Forum Overview :: Reviews
Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by FABIO 04/26/2005, 10:56pm PDT
People still play these, right? Going down a list of the ones I own or have played throughout my college years.

Axis & Allies

WHY do people love this so much? Enough that it's the only Gamemaster game to have been made into a PC game. Is it just the setting allowing armchair generals to show how it would have turned out if THEY were in command? Alright for about two or three games until everyone realizes the ONE optimal strategy they MUST stick to, right down to the EXACT opening moves you MUST make the first turn. Out of all five players, only Germany and Russia really get to do anything, extremely boring for everyone else.

Recommendation: Maybe good for one or two plays until it becomes stale
Availability: High (sold through the new Avalon Hill)

Axis & Allies: Europe

Meh. Slightly more historically accurate (mostly by just removing the pacific theater, where all the inaccuracies occured), but still the same game. Infatry/tank grind between Germany and Russia, Britain and US simply ferry troops over to land in France.

Recommendation: Same as standard A&A
Availability: High (sold through the new Avalon Hill)

Fortress America

Not great, but still better than A&A. Red Dawn setting helps. A little unbalanced in that the American player must know exactly what he's doing in order to stand a chance. Certain invaders are forced to play certain roles, but they're not as deadset specialized as A&A. A decent game, but after awhile once the US player knows what to do, it mostly just comes down to the luck of the die and which reinforcement cards you get.

Recommendation: A step up from A&A. Decent enough. Hinges too much on simple luck though.
Availability: Long since discontinued. Ebay only. Some electronic online games available at the yahoo groups site.


Hands down the best Gamemaster series game. Why hasn't this been made into a PC game instead of A&A being made into one twice? Instead of reissuing this game under the new Hasbro/Avalon Hill brand, they come out with fucking FOUR different versions of A&A. When will people realize that game is fundamentally boring and cuts off any attempt of replay value at the knees?

Anyways, Shogun rules because no player is forced into an unbalanced role and every setup is completely different like Risk. No set teams, it's everyone for themself. Money received can be spent on all sorts of neat stuff like units, mercenaries, or fortifications, in addition to secretly bidding against other players for turn order and ninja hiring.

Recommendation: Highly. If you enjoyed A&A at all then this is a must have. Fun, tense game. High replay value.
Availability: Ebay only thanks to jerkoff A&A fanboy fagwads. Some play by email games available off the yahoo group.


I've really, really always wanted to like this game, but it's horribly, horribly broken. Basic premise is Risk with resources (oil, grain, minerals, money), logistics, and nukes. Would be fun, but is broken for several reasons.

- The only way to make money is off the market, which is horrendously violitile. Prices can go from $1 million to $1 billion. After people secure their own resources from territories, there's no more reason to buy off the market anymore, prices crash, and everyone goes broke.

- Limited resource stockpilies make the logistics of moving around large conventional armies impossible. Every game turns into a nuke war and usually ends in nuclear winter with everyone losing.

There are about ten billion different add ons and optional rules for this game, all of which needlessly (and exponentially) increase the complexity without ever bothering to fix the fundamental brokeness. For some reason the game still has some appeal to it. You can almost have enough fun simply playing through and trying to come up with new variations to fix it and make it playable.

Availability: Ebay only. Online games at various sites are available, but all of them use almost every single add on rule, bringing it to Star Fleet Battles levels of complexity, rendering it unplayable.

Recommendation: Horrible broken, but still has some sort of unexplainable charm to it. Probably not worth the trouble it'll take to acquire a copy.

Cosmic Encounters

The Mario Party of boardgames. On the surface, it's a fun party game with a ton (over 50) of wacky alien races, each of which with their own special power that lets them break one rule of the game. Basic gameplay is sort of like Diplomacy without borders (anyone can attack anywhere) with a slight random factor in direct combat (play the highest power card).

Then the problems start shining through. Like Mario Party, there are so many random factors that pop up (with all the cards) that it pretty much becomes blind luck that determines who wins rather than skill or strategy. End games are usually extremely anti-climatic. More than one person can win as long as each of them meets the winning requirements on the same turn.

Last turns usually look something like this

Player 1: "Hey, if you could play this card, then we'd both end up winning"
Player 2: "Okay" *plays card*
Player 1: "We win!"

