4 - 5

Number of Players: 2-4

Year of Publication: 2011

Creator(s):  Inka Brand and Marcus Brand (designers), Dennis Lohausen (artist)

It’s a pretty small-town kind of a game…

Ever wanted to go travelling, but just didn’t have the time? Ever wanted to become a friar but you were too female to join a monastery? Well in Village you can fulfill all of those unfulfilled life dreams that you may have had any time in your life. Take control of four generations of one family to make your all dreams come true! (Okay, maybe I’m lying about all your dreams coming true, but it’s still good fun, okay?)

What’s In The Box:



  1. 44 Family Members in four colours
  2. 32 Markers in four colours
  3. 1 Starting Player Marker
  4. 1 Next Starting Player Marker
  5. 40 Goods Tiles
  6. 24 Customer Tiles
  7. 15 Coins
  8. 20 Bags of Grain
  9. 3 Setup Cards
  10. 1 Mass Overview Card
  11. 4 Farmyards
  12. 72 Influence Cubes (Brown, Pink, Orange, Green)
  13. 6 Plague Cubes (Black)
  14. 1 Green Bag
  15. 1 Black Bag and 4 Black Monks
  16. 2 Rule Books (German and English)
  17. 1 Game Board

Playing The Game:

Objective: To efficiently manage the lifespans of each of your family members so as to gain the maximum number of prestige points.

To start the game each player chooses a family, and is given a farmyard, one gold coin and all of their coloured markers. One marker is placed on the closed book symbol in the top left-hand corner of the board. Each family has four generations of people. To begin the game only the four people marked with a 1 are placed on the farmyard.

Setting Up The Board:

Once you’ve chosen your family and claimed all of the pieces you need to begin you then follow the instructions relevant to the number of players there are. As you can see there is a big book in the bottom right-hand corner of the board. This is call the Village Chronicle, it’s the dream of all the villagers to have their name written in this book when they die. When playing with less than four players there are spaces there, and in the unmarked graves (bottom left-hand corner) which are marked with a 3 or a 4. These spaces have to be filled with a member of an unclaimed family at the start of a two or three-player game. This helps to control how long the play time of the game is.


Basic starting setup for two players.

At the start of the game the oldest player immediately becomes first play (you can see the red player in this game has the strange marker with the couple on it next to his farm). This player then takes a pre-determined number of the coloured Influence Cubes from the pool at the side of board and puts them, and all the Plague Cubes into the green bag. These are then drawn at random and used to Seed the board. The Setup Card for the number of players indicates how many cubes should be placed on each coloured patch of the board. Each of these patches represents a potential action that you can take on your turn.

The only other thing left to do now is place customer tiles on the indicated number of marker squares on the board. Once this is done you’re ready to play!


As you can see, Influence Cubes and Plague Cubes have been randomly distributed to the different coloured patches on the board according to the Setup Card and Customer Tiles have been placed in the Market area.

The Rules:

We found that the rulebook for this game is very well written. It’s quite clear what is and isn’t allowed, and there’s very little ambiguity, this makes the game pretty straightforward to play as there’s little opportunity for argument about whether one action is or isn’t allowed.

Taking Your Turn:

This game is quite clever; because each round consists of a few turns for each player – but the actual turn itself is quite short – the game should keep going at a reasonable pace, making the impatient among us much happier as their turn comes round more often. To begin your turn you take an Influence or Plague Cub from the action spot of your choice, the choices are:

