Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over 18 months and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every other Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game



GameBrewcrafters: The Travel Card Game

PublisherDice Hate Me Games

Designer: Ben Rosset

Year2014




I first heard about Brewcrafters early in our board gaming journey and what stuck with me was the description of Agricola on the theme of brewing beer. Since we’d only just got Agricola to the table I decided against another significant investment, in spite of the very appealing theme! Instead I put some research into the card game version and, after hearing good things, made a much smaller investment in Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game.



In Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game you are using cards to build up your brewery, including the equipment, staff and fields where you grow your ingredients. It’s important to have the right mix of equipment and people to brew the beers you are famous for! Perhaps you specialise in brewing standard Ale, but doing it really well commanding a higher price or maybe you brew Special Reserve with rarer ingredients, or you’re a bit of a jack of all trades.

On your turn you add two cards to your hand from either the 5 face-up cards or the face-down draw deck. You then choose whether to play a card to your brewery or to brew a beer using a selection of cards from your hand. All cards have multiple uses, either as an ingredient or as a brewery element, so it’s important to make sure you’re building a useful brewery whilst holding back vital ingredients for your beer. When you brew a beer you will gain points which have a base value based on the complexity of the beer but then can be boosted if there are cards in your brewery to help you. Other cards in your brewery might allow you to brew a beer using fewer ingredients or to take extra cards or brew and develop your brewery in the same turn.

The game setup for two players
This is only a small card game but it does have some depth and there’s definitely skill in selecting the right strategy to get your brewery ‘engine’ working and maximising the points value of your cards when brewing beer. We’ve played this a lot with just the two of us, but also with three and four and I do enjoy it at all player counts. However, in the two player game I think that the game suffers due to the number of duplicate card types in the deck – there are a sufficient number to mean each player can typically have all of the bonuses they want without their opponent blocking. In the four player game you play as two teams of two – this is quite unique because you are playing independently but can trade one card per turn to try and boost you team score. The game works with the 4 players, but it does feel like a bit of an artificial fix. For these reasons I’d say the game is best for 3 players.

A selection of cards representing the different ingredients which brew the different types of beer. There are duplicate types of card but in each type they will represent different ingredients.
Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game makes a nice filler for gamers but I have also had success with non-gamers who were particularly helped by the theme. It’s a low price point compared to most other games with this theme so it’s a great way to bring beer into your collection, even though the price point does kind of show in component quality, particularly the scoring markers. I’m not sure for us it’s a travel game, because, although it’s a tiny box, it takes up a little too much space on the table, but it’s a good quick game to pull out when we’ve not got much time but we still want to think.

For the Yellow Meeple, Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game gets a 6/10.

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