Snakes & Blogs

2012-08 ‹ By Month


    Snakes & Lattes is excited to announce our 2nd annual CARCASSONNE tournament on Sunday September 16, 2012 at 9:00am (sharp!). This tournament will also be the decider for the Canadian representative at the Carcassonne World Championships, run at the Spiel game convention in Essen, Germany! Spiel runs October 18 - 21st, 2012.

    Can you best your opponents at castle-building, road-laying and farming? Will your meeples reign supreme?

    Details of the tournament are on our Facebook event page here. Please RSVP and discuss the event with your fellow players! Tickets can be pre-paid in store or online. (Please bring your receipt to registration).

    The grand prize is as follows: A paid trip to Spiel, in Essen, to represent Canada in the Carcassonne World Championships. The fine print of this prize is inclusive as follows:

    • Travel from your location in Canada to and from Essen in Germany, leaving 17th October 2012, returning 22nd October 2012. If you wish to travel earlier or stay later, you will be responsible for the difference in costs of the flights.
    • To claim the prize you must have a valid passport and be of legal age to travel without a parent or guardian. Anyone requiring a parent or guardian to accompany them will be responsible for their guardian's travel costs.
    • Should the grand prize winner not be able to claim their prize, it will be offered to the second prize winner (and so forth).
    • Accommodation for the duration of the Spiel convention in Essen, and cost of travel between accommodation and the convention.
    • Snakes & Lattes Inc is not responsible for the cost of travel documents such as visas or passports, nor the cost of travel insurance.
    • Snakes & Lattes Inc is not liable for your safety during the trip.

    See you all in September!

  • In Space, No One Can Hear You Colonize

    Written by Colin Y / Published August 2nd, 2012 / 0 Comments

    Outer space is not for the timid. It is an unfathomable abyss that cares not for the achievements of the tiny humans struggling within it. Clever Mojo Games’s Alien Frontiers sets the stage for one of those brutal struggles, pitting two-to-four would-be colonizers against each other on the frontier of a newly discovered planet.

    Alien Frontiers is not a game about long-term strategy. It is about adaptability and short-term goals. On your turn you roll your dice and, depending on the resulting configuration of pips, you will be able to place them in one or more of the different locations on the gameboard. Doing so allows you to gather resources, draw support cards, gain more dice or construct colonies. To fans of worker placement games like Agricola, Stone Age and Kingsburg, the mechanics will be familiar, but they are intelligently and intriguingly assembled. There is much you need to do, but never enough dice to go around.

    Die placement often means edging your opponents out of key locations. In many titles this is a fun piece of meta-gaming. In Alien Frontiers, the joy of such playful cruelty is tempered with the knowledge that, in the desperate scramble for location abilities, you are likely to be screwed next turn.

    Colonies are the lifeblood of planetary settlement. Constructing them and taking control of planetary regions is how a player gains victory points. They are also the endgame trigger: the game ends when a player places their final colony. But since ending the game is not instant victory, just because you can doesn't mean you should. There are multiple paths to colony construction, so every player is in contention until the bitter end. It makes your next turn feel light years away.

    Like Settlers of Catan, scores are low and close together. As such, often a single strong turn can push you past your opponents to victory. In my last game, where I was ahead by two points, an opponent used a resource card to move one of my colonies, costing me the control of a region. There goes one point. She then placed her final colony, which gave her a point to tie. That colony gave her control of the region I once held, giving her one final, soul-crushing point. My comfortable lead was not nearly as comfortable as I had believed it to be. I sorrowfully stared at a scoreboard which served only as a grim reminder of how close I had come, and how far I had fallen.

    One cannot adequately strategize against the sheer immensity of space. Alien Frontiers instead demands malleability and adaptability, as your short-term gains gradually build into something tangible. Roll your dice and roll with the punches. It is a tense and nail-biting experience, but those willing to struggle over this cold rock will find Alien Frontiers to be an intelligent and satisfying game indeed.