Stormcast Eternals Neave Blacktalon

Amazon Product Name (APN): Stormcast Eternals Neave Blacktalon Warhammer Age of Sigmar

Manufacturer: Games Workshop

Review by: Kelly

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Neave Blacktalon the Knight-Zephyros is an amazing Hero character for your Stormcast Eternal armies in games of Warhammer Age of Sigmar by Games Workshop.

Neave Blacktalon plays as a single model, and her abilities make her perfectly suited for hunting key enemy heroes.  She’s a capable filler hero if you have enough points left over in a list.  Her sculpt is looks nice with her dual axes, choice of two head sculpts, and bearskin cape.

I enjoyed putting this model together and painting it in the cannon Hammers of Sigmar paint scheme, which are the colors I have most of my Stormcast Eternals collection painted in.

Neave Blacktalon does one extra damage per attack if targeting an enemy hero with Lightning-fast Strikes. She also gets one extra attack with her Whirlwind Axes if she charges with the Nemesis ability.  She can even run and shoot in the same turn with Tireless Hunters.

By far her best ability, Windrider, allows Neave Blacktalon to follow in the wake of any other Stormcast Eternal unit that uses Ride the Winds Aetheric, such as Vanguard-Palladors and the Lord-Aquilar.  This gives her sudden bursts of speed across the battlefield.

When in combat, Neave Blacktalon gets two shooting attacks at a nine inch range with her Boltstorm Pistol. She hits and wounds on a three plus with one damage each.

She then gets a whopping seven attacks, hitting and wounding on a three plus with minus one rend and one damage each with her Whirlwind Axes. 

If she is charging a hero, Neave Blacktalon gets EIGHT attacks doing TWO damage each.  With the dice on my side, Neave has obliterated chaos wizards, a skaven warlord and even the mighty Slambo in a single round of combat.  I even used her Windrider ability once in a game to follow my Lord-Aquilar all the way up the board, behind enemy lines, where the dynamic duo proceeded to annihilate every enemy supporting hero and a Skullcannon before the enemy general killed her.

Neave Blacktalon is a fantastic model with a beautiful sculpt and does well hunting enemy heroes on the battlefield.  Neave deserves a place in your Stormcast Eternals armies collection for your games of Warhammer Age of Sigmar by Games Workshop. You can find her on Amazon right here.

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Ticket To Ride: First Journey

Amazon Product Name (APN): Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Manufacturer: Days of Wonder

Our Rating: 10,000,000 out of 5 stars

Review by: Robby

What I like about Ticket to Ride: First Journey:

It’s all about trains! It’s even more fun than regular Ticket to Ride. I like the bigger cards because they’re easier to hold than regular Ticket to Ride. The cards are all circus cars which makes me smile.

I love winning the golden ticket!

You can find Ticket to Ride: First Journeys on Amazon here.

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Ticket To Ride: First Journey

Amazon Product Name (APN): Ticket To Ride: First Journey

Manufacturer: Days of Wonder

Review by: Mom

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’ve played any of the Ticket to Ride games during family game night, you may have found that small children gravitate to the gaming table when the trains come out. That’s how it is at our house, with young railroad barons itching to play.

As simple as the original Ticket to Ride is to play, it’s still a little bit beyond the reach of kids who aren’t quite able to read maps and keep the small train cars in a line on the map.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey solves almost every problem that our six-year-old has playing the standard game (and expansions). The rules are somehow made even more simple, the train cars are larger and easier to manage, and the destination cities have colorful pictures that are easy to see both on the board and on the route cards. Days of Wonder have managed to do all of that while retaining the fun of game play.

Although I’m not really into model railroading like Papa and Robby are, Ticket to Ride has been one of my favorite game franchises. I love the variety of maps, the strategy, and the cutthroat deviousness that being a railroad baron brings.

When we found the First Journey version of the game, it was a no-brainer. We had to have it! Now, we can set up young gamers with this fun game and they can battle it out at the kid’s table while we play an adult game of Ticket to Ride Europe.

