Components: Components are the quality you’d expect for a regular sized board game. The artwork is good and fits the theme but the color pallet used throughout can make some of the tokens blend into the board and hard to find. The miniatures are unique and good quality.

Game Setup: Setup was straightforward and took just a few minutes.

Game Play: Completing missions to advance the game is the central concept. Missions are custom for each individual character. There are many characters to choose from. There are several ways to complete each mission and while each character has different mission goals to choose from at all times, the multiple ways in which missions can be completed provides player interaction.

Mechanics: A variety of euro-style choices drive the game play.

Summary: Unique in subject matter and game play it can be described as “Euro Touch of Evil” perhaps. The combination of different options wrapped up in a historical fairy tale theme from an old country provides a very unique experience from most modern board game offerings.

Last Word: Fun game play and interesting subject matter and theme provide excellent gaming ROI for us. The game presents itself just beautifully! We’re looking forward to subsequent plays of this one.

See Underworld Kingdom for more on this beautiful game!


Components: Components are the quality you’d expect for modern-release game. Highly-stylized minimalist art fits the theme perfectly and is pleasing.

Game Setup: Setup took a little bit to get done. Straight-forward illustrations and complete component manifest was helpful.

Game Play: Gentes is “one of these games” that is hard to describe even when taking the time to explain in great detail much less trying to explain it in a purposely short description. It’s a deeper game with a lot of different things going on that are all directly connected and influence each other. To get the desired effect players need to take into account how the several different game areas affect each other/ are related to each other.

Mechanics: Mostly action selection with a worker balancing mechanic that is fairly unique.

Summary: To be successful at Gentes one has to make several game-influencing choices and make them at the right time. Your choices have to be thought out in advance as every thing you change affects what you are able to do in other areas of the game. It feels like Teotihuacan-lite but that does not really do it justice. This is a game that takes some “wrapping your head around” to fully understand but not because it’s a gaggle of dozens of choices like Teotihuacan; it’s much more streamlined then that. “Elegant” may not be the right word, but it should give you an idea as to its design.

Last Word: If you are up for a deeper experience with interesting decisions that are more subtle and strategic then that of your standard worker placement / resource management game, Gentes could be for you.

Tasty Minstrel Games has a unique title with this one.

Dual Powers Revolution 1917

At Nexus Game Fair we received a copy of Dual Powers by Thunderworks Games. We’re fans of Twilight Struggle so we were excited when we heard this described as a lighter version of that title.

We’d say that is a fair assessment but your mileage may vary. Twilight Struggle is a fantastic game with great depth and trying to make a lite-version that still feels the same as the full-bodied version must have been no small task.

While we won’t disagree with the comparisons being made to this and Twilight Struggle, with the theme being so strong an indicator, we actually likened this more to a “2 de Mayo on steroids” instead. And with 2 de Mayo one of our favorite 2-player games that is not a bad thing. And let’s face it; getting Twilight Struggle tabled can be a task in itself. Dual Powers fills the space between the Mexican Revolution and the Cold War nicely.

Components: Good quality. The art is highly stylized and abstract and fits the time period / theme very well.

Game Setup: Setup instructions are clearly detailed in the rules set and setup was relatively quick and easy.

Mechanics: Hand management and area control.

Game Play: Straightforward card play where predicting what your opponent has up their sleeve cannot be over-valued.

Last Word: A simpler, more subtle wargame without a long run time makes an experience that non-wargamers can enjoy as well. If you enjoy 2 de Mayo or Twilight Struggle this has a place in your collection.

Pioneer Days

We recently got a care package from Tasty Minstrel Games and the first game we tabled was Pioneer Days. Up until recently we don’t know why we have not heard much about this game because if you are looking for a family-friendly game for family-friendly play, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Components: The same high-quality components you’ve come to expect from TMG along with good art that matches the theme and the weight of the game nicely.

Game Setup: Quick and easy.

Mechanics: Dice drafting, push-your-luck, risk management, action selection.

Game Play: Lighter and fun with shorter play-times.

Last Word: If you need a nice filler that is still meaningful fun between your heavy game sessions or all you play is lighter games, Pioneer Days should fit nicely in most game collections. Pioneer Days gives good gaming ROI.


Got some new games to check out! Only played Heroes of Land, Air, and Sea so far and it was pretty well done. Most 4x games pretty much are the same affair and take some time to play but this felt that same as most 4x games but was way more elegant that the ones we’ve played. It felt a lot like the original Warcraft: Humans vs Orcs PC game which started the crazy way back when even though the mechanics are not similar at all. Worth a look if you are into 4x games.

We will get to the others shortly!

Another Midwest Gaming Classic has come and gone and we did not take nearly enough pictures as this one was the busiest one yet. We entertained countless attendees of the 10-12k who stopped by to chat and play board games as well as video and console games, and pinball machines.

Talked to lots of celebrities, saw lots of cool cosplay, and did lots of unique things that only can happen at a show like this.
Our “Publisher’s Row” got lots of attention and we directed lots of interested gamers to the retail vendors to buy the games they were interested in.

Getting ready for the Midwest Gaming Classic

The Midwest Gaming Classic is the largest gaming convention in Wisconsin with an annual attendance of 10k gamers! Again we’re providing the table-top game library where we loan out games, showcase games, and demo games. Its a big show and takes a lot of preparation so we’ve gotten an early start to all the work…

Publishers! Do we have your latest games in our collection? If not, and you’d like to have us put your game in front of thousands of faces and have it played by hungry gamers, now is the time to contact us to make the arrangements to get them to us!