7 Wonders (Board Game Review)

One of the most popular games out now makes the cut. Read more to see why we enjoyed this card drafter

I first saw this game being played at a convention and it seemed pretty interesting at a first glance. Building up wonders , I think five people were playing and the artwork really impressed me. It really looks like the developers and publishers had really put in some hard work. The different size cards and draw system intrigued me and the players seemed to really be having a blast. I was still kinda new to the drafting card game as a system but I liked how the game seemed to flow pretty fast despite all the players. I watched a few turns play out before grabbing a smoke break and talking to someone who had played it before where they broke down some of the core mechanics. At the time he mentioned how the expansions added more to the game and how he was surprised I had not come across it before. It seemed like something I would like to play, it had enough moving parts and flavor I thought to be something worth buying especially when you can play up to seven out the box. It is hard to find a board game that can scale well and I am always looking for games that can include more players as I rarely have the perfect numbers to run some of my other board games which often cap at 4 to 5.

Only a few months later I find myself playing the game with some friends after a dinner party and I was instantly sold on it. It did not take long to explain the rules and the beautiful artwork and colors added to theme. The owner of the game we played had it very well organized so the set up was pretty smooth and it just looked fun and the dinner table sat 6 comfortably so there was ample room for the guests. The system of play was new to me and the way you drew cards and point system made sure you had several ways of winning the game which several of the players found interesting along with the diplomacy and deal brokering that could occur between turns. The energy at the table felt like everyone was eager for the next turn and after a few turns the players stopped asking questions and kept things moving. Despite the game not being cooperative it did not really have us at each others throat and was not too rule heavy. This all added to the excitement and I decided that it would be something I purchase for my new group when I move to Sweden.  The game has been critically acclaimed since its original print in 2010 for Repos Production from Belgium. Designed by Antoine Bauza, a designer I was not to familiar with but he won the Game of the Year Award (Spel Des Jahres 2011) and apart from that I could not find much on him online.

When I walked into Dragons Lair and saw they had all the expansions I figured this was a game that has staying power and obviously is well supported by its publisher. Another thing that was an unofficial cosign was that several of the store’s customers I asked for opinions said the game was easy to learn and fun to play. In fact out of the four people I asked all four had played and had something nice to say about it. After reading more about what the expansions offered I immediately bought Leaders and the stand alone Duels so that I could play with my Girlfriend who was keen on the idea after already playing the basic Settlers of Catan game for boardgaming.

The first time we played we had 5 players and it took us in total two hours to run the first game but it was thoroughly enjoyable for everybody involved. The rules were pretty straight forward, the color coding of the cards you drew and their abilities made for some interesting back and forth across the table as players new to board games quickly got a hang for the mechanics. The time system makes sure the game does not last too long so the next few games were around an hour and some change. I do not see how someone could play it in under an hour with 5-7 players unless they all shared the same degree of experience in playing it.

7 Wonders plays like no other game I have played before, the artwork is brilliant and the the mechanics are really quick to learn even for the most novice of players. The game has replay value and just looks inviting once set up. If you are thinking of the next board game you want to buy for your group to play every once in a while that is not too intense 7 Wonders is what you should be looking for. What I really enjoyed was how the game forces you to consider and pay attention to what is happening around the table, meaning more interaction between players and a interest in what they did in their turn. It has enough strategy that my brother who is a stern strategy game player had a blast setting up resource cards and building up his forces.  There is something to building up an ancient civilization and constructing a wonder that is just awesome for the average history buff like Apollo.

The downside is that is that it is not a cheap game and the cards should be sleeved for repeat play. The thing about card heavy games is the constant shuffling and use results in wear and tear and 7 Wonders really looks too good that the aesthetics are a huge part of why you like the game. The sleeves just keep the game looking good for longer and saves your nerves when sticky fingers threaten smudge a card. That is where it gets a little tricky because the game is so popular and demand for those specific sleeves so high it is hard to find them in-stock at most online board game retailers. I have spoken to several clerks who have confirmed that the suppliers cannot ship enough and there are shortages in several countries. The sleeve size is not as common as the american board game or trading card game which does add to the problem. Apart from the money you have to invest the game does require a bigger playing surface to fully enjoy everything, much like Mare Nostrum, Twilight Imperium and any of the newer Dungeons and Dragons board games from Wizards of the Coast.

