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Heavy Cardboard Episode 42 - Troyes

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 42 - Troyes

We have lots of content in this episode and a couple of announcements. We have three(!) game trailers (1849, Castles of Burgundy, & Quebec) in addition to the main feature: Troyes! Sit back, put your headphones in and enjoy yourself! Don't forget to join us in the guild to discuss the episode with us & your fellow Elephants!

0:36:57 - 1849 0:41:38 - Castles of Burgundy 0:51:46 - Quebec 1:00:10 - Troyes

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 40 - Nippon

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 40 - Nippon

Portugal figures heavily (pun intended) into episode 40 as we discuss both The Gallerist and Nippon - both games sprang from the creative minds of Portugal's brightest designers! In between, we go into space and talk about Roll for the Galaxy, the dice engine game that is Race for the Galaxy's younger cousin. Lots of questions from the Heavy Cardboard Guild made their way into this episode too! Join us in the guild for discussions on this episode and heavy gaming in general!

0:26:17 - The Gallerist 0:39:03 - Roll for the Galaxy 0:48:59 - Featured Game: Nippon

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 38 - Mombasa

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 38 - Mombasa

Alexander Pfister is on a roll and Heavy Cardboard is reviewing his heaviest work, Mombasa. It's a game that has some very unique mechanics: an interesting take on stock ownership and hand management. Listen to the episode and our take on the game. 0:20:28 - Alhambra 0:31:08 - Operation Maccabee 0:38:03 - Mombasa

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 36 - Neue Heimat

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 36 - Neue Heimat

Neue Heimat. Gesundheit! This wicked little auction game is the primary topic of discussion. We love auction games here at Heavy Cardboard, and if you do too, check this one out. Also, we talk a little about Ships, the new Martin Wallace release. Macao, and older Feld design is yet another topic of discussion. Sound quality comes and goes during parts of the first half of this episode as we had some technical issues when recording - however we sorted it out and the rest of the episode is good. Sorry about that!

0:28:43 - Ships 0:37:29 - Macao 0:46:10 - Featured Game: Neue Heimat

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 35 - Food Chain Magnate

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 35 - Food Chain Magnate

Food Chain Magnate. Joris and Jeroen talked about it during our interview. We got hyped up for the game. Finally, it arrived. Finally, we played it. Did it live up to the hype? Give a listen and find out. Also, we have a series of short discussions on the Essen games we have had a chance to play so far. Honestly, it's been a mixed bag, but that's to be expected. What do you guys think? What Essen games have you played?

0:18:18 - Ships 0:20:19 - Mombasa 0:28:47 - The Royal Goods 0:34:19 - My Village 0:37:10 - SteamRollers 0:40:22 - Pi mal Pflaumen 0:44:20 - Dilluvia Project 0:46:55 - Antarctica 0:50:50 - Burano 0:53:51 - Food Chain Magnate

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 33 - Masters of Venice

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 33 - Masters of Venice

Masters of Venice. A quirky, under-the-radar game that has an awful lot going for it & we dive deep into it during our featured review. We also give a couple of Martin Wallace titles a good look when we do an extended trailer on Tinner's Trail as well as touch on Liberte a bit. There's a little bit medium, a good bit of heavy, and a full heaping of quirky, so sit back & enjoy the listen! We would love to hear from y'all with your thoughts on the show and on the games discussed. We hope you enjoy the episode as much as we had recording it! 0:15:28 - Tinner's Trail 0:45:35 - Liberte 1:01:00 - Featured Game: Masters of Venice

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 32 - Argent: The Consortium

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 32 - Argent: The Consortium

Argent: The Consortium is the featured game of this episode. Yes, Argent: The Consortium. Give a listen, you may be surprised! Have you played this game and if you have, what are your thoughts on it? We also touch on Triumph & Tragedy and Praetor. Yep, full of surprises in this episode! As always, enjoy the show! 0:20:33 - Triumph & Tragedy 0:34:41 - Praetor 0:44:25 - Featured Game: Argent: The Consortium

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 31 - The Trailer Trifecta Episode

Forge War, The Networks and Baltimore & Ohio get discussed in "the trailer episode". A trifecta of trailers! We hope that you enjoy the episode and, as always, let us know what you think about these games. Have you played them? What are your thoughts on them? 0:21:34 - Forge War 0:45:20 - The Networks 0:57:55 - Baltimore & Ohio

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 30 - Rococo

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 30 - Rococo

Nothing says an evening of fun like making dresses and suits for the ball, right? Right? Yup, that's right! No, but really, yes. This episode has us talking about the beautiful game, Rococo. Euro-y goodness? Listen and find out! We also discuss the 2-player Trambahn and The Staufer Dynasty. As always, let us know what you think of the games and the show! 0:13:20 - Trambahn 0:20:58 - The Staufer Dynasty 0:29:55 - Featured Game: Rococo