Pretty lame conclusion for a one hour game. There's absoutely no incentive to selfishly horde the victory to yourself, so players just hasten the ending and EVERYBODY WINS! My suggestion for a more interesting cutthroat game (which always gets shotdown by the fools I played with) was for everyone to ante a couple bucks at the start. Winner takes the pot. Combined victories must split the pot evenly. More trickery, more backstabbing, more fun.

Availability: High (sold through the new Avalon Hill)
Recommendation: Do you enjoy Mario Party's complete randomness? Your answer will reveal how much you will like this game.

Naval War

Fun, simple, quick little card game of Naval combat. Each player gets a certain number of ships, each with a certain number of damage points and gun size (and aircraft carriers). Cards are mostly salvo blasts that inflict a certain amount of damage, but you must have a ship of the listed gun size to fire it. Whoever deals the killing blow to a ship receives its point value. Games end up being everyone taking potshots at other players' ships, not wanting to leave an easy killsteal for anyone else. Some other cards add to the fun, the best of which is the destroyer squadron, a ship card that, if it can survive an entire round, allows you to target one player and outright sink 1-6 of his ships. It can be sunk if everyone works together, but will they? Or will everyone not fire on it in hopes of not pissing off its owner so they won't be targetted? Great opportunities for backstabbing and assholellery.

Availability: Part of the old Avalon Hill lineup, probably ebay only now.

Recommenation: Not only is it fun, it's extremely simple and quick to play. Playable by even the most casual of gamers (even girls!).

Guerilla War

Fun fun fun cardgame simulating a banana republic revolution. Each player can field both Government and Rebel forces at once, but secretly supports only one of them. Each battle scores points for both the faction that won it and the player. The player with the most points at the end wins, but if the faction he supports loses, his point total is halved.

Lots of fun cards to keep things interesting. Play the "atrocities committed" card to halve an opponent's points for a battle. Now the possibility for UN intervention opens up where they police a player and prevent attacks on and from him. If this gets too annoying, just attack and kill off the peacekeepers! Capture the television station to broadcast propaganda and get enemy soldiers to desert. Capture the airfield to launch airstrikes. Capture La Policia station to arrest "traitorous" officers. I could really use the port to smuggle in arms staches, which I can then use to try and blow up El Bacno de Nationalle.

UNLIKE Cosmic encounters, tension as to who will win runs high up until the very end. You can't quite be sure about who supports which faction, some players might even be mercenaries trying to prevent either faction from winning by too much.

Availability: Part of the old Avalon Hill lineup. Probably ebay only now.

