Danny from ZiaComics.com teaches us how to play the Dice rolling/Hand Management game Trash Pandas by Gamewright Games. This is a game for up to 2 to 4 players ages 8+ and should take 15-20 minutes for a complete game.
In Trash Pandas, players are raucous raccoons, tipping over trash cans for food (and shiny objects). Players push their luck to acquire more cards, but must stash them in order for them to count as points at the end of the game. When the deck runs out, the game ends and players compare their stashes to see who has the majority for each card type and score points accordingly. The player with the most points wins!
In more detail, on a turn the active player rolls a die in the hope of gaining the benefit of the roll result. With each roll, the player decides to keep rolling or stop and activate the dice results. However, with each additional roll, the odds of busting (getting a duplicate result) increase further and the player risks losing the progress they’ve made that round. When activating the dice results, the player will draw cards, steal cards from other players, and stash cards. Cards in hand may be used for their listed ability, but they count as points only when stashed.
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Danny from ZiaComics.com teaches us how to play Go Nuts for Donuts from Gamewright Games. This is a game for 2 to 6 players age 8 and over. It should take 20 minutes to play a complete game.
Go Nuts for Donuts is a fast-paced card game for the whole family with just a sprinkle of strategy. Outsmart your opponents and collect donuts hot out of the oven for points. But beware, if two players go after the same donut, then no one gets it!
In Go Nuts for Donuts, players lay out donuts from the deck equal to the amount of players plus one. Each player has a number card for each donut that is out. Players all pick a donut they want by placing one of their number cards face down on the table. Players simultaneously reveal their number. If two or more players have matching numbers, that donut is discarded and no one gets it. If you’re the only player that bid for the donut, than you take it and place it face up in front of you. Collect sets, unique and powerful donuts, and pairs of donuts to maximize points.
This episode Trevor and Danny discuss their Top 5 Lists of Game Publishers. If the company currently manufacturers games or has in the past, they qualify. Publishers differ from designers. Publishers are responsible for manufacturing and marketing the games for distribution.
What are some of your favorite game publishers? Let us know in the comments.
Danny from ZiaComics.com teaches us how to play Forbidden Island from Gamewright. This game is for 2-4 players ages 10+. A typical game should last approximately 30 minutes.
Forbidden Island is a visually stunning cooperative board game. Instead of winning by competing with other players like most games, everyone must work together to win the game. Players take turns moving their pawns around the ‘island’, which is built by arranging the many beautifully screen-printed tiles before play begins. As the game progresses, more and more island tiles sink, becoming unavailable, and the pace increases. Players use strategies to keep the island from sinking, while trying to collect treasures and items. As the water level rises, it gets more difficult- sacrifices must be made.
What causes this game to truly stand out among co-op and competitive games alike is the extreme detail that has been paid to the physical components of the game. It comes in a sturdy and organized tin of good shelf storage size. The plastic treasure pieces and wooden pawns are well crafted and they fit just right into the box. The cards are durable, well printed, and easy to understand. The island tiles are the real gem: they are screen-printed with vibrant colors, each with a unique and pleasing image.
With multiple levels of difficulty, different characters to choose from (each with a special ability of their own), many optional island formats and game variations available, Forbidden Island has huge replay value. The game can be played by as few as two players and up to four (though it can accommodate five). More players translates into a faster and more difficult game, though the extra help can make all the difference. This is a fun game, tricky for players of almost any age. Selling for under twenty dollars, oddly, Forbidden Island is a rare game of both quality and affordable price.
Danny from ZiaComics.com teaches us how to play Codenames by Czech Games Editon.
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.
In Codenames two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. Finding the assassin means instant game loss.
Here’s how it works. You deal out a grid of 25 words. Then divide your players into two teams and each team nominates a team leader.
The team leaders are given access to a card that designates each word on the grid as an agent belonging to the red or blue team. The card also designates innocent bystanders with a beige color. The DEADLY ASSASSIN WORD is the dark colored square. You win when all of your agents are marked on the board.
Each turn the team leader says a single word (that can’t be on the board) followed by a number. For example, “Desert 2”. What you’re saying is two of your team’s words on this grid relate to deserts.
You need to search for clues to tell your friends. You need to cross-reference those clues with other words on the board to make sure you don’t point them in the wrong direction. You’ll need keep track where the Assassin is to make absolutely sure they don’t hit it.
Codenames: Win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.
Hello, It’s time for another board game blog! This week we are taking a break from reviewing cat games and will be looking at Dragonwood by Darren Kisgen and Gamewright Games.
This is a quick, competitive game for 2-4 players. To setup separate the two decks, Adventurer Deck (red backed) and Dragonwood Deck (green backed). Take out the two dragon cards (Orange Dragon and Blue Dragon) and shuffle both decks. Remove a number of cards at random from the Dragonwood Deck depending on the number of players (12 for 2 players, 10 for 3 players, and 8 for 4 players).
Then shuffle the two dragons back into the bottom half of the deck. Deal 5 Dragonwood cards into the center of the table to form the “Landscape”. Then deal 5 Adventurer cards to each player. Set the dice and player reference cards off to the side but within reach of all players. You are now ready to begin!
On your turn you may do one of two things:
Reload – draw one Adventurer card add it to your hand. Signal your turn is over by saying “Reload” to the other players. Note: there is a hand limit of 9 cards. Should you choose to reload with 9 cards in your hand you must discard a card from your hand after drawing. (If you draw one of the “Lucky Ladybug” cards immediately discard it and draw 2 more cards.)
