Board/Card/War/Mini Tabletop Game Review

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I, Spy

From: Lost Boys Productions
Reviewed by: Ron McClung

I, Spy is a new Board Game from Lost Boys Productions.

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Recently I was introduced to a new game called I, Spy.  I Immediately thought it would be my kind of game when I saw the board and all the various bits.  However, I had no idea just how much. It is a phenomenal game and easily making my top 10 list for 2015, if not overall.

Players play the role of spies in pre-Great War Europe.  They have 14 rounds to increase the influence of their Nation while preventing your enemies from increasing theirs.  The catch is you do not know what national factions your opponents represent.  Players are given a Alignment token at the start of the game that defines their Nation – the Kingdom of Italy, the Republic of France, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, the German Empire, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  These are kept secret and part of the beauty of this game.

You can Influence for your Nation through various ways.  Along with the bluffing aspect related to the Alignment mechanic of the game, there is a strong card hand management mechanic.  Every player has a specific set of cards, which are all the same.  These represent the actions that can take place in the round, but when played, they add influence to various Nations at the end of the round. These cards also refresh every round.

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From page # 1: “It is the eve of a great war…”

Another awesome aspect of the game is the politicians, which are the random part of the game.  Politicians are placed faced down along the border of the board and can be influence by players.  As actions, you can see how much their influence are worth, move them around and promote others that are more favorable to your cause.  But you can only do this with those that you already have sway with, and to do that requires an action as well.

From  page # 1: “The year is 1908, and the powers of Europe simmer in an uneasy peace.”

There are several locations on the board representing major cities in Europe and Russia.  Players can travel around to each city to preform specific actions that effect influence, politicians or other players.  You can also gain Asset cards in some cities which represent contacts that help your cause.   This is where much of the action takes place in the game.  Travelling about, players each round attempt to increase the potential for influence for their Nation while lowering the potential for others, before the next scoring phase.  Scoring phases occur every 3 to 5 rounds and are indicated along the Politicians track.  Any effect from a Politician along that track behind the current scoring phase takes place.

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In conclusion, this game can run a little long but in the end it is a very satisfying game. It is very strategic, with a lot of hand management and resource allocation.  I love the bluffing side of this game, and there subtle backstabbing aspect to it.  It is a very well designed game.

For more details on Lost Boys Productions and their new Board GameI, Spy” check them out at their website http://www.lost-boys-productions.com/, and at all of your local game stores.

Codex Rating: 19

Product Summary

I, Spy
From: Lost Boys Productions
Type of Game: Board Game
Designer: C. Simon Reid
Artists: Sylvie Demers, Chloe J. Tran
Number of Pages: 12 page rulebook
Game Components Included: 4 Spy figures, board depicting western Europe,  wooden block Influence counters, ower Markers, Action cards, Asset Cards, Politician Tiles, Control Tokens, Alignment Tokens, Supply Tokens, Tag Tokens, Round Marker, Initiative Card, Special Action Cards, and Players Aid cards.
Retail Price: $45 (US)
Number of Players: 1-4
Player Ages: 13+
Play Time: 30 minutes per player
Website: http://www.lost-boys-productions.com/

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

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