After discussing with my fellow Guild Members and Nerd Dimension crew we came to the decision conerning the score.

7 out of 10

Out the box the game is impressive, easy to learn and will have you coming back for more. Due to its simple and fun play mechanics even players new to the genre will easily master it. We took points off for the price point, space requirements and do feel that the expansions did fix some things to make the game more interesting through new options and the introduction of new mechanics. This game is worth the money and we suggest reading up on the expansions if you are a seasoned player looking to have more depth and flavor out the gate. 7 Wonders has done great and stood the test of time, we predict that the game will continue to dominate and is firmly in the position that few title can claim.

please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments bellow and subscribe so you can see our reviews of the expansions for 7 Wonders.

Summoner Wars Master Set (Boardgame Review)

Plaid Hat Games deliver a stellar addition to their collection and a must play for any deck-builder or card game player who enjoys fantasy and battling.

I am glad to finally review my favorite card game / deck building game on the market. Plaid Hats really delivered when they designed the game. Summoner Wars boast numerous nominations for Game of the Year from Dice Tower to the International Gamers Awards which in itself should speak on the quality of this game. The game is set up with a battlefield and each player uses a faction deck of his choosing. The board is used for movement and dice are used to determine attacks and spell damage. The player takes the role of the Summoner, each faction has one Summoner who is like a wizard who calls up his units using his magic pile and places them on the map adjacent to a wall card.

box

The rules are simple and straight forward with a beautifully drawn and brief, easy to read manual providing players with all the necessary information needed in simple english. Our first game ran an hour and some change but after a few games you should be playing 45 minutes without rushing. The mechanics are interesting so you never getting the feeling of being bored and the game play is very dynamic. Another plus about Summoner Wars is that though there is decking building in the form of mercenary decks and faction packs you are ready to play out the box and the investment is far less than its competitors. For a hundred bucks you have a hefty collection and for a little more u can own the ENTIRE collection of factions with secondary summoners.

Another thing that truly blew me away was how diverse yet balanced each faction was which made the game that much more fun to play. You have factions that have cheap units, some even costing 0 but then you also have powerful ranged units from another faction or a summoner that can control your enemy’s units !!! This makes the gameplay that much more competitive and leads you  to having a favorite faction early on as you can play 6 factions out of the Master Set. The set also includes a quality map and rules how to play 4 player with another matching map. I truly recommend this purchase because of such a low entry point expense and as a game it is a fun deck builder that is easy to teach and has a high replayability factor.

The site provides decent support and there is also a free app you can download for you mobile devices so you can try the rules out before buying. With the existing popularity and so much added content and product finding it at an online store will not be difficult and it is fairly priced.

You can expect an a more detailed break down of factions and how to play them in the near future so stay tuned, subscribe to the NERD DIMENSION FB Page and let us know what you think in the comments sections.

opened

Mazes & Minotaurs RPG Review

The title speaks volumes so read on to hear what we think of the classic free to play RPG of Legenadry Games Studios !!!

One of the new members of our guild brought forth the idea of us playing a different RPG at our next game session. At first when he mentioned it I had heard of it before but never played or read any of the materials. To my surprise I discovered it was a free to play game and he himself had had worked with Legendary Games Studios so expect an interview with him in the near future. With the summer season around and the Euro 2016 being the biggest topic it was high time I put something out for my nerds too.

The game is set in the mythic setting of ancient Greece and the theme is heavy in the game. The selection of classes are easy to understand as well as equipping  and filling out the character sheet is straightforward and streamlined for ease of play. It runs on a D20 system and has numerous modules free to download online. I had the pleasure of playing two sessions thus far of the game and am returning tonight to wrap up the adventure we are currently on.

