Braggart from Spiral Galaxy Games

Review of Braggart from Spiral Galaxy Games, designed by Kyle Daniel, art by Vicki Paull

note – thanks go to Spiral Galaxy Games for providing a copy of this game for review purposes

OK, so there I was with a bunch of friends in a pub in the Middle Earth, sharing stories of our latest adventures, conquests, close escapes and feats of bravery…

Wouldn’t it be cool and great fun to do that? C’mon, admit it… you are a geek when it comes to fantasy realms and knowing a few things about the worlds of dwarves, elves, halflings, magic, etc. and so on. If you have played RPG’s you know what I’m talking about. If the Lord of the Rings trilogy are your favourite films ever, you know what I’m talking about. If you are a fan of fantasy literature, you know what I am saying…

For me the great fun of the fantasy genre is how immersive the stories can be and thankfully there have been new games coming along at a steady clip which have the theme of fantasy worlds.

So here comes Braggart, a card game for  2-6 wannabe heroes aged 10+ which focuses its attention on the story telling that tends to take place in the stereotypical pub or inn where fantasy characters of many different stripes and alignment meet up with strangers or those known to them to share news, gossip and generally tell “Tall Tales” to gain prominence.

From Wikipedia – A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, (‘the fish that got away’) such as, “that fish was so big, why I tell ya’, it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in! …

Braggart is basically that, a game of Tall tales. Before some of you get put off about story telling, Braggart doesn’t force you to tell stories. Its all in the cards as they say (120 exactly, with nice artwork which fits the comic fantasy world theme), but if you are a bit more creative, I think it can add to the fun.

Gameplay

Very straightforward this. The aim is to earn the most money through crafting your tales. The heart of the process is the 92 Boasting cards, each covering one of four parts of the tale – the Scene (where your tale takes place), the Deed (what you actually did), the Foes you faced, and the Results.

The highest money to be gained requires you to put together one from each in a tale although you can put together 2 and 3 card tales. What is really fun about this game and sets it apart to some degree is the flavor text  on the cards. A light-hearted game, the flavor text “takes the mick” out of the fantasy genre so if you worship at the altar of Tolkien and can’t handle anyone poking fun, this isn’t a game for you.

The game starts with the typical starting hand followed by a number of rounds consisting of Draft and Boast phases. Whoever has the “My Round” card for the round goes first. After playing Ploy cards (which allow you to do extra things), the players can Make a Boast and use their cards to put together a tale. Alternatively, they can draw cards by “Going to the Bar”.

An example of the kind of tale that might come up is –

Scene – While traveling the frozen wastes and roaming the bitter seas…

Deed – I was beaten and robbed by…

Foe …a terrified urchin

Results …and I am probably a better person for it!

Liar cards can be played on other players’ tales which allow you to replace their cards with those in your hand which can reduce the value of their tales.

At the end of the round the total values of the tales are tallied and round winners put their tales into their score round. in the event of a tie, all tied tales win.

Did it work for me?

I like Braggart as a humorous, fun, filler. I would say that you need the right group to play it with as some people may not like the story telling aspect, although you don’t actually tell stories but use the cards to craft your stories. However, with the right group, it can be quite fun. The mechanics are simple, the variety of cards means there is replayability. Not a lot of strategy and luck of the draw is all part of it. If you like fantasy and perhaps comedy fantasy, you should enjoy this game.

Boardgames in Blighty rating 6 out of 10

Family friendly?

Hmmm… although the game is for 10+, I wouldn’t play it with younger than mid-teens as the theme and content is a bit too adult for them. Families might be better advised to look for something else.

For more information about Spiral Galaxy Games go to http://www.spiralgalaxygames.co.uk/

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Press Release from Mayfair Games: Settlers of Catan at PAX East and SXSW; Mayfair Games Demos Analog Games in a Digital World

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Settlers of CatanT at PAX East and SXSW;
Mayfair Games Demos Analog Games in a Digital World

Mayfair Games, publisher of The Settlers of CatanT, will once again be attending the 2011 PAX East and SXSW ScreenBurn, demoing games and showing the latest Mayfair releases.  The Settlers of CatanT has been a popular
analog tabletop game in both the gaming and tech communities, and in the last few years has become a popular digital experience for on-line, smartphone and console play.  Mayfair Games will be at both PAX East in Boston, MA, and SXSW ScreenBurn, in Austin, TX teaching The Settlers of Catan, demoing new games and celebrating the 15th anniversary of Catan.

