Just When I Thought My Interest Was Dead…It Rose From The Grave! By Peter Ruth II I said before, in my review of the launch packs, that I wasn’t a big fan of the game system because it lacked a lot of the "white knuckle" factor because of the efficient model the system has at […]
Rome May Not Have Been Built In A Day, But Empires Can Be Built In Under An Hour. By Peter Ruth II My first brush with Jeff Siadek was at Origins 2011, where he was next to the Ninja Magic booth, selling copies of Battlestations. I introduced myself and told him I was a big […]
Well, as usual, Small Box is up to no good. First, they make this killer game called Omen: A Reign of War which took everyone by surprise and turned into the “out of left field” smash card game of 2011. I mean, if ever a game needed an iOS app, it’s that one. And then they delivered Hemloch, an odd little card game with an odd little theme that is oddly, pretty fun. So, I was kind of thinking they were due for a stinker. I mean, we’ve loved most of what came out of the joint for a while, and then came Tempt, one of the most truly awful games I’ve ever played…with a rulebook so bad that it was incomprehensible. But John Clowdus and Company are, by and large, batting close to 1000. So, here comes Tooth And Nail: Factions (TANF), which has what I think is the best art and theme to date out of the company. “But how does it play?” you ask…well, let’s talk about that.
This is a kid’s game, no doubt about it, and it’s the kind of game where the most important decisions are made at the outset, when you choose which archetype you wish to enter the dungeon with. The weaker archetypes such as the Cleric and Rogue need only get 10,000 gold, which is maybe ten or twelve low-level treasures, while the beefier Warrior needs 20K and the Wizard needs 30K. As there’s 6 areas of the board, each with tougher monsters, the beefier guys head out to the higher levels while the weaker players head out to the lower levels, generally. Unless you’re playing with a lot of players, and since everyone normally moves the same distance on their turn, you’re not going to see a whole lot of crowding in one section. That said, the treasures on any given level are limited by the amount of cards available, so once a level is free of baddies, you’re out of luck if you stumble across one in a “named chamber” because he’s going to need killing and you get bupkus for doing it.
For almost 25 years I’ve been playing Star Fleet Battles and its derivatives, and while I’m still no expert, I know as much about them as anyone who has played them for any length of time. Ironically, it’s not that I’m that enamored with Star Trek or the Star Trek universe, but more that I’m fascinated by the level of detail that Amarillo Design Bureau (ADB) has put into the game, as well as the idea of big, cool-looking spaceships chewing through one another with energy weapons.