Room on the Broom!
After an 11th hour summer vacation last week, this week's review is up at The Review Corner. It's this year's SDJ Kennerspiel award winner Broom Service, based on the earlier Witches' Brew design by the same designers. I absolutely love this game. It's colorful, fun and it somehow manages to come across like a classic, German-style family game while offering a heavier game than you might expect...yet with simple rules and a KILLER core mechanic that drives everything. You lock down four actions per round, and when your turn comes up you flip one of the cards over and state whether you are taking the Brave action or the Cowardly one. The Cowardly one goes off right away and you do whatever it says. But if you decide to be Brave in order to get the benefits of an enhanced action, then the next player reveals whether or not they have selected the same action and if they have, they pre-empt yours. That's right, you lose your action. Then THEY get to choose Brave or Cowardly and go through the same gauntlet with each remaining player. This is awesome stuff, and it's driving a pick-up-and-deliver game that doesn't feel like any of the usual archetypes of that genre.
Plus it has a cute witch setting, which I am a sucker for. Fans of The Worst Witch/Kiki's Delivery Service/Harry Potter will dig it. I actually gave the game 4 1/2 stars, not sure why the graphic chopped off half of one.
I have an advance copy of WWE Superstar Showdown. Now, I can't tell you the difference between Big E and Big Show (who are both in the game). It's really good, as you'd probably expect by now from GF9. More on it later.
If you haven't noticed in the forums, I've been super excited about Argent: The Consortium. I think it's one of this year's superlative titles, to be sure, even though I guess it came out last year. This is the grand, complex worker placement game with an actual setting and direct player competition you have been waiting for. I'm three plays deep into it, and I'm about *this* close to calling it the best worker placement game I've ever played. Layered, multidimensional and rich with possibilities...it's too bad the title is terrible. I don't know why they didn't go with Argent University. But hey, it doesn't matter when the game is so good.
Other games on the table lately...I got both Relic expansions and I looked over them last night, soloing a couple of turns to see the new stuff. So far, so good. Interestingly, they didn't really go the Talisman route on these, just adding tons of cards. Nemesis adds just three cards to each of the threat decks. Instead, the expansions actually add on to the gameplay. Nemesis opens up not only PVP, but also some cool ways to drive it. One is that you can take on Apostate gear, which means that Devotees (those without any Apostate gear) can track you down and force you into skill challenges. The other is the Enemies of the Imperium game mode where you have actual bad guys (?) controlled by the players that draw from a different type of threat deck, have a different win condition, and can kill you. One of them is a Genestealer Broodlord, which is kind of fun. Halls of Terra adds Earth and Mars on an expansion board along with these political affiliation tokens, which moves the game somewhat further away from Talisman, although they are obviously an extension of alignments. One of the new characters is a Terminator, which is pretty cool. So yeah, looking forward to trying these out soon. I think I really like Relic, almost the point where I would prefer to play it over Talisman if only because Talisman is one of the more played games in my collection over the past...I dunno, 20 years or so.
I have Strange Remnants, the new Eldritch Horror expansion, but I've not even looked at it yet. It, on the other hand, does look like a more cards expansion.