Tony's Board Life

My life in board games!

Labyrinth: The War on Terror/The Awakening

Last night, the war on terror started anew. I met up (online) with a friend that I have been playing this game with over the past couple of months. We have now played the base game once and the expansion twice. We decided to take our game to the next level and decided to play a campaign. The campaign consists of one playthrough of the original game deck then followed by a playthrough of the expansion deck. There were only a few variations of the rules for the base game. One suggested rule is that even if either player gets an instant win condition you can choose finish playing the game (This will be important).

The game started off extremely event full. Afganistan changed regimes in the first turn thanks to the US. As the Jihadist’s I knew what I had to do. My focus was causing havoc in the Middle East, but my true focus was on convert North Africa to Islamist Rule (IR). I was eventually able to convert Egypt, Sudan, and Libya to IR. But the US player was not only able to convert out of IR but quickly changed them to Good governance. Due to this, he achieved his instant win Condition. We decided that we would finish the game to complete the war. I do have some ideas of what to do moving forward. I will let you how things go when we complete the campaign.



Here is current game situation.



The Barbarossa Campaign turn 3

Here is turn 3.

Levee en Masse

This was my first Play of this States of Seige game. Here is my session Report.

The end of the blue deck things are looking very good. Piedmont is at 4, Austria, Prussia, and Vendee are also at 4. Britain is in the 3 location. The political track is looking good as well. Monarchy is at -1, The republic is at 4. The real issue is Despotism is also at 4. I have one liberation marker on the Austrian Front at 3. Moving forward with the white deck.
Picture of the end of the Blue deck

The end of the white deck all the fronts are closing in. I had several enter Paris, but “To the Barricades” saved me in expelling the forces out. Current Situation Piedmont is at 2 Austria, Prussia, and Britain are at 3 and Vendee is at 4. Political tracks are as follow Monarchy 3, Despotism 2, and Republic 4. The 3 liberation marker is on the 2 Prussian track. On to the final (Red) deck.
Picture of the end of the White Deck

Did not finish the Red Deck. Both Austria and Prussia entered into Paris with 5 cards left. due to the -DRMs I had to roll 6s to expel these forces out of Paris. With “To the Barricades” and 4 Actions from the card I thought I had a chance. I did not roll a single 6 and the game ended.
Picture of the end of the Game

Final Score -43 Substantive Defeat

Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?

Last night I finally got to play this against another human. I used an open source program called vassal that allows people to play board games over the internet with the actual game, just in digital format. I am in a guild on Board Game Geek (BGG) called Advance After Combat (AAC) were like minded wargamers can meet up and play from all over the world. You post on the guild’s forum what you’re interested in playing and somebody responses. If you even slightly interested in Board Games go to Now onto the game.

In this game, you play one if two sides. The US and the Jihadists. Note in the solo game you always play as the US (This is the way I have on played it). Ben, the other player had only played it once. We were on a pretty even playing field. Neither of us had any preference on which side we played. He rolled a die and we determined he would play the US and I would be the Jihadists.

The game is driven by your hand of cards. Each card has either an event or you can use it for operations. Each side has certain operations or actions they can complete with these operation points. The actions are specific to each cause. This is a very brief summary of the rules. If you are further interested go to GMT Games Labyrinth page.

So the game was definitely back are forth the entire night. being the jihadist all I needed to do was survive and make sure Ben didn’t get and countries to Good Governance. He starts by going after a regime change in Afganistan which was successful but it only changed from Islamist rule (the status where I needed it at) to poor governance. This was okay for me as long as he wasn’t able to increase the governance all the way to good. My goal was to keep him from totally completing the regime change and to maybe pull a couple of major jihads to convert some  over to Islamist rule.

For almost the entire game I kept the regime change at bay by putting out terror plots and getting cells into the US and Europe which he needed to remove. this kept him from working on Afghanistan. On the last turn, he was finally able to complete the regime change and to add insult to injury he was able to change Turkey from fair governance to good governance giving him 3 good to my 0 Islamist rule.

If you don’t achieve an instant victory the victory condition for the US is they must have twice as many Good compared to Islamist Rule. I maybe only a history teacher but I knew 3 is more than twice of 0. Before is a picture of the final turn on the board.


Turn 2 Part 2 Correct

So after putting up turn two a BGG user pointed out that I totally missed some Soviet counter attack combats. With the counter attacks it can snowball and in some cases totally change the front. This is the case that happened to me. I thought there were only a few battles and all of those went my way when I did not counter attack correctly. Last night I rolled back the turn just for the Soviet Counter Attack Phase and things went totally different than I thought. Watch and see.

The Barbarossa Campaign Turn 2

So I tried something different the other night that I am not quite sure I am going to do again. I tried to live stream turn two of the game. I was really just trying it out to see if it would work and I am not sure I was truly successful. I will do some more research into it and may try again.

I am going to put up the link to the videos, but I need to rerecord from the Soviet counter-attack phase to the end. I messed it up big time, but luckily it was an easy fix and I don’t mind starting from that part of the turn because there really is not much left.