Recommendation: Great fun little game of shithole Latin American revolutions. Probably my favorite on this entire list. Moderate complexity to start, but once you pick it up it's pretty smooth and streamlined with excellent documenation and indexing on cards to explain things if you ever do get stuck.
Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by FABIO 04/26/2005, 10:56pm PDT
    Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by Entropy Stew 04/27/2005, 12:08am PDT
    Volume 2, right now! by FABIO 04/27/2005, 3:30am PDT
        Re: Volume 2, right now! by Choson 04/27/2005, 6:47am PDT
            Re: Volume 2, right now! by theemu 04/27/2005, 11:52am PDT
                Re: Volume 2, right now! by FABIO 04/27/2005, 1:43pm PDT
                    Re: Volume 2, right now! by Choson 04/27/2005, 2:40pm PDT
                        Re: Volume 2, right now! by laudablepuss 04/27/2005, 2:56pm PDT
                            Re: Volume 2, right now! by Choson 04/27/2005, 3:01pm PDT
                            laudablepuss says dice are random NT by binkbot 04/27/2005, 4:57pm PDT
                                Like football! I also said that. Also ballooning. And then I said comma. NT by laudablepuss 04/27/2005, 5:09pm PDT
        Re: Volume 2, right now! by mark 04/27/2005, 12:10pm PDT
        Wow by Arbit 04/28/2005, 12:27am PDT
            ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THAT FABIO NT by the CROWD 04/28/2005, 12:43am PDT
                *shrug* NT by FABIO 04/28/2005, 12:54am PDT
    Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by Bill Dungsroman 04/27/2005, 7:54am PDT
        Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by FABIO 04/28/2005, 2:44pm PDT
            Fortress America in ACTION! by FABIO 04/29/2005, 1:20pm PDT
    Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by mark 04/27/2005, 11:56am PDT
        Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by FABIO 04/27/2005, 1:52pm PDT
        Scott Orr disagress with you! by FABIO 05/09/2005, 9:20pm PDT
            Man who made game that sucks, sucks :( NT by mark 05/09/2005, 11:10pm PDT
        Memoir '44 by fabio 01/24/2012, 9:50pm PST
    No Dark Tower? No Stop Thief? by laudablepuss 04/27/2005, 12:31pm PDT
        Re: No Dark Tower? No Stop Thief? by mark 04/27/2005, 1:02pm PDT
            Re: No Dark Tower? No Stop Thief? by FABIO 04/28/2005, 2:45pm PDT
                yes. by mark 04/28/2005, 3:20pm PDT
    Mark's Boardgame Roundup part 1 by mark 04/27/2005, 12:50pm PDT
        For the love of God can no one stop these boardgame roundups??? by Ray of Light 04/27/2005, 1:16pm PDT
        Re: Mark's Boardgame Roundup part 1 by theemu 04/27/2005, 1:22pm PDT
        Mark's Boardgame Roundup part 2 by mark 04/27/2005, 6:11pm PDT
            Settlers counter rebuttal by FABIO 04/27/2005, 6:35pm PDT
                Re: Settlers counter rebuttal by Quentin Beck 04/27/2005, 6:47pm PDT
                    actually that was me (that's the new mysterio name? I thought he was a poster) NT by mark 04/27/2005, 6:47pm PDT
                Re: Settlers counter rebuttal by Choson 04/27/2005, 7:55pm PDT
                    Re: Settlers counter rebuttal by Pre 05/10/2005, 11:14am PDT
            I can't believe I never heard of Arkham Horror before. by Fullofkittens 04/28/2005, 9:28pm PDT
    Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by mark 04/28/2005, 12:32am PDT
    Vol. 3 by FABIO 05/09/2005, 11:29pm PDT
        Thanks! by laudablepuss 05/10/2005, 7:21pm PDT
        suggestions by my$terio 05/10/2005, 9:20pm PDT
        Dark Tower sells for hundreds on ebay? by extarbags 05/12/2005, 4:08pm PDT
            I shot mine full of BBs. Along with all my classic GI Joes. :( NT by laudablepuss 05/13/2005, 11:11am PDT
                I demolished my star wars toys in my sand box or fed them to my guniea pig :( NT by Mischief Maker 05/13/2005, 1:58pm PDT
                    "Putting away childish things" turned out to be a really stupid idea. by laudablepuss 05/13/2005, 4:47pm PDT
            Mine sold for $130 by fabio 05/26/2011, 11:14am PDT
    Arkham Horror: Making Pen & Paper games obsolete by FABIO 02/13/2008, 9:51pm PST
        That should read 1d8 people :( by Erratard 02/13/2008, 10:05pm PST
        Wait'll you discover "How to host a murder mystery!" NT by Mischief Maker 02/13/2008, 10:22pm PST
            ^ roleplaying =( NT by FABIO 02/14/2008, 4:20am PST
        My group hit a bunch of obstacles with Arkham Horror. by Last 05/25/2011, 7:14pm PDT