Coincidentally, this is also the 15th anniversary of SXSW.

Additionally, Mayfair Games will be running a North American Catan Championship Qualifier Tournament.  The winners of this qualifier tournament will receive complimentary travel, hotel and badge to attend Gen Con Indy
Convention in Indianapolis, IN and compete in the NACC Invitational Tournament.  The winner of the NACC Final will be the North American Catan Champion for 2011-12.  The 2011 NACC champion will receive an invitation to attend the 2012 Worldwide Catan Championship tournament.  Travel and lodging will be provided by Mayfair Games.

Mayfair Games encompasses a wide array of great board games, card games, dice games, with content easily accessible to families and gamers, including one of the world’s best-selling game brands of all-time, The Settlers of Catan. The Mayfair catalog of over 150 products offers a variety of fun and educational games that are full of intrigue, interaction, and provide outstanding replay value. In addition to being the world’s leading train game manufacturer, Mayfair publishes games in partnership with a number of international publishers. The company provides complete diversity in its products to satisfy all game enthusiasts. The topics of Mayfair games range from kid-friendly elk and sheep to strongly themed games of collecting rare specimens in the Amazon, saving citizens from the fall of Pompeii, or forging your Trans-continental railroad.

Bill Fogarty
Director of Marketing
Mayfair Games
P.O. Box 3815
Plant City, FL 33563
813.707.6659  phone
813.707.8791  fax
billf@mayfairgames.com

Press release from White Goblin Games – Get Nuts soon!

 

 

Press release for immediate release

New release from Dutch board game publisher available as of March 12. Rattus, Rattus Pied Piper and Hotel Samoa also back in stock!

Get Nuts soon!

2e Exloërmond, The Netherlands – White Goblin Games, the Dutch board game publisher that is well known for games like Rattus, Inca Empire and Norenberc – has just announced a March 12 release for their brand new card game Get Nuts! The game will be published in a multilingual edition, including rules books in English, German, French and Dutch. People who buy the game and register it online on www.whitegoblingames.com with the unique code that is in each box, will receive 10 extra and free bonus cards in their mail. Besides Get Nuts, also the long awaited reprints of Rattus, the Rattus expansion Pied Piper and Hotel Samoa will finally be back in stock early March.

Get Nuts will be the first ‘own’ release since Spiel 2010 for the highly successful, upcoming Dutch publisher White Goblin Games. The game was designed by Belgians Tom Luyckx and David Ausloos, who also did the design for the game. The publisher just announced a March 12 release for the game, for which a video trailer also has just been launched on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OYbP4AQ9TM

 

What Get Nuts is all about

Get Nuts is a lighter, but very humoristic game about lazy squirrels that didn’t fill their winter stack. Nut supplies are limited, so the race is on. Your furry friend must rush through dangerous woods, where rivals are lurking behind every corner, trying to sabotage your trip to the last stack. Are you ready to outsmart your rivals and guide your squirrel to victory?

 

 

The game offers a surprising amount of variety and dynamics and is highly interactive: while you try to form a path of trees , you also try to sabotage the other squirrels and everything is permitted, even the use of chainsaws, bulldozers and flamethrowers! All in all a great game in a relatively small box for game fanatics in every age.

 

Finally back in stock: Rattus, Rattus Pied Piper and the Hotel Samoa
The success story that is called Rattus is far from over. Like an epidemic the game spreads now all over the world, even in China where the game is soon to be appear. As of March 12, both the base game and the expansion Pied Piper are back in stock. Also Hotel Samoa – the game will soon be published in Japan – is again widely available.

Boardgames in Blighty is very pleased to welcome a new Sponsoring Retailer – Rules of Play!

It is my great pleasure to welcome a new sponsor!

Rules of Play is a Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) located in Cardiff and the owners, Steve, Ian and Michelle have generously agreed to sponsor Boardgames in Blighty, which will certainly help me to continue to bring you game reviews. I am very excited to support and promote Rules of Play as I am keen for local game shops to flourish.

 

(photos of Michelle courtesy of – Pictures © Amy Davies/www.cardiffarcadesproject.com)

Here’s a note from their website –

We’ll make sure to have the latest and greatest games for your pleasure.