 

M&M

 

What I really did like was how fast we rolled our character sheets and how combat is much easier than in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. No attack opportunities and no feats, I found myself not having to as the Game Master too much as is that easy to play. The backdrop and setting also is fun because how many of us in high school would have to killed to play a game such as this when we were reading of Hercules and Hades. What is refreshing is the change of pace and amount of reading required to get into the meat of the game. To play your class you literally only need to read your page on your specific class and the rest pretty much plays out as any other RPG. The flavor does separate it and the price point is impossible to beat. We all truly recommend this game for anybody looking for something new and I would say is a must if you are trying to introduce new players to Role Playing Games as other RPGs tend to involve a lot more reading and newbs will walk away unimpressed, overwhelmed or bored in the first session. Mazes and Minotaurs does not share this problem and can go over well with an entire of party of newbs and as a result of a streamlined system you spend WAY less time flipping through pages and more time engaged in the game.

 

Homepage & Downloads 

 

MM2

 

 

Spawn – The Anti Hero we all love

Find out more about your favorite anti hero, how he was created and how big he was for comics.

Some history…

Growing up  in the 90s and 00s I was lucky enough to have spent my young and formative years with my head in a comic and good hip hop in my Walkman (a portable music playing device for playing cassette tapes). The 90s to me will always be larger than life production, gritty writing and an age of wonder to me. I mean consoles, arcades, new comics, tv shows and blockbuster action movies were coming out non stop. So before we get into one of the greatest anti hero’s of all time allow me to set things up.

In 1992 Batman: The Animated series was on the air which would later be the dubbed the best animated series of all time. Sega & Nintendo buttons were being mashed and Activision’s original company Mediagenic filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is the time in the aftermath of Frank Miller‘s legendary ‘The Dark Knight Returns‘ and Alan Moore’s masterpieces ‘The Watchmen‘ and ‘V for Vendetta‘ meaning comics witnessed a shift into more adult content with darker stories, sex and just grittier settings. Also remember that readers saw Superman die in 1993 and Venom get his own comic (interesting seeing as he was designed by Todd MacFarlane).  I say this so that a reader can attempt to envision the time and feel of that era that would later be dubbed The Dark Age or Iron Age of comics.

Todd MacFarlane and Image Comics

image-comics-logo
Image comics logo

Todd MacFarlane earned recognition first for his work on Marvel’s  ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ comic staying through the 80s for 28 issues and illustrated the first full appearances of the super villain ‘Venom’ as Edie Brock. The Canadian cartoonist and artist did not come out of nowhere, himself siting that he sent out more than 700 submissions in pinup size with next to no reaction from the publishers, mostly rejections. When he did get put on by the giant publisher he became a superstar in the world of comics. He would eventually part ways with Marvel due to their ‘work for hire’ policies towards their artists, in short they never got  percentages of sales or retained any Intellectual Property for the duration. Todd would join forces with other disenfranchised artists from the big publishers including: Jim Lee (X-men), Marc Silvestri (Wolverine) Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy) to name a few and veteran writer Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-men).  This group would reduce Marvel’s share price by $3.25 per share and they never turned back. Todd would mention in his own comics that he believed that artists deserved to be treated with respect by the publishers who made millions off their talent and not feel ripped off when a business relationship ended. Together Image comics would publish some of the best titles in comics including : Spawn, Witchblade, The Walking Dead and Saga. Image comics not only put out good product by renown artists but took a stand against corporations, their charter best says it:

  1. Image would not own any creators work; the creator retained it
  2. No partner interference either financially and creatively.

Enough said.

