R0land's Rambling Reviews - Alphabet Reviews: T

I have played 28 games starting with T (but NOT "The"), so we'll take a look at 5 of them in some detail.


#Take 5 + Take a Number

In this game players play one card a turn attempting to fit their card in a numerically increasing row but don't be the 6th card in a row or you...take 5 cards that were already there.

It's a high luck game with some strategy but mostly it's fun to play with non-gamers to get a few laughs when someone gets screwed or extremely lucky.

#Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun

In this game you are growing and improving the temple complex by taking different "shades" of dice from around an obelisk.  The interesting part is that as the obelisk turrns different dice become available.  On the first game it seems like a big mish mash of mechanisms but subsequent plays start to pull things together. 

It's my second favourite T game which I reviewed further here:

Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun A Quick Review | Board Game Atlas


#Teotihuacan: City of Gods

My favourite of the T games.  In Teotihuacan players use their worker dice to build and decorate the pyramid of the sun.  The dice "age" by increasing their pips which gives them more power for most actions.  Once they hit 6 pips they "die" and come back as a level 1 dice.  

This is just a tremendously fun game with a great blend of strategy and tactics.  It's in a perfect sweet spot for me. 

You can see a more detailed review here:

Teotihuacan: A Short Review | Board Game Atlas

#Terraforming Mars

In Terraforming Mars the players are...terraforming Mars.  This game is a tableau builder that ends when Mars is completely terraformed. 

The game requires adaptability as the cards you get won't always be the ones you planned for.  Points can come from a variety of sources.

It's not a flawless game as even with the huge variety of cards if a player gets a good combo of cards it can be quite powerful, as well, sometimes it is beneficial for players to NOT terraform mars and farm points in other ways which can drag the game.

All of that said however, I really enjoy this game and would play it anytime.  (Especially with the #Terraforming Mars: Prelude expansion.)

#Tyrants of the Underdark

Tyrants of the Underdark is a deck building warriors on a map style game.  In it players are playing drow nobles vying for control of the underdark.  Move armies, fight battles, assassinate, and do what you need to do to in order to win.

I think this game made a bit of a splash when it came out but I haven't heard a lot about it since.  There is a new version that is a lot more inexpensive that uses card board counters instead of miniatures which I think is brilliant as miniatures are not needed for this style of game.

Definitely worth checking out!

So, what are your favourite games starting with T?  (Not "The")

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3 days ago

Ignoring 'The The' games .. with an uncertain smile ;¬)

Just two

#Thud A Discworld game, but as I recall it's merely a retheme/re-working of #Hnefatafl, an ancient Norse game. Unlikely to get played, as I pretty much never play 2P games these days. Keeping it because it's Discworld? Probably

#This War of Mine: The Board Game with both retail expansions, memories of the past and rubble die add-ons (previously KS add-ons) and a functional wooden insert... all tally with this being the game I'm most glad I own. I remain amazed that they were able to deliver a game that truly gave voice to ordinary citizens suffering through war, not trivialising, nor sensationalising. Their story is at times deeply uncomfortable / unpleasant, but it's a story that needs to be heard. I'm glad this game gives me an avenue to listen and to gain insight into their experience.

Premium User3 days ago

I've heard the video game is quite good too but I've never had the chance to give it a shot.

3 days ago

It is, but despite superficially appearing the same, there are some key differences that make them different experiences. In short I find the board game much more thematic, but that can be a -ve or a +ve:

- video game has much less narrative, where the board game puts it at the heart of the game. A good number of the scripts are deeply uncomfortable, but being based on civilian accounts of the Sarajevo conflict really brings the reality to the fore.

- the video game doesn't have the punitive luck of the board game. Indeed it can be mastered to the point a civilian armed with a knife can take down a houseful of fully armed miltary deserters. Try that in the board game and the result will be short, bloody and likely game ending.

- There is more admin in the board game, and setup/teardown is a little long without a good insert (I got a french one from Philibert, which allows me to separate and index every card set, including expansion stuff, which massively speeds setup.

In short, the video game is ideal for someone who wants a slightly less intense experience, easy to pick up and put down, faster moving and with the knowledge that they'll eventually master it.

The board game would be for someone looking for an intensely thematic and *moving experience, and who can accept punitive defeats as part of that theme.

* Many argue that it's a solo game, and mechanically I agree. However for me the game shines in multiplayer, sharing the impact of the scripts and debating some grim choices where the consequences aren't always Disney-like 'do good deed => get later reward'. At it's best, the game can be very immersive

3 days ago

Not as big of list as I would have initiailly expected.  Still some pretty good games on the list.

