Travel Back in Time…to Help Yourself



designed by David Turczi with Viktor Peter & Richard Amann, published by Mindclash Games

The Quick Summary:  Anachrony puts you in the role of a faction that tries to control its planet. By placing workers on the appropriate tasks you will build your faction’s capital to gain victory points. Anachrony brings a nice twist to worker placement : time travel. You can, for free, gain resources you need right now from your future self. Later in the game, you will have to build a time machine, travel to the past and give your past self the resources you requested earlier in the game. If you don’t, you will create disturbances in the time continuum that will affect your final score. Being able to time travel, your future self also informed you that a meteorite will hit the planet so you need to plan accordingly to evacuate the world council to gain precious points. So many things to do, so little time…

The Awesome:

  • Very strategic. You need to plan ahead to achieve your victory points.
  • Time travel as a game mechanic. What more can be said?

The Good:

  • Replayability is very high because many paths to victory exist.
  • Can be played solo against a Chronobot. The challenge is pretty good and unpredictable.
  • Miniature mechs can be bought instead of the cardboard ones in the basic game. Doesn’t change the game, but they are great looking!
  • End game can happen at different moments. You don’t exactly know on which turn it will be over.
  • Resources are not easy to gather. You will manage your faction carefully and it makes the game very interesting.

The Bad:

  • Many tokens and parts. Takes a lot of real estate on the table.
  • Setup and take down can be long.

The Ugly:

  • Complexity level can be scary to many players…or fun, depending on where you stand.

Keep It or Leave It?  Definitely keep it. I would keep this game even if my collection was made of only 10 games. If you enjoy worker placement and are ready to handle more advanced rules, this is a must.

Review by Sébastien

Always with the Steampunk…



designed by William Attia, published by Ystari Games

Become a steampunk industrialist using the newly discovered element spyrium.  Locations providing special powers and actions are placed in a grid on the table with space between them.  Place workers between two different locations you need: build buildings, hire workers, patent techniques. The trick is, the more demand for that thing (that is, as more people place workers around a location), the price goes up. Build up your mines and factories to earn you spyrium and then transform that spyrium and workers into victory points.

Putting the workers between two locations really opens up the possibilities and makes it so that when someone takes an action you also want not so bad. Worker placement and engine building fun.  As with other worker placement games, awards careful planning and long-range thinking.

Things Are Harder in German…



“German Railroads”

designed by Helmut Ohley & Leonhard Orger, published by Z-Man Games

An expansion to “Russian Railroads”: replaces the original player boards with new player boards that are modular, so you can customize the rewards you get as you expand your lines. In additon, adds a powerful new currency: coal, that lets you power your trains, increase your industry, and get fantastic new additional actions. But it also just gives you even more choices and increases the analysis paralysis as you try and combo and plan and score.

Who knew building railroads could be so hard?  So many more choices…

In Soviet Russia…[insert extremely dated reference here]


“Russian Railroads”

designed by Helmut Ohley & Leonhard “Lonny” Orgler

It turns out that in Pre-Soviet Russia the railraod rides you as well. A complex worker-placement game where you race on your personal player board to complete up to three rail lines while increasing your industry. Go further on different lines to get bonuses and to increase your scoring: but choose wisely, you only have 7 turns to do everything you need to do. Definitely a brain burner becasue you need Plan A, B, and C as people WILL take what you need. And Scoring is, I guess appropriately enough, quite a bear.

An extremely tight game that forces to make hard decisions.  The between round scoring is the hardest part: different rail will give you different point values and they are multipliers as well.  But, a great brain-burning, strategic worker-placement game.


Coal, Glorious Coal

“Coal Baron: the Great Card Game”

Designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling, published by Stronghold Games

Become a coal magnate in industrial Germany! Mine the coal, transfer it onto waiting coal cars, attach engines to the cars, acquire contracts, and deliver coal for victory points. All done with a clever worker placement that uses numbered cards! Play cards up in sequential order in order to do a task: the more people want to do a task, the more workers it will take. Since the worker cards have to be placed sequentially, careful planning is a must. Then watch one player destroy everyone else’s careful planning by blindly buying endgame bonuses.

A tricky, brain-burning, card-driven, worker placement game, where you feel like there’s a flurry of activity, and then you say, “that’s all I did?!”