BraveGuard Is A Bright, Unique RPG For Families and Adult Board Gamers Alike

The Quick Deets on BraveGuard:

  • Ages 8+
  • 45-90 Minutes
  • 2-4 Players
  • Currently being funded on Kickstarter
  • $54 per copy
  • Estimated Release March 2018
  • Fantasy RPG
  • Kickstarter Page

What is BraveGuard?

BraveGuard is a competitive Fantasy RPG game. The design of which, in my humble opinion, is simple but intuitive. The goal of BraveGuard is to collect 10 Glory points, and be the first to return to town to them. If you do this each other player gets one more turn to surpass your glory points, and if they do so they win.

Before we talk about how you attain glory lets talk a little bit about the setup and main game loop. At the beginning of the game you shuffle the encounter deck, treasure deck, and quest deck. Then each player picks a hero card and gives themselves the health designated on it. After that each player draws a quest, this is each player’s starting quest.

Each turn players will roll the die and move the shown spaces or less. Players move around the board completing quests and fighting in encounters to gain gear and glory.

Gaining Glory in BraveGuard

Glory can be directly gained in two ways. One way is to complete quests. The other way glory can be acquired is by fighting Fiends. Fiends reside in the Fallen Palaces. Fiends are difficult monsters that players can fight for Glory. They can fight one every turn the reside in the Fallen Palaces.

This presents a risk for the player though. Because if they player dies at any point they will start back at the nearest Camp, where they will have to wait one turn to refill all their health. Forcing them to lose basically two turns.

Combat in BraveGuard

This is something that I think is really cool about the game. When you fight in an encounter you can choose a way to fight each monster. You then flip over the card and read the action and take a “skill check”. Presumably adding bonuses from equipment gained from encounters and quests.

The Art

Usually I would not really talk too much about art except in passing. But in this circumstance the art of this game is what drew me to it. Because the game is meant to be able to be played by young kids, it has that nice cartoonish, bright art style that really pops.

 

BraveGuard Art

Obviously this art is all digitally rendered and not actual pictures of what the components will look like. But it is fairly safe to say that the art will look almost exactly like this. I personally think it’s beautiful and cheerful in a way that can be enjoyed by families and adults alike.

General Thoughts on BraveGuard

The game looks simple and fun. I’m considering backing the game. I think it would be fun to play with friends on board game night or something. But my one hesitation is the price. $54 is a lot of money for a game like this. Although it is a fairly large game. Personally seeing it I thought that was a little bit of a steep asking price.

The one justification for this that I see is that two of their stretch goals involve donating copies to charity. I think that this justifies the price point for me. If all the stretch goals are reached they would donate a total of 50 copies of the game to charities revolving around children and families. That is something I find very commendable and also something that I never really see with board game kickstarters.

Concluding Thoughts

If these kinds of games are your cup of tea. And you aren’t looking for something super complex, I think BraveGuard might be a good game to add to your collection. Whether it will even be funded is to be seen. It isn’t very far along at the time of this writing, but it still has a long ways to go.

Enchanters Is A Fantasy Card Drafting Game With Quick Rounds And No Bookkeeping

The Quick Details of Enchanters:

  • 2-4 Players
  • 14+ Age Group
  • 30-60 minutes
  • Releases Dec. 2017
  • Currently funded on Kickstarter
  • Fantasy Theme
  • Card Drafting mechanics
  • $25 for Full Game
  • Print and Play Available on Kickstarter Page

The Full Sauce

Enchanters is a new game developed by Gindie and Ludibooster. It touts itself as easy to learn and play. So easy to learn and play in fact, that it can be learned in 2 minutes. Already I find this hard to believe. I wanted to get this complaint out of the way early, because my biggest complaint about the Kickstarter. I mean it took someone more than 2 minutes to explain Seven Dragons to me, and they were already well versed. I don’t see how a game that is guided as 14+ and takes 30-60 minutes can possibly be faster to learn than Seven Dragons. Besides that complaint, I really do think the game looks good. But let me explain it for you in case you might think this is your cup of tea.

What is Enchanters?

Enchanters is a fantasy themed card drafting game. The basic gameplay revolves around each player “going on a quest” every turn. The goal of this quest is three fold. The player can:

  • Pick up item cards, which will serve as the item they Enchant (eg. A Long Sword, or Staff)
  • Pick up enchantment cards which will augment the item the player has selected
  • Fight enemies to score points

Seems pretty simple. I mean maybe the 2 minutes isn’t as far off as I originally thought… Although I don’t know why the game says 14+ then…

Now that I’m done beating that dead horse I do think the idea of the game is really cool. You keep the monsters you kill and they serve as your score at the end of the game.