We’ll listen to the kind of stuff you like, and then give you fair and honest recommendations on what’s out there, new and old, that we think you’ll enjoy.

We won’t be elitist, snobby, or expect for you to display your hardcore gaming knowledge before we treat you as a human being.

Basically, we’ll treat you as a friend and equal because we think games are for everyone. We’ll offer you a warm welcome if you choose to hang out in our gaming lounge, we’ll take the time to demo stuff for you, and we’ll also try and help you hook up with like minded people, whether you’re after a role playing marathon weekend or a monthly board gaming evening. And goes without saying that Rules of Play also offers regular, fun, organised game events, from tournaments to casual drop-in days.

We love games, and are so happy to have the opportunity to share our enthusiasm about them with you – if just some of our enthusiasm rubs off on you, then we’re doing our job right!

I love their attitude!

AND, they do mail order!

SO, don’t just sit there, drop in and see them if you are local or call/email them for great advice for your gaming choices. They will take care of you.

Go to the Rules of Play website for full information including their current game catalogue –

http://www.rulesofplay.co.uk/

Press Release from Victory Point Games – No Retreat! Solitaire

Press release from Victory Point Games

Face Your Greatest Adversary – Yourself!

Designer Carl Paradis brings you the third Expansion Kit to No Retreat! 1: Russia. Allowing players to play both opposing forces with fidelity, No Retreat! Solitaire adds many twists, including a Sudden Death victory that could turn an inevitable victory to a crippling loss!

This expansion kit contains several new Event cards and new set of markers, adding more flavor and challenges to this game.

Note: This Expansion Kit is not a ‘stand alone’ game. You must own a copy of No Retreat! 1: Russia to use it.

Also Note: This Expansion Kit does mate with the soon-to-be-released GMT edition of No Retreat!

Click here for all the details and to order No Retreat! Solitaire expansion kit.

UKGMN looking after the semianr agenda at UK Games Expo!

The UK Game Media Network have been asked to look after the seminar agenda at UK Expo 2011! We will be running 2 Designer panels –

A Boardgame Designers panel featuring the Ragnar Bros. and the Surprised Stare guys and hopefully 1-2 others with discussions followed by Q&A hosted by Michael Fox of The Little Metal Dog Show and –

An RPG Designers panel hosted Paco Jean of G*M*S Magazine and featuring Lewis Pulsipher and others to be confirmed.

Come along and meet the UK Games Media Network of podcasters and bloggers who will be discussing their view of the gaming hobby in the UK, their favourite 2010 releases and what releases they are looking forward to in 2011 amongst other opinions and thoughts, including why in the world they devote time to podcasting and blogging about games!

We are also hoping to set up a Demo table for new releases and prototypes with potentially live streaming if we can organize the technology.

The seminar list can be found here –

http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/seminars.php

Review – Luna Llena (Full Moon) from Gen X Games

Review – Luna Llena (Full Moon) from Gen X Games, designed by Servando Carballar

note – a review copy of this game was provided by Gen X Games

When I was growing up, I remember shying away from horror films. Always thought that they were pretty grim and rather silly. Films about werewolves were amongst these and every film in the genre that I’d heard or read about, or seen against my better judgment had pretty much the same formula. Some poor slob and his girlfriend get lost in the woods, one or both get bitten by werewolves and surprise (not!) they transform into hairy wolves themselves with an appetite for young people. Funny that. Werewolves never seem to go for granny’s or ugly people… Stuff and nonsense as far as I’m concerned but there you go.

Here we have a game which may be of interest to those of you who enjoy Horror films. Luna Llena (Full Moon) for 2-7 players age 14+, from Spanish company Gen X Games, is a game which puts you into the world of Werewolves in a Hollywood sort of way. The object of the game is for the Campers to rescue their friends who have been captured by a group of werewolves and then escape before being attacked and turned into werewolves themselves. One player controls the werewolves and the others control the campers so this is one of those 1 against the others cooperative games.

The goal for the humans is for at least one to leave the forest. They must track their missing companions, discover the lair of the pack and find the exit of the forest. The werewolf player needs to turn at least one human into a werewolf and leave no other survivors to tell about it.

