Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor

"A great expansion with many new options for the game we all love!"

In Agricola you are a farmer - and that means that you have to take care of growing food, expanding your pasture, managing your family life and doing a lot of other things a farmer usually has to do. The topic has been adopted in a great way and lead to one of the most popular games of the last years. With this expansion you broaden the experience even further and add lots of new options.

The premium quality of the components is the same as we already know from the base game. The box comes with 150 new cards, beautiful wooden horse-shaped pieces and lots of smaller additional tiles, like Moor tiles or flames.

The known gameplay mechanics are basically the same, but in addition to the need to feed your family, you now also need to heat your home. You also need to manage your farm land, and decide when to cut the forest and when to use your peat. Beside the existing animals now horses are here as well, and special actions are available to choose. Last but not least a load of new major and minor improvements are introduced, which take into account the new options of the game.

If you've played the base game a lot of times and want to experience new options - this is the expansion for you. Although the game gets more complex and you need some more time to play, it adds lots of new possibilities and ways of winning... Again you need to figure out which strategy works out best and this process is a lot of fun. If you love the base game, you will love Farmers of the Moor even more!

From the publisher: In Agricola (Latin for "farmer"), you're a farmer in a wooden shack with your spouse and little else. On a turn, you get to take only two actions, one for you and one for the spouse, from all the possibilities you'll find on a farm: collecting clay, wood or stone; building fences; and so on. You might think about having kids in order to get more work accomplished, but first you need to expand your house. And what are you going to feed all the little rugrats?

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor is a full-blown expansion to Agricola - and you need the base game to play it. This expansion replaces the minor improvements and the occupations of the base game with a large set of new improvements, and adds a number of new features. 
It includes 150 cards, horse-shaped wooden pieces, many tiles, and a new scorepad. The mechanics include the need to heat your home during harvest as well as feeding your family; hence, fuel becomes a new resource to collect. Farmers of the Moor includes special actions and lots of new major improvements. It expands the options to your Agricola experience.

1-5 players, 120 min
Author: Uwe Rosenberg
Published by: Lookout Games (german), Z-man Games (english)
Category: Farming, Economic 

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor @ boardgamegeek.com


Monday, 7 July 2014

Batman "The Long Halloween"

"THE LONG HALLOWEEN is more than a comic book. It's an epic tragedy." - Christopher Nolan (director The Dark Knight Rises)

Batman: The Long Halloween is a masterpiece. Jeph Loeb's writing is awesome and the beautiful graphics of Tim Sale fit the Crime Noir background of the book perfectly. It's a murder mystery story set in a grey and dark Gotham City, where Batman needs to identify and catch a serial killer, who strikes on holiadys only.
The book is tight and exciting until the last page, and features lots of the well-known characters we all love - Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy and even Scarecrow and Mad Hatter. Also the story of attorney Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face is touched.

A epic, thrilling and varied journey together with your beloved Dark Knight!

From the publisher: Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, this new edition of the classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.
This edition includes original 13-issue series as well as four additional story pages cut from the original series, which are presented fully colored and restored to their place in the story.  Also featured are sketches and an introduction by the director and writer of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer.

publisher: dc comics (english), panini comics (german)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Sarah Wieners "First Choice"

In her latest cooking series for TV, Sarah Wiener is looking for basic high quality ingredients. In each episode one of these ingredients is examined closely, from planting through harvesting to cooking. She visits a specialist for each specific product, stays some days and accompanies these persons - and finally cooks for them a delicicous meal, based on the specific ingredient.

The 2-DVD Box comes with a booklet of the recipes as well, which is awesome, as it gives you the chance to prepare the wonderful meals also for yourself at home.
The series has been produced in a cooperation between ORF and ARTE, and has been awarded "NTV DVD set of the year 2013".

