Tag Archives: Hand Management

Bullfrogs Review


“Just as water retains no constant shape, in warfare there are no constant conditions.” –Sun Tzu

Weapons clash, water splashes and the booming battle cries of armored bullfrogs ring out across the moonlit swamp. Amphibian armies leap from lily pad to lily pad in their desperate struggle to win control of the pond.

Suddenly, a shout of triumph rises up. Enough warriors have finally entered battle on a lily pad to dominate the fight and assure victory for their side. Overloaded, the lily pad sinks into the swamp.

Frogs scatter from the sinking lily pad to the surrounding ones, coming to aid their allies or sabotage their foes, their weight causing the lily pads to drift away across the cold, glittering water. The winning commander must understand the ripple effects of every move, and avoid acting to win a single battle at the cost of losing the war.

In Bullfrogs, 2-4 players ages 8+ take control of warring factions of frogs and fight over lily pads in a pond over the course of 20-40 minutes.

A player’s turn consists of the following steps.

1. PLAY a Lily Pad Card from a hand of 3 cards to the table.

2. TAKE ACTIONS to Deploy Frogs or Bullfrogs to Lily Pad Cards or Sabotage another player’s Frogs by pushing or pulling them to adjacent cards.

3. SCORE Lily Pad Cards that have all their spaces filled by Frogs and Bullfrogs. Calculate the strength of each faction to determine the winner. The strongest faction on the Lily Pad Card scores it and it sinks to the bottom of the pond. The weaker factions scatter to adjacent Lily Pad Cards and any disconnected Lily Pad Cards on the table shift to reshape the game board.

4. DRAW a Lily Pad Card.

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Operation F.A.U.S.T. Review


In Operation F.A.U.S.T. (Fine Art Underground: Stolen Treasures), players take on roles of independent art patrons in occupied France during WWII. This was a period when Europe’s greatest treasures were at risk of being looted by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), a special unit of the Third Reich tasked with plundering cultural valuables.

Each player will work to acquire the most prestigious collection of art treasures through bluffing and deception. The first player to reach $1,000,000 in black market art value immediately wins the game.

Players execute one of multiple possible actions on each turn with the goal of gaining enough intelligence to recover at risk master works.

Player’s may use deception to advance their goals, but risk losing their intel if caught in a lie. When a player earns enough intel, they may acquire a piece of art that has a specific, but secret black market value. Art gained may be forged or considered “degenerate” making it more easily confiscated.

To win this highly interactive game, a player must take risks, use cunning misdirection, uncover and remember where valuable art resides, and employ strategies to acquire the most valuable collection more quickly than the competition.

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2 de Mayo Review & Thoughts about Teaching


2 de Mayo is an abstract game of the terrible incidents that took place in Madrid on May 2, 1808. On that date, civilians in Madrid — and a few Spanish army units — rebelled against the French occupation troops of Napoleon.

2 de Mayo is a bilingual (English and Spanish) boardgame for two players, in which each player controls the forces of one side, either Spanish or French. The game lasts 10 turns and takes about 20-30 minutes to play.
Each turn is divided into four phases:

  1. Preparation
  2. Orders
  3. Movement
  4. Resolution

At the end of Turn 10, the French player achieves victory if all the Spanish forces have been eliminated, all the access areas to Madrid are French garrisoned and has not lost four or more cubes. If a French victory does not apply, the Spanish player wins.

The game includes:

  • board showing the old map of Madrid, divided in 21 areas or zones
  • 41 wooden cubes: 30 blue (representing the French troops), 10 red (representing the Spanish civilians and troops), and 1 unpainted used as the turn marker.
  • 22 event cards, 11 French (blue back); and 11 Spanish (red back)
  • 2 player aid cards
  • 1 turn track card
  • rulebook, including historical commentaries and a full example of play

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Critical Preview – Strife


Once more, conflict rages across the world of Aerim. You are one of the Endless, a group of immortals forever waging war from the shadows. Call forth your champions to battle against those of your timeless foes. Harness the legacy of each champion’s deeds as they echo across time to empower the next. For the Champions of Aerim, this cycle continues, as it always has and always will. For the Endless, there is only…strife.

Strife, a two-player strategy card game that plays in around an hour, is a game where you always know your opponent’s options. Aside from mastering the unique combo-creating gameplay of your champions, figuring out how to outmaneuver your opponent is where the true challenge lies.

Each player has the same hand of ten champions and will simultaneously play them as they fight over key locations throughout Aerim worth varying victory points. Each champion has a battle ability that’s triggered during battles and a legacy ability that can be used only while on top of the legacy pile. This creates an intricate latticework of strategy for the players as each champion must be considered for not only what he can do in the current battle, but for which ability he will add to the next.

Further impacting the critical decisions within the game is the Fatestone tie-breaking system. The Fatestone starts at a value of one, and whoever holds the Fatestone die loses all ties; that player may instead pass the stone to his opponent to claim a victory in that tie, but doing so raises the value of the Fatestone by one each time it is passed. At the end of the game, the player holding the Fatestone adds its final value to his victory point tally. Whichever player has the most victory points at the end of the game wins!

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Bomb Squad Review


The sergeant hangs the phone up. “Multiple hostages, numerous bombs. We’re up.” We grab our gear, prep the robot and load the van. It’s go time…

An unknown terrorist organization is on the rise, looking to spread fear while profiting from the chaos they release. You, your fellow members of the Retro City Bomb Squad, and your trusty Bomb Squad Robot are the only barriers in the way between those dastardly villains and the innocent civilians of Retro City. Lives are at stake — and time is ticking — so let’s go!

Bomb Squad is a cooperative game in which 2-6 players are members of a team operating a disposal robot with the mission to disarm bombs and save hostages. The players work together, racing against the clock to provide the appropriate instructions for the robot to achieve their mission objectives.Bomb Squad features:

  • Real-time play: Players each take a turn in clockwise order and are free to take as long as they want on their turn. However, there is a timer counting down in real time until the bombs will detonate, so players will want to be as efficient as possible.
  • Hidden Card Information: Players hold their cards so that the fronts are facing the other players, which requires that players give each other Intel to figure out which cards they have in hand.
  • Limited Communication: While players have their cards up and visible to each other, players are allowed to communicate only via the Intel they give each other, which provides hints about the cards they have in their hands. Table talk about which cards are needed, or where the robot should go, gives implied hints about which cards to play and is prohibited.
  • Co-operative game play: The players all work together, winning or losing collectively as a team.

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