Tag Archives: Strategy

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends Review – Starlit Citadel Reviews Season 3

Tash-Kalar

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends is a game played by masters of magic. Two to four summoners encounter each other in the Tash-Kalar arena, either in teams or each on his own, and prove their skill and strategy in a short but intense battle. By clever deployment of their minions, they create magic patterns for summoning powerful beings, and then use those to destroy their opponent’s forces or to prepare patterns for the ultimate legendary beings.

The game includes three different factions, each with a unique deck of beings to summon and one deck of legendary creatures. Players take turns placing their common pieces on the board, and if they succeed in creating patterns depicted on one of the cards in hand, they may play it. When played, the card summons a particular being and allows the player to perform an effect described on the card: a giant destroys neighboring pieces, a knight moves through enemy pieces, a warlord orders previously placed pieces to move and fight, an enchantress converts enemy pieces to player’s own color, etc. After that, the player discards the card and the summoned being turns into a motionless piece which may be used in patterns for summoning other beings – or even be awakened and moved into combat by the effects of other cards.

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends offers two game modes. In the standard mode you score points for fulfilling various quests set by the Arena Masters: controlling certain points or areas of the arena, destroying a number of enemy pieces in a single turn, performing a certain combination of summonings, etc.

In melee mode, your only goal is to entertain the crowd. You do that by destroying your opponents and making them beg (i.e., making them use the catch-up mechanisms) and by summoning legendary beings. After all, people want to see a dragon! Both modes can be played as a two-player duel or as a team game with teammates sharing pieces and legendary cards, but with each controlling his own faction. (The game includes a duplicate of one faction in a different color.) The melee mode can also be played as a fierce free-for-all battle, but don’t expect alliances; to achieve a good score, you need to destroy all opponents evenly as you track points scored on each opponent separately, and your lowest score is your final score.

The rules of Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends are simple and easy to understand, but as you start to discover the tactics and are able to anticipate the opponent’s moves and patterns, it turns into a real clash of wits.

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A Critique of Rivet Wars

Rivet

Rivet Wars is a miniatures boardgame that springs forth from the warped imagination of Ted Terranova – set on a world that never quite left World War I but with crazy technology like walking tanks, diesel powered armor, unicycled vehicles and armor plated cavalry!

Don’t let the cute visuals fool you, it’s a world full of angst, war-torn camaraderie and dark humor.

Rivet Wars is at its heart a strategy game, with both players deploying units each round to counter the threats set forth by their opponent and stay one tactical step ahead.

Heavily influenced by Ted’s experience working on RTS games like Rise of Nations, players gather resources (bunkers and capture points) and use these to deploy streams of new units!

There’s an ebb and flow on the tactical landscape and you can stock up surprises for your opponent to be unleashed even as he thinks he’s winning!

Box Contents:

38 highly-detailed plastic miniatures • 34-page rulebook • 16 stat cards • 2 stat dashboards • 24 Action! cards • 10 Secret Mission cards • 9 double-sided tiles • 1 tracking tile • 6 bunker markers • 6 strategic objective markers • 6 minefield markers • 6 tank trap markers • 6 razor wire Markers • 12 flag tokens • 5 gas plastic markers • 4 victory plastic markers • 24 damage plastic markers • 6 six-sided dice

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Starlit Citadel Reviews Trains

pic1606346

In the 19th century, shortly after the industrial revolution, railways quickly spread over the world. Japan, importing Western culture and eager to become one of the Grand Nations, saw the birth of many private railway companies and entered the Golden Age of railways. Eventually, as a result of the actions of powerful people and capitalists, many of these smaller companies gradually merged into larger ones.

In Trains, the players are such capitalists, managing private railways companies and striving to become bigger and better than the competition. The game takes place during the 19th and 20th century in the 2012 OKAZU Brand edition, whereas the 2013 AEG edition is set in modern times, with bullet trains, freight trains and more. Use your facilities, trains and personnel to surpass your adversaries, and become the King of Railways.