Second Play of Mare Nostrum

On Saturday the monthly gaming group got together and I brought Mare Nostrum with me, hoping to play. I was in luck because we ended up having 6 people play, which means we got the expansion board out. After two plays I have to say I love this game. Let me talk about this play and at the end, I will give the reason I love it with some critiques as well.

Once I got it setup (a critique forthcoming), I started explaining the game to the 4 new players. it went pretty quickly and we decided to play the first round to show what I explained. Before we even started the Egyptian player made some remark about the Carthage starting hero and it was on between those two. Needless to say, Carthage kept the Egyptian player in check real quick. I liked this because I was playing Atlantis and Carthage was faced the other direction so I was able to expand and take over one of Carthage’s provinces without much effort.

Babylon started spreading out pretty quickly and took of two of the legendary cities and was 3/4 after about 4 turns. once I realized what he was doing I made sure everyone else knew as well. Eygpt finally stopped worrying about Carthage and went on the attack and helped delay Babylon’s victory. Rome expanded into Greece.  There were some good battles between those civilizations. Rome also helped keep the Babylonians in check as well. I stayed out of the way and focus on building my way up the tracks by buying heroes that helped with the leadership tracks. In the end, nobody could stop the Babylonians from taking the final legendary city. Carthage had the last turn but could not even attempt to  remove the Babylonians from Syracusae.


Game end picture



I love this game for several reasons:

  • I love that the mythology is correct for most of the civilizations.
  • I love that although each civilization has different strengths they are balanced
  • The components are gorgeous (I will be buying the mini buildings now).
  • I love the play turn mechanic
    • using the leadership to choose the player order really keeps everybody on their toes
  •  Although you are not playing every second you need to pay attention because you don’t know when it is your turn and you want to be able to react to something that just happened.
  • I love the player interaction
  • The Heroes are strong, but not overpowered


  • Setup is long.
    • With all the components and everything that needs to be ready to go, it takes forever to setup
    • Similar setup time to Arkham Horror with at least 1 expansion (Est 30 min)
  • You have to have the right players
    • If someone is a sore loser DO NOT PLAY WITH THAT PERSON
    • This game can be very adversarial
    • Is someone does something to you, you need to take and move on. (Remember for future rounds
  • For me, this in not an issue, but the game is not short
    • The game above lasted for about 3 hours and 30 minutes with 6 players
    • It only took 1 hour 30 minutes with 4 players

Overall I give this a 9/10. I do understand that this game is not for everyone, but for me it is Awesome!


The Russian Front and I

So my next video project is going to be The Barbarossa Campaign by Victory Point Games. I have been looking at this game since I restarted playing board games and finding out there are many solitaire games. I have now played the first turn and posted it on Youtube and BGG. What I want to do with this post is just make a few comments not on the gameplay, but of on the Components and rules.

First the components. They are okay. There are no issues with the printing, all the information can be seen on each of the counters. They are the die-cut counter and my counters seem to be slightly off. it looks like the die had to make two cuts and the sheet was moved ever so slightly. Again, this did not cause a problem with the gameplay, it just made the counters, not so clean cut.

The maps are wonderful all the information you could want is right there for you. The Axis information is all on the German side of the map and the Soviet information is on that side of the map. Some might think the map is a little busy because of a large amount of information on the Map. I like it and it is extremely functional.

Let’s take a look at the rules. They are in a great format for this game. There is a turn sequence and the rules follow that turn sequence. My only real issue and it could just be me reading to quickly, but I couldn’t find how a few things happened. The one item that took me the longest was the partisans. When do they get played? I realized after looking through the event cards it was on the event cards themselves. Just a quick note would have saved me some time.

After the first turn, I can see that this will be a game that I am going to love. It is different from most war games because it uses a front mechanic instead of unit vs unit mechanic. I explain in my first video. If this game interests you please watch my video playthrough. I will be doing a full playthrough of the game. Hopefully, my phone will record it all and not have an issue with the end game.

Hostage Negotiator (review and session report)


I haven’t reviewed this game yet and it doesn’t fit with the War Gaming Theme that I have on this Blog, but I am a solo board gamer and this game is AWESOME. It has theme, suspense,  and a want to play it again.

You play a hostage negotiator trying to rescue hostages for several different situation. You have to rescue the hostages and capture or eliminate the terrorist. There are several demands including a major demand plus and escape demand. You can use these to help release hostages, but the main way to get hostages out is to use your conversion cards which you have to buy. The currency is conversation points. You earn those by playing cards and rolling dice to see if you have success talking to the Hostage taker. There are also consequences if you fail.

I got to play two games on Labor day. The game plays very quickly and you can get multiple plays in one sitting. I chose Donna as my hostage taker. She is a college professor. You start out with 12 Hostages with the possibility of adding more. To keep the game moving and to put a timer on the game there is a terror deck. The deck make things harder and ends on a pivotal event on round 11. My game ended on the 11th card and I was only able to save 4 hostages with 6 being killed and Donna getting away.

As my daughter would say it was an “Epic Fail!”
I give this game a 10/10. I do rate my games pretty high, but I really want to play this game quickly after I play it.

Here is the BGG Link:

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