Monday, February 22, 2010

Small World: It is a world of slaughter after all!

Yes, Folks! It is a world of slaughter after all!

I have a couple of rules when purchasing games. One of them is to only buy pretty games (rule #6). Small World is one of the prettiest! I love the illustrations of the characters and their power chips. Makes the game fun to look at too!

My hubby and I love to play against each other (rule #5). He likes it because it has some elements from the classic "guy game" Risk. I like it because it's pretty, plays quickly, is easy to simulate and isn't that much like Risk. I also like the world of slaughter element. You gotta know when to make your races extinct and when to get new ones. Now that I think of it, it's got a little bit of a motherly touch to it too: Birthing new races and kicking them out when they get too old.

Description from

In Small World, players vie for conquest and control of a world that is simply too small to accommodate them all.

Designed by Philippe Keyaerts as a fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth.
Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires - often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory!

Little Things That Mean A Lot:
I'm a real organization freak, but I don't like to pay for extra organization stuff outside of what you get in the box. I expect to get what I pay for! I found the tray that contains the dude chips to not be user friendly and digging through the tray created some dead space within the game. A user on from the BBG forum posted these great storage try labels that I quickly printed up and glued onto the side of the storage tray that came with the game. Now it's much easier to grab your minions to fight with!

Game Helps:
This little guy helps explain the game flow. It's nice to give this to new gamers when trying to explain how the game plays. Plus if you're anything like me, you like the extra time to reference your next move. It's also a nice thing to have when you haven't played in a while. Helps you look like you know what you are doing!

Luis Trigueiro from BBG gets credit for this bad boy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ready, Aim, Roll 'Em! (Dice Town)

I just love this game! It has a little of something for everyone. You start with some cash, a cup and some poker dice. Sound fun yet?! Well, it get's better! You compete for several different prizes from gold to cash to victory points. If you win what you were competing for with the best hand of dice you win that prize! Even if you don't win something that hand, you have the option of visiting Doc Badluck which can oftentimes be a better prize than what you were shooting for in the first place. The games a good combination of Liar's Dice and For Sale.

The best part about Dice Town is the big dice reveal. It's fun to wonder what the other players are shooting for while choosing what hand to play only to find that you both are aiming for the same prize. That part just makes my competitive juices jump with delight.

Dice Town also meets BB4C's rule #5: Does the game play well with just 2 players?

My husband and I had found that the two player dynamic is especially fun when we are both rolling for the same prize. We find it very satisfying when one of  us proves the victor and gets to softly rub it in a bit. (I strongly recommend the softly part. You know how the men folk can be.)

Wait! Not only does Dice Town meet rule #5, it also complies with BB4C's rule #6: Is this game pretty to look at?

You be the judge. Does this game board not look good?! I just love the illustrations and layout of the board.

Photo courtesy of Board Game Geek. Titled, "Where the monies at."

Manufacturers Description:

Welcome to Dice Town, the city of luck and prosperity! Here, we admire the Brave and Love Winners; especially those willing to bet their future on a roll of a dice! But you'll find that being clever also pays well, if you know how to adapt and bring your own luck to the table.

Opportunities are everywhere in our proud town: gold nuggets are knee deep in the mine, the bank has too many dollars and the mayor is a quick dealer when it comes to handing out Property Claims. Unless you fancy a Sheriff's badge or just want to hang out in the Saloon?

In Dice Town, you're the boss, and anything can happen!

Dice Town is a fast and clever game for 2 to 5 players, that uses Poker Dice. A little luck, a hint of bluff and some good tactics are necessary in order to become the town's richest citizen. Both fun and intelligent, Dice Town is for everyone. When the game is over, you're going to want to play another one right away.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chic's Purchasing Games Rule #4: How's it play with 6 or more players?

How do you know if a game is good or not? Do you really want to own the game? Ask yourself the following question and do it before you have to learn the hard way like I did.

Rule #4: Can this game be played with 6 players?

If you like to play with couples it is nice to have some games that play well with 6 players. However, there are some exceptions to this rule (Ticket To Ride, Dice Town, Small World, etc.) Most of the super successful games (Catan, Carcasone, Alhambra, Dominion, etc.) have incorporated expansions that add additional players as well as new gaming components to the game. It's just hard to have a player sit out or a couple team up when the game only allows 2-5 players.

But, if there are only 2-5 players in your group... You've got nothing to fear! Just make sure that you find a good game and don't worry about adding the sixth player component. 

The next question you need to ask yourself is: Will the game be fun to play with 6 players? 

Sometimes adding that extra player creates a bunch of lag time between turns. This really depends on your group of gamers. If you love to chat it up between turns and aren't too worried about who's turn is next, then don't worry. If you play with a group that acts like they have ants in their pants while waiting for their next turn, then be cautious of adding that additional player. Games like Catan and Dominion are great with 6 players because the game mechanics allow you to participate in some way while it is another persons turn.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chic's Purchasing Games Rule #3: Get A Good Deal

How do you know if a game is good or not? Do you really want to own the game? Ask yourself the following questions and do it before you have to learn the hard way like I did.

Rule #3: Am I getting the best deal possible?