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 28 - Terra Mystica

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 28 - Terra Mystica

Terra Mystica, currently the #2 game in the land, is the subject of our featured review. We also get into a couple of train games, String Railway and Chicago Express. Give a listen and let us know what your thoughts are on the game. Comment here on the site, or open a thread in our guild. 0:18:38 - String Railway 0:25:38 - Chicago Express 0:33:03 - Feature: Terra Mystica

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 24 - Puerto Rico

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 24 - Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico. The boardgaming legend is the main topic of the Heavy Cardboard crew in this episode. If you've never played this classic, listen to this episode and decide if it is a title you should try. 0:14:45 - First Train to Nuremberg 0:23:51 - The Capitals 0:32:22 - Featured Game: Puerto Rico

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 23 - Ground Floor

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 23 - Ground Floor

In this episode we tackle Ground Floor by David Short, brought to us by Tasty Minstrel Games. We start on the ground floor and work our way up through the game and let you know what we think. We also cover Arboretum and 20th Century. 0:30:24 - Arboretum 0:37:47 - 20th Century 0:44:16 - Featured Game: Ground Floor 1:31:50 - Ask the Elephant

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 20 - Wir sind das Volk

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 20 - Wir sind das Volk

OK, in this episode we look at Wir sind das Volk the new Cold War themed game for two players. Since that game is not a very long game, we invested some time into a couple of other games that have been on our tables. Locomotive Werks is a game we have just begun to explore and we had some interesting conversation around our game tables regarding it, so we wanted to share some conversation with our listeners about this title.

Grand Cru is an economic game with a wine-making theme (always fun to have a glass or two when playing a wine-themed game) that we've played recently. There are some interesting things going on in this imperfect game - give a listen and let us know what you think!

0:12:59 - Locomotive Werks 0:32:03 - Grand Cru 0:46:56 - Featured Game: Wir sind das Volk 1:26:36 - Ask Heavy Cardboard

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 19 - Automobile

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 19 - Automobile

Martin Wallace's Automobile is the guest in this episode. This is an extremely interesting game - give a listen to see if you agree with our thoughts. We also kick into the first "Ask Heavy Cardboard" segment too - so, thanks everyone for the questions! 0:24:17 - In the Shadow of the Emperor 0:29:30 - Castles of Burgundy 0:34:53 - Featured Game: Automobile 1:18:07 - Ask Heavy Cardboard

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 13 - BGG CON 2014

OK, we share in some of the fun of BGG CON 2014 for those of you that could not make it to the convention...but...we have a little fun framing the discussion. We also rock into The Gallerist and Imperial Settlers as well as discuss our favorite mechanic.

0:20:30 - The Gallerist 0:27:54 - Imperial Settlers 0:33:18 - BGG CON 2014 1:20:44 - Favorite Game Mechanics

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 11 - Brass

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Heavy Cardboard Episode 11 - Brass

Where there's muck there's brass...and there's both muck and brass to be found in Martin Wallace's classic game Brass. The guys discuss this game, one of the euros rated heaviest (3.9) on BGG. And, we've been playing games such as Clinic, Rococo, Thunder Alley, Biblios and Strasbourg. Speaking of playing, this episode has us doing a little role playing and word association.

0:16:11 - Ad Astra 0:26:44 - Dominant Species 0:35:04 - Featured Game: Brass

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Heavy Cardboard Panamax Review

From time to time, Heavy Cardboard wishes to augment our podcasting with a written review and even an occasional video. We're excited about heavy games and we want to take advantage of several forms of communication! There's a lot more to discuss in Panamax than we can cover here. We're not going to teach the game or review all details of the game play here. Our recent podcast offers a lot more discussion. What we wanted to do in this review is give an indication of why the game appeals to us in the hope that you may find similar appeal and explore the game more. Today, we want to write about Panamax, a new release from Stronghold Games. We were really excited about this game for a long time and were anxious to acquire a copy. Between reading the rules and watching the early videos, we got pretty jazzed up about what we thought we saw. A heavy game with some cool looking mechanics and an economic element. Look, we're nerds, and this is the sort of stuff that gets into our heads. So, hey, when can we get this game?!?!?

Well, a friend of Heavy Cardboard was an attendee at Gen Con and we asked him to stand in line for us and acquire one of only 120 copies that would be available. Thank you Brian! You did it! The result of your kindness was us being able to play three four-player sessions of the game to build our analysis. Man, I recall how thrilled we were that first night to get into it! So, did it live up to the hype we built up in our own minds?