There are overall 10 episodes (running about 45 minutes each) covering the following areas:

-) Honey
-) Bread
-) Tomatoes
-) Apples
-) Milk
-) Chicken
-) Olive Oil
-) Fish
-) Sheep
-) Potatoes

Sarah Wiener is an Austrian TV- Culinary and Entrepreneur. She has got her reputation from TV-cooking in Germany. Speaking fluently French she has also get a wide reputation in France, - where she has got some celebrity from a Arte TV Cooking serie she directed. This serie named le "Le Tour de France culinaire de Sarah Wiener" has got so much success in France, that this serie has got its on wikipedia - article in the french wikipedia...

also known as Sarah Lohmeyer
- born on August 27th, 1962 (51 years ago) in Halle, child of Lore Heuermann and Oswald Wiener
- nationality: Germany, Austria
- profession: Entrepreneur, author, tv chef, actor
- read more about Sarah Wiener (actress) 

[from omnilexica.com]

Producer: Edel Germany


Monday, 27 January 2014

REX: Final Days of an Empire

REX: Finaly Days of an Empire is a remake of the legendary boardgame Dune, which is settled now in the Twilight Imperium universe. The basic game mechanisms have been kept, and so the game is again about different races struggling for power, whereas negotiation and alliances play an important role.

The game has been published by Fantasy Flight Games and Heidelberger Spieleverlag, therefore you already know about the premium quality of the components.You get a huge game board, beautiful battle dials, a very nice Dreadnought miniature and lots and lots of markers, tokens and cards. All of this adds to a really exciting atmosphere.

The game is divided into 8 rounds, with seven phases each. The most important resource in the game is influence, which can be used for lots of different actions. In the first phase you gain influence through different events, afterwards an entertaining bidding process for Strategy Cards takes place. In the third phase you recruit troops and leaders, which you deploy and move afterwards. Phase 5 is dedicated to battles, which are resolved quite simple and straight - also including usage of the beautiful battle wheels. The last two phases are reserved for collecting influence from areas which you control, and for finally seeing if the giant bomber fleet destroys some of your troops or not.

What makes the game really shine, is the fact that you can win alone - or together with other players, if your form alliances. If a player manages to control three strongholds in the city, this player wins, or control of 4 strongholds for an alliance of 2 players, or 5 strongholds for an alliance of 3 players. Furthermore different races have also different victory conditions (and also different abilities, which makes the game very diversified). These aspects (which remind me a bit of the old classic Diplomacy, which is good) make it clear that REX is more fun with more players, as there will be more interaction. On the surface it seems to be a rather straight area control and battle game, but there are many aspects and layers to discover - it's worth the time. Anyway you won't be bored, take your chance to explore and get to know this great interpretation of the legendary boardgame Dune.

From the publisher: The final days of the Lazax Empire began in the seventy-third year of the Twilight Wars, when without warning, the Federation of Sol led a deadly assault directly on Mecatol Rex, the capital planet of the empire itself. A climactic struggle for control of the imperial city followed, fought as much with diplomacy and deception as with troops and starships. This is the story of that struggle.

Rex: Final Days of an Empire is a board game of negotiation, betrayal, and warfare in which 3–6 players take control of great interstellar civilizations, competing for dominance of the galaxy’s crumbling imperial city. Set 3,000 years before the events of Twilight Imperium, Rex tells the story of the last days of the Lazax empire, while presenting players with compelling asymmetrical racial abilities and exciting opportunities for diplomacy, deception, and tactical mastery.

Rex includes:
• 1 rulebook and 1 game board
• 6 race sheets
• 2 battle dials
• 1 Dreadnought Fleet Figure
• 233 tokens and markers
• 120 cards

3-6 players, 120 min
Designer: Corey Konieczka
Published by: Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Fantasy Flight Games
Category: Strategic War Game, Negotiation, Area Control

REX: Final Days of Empire @ boardgamegeek.com

Saturday, 25 January 2014

robbe Helicopter EC135 Red Bull RTF 2.4 GHz

I had some RC cars when I was a child, but this have been more toys than real RC stuff. But anyway I definitely had lots of fun with them... So I was planning for quite a long time to try RC planes or helicopters and make first experiences in this field. And to be honest, I was more than impressed when I flew my first circles with the robbe helicopter in the living room. :-)

The helicopter comes very well packed and in great original Red Bull design. The box is a RTF package (= ready to fly) and also contains a 2,4 GHz remote control, an USB charging cable and some spare parts - just in case you are flying to aggressive with your new helicopter.

