Photosynthesis Review

We’ve covered all kinds of games here at Polyhedron Collider, ranging from tabletop battle games with rank and file miniatures through lightweight party games all the way to hefty Euros (a particular favourite of mine, I might add). The subjects of these games is just as varied, covering such topics as oenology, Vikings beating up monsters, hiding from aliens in the dark and of course going mad in a big old house. We’ve never considered advanced horticulture as a subject for a game, let alone played one.
Nanty Narking Kickstarter Review

Well-dressed gentlemen, dirty street urchins, pea soup smog and a young paper boy calling you “Guv’nor”, are all part of the sights, sounds and awful smells of a nanty narking in Victorian London Town. Nanty narking is an old fashioned phrase for a right good time (something now I can’t say without putting on a Barbara Windsor impression and adding “saucy” to the end of the sentence) and it’s an appropriate, if at first odd sounding, name for Phalanx Games’ remake of Discworld Ankh-Morpork.

The Polyhedron Collider Cast Episode 47 - Micro Brew, Nanty Narking and Simulation Theory

Nanty narking is an old Victorian phrase for a right good time, and that's what we're having as we give you another generous helping of tabletop gaming chat.

Jon takes on the role of News Ferret as he weasels out the latest board game news, Steve takes us through current Kickstarter games Simulation Theory, Micro Brew and Nanty Narking, and Andy just adds his usually colourful language and unique sense of perspective to proceedings.

Simulation Theory Kickstarter Review

Simulation Theory is a board game that seems to think it’s cleverer than it actually is. An RPG inspired take on the matching pairs memory games, Simulation Theory attempts to blend adventure and exploration into a game of virtual realities, where anything is real, and whereas the final game is perfectly functional, the result simply isn’t very exciting.
The Polyhedron Collider Cast Episode 46 - Gen Con, Talisman and other shenanigans

After a myriad of audio recording problems and Skype snafus we are back with the latest episode of the Polyhedron Collider Cast.

Two weeks later than planned, our discussion on the latest hotness from Gen Con now feels a bit cold, but that never stops us from talking nonsense about the Arkham Horror, Keyforge and Gen 7 announcements. In a shock to everyone Andy has played Talisman and Steve regales us with his thoughts on comedy fantasy card-game game, Hero Master 

Agra board game review

India to me seems like a fascinating country. Everyone I’ve met from India always seems lovely, friendly and happy to help. The food is awesome (who doesn’t love a good curry?) and the clothes are all bright, colourful and really comfy. Plus, having attended the Sikh wedding of a good mate of mine, they really know how to party.
Ruthless pirate board game review

Ruthless, from Alley Cat Games is very much like a firework.  Not the type of firework that goes off randomly at 11:36pm on a Thursday night in March, waking the dog up, and thus you.  No, Ruthless is like a firework in that despite the fact you’ve played many other deck builders, this one will make you go “Ooohhh”, like you do when watching fireworks, despite having seen many fireworks go off before.

Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails Kickstarter Review

Jamie Noble Frier, designer of Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails, has specifically asked me to avoid referencing Munchkin in my review of his game. And who can blame him? Munchkin is a stodgy mess that takes far too long and is far too chaotic, its no surprise that our resident fan of all things bad, Mr Jon Cage, rather likes it. But its difficult to talk about Hero Master without mentioning Munchkin, as on the surface the games are so very much alike.

Both games involve a party of bumbling heroes going on adventures, both games put their humour front and centre-with humorous card names and silly flavour text-and both games teach us that victory is best achieved by playing the most erect of dick-moves. I could go on, but while Hero Master may cover the same broad strokes of theme and style, it is a vastly superior game as it provides a tight and strategic experience that still manages to be chaotic and downright silly.
The Champions of Chance face Storm King's Thunder - Episode 3, 4 and 5 - Goldenfields

The Champions of Chance continue their adventures in Storm King's Thunder from Wizards of the Coast. We are playing Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, using Roll20 to play. In our latest instalment, the heroes venture to the farming city of Goldenfields, only to find that it was recently attacked by giants.

