Welcome to Talk of Tales, Tavern of Tales’ series where Christy and I review board games, sometimes they’ll be random board games, other times they’ll be games offered as a Tavern of Tales custom experience. Today we’re talking about Ryan Laukat’s tactical war/area control game that’ll be offered at Tavern of Tales, Eight-Minute Empire. The point of this game is to gain control of territories and essentially conquer the world. So let’s talk about the game!
C: It’s pretty.
C: There aren’t many words and that works.
JP: Wait. When we first played this, you said you didn’t like its lack of words.
C: Opinions change, sir. I like that it makes the game more simplistic. Anyway, the card design and the art’s really nice, but I think they phoned it in with pieces.
JP: The meeple?
JP: Well I like the meeple just being cubes, because it’d probably be hard to fit intricately designed pieces on the map. And they can stack on each other.
C: They should make the map bigger then.
JP: Okay, but what if the map being so small is a metaphor for how suffocating war is?
C: Think you’re giving the Law Cat (Laukat) too much credit here. It’s probably because a smaller map was cheaper.
JP: True. But still...let me dream!
C: No. I also like the color and the coin design, it’s nice.
JP: Yeah they are cool, but I’ve never understood what the coins with the item symbols were for.
C: Oh. That’s for another set of rules. Like you set those tokens on the map and if you capture a territory you get the token...or something.
JP: Ah. So they don’t matter since Tavern of Tales isn’t offering variant rules.
JP: Cool. Gameplay?
C: So the gameplay is simple and straightforward.
JP: On a surface level, sure.
C: That’s true, there’s a place in this game for strategy, but a lot of it comes up to chance too.
JP: Yeah. You have to pray to the RNG gods for things sometimes.
C: I...I don’t know what that means.
JP: And you’ll be lucky if you never do.
C: I’m just going to take your word for it. Anyway, this game gives you a variety of ways to go about winning. Though you should try for both, you can either conquer territories or gather resources.
JP: Given that someone’s always gonna try for the territories, my main strategy is to get the crystals.
C: That’s because you’re a child that likes shiny things.
JP:....I can’t really refute that, but also they give the most resource points. Get a full set of those babies, maybe conquer one continent and boom, you win.
C: Very true.
JP: But one of my problems essentially deals with the factor of chance. There are so many times that there’s a move you need that might never come because there’s limited cards with that move.
C: Yeah, and sometimes I don’t see the value of there being just one destroy army card.
N: Well that’s where even more strategy comes in. Because the cards for like moving over sea are so rare, it may be beneficial to use those cards simply to deny them from your opponents. Even dropping 2-3 coins on them may be worth it, so that you can keep enemies landlocked while controlling multiple continents.
JP: All right, that’s a valid point, but also, Nick, this is a review between me and Christy. We don’t need you butting in.
N: Wow. I see how it is.
C: Anyway, I like that with this game there’s a limited number of rounds and a clear set ending.
JP: Yeah those are needed since not everyone likes games that go on forever…I’m looking at you, Monopoly.
C: And it makes for a great gateway to other strategic board games, though it’s simple, you still have to use your brain.
C: So it seems obvious that I like this game, but how do you feel about it, Jordan?
JP: Well…I never thought about it. Do I actually like this game?
C: What do you mean?
JP: Well, we’re going to have this game at Tavern of Tales, so there was a lot of R&D regarding it. I’ve played it for weeks straight and sometimes for tests you guys had me play as three players at once. So maybe I’m just burned out on it.
C: I played this game plenty too and I still like it.
JP: Yeah. I think if I exclude my trauma from playing the game so much, I think it’s an enjoyable game.
C: So Tavern of Tales approved?
JP: It’s already gonna be an offered game, so-
C: Jordan. Just say Tavern of Tales approved.
JP: Okay. okay. Tavern of Tales approved!