fantasy Flight Games/Fun Forge. Faidutti considers it his best design, and I think it’s a very clever and very interactive game that is perfect for families, in the vein of Ticket to Ride—in fact it very much feels like a DOW game rather than a FFG one.

The main mechanic of Isla Dorada is a bidding one. You have a single expedition figure on the island map, and each turn players bid a number of cards to control the expedition for that turn and move it where they want to go. Different cards are used to bid for different types of paths—mountain, jungle, desert, river, and sea paths, and even air travel by giant bird or zeppelin. Of course there’s also a plethora of special cards that can do things like stop another player from bidding, convert cards to different types, and keep the expedition moving past the next location on the route. At first it all seems a bit daunting as all these cards have different semi-imaginary names in keeping with the ‘lost pacific island’ theme; but an excellent pictorial reference sheet helps you pick it up very quickly and before long you’re remembering which card is which with ease.

So why do you want to control the expedition’s destination? Well, at the start of the game, and at two points during it, you receive Treasure cards keyed to various locations. You also get a Destiny card, which gives you points for visiting a particular series of locations, and you can get Curse cards, which can reduce your points if you go to those places. So each player has very definite ideas indeed about where the expedition should go on the island! It’s a chaotic and crazy game with a little bit of what gamers call ‘screwage’ (ie, you have opportunities for making things tough for other players), all wrapped up in colourful and light-hearted artwork. There’s even three beautiful large miniatures incuded; one for the expedition and two for the Bigfoot and Leviathan, which can be played to block map routes.

Isla Dorada

Painted Isla Dorada miniatures (supplied unpainted in the game).

I thoroughly enjoyed playing these two games and they’ll definitely be seeing more table time in the future. It just goes to show that occasionally you have to step back from the ‘new stuff’ and have a look at what else is out there. That’s why these articles will be here to keep you updated with games you might have missed! Good gaming!

You can find rules summaries and reference sheets for both of the games at my blog if you follow these links: Conquest of Planet Earth and Isla Dorada.

What’s Hot: Airlines Europe

Airlines EuropeThe age of passenger aviation has begun! Courageous entrepreneurs establish the first airlines and compete for the few available licenses in the European air space. The rapidly growing market and the opportunity for high gains attracts high-powered investors, but only the ones that use their influence skillfully and their cash wisely will turn their investments into the most profitable airlines.

Alan R. Moon, the creator of the acclaimed Ticket to Ride series, as completely redesigned and refined two of his earlier games (Airlines and Union Pacific) to bring us Airlines Europe. At its heart, Airlines Europe is a stock game, with players earning points for the stock they hold in particular airline companies when one of the randomly determined scorings takes place. On a player’s turn, that player either expands an airline and claims a stock, plays stock onto the board and receives dividend, invests in a special airline called Air ABACUS or gets a certain amount of money from the bank. A player scores only for stock in play, but the value of an airline is determined by the value of the route licences that airline owns. This makes for difficult decisions about what to play when!

Airlines Europe is a fantastic ‘gateway game’ for players just discovering the wide world of boardgames, but it’s also fun and full of interesting decisions for experienced gamers. This beautifully produced game includes 1 board, 135 cards, 112 airplanes, 20 markers, 84 victory point tiles, 70 bank notes, 4 bonus connection markers, 5 game summary cards, and rules.

You’ve Got A Ticket to Ride!

Ticket to Ride

With the release of the Ticket To Ride Alvin & Dexter Monster Expansion and the Ticket to Ride boardgame on iPad, now’s a great time to look over the incredible range of Ticket to Ride boardgames. If you haven’t played this fantastic game yet, grab yourself a copy and enjoy what is probably the most successful boardgame of the last decade!

Alvin & DexterThe Ticket To Ride Alvin & Dexter Monster Expansion is a crazy new addition to the Ticket to Ride family. How many times have you pulled out a copy of Ticket to Ride and said to yourself, “What this game really needs are some awesome monsters attacking the cities!” Okay, maybe that hasn’t happened to you, but now that the idea is out there, it’s hard to get it out of your head, isn’t it?