My only complaint is that the instructions remind kids to keep their cards to themselves, but as anyone who plays games with kids knows, it can be really difficult for small hands to manage more than a few cards at a time. We implemented a house rule that players under age 10 can lay their cards on the table in front of them, face up. Although this makes it easier for other players to cut someone’s route off, it’s the only way our kiddo was able to keep track of his colored railroad car game cards and routes.

If you have kids who want to play board games just like the grown-ups, I highly recommend this game for your next family game night. Not only is there a Ticket to Ride: First Journeys in the USA, but there’s also Ticket to Ride: Europe First Journeys, too!

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Stormcast Eternals Evocators

Amazon Product Name (APN): Citadel Stormcast Eternals Evocators Warhammer Age of Sigmar

Manufacturer: Games Workshop

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

With Games Workshop’s release of the Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars starter set came a new chamber for the Stormcast Eternals, the Sacrosanct Chamber.  This sect of the Stormcast Eternals focuses on magical weaponry, enhancements and beefy spellcasting.

Evocators are equipped with Tempest Blades and Stormstaves and get a whopping four attacks. They hit & wound on a three plus, with minus one rending and one damage each.

The leader of the unit, the Evocator-Prime gets an additional attack with his Tempest Blade and Stormstave.  If it’s not obvious from the attack profile of their weapons, this is nuts.  Even a small unit of three Evocator models is throwing thirteen dice when attacking, with a 66% (3+) chance of successful hits and then wounds on the dice.

On top of that amazing melee attack profile, Evocators have an ability called Celestial Lightning Arc that allows them to reroll saves of a one against shooting attacks. Not only that, after resolving their crazy number of attacks per game model in the combat phase, the Celestial Lightning Arc ability allows you to pick one enemy unit within three inches of the Evocators and roll two dice for each model in that unit. On a roll of a four plus on those dice, the unit suffers mortal wounds.

Celestial Lightning Ark can decimate big blobs of one-wound infantry, giving you two dice to roll for each model, and a 50% (4+) chance of success. This almost guarantees that you can finish off or at least cripple almost any group of infantry after one round of combat. You can equip them with Grandstaves instead, sacrificing one attack and rending, in exchange for doing two damage per hit.  Evocators are very hardy with three wounds each, and a standard four plus save.

If that’s not enough to get you excited about Evocators, the unit also counts as a Wizard as long as it has at least two models left. Evocators are restricted to only casting one spell a turn, and unbinding one enemy spell a turn, with the only spell they can cast being Empower.

And what a spell Empower is.  Empower literally does what it says, and if successful, empower’s another Sacrosanct or Redeemer Chamber unit with a reroll for all of their failed wound rolls.  This spell makes pairing a unit of Evocators with a unit of Sequitors a no brainer.

The Sequitor’s Aetheric Channeling ability, if used to empower their weapons, lets them reroll all failed hit rolls. Being able to reroll all failed hit and wound rolls when attacking maximizes the Sequitor’s damage output in close combat.  So, it’s always a good idea to backup a unit of Sequitor’s with at least a minimum unit of three Evocators.

Evocators are another somewhat overpowered unit that are new to the Stormcast Eternals, but their awesomeness is reliant on being able to cast a successful spell. This is something that’s more difficult in the 2nd Edition of Age of Sigmar, with the increase in spell unbinding range.  They are wonderfully sculpted and very cool models available in either the Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars starter set in a unit of three or in their own box in a unit of five.

I absolutely love this unit of Warhammer miniatures, and if you take the time to learn how to use them with your army, I know you’ll enjoy putting them down on the gaming table, too.

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Tsuro

Amazon Product Name (APN): Calliope Tsuro

Manufacturer: Calliope Games

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tsuro by Calliope Games is a wonderfully delightful tile laying game for two to eight players, easy to play for ages eight and up. In Tsuro, you are an ancient dragon flying a path through the skies.  The tiles have twisting lines representing these paths, and you lay them down one at a time to move your dragon through the skies.

The tiles can be placed in any orientation, but must be put down in the path of your dragon.  If your path takes you off the board or runs you into another dragon, you are eliminated. Players take turns laying tiles, moving the dragons until all tiles have been placed or only one dragon remains on the board.

