Critical Strikes - E01: Clowns, Phasers and Orcs!

From time to time, I just don't have time!  This can lead to a lot of games needing a review, and deservedly so!  As such, I'm happy to bring you the first episode of Critical Strikes.  In this series, I'm going to take a micro-review approach to the games themselves and share my thoughts on the main items we normally look at, Components, Gameplay and Experience, and wrap it up in a nice package.


Our first trio offers us clowns and acrobats in Drum Roll, where you'll use traditional worker placement to run a circus and turn your band of side show performers into a bustling business!  We'll also take a look at the Next Generation Deck Builders from Star Trek and Bandai. How do they compare to our Original Series review? Finally, we'll see if one can simply build a dice building game and look at Wizkid's Lord of the Rings Dice Builder, built on the backs of Quarriors.


Let us know what you think about the format, the games, and everything in between!

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Comments: 6
  • #1

    Pete Evans (Wednesday, 10 April 2013 22:03)

    LotR Dice Building Game
    I completely agree with you assessment of the quality of the components of this game. The typos and screw-ups on the cards and instructions are inexcusable. However, I found the game ridiculously easy and did not enjoy the "semi-cooperative" nature of the game. To me Semi-cooperative means that they didn't get the balance correct.

    So, I have developed some modifications to the base rules that actually make this a decent strictly co-op game.

    Here are my changes:
    --When Sauron spreads corruption it is done in the following order
    ----The highest value card Sauron can afford with dice missing is corrupted
    ----If corruption remaining Sauron will buy the most expensive Die available to him (FotR=1, TTT=2, RotK=3)
    ----If corruption still remaining it removes victory points from the ring-bearer and then moves clockwise until corruption spent or all users at 0 VP

    --When players go to un-corrupt a card they must spend the Fellowship shown on the card to remove the corruption (no recruiting can be done at the same time)

    --When Sauron would normally return dice to the box they are instead placed on the corresponding card.

    --When Sauron brings dice back out of the defeated pool they are immediately re-rolled.

    Try to play it this way and see if it is not much more enjoyable. I've found that when there is an actual chance that the game can win it is much more enjoyable.

  • #2

    Matt Riddle (Thursday, 11 April 2013 17:08)

    I have an interest in all three of these games

  • #3

    Rori (Sunday, 21 April 2013 09:16)

    Where would someone find Drumroll? I just love me some worker placement ;)

  • #4

    Rori (Sunday, 21 April 2013 09:18)

    Never mind, I found it :) Thanks!

  • #5

    Rori (Sunday, 21 April 2013 09:21)

    Another question--Does Drumroll play half as fun as the artwork looks? (AMAZING!) Honestly, I have to be judicious with my gaming money--do you think this is well worth it for someone who loves worker placement games? Or should I pass over it? Thank you!!

  • #6

    critshappen (Sunday, 21 April 2013 12:28)

    I enjoy worker placement games like Alien Frontiers, Tzolk'in, Stone Age, and Lords of Waterdeep. If any of those are in your "I like" list then this would be too. I have enjoyed Drumroll as a bit more complex decision type worker placement, due to only having 3 actions per turn. You have to be efficient, and the choices are well laid out. Hope that helps.

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