The Design Team Another thing that had us expecting a good game was the design team: Gil d’Orey, Nuno Sentiero and Paulo Soledade. Two thirds of that team designed Madeira, which is a big hit with Heavy Cardboard and a leader in the clubhouse for Heavy Cardboard's 2013 Heavy Game of the Year award. By the way guys, get busy on Nippon. If you need some play testers here in the United States, consider us willing victims! Sign us up!

Scalability Panamax plays two to four players. In the experience of our three four-player games, it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to play. None of us are prone to AP, but we do play thoughtfully, still, there were times that AP did present itself. We think this game is best with four players. We're basing that on the type of play the game creates. The more players the better. The first night we opened the box, we played a partial game with three players just to learn the ropes. That was still pretty darn good. We have not played two-players, so we can only suggest that the player interaction (the good stuff) will be lacking and lessen the experience of playing Panamax.

Strength of the Game Panamax has to be one of the finest examples of player interaction in a competitive Euro game that we've played. This is not multi-player solitaire at all! Each player controls a company that owns some ships that move cargo back and forth through the canal and every detail of that creates player interaction!

When you buy cargo, you are allowed to load that cargo onto any ships that are available to accept cargo. Even another player's ships! In fact, you should feel encouraged to load your cargo onto other players ships and ships that already or will contain the cargo of other players. This is because of a couple reasons.

First of all the game has immense pressure to "ship cargo". Shipping cargo is how your company earns income and you cannot successfully ship enough cargo just with your own ships. When two or more players share some combination of cargo and ship, those players have an incentive to get that ship through the canal: money. Oh, but it is so much deeper than just the money earned from delivering the cargo. As much as you want your company to earn money you may have investments into other companies that makes you want those companies earn enough money to be able to pay dividends. Dividend money, regardless of the source, represents important victory points and the means for you to make more investments. When companies cannot pay dividends the share price falters. So this web of investments and shipping can get really fun.

The mechanic that makes it all work together is the movement mechanic. When you take a movement action (instead of a cargo action) you will get 1 to 3 points of "waterway movement" and 1 to 3 points of "lock movement". The exact amount of points you get is determined by an action selection mechanic. So, you must make due with the choices available to you - although your company can pay money for different choices. The trick is that you must spend each and every point of movement you acquire. You can move any ship, naturally, you want to move ships that carry your cargo, and especially if those ships are also under your ownership. But once that is done you may have remaining points to spend and will end up spending them to move the ships and cargoes of other players. If that wasn't enough, this is what makes things especially awesome: pushing ships ahead of you.

You see, ships come in sizes 1 to 4. A lock on the canal can hold 4 points of ship sizes. So, when a lock ahead of you is occupied by ships and you wish to (or must) move into that lock, and the ship(s) you're moving won't fit into the lock with those already there, those ships will get to move ahead into the next lock for free. This can cause a chain reaction if that lock too is occupied. Your movement could sometimes result in causing a ship two locks ahead to complete the voyage and earn money for owners. Awesome! A key manipulation of this is to spend your movement to stage your cargo and ships in the locks so that others will push them forward in pursuit of their own business goals! This is why it is important to load your cargo onto other players ships and ships that already or will contain the cargo of other players...when another player helps themselves, they will be helping you too.

This interaction is really just amazing. We're really enjoying it.

This does make the decisions you make each turn pretty tactical. If you're fourth in the play order, you cannot plan too far ahead as you don't know exactly where the ships will be or what contracts will be available when your turn comes up. However, this is not a hindrance to your strategic goals. Your strategic goals are universally the same: make company money, collect dividends and make sound investments. In addition, you'll have one or two strategic Financial Advisor cards that you will be trying to maximize end game points on throughout the game.

Area for Improvement At this time, the only complaint we have with the game is pretty minor: the Money. The money tokens provided with the game are the biggest area of improvement that is recognized by Heavy Cardboard. They're like silver and brass colored tiddlywinks. Given that the other 99% of the game is gorgeously produced this was a bit of a let down. We use poker chips just to avoid using this money. We understand that there is likely complex pricing algorithms that production companies use to make sure they can continue to bring us great game experiences. Maybe we're in the minority, but, we would have gladly paid a bit more for better money components. Hey! Maybe the "collector's edition" will have that, eh?

Recommendation & Rating We Heavy Cardboard guys rate games on a scale of 1 to 4. There is no middle of the road, no cop out, you're either a fan or not. 1: Not a good game. We never want to play this game again. 2: Fair game, typical of what gets published these days. I won't recommend we play it and I would pass on the opportunity to play a better game. 3: Excellent game. We want to play this game more, we may even buy it. Recommended. 4: Amazing game. Buy it and play it often. A staple of our game collection.

With regards to Panamax, we both give the game a 4 rating with no hesitation whatsoever. If you like a heavier Euro that excels at player interaction, this is a must for your collection.

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