June 21, 2009

Agricola - Fruit Tree variant

BGG user senseless has suggested a Fruit Tree variant for Agricola.

For this variant, you may want to use the original cube cows that came with the game as trees, and the E deck minor "fruit trees" as an additional action card:

  • Plant a tree [1+]: You may plant 1 tree on one of your unused parcels or in one of your parcels with 1 tree.

The rules for fruit trees are as follows:
- You may only plant a tree in an empty space or a space with only 1 tree.
- The spaces must be orthogonally adjacent to other spaces with trees (like everything else)
- Spaces with trees aren't unused.
- At every harvest, each tree produces 1 food.
- At any moment, you may cut down a tree to receive 1 wood*. Return that tree to the supply.
- If all the trees on a space are cut, that space is now unused.

At the end of the game you receive points for your trees:

Trees Points*
0 -1
1-2 1
3-4 2
5-6 3
7+ 4

This variant will be featured in the upcoming Ñ Deck, so please test it!

Avg. Rating: 2.62 (500 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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June 11, 2009

Taluva - Terrain Distribution

The distribution of terrains in Taluva can be seen on BoardGameGeek in this article by BGG user runaway.

Distribution of Terrain, keeping left and right distinct
(assuming tiles are held with the volcano at top)

 

Right

Left

Jungle 

Grass  

Desert 

Quarry 

Lagoon

Jungle   

1

6

4

2

2

Grass    

5

1

2

2

1

Desert   

7

2

1

2

1

Quarry   

2

2

1

1

1

Lagoon   

1

1

1

1

1

 

 

Distribution of Terrain, position independent

 

Jungle 

Grass  

Desert 

Quarry 

Lagoon

Jungle   

1

11

8

4

3

Grass    

 

1

4

4

2

Desert   

 

 

1

3

2

Quarry   

 

 

 

1

2

Lagoon   

 

 

 

 

1

 

Avg. Rating: 2.72 (465 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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Die Dolmengötter - The Block Cycling variant

I have not played Die Dolmengötter in a while. However, I had prepared this article about two years ago regarding a variant of the game (Source: BoardGameGeek by J.C. Lawrence).


Variant for Die Dolmengötter

1) The game no longer ends when a player has placed all their dolmens (square blocks).

2) If an area is completely surrounded it will be scored immediately. The scoring dolmens (square blocks) are then returned to their players. Returned dolmens may then be placed in the normal fashion on future turns.

3) The game ends when any player has placed all of their stones (octagonal prisms), with each other player having one more turn after that point.

That's it. I shall try it soon.

Avg. Rating: 2.76 (482 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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June 10, 2009

Tickipedia

If you are interested in more details around Ticket to Ride, I suggest to visit

Tickipedia

This Ticket to Ride wiki contains tournament reports & details (e.g. World Championshiop, National Championships, etc.) as well as a great strategy guide, plus some TtR puzzles and the like.

Avg. Rating: 2.67 (524 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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May 24, 2009

Session Report: Funkenschlag EnBW Edition

It has been a while - hasn't it?! There are some great news to my private life (owner of a house, married to my great wife and awaiting a daugther in the next two weeks). That's why I was pretty silent on my blog. Nevermind...

Yesterday my wife and I were playing the Funkenschlag - EnBW Edition for the very first time. It was the first time my wife ever played a Funkenschlag game. I had recently acquired the EnBW edition from ebay.de. We decided to play the Baden-Württemberg map. The back of the rules booklet contains a little table containing all the important pieces of information for experienced Funkenschlag players, e.g. with 2 players one needs to be using three sections of the map. I had not played the original game or any of it's expansions in years. Compared to games like Agricola, Railroad Tycoon or Khronos, the complexity of Funkenschlag is actually okay. I had always remembered Funkenschlag to be a little bit more complex, but it actually is not.
My wife understood the rules quickly and we started at a fast pace. She acquired two power plants that allowed her to power 4 cities. My strategy was to got for the first environment-friendly power plant and take my time. I was able to expand slowly but steadily. My wife had too much power in her power plants early in the game and therefore burned some of the coal inefficiently.

In the second phase of the game I was able to get ahead in terms of the overall capacity of my power plants. My wife fell a little bit behind. This was not her fault but caused by some unlucky card draws. I was able to defend the lead in terms of capacity and my wife managed to get hold of all the coal and oil in the game. I was still relying on waste and nuclear power plants and had to bring down power production in order to preseve my coal inventory. The game slowed down a little bit and we were mainly waiting for the third phase to start.

