Tag Archives: medieval

Right Fierce & Terrible


Against the Odds magazine game covering the battle of Sluys.

(from ATO magazine site)
Most people think of the 100 Years War as a battle over the geography and dynastic questions of who would rule which parts of France.

The 100 Years War is known for sieges, sacking, lots of misery, a few large battles like Crecy and Agincourt, and famous leaders like the Black Prince and Joan of Arc. But naval battles?

Actually, the first significant action of the Hundred (and 15) Years War took place off the coast of Flanders in 1340. And changed everything. The French had been dominating the Channel, largely through the services of hired Genoese galleys. They sacked several English cities and spread terror and dissatisfaction (with Edward) amongst the population, halting the wool and wine trade, plus spreading the very real fear that the French might invade. The Battle of Sluys was a decisive victory for Edward III that gave the English command of the Channel and insured that the rest of the war would be fought on French soil.

Now, this important but little known battle is yours for the trying, with Right Fierce & Terrible: The Battle of Sluys, the game and core of ATO #34. Place yourself in the decisions faced by Edward III or the French admirals as you decide who will rule the waves and perhaps rule France. But, if your expectations of the period center on arrows, swords, and the deadly close-in fighting of armored knights, RF&T is still the game for you. One might almost ask, “Is it a naval game or a land game? And the answer is “both.” Archery, ramming, grappling, and desperate melee are the tools of battle here, aimed at wearing away the enemy fleet’s morale.




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Robin (Essen pre-release) Review


In the fast-paced game Robin, you have just joined Robin Hood’s merry men in Sherwood Forest. You can help at the Sherwood Forest camp, rob travelers on the road to Nottingham castle, bring messages from Robin, and scout the neighborhood for information. The more risk you take, the higher the rewards — but take care because if you get too close to the castle, you’ll need to go back and hide in the forest before the sheriff’s guards can catch you!

You want to be the first to accomplish seven missions of the same type in order to become Robin’s new lieutenant. Of course your friends want to become lieutenants, too, so you will have to be swift and daring to succeed before them.

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Castles of Mad King Ludwig Review


In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria…one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles) and others, but now he’s commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever — subject, of course, to his ever-changing whims. Each player acts as a building contractor who is adding rooms to the castle he’s building while also selling his services to other players.

In the game, each player starts with a simple foyer. One player takes on the role of the Master Builder, and that player sets prices for a set of rooms that can be purchased by the other players, with him getting to pick from the leftovers after the other players have paid him for their rooms. When a room is added to a castle, the player who built it gains castle points based on the size and type of room constructed, as well as bonus points based on the location of the room. When a room is completed, with all entranceways leading to other rooms in the castle, the player receives one of seven special rewards.

After each purchasing round, a new player becomes the Master Builder who sets prices for a new set of rooms. After several rounds, the game ends, then additional points are awarded for achieving bonus goals, having the most popular rooms, and being the most responsive to the King’s demands, which change each game. Whoever ends up with the most castle points wins.

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The Builders: Middle Ages Review

The Builders

In The Builders: Middle Ages, the cards represent buildings or workers. Players score points (and gain money) by completing the construction of buildings, while placing a worker on a construction site costs money. Each building has four characteristics (carpentry, masonry, architecture, tilery) rated between 0 and 5, and the workers have the same characteristics valued in the same range. To complete a construction, the player must add enough workers to cover the four characteristics of the building.

Each player starts the game with 10 ecu and an apprentice. Five workers and five buildings are placed face-up on the table, with the others set aside in separate decks. On a turn, you can take three free actions, then pay 5 ecu for each additional action. The possible actions are:

  • Open a site – Take one of the five buildings, place it front of you, then draw a replacement from the deck.
  • Recruit a worker – Take one of the five workers, place it front of you, then draw a replacement from the deck.
  • Assign a worker to a building – Pay the cost of the worker (as he won’t work for free!), then place him on a building; when the building’s needs are met, you earn the points and coins indicated, then flip the building over. The workers return to your pool of available labor.
  • Get money – Forgo one, two or three actions to earn 1, 3 or 6 ecu.

Some completed buildings join your labor pool as they can be used to complete other buildings. As soon as a player reaches 17 points, players finish the round so that everyone has the same number of turns, then you tally points, with each completed card having a point value and each 10 ecu being worth 1 point. Whoever has the most points wins.

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