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One of Raine's biggest hobbies has always been gaming. It all started with an Atari and spread out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons. As an artist, Raine takes pride in painting models for games as well as making his own terrain. He's also been a writer for many years, working both in the journalism industry and writing pieces of fiction. He decided to create Initiative : Tabletop as a platform to talk about all things gaming that he simply thought were cool, and reviewing games became a part of it!

Guest Post: The Plan – Part 10: International Gaming!

Another tidbit of information about myself – I’m a roller derby referee and this weekend I was able to head to Toronto, Canada to participate in a tournament. I was so busy that I was unable to make it to Snakes & Lattes (http://www.snakesandlattes.com/). I have heard of the wonders of this board game café and wanted to get there, but I didn’t have access to a car or GPS (international phone service is expensive). If you are in the area and like coffee and board games, I’m told it is a sight to behold. I might be making it back to Canada in a couple of months. If I do, it might be worth the extra couple of hours to make the trip.

The first game off the list this week is Lords of Vegas. Be prepared for a die rolling, gambling good time for in this game – luck reigns supreme. That’s not to say that there isn’t strategy because there is just enough to make it fun, but if you want complete control – this isn’t the game for you. Also, make sure that you have some poker chips handy since the game comes with paper money and using that gets old quick. The only sad part about this game is that it is only for 3 or 4 players. The last couple of times, I have played it with only 3 players and I got to say that I enjoy it a lot more with four. There is so much more interaction with four players that it really pushes this to the next level. I believe that there is an expansion for this one coming out soon and if it makes it playable with 5 or even 6 players, I definitely will be buying it.

Lords of Vegas: Luck reigns supreme in this game; only those that take chances will win!

Lords of Vegas: Luck reigns supreme in this game; only those that take chances will win!

The second one is a game that was recently reviewed on this site actually. I have nothing but good things to say about Flash Point Fire Rescue – a cooperative game about battling a fire. It’s simple to teach (ask a 5 year old what a fireperson does and 90% of the time they will get it completely right – fights fires and rescues people) and fun/simple to play. Each player had an action phase and a “fire” phase. Once complete, play moves to the next player I own all the boards and expansions to this one and will continue to buy any additional boards that are produced – it’s that good. It also helps that it plays up to six players and it is quick enough that it can be an end of the night filler game. Most often we play random firefighters in the advanced game which is probably why we fail at the game so much, but it doesn’t matter – we keep coming back again and again.

Flash Point Fire Rescue: Three firefighters are battling a blaze hoping to rescue the victims inside.

Flash Point Fire Rescue: Three firefighters are battling a blaze hoping to rescue the victims inside.

Don’t fret – a couple of additional, not of the list games were played this week as well. King of Tokyo is a competitive dice rolling game where each player takes the role of a huge monster attacking Tokyo. Players get three dice rolls (as in Yahtzee) to get any combination of victory points, attack, health or energy. Once all other monsters are destroyed (each player starts with 10 health) or you amass 20 VP, you win. It’s a quick game that I rarely even come close to winning, but I’ll never skip a chance to play since it’s a lot of fun.

Lastly, I played Kingdom Builder (I played it while in Hamilton, Ontario actually) with the person I stayed with while at the tournament (thanks again Molly). Some people have complained that the designer of Dominion should have made something more epic instead of this game, but I have no issues with this one. The game play is simple– on your turn you must play 3 buildings based on your terrain card adjacent to your other buildings if possible. Before or after those buildings, you may use any of the special location chips at you have collected. Once someone has played all their buildings, each player score victory points (gold) based on three victory point cards chosen at the beginning of the game. It’s easy to teach and a good starter game if someone hasn’t played games before, but if you are looking for something deep and challenging, this one isn’t it.

Until next time – Travel abroad and play a game!

Brendan Mayhugh


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