            Re: My group hit a bunch of obstacles with Arkham Horror. by fabio 05/26/2011, 12:06pm PDT
                My group is having fun now with a play-by-email setup in google docs. by Last 07/27/2011, 9:16pm PDT
    Boardgame roundup: Pandemic, Longshot by Last 05/26/2011, 10:33am PDT
        +1 on Pandemic, it's very fun by Fullofkittens 08/07/2011, 6:14pm PDT
            Apparently the expansion is worth it if you like the core game NT by Lizard_King 08/07/2011, 8:29pm PDT
    Battlestar Galactica by Lizard_King 08/03/2011, 9:09pm PDT
        Re: Battlestar Galactica by fabio 08/04/2011, 12:58am PDT
            Re: Battlestar Galactica by Lizard_King 08/04/2011, 5:41am PDT
                Re: Battlestar Galactica by fabio 08/04/2011, 8:31am PDT
                    Re: Battlestar Galactica by Lizard_King 08/05/2011, 4:32pm PDT
        Tried Exodus by fabio 08/25/2011, 11:52am PDT
    Citadels by Lizard_King 08/04/2011, 6:26am PDT
        Needs the expansion by fabio 08/04/2011, 8:40am PDT
            The expansion comes with every version of the game currently available by Lizard_King 08/05/2011, 4:04pm PDT
    Totally worth it by fabio 08/27/2011, 7:44am PDT
    Cosmic Encounter by NDD 08/28/2011, 5:23pm PDT
        Re: Cosmic Encounter by NDD 08/28/2011, 5:31pm PDT
    The best board game review by fabio 01/24/2012, 8:34pm PST
    War of the Ring by fabio 01/24/2012, 10:09pm PST
    Age of Wonders - Positive! by Last 01/31/2012, 10:29am PST
        *80% to 120% NT by Last 01/31/2012, 10:31am PST
        I liked this one by fabio 01/31/2012, 7:30pm PST
    Review request: REX by fabio 02/24/2012, 5:56am PST
        Haven't played it, but I have no faith in FFG NT by mark 03/13/2012, 8:33pm PDT
            Why's that by fabio 03/14/2012, 5:42am PDT
    Going Cardboard by Souffle of Pain 02/24/2012, 7:10am PST
    Ever wish there was a simplified version of Arkham Horror? by fabio 03/23/2012, 12:41pm PDT
    REX, aka Dune 2.0, aka Cosmic Encounter Obsolescence by fabio 04/12/2012, 8:01pm PDT
        UPDATE: default rules broken, needs fixing NT by fabio 08/23/2012, 8:42am PDT
    Ticket to Ride: Steam edition by fabio 08/23/2012, 8:47am PDT
        How is that different from the boardgame version? by Last 08/23/2012, 9:14am PDT
            Never played the boardgame version by fabio 08/23/2012, 10:49am PDT
                Oh, I have the version set in Europe and they fixed that. by Last 08/23/2012, 1:42pm PDT
                    Great, no one ever plays the other maps online =( NT by fabio 08/23/2012, 5:43pm PDT
    Vassal by fabio 05/04/2013, 2:43pm PDT
    Fucking iPads by fabio 06/11/2013, 3:32am PDT
    Did you want to like Arkham Horror but couldnt? by fabio 12/12/2013, 8:02pm PST
        Thanks, I'll get it. NT by Last 12/13/2013, 8:44am PST
    Alhambra - Positive! Guillotine - Positive! by Last 12/13/2013, 9:00am PST
    board game review: Twin Tin Robots by blackwater 12/13/2013, 10:33pm PST
    Board Games? More like...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT...SNORE-d games! by HA HA HA HA HA HA HA 12/19/2013, 9:54pm PST
        In the land of the video gamer, the board gamer is king by motherfuckerfoodeater 12/19/2013, 10:47pm PST
            I'd invite you over but I only have one game port on my soundbalaster :( NT by PC GAMING FUCK YEAH!! 12/20/2013, 12:29am PST
    Review: Incognito (Board Game) by blackwater 03/24/2014, 12:55am PDT
        Shadow Hunters is fun by fabio 03/24/2014, 1:08am PDT
    Review: Libertalia (board game) by blackwater 06/17/2014, 11:52pm PDT
    Gaming with family by skip 08/04/2016, 7:07am PDT
        Re: Gaming with family by laudablepuss 08/04/2016, 8:45am PDT
            Re: Gaming with family by laudablepuss 08/04/2016, 8:47am PDT
        There is no reason to ever play Ticket to Ride or Dixit by fabio 08/04/2016, 3:56pm PDT
            The reason is that they're great family games by skip 08/04/2016, 5:28pm PDT
                The Pink Panther remake is a great family film! NT by fabio 08/04/2016, 9:48pm PDT
                    Fabio has never had to game with relatives and it really shows. NT by skip 08/05/2016, 6:06am PDT
                        What kind of family get togethers mandate boardgames? by fabio 08/13/2016, 6:16pm PDT
                            The kind where we're inside and just need an activity to do? NT by Picionary < Dixit 08/13/2016, 7:54pm PDT
    Hey this game is coming out with an expansion. Look at the scenario writers by skip 08/13/2016, 7:59am PDT
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