  • Grain Harvest – if you have one or more family members on your farmyard you can perform this action. Take an Influence or Plague Cube from the spot with the wagon on it and then immediately take 2 bags of grain from the supply. If you do not have any family members on your farmyard you cannot perform this action.
  • Family – when you perform this action a new family member is born! Take a cube from the patch with all the people standing next to it and then take a new family member from the next generation of your family (if you have all of the 1st generation on your farm or the board somewhere then take one from generation 2 and so on) and put them on your farm. Alternatively, instead of taking a new family member from the supply, you can also use this action to recall a family member  from somewhere on the game board to your farm.
  • Crafts – Take a cube from the yellow patch by the workshops. You can now send a family member to one of the workshops to learn a skill. Each workshop will show on it how much time must be spent to train a family member, and then again how much time must be put in to create. Note: the train cost of time only has to be paid once per family member in a workshop.
  • Market – when a Cube is taken from the blue patch by the market place a market day is immediately triggered. Each player has a chance now to trade at the market. However, only the spaces directly in front of a market stall can be traded with. The player who triggers the market day performs the first trade action and can perform this for free. Every other player who wishes to trade at the market must pay both one time and one green Influence Cube before they can trade.

As you can see, we have only traded with the customers who were directly in front of the market stalls. No other customers have been served.

  • Travel – The green patch near the gate out of the village indicates travel. You can use this patch to send a family member to other villages. This gains you prestige points and other benefits depending on where you go.
  • Council Chamber – taking a Cube from the red patch by the council building allows you send a family member into the local council. As you train them they gain influence in the council and the benefits you receive from them increase.
  • Church – the brown patch nearest the church allows you send a family member to orders. Once sent this family member goes into the Black Bag with the Monks and is not used again until Mass is said at the end of the round.
A Family Member Dies:

As each action costs you time eventually someone will have to pay. On your farm you will see clouds with sand-timers in them around the edge of the farmyard. Each time you perform an action that requires time you must move your marker the requisite number of spaces. Every time your marker passes the bride at the top of your farm, a family member from your oldest generation has to die. When this happens you may complete the action that you were performing fully before choosing which family member to kill.

Note: with the exception of Market Day. If Market Day is trigger by taking a Plague Cube you must immediately pay the 2 time and if someone dies they must be removed from the board before completing the Market action.

It is beneficial to plan which family members will die as there are a certain number of spaces in the Village Chronicle for each profession. Once these are full no other people who die whilst in this occupation can go there and must be buried in the unmarked graves. This is important because you gain Prestige Points at the end of the game for the number of family members in the Village Chronicle, but you do not gain points for any in the unmarked graves.


Here you can see family members in both the Village Chronicle and the Unmarked Graves. Orange and Red have here achieved the most strategic deaths so far.

Ending A Round And Saying Mass:

Once the last Influence or Plague Cube has been taken from the board the round ends once that player has completed their action. At this point Mass is said. Four monks are drawn from the Black Bag to say Mass. If any player has a family member in the bag they are allowed to pay one gold coin to have their family member definitely say Mass. If the players do not pay them those saying Mass are drawn randomly. Any coloured Monks drawn from the bag are placed on the first window of the church, and any black Monks are returned to the bag. Players may now move their Monks further up the church hierarchy by paying the indicated number of Bags of Grain back to the supply. Once this is done the player with the highest number of family members in the church is awarded two prestige points. If there’s a tie then the player with the highest ranking family member wins, if there is still a tie then the tied players all receive two Prestige Points.


Here, Orange has paid the most grain and been made Abbot in exchange. Red is a senior Monk of some sort, and Blue is sadly just a Novice still.

Once Mass is ended the board is re-Seeded and a new round begins.

Ending The Game:

The game ends once either all the spaces in the Village Chronicle or the unmarked graves have been filled.

Winning The Game!

At the end of the game Prestige Points from all the different aspects of your life in the village are added up. The player with the most Prestige Points wins!

Note: The board is clearly marked with which actions will give you more Prestige Points when continued with for longer periods of time.


Red is victorious! Orange not far behind, and Blue seriously lacking in Prestige…

You can see that the score has been added up by moving each players coloured counter around the track on the edge of the board. Red has won, but not by much!