You can watch the entire adventure on YouTube and don’t forget to join us in Twitch, every Thursday at 1930 BST for more ramshackle shenanigans as we continue the adventure of the Champions of Chance and follow the adventures of the Masters of Fate (or team frozen balls as they are more commonly known). Available at: https://www.twitch.tv/polyhedroncollider







Let's Play Dungeons & Dragons - Storm King's Thunder

Those of you that listen to the Polyhedron Collider Cast (and if you don’t we’d really love you to give it a listen) will know that the boys from the PHC have become well and truly addicted to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.  Well due to the magic of the internet you can now join in the fun.  

So welcome along as we join the Champions of Chance as they fend off a horde of bloodthirsty orcs from the gates of Nightstone in our Storm King’s Thunder campaign. Of course it wouldn’t be Polyhedron collider without a bit of ramshackle nonsense, and so we apologise for the iffy sound in places.

Don’t forget to join us in Twitch, every Thursday at 1930 BST for more ramshackle shenanigans as we continue the adventure of the Champions of Chance and follow the adventures of the Masters of Fate (or team frozen balls as they are more commonly known).



Polyhedron Collider proves it is, as always, on the bleeding edge of new releases and the new hotness… by talking about Lords of Waterdeep and Android Netrunner, games that came out about 5 years ago.

We also agree the Echidna Shuffle is a great game, admit that we are terrible at Pandemic Legacy and should never be left in a position of responsibility and get all paranoid over The Thing.


Those of us who lack the always enviable skill of artistry, especially that skill of painting can rejoice, finally, that there is now an alternative to colour-by-numbers and those adult colouring books (which failed my expectation on the adult front) with Sunset Over Water, a lightweight, quick game of painting landscape masterpieces and selling them off.
Nine Worlds Board Game Review

Our game of Nine Worlds has stalled, my troops are scattered to Midgard, Alfheim and Norheim, their grasp on these realms would seem strong but in reality it is tenuous at best, because it is no longer my go and now I must wait. Tick follows tock, as my opponent's later on in the turn order mull over every option available, consider every possible avenue for points, and weigh up every possible combination of actions available to them with their limited resources. Time itself has slowed to a stop.  I can do nothing, only wait and see what my fate becomes. 

And thus Nine Worlds has committed a cardinal sin of modern board games, for I am now bored and I might as well play on my phone, go to the toilet or start peeling the spuds for the Sunday roast.  I currently have no viable input into the game, until it all comes back round to me again.

Nimble board game review

Nimble is a game that will present you with neither interesting nor agonising choices.  It will not test your resolve, or your ability to read a bluff in a friend's face.  It will—as the name may hint at—test your reactions, your nimbleness if you will.

The rules and gameplay are very simple; all you have to do is draw a card from the top of your player deck, briefly place it on your discard pile and then place it on one of the central piles, where you will match the frame of your card to the circle of one of the central cards.

The first person to burn through their deck wins, if they haven’t made any mistakes that is.

That’s it.  That’s the entire game mechanics.
Rise to Nobility board game Review

There are things in life that are perfectly understandable. Things like buying German cars because they’re well made and can go round corners; wearing a crash helmet when riding a motorbike; sacking work off to go to the pub and drink in the beer garden because it’s a nice day or avoiding old people on the pavement as they dawdle and you’ve got places to be. There are also things that make less sense. Like Brexit or Donald Trump.

I feel that the subject of this review falls into the latter category, although purely in name alone. Rise to Nobility for me conjures images in my mind of a pleb trying to become more than they are. Earning money, working hard and gaining a title. A bit like Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale. What doesn’t spring to mind on hearing the title, is the strife involved to become the next Town Clerk to manage the organisation of inhabitants in a new city in the Five Realms and succeed a particularly bungling, but delightful old chap called Berk. Perhaps “Rise to Administration” would be more appropriate.

