Reviews written by Ken B.
Let me say that this is a great little game. It's awesome how they manage to tie a lot of wargame concepts--support fire, flanking, supply lines--into this compact, fast playing game.
For $10, you can't go wrong. You can even try it on their website for free.
Only knock is that it can feel pretty abstract sometimes, but for the goal of creating a very light wargame-style conflict card game that's fast playing and has a lot of strategy, they really nailed it here.
Nice bits, great production, lots of scenario play.
Memoir is one of those games you can get anyone who has even a remote borderline interest in conflict games to play--and a lot of times you can get people *not* interested in that sort of thing to play it anyway (note how BGG embraced it, even in the early days.)
It could use more depth from a base game level, but the combat is fast and fun. You'll curse your luck with drawing cards you don't need, but chalk that up to the vagaries of communication on the battlefield.
A great game that doesn't really see as much play as it should, but this is a fantastic design.
This is an incredible production from a very young company, with nice components, a great theme, and even a "controversial" CD of mood music to set the scene.
Scenario play keeps things fresh, it's a nice blend of co-op/all against one as even the zombies can play as a team.
The combat system isn't terribly deep--it's more of "roll against a number, hope for the best." I do like the need to match dice to get a true "kill" of a zombie, because those suckers are meant to be hard to put down.
I'm very impressed with this game, I think it needs just a hair more depth but that's what expansions are for. Even though my brother owns this game, I'm tempted all the time to pick up a copy, just to have it. Solid recommendation to buy.
...and we'd still play it, anytime. My poor cards are worn and frayed from all the play this one has seen.
It has a great hidden movement/fog of war-style mechanism that sometimes gets ignorantly dismissed as "Stratego". Number 1, Stratego is a great game, and 2, this one has only superficial similarities to Stratego. The card play and character powers make sure of that.
Yeah, it doesn't do its theme perfect justice in terms of movement, but the character powers all make sense and they do manage to cram enough of the LOTR theme into a tight-playing, 15 minute package.
This is a great zombie-themed game where survivors in a mall try to outlast the zombie threat until help arrives.
Of course, the zombies grow in number and soon the humans turn to backstabbing each other, playing tricks on each other and essentially feeding one another to the zombies.
Of all the zombie games, despite the system's abstraction I think it captures a lot of the message of Romero's zombie movies nicely. When you're kicking a little girl out to be feasted on by zombies--because she's worth less--what does that say about you? Who is the monster? *grin*
Lots of running around and trying to stay alive. Just a good time.
Despite its somewhat grim theme, this has been a hit with every group we've introduced it to. It isn't perfect, and the rulebook in particular is so bad you'll likely miss several rules for your first few games, but this is a great game and worth picking up.
This is a fast-playing, innovative little card game where you play some co-op mixed nicely with backstabbing.
I think the encounters could deal with more 'lethality' as we were carving them down and none of us ever died, even though we were trying to kill each other. One monster in particular looked nasty, but we cut it down in one turn.
Want to try the expansions. I really wished they included variable character powers with the base set--without them it can feel a little lacking.
Starcraft kind of left me cold. First up, it's got incredible production values, some of the nicest minis you're going to find in any game of this type, period.
But it never feels "galactic". It feels claustrophobic, in a bad way. The order activation system is kinda neat, but it seems to cause you to move at the speed of molasses.
Really, it suffers the crime of being far, far too short. You just don't have time to do much of the cool stuff in the game before whoops, hey, someone's met their secret victory condition.
The combat sounds great in theory but the card-based system again left me a little cold. Give me some freakin' dice, baby!
I'd play this again--and enjoy it--but I'm not rushing out to buy this one.
I like this game way more than I should, more than likely.
Let's get one thing clear--this game is not bright. It's not intelligent. It rides the "short bus" of game design. Each player puts their "inspired by Godzilla movies" monster on a map of the United States and then spends several turns trying to smash everything they see and grow in power.
Each player also has control of a branch of the military and they'll use these forces to harass the other monsters and impede their progress or inflict damage on them.
It's all leading up to a final showdown between these monsters to see who will be the "King of Beasts". And that's what the whole game is before that point--you've spent that time buffing up so that you can be the last monster standing.
The endgame is even more braindead than the rest of the proceedings as it all boils down to "take those pumped stats, throw an assload of dice, and try to bash your opponent's skull in." It's the weakest part of the game by far.
The military is fairly weaksauce too. We've houseruled the game so that if the Military attacks, they get "first strike" abilities. It makes them a little more potent. You'll have to watch out for a card or two that won't fit perfectly with this rule change but you'll be able to make do.
Despite all of this, the game is fun. The theme is awesome. Without that great theme I don't know that I'd bother. But with the great theme and the nice bits, it makes for a perfect light beat-em-up.
It's not "great". It's no "classic". But it's worth dragging out to bash some mutant monster skulls from time to time.
I like this game, but again it's a case of being a medium-to-good game that just gets crowded out by better games.
It's an abstract puzzle game when you strip out its theme, and the theme is very thin.
The characters do have varying powers, different combat abilities and movement values. The goal is to outwit and/or outfight your opponent and score more points than him by moving your characters off his side of the board. In that way it's almost a weird football-esque type game where you're trying to score "goals".
One thing I legitimately don't like about it is how combat cards are one-time use, end of story. What happens is both players burn through the cards they have, then everything becomes a dumb "straight-up strength" battle with no surprises. I would like to see the combat cards replenished when you've played them all, but I'll bet that breaks the game and gives too much strength to certain characters.
The room-twisting thing is its "hook", and it's a fairly cool idea. But it does just add to the "puzzle game" feeling as you'll spend a couple of minutes just figuring out which room to twist, in what direction, and when. With the wrong person this will be disastrous as they'll sink into AP and never return.
Plus, physically turning the tiles can be a pain in the ass sometimes once they get loaded up with tokens and characters.
It's not a bad game, a nice two-player Wiz-Warish (in a vague, vague sense) game where you'll move your guys around, pick up a few one-use items, and try to fry the opponent and outmaneuver him.
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.