18th Jul2018

‘Hannibal & Hamilcar’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Following a recent Kickstarter campaign, Hannibal & Hamilcar represents the final product of a real labour of love from Phalanx Games, lead by popular designer Jaro Andruszkiewicz and with full backing from the creator of Avalon Hill’s original Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, Mark Simonitch. With a visually overhauled remaster of the original game (that features […]

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17th Jul2018

‘Robinson Crusoe’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Whilst we love reviewing board games based on movies and TV series here at Nerdly, there are relatively few based on eighteenth century literature like Robinson Crusoe. Aside from the out of print Fury of Dracula and Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective which are both based on later novels, I’m not even sure I can name […]

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11th Jul2018

‘Mountains of Madness’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Of all the themes in board gaming, one of the most popular to emerge in the past few years is undoubtedly that of the Lovecraftian world of Cthulhu and his demonic/fish creature minions. From Mansions of Madness to Pandemic: Cthulhu, this theme commonly explores the border between what is real and what isn’t, with the […]

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04th Jul2018

‘Alexander’s Campaign’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you’ve been longing to recreate the historic conquest of Alexander The Great’s epic career on your own tabletop, then Alexander’s Campaign may well have you covered. That said, if you were hoping for a full on war game featuring the iconic elephants, hoplites and chariots that characterise the popular view of warfare at the […]

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27th Jun2018

‘Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is, as the name suggests, a dice game that recreates the chaotic and exciting fun of Mexican Wrestling. Like all dice games, Luchador! includes a huge amount of luck, but thanks to the way different dice rolls interact with each other and due to the inclusion of some advanced rules, there […]

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25th Jun2018

‘Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis 1860-61′ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Considering that it was designed by Mark Herman and published by GMT Games (both of whom are well known for producing relatively heavy war games) I was both surprised and delighted to discover how light and accessible Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis 1860-61 (Fort Sumter from here on out) actually is. A strictly two player […]

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20th Jun2018

‘London (Second Edition)’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In London (Second Edition) between two and four players each take on the role of an aspiring architect during the rebuilding of London after The Great Fire that ravaged more than 13,000 buildings in 1666. Even in the first edition of London, the role of a board (in the form of a map of the […]

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18th Jun2018

‘History of the World’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Some board game designs prove to be just right first time, whilst others apparently fail so hard (either critically, or in terms of pure revenue) that the risk of re-implementing them just isn’t worthwhile. Others, however, are remade and revamped time and time again – either with completely new themes or mechanics by different designers, […]

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14th Jun2018

‘The Climbers’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking that The Climbers was just an alternative, multicolored version of Jenga, but in actual fact it’s an abstract strategy game about climbing a mountain by any means possible – including by moving unoccupied blocks, adding miniature ladders and even blocking opponents progress either with specific tokens […]

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13th Jun2018

‘Darkest Night’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In this, the second edition of Darkest Night from Jeremy Lennert and Victory Point Games, one to four players will play cooperatively to tackle the growing darkness of an evil necromancer. To do so, they’ll form a crew of heroes from a selection of around thirty, each and every one of which is highly individual. […]

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06th Jun2018

‘Empires of the Void II’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone that Empires of the Void II from Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games is a sequel, but what might be a bit of a surprise is just how long it’s been since the original game launched in 2012. It’s also entirely possible that the original game […]

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30th May2018

’65′ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

As my journey through wargames of various kinds continues, in Mark Walkers’ ’65, I find myself faced with a proposition that is completely new in two entirely different ways. Firstly, ’65 represents the first squad level combat war game that I’ve ever played, whilst at the same time, it’s also the first game based on […]

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23rd May2018

‘Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Prior to playing 878 Vikings earlier this year, I hadn’t played a single war game. Since then, including 878, I’ve played and reviewed seven and this, Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection will be the eighth. It’s also, by far, the most complex. Liberty or Death may be the heaviest game I’ve played to date; but […]

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16th May2018

‘Hold The Line’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Hold the Line and its simultaneously released expansion The French and Indian War, two players re-enact battles from the late 18th century using dice, miniatures and a highly customisable, hex based board. The expansion adds new figures for the British, French and Indian (henceforth I shall refer to them as Native American) forces and […]

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09th May2018

‘Rising Sun’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Rising Sun, just in case you’ve missed it, is the latest big-money Kickstarter from Eric Lang and CMON Games. Where Blood Rage was inspired by Risk, Rising Sun allegedly draws its inspiration from Diplomacy, the classic game of empire building and well timed betrayal. Like all of CMON’s headline games, Rising Sun features incredible components and offers […]

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04th May2018

‘Eternal Kings’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Eternal Kings is the result of a recent and successful Kickstarter that exceeded its goal by more than 125%. It is based on a hybrid system that merges the fundamentals of chess with the complex rule-bending card play of games like Magic: The Gathering. It is still available for pre-order via the Kickstarter link, here: […]

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30th Apr2018

‘Lembitu’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Lembitu, one to four players take control of the armies commanded by the titular King Lembitu, as he attempts to defend his homeland of Estonia. Set during the Livonian Crusades of the early 13th century, Lembitu explores a period in history that is unknown to many – the forced conversion to Christianity of the […]

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27th Apr2018

‘Modern Land Battles: Target Acquired’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Modern Land Battles: Target Acquired from Dan Verssen Games, two players (or more in the team based multiplayer variant) take control of opposing international forces to wage a fierce ground battle entirely in card form. The straightforward setup and lack of a board may suggest a lack of strategic depth, but anyone expecting to […]

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26th Apr2018

‘Lincoln’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Lincoln is a brand new game from Martin Wallace, PSC Games and Worthington Publishing which, as you can imagine, is centred around the exploits of the titular US President. More specifically, it is a fairly straightforward, card driven wargame that deals with the American Civil War and takes place over between ninety minutes and two […]

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18th Apr2018

‘Twilight Struggle’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When it was first released in 2005, I can’t imagine that designers Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews would ever have expected that their debut game, Twilight Struggle, would hold first place on Board Game Geek for more than five years. There have now been several revisions, printings and special editions of the game, leading to […]

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16th Apr2018

‘Guards of Atlantis’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Guards of Atlantis is the debut game from Artyom Nichipurov and Wolff Designa, but in almost every way, you’d never know. The game is branded as a “Tabletop MOBA” (with the MOBA acronym standing for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and it supports play for up nine players out of the box, or eleven including the […]

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10th Apr2018

‘Indian Summer’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Walking through picturesque countryside and playing board games has always gone hand in hand for me. I’m not quite sure why that is, but it might well be because I link both activities to an idealistic daydream of sitting in a warm pub in front of an open fire. Another thought is that the link […]

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