Okay I feel like I’ve heard this one before

You might be saying this game doesn’t seem very original. That I might have to agree with you on. While I cannot think of a game that mirrors this one exactly, I think reading it I wasn’t really struck by the uniqueness of the game.

Where the game did strike me was when I was reading about the cities, and the variety of decks you can choose from. There are 6 Kingdom decks. When you play you choose one for each player. That means if you play with the maximum players there are still two decks unused. This creates an amount of permutations that could be calculated by someone who is smart enough to know more than the meaning of the word permutations.

Besides the Kingdoms decks, there are a multitude of villages to choose from. Villages are the life blood of the variation in Enchanters. You only choose one village per game. villages determine not only the actions each player can take on their turn, but also the cards the player needs to score points. The game was initially only going to have 6 villages, but through stretch goals the game would currently ship with 13 villages, plus a multitude of other choice differences.

Again someone with more of a background in math can probably calculate all these choices you have and how many times you can play the game without using the exact same cards. But let me tell you it’s a lot. I don’t know how many exactly, but I would say that 70 is probably a  pretty conservative number.

Overall thoughts

While Enchanters might not have a new catchy mechanic, or a really unique theme. I think the game will be fun. If nothing else it can be a good game for parties or company that isn’t as modern board game friendly. It could definitely be a good time passing game, and might even be good for playing with kids. As the game seems pretty light in its theme and I think the 14+ rating is a little heavy handed.

Enchanters isn’t something I will be contributing to. But if it makes it to retail I would definitely consider picking it up if reviews are good. I think for the right person it could be a great game that could get a lot of play for a long time.

Off The Rails: A Tile-Placement Game With A Simple Concept and a Depth Of Strategy

A Few Details About Off The Rails:

Off the Rails:

  • 2-4 Players
  • 60-90 Minutes
  • Ages 12+
  • $3 for Print and Play
  • $30 For Full Release
  • Release Scheduled for February 2018

Genre: Tile Placement

What is Off The Rails?

Off The Rails is a tile-placement game where the goal is to create a mine cart rail that allows you to pickup more jewels than the other players. Each turn the player can take 4 actions, of which there are four to choose from. A player can take the same action multiple times but it will count as more than one action.

Players each start with one cart at one of the predetermined spots on the edges of the board. They can choose which spot. The actions you can take each turn are:

  1. Place a new tile, which doesn’t have to connect to another tile.
  2. Place a mine cart, you can have a maximum of 2
  3. Upgrade a track tile. Upgrade a straight tile to a branching one, etc.
  4. Change the speed of your mine cart.

The player whose turn it is then moves their mine cart exactly it’s speed. Collecting jewels, and observing rules for collecting said jewels. Rules can be found here. The rules also cover such things as collisions and derailments (if you run into another cart or run off the track). But those rules are a little too complicated to be covered here.

Finally the player draws a card which shows where new jewels are deposited along the track. The final result of the game is a large interconnected track which players run back and forth down collecting jewels. See below.

General Thoughts

I know what you’re thinking, that’s just Tsuro but with extra steps (points if you get that reference). And you would be correct in your assumption to a certain extent. But the main difference being when I play Tsuro I’m done playing for a few months after each session. Tsuro isn’t very different each game. While Off The Rails adds a lot of randomness and variation to each game, and allows for more replayability.

I think the game looks really fun, and after reading the rules a few times I think the game will probably be really fun. The game currently isn’t funded all the way, although it probably will be. Because it has over half of what it needs and 24 days to go.

If you are interested in trying the game it can also be played on Tabletopia. But overall if you liked Tsuro or if you like tile placement games I think the game is well worth checking out. Especially because the game will only be a few months away from coming out by the time the kickstarter ends.

SkillGamesBoard: A Place For Casual and Hardcore Skill Gamers Alike

If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you know that classic board games are not the main focus of this blog. Every article I have written so far has been about modern tabletop gaming, and news related to it. But when I was contacted by skillgamesboard.com to do a review for their website I happily accepted.

Why Classic Board Games matter to the modern gamer

Besides the obvious fact that modern tabletop games would not exist without older games, classic games like Chess inspired games like Hive. Many of these games are what got us into more modern board games. For me, Go has a special place in my heart. It was my first love as far as board games are concerned and I still play it occasionally today. But unfortunately none of my close friends enjoy Go.