Alvin the Alien and Dexter the Dino are two finely detailed monster figures that bring their own special brand of chaos to cities across the Ticket to Ride landscape in this ‘Victorian era meets Monsters’ expansion. Alvin and Dexter are not only charming (with the kind of charisma that only a monster can bring!), but they also introduce a new devious, tactical layer to a game of Ticket to Ride. The monsters stymie players both during the game and once it ends—during play, no routes can be built into or out of a city where Alvin or Dexter are currently hanging out, and during the final score tallying, any destination ticket showing a city where either monster stands is worth only half its normal value (which is a good thing if yoiu built an incomplete track!) Fortunately, they can be moved at the cost of one (or two) locomotive cards and you can move the monster up to three (or six) cities away from its current location. Players also accumulate Alvin or Dexter cards which award bonus points at the end of the game. Finally, at the end of the game, missions that initiate or end in a city with Alvin or Dexter are worth only half points.

The expansion includes the two highly-detailed monster figures, 20 Monster cards, two Bonus cards, and multi-lingual rules, all packaged with a transparent window box displaying the two figures. Alvin & Dexter is compatible with any complete, stand-alone board game from the Ticket to Ride family.

Now it’s time to go back the beginning. New players should start with the classic Ticket to Ride boardgame with the map of the USA—the one that started it all. It’s a boardgaming classic (winner of 14 international game awards, including the Spiel des Jahres—Game of the Year—for 2004) and an excellent way to introduce people who have only ever played games like Monopoly or Scrabble to the wide world of boardgaming. The rules are simple and easy to remember—all you have to do is collect sets of coloured train cards and trade them in to build train routes across the map—but there’s plenty of opportunity to foil the plans of your friends, push your luck, and try different strategies. A game that should be in every boardgamer’s collection!

The Ticket to Ride USA 1910 Expansion is a new card expansion for the original Ticket to Ride board game which consists of 181 new large format cards: 35 new Destination Tickets, a new GlobeTrotter bonus card for completing the most tickets, plus a complete replacement deck of all the cards from the original game deck. Also included is a new rulebook that gives Ticket to Ride players three new ways to play the game including 1910 rules (games using only the new Destination Tickets); the Mega Game, featuring all the tickets; and Big Cities, which uses only tickets to certain large cities.

The USA 1910 cards and rules variants will really change your strategies and tactics when you play Ticket to Ride, and will surprise even long-time veteran railroaders and bring hundreds of hours of new fun to your family and friends! (Note that in order to play Ticket to Ride USA 1910 you must have the original Ticket to Ride game.)

EuropeTicket to Ride Europe was the first expansion game, and can be played completely by itself without the original set. Build your train routes across turn-of-the-century Europe, from Edinburgh to Constantinople and from Lisbon to Moscow. Ticket to Ride Europe is more than just a new map however; the game features brand new gameplay elements including Tunnels, Ferries and Train Stations. Like the original, the game remains elegantly simple, can be learned in five minutes, and appeals to both families and experienced gamers.

The Ticket To Ride Europa 1912 Expansion allows you to upgrade your ticket with exciting new routes to the great rail destinations of Europe, and adds fresh new gameplay to all versions of Ticket to Ride with Warehouses and Depots! This expansion includes 101 Destination Tickets—the 46 original tickets, plus 55 new ones that enable 3 new variants to the Ticket to Ride Europe map: Europe Expanded, which adds 19 new routes to the original 46; Big Cities of Europe, with tickets to 9 major European cities; and Mega Europe, which uses all the new routes as well as the 46 original Destination Tickets.

This expansion also introduces Warehouses & Depots—new game rules and pieces that create an additional strategic layer and can be played with any of the Ticket to Ride maps. (Note that an original copy of any complete game in the Ticket to Ride series is required to play with Warehouses & Depots. New Destination Tickets are for use only with Ticket to Ride Europe.)

For something different again, try the Ticket To Ride Marklin Edition. The vertically-oriented board is based on a map of Germany and introduces Passengers and Merchandise to the game—Passengers are used to pick up Merchandise worth different numbers of points along the routes that they claim.

Train hobbyists consider the Marklin to be the premier name in the model train world; this German company has been around for over 140 years and is the world’s leader in the miniature train hobby. Each train card in the Marklin Edition features a different image (118 in all) of a Marklin model train car or locomotive.

Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries takes you on a Nordic adventure through Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden as you travel to the great northern cities of Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm. Visit Norway’s beautiful fjords and the magnificent mountain scenery on the Rauma Railway. Breathe in the salt air of the busy Swedish ports on the Baltic Sea. Ride through the Danish countryside where Vikings once walked. Hop on the Finnish railway and travel across the Arctic Circle to the land of the Midnight Sun.