There are several different strategies that can be adopted for this game. The one I played (I was orange) was to try and have family members in as many different professions as possible, so as to be able to spend a lot of time and have them in the maximum number of available Village Chronicle spaces. I gained a lot of Prestige Points from this. The other aspect of my plan was to try and get reasonably high in the church, as you get points from this, and to have traveled a reasonable amount, for the same reason. I didn’t win the game though, the winning strategy was to build things using the Crafting action and to travel as much as possible. Although this strategy won, it only just won, so it would be worth playing again and seeing if I can alter my strategy a little to make it the winning one!
Both of us playing used the Market action. I had more Market points and I know from a previous time we played this game that if a player is focused enough it is also possible to win using only the Crafting and Market actions. But this requires serious dedication and single-mindedness.

Tactically it is also worth triggering a Market Day when you can trade but you know no-one else can. Even if you only have one thing to trade. You may only get a few points for this action, but no-one else gets any, which gives you a bit of an edge.

History and Interesting Things:

  1. Between 2011 – 2014 this game won 7 awards, and was nominated for 14!
  2. It’s set in a kind of 1700’s era Village.
  3. To be honest, the game was only published in 2011 and doesn’t have much extra-curricular information about it, so I’m going to have to fail at giving any extra points here!
Further Reading and Other Editions of the Game:

This game is still relatively new – only five years old – but it has four expansions:

  1. Village: Customer Expansion (2012)
  2. Village Inn (2013)
  3. Village: Customer Expansion 2 (2014)
  4. Village Port (2014)

In Conclusion:

As you can see, I have actually had very little to write about the history or background info to this game, but having said that, I would recommend the game. It’s not particularly complicated and it’s good for a chilled-out afternoon with family or friends. It’s also great for playing with friends who like board games, but aren’t fanatic enough about them to spend more than about 2 hours playing one. I particularly enjoyed it because you can explore so many different ways to win. Having played the game twice in the last three days I can say that at the moment one of the strongest win-strategies seems to be trying to travel to all six of the other towns.

Let’s Try Again!

Hi everyone!

It’s been five days shy of two years since a new post went up on here, and it’s definitely time to refresh this space. A lot has happened in the two years since we’ve posted anything. The most key of these things being that Dave and I no longer live in the same country, making writing a blog together somewhat more challenging.

However! Given that I currently have a decent amount of free time I’m going to try and start posting again. Dave will still be helping, but in a purely administrative kind of way, so if you liked his posts more than mine, unfortunately you’re out of luck.

I have the good intention of posting my first new post next Monday evening. Fingers crossed I can keep to that. We used to post regularly on a Monday evening, but although I would like to be able to post once a week again, realistically I don’t know yet whether or not I can organize enough people here in Austria to make this possible.

But in the interests of keeping update posts short and sweet watch this space next Monday evening for a post about a pretty good game called Village.

Over and out – Mim

Memoir ’44 – 04 – Pointe-Du-Hoc

4 - 5

Winner: David

Full Scenario


The rules of the game tell us a brief history of this battle; June 6th, 1944.

It was felt by the Allies that the position the Germans held on top of the cliffs at Pointe-Du-Hoc was too strong. They had guns with them that could, from the top of the 100 foot cliff, accurately hit anything attempting to land on the beach.

The Second Rangers (an American unit formed specifically for this mission), under the command of Colonel James E. Rudder were assigned to stop them. After a difficult landing, under heavy fire from the Germans they managed to reach the top of cliffs. Here they found that the guns had been withdrawn from their stations several days beforehand and only dummies left in their casements. One Ranger patrol went south searching for the missing guns.

Two concentrations of Germans had remained; one in the south-west antiaircraft bunker, the other in the observation bunker. Despite repeated attacks these resisted and were the most dangerous of the German forces in the area.

The single Ranger unit finally found the guns sitting quietly, unguarded, in an apple orchard inland. They placed incendiary devices inside them and completed their mission.



The Steup.



Landing on the beach puts you at a fairly strong disadvantage to the Axis player; you’re in the sea, which gives you movement restrictions, and retreat penalties, but you get six command cards and you move first, so it’s not all bad.

