Review Detail

Board Games 504
Warning: Does not scale
Rating 
 
3.0
DISCLAIMER: I like this game...under the appropriate circumstances.


Reiner has very few games with a fantasy theme, and indeed this one didn't start that way. However, the structure of the game is pretty solid--make secret and overt bets on the various fantasy creatures, then use cards and powers to try and influence the battles so that the ones you have a vested interest in winning actually come out on top.

The artwork is great, and for $20 MSRP you get a lot of stuff.


I don't like how it's tough to break down the deck each time to work in new monsters; if you don't want the same ones every time, you have to essentially assemble the deck each time (this only affects the Colossal Arena release of this, with its bonus monsters.) I like the variety but it is a bit of a hassle. Takes a quick-playing game and adds several minutes of upkeep just to get rolling.


Anyway...with 3, this game sings, man. It's got enough random stuff to keep you on your toes. You'll still get hosed by a buddy or by some bad draws, that's totally fine.


You play this with 5, you'll wonder why the hell you're bothering.


This is the same crime of Kingsburg...the fact that it scales horribly. Terribly. As in, don't bother. You play Colossal Arena with 5, forget it. There are rounds that finish so quickly you get a chance to play two whole cards into the fray. What the hell are you supposed to do with two card plays? The whole game just breaks down and doesn't work. (In Kingsburg's case, the problem is the board is too crowded with five and the game includes no scaling mechanisms to correct the additional people.)


So you're basically watching the game. You get to interject occasionally, and hope for the best. That sucks. This is worse than turning over your fate to just dice and makes you nearly a spectator in some rounds with little hope of doing anything at all.


I like it with 3. I think it's fun with 3. I'd give it a 4 with 3, something I don't want to play all the time but it is still fun. With 5, you'd have to threaten to pluck out my fingernails before I'd agree to do that again. I just think it doesn't work.

It's that damn Euro-designer trap; got to make the game "family-friendly", hence the need to play with 4 or 5. Never mind the fact that the game breaks down or doesn't work with that number; the German spielers DEMAND IT~!


But it for cheap. Play it with 3. That is all.
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