The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins. To gain victory points, the player must build up a personal deck of cards such as facilities, trains and personnel. These cards are then used to build railways around Tokyo and Osaka, enlarge the cities, and build buildings. The trick is to purchase the cards you want to use, then use them as effectively as possible.

AEG EDITION DESCRIPTION

Manage Modern Railways!

The railways of today are amazing things and bullet trains, freight trains and more keep entire countries running. From transporting the populace to carrying essential materials, trains play an integral part in a nation’s power and economic development.

You will start with a small set of cards, but by building a more effective deck throughout the game, you will be able to place stations and lay rails over the maps of Osaka or Tokyo. Gain enough points from your railways and you will ultimately manage the most powerful railroads in modern Japan!

This English edition of Trains, designed by Hisashi Hayashi, features updated graphics, artwork, and streamlined card abilities. With extensive replay value, Trains is one game you won’t want to leave the station without!

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Trains (Video Review)

pic1606346

In the 19th century, shortly after the industrial revolution, railways quickly spread over the world. Japan, importing Western culture and eager to become one of the Grand Nations, saw the birth of many private railway companies and entered the Golden Age of railways. Eventually, as a result of the actions of powerful people and capitalists, many of these smaller companies gradually merged into larger ones.

In Trains, the players are such capitalists, managing private railways companies and striving to become bigger and better than the competition. The game takes place during the 19th and 20th century in the 2012 OKAZU Brand edition, whereas the 2013 AEG edition is set in modern times, with bullet trains, freight trains and more. Use your facilities, trains and personnel to surpass your adversaries, and become the King of Railways.

The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins. To gain victory points, the player must build up a personal deck of cards such as facilities, trains and personnel. These cards are then used to build railways around Tokyo and Osaka, enlarge the cities, and build buildings. The trick is to purchase the cards you want to use, then use them as effectively as possible.

AEG EDITION DESCRIPTION

Manage Modern Railways!

The railways of today are amazing things and bullet trains, freight trains and more keep entire countries running. From transporting the populace to carrying essential materials, trains play an integral part in a nation’s power and economic development.

You will start with a small set of cards, but by building a more effective deck throughout the game, you will be able to place stations and lay rails over the maps of Osaka or Tokyo. Gain enough points from your railways and you will ultimately manage the most powerful railroads in modern Japan!

This English edition of Trains, designed by Hisashi Hayashi, features updated graphics, artwork, and streamlined card abilities. With extensive replay value, Trains is one game you won’t want to leave the station without!

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Gravwell (Video Review)

Gravwell

In Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension, players command spaceships that have been pulled through a black hole, transporting them into a different dimension. With each ship lacking fuel to get home, each player must collect basic elements from surrounding asteroids, using the gravity of the dimension and what little resources they have in order to reach the warp gate that will take them home. But in this dimension, moving ships will travel towards the nearest object, which is usually another ship, and when those objects are moving either forward or backward, reaching the warp gate isn’t always easy. Time is running out to save your crew and your ship! As a grim reminder of the cost of failing to escape, the frozen hulks of dead spacecraft litter the escape route – but with careful cardplay, you can slingshot past these derelict craft and be the first to escape from the Gravwell!

This easy-to-learn game uses 26 alphabetized cards to determine movement order and thrust; most cards move your ship towards the nearest object, but a few move you away from it. Players will draft fuel cards in each round – picking up three pairs of two cards, with only the top card of each pile being visible – giving you some information as to which moves you can expect from the other spaceships. During a round, each player will play all of his fuel cards in the order of his choosing. During each phase of a round, each player will choose one card, then all cards are revealed and resolved in alphabetical order. When your opponents move in ways you didn’t expect, you won’t always be heading in the direction you thought you would! Each player holds an “Emergency Stop” card that he may tactically play only once per round to avoid such a situation.

Whoever first reaches the warp gate wins, but if no one has escaped after six rounds, then the player who is closest to the gate wins.

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