Capture – play a number of Adventurer cards from your hand, roll dice, and try and capture one of the Dragonwood cards in the landscape. Note: you may always play one card and try any of the three methods for capture. You may only roll a maximum of six dice. (You may only attempt to capture 1 card from the landscape per turn.)
The Adventurer cards come in five different colored suits. They are numbered 1-12. The first time the deck runs out reshuffle the discard pile. When attempting to capture cards from the landscape you will use one of three methods:
Strike – (sword icon) play cards that are in a row regardless of color (e.g. 6, 7, 8).
Stomp – (boot icon) play cards that are all the same number (e.g three 8’s).
Scream – (face icon) play cards that are all the same color (e.g. four blue cards).
You must announce to all players which method you are using to try and capture the card from the landscape. Whichever method you choose to capture will allow you to roll a number of dice (numbered 1-4) equal to the number of cards played. Four cards played = four dice to roll. If your roll is equal to or greater than the target number you succeed. Discard the Adventurer cards used and take the captured card. If not successful the attempted card remains in the landscape, discard one of the Adventurer cards used as a wound, and put the rest back into your hand. Note that some creatures are easier to capture using different methods. It may be easier to try and stomp fire ants rather than strike them.
There are three types of cards in the Dragonwood deck:
Creatures – (green faced) if you defeat a creature take the card from the landscape and place it face down in front of you. You score the points listed in the shield on the bottom left corner.
Enhancements – (purple faced) if you capture an enhancement take the card and place it face up in front of you. This card can be used for the rest of the game (unless the card says otherwise) to assist in future creature captures. Note: enhancements can’t be used to capture other enhancements.
Events – (orange faced) whenever an event card is revealed it immediately affects all players and is then discarded.
Whenever a card is removed from the landscape (either by capture or through event resolution) you replenish the empty space with a new card from the Dragonwood deck.
The game ends when one of two things happen:
Both dragons have been defeated.
The Adventurer deck runs out for a second time. (in this case every player takes one more turn.)
All players total up their victory points, and compare the number of creatures captured. Whoever has the most creatures gets a bonus 3 points (if tied for most, the players each get 2 points). The player with the most points wins (if tied overall the player with the most points and most captured creatures wins).
And that’s it! The game comes with 64 Adventurer Cards, 42 Dragonwood Cards, 2 Turn Summery Cards, and 6 Custom Dice. it retails for $14.99 and is out now.
What really stands out is the artwork by Chris Beatrice. Each card is beautifully illustrated and matches the humorous tone of the game.
I give it 2 out of 2 dragons in the woods.
Until next time, keep playing games, and may the dice be ever in your favor!
-Trevor L. Cooper is an avid board gamer. When he is not gaming he can be found on his YouTube game channel Well Played.
Danny from ZiaComics.com teaches us how to play Sushi Go!
Sushi Go! is a super-fast sushi card game. In this game you are eating at a sushi restaurant and trying to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by.
Score points for collecting the most sushi rolls or making a full set of sashimi. Dip your favorite nigiri in wasabi to triple its value! And once you’ve eaten it all finish your meal with all the pudding you’ve got! But be careful which sushi you allow your friends to take. It might be just what they need to beat you!
Sushi Go! takes the card-drafting mechanism of Fairy Tale and 7 Wonders and distills it into a twenty-minute game that anyone can play. The dynamics of “draft and pass” are brought to the fore. The rules are kept to a minimum.
As you see the first few hands of cards you must quickly assess the make-up of the round and decide which type of sushi you’ll go for. Then each turn you’ll need to weigh which cards to keep and which to pass on. The different scoring combinations allow for some clever plays and nasty blocks. Round to round, you must also keep your eye on the goal of having the most pudding cards at the end of the game!
Sushi Go! is very easy it is to teach to anybody. It incorporates “drafting.” Drafting is when you have a hand full of cards and you select one while passing the rest of them. You continue doing this until you have a pile of cards that you have selected. If you ever have a question the cards themselves will generally answer it. All of the scoring information is printed on the cards.
Dragonwood by Gamewright gameplay review by Danny McKinley from ZiaComics.com
Dare to enter Dragonwood! Deep in the heart of this mythical forest lurk angry ogres, giggling goblins, and even the famed and fearsome fire-breathers themselves!
In Dragonwood, you collect sets of adventurer cards to earn dice, which you then use to roll against your foes. Stomp on some fire ants, scream at a grumpy troll, or strike the menacing orange dragon with a magical silver sword. Choose your strategy carefully because the landscape of Dragonwood is ever-changing. Only the bravest will overcome the odds to emerge victorious!
On their turn, players either draw a card or attempt to capture a creature or enhancement. Players draw from the Adventurer deck that contains cards of 5 different colors all numbered 1-12. With these cards players form combinations to attempt a Strike (cards in a row of any color), a Stomp (cards of the same number) or a Scream (cards of the same color). To capture, players roll a number of dice equal to the number of cards they have of the particular combination. Each creature has different minimum values of a Strike, Stomp or Scream needed to capture it, and a Victory Point amount.
The game includes six, six-sided dice with sides 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, and 4 to reduce extremely lucky outcomes. The Dragonwood deck has 42 cards, 5 of which are displayed in the landscape at any time. In addition to creatures, this deck also has enhancements that are captured in the same way as creatures which assist players in capturing creatures, and contains events that also impact play. When both dragons have been defeated, the game is over and the player with the most victory points wins!
Is the best strategy to go for several smaller creatures or save up for larger attacks? Should you grab some enhancements hoping they will pay off, or go immediately for creatures? Do you take chances on some rolls or go for sure things? Every time you play Dragonwood the deck is different, so no two games are the same!