Dusty Blog Mini-Reviews: Games


Had a nice weekend in Oregon and thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on a few games I’ve played recently.

L5R Emperor Edition

I recently returned to playing this CCG and am having lots of fun obsessing over my decks and playing with old friends. The current design team is really very sharp and the game is better balanced than perhaps it has ever been. Mind you it is also more challenging than it has ever been. Its not a game to get into lightly but its a great rabbit hole to fall into, both because the game is fantastic and the players are as well.


This is a board game centered around huge piles of special six sided dice. You start with a given set of them in a bag, pull a set number out and roll them. Some offer resources, others re-rolls, and most significantly creatures which you put into play and do battle with those of your opponents. As you play you can buy more dice with your resources to get access to the more powerful critters and spells to throw in the dice bag. The presentation is nice and the game easy to learn but for me it felt too much like blind luck and not enough like strategy. Just buy the best creature you roll and the biggest dice you can afford an you are good to go. Now its just blind luck if you can roll the big critters or not. It plays best with 4 as a beer and pretzels type affair. The various build a deck card games are better.

Lords of Waterdeep

This is the latest board game offering from Wizards of the Coast. I’ve only played one game but I’m fairly impressed. It is a euro style game where brave adventurers are reduced to small colored cubes and the real action is in recruiting them and arranging quests for them to go on. The mechanics are really just about efficient resource gathering and timing your plays so you earn more victory points than your rivals. The rules are clear and easy to learn, the play is well paced, and the level of strategy feels just right as an introduction to games of this type. I tend to like my games meaty and found this one satisfying if not especially taxing. The presentation is really excellent and the box is possibly the best designed and most attractive I’ve ever encountered without an ultra premium price tag.

Legend of Grimrock

I’m a sucker for retro computer RPG games. While I’ve got plenty of affection for the modern ones, there is a nice simple pleasure in exploring mazes and collecting treasure. This one is a 3d style dungeon explorer with a party of 4 characters you build yourself. Its got just a dash of story and lots of nasty critters and exploration puzzles. It wisely offers you different levels of old school. For instance you can do your own mapping (as we used to do in my youth) or have the computer do it for you (which I chose because I picked it up to play on my laptop as an away from home game.) So far so good. My only possible complaint is that combat is delay based rather than turn based so you have to do some quick clicking in combat making it as much frenetic as strategic. While it adds to the tension of the game, it makes it a bit hard to play in bed or on the couch which is where I wanted to play this one.

That’s it for now,

Good Gaming All!


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