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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Time and Punishment

Today we returned to Sure Shot Coffee to immerse ourselves in their wonderful vanilla latte's and vanilla americano's to play Tides of Time.  Tides of Time is a small two player card drafting game still hot on the market as it just released at the beginning of August and made it's debut at GenCon.  Come with us as we return to a time of ancient civilization and monumental empires as they prosper and collapse through time.  From times long forgotten to times recently lost, civilizations will rise and fall as the tide of time carries them.

The object of the game is to attain the most victory points earned by developing your kingdom during the game.  The game consists of 3 rounds in which players draft cards from their hands to build their kingdoms combining the most useful combinations of locations.  After the final round, players tally up their victory points from each round to sum up their final scores.  Whoever has the most victory points, has the greatest kingdom and wins the game.
There are 4 primary aspects to each card.  Every card has a name(1), a suit(2), ability(3), and in most cases the ability is also a scoring objective which provides a certain number of victory points(4).  While 15 of the 18 cards have a suit, there are 3 cards without a suit.  There are 3 cards for each of the 5 suits representing different types of locations such as palace, library, garden, temple, and stronghold.  These varied aspects of the cards definitely integrate considerable, concrete decision making that can cause the game to go in multiple directions very rapidly.  You can use these elements against your opponent and keep them from getting better combinations of cards.  If you're successful in this endeavor, it can really impact how the other player is able to execute their plan during each round.
Tides of Time is a very good card drafting game.  It really speaks well to it's name from the nature of the game, as well as the stunning artwork that it holds on each of the cards.  The depth, serene landscapes, and almost fantasy thematic elements of the cards just soars into a tranquil world of lucid imagination and beauty.  There is a lot of room for holding specific cards against other players even if you don't plan on playing them for your own benefit.  Part of the strategy in this game is not just getting points for yourself, but also keeping your opponent from gaining more with specific cards.  Keeping them from gaining more points from you can sometimes spell victory if you play everything correctly.  Because it is a card drafting game, there are some elements of luck involved since you shuffle and deal out hands to other players.  Sometimes you have average cards and other times you have much better cards, but because of the fact that it's a 2 player game, the level of strategy is exponentially increased because there are so few players at the table to draft other cards away from other opponents.  The game is really portable with only 18 cards, and a few markers with a pad and pencil so it's really easy to take places rather than hauling a large box with a lot of components around.  Between the physical and visual quality of the cards, the executable strategies, the portability, the quick 20 minute gameplay, and the low cost of the game, I definitely recommend this one as a great little filler game to anyone!

Tides of Time
Overall Meeple Rating: 7/10

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