Category Archives: Head to Head

Verses: Star Realms vs Star Wars Destiny

If you have been following the posts of mine about ranking and my top games posts you will have seen that these two games have been in my Top 10 games since I started using my “match up engine”. Plus because of the nature of my process they were always going to go head to head.

So Star Realms or Star Wars: Destiny? Which did I choose?

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love Star Realms. Thanks to an awesome app I have up to 20 games on the go at a time. I’ve played thousands of games. Since records began I’ve actually managed to get the physical game to the table a whole 25 times. I really do like the deck building mechanic. The shared trade row. Plus the expansions. Oh my, the expansions. You can mix and match or if like me just play with everything thrown all in. With Gambits and Events you can get some crazy turn one purchases. Plus missions now change how a game can be won. This game just gets better and better. Oh and comboing cards so you draw your whole hand, and do one massive amount of damage. Or when you claw back from a single authority to get the win. You definitely get some great gaming moments in this game.

Star Wars: Destiny, OMG! I knew if I played it I’d get hooked. It ticks a lot of boxes for me, deck construction, dice, Star Wars. Ok the collectible side of the game is a big draw back.  But no worse than Magic the Gathering, Dice Masters or others of that ilk. There has been that initial difficulty in getting product. But hopefully that has been resolved by FFG, and so far it’s looking that way. I enjoy the deck construction side. I like building decks and playing them to see if they work. Yes there is a random element with the dice rolls. But there are ways to reroll and even chose a face of the die. So I don’t see that as a drawback. Sometimes the dice rolling adds an element of suspense that I like. Especially when the other player rolls badly letting you off the hook for an action or two while they mitigate that bad roll.

In the end I kinda copped out, sat on the fence and declared this one a draw. I really enjoy playing both of these games. And would find it really hard to make a choice between which to play if they were both in front of me.

And looking at the comments to the post on Facebook and Instagram, the slight edge goes to Star Realms. But it was close, one vote in it. And a draw if I take out the Hero Realms vote! The public can’t decide either then.

Verses: Scythe vs Viticulture Essential Edition

I knew my two favourite Jamey Stegmaier games would eventually go head to head against each other. It’s like the Merseyside derby (Liverpool vs Everton for none football fans) but with boardgames. 

Alternate East European history vs wine growing in Italy.

Both games look stunning. But Scythe has jaw dropping stunning art.

For me Scythe just has an epic feel to it. There is a bit more player interaction in Scythe via the combat, and having to watch neighbours moves so you can claim bonuses.

I do enjoy the worker placement of Viticulture. Throw in Tuscany with all it brings to the table with the new board and modules, lots and lots of replayability and depth. 

Momma and Poppas gives unique starting resources to each player in Viticulture. But Scythe and it’s player and faction boards giving unique action combos and starting resources pips Momma and Poppas.

For me Scythe is the winner here. Theme, art, mechanics it wins hands down.

This match up didn’t attract as much comment as previous verses. Maybe folks are getting bored of them. Mind you I know which one Jonathan would have chosen. He’s a growing wine in Italy through and through. 


Verses: Tokaido vs Zombicide

Today it’s like we have chalk and cheese duking it out. Talk about two completely different games.

On the right we have Tokaido, on the left Zombicide.

Tokaido is just such a beautiful looking game. It doesn’t feel competitive. But it is. That serene journey from Edo to Kyoto (or is it the opposite direction), stopping off to experience hot springs, visiting shrines, painting the amazing vistas, buying gifts, encountering interesting strangers, and enjoying heavenly meals, although zen like, has you squabbling with fellow travelers for those exclusive spots.

Zombicide on the other hand has you working with your fellow survivors of the zombie apocalypse to kill zombies, gather food and weapons, and hopefully make it to the end of the day! And boy does this pile up the pressure. The better you get at killing the zombies the more of them appear.

Pimped out with the collectors box, you can replace the cardboard money in Tokaido with satisfying metal coins, and replace the wooden player counters with minis. Whilst listening to the games soundtrack!