When you first start the engines it's impressive how perfectly adjusted and stable you can fly this helicopter. With one stick you can control the height and  with the other one you can fly forward and go left and right. It's a perfect model for beginners (recommended to use only indoor or when no wind outside), although you can adjust and raise your targets and challenge yourself with more and more difficult maneuvres (go between two lamps, fly around the TV, softly land on a certain spot,...) It's so much fun to fly, to set new goals, get better and better and more accurate in steering.

This definitely got me hooked, wanting more.... :-) Hopefully I'll write here about another model, maybe a plane, in the next months.

From the producer:  

Helicopter from the RED BULL fleet which is particularly easy to fly
The EC135 multi-role helicopter was developed as a successor to the legendary BO105. With a top speed of about 260 km/h and over 1200 kW of power, the EC135 is an important member of the FLYING BULLS fixed-wing and rotary-wing fleet.
The model of the EC135 enables you to make a start in the exciting world of radio-controlled model helicopters, even if you have never previously flown such a model. Its sleek looks, easily mastered flying characteristics and robust technology make our EC135 the ideal first step in indoor model helicopter flying.

Pre-flight checklist
Classification: 3-channel co-axial rotor helicopter of scale appearance
Qualification: beginner
Application: indoor flying
Flight time: 5 - 6 min.
Charge time: 45 min. (flight battery)
Radio control system: 3 channels - 2.4 GHz
(stated values for flight and charge times are approximate, and may vary according to a variety of external influences

Producer: robbe

You can buy this fine helicopter online here: robbe


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pathfinder - Beginners Box

Pathfinder is a great d20 adventure roleplaying system based on the famous Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules - which have been offered as an open licence. Paizo created a medium complex game, which offers lots of possibilities and is quite easily accessible. Furthermore they support the system with awesome adventure paths (good stories, good atmosphere, different settings, stunning graphics), which are released on a monhly basis. The most famous one is "Rise of the Runelords", which is a remake of an old classic and won several prizes. I plan to write about it sometime soon - either about the Adventure Path, or about the new, innovative and highly praised Adventure Card Game.

The Beginners Box (which also won several prizes) is the perfect entry point for new players. It comes with a book for players and a book for the game master, containing the basic rules and mechanics. The four main classes (fighter, rogue, wizard and cleric) are covered, and also pregenerated characters and empty character sheets are part of the package. Lots of heroes and monsters are included as cardboard miniatures, which is quite nice - although the miniatures which can be bought separately seem to be even nicer... ;-)

I really like the lite rules, which ensure that the game can be played without investing a lot of time for studying the rules and without the need to have a lot of experience with this genre. Also younger audience can therefore be addressed. And all of this by offering a tight, exciting and well-balanced gaming and story-telling experience, with a good introductory adventure. If you liked the game, it is very easy to go on with an Adventure Path in this world of beautiful and atmospheric artwork and great stories. Hopefully I'll write about more of Pathfinder here sometime soon.