Once the card to initiate the third phase of the game was there, I was able to get to 21 power plants and win the game quite easily - as I was ahead on capacity.

My wife liked the game and we decided to play again in the future...

Maybe I will even write about it...

Avg. Rating: 2.72 (545 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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September 4, 2007

A tribute to the Nordic Countries

Days of Wonder has announced the release of Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries. This version of Ticket to Ride is a stand-alone game and will only be available and sold in the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. This game will be for 2-3 players and take players through the big nordic cities Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsiniki, Stockholm (and probably some others too).

More information is available here at the Days of Wonder blog.

Avg. Rating: 2.69 (799 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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September 2, 2007

Sweden - An Unofficial map to Ticket to Ride

Sweden - An Unofficial Map for Ticket to Ride / Zug um Zug
Sweden: Unofficial map for Ticket to Ride. Created by Gustaf Andersson. The original Ticket to Ride is designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Days of Wonder.


Gustaf Andersson has created an unofficial map for Ticket to Ride. The map can be printed on 10 sheets of A4 paper. The map contains new rules for Harbor and Flight connections. These routes are build like any other route. However, if a harbor or flight route is used, the player immediately loses 10 (harbor) or 20 (flight) points. A rather costly undertaking but it allows you to connect the two destination cities and might help you score additional destination ticket points.

Download the map at the author's homepage:
http://www.roselike.com/eng/ticket_eng.html

Avg. Rating: 2.56 (950 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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May 7, 2007

UK map for Power Grid

Chris Jones has designed a wonderful UK map for Power Grid (Funkenschlag) and published it to BoardGameGeek.com. He has posted more details here. A full (low-res) image of the map is available here and the high resolution images are available here:

Each file should be printed 26cm wide by 36cm tall (the exact dimensions of the Power Grid board). It would be best to get the file into a graphics editor, half it, and printing each piece onto A4 paper (for those not in the US).

Avg. Rating: 2.76 (819 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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May 4, 2007

SR: Imperial

Imperial session on May 4th 2007

As Shelak was visiting for a couple of days we decided to start a two-player session of Imperial. I had acquired this game, designed by Mac Gerdts at Essen 2006 and now was the first chance to play it (yeah, I know...). We went through the rules quickly and since we were already familiar with Antike it was all pretty self-explanatory. Still, the game has only few common elements to Mac Gerdts' first game.

In Imperial, players take the role of international financial investors trying to earn the greatest influence over European states in the age of imperialism. The game shows a beautiful map of Europe and comes with truly gorgeous wooden playing pieces, among them ships, armies and factories. Based on the loans by the investors all nations expand by building new factories, troops and fleets to expand their power in Europe. Each country can collect taxes from occupied territories to pay interest to their investors. The player granting the biggest amout in loan(s) to a state will be able to control their government and is eligible to take the turn for that particfular country. As financial control over the imperial nations changes, new strategic alliances are formed and new conflicts emerge.

Imperial session on May 4th 2007


As I said, the game was pretty easy to learn, however, it takes a couple of turns until we started to (!) grasp the tactical and strategical implications. I was able to get control over the French government and speculated to earn taxes as the next action. However, since the previous government had built that many armies (that also need to be sustained by the tax income), taking the taxing action did not seem a great idea. Instead, I decided to maneuver the armies, gaining control over additional territories (i.e. more taxes) and battling against enemy armies to reduce the sustainability cost. What a great plan, I thought. Pah, Shelak was able to loan more money to France and to regain government control. Guess, who took the tax income in France's next turn?

Mechanisms like this make Imperial a very unique, interesting and challenging game. In addition, the game also teaches us something about the power and influence of large investment corporations or large cooperations. Sarcastically speaking, Mac Gerdts could have set the game in today's times as well. On the other hand, it is a beautiful simulation of the imperialistic, (pre-)WWI times in Europe.

Altogether, we both liked Imperial a lot, even as a two-player. We definitely should give it another go with more players as well as revisiting the game again to play another full session.

Avg. Rating: 2.71 (779 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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April 23, 2007

Yspahan PC version

PC version of Yspahan
PC version of Yspahan by Günther Rosenbaum

Günther Rosenbaum has released another board game for the PC: Yspahan, designed by Sébastien Pauchon and published by Ystari Games. This game is available as freeware for download (officially sanctioned by the publisher). The game comes with an artifical intelligence allowing players to compete on multiple difficulty levels. For beginners (like me) the highest difficulty is pretty challenging. This is similar to Günther Rosenbaum's PC version of Sankt Petersburg.

