Reviewing Three Board Games

I love Eurostyle boardgames. This weekend got together with friends to play a few new ones that I hadn't played before and I have some reviews.

Level 7 [Omega Protocol]: A dungeon-crawl style game. One player plays the aliens and the rest of the players play members of a special ops team sent in to eliminate the alien infestation. I enjoyed this more than any other similar game I'd played--much more than Castle Ravenloft! I found the gameplay varied and exciting partly due to the weapons and combat mechanics and partly because having a player play the enemy makes them much more interesting and challenging.

Civilization Through The Ages: I have no idea why this game is ranked so high on Board Game Geek. I found the mechanics ponderous and the complexity-to-fun ratio unappealing. If the game's goal was to make an extremely complicated game, then they succeeded, but anyone can make an extremely complicated game. However, I went in to the game looking forward to playing a Civilization-style game. There was no exploration, no settling of cities and expanding your civilization, just acquiring a bunch of cards and trying to manage their myriad abilities. I probably would have liked the game a lot better if I hadn't played Clash of Cultures first, which has a real Civilization feel and may even be quicker to play. While both games subject you to some random events, Clash of Cultures events are more like real things that happen in a world to mess with a civilization, such as a large earthquake, barbarian invasion, or drought, whereas the random events in Civilization Through The Ages have many situations where the players suddenly score victory points based on a wide array of arbitrary conditions which they just happen to have built in their civilization. (And no, I'm not bitter because I lost, I actually won the game. :-P )

Lords of Waterdeep: This is my new favorite worker placement game. I have a deep love for Agricola for many reasons, but I think in general the actions in Lords of Waterdeep are bit more balanced for all players and it has many great mechanics which simultaneously allow for extensive replayability as well as player choice in which new worker placement options come out and when they come out.