But, like a drunk trying remain focussed on explaining the finer points of Quantum Theory, I digress.
UK Games Expo 2018: Ragusa Preview

Apparently, Ragusa is the name of a port city now called Dubrovnik. I've learnt something new today and hopefully so have you. Well at the UK Games Expo 2018 I had the chance to play Ragusa with the game's designer and a lovely little euro game it was too.

The aim of Ragusa is to build the titular city and you'll do this in true euro fashion by gathering resources and exploiting locations. But instead of this game being the rather common worker placement game, this is a house placement game. Each turn you'll claim a location on the board and your little house will permanently remain in that location.  This house gives you access to a variety of resources, including your basic wood and stone for building but also including things like olive trees, silver and grapes, all of which can be processed later in the game and sold for huge amounts of profit, or at least that's one of the aims of Ragusa.

There are but a few hours left, then, and then it’s all over.  Everything. No more light, or dark, or time.  Just the end.  No one knows why.  Or how.  So before all the questions are gone too, all we have left is “what”.  What are you going to do in the last moments of your life?

So Long, My World from Axis Mundi, is a game bleak in concept, bleak in themed, and yes, you guessed it, bleak in art.  It is the theme, rather than its execution that will get under your skin, that will leave a taste in your mouth after the game is done and put away.  In it, you’ll find a little bit of deck drafting, bidding and a sort of tableau building that all coalesce over a Matrix-esque end-of-the-world story that isn’t quite a story.

In this week’s episode we talk about a whole bunch of family games we have been playing, which means we have to counter balance it with more filth and swearing than a normal episode. Andy educates us on the difference between sonic and knuckles with Echidna Shuffle, Steve tells us about a hangry dragon in Beasts of Balance and Jon blind bets on peacock based trick taking game Pikoko.

We also have tickets for Knighmare Live up for grabs in our very first competition.

UK Games Expo 2018: Wildlands Preview

I don't know whether it's cynicism brought on by an approaching mid-life crisis, or simply that I have a burgeoning board game collection that is taking up far too much space, but with every new game that is announced I ask myself, do I really need this.

And its these questions that come to mind as I go through Wildlands, the new board-based skirmish miniatures game that I went through at the UK Games Expo 2018.  Now at first glance this game would appear to be your run of the mill game that appears to adorn Kickstarter once every few weeks. It's got a board, it’s got miniatures and it’s all card based, but like a racehorse or prize pig it's important to look into Wildlands pedigree, because Wildlands is being brought to us by legendary designer Martin Wallace and publisher Osprey games and that in itself means that Wildlands deserves a second look.
UK Games Expo 2018 - Witless Wizards

Old age comes to us all, I should know because as I fast approach my 40th year on this earth I've started to notice the unfortunate effects of ageing. While I am still in procession of a full head of hair, not one of which is going grey, my mind does appear on occasion to do stupid things and I am pretty sure my memory is not as good as it used to be. For me this effect appears to manifest itself in forgetting the name of an actor but if you're a mighty wizard that has spent their life studying the arcane arts, this forgetfulness can be a spot of bother, especially when you can't remember a particular spell during a magical battle with your peers.
the gig UK games expo preview jazz club nice

“First comes the bass.
Then the drums.
Then we bring in the keys, oh yeah.
Followed by the sax.
Then, and only then do we lay down the lyrics; it’s poetry really.  
Now that, that’s Real Cool Jazz”
MAD E. Upman - The Spirit and Soul of Real Cool Jazz

The Gig is a light and fast dice placement game that caught my eye, attention and imagination at the UK Games Expo 2018 and it was quite simply a joy to play.
Holding on the troubled life of Billy Kerr

He has moments of lucidity, but mostly, the things he says come in fragments, I don’t think he even knows where he is.  If we could piece together all these things he talks about, maybe he’d let go, and go peacefully.

Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr from Hub Games was one of, if not, the hot ticket at this year’s UK Games Expo, and being lucky enough to sit down with the designer, Michael, to play some of the first scenario, it really isn’t very hard to see why. 
The Polyhedron Collider Cast Episode 43 - The Great UK Game Expo Caper 2018

We have returned from three days at the biggest tabletop gaming convention in the UK.  The UK Games Expo was yet again another amazing and exciting event so we talk about all the board games, card games, tabletop roleplaying games and miniatures games we saw that got us all excited.