Zombicide is just a minifest. It has so many minis, especially if you have all of the expansions and kickstarter exclusives (I have some of these, not all of them). And because of this be a bit of a pig to set up.

I called this one a draw. I couldn’t decide. It sounds like a cop out and it feels like one. But I love them both. They both offer a completely different gaming experience. Which one I would chose at any time really would come down to how I feel at the time.

I had a couple of comments on Instagram:


And the following from Facebook:


Which I think if my counting is correct gives the slight edge to Tokaido. The public have spoken.

Verses: Escape from Colditz vs Memoir ’44

This is a juicy match up thematically and for what the games represent.

On the left we have a game over forty years old, Escape from Colditz. On the right we have Memoir ’44, champion of modern hobby gaming in this match up.

We have two games that are set during World War II. Well different aspects of it. One has you escaping an infamous prison. While the other is reenacting conflicts from various theatres from WWII.

These are two very differing games, very representative of their era. 

If you search back I had a blast playing Escape from Colditz. There were some issues mechanically. But having said that I know some people don’t like the randomness of the dice in Memoir ’44.

However Escape from Colditz takes a really long time to play. While in comparison Memoir can be played in less than an hour.

In the end it was a rather easy decision to make. It has to be Memoir ’44. The share flexibility and expandability, plus relatively quick game play, swung it. 

So did my decision match up with those that responded on social media?

Which would you chose?

Verses: BattleLore Second Edition vs Memoir ’44

This match up happened very early on in the pairwise comparisons. I thought “wow! This is a tough choice.”

How am I going to chose between BattleLore (Second Edition) and Memoir ’44

Both are based on the Richard Borg Command and Colours system. 

Yes BattleLore has some extras to its mechanics. Setting the game up is actually part of the game play. It also adds lore to the game, which is basically magic. And that setup as game play is inspired.

Memoir ’44 has had way better support when it comes to expansions. There is a shit load of stuff for it. Ok some are mega expensive because they are out of print (which I don’t get, because it’s a popular game, an ever green title, and keeping stuff like expansions in print shouldn’t be an issue.) Plus I’m not sure FFG will do much more with BattleLore now with their RuneWars mini game just hitting the stores. 

So does it just come down to theme? Do I prefer fantasy over historical? Or vice versa? 

I decided this was a draw. Theme wasn’t a big decider in the end for me. Because if on the day I wanted to play a game like these it would come down to what theme am I in the mood for? 

So I put this decision out on social media to get the thoughts of others on what they would chose.

I suspect Henning might be a little biased in his answer below. But he is correct his art in BattleLore is amazing.


So what would your choice be?

Kodama vs Odin’s Ravens

I think when I was boring you with pseudo techie speak about how I was going to write this matching engine to allow me to rank my games, I threatened to write posts about some of the match ups. Sadly for you I’m carrying through with that threat at least once.

Our first match up in this series (more threats I’m afraid) is Kodama: The Tree Spirits vs Odin’s Ravens (second edition).

The winner of this match up was Odin’s Ravens. So how did I arrive at this choice?

Both games are very attractive to look at. Both theme wise are completely different. Racing ravens verses growing trees and tree spirits.

Odin’s Ravens is a two player only game. While Kodama plays two to five players. Although I have only so far played Kodama as a two player game.

Kodama is the more “complicated” of the two games. And probably the harder of the two to pick up and play after a long gap between plays. Looking back at the post I wrote when I first played (and only time at the moment) the game there was confusion over how the scoring worked. And I feel that may be the case again when this hits the table next time.I have played Odin’s Ravens more than Kodama (not by much). But even so it only takes a minute to refresh the memory on how to play after a gap between plays. And that refresh is mainly on the setup.

I think what swung it for Odin’s Ravens was it has a take that element. Using the Loki cards it is possible to interfere with your opponents progress. However doing so has repercussions for yourself (potentially) because you too will have to negotiate the hurdle you threw in the way of your  opponent. It’s not much interaction but it’s there, which is more than there is in Kodama.

There you have it. That is how I chose Odin’s Ravens over Kodama. Which would you have chosen and why?