Spawn & Batman
Image Comics Todd MacFarlane

The birth of Spawn

After a life of full of murder, betrayal, pain and espionage serving his country he would get promoted to top assassin for the C.I.A. after saving the life of the president. Al is then murdered, by whom he knows not so during his journey through the inferno that is hell he makes one last plea, screams and begs for a chance to see his wife Wanda again. Needless to say making deals with demons never bodes well for the one signing on the line so Al returns to Earth, face looking like a badly burned burger drowned in scabs…yuck would be an understatement. Al is in a new body as his mind is tormented by flashbacks and memories of his great love. While trying to put all the pieces together he decides to crash in the alleys while becoming the protector of the homeless in the Bowery, a run down hood in New York. Gradually he learns he got stiffed in his deal returning 5 years after his death, his best friend knocked up his widow and he was celebrated a hero…I know, and believe me it get’s worse. I am trying to not spoil of the story or giveaway too much but I can say that every panel is worth the paper it’s printed on. Spawn means a lot to me because it challenged me as a young reader, opened my mind to new horizons concerning creativity and imagination. I mean hot angels waging war with demonic lords with New York City as the backdrop most of the time. Spawn fights Predators, Xenomorphs to Gotham’s caped crusader himself. Even the supporting cast are written well as you begin to empathize and relate to certain characters. Spawn is an ever evolving character and his universe is by far one of the most sinister in comics. Be sure to check out the first couple of issues and below I will include a link for you lazy cats out there who would rather watch the show. The movie was meh, but the HBO is a lot better and will give you a limited yet good idea of what to expect from the literature.

We encourage all our readers to supports publisher, designers and authors by at least checking out their sites if not through purchases.

 

MacFarlane

Image Comics

Info Zona & Carta Magica ST : Board Games for the people of Split !!!

Yours truly decided to accept the invitation of Carta Magica Split & Info Zona to their ‘Modern Board Game Night’ ! Read further to see what we thought.

 

I am glad to tell the expats and locals alike in Split that gaming is growing and it is thanks to to Carta Magica Split and Info Zona. The shops ownership decided to take their efforts a step further by aligning themselves with Info Zona to give the people of Split a place to game on Saturdays. As I stated in my very first blog post Split does not have a large, hell even mid sized gaming community. There are only 2 gaming clubs which are only for consoles and PCs and apart from the shop itself (which cannot work long weekends) the promotion of gaming was limited. After a successful convention last summer Marko Mlinar and his team are hoping to garner more interest in board games and RPGS. The biggest problems they face are resources and spaces, games in Croatia sadly are expensive for the younger demographic and places to play is a problem for the older demographic. The third would be, WHO TO PLAY WITH? So instead of giving up they have been doing these game sessions every Saturday back to back and last weekend broke the record for attendance with more than 35 gamers present!

ZONA 1

Walking up to the venue you go through the very heart of the city so I knew if I would get thirsty or hungry the solution is walking distance. You go through a small door and are energized by the vibes when you enter. A room full of people, packed like sardines but everyone is all smiles and there is no yelling ! Polite socializing, open door policy and most of all friendly faces. It was my first time attending was glad to see a game I was dying to play for a while (7 Wonders) and to my luck Marko brought the Leaders expansion :D. There were classic favorites such as Settlers of Catan, Cosmic Encounter and the party time favorite Avalon were some of the arsenal they brought out that night. In short its a bright light for gamers and every gamer would have something for themselves. The level of gamer also varied so that made it a little more enjoyable for me. Nobody wants to get owned as a newbie, especially not their first time. The whole time I was there everyone was friendly and helpful, forthcoming with information and for the first time in a while I was somewhere where the majority of people were not staring at their cellphones or texting. Info Zona run a tight ship and have a great space especially for those living in the center or who simply find themselves strolling can easy find the location. As you can see in the picture above, it is well furnished and everyone present came to game and have a good time. No loud music, no loud patrons and above all a decent game bank to choose from. An added bonus is also that the crowd is very mixed ranging from ages, backgrounds and if you are an expat most of the gamers speak very good English.

 

ZON 2

 

