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Episode 131: Onward to Venus, Broom Service and Board Games that Tell Stories

Today the gang decides to go back into the collection and review a game that flew under the radar that they think needs some love, Onward to Venus by Martin Wallace. Then they take a look back at Broom Service one year later. Then Tony T gets frustrated as the guys keep interupting him during the news segment with nonsense. Finally the Founders discuss board games that tell stories and how a game can be designed to pull the emotions out of players.

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Opening Banter and Reviews

Feature Review: Onward to Venus

Onward to Venus is based on the Doctor Grordbort graphic novels from writer/artist Greg Broadmore, with those books being a parody of sorts of the British Empire in the late 19th century, but instead of the race for Africa, we now have the exploitation of the Solar System, which is populated by various natives who resent the Earthling settlers. The game Onward to Venus takes lots of artwork from the books and mixes it together to create an empire-building game set in the Solar System. The core rules are fairly straightforward, and a game can be completed in 90 minutes. The game is played over three turns; in each turn you whizz around the planets and moons claiming tiles. The tiles grant you cards, allow you to build a factory or mine, let you hunt strange beasts, or simply earn you some money. Other tiles allow you to attack other players or add to the crisis level on the planet/moon in question. You have to be careful with crisis tiles as if you let too many build up, bad stuff — Martian invasions, robot rebellions, space pirates, etc. — starts happening.

Designed by Martin Wallace

Published by Treefrog Games

BoardGameGeek.com Entry

Lookback Review: Broom Service

Score the most victory points by delivering potions via Broom Service throughout the magical realm. Broom Service is a card-based game that combines luck and skill and balances timely bluffing with clever hand management. Remake of award-winning Witch's Brew: New theme! Now with 3 types of roles: witches, druids, and gatherers. Drizzelda, the weather fairy, helps chase away the bad weather. New illustrations and game pieces. Same style of play, and by the same game designer as Witch’s Brew. New version also includes a 2-player version. The game is played over 7 rounds, with 4 turns per round. Each round, players simultaneously select 4 of their 10 role cards, and then they take turns playing one role at a time. Each role has a brave action and a cowardly action; the brave action is stronger, but riskier, as another player could steal the action from you later; the cowardly action is safer, but not as robust. How well can you bluff your opponents? Use the gatherer roles to collect ingredients to make potions, the witch roles to zoom around on your broom to different areas, and the witch or druid roles to deliver the potions, collecting victory points as you go. Chase away lightning clouds with the help of the weather fairy, and keep an eye on the event cards that change game play, one event per round. The winner is the player with the most victory points after all 7 rounds are complete and end-of-game bonus points have been awarded.

Designed by Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister

Published by Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH

BoardGameGeek.com Entry

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