It’s the much loved gameplay of Ticket to Ride—including Tunnels and Ferries, but played throughout the Nordic Countries. Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries stands on its own and is designed specifically for 2 or 3 players.

Ticket to Ride has proved so popular that new versions of the game have been developed in different formats too! Ticket to Ride: The Card Game delivers all of the exciting, fun and easy-to-learn elements of the original board game, but with several new gameplay twists in a stand-alone, portable, card game format. Players collect sets of illustrated Train cards which are then used to complete Destination Tickets—routes between two cities depicted on each ticket. But before their Train cards can be used, players must face the risk of ‘train-robbing’, where another player may force them to lose their hard-earned cards. Every fan of the board game will want to own a copy of the Ticket to Ride Card Game!

Dice GameAnd finally, you can roll your way to victory aboard the fun-filled expansion Ticket to Ride: The Dice Game, which is compatible with any board map of Ticket to Ride.

In this expansion, players still attempt to complete their Destination Tickets and claim routes and block each other on the map. But rather than draw and collect Train cards, they roll 5 custom Train dice each turn. Depending on the outcome they can reroll some or all, then use the dice to claim routes on the board; grab Route Tokens for future use; or draw more Destination Tickets. And for board maps that feature Tunnel routes, such as Ticket to Ride Europe, 3 Tunnel dice are also included. This expansion requires trains, Destination Tickets and a board map from any of the Ticket to Ride series.

As you can see, there’s an incredible number of ways to play Ticket to Ride, and lots of different strategies to be added with the expansions and different maps! So hop on board with your friends and family to enjoy the best train route building game in the business!

Days of Wonder Classics

Days of Wonder

It’s always an exciting event when boardgames publisher Days of Wonder release a new game, and their latest, Cargo Noir, is now available for preorder!

Unlike many of the large game publishers, Days of Wonder only release a couple of new games a year, so every new release is a bit of an event for boardgamers. The company favours games that have a broad appeal and can be enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike. Their games are also characterised by wonderful artwork and extremely high design and production values. Let’s have a quick look back at some of the Days of Wonder classics that have become staples in most gamers’ collections.

On a personal note, this writer was lucky enough to have lunch with the company’s CEO, Eric Hautemont, on his visit to Sydney several years back when BattleLore (now published by Fantasy Flight Games) was first released. I found him an extremely friendly, charming fellow, and his enthusiasm and dedication to making quality boardgames was very obvious!

Ticket to RideDays of Wonders’ greatest success would have to be Ticket to Ride and its many variants and expansions. Originally published in 2004 and designed by Alan R. Moon, it has won numerous awards and sold close to a million copies. Why is it so popular? Probably because it’s the perfect ‘gateway’ game. This means it is the kind of game that is perfect for playing with people whose previous experience with boardgames has been mainstream games such as Monopoly and Scrabble. The rules are easy to learn, the theme is straightforward, it’s a nice blend between luck and strategy, and it’s always a hit with new players.

Basically, Ticket to Ride is a game of set collection. Players try and collect sets of matching coloured cards, which they can then trade in to place rows of their train carriages on the board, connecting routes between cities and scoring points for doing so.

Ticket to Ride was so successful for Days of Wonder that it wasn’t long before they began to create expansions and new versions. Ticket to Ride: Europe was the first, featuring, of course, a game board of Europe, plus new rules for Tunnels, Ferries and Train Stations that add some new strategies to the game.

The Ticket To Ride: Marklin Edition is played on map of Germany and introduces Passengers and Merchandise to the gameplay; plus every one of the 118 train cards features a different image of a Marklin model train car or locomotive. Train hobbyists can tell you that Marklin has been around for over 140 years and is the world’s leader in the miniature train hobby.

Ticket To Ride: Nordic Countries takes the train routes through Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and is especially designed for 2-3 players.

For a more portable Ticket to Ride experience, there’s Ticket to Ride: The Card Game, a stand-alone, easy-to-carry card game version of the game with a few twists. An exciting new variant on the original game (compatible with any map) is Ticket to Ride: The Dice Game, which uses special dice instead of train cards.

The USA 1910 and Europa 1912 sets are card expansions; the first replaces the small cards in the original basic set with large-format cards, plus some new cards and variants, and the second adds more cards and variants, plus the Warehouses & Depots variant.

As you can see, there’s plenty of Ticket to Ride to keep even the most dedicated fan happy for many, many games!