Cue skillgamesboard.com. When I was playing Go I wish I had found a site like it. Because while I used to play on another website that was strictly built for playing Go. It was not Facebook integrated. You could not play games across all platforms, including mobile. And of course you could only play Go, instead of Go, Chess, Checkers, Majong, Backgammon, etc. There are even a few games you can play at skillgamesboard that I have never heard of. Like Renju.

Besides those unique features, skillgamesboard offers all the other things one would normally expect form this type of website. Including special options for each game. Like whether or not to include a turn timer in Chess. As well as the ability to play against the computer as well.

Does anyone use Skillgamesboard?

Actually yes. This was the one thing I was skeptical about when I accepted their request to do this review. But I logged in to play Chess, admittedly probably the most commonly played game. I only had to wait about 45 seconds for a match. Which is completely acceptable in my honest opinion.

Conclusion

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Skillgamesboard. When I accepted the request to do this review I did it out of love for what got me into Tabletop Gaming. But I was presently surprised to find that it was a well run website with lots of features that someone who plays skill games would desire. It gets a thumbs up from me and I recommend it to anyone who loves classic board games, and wants a convenient platform to play them on. Whether they want to play them with friends, with strangers, or against the AI.

Dungeon Hustle: A Quick, Quirky Dungeon Crawler

Dungeon Hustle is a new game from Wiz Kids. The game has a really unique hook to it called “hustling”, which is the movement system in the game. It also has a lot of hand-management. With some RPG elements thrown in for good measure.

A Short Synopsis of Dungeon Hustle

Dungeon Hustle is a fast paced dungeon crawling game with light RPG elements. The game can be played with 2-4 players. The goal of the game is two-fold. The players must work together to stop too many monsters from escaping the dungeon. But while they are doing that each player is competing for Victory Points. They do this by gathering gold, leveling up, getting items, killing monsters, and completing quests. Each player has a unique class, which they choose at the beginning of the game.

Before we talk about the gameplay loop we have to talk about some setup elements or else the game will make no sense at all. You should know that the setup requires you to place a 7×7 grid of tiles out. Leaving out the corner tiles and the two tiles adjacent to them in each corner. As well as the leaving the tile in the middle of the board open, as the remaining deck of tiles go here.

Every tile has a color and symbol on it, the purpose of which will be discussed later. The players then takes their turn. Each turn has several steps which will be outlined here:

Hustle:

The first step of your turn is the Hustle phase. It is the namesake of the game, and in my opinion the coolest phase. During this part of your turn you will move your character through the dungeon by jumping from tile to tile. You can only move to adjacent and diagonal tiles. The player can “hustle” for as long as you can go without stepping on a tile that is a new color. After your hustle is over you then pick up all the tiles you stepped on. Excluding the one you are now standing on.

Wandering Monster/Combat:

This phase is really two phases. The wandering monster phase requires that the player who just moved refills the tiles they took. If there are any monster attack tiles they must either play a shield tile or discard a tile. After that the player must fight a monster if the tile they are standing on has one. Then play continues to the next phase.

Questing:

If the player ends their turn on one of the corner tiles that has an active quest on it. They can discard required tiles, listed on the quest, to complete it. Each quest gives the player a certain amount of gold. Quests also contribute to end game scoring.

Monster Movement/Spawning:

If there are 4 monsters on the board you don’t spawn a monster, if not another one spawns along the outside edge of the board. After that a tile is drawn and any monsters that have a matching symbol on their tile move one space closer to the center (exit). If too many monsters escape the game ends.

Resting:

At the end of your turn you have the resting phase. The resting phase allows you to purchase items for gold. Also you can recharge any items that were used that turn by discarding their required tiles.

That is a quick synopsis of the way the game works. The rulebook is over 12 pages so there are some things that are left out. The full rules can be found here.

Components

  • 96 Dungeon Room Cards
  • 4 Character Cards
  • 4 Helper Cards
  • 20 Quest Cards
  • 30 Item Cards
  • Gold Tokens
  • Corner Tile Tokens
  • Rules

Overall Thoughts:

The game looks super fun. If you agree you won’t have to wait long for it. Because it comes out later this month! August of 2017! I think the whole “hustle” mechanic is really cool and interesting. Besides that they seem to have the RPG elements well implemented. Having kind of a quick dungeon crawl game is not new to the tabletop gaming world by any means. But I have to admit that I’m a sucker for these kinds of games.

Long story short I’ll end up picking this up when it comes out for sure. I like the box art, which is the only art we really have seen so far. I like the concept of the game. It seems like it could have some really good strategy to it. Without having too many rules to keep track of. If you’re looking to get into a new game for a smallish group of people. Especially one that is a dungeon crawler, I think Dungeon Hustle could definitely be a game you can look forward to.