Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Dungeon Twister (2 player game)

I just picked this up the other day at the Bolton Games Day. Normally new games that I've never played before sit on my shelf before I get around to reading the rules and playing it but this time I was lucky. There'd been four of us playing games together all day and as it was getting late we didn't have time for another big game, so Simon suggested Dungeon Twister. Now its a two player game so that wouldn't have worked, except by chance he'd brought his own copy too, so we had 2 games going side by side. Simon and Edith, the seasoned players, battled it out, while Simon taught myself and Connor to play. Alas I lost, but at least I learned how to play, so later in the week was able to play it with the missus.

This game is part tactical puzzle game, part dungeon crawler. There is minimal luck in the game, which is all in the random setup and positioning of pieces, and once you are underway it is all strategy. The gameboard is made up of 8 square boards, shuffled and placed face down in 2 x 4 layout. You each have 8 characters and a bunch of equipment. You choose which four characters to start with on your starting line, and put them face down so your opponent doesn't know who they are. Then you take turns at placing the remainder of your pieces (characters or equipment) on one of the 8 face down Dungeon tiles. Gradually, these are upturned and each player's pieces are placed inside the dungeon (your opponent chooses exactly where on that section of dungeon they go). After that it's away you go. Each player gets a certain number of actions, and you have to make your way through the dungeon, disarm traps, kill your opponents characters and get to the other side. To make matters more confusing there are gears at the centre of each section of dungeon that rotates sections of the dungeon, so the layout is constantly changing. The winner is the first to 5 victory points (points are gained for getting characters - and treasure - to the other side of the Dungeon and killing your opponents characters.

Dungeon Twister Game board

This is only a quick overview of the game, there are lots more nuances to the rules giving added strategic depth, not least the fact that all the characters have different strength, speed and abilities. This is quite a deep, tactical 2 player game, but quick to learn and plays in about 45 minutes. Not many games can offer that.

The verdict's still out on this one - despite my wife winning the game (meaning I have lost both the games I've played so far - oh dear), she thinks it might be 'another Stratego', meaning a game that I always win. We'll have to wait and see for the final verdict, but this is certainly a game worth looking at if you are after a quick, tactical 2 player game.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Risk Legacy

Risk gets really slated by a lot of serious board gamers. I can see why - while there's plenty of strategy it is heavily dependent on the luck of multiple dice rolls, and when a place is doing badly it can be nigh on impossible to get back into the game, unless he can hand in a major card set. Still, I've got a soft spot for Risk, it was the first board game I ever really thought 'Wow, I really love this game'. I can still remember the first time I played it, New Years Eve 1999 at my student digs...

Anyway, I haven't played it in a few years now, and kind of miss it. So I was really excited when a new version of Risk came out, pitched at serious board gamers. This however was unlike any previous version of Risk, in fact it is unlike almost any other board game that is out there, quite a claim to fame. So what is different about it? Well this is a campaign style game, where the gameplay develops as you work through the game, not unique in itself, but what is virtually unique is the fact that you have to write on the board, rip up cards, stick stickers on the board, name continents, found cities etc. As you play more games, the Risk world map changes, the different races get new special attributes and abilities and even new rules get added. The game box has a number of sealed envelopes in it with things like "open after game 7", even one that says "do not open under any circumstances. ever".

Five of us in my game group bought the game between us: me, Neil, Simon, Connor & Sam. Wednesday was our first game. We had to start by signing the back of the board, a sort of contract. Before we started the game we had to choose a race, choose one of two special power stickers for that race, discarding (ripping up and putting in the bin) the other. Painful, but we did it. Anyway, Simon started in Australia as he had first pick. Given there's only one way in or out that's a classic choice. Sam picked next and went in Japan & Asia. I chose South America, Connor chose North America and Neil chose Europe.

The Risk Legacy Board after the first game.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I won. I did so by beating up on Connor in North America, stealing his HQ off him, and then a quick expendition  from Alaska to Asia allowed me to sneak up on Japan, take Sam's HQ and win the game. I think Neil might have won in the next turn or two, but I got there first. The victor gets to choose a reward: name a continent, found a major city, get extras... I chose to create a major city called 'Steveville' - sad I know - in Central America. It gives me a sort of preferred starting position in a good strategic location.

Overall, everyone thought the game was great, and we can't wait for the next instalment.

Risk Legacy is available on &

Friday, 5 October 2012

This Time it's for Real!

I play a lot of board games, and fancied keeping a record of the games I've played, and sharing my Board Gaming thoughts. I know, I'll set up a blog, I thought. Only to subsequently remember that I did that once, though it never got off the ground. I've just read over my previous posts, and they still hold true now, albeit that I'm a bit more of an experienced board gamer these days. So this is Take Two, my second attempt at a Board Gaming Blog.

We'll see how it evolves, but at the moment I'm intending this first and foremost to allow me to share what I've been playing, what I like and what I don't. I'm intending to share internet links I think people will find interesting too. Here goes.