Cast Iron Game Review – CV Pocket

IMG_1658.JPGCV Pocket (BGG Link) is a new small box card game designed by Filip Miłuński with art by Piotr Socha and published by Granna, and distributed by Passport Game Studios in the US. CV Pocket condenses a player’s whole life down to a fifteen minute drafting and set collection game for two to four players. Who can make the best life for them self? Let’s find out!

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Game Design Blitz #2

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Blue

Number: 12/Queen

Piece: Chess Card

Mechanic: Set Collection

The Idea

There was a computer game that I played when I was younger and pc monitors only had 4 colors. For some reason the first thing that I thought of when I saw this card was in implementation of that game, Battle Chess!

Battle Chess didn’t have any special rules, it was just Chess where the pieces would come to life and smash each other whenever a piece was captured. My first inclination was a drafting game where you draft then play cards against each other to see who wins that hand of Chess. The problem with that is the fact that a queen would simply win all battles. I have to introduce things like component powers and… you guessed it, set collection!I’m not 100% set on drafting as the method by which you collect cards, but we’ll go with it for now. A deck of cards will sit in the middle of the table. A row of five cards are set face up, and in turn each player will choose and take a card to their hand. Once All five cards are drafted, the players will each play a card or cards from their hand. These cards will be compared and a winner will be determined. Cards can be held from round to round, so as the game progresses the players will be able to build better and better hands to play, and an additional bonus is that the cards that a player has drafted will be harder and harder for the opponent to remember. That is where the set collection aspect will shine. Whether the winning hand is three pawns or a knight combined with a Bishop, or even the dynamic duo of Queen and King, players have to collect sets and battle them against each other to win.

The Pitch

Battle Chess is a drafting/set collection card game in which players draft the best cards to build sets then battle those sets against each other to determine who will get Checkmate.

Brief Overview – New York 1901

pic2515532_mdNew York 1901 is a drafting area control game by designer Chenier La Salle and Blue Orange Games. The game runs about 45 minutes and plays with 2-4 players. In New York 1901 the goal is to earn the most points by erecting skyscrapers in downtown New York City in… you guessed it, 1901. A mix of tile-laying and card drafting make up the mechanics of the game, while bonus criteria drive the players to focus on certain regions of the board. Cards indicating color and size are laid out in a row and on their turn a player will draft one of those cards. The player then plays one of their four workers to a space on the board matching the chosen card. Finally, the player may build a building on any spaces on the board that they own, including the space that they just obtained. Each player has the same set of bronze, silver, and gold buildings, and there are four “legendary” skyscrapers which are available to all players. Most of the buildings take up more spaces than any given card will provide, so it is important to obtain adjacent spaces to allow you to build bigger and bigger buildings. A player is further restricted by building class. Bronze buildings are the only ones allowed to be built at the beginning of the game. Once a player reaches a certain point threshold they may build silver buildings, and another threshold unlocks the ability to build gold buildings. The player may demolish buildings to build a better one, but may only upgrade from bronze or silver to silver or gold respectively. If a player has only four un-built skyscrapers left or the open market (cards) need to be re-filled but the deck has run out, the end of the game is triggered. In addition to the points earned throughout the game by building, the players then determine the bonus points. At the beginning of the game three street cards and one bonus challenge card are chosen at random. The player who has the most buildings on each of the chosen streets receives a bonus, and in the case of a tie, no points are awarded. Points are also awarded for the bonus challenge which could be anything from who has buildings in the most districts to who has the most gold at the end of the game. The winner is the player with the most points.


pic2519680_mdI had the opportunity to play New York 1901 in the Blue Highway Games Board Game Challenge last month and I was very happy that I did. I find that the game ticks off many of my check boxes when it comes to what I like in a game. I like drafting, and I like tile-laying, and I like area control, and New York 1901 is all of these things! The board is colorful and the graphic style of the game is pleasing. Mechanically the game has quite a few rules, but once these are grasped, the game plays fairly easily, and it isn’t all that difficult to grasp the rules. There is a somewhat Tetris-y vibe to the game since the building tiles are all in odd shapes a-la Tetris, and with all of the color flying around you get that feeling of trying to squeeze these buildings into whichever available space you can utilize efficiently. When you couple that with the decision making involved with attempting to meet the various challenges, determining which spaces to take, which spaces to hold in the hopes that nobody else takes the adjacent spaces, all in an effort to get that one bigger building on the board, well then you have a very well-rounded game in my opinion. I had been wanting to play New York 1901 since GenCon last year where it had generated a lot of buzz, but for some reason, I just didn’t make it over to those demo tables. Once the tournament was over they announced that opened copies of the game which they had used for the tournament would be sold at a discount, I jumped at the opportunity to snag a copy. Now I just hope that my family likes the game as much as I do.