In short I would to thank them for their noble pursuit but I must also state why I am wary of their efforts. As of now in Split if someone is searching for a place to game and learn about gaming you can visit the store during working hours and you can also game Saturday’s at Zona. Problem with Zona is that it starts a  bit later in the day and the place is pretty much always crowded so people looking for earlier sessions are on their own. I heard from some people that it is usually the same people which slightly irritated me. As you well know I am the head of a guild and in one year our board game collection is at 7 games ! I feel its wack to come every Saturday and not at least consider buying a game for yourself to game with your friends or by yourself, in fact I would go as far as saying its downplaying the efforts of volunteers and taking advantage of their generosity. Maybe Im old school but owning a game always gives you the option of introducing gaming to your friends and new people. These people invest their time and energy into something decent and pure and I believe the only way to repay them is by doing right and grasping their commitment. None of them get paid to do it and they can just as easily be at home gaming with their friends but they gift you their time and themselves, selflessness…it’s a beautiful thing. I say this in the hopes of people considering that the games offered at these places are out of someones private collection and if one was to be ruined I highly doubt the hurt party would be compensated. I urge people who have not yet visited Carta Magica Split or Info Zona to make an effort to swing by, you can meet some interesting people, if your lucky you might even meet me (kidding). Characters to look out for would be Gordan ( the gentle beard ), Toni ( The Sci Fi guy), Jerko ( Star Fly ) Kruno ( Troll Vader ) Romana ( Scroll Vader ), Marijana ( Sweetheart Zombie Slayer ) & Marko ( Pancho Splicho ) who are very helpful to guests and do their best to ensure you have a good time.  It is because these individuals put in the work we have such a treasure in the city and I will ALWAYS speak highly of them and it will only be a pleasure to do write ups on their events. For these events to continue other people outside the volunteer circles MUST start participating because Split is the second city of Croatia yet there is only one board game and RPG guild (G.O.L.T.) . So to all the the people who are on the fence of buying a game here are some suggestions :

  1. Watch reviews online : this way you can at least get an idea of a game you may like
  2. Visit the store and become a member : 5% discount with membership!
  3. Try out different games
  4. Gather a group of friends and split the costs

 

and if you are truly interested in gaming or have games but no one to play with then apply for membership with The Guild of Lost Travelers. Bare in mind the screening process may take a couple of days as all senior members must vote on granting admission to the group. If you reach out expect to receive a message and a meeting to be arranged but fear not young padawan for no one in the guild is a dick…except me (kidding again). Until next time quest strong, drink responsibly, roll 20 and watch out for that ORC !!!!

 

*the opinions of The Fantasy Dimension do not reflect those of Info Zona or Carta Magica and the nicknames provided are aliases which I carefully crafted to maintain the privacy of these heroes of gaming! Like the pages now so you don’t have to later !!!

 

pages to checkout:

Fantastikon (Only Sci Fi / Fanstasy / Gaming Con in Dalmatia)

Carta Magica Split

Info Zona (FB Page)

Guild of Lost Travlers

NERD DIMENSION FB PAGE

 

 

 

Arabian vibes with Alhambra (Review) G.O.L.T.

Last Saturday one of our guild members Marin managed to land us a gaming venue and we wanted to try something new, big shout to the Gentle Beard (It ain’t Santa Clause or Dumbledore) for hooking us up with Alhambra with a few expansions. After checking out some reviews we were sure it was worth a shot.

A building game that plays 6 people and the expansions seemed to really spice up the game play. Recently our guild has seen a surge in activity and we are hoping that we continue to hang out , we haven’t played with Marin for almost a year so it was good to reconnect as well we brought two new gamers to get familiar with the game and meet some of the members.

In Alhambra you play as the master builders of Europe and Arabia to create the best possible Alhambra. Alhambra won the ‘Spiel Des Jahres’ game of the year award and ‘As’Dor’ game of the year award in 2003 and is published by Queen Games. Having such awards including the Golden Feather in Germany for best rules in a board game as well in 2003 we all figured this game but deliver, and deliver it did!

The game is about buying tiles with the matching color currency in order to rack up points in each of the three counting phases. Each player is given a fountain as starting tile and a reserve card counter where they can store tiles and the point scheme i listed on it as well. You begin with around 20 in currency and you can draw in each turn where have three options : Draw money, buy a tile or rearrange/move tiles. The basic game we discovered had somethings to be desired because the mechanics would not allow for change so we introduced two expansions : The Bureau  of Change which allowed u to exchange the color of currencies and we used The Change which granted you to receive coins as change. We deeply recommend that you purchase the expansions because now you can buy The Big box version with most of the expansions and is well worth the money.

 

You Can buy the game here (Croatia): Alhambra

Or here (E.U.): Alhambra Big Box

 

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