Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery

"Guards protect you from schemes launched by rivals. Slaves run your household and earn gold. Gladiators compete to bring glory to themselves and influence to their Dominus."

Based on the famous TV series this boardgames really shines in transferring the excitement and anger to the table. As the dominus of a great house each of the players try to gather as much influence points as possible to win the game. And to reach this target all means are allowed...


The game comes in a box with nice artwork, which is neither too big nor to small for covering all the components involved. You have a thick cardboard map serving as the arena, where your gladiators (pretty nice miniatures) complete their fights. Furthermore cards, tokens, dice and little influence boards for each house are included.


The game is divided into three main phases. First you start with the Intrigue Phase, where you can play your schemes. Negotiations are started, and all possible alliances can occur - whereas no one is bound to his promises, which makes this phase very interesting and entertaining. ;-) Now the Market Phase follows where you can trade slaves, guards, gold, and so on - furthermore you can bid for new cards in the auction part. In the last phase the fight between your gladiators in the arena takes place, and combat is resolved with dice. There are three dice pools (blue dice for movement, red dice for attack and black dice for defense) and with each attack you can reduce the dice pools until one player is beaten.

Despite the fact that boardgames based on TV series are often not the greatest, Spartacus satisfied us all along the line and became one of our most favorite games these days. The rules are not too complex, although delivering deep and exciting gameplay - with lots and lots of interaction. You have to have the "right" crowd on the table, but if they like negotations, bribing, backstabbing, schemes and combat - this is THE game for you!

From the publisher: Spartacus - A Game of Blood & Treachery is an exciting game of twisted schemes and bloody combats inspired by the hit STARZ Original series. Players assume the role of the Dominus of a great house competing for influence in the era of ancient Rome. Players vie for dominance through careful diplomacy, cunning intrigues and the glory of the Arena. Undermine the machinations of rivals, leverage your wealth for advantage at market and pit your gladiators in bloody contest all with the goal of seeing your house rise to supremacy.
Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery combines the excitment of the hit TV show with compelling gameplay appealing to fans and gamers alike.

Plots & Schemes: Mastermind schemes and undermine your rivals with cards from your hand. Betrayal and treachery are the weapons of choice for every Dominus.

Marketplace: Gold greases the wheels of power. Bid against your opponents in the open market; acquire the best new prospects for the Arena!

Blood on the Sand: Pit your champion against your enemy's and wager on the results. The path to victory leads across the sacred sands of the Arena!

- 1 game board
- 4 house cards
- 62 market cards
- 104 intrigue cards
- 148 tokens
- 26 dice
- 4 gladiator figures
- 1 rulebook

3-4 players, 150 min
Designer: Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski, Sean Sweigart
Published by: Battlefront Miniatures
Category: Negotiation, Auction, Fighting

Spartacus @


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

MERCS Miniatures

"In MERCS, players must learn to think tactically, overcome and adapt on the fly, and move. Everyone can shoot; survivors know when to shoot and when to grab cover.
Welcome to the cause!"

MERCS is a great skirmish miniatures game set in a science fiction universe. In this distant future Mega Corporations rule the world, and private armies are needed to protect their interests and to achieve their goals. There are four major global players: The CCC (Eastern North America), KemVar (Central South America), FCC (Southwest Eurasia), and the USCR (Northern Eurasia). Each MegaCon has its private military units, and each player controls a squad of the respective faction. Welcome in the World of MERCS = Military Economic Reconnaissance Counter Security!

The game is produced by a company called MegaCon Games, which is a very dedicated group of individuals who publishes also other fine games like Myth or the highly anticipated Merc Recon games. The production value is exceptionally high, as the models are very dynamic and pretty detailed. Also there has been put much effort into creating a tense and exciting world, with a well thought-out background story. The art in general is outstanding and perfectly supports the game.