What woman doesn't like to buy stuff cheap? We love buying ANYTHING at a steal! I don't know about you, but I get shoppers rush when I buy a something at a great price. Just talking about it get's me horny for shopping! Let's move on...

My favorite place to purchase games is from They have much better prices than the mall or other discount stores, fast shipping and good customer service. I also recommend combining your order with a friends so you can pay less or nothing for shipping.

The TWS website states, "We are a family owned business and now have been around for 6 years. We are dedicated to providing a web site that can meet all your gaming needs and desires. Our goal is to establish a comprehensive list of a variety of games to sell to you at excellent prices. Not only that, but we strive to have the best customer service in the business! We now have over 1700 game titles. We focus on games that are a little out of the ordinary: things you probably won't find at your local discount or toy stores."

"A Game The Women Love" (Dominion)

When we purchased this game the store's owner boasted, "Hhhmm, Dominion. Now that's a game that the women love!" I usually respect and carefully internalize what the experts have to say, but that felt like a plain old upsell. Let's face it. How many times has he said that to the average gaming guy trying to sell a couple extra games. Can't blame him. It's a great line!

Well, I was wrong and right. (My apologies to the store owner.) That was a great line and Dominion is a game that the women DO love! It's got just the right amount of strategy combined with card play. You get to hold a little bling in your hand and use it again and again as it recycles through your own personal deck. What more could a woman want? Recyclable money! What!? It's a dream come true! But it gets better. You also get to spend your money on stuff that will make you more money, allow you to attack your opponent or just buy points. It's an awe inspiring thing. Gotta love easy cash flow management.

Plus it is 2009's game of the year. I'm a bit of a Speil De Jahres collector. Just can't get enough of that little red trophy on the game boxes.

While Dominion is recommended for 3 to 4 players, it also plays well with 2 players which is a rare thing. My hubby and I play Dominion over and over and it hasn't got old yet. He gets to super think the game and I get to recycle my cards until I buy that winning point. When he takes too long pondering upon his next move... I get to busy myself by shuffling my deck.

Dominion is also fun to play with kids. Our 10 and 9 year old kids also enjoy Dominion and kicked their parents cans easily making this a game that you don't have to play lightly with the kiddos. Go ahead and try to cream them!

I pride myself on understanding instructions and reading manuals (I'm a nerd), but the card play in Dominion had me a little confused. Probably because we were playing on a camp out and I hadn't had much sleep. Nonetheless, when I got my grubby paws on this little piece of paper I was thrilled! I even went to my local Kinko's and laminated the play matte for future use. We introduced Dominion to some friends with this play matte and it really made the game play run smoothly.

Get the original and better quality of the play matte by clicking here: Board Game Geek.

Board Game Geek Description of Dominion: In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.

From the back of the box: "You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner."

"But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn't be proud, but your grandparents would be delighted."
Dominion is not a CCG, but the play of the game is similar to the construction and play of a CCG deck. The game comes with 500 cards. You select 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types to include in any given play -- leading to immense variety.
Awards: I never buy a game unless it has won some kind of award. I learned my lesson on that wasting money on some not-so-great games. Can't beat the list of awards found with Dominion!

Chic's Purchasing Games Rule #2: Board Game Geek

How do you know if a game is good or not? Do you really want to own the game? Ask yourself the following questions and do it before you have to learn the hard way like I did.

Rule #2: Have you checked out the Geek?

I always check before I buy a game. They have great reviews, forums, user ratings and a great list of awards the game has won with each game description. The Geek rates games based on user preferences, but make sure that a ton of users have rated a game. That way you get the most accurate rating of games. says this about BoardGameGeek: If you want to learn more about this hobby, more about a game, more about the people who play them, or anything related to board games period - then there is only one place to go. At BoardGameGeek.Com users like us rate their favorite games - and there are thousands upon thousands of users, and over 30,000 games.

Chic's Purchasing Games Rule #1: Awards

How do you know if a game is good or not? Do you really want to own the game? Ask yourself the following questions and do it before you have to learn the hard way like I did.

Rule #1: Has the game won an award?

I learned my lesson the hard way. When I first got into gaming, I would pick up anything that sounded fun thus spending too much money on games we don't play much. Now I only buy games that have won some kind of award. 

I like the Spiel De Jahres award the best and have found myself collecting the awarded games. The German Spiel des Jahres is perhaps the world's most prestigious game award. Consider it the Oscar of this hobby. They try and focus on games that would be great for families - fun, relatively light, and not too long. Right up my alley!

Spiel De Jahres: The Spiel De Jahres official website is all in German, so I like to reference the list of winners from Wikipedia or Fun Again Games. The Spiel De Jahres also recognizes good children's games by awarding them the Kinderspiel.

GAMES Magazine: A good mix of nonelectronic and electronic games. The winners are often times different than the Speil De Jahres, but still has good suggestions and crictiques.

International Gamers Award: These guys judge based on three different types of criteria. 1- General Stragey for multi players, 2- Two player games and 3- Historical Simulation Game or Wargames (Not my favorite, but fun for the guys.) Another good mix of recommended games.

Mensa Select: These winners are good for the mind. The American Mensa selects usually 5 games to be recommend through its Mind Games competition.

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