Tsuro is very fun, easy to learn, and quick to play even with a full eight players sitting around the gaming table. Its attractive Asian theme is beautiful and consistent throughout the box and game pieces.

As easy as the board game is to play, there is ample opportunity for strategy as well. It pays to be careful reviewing the tiles in your hand, choosing the one that will keep you alive while eliminating another player.

Another strategy is to isolate your dragon in one section of the board, doing your best to stay away from other player’s tile influence in hopes that you can survive longer than anyone else.  This strategy has obvious diminishing returns with a higher number of players in the game.  But, there is still room for the gaming group to experience high level play if everyone chooses to be competitive and cutthroat.

Tsuro is a staple of our family game night and travels with us on camping trips, along with other great portable games like Qwirkle and Zombie Dice. In fact, we love Tsuro so much that it made it on our Top 10 Board Games list, which you can read here.

Calliope also makes another version of Tsuro called Tsuro of the Seas (pictured above) where you are a ship captain sailing the seas, avoiding the dangers the lurk both above and below the waves.  Both games make great inclusions to your gaming collection. If you want to add Tsuro to your family game night, look for it on Amazon here.

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Qwirkle

Amazon Product Name (APN): Qwirkle Board Game

Manufacturer: MindWare

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Qwirkle by MindWare is an easy to learn and accessible color and shape based tile laying game for ages six plus, and all levels of gamers.

Qwirkle’s rules are simple: shuffle 108 wooden tiles into a bag, and every player draws six of them.  The player who goes first is the one who can place the longest line of tiles of either matching shapes or colors. The next players add onto the beginning line, matching colors or shapes as appropriate. Each player lays tiles matching what is already on the board by either extending the line already there or starting a new one, similar to how words are place in Scrabble. Play continues with each player refilling their hand from the bag of tiles, scoring the tiles they’ve played at the end of each turn. 

Scoring is simple; one point per tile laid, and twelve points for a completed six tile line called getting a Qwirkle!  The rules allow for some crazy combo scoring once the board starts getting built up, which causes game play to get progressively more strategic.

Qwirkle is definitely a game that is easy to learn, but hard to master.  There are advanced strategies that can be used to block other players from getting Qwirkles, saving key tiles to ensure you get Qwirkles, etc. Qwirkle is an extremely fun tile laying board game that is perfect for families since it is accessible for all age ranges from six plus (but our son started playing at three years old) and the rules are easy to explain and learn quickly.

Our family has had games with ages ranges from four years old to eighty-five!  Qwirkle is available both in a standard edition and a travel edition, as well as Qwirkle Cubes which adds a dice rolling component to this classic matching game. Pick from any of the editions on Mindware’s Amazon listings that work best for you and add Qwirkle to your collection today!

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Munchkin

Amazon Product Name (APN): Munchkin Deluxe

Manufacturer: Steve Jackson Games

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Munchkin by Steve Jackson Games is an amazing card game for three to six players. In Munchkin, like in other high fantasy role playing games, you are an adventurer defeating monsters and gathering sweet, sweet loot while backstabbing your friends.

Although the base Munchkin game is plenty fine on its own, we recommend getting the Deluxe edition of the game as it includes a game board, standies, and player cards to make keeping track of your score easier. The Deluxe edition also makes it more apparent to everyone who needs a good stabbing to stop them from winning.

Munchkin’s cards and humor are where this card game really shines.  Using long established role playing game tropes, Steve Jackson gives our love of high fantasy a modern twist that every gamer can appreciate.

Afraid of dragons? Not me, sir. I’m more afraid of the Insurance Salesman.

Building up your character throughout a game is rewarding, and there are many opportunities for meta gaming, alliances, trades and backstabbing. Once you get going, Munchkin is a fast-playing and silly card game with tons of replay value. But, should you get bored, more expansions and alternate themed versions are available than just about any other game out there.

So, if a full traditional pen and paper RPG theme isn’t for you,  check out  Munchkin Zombies or Munchkin Marvel Edition instead.  Munchkin is a fantastic inclusion for your family game nights and is recommended for players age ten and up, although our six year old has played and had a fun time with some help.

