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Board Game Review – Vici

There’s a place for luck in a game. I’m mostly fine with it being all over the place. But there’s also a time when you should not allow luck to take a flawless strategy and turn it into a clown car full of acrobatic bobcats on their way to a jazz flute convention. Vici looks like it should be a successor to chess. It’s got strategy, clever moves, different pieces with special powers, careful maneuvering and other stuff that makes it a pretty smart-looking game. But it also has some painfully apparent flaws that kept me from wanting to play it again, despite being a good idea. Vici is a two-player game, with no option for more, which I like because too many games try to present variants and replay options and special scenarios and let’s face it, there’s just no need to trick it up all the time. Vici is simple and straightforward – two rival commanders face off across a movement grid, each equipped with similar armies, and they then deploy those armies in whichever manner makes them believe they will be able to dole out a beating to the opponent. When one player can move a piece to the other player’s...
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Weird Game Review – A Duel Betwixt Us

Let’s say you’re a Victorian-era gentleman. Let’s say another Victorian-era gentleman challenges your honor. The only rational response is a duel. I mean, obviously. First you must decide on the terms of the duel. Will it be bludgeons and codpieces, with cheating allowed? Or will you use a referee to limit the funny business, and stab each other with swords like truly refined men? Or possibly just a birthday suit duel, where you will arrive at the contest wearing only what God gave you and carrying a mighty warhammer? Speaking of mighty warhammers (and in this context, I mean weapons, not manly parts), you will need to procure your tools of war should you hope to stand a chance in the upcoming fracas. For this, you must employ your miners, who will dig pure ingots from the earth that you may fashion into concealed daggers and sharpened broadswords. The more you prove your manly prowess by beating your opponent senseless with a large fish or closed umbrella, the more miners will come to your side to help you gather the raw materials you need to build only the most noble of helmets and tack hammers. Win your duels, and women will fawn over you,...
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Quick Game Review – Agent Hunter

Spies are tricky bastards. They hide out in safe houses, disguising their identities and sneaking around in the dark. That’s why they make such a great theme to paste on a game like Agent Hunter, which is basically all about guessing numbers. Agent Hunter is a game about using your spies (who all have secret agent designators like ‘1’ and ‘2’ and ‘3’ and a bunch more that go all the way up to ‘9’) to find your opponent’s spies (who, because they are members of a secret spy organization exactly like yours, all have the same exact numbers). You take cards out of your hand and point to a safe house and say, ‘is that guy a zero?’ And if that guy is a zero, you capture his safe house. If he is not, your turn is over. Just so we’re clear, there is basically nothing spy-ey about Agent Hunter. It’s a guessing game where you try to figure out where your opponent is hiding cards with specific numbers on them. You run down the line, trying different numbers until you get lucky and nab three safe houses in a row. If the other player is guessing with a ‘6’, you know he’s...
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