COG Gaming

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

Empires in America box art- feature image for board game review.


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Empires in America Second Edition Review | COG Gaming

Empires in America box artYear Published: 2016
Designer: Joseph Miranda
Publisher: Victory Point Games
Players: 1
Playtime: 30-60 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Prepare for war, fight the good fight, and then discover how much of a powerful jerk Amherst is…

I’ve quickly amassed a decent shelf of solitaire games over the past couple of months, having been turned on to just how fun sitting down and quietly making your way through something actually designed for worthwhile solitaire play can be.  I’ve tried to spread the complexity and type around a bit, but have invariably ended up with more historically-oriented titles than anything else, and mostly ones that are easily played over roughly an hour;  larger time investments can definitely be fun, but I figure flexibility will ensure I get the games tabled even when I’ve got a regular, at-home partner to play with again.  As such, after my initial experience with the tense, thematic Zulus on the Ramparts! from Victory Point Games, which I reviewed, I decided to go back to their successful States of Siege(tm) series and see whether any of its other titles would strike my fancy. Continue reading

Zulus on the Ramparts board game review by COG Gaming


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Zulus on the Ramparts! Second Edition Review | COG Gaming

Box for Zulus on the RampartsYear Published: 2009
Designer: Joseph Miranda
Publisher: Victory Point Games
Players: 1
Playtime: 25 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: “60! We dropped 60, wouldn’t you say!?” “That leaves only 3,940.”

I’ll admit I’ve never been much for solitaire board gaming.  I much prefer the social interaction afforded by having friends over or attending game days at my Friendly Local Game Store, and if I’m going to play something alone I usually boot up a PC game.  I’m normally lucky enough to have my wife around to play board games with me throughout the week in-between longer game days, but work has recently taken her away from home for a month at a time and effectively cut my gaming time in half.  I was alright with the reduced exposure for about a week, but then I started feeling the itch for board gaming so I sat down with some of the cooperative titles I’ve got on hand that are playable with one person, and actually found myself rather enjoying the experience; it’s contemplative, and I rather liked being able to have my inner-monologue out loud while I puzzled through games like Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game, and Darkest Night. Continue reading


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Hunt: The Unknown Quarry Review | COG Gaming

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Hunt: The Unknown Quarry Box for COG Gaming board game reviewYear Published: 2015
Designer: Jeremy Lennert
Publisher: Victory Point Games
Players: 3-6
Playtime: 60-90 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Unless Professor Plum has toxic fangs, I don’t think he did it in the ballroom with the candle stick…

People had dispersed from our small gathering in the gallery room, leaving only myself and Butch among the artistic finery.  He cut a striking figure but hadn’t struck me as very bright during our conversations, and yet some of the things he said made me suspect he knew my true intentions in the mansion this night.  I had planted the seed in their minds that I figured he was the Vampire, so any action against him would appear justified, or at least give them pause.  Now alone, I decided I couldn’t risk him delivering the first blow and exposing me to the others.  I used my wasting ability only to find Butch immune.  Blast!  Now he knew for sure, and his vengeance was swift.  Butch chased me from the gallery, down the stairs and back into the main hallway, passing two of the other guests as we traded blows.  If I were to survive it couldn’t go on like this for long, so when the opportunity presented itself I spun on my heels and sunk my fangs into Butch’s shoulder, and again into his leg tearing a chunk of his flesh in the process and crippling him.  Butch screamed in pain, collapsing to the floor and swinging his firebrand blindly as he fell.  Unfortunately my luck had run out, and one of Butch’s last flailing attempts caught me across the temple and I collapsed to the ground in a heap.  The Vampire was no more. Continue reading

COG Gaming | Darkest Night Box art for COG Gaming review


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Darkest Night & Darkest Night: With an Inner Light Review | COG Gaming

COG Gaming | Darkest Night Review - boxes for Darkest Night and Inner Light ExpansionYear Published: 2012
Designer: Jeremy Lennert
Publisher: Victory Point Games
Players: 1-4 (5)
Playtime: 120 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis:  There’s still light in the darkness, but it’s fading fast.

A darkness spread over the land on the heels of the Necromancer’s undead hordes.  Villages fell, castles toppled, and the King’s armies broke and fled in the face of such unimaginable horror and evil.  Four heroes have barricaded themselves in a monastery which has thus-far resisted the Necromancer’s blights, using its holy protection to plan the kingdom’s last gasp of resistance.  Their efforts to regain the lost holy relics represent the people’s only hope before darkness and despair swallow the land for eternity, but their path is fraught with peril and uncertainty, and the Necromancer’s power grows by the day. Continue reading