  • You have to factor in that you cannot scale the cliffs in one move, the special rules for this scenario state that you must use two moves, to scale a cliff from the beach side.
  • However, your units are Rangers, so they can all move two hexes and still battle, which is a big advantage, and makes life much harder for the Germans.
  • The victory condition is four medals; we found that the most promising way to achieve this was to storm straight up the middle and try and take out the units in the sandbags, plus the left-hand one in the bunker. Then capture medals at the back to win. You should also try and do this as quickly as possible.
  • In this scenario I would say that keeping your units pretty close together was probably a better bet than spreading them thin, simply because the victory condition in not so high as in other scenarios, and it’s easier to outgun a unit if you’ve several of your units attacking them.

You get the fun of defending in this one. Dave and I did have a bit of a debate about whether or not it was more advantageous to stay in the bunkers and let the Allied player come to you, or to go out and meet them. We played it both ways.

  • You’ve got a bit of an interesting set up, on the top of the cliff. You’re position is very good defensively, but a little annoying until the Allied player has moved a fair few of their units.
  • You’ll probably find that although you can attack maybe on or two of their units, you can probably only do so with one battle die, which is an incredibly tedious (although completely acceptable, and sometimes necessary) way of destroying a unit
  • My main comment for this one is to not (if possible) let your enemy destroy your artillery. Because of its range this unit is incredibly useful, but annoyingly, also fairly easy to obliterate if an enemy unit gets close enough. PROTECT IT. That’s what your unit in the bunker on the point is for – to stop anything getting to your artillery.

General strategy point: be aware of the spread of your units in relation to your command cards. It’s very unwise to bunch all your units in one section of the board, as there may come a time when you have no command cards relevant to that section, which renders your turn useless and gives your opponent the upper hand.


Running Score:

David: 11

Miriam: 5



4 - 5

Number of Players: 2 – 3

Year of Publication: 1996

Creator(s): Maureen Hiron




Cambio, similarly to Quarto!, is a complicated or ‘thinking mans version’ of Tic-Tac-Toe (Naughts and Crosses).  For this review we’ve done another video. The video covers all our normal sections except ‘History and Interesting Things’ so check it out below:

History and Interesting Things:

There are only a couple of notable things about this game and they are:

  1. The game was invented by Maureen Hiron in 1996. She is a very successful game inventor and know for inventing several other games including: 7 Ate 9, Continuo and Qwitch.
  2. The word Cambio means exchange.

To Conclude:

Like we say in the video we like this game, the design of our specific issue of it could be better but apart from that its a fun and fairly simple strategy game thats not too long to play but not so fast you miss what just happened.


4.5 - 5

Number of Players: 2

Year of Publication: 1991

Creator(s): Blaise Muller


Quarto! is complicated Connect Four and for this review we’ve done a video, our first real video review! The video covers all our normal sections except ‘History and Interesting Things’ so check it out below:

History and Interesting Things:

There are only a couple of notable things about this game and they are:

  1. The game was invented in 1991 by Swiss mathematician Blaise Müller.
  2. It has won the following awards:

To Conclude:

Like we say in the video, we like this game a lot! My only issue with it is retaining enough concentration to keep in check all of the eight different piece attributes that could create a line. However I would highly recommend this game and if you like games that range from Connect Four to Chess then you will most probably love this game.

Memoir ’44 – 03 – Sword Beach

Winner: David

Full Scenario


The set up!

The set up!

Morning. June 6th. 1944. The 8th Brigade Group of the 3rd British Division, supported by Commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade and the Sherman tanks of the 13th and 18th Hussars make up the first wave of Allied forces to land on “Sword” beach, near the mouth of the Orne River.

