Ok, so the title isn’t exactly accurate. This week I’m going to be “unboxing” my birthday presents, Munchkin 3, Seafarers of Catan and Runebound. Runebound was going to be my first Fantasy Flight Game, however the release of Warhammer: Invasion changed all that… but, for arguments sake, lets just pretend Runebound was my first FFG game…
Opening the box for Runebound reminds me of those Christmas mornings as a child. All the components are wrapped in that plastic that children cannot open with adult supervision. Everything needs to be carefully pushed free from those thick sheets of cardstock FFG use for all their games tokens. Once you rip off the plastic you are presented with a beautiful board and some fantastic looking cards.
Already I’m excited about this game and the customisable potential contained within. I can see how you might add an Overlord player to the game to give certain regions more flavour by designing actual adventures. Adding new hexes to the game to bring in new special areas to explore and obviously adding the published expansion card sets FFG has produced itself.
The last few days have been long and boring, stuck at work without much to do, so I’ve been reading every review of this game on BGG and because of this I’m now a little unsure about the game. Most people seem to love it, but as a solo experience. However with my family, there will be at least 4 if not 5 players, which apparently is terrible for down time. However my parents are slow decision makers at the best of times and I worry that this game will become torturous to play with them. However all my reading pointed me towards some exciting looking alterations, particularly the Cities of Adventure variants.
However I’m still excited about it. Some things in the game are a little disappointing. The figures are really quite poor quality in my opinion. The board too, seems smaller than I thought it would be. The rest of the components however are superb. I read a few complaints about the cards not being thick enough, but as I read through them I often had to check two weren’t stuck together because they felt too thick to be singles. I, like a few people, replaced the encounter gems with Elderich Gems, for less than £5 and so the game is now looking really nice. Can’t wait to play it this weekend.
Munchkin 3 – Clerical Errors
I should probably explain before I start that I am not the world’s biggest fan of Munchkin. I find it a drag when played with my family, the mechanics are stiff and boring, except when played with the right people. Luckily, those people come round maybe four times a year and we have a blast and it is for them that I continue to purchase Munchkin expansions. To date I own Munchkin, Unnatural Axe, More Good Cards and Munchkin Dice.
I bought Clerical Errors for £6 including postage from Ebay and I’m really glad I did. The cards are as good, in terms of quality, as any of the Munchkin games, but this set provided me with more laugh out loud moments than any previous set as I read through them.
Many people mention the Auntie Paladin as one of the most memorable cards in the set, which, as she bends you over and spanks you for being bad, I can see why, but there are so many other good cards in this set too! I love the Duck of Many Things, which amongst its other effects has the receiver “sing a little song”. The idea of weapon attachments is great and I’m pretty sure a new concept to the game at this point. Also a card that specifically targets the Knees was a great addition for getting rid of those pesky Knee Pads of Allure!
A new Class and Race were also added to the game. The bard can Enthrall other players into helping him, as well as pick and choose treasures. The Gnomes, however, seems a little over powered for my liking. Their ability to play a monster as an enhancement seems to make them very easy to win with.
The new cards seem to feature quite a few cards that force or disallow co-operation and quite a few new high level monsters. The number of Go Up A Level Cards also increases, although quite a few now have preconditions which is an interesting change.
All in all I can see Munchkin 3 adding a lot of interest to the game, probably wont get much play out the set though until Christmas. Would really like to have a big multiplayer version of this game soon as the more players you add the better the game seems to get!
Seafarers of Catan
I’ll be honest here, Seafarers was the only game I was sure I was going to get for my birthday, the one, unchangeable option. However it was also the least exciting on the actual day. This was mainly because I’ve been playing Seafarers quite a lot on the computer version of Settlers, so it just didn’t feel like a new game when I ripped apart the shiny paper.
Now, as you’ll know from last week’s review, I already own Traders and Barbarians and I talked quite a bit about how much stuff you get with that game. The same cannot really be said for Seafarers (or Cities and Knights, which I’m getting for Christmas.) you get some extra tiles, chits and tokens and a bunch of wooden ships and that is really it. You could argue you are paying for the rules and the scenarios but they are available for free online. Considering this expansion is as expensive as the core game, it just feels a little over priced based on the components alone.
The gameplay however is a different matter. Having played some of the scenarios in the computer game against AI players I know that Seafarers adds a whole new set of challenges. It also makes it more difficult to see who is winning as it is possible to achieve multiple victory points on the same turn and go from losing player to winning player very quickly.
My unadventurous family (who in the last year have only played 3 of the T&B scenarios) will hopefully be willing to give at least the first scenario a go, but still I remain less excited about this game than the other two…
But remember, these are just first impressions and I could be wrong about all three, so keep checking back for reviews on these and plenty of other games over the coming weeks. Also, look out for an update to the sidebar if you want to know what games I’m getting for Christmas and by extension, what I’m most likely to review in the new year!