COG Gaming

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

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Blood & Fortune Review | COG Gaming

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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

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Bloc by Bloc Kickstarter Review | COG Gaming

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Bloc By Bloc ReviewYear Published: 2016
Designer: Rocket Lee, Tim Simons
Publisher: Out of Order Games
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 90-150 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Power to the Cubes!

It’s certainly an interesting time to live in the United States.  We’re in an election year so politics is heating up in different ways on both sides of the aisle, and over the past decade we’ve seen the rise of various social movements that have continued to gain traction and change the cultural landscape and sociopolitical dialogue.  Accompanying those trends is a rising tide of impassioned social protest and rhetoric, be it from groups like Black Lives Matter, or from anti-immigrant groups.  As a result, or even as the motivation behind some of these movements, police and government conduct are topics that are once again heavily in the popular spotlight, and under extraordinary amounts of media/public scrutiny.  Even in the most dramatic throws of upheaval experienced to date in the U.S., however, we’ve yet to see the worst a situation can devolve into given the right confluence of corrupt police authority and intent, and zealous, inflamed popular response. Continue reading

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Burgle Bros. Cooperative Board Game Review | COG Gaming

COG Gaming board game review - Burgle Bros. game boxYear Published: 2015
Designer: Tim Fowers
Publisher: Self Published
Players: 1-4
Playtime: 60-90 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Queue the Mission Impossible music, because it’s time for a heist!

Between Mission Impossible, Entrapment, the Ocean’s series, Inside Man, and others, we’ve got a pretty wide selection of great edge-of-your-seat modern heist movies.  Not to be left behind, the video game industry likewise offers some excellent titles for those seeking high-stakes robbery entertainment, including Monaco, Payday, and Counterspy which, while themed around Cold War spies, provides that guilty pleasure sneaky feeling. For modern board games…mmmm, not so much, in my opinion.  That is, not until the end of last year. Continue reading

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Steampunk Rally Board Game Review | COG Gaming

COG Gaming - Steampunk Rally boxYear Published: 2015
Designer: Orin Bishop
Publisher: Roxley Games
Players: 2-8
Playtime: 45-90 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Conceive.  Invent. Build.  Race.  Explode!

“I’m givin ‘er erything sheh’s got, cap’n!” my imaginary assistant Scotty yelled down from the top of my towering contraption.  Three stories high with two locomotive front ends, four boilers, a steam hatch, and all sorts of connecting sections all balanced precariously on top of a humongous unicycle wheel: yes, this was the invention that would propel me to victory.  I was sure of it.  I JUST NEEDED MORE POWER!  The spokes on the main wheel became a blur as Scotty stoked the furnaces and my machine surged forward towards the finish line.  The whistle of the steam valves screaming filled my ears as we picked up more speed, accompanied by the metallic popping of bolts starting to give way to the pressure buildup throughout the system.  We were ahead, but it didn’t matter who crossed first.  It mattered who ended up the farthest past.  I needed more speed.   Continue reading

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Ophir from Terra Nova Games REVIEW | COG Gaming

Ophir box contents for COG Gaming reviewYear Published: 2015
Designer: Jason D. Kingsley, Charles C. Wright
Publisher: Terra Nova Games
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 45-90 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: If you’ve ever wondered what a traffic-jam at sea during ancient times might have looked like, consider your curiosity fulfilled. 

It’s ancient times, and Ophir is a region of great prosperity and wealth.  Shipments of gold, silver, ivory, sandalwood, and all sorts of exotic animals depart its ports daily, finding their way into even the farthest reaches of King Solomon’s domain.  The powers-that-be have decreed the erection of a great temple to cement Ophir’s legacy of opulence in indomitable stone and brick, and as one of 2-4 merchants you are tasked with fulfilling the construction’s need for gold and silver.  You’ll ply the seas with your fellow merchants, acquiring resources and taking advantage of fleeting trade opportunities to gain coin and favor in order to advance your reputation and purchase the precious metals required for the temple.  The waterways are thick with ships, however, and only the most influential of merchants are given the right-of-way to conduct their affairs.  Should you overcome your fellow traders and contribute the most valuable cargo to the temple by the time it’s completed, your name will undoubtedly stand alone as the greatest merchant in the annals of Ophir. Continue reading

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COG Gaming Kickstarter Print and Play Review of Ion: A Compound Building Game

COG Gaming - Ion: a Compound Building Game box mockupYear Published: 2015
Designer: John Coveyou
Publisher: Genius Games
Players: 2-7
Playtime: 20-40 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Did I create salt, or nitroglycerin? Let me look it up!

Genius Games has a reputation for producing light educational games that are quick to play and easy to teach.  Their RNA-building game Linkage is currently available at retailers, and Peptide: A Protein Building Game successfully funded on Kickstarter in November, 2014 and is in the middle of manufacturing.

Ion: A Compound Building Game is currently live on Kickstarter and follows up on those efforts to create fun games that elucidate scientific concepts, and are as much at home in the classroom as they are in the living room.   Continue reading