09th Oct2019

‘King and Assassins’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When it comes to engaging strategic board games, some of the most exciting, intense experiences available can be found when two players face off head to head. Some games are able to accommodate multiple players and yet still appeal to a competitive pairing, but in general, the most satisfying duels are had when a game […]

07th Oct2019

‘Kingdomino’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Kingdomino is a game that needs no introduction. As the winner of numerous awards, including the 2017 Spiel Des Jahres (Game of the Year) this light, family orientated tile laying game is beloved by gamers of all ages and experience levels, but until recently, I’d never even seen it laid out on the table. Now […]

04th Oct2019

‘Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If, like me, you’re somewhere between the ages of about 33 and 40, you’ll very likely have spent most of your childhood avoiding the Power Rangers. What seemed like a stupid, cheesy mess to me was apparently hugely exciting to slightly younger kids, but I just never got it. As it turns out, Power Rangers […]

30th Sep2019

‘Blackout: Hong Kong’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When serious board gamers read the name Alexander Pfister, they immediately expect great things. As the designer of Great Western Trail, Isle of Skye, Oh My Goods! and Mombasa, that is no doubt to be expected. It will have certainly come as a surprise to many then, that Pfister’s latest design, Blackout: Hong Kong just […]

27th Sep2019

‘Clash of Rage’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When it comes to big, flashy area control games that follow a huge Kickstarter, CMON are without doubt the most prolific publisher. Keen to follow on from the success of games like Blood Rage and Rising Sun, with perhaps more than a dash of Gamelyn Games’ Heroes of Land, Air and Sea, is Clash of […]

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23rd Sep2019

‘Zombicide: Invader’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

History has proven that CMON is onto a winning formula when it comes to the Zombicide series. What began as an ambitious project to reinvent miniatures gaming has since evolved into a hugely popular and long running series that has spawned (excuse the pun) multiple expansions and spin offs. Around this time last year, we […]

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18th Sep2019

‘Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

I am perhaps a little bit biased towards GMT Games products. I love the COIN series because of how it represents the interesting, highly asymmetrical conflicts that it depicts in intricate detail. At the other end of the spectrum, GMT has some exceptional lighter games, like the classic Richard Berg (may he rest in peace) […]

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16th Sep2019

‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you’re already a fan of Susanna Clarke’s alternate history novels that began with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, you’ll already be more than a little familiar with the concepts that she is famous for. In summary, this is a world in which magic once existed and was lost over time, but through the mysterious […]

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13th Sep2019

‘Dead Man’s Cabal’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you just sit back and look at Dead Man’s Cabal, you’d just have to conclude that it was one of the most overproduced and opulent games of recent times. I mean, just look at some of these plastic components – beautifully sculpted, weighted plastic skulls in four colours, long, realistic feeling bones… These pieces […]

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11th Sep2019

‘Milito’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Martin Wallace is well known for his lean, card driven designs that combine several mechanics into a relatively modest set of components. One such example of of this is 2018′s Lincoln, which saw two players facing off in a recreation of the American Civil War, driven entirely by two asymmetrical decks of cards. By taking […]

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09th Sep2019

‘MourneQuest’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

MourneQuest, originally a book from author Garry McElherron, is a fantasy themed board game that combines Irish mythology with thematic, cooperative gameplay to create a board game that feels pretty unique. The game is set in the land of Mourne, which is a fantasy world inhabited by clurichauns (definitely not leprechauns) and bogbeans, as well […]

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04th Sep2019

‘Power Grid Recharged’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

For those who haven’t heard of it, Power Grid is a classic game about economic strategy, route planning and efficiency. The players compete to build power plants, purchase the raw resources required to power them and ultimately, to power the most cities on an ever tightening board. In the minds of most board gamers,¬†Power Grid […]

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02nd Sep2019

‘Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Whilst I haven’t played it myself, the Imperial Settlers line of games is partly responsible for the ongoing success of publisher Portal Games. Unofficially based on the classic PC strategy game Settlers, Imperial Settlers features cute little characters and a tight card drafting and empire building mechanic that has formed the basis of several other […]

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28th Aug2019

‘One Key’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When it comes to party games, more often than not, you’ll probably be thinking of either basic card games, or hidden role games that have the players attempting to deceive or otherwise eliminate each other through covert means. There are, of course, word games, drawing games and betting games as well, but recently, there have […]

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21st Aug2019

‘Luxor’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Not everyone has heard of Germany’s Spiele Des Jahre award, but to provide a basic translation of what it is; it’s Germany’s way of declaring the best game of a given year. There are several categories, with one of the most prestigious being the Kritikerpreis, which broadly means the Critics Choice. Games that win this […]

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14th Aug2019

‘Unlock! Heroic Adventures’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Space Cowboys have a bit of history when it comes to the Unlock! series, which first debuted in 2017, but has seen no less than five bundled releases each containing three stories (in the UK and Europe) or as many as three times that in the USA, where each set has been sold individually up […]

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07th Aug2019

‘Copenhagen’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The simplest concepts in gaming are often the most enduring. In video gaming, there are few games that are as recognisable as Tetris, whilst in board gaming, Ticket to Ride remains the cornerstone upon which most collections are carefully stacked. Imagine if a game were to combine the mechanics of two such iconic games into […]

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31st Jul2019

‘Twice as Clever’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Regular readers of Nerdly’s board game coverage may well remember that we recently reviewed the incredibly popular Ganz Schon Clever (That’s Pretty Clever) from the prolific and increasingly popular Wolfgang Warsch. In addition to creating a few bigger games like Quacks of Quedlinburg and its expansion, The Herb Witches, it looks like Wolfgang has been […]

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24th Jul2019

‘Century: A New World’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

After three years, Emerson Matsuuchi’s Century trilogy is finally complete. The latest and final edition, Century: A New World is now available and players of the previous games (Century: Spice Road and Century: Eastern Wonders) will be keen to see how the new game plays on its own, as well as when integrated with the […]

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22nd Jul2019

‘Jaipur’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Even though I’ve heard many good things about Jaipur over the years, the game has always eluded me. I play board games at many player counts and two player (with just my wife) is certainly one of them, but we tend not to focus on games designed for two players specifically.¬†Jaipur is strictly a two […]

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19th Jul2019

‘Normandy: The Beginning of the End’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you’re familiar with the War Storms series of games, then you’ll know the basic rules of Normandy: The Beginning of the End already, but even with a grounding in the system that supports this squad level war game, you’ll still need to familiarise yourself with some specific rules that are unique to the setting. […]

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17th Jul2019

‘Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Herb Witches Expansion’ Review

by Matthew Smail

When I look back at our Quacks of Quedlinburg review, I recall noting that it was both unique and very enjoyable, striking a fantastic balance between pushing your luck and careful planning, with factors that mitigate the possible swingyness that might otherwise be the norm in a game about drawing random features from a bag. […]

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