Each squad consists of five (or six) soldiers with individual skills and weapons. After rolling dice for initiative for each member of your squad you can choose in each turn to either move, attack or hold. Movement is very easy, as you just have to use the included stats cards for measuring the distance and moving. This mechanism works really great. Attacks are resolved as known from similar games with certain modifiers and dice rolls. Also quite simple. Overall the gameplay is very dynamic and fast, and action often takes place simultaneously.

Faction Overiew: CCC (Eastern North America)
great for new players, very flexible, good armor, great all-rounders, package includes sniper, heavy weapon trooper, assault leader, grenades, flamethrower, medic,...

Faction Overview: KemVar (Central South America)
have actice camouflage, they hit relatively light - except the heavy weapon model which has the highest stats all over the game, assassin can move and make a melee attack in one move!

MERCS is a great point to start with miniature gaming. It's very accessible, has quite simple basic rules and can be played in a short amount of time. You can use your 2D or 3D gaming terrain (together with the included terrain cards) and create your own world where the exciting battles of MERCS can take place. At the moment already nine or ten different factions with different strengths and weaknesses are available and make sure that you won't get bored and that you can extend your game of MERCS as you desire.

From the publisher: MERCS is a skirmish game of miniature combat taking place in the future. Games consist of two squads of 5, which have all special equipment and skills. The miniatures act simultanously, using a system of initiative and reaction to determine the exact order of turns.

MERCS uses unique cards as both reference and a means to measure. This streamlined approach means games are faster, with less rule-lawyering, providing a dynamic feel with combat that ebbs and flows.

MERCS tabletop is a fast-moving, high energy miniatures game. It is designed with idea that the game should work in a realistic manner. MERCS isn’t typical. It is not a game players can sit back and shoot each other from across the table. Victory has more to do with the decisions a player makes, then the MegaCon he plays.

In MERCS, players must learn to think tactically, overcome and adapt on the fly, and move. Combat begins and ends with movement. Everyone can shoot; survivors know when to shoot and when to grab cover.

Welcome to the cause!


2-10 players, 120 min
Designer: Brian Shotton, Keith Lowe
Published by: MERCS LLC
Category: Miniatures, Wargame, Science Fiction 



Thursday, 16 October 2014


"A reprint of that old classic deduction game, which still hasn't lost its charme!"

As one of four agents you first of all have to find out who is your ally, and then - together with your partner - you have to complete a secret mission. Very charming family game settled in the beautiful city of Venice.

The reprint of this game is produced by Ares Games and meets high quality standards. The box comes with a nice game board, 16 miniatures (which are assembled in a few minutes), passports, envelopes, cards, tokens and an "Ambassador" figure - who acts as some kind of dice. The rules are straight-forward and easy to understand.

There are four characters in the game, and two of them work in pairs: Lord Fiddlebottom and Colonel Bubble are always "working" against Agent X and Madame Zsa Zsae. Each character is represented by 4 figures (a tall one, a short one, a fat one and a thin one) - although only one figure is the real agent, and the others are trying to confuse the enemies. At each turn you have to shake the Ambassador to see which movements you can make, to reach other figures as fast and possible and gather new information through deduction and logical thinking (out of three cards shown, one has to be the "truth". After you have found your ally your final mission is revealed (two parts mixed together show what you have to do), and the first party achieving this mission wins the game. 

The reprint of this old classic deduction game hasn't lost its charme. It's great fun to find out at the beginning who is your ally and what is your mission, and overall the game is also more challenging than for example Cluedo. It is basically a 4 players game, although this new edition also comes with variants for three and five people - these are also fun! It is a simple, nevertheless exciting game - great for the whole family!

From the publisher: The goal of each agent in Inkognito is to complete a mission, together with his partner. At the beginning of the game, however, players don't know which mission they must fulfill!

In the standard four-player game, each player guides one of four secret agents. The four characters are allied in pairs: Lord Fiddlebottom and Colonel Bubble are always partnered against Agent X and Madame Zsa Zsa. Each of the four agents is represented by one of four different figures, with different builds: tall, short, fat, thin. Only one of them represents the actual character controlled by a player. The other three figures represent spies which are friendly to him and that are trying to confuse the opposition.