We would like to thank everyone who made it an awesome convention.

UK Games Expo 2018: Detective – First Thoughts

On Saturday 2nd June, at approximately 2 pm somewhere near Birmingham International airport, I liaised with a tall mysterious Polish man and three other rookie sleuths to find evidence to support the claim that when playing Portal’s Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame “You are not playing a detective; you ARE a detective!.”



Personal log: “I don’t know for certain what happened.  there was a meteor shower; fiercer than we anticipated.  It was carrying some kind of virus that somehow breached the station and killed the crew.  Well, almost.  There’s just two of us left.  We have to get off, the computer is shutting everything down, including life support, we don’t have much time to do what this station was designed for; build a ship and then get back to Earth.”

Part of me is tempted to write this entire review for Assembly in the style of the game, mainly because the setting for this little 2 player game is both wonderfully simple and rich.  But, I fear that would get old very fast, so I shall just wax lyrical in my typical rambling fashion.
The Polyhedron Collider Cast Episode 42 - The UK Games Expo 2018 Preview

It’s that time of the year again; it’s time for our favourite tabletop gaming convention, the UK Games Expo.  From the 1st to the 3rd June we will be seeing all kinds of board games, card games, miniature games and roleplaying games as we descend on the NEC for all kinds of gaming awesomeness.

In this episode we look forward to all the games we are excited to see at the Expo.

UK Games Expo 2018, Birmingham NEC, Banner

Once a year, the nerds that form the UK Board Gaming Community start to get a little anxious. The reason for this anxiety is not because it’s time for their bath, but due to the annual gathering just outside Birmingham International Airport where they congregate in large numbers to ogle, drool over and mingle around new and upcoming tabletop games for the year ahead.

Yes, it’s time for UK Games Expo 2018 so fire up the hype machine, set it to maximum chat and put on your convention pants to see what’s got us at Polyhedron Collider more excited than a Jack Russell who's been fed coffee powder and just been told it's time for walkies.

Guards of Atlantis - Minions, MOBA, Miniatures

There are times where you make a fabulous choice and can't help but wonder how lucky you got. Sadly, sometimes there are decisions in life that come back to haunt you. Given that I'm writing a board game review and I've (somehow) got a reputation for being "a bit miserable", I'll let you figure out which way this particular decision went for me.
Darwin's Choice Kickstarter Review

My wildebeest-frog has adapted well to its environment, it doesn't require much food, is happy on both land and sea and, being the only herbivore around, it currently has no competition for food. It may not be the flashiest of creatures but it's a survivor and if I can just get the species to thrive for the rest of the game it should rack up some points.

But planet Earth is a fickle mother and environmental changes mean that the lush coastline that was its habitat is now a desert of ice. There's no plants to eat and the other neighbouring environments are just as inhospitable, and because none of the cards in my hand offer any kind of frost resistance, the humble wildebeest-frog is now a footnote in a palaeontologist’s textbook.

“If we build it, they will come.”

“But we need them to come so we can build it.”

“Good point.  If we make some delicious food, they will come, and then we’ll build it.”

“Do you know anyone who can make ‘delicious’ food?”

“I do a pretty decent Spaghetti bolognese?”

“...”

Get the air horn ready, because it’s another episode of the Polyhedron Collider Cast. We start by comparing board game collection sizes with the Secret Cabal before we get excited by the new X-Wing games (well Steve does anyway). We then review Kickstarter Games Hard City and Darwin’s choice before talking about Stuffed Fables, Guards of Atlantis and Kickstarter stretch goals.

