Revolution! Board Game Review

It is a time of strife, a time of upheaval, a time of Revolution! Your beloved city has plunged into chaos, desperately waiting for someone to assume leadership and give the city direction. You are more than willing to take up the challenge, but so are a handful of other revolutionaries! It is time to show the city who is really in control. Blackmail the general. Bribe the merchant. Threaten the priest with extreme force. Gain support from the city and prepare for Revolution!

Revolution is a strategy board game based on the theme of political turmoil and gaining influence over a city. It is considered a gateway game, a game that is not as complex as the standard strategy board game, but introduces gaming concepts and mechanics to new or casual board gamers. In the case of Revolution, the game revolves around the mechanics of bidding and area control as you try to use money, blackmail and force to outmaneuver the other players and take control of key areas in the city.

The goal of the game is to earn the most support from the city. This can be done either by collecting support points during the game, and by controlling key areas of the city at the end of the game. These areas – such as the Fortress, Cathedral, Harbor and Market – are worth different amounts of support to the players who end the game in control of them. And controlling an area means you need to have the most influence on it, as represented by colored cube tokens.

So how do you win support and place your colored cubes on the crucial zip codes? By using the best tools available – gold, blackmail and force! You can gain the cooperation of the city’s key figures by either bribing them, or blackmailing them, or using extreme force to convince them to support your cause. But every player will want to influence these people. So the game has a special bidding mechanic to decide which player is successful.

The bidding process in Revolution takes place on bidding boards (each player has their own board) with 16 boxes on them, with each box representing one of the key figures in the city. You indicate which of these boxes you wish to influence by placing your “resources” on them, represented by Gold, Blackmail and Force tokens. All this is done in secret behind screens though, so you won’t know which boxes the other players are trying to influence, and how much resources they are putting into them. The resources are not created equal either. A bid that contains Blackmail will trump a bid made with only Gold, and a bid that contains Force will win against bids that only contain Gold or Blackmail. If there’s an equal amount of Force in two bids, the bid with the largest amount of Blackmail in it will win.

There are some restrictions though. For example, Force cannot be used to influence the General or Captain (they are probably more violent than you), and Blackmail can’t be used on the Innkeeper or Magistrate (they most likely have more material to blackmail you with). And then there’s the Mercenary who will only accept cold, hard cash. So each player places their bids in secret, and once everyone is ready, all the bids are revealed and the winners for each bid box is determined.

Each box will provide the winning bid with different benefits. For example, the General will give a few support points, a Force token that you can use for bidding in the next round, and the ability to place one colored cube to influence the Fortress. Similarly, the Innkeeper will provide support, a Blackmail token, and allows a colored cube to influence the Tavern. There are other abilities though, such as the Printer which provides you with a whopping 10 support points but nothing else. There’s also the Spy that lets you replace somebody else’s colored cube on the board with your own, and the Apothecary that lets you swap the locations of two colored cubes on the board.

Once all the boxes’ abilities are performed, each player collects whatever Force, Blackmail and Gold they earned this round (topped up to 5 total tokens using Gold). The next round of bidding begins, and this continues on until every last influence slot in all the key areas in the city are filled with player cubes. Once that happens, the game ends, control of each area is determined and the support scores are totaled.

The game is very fluid, as control of the key areas keep flip-flopping, especially due to the Spy and Apothecary. Similarly, the bidding process can be very unpredictable as players inadvertently cancel each other out (no benefits are obtained when there is a tie in a bid). Sometimes, the players will all be aiming for different boxes and key areas to influence, resulting in a pretty peaceful game. In other games, everyone might be trying to bribe the Priest and gain influence in the Cathedral, causing lots of heated bidding, backstabbing and frustration (and one happy priest)!

Revolution is a fun and exciting game, though simple in terms of gameplay mechanics. It works great as a casual party game or as an introduction to the more complex strategy board games. It has also been expanded by the Palace expansion which introduces a new building, new bid boxes, new mechanics and allows up to 6 players. You will enjoy Revolution! if you like bidding games such as Vegas Showdown and less complex games such as Ticket to Ride.