Luna Llena comes with a bunch of components with good thematic comic-style artwork by Juan Garcia and Adrian Lopez. The game board playing area is made up of Hexagons making up different locations in Aguirre Forest. Locations include:

– Starting and Exit Hexagons

– the Werewolf Lair

– Forest locations with different types of terrain

The Forest tiles are put into a cloth bag and randomly chosen as the game progresses. there are lots of items, action cards, combat cards and wolf pack cards. Character sheets helps the players keep track of the status of the werewolves and humans and their health and abilities. All of these leads to an RPG feel to the game as the story of the humans’ journey unfolds.

The components and cards are of a reasonable quality although one huge complaint is that the TINY and I do mean TINY, tokens used to track Life points, Calmness, Planning, Determination and Bloodthirsty Frenzy are a real pain to use. They are far too small. The character cards should be considerably larger and these tokens should have been a lot larger. The rules translation is pretty reasonable although it isn’t a very clean system due to the sheer amount of bits to take in.

Gameplay

The game turn process takes some time to get your head around. Not so much that it is hard to understand but that there a lot of elements which make up the greater whole. I found myself having to refer back to the rulebook regularly to check and make sure nothing was missed or understood. Not a sign of a straightforward game to play for me. The truth is that there is an amount of work to understand how it all plays out. You will need to persevere.

The set up is interesting in that you don’t have a clue as to how the forest map will play out until you reveal the forest tiles. The game comes with a pad and pencil which is very useful as you will need to track your path as you discover the trail to the Werewolves’ Lair. Another issue is that this game could have been much better served with a game board to regulate the placement of the map tiles. As it stands, you need to be that much more careful as you wil knock the hexagons together and jostle their position.

After choosing randomly 2 friends who have been captured by the werewolves, the Human players kit out their characters with Action cards and the requisite tokens to indicate their starting status. The Werewolf player secretly draws a secret trail of 10 hexagons from the starting campsite to the Lair.  He also chooses his pack of followers. Its a family affair after all! As the Humans move through the forest, they will be seeking to discover this path so they can get to their friends as soon as possible.

Once all of the set-up is complete the players do the following –

Choose and Resolve Action cards which can be discussed but not shown to each other

Actions include –

Explore to try and find the trail. If they are close they may get a hint.

Search and see if helpful items can be found in their locations

Move forward or Run (which makes the Humans more nervous and liable to Panic)

Go on Alert to watch for the werewolves

Hide

Have a second opportunity to Search

Change and Discard cards to refresh their hand

Spend determination Points to enhance their ability to take specific actions

The Werewolf phase includes Gain Planning Points, use the Planning Points to Move and take Actions such as –

Sniff/Attack – Werewolves try to harass and attack the Humans

Make a Bloodthirsty Frenzy Attack

Call of the Blood – determine whether a Human character has been infected after being bitten

Heal from injuries (a lot easier at night)

Summon Father Tree and Mother Moon – which means nature can be used to make things more difficult for the humans.

The biggest problem the Human players have is the decreasing daylight as the werewolf characters are in human form during the day and transform at night which makes things even tougher as the werewolves’ sense of smell becomes more acute and they are more dangerous. Also, the characters that have been bitten and infected will change and attack their friends. Nasty!

Combat is probably the most straightforward part of the game as it basically boils down to comparing combat values from combat cards to basic strengths of the characters involved to see who has the highest. Kind of like a game of Blackjack, players can take more cards but this increases the risk of pulling a “Trip” card which means they lose the fight or a Ravine card which force the player to stop receiving cards. Ravines can be avoided with planning points for the Werewolf and a Rope for the Humans. Other cards include Silver bullet and Full Moon can also effect Combat.

The game ends when all humans have escaped the forest, are Transformed into Werewolves or are dead. Also, if all Werewolf characters die.

Did it work for me?

For me, Luna Lena is an OK game. It is very strong on theme which is a good thing. It feels like you are involved in a Horror B-Movie. Trouble is that I am not fond of the theme.  That is a personal thing though so talking about the game play itself,  it works pretty well but it is hard work. There is just a lot to take in and you just can’t help but keep referring back to the rules for detail and clarification which slows things up for me. It needs to be slicker and more streamlined to be more playable. If you are a fan of the theme, you probably should give it a shot.


Boardgames in Blighty rating – 5 out of 10


Family friendly?

I would be hard pressed to think this would be played in families.


For more information about Gen X games go to – http://www.genxgames.es/