There is another character with an important role in the game: the Ambassador. He can be used to get clearer information about the other characters. Everyone wants to meet him because he is well-informed and can be useful to accomplish your purposes, but he can also help your rivals, so do everything you can to keep him far from them.

The 2013 version of Inkognito from Ares Games raises the maximum player count to five by allowing someone to play the Ambassador and move it during his turn. He can still gather clues when the other players question the Ambassador during their turn, and the other players can still gather clues from him. The goal of the Ambassador's player is to know everything about the other characters, guessing their identities and builds. If the Ambassador achieves "perfect knowledge" before a team accomplishes its secret missions, he wins the game.

3-5 players, 90 min
Designer: Leo Colovini, Alex Randolph
Published by: Ares Games
Category: Deduction, Spies, Family Games, Movement

Inkognito @


Monday, 28 July 2014

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

"A stunning miniatures game - simple, exciting, fun. And... Star Wars!"

The Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game is a fantastic game taking place in our beloved Star Wars universe. YOU take the role of fearless pilots of X-Wings, Y-Wings or even the legendary Millennium Falcon and on Imperial Side, Tie-Fighters, Tie-Bombers, and so on... In tactical and exciting air combats you are responsible for the fate and the future of your whole world…

The game is produced by Fantasy Flight Games and Heidelberger Spieleverlag, and honestly speaking, I haven't seen such awesome and detailed miniatures yet. The core set comes with one X-Wing and two TIE-Fighters, and cards, and tokens, and wheels for maneuvers, and measure equipment - so basically all the stuff you need to play. Lots of further expansions have been released yet, whereas the Y-Wing and the TIE Advanced will be covered in this review. More expansions (A-Wing, Millennium Falcon!,…) will be hopefully introduced later on.

The basic rules are very easy to understand and you can start playing within minutes. With the basic rules you can even play with your kids, ages 6 and up.  After choosing your ships and pilots (different stats & skills) each player secretly chooses the maneuvers for his ships by using the wheels. After moving the ships with the equipment proived (really comfortable and easy!) actions can be taken, and battles are resolved afterwards. Each ship can fire once, after checking whether an opponent is within range and visible. After applying certain multipliers (skills, weapons, actions,...) dice are rolled. These steps will be continued until one side has lost all its ships and looses the battle.

The ships included in the Core Set (one X-Wing, two TIE-Fighters) are quite well balanced and easy to start with, but even in this minimal setup a lot of fun! Of course different pilots and upgrade cards (e.g. weapons) are included as well.

The Y-Wing is a heavy ship, which can take a lot of damage, but is not so maneuverable. It comes with 4 more pilots and nice upgrades like droids or an Ion Cannon. Nice ship, nice expansion, adds lots of variety.

The TIE Advanced Fighter can take more damage than a regular TIE Fighter, and also comes with 4 more pilots - including Darth Vader, the most skilled imperial pilot. Also upgrades like missiles and special actions are included. Must-have!!

The Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game is one of the games we play most lately, even with my kids - sticking to the basic rules with them. It is simple, exciting and has a moderate learning curve. So you can add complexity, tatctics and variety in small steps, just as you desire. It is so much fun to move  the beautiful ships, to work on your strategy and tactics, to try to anticipate your opponents moves and to finally resolve the battles. We love this game!!

From the publisher: X-Wing is a fast-paced game of tactical space combat in the Star Wars universe. Players control starfighters from either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, outfit them with a variety of pilots, special weapons and upgrades, and attempt to outmaneuver their opponents.

This box contains everything two players need to get started playing X-Wing, including painted plastic ships, custom dice, cards, tokens, and quick-start rules. Advanced rules and special missions are also included to let players take their game to the next level.

2 players, 30 min (and more, depending on number of ships)
Designer: Jason Little
Published by: Fantasy Flight Games, Heidelberger Spieleverlag
Category: Miniatures, Air Combat, Star Wars, Dice Rolling 

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game @


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 @


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) 


Producer: Edel Germany