Fun Camping Games to Play With Your Kids

When camping out with your kids the last thing you want them doing is the same old stuff they do at home, like video games. But to hold their interest you need some fun camping games for them to play.

Plus, camping is a good way for the family as a whole to spend time doing things together and have fun. Playing games together in the great outdoors and sunshine is very rejuvenating for everyone.

Camping Games can be purchased at retail camp stores, toy or department stores. Some fun games that you can purchase for camp playing are horse shoes, volley ball, bad mitten or darts.

A cheap, easy to carry game is marbles. They are easy to carry and all you need is the set of marbles. Take a stick and draw a circle in the dirt. Place marbles inside the circle and each player tries to shoot a marble into the circle and knock another marble out of the circle. If they do then they claim that marble. At the end the one who has claimed the most marbles wins. This is a game that both kids and parents can play together. You even have enough light to play this one in the evening around the camp fire.

The Bananagrams Word Game is another easy to carry game. The tiles are all carried in a small banana like pouch and stores easily for travel. While camping you could use a variation to this game and try to make all words be something related to the camping trip; names of trees, animals, bugs, greenery, lakes, streams, etc.

The goal is to play games that are different from those played at home daily and to make the camping experience something fun to remember.

Online Gaming – Advantages, Disadvantages, Threats and Their Solutions

Online gaming is one the fastest growing trend in today’s generation. Keeping kids in mind, it is both useful as well as harmful for them. Hence, it is not advisable to keep them totally away from gaming. You could be doing them more harm than good, by banning them from playing games online.

In this post, we shall talk about some of the solutions to make online gaming a safe and enjoyable experience for children, by considering their benefits and drawbacks.

Few disadvantages of online gaming for kids are:

Internet is an open place where you can access a vast amount of information. Kids may download games from less reputed sites. As a result, they end up downloading spam, viruses, malicious software etc.
Some people out there are always trying to find ways to take undue advantage of kids. Kids are fooled and cheated and can also be abused and harassed online.

Now some advantages:

Online gaming makes the kid sharper and mentally more active. The games generally have various levels or missions to be completed in limited times. This helps the kids in learning about time management.
Mind and hand coordination. This is one of the main and important advantages that the kids experience while playing online games. He/she learns to coordinate his/her mind with the actions of his hands. While executing those actions, they also develop mental strength.
Kids tend to become socially active, as they interact and play with complete strangers online. It helps them in their social life too.

Even though gaming has some drawbacks, parents can still protect their kids from becoming victims to online attacks. Since it can still be very useful for kids, parents should avoid banning their kids completely from playing games online. Rather, you will need to make some strict rules to be followed by kids.

Secrecy – You can teach kids to keep their personal information a secret, especially not to share it on the unknown sites.
All the online games need passwords to access. Teach your kid not to share this password with anyone to avoid cheating, and getting hacked.
They should never to give out their personal or real names online, unless the website has a good reputation.
You could teach them some general etiquette like paying fair game with fellow players.
Never trust anyone whom you meet online. Never agree to meet them in person.
Most importantly, online gaming should be played only be for fun, and not for any accessing age restricted activities like gambling.

These are some things you can ask or tell your kid to take care of, but as a parent, there are few steps you can take to make Online Gaming a safe and enjoyable experience for them.

Some of them are:

Antivirus software is very essential, and more importantly, it should be updated everyday. It will protect your computer from common viruses automatically. They also come with parental guidance features, using which you can avoid your children from entering illegal sites and unsafe sites.
Manually activate the family safety settings in your system. This will block the sites which you do not want your kids to enter.
Limit their gaming privileges for certain hours in a day. You can suggest and encourage them to play only the safe and fun games like the Minecraft, so that they do not browse for games on their own.

Some solutions if the problem already exists:

Everyone has their own personal instinct about anything good or bad. Make your kids share everything with you. Make it comfortable for them, so that they will come forward and tell you everything, without the fear of getting punished.
If someone is pressuring your kid to share personal information, or harassing the kid, you can always file a complaint against the users or websites.

Enjoy the online gaming experience and have great fun, but make sure that you play it safe.

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