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Gamers Ranch

Last week, I was invited, along with my husband, to join a group of board gamers from our local Iowa City area on their annual gaming retreat. For this event, they gather at the Gamers Ranch, for day after day of board games and fellowship. If you’re not familiar with the Gamers Ranch , it’s a short term rental/vacation property in the countryside, nestled among farms and open pastures, just outside of Bland, Missouri.  The site can accommodate groups of up to 20 people at a time and offers activities for indoors (frequently updated board game library with thousands of games including the BGG Top 100, arcade, LAN gaming pc area, Lego library, MTG library, miniature painting workshop area, reading nooks, and several large screen tvs for streaming) and outdoors (disc golf course, miles of hiking trails, a lake with boating, geocaching, fire pits, etc). The sleeping areas inside are well appointed with linens, toiletries, and wifi. Bonus for foodies: the kitchen is fantastic, offering a
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Board Game Review: Anno 1800

Whenever Martin Wallace designs a new game, I am all over it. This is because I absolutely love Brass Birmingham (another MW designed game); in fact Brass Birmingham is my #1 board game of all time. Over the years, his other games I've tried have been pretty good, but not necessarily amazing must-buys. Still, I keep trying each new release of his, searching for that next star performer. That's why I'm excited to report that Anno 1800 is, in fact, a star performer, and an amazing must-buy board game. Anno 1800 was adapted by the publisher (Kosmos) from a Ubisoft video game of the same name. In the board game, players take on the role of industrialists, charged with developing their island economies and exploring other islands. Each player begins the game with a personal industry board with trade & exploration ships, a shipyard, and industrial goods tiles printed on the board. A starting collection of workers (wooden cubes) of various types to produce the goods is a

Board Game Review: Tapestry Arts & Architecture Expansion

The good folks at Stonemaier Games sent us a review copy of the newest expansion for Tapestry recently. We have the base game and the previous expansion, Plans and Ploys, in our game library. Arts & Architecture is designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Mike Young, with artwork by Andrew Bosley and landmark sculptures by Rom Brown. The expansion adds more of the familiar components: five new civilizations, six new capital city mats, 5 new landmark cards with landmarks, twenty new tapestry cards, and eleven new tech cards. Arts & Architecture also adds completely new features to the game, including an arts track with accompanying landmarks, twenty masterpiece cards, twenty inspiration tiles, and an upgraded science die to include iconography referencing the arts track. The new arts development track is quite useful and thematically blends well with the overall concept of the game. It gives you the opportunity to place more of your income buildings, score victory points for tech c

Board Game Review: Rolling Realms

At every company, there’s some guy trying desperately to figure out a way to harness a current wave of consumer demand and somehow direct it right onto the doorstep of the company. “Even better…”, that guy explains to rest of management, “If we can deliver something on *that* demand that our customers will gobble up and that will drive their demand up for our *other* established products, we’ve gone above and beyond! A cross-promotional windfall!”  Well, it looks like someone at Stonemaier put that guy in charge of roll and write game development and Rolling Realms was the result. It’s meta game of sorts that mostly serves as an advertisement for the rest of the Stonemaier product line, as each card in this roll and write game is named after a different Stonemaier game title.    On the plus side, Rolling Realms is a pandemic friendly, easy to learn, and quick to play roll and write that plays as easily over zoom with 20 people as it plays in person with a few people around a table.

Board Game Review: Lost Cities Roll & Write (A Comparison to the Original Lost Cities)

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Board Game Review–Quests & Cannons: The Risen Islands

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Board Game Review: Red Rising (Collector’s Edition)

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