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Castle Panic

Amazon Product Name (APN): Fireside Games Castle Panic

Manufacturer: Fireside Games

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Castle Panic by Fireside Games is a high fantasy themed board game where players work together to defeat an invading army of orc, goblins, trolls, giant boulders and boss monsters intent on laying waste to their castle.

Castle Panic is an accessible and easy to learn board game with rules for different difficulty modes, competitive scoring for up to a six player game. But fear not, single player gamers: Fireside Games has thought of you, too. Castle Panic is one of the very few board games that includes rules for solo play.

In the base rules of Castle Panic, players work together trading cards drawn from the Castle Deck. The cards allow players to hit monsters, rebuild walls, enhance or change damage types and just generally do cool things to keep the castle alive against the enemies trying to destroy it.  Player’s turns can include trading Castle Cards with others to make the most effective use of drawn cards, playing those cards to do damage to enemies, or buff the castle.

But be warned, at the end of each turn, two new monster tokens emerge from the monster bag. 

That brings us to the real RNG (random number generator) of Castle Panic and why no two games are the same: the tokens.  The tokens in the monster bag may be monsters, boss monsters, giant boulders that destroy monsters and parts of the castle, and some tokens that cause you to draw more monsters, or cause a plague to befall your heroes. The order beasts and plagues come out of the monster bag can turn an easy game into hard mode at the drop of a hat.

Castle Panic is extremely fun to play and accessible by players of different board game experience. It’s one of those must-buy games for your gaming collection and family game nights (We love it so much, it made it to our Top 10 Board Games list here).

At the time of writing this article, there are three expansions for Castle Panic adding tougher monsters and new mechanics.  The Wizard’s Tower, Engines of War and Dark Titan expansions increase the game’s already high replay value, and add even more variety to Castle Panic than the already diverse base-rules provide. Our family has collected all of them because we love this game so much.

We may need to buy a second copy of the base game soon because our game board and tokens are starting to get worn out from how much we play it.  It is always popular on our family game nights and camping trips and I’m sure it will be for you as well. Get your copy of Castle Panic on Amazon here.

Want more? Check out some of our other lists and reviews below.

Zombie Dice

Amazon Product Name (APN): Zombie Dice

Manufacturer: Steve Jackson Games (SJG)

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zombie Dice is a fun and quick zombie themed dice rolling game by Steve Jackson Games. The base game includes a Zombie Dice themed dice cup, thirteen dice and the instructions.  Zombie Dice is fairly quick to play at about fifteen – twenty minutes a game with two – fourish players. (Note: We say “fourish” because we’ve played with many, many more than four people.) 

Each player is a brain eating zombie, and the dice are the survivors.  Each player takes turns loading up the dice into the cup, giving it a good shake and then removing and rolling three dice. Brains are points, feet are the survivors running away and can be rerolled (if the player continues), and gunshots are damage to the player.

Three gunshots rolled, and you’re dead!

For example, on their turn, a player pulls three dice and rolls three brains. They can immediately shake the cup, pull three more dice and keep rolling until they either stop and bank their earned brains, or three gunshots are rolled. It’s a game that’s half chance, half strategy, and all fun.

If player gets lucky enough to empty the cup and not roll three gunshots, they can keep going by placing all dice except the shots back in the cup, permanently banking what they’ve already earned, and continue rolling.  It’s up to each player on their turn to see how far they push their chances while playing Zombie dice.

The game ends when one player exceeds thirteen banked brains. Every other player is then given one more turn to try to improve their score before the game fully ends, and the person with the highest final score wins.

Zombie Dice is a fun and thematic game that is quick and easy to play, if a little more mature in theme.  Zombie Dice is still a fantastic game for families as it easy to learn, portable, and fun. We love Zombie Dice so much that it ended up on Our Top 10 Board Games list! Check it out here.

Want to pick up a set of Zombie Dice for your next family game night? You can find it on Amazon right here.

Want more? Check out some of our other lists and reviews below.

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