  1. #Tales & Games: The Hare and the Tortoise - A nice and simple race game that works well with kids.  Played this weekend with my 7 and 6 year old niece and nephew and they enjoyed it.  Games are short enough that we did 3 races.
  2. #Tammany Hall - a cuthroat political themed game about NYC politics in the 1800's.  I really enjoy this game, even if I've never come close to winning.
  3. #Terraforming Mars - usually up for a game.  I've played a bunch solo.  Would prefer to play with the #Terraforming Mars: Prelude expansion if possible as it speeds the start of the game up a little bit. 
  4. #Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition - Prefer this version for solo play.  Gives you a lot of the same feelings of its older brother in a much shorter time frame. 
  5. #That's Pretty Clever - one of the first roll and writes that I remember playing.  Enjoy the combo's.  Haven't played the 2nd or 3rd one in the series though.  I mostly play on the app now and days.  Still haven't crossed the 300 pt mark  (287 is my high score)
  6. #This War of Mine: The Board Game - I really enjoy the experience this game provides.  It does the civilian aspects of a conflict really well.  Some of my most memorable moments in gaming have come as a result of this game. 
  7. #Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization - I've only played the game once IRL and it was good, but I much prefer playing on Board Game Arena and having it track all of the different tracks for me. 
  8. #Thunderstone Quest - A pretty solid deck builder.  I keep going back and forth on whether its one I want to add to my collection or not.  So far I've avoided adding it and just playing a friends copy.  I think I prefer #Aeon's End to this game though.
  9. #Ticket to Ride - A classic for a reason.  Works well at almost all player counts.  Still gets played yearly.
  10. #Tiny Epic Galaxies - The only one in the Tiny Epic line that I've played.  It was pretty good.  Its been a couple of years since I've played and wonder how much my enjoyment may change in that time.
  11. #Tiny Towns - I really enjoy the spatial puzzle the game provides.  I'm probably in the minority but really enjoyed it at 4 players and trying to figure out what are the most likely resources to be called and how to fit that within my town.
  12. #Treasure Island - Did a single play as Long John trying to keep my treasure hidden.  Almost won and would like to play again at some point. 
  13. #Tsuro - A really simple and pleasing abstract.  Games take 10 minutes and usually result in wanting to play again as soon as the first one ends. 

Moderator Level 13 days ago

I'd like to try Tsuro some time. It looks neat. My guess is it wouldn't make it to the table very often in our house, but it looks like fun to me.

Premium User3 days ago

Good list!  Quite a few I have played I definitely agree with you on preludes being a must have for terraforming mars.

Moderator Level 14 days ago

Ah man, I really want to try #Tyrants of the Underdark: Board Game. I've almost pulled the trigger on the new version several times. I'll probably get it eventually. Anyway, here are all of my "T" games I've played:

  • #Tak - fun abstract game. I've only played a few times, but I can tell there's plenty of depth and ample room for skill.
  • #Taluva - another fun abstract(ish) game. It has some sort of theme, but it doesn't make a ton of sense. I've only played online, but liked it quite a bit. I wouldn't mind owning this one.
  • #Targi - another online play. Wow, this is a brilliant game for such simple rules and components. I'd probably own it if I thought my wife would enjoy it.
  • #Terraforming Mars - I'll be honest, I'm in the "I don't get the hype" crowd for this one. I've enjoyed my plays, but would never seek it out.
  • #That Time You Killed Me - abstract-feeling game that has a theme that I personally think is implemented pretty well. I've still only played the basic game, but look forward to playing the scenarios.
  • #That's Pretty Clever - excellent roll and write. Played countless games on my phone, and a few times in person.
  • #Ticket to Ride / #Ticket to Ride: Europe / #Ticket to Ride: New York - figured I'd bundle these. TTR is a bona fide classic. Europe is my favorite version I've played.
  • #Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef - got this for a friend for his birthday. I've played a few times and had fun. It's not necessarily a game I'd ask for but I'd pretty much always be down to play. Easy dice combat (against the game), great components.
  • #Tides of Madness - simple 2 player drafting game. We found it to be okay.
  • #Tiny Towns - this was a big one in our house for a while. We actually recently sold it to some friends who loved it, so we can still play it with them. Win-win!
  • #Troyes - only played online, but I've really liked it. I've considered buying it, but my wife has shown zero interest in it when I've shown her videos about it.

