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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First: Can we build a great Victorian Jetty with just a handful of cards? We find out in Pier 18
Next: We find out if we are fast enough to break in, get the loot, and get out in Burgle Bros.
And lastly: We bully, bluff, and backstab our way to the top of the crime world in The Boss

Pier 18

Designed by: Rory Muldoon
Published by: Alley Cat Games (2021)
Players: 2 – 3
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 5 – 15 min

In Pier 18, you take on the role of a Victorian pier builder as you compete to create the country’s greatest seaside pier. Players will draft sections of pier, and build them out in a pattern to yield the most VPs!

On the piers are 4 types of people: fishermen, lovers, flower sellers, and poets. Fishermen score 1 point for every 2 of them on the same side of your pier, lovers score 2 points for each one with 2 blank spaces to either side of them, flower sellers score a point if they have 2 other types of people next to them, and poets score 1 point for every 2 poets.

In the first round, you will draft 2 cards – one will be your starting pier, the other card will be the last card you place on your pier, and it defines your bonus goals.  

Also, each round there will be 1 card let undrafted. It can become a patron if it matches your symbols, and patron cards are worth 1 point each.

The player with the most victory points wins the game, and is crowned greatest pier builder of their generation!

Burgle Bros.

Designed by: Tim Fowers
Published by: Fowers Games (2015)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: 45 – 90 min

Burgle Bros. is a cooperative game for 1-­4 players. Players are unique members of a crew trying to pull off a robbery of a highly secure building — without getting caught. The building has three floors (4×4 tiles), each with its own safe to crack. Players start on the first floor and have to escape to their helicopter waiting on the roof.

Players each have three stealth tokens. Whenever they are on the same tile with a guard, they lose one. If any player is caught without a stealth token, the game is over. If players can open all three safes, and escape through the stairs to the roof they win.  Now let’s get into this review my fellow den of thieves.

The Boss

Designed by: Alain Ollier
Published by: Blackrock Editions (2010)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 20 – 60 min

The Boss is a card game where you assume the role of crime bosses in American territories, vying for control of the most profitable regions. It is a game of deduction. Each territory is represented by a color, and each territory has a number of cards which will vary, depending on the territory. For example, green has 3 cards, but the blue territory has 5 cards. 

In each round of play, one card of each color is placed face down. All other cards are dealt out to the players. These cards in your hand help you determine the face down card for any given color. Some cards are good (VP) and some cards are bad. 

Place cubes to control the territories, the most cubes of your color in any territory gets the benefit (or penalty) of the face down card for that color.

The BIG Boss territory – the red card – has no cards. They take a piece of the action from the last cards played to his left. So bet on red if you are feeling lucky.

Play 3 to 5 rounds, most points wins, and then … fogettaboutit!

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