The objective of the day was for the Allied forces to retake the city of Caen, and although the French troops captured the Casino at River Bella, the Allies failed in this objective. The sea was difficult that day, the tanks were supposed to land first and engage the enemy before the infantry landed, however, tanks and infantry ended up landing together. This coupled with the German resistance meant that the inland advance was seriously delayed. The failure to retake Caen was one of the biggest set-backs of D-Day and the consequences were still felt well into July of that year.

Strategy and Tactics:


You have a defensive advantage in this scenario. Not only are the Allied forces advancing from the sea, which initially gives them a terrain disadvantage, but some of your forces are also already holed up in bunkers. Bunkers are useful as they give a -2 to tanks and a -1 to infantry when being attacked. You also possess the only artillery unit in this scenario. This is, if you manage to prevent its destruction, probably your most useful unit, as it has the longest attack range.

Despite these advantages you also have fewer troops than your opponent, and your only tank unit starts in a useless position, from which you have to order it twice to get it within attacking range of the Allied forces. You also have one less command card, and move second.

Okay, so that aside, tactically we found that arranging your troops towards the back of the board and then waiting for the Allied forces to come to you was a fairly sound way of playing the scenario. Though it’s definitely worth dragging your tank unit out of the corner early on. I would also generally say that it’s worth keeping the units that are already in the bunkers in them, unless for some dire reason you have to retreat or lose that unit.

Because wood hexes provide a -1 for attacking a unit in the woods it’s also worth trying to position your in Lion Sur Mer in the most forward of the two woods hexes next to it, this moves you closer to the fighting action whilst giving the unit a decent terrain advantage and enabling it to be close enough to try and prevent Allied forces taking the town and claiming the medal there, that contributes to their victory points.

Other than that, I would say, try not to let yourself get surrounded by the Allies, because they’ve got a lot more firepower than you, and also, if possible, knock out their tank units first, as these move further and have a fighting advantage over infantry units as well as needing less hits to destroy a unit.


Although you start in the sea, you have an advantage in number units and number of command cards, as well as being the side that starts the scenario. Not only do you have three tank units to the one that your opponent possesses you also have three special forces units available to you, these are able to move up to two hexes and still battle, where regular infantry can either move one and battle, or two and do nothing.

Your first task is to get your units out of the sea, this is slow going because of the terrain restrictions that the sea imposes, but we found that it was tempting just to move either one block of your units out, maybe just from, say, the left flank, or to maybe move one unit from each section of the board, depending on your command cards. This is however, not a good idea. If you move one unit from each section too far from its comrades you make it an easy target, remember that you’re at a disadvantage with the bunkers, not to mention the hedgehogs and barbed wire that’s between you and the Axis forces.  And if you only move one block and ignore the others you also make those units targets because if they’re in the sea and they get attacked a retreat roll on the battle dice counts as a hit because you cannot retreat and so must sacrifice one member of your unit for every retreat rolled.

If you start out with any command cards that enable you to annihilate your opponents artillery unit this is a big score early in the game, it levels the playing field a lot. Not only does it have only two pieces to a unit, making it the easiest to destroy in terms of dice rolls needed, but it also makes it much harder for the Axis player to just sit and wait for you, as they can no longer pick off your units from such a distance.

Surrounding bunkers is a good way of destroying a unit completely, if you attack a bunker with three units instead of just one, you’re less effected by the defensive advantage they give to the Axis player.

Lastly, don’t forget about the medals in the three towns at the back of the board. Each one of these counts for one of the five victory points you need to win the scenario if you capture, and hold, the town. They’re worth going after because they mean you need to physically destroy less enemy units.

To Conclude:

I really enjoyed this scenario from both sides. As you can see from the running score we’re keeping – I lost. But it was fairly close both ways round. It was more a lack of useful command cards than any tactical errors made. This scenario is also great because you get artillery and special forces units in play, as well as bunkers, hedgehogs and barbed wire, which adjust the way you have to think about moving around the board. This is great because by this point you’re familiar with the infantry and tank units, and then the game gives you something new to play with. It also starts to pick up the pace of play. Dave mentioned in his last post that he thought it felt a little slow, I agree with him, but I think that this scenario really cranks the game up a bit, making it much more interesting.