Moderator Level 13 days ago

#Troyes is on my shelf of shame/opportunity so I'd be down to trying it on BGA. I literally have no idea how to play. I traded for it based only on reputation lol.

3 days ago

I'm always up for a game of Troyes on BGA.  Be happy to help teach/guide you through the first play as well.  Its pretty simple overall.  I found Ranho's playthrough super helpful when I first played.

Moderator Level 13 days ago

Count me in if you guys play

3 days ago

Created a game.  https://boardgamearena.com/table?table=277325617

3 days ago

Created a game. https://boardgamearena.com/table?table=277325617

Premium User4 days ago

Tyrants is a good one.  I wasn't sure when I first played it but it was enjoyable the first play and really clicked with me after a second play.  I'd definitely see if you can play it first just to be sure as not everyone loves it.  And yeah, the new version is the way to go.  The miniatures aren't really needed.

Lots of interesting T games there.  I think I have played about half of them you listed.  Tidal Blades seems pretty interesting!

Moderator Level 13 days ago

The 13 T games I've played are:

I really love #Terraforming Mars , have blinged this one out a bit and have most of the expansions. I love games like this, Wingspan, and Ark Nova where you have to make the best tactical decisions based on what you draw from a HUGE deck of unique cards.

#Takenoko a cute lighter game where pandas eat bamboo, and make babies with the expansion.  Suprisingly tactical/strategic

#Tang Garden , a georgeous tile laying decoration placement game that is a bit more complex than other tile laying games.  Just recently backed the #Tang Garden: Seasons expansion

#Ticket to Ride: New York , an ok game, but on my for trade list

#Toledo a little known game we really enjoy. On the lighter side for sure. You try to optimize your journey along a path to buy the right spaces to get the necessary good to make items for the king

#Traintopia A decent tile laying game with good mechanics but too little replayability. On our for trade list.

#Treasure Island I really enjoy this geometry drawing search game with a pirate theme.  You do need to get better/darker markers though because the ones that come with it are hard to see on the board

#Tumult Royale Another T game on my small trade list. Ths is one of the few timed turn games I have. Players try to take as much of what they want from a communal pile, but take too much and you might suffer a penalty if a revolt occurs.  I like it but not as much as the many better games we have.

#Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar Another of the excellent T games I'll never trade away. I love the timing aspect the gears provide, and the rest of this heavier worker placement game also shines. Have the expansion for this as well, and printed nicer 3D workers.

I used to own:

#Tiny Epic Kingdoms Got this in a trade. This is the only game I ever tried to play a few times and just got too frustrated because of the tiny size.  Never truly played it and traded it away.  

#Tsuro Another OK game I got in trade that just wasnt interesting enough to get back to the table. Traded it away

I have also played my sons copy of 

#Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition I enjoyed this, but it is even too long for my taste so I wouldnt buy it, but I would play with my son again if he really wanted to.

I also forgot to mention this one in the "the"" games

#The Search for Planet X My wife and I both hated this game, not a good one if you have dyslexia.  I would not ever play this again.

Premium User3 days ago

Have you ever tried Terraforming Mars with all of the expansions in a 5 player game?  I have and...I sort of don't recommend it.  It was loooooong and a bit of a mish mash.  My group did it with me because I asked but I could tell they weren't keen to do it again.  I think preludes plus one or two other expansions is enough.

I have Tzolkin but have only got it to the table once in person.  Playing it on board game arena is a bit of a crap shoot.  Most games don't get setup to limit the whole turn corn in to goods strategy and if you get an expert with that they just wipe the floor with you.

It's a shame about The Search for Planet X.  I enjoyed it but I don't have the extra challenge of dyslexia.  If you don't mind, would you be comfortable giving details on how it made it more difficult?  I am pretty ignorant about dyslexia and am curious to know more.  No worries if you don't want to get in to it.

Moderator Level 13 days ago

We usually play Terraforming mars with all the expansions we have (all but turmoil, which seems to change the game too much so we decided not to get that one), but always at 3 players.  I Have played it at 5 in the past, with just prelude as you mentioned (we always use prelude as well).  I dont feel like Venus Next and Colonies add any to the time; they just present other opportunities?  

I can't comment on playing electronically, my thought/concern is that those you play against there probably play that particular game far more than i and would be much better at it, aso my dyslexia makes playing online tedious and unfun.