Hard City Kickstarter Review

There’s trouble brewing on the neon soaked streets of Hard City. Doctor Zero has unleashed a horde of ravenous mutants on the good people of the city and the only thing that stands between them and total chaos is the diligent officers of the Hard City Police Department. Armed with their wits and weapons and fuelled by a supply of frosted donuts, the thin blue line of the HCPD must head out and combat Doctor Zero’s nefarious schemes.
Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker Kickstarter Review

I have just said "wow" out loud. I've turned over a card in Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker during my third game and revealed a card that has just surprised me, surprised me because the effect it could have on my deck is both really clever and potentially very useful, but it's another card to add to my deck which is already getting bloated and the myriad of decisions available to me have been laid open. I have just said "wow", out loud, while playing a solo game.
Vadoran Gardens First Impressions

It's a shame that Vadoran Gardens may not get the Kickstarter spotlight it so rightly deserves. They say that great things come in small packages and the first of City of Games' small box games is testament that to have a fun game you don't need 500 miniatures and a box that can be used as a raft during flooding. For reasons that make perfect financial sense, Vadoran Gardens is an add on in the current City of Kings second print run Kickstarter, but I believe it deserves to shine on its own.

We are back with another helping of tabletop gaming chat, board game reviews and all kinds of nonsense about everything else.  In this week’s podcast episode we talk about cutesy pie card laying game Vadoran Gardens, novelty wine glasses, dice placement game Rise to Nobility and magic mirrors.  We round up our discussion with a lengthy talk about Dungeons and Dragons and the adventures of our current campaign that we’ve been playing via Roll20.

Pocket Mars board game Review

Mars is there, waiting to be reached.” - Buzz Aldrin

Mars.  The Red Planet.  The Roman God of War has hung in the night sky capturing the imagination of man, and drawing the creative mind to it like gravity since it was first gazed upon.  In the last few years, the fiction was left behind as science began to catch up, and we now know more about this baron and hostile planet than ever before.  Yet, the more we know, it seems the more our imagination runs rampant and so the notion of the colonisation of Mars seeps into our consciousness, filling our screens, bookshelves and of course, our board games.  It is in this vein that we explore Pocket Mars.


Lords of Hellas Core Box

It seems hypocrisy is something with which I am becoming more familiar. Not through malice or an attempt to ruin someone's day (although I will admit it is entertaining), but through an evolution of taste and the fact that I seem to have been cross-bred with a magpie. That being the only explanation  I can think of for claiming to be "not about the miniatures" whilst jumping on the bandwagon faster than Zebedee on a springboard when a juicy Kickstarter appears which is clearly "mostly about the miniatures".
The Grimm Forest Board Game Review

Once upon a time there was a trio of men who had a severe obsession in board games. Because of this obsession, they spent many hours playing, discussing and criticising their games, arguing about which was best. Needless to say, they almost never agreed.

It turns out that on occasion, the stars do align and said trio of man-children do reach a consensus. Unfortunately for the Grimm Forest, it's not a positive outcome.

Back from Airecon, the boys from Polyhedron Collider discuss the latest batch of tabletop games they have been playing.  They kick off the board game chat with Lords of Hellas from Awaken Realms, discuss The Grimm Forest from Druid City Games and have a good chin wag regarding the latest version of Pictomania from CGE.

mice and mystics board game review

Come gather round the fire and let me tell you about a tail from a mouse called Colin, who fought an evil Queen to free his father from her vicious clutches. Let me fill your head with wonder as Colin and his team fight off rats and spiders and the kitchen cat, and collected mountains of cheese on the way. You too will learn of the courage of rodents and the dangers of crystal caves and sewers and insects.

For this is the story of Mice and Mystics by Plaid Hat Games, and like all fairy tales for children, what a brutal tale it becomes.
Airecon 2018 - On the Couch with Polyhedron Collider

At Airecon 2018, the Polyhedron Collider Cast were joined by representatives of No Pun Included, JTR Podcast, Board Game Opinions, Unlucky Frog Gaming, Creaking Shelves, The Broken Meeple, I Play Red and the Game Pit.  In front of a live audience we posed them a host of random question drawn from the hat submitted by our listeners and Airecon visitors.

A big thank you to everyone involved.