Running Score:

David: 8

Miriam: 4


Memoir ’44 – 02 – Sainte-Mère-Eglise

2.5 - 5

Winner: David

Full Scenario


Set in 1944 on the 6th of June this scenario aims to replicate the D-day battle of  Sainte-Mère-Eglise. Sainte-Mère-Eglise is a town in Normandy, north-west France. The town is used as the central setting for the board, as can be seen in the layout diagram below. The fight began with Allied paratroopers landing at 0140; this is simulated by the dropping of four units of Allied men onto the board from a height of around 12 inches. If they land on a empty hexagon they become a full unit, however, if they land on a German unit, or off the board, they are considered a failed drop. Many drops failed that night as buildings in the town were on fire. This lit up the sky making the paratroopers easy targets. There were also incidents like that of John Steele who’s parachute got caught on the church tower and he could only observe the battle and there were others who got caught in trees.

The set up.

The set up.

At around 0500 the town was taken by the 505th parachute infantry regiment, it was then heavily counter attacked by the Germans, but the infantry held until they were reinforced from Utah Beach in the afternoon of June 7th.

Historically speaking this was an Allied victory, however, the success of your parachute drop at the start strongly influences your chances of success or failure.

Strategy and Tactics:


The first thing to focus on when playing as the Allies is your parachute drop. You get four units that you have to drop from 12 inches above the board, if they land on an occupied space or off the board they are taken out of play, so you want as many of them to land safely as possible, so drop with care. Additionally, depending on where they land this effects what you do next.

As the Allied player it makes sense to take the Axis unit that holds the town in the center first; depending on your command cards and on your parachute drop this can be quite easy as this unit is cut off from the rest of the Axis forces. Then holding the town and waiting for the Axis player to come to you is a fairly sound strategy as you then have the added bonus of the protection of the town at -1 against infantry and -2 against tanks for dice roll because of obscured line of sight.

What I found while playing is that while the hill on the left side of the board looks like a good position, if you don’t reinforce it you may as well pull out because with the right command cards and a couple of moves that unit will be eliminated with ease.

I also found that the single unit on the right is easily forgotten about by both sides, if it’s left by itself, as, if you’ve enforced the town in the center, the Axis player will move their right had units in towards the center in an attempt to take the town. So to move this unit into the cover of a hedgerow makes sense and, if possible, to reinforce it, depending on where your parachute men dropped.


The Axis players are not so lucky as to have anything as fun and useful as the parachute drop, they do have one unit of tanks, but they also get one less command card. Assessment of where the parachute men fell is essential for the Axis player; the thing to keep in mind is that the win criteria is four medals (four completely destroyed enemy units). So seeing where their weakest units are and destroying them speedily makes good sense.

I found that the unit on the left up the hill was most often left by itself so that was a good place to start, even with the -1 for shooting up a hill. Additionally withdrawing your unit from the town in the center to prevent its quick destruction was also a good idea.

If the Allied player were to fill the town in the center it is highly possible to lose more men than it’s worth trying to retake the town; however they cannot hide all of their men in the town and will undoubtedly have some out in the open, here getting your tanks into play and focused on units not in cover is a good move, but to fire tanks into a town is close to a waste of a move as they fire at -2.

Both Sides:

Remember to try to keep units in all sections of the board as it will always be the section of the board you have no units in that you have all the command cards for!

To Conclude:

This is a good scenario with a lot of replay value due to the parachute drop creating a slightly different set up every time. Also being only the second scenario in the rule book it gives a small, basic introduction to tanks with one tank unit in play. It also introduces you to hedgerows and hills and is a well-paced second scenario for people still learning the game.

However it lacks the fun of some of the later scenarios due to its relative simplicity and lack of lots of heavy weaponry!

Running Score:

David: 5

Miriam: 3