I'll briefly explain dyslexia, because most people have a misunderstandin of what it is. People hear that dyslexia makes you read things backward; and yes, this is a symptom of dyslexia when you are young. It also took me years to tell left from right, another symptom you may have heard of. But dyslexia is primarily a short term memory disorder that makes it so you can't remember short term data.  To remember something, a dyslexic must learn it deeply in long term memory.  However, when they do learn something they usually have a much better understanding than those with a normal short term memory. This is why you may have heard that dyslexics are very good at science and engineering; which has definitely been the case for me.  We can also mentally visualize and approximate far better than average, which made me a phenominal technical/scientific project manager.  

Where dyslexia impact board gaming is; I need to see the whole board and other players to know the game state; I can't remember it.  The minute I look away I forget most of what is there and have to see it again to know what's happening.  However, I tend to learn and know the rules far better than others, so I can reassess the state quickly.  This is why I really dislike online gaming; I just can't see the whole state at once.

In Search for Planet X the whole game is about not knowing the game state, and even when you write down info based on short term data I still have to try to reanalyze my own notes each time; and this takes far too long.  The game is largely about short term memory; somthing that doesnt work right for me. My wife doesnt have dyslexia, she just hated trying to figure out an extremely complex logical deduction game without having all the info in a timely manner.   She is a bit AP prone, but  wins most often as a result; she loves figuring out the perfectly optimized combo; and Planet X didn't let her do that.

Premium User3 days ago

Thanks for explaning that!  I definitely was not aware of that. 

Even though I am not dyslexic I do tend to dislike online games where you have to constantly move between things to see what is going on.  It's much easier to play when you can see everything in one "screen".

Moderator Level 12 days ago

A couple other bummers with dyslexia, my memories of the past are only very sporradic, whatever the memory was had to really have been firmly burnt into my long term memory.  As such I can only remenber a much smaller number of things from my entire childhood and most of my life as compared to most people. My wife always remembers all these details and I have no direct recollection of them.

It also makes all data entry tasks very cumbersome.  When I took my military entrance exams (ASVAB) I was the 99th percentile on 3 of the 4 tests (the highest scorer that year) all of which were science/spatial/mechanical, on the final test, data entry, I was in the 35th percentile.  This made winning the big contest here, which was a lot of data entry, very tedious and slow. I've also never been able to learn to do anything that requires mind body coordination memory, like playing an instrument, or blind typing (still need to hunt and peck/look at the keyboard at all times, even after writing thousands of pages of technical material throughout my life). And forget a second language

On the plus side, with no prior experience, I was able to design and then build a 5000 square foot Victorian Replica home myself on a steep mountain lot with almost no issues whatsoever (all the difficulties were the unskilled labor I hired to help me were very unreliable), and all but one inspector said I did a better job than most professionals (the electrical inspector hated that I would not hire one of his reccomended electricians, so he gave me a hard time over silly things almost every inspection).

Premium User2 days ago

Wow. That is interesting.  I guess knowing your strengths becomes extra important. 

Moderator Level 12 days ago

I've always felt the pros outweighed the cons; probably because you do tend to lean into your strengths.  

Moderator Level 13 days ago

I'm counting 24 "T" games played for myself. The clear favorite here is #Terraforming Mars, which has been my 2nd favorite game when I made my previous two top 25s. I'll do you one better with the #Terraforming Mars: Prelude expansion - I would never play the game without it lol. I even picked up a copy recently at Barnes and Noble for a friend that picked up the base game just because I told him it was a fun game.

Other notable T games:

#Team Play - Somehow managed to stay in my top 10 for 2 years straight. Not saying it's a bad game or anything like that; clearly I enjoy it quite a bit. It's just kind of shocking to me how it ended up so high on my rankings.

#Telestrations - My first "hobby" board game before I knew what hobby board games were. I recently traded it away just because it kind of ran it's course for us. We hadn't had a logged play of it since I started recording my plays 3 years ago, but managed to stay in my top 25.

#Trick Shot - The only other "T" game to show up in my top 25, coming in at 25. I think I've ironically enjoyed playing this as a 2 handed solo experience more than I've enjoyed playing against other people lol.

#Tiny Farms - A pretty fun PnP game I found online. I don't know if it will ever get published in physical form, but I would definitely buy it if I did.

Premium User3 days ago

Totally agree with you on Preludes.  I would mix and match other expansions but that one is always in.

Linked Games
Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun
Tyrants of the Underdark
Take 5 + Take a Number
Teotihuacan: City of Gods