From the publisher: Adventure Awaits! Take your first step into an exciting world of fantasy adventure with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box! Within you'll find simple rules for creating and customizing your own hero, as well as a robust system for running your character through challenging adventures and deadly battles against villainous monsters like goblins and dragons! Will you master weapons and magic to become a courageous fighter, a wise cleric, a witty rogue, or a brilliant wizard? All the details of your character are yours to control. The only limit it your imagination!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box is packed with everything you need to get started with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, an imaginative tabletop fantasy adventure game for 2-5 players. Tons of monsters, challenges, and advice give gamers the tools to create their own worlds and adventures, providing countless hours of gaming excitement. With streamlined rules and a focus on action-packed heroic adventure, this deluxe boxed set is the ideal introduction to the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the best starting point for a lifetime of pulse-pounding adventure!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box includes:

• A 64-page Hero's Handbook, detailing character creation, spells, equipment, and general rules for playing the game

• A 96-page Game Master's Guide packed with adventure, monsters, magic treasures, and advice on how to create and narrate tales all your own

• A complete set of 7 polyhedral dice

• More than 80 full-color pawns depicting diverse heroes and monsters

• Four pregenerated character sheets to throw you right into the action

• Four blank character sheets to record the abilities of your custom-made hero

• A durable, resuable, double-sided Flip-Mat play surface that works with any kind of marker

2-5 players
Published by Paizo Publishing, Ulisses Spiele
Category: Fantasy Tabletop Adventure Game

Lots of additional material can be downloaded here: Ulisses Spiele - PF Beginners Box

You can buy the game conveniently here: F-Shop

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Legends of Andor

In Legends of Andor two to four heroes (consisting of Warrior, Dwarf, Archer, Wizard - male or female options!) work together to succeed in five different challenging scenarios (= legends). On their way defending a castle from lots and lots of monsters many exciting quests have to solved.

The box comes with lots of high-quality material. Beside a two-sided huge board, lots (!) of tokens and cards are included. Also cardboard miniatures and an awesome fire breathing dragon are part of the game. The beautiful artwork supports the theme in a great way, and ensures a great atmospheric experience. 

Each legend starts with a different setup and with different objectives to complete. You have to decide carefully which hero does which tasks, taking care of individual abilities and available time. Each hero has a little board to track abilities, money and possessions. Combat is resolved quickly and simple, by rolling dice according to respective willpower value and defining strength value of attacker and defender with the roll. There are time tracks for the heroes and the legend, and you have to watch it carefully as especially when a monster has been killed the legend time track moves forward. The more you kill, the faster... So tough decisions have to be taken.

The game (or better the narrative?) is awesome fun! It's pretty easy to get into the game, as the rules are mostly taught by playing. You start with simple rules, and then get the information and further rules you need to master the actual legend. Complexity grows as you move on to the next scenarios. There is a huge focus on story telling and experiencing great adventures, and the gameplay integrates seamlessly into the narrative. Also the mechanics of cooperation are very well designed and keep the game exciting, you really feel to be in the story. I can't wait to experience more legends soon, and the good news is that first expansions (e.g. The Star Shield) are already available.

From the producer: Legends of Andor is a cooperative adventure board game for two to four players in which a band of heroes must work together to defend a fantasy realm from invading hordes. To secure Andor's borders, the heroes will embark on dangerous quests over the course of five unique scenarios (as well as a final scenario created by the players themselves). But as the clever game system keeps monsters on the march toward the castle, the players must balance their priorities carefully.

At the heart of Legends of Andor is its unique narrative, the linked scenarios of which tell an overarching story as the players successfully complete objectives. For each scenario, or "Legend", a legend deck conveys the plot of an ever-unfolding tale...one in which the players are the protagonists. A wooden marker moves along the board's legend track at key points during each scenario, triggering the draw of a new legend card, the introduction of new game-altering effects, and the advancement of the story's plot. In the end, the players must endeavor to guide the fate of Andor through their heroic actions, bringing a happy ending to their epic fantasy tale.

Will their heroes roam the land completing quests in the name of glory, or devote themselves to the defense of the realm? Uncover epic tales of glory as you live the Legends of Andor!

2-4 players, 75 min
Designer: Michael Menzel
Published by: KosmosFantasy Flight Games 
Category: Fantasy, Adventure, Cooperative, Area Movement 

Legends of Andor has won the "Kennerspiel des Jahres 2013" award.

Legends of Andor @ boardgamegeek.com