Memoir 44The other Days of Wonder blockbuster is undoubtably their WWII light strategy game Memoir ’44, created by Richard Borg and and also first released in 2004. Still one of my all-time favourite games, Memoir’44 never fails to entertain and engage, and is the perfect introduction into more complex historical wargaming. Based on Borg’s popular Command & Colors system, the game board is split into three sections, and the play of various cards activates units in these sections to move and attack. With a wealth of historical scenarios, extra rules and expansion sets—and of course the joy of moving little plastic army men around a large board divided into big hexes—if you haven’t played Memoir ’44 yet, you are definitely missing out!

The base game covers the D-Day invasions and comes with German and American troops, but additional sets like the Eastern Front Expansion, the Pacific Theatre Expansion, and the Mediterranean Theatre Expansion supply Russian, Japanese and British troops respectively, and make possible the recreation of battles and campaigns from throughout WWII.

Talking about campaigns, the Campaign Book Volume 1 is a fantastic hardback collection of over 50 battles linked together into three campaigns: The Battle for Normandy in the summer of 1944, the Blitzkrieg to the West in 1940, and Operation Barbarossa on the Russian Front in 1941.

The flexibility of the Memoir ’44 system means that it can be played in several different exciting and unique ways. The Operation Overlord expansion, coupled with huge Overlord pre-printed battlemaps like Hedgerow Hell, Sword of Stalingrad or Tigers in the Snow, lets you play a battle royale with up to 4 players per side. I’ve played Memoir ’44 in this way with six players and it was a memorable game, I can assure you!

There’s still more to the Memoir ’44 experience: Breakthrough is an expansion that features four oversize, long boards that expand scenario possibilities, and the Air Pack Expansion includes 8 pre-painted airplanes that bring the skies above your battles alive!

All in all, Memoir ’44 is undoubtably the premiere light WWII wargame system; a game with just the right level of complexity to keep things interesting, but simple enough to introduce to young players and inexperienced gamers alike. And it’s also an educational experience that teaches a lot about the battles of WWII.

Apart from Ticket to Ride and Memoir ’44, there are some other relatively recent DOW releases that are fast on their way to also being classics: the fun fantasy conquest game Small World and its expansions, and the Cluedo-like murder mystery game, set on the Orient Express, Mystery Express.

Don’t forget some of the older Days of Wonder games; classic games that are often still brought out on gaming nights: Colosseum, Pirate’s Cove, Mystery of the Abbey, and Shadows Over Camelot.

But for now, everybody’s talking about the brand new Cargo Noirpre-order yourself a copy now!

The Games Paradise Mega-Sale is on!

Happy New Year! The Games Paradise Mega-Sale is here, and we’re ringing the new year in with a huge 10% off everything, from now until the end of January!

If Santa didn’t bring you exactly what you wanted this year, don’t worry, now’s your chance to grab those games you were after. If your partner still doesn’t quite understand this whole game-obsession thing, and got you a deck of cards instead of the new Dust Tactics miniatures combat game, now you can grab one for a special price. And if your family loves Pictionary but you play Tide of Iron with your gaming group, why not buy that expansion you really wanted?

Now’s the time to get a big 10% off your purchases!

If you haven’t made your New Years Eve plans yet, why not get together some good friends for a gaming night to bring in the new year? Lots of fun with good friends around a table is what gaming is all about, and what better time to share the laughs than New Years Eve? It doesn’t have to be anything complex or time-consuming. Ticket to Ride always goes down well with new gamers and experienced gamers alike, as does the old gateway classic, Settlers of Catan.

If you really feel like putting on something special, why not host a murder? Everyone can dress up and throw themselves into the murder mystery fun of a How to Host a Murder game. From gangsters to toga-wearing Roman citizens, schlock horror characters to cowboys, there’s a theme for everybody, and you’re sure to enjoy a memorable evening before the fireworks go off at midnight.

Games Paradise has a big range of party board games to liven up your New Years bash. Or perhaps trivia games are more your thing?

However you decide to spend the evening, Games Paradise wishes you and your family the very happiest of new years—here’s to a 2011 full of great gaming!

The Games Paradise Mega-Sale lasts from December 26th 2010 to January 31st 2011. No rain checks, only while stocks last. Cannot be used with any other offer.

Video Review: Ticket To Ride


* Fast paced with lots of strategy.
* Great rulebook with examples.
* Nice big board and great production quality.
* Everyone has a chance to win and you don’t know who’s winning until the game ends.
* Everything is well separated inside the box.
* Nice artwork on the board and box.