30th Oct2019

‘Little Town’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Whilst the idea of building towns and villages feels as if it should be a very common occurrence among board game themes, I find myself struggling to recall many classic city building games, outside of the obvious ones like Suburbia and Quadropolis. Some city building games layer in a lot of complexity, especially when multiple […]

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28th Oct2019

‘X-Wing 2.0: Wave 4 – A/SF-01 B-Wing Expansion Pack’ Review

by Matthew Smail

The B-Wing was been a mainstay of Rebel Alliance lists since its introduction in the original X-Wing game, and the new pilots and miniatures released as part of X-Wing 2.0 Wave 4 look likely to continue that theme. Firstly, the new model is much more feature rich than the original was, with a rotating cockpit […]

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25th Oct2019

‘Crusader Kings’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

I certainly don’t envy the team tasked with converting one of the most epic grand strategy videogames of all time into a reasonably mass-market board game adaptation, but the designers of Crusader Kings have certainly given it their best shot. Buoyed by funding from a well received Kickstarter, this adaptation of the Paradox Interactive classic […]

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23rd Oct2019

‘X-Wing 2.0: Wave 4 – VT-49 Decimator’ Expansion Pack Review

by Matthew Smail

You’d be forgiven for not being able to place the silhouette of the imposing and much larger than expected VT-49 Decimator, especially if your knowledge of Star Wars is limited only to the core movies. This ship has never appeared in the movies as far as I know, but it looks every bit like an […]

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21st Oct2019

‘Abomination: Heir of Frankenstein’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

I’ve always considered Lords of Waterdeep to be among the very best thematic eurogames out there. My love of the Dungeons & Dragons license combines perfectly with my favourite genre to create a game that I never seem to tire of, especially with the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion. With that said, it may just be […]

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17th Oct2019

‘Damnation: The Gothic Game’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Nostalgia can be a funny thing. How many people look back on their childhood toys, favourite shows or even books, as an adult, and wonder why they seem to have aged so badly? Sometimes however, the magic remains, and the desire to share those happy memories with others takes over. The Gothic Game was a […]

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15th Oct2019

‘Glorantha: The Gods War’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When I think about the first few board games I played in the 80′s and early 90′s, it was unthinkable to me that the games I’d be playing in my thirties would cost hundreds and hundreds of pounds, and feature miniatures so large that the word “miniature” becomes highly questionable. And yet, with the likes […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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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06th Sep2019

Game On! Review: ‘Mixtape Massacre’ (Bright Light)

by Jason Brigger

A little about our family….My wife and I love playing board games, card games and any tabletop game we can get our hands on. In the last two years, we have been including our 9-year-old son and our 5-year-old daughter, and sometimes our 3-year old son, in our game nights. With so many choices out […]

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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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