I'm not entirely sure this blog post constitutes a review. I've had the iOS version of Red7 for quite some time and I have never really felt that I got on with the game.  Every few weeks I would start up the app ready to try the game and every time I would be ready to throw my phone out of the train window in frustration, and I'm not sure if it’s the app or the original Red7 rules that are the issue.
 Polyhedron Collider will be at Airecon and we need your help!

Ever wondered what the best Euro Game is? Which publisher makes the best Meeples? Or what Jon’s favourite cheese is? 

On Saturday the 10th March 2018, the Polyhedron Collider team will be at Airecon in Harrogate, and at 4:30 pm in the King’s Suite we will be joined by a host of bloggers, vloggers and ploggers* for On the Couch with Polyhedron Collider. We will be joined by Efka and Elaine from No Pun Included, Paul Grogan from Gaming Rules and many others including the Game Pit and Unlucky Frog Gaming podcasts and we want your help.

Welcome to February, the Tuesday of the year (as Andy calls it) as the Polyhedron Collider team recount their adventures from the City of Games convention.  We talk about mega Kickstarter Nemesis, melting Jon’s brain with Viticulture and Alchemists, getting down to some family games with Number 9 and eating poisoned chocolates.

Arkon Card Game Kickstarter Review

I was going to start this review by saying that Arkon is a bit like Ronseal, and then I realised that not everyone in the world will be familiar with a wood staining product and its advertising slogan. For those who haven't got a nostalgic history of UK television commercials, Ronseal's slogan was "it does what is says on the tin" and I feel that by describing Arkon as a take-that card game with set collection and bidding, you more or less know most of what you need to about the game, but we have been tasked with reviewing this product and so we are honour bound to tell you more.

Star Trek RPG, Star Trek Adventures, Modiphius, Enterprise, Kirk, Picard

Any Grammar Nazi out there will happily tell you...sorry, tell you happily... that Star Trek’s famous line “To Boldy Go..” should in fact read “To Go, Boldly…” as one should never split one’s infinitives. It can be a tad painful.
Awesome Games Coming in 2018: Part 3 Traditional Publishing

We finally arrive at our third and final part of our 2018 preview, and this has been without a doubt the most difficult part of the list to put together. I have taken input from all three members of the Polyhedron Collider team and our highlights were featured in our most recent Podcast episode. It has become apparent however just how much of a hype generating machine Kickstarter has become. I've managed to put a list of over 20 games that Kickstarter is bringing to us this year, but I have struggled to find just 10 games arriving via more conventional publishing means.  Is this because publishers are being more guarded with their announcements or is this because of the meteoric rise of Kickstarter?

Don’t forget to check out Part1, where we looked at games coming to Kickstarter this year, and Part 2, where we looked at the games we Kickstarted in the past and are expecting to be delivered in 2018.



The Polyhedron Collider boys return to their normal podcast format, venturing into the wasteland of Fallout from Fantasy Flight Games, trying to be the next Gordon Ramsay with Kitchen Rush from Artipia Games and and conquer fantasy lands with Ethnos from CMON. With a little help from the mailbag we discuss Andy's acquisition disorder, the value of games and just how much are game collection is worth.

Age Of Empires, Empires: Age of Discovery, Eagle-Gryphon, Worker Placement

It would appear that we at Polyhedron Collider are a shower of dirty liars and hypocrites. "What is the reason for this confession?" you may ask. It seems that we may have made the statement on an earlier podcast that “it’s not all about the bling”. Whilst true, my track record on this sort of thing isn’t exactly exemplary as I’ve got a growing number of games in my collection with more shinies than Malcolm Reynolds after having Serenity diamond-encrusted - one of which is Empires: Age of Discovery, a hefty Worker Placement/Area Control game from Eagle-Gryphon.
nemesis board game kickstarter review

I’ve been following the development of Nemesis quite closely over the last couple of years. I first spoke to the game’s designer Adam KwapiƄski way back in 2015 at Essen, when he explained the concept of a game he was developing where players wake from hyper-sleep to find their ship floating adrift in the celestial void and infested by slime covered aliens. I was hooked.
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