Board Game Session Report for June 26, 2003: Wallenstein, Mausoleum


Danger Planet session. 4-player Wallenstein, 4-player Mausoleum.


Players were Rich, Jeff, Tony, myself. New players to the game were: Rich, Jeff, Tony, myself. Jeff had the first turn.

We spent 25 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

This is a resource-management game with a war theme.

The theme of this game evokes two years of the 30 Years War.

Each player starts out with a number of countries and a number of armies in each country. Player order is determined randomly at the start of each turn.

A round is made up of four turns. Three of the four turns are made up of 10 phases. The last turn is a scoring round.

At the beginning of each turn, an event indicates what good or bad things are happening in general: lack of troops, good harvest, harvest failure, commercial bonus.

The order of the 10 phases is determined randomly, and only the next five phases are known at any time. The phases include ones for building up an army in a country, creating buildings, harvesting, income, and attacking. Many of these require a cost.

Players choose the countries in which to carry out each phase ahead of time. Then players carry out their phases in turn order -- everyone gets to reveal the country in which the phases occurs before moving on to the next phase.

During the scoring round, each player reduces grain. Any players who come short on grain faces revolt. Players score the number of countries they occupy and the number of buildings in those countries, additionally adding the value of buildings if he has the majority of that building type.

A novelty of this game is a combat tower. Players resolve battles by dumping the fighting armies into the tower. Armies may get stuck in the tower. The number of armies that come out the bottom of the tower determines the victor of the battle.

Session Overview

This game was fun.

I especially liked the randomized phases and the combat tower which throttled back the build-up-an-sweep-across aspect of Risk-like games. This game is a little more contemplative. The combat tower means that losers of battle still have hope for later battles when their armies that were stuck in the tower could come out.

Rich, as usual, played an aggressive game -- preferring to attack players and make enemies rather than going for empty countries. He made a mistake in trying to control one region rather than spreading himself into many regions. (Owning the majority of different buildings in different regions is worth more points.)

Tony, had an "aha" moment which usually meant he was going to be victorious. He tended to play conservatively, except to retaliate against Rich's aggression.

Jeff also played fairly conservatively, trying to spread out early.

I realized the value of having many buildings in many countries early on -- before the other players caught on to this fact. This gave me a strong lead early on. For some reason, they didn't play the gang-up-on-the-leader strategy which allowed me to keep my lead. Though Rich devastated me at the start of the second round by taking my country meant for harvest before it could harvest, thereby insuring I'll have a shortage and revolts during the scoring round.

Jeff, also ended up with harvest-based revolts. Interesting that we led the game in spite of it.

Game lasted 125 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Wallenstein at

Click here to learn more about Wallenstein at


Players were Cindy, Karl, Eric, myself. New players to the game were: Eric, myself. Cindy had the first turn.

We spent 10 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

This is a card game with a macabre theme.

Players have a hand of cards. Each player, in turn, draws a card then plays a card. Players may draw the top card from the face-down draw deck, the face-up discard deck, or the face-up mausoleum deck.

Players play a card in front of any player. The card may be a party member, a card that kills a party member in a creative way, or a mausoleum card that was just drawn. A mausoleum card can only be played when enough people died to afford the particular mausoleum.

Certain party members may only die or be buried in certain ways, so sometimes players end up playing cards on other players.

The winner is the player to first reach a mausoleum score of 10.

Session Overview

The rules describe a variant, because the original rules were broken in some way.

This is a light game, though you wouldn't think so the way some unnamed players play the game.

It seemed like I was close to winning right off the bat, but it eventually became a race between Karl and Eric, and Cindy and I ended up wasting turns to prevent either of them from winning.

Overall, an uninspiring game. But then, any game that has draw-a-card-play-a-card as its rules tends to be so.

Game lasted 36 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Mausoleum at

Click here to learn more about Mausoleum at

In Association with

Contents by Vitas Povilaitis
email to