If you do not want to compete against the computer, the game also supports a manual mode.

The game is currently available in English and in German via download at:
http://www.westpark-gamers.de/download/yspahan_pc.php

Avg. Rating: 2.78 (823 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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April 17, 2007

Link: Celebrities playing board games

The Yehuda - Gaming and Blogging in the Holy Land blog has a great article on celebrities playing board games. Yehuda has obviously put a lot of effort into compiling the list, together with some sources.

Now, the bad news: My playlist is not at all, not even remotely similar to that of celebrities. Bad luck for me. While I was clicking the link to Yehuda, I had already gotten my hopes up to play a round of Die Macher with Wil Smith. But... ;)

Better luck next time. Until then, I have highlighted the matches:


Top 6 List: Board Game Night: Naturelich vs. Celebrities

Number 6
The first crossover is the Beastie Boys who like playing Mah-Jongg on their tour bus. I presume they are a group of 4 anyway so I would probably not be welcome in joining them, would I?(unless somebody has thought of a 5-player variant for Mah-Jongg?!)

Number 5
In addition, if I were about 25-27 years younger, I might have considered competing against Beyonce Knowles in Connect Four (yawn).

Number 4
Same is true for Catherine Zeta-Jones. Although I would love to engage her (in a game) ,1she only plays Yahtzee, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. At least here is some potential to introduce her to Um Krone und Kragen.

Number 3
Since I don't know Bridge, I will have to take on Bill Gates in a game of Chess - but I doubt I will win - he is simply too smart.

Number 2
Oh, oh, and here is the perfect match: Jenna Fischer plays Carcassonne, Lost Cities and Bohnanza. Yippie! Finally! But who is Jenna Fischer? I'd rather play Jennifer Aniston, but she only enjoys Scrabble and Poker. Not a Geek's lady, apparently... :(
... Maybe I could interest them both in a game of Ladybohn?

Number 1
Wil Wheaton. Yes, Wesley Crusher. Yes, yes, I know. The "geek" from Star Trek - The Next Generation. This weekend, he played Apples to Apples with his family and created a link to the game on BGG. He even has a BGG profile and his collection also includes Carcassonne, Munchkin and Pirate's Cove. Great, I'd love to have him over for a game night :D


Okay, that's enough of my fantasies. I shall 7111, it's 14675.

Avg. Rating: 2.77 (800 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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Taluva Variant

Here is a variant for Taluva. Play it with 2 teams of 2 players: A - B - A - B. The rules remain unchanged. A team wins if one of the players wins.
If no more tiles are left, the team who has built the most temples (then towers, then huts) wins.

This way offers some new interesting tactical possibilities: a player can protect the position of his partner or help him build it in the first place. Anybody who dislikes king-making will also be glad to try this variant...


[via BGGUser Pyjam]

Avg. Rating: 2.77 (750 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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April 16, 2007

Ticket to Ride - Pictures of a map of Holland

ttrhollandjukke.jpg


A new unofficial map of The Netherlands has recently appeared on BoardGameGeek. Currently, these images are not in printable quality.


BGG User Jukke has created the map.

Avg. Rating: 2.74 (863 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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April 12, 2007

Preview: Carcassonne on XBox Live

The Carcassonne board game is scheduled for release on XBox 360 Live Arcade. 12 new screenshots (with a more 3-dimensional view) are available on TeamXBox:

http://previews.teamxbox.com/xbox-360/1579/Carcassonne/p1/

Apparently, the game is scheduled for release in June shipping with The River expansion included for free. It is currently expected that The River II as well as King and Baron will be available as add-ons for an additional charge with the initial release.

Avg. Rating: 2.70 (776 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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April 8, 2007

GLA #17: How-to GeekLists

This GeekList Aggregator deals with How-to-GeekLists. Many geeklists serve as a little how-to guide. Most of them are serious, some others just pure fun and they cover a broad range of topics. One How-to list covers the game rules and nicely connects BGG images and text, some others investigate how to manage and categorize game collections and another one is focused on how to best explain the rules.

Pretty thought provoking stuff *g*, all collated in GeekList Aggregator #17: How-to GeekLists.

Continue reading "GLA #17: How-to GeekLists" »

Avg. Rating: 2.57 (907 votes) | Rate It: 1 2 3 4 5
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