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Episode 57: Terra Mystica and the Wax and Wane of our Gaming Habits

It's Episode 57 and it's time for a new year of insubordinate nonsense from the Secret Cabal Founders.  Today we rip open the Terra Mystica box and go hog wild with another walkthrough and review. Then Tony delivers the gaming news like the news profession it is at heart while the rest of us crack jokes. Then the episode comes to a close with a lengthy discussion about how our gaming habits have changed over the years.

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Opening Banter

  • Sentinels of the Multiverse
  • Bruges
  • Railways of the World
  • Francis Drake
  • Race for the Galaxy
  • Glory To Rome
  • Skull (Skull and Roses)
  • iOS Suburbia and Quarriors)
  • Euphoria's awesome components
  • Caverna price gouging
  • Thanks to Jerry Reece for A Study in Emerald
  • BoardGameLinks.com

Terra Mystica Review

Terra Mystica is a game with very little luck that rewards strategic planning. Each player governs one of the 14 groups. With subtlety and craft, the player must attempt to rule as great an area as possible and to develop that group's skills. There are also four religious cults in which you can progress. To do all that, each group has special skills and abilities. Taking turns, the players execute their actions on the resources they have at their disposal. Different buildings allow players to develop different resources. Dwellings allow for more workers. Trading houses allow players to make money. Strongholds unlock a group's special ability, and temples allow you to develop religion and your terraforming and seafaring skills. Buildings can be upgraded: Dwellings can be developed into trading houses; trading houses can be developed into strongholds or temples; one temple can be upgraded to become a sanctuary. Each group must also develop its terraforming skill and its skill with boats to use the rivers.

Look Back at Mice and Mystics

In Mice and Mystics players take on the roles of those still loyal to the king – but to escape the clutches of Vanestra, they have been turned into mice! Play as cunning field mice who must race through a castle now twenty times larger than before. The castle would be a dangerous place with Vanestra's minions in control, but now countless other terrors also await heroes who are but the size of figs. Play as nimble Prince Collin and fence your way past your foes, or try Nez Bellows, the burly smith. Confound your foes as the wizened old mouse Maginos, or protect your companions as Tilda, the castle's former healer. Every player will have a vital role in the quest to warn the king, and it will take careful planning to find Vanestra's weakness and defeat her.

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Stronghold Games
Space Sheep! Space Sheep! is a real-time, customizable, cooperative game – with possible traitor(s) in your midst – for 1-8 players. The Defenders want to get the Space Sheep tokens and Shepherd tokens back to their matching Systems before all the cards are gone and time has run out. (If playing with Infiltrators, thus making the game semi-cooperative, each player receives a secret allegiance card; each player knows only her own allegiance, leaving her to guess and decipher who else is on her team.)

Game Salute

Countdown: Special Ops In the modular game Countdown: Special Ops, you are in charge of a special ops team with a special mission! Find hidden bombs and dismantle them, help hostages into safety, or take out terrorist leaders. Due to the high variation in goals, targets, threats and specific circumstances, players need to choose their set-up and strategy each time they start a mission or a campaign. Don't just throw in grenades with your buster at public places such as airports and train stations, or else civilians might get hurt, resulting in negative points on your mission balance. (Plus, you know, injuring civilians is not cool.) Develop your primary skill, but don't neglect your attack power, defense power and other skills if you want to stay alive in this thrilling new game.  
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