My biggest apologies for not putting out this entry sooner, but I really wanted to give you all a brief preview of the games that are part of our IGGPPC Camp Tabletop Tournament. In brief, here are the amazing games you’ll be playing in order to capture the ultimate prize of Grand Master Gamer!

I don’t want to do full fledged “Meet Me at the Table” Reviews for this, but just to let you know the types of dynamics that are going on. Don’t let these exciting games make you feel intimated, they are fun for any level of gamer.

Initial Rounds

The initial rounds will pit players against one another for Best-Out-Of style rounds. These are the games that players will best each other at!

Dragonheart

Dragonheart is a game that my husband introduced to me in the Spring of 2014 as a recommendation for my students who were about to embark on a game creation unit. It is a simple game of strategy set collecting to score points. When I saw it on BoardGameArena, I knew I needed to include it.

pic829248_mdOne player is the red deck and the other player is the green deck. You play cards in certain areas on the board and each of these areas leads to a certain set of cards being able to be collected once the rule for that set is fulfilled.

For example, the dwarf on the far left has four card slots. Once four dwarves have been played, you can take those four cards and put them in your collection pile. The more cards, the better, because that is how you will collect points.
Dragonheart Board
On the far left is an archer. If her three cards are filled in and there are any cards on the flying dragon, you collect them. If you play a flying dragon, you would collect the treasure cards. But watch out for the points on the cards. The more cards with higher points, the better.

There is little print and is purely a visual game, so it crosses linguistical boundaries to be a game that can be played by anyone. I recommend a few test plays of this game for the tournament. The game itself can be played quickly, so a few rounds of the game will be required as part of the tournament. Here’s a review on watching a live action gameplay.

Seasons

I have been interested in Seasons to purchase for a very long time. I’m always looking for great games for my students, as it requires concentration and you need to focus on what you are doing. This game requires just a bit more skill than some of the others and is the #1 reason I recommend playing these games before the tournament starts.

pic1299390_mdYou are one of the great sorcerers of a Kingdom and you’ve come together with other sorcerers to meet at the heart of the Argos forest. The sorcerers must participate in the legendary tournament of the 12 seasons. Your play won’t take literally 12 seasons, but at the end of the 3 year competition, the new Archmage of Xidit will be chosen (so the winner).

Players will need to use ancestral magical items, summon familiars, and fight challenge after challenge to become of the ultimate sorcerer!

Once you get the hang of playing Seasons, it can really become a pretty intense game to play. It is a card drafting game that involves choosing dice to strategically improve your chances and also involves hand management as you try to strategize your next move.

I won’t speak too much to the mechanics, because there are videos of how to play and BoardGameArena will step you through the process. What will hopefully secure your win is becoming familiar with the game play BEFORE the tournament. Get in an extra advantage by watching Tom Vassel’s (Dice Tower) review of the game.

Saboteur

Saboteur is a fun game of sabotage! Who woulda thunk it, right? You’re essentially going to choose a character, either a saboteur or a digger. You’ll need one of each if you’re playing on with only one other person. You have goals for each character. The digger wants to get to the treasure. The saboteur wants to stop you!

pic172286_mdThroughout the game, you choose a card to play to achieve your goal, depending on your character. Again, the goals are to stop the dwarves or get the treasure. BoardGameArena will step you through the process and it is a rather simple game to play.

There are three rounds that you play within the game itself, so you will only have to play this once. It is also a good bit of fun and is about strategy. Its tile laying and card playing. Good fun, as Games Over Board shares in their brief demo of how to play.

Takenoko

I have a full-fledged review of this coming soon, but this is a game that I really enjoy. This is another game that I loved playing with my students and it also transcends boundaries with little-to-no-text and relies on graphics to drive the gameplay forward.

pic1912529_mdIn Takenoko, you have to fulfill goals using a hungry panda and a gardener. You are, essentially, working in the Emperor’s garden. There are three ways to earn points using the three different goal cards. One of the goal cards is the panda card, which tells you what kind of bamboo you need to eat to earn the points of that goal. Another goal card is the gardener card, which is fulfilled using the gardener to grown bamboo in certain ways. Finally there are the layout cards, where you have to fulfill the garden layout image on the card to consider it complete.

Rolling the dice gives you bonuses to the play and you want to earn points to end the round. Two player play is quick, so expect a few rounds of this game, as well. Don’t forget to NOM NOM NOM when your panda eats some bamboo and watch out for those tiles with special abilities.

For a hilarious rundown of the game, check out Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop episode of Takenoko.

Tokaido

Tokaido is another incredibly popular game! This game is made by the creators of one of the Final Round games, 7 Wonders. In Tokaido, you are traveling along a road to from Tokyo to Kyoto. You need to choose a traveler, which has coin values and special skills, so choose wisely.

pic1293719_mdIt is a game of strategy, where you have to move the travelers along the road. Each location you stop at gives you points or coins. The player farthest back will go first and you can never go back, you can only go forward. BoardGameArena will step you through the process.

This game is gorgeous and fun and full of strategy. It is a little more time consuming to play than some of the other games, but worth it to strategize. Just be glad you’re not playing my husband or it’d take all night! For more information, check our Rodney’s (Watch it Played) awesome review of this game.


 

Final Round

Final Round games will include the Top 4 (at this time) players to score the highest in the initial round. These 4 players will have to arrange to meet up to complete these three finalist games on Brettspielwelt. If you’re reading this, there’s a hidden message right here in site that say SIGN UP ON BRETSPIELWELT AND GET PRACTICING! (Also make sure you have the proper plugins and it runs.)

7 Wonders
7 Wonders is one of my favorite games. It was also a game that was part of my initial exposure to tabletop games. I loved it so much I thought I could play it with my students, but sadly the game is a little more advanced than what my sixth graders could handle. Which is why, for all intents and purposes, I have chosen it for the final round.
pic860217_md7 Wonders is about card collecting in order to score points. You are given one of the 7 Wonders and you need to fulfill goals for your location, as well as collect cards to gain additional victory points. At the end of three rounds, points are totaled to determine the winner.

Strategy is involved, especially since you are passing your hand around to the other players after you have made your selection. To get a feel for how it is played, check out Rodney on Watch it Played.

Kingsburg

Kingsburg is another game of collecting in phases. I learned about this game attending my first local gaming convention. It had me at gold, wood, or stone.

pic253057You go through phases and years. At the end of each year, you will have to have prepared for an attack by a predetermined enemy. So you’ll need to look into building your army and victory points to help your country. At the end of 5 years, the winners will be tallied.

Essentially you roll the dice and hope to influence advisers that will help you, while also hoping your opponents don’t select the people you want. Only one person can influence each adviser, unless you have the token that gives you a special advantage.

A great game of strategy and forethought. To see the live action being played, check out Tom Vassel’s review of Kingsburg.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers was a groundbreaking game, in regards to tabletop gaming. Wood for Sheep became a tagline and a running gag. It is one of the first tabletop games I really got into as an adult and spent countless nights and hours playing. It is skill and strategy based, so it was perfect for the Final Round.

pic268839_mdYou need to build up your settlements by building roads and collecting resources. You want to gain victory points while you play, so you want to make sure you are getting the right materials to build your cities. You could trade or resource hog items to stop other players from achieving. It is all about your first placement and making the best moves.

Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop plays out the game in an amusing way, but watch the beginning to learn more about gameplay.

So what’s stopping you? Sign up or e-mail me to get started and let the gaming tournament BEGIN! . . . on Saturday, August 16.

keepthegamescoming