Small World

From the box: “Small World is a zany, light-hearted civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Picking the right combination of fantasy races and unique special powers, players must rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory. Designed by Philippe Keyaerts, as the fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Small World marks the return of the Days of Wonder line of heavily-themed, big-box sized games featuring evocative illustrations, high-quality European components and a compelling, fun theme. ”

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Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle

From the box: “Play as your favorite characters and defend the wizarding world from evil forces. Enhance your abilities as you build your deck with over 140 cards. Seven successive game adventures offer increasing difficulty as you battle Villains and unlock new abilities, secrets and challenges. Also included are four HOGWARTS house dice, game board, over 50 chip pieces, and sorting cards to keep everything organized.”

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5 Minute Dungeon

From the box: “Will you make it out alive? Test your wits in a battle to the end with 5-Minute Dungeon! In this chaotic real-time card game, players use quick thinking to combat monsters, overcome obstacles and escape dungeons – all within 5 minutes! With the clock ticking, it’s up to you and your team to battle together in pursuit of victory or perish alone.”

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7 Wonders

From the box: “You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World Gather resources, develop commercial routes and affirm your military supremacy 2-7 players 30+ minutes playing time”

Dan Says: “7 Wonders is a card drafting game in which, among other things, you are in charge of building your own ‘Wonder.’  There are 3 ‘stages’ of play, each having a hand where each player picks 1 card to play, then passes the hand to the next player.  Like other card drafting games, there are many ways to earn points, some of which are straight-forward, others are more complex.  Add to that the bonuses some of the cards can give you, along with the “engine building” element where certain cards require you to have to ‘build’ them with previously-played resources, and you achieve a level of complexity that’s more than, say, Sushi Go, but still not difficult to pick up.  It’s one where you’re probably best suited using your first couple of plays focusing on learning how the cards interact as opposed to chasing points.  Overall a fun game.”

Amazon: 7 Wonders

HeroScape: Rise of the Valkaries

From the box: “Imagine the greatest battle of all time taking place on a battlefield you design. Recommended for ages eight and older, Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkaries entails an interlocking 3-D battlefield, miniature warriors, and strategic game play. This build-and-battle game set includes 24 beautifully painted miniature warriors and 75 interlocking terrain pieces. There are swamp, water, rock, and land tiles to create and customize your own battlefield. An instruction booklet is provided to help you form the terrain. The pieces click easily into place and the landscape is limited only by your imagination. After you construct the terrain, it is time to form your army with warriors, aliens, acid, drones, and stingers, each with their own strengths.”

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Laser Khet

This out-of-print game combines the strategy of chess with the fun of lasers. Make your move to light up the opposing player’s Pharoah while protecting your own … watch out for the mirrors as you go. We dueled for a half hour before we really got the swing of it but it’s a great thinking / strategy game once you get there.

From the box: “Khet (a.k.a. Deflexion) is a chess-like board game that has two built in lasers and movable Egyptian-themed game pieces that have embedded mirrors that can be positioned to bounce the laser light around the board and hit opponent pieces.”

Stratego

Loy says: “Stratego is an oldie but a goodie. In this battle, setup is half way to winning. Place your army, including spies, flag, and bombs. Once the game begins, moves proceed similar to chess. Your goal is to capture your enemy’s flag without hitting any of those pesky bombs in the process. Every setup is different, so every game is unique for a fun and challenging game each time. How well do you know your opponent?”

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Risk

Loy says: “Risk is that classic game of conquest. Strategically build and place your armies for battle, team up with opponents, roll the dice to determine victory, and be the last general standing. This can be a simple game of tactics or a complex game of negotiations and allies; it’s all up to you.”

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