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Official Blog of COG Gaming – Board Game Reviews, News, and Entertainment

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Blood & Fortune Review | COG Gaming


Blood & Fortune boxYear Published: 2015
Designer: Charles Ward
Publisher: EX1ST Games
Players: 3-6
Playtime: 10-20 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: The King is Dead.  Long live the King. 

The monarch has died.  Set forth in their final hours, their last edict decreed the selected sovereign leaders would observe three days of mourning, after which time a new ruler would emerge from among them.  In Blood & Fortune, you are one such leader competing against three-five other hopefuls over the course of three game rounds.  At the end, the leader who has accrued the most total influence will sit on the throne, but you must take care for every action you take to increase your own influence will also increase the renown of rival leaders. Continue reading

Apex Theropod Deck Building Game Box for COG Gaming board game review of the second edition

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Apex Theropod Deck Building Game Second Edition Review | COG Gaming

Apex Theropod Deck Building Game Box for COG Gaming board game review of the second editionYear Published: 2016
Designer: Herschel Hoffmeyer
Publisher: Die Hard Games
Players: 1-6
Playtime: 1-3 hours

One Sentence Synopsis: Just try not to hum the Jurassic Park music while thumbing through the cards…

Note: Some images depict cards from expansions as examples due to upgrade pack production error/delay.

Getting noticed is probably one of the most difficult aspects of producing a game, especially if it’s on Kickstarter and you’re depending on that attention to publish.  Apex Theropod The Deck Building Game had little trouble doing that last year theming a deckbuilding game around dinosaurs, blasting past its funding goal and overwhelming the creator in the process.  The game eventually delivered to most backers, but really represented a mixed bag as far as quality and the gameplay itself.  You can read my full review of the first edition here, but suffice to say the game had great art and theme, but suffered from an atrocious rulebook, lack of player interaction, and a number of mechanical deficiencies that, while still making for an enjoyable experience overall with some player variants added in, clearly indicated the game needed more development time and more widespread, blind playtesting. Continue reading

Clash of the Battle Goats

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Clash of the Battle Goats Review | COG Gaming

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Clash of the Battle Goats ContentsYear Published: 2016
Designer: Brent Critchfield
Publisher: Studio Woe
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 20-45 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: The grass is the same shade of green on the other side…but now there’s twice as much!

There’s never too much of a good thing, and what’s better than mutant goats?  The correct answer is “not much,” which is why if you enjoyed last year’s Gruff, or if you’re new to the mutant scene and are looking for a fast-paced, competitive card game, you’ll want to give Studio Woe’s new standalone, tactical card game Clash of the Battle Goats a look (on Kickstarter now). Continue reading

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Assault on Doomrock 2nd Edition Board Game Review | COG Gaming

Assault on Doomrock board game review- box artYear Published: 2014
Designer: Tom Stasiak
Publisher: Beautiful Disaster Games
Players: 1-4
Playtime: 150 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: The Wizard’s garlic breath isn’t the only thing that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. 

Looking at my new-in-shrink Assault on Doomrock: Doompocalypse expansion sitting on my game shelf, I find myself in a conundrum.  I hadn’t played Assault on Doomrock when I saw the Kickstarter go up last year for the 2nd edition reprint and expansion, but after reading through the campaign description some of the elements really had me intrigued: a card-driven, 1-4 player cooperative RPG promising a humorous slant on normal fantasy settings, with high replayability thanks to its variable scenarios and plethora of player customization options, and a tactical battle system where positioning mattered, featuring “minimal randomness when determining damage.” The art was stylized and vibrant, and the expansion added extra classes and combat elements in addition to expanding card options- it seemed right up my alley, so I ended up backing for both the base game as well as the expansion. Continue reading

Codex: Card-Time Strategy feature image for COG Gaming review

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Codex: Card-Time Strategy Review | COG Gaming

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Year Published: TBD
Designer: David Sirlin
Publisher: Sirlin Games
Players: 2-5
Playtime: 30-60 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: A Trading Card Game (TCG), Deck Builder, and a Real Time Strategy (RTS) video game walk into a bar…

Sirlin Games has a reputation for publishing colorful, well-balanced titles that are widely accessible while offering enough depth to keep more serious players coming back for more.  They’ve seen extraordinary success with their fighting card game Yomi, and the quick-playing Puzzle Strike which gives a deck building experience using chips instead of cards, and a unique gem combination/”crashing” system for combination attacks and defense.

Codex: Card-Time Strategy (currently on Kickstarter) Continue reading

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Lord of the Rings LCG Blog Series: Two’s Company | COG Gaming

Having tweaked our decks it was time to set off once again down the Anduin, hopefully this time not to excruciatingly quick wreck and ruin.  Our hero changes left us with decks sporting significantly lower initial threats which we hoped would give us a few additional turns to figure out how we were going to deal with the Hill Troll, but at the expense of really knowing how well the heroes would all work together.  The resulting game was a lengthy affair of ups and downs, and of hopeful moments contrasted with bouts of “you’ve got to be kidding me.”  Read on to find out how this nail-biter progressed!
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