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Shipments will be slower from 25th September to 2nd October due to our warehouse team taking a well-earned break.
Tiny Epic Awesomeness

Tiny Epic Awesomeness

Good things come in small packages so they say, and that can definitely be said about the Tiny Epic games series from Gamelyn Games.

This series covers a host of themes and mechanics with the games concentrating on always having easy entry for players, new and veterans alike, but with in depth strategies to be found once players have got a grasp of the rules. They also have one my favourite features, their natty small foot print.

Games in the series have a broad range of themes from 4x strategy to cooperative survival, and although I haven't managed to play all of Gamelyn’s Tiny Epic offerings, what I have sampled I have been impressed with.

Tiny Epic Galaxies

First to cross my path was Galaxies, which sees you compete with rival interstellar civilisations to colonise the galaxy. This game has some of my favourite mechanics including a dice roll driven resource system for each of the empires. I am always attracted to games with this style of management as I love being given a random selection of resources and seeing how I can best make use of them, before then working on finding items within the game to make better use of them later down the line. The game is also not super complex or punishing on how you use resources, as if luck is not on your side you can trade one dice for another.

Once you have got your results you can send out ships to visit planets in the centre row market for one time bonuses, or stay in orbit to gather energy and culture to upgrade your civilisation. Alternatively you can use your economic or political dice results to colonise the planet and keep it for yourself, giving you access to new actions to take using you colonise results and adding to your all important final score with the first player to reach 21 victory points winning the game.

Tiny Epic Mechs

Next up was Mechs which puts you in the shoes of a mech pilot in a fast paced battle royal vying for control over the arena for energy and credits. These can be used to power unique pilot abilities and gear up towards taking the keys to the giant exo mech at the centre of the board. Set over six rounds each player will spend their turn capturing areas of the board by deploying mines and turrets, purchasing new weapons and battling each other to score points for criteria such as how much damage they dealt and what they currently control.

Each round starts with players secretly planning four actions that they are going to take in the coming round, with the players revealing and performing them one at a time. This is one of the elements I enjoy the most as it is reminiscent of X-Wing, a game where trying to predict where the other players might end up is key. I was also intrigued by the way combat was dealt, as each mech could have between two and four weapons with the three different types working against one another in a Rock, Paper, Scissors style system as each would do more damage or could be countered if the faced one of the other types.

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs

One of Gamelyns latest offerings from the series is Tiny Epic Dinosaurs which puts you in the shoes of Dino Ranchers, farming and selling Dinosaurs to the highest bidders looking to create their very own Jurassic Park.

Dispite the dinky box, Gamelyn have managed to comfortably fit a great table filling classically driven euro in. However the first impressions of the game are definitely stolen by the adorable dinosaur meeples! Each player will become very familiar with these as they build up their farm over six rounds as they look to furfil both public and private contracts.

Each round is divided up into six phases, starting with harvesting the farms resources from area's not being used by dinosaurs, you will move on and dispatch your ranchers across the centre tableu picking out improvements, securing important contracts, researching new technology and of course getting both one the four standard dinosaurs or developing a specialist dinosaurs which give the players unique abilities to use as they fill out the farm.

Once your ranchers have finished in the field, now comes the time to arrange the farm and make sure you keep carnivores away from the herbivores. Next up is feeding time but you have to make sure that all the dinosaurs are feed or they will escape! Then finally each matching pair of dinosaurs brings the pitter patter of tiny scaled feet in the sixth phase, once all six rounds are complete victory point are toted up with award for the best Dino farmer going to the play with the most .

Overall this is an excellent euro in the classic style with a charming theme and is small storage foot print means it easy squeeze itself onto any board game shelf or into a travel bag for those looking for a full euro hit whilst travelling further afield.

These three are in the top games I have played over the last few years, which subsequently meant they quickly made their way in to my burgeoning board game collection. So if you haven't already had the opportunity to give this series a whirl I would definitely recommend doing so as I am confident you won't be disappointed!

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The worker placement genre is a crowded one, and many of us were introduced to the resource gather - spend resource - get worker cycle through the classic Agricola. Many (MANY) worker placement games later, you see the creaky folds and paths to victory through the classic game, and rarely do you have a desire to return to it.

Enter Caverna.

Caverna is classic pub grub but served by a Michelin star chef. The game has much more depth, more options to victory, more opportunities to allow for additional workers (my analogy is falling apart) and it removes any random elements caused by the random job card system.

With job removal, the game introduces a more substantial caving mechanic, where the player is tasked with first digging out the necessary paths and rooms then furnishing those rooms-often generating the same job mechanics as were available in Agricola.

Also introduced is a expedition action, which allows for more ways to generate resources using an ever growing axe; but with it comes an ordering complication as those equipped must be played last in the round.

So, if you have warm fuzzy feelings of those early days of worker placement but feel like you have grown up since those days, Caverna is an absolute must.

Great for the budding indis and laras

A good fun game though be warned you need a decent sized table to play this on especially with more than 2 players.
With a couple of ways to approach the game it gives some variety and options if things just don't seem to be going your way. The components are stunning and it's a definite solid 5 star game and shows why its won so many awards.