First review of Magic: the Gathering
Shawn D. Marier
Mon, Jul 26 1993
First there were card games, then there were collectable trading cards, now we have a collectable trading card game. When I first heard about this game a few months ago I was a bit concerned. I personally do not like trading cards and feel that for the most part they are a waste of money. So my feelings from the start toward this game were a bit negative ...
The game is quick to learn, and the starter deck comes with a small 36 page rule book. I learned the basic rules in about 2 minutes, and only needed to pick up the rule book for a few strange situations ...
The real nice thing about the trading card aspect of the game is that every time you play a new opponent you should get to see cards that you have never seen before. This will keep the game fresh and exciting, if not expensive as you try and find the perfect cards to defeat your opponents.
Over all I give this game a very high rating, the art is wonderful, the game is very enjoyable. Hopefully 'Wizards of the Coast' will come out with a collectors set in the near future so that us collectors of SF/Fantasy art will be able to see all 300 pieces of art.
First review of Settlers of Catan
Fri, May 26 1995
... The flaw in its design is, IMHO, that you do not have any control which tiles produce what, when, and for which player(s). This doesn't seem too bad at a glance, but due to the fact, that you may be excluded from the "valuable" parts of the board by not being able to build roads in the beginning, a player may become cut off from the race for victory quite early ... In our games such a situation, a single player losing after about half an hour and just waiting for the rest of the game (up to two hours), occurs in about half of the games.
I would describe the situation something like: you need skill to win "die Siedler", but you've got to have luck in the first stages not to lose it.
But apart from that flaw, which could, again IMHO, tolerated in a game lasting less than one one hour, Die Siedler von Catan *is* fun and satisfying to play.
First Review of El Grande
Fri, Apr 12 1996
... There is considerable fun as you kick your opponents out of regions,
or launch a surprise attack from the "tower" (the 10th region) into
a region of your choice.
I enjoy it every time I play it.
First Mention of Gipf
Mon, Aug 18 1997
Mayfair had their usual range, including LOTS of Siedler items - Seafarer,
the card game, everything but the Seafarer 5/6 player expansion (and no,
I don't have any more of those, sorry). They had pretty good prices on
the Siedler stuff, too. They had two new abstract strategy games -
Balanx and Gipf. Balanx had a cute tilting board but struck me as a
gimmicky Chinese checkers variant. Gipf's box had mostly overblown piffle,
so I passed on it as well. Unfortunately there was no way to play either
of these unless one found a partner and rented a copy in the open gaming
area (Mayfair had a table in their booth, but it was occupied all weekend
by a huge 3D Siedler board).
First Comment on Princes of Florence
Greg J. Schloesser
Tues, Apr 25 2000
DIE FURSTEN VON FLORENZ: Without a doubt, the hit of the show.
Fabulous. Played twice and taught a half dozen other groups how to
play. Buy it!
Jay ... are you listening? Is it to late to release this one in
Initial rating: 9
First Comment on Carcassonne
Fri, Nov 3 2000
We found a table and a German girl joined us for a test of "Carcassonne". An easy, but quite clever tile laying game. You build up a map with the tiles with roads, towns, meadows and monasteries. You try to control them by playing one of your 7 followers on them and when an entity is completed, you score it and take back it (if it hasn't become a farmer, which is scored at the end). We were sure it would be a great filler for the late game evening, so I found a copy for 23 DM.
First Play of Puerto Rico
Tues, Jan 29 2002
I mentioned this on Spielfrieks, but a guy in a group was sick for about a
week, and since he had nothing better to do, he constructed a homemade
prototype of Puerto Rico based entirely on photographs and Mik's
Normally I'd say nothing here about the experiment. except for
one thing. Our lame wannabe copy of Puerto Rico was received with complete,
total enthusiasm. At our next Friday gathering, the original five showed up
just to do it again. I have not seen anything close to this since Princes
of Florence hit our table last year. It is all they want to play ...