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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15th Jul2019

‘Gaia Project’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Re-implementations are common in the board gaming world, but with a game as classic as Terra Mystica, the decision to release a follow up must been a challenging one. In 2017 though, designers Jens Drogemuller and Helge Ostertag teamed up again to iterate their original design and release Gaia Project, a more or less direct […]

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12th Jul2019

‘Ticket to Ride London’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Even though it has retained its place on my shelves throughout house moves, various clear outs and many more occasions that could have spelled its demise, I almost never play Ticket to Ride anymore. Something about this classic gateway game from Days of Wonder has begun to grate on me – it takes a long […]

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08th Jul2019

‘X-Wing 2.0: ARC-170, Delta-7 & Sith Infiltrator’ Expansion Pack Review

by Matthew Smail

Right from the launch of X-Wing 2.0, players have known that there would be support for no less than seven factions. Even so, conversion kits and new ships have been hitting stores in what Fantasy Flight Games refers to as waves. Whilst the first wave featured just three factions (Scum and Villainy, Rebel Alliance and […]

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05th Jul2019

‘The Great War: Centenary Edition’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

No matter how hard I might try, there’s no way that I would be able to list the number of different implementations of Richard Borg’s Commands and Colors to date. We’ve already covered one such iteration in the form of Command and Colors Napoleonics and no doubt there will be others in the future. Under […]

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01st Jul2019

‘Noctiluca’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Designing a light, compact game that is filled with decisions and can be completed within about thirty to forty five minutes is no mean feat, but games like Azul, Century: Spice Road and Majesty are becoming more and more popular with gamers of all experience levels. Whilst there’s still room in my life for war […]

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26th Jun2019

‘Great Western Trail’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you asked a room full of serious board gamers what the best game ever made would be, it might surprise you to know that not a single one of them would say Monopoly. Instead, you’d hear a few Pandemic’s, a couple of Terra Mystica’s and maybe, just maybe the odd Great Western Trail. Great […]

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19th Jun2019

‘Star Wars Rebellion’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

For Star Wars fans, The Original Trilogy remains somewhat sacred, and whilst both the Prequel Trilogy and the Disney franchise movies continue to have both their fans and a number of detractors, most agree that George Lucas’s seminal trilogy remain the benchmark. As such, it is always hugely exciting when a new product is released […]

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12th Jun2019

‘Downforce’ & ‘Danger Circuit’ Expansion Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Downforce is a super simple and very fast paced board game that offers traditional racing action alongside a high stakes bidding mechanic to ensure the players remain fully engaged at all times throughout. This essentially splits the game into two phases that include an initial auction phase (where everyone chooses their car or cars) and […]

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07th Jun2019

‘Star Wars X-Wing 2.0: TIE/sk Striker’ Expansion Pack Review

by Matthew Smail

Screaming through the atmosphere on nimble ailerons, the TIE/sk striker is a unique starfighter designed to excel at both air and space assaults. Its atmospheric capabilities give it unique and flexible movement patterns that can surprise even veteran opponents, as its heavy firepower lets it wear down nearly any foe. With the TIE/sk Striker Expansion […]

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05th Jun2019

‘Corinth’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Corinth is a recently released roll and write game from Days of Wonder. For those who remember it, Corinth is based on Yspahan, an older board game that uses most of the same mechanisms, albeit in the form of a board game rather than a roll and write. If you’ve never heard of the roll and […]

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04th Jun2019

‘Star Wars: Outer Rim’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you’re familiar with the phrase “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” then you’ll almost certainly have seen the original Star Wars movie, and you’ll likely recognise the words of Alec Guinness’ Obi Wan Kenobi. Indeed, the Mos Eisley Cantina that this phrase refers to has become one of […]

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03rd Jun2019

‘Europe Divided’ Board Game Preview

by Matthew Smail

With the current cataclysm that is Brexit, you’d be forgiven for assuming that Europe Divided was a game specifically about the cumbling state of European politics in the present day, and whilst that’s not quite accurate, it’s clearly an inspirational factor for Phalanx Games’ latest wargame. Another obvious inspiration is the GMT Games classic Twilight […]

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29th May2019

‘Wendake & New Allies Expansion’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Wendake, players each choose one of the many tribes that made up the Huron Nation and attempt to steer them through seven years of hunting, gathering and ceremony, all the while observing the movements of the recently arrived French and English. In the recent expansion to Wendake, known as New Allies, the latter part […]

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27th May2019

‘Star Wars X-Wing 2.0: Z-95-AF4 Headhunter’ Expansion Pack Review

by Matthew Smail

The Z-95 Headhunter’s wide production saw it scattered to the far corners of the galaxy. Now, this reliable, easy-to-acquire starfighter is integral to numerous criminal cartel fleets—from large operations like Black Sun to small-time raiders like the Binayre Pirates. Armed with missiles and illicit technologies, a single Z-95-AF4 can be a danger, but a swarm […]

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22nd May2019

‘Space Gate Odyssey’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Ludonaute’s Space Gate Odyssey, each player controls an individual confederation of scientists on humanity’s first interstellar colonisation mission. The players will compete to expand their own personal space stations, each of which will consist of a number of interconnected modules. By managing the flow of specific actions, players will gather settlers and then deploy […]

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17th May2019

‘Heroes of Land, Air and Sea’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Heroes of Land, Air and Sea, one to four players will compete for victory points by mastering the classic 4X’s – Exploring, Expanding, Exploiting and Exterminating. This huge and visually impressive game is the brainchild of Scott Almes and a Gamelyn Games production, making it a very exciting prospect indeed. Let’s dive in to […]

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13th May2019

‘Dinosaur Island’ & ‘Totally Liquid’ Expansion Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you’ve been following board games for the past couple of years, you will almost certainly heard of Dinosaur Island, which debuted last year in a blockbusting Kickstarter. Finally, after a few relatively modest print runs, the game is back in print and available to buy, and along with it is a big box expansion […]

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08th May2019

‘Inuit: The Snow Folk’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It’s hardly rare for a board game to build its theme around the lives of the native people of one region or another, but in most cases, such games tend to marginalise, exploit or otherwise belittle such people. Inuit: The Snow Folk is a very, very different prospect. Designed in collaboration with the Inuk people,Inuit: […]

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03rd May2019

‘Dream Catchers’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Dream Catchers, each player controls a friendly sprite who visits children in the night, chasing away their nightmares and ensuring that they have sweet dreams and a good night’s sleep. Monsters hiding under the bed will threaten to wake the children and gobble them up, and so they must also be chased away. Dream […]

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01st May2019

‘Istanbul’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In Istanbul, two to five players each take on the role of a busy merchant hurrying through the bustling streets of the titular city. With a host of assistants trailing behind them, the merchants will collect valuable commodities, earn lira and visit various key locations in order to achieve their ultimate objective of earning enough […]

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29th Apr2019

‘Hellboy: The Board Game’ Review

by Matthew Smail

Based on the hype that appears to surround Hellboy: The Board Game, I’d be surprised if there was anyone left who is interested in the game but hasn’t already purchased it. When games like this come to retail, stripped of their Kickstarter exclusives and multiple expansions, they are sometimes revealed as little more than attractive […]

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